Sunday, August 26, 2012

How Twitter created an emotionally available car as candidate for Prime Minister

Language is a funny thing.

Don’t believe me?

Did you know that “To Guide” translates to “Rectum” in Latin? I didn’t know either until I was looking for a wanky Latin name for my training business.

Rectum Consulting; training everyone, one arsehole at a time.

Technology has made language even funnier.

I'm very prone to typing issyoooos. 

For example, “doe snot” really doesn’t belong in a letter to a client. (Depending on the client).

I wasn’t the only one who typed that, because these days Word helpfully autocorrects this to “does not”.

Thank dog there are no more letters containing this example of ruminant sinus infection escaping the world of word processing. Not by accident, anyway.

The lesson? Don’t ever, ever trust your spell checker.

It’ll let you invent a whole new type of superannuation fund, given half a chance. Just ask a fellow trainer who was victim of this very behaviour in a PowerPoint slide.

I don’t think I want to know the type of growth Pubic Sector Funds have had over the last ten years.


Instant messaging brings its own dangers. Like the day I typed “rubs his hands” because the person I was messaging said they were cold.

Except that the internetz stole the h and cruelly switched the order of the n and a.

“Rubs his nads” took that relationship to hysterical embarrassment a WHOLE NEW LEVEL.

Twitter has created some new words of its own.

Ah Twitter. I remember tweeting “I dream of suck a day”.


Snazbig, which should have been amazing. I think snazbig IS amazing and have been using it regularly. I encourage you to join me.

It’s also given me words like Fuckpants. That’s an awesome word. Always to be used as an expletive. Never a noun. Never. Ever. Ewww.

Last but not least is a wonderful example of autocorrect creating an entirely new direction of conversation THAT MAY CHANGE THE WORLD.

Mrs Woog had written about how devastated she was that her car was on its last legs. I told her she would learn to love again, but autocorrect on my phone changed it to learn to love Shaun again.

This took us on a lovely random wander through how great Shaun was, and how he would heal Mrs Woog’s emotional wounds. I said that Shaun should be Prime Minister.

Someone who follows Woogsy then chimed in asking who this Shaun guy was, and would he be better at it than the current people in charge of the government?

Thank you, Twitter and bad typing, for giving us the opportunity to CREATE AN EMOTIONALLY AVAILABLE  CAR THAT SHOULD BE PRIME MINISTER.

Fuckpants, I dream of suck a snazbig day!

What funny typos have you seen?

Sunday, August 12, 2012

A revelation that will change human history (AKA you and your spermatophore are going home alone)

Hold onto your hats everyone. This is a biggy.

I’ve just worked out the answer to one of the great questions of human existence.
I’m going to take a wild guess and say that most of you don’t know how a starfish eats. Or how cuttlefish mate.

So the marine biologists in my vast (cough) audience are yawning right now. But hang on! That’s not the big revelation.

You see, starfish are at a bit of a disadvantage when it comes to eating. They do have mouths, and they have stomachs (handy really). No that’s not the revelation either.
Starfish have mouths basically on their tummies. You know, the underside of their bodies. Where a lot of us mammals have a navel.

To eat, a starfish has to get on top of its food, extend its stomach out of its mouth, envelope its prey, wait for it to start to digest and then draw stomach back in, food included.
A vicious starfish waiting for a diver to mistake it for a stylish Fascinator
Which I think explains why, while there are many deep-sea creatures who like to put homo-sapiens on the menu, there are no man-eating starfish. I don’t know about you, but there’s no way I’m standing still, wearing a starfish as a hat, long enough for the little fucker to digest me.

I know, right? That’s a pretty BIG conclusion to come to. But that’s not the revelation either.
Now to cuttlefish. These deep-sea cephalopods are fairly smart*, but you could never call them romantic. To mate, the male inserts a packet of sperm into an opening near the female’s mouth. She then leisurely fertilises her eggs and hangs them from a suitable object and waits for them to mature.

Hey honey, why don’t you come back to my place where we can turn the lights down low… put on some jazz… and I can place my sack of sperm in the opening near your mouth so you can fertilise them and hang them from the clothes airer… yeah…
I’m busy tonight washing my mantle… you and your spermatophore are going home alone tonight.
Keep those sperm packets away from me, fella...

Interesting as it is, even the lack of romantic frisson in the sex life of a cuttlefish isn’t the revelation.
Between male cuttlefish aggressively displaying to their own reflections, (hey dude, keep your egg sacks away from my laydee…), female cuttlefish eyeing off the fixtures for a good place to hang an egg, and starfish chucking their stomachs all over the place…

It also proves that old adage that some things are best done in private.

* Google “cross-dressing cuttlefish” if you don’t believe me. Goes to show that smart wins over pretty even in marine biology.
What weird sea-life facts do you know?

Friday, August 10, 2012

My top ten dumb-arse moments of all time

I am astoundingly stupid. No, hear me out. Oh, no-one was arguing? Oh. Right. Moving along then…

I’m a frog who manages her own successful lily pad business. I’ve managed to raise a tadpole who can just about dress himself (OK yes that’s where the analogy-or-metaphor-or-whatever falls down. Bear with me). In most areas I have boringness adult frogdom down pat*.

Nevertheless, I do some amazingly, stupendously dumb shit on an astonishingly regular basis.

Since I seem to be an expert at humiliating myself, I thought I should share some of my experiences. For the greater good. (The things I do for you, so that you don’t have to. I deserve some kind of public service medal. Someone needs to get onto that).

And so, here, in no particular order, are my top ten** dumb-arse moments of all time***:

One – the butterfly incident (or how not to admire nature)

Last weekend I was saying bye to my good friend Karen after waking her up at an ungodly hour to pick up her boot. (See here for the reason for the boot).

Picture the moment: A beautiful clear sunny winter morning, with a light breeze blowing. I’m enjoying this short peek into the gorgeousness that spring will soon bring, once winter throws off its icy mantle.

Movement beyond Karen’s shoulder catches my eye. Be still, my heart – is it? Could it be? Yes it is! Spring’s first butterfly is over there near her garden tap, fluttering in brilliant black and scarlet majesty. I excitedly grab Karen’s elbow.

“Oh my god!” I cry, “Look at that butterfly!” My heart fills with wonder that such a large butterfly has come out so early in the season. The excitement is tinged with worry that it’s come out too soon, that Melbourne’s wintery conditions will kill it. Poor butterfly!
This is not the butterfly in question.
It doesn't have a piece of wire sticking out its arse for a start.

Then it’s tinged with something else as it occurs to me that the butterfly has been hovering around that tap for an awfully long time. Then it’s tinged with “oh good grief what a fuckwit I am” as I look at Karen’s face and realise IT’S A FAKE SOLAR POWERED BUTTERFLY ON A WIRE.

I swear I don’t need glasses. I was just a dickhead caught up in the majesty of the coming spring.

Two - Don’t throw your GPS out the window (or how not to wave goodbye)

After the Butterfly Incident, I attempted to drive away. I pulled out, and saw Karen waving to me. “Quick, wind down the window a bit so you can wave!” I thought.

I hit the down button on the electric window. The window started to open, and I popped my hand out to wave. The window, knowing I’m an all-or-nothing-kind-of-gal, decided not to stop with a couple of inches; it was going all the way.

No problem.

Except that the GPS was suction-cupped to the inside of the window. The window that was now going down and pushing the GPS inch-by-inch towards its ever-widening gap.

I spotted that the GPS was mounting a slow-motion bid for freedom and panicked. I hit the up button.

Which was fine.

Except that the window was determined to keep the “this chick never does anything in half-measures” motif going, and tried to close completely.

With my hand still out the window.

So this up-down-ouch-shit-there-goes-the-GPS-don’t-forget-to-wave-and-steer-the-car dance went on for several more seconds, as I drove at 2 kilometres an hour with tears of hysterical laughter rolling down my face. Thankfully there were no witnesses other cars on the road.

Three – the ultimate mouthwash (or how not to eat fish and chips)

I was sitting there happily scoffing fish and chips, being a slob. Eating in the lounge room, on the couch. Happy as a… well, frog on a lily pad. Assuming it’s a large lily pad with access to fish and chips. And lemonade. I digress.

There was I was, eating fish and chips. I had a bottle of lemonade on the floor next to me, for the occasional swig.

I like a bit of vinegar on my fish and chips, so I had a bottle of vinegar on the floor too.

You can see where this is going, can’t you?

Yes, I did, while distracted by the television, take an almighty swig of white vinegar instead of lemonade.

Bet you didn’t know that it takes four days to get the taste of vinegar out of your mouth after you drink a mouthful of it. See? Now you do. I do these things for YOU, you know.

Four – the lost phone moment (or how not to make notes)

This has happened to me a number of times now, and just proves that old adage that you can’t teach an old frog new tricks.

I’m on a phone call. I have an iPhone. I love my iPhone. I’m very attached to it. If frogs and phones could mate I’d be tapping that phone EVERY NIGHT.

While on the phone, I realise I need to grab my phone and make some notes in the Notes app. I love that app. If frog and apps could mate… you get the picture.

Right. Find the app.

Oh my DOG! Where’s my phone? (Frantic searching through Tardis handbag). I’ve lost my PHONE!!! (Palpitations, gnashing of teeth, wailing…)


It’s here. In my hand. Because I’m talking to someone and now I have to take notes and… where’s my phone… (RINSE AND REPEAT).

Yes I am.

I’ll build on this list of life’s potholes to avoid over the coming months.

You’re welcome.

* This is a lie. I APPEAR to have it down pat. Fake it till you make it, baby! (But that’s another blog post).

** Well-spotted. There aren’t ten dumb-arse moments. Yes. Hang in there; some more are no doubt lurking just around the corner… you know you can rely on me.

*** All time = so far. Let’s just call this a “living document”.


Saturday, August 4, 2012

Mental scarring, teleporting doctors and a two litre bottle of urine

I have a bone to pick with the medical profession. (Yes I know I seem to have a bone to pick with just about everyone and everything. I am the Queen of the Bone Pickers).

Why is it that, in this age of organ transplants, micro-surgery and robotic prosthetic limbs, we can’t design a pathology specimen bag that’s not transparent?

During the week I had to provide some blood and urine for the betterment of mankind analysis. In the process I met Melinda the gorgeous, efficient and hilarious pathology nurse. She took the blood in a flash with little pain and NO BRUISING. Thanks Melinda, you are the Queen of Vampire Nurses. She’s also a good sort who likes a chat and a laugh.

Next was the urine sample. Along came the plastic cup, saline wipes, and of course the pointlessly embarrassing transparent plastic zip lock specimen bag. Deep sigh.

Off I trotted to the bathroom. Said specimen was collected without fuss. I’ve done this so many times that I am the Queen of the Mid-Stream Urine Sample.

This is not the real sample.
I did not take a urine-sample-selfie.
Does this mean I'm not a real blogger?
image by voodoostock -

Naturally, the moment I stepped out of the toilet, the universe teleported a male doctor right in front of me.

There I was, a 44 year old, overweight, scruffily-dressed woman, holding my still-warm jar of wee, displayed for maximum visibility and effect in the PLASTIC BAG OF SHAME transparent plastic zip lock specimen bag. The doctor smiled at me, started to say hello, glanced at the bag, and swiftly disappeared. I can only assume that he was struck dumb by embarrassment the sheer weight of my sex appeal.

I handed my sample back to Melinda. I asked her why, the moment a woman steps out of the bathroom holding a jar of still-warm bodily fluid an embarrassing personal sample in a ZIPLOCK BAG OF HORROR thoughtfully transparent bag, someone of the opposite sex suddenly appears in front of them. Why does the universe insist on taking the indignity of the experience to a whole fresh level of humiliation?

I told her about the repeated Mondays that I had to carry a TWO LITRE BOTTLE OF WEE to the hospital on the crowded peak hour tram, desperately trying to hide it. Apple juice. I really, really like apple juice.

Then Melinda told me this story, and I felt a whole lot better:

“I had to have some samples taken. I had to have a needle inserted into my uterus. It was incredibly painful and difficult and in the end they gave up, and washed saline up there instead. This was collected in a jar and popped into a BAG OF HUMILIATION transparent, plastic zip lock specimen bag. On the outside of the bag was written, in big, clear black Sharpie:


So there I was, at the hospital, in the lift, exhausted, sweaty, in pain, carrying my trusty pathology sample.

Naturally, the HOTTEST DOCTOR IN THE WORLD got into the lift, and, flustered, I immediately dropped my sample. As you do.

Oh no, I thought, please don’t pick up the bag, please don’t pick up the bag…

He smiled and picked up the bag.

Please don’t read the bag, please don’t read the bag…

“Here you go Melinda”, he said, “Here are your… (reading the bag)… endometrial washings”.

That lift ride was more mentally scarring that having the damn washings collected in the first place.”

So what can we learn from Melinda’s story?
  • That men have no idea how lucky they are. Any men reading this are probably wondering what the hell endometrial washings are. Google it, I dare you.
  • That even in the world of medical miracles, nobody has yet worked out that you can make an opaque specimen bag. Really. Someone really needs to get onto that.
  • That the universe has a bastard sense of humour.

So the next time I’m walking along with a random body fluid sample in public, I won’t feel so bad, because at least it isn’t endometrial washings.*

* Unless it IS endometrial washings, in which case I’ll remember that, in Melinda’s words, it could be worse, it could be poo.**

** Unless it IS poo, in which case I’ll just DIE. And then blog about it.  

Have you ever had an embarrassing moment involving a pathology specimen?

Thursday, August 2, 2012

It's not the size of the baguette that matters...

(Please feel free to read this with an outrageously bad French accent, as it was intended).

Thank you all for coming today. As father of the bride I’ll try to keep this short because I know you all want to get your beaks into those bowls of expensive seeds I paid for...

Today we saw two paper cut-out birds loving people join together in the bonds of feathered matrimony.

As we sit here, in this beautiful French aviary on this momentous occasion, let me first share some remembrances I have of my daughter, the bride.

It was a cold and wintery day in Bayswater a tiny French town far, far away, when friends and family gathered close to witness the creation birth of my little Bryn Eggleston.

Bryn’s story is a complete lie fairy tale of die-cut romance, a story about a young chick from a poor nest. She grew up on telephone lines on the wrong side of the tracks. Her chances of moving up to a higher perch in life were slim.

Her mother and I were worried when we heard she was working as a stripper dancer at La Cage Aux Folles. What kind of people would she meet? I was worried the day she brought home that emu – surely they had no future? And the peacock was a disaster – all tail feathers and no brain.

But then she met Marcel. Marcel looked into her metallic blue brad eyes and fell in love with her in an instant.

My, what a big baguette you have.
The bride and groom - note the matching berets.
Marcel has promised Bryn to give up smoking and lose the
70’s porn star moustache once they’re married.

Marcel looked beyond how badly glued she was her miss-matched wings, beyond the fact that she had a bulldog clip for feet the meagre scratchings of her past, and saw her inner beauty.

A year later, here we are. Bryn doesn’t have to work at Le Cage Aux Folles anymore (which is probably for the best, apparently bulldog clips aren’t very conducive to dancing. Who knew?).

Marcel’s baguette business is flourishing and we’re hoping to hear the sound of little paper clips running around the nest very soon.

So everyone, please raise your glasses in a toast, to the bridesmaids…

The bridesmaids, Adele and Anais.
Finding shoes to match the outfits for these gals was a NIGHTMARE.

All the above works of art bits of fun were created using equipment and materials provided by my good friend Karen at Viva La Stamping. This isn’t a sponsored post, but I was inspired to write about the fun I had as a complete idiot untalented newbie at paper craft last weekend.

The bridesmaids were made by Karen, Marcel was made by her husband Michael and I claim responsibility for the lack of quality in beautiful Bryn.

What I learned:  
  • The French work for pigeon is… pigeon
  • It takes a lot of work to remove glue and glitter from your hair
  • It’s easier to make a baguette than you'd think
  • None of us can do a decent French accent
  • Karen is the shiz at this paper craft lark.
Karen is an incredibly patient and talented lady. You can use her stuff to make greeting cards, decorations, and – yes – wedding invitations, among many other exciting papery things. She is available for paper craft parties, sales, cups of tea and pigeon weddings. Don't worry if you're not a talented crafter - she made even me look good! Here are some more samples of her work:
Gorgeous Christmas card, made by Karen
Bryn and Marcel will be sending these this year...

The rosette I got for being the only best
Mother of the Bride
You can contact Karen  on Twitter: @VivaLaStamping or via her website: 
Bryn and Marcel will be sending out thank you cards via courier pigeon later this month...