Worst and Best

Worst Thing of Today
Anticipating having to go to a performance of the latest production by the local Musical Society.

Best Thing of Today
Actually, the musical production was of surprisingly high-quality…Who knew?

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Funny Things Said By My Husband

Me (to HL): Are you watching this T.V. show with me, or are you falling asleep on the couch?

HL (blearily, rubbing his eyes): I haven’t sleeping…

Worst and Best

Worst Thing of Today
Coming home to a kitchen so full of dirty dishes that I can barely clear a place to put the clean ones as I wash.

Best Thing of Today
The cleanliness of my kitchen after I washed the dishes  wait, scratch that, I forgot – the beginning of the weekend is the best thing of today…of the whole week, really.

Reasons I’m Grateful For My Husband #1

He taught me to burp.

All through my growing-up my mum drummed into me that burping was ‘yucky’, and that it wasn’t a ‘nice’ thing to do – ‘Piggy’ was the term applied, in jest, to anyone in my family who burped within earshot.

Consequently, I think I learnt to swallow my burps, which made for very painful stomachaches and a strange gurgling in my throat whenever a burp tried to ‘escape’. Over time it became an automatic response and I wasn’t even able to force a burp (I tried, goodness me, I tried…”Drink lots of Coke.” “Swallow a lot of air.” “Contract your stomach.” “Gurgle in your throat a bit, and then push the air out.” “Drink from the other side of the glass.” – oh, wait, that one was for hiccups.). It was just never something I was able to get past.

And then I met HL. For the first time in a long time, maybe ever, I must’ve relaxed. It was as though my body remembered what I’d taught it to forget, as though a latch had unlocked, and something that had hampered me since childhood was gone.

I almost never get stomachaches anymore. This has been HL’s impact on lots of other areas in my life as well – “Just relax.” – and tensions which have been coiled inside for decades have unsprung.

Worst and Best

Worst Thing of Today
Actually, today was kind of a crappy “Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day”
It began when I was woken at 3.30am to the sound of my cat puking on the carpet and ended with eating too much spaghetti and feeling like I wanted to puke. The middle bit wasn’t so much great either.

Best Thing of Today
HL dancing around the kitchen and quoting Flight of the Conchords to me: “I’m the Hip-hop-a-potamus, My lyrics are bottomless…”.

Funny Things Said By My Husband

Me: Is ‘dojo’ the term for a karate training school only? What about other martial arts? What about kung-fu? What’s the term for a kung-fu ‘dojo’?

HL: House of Fu

Best and Worst

Best Thing of Today
Ugly Betty –
“Follow the breadcrumbs, Gretel.”

Oh yeah, and Cadbury’s Tiramisu chocolate…

Worst Thing of Today
Feeling very distant from the things and the people who are most important to me.

Ever unreeling

A Noiseless Patient Spider
A noiseless patient spider,
I mark’d where on a little promontory it stood isolated,
Mark’d how to explore the vacant vast surrounding,
It launched forth filament, filament, filament, out of itself,
Ever unreeling them, ever tirelessly speeding them.

And you O my soul where you stand,
Surrounded, detached, in measureless oceans of space,
Ceaselessly musing, venturing, throwing, seeking the spheres to connect them,
Till the bridge you will need be form’d, till the ductile anchor hold,
Till the gossamer thread you fling catch somewhere, O my soul.

Walt Whitman

Ceaselessly musing…

Worst and Best

Worst Thing of Today
Waking up with a throat full of phlegm, a nose full of snot, a head full of ache and a neck full of swollen glands…and still going to work.

Best Thing of Today
Going home at the end of the work day feeling much less like crap (weird, huh?).

A man by any other name

So, I was talking to the husband yesterday about his presence here. I asked him if he had any ideas about what he might like to be called so I can be respectful of his privacy, but still provide some insight into who he is.

Me: So, this blog-thingy that I started…?

Husband: Yeah…

M: What would you like to be called? I want a name or title that I can refer to you as, but not something that would identify you as such… Any ideas?

H: James Bond

M: No

H: B-Man

M: Nope

H: Golden Man Hunk?

M: No

H: Stud Monkey

M: Ah…no

H: Doc Holliday

M: No

H: Doctor Delicious?

M: No… What about just a name that you pick that might be a bit like your name?

H: meh…What about Giant Penis Man?

M: I’m not putting that on the blog.

H: Come up with your own then.

M: *sigh* Alright.

Fine, Handsome Lad it is then, HL for short.

Not Perfect

I love stand-up. Tim Minchin is a particular favourite (s’pose he’s a ‘sit-down comedian’, really…). This one seemed appropriate:

‘Not that again?’ ‘Yep.’

I think one of the criteria for assessing if a movie is ‘good’ or not is if you’ll watch it when it’s on T.V., even though you own the DVD and have watched it seven-twelvety times…

(O.K. – ONE of the criteria… There are some great movies that are once-only deals – I get that.)

Surburban Bovine

I live in a city. It’s a small city, but it’s a city. Most houses are on fairly small city blocks with the standard patch of green out the front and a rotary clothesline out in the backyard (It’s Australia, kai?). The city dwellings have your standard array of house pets and some people might keep a few chooks out back for eggs, but that’s kinda the extent of the bucolic incursion.  

We have some family friends who live on “West Hill” – a quite exclusive part of town – in a large two-story brick house (billiards room inclusive) with a manicured front lawn and carefully-tended garden plots. The most you used to see ambling across their grass was their English Setter.

Their lovely, but elderly, Setter died fairly recently, and, since then, they’ve been unexpectedly discovering interlopers trampling through their agapanthus. It seems that the neighbour who lives on the hill behind them is the proud owner (and poor fencer-inner) of a number of cows. Who knows what he’s doing with half a dozen cows on a property inside the city limits, but it’s perhaps better not to wonder.

So, apparently, when their puppy was alive she must have posed a menacing enough presence to deter any meandering escapees from trespassing and munching on well-watered lawns and lilies. Now, however, the only things that could conceivably alarm these intruders are the humans, and the cows seem to be entirely nonchalant towards them.

And, to add insult to injury, not only are our friends regularly having to shoo them away after discovering hunks of grass missing and bulbs strewn across their lawn, the cows are also leaving their calling cards… So, when our friends head out to the driveway in the morning to go to work, not only do they have to process whether they’ve had their coffee and put their face on, but, also, ‘Are my shoes going to end up in a steaming mound?’.

They called their neighbour to try and preclude any further ‘situations’ and managed to speak to the neighbour’s wife. Her response? “The cows aren’t my problem luv, yehs’ll have to speak to the husband ’bout that – they’re his ‘sponsibility.”

*sigh* It’s true, good fences do make good neighbours. 

Goopy

Table Manners
The Goops they lick their fingers,
And the Goops they lick their knives;
They spill their broth on tablecloths –
Oh they lead disgusting lives!
The Goops they talk while eating,
And loud and fast they chew;
And that is why I’m glad that I
Am not a Goop – are you?

Gelett Burgess

(Confession: Sometimes I’m a bit goopy…)

I can call you Teh Internets…

and Teh Internets, when you call me, you can call me…well…Aili (pretty close, huh? Pronounce it A-li.)

(I never really got the whole ‘Betty’ and ‘Al’ and ‘bodyguard’ thing, but this gives some insight…I guess. Not sure how good teh internets are at being anybody’s bodyguard, and dunno if I’m anybody’s long-lost pal…let’s just see how it goes, huh? *grin*)

Stats and Facts
*Australian
*Married to an American
*Lived in the US for 7 years, from about age 23 to 30-ish (and will move back one day)
*Currently living back in Australia
*1975 is my birth year
*errrmm…we have 2 cats, no kids. That may change at some point in the future (the kid bit, not the cat bit…though, conceivably, cats could die I s’pose…they were very expensive to ship to Australia from the US though, so I hope we get our money’s worth)
*And, that’ll do. It’s always nice to have some concept in one’s head about the owner and updater of a blog, but I don’t need to overshare this early in the peace.

🙂

Not a grape

Long time ago, when I was ’bout 9, my family and I went on an extended vacation around Europe and Asia. We needed to take quite a few flights to get from place to place and I (even though I’d never flown before this trip) was starting to think of myself as a ‘jet-setter’; a ‘woman of the world’; a ‘burgeoning sophisticate’, if you will.

The routine and rhythm of flying was something that I found both comforting and exciting, and I especially looked forward to mealtimes – the whole ‘sssh’ of the cart down the skinny aisles; the hoping they hadn’t run out of chicken by the time they got to me; the quick bathroom break before the stewardess reached my seat; the clearing off of one’s miniscule table; and, most specially, the perfectly-packaged, neatly-designed, compartmentalised meal-tray.

The whole meal-delivery process just filled me with joy. It was so efficient and wrapped and little – all specially purposed for lots of people in a tiny space. Each time a meal arrived (which is VERY often on a long flight) I would carefully and gently unwrap the cutlery and the food packets, and eat every morsel, even if the food was not something I would usually be that fond of. It was all about the experience. Somehow it tasted more interesting, more grown-up, more … just more.

Two particular meal incidents stand out from that overseas trip as a child. Unfortunately, they stand out because they both introduced a fly into the delightful aeroplane-meal-ointment.

The first meal-time that I recall so clearly proceeded uneventfully until the point when I decided that I was finished…  I must introduce an aside here: One of the things that I loved/love about flying was the fact that I had a large chuck of time that I could use however I wanted. I could get up and go to the bathroom, I could watch the movie, I could listen to the looped music channels, I could wander down the aisle, I could have a snooze – all when I chose (pretty exciting for a 9 year old).

After my meal was finished I thought about what I might like to do next in my grown-up flying journey. I didn’t have to ask my parents if I could leave the table, I didn’t have to clear said table of dirty dishes, I didn’t have to wait till my little brother was finished eating… On the other hand, it wasn’t that convenient to get up and go for a wander either, as the stewardess hadn’t yet cleared away the meal-tray, but I could stretch out and read and have a bit of a nap. I extricated my book, leaned back and reclined my seat.

There was a yelp from the seat behind me. As I’d pushed my seat back I hadn’t quite thought through the fact that there would be another passenger who was eating his own meal, which was balanced on HIS miniscule tray table, which, unfortunately, was attached to the back of my seat… The first course of this meal had been soup, which, needless to say, had ended up all over this poor gentleman, along with the remains of his second course.

I was, of course, hideously embarrassed as my, also mortified, parents tried to help the stewardess clean this man up. The rest of the flight was quite spoilt really, what with the not feeling game to recline my seat again, the shame every time I went for a walk and had to glance at the man, and the feeling very much like a child again.

When I went on another flight some years later I noted, with satisfaction (mingled with some righteous indignation), that, these days, the tray tables seemed to be attached to a common swivel point below the row of chairs, not directly to the back of the seats. I’m still nervous every time I recline though… 

The second of these stand-out meals was, if I recall correctly, on a flight into Greece. To prepare us for the spring weather – it was May – we were served a meal soon before descending which mostly consisted of a large salad. This was one of those menu items that I wasn’t normally keen on, but, when served it on a plane, I ate with gusto.

I’m usually an ‘eat-what-I-least-enjoy-first-and-save-the-yumminess-till-the-end’ kinda person. The yummiest part of this salad, I had decided, was the delicious black grape garnishing the top of the green salad. It was plump and dewy, indicating how recently it had come from the fridge. I ate my way through the lettuce and cucumber and tomato and cheese, looking forward to the lovely burst of crisp sweetness at the end.

I finally had nothing left on my plate but the grape, and so I popped it into my mouth and bit down, expecting the flavour of perhaps a muscat or seedless flame. The next thing I was aware of was that I was, involuntarily, spitting up/vomiting all over the gentleman in the seat in front of me. I wasn’t quite sure exactly what had happened until my, again mortified, parents shot out of their chair and tried to clean up, while questioning me as to what had made me do it.

I, at that point, realised that what had previously been in my mouth was not, in fact, a lovely grape, but a disgusting black olive. My very-first olive. On the way to Greece. All over another passenger – along with the rest of my lunch. How sophisticated was I?

I’ve never really been able to appreciate olives, as an adult…

Truth and Beauty

Of Dissembling Words
Throughout the world if it were sought,
Fair words enough a man shall find;
They be good cheap, they cost right nought,
Their substance is but only wind;
But well to say and so to mean,
That sweet accord is seldom seen.

Sir Thomas Wyatt

To say good things and to mean good things – this is worthwhile.

Dammed Mining

I’ve started thinking about, and trying to read situations throughout the day, in the light of the pursuit of blog quarry. I don’t think I’ve sharpened my pick-axe enough yet, though…

I’ve decided that I’ll be ok if I just blog about the process of learning to blog for a while. This dam of thought and words will be punctured and something will trickle through.

“Sometimes the purpose of a dam … is to keep water from invading a downstream area where activities such as mining are being conducted.” 
I think I’m treading water.

‘paste stuff in books’

Michael Stipe said in an interview with Andrew Denton that he…well…here’s the quote:
“Things like this (a conversation written on a café napkin) that I will look at 10 years from now and I will go, “Good God, we had fish and chips in Melbourne.” I paste stuff in books. I bought the paste, but it’s in my bag. I don’t really do it, I just talk about it.” 

I’ve always collected stuff: ticket stubs; birthday cards; an American dollar bill… I don’t paste anything anywhere, just stick it in a box really, but I like the ‘paste stuff in books’ image. If we don’t deliberately, consciously ‘paste’ – even metaphorically – then, not only is the ‘stuff’ lost, but so also the meaning attached to it. Junk becomes significant from the very act of saving.

This is me, intentionally ‘pasting’.

 

Years

small and amusing
grandiosity faded
quite content now thanks

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