Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Life and times of an almost-adult

This post is going to be boring.

I can tell you right now. I'm giving you plenty of prior warning. Feel free to go elsewhere and read up about the science behind paint drying because it's guaranteed to titivate you way more than this insipid post will.

Because today, I'm talking about tax.



And not just about tax. We're going to be deep diving into all matter of wonderfully mind-numbing topics like life insurance, medical cover and your personal will. Get excited.

This comes about because I have decided I'm not a very good adult. I am an excellent almost-adult –  a hybrid between a youth and a real person, but lacking the kind of worldly skills and knowledge that make me an actual real person. I do almost-adult with breathtaking effortlessness. I have almost-adult down to a fine art. I can pay my rent on time. I know I need to set aside enough of my monthly salary to pay bills and buy Oreo stash. I can even scrimp a few coins together to put into savings. But those savings are not going towards a nest egg, a nest or even the branches said nest is meant to rest in. That money is being put away so I can fly off to some far away country and spoil me, myself and I. This is what makes me a fully-fledged almost-adult. Selfishness.

There are just responsibilities in being an adult that I don't understand, nay comprehend in any capacity. And I was never told that I would need to know or care about these things. When I was innocently flicking through the glossy pages of Cleo and Cosmo at the tender age of 14, no where was there any guidance on 'how to complete your annual tax refund' or 'what the hell is a medicare levy'. Zilch. 'How to make him hot' though, well, that I got down pat.

Needless to say, in completing Tax Return 2013 (during the aforementioned Vitriolic Chest Infection Which Almost Claimed My Life) I remembered how useless I am at pretending to be a real person. I couldn't get the damn thing done without calling my mother on numerous occasions to make sure I wasn't going to get put away for tax fraud. Granted, I ended up getting money back (which is, of course, all going towards the 'Kristen Returns to America 2013' fund) but I don't think I got nearly as much back as a real adult would have. Apparently, there are all these tricky tricks and loopy holes that are lost on me as an almost-adult, but which real adults are using to swindle oodles of tax rebate out from under the tax man's nose.

I may be able to pay my rent and buy Oreos, but I pretty much toss everything else in the 'Parents Still Take Care Of That' basket. Like


Private Health Insurance

My last will and testament

Electorate enrollment

Scary banking things I shouldn't be in control of – like credit cards.

Green slips.

Pink slips.


Car insurance.



Stamp Duty.

Brain explosion!!!!

As I said, not a very good adult. At my age, my parents had bought a house. I can barely commit to putting my name on a lease. And I can't even chalk it up to being a generational thing. All my friends appear to be doing an excellent job at crossing the almost-adult-to-fully-fledged adult divide. They're buying furniture - 'investment pieces'. An almost-adult is too transient to buy furniture. We choose to pick up our furniture from the side of the road. We naturally shy away from anything that requires serious consideration and any kind of remote financial investment.

Oreos, however. Oreos are worth it.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Why 'the end of the world' and 'being sick' are kind of the same thing

I've spent the last week being sick. 

Not the kind of sick where you get a sore throat, a sore nose and sore eyes from watching midday movies and Ellen re-runs. Oh no. That would be a walk in the park with a cup of Messina compared to what I've been through. 

To say I was on my death bed is not that far fetched. Okay, yes it is. But my level of sickness was definitely up there. I was horrendously ill. I was an incubus of viral plague. My aches and pains had aches and pains. I had the kind of vitriolic cough that could have been misinterpreted as a nuclear warhead. I was inflicted by sudden and horrific coughing attacks which left me crippled and exhausted. So I would cry. And then call my mother. 

When life is all clean and shiny, being single and independent is a cinch. But as soon as things go ass up, I tend to drop my basket. I become needy and pathetic. So I call my mother on hourly intervals, requiring her reassurance on everything I do. Making toast. Taking medication. Attempting to do my tax return… Sometimes I just call her to remind her that I'm sick and therefore need extra doses of her spiritual maternal goodness. 

Anyway so here I am, laid up in my two-bedroom Bondi apartment which is getting smaller with every hour that I stay there, calling my poor mother every five minutes and fighting to breathe through the mucus that has taken up residency on my lungs (wasn't that a pleasant image). When I reach the conclusion that I am most definitely going to die here in front of the midday movie, I decide to go to the doctor. 

The good thing about reaching my level of intoxicated illness is all sense of personal presentation goes out the window. On went the track pants I've owned since I was 13. On went my ugg boots. And out the door I slumped not even bothering to put on a bra. 

And it was in this moment that I became overwhelmingly thankful I was smart enough to rent an apartment that was not only 200 metres from the beach, but a mere 100 metre slumping distance from a doctor and a pharmacy. This has now skyrocketed to the top of my list of renting credentials. Forget about built-ins and the pressure of the shower head. Being able to mooch up the street and straight into the hands of your Russian doctor and his prescription book has become the pinnacle of prime real estate in my weeping eyes. 

So there I am in the surgery waiting room – braless, feverish and coughing – while my fellow patients eye ball me like I'm a container of hazardous waste. My doctor, who's last name is too Russian to pronounce, took one look at me and put me on antibiotics. I cried and he sent me home. 

That was five days ago. Since then, I have watched every episode of The City, eaten a box of Oreos and become so accustomed to napping that I had to stop myself from nodding off around 11am today. I haven't called my mother in 24 hours and I managed not to get self-inflicted constipation from overdosing on Vitamin C tablets. 


Wednesday, August 7, 2013

When did...

When did...

- I start being tucked up in bed at 10:30pm. On a Friday.

- I stop coming to work smelling like last night's booze-laden bad decisions.

- an awesome night involve the words 'couch', 'pinot gri' and 'curried sausages'.

- I stop looking forward to being just that little bit older, so I wouldn't have to pull out my ID all the damn time.

- $20 get me one cocktail. Instead of two jugs of spirit and mixer from the Embassy Hotel and a hell of a good night.

- I start wearing comfortable shoes.

- I start bleeding rent. Oh wait... I've always bled rent.

- I stop living with six people in a six bedroom house which had more hair straighteners than power points to plug them into.

- I start buying wine. Because I like the taste. 

- I start having informed conversations with my parents.

- I start having to check if a man was wearing a wedding ring before chatting him up at a bar.

- I begin chatting up men in a bar?

- Men stop chatting ME up in a bar?

- the thought of waking up on a Saturday morning with a hangover the size of Switzerland become enough for me to politely turn down a drink.

- I start eating quinoa because I liked the taste. Oh that's right. Never.

- The words duck pate and blue cheese make me salivate.

- I start making lists about how depressing my sad twenty-something life is? 

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Let's try this again

I have decided to start writing again - because it's good for my health, it's good practice, it gives me something to do. The same could be said for exercise, but I'm going to pretend like that realisation didn't just come to me. 

It's been awhile since I blogged. It feels a bit like a fall-back, a type of therapy, really. But instead of having someone else go through my head with a fine psychological comb, I can just vomit everything out here and go on my happy way. I'm none the wiser to whether or not you enjoy it or hate it or have any kind of human reaction to it whatsoever. 

What's happened since the last time I blogged? Well, lots really. Not enough to write a biography, but enough to require a lot of gin. I'm still up to my old tricks. Getting in to mischief, finding myself in genuinely odd situations, having the occasional existential crisis. You know, same old same old.

I'm fully-fledged mid-twenties now. I've done all the things a twenty-something is meant to do. Got herself a HECS debt she can't afford, lived with an assortment of bizarre housemates, gone travelling, come home, worked, not worked, tried not to accept money from her parents but accepted it out of necessity and had the same quarter life crisis which seems to creep up on all Gen Y-ers who's parents told them they could be whatever they wanted to be. It's been a tough gig but someone had to be KH. 

So ,it's time to welcome you back to the palava that is my twenty-something life. I can't promise I'm going to write regularly. Hell, I can barely remember to clean behind my ears most days. But I do promise to talk a lot of crap. I'm particularly good at that.  And I'll try to make you laugh, but there's a good chance you'll end up cringing instead. I know I do.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Yet Another Pregnancy Scare

I went to visit my grandma in Hervey Bay this morning. She lives in an aged-care facility where she gets her own room and bathroom, catered meals and the occasional social event. So it's kind of like living at college. But different.

I walked into her room and gave the old lady a hug. And then my grandma says, in her slightly impertinent but loving way, a remark which pretty much suggested that I looked pregnant.

In fact, that's pretty much what she said. "Kristen, you look pregnant."

Nice to see you too, Grandma. What a big mouth you've got.

This is not the first time someone has suggested that I could be pregnant. Some of you might remember the incident on the New York subway in 2010 when a very nice gentleman did the very nice gentlemanly deed of offering me his seat. When I refused profusely, the very nic'e gentleman punched himself in the face by saying, "but you're pregnant, right?"

Um, that would be a 'no', you Yankie douche-canoe.

So when my granda dropped the P-word, I jumped to the same conclusion that I did that day on the subway.

I. Am. Fat.

But I know this not to be true because I've been watching The Biggest Loser which is an excellent way to gain a realistic perspective about one's quality of life. Therefore, I am resigned to the fact that I am not fat if -

I can jump from the ground to the bottom step of the stairs.

I can climb the stairs.

The people at my local McDonalds don't know me by name, license plate or the order I place at the drive-through window.

I can get my heart rate over 100 without throwing a tantrum.

My legs and my ankles are too different things.

But in all seriousness, obesity is a troublesome issue and watching The Biggest Loser does remind me of that. And also that I am a flippity-jibbit for all those times I've stared in the mirror wishing a few kilograms would miraculously slide off my arms and stomach. I am not fat and frankly, thinking I am fat and all the self-flagellation that goes along with it requires more energy than it does to go for a run in the afternoon.

This is what went through my head in the five seconds between when my grandma said, "Kristen, you look pregnant" and when I snapped too and realised that I am not fat. And definitely not pregnant.

However, to my grandma's credit, I did look like I was pregnant. I blame this whole-heartedly on the frumpy and misguiding camisole I was wearing from Gap. The kind of camisole with an elastic band around the middle, which while giving me a defined waist, puffed out a little too much around my gut (and not in the 'concealing a multitude of sins' kind of way).

The kind of camisole that would have my picture splashed across the glossip mags if I was anyone of any importance, with a headline that screamed, 'KH - carrying the next immaculate conception'.

The kind of camisole which is definitely getting ceremoniously burnt tomorrow.


Thursday, January 26, 2012

Things to know about the Chinese New Year in case Eddie McGuire ever asks

I've never completely understood the concept behind the Chinese New Year. So, just in case I ever go on Millionaire's Hot Seat and Eddie McGuire asks me something about it, I thought I would dig up some factoids to store for trivial purposes.

The Chinese New Year is China's most important festival and is all to do with the moon. Much like our friend, the ocean. It's also referred to as the Lunar New Year because the Chinese calender is lunarsolar.

If you're in China, Hong Kong, Thailand, Singapore or any area with a significant population of Chinsese, they'll stop work to celebrate the coming of the new year. A good reason to set up shop at your local Chinatown and get yourself another public holiday.

The whole sha-bang is a massive celebration of wealth, health and happiness. Children wish their parents a happy new year and receive money in a red envelope (kinda like getting a Baby Born, but different...). They recognise the coming year by covering their doors and windows with coloured paper cut outs. And of course, there's food. Duck's foot, anyone?

But what really interests me is the idea of each year being represented by an animal zodiac. This calender is an incorporation of the lunar calender and the solar calender. The whole business gets a bit tricky once you try to line it up with the Gregorian calender, so I'll skip that part. The animals are known as the 12 Earthly Branches and their order is steeped in Chinese legend. But the story is kind of long and I don't think I could tell it nearly as well as Wikipedia does so you can read more about that here.

Anyway, this year is The Year of the Dragon and if you think about it, there are some pretty sweet dragons around town.

Puff the Magic Dragon, who lives by the sea. Very cool.

Falkor the Luckdragon from The Neverending Story who looks like a giant, flying shih tzu.

And Mulan's Mushu. A tad annoying at times, but never the less, a handy dragon-friend to have in a sticky spot.

And the best part of The Year of the Dragon? It's the luckiest year in the Chinese Zodiac. So look out for a whole lot of good luck coming your way. I know I've already had my fair share. The Year of the Dragon has brought me a new full-time job working as the online-editor at Sydney's Girl PR.

Looks like Puff is on my side.


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Damned if you do, damned it you don't, damned if you're Ricky Gervais

I could write a review on the red carpet fashions at yesterday's 69th Annual Golden Globes. Believe me, I have plenty of opinions to offer. But it all just seems like too much effort. And copyright infringement. And money and I don't have any money.

What I do have is the worst case of indigestion known to humanity. Seriously, it feels like a little man has abseiled down the front of my chest and is zapping it with a miniature taser gun every five seconds. I have tried every home-remedy Google has to offer. Heat, peppermint tea, apples, a strange abdomen exercise which is supposed to stimulate the bowel. Nothing has yet induced the all-encompassing burp (Lord, please let it be a burp...) which is festering in my stomach. .

So until that moment, I am going to remain a right, fat, grump.

Back to the Golden Globes...

You could read the review I'm not going to write or you could just go visit the Go Fug Yourself girls and read what they had to say instead. Infinitely more interesting, humorous and satirical. And that's coming from me.

If you don't know who Heather and Jessica of Go Fug Yourself are, you are forgiven for not being a long-term, dedicated reader of TKC (The KH Chronicles. I'm seeing if it will catch on). I gave them a shout-out way back in 2009. You can read it here. Or you can read about them there. Either way, it's high time you were introduced. They are ingenious. Opinionated, satirical, sarcastic, glorious genius. That's their scientific term.

Back to the Golden Globes...

All in all, I was a little disappointed, especially by Ricky G. I was pulling for some truly, disasterous, "Can't look away from the car crash" type TV. Instead, we were dished up a reined-in version of his usually brilliant word vormit. The Kardashian/Middleton reference was satisfactory. Okay, it was a little clever. But the rest was a bit 'blah'. I was refused the perverse delight I get in seeing celebrities squirm and instead, we got Ricky Gervais playing it safe in the shallow end with his Golden Globe floaties.

Where was the indecency? Where was the cringe-worthy? Where was the just, plain wrong?

Erin Wasson must have been wearing it. Or not wearing it.

Who knows? Maybe this means the lovely Erin Wasson will be invited to host next year's Golden Globes.

Tough gig, Ricky G.


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

What's The Big Idea?

So we’ve had my All I Want for Christmas Is list and the 10 Things To Do or Avoid Doing on New Year’s Eve So You Don’t End Up Upside Down In A Garden Bed With Bleeding Shins And Short One Hoop Earring and A Victoria Secret Lipgloss list, but I thought I would go for the trifecta and make my first post for the New Year a list also.

This is the end of the lists, I promise.

So, here is my List of Big Ideas for 2012. It’s kind of like a list of New Year’s resolutions, but better.

And you should also know that in my writing these ideas here, they are now smeared in my copyright. Finders is not keepers when it comes to blogging.  

1.       Work in a retirement home and record the memoirs of little old ladies and geriatric gentleman. I’ve always been a bit scared of retirement homes, so this idea offers a double whammy. Conquer my fear of old people and put my skills as a journalist to some use by recording their memoirs for their personal keeping.

2.       Develop an iPhone app for The KH Chronicles. Imagine that – my daily ridiculousness would be but a thumb-tap away. That’s if you have a smart phone. And if you don’t, well, crawl out from under your rock. The technological age has arrived.

3.       Take ceramics classes so my kitchen cupboards are full of my completely individual, non-matching gas-fired wares. This is in an attempt to eliminate anything identical from my life. This does not apply to my doppelganger, however.

4.       Learn the harmonica so I can play the harmonica solo in my rendition of Lisa Mitchell’s A Little Ramblin’ Blues For Any Hour. Then I can use one of those nerdy harmonica holders which looks like the headset teenagers with braces had to wear in the 80s.

5.       Item 4 is part of a greater idea I have to become a one-woman show, wherein I play the guitar, base, harmonica, tambourine, triangle and drums all at the same time, while singing like Julie Andrews before she got nodules.  

6.       Go into business with Joanna Lumley. I’m not sure how yet. And it doesn’t necessarily have to be business. I would be equally content employing her to be my personal bedtime storyteller, just so I can listen to her voice on a daily basis.

7.       To win a Shorty Award. Let’s face it - winning an Oscar Award is a little far-fetched. Winning one of the Oscar Awards for Twittering is a little more down to earth. And I am nothing if not practical.

So there you go. My ideas are in print and out in the cyber universe. Let’s review this time next year. I rarely succeed on my New Year’s resolutions, but as these aren’t resolutions, I’m feeling hopeful. I’m going to start with Item 7, by writing a tweet about this very post.

But whatever happens, I'm pretty sure I'll do better than this guy...


Friday, December 30, 2011

10 Things To Do or Avoid Doing on New Year's Eve So You Don't End Up Upside Down In A Garden Bed With Bleeding Shins And Short One Hoop Earring and A Victoria Secret Lipgloss

So it's New Year's Eve tomorrow. Everybody's favourite excuse to get drunk and end up either spewing in their hair or in their handbag. Or ending up upside down in a garden bed with bleeding shins and short one hoop earring and a Victoria Secret lipgloss.

That sure is a classy way to see in the New Year...

My 2012 New Year's Eve celebrations will probably involve a bottle of cheap wine and as many episodes of Offspring Season 2 I can squeese in before I pass out. I've either grown up or become boring. Maybe both.

But for those party-monsters among you, I thought I'd come up with a fail-safe list of 10 Things To Do or Avoid Doing on New Year's Eve So You Don't End Up Upside Down In A Garden Bed With Bleeding Shins And Short One Hoop Earring and A Victoria Secret Lipgloss.

Listen carefully. This is gospel.

1. Avoid quick and dangerous slides down the drunken slippery dip by avoiding vodka and ginger beer concoctions. This will, subsequently avoid any staring into the porcelain beyond.

2. Leave your camera in the capable hands of someone who will a) not lose it b) not damage it and c) remember to shoot your good side when your face-raping the man who looks a lot like your boss, but couldn't possibly be. Right? Right? No... wait.... oh dear....

3. Have a hearty meal before the madness. A crisp green salad does not count. You are not a sheep. In fact, why not eat some sheep instead? A good lamb kebab ought to set you up right.

4. The lamb kebab outlined in Item 3 is also good for during-the-madness munchies as well as post-madness munchies. The aluminum bag also proves useful on the cab ride home if anyone says they 'feel dizzy' or start to burp...

5. When deciding on New Year's Eve outfits consider the following - Can this flip over my head if I fall into a garden bed? Will these heels make cute flats if I have an unfortunate stumbling accident? Can I get this outfit off in rapid speed after waiting in line for two hours for the ladies toilets? In the event of a wardrobe malfunction, does this dress leave room for spontaneous re-designing? Will these earrings match the vomit in my hair?

6. If, after asking these questions, you decide to walk out of the house in a playsuit, be reassured you're in for an interesting night. Especially if the playsuit is black. However, a playsuit does not satisfy the criteria in Item 5 as a playsuit CAN NOT be removed in rapid speed. You failed. Go back to the wardrobe and start again.

7. In your clutch/purse/bag, be sure to pack the following items along with your standard clutch contents - safety pins, electrical tape, an Enviro bag which folds up into a small ball for easy storage but sure does come in handy when you're faced with a person about to vomit and you're caught without an aforementioned kebab packet, bandaids, gauze, perhaps an entire First Aid kit, a Please-Return-To card with your name and address in case you forget who you are and where you live, a laminated (very important) photo of yourself just in case you go missing but your clutch does not and finally, a muesli bar (in case you get peck-ish.)

8. When deciding who will be your midnight manic pash, remember this is how you're welcoming in the New Year. Think carefully - do you really want your first memory of 2012 to be with someone who's wearing an Ed Hardy t-shirt?

9. When faced with the horrendous and difficult task of getting a cab home, put yourself in the shoes of the taxi driver. Who would you pick up? The person who looks green or the person who is waving a few more notes of green than is necessary for a fare to Surry Hills. It may be wrong, but when it comes to snaffling transport on New Year's Eve, it's every man (and his money) for himself. And if you don't have any money? Walk. And if you can't walk? Pull out your Please-Return-To card and hope for the best.

10. And as the fireworks explode over the harbor or the paddock or the beach or just on the TV and the glorious 2012 presents itself in fine form, take a second to revel in the moment. A new beginning. A fresh start. A clean slate. Embrace it.

And then throw up.


Friday, December 23, 2011

All I Want For Christmas Is...

1. To star in a Christmas movie with Olivia Newton John

2. Cleaning fairies. You know, to clean stuff

3. Ryan Gosling

4. A puppy that's cuter than Ryan Gosling.

5. A never ending packet of Tim Tams

6. A never expanding waist-line for my never ending packet of Tim Tams

7. A carrier pigeon, so I have another communicative device to compulsively check

8. A Quick-Quotes Quill in which to write my resume

9. The Secrets To The Universe

10. The Secrets to Lara Bingle's success as a celebrity

11. One ring to rule them all

12. Snow

13. A worm-hole between my bedroom and the USA, which by-passes border control and issues you a green-card and a 'Party in the USA' singing telegram upon arrival

14. A non-toxic-to-humans bomb which when it explodes, smells like warm cookies while killing all the little black ants in a 100 metre radius. Then the cleaning fairies, mentioned in Item 2, will come and disspose of their repulsively minty carcasses

15. An iPhone which turns into a Transformer. An iPhonebot, not a Decepticon

16.  George Clooney in a Santa suit. Acceptable alternatives to this include Robert Redford, Kevin Costner and Dr. Chris Havel in Offspring

17. A puppy that is cuter than Ryan Gosling and George Clooney in a Santa suit

18. To be Where The Wild Things Are

19. Someone to scrub my foot calluses

20. Someone to employ me

And in return...

Merry Christmas!