Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Seek Your Ultimate Pleasure With Magnum Temptation

Sponsored by Nuffnang

Magnum challenges you to seek your ultimate pleasure.

Imagine you’ve been given a thousand bucks to spend on fun.

It’s a tough one, because for most of us, once we get beyond the ‘Wah hey I’ve just got paid and need the latest clothes and enough to get me drunk all weekend – in the most stylish way possible of course’ stage in our early adult years tend to automatically think of ‘spare money’ as anything but spare money.

Unplanned-for cash is for chipping away at the mortgage or rent; paying the window envelopes you don’t want to open yet and for all those sensible things that enable you to remain housed, fed and decently clothed.

But Magnum has selected Blurb from the burbs and 22 other blogs to host a competition on their behalf.

Magnums are indulgent to eat (which is why we like them) and they want to give you a thousand bucks to indulge yourself with. To figuratively kick off your sensible shoes, loosen that serious tie and have some full-on FUN. No, not to spend on your loved ones or a charity or anything else to ease the guilt that we all have eating away inside, but on YOU. Your good, fabulous and deserving self.

In my case, it’d be a day spa. I mean a full day. I’ve been lucky enough to have been given a gift certificate for a facial or massage here and there over the years, but an entire day of wandering around in a soft and scented bathroom being artfully steamed, pummelled, daubed, polished, plucked, brushed, oiled and bubbled must be nice. They’re called DAY spas for a reason, yet I’ve never spent more than half an hour in one; the last time saw me standing barefoot in the cold waiting for Love Chunks and Sapphire to pick me up, hoping like hell that the just-painted toe nails would withstand the agonised hobble across the bitumen car park.

My ultimate Day Spa experience also needs to include food – healthy, arty-farty food that is delicious to eat and contains about the same calorie content as a stick of celery but without being measly, limp or misery-making. Then, of course, a smart outfit to slip into at the end of the day with a booking at one of those poncy ‘we love foam’ restaurants The Age reviewers always rave about and a cabcharge home. Some other schmuck can go see a show; I’m all for lazing about inside all day not worrying about holding in my stomach muscles, trying to appear intelligent or apologising for the household mess.

Alternatively, I’d buy myself a small laptop but wouldn’t dare blend the experience of using with a day spa: the damn thing slip would through my freshly-oiled ylang-ylang man-hands and smash onto the carrera marble floor, completely ruining the ambience of luxury and restfulness.

OK. Rose-coloured goggles off and back to you. Magnum have also put a game together and are inviting you: valued, desirable and deserving Blurb from the burbs readers, to play.

1. Play the
Magnum dice game and try to obtain the highest score possible.
2. Leave your highest score and answer the question, "What will you indulge in with $1000?” in a comment. Don't forget to include your preferred contact method so that, if you win, you can be be contacted - ie blog URL, Twitter or amail address).
3. This competition runs from November 24 until midday on Tuesday December 14, 2010.
4. The winner will be the entry deemed most creative across all 23 blogs taking part in this campaign (See
Terms and Conditions for full list)
5. The winner of the $1,000 prize will be announced on Friday December 17, 2010.

Enter here as many times as you like. Be creative, be appealing, be ..... worth a thousand.

Bogger Bluddy

My new blogger buddy (oh dear, that's so close to 'bugger buddy' but let's move on) Conor of Hold the Beef has tagged me. It's been a while since I've been tagged so I feel a bit giddy and flattered and said of COURSE I'll do it.

What is your first memory?

Drawing on my one year old brother's face with fat, permanent-marking texta colours. I was three, he was still in a now-very-unpolitically-correct lunar module walker that I pushed into the corner, wedged in tight and got to work. I can even smell that heady aroma of chemical solvents; something I still love today.

Mum got off the phone and walked into the kitchen to see David's face now resembling a test pattern and told me to get outside. It was a hot January day and I sat by the back door in white puffy pants and little else, awaiting punishment.

....years later Mum said that she and Dad had a bit of a laugh, took a few photos and then put on their angry faces to deal with me. It was a fortnight before the texta fully faded from trusting David's face.

What is the dish that you most often eat?

You're all going to assume that it's chocolate and yes, that features in my diet (ha!) every day but in terms of regularity and volume it is probably oranges. Every morning I squeeze and drink three of them, including every single bit of pulp. Makes for a chunky slurp that I don't dwell on too much, but I feel better for it.

What were you doing this time yesterday?

Flopped on the lounge watching 'Glee' with Sapphire and Love Chunks whilst enduring their disapproving eyes and 'shoosh' motions via putting their fingers to their lips as I chatted on the phone to my buddy Jill.

Are you a runner?

For TEN YEARS yes! That is until two months ago when my achilles - getting dodgier and dodgier, finally hurt itself well and proper, forcing me to stop altogether. The first time I waited patiently for four weeks before getting back onto the treadmill only to have it give me the muscular 'big finger' and the second time I did the right stretching exercises and waited the appropriate musculo-skeletal healing time of six weeks.

On Sunday, I nervously switched on the treaddie. It had been six weeks and two days. What were my legs? Springs, steel springs. How fast was I going to run? As fast as a leopard.

And I did - for three glorious kilometres; for fifteen wonderful minutes. It felt great - strong, easy, painless and then ----

--- TWANG! Pain so intense I tried to jump off the moving belt straight away but sort of slipped and was thrown to into the fake 'mudguard' of the exercise bike behind it, a pedal lodging firmly - and, let's be honest, rather ironically - right in the centre of my arse.

So for the past two months I've been glumly pedalling away to nowhere on the exercise bike and power walking. For the past two and a bit weeks, that power walking only occurs on the way home from work where most of the journey involves inhaling traffic fumes or the cigarette smoke puffed out by obese patients and visitors at the various Accident and Emergency entrances I pass. The Royal Children's Hospital has the added fragrance of old McDonald's grease, poo (today it was a human example, strangely perched on top of a folded t-shirt left beside the Australia Post box!) and BO.

If nothing else, this unedifying route home just makes me walk faster in order to escape it quicker.

What are your thoughts on food at sporting events?

BRING YOUR OWN. Otherwise you'll be ripped off - taste wise and finance wise. Seven bucks for an ancient, half-cold pie and indifferent chips or a hotdog older than Moses when you can have a block of Lindt, a proscuitto and jarlsberg sandwich, a bunch of grapes and home-brewed coffee in a thermos? Make the effort.

Same goes for the cinema. Big handbags finally have a use when you're at the multiplex and don't want to spend a weeks' rent on candy bar fare. Pop in an iced coffee, several chocolate bars and whatever chips you like - purchased on the way to the cinema (at a tenth of the price) at your supermarket.

I did go see a movie with a girlfriend who snuck in a boiled egg sandwich but that did pong slightly. Plus a bit of it splodged out in the darkness and she walked out two hours later in the sunshine with what looked like fresh pelican shit on her crotch...

What was the first, or last, band that you saw live?

'Twas 2003 and we took Sapphire (then four) to see The Wiggles live at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre, 10am start. Dorothy the Dinosaur ran through our row of seats and shook Love Chunks' hand - a fair bit more than he got ten years earlier when he and I saw Midnight Oil at the same venue. At 10pm.

Did you ever, or do you still currently, wear bike pants?

Technically no, but I do go for the knee-length or three-quarter legging for running and power walking. Those flappity-flappity-flappity running shorts favoured by marathoners and Bendy Wendies are a wind-dragging distraction. Rest assured that the t-shirt that accompanies my tight 'bike pants-like' shorts are l-o-n-g ones so that no camel toes, exercise-induced wedgies or gut rolls are exposed to the public.

If you could have any drink at all right now (disregarding any possible calorie/money/hangover concerns) what would it be?

Iced coffee - but it'd keep me awake; so
Gin and tonic - off to get one right now; and
Water - always.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Gobble Gobble

Sapphire's starting to come home from school and cry.

Like all puberty-afflicted kids, her bedroom door is shut more often than it is open these days.

Last night, soon after I got home, patted the dog, called out 'Hi' to Love Chunks, knocked on her door and opened it straight away. Yes, this is an invasion. No, she wasn't doing drugs, cutting herself or murdering anyone.

She wheeled around, pretending to fold up her school jumper. I knew something was wrong; she's never been one for folding her clothes.

"Are you OK?"

A nod of the head.

"Sweetie are you sure?"

The sobs erupted and she ran to me. "I'm still thinking about 'Titanic' Mum, it's soooo sad," she wailed.

Yep. Roll your eyes if you must, but LC and I let her watch 'Titanic' at home on Saturday night. Picture the three of us on the couch, some chocolates, Milly in her beanbag and the comfort of tracksuit pants. It was old hat for us, but the most engrossing, heart-wrenching, involving, daring and saddest movie that Sapphire had ever seen. She sobbed so hard that Milly wobbled over on her creaky legs, tail wagging uncertainly as she pressed her nose against Sapph's leg, trying to figure out why one of her beloved pack members was crying.

The soundtrack to the movie was playing in the background as I stood in her room.

Girls can be bitches when puberty kicks in; the passive-aggressive games start and they start to self-select those who match their needs based on ever-changing perceptions of usefulness and coolness. To see my daughter buckle under the weight of trying not to let it affect her was finally becoming too much.

"Mum I'm not cool. I know I'm not cool because, in the maths class where I'm the only year five girl, all the other kids walk in and sit at every table except mine. Someone only sits next to me when there's no other place left."

Yup. It's been a grrrrreat idea to have streamed Maths, Science and English classes that blend year sixes and year fives together. Sapphire's friends are in the other classes, so she's cursed with being younger, brainier and therefore way uncooler.

We've had cuddles and conversations before about why being 'cool' is restrictive and shallow and I know - geez do I know - that all the comforting words of a parent who experienced the same shit decades either doesn't help the hurt when it is occurring to you and only you.

She said exactly the same thing that I remember saying to my Mum. "Why is it all so hard, Mum? Why can't I go back to being a kid again?"

Trouble is, I said (sobbed) it at fourteen; Sapphire's doing it at eleven. My beautiful, funny, smart, kind incredible little girl is wondering where and why and how she fits into the scheme of things in her tiny but hard primary school world.

"I feel trapped at school sometimes." Her NAPLAN results are off the charts but when her once-dear friend says - all too regularly - "I have a great secret but I can't tell you" and only shows interest when they're in home class and are doing an assignment together, I'd gladly throw that result in the bin if it meant I had a happier child who wasn't wondering what it was that she did wrong.

"I can't tell the teacher about her, Mum, because all she says back is 'I didn't mean it like that' or 'I don't know what you mean' so it's me that looks like I'm being nasty and making trouble, not her."

At the dinner table - we three like to discuss Good Day, Bad Day and Funny Day over our meals - LC could see that my anger at the world was growing and my rationality and sense was not. "No, Kath. Don't contact her parents or the teacher. Sapphire knows that she's got a few jerks in her class and she's stuck with J as her home-class partner until the end of the year.

Sapphire nodded, this time patting my hand to comfort and calm me instead of the other way around. "I can't get a new partner for anything in home class now. She and me are known as partners and nobody else hears what she says to me or what she's really like. I've only got a few more weeks to go."

We watched a recorded episode of Glee, did the dishes and talked again when it was time to say good night. "Mum I found that old key ring of yours that has the elephant on it with birds all over him, saying 'Don't let the turkeys get you down.' I like that saying."

"Me too," I smiled, smoothing the sheet over the blanket. "But I also know that turkeys are everywhere and somehow you have to learn to ignore their noise but not annoy them. That's the challenging bit."

She nodded again, eyes filling up. "It's so hard, Mum."

"I know mate, and I also know that it's hard to soar like an eagle when your classroom is only eight foot high and has ceiling fans."

That made her laugh and as I flicked off the light and closed her door I waggled my finger accusingly as the hall light cast a silhouette, scolding, "No more 'Titanic' for you," and walked jauntily up the passage.

The light steps were for her. The anger, frustration and inability to make things better for her is hidden until the passage door is closed and LC is waiting.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Edition Fifteen: Word Verification Explanations

Time for another selection of words I've typed in to convince Blogger and Wordpress that it is indeed a human being wishing to comment on someone else's online input. These are just a few that have been keyed in and what, in a parallel universe, they might mean:

- the bloke chosen from the audience by belly dancers, comedians and singing drag queens. Gunabs are invariably shy, unwilling and too frightened to say 'no'. See: Love Chunks.

Manesacr - cutting one's hair to win the approval or at the insistence of a loved one/to avoid continued lice infestations/to be able to see/attend a job interview and be in genuine contention for the role. Always done with a great public show of reluctance but the person undergoing Manesacr knows - deep, deep inside - that it's for the best.

Lobsli - the mess incurred during and after the eating of whole crustaceans, especially when a bib, bowl of finger-dipping water and removal of claws and poo pipes (the food, not the eater's) are required.

Manco - unlike Lobsli which occurs at nice restaurants or well-catered for Christmas day events, Manco mostly happens on casual picnics or at the workplace and means the effects of eating a mango by hand. Manco produces sticky fingers and also leaves a bit of pulp string in between the front teeth, some unflattering (and highly questionable) orange splats on white shirt fronts and a lingering, perfumey pong in the waste paper basket.

Spitte - any gesture of contempt executed by a classy person.

Ansuboph - embarrassing rectal experiments conducted at home that end up in the Accident and Emergency ward with the excuse for the predicament invariably being, "I slipped and fell on this (insert the words: gerbil, cucumber, night light or egg beater here)."

Ansubophs are taken seriously and duly written down by the attending doctor when in the presence of the patient but are laughed at and shared around in the tea room afterwards. Particularly creative Ansubophs sometimes feature at medical students' end-of-year functions, complete with accompanying x-rays, chart notes and photographs.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Smoking on the beach in wet denim flares

...courtesy of the magazines stored in my study....

The year was 1976 and twenty year olds Mark and Trish were in love. With double denim, smoking, getting wet and .... each other.

Trish laughed freely at Mark's jokes - it took her attention away from his Ford Cortina-sized thighs and water buffalo hair. Mark thrilled at his obvious sense of humour and the opportunity it gave him to sneak a quick peek down her cleavage.

In 1977, they backpacked around Europe together, electing to smoke Dunhill in the hopes that being from a country famous only for Dame Edna, Barry Crocker and Skippy might make them seem a bit more sophisticated. Walks on the beach were a distant memory as they didn't want to slice their toes on the icy grey cobble of Brighton.

Back in Australia for the lazy days of summer they bought newer, darker denim jeans and went back to the beach.

Why hadn't Mark thought to bring a hook, some bait and line, Trish wondered.
Why did Trish always fart on the picnic hamper, Mark despaired.

Never mind, they had Vok Creme de Menthe to see them through the awkward silences over the card table at the caravan park, the obligatory snog in the beanbag at the Thomas's house for New Year's Eve and a fun mouthwash alternative to reduce the effect of ash-tray breath.

But ABBA's domination of the music charts had finally ended and Mark and Trish's coffers were empty after shelling out forty bucks a fortnight on the mortgage for their mission brown brick veneer with cork tiling and exposed ceiling beams.

On the back of the Womens' Weekly Hoges was trying to persuade them to switch to the cheaper and bigger Winnie Blues. He might also have been hinting at at least giving 'batting for the other side' a burl or, at the very least, try some fancy dress, but Mark wasn't keen.

Trish put the sparkle back into their relationship by making breakfast extra-special.

..... But on the weekends Mark ruined every single picnic by gutzing down the Flake bar before they'd even arrived at the park and by generating too much BO in his polyester bodyshirt and woollen vest.

'It should be me who is sulking, not him,' Trish fumed, wishing that he'd also stop wittering about the cool new style for lampshades and could bloody well shove that candle up somewhere far darker than the neck of the now-empty Rose bottle.

Mark knew that he was in a slump, so he bought a three-piece tweed suit with leather elbow patches, some stacked cuban heels, grew a large and luxuriant porn star mo and used only gold-plated desk accessories. This effort might have been successful if he wasn't a cable layer for Telecom.

The early eighties saw them still together but rigid, bitter and able to afford joyless European holidays. Unfortunately with each other.

Trish's hair was now like her demeanour: frosted, and Mark would throw a fainting fit if she ever tried starting a sentence with, 'We need to talk. About those jeans tucked into your socks and being honest about WHO knitted you that abominable deer cardigan jumper!'

By 1988, Mark was in the arms of mysterious knitter, Sheryl from Elna and Trish found her solace not in alcohol or cigarettes but her new comforts: phenylanaline and aspartame and boob-flattening lycra.

There's a lesson in this cautionary tale for all of us. Somewhere.....

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Two pairs of nostrils to look up

My hands are curved and linked together like a nervous monkey who has escaped the barrel yet my legs are crossed at the ankle, giving the entirely incorrect impression that I'm relaxed about being here.

These two ladies like their Laura Ashley patterns because both of them have smocks covered in intricate floral designs. I'm in drab denim with a old and baggy hoodie on top, feeling rather deflated as I lie there, counting the holes in each separate ceiling tile: twenty eight rows of twenty eight dots as it happens.

"So, no anaesthetic for you today?" Kelly asks, a smile in her eyes as her perfect teeth are hidden behind her surgical mask. "I'll be as gentle as possible."

Water sprays fine droplets in the air, caught like diamonds in the glare of the overhead light which inexplicably has two plastic bags wrapped around the handles. The neck has nine rings like a rubber concertinaed robot arm and the fine mist of my own saliva and blast hose dampens my face.

Avoid eye contact. Don't look at her or the dental nurse. Think happy th---

"Sorry about that."

PHARK - that felt like someone had electrocuted my jaw bone! Best to focus on Nova - what auto-tuned dance song is on now? Can't hear it over the drill. Close my eyes or I'll see the reflection of my absurdly stretched mouth in their goggles.

Five songs have been played - what's that, fifteen or twenty minutes? My hands are numb, seemingly cemented together and I can't feel my feet. The pain is there, but in dull waves, easily bearable. It is only when a jet of water - or a slip of the drill - touches the exposed root or sensitive gum that I flinch inwardly. No sudden moves here - she has a hook in the other hand and the nurse is a stickler for the suction hose....

Remnants of the original Art deco cornices are decades older than the 1970s ceiling tiles; three elegant scalloped edges rudely cut into in places by the insertion of fluoro lights.

I'm only gonna break break break break your heart Taio Cruz warns and I try to lose myself in his bragging whine, hoping that he hooks up with the Beautiful Monster that NeYo tells us about immediately following. Who makes up these singers names and why....?

Scraping. Pulling. Picking. Stretching. Suction. Cutting. "Can you turn your head towards me a bit more?"

Despite the amount of use and the volume it produces, my mouth is actually quite small and the dentist works hard to keep it open wide enough when every instinct in my conscious body wants to clamp it firmly shut.

Rolls of foam are placed in between my inside cheek and teeth for working space; the suction pipe is now jauntily resting on the right corner of my mouth; three more rolls are placed up under my top lip giving me what I imagine is a frightened sneer and what feels like a fish hook is yanking my left side further open.

Five more songs - what's that, fifteen or twenty minutes? Katy Perry's suffered one hell of a hangover and someone's saying 'Forget you' when the ruder version is selling way more copies...... was that 'Sweet Tranvestite' I just heard, albeit in Glee style.... Oops, water just splashed in my eye.

"Sorry about that. Try not to flinch, will you?"

Four fillings later my mouth is finally freed, the forced Joker grin now a deflated dead caterpillar.

Kelly's teeth are film star perfect as she hands back my credit card. I mumble something approximating 'goodbye' before she calls out with, "Kath come back, we haven't taken your bib off."

Drool pooling at the corners of my mouth, I complete the hour-and-a-half torture transaction with a 'Thanks' and a 'See you Later' without pondering the irony of it.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Empty Space

Mrs Krups is crook.

She had decided that she no longer cared about cleanliness, being content to sit there sulky, increasingly bloated and occasionally wetting herself.

Love Chunks did everything to save her. Regular sponge baths, posh cleaning fluids, gentle steam rinses and words of encouragement, affection and pity; all slavishly taken from the Owners Manual. She resisted his advances and good intentions.

His concern sooned turned to anger when Narvey Horman's people were less than interested in following up the extended warranty for four more years that LC had purchased a year ago. "I don't think a blockage is mechanical Mr LC and we only cover mechanical problems on this warranty."

Surely if a machine that isn't working due to a fault now-commonly-accepted as being particular to that model is therefore considered to be suffering a mechanical issue?

Love Chunks' powers of persuasion - and evident anguish in his voice - must have softened the goon on the phone who suggested he take Mrs Krups to a specialist coffee machine expert in North Melbourne to be fixed.

Love Chunks was due at work and Sapphire was at school so with three days as a Work From Home Writer to go, I gently placed her in the front seat of our car, fully aware that she was worth far more than the vehicle she was about to travel in.

As we crossed the street - me treading over puddles and cradling her in my arms - I hoped that the sign on the far side of the building was not a modern-day prophecy:

Four other customers were ahead of me, also hugging their chrome-coloured caffeinated cuddle bunnies. Instead of the oils and clanking sounds of the mechanics we smelled roasted beans, heard the hiss of de-clogging milk steamer nozzles and the ineffectual doof-doof of Nova's hour without ads.

It was eventually my turn and Mrs Krups' papers were examined thoroughly. Where was she purchased? When? Could we provide a copy of the manufacturer's warranty? And that of the extended one? Had we contacted Narvey Horman for a job number? Had she been serviced regularly?

Love Chunks had done the hard yards: all the information was there and my arms sagged just a little under Mrs Krups weight as the counter girl tippy-typed all of the numbers, addresses and technical specs into her computer screen being sure to keep her black-painted fake talons pristine.

There was a nervous crunching sound behind me. Finding a space on the cluttered counter for Mrs K, I turned around. An elderly Italian man had flipped the lid of the grinder chamber on his DeLonghi and was starting to eat the beans.

I couldn't help myself. I had to ask: 'Are you THAT desperate for a coffee?'
'Yes' he said instantly, jaws still madly gnawing, eyes hollow and sad.

I imagined Love Chunks' eyes looking exactly the same when Talon Chick informed me that it would take three weeks. "Any longer and you can call us, yah? It probably means that we have to send away for some parts." What was this, a Lexus dealership?

Three weeks. No fully-blown, freshly ground, seriously bitter coffee to unfold our faces and kickstart the day.

Plunger coffee seemed so pallid as an option and instant wasn't even considered. But we needed something to bluff and blunder our way through the next 21 days: at least until we left the house and found a coffee shop on the way to work/tennis/the shops.

I heard his moan of despair from the other end of the house. "Oh Kath, how could you?"

Twenty one sleeps and forty two shop-bought coffees to go.......

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Clean towels are a must

I turn 42 today.

42 is the meaning of life according to Douglas Adams, and yes, I've always appreciated the value of a clean towel that's close to hand and 'Don't panic' are probably the only two words I'd consider having tattooed on my body (well, apart from 'No thanks' and 'Don't laugh').

However, there are a few other things I've learned in the past year that might benefit you too. Pay close attention to the wisdom on offer and learn not only from my observances but also my mistakes.

1. Whenever I receive a letter in a window envelope that isn't a bill it usually contains some guff with a pre-printed signature that promises 'exciting new changes' that will 'make things more convenient for you.' These completely un-bidden communications always mean a fee increase, a noticeable reduction in customer service options and more confusion. Always.

2. When Elmo is taken out of the cupboard for a cuddle, Sapphire is really, really sick.

3. The only people wearing hats, rashie vets and factor 30 sunscreen in Asian resorts are Australian. The rest are there to fry.

4. If someone says that they find your view on a particular issue 'refreshing' and then express the wish that they hope to discuss things further expect never to hear from them again.

5. Female bullies are always the first to raise their hands and spout out the right answers in class when discussing exclusion, good team work behaviours and fairness. Class 'leaders' that are voted in by their peers are in fact anything but.

6. We all forget just how debilitating a thoroughly bad head cold can be until we're actually suffering from one. The misery of not being able to breathe, smell or escape the clogged ache of one's own diseased head is a memory that mysteriously disappears long after the vaporub and flu tablets by the bedside table do.

7. Residents of Flemington are the group of people most likely to have never seen the Melbourne Cup at the actual track.

8. Residents of Flemington are the group of people most likely to be mooned by drunk men in hats and flashed by drunk orange women several hours after the end of the Melbourne cup, even if just popping to the corner shop for some milk a and a tin of chopped tomatoes.

9. Always - repeat - ALWAYS shake out your wet clothes before pegging them out on the clothesline to dry and again when fluffing and folding otherwise you'll find yourself on a packed 59 tram in Bourke Street with a pair of scrunched up and still-damp knickers in your hood that will fall down your back as you step down into the busiest street of the second largest city in the country, entertaining not only your fellow passengers but passing cars and pedestrians.

10. Sing to the dog as loudly and as proudly as you like. Who needs to impress the fat man smoking on the balcony next door anyway?

Now absorb these nuggets of truth thoroughly and never be further than a footstep away from a towel.