Do Fish Dream ?

Saturday, March 29, 2008

A Quick Word On....."The Talk"

Every child at some point should be made to endure "The Talk": those few carefully chosen sentences we use to explain to our offspring where they came from and what brand of absurdity is happening to their developing bodies. Modern parenting commentators like to suggest that The Talk, done carefully and honestly, can in fact prove a rewarding experience for parent and child. This is so not true. The Talk will go badly for you, just as it did for countless thousands before you.

You will not bond with your child, nor will you impart anything greater than mutual embarrassment and disgust. Not only will you be forced to describe an activity that, minus dimmed lighting and a 'come hither' expression, must sound an awful lot like a fairly misguided game of "Twister"; you will also leave your children with little doubt that you engaged in this bizarre ritual on at least one occasion in the past.

Far preferable to The Talk, is the "Here, Read This" method of sexual education, in which a sufficiently ambiguous cartoon picture is worth a thousand words. This approach lets just enough information fall through the cracks so that no teenager could possibly approach sex with any sense of confidence or haste.

This was certainly the rationale favoured by my parents' generation. Not wanting to stumble over terms that sound like obscure casserole ingredients, mums like mine instead handed over Where Did I Come From ?and instructed us to go forth and read.

There is nothing wrong with this approach. Although I did initially fear it was my parents' way of telling me I was adopted, I quickly came to realise that this was in fact the evidence I needed to prove that they had once liked each other.

Whatever your chosen medium, whatever your timing and whichever pathetic excuse you choose to introduce this unnaturally earnest trans-generational conversation to your offspring, simply remember that it pays to approach The Talk much like The Act itself: minimal build-up, ambiguous penetration, zero follow-up and fleeting satisfaction. Any questions ??

(image from: thecreatorspalette)

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Minority Rule - Yeah !

Okay, this is going to be a little melodramatic, a teeensy bit tongue in cheek, and a heck of a lot emotive. But seriously kids, I'm fed up....sick and freaking tired of those who prize rules and legislation above all else and who place limits on others and refuse to give them a voice. I'm angry that those people hide behind empty meaningless words which they do not understand - like morals, social standards, ethics, social behaviour and political correctness. Those same people who have the gall to intimidate others in the name of rank or social structure, or 'righteousness' - a timeless word that belongs to everyone. It's too bad it does not unite with 'tolerance' and dance with 'individuality' and blend with 'acceptability' and stay away from 'justice' - an obscure word that has legitimacy to the one who applies it, and no useful function to the one to whom it is being applied.

The majority-rule society has produced heartache and intolerance; when all throughout this time, members of the minority have made an impact. For better or for worse, it is the daring few who have shaped this so called majority-rule society. Inventors, pioneers, radicals and visionaries have ventured from the lonely and costly camp of 'minority' only to be obstructed by majority-rule concepts that tolerate inferiority, hinder progress, harbour injustice, and pose limits within the status quo.

What is sad and insulting is that the majority basks in benefits and riches that were originally afforded by individuals who sacrificed their sanity, their freedom and their life. I am fed up with and frustrated by the inefficiency, inaccuracy, inconsistency and untruth I witness every day within bureaucracies.

I acknowledge that nothing is ever final, that possibilities are endless, that life is never simple, that a rolling stone does gather moss, that a watched kettle does boil and that those who cry last, cry the most. And most of all, I know I have the potential to stretch boundaries; the creativity to break new ground; the vision to shape new futures; the determination to realise my dreams; and the courage to break out of this majority rule typecast. And, damned if I'm not going to try - even if it means I'll have to infuriate the establishment along the way .... Let's kick some majority arse fellow minority-rulers :)

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Happy Days

Nah, still got nuthin'. I'm hoping the freakin' Easter Bunny will bring back my missing mojo - in the meantime Bloggers, have yourselves a fab weekend :)

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Happy Easter Punters

I'm back from my week away, but I seem to have lost my blogging mojo.....I've got nuthin'. But, just wanted to say "Happy Easter" to everyone anyway :)

Sunday, March 9, 2008

A Job By Any Other Name

"I have been of the opinion that if work were such a splendid thing, the rich would have kept more of it for themselves"

Bruce Grocott (1940- ), The London Observer, 1988

It was a rude awakening indeed to discover that the primary source of my parent's misery (work) was the same life goal they wanted for me !! Could all the learning and angst and preparation of childhood be for this ? A job ? (Why yes, my child, it is. And you'd better just start thinking about what you're going to be when you grow up. After all, it's pre-school next year and you don't want to be the only child there without a vocational calling.) But, onto that treadmill I hopped some 27 years ago, and like a hamster on a wheel, it's been a continuous cycle ever since.....

So, assuming the sun comes up tomorrow, it's off to work I go....for a week of 14 hour days at an interstate location - and all without access to computers from which to Blog. So, I wish all my Blog Mates a week filled with (virtual) sunshine and happy times. I will look forward to checking in next weekend :)

Friday, March 7, 2008

Don't Worry, What's Happy ?

My friend Sarah over on A Whole Lotta Nothin' recently wrote a damn fine post on Happiness and it got me thinking. There is so much emphasis on the quest to "be happy". But keep pushing people to better themselves and you'll only serve to remind them how crap they are. Push the bar higher, we'll only feel lower to the ground. So, what's so wrong with us anyway ? Is everyone else really so much happier and more successful than we are ? Are we truly just one of the unlucky ones ? Or does it simply look that way from the perennially slow check out lane ?

What do we even know about happy and successful ? Is that pleasurable moment boys when you knock the top off your sixth beer during Friday Night Footy really happiness ? Or does it just smell like it is ? Is success something that can be measured by money or status ? Then where does that leave Fred Hollows ? Anyone who's helped save humanity without sending them an invoice ?

The point is, if we knew what happy and successful really were, we wouldn’t be constantly chasing them, dodging them, meditating on them, studying them, worskshopping them and generally suspecting that everyone bar us has them. We'd have pinned them down, toasted the spoils and organised a testimonial dinner by now. Game over.

But of course, the real appeal of happy and successful is their sheer elusiveness. They're always but one more holiday, two Lotto wins, and three self-help books away. All we do know about happy and successful is that we're supposed to be chasing them. For that is what we've always been told - by our parents, our teachers, our mentors, magazines and movies - since Day One. Try harder kids ! Study longer, reach further, jump higher ! Come one, happy and successful can't be too far away now. You won't get them standing around pulling your sisters hair, you great dork.

We think we are missing out on something. But, missing out on what ? When was the last time someone who wasn't on smack came up to you with an idiotic grin on their face and said, "I'm blissfully happy and wildly successful ! I've got everything I ever wanted and more ?" Or even, "You know, I'm frequently satisfied with various aspects of life and I'm not presently in jail. Could it be that I'm happy and successful?".

I’m guessing, not recently. In reality, none of us knows what happy and successful really are or precisely where our hopes and our realisations might have already intersected. All we do know is what we've been led to believe so far, which is that giving us this existentialist struggle for ideals that are by definition always out of reach, equates to settling. This simply sets us up for a prolonged series of disappointments that we come to think of as 'life' - you know, it wasn't meant to be easy !!

What if an alternative perspective enabled you to keep a better focus on the things that matter, the things that don't, and the things that probably do, but are really too much bloody hassle ? What if there was a fourth window on "Play School" that made the ordinary among us look brave and strong and the high-flying supermen and superwomen look reckless and just plain silly ?

Here's a final thought punters.... what if okay was really okay ?

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

I've Often Wondered.....

....exactly what it is that Meatloaf won't do for love ??? I mean, he'll do anything for love, but he won't do ....."that" !

So, punters ... any clues as to what "that" is ??

I'll be awarding a prize for the best entry (ok, no I won't....but I thought that might entice people to respond:) How lame...)

Monday, March 3, 2008

Parenthood - It's Not All Beer and Skittles

But, parenting does come with its bonuses. For a start, there is that amazing period of unconditional love that immediately precedes a baby's discovery that nipples come in plastic varieties too. There's the day that your child wins his or her first grand final in their chosen team sport - on of the best big-heart moments you'll ever feel. And, there's the day they painstakingly select for you the best nursing home available for the price.

But, it's not all beer and skittles folks. Without nobbling the Federal Government's earnest push that having several children is something other than a long and tedious journey of mundane and thankless self-sacrifice that no amount of cheap lavender body lotion on Mother's Day could ever be worth, it's only right that I set you punters straight. In answer to a recent weekend newspaper article trumpeting the "Eight Surprising Ways That Kids Make You Healthy", here is the mediocre low-down"

You will laugh more: Actually, this is quite true. Parenthood often does make you laugh uproariously and often. Unfortunately, it's usually an inopportune moments, like in the middle of a job interview when the prospective employer mentions that your position entails a lot of overtime and would that be a problem for you ? NO, of course not. I mean ha, ha. Ha, ha, ha, HA, HAAA, HAAAAAAA !!!

You'll get the best workout: Also true to a degree. Certainly, in between chasing your arse, running out of excuses, skipping over the rude bits in a video, springing for other people's kids at McDonald's and jumping to conclusions (My lipstick is missing: I bet the lounge room is sporting a new mural), you could become one of the most active people you know.

Your love will grow stronger: Naturally. In the absence of sex, one tends to focus on the finer points of love, like waving to each other across the dinner table and buying milk and bread on the way home without prompting.

Kids enrich your life: The subtext here is that kids introduce honesty, perspective and fun into a previously shallow life. Hmmm, sleeping in uninterrupted, lazy mornings in bed, going out til all hours in the morning, spontaneously deciding to take a trip down the coast, eating toast for dinner instead of cooking vegetables - yep, sounds heavenly ... um, I mean shallow...

Kids give your purpose: Whether that comes before or after they give you headlice, I can't be sure, but no doubt it's worth waiting for.

Mothers have a decreased risk of breast cancer: Apparently, if a woman has a child between the ages of twenty and thirty, her risk of breast cancer is halved. Could this be because her breasts are only half as big after weaning ?

You will eat better: Well, yes. Through the responsibility of parenting, you will learn to cook more vegetables. You will also learn to dispose of them quite efficiently at the end of each mealtime, and you will learn that kids, like adults, love a good pizza.

Kids make you super-cool: How this translates to being happier and healthier I'm not sure, but I have to admit that only through having a child did I learn that Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera and Jessica Simpson are actually three different people, and that fashion wise, ground-in dirt is the new black. All of which should prove very handy one day when I least expect it.

(Of course folks, this has just been a bit of fun in response to the nonsense of the article. It annoys me when people suggest that being a parent is all sunshine and light. It has been at once, the easiest and the most difficult thing I have ever done. My life has been, and continues to be, full of unexpected delights because I am a mum to Zach. Yes there have been lots of difficult times but there has never, ever been a time that I questioned my decision to become a parent of one. Of all the things I have ever done in my life, and no doubt of all the things still do do, raising my son is my single most important acheivment and infinitely the most rewarding - I love you Zach) xx

Sunday, March 2, 2008

C'mon People - Lighten Up !

I've noticed a few of my Blog mates have been feeling a bit pissy, a bit down, a bit cranky or just in a bit of a funk of late. As for me, I'm feeling completely and utterly overwhelmed in my new job, and finding not all people are playing nice in the sand-pit with me. So, in a feeble attempt to lighten things up a bit, I suggest we all download one of these mood badges every day for the next week, and substitute it for our employee name tags - and proudly proclaim what we've been dying to say for ages .... Go on, I double dare ya - let's mess with their heads :)

(I wish I could credit someone with these, but they were sent to me by a colleague - they've been around forever, so many of you will have already seen them - but they are still worth at least a smile :)

There's a few special ones for my Blog Girlfriends....

But I've added a few generic ones that the boys can use too .....

And just because I think clowns are evil (especially since reading and watching Stephen King's "IT"), I'll throw in a couple more ....

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Love, Compassion, Happiness

"Love, compassion, and concern for others are real sources of happiness. With these in abundance, you will not be disturbed by even the most uncomfortable circumstances. If you nurse hatred, however, you will not be happy even in the lap of luxury. Thus, if we really want happiness, we must widen the sphere of love"

The Dalia Lama (I promise, this is My Last Post from him :)

Kids Books - 2008 Style

"Once upon a time, there was a little pony called Neddy who couldn't run very fast, so his owner sent him to the factory where he was minced up and made into glue. The End"