Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Kirsty's inappropriate top tip # 2

Treat others as you wish to be treated, and treat those you love better than guests - explained below!
1) Why do people get all frocked up for strangers, or I guess, friends, but when they're home, with people they (hopefully) adore, they go scruff, wipe off the makeup, slip on the dreadful slippers, let their arse hang out? I know it's comfortable, and fun too, and perfect when feeling poorly, or cold. but treat your loved ones as well as you'd (curiously) treat your guests. Dress up for them too, and not just when you're going out. Of course people love you for who you are, but treat them too. It's another of life's pleasures to make someone you love smile, or tell you they adore you. In or out of trackies.

I do get teased frequently by friends for wearing skirts all the time but I just have a lot of skirts. And I like them. I like retro clothes, I like the 50s, 60s, and thus, skirts. Okay, so i have work skirts, digging holes skirts, party skirts, see through skirts, too small skirts. Huge balloon skirts ballet skirts, tennis skirts, mermaid skirts.. I like 'em.

However, oddly, I am a tomboy inside (Example: I spend yesterday smashing down three outbuildings with my dad so I could use the material to build my new chook shed) but I don't own shorts and hopefully never will. I wore my scruffiest skirt and T-shirt instead. And my black walking shoes with the tongues ripped out by my lovely dog.) and mostly I like dressing up. Not necessarily in fancy gear, but just in, like costumes. Not to be a cowboy, or a waitress necesarily, although I do that at times too, but in differnt ways, to be different people. I sometimes even do this while I'm writing, to get into the story.

Yeah, I know, - nutter.

But I hate shopping (anywhere except opp-shops - I love the discovery, and the treasure aspect of oppshops, but retail, I'm bored of it - So I took ages trying to find something to wear yesterday that wasn't a party dress - not because I don't have track pants, but because the ones I have are all still in storage, waiting for our bookshelves to be put up, and so then I can unpack the 40 boxes of books, and hopefully somewhere under there will also be thre boxes of winter clothes, and my scrubs).

Okay, yes, I know I have odd ideas, however, I see a strange link between how people scruff up around the house, take off their fancy duds and get into yesterday's smelly track suit, and how quite a few people I know only live in two rooms of their house. the rest of it is all laid out for visitors, all clean and sparkling and with guest towels and soaps you can't use (they get dusted, i know) . I think this is totally weird. the opposite of style. why give guests, people you obviously think you should impress, the very best of you? It doesn't make sense.

I guess it's when people care more about how others think of them, than how they think of themselves?

Again I can talk with (some) authority on this because I've done it myself - thought I was lower than sludge on a bottom feeders gut, but also, the other - saving beautiful things for special, kept nice shower gels for special occasions, but one day I realised TODAY was the special occasion.

After all the weird shit i've done, I think I'm sometimes lucky to be alive (in fact we're all lucky to be alive) or not in jail (yeah, well, another story) so why not celebrate today.

I think we're all worried about the future, other people's ideas of us, thinking we need to save for a rainy day. Well, I'm looking outside (I have huge windows in every room of this sixties place, which I love. Also open plan Ranch style house, so there's no special room for guests because, well, each room is special, mostly because it's got birds, or books, or my dog in there (oh, no cancel that last bit, he still thinks he's a lap dog and is trying to climb up on my lap.

Marshall (pictured here with Amber, my mum's Labradoodle)
spends his days looking for the best bit of sun in the house, or leaning against me, or trying to drag my stuff out of my office, or staring in deep love at Harper, by green budgie who talks a LOT. I know it's love because Harper flew out the other day and Marshall got close enough to eat him, and snuffled him instead).

Anyway, I digress. My hope is that people will try to overcome the urge to save the very best of themselves, and their houses, their things, their lives, for guests (ie.e strangers, or not particularly good friends if they need to be so impressed by you, they don't know you too well) and give it all to those you love, those you spend your days with, those who, if you lost them, you'd be a wreck without. Because that crap does happen and you'll always regret not dancing around in your best undies for your boyfriend when you were saving them for some special occasion that never arrived, so please, dance in your undies. it's good for your health. You can even leave the curtains open if you live in a decent street ( a little Air Supply, Guns and Roses or Destiny's Child is good enough for me, but then I have truly crap taste in music).

And that shower gel, if it's one of my favourites ('Rock Star' soap from LUSH, 'Summer Hill' from Crabtree & Evelyn) use the damn stuff now! It shouldn't be wasted, it's against the law, or something.

Be happy now, today, this minute, if you can. If there's something you have, that will make you happy, otr those around you happy, do it now! Imagine if you missed the chance? and imagine if you used that crappy old piece of Imperial Leather (If IL is a posh soap, the International Roast is a fancy European blend coffee).

You might notice I'm a big fan of nice smells (and ranting in the mornings).

2)Boys of a certain age, and lifestyle, seem to forget that pyjamas are clothes. In fact they're clothes you sweat and snuffle in for (hopefully) about eight hours. They need to be washed. After each use. Like you do your clothes. Seriously.

And bed sheets, after four/five days. I swear. GIrls like nice smells too. If you're not getting laid, this might be the reason, and if a girl is anywhere near your sheets and pyjamas or whatever you use as pyjamas) then you might be in - once. Make it twice and make sure the sheets are clean - crisp (yes, the thread count is important, those thick delicious sheets in excellent hotels can be bought for your own home, do it. those see-through softies you're still using aren't going to do much for your own happiness, or your sex life.

True, happiness is not what you buy, but what you do to make yourself happy. But n this case, what you buy can make you a happier person, because you're treating yourself and doing the equivalent of not saving the nice soaps of your guest next year...

I really think you will sleep better (unless you are an insomniac, in which case, you'll lie there starting at the ceiling in excellent sheets) and you'll feel better and you'll be nice to people because you're feeling good and you get the drift. - Hell, I should have just bought Oscar the Grouch some decent 1000 thread count sheets.

Another odd thing. I just realised the three lots of people I'm thinking about who do save all their nice, special, fancy, pretty things for guests - don't actually have many guests at all. Possibly the pressure is to great, for all of them. What a damn waste of space - in the house, - and of fun and nice smells and looking great. Makes me mad!

Listening to:'You Look Nice Today' podcasts
Eating: More apple pie. it's excellent.
Thinking about: What to wear to fancy dinner tonight.
Watching: The honey-eater (bird) outside dive-bombing my freaky looking Gravilea bush flowers - and thus I am missing my Charlie, (also a honey eater for those in he know) who used to sleep on the frame of my glasses while I was wearing them
Wearing: Flats, blue cardigan, fishnets, skirt with muddy dog prints on it.
Reading: 'A Complete Encyclopedia of Chickens' which contains the sentence: 'Apart from a fifth toe, the Faverolles has the color salmon as its special feature.'

I think my special feature is thinking about stuff too much. but then, that's what made me become a writer, it all got too busy in there and writing it all down gave my brain room to think again.


Monday, June 23, 2008

eyebrow disaster

This is a picture of me and my dear pal, Jo, at the Apothecary in Hindley Street. Truly an excellent Adelaide spot to go for virtually anything. They do a great afternoon tea. And vodka tonic. it has nothing to do with this blog, really, she just sent it to me last week and I figured it deserved a spot. Actually, I can justify it by saying I set a scene in my latest book, THE LADY SPLASH there, so it's sort of earned it's place in this blog, and in my heart. Wonderful cosy Parisian style spot (although having never been to Paris this is merely a guess).
So I over-waxed my eyebrows (again) and somehow my leftie is now two thin rows of white hairs. I guess I could pretend I have a scar - all bad guys with a heart of gold have an eyebrow scar. Only I'm not a guy, although I can be bad, but not in a cool way, and the heart of gold thing just got to heavy to lug around.

Hence - grumpiness.

I'm been thinking about my last little rant about bad breath, friendship, people who tell you the truth. I try to tell the truth, but I realised the other day I tell lies ALL THE TIME. Yes, not just in my work life - writing fiction a while bunch of lies, obviously - but just to explain things, make things go smoother, make life simpler, or just easier for those around me. I've been editing my life since an early age so i wouldn't get into quite so much trouble when I was 12 but it's sort of stuck. But I have a couple of people who tell me the truth, sometimes quite painfully.

Mu mum is a good one for that. she's excellent at hurting my feelings and me, hers, but also she's taught me a hell of a lot of things I needed to know. Table manners for one thing. A lot of people I see have crap table manners. I'm not talking knowing your fish fork, but just not scraping your cutlery together like fingernails on a chalk board. Not licking your knife. Not shovelling your food in, This might sound like a weird conversation coming from someone who prefers to eat sandwiches and/or ice-cream for most meals, usually over the sink to save mess/washing up.

But I do go to a lot of fancy dinners and things, both for work and pleasure, and I notice this shit. I'm nosy and it drives me mad that I can't ask people really impertinient questions as to why parents didn't teach kids not to lick the knife. I'm still learning my manners of course. I am pretty bad at things, but I'm keen to learn. I just learned recently the whole 'leave your serviette on the chair' thing when you go to the loo. didn't know that one. Or that ladies should face the restaurant.

There's a lot to be said for politeness, but if you are so polite you won't tell your kids, or friends, when they're doing something that might really make them look foolish in front of others, when then I think you're doing them a disservice.
So some people, familes, friends, don't tell someone when they have bad breath, or bad table manners, or a big witchy poo hair growing out of their chin, or say the word superfluous as if it was like Superman, not one running on word that emphasises the 'fluous' buit. I used to say it like Superman and my pal Gavin told me off, and I've not forgotten it. He's excellent for that sort of thing because he's great with words and conversation in general. you should go to his bookshop - that he runs with his wife Jo, called Matilda's in Stirling, Adelaide Hills. Go now.

But I know that there's been a lot of crap press since Shakespeare wrote about shooting the messenger, but there are ways of telling people things in a nice way, making it not so much a joke, but including your own mistakes in there too, so that it's clear you don't think you're superior to them for knowing how to pronounce nonchalent' (i used to think it was NotCHAlent'. My pal from school, Louise, taught me that one...)

So the humiliations never end, but it's SO much better to have those moments with people you know and trust, than with a stranger, work colleague, potential hot date, your boss, etc.

Be a good friend, sister, mother, colleague, and tell someone, sweetly, subtely, kindly, with a little anecdote of when you last embarrassed yourself, if they turn up to work with loo paper stuck to their shoes/or trousers., or have curry breath, or just mispronounced the company name, or just didn't know lifting your bowl of soup to your mouth to get the last bit out is just a bit crap.

Be a good friends, and hopefully they'll help you out the next time. And I swear, if I have a bleeding zit on my chin , or my scarf got caught in my undies, please do tell me (don't shout it across the room, just just whisper it with a smile). I really will love you for it eventually (after the instinctive knee-jerk humilation reaction).

kb Gloomy monday but feeling cheery.
Listening to:
Classic FM - I played it one day when feeling blue and my birds love it so much they sing all day to it. I turn it off - they stop. It's kind of weird and annoying, but nice if i want to learn more about the violin - which I don't.

However, I really love the interviews with Margaret Throsby (there was an excellent interview with her daughter in the weekend paper) where you get to choose the music. Last week Shaun Tan was on, and I was so jealous. he's a genius but I'd love to be able to choose the music one day.
Thinking about: How crap it is that people still think it's okay to litter.
Eating: Left over apple pie
Watching: 21 Jump Street on DVD
Wearing: jumper and socks. My wooly warms are still in storage - and until my bookcase get put in, they'll stay there. I kind of dread unpacking forty boxes of books, but at least I'll have my books back, and something warm to wear on my white white legs.
Reading: The weekend papers (i.e interstate ones...) Especially The Sunday Age - truly wonderful. I still find it extraordinary that people still read the Sunday Mail here in Adelaide. There;s just nothing in it, except some local model in scanties pretending to be a news story.

Hey, there's a p.s here. I was driving home the other night and the guy in the car next to me had a stocking over his head. Was that a Chaser style prank or a dude on his way to a burglary? I followed him for a while but I was busting for the loo and never got close enough to take down his licence plates. What would you have done?


Friday, June 20, 2008

Kirsty's Inappropriate Top Tip # 1

Things that bug me:

1) People with not all that much going on use emotional blackmail: people without anything much at all in their lives seem to spend much of their time making other people feel bad form not spending enough time with them. Maybe they have shit relationships, unhappy work, whatever, but please don't make your friends pay the price, or you'll have even less going on because they're going to dump you too one day. Trust me.

I KNOW this shit backwards because I have been this person many many times in my life. But I've also been o the other side. I'm there now, so I'm feeling annoyed. When I'm lonely or bored or friendless (happens more and more often since I've started talking about rubbish like this), then I'll feel guilty and sad about spilling the beans, but at the moment I'm noticing friends have had kids and are working more and loving life more and are busy with family, friends, houses, money, activities, etc and are spending time in two hourly pockets.

I REALLY like this. It's efficient friend time, you see, kiss, chat, laugh, share, gossip, piss off. You can chat again tomorrow, or next week, or email, it's not superficial time, it's good friendship time where you don't need to start from the very begining because you guys all know eachother. It's great! It's also very priviliged because not all that many people get to have long term friendships, but that's also the point. you're going to lose them if you tug on them too hard.

I've noticed this more because since buyign a house, I have people over. I used to go see people out at places, but my new dog is far too excited by other dogs, and the world, to be let out there too often, so I've started 'entertaining'. Okay so I'm not cooking anything, but there's a new rules going on. I can't just get up and leave my own house when I'm twitchy and need to go write, work, see someone else, snooze, have a shag. It's... well it's almost rude, I guess. the onus is now on someone else to call it quits and it's freaking me out a little.

Okay, so I know a FEW people, some of them friends, some of them family, who don't have much going on, and they NEVER know when to leave. You can stop serving, pack up around them, run a bath, turn down the lights, they're still asking for another drink/coffee, chat. They follow you into bed, and they don't even want to have the sex. It's just they don't have anywhere much else to go.

I know I'm a mean old sulk to say this, but I am too rude to put up with it, so please don't make me push you out the door and lock it behind you.

2) People who should know better who have bad breath. There's really no excuse these days. If you don't have someone who is close enough, or honest enough, to tell you every word you utter peels another layer of skin from their face, then you should just ask a stranger. Be bold.

3) It's way too cold in the mornings right now. Rug up. Scarves are sexy (unless they're ugly ones)