Thursday, August 8, 2013

Watching Offspring with boys, and other rookie mistakes

The graze that became DEATH 
Unless you have been trapped under a large and unyielding rock, or perhaps just been hanging out with men lately, last night was a HUGE episode of television.   Offspring, a sitcom about a 30-something neurotic and frankly annoying woman called Nina and her eccentric family, workmates, and life was preparing to kill off one of the main characters. 

Yes, they had been telling us for weeks they were going to kill one of them off, and yes it was really annoying that they had narrowed down the list to three: 

(Billie – Nina’s sister and easily the best character on the show,
Patrick- Nina’s gorgeous and ex-broody bf, also the soon-to-be father of her soon-to-be baby, and did I mention gorgeous?
Jimmy – Nina’s brother who frankly is like wallpaper to me… I had to Google his name to remember it, he’s that insignificant)

But dammit I was invested! I was going to watch and be shocked and cry with everyone across Australia, until I made my first mistake… I invited the boy over to watch it with me.

Now don’t get me wrong, I bet there are guys who love Offspring, who watch it religiously and were as into last night’s episode as I was; just none that I know.  And after the prolonged sobbing, and snotting, and truly ugly crying after watching alone ‘Betterman’ last week I thought company might help keep me in check…. Be careful what you wish for.

A virgin ‘Offspring’ watcher I tried to explain the premise to him and build the excitement over one of a possible three main characters dying, which lead to the starting credits and the boy proclaiming “Dead!” every time a character came on screen:

Me- That’s Billie, the sister
Him- Dead!

Me- The mum
Him- Dead!

Me- That’s Clegg, her boss sort of
Him- But what else has he been on?
Me- Don’t know
Him- (After some Googling) Ahhh he played Kerry Packer
Me – Oh yeah!
Him – He’s dead!

Thankfully this delightfully and hilarious (depending on who you ask) game ended quickly and we settled (again depending on who you ask) into watching the episode.

Three quarters in, things were starting to build…Enough of the family hijinks, enough of Norman Gunston’s new girlfriend, just get on to the death bit already!  The rest of the show went a bit like this....

On screen Billie’s running across the road, not really looking
Me – Argh not Billie!
Him – Yeah she’s’ gone. I bet there’s a sniper in that tree
Me - A sniper?  There is not going to be a sniper

On screen – The family is inside being jolly in the way that TV family’s do, and in real life like you only do if you are laughing at someone who has run into the flyscreen
Him – Pow! Pow! Pow! Pow!  The sniper is going get them all now!
Me- I don’t think a sniper is really going to be after the Proudman’s?
Him – It will be a blood bath!

On screen – Patrick is nudged by a car, gets knocked to the ground but gets up and walks away to call Nina telling her he was “hit by a car”
Me – Oh come on!  That can’t be it, it hardly touched him!
Him – Toughen up mate. Be a man!
Me – Oh god, that’s it now he will get a bleed on his brain and he’ll just die in his sleep.  So lame!
Him – Or maybe the pregnant one will get hit by a car on the way to get him and they’ll all die and the show will be over?

On screen – Doctor tells Nina that the surgery didn’t work and Patrick is dead, turns around and leaves
Him – Great bedside manner there Doc
Me – Seriously bad! They don’t even get a room, a hug, an ‘I’m sorry’?  If I’m dying I never want to go to this made up hospital!

On screen – Nina and sis are saying there final goodbyes
Me- I can’t believe they killed Patrick!  The show is going to be so shit now
Him- Don’t worry babe, maybe the roof will cave in and kill them all and the show will be over?
Me- Yeah that’s really not going to happen
Him- You never know

Friday, May 17, 2013

Communication Mum-Style

"And then Seal said what?!"

When my mum first learnt to send text messages about a year ago now she would send me messages notifying me of events like they were telegrams and she was being charged by the word....

Alanna had a baby boy 9lb 10oz

There was a fire at the school all kids evacuated.  It was an electrical fault in ceiling

No rain today it was the coldest day in 17 yrs

Just reading paper two young people arrested for stabbing someone on Sat night  Do you know them?

She has definitely moved up in the world when it comes to texting, and will sometimes branch out and write a few sentences, even some including emotion.  She has come a long way but will not anytime soon be ‘LOL’ing or ‘ROFL’ing around, and will probably NEVER have a Facebook account (thank god). 

My mum prefers her information the old fashioned way, and that is through talking.  Whether it is over a hundred successive cups of tea, or due to distance over the phone my mum has always been a good talker.  Never really seeming to tire (I always end the call first) a ‘usual’ hour long conversation with my mum will cover the following topics:
·       The weather
·       What dad is up to (A man of few words on the phone, you can only get a few answers out of him before he inevitably says “I’ll go get your mother for you”.  So mum fills in the blanks)
·        What is going on at my work
·       What happened on The Voice
·       What Big Sis is doing
·       What happened on Survivor

·       What Lil Sis is doing

·       What shenanigans happened at mum’s work today (My mum works at a medical clinic.  I went to visit her once saw they had moved into a new building.  In the waiting room there was a big flat screen TV playing nature documentaries...sweet, cool everyone loves a nature doco and it probably relaxes you before you have to go in and see a doc.  Perhaps, but on the day I was there it was just animals humping for a good 15 minutes straight.  Bird on bird, zebra on zebra, tiger on tiger, rat on rat, no interspecies humping but still it was an awful lot of energetic thrusting I really don’t need to see on a balmy Tuesday afternoon!)

·       What happened on The Block

·       Thoughts about the latest climate change debate

·       What I am eating or hopefully cooking (yeah its rarely cooking, but my mum lives in hope)

·       What happened in Parliament today

·       What happened on The Amazing Race

·       Something adorable/gross/funny/disturbing my niece and nephew did

·       Local town gossip

·       What articles from the paper/docos from the TV she has saved for me to look at when I visit next.

·       What the new Masterchef will be like

Yes a lover of the big and the small, the important and the trivial, my mum will cover them all with equal fervour.  While texting is quicker, and Facebook provides a shortcut I’m mostly glad my mum is still old school.  There is something nice about setting aside an hour, getting my cuppa in hand and a comfortable possie to call my mum and chat about anything and everything that is happening.  That and I wouldn’t have a freakin’ clue what was going on in reality TV without her!

Monday, May 13, 2013

The awkward greeter

Sure its easy if you're a cat

In reaching my 30s I thought I had prepared myself for what was to come: The start of wrinkles, a sharp increase in people making that smug and annoying ‘tick tock’ motion when talking about my husbandless, babyless state, the loss of ability to eat boxes of cheezels as an afternoon snack without getting horribly fat.  I was ready, 30s bring it on (oooh and the ability to make outdated movie references that young people no longer understand!).

One thing that has caught me completely and utterly off guard though is greetings. 

I come from a family that was traditionally ‘non-hugging’.  Sure, there was love there but we liked to show it in a more hands off sense through words, actions, and relentless teasing each other over childhood stupidity.  (Like the time Big Sis accidentally ate a piece of soap mistaking it for a Mint Pattie! Still gets a laugh around our dinner table some 20 years later). But huggers we were not.

My friendship group also, a weird and lovable bunch of odd bods throughout high school and uni were more the high five and wave kind of people than anything more affectionate.


Now every kind of social gathering is lousy with a barrage of welcome hugs, cheek kisses and handshakes.  I never know what the hell I’m supposed to do!  Wracked with a nervous energy and a general air of social awkwardness my default is to just stand back and say hi, but this rarely suffices anymore.  More often than not I’m trying to judge the lean-in of the other person... Is this a hug?  A cheek kiss? A very forward leaning handshake?  It’s a freakin’ jungle out there!

Just this weekend in Melbourne, my mother a good 400+ kilometres away I was seconded to go spend the day with The Boy (formerly known as New Guy) at his annual family Mother’s Day get together.

A bazillion family members I’m trying to seem like a good person too, a slightly hungover Leanne, and a seemingly never-ending amount of first time greetings to attend to is enough to COMPLETELY freak me out!  But I’m nothing if not a begrudging trouper when I need to be.  Handshakes were had, hugs administered, and even the relief of a couple of hands-off “Hello, it’s nice to meet you” helped calm the nerves.  I was doing ok.  Sure there was the 20-something cousin that I went to handshake and he went to cheek kiss, where my hand ended up on his chest in a weirdly intimate gesture for a member of someone else’s extended family, but I seemed to get away with it.

Until I met the grandmother, matriarch of the family, gave me a hug then we had a cheek kiss.  It was all sweet, I had said “Hello, nice to meet you.  Happy Mother’s Day”, but when I went to move back she was still holding on to my arms.  I didn’t know what to do.  I couldn’t just yank away forcing her hands to drop, what if she was insulted or fell?  But I could keep just standing close and smiling like I was medicated.  I panicked. I leant in and kissed her other cheek too.  Like I was a suave and exotic European full of passion, instead of a strange Anglo Australian girl who doesn’t think before she does.  It was weird.  I am a moron.  But she finally let go.  I slunk away, shoved another scone in my mouth and tried to pretend it didn’t happen. 

I don’t know what the moral of this story is - That my instincts are not to be trusted?  

That I’m terrible at meeting new people?
Or should I ever meet The Boy’s grandmother again I will have to fake a family cultural heritage that I cannot back up with real people?

Whatever it is I will continue trying to get it right.  Hell, it’s only taken 31 years to get me to a double cheek kissing greeting.  Give me a few more and I might throw in a boob grab for good luck.  Grandmothers LOVE that stuff right?

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Talking with Boys

Its night, escaping the cold we are couch bound and watching some crap movie on television, when a woman on the screen takes off her top and shows her breasts to another woman trying to convince her to get breast implants. 

Me – Oh my god. So weird!

Boy – (distractedly) Mmmmm

Me- Look at her collar bones!  They are all pointy out and look weird!

Boy – (silent)......

Me – It’s cos they’re straight across! 
Check out her collar bones they are in a perfect straight line!! That’s odd.  No one has collar bones like that! Did you see them?

Woman on movie puts her shirt back on

Boy – Yeah I wasn’t really looking at her collar bones...

Me - ............... Ohhhh, cos there was boobs?

Boy - Yeah

Friday, May 10, 2013

Do you ever?

·       Find a split end in your hair and see how far you can keep the split going?

·       Wait all day to make a phonecall to someone at the exact time you know they won’t be able to answer the phone?

·       Drop a big word you don’t really know the meaning of into conversation and see if anyone will question you about it?

·       Find a perverse pleasure in pulling out that disgusting clump of hair, hanging by a thread from the shower drain?

·       Then smelt it? (Fucking hell, don’t. That memory will NEVER leave you)

·       See how lightly you can tap the keys on the keyboard before they will register on the screen?

·       Keep that Facebook friend, not because you particularly like them, but that their constant posting of dog memes and pointless statuses reminds you that you have more going on in your life?

·       Sing along to the radio in a truly terrible falsetto?

·       Or as if you were Barney the purple dinosaur?

·        Secretly rank your workmates on what order you would try and sleep with them if you were locked and sealed in the office for years and years?

No??  Just me then..... Excellent.

P.S - Trust me on the shower drain hair thing.  I would rather talk about genital herpes with an ageing doctor suffering hearing loss than smell that smell again.


Thursday, January 10, 2013

A sort of Movie Review - The Sessions (or the one with Helen Hunt’s giant boobs)

After what has been a very festive Christmas (where I announced at 11pm Christmas Day “This is my LAST peanut butter ball today, I promise!” To find myself shoving another (possibly my 1000th of the day) into my mouth 15 minutes later), and a low key but fun new years eve (spent in the backyard at one stage burning ‘spare’ housing boards and tree branches from the abandoned neighbours) I am back at work this week.  And yes people, it hurts.

In an attempt to stave off the bad thoughts of all the days of work ahead and all of those glorious days off and fruit cake behind, the new guy I have been dating (hereby known as new guy- because it would annoy him, and he doesn’t read this blog anyway (which is possibly why he is still willing to be seen in public with me!))  suggested a night out at the movies was in order.

We went to dinner and after eating all my pasta, then finishing off the parts of his meal he didn’t want (Dating Leanne-style doesn’t involve a lot of traditional ‘ladylike’ behavior my grandma was always on about) we drank wine out of tumblers and discussed movie choices. 

Frankly it was pretty slim pickings but let me tell you ladies, the easiest way to see the movie you want is to give the other alternative as Les Miserables- “it’s a musical about french people and the main character is Hugh Jackman  who sings.  Oh did I say its singing the whole way through?  Yeah, Russell Crowe is in there.  He sings too” 

From there The Sessions was a much easier sell – “its about some old guy who is disabled trying to have sex”.  Ok, so it turns out I didn’t know much about the movie either and it was only after googling it a little did New Guy agree.

For those wanting a more accurate description ‘The Sessions’ is a true story (didn’t know this) about Mark O’Brien, a poet who contracted polio as a little boy and now can only move his head as he spends most of his time in an iron lung, or strapped to a wheely hospital bed pushed around by his various attendants.  At 38 (I don’t know why I thought it was about old people, its really not about old people) Mark decides he wants to have sex for the first time and so consults his priest (William H Macy in wrinkled but gorgeous glory) and hires a sex surrogate (Helen Hunt in naked but gorgeous glory. I’m guessing she didn’t eat as many peanut butter balls over Christmas as I did) who conducts regular ‘sessions’ with him to make it happen.

We arrived late and the (granted, tiny) cinema was full so we had to take seats in the ‘crane your neck, burst the blood vessels in your eyelids’ first row. The movie was great; funny, and sweet, and heartbreaking, and uplifting.  Mark felt true to life, and the scenes between him and the priest were really funny and made me wish more priests would be so open to giving ‘free passes’.   One of the attendants, I can’t remember her name but she was the girl one, also really made me laugh which was especially an achievement as her stupidly-shaped glasses really bugged me.   

But really special note must be made of Helen Hunt, who played the sex surrogate, and got completely naked quite a lot (as I guess you have to, it’s probably in the position description).  She was great in the role, though sitting in the front row we probably spent a good part of the movie with her cinema-screen sized boobs about 10cm from our eyeballs.  From this range we had a diagnostic view of any suspicious lumps, or stray nipple hairs but Helen don’t fear, you passed with flying colours!

Giant boobs aside it was a good movie and you should go see it.

(Though maybe refrain from having discussions while leaving the theatre about whether the actors would be MILF/DILF or GILFs by now… Its really not ‘ladylike’.  (Sorry Grandma!)

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

December’s Bitch

There are few things I love more in the world than hot weather, cold drinks, grilled to a blackened lump hamburgers, and general tomfoolery, so come December I am usually annoyingly (and weirdly out of character) cheery.  I will laugh at your stupid jokes, listen to your endless stories of Christmas shopping woe, and smile (whilst holding back a VERY big eye-roll) at your attempt to make your car look like a reindeer; all without protest.  I love it all.  But this year, frankly, December is kicking my arse. 

I’m exhausted, and we are not yet halfway in.  Only yesterday I was sitting at my desk, head propped on my hand when I thought I might just shut my eyes for a second.  I awoke with a massive jolt a few seconds later with my head just centimetres away from smashing into my keyboard! 

Suddenly I feel his pain (Source)

Things are really starting to fall apart:

Today I couldn’t think of the word ‘obvious’! (Painfully ironic)

On the weekend, I was invited to a BBQ and told to bring a salad.  I rocked up three hours late with only a giant lunch bag of lolly bananas

Earlier that same weekend I attended a friend’s birthday party.  I spoke to her father about the complexities of apprenticeships for about 20 minutes wearing a coconut bra and a grass skirt

And just minutes ago I tried to make tea with three week old milk.  I was considering drinking it too – after spooning out the lumps

So how has it gone so wrong so early on?? 

Combine a few birthday celebrations that have had me travelling halfway across the state and back in two days, a crazy busy work schedule that sees me staying in the office until the evening, and a flock of birds that likes to practice show tunes (I would assume from the gusto they put into it) outside my bedroom window from 5am every morning and I am wrecked.

I am supposed to be having a birthday myself in a few days.  At this stage I’m thinking to celebrate with a cup of tea, a box of cheezels, and a bedtime of 8pm.  God, I hope I get my December mojo back before it comes to this.  In the meantime, I am willing to pay for a bird hitman... If you are so inclined?