Monday, December 30, 2013

So it turns out my ankles are my best feature, who knew...

I got the strangest compliment the other day.

I was at work early and I let an elderly gentleman into the building for a breakfast meeting he was there for. He was eighty if he was a day, and he shuffled in and signed himself into the guest book while I stood there and pretended to be polite and welcoming.

Then he turned around and looked at me and, I kid you not, this was what he said.

"Well, look at the nice white ankles on you!"

I have to say, it was a first. I've NEVER had my ankles complimented before. It kind of made me feel like a girl in a LM Montgomory novel.

It did get me thinking though.  Why, exactly, does someone complimenting my ankles or my eyes or my hair just make me go "Aww, shucks", while comments on my breasts will have me raising eyebrows and feeling uncomfortable?

How much of it is my discomfort with my own body image and how much is genuine outrage at the objectification of my goodies?  I'm sure this is the sort of topic that one could write a thesis on, but I think I'll just bow out of the argument.  I don't fall far enough on either end of the femininst spectrum to really be able to do it justice.

But from now on, whenever anyone compliments my boobs I think I'm just going to reply with "Thanks, I grew them myself".

It's true, after all.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Puts a whole new spin on the term ponyboy, doesn't it...

I like to think I'm pretty well versed in the bizarre elements of life.  It takes a lot to surprise me these days.  I've heard about, if not witnessed, most of the strange things out there.

But I have to admit I dropped the ball on the whole Brony thing.

How on earth did I miss this one?  How could there be such an enormous fan base for something so strange and I didn't even notice?  I'm genuinely ashamed of myself.

For those of you who don't know, a Brony is the name given to people (usually guys in their teens or early twenties) who are fans of the cartoon "My Little Pony".

Yep, I'm totally serious.

There are fangroups and websites and clubs dedicated to these pony-loving guys (and doesn't that just sound all kinds of wrong).   We're talking a lot of people here, so many that the internet is just saturated with them.  Seriously, do a google search ... hell, do a google image search if you're brave.  You'll see what I mean.

That must have come as a bit of a shock to the manufacturers.  There they were making toys and a related cartoon about pastel ponies with magical powers, they must have assumed their main demographic would be girls between the ages of 7 and 12.  Instead, they end up with hordes of boys ... men, really ... who all love those damned horses.

Of course, I don't really have any room to talk.  Some of the shows I've been part of the fandom of have been pretty embarrassing.  Sliders, Young Riders, and let's not even talk about the best forgotten Young Americans fiasco of 2000.

Hell, even now I'm a Gleek.  I really can't be casting any stones.

But I think the facet of it that disturbs me the most is the amount of money some people are willing to pay for costumes so they can dress up as their favourite My Little Pony character.  Some friends were telling me that they knew someone who charged up to five grand to make a custom cosume.

Come on, you can't convince me that this is just your run of the mill cosplaying.  No one pays that sort of cash unless it's the seedy, kinky, Jerry Springeresque kind of dressing up!

Pretending to be ponies ... I definitely don't want to know how the dynamics of that one works.

Well, I may not understand the whole Brony thing, but if there's one think in this world I know about it's being a fan.  Speaking as someone who has been part of one fandom or another for the past twenty years, I know very well that you don't choose the fandom life, the fandom life chooses you.

So welcome to the brotherhood, you crazy pastel pony loving dudes!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Here's hoping the Christmas Kangaroo is good to you this year...

Merry Christmas!!!  I hope all you gorgeous people have wonderful holiday, and for your viewing pleasure, here's Hugh Jackman letting you all in on the secrets of a traditional Australian Christmas.  As an Aussie, I can totally confirm that it's all completely true.

Edit:  It turns out some people can't watch the above video.  If it won't let you, try this one instead!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Is it kittens or is it drugs? I guess we'll never know...

Okay, I have a question.  Is "Kittens For Sale" code for something?

Because considering just how regularly one house in my neighbourhood has a sign out front with that very message, I'm beginning to think that either someone needs to anonymously give them some vet desexing vouchers for Christmas, or it's actually code for something else.

I'm guessing either drugs or child slave labor.

At least, I kind of hope it's that, because otherwise they must have a ridiculous number of cats in that house, all of them pushing out litter after litter of kittens.  Sure, it SOUND cute and fun, I mean who wouldn't want to live in a house full of little balls of purring fur, but think of the food cost?  Think of the vet bills?  Think of the poop!!

I did my own research and over the past twelve months, a month hasn't gone by without that sign making an appearance.  I guess business is good ... I just wonder whether it's the drug or kitten trafficking business I'm talking about.

But seriously, do any of you guys know if a "Kittens For Sale" sign can have a more sinister meaning?  You know, like those ceramic butterflies people put on their houses back in the seventies that meant they were swingers.

Poor Grandma, she never realised the message she was giving ... at least I hope she didn't.

Maybe I'll never find out.  Maybe it'll just be one of those mysteries that I'll never learn the answer to.  Kind of like how can I gain half a kilo of weight when I only ate a quarter kilo box of chocolates, or how can sour cream have an expiration date?

But I guess the next time I need some marijuana or a ten year old to make me some sneakers, I'm set.

Friday, December 20, 2013

You don't know horror until you've served on the front lines of a pub trivia team...

From the beer garden of the local pub.
Bob:  Alright guys, the next question is "Who were the two leads in the film About Last Night?".  Focus!  We need this one to win!  We're THIS close to the fifty dollar bar tab!
Sue:  Don't worry, we're totally going to get it. I can feel it in my waters. 
Joe:  Sue, that's disgusting! And not at all logical. 
Sue:  Dude, my waters know what they're doing. Here, I'll show you. 
*Wrestles the answer sheet out of Bob's unwilling hands* 
Sue:  Okay, start naming some leading actors from the eighties? 
Bob:  Molly Ringwald? 
Sue:  No, there was a naked sex scene in that film. Molly Ringwald would never do a naked sex scene. 
Me:  Andrew McCartney? 
Sue:  Same thing. He's too clean cut. 
Joe:  How about Rob Lowe? He's as filthy as they come. 
Sue:  Good! My waters like him. 
Group:  EW!!!!! 
Sue:  Anyway, moving right along, we still need a female lead. 
Me:  Holly Hunter? 
Sue:  Too classy to do something like that. 
Bob:  I'm assuming Meg Ryan is off the table. 
Sue:  (stares disbelievingly) ...
Bob:  Yeah, that's what I thought. 
Me:  Oh! I've got it! Demi Moore! She'd totally do a naked sex scene! 
Sue:  Yes, my waters approve. I think we've got our answer, ladies and gentlemen.  
*One scoring round, several beers, and a great deal of celebrating later* 
Bob:  I can't believe we got that right just by rationalising and outright guessing! 
Me:  I'm just amazed that we're all taking Sue's renal functions a prophetic.
Sue:  See!!! Don't scoff at the waters, they know everything!

And that, boys and girls, is the tale of how my pub trivia team bullshitted our way to a glorious victory over our arch nemesises, The Quizzley Bears.

We'd like to thank our families, our friends, and of course Sue's bladder, without which we would never have been awarded this honour.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

They say giving to charity is supposed to make you feel good, so why do I always feel like I've been screwed over...

I've decided that door-to-door knocking for charities should be made a whippable offence.

When, exactly, did it become okay to go to a stranger's home, somewhere you haven't even been invited to, and then ask them to hand over cash?  Why should I have to be worried about being bailed up for my last red cent in my own home?

At least when you see them in the shopping centre you have a chance of escaping.  If you don't make eye contact, stay as far to the side of the lane as you can and, if possible, throw small children and elderly people in their way, you can avoid them.  But when they come to your front door it's like you're being held to ransom by a very pushy, incredibly judgy blackmailer.

The other day some girl came to my door to collect for the save-the-spotted-owl-protect-the-rain-forest-knit-little-jumpers-for-the-baby-seals society and I had to say sorry, but I didn't have any money on me.  I mean really, who even carries actual cash these days!

Now I'd normally be more than happy to hand over a couple of dollars in the name of a worthy cause, but it just wasn't going to happen that day.

Not that this girl saw it that way.  Oh no, she cast me a look like "What do you mean you don't have any change?  Do you want the little animals to die?  Do you!  DO YOU!!! FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, WHY!!!"

My response was to tell her that I'd be happy to donate online if she'd give me the website.  That's my standard response to people who come door to door.  Generally I've found that people willing to give you a website actually want you donation, but people who say "Oh, we don't have one, we only accept door to door" are just trying to get you to sign up to one of those schemes where you end up paying them fifty bucks every month for the rest of your life or until you get wise and shut down your bank account.

Take a guess at which method she went with.

So she went away disappointed, and I felt mildly violated in my own home.

Seriously, whippable offense!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Oh Clive Palmer, you crazy bastard...

... I'm not sure whether I love you or I'm terrified of you.

For those non-Australians out there, I should probably explain who Clive Palmer is.  He's a very rich, very influential, very crazy Australian guy.  We're talking about a guy who is said to be worth $895 million (US), who is currently building a working replica of the Titanic (cause that ended so well last time), and who tried to become Prime Minister based almost solely on the fact that he was rich ... and actually managed to win a seat!!!

But none of those things are what I'm talking about today.  Today I'm terrified, and more than a little bit fascinated, because Clive Palmer officially launched his new Dinosaur Theme Park ... with lifesize animatronic dinosaurs that can be operated by remote control [link].

Oh, you just know this is going to go spectacularly wrong, don't you!

Can you imagine it?  Huge ten metre high dinosaurs, controlled by people, running loose around a theme park that will be right next door to a resort (also owned by Palmer).  It kind of make me hope that he goes with his original plan to let kids operate the dinos.  I can just see it now, some rich guy gets ready to take a swing on the fourth hole on the golf course when suddenly a shadow looms overhead, and he turns around to find himself face to face with a T Rex.

It would definitely add a certain thrill to the game.  I might even start watching it.

Just how long do you think it's going to take before we'll have a news headline "Metal Triceratops Kills Two, Injures Six, In Freak Theme Park Tragedy"?  Not long, would be my guess.

Seriously, Mr Palmer, did you learn nothing from Jurassic Park?  When you try to mix kids and dinosaurs, it never ends well.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

I guess we should just be glad she doesn't store the needles up there too...

Hey, do you guys all remember back when everyone was waxing poetical about their vaginas?

It was a simpler time, wasn't it?  We had seminars about them, looked at them in little hand held mirrors, discussed in depth their places in our lives and their significance to our gender identities.

Ah, the good old days.

Thankfully, that sort of thing seems to have died off for the most part ... at least I'd thought so until some friends of mine showed me a Youtube video the other night.  Apparently the vajajay obsession is alive and well ... and creating Etsy masterpieces as we speak.

In the video an Australian artist ... an Aussie this time guys, all you Americans can relax ... sits and knits during her performance art displays.  She sits there, happily clicking the needles, with a skein of wool shoved up her hoo-hah.

That does not sound comfortable at all!  Or hygienic!

I suppose you have to admire her dedication to her art though.  Neither wind nor hail nor sleet nor snow nor unfortunate menstrual schedules shall keep this craftivist (her expression, not mine) from making scarves that no one will ever dare to wear.

Yeah, I'm not even kidding.

But seriously, go check it out.  Just be careful with the video, guys.  It's not really safe for work ... as most vagina knitting videos tend to be.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Just when you thought PC madness couldn't go any further...

As a fully fledged citizen of the new politically correct age, I like to think that I'm relatively well versed in all of the ins and outs of being PC.  I try not to use terms I know will offend or make people uncomfortable.  Hell, I even attended the Diversity Awareness Training that my workplace held a couple of months ago.

Sure, it was compulsory, but I think I still deserved credit for going.

But even with my vast wealth of  knowledge, I have to admit the latest PC faux pas everyone is talking about took me a bit by surprise.  Did you guys know that it's now considered politically incorrect to call technology experts "techies"?

Yeah, me either.

But apparently it is.  According to this article [link].  Tech experts everywhere are getting their panties in a twist over being called techies, a term which they believe is offensive, reductive and belittling.

Huh, and I just thought it was an abbreviation.

According to the article though, they'd prefer to be called hackers, coders or makers.  I can't really say that I blame them, I wouldn't mind being called a "hacker".  It sounds pretty cool to me, conjuring up images of edgy looking people on pilfered laptops, always one step ahead of the FBI while they try to crack an international drug smuggling ring.

At least, that's what Hollywood has lead me to believe.

Personally, I always just associated the term techie with people who were technology professionals, in the same way I think of journalists as journos and and garbage men as garbos.  Maybe they'd feel better if they were called techos? Or perhaps techers?

I mean, it worked for us Star Trek fans.  Trekkies, trekkers ... potato, potahto...

But then again what do I know, I'm just an accountantie.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Spring has sprung, take my word for it...

Mark this down as a red letter day, ladies and gentlemen!  Spring has finally sprung!

I know what you're all thinking.  Doesn't she realise that we're already into the first month of Summer?  Isn't declaring the start of Spring a bit redundant when it actually finished six days ago?

But calendars aside, you can take it on my good authority that we have finally entered the season of chirping birds, budding trees and "pitty pitty flowers".

And what do I base this assumption on, I hear you ask?  Oh, nothing so mundane as the first of September or the Spring Equinox.  Nor do I base it on temperature changes and climate.  I have a much more foolproof method at my disposal.

Today, for the first time since last Summer ... I shaved my legs all the way up to the top rather than just to the knee.

It's not something I decided to do, just a natural instinct that seems to kick in when Spring has finally begun.  Birds fly to warmer climates, fish swim upstream, and I go the whole hog with defuzzing my legs.

And if that doesn't just scream Spring, then I don't know what does!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

From the way they go on, you'd think overdue DVD rentals were akin to first degree murder...

It all started out so innocently.

Go down to the local video store.  Borrow a video here, borrow a video there. First it's just an hour overdue, then two, then a day, until you're consistantly averaging a week late with your returns. It's a vicious cycle, believe me.

I know what you're thinking, how on earth can she be in trouble with a video rental store?  Didn't they all close down years ago thanks to iTunes and Netflix?  Well, maybe over in the US they did, but in Australia they've managed to hold on a tad longer, surviving on traditionalists and people with limited internet download plans.

But those days are over.  They're all closing down in droves ... and taking the opportunity to sell their debts to debt collection agencies.

Seriously, it's been years since I last rented a DVD from a video store, but that didn't stop them from selling the overdue fines I apparently owe them to a collector, or stop the collector from sending me a very official looking and wordy letter all about what they're going to do if I don't pony up the dough.

But the joke's on you, Mr Debt Collector!  I deal with guys like you all the time in my job, so I know all about the tricks of the trade.  I know exactly how much you would have to go through to try and get the dosh out of me, with a very real chance of you not getting anything in the end.  I know exactly how far a collector will go, and when they'll decide it's not worth it ... and I definitely fall under the category of not worth it.

You're just lucky I'm willing to be the bigger person.

The cheque is in the mail, dude.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Give me a martini, and the cat will have a scotch on the rocks...

I love living alone.

There are a lot of benefits to it.  I can watch whatever I want on the TV without having to fight for the remote, if I choose to leave the washing up for a day (or three) no one is going to say boo about it, and I have the freedom to wander around naked if I so choose without having to worry about someone seeing me.

Well ... I suppose there was that one time when I walked into the kitchen in the knicky-noo-nah and my neighbour happened to be standing outside my window on our shared verandah ... but we don't talk about that.

But with all those benefits, there are bound to be some disadvantages too.

Take alcohol, for example.  Society tells us you can't drink alone, or if you do then you must be a beer swilling lush with no self control.  Or worse, a "secretly drinking" alcoholic with an addictive personality.

Pretty harsh when all I wanted was a glass of Brut Cuvee.

But thanks to some wine makers in Japan, my problem has finally been solved!  That's right, now our feline friends can get just as sloshed as we do thanks to a new wine called Nyan Nyan Nouveau made especially for cats [link].

After all, it's not really drinking alone if your feline flatmate is having a glass of Chardonnay too, is it?

Well ... if we're going for full disclosure here, the cats can't really get drunk.  The wine is of the non-alcoholic variety, which I suppose means it's just grape juice.  Four dollars a bottle sounds a bit rich when you put it that way, doesn't it.  But it does have some catnip mixed in there too so at least you know your kitty will be getting something out of the experience.

I'll have to order some for Gypsy the Feline Dictator.  Hmm, I think the evenings at Casa de Kellie are about to get a lot more interesting.