Tag Archives: Top Ten

Ten Tips For My Daughter

20 Nov

I don’t have a daughter.  

However, the recent comments on the Breaking Dawn Part 2 post and its follow-up made me wonder what advice I would give to a daughter if I did have one.

Here’s what I came up with:

  1. Don’t read the Twilight books until you are forty and safe from its pernicious influence.  Then feel free to love them, but expect scorn.
  2. It’s okay to shave your toes.  Trust me.
  3. Love comes and goes.  Housework lasts forever.
  4. Only get a dog if you have no objection to daily walks, whatever the weather; and poo.
  5. One glass of Coke will clean a year’s worth of grime from a toilet bowl. Think about that before you drink it.
  6. Be nice to your partner.  You may need them to walk the dog some day.
  7. There is no such thing as too much moisturiser.  Your neck, especially, will thank you.
  8. You cannot have it all; something always has to give.  Usually your waistband.
  9. I will adore your children but don’t ask me to babysit everyday.
  10. The more clothes you wear, the more clothes you will have to wash. Corollary for teenage daughters:  The more clothes you wear on a date, the better for your mother’s nerves.

*

What advice would you give to your fictional daughter?

Top Ten Scariest Receptionists

4 Nov
Nice Reception people at DICE in Stockholm

Nice Reception people at DICE in Stockholm (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Show me a person who doesn’t fear receptionists and I’ll show you the person who runs the organisation and employs receptionists specifically to keep us plebs out.

The law of averages dictates that at least one of my readers is bound to be a receptionist of some sort so I acknowledge in advance that you are absolutely not one of the following monsters who ruin ordinary lives, being the exception that proves the rule.  Though how an exception proves a rule, I’ve never understood: surely an exception disproves the rule?

Dear Reception Exception, you’re not by any chance gatekeeper to someone who can explain that, are you?

&

10.  Switchboard Operators

Receptionists with delusions of grandeur and real power.  Think your partner is having an affair because you can never get hold of them?  They’re not – they just annoyed the Switchboard Operator who won’t now put calls through.

They come in at Number Ten because mobile phones and email are stripping them of their ability to break up your relationship.

9.  Receptionists Who Work in Government Offices

Your taxes pay their salaries so, effectively, they work for you.

Like they care about that.

8.  Conglomerate Receptionists

Professional, attractive, friendly, helpful.

They are the bait that conglomerates use to hook you.  Be prepared for a thorough fleecing and some mixed metaphors.

7.  Office Administrators

Receptionists with delusions of grandeur.  I’ve been one.  I know whereof I speak.  Ask me for a new pen and see how quickly you lose an eye.

6.  Gym Receptionists

Like Conglomerate Receptionists but with sickeningly gorgeous figures in lycra and the ability to shave money from your bank account for an indefinite period of time.

5.  Job Centre Receptionists

How dare you be unemployed!?  Get out, scum.

4.  Hairdressers’ Receptionists

Slim, beautiful, perfectly coiffed and manicured.

Intimidating in an I-can’t-believe-you’d-dare-visit-this-over-priced-salon-in-no-make-up-and-wearing-that sort of way.

3.  Post Office Counter Staff

So unhelpful and unfriendly, they count as Honorary Receptionists.

Tell me I’m wrong.

2.  School Receptionists

‘Grim’ is their default facial expression setting.

I never met one yet who didn’t terrify me.  Though there was one tiny, skinny, middle-aged woman in my high school years who won points for riding a 750cc motorbike in full leathers and helmet to work.  Total astonishment always trumps fear.

1.  Medical Receptionists

My failure to prevent the Hub’s future pneumonia is a case in point.  They get to be Number One because they hold the power of life and death in their appointment book-wielding hands.

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My Top Ten Lists

22 Jul

Make a list of the reasons why top ten lists are often so disappointing; if you’re feeling more positive today than I am, go for a top ten list of why top ten lists are awesome.

I’m going for the latter option today, and I’m doing it with pictures.  I appreciate that not everyone thinks like I do, so if you don’t get the joke, the explanation is at the bottom of the post.

Copenhagen opened the leaning towers of the Beautiful Sky Hotel

list

–noun

1.

a careening, or leaning to one side, as of a ship.
–verb (used without object)

2.

(of a ship or boat) to incline to one side; careen: The ship listed to starboard.
–verb (used with object)

3.

to cause (a vessel) to incline to one side: The shifting of the cargo listed the ship to starboard.

Origin:
1620–30; origin uncertain
—Synonyms
2, 3. tilt, slant, heel.

My Top Ten Movies or, Why People Who Watch Films Can’t Count

22 Nov
Arnold Schwarzenegger as The Terminator

Image by xrrr via Flickr

Okay, I’d better start by admitting that there are actually fourteen on the list.  I did manage to rate them but I couldn’t leave out the last four; I can’t hurt their feelings, I’m afraid.  And yes, I know celluloid/digital things don’t have feelings…I suppose my anthropomorphism* of them comes from the same logic that led me to never say in my mind the code of the padlock to the outside bin cupboard in case identity thieves or secret government agencies read my mind** and accessed my shredded documents and potato peelings.  I only stopped doing it when it occurred to me that if the government has the power to read minds then they could probably get past a three-for-a-pound padlock without too much difficulty.  It was about that time I also decided to stop wearing the foil hat.

The List:

  • Terminator & Terminator 2 – T1 because it’s the greatest love story ever told (don’t scoff – Kyle came across time for Sarah: how many of you men out there can say you’ve done that for the missus?) and T2 because it’s the story of a mother’s love and redemption.  The fact that there’s loads of violence is simply a fortunate coincidence.  I never watched a violent movie until I saw T1: we were newlyweds living in a flat in Jo’burg and my brother and his girlfriend came to stay, bringing movies that had blood and guts but no romance, I thought, including Mad Max (if ever there was a prescient name for Mr Gibson, that’s it) and The Terminator.  I didn’t want to watch any of them but I was a new hostess and soppy in love with the Hub back then, and allowed myself to be persuaded.  I’m so glad I did.  I was glued to the screen (my brother’s a great practical joker) and I have loved T1 ever since.
  • Love Actually – what’s not to love, actually?  Great ensemble cast, interwoven characters, humour, pathos, the best wedding scene in the history of film, and Hugh Grant calling Margaret Thatcher ‘a saucy minx’. 
  • It’s A Wonderful Life – the best Christmas film ever made.  We made the boys watch it with us one Christmas Day.  Tory Boy protested loudly right up to the first five minutes in (particularly that it was in black & white), and then became engrossed in the film and outraged at George Bailey’s rotten luck and unfair shake at the world.  I’ve only ever seen him that indignant over a scratched dvd, so it was quite a conversion.
  • Forrest Gump & Field Of Dreams – I’ve read both of the books on which the films were based and much prefer the movies.  Forrest, Forrest Gump is an ‘idiot savant’*** and gets to hump a lot and Shoeless Joe Jackson is no Ray Liotta.  Mind you, neither is Ray Liotta these days: have you seen his face?  Euggh.  Why people have plastic surgery thinking it will fix growing old is beyond me.   
  • The Muppet Christmas Carol – the best Christmas film ever made: ‘Light the lamp, not the rat!  Light the lamp, not the rat!’  Brilliant!
  • Signs – M. Night Shyamalammmmm is a genius and I hope one day to be able to shake his hand and ask him, ‘How do you pronounce your surname?’  This film is the most scared I like to be, and it terrifies me every time I watch it even though I know the ending.  Which makes me about as bright as that dog who attacks his own leg:
  • The Last of the Mohicans – the one with Daniel Day Lewis.  It’s the only film in which I ever thought he was attractive; I guess I must like my men with long hair and wearing smelly moccasins.  We drove 100kms to watch this on our tenth wedding anniversary.  Mum babysat Tory Boy and we went for a meal and a movie.  I didn’t want to see it but the Hub was desperate, it was on its last week in cinemas, and I was still somewhat in love.  Of course, it was Terminator 1 all over again, but without the annoying sibling.  I once watched it on M-Net three times in one week.
  • You’ve Got Mail – the best three little words ever (I’ve been married a long time).
  • The Sound of Music – singing nuns and singing Nazis?  You’d have to be daft not to love it.
  • Moulin Rouge – any film that contains an Elephant Love Medley and an unconscious Argentinian gets my vote.
  • The Santa Clause – the best Christmas film ever made.  I love it.  Are you sensing a pattern?  All of these Christmas movies bang on about the spirit of Christmas and the true meaning of Christmas without once mentioning the story of Christmas.  But hey, that’s Christmas for you.
  • Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat – Donny Osmond.  Sigh.
  • The Untouchables – Kevin Costner in a mac and Sean Connery in the worst Irish accent ever, plus a fabulous soundtrack.  I love it.

And there you have it.****  Now, what does my list say about me?  It says that I have an obsession with Christmas, I love musicals and violence is fun.  It says I like Kevin Costner, Tom Hanks, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Rizzo the Rat i.e. I don’t have a type.  Therefore, my favourite all-time film would be a violent musical about Christmas, starring the thinking woman’s beefcake rodent.

*a word used deliberately to dispel the recent rumour that my readers are all better read than I am

**not as nutty as it sounds; there’s not much in there

***I use inverted commas because I’m quoting from the book.  I’m not sure in this pc world of ours if this term is still in use; though I have to say this is one time I’m in favour of political correctness because it’s a horrible way to describe someone.  If anyone knows another term, I’d appreciate you leaving a comment letting me know, and I’ll change it.

****Not quite: I desperately wanted to include Scrooged but a Top Ten stretched to sixteen and starring four Christmas films was a step too far, I’m afraid.  Carol Kane’s kicking fairy will have to go on another list: Mythical Film Creatures or, Why I Don’t Have Any Friends.

Now tell me about your favourite movies, please.  I’d love to know*****.

*****In case I missed a good ‘un.

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