Friday, April 30, 2010

Now that my hormones are under control some minor rage issues seem to have appeared

Today for me was to be completely internetless. Not a huge feat I'll grant you, seeing as I have barely spent any time at all here in the last few months (not counting Lamebook and Go Fug Yourself, which I seem to be able to check even if I'm in the bush without any kind of coverage just with the pure power of thought and the intense desire to view bad fashion), but still a trying day of only checking Twitter every now and then with my iPhone and getting through the day without laptop-heated thighs (oh the horror!).


Well, since we are on the continent of most likely (too lazy to Google, but can't be far from the truth) the slowest, yet most expensive internet in the world, the reason would be the oh so ubiquitous South African "I've reached my cap". I normally suffer through this a few times every month and have to top up (i.e. make the Viking make some phone calls and top up my account of limited and pricey access-joy), but I figured last night, I really truly did, that since May is just around the corner I can make do for one measly day without the glory of the interwebz. I really did.

But then things started happening and I started getting pissed off. And then I realized I wanted to blog. I wanted to share the stupidity of other people in the real world (and some of my own). I wanted to bark at other drivers in writing. I wanted to sweep that smug smile off of that face with the insults that I could only think of when I was already in the car. I wanted to stop screaming at the Viking (on the phone, and he couldn't really hear me, so I don't think he's too fazed). I wanted to vent.

Also, I think I'm PMSing.

So here I am. Internet topped up. Ready to let it rip:

Unhelpful, arrogant, and very unprofessional Apple iStore technician at Melrose Arch in Johannesburg

You will have to do better than "Well, ma'am, I'm sorry about that," if you make me drive 30 kilometers to your iStore to get my MacBook Pro fixed only for you to tell me once I get there that you don't actually do hardware repairs, which you could have told me anytime during the lengthy phone conversation we had (okay, the Viking had, but that's beside the point. Like I'm meant to make my own phone calls. Tsk.) during which you were repeatedly told that it is the CD drive that is ill and noisy and possibly ant-infested. I mean, are there ever people who are willing, without any kinds of back ups and separation anxiety, to just leave their Macs in your 'capable' hands without any warning for the duration of at least 2 weeks? I didn't think so.

You make me want to own a PC.

Big man in Big truck in front of me for miles and miles

Why does your truck say Fast & Fresh if you and the innards of the truck are neither? Why are you going 60 kilometers an hour when the speed limit is at least a 100? Why are the eggs (let's just say it's eggs, because it fits my beef today) you are carrying never ever fresh? Why is it so hard to find fresh eggs in this city? Could it have something to do with your snail pace? I think so. And why are you always there, at the ready to turn right smack in front of me, when I have to pee?

Yes, that gesture I made out the window when I finally passed you was Finnish for 'hello'.

That huge bruise on my calf and my very own hands while holding a jumprope

You will have to fade like right at this minute. You can start any time now... You are huge and purply black in a slightly yellowish and green way and you could light up a sizable room. You are the one thing  (those weird fatty deposits on the insides of my knees excluded as usual) standing (lying?) between me and that flamencoesque, shortish skirt I intend on wearing out tonight. My one decent pair of black pantyhose smells like it should have been washed two years ago and would just scare innocent bystanders. So fade you piece of conceptual art on my calf! And while I'm at it... nah, The jumprope held in the tired hands at 5:30am at boot camp led to the bruise and that's all there is to that. Bad hands. I wish there was someone else than myself to blame.

Yes, today I will rock a bruise like a Louis Vuitton handbag: with weird pride, because it's not like I want it, but now that it's there I might as well make the most of it. It's obviously cost me a lot.  

This very northern suburb of Johannesburg we inhabit and my school in Pretoria

Why can't you be more like Cape Town, where apparently no racists, such as described in my previous post, exist? Why should you choose to house, nay attract, proliferate, and breed, the most base kind of human beings and then put them on my path, one after the other? Because I am not talking about just one or two, but of a multitude, coming at me from all directions, from varying positions, and again and again.   Just when I least expect it.

Perhaps I should just never go out again. Rather than face the reality of South Africa.

The ideas person who likes to suggest things but never actually does anything and always ends her mails with "I hope it's not too much to ask."

It is. Do it yourself.


Have an exciting weekend everyone and thank you for reading (and even if you didn't I feel better already)!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Blogging the battle

There are always people in your life that you just cannot avoid, but who you didn't choose to be in your life, and who you just really, really, REALLY, really wish weren't even on the globe. Let alone waiting just down the road, expecting to be picked up. Right?

You have to associate with them. There's no way out. Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide. You see them coming, brace yourself, and leave the rest up to some higher power if you are thus inclined, or to that miniscule part of the brain that also tells you to lock your car doors, to not eat that funky-smelling shrimp, or to wear a sports-bra while doing sprints. Whatever you think keeps you safe from a steep spiral into insanity, a serious black eye, the vortex of general doom, and/or a dangerous demise.

There is nothing at all for you to do when those people open their mouths, but to attempt to bite your tongue and think of sandy beaches, calming waves, and cold margaritas made with the proper kind of tequila, and en las rocas, naturally. A nice, 'largish', cold tamarindo margarita is what does it for me, anyway (although I am allergic to tamarind, which should help to really drive home the point...).

Unless you wish to unleash the beast of course. Which you sometimes have to do. Just to, you know, keep yourself on the side of the seemingly sane. There are things one doesn't have to or shouldn't stomach, after all.

But most times unfortunately, to stay on that very same side just mentioned, involving outerwear not confining any motor actions (do they still do straitjackets? I'm not sure. Seems awfully One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest, particularly Nurse Ratched, to me), and in order to avoid spending precious time and strength and vitality (it is always away from you to fight the windmill, isn't it?) on pure stupidity and ignorance, one has to....

Yes, I am going to just come out and say it.

...pick one's battles.

Now, I know that all you adult people out there in the world probably know this, were brought up to behave in this 'keeping the peace' manner (as I probably was too, but some things just didn't take, I guess), and think that I am excruciatingly and perhaps even slightly embarrassingly slow to catch on.

I mean, the whole 'turn the other cheek' whatnot is like totally ancient. Biblical, man.

But I am picking my battles. Finally. Or at least today.

However, there's nothing in the rules about me blogging about it. Is there now?

Because, even if one is not out to get one's teeth or any other part of the body kicked in (or in some cases kick anyone else's teeth in. I am, quite large and powerful, after all) sometimes it just happens that South Africa, or usually, more correctly, one of its inhabitants, metaphorically nunchuks you in the groin with such force that you are left wondering how uncomfortable it must be to be a man and why men don't habitually wear protection over their nethers just to be safe and pain free. But then you start musing about whether you would just laugh at them if they did, and decide that that is exactly what you would do and loud too, and then, well, you think of Lady Gaga. Because she is fun in that nethers sort of way. And you really enjoy singing to Bad Romance in your car.

But the pain always returns. Gaga or no Gaga.

Still, whether you are picking the battle or not, the following statements should never, ever be allowed to be uttered by anyone, anywhere (So I guess, I'm blogging the battle instead?). And any such attempts should lead to such bad karma (now that I think of it, they might already have. Hooray, karma shoots with verbally abusive husband, and scores with a divorce and extremely low self-esteem. Karma walks all over the racist.) and utter misery falling on the utterer's path, that no one would ever want to utter them, or even think them. Ever. And everyone should just smarten up, get a proper education, and stop spouting the worst ignorant shit I have ever heard:

"At least during Apartheid the hospitals worked."

"I don't think the races should mix."

"Apartheid has been over for 16 years and nothing has become better for the poor blacks. The only difference now is that the whites are suffering too."

"It has already been 16 years! How long do we have to keep thinking about and blaming the past?"

"They are just so different from us."

The tip of the iceberg. Only the very tip.

The day before yesterday, this magnificent country celebrated Freedom Day, a day on which, 16 years ago, South Africans were, for the first time in history, able to vote in a legitimately democratic election. On that day, 16 years ago, South Africans chose the great Madiba - Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela - to be their president. They voted to end the suffering many of them had endured under the gruesome and truly horrific regime of Apartheid. They voted for freedom for all. They voted for a better life, and a new beginning.

But now, as the nation's awkward teenage years roll on, the government and the ruling party, Mandela's party, the ANC, haven't quite accomplished what they set out to do for South Africa, and instead they seem to be okay with potentially very dangerous individuals (read: raging lunatics) holding important positions within the party, and so there seems to be some backlash, to which I'm personally privy.

Backlash, in the form of more and more people feeling as if they can and perhaps even should voice their misguided racist tendencies opinions, and educate the poor foreigner (POOR ME!) who obviously doesn't understand that "the blacks are fucking up this country," and who'll "soon realise how things really are in South Africa."

"Just you wait and see for yourself."

Well, after almost two years in this awesome and beautiful country, I'm still waiting, and the biggest problem I see is your ignorant, racist ass, complete with nasty cellulite.

Unfortunately, often there is no talking reason. There isn't even a battle to pick. Just horrifying comments to block out, to be let into the consciousness only long enough to be blogged and thus hopefully diminished of any power, a tongue to be bitten into small chunks amidst a completely red view, and complete and utter faith in the ways of Karma.

Of reaping what one has sown.

What's in a day? Just leisurely picking thorns off my butt, thighs and sides.

What are you, dear reader, sowing today? And what will you reap? Tell me. Help me take my mind off of this shit.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Why they keep planting new bushes by my garage door I will never understand

So my mother thought I had died.

Or actually the way that my father put it on the telephone when he called me yesterday because he had been told to find out my current status, was that she thought "something had happened", which is MyMother for "Is there fog in the mirror and if so, why in the hell are you not updating your blog, or even your twitter you ungrateful child who I sometimes regret releasing into the world but who mostly does okay as long as that nice husband of yours is making sure you think twice before you heckle that crazed taxi driver, or buy those shoes."

See, my mom is cool that way. She totally checks my blog all the time (and convinces herself that most of what I write is pure fiction), she has gotten on board with twitter and is using that to gauge my level of alivedness, I'm pretty sure she at least attempts to check my Facebook, but since she refuses to actually join it, there's no way she's getting anything out of it, and as a last resource she'll send an email with the heading 'How are you???' Which, again yes, you guessed it, translates directly to "Unless I hear a peep from you now, by which I mean right this minute, I will alert international media and get them to run one of those extremely embarrassing wannabe mug-shots you seem to inadvertently excel at and say something like 'last seen wearing running shoes with 90s mommy-jeans, one of those Bill Cosby-esque knits, and a side ponytail', so you better get on twitter and write whatever it is you seem to be so busy with asap."

There's no hiding from my mom. As there shouldn't be. For me. Seeing as I am her only daughter. Her eldest.

And I have no excuse. For her or for you.

Here is what I started last week. And then went out for coffee, which turned into drinks, which turned into a dinner, which turned into a lunch, which then turned into a wonderful new friendship. Way out there.

In the real world.

In other words:

Somewhere along the way, in the last couple of months, I seem to have developed a serious case of life.

Not going to say I'm sorry for not staying glued to the bustling ants' nest (Remember? Actual, live ants) also known as my MacBook Pro, and blogging all about the so very interesting thoughts that cross my mind nearly daily (such as what has happened to my doormat, and how many low things is it even possible to hit with the car just in a span of one day), or about the shit that hits the fan, and the grill, and the windshield on a daily basis (such as what has happened to my doormat, and who is that guy in my back yard), but I will say that I'm pretty sure this is not the end of my blogging, just a lovely occurrence which means that I'm out there doing actual stuff with more bodyparts than just with the tips of my fingers, with actual people who I know for sure are not weird bots (Not that any of you are either. I think. Right? Are you? Tell me now or forever hold your peace? Till death do you part? [I did a wedding photo shoot for my portfolio recently and am still battling leaving that weirdo zone]), all the way out there where there's actual wine paired with awesome salads (I'll admit, I'm a recent Cobb-o-holic), where people greet me with hugs, and where cappucinos are not virtual or imagined, but come topped with soft and creamy whipped cream.

Who could say no to that? I mean wine and coffee are involved...

And that's as far as I got before I actually slammed the door shut behind me (okay, pushed the button that closes the garage door while backing out of the garage thus hitting the curb with the fender and running over the newly planted bushes, which I felt I needed to share with everyone in the blogosphere, hence the heading) and went for an actual cappucino, instead of just writing about one. With cream on top.

So not apologizing. Or even really explaining. Just letting you know I'm alive.

So alive.

I seriously hate photographing weddings. 

Friday, April 09, 2010

Ode to Guadalupe (not the virgin)

Today I feel like a whine, and then some wine. And as luck, as well as my supremely awesome internet-skillz would have it, I have this here blog and as I am indeed the supreme ruler of this here blog and its all encompassing carrying force, I'll do exactly what I please, and w(h)ine some.

Voilá, and pop the sucker already. It must be wino-o-clock in some shelter somewheres in the universe:

*pours a glass*

But first here is picture of a lion-attack. Yup. The one standing is me.

As usual, I'm unhappy with my maid 'situation'.

In all honesty, there hasn't been a point in time I have been completely satisfied with anyone ever working for me. None of you, or really, anyone should ever try. I'm an on-off perfectionist, my-way-or-the-highway, please make sure everything is exactly where I left it, you should have gotten back to me yesterday, the handles must all point southeastwards, the couch pillows should naturally be lined up by size and use, even my own mother things I'm wacko, and can't you read my mind already kind of a person dragon-lady.

However, now I find myself missing my maid in Mexico, Guadalupe, who was practically blind (at least to dust and anything that required bending down to be cleaned), thought the tumble dryer was the bestest of any and all inventions, I'm pretty sure used the vacuum mainly in some sort of special Santa Muerte worship ceremony as an incense holder, but who was also very fun to talk to, and who pulled interesting stunts such as locking herself out on the balcony and then throwing stones (from my potted plants) at the passers by to get someone to call the fire brigade (Nope. Not me with the key, the fire brigade). But miss her I do, because of the succession (wow, we must be up to double figures by now) of maids I have been going through in the past year and a half here in South Africa.

I always have a hard time with people and not barking at them. Especially when they don't bow to my will.

I would so make a perfect dictator or a tyrant (Is there a difference? I don't know. Should I know if I think I could be one? Nah, that wouldn't be proper dominating behavior, I think). Or I could have my own talk show. Yeah. Too bad lazy comes in the way of benevolent world domination and/or being Oprah. Oh well. One can believe one is in control of the world when one drinks enough too, I guess. I'll settle.

In reality, the only one ever fit to be working for me is me, and even having that one employee is causing me sleepless nights and ground-to-unattractive-stumps teeth. Not to mention sudden bursts of rage when I am unable to remove the cap on my hairspray can (totally beat that can into submission. I am the dictator of my own bathroom at least. Unless this rebellious behavior spreads to my collection of 'hair treatments'. Then I'm fucked) or I hit one more low thing with the car.

Poor car. And stupid low things.

But why is my old stretched cotton underwear (I totally should buy some new fancy stuff already, by which I mean fancy stuff that can actually be worn underneath jeans and not that stuff I seem to buy inspired by Samantha Jones from the Sex and the City, because that stuff is not meant to be worn by the likes of me or anyone not intending to pierce their own netherparts while walking) tied in one of those uber-complicated sailor's knots this time around?

Is the number of whole wineglasses decreasing again?
Are the pillows in a disarray?
Is there a crack in that special and oh-so-cherished Iron Maiden coffee mug/ pint?
Was there a pile of unpaid bills underneath the stairs again?
Does the toothbrush smell like the sneakers that now look disconcertingly clean?

Well, not exactly. What's made the pea travel up my nostril this time, is that I'm simply missing someone to show up. On the day they are supposed to show up. To be at my door at that appointed hour, to first listen to me roll my eyes and sigh, then reassign new meanings to 'please', 'thank you' and 'we', before resorting to the barking. To be there to listlessly push the vacuum handle around in random directions and pretend to be dusting without actually touching a single surface.

I just need a presence. A body, in order to be able to keep believing that I can still eat that piece of chicken I dropped on the kitchen floor per the five second rule, and that those ants nesting in my CD drive are not there because there is also an entire cookie made of crumbs in there, but because Zeus is being unjust.

I need to keep my faith. This is how far I have compromised, and still it's not enough. Oh woe.

At least Guadalupe would always show up, even if she did spend the first half an hour telling me about her granddaughter whilst eating all of the bread and tuna she could dig out of my cupboards before crying a little bit because her water had been cut off. I would then give her a little cash for the water and she would ignore the dust with a smile, reorganize my closets, and iron a hole into my sweater. And then I would bark at her, feel bad, and ask her opinion on cleaning the living-room carpet, and bribe her with coffee and pastries.

But we laughed, she at my accent and I at her stories of which I only understood the very simple parts of, together. Every time she came. Rain or shine she was there. She cried when I left the country, and held on to my old iron and coffee maker tighter I thought possible. But most of all, her unfailing presence made it possible for me to wash off that weird black stuff from the soles of my feet and believe that it was the outside that was going down the drain instead of dust from my own couch, and that those splatters on the mirror were irremovable drops of paint not gunks of toothpaste and spit sprouting bacteria. And for that Illusion, I thank her.

And wish she was here.

Oh Guadalupe. If only you were here for me to tell you to stop using the tumble dryer and for you to respond by telling me that I'm rich and therefore am obligated to use it. Oh Guadalupe.

I really miss you. And Mexico. And Casillero del Diablo red.


Wednesday, April 07, 2010

A spill

Ya'll know this, but still, the fun never ends.

I always have to pee. At the absolutely most inopportune of the absolutely most inopportune moments of all possible moments. Ever. Tinkle, tinkle I have to go.

Like when the catsuit/ weird lingerie I'm only trying on for kicks and will deny ever trying on if directly asked/ scuba gear has been zipped up to that point unreachable by my own hands. Like when the elevator with me and a bunch of other peeps has just inexplicably stalled between two floors. Like when I've just reached the start of the line and am about to get on the ride/ pay for my groceries/ try on this cool t-shirt with blue skulls on it. Like when the tent door opening has just been zipped up and tied shut. Like when I'm going a 120 km an hour on the middle lane in a crowded area. Like when the one toilet in the vicinity is out of order or clogged by vomit and something that looks like grass-and-coal-flavored marshmallows and completely void of toilet paper. Like when the fasten your seat belts light has been switched on and the stewardess has just emptied the drinks cart on the guy's tray-table who's sitting in the aisle seat next to me. Like when I'm wearing my locked chastity belt. Like when there are absolutely no toilets around or nothing even remotely connected to the idea of a place for relieving one's bladder... You know, the usual.

Show me a place with no toilet and I will show you a woman desperately wriggling to the tune of the potty dance (can only be heard by special people like me and all pregnant women).

So, what do you think happens when I tell you I need to pee, there is an actual clean toilet - decked with actual toilet paper and all - in the near vicinity, and you don't let me pee before ushering me into a situation devoid of a toilet and with plenty of spectators?

This is a no-brainer. Pee-related dramz of course, and plenty of it too.

Sometimes my man apparently forgets either who he is, or who it is he is married to (other incidents include such gems as ordering me a fish that kept staring at me from the plate with its cold dead eyes and expecting me to debone and eat the poor creature [as if!], and making the penniless me take a separate taxi to our hotel in Madrid because we had too much luggage) and regardless of our ten years together, oodles and oodles of marriage and companionship and whatnot, on top of all that shiz that comes with spending all of one's free time with one specific human being, the Viking, my man in his own beloved person, decides to not let me pee.

When I actually really have to, have to, pee.

When I've had 'drinks' (read: a bottle of the loveliest Bouchard Finlayson Chardonnay) with our friends.

When I've had to pee for some time, but didn't want to break the interesting, if a tad wine-fueled, discussion regarding candida and what it does to the intestines and nails among other gruesome details about it to better diagnose them in my body later, and kept thinking I'll only get up to go to the bathroom once I've actually seen the nails.

But we had tickets for Stomp.

And we were late.

"Honey, they are announcing that the doors are closing, and then there's no entrance!!!" says the ashen Viking to me as he hurries me away from the hall leading towards the toilets.

The man hates nothing more than being late. Gets quite anal about it.

"But I really, REALLY, have to pee," I counter, "I was gonna pee, but then yeast came up! Man!"

"It's only for an hour and a half," he looks at me pleadingly, "Argh. They're closing the doors!!!"

At this point there is no one even close to the doors, let alone holding the handle. But I see the agony this is causing my Viking and I follow him, half running, while he gently drags me along and wants to know if there is any way I could "actually run." Yup. In my new Errol Arendz heels. Higher than high.

We enter the fully lit theatre, while the doors remain wide open.

We find our seats in the middle of the fourth row from the front and I introduce the first half of the row to my derriere, my profuse apologies in several languages, as well as the pointy heels of my new heels. The people right next to me are South American so I get to apologize in Spanish. Yey! But they still give me the evil eye.

We gaze at the empty stage, and I hiss insults at the Viking involving what's in my bladder and the doors' continued open state. But there's no way I can get up to go out again. People are already looking at us funny.

But finally the theatre darkens and I glance at my wristwatch. Only an hour and a half. Three half hours in total. Only six quarters of an hour. That's nothing. I can beat this. I totally can. I can kick my full bladder into next week if I want to.

After all. I am sitting down.

30 long minutes in and I'm desperate. I've wiggled, crossed my legs, uncrossed my legs, loosened the waist of my skirt, tightened the waist of my skirt, pretended to fiddle with my shoe, rubbed my back, jittered to the beat, jittered way faster than the beat, hugged my stomach, held my sides, pinched my legs together, and jumped quite noticeably on my seat. But nothing's working.

I. Seriously. Have. To. Pee.

Oh. And there are some people on the stage doing some weird shit with brooms and trash cans and newspapers. But I'm not paying attention. Simply can't.

I get up.

I hear voices behind me as I slowly make my impeded way toward the aisle. The people who have already met my derriere once are not impressed by the re-encounter. I can tell. They make disapproving sounds. I glance back at the Viking. I can tell he's scared of my wrath.

As I finally reach the closest exit a man in a black suit appears at my side: "Ma'am. You can use the door at the back of the theatre."

I whisper a thank you to him as I redirect my aim and pull myself toward the door at the back, taking the stairs at a swift pace, some two at a time. I just know there is a toilet not too far on the other side of the door.

I can make it.

And I do. For a glorious two whole minutes I sit on the toilet thinking how underrated the pleasure of finally being able to release one's bladder really is. How underrated indeed. It feels as though I'm again ready to face the world. To go back out there and enjoy Stomp.

I've been told it's an awesome show.

I quickly wash my hands, check my teeth and the back of my skirt in the mirror (I'm notorious for sticking it in my underwear/ pantyhose/ belt), and calmly walk towards the door.

I open it. No one stops me. In my mind I scoff at the Viking who believed the announcer's spiel about no entrance during the show. At the side of the theatre I begin my descent down the stairs towards the fourth row. Some people turn to look, but I make no noise. I let go of the wall to take a better look at the lettering at the end of each row.

Nearly there. I can see the back of the Viking's head and the empty seat next to him.

That is when I fall. Down the stairs. Practically gliding. Hitting my handbag on the wall and thus making a noise. I'm pretty sure I also yelp in pain. My skirt rides up as I try to stop my glide down the stairs with my knees.

"Good thing I'm wearing black pantyhose," I think.

Some people get up from their seats to help me up. Most of the audience turns to look at the ruckus that is me and not the show. I make my mind up not to wave. The show never misses a beat, or at least I don't notice it. They just keep banging on something. I make my way back to my seat.

I have no shame left. Seriously.

[Sorry. Again no picture. Seems that Blogger doesn't feel like I should be able to upload a picture from my computer. Thanks a lot Blogger!]