Thursday, February 23, 2006

Being an older cow

Must be the moon or something, but this week I feel like the older cow has taken a hammering at work. Couldn't quite put my finger on why I was feeling so pissy this week until Granty sent me this email in his weekly TGIF mail out - and oldie buy a goodie and I think it bears repeating.

"This is for all you girls 40 years and over .... and for those who are turning 40, and for those who are scared of moving into their 50's ...AND 60's ... and for guys who are scared of girls over 40!!!!

Andy Rooney says:As I grow in age, I value women who are over 40 most of all. Here are just a few reasons why:

*A woman over 40 will never wake you in the middle of the night to ask,"What are you thinking?" She doesn't care what you think.
*If a woman over 40 doesn't want to watch the game, she doesn't sit around whining about it. She does something she wants to do. And,it's usually something more interesting.
*A woman over 40 knows herself well enough to be assured in who she is,what she is, what she wants and from whom. Few women past the age of 40 give a hoot what you might think about her or what she's doing.
*Women over 40 are dignified. They seldom have a screaming match with you at the opera or in the middle of an expensive restaurant. Of course, if you deserve it, they won't hesitate to shoot you, if they think they can get away with it.
*Older women are generous with praise, often undeserved. They know what it's like to be unappreciated.
*A woman over 40 has the self-assurance to introduce you to her women friends. A younger woman with a man will often ignore even her best friend because she doesn't trust the guy with other women.
*Women over 40 couldn't care less if you're attracted to her friends because she knows her friends won't betray her.
*Women get psychic as they age. You never have to confess your sins to a woman over 40. They always know.
*A woman over 40 looks good wearing bright red lipstick. This is not true of younger women. Once you get past a wrinkle or two, a woman over 40 is far sexier than her younger counterpart.
*Older women are forthright and honest. They'll tell you right off if you are a jerk, if you are acting like one! You don't ever have to wonder where you stand with her.

Yes, we praise women over 40 for a multitude of reasons. Unfortunately,it's not reciprocal. For every stunning, smart, well-coiffed hot womanof 40+, there is a bald, paunchy relic in yellow pants making a fool of himself with some 22-year-old waitress.Ladies, I apologize.

For all those men who say, "Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free", here's an update for you. Now 80% of women are against marriage, why? Because women realize it's not worth buying an entire pig, just to get a little sausage"
I must remember on Monday to email it to all the "bright young things" in the office who have decided to believe their own publicity! Don't get me wrong - these are lovely, inspiring young women who can make me laugh & cry in equal measure. It's just that sometimes they start to believe that they invented child birth and parenting. They are the only ones who have partied, loved. Only they, at under 30 have ever had an intelligent thought or education.

It came to a head in a curious way. We were doing a shared task around a conference table and chatting away as you do. One of the slightly older women, after telling a "story" of her darling baby son made the "mistake" of commenting "I just love that boy to bits!", to which one of the very much younger women commented "Well if you love him so much why the fuck don't you stay home with him?".

Of course the Madcow couldn't possibly let that one pass by without a good hoof stamping including such phrases as "clean your mouth up" and "how dare you assume that you know anything about any woman's life or circumstance!" and "you will apologise and show some respect if you know whats good for you!"

But then it struck me that this kind of behaviour/comment is becoming more and more acceptable. If you are over 40 apparently you have no career ambition. Just watch the number of appointments for extra responsibility that are given to young women over older women BY recruiting panels of younger women. If you are over 40 you are presumed to be working for the "fun" of it, that you have a husband/partner paying the bills and your earnings are no more than "pin money".

If you are over 40 and do not have a university education you don't know anything. If you are over 40 and do have a university education you are "out of date".

Some how all the years we older women spent keeping our homes together count for nothing. Apparently our babies were born and nurtured by idiots. The fact we don't know how to use a DVD player (substitute ANY appliance etc here) is a reason for ridicule despite the fact we chose to pay our mortgages/rent rather than fall into the trap of consumerism gone mad. We don't know "what's really going on" when we treat middle aged male managers etc with a healthy dose of cynicsm when they try to flatter female employees into some sort of subservient handmaiden role.

To be honest, it's a wonder I ever find my way to work in the morning.

Well all you young things ... us old chicks are here to stay for quite a bit longer. We have lived through more social change than you will ever dream of. We now not only parent our children but we get to parent our parents as well. We know the value of a dollar and more importantly the value of a friend. We have secrets and passions. We love and have been loved. You're doing something for the first time ... honey, we've done it a dozen times over and now we're good at it!

And if you ever get an ounce of commonsense in your head you will try to become our friends because one of these days you're going to need us!

Monday, February 20, 2006

Dear Clare from Maria

OK, it took long enough but here it is! Merry Christmas!
As I told you I was trying to find something very Chicago and nothing was jumping out at me. Then I remembered that I read somewhere that you loved the Blues. Well, I don't know if you are aware of it or not, but Chicago is a major Blues town. Especially the southside of Chicago! You may have remembered that I mentioned that I used to have a male roommate. Well, he is about the biggest Blues fan I've ever run across and very knowledgeable about the Blues. When we were roommates I spent a lot of time follwing him around to various Blues clubs across the Chicago area. And I'm not talking the major Blues clubs in the city, the ones where the "tourists" hang out. We used to go to back alley little bars where Blues was being sung like only Blues can be sung. We were often the only white people in the bar. But, oh, the music. Well one time we went to this little bar (which is not very far from the school I teach at now) called the Cuddle Up Inn. It was far from an Inn. It was a dirty old bar where I don't think I'd order anything in a glass. And that is where I fell in love with Johnny Laws! There was just something about this man and his voice. He was amazing. We saw him several times (hundreds?) after that first time. He usually plays the small south side bars. We got to know him and his wife Pat, and spent some time drinking with him. Unfortunately, drinking is on of Johnny's problems. And unfortunately he doesn't play very often anymore because of the drinking. But every once in awhile my friend will call and tell me Johnny is playing somewhere. I haven't seen him in many years, but I still miss him and those days.

Wolf Recoreds (the label Johnny is on) used to be in Chicago and then the owner moved to Vienna so all of the CD's are out of Vienna. Imagine my BIG surprise when I was cruising through Amazon online and saw that they had a Johnny Laws CD! (I got his CD's when he was playing at the clubs!) It was right then I knew that this was the PERFECT gift for Ms. Clare. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. Close your eyes and think about a smoky little bar on the South side of Chicago. If you ever make it to Chicago, I promise you we will hit all the best Blues clubs!

I nearly peed my pants!

It's been a long Monday one way or another in the world of Madcow and coming home from work wasn't with the usual sense of relief. Until I opened the mailbox that is!

Postmarked Chicago and sent with much love from my dearest darl Maria was this little gem. And yes, I nearly peed my pants! What a perfect gift - blues that just carry you away. When Maria wakes up on her side of the world I'll ask if I can copy her letter here with her memories of seeing Johnny play - a work of art in itself. (And this from a woman who says she can't journal!!)

"Can't Take No More" is playing right now - music to get drunk with & wallow. Eat your heart out Madcow Brother. Johnny is mine - all mine!

Add to this my one and only Valentine from Janet Planet, my evening is pretty dammed good! Thank you so much both of you. I am indeed a lucky Madcow!

As a side note I have decided to open another blog specifically for scrapbooking/my layouts. The link is over to the left "Madcow Scrapbooking" which I hope you will visit occasionally.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Some new links ...

A year ago, when I came home from work, I would log into my two mailboxes and perhaps check out a couple of favourite websites. It would take as long as it takes to down a glass of chardy and was just that nice little 'kick your shoes off' moment in my day.

Now it's a days work! Email, message boards, websites and favourite blogs ... oooh look! The bottle is empty before you know it!

Yes, I'm addicted. Addicted to the everyday minutiae of friends and strangers lives. Addicted to the websites that scream at me "Buy, Buy, Before You Die!" I look forward to seeing new layouts, reading the highs and lows, drooling over the new recipes ... ok. I admit it. I have no life.

And if you are reading this, sipping on your own glass of chardonnay (or beverage of your choice), just take that smug look off your face. You're hooked too! You're here aren't you! Just suck it up, think of it as our own personal "reality tv", admit you like it and have a look at some of the new links to your right.

First, "Dooce" recommended by Kip and now one of my "fixes". A must read on what not to publish on your blog along with an absolutely quirky sense of humour.

"The Desk of Doug" because I like it. Somehow I think he is the kind of guy that you would be quite happy to find yourself sitting next to on a long train trip or sharing a table with at a restaurant. In another life "Doug" could possibly have starred on BBC's "Grumpy Old Men" - highly recommended for those "AHA" moments.

"Grandmother's Garden" recommended by Wendy for all the patchwork/quilting enthusiasts and the "wannabe's" amongst us.

"not martha" appealed mainly because of the name. "Martha" has just started showing here and oh deary me, what a strange woman! "not martha" is far more fun and even includes fun DIY projects and doesn't appear to have ever gone to prison or been a right royal pain in the arse to all her employees.

The last for this month is "Food in a Minute". Given that it uses a lot of NZ brands it may not be quite as handy to all of you "foreigners" as it is for me. Still, it's my blog so in it goes!

Let me know what you think and remember, I'm an addict. New site addresses always welcome!

Hiss Boo Pat Dunn!

There's an item in the news today about the Catholic bishops trying to ban an episode of Southpark from showing here on the local stations. Give me strength! Pat, the gods gave us many things, one of which is a hand to use on your remote to change the station. Oh sorry Pat, your hand is busy elsewhere?

I'm just fed up with being told what to watch, what to think and what to believe. Curiously, thanks to a Catholic education I do have an inquiring mind and take very little on face value. Your church Pat taught me to question everything but accept that we will all have different beliefs and perhaps we won't always like what we see or hear ... but guess what Pat? That's life!

Or did I get that wrong Pat? Am I only meant to question what other people say and just believe every bit of patriachal mumbo jumbo that comes out of your mouth? Forgive me Pat - I seem to have forgotten over the years that women are not meant to take the piss out of themselves. That's right - we're just meant to be the perfect little madonnas, never thinking an original thought. And why should we Pat when we've got you there to do it for us. What a relief.As a celibate, unmarried male I'm sure you've got a lot to teach us! And thanks too for the reminder that real women don't bleed. I'm looking forward to that one!

PS. Pat, just so you know, I watched every episode of "Popetown" as well. Just because you told me not to.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

The Big Questions ...

Sunday night and the mind mush has attacked again. There are any number of jobs I should be doing but instead it's time to enjoy a wee spot of chardy and ponder the really important questions.

Like why do I feel the need to buy both "The Listener" and the "TV Guide" when I already have the "Sky Watch" guide and when all else fails can use the on screen listings? Is it in some pathetic hope that ONE of these magazines will actually reveal something I want to watch?

Who told men that brown suits were a good idea? Who told men that brown suits with black shoes were an even better idea? Who told one particular man, ok so it was Parkinson, that a brown suit, black shoes, a pale blue shirt and a yellow tie was the business? No Parky, No! Was it a dare Parky? Was that why all your male guests wore brown suits too?

And why are the majority of the emails in my "Spam Folder" adverts for Cialis, Viagra and Rolex Watches? I know, I know - my image-twin is Elton John but really! Do I need the watch so I can time the performance? Or have I been targeted as being a woman of a certain age whose only hope of a good time is to drug some aging paramour? Who says there isn't some spotty faced toy-boy waiting for me, a woman in my prime?

The pic is especially for Cat - a gf sent me this card for my last birthday. She's rather special isn't she!

Friday, February 10, 2006

What is wrong with this picture?

For goodness sake - it's nine weeks until Easter and Hot Cross Buns in the supermarket already??

Next they'll be putting the Christmas ham on special. Buy it now - only 45 weeks to go and you don't want to miss out! Makes you wonder why they even bother taking down the Christmas decorations.

So what's wrong with making these times special? Instead every festivity merges into the next and all of a sudden there's nothing to look forward to. No magic.

Bah Humbug.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

So what is a "roll-up"??

Madcow-Brother has requested this image be posted as a fine example of my fathers photographic decline. Where earlier images were merely "posed" this photo shows his apparent spiral into the depths of "Naff"! He had carefully inscribed this one "Lesley having a roll up at Moeraki" which when I first read it sent me rushing for the projector, thinking I had found hitherto unknown links to the drug world. No, of course not. Lawn bowls. The thought of nana in her bowling whites rolling a spliff would be too much to cope with.

A lot of things are too much for me at the moment. My ISP provides a regular newsletter giving site of interest one of which was this little gem:

You can download a photo of yourself and then find your celebrity "match". This is where it became too much for me. My "Celebrity Matches" are
Elton John
Chara Alberstein
Steven Soderbergh
Joseph Deiss
Jan Peter Balkenende
Arthur Eddington
Anna Lindh
Peter Sellers
Meryl Streep
Francois Mitterrand

What does this mean? Seven out of ten matches were male and one of the three women is an actress who I would rather eat glass than ever see another of her movies. And Elton John??? Does this mean I need a hair transplant? If only I had a frock I'd immediately go put it on and then spend the rest of the evening painting my nails.

My self image in tatters instead I visited a new favourite for a good read

Mind you, I probably will look like him by the end of the year.

Thursday, February 02, 2006


This months calendar pic is courtesy of Linda Jackson, Kiwiscraps New Zealand - "Thai Cherish Card"

And I nearly forgot to post the answers to the Kiwi Kwiz, although Jaynes response is far more entertaining. Big prize coming your way Jayne - now aren't you all sorry you didn't try harder! LOL

1/. Sir Edmund Hillary - along with Sherpa,Tenzing Norgay, was the first to conquer Mt Everest, led expeditions across Antarctica, has done considerable humanitarian work with the Nepalese, is on the NZ $5 bill and all round nice guy.
2/. Dame Kiri Te Kanawa (I didn't have to actually LIKE them) - soprano (opera not mob)
3/. Peter Jackson - film maker (Lord of the Rings, King Kong blah, blah, blah ... but "He Who Shall Not Be Named" also recommends "Brain Dead" & "Bad Taste". OK, Madcow does too.)
4/. Sam Neill - actor (Jurrasic Park etc if you must but Madcow recommends "The Dish" & "Death in Brunswick")
5/. Peter Snell - athlete. 1962 Snell broke the world mile record and set five individual world records and joined with fellow New Zealand athletes to set a new four by one mile relay record as well.
6/. Neil Finn - because I like him! Musician - Split Enz, Crowded House, The Finn Brothers
7/. Andrew Adamson - Animation & FX Artist, Director. (Shrek, The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe)
8/. John Britten - Motorcycle Designer. Guggenheim curator Ultan Guilfoyle, lauds the V1000 as “perhaps the most influential racing motorcycle of the Nineties.”
9/. Sir Ernest Rutherford - Scientist. If you ask the Madcow Mother or indeed Madcow herself, we will say "he split the atom". Neither of us knows what that means but there you go. It seemed important for our teachers to tell us that so it must be true.
10/. Sir Archie McIndoe - Plastic Surgeon. During WWII McIndoe worked rehabilitating badly burned aircrew, not only physically but also psychologically.
11/. Janet Frame - Author. Try "To the Is-land", "An Angel at my Table", and "The Envoy from Mirror City" if you haven't already. Wasn't "Owls Do Cry" part of the curriculum? Or did I just read it when I was supposed to be reading something else in 6th Form English?.
12/. Dr John Money (now there's one we all wish was Australian) - Psychologist & Sexologist. You will need to do your own reading on this one and make up your own mind. I haven't read enough or know enough to offer more than a "he disturbs me". Try "As Nature Made Him: The Boy Who Was Raised As a Girl" by John Colapinto
13/. The Hamilton Jet - a jet boat world famous in New Zealand!
14/. AJ Hackett - took a pretty silly idea from Vanuatu and turned it into the Bungy Jump.
15/. Jean Batten - Pioneer Aviatrix.

So there you go. More than you ever wanted to know about our mad Kiwi past.