My IdeaLife

My Kingdom for a Kiss Upon Her Shoulder

It's been 18 years since his blood warmed our hearts and his, but his voice remains and still inspires...Read more...

The love of your life

Is it a man, is it a career, no it's superbaby!...Read more...

A lifetime of beauty in a song

Middle East (the band not the place) have somehow condensed the human experience into this soulful song: Blood...Read more...

Superwomen have it all by NOT doing it all

Superwoman really don't exist, it's more like Insanitywoman, so stop pretending and start outsourcing...Read more...

Thursday, 22 December 2011

FAT MEN, PRESSIES & LIES. I Love Christmas!

One photo I won't be showing the boys!
One thing that seems to roll out as a big concern every year is how commercialised Christmas has become. I used to be a raving looney, I mean born-again Christian, and so I remember that originally Christmas was a holiday to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, but like many today, the Son of God is more likely to pop up throughout the year as a phrase I prefer to my other favourite “For eff’s sake!” 

So being such a disrespectful, blaspheming pagan, should I stop celebrating Christmas? Probably, but instead I am doing the opposite. In fact I am throwing myself into buying gifts, like the demon, that probably is possessing me as we speak. 

I have fallen hook, line and sinker for Santa and his reindeer, there will be a carrot left out for Rudolf, and some sort of stiff drink for the fat man himself. I am going to lie to my children about a whole lot of things and forget to mention a whole lot of other details, like how the chimney is blocked AND about a quarter of the size of the man that is going to come down it with a huge bag full of presents, including a trampoline. I am going to wheel out another implausible explanation I remember being told, when my 2yo inevitably asks me why he’s seen more than one Santa in one day, that is “they are his helpers”. (I didn’t fall for that one Mum and Dad, as much as I didn’t buy the sanitary napkin being described as a foot band-aid either, the adhesive would stick to the wound, hello?!) 

Anyway my point, if I ever get to it, is does it really matter that Christmas is commercialised? Isn’t it just marketing people taking advantage of us needing only the smallest excuse to buy the people we love presents? Giving and receiving and unwrapping and eating lots and playing games and talking about fake fat people that live in the North Pole making toys all year, do we really want to stop all that because it is not based wholly on the original meaning of Christmas? In any case if we are to become up-in-arms shouldn't it be because Santa Claus and Jesus Christ are both equally as fantastical as each other? At the end of the day, or year in this case, the only truth is these are the things we like to do and yes retail does benefit, but we do too.

And why not? We work hard all year so we deserve a bit of unadulterated, meaningless fun. And before you judge me as a vacuous party girl, consuming through life, I think there is meaning at Christmas. It may not be religious, it may not be based on anything that can or can’t be proven but it is a time to give to those you love, to those that have less than you, and to yourself.

Of course we need to be cautious with our spending and not over do it, I would never advocate giving beyond your means, and it shouldn’t be about dollar amounts in any case. It is truly the thought that counts, that is unless you are a complete scrooge, you know who you are. 

And I know that spending time with my husband and me will always bring more joy to the boys than anything I could buy, but I am addicted to their smiles, I'm in love with their laughter and I dream about their happiness. So if I get to give them both time and presents then BONUS! I have the means and so judge me if you like, because I am a big lying, spending Christmas sucker. 

On Christmas day I'll probably be passed out next to a fat man in a red suit (aka Dadda), all that toy-making (trips to various shopping centres) and flying around the world (fighting for car spaces), delivering pressies (wrapping, sneaking, wrapping, tying and more wrapping) and eating cake (cooking, ordering, preparing) catches up with you, you know! 

Merry Christmas everyone! (& apologies to all my gorgeous Christian friends!)
Where will you end up this Christmas?
 

Thursday, 15 December 2011

SAD MAC: Apple ain't all Genius it seems

It seems the online gods are having a bit of a laugh with me of late. Firstly our telco decided to move our internet connection in such a way that once it was on the new system it didn't work. Look I used to work for a Telco and I know the spaghetti wire world that our internet connectivity is tenously balancing on, so the word 'migration' strikes fear into the hearts of most Telco workers because it loosely translates to call centre meltdowns and 24 hour days.
Secondly less than two days after getting back online, and being rightly credited for my downtime (Thank you iiNet) my infant-aged MacBook Pro, actually it is better described as 'my right arm' carked it. My little silver slice of former perfection is now telling everyone it comes across "I've had it, no more blog posts, no more tweets, facebook shits me too, and don't bloody start me on Google+! And do you think 11GB of photos is enough? no? Well just piss off then and leave me to die". Not so helpful from something that is currently storing the data from the last ten years of my life. And as it is our home computer it also has my whole family's life recorded on it.

But the real shite happened when I went to my beloved Apple for help. When it first died I called the Apple Ambulance and they tried CPR and then advised I rush it to Emergency, aka the Apple 'Genius' Bar. It seems 'Geniuses' are in high demand and I would have to wait five days to see one in the City. But if I felt like travelling 28km north I could see one that afternoon and the genius on the phone said they probably could have me up and running that afternoon. So off we went and 40 minutes later we were in the hands of a genius. This Genius was very friendly and kind and gave all the appearance of being as useful as a Mac itself. Problem was he's not really a genius, and it became apparant quite quickly that 'Genius' in an Apple Store could as easily mean 'Useless smiley fellow'.
Upon trying a data-transfer once and failing, they discovered the hard drive wasn't a standard Apple part and found it difficult to hide their relief at sending me on my way with my too-hard basket hard drive. Not before they made me drive all the way home though. So over 100 km later I said "It would be nice if you guys compensated me in some way for all this trouble given you have wasted my time and money and NOT fixed my computer, nothing drastic just a show of good will like an iTunes gift card or something?' With the smile never leaving his smug face "I'm sorry we can't help with that here".
If my Mac was fixed this pic would be so much funnier! May be it's a good thing they're not Geniuses.
Of course not, your customers actually don't matter any more because you have turned into a smiling robot. It would have made more sense if he said "That.is.outside.our.parameters.of.performance. Buzzzzzzz. Stop. Refusing.politely. Sign.here.thank.you. Have.a.good.day". "Well I was having a good day until I spent 3 hours of my life affected by Geniuses such as you. Thank you too for absolutely nothing".

And there ends my long, long, long love affair with Apple. See this is the problem with great branding. We forget that the brand is not our friend. It is not even human and the more powerful it becomes the less likely it is to give a flying f**k about you. How quickly they forget that the relationship between a customer and a company is symbiotic and therefore precious. The reality is the real customers are their shareholders and although customers have put them where they are, it is rare to have any real respect for them.

I thought Apple were different, and not just because of their ad campaign. Even they are starting to forget they are dealing with people, with busy lives, families, pressures and values. Values about courtesy and consideration for others. And making good when you stuff someone around. If you don't you lose that person, they are the rules of life. And while ever your customers are human - you have to follow them, no matter how automated you become, or you will lose them, like you have me, one of your most loyal.

Saturday, 10 December 2011

IS LOVE LOST BEST FORGOTTEN?: The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind



There is nothing not to love about a movie who’s leading lady describes herself as applying “my personality in a paste”. From the moment Clementine, played by Kate Winslet, bounds to life, bowling over Joel’s (played seriously and amazingly by Jim Carrey) more conservative character, I was in serious adoration. 

Source: Piccsy.com


“Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind” written by Charlie Kaufman, was his third film following the first brilliant, amazing, mind-blowing “Being John Malkovich” and his second, not as successful “Adaptation”. And although being released way back in 2004, is timeless in it's unique insight into our hearts. 


If like me you’ve been buried in poo and/or lego for years, you will have forgotten about this movie. But if ever there was something that could make you remember life before parenthood, this is it. You know when your biggest problem was finding the man of your dreams, or having found him, keeping the spark alive with dancing, music, movies, conversation and adventures. What else was there? 

My husband* describes most of my favourite movies as weird, so if you like mainstream, logical-type films, like he does, you will not like this one. This film is so weird any description is fairly lacking but it is centred around a couple, Clementine and Joel, who fall in love, then out of love and break up. Nothing new there, until Clementine happens upon a company that offers to erase the memory of Joel. When Joel finds out he does the same and we get to watch as he realises too late that he wants to remember their love.

It’s a crazy idea but somehow it takes nothing away from the rawness and beauty of love and heartbreak. I swim in the roller coaster of Joel and Clementine’s relationship, from toe-curling first kisses and romantic adventures to screaming and slamming doors.

Most of all I love the exploration of fate. What would my life have been like if I had never met this person or that? Is trying to change your existence fruitless because what is meant to be will always be, whether you like it or not? Is the love of your life someone you left behind or the person you are with?

I know there are a few blokes I could happily erase from my past – but would it make my life better or would I end up making the mistake again because I won’t learn from what I can’t remember?

If you need a break from the world of parenthood check this movie out and if you have teenagers, make them watch it too – they will be instantly cool!




*My husband should like this film when the lead character says this “Constantly talking isn't necessarily communicating.” I might make him watch it again maybe after 8 years of marriage he will relate a lot more!

Monday, 5 December 2011

MUMMY FAILURES UNITE!


For those of you that know me, you probably know I am SO not afraid to express my opinions in real life, but mainly on topics I know a lot about. So maybe if I was writing about advertising or marketing I would be out on a limb every day (stay tuned), but instead I mostly write about motherhood. As a fairly new Mum myself and with no formal parenting training I am very careful not to put myself forward as any type of expert in that area. Like most Mummy bloggers, I am bumbling through the most challenging experience of my life and all I can hope is that what I write shows empathy to other parents who were equally shocked by the challenges of parenthood.

So I was pretty surprised at the reaction of some women to a piece I wrote that was published on Mamamia last Tuesday. The article was my personal feelings surrounding sending my eldest to daycare. I intentionally put an alternative view forward simply because it occurred to me that maybe a bit of daycare would have done me good when I was younger, never dreaming this would be misconstrued as attacking stay-at-home Mums. Nor that it would incite nearly 500 comments.

One comment from a non-Mum created a very valid furore:
"Sorry, but what’s the point of having kids if you’re just going to ship them off somewhere? Yeah, I know, ppl need to work blah blah but if you can’t afford kids then don’t have them. Personally when I have kids, I’m going to look after them 24/7, I won’t have kids and palm them off willy nilly." 

Another Mum was in a fury:
“I do find this article infuriating. Is it not possible to simply outline all the positives you see about your own personal choice of parenting without having to resort to attacking any other choice that’s different to yours?...Please don’t assume that my daughter was sheltered and protected at home by a doting, grumpy mother…”

Another stated I was condescending and a bully to stay-at-home Mums. (I am not, for the record.) 


Another was a little more realistic and extremely funny:
"I am a SAHM. I would dearly LOVE to place (dump, bung, fling, fire out of a cannon) my children into daycare for a day or two a week. Can’t afford it. Sigh. It’s been 7 years at home and we’re all sick of looking at each other. I would love a chance to miss my children." 

And there were many gems of wisdom such as this one:
"The way I see it, it takes a village to raise a child, not a mum and dad in isolation, which is often the case now, we live so far from extended family." 


Needless to say my personal quandary caused a little bit of 'discussion' probably because modern parenting is so personal, contentious and varied. I am glad we have choices, however hard they may be, where our own Mothers did not. I think we will always have regrets, I already feel that it probably would have been better if my eldest went to kindy at 16 months instead of 9 months but my work situation did not allow for this (I was pregnant with my second and had to return for 6 months before going on maternity leave again). Then again as one wise commenter on Mamamia said, you can never tell what would have had better outcomes because you can’t run concurrent existences for your children to see if they would have faired better taking a different path.

One thing occurred to me though as I read all the comments, Lana Hirschowitz, the editor of Mamamia and Mia Freedman have the best jobs in the world if this is what they see most days. That is, passionate women who adore their children and truly want the best for them, which was the theme through most of the comments. Also the vast majority were empathetic, understanding and kind in their support for Mothers who face tough decisions involving the loves of our lives. We’ve all been there and the support between us is so crucial. Children used to be brought up by a community and although so many of us are isolated geographically, online can be that community at least for insanity-prevention if not for providing the break all Mums need now and then. 

For those that were judgemental, harsh and self-righteous well they can stay by themselves in their perfect worlds and have this video to keep them company. 



So go have a read and see what about 400 Mums feel about daycare – it is fascinating and mostly really heartwarming and encouraging. 



The video above is a part of a very funny series of videos, created by Valerie Stone Hawthorne you can watch more on YouTube or visit her blog 

Friday, 2 December 2011

HOW TO KISS YOUR WAY TO THE TOP! Without the smelly after taste


As promised, every Friday I would bring you some insight into how to reinvigorate your übercool inner-self. This week is no exception, in fact I think I have happened upon the key to true alt-worthiness and it is so simple to execute. In fact it will only cost you about 2 extra seconds a day and BAM! Max Markson will be at the head of a screaming pack of agents trying to sign you up. 

It all became apparent when I was at a party recently and I was caught in an awkward moment with a woman whom I’d just met. Unperturbed by our lack of acquaintance she bobbed in for a second cheek kiss. I was completely confused, especially since she missed my cheek the first time, but nonetheless she ignored my ignorance and patiently waited for her second cheek to be acknowledged. Later I found out she was really somebody, as she lived in Woollahra. She was also putting up, I mean in a serious de-facto relationship with, a twenty-something salesman, despite her near-cougar status. And as a bonus he looked like he’d just walked off a catwalk in Milan. I especially liked how he winked at me and kissed my hand. When he even gave me his number in case I needed some pool cleaning products, ‘how lucky was she’ I thought 'to have someone so friendly and helpful, and I don't even have a pool!' 

Then it hit me, we could all be like her, all we have to do is add an extra cheek kiss to your current single slammer whenever you say hello or goodbye to anyone and everyone. Easy!

As I delved further into it, I realised the double kiss is a wave you just have to get on. And don’t be put off by the poor nobodies around you that end up awkwardly staring at your open second cheek for two whole seconds, they’ll get there eventually. And besides you are doing them a favour, as once they realise the benefits of the double kiss they’ll not only be swinging left and right with abandon, they’ll be so grateful they’ll end up smacking one on your ar5e too!

‘So what are the benefits?’ I hear you ask. Well they are many and varied. Firstly the double kiss instantly implies you are wealthy and probably from the upper class. It indicates a private education, probably enhanced by a lengthy stay in Europe, from which you possess an intellect far superior to most. It demonstrates a socialist idealism as you determinedly share your exclusivity with all levels of society in an altruistic and educational kind of way. And most importantly it shows your sincere generosity as you give twice as much as most.

In 99% of cases I would recommend an almost obsessive approach to the double-kiss, that is, even in the face of an ugly nose collision or confused chin suck, the second cheek must be set upon and christened. But proceed with caution if you ever find yourself outside the five-kilometre boundary of your capital city. A misplaced ‘peccadillo’ in the suburbs could incite the more common Glasgow kiss and a subsequent trip to Emergency. (Note: The upper North Shore is the exception to this rule, so much so you would be unceremoniously extradited if you didn’t double kiss!)

Overall the benefits of double-whammies definitely outweigh any negatives, I mean who really cares if some pleb calls you a Tosser, they’re just jealous of your amazing new status. It’s your fast-track to fame and fortune people, so get smooching and remember the cheeks you’re aiming for are at eye level, well most of the time anyway.




© MyIdeaLife, 2011. All rights reserved. Base image source: thatsawkward.com

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

BEAM ME UP SCOTTY! Another teleporting accident waiting to happen



For the last few weeks I've felt a bit like I'm being beamed up by Scotty but still haven't rematerialised anywhere, let alone the Starship Enterprise. So my material self is currently a sparkly set of atoms bouncing off each other in limbo waiting for Scotty to somehow re-organise them back in to something half way resembling the original version of me. 

Once I explain my current exploded self, it will make complete sense, of course (I am being sarcastic but sort of not at the same time) Firstly the loveliest of friends found out she had Breast Cancer, and is now suffering through Chemotherapy, I can't even start to explain what this has done to my heart let alone hers and her beautiful family's. Secondly I ended up in the paper smiling broadly in stark contrast to my what my insides look like and then writing for The Punch last week, so feeling a little out there and suddenly awkward/embarrassed which is a bit unexpected. And lastly I am preparing to return to work in January after what will be fifteen months of maternity leave. 

All these things in differing degrees are disturbing the rhythm of my life, which pretty much resembles that of a toddler's, seeing I'm hanging out with two of them most of the time. And if you haven't heard, toddlers LOVE a consistent schedule, marked by simple, repetitive things like eating and playing and sleeping. Either new Mums and toddlers have a lot in common or I am severely stunted because with all this ambiguity and sadness and exposure, the schedule is well and truly out the window. And there's a lot of screaming going on in my head that is tending to resemble my 14 month old's reaction to an overstay at the supermarket.

Fact: It is difficult to write when you're screaming, even if only on the inside. 

So I suppose this is a lame attempt to explain what I perceive as a negative change in the content of my blog and tweet stream of late. (BTW Hubby has banned the iPhone from our bedroom which doesn't really matter as my atomised brain is finding it tough to come up with any twitty banter that would see followers lunging for the retweet button. Because, of course, before I got involuntarily stuck in a Star Trek transporter that was happening all the time. These thoughts remind me of why my husband married me, that is for my calm and logical mind.) 

To steer this away from a list of excuses, let's just leave it as this is me trying to paint a little picture of where I'm at. It is not a particularly nice place, my stomach always seems to be churning just a tad and my usual equilibrium that enables me to share all manner of nonsense seems a little damaged. We have the best engineers from Star Trek working on re-assembling me in the correct way, that is my usual incorrect self, and hopefully some time soon you may see some stream of consciousness stuff spewing forth here - defining at last, my ideal life. 



P.S. Some trivia only the amazing Jenny "The Bloggess" Lawson may appreciate: William Shatner is the only person to have actually said the exact phrase "Beam me up Scotty" in the audio adaptation of his novel Star Trek: The Ashes of Eden. Now there's a great dinner party opener!

Saturday, 26 November 2011

MUMMY'S FUNKY FRIDAY: Fly through the air

Carrie clearing her head on a Trapeze near New York. Image copyright: HBO.com
It seems that Summer’s coming twice this year after a return to Winter over the last week. When the 5 days of clouds parted today I put my scarf and boots away again (I hope for the last time this year) and breathed a huge sigh of relief. The warmth reminded me again that getting out in to the fresh air is like therapy for everyone, especially couped up toddlers going stir crazy, while their Mums lose their mind.

There are a few ways to stave off rainy week insanity, one is of course to read this blog, two is spend a small fortune on a mental health professional and a third is to do something daring you normally wouldn’t do. This Funky Friday why not show Carrie Bradshaw up and fly on a Trapeze.

The Sydney Trapeze School has set up its' outdoor trapeze rig in the Brazilian Fields of Centennial Park and are there until Sunday February 19. But wait for it, they have Mums and Bubs classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays 10:15am-12:15pm! 
The cost seems to be around the $55 mark for one session.

Nothing like hanging upside down, flying through the air and falling on your head to clear the damage a week of crying and whinging has done to you, and it may stop the kids screaming too or at least turn them into squeals of delight.

Don’t worry if you are not in Sydney there are outdoor trapeze setups all over Australia, here are some links to start you off. 



Go fly!


Tuesday, 22 November 2011

THE KEY TO A HAPPY BIRTHDAY: The Front Door


When you read this you could be forgiven for thinking I just make this stuff up. I wish I was making it up because I can't for the life of me figure out how I get this 'lucky'. I must just be special in a she attends a "special" class kind of way.

Birthdays come around once a year as you know, and so on this one day you can say things like:
"No dear, today I'm having a shower first so for once I get to spend 40 minutes in there and you get to spend 5 minutes after that while I yell at you to hurry up" or
"Oooh look Crash has done a big poo, I'm not changing him because it's my birthday".

In fact all bets are off when it's your birthday, well that's what I thought until today. It was all looking as I would expect from a family with two toddlers, I got a card and Happy Birthday sang to me, no present but that’s ok given hubby didn't get one last year (although I had a 3 month old I was breastfeeding so I was lucky to get out of the house let alone go shopping for a present, he doesn't have any such excuse).



Anyway I was even looking forward to the breakfast out with my boys until learning only minutes before that Boom had booked a Chiropractor appointment at 8.30. That’s when things started to feel less birthdayish and very every other day of the yearish. Even the breakfast at a nice café was the usual mayhem, where one of you is always lunging to catch a falling knife or save a full cup of coffee from ending up all over the table or you or both but little did I know it was about to become anything but an ordinary day.

I raced home as it was obvious the little guy wanted to sleep. With one toddler on my hip, another attached to my hand I somehow got the keys out of my pocket to get inside. But they looked strange, and as my conscious mind caught up to the vision in front of me I realised that the front door key had somehow vanished from the key ring.

It wasn't hard to put two and two together if you knew my husband. I quickly surmised he had taken the front door key off to take with him the night before as he was at a function. What the Einstein did with the key god only knows but I'd say it ended up on his key ring, next to his front door key.

After ringing him around 15 times I eventually tracked him down through an ad agency receptionist who was embarrassed to hear the story that I was determined to share with anyone who would listen. He was standing in front of her so I was able to "calmly" explain the situation. He was so “helpful” he said he would come out of his meeting if I got the boys back in the car and drove to him. Great! thanks sweet!

After staring at our 7ft metal side gate and imagining climbing over it using the bins as steps and then breaking a leg as I landed on the other side leaving two toddlers to play on the road, I started putting Crash back into his car seat. Then our elderly neighbour, Jack pulled up. "Wonder if I could jump their fence?" I thought. He was up for the adventure so all three of us bundled up to their backyard and Jack got his ladder out. The boys played with or really just got licked by their dog, as I scrambled over a 6ft paling fence landing unceremoniously in a magnolia tree on the other side. No doubt my tight, low cut cargos were showing an enormous amount of tradie butt crack, not to mention over-exposure of my mini-cleavage. What can I say? the outfit was not designed for scaling backyard fences.

I picked myself up and unlocked the back door and went and collected my little Irish twins who'd found the whole situation quite fun. I looked on the bright side I had sustained no splinters or broken limbs for my birthday, but I had also sustained no presents or relaxation. Hmmmm. So instead of being glum I put my boys down for their afternoon naps and started scheming an equally ‘Happy’ Birthday for my husband in a months time. 
That cheered me up no end, but I need some help so any ideas on how to make his special day that little bit more extra-special, you know like he did for me. (Revenge is sweet!)

Saturday, 19 November 2011

WIN A POCKET HD VIDEO CAMERA WITH A DOUBLE PASS TO THE BONDI SHORT FILM FESTIVAL!

UPDATE: AND THE WINNER IS : LISA from bylisajay.com


Sorry if you missed out this time around, thanks to all that entered and don't forget to subscribe so you know when the next giveaway's happening. 


Mummy's Funky Friday has teamed up with the über-cool dudes at Lenovo to give MyIdeaLife readers the chance to not only get out of the house, but attend one of the coolest Sydney events of the year: The Bondi Short Film Festival. And if that is not incentive enough to get involved they have included a VADO HD Pocket Video Camera. Small and easy enough to carry with you so you never miss those crazed moments we all want to see on YouTube or Funniest Home Videos.

The event is near sold out giving some indication of the calibre of the 14 filmmakers that will be showcased in Bondi Pavilion on Saturday November 26th. So get commenting and liking to be in the running! 

For your chance to win just answer this question in the comments below: 
WHAT'S YOUR DREAM NIGHT OUT? and like the Lenovo and MyIdeaLife Facebook pages

Go out, have fun and Good Luck!


The stuff the lawyer wants you to read:
Competition closes on November 23rd at 5pm AEST and winner will be notified by email the same day. Competition open to Australian residents who are able to attend event in Sydney.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

DAMN YOU CORRECT! HUH?


You probably don’t need convincing to appreciate the perfection of the iPhone. It is a beautiful thing that people would quite happily have sewn in to their arms if they could, such is the attachment it evokes. But like everything it has it’s quirks, and autocorrect is probably it’s most infamous. 

The annoying word changes iPhone Autocorrect comes up with have made teenage girls tell their mothers they’re pregnant (pregnancy test instead of practice), straight guys announce they are Gay (out of closet instead of clinic) and my personal favourite, a first date crime due to lobster and fillet mignon (killing instead of kissing)!

So it is logical that Apple has decided to fix it, releasing software last week that will stop this embarrassing, annoying, life-changing tool, and bringing it more in line with the superior Android spellchecker. So once again the iPhone is perfect and you know what, I’m disappointed. Maybe I wouldn’t be if I was someone that told my partner I wanted to jump them but iPhone changed it to dump, but I’ve been lucky to be one that has just stood by and LMAO at some of the epic Autocorrect fails. And an Aussie hacker found a work around for those that really have been burned anyway. So now what are we going to do? Perfection is boring Apple. 

The software update, that was released on Thursday also helps with battery life on devices running the new iOS5 software and enhances Siri for the Australian accent. But I reckon putting up with these two issues is worth it if one day you get to tell your Dad you want his P¢nis (*Prius)! 



Will you miss the old Autocorrect like I will?
  

Monday, 14 November 2011

YOU SCREAM, I SCREAM, WE ALL SCREAM...

The innocuous source of pure mayhem

I have two boys, now 2-and-a-half and 14 months, commonly known as Bang and Crash. By all accounts things are getting a little easier as Bang can now tell us off pre-tantrum so at least we know why he’s about to turn into a writhing hyena and Crash is walking about and therefore not living up to his namesake as much. (He also happens to tell us off but luckily incy wincy still works a treat on him). 
  
One way I’ve noticed to get them both going in tandem is to offer to buy them ice cream. Now you would think this would be a cause for great excitement and joy in their young minds. And yes there is some of that, but only if you purchase the ice cream in a certain way. Yesterday we did not follow the Toddler's guide to Toddlers rule on purchasing ice cream and we copped an earful as a result.


RULE No. 173: DOGS, CHIPS & SLIPPERY DIPS ARE FUN
We had just been to a park to eat Fish and Chips and watched doggies of all shapes and sizes chase balls into the water. Crash even tried to have a go and managed to nab a particularly wet Labrador’s ball. Luckily the dog didn’t mind as he was more interested in the chip buried deep in Crash’s little fist. To the dog’s dismay Crash ended up with both until I wrenched the dripping ball from his hand and apologetically returned it (always nice to mix some dog saliva with your meal).
  

To extricate the boys from the park my Husband’s standard manoeuvre is to bribe them with a smoothie. This night though he strayed from his usual and offered ice cream (mainly because he wanted gelato for himself!). Bang was so fast off a slide I may have muttered under my breath “Good one daddy” and off we went, smug in how well we mustered toddlers.


RULE No. 68: STATIONARY CARS ARE NOT FUN
It may have been over-confidence, or a lack of thought, but our grand plan of a fun afternoon quickly evaporated into duelling banshees. You see we didn’t take them in to the Ice Cream shop, I stayed with them in the car while my hubby went in. First mistake. They lasted for about 30secs before the whining started, and then some full-blown screaming ensued. I would have paid a digger driver to roll past at this point but instead I screamed “Stop screaming!” I know, I know, it makes things worse but I had silence from their shock for about another 30 seconds and I needed that silence. I was tired and disappointed that all the points we deserved for the chips and the doggies and the slippery dips suddenly didn’t count because they were in a stationary car for more than a minute.

RULE No. 235: WHITE ICE CREAM IS EVEN LESS FUN
Second mistake, hubby forgot to take his phone that I was calling to make sure he got Bang a pink ice cream. On the appearance of a white one, you’d think we had grabbed the child and broke both his arms. “I don’t want a white one, pink one, pink, No, not white one, Noooooooo” was just comprehensible as it came out all dramatic and high-pitched from a collapsed and bubbling face strewn with tears and snot.
  

I know what you’re thinking. And yes we probably should have shoved the white one into his hands and said something along the lines of “You know there are children in Africa who don’t even know what ice cream is, they’re lucky to eat dirt for lunch!” But instead I told my hubby off for not having his phone and upon assessing the mayhem he quickly turned to go and get a PINK one.

RULE No. 4: DO NOT EVER WASH MY HAIR
I can safely say we lived happily ever after (if by ‘ever after’ you mean the 15 minutes until the next meltdown), because once the pink one materialised and the car started moving the hysteria subsided. And besides it’s difficult to moan when you’re using your mouth to move ice cream off a cone on to clothes and car seats. But don’t worry we don’t always pander to their every whim, that night we got them both back by washing their hair. That is definitely a no-no in the Toddler guidebook and we knew it - AH HA HAAAAAA



©MyIdeaLife, 2011, All rights reserved

Friday, 11 November 2011

MUMMY'S FUNKY FRIDAY: Street Art

Give me Streets around the world over a stuffy gallery any day!
Welcome to the second week of Mummy's Funky Friday, your weekly dose of my new favourite word, alt-worthy stuff that will revive your inner cool. Funnily enough the music of last week could be the soundtrack for this week. Enjoy!

I am not one of those types that is going to try and convince you that graffiti is cool. Most graffiti is bloody awful and it costs normal people lots of money to make their suburban home look less like the local meth lab.

But in cities around the world there has been a craze growing that actually enhances the urban environment – it's called Street Art and it's nothing short of inspiring. 

And until December 11 you can see some of the work of the most famous international street artists at Cockatoo Island in Sydney. Among the collections exhibited the Oi You! one is a must-see boasting the largest private collection of the enigmatic, stencil guru, Banksy. And this guy(see below), Ethos from Brazil, has peeled himself from the wall of a five-storey building in LA to come and paint live on Cockatoo Island. Now that’s sorta yeow^ and is just how he rolls (see how alt-worthy^ I’m becoming….don’t answer that). 


So when the kids are yelling at you this week to buy them a present or give them a treat, throw them on a ferry and go and see some industrial urban transformation. Their eyes will be wide not just with the mint^ cool art but with how hektik^ their rents* now are! 


For more info visit http://www.outpostproject.com.au 


Teenglish glossary:
*rents=parents
^hektik, mint, yeow and alt-worthy all sort of mean cool…I think

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

OUR FIRST KISS

Rodin's "The Eternal Idol"
Sketched by love-obsessed 25 year old me.
I sketched this in Vienna when I was 25. I was sitting on the floor of a Museum, as you do when you're a backpacker. It felt like my whole life's dream was encapsulated in this beautiful Rodin sculpture. I had left my then-boyfriend to travel for six months (which turned in to three years) and so my heart was aching as I drank in the lust this depicted. I obviously wasn't that heartbroken though as only days later I ran off to Bruges with a very hunky American. What? I was confused and besides the boyfriend ended up being a completely deluded, selfish git masquerading as a snag, so thank goodness I didn't save myself for him.

In fact ever since my first kiss 10 years earlier, I'd been in love with love. It was at a summer party and I don’t even know how it happened, I was sitting on this guy’s lap and next thing you know we were snogging and with tongue! It was divine, and as I closed my eyes I'm sure I saw stars (that had nothing to do with the alcohol consumed of course).

I actually think that kiss more than any Hollywood movie was the reason it took me so long to find 'the one'. From that moment on I judged the potential of every relationship by the first kiss. This was so illogical, not that kissing is logical at the best of times, but most of my best kissing had been with the biggest bastards on earth, and really that was all they would good for. A good pash and then see you later really. But for some reason I forgot this as my knees turned to jelly and my imaginary world clouded out any sense of reality. 


Think I might give my hubby a snog when he gets home as feeling a little inspired, not sure it will be quite the same with toddlers attached to both legs, but I'll give it a go.

What was your first kiss like? 
Did it turn you into a pashing bandit like it did me?


©MyIdeaLife, 2011, All rights reserved

Friday, 4 November 2011

MUMMY'S FUNKY FRIDAY : Pumped Up Kicks


My recent Friday Night Lights stories got me thinking about how life as a parent can be so boring that a loud street party you're not at and a bit of car bashing being done by a drunken lout to your own car is about as exciting as it gets. TRAGIC! And then this song came on the radio (I haven't yet given in to the grown up impulse to switch to talkback radio) and I found myself dancing hands in the hair, dance party style in the front seat of our car (don't worry I wasn't driving, god help us if I were).


Source: Fosterthepeople.com
This reminded me that I used to be an obsessed music chick that danced whenever she got the chance but especially in front of Chris Cornell in Rotterdam, ColdPlay in a muddy field in Byron Bay and Foo Fighters at Big Day Out to name a few. Although my true claim to fame was when a girlfriend and I cleared the dance floor in Nottingham when Run D.M.C's 'It's like that' came on. Today you are more likely to find me rocking out to Toot Toot Chugga Chugga Big Red Car (one day I might show you the video, 'lovingly' recorded by my hubby) and although I love The Wiggles for the smiles they bring to my children's faces, they have nothing on the strong guitar riffs and unshaven growls of the likes of Dave Grohl, which I had forgotten...until now.

So I bring you (and me) the first instalment of MUMMY'S FUNKY FRIDAY, your way out of being a boring parent who's only view to the outside world is somewhere between Larry & Kylie on The Morning Show and Tony or Alan Jones, depending on your political sway. And although all of these people make an amazing contribution to society in their own way, you don't want to find yourself quoting them during the rare times you get out of the house and talk to people taller than 4ft. Instead you can now say "Have you heard of that band 'Foster the people'?" and there you have it - instant COOL.


Pumped Up Kicks is their first single and it has made them a global hit. If you can ignore that the lyrics are about a dysfunctional youth with an absent father who's recently got his hand on a gun then this is the perfect Summer anthem. Jill Menze of Billboard describes why saying "[it] boasts a laid-back, lo-fi '60s vibe, a slick bassline and an undeniably catchy chorus" all which make it impossible not to at least tap your foot to, even with a toddler on board. In fact I challenge you not to start bopping up and down in a daggy Mum kinda way!

And so you can appear amazingly informed Foster the people was formed out of LA and was originally named Foster & the people after frontman Mark Foster, but this was continually misheard and the band gave up trying to correct it and changed the name. They played at Splendour in the Grass (that field I was talking about above if you didn't already know), in July, which I didn't attend because I was up at the same time rocking in a not-so-fun-way with my then baby. But now that I'm cool again maybe I can get to their rumoured appearance at Big Day Out 2012 (Stop laughing!)

Luckily the video above is just snippets from this young band's tour footage rather than teenagers outrunning gunmen, and although I've never been a rock star, well not in real life anyway, I have been that girl in the front row, wearing not very much and dancing like my life depended on it, all the while making eyes at the lead singer. This song is all types of nostalgic and this Mum is completely dreamy about it, I hope it has the same affect on you. 

HOW COOL ARE YOU NOW? (or how behind am I?)


©MyIdeaLife, 2011, All rights reserved

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Friday Night Lights - Part 2: Flashing

I'm sure my single, not-so-sober self of 2004
would have nothing to learn from this situation
The teenagers were gone and the only hum I could hear was the soft yet extremely annoying sound of my hubby's snoring, but that's why I have earplugs and once they were in I was happily stepping off my cliff to lala land. I had only just hit the ground, Wile E Coyote style, when my cartoon desert melted back into our bedroom, a space suddenly filled with the angry screams of a teenage boy. He wasn't very imaginative in his song to our street, it was essentially various forms of the word "F*CK". Loud ones, long ones and staccato ones with the word 'IT' sometimes applied.

My heart leapt into my throat, "this was my fault, if I hadn't paraded around outside like a deranged fool, then this wouldn't be happening" I thought and worked hard not to show, my hubby needed no more ammo as he stood at the window trying to catch a glimpse of the psycho pacing around outside.


'Is he out the front?' I scream whispered
Boom: 'Shut up...he's in front of next door's place'
Me: 'What's he doing?'
Boom: 'Shut.up' 
Me: 'It's not like he can hear me, the voices in his head are clearly draining all sense of reality' 
Boom: 'I'm trying to hear'
Me: 'Well he's not exactly whispering is he, I'm pretty sure the guy in seat 7D of the plane that just flew over asked his wife "who's that shouting 'Faaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrkkkkk'?' so what exactly are you trying to hear?'
Boom: 'Shhhhh'

At this point with curiosity that has killed many cats and a conscience desperate to be cleared I jumped up too and joined him at the blind.

Boom: 'Go back to bed' 
Me: 'No, I want to see what's going on'
Boom: 'You're opening the blind up too much he'll see'
Me: 'Sweet, the guy is having a conversation with an invisible purple martian that is probably trying to kill him, he's not going to see a 4cm gap in a blind 30m away'
Boom: 'Fine'

For the next thirty minutes we rode the wave created by our screaming friend that oscillated between being lulled into a false sense of 'we can go to sleep now he's passed out' and jumping back up to peek out the window when a renewed round of F-bombs were dropped. As I had already had a nice conversation with a police officer earlier in the evening and was now getting a little bored with the show, I was gagging to call the police.

'Should I call the police?'
2mins later
'Do you want me to call the police?
2mins later
'I don't mind calling the police, what do you think?'

Suddenly the game changed and our lunatic discovered an uncovered skip bin that obviously was the martian's spaceship as he started attacking it physically and giving it a strong piece of his crazed mind.

'I think I should call the police.' was met with around 5 seconds of silence before a much louder crashing sound occurred at which point my usually calm and quiet hubby started yelling 'Call the police! call the police! he's smashing the cars, he's just smashed Ben's car, there goes ours now, call them!'

I dialled 000 and it was then, and only then that he decided to run off. 30 minutes of loud mayhem and the second my fingers touch the phone he disappears. I couldn't believe it. The police arrived and Boom spoke to them briefly and then for about the fiftieth time that evening we crawled back into bed.

A few minutes went by and my cartoon life was returning when Bang decided that the new found silence was disturbing and started crying. Hubby took this one and returned again to sleep, by now it was 1.30am and I was well and truly over all this. But it wasn't the agitation that kept me from sleeping next, it was a knock at the door.

'What the...?'

We opened the door and the police had returned, they needed a full description as another police unit had found our noisy friend, his mind-free state obviously hard to miss. We obliged, of course, and as developments occurred loudly over radios on our balcony it was obvious we were in for the long haul. A full official statement was required, the teen was arrested and my Hubby had to identify evidence and describe everything he saw, all this under the curious eye of his wife and 2 year old, who of course had been woken by now.

At 2.30am we tried to go to bed again, but it seemed this particular Friday night was determined to keep at least one of us awake all night. So my hubby ended up in the spare bedroom for the rest of the night being kicked by a deep-sleeping 2 year old.


There is much to learn from this cautionary tale like:
  • don't confront teenagers in your PJs (you'd get a much better reaction in the nude)
  • when someone shines a laser in your bedroom pretend you are 17 again, at a dance party and about to pass out intoxicated
  • don't introduce your 2 year old to a Policeman at 2am in the morning, he is likely never to sleep again, and my favourite;
  • don't be mean to your wife because Karma is likely to be more of a bitch than she is! 
What did you learn?
(
Please don't say "You're a nutbag" I am aware of this fact already! LOL)


© MyIdeaLife, 2011, All rights reserved.

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Friday Night Lights - Part 1: Lasers

Friday night 2004-style:
Notice amazing dance moves and alcohol in background, of course they are not related!
When I was single I looked forward to Friday night the way a junkie looks forward to their next hit. It was a night of dreams and potential that instead usually materialised into copious amounts of alcohol and embarrassing dance moves (strangely enough this never dampened my hope for the next week and one of them must have worked out as I ended up married with two kids seemingly overnight). Seven years on and Friday night still manages a small bleep on my weekly radar but for very different reasons, and although watching Better Homes & Gardens is a cause for a small amount of tragic excitement (I like the pet segment ok!), it is more that Friday night is the night before a day that my husband is at home to help with the boys. WOO HOO!!!!!!!

Friday night just gone was looking like it's usual slightly exciting self at 11.20pm. I had somehow dragged myself away from Twitter and was snuggling into bed when an unfamiliar green light flashed on the wall. "Hmmm, I am either having a flashback to the many nights I spent in my ad agency's free bar or some idiot is shining a laser in my bedroom window" I thought in my near-dream-state. Unfortunately it was the latter.

 
The normal amongst you would have closed their eyes, put earplugs in and ignored the increasing hum of drunken teenagers gathering on the street outside. As you probably have figured out I am not that normal. So I went out the front door in my PJs, barefoot and braless no less (although I don't really need a bra anymore it seems), stared across the street and above the rabble politely said "Guys I've got toddlers asleep here can you keep it down and stop shining lasers at the house ok?".

Friday night 2011-style
Lose the smile, ugh boots and toddler and this is what a party of teenagers saw!
No wonder they dispersed so quickly!
I remember women like me when I was a teenager, I remember how stupid and boring I thought they were and how they needed to loosen up and piss off, but that memory seemed to escape me as I pressed on. "Seriously guys, stop with the lasers or I'll call the cops". This inaudible whining of the mad woman in her PJs was met with dismissive giggles and a few throwaway "stupid bitch" type comments.

Unfortunately the swarm of hormones and alcohol in front of me had no idea who they were dealing with, the guys probably will still have that look of shock as they stare at their equally sleep-deprived wives in years to come, but the girls will one day understand...poor things. I stormed off and with drama fitting of a good stage play I called the police right in front of them under our sensor light which flashed on and off as I paced on the balcony.

The poor boys throwing the bash started ushering their friends home, one drunken male headed my way, but was held back by a friend. By this stage although I stood my ground, belying my peaceful sky blue, cloud covered attire, I noticed I had started to shake a little. The stupidity of what I was doing was dawning on me, I was exposing our house and possibly my family to harm. Panic was setting in. As the last two boys wandered towards our house on their way out, one of which was the threatening one, I thought I'd try to fix things. I called out to the boys and explained that the only reason I was freaking out was because I had two toddlers asleep inside and having lasers shined in their rooms was not ideal. They said sorry and said they didn't realise about the lasers and it all became very amicable. I apologised for being so boring and said I know what it's like as I used to party hard too. (Shit I'm a dag!)

So everything was looking right with the world again and even more exciting both toddlers had slept through the whole thing. I told my husband, who'd missed the whole thing as he'd been at the back of the house with his head inside the idiot box (well that's my way of saying he was watching sport...again), and it was my turn to have strips torn off me. Calling me stupid wasn't unique to Generation Y it seemed. We went to sleep abusing each other, as you do, but it was not long before we were awake again.

(Click PART TWO to find out what happened next! )

How has Friday night changed for you?


©MyIdeaLife 2011, All rights reserved