Linking up with My Little Drummer Boys for Aussie Wordless Wednesday.
Ah Twitter. A month ago I would not have understood you. We would have divorced citing irreconcilable differences and I would have taken half (and probably married a much hotter social medium). But now, I kind of get you. We can stay together (for now). But we may need some counselling.
5 reasons why I love you, Twitter:
- You have introduced me to some rather lovely “friends”. I have never met these friends IRL (I know how you love textspeak, who can blame you with only 140 characters) but these tweeps (often fellow bloggers) seem like a supportive, encouraging, funny-as-fuck bunch. I hope they’re not serial killers, Twitter. That may seriously come back to haunt you.
- I can get an uncensored snapshot into the lives of celebrities who have become twitterati in their own right. I don’t “follow” many of them, but I can do it without being a stalker. I love the tweets of Brendan Hines and Misha Collins in particular. They are funny bastards. But you don’t know who they are, do you Twitter? You fickle fucker.
- News travels fast and this has never been truer than through you, Twitter. I have all the patience of a maniacal gnat so your quick and dirty approach suits me. I’ve never really been into foreplay. Your ability to stay above the pantyline is the main reason I will stick with you.
- You have only 140 characters. Oh this is in the wrong section I hear you cry! But I think 140 characters is a fine amount. Stops twits writing essays every time they take a crap.
- No. Fucking. Ads. That is all.
5 reason why I hate you, Twitter:
- I feel like I’m constantly eavesdropping on “conversations” played out in the public domain. Many of these conversations can go on for hours and I want to scream “Get a Virtual Room!” BUT, I have been guilty of this myself, Twitter. You have turned me into one of “those” people who talk on their mobile phones on the tram at THE TOP OF THEIR LUNGS (do you get it, Twitter, I’m shouting) about how Wayne wouldn’t fuck on the first date.
- What is with this encouraging of certain twits to post the minutiae of their mind/day every 10 fucking minutes? Are you for reals, Twitter? I don’t GET IT. And I don’t get why one particularly voracious twit has over 4,000 followers. Who on earth thinks their thoughts are so important that they rack up 48,000 tweets in a year. I know Twitter, you’ll use the words “prolific” and “dynamic” but I prefer “narcissistic” and “over-sharer”. Is it just me? I’m OK with that.
- It seems like a popularity contest that I am clearly losing.
- After half a bottle of sparkling shiraz, I can spend hours adoring you. This makes me matrimonia-non-grata IRL.
- Your “people” didn’t warn us about the plethora of police set up on Hoddle Street last weekend to nab drivers whose car rego had expired. Oh, I’m sorry, did you think I meant me?
Well, it’s been a very long f*cking week just quietly – emotionally, mentally, legally (do NOT ask me why our car doesn’t have license plates) and I’m in the need of a very LARGE drink with rum in it. And because I can’t be fagged going out to the ‘Dan, this has all the ingredients I have in the house (or garden). This is a “dirty” mojito because it uses spiced rum – you can use regular boring white rum if you please – but I reckon this week has earned itself a Dirty.
25ml fresh lime juice
2 tsp raw sugar
9-10 mint leaves
60 ml spiced gold rum
120ml Soda Water
Muddle lime, sugar, mint in the bottom of a glass. Add rum and then top it with crushed ice. Fill the glass with soda water and garnish with lime and mint.
In 2005, Rachael suffered 2 (two!) aneurysms and had a little girl in 2011. Rachael tells her remarkable story to Melbourne Mum:
“It was 13 May 2005. I was leaving our Sydney apartment, on the way to my freelance graphic design job in the city. Steve, my boyfriend (now my husband) had already left for work and was due to fly home to the UK that night. I didn’t make it to work that day, and Steve never made it to the UK. All I remember is walking down to the ferry and feeling this incredible sudden rush of fluid to the base of my skull, heaviness, and then collapsing. I later learnt I’d experienced a brain bleed from a berry aneurysm, which had probably been there since birth, had burst.
Fortunately for me, it was peak hour and I happened to be walking next to two people who called the ambulance and stayed with me until it arrived. Neither of them had mobile phones and had to run to the convenience store at the ferry wharf to make the call.
There were so many ‘what ifs’ that day. ‘What if’ it had happened at home? I would have been on my own and quite possibly no one would have known. ‘What if’ it had happened the next day when the NSW Ambulance Service went on strike?
While I was lying on the pavement, drifting in and out of consciousness, I remember thinking “Why can’t I move? What the hell is happening to my head?” I was carted off by ambulance to the hospital. I remember waking up in the ambulance and looking at the ambo’s face. He just smiled at me and I closed my eyes again. Somehow I told them to call Steve and my parents. I can’t imagine getting that phone call. To be told your daughter or girlfriend is in a critical condition and you need to get yourself to the hospital, fast. I can’t remember much more after that.
Soon after, I had an emergency craniotomy on the front left section of my brain. A slice was taken out from my skull and wedged back in like a jigsaw piece once my aneurysm had been clipped. My first piece of platinum jewelry! A drain was also inserted in my skull to drain off excess fluid. I had stitches in my hairline from my ear to the top of my head.
Two days later after a routine CT scan, it was discovered I had another berry aneurysm on the opposite side of my head. This one was bigger than the first. It was suspected this aneurysm had caused the first to explode. After the swelling went down a little, and my brain wasn’t under so much stress, I had the second aneurysm coiled, via non-invasive surgery. A specialist surgeon feeds a tiny tube through your groin all the way through your body, which somehow miraculously ends up in your brain at the exact site. Coils are then released to block or fill up the space where the berry aneurysm had been (getting fuller by the year), so that blood and neurological fluid can continue to flow past the site. This process is 80 to 85% successful.
I spent 3 weeks in the Brain ICU under some amazing nursing and neurosurgeon care. The morphine I was on meant I was barely coherent. There were no real reasons why my berry aneurysm had burst. There was no family history of aneurysms. I didn’t smoke. I was under 30 and relatively fit and healthy.
I was in hospital for four weeks and celebrated my 30th birthday in there (great present, heh?) An endless stream of medical students wanted to question me about my experience and the assorted aneurysms in my head – I doubt they’ll ever find out why my aneurysm had decided to burst. When I finally went home to recover, I was in desperate need of a haircut. As you can tell in the photo, a month of rolling around incoherently in a bed spells seriously bad news for long hair.
I was bored out of my brain at home, so was back freelancing 6 weeks later. People were amazed at my experience and many people were too scared to talk about it. The thing is, wounds heal over and the hair grows back but the mental scars remain. I remember listening to an aptly named song at the time by Missy Higgins, ‘Scar’. It still makes me well up now.
In late 2005 I had another CT angiogram, which showed the coiled aneurysm was at risk of rupturing as the coils had moved and weren’t doing their job anymore. I had a successful surgery to clip it and recovered really quickly as the surgery was controlled and wasn’t an emergency operation.
In December 2011, Steve and I had a beautiful baby girl, Mia. My pregnancy was normal. Straightforward. Weirdly, my Obstetricians’ rooms were right next door to my Neurosurgeons’ consulting rooms. They never consulted as I wasn’t considered a high-risk pregnancy. Mia was always ‘head down’ but never engaged. I went into labour shitting myself, scared, obviously about the labour as it was my first, but also worried that Mia could be born with an aneurysm. My logic was, well, it happened to me so anything is possible.
After 10 hours of getting nowhere fast, Mia’s heart rate began to increase, and I was whisked into theatre for a C-section. I knew the likelihood of having a C-section was high as the obstetrician had said he didn’t want me to push for too long.
Today, we’re all happy and healthy. I have 2 slight dents on either side of my head but you can barely tell. I get scanned every 3 years as a precaution. It took me a few years of getting back on track mentally, finding myself. I’m not sure I really have found myself yet, but I am a lot happier with my life.
Particularly now we’re enjoying such a beautiful little soul in Mia.”
If you have survived an aneurysm, or AVM, or cavernous malformation and have had a baby after it, I’d love you to be part of this series. Please contact me via my contact page.
More in the series:
One of my favourite things to do with Inky and Scout is to fire up Youtube and watch music videos.
But it’s virtually impossible to find videos that are child “friendly” – they’re either too sexually provocative, or violent or creepy for Inky who’s nearly 2. Scout loves the video to “Wide Awake” (Katy Perry) but it’s too freaky for Inky who cowers on the chair complaining “Too scary! Too scary!” She actually doesn’t know what “Too Scary” means given she alternates between “Too Scary” and “Too Spicy” for the same thing, but whatevs. One thing for sure is I don’t want to be watching freaking Wiggles videos for the rest of my life.
So when compiling this list of songs from 2010 onwards, they had to meet the following criteria;
- A catchy song that I would happily sing ad nauseum for 3 days afterwards (so no Delta basically);
- A video that has a positive (or at worst, non-existent) message for a bit of fun;
- A video that’s not scary, confronting or too melancholy (so no Birdy for you!); and
- A song that has no swearing (Eminem, I’m looking at you) or sexual content. A little kiss is OK though, my kids are not robots!
- Say You Like Me (We The Kings, 2011) – this video totally satisfies the nerdy teenage boy in me dying to get out. A narrative involving the band in Super Mario Bros, Guitar Hero and Street Fighter type-scenarios (but in a fun, not violent, way – maybe be careful with the under-5s). Oh, and the lead singer’s a bit scrumptious, too. If you like that sort of thing.
- What makes you Beautiful (One Direction, 2011) – What’s a kid’s list without 1D. Seriously. Song has a “nice” message and the boys are so happily inoffensive I just want to do a little anti-vomit in my mouth every time I see them.
- Cameo Lover (Kimbra, 2011) – We love Kimbra, an alternative retro-esque role model for kick-arse kids. Bright colours, inoffensive boys, hip song.
- Call me, maybe (Carly Rae Jepsen, 2012) – Cute message that it’s OK for boys to like boys and not to take it all too personally.
- Somebody that I used to know (Gotye/Kimbra, 2011) – Introduce the kiddies to body painting and University theatre “art” angst. Who said you couldn’t get them early?
- One Thing (One Direction, 2012) – 1D have turned vanilla into an art. Think of this video as a cheap, frothy tour of London.
- We’ll be a Dream (We The Kings, 2010) – Pillow fights, Demi Lovato and cute shaggy-haired boys. What’s not to love?
- Heartbeat (Marco, 2012) A sweet tune by a young urban funkster.
- I Love It (Hilltop Hoods feat. Sia, 2011) – A bit of an ambiguous video (“But what are they burying, Mum?” “Oh, I don’t know, kid – Treasure?”), but brilliant hip-hop song and a softer introduction to rap/hip-hop than Eminem!
- Don’t you Worry, Child (Swedish House Mafia, 2012) – I can’t tell you how much Inky loves this song. That kid is my House Hound. The video is basically footage from their final british concert, but I prefer watching Ink body-slamming the desk anyway.
I’d forgotten about ye Old Fashioned until Dad Down Under popped it back into my head. I’m a BIG fan of Whiskey. Big. Huge. So is Inky apparently. I asked Melbourne Dad the other day if he wanted a Wild Turkey and little Inky popped her head into the conversation and asked, “Wild Turkey please, Mummy”. Little Mimic. Cough.
Here is one of the finest of the Whiskey classics and it’s so simple it will make you cry.
40 ml Scotch or Whiskey
1 sugar cube
2 dashes Angostura Bitters
Put sugar cube in a glass and drench it with the bitters. Muddle until dissolved. Fill the glass with ice cubes and add whiskey/scotch. Garnish with orange slice or a maraschino cherry if you’re super-dooper fancy.
No prizes for guessing who Scout is dressing up as. I did ask her to chuck me an evil snarl for the photo, to “Be really… witchy poo. Or something” but this is the best I got.