Saturday, May 29, 2010

Adventures Update: Miscellaneous Adventures

I go for walks a lot.

It's a really nice way to pass the time without spending any money, just putting on a pair of headphones and going for a wander. Today I was making my way to the shops when I noticed a young boy being lead down the street by his father. Not such an unusual sight on a Sunday morning. But I swear, I swear that child was wearing a Spiderman yarmulke.

At first I thought that surely I must have been mistaken, that maybe the colours might have deceived me. Maybe the kid was just wearing a small, cloth, Spiderman frisbee on his head, the way kids do. I don't pretend to understand children. However, further research revealed that this is a thing that actually exists.

If you look at the store on that site, there are a bunch more. Batman, Bob the Builder, Cat in the Hat, the list goes on. Although if I were a young Jewish man, I can tell you I'd be investing in the one that looked like half a soccer ball. Now THAT'S what I call religion! And no, I'm not poking fun. I understand that kids will be kids, and kids will want their sacred religious wear decorated with depictions of comic book heroes. But come on, do you really want the face of Scooby Doo grinning at you during your religious ceremonies?

I know I do.

I see a lot of pretty excellent things when I go for walks. I remember doing a double take at my local bus stop when I saw what appeared at first to be just your everyday, run of the mill 'Missing Pet' sign. On closer inspection I noticed that the pet that had so tragically run away from home was a magpie. A magpie that apparently answers to a name and everything.

I really, really like the optimism this poster reveals. Even if this were a tame magpie, reared in their arms from birth, there is quite a large area of parkland quite literally just down the road. Did they honestly expect people to see the picture, walk up to the next flock of the birds that they see and start calling out the name? And that the bird in question will suddenly go, 'Oh shit, that's me. Sorry guys, gotta run'?

The best thing I think I have seen recently around these streets though was something I noticed when I was wandering down a particularly shady street nearby. I glanced up, noticing a pair of shoes thrown over the power lines, as you see a lot.

But then I noticed that they weren't real shoes. They were made of material that someone had tied together to look like shoes and then purposefully thrown up there. Even more mysteriously, there appeared to be a message written on the bottoms of the fake shoes. I caught the words 'IT IS' on the sole of one and, after craning my neck, discovered that the other said 'BETTER'.

I was baffled by this, ready to send out a formal request to bring Jonathan Creek (my favourite of all the TV detectives) out here to check it out.

And then, a few weeks later, I saw another pair of the shoes. This time slung across the branches of a tree. The soles of this pair read 'LOOK UP' and 'MORE'.

I'm not sure what to make of the shoes. Maybe an art project, or the work of a protester whose cause is yet to be revealed. But you can be certain I will be looking out for more of these shoes around the area.

-Smackie Onassis

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

This entry now with 50% more POLICE CHASES

I mentioned once that a girl who went to my high school managed to achieve some small degree of tabloid notoriety by getting knocked up by Celebrity Scientologist Jason Lee. Apparently she has now converted to Scientology and they've been married in a secret Hollywood ceremony. Well, kudos to them. I guess.

It leads me to think about where other people that I used to know are these days. To be honest I don't have much to do with many of the people I went to high school with, but I do hear snippets here and there. Mainly, I pick things up from facebook, finding out who's married and who's pregnant and who's just as awful as they were the last time I saw them. I recall a particularly interesting story about two of our regular substitute teachers who ended up getting married, running away to teach at a private school somewhere in the country and probably living an idyllic life. Until she left him for a student. The best part was that her last name was Cummins and his last name was Higginbottom. I can only dream that when they got married they decided to hyphenate that.

But one of the best of these snippets was one I picked up from the local paper, back when I still lived in the region. There was a strange, nerdy yet frightening little guy who went to both my primary school and my high school. After school finished, the extent of my contact with him centred around him serving me at the local Coles every now and then. But then, one morning as I was reading the paper over breakfast, I noticed his name. At first I wasn't sure if it was the same guy but after reading the article there was little doubt left in my mind.

According to this article, he had somehow managed to lead police on a short-lived drunken police chase which ended with him crashing through the front window of a local charity. Don't worry, no-one was hurt. Nor was anyone particularly surprised.

I'm not sure how the situation was resolved. The only other people I talked to who knew much about what happened knew as much as I had already learned from the article in the paper. So you can understand that when I saw him once again at his position at the Coles checkout, I went straight over to ask him about it.

Here's my recollections of how this conversation went:

Me: So I hear you led police on a drunken chase which ended with you crashing through the front of a local charity?
Him: Ha. Yup.


He didn't seem to be actively trying to keep any part of it quiet, mind you. I think it was more that he just didn't really know how to answer a question with more than one syllable at a time. I'm not really sure what he's doing these days, apart from the fact that you can apparently become a fan of him on facebook. Why this is, I have no idea.

-Smackie Onassis

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Spammer Scammers: A Love Story

As some of you may have noticed, I have spent a lot of time on the ol' internet of late. When you can't work because of an injury, the internet is an excellent way to pass the time. A seemingly endless source of information, some of it factual, others laughably inaccurate. Most of it gold.

You may remember I had a bit to say a while ago on the subject of spam emails. Since then, I have encountered the best spam scam I have ever seen in my entire life. Vegatrain was checking his junk mail folder and found that he had received an email offering 'compersation for scam victims' [sic].

I cannot express how much I love this.

At first, I was slightly amazed at the gall of it. A scam that includes the word scam in its subject header? And doesn't even spell compensation correctly? Surely, no-one would fall for that. But then I realised the simple brilliance of it. Here, you have an email scam that specifically appeals to people who have already proved that they are gullible enough to fall for email scams. Where most people would look at an email offering them infinite riches in exchange for little more than their credit card details and simply scoff, this email is appealing to the exact people who are most likely to go, "Well! It's about time I was compensated for all those scams! Here's my name, bank account details and my mother's maiden name."

Sheer genius.

And sure, this isn't exactly an ethical way to rake in the riches. But in my opinion, if you are thinking lazily enough to fall for something as ridiculous as that, you probably deserve to learn your lesson.

I have seen something similar on ebay, one of my favourite places on the internet. While searching for whatever it is I'm after (usually badges, occasionally mittens or shoes), I often see random products mysteriously labelled as 'punk/emo', as I mentioned briefly in this entry. On something like a spiked wrist cuff, that seems reasonable. But on a Flight of the Conchords badge set? Or any kind of product that features Hannah Montana? It seems a tad more random. But since writing that last entry, I have thought a bit more about this and have come to the conclusion that this too is brilliant.

Think about it - this kind of tagging specifically targets people who have simply typed punk/emo into the search engine when the only thing they know about those subcultures is that they want to be a part of them. They buy something ridiculous, get laughed at and then (hopefully) learn a valuable, much needed lesson. And the seller makes a profit!

Say what you will about capitalism, but when it is used to take of advantage of people who really only have themselves to blame, I can't do anything but embrace it like a warm kitten.

-Smackie Onassis

Saturday, May 22, 2010

How Awkward

I really hate awkward situations.

I know that's a bit of a given. I can't really think of anyone I know who would actually enjoy finding themselves saying something unintentionally racist at a job interview, but I will go out of my way to avoid even witnessing a particularly embarrassing moment. Cringe-inducing comedy films are my horror movies. When I watch something like Mr Bean, I have to sit there peeking through my fingers, frantically reminding myself that it's not really happening and that everyone involved is an actor.

There was a woman I used to see every Friday afternoon for a time period spanning several years. Her daughter had a saxophone lesson before I did, and I would talk to her while she waited to pick her up afterwards. After a while, I knew a lot about her. I knew her hobbies, her husband's annoying habits, her daughter's achievements. Unfortunately, I had never asked her name. And as you will know if you have ever watched a sitcom, the longer I knew her, the harder it was to ask her what her name was. Some people, let's just call them 'jerks', might argue that I'm an idiot for not just asking my sax teacher what the woman's name was. Well, jerks, let me take a moment to inform you that I did exactly that, but he didn't know either. Which I did find a tad bewildering.

Eventually I found out her name through a rather convenient picture in the local paper, but it was only after a good two or three years of gracefully dancing around ever having to address her by name. I will go to amazing lengths to avoid an awkward confrontation and to be honest, I think it's because my parents were exactly the same. We all, in unison, avoided having to talk about anything remotely confronting at all possible costs. Like how some kids develop allergies if they aren't exposed to certain toxins, I never worked up an immunity to embarrassment. My parents and I never had the 'Where did I come from?' talk or anything with as much potential for awkwardness as that. The closest we got was the 'Did you or did you not name me after Sarah Jane from Dr Who?' talk, which was not nearly as bad as anything sex-related could have been. For the record, this consisted of me asking that question and my mother telling me that they just liked the name. However, the fact that my father was standing behind her, wearing his Dr Who apron (which he wore around the house, even when he wasn't cooking) and giggling was enough to let me figure out what really happened here.

Not that I'm complaining, mind you.

-Smackie Onassis

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Important News Bulletin: Insect Overlords

Have you ever worried that some kind of oversized insect race is going to take over the planet?

I'm going to go out on a limb, dear reader, and assume that you have. Because of course you have.

If you do happen to be one of the few people who have never had this concern, you're probably sitting at your computer, smirking. Oversized insects, you might be chuckling to yourself, what kind of stupid moron would believe that?

Well skeptics, I sure hope your microwave has a 'words' setting because you are about to be eating a certain few choice utterances.

Look at that beast. That's a moth. That thing that's covering it? A CD stacker dealie thing. I don't know what those things are supposed to be called, but the point is: that is a moth with a wingspan the size of a CD.

Let me tell you what happened here.

Vegatrain and I were sitting in the courtyard, minding our own business. Suddenly, we heard a frenzied flapping sound coming from the branches of the tree above us. At first, we ignored it. We're pretty used to the wildlife that frequents our courtyard, from the infamous Senator Mousington to the dreaded Drill Sergeant Jack Hornet.

But the flapping continued, getting more and more rabid and distracting.

"There's a bird caught in that branch," I said, squinting to see as far as I could into the tree.

It was dark and I had lost my glasses yet again, but I could just make out the movement of a pair of wings, fluttering around in clear distress. Worried that an innocent bird might be hurt, Vegatrain got up to see if he could find an appropriate tool for trying to free it.

It's a good thing he got up when he did.

Mere moments after he moved away from his seat, the creature in the tree suddenly plummeted to the table, inches from where Vegatrain had been sitting. It landed with a thud and lay motionsless, assumed by both of us to be dead.

Cautiously, we went to examine the body.

To our surprise (and horror), it wasn't a bird. It was a moth. A moth the size of a bird. And not a small bird either.

We put the first thing we could find that would fit on top of it, as caution generally seems like the best option when dealing with creatures that are clearly not of this world. But at least it was motionless. Dead. We were looking forward to palming it off to Meattrain for some hardcore dissection action.

But then, in a twist straight out of the opening scene of a B-grade monster movie, it came back to life.

It started flapping its wings. Just a bit at first, enough to let us know that it had woken up. But soon it came to realise that it had been trapped. Captured. Like a wild pokemon. It was not cool with that. It had forcefully freed itself from the tree, only to be captured by man. It flapped harder, becoming more and more agitated. At one point, I was sure it was going to blow the case right away. I kept my distance, watching it.

"Do we... do we kill it?" I asked.

And yes, maybe we should have killed it. Unfortunately for the world at large, we are both vegetarians and as such, are pussies when it comes to killing things. Especially when those things look like they could fight back.

So we let it go. Took it out the front of the house and released it back into the wild. Maybe we'll never know why it was so big, or how many of these creatures there are. Maybe it will breed with another insect, a spider for example, to create a race of creatures even more horrifying. Maybe those creatures will take over our government. Let's hope they at least have a decent tertiary education policy.

Maybe it's a coincidence that it turned up in the courtyard of our house, which also happens to be the residence of a certain (mad?) scientist, who just so happens to have a radiation licence and access to substances that most people will likely never even see.

Maybe we'll never know.

-Smackie Onassis

Sunday, May 16, 2010

A (Bon)Soiled Reputation

I found out something interesting today.

Apparently, all Bonsoy soy milk was recalled not too long ago. Something to do with iodine which has apparently caused thyroid problems in a bunch of people. Naturally, when I heard the news I had a minor panic. I had to have some blood tests this morning to check my parathyroid and I used to work in a café that served Bonsoy as its primary soy option. I had coffees with the stuff most days. Not because I thought it was healthy or any of that but because damn, that stuff is tasty. But don't worry, further research has revealed that the thyroid and the parathyroid are completely different things and, as previously hypothesised, I'm a complete and total hypochondriac.

But I'm glad I read about this Bonsoy thing. As you probably know, I spend a lot of time reading. One area I'm interested in, being a vegetarian and all, is the ethics of food production, including organic foods and genetic modification. It's a very interesting subject. I've read a lot of arguments against genetic modification in food products and, as with most subjects, some are more convincing than others. But there's one argument I've never liked that keeps coming up. When certain strains of fruit or vegetable are modified to, let's say, became more resistant to pests, they obviously test them to see whether they have any serious side-effects on people who consume them. When the modifications are shown to be harmless you often hear someone saying that sure, now it seems like there's nothing wrong with it, but hey! You don't know if it will turn out to hurt us in the future!

I hate this argument. For those against genetic modification I would hasten to bring up the fact that the work of scientists like this excellent dude have meant that crops have been able to be provided to buttloads of people who would otherwise have died of starvation. But whether GM foods are good or bad is not the point here. The point is that if you're going to try and ban something based on a completely hypothetical future where it might turn out to be bad for you, you should apply it across the board. Ban everything that could maybe one day turn out to cause some kind of problem. Oh wait, that's EVERYTHING.

And this Bonsoy thing proves a neat little point. You see, the kind of people who use that argument are usually the kind of people you see drinking soy milk. And no, that doesn't apply to all soy milk drinkers. As I said, there are some of us that just drink it because it's super delicious. But there is a specific sub-section of soy drinkers that can be summed up with one word: hippies.

I'm sorry hippies, but you know it's true.

You see them when you do café work. They come in groups for their soy chai lattes, always with their babies in hand-made booties. I sometimes wonder if those babies are present because the parents also hand-crafted their own condoms. There was a drink at my favourite little café in Newcastle that was a latte with soy milk and dandelion extract, written on the menu as an L.S.D. If that's not aimed squarely at this exact demographic, I don't know what is.

Some of them drink it because they're vegan, some of it drink it because maybe they heard it has some kind of health benefit (I also see that a lot with gluten-free products). Some drink it because, well, maybe it's just the culture. They're the type of people who only buy food with the word 'organic' on the label. And don't get me started on that old pearl. The problem is, you can define 'organic' as any product derived from a living organism. Technically, it's true. It may have been ground up with the hooves of a thousand mutated puppies living their lives in a perpetual hell, but if it comes from a living organism, it's technically organic. Then you can sell that product with the word 'organic' on the label. Maybe you're not supposed to, but nor are you supposed to use misleading pictures to make your food more appetising than it is. If it's technically legal and it can rake in the dollars, people will do it.

Then they bring out 'certified' organic. There are actual certifications that you can get that your food is organic. The ACO certification is, I believe, a good one. But unfortunately, these certifications aren't compulsory for any food using the label of 'organic'. And as a result, there's nothing stopping some marketing genius from making up his own certification to make it look genuine. The word 'certified' means nothing if you don't know anything about who is doing the certifying. You can't just take their word for it. It could just be some guy in a factory taking the packaging and saying 'This bread is organic, as certified by my dick.' That'll be $15 a loaf, don't forget the canvas bags.

But now, as if specifically formulated for me to prove a point, it turns out that of all the things that are making people sick, it turns out it's the soy milk. Even better, the ingredient in Bonsoy that was causing all the trouble? It was the SEAWEED EXTRACT. If you're eating something that contains anything derived from a plant that was grown underwater, that's instant hippie credibility. And then it turns out THAT'S what's bad for them.

And no, it's not all soy milk that was harmful and Bonsoy is back on the shelves now, the problem having been rectified but, really. You can't help but love that sort of irony.

-Smackie Onassis

P.S. There is a new poll, based on the results of the last poll. As requested (by Vegatrain) I am keeping this one open for a bit longer.

Snakes On An Everything

I actually haven't seen Snakes On A Plane. It's not that I wasn't interested. It's just that I saw a lot of the meme action leading up to it and by the time the movie came out, I felt like I'd pretty much seen it already.

To be honest, the idea of snakes on a plane isn't the most bone-chilling plane scenario I can think of. I quite like snakes. Even when I was a kid, trips to the Reptile Park were the highlight of any holiday period. Personally, I've always found the idea of Outbreak of Gastroenteritis On A Plane to be a whole lot more terrifying. What would you do?? There's only those two tiny little cubes of bathroom space for the whole plane. There would be bodily emissions going everywhere. And not in a good way.

ANYWAY. Snakes.

Liking snakes in Australia is probably not the most intuitive thing. If you see a snake in your backyard, you're not really supposed to want to touch it. You're basically supposed to get as far away from it as possible, because that bitch can and will straight up murder you and then slither home to laugh about it with its little snake friends.

One of the best news stories I can remember happening in my home town took place in our local David Jones. It was unfortunately timed; the store was located on a strip of mall where all the shops were closing down and being replaced by crackheads dragging their girlfriends along the ground by their hair. The council had this big campaign to try and encourage people back into the CBD. I remember writing a bunch of letters to the editor trying to explain how putting more meter parking on the street (without any parking garage options apart from the David Jones carpark) while at the same time talking about cutting the public transport options really isn't the best way to attract people to any given area. Unfortunately, it is against the law for a local council to do anything that falls under the categories of 'logical' or 'productive' so the CBD was in pretty bad shape.

It was around this time that they had to temporarily shut down the David Jones unexpectedly one day. Because there was a brown snake hanging out (literally) in the automatic door. Just dangling there, setting off the sensors, preventing anyone who wanted to continue living from shopping for perfumes and such. In the end they had to get animal control in to remove it, where they discovered that a family of the bastards was living in the roof. Not the best for business.

But still, I love snakes. The venomous ones aren't so much my favourites, but that doesn't mean I can't have a soft spot for the ones who don't do all the killing. My old friend, who I have referred to in this blog as 'Binny' on the insistence of my housemates, had a snake in his care for some time. It wasn't his; his old housemate had absconded to Queensland for a job, but had left a great majority of his things in Binny's house. Including his pet snake, Precious.

I loved that snake. I can't count the number of times Binny and I came home drunk and decided to get the snake out to play. I also can't count the number of times I said that to people who asked what I'd done the night before and then refused to believe that it wasn't an innuendo.

Precious did bite me once. Apparently she was a bit temperamental that day. When I reached into the tank, she reared up and fanged me. I showed off that wound for as long as it lasted.

"Oh what's that? Oh, just a snake bite. Venomous? Well technically yes, but I'm so naturally hardcore that I already have venom running through my veins instead of blood and it doesn't have any effect on me."*

Precious was not venomous. Sadly, I am not really that hardcore. I am not even a little bit hardcore. But Meattrain, if you will recall, is made of nothing but steel and brawn and testosterone. He is part Dr House, part Indiana Jones, part guy from one of those CSI shows that I have never watched and thus cannot efficiently reference. As part of his big fancy job, he had to do a component of 'snake awareness' training, which turned out to have nothing to do with how to pick your hookers in Bangkok, as I first assumed.

He recently undertook a series of tests out in the outback which I believe also included driving cars off cliffs. I'm assuming, as with all of these tests, it was considered a pass if he was still alive at the end. The snake test also sounded pretty intense. Basically, my understanding of what happened is they gathered a bunch of Australia's Most Venomous (including one pissed off python they'd simply found on the road on the way to the test) in a small room and threw them at my housemate. They chucked a bunch of snakes at him, and he had to deal with them without dying.

I'm assuming he passed.

-Smackie Onassis

*Disclaimer: this is not true in any way, not by any definition of the word 'true'. Except perhaps where 'true' is defined to mean 'false'.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Vanity License Plates

I'm going to go ahead and say it: I really friggin hate vanity license plates. Or, more specifically, I hate the type of people who think that putting a few different letters on the back of their car for no apparent purpose is a perfectly valid way to spend a few hundred bucks. I can't imagine how much disposable income I would have to have before I was so lost for ways to spend my fortune that I handed over a spare $250 for my car to be officially labelled as 'DJ-5LY'. It would have to be $250 that I found in change on the floors of my many luxury cars. Well, when I say 'change' I mean 'fifties', but that would be change to me, you know?

I always take note of such plates when I see them around, because I love to imagine the type of person who would have thought that was a good idea. I recently passed a parked car in a wealthy suburb that bore the license plate:


I really wanted to leave a note that said 'I'm not sure, but I imagine spending hundreds of dollars on a personalised scrap of metal probably wouldn't have been high on his to-do list.' Sadly, I didn't have a pen.

Most of the people I imagine behind those plates are not the type of people I imagine wanting to be friends with. I might even have thrown punches at the likes of 2HOT4U for simply being such tremendous wankers. Although I do kind of want to meet the guy behind BMMEUP, provided that it does mean 'beam me up' and not 'bowel movement me up'. You can never tell these days.

I was wondering about which other things people have paid to have attached to their car and I remembered hearing about a search engine of combinations that are still available. I had a look and didn't find that, but I did manage to find a bunch of ads for registered vanity plates in all Australian states. There were quite a few that had me truly scratching my head.

I understand that a lot of specific names are taken but when you're going to go as generic as MISTER you may as well just stick with the random letters, in my opinion. And is WORKM8 really the most impressive thing you could say about yourself?

There was someone selling one that said 'CIVIC' which I can imagine someone thinking was a great idea when their judgement was impaired in some way, then having to sell it when they woke up and realised that having a Honda Civic isn't really something that you're supposed to brag about. Unless it's the exact opposite of all those Civics with 'PORCHE' licence plates and they're just being horribly ironic. And I'm sure the owner of BADSTI meant... something else. Anything else. Maybe it was somebody's initials. But surely, SURELY, they would have noticed that it could be interpreted to mean the driver of the car is currently sporting an unfortunate and embarrassing infection. Surely at least one person would have pointed that out.

Then there were some that I really couldn't figure out. When I first saw the plate EMAILS for sale, I thought it might have been intended for some kind of business car. But then I couldn't figure out what kind of company could best sum up what they do with the word EMAILS. Do they send emails? Do they sell them? Are they a spam company? Or am I barking up the wrong tree entirely and is Emails someone's name? Spoilt rich kids sprung from the loins of eccentrics in the early nineties would be about the right age for receiving name plates as gifts, so that kind of checks out.

-Smackie Onassis

P.S. There is a new poll that I put up the other day. Choose which lie I should add to my CV!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Wine Fight

We had a wine fight once.

When I say 'wine fight' you might be thinking that I'm putting a spin on something, that it's goint to be a more boring event that I'm slyly twisting so I can call it a wine fight. Let's be clear: when I say 'we had a wine fight', I mean that Vegatrain, Meattrain and myself once found ourselves in the kitchen at our old house, covered in white wine and flinging more of the stuff around everywhere.

I've thought before that the house the three of us share (with Richard Melons, who keeps himself separate from such shenanigans) isn't really a grown-up's house. The central room is an entertainment centre that consists of three TVs, multiple gaming consoles, a few couches and a big ol' stack of beanbags*. As I have mentioned, the centrepiece is often a top hat that we keep filled with chupa-chups.

But then I realised, this is a grown-up's house. It's just for the type of grown-up every kid wants to be when they're older, rather than the type they actually turn into when they cave to pressure and start being sensible. And that's kind of a good analogy for the way we act most of the time.

Let me explain the wine fight.

To understand how it started, you have to have a basic grip on how much I love bargains. For those of you who don't know, I really like bargains. I like them more than a friend. If I see a really good bargain, I have to cash in on it. If it's something I can't possibly use, I will try and think of someone I can tell about it. I once called Vegatrain's sister-in-law from the shops because there was an amazing special on tuna and she was the only person I knew who eats it. When a bargain is that good, I must at the very least witness someone taking advantage of it. I call it 'Vicarious Bargain Joy'.

I was out searching for some specials when I found a really, really cheap cask of white wine. It even looked like reasonably decent wine, I guess, all things considered. I bought it, thinking I would drink it for sure. Naturally I had one glass and put it away when I realised just how awful it was. It sat on our kitchen table for some time.

Until one fateful day. Meattrain, bored and restless, sat down at the table and poured himself a full stein of the stuff. He proceeded to look at it like a drunk cowboy looks at a racial stereotype and skulled the whole thing in one move. It was pretty impressive.

I'm not sure who made the next move. It was either me or Vegatrain, but it was a long time ago and I don't quite remember. Whoever it was poured a proper glass of wine, looked at it nervously (neither of us can best our housemate in the being-a-man stakes) and promptly threw it all over Meattrain, who was still sitting at the kitchen table. From there, all bets were off. Several litres of wine were thrown, ending up all over the three of us and any surfaces or inanimate kitchen equipment that happened to be in the crossfire.

And no, it didn't feel that great to be covered head to toe in goon. But I have to say, it wasn't nearly as bad as the time the boys stuck a 1.25L Pepsi bottle upside-down in the back of my pants and then unscrewed the lid. Rotten boys.

-Smackie Onassis

*For awhile the beanbags were working as my chair in the study. When we set up the study, we had four desks but only three appropriate chairs so my section of the study became a pile of beanbags in the corner with my lapdesk/laptop combination. However, after a month or so I found a chair under a pile of laundry in my room (seriously) and now I can sit at a desk like a proper person.

P.S. I haven't updated in ages because I've been heaps sick and stuff. But I am feeling better now so it's all good :)