Curious: Magic wands in the workplace

I’m not sure that I believe in magic, however I have bought a magic wand for work.

The logic being that I am often asked to manage the impossible with too little time, no resources and no real Business benefits even if the impossible was achieved.

But if I wave my magic wand – whilst looking hopeful, I might be able to work the miracles that are expected by my oh-so-lovely employer.

fairy wand

(Photo from Claires)

Tellingly my coworkers haven’t batted an eyelid at the wand or its proposed usage – several people (irrespective of gender or sexual identity) have asked to borrow it.

It would be rather funky if it worked, however I am not holding my breath!

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Food … sort of: Gourmet Fisherman’s Delight With Tuna

Healthy food is important for all species, both cats and humans.

G likes Gourmet brand cat food sachets – well he does this week, and would have a tuna addiction if it wasn’t for rationing. F won’t touch wet food but likes tuna a lot.

So Gourmet tinned Fisherman’s Delight with tuna sounded fun – however after purchasing it I took a closer look at the ingredients… it transpires that it is 70% random fish, of which a mere 4% is tuna.

gourmet fisherman's delights

That makes the phase “with tuna” feel somewhat detached from reality.

However the faux-tuna was decanted, offered to G and he ate a bit of it… but without much gusto.

It is good to know that both human and cat food are equally duplicitous in their advertising, but I am vexed that poor G was deprived of something more fun. And F wouldn’t even touch it as it was more like wet food than tuna, poor beastie.

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Nails: Teddy Bears

Teddy bears are generally thought of as warm, fuzzy, comforting and happy – which is odd as an actual bear probably wouldn’t react terribly well to being hugged.

Although it might be fun to see what happens if some of my lovely lovely coworkers were covered in honey and then tried to hug a grizzly bear.

teddy bear nails(Photo from Pinterest)

The downside is that the bear could get indigestion.

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Film: God Bless America – “why have a civilization anymore if we no longer are interested in being civilized?”

Frank is a middle age man surrounded by rude idiots and celebrity obsessed vacuous sillies. He also has access to guns.

god bless america

Due to a series of unfortunately events Frank feels the need to go on a killing spree and picks up a teenage girl as an accomplice. It is an interest satire and a somewhat successful black comedy, but it suffers from the inevitable tricky ending scenario that anything chaotic leads to.

If you are looking for a saner version of ‘Postal’ then this might be worth a watch, *might*.

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Book: Anthology ‘Hex Appeal’ part 2 – “Although that very thought was more shuddersome than a pack of feral zombies invading a tea party”

I am finding the ‘Hex Appeal’ anthology hard going – the initial two stories were readable but I’m having to try increasingly hard.

This week I managed to get through another two short stories:

Rachel Caine’s ‘Holly’s Balm’
Carole Nelson Douglas’ ‘Snow Job’

Caine’s story featured characters that had previously appeared in another anthology (that I haven’t read). Holly is a witch who  can raise the dead and Andy is a witch she brought back from the dead and is now dating…

hex appeal

Basically ‘Holly’s Balm’ felt like a mashup between Caine’s Revivalist series and Kim Harrisons Rachel Morgan series. There is the zombie-loving ick from the former and the wet witch who can’t see the obvious even when it is hitting her in the face from the latter.

I really hope the story wasn’t meant to contain plot twists as every bit of plot was broadcaster loud & clear WAY in advance. I’d read worse stories (more on that in a minute), but I wouldn’t bother reading it again.

Having never heard of Carole Nelson Douglas I went into ‘Snow Job’ with a completely open mind and no preconceptions.

sugar

(Sugar – because people like you just fuel my fire.)

Apparently it is set in the world of Delilah Street – Paranormal Investigator series. There seemed to be lots of references and information dumps that I didn’t understand, probably as I haven’t read any of the series.

Lots of things happened and the writing felt as if it could have been generated by a pop-culture obsessed monkey posting on Twitter whilst on a sugar high. For example:

“Call me one weird sister, but I wasn’t too high on bailing on the Inferno, or its owner. I’ve never been into male sex symbols. I’m not talking about the planet Mars with the provocative little arrow. Blatant onstage booty calls for screaming female fans and profit insult my intelligence. Elvis would have squealed in vain. Justin Timberlake would have to get his screams and squees from some other chick.”

In a short story every word counts and that was a lot of words conveying nothing of value to the story or anything else for that matter

Apparently Douglas has written 60 novels and judging by the quality of this story I feel that she may have managed this feat in one long sugar-fuelled weekend.

So far ‘Hex Appeal’ is on a strong downwards spiral and I’ve got another five stories to get through, I’m praying that it gets easier!

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Cat: PetStages Wrestle and Romp

One cat toy that the boys do like is Petstages Wrestle and Romp.

It is a large squishy toy with crinkling material inside and a small quantity of catnip. It isn’t a toy that we see them play with but it moves around the house and appears in strange places rather frequently.

petstages wrestle and romp

We had a recent scare when one of the boys used it to bury a particularly icky hairball and I was worried that it might not be cleanable – thankfully it seemed ok after the application of wet kitchen towel, however I’ve now bought two spare ones just in case!

If nothing else I would miss seeing it appear by the door whenever I come home!

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Food: Cadbury creme egg biscuits‏

I haven’t tried the new recipe Cadbury creme eggs – there is one in the cupboard that has been there since before Easter as I’m too chicken to try it. However I did pick up a heavily reduced packet of Cadbury creme egg biscuits‏.

The biscuits were approached with a completely open mind and were found to be very thin chocolate with crunchy biscuit and a layer of soggy sugar.

cadbury creme egg biscuit

They bore no relation to a old school Cadbury creme eggs to justify why they were branded as such. They weren’t even fun biscuits, a Twix is a far more enjoyable way to eat biscuit with thin layer of chocolate!

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Nails: Strawberry nails

With all the recent attempts to tame the garden I seem to have plant on the brain at the moment.

Which isn’t a bad thing if it lets me discover how cute mini strawberries and strawberry flowers are as nail art!

strawberry nails

(Picture from Pinterest)

Now I just need to plant my own strawberry plant… now that I’ve banished it from the kitchen for attracting lots of tiny flies!

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TV: Sleepy Hollow – “no more first-hand accounts of witches or founding fathers. Or donut tax outrage unless you want to be sent back to the asylum”

The premise of the ‘Sleepy Hollow’ TV series is an odd one, Ichabod Crane is resurrected two and a half centuries after his death in the Revolutionary War and finds himself working with Police Lt. Abbie Mills.

Nicole Beharie is fab as Abbie and forms a superb odd pairing with Tom Mison’s Crane. The strength of their interactions really sets this series apart from anything else currently on television.

I can’t really explain the storyline in a way that does it justice – I really enjoy the culture clash between Crane’s historical viewpoint and the modern reality he now finds himself in. That combined with the supernatural elements just works for me!

sleepy hollow

Season 1 was entertaining purely on “this is different” and whilst season 2 did flag a little in the middle it ended on a high to the extent that now it has finished I am finding myself looking forward to season 3.

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Book: Anthology ‘Hex Appeal’ – “If you’re going to be in an orgy, the middle is the best spot, isn’t it.”

I bought ‘Hex Appeal’ because it features a story by Ilona Andrews. The cover of the anthology is pretty awful and did cause me to question if buying it was really necessary!

I was aware that the story, ‘Retribution Clause’, was set in the world of Kate Daniels rather than being a ‘proper’ Kate Daniels story; for example it is set in Philadelphia rather than Atlanta, it revolves around Saiman’s cousin, Adam.

Adam is an insurance adjuster of some sort, mostly through the use of sheer strength. He has a work partner who is some sort of shape shifter … probably, it isn’t really explored and the story is rather weird.

hex appeal

It isn’t a bad story, but if I didn’t know how good an author Ilona Andrews are in the rest of their work (yes “are” as in plural) then I don’t think I would rush out to try more.

Having prioritised the Ilona Andrews story but having bought the book at very close to RRP I felt  that I should read the rest of the stories, although I’ve only read one more so far!

This was the Jim Butcher story ‘Bigfoot on Campus’ which is a Harry Dresden short story and in direct contrast to Andrews’ story I enjoyed it enough to rescue the first five Harry Dresden books from the charity shop pile that I’d dumped them in.

However I intend to finish the rest of the stories in ‘Hex Appeal’ before starting those.

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