Oct 29, 2010

How I Spend My Day: The Pie Chart

I am a Stay at Home Mum, but since my kids are now teenagers, the little everyday jobs I used to do for them are becoming extinct. I am gradually becoming redundant and it's bloody brilliant.

They can organise their own lunches (ie steal money from Dad's wallet to buy lunch), get themselves to school (no more having to face other parents at the school gate with my sexy bed hair, tshirt on backwards and an almighty hangover), amuse themselves after school (I'd like to say by doing homework but more often it's Facebook, Call of Duty, FIFA or South Park ("find the clitoris") dvds) and if in case of an emergency (I'm busy tweeting and drinking and can't be arsed), can even get their own dinner. Teaching them to use the microwave may be the best life skill I have ever passed on.

Of course this leaves me with loads more spare time and you may all now be wondering what the fuck I do all day. This is a question asked by spouses all over the world when they come home from a hard day at work and find the house looking like Hurricane Katrina and Cyclone Tracy met in the middle of the living room, invited their wild weather friends over and partied like it was 1999.

But they only ask it once; that's if they want to live, stay married and keep their manhood intact.

Anyway, I saw a pie chart where someone had sorted how they spend their life into segments, and thought I would apply that to a boring, average, stay-at-home day at Casa Cate. Just so you don't have to ask what I do all day.

Oct 20, 2010

What Is A Bogan?

What’s a bogan?

I’m glad you asked. (The following information is ascertained from Wikipedia and bogan.com.au, and from more than 40 years living in the Western suburbs of Adelaide.)

BOGAN: noun: [boe-gn] ; Australian and New Zealand English slang, usually derogatory, for a person who is perceived to be from a lower class background or someone whose limited education, speech, clothing, attitude and behaviour exemplifies such a background.

History: Nobody really knows, it’s the old conundrum; what came first, the bogan or the feral’s egg that was fertilised at a drunken party by a flannelette shirt-wearing head-banger with a mullet?

Habitat: A run-down dwelling, usually recognisable by the weeds in the yard (and the weed smell wafting from the shed), the clapped-out car resting on bricks in the driveway, the ripped and mysteriously stained sofa on the porch, the ripped and not-so-mysteriously stained mattress on the footpath, the knee-high cigarette butt creation by the front door, and the rusting trailer full of empty beer bottles parked over the top of a long forgotten fish pond (which was only ever used to make home brew anyway). The market value of the property is variable depending on how much petrol is in the car and how many meth labs have been raided in the street that week.

Mating: Bogans are attracted to other bogans when they meet at Centrelink, Legal Aid, the local RSL or at the checkout of Best & Less. They never mate outside their own species, we won’t let them. If you ever accidentally find yourself at a bogan backyard wedding, the man in the tuxedo t-shirt is the groom and the woman in the white maternity tracksuit is the bride. Their wedding mixed tape music is a combination of AC/DC songs, including “Love At First Feel”, “Let Me Put My Love Into You”, “Hard As A Rock”, “Deep In The Hole”, “Fire Your Guns”, “Shoot To Thrill”, “Inject The Venom”, “Got You By The Balls” and “Kicked In The Teeth”. Of course “Jailbreak” tends to become an Anniversary favourite. A bogan can often be married three times and still have the same in-laws.

Breeding: Not advised, but they do it anyway. The only protection they have ever used during sex is an umbrella or a bus shelter. They seem to give birth to loads of children, some of them on pool tables, and tend to leave them in parked cars while “mummy plays the pokies” in an attempt to win back the money that was lost when “one of your daddies had to buy a suit for court”.

Offspring: Generally destined to follow in their parent’s footsteps and become fully-fledged child-bogans by the age of 7, adolescent-bogans by 13, and parent-bogans by 17. And so the lifecycle continues. Bogans have the unique ability to misspell their own children’s names. This, however, may be a clever ruse to enable separate claims of child support for three children named Epponee, Eponnea and Eppah’nee.

Mutations: There is a new breed of bogan called CUBS. Cashed Up Bogans. The origin of their financial security is never revealed, though gambling, drug-dealing, welfare fraud and pimping their girlfriends/sisters/mothers are usual sources of income. These mutants wear Ed Hardy t-shirts and have aspirations to be crime bosses with their own clothing labels, like the infamous Von Dutch. (Nobody said they were smarter, just cashed up. All bogans still believe “Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, OI, OI, OI” is our National anthem.)

Projection: It was eagerly anticipated in the late 90s that the bogan would one day become an endangered species, but sadly this is not yet the case. It is feared that as long as society makes available high-density housing, shopping malls, welfare offices, baby bonus payments, bingo halls, motor racing, football cheer squads, black stonewash denim, bourbon and double-plug thongs to people called Shazza, Dazza and Slasher, there will always be bogan clans living among us.

The only hope we have is for the natural attrition of the species, via continuation of the time-honoured tradition of at least one member of every bogan family meeting a fatal end, right after saying “Hey, watch me do this.”

Oct 15, 2010

At Least You All Spell BLOG Correctly

I am scared. I think I am channeling my High School English teacher.

It isn’t that I am balding, wearing moccasins, shouting Shakespeare quotes Tourette-style or having heart attacks in classrooms.

I have become a Spelling Nazi. I am also somewhat of a Grammar and Punctuation Dictator, but to a lesser degree, unless a sentence is really long and clunky, and seems to go on forever, and uses the word ‘and’ more than twice, and by the end of it you have forgotten the point they are trying to make, or missed it altogether, and you just want to scream “Oh for goodness sake, shut up and show me a full stop." Hmmm.

Perhaps it comes from being an avid reader of books, where the written word has been edited and perfected to within an inch of its literary life. Or the fact that the obsession with blogging has become a worldwide phenomenon, so every Tom, Dick and Harriet (including myself) thinks they can write. Or I just surmise that with all the Spellchecker type of technology available to people these days, there is no bloody excuse. Or maybe Mr. Martin really is invading my thought processes from the linguistic library on the other side. I’m guessing it’s all of the above.

Look, I'm not perfect and I accept we all make typos now and then; our fingers and brains are moving at lightning speed trying to express our innermost thoughts before a power failure, a sick toddler or a horny husband rudely interrupts us. We don’t always notice them when we read through our draft at 2am after a twenty hour day. I’m sure those damned French manicures can also be blamed for the occasional mnistyake. But, hello? My ‘mnistyake’ is now underlined in red, telling me I have probably made a mistake.

There are the usual blunders; your instead of you’re, and vice versa. I accept anomalies; the fact that American and English/Australian spelling can vary means the letter ’u’ is often a confused little fellow. And the ‘s’ or ‘z’ question causes hesitation, but not hezitation. Although I can’t forgive the person (a writer, allegedly) who spelled tragedy as ‘tradgedy’. I don’t think we can blame that on an over-zealous manicurist.

My problem is that my frustration with obvious spelling mistakes is affecting my absorption of what I am reading. Yesterday I read a blog, but five minutes after I had finished, I would not have been remotely capable of telling you what it was about. I was so focused on the annihilation of the English language, I did not see a story. I just saw words. Terrible words.

The word there was incorrectly used instead of the word their a total of six times. Consistent, but wrong. The phrase compare to there’s instead of compare to theirs almost had me in tears. The apostrophe also reared its ugly, misplaced head when mother’s was used when it should have been mothers, as in the plural of mother. One mother, two mothers; I really don’t see the difficulty.

I think the ultimate phrase that had me breaking out in hives though was this…
it may of took hours

Correct me if I’m wrong oh Great Language Professors of Blogland, but no matter which English-speaking country you are in, I am fairly certain the phrase should be it may have taken hours.

I know sometimes people write as they speak, but seriously, it doesn’t always make good reading. And if readers are missing the point of what you are sharing because they can’t see the forest for all the misspelt* trees, that’s disappointing for everyone concerned.

Am I overreacting, or are you like me too? (ie: a pedantic, obnoxious, neurotic Spelling Snob)

*Spellchecker didn’t like this, it wanted me to type misspelled. How ironic.

Oct 11, 2010

The Anniversary Blog

It was our Wedding Anniversary on Sunday, 10/10/10. I’m guessing the date is cursed by Bo Derek and Dudley Moore or something, because it wasn’t a perfect 10; it didn’t start well or end well, and there were some awfully smudgy bits in between.

When I realized my first faux pas of the day very early on, I decided to tweet it. As you do. Sure Cate, don’t keep the fact that you are an inconsiderate, self-centred, inattentive wife to yourself, tell the whole of twitter instead.

It seemed to make people laugh, and it sure as hell amused me, so I kept going with the themed tweets. “What the fuck, let’s make a day of it” seemed to be my way of warped thinking. So here’s the result, the Anniversary as seen on twitter. (All of my actual tweets are in Bold. That’s Bold Sarcasm Font for the uninitiated)

Role Reversal: Case Study #28: I forgot our wedding anniversary today. He remembered.

I think I covered it pretty well by telling him, sulkily, “Well I remembered last night just after midnight and turned to you to say Happy Anniversary but you were fast asleep on the other sofa. As usual.” Hehe, good one Cate. Always throw it back at him.

Currently celebrating 23 years of togetherness by him being at his mother's and me staying home. FTW.

That’s right, get chastised and run off to your mother’s.

Dear Husband, Happy Anniversary and yes, I shaved my legs. No, not because I want to have sex. Because it is hot & I want to wear shorts.

This was a pre-emptive strike, because of course he hadn’t noticed I’d shaved.

Yes Hubby it's our Anniversary, but you're in the 3rd ring of marriage. There was the engagement ring, the wedding ring, now the suffering.

An oldie but a goodie, or so I thought. Some people rolled their eyes. (Jen laughed, love you Jen)

Apologies, after 23 years of marriage, bad jokes are all I have.

At this stage it was pointed out that I make it all sound so romantic, and had a suggestion I should write greeting cards for Hallmark.

Dear Hubby, taking me shopping for our Anniversary, telling me to buy anything, then complaining about prices, will not get you sex either.

People seemed to relate to that. Strongly.

Eye-rolling and heavy sighing is such a turn-off.

General agreement. I also got asked if he had noticed the shaved legs yet.

Does a man really notice anything outside the boobs-to-butt range?

This was a contentious issue. The women’s collective response was “Duh”, but the men were anxious to dispel the myth by extolling the virtues of other assets, like smiles and particularly eyes.

Someone fell in love with my eyes once. I told him he had to take the rest of me though.

Among other compliments, a bloke told me I was on fire but he had to hide my tweets from his wife. That made me laugh. And proud.

I am the spreader of anniversary joy.

A few people had asked if I got a present (no), flowers (no), or was he taking me out to dinner?

Does McDonalds count?

Actually, he had suggested he might cook a BBQ, but that wasn’t as funny.

Dear Husband, as my penance for forgetting our Anniversary, I'll let you rest while I pack your suitcase for you.

For the month of October he’s working interstate and coming home on weekends. When my sister-in-law asked me how my first week went without him I said “What? He wasn’t here?”
The hilarious repercussion of this tweet was that one person was worried he was leaving me because I had forgotten our Anniversary. Damn. I meant it to sound like I was kicking him out.

No Hubby, lets not eat out for our Anniversary. Reminds me of my marriage. I order, see what another woman is having & wish I'd ordered that.

Got some ‘Harry and Sally’ responses to that, as well as the funny “as long as it's not yer hubby who wishes he'd ordered other, all is well”

HAH, he might prefer one who didn’t tweet.

More questions about how we were celebrating our day.

He took me shopping. Now he's weeding. So romantic, we are.

Shall I go out and help him weed, or just stand there, tell him he missed a spot, then walk back in? #asiftherewaseveranydoubtwhatIwoulddo

Got the fairly expected and unanimous response to that, another “Duh”

Bad Wife: Case Study #73: Forgot Anniversary, now watching him pack his own suitcase while I tweet.

My best intentions got waylaid somewhere between the suitcase and the laptop. Get over it.

Bad Wife: Case Study #74: Now I'm going to watch him cook a BBQ while I sit on my arse and drink wine.

I did throw together a salad. Literally, throw. I’d had a few wines by this stage, so whatever landed in the salad bowl was good to go.

So I forgot the Anniversary, but he forgot to buy me more wine. I think we're even.

I was being generous by suggesting this made us even. Wine is far more important. Duh.
Got a profound response to this tweet though. “I think you are representing the women of the world, who's husbands forget..EVERY YEAR!!! so sit back and enjoy oh Ambassador!”
Love you Sue.

This is getting funner with every glass.

A bit random, making up words now. Got asked by someone who missed the earlier tweets how many years we’d been married.

23. Do I get parole now?

At this point dinner was over, the Commonwealth Games were on TV, and the last of the wine was going down nicely. And I got sidetracked. I left the Anniversary theme, started chatting about boobs (not a huge surprise, seems to be a regular occurrence) and then retweeted something that had me roaring with laughter.

RT@Julesschiller: There's a Jack Bauer riding in the #Comgames road race. He's the one taking out the peloton one by one with a snipers rifle.

Thanks for that laugh Jules. Was trying to compose an Anniversary/sniper/Jack Bauer reply in my head, but was incapable by then.

Bad Wife: Case Study #75: The Anniversary Continues. He's in bed snoring his head off. I'm here.

Well, he did have a 6am flight out Monday morning, I didn’t, I had no plans to get out of bed to see him off. Have already established I’m a Bad Wife, why change now?


Karma sucks. Revenge was his. Could he BE any noisier at 4am??

3 hours sleep + epic headache = not a good start to Monday. Just talk quietly amongst yourselves today.

Oct 1, 2010

The Year of Blogging Dangerously

As I approach my blog’s First birthday and my own FuckIAmOldth birthday, I’ve been reflecting on what I’ve discovered about myself, my likes and my dislikes, whilst taking part in this interesting, crazy and sometimes ridiculous blogosphere over the past year. So put on your Wicked Sense Of Humour Hat and your Bold Sarcasm Font goggles, have your pinch of salt ready (lemon and tequila optional but advisable) and I’ll share my revelations.

I like to write. *No kidding, Sherlock. Cue the light shining down from above, the angels playing harps and let the choir sing hallelujah* I thank Buddha every day that I listened to a friend who encouraged me to write. He is my #1 ticket holder and has a lifetime free pass to my blog, though I wish he’d clean up the mess of empty wine bottles he leaves in here, tsk.

I like that what I wrote in the early days doesn’t horrify me now. It’s not Shakespeare, but I liked my first post, as far as first posts go, even when I reread it yesterday. I remember I was so excited because I got one comment; I only had two followers so a 50% strike rate seemed pretty damn good. I didn’t hit my straps straight away; I didn’t swear (I broke the ice with 'arsehole' in my second post) and I kept the sarcasm at bay, as improbable as that seems, until half way through my second post where I let you sniff it and get a sense of what might be to come. By the third post the Sardonic Verses were flowing from me and I had found my calling. It was like coming home. Mockery, especially of myself, is my nirvana.

I dislike martyrs. I’m sure you’ve all come across at least one blogger possessed with self-centred martyrdom, sadly I‘ve seen more than one and they seem to be breeding like diseased rabbits. You know… “I am seriously considering quitting blogging, walking away and never coming back, I’m not sure I want to do this any more, I can’t take all the criticism/bullying/negative comments/censorship/insert whatever the latest fracas is about here…. “. They blog about it, tweet about it, put on their best Victimised Scapegoat outfit, then sit back to wait for people to beg them to reconsider; they bask in the love and attention, and then keep right on blogging. If you are expecting me to say “Oh please don’t stop, what will we do without you, everyone loves you, don’t give up, blah blah”, then you’ll be bitterly disappointed. There is a very good reason I am not a life coach or motivational speaker. Because I don’t give a shit.

I do like ‘meeting’ amazing, fascinating and hilarious people from all around the world, reading their stories, getting to know them through their words. There are many who I am sure if we ever did meet in real life, would become instant friends. There are also a handful who I have no doubt would create havoc in perfect harmony with me. They would never be able to bail me out of jail because they would be sitting beside me in the cell muttering “Wow, what a night. How much do you remember?”

I don’t like your children. Any of them. Okay, that may be a bit harsh, I guess there are a few exceptions that spring to mind. I like the ones who stick pencils up their nose at inappropriate times, run into completely stationary walls for no apparent reason, threaten to dismember their little brothers in front of horrified grandparents, and embarrass their mothers in public toilets by yelling “UH-OH, THAT’S A BIG POO COMING OUT OF YOUR BOTTOM, MUMMY”. They rock. It’s the rest of them. The Perfect Ones. Hate to break it to you, but your children are not perfect, they are not the smartest, cutest, funniest, most talented, gifted, most polite, coolest, most photogenic, sweetest little cherubs to have ever graced this world. MINE WERE, OKAY? (You’ll notice I said ‘were’, they’re teenagers now. Sigh.)

This is both a like and a dislike. Wordless Wednesday. I like the concept of it, but I dislike the misuse and sometimes overuse of it. I really like seeing beautiful photographs, some have taken my breath away, but if you truly cannot refrain from writing something about it, for fuck’s sake don’t call it ‘Wordless’. Not even ‘Nearly Wordless’, or ‘Almost Wordless’, they both drive me insane. And don’t think I haven’t noticed the ones who sneakily manage to keep it wordless, until you scroll down to the Comments section where someone has simply said “Lovely pic” and the blogger has replied “Oh thanks so much, isn’t it beautiful? What you’re seeing here is from last weekend when we were out walking in the woods and saw this building and the sun was coming through at just the right angle and I find it so romantic, don’t you? And if you like this you may like another photo I took of…."
Wordless, my arse. Either write whatever the hell you want to write about your photo and publish it as a normal post, or shut the fuck up.

I like that I can say “shut the fuck up” on here and not get hit by a flying remote control.

I don’t really like sponsored posts; I generally just don’t read them. I do, however, respect everybody’s right to do them if they wish. What I would like is to know right up front in the first line, or even in the title, that it is a sponsored post and what product or service is being promoted, if only to save me the time of reading several paragraphs before I realise I’m subtly being sold on the modern miracles of BetweenTheCheeks Nappy Rash Cream, BetterOutThanIn Colic Medicine, or SuckOnThatYouLittleBiter Nipple Shields. I don’t have a baby, I’m not your target audience. However, if your title says “Post Sponsored by Absolut Vodka” and involves stories of wild dancing, various states of undress, and cocktail umbrellas being used in imaginative ways, then I’m your girl. Actually those Nipple Shields could come in handy….

I like reading posts with clever, catchy openings, something that seizes me and makes me stay. The best ones hold my attention and finish with a bang, a shock, a hilarious one-liner, or a witty half-finished sentence as if they were interrupted in the middle of a thought by a power failure, a vomiting child, or an overly persistent Jehovah spruiker.

Finally, I like the fact that people have found their way to my blog by searching ‘filthy dick porn’, ‘peeing and fuicing’, ‘bouncing hooters’ and ‘lesbian slave bitch fiction’. I find this so pleasing, almost in a childish way. It makes me want to say the ‘C’ word so that the next person who searches for it will be led right here….

….are you ready?


Hah, you thought I was going to say cu


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