tuxedo mousse

When my daughter was about three-years-old we were out for dinner with friends. She had ordered a dessert called Tuxedo Mousse, which were layers of milk, dark and white chocolate mousse. As the server walked away she leaned over and whispered loudly

"d'you know what part of the mousse I'm gonna eat first, Mummy?"

As I shook my head she, with a smile of anticipation, proudly announced

"the antlers"

I was lucky enough to not have anything - especially liquid - in my mouth or else I would've christened everyone at the table I'm sure... She still remembers this incident (or so she says) and every once in a while brings it up.

Good. Times.

Yummy yummy antlers.


smile through

There's a line from the song Smile:

... smile through your fear and sorrow

that ran around my head today. I also have just DO it as my personal internal mantra during tough times. I realize it's been used elsewhere, don't worry I have a little TM superscripted in my head too.

I used to think that the whole idea of just pushing through something, of smiling now and things will get better later was simply a way of ignoring the pain or anxiety. I now see the value of just getting through, of taking a deep breath and jumping off or running through. You learn - by experiencing it directly - that you can get through something uncomfortable and survive till that next day.

It's one thing doing it yourself. It's another whole ball of wax to watch one of your children experience it themselves. This has been, by far, the toughest part of being a Mum. Hopefully I'm able to provide some guidance so he's not left to fend for himself like I was.

(don't worry, gin helps)

Smile though your heart is aching
Smile even though it's breaking
When there are clouds in the sky, you'll get by
If you smile through your fear and sorrow
Smile and maybe tomorrow
You'll see the sun come shining through for you

Light up your face with gladness
Hide every trace of sadness
Although a tear may be ever so near
That's the time you must keep on trying
Smile, what's the use of crying?
You'll find that life is still worthwhile
If you just smile

gender binary system

It's the first question we ask when we hear of a new birth: boy or girl?

I've been fascinated with many speculative fiction themes and gender is one of the main ones. I think I'm drawn to spec fic because it ponders the What If... question. Good spec fic takes our present day humanity and weaves a possible answer. Well, What If... you were neither? Or both? Or inbetween? (I'm not a spec fic writer and don't have any answers, possible or otherwise, so don't look at me.)

I have a biological science background; one of the courses I took at university was Cytogenetics. I learnt about Klinefelters syndrome and androgen insensitivity syndrome, and I've known of a couple of people who've transgendered. I find this... this... gender binary(?) topic really really fascinating.

Not fascinating in a let's all observe them in a glass petri dish kind of way. I mean how will society react? How will we eventually treat these people? What does it mean about our assumptions up to now?

Caster Semenya -- the runner from South Africa -- apparently has three times the normal level of testosterone for a female and has undergone genetic testing. Even though the headlines scream that she's an hermaphrodite, I think her story will be that she has Androgen insensitivity syndrome. (Imagine finding out in the media that you are genetically the 'opposite' sex...?)

As a whole, I think we've become more comfortable with homosexuality, I think this topic will be next.

Perhaps things aren't so binary after all.


every. time...

I open Skype,
I take a deep breath.

Every time! I click on that big blue S and think 'no! not this time' but before I know it my body is taking a deep breath. It's like yawning, resistance is futile.

The Zen of video-chatting.



For the past number of years we've booked adjoining campsites with family at a nearby provincial park. The combined kids have a blast, even when it rains. Actually, it does more than rain... three times now in the past four years the skies have opened and we've had to make sacrifices to the gods to appease them before it'll stop. Or so it seems.

This year when we angered the gods, while all the Growned Ups were madly digging trenches to redirect the onslaught, my daughter ran by me and then skidded to a halt. She backed up, looked up into my face and yelled "now THIS is camping!!" and then took off again.

I guess it's all in your perspective.

life really IS messy

OK, what's going on...? Are the planets aligning incorrectly or is someone noodling around in the dark arts and inadvertently knocking things ever so slightly off kilter??

I've got friends splitting up after fifteen years (and a five-year-old), other friends with scary family health issues, my husband is busier than ever at work (which quite frankly I didn't think could physically happen), and my son's anxiety level is very low.

I've lost track of the number of times I've slowly shaken my head while muttering Life Is Messy under my breath. I mean, that is where the title of this blog came from: life is messy, eat it up. And if it weren't messy, it wouldn't be worth living, would it. It's just hard to see good friends go through rough times.