Tuesday, December 7, 2010

fat lip

i had my first 'official' amateur fight last week. even though i've been training and sparring for well over a year…

it takes ages to be physically fit and skilled enough to take on an opponent knowing that the objective is to punch the bejesus out of each other in front of a big crowd! i guess that's why boxers are the fittest athletes… because the consequences of not being in shape hurt a lot more than your pride. i.e. if 'jenny craig' threatened to bash folks if they didn't lose weight… imagine the results. must be a tv show in it... biggest loser meets the contender? working title: "fat lip". aaand back to the story.

at the moment i fight in the 60-64kg (light welter) division. i was matched with a chick who weighed about the same as me and who also hadn't had a fight yet. right on...

so once i was given her name, 'patricia mulet riesco' i went straight to google to see what i could dig up. and this is what i got:

"Patricia has been personal training for over 5 years and boxing and kickboxing for 7 years and also competes in Bodysculpting." 

fuck me. okay… so she may not have had an official 'boxing' fight buuut… anyways. further searching discovered this:

interesting. the "mullet" happens to be a model / bodybuilder / kick boxer with an eclectic array of 'looks'. see for yourself: http://www.starnow.com.au/patriciamuletriesco

considering the girls i train with are tough butch dykes with shaved heads… this opponent had me feeling a tad conflicted.

the day before the fight i met up with my 69-year-old coach tony for a light training session down the oval… some punch combos and sprints to get me fired up for the big event. fyi, tony is like a cross between mickey from rocky:

Movie Videos & Movie Scenes at MOVIECLIPS.com

and clint's character frankie in million dollar baby:

you can barely understand a word he says (i interpret his gestures most of the time)... but you know he's "always in your corner". that's what it says on his homemade laminated business card too. bless.

here he is with my buddy, and fellow boxer, dan.

tone told me to check my weight when i got home to make sure i was under 64. so because i don't have scales i went via kmart to borrow theirs. to my surprise the kmart scales had me at 67kg!!! how the fuck did i put on 3kg in less than a week? feeling panicked i texted tone wondering if i should head to a sauna or start skipping or something? my lovely coach told me to just eat soup and to... ummm... "drop a pole" by 10am the next morning. i was to weigh myself directly after and text him the results. lovely.

so i woke up... a bit hungry and ready for action. and action is what i got... there was a fucking cat in my bedroom. while this is normal, and I suppose quite nice, for many people... it freaked the SHIT out of me (not literally, however) because WE DON'T HAVE A FUCKING CAT. the bloody thing had climbed in through the apartment window. so the next hour was spent trying to get this hissing beast out of our pad... all the while receiving texts from tony asking if i'd had a shit yet. argggh!! i told him about the cat situation, to which he replied: "don't eat it".

so with the puss hiding under the couch, i went back to kmart and this time invested in a decent pair of digital scales. i came home, stripped off and weighed myself. thank chrrrist they had me at my competition weight... 63.9kg. so the scales i'd sneakily used the previous night had been bloody dodgy as there'd been no "dropping of poles" at this point. not sure about you guys but i can't poo on cue. anyways.

fast forward to fight night... or afternoon rather. i hooned like a lunatic to randwick labor club for weigh-in (tone cocked up the time... he thought it was 6pm when it was actually 4pm) so when i arrived i was a little hot and flustered... but otherwise, dandy. when i walked in, tone was there waiting patiently for his 'kid'. as i walked over to him a tall attractive lady, dolled up in some kind of slim fitting summer gown, said hi. holy-shit-balls it was "mullet". and yes she was a knock out... gulp.

surprisingly, she then went on to tell me that we'd met before. apparently her ex-girlfriend (yes GIRLFRIEND) had introduced us at a rave (a RAVE?) a little while ago. WTF?? firstly, when was the last time i'd been to a rave? do raves still happen? i had no idea what she was on about but nodded politely... at the same time wondering if she'd just made up a story to 'out' herself for the sake of sister-solidarity? tone reckoned she was nervous... a bit of the old "charm and disarm" trickery huh...

whatever the case... i wasn't going to let her ruffle my feathers. that doesn't sound very tough, does it? whatevs. i mean... once we were in that ring i'd happily punch her in the face... pretty or not. and i'd expect exactly the same in return.

turns out we were the only girls fighting that night... there were about 8 other guy fights and ours was scheduled just before the big pro fight. a bit of a novelty it seems.

when it came to fight time she and i were both 'backstage'... (yes, a fight IS a performance - the ring is the stage and punters drink and cheer while two athletes dance around whacking each other - with scantily-clad 'card girls' punctuating the acts)... we were backstage with our respective entourages shadow boxing and warming up. gone was "mullet's" pretty dress... instead she was flashing her awesome guns in a tight singlet and revealing her shaved undercut that was previously concealed by immaculately-styled long hair. i on the other hand had white surgical tape wrapped around my head to keep my hair from getting in my eyes... (fyi, i've had one too many scary experiences where a sweat band has slipped down and blinded me mid-fight). so surgical tape it is! and anyways, the 'lobotomy look' is equally as intimidating. IT'S ON BITCHEZ.

ding ding. i dominated the first round. as she was taller than me my strategy was to go in hard with a double jab to distract her... dodge her punch then nail her with the right. it worked. she didn't like having her face hit. and with my strength i could get in close and penetrate her guard. she hit me back with her long reach and we took turns at punching and blocking and slamming and groaning til the bell went.

round two. i was less sophisticated from going pretty hard in the first so copped a few clean punches on the forehead... good point scorers. my defense wasn't so sharp but i'd unleashed 'the animal' and brawled her into the ropes. the "mullet" had precision... i had grunt. we were fucking knackered but kept on dancing... less jitterbug, more sweaty, heaving waltz perhaps. i could faintly hear my non-boxing friends yelling ringside... "smash her!!! give her an uppercrust"... i dunno... a new brand of bread maybe?

round three. tone told me i was down on points so had to give it everything i had... as long as i could walk out of the ring at the end of it. be strong and brave but with class. and punch like a tiger. grrr. yes coach.

sooo we went for it. punch for punch. "mullet" and i hit the crap out of each other. i gave her a blood nose. she gave me a fat lip. it was exhilarating. and like a classic hollywood fight scene, it seemed to be happening in slow motion. at the point of exhaustion, you kinda stop thinking and just start surviving. sometimes you can't tell if you're being hit... and you're not sure if your heavy brick-like hands are making any impression on your opponent... but you just keep going.

and then it was over.

standing side by side in the ring, the referee announced a split decision. ooooh... this means two judges ruled in favour of one fighter, while the third judge chose the other. "mullet" snatched the victory on this occasion, out-scoring me with her patience and precision, but it was a beautifully close contest.

stepping outside the ring, the physical reality of what you've endured starts to kick in. breathing in the metallic smell of blood and feeling that your lip is a lot bigger than it should be... as fellow fighters and onlookers congratulate you on the battle you've just survived. what a thrill.

and it was awesome going up to my friends after the fight... a bunch of hungry beasts, old pals and my besties who were there cheering me on... most of whom were worried about my face on the lead up to the event... but were sucked into the contest as soon as the first punch was thrown!

a little bit later, "mullet" re-emerges looking just as glam as she did when i first saw her. evening dress, hair done, make up... the works. what a transformation! (as i sat there sweaty and gross and proud as punch in my fighting outfit - even wondering if it'd be appropriate to wear out later that night??)

those wily, wily femmes.

anyways, as they say.... keep on punchin!

p.s... there will be a rematch.
(sub)urban tomboy xx

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

animal noises


this is the noise 'kelly' my childhood dog used to make… and the noise i make when i'm anxious. like when i'm riding my bmx down a main road and one of sydney's homicidal buses nearly side swipes me. when i growl it makes me feel powerful and calms me down. i growl a lot. my ex gf would constantly refer to me as a dog and even gave me a dog tag with my name on it… 'schafty'. this is fine by me. i talk to dogs all the time and smile at them whenever we cross paths. i'm not so generous with people. grrrr.

i also make variations of this noise when i box, when i eat something that makes my eyes close (like delicious salted caramel white choc chip gelato from messina in darlinghurst), when i perform as 'the kill room' and unleash my inner rock geek… OWWW!

'Missy' music video - The Kill Room from Monique Schafter on Vimeo.

and, predictably, when i'm getting it on.

i love animal noises. i love that we all have them inside us. because so often things are beyond words and animal noises articulate your feelings perfectly. grrrrrrr. mmmm. hrrrrrmph. arrrghhggh. it's a universal language… that will get you nowhere in scrabble.

in case you're wondering about the salted caramel white choc chip gelato. this is pretty much me:

but sometimes animal noises give me the shits. like when some of the douchebags at boxing try to intimidate you and act all hardcore by making these really loud, super aggressive guttural groans when they're punching the bags. unnecessary. so annoying. only guys in my experience. wonder if it's a mating call? either way i want to punch them in the teeth to shut them up. in this context, you unleash the tiger when you really need to… but no one likes a dog barking in their ear the whole fucking time.

the other time animal noises annoy me is when you can hear neighbours shagging… at first it's a novelty and you listen closely to hear what they're up to… but then you get annoyed by the high pitched giggling or grunting and just want them to get it over and done with. like the other night my neighbours were shagging with their window open and all i could hear was… well basically just that… giggling and grunting… but worst of all was the horrible techno they were trying to cover it up with. and then her phone kept ringing so there was some other tinny crazy frog beat colliding with the bad tekkaz and prolonging their love wrestle (and my ability to fall sleep). urghghghg.

it makes me feel like this:

i've copped a fair bit of neighbourly love. in my old apartment in melbs i'm pretty sure i was living next door to either a nympho or a prozzie. this lady would go at it about every four hours throughout the day and night and because the walls were thin i had the surround sound experience… sub woofers and all. frustratingly… if you were going at it, and you could hear her going at it… it'd kill the vibe!

one of the interesting things about my neighbour's animal yelping was that she'd never "finish". there was always uh uh uh huh huh rahhh hruuhh (almost) rahhh uh huh uh uh uh uh but no finale. my gf and i would sometimes turn the tv down because she was interrupting our viewing… comment on what we thought she was up to this time… occasionally make uh ruh ruh raahhh noises back at her like we were cockatiels having a conversation and then turn the volume back up when there was shoosh.

the most awkward time was when i had my 50-year-old workmate over because she'd asked me to edit her daughter's 18th birthday video. sure enough, next door started up… and we were there editing home movies of family christmases while the cockatiel screeched. i guess in this context, if you're not a willing participant, animal noises suck.

and yeah… of course i've had loud sessions with partners but it's nothing a pillow over the face can't fix (not meant to sound creepy) or at least a 'peaches' album…

or missy higgins (I AM JOKING).

until next time… ROOOOOOAAARRRRR.
(sub)urban tomboy x

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


i’m not a “boob man” and this pic definitely doesn't do it for me. to break it down... i’m not of the penile persuasion... and, hey, i’m not obsessed with bazongas. but one of the bosses at work thinks i am.

it’s the lady boss who up until now, i’ve had an awkward rapport with… like she doesn’t quite know where to place me. thankfully, she’s not threatened by me because i’m not a pretty blonde thing stealing the guys’ attention… some of the other girls in the office have felt like she cold-shoulders them for this reason even though they're not the flirty types at all.

our rapport, although professional, has been a bit maternal, a bit matey and a little bit flirty = awkward.

anyways, i was commenting on the boobs of a particular celebrity the other week and the boss lady walked past and said how her partner was “a real boob man too.” oh? it’s not like i was going on about how sweeeet and gropable they were or anything like that… i was just commenting on the shape of them. and before i had a chance to correct her, i could tell by the look on her face that in her head, she’d just figured out how to relate to me.

she now saw me as a straight man (of sorts) who liked boobs. because, hey, don’t we all fellas? and since then, our rapport has been totally chill because i play the boy role and she plays the girl role, there's an occasional mammary reference, and the world’s a happy place. easy. but honestly… i’m really not a boob man. errrr. boi. you get it.

i mean i like boobs… i like boobs as part of the package but i certainly don’t lust after them in isolation.

i find my own boobs quite annoying. as a sporty girl, boobs just get in the way… particularly in boxing. now my coach is a stickler for safety and won’t let us spar or compete unless we’ve got all the right protective gear. helmet, mouth guard, groin protector and a breastplate.  i find this really annoying because in boxing you don’t aim for your opponent’s boobs… you aim for their head and guts… so it’s rare that you cop a punch in the boob. but it’s mainly annoying because breastplates are really uncomfortable and restrictive. take a look at this ridiculous thing my coach made me wear when i started out sparring.

it’s like triple the size of my actual chest and makes me look like a boxing dolly parton. and because it’s made of hard plastic it restricts your ability to protect your face because you can’t bring your arms up properly or your elbows close enough together. ridiculous. i now refuse to wear the bloody thing but i have much smaller slip-in protector plates for actual fights.

sometimes i reckon it'd be easier not to have boobs at all. and i actually got to see someone's boobs being removed a few weeks ago. in the words of the patient... "like a boob job - but the other way around." seriously. my buddy ali (from hungry beast) and i are making a doco series on some female-to-male trans guys in sydney, and one of our guys let us film his double mastectomy. for two and a half hours, decked out in sexy hospital scrubs, we witnessed his chest surgery in all its gory detail... i can tell you that the inside of a boob looks like runny scrambled eggs. 

although totally comfy with my identity as a girl, i can relate to the idea of wanting to have a flat, more manly chest. i dress like a boy, i like my body when it's toned and i guess pretty masculine looking... so having a flat chest for me would be part of the whole aesthetic. a reflection of the tomboy within.

but i wouldn't get my boobs chopped off. my sports bras keep them in check and these days i'm quite partial to the idea of having kids. as in, i would consider popping one out, in addition to, or instead of, my (hypothetical) partner giving birth... if it came down to it.

so i'd keep the boobs for the sake of breast feeding - even though the idea of it seems a little foreign to me. (not that you HAVE to breast feed. i wasn't breast fed. mum said i was a biter so whacked me on the bottle straight away. go figure. and i turned out alright).

and geeeez, i'm the first to admit that i'd look pretty funny pregnant... visualise a pregnant justin bieber. here's one we baked earlier:

i'd be a baseball cap wearing, muscley little boyish nugget with swollen boobs and a protruding belly. kinda odd. but who gives a fuck?! not me.

so while i'm not a boob man, i appreciate the uniqueness of bodies in all their booby-licious or flat chested glory.

and on that note, LET'S DANCE.

(sub)urban tomboy x


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

the (tom)boy who could fly

remember that movie? you know the one from the 80s where the autistic boy eric is totally obsessed with flying? this one:

well i wanted to be him. i actually wanted to be the boy in every movie i saw when i was little…

kevin mcallister


david freeman

… you name it. but 'the boy who could fly' inspired me. so much so that i used to climb onto the roof of the house as a 7-year-old, edge my way along the tiles to the tallest point, and stand there with my arms outstretched like he does in the movie. the neighbours must have thought i was special… or actually, i think they were worried about the level of parental supervision at home.

i was too cluey to think that jumping off the roof with an umbrella would result in a soft landing. instead i’d focus all of my attention on my internal ability to just take off… yep, those were they days when i believed in mental telepathy and would stare at the toothbrush trying to make it move.

sadly, the closest i got to flying was in my dreams where if i sprinted fast enough i was able to take off and fly for about 30 meters. this didn’t work when i was awake. but i was a good sprinter as a result and cleaned up at school sport.

as a grown up my flying experiences haven’t been nearly as exciting. these days i fly quite a lot between syd and melbs for work, gigs and just catching up. i’ve had such a bad run with flights recently. two weeks ago i was stranded in melbs cos virgin blue had a computer meltdown and a bunch of flights got cancelled. the airport was like a disaster zone with sweaty, tired bodies sprawled out on the carpet looking miserable late on a sunday night… and the chirpy staff were trying to make up for it by handing out free krispy kreme doughnuts and cheese burgers (for kids only – which didn’t go down too well with some folks). you should have seen the stampede for free junk food. scary, scary shit.

to fill the time i pulled out my laptop and started watching that homoerotic spartan battle movie '300' which was the only thing i’d downloaded that i hadn’t watched yet.

because we were all sitting on top of each other i felt weird when the grunty sex scene came on with nannas and grandkids either side of me. awkward.

but it wasn’t all bad. i was put up at crown that night in a very flash hotel room and work flew me back first thing. fyi… i AM wearing undies in this pic:

and then more flight dramas this weekend care of tiger (i know, i know… it’s my own fault). the bastards called me an hour and a half before we were due to depart on friday afternoon to say my cunting flight had been cancelled (i paraphrase) with the next available one the following morning. roooaarrr.

and because everyone knows that melb is awesome on the weekend there were bugger all flights available on other airlines, and the ones that were, were like $400 one way. bollocks. so it meant i couldn’t perform my comedy act on 'fake lesbians' that night and had to make a zillion phone calls explaining what the shit had happened. grrr.

but not all my flying experiences have sucked. i used to get paid to think up tv shows and was flown to an international development conference every year to mingle with other creatives. no shit, that was my job. do you hate me?

anyways, one time i was on a flight to berlin with my development team and that sooky movie 'the notebook' was playing.

i hate this movie. i hate movies that go out of their way to make you cry. tragic dog movies are an exception, however.

just hearing that song makes me cry. such a good dog.

so 'the notebook' was playing and we were all watching it and i was getting annoyed. i looked to my left and noticed that one of my workmates was dabbing her cheeks with a tissue. to my right, my boss was tearing up. when i took my headphones off i could hear someone getting really choked up. i looked to the seat in front and my male colleague kristian was pretty much bawling – his face was bright red and his stripey shirt was wet all down the front.

at this point i started crying – crying with laughter. from a previous blog entry you will know that i cry when i laugh – i’m emotionally back to front – so my eyes starting pissing out salty water and the four of us were there crying hysterically over the bloody notebook. the other passengers must’ve thought we were on crack.

then my workmate went to fetch more tissues from her bag in the overhead locker and accidentally knocked some kid’s big plastic toy dinosaur, which then fell on another passenger’s head. that was it. we were gone. crying/screeching/snorting/choking uncontrollably.

i wish all flights were this good.

so in the words of the narrator from 'the boy who could fly':

“we’re all special. we’re all a little like eric. maybe we can’t soar up into the clouds. but somewhere deep inside… we can all fly.”

now sing along:

up in the air i fly

zoom, zoom, a-zoom a-zoom zoom

up in the big blue sky
zoom, zoom, a-zoom a-zoom zoom

zzzoooooom, zzzooooom,

zoom, zoom, a-zoom a-zoom zoom.

you feelin it?
(sub)urban tomboy x

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

i can tell that we are gonna be friends

i'm back. back with my first proper (sub)urban tomboy blog entry since forever ago. i really enjoy writing these and i'm sorry for making you wait so long for this instalment. i've been sharing quite a lot on twitter, fagbook, formspring (e.g. you ask me questions anonymously and i answer them)

and on hungry beast as you may be aware (man, the world has gotten a whole lot more chatty) but i'm excited to be back home where the air is sweet.

there's something beautiful about longer form storytelling and i have a belly full of (sub)urban tomboy wonder to share with you... raw, nostalgic, curious and contemplative... and just plain fun.

this entry is about friendship... i know i've been down this road before (remember the epic fight i had with my oldest besty, nit, when we were in grade 2) but this time, it's about what friendship means in an age where a new pal is just a click away.

i've had an epic long weekend here in sydneyland hanging with my lovely friiieeeends. i moved here a year ago to work on hungry beast and it's taken this long for me to really feel connected to this city. right now i'm a tad delirious as a few of us went out dancing last night at an anything-goes indie queer night on oxford st. for the first time in a long time... we danced til the sun came up. we danced like no-one was watching (while loving the very fact that they were)... we danced with the gayest of gay abandon... and we were there when the night club turned into a day club and the muscle-marys poured in from some other party with their hairless, rock hard, man-boobed chests. it was wild. it was just what i needed. and i probably won't do it again for another 5 or so years;)

as an only-child, friendships have always been super important to me and i have such an affection for the people i choose to spend my time with. especially face, as opposed to facebook, time.

and according to facebook i have 829 friends.

but in a sense, i guess they are friends... (even the weirdo hungry beast fan whose name is written in some kind of hieroglyphics font)... i mean, they're friends if you see friendship is a continuum of association... from besties to workmates to kids i went to school with to acquaintances to folks who simply like the cut of my jib and want to know me better... perhaps?

at risk of sounding like a friendship-floozy, i think this is ok. yeah, they're not all deep or profound friendships, but i get a kick out of people. i like knowing what folks are up to and i like folks caring about what i'm up to... i like this feeling of connection. it's primal and addictive.

not all my friends are 'keepers' though. this is my word for BFFs... but i do have more keepers now thanks to the sheer volume of friendships in real life and online and the fact that i've been collecting them for nearly 30 years. and my keepers i hold dear (that's one of my fave nan expressions)... along with what's his britches? which is how my nan ina refers to "friends" whose names she can't remember.

my keepers are good eggs. my keepers have a strength of character that guides them through the ups and downs. my keepers are flawed and wiser due to their mistakes. my keepers care about me and challenge me... and vice-versa. to cut through the wank, they're just fucking tops to be around. they're the folks who you don't have to see everyday, or every month or even every year, but when you connect it's like no time has passed.

i recently starting 'seeing' one of my keepers. okay okay... this is the other reason i'm writing a blog on friendship cos it's kinda topical in my world;) by seeing i mean we started hanging out frequently and it got intimate. she's someone i've known since i moved to sydney who i've always clicked with and thought was pretty rad. we're similar in a lot of ways so the interest (for me, anyway) was both effortless and well, a bit narcissistic.

soooo after breaking up with my gf of two years (due to the struggles of long distance and some communication issues - if i was to sum it up in a tweet), this friend was the first person i'd found myself drawn to, and i guess, let my guard down with. for this freshly single (sub)urban tomboy, the feeling was kinda like the irrational belly vibes i felt for my hot chem teacher in year 10 that saw me become a straight A+ scientific whiz kid until we got a different teacher the following year and i lost interest in balancing chemical equations. (just on that, how is it that i didn't understand what these homo vibes were until 5 years later? i digress).

yeah, so i guess i was seeing my rad friend and it was cruisy. until it got to that point where you ask yourself what is happening here? are we friends who make out on the weekend? friends with benefits? ummm? people are emos... and i know i can't keep seeing someone consistently without becoming emotionally attached so the road generally forks into three paths... relationSHIP, friendSHIP or the rough seas of ambiguity where no-one's sure what's going on and there's a good chance of at least one sailor drowning! so we needed to address it. and we did. and we decided that friendship was the way to go.

so i'm not gonna lie and say i don't feel any of those chem teacher vibes, but when you're about 7 weeks out of a pretty big relationship and trying to get yourself sorted, the option of having someone you think is rock solid in your corner as a FRIEND, is a good one.

here's a song while you think about that:

we're going to be friends by the white stripes

not everyone is a keeper, and sometimes friendships are too important to risk. and anyways, there's always those 828 other folks to knock around with.

i couldn't write a blog on friendship without posting one of my fave songs of all time:

my pal by god

oh and finally, here's a song i really hate... but when performed by 'kids incorporated' is kinda amazing:)

thanks for getting this far and welcome back to my adventures,
(sub)urban tomboy xx