My son turned one today. Man, I think that's the best sentence I've ever written. I've spent a lot of time trying to think of how I can possibly explain how he makes me feel and I can't get it into words. All I can think of is that cheesy Leo Sayer song--you know the one--Oh, oh, yeah, yeah...I love you more than I can say...I'll love you twice as much...tomorrow! Oh, oh. Love you more than I can say. Still, that says it all really. Happy birthday, love o'my life.
Friday, February 25, 2005
Wednesday, February 23, 2005
Naturally, being a single mum, I have a vested interest in the debate about the Howard Government's welfare 'reforms' which are supposedly going to force all single parents back to work once their child is five years old.
It's not that I think five years is such an unreasonable timeframe. Me, I always imagine I'll be working by the time Harley is about three or so, but definitely by five. I mean, welfare is such a crappily paid job. That's certainly the biggest incentive to get a job again as soon as you can.
And obviously I'm not alone in thinking this way: 71 per cent of sole parents move off income support after five years.
Well, if they do it voluntarily then why act as if they need to be whipped into doing so? It just perpetuates the stigma that welfare recipients are lazy bludgers who need to be forced into work. So I disagree with the arbitrariness of the Howard deadline. And I find it kind of mean-spirited.
If Howard really wants to encourage single parents to work then create the optimal conditions for it. Why doesn't he start with reforming the childcare sector? That would be far more productive for everybody.
Who thinks this was just another publicity stunt by a shamelessly narcissistic exhibitionist?
Hey! looks wounded No...not me 'quitting' blogging! I'm talking about Paris Hilton posting her own mobile phone records and photos on the internet. Well, I reckon she would.
As for me, I feel pretty sheepish. But it was an interesting experience actually, trying to leave. Quite revealing on several fronts. Bit like Paris.
So you'll have to put up with this blog having a decidedly pinkish tinge around the cheeks for the next little while.
Moving right along then!
posted by Gianna at 11:32 AM
Friday, February 18, 2005
Thursday, February 10, 2005
It's been a wild ride these past two years, but it looks like I've reached the end of the road. Yeah, I know I change my mind all the time about continuing to blog--didn't I just say the other day how inspired I was again?--but this time it feels final. Not entirely sure what's changed or why. Where did all that unchecked enthusiasm go? I guess I had an epiphany of sorts last night and I realised that it's time to try and focus on other things for a while. I'll write down my passwords and keep them in a safe place just in case I feel the urge to blog again in the future, but for now, it just feels over. Anyway, I've enjoyed the interaction with you all and I'm sure sometimes it's kept me sane (though at other times, like lately, has driven me completely bonkers) during this first chaotic year of Harley's life.
So, best of luck to all. I'll still check in on everyone else's blogs when I can. Meanwhile, thanks again for all the good vibes over the years. It meant a lot to me.
posted by Gianna at 6:15 AM
Wednesday, February 09, 2005
Just saw a skin-cream ad which has gotta be a contender for the Worst Ad of the Year Award. An elegant woman stands at a window and throws a boomerang out as the voiceover says, "Your skin is like a boomerang. Just when you think you've got rid of your wrinkles, they come back."
Sure, that really makes sense. Wrinkles do come and go awfully like boomerangs, don't they? And boomerangs can be stopped if you hurl enough pots of skin cream at them, can't they?
They must think we are complete fools.
Saturday, February 05, 2005
and there's a million bluebottles at two of our three beaches. Been blowing an easterly, apparently. So not much time in the ocean for us lately. But yesterday we got to meet some pelicans up close. They were hanging around a man who was gutting fish on the rocks. We stood about a metre away and watched as the pelicans fought by biting each other's beaks. Looked pretty painful. I never realised pelicans' legs were so blue. It's such an artificial color, it looks as if they're wearing rubber boots or washing-up gloves.
"Arrrk, aark," they complained. Harley was transfixed.
God, I love it up here......as I think I've mentioned once or twice before.......
Yeah, people should be allowed to express their opinion. But I'm sorry, I'm just not going to buy into any debate with them, when the simple fact is that they want to take away some of our fundamental human rights as women. So unless they can explain to me how they can get around that little problem, they can just leave us alone. Mind you, I admire Zoe for being really feisty about it. I still think it's a case of, "The judges' decision is final. No correspondence will be entered into".
2011 AD. Early evening. A kitchen/living room.
Mummy, what were these gingerbread men doing?
What gingerbread men honey
On February two, two-thousand-oh-five. On your blog.
Geez, Harley, what are you doing reading that silly old thing again? Shouldn't you be doing your homework? Lemme see. [aside] Oh, bugger...didn't I take that post down again? There I was going on about how I wanted him to read this blog later and next thing I do, I post a picture of a pornographic biscuit.
So what were they doing? Because it kind of looks like [cranes neck] she's eating an icypole out of his lap?
Hmm...I see what you mean. It sort of does look a bit like that. But what actually happened is that she accidentally got her necklace caught in his zipper when she was reaching down to get something out of her bag.
Oh, right. Did they get untangled again?
I hope so...
Thursday, February 03, 2005
Cooking really isn't my thing. I only ever seem to cook about five things, most of them involving tinned tomatoes. Yeah, I know. I'm not gonna make anyone much of a wife one day....But that's OK, because I plan on hooking up with a bloke who can cook (or alternatively, who is happy to eat Thai takeaway every night*). Unfortunately, Anthony of spiceblog fame is not available. I suppose it's a bit odd since I'm not much of a cook--but I'm an enthusiastic reader of recipes and foodie blogs. Cooking vicariously, it must be.
Well, Anthony's taking part in a new tsunami relief fund-raising drive and his Lamington is the Second Dessert on the "Menu for Hope". Yummo! Baking, as opposed to cooking, I actually quite enjoy. I have a shocking sweet tooth (which the baby has apparently inherited) and now I'm absolutely lusting after lamingtons.
Anyway, nice idea guys and I hope it goes well.
(*Not that there's any Thai restaurants within 50kms of our place. Someone's really gotta do something about that. A good Thai restaurant and an open-air cinema, and this neck of the woods would be just about perfect....)
Wednesday, February 02, 2005
One of my favourite Australian bloggers, Meredith from invisible shoebox, informs us she is on a "blog panel" at the St Kilda Writer's Festival 2005. I think she must be referring to this bit in the programme:
Digital Narratives and Interactive Dialogues: New media practioners discuss the process of writing & producing interactive projects.
So there you go. Bloggers are storming the writer's festivals at last.
posted by Gianna at 1:02 PM
The other day I told my mum how I'd recently made friends with a nice guy who runs the local surf school. He lives above the local general store and I've gotten to know him a bit over the months. He offered to give me lifts if I need to get around, since I don't have a car, and I told my mother I was planning on taking him up on the offer so I can get to playgroup, which isn't on the bus route.
Big mistake. She's obviously been stewing about this ever since I mentioned it. First thing this morning, the day playgroup starts up again, she calls me.
"Gianna, I've been thinking. Why can't you find a nice mother to give you a lift instead?"
"Because you can't just use a man for a lift like that!"
"He offered! What, so I can "use" another mother but not a guy?"
"Gianna, get real. He is going to expect something in return."
"For god's sake, he's just being nice! And even if he is being sleazy, I'm 34, remember? I think I can fend off any unwanted advances."
"I'm telling you, you'd better watch out. You're going to get a reputation."
I burst out laughing.
"A reputation! Mum, this is not some Italian village in the 40s."
"Listen, what does he even know about kids, huh?"
"He's only driving me five minutes up the road! And besides, his brother has twin babies. So he does have experience with kids. I mean, what is your problem? Just because he's got a dick, I shouldn't get in a car with him?"
"Gianna, now you listen to me. You go away and think about this, okay?"
Earth to my mother. It's 2005. Women can be friends with men.
I always thought that card game you play by yourself was called "Patience" but it turns out it's also called "Solitaire". Discovered this the other day while watching one of those "Hitler's women"-type docos. Frau Goebbels was described by witnesses as having gone upstairs and poisoned her six children, then come back down, sat at a table and calmly started playing a game of Solitaire. Unbelievable, huh. Anyway, you learn a new thing every day...
posted by Gianna at 8:54 AM
Tuesday, February 01, 2005
This is great. Just when I felt like I was going to pull the plug on my blog--any day now, have said everything I could possibly say, bored of the sound of my own voice, bored of talking about myself, bored of myself full stop--I read this essay about motherhood and blogging, and clicked through to some of the linked bloggers, and then read this NYT story on parents who blog (sub required). And I started remembering why I used to love blogging so much, and my god, I feel inspired again. Just like that. Man, I love bloggers, blogs and blogging!
And this in the NYT story caught my eye:
But the question is, at who's expense? How will the bloggee feel, say, 16 years from now, when her prom date Googles her entire existence?
I was reminded of how my child's father (we are not together) recently argued that when I write about our child, it is exploitative and amounts to child abuse. But I wonder how anyone who has read anything I've written here can possibly think that. I like to think that one day, Harley will enjoy reading about me, us, our life now. I was about to write that, in fact, I wish my parents had had blogs about us kids, to go with the Super-8s and photo albums--but then I remembered that my father does actually have a blog now and it did give me the shits when he wrote about me! But the difference is that it was so negative about me that I had to stop reading it after a few days. He still blogs, and maybe he doesn't call me 'Her Nastiness' or 'Cyberbrat' anymore, but I don't like to risk raising my blood pressure by checking. On the other hand, I don't think Harley could ever find anything other than pure love and joy directed towards him on this blog.
Still, I must admit I like my old stuff better than my new stuff. I prefer the stuff I wrote back when I was a starry-eyed, bushy-tailed little newbie blogger, barely aware of having more than two or three readers, and as a result, I think, much less self-conscious. These days I feel a bit overhyped (and underpaid), and some of the original joy of blogging has been diluted by the knowledge that there are always going to be people from my real life (ex-lovers, fathers, judges) who are not reading me for the fun of it but who have other motives. But, well, stuff 'em. The show must go on...........
So our soldiers are alert, but not armed:
The Australian Army has overstated its capabilities and cannot provide enough bullets or shells to train its soldiers, according to a report by the Commonwealth auditor-general.
Responding to the criticism today, Prime Minister John Howardsfeld said, "Well, as you know, you go to war with the Army you have, not the Army you want to have."