Archive for the ‘Random silliness’ Category


Every now and again, I’m reminded that my mind does not work in quite the same way as most other people’s. One such moment occurred when I went for an eye test recently.

By Photographic Collection from Australia (Eye Tests  Uploaded by Oxyman) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

If all eye exams were still conducted like this, my whole post would be moot.

Oh, it all started innocently enough. Medicare in Australia covers the cost of a standard eye exam every two years, and that time had rolled around for me, so I would be foolish not to avail myself of it, especially considering I started wearing reading glasses about four years ago. I made the appointment and trotted down to the local optometrist.

So, I’m sitting there with my chin pressed against one hard surface and my forehead pressed against another, and the technician is operating the machine that is taking images of my eyes. At least, I think she is… The machine whirs. It moves a little to the left. It whirs and adjusts its position upwards slightly. Somewhere in its depths, an iris opens and shuts, and it whirs and moves some more.

The machine appears to be focusing on my left eye, leaving me just enough clearance to look at the technician through my right. And she’s not even looking at the machine. She’s talking to one of her colleagues. The machine is moving and adjusting itself, automatically; presumably it is on a quest to find my eyes on my face and zero in on them. At one point, the technician gets up and walks away, leaving the machine to whir and shift and quest unsupervised.

I go home and tell my husband about it. “…and this thing was moving about on its own, and I got to thinking, what if it malfunctioned and lunged at my face and took my eyes clean out? Or…or…what if it did it ON PURPOSE? What if Skynet suddenly came online at that moment, and that was its first act of aggression? Thousands of optometrists’ machines across the world, all simultaneously going on murderous rampages…”

My husband gives me That Look. It is a look I have seen many times – the look that says, “I married a crazy lady.”

“What? What?” I say. “Wouldn’t you think the same thing? No? You wouldn’t? Well, OK then…”

And I sigh. I sigh, not because my husband doesn’t understand me, but because Skynet has already been rather famously made up, so I can’t write that story.

But hang on - according to this article,  it’s only a matter of time before the above scenario becomes likely. So maybe I’m not so weird after all. It’s comforting to know that there will be like-minded individuals out there to keep me company for the brief period I remain alive, blinded and in agony, when the Great Robot Uprising begins.

And we’ll all be saying, “I told you so.”


Recently we’ve been watching “The Almighty Johnsons”, a New Zealand television series about four brothers who are the human embodiments of Norse gods.  The story goes that the gods fled Norway in the 1800’s to escape Christian persecution and ended up in Hawkes Bay in New Zealand.  Upon turning 21, each of the human brothers took on the aspect of a god and as such has limited godlike powers. But in order to attain their full glory, youngest brother Axl, who is the human vessel for the god Odin, has to find and reunite with the human incarnation of his beloved goddess Frigg.

And much intrigue and shenanigans ensue.

Watching this show, my husband and I can’t help but speculate on which god power we’d prefer to have, given the choice.  Opinion is decided between being Ullr, who is the god of games and who cannot lose at Paper Rock Scissors (or more importantly, at Blackjack and playing the stock market), or being Bragi, who has the gift of persuasion and can talk anyone into doing anything.

We don’t get to choose our body shape in this game either, damn it.

The characters in the show don’t get a choice, of course.  Frankly, some of their god powers suck.  Poor Stacey is the goddess Fulla, whose sole purpose in life is to be Frigg’s handmaiden.  With Frigg not around, though, she’s genetically compelled to handmaiden for any god or goddess who asks her too, which means she spends most of the series running errands and cleaning things.  One of the brothers, Ty, is the god Höðr, in charge of all things dark and cold.  This makes relationships with women rather difficult, as prolonged skin-to-skin contact with a mortal will induce hypothermia and ultimately death.

So let’s play the game of “Which Goddess Am I?”  Not the goddess I’d want to be, but the goddess that my temperament and talents indicate most likely.  Recent events point towards my being the Goddess of Finding Things.  Like the deities in “The Almighty Johnsons”, my powers wax and wane, but when I’m on, I am freakishly on. Yesterday I told a friend where to find his misplaced copy of “Ghosts Can Bleed” – and lo, it was where I said it would be.  Not so freakish, you’re thinking? Except that I’ve never been in the home of the friend in question. We don’t even live in the same country. Perhaps it was due to the psychic connection between me and the book (or perhaps it’s because I remember him telling me where he’d put it…).

I’m particularly good at reclaiming objects that have passed into the mystical state of Not Anywhere. As in, “I’ve looked all over for my shoes, but they’re Not Anywhere.”  Sometimes I only have to enter a room, and the missing object will magically reappear.

It’s a double-edged sword, though, this power of mine; without it, I wouldn’t be faced with the burden of having to perform at 6.45am on a Monday morning, with my eyes still gummed shut from sleep and my son demanding  that I find his school pants.


It’s been a werewolf kind of week.

 It started with my eight year old daughter telling me about some song lyrics that she had misheard.  This in itself is not unusual; she is notorious for mishearing lyrics.  They’re called mondegreens, apparently.  Other famous-in-our-family efforts include  the “Tears are gonna fall” line in “Rolling in the Deep” transmuting into “Cheesy Fart A Pops”, and the Foo Fighter’s chart-topping Chicken Tender Song.

Anyway, this mondegreen came from a Katy Perry song, which some might argue is horrific enough in itself.  The original lyrics are “Throw your sticks and stones/Throw your bombs and blows” , which she managed to interpret as “Throw your sticks and stones/and your lycanthropes”.

Upon hearing this news, I frowned.  “Do you even know what ‘lycanthrope’ means?” I asked.

“Yes,” she said in a “doesn’t everyone?” tone.  “It means ‘werewolf’.”

“Where did you read that?”

“In ‘Monsterology’.”

Oh.  Of course.  As you do.

The second lycanthropic occurrence was my being challenged by Pierre Mare to write a werewolf-themed villanelle.  I can’t say it was my best work, but it was a liberating experience to write something purely for the enjoyment of playing with words.  You can see the results here:

http://pierremare.blogspot.com.au/2012/05/vicious-villanelles-wolves-on-two-legs.html?spref=fb&fb_source=message

And then there was the advertisement I came across while flicking through a magazine (Better Homes and Gardens, if you must know).  It featured on a lurid red background, the words “No. 1 Killer of Women” and an exhortation to visit the website www.goredforwomen.org.au for more information.

Gored For Women.  What the…?  Exactly what was this ad trying to tell me?

On closer inspection, the ad was about heart disease, and the website was about registering for something called the Healthy Heart Challenge.  “Go Red For Women” was the tagline.  Not “Gored For Women” at all.  Although now I’m thinking about a story about a high profile public service ad campaign warning of the dangers of walking alone under a full moon.

Just goes to show that horror is never far from my mind.