giovedì, luglio 17, 2014


I've been having a weird week. Sort of weird bad, I think it's safe to say. But not too personally bad - abstractly bad? Bad at arm's length?

Obviously the last entry rant was a symptom of one of those bits of badness and there has been little to do there except accept and move on. And I have. I mean - it's funny already. I thought it would take months to get funny. "Editors Note". Hah. That's . . . great. And the author in question is being incredibly grief-stricken and active about trying to resolve the situation - though to be honest that was part of what I was so pissed off about - I knew that the author was going to take a degree of emotional responsibility for the event that meant I was going to be the one ending up comforting her. And anyways, as far as I'm concerned, it really was my fault for not literally wrestling the final proof away from her and doing it myself. It's my name on it.

The bad came in three, with news that a plan for an early escape from this national penal colony is almost certainly not going to happen for us - accept, move on, decide to enjoy a little more time paying laughably low taxes - and then with some real weirdness in the family.

We only have one real weirdo in the family - and - gosh. It just blows me away when people act in such a way that is obviously not in their children's best interests, from any analysis, with any rationalization. I know we're all deeply flawed beings and as parents we make so many decisions that are so easy to second-guess, and it's so hard to know if you're doing the right thing, and so much harder again to know if anyone else is . . . but I guess I've created an introverted, closed little world for myself full of good people and I generally blunder around making the assumption that everybody is doing the best they can raising their children, and anyways maybe the decisions that look incredibly stupid to me are actually correct and I'm the incredibly stupid one for not being able to understand their context.

But once in awhile - and it's often been this particular crazed baby momma who is disgusting me now who has been the one to snap me back into a cold reality where some people are just nasty cunts, and they ultimately don't shut that off with their own kids - I have to look out of this pleasant little world I've built around myself, and it's heartbreaking. Particularly when the victim is a kid who I love.

Anyways. I'm not as upset as I could be. In this particular instance (which has to do with getting the kid in question an EU passport), I thought there was an 18-year cut off, which the baby momma was going to fuck up forever by denying consent. And there was, but the country concerned changed its laws. Like, just now, it changed its laws, and I was alerted to that the same morning that the crazy momma showed her crazy, which was terrifically serendipitous timing, and means that the kid in question can take care of this as an adult in a few months without her input, and makes me feel - I don't know - that maybe God is on this kid's side in the lifelong struggle he's going to have dealing with his momma's crazy (what a thing to think in a world where kids who are loved as much as this one, or should be, are being sold, or shot out of the sky on a Malaysia Airlines flight over Donetsk, or otherwise blown up - but there you are).

At first I was giddy with joy that the laws have been changed, and I'm still grimly pleased that this shitty dog of a woman can just be over-ridden and her contemptible little muscle-flex has ultimately done nothing except once more demonstrate her crazy. But mostly I'm caught up in thinking what's going to happen to this kid in the life-long struggle he's going to have dealing with his momma's crazy.

venerdì, luglio 11, 2014

Sometimes it's good to have an anonymous blog

AH FUCK why did I let a fucking Australian be the one to approve her own final proof???? So fucking embarrassing.

I wrote her a nice little editor's note . . . Which was titled 'editors note' in the print run. Those are literally the first two words in the first run of the first hardback book I have ever edited because she couldn't wait for me to get back from China to check the fucking proof. I never saw the chapter headings. I should have insisted. My fucking name is on it. At the bottom of the fucking 'editors note'.

Fuck fuck fuck a fucking duck.

My only consolation is that no one outside of the state is likely to see it. But it's a bit shitty to work so hard on a thing almost purely as a portfolio piece just to end up with something you don't want to keep looking at because who knows how bad it gets if those are the first two fucking words so it will go nowhere near your portfolio. FUCK.

lunedì, giugno 30, 2014

Green eating

The F-word cares more about organic food than I do because he grew up in Shepparton, a cancer/asthma hole due to the fucking disgusting farming practices there. These things tend to vary from country to country in a way that I suspect made organic produce low-ish on my personal list of knee-jerk priorities. The fact is, disgusting vermin like warm weather, Australia is a warm place, and it's fucking awash in bugs, rats and mice, and hence in pesticides. Whereas Canada, Europe, New Zealand, etc., sort things out with the help of the weather - frosts and things. As much as I enjoy insulting Australians, I daresay it's not just stupidity that makes the farmers here such avid consumers of dangerous pesticides relative to the rest of the developed world.

Also, I daresay it's not just the Australian necessity to monetarily screw your neighbour as roughly as possible that makes organic food here so fucking expensive. When a country is overrun with vermin, growing organic isn't going to be as easy as renaming yourself Harvest, having sex in a field on the solstice and hoping for the best. I understand that. But I also understand that before 2007, buying organic food here was cheaper than buying normal food in Europe, and that the exact opposite is true now.

Anyways, we're grinning and bearing it and as of a month or so getting weekly boxes of local seasonal organic produce delivered to the door. It's not too expensive, though I'm a little pissed off by how much less expensive it is in Belgium, where I got the organic deliveries to the office, and in Toronto, and in NRW (yes, I've already checked). And it saves me a buttload of time no longer spent grocery shopping, and a buttload of money as the presence of all these perishables in the fridge guilts me out of just buying pizza. And, of course, it's tastier than standard fruit and veg. Sadly, the only way to get tasty produce here - as it was in Belgium, I now recall - is buying local organic. In Belgium the reason was that so much cultivation was hothouse or transported long distances. Here I have no fucking idea what the excuse is.

Most of all, though, what I'm enjoying is the challenge. It's winter here which means winter vegetables, which I've always hated. Broccoli, cauliflower, kale, other bitter greens - have always despised them, never bought them willingly. Now we have to make friends, because I don't have the time or money to go pick out only the things I like from an organic store. I have to look up recipes, I have to think, I have to plan and strategize - ferment, blanch, saute, dice - and it's working. All of this cruciform crap is actually becoming delicious to me. I guess it was about time I grew up and ate my greens.

lunedì, giugno 23, 2014

Chinese laundry

I've been absent some little time, not least because of a trip to China, where the government doesn't let you blogspot. That's only been one week of the absence, though. It's also been end-of-quarter report season, and, hmm, what other excuses have I got? The truth is I still have a shitload of things to be doing right at this minute, this precious, nanny-bought minute, that aren't blogging, and I'm not doing them because the most urgent among them is doing my books, which fuck that.

Let me see if I can choose out a few things from the past - heavens - more than a month to go on about. Hmm. The trip to China was a good work trip and a great personal trip. Godzilla came, the F-word, who is out of holiday, didn't, and my eldest neice met us in China to take care of Godzilla while I worked. I didn't have high hopes for how well any of that was going to work out, from the long-haul flights without another adult to help corral the Megachild, to the neice - a smashing young lady but hadn't spent any time with him for about a year - taking care of the Megachild for up to 12 hours a day while I conferenced.

I was pleasantly surprised on all points, though flying Air China was penitential as usual. Godzilla handled himself as well as a 20 month old can in a plane for 12 hours (quite well, and awfully well in comparison to several other children who wept the whole way, poor things - the return to Melbourne was the second leg of a trip for a lot of people, and there were a good few dispirited parents dully staring at their violently crying progeny) and my neice handled him beautifully. We had a couple of tearful partings as I left for work in the mornings, and that was it - otherwise, not a single hiccup, not a single wrench. She has two brothers, five and twelve years younger than her, respectively - she knows what she's doing taking care of a kid like Godzilla better than I do.

It was beautiful - and not just because it was beautifully convenient for me. It was beautiful to spend so much time with my neice, from whom me being some sort of internationalist has precluded spending much time with since one of her brothers and she came to spend a couple of weeks with us at the tail end of my time in Belgium. (Does that sentence even work? I don't know. Too much German.)

And it was beautiful to see her with Godzilla and see them love each other, and form a bond independent of his bond with my brother, or her bond with me. Breeding really kicks your relationship with mortality into gear, I suppose since death ceases to be the worst thing you can imagine once you have a child. And it was beautiful for me to see the genesis of a loving relationship that, in the normal course of things, will be there for Godzilla long after I'm dead.

giovedì, maggio 15, 2014

Bucket list

Someday, years from now, when I can take the time for myself . . . when the kid(s) is (are) safely in university or somewhere else on his (their) own devices, and the F-word is off somewhere or other without me - who are we kidding 'somewhere or other', obviously it'll be when he's making a visit to Australia that I don't come along on because as if I'll be doing anything but the bare minimum of visits here in the future, it's fucking far - and all my friends are busy, I'm going to rent myself an apartment in some awesome, stupid city like Lisbon or Bordeaux or Dubrovnik, get high as fuck for a week, and read Ivanhoe and watch Game of Thrones. Maybe a few weeks, if Game of Thrones has lots of seasons.

There's never been anything on television as awesome and stupid as Game of Thrones, just like there's never been a book as awesome and stupid as Ivanhoe. I mean, seriously, that last episode was so awesome and stupid, right from the dragon setting all those dwarf goats on fire to the guy at the end throwing his plea deal in favour of trial by combat, that I feel like I got awesomer and stupider just watching it. There has never been anything this stupid and awesome, ever, that gives me those awesome, stupid chills like this, besides Ivanhoe.

I became a mother, a professional and financially solvent-ish all at the right time to not have a very regretful or wistful bucket-listy sort of outlook on life, at least for the moment. But I am really looking forward to that awesome, stupid week or two someday.