- hello Kim J
- Username: very_shabby_chick
- In response to: "What is the one thing you consistently spill on yourself?" Spaghetti sauce and my white shirts are always in alignment.
- very_shabby_chick's latest answers
- Births, deaths and taxes
They say that the only things that are certain in life are birth, death and taxes. However, today I want to add one more certainty to the pantheon - the inevitability of Murphy's Law.
According to Google, Murphy's Law is defined in the terms of a supposed law of nature - anything that can go wrong inevitably will. Today, I'm going to take the "supposed" out of this definition by giving three examples that will irrefutably prove the reliability and validity of Murphy's Law.
So, here we go:
3. At number three on my list is my amazing propensity for putting my foot in my mouth at the worst possible time. In fact, it's stretched so much from me attempting to get both my size 10s in simulatenously, it's bigger than Julia Roberts' - a feat that most would have thought of as impossible.
It's always the way though. If I'm making a comment that's not complimentary about someone, it's inevitable that they will be standing at my shoulder, listening to every word I'm uttering.
However, I have been known to take this one step further. My mother and I have the bad habit of yelling at one another from different rooms in the house, as we're too busy doing other things with our hands to bother going to the same room in order to conduct a conversation. Of course, the most likely time we're doing this is when we're having a gossip about the neighbours at the top our lungs with the windows open on a Saturday morning, with a street full of gardeners and children listening to every word we're uttering with baited breath.
Where's the Cone of Silence when you really need one?
2. Coming in as runner up on today's list is the irrefutable fact that whenever I wear a white piece of clothing, I am bound to spill something on it - because I am the Queen of Mess. Whether it be pasta sauce, the outpourings of an accidentally opened blood vessel, or wet moggies with dirty paws, it's inevitable that by day's end it will have ended up staining any white piece of clothing that I have had the temerity to don during a hopeful moment ... a moment when I dared to dream that there was a possibility, if infinitessmal, of my white shirt being as pristine in the evening as it was in the morning.
So, for all of you that have shares in UniLever? I suggest you hang onto them, because unless I decide to stop wearing white, you are in for some long and healthy profits in the future.
1. And finally, drumroll please - today's final piece of evidence that demonstrates the applicability of Murphy's Law to my life is ... technology! As we all know, technology is like the little girl who had a little curl, right in the middle of her forehead - when it works, it's very, very good, but when it's bad, it's horrid.
When technology works in conjunction with myself and Murphy's Law, malfunctions and breakages are always the most likely to happen at the worst possible time. An assignment due? I'll rearrange my bookshelves, and drop an A4 folder full of journal readings on the keyboard of my laptop, smashing it to smithereens. Waiting for someone to text me? I'm bound to drop my phone in a full bathtub of hot, sudsy water. Need to read something on my Kindle for class? I'll leave it on the floor, step on it and crack the screen ... only a month after I've laid out the money to purchase it.
The lesson you should learn from this? If you're the lucky possessor of a new tech toy that you treasure beyond life itself, and you see me enter the vicinity? Better give Bill Murray a call, and remind him to bring his proton pack ... because, to technology, I am the equivalent of Gozor, the Destructor.
- 57 Channels and There's Nothing On
In the age of digital television, we're seeing stations starting to re-screen old television programs that were once the beloved staples of our viewing time. However, is it possible to go back and experience them as we once did?
In Australia, we have seen the introduction of Freeview over the last two years, which has resulted in an increase of free-to-air television channels from 5 stations to 16. As a result of having this extra programming time to fill, the networks have decided in their wisdom that it is much cheaper and easier to rerun once-popular television shows than to buy or make new content.
At first, this really excited me. Childhood staples, such as Bewitched, I Dream of Jeannie, Family Ties, Happy Days and the Brady Bunch were quick to make their reappearance, and I was champing at the bit to revisit the families that I had once been so well acquainted with at Morning Glory Circle, Coco Beach, Ohio and Milwaukee.
The comfort of nostalgia that I experienced when I first began to indulge myself in my old favourites, which I'm sure that some of the stations planned on exploiting, soon wore off. Some of the characters were no longer likeable, but annoying; their dialogue no longer witty, the situations they found themselves in staged and stale, and the relationships between themselves and others hit false notes again and again with their cloying sentimentality.
Pleasure soon turned to disappointment as I realised that sometimes, there is no going back. Some things are better remembered with affection, and left alone. To revisit them simply causes disillusion, the annihilation of childish remembrances. Now, when I see an old favourite on the television, I am more likely to indulge my nostalgia by changing the channel so that I can live it again in my mind, thus preserving the memory of what was some of the most enjoyable entertainment I've ever experienced.
- She's a killer queen
With Siri as the new Queen of Technology, and Rebecca Black becoming an internet phenomenon with her rendition of "Friday" in 2011, you may be asking what fabulous trends are going to go gangbusters in 2012? Never fear, I am here to give you the shabby low-down on what's hot and what's not in the Year of the Dragon.
Music: Given that 2011 gave us the musical stylings of Rebecca Black at age 13, I'm making a diabolical prediction that the top musical trend of 2012 will be that of a musical foetus. Yep, someone's going to follow up on Nirvana's In Utero literally ... and given that Beyonce's baby has just been born, I expect to see Blue Ivy Carter's latest release at iTunes very, very soon.
Activities: 2011 gave us the joy that is planking, otherwise known as "The Lying Down Game". Obviously originating from a very smart mother whose kids wouldn't take a nap, planking soon swept countries all over the world as a game that could be played by the young, old and suidical alike as people planked in more and more ludicrous locations.
Derivations of planking include "teapotting" (as in "I'm a little teaport) and "batmanning" (hanging upside down by your feet). My personal favourite, and prediction for the hottest activity of 2012 is the variation that's known as "plumbking," which involves doing a handstand over a toilet ... with your head actually touching the water. Of course, no one would ever think of flushing the toilet while watching a friend in that position - would they?
Technology: In 2011, the iPhone 4S was king ... or in the case of Siri, Queen. Apple's voice-activated personal assistant (which is actually a software application, who knew? When people started talking about her, I thought she may have been a political refugee that Apple was generously giving away with every phone) became the latest in a long string of innovations developed to help us maintain our schedules in our busy, busy lives, and answer inane questions such as "What is the terminal velocity of a bird carrying a coconut?" with "The last person who asked me that ended up in a crevasse."
I'm predicting that 2012 will see the release of the iPhone 5, with the much anticipated inclusion of the iMessage, iCloud and the i-Hypnosis applications. The latter was the last and greatest of Steve Job's innovations, making sure that once people have bought the phone, they will start developing a strange compulsion to spend another odd $3000 on an iMac and iPad 3, in order to increase Apple's share price.
Who said that people couldn't communicate from beyond the grave?
Food: 2011 was the year that gave us the macaroon as the replacement for the cupcake. In Australia, Adriano Zumbo went that one step further and gave us (at the price of $2.50 per head) the wild and wacky flavours of the Zumbaron - from the delicious sounding beetroot, olive and raspberry to the more staid but still hippy-ish caramelised pumpkin seed, not to mention the Vegemite (yes, you heard me correctly, Vegemite) flavoured macaroon.
According to Gordon White, foods that are going to be "in" during 2012 include pulses, offal, parpardelle, sweet and sour, crab, Jewish cuisine, baking weird foods and cooking with the right kind of sherry. Funnily enough, when I searched for a recipe using all these terms, there wasn't a single one. So, that's my challenge to chefs all over the globe in 2012 - using these mystery box ingredients to come up with a new dish, a la Masterchef. I can't wait to try the sweet and sour crab and offal combo on a bed of parpardelle, served with a side of baked pulses and celery, and to follow some Mandelbrot that's been soaked, of course, in the right kind of sherry. I wasn't previously aware that any sherry was the right kind, but taste is obviously in the mouth of the drinker ... though I doubt after that meal I will have any tastebuds left anyway.
And finally, we come to fashion. 2011 saw the reincarnation of pantyhose and the rise of Top Shop, thanks to Kate Middleton. Courtesy of Kate's sister Pippa, another big mover and shaker of 2011, we also saw the reintroduction of dresses so tight that it was impossible to take steps in them that were bigger than those of women whose feet have been bound - a trend that I'm sure women all over the world were truly grateful for, and benefitted from.
I have been informed by those in the know that 2012 is going to see the resurgence of the 1990s ... grunge vs neon colours in particular. So, it would seem the choice is between Courtney-Love-Trashy and Colette-Bimbo-Brightness. Looking at these pictures, I just can't wait until I see these in the shops - can you?
- Hindsight is 20-20
There are many lessons I wish I had learned earlier in life, but one that particularly stands out for me is that you can't change everything.
There are some things in my life that would have been much easier if I had accepted them earlier - such as the fact that neither my wavy, messy red hair, nor my soon-to-be-divorced (STBD) husband, were suddenly going to become straight simply I wanted them to be. While I could have worked on both of them with a straightening iron, as soon as I washed them, the kinks would have returned. Even if I was willing to try on a daily basis, a plan which the STDB quite sensibly rejected, it just wasn't ever going to happen.
So, while there is much in this world can (and perhaps needs to be) changed, one of the main things I wish I had learned earlier in life was that some things cannot be altered. They just are what they are, and should be appreciated as such.
Here are my top 3 things that, even though they sometimes irk me, can't be changed:
3. The nature of cats. Although I love them to bits, sometimes my cats are the most willful, stubborn and difficult creatures I've ever come in contact with.
I can offer them a choice of four different meals, but unless one of them is their preferred option on that day, they will not eat any of them. Inevitably, if my lap is filled with half a yard of fabric that I'm working on, they will decide that this is THE time for a nap with yours truly. And of course, if they're up at 5am, they have no compunction in letting me know that I am missing the best part of the day - preferably by snuggling up to my head and kneading my scalp with their claws.
Despite my irritation, I would never change their natures. Although I may be momentarily annoyed, I admire their independence, their determination, and their zest for life and companionship ... particularly when the companion that they seek happens to be me. There's nothing like winning over the heart of an animal that you know wouldn't have anything to do with you unless it chose to.
2. My indecisiveness. It's seemingly impossible for me to make a choice without mulling over the possibilities for far longer than most people would, because I'm a sufferer of the "have-it-all" syndrome. There have been more occasions than I can remember that I've held up the ordering of meals in a restaurant simply because there are so many things that I would like to try that I cannot make up what's left of my tiny little mind - something I know that drives people who know their needs and desires crazy with impatience.
However, the space between options and decisions is one I personally relish. I really enjoy examining my options and thinking about the implications of each before I make up my mind. As Anne of Green Gables said (albeit in reference to something else), there is so much "scope for the imagination" in it. It's a space in which I can pretend I am doing, having or being so many different things that my mind literally boggles with the potential of it all.
So, despite the irritation that I know I unwittingly inflict on more decisive people, this is one pleasure in life that I'm simply unwilling to give up.
1. My discovery, in my mid-thirties, that I love the colour pink.
Pink was disbarred for me for two reasons when I was a child. For starters, I was a redhead. However, more importantly, my mother thought it was important to bring up a woman who was able to reject traditional female stereotypes - of which the love of pink was a symbol. Thus, as a child, I owned nothing that was pink.
However, when I moved out of home and started to decorate my own flat for the first time, I couldn't help but to be drawn to the hue. Gradually, I began to adopt it as my colour. It first started with a hot pink satin doona cover. This extended to transparent pale pink storage boxes, and the baby pink utensil set. Still, I attempted to resist, but to no avail. Four years later, my bedroom, my handbag, my mobile phone, my iPod, my sunglasses, my thongs (or flip-flops for those of you in the US ... don't want to be starting any ideas off here), and of course, my blog, are all different shades of pink. Strangely enough, my doona cover is now blue, but it makes a great contrast to the pink ;-)
Despite my lately-discovered love, the world as my mother wanted me to know it hasn't ended. I'm still able to be an independent thinker, who is capable of critical reasoning. I'm still capable of checking my own oil and pumping up my own tyres, and I haven't lost the ability to use a screwdriver.
Instead of losing by adopting pink as my favourite colour, I have actually gained. It's a happy colour that fills me with warmth and contentment every time I gaze upon it. It's a choice that I made by myself, both without and against the influence of others. Perhaps it's something that may change later on in my life, but it's something that I won't be seeking to alter in the foreseeable future.
- What I'm Irrational About
Irrational? Moi? Never. Well, perhaps on the odd occasion.
We all have our little foibles - things we do that drive other people slowly but surely out of their minds. Yesterday, I delineated some of the habits of others that drive me crazy. Today, it's my turn. Here are the top 5 things that I'm irrational about that probably send other people around the twist.
5. I'm right about everything ... even when confronted with the evidence that proves that I'm actually wrong. For example, on Saturday, the laundry tub flooded as the washing machine pumped out during the rinse cycle, prompting a series of expletives from yours truly. Reaching in to unblock the drain, I found that I hadn't put away the plug from when we'd put ice in the tub for drinks on Christmas Eve, and it had fallen in the sink in order to effectually seal the drain - as plugs are wont to do.
"But I put that away," I shrieked to my mother from the half-inch puddle of water in which I was currently wading. "I remember I put it in the blue and white striped bowl in the laundry cupboard! It wasn't me! It must have been the poultry-geese that lives with the detergent, because I'm always right!"
As I was mopping out the puddle that was lapping at my heels, it was only the prohibitive cost that prevented me from hiring a ghost hunter to prove that I was actually right. In the meantime, I've actually had to accept that in this situation, as I may have been known to be on possibly 5(000000) occasions, the opposite of correct on this one.
4. On occasion, I'm also known to be completely irrational about needles, as evidenced by my second-to-last visit to the phlembotomist. While I've managed to get my fear of them under control when I'm actually receiving an injection, getting me to give my blood away without passing out when I walk out the door of the pathologist's office is another matter altogether.
No matter how hard I try to talk myself out of it, once I lay down on the couch I seemingly can't help being tense. The entry of the needle, small and swift as it may be, brings on a sensation of panic so strong that it would actually be easier for both the nurse and I if I did pass out. My breathing quickens, my muscles contract, and I must look like I'm being given an electric shock as my body spasms into an arched posture, which apparently must be held until the needle is withdrawn and I am down a few red blood cells.
As you can imagine, I dread the embarrassment of being seriously ill and requiring blood work on a regular basis. What a loon.
3. Tasks being completed the way I would like them to be done. There's nothing that's surer to get up my nose than if someone else clean's my lounge room, and puts out linen that (shock horror) does not match. In order not to offend the person who committed such a heinous crime, I spend the whole week until it's time to clean again having to stop my compulsion to change it. I think it must be my inner Bree, but I do love things that coordinate, and I find it really disconcerting when I come up against something that offends my sense of style - particular as I am the ultimate arbiter of all things interior *eyeroll*
2. Tearjerkers. Despite how tough I act, there is very little that can hide the fact that I'm a sucker for a weepy. Put me in front of Miracle on 34th Street, and despite the fact that I don't believe in You-Know-Who, I will dissolve into moist, quivering mass within half an hour. I simply cannot watch anything that tugs at my heartstrings, like the climax of Turner and Hooch, without blubbing.
What makes it even worse is that normally, I'm a pretty tough cookie. I'm also pretty selective about what I'm willing to watch. Yet when I stumble across a cheesy, sentimental narrative delivered in the true Hollywood style that ought to make me cringe, I immediately fall into line and blub like a baby, despite my best efforts to prevent it.
Despite my best efforts to the contrary, I obviously have no taste and I'm happy without it.
1. Finally, my most irrational (and possibly annoying) habit is actually talking (in baby talk, mind you) on behalf of my cats. Yes, I insult their intelligence on a daily basis by putting words in their mouths, complete with ridiculous speech impediments and ludicrous verbage. If I'm not being Fudge one minute, asking for "meats for my teeeeeeeee," then I'm being Jem who is saying "tank you to my nanny for gibing me a tweat."
Honestly, if someone had told me that I was going to prematurely turn into a crazy cat lady by the time I was 37, I would have stopped adopting them years ago for their own sake. What sort of self-respecting cat wants to be subjected to that kind of drivel? I'm surprised that all and sundry haven't simply pull up stumps and left home with their handkerchief bundles of cat biscuits slung jauntily over bamboo poles, in order to find a more rational abode.
Speaking of which, time's a-wasting ... got to go and check to see what kind of mischief the poultry-geese has been up to while I haven't been looking! No doubt he's been changing the linen again, if not lining up Ghost for me to watch on the DVD player. Oh brother, here we go again.