Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Mr and Mrs Jones, the tests came back positive ... your baby's a redhead...

From what I understand, there are lots of tests an expecting mother can have done these days to give her a bit of useful information about the yet-to-be-issued bundle of joy.  Tests to tell the sex of the baby, tests for genetic diseases and conditions, hell you can even get a 3D model of the li'l 'un if you're so inclined.

But I can't help thinking that the doctors are just making up tests for the sake of it now.

After all, what possible reason could someone have for having a test done to find out the likelihood of their baby being red headed?  And yet it looks like it's only a matter of time before this will be on offer.  Doctors in the UK are offering DNA tests for couples that will tell whether both parents have the recessive "red-haired" gene, which would give their kids a one-in-two chance of being a carrier of the gene themselves, and a one-in-four chance of actually being red headed.  Of course, the odds would be different if one of the parents was actually red haired themselves.

Does anyone else think this might just be another money sink.  An expensive, unnecessary test that the doctors can charge an arm and a leg for?  Because I really can't see any other reason for its existence.  It'd be like having a test done to find out if your kid will have curly hair ... mildly interesting, but hardly worth the money you'd have to lay out to have it done.

Or is it really that big of a deal to have a red haired kid?  And if it is, is it a good deal or a bad deal?  I know historically that red haired people have been given a pretty bad rap, what with expressions like "beat him like a red headed step child", or the more recent (and disgusting) Kick A Ginger Day.  Personally, I always assumed that red hair was something people wanted to have, at least if the number who get it dyed that colour is anything to go by.

But the whole thing reminded me of a song by Tim Minchin, an amazing Australian comedy singer, who just happens to be red headed and felt the need to express his feeling about it via the medium of funny song.

Well I've learned my lesson.  No more using the G word from now on, I promise!

Monday, January 28, 2013

And I thought Cabbage Patch Dolls were expensive...

I do love a good fad, but occasionally even I'm weirded out by the things people find themselves liking.  Take, for example, the trend of women buying lifelike dolls and then treating them like real babies?  Seriously, this is a real thing.  They're called Reborn Dolls and the artists that make them try to get them as lifelike as possible.  I have to admit, some of them are pretty spooky.  If you didn't  know, you'd think you were looking at a photo of a real baby.

Women buy these dolls, dress them up, and then whack them in a pram and take them with them wherever they go.  They give them names, build nurseries for them, and pretty much treat them like they're real kids.

Can anyone else say textbook attention seeking behaviour?

I remember watching a documentary about it once where one of the women admitted that she got her doll because she missed the attention she used to get when her kids were babies.  But by getting herself one of these Reborn Dolls she got all sorts of people coming up to ooh and aah over her little plastic bundle of joy.

Huh, well that sounds ... disturbing.

I'm all for doing whatever makes you happy (provided you're not hurting anyone), but there's just something about this that screams psychologically unhealthy.  I know that people anthropomorphize things all the time (hell, I have a cactus named Pedro, I can't talk), but this just seems a bit extreme.

But this woman has taken it a step further and decided that if people can have lifelike dolls that they treat like real babies, she can have zombie or vampire babies.  She gives them wee little fangs and dripping blood, or clouded eyes and pallid skin.  And I have to admit (under protest), they're cute in a weird way.

Is it wrong that I kind of want a vampire one?  Not to treat like a child or anything ... but there's a small but insistent part of me that thinks it would be hilarious to wander around with one in a stroller and then secretly record people's reactions when they lean over to coo at the little darling and clap eyes on the fangs and the red eyes.

But at around a thousand dollars each, I don't think I'd buy one just for the sake of a practical joke.

Shame though, I could have called him Vladimir and told everyone I met his father while I was travelling in Eastern Europe.  Oh Nosferatu, we'll always have Transylvania.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

It's not like they were carrying tommy guns, how about a little perspective here...

So back in 2011, a very dangerous pair of criminals were arrested in the New York subway.  What were they doing, you ask?  Mugging people?  Threatening to hurt them?  Oh no, they were doing something much, much worse.

They were doing The Charleston.

Oh yeah, you heard right.  A couple were actually arrested for doing a 1920's era dance in public.  The cops forced the guy to the ground and everything!  Apparently when they were told that dancing in the subway is illegal and they'd have to go to the police station, the dapper gentleman dancer started recording what was happening.

That was when he took an involuntary face plant in the cement.

Oh Mr Policeman, surely you realise by now that it's never a good idea to up the violence when the video recording equipment comes out!  Don't you remember  Rodney King?

And sure, doing The Charleston in public might be a bit dorky, but it's hardly the stuff of hardened criminals.  Hell, if I got arrested for every silly thing I did in public, I'd have a rap sheet as long as my arm!  In fact, I'm pretty sure I've done The Charleston myself in a public place or two.  Should I expect the SWAT team to come crashing through my windows any minute now?

It's a travesty of course.  You can't arrest people for dancing!  What is this, Footloose?  Come on people, Kevin Bacon died for our sins so we could dance in whatever way we wanted ... at least I think that's how it went.  I saw that film at a sleepover and I was painting my nails while it was on so I didn't really pay it as much attention as I probably should have.

The court seems to agree with me though, considering the dancing duo were awarded seventy five thousand in compensation ... but is it wrong that I kind of wish I'd been there in that subway to see it?  I mean, how many times in your life will you get the chance to see a couple dancing like Bonnie and Clyde, only to be tackled to the ground by the police?

I'm never around for the good stuff.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

If you can't drive yet, you shouldn't need plastic surgery...

Breast reduction surgery for thirteen year olds?  What next, butt lifts for pre-schoolers?

Can you believe that when a Montana mother complained to her daughter's school that she was being bullied because of her early development in the mammary department, the school recommended a breast reduction?

Seriously, a boob job for a thirteen year old!  What the hell were they thinking?

Probably that it was easier to get rid of the problem than to deal with educating the kids about things like this.  No wonder the mother was horrified.

I remember when I was about fourteen or fifteen, I bought myself a bottle of some sort of potion that promised to get rid of my acne, leaving smooth, silky skin behind.  But I found myself suffering from buyer's remorse about half an hour later.

Rather than getting rid of my spots and giving me the peaches and cream complexion I wanted, I ended up with a face that was red raw, the skin cracked and peeling away.  Turns out there was a small (teeny tiny) disclaimer on the side of the bottle that warned it "may cause temporary irritation".

Oh yeah, my skin was irritated, and so was I.

I had school the next day, how could I go looking like that?  I remember telling my my mother that I refused, absolutely refused, to go if I still looked like a beetroot.  And I remember her answer was "You're not staying home from school just because your face is red".

At the time I was horrified, and so angry.  How could she make me go to school looking like Quasimodo's less attractive sister?  I'd be laughed right out of the 9th grade!

But in hindsight I have to admit, she was right.  I don't remember if there was any reaction to my red face from my classmates, although if I don't recall it I'm guessing not.  But one thing I do know is if I had been allowed to stay home the thing I would have learned from it was that it's okay to hide if you don't look perfect.  That my looks were more important than my character.

So thanks Mum for doing the right thing even when I got stroppy and teen-angsty.

Of course my situation was completely different to this girl's.  My skin only stayed red for a few days, her chest isn't going to get any smaller on it's own.  But I can't help thinking the principle's the same.  If you tell a kid that their physical appearance is so important that it requires surgery for them to be "normal", then you can damned well expect them to glean from it that their looks are the most valuable thing they have.

Are we sure that's what we want to be teaching kids?

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Harry Potter and the Fair Trade Controversy...

I think most of you already know my opinion on human slavery.  In fact, some of you may remember back a few months ago when I made us all feel like awful human beings by showing us what our slavery footprint was.

Yeah, sorry about that.

But the reason I'm bringing it up again isn't to make you all feel horrendously guilty, it's to tell you all about something that the Harry Potter Alliance are currently trying to do.

Okay, I can hear you all saying "Wait up, the Harry Potter Alliance?  What is that, some sort of role playing game?"

Well possibly, I don't know what they do in their spare time, but the HPA is a charitable group of Harry Potter fans who work together to raise money for different causes.  Just to give you an idea of the scope of what they've managed to accomplish, they raised enough money to charter and fill five planes with things to send over to Haiti back when all the trouble was happening.  Seriously, FIVE WHOLE CARGO PLANES!

Consider it a lesson in never underestimating a bunch of nerds when it comes to getting shit done.

But recently the HPA has turned it's attention to child slavery, specifically in the manufacturing of chocolate.  They wanted to find out if Warner Brothers was using Fair Trade chocolate in its Harry Potter merchandise, so they sent them a letter to ask.

The reply they got was that, yes, Warner Brother did use non-slavery chocolate in their goods as per their ethical sourcing guidelines.  However, when the HPA checked with an external organisation that specialises in assessing organisations for things like this, they were told that WB actually received a failing grade when it came to using Fair Trade chocolate.

Hmm, sounds a bit suspicious, doesn't it.

When the HPA took this news back to Warner Brothers, they were told that WB had done their own report and that they were satisfied with the results of it, but when the HPA asked to see a copy of it, they refused.

Even more suspicious.

So now HPA has started a petition to try and get Warner Brothers to show a copy of this report that they claim to have.  Go have a read and if you agree that it all seems a bit fishy, feel free to sign it.

Personally, I think things like this are incredibly important.  It's one thing if a company chooses to use chocolate that isn't Fair Trade, but to say yours is when external groups are saying it isn't, and then to refuse to show the evidence you supposedly have, well that's quite frankly reprehensible.

I have enough human slavery bad karma all of my own, Warner Brothers, I don't need to be drawn in as an unwitting participant in yours too.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Erotica and the art of grocery shopping...

Like most people with a modicum of sense, I'm not overly fond of grocery shopping.  It's got to be one of the most boring chores out there, not even excluding folding laundry.

The supermarket is always crowded with people who don't seem to understand the concept of keep to the left, trolley's that are apparently possessed by some sort of directionally challenged demon, and sixteen year olds who really couldn't care less if the bottle of bleach spills all over the loaf of bread they just put into the same bag.  All in all, it takes up far too much time that I could otherwise use looking at cat videos on Youtube.

But I think I've finally found a way to make it a little more bearable.

It all started a little while back when I discovered you could put audio books on your iPhone.  I know, seems obvious now, but back then I was still a complete novice to the whole Apple Revolution.  Once I worked out how to do it however ... let's just say grocery shopping was never quite the same again.

Deli Guy:  So what can I get for you? 
... she gently took it in her hand, eyes widening at the unexpected weight... 
Me:  ... Um ... I need ... sausages? 
... looked up at him, pupils blown, gasping as she adjusted to the fulln... 
Deli Guy:  (waiting) And how many? 
... "So big!" she cried, writhing in ecstasy... 
Me:  ... uh ... twelve inches? 
... gasped as her nails bit into his flesh, leaving red trails... 
Deli Guy:  Excuse me? 
... "Please," she begged, "More... 
Me:  (blushing) Oh, sorry ... I meant twelve. 
... sunk his teeth into a white shoulder, thrilling to the whimper... 
Deli Guy:  (looking strangely)  Okay, here you go ma'am. 
... cried out as stars burst in front of her eyes, "Yes, oh God yes... 
Me:  (taking sausages and walking away, muttering)  Damn, when did Mills and Boon become so filthy ...

So, the next time you see some woman wandering around the supermarket with a pair of earphones firmly inserted and an enigmatic smirk on her face, you'll know what's really going on.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Yeah, I think I'll stick to the merry go round ...

I know some of my posts in the past have leaned a little towards the macabre ... and continuing in that vein I've chosen a topic that I'm sure you'll all find appropriately appalling.  So lets all pull up a seat, grab a cup of coffee, and discuss the pros and cons of euthanasia.

Hey, I did warn you.

Euthanasia's been a hot topic in the media this week, what with the Belgian twins who were euthanized about a month ago.  The twins, who were deaf, requested permission when they found out that they were going to go blind.  Apparently they couldn't handle the idea of never seeing each other again and a court agreed that they fulfilled the requirements of unreasonable suffering.

I'm very much a "make your own decisions" kind of person, but I'm not sure if I agree that they truly fit that category.  Like most people, I find it hard to wrap my head around the idea of assisted suicide.  It's such a grey area with so many chances for mistakes and abuses.

Were they going to suffer unmentionable physical pain that they'd never find relief from?  No.  Would they still be able to live productive and fulfilling lives if they so chose?  Probably.  But then again, am I really qualified to speak to the level of emotional pain and suffering they'd go through?  Absolutely not.

I do feel sorry for their family though.  It must have been awful, knowing what they were trying to do, then watching as they were granted permission.  I'm not sure how I'd deal in a situation like that ... but I'd guess with a lot of yelling, arguing, crying, and emotional blackmail.

Regardless, I expect we'll be hearing about changes to the law in Belgium real soon given the moral dilemma it's brought up.

But here's something incredibly macabre ... and probably a little inappropriate given the subject of this entry, but have any of you heard of the rollercoaster specifically designed to help you shuffle off the mortal coil with a bit of a thrill?  What sort of twisted mind comes up with something like a deadly roller coaster?  Who sits down one day and says "Hmm, I think I'll design a roller coaster that's guaranteed to kill you.  That'll be popular!".

And how exactly would one go about getting a zoning permit for something like that?

One thing's for certain, I'll be sticking to the ferris wheel from now on. 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Maybe they should have specified "undemolished" in the contract...

Imagine it, if you will.  A beautiful fixer upper, two stories, five bedrooms, real wood floors and crown moulding.  You'd be pretty chuffed if you managed to buy it at an auction for the paltry sum of $500, wouldn't you?  God knows I would!

Now imagine that you turned up to move in, all excited about starting renovations on your ridiculously cheap new home, only to find that it had been accidentally demolished as a fire hazard.

Yeah, the word fuck really doesn't seem obscene enough to express something like this.

It sounds almost impossible.  How on earth could something like that even happen?  But it did to a Detroit couple who bought a gorgeous old house at a tax sale and planned to pump a few thousand into it for renovations.

God, they must have been so excited to get the place for so little, I really can't blame them for being so pissed off now.  They got the jackpot that every home buyer out there is looking for ... a genuinely amazing deal!  It must have been heartbreaking to  drive up to that place and see a plot full of rubble.

The city admitted that they'd screwed up, and they even gave the couple the pick of other places they had on their sale list, but the couple didn't want any of them.  They weren't the beautiful old house that they wanted, so they said no.  I don't blame them one bit.

Besides, I imagine that it must be in a pretty crappy neighbourhood to have only gone for half a grand, so I can totally understand why they wouldn't want to settle for some rat trap the city was willing to hand over.  It's one thing to live in the best house on the worst street, but it's another altogether to willingly move into a crappy house just because it's cheap.

So on behalf of all the not wealthy people out there who dream of finding a deal like this for ourselves, we're sorry for your loss.  But but even so ... five hundred bucks for a house?  Damn!


Oh, and for those of you who are interested, I was lucky enough to get Spotlighted over at Gossip_Grl's blog!  How awesome is that?

Thanks honey, both for the review, and for showing me that article about the bordello themed hospital rooms! 

Monday, January 14, 2013

And this, my friends, is why my blog will never be fashion/beauty tip themed...

So today when I looked in the mirror I noticed my face was looking a little blotchier than normal.  Nothing too extreme, I mean I didn't suddenly feel the need to call Disease Control and warn them about an outbreak of flesh eating bacteria, but given that it was a Sunday and I had no plans to go anywhere, I thought it might be a good excuse for a little self-pampering.

My pampering of choice?  To try an aspirin and lemon juice face mask that Dr Oz had waxed poetical about online.  I had the ingredients and the time, what could it hurt?

Yeah, I probably should have just stuck to grabbing a Cornetto from the freezer if I wanted to treat myself so badly.

Rather than try to explain how it went, I think a step by step is in order.  So here you go!  Feel free to follow along if you have the ingredients ... although I wouldn't recommend it.

  1. Grab six uncoated aspirins and one lemon.
  2. Mash up the aspirins with a mortar and pestle ... or if you're me, with the handle of a screwdriver you find lying next to the TV unit.
  3. Mix the powdered aspirin with the lemon juice until it creates a paste, then smear it all over your face.  
  4. Try not to panic, it's supposed to look like that.
  5. Restrain yourself from swearing as the lemon juice works its way into all the tiny cuts and blemishes you never even realised were on your face.
  6. Give up trying not to swear and let loose with a string of blasphemy that has your neighbours covering their kid's ears and sailors blushing.  
  7. Try to distract yourself from the constant stinging with something more pleasant ... like a colonoscopy.
  8. Give up waiting for it to dry completely and rush to the bathroom, submerging your face in the sink and scrubbing away.
  9. Scream as you accidentally let the lemon juice run into your eyes.  Didn't think about that, did you, genius!
  10. Heave a sigh of relief as the stinging finally abates ... but be reminded ever few minutes as you keep detecting the faint taste of lemon on your lips.
  11. Look in the mirror and realise that, even after all your suffering, there doesn't seem to be a damned bit of difference in your skin tone.
  12. Go to the freezer and grab a Cornetto to console yourself with.  

And this, kids, is why this blog will never become fashion/beauty tips themed.  I really should know better by now.

And shame on you, Dr Oz!  Shame!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

An open letter: kittens are surprisingly uninterested in fashion trends, so you probably shouldn't pierce them...

Dear Pennsylvania animal groomer,

There's a reason that adorable kitten videos are the most watched things on Youtube.  Why?  Because most people out there like kittens.  We think they're cute, especially if they're batting around something shiny or chasing their own tails.  We especially like them if they're lying on their backs and freeze every time someone points at them, it seems.

So surely you must have realised there was going to be quite the uproar when people found out you took a bunch of kittens and pierced their ears, necks and tails with a 14 gauge needle, and then hung heavy barbell jewellery from them.  Did it even occur to you that some of us might find your vision of a "gothic kitten" a bit disgusting?

How the hell were you even able to do it?  I can barely stand to make Gypsy hold still long enough to brush snarls out of her fur because it always seems to hurt her so much!  Usually I just hack them out as best I can with a pair of scissors and get a groomer to do a proper job every few months.  How could you stand to hurt them like that?

Was it because you wanted a pet that reflected your sense of individuality and unique style?  Cause if it is then I've got to say I think you're overestimating just how much of a unique little snowflake you really are.  But if that was your motivation, why couldn't you have just dressed them in weird costumes and posted pictures of them on Instagram like the rest of us?

I don't claim to be a perfect pet owner.  God knows I let Gypsy eat things she shouldn't and I probably should do something about her borderline psychotic obsession with my knitting wool, but I'd never be able to do anything to hurt her.  I just can't understand how you could.

So on behalf of both myself and Gypsy the Feline Dictator, I'd like to wish you a very long, boring and humiliating six months of house arrest.

Yours sincerely,

Kellie & Gypsy

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Racist ass-hole or stupid kid, the jury's still out...

Sometimes when I'm scouring the news sites, as is my wont, I'll come across a story that I can't quite make up my mind about.  I tend to aim my rapier like wit and keen intellect (stop laughing!) at the stories that range from the ridiculous to the sublime, but sometimes I'll find one that's not funny, not ridiculous, and leaves me feeling conflicted and a little uncomfortable.

Take this story for example, about a Wisconsin student who put some horrendously racist, and quite frankly threatening, items on the desk of another student who happened to be black.  This is a perfect example of a situation where I can't quite decide where I sit.

For those whose link clicking finger is broken (or who can't be assed), a 15 year old student in Baldwin thought it would be funny to put a hand made noose and a KKK symbol on the desk of one of the only three black students in the school.

Sometimes I can't help but weep for the future.

The student was originally given a one day in-school suspension, which has since been upped to a longer out of school suspension, but there are people who think that he should have been expelled and had criminal charges brought against him.  I can see their point.  Just because he's a kid doesn't mean he shouldn't be accountable for what he does.

But on the other hand, this is a 15 year old kid we're talking about.  A stupid, immature kid who probably wasn't thinking of the consequences of his actions.  A kid who, in a few years time, is probably going to really regret having done it.

There's one thing I'm not conflicted about though.  What he did was NOT okay. I was involved in a discussion on Boxing Day where we were talking about how the fight against homophobia was our generation's battle, like the fights against sexism and racism were fought by previous generations.  But of course it's easy to forget that just because most people have woken up to the fact that a person's race doesn't define their significance, doesn't mean that there aren't still some real ass-holes out there.

So what are your opinions?  Do you think he got off too lightly, or do you think that you have to cut stupid teenagers a bit of slack?  Personally, I'm still torn.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Vintage lives, vintage wives...

I've always been a little bit obsessed with the 30's and 40's.  I really do love that whole World War II era, the styles, the fashion, the movies and the music.  I remember as a kid I used to watch all the old films they'd show on a Sunday afternoon, lots of black and white movies full of pin waves and army uniforms.  

But as much as I love that era, I don't think I'd ever be able to live in it.  I'm far too addicted to my mod-cons.  I need my iPad, and my microwave, and my wifi internet access.  But apparently there's a whole host of men and women out there who are choosing to live that lifestyle today.

The video below is a documentary I found that follows three women who've chosen to be "Vintage Wives", showing their lives and the sacrifices they've had to make to live like that.  Sure, it's a bit cutesy, but it's definitely worth a watch if you're into that sort of thing.  It goes for about 20 minutes though, so make sure you set a bit of time aside before pressing play.

I found it interesting that the three women seemed to have one thing in common, they used their lifestyles as an escape from the rest of the world.  They didn't really want to be part of it, preferring to socialise with other Vintage Lifestylers.  The documentary seemed to insinuate that this was a bad thing, that they were running away, but that seemed a bit harsh to me.  Sure, they were actively avoiding the 21st Century, but that was because they'd found something that suited them better.

Either way, it was fascinating to see the amount of detail that had gone into their homes, their clothes, how they did their housework, and how they navigated the "real" world when they couldn't avoid it.  I really don't think I could do it, but more power to them!

What do you guys think?  Could you live like these people?

Sunday, January 6, 2013

If any long lost elderly relatives want to make me their heir, I'm totally up for that...

Who among us hasn't dreamed of some long lost relative suddenly appearing out of the blue, then conveniently popping their clogs and leaving them a disgustingly large fortune?  I know I certainly have!  Many an hour I've spent imagining Great Aunt Esmerelda, who is both conveniently rich and conveniently over the age of 95, and who leaves her entire estate to little old me.

So when I read about this poor bloke who died homeless and penniless, only for it to be discovered soon after that he was in the running to inherit a share of a three hundred million dollar fortune from a relative he didn't even know he had, I was astounded by the irony of it.  So close, and yet so far!

Poor bastard.  He had happen to him what everyone dreams of, but he didn't even get to live long enough to find out!

Of course it's not likely to happen to me.  I'm not even sure where this long lost relative would come from.  Our family is pretty well researched, at least for the past few generations, thanks to an aunt on one side and a first cousin once removed on the other.  In fact, I think the only person we don't really know that much about is my paternal grandfather.

My grandfather ... doesn't he
look like the sort to have
rich relatives?
My grandfather came from The Ukraine and we haven't got the foggiest idea of what family he might have left behind there, although my father tells me that he was one of twelve children and lived on a farm.  Is it possible one of those twelve kids grew up to be a completely childless millionaire?

One can dream, I suppose.

But I think if I'm waiting for a rich relative to suddenly appear from Eastern Europe I'll be waiting a long time.  Lets be honest here, how many multi-millionaires have you heard of coming from The Ukraine?


But ... just in case ... Aunt Esmerelda, you know I always loved you the most, right?

Friday, January 4, 2013

Lost at the mall: a tale of terror...

Day 1: "I think I'll go shopping" I said.  "It'll be fun" I said.  And now here I am, twelve hours later, and do you think I can find the way out?  Seriously, when did this place get so big?  And why the hell do I keep ending up in front of The Body Shop?  But I won't give up, the exit has to be around here somewhere.

Day 3:  The provisions ran out about half way through the first day.  I probably should have prepared better, but now I'm having to survive off vending machine snacks and half a Subway six inch I found abandoned on a bench.  But I'm not giving up, the exit has to be here somewhere!

Day 6:  It's been two days since I last saw a shop I recognise.  Oh, what I wouldn't give for a glimpse of and EB Games.  But no, I keep wandering past store after store with names I've never even heard of before.  How can there be so many shops I don't recognise?

Day 10:  I've now given up all hope of ever leaving this place.  If anyone finds this, use this log as a warning to others.  Sure you might think you're just popping into the shops for a quick half hour, but ten days later when you're resorting to drinking out of the decorative fountain in front of the information desk you'll realise just how wrong you were. 

Tell my family that I love them.

I'm used to being lost when I'm in the car, god knows I've spent enough time driving around in circles trying to work out how I got to where I was.  But  now I can't even find my way around in my local shopping complex?

I only popped in to check out a particular sale I was interested in, and if I'd stuck to going to that store and then back to my car I would have been just fine, but I had to get curious.  I had to decide to wander around a little to see if there were any other sales.  I had to go and get myself lost for three quarters of an hour!!!

Have any of you ever been lost in a shopping centre before?  You end up in this weird timeless zone, where it could be day or night or the zombie apocalypse out there and you'd never know.  I ended up wandering around, looking desperately for someone I could ask for directions, but the only person I found was a sales assistant in a clothing store who either didn't know how I could find the west entrance, or didn't care.

But eventually I found a familiar looking shop, which lead to another, which lead to the food court and to the exit closest to my car.  Thank god for that!  I don't think I could have survived on mall food for very long.

So learn from my experience, kiddies.  When you go to the mall, make sure you take a map ... or at least leave a trail of breadcrumbs so you can find your way out again.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

MI6 teaches us the importance of deleting one's browser history...

Sometimes I read something and I can't help but be offended.  Just how stupid do they think I am?  I mean I like a good conspiracy theory as much as the next person, but this one really takes the cake.

"Gareth Williams, the MI6 worker found naked and dead inside a padlocked bag in the bath at his London apartment in 2010 probably did it to himself, Scotland Yard has found."

Oh sure, that's what those intelligence agencies always say, right?  He shot himself in the head.  She poisoned herself and then threw herself off the balcony of a twenty story building.  He tied himself to the wall of an industrial building and attached twenty thousand volt electrical cables to his own nipples.

I'm not falling for that old chestnut, secret service people!

But then the story got a bit weirder ... if that's even possible.

"His landlord testified that she once found him handcuffed to his bed, embarrassed and asking for help."

Huh, okay, so that's definitely a bit suspicious.  But still, it's totally possible that they paid off the landlady!  Slipped her a quick fifty to get her to agree to it?

"Meantime, forensic experts reportedly found about $32,000 worth of luxury women's clothing, shoes and wigs in his apartment."

Ahh ... well yeah, that's quite the expensive kink ... but still doesn't mean he locked himself into a gym bag in his own bathtub.  I'm going to need more evidence than that to believe you, Scotland Yard!

"Williams was also found to have been visiting bondage and sadomasochism websites, including several related to claustrophilia - a desire for confinement in enclosed spaces."

Oh come on, this is all circumstantial evidence!  Just because he had a kink, a very specific kink granted, that doesn't mean he did it to himself!  I mean, how would you even get to that point!

"He was discovered in the fetal position inside the red holdall, with two keys to the padlock also inside the bag."

Okay, okay, I'll concede, against my better judgement.  It's entirely possible that they're telling the truth.

Today's life lesson is brought to you by the good people at MI6, showing us why you should always have a designated person to get rid of your browser history and clean up any "questionable items" in the event of your death.