#435 New library

I think, when we collectively call ourselves avid readers and writers, surely then we must be a member of more than a few reading institutions?

The first library membership I got was when I was about 10, and that was a school incentive since they had built a local library in our suburb, up in the North.

I loved it, and thrived on my library membership, for ages. I would bring home the maximum amount (back then 10 books only) of Goosebumps, The Babysitters Club, and then Sweet Valley High series books, up until my mid-teens. This phase lasted long, and had me happily perusing through the library shelves for years on end, maybe until I was 15 or so.

Then boys kind of became more prominent. I would still visit, but much more infrequently, and later in Uni days, a lot of material from my essays would come from those aisles. I would walk up and down, and reminisce about the good old days, where I could read 10 books well within a few weeks time, and come back to borrow more earlier than I needed to, thirsty for more.

Fast forward many, many years, and a brand-spanking new library opened near my work. It is a work of art, and it is my belief even a non-reader would find interest, solace, and a renewed sense of appreciation for the written word, in here.

Of course, I became a member. I borrowed a few books, and then when I realised that reading, taking notes, and then reviewing the book within a few weeks span became a bit too much to take on, I kind of stopped borrowing from there.

It’s temporary, and it’s only because I’m awaiting the day I can devote much more time to fiction books.

However, today baby girl and I ventured to our new, local library. The first time we went there was right after we moved, and so I didn’t have the proper I.D. with my new home address to subscribe. Today however, different story.

At the Mornington library, I am told I can borrow unlimited books at any one time. Woah. Up to 10 DVDs, and there’s a bunch of other benefits of becoming a member too. Baby girl enjoyed the kids nook, sat in a reading booth, and I just happened across (this stuff seriously jumps out in front of me) a couple of books that I just HAD to borrow.

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You can totally tell which are for me, and which are for baby girl, right? I mean, I’ve been hanging to read Dr Seuss’ take on fish for yonks now.

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Seriously though. Am I the only writer that has tonnes to read and write, a whole book shelf at home just crying out to me “read me! read me!” and yet I still go out and borrow/buy MORE books?

I think the novelty of the library, is the fact that if you do not read a book in your borrowed time span, not to fear – just re-borrow, or read it at a later stage. There is no commitments, and I think in my case, for now, with so much fiction for me at home just STARING at me whenever I go past my shelves, I can happily borrow reference books and the like, and then pick what content will serve me best from within its pages.

And while there, I registered baby girl for the ‘1000 books before school’ challenge, where she will aim to read up to 1000 books, and track her progress on a chart with stickers, with little incentives as she hits big milestones along the way. This number can include any books read at home or school or her¬†grandparents house, and even the re-reading of favourite books. They can all be counted, starting from today. If you’re interested in doing so for your littlies, I understand many libraries are partaking in the challenge.

The end of the challenge is either the commencement of school, or when she hits 1000.

Do you seriously think I will let baby girl, the daughter of a writer, not get to 1000 books within these two years?

To answer your question… she already has 4 stickers today.

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God Bless the Library.

#414 The Crew unites

Tonight, Good Friday Eve. It’s not often that me and my high school friends get together. I mean, the original group. Although the last time it was December, before that, it was years. And before that, more years.

You know when you are so busy, that pre-confirmed plans just bug you? Well sorry to say, that’s how¬†I felt about tonight.

The house is a mess,…I need to get ready for weekend work… I need to clean… I need to put clothes away… and I have a tonne of Easter baking to do…

These were my thoughts. They kept whirring around my head up until about 4pm today.

And then I went ‘screw that.’

I got dolled up, embraced the girl club spirit, and headed on over to the Fitzroy Social to meet up with the other 5 gals of the crew. It was a great catch up, and we of course had the required end of night photo, both smiley, and goofy faces present.

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18 year old me would have been in shock horror at my stupid excuse of ‘the house is a mess’ to even contemplate not going out for a catch-up… and yet my 33 year old self was just feeling like it was all too much.

But I realised something as I drove home later from this great night out. I thought:

If my house is a mess…

If I’m late getting ready for work on the weekend…

If my house remains dirty for a day or two longer…

If the clothes hang around unfolded a while longer…

And even if I don’t bake all that I intend to for Easter…

IT WILL BE WORTH IT, because I had a great night catching up with dear friends. My time will feel well-spent, as I would have had fun in my precious time – not spent doing some boring household chore, but instead, reconnecting, bonding and having the bestest of convos and laughs with my high school friends.

I am still baffled by how our minds and thoughts change as we grow older. Sometimes for good, sometimes for stupid! I mean, worried about a clean house as opposed to a catch-up? Come on.

We need to think more like teenagers, like children. Then maybe the world’s problems would be solved. Then maybe the world would be a happier place ūüôā

The boring stuff can wait. The boring stuff should always wait.

Screw the responsibilities. Have fun!

#362 Her affectionate nature

I was initially going to write ‘her affection,’ but opted for the above title as I’d much rather this adorable characteristic remained in her forever and ever, rather than be a fleeting moment in time.

Baby girl’s tendency for hugs and kisses has been growing at a steady rate. I remember at a young age how much I craved the physical affection of my parents. And they wholeheartedly returned it, however they weren’t the kinds to really initiate it. It’s just how they were brought up, that’s all. And as I developed into a teen, my outward physical affection towards them waned away.

It returned in full force when I embarked upon my most bestest relationship of them all, that with Hubbie. And if I thought I was expressing myself there, well I was in for something else when our baby girl was brought into our world.

I most certainly initiate the affection with her.

And now that she is a bit older, a bit more understanding and aware of things, she has started to really amp up the affection. I think she is feeling it more when I am away at work, and so the days that follow are one big love-fest.

Just these last few days. She will kiss my whole face as she holds it between her hands: both my eyelids, my nose, my cheeks, my forehead… then she will give about 5-10 pointed kisses on one cheek, before giving me another 5-10 pointed kisses on the other.

She will climb up onto my lap and wrap her arms around me, pulling me in close.

She will randomly look at me all squinty eyes and go “ohhh!” leaning in so I can give her a hug.

And today as we walked into the shops, me reiterating the importance of holding hands in car parks as I gently squeezed her hand to make my point, she squeezed back, and then hugged my leg before giving it a kiss.

Oh man this girl. Seriously now. She is gonna break some hearts, majorly.

I am loving this stage. And unlike what happened when I was growing up, I hope that by returning the affection in full force, hers towards me/us, will never wane away. It will not be a stage.

I will eat her up while I am breathing.

#320 3 generations on the bed

A continuation of an earlier post.

Last night Mum stayed with my sister during Dad’s first overnight hospital stay.

Tonight, it was our turn.

We had already passed on our “sweet dreams” and well wishes for the night to her, with baby girl repeatedly confirming that Baka, was indeed sleeping next door to her, and followed that with several hugs and kisses.

I was tidying around the house and went into baby girl’s room when I heard my Mum’s loud laughter. I moved around the room, and it happened again. I grinned. “You ok in there?”

She had done her bid: she had caught my attention.

I went into the dimly lit room and sat on the bed with her as she proceeded to tell me some things that had been on her mind, kind of funny, kind of not, but nonetheless I listened and lended her my ear.

Baby girl soon realised I was missing and came charging into the room. She disappeared during our conversation to bring along some Wiggles figurines to the party, and soon, there were 3 generations on the bed… alongside Emma, Lachy, Simon and Anthony of course.¬†Talking to my Mum like that reminded me of our conversations of old, when I would have 3 hour D&Ms with her on a Saturday morning as a teen, sitting across from each other at our old round kitchen table.

I smiled with much content, as baby girl repeatedly hugged her Baka, watching their reflection in the opposite dresser mirror, while my Mum casually returned the embraces and kissed her while not missing or pausing for a forgotten word. When my Mum laughed, so did baby girl, mimicking her characteristic tone.

I was very happy. It is lovely indeed, when you find precious and beautiful moments amidst such uncertainty. It was heart-warming¬†to see such love between them, and seeing how they related to one another, along with the physical resemblance, makes it all the more appropriate that baby girl is her namesake ūüôā

 

 

#306 George Michael – his role in my life

I stared at my mobile in shock. “What?!” I demanded the word, my eyes popping at what was before me.

Hubbie was concerned “what happened?”

I stared at the message bestie had written to me. ‘George Michael passed away.’

It¬†was sadly¬†fitting that the message came from her. George Michael was a favourite and prominent musical figure in our teens. Careless Whisper, Too Funky, Freedom and I Want Your Sex were regular sing-a-longs. I even think I have the handwritten lyrics to Careless Whisper given to me by bestie, stored away somewhere in my old room at my parents’ house.

What a year. First the shocking passing of Prince – and now, George Michael? I had always believed I would see him one more time, at least…

So many memories, so many life anthems. Each of his songs brings a different vision, a different story or place to mind.

But first, the memory my sister tells me. She is a teen, in the 80s. She and her bestie are at the airport. Wham steps out of a car; they turn, and wave up, to a large group of them. Directly at them.¬†A swarm of fans push up against them, squashing them against the front rail they are up against. Later that night, she is in a fan picture on the news behind the newsreader who is reporting on Wham’s appearance in Melbourne.

She was the first George Michael fan in our family. I naturally followed.

Bopping to the beat of Too Funky. It was my internal anthem as I walked, my inner music that I used to repeat to myself to raise my confidence as I went through my early teens.

Then as I got older, that anthem got replaced by Flawless. In the car, volume on full, powering through the streets with George beside me ( ūüėČ )

Faith. Like seriously,¬†who in this world looks cooler than George in his toe-tapping skin-tight jeans and aviator sunnies. I don’t care his sexual orientation (um, Ricky Martin obsession anyone?) but that man is damn! good looking.

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My Twisted Lyrics series over on SmikG is inspired by a misheard Careless Whisper lyric, posted by an online writer who wrote that instead of hearing the correct “Guilty feet have got no rhythm!” they heard “I must admit I have no rhythm!” That error made me LOL so much, and stayed with me for so long that many, many years later, I decided to implement that misheard lyric thread into my parent blog.

My first few months of coffee. Maybe 5 years ago now. On a Saturday morning, making myself a fresh cuppa as I watched George Michael music videos, and literally jumping out of my skin with dance to the song “I’m Your Man.”

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I LOVE that song. I can’t explain to you how much the beat lifts me up, quite literally.

Amazing. When I bought the single, I played it on repeat, for an entire weekend non-stop. I could not get enough of the melody, his voice, and the words

“I think it’s amazing, I think you’re amazing.”

2010. His first Melbourne concert in 20 or so years. Bestie is with me. Our teenage dream fulfilled. He calls us Sydney, multiple times. We scream, in both horror, and shocked amusement at him, jumping on the first raised level of Etihad stadium, with 1000s of others, the concrete slab actually rocking against our pressure.

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(A photo I took on March 3rd 2010 at Etihad Stadium)

That night he sang many of my favourite songs. We rocked to the classics, he did awesome club-versions of Flawless and Spinning The Wheel,¬†as well as his Wham, I’m Your Man 80s fuelled dance-hit. He also performed a song that I had not as yet fallen in love with…

 

When I later, only days after the concert, fell deeply in love with A Different Corner, I was shattered. I had heard the most beautiful voice singing the most heartbreaking and beautiful words to the most dreamlike and woeful music, and yet I hadn’t appreciated it fully at the time, because I had not yet fallen in love with everything about the song.

I always thought I would hear him perform that version live again. I was convinced I would, and that I would cry, as that song has made me cry so many times before.

53. Only 53. I’m still in a huge amount of shock. People are talking of 2016 as a shocker of a year, and until this happened today, I was a staunch defender. Yes, every year has its ups and downs, and yes, another of my faves, Prince passed earlier this year… but I was adamant that this year wasn’t a write-off, and that there was good, much good to be taken from the past 12 months…

It’s too early for me to make a call. 4 days until the end of 2016, and I just don’t know what to say. Two musical legends have passed, and life just isn’t the same. The world isn’t the same without them in it. The genius, the amazing talent that inhabited this world, is gone.

George Michael will live on, there is no question about it. In our hearts, in our memories, on our screens, and on our radios…he will not fade away.

But we are sad. I am sad. So, so sad.

Because he, is Amazing. Too Funky. And quite simply, Flawless.

“I think it’s amazing… I think you’re amazing.”

R.I.P George Michael 1963-2016

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#222 Going loco for Ricky Martin

My colleague didn’t send me a link for a Ricky Martin clip this morning – no, rather he sent me a clip saying “I know you like latino stuff, and like (love) Ricky Martin, so here’s a song…”

In my head, through my eyes, all I saw was this

Ricky Ricky Ricky

like¬†I was in some self-imposed hypnotic coma. I clinked on the link and it took a while to realise ‘no, Ricky does not make a special appearance in this other dude’s clip.’

It was some other dude, singing a song. He was alright. He was no RICKY.

I, if you haven’t guessed it yet, have LOVED Ricky, since I was, oh about 13. It is a long-standing love affair. I happened to see him before most of Australia did too, since I was overseas at the time and anyone who’s ever been to Europe will know that often songs are released a good few months before arriving here on our shores. I saw this man and went “oh my.” Even at the tender age of 13, I was saying ‘oh my.’

But it wasn’t just the way he shook his hips or the way he sang¬†the song made out to my middle name. Or his devilishly good looks. Or his smile. Or his charming personality. Or the fact that you could feel the warmth of his disposition in his interviews. Or the hair. Or the physique. Or the hips (I said hips didn’t I?)

Ok, so maybe it’s all of these things. I’m being cheeky I know. Seriously though, what started out as teenage lust, has turned into something so much more.

I really do love the guy.

My first concert was his first Australian tour back in 2000. I was 17. Since then I’ve bought his albums, listened to his music, both Spanish and English ones, learnt a fair bit of his native tongue inadvertently along the way, and just last year I had the pleasure of seeing him again on tour, for the second time.

I still love his music. He is very safely in my list of top musicians… you know, the few musos you have that no matter what style of music they go through, you still love their tone, their current experimentation, their voice, and their lyrics. You love what their music does to you. You love how it makes you feel. You love the story it tells you and the way the pictures dance magically in front of you as the strong yet gentle voice caresses its way out of the stereo…

Stop. Ok.

Now, I’m not the only one, as most of Australia fell in love with Ricky when he appeared on our version of The Voice. Even straight men are like “I love Ricky.” Like, seriously. He is just amazing. People who don’t know him think of him as that guy who sings poppy commercial stuff and shakes his bon bon around all day long while dancing in the rain on top of a car. No (although that would be a sight). In fact,¬†Shake Your Bon Bon is one of my least favourite songs –¬†I don’t like it one bit. I feel like it paints a very inaccurate picture of his musical talents and scope. The people who don’t look beyond the commercial stuff don’t realise that there is a world of emotion and meaning and seriously funky and upbeat latin tunes just waiting for you to discover.

In line with his caring nature, he has also been heavily involved in his own foundation against child sex trafficking, a cause that needs no further emphasis to prove its importance. Not only is he a talented man, but he has heart, he has compassion, and above all you can tell that he is a genuinely good soul.

I can’t begin to tell you which of his songs I love most. I love so many.

(La Bomba, Spanish Eyes, She’s All I Ever Had, Lola Lola, Pegate, Private Emotion, Drop It On Me, Asignatura Pendiente, Raza de Mil Colores, Besos de Fuego, Almost a Love Song, Stop Time Tonight, Save the Dance, Cambia la Piel).

Ballads. Upbeat percussion beats. Swoon-worthy songs. Dance ’til you drop songs.

But what happened this morning has had me singing Adios in my head repeatedly.

Without going through the whole story, I basically came across Ricky Martin performing the song Adios on the American Today show recently. It stayed in my head and then today after my colleague mentioned Ricky in a comment (albeit his link didn’t contain Ricky, but it was all the ammo I needed) and with the knowledge that it was a quieter than normal work day, I looked up more clips of the Adios song in question.

Where has this song been all my life?

Well, actually, where has it been for the last two years? I couldn’t believe it had been released in 2014, and I was just learning about it. Some Ricky fan I was.

And then I remembered – 2014. I was raising a tiny human then, a pre-1 year old. I was forgiven.

So, the video has been viewed in both English and Spanish version by ‘moi’ today, a combined total of at least 30 times, and that is no exaggeration. I am obsessed. I need this song in my life, at full volume pumping up the jam and hassling the neighbours to no end. I need it. And the above mentioned song comes from an album that I also had no idea about (MASSIVE FACE PALM).

So tomorrow you know what I am buying at my local JB HI FI, don’t you?

This current Ricky song obsession, is just further proof that he is a stayer, of musical proportions, and hu-manly proportions, and all other proportions in my life, FOREVER. I haven’t even gone into proper depths, on the impact this man’s music has had on my life, as this post being written pre-midnight just would not do it justice.

I’ll just need to be grateful for every Ricky song ever made¬†for the length of this blog’s existence… my whole life.

And what makes this relationship even better is that Hubbie totally agrees with me that he is pretty cool… he likes his hair.

Whatever it takes.

I’m in love with Adios right now… but with Ricky, it’s always hello.

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#168 Where I’ve come – 32.11 stage

I had a bit of an enlightening moment today. I consider myself a fairly aware, conscious-thinking and doing individual. I’m aware sometimes to the detrimental point of being overly self-conscious of my thoughts and actions, and find myself having to calm down with all the scenarios in my head, and toughen up to the world around me.

 

Not everything has a point. Sometimes it just is.

Sometimes analyses are best left to the film critics.

Not everyone is concerned about you. People are mostly worried about themselves.

 

These little internal reminders of mine keep me balanced and trying not to stress too much about the small stuff. Although I think, a lot (life of a writer), I feel that often I need to let things come to me rather than trying to make things, and create things that are best left free and unhinged. Letting go can sometimes be the best way to succeed and move forward.

And sometimes when you’re typing away at a computer, awakening moments can also come to you gratuitously.

As is often the case at my work, a tour came through consisting of a group of high school students, led by a resident long-standing employee of the company. The group of teenagers were to my left as I did my thing, being told of all the fabulous and awe-inspiring and exciting (and so, so difficult!) elements that composed the workflow of our greater department. Typing away, sipping on my café-bought cappuccino, I had a bit of an out-of-body experience.

I could see myself in these kids. I could feel their nerves, their excitement, and their anxiety about being in a professional workplace such as mine. I could feel their confusion and hear their internal questions about what they wanted to do in life. I could tell they were keeping their heads forward, while their curious eyes darted everywhere else. I could hear the indecision. I could sense the bewilderment, the wonder… the Hope.

I could tell all of this, because once upon a time I was one of these kids.

And like that, BOOM! I was transported from my teenage-self back into my present body… and I felt accomplished. I felt proud of where I had come to, of all that was in my life, and all that I had with me. Not just the big things I had accomplished, such as a great job, marrying Hubbie, and having a beautiful baby girl with him. But it was the intangible things that made me proud-er.

Not stopping when it got hard.

Persevering for things I wanted when teachers at uni said ‚Äúvery few people get jobs in this field.‚ÄĚ

Keeping my morals and not succumbing to workplace bullshit just to ‚Äėfit in.‚Äô

Retaining my sense of self and worth and allowing my self-assuredness to find my own path, my own friends, my own vision.

Deciding to NEVER fit the mould.

Deciding to go beyond the 9-5, and create my own hours doing my own thing and making my personal passions come true.

Deciding to reach high, as high as I could for the stars, because that quote:

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Ahhh.

I saw myself through those teenagers’ eyes, and was happy. I had become what I wanted, and who I wanted to be. It was an incredible moment of realisation, one that I was truly happy to grab hold of.

Yet, this is only phase one.

There is so much more to give and become. I am so grateful to Life. But also, I am so grateful to Me.