Tuesday, October 30, 2012

I think my country is trying to kill me...

Okay, now I'm really starting to get a complex.

I've always known that Australia was a dangerous place to live.  This place just seems to be jam packed with beasties that want nothing more than to cut a bitch.  We've got crocodiles, sharks, dingoes ... and don't even get me started on koalas ... any of which would cheerfully end you as soon as look at you.  And possums!  Those little buggers are vicious, don't let their furry little faces fool you.

We've got eight of the ten most poisonous snakes in the world.  Eight out of ten!  And the spiders!  Seriously, just the idea of being bitten by a funnel web is enough to scare the bejezus out of me.

And don't even get me started on our oceans.  We've got box jellyfish which can kill you from the pain of their sting alone, blue ringed octopus which is only the size of a golf ball but is the most poisonous sea creature in the world, the stone fish which looks like a freaking stone so you don't even notice it until you've already stood on it and then bam, too late, and of course the old classic, the shark.

It's kind of a miracle that any of us make it into adulthood!

Sorry, I know I'm ranting.  It's just that my next door neighbour told me today that he saw a brown snake in our shared front yard.

The second most poisonous land snake in the world ... in my front yard ... where I walk every day to get to my car.

Welp, I guess I'm never leaving the house again.

I'm probably overreacting.  It's entirely possible it was a less poisonous snake and my neighbour was just mistaken, and even if he wasn't the snake apparently went into the next door's yard as he watched so maybe it was just "passing through".  Still, I guess I'll have to make sure I'm a little more careful from now on.

Good thing I spend practically no time outside.

I suppose I should be used to it by now, this is Australia after all.  Living here, you kind of learn to just accept the sheer dangerousness of everything around you as a given.  You kind of just accept that from time to time you'll be sharing your yard (if you're lucky) or your house (if you're unlucky) with something that can kill you.

I remember reading a great article written by Douglas Adams where he describes Australia and it's many dangers (and talks about how nice we are ... aw shucks, Doug, t'wern't nothin').  He goes on and on about the deadliness of our animals, the importance of checking inside one's shoes for trespassers, and the usefulness of a big stick.  The whole thing pretty much sums us up as a nation.

Go have a read of it, it's well worth the giggle.

As for the snake ... if he does come back I expect the possums will take care of him.  Like I said, those buggers are terrifying!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

I went to battle and emerged victorious...

Today I'm feeling particularly accomplished.

I've never been what you would call a handy person.  I can't build things, I have absolutely no patience when it comes to reading instructions, and for many years my tool box held only a butter knife and a meat mallet, both of which worked just fine as substitute screwdriver and hammer, thank you very much.

But this weekend I managed to put together, all by myself, not one, not two, not three, but FOUR flat pack items.

You see, last weekend I went shopping for a new couch, something I'd been needing for a while, and in true Kelliesque fashion I ended up buying a couch, a fridge, a set of drawers, two entertainment units and two side cabinets.

And this, my friends, is why I try to minimise my shopping adventures to once every few years.

Through some smooth talking and a touch of intimidation, I managed to convince all of the places I bought them from to deliver on the same day (a small miracle when it comes to delivery guys, let me tell you), but there was something I hadn't realised when I'd placed my order.  The entertainment units and the side cabinets didn't come assembled.

Oh crap.

So when the guy delivered them to me in four nicely packed boxes, I have to admit I had a bit of a meltdown.  How the hell was I supposed to put them together?  I'm not one of those people who can do things like that!  That's what handymen and male relatives are for!

But I didn't have either on hand right then, and I really REALLY wanted to finish putting all the furniture in place, so I gave myself a good shake and approach it logically.  Surely if I just pulled out the instructions and followed them step by step I'd be fine.  I'm a grown up, I should be able to do things like putting together furniture.

And I did!  I inserted screws into holes, hammered plugs into gaps, and wielded an allen key like I was a freaking pro!  I assembled the hell out of those cabinets!

I'm so proud of myself I can barely stand it!

Now if only these newly discovered skills would translate to things like replacing washers and unblocking drains ... oh well, I guess you can't have everything.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Kellie's house of feminine ill repute...

Ladies, the time has finally come.  The time for us to stand up and DEMAND equality with our masculine counterparts.  No one's going to give it to us, girls, we have to take it for ourselves.

Men get strip clubs, brothels, gentlemen's clubs, but what do we get?  Hmm?

The Chippendales, that's what!

It's a poor substitute for what we really need, isn't it.  So, in the interests of fair play, I've decided to open up my own "Ladies Club", providing the sort of companionship that we really want.

Why don't you take a look at the escorts available and see if any of them strike your fancy?

First we have Matthew.  Matthew is kind, considerate, and will always notice when you have a new hairstyle or are wearing a new outfit.  His favourite thing is to go shopping, not to buy things for himself but to carry bags for someone else.  His response to "Does this make me look fat?" will always be an instant and unequivocal no, and he would never dream of saying that a someone owned too many pairs of shoes. 
Next up is Dan.  Dan likes to talk about his feelings, sometimes for hours.  He loves to lie there, spooning, while trying to find just the right words to explain just how much he cares.  He's an expert in playing footsie, and has an advanced degree in snuggling. 
Then we have John.  If you're a sucker for spontaneous displays of romance, then John's the one for you.  He specialises in having flowers delivered for no particular reason, sneaking love notes into carefully prepared lunches, and planning spur of the moment weekend getaways.  His spontaneous serenades are world renown.   
And finally, we have Rick.  Being the strong, silent type, Rick will stare lovingly into your eyes for hours, communing with your soul.  He's one for actions over words, so his devotion and dedication will be shown through the medium of classy handmade furniture and carefully prepared gourmet meals.  He's a man of few words, but he could write an essay with his eyebrows. 
Any of these fellows could be all yours for the evening, ladies, for a modest fee.  Just come on in to Kellie's House Of Femininte Ill Repute, where we give you what you REALLY want. 

Yep, this is what I'm going to do.  I'm pretty sure I'll make a fortune!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Nothing to fear but fear itself ... what a load of bullshit...

I really don't know why they call them irrational fears.  As far as I can tell, most of them are perfectly rational.

A fear of heights?  Ask anyone who's fallen a significant distance whether that one is irrational!  Hell, ask anyone who's fallen down the stairs even!  That's not irrational, it's completely sensible.

A fear of death?  I don't see anything irrational about that one either.  We don't know what comes after death, so of course it's scary.  Anyone who says otherwise is just lying, or very very good at fooling themselves.

A fear of clowns?  Well, I think that one speaks for itself...

But some of us have fears which are a little more unusual than your typical fear of talking in public or dread of the dentist.  Take this woman for example.  Poor thing, she's been scarred since childhood, terrified of going near a toilet ever since she saw that scene in "Look Who's Talking 2" where the Mr Toilet Man wants the pee pee.  I suppose to a four year old it would be a horrifying prospect.

I feel for you, scaredy toilet woman.  I have a deep seated phobia that dates back to my childhood too.  I'm terrified of execution.

I know, it's kind of a weird one, especially given the fact that I live in a country that doesn't even HAVE execution, but it's true.  I've been scared of the idea of execution for years.  I can barely get through books that have it in them, and when there's a scene on TV or in a movie I end up huddled at the back of the couch, hugging myself and making weird little keening noises in the back of my throat.

Before you say that death isn't such an uncommon phobia, I should point out that it's not the death part that gets to me.  I can watch a movie with someone getting shot no problems at all.  But put a blindfold on them and make the shooter an executioner, and I have a melt down.

I always like to joke that maybe it's because I was executed in a past life, but I think the truth is probably much more prosaic than that.  Like the poor woman from the article, I too was scarred by television in my youth.

When I was about ten or eleven there was quite the uproar when a couple of Australians were executed in Malaysia for trafficking heroin.  Thanks to a combination of a sensitive temperament, an active imagination, and a television station showing rather graphic images (for a ten year old at least), I managed to freak myself the hell out.

And this, my friends, is why I will NEVER travel to Bali.

Of course I've heard of those places where they use fear immersion techniques to help you get over your fears, but I don't think they'd be a good idea for me.  If the only way to get over it is to have someone pretend to string me up or shove me in front of a firing squad, I think I'll pass.

But if anyone out there wants to help cure me of my fear of massages, chocolate and Jane Austen flicks, we'll I'm sure we could work something out.

Monday, October 22, 2012

It's only eccentric if you're rich enough...

I'm not bad off financially speaking, but no one is ever going to accuse me of being rich.  I make enough to pay my rent, my bills, and still have a little left over for shits and giggles, but I'm never going to make Forbes Billionaire List.  I've come to accept that about myself, I'm not someone who strives for more money.  It's just not part of my psychological make up.

But that doesn't stop me from daydreaming about it from time to time.

One thing I have worked out is that, should the ridiculously unlikely happen and I became rich, I'd have to become an eccentric ... well, more eccentric than I already am.  From what I can tell it's a prerequisite for people with that much money.  Look at Michael Jackson, Richard Branson, Howard Hughes, they all have two things in common.  One, they all have more money than god, and two, they're all madder than a box of cats.

I mean, take the Chief Executive of Abercrombie & Fitch, it seems he's taken the whole "eccentric rich guy" lesson to heart.  Apparently he makes all the male flight crew on his private jet wear a specially selected uniform, even going to far as to specify what sort of underwear they should wear and what colour gloves depending on whether they're fiddling with the silver or setting the table.

It got me to thinking though, if I had that sort of money, and a private jet full of cute guys to do my bidding, what would I be tempted to make them do just for my own amusement.

And of course, from there it was a short jump to me writing up a list, just in case.  You've got to be prepared, you never know when you're going to win the lotto or have a ridiculously rich long lost relative pop their clogs and leave you a small fortune.

So, here are the "Rules For Flight Crew On Kellie's Super Luxurious Jet".
  1. All crew members will address Kellie as My Lady at all times.  Other honorifics, such as Majesty, Eminence or "That stuck up bitch" will not be allowed. 
  2. All crew members will arrive at work wearing the approved uniform.  This uniform consists of a wife beater, a pair of lederhosen, a tulle tutu, a pair of fairy wings, and sensible shoes. 
  3. Should a member of the crew need to speak directly to Kellie, they will do so only in the form of haiku.  Sonnets will be accepted if necessary, but under no circumstances will limericks be allowed. 
  4. Crew members are not to make direct eye contact with Kellie, but are encouraged to give her a hug whenever they'd like. 
  5. Should the wifi become unavailable during the course of the flight, all crew members will be expected to entertain Kellie until it is available again.  Entertainment may take the form of stories, songs, or re-enactments of famous Napoleonic battles.  Please ensure you have all necessary props and costumes prior to take off. 
  6. Kellie should only be served water that has been collected from the dew on a Tibetan mountain top by blind monks who've taken a vow of silence.  Yes, she WILL notice if you just crack open an Evian.
  7. If Kellie decides to sleep during the flight, no fewer than two crew members must remain in attendance, humming her a lullaby and playing with her hair.
  8. All crew members are reminded that, while it isn't mandatory, participation in the strip Monopoly game is strongly recommended.

Yep, that should do for now.  I can add to them later, once I really am rich and have a plane full of hot guys to boss around, just like our friend from Abercrombie & Fitch.

Hmm, maybe I should start on a list for my house staff too ... just to be safe.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Eighty three percent of statistics are made up on the spot...

I think that it was quite prophetic that in my last entry I was bemoaning the evil, manipulative ways of statistics, as I just found out that today is World Statistics Day.  Happy World Statistics Day!!!

Okay, so in actual fact it's not World Statistics Day, apparently it's far too boring of a holiday to have every year so they decided that celebrating it once every five years would be more than enough.  The next one is due in 2015.  Damn you, statistics!  You're still making a fool of me!

But in recognition of the second anniversary of the last World Statistics Day (Shut up! I can celebrate it if I want to!  You're not the boss of me!) I've decided to regale you all with some fun statistical facts.  And of course by facts, I mean complete fabrications.

-  A ten gallon hat can only hold three quarts.
-  There's a 50% chance that your lost remote is behind the couch cushion, but only 4% chance it's in the fridge. 
-  A pig's orgasm lasts for 30 minutes. 
-  2% of American adults think that Mitt Romney's real first name is "Mittens". 
-  The furthest you can see with the naked eye is 2.4 million light years.
-  People who have accidents on Friday the 13th are 53% more likely to end up in hospital. 
-  There are, on average, thirteen vending machine related deaths each year. 
-  You can burn 1,560 calories by kissing for an hour. 
-  Every year 8,800 people suffer toothpick related injuries. 
-  Two in five people marry their first love.
-  Only 30% of people can flare their nostrils
There you go!  A few statistics in honour of the day.  Of course, I give no guarantee that these are true in any way, shape or form ... but hell, that's never stopped anyone from believing weird things before.

So what's the weirdest statistic you've ever heard?

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Evil monkey bars of death, destruction and kicked puppies...

I think it's finally happening.  I've seen the warning signs for a while now, a fondness for antique shows, a tendency to scold drivers who go even a kilometre over the speed limit, a desire to say things like "When I was young" and "Back in my day".  Yeah, I can't avoid the awful truth any longer.

I'm getting old.

But I think this really hit home when I was reading this article, an editorial written by a father whose darling daughter had broken her arm falling off the monkey bars.  Of course, as you'd expect in this day and age, the article was mostly about whether monkey bars were tools of Satan, sent to us to break our children's bones and traumatise those who can't make it all the way across by making them feel inferior to all their little playmates.

Okay, fine, maybe that second bit is just me over identifying.  Bloody monkey bars, I never could navigate them.

So even though I'd have expect my response to be agreement, if only in retribution for the indignities suffered in my youth, there was something about the whole article that just irked me for some reason. Was it that I was turning into one of those people who is constantly bemoaning today's cotton wool generation?

No, that wasn't it.  In fact, when I considered it carefully I realised I had absolutely no opinion on monkey bars and the danger therein.  That's not what was getting stuck in my craw.

It was the math.

My father told me once that you shouldn't trust statistics because they're god damned liars.  Okay, he didn't use that exact phrase, but that's what he meant.  Statistics are the most useful, and the most useless form of mathematics out there.  You can make them say pretty much anything you want them to, if you know how to present them right.

And that's exactly what this fellow did.

In it he said that he asked a doctor at a children's hospital how many kids break their bones falling from monkey bars, and was given the answer of 15 to 20%.  Now, at first glance that seems like a ridiculously high percentage.  If that many kids are hurting themselves on those tools of the devil, then why don't we rip them out post haste?

But that's the thing, it wasn't 15 to 20% of kids, it was 15 to 20% of kids who break a bone do it on monkey bars.  That's a whole other kettle of fish!  That could be as few as one kid out of a total of five broken bones, or as many as two hundred out of a thousand.  The point is, we don't know because he didn't bother getting that information!

I work in a finance position, and I spend a good proportion of my day working with statistics, so I know how easy it is to twist them one way or the other, and that's just what happened here.  The statistics were presented in a way that supported his argument, and no doubt resulted in hordes of parents all carrying pitchforks and torches, pulling down monkey bars with their bare hands.

So I guess that's the answer then.  It's not that I'm getting old, it's just that I'm a math geek who can't stand people manipulating stats for their own benefit.

Damn, I was looking forward to yelling at kids to get off my lawn.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Oh Ferris, you charming delinquent you...

I do love a good movie, and like most of us I have a soft spot for the classics.  Those well worn favourites that are so easy to pull out on a rainy Sunday afternoon and get lost in for a few hours.

But quite recently I took a closer look at some of my favourite "family friendly" flicks and noticed a bit of a disturbing trend.  Is it just me, or do a lot of them have pretty awful messages hidden inside their saccharin sweetness?  Don't believe me?  Well lets have a look at a few old chestnuts and see if they can stand up to the Kellie Morality Test!

Sleeping Beauty

I can hear you all now saying "Oh come on, you've already trashed this one!  Give the old girl a break!"  And you're right, I have had a go at dear old Sleeping Beauty and the less than stellar gender equality lessons contained therein, but cool your jets!  I'm not going to rag on Beauty this time.

Oh no, my bone to pick is with the Prince.  Okay, I'm going to put this as bluntly and as succinctly as possible.  It is NOT okay to go up to a sleeping girl, especially one you barely know, and kiss her.  This is not romantic, it's sexual assault.


I think I was about five the first time I ever watched this one.  Of course, all the more questionable teenage angst stuff went straight over my head at the time, but there was one message that I definitely understood which I wouldn't want taught to anyone!  Simply put?  If you want the boy or girl you like to like you back, then change everything about yourself.

Danny turns himself into a jock to please Sandy, and Sandy turns herself into a skanky ho to please Danny.  Sure, it's all sweetness and light the way they portray it, but lets be honest here, that's what they're selling.

Oh, and also that smoking is sexy ... apparently.

The Princess Bride

I do love this one, but if I'm going to be completely honest here I have to grudgingly admit that it fits into the category of "bad message movie".  And that message seems to be that if you act like a spoilt, unpleasant bitch, the boy you're treating worse than a red headed stepchild will fall in love with you.

Yeah, that's going to be a bit of a shock when you try that particular method out in the real world.  Generally speaking, if you act like a bitch to a boy, they're just going to get the hell away from you as quickly as they can.

Ferris Bueller's Day Off

God I love this movie, but lets be honest ... if someone you knew did all the things that Ferris did he'd probably get suspended from school, grounded, and possibly even arrested.  Sure he came across as the charismatic hero, all suave smiles and endearing "carpe diem" attitude, but what he really was, once you strip all the charm away, was a little schmuck.

He chucked a sickie, convinced his best friend to let him steal his father's car, snuck his girlfriend out of school, and then drove them all in said stolen car into the city.  If you saw that on a rap sheet, you'd be bemoaning the state of today's youth and advocating for bringing back corporal punishment in schools!

But because he's relatively good looking and oozes charm like freaking Cary Grant, he got away with it.

So, what about you guys?  Any movies out there that you absolutely love but when you think too hard about their messages they make you cringe?

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Zoological theft on the rise ...

I love a good prank as much as the next person, as I'm sure you all could tell from my amusement at the whole money pig incident, but I have to draw the line at this one.  Apparently a couple of women recently snuck into a San Diego petting zoo and stole, of all things, a goat.

Seriously, girls?  A goat?  Shame on you!  And then all you did was paint its hooves with nail polish before sneaking it back in again?  It's just juvenile.  What if it didn't want it's hooves painted?  What if it's now confused about it's gender identity, all because you thought it'd look better with a dash of Barely Pink?

I know it sounds like I'm mad at you both, but I'm not.  I'm not angry, I'm just disappointed.

You're both capable of stealing an animal a lot larger and much more dangerous than that.

I mean, look at the guys who stole the crocodile from Rockhampton Botanical Gardens a few years back!  Now THEY weren't limiting themselves to the cute, cuddly, friendly animal.  Oh, no, they put themselves out there, pushed their boundaries, scaled a two and a half metre chain fence and then manhandled a one metre fresh water crocodile back over it and out of the park!

Of course, they tried to steal a koala first, but gave it up as a bad job when it turned out to be far too vicious.  See, I was right about those little buggers!  Turns out that when you have  a choice between a koala and a crocodile, you should go with the croc.

You're just not living up to your potential, girls.  You could have tried to steal a bear, or a wildcat, or any number of other bloodthirsty, vicious animals, but you chose the cuddly little goat that, by all reports, would go with anyone who was willing to give it a chin scratch.

Man up, girls.  Go big or go home.

Friday, October 12, 2012

It's not for the novice, that's for damned sure...

So on the weekend I decided to introduce a friend of mine, let's call him Bob for privacy sake, to the delight that is Star Trek Voyager by having a bit of a marathon.

Yeah, that probably wasn't the best idea.

Bob:  So that chick with the really red hair... 
Me:  Captain Janeway. 
Bob:  Yeah, her.  She's the captain of The Voyager? 
Me:  Not The Voyager, it's just Voyager.   
Bob:  Huh ... but they say The Enterprise... 
Me:  True, but it's just Voyager.  No "the". 
Bob:  Okay ... and the guy with the pointy ears? 
Me:  That's Tuvok.  He's a Vulcan. 
Bob:  I see ... and who's the guy standing next to him?
Me:  That's Neelix.  He's the ship's Morale Officer and the cook. 
Bob:  Oh ... that explains the chef hat.  Is he a Vulcan too? 
Me:  No, he's a Talaxian!  Dude ... he's furry, with spots, and about four feet tall!  What about that made you think he's a Vulcan? 
Bob:  Well their names sound kind of similar. 
Me:  So because they have similar sounding names they have to be from the same planet?  That's speciesist! 
Bob:  Okay, calm down crazy lady!  Jeez, you take this stuff pretty seriously, don't you! 
Me:  Damn right I do! 
Bob:  Okaaaaay  ... what about that dark haired guy with the tattoo on his face?  What species is he? 
Me:  Human. 
Bob:  But ... what's the pattern on his face then? 
Me:  A tattoo. 
Bob:  *muttering* of course it it. 
Me:  This isn't working is it.  I'm not going to be able to convert you am I. 
Bob:  No, I don't think so ... 
Me:  ... 
Bob: ... 
Me:  So, Doctor Who then? 
Bob:  Bring on the Weeping Angels!

So it turns out that Star Trek Voyager is not for the amateurs, alas.  I guess some people just aren't up to handling its awesomeness.

Don't worry though, Bob, we'll always have the Weeping Angels.  

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The happiest place on earth, especially if you've just lost your job...

My new home.
Anyone who lives where I do knows that job security has become a wee bit of an issue lately.  I'm not going to go into the politics and the grandstanding and the nitty gritty details of it all, if you're interested you can read all about it for yourselves.  But it suffices to say that, like most of my compatriots, I've considered options and contingency plans in case the worst should happen.

But of all the possibilities I've checked out, I think I like this one best.

For those of you who can't be assed to go read the article, I'll give you the cliff notes.  A couple of friends who both lost their jobs last year came up with the perfect plan to get new ones.  Did it involve interviews?  Retraining?  A deal with the devil?  No, their plan was to spend the year at Disneyland.

Best!  Plan!  Ever!

They each got an annual pass for their Christmas gift, then decided that, Murphy's Law being what it was, if they had a pact to spend every day for a year in the happiest place on earth then a job would crop up to spoil their lovely plans.  Awesome!  This is definitely my kind of logic, I'm totally on board!

I may be a little fuzzy on the details, but I'm going to go with the assumption that if I'm willing to buy an annual pass for around $650 I can pretty much live at Disneyland for an entire year.  There's a castle there, right?  I'll just move in there.  I'm going to assume that it comes equipped with a full compliment of staff.  I hope the cook is competent.

But in all seriousness, the plan is genius!  It's just a shame I'd never be able to do it.  After thinking long and hard, I came to the realisation that there isn't a single place in my city, or perhaps even my country, where I'd willingly spend every single day for a whole year.

Australia is a great place, and I'll scowl fiercely at anyone who says differently, but we just don't have anything of the magnitude of Disneyland.  Pretty much all of our theme parks, while being nice enough, really only have a couple of days in them, and I can't think of a single other attraction or location I'd point to and say was the equivalent.

Oh well, another great plan thwarted by living in a sparsely populated, albeit beautiful, country.  I suppose I'll have to take the more prosaic route of job hunting if I ever find myself out of work.  Oh Australia, why couldn't we have enormous tourist traps?  God knows we've got the space!

It's a damned good thing we've got Vegemite to make up for it, that's all I'll say.

Monday, October 8, 2012

An open letter: for the love of god, enough with the break up songs already...

Dear female singer who shall remain nameless,

Hi honey, how are you?  Everything going fine?  Good.  I know you're probably wondering why you're getting a letter from me, after all I don't exactly fit into the 14-21 age range that makes up most of your demographic.  But I just heard the song you released a couple of months ago and, I have to say, I'm starting to get a bit worried.

I'm not going to name you, you know who you are *coughtaylorswiftcough* but I couldn't in good conscience let it go without saying something.  Sweetie, this has to stop!

I know you're probably still feeling a bit raw about the latest break up, and god knows we all know the dirty details thanks to that song, but I just wanted to make a suggestion.  How many ex's do you have now?  Nine?  Ten?  And you're what, twenty two?  And every time you break up with one of them, you write a song or two about what a bastard they are.

Now I'm not saying you shouldn't vent your spleen lyrically, I'm just suggesting that there might be a bit of a trend developing here.

Look, we've all been there.  A boy breaks up with you, you get angry, you bitch him out to your friends, your friends get you wasted off your face on daiquiris.  Maybe you drunk dial him.  But writing chart topping songs about all your dirty laundry?  Well, that's just drawing attention to the fact that yet again you've had some guy leave you in less than amicable circumstances.

I hate to say it sweetie, but I think it's time for some tough love.  There's only one common factor in all of this, you.  Perhaps you need to write fewer songs about how your ex boyfriends are all bastards and take a long, hard look at your choices.  Cause I have to say, I'm not sure how many more of those angry/depressed break up songs the public can take before they start to wonder if maybe you're the problem.

Just putting it out there.

Love Kellie

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Women in the workplace ... whatever next...

Hello students!  Professor Kellie here, and today's Convoluted History Class will be entitled "Gals in the Workplace; or, you just sit down sweet cheeks while the big boys do the real work".

For those who read Mass Transportation (and who doesn't!), you may be familiar with their excellent 1943 publication on the topic called "Eleven Tips To Getting More Efficiency Out Of Women Employees".  This simple, common sense advice was aimed at male bosses who have been forced to hire women.  I know, I know, how dreadful!  Girls in the workplace, doing the work of men, taking wages away from deserving lads.  Whatever next!  Female doctors?  Lawyers?  A female Prime Minister?

I know you're all sitting there thinking that surely this is an isolated incident.  How many women could there really be in the workforce?  After all, we all know that women are entirely unsuited to working, unless it's in a job like nurse, beautician, or stripper.

But you'd be surprised at how many women have crept into all facets of the workforce over the years, and as employers you need to know how to handle the delicate little creatures.  I'm not going to go through all the tips with you, I'm sure you can all read them at your leisure, but lets look at a few of them together, shall we?

"Pick young married women.  They usually have more of a sense of responsibility than their unmarried sisters, they're less likely to be flirtatious, they need the work or they wouldn't be doing it, they still have the pep and interest to work hard and to deal with the public efficiently."

Oh those women, it's so hard for them to resist flirting with everything that moves!  Best only hire ones who are already hitched, they're less of a threat.  But heaven forbid, don't hire them if they're too old!  You may not want them getting up to a little hanky panky with the photocopy boy, but you need to have SOMETHING good to look at!

"General experience indicates that husky girls - those who are just a little on the heavy side - are more even tempered and efficient than their underweight sisters."

Very good advice, students!  We all know that a girl who's on the plump side will be much more even tempered, and therefore much less likely to take offence to anything you might do or say and haul off and hit you in the face ... like, for example, call her plump.

"Give the female employee a definite day-long schedule of duties so that they'll keep busy without bothering the management for instructions every few minutes.  Numerous properties say that women make excellent workers when they have their jobs cut out for them, but that they lack initiative in finding work themselves."

This is an important one to pay attention to.  After all, we all know that women, bless their dear little hearts, can't make decisions for themselves.  If you don't give them a solid schedule, mapping out every minute of their days, god only knows what you'll find them doing when you get back!  So give them a well planned daily itinerary and there's no way that they'll want to throttle you for micromanaging.

And this ends our class for today, students.  I hope you've all learned something about this very important topic.  Don't forget to study, there'll be a test later!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Phantasmaphiles stand tall ... or hide behind the couch, whichever works...

I learned a very important lesson last night.  It turns out that when you sit down at five pm and start watching a Paranormal State marathon, by the time you're finished at eight it'll be pitch black out ... and you won't have thought to turn the lights on ... and the cat will be wildly unhelpful when you ask her to get up and turn them on for you.

I do love a good ghost hunting show, and the more over the top the better.  The formula is always the same, a group of people who get together and investigate a supposedly haunted location, usually loaded up to the gills with high tech equipment.  Some of them lean towards the scientific explanations with lots of talk of EM readings and the like, while others go for more spiritual explanations and tend to focus on what psychics have to say.  But I don't care which angle they take, I love them all!

Paranormal State isn't the best (that'd be Ghosthunters), and it certainly isn't the worst (Most Haunted, hands down), but it's a good, solid mix of science and psychics and they're not above drawing some pretty far fetched conclusions.  Hell, they'll actually link a death from miles away to their haunting just because the story is interesting and the photos look good.  Never let the facts get in the way of a good story, as they say!

But as much as I love them, it doesn't stop me from freaking out after watching a few episodes.  Suddenly ever creak of the floor boards, every rustle of the trees outside, every twitch of the cat's tail all signalled the arrival of some demon coming to drag me away.  I couldn't even bring myself to put my feet down off the couch in case some unseen boogie monster reached out from underneath and grabbed hold of me!

I'm well aware of the fact that there's no ghostly activity in my place (it's a bit of a dead zone as far as ghosts go), but it was a little hard to convince myself of that when I'd just finished watching a bunch of investigators running around in huge manor houses, getting tapped on the shoulder all over the place, and recording EVP like it was going out of style. By the end of the three hours I was ready to hide under my doona with my stuffed dog ... if only I could make myself get off the couch!

It ended up taking a liberal dose of Disney (I went with Tangled) before I felt up to tackling the long walk to the light switch, and I'm happy to report no ghosties or ghoulies got me on the way.

At least not this time.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Well this is one way to discourage teenage drinking...

I think most of us did our fair share of drunken carousing in our misspent youths.  I know I certainly did.  Cocktail parties, as we so elegantly called them, weren't regular occurrences in my social circle, but when we did decide to have one we went all out.  Forget beer or wine, we went for lots of different types of spirits in lots of different combinations.  Many of those evenings are still a blur to me, but they involved various permutations of drinking games, shot competitions, skinny dipping, cigar smoking, very bad dancing, and karaoke.

Ah, the good old days.

But no matter what we may or may not have done during our evenings of indulgence, I don't think we would ever have considered doing what this guy did.  Holy mackinoly, it lends new meaning to the Aussie drinking salutation "Up Your Bum".

This takes the drunken college lifestyle to a new level.  I know plenty of students who were willing to destroy their livers in pursuit of the ultimate University experience, but I don't know any that would be willing to submit themselves to an alcohol enema.  Now THAT'S dedication!

Of course, it's dedication that I'm sure this bloke is regretting.  All it got him was a trip to the emergency room and the media chasing him for a quote.  Of course it will eventually blow over, but with the internet being the way it is it'll never go away, not really.  Jeez, how awful would it be to forever be remembered as that guy who poured alcohol up his bum.

Of course, it's not exactly a new idea.  I know there was a woman a few years back who was cleared of murder charges after she gave her husband an alcohol enema and he died.  And the Maya (yep, those kooky Mesoamericans who thought the world would end this year) used to use alcohol and drug enemas as part of their religious rites. There's even a very famous figurine showing an Ancient Maya fellow giving himself a "religious" enema.

I remember when they showed us this one in my Ancient Maya class at Uni, it made me giggle for days.  He just seems so happy about it!

Still, the kid was okay in the end, no one died, and everyone learned a very important lesson.  The College learned that students will do almost anything to get drunk, the kid learned that he should be careful about what he lets people put in his backside, and the fraternity members learned that when you give someone an enema, be it alcohol or otherwise, eventually the recipient will have to expel it and drunk people generally don't have the best control.

And me?  Well, I learned that expressions like "butt-chugging" can make me fall of the couch in fits of laughter.