One hundred

I'd like to say that this little blogging milestone has crept up on me, but it hasn't. I've been all to aware that my one hundredth muppinstuff post was nearly upon me for the last week or two. And now this is it. So, for lack of any other ideas with which to mark the milestone, I'm going to do ye olde list of one hundred things. And try to keep it fairly lighthearted. If I can.

  1. I was born in 1963, eight days before JFK was assinated.
  2. That makes me a scorpio rabbit, if one believes in such things. I don't, but I look them up anyway.
  3. Both scorpio and rabbits are water signs. G is a scorp too, so it gets quite wet around here.
  4. As our birthdays are separated by only a day, we tend to have a sort of festive week. Pre-child there were parties and other such shenanigans but last year, I was just too tired to entertain. I think we might have gone to see a band, some time after the actual week, which meant more than three mobile calls from anxious mum to sitter sister.
  5. Grace is an Aries which in a child is supposed to indicate an adventurous spirit, boundless energy and selfishness. Sounds like most one year olds I know.
  6. In one of my previous lives, I dated an Aries. It was protracted but hopeless, and ended badly as such things do.
  7. The first television I saw was Astro Boy. I was five and visiting a neighbour who had a television.
  8. I also have a distinct memory of sitting in a classroom on a dusty wooden floor with a group of children watching the moon landing unfold on a television high up on the wall.
  9. My parents didn't believe in television. So I was deprived of having one in my home until I was about seven or eight. I remember returning from visiting second cousins in the country and my paternal grandfather had bought us one. It caused some disharmony, my mum thought that the money could have been better spent on a new fridge or washing machine, if she'd been asked, which she wasn't. 
  10. Not to worry, from that point on we became even bigger bogans than we already were and ate pretty much every single evening meal in front of the telly. I went through a brief stage of asking the parents that we eat at the table like I imagined polite people did. To no avail.
  11. As a consequence, I have shocking table manners, unless I concentrate really hard which then limits my ability to converse.
  12. I think these events possibly define me as a member of Gen X, although some sources would categorise me as a late baby boomer. Shudder.
  13. My favourite colour is green. I like all types but especially a light bright green and british racing green.
  14. I think blue and green should be seen, without something in between. One of my favourite colour combinations.
  15. But I don't often like green and red together, too much like christmas, which is OK in December but can't be allowed to take over the rest of the year.
  16. I grew up in Ringwood, an outer eastern suburb of Melbourne. In what, was at that stage the old and daggy part, not one of the newer estates where all the cool kids with dragsters lived.
  17. There is a view of the Dandenongs from a high point on the Maroondah highway that even now elicits feelings of homecoming.
  18. And this hill is near Icelands was, and maybe still is. I loved iceskating as a young teenager, especially the paired girls's speed skate with Black Sabbath playing loud and fast. That's not to say I was a particularly good skater, I wasn't.
  19. I have a sister, Betty, who is three years younger than me. And very nice. She is a fabulous aunty to Grace.
  20. She was allowed to ride my bike to primary school once I started catching the train to school. I was so upset when I learned this. My bike! which I was never allowed to ride to school.
  21. Catching the train became the central part of my social life in the first half of secondary school. I went to a big private girls school where I didn't feel like I belonged for more reasons than I can go into here but oh, to promenade along Box Hill station, in the morning. Very big deal.
  22. Much time was spent with my curling wand, in anticipation of this most important part hour of the day. I had drainpipes, in my hair. That fell out by lunch time.
  23. We had a creek and remanant bushland near our house. We were allowed to roam free from quite a young age and built cubbies, played with matches and dug caves in soft sand. And travelled in cars without seatbelts, with the parents fagging on in the front. I think Grace will have a different sort of childhood and I worry about how to keep her safe and let her be free.
  24. My parents were very young when they had us. Barely twenty. So at my age now, they had children in their twenties.
  25. They were kind of hippyish but were hugely influenced by Ayn Rand, especially my dad. I didn't realise the philospohical significance of this until I was at uni. Books like Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged were just novels I read. I guess the deeper meanings would pass by most 13 year olds.
  26. So if I'd starting having children in my twenties, I could already be a grandmother now. I have actually met grandmothers younger than me. It does my head in a little.
  27. I'm hoping to be a grandmother myself before I'm too old to be useful, but I'm resolving not to pressure Grace one way or the other. Who knows what the world will be like then.
  28. That's one of my motivations for going to the gym and trying (not very succesfully at this point) to loose weight and gain some fitness. So I can be useful and maybe even dangerous right through to my late nineties. Just in case.
  29. This week I have enjoyed the gym, especially the view of the pool glinting in the sun.
  30. Lifting weights helps stabilise my moods better than Lithium without the crappy side effects. I need to remember this and use it to motivate myself to go. I can get pretty slack about gym attendance, which is only natural for the fat and fitness adverse.
  31. I grew up in a non-football family. G is a passionate Carlton supporter so I jumped on the bandwagon when I met him but I really only take an interest when there is a possibility of victory. Live games are fun. Especially winning.
  32. My parents separated when I was 25.
  33. And have both remarried.
  34. So my family is now quite large and complicated and includes two step sisters, their mothers and grandmother, some step uncles and the like. It also includes G's ex, who I quite like, even if, or perhaps because, she is older than me and quite eccentric. 
  35. I don't have contact with any of my exes anymore. This is a good thing.
  36. There is one ex from my early twenties (a sagitarius) who dominated my life for ten years even though we were only together for two. We remet in the mid nineties when we were both single. Somehow we kept seeing each other even after he set up with another woman, and even after she started carrying his child. I kind of knew these things but also didn't. How foolish. Never mind, she got him in the end and hopefully once he became a father he became a better man.  I'll never know, I took him to a techno dance party where I lost him and have never seen or heard from him since. Thankfully. Finally.
  37. It sometimes occurs to me that there are some similarities in sensibility between this ex and G, but G is much, much nicer. And better looking. And loyal to a fault.
  38. One of the other things that really impressed me when I first met G was that he had a toolbox and made and fixed things. I'm still impressed by that.
  39. My life is physically better because of G and his tools. Doors and other bits work properly and there are shelves and hooks a plenty. And custom built furniture. And weird junk sculptures in the garden.
  40. I used to do terrible things like bang four inch nails into the walls and make wobbly shelter contstructions in the back yard. My hammer has been hidden and I am now banned from building, except under supervision. I don't mind because really, I was crap at it.
  41. I'm pretty good at paint stripping, painting and refinishing.
  42. The summer before I became pregnant with Grace I restored an old wardrobe and a sideboard. Although the sideboard really does need some new handles.
  43. Next up are the dining table and chairs but it is such a big job. Maybe I'l put it off until Grace is old enough not to cause chaos.
  44. Despite the slow start, I love television. Sometimes I try to pretend that I don't because, in theory, it's bad for you. But really I do.
  45. Favorite shows at the moment are: Dr Who, Gardening Australia, Grey's Anatomy, The Wedge, House, Australian Idol (just love a talent show) and Jamie's Kitchen.
  46. If anyone in my family wants to but me a cool Christmas present, a DVD of the new series of Dr Who would do the trick. I just love the look of this new series, deep saturated colour, sparseness, modern. Just thought I'd mention it.
  47. Gift giving in our extended family can be a bit tortured (see# 34) so we tend to do a kris kringle.
  48. And besides who wants more stuff? Except for the children. Youngsters always seem to want more stuff but as I get older I seem to spend all this time either resisting more stuff or thinking of ways to get rid of it.
  49. That's why I like second hand, when you're sick of whatever it is, it can go back in the system to be loved by someone else for a while.
  50. We always have a box on the front verandah and a big laundry basket in the hall for the opshop and when there is something no longer wanted or needed, in it goes. And I go through our cupboards and wardrobes at least twice a year. It's an amazingly good feeling taking a big carload of to the oppy. Kind of like the house doing a big crap, if I can be so vulgar.
  51. Despite all this, we still have a lot of stuff. Grrr.
  52. When I was a kid, I loved HR Puffinstuff (although witchypoo really scared me), Little House on the Praire (but I thought the books were better), Bewitched, The Goodies, Young Talent Time and later Countdown. Oh, and the Brady Bunch (especially the Grand Canyon episode).
  53. I have long hair that is really thick (as in each individual strand - you could say coarse if you were being unkind) due in part to some chinese ancestry back in the gold rush days. This is also quite evident in some of the eyes in our family, if you look closely.
  54. I happily admit to calling myself a feminist. Age has softened me somewhat but becoming a mother has made me ask questions again. I think some ground has been claimed, but the battle is far from over.
  55. I have always been domestic and a bit crafty but some women aren't. We need a feminism that is about possibility not prescription.
  56. That's what I want for my daughter, that she have realistic choices about what she does with her life that are not limited by gender. I would want this for a son, too.
  57. I am lucky to share my life with a man who is quite domestic. It's not always equal or perfect and sometimes I am the one letting the side down domestically. Which in my view, is a good thing.
  58. Sometimes I am the breadwinner. This is not always my choice but then again why should it always be his responsibility?
  59. On two occasions, I have cut my hair very, very short, on a whim. Once to be a punk (bright red assymetrical flatop) and once to work in a kitchen (henna'd cone head raver look). Each time it totally changed the way people saw me, leading to assumptions about my sexual preference, my ability with tools, my competence. Der, it's a haircut..
  60. Still, it's quite nice to get the weight of the hair off your head for a while. It made me feel light and free.
  61. Liquorice. I love liquorice in all its forms and sometimes have deep cravings for it, much more so than any other form of sweet. Allsorts (Darrell Lea and Pascal), organic hardcore from the wholefoods, chocolate coated, aniseed rings, bullets... I must restrain myself.
  62. I also like chocolate, lemon curd tart, homemade biscuits... the list is endless. I have a sweet tooth and I guess I wear it on my body.
  63. But I also like my vegetables which is good or I'd be an even bigger tub than I am now.
  64. It sometimes amazes me the crap people eat and call food. We had hotdogs for lunch at work on Friday (footy thing) and not only did I feel unsatisfied but I felt like I'd done myself harm. It's not that I am a puritan about what I eat but there are some things that really couldn't be called food. Although every six years or so, I get a craving for maccas and then have it and realise why I don't like it all over again.
  65. I went to boarding school for the last three years of high school. I quite enjoyed it eventhough it wasn't fifth form at Mallory Towers or like the Chalet School. It did stop me reading boarding school themed books though. Boarding school was full of intense and passionate friendships, betrayals, group rule and occasionally deep cruelty.
  66. We did weird things like have little parties in the laundry and smear our legs with chicken fat from lunch, while sunbaking.
  67. I became a committed smoker at boarding school. I gave up for three years in my late twenties and then started again because I couldn't bear being around my smoker friends and always yearning to have one. It made me quite ill when I re-started. I used to smoke rollies and could roll with one hand (handy for driving). I gave up for good in 2001. Went cold turkey. I still get occasional longings when I see people out in the sun smoking and chatting together. But I am definitely a non-smoker now.
  68. We called the other girls, who weren't boarders, daywogs. But wished for invitations to stay at their homes on the weekend and eat real food (see#64).
  69. My parents were still overseas when I went to university, so I attended a residential college. It was nothing like boarding school, no-one cared what you did. One night, I awoke to smashing glass in the hallway and one morning "men" from another college had come in during the night and pissed all over the dining tables. Yech. I was out of there.
  70. Besides, it was all so mainstream and I had just discovered "alternative." I started wearing black and went to live in a little terrace house between the railway trcks in Richmond. It felt like trains were coming through the loungeroom. Sometimes it makes me a little sad that alternative has lost it's outsider status. Or maybe now I'm not a disaffected yoof, I feel more like I belong to society.
  71. At uni, I had a job selling CB radios. There is probably a photo floating about of me in an old copy of CB Action. I got by reading the product specs off the side of the box and learning a few CB terms.
  72. I don't know whether I can write one more thing. Lists are boring, I think I'll go to bed. Three days I've been doing this, in little bits of leftover time. I like reading them but they are hard to write. Hmph.
  73. We have a cat, Tony. he's black and white and fluffy and because of his advanced age, sleeps alot, leaving little patches of hair in each new spot. Tony predates G and came into my life because after a girl and her dog moved in and my other cat scampered, never to return. I awoke a week later to a mouse chewing my hair. That afternoon, I went to the Lort smith animal home and chose a feisty young kitten.
  74. He's very tolerant of Grace, who likes to pull his ears and pat him too hard. I think he even likes her, but he's not allowed to sleep in her cot. 
  75. i forget what eight was for and
    nine nine nine for a lost god
    ten ten ten ten for everything everything everything ... A friend and I danced on stage with The Violent Femmes, not once but twice, ah I was young and had no fear or shame.
  76. I wish there were dance parties for old folks and their offspring. At sensible times of the day or evening, with cool music, other oldies and no drugs, because drugs are bad mnhm.
  77. Maybe there are events such as these and I am just to boring and uncool to know about them.
  78. Once I used to be able to dance to the beat of a washing machine or the wind in the trees but doof thump was better.
  79. Back in my twenties, I did step aerobics, buskwalking, canoeing and cross country skiing. I wasn't great at any of them but I'd like to go overnight hiking again and maybe skiing. If I was fit enough.
  80. I love camping with G.
  81. And long road trips which propel you into a drift of landscapes and country towns and time in the car listening to music and chatting. And sitting around camp at night watching night fall. And stars.
  82. What I don't like is camping in wet or windy weather. I have been considering buying a little caravan both for little holidays and for guest accomodation but maybe we should review the camping set up to take into account life with small child.
  83. I have never really been able to settle in a line of work and establish a career. So apart from selling CB radios, I have: sold old furniture (if in doubt it's decco); been a barmaid in a rough hotel; worked as an office temp, worked for an insurance company writing letters explaining their rip off products, superannuation trust deeds, product information and system user guides; been a team leader (hate that word), been a cook and managed a cafe kitchen, worked in more than one governement call centre...
  84. Now I have a job in the public service that's OK.  I'm going to try and stick with it so I can concentrate on all the other things in life I want to do.
  85. I think one of the things I most like about my job is the diversity of the workers and the clients. There's a lot of high minded rubbish written about diversity but I think that when it's truly embraced, it means that people can truly be themselves and have authentic relationships with each other. Even if they are "just" work relationships.
  86. I live with a human jukebox. So I rarely buy music anymore.
  87. I have a strict rule called the two sounds rule. What's on in the shed cannot conflict with the kitchen or the loungeroom or the study,
  88. Often I crave silence, especially in the garden. So the shed system is my least favourite.
  89. I am feeling in a bit of a REM mood this morning and may have to listen to either New Adventures in HiFi or Green
  90. I am thinking of buying G the new Dylan for his birthday. It doesn't matter if he reads this (which he probably won't) because we often discuss birthday present possibilities for weeks before the event.
  91. There's a lovely view out the window of our study. I feel quite proud that I planted it.
  92. But I have to say, I think quite a bit about our next garden and starting again from scratch. I will be sad to leave this one but a new garden would be very exciting.
  93. A new house, not so exciting. Well, exciting but too much chaos, disorder and hard work. We are so well set up here. But it probably won't happen until a few things get sorted out.
  94. I am quite pedantic about alot of things, like how dirty dishes are stacked and dusting the cobwebs out of corners.
  95. But I can let the kitchen floor go unwashed for weeks turning into months. I'm not that fussy about the bathroom either.
  96. But I do like clean sheets. I know people who change theirs about every six weeks. I think that is pretty manky but each to their own. Some people might think some of my standards are pretty slack.
  97. And so what. If I kept perfect house, I'd never have time to read novels or do the crossword, or have a job, or hang out with Grace and G, or play in the garden, or blog, or sew, or make little constructions out of sticks, or go visiting. All these things are much happier making than housework.
  98. Still, we do have a system or routine. It's more about allocating some time in the week to have a crack at it rather than getting everything done at once.
  99. G is a vegetarian and I'm not. So I eat a lot of meatless meals and get low in iron if I'm not vigilant. It's a constant battle not to eat  too much cheese. Beans, beans and more beans. Not too keen on tofu but I will eat it sometimes dipped in ponzu or in a stirfry.
  100. I bought a new keyboard last week and have just got used to it. I'm a search and find typist but am fairly quick.

So there you go. That's my fairly random 100. Congratulations if you got right to the end.

6 comments:

  1. Oh, I meant to ask, if Muppinstuff somehow related to Puffinstuff?

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  2. I did and enjoyed them all.
    I love liquorice too!

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  3. Well yes, kind of. Muppin is a term of endearment/exasperation in our house and when I was tossing around potential blog names, it just popped out of the ether. And because I so liked HR puffinstuff as a child, it stuck.

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  4. mmmm. Good list. I was born in 1970, so there are ALOT of things I can relate to. But you sound like you were much cooler then me in your youth. And if you start up an "oldies rave", can I come along and bring my kids?? Sounds like fun. Cheers, Joy
    P.S. I live not far from that hill on Maroondah Hwy!!

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  5. Good list - much better than mine, which dragged on and on and on!

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  6. Not sure about that Leisl, mine dragged on and on and on when I was writing it. And your list is fantastic, I looked forward to reading each new installment. But I think lists might be more fun to read than write.

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