Saturday, January 21, 2017

That other blogger: Emma Healey

I have just come across a blog that is screamingly funny. It's subversive, but in an uplifting way. It's the Emma's Brain blog.

Oh, yeah, and looking at the web address, which ends in .au, it's little wonder this girl Emma Healey—"a Sydney-ish homour blogger, mother of three school age children, wife of cabbage and self professed nerd"—is funny, because she's from Australia.

It never hurts for a blogger like Emma Healey to be cute. 
They have roaringly good senses of humor down there, judging from my interactions, although those have largely been with my American-born expat best friend Kate—Catherine, if you want to indulge her grown-up desire to sound like a queen rather than a school friend—who is an Australian by choice.

She went away to college and adopted this motto: "Aussies are the countrymen you choose." Whatever. But she and her husband are a hoot, and so is their daughter, and then look at Croc Dundee.

Also, one more thing while I'm on my "I LOVE AUSTRALIA rant." While I thought it was possibly  a poor choice for Baz Lurman to use Kanye West in his "Great Gatsby" soundtrack, I thought I'd share that Men At Work, along with The Smiths, is my favorite band. (Ask me how Morrissey and The Smiths changed my life and continue to do so to this day. Also, ask your doctor if The Smiths is right for you.)

Here is Men At Work's very stony, lovely and chill "Down by the Sea." I listen to it when I seek peace.

It will sonically transport you to a beach, clothing-optional and empty except for you and a companion, potentially romantic but at the very least copacetic, where you are not just chilling but "rugging up for winter." I don't know what that means, but I'd help Colin Hay stack some driftwood and twine our palm leaf shelter together any day.

I'm a sucker for man with a vibrato, and also for the judicious use of saxophone in my music.

Back to Emma's hilarious brain.

I've learned from her "about" section that she has written frankly about her PND, which is prenatal depression. I had to look it up on google even though I had it twice. My chemistry is about as stable as the Gallagher brothers of Oasis fame. Sorry my references are old. I'm 42 and it shows culturally as well as physically.

I have found that the effort of keeping a chemical imbalance to a low-level annoyance can do one of two things. Make you a bitch or give you a sense of humor. Or both. 

As you read through Emma's columns, which appear to end in February 2016—she's also a busy author and has a podcast called The Damned Em on Her Radio—you'll learn she's open-minded. 

After reading about a woman who can lift things with her vagina, she wonders whether she can't coax her fanny to become more utilitarian. 

You also learn that she's one of those perfectly imperfect parents. 

Remember that Nick Jr. phrase for a while, meant to placate seratonin-deprived, late-blooming Gen Xers and early-kid-having millenials. A spokeswoman would say, chirpily, "We're not perfect. We're parents." 

And the crazy thing is it made me feel better. Sometimes Brian and I assuage ourselves, amid the chaos and dropped balls, and un-crossed Ts and un-dotted Is that is our parenting life, by saying it to one another.

Where was I. 

So, in one February 2016 column, we learn simultaneously that even though Emma's the kind of supermom who can basically perform as a Rockette with a child on her hip, because she's got so much practice, she sometimes gets "hungover as arse." 

Why do the UK folk get all the cool slang? 

She also admits the secret truth that every loving parent tries to hide from the world and herself. Her ideal day doesn't include her children. After a few weeks of helping to shape little people, she wants time off to kick it by herself or with her friends. 

She also sees the absurdity in all of our over-reaching parental machinations. 

Take a delicious December 23, 2015 entry called "Liar, Liar, Pants of Fire" about doing everything in her power to ensure her children remain expectant of a house-call from St. Nick. Is it love or madness? That's the million dollar question.

"I chew on carrots, then chuck them in the front yard so my kids think that reindeer ate them," she writes. "There was this one year, right, that I put glitter in a jar of sultanas and I dropped them in little piles on the front driveway to look like magical reindeer shit. 

I actually planted imitation sparkle turd in my own yard. 

I have written fraudulent letters claiming to be Santa, thanking them for the carrots, milk and cookies. I even altered my handwriting and put in convincing details like I was a Nigerian Prince ready to hand over my inheritance." 

From profane to puckish, Emma's Brain brings the laughs. 

And here's a wonderful side note—the kind of tangent that can be found throughout her lazy, crazy Virginia Woolfian prose: *Massages temples, *Sips coffee that is definitely fair trade and bites a Valium in half. 

To that, I reply, as Nacho Libre did in. . .um. . . "Nacho Libre": "You gotta be kidding me. Everything you just said is my favorite thing to do every day." 

When she's not being tongue-in-cheek, Emma is presenting sound advice to moms in a world where parenting feels like a competitive sport in which the risks of losing are Hunger Games-high. 

Don't forget who you are in the thick of child-rearing. Spend time with your friends and pursue your hobbies and interests and passions. 

You will like going over Emma's Brain blog entrees, which include one in which she defends Jessie J's boobs—whose appearance on The Voice generated outrage from judgmental and body-fearing parents. 

You'll learn that fighting the patriarchy is among her hobbies, that she was a teen mum and felt the stigma and exceeded the expectations, that she believes Courtney killed Kurt (the jury's out for me, I'll blog about why some time later, maybe). It also becomes evident that she has what's known in the business as a potty moth. 

You will keep hitting "Older Posts" until you get carpel tunnel. And you will laugh.