8 Comments

Brain Dead

‘Don’t marry the person you think you can live with; marry only the individual you think you can’t live without’.  James Dobson*

By that logic I should be married to Richard Fidler (You didn’t expect that did you cougars? You thought I would nominate some Vikings or GoT cast member didn’t you?).

If it weren’t for the rich caramel tones of Richard’s vocals administered daily via the Conversations podcasts I would have gone stark raving mad* during my time as a stay at home Mum. Now I’m back at work I’m suffering serious Richard withdrawals. Recently however I managed to get a fix – by wrestling the iPad away from the six year old and listening to Conversations whilst preparing dinner. Multitasking is a necessary evil.

In a somewhat incestuous move, Richard was interviewing former 702 host and  world’s most charismatic mathematician Adam Spencer (though I doubt he sees himself that way and other mathematicians may protest). It was a bit of a nostalgia trip. I remember Adam Spencer strutting around Sydney Uni in the early 1990s like he owned the place. To be fair he was president of the Student Representative Council so he kind of did own the place. Funnily much of his strutting occurred in the Wentworth Bar, a venue where flanno and trackie dak clad engineering students constructed the most elaborate erections from plastic beer cups whilst proto-hipster arts students sneered at their buffoonish antics. I even chatted to Adam once, sitting on the floor at  house party in Chippendale but it’s highly unlikely he’d remember that conversation.

 

Fast forward 25 years (fuck I am old) and I’m listening to Adam speak with a mixture of admiration and envy. There is something  captivating about an individual who is completely besotted by their field – hence the admiration. When you get him onto the topic of prime numbers the excitement is palpable. He sums up (pun unintended)  his passion eloquently -” Maths is beautiful. It’s natural. It’s everywhere. Numbers are the musical notes with which the symphony of the universe is written.”  This  resonates – my mother used to say much the same thing. Yet at the same time makes me feel like a complete dunder head. He is right of course – mathematics (the scaffolding of physics) is the most succinct way we can understand the universe. Buggered if I’ll ever have even the most simplistic grasp of most of it – hence the envy.

People like Adam and his bro  Karl Kruszelnicki have the ability to shake our mindset, elevate us beyond our own trivial concerns and help give us back our sense of wonder. Others in this basket include Prof Brian Cox, Neil Degrasse Tyson, Stephen Hawkings, Carl Sagan and the God father of all the science communicators David Attenborough.

BC and MS med

Errrmaaagaaaawd – excuse me while I pass out in a nerd crumpet coma.

1-12-14-neil-degrasse-tyson-inside-alternate-ftr med

Y’all Need Science!

Listen to any one of these people speak and your hope bucket is immediately replenished. Not only is there hope for the human race, it’s dazzling.  We know what the universe looked like when it was 380,000 years old and we know that it is expanding at an accelerating rate. We’ve counted over 3,000 worlds outside our solar system and we’ve landed a probe on a comet more than 300 million miles away from earth.

DAV

If David Attenborough can’t inspire you nothing can.

Closer to home we’ve sequenced the human genome, converted the electronic signals made by people’s brains into algorithms that can operate gadgets  via ‘brain power’. We’ve slowed the onslaught of many deadly diseases like small pox and polio and gene editing technology has cured a British child of leukemia. So many diseases are officially ‘on notice’.

cbr

A baby photo of the universe

 

This is truly inspiring stuff and whilst we can’t all be a part of it, I believe its important to know a little bit about what’s happening and what’s possible. Sadly listening to Adam the other day made me realize how much I’ve been neglecting this side of life. In fact I feel completely brain dead most of the time as family and work consume every last skerrick of mental energy I have. My focus has narrowed as I try to stay on top of the relentless routine of life. I’m more likely to escape in to Game of Thrones fan theories than tackle a New Scientist magazine these days.

female-zombie

How I feel.

This hasn’t happened to my husband – he’s still on top of his game, building software that’s sold to serious government agencies all over the world. (I could tell you more but he’d divorce me.)

Its time for a brain reboot. Got any suggestions on how a cougar can get her mental mojo flowing again.

Do you feel brain dead?

Do you have a favorite science crumpet?

Alan Duffy

This here crumpet is astrophysicist – Professor Alan Duffy (Its just not fair!)

Love

Mumabulous

* BTW – James Dobson is an  American evangelical Christian author, psychologist, and founder in 1977 of Focus on the Family (FOTF) which means he should be completely ignored.

* Starker, more raving mad

THE FANGUURLING SECTION AT THE END.

First up let’s deal with the elephant in the room. This was my reaction to the news that former top banana Tom Hiddleston is dating Taylor Swift a mere 2 weeks after she broke up with paramour Calvin Harris.

CP

When you discover your favorite crumpet is dating Taylor Swift.

I can’t bring myself to fire Tom from Team Crumpet like I fired Fassbender (due to assault allegations) but he is sooooooo demoted. Let us never speak of it again – save to say all you Jake G and Harry Styles fans – I feel your pain accutely.

Meanwhile I am finding consolation in Aiden Turner.

Aiden Turner

Oh my – there’s some fine consolation right there!

 


24 Comments

Why am I still blogging?

Now here’s a nice compliment.

Woog - med

This is my signed copy of Primary School Confidential (I was at the book launch a few weeks back). It says ‘B  – unique voice in a world of vanilla. Keep writing xx Mrs Woog’. I was all like ‘Gee Shux Kayte’. It was as if she’d peered into my very soul and served up exactly what I wanted to hear.

Mind you I  think most bloggers crave this type of acknowledgement. Whilst we’d like to think that our ramblings are unique and worthwhile, the evidence to the contrary is often overwhelming.

The past six months has seen the Mumabs go into extended hibernation (consequently crumpet levels on the blogosphere went into free fall like the  NASDAQ in the early 2000s). I was simply disenchanted with blogging and had come to see it as a waste of time – a mildly embarrassing one at that.

Bear Nap

Mumabs in hibernation

 

 

I certainly did not believe I was adding anything new. My story is well trodden ground. Yes – like millions of middle class women  I gave up a career trajectory for motherhood. And yes I am at times ambivalent about it. On one hand working on the stock market holds a certain kind of kudos in some circles. On the other its a bit of shit fight frankly and I don’t miss the testosterone fueled aggravation which typifies that scene.

Working Mums speak of ‘mummy guilt’ but during my stint at home I felt the burden of letting team feminism down. Here I was privileged enough to comfortably take time out whilst others were fighting tooth and nail to keep their berth upon the good ship career.

I’m sure you know the drill. It’s an internal monologue that’s played itself out on publications like the HuffPo, Mamma Mia etc etc for decades now. Why add my voice to this thunderous chorus?

Stockbroker

Apologies to Team Feminism but I don’t really miss this gig.

At the same time the Mumabs ‘brand’ was suffering an identity crisis. Despite its name much of the content didn’t quite gel with the mummy blogging genre.I was reluctant to talk about parenting, mainly because I need a mental break from it.

There’s was no way I was dishing out life hacks because I have no interest in telling people how to live. Recipes and craft? – don’t make me laugh. Style? – it would be nice to have some to share with you.

My blogging shebang descended into a self parody that grew old. (It was great fun for a while though). I can imagine one off visitors grinning, shaking their heads and thinking ‘this woman’s off her trolley’ then clicking away for good.  As for my faithful tribe of about 12 fellow cougars – I’m sure even they became tired of seeing Clive Standen pics in every single post.

clive-standen-06

But I’m not. Here he is in civilian gear for a change.Yes – Vikings fans – that’s Rollo. #Sorrynotsorry.

None of this works well when it comes to partnering with brands – which is just as well because that route a giant turn off for me. The hamster wheel of creating relatable content, to attract unique visits in order to work  with brands is simply does not float my boat. I don’t blame others for trying to make a few lousy bucks but you could not pay me enough to flog cleaning products etc. I’d consider shilling coffee, chocolate, booze, five star resorts and  hunks in leather pants  but its a moot point given my tiny niche appeal.

Hamster in a wheel

Stop the blogosphere – I want to get off!

The above explains why Mumabs dropped off the radar for a while. But why did I come back? All I can say is invisible forces beyond my control pushed me back to the keyboard. I have a compulsion to write – complete drivel though it is.  My name is Brenda and I’m a bloggaholic.

Have you ever taken a blog break?

Do you sometimes feel disenchanted with the blogging scene?

Why are you still blogging?

Should I change my name to Cougar ‘Abulous?

Love

Mumabulous

BONUS MATERIAL – Some pathetic fan gurling.

The James Bond Casting Conundrum

I’m indifferent about the Bond franchise (what 26 installments are not enough?). However rumour has it that top banana Tom Hiddleston is about to replace the priapic bastion of masculinity that is Daniel Craig.

As a Hiddleswooner since the first Avengers movie and a self appointed casting expert I had to weigh in on this. In short computer says NO!!!!!

Mentally casting Tom Hiddleston is one of my hobbies. My people need to talk to his people about ;

  • Dr Who – there’s no-one else I’d rather see wield a sonic screwdriver. (Besides David Tennant – calm down loyal Whovians)
  • Horatio Hornblower – so many puns about blowing horns and  I have fetish for 19th century naval gear.
  • Willy Wonka – because the Candy Man makes everything he bakes satisfying and delicious.

BUT – NOT JAMES BOND. Hids is beauty, elegance and intellect manifest in male form. (which does’t mean he can’t be a pretentious prat). James Bond is a suave killing and rooting machine. These two things are incompatible.

In my expert opinion – the other TH is the better choice. Tom Hardy. He can do a suave exterior (though mostly chooses not to) but there’s no denying the deep darkness in his soul. Tom Hardy can serve up a savage beating and really mean it.

Tom Hardy

Now – here’s a plausible killing and rooting machine..

Meanwhile the internet wants Idris Elba to be the first non-white 007. I have no problem with that. It’s a worthy experiment.

Idris-Elba-12

I mean who wouldn’t want to experiment with Idris? HONK!

I also think  Nikolaj has super spy potential  but unfortunately his career will be stained by Game of Thrones forever. He’d be known as Jaime Bond – the spy who loved his sister. Shame.

Got any Bond picks cougars and amateur casting agents?

 

 

 


21 Comments

Hits & Old Skool

What Not To Wear

A friend of mine who has three kids yet has somehow managed to maintain a go ahead career and something resembling a social life has invited me along to the Dita Von Teese burlesque show – Strip, Strip Hooray!

Given the need to get my voluminous butt out of the house I agreed. Now I find myself shelling out good money to watch a woman disrobe. That’s just not normal for me. Dadabs reaction when I requested a leave pass was ‘so Dita is going to tease you for a couple of hours is he?’

‘Urm…. Dita’s a woman.’

Guess Dadabs feels cheated that I’m going to a girlie show while he minds the kids. Anyhow the whole burlesque thing isn’t meant to be pervy (so I tell myself). Its about sensuality, glamour and style – qualities I lack in droves.

At forty five I’m in the worst shape of my life and I’m tired . My stripper name should be something like Frau Von Frumpenstein Das Hausen Wiven.  My signature move – kicking off my house slippers with reckless abandon and backflipping onto the couch.

I’m not sure that watching a gorgeous and well maintained woman cavorting in a martini glass is going to do much for my ego.

dita-von-teese-nella-coppa-di-martini

This is helping me – how?

Meanwhile a more pressing question is what does one wear to such an event? A rhinestone g-string and nipple tassles being out of the question. Any suggestions would be fully appreciated but it’ll have to something stretchy (which rules out a corset!).

Dita-Von-Teese in corset

What I won’t be wearing to see Dita..

Hits and Old Skool 

The car radio is currently on some music station – I think its 2day fm. Being the turbo nerd that I am I’d prefer ABC 702 but its not worth the kids whinging. Its not that I’m complaining about the music of today (I’d quite happily go Downtown with Macklemore or Eat Cake by the Ocean with Joe Jonas. Even Bieber is approaching tolerable lately).

The problem is this station’s slogan -‘Hits and Old Skool’. The don’t have the faintest notion as to what ‘old skool’ actually is. ‘And coming up we’ve got some old skool R&B’ the announcer will declare before dragging out some Beyonce or Rhianna. I’ve got no beef with either of these but THEY ARE NOT OLD SKOOL!!!!!! In fact if it happened after 1990 it ain’t Old Skool!

I still think Blur’s Song 2 (1997)  is a radically fresh beat – Wooohooo, Wooooooohooooooo!

Blur

Blur are on flek! Not at all Old Skool!

To my mind Old Skool is Mick Jagger not getting any Satisfaction.

the-rolling-stones-1965-promo-650x400

I call bullshit! Mick Jagger gets oodles of Satisfaction on daily basis and has done so since 1963.

Old Skool is Marc Bolan getting it on, banging a gong.

Marc Bolan.jpg

T-Rex putting the glam in glam rock circa 1971.

It’s Chaka Khan knocking you out at 20 paces with the sheer might of those vocals. (The Jasmine Thompson cover of Aint Nobody was a travesty)

Chaka_Khan_Onstage_3

Chaka Khan – Old Skool soul queen.

Nevertheless the cognizanti at 2-Day Fm insist on calling stuff that was released this century ‘old skool’. Someone needs to skool them…

bob_marley

This guy could teach a thing or two about Old Skool.

Netflix and Chill

Kids these days. Not only do they not comprehend the concept of ‘Old Skool’, they use the term Netflix and Chill as a euphemism for doing the business, hiding the salami, getting nasty, taking the skin boat to tuna town, banana in the fruit salad, attacking the pink fortress and jamming the clam.

To me this is debasing the noble act of vegetating in front of the tele. In middle age an evening reclining in front of box is a more enticing prospect than metaphoric netflix and chill except perhaps when this is on………

Outlander

Errrrrmaaaaagaaaaaaawd!!!!!! I am ashamed that this masterpiece of hunksplotation escaped my attention for this long.  However now that I am aware of it I am honor bound as a cougar to spread the word. So here goes –

Outlander focuses on an unreasonably hawt  man swashbuckling around the Scottish highlands circa 1740 in a kilt.

Outlander 2014

Meet my latest fancy – Sam Heughan

I won’t go into the complex machinations of the plot save to say that if this crumpet had a dating profile he’d list his hobbies as sword fighting and folk-dancing (of the horizontal variety – talk about a Highland fling – Oh my!) It’s quite remarkable how much netflix and chill goes (ahem) down in 18th century Scotland considering that Netflix was not founded until 1997 and Don Draper invited chill in the 1960s.

My husband sums the whole thing up with  comments like ‘this is descending into soft porn’ and ‘this guy sees more action in one episode than most men do in a month.’ Yes well – I wonder why? Take my sage advice cougars – you need to cop an eyeful.

Meanwhile its mildly disconcerting that Dadabs is watching Outlander with me but won’t sit through Vikings. Must be all of those Scottish tits……

You may also like –

Poldark

Poldark-Scene-Icons_05

Aiden Turner does the hardest smolder since Mr Darcy

and Peaky Blinders

Peaky-Blinders-S2-episode-3-06

Cillan Murphey’s a sharp dressed man. 

Have you been a burlesque show?

What’s your definition of Old Skool?

Got any Netflix and chill recommendations for this old cougar?

Love

Mumabulous

Bonus Material – Buffet of Crumpets (Oooops – I mean Game of Thrones ) discussion.

Warning: Contains Spoilers and is deadly boring for non fans.

It’s no secret that I, like millions of middle class people with too little excitement in their lives, am obsessed by Game of Thrones. Not obsessed enough to actually read the books – God no! I want to actually see the crumpets.

Anyhow Season 6 is in full tilt and I am completely enthralled by the goings on in Westeros (and indeed Essos) despite some of the plot points being quite preposterous. I mean the Pyke stuff is eye roll inducing – Balon Greyjoy  pushed off a rickety suspension bridge? This is NOT the Star Wars canon….

That aside there are some engrossing developments afoot. The storyline I am cheering hardest for revolves around my 2nd favorite character* – that kick ass dame Brienne and that big hunk of ginger lurve – Tormund. I just adore what the internet is doing with this pairing.

tumblr_o7p0jn3dPy1tgixllo1_500

People have time to do shite like this – it’s awesome!

Unfortunately now that something kinda’ sweet is happening I fear the worst because Benioff and Weiss are assholes.  I’m deeply concerned that

a) Brienne will get killed off before she gets to experience pure unbridled wildling passion

or

b) Worse still – Tormund will finally wear Brienne down and she’ll finally cop some sweet lovin’. The Bri-mund consummation will happen at exactly the same moment Jaime decides that twincest is for chumps and rides out to find her. Oooops. It never rains but it pours….

Jaime and Brienne

I told you before – this is NOT the Star Wars canon!

*Tyrion – FTW!!!!!


16 Comments

Job Interview Hell

It is oft said that ‘hell is other people.’ To me this phrase is a bit vague and nebulous. Other people (red headed actorly crumpets for instance) can be heavenly. A more accurate idiom would be  ‘hell is other people interviewing you for a job’.

I have a great and inglorious track record when it comes to stuffing up job interviews and unlike the Split Enz song* – history has been repeating itself of late.

I hope history does not repeat this look.

I hope history does not repeat this look.

In a quest to a add a bit more work to my work/life balance I turned my attention to the online job sites once more. The good news is that I seem to have this cover letter/ resume malarkey worked out and scored several call backs. The bad news is  that I’ve endured a handful of interviews. Sadly the process is not becoming easier with age and experience. On the contrary interviews are becoming even more painful as middle age erodes my tolerance for bullshit and wankery.

The circle of hell known as the job interview

The circle of hell known as the job interview

One dude, who was (at least superficially) a successful middle aged executive, told me that he pretty much had me sussed on the basis of the crappy personality test I’d filled out before our meeting. Given that this probing multiple choice questionaire had provided all the information he needed, the purpose of the interview was to see if I behaved in accordance with my ‘authentic self’. Yes – the 50-something balding dude in a suit with a strong track record in accountancy actually said this.

He went on to explain that if I was not my ‘authentic self’ he would know because he has an uncanny knack for picking up fakery. Kind of like having a well tuned Gaydar but for fakes not homosexuals. He could sense a fauxmo-sexual at twenty basis. Righto – I suppressed an eye roll (my God it took some strength) and considered myself warned.

Then he asked the killer question – ‘what would you do if you could choose any job in the world?’ There is no way in hell an irrespressible cougar like me can answer this question ‘authentically’. I rattled off a rehearsed spiel about how I love being on the coal face of small business. Its so much more rewarding than laboring as a nameless cog in a soulless multi-national corporation doncha know. I guess dude’s Spidey senses detected the inauthenticity I was spouting.

A more authentic career aspiration for me is a head features writer for  The Onion. If only I could thrash out gold like ‘Seagull with diarrhea barely makes it to crowded beach’, I would know complete professional fulfillment.

http://www.theonion.com/article/seagull-with-diarrhea-barely-makes-it-to-crowded-b-31354

3944078-seagull

Alternatively I see myself as a Hollywood casting agent with a very comfy couch specializing in male leads. (But don’t we all).

Failing the above, I would reinvent myself as a wardrobe assistant on the set of Vikings. The thing is I would be rather incompetent. Clive Standen’s shirt would regularly go missing. With hard work and study I am sure I could progress to losing Travis Fimmel and Alexander Ludwig’s shirts as well. Perhaps I could orchestrate the series first entirely shirtless episode. Cougars everywhere would applaud my artistry.

Here's Travis Fimmell - dressed by a competent wardrobe assistant.

Here’s Travis Fimmel – dressed by a competent wardrobe assistant.

Anyhow I am sure you understand that there is no way I could be authentic about any of this in an interview situation with a middle aged accountancy dude albeit one with Spidey senses. Needless to say I did not get the job.

A week later I found myself sitting opposite a tall dark handsome crumpet with geometric sideburns. That bit was OK. The annoying thing was that Mr Sideburns wanted to set two hours to extract my entire life story – without evening buying me a drink. Seriously Hunky McSideburns said he had to follow company protocol which meant deconstructing every fucking line on my resume.

 

Here’s the thing – I am 45 years old and I have been known to enjoy an adult beverage. The nineties are kind of a blur. I simply can not remember my life story. I

I was fudging along OK when Hunky McSideburn’s boss walked in. This dude was wearing a tailored suit of blue and white check and sporting – a blonde man bun!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

WANKER ALERT! WANKER ALERT!! – the warning siren going off in my head was so damn loud that I am surprised the entire office floor did not hear it.

Call me old fashioned but for the man bun is like so 2013 and only acceptable if;

a) You are a Viking.

b) You are a hawt barista in a hipster cafe.

c) You are this guy.

He would be right at home on the set of Vikings

NEVER EVER should the man bun be teamed with a suit – let alone an obviously tailored number in edgy blue and white check.**

Anyhow that it turns out that you can judge a book by its cover. Blondie McManbun revealed himself to be a long term resident of Wanker Town. He referred to himself as a ‘digital nomad’. This does not mean he has wandering fingers – which admittedly would be interesting. Rather he viewed himself as some kind of internet age gypsy who swans about spending summers at Byron and winters at Aspen. The work/life balance see-saw is definitely tilted towards ‘life’ as he checks in on his stable of internet businesses  between swimming/surfing/skiing/sinking expensive piss/boinking etc etc Every couple of months he’ll jet into Sydney or NY to talk to his people before heading off on his merry way. His carbon footprint growing larger and larger with all the indulgent air travel and the hot air emanating from his LinkedIn profile. Don’t you just hate it when wankers are having a thoroughly better time than you?

Needless to say I turned the job down in favor of another position. The interview for that one only lasted 20 minutes and they shouted me a coffee!!! The choice was a no-brainer.

 

Is your tolerance for bullshit decreasing with age?

What’s your ideal job?

Man buns – hate ’em or rate ’em?

Love

Mumabulous

*History Never Repeats 1981 – Jezuz! I am old.

*Kit Harrington is the only individual permitted to rock the suit/man bun combo on account of his excessive hawtness. Oh my! Talk about putting the erection in resurrection Jon Snow.

kit and nikolaj

Kit with his man bun and some Nikolaj because this is Mumabs and I over-deliver.

But what about Jared Leto ? – I hear some cougars cry… Can Jared Leto not rock the man bun along side Kit Harrington?

Jared

To that I say NO!! Jared Leto is a wanker. A beautiful wanker but a wanker nonetheless.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


16 Comments

All the celebrity deaths

If it seems like celebrities have been dropping off in unusually high numbers lately, there’s a good explanation for that. It’s because they are. According to the BBC – five obituaries were broadcast in the first quarter of 2012. This year the number skyrocketed to 24  – and that was before Prince. Writing celebrity obituaries is a growth industry it seems. (Sadly the only growth area in journalism).

Of course this trend has been analysed to (ahem) death. My Facebook feed is overflowing with pieces from New Scientist, IFLS (I F*$king Love Science) and other turbo nerd publications elucidating  the phenomena.

According to the boffins, the celebrity death spree is down to two factors. 1) A timing issue – many of departed rose to prominence during the 70s and 80s and are getting old. Old people have a higher propensity to die than the general population. 2) Its a numbers game – for better or worse (I’d say worse) there are more celebrities nowadays. Back in the 1960s you had Elvis, the Beatles, the Stones and a hand full of movie stars. Fast forward to 2016 and just about any turkey with a webcam can become a global super star.  It logically follows that in a growing celebrity population, more of them will be available to cark at any given time.

What does this mean for YOU? Perhaps you’re life will become a litany of despair as more and more of your favorite crumpets shuffle off in a conga line of doom. You’ll dread switching your phone on in the morning for fear that yet another of your idols has slipped away depriving you of both eye candy and inspiration.

Or perhaps (and I think this more likely) ‘celebrity death fatigue’ will become a thing. Personally I would feel more bereaved by the passing of Prince if it had not been for the double whammy of David Bowie and Alan Rickman back in January. That was a hard month for us all and it depleted me of most of the hoots I had to give. The sad news about Prince was greeted merely with a loud ‘Oh Shit!’ and a subsequent side eye from my husband for swearing.

For my husband who was not a huge Prince fan (he likes Coldplay which proves that he saved all of his good taste  for choosing a wife) the event was a reminder of our own mortality. ‘Its a good thing we’re not getting close to that age’ he said ironically. I pointed out that there was a big lifestyle gap between ourselves and Prince to which he responded ‘not in my imagination.’ Oh dear. My husband is a man of many talents – none of them musical. His name is David and he’s not funky. (To be fair I doubt Prince could fix anyone’s computer problems).

We can safely conclude that Dadabs wasn’t greatly affected but I kinda was and now I’m going to to tell you how I feel…

David Bowie

My High School girl posse was introduced to Bowie’s more avant garde works by a shady group of boys from a neighboring school. That lot listed their hobbies as listening to Bowie man, smoking weed  man and railing aimlessly against our soulless capitalist society man. Those dudes faded out of my life and into their own drug haze shortly after but my appreciation of Bowie continued to grow. It peaked in middle age when I starting mixing Bowie and NZ pinot noir to self medicate when world events became to heavy. The prospect of a ‘Star man waiting in the sky’ was a comforting one.

smokin' Bowie med

Smoking is not cool kids – wait a minute….

As this is the Mumabs blog respect must be paid to Bowie’s divine hawtness.  David Bowie was one outrageously smokin’ hawt individual. That magnificent bone structure, the otherworldly mismatched eyes, the graceful line of his slender body. Angelically beautiful yet downright dirty. (Phew is it getting hawt in here or is menopause kicking in?).

When Facebook heralded the news of his passing, it was a shock. Afterall he’d just completed a comeback album and was looking fiercely fine for a man nearing 70.

I doubt there’ll be another Bowie – he was an innovator in some many ways and he informed much of the post punk, new wave and British indie music I was drawn to back in the day. Ashes to ashes…funk to funky. Vale Bowie..

Bowie med

He’s the same age as my Dad! How is that fair!

Alan Rickman

So the gaping Bowie shaped hole in my heart was still weeping when a few days later THWACK! comes the news of Alan Rickman’s passing. “Oh No! I really liked him’, I told my husband. What I did not tell my husband and what the avalanche of tributes and obituaries did not say was ‘Damn that man was sexy!’

Yes someone has to say it and that someone is the Mumabs. Alan Rickman was so freakin’ sexy!  Even playing a penis-less angel in the 1999 film Dogma he was sex on legs. (Something I fear GoT actor Alfie Allen will not achieve for Theon Greyjoy ) That film also featured Ben Affleck and Matt Damon – Alan blew those light weights away.

My fandom began with Die Hard. The movie was on the TV one evening. I wasn’t really watching but I overheard that voice pontificating at Bruce Willis. If anyone deserves to cop a good monologue its Bruce Willis. My ears pricked up. That voice was the richest, creamiest, sexiest I had ever heard. It was aural sex. Of course I had to check out the visuals and I was not disappointed. Soon I was rooting (in a manner of speaking) for the bad guy Hans Gruber.

Alan Rickman’s darn freaking sex appeal is the key takeaway of Die Hard, the entire Harry Potter franchise, Sense and Sensibility, Truly Madly Deeply et al (Galaxy Quest not so much).  The world is orders of magnitude less crumpety for his departure.

hans-gruber med

Hans Gruber – sexiest screen villain ever.

Sense and sensibility med

How Kate Winslet resisted him in Sense and Sensibility is a mystery.

Prince

As anyone who’d experienced him in concert would attest, Prince had super powers. I had that privilege during the 1992 Diamonds and Pearls tour. During one number his Royal Purpleness sat down at his grand piano, guitar strapped to his back and began banging out some magic. Then he leaped atop his piano and started up an intense guitar solo. He jumped again, guitar firmly in hand, did a somersault, landed in the splits and continued playing.

Prince med.jpg

There are certain things that only Prince could do – this look is one of them.

In my view that’s impressive. Only a handful of people of people possess that combination of musical genius and athleticism. Lenny Kravitz (the next artist I saw live) certainly didn’t – playing his entire gig obviously stoned as a crow.

Lenny-Kravitz-Cover

That’s just gratuitous Mumabs.

Intensely private, it was difficult to gauge what the real Prince was like or whether he actually owned a pair of tracksuit pants. But its irrelevant really. Just as the girl in the raspberry beret knew how to give a kiss Prince knew how to write a song. I’d go as far as saying he was the best song writer of our generation.

I’m sure most people’s desert island playlist includes something from Prince’s expansive catalogue. My all time favorite is Little Red Corvette – ‘honey you’ve got to slow down. Honey I said the little red corvette, cause if you don’t you’re gonna run your body right to the ground.

If only he’d taken his own advice.

Little red corvetter

My fav Prince track!

Who do you miss the most? Any bets on who’s leaving the building next? My money’s on George Michael.

Cheers

Mumabulous

 

 

 

 


16 Comments

School Concerts – the Agony & the Ecstasy (but mostly the agony)

The Primary School Concert – an annual event which has been striking fear into the hearts of parents, teachers and students for decades. Frankly its time somebody stood up and asked ‘Hasn’t this gone on long enough?’

Dadabulous vividly recalls being forced to play the glockenspiel in front of an audience at the Sutherland Entertainment Centre during the late 1970s. Surely this must have contravened the Geneva Convention. That he made it to middle age without  psychological scarring is testimony to his strength of character. My memories are unarguably even more traumatic. In 1981, at the Gymea Bay Primary School Hall, my 5th grade class was coerced into miming along to a medley of Rolf Harris songs. Oh the humanity!

Implement of torture.

Implement of torture.

The early 80s was an unenlightened era. We failed to recognize true perversion even when it was staring us  in the face. ‘Two little boys had two little toys’, ‘Tie me kangaroo down sport ‘ and shudder ‘Jake the peg with my extra leg’ all seemed perfectly normal at the time. It is only with the benefit of hindsight that we can see how sick and twisted it truly was.  Fortunately things were better for the rest of my school – but not much. For instance a 4th Grade class was made to do a lack luster dance routine to The Captain and Tennille. Whilst love kept the whole thing together  – just, all I can say is DONT do that to me one more time. (Boom Tish)*

Won't somebody think of the children?

Won’t somebody think of the children?

Obviously Australian society has failed to learn from the mistakes of the past and the Primary School Concert baton has been handed to to a new generation. Our turn rolled around last Friday evening. It was two hours of my life that I would have otherwise spent scrolling aimlessly through Facebook and drinking Shiraz.

The anticipation had been mounting for weeks, particularly for my eight year old. Many hours had been dedicated to rehearsing and getting every detail just right. I even participated in a costume making bee – sans alcohol. It was a tough afternoon of sewing but I ploughed on, without alcohol, for the sake of the children. Finally the big night arrived and families converged en mass upon the Parade Theatres at NIDA. (Of course it was at F%#king NIDA! This is the Eastern beaches doncha know!).  The venue so reeked of artiness that all of the bar men were dressed in black and bespectacled. I spent half and hour in the queue for a champagne as one does at the theatre.

Richard Roxburgh went to NIDA and he is really HAWT!

Richard Roxburgh went to NIDA and he is really HAWT!

I barely had time to skoll my bubbles before the performance bell rang. We ambled to our front row seats to spend the next 90 minutes with our necks crooked at an awkward angle.  The show revolved around a loose narrative about two kids being swept up in a world of ‘imagination’. The storyline threaded together a series of unrelated and yet remarkably similar dance routines.

The children journeyed through the jungle where they were confronted by bear like creatures shimming to “I like to move it move it”. They evaded pirates and ended up on the bottom of the ocean where scores of jelly fish and sharks grooved away to the disco hit Working At the Car Wash. In keeping with the oceanic theme the Kindy class performing ‘Somewhere beyond the sea’ almost had an epic fail. The entire group of twenty simply stopped mid routine. The tension was unbearable for a moment or two before they rebooted and finished the number. The biggest laugh however came from a Year One class who were doing a disco version of the Oompa Loompa song. (Yes – such a thing exists). It took them several attempts to position themselves correctly before the act began. The shuffling about elicited whoops of laughter from the crowd and a mighty cheer once the music started up.

The disco Oompa Loompas were a huge hit.

The disco Oompa Loompas were a huge hit.

Finally 90 minutes passed and everybody emerged with their dignity largely intact (unlike 1981). I tip my hat to the school teachers. Getting young kids to dance in unison is like herding cats. Even with months of rehearsal they simply lack the coordination to move in time with 20 class mates. Additionally most people are not natural performers. The prospect of shaking groove thang in front of 700 parents is terrifying. The majority of the kids moved stiffly like footballers mouthing the national anthem. Around 5% relished the attention, played up to the audience and wiggled like their lives depended on it. Raw talent played no part in determining which children fell into which group.  It’s a metaphor for life beyond the school ground.

The debrief continues at Chez Abulous with my girls requiring a deconstruction of their performances. ‘Mum. Did you see me?’, Mum was I the best in my class?’, ‘Who was the best in the class?’ The only answer is of course ‘You were beautiful darling. I loved it’. Meanwhile your soul is drenched in deep relief that you dont have to endure any more of this until next year.

School concerts haven’t they been going on long enough? Love or loathe?

Love

Mumabulous

 

 

*  A bad play on Captain and Tennille song lyrics that anyone under the age of 40 probably wouldn’t get.

On second thoughts DONT!

On second thoughts DONT!

 

 

 


17 Comments

Book Week Mayhem

So, as if you didn’t know its Book Week. I could was lyrical about how this event is a wonderful way for the young and the young at heart to celebrate the magic of reading. But this is Mumabulous. I’m going to blog about how for most parents Book Week is a pain in the derriere.

I’m sure you can relate to the following scenario – You are flat out juggling your high powered career (meaning two menial part time jobs) with family and you’re ability to cope is less than stellar. Your house is a bomb site and your blog is deader than Jon Snow. (There’s a 75% chance that Jon Snow will be resurrected, Mumabulous not so much).  Worse still you’ve suffered an horrific weight gain because you cant get to the gym but won’t stop drinking to compensate. Then you skim the school news letter and discover that Book Week is fast approaching.

You think to yourself “Sod Orf School! The last thing I want to do is procure two book character costumes outta my wazoo. That would eat into the dwindling reservoir of time I have to faff about listening to Richard Fidler podcasts and googling Clive Standen shirtless. Ah Clive its been so long I can barely remember what you look like…

It's all coming back to me now. And incidentally - Errrrrmaaaaaaagaaaaaawd!

It’s all coming back to me now. And incidentally – Errrrrmaaaaaaagaaaaaawd!

You then immediately feel pangs of guilt for entertaining such impure thoughts – the ones about Book Week not Clive. You do after all want to be a “hands on” parent and your kids get some much enjoyment out of this dressing up shite. You feel like the Grinch that stole Christmas which luckily doubles as a costume idea.

You initiate a brain storming session with your eight year old by suggesting that they go as the “bum that went psycho” from Andy Griffith’s The Day My Bum Went Pyscho”. The eight year old rolls her eyes at your in horror. You are secretly relieved that you don’t have to paper mache over two balloons.  You include your five year old and gather around the book shelf for inspiration.

Of course Dadabs built it and is responsible for the art work on top.

Of course Dadabs built it and is responsible for the art work on top.

The five year old pulls out this tome and says cheekily “Here’s a good one”.

the emperors new clothes med

This once again demonstrates that P2 not only looks like me, she thinks like me. Lock up your sons now!

You suggest that they both go as Snuggle Pot and Cuddle Pie but this idea is regarded as “daggy” rather than retro chic.

Its an antique - just like me.

Its an antique – just like me.

The eight year old decides she wants to be the Cat in the Hat and the five year old eschews Little Red Riding Hood for Snow White. Conveniently she has a generic Snow White dress from K-mart. Easy but lame.

You wonder to myself how parents who work full time cope with this crap. When the day of the Book Parade rolls around you get your answer. Harried working parents cope in two ways

  1. They  put their child in a generic dress up from Target or K-mart regardless of whether the outfit as anything to do with literature.
  2. They throw money at the problem.

At this year’s parade our school yard was awash with Harry Potters. Iron man was out in force, as was Spiderman and Batman. I spotted one Superman and a Thor. Whilst I dont have an issue with the Comic book universe coming under the umbrella of literature, I’d hoped some of its hawter elements could be represented. The hawtest comic book element is of course Loki but Chris Pratt as Starlord is closing in fast from the rear (Oh my!!!). Paul Rudd’s Antman is also very, very hawt.  Disappointingly all three were absent.

Chris Pratt almost out hawts Tom Hiddleston.

Chris Pratt almost out hawts Tom Hiddleston

There was however, a gaggle of Darth Vaders accompanied by an army of Storm Troopers and ship loads of miscellaneous pirates. They mingled with a coven of witches with outfits recycled from last Halloween. A large contingent simply donned  animal onesies – I mean there’s got to a book about a giraffe somewhere right? Most surprising was the excess of minions. I had no idea that the Despicable Me franchise was based in literature but there were at least two minions per class. The playground was a symphony of  yellow and blue.  Strangely one girl came dressed in a black body suit with a matching face mask. She was carrying a whip. I thought she might have been from 50 Shades of Grey but its turns out she was Cat Woman. At the other end of the spectrum there were a cast of Lord of the Rings, King Arthur and Robin Hood type characters whose parents obviously shelled out the big bucks at a fancy costume hire place.

As is the case every year a small number of parents used the occasion to show off. We had a smattering of highly original and skillfully put together pieces from families who apparently do “have time fo’ dat”. We had the wardrobe from The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, the house that Alice in Wonderful exploded out of and the Magic Bus. A dozen sixth graders carried a magnificent rainbow serpent like dragon dancers on Chinese New Year.

For me the parade itself was ninety minutes of sitting in the sunlight worrying about work that wasn’t getting done. At least the music which obviously reflected the senior teachers personal taste, was completely on point. There was nary a tune produced after 1985. When AC/DCs classic “Its a long way to the top” began playing our mild mannered head master started head banging. P2’s teacher head banged harder but he’s charismatic. A daggy Dad standing behind me started singing loudly “Its a long way to the shop if you want a sausage roll”.  When a boy shuffled past with a fake bald head and enormous plastic ears shuffled past the same Dad yelled out “there’s Tony Abbott’. Fair enough Tony Abbott does have his own book – Battlelines.

How was your Book Week experience? Did you enjoy it? Or did you find it just another thing to cram into an already overstuffed schedule?

Love

Mumabulous

 

I cobbled together the Cat in the Hat outfit and P2 decided to go as Anna at the last minute. I know - f%#king lame.

I cobbled together the Cat in the Hat outfit and P2 decided to go as Anna at the last minute. I know – f%#king lame.

 

Here's what happened 30 seconds later.

Here’s what happened 30 seconds later.

 

Charlie Hunnam as King Arthur is welcome at my Book Parade.

Charlie Hunnam as King Arthur is welcome at my Book Parade.