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Stay At Home Dads

Women  told SAHDs will cheat on them putting feminism back 20 years.

I HAVE taken umbrage at a recent article by writer Vicki Larson, blogging in OMG Chronicles and Huffington Post about stay at home dads. Apparently the new warning bell issued by women for women is that SAHDs are more likely to cheat. Where, oh where, has female common sense gone on this one?

For those who haven’t caught on yet, SAHDs is being identified as a new social phenomenon. There are an estimated 1.4 million fathers at home and taking care of children full-time in the US, according to a study by Appalachian State University, although this figure is debated. The new Australian TV show House Husbands is a ratings success. Continue Reading →


The Sandwhich generation and Gen X-austed

Trapped between kids who never leave home and ageing parents living longer, leaving kids late has its real problems.

IT’s a strange phenomenon to observe: people who decided to have children late trapped in a world where three things are happening simultaneously. They are having to take kids through the teenage years and the end of high school;, at the same time as women going into perimenopause and men into andropause; at the same time as having to deal with ageing or sick parents.

The years of supposed freedom of many of us are thus being hamstrung from both ends: by kids who never leave home and ageing parents who are living lomger. Continue Reading →


Pet Prozac

Many pets today are said to be depressed and given Prozac. But none of us fare well in captivity.

I WATCHED an interesting show a while ago about a miserable parrot. In an episode of the program Bondi Vet, Chris Brown treated a self-mutilating parrot suffering depression.

The bird had fallen in love with its owner, and would self-mutilate by ripping out its feathers when it saw her with her husband, Brown said. The parrot would also charge at the man and act in an aggressive manner to intimidate the other male in the household.

The vet decided that ‘‘Harry’’ was seeking attention and sympathy, and put him on the antidepressant Prozac. Harry’s feathers started growing back after a few weeks and his hostility towards his male owner disappeared. Continue Reading →


Hope Springs for Sex

Despite rumours that everyone is bonking like rabbits, the truth of what goes on behind closed doors in relationships is rather sobering.

HOPE Springs, the new movie about a married couple who have lost that lovin’ feeling, has struck a chord not just with baby boomers and those married a long time, but with people in all sorts of unions — gay, straight, older, younger.

The reason is despite rumours that everyone is bonking like rabbits, the truth of what goes on behind closed doors in relationships is rather sobering. Continue Reading →


Getting over the Ex

It’s a lot cheaper and safer to be nice to your ex says the Huffington Post.

I READ a story the other day that made me cringe. A London man, Darrell Plews, 44, was charged after setting fire to his wife’s clothing. On finding out his estranged wife had secretly run away to Gambia to marry her lover while he was trying to win her back, Plews piled bags, shoes and designer clothes on the patio. He then torched the lot.

I cringed because it made me wonder about my own acts of vengeance against exes who have done me wrong. One ended up with his favourite jumper super- glued to his front door — which might sound brutal and maybe a wee bit psychotic, but in retrospect it was the least I could do. Nowadays I’d like to think my years in therapy and Buddhist leanings would make me behave in a more civilised and grown-up fashion were I to discover myself betrayed or deliberately hurt — although I doubt it. Continue Reading →


The Happiness Addiction

In recent times, we’ve seen so many drug and alcohol binges and deaths among the rich and famous, it’s fair to ask what’s going on.

In the wake of the deaths of Amy Winehouse, Whitney Houston and billionaire Eva Rausing come the ghostly photos of celebrity Macaulay Culkin — predicted to have only months to live — and photos of the sexy actress Brigitte Nielsen, former wife of Sly Stallone, lying like a bag lady, drunk in a park.

We can comprehend that drug problems plague the Jane and John Does of this world, but when we see people who we’d deem as having magnificent, blessed lives, beyond and above anything we could imagine — amazing bodies, careers, money, going to fabulous resorts and parties and not having to worry about the drudgery of housework and mortgages — it does beg the question about the nature of addiction. Out of the spotlight, rates of addiction are rising, with new temptations every day through the growing digital world: computer games, on-line porn and gambling, social networking. Continue Reading →


Plane rage

We all have it. The rage that comes from having to deal with rude  people in confined spaces. Even yoga can be a hotbed.

A passenger is facing possible charges after abusing airline staff when the woman in front of him refused to turn off her reading light during an overnight flight, it was reported recently.

When airline staff told him the woman was entitled to keep her light on, he began swearing and threatened to keep kicking the back of her seat if she didn’t do what he asked, which sounds very mature. Earlier this year a similarly nasty row erupted after a passenger put his seat back while the person behind him was eating his meal, and refused to put it forward again.

There, but for grace of God, go any of us. Who read- ing this hasn’t had — or nearly had — a heated row in confined quarters such as an aeroplane? Continue Reading →


Failure Is an Option

For those of us who have failed, the experience can be inspiring.

I HAD a fascinating encounter recently with an aspiring businessman. He was explaining the strategies he employed to get a project off the ground. There were the usual 10 things to do, successful models to copy, a list of potential buyers and marketing ploys.

But then he said something that shocked me. ‘‘I’m also doing live stage work, performing in local bars and clubs a couple of nights a month.’’

What did that have to do with starting this project, I asked, thinking we’d changed conversations. ‘‘It allows me to practise working in front of people who are critical, and it enables me to fail.’’

I was still confused, since he’s not an entertainer. But the point he was making was that getting up in front of an anonymous audience, doing something he enjoyed but that wasn’t crucial to any need for success, allowed him to learn the art of failure. It enabled him to feel frightened, perform, bomb, feel humiliated, and to come back again and try something different next time. Continue Reading →


Virtual Non-Reality

Shortly we are to be introduced to an alarming and wildly new technology in mobile media.

JUST in case not everyone’s heard, within 18 months we are to be introduced to a completely new technology in mobile media. The product is called Google Glasses, a pair of regular-looking glasses but with transparent computer screen lenses and earphones. As you walk along the street, everything you could possibly want and need is transmitted to you.

According to promotional material, if you look at a restaurant name and say ‘‘review’’, info will flash up immediately; you can arrive at your bus stop to be told, ‘‘5.30 bus cancelled, next closest bus is . . .’’ (map provided). The glasses can take photos and record videos, and send them out to people; give directions; flash you what’s on at the theatre you’re passing and book your tickets; flash your email messages and phone calls at you for you to accept or decline by voice command. Continue Reading →



There is a surprise candidate as the No 1 cause of early ageing in Western society and it’s not bad living.

THERE are a number of factors that lead to premature ageing, according to a recent study. The usual suspects are there: smoking, drinking, obesity, living in polluted cities. But the No 1 cause really surprised me: phobias.

An article in The Huffington Post revealed the world is full of phobics and that almost 10 per cent of Americans had at least one, with the statistic rising dramatically for women. This can be a specific fear such as arachnophobia (fear of spiders) or an overall uneasiness in certain situations, such as agoraphobia or social phobia.

‘‘Researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital analysed survey results and blood samples from 5243 women, ages 42 to 69, finding that intense phobic anxiety leads to faster biological ageing (and found) a link between anxiety and shorter telomeres, DNA- protein complexes on the ends of chromosomes that are thought to be the biological markers of ageing.’’ Continue Reading →