Friday, December 30, 2005

End of the Year Reminescing

I did it last year.

Here it is again.

1. What did you do in 2005 that you'd never done before?
Told my ex-husband that the breakdown of our marriage wasn't his fault.

2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year? I can't remember what my resolutions were. Yes, we will be making more tomorrow.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? Callisto Shampoo and Cheshire had a baby boy, Vincent. I'm very proud of Calli for her mothering skills. She's wonderful at it.

4. Did anyone close to you die? No. But Erin's horse died. This was Sharon's horse initially. This has brought up the subject of Sharon's death a little earlier than expected. I'm not entirely happy with the way it's being handled.

5. What countries did you visit? None. Again.

6. What would you like to have in 2006 that you lacked in 2005? An Aurealis Award for my mantlepiece.

7. What dates from 2005 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? 26th March, our wedding date. 27th March, the day I received my Ditmar Award for Best Professional Achievement. 28th March, the day I heard someone call me "Mrs Battersby" for the first time. I was in hospital with a severe burn and a nurse called for me. I smiled, despite the pain. 26th November, Connor's first birthday.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? Marrying Lee was the biggest (and the best) but I have to say that winning the Ditmar is a photo finish second.

9. What was your biggest failure? Not regaining my size 8-10 figure. I spend a lot of time hating myself for this.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury? There was a few days worry when my doctor found a lump in my left breast. I didn't tell many people about it, but I was terrified. Fortunately it went away by itself.
Oh, and I burnt my hand while making Connor's bottle. Lee took me to hospital. The burn was severe yet there is no scar at all.

11. What was the best thing you bought? A halter-neck dress that I wore to Grant and Sonia's wedding. It looked fabulous and I felt sexy for the first time in years.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration? Lee is my hero. Every second week I drop my children off with their father. Then I fall apart. Lee supplies me with hugs, kisses, and a girly dvd. I love him so much for his compassion, his love and his understanding.

Aiden is another one. It wasn't easy to tell his dad that he wanted to move in with me, but he stuck to his guns and insisted. He's moving in with me on a shared care basis in February and it looks to become permanent in second term. I'm so proud of him.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? I don't want to talk about it. It makes me too unhappy.

14. Where did most of your money go? Queensland, the wedding, the new house. The children.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? The wedding. Winning the Ditmar. Being asked to be a Guest of Honour at next year's Fandomedia. Being nominated for an Aurealis.

16. What song will always remind you of 2005? Chicago by Sufjan Stevens. Tripping by Robbie Williams. The Tide is Turning by Roger Waters.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:i. happier or sadder? ii. thinner or fatter? iii. richer or poorer? Nothing really changed. It fluctuated wildly throughout the year, but ended up pretty much as it started.

18. What do you wish you'd done more of? Exercise. I hate my body.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of? Worrying about the state of my body. I realise I have hangups. It's my plan to focus on something else next year. Like my hair.

20. How will you be spending Christmas? Spent it with Lee's family and former family. My mum, brother and 'dad' were nowhere to be seen.

21. Who did you meet for the first time? Chuckie! I love him. He's wonderful, funny, talented. Jen and Kellene. Jen and Chuckie are my beer buddies. Kellene taught me that there's no use by date on grief.

22. Did you fall in love in 2005? Over and over again with the same man. I fall in love with Lee on a daily basis. When he plays with the children, when he pours me a glass of wine, when he holds me while I go to sleep.

23. What was your favourite TV program? EastEnders.

24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year? I've only hated one person in my life. I hate her now. I hated her this time last year. It's sad because at one time she was like a mother to me.

25. What was the best book you read? Easy easy easy. "Spotted Lily" by Anna Tambour. This book allowed me to appreciate my body and how it looks for about a week. I finished the book three weeks ago and I've resumed my anti-body stance. Apart from my breasts. I do have great breasts. And they're lump free.

26. What was your greatest musical discovery? Sufjan Stevens. His song "Chicago" is a Triffbatt favourite. I consider it our family song. Ask Erin her favourite song. It's "Cargo". The answer never changes. She asks to hear it every time we get in the car.

I also rediscovered Robbie Williams. His song Tripping taps into my feelings of parental inadequacy.

27. What was your favorite film of this year? Probably Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

28. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? I turned 36. There were presents, I remember that. I don't remember where we went.

29. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? Having my Triffitt children living with me. Seeing Lee's collection in print.

30. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2005? Jeans and t-shirt. I'm rectifying that by shopping for a couple of skirts tomorrow. I feel such a frump at the moment. I want to rediscover a sense of style in 2006.

31. What kept you sane? Erin.

32. What political issue stirred you the most? Politics is boring. There was no election, so no show bags.

33. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2005. My family begins and ends with Lee and the children.

34. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

I know its gone and there's going to be violence
I've taken as much as I'm willing to take
Why do you say we should suffer in silence?
My heart is broken there's nothing to break

Robbie Williams - Tripping. I relate to this song every time I drop my kids off with their father for another fortnight. My heart violently breaks each and every time.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Merry War, Christmas Is Over

I am well and truly glad it's all over which has me wondering, at what point do people get all excited about Christmas again?
Is it when the turkey and ham has run out (I have about 4 kilos of each left), or when the mess is cleared up, or when the books are read, the toys are assembled/broken or the playstation gamesdvds/cds scratched? Or perhaps it's when your birthday is over and there are no new presents on the immediate horizon? I was born on the 24th June, so dates between birthday and xmas stand fairly evenly apart, a situation I didn't appreciate until this year.

Here's my list of naughty and nice things about christmas.

The mess. Oh my god the mess! I chose to go down the paper and plastic route this year, with a ban on anything that required me to wash after the big day. Yet, the house still looks like a bomb site. Hopefully all it will take is a couple of large bin bags to see it fixed. And maybe the igniting of a hobo bin or two. Somehow I doubt it.

The music. It was a constant fight between Casi and Lee as to what was going to play on the computer. Hip hop/r&b clashed mightily with some Doo Dah Bonzer band over the right to pollute our ears.

The mayhem. 7 lollie-fuelled kids running through the house and backyard, carrying water pistols, skate boards and hairbrushes. 1 loud, brash lollie-fuelled step-father alternately giving chase and being chased.

The food. Didn't enjoy the turkey much at all, although the macadamia and cranberry seasoning was nice. The vegetables were undercooked and nobody could work out why I'd made roast veges anyway.

The presents. I received the Little Britain dvd, and a canvas, brushes and paints from the kids. It's been years since I painted and Lee and the chilluns decided it was time I got back to it. With recurring head aches, sore throats and lower rib pains, it's obvious I need to find some stress relief and this is just the thing. I'm also thinking about taking up belly dancing, but that's for another blog. My beloved also bought me a toe ring and a beautiful black dress. I'm looking for an excuse to wear it. It's quite gaelic in it's design, yet totally not. I love it. And I got a Nightmare Before Christmas bag which I've put my art supplies in. (I'm a bag lady. I admit it. Carrie Bradshaw has her shoes. Lyn Battersby has her bags) And. And. And. I got a book of pictures by Frida Kahlo, my favourite painter in the world. It also features works by Diego Rivera. That and the dress are my two favourite presents. I can't split between them.

The traditions. Each year the Triffbatts make something to put on the Christmas tree. Last year it was paper baubles which we decorated. This year we made bonbons and decorated those. For Connor, we took a printed off a photo of him at his first birthday, framed it with his accomplishments, wrapped it around half a toilet roll, made it look like a bonbon and tied it to the tree.
I love this tradition. It's like a diary of our family.
Lee and I have started our own tradition this year. We give each other a second hand book and inscribe a message in it. Lee bought me I, Claudius and I bought him Great Tales of Fantasy and Science Fiction featuring JG Ballard, Lucius Shepard, Robert Bloch, Stephen King, Harlan Ellison and Larry Niven, to name just a few.

The faces. I love the joy that appears when people receive the perfect gift. That priceless moment when they realise what it is they hold in their hands. Casi glowed when we gave her a Playboy Lava Lamp and Lee's face lit up when I gave him a record player for his computer. The boys loved their skateboards. Aiden was excited by his Antquarium. Erin was overjoyed with everything we gave her and Connor just adored the paper it all came in. And I can well imagine what I looked like when presented with Frida Kahlo.
I'm in it for the faces. And the prezzies.

Some of the food.
My ham, which I glazed and baked all on my own, was to die for. I loved it. Funnily enough, Casi loved the turkey and didn't think much of the ham.
Amanda's alcoholic ice-cream cake was delicious. She left a big wodge of it here, which is going to make dieting that little bit more difficult.
Lynn (Sharon's mum) brought a delicious apricot chicken and fried rice that disappeared in no time. Next time I do Christmas, I'm going skipping the 'traditional' meats and going with more casserole-type stuff.

The atmosphere. None of my family was here. They all had stuff to do with their own families and each other. But Lee's family came as did Sharon's. It was a happy day. Connor's feet barely touched the ground as he was constantly held by both nannas. It would have been nice to have my brother or my 'dad' or my mum take an interest, but one thing I've realised this year is, family is Lee and the kids. As long as I have them, I'm okay.

When it's all said and done, I did enjoy it. Lee's family are lovely, the food and drink were plentiful and we all gave thoughtful and loving presents.

Yeah, I can't wait for next year.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

What a wake up call

I am sick. I took the opportunity for a bit of a lie in while Battboy got the kid's ready. I was drifting into a nice, soft, Mersyndol-induced snooze when Lee burst into the room and leant over me.
"The nominations are in."

Instant alertness, all signs of sleepiness gone.

Please please please please please, let me be in. Let this year end on a high.

"We're both in. 'Memory' in the SF category and 'Pater Familias' in horror."

Matching 'his and hers' grins on our faces.

I'm also pleased to notice that 'Macchiato Lane' is up for nomination. I read this story first for Ticonderoga Online and passed it on to the others with a definite 'yes'. I also requested it for issue five, which I edited. While I hope Lee wins his section, I'd feel a certain amount of satisfaction if he lost to 'Macchiato Lane'.

Naturally, I hope to win the SF section, but I did like the story about Mr Woo in Aurealis, so we'll have to see.

Congratulations to everybody who was nominated, but a special mention goes to our good friend K A Bedford. His second novel "Eclipse" has been nominated. His first novel "Orbital Burn" was came to the notice of the judges last year, which shows that this man is doing serious business for Australian SF.

Have a nice day

I will be resume my recuperative snoozing now

PS Are we trekking all the way to Brizzie for the awards. You betcha!