Monthly Archives: November 2011
Image credit here.
While trawling through my old posts (for a purpose other than narcissism, I swear!) I came across this oldie and wanted to share it. Namely cos:
a) it made me smile; and
b) nothing’s really changed.
This is an idea I stole from Gem, who decided to conduct her own Good Weekend style interview. I’ve already done one of these but here’s another. Cos I’m nothing if not original.
My Perfect Weekend
Jenny Wynter. Alleged funny lady, mother and social media addict.
If you could go anywhere for a weekend, where would it be?
Johnny Depp’s bedroom. Oh sorry, did I type that out loud? Um…probably a beautiful beachy island (as opposed to those horrid non-beachy ones) where it’s just me and Tim, endless buffets of non-fattening food (i.e. yummy food which would traditionally fatten you but here it just doesn’t) and we can roam nudie and surf and stuff.
What’s an ordinary weekend like?
About as far removed from the previous answer as you can get.
What do you do on a Saturday night?
You mean if I’m not gigging or fighting crime? We usually socialise as a family – usually anything from the whole clan descending on a party (the only people who love to carve up the dance floor more than I do are my kids) to having dinner and board-games with other families. We’re so friendly like that.
How do you relax?
What’s your biggest weekend indulgence?
My Saturday sleep-in. I wish I knew how to type Homer Simpson’s reaction when he sees beer, cos that’s exactly what I do when I think of sleeping in..ughhghghaahghghgllllleyooo.
What do you do and where do you go if you want to paint the town red?
I don’t drink heaps anymore cos kids + hangovers = kill me, but usually a night out with my girlfriends + bar hopping + bad karaoke (as opposed to the Idol kind) = my kinda night.
What are you reading?
Some old journals of mine that I found while moving – so many random ideas, so little time.
What are you watching?
Not a lot lately, but before we left on our trip we were getting completely addicted to the second season of Lost.
What do you do if you’re looking for inspiration?
Oh it’s easy. I just yell “Inspiration? Inspiration! Come here this minute young man, or you’re in time out!” That and I read the Nelson Mandela quote about allowing ourselves to be everything we can be. But the first one’s much more fun, especially when the little bastard talks back.
What did the weekend mean to you when you were a kid?
Sleeping in. Ughhghghaahghghgllllleyooo.
Followed by mum getting disgusted by the laziness of the next generation, and proceeding to wake me up by entering the room and vacuuming. To this day, the sound of a vacuum cleaner gives me shudders.
Image courtesy of Parada Creations. I am pretty much in love with her entire catalogue.
Before you read on, know upfront that I have no answers to how to address the problem mentioned in this title. I only have questions. I welcome suggestions.
This was all triggered by me putting together a “Year in Review” post – inspired in no small part by a 2010 post by the fabooshy Tess Waters – and already it’s been quite revelatory. And self-indulgent. And back to revelatory.
Reading all that has happened in 2011 according to this here blog has made me feel quite chuffed, disappointed, proud and…exhausted.
Why, oh why, do I insist on setting the bar so freaking high? Or rather, why must I insist on having multiple bars?
Here’s the thing: in the past six months I’ve finally done something which I’ve never done before. I focused on ONE project, that being “The Unexpected Variety Show.” I put everything I had into it and am now seeing the benefits of doing that. Things are happening. It’s gaining momentum. I owe this in a huge way to my sister-in-law Liz, who had a little intervention with me mid-year, kindly urging me to stop trying to kick a billion goals and instead just focus on one, to see where that might lead.
And she was right.
But now I find myself drawn to other ideas again, other projects that excite and inspire…great problem to have, but not great for my nervous system or my family’s chances of having a calm and content Mama in the house.
Plus, I feel like more than anything, I want to get better at just enjoying my life. Not just the moments of career milestones, but enjoying the simple things in each day. I want to savour making gluten free pancakes, to be content in tickling my kids til they cry, to relishing listening to Billie Holiday while sipping Moscato in a scented bath.
All of these I do currently, but I seem to never be able to enjoy without my mind ruining it by wandering to my endless to-do list and then beating myself up about not cracking through it as quickly as I want to.
How does one be content?
Crickets? I will even take advice from you, my six-legged silence-fillers.
P.S. This Year in Review post is coming soon. Brace yourself. I am.
My sister Ang is a musician (an AMAZING singer) and as of the past couple of years, a fellow mama. These days we make an effort to hang out at least once a week with our little bubs in tow, hers being a little more little than mine.
This week, however, we did something we should have done eons ago.
Upon spying a library book hanging out at my piano – as our household library books tend to do, for some reason – called “1000 Songwriting Ideas”, Ang picked it up and started reading out some of the prompts. Between managing toddler meltdowns, baby feeds and dirty dishes, we proceeded to brainstorm, laugh and come up with ideas for songs we could each develop from there. Specifically, we put PEN TO PAPER…and came up with the idea of the musical equivalent to a writers’ group. That is to say, each week when we meet up, we need to set ourselves a goal to achieve for the following week, and present it to each other, to keep each other accountable, at the following “meeting.”
I’m so excited about this, as Ang really is one of my muses in this life. I have spent the better portion of my years trying to make her laugh, you see. She gets me. She is my ideal audience member. So to know that each week I’ve got her to entertain, is a great carrot to haul me off my butt and towards my goal of coming up with a stream of new comedy songs in time for Woodford Folk Fest in December.
Plus…I write much better stuff when I actually have an audience to perform it immediately to. I’m a ham like that. So lazy in rehearsals. I really need to have somebody there to entertain, even if it’s just in a workshop setting, even if it’s just ONE person, like in our writers’ group, I need that part of the equation to motivate me.
So here’s to more sisterly time with the added bonus of some creative stuff a-happening as a by-product.
As well as cute photos of our respective little’uns hanging out.
Image courtesy of Supernova Studios
Employing a virtual assistant is an idea I’ve been toying with for quite some time now (seriously since reading about Sarah Wilson’s experience, which part sold me and part deterred me) but have put it off and off and off because…well, why? Fear? The belief that it couldn’t possibly work out, that I would never find somebody who would really get what I need? My control issues?
However, having recently gotten to the point where I simply cannot keep up with my workload, the VA idea kept floating on back.
2012 is looking insane, albeit in a very, very wonderful way, and I’m finding that the hours required to do the things that need doing are simply not in my reach. Unless I want to expand my work-related expenses to include “coke” with a little c.
So…yesterday I pulled my finger out and put it to the keyboard. Not to find somebody, but rather to create a picture for myself: if I did have somebody to help me, what jobs would I actually get them to do?
Turns out there were plenty.
- emailing media releases to media lists;
- listing my shows on event websites;
- creating event pages for shows on social media;
- scouring my blog for posts which I can expand into articles to pitch;
- quotes and organising manufacturing of CDs and DVDs and other merch options;
- researching potential venues: workshops and performances;
- researching to find suitable accommodation for festival runs;
- travel planning;
- tweaking my blog/website to improve design/functionality;
- researching blog posts/web content related to funny parenting/mother/comedy issues, compiling them into a list of things to write about, reference;
- compiling an Electronic Press Kit from my existing promo materials;
- scheduling my time…
…the list continued.
Seeing these tasks written out was the kick in the pants I needed to take action. I think I’d worried that even if I found somebody, I’d find myself staring into their Skype-pixelated eyes, twiddling my thumbs and going “Well…what do YOU think I need you to do?”
And so it was that I jumped onboard Elance. I typed in some keywords (e.g. “social media, research, writing) and browsed some profiles, which, I found both inspiring and overwhelming.
I found a couple of people I thought sounded fantastic, and then realised that I really needed to post a “project.” It was super easy, based on my existing list of tasks I’d brainstormed, plus the suggested template Elance gives you (based on the position you’re advertising for, in my case, just good “old” fashioned Virtual Assistant), it was done, dusted and posted in less than ten minutes.
ZAP! Within half an hour I had two applicants.
POW! Within twelve hours I had nine.
BOOM! Within fourteen hours I chose one.
Within twenty-four hours we had exchanged our first emails, getting this thang started.
I have committed to four weeks, but am really hopeful that if all goes well, this might be the beginning of a beautiful cyber-friendship.
Anybody else out there have a VA? Been thinking of getting one? Thoughts?
P.S. The next person to comment is officially my 1000th commenter! Candles and sugar for you! xx
Image courtesy of Hollywood Blurbs.
I wasn’t expecting a whole lot from this movie, namely cos I’d already read a lot of bad about it. Sometimes I find this works to a film’s benefit. Walk in not asking for much, be pleasantly surprised.
So, to be clear, I wasn’t expecting much, but was hoping for a little.
Also, it is worth noting that these days it takes a lot for me to hate a film.
Firstly because I appreciate just having a night with my hands free of children and instead full of popcorn, shoved at a possibly dangerous rate down my helpless throat before my gullet has a chance to reject it.
Secondly because…actually, no, there’s really only the first.
The above summation from my auntie pretty much accurately sums things up.
I didn’t hate the movie. I didn’t love the movie. It was just a bit…meh. OBVIOUS.
Lady looks like she can do it all.
Lady actually can’t do it all.
Lady realises this.
Lady spends a lot of time with a co-worker.
Lady very quickly snaps out of any notions of that shizz.
Lady smiles adoringly at her family while snowflakes fall.
I mean, come on. Who hasn’t had THAT?!
As I said, I didn’t hate it. But, in the words of Carrie Bradshaw, “I couldn’t help but wonder…”
Couldn’t they have dug a leeeetle bit deeper?
Then again, as complacency incarnate at times, perhaps I can really learn from this.
Now can somebody please throw rice at me and I can pretend it’s snow?
Have you read this post by Sarah Wilson? I add her blog posts to my “faves” list so often that I might as well go ahead and automatically star her entire blog. Anyhoo, this one particularly got me inspired. Specifically this bit:
“Conjure a moment where life felt great, where you were in your sweet spot.” For me it was a random moment during a solo mountain bike trip in the Blue Mountains. Sweaty, my bike shorts sagging in the chamois gusset, I’d lain down in a hot patch of gravel overlooking a valley. I can’t think of a moment where I felt more enriched. Harris got me to reflect on what mattered and what personal qualities I possessed in that moment. I was up high, away from the busy-ness of the city; I had perspective and wasn’t “sucked in”. I was dusty and boldly being myself. In an impassioned babble I outlined succinctly what my values were:
Naturally I thought about my own moment: on a snowboarding date with Tim in Canada, one particularly amazing moment I recall with clarity is sitting on my snowboard, on the top of the mountain, just savouring the incredible sight of a gloriously snow-capped mountain right in front of me and soaking in the silence all around.
What surprised me about this choice of moment was realising that the feelings it evoked in me were not at all related to “achievement,” which, had I been asked, I probably would have said was one of my core driving forces in this life.
But no, that moment on that mountain had nothing to do with it. Rather, the feelings it brought out were more like: Adventure. Beauty. And just…really living. i.e. being an active participant in life.
Nothing to do with success at all.
This was quite a revelation to me.
As was the reminder, yet again, of just how damn much I am doomed to forever miss Canada.
Not sure if I mentioned it but one of the beautiful things to happen as a result of the Melbourne Fringe run was that I finally scored…da da da da…an agent!
I am so thrilled about this; not just because it’s been something I’ve been working towards for quite some time, but because I am stoked to feel already like this agent really does get me. I am very, very stoked and excited to see, as you are at the start of any relationship, where this journey might take us.
So…as a follow on from this, I got myself some new headshots. I went with the wonderful Marty Pouwelse who shot the many wonderful pics you see around this dear ole site, and who has an incredible ability to put one at ease while playing around with lights to make one look better. Both are qualities which I dig tremendously.
I thought I’d post a few here, if you are so inclined you can check out more over at my Facebook comedy page.
I much prefer doing the silly shots to the serious ones. As soon as we got into the comedy ones my inner ham just started dancing on the tables.
*Image courtesy of TerraBlueArt
I am in the midst of an epic transition at the moment, specifically in terms of looking after my health.
Have you ever gotten to that point where you’ve just thought: “ENOUGH?!” Well, this week, I have.
I have FINALLY pulled my finger out and gone to see a naturopath, and her advice thus far is exactly what the…well, naturopath, ordered.
It was pretty freaking amazing. When she did her iridology thang and told me she could see from my iris alone that:
- I am a perfectionist.
- I beat myself up when I don’t get to where I want to be quickly enough.
- I have scarring on my left lung (yes, from pneumonia on my left lung when I was 15!)
- my thyroid is having issues (though I did know that already).
…and much, much more.
It was so accurate that my eyes nearly popped out of my head, but then luckily they thought better of it, given that at the time she was sticking a bright light into them.
Anyway, point is: I am impressed and willing to obey.
I am hoping this will lift me from the fogginess, the fatigue and the damn pain!
I haven’t written much on this at all here, but post car-crash, my back is just damn awful. I hate sounding like a grandparent, but there it is. While I was in Melbourne for the Fringe Fest, a journalist asked me in an interview why I keep performing when it hurts so badly. What a great question. I told her: “Because I love it. Because it’s fun. And because without it, I would be deeply, deeply depressed.”
Then I popped more Nurofen.