Don’t Play With Ovens…

The newest internet sensation hit: tea parties inside ovens. I’m not making this up, sadly, although one small caveat is that the ovens are never actually on. The ‘Oven Tea Party’ trend is taking the internet by storm and it’s just the worst. I first heard about it on the news last night and now people are posing Visage-Tome videos of it everywhere, and I just want to throw down my phone and yell that they shouldn’t be finding commercial ovens, climbing inside and pretending that they’re having a tea party. Oven are for cooking, and people climbing around inside them- some of them with shoes on- is a serious health risk. It goes against all hygiene rules, for one thing. I don’t want to go to a restaurant where people have been inside the oven, taking photos and having too much of a good time with a piece of serious equipment.

Teenagers will do anything. Remember the Tea Tray Challenge? That one where people had to slide down some stairs on a tea tray and film it, and then people got injured because they chose absolutely massive flights of stairs but no one really cared. Now it’s happening all over again. And remember when the Tea Tray Challenge mutated and people were sliding down all sorts of inclines, on all sorts of impractical things? Now people are abusing OTHER pieces of commercial kitchen equipment. Someone posted a picture of their child sitting in a commercial wok burner having a tea party with their teddy bears; again, super unhygienic. There was that girl with the charcoal grill, the blatant misuse of the pasta maker, and I just can’t stand it anymore. Slide down stairs all you like, but this is food and sanitation we’re talking about here. Commercial kitchen equipment is not a toy! Viral trends really ARE just the worst…I dread whatever comes next.

Why Not Decorative Glass

Is it at all possible to get frosted window glass for your car? I know that’s incredibly dangerous and blocks your view of the road entirely, and thus will probably turn your entire vehicle into a massive paperweight by all road standards and laws, but…wow, what a paperweight! I shouldn’t be so obsessed with looking different, but everyone has cars, so…I need to stand out.

I already got decorative window glass for my desk at work. Everyone else has a normal desk, and I just had to get one made of glass, decorative window glass no less. I tried to make the office absolutely fabulous, but the boss said that my habit of decorating everything made the place look unprofessional. Maybe that’s why the put my desk at the very back, so none of the visitors will see it.

In short, life is hard for an auteur such as myself. I see something as simple as window glass and I want to make it look even more wonderful. That’s why I’ve decorated all of my binders with stickers, and I spent four hours the other day getting my desktop background just perfect. Thought I had it with a picture of the Bavarian Alps surrounded by all my desktop icons in the shape of a beautiful Japanese manji, but then I saw this gorgeous shot of the National University, and I suddenly thought ‘why can’t my icons be arranged in an octopus shape, to honour the creature’s great intelligence and strength?’, and that took a while.

Oh, you know what’s gorgeous? Office glass tinting. So chic, so IN, so very functional to keep the sun out in the summer months. I’m going to work to make it happen. If I can’t get pineapples stuck all over the place, I can at least do this.


Kids and Orthotics

Wow, children sure have a lot going on. Is this a new thing? Maybe my memory is just fuzzy about my own childhood, but I remember mostly just living through the whole thing without incident. Like, maybe I pulled a girl’s hair once? There was a sports day at some stage, because I lost the egg and spoon race and I threw the egg at the boy who won and he got egg all over his face. That was a good day.

Otherwise, I got nothing much of anything. And then I babysit my niece and it’s like wow, cylinders. Cylinders firing. She has way more going on than me. The last thing her Mum said was asking me to head around the corner after school so we could get some children’s orthotics fitted in Cheltenham. Wasn’t sure I heard that correctly, but yeah. Lydia does indeed need orthotics, for children, because she’s on the school sprinting team at the age of seven. They train three times a week, which is good because she goes to an advanced maths class on Tuesdays and Thursdays and we’d hate for anything to clash.

At the age of seven. Professionally-fitted orthotics, from a reputable podiatrist; just thought I’d make that very clear. At first I thought this was one of those proud parent things. You know, with the parents thinking their child was a little prodigy and pushing them into all this stuff, and the child goes along with it because their Mum said so or whatever. But Min and Rob are so chilled, and when I asked they said that Lydia chose all this stuff by herself.

In fact, the whole reason she needs custom orthotics fitted in a Cheltenham clinic is because she goes out to the field behind the house every day to train and her shoes were getting old. So…children are now bionic little androids with infinite energy and drive. Truly, the new generation will be surpassing this one. Suppose that’s fine.

Adults Just Want to Have Fun as Well

Great, so first I miss out on Doctor Muller, the greatest alternative medical specialist the world has ever known, and now I’m told that I’m too old for a play centre birthday party. When did society’s ageism get so disgustingly pronounced that a grown man of 26 cannot be allowed onto climbing frames that are built for far, far younger people? I just want to climb! I want to dive in a ball pit and relive my youth!

This is Class-A discrimination, and I don’t even know if discrimination as classes, but if it is, it’s class A. It does NOT help that the birthday party venues in Bundoora are just so darn enticing. I had to take my niece to one the other day because my brother and my sister-in-law just had to come down with a bout of armadillo flu…and okay, that was harsh. We may have eradicated armadillo flu deaths almost entirely since the dawn of the 21st century, but it’s still a major killer in third-world countries.

But they got the flu, I took Hattie to this awesome birthday party venue, and what did I do? I sat there making small talk with the parents, and not even the good kind of small talk. Because apparently it’d be ‘weird’ if I went and dived down the elephant slide headfirst alongside all the other party goers.

Class-A. I’m going to go home today and research if that’s a real thing, and after that, I’m going to find a birthday party venue that has climbing frames that can support the weight of a fully-grown man, because I have need to be met, and those needs involve climbing frames and pretending that I’m a space pirate explorer.

And if I did manage to hire out a kids party venue near Bundoora, it’d be an adults-only party, for safety and all that. But…oh. Wait, does that make ME ageist? What have I become…?


How Hairdressing Split a Community


Now THAT is what I call a slam-bang quarter-season finale! I thought they’d nailed it in season sixty-seven when Marlene returned from her quest to save the quokka population from an evil oil baron who wanted to build a supermarket over their only remaining sacred burial ground, but THIS was even better!

Got to admit, I didn’t see Velma coming out with that business plan of hers. We’ve known for years that Velma is totally obsessed with her looks, ever since she had that psychotic breakdown where she tried to destroy ever mirror in the entire town because she thought that her reflections were talking trash behind her back. Now she’s visited a hair salon in the middle of Melbourne and seen how much more professional they are than in Realsville, she’s on a one-woman-crusade to establish a fine hair salon of a Melbourne standard, right there in town.

Of course, Judith runs the only salon in town, and she only knows how to do about six types of hair, four of which went out of style in the sixties. Still, Judith is approaching her 96th birthday, so everyone has just been humouring her and traveling elsewhere for their real hair salon needs. This new plan of Velma’s is a direct challenge to Judith’s monopoly, so the two are now at loggerheads, and old grudges are coming out of the woodwork. Judith is now trapped in an immersive flashback to 1962, when she was watching the South Melbourne hairdressing guild setting up and putting her family’s artisan home hair salon out of business, even though it was actually down to her father’s alcoholism and her mother’s obsession with experimental mousse.

So THAT’S all happening. Now there are two mobs converging in the streets, with torches and everything. All over one little hair salon. Weird, that…

Our Energy-Laden Utopia

Interesting times tonight at the Futurist Club, as we had an extra-long meeting on energy storage. And energy storage really gets me fired up! You see, it’s long been a dream of mine to live in an unlimited energy society, and I have boundless optimism that we’re not too far off. I’m talking about a society in which nobody ever has to charge their phone, because gigantic energy pillars loom over every major city and wirelessly charge every single gadget with raining power from the ionosphere. Think about that for a moment. No more low-power warnings; in fact, we won’t even have little percentage things telling us how much power we have left, because they’ll be pointless. No more power outlets. Just unlimited energy.

Personally, I think Melbourne comes closer to the dream than anything else. Our prowess in commercial battery storage is second to none, as evidenced by the Power Project in the city centre. Those are the gigantic commercial energy storage devices, shaped and designed like giant batteries. They were a collaboration between some electrical engineering students and graphic design students…in case you didn’t already know. That’s why they look so great, but also have practical use. Anyone can jump on one of the exercise bikes surrounding the batteries and give it some juice, and anyone can just walk up and charge their phone.

It’s a taste of the future, I’m telling you. Before the energy pillars become our main source of power, I think we’ll be starting with commercial energy storage solutions that are similar, but scaled-down. So…pillars on street corners, where you can just hold your phone up to them for a minute and it’s fully charged. Free for the good of all! And that’s why I believe that industrial energy monitoring and storage is going to be what creates our new, Utopian society. Once you solve the problem of energy and it’s free and unlimited, wars and poverty will basically cease. It’s all about the volts, I’m telling you.


That One Show About Boat Parts

Television truly is in a wonderful age of specificity. I mean, you can just flick through the channels until you find something that’s exactly what you want to watch, or just find something else from the massive catchup library.

Yesterday I felt like watching a show where people name parts of boats, so I tuned into ‘Name That Boat Part and Where It’s From!’, the exciting show where people name parts of boats and where they’re from. Sometimes they make them stick their hands through a wall so they can’t see the boat part, but that doesn’t matter to these incredible boat boffins. My favourite at the moment is a guy called Jay, who can name pretty much anything. I watched him stick his hands through the wall and touch certain parts of an outboard motor, and he instantly said “Outboard motor, fitted in Melbourne!”

Such talent! They always have post-show interviews where the contestants explain their reasoning, and he said that Melbourne’s outboard motor services are just a bit different, which was how he was able to tell without even looking. Well, that makes sense!

A lot of people think ‘Name That Boat Part and Where It’s From!’ is getting a bit old, especially since we’re into season 37 and the writers much surely be running out of ideas for anchor winches and outboard motors, but I disagree. Boats and their various parts are simply timeless. They’re always great, not just for boating, but for naming on television shows, because that it a thing, and it makes sense, really.

It’s a very specific idea, and you wouldn’t think that many people would be into it, and you’d be right, but I love me some boat parts. Maybe one day I’ll be on the show, and I’ll pick up an anchor winch, and I’ll confident say “well, this has to be one of those anchor winches fitted in Melbourne, because I said so, and reasons.”

I’ve watched the show enough to be a professional.


The Day I Became a San

I have always thought of myself as very young. Now that I’m pushing my mid-twenties, I have to stop and wonder…when WILL I consider myself an adult? Is the time for childish things truly over? Should I throw away my childish hobbies and take up golf?

In the land of things that aren’t my imagination, and thus aren’t quite as interesting, I’m not looking after much younger children. I was tasked with finding an indoor play centre in Sydney that would cater to the needs of our kinder class. Sometimes they get to go on outings, so I was trying to find a place that would accommodate us. It was, of course, child’s play, to turn a phrase. I work at quite an exclusive private school that keeps classes small, and so we only had a party of eight. All i had to do was use my computer knowledge and find an indoor play centre that was open and didn’t look terrible. Then we went for our regular Friday treat (usually the kids are just taken to the park down the road), it was great, and once again I proved that I’m great with kids, despite not liking them very much. I don’t even like kids in cartoons; they always have very shrill voices and they exist to be motivations to their teenage siblings that never really seem to be as motivating as they should be.

In fact, real life children are less shrill, even when they’re climbing around a play centre. The best thing was that there were so many activities that I didn’t have to do much. I should advocate for trips into Sydney to birthday party venues more often. And Mum said I wouldn’t last as a teaching assistant!

Truly, perhaps it is time for me to become adult Dylan. We all must grow up eventually. Probably. Just a bit longer, five more minutes.


Mums Need to Mind Their Own Business

They say milk is good for your bones, but I have my doubts. If it was REALLY good, then why don’t elderly people drink milk all the time? Those people are always complaining about their bones and joints and aching skeletons. You’d think that you’d see old folks just swilling milk all the time, but…no. They do not.

With a world full of misinformation, it makes raising a child almost impossible, I swear. One website says they need two hours of play time, another says six each day. Who to listen to? Everyone in real life gives conflicting opinions as well. I mean, people wonder why I’m always travelling two suburbs across to that indoor play centre in Carrum Downs. I’ll tell you why: because it’s clearly a place for kids. I can take Roscoe there, and there’s no question about whether it’s ‘good’ for him. He climbs, he runs, he socialises with the other kids and he has fun at the same time. As much as all the magazines are confusing and give conflicting advice, those are at least SOME things they can all agree on. Being social is good. Exercise is good. Having fun is good…if you do all the rest of the stuff at the same time. And then there are those judgemental mums who think I should stop going to the play centre because we’re going to pick up germs, or some such. Sure, germs are bad (all the magazines agree on that, too), but I made my own judgement call on that one. Some germs…are okay. Because there’s only one way to build up a tolerance. You can wrap your child in cotton wool, never take them to a birthday party venue and sanitise everything they touch, but you’re setting them up for quite the nasty flu at some point. Roscoe is healthy, and I intend to keep him that way.

Maybe everyone stresses too much, and children are actually a lot more hardy than we think. And then, maybe if these judgy mums found themselves an indoor play centre open somewhere in Melbourne, they’d realise that it’s everything a child needs. Instant success formula, you might say.


Beach Haters, I Will Heal Your Souls

Can you believe there are people who don’t like the beach? Must not have been hugged enough as a child. That’s got to be it. The beach is a wholesome place, filled with fun and wonder and laughter and…fun. All good things, and so much more.

I’m considering starting a support group. Now, I might not seem like the best person to lead it, being a normal, beach-loving person. I go to Lorne, book a good luxury hotel every single year, all because I can’t get enough of the beach. I had a ton of sand delivered to my back garden just so I could create an artificial beach, for when I’m NOT in Lorne. The only thing missing is the ocean, although in many ways that’s not even the main thing. It’s just one great big, blue perk.

No, I still think I’m a good person to lead this group, because I’m a shining example of what people SHOULD be. I’m their end goal. The idea is to convert them into me, the paragon of beach-loving.

So I’ll need to whip up a program, maybe look into hotels and accommodation around beach areas, for if we need a day trip. Otherwise, sessions will be based around rooting out deep psychological trauma, finding out WHY they’ve been raised so depraved, and figuring out how we can help to transform them into real, functioning people.

I just get a swell of pity whenever I tell my friend at work about my holidays to Lorne and he screws up his nose.

“Not my cup of tea,” he says. “Mostly just prefer holidays where I’m a bit more active.”

Poor soul; breaks my heart. If only I could stash him in my suitcase and bring him on holiday. He’ll never go looking for beach accommodation in Lorne; hotels aren’t his thing. But if I can convince him and others into my new program…they can be made whole again.