a reflection: teenage mutant ninja turtles and what you look for in a life partner

As a young girl with a VHS player, I always fancied Donatello more than the other Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I’ve come to realise that it says a lot about what I look for in a man. On reflection I see, I have always been more attracted to a quiche man than to a cave man.

Leonardo wears a blue mask and a burden of responsibility like a prized possession to nurture. He’s career driven, focused, dedicated… but when is he coming home?

Raphael is a strongman. He has a forceful nature. Some might say he’s a dark and swarthy guy. He can sit alone at the bar, but not necessarily because he wants to.

The free-spirited comedian of the group is Michelangelo. He’s an adventurer. He’s eating pizza from the box and living in the now, dude.

As the engineer, inventor and wordsmith of the group, Donatello uses the power of his smarts. He doesn’t seek the limelight, but the limelight finds him for his less brash achievements.

While Michelangelo made David famous, it was Donatello that broke with tradition and pioneered nude sculpture. He showed us that it’s not all about men with muscles; that a young man can take down a giant just with intellect and a great sun hat.

Brains beats brawn in the eyes of this fair maiden. And so, on Donatello’s behalf because he wouldn’t say it himself, I believe the caption shall read, “So there!

Donatello's David


image: Donato di Niccolò di Betto Bardi (Donatello), David (1440)


the magic of hong cons

Hong Cons

I love Converse shoes. If I had to wear one pair of shoes for the rest of my life they would be cons: All Stars, of course. They’ve got to be the most versatile shoe. You can walk for days, dance for hours, and with a rubber sole like that, you can clean out the gutters without a fear of sliding off the roof. And, if I’m not too fussy, I can make them work with any outfit.

So I kinda live in the county, right. So there’s kinda no shops around here. So I default to the online mega-mall: ebay.

I don’t understand why there isn’t a universal shoe size. My first pair of cons are a size 4 now with holes in the soles. The next ones, worn out and tired, are a 4 ½. I chalked that up to a spreading foot and ordered a replacement pair of 4 ½ shoes from Hong Kong. These are too big. And I mean like clown shoes too big. I hid them from my husband somewhere in the garage and ordered another pair, size 3.

I’m truly not sure which shoes are the counterfeit shoes and I have no idea what size I am. That’s the magic of Hong Cons. So I’ve been thinking, if there can’t be a universal shoe size, we need to add the counterfeit size to the list of sizes.

“Do you know your size?”, enquires the shoe store attendant wearing the obligatory shoe store pair of shoes.

“Oh yes, I do!”, I proudly announce. “I’m a European 36, USA 5.5, UK 3.5, Japanese 22.5, and a Counterfeit 3… Do you have these in a counterfeit size 3?”

falling down hurts: the vintage daredevil

I’ve reached the age where I’m reluctant to undertake activities that could result in me falling over. I’m not sure exactly when I developed this heightened sense of physical caution. I suspect it was a slow-creeping condition like the wrinkle in the corner of my eye.

Some sports lend themselves to the vintage daredevil. Take surfing for example, you’re never too old to take a mouthful of brine and a sand-facial. And even if you’re not feeling up to it today, you can always opt for the less-frequented calmer waters and leave the big waves to the whipper-snappers. No one would be the wiser as you ride your long board on a 2 footer (that’s a 2 foot high wave).

On the other hand, take the recent re-emergence of roller derby. I quite like to idea of casually rolling around the rink but if someone tried to (and lordy-forbid, succeeded in) push me over, darn-straight I’d have a hearty case of rink rage. Not to mention a bruised tush that I would nurse and whinge about until well after the next bout in the competition cycle and perhaps even for the entire season.

The older we get the more firmly planted our feet are to the ground.

This fear of falling down extends into my life in other ways. I’m reluctant to ever have a hangover again.

But the point that needs to be made is: although hurting yourself really hurts, and the wait in the emergency department is boring, and the itch inside the cast is annoying, your life is for living, and if you’re not riding your kid’s skateboard at full downhill speed on an uneven surface with a dog attacking your wheels, you’re not living, are you?

*Readers assume all risk in participating in activities, indemnify, hold harmless and promise not to sue barelypoppins who is released from any and all liability, including but not limited to, liability arising from the negligence or fault of the activities, for death, disability, personal injury, property damage, property theft, or actions of any kind which may hereafter occur and including traveling to and from this activity.

leg cast foot

image: http://www.ehow.com/how_2077765_care-leg-cast.html

i heart grammar

All these i devices have resulted in the computer’s spell checker no longer being effective at picking up an uncapitalised ‘i’ as a grammatical error.

I was recently on an interview panel and was shocked at the number of applications we received that started with the sentence, “i would like to apply”. Are you applying on your iPad? Sitting in your Hyundai i20, with your average IQ, contemplating the new couch you’ll buy from IKEA. (I’m not shouting that, it is written in capitals, although I admit I’m becoming delirious). Maybe you should just go get a job at iSelect. Or better yet, iiNet.

Apple is to blame. They started it. And, yes, yes, we all think you’re very clever for making us say “i” all the time. Sure, I’ll be the first to tell you that ‘I heart Apple’ too. But what would be cleverer is if they helped some of these unfortunates get a job.

It really is a wonder why Microsoft hasn’t developed an alarm system that flashes and bings every time a hapless typist enters an ‘i’. Because, quite frankly, the built in spell checker is not doing a very good job. Perhaps we need a matronly spell checker head that pops onto the screen and shouts, “wrong!!” at these uncapitalised i’s. Coupled with a zap through the keyboard. It would be the ultimate marketing device while bring hope to us old fashioned few who still walk with heads held high and leading with a capital I.

Green apple

image: http://www.aussieapples.com.au/

power to the suburban people

A few things in suburban life give me a true sense of power. I thought I’d share some.

First is the trigger hose. Innocent passers by are powerless against the soaking might of my eight function trigger nozzle. Standing legs slightly akimbo, my ergonomic pistol in hand, I’m ready to take out any dissident (or innocent). “Go ahead, make my day”, I threaten passers by. My top lip curled and twitching.

Number two, kitchen power tools. You know what I’m talking about, the way the power whisk magically beats egg whites to meringue, how the oven burns the bejeebers out of stuff when you’re not looking, and how the freezer makes ice. Awesome. It’s there, in the back of your mind, you’re thinking, “yeah, I did that, I put water in that ice tray and now look at it!”

That knob on the stereo that makes the sound move from one speaker to the other. Right, left, right. I can’t play an instrument but damn-straight I can make noise move!

Special treatment in the local establishment, only because you’re in the know (ie, you’re a local but don’t let that stop you feeling like celebrity). Striding through, you know you’re going too far when you give the Queen’s wave. Besides, almost everyone else is a local too and they don’t appreciate the wave.

Internet shopping. I’m buying all sorts of stuff and I haven’t even had to stand up!

So who said suburban life was dull … what gives you a sense of suburban power?


image: Edward Scissorhands (1990)

life’s little injustices

The world is full of injustices. Apparently Plato said he doesn’t know what justice is but knows what justice is not.  Huh? It’s too late in the day for Plato… Here are some injustices, in no particular order:

– Scarfing down a marshmallow topped chocolate cookie at the end of a very bad day, only to require a nightcap of antacid.

– Getting a stomach bug the night you manage to score a babysitter.

– Having an umbrella in the car all the time, except the day it’s raining.

– Realising that you can’t lord it over your neighbours about their yappy dog because it turns out your dog has been escaping when you’re away and coming back before you get home.

– When the high sugar content in your last two slices of raisin toast causes the usual toaster setting to turn them into charcoal.

– When the batteries in both of your wireless mice (or is it mouses?) go flat at the same time. I’m not kidding, this really happened to me. I had to take the only AA batteries I could find out of a small torch with a dim light. It was very stressful. It was only 8pm. A long time before bed and even longer before I would go to the shops again.

– Oh yeah, and there’s that one about world peace. But let’s keep it real.

marshmallow cookie

the challenge of not being a movie-goer in the modern world

It’s a wonder I know who Brad Pitt is. Don’t ask if I know anyone else though. I used to watch movies but now I couldn’t be bothered. I don’t really want to feel challenged. Mentally and physically. I feel like the world is complex enough without having to endure the fictional trials and tribulations of someone I don’t even know. And my arse can’t take the length of a feature film.

Movies have got longer. The average film length in the 1950’s it was 137 mins, 1970’s was 141 mins, 1990’s was 154 mins and now 2010’s it’s at 140 mins. Is it about value for money? They can’t fit enough features and effects into 90 minutes?! Movies and I on a trajectory, the longer movies get the shorter my attention span has become.

But it creates hurdles in social settings.

“You know Brad Pitt! He was in Happy Together”. Internally I’m thinking, “Nah, I don’t”, but  out loud I say, “…his name is familiar…”. Perhaps a poor choice because now it continues. “He was in The Favour too, did you see that?”

My hole is getting deeper. I need to get out of here. I’m looking for an out. Can I put a hazy face to that name? There must be something he was in that I’ve heard about if he’s that good. Damn, my drink is too full to feign refilling. “Oh that, yeah, it’s about that guy that needs some help with some thing, yeah, anyway…”.

Ok, I can see some light again. I’m going to get out of here with my credibility and my arse intact.

Brad Pitt

stats: http://www.movieforums.com/community/archive/index.php/t-16296.html
Calculated from the average length of the 10 Best Picture Oscar winners each decade. Thank goodness someone called “Holden Pike” did the calculations because I definitely wouldn’t.
image: http://www.celebritywallpaper.co/

the postman only comes once

The postman brings out one’s Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder tendencies.

Unlike the garbage collection man, the postman runs to his own watch. He might be passing through in the morning but most likely it will end up being after lunch. Sometimes it’s closer to 3pm. And he will only come once. Much to the distress of the house-bound, mail-gathering, expectant, online-shopping 21st centurian. (I know that’s not a word, but I’m making it one.)

We are becoming so used to the immediacy of the internet to communicate. To share. To chat. To buy. The internet brings us mail at all times of day and night. I’m not dissing the postie here. I appreciate the day in day out consistency of the mail service. At times I’m also genuinely concerned for his safety.

His, or her for that matter, little bike is ideal for riding the footpath. Hopping the gutter. Skidding out on the lawn by the verge. In fact, the postie is the grown up professional equivalent of a skateboarding hoodlum. With that fluoro all-weather outfit, backpack full of other peoples stuff and his ‘go anywhere’ attitude.

But I fear for the poor postie’s life when he hits the highway! I mean, really, that thing barely goes more than 50 km per hour. He’s playing with fire. The world is rushing past and he’s there, hanging on for dear life. Flat stick, metal to the floor. He’s giving it all he’s got. He’s more exposed out there than a bug in the lights of a lorrie!

Our generation could be the last to experience the postie in all his fluoro glory. We may be the last to look through the window, expectantly, repeatedly. We may be last to witness his (or her) gutter jumping aerial manoeuvres. Take note, fellow online-shopping postal service watchers, as we witness the transformation of the letter delivering postie into The Package Delivery Man.

I’m quite fond of skateboarders and don’t really think they are all hoodlums that have other people’s stuff. In fact, I’ve found, aside from all their gutter jumping, they are actually some of our societies most grounded people. Perhaps it’s got to do with the frequency at which they come in contact with it.


image: http://www.abc.net.au/rural/content/2011/s3342254.htm

all in the name of research

I would hate you to think that I’m not constantly working hard to research and perfect drinks for you. Here’s a selection of photos of cocktails I have been working on.

caprikosca vodka

This never made it out of draft. This is what I wrote about it at the time.

So no one is driving after one of these, got it?! … serves 2 giggling gerties. You could halve quantities and serve in a martini glass if you’re wanting moderation.

120 ml vodka (that’s double shots/ 60 ml per person)
2 limes (juice of 1 ½, the quarter the last half, squeeze a bit into the glass and throw the chunks into the bottom of the glass – for show)
10-15 mint leaves (keep 2 for garnish)
2 tsp white sugar
1 tsp raw sugar

Muddle lime, sugar, mint and vodka (I used my wooden citrus juicer to muddle)
Fill two glasses with ice and pour the muddled mix over the ice.
Dress it up with mint and lime rinds.

But it wasn’t very nice.

lemon cocktail

I have no idea what this is. Miscellanious lemon thing?! (with strange shadows)… Despite its watery appearance, it was obviously quite potent.

champagne cocktail

Champagne Cocktail
I know what this is… it’s sugar, bitters, Grand Marnier and champagne. I even layered it nicely but the photo is terrible. So it didn’t make the cut. Plus it was the last of the Grand Marnier until the next duty-free shopping, so there’s no opportunities to get a better shot.

cocktail with lemon rind

… No idea what this is either … but obviously the lemon rind was very important.

sleep when you’re dead: another cup of joe?

Coffee sleep when you're deadCoffee. It’s one of our favourite legal drugs. That and alcohol*. We all have our favourite cup of joe. And a language that goes with it. Flat white, skinny cap, decaf latte, soy, in a mug, in a shot, sugar, honey, lemon… It’s as personal as your fingerprint.

Here’s how I drink coffee:
At home. Strong espresso, some evaporated milk, sugar then heat it in the microwave until just below “f**k that’s hot!” (that’s an official temperature).

At my desk, non-descript, however my mouth did say “a flat white, please”. Purchased from the human equivalent of a coffee vending machine. Cold, bitter and reheated too many times to bother doing it again.

At home. With play-dough stuck to the side of the cup. It started out with such potential, now it’s giving up. Defeated and reheated too many times to bother doing it again.

At home. A shot in a small glass. It’s late and dark. The creme is bitter on my lips. It reminds me that I’m alive. I look like a vampire caught in the act. Wide eyed and wild.

In a cafe. One where they roast their own coffee beans. It’s fair trade, it’s hot, it’s smooth. It doesn’t need sugar. It’s bold and defiant. It reminds me that my life is nothing without good coffee. I want to have another one.

Coffee Plantation Brazil

*I put cigarettes in another category: Marketing devil spawn. Or is it third world population control. Or is it both.

images: Coffee Plantation, Brazil, http://en.wikipedia.org 
Sleep when you’re dead, http://uncyclopedia.wikia.com