Friday, September 03, 2010

Snappy September - Day Three - Baino's meme

Before the end of the Boer War (or twelve months ago in the blogosphere),
Baino sent me four words to write about. Snappy September's now in full swing, so why not bung in a few of my photos and get my blog on?

TOFU (because I'm betting you hate it and can really get your teeth into that one)

Well, dear Baino, you might be surprised to discover that I don't hate tofu. Sure, I don't buy it as part of my regular grocery shop but do occasionally order it when I feel like an Asian-dish that's packed with more veges than meat. Fried tofu is best because it gives it a toast-and-egg flavour and coating but the steamed silken stuff is okay too.

The key word here is 'okay'. Not my favourite, but not disliked either; 'tofu' to me is the flat vinyl beanbag of the healthy(ish) food world -I could quite happily live without it, but might choose if it it's right under my nose.

THONGS (you can go either way on this one)

Thongs, for me, will always belong to my feet and never my arse crack. I only once gave the undies a go and lasted about ten minutes before the thought of having white cotton and spandex rubbing right up against the least hygienic part of my body - let alone the feeling of willingly paying $12 for a permanent wedgie - was about as much fun as undergoing a PAP smear on YouTube. Seeing the visual evidence of G-strings walking in front of me - the jiggling buttocks under work trousers wobbling like nervous blancmanges down Collins Street - was enough of a turn off as I didn't need an amused audience behind me as I passed by either.

Tess, our first dog, loved thongs so much that LC and I ended up buying the $1.79 rubber pairs as a regular Woolworth's item long before they were back in vogue for people to wear. She'd wedge her furry face under the straps towards the peg bit that secured the big toe. Then she'd frantically flap her ears so that the sole of the thong would go 'Whappity Whappity Whappity WHAP' on the side of her head, thus starting the fight. She'd then try to shake off the marauding footwear and bite it back, which only caused it to slap her a few more times which gave her another excuse to bite and wriggle back as it slapped her snout again and again...... Many pairs of thongs were ruined this way, but it was more fun and value than wearing any of them.

(because I don't know what you think about that)

Neither do I, if I'm honest. I come from a 'churchy' family, but elected to sleep-in as soon as I was permitted to make the decision myself. Since then, any church attendances have been out of sentimental reasons (it's Christmas time, we're at my parents' place and Mum is singing in the choir), weddings or funerals.

I know that 'God' is just a word, but I believe, somehow, that there is a God of some kind. Despite picking at my nails until they bleed and suffering all-too-regular bouts of insomnia, I've never spent much time pondering the meaning of life, the point to our existence or what is beyond the Milky Way. Something far bigger and cleverer and stronger than me has made all sorts of things that my brain doesn't have a hope of comprehending. All I can do is try to be a decent person. I think.

And if reincarnation is true - and my own philosophical and spiritual jury is still out on this issue - I'd love to return to this planet as a much-loved and well cared-for family dog.

Heaven, therefore, in my own small way, is experienced every day through the things I see, touch, hear and taste. The coffee made by Love Chunks; the feel of Milly's furry ears, my first dazzling view of Sapphire each morning, the taste of chocolate and knowing that every single person I interact with has a story that will fascinate me. A neckrub is pretty close to heaven too.

AMBITION (Because you're driven but still manage the work life balance - he-he free tips without buying the book)

Hmmm, this is a tough one to summarise. I was ambitious once, up until about five years ago when my body, mind and soul decided to simultaneously pull the blinds down so that it forced me to rest, reduce my ridiculous working hours and decide if having a fancy office, a meaningless-but-important-sounding job title and a big salary was worth losing six teeth, possessing a gnawing gut, painfully excreting rabbit droppings at 3am and then explosive diarrhoea five minutes before a presentation was my idea of a successful life.

It wasn't. Nor was having Sapphire in childcare - and later, before and after-school care full time; crying for no apparent reason on the weekends; feeling permanently resentful/grumpy/exhausted and jealous; hiding out in the work toilets or finding myself at the desk, having done an hour of work when my boss would ring - from the sanctity of his breakfast table in Glenelg with the opening line, "I knew you'd be there already."

Writing a book, surviving the aftermath of Bulldog's ego and cruelty to work from home as a writer and researcher and chocolate reviewer has been the best thing I've done for my so-called 'career path'. I earn a fifth of what I earned five years ago and am extremely lucky to have the luxury of knowing that Love Chunks earns enough to see us through. He supports my work (and the diversions) and has pointed out more than once that I'm a healthier and happier person.

So 'ambition' for me is about trying to contribute to my family on my terms, but acknowledging that it can't be done without the support and understanding of Love Chunks and Sapphire. And for that I'll be grateful to them for the rest of my life.


Elisabeth said...

Great post as ever Kath. Baino's words have inspired you.

This set me thinking. I'd love to read what you think about writing and the desire for revenge.

It's not something people readily admit to, but it's something I've been exploring these last five years.

So if and when you get inspired a post on said topic would be lovely.

Wouldn't this be a great way to get books written and theses completed - ask our blog friends to muse on certain relevant topics and fire away.

Thanks, Kath.

Elisabeth said...

Your daughter has her mother's way with words.

Elisabeth said...

Sorry, Kath, that comment immediately above belongs to the post below about your battling nephews and your daughter's dry with.
I pressed the wrong button.
I'll put it there where it belongs now but it's doubling up. Sorry.

Pandora Behr said...

Your answer to ambition is inspiring - well done for working that one out - why does it take so ling for most of us.

Wonderful post.

franzy said...


Vanessa said...

Your answer to ambition touched me too. Only two days ago my SIL asked me what I do to keep myself mentally inspired. I bit my tongue and resisted the urge to try and explain my life as a SAHM while she puts her 18 month old and 4 year old in daycare 3 full days per week so she can pursue a hobby. I feel so grateful every day that I have the opportunity to watch my baby grow as I know how quickly he will be sucked into the school system. Four years ago my husband gave up his Partnership in a law firm to find a better work/life balance. We don't have the overseas holidays some of our overworked friends do, but we see each other a whole lot more.

The Man at the Pub said...

"Toast and egg flavour"


Please tell where I can purchase this miracle fermented bean curd?

PS-Is that Tess in the first photo. What a cutey!

PSS-It seems I have started Statement September, where I try to post a reply for every day of Snappy September.

Kath Lockett said...

Elisabeth, I'll put my thinking cap on because despite my best efforts I think about revenge far too often and for far too long sometimes.

Pandora, I don't know but I've written before about my Grandpa, immediately on retirement (he was a primary school principal), saying to eight year old me, "You know, I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up."

Franzy, from you, that is a gold-dipped compliment.

We don't get to go overseas either, Vanessa, and I noticed that one of the hubcaps on our 14 year old car had disappeared and my editor has told me that his budget is tight and that he might not use two of the articles I'd submitted (to a previously-agreed due date and publishing date) but.... after a long run and a bit of self-involved blubbing I can at least now be grateful that I'm sitting in my tiny warm study with a sleeping dog at my feet and half a dozen chocolates to review.....

Man, it's what fried tofu tastes like to me - slightly toasty, very eggy. I know that some people loathe the stuff but if you think of it as a two brekkie foods rolled into one but much healthier for you, maybe you'd be able to swallow it?

Baino said...

Aww I'd forgotten all about that one. Nice one Kath. I have a similar thong collecton although I graduated to Haviana's with Bling last summer. Nice answers we're of like mind I think although God is an astronaut.

The Plastic Mancunian said...

G'Day Kath,

Tofu is foul and disgusting.EUURGHH!!

Ambition - I could write a book on that given the nature of my job and what I want from life. My life is good - apart from the job ...




River said...

"Whappity, whappity, whappity, whap".

I LOVE that, it made me laugh so much, I could actually "see" the puppy/thong fight.

Like you, I believe that thongs belong on feet.

eleanor bloom said...

Funny, I tend to ponder all that meaning of life shit way too much, but eventually came to the same conclusion as you anyway: it's all beyond my ability to comprehend and I'm much better suited to pondering the pros and cons of thongs and tofu.

nuttynoton said...

great post, don't get into revenge even though it is natural it can eat you up, move on which I know you have! As for ambition, I had it once then when I realised what you get for it is not your real worth, you are all right about watching your children growing up is more important and much more rewarding, so you can't afford all the luxuries but they come and go your child's memories live on!

As for God , well that is easy, it is love and we all have it some just have more to give and share than others

well that is my life reflection in a few words!!

Helen`Balcony said...

Man, it's what fried tofu tastes like to me - slightly toasty, very eggy. I know that some people loathe the stuff but if you think of it as a two brekkie foods rolled into one but much healthier for you, maybe you'd be able to swallow it?

Serendipitously my son just told me he'd learned a new word from Urban Dictionary - Nomonym (two foods which taste alike).
Please, people, dial it down on the daycare hatred. My children are two proud alumni of the local daycare/kinder system and they are not yet in therapy or addicted to crack, and are actually quite nice people (and have several lifelong friends who they met at daycare.)
W/V = gynal (???!)

Kath Lockett said...

Helen, I'll try my best re the daycare issue.
Sapphire was in full time care from nine months and loved it - at both centres (first in Melbourne and then in Adelaide) she was surrounded by the most wonderful and skilled carers who all worked there for the love of their jobs - certainly not the money.

To be fair, my hatred was more focussed on my own guilt and need (at the time) to work hard in order for the previously-mentioned fancy title, big office and fat cheque.

Kath Lockett said...

PubMan, I forgot to say that yes, it's Tess, from 1995. She was incredibly cute and her world would have been perfect if Love Chunks and I prevented any other human being or animal from entering her household.....