Here are the things that make me want to whistle air through my imaginary dentures and waggle my crab-like finger in the air.....
I honestly don't see the attraction. I even - and this causes me no small amount of shame - found a second-hand copy of The Notebook; read it to find out what the big deal was and suffered for my curiosity before suffering again through the exrementally soppy movie. What is the magic oestrogen-luring essence that this man has that I can't perceive? He looks like he should be decorating the top of my latte, not headlining movie marquees....
I'm a dog person. When Milly's with me, I have to provide a wide enough berth so that she doesn't snap at her fellow canines in jealousy, but when she's not, my trips are always made longer due to the need to stop, ask 'Is he/she friendly?' before having a pat and a chat. But Boston Terriers repel me. They seem to have scored all the leftover body parts of a Corgi, Pug, Bulldog and the many unwanted mutant features of inbreeding, put into a fur-lined blender and tipped out with an unappetising 'glug' onto the ground with the final humiliation to be left without a tail. Like X-Factor contestants raving on about how much they love their mothers, Boston Terriers always leave me shuddering slightly.
Apple tarts / Tarte Tatin
Cake. Cake. CAKE. The French Suisse seem to believe that everything tastes better in, on or under flaky pastry. But a dry croissant for breakfast or a sheet of pastry with some apple slices pressed into it gets boring very, very quickly. Without moistness, self raising flour, chocolate, icing or custard it's just a brown rectangle of over-priced snooze; the Tom Cruise of bakery produce. 'Oh, goodie. Here's the eleven hundredth boulangerie selling tarte tatin. How exciting and creative.' CAKE!
I haven't seen any of his movies but even in my advanced state of ageing I'm not unaware of the various swoonings and droolings over this bloke that occurs with sickening regularity online.
He's sort of musclier and chunkier than Ryan Gosling, but the question is the same: Why? What is this flesh and bone replica of Mr Potato Head exuding that brings all the cerebrally-challenged chickadees to his chippery? Shouldn't he be putting on my winter tyres and topping up my antifreeze?
Zombies and vampires
Buffy whooshed by without a glance. Twilight books were endured when my eleven year old was reading them and quickly summarised as cold blooded Mills and Boon for virgins. Vampire Diaries and the plethora of zombie telly shows and movies leave me about as excited as seeing tarte tatin on long haul economy flight menu. Why not be done with it and have the vampires (sexy, boring and murderous), zombies (irretrievably stupid on all levels) wage war with the ridiculously cartoonish Marvel characters that also seem to hold so many movie-goers' attention? Winner is the last man (or half robot or undead corpse in love with a wolf) standing!
Bushy beards on young blokes
Fellas, most of you, when you're in your twenties, are lovely to look at. However, when the hipster urges take over and you decided to grow a bushy beard, you take me back to those oh-so-steamy photos of 1850s gold prospectors, upstanding Victorian philanthropists and men who ate each other when lost on expeditions. Having to hold a brief conversation with a bearded bloke with cappuccino froth dangling from his Dastardly Dan moustache was not a heavenly moment for me last week.
Land agents to renters
We pay a small - no, large - fortune to rent an apartment that has not been updated since 1970. The balcony turns into a small swimming pool when it rains and has since flooded the apartment downstairs. Sapphire's unused bidet develops a strong ammonia and mouldy pong that permeates the bedrooms at least once a week and we were sent three angry letters (in French) when our rent payment was not processed by the bank and was subsequently five days overdue.
So, with fairly frequent contact between my good self and the man who manages the property, it was a big surprise when he wrote back to my email last week requesting that someone come and look at our stove top (two out of the four hotplates have decided that being 'hot' is no longer their bag) and announced that he didn't know how I was.
"Pardon me, monsieur? YOU and four other men knocked on my door yesterday to come and see la piscine (the pool) that was my balcony for yourselves, checking the drain and taking photographs. Have I so little charisma that you have forgotten me already?"
But you are not in my records, he wrote back.
"Erm, I must be, buddy - because you send me rent slips every month with MY NAME on them and we've been transferring you money for over eighteen months now...."
Let me check, he replied, suspicion oozing from every keystroke.
"So, about the oven and the enormous whistling draft that blasts through our living room from the sliding door..."
Yes, you are on our records, he wrote, as though he was informing me of that fact.
I KNOW THAT, stupid rental man! "So the oven...."
Please email me tomorrow when I'm available to read through tenant's concerns before forwarding them on to the owners for consideration.
Horrible ugly stupid rude rental man! I decided not to email that as my reply.
BBC News channel
The Beeb is mostly known for being a stalwart for consistency, fair-minded reporting and for looking beyond their own borders. Having a news-only channel would, we thought, be a brilliant way of keeping up with current events all around the world in a language we could understand (unless the story came from Wales).
Sadly not so, unless you are only capable of absorbing three stories at a time. Even then, those three stories are repeated over and over and over for at least two days, so that breakfast time on day two will see the same video footage from the day before. No, not overnight so that muesli munchers can come up to speed with things that occurred while they were still snoozing in their doonas, but the day before.
Sometimes, the typer of the ticker tape thingy that runs along the bottom of the screen can only be arsed to write a single sentence on a single story that rolls by at a snail's place ad infinitum. Surely, if sending reporters to all corners of the globe and footage and editing is prohibitively expensive, Tony the ticker tape typer can pop in a few more sentences for us to read?
'Rate me' Facebook photos
Erk. Any photo where the subject matter is one's self, especially holding an iPhone where the subject can gaze at one's self during the taking of it, is enough to make all prospective viewers want to heave and (fairly) surmise, "No wonder he's single, he's already found his life-long partner in love."
And the girls ...... oh dearie, dearie me. Being friends of friends with buddies and acquaintances of Sapphire has shown me that the cleverly angled iPhone photo that enlarges the eyes, gives the duck pout credence and recedes the chin into the far distance - all done while pushing the shoulders unnaturally forward to produce a credible replica of cleavage - makes up approximately 98% of all photos loaded up onto Facebook pages by girls aged between eleven and twenty nine.
"Like my new winter hat," asks Bubble, which is sitting so far back on her head in order to show off the pulled forward shoulder length hair, off-the-shoulder tank top and double-handed upside down peace signs. Or, "I'm so ugly today," says Twinkle, leaning forward in her black bikini, fluttering her kohl lined enlarged eyes and pouting in pink frost lip shimmer.
If I wasn't so old and supposed to be a role model or sensible mother or some other such tomfoolery thing like that, I'd say, "Yes, you are. No go and put some clothes on and turn your account off."
Nicki Minaj / Kei%$#a / Rihanna et al
Notes for all of you:
If you need auto tune, quit the business.
If you can sing - then for Lindts' sake go have a good scrub in the shower, put on some clothes and stop putting out videos that ram it down young girls' throats that it's only when you behave like nymphomaniac pole dancin' gang molls does your 'song' hit the itunes charts. Please.
Kate Moss interview in Vanity Fair
Ah, the chat that was going to reveal the secretive, never talkative Ms Moss. The one that would delve deeply under the surface to find out how she thinks, what her motives are, the life lessons learnt. A quarter of a century in the spotlight; she must have some witty anecdotes to share. Vanity Fair will make sure that we find out what charitable causes are close to her heart; how she priorities her time to develop her skills as a responsible parent; the contribution to society that drives her to unselfishly devote her energy to further her knowledge and understanding of homelessness/poverty/discrimination/disability and people with bad dress sense.....
Hah! The majority of page space was given to Kate's topless poses generously peppered with glowing quotes (in bold type) from various fashionistas and around six vaguely coherent sentences uttered by Kate herself. The end result was about as revealing as my triple-pile, 180 centimetre blue beach towel. The much-touted hidden depths were the equivalent of the film that you peel off between a boiled egg shell and the egg itself.
Why do they insist on calling them 'bars' when, unwrapped, they're about the equivalent of two teaspoons of sticky oats? Why are they 'breakfast for busy people' when people usually like more than 21 grams of solid food to satisfy their hunger? Why are the packets 15 centimetres long, but the 'bar' only eight?
Like low rider jeans, saying 'swag' and Lady Gaga, you've had your fifteen minutes of fame, cup cake. This obsession has escalated to ridiculous levels where icing has been pooped out from a great distance and is, in fact, larger than the dry/boring/tasteless cake itself. Maybe the next craze will just be the icing and decoration without the cupcake underneath?
How I Met Your Mother
This show is on constant re-run on one of the British second-tier freebie channels, so even when I try to avoid it, it is manages to wedge itself into my consciousness at least once a day when I'm channel surfing to find things to record for later. The lead guy possesses the same amount of charisma that I clearly do for my land agent and the little red headed girlie who used to be in American Pie is one of the worst actresses I've ever seen. No, cuteness doesn't make up for lack of talent. The irony doesn't escape me that Neil Patrick Harris (Dr Horrible) plays Barney who, if the world was fair, would have his own sitcom and leave the other four 'characters' in the Seasons 1-8 remainder bin.
Apart from endless iPhone facebook 'selfies', nothing says 'I spend too much time on myself' than fingernail 'art.' Painting cartoons, logos, flowers, stripes or dress-matching designs onto (usually) fake fingernails also implies that the owner of such tacky travesties does very little work. Nails with mini sequins embedded into them are not going to be much use when zipping up a small child's winter parka, popping open a long life milk box or scrubbing off the scum around the plughole. Oh, and they don't distract the viewer from less desirable body parts either.
There. That's enough for now. Time for a trip down to the Dog Forest with Milly.