Wednesday, October 27, 2004

fallen idol

Well, that’s Australian Idol for me this season; Chanel was voted off this week. I think she was just too Bjork for the voting audience but that’s OK, it’s not all about what 13 year old girls think. Wearing her hair in those Mickey Mouse bunches and then saying she was ‘taking the mickey’ was probably slightly over the heads of the voting audience though. Me, I didn’t think much of the “R&B” song choice (by someone called Brandi or Cherry or Ashanti or something) because I think there are so many absolute classics she could’ve chosen. Aretha...But that’s so last century, I guess. (I feel old sometimes…)
My favourite sound and look for Chanel is punkish angel vamp--like she did when she did that Sam Brown number. Dishevelled in ripped fishnets with a slightly Portishead sound.
But I have to agree with Dicko that the outfit this week was too outlandish. She has great pins but I’m not really much of a fan of shorts on girls (unless it’s the sexy zookeeper cum Terri Irwin look, or your boyfriend’s boardies with your bikini top, both of which have their time and place).
Anyway, it’s a shame she went. I would’ve liked to have seen her do a Mazzy Star or Lucinda Williams number, I think. Maybe Blue Light or Five String Serenade from Mazzy and Ventura or People Talkin’ from Lucinda. Sigh. Could’ve been…should’ve been awesome.

raison d'blog

Tim Dunlop at surfdom has asked for comment about people's motives for blogging. I've been thinking about this a lot lately myself. I think all bloggers have some idea what blogging is and many of us have tried to write about it. I don’t there is a definitive answer. It’s too many things at once.
When Tim calls his blog a “vanity site” because it follows his interests and whims, he draws attention to the narcissistic nature of the form. But I’d say that it’s much more than sheer navel-gazing self-absorption (a criticism certain family members have levelled at me many times, believe me).
First of all it's writing karaoke. I never used to show anyone in real life anything I wrote. People used to have to take it on faith that I liked to write. Now at least there's some evidence. It’s a place to practice writing daily and to get feedback. With fiction writing, I am a bit of a perfectionist (or given to self-doubt!), because I still insist on having a finished manuscript to show someone. I can’t bear the idea of reading something while it’s still half-formed. Blogging feels different, because it’s such first-draft writing, a consequence of its emphasis on immediacy. I don’t spend much time composing posts, usually just writing off the top of my head. I’m sure others are the same.
When I started blogging it was to practice different kinds of writing, try out different kinds of writing ‘voice’, show off puns, just for the pleasure of seeing my words ‘in print’. And it has definitely given me confidence, and some sense of what works and what doesn’t. I also think the blogger ‘voice’ is different, as it’s more conversational, more like dialogue than other forms of writing. I enjoy that the form has no ‘rules’ (or few, anyway. I think there’s some informal ones?). It’s all micromoments and fleeting glimpses, perfect for the short attention span.
But it’s obviously more than just writing practice, it’s also an outlet for self-expression. It’s a place to ‘be myself’. To kind of wear my inner monologue on the outside.
I also blog to directly communicate with friends and family overseas, some of whom read my blog just to keep up to date about my life.
Well, I'll have to leave it there for now but I'll come back to the subject, as I'm especially interested in looking at blogging-as-documentary.

Monday, October 25, 2004

love hurts

Heard again on the news the other night, a family taking consolation in the fact that their loved one "died doing what he loved". I'm sorry in advance to anyone who's ever been consoled this way and I don't mean to offend, but I don't get it. Why is it comforting? It means something you loved killed you. I'd rather die doing something I hated, like my tax return or waxing my legs, so I could say, "there, I always knew that was evil."

Sunday, October 24, 2004

back in five minutes

Would love to post some new ideas today, but unfortunately the baby and I both woke up with a head cold or the beginning of a 'flu. I think it's because we've been having a lot of showers together lately and I probably don't dry us off quick enough after. The baby absolutely loves showers and it's a nice way for us to get some skin-on-skin contact, since he sleeps in the cot all the time now (I miss sleeping with him!). He's getting too big for the babybath but we still put it in the shower so he can sit and play while I get lathered up.
Anyway, been up most of the night and have no energy to write. More another time. Hope you're all having a nice weekend and not thinking about or talking about the Rodent either.

Friday, October 22, 2004

more idol chatter

I keep forgetting to watch Australian Idol, which is annoying, but there's the Thursday night wrap-up anyway which I saw some of last night.
I remain convinced Chanel should win. I saw her do a Joni Mitchell song (something off Blue--I don't know her music) in passing on Wednesday and that was lovely. But I've noticed that she keeps getting criticised in the various media for being a 'poseur', or up-herself. I think this is because she clearly identifies as an artist and often in our society, 'artist=elite=bad'. Then again, they all kind of identify as artists. Maybe she's a bit too confident, and it's tall poppy syndrome. Who knows.
I reckon it's down to Hayley, Courtney and Antony in the final three, then Hayley and Antony, with Hayley to win it. I reckon Casey will be out next because of her extreme youth. Hayley's not bad; great voice, beautiful face, a natural performer. But she doesn't write songs, whereas the others do. Be interesting to see.

dirty work

I'm still grappling with the idea that we live in such a self-satirising culture that a known liar can go to the people and say 'trust me', and win. "Trust me, I'm a politician". Truly! Why didn't that get laughed outta town? Are we Howard-era Aussies losing our sense of humor, our larrikinism, our renowned bullshit detectors?
So I can't help myself blogging about the PM, but then Howard-spotting was always a favorite sport and I mean, why shouldn't it merrily continue? The intention of avoiding talking about him was just to not dignify him with a response, pretty silly, and I was just amusing myself really (you can do that when you have a blog).
We're stuck with Howard so we might as well continue to hold him accountable. Try to, anyway. If Latham had got in the onus would've been on lefty bloggers like me to be just as critical of him, or at least manage to be a reasonable objective observer and that wouldn't have been half as much fun, would it?
And at least this way, Latham/Labor won't have to clean up any of Howard's messes. Howard or some other dodo will have to wear whatever happens in the next term of office. And while I would never wish doom and gloom on Australia as that would obviously be idiotic, I do hope that Howard is forced to spend the time and effort mopping up things like Iraq, so that he doesn't just get to saunter out looking the big hero while someone else does the dirty work. It's funny, because whenever I heard the Pro-Bush Americans on the telly chanting "four more years" it used to sound like they were asking for a prison term to be extended for some criminal. Yeah, give them both another term--punishment for fucking up the world.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

i'd rather talk about the weather than talk about john howard

The weather here (midnorth coast of New South Wales) is crazy. Feverishly hot a few days ago and now it's flooding; a state of emergency. And we ran over a thumbtack with the stroller a few days ago so I've been getting around like a donkey, with the baby in the pouch and a backpack and carrying a golf umbrella. Phew! Going out for the day today with some friends but hopefully get to some serious posting later on.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

this is not about john howard

It's easier than I thought not talking about John Howard. Thinking about him, though, that's something else.......

Sunday, October 17, 2004

"snakes hit the beach"

That's the headline of a story in our local paper (unavailable online) about that dude Peter I once mentioned here. There he is in the photo, looking very ZZ-Top; bushy beard, reflector aviators, red flannie, and wearing a python like a feather boa. That's Candy (so-called "because of her sweet personality"). He's talking about the wildlife rescue service he works at and what to do if you come across a snake, and now I'm feeling very guilty about the red-belly my cat killed the other night. Mea culpa, mea culpa. Next time I'm calling Peter, promise.
Speaking of characters, you know how I'm always going on about this novel I'm going to write? And you know how they say you should write about what you know? Well, in case anyone's worried, it's not going to be about a single mum's seachange (or "tree-change" as drop-outs to our neck of the woods are sometimes called because of the national forests around here). Babies won't feature in it much at all, either.
Also speaking of our neck of the woods, I noticed the other day how, on the local millionaire's strip where the views are unbelievable, someone has erected a neat little sign warning people not to use their 'private beach'. That pisses me right off, because there's a 30-metre reserve around the lake foreshore so that beach belongs to all of us, pal. I'm going to make a point of using it in the summer, haha. Nice beach it is too.

Friday, October 15, 2004

all worked up

Some responses to my question ("think I'm a bludger?) here and at Tim Blair's. Can't say I'm persuaded by the negative arguments at all. Sorry, I'm with the leftwing love beasts* on this one. Wish I had time to comment today but am too busy.
By the way, thanks to new readers and bloggers who have linked lately--I will update the blogroll real soon, promise. (Is it that hard.....?!) Thanks for the emails. Thanks for the donations, too. Some of you are amazing. (There's a Paypal button on this site for those who are into spontaneous acts of kindness. The reason I mention this will become clear in the next paragraph...)
I should also mention that if things suddenly go quiet around here it'll only be because my computer dies on me. It's been playing up a fair bit lately and this morning the screen just completely faded out and I had to reboot. It's about 10 years old, I guess. Anyway, I'll have to figure out how to get a replacement. Might take a while!

(*term stolen from Zoe)

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

taste of things to come

It's a burning hot blue day here that feels like the absolute height of summer. I rang my sister at work in Sydney just now and she was telling me all her office politics and how stressed she was, and I thought, I so don't miss the corporate and/or city life.
But I felt a bit guilty as I told her that all we have to do today is go down to the lake for a few hours. I'm always conscious that some people will begrudge me this carefree lifestyle because I am on a sole parent's pension. After all there's plenty of people who hate their office jobs too and would like to have nothing better to do than lie around on a beach all day themselves.
Here's the thing though. I appreciate the chance that our society gives me to exclusively parent for a coupla years. I figure I'll do some more study some-time over the next few years (as there's long waiting lists for childcare in the area, I'm lucky enough to have my parents nearby who are always keen to babysit). Whether it's something at uni by distance or a TAFE course locally, I don't know. So I'll most likely--hopefully--retrain and then when Harley is ready for pre-school I can be working again but this time doing something I enjoy.
And you never know, I might surprise myself by finishing something I've started to write and having a commercial and critical success. Ah, those pipe dreams...gotta keep dreaming...
The lake is such a great place for the baby (pollution rumors notwithstanding--but it's a very big lake). We go down almost every day. There's always something to look at: seagulls, pelicans, colorful people in sailboats and on windsurfers, kids playing with dogs, just the wind in the grass. And he can try and eat sand and we splash around at the water's edge.
The whole thing is such a production though. It takes you an hour to pack and then everything is covered in dirt and sand within two minutes. You spend the whole time wrestling because he wants to eat bottle tops and cigarette butts (bastards!), and then he gets all grizzly because he wants to keep playing long after his nap-time. We love it though, we have a lot of fun.
Anyway, to get back to the point, I think there's still a pretty big stigma attached to being on welfare, even if you are genuinely using it as a temporary leg-up, a rung in Latham's ladder. So how about it--any rightwing readers think I'm a bludger?

Monday, October 11, 2004

we've come a long way, baby

Can't believe my little boy is coming up to eight whole months old. It's gone quickly, huh. I guess that's why another term of this Government doesn't seem quite so terrible when I think about it. Time is fleeting.
Harley spends a fair bit of time with a couple of one-year-old buddies so tends to copy them and this week has started pulling himself up to standing. He especially likes to stand with his hands pressed up against the sliding glass doors in the living room, watching the cats and birds on the deck and trying to lick the blinds. Along with all the new action comes the inevitable falls and bumps, which means I'm back to having to watch him closely all the time again. I don't see this job easing up anytime soon...
Anyway, I can't help but be happy regardless of the election result. And I guess that's why--because I'm in love.

Sunday, October 10, 2004

idol chatter

This week the Idols had to pick a Beatles tune. I only got to see three kids perform as I was a bit busy. I've haven't been watching Idol that long this season. I tuned in when cute young surfer chick Ricki-Lee did Tina Turner (Proud Mary) a few weeks ago and thought she was pretty good, but since then it has become apparent that if given any say in it, she will choose to wail and scream in twenty-three octaves like Mariah Carey. She absolutely crucified We Can Work It Out.
Spunky young Anthony managed to kill off When I Saw Her Standing There with a caberet-cum-disco-cum-Backstreet Boys treatment.
I hope Chanel wins, but she's probably a touch too eccentric for this evidently deeply conservative public. I adore Chanel. She has a stunning voice, and her personality is so original and quirky. Last week she did kd laing's Constant Craving better than kd. This week she did the Beatles' Across the Universe, possibly better than the Beatles.
That's what I like about Idol over the other reality shows. It actually is about talent.

anti anti climax

Oh well...what's another few years in the wilderness?

update: I don't really feel like reading any of the post-election mop-up in the papers or blogs yet. I haven't been watching the telly news either because I know it'll all just be John Howard beaming jubilantly and no doubt boasting about his enormous humility, etcetera etcetera etcetera.
As far as the people's choice goes, I don't really understand how Learner Latham is supposed to get a whole lot of experience governing from Opposition. Oh well. I can understand the "ain't broke-don't fix it" sentiment...just human nature. It figures.
Anyway, I thought I'd try and avoid mentioning Howard on my blog from now on. God knows I've devoted enough space to the man. As usual if you want election analysis there's far better places to look for it in the Ozblogosphere. And there's loads of other stuff to write about. Of course I often promise to stop blogging about something only to find myself crapping on about it again in the next breath.
However, I'm quite distracted at the moment. I keep thinking about this idea for a story I had the other day. It works its way around my subconscious like the red-bellied black snake my cat dragged up onto the deck last night. (He ate it, too. I thought red-bellies were poisonous to everything except rabbits, but I guess not. My mother had warned me he would catch snakes and I always said as if. It's funny because just the other day my sister and I were conceding that our mother was right about alot of things after all. My father, on the other hand, I still think is wrong about just about everything. Dad, that's a joke. And stop reading my blog!)
So anyway, I thought while I try and write this fiction idea up that I might sort of occasionally blog about the process. To me the process is almost like a parallel story in itself.
Readers are also welcome to tell me (anon. is ok) if there's certain kinds of posts they like to read around here and if others bore them rigid. Be good to get some feedback.

Friday, October 08, 2004

it's your choice

It really gets to me when John Howard starts going on about "choice", like he did in his closing statement:

"There is a very strong philosophical difference that has opened up and it surrounds really the question of the Coalition’s commitment to choice against what I would describe as a preferred model of behaviour that would be rewarded and alternatives punished under a future Labor government led by Mr Latham. There is just a touch of the social engineer about all of this. There is a suggestion that if you behave in a particular fashion you will be rewarded. There is just a whiff of the behavioural policeman about my opponent in this election campaign."

Yeah, right. He can talk about whiff. He doesn't get it. Some people ain't got no choice, and probably never will. There isn't a level playing field, in case he hadn't noticed. All well and good if you can "choose" to (read: afford to) send your kid to a better school, but if you're just managing financially, as are many Australians, or you're struggling, you'd better hope you've got good public education available. Otherwise your kids are just going to perpetuate the cycle of poverty.
Howard gets uptight about Kings School again, pointing out how they only get about two grand a year per student from the public purse. Well, in my opinion that's still two grand too much for such a rich school. They don't need it, for pete's sake. Gimme a break about all this sense of entitlement they enjoy and so on. They don't need it. Full stop. It's not about envy, it's about realism. It's just bad economic management to throw good money where it's not needed.
When you read the transcript, seems Howard wants the Australian public to exercise choice on just about everything except something trivial like, say, going to war and getting the nation all muddled up in Mid-East politics that the Rodent and his half-assed menagerie don't fully understand.
No, it's not about "choice". Nor is it about "the philosophy of free will" as the Herald's sub put it in the headline of the edited version of the transcript. (Though, in fairness, it's Howard who talks about "the philosophical divide".) The philosophy of free will, huh? When was it ever about that? Non-Liberal voting Australians can still believe in free will, surely.


Listening to John Howard again last night smugly repeating that line that he and his ilk obviously believe to be an absolute, unassailable trump card, that "Saddam Hussein...would still be running Iraq" if it weren't for him, it struck me that even this statement itself is debatable. I mean, how can Howard & Co. be so sure that Saddam would still be in power if we hadn't invaded Iraq? There are other possible outcomes. Why should we trust Howard's "strength of conviction" on this issue any more than we should trust it on the myriad other "convictions" he's had that have turned out to be completely wrong? Even if he doesn't lie, which nobody believes, he still gets it wrong an awful lot, more than we should tolerate from a prime minister. The world is in "safer hands", my ass.
And listen to how Downer spins the WMD issue:

"History shows that we were absolutely right to get rid of somebody who used chemicals against his own people and his neighbours and who, once the UN sanctions were lifted, was going to reconstitute his weapons of mass destruction programs". (my emphasis)

"Was going to". This he knows. He didn't know it then, mind, or he would've told us. Then, he thought Saddam was ready to attack us with chemical and biological weapons any minute now. He was sure about that.
But don't quibble. History will judge them. They're visionary guys.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

the last days of chez rodent?

Coupla random things...watching telly the other night the news segment about Iraq had a banner that said "US offensive" and I had to think wryly, yeah, it is a bit...the news segment about the election spent five seconds lovingly lingering across the naked bellies of two young girls in low-rise jeans, justified I guess because the segment mentioned students in passing. This is on the same night they're announcing the huge child porn raids...Amongst all the lame election ads there's a very good ad running for the Red Cross. The ad simply introduces all the crew of the ad. I was watching it thinking, oh clever, how self-referential, how postmodern, etc but then I started wondering what the ad was actually for. In the final scene there's a crew member lying there with a needle in his arm and now you're thinking what? And then it explains how every person who worked on the ad donated blood, and it ends with a shot of the voice-over man asking you to donate blood. Something like that. Anyway, it's a good ad, which is rare these days...I think the Labor ad team missed a great opportunity to present Howard as the rat and Latham as the pest controller. You could've had Latho going into Kirribilli House and blasting a scurrying little Howard out the door. Heh heh....I was thinking Medicare Gold is really a great idea. Just the message it sends our older citizens: we'll look after you no matter what, full stop. It's about respect. It says, this is how we value our older citizens in this society. But will it be enough to get Latham over the line?...Maybe not. Here's a vox pop. I was chatting to a young married mother (hubby unemployed, on pensions) about the election and she said, "Labor's gonna take away the family lump sum payment and instead give you four bucks a week. They are telling parents they don't trust them. Now which would you rather have, $600 now or $4 a week for the year?" And this is the sole factor that is making her vote Liberal. That's a worry.

the lying king

I was thinking one of the reasons the Howard-lying thing doesn't seem to have cut through in this election campaign is because we're a nation of liars, as a recent study showed (again, sorry I can't find the link--a blogger sin, I know). We don't think lying is such a big deal, and we think it goes with the territory of politics anyway.
I should point out the following is a bit long-winded in case you're in a hurry. I was thinking about how we lie daily for social reasons. I was thinking about it in relation to one set of neighbors in particular, with whom things have become quite frosty lately.
The other day, just after I'd put Harley down for a morning nap, the neighbor started sweeping his drive which is right next to the baby's bedroom. Harley can sleep through pretty much any loud noise except very sudden, raspy, nails-down-a-blackboard kinds of sounds. So it was keeping him from sleeping, and eventually I went outside and approached my neighbor.
At that moment a middle-aged woman had to walk by with her dog and she paused to greet my neighbor. They left me standing there in half my pyjamas, sunglasses, a straw cowboy hat and purple rubber gloves (I was in the middle of cleaning), while they exchanged pleasantries for a couple of minutes. She finally moved on, smiling a vaguely condescending smile at me as she passed (though that's probably just paranoia), and I finally asked my neighbor if he wouldn't mind sweeping later as the baby was trying to sleep.
There was a pause so protracted I felt like saying "what?", and my neighbor stood leaning on his broom with a look on his face as if I'd asked him for a loan or perhaps to donate a kidney, before he finally said "O-kay", in exactly the same tone a teenager uses to say "whatever". I think he would've liked to have said "whatever" but I probably would've started laughing if he did.
I went inside and thought how social psychology favored me in this situation, because even though he really wanted to say, "You want ME to be quiet, when you won't even do quilting with my wife and you haven't been around to ask her to tea and show her the baby in months and you keep to yourself and huh, don't think we don't see the kind of folk you entertain--", even though these resentments were written all over his face, all he was allowed to do was politely acquiesce. Anything else would have caused awkwardness, socially speaking.
Unfortunately, social psychology also meant that five minutes later, my neighbor got his revenge: he simply started doing something in his garage that evidently required a lot of banging and crashing.
Oh well, I thought. If the baby cries, you have to listen to it too, pal...though actually Harley rarely cries, he just grizzles away, and he was so tired he managed to fall asleep oblivious to all the petty drama going on.
Later I sat outside with my houseguests and said in a voice loud enough to carry over to my neighbors, who were sitting on their deck having tea, resolutely not looking in our direction, "for me this place isn't even isolated enough." I said I would most love to be on a bush block with no neighbors for miles. Somewhere I could walk around in a bikini and gumboots and play music as loud as I like outside and not have the neighbors poking their head over my fence all the time to see what I'm up to. One day, hopefully.

long weekend

Having houseguests is great, except when they don't pull their weight. I was amazed that I ended up cooking dinner for my guests, after they'd seen me slaving away all day in front of them, cleaning floors, chasing the baby, organising the baby's feeds, feeding and changing and bathing the baby, taking laundry off and on the line and putting loads of laundry on, taking him out for an early spin, getting the Sunday papers, organising the guest room and tiptoeing around at night trying not to wake everyone when the baby woke.
So there I stood as they occasionally drifted in to chop a vegie before repairing to the living room again where one buried her nose in New Idea and the other in Dickens's The Old Curiousity Shop, and they drank wine and called out further instructions.
But we had a lot of fun while they were here, and they took the baby off my hands a couple of times, which is always a well-needed break. They came bearing gifts, too, including the wine. Babies get totally spoilt, don't they? Among other things Harley now has his first pair of hibiscus print boardies, little surfer-boy-to-be that he is. We took some photos at the lake so maybe I'll get to post a nice one on the blog. One guest was the baby's city-dwelling single auntie who fascinates him because she sounds exactly the same as me, so he gets his mummy in stereo; and my sister's friend, a journalist.
We took the baby and my sister's friend around to see our parents. We all sat in a circle in the grass and tried to eat poppyseed cake with homemade marmalade while thirty chickens and a baby tried to break through all the barricades. My mother, holding a white chicken on her lap, said proudly to my sister's friend, "This one is a genuine Leghorn. You know Leghorns? L-E-G horn?" My sister and I laughed as my parents regaled my sister's friend with chicken stories. A couple of chickens mated in front of us as we ate. Have they no shame? I observed how my parents are more interested in their chickens than their grandchild. But my sister's friend just smiled and listened.
Later, on the phone to my other sister, the one who has kids, I said I don't really mind about them relaxing and not helping with housework because after all they've been working and needed a holiday, and anyway, until you have kids yourself, you just don't understand what it's like. I didn't understand when she first had Raphy, my first nephew. I didn't have a clue. I didn't know it was a 24-hour job where you sometimes are on your feet literally all day.
I said at least our sister makes such an effort to see her nephews. My sister snorted and said, "Yeah, but when she rocks up in high heels you kind of know she's not really there to play with the baby."
Ah, well, Harley will just have to have one fabulous glamorous city auntie who sweeps in with presents and interesting companions and sweeps out again.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

cardinal sin

Back to the election....
Blogger was down for a few days so I know this is very old news now, but I've still caught myself wondering what sins Tony Abbott had such a burning need to confess to Cardinal Pell the other day.
As a newspaper reader wrote (sorry, can't find the link), they must have been grave sins indeed for him to have to consult the Cardinal rather than his local parish priests.
So I wonder...was he coveting his neighbor's wife? Daydreaming about sticking a dagger in the PM's back? Did he come home after the Tony Jones interview, get pissed, shout at his wife and kick the cat? Hmmmm...

Saturday, October 02, 2004

dream time

It's been raining--no, flooding--here for the past few days so we're stuck inside again today and I can't go get the Saturday papers. Oh well, that's OK I guess, one less thing on the "to do" list. At least the internet's working today. It's been a bit iffy lately because of all the storms.
So, a week to go til the elections, though Murdoch's still claiming it's "65 days to go", which I just don't understand. I've been wondering lately how the flavor of the blogosphere will change after the election. If Howard gets in again, I think it may just break the heart of this Lefty blogger. After all, it will mean the Australian people are happy to let their Prime Minister practically get away with murder. It will feel like, god, what do you have to DO in this country to get kicked out of Government? I mean, for the past few years we bloggers have been chronicling deceit after deceit after deceit by our Prime Minister. Surely, surely Australia won't put up with it. Surely.
Curiously, I had a dream last night that Latham absolutely caned Howard. Yes, I really did dream about it. Sad eh? Was most disappointed to realise I'd only imagined the whole thing.

kidding myself

Before I had my baby I was a bit worried about how I would go with babytalk, since I've never had much to do with babies before. I thought I'd feel kind of silly. But it's amazing how instinctive it is--it seems you just know how to talk to your baby. You automatically simplify everything: "give Mama" and "Mama give", "Harley hold bottle", "Harley want yumyums?", "Harley go sleepies", "Harley go poosies?", "Harley clever!" and so on. You echo with exaggerated astonishment every sound your baby makes. It seems when he's tired or grizzly his entire 'vocabulary' gets a run. What is really just a long stretch of meaningless sounds gets cut into little chunks that he thinks are words, and he copies my intonations and emphases. "Agaa agoo arra arreee, alla alloooo alleeee, abaa aboof agoof agooooo!" he complains. (The way he so beautifully rolls his "r"s is surely due to his Italian blood...) And the two of you talk this way and somehow understand each other perfectly. It's gorgeous.
In other Harley news, he now has his first two bottom teeth, is eating pretty much whatever I eat (blander versions, of course), and is exclusively sleeping in his cot. Woo-hoo! I am quite proud of this achievement, since I wagged sleep school--I was supposed to go in September but sort of baulked at the idea of giving Harley such an early taste of being institutionalised (kidding). Actually I just couldn't face the idea of five days of crying and screaming. I figured the time would come when he was ready and it did.
So I've got my bed all to myself again. I guess I'll have to find someone else to share it with.

Friday, October 01, 2004

judgment day

As John Howard and George Bush like to say, history will judge them.