April 2017 Archive

I spend a lot of time sitting around waiting for the other adults to come home. So in this way I liken myself to the animal cast of The Secret Life of Pets where Max the terrier jumps around so happy when his owner comes home. I’m literally counting the minutes down until hubby gets home. Unless we’re fighting in which case he sometimes walks in to be met by Frosty the Snow Woman. And now I’ve got reason to be doubly excited with Markus the Au Pair. Another adult in the house Yeah. Apart from being easy on the eye he’s good company. Did I mention he was easy on the eye? Haha.

Can you tell I crave adult human company?
If I could sit here and read write all day I’d be good. But there’s shit to clean. I’m a housewife, right? It’s so easy to find myself overwhelmed by the never ending housework. Large house. Lots of kids.

BTW I hate housework. I can be good at it but I’ll never be houseproud. Because two¬†fucks I give not. It’s just the way I am. And you can’t read while you do housework. At least not very well.
Many people I know love keeping their house clean. I say people, not women, as guys can be as houseproud as woman. Not my husband. He is completely content with the level of disarray I find acceptable. Just one of the things I find so endearing about him. Neither of us mind walking on our clothes on the way to bed. In fact when we were flatting with ten other flatmates in a Warehouse flat in the 90s/ 2000’s they’d walk on my clothes on the way to sit on the bed and shoot the breeze. ¬†Hence the tendency to barge into rooms.

But I’m grown up now. Though thinking about it, those were fun times. I might just go back to that. Only accept visitors sitting up on my bed and¬†a cigarette holder¬†with a newspaper ¬†I’ll probably end up sleeping under that night. I was never short of reading material I could just push to Derek’s side of the bed when it got too much.
Be fun right?

No. Not with kids to ruin the party. And it’s not like people can just pop in through the door. By the time they’ve wandered down to the Master bedroom they’ve got bored, had a coffee and been surrounded by natives and left early. Probably all for the best. It wouldn’t be very American. The American way is to throw glitzy dinner parties and stand around chewing over minutiae, slagging off whoever is absent ¬†(the woman) or talking about sports (men) . Everybody behaves properly and there is no fancying, just side eyeing who’s best dressed or too skinny, ¬†(the woman) or who has the latest toy ( men).
I love it. They’re not really dinner parties such as gatherings of pockets of the community who might only bump into each other in passing. Same as any where else we’re pleased to see the kids are all okay, things are going well, the house looks good and to engage in a session of mutual back patting at how awesome we are at holding dinner parties. Okay that’s American.

Then everyone rolls off home; finishes off the best part of a bottle of wine or tub of ice-cream, with or without the spouse, goes to bed well satisfied and wakes up early next morning to wrestle with the housework, go to the gym or finish the PTA minutes.

Life’s good. Busy but good. I’ve gamed the washing process. I’ve found it’s easier to fold the washing as it comes out of the dryer rather than put it all in one basket to sort out later. Later never comes, it just leaves you screaming like a constipated donkey while you shake the unmatched socks out of a tangled up sheet while you hunt for the last pair of girl undies. “Where are the undies!” Plenty of boy undies with four boys.

Technically they’re panties here in California. Boys wear undies. And with one girl, sometimes she just has to suck it back and wear the tighty whities.

Check out this video of Barack Obama singing Shape of You by Ed Sheeran.

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As you all know, I live in a tidy (tidy, meaning you need serious coin to buy in ), little enclave bordering Walnut Creek. It’s beautiful and vibrant due to the combination of it’s location (facing the sun) and on the foothills of Mt Diablo with all it’s flora and fauna, (that includes tarantulas, mountain lions and rattlesnakes and many other types of snakes for that manner. It’s a community that draws in an eclectic bunch. Well the old folks are pretty staid but us with newer money sure know how to ruck it up.

So anyhow. Easter time in Alamo.

It’s weird how Spring Break did not coincide this year with Easter and how fully commercialized the celebration is. In Germany and New Zealand you have Friday through Monday off. The shops are shut and you grill with your family. Drink beer and eat meat. Not so in aspirational California.

Friday the kids are at school and I’m navigating Safeway. The parking lot at Alamo Plaza is a basket case by 8.30am. Quiet one minute and then the panicky wave of humanity descends. You have to be a serious cart jockey to maneuver through the isles. I still have the time and space to have a ten minute discussion with Janet in deli meats about how our favourite brand of baloney has been discontinued. I side-eye the substitute then take it anyway. Americans are masters at the art of discussing minutiae. The back and forth is like a game of ping pong. I used to struggle and drop the ball, the other’s party’s eyes would suddenly glaze and bring the convo to a quick end. Now I can parry like a pro.

Then I check out. Lloyd who retired and then reentered the workforce helps me out and we have a ten minute discussion about his stint in Berlin in Germany where he was stationed for eighteen months in the military police in the 50’s. He had a Fraulein who’s father was quite high up. He spent most nights eating at their house and enjoying the local beer and sausage.

Oh yeah. I learned from Markus recently a few new words. We had a reasonably relaxed Spring Break. A lot of packs of beer were demolished. Primarily by hubby and Markus. I won’t confirm or deny if I currently drink but I can say I’ve done a lot of research in this area in the past.
Drinking before noon in Germany has a specific term. Direct translation is “Early Shopping”. Fruhshoppen.
As in “Hey dude, what are you up too”?
Dude 2 “I’m early shopping

Commence high fives.
Must look up the translation for that.¬†What we used to call in New Zealand a roadie (as in one for the road) literally translates to “foot beer”.

Yes we talk shit a lot Markus and I. Maybe we’ll wrestle one day. My twin daughter Kaelyn called for a shoulder ride from Markus after Kindergarten that same day. I did suggest he give us all shoulder rides in order of age. Hasn’t happened yet.

Finally I get away from Safeway. Thirty minutes chattin’ and thirty minutes shopping. My eyes are prickly and red and my nose is a little drippy. Everyone else is the same. Allergy season. Everyone looks a little crossfaded due to the high level of pollen in the air. Either that or maybe there is a disproportionate number of pot smokers here. Could be the case. You can certainly smell it everywhere. Both my Au Pairs have commented that it’ll waft past while out driving or walking. ¬†And here I thought it was a skunk!

We collect the twins from Kindergarten and go home to make dyed Easter eggs. You blow out the white and yolk using a pin to make holes and then use dye to color them. This was Markus’s idea. I’m transported back in time to when I did it as a kid. A lot of fun.

That was Friday. It’s egg hunt day Saturday. The wonderful Rotary organise this annual event.

An American egg hunt is something else. Hundreds descend on our local park. By 9am the carpark is full. Parents are a little jaded but we yank ourselves out of bed to do the traditional. Plus you cannot miss one of the biggest social occasions of the year. Many of us wish our kids have aged out but the brats still want to do it this year. After one roadie and a coffee from Safeway I’m fit to go.

Love that about Americans. The culture is so celebration oriented. Not like Kim Jong Un styles but definitely all the community¬†will turn out for the children to chat and talk about minutiae. I learned a lot about everyone’s planned vacations to Mexico this morning. Including a scorpion catching jaunt!

Kids are all lined up in fighting form behind the tape. At 10.am prompt the whistle blows and the kids launch forward. It’s over in seconds. The victorious emerge with their spoils (plastic eggs full of candy). The losers grizzle a little but are entertained by balloon animals. I’m proud of my kids. They did well this year. Me and my little Buzz (boy twin) walk home and I’m stunned by how green and beautiful it is. Maybe the effect of the roadie is settling in.

Sunday is church. So this morning the wave of Alamo humanity descend on the New Life church. 9.30am service. It’s probably fairly irreverent to say but it’s like someone has slipped us a tab of acid on the way in. We grab our coffees find our seats and the band starts playing and praising. We’re all clapping and raising our hands. Yup. We’re in the dark, loud music and rocking and clapping! Nightclub styles! The Presbyterian church has nothing on this ūüôā In between songs and sermons broadcast live on three screens over the stage we laugh and meet other church goers. The pastor knows how to lift a crowd that’s for sure. It was great.Coffee and cookies after and then probably wine for many.

And now. At home sacrificing pizza for dinner cooked by hubby. I’m exhausted after the three day observance and celebration. But probably not as exhausted as Markus who volunteered wearing a bunny suit for the San Francisco Bunny Run.

Happy Easter.

 

 

 

 

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This is the ultimate I’ve got my period song.

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Happy Anniversary to your Grandad Kim Jong-UN

So basically yesterdays world crisis was a complete fizzle. What a come down!
Kim Jong Un doesn’t test a nuke, all he does is parade a few ballistic missiles essentially made out of the equivalent of a few toilet rolls, aluminum casing and poos. See above.

I mean seriously folks! How do you deal with a loose cannon like Jong-un. There is no nation on earth that wants KJU to have full nuclear capacity. So it was awesome that the caprious leader of the Hermit Kingdom can be persuaded to see reason.
It only took China moving 150,000 troops to the border. And the fancy footwork of the Chinese Foreign foreign Minister Wang Yi saved the day. He is the standout player in this political version of Dancing with the stars.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/14/world/asia/north-korea-china-nuclear.html

Recap:  Trump both sticks it to Russia and drops a big bomb (MOAB) or Massive Ordinance Air Blast (Mother of all bombs) on an Afghanistan tunnel feeding the efforts of ISIS to gain ground.

Trump recently realised that it wasn’t a case of “lets be friends” with Putin; that there is a very real threat to the US by Russian Hackers and Putin is not going to move on Assad in Syria over any number of convos over chocolate cake. (More later)
And that hot mess in the Middle East is sucking up US funds like nothing else and Russia is not coming to the party. So Trump doesn’t have any reason to disbelieve the same intelligence that Clinton was privy too (that caused her hawkish views on Russia) and throws support behind NATO:

http://www.newsweek.com/us-soldiers-poland-border-russia-trump-nato-584256

Yup. Trump preempted a little land grab action by Putin by landing 8000 US soldiers in Kalingrad. Putin’s pissed and they’re no longer potential poker buddies.

I can’t imagine either world leaders golfing together, unlike Obama and his political equivalents, but I can see them playing poker each with a pistol under the table on their knees.

Not gunna happen! This after Trump threw support behind NATO.
Putin is rightly cagey and no-ones talking. Putin isn’t going to waste his time supporting Trump with whats going down in NK> But Hulla! we got a little potential nuclear action about to go down. Japan is freaking out! China’s worried about the trade implications as they are North Korea’s major trading partner. But there’s no way they can ignore Trump’s calls to get involved in the debacle brewing next door. But if China overtly looks like siding with the U.S, this will stir a hornets nest on crack.

Kim Jong-un has a survivalist brain beneath the bad haircut. He will look to the examples of Gaddafi and Hussein who suffered the fate they did not having adequate nuclear capacity, and go ROGUE.

Facing the juggernaut of a combined China/US relationship, Kim Jong Un can afford to fire off a few arrows from the ramparts (which would really hurt mostly South Korea, Japan (hence the upset in Origamiville) and Taiwan) and then become unresponsive to all communications while the rest of the world mops up the outcome of his doofuckery!
Major loss of life. Huge global instability and Putin will make hay while the sun shines so that’s got Latvia, Estonia and Poland and NATO breathing like a woman in labour.
The Chinese are very aware of all this. How to bring all sides together to bring to bear on North Korea and calm the waters?

Being fully informed that Trump will primarily act in the U.S. interests and go North Korea alone, causing significant loss of civilian life but preventing greater future loss of civilian life over many more nations!
What a fucking horrific quandary; so then China side-eyes the U.S. sending Wang Yi into discussions with the Russian Foreign Minister to remind them they share a border with North Korea (along the lower Tuman river)

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi made the appeal in a phone conversation with Sergey Lavrov, his Russian counterpart, after telling reporters that conflict could break out ‚Äúat any moment‚ÄĚ.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/04/15/china-enlists-russia-help-avert-north-korea-crisis/

All of a sudden the boy with the bad haircut is being pressured by both China and Russia who are distancing themselves from the U.S. and he backs down.

Brilliant play.

Bouquets go to China for the best diplomacy in history

And Trump. A bit of brinkmanship maybe and many are all kinda shades of pissed at his bodacious leveling of the playing field but there is now clear consensus that North Korea needs to be demilitarized. Expect Russia and China to bring to bear pressure on North Korea tradewise. Both countries will gain in the process and both these big nations have much to gain.

Russia to look South in it’s political influence instead of trying to stare down NATO.

China to establish it’s presence as a World Superpower (if they shut up about the monk¬†(Dalai Lama’s visit to India) and Taiwan for a while.

http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/international-affairs/328922-taiwan-deserves-to-participate-in-united-nations

Sometimes you gotta give a little ground to gain a lot.

I’m a housewife. I have a lot of time on my hands.

Wanna see a dickpic?

 

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