Friday, 15 January 2010

52 New Thing: Keeping my eyes open during scary TV shows

52 New Things: Week1.2. Okay so here is my second new thing this week. This will bring me up to date with everyone else.

Last night while we sat down to eat dinner; I put my pre-recorded episode of Ghost Whisperer on. While I’m addicted to this show and I watch it religiously, I have to put my hands in front of my eyes for most of it. When a ghost is first introduced into each episode, it is always creepy and the images are always flashing around. It would be fair to say that that I listen to the TV show rather than watch it.

“Why do you attempt watch this show if it scares you?” Justin asked as he piled butter into his mouth, justifying his butter intake by the small amount of baked potato he was shovelling in with it.
“I’m not scared, it’s just that the flashing images hurt my eyes and the ghosts are always scary… I mean dead looking.” Yeah, put that justification in your pie hole and chew it… once the butter melts that is.
“Really!?!? You know how you are doing that 52 new things blog? Why don’t you watch the full episode without covering your eyes or studying our wood floor? Bet you can’t do it!” You just know he wanted to witness my reaction of watching a full episode with my eyes glued to the screen. Some people’s idea of entertainment is just sick.

Not being one to whimper under pressure and let other’s win, last night with Justin as my witness (yes he sat there to make sure I didn’t cheat) I watched Ghost Whisperer with my eyes open the whole way through! I KNOW, GO ME! HIGH FIVE!

I’ll tell you something for nothing… if I ever do that again, it will be too soon. My poor little heart was beating like I was running a marathon and my palms were sweaty enough to lube a bicycle chain. Watching a scary show all the way through was on list of things to be done. I can now say that I’ve done it and such things don’t need to be visited again.

That show is hella creepy! I like the storyline and how Melinda is a kind person who helps others. The show really is a feel good show if you just listen too it rather than watch it. It promotes love and kindness. However I don’t like evil ghosts and ghosts with scary faces. Truth be told, I don’t like ghosts full stop! I don’t do scary, I never have and I never will. Its okay, I’ve come to terms with the fact I’m jumpy and likely to cry if you tell me the room I’m standing in is haunted. I’ve come to terms with the fact that I treat the program as if I was hearing it on the radio rather than watching it on TV. I’m content with my own imagination when it comes to things of the underworld and afterlife.

Later on that night after I turned off all the lights I had strategically turned on in the past hour, I climbed into bed and put Justin’s heavy sleeping arm around me. He stirred and held me tightly, “Scared you will have a nightmare?”
“NO! I’m just cold.” (Top tip: never show weakness)
“Don’t worry honey; I have Ghost Busters on speed dial.”
Listening to Justin’s giggles and feeling him bask in the glory of his own joke and self imposed manliness, I drifted off to sleep… to only be greeted by the inevitable nightmare of underground rooms and ghastly frights.

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

52 New Things

I cam across this idea from a blog that I follow. The author has teamed up with another blog to bring the world ’52 New Things.’ The idea is, every week you have to try something new. It doesn't matter what it is, but it must be something you’ve never done/eaten/sung/ran etc before. I think it sounds like fun! I really love the idea so I’m going to tag along for the ride.

Seeing as I’m one week behind in the game I’m going to write two ’52 New Things’ this week.
The first new thing I’ve tried this year was… mouse mat cleaning. I know, it sounds weird but there was some sort of method to my madness or at least that's the excuse I'm going to use. I figure that I touch my mouse everyday and the mat touches the mouse (obviously!) which gets covered in all sorts of germs and lovelies that are out to harm my fragile self. I've never cleaned a mouse mat before so I thought I would give it a go. I took my Medical Area Spray bottle and went to town on my mouse mat.

After spraying three squirts on my mouse mat I realised that liquids and mouse mat's don't mix very well and I should probably abort the mission at the first possible exit. Not only did the Medical Area Cleaner soak into the mouse mate and give off a hospital smell that still permeated the air 2hrs after I sprayed it, but it also dribbled out of the mat onto my desk. The cleaning liquid went into the mat clear and lightly misty… it came out brown and fast!

It’s not enough to have Medical Cleaner running down your desk threatening your note book and named stationery, (yes named stationery… it made sense to put my name of my things in primary school and it still makes sense now) the brown concoction that stank like hospital mop water started to stick to my table top and no amount of napkin scrubbing was picking it up. All the bloody napkins seemed to be doing was moving a pool of brown liquid around my desk making it even stickier! True, I was using horrible scratchy paper napkins to try and soak it up but surely even the most terrible of napkins need some sort of absorbency level? I feel a consumer review coming on…

It's to the point that I'm giving up. I'm now left with a sticky desk and wet mouse mat that I can’t rest my wrist on for fear of the itchies setting in. In a word, my mouse mat is GROSS! Far worse now than what it started out as. I would like to share with the masses the following piece of advice; when deciding to clean your mouse mat with industrial strength cleaner, I would recommend you just throw the damn thing a away and get a new one!

So my ’52 New Things,’ is off to shaky, dodgy smelling, sticky start but at least I’m giving it ago!

Monday, 11 January 2010

Book Review Jan: Murder in the Heartland

My new year’s resolution was to read more books based on true events. I plan to read one a month and review them. I’m kicking the year off with Murder in The Heartland by M. William Phelps.

Image from

The book brought to life the story of how a small town girl, Bobby Jo Stinnett, was brutally murdered when she was 8months pregnant with her first child. What makes this story even more heart churning is that the murderer, Lisa Montgomery, stole the unborn child from her dieing victim’s abdomen.

Straight off the bat; I was a tad disappointed by this book as it wasn’t what I was expecting. The book is less about the crime at hand and those directly involved but rather about Lisa Montgomery’s relatives and their opinions.

Reading the news articles around the story and hearing there was a true crime story written, I was itching to get inside the mind of someone who could commit such a heinous crime. I wanted to know what would drive a woman who has four children of her own to kill an expecting mother and kidnap her baby. It truly is the stuff of nightmares. However the author hasn’t touched on any of this and rather has delivered a story told through Lisa Montgomery’s ex-husbands eyes. The story rarely touches on the victims and the impact the crime had on them. Only the first third of the book is dedicated to the criminal act itself. I found most of the book to be filled with information about Lisa’s past. Several chapters are dedicated to retelling how she moved to several towns over the years and ripped her children from state to state. I’m guessing the author wanted to shares with us Lisa’s troubled past and give us incite into her mental state, I feel he missed the target of his objectives.

The book is written is a past/present layout. I usually don’t like this form of writing and I find it a cheap attempt at cliff hanging but the style seemed to work for this story. I feel the writer did this due to the lack of information that could be reported. At the time of writing, the case had not yet gone to trial.

I don’t feel the book adequately represented several key players. The views of the victims were void and the author admits that the family of Bobby Jo didn’t wish to speak with him. Lisa’s second husband, the one she was married too at the time of the events, didn’t wish to speak with the author either. I think the book would have come across a lot softer and sensitive to the victims if he had pursed some more lines of contact. It seems that only one Police office involved in the case came forward with information. He claims that he solved the case on his own and gave very little credit to other officers involved. I find it hard to believe that a small town sheriff had the power to rule over the FBI. I found his retelling to be very ‘Hollywood.’ At one point he goes into great detail about how he met the president.

Reading the book and knowing that the story is real and did happen, it makes you stop and think. It’s the type of book that you will put down after each chapter and really ponder about how the crime has impacted so many people. One point I would like to make about true crime stories; don’t be a nosey parker and start googling the story before you have finished the story. Let the author give his views before you do any research of your own. I made this mistake and found out the result of the trial before I finished the book, thus making the last few chapters very slow for me.

I would recommend this book to people who are interested in crime and policing. The book touches on details about how the killer was caught and the various techniques used. I don’t recommend this book to anyone expecting a child as it does play on your heart strings. With only one or two rough descriptions of the crime scene, the book is suitable for even the most weak bellied. All in all, I found the story interesting and an easy read.

Thursday, 7 January 2010

The Big Bull

When you’re little, you don’t appreciate the little things like home cooked food and riding bikes around the clothesline. It’s the big things that get you going. When it came to 'days out' in the small costal town where I grew up, short of going to the beach you were left with only three other half decent places to head. Two nature parks, and one huge-fuck-off-giant Bull.

Today I want to share with you my many memories of Wauchope’s ‘the Big Bull.’ It truly was as ridiculous as it sounds. Even as I research it today, it really astonishes me that the trip to ‘the Big Bull’ every school holidays was a highlight worthy of first week back at school show and tell! First off, this 14metre tall, 22metre long monstrosity wasn’t even in the same town where we lived. You had to drive 40mins west into hick-land. When I say hick-land, I’m talking nothing but farmland and weird people. The town is called Wauchope (pronounced War-Hope.) The town consists of several drunks sharing three pubs and one main street. To give you an idea, the town is home to the train station that no other local community wanted. A roaring national train tears through on the hour every hour and it makes the ground shake. The town is such a shit hole that the station and the thunder line (as I used to call it) added value to local property! The town has three second hand stores, a hardware store and a public pool that I was never allowed to visit due to it being populated by rednecks in mix-matched bathing suits (if they’re wearing bathing suit as all.) So what put this town on the map? What else… an infamous farmer who was caught with his overalls around in ankles, having it off with Betty the cow... and of course the beloved ‘Big Bull.’

As you can see from the picture there isn’t much there. It truly is nothing more than a huge field with a huge bull and cow themed gift shop stuck in the middle of it. You could see it for miles! As you would come up the highway you could see it getting bigger and bigger, with that the excitement would grow and grow.

Entry was $2 and there were three floors within the bull to explore. Each floor contained a different era of farm memorabilia. Farmer Paul, (not the one who had sex with a cow or at least he wasn’t caught) the creator of the big bull was always on hand to answer any questions you may have had. He also drove a tractor around the paddock with a trailer filled with hay attached. All the kid would pile in this trailer and he would take us for a ride around the paddock while giving us a live commentary of what ever he fancied. When I say whatever he fancied, he’d tell us stories about what he watched on TV the night before, how the government was screwing the poor, why Tasmania shouldn’t be associated with Australia etc. It was farmer Paul who taught me what a communist was and how Nam was a waste of time. It was only several years later that I realised he wasn’t refereeing to Nambucca Heads. Farmer Paul even once came to my school to drum up some business and promote his ‘kids get in free this month’ special…. he wasn’t allowed to talk to us but rather just stand next to principle and wave while the principle told us about the special offer.

There were also live milking shows at ‘the Big Bull’ where one lucky person got picked out of the crowd to go up and titillate a lactating mammal. I can also trace back my fear of barnyard animals to ‘the Big Bull.’ There was an animal nursery filled with goats and various other smelly four legged creatures. Determined to get me in the pen with my paper bag of animal feed, mum would climb over and then be chased around by goats and lambs for 10mins, yelling, “Get away… look sweet heart it’s fun. GET AWAY!” It’s rather traumatizing watching a goat try and eat your mother’s jacket as she’s trying to convince you she’s having fun. I never got in the pen with the animals. Instead I would throw my paper bag of feed in the middle of the chicken-bird like things and watch the feathers fly as the goats would come stampeding over.

But while all this sounds like a hoot and fun for all ages, there was only one reason you went to ‘the Big Bull’ if you didn’t have kids or a cow fetish. ‘The big Bull’ had huge pair of (to scale) swinging testicles that squeaked in the wind due to them being so big and the hinge that connected them being so small. My mum wouldn’t let me stand underneath them for fear of castrated bull balls killing me.

But with all good things, ‘the Big Bull’ is no more. I found this article which I think sums up why it was pulled down… and also to prove that this post is not just a load of bollocks.