My Life as a Boob

Adventures in comedy, child-rearing and combinations thereof.

Michael Jackson and me June 26, 2009

Filed under: family life — jennywynter @ 8:19 pm
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Thriller was one of the first things I ever saw on television – EVER. I would watch it, scream with fear and delight, then rewind it and watch the whole thing all over again.

Fast forward ten years or so and I was completely Jacko-ified. My friend Sophie and I would spend unhealthy amounts of time singing Jackson 5 tunes, watching the biopic, reading, re-enacting, talking…I even at one point could perform the entire Billy Jean choreography (albeit, with a pretty lame-ass moonwalk) and did so at every public opportunity, whether appropriate or not.

Then the first molestation case came to light – Sophie and I were adamant that this was a farce, a lame attempt to extract money from one of the richest and most talented people in the world. Together we even penned a song which we were sure deserved to be a top 40 hit, aptly titled Innocent Til Proven Guilty. From memory, the chorus went something like this:

Innocent til proven guilty
I knew I was right,
Knew the truth would come to light.
Innocent til proven gui-il-ty,
I knew I was right and now…
THEY. KNOW. TOO.

I know. Profound.

Then there was the Heal the World competition. When I first saw it advertised I all but wet myself with the excitement at the prospect of meeting my idol. The deal was you had to come up with an idea to heal the world, send it in and the best entries would be flown over to Neverland to meet Michael and hang out with him on his amusement rides, white gloves and all. I spent WEEKS working on my project, the details of which are now more than fuzzy, but I do remember it being quite a sizeable (and expensive) packet to post to the US of A. But I put in so much effort, I thought I was definitely in with a chance. Imagine my bitter, weeping disappointment when the comp was won not by me, not by some imaginative academic but by….two 7-year-old boys.

Er…yeah.

Then there was the concert. Soph and I lined up for hours to get tix, only to find that by the time we got near the front, the sellers could not sell us tickets on her mother’s credit card without her mum present. Then Sophie did something I have only ever seen her do twice in her entire life: she cried. Boy did she cry. She went up the front of the line, bawled her eyes out explaining what lengths we’d gone to just to be there, how Michael was all we really lived for and so on…all the while I’m standing back in our place in line wondering what the heck we’re going to do. All of a sudden Soph rocks back to me, tears down her cheeks but a smile on her face, grabs my hand and pulls me out of the line.

“But, our place! I don’t want to lose it…” I protested.

“Come with me. Just come with me,” she whispered.

“What?”

“Jen…we’ve got GOLDEN CIRCLE TICKETS!”

Somehow she’d managed to talk, cry and navigate her way into not only tickets full-stop, but tickets that were six…that’s right…SIX rows from the front! We all but caught his sweat – we made a sign saying “THROW US YOUR SHIRT!” which he didn’t, but the cameras caught us and so, I’m proud to say that for three seconds of my silly little life, I was on the big screen at a Michael Jackson concert.

The concert was a magnifique moment to be sure, though I do recall more than a few disappointments, for one just how completely choreographed it was (I guess I should have expected that) but with no really unique genuine ‘wow, you should have been there the night when…’ kinda moments. He yelled out “I love you!” a few times but it just seemed I dunno…planned. Then there was the routine to “Earth Song” (still one of my fave tunes), which involved a huge army tank rolling onto the stage, and a soldier coming out waving his gun at a ton of kids on the stage, until Michael stepped forward in the line of fire and put his hand up to the barrel of the gun, at which point the soldier realised the error of his ways, broke down on his knees and began crying.

Ummm. Yeah.

So ironically, it was just after this landmark concert viewing experience that my passion for all things Michael began to fade. This may well have been around the point as molestation case number 2 came to light, I’m not sure. Either way, my obsession got transferred to other areas of my life, probably healthily so. So while I’ve still always loved the music and will never let “Billy Jean” go played without at least boogying part of the way along, I usually haven’t even so much as bothered with following him at all really.

So it was with very mixed feelings that I read of his death yesterday. Really, really detached on the one part, but really, really sad on the other – knowing that there was a time when he was, to my teenage self, a whole lotta something. As my hubby put it last night:”I guess everybody’s been grieving for Michael for a long time.”

When I asked him to clarify, he said (bearing in mind he is a complete chess fanatic): “Well it seems a bit like when Bobby Fischer died. There’s a certain level of real sadness there for what a talent has been lost. But then all the personal stuff that came with that talent became so kinda thwarted in a bad way that you can’t help but feel a bit weird about it.”

And in a strange way, that pretty much sums up my entire feeling. I feel really sad for the talent, the music, the artist, the Michael who gave me so much in the way of amazing music and entertainment, but I also feel like that person began crumbling an awfully long time ago. RIP.

 

The past fortnight in (not so) brief June 23, 2009

Filed under: comedy,family life — jennywynter @ 6:22 am
Tags: , , , , ,

Okay then, if you insist:

– We’re moving outta this place in exactly 7 days. The good news is we’ve actually pretty much sorted out all of our stuff. The bad news is that the place is thus a complete and utter catastrophe, boxes of stuff here, suitcases, there, kids’ attitudes strewn about the lounge-room like spaghetti. Young Master Boob has regressed to toddler-dom, choosing to throw tantrums daily (this whole Canadian summer with 18 hours of daylight certainly doesn’t help things on the sleep front) and even placing his noodles strategically over the carpet today. A lady who came to pick up some donated kids’ items today shook her head at me, smiled and said: “Bless your heart. You’re a braver woman than I am, I could NEVER do it with small kids.” I just laughed it off and didn’t really think about what she meant. But after tonight? Okay, okay. I get it.

– Mister Boob finishes up teaching tomorrow – we were in his classroom today helping him to start packing stuff up and I found myself getting really emotional about him saying goodbye. He hasn’t even told his kids yet that he’s leaving the country, I think mainly because a) he was advised to leave it as late as possible so as to not cause anxiety in them and b) he himself has been somewhat in denial about the fact that we’re going. I actually feel upset for the little munchkins; saying goodbye can be hard enough, let alone having it suddenly sprung on you that you’re not going to be seeing your teacher in all likelihood – for years, if not EVER AGAIN. Am I just being melodramatic?

– I’ve pretty much sorted out our road-trip now and I cannot wait, even though I’m a little daunted by burning out on the road. But we have opted to take a slightly less frantic itinerary, in fact, omitting quite a few points of interest that sans kids, would have been high on my priority list. But this time round we figured better to take it slow and spend more time in fewer places so we might actually enjoy the journey, rather than trying to squeeze in absolutely everything at a crazy pace. I definitely do NOT want to spend every minute in a car with kids, especially now that for some bizarre reason, our van has decided that it will never allow us to open it’s main passenger door again. Aye aye aye…anyhoo, so we’re going all through BC all the way to Vancouver, then down to Seattle, back up through the States to the faboosh Nelson, then back to the Bow Valley til early August, whereupon I begin my Fringe show run in Calgary. Speaking of which…Jenny Wynter One Night

– My solo show for Calgary Fringe is coming along BEEEEEAUTifully. So, so happy. It’s the first time I’ve ever really focused on narrative – Dennis Cahill, Artistic Director of Loose Moose, has been so fantastic helping me nut it out. So far we’ve just been working on the structure, just talking through key relevant events in my life and having his spin on it and how it all fits together has been both enlightening and affirming. Seriously, I don’t think I’ve EVER been this excited about performing anything. It’s also been so great just to finally see the fruits of my Banff Centre Residency beginning to bud. That was a lot tougher than I thought, i.e. during the residency itself, you’re very much in the initial stages of bringing this new work into life and sometimes it can feel like nothing’s really happening at all – like you’re just pontificating and not really producing anything and oh my goodness, what if I finish this whole residency at come out with NOTHING TO SHOW FOR IT? So now, months later, to see the pennies beginning to drop and it all coming together, is just such a great lesson in itself in trusting in the creative process. However frustratingly slow it may seem.

(PS If you are in the Calgary area you can come check out the show here.

Oh and HUUUGE props to my lovely and amazing and fellow Heathers fan Jennifer Bain for creating this amazing concuction that is my show poster. I quite simply cannot put it any better than Gollum: WE LOVES IT!

cassidy 2– Littlest Boob continues his quest to be crowned best baby in the entire galaxy – I seriously can’t believe how lucky I am. I keep waiting for the bubble to burst. He’s just so scrummy, he makes me want to have a million babies. Hmmm. One to add to the to-do list.

 

Yay! Officially updated! I feel so accomplished! What’s next? More facebooking? SEE HOW ACCOMPLISHED I AM!

 

A pseudo Time Lord of sorts June 12, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — jennywynter @ 5:06 am
Tags: , ,

Travel pushes my boundaries…the own-little-self is unlocked from the present and released to move through layers of time. It is not 2006 all over the world. So who are you in a place where 1950 or 1920 is about to arrive? – Frances Mayer in A Year in the World

Steph in Canada take 2 310Hmmmm, this makes me want to travel to Europe, where that time travel thing would obviously be a whole lot more tangible than our experiences thus far in Canada. Still, the town we’re living in right now has its own quaint historical charm – there’s several authentically 50’s themed diners within a 20k radius (well, as authentic as I can tell given I was neither there nor do I have a Delorian at my disposal to qualify judgement) and many of the buildings have been preserved and/or restored to their original state.

I really need to start photographing more. I guess it’s symptomatic of LIVING in a place, as opposed to just passing through, that you seem to take less pictures. But our time here is now a-ticking and I gotta get me a-cracking.

 

Home June 6, 2009

Filed under: family life — jennywynter @ 6:38 am

It’s funny how you can totally block things out of your mind once you’re in the throes of life itself. Take for instance, our trip over here – I was just reading over some old journal entries I’d written around the time that this whole adventure started and realised, to my complete and utter shock, that I’d completely forgotten just how close this adventure was to NOT starting.

Namely because three weeks before we were due to leave, Mum (actually my grandma for those of you who are not yet familiar with my rather soapie-style life story) was getting tested for leukaemia. We resolved immediately that if the results were positive (or negative, depending on how you look at it), we would delay our Canadian jaunt for another time in life, move up the Sunny Coast and be there. To cut a long story short, it wasn’t leukaemia – it WAS cancer, Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma to be exact, but this fact was not revealed to me and when it was, was done so accidentally, some several months later once Mum had seen to it that we would not disrupt our life and carry on our merry way overseas.

It seems all the more poetic then, that upon our arrival back in Australia, the Sunny Coast is exactly where we are bound. Very serendipitously, my best friend’s sister is heading off on her own overseas adventure and needs somebody to rent out her beachy pad and look after her dog. Perfect.

I’m just so relieved that I can finally have the chance to be there for Mum for at least part of this, the last act of her life. I can’t really even believe that I’ve been so fortunate, that she’s still around. Having lost my real mother at the age of five and then being taken onboard by my then 60 something grandma (and subsequently seeing so many of her friends pass with the years) I have always had this horrible fear that she might die at any moment. Seriously, at times it would be completely paralysing. I’d try to memorise the last words she’d said to me that day in case I woke up in the morning and she was gone.

So the fact that she’s still around is just amazing to me – and makes me not only grateful, but kinda remorseful for having wasted so much of my time waiting around for tragedy to strike.

Mister Boob’s granddad died the other day. It was expected (in fact, the entire family has been quite amazed that he kept going for as long as he did) but still, of course, very, very sad. For me it was a personal wake up call that going back to our family is the right choice of path at this point. For Canada, the world, and everything in between, will always be here.

But our family won’t.