Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Things I blame Africa for. Vol. XI

"So, what are we talking about today, dear Ext?" she says as I position myself on the plush, white couch that always looks so inviting and comfortable, but ends up poking me with a loose spring right at that place where no flesh covers my tailbone.

I change from one already uncomfortable position to another. The spring pokes at my backside. I wince.

"Well, dear blog of mine," I open well knowing that If I suggest any sort of redesign that will imply getting rid of what's been on here for what seems like forever, she'll just smile and nod. Smile and nod. And then do nothing. The picture with the giraffe and the whiteness are here to stay. There's no way out of it.

"I seem to have become a clutter-happy hoarder," I test the waters.

"Oh, what makes you think that?" she queries, as if she doesn't know how uncomfortable the couch is, or how monotone the picture of the giraffe has become. Or how many bags of coffee have been bought since that item was placed on the to do-list, neatly tucked into the margin.

"See, Africa has made me like that," I answer as if I'm actually answering her question.

"Oh?" she just says, without the slightest tone of interest in her voice, and looks sadly at the description over the poor giraffe's head. I know she feels the wine and the bad, bad books mentioned in the description have been lacking, but alas, she could just rewrite, but no. She feels the readers will look past the description, straight at her, the soul of the blog.

"You know when they didn't have any coffee filters for like two months?" I continue as I revisit the panic that almost overwhelmed me when I realized that it wasn't just one chain of stores, but all of them that never got their shipment of precious coffee filters. That go in the coffee machine. Without which the machine is rendered useless. Completely, and utterly useless. And a french press has to be brought in to replace filter coffee. And it will never, ever taste the same. A quality of pureness will forever be lacking. Oh no... I can feel myself slipping again...

"No," she just replies, "I don't think you've mentioned it before."

"Haven't I? I thought I have. I must have! I almost unraveled at that point," I remind her.

"Hrmph," she let's out an unintentional laugh that she then tries to mask as a coughing fit. She is professional like that. Or at least she tries.

"You unravel a lot, you know," she looks at me and it is easy to see she's still about to burst into giggles.

"Maybe," I tell her, "but that time I really almost did, kind of like that time my iPhone didn't work and then the international internet connection went from all of Africa, and I could only read the Sowetan and even the 'news' in it didn't make me laugh or cry or whatnot anymore."

"Ah. So it was bad. Really bad," she frowns. And now I can see she doesn't feel like giggling so much anymore.

"Yes," I almost yell, "It was bad! But guess what's going on now?"

"Tell me," she encourages me, "but don't just tell me. Make it funny too. And somewhat self-deprecating. And maybe even a little touching. Those always work well," she continues.

I do a little snappy imitation of a drumroll and she rolls her eyes.

"So, they're out of my favorite body lotion. Like everywhere. Everywhere!" I tell her as I feel the hot tears creep up to the corners of my eyes.

"Lotion," she says "that's what's making you unravel today?"

"Well, yeah," I don't understand her less than enthusiastic response to my predicament,"today it's lotion, tomorrow it'll be the deodorants that I've luckily been hoarding for a while now feeling something like this hurtling towards us, and let's face it, I really should also point out the 'what's with deciding to only import the crappier of tampons and sanitary pads and none of the good ones all European women get to use?' fucker of a deal we've been handed here in southern Africa."

"I have money. I can, and will pay for tampons. A lot. If that's what it'll take, I tell you," I finally breathe out. I feel myself going a little red in the face. But sometimes tampons will do that to you.

"I said funny, not embarrassing yet oddly pointless," she stares at me with a blank look on her face.

"But see, that's what's making me a crazy old cluttered maniac who always buys ten of each when she should be buying one or two," I finally reach the pinnacle of my story, but I can see I've lost her.

"Really? Do you really think talking about South Africa's tendency to have 'temporarily out of stock' on red background plastered across various shelves of its reality, at the most inopportune of moments, is a good idea?" she sighs.

"I mean, you hit a wall twice with the car yesterday, you have a new maid (again), you keep scaring random people when you wear that South Africa beanie even though you yourself think you look really cute in it, and you went back to teaching yesterday, yet you still think people want to know that you prefer European tampons (and you didn't even make that joke)," she lists with an increasing speed.

"But, but... European tampons are so much better! I wish European tampons on everyone!" I just wish she would listen to me.

"In fact, I think it would make everyone's life easier if Oprah would just do one of her South Africa specials and bring some in for the locals," I give her a meaningful stare. I know how much she loves Oprah.

"With the help of Oprah I know South Africans would see the light. Or the tampon, as it may be," I finish off with my coup de grace.

She stares at me. Then she carefully makes a fist and coughs into it.

"Oh Ext, you're just as clueless as ever," she smiles at me patronizingly, "I think our time for today is up."

I bet Cape Town wouldn't mind a shipment of some decent tampons. But that's just my opinion.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Posts I could have written while I was actually golfing.

What gives? Or has given, or something in that vein, you might be wondering.

Well, I could tell you, but that would just involve a lot of random chatting about mildly (and also possibly only to myself) amusing anecdotes about golfing and everything to do with golfing, stuff about my ma, pa and wee brothers (and their significant others) and they have firmly placed themselves on my 'do not write about us you frikken ungrateful child/ not from the same seed sister' list anyhoo, more stuff about bears in my backyard and what kind of meat they would imagine me as, and other such greatness that, needless to say, I won't let you in on those tidbits of great insight and even greater awareness, but instead will again pretend like my last post was yesterday (and involved me talking about my lowering my handicap three times in one week and how I then cried and then weirded myself out totally by caring so much about a sport but then ultimately deciding that golf was really more like a guilty pleasure involving balls and shafts and thus much more like what happens after wine and not really a sport after all and aren't you glad you never read that post...) and delight you with...

Yes, you guessed it. You always do. Who am I kidding anyway. Transparency is what I'm all about, right? Oh wait, maybe that's the USA judicial system or legislation or something like that instead. Hmm, maybe I just need to drink more coffee instead. Yes, coffee. It's early.

...bits of posts I could have written while I was actually golfing (not really. some of this is stuff I just thought of while I was in the shower and blow drying my hair which I don't think can really be considered golfing. Even in my universe. But hey, at least for once there's some sort of thought process involved in my writing [again, not really. I'm pretty much giving this the same amount of attention as I am to the bag of cashews that is fast becoming my second breakfast of the day. It's nuts]):

But above and beyond.

1. I'll kick off with a great concern of mine: Of late I seem to be tucking things in. I kid you not. It's bad. It's shirts, t-shirts, tank tops, blouses, if it's in the top-family of clothes I'm tucking it in. Worrying. Now, why am I doing this? Are other people doing this? Is this fashion? Are we heralding the return of all of the bad things about the 90s, my teenage/early adulthood years? Not just the flower prints, mullets, pastels/ neons, and the ever so randomly rolled up pant leg, but tucking stuff in as well?

Great hawk that could swoop down and easily spirit Justin Bieber away right in front of our eyes! Will the body as a piece of clothing and not just the thing hanging below my chin(s) make a comeback too (buttons and the vag should never connect. Just saying)? Also, there is a pair of shoes smack in the middle of 1994 that I refuse to ever lay my eyes on again. I swear. Otherwise a vortex something something and a hot tub that's really a time machine sucks up something something and everybody gets rich and something russian and stuff (I saw that movie over the summer and remembered some stuff, I tell you. No need to go back. Simply cannot return. Ever!).

Ehem. Call in with your opinions if you should feel so inclined. Remember to reference the point in question, because there will be many. I golfed a lot. A lot.

4. Why is finding love so difficult for so many? Are there things one should do to find that special someone and things one should never ever do? Because apparently, regardless of its standing in modern society, Cosmopolitan does not have the answers to these questions. Neither does anyone on Sex and the City, the movies or the show. Or even me. Regardless of how hard I believe this to be a fact and continue in the same breath (always) that since I have found someone utterly awesome and cute with a side of nice firm buttocks at the same time, I should be considered a high priestess of attracting potential mates.

Totally not so.

Only thing I know for sure of this dating game a la Finland is that as a woman, if one attempts to attract the opposite sex that is, one should not get a haircut most men (and, frankly, most women as well) interpret as 'lesbian hair.' Also, it would not be advisable for one (my friend lady K in search of the father of her future rugrats) to go out partying with someone (me in a splendid display of the mohawk and other variations of the do) who will be, by most (including the poor lady K's inebriated colleagues at a concert) construed as one's spouse and/or love interest. A sad thing, I tell you.

Furthermore, why is this stereotype of what a lesbian looks like (so that you can spot them, so that you never, ever have to... OMG... talk to them without knowing that they are totally checking you out all the time and just thinking about your naked breasts and not ever, for example, their pets or tax returns or the inevitability of death) so rampant in the minds of Finns? Aren't we supposed to be like... uhm... sort of forward about these things? Oh wait, I'm thinking about some other nation, because we could totally be way more open to, well, pretty much everything and stop having embarrassing debates in the media about homosexuality, because those only lead me to think one thing: Thank Zeus our language is so complicated no one can understand us but us, and even we can pretend like the lady who said those horrifying things is not in the parliament but rather cleans its halls. No offense meant to the actual cleaning staff. They're probably great and very comfortable with homosexuality. Or so I like to imagine.

Again, feel free to chime in anytime. But remember, as usual, only if you agree!

3. How frikken great is B.o.B.'s (looks wrong when you stick an apostrophe on that, doesn't it?) and Bruno Mars's (regardless of the name itself, the s's instead of the older s' still looks far more normal, neh?) 'Billionaire'? Isn't it just awesome? Singable like nothing else. You get to swear (in the explicit version naturally, but right there in the chorus) while you belt it out, and you get to sing a little bit about Oprah, and that in itself is almost like praying and probably cancels out the swearing.

This one you don't need to comment on. Just sing it with me! You know you want to!

Yes, YOU! I'm looking at you!

4. Friends. Aren't they great? Except when they're not. Sometimes the only thing to do is to take the high road and that's what I'm doing. So nuff said.

But you're free to share. Get petty. Vent. I won't tell.

Plenty to choose from. There are always new ones.

A-Z. P!nk. I WENT TO HER CONCERT IN FINLAND! Not to the one during which she fell, which was bad for her and also took place in Germany, a country I did not visit during my European tour, and which I wouldn't have minded seeing. Still, the one that I went to WAS FUCKING AWESOME!!! Normally, I'm no fan of concerts because of the size of my bladder and the state and frequency of the toilets, and even at this concert, I was still in the line to the toilet (surprisingly vomit free I must say, P!nk must mean class in Finland) when P!nk descended onto the stage (with black wings on her back, while breathing fire and brimstone, on a unicorn galloping down a rainbow, I'm told. But I'm not bitter), but since I'd had a few sugary ciders I managed to jump erratically up and down, really fast, for the duration of the first 8 songs, and get a pretty good calf-workout, which was a totally unforeseen P!nk-bonus. And then I took some photos of her the stage which she is undoubtedly on, with my iPhone.

She's awesome. Truly awesome. You better agree, buddy.

98. Blog Camp. It was great. But it's better if you don't try to put it into words. Or me either.

2. Punctuation. I don't care for it and generally like it very random. Sometimes to facilitate, sometimes to confound. That's how I swing. Also, I think thinking about it is a waste of precious golfing time. I could think about it at the time because I was actually golfing at the time and not in the upstairs shower as previously, albeit erroneously, assumed.

Don't comment unless you're actually golfing at the time. Actually don't even read the above point unless you're personally swinging the club, and if you are, let me tell you, according to the etiquette that phone/ laptop/ other wireless device is not supposed to be out if you're swinging. Bad golfer!

FOOOOORE (See? Totally lame.)

16. I completely and utterly get what Kelly Osborne is saying. Not about her dead dog, or her cheating boyfriend (just spelled that boyfiend which Apple insists on not being a word but that totally should be an often used expression about those people who through Photoshop-enhanced imagery tell us what we should weigh or how smooth we should be (i.e. teenage boys, neh?), or anyone who doesn't like small boys. Sweet Z! Am I really leading up to something about pedophiles? What's wrong with me? No one knows. Especially about that weird bump on the back of my arm, or my brain, but whatevs. Dropping the thread as of now.), or shopping, or in general, but with this one thing - I veritably feel her every word. Kel's that is.

She said that what she could never understand was that the attention paid to her weight was much greater than the attention paid to her drug use. Or something closely resembling that statement. No way am I Googling Kelly Osborne. Again. And just for the record, I have never, ever taken drugs, mother, although I support the legalization of Marijuana. If the criminal element is taken away from a substance that is comparable to alcohol, much can be achieved in this world and a lot of money can go to much better ends than fighting an inane battle.

Where was I?

Ah, I was talking about myself. What else?

Since losing a lot of weight, completely as a side-effect to some very necessary and hard changes in my life, people have come out of the woodwork to comment on how 'great' I look now that I'm thinner. It makes me uncomfortable. I never meant to lose weight (I know this is a smack in the face for those trying to lose weight, but the weight didn't just come off on its on, the loss was connected to a complete change in my diet [including my wine-y ways!] and all that jazz and hooplah). I was and still am adamant that I always looked great, no matter what my weight was, that it might just turn out that it is just my head that has had a surprising growth spurt and my body has stayed the same (I also saw Alice in Wonderland this summer), and that weight has nothing directly to do with health. Period.

Throughout my years as a fat woman I have had to time and again listen to various health 'professionals' advice on and urging about losing weight. I've had to deal with common peeps stupidity regarding my girth or the roundness of my various parts, I've had to submit to judgement from people that I actually know and who know me, and more. The Viking's the only person on this earth who has never touched upon the 'issue'. Still, when I was a raging (that means almost, mother) alcoholic, and even prior to surgery told a doctor how much I was drinking, no one, and I mean no one, ever said a word about my problem. Maybe they were too busy trying to gauge how much I could weigh? Who knows?

I hate being congratulated about something as stupid as weight loss. I've always paid attention to what I wear (I posit those 6 months in the green bathrobe as a profound comment on the power of fashion), my hair (the cutting it myself and having the Viking do the back also commentary on the pressures of society on women), my face (I actually managed to dye my own lashes and eyebrows without blinding myself, also as a statement on the beauty industry), my accessories (there's no commentary in shiny things, they're just shiny and thus must be owned), and my appearance in general.

I've always looked great. But there is just so much, so much more to me than the way I look.

Aren't you gorgeous too? On the outside and inside. Tell me.

Man, that's enough rant for today. Also, I have to go grocery shopping. Yup. My life's just that exciting.

Oh yeah. In case you were wondering. I'm home. Back in the cold as frozen shit South Africa. In home sweet Africa with Elvis at the security gate telling me he's missed me, Mrs. Guru, these two months, and peeps calling me Sir.

And I love it.