10 ways to totally make your day

I’ve had a great day. Follow these simple steps, and you’ll have a great day, too.

1. Sugar and spice and all things nice

You might recall my campaign to Starbucks from a couple of years back? It seems to have paid off (Yes, I credit my three stupid emails for their national change-of-heart): today, I bought my first Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks. Worth the wait.  Continue reading

P Benson’s product reviews – why love when you can hate?

The Very Hungry Caterpillar front cover - P Benson wants this book banned!

I was told earlier that my blog posts about JG Thirlwell read like love letters, which is fair, because I love him more than Garfield loves Pooky, but he’s far from the only craven idol in my life. There’s Bethesda supremo Todd Howard, AKA My Lurrrve-Hobbit: I have frequently threatened to “pop him on my lap and stroke him like a kitten”. There’s Everett True, who drives me absolutely nuts but is still this guy to me:



There’s my friend-and-colleague Steve, who speaks at least a dozen languages and is one of the smartest guys I know (and I know some seriously smart people). I once drunkenly hugged him at the office party while declaring that he was “just a gweat biiig bunny wabbit“, which wouldn’t have been quite so toe-curlingly awful if he didn’t hate to be touched – or if he hadn’t been showing his brand new recruit around at the time. I hugged the new manager, too, who immediately decided that this was just the best company ever. And there’s my modding muse Korana, who incites me to mutter What Would Korana Do? every time I’m making a new doll’s house for my play people. I’m wondering at which point I’ll stop crediting every mod I make to Korana for “inspiration” – or whether I ever should. Of those not personally known to me, Gary Oldman makes the list because I’ll watch anything he’s in – that goes beyond my simple fangirl love for Karl Urban or Johnny Depp because it takes a special kind of devotion to sit through The Scarlet Letter.

So you get the idea: when I love someone or something, I have about as much restraint as a puppy with a fresh, juicy bone. I like to talk about things I love. I like to shout about things I love.  I don’t pay much attention to the things I don’t like because I’d rather not spend any more time with them than I need to. I don’t want to end up like P Benson. Continue reading

The secret diary of Osama bin Laden

The Times reports today that Osama bin Laden’s diary has been found in Pakistan.

“A US official described the diary as a ‘journal of ideas'”, reported the paper.

The question we’re all asking ourselves right now is “what does it say?” Even those of us lacking the prurient curiosity to see his corpse must be wondering about the scribbled ravings of a cave-bound lunatic.

Fortunately, a source close to the White House has released some extracts exclusively to Reinspired.

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The Best April Fool’s Jokes 2011

As you’ll have seen from yesterday’s post, the first of April holiday is one I take very seriously. A good joke must be – of course – funny, but also entirely harmless. It must be almost plausible enough to have you going for a minute or two, but silly enough so that even a moment’s reflection reveals it to be a hoax. It must be inventive, charming, and utterly absurd.

Here are some of yesterday’s more successful prankings:

Youtube: Top viral videos of 1911

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April Fool’s Day 2011

For the fifth year running, Planet Elder Scrolls hosted my annual mischief. Thanks, APY and everyone at PES! I’m also pleased that – for once – nobody fell for this one!

Christiane Meister

We were saddened to note that Bethesda’s Lead Character Animator has been injured in an accident at work today. We wish her the speediest of recoveries. Planet Elder Scrolls has the full story:
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Timewaster Letters: Starbucks

For about three years I have envied my Stateside friends’ enthusiastic endorsements of Starbucks Pumpkin Spiced Latte. When I heard it was that time of year again, I popped in at the coffee shop on my way to work and asked if they had it in this year, and yet again was told that it wasn’t something they were offering in the UK. I was genuinely disappointed, and decided to take a little action. All emails are genuine, although I might have fibbed a little when I wrote them …

From: (Princess)
Sent: 09 September 2010 09:11
To: ukinfo@starbucks.com
Subject: Complaint

Dear Starbucks

It’s pretty rare that I contact a company in this manner, but I was so outraged by your company’s unethical practices that are destroying relationships and tearing communities apart that I felt obligated to submit a formal complaint.

I’m referring of course to the lack of pumpkin chai latte for the third year running.

My smug American friends boast daily of their enjoyment of the beverage leaving us Brits stricken with envy, and motivated by their tales of sweet spices and frothy lather, I go to Starbucks in town every year to ask if – just maybe – they might have a pumpkin chai latte for me to try?

The crushing disappointment is unbearable. It’s not fair, and it’s making me resent my Transatlantic buddies for their regular indulgence in your spicy brew.

Please rectify this sad situation immediately. If I find myself UnFollowing friends after their umpteenth update about how their chai “totally fixed” their day, I’ll blame you.


(My name) (Mrs)

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April Fool’s Day 2010

For the fourth year running, APY at Planet Elder Scrolls very kindly hosted my Bethesda-related nonsense. Thank you once again, PES, for being my partners in crime. As for anyone who fell for this: SERIOUSLY, you should be ashamed of yourself!

The Elder Scrolls V AnnouncedFull story at Planet Elder Scrolls

Bethesda Softworks has announced at a press conference in London today a new entrant into the Elder Scrolls franchise, subtitled Alinor. Details are slim at the moment as Bethesda is remaining tight-lipped, but a few bits of information were provided. The game is due out sometime in 2011 for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC, Wii and iPhone. The game is not a direct sequel to Oblivion, though it is an RPG in the Elder Scrolls series; Bethesda has said that you can expect the “same type of game” despite the fact that a different developer is working on it.

Bethesda’s in-house development team is involved in a number of projects, including Fallout 4 and Medieval Games 2 for the Wii. Therefore, development of Alinor has been passed over to indie studio Armor Games, who Product Manager Pete Hines said “brings exactly the type of fast-paced, easy-to-grasp action that our fans are looking for.”

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April Fool’s Day 2009

For the third year running, APY at Planet Elder Scrolls very kindly hosted my Bethesda-related nonsense. Thank you once again, PES, for being my partners in crime.

Bethesda “Sorry” for OblivionNews Story at Planet Elder Scrolls

In a surprise move that has shocked the gaming world, Bethesda’s Executive Producer Todd Howard stepped forward at GDC on behalf of the company to issue a public apology for Oblivion. The announcement follows years of campaigning from disenfranchised members of the Elder Scrolls community to persuade ZeniMax and its subsidiaries to take responsibility for the “unprecedented damage” the game has unleashed.

Bethesda: Heads bowed in shame

Bethesda: Heads bowed in shame

“We would like to apologize to everybody who bought our game, and to the world at large, for the problems that we have caused,” said Howard in his tearful and emotional speech, “And we very much hope that by taking ownership of the situation that we can limit the legacy of destruction that our game has wrought upon the world.”

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