I’m not here

OK so I haven’t been around much recently. To be honest I’m not even really supposed to be here now.

But I just wanted to sneak in quickly to explain my recent absence and let you know that while I’m not actually here at the moment, I will be again soon.

I’ve had a bit on recently – work has been full tilt and we’ve been flat strap at the weekends slogging through the boys’ never-ending rugby season. Unusually, I’ve also been quite the social butterfly as is evidenced here and here and spent an awesome week entertaining some lovely NZ visitors (hi Dean 🙂 )

My boys hanging with their NZ cuzzie at Movie World

My boys hanging with their NZ cuzzie at Movie World

But the main reason I have been MIA is that I’ve had some modules to complete for a certificate course I’m doing at work. These modules have to be completed at home in my own time… the time usually dedicated to blogging/auto-shapes/associated mucking around on social media.

I would like to be able to say I approached this with maturity and gravitas gained from my previous study experiences. That I scheduled the appropriate time, broke down the work into manageable chunks and completed all set tasks well in advance of the submission date.

I would like to be able to say this, but I can’t because I decided to take the polar opposite approach.

Yes, that’s right friends. Instead of buckling down and getting it done, I faffed like a MOFO.

And while faffing is always enjoyable it created inner conflict because I KNEW I had shit to be getting on with. So to balance out the turmoil I felt about not doing what I was supposed to be doing, my subconscious stepped in and made a declaration…


Note: You should mentally read that last bit in a “god” voice, perhaps adding thunder-clap at the end to emphasise the seriousness of the situation.

This sounds like a sensible rule doesn’t it? It sounds like something that should have helped. Nothing could be further from the truth. The result has been utter paralysis – not doing the things I DON”T want to do while also not doing the things I DO want to do.

Basically all the bad parts of self-denial and NONE of the benefits. Winning, right?

This immense faff-a-thon couldn’t last obviously, and was finally broken this week as the deadline approaches for the modules to be submitted. So my subconscious and I have come to an agreement. The deal is that every time I complete a module I’m allowed a night off to faff, write and make pictures etc. And slowly but surely I am making progress.

You may be surprised to know that the key to resolving this conflict between needs and wants was Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.

And no, I never thought it would actually turn out to be useful either. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Maslow (or went to the pub instead of going to that tutorial at uni) his theory states that we can separate our needs into several categories.

The premise is that once we fulfil our basic physiological needs we can be motivated to fulfill our other needs. My conflict stems from needing to do the study for work so that I can continue to fulfil our physiological needs, while my dominant motivation was directing me to fulfill my self-actualisation needs.

I’ll admit this is still somewhat confusing so I got hold of a diagram of Maslow’s Hierarchy and made some adjustments to illustrate how it applies to my particular situation. As you can see bacon, coffee and sleep pretty much cover all my basic needs. My self-actualised needs can be summed up by blogging, mucking around on the internet and auto-shapes.

Maslow's Heirachy of needs explains my inner conflict

Maslow’s Heirachy of needs explains my inner conflict

So let’s hear it for Maslow and his very helpful Hierarchy of Needs. Reducing complicated shit into colourful triangles since god knows when…


Confessions of a Teenage Dirtbag: Part 1

Hello Loungers! This week’s theme is “When I was a teenage dirtbag”

When I came up with this theme last week I was beside myself with suppressed glee. There was SO much to write about – the music, the people, the friends, the parties and of course the opposite sex!

But when I started to write it became apparent that there as far too much material to squeeze into one post. In fact so epic was it becoming that it was beginning to look like an early 90’s version of The Illiad. Certainly, there were some worrying similarities between the blokes hair-dos.

The Mullet.  This scourge of both the Trojans AND the men of early 90's suburbia.

The Mullet.
This scourge of both the Trojans AND the men of early 90’s suburbia.

I’ll be honest up front – there is absolutely NOTHING outstanding or different or even slightly unusual about my suburban teenage years. But that to me is exactly what is so great about them – teenagers with their overwhelming feelings and yearning for connection manage to make the most boring environment feel ALIVE with possibility.

So rather then take you on a forced march through my adolescence all in the one post, I thought I’d go for a full self-indulgent nostalgia-fest over several parts.

Mostly so I get to re-live all those feelings without having to skimp on the details.

But also maybe just in case my boys are ever interested in who their mummy was before she was mummy. And before I get too “senior” to remember all the juicy bits!

So this is Part 1 of my Odyssey into my teenage dirtbag years. I’ve started with a fairly tame subject… otherwise where’s the incentive to read the rest of the series? 😉

Confessions of a Teenage Dirtbag

PART 1 : Methods Of Communication

OK so mobile phones exist. In fact my Dad is one of the few people we know that has one for work. Except it’s called a car phone and it is an actual telephone that has been installed in his car!!!

But we’re years away from even the most basic flip-phones and the internet is barely a twinkle in the eye of some Silicon Valley geek-boy.

So how did the average suburban teenage girl convey vital information?

1. Notes

There are two kinds of notes. The first is hastily scrawled on ripped bits of exercise book or foolscap and is used to communicate messages of immediate urgency such as…

“Are you eating lunch with us today?”
“Can I borrow your protractor?

But the note that was guaranteed to send either a frission of excitment dread racing through your body was this one…

Receiving one of these was sure to liven up your maths lesson!

Receiving one of these was sure to liven up your maths lesson!

The second type is a longer, more detailed letter which is usually written at home and then delivered to it’s intended recipient the next day.

These types of notes are used when you need to tell your friend, how much you really, REALLY like someone that doesn’t even know your alive. They are also likely to include…

  • Margin art in the form of elaborate doodles and swirls
  • Professions of undying friendship i.e “WE R Friends 4 EVA!”
  • Signing of Mrs. (insert surname of crush here)

2. Telephone
Not content with seeing and talking to our friends all day it was imperative that we then debriefed the days events with a D&M (short for a deep and meaningful conversation).

As well as a communication device the telephone was the source of a constant power struggle between the teenager and the parents. Suburban parents sought to try and control use the phone as a bargaining chip to encourage positive behaviours such as studying and speaking pleasantly. Sometimes this was even sucessful!

This phone is identical to the one we had at home when I was a teen. I was surgically attached to this baby from 1990 - 1994

This phone is identical to the one we had at home when I was a teen. I was surgically attached to this baby from 1990 – 1994

In later teenage years the telephone became a double edged sword.
Without the benefits of caller display we were forced to actually answer the phone and simply take a punt on who was on the other end.

This meant that if you’d been avoiding a nice but irritatingly earnest young man with sweaty palms who you’d grudgingly agreed to go to the movies with then there was a good chance you’d have to talk to him if he rang.

By the time I was 18 I was forcing my mum to screen my calls. Poor Mum – I think at times she must have wondered what some of those nice young men saw in me!

3. Slumber parties
This probably seems more suited to a section on “Entertainment” or “Socialising”. I’ve put it in this section though because they were, in essence, MASSIVE talkfests.

Talkfests that were punctuated by the screams of teenagers being terrorised by Freddy Krueger.

I can see I’ll need to explain that one.

Slumber parties were HUGE especially in my early teens. Throughout the week plans would be made, parents would be hassled and movies selections would be made. These arrangements were of course all conducted via notes (see above).

Then come the weekend, anywhere from between 5 – 10 girls would descend upon the hapless home of the designated friend. Once all were assembled the conversation would turn quickly to the business at hand.


Which ones did you like and more importantly which ones liked YOU. Who would you pash if you absolutely HAD to pash someone? Who had a new crush, and who’d decided they were totally over someone who’d previously rated high on their pash-list.

And as we talked the night away for some reason we ALWAYS had some sort of horror movie on video in the background. I have a feeling it was because movie classifications were much more seriously enforced in those says and that these MA 15 + movies were considered “grown-up” but I can’t honestly remember.

What I do remember is pretending womanfully that Freddy Krueger did not give me nightmares for weeks afterwards, or made me slightly afraid to be home alone even during broad daylight!

Still gives me the heebie-jeebies 20 years later...

Still gives me the heebie-jeebies 20 years later…

So that wraps up Part 1 of the Confessions of a Teenage Dirtbag. Hopefully some of you may even front up for part 2 if I promise not to post any more pictures of Freddie!

The Lounge

Linking up with The Lounge – you should go check out their teenage dirtbag antics too!

A Public Service Announcement…

The staff and management* of The Very Inappropriate Blog are delighted to announce that it has recently reached a very special milestone…

fifty fabulous followers-final

* The roles of both staff and management being played by me of course

That’s right, fifty fabulous people in the world have subscribed to the blog (either through wordpress or via email) and it seemed appropriate to mark the occasion by saying thank you.

“But who are these fabulous people?”, I hear you ask. “What are they like?”

The answer is of course that they are, quite simply, a top bunch of people.

But I know that’s not the answer you’re looking for. You’re not satisfied with that type of surface level analysis. You want to more. And luckily I am in a position to give it to you!

An industry certified market research company** has recently conducted a research study on the subscribers of The Very Inappropriate Blog. The findings support unquestionably their status as a top bunch of people…

But wait! There’s more…

Subscribers of The Very Inappropriate Blog have generally been found to be effortlessly stylish men and women of the world.

They are often described as being…

Graph 1

When they enter a room, subscribers of The Very Inappropriate Blog create an instant hush, followed by whispers of “Who was that masked man/ woman?”.

This is supported by the fact that several subscribers indicated that they may or may not have at one time in their career worked for a secret intelligence or “counter-espionage” organisation.

Some of them may also have been Zorro impersonators but this has not been statistically poven.

As you would imagine such dashing people have interests which are as eclectic as they are.

While by no means an exhaustive list, the following interests were mentioned often enough by subscribers to have statistical validity…

Graph 2

Other findings from the study include…

  • 98% of subscribers identify as “human”, with the other 2% identifying as “aspiring to be a dolphin”
  • 75% of subscribers have an inexplicable aversion to the words “synergy”, “interface” and  “tic-tac” in any other context than describing a small minty sweet.
  • 45% of subscriber answered “I’d think about it” if presented with the opportunity to run away with the circus.
  • 100% of subscribers were wearing underpants at the time of the study

Needless to say the last point in particular was extremely reassuring.

However in the midst of this wonderful news about the cutting-edge people who DO subscribe to The Very Inappropriate Blog,  there was some alarming information about those who have not yet done so.

For example did you know that 90% of people who don’t subscribe to The Very Inappropriate Blog never actually realise how awesome it is? Make no mistake – this fact has been verified by research and is in no way an act of blatant self promotion!***

Furthermore the chances of actually missing a post increase exponentially the longer you remain unsubscribed!

Don’t let this happen to you. To make sure you’re one of the cosmopolitan, slightly twisted, international men and women of mystery subscribe now!

WordPress members can simply click the little follow icon at the top of the screen, or else you can sign up with your email address using that little box on the right (under the mugshot).

Don’t delay! Subscribe now to gain instant street cred and a slightly sparkly exterior!****

** the role of the market research company also played by me.

*** IS an act of blatant self promotion

**** only if you also happen to be a member of the Cullen family

And on a serious note…

Thank you all for reading and for not thinking I was crazy – or if you did think I was crazy at least not letting it put you off too much. You will never know how much it has meant to me. 

Linking up with the gorgeous Kim for The Lounge at www.fff.net.com.au 

The Lounge

The Problem with Things

“All things in moderation”.

A phrase beloved of teachers, parents and, in quite startling numbers, people by the name of Judgey McJudgey-pants.

Personally I prefer the Oscar Wilde version…

“Everything in moderation, including moderation”.

Much more my style.

As you may have gathered I don’t really do things by halves. At, least I haven’t so far in my 36 years to date. For as long as I can remember I’ve had an all or nothing approach to life.

There are positive aspects to this approach. It has fueled the ambition I’ve needed to make a steady upward progress in my career. It drives me to try new things and challenge myself to see what I’m capable of.

And it makes me lots of fun at parties 😉

However the negative side to this approach is that my life seems to be caught in a cycle that I’ve been able to identify, but not fix.

Stage 1 of the cycle usually kicks off when I get busy. Because I like to throw myself into things I’m always up for taking on new projects or added responsibilities at work. Add to that a love of socialising and the constant whirl of kid-related activities I start having “too much of a good thing”, as is illustrated by the diagram below…

Stage 1 - Too much of a good thing!

Stage 1 – Too much of a good thing!

This “Too much of a good thing” part of the cycle can last as long as 2 months. However with the brakes well and truly off there is no doubt I am heading for a crash.

Inevitably I reach a crisis point. Stressed, bloated and exhausted I decide that enough is enough.

Stage 2 of the cycle begins now and is usually followed by announcement along the lines of…

ME: “Right! There are going to be some CHANGES around here.”

At this point the boys and Brook exchange muted glances of solidarity, as if to say “Alright lads it’s on again. Best dig in for the duration”.

Undeterred by their less than enthusiastic response I will continue…

ME: “I am, as of this moment, on a diet so we will ALL be eating healthily ALL the time. This may or may not involve concepts such as clean eating or becoming ‘Paleo'”.

Max: “Does that mean we eat dinosaur food? Like a T-Rex? I’d like to be a dinosaur. Raaawwwwr!!!”

I don’t answer this question. I’m on a roll now and not stopping for interruptions.

Me: “Hence forth, I will be going to the gym EVERY MORNING. I will be a slave to fitness and if that happens to make me a little tired and grumpy every now and then I expect I will have your full support!”

A little dismay has crept into their expressions but they should hold on to their hats because shit is about to get REAL….

ME: “Furthermore, I shall be instigating a cleaning roster! We will all start tidying up after ourselves, effective IMMEDIATELY. ”

The boys make themselves scarce at this point, but poor Brook is caught in the tractor-beam of my “new regime” fervour.

I inform him that in addition to the previous initiatives I also plan to undertake a regime of general self-improvement. I am woefully behind on reading and current affairs so I’ll make an effort to catch up on some books and articles I’ve been meaning to read since forever.

I shall also become calm and flexible through nightly yoga sessions. I downloaded a yoga app about a million years ago so I’ll fire that up and do a couple of downward dogs.

Brook becomes momentarily excited about this prospect until I assure him that I don’t mean THAT type of downward dog.

Brook takes his life into his own hands by adding a little "light humour" to the situation!

Brook takes his life into his own hands by adding a little “light humour” to the situation!

And for a couple of weeks everything goes well. I do actually do ALL the things.

But around the one month mark cracks are starting to show. The constant self-denial and effort required to maintain such a heightened state of self-discipline is starting to become a strain.

This frenzied pursuit of “All the Things” is of course completely unsustainable in the long term, a fact which is obvious to everyone except me.

The end rot usually sets in around the two month mark. Suddenly before I know it I’m saying “fuck it” to all my carefully constructed improvements and I’m right back at the “Too much of a good thing” part of the cycle.

Wash. Rinse. Repeat. It’s depressing quite frankly.

So where does that leave me?

Well I’m currently coming out of a Stage 1 “too much of a good thing” blow out, and was all set to dive headfirst into a Stage 2 “ALL the things” makeover.

But then I read something that stopped me in my tracks.

It was a post by Matt at Dad Down Under, which you can read here. What he proposes is revolutionary.

He is going to undertake a challenge where, instead of trying to improve ALL the things he is going to tackle one specific thing a month.

Just one thing. Per month. It was like a light bulb had gone off in my head. I had never for one second there was an alternative to doing ALL the things. It’s brilliant in its simplicity.

Trust a bloke to take something really serious and complicated and make it look easy 😉

However don’t get me wrong – it only LOOKS easy. Matt’s challenge is not for the feint-hearted. The “no internet” month in makes me distinctly uneasy, and the idea of a no-coffee month is so terrifying I can barely contemplate it.

But I’m going to give it a shot. I’m going to switch a few things around so that it’s tailored for me, but on the whole I’ll be trying to remain faithful to the motivation behind the challenge.

The positive side of my all or nothing personality likes the idea of seeing whether I can stick out some of the tougher ones!

So here is the Rachel 365 Challenge…

August 2013 – 30 minutes of reading ACTUAL books. Books used to be my whole life but I can’t actually remember the last time I picked on up.

September 2013 – Exercise (minimum 30 mins of rigorous exercise 5 days a week)

October 2013 – Healthy eating overhaul and pre-Christmas detox

November 2013 – No shouting month. Not just me – this is one will be a whole family exercise! Kind and considered communication from everyone will be the order of the day.

December 2013 – Relationship back to basics. Use some of our holiday time to… uhhm.. catch up on some downward dogs?

January 2014 – Financial Freshen-up. No better time to look at how we are spending our money than when we don’t have none 😉

February 2014 – Alcohol Free. The fact that this is the shortest month of the year has nothing to do with it… much.

March 2014 – Family Fun. Make an effort to plan at least 4 day trips to explore some of the awesome stuff in our local area.

April 2014 – Meal Planning. Actually planning meals for a whole month not just pretending I’ve done it because I thought about food.

May 2014 – Internet free. Apart from work related internet usage (which is minimal)

June 2014 – Take a Course/Learn Something New

July 2014 – Yoga/Meditation. So that I commence my 37th year in a calm and clear minded state!

By the end of 12 months I’m hoping to see a healthier, more balanced me. And if you’re interested I’ll be posting about my progress with tackling the monthly challenges in the first week of each month.

I don’t know how I’ll cope but I think it will be an interesting ride!

For all the details about Matt’s “Dad Down Under 365” challenge go here.

Are you stuck in an “All the Things” Cycle? Then why not set your own 365 Challenge?

It would be awesome to see your ideas about how you can challenge yourself and get your mojo back on track, so whack’em up on my Facebook page so we can all have a look 🙂

Linking up with Grace for FYBF 🙂

Linking up with The Lounge for “Simply the Best” week. Why not link up the best post you’ve ever written here?

Have you liked The Lounge Facebook page yet? You totally should – it’s 99% fabulous and 1% fat-free!

The Lounge

The Full Monty Girl

I’ve got a confession to make, and there’s no point mincing words about it.

The truth is… I’m a full monty girl.

Not in the “middle-aged Scottish male stripper” way, but in the cosmetic sense.

Make-up. War-paint. Slap. “Putting on your face” as my Nan would have said.

A woman’s attitude towards using cosmetics to highlight or hide various features on their face is as individual as she is.

Some women do the full monty every day, and would never contemplate being seen without it. Others will rarely use it, maybe applying the barest flicker of mascara for a special occasion.

Still more will be somewhere in between the two extremes, muddling along in a way that is comfortable for them.

Whether they choose to wear a little or a lot, the thing that I find fascinating is that most women will have developed their own set of specific “rules” that define in what situations they will wear make-up, what types of make-up they will wear and even how they will apply it.

As I mentioned earlier I lean towards the full monty end of the spectrum, but my attitudes toward make-up are both complicated and ingrained.

They are so much a part of my cultural frame of reference that trying to pin them down is like trying to catch beauty in a butterfly net.

Me after work. Make-up still pretty much in place. Yes I did instagram it, but that's because I have a spot between my eyes that makes me look like I'm impersonating Mike Wazowski from Monsters Inc. !

Me after work. Make-up still pretty much in place. Yes I did instagram it, but that’s because I have a spot between my eyes that makes me look like I’m impersonating Mike Wazowski from Monsters Inc. !

So why have I decided to muddy up the waters of my consciousness to try and articulate my attitudes towards make-up?

My inspiration is none other than the latest viral sensation, Dustin Hoffman’s interview about preparing to play the role of Dorothy Michaels in the seventies classic movie Tootsie.

It’s not Dustin’s rather melodramatic lament about all the interesting women he never got to know because he was too chasing model-slash-actresses.

No the part that rang starkly true for me occurs at 1.53 of the clip.

It’s the part where Dustin – with the arrogance and naivety of someone to whom it has never occurred that they might NOT be – demands of the studio make-up artists, “You’ve got me looking like woman. Now make me a BEAUTIFUL woman.”

And the make-up artist delivers the same crushing verdict that a million women have looked in the mirror and pronounced upon themselves…

“This is as good as it gets”

I know how Dustin felt. The feeling of wanting to do the best with the resources at my disposal is definitely part of the reason I wear make-up.

But it’s not the full story. For me to examine how I became a full monty girl we need to wind back the clock a good 30 years at least.

We need to start with my mother.

Some of my earliest memories of my mother involve me watching her put on make-up. Hanging around in the bathroom in the way that 3-4 years olds do, probably just chatting and getting under her feet while she was getting ready to take us to the shops.

Watching her intricate movements with tiny, obscure looking instruments. Smelling the perfumed scents of creams and lotions. Admiring the bright colours bringing out the sparkle in her eyes and the bloom in her cheeks.

With her thick red hair and glamorous makeup my mother was a “pop” of colour against the backdrop of suburban Perth in the late 70’s.

To this day she is the only woman I know who can wear a tracksuit and make it look stylish.

My Mum - front and centre. Rising above the fashion indignities of the early 90's LIKE A BOSS!

My Mum – front and centre. Rising above the fashion indignities of the early 90’s LIKE A BOSS!


So for me make-up has always symbolized femininity.

From the mysterious rituals and accouterments to the seemingly miraculous transformation they effected – these things would be my inheritance once I grew up and crossed the threshold into woman-hood.

However in reality this inheritance has been something of a double edged sword. The following two scenarios illustrate this better than any theoretical explanation I can offer…

Scenario 1

I attend a work function in northern NSW and which finishes late enough for me to stay in a hotel for the night rather than drive home. The next morning I wake up tired from some fairly intense networking the previous night.

After a shower I contemplate my make-up bag and think “fuck it, can’t be bothered”. So I pack and head to the buffet for breakfast, where I am completely unperturbed about being seen without make-up.

It’s not until I’m on the way home that I encounter a problem.

I realise that I will be passing the home of a fellow blogger who I have become good friends with over the last few months. I am sans children and I think excitedly “I should call her! I could pick her up and we could go for coffee! How utterly RAD”.

And then it hits me. I have no make-up on. And my plans for a surprise visit crumble as quickly as they had risen.

No matter how much my logical mind pleads for sanity my sub-conscious mind will not give in. The internal dialogue goes something like this…

“We don’t meet new people without our make-up on. We have never met this person in real life, but we like them very much and care what they think. Surely we don’t want to meet them looking less than our best?”

The end result? I don’t call, we don’t meet and I am disappointed with myself for the rest of the day.

Scenario 2

I work full time and always try to be in early as insurance against those times when I need to exit early due to one of the three S’s – sickness, sport or school related activities.

So I get up before the boys and Brook and start the process of getting myself ready for work. I start to put on my make-up, and instantly the process of metamorphosis commences.

Outwardly I begin the rituals of smoothing, blending and painting, that are now so habitual I almost don’t need to think about them. Putting on my “professional face” so that my external appearance reflects the confidence and conviction I feel inside.

But the internal metamorphosis is just as important. You see I rarely wear make-up on the weekends when I am around the house, cleaning and cooking and nagging and mothering. So for me the process of putting on make-up is a crucial part of changing gears between m two worlds – the domestic and the professional.

So that’s my analysis on why I’m (mostly) a full monty girl, but what I’d really like is to hear from YOU!

I am sure that for some women their relationship with make-up is nowhere near as complex mine, and I would really love to hear more about this perspective. On the other hand there are also probably some women who would think that my version of the full monty is is pretty tame and I’d love to hear more about how that works too.

Linking up with The Lounge with a very dodgy association to the theme of favourite photos. This post does HAVE photos in it after all 😉

What the F%#k Friday

What the F#%? Friday - Header

Linking up with The Lounge because we’re failing with STYLE 🙂


Howdy all, it’s it finally time for another What the F#%? Friday!

This week I’m not just cataloging the weird, wonderful and just plain WACK. Oh no. This week is dedicated to those most satisfying of WTFs … FAILS.

Now there is an argument that all instances of WTF have, at their heart, an element of FAIL.

However if you want to argue semantics you should probably go and find a blog where the author knows what semantics ARE and then argue with them instead of me. Lord knows it’s school holidays and I am having all the arguments one woman can stand.

And on that note I’d like to give some credit to my boys.

Finding random stuff for these posts has become a bit of a family obsession and they have become my unofficial “spotters” when we are out and about. And in the case of several of the number plate photos they have also taken on the role of photographer.

If I’m driving and we spot something interesting, who ever is sitting in the front will shout “I’ll get it Mum!”. Then, after a brief scrummage in my handbag for my iPhone, they’ll start clicking away with the professionalism of a miniature paparazzi!

My little accomplices – how I love them! The irony of someone trying to make a Volvo “cool” with a number plate like this was lost on them but not on me 😉

My little accomplices photo-bombing a number plate pic :)

My little accomplices photo-bombing a number plate pic 🙂

OK, so now without any further ado here is the What the F#%? Friday FAIL edition…

Street Names

I’m going to cheat a bit here (already!) and include an awesome street name fail AND one that is an absolute winner. See if you can guess which is which.

1. A street of winners?
In Brisbane we don’t just let Bogans live where ever the damn hell they like! No we take a much more sensible approach. We give them their own street…

If you ever wondered where they came from, now you know!

If you ever wondered where they came from, now you know!

2. A winning street
Call me a nerd if you like, but wouldn’t this be the most awesome street to live in? Or is that “illogical”? 😉

I loved this so much I just had to give it the Vulcan Salute!

I loved this so much I just had to give it the Vulcan Salute!

Number Plates

The personalised number plate is almost doomed to failure from the start. Put simply if you need to tell people something about yourself so badly that you have to express it on the exterior of your car, then you are trying WAY TOO HARD.

Like these people…

1. Livin’ (or lovin’?) IT
Ok so we can see you’ve got a beemer. Round of applause for you. It’s not clear whether it’s an abbreviated version of LIVING it or LOVING it. But either way it spells W.A.N.K.E.R to me…

Are you mate? Are you really?

Are you mate? Are you really?

2. Desinger Label
This one is my favourite, and not just because this person has blatantly tried to gain street cred by associating themselves with a prestigious designer label.

No it’s the fact that they put this number plate on a KIA, the crappiest car ever to grace the byways of suburbia, that really appeals to my sense of irony.

The number plate may be all class, but the car is all ass!

The number plate may be all class, but the car is all ass!

For those of you who are startled by my animosity toward KIAs you can get the back story here

Sign Fails

It never ceases to amaze mt the truly bizarre shit that people put on signs! Totally wack. Again I’m going to give you a couple of FAILS and one mega-WIN.

1. Lushington Softstone

We’re going to do a little quizz for this one. When you read the name Lushington Softstone what do you think it is referring to?

Once I get 20 votes I’ll post a picture of the answer 😉

2. Toilets. They are not for standing on.

My trusty friend Paula has done me a great service by drawing my attention to a very serious issue. Apparently there is a world-wide epidemic of people who think it is OK to stand on the toilet to do their business!

No Standing. Anytime.

No Standing. Anytime.

Alright, epidemic may be too strong a word. But there are clearly enough people doing this to warrant an actual sign being constructed. And it also helpfully reminds you to put your toilet paper in the toilet. In case you’d planned to, I don’t know, put it in your pocket instead.

Who does this? I have no idea, but for any closet toilet-standers out there be warned. The toilet police have your number…

3. The Death of a Video Store

I’m a bit obsessed with the slow slide into obsolescence that is currently being experienced by many products and institutions that I grew up with – machines like faxes are a good case in point.

Video stores are also at risk of extinction. There are a couple still hanging on by their finger nails but more and more often when I see a video store it’s empty with a “For Lease” sign on it.

As is the case with the store in this photo. But this store is a little bit different. It decided it would NOT go gently into that good night. It was going to have one last shot – and here it is…

Vale, Video Store

Vale, Video Store

I salute you noble video store. You died a good death.

The Mother if all FAILS

If you ever needed evidence of the decline in musical culture since the the grunge era, then you need look no further than Psy. And just when you thought it couldn’t get any more naff a marketing team in Korea decided that what Psy really needed to consolidate his popularity was a doll…

Life like in a very creepy way

Life like in a very creepy way

But that’s not the fail. The real FAIL is that is dances!!!!

If you’ve got a photo that you that made you go WTF then you can post it on my Facebook page or DM me on twitter @theviblog using the #WTFFriday hashtag.

Well I hope you’ve enjoyed the FAILS edition of What the F#%? Friday. And don’t forget to do the Lushington Softstone quiz 🙂

We need to talk about…

Linking up with The Lounge today for their “Rants & Raves” week over at Robomum.


An open letter to the parents of the two young men

who knocked on my door a few weeks ago…

Dear Parents,

A few weeks ago your sons knocked on my door, and despite my best efforts I have not been able to get this seemingly unremarkable event out of my head.

It has plagued me to such an extent that I have been compelled to write this letter to you, in the hope that by doing so I may able to end the recurring episodes of rage that I experience every time I remember it.

They arrived on a Sunday just before lunch.

Their tentative knock was answered by my eldest son Jack, closely followed by Oscar and Max. The first I know of their arrival is when the three of them come barrelling down the hallway yodelling “MUUUUUUMMMM. There’s some people at the doooooorrrr for you!”

Grudgingly I extricate myself from the depths of the bathroom I was cleaning, and drag myself down the hallway, swatting boys out from under my feet as I go.

I don’t have my glasses on, and from this distance I can’t quite make out who these visitors might be.

Dishevelled, sweaty and squinting unattractively I arrive at our front door and try to rearrange my features into an expression of pleasant welcome. Now that I’m closer I can see there are two young men on my doorstep.

And then I freeze when I notice:

The white collared shirts.
The cheap looking black ties.
The little black name badges.
The smallish black book each them are clutching.

Mormons. Awesome.

“Hi… we’re from the church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints and we were just wondering if we could… uhhm… talk to you about Jesus?”

Irritation flares inside me and scathing words form on my tongue.

The arrogance of these religions that feel that they have the right to try and force their world view down anyone’s throat. The audacity to think that they can intrude on my family and I in our own home.

But before I speak I take a second look at the two of them. I notice them both shift slightly as if to steel themselves for my response

“Young men” was really overstating the case.

These two are kids – there’s not a chance either of them is over 18. One of them has bum-fluff and the other hasn’t even got that far yet.

The harsh words turn to ashes in my mouth.

“No, thank you but… we’re not really… look no, I don’t think so. Sorry.”

Pity does not make me eloquent but it does lighten the situation. Despite the adult costumes they are wearing their teenage minds relish my obvious adult discomfort, but they are gracious about it.

“That’s ok,” they say, sounding slightly relived.

Then remembering their mission, the slightly older one with the bum fluff rallies and has the presence of mind to ask…

“Would you like us to leave you with a copy of the Book of Mormon? Maybe you might like to take a look at it later?”

“Actually I already have one,” I say. They look surprised – clearly I have the look of the unbeliever about me!

Drop one letter for a more accurate description ;)

Drop one letter for a more accurate description 😉

And so we get chatting.

I tell them how I came to have my copy of the book.

(to wit: some similar missionaries had door-knocked the unit I was living in as a 19 year old student in 1996. I answered the door a bit stoned and let them talk to me for about 20 minutes before they realised I was not a good prospect for conversion. Asking them if they wanted a beer was probably the clincher)

I ask them how long they’ve been out door-knocking so far. They tell me they’ve been out since 8.30am and they’ll stay out until 1.00pm. After that they’ve got church from 1.30pm that will go most of the afternoon.

We all say our goodbyes and I watch them walk down the stairs and off down the road. Off to trudge the streets and talk to strangers for another hour and a half until it was time to go to church. Doing their best. Trying their hardest.

Those boys. They broke my heart.

And although I’ve tried, I cannot get them out of my head because every time I think about them I experience such piercing rage that it actually makes me stop what I’m doing.

So as the parents of these fine young men I’m sure you’re keen to know WHY I’m so angry.

And before you puff yourself up with righteous indignation and sanctimonious swagger it’s NOT your religion that bothers me per se. Even though it does seem MIGHTY convenient that America actually had it’s own a visit from JC back in the day.

Yep the Book of Mormon states clearly that Jesus Christ came to the Americas 2,000 years ago shortly after performing his own version of “The Walking Dead” back in old Jerusalem town.

How he managed this despite the tyranny of distance, the dearth of technology, and the lack of low-cost air carriers such as Jetstar is not clear, or at least not clear to me.

But I digress.

So no, that’s not what’s bothering me. What IS bothering me, what is really, really fucking bothering me is this…

In this life there are many things that we will not be able to protect our children from. Despite all our efforts they will inevitably get hurt, experience pain (both physical and emotional) and possibly even face real danger. And although we would do ANYTHING to take their place and shield them from these things we won’t be able to.

But I believe that where we can protect them from being hurt or spare them from pain, we should. And although there are things that are beyond our control, we should do everything in our power to ensure that those things we can control do not harm the precious lives that have been entrusted to us.

So my problem is that by sending your children out into the streets to force your religion into the homes of people who have not asked for it is…

You have knowingly and deliberately sent your children into danger.

You don’t know who’s behind any of those doors they so innocently knock on. You don’t know what awful things they could be exposed to. You don’t know whether behind the nice white picket fence lives a piece of human slime.


You have sent your children into humiliation.

To be laughed at and insulted and made fun of. To be belittled and rejected and made to feel like shit. What effect do you think that has on their self-esteem and emotional development?


But worst of all you sent children to do an adults work.

Oh I’m sure there’s something in that little black book that allows you to brainwash them into thinking that they need to do this to please their heavenly Father.

But make no mistake – the people they are really trying to please are you, their parents. They want your approval and to live up to your expectations. And you are ABUSING this fundamental trust.


*pause to regain composure*

So in conclusion I hope those nice young men you’ve brought into this world stay safe and have the chance to grow into the good men they have the potential to become. I hope they experience all the joy and beauty that this world has to offer.

But as for you? You can go fuck yourselves.

Yours Sincerely,

Citizen R