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Yeah, yeah … it was only a matter of time before I brought up Vegemite. How can one not when one is prone to blogging about Australian stuff? It is quintessentially Australian. It’s a symbol of Australia around the world. Australian kids grow up eating it. There are even myths surrounding it (ie Put vegemite behind your ears to ward off Drop Bears, a viscious cousin of Koalas … oh, nevermind).

The truth is that Vegemite is really the most foul concoction ever packaged and sold as food. Australians laugh about Americans eating cheese from a can and fake bacon bits. Well, cheese from a can is pretty disgusting but it doesn’t even hold a candle to the revolting, non food status of Vegemite. In case you didn’t know, Vegemite is a nasty black paste that people inexplicably put on anything from toast to cheesy scroll things. Sometimes they even mix it into stews and casseroles in the misguided belief that it “adds flavour.” Since when is ass flavour something one wants in their stew anyway?

Vegemite is basically the biproduct of beer making. How Australian is that? “Hey, we have all this foul black paste leftover from making our beer. What should we do with it? I know, let’s eat it!”  This is a culture so obsessed with beer that not only do they televise Lawn Bowl games, a “sport” that can be played (and usually is) while holding a stubby in one hand, but they actually ingest the biproduct of producing said beer.

I remember the first time I tasted the foul death paste (a description of Vegemite coined by Amanda Palmer). It was on my first visit to Oz, two years before I actually moved here for good. I had been told about Vegemite but had no real idea what it tasted like. My roommate at UW was dating a Kiwi guy who had grown up in Brisbane and was now living in Portland. He had a predilection for Vegemite and potato chip sandwiches. He told me it tasted excellent. I had my doubts (Vegemite & potato chips? Um, can you get more sodium in one meal?). Anyway, when I first got to Australia, I found a pot of it in my future mother-in-law’s pantry. I thought “Eh, what the hell” and opened it up for a sniff. It smelled foul. If I were smart, I would have stopped there. But no, I am prone to stupidity so I got a teaspoon, scooped a tiny amount out, and took a tentative taste. HOLY SHIT! The tiniest touch of my tongue to the tiniest scoop of this shit made me gag. I had to rush for a glass of water to rinse the vile taste from my mouth.

The moral of the story? Believe people when they tell you Vegemite is foul. Do not try for yourself … you will be sorry. I think a love of Vegemite requires training from an early age. Few people actually taste the stuff for the first time as an older child or adult and decide they like it. No, I have not done studies but it just makes sense, ok? It’s my blog and I can say what I want, damn it! 😉

Part of what finally motivated me to write this post was the Amanda Palmer gig we went to last night. She’s touring her most recent album, Amanda Palmer Goes Down Under, which she has described as a “love letter to Australia.” The show was glorious … the audience even spontaneously sang Advance Australia Fair to her. She looked stunned when that happened. It was pretty awesome. Anyway, my favourite song on the album is The Vegemite Song. You see, occasionally, Amanda Palmer manages to hit upon Truth in her songs. This is one of those times. This song is better than any blog post I can do about Vegemite. In fact, you’d probably be better off skipping this post and going straight to this video:

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Bring Out Your Dead!

Just a quick post to say: I’m not dead! (Actually, I’m only mostly dead but Kochanski is definitely dead, Dave.)

If you’re still reading after that stream of nerdiness then you’re either just as nerdy as I or very tolerant of my random quoting. I commend you!

So, yeah, not dead. Though most of you already know that due to my copious tweeting about absolutely nothing of importance. Mostly I’ve been busy parenting, visiting with family (my sister in law is over from London with her 1 year old daughter), battling a cold and trying to keep it all together.

There have been a few significant dates that I should note. January 18th was my 8th wedding anniversary. Has it really been 8 years? Wow! Also, today-ish marks the tenth anniversary of my move to Australia. Yes, around this time ten years ago, I was on a plane thanking my lucky stars that I left before Dubya was officially sworn in. Also, next week Hottest 100 Day … er, Australia Day marks three years as an Australian citizen for me.

I have half formed posts in my head, some of which I might actually get around to typing out and posting. We’ll see how long it takes me to get to that point. All I can hope is that whatever virus I have at the moment does not get bad enough to inspire me to write horrible fanfic. I did that a few months ago and will now always use whether or not I am brain addled enough to write fanfic as a benchmark for how sick I am. Just count yourself lucky that I wasn’t brain addled enough to post it on here!

Are You My Mummy?

So, this is how I see it: Scarring your kids for life is inevitable. You might as well have fun doing it, yeah? So, it is with this in mind that The Geek and I may be guilty of the following stellar moments of extreme dorkiness (in no particular order):

1)  One night at the dinner table for reasons neither of us can remember, one of us quoted Bohemian Rhapsody. Then the other quoted the next line. Before we knew it, we were singing most of the main part of the song complete with Wayne’s World-esque head banging. Bug just sat and stared at us like we’d suddenly grown an extra head each … or like we were complete dorks.

2)  Having only just turned 5, sometimes Bug doesn’t pay much attention when he dresses himself and puts his pants on backwards. When this happens, The Geek and I often sing Jump by Kris Kross (complete with jumping, of course). Again, we are met with that “you just grew an extra head and/or are total dorks” look from Bug. He’ll be very practiced at that look by the time he gets to his teens when he will permanently have it glued to his face …

3)  The Geek started a habit of singing “I’m gonna tickle little <insert child’s name here>” to the tune of Cat’s “I’m gonna eat you, little fishy”* when about to tickle one of the kids. They still don’t know that it isn’t an original song by their father.

4)  We had risotto for dinner tonight. I spent an embarrassing amount of time attempting to teach Cub (2 years old) to clap and squeal “Risotto, risotto, risotto!” in reference to The Catherine Tate Show’s Christmas special in which David Tennant plays a trendy, effeminate Ghost of Christmas Present. ** He’s almost got it … we just need to work on the hand clapping.

5)  In response to Bug’s frequent declarations that “it’s not FAIR!” I have been known to quote “Life is pain, highness. Anyone who says otherwise is selling something.”***

6)  Bug tells us that he’s “bored” or that things are “boring” when it is clear that “boredom” is not actually what he means. Example: He says he’s bored with eating when he probably really means that he’s full and doesn’t want to eat anymore. In response to this, I often reply: “You say that word so much. I don’t think it means what you think it means.” ***

7)  The boys have a book about a boy and an octopus that he saves from a fisherman’s net. In the end are some facts about octopi. Octopi, it seems, have three hearts. The following exchange was quite common in our household when the book was first introduced: The Geek: “How many hearts does the Doctor have?” Bug: “Two!” The Geek: “How many hearts does an octopus have?” Bug: “Three!”

8)  Bug has a habit of saying “mummy!” in exactly the same tone and inflection as the kid from The Empty Child episode of Doctor Who. It’s freaky and even The Geek noticed it despite the fact that he is not a huge fan of Doctor Who and rarely watches it with me. We have been known to respond to Bug’s whines of “mummy!” with “Go to your room!” followed immediately by hysterical giggling. Bug, as you might have guessed, generally responds by giving us that Look I have been describing.

Now it’s your turn. Confess your dorky/nerdy parenting moments to me!

Edited to add: I should clarify that the dorky/nerdy parenting moments need not be only from the perspective of the parent. Did your parents do anything to you that made you make the face that Bug is now so practiced at? 🙂

*   If you don’t know this is from Red Dwarf then … well, what the hell are you doing reading my blog? Go educate yourself, damn it! 😉

**  Watch the clip here:

*** I’m assuming everyone recognizes The Princess Bride references here. I mean, doesn’t everyone have that movie memorized? IF you don’t then, as with Red Dwarf, what are you doing wasting time reading my blog when you could be watching The Princess Bride?

It’s that time of year again. Festivus season! In honour of this most sacred holiday, let us gather around the Festivus pole (remember, no tinsel … tinsel is too distracting) and air our grievances for the year.  So, without further ado, here are my grievances in no particular order:

1.) To the Douchebags:  A lot of douchebags have irritated me this year from Kanye West to Sen. John McCain to your average internet troll fuckwit on Twitter (and don’t forget Russell T. Davies). You know what? Being a douchebag is really bad. You shouldn’t do it. So, fuck off, douchebags!

2.) To my friends in the US who  haven’t come to visit me nor have they paid for my ticket to go visit them: I think this is very inconsiderate of them and it should be rectified immediately. What’s that? They don’t have any money? Pfft, they can always sell their house/worldly possesions/first born children to raise the funds! Do I have to think of everything for you people?

3.)  To my US student loan company who’ve made repayment from my country of residence impossible: You’ve got to be kidding me! This is so ridiculous, it’s comical! News flash: The rest of the world exists, they have their own currency and banks and *sometimes* Americans even choose to live there!  International transactions involving money happen all the time. Get with the program! (The full story is really quite ridiculous & could make an entire post but I haven’t decided whether it is wise to do that.)

4.) To my house that doesn’t clean itself: You’re a pig sty. Pick up your game. It’s 2010 and will soon be 2011 … haven’t we invented self cleaning houses yet???

5.) To Dora and Diego:  Dora The Explorer and Go! Diego Go! are two are the most obnoxious tv shows ever to grace the airwaves. That fucking map can burn in hell … if only that would shut it up. And, Diego, eggs are fucking eggs! They are not “baby eggs.” There is often a baby inside them that will more than likely hatch out of said egg but the egg itself is not a fucking “baby egg!”  The sooner Dora falls over a cliff or something eats Diego, the better.

6.) To the world: You’re not as small as the interwebz makes you seem. Damn you, world! Don’t you know that I should be able to just walk over to all my friend’s houses?

7.) To Perth Drivers: Seriously, people, learn how to merge. That’s all I’m sayin’. (Ok, that’s probably not all but I realise that you can’t handle too much at once so let’s just stick with learning to merge for now.)

8.) To anyone who addresses correspondance to me as “Mrs <Husband’s name or first initial> <Husband’s surname>” or to both of us as “Mr. & Mrs <Husband’s name or first initial> <Husband’s surname> : You’re a dinosour who clearly has not been advised of the progression of time. It is now 2010. It will be 2011 soon. A woman is not the property of her husband regardless of whether she chooses (as I did) to change her name after legal marriage (I say legal since marriage is not soley a religious institution). I’ll pause to let you process that new and shocking information. Ok so far? If not, I don’t care. Just to clarify: MY NAME IS NOT <Husband’s name>! My first name is Kareena. I say “first name” for a reason, by the way. It is not a “Christian name” because I am not Christian. Get it? Probably not. Until you do get it, please do not send me anything via post. In fact, don’t talk to me. You’re too stupid.

9.) To the company who I pay to deliver organic fruit and vegetables every Wednesday: You fail. You’re supposed to deliver on Wednesday afternoon, usually getting the box to me at around 2ish. Yet far too many times you have waited until 4PM to text me to tell me that the person who normally does the delivery is on holiday or whatever and cannot bring it. You then send it via courier the next day. The courier often doesn’t arrive until 3PM. Thursday is usually the only day I have to do the rest of the weekly grocery shopping and I cannot do it unless I know what fruit and vegetables I have. You can shove your courier up your collective arses. I’m finding a new company to provide me with organic produce in the new year.

10.) To the creators of Single Father: Not only did you create a script that was almost really good but kind of  not due to strangeness, odd format and a totally inappropriate soundtrack but you missed two if not three prime opportunities to show us David Tennant naked … or at least more naked than you did show him. I mean, really, if the BBC could produce something that included Christopher Eccleston completely nude* this year then I think they could have done us fangirls the same service with Tennant. **


 

*    Not that I’m complaining about getting the full monty from Eccleston. Not. At. All.

** Really, I only put this grievance in because I had 9 already and I thought that an even 10 would look better. Oh, ten and Tennant … hahahhaha … geddit? No, unless you’re as hopeless a Doctor Who nerd as me, you probably won’t. Sigh… Also? I just proved once again that everything can be brought back to a Doctor Who reference. Everything. Even a post based on an episode of Seinfeld. It’s a Festivus miracle!

And now, as Festivus rolls on, we come to the Feats of Strength!

Teh Interwebz

I met a cool new friend yesterday. She’s from the US and is here with her husband and 5 year old daughter for two years (her husband is military so they’re here for his job). We went out for dinner without kids or partners and just had a really good chat. It was fab. But that’s not really what inspired me to write this post. What inspired me was the fact that I met this new friend online.

I found myself remembering the days back when Teh Interwebz was new. Back when it was still a little strange to spend hours online and everyone (except Kim) seemed to be paranoid about meeting people from the internet face to face. Back, even, before LOLCats had their own blog. Remember that?

When I was in highschool, we made a huge big deal about going to meet these potentially shady “internet people” in groups in public. I remember once when my friend Erica wanted to meet some guy, we descended en masse with at least 4 or 5 people (including Erica) to meet the dude at the Sit ‘n Spin in Seattle. The poor guy must have felt ganged up on.

But it’s not like that now. Meeting people via the internet has almost become the rule rather than the exception. I met most of my friends here in Perth via internet forums and pretty much all of them I met irl without even a second thought for paranoid security. Sometimes we even have new people come to our houses (often in a group meet up situation but that’s just a coincidence more than a rule).

Do I have a point? Does this mean anything? I don’t know. I’d like to think it means that the internet is a fantastic tool for communicating and that it makes the world a little smaller. Sure, it can be used for evil and for Nigerian email scams (not to mention a whole lot of porn … but some of that isn’t so bad ;)).  But, for the most part, the internet is a good thing and I would not know so many really awesome people if I didn’t have access to it.

And So’s Yer Dad!*

I had the tongue piercing taken out this morning. Technically, today was the two week mark which usually means downsizing of the jewelry. But I’d decided that I didn’t want it so I had it taken out. I hated it. It felt Wrong.  Wrong wrongity wrong face from Wrongtown Wrong-annia!*

Flippancy aside, I’m feeling really awful about this. I feel like an irresponsible idiot who should have known better. I recognize that I’m being overly harsh on myself but it doesn’t stop me. I’m trying really hard to chalk it up to living and learning but the old self loathing just won’t go away. In the meantime, I’m being overly cautious about cleanliness and aftercare and waiting for everything to go back to normal.

* If you saw what I did there then you’re clearly as much of a dork as I. If you didn’t see what I did there then I pity your lack of dorkiness.

Ok, so she’s not a band in and of herself.  She does have a band, though.  In fact, she’s had more than one as the line up’s changed a bit.  She used to be Clare Bowditch and The Feeding Set and now she’s Clare Bowditch and The New Slang.  It doesn’t matter what band she has with her, though, she is always, always nothing short of  awesome.

Aside from the fact that she makes really good music, I really look up to Clare Bowditch as a role model and as a woman.  She’s a mother of three (two of whom are twins), she’s talented, successful and despite the fame, really down to earth. She’s intelligent, socially aware and has a great sense of humour. She’s political and outspoken. Most notable (to me) was her support of women’s right to choose home birth despite the fact that she had not made that particular choice for herself. On top of all that, she puts on a fabulous live show (I’ve seen her twice now and I highly recommend going to a gig of hers whenever you can) and has very good taste in dresses.

I guess what draws me to her the most is that she’s Real. She doesn’t put on airs, she doesn’t strut or think she is the centre of the universe. She just does what she does and she pulls it off with grace and style. If only I could be so put together, confident and talented. If only I could make it look so easy (and I know it isn’t easy … not even for her).

It was hard to choose one song for this post. I decided to stick to the most current album and narrowed it down to the title track, Modern Day Addiction, or Bigger Than The Money as they are my two favourites at the moment. In the end, I chose Bigger Than The Money if only because I liked the video more.  So, enjoy and, if you liked what you heard, go look up more of her stuff or head to her website here.

I thought I would add that Clare Bowditch and the Feeding Set was one of the bands that made up Bug’s first rock concert. He was two and he had a blast. The other two bands were The Waifs and John Butler Trio. Clare Bowditch and the Feeding Set were on first and Bug and his friend danced up a storm. We have video of some of the dancing so I thought I’d be a gushing mother and post it here. I’m honestly not sure if this particular video was shot during Clare’s set or right after. It’s hard to tell as the video didn’t pick up the sound very well. However, rest assured that he and his friend were dancing just as enthusiastically throughout Clare’s set, possibly taking a bit of the spotlight off the band due to sheer cuteness. 🙂 (In case you’re wondering, Bug is in the red shirt.)

Now, the question is: Am I brave enough to tweet the link to this post to Clare Bowditch herself? Or, would that just be creepy of me?