Friday, April 27, 2012

My 5 least favourite words

The Guardian article What is the worst of all words? made me want to list my own five least favourite words. Since I'm unable to comment in The Guardian without registering (I seriously cannot be fagged to do so), I decided to make my list into a post on my blog. What's not to like, right? And feel free to list your favourite words to hate, too.

In no particular order, here goes:

1. Peplum (a recent dislike) - simply because it's a stupid fancy description for something that already HAS a word - and that's "frill".
2. Ooze - *shudder* Brings disgusting things to mind, like pus and slugs and squashed animals on the road with their insides on the outside. When a food item is described as "oozing cheese", does that make you want to eat it or throw up over it? (You'd have a pretty good chance of guessing my answer.) It's not possible to ooze anything in a good way. Just. Not. Possible.
3. Hubby - Doesn't that sound like a stunted hobby or something? Why is it "hubby" and not "husby", assuming that it's derived from the word "husband"? Not that I'd want to refer to Pete as my "husby", either.
4. Gutted - A particularly British description for "heartbroken" or "deeply disappointed", one that I avoid using at all costs, because it just GRATES ON MY NERVES! It makes me grit my teeth every time I hear it, and if I knew who used that word in that context for the first time, I would damn well sue the person for causing unnecessary wear and tear to my teeth!
5. Bap - Rude slang for breast (especially to do with older women), and also British for a soft, flabby, round bread (like a bun). Whichever way it's used, it makes me cringe. How can anyone want to eat a "bacon bap"? Gross!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

A hypothetical question

Before I get started, I'd like to say that David E Kelley is a genius at coming up with addictively watchable TV shows - L.A. Law is one that instantly springs to mind. I was a fan of Picket Fences too. And Chicago Hope, until the bad singing started to take over the storyline. And The Practice. And Ally McBeal (pretty much). The man is GOOD. My latest addiction from his studios is "Harry's Law". I love Kathy Bates, and she plays the rumpled, bad-tempered, straight-talking, cynical, soft-hearted solicitor Harry just perfectly!

I just wanted to say that for the record.

Ok, the reason I started this post was not merely to worship all David E Kelley productions. (Actually, while I'm on the topic, I haven't watched Boston Legal or Boston Public... although if they started showing those from the pilot episode, I'd be watching. Just saying.) The latest episode of Harry's Law was particularly thought-provoking, and I wanted to perhaps get a few other considered opinions on a particularly controversial topic.

So here's my main hypothetical question: What would you do if you found out that a teacher in your school - that is, the school that your kids attended - had, in his or her off-time, made adult videos or was a pole-dancer/male escort or anything else along those lines? Not advertising their porn stardom, or running a brothel, or trafficking in women, or doing anything to harm minors... just providing adult entertainment for adults, without coercion and of their own free will. Let's even rule out the more extreme fetish and hardcore sections of the porn industry.

Knowing that, would you demand that the teacher be sacked immediately and put on the sex offenders register? Or would you consider the teacher's school record and general demeanour and behaviour in the school before making up your mind?

If you wouldn't for one second countenance such a person teaching your precious babies, no matter HOW well they taught your babies and how dedicated they were to their job, what would be your main reason? Apart from the obvious reason, I mean.

In other words, why would you NOT want someone with an adult hobby (not publicised in the school or anywhere that students would be likely to accidentally come across) to teach your kids? What would be so terrible about an adult entertainer teaching geography or mathematics, or any other subject for that matter?

Would the kids' age matter at all in your decision?

Would you be okay if the teacher was teaching college/university students?

I put my question to Pete and, rather to my surprise, he said he would not be comfortable if he knew that such a hypothetical person was teaching his children. So I asked him to tell me in more detail why not. Then he thought about it a bit more, and said that he would not like any kids over the age of 10 - basically, pre-teens and teenagers - to be taught by my hypothetical teacher, as there was a high likelihood of some of those students accidentally finding out (mainly via the Internet) about their teacher's off-duty work. That would be embarrassing for the school and the teacher, not to mention set a bad example for the students.

Yeah? Because it's normal for teenagers to consider their morally upright and conventional-hobbied (to coin a phrase) teachers as their role models?

And think about this - is it feasible that the teenagers who find out that their teacher is also an adult entertainer will immediately all fall off the straight and narrow? Even IF there is the odd one who thinks "ah, here's validation for my ambition to become a porn star", what reason is there to assume that all the students will also want to take up that as a potential career? (Isn't it a bit like the reasoning in those "cultures" that women who do not undergo ritual genital mutilation will all cuckold their husbands?)

If any student has gone online to surf for porn and stumbled across the hypothetical teacher on a stritcly-adults-only porn/adult entertainment website, who is most at fault? The teenager, for illicitly and illegally accessing porn? The parents, for being unaware about their offspring's access to adult websites from home, unmonitored and on the sly? Or the teacher, for being an adult entertainer?

Friday, April 20, 2012

Booking in

The Kindle is a marvellous, fabulous, sanity (and space) saving invention, and I love mine unreservedly, even if it's now a dinosaur compared to the latest models. I don't mind that mine is bigger and clunkier and isn't a Kindle Touch and doesn't have colour. Colour, for god's sake! Anyway, I don't need colourful pages to be tempted to read - black & white will do me just fine. 

 The trouble with the Kindle, as y'all probably know, is that it's so desperately easy to buy books from Amazon with the "one-click" function... and unless you're downloading the free books, you'll find suddenly that you've spent rather more than you intended - dunno about y'all, but with me, if I don't actually SEE money change hands, I retain the illusion that I haven't spent anything. Until I check my bank account, that is. Buying the cheaper £1-or-less books might seem like a good idea, but believe me, even those add up pretty damn quickly ("Ah, it's just a quid, that's won't break the bank). 

 So, what I do nowadays is check out the daily deals on Amazon and if there are any books that seem interesting (and here I should thank the good reviewers who take the time to post their views), I login to my library account, do a search for the preferred authors and reserve the books. Sure, it costs 35 pence per book to reserve, but that's nothing compared to what I'd have to pay if I actually bought the books. Plus, I don't have to feel annoyed at having to find the space at home to store a physical book that turned out to be a crap read.

So yeah, It's a great way to keep up with the latest stuff and find new authors without wasting good money on authors that you may not like. 

latest reservations are for a couple of books by an author called Priya Basil. She's had some good reviews, all 5-star, so I have high hopes for a book called "Ishq and Mushq".


In other news, the teenage son of a friend of Pete's has apparently sent out feelers (through his mom, as he was too bashful to make the request himself) to see if Pete would be kind enough to take him and three of his mates to the 6th Form Ball in the Rangerover. It's apparently de rigeur for the teenagers to arrive at the bash in fancy cars, mostly limos, and this kid wanted to make his mark in a slightly different style. 

 Of course Pete was more than willing to help, so no doubt they are going to pull up at the entrance to the posh hotel (where the prom is usually held) in a squeal of tyres, leaving rubber skidmarks on the tarmac - it's the sort of thing that would appeal to my husband, because he likes a bit of mischievous fun... plus he would get to show off his beloved Rangerover Sport Supercharged. 

 I, meanwhile, am considering sourcing a chauffeur's uniform for Pete, complete with cap and livery, if possible. It's the very least I could do for the lads for Prom Night! Right? Yep, thought so.


Here's something really odd - lately I can't seem to reply to comments on my own blogs! I don't know why that is. I login, I write my reply, do the security code thing to verify that i'm a person, then I get the message that my comments will be published after verification from the blog admin (me). But when I go to the "comments awaiting verification" section, there's nothing there. Nada, zip, zilch. Anybody else encountered this problem? Why is it happening and what do I do about it? And how is it that other people's comments DO appear for verification by me, but not mine? *sigh* Blogger is getting to be more trouble than it's worth. I may yet have to migrate everything to my own domain. Although Pete says he'll host it for me, it's still going to be such a pain. I'm not ready for that sort of thing yet! Bah.