Saturday, August 31, 2013

I hope my neighbour realises I wasn't hitting on him...

The other day my neighbour came to my door to ask me something.  It wasn't anything particularly interesting or worth noting here, just your run of the mill neighbourly conversation.  The only reason I'm even bringing it up is because, when he thanked me, I replied with "Oh honey, that's fine".

Yep, I've become that person.

I've become the woman who calls passing acquaintances "honey".  You all know the type I'm talking about, they grate on you with their overly familiar terms of endearment and vaguely patronising manner, while you just know the only reason they're calling you that is either because they've forgotten what your name actually is, or because they want to impress on you just how young, naive and stupid you are.

It's the female version of when a guy calls someone "pal" or "buddy"

 Poor bloke, he didn't seem offended by my slip of the tongue, but I could tell he was a bit taken aback.  Did he think I was being condescending?  Or worse, hitting on him?  He was nice enough to just ignore it, and its not like we're the sort of neighbours who are in and out of each other's houses, so I suppose it's not really an issue.  It'll blow over, and next time I'll just have to try and restrain myself from calling him "darling" or something equally embarrassing.

When I really thought about it though, I realised this isn't a new development.  I've been calling friends pet names for years.  A "dear" here, a "sweetheart" there, it all seems so innocent until you find yourself talking to the guy at the service station like he's your husband.

I did think about stopping, quitting cold turkey, but if I'm being completely honest I'm not sure I really want to stop.  There's something nice about using those terms with the people you love to bits, especially when they don't even blink at it, they just say one back at you.

Maybe I just need to stop fighting the inevitable.  I'm an endearment user, and the sooner I accept that the better.

So if you ever meet me and I call you "honey", just go with it. I promise I'm not coming on to you.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Ah slut-shaming, you rear your ugly head once again...

I have lots of opinions.  Some of them are conservative, some rather liberal, all of them pretty strong. I believe what I believe, I know what I know, and while I don't necessarily require other people to agree with me unquestioningly, I refuse to apologise for my own standpoint.

And having given that disclaimer, sit down my children, I'm going to learn you a thing.

[Continued here...]

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Who knew those Ivy Leaguers were so kinky...

As much as I hated the book, I have to admit I'm loving the trends that have developed as a result of the whole "Fifty Shades" phenomena.

People are reading smut on public transport, something I heartily endorse.  Sex shops are selling "Fifty Shades" inspired kits, full of ridiculously overpriced and utterly hilarious sexual aids like fur lined handcuffs and crappy faux leather collars.  Hell, the UK are even attributing the fact that they got out of the recession to sales of the book and the related sales of merchandise and sex toys!

This, my friends is what we call a sexual revolution.

So when I read about how Harvard University now has an officially endorsed BDSM club [link], I was wasn't really surprised.  Amused, but not really surprised.  It really was only a matter of time, wasn't it?  What with the current fascination with all things kinky, this was bound to happen eventually.

Although if I was betting on a university officially endorsing a kinky club for the first time, my money would have been on Oxford.  What with the Brits' proclivity towards secret societies and kinkiness in general I would have sworn that's be right up their alley.

I've watched almost every "Carry On" film that's every been made and I'm a Benny Hill fan from way back, I know what I'm talking about.

But in all seriousness, I do think it's a good thing.  If clubs like this can allow people with a particular interest to connect in a way that's safe and more about the community aspect than about the sex, then good for them!

Let your freak flags fly, you crazy cats!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Ooh ... little lower ... to the left ... yeah, that's the spot...

So imagine you're lying in bed when you her a noise down stairs.  You're alone in the house, so you know that whoever's down there shouldn't be.  The noises get closer and closer, the door opens, then someone silently slips into the bed beside you.

And starts to give you a back rub.

Yup, didn't see that one coming, did you!

But that's exactly what happened to a North Carolina woman when some bloke snuck into her room, crawled into her bed, and tried to give her a massage [link].

Ugh, just makes me shiver thinking about it.

Now I love a good massage.  There can never be too many back rubs in my humble opinion, and anyone who'd like to volunteer as my personal neck/back rubber can apply in the comments, but I just can't condone unsolicited middle-of-the-night neck back and shoulder fondling.  That's the sort of move a sexually awkward teen uses to hit on a girl ... the neck rub, not the crawling into bed in the middle of the night.

I remember back when I was in high school a boy did that to me.  I don't even remember why we were sitting in a position where it was possible for him to scoot up behind me and start kneading my shoulders, but he did and I just about jumped out of my skin!

Now days I'll let pretty much anyone give me a neck rub, I'm not at all discerning and, quite frankly, completely shameless.  But I was sixteen, and he surprised me.  Quite frankly, he's lucky I didn't elbow him in the face out of fright.

But I don't want to belittle what that woman must have gone through.  Whatever the guy's intentions were (and I can't imagine they were good), it must have been terrifying to wake up and find a stranger in bed with you, not knowing what he was going to do.  She must have assumed the worst, I know I would have.

Personally, I think she showed admirable restraint by not kicking him in the 'nads, but that's just my humble opinion.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

It's so important to plan ahead when deciding to undermine your siblings in your parent's will...

Most people who know me are well aware by now just how much I love morbid things.  The more macabre the better as far as I'm concerned!  So when SmashGirl over at SmashMosiacs [link] forwarded me a link saying that I just HAD to go look at it, I knew I was in for a treat.

And I was definitely right! [link] is website set up to work out just how many more times you'll get to see your parents before it's time for them to shuffle off this mortal coil.  Cheerful, huh?  You plug in how many times you see them a year, how old they are, and it works out how many more visits you can look forward to based on their average life expectancy.

Given that I try to see my parents at least once a week, but sometimes life gets in the way, I averaged it out to 40 times a year.  I plugged the figures in, the calculator did it's thing, and it spat out an estimate of 620.

Okay, that's not too bad.  That should give me more than enough opportunities to white-ant my brother out of the inheritance.  Make myself look good, slowly erode their faith in him.  You can't rush these things, so it's good to know I've got another six hundred plus opportunities to subtly make him look bad.

I'm kidding, I'm kidding!  Relax, I'm not going to try and con my brother out of his share of the inheritance.

I'm pretty sure Mum and Dad plan on spending everything before they die anyway.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

If I'd known how much money there was to be made in World of Warcraft, I wouldn't have suspended my account...

I was always lead to believe that gold farming in World Of Warcraft wasn't a particularly lucrative career.  Don't they always say that Chinese gold farmers make thirty cents an hour or something equally horrendous?

But it turns out there is a way to make a living from playing computer games after all ... although I wouldn't recommend converting said living into gold bullion and storing it in your house.  Really, you're just asking for robbers to come knocking.

Want to read more?  Head on over to and read this week's article [link]

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Why you should always read the fine print when trading in exotic animals...

Oh those crazy Chinese!  What will they do next!

Sorry, that was a little bit racist of me, wasn't it.  But in my defense, we've already established that I do that from time to time [link].  Mea culpa, and all that jazz.

But that in no way lessens the kookiness of today's story [link].  Apparently a zoo in the province of Henan is advertising the fact that they have an African lion on display.  Awesome!  It's always nice to be able to go to the zoo and see the truly exotic animals, isn't it.  I was always so disappointed as a child when I was told we were going to the zoo and all I'd end up seeing were a few goats and maybe a kangaroo (and  no, kangaroos are not exotic here, they're a dime a dozen).

So of course people flocked to the zoo to see their newest attraction.  And from all reports they were very impressed by what they saw, a majestic lion sunning itself in the enclosure.

At least, they were until the lion started barking.

Yep, it turns out that the so called African Lion was actually a Tibetan Mastiff that had been put in the enclosure, presumably because it's cheaper and easier than actually getting a lion.  And lets face it, the only other option is that the zoo owners were fooled into purchasing a puppy dog for their lion exhibit.

I suppose it's possible in this day and age to not be able to tell the difference between a lion and a dog ... not very likely, but possible.

It kind of reminds me of this taxidermied lion I read about once that's on display in Gripsholm's Castle in Sweden.  Apparently back in the 1700's the King of Sweden was given a lion and after it died he decided to have it stuffed, presumably to it could continue to terrorise the children of the land.

Well he was certainly successful in that.  It turns out that if you're going to have your dead lion stuffed, it's probably best not to give it to someone who's never actually seen a lion before.  Just look at the picture!  Horrifying!

Monday, August 19, 2013

It's a strange day indeed when you actually find a strait jacket cute...

I'm not a parent ... the closest I come to it is the occasional baby sitting stint for friends ... but for those of you out there who have managed to procreate I have a question.

Is it standard practice to put your kids in strait jackets?

Because a store in Brazil seems to think it is [link].  They're marketing a new range of toddler equipment called "control toys", which includes a teddy bear patterned strait jacket, a purple highchair with pink arm and leg shackles, and smiley face ball and chain with convenient ankle strap!

Hmm, well I suppose that's one way to make sure the kids don't mess up the house.

The kids in the pictures all look terrifyingly happy, even the one they've got strapped into the the disturbingly titled "Baby Trap Chair".  Colour me suspicious, but I don't think I've ever met a three year old that would have been happily and willingly shoved into a strait jacket, strapped to a chair or shackled to a giant grinning ball.

But then again, is it really any different to the kid leashes people sometimes use?   I recall my parents using them when I was a toddler, and I turned out okay.  I know there's a lot of criticism aimed at parents who use them, but I'm not sure I think it's a bad thing.  Is it really that different to making a child hold your hand?

But if we're being realistic I suppose we have to acknowledge that there's an enormous difference between hooking a curly plastic phone cord to the back of your kid's backpack and strapping a toddler's arms and legs to a chair.

Okay, okay, I'll admit it, they're not real products.  It was just a practical joke played by the store.  They set up the display and then recorded the reactions of the people who came in.  When the outraged shoppers picked up the boxes they found an advertising message on the back that said "There are better ways to discipline your child ... watch Super Nanny".

Well that's a bit harsh.  What could the kids have possibly done that would deserve having to watch Super Nanny?  That show is awful!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

It's not a good day unless I've been reduced to inconsolable tears by an imaginary person...

I read somewhere once that a child will laugh up to 400 times in a day, while an adult will be lucky to reach a dozen chuckles. Isn't that dreadful! We're going to have to do something about that.

Maybe some pictures of dead puppies. That should take care of those pesky laughing kids.

Calm down, I'm just kidding!  But if there's one bloke who doesn't lack for laughter in his life it's this guy [link].  I've heard of strokes causing neurological problems before, but to be left without the ability to feel sad?  To be endlessly cheerful and happy every single day?

Sounds almost too good to be true, doesn't it.

I'd have to imagine that it's not all it's cracked up to be though.  If you're happy all the time, does that mean you lose the ability to empathise with people's pain?  What happens if you lose someone you care for deeply, are you able to truly feel it?  Is an eternally good mood worth it if you lose a certain level of emotional depth?

You have to admit though, it's horrible that we seem to lose the ability to laugh after we reach adulthood.  When I sat down and really thought about it the other day, I realised that I can go whole days without laughing.   That's a pretty awful thing considering barely a day goes by without me bawling my eyes out.

Don't get worried, it's not from anything serious.  I just have a thing for sad, angsty stories.  I can't get enough of them!  Tales of unrequited love, emotional trauma and widespread tragedy are my thing.  Of course they have to have a happy ending, you can't really enjoy a good angstfest unless you know everything's going to turn out okay by the final chapter, but unless I burst into tears at least twice during the course of the story I consider it a wasted opportunity.

So, anyone got any good angsty story recommendations for me?  Bonus points if you can make me sob like a baby!  

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Apparently China thinks that death row inmates wear dresses so short you can almost see their hoo-hah...

Oh China ... can you really not tell the difference between a recording of a state sponsored execution and a porn film?

Apparently not.

Want to find out more?  Head on over to this week's article at [link].

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

You think vampire novels are angsty? Try reading young adult books from the 80's and 90's...

I remember back when I was a teenager I read a book called "The Face On The Milk Carton".  It was one of those typical angsty young adult novels that were so popular back in the 80's and 90's ... honestly I couldn't even begin to tell you how many books I read back then about kids with terminal illnesses or whose parents died ... but this one was about a teenager who finds out she was kidnapped as a toddler and left with a couple who believe they're her grandparents.

Then one day she sees her own face on a milk carton, feel compelled to call the number and find out if it's really her, and then all hell breaks loose.  She's forcibly removed from her grandparents house and made to go live with her real parents, the grandparents have to prove to the cops that they knew nothing about it and really did think she was their grandkiddy, and a generally awful time is had by all.

I remember, at the impressionable age of 15, just loving it!  It was so angsty, so melodramatic.  I got to be righteously indignant on behalf of the girl, feel bad for the parents, feel even worse for the grandparents, and generally twist myself up into emotional knots all the while knowing that it was completely implausible and probably would never happen.

Except that apparently it did happened to this poor guy [link].

For those who don't want to click on the link, the cliff notes version is that a guy who was kidnapped as a baby back in 1964 only to be returned to his parents about a year later, recently had a DNA test done that proves he's wasn't actually the kidnapped child.  The cops had done their best with matching the shape of his ears, bless their hearts, but I guess without the scientific options we have today it was never going to be a 100% guarantee.

I suppose he must have had an inkling about it, if he went to the trouble of having the DNA tests done, but I'd imagine it still came as a bit of a shock.  To find out you're not who you thought you were.  That you're not the child your parents thought they'd lost, then miraculously regained.

It does make me wonder how I'd handle it if I found out that I'm not who I thought I was.  Would I want to know who my parents really were, or would I decided that it didn't matter?

Still, that's not likely.  I've got my grandmother's hair, my father's feet, and my mother's inherited arthritic condition.  If it turned out I was actually a foundling dropped off on the doorstep one rainy night, that'd be one hell of a coincidence, don't you think?

Monday, August 12, 2013

The one wherein I actually use the expression "naughty bedroom fun time"...

I think I've been pretty blessed in this life with the friends I've got.  I've still got a good group of high school friends, as well as others I've gathered along the way.  I've collected more than I've lost, so I think that means I'm doing better than some.

But if there's one type of friend I highly recommend everyone get themselves one of, it's the "Telling Tales Of Sexual Misadventures" friend.

Those of you who already have one of these delightful creatures in your life will know exactly what I'm talking about.  This is the friend who calls you up at 10 pm and asks if you think she'll seem slutty if she goes and has drinks with a guy she met online half an hour ago.  She's the one who tells you, in vivid detail, all about the sexual prowess (or lack thereof) of the gentlemen callers she's entertained.

Of course this goes both ways.  She listens to your rambling stories about "naughty bedroom fun time" and listens with delight and only a little shock as you tell her all about that thing you tried with that guy on the weekend and how it made his toes curl and that she really should go buy herself one of those gloves with the...

Sorry, too much information?

But the point is that I'm lucky enough to have one of these friends.  Our whole "total disclosure" friendship really started when, one night while we were out having a few drinks and some rather nice Mexican food, she told me how she was having a hard time finding gentlemen friends since she'd moved to town.  She was used to the easy hook ups of Melbourne and Sydney, and the surprisingly prudish nature of Brisbane men baffled her.  How was she supposed to hook up if she couldn't even get them to talk to her in a club?

I was amazed.  Seriously?  Did people still meet in clubs?  Didn't she know that everyone meets up on the internet these days?

After asking a few questions it became clear that she wasn't looking for a relationship, just no strings sex, so I immediately signed her up to an adult dating website.  And I mean immediately, I was eating my burrito while I did it.  Five minutes later she was all set up with an online account at Adult Matchmaker and an anonymous email address.

That was the beginning of a bit of an adventure for my friend, who learned very quickly that the world of online casual dating can be full of thrills and delights, but also the odd weirdo.  It was great for me, the stories were hilarious!  So, naturally, I told her she needed to start a blog.

And that's just what she's done.  She's blogging over at "The Slinky Minx: Confessions of a Casual Dater" [link].  If you're interested in reading some stories from a woman who's just looking for commitment free fun but keeps getting more than she bargained for, then head on over and check her out.  Tell her I said hi!

Oh, and definitely go out and get yourself a "Telling Tales of Sexual Misadventure" friend!  Trust me, you'll thank me later.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Accidental Racism: an exercise in sticking one's foot in it...

Despite my sparkling personality, my impeccable manners and my 100% score on the latest Code Of Conduct training at work, even I find myself sticking my foot firmly into my mouth from time to time.

I am, as much as I hate to admit it, an accidental racist.

I know, hard to believe isn't it.  I'm such a model of appropriate behavior and political correctness that you'd be forgiven for assuming I never say anything that could possibly offend anyone.  But it's true.

I know I use the word gypped all the time, and I suppose anyone who was actually a Gypsy would be mortally offended by the insinuation.  The same with indian giver.  And I even found out the other day that the term peanut gallery has racist origins, referring to when black people had to sit at the back of the theatre.

I know, intellectually, that these are racist comments, but they're so common today that I just say them without thinking.

Bad Kellie!

I guess the question is when does an expression stop being racist and start being just part of our everyday language?  When I don't remember it's origin?  When no one remembers it's origin?  When there's no one left alive who can recall it being used to demean and insult?

The term hooligan, for example, originally referred to a drunk Irishman, or more specifically to a particular family of drunk Irishmen called the Hoolihans, but no one would consider that a racist expression.  Is it because it's further away historically speaking?  Or perhaps because the people it's referring to aren't still being discriminated against?

I suppose it doesn't matter, if someone finds a comment racist then I suppose that should be enough of a reason to not use it.

But I'm hardly the only one to suffer from this particular problem.  Take this song that I remember hearing some of my older relatives singing when I was a kid.

Go home to your mother
you little black bugger
you don't belong to me...

Awful, right?  Of course, when they sang it they were referring to flies that were buzzing around food on the dining table.  If they'd thought about what it was really referring to, they probably would have been mortified.

So what about you guys?  Any cases of accidental racism to share with the class?

Thursday, August 8, 2013

I did an archaeology degree, so where's my fedora and whip...

Did you guys know that I studied archaeology at University?

It's true.  I absolutely loved doing that course.  Getting to play with all the artifacts in the Uni museum, it was great!  So of course when I read about new archaeological discoveries I tend to get a bit excited.

And opinionated.

Take, for example, the group who think they've found a piece of the True Cross in a Turkish church.  Ho boy, do I have opinions on that one!  Want to read about them?  Head on over to [link] for my article this week!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Damn, it's the PMS fairy...

This week I haven't been the easiest person to be around.   At a risk of sounding cliched it's "that time of the month" and I was, as I am wont to do, miraculously transformed into "The Bitchiest Of Them All".

Consider this a formal apology to anyone I may have offended, yelled at, cried on, or tried to stab with a letter opener.

I have no idea how I can miss it, but it's the same story every month. It doesn't matter how moody I get, or unreasonable, or homicidal, I always end up putting it down to the general lunacy of the world around me. It's only once the madness is over that I realise my hormones may have had a tad to do with it.

When I was practically spitting with rage at the Post Office, I didn't have a clue. When I was jubilant at receiving a top score on Candy Crush, it never struck any warning notes. Finally, when rather than going across the street to get a drink I opted to burst into tears because the machine in the parking lot had run out, I realised that maybe it was me.

Okay, I'll admit it.  I'm an unreasonable shrew when I'm PMSing.  I'm bitchy and sarcastic and completely intolerant of the world around me.  I can totally see why people would get jack of me and wish me a very quick and painful demise.

But I've noticed that there's a distinct difference in the way women and men react to it.

A woman will think I'm being hard to get along with.  They may even tell me that.  In fact, I kind of rely on certain women I work on to warn me when I'm approaching "terminal bitchiness".  But not once to my recollection has a woman ever told me to suck it up or to get over it.  Women understand that you can control the beast, but you can't destroy it.

However, those are expressions I've heard from plenty of men in my time*.  And the most galling thing is it's not because it's not because they're offended or upset by my behavior or attitude.  No, it's because they see it as a weakness.

So, as a service to all women, I just need to make one thing clear.

Whatever you may think gentlemen, you don't know what it feels like.  No, you don't!  Until you've wanted to rip someone's throat out for drinking the last diet coke, had a nervous breakdown about the limescale in the bathroom, come within a hairs breadth of making out with a tub of rocky road ice cream, and burst into inconsolable tears at the laundromat because you ran out of twenty cent pieces for the detergent machine, all within the span of about two hours, you don't get it.

So lay off, unless you want to find out just how much I'm controlling myself.

* My apologies for the generalisation to all you sweethearts of the masculine persuasion who don't act that way.  I know that some of you are very understanding and patient.

Monday, August 5, 2013

I can actually feel my brain cells dying melodramatic little deaths...

I was reading a girl's magazine the other day, one where my birth year no longer features in the surveys, and I noticed something a little disturbing ... if you judged today's women by those magazines, apparently all we're interested in is "The Perfect Way to Pluck Your Eyebrows" or "Water Retention, The Undiscussed Curse".

It's official, we've finally figured out a way to bring the human race to a crashing halt. We tried large-scale disease and pestilence, pollution, and destruction of the ozone layer, but none of them seemed to stick. So, finally, we've come up with a new approach.

We're going to dumb ourselves to death.

Personally I think it's a conspiracy.  The powers that be are hoping that if they feed us this rubbish with no intellectual content our brain size will reduce, our IQ's will decrease, and eventually we won't be able to take care of ourselves.

It's just another form of natural selection. Survival of the fittest.

I suppose it could have it's advantages. Once all those intellectually deprived people have been "disposed of", we'll be left with a population of smart, worldly, well informed human beings who don't believe a person's ability to apply mascara while driving to work is an accurate way to measure their usefulness to society.

Oh, I can hear what you're thinking. "She was reading the magazine. Isn't she talking about herself?" But I was just reading it to see how stupid and useless it was. It's not like I was really buying it to see what the latest shades of eye shadow are.

Honestly, I wasn't!

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Ah yes, the homoerotic totem pole of hate, it's a classic...

Time for a little multiple choice quiz, kiddies.  Here's the scenario.

Your country recently passed a law to make gay marriage legal, but you're vehemently opposed.  Politically it's out of your hands now, and socially you're becoming more and more the minority with your opinion on the issue, but you still feel that you need to do something to show your opposition to the decision.  Do you...

  1. Write a strongly worded letter to your member of parliament, priest, and editor of the local newspaper?
  2. Threaten to boycott any organisation that seems to be in support of gay marriage? or
  3. Get together a group of your buff, good looking friends, hike up to a mountain top somewhere with a distinct "Sound Of Music" feel to it, strip down until all you're wearing is a teeny weeny little pair of pink shorts, and then climb all over each other in an attempt to hang an anti gay marriage flag from a rather phallic wooden pole?

I'll give you three guesses which one the French anti gay group La Manif Pour Tous went with ... and the first two guesses don't count [link].

That's right, a group of young French men were so outraged at the marriage equality law being passed back in May that they decided the best way to protest this grievous miscarriage of justice was to re-enact Brokeback Mountain ... if Brokeback Mountain was set in France and had a bunch of pink short-short clad extras frolicking around in the background.

Oh homophobic ideals and irrational fear, I wish I knew how to quit you.

Now I get as angry at homophobes as the next person ... and why are we still calling them homophobes when, to quote Morgan Freeman, they're not scared, they're assholes ... but I just couldn't work up my usual ire this time.  It was far too hilarious to get angry at.  These guys were some rainbow coloured beads and a Scissor Sisters CD away from it being French Mountaintop Mardi Gras up there!

Sorry dudes, but I think you might have missed your mark on this one.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Putting too many flowers on your dead daughter's grave? That's a fining...

The last place you'd expect to encounter bureaucracy is a cemetery, but it turns out that no place is sacred when it comes to Council revenue streams and what they will and won't fine someone for.

You can read more about it at my article this week at [link].