Saturday, June 30, 2012

The greatest love of all...

I’m in love.

Yes, you heard correctly.  I, the most jaded person on the planet, am in love.  It’s exhilarating, terrifying, and completely inappropriate.  You see, I’m having an affair with my iPad.

What can I say, ours is a forbidden love.

I have to confess I avoided the whole iPhone/iPad kerfuffle for a very long time.  I stuck to my old mobile long after its contract ran out, doggedly insisting that I didn't need no new fangle contraption!  A good old nokia was good enough for me, thank you very much!

Me too, dude, me too...
But eventually my old phone gave up the ghost and I was forced to seek a replacement.  Of course these days it's practically impossible NOT to get a smart phone when you go looking.  When you tell the sales people that you just want a normal phone they look at you like you like you're talking Greek!  So, being the marketer's dream that I am, I allowed them to talk me into getting my first ever iPhone.

It was a flirtation, a crush.  We danced around each other, but in no way did it replace my reliable old laptop.  Still, I enjoyed it's company.  I could email with it, send long and rambling text messages (someting that my old phone would have had a coronary about) and surf the internet, all on my phone!  It was like a whole new world opened up to me, one where I could read stories in bed into the wee hours of the morning.

That was about a year and a half ago, and for twelve months my iPhone and I got along beautifully.  We went everywhere together and it kept me happily amused through many a boring meeting or function.  But eventually I realised as good as we were together, it wasn't a perfect match.  There was something missing from our relationship, some spark.

The question was where could I find that spark?  Certainly not my staid, stay-at-home laptop.  Its dependability was comforting, but the passion was definitely gone from the relationship.  No, it was time for something new.  That's when I started toying with the idea of getting an iPad.

I didn't get a free human ... gypped!
Now the thing you need to understand about me is that when I want something, I can't wait.  Instant gratification, baby!  So pretty much the day I decided I couldn't live without an iPad in my life, I trotted out and got myself one.  There was no thinking about it, no shopping around, I just walked straight into my Telstra store and asked them about their deals.  Half an hour late, I walked out with the new love of my life.

And that was the start of our whirlwind illicit romance!  If my laptop was my wife and my iPhone was my office crush, then my brand new iPad was definitely my mistress.  Suddenly things I would have previously done on the laptop, I just snuck away to my room and did them on the iPad instead.  It was new, exciting, and so so passionate.

My brother thought I was insane though.  Not because I was cheating on my laptop, oh no, he's all for having affairs with new technology, his problem was the fact that I bought the iPad 2 only a week or so before the new one came out.

Okay, fair cop.

But like I said, when I want something, I want it right away! And from what I hear, it's not like the new iPad is really that much better.  So it's got a better camera, it's not like I'm going to use the camera on it.  That's what the iPhone is for!  So it's video quality is a tad nicer, with a screen that size you're not really going to notice.  So it's faster, when you're talking about fractions of a second, it's not like it's going to make any difference to you!

Maybe I'm fooling myself.  Maybe I'm just making up excuses because, in typical Kellie fashion, I went out and impetuously bought something expensive before checking all my options (it's not the most expensive thing I've bought like that, once I bought a car in an afternoon), but I don't regret it.

If loving my iPad 2 is wrong, then I don't want to be right.

Friday, June 29, 2012

That ain't Whitney...

I love all things freaky, I must admit.  If it's even slightly creepy, weird or occult, I'm all over it!  So when I saw this video, I just knew I had to share the love with you all.  This is all sorts of awesome!

Skip forward to around fifty seconds to get to the start of the performance, and be prepared for something amazing at around the two minute twenty second mark.  Trust me, you'll thank me later.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

School days, school days...

This weekend just gone was my twenty year high school reunion.  Twenty years since I walked the hallowed halls and vine draped walls of my alma mater.  And by hallowed halls and vine draped walls, I mean cement footpaths and fibro demountables. 

But even though I know twenty years is kind of a big deal in the reunion world, and even though my old classmates have been hammering on about it for months now on Facebook, I made the decision not to attend. 

Yeah, I'm one of those people.

It's not that I had an awful time in high school, in fact as far as secondary educational experiences go it was pretty okay.  I made some good friends, some not-so-good friends, learnt a lot about myself and who I wanted to be, and formed the basis for what are some of the most important friendships in my life.  Not bad, considering.

But when I saw the invitation for the reunion, it never even crossed my mind to go.  The truth is, I wasn't sure if I'd even remember most of the people there, or recognise the ones I did.  It just seemed like an exercise in masochism.  Honestly, the people from high school who I actually have an interest in seeing I already see every few weeks.

That doesn't mean I wasn't holding out to see the photos though.

As you would expect in this depraved age, the pics were up on Facebook by early the next morning, and I've got to say ... if someone hadn't gone through and very obligingly put the names on the faces, I wouldn't have had a clue who any of those people were.  Some of them looked kind of familiar, like if you walked past them in the street you might wonder if they were someone you saw in the supermarket or on the bus once, but very few of them stood out to me as instantly recognisable.

Isn't that awful!  I spent five years with these people.  Every day I dragged myself off to that institute of learning and sat in a room with at least 30 of them.  You'd think I'd remember them a little better!  But no, of the hundred or so that turned up (there were about three hundred in my class) I probably instantly recognised half a dozen of them.

But once I put names to faces, I started to remember them.  

It's weird.  They all looked so ... different.  Not surprising, I suppose, twenty years will do that to you.  I made a point of checking out all the guys I'd had crushes on back then, just to see how they'd held up over the years.  Shallow?  Of course!  But be honest, you know you'd have done it too!  For the most part they'd stood the test of time, although it did make me realise that you can never tell which kid is going to be cute when they grow up.  Seriously, some of them were complete surprises.

I imagine there was a lot of lying going on in that room.  I'm sure assistants became assistant managers, business workers became business owners, and disgruntled housewives became stay-at-home entrepreneurs.  Part of me would like to have been a fly on the wall just to hear some of it.  But perhaps I'm being harsh.  They all seemed to be having a good time.

I will say this though, there seems to be a disturbing trend among the male contingent of my graduating class towards wearing sweater vests.  Really guys?  You really want to go in that direction?  We're 37, not 77!  I'm not advocating mutton dressed as lamb, but there'll be plenty of time for sweater vests when you retire.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Cupcake chaos...

I'm not someone who cooks.  Generally, I prefer to leave food preparation to the professionals, thus explaining my rather impressive collection of take away menus, but lately I've found myself wanting to bake for some strange reason.

And not just bake any old thing, bake cupcakes.

I have no idea why.  It's not like me at all!  Usually if I wanted a cupcake, I'd go the bakery and buy a damned cupcake!  None of this faffing around in the kitchen, creaming butter and sugar.  And who, exactly, came up with the idea of creaming butter and sugar together?  Whoever they were, they must have been sadists!  As someone who doesn't own a food processor, that's one of the hardest things to do with a hand held electric mixer.

Whether it makes me a masochist I have no idea, but I ended up pulling out my old recipe book and finding the pages for butter cake, johnny cake, chocolate mud cake.  Pulling out all the baking "extras" like chocolate chips and chopped nuts from the back of the pantry.  Digging the icing pipe out from the cutlery drawer.

My first attempt was with the traditional vanilla butter cake recipe.  Yeah ... that one didn't turn out so good.  I'm not sure how, but what came out of the oven was more like little doughy rocks than cakes.  I didn't even bother with icing them, it would have been a waste of good sugar.

Then I tried a "Four Minute Chocolate Cake" recipe.  It wasn't strictly a cupcake recipe, but I figured that didn't matter.  Surely cake is cake, no matter what shape it's in.  It's selling point was the fact that you were supposed to just dump all the ingredients in together, no blending, creaming or folding required.  Sounded right up my alley!

But when they were done the results were strange to say the least.  They hadn't risen very much, at least not as much as the vanilla butter ones, and they were almost crystallised.  I'm going to go out on a limb here and just assume that just because the recipe says it's a one step process, doesn't necessarily mean it SHOULD be.

My third attempt, red velvet cupcakes, was much better though.  They rose beautifully, looked exactly the way they were supposed to, and tasted great.  I waited until they cooled and then iced them with a cream cheese icing and teensy little candy hearts.  They were perfect, just what I wanted.

Shame that, strictly speaking, White Wings made them and not me.

Yeah, I caved and bought a cake mix.  What can I say, I got sick of failure!  Sure it'd be nice to be able to present a tray of immaculately iced cupcakes and say "Made 'em with my own two hands", but I think I'm going to have to just accept the fact that no matter how hard I try, a $2.99 cake mix is going to still yield better results.

I guess my dreams of escaping the office life and opening a cupcake cafe were a bit premature.  Oh well, back to the drawing board.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

I don't remember putting that in my will...

Like most grown ups out there, I have a will.  It's not a particularly complicated one, basically just leaving everything to whatever family member is left after my unfortunate demise, as well as a trust to my nephew.  I didn't ask the public trustee to do anything complicated, like make anyone go on a convoluted treasure hunt or spend the night in a haunted house to get my money, and given the fact that I had it rewritten at Christmas time I think I can remember the details pretty well.

So you can imagine my surprise when I received a letter from the University I graduated from thanking me for choosing to make them the beneficiary of my will.

Umm ... what the fuck?

The letter explained how grateful they were for my generous contributions, and how it would go to help future students of my alma mater by improving services and providing scholarship opportunities.

Screw that!  I had to pay my own way through thank you very much, and let me tell you what with tutorial fees, HECS fees and text book costs it wasn't cheap!  Not to mention the photocopying expenses.  Holy crap, why doesn't anyone tell  you how expensive photocopying is?  So if I had to pay, why on earth should future students get the benefit of having me pay for THEM too!

The letter then went on, in what I can only describe as a fit of outrageous audacity, to say that seeing as I was considering forking over my life savings at my death, how about I consider giving some of it right now.  I couldn't believe it!  They thought (however erroneously) that I was choosing to give them all my money when I died, but rather than being grateful for the gift they actually had the nerve to say, "Yeah, we don't feel like waiting that long, and a hitman costs too much ... could you just give it to us now?"

Gobsmacked doesn't even begin to describe my reaction.  How does one even respond to something like this?  Part of me was tempted to grab the copy of my will I left in my family's safe and just double check that I didn't actually leave it all to the University.  Who knows, it was an early morning meeting with the public trustee, maybe in a fit of sleep and caffeine deprivation I accidentally said "Leave everything to the University that charged me an arm and a leg to get a degree that I'll probably never use".

But no, today I received an email from the University, apologising for the letter.  Apparently they sent a whole slew of them out to the wrong people, and now are trying to do damage control.  The email said that they were very sorry, and they hoped it wouldn't discourage me from considering them in my will in the future.

So let me get this right, University.  You want me to leave all my worldly possessions (and my superannuation account) to you in my will, so you can then send me regular letters begging me to give you more money before I croak?

Umm ... yeah, I don't think I'll be doing that.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Does this post make my bum look big...

The other day a friend asked me if a skirt she was wearing made her bum look big.  Yeah, I know what the guys in the audience are thinking.  Trick question!  But no, it wasn't.  She asked, and I told her that yes, it did make her bum look big.  Then I told her that the A-line skirt would be a better choice with the blouse she was wearing if she was trying to avoid that.  She agreed with  me and decided to change into the other skirt.

Another friend happened to be with us, a guy, and he was horrified.  Not by the fact that I'd apparently broken the cardinal rule of how to answer the "Does my but look big" question ... but by the fact that I didn't get my head ripped off for my troubles.

It took us a while to explain the reason to him, which I'm now going to explain to you.  You see, the reason I could get away with being so grossly insulting, and I'm aware of the sexism involved in this, is because I'm a girl.

Yep, if asked, girls can tell other girls that their butts look big.  This only works though if you're asked, not if you just volunteer the information out of thin air.  I know, it's completely unfair, but there you go.  I see so many poor guys out there being verbally eviscerated by their wives/girlfriends, when all it would take is a pre-prepared answer and a bit of quick thinking to save their hides.

But in an effort to help the gentlemen out there avoid the pitfalls of this veritable verbal minefield, I've decided to grace you all with "Kellie's Guide to Answering The Tough Questions".  (Disclaimer:  This guide in no way guarantees that you will be able to answer the tough questions.  In fact, in all likelihood all you'll do is just get yourself in deeper trouble.)

Does my bum look big in this?

Gentlemen, the answer to this should be an immediate and resounding no!  If she wanted the truth, she would ask a female friend.  If she's asking you, she wants reassurance that you still find her as sylph like as you ever did.  

I don't care if it looks like she rammed a Christmas turkey into a condom, you tell her that she looks all sorts of lovely and let it go at that!

Do you notice anything new?

This is always a hard one.  It could be a new hair cut, it could be new shoes, it could be she had the kitchen lino replaced.  Really, it's a crap shoot.  

My best suggestion for this is to say "I thought there was something different, but I wasn't sure.  Whatever it is, you look great!"  It allows her to feel like you complimented her, while also inviting her to answer the question for you.  Again, it's a gamble, but it's the best chance you're going to get.

What are you thinking?

A lot of guys I know have told me that this one always annoys the shit out of them.  Why on earth do we want to know what they're thinking?  Well, to be completely honest, what she's really asking is are you thinking of HER.

If you don't want to answer honestly (and seriously, if you answer is something like "your sister in a bikini" then you DON'T want to answer honestly), try something simple but cute.  My recommendation would be "I was thinking about where I want to take you next time we both have a day off.  What do you think of a picnic?"

And yes, then you do have to take her on a picnic.  Suck it up, cupcake.

But there is one question, ladies and gentlemen, that one can never answer correctly.  No matter what you say, responding to "So, have you stopped beating your partner" will never make you look good.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Why I hate politics, or at least politicians...

Warning:  Highly opinionated blog ahead.  There will be controversial topics, bad mouthing of Australian Members of Parliament, and in all likelihood a great deal of swearing.  By all means, skip this one if you think it might in any way offend.  

We all on the same page now?  Good, on with the ranting.

So I'm not really someone who knows much about politics.  I don't pay much attention to Question Time, discussions about it bore me to tears, and more often than not I find myself voting for Donald Duck rather than one of the names on the ballot.

Alright, so in the last election I voted for the Greens ... but that's only because the Greens member was outside the polling booth and shook my hand before I went it!  She was this sweet little old lady who looked like she wanted to call me "dearie" and offer me a butterscotch!  I couldn't NOT vote for her when she was so nice!

Yeah, I'm kind of a marketer's dream, I know.

But the point I'm trying to make is, generally speaking, I'm not politically minded.

Even so, the other day when I was watching a youtube video I found myself outraged, as I'm sure most rational people would.  The video was of a fellow Australian discussing some of the speeches made in opposition to the Marriage Equality Amendment Bill ... or to put it more plainly, some politicians opposing gay marriage.

Pretty much all of the opposing speeches were abysmal, but nothing you wouldn't expect in such a situation.  Old, conservative men with their old, conservative ideas, really nothing we haven't seen a hundred times before.  Sure it's ridiculous, and sure I would kind of like to smack them for holding our country back in such a stupid way, but it's not the first time and it certainly won't be the last that politicians are too stupid, bigoted or scared to do the right thing.

But one of the speeches was, I though, particularly awful.  Not because he said anything more offensive or outrageous than any of the others, not because he was any more of a bigot than the rest of them.  Here, have a read for yourselves.

Marriage as a legal institution corresponds to the reality of what marriage is: the unique sharing by a man and a woman in all aspects of life. However, the purpose of marriage as a legal institution relates specifically to the distinctive biological possibilities of this union. Some people say, wrongly, that this means couples who do not produce children are not really married. Whether or not children are produced does not change this, as I can attest from my own circumstances on this very day—the 29th anniversary of my marriage to Adriana. Happy anniversary, Honey.
John Murphy, MP.

Yep, he seriously went there.  Here he is, an Australian politician opposing gay marriage, and he actually went and WISHED HIS WIFE A HAPPY ANNIVERSARY IN HIS FUCKING OPPOSITION SPEECH!  I don't think that there are words to describe just how much of a douche nozzle this guy is.

You know what, dude?  It's bad enough that in this day and age we still have to worry about the fact that the people in power have such stupid, provincial, backwards beliefs.  But to watch as you make a speech that essentially says you believe that 10% of the population don't deserve the same rights as everyone else while rubbing in your own happy marriage is just about the biggest dick move I've ever seen!

Congratulations, Mr Murphy, MP, you just won my Douchebag of the Week award.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Screw you media, and the horse you rode in on...

If there's one thing that all women know, it's that the media sucks.  It sucks like a five dollar hooker ... badly.

Now I could give you any number of reasons why it sucks so badly, but we all know what irks us the most, what affects us the most, what they spend the most time and effort controlling.

Body image.

But recently I found this series of old newspaper ads showing that while the media has always controlled the way women see themselves and how they want to look, the victims used to be a wee bit different.

It would seem that back in the day it wasn't popular to be skinny.  Who knew!  If these ads are anything to go on, women didn't want to be thin, they wanted to be curvy.  And why?  

Because the media told them to.

I guess it's nothing new.  We've always been able to see through art what people of any particular time considered to be the ideal feminine shape.  All you have to do is look at paintings of Elizabethan women to know they liked them back then with no eyebrows and high foreheads, or in the Renaissance period they liked them on the plump side and usually holding a naked chubby baby or being ravaged by a couple of soldiers.

But those images, while interesting and probably important, I'm pretty sure didn't have as much of an impact on the common woman.  After all, what did it matter what the women in those expensive paintings looked like if you were a normal person?  You had a living to make and a family to feed.  Besides, it wasn't like you'd see pictures like that very often.

But in the last hundred years our methods of communication have improved, which has allowed the media to become more powerful and more invasive.  We can't escape them anymore.  They're everywhere and, whether we like to admit it or not, we pay attention to and value what they tell us.  It's seriously fucked up.

I think that's why I find these old ads so interesting.  As a curvy girl myself, I find it fascinating to think that back in the day there were ads offering to help women put on weight.  Ads actually telling women that men wouldn't find them attractive if they were too skinny.  My first thought was "Right on!" followed by a fist pump, but it only took me a few minutes to realise the reality of it.

These ads aren't any better than ours.  They're just another way of telling women that they're not good enough the way that they are, and should change to suit some all knowing social opinion.

Isn't it interesting how, generation after generation, we just keep letting ourselves be victims of this emotionally manipulative abuse.  Makes you wonder what in fifty years time the media will be telling our daughters and granddaughters they should look like, doesn't it.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Happy (belated) Winter Solstice...

I forgot to wish everyone a Happy Solstice yesterday, so operating on the principle of better late than never, I hope you all had a lovely Winter Solstice (or Summer Solstice if you're in the Northern Hemisphere).  

Welcome back, Sun!

Fight the good fight, and all that jazz...

There's a secret war raging every day, right under our noses, and most of us have no idea it even exists.  In every workplace you'll find signs of it, indications that there are secret battle plans afoot.  The workmate at the next desk who "borrows" your favourite pen but never seems to return it.  The photocopier that seems to always mysteriously run out of paper just as you're printing that huge report that your manager asked you to get to him in five minutes.  The in-tray that miraculously never seems to empty, no matter how many hours you put into paperwork.

Yes, it's cubicle warfare.

If you've ever had the pleasure (insert sarcasm here) of working in a cubicle farm, you'll understand what I'm talking about.  Every inch of desk space is hard fought and won.  Every novelty stapler and letter opener secretly coveted.  Every poster hung from fuzzy orange divider board defended with zealous enthusiasm.

It's dog eat dog in the office, ladies and gentlemen, and you need to be prepared to fight if you want to survive this one.

So, to assist you all, I've compiled a list of essentials for engaging the enemy in guerrilla cubicle warfare.

1.  Da Vinci's Wood Catapult Kit

Nothing says warfare like a piece of artillery that dates back to the Ancient Romans.  The person on the other side of the divider is making too much noise while you're trying to balance a spreadsheet and you don't want to stand up to tell them to shut up?  Just set this baby to work!  They'll stop their yapping quick smart when they get a face full of M&M's!

Sure, it's no trebuchet, but beggars can't be choosers.

2.  Bullet Proof Body Armour Clipboard

You never know when a fellow workmate is going to strike.  Maybe they don't appreciate your penchant for novelty paperweights.  Maybe they hate the way you click your pen repeatedly when you're thinking.  Maybe they can't stand it when you hum Air Supply under your breath when you're reading reports.

Whatever it is, you need to be able to defend yourself, and this bullet proof clipboard, made from body armour, is perfect for this.

3.  USB Rocket Launcher

As those of us who work in a cubicle know, power points are usually worth their weight in gold in an office.  There's never enough of them to service all the different legitimate pieces of office equipment, let alone your tools of war.

So that's why this USB powered rocket launcher is genius!  No need to take up valuable power real estate, just plug it into your computer USB and start shooting at that annoying cubicle neighbour who won't stop stealing your stapler.

4.  Mini Remote Control Forklift

It happens to all of us.  One day you look up from your computer screen and realise that over time, your cubicle neighbours have encroached on your territory.  First it's a pile of papers, then it's a hole punch, then a couple of folder.

Next thing you know, the boundaries have been redrawn using in-tray towers.  And we all know that an in-tray tower is the official cubicle boundary line marker!

But fear not!  With this handy mini remote controlled forklift, you can just move those trespassing office supplies back to where they belong ... on top of your neighbour's keyboard.

I know the war is long and hard (that's what she said!), but if we fight to the last man we will be victorious.  So soldier, you just keep your head down, don't be a hero, and hopefully we'll all get out of this battle alive!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Daytime TV and fevers do not mix...

Today I'm unwell.  Yep, I'm suffering from the dreaded lurgie.  I'm all feverish, I feel like I just drank an icy cold can of razor blades, and I'm pretty sure that if I answered the phone right now the telemarketer who's trying to sell me raffle tickets would think I'm Barry White.

Get lost, telemarketer, I don't want your stinking raffle tickets!  I'm sick, damn it!

Sorry, back to what we were talking about.

So after spending all of the morning sleeping, I finally got to the point where I couldn't stand to stay in bed a moment longer.  I'm sure you know what I mean, that point where the sheets are just too sweaty, the room too closed in, and neighbour's gardener too noisy with the mower.  So I dragged my admittedly slightly addled brain out into the lounge room and set up camp on the couch.  Because if there's one sure fire cure for the flu, it's daytime television.

I started my search for something to keep me amused, flicking past several boring looking news shows, some kids programs that looked like they'd been created by someone on acid, and an old 60's sitcom that I wouldn't watch when I was well, never mind when I was feverish.  That's when I hit pay dirt.  Infomercials!

Infomercials are either the best or the worst things to happen to daytime television since the invention of the talk show, and I'm not sure which it is.  They're full of overacting women with too big smiles and too white teeth trying to sell you products which if you saw them in a shop for a quarter of their asking price, you'd scoff at.  But for some reason (perhaps it's the whole 4 monthly interest free payments schtick) you believe Little Miss Smilestoomuch when she tells you that you'll find complete fulfilment and inner peace if only you'll buy a leopard print snuggie.

So I settled down to watch the infomercial, ready to be amazed by whatever was on offer.  As it turned out, they were trying to sell some sort of exercise equipment that looked like a cross between a medieval torture device and a Disneyland ride.  While Little Miss Smilestoomuch stood there and extolled it's many virtues, the Bobbsey Twins of the exercise world gyrated away behind her, smiles even larger than hers painted on their faces.

"As you can see," she said, with a scary amount of pep in her voice, "The Exerfithealthotron is so easy to use!  Just jump up on it, turn the handles, hold your elbows at 83 degree angles, recide pi to 27 digits, and you're off!"

"Bullshit," I cried, hoarse but adamant, "Those bimbos probably think pi comes in cherry and apple!"

"And with the way the machine works, you can see they're really working up a sweat," she continued, seemingly impervious to my snark.

"They'll need it," I muttered, looking at their clothes, or lack thereof, "considering how they're practically naked.  Someone get those girls some damn tracksuits!"

"Can you see how well it's working their abdominals?" she asked, groping at Bobbsey Twin number two in what can only be described as an inappropriate way.

"I can see their hoo-hahs," I replied, giggling a little from the fever and the disturbing way a high definition camera will let you see EVERYTHING.

Okay, so perhaps an infomercial wasn't the best choice considering the state of my health.  I probably would have been safer picking a nice soap opera or talk show.  But never mind, it's not like I bought one.

At least I THINK I didn't buy one ... I was pretty feverish and I've been known to do some weird shit when I'm not well.

Perhaps I'd better check my credit card statement.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Deities do the craziest things...

I was reading an article today about how someone found a picture of Jesus on a toilet wall.  Isn't that just a charming thought!  Apparently the son of God hasn't go anything better to do than hang out in their loo, threat of E Coli be damned.  Now that's dedication to your wacky appearance schedule, Jesus!

Apparently the family whose wall the holy one has graced are just tickled pink.  Oh yes, the fact that a bunch of mould spores have gathered in such a way that it looks like Jesus is there  hand outstretched, looking a bit like he's trying to say something to them reaffirms their faith no end.  I can't help wondering what he's trying to tell them though ... perhaps that they need to clean their walls?  I'm just saying.

But it got me to thinking about how many times you hear of someone finding Jesus in the most unusual of places.  So, as a favour to you all (and to avoid the washing up, which is what awaits me once I stop procrastinating ... I mean writing) I've had a bit of a search around to find the most interesting and amusing Jesus sightings in inanimate objects.  I do it so you don't have to, kids!

Jesus in a dental x ray - Wow this one must suck.  You go to the dentist, fully prepared for an awful experience.  He sticks you under the x ray, takes the shots, and then when he brings them back to you, not only are you looking at some major root canals ... he found the messiah in your upper jaw!

It's bad enough that He gives you bad teeth, but he's got to stick around to rub it in too?

Jesus in a banana - Okay, now this is just taking the micky!  Jesus in a banana?  What next?  But I guess you learn something new every day.  It turns out Jesus is an excellent source of potassium and is delicious when served with hot custard.

Maybe it's just me, but the fact that there's a picture of a religous icon on a phallic piece of fruit ... well I could be giggling about that one for days.

Jesus in a frying pan - Now I'm going to have to call bullshit on this one.  There's no way this happened without human intervention!  And lets be honest, if it was really a picture of Jesus, it'd be of a middle eastern Jewish guy, not of caucasian dude who looks like he should be on a religious themed Christmas card!  

I'm just saying, if you were going to produce such an obvious fake, couldn't you at least have NOT picked a picture which I'm pretty sure is copywrited by The Vatican?

Jesus in a sonogram - Congratulations, it's a boy!  And it seems he might be the second coming!  Now this one is just terribly unfair, I think.  That's a lot of pressure to put on a poor unborn kid.  If it turns out he CAN'T turn water into wine or miraculously heal the sick, then everyone will say he's not living up to his potential.

Actually, the more I think about it, it's a pretty cruel thing for Jesus to do to him!  Bad form, Jesus!

Personally, I love the lunacy required to believe this.  Don't get me wrong, I'm all for believing in far fetched things.  I'm the first on any bandwagon going, but when they're such obvious fakes or coincidences, and people still put all their faith in them, I can't help thinking it's sad.  Amusing, but sad.

But the "Jesus found in an unusual place" picture that I like the best is this one.

It's always the last place you look.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Rules V's Pandora's Box: the grudge match...

Oh George, I couldn't possibly
before the third date.
Pretty much every woman out there knows of The Rules, the book that purports to tell you exactly how to get the man of your dreams ... in pretty much the most emotionally manipulative way possible.  I hate systems like that, guides that tell you if you do this, and say that, and ignore this then you'll fool the guy you like into continuing to go out with you.  Sounds oh so romantic, doesn't it.

But did you know that there's a male equivalent?  I didn't, until my brother told me about it.

It was when I was visiting Sydney a couple of months ago. I went to see the Harry Potter Exhibit ... yeah, I know, huge geek here ... and Adam flew up to meet me for the day and accompany me.  He's such a good brother.  After wandering around the Exhibit, where he'd maintained a manly expression of disdain for the benefit of everyone around us, we went back to the hotel I was staying at and set up camp in the bar for the afternoon.  That was where I first heard of the Pandora's Box System.

But Muriel, you'd do it
if you loved me!
Apparently a friend had given it to him as he was single at the time, and he was quite taken by the idea.  It listed different types of women and what they look for in a partner.  Apparently to be successful with the ladies all you had to do was work out which category your paramour fit into and then follow the suggestions given.

And I have to say, after having a read of it ... it's scarily accurate.

The Rules has always been about the woman appealing to some generalised male personality.  Men are hunters, so don't try to pursue them but let them chase you.  End conversations first.  End dates first.  Be a mystery.  Make them work for it.

Is it any wonder women are sometimes seen as manipulative, heartless shrews?

The Pandora's Box System, though, seems to be based on personality types, kind of like Myers-Briggs.  It just takes those personality types and then applies it to what someone in each category might want in a romantic partner.  It's kind of genius, actually.

I'm sorry, George, The Rules say
to hold out.  And I always follow
The Rules!
It's funny though, when he explained the system to me, my first reaction was to be outraged.  How dare men have a secret system in place to fool poor unsuspecting women into loving them!  I know, it's completely hypocritical of me.  How can I judge them when women buy a ridiculous number of copies of The Rules every year.  Given how The Pandora's Box System at least seems to be focused on giving women what they want rather than withholding things from them, I'd say that men are coming out ahead in this moral battle. 

Oh, don't get me wrong, it's still completely manipulative and kind of sketchy, I'm just saying if a guy did the things that were listed against my personality type on the guide ... I'd probably fall harder than Wile E Coyote over a cliff.

Monday, June 18, 2012

The next generation is looking pretty good to me...

I was wandering around on tumblr ... as is my wont ... when I came across this little gem.

Mikey is only 9 years old and he was inspired to make this video after watching the girls on America's Next Top Model badmouthing themselves.  The fact that he can see how poisonous that is ... and choose to do something about it ... gives me so much hope.

It's almost like we're taught from an early age that it's not only acceptable but expected for us to say derogatory things about ourselves.  We don't like ourselves, and society tells us we shouldn't.  But if the kids of today can see that, and can fight past it, we might actually stand a chance of getting rid of that awful, crushing tradition.

This kid is adorable and if this is an indication of what the next generation is turning into then I think all you parents out there can rest easy knowing that you must have done SOMETHING right.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Whatever happened to the humble mongrel...

Really, dude?  Really?
As I was driving home from the supermarket this morning, I saw a scene which is becoming more and more common in my neighbourhood, and one which never fails to make me snicker.  During the twenty minute drive, I saw no less than five large, muscular, gym junkie guys walking their dogs.  What's so unusual about that, you ask?  Well, it wasn't the fact that they were walking dogs ... it was the dogs they were walking.

Each of them, without exception, was walking a small, fluffy, white lap dog.

What the hell happened to people having normal dogs?  When I was a kid, if you wanted a dog you went to the RSPCA, picked out the friendliest looking mutt, took it home and that was that!  Now days, people seem to spend weeks, if  not months, visiting breeders, researching different breeds, and tossing up whether to buy from a puppy farm or a pet shop!  

He's so cute!  How could you
prefer a yappy little white thing!
I've had several friends go through this process, and when I asked them why they didn't just get a rescue dog, they all gave me a similar story.  

"Oh, but when you pick the breed you know what it's personality will be like!"

Rubbish, in my opinion!  I've never met a mongrel I didn't like, but I've met plenty of those annoying little boutique breed dogs that I'd cheerfully kick (if I wasn't a nice person who would NEVER kick a dog, no matter how annoying it is).  I'm sure everyone who has one of these types of dogs is highly offended, but I'm just going by my observations and experiences.  

Utterly adorable, and a bitsa!
It's the same with cats.  My boss is currently in the process of helping his wife pick out a new cat.  My first question was, "Oh, which RSPCA are you going to go to?"

Yeah, they're not going to the RSPCA.

Apparently she's taken a liking to ragdolls, so they've been visiting and calling every breeder they could find in the area.  Seriously, they're willing to pay up to $1,000 to get a pure bred cat, rather than pay $150 at the local shelter and get one that's desexed, vaccinated and microchipped.  I just don't understand it.

I got my feline co-habitator from the RSPCA and she's the best cat you can imagine.  She's loving, cuddly, and very sweet.  She follows me around the house and sits at my feet wherever I end up settling.  Sure she has an unnatural obsession with the shadow on my bathroom wall and she hunts geckos like they're lions on an African safari, but she was honestly the best $150 I ever spent!

She thinks she's in charge in our
house, and she kind of is.
I don't think I'll ever understand people who just have to have a designer animal.  There are so many animals in shelters right now that need homes!  When you get a bitsa, you get the advantage of an animal which will generally have a better personality, fewer health problems, and you'll have the added bonus of knowing you rescued an dog that may have been on death row.  

Isn't that worth more than being able to say with equal parts pride and arrogance, "Oh, it's a purebreed" as it yaps mercilessly and snaps at everyone in sight?

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Not quite what they'd planned...

In what is either one of the worst ways to die ... or one of the best ... a policeman in Georgia died the other day of a heart attack.  How is that in any way a good thing, I hear you ask?  Well, he was having a threesome at the time, so I'd say at least he went happy.

Not as happy as his widow though, who got a compensation payment of three million dollars by suing the guy's doctor for not warning him that he could have a heart attack if he exerted himself.  Or maybe she's not so happy ... she wasn't one of the three involved in the threesome.  Doh!

Still, it got me to wondering about how many people have died mid coitus, and as per usual, to think is to act with me, so I've collected a few of my favourites for your reading pleasure.

1.  A thirty four year old couple in Japan had the rather bad luck of dying on their wedding night.  The pair, who were virgins and had been waiting for marriage, both suffered heart attacks right in the middle of it.

Imagine that, waiting all those years, imagining how romantic it will be, then on the night ... WHAM ... double heart attack!  That's just adding insult to injury.

2.  In what can only be described as an ironic situation, a funeral home employee and his girlfriend died after having some "alone time" in the company hearse.  It appeared that they fell asleep afterwards, but didn't take the precaution of turning the car off first.

CO2 poisoning will certainly put a dampener on romance.

3.  An 80 year old Croatian man was so thrilled with the deal he'd cut with his prostitute, he actually died of a heart attack before she could even begin.  After negotiating a blow job for around six dollars (I know!  I want him with me next time I need to buy a TV!) he never actually got to enjoy his bargain.

It seems really unfair, doesn't it.  Best deal he'd probably ever made in his life, and he didn't even get the chance to brag to all his friends about it!

4.  Here's one you'd never guess ... death by piano sex.  Apparently there's a bar where they lower a piano from the roof every night on a hydraulic lift.  One night after closing, a couple of employees were enjoying themselves on top of the piano when they somehow activated the lift and it squished them against the ceiling.

The poor guy died, while the girl was trapped and had to wait for someone to find them.  When they were thinking of an earth moving experience, that's probably not what they had in mind.

I know, I know, it seems rather callous of me to be snickering up my sleeve at these poor unfortunates, but really if you die in an unusual way I think you just have to accept that that's what you'll be remembered for.  I know I've always had a secret fear of the huge model whales that are suspended outside the museum next to the library I work at.  I'm always terrified that the cables holding them up will snap one day and they'll come crashing down on me.

But if it ever happened, I'm fully aware of the fact that my death would become an amusing anecdote people told.  I'd be the woman who was crushed by a fibre glass whale.

Sometimes you just have to bow to fate.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Foot-in-mouth disease...

I don’t think I’m an overly tactless person, but like most of us I’ve had my fair share of foot-in-mouth incidences.  Occasionally I engage my mouth without making sure that my brain is operating on all cylinders and talk sans filter, but those times are usually few and far between so it isn’t often that I have to deal with the fallout of saying the exact wrong thing at the exact wrong time. 

But what happened last weekend?  I don’t think anyone could hold me responsible for that.

I was travelling out of town to visit my brother who lives about two hours away from me by plane.  I’m not a huge fan of flying, not because I’m afraid of it, but because I hate the waiting, then the herding, then the being couped up like cattle.  As soon as someone invents a teleporter I’ll be placing my order with Amazon!  To help make the trip a little more bearable I’d packed my iPad full of easy to watch films, ready to lose myself for a couple of hours in the delights of Disney.  But I didn’t take into consideration my seat mate.

To be fair, she was a very nice girl.  She chatted away merrily as we took off, asking me who I was visiting, but I wasn’t really in the mood for chat so as soon as the seatbelt light was off I had that iPad out of my bag quicker than you could blink.  Not that that stopped her, oh no!  It turns out she had very strong opinions on the movie Mulan, which she continued to tell me all about until I finally gave her one of my earbuds out of sheer self preservation.  That shut her up, and we watched the film with only the occasional aside from her, much to my relief.

Once we started to land the iPad had to go back in the bag, so it was back to Chatty Cathy.  She talked about the plane, about the town we were going to, about what she planned to do over the weekend.  I kept politely quiet through it all, only speaking up when she made a comment about how our flight was delayed by about 10 minutes.  I replied with “It’s a bit annoying, but I’d still prefer to fly with these guys than the other airline.  I’ve never had any good experiences with them.”

At this, my verbose new friend got a funny look on her face.  Normally I would have realised there was more going on than us just talking about two airlines, but I’d just spent two hours listening to her talk so I wasn’t paying much attention. 

“Really,” she asked tightly, “You don’t like them?”

“No, the attendants are always so rude, and the planes are just uncomfortable,” I replied.

“I see..” she said coolly. I should have noticed there was a problem at this point, it was the quietest she’d been the whole flight including when the movie was on, “… I’m an attendant with that airline.”


Still, I wasn’t going to take any of it back.  Their attendants ARE rude and their planes ARE uncomfortable.  But it did put a stop to any more conversation. 

Perhaps I should have done it at the beginning of the flight.

But no matter how much of a faux pas I may have made, it’s still not as bad as one that a friend of mine once made.  She was watching a woman try on a shirt and when the woman said she’d need a bigger size, her comment was “Oh, but that’s okay.  You need room for the baby.” 

The woman’s reply of “Excuse me?” should have been a clue to stop, or perhaps my desperate gestures to shut the hell up, but no my friend just continued on blithely.

“Well you can’t expect to wear a smaller size when you’re pregnant.”

Needless to say the woman wasn’t in fact pregnant … and to this day we’ve never let my friend forget it.

When it comes to matters like that my personal philosophy is I don't care how big someone looks, unless you see a human being coming out of them, assume they just had a big lunch. 

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Irreconcilable differences...

It's sad when you hear of a divorce, especially when the couple in question have been together for such a long time.  That's why I offer my condolences to BiBi and Poldi, two turtles at an Austrian zoo, who after 115 years together have decided to call it quits.  Such a tragedy.

I can only imagine that it's the result of irreconcilable differences ... although what those differences might be I have no idea.  Maybe Poldi got sick of listening to BiBi nag him about the time he spent watching the football.  Maybe BiBi decided it was time to stop turning a blind eye whenever Poldi started getting fresh with that young strumpet of a turtle in the next enclosure.  Whatever the reason, though, it seems they've decided to go their separate ways.

It really makes you think, though, doesn't it.  What is the sanctity of marriage coming to when a union of over a century can be tossed aside so casually?  Or maybe not so casually.  According to the article BiBi did attack Poldi, biting off a chunk of his shell.  Domestic violence ... never a good sign.  You get out of there, Poldi.  Sure, she may say she won't do it again, but domestic violence is never just a one time thing.

But violence among turtle couples is well documented.  Don't believe me?  Check out the video below.

See, told you so.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


Now that we’re all getting to know each other a little better, I think it’s time to tell you about some of my more … interesting … hobbies.  You see, I’m a Gemini, and in true Gemini fashion, I have a tendency to jump on a fad or obsession, ride it until it’s exhausted, and then put it down and never look at it again.  It’s resulted in there being a lot of different phases in my creative life … as well as a lot of abandoned craft items in my house.

I’m a fair crocheter, and I do like to knit.  In my family it’s a bit of a thing to know how to knit socks.  I’m pretty sure I’m the only one actively using that talent at the moment, but I’m determined not to let the skill become rusty.  What if we have another World War and I have to start knitting socks for our boys at the front!  I'm no good at rolling bandages or collecting scrap metal.  I need to be prepared!

I tried the whole DIY furniture refurbishing, but that one didn’t end so well.  Now I have a half stained occasional table, and a kitchen floor that looks like someone was murdered in there.  Turns out furniture stain is impossible to get out of lino.  That was an interesting one to try and explain to my landlady!  

I ended up spinning quite the story about deceptive furniture stain instructions and hardware shop attendants who should find other forms of employment based on their bad advice.  I'm not sur if she believed me, but she was gracious enough to pretend that she did.

Embroidery is harder than it looks.  One delightfully misguided family member got me one of those “embroider it yourself” tablecloths as a gift one year, and I gamely went to the craft store and stocked up on embroidery thread of every possible colour.  But it didn’t take me long to realise that just because you can sew on a button and sort of fix a hem, that didn’t automatically translate into you being an elite status seamstress.  

So that resulted in yet another half finished project and a tablecloth that could have been lovely if it wasn't for the sad, sorry, puckered stitching around the edges.

It's handy for throwing over the bird cage though!

Luckily the threads didn’t go to waste after I discovered the joys of Subversive Cross-stitch.  It was positively serendipitous, what with the snarky irreverence and the modest level of skill required.  It took a while to get the hang of, but now I can cross-stitch curse words wreathed in flowers with the best of them.  

My mother still tuts and shakes her head every time she comes over to my place and sees the one I have nicely framed and on display on my side board.  But really, is there anything more elegant that telling someone to shut the fuck up via needlepoint?  How can you look at this and NOT want to hang it on your wall!


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Ensign Expendable and the red shirt of death...

Anyone who is a Star Trek fan knows what it means to be a redshirt.  If you were one of the unlucky ones to find yourself planetside, standing next to the Captain, and wearing a red shirt ... might as well make out your will and accept your inevitable fate.  You were a dead crewman walking.

I never quite understood how a whole army of aliens could be shooting at Captain Kirk and he doesn't get a scratch, but if some unnamed redshirt is unlucky enough to be sent down with him ... you can bet your last ten bucks he'll be felled in the first five minutes.  You'd think that after a while they'd work out the statistics and just send Kirk down on his own.  It would have saved the lives of a lot of innocent redshirts.

The statistics are very interesting though.  In this article someone has actually gone to the trouble of crunching the numbers.  In the original series there were 59 crew member deaths, which is approximately 13.7% of a total crew of 430.  With that mortality rate it makes you wonder why anyone signed up, doesn't it!

Of those deaths, six were yellowshirts, five were blueshirts, four wore engineering smocks, and a whopping 43 were redshirts.  That's 73% people!  Poor bastards didn't really stand a chance.

The redshirts deserve to be acknowledged for their sacrifices.  It might be long overdue, but finally this injustice has been righted.  Jonathan Coulton, the man who penned such classics as Tom Cruise Crazy and Code Monkey has written this song dedicated to the brave, noble redshirts who died in defence of The Federation.

Your sacrifices will never be forgotten, Ensign Expendable.  It's thanks to you The Federation continues to survive.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Adventures in online shoe shopping...

Despite the fact that I have a XX chromosome, I'm not really one for shoes.  I know, I may as well hand in my ovaries and relinquish my title of "Modern Woman".  Apparently it's a crime against nature to be female and not like shoes, at least that's the impression I've been given any time I've mentioned it to anyone.

I've stood strong on my bare feet, though.  I'm a proud, card carrying member of the Dirty Soul Society, and I'll continue to exert my right to feel the grass between my toes whenever I damn well please.

However, even those of us who aren't lured in by ridiculously expensive and exquisitely uncomfortable footwear have to occasionally go out in public, and going out with bare feet tends to be frowned upon in our society.  I'm not sure why, if anything I'd say it should be a mark of honour!  If you can go outside, walk around on rocks, hot bitumen, bindi-eye, and other abandoned obstacles, then I think that's something to be admired!

But, alas, it's not, and my friends have started to refuse to go to brunch with me unless I'm wearing shoes, so occasionally I have to abandon my principles (and my comfort) and buy new shoes.

My first plan was to go to the nearest department store and buy the first semi-respectable pair of sandals I could find.  But it all seemed a bit too much like work.  I'd have to get ready, go out in the car, drive all the way to the department store, find the shoes, try the shoes on, line up to pay for them, frown at the girl on the check-out when she takes ten minutes to ring up the guy in front of me who's buying a chocolate bar, and then come home again.  I was exhausted just considering it!

Then I realised I was missing the obvious answer.  Was I an internet junkie or not!  Online shopping!

So after a quick prayer to Our Lord Google, I discovered that the brand of shoes I wanted to buy had an online shop!  Excellent, I could buy a pair from the comfort of my own couch!  Bah, you shoe fascists, you might be able to make me go shoe shopping, but you can't make me leave my house to do it!

The site seemed easy to navigate, and had oodles and oodles of choices.  No doubt, even more choices than I'd have in the department store.  Take that, shoe fascists!  But on closer inspection I realised that the sizes were all in the American scale.

Well crap.

There was a handy little guide though, explaining how to work out what your shoe size should be.  The diagram explained that you needed to measure from the tip of your big toe to the back of your heel, and then around the widest part of the ball of your foot.  Okay, that didn't look too hard.

Ten minutes later I'd tripped over twice, flicked the tape measure up and hit myself in the face, and given myself a cramp in my calf.  Oh joy, this was totally making me want to buy shoes.

Eventually I got the measurements though, and through what I can only assume was a combination of advanced mathematics and black magic, they told me what my size was.  I was ready to go!

But there was one little thing I hadn't taken into consideration ... I'm a notorious spontaneous online shopper.  The plan was to pick a pair.  One pair. But as I scrolled down the options, I found myself adding more and more of them to my shopping basket.

Even after culling the choices, I still ended up buying eight pairs of shoes.  Eight pairs of shoes!  I've NEVER owned that many pairs of shoes at the same time!  I'm not entirely sure where I'm going to put them all!  I'll need to buy shoe racks.  That's what people who own shoes have, isn't it?

I'm so ashamed.  I'm sure I'll be drummed out of the Dirty Soul Society as soon as they find out.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

An open letter to my neighbours...

Dear douchebags,

I’ve always been one to follow the tenets of love thy neighbour and live and let live, but I’m seriously considering indulging in some vigilante justice right now.

I’ve always been pleased to live in this neighbourhood.  I picked it specifically for the number of trees it has despite the fact that it’s only five minutes from the city centre.  It’s a beautiful, green oasis and I love the fact that I can look out the window and see so much greenery around me.  I love the way the trees are so tall that they loom over my house, and they look so much like they’re straight out of an Enid Blyton story that a tribe of frick’n pixies might be living in their roots.  I’m always ecstatic if I’m home on the day they lose their leaves for the winter, so I can sit out on the back veranda for that magical hour as they swirl around in the air, dancing on the breeze. 

Those trees have been there for a very long time, much longer than either you or I have been alive.  They’re gorgeous things, so tall and gnarled and they provide the perfect privacy cover for both myself and the people who live over the back fence.  So, while I understand you were probably upset about them shading your vegetable patch or dropping leaves on your lawn or something equally inane, this in no way gave you the right to SNEAK INTO MY BACKYARD AND RING BARK SAID TREES JUST BECAUSE MY LANDLADY REFUSED TO HAVE THEM CUT DOWN!!!

I don’t know which of you is the perpetrator, although I have my suspicions.  There’s no way of working it out given that you snuck into the backyard in the middle of the night to do it like the cowards that you are, so I’m having to write this as an open letter. 

Yes, I know she received a couple of requests from various people, and I also know that after talking to both myself and the family who live in the other duplex she decided not to do it.  She offered to have the branches pruned that were affecting people, but whoever you are, Mr or Ms Midnight Tree Murderer, that obviously wasn’t enough for you.  You were so enraged by the fact that she didn’t do what you asked that you crept into my backyard, tied a wire around the trees, and essentially ended their lives.  They won’t die right away, but from this point on they’re living on borrowed time.  I’m sure your thought was that my landlady would find out, be outraged but unable to prove anything, and be forced to call someone out to have it removed.  But it will take a while for the trees to die, perhaps even up to a year.  Those trees are staying right where they are up until there’s no other option. 

You may have got what you wanted, but you’re going to have to wait for it!  We’re not giving in a second before we have to.

Yours angrily

P.S. To those neighbours who had nothing to do with the ring barking, please disregard the above.  I love you all from the bottom of my heart and will forever be grateful for your preferences for going to bed early rather than throwing rowdy parties that last until 3am ... although some of you could stand to work on your parking skills.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Dirty little secrets...

We all have them, stashed in the back of the wardrobe, hidden under the bed, saved under innocuous names like “Tax Return 2011” or “Poncho Knitting Pattern” on our hard drive.  We pull them out when no one else is around, wallowing in our own guilt and shame as we watch them.  We keep saying we’ll stop, but our resolve weakens and we keep going back to them, regardless of the looks of shock and mild disgust we’d get from our nearest and dearest if only they knew. 

B Grade movies, our secret guilty pleasures.

What did you think I was going to say?  Minds out of the gutters, people!

Like everyone else, I have a pile of badly written and abysmally acted little gems, films which I know are bad, which I shouldn’t give the time of day to, but I just can’t seem to stop watching.  They’re all so bad that I can’t help cringing when I think of other people knowing I like them, but somehow I can’t convince myself to get rid of them either.

Oh B Grade movies, why can’t I quit you?

But today I’ve decided it’s time to cast off the mantle of shame and recrimination!  I’m going to admit to liking bad movies … hell, I’m going to embrace it!  I’m going to stand up (figuratively speaking, cause I’m in public right now) and declare to the world that I love badly written and acted films!

I like plots where I can see what the end of the movie will be five minutes into the film!

I like it when the actors use big, dramatic pauses to show just how important a particular scene.  Melodrama is a valid narrative tool!

I like special effects that are so bad I could have been done with a Commodore 64, or prosthetics so badly created it looks like my 2 year old nephew made them!

And to further show my newfound acceptance of my love for all things dodgy in the movie world, I’m going to share with you a few of my favourites.

Ghost Ship

Possibly the best B Grade horror film ever made.  The premise is a group of salvagers find a floating cruise ship from the sixties and, during their exploration of it, are picked off one by one by the malevolent ghosties and ghoulies onboard.  Honestly, it’s worth watching for the opening scene alone!  Any film that starts with a bunch of people on a dance floor being chopped in half by a released cable gets a thumbs up in my book!  It’s incredibly graphic … I’ll never forget the scene where one of the victims is trying to pull his own legs back towards his torso.

Somewhere In Time

Everyone loves a period romance, right?  Well this is one of those … with a twist!  It’s about a man who is given a gift of a pocket watch by a mysterious old lady.  When he tries to find out who she is, he is told she died just after she gave it to him.  He becomes a little bit obsessed with her and through several leaps of logic, common sense and believability, and despite the fact that he’s a playwriter and NOT a physicist, somehow comes up with a working time travel theory.  Back he goes, meets mysterious old woman who is now mysterious young woman, falls in love, gives her the pocket watch, then gets dragged back to his own time.  And thus the circle is complete!  It’s pretty badly written, and the acting is a bit sketchy, but somehow I can’t stop watching this one.  I guess saccharine sweet romance will win every time.

Psycho Beach Party

This one of those films that was made bad on purpose … and they do it splendidly!  It’s a cross between one of the Gidget films of the sixties and a slasher horror film.  There’s surfing, beach bunnies, and clam bakes galore, along with dead bodies that keep popping up when everyone least expects it.  Not exactly a traditional combination, I know, but somehow they manage to make it work. 

Somewhere, Tomorrow

I think I was about ten years old the first time I saw this one.  In it a teenage girl finds a crashed plane when she falls off her horse.  After that, the ghost of the boy who crashed the plane starts to haunt her.  It was very sweet and innocent, and really REALLY badly made, but at the age of ten I didn’t know that.  Of course it has the traditional ending of these types of films, with a miraculous recovery of the dead guy and the couple living happily ever after … or at least the teenage version of it.

So there you go, some of my favourite bad films.  Each of them has a place of honour in my DVD collection … albeit a hidden place of honour … but perhaps it’s time to pull them out from their secret hidey holes and revel in their awfulness!

Who’s with me?