‘Cats’ the movie – WTF?

Cats the movie is bonkers.

So completely and unequivocally bonkers, I’m not sure where to begin. Oh boy, it’s a stinker – but in a good way. Think Burlesque and Mariah Carey’s Glitter.

Even the most ardent fans of the original Andrew Lloyd Webber musical would admit that the show lacks a few things. A storyline, for one. When I heard they were making it into a movie my first thought was: how? And with what? And: BUT HOW AND WITH WHAT?! Then I found out it starred Idris Elba, Rebel Wilson, Tay Tay, Jennifer Hudson, James Corden, Ian McKellen, Dame Judi Dench and that other well known J.D (*grabs auto tune mic and sings*) JASON DERULO  – and I felt reassured, because on paper that’s one hell of a cast!

(Side note: Did you ever think you’d see the day The Dame and The Derulo would act side by side?! What a time to be alive eh?)

But here’s the thing. Do you remember when women’s magazine would survey their readers to put together the ‘perfect’ female celebrity body, and then Frankenstein the winning parts back together to form some kind of super hot human hybrid as voted by the public? You’d whack Halle Berry’s boobs onto Cindy Crawford’s legs and insert Charlize Theron’s jawline, and in theory that person would look incredible; but in reality on the magazine’s page, they looked like the leftovers from a serial killer’s ransom note.

That’s tonight’s nightmare taken care of!

So this movie is kind of that, but with cats. Cats who spend two fucking hours introducing themselves and their back stories with elaborate song and dance numbers. 

Basically the cats all have to turn up to a talent competition at the town hall. They then have to dance in front of Dame Judi Dench as she is the judge (think Paula Abdul on American Idol. Everyone loves her, and she’s a living legend but obviously has no idea where she is). The cats must prove to her why they deserve to be born again into a new and better life, because Dame Judi Dench is some kind of GodCat who can do that. Seriously, that’s it, I’m pretty sure I’m quoting the script word for word.

The film is carried by the lesser known actors, with the big guns (with the exception of The Dame) just swinging in for short cameos. Gandalf cat (Sir Ian) genuinely seemed to have wandered onto the set by accident, improvised a few things and then disappeared again. It was truly baffling.

Taylor Swift is on screen for a swift hot minute. She makes a fabulous entrance, gets everyone high and is the only cat with tits and heels. Me-ow.

J-Hud is the resident broken down diva Grizzabella, she does A LOT of peering sadly around corners and has some pretty dramatic nose snot happening for most of the movie. She does get to sing the shit out of Memory which is the only reason anybody loves Cats, let’s be real.

Straight up truth: if you’re not in any way familiar with Cats the musical, you probably won’t enjoy this film. Unless you’re on a pretty heavy acid trip and you’re looking for something to completely eradicate the last parts of your brain.

But on the other hand, if you do like Cats…. Look, I don’t wanna be a hater McHaterson, I dig people being creative and weird and trying new shit and this is all of those things. I’m also flat out this movie’s target demo: I’m into musicals, fantasy, and campery. I wanted to love it so badly but mother of PEARL they made it hard. It’s wildly confusing and obscure and has probably dethroned Grease Two as the worst musical ever made into movie.

But that being said – I’ll be thinking about it for days. Just like J-Hud, this movie will be lurking around the corners of my mind, bursting into song when I least expect it. 

It should also be noted that I was sexually attracted to cat Idris Elba, although he had no genitals whatsoever and I think that was a mistake. They had a one hundred million dollar budget and couldn’t give Idris some believable cat junk?! That’s definitely why they got snubbed by the Golden Globes. Pussies without peens.

 

Image not EXACTLY the same as how he looks in cats, but pretty much….

Storyline: 2/10

Costumes: 8/10

Sexy nude Idris Alba cat: 20/10


Frozen 2 – ICE HORSES GUYS!

Em’s non spolier Frozen 2 recap.

So.

Remember how we kinda hated Elsa and Ana’a parents because they were all like “Elsa, hide those magical powers, conceal don’t feel bish!” And then they got themselves dead in a mysterious shipwreck, but we didn’t really care much. I mean we were sad for the kids but if we’re all being honest – none of us were emotionally attached to Mum and Dad. Even the film just kinda rolled a tiny velvet curtain over their portrait to symbolise their demise and then moved on. On a side note, Disney ain’t afraid to kill off a parent; can I get an amen up in here Mufasa and Bambi’s mum?!

Well forget that shit, because in Frozen 2 we get full back story realness and those two negligent parentals have a few more dimensions than we gave them credit for!

The film starts with flashbacks ahoy, I won’t give too much away but it’s super cute and we hear Ana and Elsa’s Mum sing and it’s sweet AF. Then we move to present day Arendelle and Elsa has some new purple eyeshadow, some jazzy flat boots and a positive attitude! She’s also moved away from the blue peasant girl vibe outfit-wise, and into a lilac dress, with power shoulders and matching pants. It’s very mid-90’s Gwen Stefani and I’m not mad about it. There’s some subtle diamontee work through the neckline and down the back of her sensible cape. Her look says: Yes I’m an ice queen but I could also be a corporate lawyer for the seven Dwarfs should the occasion call for it.

Elsa starts hearing voices and look, in the scheme of things, it doesn’t seem to phase her that much. Her possible schizophrenia moves us into the first power ballad of the movie, “Into the unknown” and I AM HERE FOR IT! She’s hitting an F chest belt first chorus in, and I was clapping in my gold class Jason recliner!

Olaf is back, as annoying as ever. I wish he had’ve found out what frozen things do in summer in Frozen 1. He gets a number about stuff making sense when you get older but honestly I wasn’t paying attention. He did have one shinning moment which stoped me from wanting to take him to the nearest seven eleven and turn him into a sassy slushy – he recounted the first frozen movie to some new characters who needed to be caught up. It was a hot, funny conscious stream of thought vomit verbalised and I was amused.

Kristoff is back and has moved into the castle even though he and Ana aren’t married (they’re quite progressive in A town huh?) he wants to take their relationship to the next level, he is still has a slightly worrying co-dependent relationship with his reindeer but he’s got a strong jawline and a kind heart so I’ll allow it. Elsa keeps hearing voices, and then earth, wind and fire turn up (not the 70’s funk band – the elements) rip the town apart and the residents of Arendelle are fucked yet again. Then the trolls pop in for a confusing cameo, granddad troll with the grass mullet says some shit about prophesies and bridges and mysterious trees. So then the gals have to go check out some enchanted forest for reasons I can’t tell you – not because I don’t want to spoil the movie I just straight up don’t understand why.  It feels as though the makers of this franchise were given 100 bajillion dollars an felt the need to jam 57 stories lines in and I honestly couldn’t confidently tell you the synopsis of this film even if I wanted to. I dunno how a five year old is meant to get it because this moderately intelligent 40 year old got lost when the stone giants, tiny cute fire lizard and ice horses appeared..

OH YEAH THERE ARE TOALLY ICE HORSES AND THEY ARE EPIC WITH GLISTENING MANES AND ELSA TOTALLY RIDES ONE AND I WEPT REAL SALTY TEARS!

Kristoff gets the song of the movie IMO ‘Lost in the woods’ – it’s an 80’s power ballad complete with split screens and meaningful and wistful stares atop cliffs with a bohemian rhapsody reindeer accompaniment.

Then Elsa totally does an Elsa, and ditches everyone to go and find herself – AGAIN.

While living her eat, pray, love fantasy, she falls into some underground epic ice world of future and past combined, she then gets a total make over – we’re talking queer eye on crack levels of hair, make-up and clothing. I can totally hear Jonathan Van Ness screaming ‘YES HENNY. SERVING FIERCE SILVER FOX FAIRY BAREFOOT REALNESS!’ She then sings ‘Let it go’ sorry I mean ‘Show yourself’ and I CRIED MORE SALTY TEARS!

It also turns out that there was an indigenous population of Arendelle that the white people of the town totally screwed over and look Disney really tried to make this film ethnically diverse.. Well.. They tried.. Not hard enough, but I could see effort..

Then there are more ice stallions and I honestly could have watched two full hours of Elsa and her iceypole steeds riding majestically atop the dark sea. I’m not joking, whichever gay at Disney came up with this plot line needs to be paid all the money and made the boss of the world.

The underlying themes of not feeling as though you’re in the right place in your life because  you’re ignoring your inner voice which is speaking your truth will hit a nerve for A LOT of women. Then when Elsa goes in search of said voice, listens to it and ends up resplendent and glorious riding atop a FUCKING ICE PONY   – you will leave determined to make some serious changes in your life. This film is as much for the exhausted Mothers taking their children along to see it as it is for the small people. 

Then it’s the end and Arendelle is saved because of the sisters and Ana gets a new job and Elsa joins Captain Planet’s gang.

Still no romance for Elsa, poor bish. Can’t even masturbate without an oven mitt… Or you know.. SHABLAM: CLITSICLE.

Storyline: 3/10 But honestly who cares.

Songs: 8/10

Overall 11/10


FLAP UP!

My flaps have been dry-cleaned.

Attention, my loves.

I’ve written a new song. An anthem.

You know how we always say ‘grow a pair’ and ‘balls of steel’ and ‘man up’? Well, that ends now.

I give to you: The FLAP UP movement.

Flap Up definition: Rising to a challenging situation with heart, grit and intelligence.

If the boys at work won’t talk about their feelings, tell them to FLAP UP!

If your friend keeps allowing herself to be treated in a disrespectful manner by her partner, tell her to FLAP UP!

If your son or daughter falls over on the sporting field and needs some words of encouragement to rise again? FLAPPIN’ FLAP UP!

This week, I film my comedy special Rage and Rainbows at the Palais Theatre, before I release it into the stratosphere (Tickets still available, go go go!). This will be the final song, complete with 12 dancing vaginas.

I need my people (you know who you are. If you’ve read this far, you are one of them) to learn these lyrics below. Yell them at strangers. Chant them on the train. Sing them to your sleepy child.

Check out the song on Spotify or iTunes or whatever your favourite streaming service is. Turn it up loud. And then Flap Up, friends.

Em

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Flap Up lyrics

Why do-we equate balls with being tough?
And you’re a pussy if you’re not strong enough?
A gentle flick, on his knees you’ll find a man
But a vagina can birth a human

Take that strength, put it in you when you’re feeling weak
Or shout it at a stranger, scared on the street…

Flap up!
Imagine lips of steel.
Flap up!

It’s the new way to feel.
Flap up!

It’s beyond human biology
It’s an attitude, a new philosophy
Girl, boy, woman or man can
Harness the power of the mighty vag

When you’re down, feeling low, world might swallow you whole
Just look within and grab your metaphorical minge

And Flap up!
Imagine lips of steel. 
Flap up!
It’s the new way to feel

Did you know it’s the only organ in the body with a spot just for pleasure? Plus the fact it gives life and love means it should be a fucking national treasure.

(Flap up, flap flap up…)
Hey you! Yeah, you! It’s time to Flap up!

And Flap up!
Imagine lips of steel. 
Flap up!
It’s the new way to feel
Flap up!

 


2019 TOUR ANNOUNCEMENT

Go on, admit it. That’s the best damn poster you’ve ever seen, isn’t it?! That unicorn was named ‘Gary’ (by my husband Scott) and not only did Gary demand a bow to match my purple leopard print explosion, he also had a fan blowing his mane out like Beyoncé. What a diva. I finally met my match.

Now, about the show. 

Why Rage and Rainbows?! Because it’s the two extremes I’ve found myself swinging between over the past year. Because it’s probably what will be written on my tombstone when I die. Because once you get to the other side of anger, good shit is usually waiting for you (i.e a pot of gold. Or a cheeky leprechaun. You never know).

Here’s the official blurb:

“For ten years, if you asked Em Rusciano how she was, she said, “fine”. Yeah bullshit. She was lying awake at 3am with unexplained rage, and so was EVERY OTHER WOMAN SHE KNEW.

This past year, Em had a baby, turned 40, left her job and had a combined 45 minutes sleep. There’s been next-level rage. There’s also been love. There’s been day drinking and breast feeding NOT AT THE SAME TIME PISS OFF CLICK-BAIT WRITERS.

In the ‘Rage and Rainbows’ tour— Em is finally giving voice that gnawing rage we all try to hide. She’s unleashing it, she’s dunking it in white wine, she’s rolling it in glitter, and giving it an 8 piece back up band and four costume changes.

She’s also going to tell you what to do with it, and send it on it’s way.

More than a show, ‘Rage and Rainbows’ is a festival for anyone who’s felt fed up, furious, exhausted, demoralised… but has still maintained a strong passion for sequins.

You feeling me??

I wanted to understand my unexplained anger (look, a lot of it was easily explained, actually – hey family, don’t walk past the dog vomit and tell me there’s dog vomit; PICK THE DOG VOMIT UP). I was feeling the undercurrent of women being fed up with how things were turning out for us not only on a global scale, but also in our own lives.

So I decided to do a deep dive on that rage: I spoke to the Mothers at the school gate, I spoke to the women at the shops, I spoke to men about the women in their lives… and I realised I wasn’t alone. I think it’s time women stop re-packaging their anger to make it more comfortable for everyone else. In the long run, it’s self-harm, and it only hurts the people around us when we think we’re actually protecting them. Can you do a funny show about anger – hell yes! Because if you don’t laugh you’ll cry, right guys?!

So that’s what the show is about.

Rage and Rainbows also has ORIGINAL SONGS. Original, fabulous, sing-along songs, which I got to write with the unbelievably talented Kate Miller-Heidke and her partner Keir Nuttall. Now, listen here: I want you to learn them before the show. Study them. Press play/pause on your stereo and write out the lyrics while lying on your bed with a lollipop, like the good ol’ days. I want you to be able to sing along with me, lighter in the air, hand on your heart. Scroll down for the links to songs.

There’s also some fancy VIP packages available, which makes me feel like Mariah. VIP’s get to do fancy things like see a private sound check party before the show, have a little Q&A, and get some super stylish Merch that I have designed myself. More details via the ticket links on the tour page, or on the Frontier Comedy website.

Okay, let’s talk dates. I’ve already had to add in two additional shows, you glorious thirsty bitches!

DATES / CITIES


ATTENTION SYDNEY! There’s been a date change for the extra show we added due to a scheduling conflict. It was announced as Sunday 11th August, but it’s been changed to Friday 9th August (hooray! A non-school night! More wine!) at 8pm, still at Enmore Theatre. 

Existing ticket-holders will have received an email from Ticketek to tell you: your tickets are still valid for the Friday show, and you can absolutely get a refund if you need. Fingers crossed it still works for you anyway, and if it doesn’t: I’m SO sorry. I’ll raise a glass in your honour, my loves. Any issues, contact Ticketek or Frontier comedy and they’ll sort you out.

Tickets are officially on sale, and selling fast (no, really. Some of the shows are already sold out. GO NOW. GO GO GO). Click on the button below for your city to be directed to the booking site.

SONGS TO LEARN:

A nice, subtle album cover.

Listen to the songs by clicking on a link below:
iTunes
Spotify
Google Play

So here’s your homework.
1. Book your tickets (on sale now).
2. Learn the songs.
3. Gather your rage, and meet me at the theatre.

I’ve put everything I have into this comedy concert – physically, financially, emotionally, musically, unicornally. I started writing it last year, attempting to get it all finished before my baby was born. Hahahaha. Nice try, Em. I then continued writing it after he was born, breaking every five minutes to breastfeed, eat, cuddle, or scream into a pillow. But I did it. I finished writing the damn show.

I can’t wait for you to see it, dolls. Bring it on. 

Em X


Confessions of a preggo

Following what feels like the gestation period of an African elephant, I’m ripe and ready for birthing!

After my miscarriage in 2016 I couldn’t see a way through to where I am now, I was lost in a fog of grief with seemingly no end in sight. Now, at nine months pregnant and content with a son moving around in my belly, I look back and wish I could grab that sad lady by the shoulders, and tell her she’ll feel alive on the inside once again. In truth I spent the first few months of this pregnancy swinging from joy and elation to sadness and paralysing fear. I desperately tried not to become too attached to the idea of another baby, just in case. I smiled and made the appropriate noises when I spoke about it, but on the inside was a cold determination to protect my heart. You see, no one really speaks about the emotions that come with the pregnancy after the one that ended without a baby. 

I know that I’m lucky to be here, about to give birth, but the truth is: this pregnancy has taken it’s toll on me in so many ways. And while I am grateful, I’m also worn out. Which almost feels like a betrayal to my baby to say out loud, but there you have it. 

I’ve been challenged many times on how I see myself as a woman and a Mother. 

I like to be in control, that’s no secret to anyone. I like to know what’s going to happen and when, so that I can brace myself for the fallout, be it good or bad. It’s an anxiety coping mechanism, I know that. When you’re pregnant your body goes completely rogue. It assumes the biological autopilot position and you’re left clinging on for dear life. You’re reduced to being a passenger on board your own body, with nothing left to do but sit and stare out the window as each change occurs: 

“Oh look – another stretch mark!”

“Someone pass me the nail clippers, I’ve got thirteen new skin tags between my thighs!”

“Over there, a haemorrhoid is squeezing it’s way out of my anus – STUNNING!”

All the while, people expect you to smile and wave because that’s what us preggos are meant to do. It makes others uncomfortable if we’re not happily nesting, rubbing our growing stomachs and generally being maternal as fuck. 

I’ve had to stop doing a lot of the things I love and have become a low-key hermit. My friends haven’t seen me in months, and I’ve stopped performing and working as my body wasn’t coping with my lifestyle. In other words, I’ve had to hand my entire person over to this pregnancy, and that has challenged the ambitious, sassy business lady in me enormously. 

I don’t get out much anymore.

I’m both terrified and in awe of the ways in which my body has changed and adapted over the past thirty seven weeks. Women’s bodies are miraculous things. There have been times where I’ve caught myself feeling worried or repulsed by what’s occurred to me physically. It’s hard not to when your previously B cup breasts now nestle themselves snuggly inside a D cup, and when set free, rest atop your growing stomach like two giant, mono-nippled Jabba The Huts. And when lifted for aeration, they have the surface temperature of ‘centre court at the Australian Open’ degrees celsius underneath. On these occasions, I’ve mostly been able to remind myself that there’s a human life growing inside of me. A whole new person to come into the world, created by the factory of my body… and then I just worry about that instead of the cellulite on the side of my knees. 

I wanted to say to any woman who is pregnant, trying to get pregnant, or may one day want to be pregnant; it’s okay at times to feel stress, anger and pain when you’re up the duff. Society is really only comfortable with us pretending that this is the happiest time of our lives when sometimes, it’s not! I mean, I was promised there would be ‘glowing’, and yet the only sheen coming off me has been sweat.

That all being said, as I head into my final weeks of pregnancy, I say thank you to my body for what it has achieved. I’ve been hard on her more times than I care to admit, but what a bloody marvel it is to have done this thing. Instead of criticising my thighs, skin and everything in between, I say thank you for growing thighs, skin and everything in between. I say in my best Osher Günsberg voice: We’re at the pointy end of the competition, the summit of the mountain, the finish line of the marathon and now more than ever you need to go softly into each day. 

Thanks lady, go gently now.

Most days, I sit in the nursery imagining what’s to come. I’m bursting to meet this child and once again experience those magical first few days that only a newborn can bring. I let that warm feeling spread through my bones, and it feels good to allow that to happen.

Obviously going for a neutral, calming nursery theme..

Thanks for coming on the journey with me friends, I feel like this has been a communal pregnancy of sorts. Your words of encouragement, gifts and well wishes have kept me going. 

Let the next chapter begin: Current day Em with a baby!

What does that look like? I have no idea but I know there will be plenty of tears, bodily fluid and some bad behaviour – and that’s obviously just me. 

Speak soon, 

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Want to learn how to be brave? Step into my office.

Hi darlings,

I received an email late last week from a member of our community who has just recently left a violent home situation. Not only is she starting a new life for herself, she’s also decided to help other women in a similar situation. She asked the following question of me:

I am looking for any tips you may have that can help me embody a fraction of your strength and honesty, but more importantly, help me not chicken out.

First of all, I’ll tell you what I told her: she’s already done the bravest thing I can think of in actually leaving the environment she was in. Anything else from there is a bonus. She’s also putting herself in the service of others, which is another strong and selfless thing to do. I truly believe she’s going to go on and do rad things (I can’t tell your her name for obvious reasons, but just know that she’s glorious).

I get asked a lot about being brave. I’ve never thought of myself as a particularly brave person – put me in a small space with a moth, and you’ll see exactly what I mean.  I’ve a complicated relationship with my self esteem: there are certain facets of myself and my life in which I have a quiet, unrelenting self-belief (my parenting skills, my marriage, my ability to prance on a stage in a leotard), but there are other areas of my life that may cause me to implode from anxiety and self-doubt (literally everything else).

However, it would seem a lot of you do see me as brave, which means I am a) eternally grateful and b) an excellent magician. So I sat down and thought about how I could help you guys find your inner iron, resilience and strength. I’m not an expert in any way (unless we are talking about Ru Paul’s Drag race, the early years of Madonna, or how to tell the time without looking at a watch), but I can talk you through my iron-clad thought process when dealing with the issues that I feel particularly vulnerable about.

The one that’s keeping me up most at night (besides the impending arrival of my son) is my career.

While half of my time is spent creating shows, books, merch and experiences for my community to love and enjoy, the other half is spent reminding, hustling and convincing them to consume the things I’ve made – or my family won’t eat! I left the security of a very high paying job because it stopped me from being able to do the things I love. For two glorious years I didn’t have to worry about people still liking me enough to show up for the art I made. I just made it with reckless abandon (and of course you all came anyway because you’re fabulous like that). Now it’s all on me. I’m in the middle of writing my first fiction novel and next year’s live show, and I swing between creative ecstasy and crippling fear. I have to constantly coach myself (even right now – this is like a live counselling session) to Take The Pressure Down* a notch. I desperately want my new book to out-sell my best-selling last book, so that I can compete with myself. Healthy? No. The birth of an amazingly hilarious fiction novel that definitely isn’t based on all the stories of my life that I can’t sell as a biography or I’d be sued? Yes.

The live show is flowing directly from my soul at this point in time. It’s about female rage and how we need to embrace it – Kate Miller-Heidke and I are working on the original songs, I have an all-female band, and hopefully there’ll be a dragon on stage – ’nuff said. History has shown me that if I put in real, honest and heartfelt work, you guys will show up – and that’s what makes me brave.

This is the poster from my show “The Motherload” which you guys totally came to see!

“Okay, Em…” I hear you fuming at the screen. “Besides this being a way for you to FLOG your wares to us, what is my take-away? You promised me bravery!”

Fair call, my love. Fair call.

Here is your take-away: Remember the times you rose like a phoenix, during the times you feel like a flaccid penis.

I mean if that’s not a fucking song lyric in the making, I don’t know what is. I should’ve put it on a picture of a sunrise, or some puppies, or a waterfall. Wait a minute:

There.

You can’t be brave and fearless all the time, but at some point in your life you have been. That’s how I do it. If I’m feeling unsure, I reach back in for an occasion when I was owning life. When that annoying voice in my head says “you can’t”, I hit her with “yeah, but I have before and I will again”.

I did this, so I got this.

My all time favourite quote that doesn’t involve the cast of Steel Magnolias (honestly that film should just be made into an extra volume of the encyclopaedia Britannica) is the one I put in my book. It’s called ‘The Man in the Arena’… I just change the man bit…

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who never know victory or defeat.” – Theodore Roosevelt

Whatever or wherever your arena is, get in it bitches. You’ve got this. (I just said that out loud to myself as well! I feel so much better, don’t you?!)

By the by this week is “bring a friend week” to my blog, so your job now is to send my words to a mate who may need a bit of steel in their veins at the moment.

Speak soon.

Be brave.

Em X

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*Yes, you spotted a subtle John Peter Farnham reference. We stick together like honey and the bee, okay?!

P.S I had a HUGE response to my top 5 newborn baby products blog. THANK YOU for your hundreds of comments and recommendations. Lucy and I will go through them this week and compose a helpful list for any other preggos feeling overwhelmed by all the new info out there!

 


Please help me with your wise wisdom!

With the force of a runaway freight train coming straight from hell, it hit me yesterday that I would soon be in charge of a newborn human. Up until that moment I’d been living in a euphoric bubble, a hazy, soft cocoon of excitement and denial. For some reason my brain had not fully penetrated the reality of the situation and only been surface diving on the topic.

The catalyst for my realisation was going shopping for a cot.

The last time I gave birth, John Howard was Prime Minister, the very first iPhone was announced, and Avril Lavigne was still a thing. If I’m being honest, I’m completely bewildered with the new equipment, lotions and rules that seem to have sprung up in the past twelve years. So as Scott and I were trying to pick a cot that was safe – one with non-toxic paint, correct spacing between the railings and without the appearance of a glamorous Scandinavian jail cell – it hit me: I don’t think I remember how to fucking do this. I turned to my husband, wildly gestured to the all of breast pumps, muslin wraps and baby carriers in front of us, and said: “Scotty, I don’t think I remember how to fucking do this.” Suddenly I wanted to seal the opening to my womb and have my son live in there until he was at least five.

Last night when I attempted to fall asleep, my mild panic converted itself into three hours worth of sticky thoughts and worries. It was a conscious stream of mental vomit. Here is a disturbing breakdown of the things that were going on in my head at 3am.

On the topic of a newborn:

They’re so tiny, I can’t remember how to do it, the newborn thing. Do you still wrap them like a human burrito or is that a no-no now? Do I need white noise? Where do I buy white noise from?! Will I be able to get anything else done or am I in for a complete handover of my life?

On the topic of Breast Feeding:
Will breastfeeding be as hard as it was with Chella and Odie? Will my tits ever recover? Are there new pumps and storing techniques I should be aware of? Is it every two hours or three? Can you even still get formula? I remember reading about a baby formula black market situation! How do I find the black market? Is it on Google Maps?

On the topic of parenting:
What the fuck am I going to do with a boy?! A BOY! We need to make sure he is a good human, we need him to be who he is, place no expectations on him. Barbies, trucks, ballet, footy – WHATEVER! He needs to respect women and also himself. Em, relax. The kid is still a foetus and the other two have turned out pretty great so far. THE OTHER TWO! Will I still be able to be a good Mum to them? Probably not! Fuck. Fuck. Fuuuuuuuck.

That’s only a sample. Some of the other things should never be put in writing. I woke my husband up and told him of my fears and he said ‘Why don’t you ask your people?’. He meant YOU GUYS! Yes Scotty! Yes I will! I remembered that I have hundreds of thousands of Mothers who follow me online! You lot are wise, fabulous and full of new information.

So what I want from you is your TOP FIVE products that you couldn’t live without when your baby came. I need the new school info y’all, I will carefully scroll the comments section over the weekend and hopefully come out the other side feeling a little more prepared.
At the very least, I may be able to decide on one fucking cot.

Go forth and impart your wisdom!

Thanks,

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P.S Speaking of comments section, if you’re yet to read the comments from Monday’s blog (relationship commandments) you need to settle down with a nice wine and do yourself a favour. It’s some of the funniest stuff I’ve ever read. Seriously, well done to all who contributed.

P.P.S My community pins are back in stock and selling fast – this will be the last run of them for a while so get in quick!

P.P.P.S I wrote the opening number for next year’s live show this week, I WISH I could play it for you… The show is going to be my finest work, the tour will be the first thing I do after having the baby so I’ll be ready and raring to go. All I’m saying is: keep August free!


The five relationship commandments my husband and I obey

A very ‘brave’ woman on Facebook has posted a list of ’10 commandments’ her husband must abide by to keep her happy in their relationship… and look, it would be accurate to say she raised all the eyebrows. In fact, I’m betting there was probably a collective WHAT THE FUCK from every person who belongs to the members only “Get It Off Your Chest” Facebook group. As the name encourages, a lot of the group members did then proceed to get off their chests how CRAZY BA-NAY-NAY they thought her demands were. It’s also important to note that this was a revised list, as apparently her first crack was a little too harsh!

Yes, of course I have a copy of them, thank you very much.

I feel as though she’d be better off with a nice house plant than an actual human. Obviously this list is completely unreasonable, and good lord – if she’s found a partner to follow them, then I pity the fool.

It did, however, make me think about the things I expect of my husband Scotty, and so I thought I’d write my own ‘commandments’ and put them to you lot to see what you think. Truth be told, I could only come up with five – it may shock you to know that I trust my husband and don’t feel the need to control his every move.

Em’s Five Relationship Commandments

1. Thou shalt not destroy the ensuite toilet in the morning. All bowel-emptying must be done in the upstairs toilet. (Scott showers after he toilets and if does his business in our ensuite, the result is a warm poo waft and it’s horrendous.)

2. Thou shalt clean as you go when you cook dinner.  (Scott sometimes leaves the kitchen looking like the cast of Masterchef had an orgy in there. I half expect Matt Preston to show up, wearing his cravat as a loin cloth, asking where his lube is – which I also imagine is duck fat, not KY.)

3. Thou shalt not pick your earwax and wipe it on the side of the drivers seat in my car. (I mean this one is self-explanatory. Really. Do I really have to ask you not to do that?)

4. Thou shall refrain from the five minutes of phlegmy throat-clearing in the morning that sounds like an elderly goat is being drowned in a vat of chocolate, especially when we have overnight guests.

5. Thou shall allocate one morning a week to snuggling for ten minutes in bed after the alarm goes off instead of leaping up at 6am to go for a bike ride.

In the spirit of fairness, I thought I’d ask Scotty what his relationship commandments are. At first he thought it was a trap. He stared at me with squinty eyes for a good two minutes before agreeing to list them, and even then he said them as though he was approaching an angry bear.

Scott’s Five Relationship Commandments 

1. Thou shall limit the number of cushions to four on the bed. (We’ve compromised, I have ten.)

2. Thou shall not wake me up in the middle of the night because you’ve decided you want to put a tile mosaic in the bathroom. (To be fair, the banksia-and-wattle print is going to look amazing and I needed to share my Australian native theme with someone when it came to me at 3am on Saturday night.)

3. Thou shall tell me EXACTLY what you want instead of hinting at it or expecting me to ‘get the vibe’.

4. Thou shall stop using my FUCKING towel. (He was super aggressive about this one guys…)

5. Thou shall stop referring to thou-self as ‘hungry hungry hippo’ or ‘tubby’ – you’re pregnant and you look beautiful. (I expect he just threw that one on the end to soften the other four)

So there you have it: mine involve a lot of bodily functions and his involve home-decorating and vibes – seems about right!

Please feel free to pop yours in the comments section below, I look forward to reading them at length later today.

Oh and by the by WE HAVE JUST RESTOCKED THE COMMUNITY PINS! Go now and get yours my pals, join my cult.

Have a great week,

Em X

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Three ways you can help people experiencing Domestic Violence

And scroll down for a full list of nation-wide resources. Feature image: by Jordan Tarrant

Hello my lovely community of most excellent humans,

As some of you are aware, last week I put the call-out to anyone who could help me do something about the current domestic violence epidemic gripping our country. I received thousands of responses. Some were from outreach programs, some were from survivors of domestic violence, and some were from people who felt as helpless as I do about the situation.

Domestic violence is a complicated, big, raw and nuanced issue. It’s not something that can be solved easily, quickly or simply. It requires a huge cultural shift in behaviour and attitude, and that kind of thing takes years. I think that’s why so many of us feel overwhelmed about how to possibly help the situation, because there is no short term solution. However after spending the week researching and talking to experts, I know that there are tangible ways to help the people affected by domestic violence in this country.

I’m going to give you the three I think will be most effective, so we can start making a difference right now.

  • One: Contact your local MP and let her or him know that you’re a voter and this is an issue you care about.
  • Two: Have conversations with your friends and family about subtle behaviours that disrespect women.
  • Three: Get involved in the movement – be it marching, donating or raising awareness.

From Respect.gov.au, a brilliant resource.

One of the main things I’ve taken away from this week is that we need to involve men in this conversation. It’s not about men vs women, I’ve witnessed various factions from each side blaming the other for too long and what I know is, that’s not working. We need to find a middle road to walk down, no sides, just all of us coming together, to do what we can to prevent women and children dying. The simple fact is men listen to other men, and if they’re in a social setting and a mate makes a disrespectful comment about a female patron or waitress and they pick him up on it gently, in the moment – that will have an impact. That is changing the behaviour at it’s genesis, and that is the type of conversations we need to be having with all the people in our life. If you’re sitting there thinking “how the hell do I even start that conversation with my kids, family and friends?” I’ve got you: click here for a fantastic resource that answers that very question.

One of the experts I spoke to was Fiona McCormack (pictured), the CEO of Domestic Violence Victoria. Fiona has spent most of her working life focussing on issues that affect women. She was generous and helpful during our chat and I walked away from it feeling a renewed sense of understanding and purpose. We spoke for quite a while, and some of the things she said really stuck with me, so I want to give them to you straight up.

Fiona McCormack, CEO of Domestic Violence Victoria

Fiona, what is something tangible we can do?

“Send an email or a letter or call up your local politician, no matter who you’re voting for, and just let them know: ‘this is what I care about as a voter’. That’s how things get up, if enough people call out about an issue. If you’re saying to your political party ‘this should not be a fringe issue, this is a core value. You need evidence-based approach, funding, and policies’, they will listen to your needs because they want your vote.

It’s important that Government follows an evidence-based approach on why violence is happening in the first place, and how they can respond better. For example, the Royal Commission into Family Violence. The Government committed to all 227 recommendations.

We didn’t change the rates of smoking overnight, it took an evidence-based and long-term plan, and concerted effort. Domestic violence is a deeply entrenched issue culturally so it’s not going to be addressed overnight, but we do need Government to take approach.”

 

Respect.gov.au

 

How can we involve men in the solution?

“Importantly: talk to them. The men in your life. This is a time we really need men to step-up and challenge one another. Men are not the villains, they are the key to turning this around. They influence each other’s attitudes. They are part of the solution. 

What we know about the types of men who are likely to perpetrate is they have certain attitudes towards women and towards violence. Attitudes that women are less than men, that they can be joked about and talked about in a hurtful or sexist way – it’s really critical. There’s a link between racism and race-related violence, and homophobia and homosexual-related violence, and so on. So attitudes about men vs women can play such an important role. It’s awkward in a social situation to call it out, but it’s important.

Talking about those attitudes with friends – those certain awkward social circumstances, how they handle it – that’s a really powerful thing.”

This is about gender, but not in the way we think it is…

As a mother of two sons, the facts about the gendered nature of violence against women really confronted me. What does it mean? Is there something inherently evil in men? Is this biological? Is there nothing we can do about it? But the more I learned about it, the more I learned about gender itself. We tend to use gender to describe the physiological differences between men and women, but academically speaking, it relates to the way in which the social norms surround masculinity and femininity. 

But when masculinity is tied up with the hatred of women, that’s when it’s problematic. When we’ve got concepts of masculinity where they resolve disagreements through anger and fighting, that’s where it’s problematic. When a man gets punched outside of a nightclub, we talk about alcohol, we talk about venues, and gangs, and curfews. We don’t talk about gender. And the ways in which our culture means that masculinity needs to be proved over and over again. How much you drink, how much you fight, how strong you are. That’s the element of masculinity that we have to shed. And also the stuff around femininity – where they are the main carer of the kids, where they don’t have any value unless they’re sexually available… This issue is not about a critiscim of men – it’s about changing our culture. These things can be so much a part of our culture, it’s like we’re fish but we don’t see the water.

Isn’t she brilliant? So, just like Fiona said, make sure you contact your local MP with a simple email stating that this is something you care about. It’s easy. I know it sounds exhausting and time-consuming, but it’s something physical you can do RIGHT NOW and it will help. This link may help you to find your local MP, but if not, do a quick google. Write a short, passionate email about how pissed off and helpless you feel because 68 women and 19 children have been killed so far this year. Then tell your MP that you want this to be a core issue, and you want them to have an evidence-based, funded plan on how to fix it.

It will take you five minutes. Do it for the women in your life.

Finally, what am I doing? I want you to know that I’m getting my hands dirty, that this isn’t just something I’m going to write about once and pat myself on the back about, and walk away. I’m invested, I’m passionate and I want to energise you all to feel the same way. I’m going to be waddling (I’ll be 30 weeks preggo) in the “Walk against Family Violence” march happening in Melbourne on November 23rd which is being run by Safe steps. I’m teaming up with the Dangerous Female girls to fundraise and I’m looking into how I can help various shelters (which is something that needs to be confidential for safety reasons). It is my sincerest hope that you leave this blog committed to taking action. I hope you feel as though I’ve provided you with the tools to do so, as that was my number one goal: to empower you guys to help women and children affected by domestic violence.

 

RESOURCE LIST.

If you are in a domestic violence situation, or if you fear for a friend or loved one, these are the important steps:

First and foremost, call 000 if you are ever in immediate danger.

Secondly, talk to someone you trust. A friend, a family member, an outside party. Talk to counsellors and professionals and hotlines.

Thirdly, know your options. Legally, financially, and logistically. As told to us by Elena Rosenman, Executive Director of the Women’s Legal centre in Canberra (who provide assistance to women experiencing domestic violence and need help with their legal problems); “One of the most effective tactics abusive partners use is to isolate women from their support networks, their friends or families, and suggest that people can’t help and or won’t help. If you are experiencing domestic violence, try and talk to people you trust and services that can give you information about your legal options, finances, housing, and counselling. The more information and support you have, the more options you might be able to see.”

Here is a list of resources for anyone needing help. Also, if you’d like to help in another way, many of these resources are drastically underfunded – we encourage you to donate directly to their services if you can.

 

Hotlines:

 

1800 RESPECT 

National sexual assault, domestic and family violence counselling service.

1800 737 732

https://www.1800respect.org.au

 

Lifeline 

Will put you in contact with your States crisis service.

13 11 14

https://www.lifeline.org.au

 

Kids Help Line

This is a great service for kids to talk to counsellors. The trained professionals at Kids Help Line will talk to anyone between the ages of 5 – 25 years old.

1800 551 800 

https://kidshelpline.com.au

 

National Domestic Violence Hotline

Offers online chat, video phone, instant messenger and TTY for the Deaf community.

www.thehotline.org/help/deaf-services/

 

For our future Men:

Respect.gov.au is a great resource for conversations about respect.

For men and boys who are affected by DV there are people you can talk to:

Men’s Line Australia

1300 78 99 78

mensline.org.au

 

DV Resources & Services:

 

Australia Capital Territory 

 

Women’s Legal Centre ACT

(02) 6257 4377

http://womenslegalact.org

Women’s Legal Centre also have the Mulleun Mura Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women’s Access to Justice Program. (Aboriginal woman-led service offering culturally appropriate support with justice issues). Call the Women’s Legal Centre on (02) 6257 4499 to speak with the Mulleun Mura team.

 

Toora Woman

Counselling: (02) 6122 7070 (or www.toora.org.au/contacts.html)

http://www.toora.org.au

 

Domestic Violence Crisis Service

(02) 6280 0900

www.dvcs.org.au

 

Onelink

1800 176 468

www.onelink.org.au

 

New South Wales

 

WDVCAS NSW

1800 938 227

https://www.wdvcasnsw.org.au

 

DVNSW

(02) 9698 9777

http://dvnsw.org.au

 

Womens’ Legal Service NSW 

1800 801 501

wlsnsw.org.au

 

Northern Territory 

 

Dawn House

(08) 8945 1388

https://www.dawnhouse.org.au

 

Ruby Gaea Darwin Centre

(08) 8945 0155

www.rubygaea.net.au

 

Top End Women’s Legal Services

1800 234 441

http://www.tewls.org.au

 

Queensland

 

DV Connect Crisis Support Qld

1800 811 811

http://www.dvconnect.org

 

Domestic Violence Prevention Centre

http://www.domesticviolence.com.au/

 

Women’s Legal Service QLD

(07) 3392 0644

wlsq.org.au

 

South Australia

 

Junction Australia 

(08) 8203 5700

https://junctionaustralia.org.au

 

WSSSA (Woman’s Safety Services)

1800 800 098

http://womenssafetyservices.com.au

 

Women’s Legal Service SA

(08) 8231 8929

https://www.wlssa.org.au

 

Tasmania 

 

SHE

(03) 6278 8292 

www.she.org.au/

 

Huon Domestic Violence Service

03 6264 2222

http://huondomesticviolence.com.au

 

Women’s Legal Service Tasmania 

(03) 6231 9466

http://womenslegaltas.org.au

 

Victoria

 

Safe Steps

1800 015 188

https://www.safesteps.org.au

 

EDVOS

(03) 9259 4200

http://www.edvos.org.au/

 

Women’s Legal Service Victoria

(03) 8622 0600

https://www.womenslegal.org.au/

 

In Touch

1800 755 988

www.intouch.org.au

 

Western Australia 

 

Women’s Council for Domestic and Family Violence Services

(08) 9420 7264

http://www.womenscouncil.com.au

 

Women’s health & family services

1800 998 399

https://whfs.org.au/contact/

 

Women’s Law Centre

1800 625 122

https://www.wlcwa.org.au

 

 

Thanks again to Fiona McCormack from Domestic Violence Victoria and Bethany Hender and Elena Rosenman from the Women’s Legal Centre in Canberra for their guidance in creating this article and resource list. Wonderful women doing great work.

Share this with anyone who might need it, and look after each other.

Em X

 

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David Beckham is a genius. Marriage is hard f**king work.

You know a sentence I never thought I’d say?

Thank you, David Beckham, for those words of truth and wisdom.

Ol’ Becks has been somewhat dragged through the media this week (Ooof. What must THAT be like?!) for admitting that marriage is hard work. And if you’re to believe said media, his wife isn’t too happy about it either.

“I think marriage, marriage is always about hard work,” he said to Lisa Wilkinson on the Sunday Project. “To have been married for the amount of time that we have, it’s always hard work, everybody knows that, but you make it work, you make difficult situations like travelling away, being away from each other, you make it work.”

Apparently this has sent Posh into fits of rage, blah blah blah ‘sources say’ blah blah ‘divorce is imminent’ etc.

Firstly: bullshit. If the media says anything about ‘a close friend has admitted…’ then we can guarantee the story is about as reliable as Samantha Markle.

Secondly: OF COURSE their marriage is hard work. They’ve been married for nineteen years, which is about 18.5 years longer than any of us expected (I mean, do you remember their wedding? His & Hers thrones and matching purple outfits does not often longevity make). I think we can also assume that neither of them are low-maintenance kind of spouses, given that Becks was recently sent into a Sydney cafe to fetch a SINGLE, PEELED CARROT for his wife’s lunch. Really. That happened. Last night I asked Scott to get me some toilet paper (while sitting waiting on the toilet, trapped, with not a square to spare) and it took him 5 minutes and one lecture about “checking before you sit down” to carry that task out!

So how come, when Becks states the bleeding obvious in an interview that marriage takes work, everyone assumes it’s the birth place of their future divorce?

If your long term marriage/relationship isn’t ‘work’ then I salute you. If you have found someone that makes everything easier all the time then you, my friend, are in possession of an actual albino unicorn, a.k.a strap that s**t down yesterday. But I suspect that all marriages worth fighting for, take a whole lot of work.

Why does admitting uncertainty in a relationship make everyone nervous? Will some of you read this and think that, because I’m admitting this, my relationship is doomed? The thing is, I feel an overwhelming compulsion to admit instability in my relationship. To claim anything else would be untrue and it also gives me a nice buffer zone for if/when things go to shit.

A few years ago, my husband and I were done. We called it quits on 12 tumultuous years and went our separate ways. We were broken and I thought completely unfixable. Then after a year apart we decided to work on our relationship and managed to put the pieces back together. It’s not perfect, but it’s getting there; ultimately we are stronger together, and making something strong usually takes, say it with me, oh yeah you know what’s coming: Hard. Work.

I was probably aggressively whispering something in his ear here..

Marriage/long term relationships are fucking hard work!

It is hinted at, written about, studied and mumbled but I don’t think enough married people are saying to other married people: “My relationship can be a clusterfuck of disappointment, frustration and finger pointing.”

Which reminds me. Hey, you guys: Sometimes my realtionship is a clusterfuck of disappointment, frustration and finger pointing.

There are thousands upon thousands of experts giving us unsolicited advice on how to spice up our unions, but no one mentions what to do when you’re in an epic stand-off with your other half over whose turn it is to clean up the dog’s spew.

Not mine!

Not mine!

You both declare – so the aforementioned spew sits for days, congealing on the bathroom floor into a circle of stiffened yellow stomach lining.

That is the shit that tests marriages more than anything. At least it is in my house, the battle over whose turn is it to do the crappy menial every day tasks. Add some kids, and your life becomes about existing not living – you just “get through” days rather than experience them.

I share this with you because I want you to know that my marriage can be hard work. I feel that if more of us admitted that to each other, there’d be less pressure to be in a perfect relationship to begin with. We’d stop holding each other to unrealistic standards. Maybe you aren’t going on romantic date nights like so many therapists recommend, but maybe you got through the day without flipping the love of your life your middle finger while silently mouthing “go fuck yourself sideways” and you’re both laying silently on the couch together holding hands.

Cute.

My relationship can also be the bedrock upon which I build my emotional foundations. I love him, he loves me, we love our kids and sometimes that breaks my balls and sometimes it makes my heart burst with joy.

I do love him, even when I hate him.

It’s not always bad, but it can be. And that’s all I really wanted to say. I reckon Becks did Vicky a favour, I think he was trying to soften everyones expectations of them – it made me look at him and them in a whole new light. Instead of scheduling an emergency Vogue cover shoot to dispel divorce rumours, I reckon they should just tell the truth. ‘Hey, we’re a couple with four kids, busy lives, a billion dollar empire and unprecedented media attention trying to get through like anyone else…’ Ok, so they’re not entirely relatable, but you get it; admit your flaws and people will be far more forgiving and maybe less interested when shit blows up.

I asked my husband what he would say if Wilko were to ask him that same question.

Scotty:  “Yes our marriage is hard word sometimes, however hard work usually leads to something great. Hard work can be viewed as something negative I suppose, if there’s no end goal. But my end goal is a more harmonious existence with my family, so I am happy to put it in.”

What a guy! I almost forgive him for leaving me hanging like a naughty toddler who’d shat their pants on the toot last night.

Six months together Vs eighteen years together. I know guys, we don’t age..

Have a great week,

 

PS. I’ve got new merch dropping soon, so make sure you sign up to the subscriber link at the bottom so you’re the first to hear about my brand new earrings, pins and maternity dresses… I may burst with excitement.