Monthly Archives: October 2010
It stuns me how spending a relatively measly portion of your life in a place can cement it in your heart forever.
I had long wanted to travel abroad and was expecting that once I’d done so, it would change me. But what I wasn’t expecting was how upon our return to Oz, I would from that point onwards always feel like a little piece of me was missing. The Canadian piece. A piece I hadn’t even known existed, until I lived there.
So huge is my love for all things Canadian, that I now do everything I can – short of painting the house with a maple leaf stencil – to keep the Canucky flame aglow.
This ranges from decorating our home with photos of our jaunts (obviously), Canadian maps (slightly less obviously) and miscellaneous memorabilia collected along the way, to downloading the Vinyl Cafe and other CBC podcasts to accompany me on my commutes into town, to making a concerted effort to keep traditions that we discovered over there, alive. Like Halloween. Indeed, Halloween is not exclusively Canadian, but our experience of it was. I wrote about our very first experience of it in my Canadian newspaper column.
But point is, since getting back, I want to at least try to keep some of those experiences going. And so it was, that this weekend gone, we held our very own homemade (translation = my extremely homebrand style of arts and crafts and creativity) Halloween festivities.
I’d better stop now, for fear of exceeding my awesomeness:blog post quota.
This was all for you Canada. Do I not do you proud?
*Note: I realise I’m a bit behind the game here – some 16 million views later – but I just love it too much not to share it anyhoo.
1. I can officially announce now that I’m gonna be part of the comedic lineup at this year’s Woodford Folk Festival. I absolutely adore this fest – it is a massive highlight of my year, so much so that I even wrote an ode to it when I was pining away over in Canada, the first time I’d missed a fest in almost a decade! I’m doing the Great Comedy Debate plus a couple of stand-up slots too and am bracing myself for frivolities, catching up with friends over a cider or twenty and/or combinations of the above.
2. I have some extremely exciting news to announce in the next coupla days regarding my improv ensemble‘s official launch. So freaking cool. AGH!
3. Thanks heaps to you lovely darlings who put finger to mouse to help me out in deciding on where to focus my energies for the upcoming novel writing challenge. The results are in and I’m gonna be doing…. da da da da! A NOVEL!
4. I’ve started working on a few new blog buttons – yes, I really am that brilliant at procrastinating. If you’re good perhaps some of this shiny time-wasting will rub off on you! There? Is it working?
Anyhoo, here’s one of the latest.
Feel free to spread it around cyberspace like you would syrup on a pancake. That is, liberally if you like, not at all if you don’t. I won’t be offended.
(No really, that’s not my fist shaking, that’s just me cheering for your right to choose.)
5. Finally, thanks heaps to all who have messaged me etc. with support following the Brownish Prairie Dog issues. I’m so grateful for the kind words, the sharing of your own dealings with this furry little beast and you know…without going all Barbara Streisand on your ass (I mean, hello? Isn’t that why you come here?), well…it really does help. Thank you.
Now go eat a lollypop. I insist.
Sorry to say that she’s attacking with a vengeance.
I don’t usually even like writing about it on here, preferring to instead just carry on as though everything’s fine. But you know, it’s not. And I don’t want to pretend. I don’t want to WALLOW mind you, but I don’t want to pretend. I think that’s what’s given this freaking thing it’s power in this world – by people feeling like it’s something that’s a sign of weakness, or freakiness and something that should thus be hidden away. But you know what?
That sucks balls. Big balls. Big gumballs that are past their useby date and are rotting in a cracked plastic takeaway container in the “fill a bag” pile at a garage sale.
So anyway, I’ve resolved that wherever I can, even if I can’t beat the damn thing myself, I’ll at least not give it extra oomph by trying to keep it packed away in private. So Depression, here’s where I officially notify you that if you’re gonna live here, then you’re gonna have to become an exhibitionist like the rest of me!
In short, I’m trying to deal with the BPD (holy crazzballs – literally as I typed that I realised that “Brownish Prairie Dog” shares the same anacronym as “BiPolar Disorder – complete coincidence, I kid you not) as best I can by trying to:
1. Exercise my ass off, literally and figuratively; and
2. Fuel all grossness into the creative stuff. Oh by heavens you should see how many cartoons I’ve done in the past 24 hours alone!
3. Outpouring to my darling hubby, who is doing a tremendous job of just listening, nodding where appropriate and making me cups of tea.
Hmmm, in need of a punchline….
Somebody, please throw me a line. And I will PUNCH IT!
So it’s time again for National Novel Writing Month!
I’ve signed myself up (cos you know, that’s exactly what I need right now. Another freaking project. What is WRONG WITH ME?! ) and I’m using these last few days of October to decide exactly which project to dedicate it to. Hmmmm. Actually, to heck with it! Let’s bring on the poll!
I mean, chances are, if you’re reading this, you’re obviously my kind of person (and I LOVE your hair!) which means in all likelihood, you’re my kind of audience. So…help! Pretty please?
Oh PS. I finally worked out how to allow for multiple choices, too, so click away! (That this discovery is likely to be the highlight of my week is…well, just what it is.)
Okay, so here’s the deal.
Last week I found out (SQUEE!) that I got shortlisted for the Moosehead Awards at Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Needless to say, I was suitably stoked, but tried to side-coach myself to prepare for the likelihood that that would be it.
And so I did so, by focusing on the positives of NOT making it through. You know, with little coaching tips like :
“Well Jen, next year’s schedule is already looking rather ridiculous…” (with THREE overseas trips if everything pans out the way I hope it to);
“At least you applied! At least you tried!” (Paging Doctor Seuss); and
“Another month away from Brissie and trying to manage the kids and keep your marriage in tact would make things pretty tricky!”
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying I didn’t want to get through – you can bet your bottom toddler I did – but I was just trying to prep. I even kept the shortlisting news very much to myself, cos I didn’t want to look silly if it turned out I didn’t get it after all.
Then of course, a few days later, the news came…
Believe me, the irony of me not wanting to feel stupid in case I didn’t make the cut, only to now be spilling out my very vulnerable guts on feeling stupid about not making the cut, is not lost on me.
But you know, I’m a writer. Turns out I have to write these things. It’s how I deal.
The truth is, all my valiant “prepare yourself for the worst!” efforts aside, when the call finally came through: I was pretty sad. Not for long, not tragically downtrodden, not lying in the middle of the traintracks, sobbing incontrollably into my bottle of moonshine, but you know. Sad.
And then I was annoyed at myself for even feeling sad. And then I was frustrated with myself for even being annoyed at myself for being sad. Next thing you know, there I am: Sybil.
Sad Me: “I have a right to be sad!”
Annoyed Me: “Well I have a right to be annoyed!”
Frustrated Me: “Hello? Over here? Frustrated!”
Rational Me: “JUST ACCEPT THAT YOU’RE FRUSTRATED COS YOU’RE ANNOYED COS YOU’RE SAD AND BE DONE WITH IT!”
Sad Me: “Oh you. You’ve just made me sad.”
Then of course, my default Pollyanna chimes in:
Pollyanna Me: “You know, it’s really probably for the best. I know you don’t feel it now, but I’m sure you’re gonna look back on this and realise it was actually a good thing to miss out. Look, the sun is shining! Fa la la la la!”
Annoyed Me: “Anybody gotta baseball bat?”
Anyhoo, a few days later and I’m really feeling cool about it. No really.
But it has gotten me thinking about rejection and why – even if we’re bracing ourselves for it – it still sucks buttocks.
It brought to mind specifically a couple of stories…
Many moons ago at university, I went out with this guy, let’s call him “T-Rex”, who in all honesty, I was never really all that into. Don’t get me wrong, he was a really lovely, sweet, smart and attractive guy, but until the moment he asked me out, I had never even thought of him in that way. The spark just wasn’t there. A rather blunt friend of mine at the time even said to me “He’s way too boring for you!” Anyway, point is, when I finally agreed, it was really more of a “Well, okay, let’s give it a go!” kinda deal.
A few weeks later, he broke up with me. Very nicely. Very amicably. Very mutually.
Yet, when he walked away, I shocked myself by crying.
What I realised soon-after was that I hadn’t been crying “I’ve lost him!” but “What do you mean, you don’t want me?!”
And the other tale…
A friend of mine recently went on a blind date with a guy she just wasn’t feeling it with. So when he emailed her soonafter asking for date #2, she shot back a suitably polite “thanks, but no thanks” message.
To which he shot back with: “Just so you know, I’m not interested either.”
Care to share your own woeful (or even not-so-woeful!) tales of rejection? How do you deal? I’d love to hear: misery loves company and so do I!
Remember how I spouted long-held whispers to foster kids, only to worry about the commitment of it all?
Well, one of my dearly beloved CM readers Gemma, suggested that I look into doing casual care – i.e. fostering kids on the odd weekend, etc. to give relief to other carers. (Thanks Gem!)
So, with the resolve of a lazy worker ant – i.e. motivated but working against his default setting of ‘reasons not to do anything’ – I made the call. And so it is that tomorrow night, we’re going to an info session. Obviously this is early days, it’s not like we’ve actually DONE anything yet, but I’m really excited that we’re at least getting out of the thinking “oh, that’s something we’ve always wanted to do…” stage and moving into the “okay, so how do we get started?” one. Stay tuned!
And secondly – and much more selfishly – I’m stoked to announce the very prematurely thought out arrival of the online Comic Mummy store!
Again, very early days. I will be updating the shop quite a lot over the next few months and experimenting, no doubt making truckloads of mistakes and trying to love every minute. It’s my baby, after all, however weird/ugly/otherwise imperfect it may be. I STILL LOVE YA, LITTLE FELLA!
At the moment I’m focusing on the cartoons, but am thinking of other funny, silly stuff incorporating my artwork and so forth. If you have any lightning bolts of inspiration, by all means shoot em through!
Okay, gees, I’ll leave it there before I collapse under all this news.
Who do I think I am? CNN?
1. The Moth story podcasts. Frankie and I tried to go see the live show while in NYC but were turned away at the door. No, not cos we rocked up in singlets and thongs, but cos it’s so damn popular. The pic above is us in the queue just post “sorry folks” news…
Anyhoo, I’m pleased to say that this inspiration has taken hold of me like a parasite – though with less nausea, toxicity or general all-round grossness – and called me to action. Coming very soon to Brisvegas will be MothUP, where peeps can gather to share stories in a similar format to The Moth itself. AGH! So happy! Deets coming soon.
2. Such nice words coming through about the cartoons here on Comic Mummy. Thanks so much, I’m so encouraged by what I’d really delayed posting on here for ages for sheer fear of looking silly. (I know, ME? Worried about looking SILLY? After that turkey thang? How bout the shots-de-unflattering? And let’s not forget the time you announced hiatus from your former blog by posting a photo of something you’d peed on).
Anyhoo, point is, I’m thus inspired not just to keep developing the cartoon thang, but also to try other stuff I’ve been delaying just cos of fear.
Note: until further notice, “having more kids” is excluded.
3. My littlest, who earlier this year broke his leg at daycare (topping off a rightly crappy chapter in CM land), FINALLY likes the bath again. And I’m pretty sure it’s all thanks to Nemo.
Is there anything you cannot do?