Oh Captain, My Captain

It’s 2:50am in the morning whereMork - Robin Williams I am and I am just laying in bed with my eyes wide open unable to sleep. Some things are going through my head, and although I do not feel completely stressed or upset I keep having a recurring thought – “Robin Williams is dead”. In less than 10 minutes, it would have been 24 hours since Robin Williams was pronounced dead.

People die. Famous people die. Some people just have this profound effect on you that is almost indescribable – they’re the musician that writes songs that just touch you – get you; the princess with the storybook wedding that turned into a modern day heroine; the animal adventurer with a huge heart and a massive love for life; the sports-star who is a Mrs Doubtfire - Robin Williamsgenuine role model and all round Australia larrikin that people look up to; or the comedian that you grew up with that always makes you laugh whether it’s a topic you should be laughing about or not! These people seem bullet-proof and you consider them part of you life – part of the furniture. The effect on you when they die is almost inconceivable.

The first thing I read yesterday morning was that Robin Williams had died. Throughout the day people paid tribute to Robin Williams on all sorts of media. We were shocked. Some of us shed a tear or two. We recounted our favourite Robin Williams moments. We thought about depression and suicide and how it can affect anyone – no matter what social status, how much money we have, whether we are a genius or not, or whether we are outwardly funny or not. It took me most of the day to process that Robin Williams had died by apparent suicide and that an hour before he was pronounced dead I had actually been thinking of hanging and that just creeped me out a little too much.

Now I am not suicidal. Although I have had suicidal thoughts before and I am currently tired beyond words all of the time and my body aches are killing me after a long weekend, I do not feel I am currently depressed. However I was reading the last quarter of Mockingjay (third book of The Hunger Games trilogy) and suicide is discussed and hanging is discussed – there is even a song called “The Hanging Tree”.

Are you, Are you
Coming to the tree
Wear a necklace of rope, side by side with me.
Strange things did happen here,
No stranger would it be,
If we met up at midnight in the hanging tree.

So I am sure it is a coincidence andDead Poets - Robin Williams bad timing on my behalf to be thinking of such a topic – but it took me a while to get my head around it.

To get my head around Robin Williams’ death I read a few newspaper articles and read up a bit of his history again. This was something I needed to do. I actually needed to do this for my sanity, to try to get into Robin Williams head and accept what he decided to do. I recounted some of his life events today to a few people and when they seemed impressed I knew so much I admitted I had read up on him a bit today. Now the response I got was “you must have had some free time today” to which I was a bit annoyed. No I didn’t have free time today. I have a million things to do. I do not have time to write this blog post (I should be sleeping!)… but sometimes things are important for you to do or work out, that you need to spend time doing it. I am a huge admirer of Robin Williams and I cannot believe he is dead and dead by apparent suicide so I needed to digest it.

So this year I have shed a tear for two comedians – Rik Mayall and now Robin Williams. I find it hard comprehend how much comedic genius the world has lost this year. And I have had some jealous thoughts too – I am not going to see any new shows/movies from these geniuses! And I was also sort of hoping that Robin Williams would have to do a “pension tour” and I would one day get to see him live on day!

Aladdin - Robin Williams

One of my friends said the perfect statusHook - Robin Williams today and I am going to quote it “With the effect on regular people, I can’t imagine how sad the people are that were close to Robin Williams. Give them strength.” This sums up how I feel and how what is really inconceivable is what Robin’s family and friends must be going through.

So now I would like to pay tribute to one of my most favourite actors and an actor I have totally adored from a young age when my favourite TV show was Mork & Mindy; to re-watching the childhood classic Mrs Doubtfire time and time again; to partaking in my favourite Disney cartoon Aladdin (and I still believe it is better than The Lion King!); to admiring the teacher in the teenageInsomnia - Robin Williams thought-provoker Dead Poets Society; to being the grumpy adult worker who forgot he was the child that never grew up in Hook; and then to some of this more sinister roles – for example One Hour Photo, Insomnia and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.


My tribute (and I bet you start hearing his voice!):

Shazbot!Mork & Mindy

Goooooooood morning Vietnam! It’s 0600 hours. What does the “O” stand for? O my God, it’s early! Speaking of early… – Good Morning Vietman 1987

What is a demilitarized zone? Sounds like something out of The Wizard of Oz, Oh, no, don’t go in there. Oh-we-oh Ho Chi’Minh Oh, look, you’ve landed in Saigon. You’re among the little people now. We represent the ARVN Army The ARVN Army Oh, no! Follow the Ho Chi Minh Trail. Follow the Ho Chi Minh Trail. “Oh, I’ll get you, my pretty!” Oh, my God. It’s the wicked witch of the north. It’s Hanoi Hanna! “Now, little GI, you and your little ‘tune-ooh’ too!” “Oh, Adrian. Adrian. What are you doing, Adrian?”Good Morning Vietman 1987

I was the intellectual equivalent of a 98-pound weakling! I would go to the beach and people would kick copies of Byron in my face!  – Dead Poets Society 1989

But if you listen real close, you can hear them whisper their legacy to you. Go on, lean in. Listen, you hear it? – – Carpe – – hear it? – – Carpe, carpe diem, seize the day boys, make your lives extraordinary.Dead Poets Society 1989

O Captain, my Captain. Who knows where that comes from? Anybody? Not a clue? It’s from a poem by Walt Whitman about Mr. Abraham Lincoln. Now in this class you can either call me Mr. Keating, or if you’re slightly more daring, O Captain my Captain. – Dead Poets Society 1989

I’m a knight on a special quest.The Fisher King 1991

Rufio, if I’m a maggot burger why don’t you eat me! You two-toned zebra-headed, slime-coated, pimple-farmin’ paramecium brain, munchin’ on your own mucus, suffering from Peter Pan envy!Hook 1991

But oh, to be free. Not to have to go “Poof! What do you need, “Poof! What do you need, Poof! What do you need?”. To be my own master. Such a thing would be greater than all the magic and all the treasures in all the world. But what am I talking about? Let’s get real here, that’s never gonna happen. Genie, wake up and smell the hummus.Aladdin 1992

Sink the sub. Hide the weasel. Park the porpoise. A bit of the old Humpty Dumpty, Little Jack Horny, the Horizontal Mambo, hmm? The Bone Dancer, Rumpleforeskin, Baloney Bop, a bit of the old Cunning Linguistics? Mrs Doubtfire 1993

You do an eclectic celebration of the dance! You do Fosse, Fosse, Fosse! You do Martha Graham, Martha Graham, Martha Graham! Or Twyla, Twyla, Twyla! Or Michael Kidd, Michael Kidd, Michael Kidd, Michael Kidd! Or Madonna, Madonna, Madonna!… but you keep it all inside.Birdcage 1996

See you Monday. We’ll be talking about Freud and why he did enough cocaine to kill a small horse.Good Will Hunting 1997

I’m made of wax, Larry. What are you made of?Night at the Museum 2006

Then you, Elliot Stabler, are a human being. Congratulations. You are not a sheep like I was. You’re a man. Thank you.Law & Order: Special Victims Unit: Season 9, Episode 17 Authority (29 Apr. 2008)

You have no idea what I’ve suffered!Law & Order: Special Victims Unit: Season 9, Episode 17 Authority (29 Apr. 2008)

I hope these quotes brought back memories and made you giggle! And it is also a timely reminder that if you are depressed, anxious, upset, scared or need someone to talk to, I am always here for you. You are not alone, no matter how overshadowing that black dog is right at that moment.

Nanu-Nanu Robin Williams. Thank you for sharing your genius with the world and I hope you have found eternal peace.


All photos and quotes were sourced from http://www.imdb.com/



Wanneroo Show – Part 3: Sugar Art and More Photos

I was asked on the weekend if I have any made cakes recently and I said no I haven’t. The person said “what, you’ve had no birthdays?”. Lord, give me strength! I have been working and this person has been told I have been working hard! I am not working the 60 odd hours a week I used to, but I have been working half of that, plus trying to fit in sleeping, socialising and cake decorating class. I do not seem to be getting enough sleep nor seeing everyone I would like to! And yes housekeeping and cooking are being neglected again! Thankfully the puppies don’t mind, and the hubbie only gets grumpy if he can’t find socks & jocks! I am just trying to fit in as much as I can, without doing too much.

I have actually said no to a couple of cakes recently and also had to make the decision not to enter anything into the Wanneroo Show this year, even though there was a new category for cake decorating students & novices. I am so disappointed I can’t enter a cake in the show, but I am slowly learning to say no to things. I do have a couple of cakes coming up (yes two birthdays for two special kids that I do not want to disappoint, and I love the themes they have chosen!) and also I am in the middle of a felting project that an Aunty asked me to make.Michelle's Labyrinth

So since the Wanneroo Show is in 8 days time, I thought I would share the last of the entries I put in last year. I have previously written about the Special Occasion Cake, Christmas Cake and the flower photographs. I also entered two cakes for tasting! I made the Rich Fruit cake per their recipe – OMG it was so annoying chopping all the fruit and nuts per the recipe – “To ensure uniformity and depending upon the size it is suggested the raisins be snipped into two or three pieces; Cherries into four to six pieces and Almonds crosswise into three to four pieces.” I also made my first boiled fruit cake, that turned out pretty good, but probably had a little too much ginger in it for my liking. I also prefer my recipe for fruit cake, than theirs! hehe As you can tell I didn’t win for those entries.

I also entered aMichelle's Labyrinth piece in the sugar art category. As I may have said in my previous blogs, I was mislead about the quality of art entered into the show. I also over-committed myself and didn’t leave enough time for my sugar art piece. My piece is an elf, but I just wanted to do so Michelle's Labyrinthmuch more. I entered it anyway and worked out pretty quickly that I was way out of my league when the lady ticking off the entries asked if it was a child’s entry. The same lady also let out a deep sigh when I came in the third time with the last of my entries and said “you have more” – gee I am sorry for supporting the community show! I can’t find the note the judge wrote about my piece, but she was nice and brief and said something along of the lines of “Thank you, a fun entry”. Not much more needed to be said after seeing the other pieces!

So here is some of the sugar art I was up against. I particularly like Narnia scene. The pieces that won first and second were AMAZING!

Michelle's LabyrinthMichelle's Labyrinth

Michelle's Labyrinth  Michelle's Labyrinth

I also entered some photography in the Animals – Domestic and also Animals – Non-Domestic. The domestic photos were of my Mum’s Westie Daisy, and also the photo of Makita’s paws. I liked the photo that came second of the cat lying on its back. The lightning is great as it just has feeling of farm colours, and the photo is sharp. But the shot of the dog’s head apparently won first prize. I am sorry, it is a nice dog and all, but I do not know how it is a great photo? I have included a snapshot of all of the entries for you to make own decision. I think quite a few others are much better, I guess I just do not know what they were looking for.MIchelle's Labyrinth

MIchelle's Labyrinth

MIchelle's LabyrinthMIchelle's Labyrinth

MIchelle's Labyrinth

My non-domestic animals were of my five drinking zebras and the colourful lizard. Both of which I took in Tanzania and I am super happy with the zebras shot. I was whispering to the zebras from about 500m telling them to put all their heads down at once! It worked! I love the shot of the frog that won first prize.

Michelle's Labyrinth

MIchelle's Labyrinth

MIchelle's LabyrinthMIchelle's Labyrinth

I also wanted to sMIchelle's Labyrinthhare one more photo from the humorous category. I saw it when I was delivering my photos and thought it was fantastic. I am so glad it won its category!

I hope this years Wanneroo Show is a huge success, especially since my friend works very hard on her areas.

Oh, and this is how Hamlet interjected himself between my legs on the end of the recliner while I wrote this blog! :)MIchelle's Labyrinth

Here is the link to Part 2 if you missed it: http://michelleslabyrinth.com.au/wordpress/wanneroo-show-part-2-butterflies-and-flowers/
(There won’t be a Part 4 as I crammed the rest into this one :)  )





Makita – Part 2: The Kalgoorlie Days

I do not consider my dog a pet. My dogMichelle's Labyrinth is family. I am not sure who said that, but they are so correct! A year ago on 16th November 2012 Makita passed away. I am sure everyone reacts differently to death. A little of me went away with Makita that day, and I hope I don’t forget how much I loved her and how good she was. She was our cuddly teddy-bear, our Michelle's Labyrinthexerciser, our hot water bottle, our puppy!

On the 6th January 2003 we packed up the car and left just enough room for Makita in the back seat – she had just over a seat to herself! We were heading to Kalgoorlie! I still feel bad to this day about how little room she had for the next 6.5 hours, but she curled up after a while and slept most of the way.

Michelle's Labyrinth

Makita settled in straight away in her new house and new town. We rented for six months and once I had a job and we knew that we’d be in Kalgoorlie for a few years then we moved into our own place.

I have been trying to work out how to describe Makita’s life while we were in Kalgoorlie. Both hubbie and I worked pretty hard. I worked a lot of weekends and hubbie even umpired AFL (footy) or played cricket, depending on the season, on the weekends. So Makita’s life was trying to keep cool in the house during the day, us home for dinner and then “walkies” around the dimly lit streets of Kalgoorlie at night. Below on the left is Makita working with me and on the right is Makita watching the footy with hubbie – hubbie even taught her how to “high-five” when our team got a goal! Just imagine an excited higher version of “paw”!

Michelle's LabyrinthMichelle's Labyrinth

We often took trips back to Perth,Michelle's Labyrinth but it was too far away to take Makita, so she often had puppy-sitters. One of the reasons why we needed puppy-sitters and couldn’t put her in a kennel was because she thought she was a human – well at least she didn’t like other dogs, kids nor strange big men! I often said I must have taught her well! hehe But she may also have been a bit of a devil – check her eyes out!

Luckily there were lots of available puppy-sitters in Kalgoorlie as people often went away for weekends and I used to return the favour and look after their pets (Monty & Zephyr the cats and hermit crabs were my favourite!! :)  ).

Makita’s first puppy-sitters were Pam and Tracey. Pam was probably her last puppy-sitter too. I remember that one quite well because Pam was doing shift work driving a truck and Makita got used to going “toilet” and having breakfast at 4am! Thankfully she only tried a few days to get me up at that hour :)Michelle's Labyrinth

Sam (and yes the same one that puppy-sat Makita in Rockingham) moved to Kalgoorlie. She happened to move to Kalgoorlie a few days before we went on holidays! So Sam got to puppy-sit once more. Unfortunately there was a thunderstorm one night and Makita didn’t let Sam sleep on iota! Makita did not like thunderstorms at all and she didn’t until her last days. We are not sure if she was scared, or if she just wanted to grab the thunder and lightning and shake them until they went limp! Once during a thunderstorm in Kalgoorlie we were out in the front garden and Makita charged at the lightning – hence our assumption that she wanted to “get” it!

We took a trip to New ZealandMichelle's Labyrinth  and wanted someone to house-sit because we didn’t want to leave Makita alone for too long. I think we left her alone for 5 days once (with visitors of course), but at the end of 5 days she nipped me when we got home! She had never done that before, but I knew it meant she wasn’t happy being left alone that long. The poor thing :(

Our friends Brad and Sam (a different Sam!) house-sat for us. Now Brad isn’t much of a dog person and Sam is pretty small and Makita was pretty big. So they didn’t interact with Makita much and Makita decided she wouldn’t eat! We had a couple of texts from them and then another friend Ruth, who had puppy-sat Makita a few times too, went over and told Makita it was okay. Ruth had to stand with Makita while she ate, and she did and all was okay after that! Once again, the poor thing!Michelle's Labyrinth

Michelle's Labyrinth


I also feel terrible that we didn’t spend 5 Christmas Days with Makita :( But we left presents for her puppy-sitters to give her. For the first year we caved and gave her a rope toy while I was finishing wrapping the Christmas presents – she loved it! She loved all her toys, even though all of them ended up being destroyed!Michelle's Labyrinth

Toys weren’t the only thing Makita destroyed, she also liked to scratch and dig on her canvas bed. I swear for 5 birthdays in a row her present was a new canvas cover! And I am so thankful that we got a photo of her “in” her bed!    Michelle's Labyrinth Michelle's Labyrinth

Now time for some more shaming. For those of you that may not know where Kalgoorlie is, well it is 600km inland in Western Australia. Being so far inland means the soil is red. So here a couple of shots when Makita turned red! And also a shot of her in the hole for our new pool – a much bigger hole than those Makita-Bin-Laden ones from Rockingham days!Michelle's Labyrinth

Early 2008 hubbie and I left Kalgoorlie, but not without having one last party! We had accumulated a lot of alcohol over the years and wanted everyone to try to help us drink it so we didn’t have to cart it back to Perth! Here is hubbie and Makita the day after the party!Michelle's Labyrinth

And I cannot end Makita’s Kalgoorlie story without mentioning a new friend called Jannine. Jannine was our saviour during our last weeks of living in Kalgoorlie. Our Kalgoorlie house settled on 30th January 2008, but our new house in Perth wasn’t finished yet! Hubbie spent a few weeks in Perth hurrying up the builders and Jannine was just wonderful and let Makita and I (and hubbie) crash at her house. Jannine also looked after Makita for a night when I had to go to Perth for a funeral. They were a few crazy weeks, but Jannine saved the day! Makita left a good impression on Jannine and Scoobs was welcomed into Jannine’s life not long after!!

Here I will leave you with a smiling Makita and you’ll have to wait a little while for the last chapter of Makita’s life (and be warned I got my SLR during this chapter and Makita was my model!). Don’t you just love happy puppies? :)Michelle's Labyrinth






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