Monday, October 31, 2011

Only The Very Best Penis For Me

   Do I come across as the type to have an inadequate penis? Really, be honest now, tell me the truth, because I keep getting the emails and a girl can only take so many hints before she starts to feel like these are being aimed at her specifically. Usually they are pretty useless, and wouldn't even have me considering a switch from my usual brand of penis-enlarging cream or herbal viagra supplements I get specially ordered through the mail from China, but lately some poor penis-spam writing bastard has been putting in a bit of extra effort and I'm the kind who likes to reward creativity. I got this:

   I mean, what kind of struggling genius is that? This is some man who has taken this shitty job, sitting behind a damned computer for hours a day simply writing and writing the most heinous little two-line emails to feed into his spam-bot, simply because he needs to pay his rent and his epic novel about time-travelling robot dinosaurs has been rejected by seven publishing houses in the last month alone. This is a man who, knowing that the only kind of growth he could possibly expect in his chosen field would be being promoted to fortune cookie fortune writer, is silently screaming inside while smiling at his co-workers over the cubicle walls and saying things like "You're more than welcome," and "Working hard or hardly working, eh John? Hahaha." This is his little rebellion after hitting the thousandth email marker of "LOVE HER LONG TMIE PENISPENISPENIS"; he's mad as hell, and he's not going to take it anymore. Instead, he's going to subversively plant little nuggets of gold in amongst the heaping piles of pure manure, and has even taken the time to send it to me personally. In my head, I've named him Frederick.

   Fuck yes, Frederick. Name drop like a boss, yo. Obama endorses this shit? MIND BLOWN. And what about that line at the end- is it not pure poetry the likes of which wrist-cutting notebook doodlers in high schools the world over ache for in their very souls? It's so simple, understated, truthful.
   He's crying out for help, people. We need to support Frederick by acknowledging in our hearts and in our minds the kind of unrecognised talent that is shining through here, and maybe periodically sending a couple of notes to some of the major publishers asking when we're going to start seeing some better fare in the time travelling robot dinosaur genre. It's the least we can do.

   On that admittedly disturbing note, I should inform you of a little hobby of mine. Allow me to give you some backstory in order for this to make a little bit more sense and for me to sound marginally less insane than I ultimately would.
    Here in South Africa, land of the truly strange and unwell, we have these things called sangomas. These are African witch doctors and are traditionally heavily relied upon by certain portions of the community for all ills. TB? Sangoma. Spouse getting a little strange on the side? Sangoma will curse that arsehole's penis right the fuck off. AIDS? Sangoma says eat some garlic, you'll be fine, and also vote ANC. You may be hoping I'm just exaggerating the extent of this, but sadly, I am not. Sangomas have now even started moving into the 21st century with tentative first steps, modernising by handing out flyers designed on MS Word at every second traffic light. These buggers LOVE them a two-toned gradient, my people. And I'm fucked if they can't solve your every possible problem- but mainly they seem to specialise in increasing your penis to comical proportions.
   Every time I get one of these flyers, I save it and add it to my vast collection, and scan it to find its individual little bit of pricelessness. I have nigh on 30 of them already, and each one is different and unique like a snowflake if a snowflake could make your manhood stand erect for 20+ hours at an excess of 15 inches. Do not ask me why corporate sangomas in the middle of Rapes 'R Us Towns all across South Africa are so partial to the imperial system- it has remained one of the many beautiful mysteries about these practices since they sprang up practically overnight a few years ago.

   All of this is made so much sweeter by the fact that it seems not a single one of the people writing these flyers has ever seen the backhand of a spellchecker- or, in fact, a 6th grade diploma. Each pamphlet has been lovingly printed by some printing company who make no meal of the concept of "proof-reading," and it seems that the person commissioning each individual little piece of art believes universally that your degree of success is measured directly by the amount of fonts you managed to use.
   For your pleasure and to illustrate my point as best I can, I have compiled a little "best of" pamphlet of my own. Now I need for you to understand this fully- each and every single line included on the next two pages you are about to see comes verbatim from a flyer in my personal collection. I have spent an entire afternoon going through ALL OF THEM, sniffing out the highlights in each, and have put together a little presentation that- once again- IS ENTIRELY WITHOUT EMBELLISHMENT, HYPERBOLE, EXAGGERATION or BULLSHIT. I have tried to cover all of the basics, but even so there really just is such a plethora of stand-out material as well as industry standards to mine that it really is inevitable that I will have missed something awesome. I did managed to use about five different fonts, a colour gradient, stolen clipart and random capital letters, so at the end of the day I feel as though I have served fairly well. I haven't even included some of the saltier stuff, but I would still recommend you look away now if you know yourself to have delicate sensibilities at all.

   Well, I only wasted about an hour of my life doing that. Totally worth it. 

   Derren Brown- hypnotist, mentalist and voodoo king extraordinaire- has started airing a new TV series called The Experiments. In the first episode, he attempts to explore the possibility of hypnotism as a means to program someone to assassinate a target unknowingly, as Sirhan Sirhan claims he was made to do by the CIA when he shot Bobby Kennedy in the kitchens, as Richard E Grant would say. It's a fascinating experiment with great weight and philosophical importance, but here's the thing: all the way through the program, Derren hinted most tantalisingly that the person he was programming was to be set loose on a mystery celebrity target by the end of the whole thing. This is what we are shown of the celebrity target:

   Immediately and without hesitation, I recognised this to be my mascot and highest deity, Stephen Fry. As I told Brenda (and then Carla and my dad, for I am not one to put down a perfectly good joke if it has miles on it yet to be milked), if you can recognise him off of a few cubic centimetres of hair, you know him too well, Loraine. The feeling I got when my manic sense of recognition was confirmed to be correct must be what regular people experience after really good sex or chocolate, but probably mostly chocolate. 

    One or two more pieces of business before I leave you breathless and panting once more (for chocolate, weren't you listening?):
   The shirt that was ruined last week by some hairy-arsed son-of-an-msg-addative bird has been rescued and "upcycled", as I've heard said in the most douchey way possible. Yes, I hear you, it's a butterfly. Where you ask is the rainbow and the unicorn and the magical puppies pooping sunshine?
   They're on the back.

   And then lastly, before I go rest my weary carpal tunnel, this. Idn't it pretty? Thunderstorms and spectacular lightning and such happening all over business here, so I decided to take in the free show with a bit of added panache. This will continue to be excellent and beautiful and awesome right up until the point where I get creamed in the face for playing with my cellphone during an electric storm.
   I'll try to get pics of that too.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Fighting Fire With Fire; Burning Down The House

   'Allo 'allo, I do trust everyone has had a lovely time and just handfuls of sexual favours in socially inappropriate places this last week. I can't wish you any better than that, I can't really. We've had some things happen here, things that resulted in the kitchen smelling more or less perpetually like a plastic braai and made my sister sound like Kathleen Turner for a little while, so it couldn't have been all bad.
   Let's start with the bigger, bolder, more pressing events. This.

   I was asleep, as is my constant bent, when I heard the most god-awful racket in the kitchen slash outside-ish. My directional hearing is terrible, so really I suppose it could have been happening in the neighbour's yard and I wouldn't have known, but perhaps being half deur-die-kak helps my spidey sense. I heard what I was quite confident must have been a burst water-pipe, with flood torrents happening in a violently vertical direction, and my sister's panicked screams for her fiancée Barend 007. There was the tinkle of glass and a massive BOOM, and I'm just hearing "ARE YOU OK?! ARE YOU OK?!" and in my mind the earth had opened up in the front garden like a Roland Emmerich film. Needless to say, I hightail it to the action so fast I spin my wheels on the spot like the road-runner or Barney Stintson when he's heard about a new Robin Sparkles video.
   It takes me two steps to realize that my sleepy-arse has surmised this situation very incorrectly indeed, since the whole house not only smells of Nylon Burgers, but looks like the last few minutes of Dante's Peak.

   My dad had apparently been making some chips on the stove, and at my behest had run out really quickly to get some *cough*cough* cooldrink *cough* before the store closed. He had- in a most uncharacteristic display (in fact, we might even refer to this kind of thing as "pulling a Loraine")- forgotten the oil on the hot stove plate. It caught MADREFUCKING FIRE, and even whilst being the tiniest little pot that ever there was managed to engulf the whole kitchen in such flame as to threaten to singe even the dogs' eyebrows off.
   Estelle and Barend 007 (who has in his tenure here also managed to single-handedly fight off a grasshopping burglar who was jumping from yard to yard ended up landing in ours- big mistake, buddy) raced in and doused the thing- look, it was quick thinking and all, and probably saved everyone's asses from burning to a crispy bacon, but he chucked a glass of water at it, which caused it to explode. I think in that situation, there's little room to debate yourself on what the fuck to do, and the first thing to come to mind is often the only thing to be done so I bravo him nonetheless. He Will Smithed (presumably in slow motion) with a ball of fire at his back as he threw himself bodily from the kitchen. Had his reflexes been dulled by the kinds of quantities of Coca-cola and pizza I tend to consume whenever humanly possible, he would have looked like the Phantom of the Opera right now. 

   It's not entirely evident in this picture, but the whole kitchen, from the stove to the front door, have been blacked out like dragon's breath. Despite my heroic efforts to hint for pizza, my dad decided that he'd clean up the oily part of this mess and put down some newspaper for the glass just so as to allow him to re-do dinner. The rest, in true Birkenstock fashion, could wait until fucking later. Amen brother, amen. We've even contemplated leaving it like that and telling people that it's an interior design element. Hey, I watch Design Star, I think we can get away with it.
   Other design features in our house include:
   1. The time Virginia's son, Remember, was asked to climb into the roof to retrieve a cable because he was the tiniest of all the fully grown people who could legally be asked to do so. It was stressed to Remember (and yes for my non-South African readers, that is his actual name) that one is to step on the beams only, the BEAMS ONLY, lest one fall arse-over-tit through the flimsy cardboard that dares to call itself a ceiling. He Forgot.
   2. The tiles the previous owner- a self-proclaimed DIY king- put in so shittily that they are now pulling loose all over the house and subsequently breaking into millions of tiny little pieces that everyone keeps stepping on in unexpected places and at unforseen hours of the morning.
   3. The axe that happened to Estelle's door a few years ago. Long story.
   4. The spot in Estelle's old room where the ceiling fan decided to end its life of servitude and spontaneously make a run for it, leaving that room without a main light or (rather obnoxiously in this heat) without a fan.
   5. The creepy face that started appeared on the ceiling over my father's bed a while back. Supposedly from water damage after heavy rain leaks through the roof, my theory involves voodoo priestesses and the avenging spirit of an eternally damned rugby player from the turn of the last century. Nothing that eerily accurate happens by chance, say I.
   6. And last, but certainly by no means my least favourite design feature in our interesting house- in my room, the redundant window. This window looks out onto another room. It's a small and almost comically useless room, resultant from the DIY king's brilliant idea to turn the porch into indoors. He never closed up the window, so if- as has happened in the past- someone actually occupies that room, me and that occupant get to know each other in rather embarrassing detail. I can now identify my uncle Eric by his snore at a pace of half a kilometre.

   Something other. Me and Estelle were placidly taking down washing from the line outside the other day, in a picture perfect ad for Omo washing powder or Vanish Power 02. It was a sunny and highly saturated day, and we were but a few scripted lines away from being able to claim residual checks from Stasoft for the next five years.


   You see, much to my constant and ever-loud chagrin, we don't have a tumble dryer. Yes, yada yada yada, first world luxuries, yada yada, the privilege of a washing machine in the first place blah blah superfluous windows etc etc, but boo. Most days I don't mind so much the hanging up of the washing or the taking down of the washing, but on this fateful day, as I retrieve my lovely, freshly laundered clothes, I espy-

   Some ass-fuck of a nipple-wanking bird has managed to shit-bomb my one piece of white laundry with such anus-shirvelling accuracy as to make a grown man weep. Not only that, but it is a deep, rich purple, as though this particular pest-addled plague-monster holds himself to only the highest in vegan berry standards, and refuses to eat nought but the very best in mulberry pickings. COMICALLY-SIZED, LOW-SWINGING HORSEBALLS.

   Happily though, another Merlin episode happened this week. These are becoming a highlight for me. Besides for this week's Big Bang Theory episode which had me about this close to losing all functional control of my bladder, I couldn't have asked for better than this. After mentioning Merlin in my last blog post, my dad requested I load up the back episodes for him, which I squeed about a bit. I love getting the man hooked on new and interesting forms of TV-crack- why, I remember back when I got so involved with Friends for the first time and he insisted to me in a near rage that it was little more than a soapie, and not worth getting so invested in. Now he wakes up at six in the morning on a Saturday to watch Eastenders, which I lovingly call his Stories.
    Since he's still catching up to Merlin, I won't spoil too much about the episode, but I will mention that there was one moment I literally had to watch a couple of times over for its sheer LOL-ness. Then there was this, which holds a very decent second place: Merlin has to sneak into Arthur's room to steal a key, which is something that happens to the poor boy about once every fortnight. When he's caught, he has to cover up his strange behaviour somehow, and this is what he comes up with.
    Then, later, he must sneak back in to replace the same key, and is caught in the act again.
   I had to painstakingly sit through a whole episode of Fawlty Towers to get those screenshots- the things I suffer for this blog. You're welcome.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Hypochondriac... or HYPERchondriac? Eh? Eh?

   Yes, yes, I am always of some ill. My dad loves to roll his eyes at me, because there seems to be a neverending list of medical interest happening upon my biology at any given time. Allow me to illustrate.

   My sister and I had our tonsils out when we were youngish- I'm terrible at guessing periods of time, or years in the past (we'll get to that), so I'm going to guess I was about 13 or 14, she about 10 or 11. When we had our initial appointment with the Ear, Nose and Throat specialist, he assured us that the only thing that could possibly go wrong was a certain complication where the empty tonsil sockets could start bleeding about a week after the surgery. Do not worry- he told us in bold and no uncertain terms, smiling the "Trust Me, I'm A Doctor" smile that had probably paid for his summer home in Gordon's Bay- he had never, in his entire career, had a patient experience this. I, in my infinite newly-teenaged wisdom, knowing myself unequivocally to be the single star role in the movie of my life (how else could it be?), sat there knowing to my soul that I would be the first. I did not dread it; in fact, once we left the office I promptly forgot he had uttered such a thing.
   When I woke up after the surgery, never having come out of anaesthesia before, I was unclear on whether or not I was actually alive. I felt a little shaky on my existential principles in that moment, truly believing myself to have crashed through some fourth dimension only accessible to the recently departed. I was also informed afterwards by my mother that I swore at her rather loudly and expertly on how FUCKING SORE MY THROAT WAS. I reckon I saw a gap in the market and went for it.
   One week to the day after the surgery I woke up feeling like there was spit in my mouth that I could not swallow. I tried and tried to swallow it down, but it was persistently there. I went to the sink to spit it out, and found it to be GORE. I have no earthly idea how much blood I managed to pitch into the bathroom sink, but I believe it to have been Tarantino-Litres. Kill Bill volumes of blood. I was rushed to the hospital, and to my jolly fae delight, skirted around in a wheelchair. I think I may have tried to look extra grey as I passed people in the corridors, just so they could know how very close to actual grim death this little girl really was. I got a private room (I think there weren't any other available) with M-Net long before our household had seen such a thing as a satellite dish, so I was already contemplating which of my toes I liked the least so I could lop it off to earn my next stay. Two nights I got, and my mom and sister brought me brand new jammies on top of it.

   At round about the same time, I was prescribed sleeping pills for my long-standing sleeping problems that persist like some leering Greenday song to this day. My body clock resets itself by little bits every day, and eventually I find myself on what I call "Tokyo Time," where I sleep during the day and irritate the begeezus out of the normal people by clanking around in the kitchen like a 400lb Godzilla at night. If I force my schedule, as one needs to do to work, for instance, I tend to feel like last week's veggie and soy mince lasagne that's been re-heated in a faulty microwave just once too many times. I can't function. Thusly, the miracle pills.
   Oh dear lordy lordington, the pills. I've been on them for ages, so they hardly make a dent in my considerable exoskeleton by now, but back then was another matter entirely. I floated on air, I by god I loved you so fucking much, and look at the pretty lights, and-
   Like that, only for hours. It was very hard to physically get me into bed once they had kicked in, so it was a race to get all the night-time ablutions done before the fireworks started in earnest. I would sit for veritable hours just watching the grain of the wood in the bathroom door, seeing all kinds of little friends there, having all kinds of little animated adventures. Having always been something of a pyromaniac, I would light a candle, and stare at that- one time I wrote a dissertation of about 8 lined pages ("FRONT AND BACK!") about how convinced I was that fire must be the only thing that existed in both this realm and the one on the other side, which obviously (obviously) meant that faeries and such shit were attracted to the flames and so on and so forth. No really. I still have those pages in my cupboard somewhere, and in the moment I was writing them, I was entirely serious. Even now I will swear to you I wrote that in about five minutes, but when I checked three hours had passed. THIS STUFF IS LEGAL, Y'ALL.
   There was also the very real danger of drinking (my pill) and dialling. At very small hours in the unreasonable morning, I would get up out of bed MUTHAFLIPPING CONVINCED that Wolf neeeeeded me to call him rightnowrightnowrightnow, because, you know. Stuff. Lucky for me he had a pretty good sense of humour about things, but even though nowadays my body has totally made friends with the little bad boys, and I make sure to take them at most about 30 minutes before I climb into bed, I still wake up the next day realizing I have managed to invite someone over to come visit while under the influence and would never have remembered if they hadn't phoned or smsed- or even until they simply showed up. It's like a lucky bag, or Bert Bott's Every Flavour Beans. Sometimes it's raspberry, sometimes it's balls.

   A few years ago, maybe about two or three, I started having torso pains and acute nausea that would have had me biting through leather, if anyone had had enough of a sense of drama to put a leather strap in my mouth for me to bite down on. It was unlike anything I had ever felt- no cramp, no bean, onion and cabbage induced vapour, no food poisoning or flu had ever done anything like that to me. It wasn't simply the sheer brass set of balls this pain had, but the exact nature of it. Even now, though I can dimly recall the sensation, I would never be able to describe it to my satisfaction. The nausea was frequent, but the pain only came a few times a week- it was enough though. There were no obvious triggers and no pain pill alive could man up against this mother.
   One night, it struck again, and I was doubled up crying. I didn't want anyone to take me to the hospital, because I was so afraid it was going to be nothing and then I would have wasted everyone's time and money- especially since it was my favourite AM; number 3. But Faaa-huuuuck, it just kept getting worse, and nothing would help. My mom decided enough was enough, and being a empathetic hypochondriac she was taking me to the emergency room. I was still just plagued by images of this goddamn pain disappeared like a fart into the wind the moment we got there, but the thought of being scanned and x-rayed thrilled me always so off we went.
   Turns out, my gallbladder was a fucking mess. There were something like 17 gallstones in there- that's what had been causing the pain and nausea each time, and I was told with the kind of angst reserved only for the heroine of her own story that the only option was to yank the damn thing. I even memorised the proper name for the surgery- it's called a cholecystectomy. It wasn't going to get better of its own accord.
   Unlike you nice, mentally healthy people out there, I sighed a silent sigh of relief, because that meant a) I hadn't wasted anyone's time b) I hadn't been imagining or fabricating the whole thing and c) Hospital stay! They had that bad boy out the next day and I WAS UNPREPARED. I was not warned that when people cut the fuck into your abdomen- even laparoscopically, thank-you-very-much- you cannot even pull yourself out of bed on your own steam. This time I shared a room with a very nice lady who wanted nothing more than to set me up with her son- and considering the state my hair and face must have been in, added to the irresistibly charming draining back hanging out of my side and the hunched-over, old-lady walk I was rocking, I can't imagine what the poor boy had been bringing home before to make me seem like a step UP.
   So that hurt for weeks. Even once I got home, I couldn't get out of bed properly for a long time, and everything felt like it was pulling apart where it had been stitched up, but I got some cool scars out of it man. I just wish I had a cooler story to tell with them than "Oh these? That was from where they took out my gallbladder." At least when I'm in the old-age home one day and everyone is comparing inevitable cholecystectomy stories, I'll be almost certain to win for "youngest" gallbladderless senior citizen. Small victories.

   Now I tell you all this because there is one story in particular that I have been urged to share. This is a favourite among people who like to laugh at me loudly and repeatedly, and I wanted to give some context.
   I am not a hypochondriac. "Chondriac" tells you there's a patient or a sufferer of some condition, and "hypo" implies that this is a patient suffering of buggerall: thusly, someone suffering of their own mind. I am what I am going to insist be called a "hyperchondriac", fully imparting the fact that here is a patient truly and quite generally suffering multiple woes and ills, verified by medical science. Besides for the above mentioned outstanding incidents, I could also tell you about my terrible teeth that are prone to being riddled by holes like a cello-case fired at by a 1930's movie mobster, despite rigorous oral hygiene. In fact, I could stress that one tooth in particular is killing me right now and that the sister whom I love dearly always and who is so close to my heart (FUCK YOU, SIS) was born without wisdom teeth AT ALL, and mine are ever encroaching on the rest of my mouth bringing with them pain and pain and pain. And suffering, and pain.
   Then I could tell you how, whenever I need to scratch an itch on my back, the simple act of scratching somehow manages to leave me with a deep-tissue type pain that stays there for about five minutes before going away, and can be invoked by anything from brushing up against a door handle to receiving a hug from a particularly bony person. It hurts, people. No one believes this, and when someone playfully punches me on the arm and it brings tears to my eyes, I pretend I'm playing along with my "ow"s. No, those are real fucking ows and I'm not mentally handicapped for crying after a round of "Punch Buggy!!".
   I have astigmatism, and have glasses I ought to wear more often. For a while, my doctors thought I had PCOS, but this is a diagnosis now being reassessed in order to figure out what it really is. I'm synaesthetic, shit-scared of anything with two wings and a pointy end, and I get migraines. I'm dyscalculic, meaning I am to numbers what dyslexics are to words, and I've even considered having a ruler tattooed onto my left arm since I can't tell you what three centimetres should look like. All of these things I will still tell you of properly in the future, because all of them are hilarious in serving their purpose to making me look like a jackass.
   Seriously yo, I'm badly broken. But somehow, through all of that, I've managed to avoid things like broken bones and bee stings, sticking only to the more exotic bullshit. That brings me to the story I would tell if ever I was in the chair at the end of the Graham Norton show. I bring it to you greatly enhanced and in superfluous detail, as is my wont.

   Earlier this year, me, my dad, my uncle Eric, my sister, my almost-brother-in-law Barend, family friend Boet and family friend Boet's girlfriend Joanita went on a camping trip to a place called Borakalalo just outside Gauteng. You must understand that to get me into what can only be described by the blanket term "nature", one would have had to know exactly where the bodies are buried.

   Uncle Eric has a Safari business up in Botswana that he mans for half the year, so we all clambered into his handy 4x4-esque all-ish terrain vehicle and off we went. Estelle and Barend were especially looking forward to doing some fishing by the expansive lake we had been promised, whilst my dad and I looked especially forward to drinking alcoholic beverages and watching them fish from a shady distance. It was a long drive there (and an even longer drive back, since the car broke down in rainy East Bum-Fuck Nowhere and all of our cellphones were dead, but I digress), but it was worth it. Before we even got there we got to see donkeys and sheep freely walk among men in the small towns we passed to get there. The place was gorgeous, and almost immediately upon arriving were we rewarded with wildlife more exotic than, say, my good friend Lord Engelbrecht from the other day, or Mr. Ed in the road.

   It was chill, and it was awesome. We were going to braai some meat, drink some of whatever there was to drink, and go for a leisurely, late afternoon safari drive in the 4x4ish. There were about four bajillion monkeys up in those trees right by our tents (semi-permanent tents with actual beds in, thank the gods, or I wouldn't have been moved to attend), and they were constantly trying to steal all our shit. As me, my dad, Estelle, Barend and Eric drove out of the camping site for our drive, Boet (in the red shirt) headed back into his own tent, and we had to shout for him to come back because a very brave little soul had dared to sneak a little dark hand right into an open potato chip packet and ran off with a handful of Lays. That little dude is still my hero.
   It was the next day that we went fishing.
   We arrived once again on blissful holiday time at the beautiful lake, set up for much of nothing.

While the fishing silliness was happening (there're like whole stores devoted to catching, killing and cleaning your food for you, has no one ever explained this?) my dad and I sat in the shade much as anticipated, and basked in the glorious lazy day. Plus there were only enough fishing poles for four people anyway, so you know.
   I was doing something productive, at least- hopping around with my phone that took such excellent photos, making sure we had enough pictorial evidence of our trip to suffice in the stead of real memories (hey, some of our party was getting up there in years already, and had managed to forget the firewood for the braai by our first night.) As I was dancing around like a true photographer, finding my angle and setting up perfect shots one after the other, disaster struck.
   As I mentioned before, this was a wildlife preserve type place where the animals could roam as free as their hearts desired, and steal as many deep-fried stoner snacks as they could lay their hands on. There weren't really so many fences and things keeping the part that was us from violently merging with the decidedly them. I, camera phone in hand, pivoted on one heel to find damn near right behind me emergent from the bushes; a wildebeest.
   I Fucking Panic, Ladies and Gentlemen: a play in one act.
   Without giving thought to the brave man known as Bear who repeatedly puts his own safety- nay, comfort even- on the line to bring us such shows as, um... something about Surviving, I run like I'm being paid to endorse Nike. This turns out to be what Animaniacs would have called a "Bad Idea", because the godforsaken creature GIVES CHASE. No, please understand me fully while I try to convey the full horror of the scene. No one else seems to even have noticed that anything is amiss, and I am being motherfucking purposefully chased by a wildebeest.
   This whole thing becomes true comedy when I lose my footing and suddenly find all that momentum propelling me violently forward towards the red dirt floor. Again, with that little part of my brain that like to answer to Logic switched off, my instinct seems to be to speed up in order to regain some measure of balance. Having seen many a drunk try and fail this particular little feat of Cirque du Soleilery, I have no idea what made me think I stood a dog's bumhair of a chance that day. I only managed to rocket myself even more explosively into the ground, and brought up my hands to- I don't know, protest strongly to this sequence of events? Sure as shit wasn't going to keep me from falling any more than I already was- I skid along that dirt like I was going for home base. I scraped so much genetic material off of my arms and legs (it having been a hot summer's day, me awesomely having been wearing a tank top with a super-short skirt) that you could have put together a spare Loraine just from what I left behind. Of course, diving into the ground like I did my skirt blew in a decidedly upwards direction, giving anyone who cared to look at the screaming, flailing woman rolling around in the dust a money-shot of the pink undies I will never forget I choosing to wear that day.
   Yes, by then, they had noticed. And even better, much like I had feared that abdomen pain would do should I have called any action down upon it, the wildebeest had genuinely, truly, I'm-not-making-this-up vanished into thin air as though it had never been. I would later find out that I had actually given myself temporary nerve damage to my upper left thigh, having skid along the ground like that, and I really was bleeding quite impressively from a large cubic area of exposed, stinging skin. It was superb and sublime in the way that few things ever are, and I remember being more shaken and upset by the fact that I hadn't chosen to wear better underwear that day than the fact that I couldn't feel the top of my damn leg.

   Now that I've told you this story, I want you to think deeply on the niceties of my pain, fear and humiliation, and consider this last but crucial piece of information:
   Every single word I wrote above was 100% true, except for the wildebeest.
   It was a wasp.

   And with that, I bid you a fond goodnight at 6 AM as I contemplate having this damn tooth ripped out of my head sometime before lunch today. And from now on in your future dealings with me will you know that I am the kind of person who would inflict nerve damage upon herself before she would allow a wasp to come close enough to chance a mere sting- and moreover, would most likely make the choice again if asked to.
   You may call me the world's first Hyperchondriac.

Friday, October 14, 2011

A Good Two Weeks, All In All: CELEBRITY EDITION!

   With all due respect to those of you who have suffered horrible losses to a referee I have only heard referred to as "Lucifer Lawrence" (whom I gather has, since the game, moved on from simply making questionable calls to demanding blood of the first-born son from every Boks fan in the nation)- I have had a pretty good couple of weeks.
   As has been mentioned, my dad took two weeks off work (he works in a sweat shop where he sews your Adidas alongside small Korean children for 22 cents an hour. At 6'10" he's definitely getting the shit end of the deal if they're paying by scale.) and has hit the word 'celebration' hard in the head with a bottle of metaphorical Jack and Coke. It's been such a chill fortnight, with watching some movies, playing games, and eating bulk-buy amounts of off-brand candy, that I truly wish we had him home all the time. Dude is awesome, y'all.
   He started his two-week leave by visiting the aforementioned Utana and her husand Eric, friends of his since forever as explained a couple of posts ago. That was a rip-roaring success by all accounts, and he came home on a mission to set up our grungy old dartboard in the living room type area so we could play, because apparently the Courts (that would be the U and E) turned him in his short stay there.
   My dad and I went book hunting, (I had previously managed to buy "Part 2" of a book I had been wanting, thinking I had scored it cheaper than buying it new. Upon discovery of my arse-nippling stupidity, we went back to the shop hoping "Part 1" of the blasted thing would still be there. T'wasn't. Poo sticks and fart dynamite.) and in there somewhere I told you in colourful terms of a game played in our backyard with tennis rackets and balls, and a badminton net. Badtennis or Tedminton, whichever you prefer.

   As you can see it is either a small mercy or a cruel circumvention of a truly hilarious real-life moment of bliss that no one donnered into the pool. And yes, as to your question, whilst the precise turquoise hue of the pool serves a delicate balance to the overall colour palette of the photography above, it was achieved not so much in a way you would dare to call deliberate. Should Dulux be pressed to find a name for this particular shade, they may allow for it to be remarked upon as "Non-Deliberate Musk in Pond-y Overtones", although I suddenly question the reliability of my memory as to Dulux's wont towards such narrative paint names. Meh, whatevs.
   Much lark of this nature prevailed the time between then and now- me and topical-father watched some movies and and chilled like, a lot, yo. Then yesterday, as the final week of his absconsion started to draw to a bitter-sweet close for poor old dad, we trekked off for another round of beer-tacular fun over at the Courts'. This time, I could not possibly excuse myself for missing the jollity, so I even packed an over-night bag and everything. ROAD TRIP

   It was a grand old time. There was much laughing and drinking, and wors-rolls happened at some point in the evening which can never be a bad thing. I discovered Utana's son Verdale to be most agreeable indeed, although the poor lad kept apologising for making slightly scurvy jokes in my presence. Even through my vehement insistence, I don't think he quite understands the extent to which I am not a flower petal, delicate snowflake or intricate lacework of any kind. I can out-dirty-mind you in my sleep, boy, and I probably already have, so please, relax, pull up the bodily function of your choice and come celebrate Cuss Like a Sailor Day with me sometime.
    The sleeping out was not so traumatic as one would have imagined- in fact, I made a new friend. I named him Lord Engelbrecht, and he was a not-insubstantially-sized spider that scuttled around the room I camped in. I saw him only twice, but I came to grow fond of his quiet way, his gentle disposition and hi- DON'T YOU FUCKING DARE COME UP ON THE GODFORSAKEN MOTHERFUCKING BED YOU INSTRUMENT OF AN UNHOLY UNDERLORD, OR I SHALL SMITE YOU WHERE YOU STAND
   I'm sorry, where was I? I lose my train of thought so easily these days.
   Yes, so excellent company, food, drink, slept until the fine PM of a summer's day- can't say my life could want for more if I had an application card to fill in. Except if there was a box to check for Stephen Fry, but that's neither here nor there.

   And that brings us to another round of FOR THE LOVE OF PIE: CELEBRITY EDITION!
   Please bear in mind, as you peruse my celebrity sightings, that these are not always meant to be exact matches, you fucking pedants. Take it more in a "one could play the other in a movie" or "could play the other's brother/mother/sister/father/second uncle twice removed on his mother's step sister's side etc." sense. It's my little game, and while some people's celebrity look-alikes are more eerily accurate than others, I can at least find a fitting one for most people. So, without any further ado, the LookALotAlikers:

Utana Court, Starring as Celia Weston
 Verdale Rorke as Hank Azaria
 Leon Birkenstock as Moritz Bleibtreu
 ...and finally...

 The Love Child of Alice Cooper and Willie Nelson as Eric Court

   Now a word on other matters. I don't know how many of you watch the British show Merlin, but I can't recommend it highly enough. It started out largely as a kids show, and has a lot of the naivete and low-level-cheese of Dr. Who, but it for all its faults it genuinely has a spark of brilliance. A part of it is the relationship between the reimagined Prince Arthur and his now servant Merlin, and the two playing the leads come up with moments of such profound tenderness in amongst said cheese that it's breathtaking. 
    The new season just started, and I've just finished the two aired episodes. To whit, I'd like to show you an example from the first, where Arthur goes to say goodbye to his father King Uther, who has been nearly catatonic for a year. It's a dangerous mission he departs on, and it kills him that he has to say his goodbyes to his father in this condition.

   He stands up and turns to walk away, not knowing if his words have taken hold...

   ...And that's when I start weeping like a child. This is an actor (Bradley James) who was essentially tasked to do a kiddies show with magic and dragons, and he's bringing the tears, man, THE TEARS. I just want to cradle him to my ample bosom, softly stroke his flaxen head and softly whisper in his ear whether he prefers red lingerie or black. (I would advise opening those above two pics in separate tabs to get the full effect and to be able to read my genre-font properly.)
   In the next episode, the guy who plays Merlin (Colin Morgan) does his own little Devastating Theatre Of One, when he is seemingly mortally wounded, and refuses to be sent back to Camelot, insisting he must continue on with Arthur, his friend.

    Colin actually makes a habit of socking you in the jaw out of left field with little bombs of Oscar gold like this, but it's been a while since I've been allowed a fix of Merlin. Also, if you were to accuse me of being plunged at a glance into a gale of tears at movies and TV shows (and books and songs) that are just that well done, then you might not be liable to any kind of criminal action. But look at that desperate resilience! I just want to hold him to my warming skin, nurse his wounds and tenderly inquire as to his preference for brief-cuts or thongs. 
    Any-who, my fine chocolate lovelies, I bid you farewell as I contemplate a tabasco-heat bath. Also, I had one of those pizza-bread things from Spar for late lunch and late dinner after that, and now I have to think up some new ways of preventing my moron cat from digging the wrapper out of the trash and swallowing it whole. She's a bread fiend. 

Saturday, October 8, 2011

In Which I Play Fiddler On The Roof, There Is Anarchy, And Much Whiskey Is Consumed

   Oh, my lovelies! Such a long time has it been since I have disgraced the metaphorical porch and/or veranda of you cyberhome to force upon you my exploits in nothing-much-at-all-itness. Now I come back to you, albeit under the haze of some luverly drugs (legal, I assure you, a ha ha), to once again soil your internettic doorstep with a flaming bag of pie-diggery.
   So much has happened since I last shouted at you, I scarce know where to begin. Lessee, perhaps with a pathetic excuse as to why I've been so absent of late? They are apparently called migraines, and if you have kicked a puppy in a previous lifetime they will sit on your head like a very large Jerry Springer guest for four days without so much as the promise of leaving or of offering you some of its popcorn. I'd been getting these infernal things for years and like any good hypochondriac, had been worrying myself into an early grave over the liver damage the headache pills were inevitably inflicting on me. Went to the Doc on day four of this awesomeness, and was handed my official diagnosis along with a prescription for Topamax (once a day, to prevent migraines), and Maxalt RPD (emergency wafer things for a migraine-in-progress). Both of these things, I was promised, would make me somewhat dopey, but I would hopefully adjust to the Topamax over the course of a few weeks, and shouldn't need the Maxalt too often at all if the former does its job. Nou maar gaaf, as one might say, and off I'm packed to the pharmacy.
   I waited in the car while my dad ran in for the meds, but I suspect by now that the guy knows me as "That oddly-shaped chick with prescriptions for one of everything." I mean, I'm on pretty heavy sleeping pills too, plus some other stuff for other things (I'm terribly sickly. *cough*. See?) and here my dad walks in with a script for anti-epileptic fit meds prescribed off-label for migraines. I bet he's wondering what the hell else I'll manage to come up with, and in a strange way I don't want to disappoint the man. I shall have no other recourse but to simply be sick and poorly in new an interesting ways so as to keep him on his toes. Perhaps I can have erectile dysfunction next week.
   I took one of those wafer things (they really just look like a tablet, but dissolve super-quickly and taste of Gaviscon and ass) at an English lesson the next day (wasn't meant to start the Topamax until that evening) because I could feel a big ol' Springer fan getting the popcorn ready. I figured being a little tired or unfocused would be much preferable to not being able to lift my head up off the kitchen table and leaving ear prints on their furniture. Not five minutes later- Shaun was nowhere in sight, and I was The Dead. I couldn't lift my arm above my head if you'd offered me the chance to cut off Malema's balls personally, and would not even have been able to articulate that to you with so much as a simple "no" to such a kind offer. I swear it was like swimming through molasses whilst being equipped with the brain of a rather slow Labrador; absolutely everything was a monumental effort. Luckily most of the lesson was already done by then, so I just had to maintain verticality until such a time as I could be deposited back home where there was a bed and pyjamas.
   I tell you this to create for you a certain context. For weeks now, under the haze of pills that had neither the fun of the high nor the social kudos of illegality, I have done fuckall. Blue, blazing, blonde shiny fuckall of any artistic or productive merit. I've done a couple of lessons, true- but as it turns out the Topamax affects me in a much less radical way than the "emergency supply" wafers do, and I have found I am able to feign wakefulness surprisingly well when called upon to do so. There's been some physical sport- darts and a lovingly made-up game Estelle and my brother-in-law-to-be Barend made up using an old badminton net, two tennis rackets and a tennis ball of questionable origin. Sufficed to say, I have blown the minds of absolutely no one in either of these two endeavours. In fact, since the badminton net was set up in such a way that one person was constantly a fart away from falling into the pool, it's a small wonder I didn't end up swallowing a whole LOT of water that day. Also, although she never said it, I suspect Estelle of believing me to have been high as a mother-flipping kite while we were playing badtennis/tedminton. Such is the collective effect of my new and exciting Migraine Medication. Oh, to be young and doped to the gills with mystery chemicals that taste faintly of hangover. These so truly are the salad days, eh?

   Last weekend was something of an interesting one for my dad. He took two weeks off work, as he has been developing ulcers that have enough personality to place a drinks order in a bar from the stress at work. He celebrated by visiting a couple of his friends he rarely ever gets to see, and promptly disappeared in a whiskey flavoured haze for two days. I was visited on the first day of his flight by Cousin Carla on a mission: she is now befuddled and befucked by something called a Luda, whom I was to meet and somehow mind-fuck closer to accepting his inevitable fate as Carla's next lovebug. I went, and three beers later I believe I had achieved so much nothing in this noble quest, but had managed to pee more times than a 17-year-old St. Bernard with a bladder problem. I am not a beer person. This guy, Luda as it turns out being short not for Ludacris but in fact for Ludwig, looks like he fell straight out of Eastern Promises and speaks like Baltic Barney Stinson. I asked him where he's from, he replies "...Bloemfontein." Once I've managed to regain my composure, I clarify that I'm inquiring as to the origins of the accent, and I'm informed that apparently he spent a year in Germany when he was 15. I think I am now very properly confused.
   The whole reason I had not accompanied my dad to his friends (who are awesome, and thusly a fairly tempting prospect), was because I have a deep and abiding hatred of sleeping anywhere that is not my horrible bed. Carla, however, has a certain way about her, and through sheer persistence not unlike that of a small army of cherry bombs repeatedly char-grilling your ear, I ended up sleeping over at her place. I'll admit she might have promised McDonald's on the way home, I'm not saying that influenced me at all. Either way, I woke up the next morning with her foot lodged firmly in my kidneys and, much like Katherine Heigl waking up to the slow realization that Seth Rogen had happened to her the previous evening, already regretting sleeping out. This is not a condemnation of her company at all, simply my stubborn unwillingness to endure any kind of discomfort or removal from my creature comforts (and cats) for anything amounting to more than a few hours.
   The thing that woke me was Utana (the very friend my dad went to visit) phoning to let me know they were tying my dad to the kitchen table for at least another day, and not to expect him home for a while. Carla later told me the phone ringing was not the thing that woke her, but rather the maniacal tone of voice on the other end that did. Oh Utana, you are my favourite.


   When he finally got home on Sunday morn, I was dragged out of bed and told to put on my people-clothes, as we were off to a farewell party for Nola, another friend of the family since forever. Utana and her husband Eric would be there, as well as a few other excellent people, and as I had managed to miss what was clearly the hoot and piss-up of the year, I thought I'd be remiss if I didn't go. True, there was some country music and more often than not I take that very personally, but over all most excellent. A combination of country musicians, Kurt Darren's mother (quite a lovely woman, I assure you), and blues musos- I'm so sure there must be a joke in there somewhere. 

   Then this weekend happens, and once again I am beset by the biggest urge to do as much nothing as possible. The darts from last night proved once again that I would have been useless had I been called upon aim a weapon at an enemy with any kind of accuracy during a war, and Mr. Barend Visser scared the holy begeezus out of everyone by implying with no subtlety at all that he is actually working secretly as an underground sniper-assassin. But with darts. 

   Upon the insistence of Utana and Eric, my dad has taken up Sons of Anarchy- I'm watching it too, only at a more human pace. He's mainlining them like so many coke-lines off a mirror being passed around at a party in the 70s, and he's getting more or less as high.

   Oh, and also, you'll want to know: whacked on my own personal pharmacy last night, before darts but after dinner, I decided it was a good time to make some scones from a pre-mix pack. Somehow, looking at the big-ass Kenwood mixing monster, I managed to decide to make them in the blender. This was Not A Good Idea. When it became clear that a blender is not a thing meant to mix scone batter, I tried to unscrew it from the big blending machine thing, and managed only to unscrew it from its own base, and the liquid in the bottom of the blender (all of the dry shit having settled at the top) started leaking out over my hands. I ended up scraping everything out of this thing into a bowl, periodically cursing myself for the instinct that made me stick my fingers into my mouth every time I got raw batter all the way up to my elbows. It tastes like bicarbonate of soda before it's been baked, even if I already was.
   Yeah, they turned out more or less OK, I had two.

   So that's the official update, you now know as much about the last few weeks of my life as my mother does. I have one or two stories that do still need telling in the next few days, but mostly they are still in the process of being manufactured or are simply recollections of things that have happened hilariously in the past.
   I can promise you pictures.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

A Lapse In Blogstasticcary; A Half-Arsed Apology

  It would seem another of these has been floating through blogspace recently, so to tide you over until I can give you a proper bit of tomfoolery, here's this. 

A. Age: 21
B. Bed size: Queen, in dilapidated state of ancient ruin.
C. Chore that you hate: A dish- any dish, be it cup or knife or spork or paper plate. Just a big fat no. Hi Dad!
D. Dogs: We have two- one retriever (or lab? I'm not sure, they're Estelle's) and a GORGEOUS boerbull mix called tequila. Just the most stunning dog you'll ever see. And she talks better than your two-year old child, too.
E. Essential start to your day: After a long night dreaming of castle moats, floated mansions and being kidnapped by mermaids: a nice big cathartic pee.
F. Favorite color: Really interesting shades of rich, deep teal and aquamarine, or crisp blue and green turquoise colours.
G. Gold or Silver: White white white silver, or sinfully tarnished antique silver not to be cleaned.
H. Height: 5’8 (and a couple more inches in prayer)
I. Instruments you play: The two-fingered whistle.
J. Job title: Maker of things, Writer of yet other things, Organiser of adventure-game parties, Writer of some more things, Tutor of English, Singer of hallway karaoke when everyone else is out of the house, Owner of many cats and Lover of weird and useless little antique and second-hand artefacts.
K. Kids: Brenda is currently in possession of one of mine, but I'll let her keep him until he's past the diaper stage. And the virulent, spontaneous kotching stage(s).
L. Live: for baked pastries; whipped, sweetened cream; camembert, brie, danish blue cheese, feta, haloumi; sushi, bread in its many beguiling forms; tropica; fillet steak made the Birkenstock way; peppercorns- oh dear god this list could go on forever!
M. Mother’s name: Ingrid
N. Nicknames: Lol, (no really), Lolli pot (don't ask, that's my dad's), Snofferol
O. Overnight hospital stays: Three, I think, but I stand under the threat of correction. First to have my tonsils taken out when I was about 13 or 14- the doctor assured me the only real complication that could happen would be that about a week after they were taken out, they'd start bleeding, but to relax since he'd never had even one patient to whom this had happened. Guess what happened. Literally a week after they were extracted I woke up spitting out cups of blood, and I was rushed back to the hospital, where I stayed in a private room for like two days. The other was more recent, when I had to have my gallbladder taken out. Yeah, remind me to tell you sometime about my ongoing myriad health problems and the hilarity that ensues after each episode.
P. Pet peeves: People using the word "literally" to mean "superlatively figuratively". My finger nails touching the car. Tragically stupid people.
Q. Quote from a movie: All I ever wanted was to sing to God. He gave me that longing, and then He made me mute.” – Amadeus 
"Joe, I can categorically say you are not a bigger banana-head." - Empire Records
R. Right or left handed: Dexterous.
S. Siblings: One and a half- Sister Estelle and Brother-in-law-to-be Barend.
U. Underwear: Under where?
V. Vegetable you hate: I actually like most vegetables, but it's the cooking process that kills them for me. Give almost any veggie to me raw, and I'm happy. But yeah, broccoli.
W. What makes you run late: Not wanting to be where ever it is I need to be. My internal clock is wilful.
X. X-Rays you’ve had: Some just before the gallbladder was taken out, and other scans more recently for other things. (See? Plethora of Plaintiff Pains and Plasters)
Y. Yummy food that you make:  Orange and soy sauce glazed steak. Coconut and green curry rice with green beans, mushrooms, spinach and chicken. Whatever can be whipped together out of what's left in the kitchen for something sweet. Often, this means simply icing out of a cup.
Z. Zoo animal: My family, god love 'em.

(EDIT: Apologies for the formatting weirdness, I seem (in my infinite genius and doped-uped-ness (for migraines (I promise I'll tell you soon))) to have highlighted my whole post in a pale blue, and now find myself unable to set it back to transparent. Curses. Let's just call this a special post that shall forever remain pastel in hue to mark its uniqueness in a sea of mundanity. (Also: mundanity is not a word.))