The Sulphur-crested Cockatoo

We have a lot of birds where I live. Most of them make beautiful sounds…all except one. The Sulphur-crested Cockatoo.

This is what the Sulphur-crested Cockatoo looks like.

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Beautiful, isn’t it? (Image source:¬†Wikipedia)

This is what the Sulphur-crested Cockatoo sounds like it looks like.cockatoo2

I’m a Murderer

When I was little I loved all animals and insects. In fact I loved them so much that sometimes I accidentally loved them to death.

Like when I fed my fish – day…

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and night.

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It was months before my parents realised what I was doing and we had gone through countless fish (and backyard funerals).

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Then there were the skinks.

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I could never understand why they didn’t seem to live very long in their little skink houses. The homes I created for them had absolutely everything a skink could ever want! Grass…dirt…water…

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When I was a little older I spent a whole day trying to help cicadas out of their shells – partly because I was impatient and partly because I knew they had such a short life span. I just tried to get them out into the big wide world as quickly as possible.

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There were no survivors, but I learned my lesson and never tried to hurry them again.

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There was one particular incident, however, that haunts me to this day.

When I was about six I discovered a little nest in a small tree around the side of our house. I was absolutely beside myself as I had never seen a nest that close up before, let alone looked inside one. I was dying to take a peek at what I imagined would be a nest full of cute little baby birds.

The tree wasn’t much taller than me and I figured it wouldn’t be too hard to climb up and have a peek inside. The only problem was, the mother bird was always sitting in it and I didn’t want to scare her, so I left it alone.

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One day I came outside to find the mother bird gone.

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I couldn’t quite see inside the nest, so I tilted it¬†slightly¬†towards me.

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I got to see the three most beautiful little eggs tucked cosily¬†among¬†the twigs and leaves…

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for about one whole second before they toppled from the nest and smashed upon the ground.

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I was a monster.

I felt so guilty that I didn’t go around that side of the house for many months – I couldn’t bear to return to the scene of my crime. I also had paranoid fears that the mother bird would know what I had done and peck out my eyes with her little beak.

But that was all a long time ago – I was just an innocent, curious child. I shouldn’t carry any guilt for those unfortunate accidents.

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But I do.

How to Watch a Horror Movie

Remember that scene in The Evil Dead where that regular, everyday douche-bag suddenly turns into a terrifying, supernatural douche-bag? You know, this guy…

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Well, every time I watch that scene I do this:

aaaaargh

Every.single.time.

Over the years I have noticed a common trait in horror movie buffs – nothing really scares them. I know there must be others like me – horror movie buffs who crap themselves through each and every scary movie – but I think we are definitely the exception. In fact, most people I know who crap themselves watching horror movies tend to avoid watching them.

My husband, daughter and I are all horror movie buffs, but they belong to the former category and sit through every horror movie looking incredibly relaxed, if not slightly bored. I am the exact opposite to them and have developed a variety of ways to get through horror movies without too much trauma; some of these include:

Not actually watching.

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Using husband as protection.

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Making the most of visual impairment.

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One night a few weeks ago we were all watching a particularly scary horror film. I was doing my usual thing, feeling unbearably anxious and trying to somehow watch without actually seeing anything.

 

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Tired of my endless fidgeting and my constantly asking “What’s¬†happening¬†– is the scary bit over yet?” my daughter handed me one of my son’s toy guns.

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I know it was meant to be a joke, but I took the toy gun and aimed it at the television. Immediately something came over me – a feeling of calm, a sense of, dare I say it…¬†power.

From that moment on every time some demoniacal monstrosity erupted on screen I would shoot at it like my life depended it. It became fun and after a short time I found myself looking forward to the scary parts just so I could shoot the television.

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Naturally, as the movie got scarier, I had to get a bigger gun.

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So, if you’re a major scaredy-cat like me, try arming yourself the next time you’re watching a horror movie…trust me, it works.

Oh, and as for my¬†zombie apocalypse¬†nightmares, I reckon I’ve got them beat.

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My Epic Pimple

I know that complaining about a pimple belongs in the first world problem category, but this was no ordinary pimple Рas you will soon discover.

It all started one night when I was getting ready for bed; I noticed a small, hard, red lump forming on my chin. I get them every now and then – blind pimples – no biggie, right? Sure, they’re sore and, if you squeeze them, can get a bit unsightly, but if you leave them alone they generally disappear within a few days.

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It took every ounce of self-control that I had, but I resisted squeezing it – even though it got slightly bigger each day.

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After a few days I realised it had started to diminish in size. In another day or two it would be gone and, for the first time in a long time, I had resisted the temptation to squeeze!

I had won

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…or so I thought. When I woke up the next morning my pimple had redoubled its strength and come back to kick my arse.

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It was about mid-week when I decided I just couldn’t take anymore – my pimple was still growing and I was tired of the horrified gasps of co-workers and the constant mocking from my children. I drove home from work like a woman possessed; I had only one thing on my mind…it was time to squeeze.

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My family could sense the shift in my mood. They knew something was up as I walked through the house with purpose.

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My daughter followed me into the bathroom. She had been waiting for this moment for a long time.

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I will spare you the image of what happened next.

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As always my regret was immediate.

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My chin was so destroyed there was little I could do to hide it. I tried using makeup, but it never quite blended with my skin tone and only seemed to accentuate the pimple.

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With no way of hiding it, I tried different ways of distracting attention away from it.

I tried garish clothing…

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a push-up bra with generous padding…

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giant earrings…

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…but nothing could distract from the abomination that was my chin. I had to find a way to make this sucker disappear. Google led me to some kind of zit forum where people were writing about the wonders of tea tree oil. I figured I had nothing to lose at this point, so I begged my husband to pick some up on his way home from work. I waited impatiently for it to arrive and when it did I took it with grabby hands and slathered the oil all over my bleeding open wound – yes, I had squeezed it again. Then, I waited…

…and miracle of miracles – it dried up my pimple in less than an hour!

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I couldn’t believe it! It was some kind of magical cure! So I dabbed my giant ulcer all night long, bathing it generously in the tea tree oil. To say I went overboard would be a gross understatement.

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I awoke the next morning to discover that not only had my dried-out pimple turned into an ugly black scab, but I had also managed to burn the crap out of the skin surrounding it by using too much tea tree oil (which I have now learned was supposed to be diluted and applied sparingly with a cotton bud).

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But don’t worry, I knew exactly what to do.

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First world problems really are a luxury, click here to donate to the East African Appeal.

The Cicada Shells

As a youngster I was an enormous nature lover – I spent most of my days looking under fallen leaves for beetles and breeding tadpoles every rainy season – so it’s no surprise that¬†Harry Butler was one of my childhood idols.¬†I believed he was magical because every rock or branch he turned over revealed an animal of some kind. I wanted to be just like Harry and never missed his show, In the Wild with Harry Butler.

One day my dad and I were in our backyard when he called me over and pointed to a small creature attached to a tree. It was hideous. It looked like a cross between a tarantula and a naked mole rat.

cicada in tree

To my surprise, my dad pulled it from the tree and held it out to me, as though I was supposed put my hand out to hold it. I looked at him like he was about to set me on fire and let him know, in no uncertain terms, that I would not be touching it anytime soon.

cicada shell

My dad tried to convince me that it was harmless, that it wasn’t even alive and was, in fact, just a shell. But it was the creepiest thing I had ever seen and I refused to go near it. I didn’t believe it was just a shell; I thought it was alive and perfectly capable of biting off one of my fingers.

After many minutes of trying to convince me of its harmlessness my dad gave me a choice: I could either hold the cicada shell or I wouldn’t get to watch Harry Butler that night. I was devastated – it was like Sophie’s Choice!

I thought about how repulsive the cicada shell was and how much I loved Harry Butler. I cried and pleaded with him, but he was resolute. I came to the conclusion that my dad was the meanest dad alive.

Harry Butler

My love for Harry was so strong that eventually I closed my eyes, held out my hand and waited for my dad to drop the repulsive creature in it. Suddenly, I felt the lightest touch on my palm, it was like a feather. I opened my eyes and took a closer look – it really was just a shell! I was instantly fascinated. From that moment on I was the cicada queen (and I got to watch Harry that night).

Not only was I no longer scared of cicada shells, I would seek out the live nymphs, put them on my shirt and let them hatch on me. I would then wear the empty shells on my clothes like badges. Cicadas were the most fascinating creatures I’d ever encountered.

cicada shirt

One day I found an unusually large amount of cicada shells on a tree in our front yard and instantly had an idea.

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bucket

 

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Dad, thanks for making me hold the cicada shell. Mum, you can blame dad for that one!