Thursday, 26 May 2011

I'm a lay-dee with a plan

Right, people, I will beat this bloody blogger's block if it fucking kills me. One post a day was easier when I still thought it would fascinate you all endlessly if I reported on my every fart. (Not that I ever fart, mind you, because I am a lay-dee.)

My ongoing sleepless nights have me sitting in the sofa "watching" pre-recorded TV shows during morning naptime instead of blogging (I'd admit to being slumped over, snoring, and drooling out of the side of my face if I wasn't a lay-dee). And then there's my frigging diet, which is making the kilos melt away (slowly, slowly, eaty monkey) but it's making me feel rather empty-headed and lethaaargic.

But all this crap has a bright side as well, of course: while I have absolutely no inspiration when I'm faced with the dreaded and seemingly endless white space of the "New post" page, I have now gone a whole six weeks without being asked when my baby is due. I have also, in the last nine months, had only one bout of self-induced insomnia. A record, surely. But it does rather limit the idle blog time.

Nevermind, dearest people. All this is a thing of the past. I have decided that as soon as Charlie's fourth tooth breaks through fully, he will be the best sleeper we've ever had. Also, I am taking a daily vitamin supplement to increase my energy levels (with ginseng, people, this is foolproof) so I will no longer need my morning naps. Now all I need to do is sabotage my offline social life, and I'll be back to blogging away my new-found sleepless nights.

I really don't know why they haven't put me in charge of the UN yet. I'm such a planner.

Monday, 23 May 2011

Nevermind

Earlier today, I deadheaded the flower pots in the garden, and accidentally cut off quite a few perfectly healthy looking pink flowers as well. Which is fine, really, because all they were is future deadheads. I was conserving energy.

While I was at it, I flushed tomorrow's breakfast down the loo and buried the cat. I'm way ahead of you all, people!

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Kill, baby, kill!

I am a mass murderer. (I have written about this before.) I have a lot of snails in the garden and they eat my hostas, which make them public enemy number one, and I KILL them. Yes, I KILL them. And I feel awful and guilty about it.
(That's what's wrong with us bleeding heart liberals, you know. We can't even kill pests with a clear conscience. See what happened with Bin Laden? The good guys go and take out a bad guy and we're all "Yeah, but what about due process? " I thought it was quite funny when a Republican senator or something was being interviewed on CNN and the reporter asked him if this was an assassination and if there should be an investigation, and the guy just went "I don't think we need to waste too many thoughts on this." Which to me seems to capture very well the difference between us over-thinking bleeding heart liberals and the other lot. But then that may just be my own prejudices coming out. Whatever. On with the snails.)


So as if it wasn't already a problem for me that I am a serial killer myself, I am now teaching my children the fine art of mass extermination as well. The other night, I told them the price of their dinner was five snails. Jack, the sweetheart, was so worried Marie wouldn't get any food he found nine on her behalf.
Me: Throw the snails in this bucket.
Jack: What's in the bucket?
M: Lemonade.
J: What happens to the snails once they're in there?
M: Well, they die. But they die while drinking lemonade, so I think they die happy.
There are so many things wrong with that conversation, even if you disregard the fact that I wouldn't feed them unless they went on a killing spree. The snails keep trying to get out of the bucket, and then one of the children will go and stir the lemonade with a stick so they drown a little faster.

I teach my children other things as well, you know. Like that swatting mosquitoes is okay because they bite us, but swatting flies is not very nice because they don't do anything wrong. I also teach them to be careful when putting a spider outside the house. Maybe I should teach them the word "hypocrite" next.

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Girl, you'll be a woman soon

On Friday, I became a woman. I could tell I was no longer a girl/tomboy because of the way I was holding my shoulders. It was obvious from the way I walked in my black clingy dress: curvy, unashamed. Anyone could tell I was a woman from the way I bought a single croissant for my breakfast (not a sticky bun or even two), kept it in the bag and just pulled off small parts of it while walking to the hairdresser's. In the salon, I didn't apologise for myself, make self-deprecating remarks, worry that I didn't measure up - a woman wouldn't, would she? I went for lunch with my sister; we sat on a sunny terrace with our sunglasses on; I had the most womanly Chef's Salad with a glass of white wine.

Then today I was that girl again.

I woke up with a stupid cold. A woman would have remembered to take her vitamin supplement. A woman wouldn't have wanted her baby's fruit mush so badly that she shared it with him, knowing perfectly well that the spoon was full of creche germs and snot by then. A woman would have found a better way to amuse her kids than to put that snotty baby's dummy in her mouth.

Taking Jack to the swimming pool, I had forgotten my flip flops and refused to go outside the changing rooms with him. A woman would have remembered them. In fact, a woman would not have needed them, being immune to verrucas and not prone like a girl. A woman would not have told her six year old to go shower all by himself, surrounded by other kids and their supportive parents.

I phoned my sister and had a fight with her. A woman would not have done that. A woman would either not have invited her and her family for a meal and Eurovision party, or if she had she would not have phoned to say it was only going to be sandwiches because she was going to the school fete first and would need more than just dos cervezas to get through it. A woman would have been all composed (and sober) at the stove, pretty in an apron, cooking a fast yet tasty meal. The girl thought
She doesn't want me or my company, she only wants the food. When's the last time she cooked me a meal? I would have got good bread and nice cheese. There would have been alcohol. Why doesn't she love me enough?
A woman would have known that a sister can also be a girl. A girl in the middle of exams and probably thinking
But she was going to cook me a meal. Why doesn't she think I'm more important than a stupid school party and dos cervezas? Doesn't she love me enough?

A woman would have worn her favourite dress to the school party. She would have got it in the wash on time and arrived looking gorgeous, curvy, unashamed. She would not have pulled a pair of jeans from the bottom of the pile of clothes in her bedroom, added a shirt that's slightly too small across her boobs and a scarf for warmth around her sore throat. If that woman had turned up at the school fete in that perfect dress, the school gate mummies would have reconsidered their evening plans to go out for a meal without her. They would have said "Why don't you come along, you gorgeous, unashamed, curvaceous woman, with your perfect husband and your perfect children?"
A woman would not have cared if she hadn't been invited of course. It's not as if I'm going steady with any of them. I've met some of them without all the others in tow.
But why don't they love me enough? Is it my jeans? Is it the scarf? Is it because I had a third baby? Is it because I can't turn up on Friday afternoons to chat in the park any more?

A woman would be asleep right now, happy in her post-Eurosong party alcoholic daze. Not like this girl, who slept all the way through Eurosong, now sitting up in the middle of the night, unable to sleep, snotty, stewing, a pile of tissues on the ground next to her.

I don't like this girl. Tomorrow, I want to be a woman again.

Friday, 13 May 2011

Every Spaniard has a moustache

Jack and Marie's school has done it again. On Saturday the nursery school are performing little dances at the school fete, and Marie's class are dancing to last year's Flemish summer hit, Dos Cervezas - their most inappropriate choice of song since they made a group of little girls dance to Aqua's "Barbie Girl" in miniskirts and make up (no, really, they did - "Kiss me here, touch me there, hanky-panky").

There are so many problems with this song, I hardly know where to start. First of all, they've dressed up all the three year olds as bartenders and barmaids and make them serve beers. The refrain of the song is one long call for more beer. At least this bit is in Spanish so the children won't necessarily understand, but still... I have a feeling a more child-friendly topic is not too much to wish for as a parent. But can you believe that this is not the worst part?

The song describes, in Dutch (our local language, just so we're clear), how the singer gets drunk on a beach in Spain, meets a girl, likes her, kisses her, discovers she has a very hairy top lip and then tries to get as far away from her as possible, because "every Spaniard has a moustache." He then feels really bad, which means he has to order more beer. Such a charming ditty.

Seriously, people. Drunken man goes out with beer in hand, kisses girl, complains about abundance of facial hair, gets more drunk. In the children's own language. I am so appalled I just had to repeat that for you. To stress the awfulness.

Maybe I should be impressed. They couldn't really have got it any more wrong. In a way you have to admire a teacher who can choose a song for three year olds which advocates drunkenness, disrespect for women and manages to squeeze in a few body image issues as well. Oh, and I forgot the blatant racial stereotyping. I have to laugh, but only because otherwise I would cry and have to find them a new school.

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For those of you who already commented on this post: Blogger ate your comments when it ate this post!

Thursday, 12 May 2011

Blogger/Google warning!!!

People, WTF is up with Blogger and Google? They changed my profile, without asking me, to show my real name and email address on both my profile and comments I leave on other blogs. That was not the deal! I am SO pissed off. This may finally convince me to leave gmail and blogger. They have crossed a line. I am seething! And this is not the first time either - remember the Buzz fiasco?

Anyway, people - you may want to check/delete/whatever your accounts. What clowns!

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And then they had the cheek to delete my two latest posts! If I was
  1. better with computers
  2. less lazy
  3. less resistant to change
I would be on Wordpress right now already.

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I am now trying to read the posts in my reader, and half of your posts are gone, too. Arghhhh!

Friday, 6 May 2011

Not just another audition

Some of my new readers may be unaware of this, but I am not only a blogger, a teacher, and a mother of three; I am also a film director. Ah yes. My greatest triumph was my remake of Brokeback Mountain featuring my two favourite clowns, Bumba and Bumbalu, in the starring roles of Ennis and Jack.

Ever since that movie, I must admit my movie career has been on the back burner somewhat, but I have been auditioning various candidates for new movies. More accurately, after my first film's unprecedented popular success and critical acclaim, scores of actors have been sending in audition tapes and demos of themselves in the hope that I will consider them for my upcoming new projects.

Yesterday, I received another such attempt. I'm starting to think the economic downturn has hit actors particularly badly, because this one can only be called a desperate cry for help, a last ditch attempt at finding a job in an otherwise barren market.

Moe and Joe

I would like you to meet Moe and Joe, two diminutive friends loosely associated with the artsy crowd Bumba and Bumbalu move in. Moe and Joe have decided they want to make it on the big screen and they are not going to let their small size stop them. They have read Tom Cruise's autobiography cover to cover and now they have a masterplan. Like Tom, they are trying to cultivate the image of the maverick; the daredevil even. It's a shame that, in their case at least, it really is only an image, as you will see all too soon.

Consistent with their chosen persona of tiny tearaways, Moe and Joe decided to theme their audition on the movie Arachnophobia. They figure any remake with them would be even better than the original, as even common garden spiders can grow to be half their size. Just imagine a well-placed tarantula: it would positively tower over them. Obviously their meagre unemployment benefit didn't stretch to enable them to hire a real tarantula. Still, we must applaud them for their efforts. Kind of...


See, while the idea of the small toy vs large spider movie is a very clever one, I can see many problems with this picture they sent in.
  • For a start, our "daredevils" are obviously wearing protective plastic suits. They are transparent, but surely they didn't think I wouldn't notice? 
  • The second problem is in their facial expressions: Moe is obviously panicking, while Joe looks completely clueless. Here's another photo of Moe:


    Look at the panic in those eyes! Look at the mouth ready for a scream. Hardly a hero, methinks.
  • The third problem is one that clearly shows their lack of understanding of the film business, or perhaps a touch of stupidity, both of which would make it hard to make a full motion picture with these guys. Here's the rub: Moe and Joe decided to brag and show me they are fully at ease with the ways of modern film making. They decided to do this by posing in front of a blue screen, implying I could add whatever background I want.


    It's a shame they forgot they're both blue themselves! D'oh! Yeah, neither seems to be the cleverest grape in the bunch. (I'm starting to see how Joe might have got his facial tattoo.) Ah well, kind of sweet really.
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As an extra treat, I have managed to get my hands on some photos of the "making of" of the above auditions, from my insider spies (I know the spiders personally).

Here's an amusing one of Moe and Joe practising a scene with a more manageable stand-in, working up the courage to call one of the spiders on set:


And here's one in which the spiders got one of their cousins to climb into Moe's protective suit. They're still getting that picture out every time they get together, just to have a little giggle at the abject terror on poor Moe's face. Spiders are not sensitive souls; what can I say?


Have a great weekend, my lovely people!

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Find the hairy boobs

There are some bloggers who used to visit me here all the time. I know that because they were my favourite kind of blogger: the comment leaving kind. They'd come visit me, leave a comment; I'd go visit them, leave a comment. You know how it goes. Then they stopped visiting. I suppose technically I can't be sure they stopped visiting, but they definitely stopped leaving comments. So either they stopped visiting or they became my least favourite kind of blogger: the non-comment leaving kind.

Obviously people are free to visit or not (Hey, come back, I wasn't talking about you!) but I do wonder what changed. These are not people who stopped blogging, and I didn't stop visiting them either. (Well, not for a while. I probably will have by now.) Maybe they just lost interest, or maybe they had too many blogs to read and had to cull some. That happens, and I get that.

What interests me more is the thought that maybe I did something so objectionable they just couldn't bear reading any more filth from me. See, that's where it gets interesting.
(Welcome, new readers. If you have got this far, you can stay.)

Anyway, my long-awaiting point comes now: Google Reader, or whatever reader y'all are using should come with an automatic question when you delete a blog, just like the iPhone has for its apps

Deleting only to get full version
of bloody addictive game

only this would be a rating question for bloggers, so it would have to be much, much wordier. It would go something like:
Why have you tired of this blog?
Please give as many reasons as you'd like: ___________________
and then the results would be sent to the writer of the deleted blog. I would read those with as much interest as I do my Google keyword stats. (I am still the queen of Dutch toilets! First in Canada, top ten in all countries I checked. Seriously! Just go google "Dutch toilets" and there I am. I'm so proud.)

I do love brackets - not sure about the hairy boobs

I wouldn't abandon my favourite topics, obviously. I'm not particularly looking to increase my readership amongst gay porn hating religious nutters who are also fans of U2. However, I would like to know in which respect I'm most objectionable, and I do hope I am because I'd rather be objectionable than dull.

If they must leave me, I'd rather it was with slammed doors rather than a "meh" or a yawn.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

The "say yes when you mean no" trick

I love this trick I play on my children: I mean "no" but I say "yes." (It's not my invention. I'm sure I got it from some clever self-help book.) Some examples:
Child of mine (CofM): Can I have an ice cream, please?
Me: Yes, you can - tomorrow afternoon.

CofM: Mama, can I join my friend's football team?
Me: Yes, when you have completed all your swimming lessons.

CofM: Mama, can I have a puppy?
Me: Yes, when you are an adult, not living at home any more, and you never want me to visit again.
I swear it's the best trick ever. They're so prepared to hear "no" that the initial "yes" completely throws them and they don't even complain.

Perhaps this trick is getting to be too much of a reflex if one starts using it on one's husband. Hypothetically speaking, of course.
B (initial, could stand for any husband really): You coming to bed?
Me: Yes, in ten minutes.
Oops.

Still worked. Ha!

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Some pictures while I wait for my inspiration to return from its world travels


  • Prettiest shopping list ever!

    I doodled, then Marie wanted some homework while Jack was doing his, so she coloured in my doodles. Made me smile my way through the supermarket.


  • So close!

    I served up the most nutricious meal, followed by strawberries for desert. Probably shouldn't have added the mounds of sugar then... Must do better next time.

    (I realised I have never served "neat" strawberries at home - always with either cream or sugar. Oh how we are conditioned. The next five times they will get strawberries in all their natural glory - oh, alright, I'll wash them - until we have all be unconditioned.)

  • Ms. Moon penned another gem the other day. Just saying. And linking.

Sunday, 1 May 2011

The list of things I won't do with children around keeps growing

Three times now I have tried to paint my nails while looking after my children alone. I quit. The final straw was when Jack fell over the side of the playpen, partially onto Charlie, scaring the crap out of him. Even rock chick blue nails aren't worth that much stress.

Because of Babes' manflu, I was on my own taking all three children to a party today. Just trying to get ready while looking after them took it out of me completely. The nails, the rearrangement of the face, the "I've got nothing to wear" crisis - all much easier if you have a man around who only needs to throw on trousers and a shirt and can then play with the kids while you pamper and pluck, enrobe and embellish. Eventually, I got Babes out of his sickbed to help me out.

My admiration for single mothers reached new heights today. I tell you if I was on my own with three kids, I'd never go anywhere. I'd just sit at home and talk to my cats.