Friday, September 29, 2006
Yesterday, I found myself staring blankly into the eyes of three workers on their way home, onboard the back of an open bakkie. This is what we do in traffic. We stare impassively. The bakkie turned, I turned, bakkie changed lanes, I ended up behind them again. Stare. I felt like I was in a Madam and Eve skit.
Eventually one of the guy’s bursts into a cheeky grin and waves at me. I grin back as they drive on and I turn off into my road. As much as I bitch about it - this is why I love my country.
The sun is shining and it’s Friday, people.
A friend has pottered off to Potch, of all places, for the weekend... with her own deckchair. I kid you not - piled bags and deckchair into car, and gone for a weekend in Pofadder, I mean Potch. And this is why I love her.
Ps. Ex-News24 columnist, Chris Roper, is back online. I’ve missed my weekly dose of sarcasm.
First, a general disclaimer: I start work at a ridiculous hour. By and large, I don’t mind the work hour, but please please dear god please don’t try to talk to me. Nothing in my scowling expression or general body language says, ‘approach me, I won’t bite.’ I will bite. And I do.
I. Am. Not. A. Morning. Person.
Catch me after 9am and we’re good to go.
Right. Now that’s off my chest. I have another confession: never mind passive-aggresivo, I’m aggressive-aggresivo. This is why I play sport – it’s for the general good of the community, and keeps my police record clean.
Because I start work at a ridiculous hour, I get to finish work before evening rush hour – which means that I miss traffic both ways. And I live all of 2km from where I work. And I STILL have to remind myself to calm down every time I’m in the car.
Things I hate about Joburg traffic:
- Robots are always out of sync, especially up Corlett Drive. It grates my carrot to the core.
- Trucks that drive in the right hand lane when they’re not turning any time soon. (although in fairness, they’re probably sick of the stop-start taxi lane too)
- Magic four-way flickers. If you’ve got your hazard lights on, you can do whatever you like, stop wherever and whenever you want. It’s like a preschool game: ‘Yooou can’t touch me, I’ve got my hazards on. Naa-nana-naaa-naaah!’ Grrrrr…
- Pedestrians that cross the road without a care in the world. I don’t want to take out a pedestrian and I (touch wood) don’t plan to any time soon, but at least acknowledge the headlights and roaring engine bearing down on you. It’s only polite.
- Wankers who don’t indicate.
Every day, I literally get into my car and have a heart-to-heart with myself. “I, Koekie, am going to make it home without swearing at anybody; without wishing a plague of pancreatitis on any fellow drivers; without thinking homicidal thoughts… Woooosaaaaah”
Seven minutes later, I’m angrily slapping on my indicator and wishing a plague of constipation on every taxi driver as I roar around the flashing magic hazards.
Woossaah, indeed. Summer hockey kicks off on Monday - and not a minute too soon.
Thursday, September 28, 2006
Too much testosterone is bad
Washington - Too much testosterone can kill brain cells, researchers said on Tuesday in a finding that may help explain why steroid abuse can cause behaviour changes like aggressiveness and suicidal tendencies.
Tests on brain cells in lab dishes showed that while a little of the male hormone is good, too much of it causes cells to self-destruct in a process similar to that seen in brain illnesses such as Alzheimer's.
Testosterone is key to the development, differentiation and growth of cells and is produced by both men and women, although men produce about 20 times more of the hormone. It can also be abused, and recent scandals have involved athletes who use the hormone, or steroids that turn into testosterone in the body, for an unfair advantage.
"We can show that when you have high levels of steroids, you have high testosterone and that can destroy the nerve cells. We know that when you lose brain cells you lose function," said Barbara Ehrlich of Yale University in Connecticut, who led the study.
Ehrlich's team tried the same thing with the "female" hormone oestrogen, just to be fair.
"We were surprised, but it actually looks like oestrogen is neuroprotective. If anything, there is less cell death in the presence of oestrogen," she said.
Writing in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, Ehrlich and colleagues said their findings meant people should think twice about supplementing with testosterone, even if it does build muscle mass and aid recovery after exercise.
"Next time a muscle-bound guy in a sports car cuts you off on the highway, don't get mad - just take a deep breath and realise that it might not be his fault," Ehrlich said.
The cells die via a process called apoptosis, also known as cell suicide or programmed cell death.
Apoptosis. Definitely adding that to the list of random vocab: "No, I do not want to go home with you, you apoptistic moron."
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
Last night, I was at a pub (well, technically a seafood) quiz evening. Which my team won... just have to throw that out there. And yes, we're general-knowledging gimps.
One of the questions was: which two countries have recently been added to the EU?
After some muttered deliberation, the quizmaster repeats the question: Which two countries have been added to the European Union?
"Oooh!" shrieks my brother's girlfriend, "that's a clue! Now we know they're European!"
It may come as no surprise to learn that her team came last, by a fairly substantial margin.
(Disclaimer: I'm allowed to call her a dumbass because I always make a habit of mocking people I adore. Kisses La-la!)
Aaaaanyway, it got me thinking about other dumbass comments that have said...
Like me recounting this same story to a colleague at work today, and her jumping in with an enthusiastic "Oh, which country was it? Spain? Oh... maybe not" as I stared at her in mouth-gaping silence.
Is our knowledge of Europe really so shocking?
Another dear friend who has been the source of hours of entertainment, was watching the weather report on Sky news when she commented that she can never figure out where London is in the 3D map on the screen... "Well," I replied, "you're looking at a map of Italy for a start..."
Of course, I am not without fault. Just this weekend, I saw two gentlemen strolling down the road wearing their yamulkas so I decided to wish them Happy Ramadan.
"It's roshashana, you idiot," my mother informed me.
I really should brush up on my religious knowledge then. Fortunately, the gentlemen in question didn't hear any of this, so it didn't get too awkward...
Wednesday September 27, 2006 07:35 - (SA)
LONDON - A three-year-old whizz kid pressing "all the right buttons" used his mother's computer to buy a secondhand Japanese car on the Internet auction site eBay, a newspaper reported.
The parents of the boy, Jack Neal, from Sleaford, Lincolnshire, eastern England, were dumbstruck when the website sent them a message of congratulations for buying the Barbie pink Nissan Figaro, a collector's item.
"We couldn't understand what was happening. Neither of us had bought anything," Jack's mother Rachel, 36, told the Daily Telegraph newspaper. "So we checked and saw it was a Barbie pink car which we'd bought for 8,999 pounds. We flew into a panic."
The following morning, Jack told his parents: "I've bought a car."
Rachel Neal said she thought she had left her eBay password in her computer. "Jack's a whizz on the PC and just pressed all the right buttons," she added.
Her husband John, 37, explained it had all been a mistake when he called the seller of the soft-top, second-hand car which has a 1.0 turbo-charged engine.
"Luckily he saw the funny side and said he would re-advertise," Rachel Neal added.
Paul Jones, co-director of Worcester Road Motors who is selling the car, said he had been "amused" by the bid.
"I had a phone call explaining what had happened and as soon as I heard it was a young boy who had done it by mistake I canceled the bid and re-advertised the car which is very collectable," Jones said.
"He must have good taste in cars. We've all got children and they do silly things at times so it was no problem."
It is the first time the car dealership has sold a car on the auction site. The car, which had been imported from Japan and refurbished, is available on eBay at a starting price of 7,999 pounds or a buy-it-now price of 8,999 pounds.
I couldn't decide which was more pretentious... this, or the story about a Welsh regiment promoting a goat to corporal. I mean, really.
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
This weekend was spent at the Vaaaal for a farewell party. The entertainment kicked off within half an hour, when all 17 of us piled into the boat for a booze cruise. Getting it started was interesting in itself. Note for future reference: check the motor before piling in and launching off from pier.
The highlight of that trip (and of the weekend) was watching Peas and company getting dowsed by a wall of water as the nose of the boat dived under a few swells. I’ve found someone more calamity-prone than me… if there is something to trip over, slip on or fall into, Peas will find it first. If the enthusiastic dog is going to bowl into and over someone, it’s gonna be this chick. Being around her is like being around a calamity lightning-conductor.
So, safe from any disasters by default, all I had to contend with was an infestation of mozzie or flea bites all over my legs and body. Hot.
And while we’re on the topic of Hot, it’s time for Koekie’s overshare of the week. If you’re of a sensitive nature, skip the next few paragraphs… You can’t handle the truth.
See, I wax my armpits. (Eeeeew, I know. Don’t say I didn’t warn ya) This is generally not a problem, until I called my wax/beautician chick on Friday afternoon in a panic… “going to Vaal! Must get de-haired asap!”
“Sorry, Daaaahl,” my kugel beautician drawled, “it’s my Jewish New Year. No can do.”
What’s a girl to do? I didn’t want to shave, because you do not want to piss off the woman who you pay to tip piping hot wax under your arms (and in other more sensitive areas), especially if she’s Jewish. So, I plucked.
Well, plucked one arm, because I’m not so good with the left-handed tweezing.
So I had one relatively hair-free pit, and one not so relatively hair-free, but my plan of action was to keep my arms at my side at all times and, if I got stuck in the middle of the river, simply swim left-handed freestyle in increasingly bigger circles until I eventually reached a bank.
Okay, you can open your eyes now… wusses.
The send-off was in honour of a friend heading to Oxford for his MBA. We’re still trying to figure out exactly how he got accepted, because he does a fair job at hiding all signs of intelligence, but despite this, I wish him all the best. And to prove my support, I wore my union jack shirt and undies… not a pretty sight, but one that I was far too happy to show off, after far too many savannahs. I make beloved boyfriend proud, I do.
The gathering was divided into two very separate groups. The one consisted of mainly married couples, who read Home & Garden and discussed loungers and gardening techniques. It made me feel old just to think I was sharing a social time and space with them. They became known as the Garden Furnitures.
Our discussions, on the other hand, largely consisted of comments such as “how did you manage to drunkenly pass out right there in the middle of the lounge?” and whether a big night on the pull should be collectively known as a drool - or a slobber - of lunges.
And how the hell did everyone manage to wake up covered in permanent marker moustaches?
Friday, September 22, 2006
So last night, I decided to cook supper for my beloved boyfriend. I should probably mention that, although I’ve got a drawerful of cooking books (attempts from family members to lead me down the path of domestic treasury), I don’t tend to follow recipes. Not even a little bit.
I might open a cookbook for inspiration and find a recipe that includes chickpeas, cumin, nan-bread, star anise and peaches. Hey, I’ve got a tin of chickpeas! But no cumin, nan-bread, star anise (huh?) or peaches… so let’s use… (open cupboard)… um… paprika instead of cumin, cous-cous instead of nan-bread, tuna instead of star anise aaaaand… chili instead of peaches.
The meals are generally christened “Sticky Stir-fry” or “Chicken a la Koekie”. Beloved Boyfriend, bless his cotton socks, eats all of my creations – usually with appropriate amounts of enthusiasm.
Right, back to last night. I decide to cook B.B. dinner. Now, what do we have in the fridge? What’s in the cupboards?
Once I’d amassed a satisfactory inventory of ingredients, I proceeded to chuck ‘em all into a pot. Shit, Pot A is getting too small. Transfer (now boiling) ingredients into Pan A. Too small. This is getting messy. More relocation of ingredients into two containers of Pan A and Pot B…
No problem, I pick the rest of it off the floor later. He’ll never know.
Upon completion, I phoned boyfriend (well, technically got him to phone me) and informed him that he had another concoction awaiting consumption. It actually wasn’t too bad…
After eating the meal, I informed boyfriend that as it’s his kitchen, he should probably clean the dishes (seeing as I’d used every pot and pan in the cupboard).
When you’re good, you’re good.
Thursday, September 21, 2006
Take for example, a good-natured colleague, who decides to replace the empty water tank - you know how the water cooler sits on empty because people are too lazy to tip the next heavy jug upside down... Unfortunately, good-natured colleague doesn’t know how to refill the water cooler (do you?), so she effectively cocks it up, big time.
Suddenly there is much excitement, with cries of, “I’ve stuffed it up! Everybody fill up with water, NOW!”
She’s somehow managed to break the seal, so to speak, and the cooler is now spewing spring fresh H20 in every direction – and will proceed to do so unless we get the water level down to below the leak.
It broke the monotony of the morning, if nothing else.
While I’m on the topic of chaos and mayhem, I might as well share an email I received yesterday from a friend teaching in London:
"Yesterday I was in the school gym and this new 'hip' male teacher, who looks about 12 years old, asks me if I'd mind holding his feet while he does crunches. He failed to notice that he has asked the lightest, smallest person in the gym with the smallest feet! But hey, I obliged. He positioned himself on the exercise ball, I stood on his feet in an attempt to anchor him.Oops… 12-year-old bunny-faced teacher escaped this episode relatively unscathed, with a swollen lip and all his teeth still in place.
He leant back, clutching a weight to his chest and began his sit ups. Six crunches later, I was already bored.
I glanced out the window and BAM! Moron teacher has somersaulted backwards off the ball - legs over head, feet in the air, weight flying into mouth - into mangled heap against the floor-length mirror with a startled-bunny look on his face!"
Top Gear star in horror crash
London - A presenter on the BBC's Top Gear motoring programme was seriously injured in hospital on Thursday after a high-speed crash while filming the show, the broadcaster said.
Richard Hammond, 36, had been driving a jet-powered car capable of reaching 480km/h before the accident in northern England. British media reported he had been attempting to break the British land speed record.
On its website http://www.bbc.co.uk/, the BBC quoted a hospital spokesperson as saying Hammond's condition was stable. Emergency workers cut Hammond free from the car, which had veered off the track and rolled over, the BBC quoted one of the rescuers as saying.
I hope his face isn't damaged...
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
"Pope's advisors fingered".
I have not the words.
Also, on Sunday Times - Penis Transplant Rejected
"...they cut the attached organ off after the man and his wife had difficulty accepting the donated penis..."
BEIJING - A Chinese man who was the world's first recipient of a penis transplant, had the organ removed two weeks later due to a "severe psychological problem," a leading medical journal said.
The man's penis had been damaged beyond repair in an accident, leaving him unable to urinate normally or have sexual intercourse, the report in European Urology said.
Doctors at a hospital in Guangzhou, capital of southern China's Guangdong province, performed the surgery last year using a penis from a 22-year-old brain-dead man. But, just two weeks later, they cut the attached organ off after the man and his wife had difficulty accepting the donated penis, it said.
"The recipient could urinate smoothly in a standing position at day 10 (after the operation)," said the report, posted on the European Urology website. "At day 14 postoperatively because of a severe psychological problem of the recipient and his wife, the transplanted penis regretfully had to be cut off."
There was no signs that the man's body was biologically rejecting the transplanted organ, it said.
Although penis transplants had not been performed before, doctors worldwide have successfully reattached penises that have been cut off, it said.
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
So there you go - it's an excuse to swear like a pirate, or a sailor, depending on your take. To call co-workers 'wenches' and tell them to 'swab the poop deck' or similar sillyness.
Also see Top Ten Pirate Pick Up Lines and you can't go wrong.
Note: Twisted Koeksuster cannot be held responsible if you find yourself facing a disciplinary hearing for calling your boss (or any superior) a bung-holed bilge rat. It's not my fault they didn't get the memo.
Monday, September 18, 2006
I send out a "Zimbabwe are 50/4..." update. Then I realise they are 50 for flipping 3. (I can't bring myself to swear online just yet. I'll grow out of it, I'm sure)
So I send out a correction "Zimbabwe are 50/3..." As I send it, Zim lose their fourth wicket.
Fuckit (oh, look... over it already)
"NOW Zimbabwe are 50/4."
Competency 'R' us. I'm sure no one knows what the score is now. My job here is done.
You know it’s going to be a long day when you arrive at work with a headache. Which is why I’ve decided to down tools for a bit and write about my favourite topic: Me.
I’ve been wanting to start a blog for a while because I send out so many emails detailing my most recent and embarrassing exploits that I think friends, family and random people who I meet in the Pick and Pay checkout queue will appreciate me freeing up their email inboxes.
A quick catch-up for anyone who hasn’t read these emails – and those who deleted without reading:
I have a quick tongue and a slow brain - a lethal combination. I once sent my boss an email bitching about the boss (mentioning him by his name along with other variations, just in case there was ANY chance of me trying to talk my way out of it).
I once ‘nutted’ a guy with a turnstile.
Sticking with turnstiles, I am the only person I know of who has managed to get their head clamped between the gates at a London train station.
I do the following things on an almost daily basis -
walk into cupboards and/or doorways; trip on flat tiled floors; fall down stairs; fall up stairs; break cups, mugs and anything childproof; forcefully fling food, hot liquids or anything that will make an breath-taking display when suddenly released from its carefully vacuum-sealed packaging. Generally a clutz.
I swear a lot. Some of my most inventive wording happens when I'm fighting for lane space with taxi drivers and other idiots through Joburg. Of course, I am never in the wrong. I try not to expose small children to my creativity.
I am a tomboy who loves shoes. I can never have enough shoes. I don’t have enough shoe cupboard space. At the moment, my paltry shoe collection stands at 2 pairs of tekkies, 8 pairs of slip-ons, 4 pairs of boots, 7 pairs of heels... I need more shoes.
I have big hair and small boobs and I talk about both, a lot. But I think I’m hot, so it’s all good. I call myself unique; most people who know me call me Special.
I will try to update this blog on a fairly regular basis, as and when I have something interesting to write about, read about or share with the world at large. Or when I’m bored.
Right, back to work.
Sunday, September 17, 2006
- I have new Pink Shoes.
- There are only two of us at work - the other guy blows his nose on his t-shirt. Charming.
- It took me 45 minutes to figure out how to post a new blog. I'm that smart.
- I'm wearing my new Pink Shoes.
- I need more shoes.
- You can never have enough handbags.
- I'm really, really not paid enough to support my lifestyle.
- Neither is my boyfriend.
- I have new black shoes - yet to be worn. Much anticipation.
- This is going to be a long Sunday.
The height of boredom
This day in history: random picks from my extensive (and very bored) research time
- September 17, 642 Arabs conquer Alexandria, library destroyed
- September 17, 1598 Netherland sailors discover Mauritius [that explains why they all speak French]
- September 17, 1835 Charles Darwin lands on Chatham Galapagos-archipelago
- September 17, 1872 Phillip W Pratt patents his sprinkler system for extinguishing fires
- September 17, 1899 1st British troops leave Bombay for South Africa [to fight off those cheeky boere, I guess]
- September 17, 1911 25th U.S. Womens Tennis: Hazel H Wightman beats F Sutton (8-10 61 97) and September 17, 1928 48th U.S. Mens Tennis: Henri Cochet beats F T Hunter (46 64 36 75 63) [although the tennis scores are meant to read 4-6, 7-5 etc, they sound awesome... "Cochet leads 75 games to 63. Quiet please..."]
- September 17, 1953 1st successful separation of Siamese twins
- September 17, 1968 Gaylord Perry (Giants) no-hits St. Louis Cardinals, 1-0 [included for no reason other than his first name]
- September 17, 1994 Princess Christina separates [that's all there is to it. Princess Christina separates... eggs, her chromosone, the atom?]
This is what happens when They make you work on a Sunday.