Long Highway / Paralysing.

In 2011 I spent four weeks driving around America. I made a pact with myself when I got back: I would always have enough money in my bank account for the price of a flight to America. Just the flight. Enough that if I felt like it, I could book something at the last minute or buy flights when they were on sale.

It never happened.

Sometimes I wonder if a lot of my life choices in my thirties are being driven by having to be so responsible in my twenties.

I suppose I don’t feel like I need an escape plan anymore, but mostly I think I got tired of always being on top of everything. Which is stupid, that’s life.

I miss being on the road. I miss the feeling of being in a car and no-one knowing exactly where I was, except for the people in the car with me.

I think a large part of what I love about travel is the lack of constraint.You can have a map, you can know where you’re meant to spend the next night, but there’s absolutely nothing stopping you turning off at the next exit just to see what’s there, disappearing from any expectation.

I remember standing on a straight stretch of road in Arizona and trying to guess how many miles it was to the next bend in the road, near the horizon.

The black tar was the only sign of civilsation until some helicopters rose from somewhere in the distance.

It felt ominous, we quickly got back into the car until they passed overhead, like there was some kind of danger in being seen in the middle of nowhere, standing in the middle of a highway, doing nothing but staring at the horizon, amazed at how long it would take us to get there.

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Sweet Baby Cheeses!

You know that thing where you’re selling your house for $1.4 million dollars and the real estate agent says, “Darling, this place is fabulous! You have taste! Now, our photographer has taken some snaps and let’s face it, it’s hard to get a bad shot of such a gorgeous house, but let me know if you have any photos you’ve taken yourself that you’d like us to include!”?

And you think to yourself, “Well actually, there is one I’d like to include!”

cheese

Because everyone likes a fine selection of cheeses.

One Man’s Dream Is Another Man’s Nightmare.

This one is advertised as being a ‘renovator’s dream’ and mostly I have nothing to say about it because I want to scrub its depressing existence from my mind and eyeballs with some kind of strong cleaning chemicals that don’t get a look in at this place very often by the looks of things.

Also?

A blanket, no matter how closely you colour-match it to your walls, is not going to disguise the fact that you’re missing part of your ceiling.

We can see it.

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Bali In My Belly.

You know when you go on a holiday to Bali and the water is just as blue as in the pictures and you wear a sarong for the first time in probably a decade (it’s actually been three decades, but that’s a scary thought, the kind you don’t want to have in Bali) and you lightly dust your freckled décolletage with bronzer each morning because you’re a little more careful with sunbathing these days, although a few hours here and there in Bali won’t hurt, will they?

You have the time of your life. Three weeks away from the kids, you’re acting like teenagers again and the sex is quite good the one-and-a-half times you’re both in bed at the same time. Though, for someone who stopped love making half-way through because he was sure he had “Bali belly” coming on, he sure did fall asleep quickly. Oh well, he’s tired, he works hard and it meant you could stay up and have a few more white wines than you could have had normally and that Jennifer Garner movie was the type of thing he would’ve just complained about anyway.

You buy the kids some white shells on leather straps and make a list of how many bottles of gin you’re going to need to remember to get duty free and you lie on a banana lounge and use a book and sunglasses as a prop so you can watch a family of Russians flopping in and out of the spa.

Does the daughter, is it the daughter? Sometimes she seems to treat that older man like a father, but she’s far too old so be sitting on his lap in the spa in her bikini, so is she his girlfriend? Anyway, does that tattoo on her back actually say ‘BITCH’? It does! Where’s your phone, you need a photo of this to show the girls.

Some people!

You wonder how cheap it would be to get some gel nails done before you go home.

When you get back home, you tell everyone it was fabulous, yes if they’re thinking of going themselves, they should talk to you because you really felt you got a grasp on the place.

He goes back to work, you do a few little crafty projects with some picture frames to house the photos you took of the beaches. So blue!

You start to feel despondent. That gin you were going to give to Linda just keeps disappearing. If you spice it up with a little lime, it takes you right back to Bali.

He doesn’t want to talk about the holiday anymore, he’s busy at work and just wants to put his bloody feet up for one bloody minute at the end of the day and not have to think.

Then you see something so perfect, so … majestic and you must have it. If you have it, every night you’ll dream of Bali, it’ll be like you never left.

You buy it and it gets delivered and it takes three men to carry it in and he’s really bloody angry when he sees it and has to put it together, but you don’t care.

It’s beautiful.

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Faux on Faux

photoshop

It took me a really long time to figure out what was wrong with this room.

Until recently I had no idea that if you’re fancy, you can hire people to style your empty home and put lovely matchy matchy furniture in it for the real estate photos.

I just thought there were a lot of people out there who didn’t own much stuff and had really, really hygienic homes.

I actually started to want to be those people, who, if they existed, I imagine would be the type who don’t scan IKEA catalogues for the cheapest item on each page, but look at the entire faux room setup and just buy the whole thing.

I wanted to be them and their relaxing Saturday morning coffees from the plunger on their special bay trolley in their shiny kitchens, their white teeth gnashing as they smile at their Labrador.

Fuck them and their love of bushwalking and ability to keep their clothes clean all the time.

The above house, however, wasn’t fancy enough to have a stylist, they just had it Photoshopped Uncanny Valley style and no-one will ever buy it because it’s just so goddamned creepy.

 

9 out of 10 vets agree …

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Recent scientific studies have shown that Delilah is at least 12 times naughtier than the average three-year-old human child.

Her latest trick, which is illustrated above, is to jump over the small fence that blocks the side of our house. It is short enough for her to get over, but there’s quite a drop on the other side (when I say quite a drop, I mean I can step over it, but I’m not a corgi) and she can’t get back.

When it rains, and she’s been put outside for the night (she has an entire outside laundry to herself and a porch with coverage, it’s practically the Hilton), she knows she will look particularly cute and sad if she gets wet and looks at us from under those super long eyelashes of hers.

Her logic is that we’ll let her sleep inside, which we did for a couple of nights in the recent crazy Sydney weather. Never again. She was like a kid hopped up on sugar and wanted to play with her squeaky ball at 3am, or jump into bed with B and growl at me when I try and remove her, because she thinks B will protect her from me (usually true).

So she jumps the brick wall and barks and barks and barks and we have to get up and go out in the middle of the night in the rain and rescue her because we can’t just leave her and she knows it, hence the look on her face, above.

Thankfully, she only seems to do it when it rains.

For now.

Besides trolling us and The Wuz, her favourite naughty thing is hot chips, which obviously we don’t feed her.

It all began on an off-leash walk. She comes when called maybe 60% of the time unless there’s something more interesting going on. Like a dead cat to roll on (it happened), or another dog, or a light breeze.

On the night in question we called and called and she wouldn’t come, so I went to investigate and found her scarfing Oportos hot chips which someone had spilt on the ground. As I approached, she gobbled faster and faster and by the time I managed to haul her off, there weren’t many left.

She trotted after us for about ten metres, then stopped, gave us a look that said, ‘I’m sorry guys, but I love them more than you’ and raced away to finish them off.

That was months ago and she still visits that one spot every time we walk past it, just in case chance should have it that more hot chips magically appear.

 

 

 

It’s Rainin’ Again …

It’s raining in Sydney. You may have heard about it because you may be sick of Sydney people talking about how it’s raining.

I think we talk about it because Sydney is in no way set up to handle rain. Someone sneezes near a train and the whole network goes down, so in weather like this (which is quite epic and record-breaking), the whole city ceases to function properly.

Our street, for example, is the exit for one of the main artery roads feeding into Sydney and it was closed down today because it flooded. Whole suburbs were gridlocked in traffic as a result, as the neighbourhood ducks happily surfed the streets.

B drove me to work this morning and when we crossed the creek, it hadn’t even burst its banks and it was barely sprinkling. The traffic was hectic, but it was approaching peak hour.

About four blocks from my work, a giant semi-trailer, slowly ground against our car, pushing us to the left. We are okay, the car is mostly okay, but I’d forgotten that my body responds to shock by trying to put itself to sleep, so when I showed up to work (I’d called ahead to warn them I was running late because of the truck) everyone wanted to know if I was okay, and I wanted a giant nap.

By the time B drove home, the road was well and truly flooded and the round trip must’ve taken a few hours.

Delilah has been happy to have him working from home and being allowed to sleep inside, although, give her an inch and she’ll take a mile of wet weather privilege. Her bones are inside, suddenly and she’s been commandeering whatever couch the cat wants to sleep on.

She and B went to investigate the neighbourhood.

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Just a bit of water.

 

Kreeping Up With the Kardashians #1

In a lovely homage to one of their biggest fans, Anne Treasure, the Kardashians launched season 10 of Keeping Up With (you guessed it!) the Kardashians the day after Anne’s wedding.

Anne’s wedding was delightful. There was a dog in a bow tie (actually two, if you count the delightful National Treasure, First Dog On The Moon), I cried, the bride cried, but only because someone poked her in the eye, there was a very long kiss and there was Patrón XO Café.

Bonjour to you, sir!

Anyway, this isn’t about weddings, this is about season 10. More specifically, this is what we already know about the drama that’s going to unfold this season.

Let’s talk about what what this season “promises” and how the off-season has ruined some of the suspense:

Kim will have a baby: there is a very sweet moment in the first episode where Kim explains to her ob/gyn that she has a hairdresser who is also a psychic who has told her that her next baby will be a boy. She looks very graceful with her paper towel skirt, with a wand up her hoo-ha while telling this story and her ob/gyn very generously tells her he gives her a 50% chance of a boy.

Spoiler: Kim will not have a baby this season. We, the viewers know this because during the off season we’ve lived through her breaking the Internet with her delightfully oiled derriere in a shoot she says she wanted to do in order to capture her pre-second baby body.  That was months ago, which is years in Internet time and there is no baby.

Kendall and Kylie will act out: Kendall and Kylie are still very much a sub-plot in Kardashiland, at least for this season. Teasers suggested therapy might be in order for both and that Kylie feels like someone off camera doesn’t know her anymore. Honestly, it’s possible she was talking to a camera man, who at this stage, probably does know her better than her own mother.

Spoiler: Neither will go particularly off-the-rails this season. During the off season, Kylie’s lips did start to resemble one of Erwin Wurm‘s car sculptures, but Kim cleared that little mess up by explaining Kylie is very good with makeup tricks which help her look like she’s had too much lip filler. Kendall did a lot of modelling things, including a bunch of Chanel, so you know, not exactly failing at life. She may be having sexual feelings about Justin Bieber though, depending on which tabloid you read.

Rob’s life is a disaster: If there is one thing that brings tears to my eyes, it’s Khloe crying. Firstly because she is a very glamorous crier and I feel sad that I don’t look like that when I cry. Secondly, because Khloe is my favourite Kardashian and when she feels pain, I feel pain. Last season, her heart was still being broken by Lamar, this season, by Rob, her brother-husband.

Spoiler: There is no spoiler, it honestly looks like things are not well for Rob. After laughing for longer than was probably necessarily at the idea of a line of socks, I actually looked at them and they are pretty good and I’m probably going to end up owning some.

Khloe and French will break up: How long do you have? Are you sitting down? Good, because I have so much to say about why Khloe and French should break up. I wanted to like French. First of all, I like that his name is French! Second, Lamar. Lamar that 6 foot 10 inch heart-breaker. Do you know what a man who is that tall means to a tall woman? And he was sweet to her and he played in the NBA and they laughed together and LAMAR! But he broke her heart and their marriage and she needs to get over him so she can find another amazing tall man to make her feel dainty and that man is not French. As Kourtney said, “He’s so dumb. I can’t spend time around dumb people like that anymore, so please don’t bring another dummy.”.

Spoiler: As of maybe two weeks ago, they were still on-off. Ugh. Interestingly though, apparently Khloe and Lamar’s divorce papers are going to be void soon if she doesn’t pull the trigger on them. Let’s hope she’s lost them and she and Lamar fall in love while searching her closet which is bigger than my whole bedroom and season 11 opens to a fuzzy montage of them making love on a fluffy white rug.

Bruce dates Kris’s best friend and breaks Kris’s heart: This one was big news for a few weeks, but again, it happened so long ago that we all know what happened. If you don’t know what happened … keep reading.

Spoiler: Not much. If there was any kind of hanky panky going on, it seemed to be a flash in the pan. Next week an interview with Barbara Walters and Bruce is airing in the States. Most sources agree that in this interview, Bruce will discuss his transition from male to female. Most also agree the transition probably won’t feature on KUWTK and although the family haven’t confirmed Bruce’s news, all the kids have said they support their father no matter what.

So there we have it.

Luckily the appeal of KUWTK is never in the big reveals anyway, it’s in the smaller moments and any moment with Khloe and the dream that one day Lamar will come back and we’ll all be happily married forever to him.

I’m a professional cynic but my heart’s not in it.

Last week I handed in my first psychology assignment. You know when people say things like, ‘OMG! Did you hear what she said?! What, did she just take Feminism 101 or something?’? This assignment was literally a PSY101 essay and there’s a reason for the cliche.

I would have preferred to scratch my nails on a chalkboard for two weeks than write it, so I’m hoping my intuition that I did okay is correct.

Right in the middle of it, I started using hard drugs to help me through, by which I mean macaroni and cheese. I’m pretty sure the recipe I use is from the Commonsense Cookery Book, but I’ve started to refine it. For example: always with the dijon mustard. New discovery: soy milk makes a superior white sauce than cow milk.

Every day, I would eat my macaroni and cheese and watch a Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt episode and then I would stack my dishes in the sink and forget about them and B would say, ‘What are the white globs in the sink that smell like vomit?!’ and I would say, ‘That’s the remains of heaven, B. Heaven’.

Now I have to start essay two, or essay poo, as I like to call it (not really, potential essay marker, I am taking this very seriously.).

As a nice reward, we went to Orange on the weekend with Delilah. It just so happened the annual food week was on, which included some farmers markets, so we went and ate goat sausages and bought some honey goat cheese, and some Stone Pine gin and some fudge.

Delilah rolled in various kinds of poo, and went for a swim in the dam and failed to keep a fox out of the yard.

We brought home one very tired, very happy, very stinky corgi as well as some gin.

Stress junk, trigger warnings and nudity.

My first uni assignment is due in a few weeks and it appears relatively simple, which can be a stumbling block for me because I see something simple and then second guess myself and make things hideously complicated.

At least I guess I know I do that this time around.

I decided to join UNSW’s library, mostly because I have friends who study there and because the guy I spoke to at Sydney Uni was really rude.

I went to pick up some books on the weekend and discovered that old looking books act as some kind of first-year student trigger for me.

Most of the books are hardback and don’t have dust jackets, so I almost keeled over in shock, because they all looked about 60 years old and I was terrified I’d have to do an assignment with horribly out-of-date information and fail.

Turns out you can take the clothes off any hard-covered book and it looks old and worn.

Kinda like me.