Slothful.

Funny Pictures

It's 11pm.

ON A SCHOOL NIGHT.

Meaning I am up way past my usual teacher bedtime of 9pm. (Am a granny.)

Why is this important? Just means that everybody needs to ooh and aah over the cute wee sloth, and pretend that this is actually a real post. With written words and everything.

Give it a shot. You can do it.

A River in Egypt.

There are some days when the only thing you want to do is get away from it all.

In October I pushed myself too far with my jogging and ended up straining my shins and ankles, so I cut right back. It's incredible how only a few weeks off the exercise bandwagon can make such a huge difference in your fitness: getting back into my routine has not been easy. And my efforts haven't been anywhere near as successful as they were a few months ago. Suffice it to say I've been feeling a bit down on myself, especially as some of the kilos have started creeping back on me, and I've been feeling less than psyched about myself.

It seemed that my usual 'treadmill after work' timeslot wasn't working for me anymore, so I switched to setting my alarm earlier and attempting to do some walking before my morning shower. Sadly, that didn't work either; I'd wake up, turn off the alarm, and go back to sleep. So I'm not a morning person, I'm not an afternoon person, what's a girl to do? Come home in my 20 minute lunchbreak? Everything got completely out of whack.

Feeling like I've let myself down is the worst feeling. I had built up this idea in my head that by the time I moved to England, I would be fit and healthy and well, trim. Even after the hard work I've put in over the past few months, I'm still not that person. I don't know if I'll ever be that person. And I have this horrible feeling that my being the same old shape, the same old person, is going to let other people down too.

I don't know. I'm thinking too much today, about a whole stack of things that have been going on here at home and in my mind. This afternoon, I spent a little bit of time downloading some new tunes onto my Ipod. I changed into my work out clothes. I headed downstairs. I sat on the lounge and stared at the treadmill for a fairly long time, wishing that just being in the same room as exercise equipment could burn off the calories.

Eventually I stepped up and got on with it. Ninety minutes and ten kilometres later, I got off. Sweating like a pig. Uncomfortably chafed under the armpits. Wobbly in the legs. Happy. Proud. Feeling good. This is why I need to deal with my issues. This is why I need to just get on the damn treadmill and walk away the stress. Now comes the trickier part: convincing myself that it's not a chore, making sure that I'm doing this for the right reasons, and not being so damned hard on myself all of the time. I have a long way to go.

When things have you worried, how do you get away from it from it all?

Interview With a LaLa.

(The title doesn't have quite the same ring as "vampire" does, but it'll do!)

Today's random chatter comes from two lovely ladies who I stalk via my feed reader: LaLa @ Julaberry, and Lacey @ Perks of Being a JAP. The first part are tell-all interview questions which I'll take a shot at answering, and the second is one of those musical memes that I've been eyeballing this week and finally decided to do. Three memes in two days? I know. I know. Do you think you can still love me, even after this treachery? I promise to give you a real post.. tomorrow, if all goes well.

1. If you were in a beauty pageant what would your talent be and how would you demonstrate it? First of all, there is no way in hell I would ever be in a beauty pageant - because this is one Aussie who you definitely do not want to see in swimmers. Trust me on that one. Sadly though, I don't really have a talent. I'd like to say I could sing or twirl a baton or walk on my hands or something, but I'll stick to the facts; am talentless. I suppose that getting a class of seven year olds to settle down and get to work would be called a talent by some people? (Never seen screaming children at a beauty pageant before, though.)

2. In your wild “yoof” (or perhaps even now) did you have a pulling outfit and what did it consist of? Oh ha, a pulling outfit. Too funny! Considering I've never actually succeeding in "pulling" anyone, I'm going to assume that my outfits suck. I always thought that nice jeans and a pretty top were a good go-to, but at the moment? I don't own a single nice dressy top that I adore. It's a wee bit sad.

3. If you were a piece of furniture, what would you be and why? I would be a bed. Everyone needs to get into bed. Everyone loves to get into bed. And you could dress me in pretty, pretty patterns. Sounds like a plan.

4. If you won 10 million dollars (or pounds) in the Lotto, what would be the first five things you would do with your money? Well, I'd be hoping it were 10 million pounds, as that would be about 25 million Aussie dollars with the exchange rate.

1. I would help my parents pay off their house.
2. I would buy myself a house, and keep enough to live comfortably.
3. I would donate money to charities which I find important, especially animal ones.
4. I would take time off work and travel the world like a crazy person.
5. And then I would come home and make good investments with the rest.

5. Best drunk story? Is it sad that I don't really have a best drunk story? I didn't touch alcohol until I was 19 and on my first Contiki tour of Europe. I suppose the drunkest I've been would have been that first night I ever really drank, in Nice. I remember being in an Aussie pub and being nice to the bar-maid, who in turn brought us free shots. I remember exclaiming random statements like "How am I going to fit all of that into my mouth?". I remember stumbling up the stairs to the loo, giggling like an idiot and making people braid my hair because I was hot. And after that? I remember nothing. Not a thing. Earlier this year though, I was sent random pictures from an old Contiki mate: this is the photographic evidence of that fateful evening. (Luckily I had Jase to hold me upright & get me home.)

My skinny (back then) arse was camera shy whilst skulking home. Either that, or the person taking the photograph was also incredibly drunk. Possibly a combination.

drunk

That's enough incriminating evidence of my youthful drunkeness for one blog post, so let's move right along. You know how it goes: Put music on shuffle, answer the question, write the song name down NO MATTER WHAT, yada yada.

IF SOMEONE SAYS “IS THIS OKAY” YOU SAY?
Beautiful Lie - 30 Seconds to Mars (You lie! You lie!)

WHAT WOULD BEST DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONALITY?
Outside - Staind (That works. I'm on the outside, I'm looking in..)

WHAT DO YOU LIKE IN A GUY/GIRL?
Feeling This - Blink 182 (Phwoar. Let's not beat around the bush.)

HOW DO YOU FEEL TODAY?
Over My Head - The Fray (Reports. School. Home stuff. Moving. Argh.)

WHAT IS YOUR LIFE’S PURPOSE?
Songbird - Eva Cassidy (Really? I'm meant to be a singer?)

WHAT IS YOUR MOTTO?
Here is Gone - Goo Goo Dolls (Beautiful motto. I love it.)

WHAT DO YOUR FRIENDS THINK OF YOU?
New Deep - John Mayer (I've been called lots of things, deep not being one.)

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOUR PARENTS?
Everybody - Britney Spears (Will you still be my friend if like Britney?)

WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT VERY OFTEN?
Hold Me - Savage Garden (I miss me some cuddles.)

WHAT IS 2+2?
Colorblind - Counting Crows (2+2 is colorblind? Who knew?)

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOUR BEST FRIEND?
Omaha - Counting Crows (Maybe my best friend will move there one day.)

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE PERSON YOU LIKE?
So I Need You - 3 Doors Down (Eerie but true.)

WHAT IS YOUR LIFE STORY?
Do You Believe Me? - Juliana Theory (I promise I'm truthful.)

WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GROW UP?
Play With Fire - Hilary Duff (My lifelong ambition is out: I want to be a pyro.)

WHAT DO YOU THINK WHEN YOU SEE THE PERSON YOU LIKE?
When Morning Comes - Dishwalla (I wonder what they look like in the morning?)

WHAT DO YOUR PARENTS THINK OF YOU?
Run - Snow Patrol (This is sort of fitting, what with my move and all.)

WHAT WILL YOU DANCE TO AT YOUR WEDDING?
50 Candles - Boyz II Men (Wait, this is my sexy song. Should be after wedding!)

WHAT WILL THEY PLAY AT YOUR FUNERAL?
Get You In - Better than Ezra (Get me in.. the ground?)

WHAT IS YOUR HOBBY/INTEREST?
Friday - Craig David (Fridays always interest me. Relax day.)

WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST SECRET?
City Love - John Mayer (Meh. I do not love the city. I do not get out much.)

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOUR FRIENDS?
Silence - Sarah McLachlan/Delerium (Shuddup your face.)

WHAT SHOULD YOU POST THIS AS?
I Caught Fire - The Used (What is it with me and fire today....?)

Ha! I laugh in the face of NaBloPoMo! And also at the "Bra" sign behind J's head.

drunk2

When All Else Fails...

Seeing as though the only thoughts swirling around my head today are "RA RA RA 29 DAYS RA RA RA", "Mmm, chocolate" and "Look! Shiny!", I figure it's acceptable for me to admit defeat and post a meme for today's post. Besides you never know, you may just learn something new about me while you're here. Hoorah!

Four First Names of Crushes I Had


  1. Grant (I don't remember much of him, or hell, even what he looked like, but I do remember the crush. Ahem. It was kindergarten.)

  2. Peter (The primary school love of my life.)

  3. Jimmy (Also primary school. I was a crush whore.)

  4. Adrian (Ah, he was my next door neighbour and SO cute. Phwoar.)


Four Pieces of Clothing I Wish I Still Owned

  1. My Lee & Wrangler jeans. Who knew they'd end up cool?

  2. Silver sparkly Chuck Taylors. Why did I give them away.. why?

  3. Overalls. Long, daggy, denim overalls. Bless! I miss them!

  4. The slinky pink spaghetti strap dress I used to fit into.


Four Professions I Secretly Want to Try

  1. I want to write. (Not sure what yet, but I would love to do it.)

  2. Psychology/Counselling. (If I do one more year of uni, I am qualified.)

  3. Dogwasher. (Kirby is my hero.)

  4. Stay at home mum. (This one won't be happening for a while)


Four Musicians I’d Most Want to Go On a Date With


  1. Jason Wade from Lifehouse (And I hope he would sing to me.)

  2. John Mayer (As above)

  3. Johnny Rzeznik from the Goo Goo Dolls (I love the letter "J".)

  4. Isaac from the Fray (As above. I'm so original.)


Four Foods I’d Rather Throw Than Eat


  1. Any seafood (Fish included. Gross.)

  2. Raw tomatoes (Blech!)

  3. Strawberries (I have to be in the right mood to eat them.)

  4. Licorice (Hate, hate, hate.)


Four Things I Like to Sniff


  1. Cakes baking.

  2. Fragonard & Be Delicious perfumes.

  3. My dogs, after they've been washed.

  4. Jason. (One more month until I can sniff him again.. that sounds wrong.)


This one has been making it's way around the blogosphere, so feel free to nab it.

A Month on Aussie Soil.

The countdown is on, my friends.

There are exactly 30 days until Christmas.

If that alone wasn't terrifying enough, that means that there are exactly 30 days until I'm moving. Out of the country. To a foreign country. One that is cold.

It's pretty scary how fast these past few months have gone. It feels like I was only just saying goodbye to Jason at the airport, wondering how I was going to cope being on my own for months on end. And here I am, months later, counting down the days until I leave.

Only one more month! 30 days total. 20 school days. 4 weekends. Yipes.

I suppose it's only fitting to post something randomly English?

Saturday Randomness.

justin_hugs2

Stop, press: I've discovered a new time-waster on the internet.

[Gasp!]

I'm not going to say much about it, but instead will post a few images and give you the link, so that next time you have a few minutes to kill, you can visit at your leisure. The site is Left-Handed Toons. All of the cartoons featured on there have been drawn by people using their non-dominant hand - I love it. Think I should use this idea on my kidlets at school and see what they came up with. (I do wonder if this will be like my Threadless tees though, where nobody thinks they're amusing except for me. And some of you.) Ah, well. I think it's classic!

justin_beard

justin_kidneys

A Paragraph Full O' Thoughts.

I have so much school work to do in the next few weeks, it's not funny. Writing reports, tallying student absences, writing in student record cards, assessing the kidlets, filling in continuums of student achievement, my head! My room looks like a bomb has gone off, and I've barely gotten around to doing anything resembling either packing or organising. To be able to pay off my USA holiday & flights before I leave, I need to get my taxes organised and head to an accountant with my family. And if I see one more stinking advertisement about the federal election tomorrow, I may explode - and for the love of all things good, don't vote for Howard (or should I say Costello?) As for me, I have a hot date tonight; with my pj's, some packing crates & season eight of ER. Hoping you all have a wonderful Friday!

A Self Portrait: Kidlet Style.

When it's raining at school, the kidlets are kept inside for recess and lunch breaks - leaving them with little else to do than play games and act like lunatics draw. This morning, I was given a gift by one of my kidlets. Turns out that he had found some paper with a "Draw your teacher" box, followed the instructions and had created a sketch which he wanted me to have. Looking back, I should have been nervous, since it was about this time that he and his friends burst into fits of giggles.

This is why: [You'll need to click to enlarge, it'll take you to Flickr.]

Evil.

Apparently, I'm not 23. I'm really a scary looking seventy year old woman. Or a pointy nosed witch. With Harry Potter spectacles. (In my defense, my lasered eyeballs are glasses free and just fine. Those were my sunglasses perched on top of my head.)

My eyebrows appear rather terrifying, and despite what it looks like, I promise I wasn't smoking in my classroom. The man hands though, those are real. Can't argue with that. Bloody genetics.


Also note the bulging arm muscles, lopsided bosom and veiny neck. The growth on my elbow is a wee bit scary. Kid's got an eye for detail.

I was suitably distressed after checking the portrait out, but did a good job of masking my horror with a "Wow, great job!" A few minutes later, I realised I was still holding the picture in my hand with a death grip, so decided to take it further. I asked him if he thought I really looked like this, to which he snickered and mentioned something about being far away, bad lighting and not being able to get a good look. (Who knew I was raising precious little artists in my classroom?)

He asked if he could re-draw the portrait, and I told him that if it was raining that afternoon, we could stay inside and do some creative drawing. Lo and behold, it was pouring - time for drawing. (I'm a poet and I didn't even know it.) The kidlets were happy enough doing this, so I set them all the challenge of drawing other people as portrait shots. A few others jumped on the bandwagon as well.

Here are the results of my rainy afternoon of sketching with the kidlets. I'm going to put my commentary for each picture in a random order first, and it's up to you to match it to the appropriate picture. I'm sure you'll figure it out!

1. Cartoon-style, big cleavaged, vampire-fanged Aly.


2. Aly on profile, with elvish ears, a receding hairline, one heck of a raised eyebrow, hypnotic eyeballs, and a little man dangling from her keychain. (Look!)


3. Slightly sunburned, double jointed and lopsided caricature of Aly.

4. Aly the tart, with a red pout, an excessive amount of blush, a watch halfway up her arm, PEARLS, and a skanky nightgown with one shoulder strap suggestively falling down. (Try not to be distracted by the floating bubbles with my surname floating around my head. This is ART, folks.)

5. Terrifying, devoid of soul, wrinkly & nekkid looking Aly.

6. Scary, tribal-masked, voodoo Aly hanging on a washing line.

Creepy

Voodoo


Caricature



Caricature 2



Pensive



Tart

I Can Has Chihuahua?

A few days ago, I brought up a common argument that has been ongoing in my household for years, entitled "The Photograph that Sparked a War".

While I wait patiently for you to check out the link to refresh your memories, I'll just summarise it briefly for those of us who are lazy short on time:

Cute chihuahua. Doggy sized t-shirt. Completely adorable photograph. Full frontal doggy bits. Photography debate. Sibling rivalry. I win. He loses. Life goes on.


Judging from the comments in the last post, the general consensus was that because the picture is of the utmost awesomeness, it must have been me with the mad photography skillz, yo. (Actually, I just made that up because it sounded good. We still have no idea who took the picture, and probably never will.)

This afternoon, I opened my an email from my Mum, and found this waiting for me:

dog.jpg

You know what? She's totally right .... but I still took the damn picture, already.

Embracing My Life as a Clothing Nerd.

Every few months, my favourite store for online shopping has a sale, causing me to break my budget and buy some cute and quirky shirts I don't really need. I'm not a big shopper though, so I figure that splurging every once in a while is okay.

Yep, it's the Threadless $10 sale again, just in time for Christmas. And as per usual, I've decided to indulge by nabbing myself some tee's. Anyone who's been reading these parts for a while will know that I'm addicted to them, as I find it amusing how most people just don't get the humour behind the designs. (Like this time.)

You might recognise some shirts on the website. The famous noun shirt that shows off my inner nerd. The alphabet shirt that I love wearing to school. The starry shirt I wear to concerts which gives me a glow in the dark bosom. The awesome evil bunnies shirt which makes me giggle. The scrabble shirt whose label reads 'well that just really sucks'. Plus just a couple more. I'm a trifle addicted. I love them.

What's that.. you want to click some more to see today's purchases? Alrighty! Here's what I nabbed for myself today, in a semi-boob squishing Girly XL:

Insomnia
Three Plus... One

So Far This Is The Oldest I've Ever Been
Tragedy Struck
A Key for Everything


If you're up for doing some shopping for gifts or for yourself, you should definitely check the sale out. And if you feel like purchasing, you could always click on my referral link while you're at it. Just think, not only are you nabbing yourself a bargain, you'd be helping contribute to the "Keep Aly Clothed" fund.

Happy shopping!

Work is Work.

This is going to be a strange post to read, because there isn't all that much I can actually say on the subject. Ideally I would like to be able to get on here and blurt out the details but I can't do that; firstly, it's not my story to tell and secondly, because of the ever-present worry of having unwanted people reading.

I'll keep it short and sweet instead, and hopefully you'll get the rough idea of where the topic is headed. Bear with me on this one, folks. It's about work.

I think that no matter what profession you are in, there is a boundary between work life and personal life. And I think that it's bloody hard to separate the two.

In all of the jobs I've worked in, from selling shoes to squeezing juice to teaching kidlets, it's always been the same for me. The insecurity of being on the outside, of not having relationships or friends within the jobs, it can sometimes take over, especially when you're starting new to the job. Who can honestly say that they enjoy being the outsider? I wanted to get to know people. I wanted them to get to know me. I think it's fair to say that most people go into the workplace with similar ideals. It's the same for people who have been in their place of employment for a while, as they tend to become more comfortable with their colleagues.

Even if you don't become friends-for-life with the people you work with, you still form acquaintances. You talk, albeit about mundane things. But sometimes you can disclose personal information to them, whether accidentally or by choice. And these days, it seems as though any information that is shared in confidence with your colleagues can come back to bite you on the butt, placing your very job position in jeopardy. Today's rant comes after hearing about a family friend who is suffering career hardships after her work 'friends' decided to get nasty.

I guess it all comes down to trust. Again, none of this has been about me in this particular circumstance, but I could easily substitute myself into the equation. It could happen to any of us. All that I know is this: I'm going to be starting a new job in a new country in the new year. And from this day forward, I think I'm going to make a big effort to walk along that line between work life and personal life. Don't get me wrong; I have nothing against forming relationships with colleagues, but when it comes to my personal life? I'm going to be very choosy with what I share, and to whom I share it too.

Have you got any thoughts on the matter? Feel free to share them.

Triple Taggage.

In the past week, I've been tagged by not one, not two, but three lovely ladies. I think that means I am definitely in need of a little meme-loving, so thankyou to Kelly, Jamie & Kelly Marie for giving me something to write about today.

Seven Weirdly Random Things About Me.

1. I am easily distracted. I suppose that explains why I'm such a good procrastinator when it comes to getting things completed.

2. I am fussy about who I share personal information with, disregarding this blog of course. Too many times I've been having a conversation with someone who I think is listening to me, when all of a sudden I am cut off and it becomes all about them. Or worse, they simply excuse themselves when something better comes up.

3. I pick out spelling mistakes wherever I go. Menus, signs, invitations, you name it. It's a bad habit, but it is slightly amusing to spot mistakes.

4. I don't shave my legs past my knees. Never have, most likely never will.

5. I have a tendency to gaze off into the distance and forget to blink. That sounds really creepy, but it mainly happens when I'm really tired.

6. Sometimes I really wish there were songs playing in the background of everyday events in my life, like in the movies and on television.

7. I pull stupid and dorky faces when I dance.

I'm not in the mood to tag specific people today - this one's up for grabs!

Overheard in the Classroom #7

A few days ago, I was out on the quadrangle getting ready for my regular lunchtime playground duty, when I was approached by a kindergarten student. Turns out she had been given some kind of fortune cookie inside her lunchbox that day, and she wanted me to read out what the message inside of the biscuit said.

Just imagine my surprise when I unfolded and read the paper;

"You will be successful and talented in bed."

Oh, my. Thankfully I had read it in my head before blurting it out to the little girl! Trying to mask my shock, I shared the first part with her and left out the latter. I wonder what her mum would think, had she seen her daughter's fortune that day ...

I decided to look into my own future, thanks to Bad Cookie. The verdict?

"You have an unusually repulsive personality.

Ouch - bad cookie indeed. Click the link, and share your own fortunes with us all in the comments. I promise not to judge!

Lift, Strain, Bugger.*

The title of this post comes from a terribly tragic re-enactment of me attempting to lift my suitcase, after having a trial packing run. *If I had more room, this post would have been titled "Exactly how many books can one cram into a suitcase when moving overseas in (holyshit) 38 days?" As you can imagine, it's not going real well.

I always thought that selecting what clothes to take would be the hardest part of the packing process. Ha! If only it were that easy. Add shoes, bags, dvds & teaching resources to the mix, and you've got yourself a very frazzled young woman.

That brings me to the book situation. I'm a reader. I've always been a reader. I'll always be a reader. That's just how I roll. I'm also an extremely fast reader, so my book collection is very well-worn. Once I find a book or series that I love, I can read them over and over. Besides the wall to wall bookshelf downstairs, there is a cupboard in my room that is/was half filled with books, especially the ones that I hold dearest to me. Realising that I couldn't actually fit all of them into twelve suitcases, let alone one with a 20kg limit, was a very sad time for me.

So then came the hardest part: What book(s) do I take? I adore the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon, but seven heavy books? Errrrrr. Same goes for poor Harry. (I don't know how I'm going to cope without him.) I've decided to squish three books into my packing somehow. Only three. 3 (!) Yipes. (No, I haven't made the final cut yet. I'll get there!) That leads nicely into today's question.

This one is from Noelle, who you should pay a visit to because not only did she break bones this month? She's also continued with NaBloPoMo. That's dedication, right there. Noelle asked me: "What is your favorite book?"

I'm going to cheat, of course. I can't just pick one. These are some favourites;

# The entire Outlander series, by Diana Gabaldon, particularly book two: Dragonfly in Amber. I'm not joking when I say that I've read this book so much, that entire pages are now falling out of it. I love Scottish history. I love romance stories that make your toes curl with glee. And I love Jamie Fraser. And Roger Mac.

# Anything by Australian author Matthew Reilly: Ice Station, Temple, Seven Ancient Wonders are my favourites, though. He's so talented.

#Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks. I don't know where I found this book, but I know it's one I am always strangely drawn to.

#The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons. She is a wonderful writer, and I would recommend her books to anybody.

#The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova: It's a long, sometimes drawn-out novel, but it will suck you in and keep you hooked.

#Angels & Demons by Dan Brown: Better than the Da Vinci Code.

#The Time Traveller's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger: I find this story fascinating.

No more book purchases for me for a while, not a one. Not even the new Paullina Simons book that has just been released. Sigh. I think it's therefore appropriate that we all take a moment to think about my poor, lonely books that are being left behind, that are no doubt already anxiously awaiting my return to Australian soil.

Edit: I know I'm not moving to the middle of Antarctica where there are no handy-dandy bookstores or libraries around, but I'm going to miss my books. Am strange like that. (And also, we all know how I need to whinge about something!)

Blog Share: In The Raw.

Today's post is randomly brought to you from one of the fabulous bloggers participating in -R-'s Blog Share. Please make today's anonymous writer feel welcome, and take a peep at the other participating bloggers featured at the end of the blog: perhaps if you search hard enough, you'll even find mine out there ...

***

When -R- initially mentioned this Blog Share, I immediately had ideas bouncing around in my head. There are so many things I would blog about if I were only revealing myself to The Internet, but as it stands now, most of my readers know me In Real Life. I felt overwhelmed with all the things I've left unsaid, held back on or skimmed over because I didn't want to deal with the backlash of questions from concerned or excited friends. But just as quickly as all of those thoughts came to me, they left. The whirlwind has come and gone and left me grasping at underdeveloped ideas and things I'm still not sure I can write about—even anonymously.

So, while I am still trying to figure out what to reveal and what to hold on tight to, I will say that I am feeling the pressure to produce an excellent post. After reading through a dozen or so of Aly's posts, I need to tell you something you already know: She is a great writer. I have created my best 'as heard in the movies' Australian accent for her and I can hear her telling each story. Her posts actually turn out the way that I envision mine. Plus, she can say 'bloody' and 'bugger' without getting strange looks. I also I feel as though we have a lot in common, but then I think about how I am not the only one censoring myself on my blog—that everyone edits out certain details of their lives. That brings me back to the point of this post, Forbidden Blog Topics. This is what I'm reluctant to share:

I want to be pregnant NOW. Luckily, my husband and I are on the same page for this one, but there are a few things holding us back, namely money. I constantly worry about being able to afford children. I also worry about parenting and how it will change our marriage. I do not mention this on my blog because I do not want people to know when we start trying or to constantly nag us about having kids. I don't want my co-workers to find out and have it get back to my boss—if I'm up for a promotion or a new job comes along, I don't want it to even enter their minds. I don't want some of my friends to worry about how it will change our relationships or to plan on baby dates and get-togethers that I may or may not want to have with some of them.

I also really, really want to have a girl. My dad wants a grand daughter and quite possibly for that very reason, I really want a daughter first. Of course I want our baby to be healthy, but I would love to have a healthy baby girl followed by a healthy baby boy.

I have body image issues and it's my right to have them. I realize that I am smaller than some, but that doesn't mean that I am always happy with the way I look or that I don't want to improve certain aspects of my body. I've lost a lot of weight in between college and now, but I would still like to tone up. I have fat days but I know I'm not fat. I'm small, but I'm certainly not a stick figure. I have curves. I have muscles. I have fat. There are days I want plastic surgery and liposuction. I don't post about any of this because at the slightest mention of my size, weight or food intake people roll their eyes and say, "Where do you have weight to lose?" Well, if you can't see it that just means that you haven't seen me naked and my clothes are doing their job.

These are two taboo topics for me. I'm sorry I had to air them at all, but lately I've had the need to just let it out. Thank you, Aly, for allowing me to post on your blog. I did not accomplish my goal of delivering an excellent post, but this was a great release for me. Thank you, -R-, for setting up the Blog Share and for introducing me to new bloggers.

Aly
And You Know What Else
Bright Yellow World
Confessions of a Novice
Everything I Like Causes Cancer
Face Down
Liz Land
Muse On Vacation
Nabbalicious
Nancy Pearl Wannabe
Not What You Think It Is
Operation Pink Herring
Red Red Whine
Reflections in the Snow-Covered Hills
Sass Attack
Stefanie Says
Thinking Some More

The Photograph that Sparked a War.

Once upon a time, there stood a two-story house in a quiet and relaxed suburb. Inside that house, there were two adults, and a brother and sister. For the most part the siblings lived amicably in ajoining rooms, arguing only once an hour every so often. They had their differences, but they also had their moments of peace.

One afternoon, they spent some time playing with their chihuahua, Max, who had recently taken a fancy to a t-shirt wearing toy lion. Snickering, the two siblings talked about how the lion was about the same size as Max, and that we should see how it looked on him. They then set about clothing the chihuahua (much to his disgust) and snapped a picture. The result was a ridiculously cute photograph.

Yes, I'm talking about my brother & I a few years ago. So why did this uneventful afternoon spark a war, you might be wondering? It all comes down to who takes credit for the photo. I will swear until I am black and blue that it was me who snapped the shot. I even remember how I managed to get the positioning perfect - Max was sitting at the top of the stairs, and I was lying down the stairs so that the level was the same. But Ajay also swears that he was the photographer... and so, years later, the debate has still not yet come to an end. Oh dear.

If we never solve the mystery (i.e. If Ajay never comes clean and admits the real story!) at least we have one heck of a picture as a memento.

Max

Music Makes You Lose Control.

I know I've mentioned my random musical tastes on this blog before, but after seeing a few bloggers discussing their own favourites, I started thinking about it all over again. I listen to Itunes fairly regularly when I'm on the computer, but it's my Nano that copes with most of the wear and tear; it comes with me everywhere.

If people ask me who my favourite bands are, I'll generally respond with the following: Lifehouse. The Goo Goo Dolls. Sarah McLachlan. Snow Patrol. Mat Kearney. The Fray. Matchbox 20. John Mayer. Dishwalla. Nickelback. Those bands should give you a bit of an indication about my favourite styles of music - I love a good lyric. I love real music. I love hearing a song and thinking about it all day long. And I love taking a song, and making it all about me. Each of those bands is special to me for their own reasons, which I'll spare you from for the moment.

Taking a peek at my top 25 played tracks though, there are some very random tracks that stand out. Have a look for yourself. (Click to enlarge.)

itune

The Fray have most songs featured in the list, but didn't quite manage to reach the top spot; it was taken out by the very mellow Destiny. Good to see Snow Patrol up there too, and I noticed there were a stack of their songs that just missed out on the top list. The sexy 50 Candles has been a favourite of mine since I was young, in all of it's raunchy goodness. (If you haven't heard it before, go take a listen. Phwoar. I still adore this song.) I find it amusing that the Backstreet Boys have a high-rated spot on the list, guess it shows my inner teenybopper is still alive and kicking! And Colorblind.. it's just classically beautiful. I'll never tire of that song.

For the most part though, the songs on the list are a fairly good mix of my tastes; mellow, relaxed & well, me. It will be interesting to look at it again in a few months and see what tracks are still going strong and check out any new additions.

And now my dears, it's your turn: what do your top songs say about you?

Me, Me, Me.

Forgive me for today's random post, but am quite literally about to fall asleep on the keyboard. For some reason, this weekend has taken it out of me.

#I like bullet points. So I'm going to use bullet points today. Yes I am.

#I hate the Australian public. Seriously, voting for Matt over Carl in Idol? Crazy.

#I'm in love with several songs: "Breathe In Breathe Out" by Mat Kearney, "Into the Night" by Santana & Chad, and "Lost Without Each Other" by Hanson. Nerd.

#I learnt how to copy text on a Mac. You learn something new every day.

#I have 30 school days to go for this term. Actually, 29 now. How bizarre.

#I'm more than slightly peeved about missing out on the Bon Jovi concert in January. Do you think it would be too soon to fly back to Sydney for a visit?

#I was busted in mid-groove on the treadmill this afternoon, as I belted out Snow Patrol lyrics whilst walking and shimmying. Hi, Mum. I was just stretching. And yawning. And walking. All at the same time. No karaoke-dancing here.

#I exercised for an hour today, after a hiatus due to hurting my foot while running. A few weeks off and I'm back to being unfit: I really need to get back in shape.

#I worked out a date for a backyard going away barbeque, and am now in the process of spreading the word. It's nothing flash, but I'm still left hoping that people will actually want to come to it - otherwise I have a feeling it'll just be me and the sausages. If only I could invite you guys. Oh, maybe I could just make some cardboard cutouts of my bloggy friends and prop them up in random places around the backyard. (You'll have to excuse the craziness, am very tired.)

Smile!

After turning into a quivering, panicking mess whilst visiting the dentist last month, I swore that I'd take better care of my humble chompers from hereon in. It's not that I was neglecting my dental hygiene or anything, it's just that I tend to skip certain steps in my regime. On the top of that list? Flossing. The dreaded flossing.

I know, I know. Practically everyone flosses in this day and age. I have attempted it in the past, but never stuck with it because honestly? I'll admit it, I'm lazy.

After getting a goodie bag with dental freebies in it though, I've been determined to look after my teeth. Since the bag came with free minty floss, well, I had no excuses. I'm proud to say I've stuck with it for a few weeks now, which has brought to light a couple of interesting observations.

For starters I'm hopeless at it. I think I must be the most uncoordinated person in the world, as I can't for the life of me figure out how to maneuvre the floss between my very back teeth. I also tend to slip at times, leaving rather painful floss-imprints on my poor, unsuspecting gums. I fail at the art of flossing.

But really, it's a downright gross business. Not only the icky things that I'm pulling out from between my teeth, but the overall mess factor. And drooling all over my fingers and face certainly isn't my favourite way to start and end the day.

Hopefully, like with all things, practice makes perfect. In the meantime though, I'm going to keep on flossing, with a bucket firmly placed under my chin to collect any stray dribbles. Wouldn't you love to share a bathroom with me?

Tales From a Shopping Centre.

As someone who doesn't go shopping very often, I always find it a particularly interesting experience, to say the least. I'm a people watcher by nature, and could quite happily pass the time with my bottom parked at a table, beverage in hand, eyes peeled. As Christmas draws nearer and the shops grow busier, you see some interesting things. What is with the fluro, people? My eyes! They are blinded!

Unlike a lot of people, I actually don't really enjoy shopping itself. I don't like parking lots. I don't like queues. I don't like slow walking people who refuse to let you pass by them. I don't like spending a fortune on things. I bet you are wondering now if I am actually female? I was last time I checked, though. Any time I'm shopping, I tend to go in with a game plan so that I don't end up missing things.

Today's mission; new underwear and a roomy cabin bag for my flight to England.

My friend Elissa came along for the ride, and I'm so glad she did; I'm terrible with making decisions at the best of times. In our very first store, I ended up finding a cute six pack of knickers for $6.99! Not a bad start, if you ask me. Next up was my Supernatural Season 2 DVD, which was $20 cheaper than I'd found anywhere else.

We wandered around for a while, me whinging about nothing fitting me from the cheap & nasty clothing stores and Elissa nodding along patiently, humouring my grouchiness. She was then brave, and dragged me into one of those stores - and I ended up looking around as well. Being a bigger size, I have given up on hoping that anything there will fit me, but I figured I'd give it a shot today. I picked up a few shirts, and headed into the fitting rooms, not holding my breath.

Top #1 was gorgeous - a black strapless tunic top, with dark blue cotton swirls on it. It was stretchy and had elastic around the bust, so I thought it might give me and the boobs a little extra room. Since I don't own a single piece of clothing that is strapless, it was pretty game of me to try it on, but it just wasn't meant to be. What I'd thought was a long tunic top? Turned out to actually be a jumpsuit. Yes, the bottom tapered into short shorts. (You can imagine how teeny the shorts were, considering I had thought it was a top. Oh dear.) No, I didn't buy it. Top #2 was just a cute black & grey swirly top, which actually fit, leaving me mighty impressed. Top #3 also fit, a strapless cleavagey little number with a pleather half-belt, which I know Sarah will be impressed with. My faith in clothing is slightly redeemed.

Hefty purchases in hand, I then grabbed a few boxes of Christmas cards that were on sale, and went on the quest for a cabin bag. From what I had seen, I predicted I was going to spend about the $70 price range, so I hit the stores. One store had two bags.. a black bowling bag that looked nice and sturdy, and a floral oversized square bag, both of which I was umm-ing and aah-ing over. I ended up taking the floral bag, and felt guilty about it the second I did. Not a good sign, eh? Turns out it wasn't meant to be though; I walked straight into the next bag shop, and found my dream bag. It was just sitting on a shelf, calling my name. "Alyyyyy. Come buy me."

So I did. It was a dark red leather bag, with faux snakeskin materal. It's big, but not bulky. It has nice handles. It's nice and roomy, good for sneaking as many clothes and books onto the plane as I can. And best of all? Despite it's $85 price tag, it zapped up for $39. Awesome. Goodbye floral bag, helloooo classy red bag!

Am all shopped out, now. And honestly, I think I have just about everything I need to buy before the big move, other than Christmas gifts. The next step is figuring out exactly what to pack, and how to cram it all to two measly bags. Oh dear.

Brotherly Love.

I'm taking the easy way out with today's question, because even though teaching the kidlets the Thriller dance is exciting? It's also extremely mind-numbing. I also have the world's largest headache after practising for several hours today.

Natalie had a question for me; "Do you have any siblings? If so tell me about them!"

I have one sibling, Ajay. He's 20. He drives me mental, but I really do find him endearing. At times. And because I'm lazy, I'll copy you in on an old post I wrote for him. This should fill you in on the ups & down of our brother/sister relationship.

One of the downsides to moving overseas NEXT MONTH (!) is that I'm missing out on a few special occasions early next year: My grandma turns 80 in March, and my baby brother turns 21 in April. I really wish I could be here for those.

A Grunge-Dandified Sort of Day.

Last year, I had hundreds of hits from people surfing in from the NaBloPoMo Randomizer. Vice versa, it allowed me to find a stack of other wonderful bloggerson my journey as well. This year's Randomizer doesn't seem to be quite as fantastic. So far, in the few hours I've spent flicking through it, I've noticed these things:

*Bloggers who haven't even posted ONCE in November.
*Spam blogs that are using NaBloPoMo to advertise their goods.
*It's not giving a good representation of blogs - it is spitting out about 10-20 blogs before cycling them and going back to the original one.

As for stats, I've not yet noticed any NaBloPoMo related hits in the past few days. It's a bit sad, as I was hoping to make some more blogmates, but doesn't seem to be happening so far. Has anyone else noticed that something is off, or is it just grumpy little me? (And yes. I'm still grumpy. Incredibly grumpy. Be on your toes.)

In other news, today's question(s) come from the lovely Alix.

1. What is your favourite word? Ha. I say that alot. Or.. bugger.
2. What is your least favourite word? Er, deliberate. Tyra says it on ANTM, but if I say it too many times, it doesn't sound like it's a real word. You try it.
3. What turns you on? Kindness.
4. What turns you off? Rudeness.
5. What sound or noise do you love? Music & Laughter.
6. What sound or noise do you hate? My phone alarm. Means I need to get up.
7. What is your favourite curse word? Shit.
8. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? I'd love to write. Or work with animals. Both unlikely, though.
9. What profession would you not like to do? Anything on Dirty Jobs. Yikes!
10. If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? 'Ah yes, we've heard good things about you.'

Feel free to use any of these, if you are so inclined. I'm off to learn the Thriller dance some more, because guess what? My kidlets are performing it for their item later this term. (I am possibly more excited than they are. Oh dear.)

Laughter is the Best Medicine.

Daily blogging has it's downsides, especially if you have nothing of very much importance to discuss on a particular day. Instead of sharing the details of my current day (which include, but are not restricted to cramping, back aches and stealing the hot gelpack from my brother's post-wisdom teeth extraction to shove down my pants) I'll instead move right along to questions!

Today's one is from Jennie, who asks "When's the hardest you've ever laughed?"

I like to think I laugh alot. I'm definitely not as grouchy as I used to be, and I like to smile. Laughter is different to smiling, though. You can't fake laughter. When I'm amused by something, I have the most dorky sounding laugh ever. Seriously. It sort of bellows out of my mouth, before I can control it into normal sounding laughter. I did it last weekend in the hotel pool and you should have heard my honking echo around the surrounding apartments. A trifle embarrassing.

I can't give you one specific time when I've laughed the hardest, but I can narrow it down to just a few occasions where you'll see me giggling.

#I laugh when I'm tipsy. Especially if there is wine involved. Or if I'm falling down in driveways. Or on Contiki tours. Drunk = laughter.
#I laugh on spontaneous girly weekends. On planes. After eating sugar.
#I laugh when I'm nervous. And sound really, really stupid.
#I laugh when my pets do stupid things. Like Max this morning, who spent about five minutes trying to figure out how to untangle himself from his blanket.
#I laugh after drinking strong coffee. I practically never drink coffee, so when I purchase one from a store like Starbucks or Gloria Jeans, I end up hyper.
#I laugh at my kidlets, because they say the funniest things.
#I laugh with my mum, and it's something I'm going to miss when I leave. As annoying as she/I can be, we never fail to find things to chuckle over.
#I laugh at your funny blog posts, and I mean literally laugh. Out loud.

There are still a good few days left in November to fill, so keep on thinking up some questions for me! I can't promise to have all the answers, but I can promise to give them a shot, and to give you a nifty little shout-out on the blog as well. Hoorah.



Keeping Up With The Times.

When feed readers became more popular, I was never on that particular bandwagon. I knew people who swore by them and was always curious, but for some reason never actually set one up for myself. Instead, I stuck to a regular old blogroll; one which started out small, but then began to grow.. and grow.

Back then, I still blogged daily, happy in the knowledge that the only reader I had was my mum. The first few times I had comments from new people, the excitement was phenomenal. I kid you not, it was a like being a kid in a candy lolly store. As I began to meet more people and add them to my blogroll, it started taking longer to click through and see if people had updated with new posts. After putting it off for months, I finally bit the bullet and registered with Bloglines.

Mine is nothing fancy. It's not organised into groups of bloggers, or categorised in any way. It's just one giant chunk of blogs that I enjoy reading. Having the feed reader do the work for me by highlighting any updated blogs is marvellous, don't get me wrong. But it can also be just a little daunting, especially when you are unable to check it for a few days - I had over 300 posts to catch up on after two days away, mostly thanks to NaBloPoMo! But there are some days where I miss flicking through my blogroll myself, ready to be surprisd by any updates.

I suppose in a way, I'll always love the old fashioned linking. Despite using a feed reader, I still try to keep my Stalkerific Blog links up to date; I think it's nice to show other bloggers that you classify them as a regular read. I know I feel chuffed when I see myself linked elsewhere, so why not return the favour!

Today's food for thought is this: how do you keep on top of your favourite blogs?

Beautiful One Day...

My weekend started late on Friday night, when I caught a JetStar flight with Kirby from Sydney to Coolangatta Airport on the Gold Coast. Considering it was an el-cheapo fare on a budget airline, it was a really nice flight. The seats were nice and comfy, the trip was smooth; the only problem was that it was delayed with no apparent reason at the airport, leaving us sitting on our butts at the gate for an extra hour or so. Not particularly fun, but it did leave us with some ample people-watching time on our hands.

Having booked our accomodation online, I was slightly skeptical about what the room would be like. Since we were arriving at around midnight, there wasn't much we could do but hold our breath and cross our fingers as the shuttle bus took us closer to Surfers Paradise. Turns out our worrying was for nothing, as our apartment was gorgeous. It was opposite the beach, had a huge pool, and had it's own kitchenette too. The only downside was the dodgy malfunctioning lift, which got progressively worse over the weekend. (I hate lifts/elevators at the best of times, so dodgy ones make me extra nervous.)

We started out bright and early on Saturday morning, grabbed a coffee and spent the day at Movie World, where I dragged a kicking and screaming Kirby onto the first ride I saw: the Superman Escape rollercoaster. We came off that one a little worse for wear thanks to all of the G-forces, but were still cheerful none the less. We had a good day wandering around the theme park, with me lugging poor Kirby behind me on most of the rides there. She wasn't particularly impressed, but I was!

After our morning coffee fix the next day, we ventured out to Dreamworld - which I have to say was a bit of a letdown. The park was really quite small, the rides were few and far between, a few rides were closed and Tiger Island only had three tigers in one small enclosure. Add the stinking heat and ridiculous queues and waiting lines for things on top of that, and we were really, really grumpy. We ended up paying extra money to go next door into Whitewater World, which thankfully made the day worthwhile, even if I did almost drown in a foot of water at the bottom of a waterslide. (I'm very clever like that.)

After relaxing near our hotel and doing some more people-watching, we wasted away the afternoon before ending up back at the smallest airport in the world, ready for home time. I'm home, a wee bit sunburned and with a bruised shoulder and scratched back and thoroughly happy with the result. It was busy, but fun.

And now for some added weekend ramblings in bullet point format;


  • Surfers Paradise seemed to have an abundance of stumbling drunkards and crazies. And it's not even schoolies week yet.

  • Screaming out "TROY" on rides is fun, even if nobody knows what it means or why it is amusing. (Here is the background.)

  • I love Churros, but not for $3.

  • If I stand on the right of a self-portrait camera shot, I have a melon head.

  • It's a really stupid idea to go on a holiday near the beach in late spring without bringing your swimming costume. REALLY stupid.

  • It's also a really stupid idea to go looking for swimmers when you're on a budget and in a rush. Good luck with that.

  • If you're not a size 8 or a fan of fluoro itsy-bitsy bikinis, you're stuffed.

  • Both Kirby & I managed to look like idiots whilst falling out of floating rafts in White Water World. Kirby ever so gracefully toppled out of her side on our first ride of the Green Room.

  • We decided to be brave and go again, and this time it was I who did the capsizing! The final part of the ride is when the raft spits out into the pool at the bottom. I don't know how I managed it, but I flew backwards off the raft and ended up flat on my back under the water being zoomed along by the water jets. Trust me to nearly drown in a knee-high puddle of water.

  • Did I mention that both times we went on that ride, I was the one going backward down the pitch black tunnel? Terrifying.

  • Confucius says: Lady who leans over meal tray doing Sudoku puzzles without looking up the entire flight, will be hit in the head by the seat in front of her.

  • Caramel latte + sugary lollies + altitude = one giggly flight home. And also songs about pringles. And Superman theme songs.


Good times were had by all; and we have the photo evidence to prove it.



For more random images you can also click here and check out my Flickr stream.

Photographs featured in the grid are as follows;

1. We're excited!
2. got motion sick bags?
3. view!,
4. view!
5. beach and boobies
6. RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!
7. SWISH
8. We did that too!
9. Coming Hooooooome.
10. airportfinger
11. We did it!
12. CHEESE
13. superman - woosh
14. No likey!
15. flailing

How was your weekend?

Home Sweet Home.

The spontaneous girly weekend o' fun is over, and I'm back at home with approximately 31 minutes to go before I miss my deadline for NaBloPoMo; thank goodness the return flight wasn't as delayed as the first one was! Phew.

I'll keep you hanging on the edge of your seat for highlights (coming tomorrow) but in the meantime? Let's get some shoes. Warning: video contains explicit language.

Full Speed Ahead.

I know it's a few days into the new month, but I still can't believe it's November.

I can now officially say that I'm moving overseas and seeing Jason next month. How awesome terrifying bizarre is that? Next freaking month.

I'm stuck in a strange loophole at the moment. In one respect, the next two months are going to fly by, and I feel as though I should be doing something, anything to get organised. But on the other hand, there really isn't much I can do yet - it's way too early to start packing, and I can't begin the process of selling my car as I still need it in the meantime.

I do have some things in motion though, let me tell you just a few of them:

*I'm registered with a couple of teaching agencies, all looking for positions starting in January. I've heard a few good things, but nothing definite - which is secretly freaking the hell out of me. I know it's still technically early days, but I was always so confident that my dream job in a dream location would be waiting for me..

*I've annoyed Jason about the apartment he found for us overseas - I want photographs! I want this! I want that! I want, I want, I want. I think I've played the part of the whinging girlfriend fairly well, if I may say so myself.

*I'm trying to make myself free for anyone who wants to catch up for coffee with me from now until December. That sounds a bit snooty when I write it down, but I've been ready to make this move for months now, so I'm not going to push if people don't want to make the effort. It's up to them.

*I've bought a stack of storage containers for here at home, to pack up the personal items I'm leaving behind. I have already filled two of them completely with books, so I'm going to have to go and purchase at least another half dozen more sometime soon.

Now it's just sitting.. and wishing.. and waiting. Not long to go!

Disappearing Already?

There's nothing quite as fun frightening as supervising swimming school in the midst of an electrical storm. We managed ten minutes in the water before the pool was closed due to lightning in the vicinity; big, big thunder. In that time though, I managed to get wetter standing by the side of the pool than had I been in it.

Speaking of wonderful weather, I'm heading from Sydney to sunny Queensland as of this evening, for a bit of a spontaneous girly weekend away**. We're not doing much other than hitting a few theme parks where I'll get to drag a screaming Kirby (who isn't a fan) onto as many rides as possible. Am excited, even though I'm leaving for the airport in three hours, and I'm yet to pack a single thing.

The slogan for Queensland tourism is "Beautiful one day, perfect the next". I promise to keep the whinging to a minimum if it rains all weekend long.

**How am I managing to keep up with NaBloPoMo in the meantime? Never fear. I will not be missing a day. Stay tuned, and leave me some comment love while I'm away.
And how's this for famous last words? I'm apparently a Bangable Blog Babe, whatever that is. Crazy, crude and slightly creepy. Happy weekend, everyone!

I Ramble, Therefore I Am.

I suppose I am a veteran of sorts after last year's NaBloPoMo posting excapade. I can't remember what possessed me to blog daily, but I do know that I was doing it from the moment I started this blog.. apparently I'm either insanely clever and witty, or just insane. I'll leave it up for you to decide. Despite the occasional day where I find myself grasping at straws for topics to blog about, it's never been a chore to do it. Perhaps that will change as my life gets hectic later on this year, but we'll have to wait and see how it goes.

Last year's NaBloPoMo experience was a great one, so I've been really looking forward to November. Last year I met some incredible people through the randomiser of love and sunshine and rainbows, through the website, and through comments left on other blogs - and I'm hoping to repeat that process all over again.

This month I'm going to make it my mission to comment on as many posts as I possibly can. Bring it on, November. Bring on the new blogs, new faces, new friends. Bring on the deep and meaningful posts, bring on the filler posts, bring on the funny posts. I'm up for anything and everything. I'm up for it all.

(And if you're new to these here parts, jump in and say hello - I don't bite.)

The Halloween Grinch.

While doing my usual blog-rounds this week, I've once again found myself completely enthralled listening to spooky stories and special events. We don't celebrate Halloween in Australia, so it's always been a bit of a fascination of mine. I'm living vicariously through your blog entries on the subject, so keep 'em coming!

As much as I love the idea of having a costume party and indulging in horror movies and random thrills, it all seems so bizarre. Perhaps one day I'll throw my own Halloween party, and dress up in a terribly skanky costume... or not. We shall see.

Are you wondering why I've deemed myself the Halloween Grinch? Well, it all comes back to the "We don't celebrate that holiday here" theme, and it revolves about trick-or-treating. Seeing all of the overseas kidlets (and their parents!) dressed up in costumes and heading out for an afternoon of neighbourhood-walking fun is adorable. Having it happen here though? Not so cute.

(Let me just say before I begin, that I am not stereotyping all Australians as mean and nasty Halloween-haters. I'm just speaking for myself. And if I were living in America, you can bet your bottom dollar that I'd be sitting at my door with a bucket full of sugary goodness ready to give out.)

In my suburb, we've gradually started seeing more and more kids attempt to trick-or-treat. I say attempted, because they honestly have made no effort to look the part. Most have simply heard about the ritual of door knocking for free lollies, and have decided to try it themselves. Opening up the front door to see kids I don't know standing in school uniforms and asking for food? It annoys me.

Speaking of opening the door - my next gripe is the doorbell. Having the doorbell rang once is fair enough. Heck, that's what it's there for. But having it rang continuously for five minutes straight? Not on. Some kids have gone as far as walking in our garden to look through the front windows of the house, or opening up the screen door to look inside. Once again, totally uncalled for.

I suppose in all fairness, if parents are supervising the trick-or-treating, it isn't so bad. Most parents here probably realise that not everyone bothers with Halloween, and will expect some people to be uninterested in the whole thing. These are the parents that trail around with their kids, watching them go from house to house. The scary part is when kids are wandering around the streets completely unsupervised. There is no way in the world I would ever let a small child (we're talking as little as five!) go door-knocking without me present. But you'd be surprised, it happens. And it is very worrying.

Also, kids? We don't call it candy. We've never called it candy. It's chocolates or lollies, alright? And if I had chocolates or lollies at this particular time of the month, I'd be feeding them to myself and not to you. No offence. I'm just hormonal.

So there you have it; my reasons for being wary of trick-or-treaters. I am a Grinch. Honestly though, because it's not a cultural thing to do here, it worries me. There are lots of sick and twisted people around who prey on young kids, and having unsupervised children knocking on stranger's doors is ridiculously dangerous.

I swear I'm not an evil Halloween hater though; I'll no doubt scare the pants off myself watching some sort of spooky movie just to get in the spirit of things. And to further prove my point, let's indulge in a little movie montage; Happy Halloween!





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