Netflix And My Summer Of Sci-Fi.

Stranger Things

Let’s get this straight first; I’m not that into sci-fi. I love imagined dystopian futures – Brave New World, 1984 and The Handmaid’s Tale are among my favourite books – but The X-Files never grabbed me, and I don’t think I’ve watched one full episode of any of the many lauded space-based shows. Look, I am so not into them I can’t even be bothered giving you an example…ummm Galatic Trek! Deep Star Space Gate!

So after the end of the latest season of Game of Thrones when I was casting around for opinions on what to watch now, fellow Stream Teamer Mind the Baby recommended Orphan Black to me and I wasn’t sure. But I had heard it was supposed to be really good so I decided to give it a go.

Picture shows: Sarah (TATIANA MASLANY)
Sarah (TATIANA MISLAY). Copyright BBC Worldwide 2015

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Objects Of Me

I read a lovely post over on Awfully Chipper the other day where Maud outlined the things in her life that said “her” to her and to her children in the same way that particular things will always remind her of her own mother. And lo and behold, she made it a linky. I put my thinking cap on, and thought what in my life says me?

I must consult my children and see what they think. If they waited around long enough for an explanation of what I’m looking for they’d probably say,

  • 16 half drunk bottles of water strewn around the house;
  • pyjama bottoms at 730pm;
  • the way I eat chocolate behind a cupboard door in the kitchen.

But I didn’t ask them. So here’s what I think says me.

Electric bike

First up, my bike; inanimate love of my life. This is my current one, it’s fancy and electric and when you’re carrying a child that’s a third of your own weight it’s dead handy. If it wasn’t this bike it would be another, this isn’t the first and it won’t be the last but this is what currently gets me to and from work rain, hail or shine.

Runners

I thought at some point I would graduate into heels. They would magically become comfortable and something I wore if not daily then very often. Lets just say, that hasn’t happened.

Concrete planter

This says plenty; I love geometric patterns and industrial design (it’s a concrete planter). Yellow and grey are my favourite colour combinations and although I love greenery, the best kind of plants are ones that look after themselves. This is pretty representative of the things that I have dotted around the house between bits of lego and under drawings of minecraft.

Library card

This card has sat in my wallet since my just-graduated-from-college days. I lived near the library in Rathmines and joined for the first time since childhood. It brings me just as much joy now as it did when I walked out with armfuls of Babysitters Club and Roll Of Thunder Hear My Cry. I may buy the odd physical book, but more likely I’ll impulse buy on my Kindle while waiting patiently for the books I request online to appear in a ‘We have your book’ email from my local library branch. You don’t even need to make time to browse, though that would be a welcome luxury. My kids have their own cards now too, but this isn’t about them…

Balanced diet

My balanced diet. I would happily eat either of these. I’m as likely to have quinoa for my dinner as pizza. I’m all for equal opportunities for nuts and doughnuts. I mean, I try and tip the scales in favour of the healthy options, but eating food I like is the new strong is the new skinny.

After all, I cycle plenty on that bike up above, and some of those runners are even used for running.

That’s me.

Unbreakable! Headline Coming! Kimmy Schmidt Season Two!

If you didn’t watch Season 1 of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, go do it now because Season 2 is available from today, April 15th on Netflix. Last year I got so into this show, that I may have sung the theme tune in public with fellow bloggers Sinead & Kate at an awards ceremony. If someone plies me with enough prosecco, I may reprise my performance. This time round Kimmy is a little more at home in NYC; she’s looking for a new job, and we get further development of – the foils to her Season 1 naiveté – Titus, Jacqueline and Lillian.

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
I have a severe want for Kimmy’s denim bomber, I won’t lie.

Some of my favourite American comedians guest star; Tina Fey and Amy Sedaris make return appearances, and Fred Armisen of Portlandia, Jeff Goldblum and David Cross show up too. The TV is booked for my viewing pleasure this weekend, after all I deserve some comedy – the last thing I watched on Netflix was Montage of Heck, the HBO Kurt Cobain documentary. I was the archetypal 90s grunge-obsessed teenager, crying on the phone to my best friend, sitting on the stairs in my Nevermind t-shirt when he died.

So yeah; some light relief is in order.

Netflix-disclaimer-500

 

Achievable Romance in the Average House

Valentine feature-2

Valentine feature-2

There’ll be no dozen roses, or candlelit dinners and I’d be weirded out if there was; the little things that all add up to love are what count for me.

I’m pretty sure the kids like tangible treats so they’re getting ridiculous glasses and some Love Hearts sweets. In return I get adorbs artwork.

Forget hot air balloon rides with champagne; here is the official run down of things that happened this week that mean something between me and the fella I married.

  • He bought me tickets for my birthday to go see one of my favourite bands from my teens: Suede. I was into them at a time when he was all about Motörhead yet this week when the gig rolled round he sat beside me probably not embarrassed at my lyric-recall powers.
  • He made the school lunches on thursday night. That’s a bit pathetic that I count that in the romance column of our marriage ledger. I had made them the other four nights but it’s a task I dislike so much that any reprieve is noted.
  • Much as I love to watch Ireland play in the Six Nations, the enthusiasm doesn’t stretch to the Under 20’s on a friday night. I suggested we watch About Time on Netflix instead, and he did not protest one jot. It helps that Dumble Gleeson (go to 1:18) – who can do no wrong in our eyes – and Rachel McAdams (think he might fancy her a bit) star and that it’s from the reasonably reliable Richard Curtis school of nice-English-people-and-an-American-bumbling-about films. What? It’s a genre. Lets forget Love, Actually though. I hate Love, Actually). I cried unsurprisingly. I guess lots of people do but it’s got the dad-cancer trigger which is bound to set me off. Sorry. It’s not really a spoiler. Anyway, him indoors liked it.
konkan indian
LUV U
  • He suggested we get Indian for dinner. That was no big sacrifice on his part but it’s my absolute favourite. I would happily bathe in Saag anything.
post run coffee
The best ten minutes.
  • I got up this morning and he was gathering swimming gear to bring both children to the pool. Lessons aren’t on this week, and he’s a member of a fancy place where the lads can go free but there’s no guest passes for wives. Oh no… So instead I got to go for a run and drink coffee in peace and eh, write this. Added bonus, that’s the children washed for the next week.
IMG_0479
Not as sorry as I am

Incidentally, I had hoped for all my couch-hours this weekend to be spend under a giant Netflix Night In blanket like some of my parenting blogger colleagues (shout out to Sadhbh’s audacious use of her granny). Instead this is all I have. My blanket has been keeping the local delivery office cosy for three days now. I think. Maybe my postman is snuggled up under it eating popcorn and toblerone with the missus. If he is, I hope he gets the ride. It’s the weekend for it.

 

The Power Of The Treat

Treats should be doled out judiciously. They’re probably a little frequent in our house. Still, they hold a lot of power.

  • Toddler refusing to put on socks and shoes and you really need to get out the door? Promise a treat when you get where you’re going.
  • Schoolchild doesn’t want to go to their expensive swimming lesson? Treat after the class.
  • Everyone eats up a healthy dinner with minimal moaning, homework is done and place isn’t ultra-messy? Treats for all!

I won’t claim it’s the best parenting method in the world, but it gets us through. Recently I realised it’s one way traffic; I hand out all the treats. It’s time that changed.

January has been quite tough in our house. I finished up a contract before Christmas and started a new freelance job in the New Year. (Sidebar: Look! I even got interviewed for the Irish Examiner about my three day week)

working mum
Shame they spelled the blog name wrong. (Image courtesy of Office Mum)

My work hours have been rather erratic; in one role I can start as early as 7am, and finish as late as midnight. I’m delighted to not be tied to one place day in day out right now while I work out my path. In some ways I have all the control, in other ways I have none of it. I’m at the whim of employers to decide if they need me or not but I’m learning so much. Frankly, I’m way out of my comfort zone and it’s a certified good thing though you might not realise it if you saw the bags under my eyes. One highlight of January was sitting on the stairs late at night trying to explain the concept of freelance and shift work to a six year old who just could not understand why I couldn’t collect him from school every day despite having spent a lot of his little life at childcare.

The glory of a full time job is setting foot in that office each day knowing what you’re expected to do, knowing that you can do it, seeing familiar faces and catching up with your colleagues over coffee. At home everyone knows the drill too; where they’re supposed to be on any given day. We haven’t got that certainty right now so I’m making a February planner for the fridge so that the six year old can see what’s coming up in the next few weeks. Right now I’m definitely working office hours for a few weeks straight, but I’m trying to not send him to after school care five days a week. He’s got three days off for mid-term in the middle of it. He’s been invited for playdates and we’re trying to work it out so he can get to those. Luckily the three year old, though usually not very flexible at all (in fact he has an iron will) is happy to head off to his playschool and hang with his buddies whenever we send him.

Amongst all the juggling I realise how always “on” I am when I am at work: Always eager to make a good impression in various offices; always ready to learn and prove myself; work out where the coffee is and make sure I’m not stealing someones milk; getting to know some people well enough to discuss our Netflix habits and just generally trying to be comfortable in whichever hat I’m wearing that day. Metaphorical and physical hat, in case you’re wondering, I mean there’s implied dress codes to be followed too.

So dammit I need treats too, grown up ones. To this end, I dropped the little fella to creche this morning and I got a blow-dry for no reason. (I know loads of people get this done all the time but that time is long past for me what with the childcare costs)  I’m going to work soon, to sit in a room on my own for ten hours. My hair is smooth and swishy and actually lovely and no one will see it but me. But for forty minutes this morning someone looked after me and it transformed me from manic packed-lunch maker to a calm, in control and ready for the day person.

blow-dry
Proof

Next month, nails.

I’ve already used this gif on the blog, but to be honest, it bears repeating a lot.

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