Here’s Something I Prepared Earlier

Well Momo’s having twins so I can’t think of a better way to celebrate than to start the rivalry now.

Number one is a scene that I used to draw constantly as a kid. While number two has images of my latest tattoo obsession – Sailor Jerry old school illos.

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A Final Word about Eggs and Pineapple

So Jazzy Jeff and I headed across to the beach on the long weekend. Just to chill out, give the puppies bad haircuts and carry them nimbly across rocks and boulders and watch them pound the waves right after I’d given them a bath. Not that I’m complaining.

Anyway, whenever I go on a holiday, be it an overseas jaunt or just some beige trip to the coast, I tend to look at it as an OPPORTUNITY TO REDEFINE MY LIFE. So far, I haven’t done a very good job. There was the time when I thought I could concentrate hard while chanting “what’s my life mission” under my breath. All I could think about was that I like animals. Not life changing. And rather obvious. Then there was that time when Jazzy Jeff and I decided to stay up all day and all night and all day after dancing for a number of hours and maybe behaving a bit like the people our mothers told us to stay away from. We decided that we were gunnas, not doers. That WAS life changing. We sort of became doers.

But this weekend smelled a little different, what with all of the stuff that’s been going on this year. So I forced the situation and said, “lookit JJ, I get the feeling that you don’t really want to be a dad.”

JJ: “Well we’re giving it a mighty good go there, Betty.”

Betty: “Yes, we have spent a bit of money and it seems we’ll have to spend some more to get those eggs cracking, what with the price of pineapple at Safeway.”

JJ: “Well B, we said we’d give it five goes and we have two left. Let’s see what happens.”

And that’s when I twigged. Well, I don’t want to pop out a sprog just because we got lucky after 4 goes bedcause we decided to see if it panned out. I guess I always knew that it wasn’t in Jazzy’s heart. So we made the decision, I’ve cancelled the appointment and I’m now going to revel in my friends’ bellies – so many of them! I’m going to make them some cool coming out presents and totally become the parents’ friends they want to kick it with when they’re older.

So, back to redefining my life. So I asked Jazzy Jeff that same old question:

Betty: “Jazzy Jeff?”

Jazzy: “Hmm?”

Betty: “Jazzy Jeff, what’s your life’s passion.”

Jazzy: (Rolling his eyes in that oh no, she wants to have THAT talk AGAIN) “Well Betty, I just want to be happy.”

Betty: “Don’t you think that’s a bit 80s? I mean, what about everyone else.”

Jazzy: “Well they can bask in my glow.”

It’s like last night’s episode of House, the one where the man was super super nice and his wife says that his niceness makes her better. It’s true. Honest.

We clamber over some rocks and I get my cloth shoes soaked. Yoyo starts to whine a little and I pick her up.

And I start to wonder what happens when a woman decides to quit the reproduction biz and goes back to everyday life. What to expect when you’re not expecting. I have no idea and I’m a little anxious.

A giraffe walks into a bar, and other likely stories

A guy walks into a bar with jumper cables. The bartender says, “You can come in, but don’t start anything!”

Here’s my favourite joke ever and ever from when I was a kid.

Long, long ago an old Indian chief was about to die, so he called for Geronimo and Falling Rocks, the two bravest warriors in his tribe. The chief instructed each to go out and seek buffalo skins. Whoever returned with the most skins would be chief. About a month later Geronimo came back with one hundred pelts, but Falling Rocks never returned. Even today as you drive throughout the West you can see signs saying: WATCH OUT FOR FALLING ROCKS.

Not long after Jazzy Jeff and I met, we realised that back in primary school, even though we were on opposite sides of the globe, we both bought the same joke book through the school book club – 101 Hamburger Jokes: Meaty Jokes to Be Devoured with Relish.

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Here’s just one example of its witticisms:

What did the hamburger say when it found out that most people liked hamburgers better than frankfurters?

Hot Dog!

Remember the brochures and how they had lucky bags and you didn’t know what you’d get? I think that’s how I got two copies of 100 Pounds of Popcorn.

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A piece of art for this tuckshop lady’s arm

So I really need some advice on how to augment the lovely artwork on my arm.

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I’m looking for fruit, vegetables, flowers. Something colourful and beautiful. Old school Americana would be lovely. Here are some ideas so far – not exactly right though.

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I LOVE the old lady feel of these ones:

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A different kind of list – ***warning – gloomy blog ahead

Why didn’t the paper arrive at 6 like it’s supposed to?

Why do I have to catch a bus this morning when I drove the car in for no reason yesterday?

Why is it so bitterly cold when I’ve forgotten to bring a scarf?

Am I going to lose these 5 (or so) kilos?

Why did he just ignore me last night even after I told him that I got my period?

Why am I a PT loser when everyone else has a car space?

Why would I want to drive to work anyway?

Why doesn’t Jazzy Jeff write songs for ME?

Why hasn’t Jazzy Jeff knitted ME a scarf?

Why didn’t we try to have kids earlier? Who do I think I am trying to get knocked up at my age? This isn’t Hollywood.

No amount of super embryo glue is going to make them stick.

If we don’t have kids, then what? A joyous lifetime of sitting in front of the tele (or computer) sewing cats and owls and stuff for other babies?

They all say that you can have a perfectly fulfilling life without kids. If I haven’t managed to have one up until now, why would it suddenly get better? Who are they trying to kid? Are these the same people who tell us that being single is the better choice?

I guess this is what I get for all those years of barracking for the underdog. When Collingwood, in the 80s, were known to have the “Collywobbles”, I still paraded around proudly wearing that black and white striped scarf because I thought they would still get there. You always need to live with hope, no matter how stupid it made you feel. Even now, I think, so maybe it’s not really a period, maybe it’s just implantation spotting. Yeah, maybe that.

Am I paying for something? My friend RoRo went to Catholic School so she would know all about this. Maybe I didn’t confess enough. Maybe I didn’t confess the right stuff. Maybe I’m not actually the underdog. Maybe I’m just an asshole and this is what you get. Oprah said that you get given exactly what you need. What I need? So lemme see here. What’s my lesson? That even after $10000, 5 months, 3 cycles, a few extra kilos, 20 (more or less) injections (not counting blood tests), 6 eggs, 3 embryo transfers, 2 negative pregnancy tests, even after all of that, you simply have no guarantee of anything. Meanwhile crack whores of the world are churning out future crack whores. Halleluiah.

Am I sounding like a victim? You tell me. Apologies if I don’t care though. But when you let me know, by all means, tell me not to worry, to keep trying, never give up, of course I’ve only just started, it’ll happen eventually, I’m still relatively young – relatively. Oh, and my favourite – life’s better without kids (thanks for that one, mum). So don’t expect me to be grateful for you well-intentioned but terribly misdirected advice.

But on the plus side, it will mean big things for my employer because what do I do when I’m upset? Well naturally, chin up and keep on trucking.

How to Crack an Egg

Everyone has plenty of advice about how to get knocked up and how to stay that way, how to determine the sex of your seed, how to stop yourself from throwing everything up, and the rest of it:

1. Don’t jump up and down after sex;
2. Stop drinking coffee unless you want a tiny baby – not such a bad idea considering where it’s coming out;
3. Don’t eat sushi or mouldy cheese;
4. Avoid night-time strolls through the local power plant unless you’re wearing one of these;
5. No flying in the last trimester;
6. Where to buy a convertible cot like this;

But has anyone thought of creating an equally gripping list for the pregnantly-challenged? Well, hardly. Here are my findings after an exhaustive search:

Betty: “How to make an egg stick”
Google: “Gypsy Horse Embryo Transfer”

Betty: “How to crack an egg in your embryo”
Google: “”When you crack an egg, and it has red in it, What does it Mean?” or “Chicken Incubator”

Betty: How to stay pregnant on IVF
Google: “Congratulations on your pregnancy through IVF. I too am pregnant with no. 2 thanks to IVF… I don’t know how people stay sane with multiple babies…”

Betty: “What the hell to do while waiting for the eggs to crack”
Google: “mamamia: “Just hurry up and get yourself some sperm, will you!””

All very helpful, you know. Although I did get a couple of interesting hints about what to do after the embryo transfer.

1.      Invest in some embryo glue – so when I’m at Bunnings, which aisle do you think I should check?

2.      Eat tonnes of pineapple – fresh – not out of a can.

So here I am, at the end of an Aussie Summer, glueless but eating loads of $5 pineapples from Safeway that tastes remarkably like what you’d expect a $5 pineapple from Safeway to taste like at the end of summer. Still, I won’t be faulted for not trying.

Making Babies is a cinch

Well everybody’s doing it. Even my friend Momo has managed to go and get herself knocked up, with twins, no less! Awesome news. And then there’s Ballerina, who’s about to pop one out into a pool of water surrounded by midwives any day. And Teesh who managed it while climbing Machu Pichu and BB who just dreamed of it and it just happened. But a few years ago – well before any of these young’uns  jumped on the wagon – Jazzy Jeff and I decided that we sort of wanted a kid of our own. We decided it in much the same laconic way that we decided to get married.

Betty: Hey Jeff, what do you reckon? Wanna hook up?
Jazzy Jeff: You mean “marriage”?
Betty: Yeah.
Jazzy Jeff: Alright.
Betty: Alright then. I’ll tell my folks.
Jazzy Jeff: Ok.

I know, truly romantic. An inspiration for all of the kids out there. But here we are, 14 and a bit years later, so it couldn’t have been that bad.So anyway, there we were sitting on the couch and Jazzy might have been doing something mind-numbingly creative on the laptop while i was knitting or some such thing and I sighed: “I’m a bit bored, Jazzy Jeff. We should get another dog. Or have a kid.”

Jazzy Jeff: Yoyo and Peaches couldn’t handle another member of the pack. A kid’ll be better.
Betty: Cool.
Jazzy Jeff: Alright.

Well that was around three years ago. But who’s counting? And, let me tell you something, for some of us, no amount of temperature taking, Maybe Baby fern finding, charting or legs in the air is going to do the trick. Making babies is not the cinch I thought it would be! The fact that I am of a certain age may have something to do with it but, whatever. So around a year ago, maybe more, I headed off to Frank’s obstetrician – the guy who managed to show up after the birth – and told him I wanted him to fix me up. A bit of investigation and lots of umming and aahing later and Jazzy Jeff and I started IVF last November. Me being me, I did as little research about it as I possibly could, things like, will the medication make me fat? If I have sextuplets, can I loan them out to make extra money – a la Mary-Kate and Ashley? And other such important matters.

I’ve had one cancelled cycle, and am on my second real cycle. I had three eggs collected in January, two were fertilised by Jazzy Jeff’s manly seed but only one made it to implantation and that one didn’t make it. Over the past few months I’ve endured the pill, twice daily nasal sprays that lead to the most delightful sinus headaches, nightly injections – one that I had to give myself on the plane on my way back from China last week. It went something like this: Me standing in very hygienic economy class toilet preparing syringe. Needle goes into belly and I slowly plunge. Plane hits turbulence and loses altitude for a moment. Needle comes out mid plunge. Plane regains altitude and needle plunges in as “fasten seatbelts” sign starts to ping.

And today I had three more eggs collected (I’m a veritable battery hen) and I find out tomorrow if they’re ready to go. And then I got to thinking, if Momo can do it, maybe I can too. So I said to the embryologist: “Hey, I’ve changed my mind, stuff this one child business, whack all of them in, as many as you can, all of them.” And the cute embryologist looked at me in my blue paper slippers, hair net and possibly too much make up for surgery and said: “Legally, two is the maximum in Australia”. (There go my dreams). But really, it’s not all bad and way more fun than watching So You Think You Can Dance, Australia. Oh, and I’ve discovered that I have a thing for general anesthetics – that moment of absolute silence as you  count backwards from 10, 9, 8…

The Wife of the Wedding Celebrant To Be

Jazzy Jeff:I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart. Where? Down in my heart, down in my heart. I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart. Where? Down in my heart to stay. And I’m so happy, so very happy, I’ve got the love of Jesus in my heart…♫ (And so on)

Betty: Hey Jazzy Jeff, you know how you like music and stuff…

Jazzy Jeff: Yeah.

Betty: And you know how you like to sing those crazy non-Catholic hymns that I’ve never heard and stuff.

Jazzy Jeff: Yeah.

Betty: Well I was thinking, what with how you once were a Pentecostal and spoke in Tongues and stuff, that you should start your own church. But it couldn’t be all 7th Heaven with me, the little missus, in the front pew every week with her brood of pearly white children – seven of ‘em. I don’t think I could do that.

Jazzy Jeff: Have seven children?

Betty: No, show up to church every week, glowing. I mean, I’ve seen you give power-of-positive-thinking type speeches to your work colleagues and, like, not that they weren’t really good speeches, especially for being off-the-cuff and all, but man, it was a freaky other side of you I don’t want to see ever again.

Jazzy Jeff: Oh, but you’re prepared to have seven offspring?

Betty: Well if the choice is between that or sitting in the front pew and watching you deliver sermons every week, I think I’m prepared to have the seven ankle biters.

Jazzy Jeff: Or what if I just become a marriage celebrant?

Betty: And because you like to sing so much, maybe you could be, like, a singing celebrant.

Jazzy Jeff: That’s a really good idea. I’ll go online now and check it out.

Betty: Good idea. Jazzy Jeff?

Jazzy Jeff: Yeah, Betty, my child.

Betty: Would I have to come to the ceremonies?

Jazzy Jeff: Nah. You wouldn’t even know the bride and groom.

Betty: Ok. I think you’ll make a great marriage celebrant.

Jazzy Jeff:If tomorrow all the things were gone, I’d worked for all my life. And I had to start again, with just my children and my wife. I’d thank my lucky stars, to be livin’ here today. ‘Cause the flag still stands for freedom, and they can’t take that away. And I’m proud to be an American, where at least I know I’m free. And I wont forget the men who died, who gave that right to me. (not a hymn, exactly, but curiously, a favourite of Jazzy’s)

And it was so. Jazzy Jeff did study diligently. And he did pass his assessments with only a few to go. And he has already booked his first wedding. But perhaps I can pick the hymns.

Famous People I’ve Almost Known

So I was thinking about all the famous people I’ve known. No, not like when I realised that my musician friend, Sugar, was actually well known in the Melbourne electronic underground. I mean really famous people.  But then I realised that the list would be pretty small so I’ve decided to include those I’ve known by 1-degree of separation. And then I thought that maybe I’d need a few rules that would define what I mean by “people I’ve known”.  Like, what was my proximity to them at the time of said knowing? And what activity were we engaged in?

Rules:

If I’ve actually met them (names exchanged – mine, not theirs) – they’re in;

If I mixed up their Rubiks Cube, in;

If we were eating at the same restaurant at the same time (but not necessarily together like the time John Singleton was with some broad at Yu-u) – not in;

If they were walking down a red carpet, not in.

  1. So, here goes:
  2. Noah Taylor – I used to work with his mother
  3. Molly Ringwald – Oh, those 15 not-so-glorious minutes I spent “interviewing” her when she made the not-so-glorious poor excuse of a film Cut. The interview was, in fact, one of the worst experiences of my professional life. I still can’t talk about it.
  4. Geoffrey Rush – Jazzy Jeff and I sat behind him and his family at the Melbourne premier of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. I’m not sure if that counts but
  5. Geoffrey Rush – Sat behind him at the Kino during a media preview screening of some film or other – I mean, there were only 10 of us in the cinema.
  6. Adam Ant
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    God I used to think about him so much (“I wonder what he’s doing RIGHT NOW?”) (“RIGHT NOW?”) (“No, NOW?”) (“AND NOW?”) that it felt like I was with him EVERYWHERE.
  7. Marcus Graham (remember E-Street’s Wheels and that bathtub scene?) – I was at the Malthouse cinema for the first night of Tartouffe and I was having a drink while waiting for Jazzy Jeff and I was sitting upstairs where perhaps I shouldn’t have been because then the cast and crew came out and started having dinner and there was Marcus, a few tables away. (I think I just broke rule number 2?)
  8. Lawrence Leung – See rule 2 – At the RR OB 1 year ago.
  9. Val Lehman aka Bea “Top Dog” Smith
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    I met her on the weekend at Writers at the Convent! Introduced myself and got a photo. A photo! With BEA “TOP DOG” SMITH. My folks were RAPT!
  10. Chopper Reed – It was when Jazzy Jeff and I had our graveyard show on RRR a few years back at the old studio in Fitzroy. It was around 1.30am. Chopper was coming out of the toilet. I was heading towards the ladies. He was zipping up his pants. It was my birthday. He said “g’day”. I said “hi” and kept moving.
  11. I guess in all, I haven’t really known that many famous people. Jazzy Jeff has made a CD. I guess he’s famous.

And the List Goes On

I’m forever writing lists. I LOVE making lists. I make lists at work of things I need to do. I make lists on the white board on my fridge of things I need to buy and things I need to do. I have an old school bag from, like, Grade 2 when I went to St Mary’s. It’s one of those way-before-backpack do-das that looked like little suitcase made of cardboard. It was almost as big as I was. But anyway, on the inside is a list of my best friends at the time. I think Bernadette was really my best friend at the time because I was new and she had loads of freckles but we must have had a fight so she was off the list. Then there’s my favourite book from that era, The Silver Crown and I’ve written a list of my favourite TV shows inside the front and back cover (next to a bunch of Tattslotto numbers). Greatest American Hero (written as Greatest USA Hero) – the show where I first heard the word “scenario”, was on top.

So now that I’m reaching some big numbers of my own, not unlike the long chain of Tattslotto numbers mentioned above. Here’s a new list (in no particular order) that will grow and grow.

  1. Write at least one book
  2. Enter The Age short story competition every year
  3. Enter 2 other short story competitions each year
  4. Walk daily
  5. Learn to swing dance with Jeff
  6. Become financially independent
  7. Have a baby – what the hell, have 2
  8. Find my passion
  9. Learn to play the guitar
  10. Retire early
  11. Move out of the city
  12. Visit Our Lady of Fatima on Jazzy Jeff’s birthday (which happens to be the day of the Miracle)
  13. Meditate or learn to focus without thinking – whatever that’s called
  14. Organise my photos – seriously have to do this
  15. Learn not to judge people
  16. Buy a brand new car – anything, just brand new – and respect it
  17. Read all of the books on my reading list by 2010
  18. Finish writing this list

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