The Dissemination of Thought

Just because it's in print doesn't mean it's intelligent…

Posts Tagged ‘holidays

Hallmark cards, shopping fear and a TDoT dose of Christmas cheer

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If the lovely people at Hallmark are to be believed, Christmas is a time for giving, indulging and sending out vibes of goodwill towards all men, women and house-trained animals.

The reality of the festive season could not be further from the clichés, corny poems and pictures of goofy-looking reindeer the marketing gurus expect us to embrace every December.

Cheesy cards are the reason disillusioned people are stressed and angry by December 25.  Source: hallmarkcards.com.au

Cheesy cards are the reason disillusioned people are stressed and angry by December 25. Source: hallmarkcards.com.au

While the David Jones catalogues and Coles billboards depict well-dressed shoppers with Joker-esque grins peacefully perusing the aisles, apocalyptic scenes are playing out on the ground.

Is there a get-your-fucking-hands-off-that-last-trampoline-before-I-lose-my-cool card?

It’s all well and good to espouse the spirit of season but the fact is all textbook theory about appropriate Christmas behaviour takes a back seat to retail guerrilla warfare in the lead-up to December 25.

Those who doubt me should have been in the Townsville bottle shop I happened to be in at midday.

As I was filling my trolley with enough vodka and cider to anaesthetise a three-year-old gelding, I witnessed two women swap the Christmas spirit for a verbal stoush over spirits.

Basically, the second woman – let’s call her Little Miss Swear Jar – objected to the first woman – who we’ll call Mrs Three Bottles – taking what appeared to be the last three bottles of an unidentified dark rum off the shelf, even though the former obviously wanted to buy one of them.

Unfortunately, it was at this stage Little Miss Swear Jar forgot all about those warm Christmas card messages and launched into a tirade that would have made both elves and seasoned sailors blush.

Bearing in mind that I made a beeline for the opposite side of the store when the argument started, I’m pretty confident it went something like this:

Little Miss Swear Jar: You’ve gotta be fuckin’ kiddin’ me.
Mrs Three Bottles: What?
Little Miss Swear Jar: Why the fuck are you takin’ all of them?
Mrs Three Bottles: We’re having a party and I need three bottles.
Little Miss Swear Jar: Fuck off. Everyone’s having a party tomorrow. Give me one of those fuckin’ bottles.
Mrs Three Bottles: Get fucked.
Little Miss Swear Jar: Fuck you, moll. You’re ruining my Christmas* and you can go and get fucked right up.

* Author’s note: Apparently, spirits really do maketh the occasion.

What were those morons at Hallmark saying about goodwill and compassion towards our fellow man?

After witnessing what should have been a pay-per-view event, I left the bottle shop thinking the advertising boffins should forgo the soft, heartfelt approach to Christmas marketing and focus instead on promoting a range of retail rage cards and light battle armour.

It could be worse. He could be snorting cocaine and texting strippers while having his photo taken with your child.  Source: news.com.au

It could be worse. He could be snorting cocaine and texting strippers while having his photo taken with your child. Source: news.com.au

In 2012, it seems the key to Christmas is just surviving the supermarket skirmish.

Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, I hope you have a fantastic festive season and stay safe while enjoying the company of friends and loved ones.

I’ve got a strong feeling my name will turn up in Santa Claus’ naughty book this year but the fact you guys and girls –this blog’s raison d’être – keep coming back day after day negates the lump of coal that will be stuffed into my stocking* hours from now.

* Author’s note: This is not a euphemism.

Oranges, Indian and Shirazco Pops: 4 signs that it’s time to go shopping

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I’m penning this (sort of) as I scrutinise the contents of my refrigerator, trying to ascertain what gastronomical marvel I can create with the ingredients that are staring back at me. After being away for 3 days over the Christmas long weekend, I’m being accosted with forlorn stares of loneliness from the items currently residing at Casa de Fisher & Paykel. Shit. There won’t be a Michelin star coming my way anytime soon. To bring you up to speed, I’m currently eyeballing:

  • a near-empty jar of Vegemite
  • a bottle of soy sauce
  • three feta-filled olives (which are disappearing as I type this)
  • an orange

If I open the freezer door, we can add coffee beans and a bottle of vodka to the list.

Step 1: Ensure you have food. Oops... Source: mobipocket.com

Given that a vodka-infused orange isn’t a recognised meal, it’s probably an opportune time to highlight 4 signs that indicate you need to go shopping.

1. You spend considerable time trying to work out what ingredients in your fridge you can combine to create something that passes as a meal

I just realised that I have a box of Coco Pops, but I’m lacking milk to add to them. I could eat them dry, or I could attempt to drown the grains of chocolate bliss with a 2009 Barossa Valley Shiraz. In executing the latter plan, I could determine once and for all if my “Shirazco Pops” concept is commercially feasible.

It could work... Sources: news.com.au and allaboutredwine.com

While your family and friends may assert that you can win MasterChef 2012 with your ability to create innovative dishes from seemingly mismatched ingredients, soaking Froot Loops in red wine is never, ever going to secure you a cookbook deal.

2. Vodka and soy sauce are two of the aforementioned ingredients

Yes, really.

3. You can’t remember buying some of the stuff in your fridge

There’s an orange in my fridge that represents all the fruit and vegetables currently in my apartment. I’ve got no idea whether it’s a Valencia or Navel, but a variety-specific identification of the little ball of citrus isn’t relevant to our discussion. The point is, I have no recollection of purchasing it. I’m not usually an orange kind of guy, so I’m going to have to assume that I got it when I last had Southern Comfort and Coke.

If you get to the point of having random citrus in your refrigerator that you can’t account for, it’s time to get reacquainted with your local supermarket.

Where did this bloody orange come from?

4. You are on a first-name basis with the proprietor of the local Indian restaurant 

In the last 7-day period, I’ve had Indian delivered on Tuesday and Thursday, while Friday saw Thai added to the rotation. I was away on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. I’ve got no doubt that I’ll be getting another curry for dinner tonight, and I’m reasonably confident that if I went a week without placing an order, the restaurant’s owner would call the police and report me missing.

If your collection of menus for local restaurants outnumber the individual food items in your fridge, or worse, you have speed dials allocated for them in your phone, you need to go shopping. Urgently.

Source: tradormarketing.co.uk

Should you ever find yourself asking, “I’ve only got expired milk and oregano left, I wonder if I should go shopping?”, the answer’s in the question. Remember: breakfast cereal and tequila sprinkled with hundreds and thousands do not a meal make.

Written by disseminatedthought

December 27, 2011 at 16:26

Why I wanted to throw an Oompa-Loompa off a moving ferry: blogging from the BlackBerry

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Public transport. It’s a never-ending source of depraved curiosity, bewilderment and material. If my travels don’t find me perplexed by the riddle of the ring, it seems like I’m perpetually pondering blasé parenting. I know, I’ve got a bit of an alliteration thing going on at the moment. Honestly, a solid week riding on the trains, buses and ferries could yield enough material for a year’s worth of TDoT posts. There’s a chance that it would also yield any number of genital-specific diseases, but I digress.

Why do parents think their spawn are not only bonsai geniuses, but that they are the most delightfully amusing munchkins on the planet? Furthermore, what drugs are they taking to nurture the delusion that the rest of us want to be subjected to Johnny reciting the alphabet on the bus, or little Barbeigh (yeah, like the doll, only cooler) running from one end of the train carriage to the other? Not only is Johnny in all probability as dumb as a post, he’s also as annoying as fuck. Put a leash on him or something.

On my ferry ride home this afternoon, I was accosted by four little darlings screaming and arguing. When they weren’t galloping around the cabin, they insisted on testing the trampoline-like qualities of the seats. A cessation of this behaviour only signalled that it was time for them to question their parents about why they hadn’t received a new toy in the last three minutes. At the top of their voices. Once the interrogation was over, the Oompa-Loompa wannabes resumed pulling each other’s hair and running the Tour de Ferry.

What did the parents do while the fruit of their loins were unleashing commuting Armageddon? Nothing. They chatted, played with their mobile phones and, unless I’m completely mistaken, seemed to take great joy in watching the bambinos entertain the other passengers. No, I don’t find your kid’s off-key caroling soothing – I’m trying to determine how harshly society would judge me for throwing a five-year-old off the stern of a moving vessel.

Given that I’m devoid of any paternal instinct whatsoever, one could assume that my Grinch-like complaint was unfounded and purely the result of not being very cherub friendly. But it wasn’t just me. Upon assessing the facial expressions of my fellow commuters, it was clear that I wasn’t the only one wanting to jettison minors. Had I followed through with my plan, I guarantee that I would have had to take a number and wait in line, a la a suburban delicatessen.

Can someone please explain to me why most parents believe that their progeny running riot in public and pissing everyone else off is adorable?

His parents will never understand why you want to murder him.  Source: blog.southeastpsych.com

His parents will never understand why you want to murder him. Source: blog.southeastpsych.com

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All I want for Christmas is Muse

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An odd (and bored) look at the first “inspiration” for this piece. © Lyndon Keane 2011. Original photograph edited with Photo Editor Ultimate.

There wasn’t meant to be a The Dissemination of Thought post tonight. I was planning on relaxing with a DVD and ice cream while I bid on shit I really don’t need on eBay. Like most good plans, mine came unstuck somewhere along the line, specifically at the point where I substituted the mint chocolate chip for three glasses of red wine and a few Scotches.

Inspiration No. 2: Lagavulin 16-year-old. © Lyndon Keane 2011. Original photograph edited with Photo Editor Ultimate.

Between witnessing a myriad of morons – which from this point on will officially replace the twelve drummers drumming – throwing credit cards around in a last-minute buying frenzy and contemplating Thalia’s eventual return, I postulated about what I’d request for Christmas if there was actually an omnipotent figure with a penchant for red suits in charge of dishing out presents. A Ferrari? My weight in cash? A perpetual supply of socks and jocks? No, there’s only one thing that makes any sense to ask this festive season genie for: my Muse.

When you look past the ridiculous materialistic and commercial elements, this time of year is all about family and friends. Thalia’s a mix of both. She embarrasses me, but she makes me proud. I care deeply for her, but her jokes suck. She’s selfish, but I’ve got dibs on her liver. I’ve given up trying to work out where she is and when she’ll turn up next, but I know that if I really need her, she’ll be there. If it’s after 8:45am she’ll have a buzz on, and I’m convinced that she is stealing my CDs one by one, but my Muse will be there, inspiring me and offering answers as to why I’ve woken up in the shower with the water still running, holding an empty bottle of single malt and using a soggy copy of Rolling Stone as a makeshift pillow.

 

So if I only get one gift this year, I’d like Thalia back: tanned, sober(ish) and ready to get her lazy, hightailing ass back to work.

Author’s note to the jolly fat man: Santa, if you’re reading this, a left-handed Kurt Cobain Jaguar would make a fantastic stocking stuffer. I know I don’t play yet, but having that axe would certainly help to inspire me to guitar greatness. Or not. It’s your call.

All I want for Christmas is...well, this wouldn’t hurt either. Source: fender.com

Written by disseminatedthought

December 19, 2011 at 22:02