This one’s for you!

I was listening to a podcast by Wil Anderson the other day in which he was chatting to Charlie Pickering. Anderson starts the conversation with a rather direct and tricky question.

“Who are you? “ he asks.

Charlie replies very hesitantly with lots of pauses and ums and ahs “I’m Charlie Pickering, I’m a comedian from Australia. How about that is that a good start.” And then immediately he adds “Did you sit there quiet just seeing how uncomfortable I got and what other things I kept added … I’m a dog lover, I ride bikes, I think Picasso’s good and I really like the Doobie brothers.”

It’s the question that Anderson asks because he likes to see what people will say. He says most people on the show tend to qualify themselves by their career or by their profession but he admits that clearly not the whole world defines themselves by what they do.

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I’ve never been attracted to blonde men…

It is a truism I have learned through my time writing online that if you write angry you get angry back in return. If you write with empathy you usually get understanding. Being that I am not very good at dealing with anger directed my way, I have always tried to veer away from writing heatedly, not to reduce my passion (because why would I write if I had no passion) but not to be too closed so that I can’t hear another point of view and not to be too irate so that others can’t hear what I am trying to say.

Often it seems, I fail.
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I am reminded of this every day but there seems little I can do

“The voices that he hears are processed in the same part of the brain that processes the sounds you hear” said the man from the Schizophrenia Fellowship to me on the phone. “They are as real to him as my voice is to you”.

I knew this already but somehow hearing it from this kind man makes me remember it, resets my empathy. Again.
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Dear GOMI

anger

It’s a weird thing when you hear people have been talking about you behind your back and you’re 46 and not at school anymore. It’s even weirder when you get to see what they’re saying about you because its been written online.

You see just the other day I found myself on GOMI (Get Off My Internets) which is a forum where people go to rant/vent/discuss/critique blogs. It can be quite a vicious and bitchy place mainly because the people who contribute to the forums only seem to read said blogs to hate on them. Personally I don’t get that part of it, I mean why would you continually read something that you really angers and irritates you? As the saying goes, “anger is just sad’s bodyguard”, I’ve learned not to read stuff that makes me angry because invariably that makes me sad. But that’s a post for another day. [Read more…]

Answering those annoying Frequently Asked Questions

 

Arianna Simon is a rather brilliant 17-year-old from New York who recently created a brilliant solution for navigating tricky family events. Given that Arianna is still a teenager and teens, as I am finding, think that any kind of small talk is lame, she came up with a solution to answering all the regular questions asked of her. As she tells The Huffington Post “I was talking to my mom about how much I hate answering the same five questions over and over during the holidays, so she hinted that I just make a handout for my family. She was beyond shocked when I actually followed through with her idea.”

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The grinch who thinks your new year resolutions need to change

new year new me

I hold grave concern for my cheerful nature and sunny disposition. In fact I think I’ve turned into a grinch. A Christmas grinch if you will, because even when I am being a grumpy old nitpicker I like to keep it seasonal.

It started in the lead up to Christmas where I was in danger of becoming evangelical in my zeal about letting the world know that not everyone celebrates Christmas. I was spreading the word of Judaism faster than you can throw tinsel around a tree – not pushing the religion at all, that would be odd given I have not a religious bone in my body, but gently trying to explain that not everyone celebrates Christmas, not because they’re odd or trying to be different – simply because it’s not part of their culture or belief system. It would be like me celebrating Diwali or the entire Western world celebrating my birthday.
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It’s been such a hideous week, let’s turn it around

It feels almost redundant to start this post telling you what an awful week it’s been. There isn’t a person who hasn’t felt it – from the siege in Sydney to the terror in Peshawar and the absolute tragedy of eight children murdered in Cairns, it’s been hideous. Horrifying. Scary even.

I tried to stay in bed but that didn’t work. The world moves on. Staying under the covers doesn’t make anything better for anyone else..

We can’t pretend this stuff isn’t happening – bad things happen when good people do nothing. So yes, we need to be aware – we need to put an end to violence in any way we can, we need to respect the people whose lives are lost in senseless violence and heinous acts of terror. We need to make a difference in any way we can – if through making our voices heard, through donating time or money, if by showing solidarity or putting pressure on government to make humanity part of its manifesto. We need to talk openly about domestic violence and mental health. We need to talk about poverty and terrorism and the disenfranchised and the angry. We need to try and make a difference.

But right now we also need to look at the good. We need to remember that there are more good people then there are bad, we need to focus on the flowers in Martin Place and the #i’llridewithyou hashtag. We need to remember the helpers, the good people, the people that care.

look for the helpers

And if it’s hard to find it in the news right now we need to look at the good stuff that’s happening in our own lives. And I’m going to do just that by looking at all the good things that happened to me this week

    • I went to two beautiful Bar Mitzvahs both with magnificent outlooks

One at the Museum of Contemporary Art

museum of contemporary art

And one at Bronte Beach

bronte beach

How amazingly lucky am I to live in this city? And to live in a home where even my dog can’t resist the view

henry and the view

 

  • My nephew did amazingly well in his HSC. Not that I am surprised. He is as smart as he is as all round amazing. Any profession that gets him would benefit from his calm, beautiful and compassionate presence.
  • My niece got a new job and she’s going to excel at it. They too are lucky to have her. My sister makes very special children.
  • I received the most beautiful message from one of my eldest friends, one who has seen me at my worst and who still loves me even though she knows all my bad bits. Thanks Gab. Thank you so much.
  • It’s school holidays.
  • I found a meme that sums me up perfectly

hellfury

  • I went to the doctor and even though I have a chest infection, a fever and feel all round yugh, he told me to stay in bed. So I DO get to stay in bed but it’s under doctor’s orders. I love my bed and even though it does no good to anybody else there is no place I would rather be right now – so I’m viewing it as a good thing.

What good things happened to you this week?

Be kind, even to those who you deem fit to judge

be kind

We were in Williams Sonoma surrounded by $350 saucepans and $500 Kitchen Aid contraptions. The environment could best be described as genteel, the dulcet tones of Christmas carols being crooned over the loudspeakers, the smell of freshly baked food in the demonstration kitchen fused with the smell of expensive sprayed scents wafting through the store.  You could be forgiven for thinking that all over the world families were happily looking forward to sitting at sumptuous Christmas banquets together with linen tablecloths and silver soup tureens.

But right outside the door in the heat of the day where the air conditioning doesn’t cool the streets and the Christmas carols don’t fill the air were a couple of teenagers. Teeth chipped, hair unwashed, skin dehydrated and filthy, wearing hoodies and tracksuit pants despite the 35 degree temperatures. “Off their faces” would be the colloquial way to describe them. Sad, confused, brain-addled, desperate would be just as fitting.
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Oh dear retail sector – the signs are all just wrong

I have solved Australia’s retail issues – okay I haven’t actually solved them but I have been able to pinpoint them which is very excellent news for everyone I am sure. Who needs economists and analysts when you have a woman with a credit card and a mobile phone with camera?

Sadly I am pointing my finger straight at the doors of the big department stores, and today at Myer in particular because that is where me and my camera were feeling duped yesterday.

The Sale

Like most shoppers I love a bargain, so obviously I was drawn straight to a jacket that had such a HUGE reduction

sale price

Seriously. Could you resist?

The Fitting Room

This little note appears in the change room (which coincidentally has the most unflattering or realistic) mirrors in the world.

fitting room

I really wanted to leave a note saying “Thank you for not employing any staff to help me” but I didn’t want to be too passive aggressive (so I wrote a blog post instead – I know, I know).

The catalogue

Look I don’t know about you but I am not captivated by the catalogue contents myself

catalogue

 

I did not take a photo of the many empty cashier desks or the vast empty spaces where customers and employees should have been because, as you can see I am a very bad photographer. As it turns out I also feel quite peculiar taking photos of shops.

I just wonder how people in business are scratching their heads about the state of retail when retailers are treating their customers like this.

Are you a department store shopper?

 

Random thoughts from my very full head

brain-dump-to-do-list

In case you’ve been wondering where I’ve been lately, I’ll let you know that I have been at work. Well I’ve actually been at home but I have been working so I’ve been a really slack blogger.

I’ve been writing so many posts for Kidspot that I am almost out of words. Almost.  I’ve actually got a lot to say but I am full of thoughts that aren’t forming themselves into posts – so I’m just going to throw them at you

  • I, like everybody else, have been gutted by the events of this world over the last few weeks. Unlike everybody else I am very immature in the way I deal with these things. It has not been fun to be my husband
  • My house is still being renovated and I am still the worst project manager in the world. I have decided not to complain relentlessly about the building process because people all over the world are dying
  • I still hate our government and I wish Tony Abbott could see the tragedy of having to flee your own country and seek asylum as clearly as he can see the tragedy of a plane being shot out of the sky
  • I have lost a considerable amount of Facebook friends over the Israel/Gaza fighting. Nothing compared to the death of innocent people
  • I am tired of explaining to people that being Jewish does not necessarily mean you are Israeli or even that you agree with everything that the Israeli government do. Not even everyone in the Israeli government agrees with what they are doing
  • I am completely  horrified by the judgment being piled on Peaches Geldof most especially by anonymous writers whose anonymity I think I may just see through. I wrote about that more fully on Kidspot today – you can check it out here
  • I am equally annoyed by self righteous people all over the internet and by adults who behave like school girls
  • I still have unresolved school girl issues
  • I have huge issues with the images that the TV news is showing us. I have lots of words to say about that – I am going to write them for Kidspot tomorrow
  • The skin on my feet is so rough I am starting to look like an elephant.
  • I have discovered that the key to eating well is being organised. While I am fairly well organised in every other facet of my life I can’t nut this one down. Must be some deep rooted issue
  • My friend challenged me to write a gratitude journal for five nights and I forgot after two although I remain grateful for lots of things
  • My fringe is in that in between stage. Between awful and horrific
  • I have developed an unnatural obsession for eating oranges
  • Since I joined the gym I have been sick. Like proper sick with a chest infection, fevers and laryngitis which I didn’t complain about because it seemed a little selfish given the state of the world
  • I have a friend who is undergoing treatment for breast cancer and I wish I could publish her texts and emails because not only is she a brilliant and witty writer, but she’s so brave and amazing and her attitude so bloody down to earth and unexpected and inspiring, I want the world to hear her voice. I will nag her more rigorously after she’s completed chemo because I’m sensitive like that
  • I’m loving working at Kidspot. A more supportive, funny and amazing group of women you’d be hard pressed to find. They’re bringing back the joy of working for me. No agenda. No nasty. No schoolgirl shit . Just a bunch of incredible people working together

And those are my thoughts for this minute.

How about you ?