Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Lunatic Is In My Head

As part of a writing group I have joined which gives us prompts every week I am tackling the theme of What have the voices in your head been saying lately? Now, I am the first to admit that I have a huge problem with voices in my head. In fact I recently read a book I could really relate to called Total Recall: The Woman Who Can't Forget by Jill Price about a woman with a unique memory who can remember every single day of her life in crystal clear detail and it has driven her insane. Interestingly for a while she didn’t realise she was different from other people but when she did the true horror of her condition hit her. After reading the book I do think I have a minor case of 'cannot forget much' brain. Scientists say all our memories are stored in a certain part of the brain but most of us cannot access them to the extent that even I can. I would say I don’t forget much that is autobiographical (although I have forgotten most things I learnt at school and college) and can remember a great more about the past than most people can – I can recall a hideous breakup in all its emotional rawness from fifteen years ago if I spend a few seconds drawing out the memory, including the conversation I had with the darstadly ex. But I can also remember certain days from childhood in clear unadulterated bliss. The inability to forget is heaven and hell.

So partly my brain is crammed with these pointless memories. My brain’s motivation in amassing this much dense memory detail is I think a need to order or make sense of a chaotic past. I am also a worrier but I don’t really worry about stuff I believe most mums worry about. I don’t worry whether my daughters will get into Harvard or if they will be run over or whether they ate enough fruit today etc. I don’t worry about getting cancer or whether I will ever be poor. I mostly worry about well ... the minutae of life like will I lose ten pounds before summer or I hope that weird man at the gym won't talk to me or I hope that awful mum who supports Sarah Palin doesn't try and chat to me again. Read all about it in a kind of free form poem if you want an insight into my head.

Domestically Disabled

I was called 'scatterbrain' by the teachers at school
Before the days of political correctness
Still it is a good description
Of my brain that flies from subject to subject
Like butterfly from leaf to leaf

Inside my brain the chitter chatter
Usually makes a din loud enough
To drown out the dull grey outer world
The world of parking tickets

I have a problem with cars
Yes I admit it
I can't or don't read parking signs
Getting tickets even getting towed

Frankly I prefer to walk
But walking gives too much time to think
So thank you Apple
For inventing the trusty iPod

The voices in my head
Are mostly garbage
But I prefer not to smalltalk
To amass other people's

Being domestically disabled
I have been blessed with children
Who know what's what
And have some interest in so called 'reality'

Six year old 'Mum before we go out can you check
if you have your tampons with you?'
Eight year old says: 'Mum you have remembered
That today is Thursday and I have Brownies?'

Yes yes I can remember
All these tiny details
But mostly I prefer to live
In the hiss and swirl of fantasy
And imaginings

If you have a brain
That is like dandelion seeds
Thousands of elements
Fluttering in the wind
Fragmented and broken down
Shards of glass trodden underfoot
What can you do
You can't glue them back together
So you must just release them
And let them go

So, do tell ...What have the voices inside your head been saying recently?

If you want to find out more about the writing group go here:

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Speedy Seductions

Often I hear my single male friends whine "What do women want?" It seems that when it comes to women most men do not know how to seduce women. Believe me it is the easiest thing in the world, so why do men buy pricy books about tricking women by hypnosis, or attend speed seduction seminars that teach you to use 'key words' to tickle her 'hot spots.' Why also do men spend millions of dollars on pumping up their muscles, getting hair plugs, getting their teeth covered so they resemble chicklets etc. when the answer is staring them right in the face.

Let's start with all the things that women have no interest in hearing about and will give them the runs faster than a three day old taco.

1. At a party you immediately launch into "Hello I am Digbert and I am the CEO of a company that manufacturers widgets"....and on in detail about what you do for half an hour. Now, I don't care if you're Bill Gates or some super surgeon - I don't want to hear about your work unless you have some amusing anecdotes or you have somehow met/operated on someone famous. Sure it would be nice to know that you are not living off the dole/your mum but that's all I need to know.

2. I don't want to know about the size/dimensions of your car.

3. I don't want to know about the size/dimensions of your penis.

4. I don't want to know about how many women you have 'pleasured.' You are on very thin ice if you start rolling out the numbers. Under ten indicates intimacy issues while over fifty indicates you are seriously insecure or regularly go out wearing beer goggles. A fetish for older women indicates that you never successfully left your mummy's womb or cut the umbilical.

5. Please don't try and sneak into my flat at the end of the night with the excuse "I've missed the last bus I'll sleep on the sofa and not do anything I swear," "I just wanted to see your soft furnishings," or "I'm in real estate and am very interested in checking out your square footage."

6. If you invite me round for a meal make sure you know how to cook. Cooking does not include boiling spaghetti, tipping Ragu sauce over it and looking proud.

7. If we ever get to the bedroom take it slower than a blind OAP on a motorized scooter. No fast moves as this causes serious friction burn/bruising or more seriously, an elbow in the eye.

8. There is something quite endearing about how much men make fools of themselves while trying to pull women. As my husband tells me "If men did not make fools of themselves the human race would have died out." Indeed, it is truly one of the great wonders of the world how many times they will ask a woman out and not care how many times they are knocked back. Nevertheless, crass moves to be avoided are the hand written note handed to you in the library saying 'You are hot. Here is my number. Let's meet for coffee?' Do these men seriously think you are going to text them maybe with 'Sounds Great! Let's meet in a deserted car park after dark and get to know each other.'

Another of my pet peeves is men who do 'the Lunge' - you know what I mean girls. You are in mid conversation and suddenly he leans over and clamps his lips to yours. If you are going to 'Lunge' - and quite frankly I'd rather you didn't - then at least wait until I have stopped chewing my food and/or there is a gap in the conversation.

Well I could go on here but I know you are all chomping at the bit waiting to find out how to successfully seduce the ladies. In fact I recently discussed this topic with my good friend Gorilla Bananas who spoke out against the practice of trying to hypnotise women into bed. I told GB in no uncertain terms:

"I would love to come back as a man! It is the easiest thing in the world to seduce a woman. Please DON'T go on about your mindbogglingly boring job and how much you earn. Please DON'T go on about how good in bed you are (yawn). A man just has to be a bit flattering and then listen, nodding and making 'mmm' interested sounds while the woman rambles on about herself. Men who listen are so rare that this is a very successful seduction technique."

To which Gorilla Bananas replied:

"Exactly. Which is why a lot of women fall in love with their shrinks. It amazes me that more men haven't worked this out."

So there you have it. Okay lads, don't thank me for solving all your problems seduction wise, glad to help out.

And ladies, am I right? Do you just want a good listener? And can you think of any seductive type stuff men do on a first meeting that totally turns you off?

Monday, January 18, 2010

Have you been Pinkified?

If you have girls there comes a point where they become seriously good value. Maybe because I never had a sister and my girls are now six and eight I am now entering into one of those happy phases of parenting where it is mostly a joy to be around them. They can now THANK YOU GOD spend hours and hours in lingerie, clothes and makeup shops helping me pick clothes, helping me pick out accesories and giving me an honest opinion on whether a silver glitter crop top makes me look like mutton dressed as lamb. Scarlett even said when I turned 39 on Sunday: "Why are you sad about it? I'd love to be 39." "Why?" "Because I wouldn't have to go to school." Ah bless her cotton socks.

At the moment I don't mind them using my makeup so long as they screw the lids back on. I love doing their nails. In fact I've become some kind of fashonista Dorian Grey. Although I grew up in the eighties even then I knew that white pastel lipstick wasn't that great and after a brief go at being a Psychobilly, Mod in dreary green anorak and monochrome tubeskirt freak I embraced the world of Whistles (overpriced designer labels) and Jigsaw (mid priced monochrome fashions). For years my fashion palette was black, brown and various shades of autumn leaves. I don't know what was I thinking, I looked like an old aged stylish pensioner. For God's sake until eight years ago my hair had been mostly mousy brown, peroxide orange or bright blonde but had never been flatteringly tinted with honey coloured highlights! In the last few years I have changed my politics - and by that I mean my colour politics - I have now segued heavily into wearing hot pink, bright blue, bright nail varnish etc. Maybe this is the influence of having girls? Having been so surrounded with girls and their princess dresses maybe this has permeated my subconscious. Whatever. I will not wear dreary middle aged clothing. As long as I avoid looking like Fergie or Dina Lohan I'm okay.

Lindsay you know another guy just asked if I was your sister!

Although my husband did get a bit narked the other day. He said "It's fine to be their friends but I draw the line at you being their sister." I take his point.

I think I will not get too carried away thinking I am a teenager because I am married. It inevitably becomes a train wreck if you are divorced, your daughters turn teenager and you start going to clubs with them, getting your nipples pierced or trying to Mrs Robinson their boyfriends.

How has having kids influenced your fashion sense? Did you become more girly girl with girls or do you find yourself choosing army fatigues over pink sweaters since you had boys?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Arsenic Brownies

Imagine if you will a haggis skin filled with cold porridge. The sort of body that seeps over the edge of chair as if alive like Jabba the Hutt. Imagine a woman liverish in skin tone who sits in the entrance of an apartment block wearing a two hundred year old puke coloured cardigan, and who never moves from that spot unless of course you have rung the bell to be let in when she will be nowhere to be found. Such a woman exists and her name is Grottia (not her real name) and on top of being physically repugnant she is the least helpful person you could ever encounter in your entire life. Ask her a question and she will sniff the air like you have just let one rip before cock blocking the question with "That's not really a question in my remit." "You'll have to deliver that question in writing," or more usually "I don't know."

I am referring to a woman who mans the entrance hall where I own a condo. Today I phoned her up and asked her why I had received an electricity bill for a condo I own in the block which is not occupied - since they are meant to pay the heating bills or rather I pay it through a massive condo fee. And she said, "Oh it is your responsibility to pay any electric bills apart from heating." "But there is no electricity being used so why am I getting a bill!" I wanted to scream.

Anyway the long and short of this post is. Don't ever and I mean ever buy a condo. I had no idea what a condo was having suckled at the socialist teat of Council Housing in London. I lived mostly in Council Flats, then I bought one for a laughably small sum and even later when I rented private flats they were shabby old piles of mold like in Rising Damp:

So imagine my surprise to find that when you buy a condo you actually have to pay a laughably big condo fee for absolutely nothing. Soon after I bought the condo they told me I couldn't rent it out. Or rather Grottia laughed manically when I enquired about the possibility. "You'll never rent that there condo, not in my lifetime you won't or I'll cast a nasty spell on you so I will," she said, I believe, or words to that effect.

Obviously I did go undercover and rent it out to two students who did psychological experiments on senile rats but they turned out to be basket cases who smuggled in a cat even though I told them they couldn't have animals in there due to 'condo regulations'. Before they left I found they had painted the apartment (very badly) in Fred West Dark Red and the Darkest Green Outside of Hell. After that fiasco I decided not to try renting it out again because it was once bitten twice shy apart from being technically illegal.

So then I tried to sell it but the market is flat right now. Luckily I bought it dirt cheap but it makes me so angry that I am paying a condo fee for an empty apartment. Which just proves I am not a business woman because otherwise I would just not get worked up about it because eventually the market will rise and I will sell it. Believe me it has taken all the self control I have to not give Grottia a Christmas gift of Arsenic Brownies or possibly Fruit Cake Made with Fresh Mouse Turds.

Everyone who owns a condo in the block is trying to sell it but can't because the market is flat and yet aren't allowed to rent and they are all hopping mad trying to sue the Condo board etc. And then another funny thing was when the Condo people got angry because no one wanted to contribute to the 'Christmas fund for Grottia and the other other halfwits who so lovingly contribute their time to serving the great condo community. So far of 200 units only 33 people have given money and we really don't understand why.' They are just lucky that I was well pissed on Egg Nog when I received that letter or I might have done something I would have lived to regret to Grottia's cardigan with my new Swiss Army Knife Crimbo gift.

So please, whatever you do, remember:
1. Never Buy a Condo
2. Never rent to Psych PhD students who do experiments on senile rats

What rules of life have you learnt THE HARD WAY?

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

All Hail the Gym Buddha

I am not sure what has happened but I think I am going to become one of them whingers who whines on about their weight. I looked at one of them BMI charts and found myself to be twenty pounds over the average weight for my height so I thought oh shit how did I do that? The answer is pigging out but alas, here we are. Swords have been drawn, plans have been made. My six year old has been put on 'chocolate watch' and we will be paying the bills for her therapist for years to come.

My husband when I confronted him with my excess poundage said,"All you have to do is eat less and exercise more."

To which I said "Yes but what about CHOCOLATE? It is everywhere. Unlike heroin I can buy it at the corner shop."

So my six year old aka Sausage has become a Chocolate Gestapo and has been told by dad to "Keep her away from the chocolate and squeal if she touches it."

So I have been finishing off various boxes of chocolates because well you don't want to waste them do you what with kids starving in Africa, before I start my 'diet.' Indeed, I have been munching chocolate bits and bobs here and there but before I can get stuck in Sausage appears like a midget version of Gillian McKeith and say:

"Mum. Hand the box over. Hand over the chocolates."

I whine: "Just one more?"

"Hand them over. Now close your eyes. I'm going to hide them."

So this ritual has been going on for a while. Sausage is a chocolate squirrel and no doubt in a year or so I will find some rock hard stale chocolates hidden in various burrows.

I officially launched the diet yesterday. Basically I have found that as soon as I am at home I start hoovering up food. So I have decided to spend all my time at the gym and become one of those gym bores. There's one at every gym. Someone who knows everyone. A Kind of Gym Buddha. He/she is always there and will chat with ANYONE out of loneliness/desperation/because they are homeless and live at the gym.

"All hail the Gym Buddha."

Great! I'm going to become a GYM BUDDHA. Because there is no way on God's earth you can be on a running machine eating a Curly Wurly - it would be more humiliating than exposing yourself. You'd be laughed at. No it's time to become one of those Gym Buddhas and stand around after a workout with a carrot juice and say "God this tastes so good! Much better than chocolate."

Basically I am going to start living at the gym. It stops you eating and it will mean I will watch a lot of news on the gym TV and also watch a lot of BBC America where I am getting addicted to Gillian McKeith's You Are What You Eat where she flushes overweight people's cream cakes down the pan.

Watch out, pretty soon this Gym Buddha will have grown to the sweat soaked carpet of the gym. I will also be sprouting foot fungus from using the gym showers but I will be tight, toned and will know everyone at the gym even 'Letherous Lenny' 'Penny with the Pendulous Breasts' and 'Old Man Bert Don't Talk to Him or He'll Show You his 'Nam Scars.'

Wish me luck on my spiritual journey to become a gym buddha. Anyone else got excess poundage and care to join me?