Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The 21st century is when everything changes...

Warning:  Gratuitous fangirling and Sci-Fi show recommendations ahead. 

For those of you who've been paying even the remotest attention to my entries, I'm sure you've realised by now that I'm a huge Doctor Who fan.  Yep, I'm a complete series owning, Weeping Angel fearing, TARDIS mug displaying fangirl, and damned proud of it!  But it might surprise some of you to hear that, of the whole DW franchise, Doctor Who isn't actually my favourite show.

Torchwood has that honour.

For those of you who've never seen the show, allow me to give you a brief run down of it.  The main character is one of the Doctor's former companions, the great coat wearing and sparkly smile flashing Captain Jack Harkness who pretty much runs around waving an antique gun and sleeps with anything that stays still long enough.  In the show he runs a mysterious organisation called Torchwood (it's an anagram for Doctor Who) which exists to protect Earth from all the aliens that are being dropped through a rift in space and time.  Well, to be honest they exist to capture the Doctor ... but let's not get into that.  

As far as sci-fi/fantasy concepts go, it's pretty run of the mill.  Captain Jack and his band of merry alien hunter, tearing around Cardiff in the worlds most obvious SUV.  It's kind of like Scooby Doo, but with lots and lots of sex.  But it wasn't the concept or the storylines that got me so hooked.

It was the characterisation.

These characters are all so ridiculously flawed.  They're awful to each other, say the meanest things, make ridiculously huge mistakes out of selfishness and greed ... but somehow you still can't help loving them.  The thing that makes it so brilliant is that if you asked me, I couldn't even tell you why I love them.

You've got Ianto, the Alferdesque type butler character, all three piece suits and calm efficiency, who it turns out is hiding a killing machine in the basement.  Owen, the doctor who the first time you see him is using the alien equivilant of a date rape drug to make himself irresistable to the girl he's trying to pick up at the bar (he ends up going home with her AND her boyfriend).  Toshiko, the tech specialist who was in jail for treason, although to be fair she did steal the plans to a weapon to try and save her kidnapped mother.  And the character that gets introduced to them all at the beginning of the series, Gwen.  She's portrayed as being the "heart" of the group, all empathy and big sad eyes.  But within the first season she's sleeping with Owen, drugging her husband after he found out about the affair to make him forget, and pretty much spends the whole time making cow eyes at Captain Jack even though he's in a relationship with Ianto.

These characters are all just so ridiculously flawed, and I think that's what makes it work.  Usually when you watch a show like this the characters are all up to the task, fully equiped with the skills they need and gung ho to get the job done.  In Torchwood, they're all in completely over their heads, and they know it.  Instead of dealing with that in healthy ways, they fall back on every one of their vices as a way of ignoring the fact that they're fucking terrified of what's going on around them.  I think, as much as we like to watch the heroes save the day, we see more of ourselves in these characters who are barely coping, but keep going anyway.

This is my recommendation to you all.  Get a copy of Torchwood and give it a go. It's sometimes tacky, sometimes crass, but I can guarantee it'll make you think.

So, what shows do you think are seriously under rated and deserve more of an audience?

Monday, July 30, 2012

Gun control, schmun control...

Ever since the terrible shooting that happened in a movie theatre in America last week, there's been a lot of talk about whether it would have been so bad, whether those people would have been safer, if access to guns was different.  The funny thing is, though, I've heard the same arguement made for both tightening gun control, and for freeing it up.

Personally, I have no idea which would be better.  Loosen gun control?  Every man and his dog will own one, and lets be honest, with human nature being what it is it's just a short jump to them thinking that means they have the right to fire it with impunity.  Tighten gun control?  Well it won't stop people buying guns, they'll just do it in more illicit ways.  We'll have oodles of untracable, illegal firearms floating around.

Both suggestions seem to have their faults, as far as I can see.  If I was forced to pick a side, I'd probably go for tighter control, but I suspect that's just because I'm Australian where we don't have this inbuilt sense of entitlement to own a gun.  The whole "right to bear arms" thing has never applied to us, what with us all starting off as convicts.  Only an idiot would bring a bunch of criminals to a far off, isolated place, then tell them that sure, you can have a gun!

The idea of owning a gun, quite frankly, scares the bejezus out of me.  I wouldn't even want to touch one, let alone own one.  The only person I know who has one is a police officer, which I guess you can put down to an occupational hazard.  My Opa used to have a rifle that he kept behind the back door when I was a kid, but I'm almost certain it didn't work and he just kept it there as a scare tactic.  So you can see my knowledge of all things firearms is woefully inadequate to be making these sorts of decisions.

I think if I was pressed for an opinion, though, I'd have to agree with Chris Rock's opinion.  Forget about gun control.  Let them buy as many guns as they want.  Just make bullets cost a small fortune. It might not solve all the problems, after all there's always accidents, mistakes, stupidity, but if you made each bullet cost hundreds of dollars, I can guarantee that senseless deaths by firearms would drop significantly.

But don't take what I say too seriously, as I said, I have no real basis for it.  It's just an opinion, as ill informed and naive as anyone elses.  But to be fair, I think it's just as valid as the other ones being spouted off at the moment.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

The inequity of single life...

There are a lot of unfair things to put up with being a single girl in a married person's world.  The social stigma that's attached to not having a ring on your finger, the frustration that comes from having to navigate every social situation with the knowledge that it was planned with couples in mind, the necessity of killing one's own spiders.

But I think there's one issue that stands out in my mind above all the others.  It's an injustice that's so blinding, I'm surprised other people haven't brought it up yet.  Surely there should be pretentious New York Best Seller novels and ridiculously maudlin songs written about it by now!  Surely hoity toity people should be having ten thousand dollar a plate fundraisers to raise awareness of such a grave injustice!

The issue ... as a single person, my access to the nine to five outside world is severely limited.

Yeah, I bet all you marrieds hadn't thought of that, had you!  You get to split the responsibiltiy of going to those places that are only open in business hours with your significant other!  You have another person to rely on if that couch you ordered is going to be delivered next Tuesday between twelve and four thirty.  But if I have to get the washing machine guy in or buy gluten free pasta from that ridiculously expensive deli that's only open between ten and three, then I'm on my own!

And this means that either I have to manage my working hour committments like a General planning a battle, or I have to rely on the good will of my boss to let me off when I randomly ask to go early so I can get my donkey reshod at the donkey reshoeing place that's only open when I'm supposed to be at work diligently slaving away over my spreadsheets.

Seriously, would it be that hard for places like banks and doctors offices to have opening ours that are just a little bit outside of the normal office times?  Geez guys, give us working stiffs a break!  

And the guilt involved!  It's like asking for an afternoon off (even if you've already worked the hours up) is akin to second degree murder.  Not that anyone ever tries to make me feel guilty, oh no, I'm quite capable of doing that for myself.  No need for the boss to shake his head disapprovingly because I have someone coming to shave the cat.  I'll have worked myself up into a fit of completely over-the-top guilt before I even bring it up with him!

Yeah, these are the things we single people have to put up with.  So the next time you're ranting on about how your husband/wife did such-and-such even though you specifically asked them not to do such-and-such, just remember that even though you have to put up with these inconveniences ... at least when you need to have the roof retiled, you have someone else to dump the responsibility onto.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

If it was good enough for Grandma...

I know I've told you all about my fondness for cooking shows.  Not cooking reality shows mind, but proper cooking shows where you get to watch Cheffy McBakesalot swan around in what you just know is a studio set made to look like an old fashion kitchen and whip up a seven course meal in half an hour.  But I have a confession to make.

Just because I like watching someone make all those ridiculously complicated recipes, doesn't mean I like eating them.

It's true.  When it comes to food, I like mine simple.  I can enjoy a nice gourmet meal once in a while, but for an every day thing I prefer my meals to only have three or four ingredients.  Seriously, if there are so many herbs in a recipe that you can't remember them all, then there are too many herbs.

I guess my preferred style of dining could be best described as "Depression Era Cuisine".  I like those simple, easy to remember recipes that you got from your grandmother.  You've got to give it to them, those women who lived through the Great Depression certainly learned how to make the most from the least!  I suppose when you have next to nothing, you work out how to make it appetising pretty quickly.

So, in honour of those wonderful women, I've decided to share with you two of my favourite "Depression Era Cuisine" recipes!  They're simple to make, easy to remember, and delicious to eat!  So by all means give them a whirl and let me know what you think!  Even better, share some of your own "quick and dirty" recipes!

Rice Pudding

-  Half a litre of milk
-  Half a cup of rice
-  Quarter cup of sugar

This one is so easy, and it comes out rich and creamy!  Just mix the three ingredients together in a greased loaf tin and then bake in a low oven (160 celsius) until the rice has gone soft.  It'll take around 45 minutes to an hour.

Unsweetened Pancakes

-  One cup of self raising flour
-  One cup of milk
-  One egg

Another easy one.  Just mix all the ingredients together, then spoon onto a frying pan and flip when bubbles appear.  It's a recipe that works perfectly every time.  The pancakes are unsweetened so you can eat them with syrup or jam, or if you're like my dad you can eat them with pickles.  Excuse him, he's German.

So there you go, two oh so simple recipes just like Grandma used to make!  What are some of your favourites?

Friday, July 27, 2012

Pale boy raps so good...

I'll be the first to admit it, my taste in music sucks.  I like far too much pop music to be discerning and I'm too fond of the golden oldies to be edgy.  Seriously, I not only know all the words to "The Way We Were", I know exactly where all the emphasis should be placed and I absolutely insist that it's sung that way whenever it plays on the radio in my car.

My iTunes list is, to be frank, embarrassing.  It's crammed with bad 90's tunes, sixties party mixes and glee songs.  Well, that and racy audio fictions with lots of guy on guy action.  So sue me!  I need something interesting to listen to when I'm doing the housework, and nothing speeds the vacuuming up like a little homoerotic rumpty pumpty.  We're living in the Fifty Shade era, people!

But of all the musical genres out there, the one that I usually try to steer clear of is rap.  I just don't get it.  It's people ... talking really fast ... with music in the background.  Yeah, just not getting it.

But even I had to be impressed by this guy.  As someone who regularly records audio books, I have a hard enough time getting the words out at a normal rate and I get the luxury of being able to stop and start as I need to ... I have no idea how this kid manages it!

Kudos dude, I'm impressed.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Job hunting for dummies...

What with the current economic climate and the precarious position we're all in, I've decided it's time for me to seriously consider what I'd do if I were to lose my job.  It's happening, all over the place, so I need to have a plan ready in case the dreaded event ever occurs.

After serious consideration, here are the possibilities.

Professional Sex Worker
Yeah, I know, it's just another term for prostitute.  A rose by any other name and all that jazz.  But lets be honest, it's always an option.  Buy a nice lace teddy, change the sheets, put up a red light outside the house, and off you go!  As far as careers go, it's a pretty cushy one, you get to set your own hours, the pay is pretty good for the amount of work involved, you're your own boss, and hey ... all the sex you want!

But what with it being legal and all now days, there's all sorts of red tape to navigate.  Paperwork to fill out, licences to get, law enforcement officers to pay off.  It kind of sucks all the fun out of it.

MMO Goldfarmer
Now here's one I'm totally qualified for!  I spent years playing World of Warcraft, and if anyone knows how to earn gold in that game, it's me.  I know all the secrets, some of them even legit, of how to turn those thousands into hundreds of thousands.

But then again I'd be competing against a pretty big market.  There are oodles of gold farmers in China, slaving away for 10 cents and hour.  I'm not sure if I'm willing to take that much of a pay cut ... even if it does mean I get to sit on my ass and play computer games all day as a profession.

Sideshow Spruiker
It's a stable career, Sideshows never go out of business (to my knowledge).  There's a long and noble history of people making money by showcasing the genetic misfortunes of others.  I'm sure I could become quite proficient in standing on a box and yelling loudly to the passing crowds "Come see the freaks!  Sixpence to see the freaks!"  

I'll have to work a bit on my cockney accent, but really that's just a formality.  I'll also have to make sure I suppress the urge to flinch whenever I get too close to Dolores the Bearded Lady or Bernardo The Man With Two Noses ... but that's really just a matter of professionalism.

Travel Agency Holiday Tester
So the Travel Agency has come up with a new package deal.  They've sourced the flights and hotels, planned the schedules, arranged the perks and extras ... they just need someone to test it out and make sure everything goes according to plan.

That's where I'd come in.  Despite great personal inconvenience, I'd allow them to whisk me away on first class flights to exotic destinations were I would stay in five star hotels, eating at the finest restaurants and sampling the best entertainment and diversions on offer.  It's a tough job, gruelling even, but someone's got to do it.

Hmm, I wonder which one I should go for.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Chick-fil-A and Drag: a match made in heaven...

Lately in the news there's been a lot of talk about how The Jim Henson Company has decided not to continue their partnership with Chick-fil-A ever since it became known that the company was anti LGBTQ rights.  Lots and lots of pictures of The Muppets publicly denouncing the fast food group and standing up to declare where their loyalties lie.  Good on you, Jim Henson Company!

As an Australian, I have no idea who Chick-fil-A are, or how popular they might be, but I just find it really strange that a fast food group would be anti anyone!  But surely the nature of their business is to sell as much greasy, heart attack inducing food products as possible to the masses.  Why on earth would a commercial chain purposely alienate 10 percent of the population, to say nothing of those who support them?  Greedy fast food commercialists?  You're doing it wrong, dudes!

But hey, if they want to be so stupid as to ignore the first rule of business (the customer is always right), then that's their choice.  I'm guessing that this public shaming by The Muppets isn't going to do much for their image.  I mean jeez, when Kermit, Miss Piggy and Fozzie Bear are telling you you're stupid and they don't want to play any more, that definitely sends a message to those of us who were raised watching them.

Honestly, when I see things like this I can't even get angry anymore.  I suppose it's because I know they're just dinosaurs, roaring and stomping around, slowly but surely dying out.  But that doesn't mean I can't enjoy someone taking a crack at them.  Personally, I think this Youtube video makes a rather fitting fuck you.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Vegemite Experiment: findings from Just Keepin' It Real, Folks!

Good morrow, good fellows!  Today we have the second instalment of results from The Vegemite Experiment!

Those of you who frequent my blog will remember that we got the first lot of results from NellieVaughn over at Buttons Are Not Currency a couple of days ago.  Now we've got some new data to crunch through!

The ever so delightful Just Keepin' It Real, Folks! is our second guinea pig, and like the little trooper that she is she's put her life on the line to bring us all a fair and unbiased judgement of the appeal of Vegemite.

And it turns out her fair and unbiased judgement is that Vegemite makes a better wall putty, face mask and pot hole filler than it does a sandwich spread.  Yeah, I could see that ... well except for the face mask bit.  I've never known an Aussie to use it in that particular way before.  We're definitely not ready for that jelly.

Like most of us would, after deciding that it tasted awful she judged the best course of action was to inflict it on her poor unsuspecting family members.  Good girl!  That's the sort of initiative and dedication to the cause we like to see!  None of them seemed to find it any more appealing though, so I guess we can say that in answer to the question "Can some not raised on Vegemite like it", the answer from Just Keepin' It Real, Folks! is a definitive HELL NO!

And now, here's another old Vegemite commercial.  No real reason, I just think they're neat!

So, thank you for your input, Just Keepin' It Real, Folks!  I think we all found this to be extremely informative!  Coming soon, the final results from Sporkgasm!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Justice versus fairness...

Usually I'm not lacking for an opinion.  In fact, I think I could quite safely say that I'm overly opinionated on most topics, and I'm definitely not backwards in coming forwards when it comes to them.  But occasionally I hear of something that, quite frankly, leaves me torn.

Like this article, about a seventeen year old girl who is at risk of being found in contempt of court for naming the guys who raped her.

According to the article, the girl was outraged and frustrated by the injustice of the deal the boys cut with the court and decided to go against the order from the judge to keep the under aged boys' names secret and tweeted about them.  Now the boys' attorneys are requesting that she be charged with contempt.

And here's where I'm torn.

On one hand, I can totally see how frustrating and infuriating it must be for this girl.  She was attacked, assaulted, and now her attackers are getting a slap on the wrist.  Not only that, but they're being protected by the courts.  It must feel an awful lot like victim blaming to her.

She's decided to take a stand, which I have to admire her for.  She's decided that, regardless of the decision of the court, she's going to name them because it's HER that this thing happened to, and she's decided that that gives her the right to decide whether she can talk about it or not.  That takes some guts.

This girl is serious, she's willing to go to jail if necessary.  You can't help admire anyone who, after going through something so awful, is willing to stand up and say that she'll do what she thinks is necessary.

But on the other hand, the boys are under aged and according to the law they're entitled to protection.  Yes, they did something dreadful, and yes from the sounds of it they deserved a much more serious punishment than the one they were given, but that doesn't change the facts.

They're kids, and they're entitled to a certain level of anonymity, which they've now lost with their names tweeted to the world.  The consequences for them are now going to be a lot further reaching than was originally intended.

I don't know ... like I said, I find the whole thing very difficult to reconcile in my mind.

What are your opinions?

Sunday, July 22, 2012

I should get danger money for this...

Something winked at me from behind the jar of pickled cucumbers this morning.  I think that's proof positive that it's time to clean the fridge again.

Now I'm not exactly what you'd call a born housekeeper.  As I've confessed before, I do love me some cleaning porn, but there's an enormous difference between study and application.  While I'm only too thrilled to read magazine articles about the joys of removing lime scale from steel fittings, actually getting off my ass, buying the lime scale remover, putting on gloves, applying it, waiting the prescribed time, trying not to pass out from fumes while waiting the prescribed time, then sponging it off seems a bit too much like hard work for me.  Hell, I could barely concentrate long enough to write it!

But every now and then it becomes glaringly obvious that my preferred housekeeping methods of denial and procrastination will no longer cut it.  I'm forced to stand up, swallow a big old teaspoon of cement, harden the hell up, and just do whatever it is that's crying out for action.  So this morning when I realised that the contents of the fridge were a tad greener than they should be, I fought back my apathy and stepped up.

Expired dairy products, left over take away and ridiculously old fruit and veg were all dumped unceremoniously into a garbage bag, then rushed out to the wheelie bin quick smart to avoid any unnecessary stinkiness.  Condiment jars were carefully examined for expiration dates, and a serious debate was had between me and the feline cohabitator about whether the five day old sausage should go in the bin or in her bowl (she won).

But the real hurdle was the unidentifiable something I found hidden on the lowest shelf behind the two week old lettuce.  It was impossible to work out what it used to be from a visual inspection, but I think it was either a small furry rodent or some left over Chinese food.  If it was a rodent, then I'd guess it died in a fight to the death with the jar of minced garlic sitting next to it.  If it was Chinese food, then guess it was combination chow mein.

But I suppose that's a mystery that will never be solved.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

The style of the styleless...

I love fashionable home decor.  I love looking at a picture of a living room, all beautifully laid out and immaculately decorated.  My Youtube feed is full of vlogs on the topic, I can happily wallow in a home decorating magazine for an entire afternoon, and I've been left behind before in homeware stores because I was too busy inappropriately fondling the throw cushions.

I think, if I'm completely honest, the reason I love it all so much is because I have absolutely no chance of ever recreating it.

I am, I must confess, completely without style.  I know which colours are supposed to go together thanks to art class and that ever accursed colour wheel ... did anyone else hate that bloody colour wheel as much as I did ... but when I look at them I just can't seem to see which colours clash!  Does tan go with chocolate?  I'm pretty sure it does, but does THIS tan go with THIS chocolate?  It's all a mystery to me.

It's the same with furniture layout.  I know there are more ways of situating your furniture than "whack the couch against the wall opposite the TV", but I still seem to revert to it every time.  Occasionally I'll move the divider from one side of the couch to the other, but that's about it for my decorating style abilities.

Occasionally I'll give it a shot, buy something that's supposed to add a sense of personality or flair to my place, but every time, without fail, I'll pick the worst thing possible.  It'll be tacky, or clashing, or even worse, just plain odd.  What seemed like such a good idea when I was gazing covetishly in in the shop turns out to look ridiculous once it's in the harsh light of day ... or at least the harsh light of my living room.

The other day I was actually seriously considering buying plastic fruit to put in my kitchen.  Plastic fruit!  No, I have no idea why either.  The only thing I can put it down to is the fact that it was there, right in front of me in the homeware shop and something in my brain said, "Yes, genius idea!  Fake fruit!  You'll never need to worry about rotting bananas and fruit flies again!"

Of course, the fact that the fake fruit in question was in no way convincing in its evil charade didn't seem to click with me.  Instead it took a friend, bless her little cotton socks, to talk me out of what would undoubtedly have ended up being yet another home decorating disaster in a string of catastrophes.

Perhaps I just need to accept that, unless I start earning so much that I can afford to hire a decorator, I'm just not one of those people who are going to have a classy looking house.  It's always going to look slightly rumpled, not quite laid out right, and more than a little lairy to the eye.

I need to realise that my place is always going to be one of those houses that's respectable, but not aesthetically delightful.

But hey, at least the couch is comfy and the TV works.  Could be worse.

Friday, July 20, 2012

The Vegemite Experiment: findings from NellieVaughn...

Any of you who have been reading my blog for a while will remember that a few weeks ago I proposed an experiment.  The goal ... to see if non Australians could enjoy the delightful sandwich spread that is known as Vegemite.

Today when I logged on to see what was happening in Blogteria it was to find that the first of my little care packages had reached their destination.  NellieVaughn over at Buttons Are Not Currency had received hers, along with my handy dandy instruction sheet, and she promptly leapt into action.

As Nellie isn't able to eat anything with gluten in it she couldn't test the spread herself.  It's jam packed full of those little glutinous buggers.  That's my bad, I should have made that clear from the start.  But undaunted, she still forged ahead, determined to do her bit for science.

She gave it to several adults to try, as well as her two absolutely adorable nieces, and the results were mixed I must say.  According to her the adults seemed to like it, but if the video evidence she posted is anything to go by I'd have to say the two girls were less than impressed.

One of them described it as tasting like "meat juice".  Hmm, fair cop.  I can totally see where she got that from.  I suppose it does taste a bit like basted roast beef.  The other said that it tasted "sour".  I probably would have gone with salty, but given that this is an experiment it's probably better that I keep my nosy opinions to myself and stop trying to skew the results.

So, to summarise.  So far we can determine that older, more mature taste buds are able to appreciate the allure of Vegemite, but it seems to be lacking in appeal to the youngsters.  But of course these are just the preliminary results, we've still got two more tubes of salty goodness making their way across the ocean!

And now, just for shits and giggles, here's an old Vegemite commercial!

So I'd like to thank NellieVaughn for her her valuable contribution to scientific knowledge!  We appreciate your willingness to sacrifice your friends and family to the cause!  Now we wait with palpitations to see what results Sporkgasm and Just Keepin It Real, Folks get!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

A thousand miles an hour...

Sometimes I don't think we stop often enough and think about how amazing the Universe actually is.

Take a look at this animated representation of what our solar system looks like.  It's so easy to forget that not only are the planets revolving around the Sun, they're all moving together through space.

It's like they're dancing.

It reminds me of a quote from the first Doctor Who episode (well, the first from the new series), where the Doctor is talking to Rose.
"It's like when you're a kid, the first time they tell you that the world is turning and you just can't quite believe it because everything looks like it's standing still.  I can feel it ... the turn of the earth.  The ground beneath our feet is spinning at a thousand miles an hour.  The entire planet is hurtling around the sun at sixty seven thousand miles an hour.  And I can feel it.  We're falling through space, you and me, clinging to the skin of this tiny little world.  And if we let go ..."
Trippy, huh?

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Pigfarts, here I come...

Hello, my darlings!  Today's blog entry is aimed at all my fellow Harry Potter fanatics.  I'm going to assume that's all of you because I just find it hard to conceive of anyone not finding Harry Potter awesome.

I'm going to do you all a favour now and recommend one of the best fan made artistic endeavours to hit the Potterverse since Potter Puppet Pals ... A Very Potter Musical!

For those of you not familiar with AVPM, it's a fan made musical that was performed by a theatre group in Michigan purely for the love of Harry Potter.  They wrote it, came up with the songs, got the costumes together and put the whole thing on as a labour of love.  And we're not talking about some dinky little five minute parody here, this is a full length musical that goes for a couple of hours!

These guys are legitimate fans, they definitely know their stuff.  There's plenty of in jokes and references back to the books, and quite a few insights that'll have you laughing.  But really, you're going to love it for the music.

The performances are hilarious, especially the girl who plays Draco Malfoy and the guy who plays Dumbledore.  Harry, Ron and Hermione have a great rapport and play off each other really well, and the ridiculously tall fellow who plays Goyle just steals every scene he's in.

The videos are broken up into two groups, act one and act two, and then into parts.  If you want to see them on a playlist which will take you from one to the next without you having to worry about finding the next bit, you can go here.

Seriously though, if you're a fan of Harry Potter and you haven't seen this then you absolutely must watch it!  Find a couple of hours, sit yourself down, and just watch it through.  Once you have, the title of this entry will totally make sense.

You can thank me later.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Celebrity divorces are making me feel old...

Today I'm feeling extra old.

No, it's not because my bones are creaking, or I'm having a little trouble seeing the printed page, or even because I'm sitting on my porch and yelling at those damned kids to get off my lawn.

It's because of this news article.

What the hell?  Since when do kids get divorced?

Okay, okay, I know she's not a kid anymore.  She's twenty three, I believe.  But it wasn't that long ago that she was a twelve year old, saving Antonio Banderez from strange evil plasticine people!  When the hell did she grow up?  That was only... okay, it was eleven years ago.

Another celebrity divorce that makes me feel ancient is the oh so famous Tomkat split.  She just looks so ... worn out.  Here's this girl who I remember watching on TV as a teenager when I was already an adult, and she looks like she was ridden hard and put away wet ... and not in a fun way!  I don't feel as old as she looks, but there's a little voice inside my head that keeps whispering, "No, you're older".  Seriously though, wasn't she like fifteen just the other day?

That's one of the things that's surprised me about getting older, and it really shouldn't.  Everyone always says that time seems to go quicker the older you get, but for some reason it's still taking me by surprise.  Every now and then I end up asking myself questions like "When the hell did Sarah Jessica Parker start looking so old?" and "There's no way that Calista Flockhard is really 48 years old!".

 But maybe it's less about me not noticing the passage of time, and more about my unrealistic expectations that famous people will remain the same forever.  I guess we're all guilty of it. 

But there are a couple of stars who never seem to change, no matter how many years pass.  Michelle Pfeiffer is timelessly stunning, Keanu Reeves is like wine, cheese or musicals and just gets better with age (even if his acting doesn't), and, as much as I hate to admit it, Tom Cruise looks pretty damn good for a guy who's fifty.  Dude might be as mad as a box of cats, but he's got good genes!

I suppose I can only hope to be as lucky as them in the aging department ... although I could stand to skip the whole go-insane-and-join-a-wacky-religion bit.

Monday, July 16, 2012

I'm on a cart, heyah...

Librarians are a  funny breed.  Working as a non-librarian in the library industry, I can say that with an exasperated fondness that others couldn't get away with.  But if there's one thing that both the librarians and the non-librarians are united on in the industry, it's that what we're doing is important.

This generally leads to a lot of discussion about "What libraries mean today", battles royale about whether ebook readers are going to make printed material obsolete, and quite a lot of squeeing whenever we find something that makes us look cooler than we really are, like the Nancy Pearl Librarian Action Figure, or the TV show The Librarians.

So, because I'm both an employee and a fan of libraries, and because I love the Old Spice commercial, today I've decided to share with you a video that had all of us library boffins positively twitterpated when we found it.

You're welcome.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Life lessons and Sesame Street...

The other week I had the pleasure of seeing a production of Avenue Q done at The Arts Theatre here in Brisbane.  I saw the touring version when it showed a couple of years ago, and I have to say that it wasn't any better than the one put on by this teeny little theatre.  Good job, guys!

But after watching what its commonly referred to as "Sesame Street For Grown Ups", I started to reminisce about my youth and the lessons I learned from good old Sesame Street.  Of all of them, and as a daily viewer there were a lot, there's one that I think was the most important and valuable.

I could have learned to count or recite the alphabet at school, I could have learned different rhymes or fairy tales from my parents.  Sure, I learned them from Sesame Street, but the fact remains there were plenty of places I could have gained these skills.  But there was one lesson that I don't think I would have learned anywhere else at such a young age.

That lesson was that grown ups aren't always right, and it was taught to my by Mr Snuffleupagus.

My prime Sesame Street watching days were back in the late seventies and very early eighties, so this was back when everyone still thought Snuffie was just Big Bird's imaginary friend.  Every episode I'd watch as they played together, and then Big Bird would say he was going to go get a grown up so they could finally see that he existed.  He'd ask Snuffie to stay right there, he'd beg, he'd cajole, and every time, Snuffie would promise.  He'd swear he'd stay right where he was.

And every single god damned time, he'd get distracted by something and wander off before Big Bird could bring the grown up over.




Of course, the grown up would come over, not be able to see Mr Snuffleupagus, and either "pretend", which would frustrate Big Bird (and by extension me), or they'd say that he wasn't real.  Holy crap, of course he was real!  He was a god damned six foot furry elephant thingamabob in the middle of suburbia!  Surely someone should have seen him hauling his enormous brown shaggy ass up the street!

And seriously, Snuffie, couldn't you have just stayed in the one place for a few minutes?  Why did you have to get distracted by every stupid butterfly or every ice cream truck to go wandering by!

But as I said, this taught me a very valuable lesson at a very early age.  Just because a grown up didn't believe me, didn't mean I wasn't right.  And if I was right, I was entitled to trust myself and demand that others did too.

I honestly think that's the reason why, when I was accused a couple of years later of pushing a boy into the girls toilets (our primary schools most heinous form of bullying), I stood up for myself, told them that I most certainly did NOT push him into the toilets, and the teachers actually believed me.

Thank you for that, Snuffie.  You might have been a frustrating sonofabitch, but you taught me something that it would have probably taken me years to learn otherwise.

NB.  I didn't push the kid into the toilets, by the way, in case you were curious.  I've no idea who did, or why he chose to blame me.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Conversations with a feline dictator...

Kellie:  So, Gypsy, what shall we do tonight, hmm?

Gypsy the feline dictator:  Foolish human!  Why do you ask such questions!  Bring me chicken, immediately!

Kellie:  Aww, are you hungry, sweetie?  Okay, let’s get you some dinner.

*Grabs the dry food and fills the bowl*

Gypsy the feline dictator:  What is this!  I demand raw meat, not this foul concoction!  Do not make me angry, puny mortal!

Kellie:  Not hungry after all?  Never mind, I’m sure you’ll eat when you’re ready.

Gypsy the feline dictator:  How dare you, you insignificant creature!  One night you’ll forget to shut your bedroom door and I’ll eviscerate you in your sleep!

Kellie:  Come on, let’s watch some TV.  How about Star Trek?

*Turns on TV and starts show*

Gypsy the feline dictator:  I swear to all that is unholy, as soon as I grow opposable thumbs, I’ll wreak my vengeance!

Kellie:  Hmm, maybe not, let’s try some Doctor Who instead.

Gypsy the feline dictator:  You worthless minion!  I will express my displeasure with a warning!  Feel the wrath of my mighty claws!

*Begins kneading the couch throw*

Kellie:  Who’s a cute little kitty!  You is … you is…

*Scritches Gypsy behind the ear*

Gypsy the feline dictator:  I will not stand for these indignities!  I demand respect, you imbecile … oh, that’s nice … yeah, just there … a bit lower … that’s right …

And this, my friends is what I’m convinced goes on inside my cat’s head pretty much 24/7.  Honestly, I’ve never known a human who could beat her for contemptible looks!  Seriously, if she could just work out how to use machinery, I’m relatively sure we’d be looking at a feline coup inside a week, max.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Immortal possums on the loose...

Today at work we had a death on the premises.

No, it wasn't one of our clients, no little old ladies dropping off from a "Fifty Shades of Grey" induced heart attack.  It wasn't an employee either, although I'm sure several of them have gambled with their lives among the electric compactus.  Have you ever used one of those things?  They're terrifying if you don't have your wits about you!

The death was of a possum that's been living in the parking lot under the building since we moved in about six years ago.

Yeah they're cute ...
until they're making a
racket on your roof!
It turns out he'd slipped while running along a pipe in the roof and had managed to partially decapitate himself on the sharp edge.  The poor little fellow had then proceeded to leave such a mess of  ... well, I'll leave it up to your imagination ... on the floor below and it was blocking people from the loading area.  

And they say life in the library isn't glamorous.

I know it must sound like I'm incredibly cold hearted to be talking about it so glibly, but you have to understand that seeing a dead possum is hardly a novelty to anyone who lives in Australia.  Hell, I saw three of them while driving to work this morning.

Of all the Australian animals, they're the ones that adapted.  They ate our rubbish, built nests in our homes, and multiplied like rabbits.  They're, quite literally, everywhere, and it'd be a rare sight to drive even fifteen minutes without seeing one taking a little "nap" on the side of the road.

When I heard about it I have to confess my first thought was "Hmm, I wonder if this has any connection to the fact that the possum was pissing on all the company cars every night.  Accident?  I think not!"  Then I sat there for a few minutes and wondered exactly whose personal assistant was currently sitting in their office, cleaning possum blood off their letter opener.

But then I remembered, I work in a library.  We're not exactly a "hands on" bunch of people.  I don't think any of them could kill a possum.  I'm not saying they wouldn't want to, just that they couldn't.

Then I started to wonder if maybe it wasn't some sort of possumesque Highlander thing.  Maybe it was an immortal possum (it had been alive for a really long time), and another immortal possum came along and chopped it's head off!  Maybe they're all actually immortal and after I pass their squashed little bodies on the side of the road they rise up again!  It'd certainly explain why there are so many of the little buggers.

So if you see a possum wandering around with a Scottish accent and a ruddy great sword, stay out of it's way.  After all, there can be only one.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Sold to the lady with a weird sense of humour...

Tinkerbell hadn't aged well...
People certainly sell some weird shit on eBay.  Don't get me wrong, I love the fact that they do!  There's nothing more amusing than wandering through the eBay listings and finding everything from the quirky to the utterly bizarre.  I remember I once almost bought a tattoo gun on there once, for no other reason than it was sitting at $20 and it seemed like a good idea at the time.

Thankfully, someone else stepped in and started bidding at the last minute so I never got it.  It's probably a good thing, with my propensity towards not thinking things through, having a tool that can permanently mark your body wouldn't have been the best idea.  Who knows what I would have doodled on my own arm just to see if it worked!

But I do love reading about the really strange auctions.  Like the guy who sold a mummified fairy corpse!  I have to admit, it certainly looked legit from the pictures ... you know, if I wasn't a grown up who knew that fairies don't actually exist (and somewhere Tinkerbell drops dead).  It turns out it was a model made by a prop maker for an April Fools prank a few years back.  He did a good job on it!
Here comes the ... bride?

Or there's the guy who sold his ex wife's wedding dress after what we can assume was a rather bitter divorce.  I actually remember when this one was happening, and I watched the updates the guy made to the auction as he made them.  There are claims that he was just hamming it up to sell the dress for a better price, and I've no doubt they're right, but it's still a hilarious read!  Go read them if you have the time, you won't regret it.

Then there was the person who was selling a dolphin that he'd supposedly caught while net fishing and was keeping in his swimming pool.  This one I'm assuming was a joke, but the questions prospective buyers posted and this guy's answers were snarky and fun to read.

That's one creepy girl!
But I think my favourite was the haunted painting.  It was just a creepy looking picture!  I remember reading the story and thinking how spooky it looked.  I wondered if anyone would actually bid on it, but I guess it was a pretty good marketing method because it ended up selling for over a thousand dollars.  Was it haunted?  Who knows!  But I don't remember ever reading about the new owners being found dead in mysterious circumstances or being driven to the point of insanity and having to be committed, so if it was we can assume they were friendly ghosts.

There seems to be a real market on eBay for selling wacky stuff to people who just buy it for the novelty factor.  Perhaps that should be my new hobby!  Selling cursed things!  I could buy a bunch of old second hand jewellery from the local op shop, make up some stories about how they used to belong to Lady Bothomthwaite who died mysteriously in a fox hunting accident, and who now haunts her long lost trinkets!  I'll make a mint!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Holes in the fabric of space/time...

Time travel.

Yeah, I went there.  I'm edgy like that.

The reason for my non sequitur, you ask?  Well, it's because I'm pretty sure I've discovered actual, honest to god proof that time travel exists.  Or at least that it's possible for pockets of one time to crop up in another.

It's kind of like that British show "Goodnight Sweetheart" about the guy who discovers a portal to WWII era London in an alleyway so he opens up a second hand shop right near it, thus providing the audience with charming wartime stories and his store with exceptionally cheap good quality antiques.  But the portal I've discovered isn't being used by a delightful cockney man, nor is it helping anyone sell 1940's era coins.

No, the portal I've found ... and got photographic proof of ... is in the Ralph Lauren in Sydney.

Yeah, I know, it's a pretty big claim.  I'm sure many of you are out there scoffing right now, thinking to yourselves "Oh Kellie, you silly person you!  Even if time travel did exist, why on earth would it be in the Ralph Lauren store?"  To that question, dear readers, I have no answer.  All I can do is present my evidence.

This is a photo I took while I was on holidays in Sydney back in March.  As you can quite clearly see, there is compelling evidence that a portal to 1987 has opened up, and the fashion from that era is seeping through into our time.

The distinctive colours, patterns, and styles of the items on display are clearly not from this time period.  In fact, I'm almost certain that I remember seeing Carlton from The Fresh Prince of Bel Air wearing something similar in EVERY SINGLE EPISODE!!!

As it's rather unlikely that Ralph Lauren would allow such monstrosities to appear in their displays unless there was some sort of space/time phenomenon, the natural conclusion is that a pocket of time from the late eighties has spontaneously appeared in the middle of their store.

Hopefully this isn't some sort of portent about the end of the world ... I always said I thought the whole Maya calendar bro-ha-ha was a crock and it'd be really embarrassing if it turned out to be right.  But if it is, and this turns out to be the beginning of the end, I just want you all to know that I love and value each and every one of you.

No, don't look at me, I don't want you to see me cry...

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Something's gotta give...

Thanks Pinocchio, just tear
the space-time continuum
to shreads!
Like all good Doctor Who fans, I do love a paradox.  It always gives me a little thrill to wrap my brain around something that shouldn't make sense, but does.  It's the geek in me I guess.

I think that's why I love that old song "Something's Gotta Give", where an irresistible force meets an immovable object.  Which, of course, is completely impossible.  If a force is irresistible, then it's not possible for an immovable object to even exist.

And there are so many of them, like the Crocodile Paradox, where if a crocodile steals a man's child and promises to return it if the man correctly predicts what the crocodile will do, what does the crocodile do if the man says that the crocodile won't return the child?  Or the Socratic Paradox, which refers to a quote that Plato attributed to Socrates that went "I know one thing, that I know nothing".  Or even the good old which came first, the chicken or the egg ... which we all know the answer to.  Eggs have totally been around longer than chickens!  Dinosaurs laid them for gods sake!

But I think the most mind blowing paradox I've ever heard of though was the one described in Robert Heinlein's short story "All You Zombies".  It's basically a version of the Grandfather Paradox on steroids.  We've all heard the old "If you travel back in time and kill your own grandfather, how can you have been born to travel back in time and kill your own grandfather" schtick, this just takes it several steps beyond that.

A baby girl is mysteriously left at an orphanage in Cleveland in 1945. "Jane" grows up lonely and dejected, not knowing who her parents are, until one day in 1963 she is strangely attracted to a drifter. 
She falls in love with him. But just when things are finally looking up for Jane, a series of disasters strike. First, she becomes pregnant by the drifter, who then disappears. Second, during the complicated delivery, doctors find that Jane has both sets of sex organs, and to save her life, they are forced to surgically convert "her" to a "him." Finally, a mysterious stranger kidnaps her baby from the delivery room. 
Reeling from these disasters, rejected by society, scorned by fate, "he" becomes a drunkard and drifter. Not only has Jane lost her parents and her lover, but he has lost his only child as well. 
Years later, in 1970, he stumbles into a lonely bar, called Pop's Place, and spills out his pathetic story to an elderly bartender. The bartender offers the drifter the chance to avenge the stranger who left her pregnant and abandoned, on the condition that he (Jane) join the "time travelers corps." Both of them enter a time machine, and the bartender drops off the drifter in 1963. 
The drifter is strangely attracted to a young orphan woman, who subsequently becomes pregnant. The bartender then goes forward nine months, kidnaps the baby girl from the hospital, and drops off the baby in an orphanage back in 1945. Then the bartender drops off the thoroughly confused drifter in 1985, to enlist in the time travelers corps. 
The drifter eventually gets his life together, becomes a respected and elderly member of the time travelers corps, and then disguises himself as a bartender and has his most difficult mission: a date with destiny, meeting a certain drifter at Pop's Place in 1970.

Essentially, the girl, the baby, the drifter and the bartender are all the same person.  Is your mind blown?  If not, try doing up a family tree for poor Jane.  That'll definitely send you round the twist!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Overheard in the supermarket...

Here's a conversation I overheard in the supermarket in the magazine aisle between two women in their sixties.  Part of me thought "Yep, that's what me and my friends are going to sound like in about thirty years".

Names have been changed to protect the crotchety.

Woman 1:  Can you believe these girls today, Margaret! 
Woman 2:  Hmm?  What do you mean? 
Woman 1:  These girls!  *gestures to magazine* Can you believe what they're allowed to get up to these days!  Back when we were young we wouldn't have dreamed of acting like that! 
Woman 2:  What are you going on about.  *looks over other woman's shoulder at the magazine*  Oh, so she left her husband and is dating all these guys now? 
Woman 1:  Yes, that's what I was saying! It's unbelievable what girls get away with these days! 
Woman 2:  Seriously, Joan?  You're seriously going to say that? 
Woman 1:  Yes!  They have no sense of decency anymore, and you know who I blame?  The parents!  I wouldn't have raised my girls to act like this! 
Woman 2:    Well I hardly think ... 
Woman 1:  And the media!  Is it any wonder that they think it's okay to sleep around like that when that's all they see on TV? 
Woman 2:  Now that's pretty rich, coming from you Joan. 
Woman 1:  What do you mean? 
Woman 2:  Who was it exactly who was going out with four different guys when we were in high school? 
Woman 1:  That's not really the point... 
Woman 2:  And who spent three weeks back in '72 living in that artist's commune up the coast? 
Woman 1:  That was a legitimate artistic retreat! 
Woman 2:  You don't paint. 
Woman 1:  Well ... I was ... 
Woman 2:  Oh, we all knew what you were there for. 
Woman 1:  *Refolding magazine and shoving it back on the rack*  Oh, just shut up.  I don't know why I'm still friends with you. 
Woman 2:  Just calling them like I see them!

*The two women wander off towards the frozen pastry section*

And this, my friends, is why you should change your friends like you change your underwear.  Old friends just know too much about you.

Actually, I lie.  Keep the old friends.  They may know where all the bodies are hidden, but they also know you'll take them down with you if you're caught, so generally they'll have your back.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

An old fashioned gent...

So yesterday we discussed what all good wives should know to maintain a happy marriage, which I think we can all agree was a roaring success.  I'm sure marriages everywhere are just a little more secure right now thanks to the efforts of Ms Ebbutt.

But today it's the turn of husbands everywhere to ponder the pearls of wisdom from "Don'ts for Husbands".  Like it's companion, this little volume strives to give a detailed list of "what not to do" for the man of the house!

Lets take a look at a few of them.

Don't be irritated now by the childish ways in your wife that amused you so much in your fiancee.  She will grow out of them soon enough.

Now guys, you know we girls are are just so immature and flighty.  There's no point getting upset about it.  When we do something silly and childish, just shake your heads in amused frustration and brush it off with "Oh, you dear, foolish little thing.  Why don't you go buy yourself something pretty".  After all, nothing distracts us so well as something bright and shiny.

Do not object to a servant on the score of her looks.  Your wife will take care not to engage a pretty maid if she suspects you of undue interest in her appearance.

Another valuable piece of advice!  If you want your wife to hire that saucy bit of crumpet, whatever you do make sure you don't tell her you think the girl's cute.  Your extramarital affair opportunities will be nonexistant if you don't learn how to use reverse psychology.

Don't say your wife wastes time in reading, even if she reads only fiction.  Help her to choose good fiction, and let her forget her little worries for an hour occasionally in reading of the lives of others.

Oh those silly little women, frittering away their spare time by reading *gasp* novels!  I know it can be galling to have to allow it, but just remember to subtly censor what they read.  After all, it's for their own good.  Women can't be allowed to choose their own reading material, heaven only knows what they'd end up selecting!

Don't pet your wife when her little finger aches until she imagines herself a martyr to ill health, when there is really nothing the matter with her.  Don't encourage her to be hysterical.  You need not be unkind, but you can firmly refuse to pity her.

So dramatic, these women.  Always assuming they're dying or some such nonsense.  Surely they should be able to soldier through that attack of meningitis and still have your dinner on the table when you get home!  Just because they took themselves to their bed with pneumonia, is that any excuse for not having the carpet vacuumed?  No, you want to nip that in the but right away!

Well, gentlemen, that should be enough to show you how to keep your marriages on track!  Just make sure to patronise your wives, make sure your cheating is discreet, control what she reads and show absolutely no sympathy when she's ill.  It's guaranteed, or your money back!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Women, know your place...

Today's entry is aimed at all you happily (or not so happily) married women out there.  I know it can be hard to maintain a healthy, caring relationship in this wicked world, but thankfully Ms Blanche Ebbutt has written a delightful little tome entitled "Don'ts for Wives" to help guide you.

Of course, the fact that it was written in 1913 may date some of it, but just because the advice is almost a hundred years old doesn't mean that it isn't just as valid and useful today as it was back then!  I'm sure that together we can draw something helpful from it.

Lets look at some of that advice in more detail.

Don't moralise by way of winning back the love that seems to be waning.  Make yourself extra charming and arrange delicious dinners which include all your husband's favourite dishes.

Absolutely!  We all know that the way to a man's heart is through his stomach ... well, to be completely accurate the way to a man's heart is between the fourth and fifth ribs ... and I believe what Ms Ebbutt is trying to tell us is that the easiest way to make your husband love you again is to stuff him so full of food that he's ready to bust at the seams.  Okay, so maybe it won't make him love you again, but at least he'll be so full that he won't be inclined to run off with that blonde gym instructor.

Don't hesitate to plan out large expenditures with your husband.  Usually a woman is very good at small economics, but often a man has a better grip of essentials in spending large amounts.

Well this one is a given.  Ladies, for heaven sake don't spend any more than a fiver unless you check with your hubby first!  After all, we can't be worrying our pretty little heads about things like high finances, now can we.  Thankfully none of us need to deal with confusing things like numbers on a regular basis ... well, except for those of us who work in finance (like me!!!).  Or who have mortgages.  Or who are sole income households.  But lets be honest, how often is that going to happen!  We'll just let the men take care of things like that and focus on sitting around and looking pretty.

Don't permit yourself to forget for a single instant that nothing is more annoying to a tired man than the sight of a half-finished laundry work.  The remotest hint in your home of a 'washing day' is like a red rag to a bull.

Oh yes, heaven forfend that there should be any evidence of household drudgery when the man of the house gets home!  The laundry should be washed, ironed and put away where it belongs before he returns from work.  You didn't have time to get it all done?  Well, you should have gotten up earlier then!  After all, you don't want to find out what's being hinted at by that "red rag to a bull" comment.

Don't omit to pay your husband an occasional compliment.  If he looks nice when he comes in dressed for the opera, tell him so.  If he has been successful with his chickens, or his garden, or his photography, compliment him on his results.

Many a household could have remained harmonious if only the wife had complimented her husband on his chickens.  And men can never hear too much about how good they look in their new opera cloak.

So there you are, girls.  It's easier to keep a happy marriage than you realised.  Just make sure you feed him, pander to him, slave over him and butter him up!  It'll work, Ms Ebbutt guarantees it!

And don't think you're getting off without your turn, guys.  Tune in tomorrow to find out what Ms Ebbutt recommends gentlemen do to keep a happy home in "Don'ts for Husbands"!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Keep the home fires burning...

I've always found photographs to be fascinating.  They're little bits of history, captured with light and chemicals onto paper.  It's kind of like magic, really.  Add to that my love of history and an overblown sense of romanticism, and I think you can get a fair idea of why one of my hobbies is to collect old photographs.

But not just any old photos, oh no!  I'm very particular about which sort.  I only collect portraits of World War I soldiers.

You'd be surprised how many there are out there, languishing away in second hand shops or sold like trading cards on online auction sites.  You can get them for as cheap as a couple of dollars, or as expensive as several hundred.  So many of them, in varying conditions, but each and every one of them a little mystery.  Who what he?  What was his life like?  Did he die in the war, or did he come home?  How did his photo end up being passed around like this rather than holding a place of honour in someone's family photo album?

I think the reason I started collecting them is that I hated the idea of these pictures of these poor, unnamed boys just floating around out there, homeless and unwanted.  I just wanted to take them all in and, even if I can't give them back their names, the least I can do is give them a place.

Each of these boys lived, loved, laughed, cried and died, and the idea that they've just been shuffled off to some dusty old box somewhere, then sold in an estate sale or something makes me sadder than I can say.  I can't help feeling like I'm making a difference by finding and preserving them.

If you also take into consideration how expensive photos were back then it means even more.  It's not like today where you can take a hundred photos on a digital camera and then get rid of the ones you don't want later.  Back then, each photo was an event, carefully planned and executed.  Each photo mattered.

When I tell some people about my boys they ask me if I don't think it's a little morbid.  After all, I'm collecting photos of people I don't know, who aren't related to me, and who in all likelihood died almost a hundred years ago.  I suppose they're right, it is a little maudlin.  But at least I'm not as bad as the post mortem photograph collectors!

There's a huge market on E-Bay for post mortem photographs, and a lot of them go for quite a lot of money.  Sure I collect photos of people who are dead, but at least I'm not collecting photos of dead people!  It's an important distinction to make!

NB.  All the pictures on this post are from my collection.  Each is of an unnamed soldier which I found and took in.  If you think you recognise one of them, please let me know.  I'd love to be able to return them to their families.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Will nobody think of the teddy bears...

I don't think it's any secret by now that I love weird news articles.  Honestly, the weirder the better, as far as I'm concerned.  If we can't enjoy the lunacy of our fellow man, then what's the point of this kooky shindig we call life, hey?

But even I did a bit of a double take over this article.

According to this one, a 28 year old man was arrested for fiddling with himself in public.  I know, hardly an eyebrow raiser in this morally depraved age.  I'm sure hundreds of people are arrested for the very same thing every week.  In fact, I work in a public library, so I'm fairly sure if I checked with security I'd find out that someone had been chucked out in the past week for doing the five knuckle shuffle somewhere on our premises.  But the difference with this guy?  Well, it lay in what he used to pleasure himself.

Apparently he has now been arrested not once, not twice, but THREE TIMES for masturbating in public with a teddy bear.  Yes, you heard me right.  A teddy bear!

My childhood is starting to look rather sordid in hindsight.

The first time he was caught showing teddy a good time in a public library (see, I told you), after which he was ordered to stay away from libraries in the area.  He must have taken that to mean he was okay to do it in other places, because he was arrested again about nine months later, and then nine months after that!  Each and every time he was caught using a stuffed bear as a masturbatory aid.

Hmm, I'm seeing a pattern here.  Every nine months, he feels compelled to get freaky with a stuffed animal in a public place.  Maybe it's some sort of gypsy curse?  Kind of like lycanthropy, but instead of getting hairy and howling at the moon you get the sudden urge to hump something fluffy?

Perhaps someone should clue him in to the whole Furries community.  There's a whole lot of people out there who'd like nothing more than to dress up like a teddy bear (and other miscellaneous furred creatures) and get funky.  He might actually get to have sex with a human being, and think of all the innocent stuffed animals that'd be saved the trauma!

Generally speaking, I'm very much a live-and-let-live kind of gal, but even I have my limits!  He can do what he wants to himself, but to abuse a poor defenceless stuffed animal like that!  What about the teddy bears!  Will nobody think of the teddy bears!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Real gods, false gods, sex gods...

There are two things which they all say you should never talk about in polite company, religion and politics.  Well, I took the step and discussed politics a few entries ago, so how about we just go the whole hog and have a whack at religion while we're at it, hmm?

I suppose I should start off this little round table pow-wow by stating for the record that I'm a Pagan.  Yep, that's right, I'm one of those unique little snowflakes that you see wandering around occasionally hugging trees and blathering on about the love of the Goddess (as opposed to the love of the Bloggess, which is a totally different thing).

It's a faith system that works for me.  I know it wouldn't work for everyone, but that's cool.  Not everyone is meant to believe the same thing.  That's why they call it belief, not fact.  But like most Pagans out there I've come across my fair share of people who take offence to my faith, although I've never been able to work out why something like what I believe in is such a big thing to other people that they actually make judgements about me because of it.

There's plenty of the little examples.  The people who avert their eyes when they work out what the star around your neck means.  The ones who are all friendly right up until something comes up to show you're a Pagan, and suddenly it's like an Arctic chill has settled.  The ones who, once they learn of your religion, make sure that no part of their body comes in contact with yours, like you could pass Paganism on like leprosy or something.

But those people are easy enough to deal with.  For the most part it's just a mixture of ignorance and discomfort.  Nine times out of ten they get over themselves after a bit and forget to be all standoffish. I think human nature takes over, and it's human nature to want to be friendly with people who are being friendly to you.

No, the ones who really scare the bejuzus out of me are the zealots.  People like the Westboro Baptist Church, who do reprehensible things like protest funerals and ludicrous things like protest geek conventions.  Seriously, who the hell protests a geek convention!  You're just giving us fuel to make fun of you, and there's nothing we like more than that!  Check out this video if you don't believe me.

Yeah, it was never going to work out well for the Westboro guys.  Geeks have a natural tendency towards the ridiculous.

I suppose the final lesson to take away is this.  I don't give a shit about your religion.  You can be Catholic, Mormon, Seventh Day Adventist, or even a freaking Pastafarian and I have absolutely no problem with that.  More power to you and let your freak flag fly!  In fact, if you're a Pastafarian, I salute you, sir or madam, and hope that your path crosses with many pirates (yeah, that's an in joke).

What I do have a problem with is if the lessons and morals taught by your church cause you to treat others with disrespect or distain based on nothing more than the fact that they don't have the same faith system as you.  I have a problem with people who use faith as a way to camouflage their bigotry and intolerance.  I have a problem with people who use something that is supposed to be a good thing, a moral guideline to make one's life better and more rich, as an excuse to treat others as somehow less than themselves.

I also have a problem with religious door knockers.  Seriously, if I wanted to get up at what-the-fuck o'clock in the morning to answer the door to someone trying to shove their faith down my throat I'd put up a sign or something!

But then I think we all have a problem with them, don't we.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The Vegemite Experiment...

Hello, my lovelies!  Two days have now passed since I suggested to you all that we embark on a journey of intellectual discovery ... otherwise known as me sending Vegemite to unsuspecting people from overseas so we can all enjoy their reactions!

Well, everyone needs a hobby.

I've gone through the names of those of you who expressed an interest in joining in, and after a very official selection process which involved a sheet of paper, a sharpie, a pair of safety scissors and a hat, I'm happy to announce that the following bloggers are the lucky guinea pigs ... I mean winners!

Just Keepin It Real, Folks!

Well, we'll see if they still see themselves as winners after they've tasted it.

Now, as a veteran Vegemite diner, I should probably give you three a few tips on the best way to eat Vegemite.  I tend to eat it either on toast with margarine, or fresh bread without margarine.  You'll want to spread it evenly, but not too thick.  That's a rookie mistake.  You can, if you insist, eat it on crackers, but I wouldn't recommend it.

Hopefully you'll all share your experience with us (after all, that's the point of all this), and if you want to include photos or even a video, none of us will protest!

Okay then, if the three of you would be so kind as to send me your postal addresses to delightfullyludicrous@gmail.com, I'll get this Vegemite sent off to you!

Thank you, you brave souls!  We all appreciate the sacrifice you're making.

Monday, July 2, 2012

No business like show business...

Everyone's happy in a musical ...
and perfectly choreographed!
Today I decided to have a bit of a bludge and spent the day on the couch watching old musicals.  Yeah, my life is just that exciting.  But it was cold and I didn't want to leave the warmth of the heater and if I decided to go out I'd have to do my hair and put make-up on and, you know, actually change out of my pyjamas, so I'm going to say I made the right choice.

I do love a good musical, though.  Singing In The Rain, Brigadoon, On The Town, all those old 1950's romantic movies with tons of singing and dancing in them.  They just don't make them like that anymore.  So I sat curled up on my couch, wrapped in a doona, and watched as pretty girls in twirly dresses sang and danced with debonair guys in very tight pants.

Seriously, have you ever noticed that?  All the male dancers back then wore their pants so tight!  What with all the jumping around and raised body temperature, I don't even want to think about what that meant for their sperm count!

But after watching so many of them, I'm pretty sure I have a good idea of what life was like back in the 1950's for an average girl.  Yep, you could drop me cold into the middle of small town America in 1955 and I'm sure I could muddle my way through based on what I've absorbed.  And because I'm kind, I've decided to tell you all what I've learned.

So sit up straight, take notes, pay attention, and there may be a test later.
Just your common or garden
variety small town girl.

1.  All small town girls want to be famous.  No, seriously all of them.  They can all sing and dance like pros, despite the fact that they live out the back of nowhere, and they all look like pin-up models.

Every bus out of every tiny one horse town is crammed to the roof with teenaged girls on their way to stardom on stage and screen, and no one seems to doubt for a minute that they'll be famous within a fortnight.  Going away parties and pep rallies seem to be the norm to wish the soon-to-be-famous young lady Bon Voyage ... which, you know, no pressure or anything.  

2.  When a girl gets to Broadway/Hollywood/Wherever, she will invariable meet a nice, paternal, non-sexually threatening gentleman who will help ease her way and act as an advocate in any situation without seeming to get anything out of it.  He won't swindle her for every last cent she has or try the "casting couch" on her.  Nine times out of ten, that gentleman will be Donald O'Connor.  

Is this a trustworthy face
or what!
As far as I can tell, although it's not made clear, this gentleman seems to be completely asexual ... or maybe a eunuch ... either way, she'll be completely safe in his non-sexual hands until someone comes along to sweep her off her feet.

3.  If a girl meets a gentleman who she takes an instant dislike to, but who doesn't come across as creepy, then in all likelihood this gentleman will turn out to be someone she'll be romantically linked to in about twenty minutes.  If she yells at him, then she'll probably end up marrying him.  If she slaps him, you might even get to see the wedding by the end of the movie!

Evidence would indicate that mating rituals back in the 50's were rather violent.

4.  There will come a point when a girl will start to doubt her own talent and decide to give up her bright light and big city dreams.  Maybe she gets screwed over by a colleague, maybe she doesn't become a household name the first day as she'd been led to believe she would, maybe  Mr Oh-So-Cranky-Cut-The-UST-With-A-Knife is mean to her and she feels the need to run home weeping.

But a convenient plot twist will appear at the last minute, usually in the form of a big important show where she has to step in at the last minute and take over for the star.  This seems to happen a lot, so I'm going to assume that this is the way most people get their big break in show business.  This will result in the acknowledgement and adoration of everyone, including anyone who doubted her before.  There may even be a marching band!

5.  No matter how famous a girl gets, the ultimate symbol of her success will be finding a husband.  If that husband can also sing and dance, all the better.

Life was a lot easier back in the 50's, wasn't it.