Monday, August 31, 2009

Separated at Birth?

Of course, after all that talk about 'Slightly Slutty', I had to go & spoil it all by posting these photos of Me & The Duchess of Cornwall wearing almost the same outfit. Well, similar shades of Navy & white.

Navy is a colour that is Laden with Sub-Text for me. Back in the days before Black Became a Colour, women with 'Good Taste' swathed themselves in it. In fact, one of Diana Vreeland's most famous quotes is, 'Shocking Pink is the Navy of India'.
My Mother, who positively craved for me to look 'Refined & Nice' (her exact words), worshipped navy. She was desperate to see me in a little navy dress with perhaps gold buttons & white piping. And No Mullet or long dangling droopy hair like a drug addict.

Of course, I never went near Navy.
Oh, I do soo love that repeated 'N'. Particularly as it just came out by accident.

But look at me Now.
Duchess Della.
Let me briefly walk you through my outfit. The Fake Linen shirt & skirt is from 'Bednobs & Broomsticks', five bucks each. Navy Footless tights, probably twenty bucks. Real Bruno Magli navy shoes, a gift from my colleague, The Duchess (as opposed to The Duchess of Cornwell & Duchess Della) She was given them by her v. stylish elderly mother-in-law who doesn't realise that she has larger hoofs (or is it 'hooves'?) than her. Royal Blue sockettes, five bucks from 'Target'. Huge oversized resin bangle from 'Dinosaur Designs' warehouse sale, thirty bucks. Navy Tribalesque Beads made from maybe a part of an African Animal, a gift. Other Navy necklace, two bucks. Pearl earrings, two bucks recently purchased from 'Forever 51'.
I'm not entirely sure why I bothered to tell you the price of each item.
I did intend to add it all up & amaze you by announcing that it all came in under thirty bucks or something, but I couldn't be bothered.
And besides, if I said that, you may think that it only looks thirty bucks worth.

Friday, August 28, 2009

The Patron Saint of Slightly Slutty

I am Nothing if Not a Creature of Habit.
So, this morning I was standing as usual waiting for my Takeaway Skim Latte & Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice at 'Zinc', my local cafe.
And as usual, I was standing next to the large stack of magazines that the cafe provides. Just when I was getting into a Moderately Interesting article in New York Magazine about Madonna, Peter the cafe owner thrust these pictures of Pamela Anderson at me.
I was stunned.
Here at last is my Perfect Model of Slighty Slutty.
Except that I think the gloves are a Bit Twee. I'm definitely not going to copy them. Just imagine trying to write on the board with a whiteboard marker with little black lace gloves on?
The girls might quite like it though.

Do My Eyebrows Look Big in This?

I've just had my eyebrows waxed & tinted. It's part of my V. Strict Beauty Regime which I'll now quickly Walk You Through.
Every night I scrape the make up off my face with L'Oreal Because I'm Really Worth It Facial Wipes for Old Women.
And every second night I apply v. expensive Prescription Only Retinol Creme that my selfless friend Marge gave me when I was in California recently. She had her prescription made up & gave it to me because undoubtedly she thinks I need it more than her.
You're only supposed to put a tiny amount on - no more than the size of an average green pea I think was the exact measurement. Which goes against my Lifetime Practice of applying face creams liberally.
Each morning, I use either 'Dove' or any other cheap milky-like substance cleanser & water-like substance toner while I'm lying in the bath, usually after I wash my hair, which I wash every day. I gave up showering because I couldn't adjust the temperature properly.
You may, or may not wonder at my Daily Hair-Washing Practice which totally goes against every piece of advice that hairdressers have given me over the past forty years.
'Oh, don't wash your hair everyday. It will destroy all the natural oils', they chirp.
What a load of Manure. I've had Greasy Hair since the day I hit puberty. And it's getting Even Greasier.

Now we come to the Make up.
I only buy cheap. From the Supermarket. And I quite like 'Minerals' face powder. It is excellent for covering up huge red blotches that suddenly appear out of nowhere.
Rarely, if ever, would I go outside of my apartment building without make up on. Even if I'm just walking 25 metres to get a Takeaway Latte. You'd think I was Joan Collins or someone.

And now we come Full Circle back to the Eyebrows which I have expertly done by a lovely Japanese lady every three weeks. I find it such a Naughty & Slightly Risky Indulgence ever since Goldie at school told me that her best friend got a Golden Staph (perhaps wrong spelling) infection that completely disfigured her face & ruined her chances of becoming a newsreader because of Faulty Hot Wax.
Life is such a Knife-Edge, isn't it?

Hope you like these Faux Glam snaps of me taken outside 'Bednobs & Broomsticks' by Mitch, in the style of Bert Stern for Marilyn's Last Sitting.
I didn't buy the V. Real Fur Jacket. Someone else got in before me. But I probably wouldn't have bought it anyway.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A Migraineur

I'm sure I've never told you that I'm a Migraineur. Sounds rather exotic. Or interesting.

Something that One may have strived hard to finally achieve.

'Yes, I've been studying for years & I passed all the exams with flying colours. Now I can finally call myself a Migraineur'.

If only.

My migraines have receded over the past couple of years. I was starting to get Cocky.

Which is always a mistake.

But yesterday I was struck down from on high. Honestly, it was like something out of the Old Testament. You know, like Lot's Wife who was unexpectedly turned into a Pillar of Salt just because she turned around or something.

I won't turn your stomach by describing the attack. But look at how I look in the photo above, & it will give you some idea of how I felt.
Now I'm feeling much better.
My daughter, Billie-Mae has come up from Canberra to be with me. We've just come back from having a hearty dinner at 'Zinc' & she's watching the film, 'Enchanted'. Actually I'm getting sucked in too. Edward, the Dumb Prince has just told his mother, The Evil Susan Sarandon Queen, 'Silence, you murderous old hag!' But she doesn't take any notice of him & turns into a nasty blue dragon. I wish to hell that I could do that.
But then she explodes.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Drain Story

This is a True Story.
For months I've been v. bothered by the Kitchen Drain. Actually, it's two drains.
I have two sinks that sit cozily next to each other. They are Not Twins, as one is smaller than the other. Perhaps the smaller sink is the runt of the litter.
One day, the drain in the Larger Sink decided to clog. I was slightly Puzzled & Perplexed by this, as it had never behaved like this before even though I'd spent years carelessly letting any stray leaf or food scrap go down it.
I showed no respect for the Drain. I had more important things to do.
As the weeks sailed by, the Clogged Drain got worse. Sometimes, it would take up to fifteen minutes for the water to go down. I became Annoyed with the Drain.

Soon it was Time to Take Action.
I marched down to the Supermarket to scan the shelves for a packet of Powerful 'Drano', a product from my childhood that I'd always been itching to use.
But after carefully reading the package, I chickened out. 'Drano' was far too Powerful. I settled for the Herbal Biodegradable Brand.
What a Mistake.
The Drain obviously didn't like Alternative Lifestyle Choices & decided to clog up even more.
By this time, it was taking up to a half hour for the water to go down.

Relax, I said to myself. You have more important fish to fry.
And besides, you're going away to America for a couple of weeks. By the time you get back, the Drain may have Recovered all by Itself.

When I returned, Nothing Had Changed. Still Clogged to the Eyeballs.
I went back down to the Supermarket. This time I bought an Old Fashioned Plunger. I took it home & began furiously plunging. I got soaked.
As a result, No Water at all went down the sink. Not one drop. In desperation, I siphoned it into a bucket & poured it down the toilet.
I now felt like I had a Well instead of a Sink.

If anyone at all is Still Reading this, you may be wondering why I didn't just give up & call a Plumber. I took it as a Personal challenge to solve the Riddle of the Clogged Drain myself.

Despair set in. Nothing I could do seemed to make a difference. In fact, it seemed that everything I'd done so far to unclog the drain made it Far Worse.
Just when I was about to give in & call the plumber, I decided to give the Plunger just one more go.
Suddenly, there was a quick gurgle & the water easily & effortlessly drained away.
I fixed it!

What is Slightly Strange, is that something v. similar has happened to me on a personal level. Only I can't really reveal it yet. But I will.
For the past year since Mr. Ex-Middleaged left, I have been a Blocked Drain.
I have done all sorts of things & have tried all sorts of Implements to become Unblocked. But I only got worse.
But then I did something uncharacteristically Powerful & Grown Up & suddenly, I'm No longer Blocked.
In case you think that it's something to do with Sex, think again. If I did, I would never mention it on the blog because my daughter reads this & I loathe Boundary Issues.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Gratitude - A Fairly New Concept

I've only Fairly Recently discovered Gratitude.
Not that I haven't spent my life saying 'thank you' in all the Usual Ways.
But up until now I've never really thought about it. In fact, I've realised how feeling grateful doesn't come that easily. I've just taken everything for granted. And when stuff doesn't happen or is taken away from me, I feel Ripped Off.
'It's Sooooo unfair', I moan quietly to myself. Sometimes I might even scream it.
So, for nearly a year now, I've had a Gratitude Book. I even wrote a blog entry about it. Every day or so or whenever I feel like it, I write five things that I am grateful about.
I notice that I'm rarely grateful about The Blue Sky. Or the fact that I'm still Breathing. What I'm usually grateful for are Unexpected Gifts or Large or Small Compliments. Or perhaps a Return Phone Call from my Beautiful Princess Daughter, Billie-Mae.

So, here's some things that I've been grateful about for the past week or so.

1. William Shakespeare Action Figure with Detachable Quill, & Book on Household Nuclear Attack from the V&A Museum in London. See Above. My great friend, Trixie Drew gave me these gifts & a whole lot of other stuff from her recent trip to England.

2. Libina, my colleague who sits next to me & her stupid Faux Authentic Australian Cork Bush Hat designed to keep away flies. She is wearing it as part of the school's new Sunsafe Policy - No Hat, No Sunshine or Whatever.
Thank God I'm sitting next to her.

3. Mitch & my local thrift shop, 'Bednobs & Broomsticks'.

4. Sydney Grafitti & my great friend, Maud Bright Star who finds it for me.

5. My cute student Bethany, who brought this French Kiddie Book into my English Class & let me photograph it.

Screaming Binary Opposites.

Hello there.
Darla, noted that I am wearing a lot of subdued colours lately. She sincerely hoped that this wasn't a reflection of a lingering Sour Mood which I lightly touched on last week.
Maybe she's right.
I've certainly been wearing a lot of Black & White lately. In fact, just about every day last week I was a Screaming Binary Opposite.
I wonder what that says?
I shudder to think.

Black & white has long been considered a v. smart & chic pairing. Look at the Old Dame in the picture above.
No, not Me, but the other one. Her name is Sheila Scotter. For many decades, Sheila was the Queen Of Australian 'Vogue', a kind of cross between Diana Vreeland & Anna Wintour with a touch of Old School Dowager thrown in.
I was never interested One Slice in Sheila. She seemed far too Strict & Serious for me. And besides, she only ever wore Black & White. It was her signature style.
I had totally forgotten about Sheila. And so had everyone else apparently. But she hadn't forgotten about herself & has doggedly continued to wear Black & white in spite of it all. Now of course, she's being Wheeled Out to be in some Fashion Campaign.
Don't think for a moment that I'm Copying Sheila just because I put myself next to her & I'm wearing Black & White.
OH, BTW, I've never been fond of that Grande Old Dame of a Magazine Cliche, 'Timeless Elegance', which is how Sheila & an army of other tasteful women have been described over & over by the World's Mags.
I've got much much more to say about this but I won't say it now because I'm getting Far Too Wound Up & it's almost bedtime & I won't be able to sleep.
I'll move on to my next pairing. I just love how I'm ever-so-slightly echoing or perhaps 'channelling' if I was a New Ager, another of Fashion's Grande Dames, Anna Piaggi. I stole this photo from The Sartorialist. Anna, yet another 'Vogue' person, has been looking like this for maybe her whole life. Perhaps her mother put little hats on her head like the one she's wearing from the time she was able to keep her head up by herself. I've never seen a photo of Anna without a similar hat. Usually, they are much smaller, but the same shape. Like a Toy Hat or a Doll's Hat.
I'm sure both Grand Dames would be horrified to see this blog post. Or maybe just slightly irritated. Or perhaps thay wouldn't give a Rat's Arse which is certainly going to be My Attitude towards everything when I'm that old.
Bring it On.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Auntie Gladys, The Toy Rock Chick

I've been feeling Quite Sour.
I'm sure many people feel like this alot of the time. In fact, many people may feel that it is their Birthright to be Permanently Sour.
I'm not one of those people. I hate going around spraying my sourness everywhere & then afterwards feeling like an old squeezed-up lemon inside. Yuk.
So, I was absolutely thrilled to receive a Sparkling Gift this week from Catherine, a colleague. It went a long way to at least, Mask my Sourness.
I'm wearing the gift in the photos. It's the Sparking Cardi.
Catherine's friend bought it at a vintage clothing shop. Or perhaps an 'Op Shop', which is what we still call it in Australia.
She was instantly dazzled by the cardi's beauty, and perhaps imagined herself looking like a Real, not Toy Rock Chick, which is all the rage at present. Nowadays, it is important to look Authentic.
But I'm not really sure what is, in fact Rock Chick Authentic. Are you supposed to look like a Groupie, which is something that I tried & failed to do in the late seventies?
Or, are you supposed to look like you actually are a Rock Chick, like Suzi Quattro or Pat Benatar or The Bangles or Patti Smith or Joan Jett or Annie Lennox?
Is there any difference? Or am I just Splitting Hairs as usual?

But back to the Sparkling Cardi.
Anyway, when Catherine's friend got it home, she took another look at herself in the mirror. Instead of seeing an Authentic Rock Chick, she saw her slightly dotty Old Great Aunty Gladys. She recoiled in horror.

But Catherine knew exactly who it would suit.

Me. Auntie Gladys, The Toy Rock Chick.

Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Big Ballys

This morning, as I was trotting down the hill towards School, I noticed a window display in the Upscale Shoe Shop that I never frequent. Let's say this shop is called, 'Snotty Shoes'.
I walk past this shop at least twice a day, but make a point of never looking inside it, much less Going inside it when it is open. I have this ridiculous idea that I don't want to give the BeautifullyBuffed & Polished Male Owners the satisfaction of thinking that I may be salivating after their shoes. Not me. I have my own Secret Stash of Designer Shoes, thank you.
But, when the shop is shut, it's a Different Story.
This morning, I inwardly gushed when I came across the window display. But not sadly, at the rather twee candy toy ballet flats.
No, I was gushing over the Sign.
Pourquoi, you might ask.
1. I am always looking for Signs.
2. I am always excited by the colour Pink, even though it usually is a bit twee.
3. I am always excited by Bette Midler as I like to think that I am a tiny bit like her, which I'm not, but still would like to think so.

Which kind of, but not really, leads me into Today's Topic - The Big Ballys.
Occasionally, 'Bednobs & Broomsticks' has a pair going & I often manage to snaffle them up.
OK, I've got exactly one & a half 'Bally's' - one perfectly decent pair, & one almost unwearable pair.
Anyway, last week I found another pair hiding in the back recesses of 'Bednobs'. Here they are in the photo, below.
The only problem is that they were at least two sizes too big, but I didn't care. I couldn't wait to get them home & begin experimenting with scrunched up tissue paper & insoles.
It took ages. I just couldn't get it right. But after an hour or so & almost a whole tissue box later, I thought I had Mastered the Ballys.
I trudged the 300 metres up the road to the gym in them. It was torture. I just couldn't keep them on.
Undeterred, I went home & spent the evening experimenting some more. These Ballys were going to Stay On, whether they liked it or not.

The next day, I wore them to school. They lasted about Half a Morning.
Then I gave up.
I've now selflessly handed them over to the care of my fellow thrift shopped & 'Bednobs' lover, Mads.
I hope She manages to keep them on.

Monday, August 10, 2009

A Turning Point Perhaps

I'm always looking for Signs to Help Me in Life.
I voraciously read Billboards. Numberplates. Newspaper & Gossip Magazine Headlines. I'll walk past a newstand & catch the front cover of 'New Idea' with a picture of Angelina Jolie with the headline, 'How She's Coping' . And then I'll ask myself, 'How Am I Coping?'
Sometimes I don't like the answer I give.

Now I'm turning to Supermarket Items for guidance. Yesterday, I was trawling through the Shampoo Section at Woolworths & I found 'Turning Point'.
Yes, A Definite Sign, I thought.
I hope that my hair is not at a Turning Point, though. I couldn't stand it. It's all I've got left.
Today, Gaby, one of my younger students, put up her hand in class to ask a question.
'What is your Real Hair Colour, Ms?' she inquired.
I inwardly nearly blew a gasket
'Gaby', I said, 'I, am a Freak of Nature. I know it's hard to believe, but this is my natural hair colour. OK, I spray the top with a little 'Sunsilk Sunnin' whatever it's called, but I'm still Basically Blond'.
Everyone yawned.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Activity No. 4: Emoting.
Again, I'm not sure if this Really Qualifies as an Activity.
But, let me tell you, I've been doing it, or at least Looking like I'm doing it, as the pictures above show.
There are two reasons for this activity:
1. I had just been showing my Senior Class Sir Lawrence Olivier's 1964 version of 'Othello' with Maggie Smith as Desdemona, who everyone immediately recognised as Professor McGonnigal from Harry Potter. In the film, there was lots of emoting, particularly in the Eye Area. Every line that 'Ol Larry O delivered as the Jealousy-Ravaged Othello, had an accompanying Eye-Rolling Movement. It was fascinating!
But the girls had an entirely different reaction.
'Hey, that guy's White. Yuk! What's he got on his skin to make him look black?
How disgusting!
How can Professor McGonnigal stand to kiss him? All that black stuff will rub off on her!'
On & on they went about how the black didn't go quite up to his eyes enough & how stupid he looked. All I wanted to do was to make some quick points about Jealousy & move on.

2. This week is the One Year Anniversary of when Mr. Middleaged, my partner of fourteen years, suddenly left & then became Mr Ex-Middleaged.
But that's a Whole Other Blog Entry.
Oh, please, please, look at what I'm wearing!
I was sooo thrilled to find this 'Escada' black & white top at 'Bednobs & Broomsticks' last week. OK, it's only the 'Escada' Sport label or the Diffusion line or whatever, but I don't care. Never mind that there's something funny going on with the thingy at the front. Can you see that it's twisted?
Just Like Me.

Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Work With Wit Not Witchcraft

Activity No. 3: Business As Usual.
You can hardly call what I'm doing above, An Activity. It's more like a job. Or a Life Choice. Or perhaps a Vocation. OMG I'm starting to sound like one of the Saintly Nuns that taught me. When we were in our final year of School, the Brigidine Sisters began asking in slightly hushed & reverential tones who amongst us has 'A Vocation'. Fingers Pointed & Heads immediately turned towards the Perpetual Class Goody Goody, Shirley Snoggrass. Ever since we were in Kindergarten, Shirley had been shamelessly sucking up to the Nuns at every opportunity. In Grade 6, every time Sister Stigmata went out of the room & someone did something supposedly naughty, Shirley would say, 'You're not Es-posed to do that'. And she kept on saying it for the next six years, never quite getting the hang of 'Supposed'. And then she'd write the wrongdoers name on the blackboard.
Sadly, Shirley never 'Entered', which was the popular term for 'becoming a Nun' back then. In fact, no one to my knowledge ever 'Entered' again.
Nuns were Over.
I was the last person who would have become a Nun. But maybe it wouldn't have been such a bad choice. At least it would have saved me from Being Dumped.
OMG. Did I use that word? Quelle horreur!!!
What I meant to say was - have a look at my outfit. It's a Real, not fake Vintage Oscar de la Renta dress from the sixties maybe. It has a lovely bejewelled collar which is now looking slightly scraggy & seems to accentuate my frilled neck. But we won't go there either. Oh dear, there's sooo many 'No Go' areas. Soon, I won't have anywhere left 'to go'.
I just love Iago's words that I've written on the board - 'Work With Wit Not Witchcraft'. That's My Motto. Posted by Picasa

I Wish Light Bulbs Would Go Off in My Brain

Activity No. 2: Fulfilling an Almost but Not Quite Life-Long Dream to photograph the window of a Chandelier shop that I frequently pass in the car. Last friday night, I ticked this one off. Now I'll have to find some more Life-Long Dreams to Fulfill, which is Rather Timely because my friend & colleague, Trixie Drew & I are both going to make Vision Boards & write Goals for the Future. This may be easy for some, but not for me. I'm almost Stumped. 
I thought about having a goal of going to Bhutan. But  I found out that Westerners can only go there if they spend $200 a day, so I wouldn't be able to go for long.
 What Would Oprah do, I wonder.Posted by Picasa

The Power of Hair

Since my return I've been engaged in a number of activities v. often with camera in tow.
Activity No. 1: Attending Westfield Mall at Bondi Junction in Sydney. 
Even though most people I know speak disparagingly of The Mall as if they aren't sucked in One Bit into Shopping & would much rather be out in the Open Air Horseriding or Absailing or Yodelling up Mountain Passes, I enjoy, Nay, Revel in them. Particularly if they have a 'Chanel' Shop, which Bondi Westfield has. To me, being within Touching Distance of a Real Chanel Quilted Bag is rather like being in the presence of a Famous Saint's Relics or a Splinter off the Crucifix. 
I'm also a sucker for the Jewels. So, when I spied some on  the rather Shifty Looking Mannequin in the window   who had a look on her face as if she'd just done a Revolting Room-Emptying Fart, I reached for my camera & began snapping. As quick as a flash, a Swarthy Security  Personage appeared out of nowhere & said it was Against the Rules to take photos. My Past Self would have perhaps told him to 'Get Nicked' or maybe something even stronger, but My Current Self  wouldn't allow me to say anything.  I couldn't help but scowl at him though  & almost, but not quite, flick my Middleaged Ponytail in his face. It's amazing how Powerful Hair can be. Thank God I've Still Got Some. 

Posted by Picasa

Disobedient Buttons

Now of course I'm sulking.
I've been back at home for ten days & it feels like I've never left.
Haven't you heard that comment a million times from people when they return from a trip? It's almost like it's Mandatory.
'Yes, I've just come back from.......... I had a Great Time & now it feels like I've Never Left.'
Just hand me the script.
But what do I always do when confronting a Small or Large Existential Crisis?
I put on some clothes, preferably ones that I've never worn before & take a photo. It always cheers me up.
Yay to my Inner Narcissus!
This so-called Pure Wool Made in New Zealand coatdress was having it's Maiden Outing. I've had it for some time, but was delaying wearing it because it presented a Wearing Challenge, as opposed to a Wardrobe Challenge, which is deciding to wear the same tired old skirt three times in a designated time period in three different ways.
The Wearing Challenge involved Disobedient Buttons. You know, Buttons that absolutely will Not stay Buttoned Up regardless of how firmly you treat them. A bit like My Mouth, really.
Anyway, I spent much of the day hurriedly buttoning up the coatdress. It gave me something really concrete to focus My Incandescent Rage on. The large pearls acted as a Welcome Distractant, if there's such a word. And I don't care if it isn't a word. Now it is.
Posted by Picasa