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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Last night I decided to light a candle on the balcony since the mosquitoes have been out in force these past few nights.  I tried to get a plain yellow citronella candle but all I could find was this "hovex colour change citronella candle"

I lit the candle and watched in wonder as it changed in colour from blue, to red, to green, to yellow... and so on.

I looked under the candle case, trying in vain to work out how on earth this thing manages to change colour without letting me know the secret.

This entire process made me think of how as a kid I tried to figure out how holograms work.  And then it made me think of 80s goodies, and how I used to have an E.T. hologram.

My partner chuckled about this and said, "An E.T. hologram?  That just might be the most 80s thing you can possibly own."

That seemed like a challenge:  How 80s can you get?

I closed my eyes, detecting the faint whiff of leaded petrol, cabanossi, Passiona, green slime chemical residue that you can never get off your hands, super hold extra chlorofluorocarbon hairspray and Impulse "Mysterious Musk"...

and thought... Could I possibly create: The Ultimate 80s Room?

1.  Neon Telephone
It's 80s, it's spooky, it's nuts.  And if you don't like it you can stomp on it like Axl Rose in that Guns N' Roses film clip.

2.  E.T. Doll
E.T. represents every kid's desire to contact life forms from outer space, and possibly leave the earth of the 1980s until grunge happens.  
Actually, I think Drew Barrymore kind of did that.

3.  Galaga/Ms PacMan Table game
A dream come true, galaga is awesome, and even though Ms PacMan is slightly sexist, it's an ok game. Apparently all women wear red lipstick, run in heels and have a bow in their hair.   

4.  Starlight Zone Stickers
It's not enough to know there are stars (and planets) up there.  You have to see them when the lights are off.  It's almost like the roof has disappeared and you can see out into space...  almost.

5.  Neon bar sign
Who doesn't want a neon bar sign?  And you can practice flipping cocktail shakers just like Tom Cruise! That is, the Tom Cruise who hadn't yet become a couch jumping, insane Scientology nutbag.

6.  Bamboo chairs
Nothing says "home" like bamboo.  In fact, bamboo is like a lot of things from the 80s.  Big, cheap and it gets completely out of control if left to its own devices.

7.  Gremlins Toy
Mogwai and Stripe.  Did you know, Gremlins is actually a pretty deep film if you watch it carefully.  I'm not joking, there are some pretty profound statements about society hidden in there.  Don't believe me?  Watch it.  ON VHS!!!

8.  Hot pink rug
The colours to focus on:  salmon, coral, hot pink, salmon, coral and salmon.  Rule of thumb, if it's good enough for Don Johnson, it's good enough for your 80s room.

9.  Lightning globe
I can create lightning at will!  
I am invincible!  
I can touch lightning and not get burned!  
I am THOR!

10.  Boom box
Yes, a real one.  You can't cheat and use your ipod boom box docking station.  These boom boxes have to be used properly - and that means playing tapes on them.  The highest level of technological advancement allowed is "auto reverse".

"USB?  Where we're going, we don't need USB, ipods, bluetooth, wireless, dongles, social media, apps or anything else like that.  In fact, I don't even know what those things are because they haven't been invented yet."

There are a couple of rules of thumb for designing the ultimate 80s room.

If it looks like a technicolour neon peacock threw up on it... twice... you are probably on the right track.

I encourage you to try your own Ultimate 80s room at home, but first make sure you have taken safety precautions.  Play Eurythmics, not Duran Duran.  Choose a neon phone but not neon socks.  And most importantly, don't feed anything in your room after midnight.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Here are some travel-themed decorating ideas to get you thinking about travel, escape, holidays and freedom.

Atlas Cushion Covers

When I was little, I always loved atlases. I used to decide on places to visit, and sometimes I just closed my eyes and pointed at a random city or country to see what came up.  Hours of fun!

Pirate Tea Towel

This beautiful tea towel will remind you of a pirate's beard.  

Cold, wet and kinda scratchy...      and possibly containing treasure...

Time Travel Is Yesterday's News

For the "other" type of traveller.

"You Are Here" Doormat With Google Pin

Just in case you didn't know, this will make it perfectly clear where you are.  It's easy to get confused in this time and place, and sometimes you just don't know where you are without the help of Google, and a slight dose of sarcasm.

Friday, February 22, 2013

It is my usual form to lampoon the heck out of "As Seen On TV" infomercial stuff.

It comes down to the fact that most stuff on infomercials doesn't really work like it does on TV.

For some background and context, feel free to revisit Snuggies and Mr T and the Flavor Wave Alien Incubator.

But here's something wacky, I bought something featured on a TV infomercial (ok, I didn't see the infomercial before I bought it)....

....and I LIKED IT.


Let's get one thing out in the open: I clean when needed, I try not to do it excessively.

I don't particularly like to clean but I enjoy mess less than I enjoy cleaning, if that makes sense.  (huh?)

So, basically I like things that are easy to use and quick to set up.

When I read the instructions and managed to work out which bits went where, it was pretty easy.   

Fill up with water (from the water filter jug in the fridge), plug in, wait for the light to go green and PRESS BUTTON...

Claim #1:  The H20 mop is supposed to steam clean carpets.

Reality:  What the hey?  This crazy crap actually works!
You have to vacuum first of course.  But afterwards it looks pretty much like it did when it was steam cleaned professionally.  The only thing you have to make sure about is spot cleaning first (I use orange oil).
It makes everything much easier.

The attachment used for carpets is the triangular-shaped cloth thingy.  It has velcro on it so it just sticks on and stays there.  You have to try really hard to get it wrong.

Claim #2:  The H20 mop steams sinks and shower heads and stuff
Yep, sure does.  It gets rid of creepy germy gunk in the plug ring.  I don't normally think about stuff like this, but when this stuff came out of the plug and tried to make my acquaintance, I took notice.  Ewwwww!!

Shiny!  Sparkly!  Happy!  Lucky!

Claim #3:  The H20 mop steam cleans bathroom and kitchen floors.

Reality:  Wowee!!  It cleaned the bathroom floor in no time.  This is something that used to take me absolutely ages (at least an hour), mopping, cleaning, drying, going over bits.  The H20 mop cleaned faster than that crazed, speed-addled lady on "There's something about Mary".

Yes.  I do mean Magda.  

Other things I have steamed:

Shower tiles
Shower head

That was enough for me, everything is all clean and sparkly new!  Yay!

Another wacky fact, it costs over $100 if you get it directly from the infomercial but I got it for under $70. Hahahaaaaa!!!


You get a free set of soup knives,
an automatic muffin grater
and an electronic llama clipper!!

Actually, you don't.  You just get the mop.  But it's pretty good, amazingly.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

I must admit I do absolutely stuff-all with my hair.  I sometimes wash it, I sometimes dye it, but most of the time I pretty much let it take care of itself.

I do like the "grunge look" in hair - which mainly consists of not washing it very often and letting it get a bit of character buildup.  At least, I think that's what you call it.

So I went off for a quick trim at the hairdressers last week and the hairdresser washed my hair.  Big deal, I thought, shampoo and conditioner don't really do much.  However a strange transformation occurred within the space of about 5-10 minutes.

I went from this:

(Minus the zombie eyeshadow!)

To this:

To be honest, it was a little disconcerting, looking like a L'Oreal ad all of a sudden.  I liked it though, and I'll probably get some more of this stuff to use when I can be bothered washing my hair.

My hair has gone grunge again, by the way, in case you were wondering.

I believe you may have to use it more than once!