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Post-operation reflection

I had an operation last week, and I’ve been in bed recovering for the past eight days. Today’s the first time I feel marginally better, but I still feel pretty heinous.

Anyway, I decided to write a post. Because I’m bored. And I feel like I haven’t done anything productive in over a week. And I don’t really think tweeting and writing lame posts on facebook counts as “writing”.

So these are a couple of things that have happened in the past week:

– I got a Pethidine injection last Tuesday – definitely the most exciting part of this ordeal.

– The woman in the bed next to me in my ward dropped her gallstone. It then rolled under my bed. This all happened while I was on Valium, which is why I think I dealt with it so calmly.

– I have a wound, that will turn into a scar, in my bellybutton; and another wound, that will also turn into a scar, a little lower down (this is the second surgical procedure that I’ve had in my bellybutton, oddly enough).

– I received a HUGE – as in MASSIVE – bouquet of flowers (with a “get well soon” balloon – score!) from work.

– I experienced more pain and discomfort than I thought possible.

– I patched things up with my parents (well, sort of) after not having spoken to them for almost two months.

– I was an idiot and decided to go out on Saturday night. I ended up at a very creepy flat in the middle of nowhere (okay, not really – it’s about two minutes away from Kloof Street) with three of my best friends, two of whom were involved in a (luckily not too serious) car accident later.

– I then slept next to the friend not involved in the car accident, who hid her crafting knife next to her under the futon in case anyone broke in to the flat. (HOW awesome?!)

– I realised (after aforementioned incidents) that I love my friends more than I can explain.

– My mom tried to feed me soup with red meat in it, knowing full well that I only eat chicken and fish (I’m still confused).

– I ate a lot of sweets (thanks Nina and Kristen).

– I had some very trippy dreams, courtesy of some very strong painkillers.

– I found out my brother’s been offered a scholarship to Duke University in North Carolina next year. I think this may have to do with the fact that he is possibly one of the smartest people I’ve ever encountered, and is top of the class in his MBA group. Shame, it must be tough.

– I realised that I’m 95.5% sure I want to make the move to Johannesburg next year.

– I re-watched a movie with an actor I used to think was pretty much the hottest guy I’d ever seen, and almost laughed when I saw him this time round (it’s Airborne, if you must know).

– I realised there’s someone I really care about, who I’m really scared to lose.

– I realised my dad was probably right when he said, “I think you need a guy; 36, maybe 37. I don’t know why you waste your time on the ones in their 20s.” [Note: this was already two years ago.]

– I discovered that wearing your hair in a French Plait for four days straight prevents it from getting all knotted (especially when you spend 90% of those four days sleeping).

There was other stuff too, but the list is getting a bit long, and those painkillers are kicking in.

Twelve Days…

I love this song. And I love how it sums up exactly how I’m feeling at the moment.

Her Space Holiday – Sleepy Tigers

Oh I like you so very much, so much in fact I gotta wake you up
It’s not that I have words to speak
I just wanna see you looking at me
In a way, that states
In an hour when the sun comes up
We’re gonna put on our shoes, we’re gonna shake the dust
Open the door with your brand new key
We won’t be afraid of being sweet
to ourselves
Or anybody! Anybody else!

Oh I miss you so very much, so much in fact i gotta call you up
It’s not that I have news to bring
I just wanna make your telephone ring
So it shows and you know
In a week when I fly back home
We’re gonna jump in bed and be all alone
You’ll make biscuits and I’ll make tea
We’ll curl up close and then fall asleep
To the sound… of no one else no else around

And if I’ve learned anything at all
In this short life of mine (it’s this)…
If you hear that joy has come to town
Track it down, take a picture and tape it to your eyes

Oh I love you so very much so much in fact I’m gonna switch it up
I’m gonna take this room that I built for fun
And burn down the walls in front of everyone
So they see, you and me
Dancing in our sleepy clothes
With two big smiles and a bowl of hope!
That we’ll drink down like ginger tea
The heat will help us forget everything
That you and I, that you and I have seen

And if I’ve learned anything at all
In this short life of mine (it’s this)…
If you hear that joy has come to town
Track it down, take a picture and tape it to your eyes

Happy Valentine’s Day

I’m not the biggest fan of the holiday that is celebrated on the 14th of February; never have been. I am, however, quite a big fan of this song at the moment.

So, I thought I’d get into the spirit of things and do a Valentine’s Day post.

Enjoy, and let your loved ones know they’re loved.

Don’t you call anybody else baby, ’cause I’m your baby still.
It took a long time to make it, but I never changed my mind.
I never tried to fake it, never drew a line.

Don’t you call anybody else baby, ’cause I’m your baby still.
Took a long time to make it, but I never changed my mind.

You speak your fears, thinking in circles and checking what mirrors don’t see.
You live your life like a page from the book of my fantasy.
How I love you.

You speak your fear, thinking in circles and checking what mirrors don’t see.
You live your life like a page from the book of my fantasy.
(x3)

Don’t you call anybody else baby (x7)

Off to a Good Start (Fingers Crossed)

I haven’t blogged for a while. No wait, “a while” is a bit of an understatement. It’s been ages. I’m not even sure why, because I was really starting to get into the proverbial swing of things.

I think last year was a bit of a roller-coaster year for me, particularly the second half. As you may or may not know, I had to leave Dubai as a result of visa issues. After moving jobs and joining a really great ad agency, my @#%&-ing ex-employers (feel free to pay a visit to their website  http://www.avantcommunication.com and then send as many rude and nasty emails as you like) decided to be completely petty and spiteful and cancel my visa. Which meant I could no longer stay on in the UAE. Which meant I had to come home.

There were quite a couple of “things” I was pretty sad to say goodbye to, including a great guy (no, I’m not objectifying men – just not sure how else to say it). I actually still have a suitcase full of clothes and shoes at aforementioned great guy’s apartment (thank you Sinan. I will make a plan to come over and retrieve my belongings sometime in the next few months). So, to be honest, I can’t say I was over the moon when I landed in Cape Town at the beginning of October.

But, wow, has that changed. I’ve really had an amazing past (almost) three and half months.

Highlights include:

– Watching Niel de Waal Meiring (check out his great blog here) do an Native American rain dance at the Halloween Jam
– Climbing Lion’s Head with two of my best friends (and seeing some very attractive men along the way. Sorry, that’s not really relevant)
– Meeting some really, really great people
– Watching DIE KRIEL (more on him later, kids) downing double brandy-and-Cokes and teaching his spectators how to do the “KRIELkreet”
– My cousin’s wedding, which was definitely one of the best I’ve been to
– Danni de Raedt’s numerous (usually inappropriate) comments and pearls of wisdom
– Dancing to “My Sharona” with my number one dancing partner, Nina Nelson, as the clock struck 12 on my 25th birthday
– An amazing road trip, filled with beach bats, beer shandies, Asshole (nothing dodgy – just the card game) and plenty of laughter, with some of the coolest people you could ever wish to call your friends

There are quite a few more, but I’ll leave it at that.

And now I’m back from holiday. And it’s a new year. And, quite strangely, I’m feeling pretty optimistic and excited about it.

So on that note, I thought I’d share with you some of my resolutions/goals/whatever you’d like to call them for the year:

– Get fit. And run the Two Oceans Half Marathon in April with Kristen Parris
– Start using body lotion regularly (this is quite a mission for me)
– Give vegetarianism a go (I’ve already cut out red meat, so now I just need to ditch chicken)
– Not drink and drive
– Work on my phone answering skills – because, I’m not going to lie, they’re pretty damn shocking at the moment
– Either buy myself a motorbike (a Triumph Bonneville T100 would be a-m-a-z-i-n-g, but I think I’m maybe being a bit optimistic here), or go on an overseas holiday, before the year
– BLOG REGULARLY (seriously. No, seriously)
– Try to be less cynical and less self-critical
– Learn all the capital cities I don’t know (you can quiz me next time you see me out)
– Do more “stuff” (also nothing dodgy, I promise). Like weekends away and hikes and beach missions and random excursions

I would include “Stop biting my nails”, but I think I’ll leave that for 2012.

So here’s to a new year, and all the (hopefully) good things it (hopefully) has in store for us.

Ps. I know this post is slightly more serious (dull?) than my others. Don’t worry, I’ll try to be funnier and wittier (that’s for you, Niel) in my next one.

Dawson, Joey, Pacey, Jen and Co.

My colleague and I were reminiscing about the ’90s the other day: the strange fashions (bomber jackets?!), the music, the television shows…
And then the topic of Dawson’s Creek came up. Yep, the drama that centred around a group of of angst-ridden (and decidedly average-looking, or is that just me?) teenagers trying to claw their way out of the dark cave that is adolescence.

Maybe I’m just being overly critical and judgemental, but I’ve always had a couple of fundamental issues with the show: the characters, the casting, the script – amongst others.

First and foremost, what kind of name is Pacey?!
I mean, where I come from, “pacey” means fast; nippy. (Where I come from, it also sounds the same as the Afrikaans word for pimple, “puisie”, but that’s neither here nor there.)
Why not “Duncan” or “Bradley”? Even “Walter” would’ve been better. I just don’t understand how, or why, they decided on “Pacey”.

The next issue is not really Dawson’s Creek specific, it’s more to do with the actress herself: Katie Holmes (aka Joey Potter). And, just to clarify, I had a problem with her long before those nauseating clips of her and Tom Cruise fawning over each other started circulating.

I guess she’s pretty, in a unique kind of way; but she has this strange half-smile, half-grimace that looks like she’s going through absolute agony yet somehow enjoying it (who knows – maybe she’s a masochist) on her face 90% of the time. It’s definitely a Katie Holmes thing and not just a Joey Potter thing, because I’ve spotted her doing it in numerous interviews and almost every other role she’s played. But I think she hit an all time annoying high in Dawson’s Creek.

Then there’s the fact that the entire cast looked as if they were a couple of months away from the big 3-0, when in actual fact they were yet to blow out 16 candles on their respective birthday cakes. That just made the entire plot and premise even more unbelievable.

Perhaps the most infuriating thing, however, was the way they talked to one another. I mean, how many 15-year-olds do you know who say things like:

“I’m an artist, torture is a prerequisite.” (Dawson)

“Edge is fleeting, heart lasts forever.” (Dawson)

“Cramming dreary German folk tales and the inner workings of the Fett is hard enough without having to listen to a diatribe about your ass.” (Joey)

And:

“But what good is their love if it’s not strong enough to overcome those circumstances?”
“Because in spite of the circumstances… they never stop loving.” (Dawson and Joey)

I’m sorry? What?!
You lost me there.

When I was 15, I was talking about how “lame” geometry was; how I couldn’t wait for first break so I could go buy R5’s worth of Fizz Pops; and how hot Josh Hartnett was. But maybe I just wasn’t as deep or as intellectual as the Capeside kids.

So we’ll move on to another annoying element – one that is probably the most problematic, since he was the central character (it was his creek after all): Dawson Leery. Wow, where to begin…

I always wondered when they were going to introduce the theme of Dawson’s premature ageing disorder into the story (and, to be honest, I think this is what could’ve saved the show). All the telltale signs were there: the receding hairline; the head that was slightly too large for the body; the faint crow’s feet that were highlighted in every lingering close up.

I won’t even get started on his constant internal struggle with trying to remain true to himself while still wanting to give into his (teenage male) hormones. Or his stalker-like obsession with Steven Spielberg, for that matter.

But, when all is said and done, I guess Dawson’s Creek did have its positives.

First and foremost, Oliver Hudson (aka Eddie Doling). Well, hello.
If I were Joey, or any female who came within a 20 metre of radius of him, I would’ve dropped everything, eloped with him to some farm in the Midwest, and then proceeded to start a family of little Eddie Dolings. (I would’ve also made him herd cattle, wearing nothing but a Stetson and torn stonewashed jeans, at every possible opportunity. But let’s not get sidetracked.)

Then there was the episode of How I Met Your Mother where Robin’s high school sweetheart, played by none other than James Van Der Beek, comes to see her in New York, years after breaking her heart. We first see him as the bad boy hottie who featured in her hit music video (“Sandcastles in the Sand“) as a teenager, and then as the overweight, balding alcoholic loser he is today.

I’m going to go out on a limb and say that I’m almost sure that viewers who were familiar with James Van Der Beek in his Dawson’s Creek days found the episode at least 90% more entertaining than those who had never been introduced to Mr. Leery. It was almost as if we were getting a glimpse of what happened to Dawson after he left Capeside and his dreams of becoming an award-winning director fell flat.

Last, but certainly not least, I just don’t think those numerous lazy Sunday mornings (preceded by Saturday nights involving Shack, good friends and several double McQueens) earlier this year would’ve been the same without Vuzu’s four hour-long Dawson’s Creek omnibus specials. Even if I was just watching to get a peek of Dawson’s bad hair and Joey’s lopsided grin.

And hey, Joshua Jackson (aka Pacey) is dating mega babe Diane Kruger, while Michelle Williams (aka Jen) was once married to the oh-so-beautiful Heath Ledger. So I guess it all worked out okay for everyone in the end.

The Capeside clan: keeping it real since 1998

Working 9 to 9

Being a teenager who’s approaching school leaving age and trying to figure out what you want to do with your life is never easy.

You job-shadow; you go for aptitude tests; you speak to career guidance counsellors; and best of all, you endure presentation after presentation from various colleges, institutions and companies, each trying to sell their respective course or career as the most suitable, and lucrative, option for you.

And then, just as you’ve got to the point where you think you need to bite the bullet and just go with the least dull option, along comes some suave, stylish twenty-something guy named “Matt” or “Steve” or “Dan” (always monosyllabic monikers), who walks in with a confident swagger, fiddles around with his seventeen inch MacBook Pro and suddenly starts blasting Joy Division, leaving you and your friends swooning. To top it all off, he goes on to give a funny, smart, and generally awesome presentation that blows you away (and you could almost swear he was looking directly at you the whole way through).

“I’ve finally found my calling!” you think to yourself, rejoicing silently.
At dinner that night, you announce excitedly to Mom and Dad that you’ve decided to pursue a career in advertising (not mentioning the fact that they’re going to have to fork out R50 000 a year for the next three years to get you there).

And it’s all downhill from there.
No, but really.

Okay, maybe it isn’t that bad (I’m trying to convince myself here as well), but ask anyone who’s actually worked in advertising long enough, and I bet they’ll tell you that the industry is built on lies, deceptions and illusions.
Yes, kind of like Scientology.

So, before you get sucked in, beware of the following – they can be awfully alluring:

– All-white offices (with splashes of red), filled with retro leather couches, strange inflatable objects and cubicles that look like giant glass bubbles, giving the overall effect of “Playpen meets Stefan Antoni”
– Old Coca Cola/MTV/Converse/Apple ad campaigns that have been framed and hang proudly alongside the respective awards they’ve managed to win
– “Chill areas” (that are strangely almost always deserted – probably because no one actually has time to make use of them), complete with Playstations, Wii’s and big plasma screens
– Autographed photos of employees and bikini-clad supermodels from the latest campaign’s shoot
– Row after row of shiny white iMacs, just waiting to have you sitting down in front of them
– Ridiculously good looking people, all dressed in faded black skinny jeans and (authentic) vintage band t-shirts, clutching steaming mugs of coffee and chain smoking on the balcony outside
– iTunes shared libraries filled with more music than you’ve ever seen, most of it by bands and artists you’ve never even heard of

And, finally:

– The “agency bar”, packed with enough alcohol to cater for an entire frat house’s end of year party

As I said, all very alluring.

But three years down the line, when it’s 23h30 on a Wednesday night and you’re working on a corporate brochure for a company that manufactures building materials, you’ll wish you hadn’t been tempted so easily.

Advertising agency: example 1

Advertising agency: example 2

Advertising agency: example 3

Not an advertising agency: example 1

She’s got the look

While I definitely appreciate beauty, I wouldn’t say I’m one of those people who gets completely caught up in something based purely on its aesthetic appeal.

Okay, there may be one or two exceptions…

Case in point (a):

The Heath Ledger lookalike who works in my building

I think this one’s pretty self-explanatory.

Case in point (b):

The guy I spotted at Lime Tree Café a few weeks ago

Man.
I think I almost choked on my coffee when he walked through the door.

But, I’m getting sidetracked. So let me pull myself together.

What I’m trying to say is that, generally, I like it when or someone has a bit more than just beauty – a little substance to back up their chiselled cheekbones and olive skin and glossy brown hair.

The same goes for inanimate objects. I think the word I’m looking for is “character”.
A slightly worn-in pair of leather boots; a pretty floral dress that’s maybe a little crumpled. Or sometimes it’s just the way you put things together that makes the combined package seem a little more “wow” than the items would be individually.

Character is what makes things stand out in a sea of blandly beautiful.

Which brings me to the point of this post: one Jessica Hart.

I think this girl has got to be one of the most gorgeous creatures ever. Check out her blog, here:

http://jessicahart.net/blog/

Yes, she’s blonde and beautiful. Yes, she’s a Sports Illustrated Swimwear model. Yes, she has killer legs.
But it’s more than that. She has style and grace and personality. She has substance. (She also has a wardrobe to die for.)
To top it all off, she actually seems to be pretty down to earth.

So, what’s my point?
Well, I’m not really sure.

I guess what I’m trying to say is beauty’s great, and I think it’s only human that we’re attracted to things that are aesthetically appealing. But sometimes, in a world where people are constantly trying to be and look the same as everyone else, it’s refreshing to find someone who lets their individuality and character shine through.

So kudos to you, Jessica Hart. I think you’re pretty damn cool.

Beaut