Sunday, January 31, 2010

Sports headlines

Murray put up a good show today. I particularly liked the bit where he cried... but not because I'm happy to see him lose (well, a little bit). Mostly because he actually showed some range of personality. A touch of any emotion other than ugly, open-mouthed screeching (which I've realised he gets from his mother).

Credit where credit's due - he put up a good fight, and he is a great scrambler. He returns some amazing shots and when he develops a bit more mental stamina and consistency, he's going to win a grand slam. Probably. One day.

I've also realised what bothers me so much about his looks: his physical similarity to the latter half of Beavis and Butthead. And that's all I'm going to say on Andy Murray... until next time.

I cannot believe Togo have been both fined and banned for two years from the CAF Cup. This column offers a bit more insight, as well as good summation of my general feeling in his opening statement.

What the hell? While I can almost understand the argument that the Togo government was involved (indeed critical) in the decision to withdraw the team, how can you punish the team - and the fans - with such a heavy ban? Fine them. That much I could accept. Make a point about governmental involvement (hahahaha, I'm trying not to snort when I think about the complete lack of governmental involvement in ANY national sport in SA).

All I can think about is the obvious analogy of victims of crime being further victimised and villified when they require trauma counselling. So I'm going to stop thinking and am going to bed.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Why I hate Andy Murray

Truly, I don't know where to start.

1) He is a Scottish twat. Not that I have anything against his nationality. Some of my best friends are Scottish (I'm that open-minded). If he were British, he'd be a pommie twat; Australian, aussie twat; American, yankie twat... I just wanted to throw in an additional adjective before twat. Forgive me.

2) He is annoying, on court and off. During play, he falls into that bracket of unnecessary noise-makers. But, further to this, he also shouts encouragement to himself when his opponents make unforced errors. Fine, psyche yourself up when you actually win a point through your own game (because I will begrudgingly admit that Murray can play good tennis - when he's not being an asshole). But when your opponent mishits a ball it doesn't mean you psyched them out. Subsequently shouting "Coooome ON!" to yourself is unsporting and undeniably twattish.

3) His pre- and post-match interviews show no sign of personality, other than arrogance. Which does not equal confidence. There is a difference - something he would've learnt from friends at school, if he'd had any. He likes to talk himself up and more than not, it goes down on record as a great big pile of blag. And when that happens, I do a bum-shaking jig of unrequited joy in my living room. Because humility is so much more attractive, Murray. Just ask Fed - he's the one who gets all the big sponsorship deals.

4) Because of his face. Seriously. I can't stand it. You know how there always seems to be one kid in class whose doting mother has told him that he's a lady killer and he therefore carries with him the misguided air that he is far superior in looks and physique to every one else? That's what Andy's mom did about twenty years ago and he is still dragging this around with him.

Unfortunately someone must've told him to stop wearing black socks, so I can't complain about that part of his wardrobe any more, which deflates me somewhat. But I truly hope that someone (preferably a loved one, which may convey more sincerity) will tell him that he does not have the body of Adonis.

Yes, you are MORE muscular than you once were, but let's be honest when you're working with twigs and sinew there's only so much you can do. My boet has a similar physique and the closest he got to being seriously buff was when I photoshopped his head onto a cover of Men's Health. It's funny because it's true.

Let's take a moment for a biology schematic:

Also, he has vampire teeth. Seriously he should get that seen to before he inadvertently puts out someone's eye, or jugular.

5) The unapologetic adoration that the British press lump on him. I think this is the main reason. Like an adoring parent who won't stop talking about their precious little pumpkin and how clever/beautiful/special they are - you end up hating the offspring more than the product. The poms delight in nicknaming him "Supreme Murray", "Magnificent Murray"... excuse me while I go eat something just so that I can throw it up.

Murray is through to the Semi-finals in the Aussie Open. Here's how the headline should read: "Murray through after Nadal withdraws". Yet here's how the fawning Brits put it: "Brilliant Murray brings Nadal to his knees". Completely glazing over the fact that he was playing a limping opponent, no no... Murray defeated him with his strength, wit and dastardly genius. In short, he was so brilliant that Nadal capitulated, faking an excuse just to get off the court and away from the incandescence that is Andy.

Last year, when Murray got knocked out of Wimbledon the BBC - that pinnacle of unbiased reporting - went with something along the lines of "Murray sets his sights on winning the US Open". Not, "Federer/Nadal/[whoever is actually still in contention] set their sights on winning THE CURRENT grand slam".

In fact, the only reason that Murray hasn't won a grand slam yet is simply because he is just too damn good. He outplays himself. I think this sums it up. Really. Just read it. I don't even have the words to deconstruct it.

I'm surprised we haven't seen a wave of Chuck Norris style internet jokes.

- Andy Murray is so fast, he can return his own service.
- The only person who can beat Andy Murray, is Andy Murray.
- Andy Murray is such a giant twat, he gave birth to himself.

... hmmmm, I might be on to something with that last one.

Here's a schematic recap:

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Let me paint you a picture

I'm sitting at my desk. Fortunately I have my own office because I am currently wearing slippers. This is not unusual, after trekking into work through the ice and snow I have taken to keeping slippers next to the radiator under my desk. When I put those warm puppies on, my toes have a little party in their socks. The three people who see me on a daily basis don't care and the people who I deal with via email and telephone don't know.

I'm also wearing jean-pants (standard) and a zip up tracksuit top (not so standard). My more work-appropriate tops (all three layers today) are currently hanging over the aforementioned radiator under my desk.

The K-Way tracksuit top has two zips, one that starts at the bottom and one that starts at the top. I've got it unzipped at the bottom - exposing bare flabby tummy - and zipped all the way to the top (in a pathetic attempt to maintain warmth).

Why am I baring my midriff in such a slovenly manner?

Well, thank you for asking. The reason is simple. I tipped a cup of freshly boiled water down my front and the skin on my stomach did not take this well.

It's not the first time - and it's unlikely to be my last accident. More often that not, when I tip something (generally liquidy in nature) over, I tend to pull it towards myself.

Mills recently admitted that one of the things he finds most fascinating about me is my "belligerent refusal to learn from my mistakes". So why should I start now?

I can say this much - you soon forget about the sub-freezing temps outside when you're frantically clawing scalding clothing away from your torso.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Two completely fictional characters, not based on reality at all

Two people, let's call them M and K, are enjoying a cold but gentle saunter around The Hague. Suddenly, M takes a slightly bigger step with his left foot while his right knee seems to buckle somewhat... but then he's back in stride as if nothing has happened. K notes this, finds it rather peculiar but she generally finds him rather peculiar so mentions nothing of it.

A few metres later, M does it again - the same abrupt, slightly longer stride that looks like an aborted half-lunge. And then, back into step as if nothing has happened. Again, K says nothing because she is starting to look forward to this move. On the third such step-lunge, K collapses into incapacitating giggles (usually reserved for precarious balancing chores, such as when they are trying to rotate the sleeper couch and M is bearing most of the weight).

Bemused, M queries this sudden outburst of laughter. K asks what the new goose-step is all about. M explains that the bottom of his jean-pant keeps getting caught underneath his right heel, so instead of doing the foot-out-shake-it-all-about dance, he opted for the jolt-lunge-step. "I thought it was more subtle," he concludes.

"It's not," K assures him, demonstrating her delight with sporadic limp-step-lunges the rest of the way home.

Another little M+K walkabout incident -

M and K go to the shops on a busy Saturday afternoon. After an hour and a bit, while standing in one of the swankiest stores on the swankiest shopping street (M and K don't usually shop there, but sometimes they like to pretend they belong), M happens to look down and finally notices why things were a bit breezier than they should be.

M: Aaaaah crap... my fly is down.
K: Oh ja, I noticed when we were leaving the flat.
M: WHAT? Were you planning on telling me, like, ever?
K: Sure... but then I got distracted and forgot.
M throws his head back in exasperation (while surreptitiously trying to redress himself)
K: Whaaaat... how many people have actually studied your crotch in the last ninety minutes? No one cares.
M: Except me.
K shrugs: Except you.

Some may ask why M puts up with K.
M asks himself this regularly.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Zulu Warriors

Do you remember the South African song we learnt as kids? That little camp fire round that had no reason, just rhythm..?
Izika zumba zumba zumba
Izika zumba zumba zay
Izika zumba zumba zumba
Izika zumba zumba zay

Hold him dooooooown, you Zulu warrior
Hold him down, you Zulu chief (chief, chief, chief)
Repeat... Repeatedly.

I don't know the correct lyrics and couldn't find anything official on the web, so it's guaranteed that my phonetic spelling is probably way off from what the actual Zulu words should be. Also bear in mind that I learnt this song, as a whitey at Brownie camp (yes. Brownies. Feel free to point and laugh now), while growing up under the wagging finger of PW Botha and his predecessors. Probably not the best starting point for learning non-European ditties.

Based on what little remains of my high school Zulu knowledge, I think the lyrics should probably be something closer to "asika mzimba", which would mean "he/she/it/they cut the body". I think. Which is what a bunch of Zulu warriors would likely do to someone/thing/it they are holding down. In theory.

Is there a point to this blog? Not really. It's more a semi-educational sojourn down memory lane for anyone who grew up in SA.

What I really wanted to do is get that song in your head(s), just like I've had it for the last 36 hours.

Mwaahahahahaha.... [phonetic attempt at evil maniacal laughter].

Did it work?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Three most annoying questions, in no particular order

1) So, do you want kids?

Okay, this question in itself is not that annoying. It's a query based on biological prerogative. I get it. What actually irks me is the follow up comment, generally from people who I have just met or hardly know me...

Person: "So, do you want kids?"
Me: "No."
Person, tilts head and smiles patronisingly: "Aaaah, but you are female and in your twenties. Therefore, you will one day. I predict within the next four months."
Me, pretending to contemplate this banality thus lulling Person into a false sense of security before flicking them in the forehead: "I'm sorry, that action was triggered by my biological clock. It doesn't like presumption."

2) So, when are you getting married?

Answer: when every person on earth has asked me that. Including children as yet unborn and those too young to speak.

Look, it's not that I have anything against marriage. I don't. I'm happy for my friends who get married. I have no problem with people formalising their relationships. And weddings are (generally) awesome reunions for friends and family. I love the idea of a wedding... which is effectively just a party, gifts and everyone telling me how pretty I look. Sounds great. Who needs a groom for that? I can understand if kids are involved, then it's important 'cause both parents get equal rights and tax purposes and blah... blah.. blah. What irritates me is when people presume that you cannot be in a committed, monogamous relationship if it has not been validated with a marriage certificate.

Person: "how long have you been with your boyfriend?"
Me: "Seven years, or so."
Person: "Wow. That's a long time. When are you getting married?"
Me, suppressing urge to power-flick: "No plans. No wedding bells."
Person, tilting head with concern: "Oh... hasn't he asked yet?"
[note: "he" is always emphasised, I think this is because they are trying to insinuate that it must be something wrong with him; to make me feel better. "Yet" is optional - presumably in order to give me some hope after seven years of clearly unfounded anticipation]
Me, through gritted teeth due to imminent head implosion: "No, because he actually knows me. I'm bored of this conversation. You're dismissed."

3) So, when are you coming to visit us in London/Cape Town?

Very good question. When did you last make any effort to visit us, outside of London/Cape Town? Both are fantastic touristy cities (and of course, if we're turning it into a competition between the two, Cape Town wins. Hands down) but for some reason it seems that when people - native or not - move to either of these cities, actual physical acquaintance can only be considered within the respective city's borders. Don't get me wrong, I want to see these people and I love visiting both cities... I think it's just the qualifying location in the question that actually bugs me. Seldom are there other options, like, "Hey let's meet up in Swansea/Springfontein or somewhere in between." Generally it comes across as, 'you come to us or we don't see you. Kapish?'*

Person: "Hey! How you doing... great to hear from you! So when are you coming to visit us in Cape Town/London [delete appropriate]?"
Me: "Dunno. When are you coming to visit us in Joburg/The Hague [delete appropriate]?"
Error... Does not compute. Error... Does not compute. Error...
Me: "It's okay, relax, I was just kidding. We're coming next month. See you then."

*To the friends who have made an effort to visit us outside of Cape Town/London/Benoni and/or Boksburg: I love you and you are still on my Christmas card list (which may actually get sent one of these years).

Monday, January 18, 2010


Wow - it must've been a really weak pool for Best Motion Picture Drama at the Golden Globes this year. I haven't seen Precious, Up In The Air, The Hurt Locker or (sad, but true) Inglorious Basterds, but I have seen Avatar... and I cannot believe that it actually won an award for best drama. It's a compelling movie - I enjoyed it, it's got heaps of action and little splotches of humour. Not laugh out loud stuff, but then it didn't bring me to tears either.

So, sure, it had traces of drama in it. But the best? Really? And let's all get a grip... it did not bring me to the brink of suicidal contemplation. Is this why it got Best Drama? Because of the amount of idiots who've supposedly been so severely affected? I think Avatar deserved Best Drama about as much as Obama deserved the Nobel Peace Prize. But aaaaanywho, putting that rant down and moving onto something closer to home...
"Everything in moderation. "
That's what my mother used to say (probably still does), over and over again... mostly applied to food. It's a little adage that probably would do wonders in the fight against obesity. And quite good to keep in mind, as these days it seems you can't pick up a fork without someone pointing out that WHATEVER you are about to consume will increase/decrease your chance of weight gain/weight loss/heart disease/longevity/brain tumours/brain activity/brain cancer etc etc...

So this one's for you, Mum.

Mills and I went out for sushi last night. It's 'our' thing. We love sushi, as much as our budgets can afford, and there's a great restaurant around the corner that does all-you-can-eat deals. You can order basically as much as you like and you can do this for up to 8 rounds per table. Eight rounds filled largely with rice and very very salty soy sauce (we're pretty sure they proactively add salt to make sure you're filling yourself up on liquid in between rounds). However, if you do not finish everything that you have ordered, you will be charged for the remaining pieces. Fair enough... waste not, want not.

I figure two, even three, rounds is a good effort but Mills sees the "8" as a target. So even if we are both full - absolutely stuffed - he must order more. Must. Eat. More.

It always gets to the point where I won't help him. That's it. I am full. End of. Mills was ordering round 3 when this happened last night. "We can't let them win!" he cried. 'Them' being those dastardly restaurant owners... if Mills was a gambler he'd be trying to beat the system in Vegas right now. I emphasised that I would not eat any more. He lambasted me for being a quitter. I called him an assortment of names. I raised my eyebrows then and shut up, because a) he's a big boy and must suffer the consequences and b) I like a good 'told you so' situation as much as the next girlfriend.

As we waited for HIS order, the rice began to expand in his stomach and his brain latched onto the fact that a fair amount had been ingested. "Oh dear... I am feeling a bit full now..." he conceded, shortly before they placed another 25 pieces of sushi on our table. Yup, I bet you are. You warthog.

After my celebratory "I told you so" song and dance, I suggested that maybe he should just pay up. But no, paying up would mean that 'they' win. And we could never let that happen.

So the real entertainment began. I watched my boyfriend slowly binge himself on chopstick-laden mouthfuls. It wasn't about the food, or paying. Oh no, it was a game of strategy. In between labouriously chewing, he would muse about ways to hide the sushi. "Hmmm, what if I break this piece up and hide it under the lettuce? How much do you think the people at the table next door would pay for these pieces? Maybe I can stuff the last pieces into my cheeks... do you think they'll notice? You'll have to ask for and pay the bill then... I can spit it out once we're outside."

This is just one reason why we don't, and can't ever, have children. After seven years of dating, we still end up playing "hide the veggies from mom" (alternatively known as "hide the raw fish and rice bundles from the beady eyes of the Japanese matron").

ps. He ate it all... I think I helped with all of two pieces. He ate the rest. Unbelievable.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Have you heard about the new James Cameron movie? If you haven't, you clearly do not live on this planet. Which is, in fact, a real planet. Knock him all you want, but Cameron is a creative genius. The man can turn a flammable reel of single-frame images into a big, fat pile of shiny gold.

Terminator (times three, or four, or is it five?) >> ka-ching, ka-ching, ka-ching.
Titanic (just the one, but it felt like three) >> ka-ching.
Avatar >> ka-(still waiting for full results, but likely to be yet another resounding)-ching.

In short, Avatar is a movie set on a planet called Pandora. On Pandora there is a material called "unobtainium". Everyone wants to obtain this stuff, because as the name so cryptically states, it's not very easy to come by. The planet is inhabited by a race called Na'vi. These are giant, blue alien-type people. This info can be gleaned from the trailers alone, and from what I've heard there's not actually much more to the movie (which I have not seen). But I feel the need to share something anyway. This is where the gigantic spoiler comes in. Look away now if you don't want to know...

....James Cameron made it all up.

He created this world in his imagination and then he turned it into a movie. Apparently, the portrayal of the planet and the creatures on it is breathtakingly spectacular - so he must've run out of creative juice when it came to names for everything (Pandora? Unobtainium? Excuse me, I just threw up a little on the cheese factor). But back to my point, this planet does not exist. It is a setting for a movie, created by human imagination and computer graphics. Otherwise known as "science fiction". Or more simply put... "play-play", "pretend" or "make believe".

So anyone who complains about post-delusional depression and suicidal tendencies because "they long to enjoy the beauty of the alien world Pandora" deserves to be stripped naked, doused with a bucket of water (or better yet hosed down with fire fighting equipment) and shoved head first into the snow. We will call it ICE BUCKET / WELCOME TO REALITY treatment. If you find anybody suffering from similar delusions in the warmer southern hemisphere, please feel free to strip them naked, douse with hot oil and then shove them head first into a nest of fire ants.

One sufferer, called Mike, "even contemplated suicide, thinking that he will be rebirthed [sic] in a world similar to Pandora and everything will be the same as in Avatar." Do us all a Darwinian favour, Mikey. Please. I hope you haven't reproduced yet, but judging by that comment alone I would guess that you are probably still waiting for your Klingon mail-order bride anyway.

Pssst... Star Trek is made up too.

And while we're on the subject of Avatar, since when are we supposed to care what the Vatican thinks about a movie? It's been centuries since humanity shrugged out of the dark ages and the Roman Catholic Church no longer dictates what books can or can't be seen (weeeeell... unless you buy into the Da Vinci Code, but let's put that down before it leads to another tangle in this already bewildered blog). So why should we suddenly care what they think about a secular movie? How does a Vatican movie review hold any weight in the news? Is this their way of trying to 'stay in touch with the popular culture'? Surely they should stick to how the Bible is being interpretted (yes, interpretted - because it is not a factual textbook) or more pressing issues, like the attempted firebombings of churches in Malayasia (another point I'm going to put down before I go on yet another rampaging tangent).

The only way the Vatican should be sharing a headline with Avatar is if the Pope was suffering from post-Pandora delusional depression. Now that would be newsworthy.

I haven't seen the movie yet, but I do intend to. I'm a sucker for big action in 3D. And I'm sure Mills will be happy to oblige with an ice bucket if my grip on reality starts to slip... any further.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

You are not unique

Similar to most people in the western world, I work for a big international company. We have big international mailing lists. These are for corporate communications such as: new CEO; annual reports; marketing updates... and, apparently, a mid-level manager's baby announcement.

Some guy I have never met, never heard of and will never hear from again, has decided to inform everyone of the birth of his new son. I am so, so very tempted to reply:
Dear Harry

You did what over 100 million people did last year. It is not an exclusive club and does not count as news. Believe it or not, mammals have been doing this - without fanfare - for several thousand years. You are not special and neither is your kid.

Congratu-fucking-lations. I don't care.
I can feel the rage pulsing through my fingers. It's good to be back.