Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Shorts so short they'd make a stripper blush

When I was a teenager, this is how I acquired a pair of shorts. My brother would wear a pair of 501s until they were so dead they had virtually no fabric left on the thigh, and the arse had worn through and were fit for nought but the bin. At that point I'd steal them, and wear them with cheesecloth tops from Rock Stop or that hippy shop next to Rock Stop, or stolen Carcass t-shirts, along with long long hair, army boots, leather jacket, and occasionally a top hat. And I'd wear them pretty much until the legs fell off, and then I'd be the proud owner of a pair of shorts, albeit ones consisting of hardly any fabric at all.

So I'm no stranger to shorts, and for them being fairly short. But lordy! Kittencat has been asking for a pair of shorts for a couple of days, and today we went to pick up a couple of pairs. And this is where it all went a bit crazy. We saw the boys ones first, and they were alright, knee length, bright colours, bit plain, so we had a look in the girls section at shorts made from pretty fabric with butterflies, flowers and so on. But man, they are short. I'm no prude, but, beside the increased risk of sun burn from the significantly decreased length, I'm pretty sure that hot pants on a three year old is more than slightly inappropriate. And these were SHORT. There was about half an inch of leg in total from the crotch seam. Seriously, Half an inch of leg on the girls shorts against about 4-5 on the boys ones. She's three. These were so short they'd have made a stripper blush, yet this is what's available for small girls. Children's clothing seems to be designed to mimic adult clothing indiscriminately. But hot pants were always something a bit risque, a bit sexy, not the kind of thing you dress your three year old in. Worse is the fact that part of the reason we looked at the girls ones at all is that she is socially conditioned to recognise longer legs and plainer fabric as boys shorts. But having seen the girls ones, Kittencat was lectured on the fact that they were just shorts, not girls shorts or boys shorts, just plain shorts, and that the patterned ones were too short.

Needless to say, we have a pair of plain blue and a pair of red check shorts from the boys section. "Those are boys shorts Mummy. They are just plain shorts."  Girls are conditioned early from the prevalence of this kind of clothing into wanting to dress in a way that can only be described as provocative, sexualised. I have seen girls not much older than Kittencat in the middle of supermarkets doing grotesque imitations of sexual dances from music videos they've learned from Saturday morning television to the sounds of whatever generic pop happens to be playing. We teach girls to objectify themselves, then we bemoan that they are objectified by society.

Fuck that shit.

Monday, 24 June 2013

It is a difficult decision

As to whether to go to bed, or stay up all night watching films. Possible contenders are Sin City, Full Metal Jacket, Commando, The Running Man... Maybe Universal Soldier, or Death Race 2000?

I need help to decide. Preferably guns, explosions and general machismo.

Cat Lady Towers is starting to shape up nicely

So today Kittencat and I started the first official day of our summer holidays. And to mark it we were super exciting, and started the mega overhaul of house. We did a complete rearrange of Kittencat's bedroom, and a reasonable clear of mine. This picture is after we shifted and cleared, but before we tidied her books and got a couple more pictures up on the walls. She's pretty happy, and even talked through sleeping in her own bed tonight. She didn't, but she did stay in her own bed until the end of story time. Kinda successful. Ish.

With my room a much bigger job was required. Although Cattenberg is in the spare room until he finds somewhere of his own, there is a fair whack of stuff still in my room, and that, combined with a hectic few months has meant that my room has become somewhat a dumping ground that I've failed to sort out. Boxes of DVDs under my bed, dusty paperwork and and a random assortment of things, these have all been cleaned and piled, and the room is undergoing the metamorphosis required to become just my own. Well, mine and Kittencat's, until she eventually regains the habit of sleeping in her own bed.

Over the next few days we shall be maintaining the pace we managed today and the house will be made more like our home. I'm not entirely sure why, though I think that it's probably because neither of us ever felt the permanence of our former arrangement, but we've never managed to make this place feel madly homely. I'm in the process of rectifying this now, and quite brutally I'm starting to pack up Cattenberg's things as I go. It's not meant as a "get the fuck out of my house", so much as that I want more than anything to make this place feel like home, and I don't want to have to redo it once he moves. So I am knitting, and sewing, moving furniture around, putting cushions and throws on things, pictures on walls, flowers in vases, and I'm cleaning everywhere. I reckon we'll be well on top of things in a few days, and then we're going to start on the garden, Kittencat and I, in preparation of the breaking up barbeque Cattenberg and I have planned for later in the summer.

So yeah, there's a barbeque later in the summer. You're all invited.

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Temporarily broody

One of Kittencat's friends was having a birthday party today at a play centre near Marple. Kittencat preened for the occasion, and with hairband and about a million hair clips positioned about her head she ran riot with all the other three ish year olds for a couple of hours. One of the other mothers (not a scissor-skin terminator style hybrid of scary like in Coraline, but a real mother of a real child) had a 7.5 month old with her along with her three year old, and I took him for his bottle whilst she took her daughter to the loo. Yeah. He was nice. Babies are nice. I have decided I want one. Another one. I kinda want to have another at some stage anyway, though I'm not entirely sure how that's going to come off, but it brought home today that I'm probably about ready to spawn me another child in the next couple of years if the opportunity came along. At least, it doesn't scare the hell out of me like it would have done six months ago. To make matters worse, Cattenberg reminded me that if I wanted to take advantage of having a year off with full bursary, as is the lovely condition of if I were to molest a boy (or find a lovely willing participant for a sexless, turkey baster centred evening of fun) and knock myself up during my course, I've basically got a window of somewhere in the next 6 to 18 months. Cheers for that. On the plus side, he was highly, highly complimentary of my parenting, so, you know, if anyone fancies turkey basting a child... If the broodiness doesn't calm down, maybe I'll start an interview process or something.

I'll no doubt grow out of it again by tomorrow morning, but a little part of me is broody as hell today.

Thursday, 20 June 2013

I am on placement

This week is fairly quiet, I'm on placement with an SLT team based around Skelmersdale and Ormskirk. It's quite awesome to have the opportunity to learn in this way, and quite exhausting, especially when you factor in the driving, and the exceptionally early starts. Obviously I'm not going to describe observations/client groups/etc, aside from the ethical implications, that's just not what we do here. But I can tell you that, for this week at least, I'm back in the world of three or more hours of driving every day, and I'm blooming well knackered. Cream crackered. Shattered.

Why the hell I'm up at 2am watching TV and rambling here is beyond me...

But I am at least having a quiet week in the going out department. No gigs or wild nights anywhere. Unless the weekend steps up to the belt, the craziest wildest part of the week is going to be awarded, with huge pomp and ceremonious applause, to Tuesday night's attendance of a class in Common where I learned some basic embroidery, drank some gin, and talked to some lovely ladies who I was previously unacquainted with. The class runs twice a month by an awesome lady called Nico and does lots random craft things. Apparently next month is lino printing. Quite excited. But this is what I did last night. It's a work in progress, so I'll post a picture or two as it progresses.

And now I'm buggering off back to bed. Night all.

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Bald spots, ears like jug handles, these are all things I've found incredibly attractive

I am my mother's daughter. I have my neuroses,I still have to work hard to remember that black clothing is not the fat girls best friend, and indeed, I still have to work hard at times to remember that I'm okay as I am. Last night I had a conversation completely unrelated to this, and yet it made me reappraise everything that currently makes me insecure with fresh eyes.

I went to see Bark! supported by my twitter pal and noise creator extraordinaire Jiyah Kelly, and a lovely chap called Sam Andreae at St Margaret's Church in Whalley Range. This was a night put on by a chap called David Birchall who plays a lot of music with a lot of people including music made with bicycles in Levenshulme, and whose name I've been seeing around for a while but had no idea which face it belonged to. The audience was relatively sparse, but a welcoming, inclusive bunch of music and art types - it seems in being quite untalented I was, unusually, the exciting exception to the rule... Gary's set was awesome, some seriously dark viciously visceral noise performed with an understated and nicely pitched humour. Definitely a fan of the false ending, and the use of beer as pan pipe. Yup, Mister Kelly, you rule. Sam's set was on the sax, and was excellent. The level of control required to minimise the noise produced like that is seriously impressive and resulted in an exceptional performance. And Bark! was amazing. I kinda knew that it would be, but still, so good. It was an absolutely awesome event, and it was so lovely to be part of such an evening.

Part way through the evening I remember talking to a lovely lady flutist along with a couple of other people; we were talking about how fear can stop people from producing things in the first place, how fearing imperfection of technique or execution can prevent expression, and yet the expression of ideas is the important thing, that beautiful things are not necessarily finished, or perfect, or technically "right". This is a philosophy I am finally, at the age of 32, beginning to be able to live in terms of what I want to try creatively, it's a way of looking at the world that I constantly apply with my daughter; yet I am not so kind, understanding when it comes to myself. I don't look for perfection in others, it is always the imperfections in people I find appealing, interesting. Difference, fallibility. Bald spots, ears like jug handles, these are all things I've found incredibly attractive, though you'd never find them defined as such in the dictionary of good looking. Loud, embarrassing, foot permanently in their mouth, these are great qualities in everyone, friend, confidante, lover, EVERYONE. The perfect generally fails to pique my interest. Yet I write myself off regularly (at least in terms of potentially one day in the distant future thinking about boys) for being portlier than I'd necessarily like, for being difficult to live with, for pretty much everything I am. Despite the irrefutable fact (yup, fact) that I am ace, I am the overly self critical child of my mother, the defensive, and often abrasive or needy (depending on how I perceive people are best pushed away), but in most aspects of my life I have learnt that who I am is fine. What I look like is fine. I like who I am, and some people like me. If they don't, it really doesn't matter. But for some reason, when boys express an interest in me, I assume that they will quickly realise their error and run for the hills. Thankfully this just isn't an issue at the moment, but that in this aspect of my life I am just as cool, just as interesting or uninteresting as I am in any other aspect of life, and post pregnancy tiger stripe stretch marks all over my stomach don't really change that much in the grand scheme of things. I just need to remember that as I see the good in others, and the attractiveness of their imperfection, I need to remember to see myself that way again too.

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Supreme Dicks, Vatican Shadow and Gnod

The other weekend was fun. Well, it was kind of a Thursday Friday weekend (30thMay-1stJune), but it was a lot of fun. Thursday night was Supreme Dicks at Kraak, an excellent night put on by a guy called Nick Mitchell, who works for Golden Lab Records and performs and records some excellent guitar based work under the name Chalaque. Supreme Dicks were supported by solid performances from Former Bullies and Gristed Petunia. The Dicks showed their support for the support acts by pausing in their pre-show consumption of dips and various dipping foods. Totally rock and roll. It was an awesome gig, and I'm so glad I went - The Dicks played earlier in the month at Dulcimer but I felt like I'd abused my going out privileges recently, and I bowed out so that Cattenberg could go instead, so when I found I had another chance to see the Dicks, I was as happy as someone who'd, well, just found out they'd got another chance to see the Dicks.
Friday was Vatican Shadow and Gnod at Islington Mill. I'd been debating whether to go, normally going to gigs solo doesn't worry me (thanks trolley dolly dude on the bus when I was 16 for the advice, it's been doing me service ever since), but 10-6 feels more like club hours, and I never quite got the hang of the idea of clubs or bars as a solo soul. That said, I really wanted to go, and at the Dicks the night before I found out that a couple of folks I know would be there, so I decided that worst case scenario I could just limpet myself onto them. Didn't go down that way, but it felt better to have the option. When I got there, the overly critical child of my mother kicked in, the defensive slightly cruel bitch of a push everyone away person I'm liable to become when I'm feeling insecure, but she soon subsided and got back in her box, and I danced with a lovely lady and we got talking, and over the course of the evening we had some lovely chats, and I had some excellent conversations with some beautiful people. Music was INCREDIBLE. I've been in the mood for this kind of thing for a while, the Gnod set was ace, as was that of Vatican Shadow. And I danced like a tool, which is my predominant, and favourite dancing style. I made some new casual acquaintances to say hello to, and on leaving I got given the lovely lady's phone number. All in it was a fabulous night, and there's another Gesamtkunstwerk night on soon. Hopefully some friends will want to go also, but it was fun solo. The guys at the Mill are a welcoming crowd, and I feel very much at home there.

Nought but Mummy ever again. BEST THING EVER!!!

Kittencat has just trotted off down the road with Cattenberg for a day out visiting Cattenberg's Dad. It's 8:30 in the morning, and technically this is a good thing. There is lots I need to do today. But I want to leave all the stuff and spend the day with my baby! I'm not going to see her much next week because I'm going on placement, and I'm sad about this. But... after this week, I'm off for the summer! Kittencat and Mummy every day. EVERY DAY!!! There will be a few nights out, plus some Kittencat meets Mummy's friends days out, and sometime over the summer there will be the Break Up Barbeque Cattenberg and I have got planned for once we've got our separate abodes sorted out. But mostly, for all of July and August and a little bit of September (a full ten weeks) it is just Kittencat and Mummy time.

And then it will be term time, and there will be nursery, and Woodcat time in the mix again, but I think by then we might both be ready for that...

Cattenberg amongst the pigeons

Cattenberg just got home from a night out. I am under the distinct impression that he is making a favourable impression on the ladies right now. I like this. Cattenberg is awesome, and just because we don't hit it off that way is no judge on any of his awesomeness. I am glad Cattenberg is getting attentions, I think both of us have felt a little crap about ourselves in that way for some time now, and he deserves more than that.

Actually, the way I'm saying that makes it sound like I don't believe I do. That's not how it is. Not really. At times my opinion of myself is low, but I'm mostly more rational than that. But whether that kind of thing would be nice or not, I'm not sure if or how anything like that would fit into my life right now. There is a lot of studying over the next three years, quite aside from the beauteous Kittencat who dominates my life as well as my world - "Do this mummy, do that mummy" - quite frankly the prospect of meeting anyone who would want to fit around my life is low. Again, that sounds negative, but it doesn't worry me. I have lovely friends, and my capacity for going out is limited, I'm pretty sure that the time I do have will be best served with my friends, and going to interesting music things and art things. Besides, I have a small little bed hog that snuffles and snores and strangles me in my sleep proclaiming "I've got you Mummy, arh!" before contentedly rolling back over and snoring loudly. Not withstanding time, I don't have room in my bed for other people.

The only come ons I get are from drunk anonymous men offering to befriend my child in order to get into my knickers which smacks of   a) extreme desperation, b) inordinately drunk and would run a mile as soon as they sober up, or c) dubious intentions. It's not normal for someone to be more interested in you because you've got a kid, and it's kind of freaky when you get that impression. Given that it'd be unlikely that I'd meet anyone who either wouldn't consider me a mistake or would in fact be one themselves, I'm taking full advantage of not caring about these things and focusing on Kittencat and myself. It might happen one day. But for now I'm just planning a summer of gardening, yoga and craft with KC, with occasional gigs and nights out courtesy of Cattenberg's babysitting skills, and being excited and happy that other people are reminding Cattenberg how awesome he is, and that women are seeking him out. He is great, and deserves to be reminded of that.

Monday, 10 June 2013

SORTED IT ALL OUT. Just like you knew I would. I always do.

Yeah. Sorted stuff. Stayed up all night, ran an errand in the early hours. It all worked out spectacularly well, except now I'm a little tired. I watched Road House, because films like that are fun when you're tired. Now I'm watching The Machinist, but I'm thinking I should have gone more along the lines of Predator, or Cobra, or Total Recall or something like that. Point Break is on the iPlayer, maybe I should watch Keanu Reeves try to match his facial expression with that of his surf board instead...


Right now I feel bloody stupid

I have too much to do. Too little time. I have sabotaged myself quite impressively, and only now is my brain kicking in to fix it. Hopefully there is time, otherwise I'm a bit screwed. Speaking of which, back to the task in hand. If I'm still alive later I'll be back to moan as per usual.

Saturday, 8 June 2013

Personal best: No mistakes or regrets in five, maybe six years. Think I'm about due for a major screw up.

Nope. Five years. Thought six might be a stretch, and pretty sure killing the car at the start of 2008 counts as something of a mistake. Still, five years is not a bad run...

The casual observer may think there's something amiss with this statement. 

Woodcat, your relationship with your child's father ended, do you not regret this? 
 - Well, not really. While it would be nice to be completely in love, and for that to be with him, we haven't had that for a long time, and spliting up has allowed us to regain a friendship that would otherwise have been lost. 

Woodcat, prior to going out with Cattenberg, you had a number of failed flings. Surely there were mistakes there? 
- No. Combatibility issues for sure, but I'm pretty sure that all parties were only in it for the short term benefits, and I don't think anyone's feelings were hurt, or any promises broken. I think the last time I regretted seeing or sleeping with anyone was 2007, and it was a bit messed up. I don't think I've been capable of sleeping with someone I didn't really quite like since sometime in 2008, which is probably a good thing.
What about times you cared?
- In those instances I got hurt. But that's part of who I am now. And I don't regret who I am. Besides, it would be foolish to regret being hurt over closing yourself off from the possibility. Truthfully, people I've cared about always tend to remain people I care about. It takes a lot to break that. Only a few have succeeded, and even then we're still friends. I'm surprisingly unfickle, and less flighty than I appear.

Woodcat, I seem to recollect some dubious instances at your old work...
- Not my fault, though taking the blame for it not to effectively ruin someone's life seemed the appropriate thing to do at the time. Though it disturbed me greatly, it was not my mistake, and I am damned if I will regret the actions of others.
There was one other dubious thing...
- If you can't wear pencil skirts, tight italian knitwear and red patent high heels to guarantee your holiday requests, then really, what is the point?

There are lots of things you want to do that you haven't done yet. Don't you regret this?
- Difficult. I think it's a shame I wasn't ready for who I wanted to be when I was younger. I found the idea of failed potential more intimidating than not trying. But I wasn't ready. Now I am.

You accidentally texted lots of embarrassing things recently
- Haven't we all? All my decent friends laughed at me

You messed up your coursework this year
- There was a lot going on. I dealt with it, and I'm back on track. Not dealing with it would have been a mistake. But forgiving my own fallibility? I'm okay with that. 

You got drunk and kissed a boy this year
- Heck, I was feeling affectionate, he started it and it was only a kiss. 

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Sentimental tosh warning alert

Right. Done my duty. This post is wilfully sentimental, and has no underwear shots, or music references, so you have been warned.

When the child goes to sleep of late, she likes to talk to me and tell me about her day. She takes a while to go to sleep right now because of the increased daylight, and so she chats for quite a while, telling me important facts such as that bears live in caves, and that bats do too, and that the bats live at the top of the cave, while the bears live at the bottom. She tells me what various animals like to eat, sings me songs, and attempts to read me her stories.

What she has also been telling me for the past few days is rather lovely, as it's what she regularly hears about herself, and it's nice to know it sinks in. "You're my big girl too Mummy. You're pretty too. You're clever too. I love you too."

I like that this is what she hears about herself, and that consequently this is also how she views others.

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Today's post!

Bit excited, and since you've all seen my underwear anyway, I may as well keep the trend going. Underwear set is from ebay, my friend alerted me to the fact that previous season undies are super cheap on ebay, and bra and two sets of pants all for under £20! Bargain. CD and sweet arrived from Norman Records, totally lovely!

Sunday, 2 June 2013

I'm watching a lot of films at the moment. Some again, some for the first time.

There are a lot more on the to watch list, but I have more to do than just watch films all day...

The Fighter - films like this really remind you quite how good an actor Christian Bale really is. Obviously expensively shiny films often leave him looking amused. This, despite having money spent on it has at times a feel more in keeping with Australian cinema and is the better for it.

ParaNorman - this is a nice film. I'm not going to go into it - totally worth a watch, and I blooming love the Casey Affleck twist at the end. Something I've hoped for in many films, and never thought I'd get.

Frankenweenie - Tim Burton has been making run of the mill Tim Burton films for a long time now. Though without some of the excitement of earlier work, this is charming, and reminds you that Tim Burton when on form is still rather awesome.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - casting for Lisbeth was impeccable, and though some of the cast aren't who I would have chosen, the whole thing is done nicely. I think I need to watch the original.

Avengers Assemble - fun, but disappointing. It could have been much better.

Green Lantern - likeable, but trash. Also reminds me what is wrong with the young women of today - we grew up with Johnny Depp, they got Ryan Reynolds, poor buggers.

Robocop - is a film you have to watch now again to remind yourself just how great you'd forgotten it is.

Spiderman (Reboot, Garfield) - Casting better than Raimi, feels more like the comic than Raimi; still Raimi pulls together a better film over all, and he has Bruce Campbell.

Terminator - again, you forget how strong this is. Having tried to blot Rise of the Machines firmly out of my brain, I didn't watch any of the other films for a while either. I missed out.

Terminator 2 - As with Terminator.

Demolition Man - always makes you smile.

Tron - Because it's awesome. I think I wrote an essay juxtaposing Tron with Neuromancer once. As I recall, it was a great excuse to watch Tron over and over. Like I need an excuse.

Neverwhere - okay, technically a series, not a film. But it's excellent, and although when I read it I would maybe have cast it differently, the casting works beautifully, and the magic of the piece retained in spectacular fashion. Bit dated, but this actually seems to make it work better in a modern context, further distancing London Above from London Below.

All of the new Batman movies again - for a while my friend and I judged all situations by asking "What would Christian Bale do?" The answer is probably Tom Hardy, but I'm guessing Hollywood edited that out... Sexy series of films.

Inglourious Bastards - When this came out I think I was madly pregnant, or just popped, either way I missed a lot of films around that time. Glad I finally got around to this one.

Looper - Watchable, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis both play Bruce Willis exceptionally well.

Police Story - again, sometimes you just forget how great things are. Jackie Chan is amazing.