Friday, January 30, 2009
MyBroadband is one of the biggest websites in South Africa with over 750 000 unique hits per month. Wow.
Oh and for those of you who live in South Africa and didn't know, I also write for SL Magazine. I'm a featured contributer in the February issue so check it out!
Every time we head off to the cinemas to take in a piece of theatrical cinema we go through the same old rigmarol.
1) She's always late.
Is this just a girl thing or am I the only guy that suffers from this? No matter what happens, even if she's been getting ready for an hour I'll find myself tapping my toes and looking at the clock on the wall while she changes her bag, does her make up, ties up her hair.
This will ultimately annoy her. She'll come stomping out of the bathroom, hairbrush in hand and tell me that she'll be ready in a second and that I'm too fucking impatient.
2) We'll rush to get a ticket
And the line will be a mile long. We'll decide to use the self service swipe machine and she'll lecture me on how I should be swiping my card. I will get annoyed, because I've done it eleventy million times before.
3) We'll sneak in illegitamate food and drink
Have you seen the prices of popcorn lately? I'm not paying that. Now I know why piracy is so rife, it's the popcorn prices. Instead we'll slink off to the sweet shop and buy some treats, we both get Lipton Green Tea. It's just what we do.
We hide the sneaky treats in her bag. Turns out I should complain less about the time and consideration she takes in picking one.
4) Handing in tickets
At this point we'll head to the ticket collector woman/man and join the line to hand in our stubs. If ANYONE pushes in front of me I make them pay. One father in fact had his six year old son 'accidentaly' face planted into the ground by my foot for transgressing the sanctity of the line.
Ok I am.
Or am I?
5) We take our seats
Unless these are brand new lazy boys that are ergonomically designed and climate controlled Lee will probably complain about them.
6) We watch the trailers
And I try to make sense of what's happening on the screen while Lee tugs on my arm and tell sme she how she wants to see this move and how she loves this actress. She wants to see EVERY movie. She squealed when she saw the trailer for Mama Mia, I love her but seriously.
7) Paper crackling freakout
If anyone and I mean anyone, should have the audacity to rudely reach into their box of popcorn or re arrange their sweet packet Lee will cringe. She finds this super annoying. I tell her several times (8 at least) throughout the movie to just calm down.
8) Kissy Kissy Freakout
If there is any Sexy Time onscreen Lee will freak out. It embarasses her and she hides in my arm when it happens. If it involves boobs I love it. Polar opposites I tell you.
9) The Movie Ends
And we have to get out of there AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE!!!!!!!
10) Cake Time
We get cake and coffee. Sweet hey?
What's watching a movie with your significant other like?
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
I spruced up my CV and started trawling the market. In three weeks I applied for 60 job offers and I sent 35 e mails to various publication companies asking about possible career opportunities(I counted them while I waited for a response).
How many replies did I get? One.
I had the good fortune one day to get a call asking me if I'd like to come in for an interview for one of the copywriter positions I applied for.
I said yes of course and a week later I walked into said companies offices all smart like, bright eyed and bushy tailed.
I was shit scared.
After my interview I thought I might have clinched the job but I wasn't sure. I didn't want to get my hopes up too high in the fear that if they called me and said they went with someone else I would be shattered. So I just forgot about it and three days later I left for a tour to Cape Town.
In the middle of the journey I was woken, something was buzzing. It was my phone.
Tom: Ugfghdfjndlns Hello?
Company: Hi tom this is Klaus (lets call him that) from The Company. Good news, you got the job.
Tom: That's great thank you!
Company: When can you start?
Tom: Um, can we meet next week to discuss the contract and everything? I'm just in Cape Town
Company: We really need you to start ASAP. I'll e mail you the contract. When do you get back?
Tom: Ok, I get back on Thursday
Company: So you can start on Friday?
Tom: Can we just meet up to talk about this?
Company: I'll call you tomorrow -click-
What I didn't know at the time was that the decision to take the job would result in three weeks of indecision, back and forths about contracts, salaries, you said this no you didn't until I got what I wanted.
Although I still had three months of University left I took it. I spent the rest of my varsity career getting up at 5:30 so I could drive 1h 30mins to work, work, drive 1h 30mins back, go to class, eat, go to gym, study/do assignments and sleep. It was stressful to say the least.
In November I wrote my final three exams and moved a whole bucket load closer. That was the end of that.
Now I'm working for the man full time.
So I'm pretty cool right? I got my first real job at my first real interview. The only problem lies in the fact that my job is agonizingly boring and repetitive, I also don't want to be a copywriter anymore.
Tomorrow I go for my second real interview. The job looks way cooler, pays better and the offices are only 2km's (1 mile) away from my house.
I'm shit scared again. I really really really want this job.
Anyone got any interview advice? I'm not exactly a veteran after all.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
When the time came for me to actually get one I lied to my parents about where I was going, I drove an hour out of the city with my new band, lay my 18 year old ass on a table and got some words pinned across my stomach. It was scary and exciting; I can still hear the whir of the gun in my ears and smell of the ink in my nose as the (incredibly friendly) tattoo artist worked her way across my abdomen.
Man my Dad was pissed when he found out where I was, so pissed in fact that he never mentioned it at all. That's weird for my Dad by the way.
A few months later I went back to get two giant swallows on either side of my pride and glory. It hurt like hell but in the end it was worth it. Two days later I went on tour around the country and tried not to put too much pressure on either side of me when I slept on friends couches and floors, to do so would be too painful.
When I showed my Mom she got so upset that she slapped me. She knew I did it and she got over it pretty fast but I guess it was the initial shock of seeing her baby's flawless skin painted over that upset her so much.
A year later my family went on a trip to an exotic island. I spent the entire time hiding from my Dad in fear that he would see. He knew about it of course, I'm just that much of a wimp.
The next time we went on holiday I refused to hide. It was a little awkward at first but eventually my parents came around and accepted that my tattoos were there and that there was nothing to be done about it.
They're awesome about it now but it took almost four years for my family and I to be ok with the fact that I went behind their back and got tattooed at such a young age.
Looking back, I can't believe how immature I was about everything. If I was that sure about it I should have just taken it like a man and happily exposed myself to everyone.
Do I regret it? No, not at all. Ironically enough my tattoos didn't commemorate a lesson learned like some, but rather a lesson to be learned in the future.
Why am I posting this today you ask? Well, we've just admitted a new (very tattooed) bassist into our band and he's going back to get some more ink in a few weeks time. I figured I'd tag along and mull it over. See, I'm still unsure of whether I should get any more. I'm a lot older and wiser but going through what I did was really hectic for me at the time.
What do you guys think? Do you have tattoos and how do you feel about them?
PS: That interview I told you guys about? I got it :)
Monday, January 26, 2009
Bella from That Damn Expat inspired me this morning with her eloquent ranting skills. She questioned the idea of tipping and why we tip people and I found myself all fired up at the end of it, ready to write rant of my own.
So here it goes:
Car Guards are as useful as a broken leg.
In South Africa when you park your car at a shop, school, university, place of public gathering, power plant, park, fountain, mountain, valley, river, lake, dam, amusement park you'll be assaulted by a man in a yellow jacket posing as a keeper of the peace.
These men will show you to an open parking space you've already seen direct you into said parking with wild hand signals (even though you know you can get in there with your eyes closed) and will stand at your window until you leave the car.
When you gather your things you will be greeted in a number of ways:
"Hi there sir/Madame"
"One time my brother"
If you acknowledge them in any way you enter yourself into a silent contract with the yellow shirted man. A contract by which you agree to let the man 'look after' your car, protecting it from the vandals, thieves, hoodlums and neredowells that supposedly trawl busy parking lots in the middle of the day in exchange for a unspecified sum of money when you return.
If you choose to ignore these men you will often be responded to with a condescending hiss and click of the tongue. did I forget to mention that you will also run the risk of having your car scratched by the set of keys he carries in his pocket for just such an occasion or dented by the trolley he tugs around?
While you're spending time doing whatever you happen to be doing he might be bargaining with common thieves over how much he should be paid to look the other way while they steal your radio or at worst, your car. If this should happen you will notice the yellow shirted man swiftly skulk away when the police arrive.
If you are lucky enough to avoid these misfortunes you'll be greeted by a warm smile on your return, a smile that silently says "give me money" behind clenched teeth. If you get into your car without paying up you will be directed out of your parking space in a manner that wouldn't seem out of place in a driving instruction yard. As soon as you're out and ready to go he'll be at your window once more telling you how safe your car is and how it's still in one piece. If you refuse to pay up you're more likely to receive an angry swish rather than a friendly wave.
Yes, it's true. I hate Car guards.
They're completely ineffective, often playing parts in the crimes they're supposedly sitting there waiting to stop.
Do they carry guns? No.
Do they carry sticks? No.
Do they perhaps carry mace? No.
What do they carry then? A pocket full of change, given to them by hard working people for sitting there all day doing nothing.
Call me mean, call me insensitive, and tell me that it's providing jobs.
Sure it's providing jobs, jobs that are encouraging guys off the street to try and make as much money doing as little as possible.
Besides, why should I pay you to keep a car I paid for in one piece? Are you a mechanic perhaps? Because if you are we can talk.
She's a really talented, really funny lady who has a pretty funny outlook on life.
All you need to do is go here and follow the rules. She's trying to garner votes for Top Web Comics 100 Real Life Comics list which will spread the word even further over the internets!
If you haven't checked out this blog then make sure you do, oh and you can win some pretty mean prizes too!
I tried to upload an example of what the comic is all about but my PC wasn't working out, you're just going to have to trust me.
Friday, January 23, 2009
Today I'm a happy man. Want to know why? Here's why.
Most of you won't know what this is. But If you do please skip the next few paragraphs.
Cricket is a sport. We play it a lot here in South Africa and it involves hurling a really hard, really red ball down a straight pitch at a batsman. Behind the batsman is the 'wicket keeper' who catches the ball if the batsman misses (whic can happen a lot). At any given time there are 11 players (fielders) on the field (which looks like a big oval with the pitch in the middle), two umpires (the bosses) and two batsman (one on either side of the pitch).
When the batsman hits the ball he has the option to make 'runs'. A 'run' is what it sounds like:one length down the pitch by both batsmen. The batsmen can be given 'out' in a few ways:
Being bowled: where the bowler manages to hit one of the three stumps located behind the batsman (kind of like a strike in baseball).
Being found LBW: where the ball hits the batsman on the pad and the umpires decides that if the batsman had not been there it would have hit the stumps.
Or being caught: (this one's obvious).
When the batsman is given out, the umpire sticks one finger up into the air like he's hailing a taxi.
It's all very complicated.
Anyway. We beat Australia today which is a special thing for many reasons but mostly because we in South Africa hate Australians when it comes to sport. Enough said.
Oh, and this:
A New Job?:
Recently I submitted my CV for a host of new jobs, most notably an Events Manager position. I got a call straight away from the recruitment lady for the Events position telling me how cool I was and how rad I am that kind of thing.
It looks like I'll get an interview and I'm really excited because if I get the job I'll be making a lot more money, I'll be out and about all day, I'll actually be responsible for something and I won't be bored out of my skull.
Why events you ask? Well, it's something I've been doing for a while with my own company Horse Productions. I've put together and organised almost live 40 shows now and I really really enjoy it.
Hold thumbs please!
Alan Moore's famous graphic novel Watchmen has been made into a movie by the same fella that made 300 and Sin City. Needless to say I'm practically wetting myself with excitement.
Check out the trailer to find out why!
I get paid this weekend. That means I'll have money to blow at strip clubs:)
Finishing Call of Duty 5:
I finished Call of Duty 5 last night. It's the longest game ever made. How do I know it's the longest game ever made? Well, I started growing my hair when I put the disk in and now I look like Orlando Bloom from Lord of the Rings.
It's a great game but good lord did it just go on and on and on and on. I'll be sure to slam it in the review I write for it this weekend.
My hair is this long now
Flight of the Conchords Season 2:
Bret and Jermaine are the only two good things about New Zealand. If you haven't watched this sitcom yet you should crawl out of your nuclear bunker and get some culture. Then tune in every week to watch season two. You will not be dissapointed, and if you are I'll eat my shirt. Really.
This site is the only thing between me and (complete) insanity right now. It's rad. You click on links and it brings up interesting articles on everything from cow methane gas caputurers to pictures of baby Kangaroos. Thanks Future Backwards!
Trip to Americaland Dec '09:
Yeah that's right, I'm coming back for the fourth time! In December Lee, my parents, brother and myself will be jetting off to the land of the free (burger). We'll be in Washington, Florida and New York between mid December and the beginning of January. If you're there and you like me I wanna see ya!
My blog is growing like one of those sponges you put in the water and and then a day later it's a dinosaur. I just want to say thanks to all of you that have started reading/commenting and following. It makes me so warm and fuzzy inside:)
Oh and for you Lurkers, here's your chance. I know you exist. I have Statcounter. Unhand your um, hands and comment!
Hooray! It's Friday! Happy weekend everyone!
PS: Another clown picture to get you in the party mood. I'm sorry, last weeks' was better.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Oh and don't worry. My girlfriend isn't leaving me for realsies but it's getting harder and harder to pry her away from her book. What is she reading? The Twilight Series of course!
Damn you Stephenie Meyer! Damn you and your gripping story line, mediocre writing and over usage of words like 'perforated' and 'whan' in adjectival form!
What is it about this series that turns grown women into little girls? I've been living with a giddy 13 year old for the past two weeks! If I hear one more pre pubescent shriek from the 21 year old woman I live with I’m going to go on a rampage.
It has its benefits however; life has never been so quiet:) And she is kinda cute…
Today I had no idea what to blog about. I need help!
-What do you do when you have no what to post?
-What should I be blogging about?
-If I had no hands, how then would I be able to continue my blogging career?
Those are some pertinent questions indeed...
Oh and thank you for all the comments on the stripper article. For a minute there I thought it was going to land me in a bit of hot water.
PS: If ya'll want to talk to me and tell me how much you like/don't like/feel apathetic towards my blog then just drop me an email on firstname.lastname@example.org. Yes, that's right; I opened a blog e mail address.
Twilight: Stealing our girlfriends one at a time
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Well, if you're reading this then I've decided on the later and you're in luck because it's pretty raunchy.
I assume most of you read yesterdays post about me being rear ended by a drunk driver on Friday afternoon, chasing him down and pseudo-arresting him. If not then you can read it here.
Later that night my lady, her friend and Ryan went out to dinner together to Piatto to blow off a little steam. Unfortunately Ryan got lost on the way to my flat and I got violated from behind (mind out the gutter please) by a Land Rover so needless to say, we were in the mood for a little bit of a party.
After a few drinks Ryan and I got to talking about what we wanted to do this year and before you know it, out comes"
Ryan: "I'm going to a strip club!"
Tom: Let’s do it NOWWWWWWWW!
I'd been drinking - what would you expect me to say?
We rushed through our meal, peeled away from the ladies (who decided they were going to do their own thing) and raced back to the flat to get changed.
Now, although I'm old enough I have never been to a strip club, I always thought it was immoral and degrading and........ (Do you believe me yet?).
I made damn sure that I was dressed up to the nines so as to avoid any suspicion the bouncer might cast upon me. I had the tucked in shirt, the jeans, the leather shoes and to top it all off - the popped collar. Yes, I said it. I popped the collar.
Fortunately it was only a short drive to Teazers Rivonia and before we could say "This is going to be awesome!" we were already there. After finding a parking next to ‘Adult World’ (how quaint) we walked into the rather unassuming strip club, passing the 8 foot bouncer without any trouble. After paying our R100 entrance we were then escorted into the club.
Nothing was happening.
The lights were low, the music was going but it was half full and fully clothed waitresses were walking around everywhere. This wasn't what I had expected. I had visions of naked girls serving drinks, dancing on poles, making out with each other but sadly...no dice.
We found ourselves a table and soon we were greeted by our waitress Rochelle:
Rochelle: So double what?
Ryan: Excuse me?
Rochelle: What double can I get you?
Tom: We were just going to have a beer
Rochelle: Beer is a pointless drink. What's it going to be?
Tom: Ok, um double whiskey and soda water please
Ryan: I'll have the same, thanks
Rochelle: And a shot?
Ryan: Whoa, just let us warm up first!
Rochelle: Ok (smiling sweetly)
As our drinks arrived the first dancer hit the stage. She was moving and grooving and gyrating and then her top was off and then, um ok, everything was off and she was doing some stuff with the pole, and then she was crawling around…
Ryan: I didn't know they got completely naked!
Tom: Yeah! They do! (Trying to sound cool)
Ryan: This is AWESOME!!!
A few minutes later the remaining dancers were let loose into the room like a pack of rabid wolves, on the look out for the fattest pockets and the most drunken of men. Sadly, two of the ugliest strippers I've ever seen sat at our table and started chatting to us. Obviously we didn't look very appealing.
I wish I could say I was lying but I decided that I needed the bathroom and left Ryan there to fend for himself. Call me an asshole, I am one, but I couldn't sum up the courage to stay. When I got back I found out that Ryan had used hit wit and charm to get rid of them and that we had two shots waiting for us from the table of tattooed Indian guys next to us.
Thanks tattooed Indian guys!
After watching everyone else in the club get table dances, including the couple sitting in the corner (the stripper paid more attention to the guys’ girlfriend than the guy -awesome!) we figured we should man up and we decided to get one ourselves. In the most sheepish, bashful, this is our first time at a strip club voices we asked Katy, a girl who had introduced herself to us earlier, if she'd like to give it a go.
She didn't waste any time, let me tell you. With a short hiss she called a cleaner over to remove our drinks and wipe down the table. In a flurry of 4/5/6 inch heels and lace she got on the table and started dancing.
I cannot tell a lie, I had to look. Ryan and I spent most of the time laughing to each other while she gyrated above us but she was a great sport because she was laughing too.
At the end of the dance she made me kiss her ass (and by ass I mean outer thigh, don't worry ladies) until she was satisfied that I'd done it correctly. Then she picked her underwear off our heads, got dressed and walked away smiling.
And we were smiling too
We had the good fortune to be sandwiched between the two richest tables in the club and so during the next few drinks (and shots courtesy of tattooed Indian guys) we just sat and stared at all the craziness that was happening on either side of us. And by craziness I mean nakedness.
At about 3pm, after laughing, drinking, high fiving and chatting to a bazzilion Russian/Polish/Serbian strippers (why were they all Eastern European?) we packed it in and went home. I had to literally drag Ryan out of that club after he decided that Teazers, Rivonia was where he should spend the rest of his days. It wasn't easy, but I did it.
PS: My girlfriend was totally cool with it
You maybe think I'm a dirty, chauvinistic, cave Manish male but fuck it, I had fun. And so did those strippers when they took our money. Let's just say it was a mutually beneficial evening.
We spent the next day talking about how it is that women can do that to men. If anything, the girls that were working that night had the upper hand, not us. Oh and we also mentioned how AWESOME it was a whole lot too.
Girls: Don't judge me. This was an important step in my final ascension into manhood. Oh and it was AWESOME! Don't worry though, it wasn't that dirty and it was all in good fun.
Guys: You know exactly what I'm talking about.
Monday, January 19, 2009
Now there’s nothing funny about drunk driving –it’s stupid, dangerous and irresponsible – but my run in with a drunk driver on Friday was hilarious. Well, kind of.
Home time rolls around on Friday afternoon and I jump into my car eager to get back because, as some of you may know, my friend Ryan was on his way to my flat and we were all due to go out for a meal. Unfortunately the traffic was terrible, real stop-start kind of stuff, and I found myself getting pretty pissed at the fact that it was taking longer than usual to drive my 13km’s home in the sweltering South African heat.
Eventually I made it to the point at which I cross over the highway. This is a watershed moment in my journey because, when I make it over said highway I know that everything is going to be ok and that I’ll be home soon. I’m feeling relieved, excited and a whole host of other colorful adjectives.
I jolt violently forward in my seat and my bag of groceries goes flying forward into the dashboard like a malfunctioning parachute, spilling cracker bread everywhere. I check my rearview mirror, slightly confused, not quite sure if I’ve actually been hit because the driver of the Land Rover behind me isn’t flinching.
It’s a big fuck off kind of Land Drover, the kind you’d expect to be transporting legions of mercenaries through the depths of
After a few seconds I decide that something isn’t right and I leave my car to inspect the damage. I discover that my rear bumper is badly scratched and cracked down the middle and yet still no response from Mark Staddard behind me (we’ll call him that because that’s his name, bastard). Eventually I walk up to his window to let him know he’s hit me, he takes one look at my face and he speeds away.
At this point my blood really starts pumping. Finally my dreams have come true. Finally I get to test out the mad driving skillz I’d mastered playing Need for Speed all those years ago. I jump back into my car, rev the engine like I’m an extra in Fast and the Furious and begin to chase the asshole down. Eventually, after plenty of red lights and stop streets he pulls into a housing complex and, after convincing the security guard to let me in I track him like a wild animal to a side street where he’s trying to hide from me.
I get out and walk up to his car with the kind of pirate swagger that wouldn’t be out of place in The Godfather, he winds down his window and a conversation ensues:
Tom: Um, you hit me back there
Mark: Uh wha? Whore ewe?
Tom: I’m Tom and you hit my car
Mark: But thes noreven any damach
Tom: Yes there is. It might not be a big deal to you in your big land drover but if I want to resell the car I’m going to have to fix it.
Mark: Ofcorsh, well you haf my detailz
Tom: No I don’t, do you want to give them to me?
Mark: But thes noreven any damach
Tom: You just said that.
Mark: What’s thiz gonna take?
Tom: Well I’m definitely going got have to replace the bumper, that’s about R2000. Do you want to see?
Then Mark Staddard gets out of his big Land Rover and face plants into the tarmac.
I can’t decide if he’s dead or just sleeping.
Slowly he picks himself up and starts staggering off in the general direction of my car.
Mark: But thes noreven any damach
Tom: Yes, see there is (shows him the damage). Besides, I can tell you’ve been drinking.
Mark: Yeah we’ve all been drinking! (Hiccup)
Tom: Clearly. Look this is going to cost me some money. If you want you can give me R2000 and get someone to pick you up and this will all go away (I say this in my best gangster tone).
Mark: But thes noreven any damach
Tom: Yes there is, I’m calling the police.
Suddenly, with the speed of a Kenyan sprinter, Mark runs to his car and races off. Once again I’m in hot pursuit. He’s headed toward entrance to the gated community we’re currently trapped in and after screaming out my window at the security guards I manage to persuade them not to let him out.
Tom: Now I’m really calling the cops
Mark: Wait, wait! what’s thiz gonna take?
Tom: I told you; give me the cash and this can all go away. Do you have someone who can pick you up?
Mark: No, no one
Tom: Ok, then you’ve run out of options, I’m calling the police
Mark: No! I’ll sordyou out
Tom: That’s a nice watch you have there... (ok I made that part up)
Tom: Ok, just write down your details (gives me his business card and falls over)
Eventually I notice that I am running late, so I whip out my phone and take a quick video of his drunken ass, his number plate and make sure I have all his details. I also take a security guard to the side and explain to him that I am calling the police but that I also have to leave.
Very clearly I explain that they should not, under any circumstances let Mark Staddard of Kyalami Estates; Midrand drive away until someone arrives to arrest him. Security guard happily agrees, I call emergency to report the problem and I start driving home.
Who meets me at the lights at the top of the road? Mark Staddard of course.
I give up.
Is it my fault? ProbablyL
Friday, January 16, 2009
For us here in South Africa there's not much of it left but it's only just beginning for those of you in America enjoy it while you still can!
Suckers! We're totally closer to the weekend than you are. But then again on Sunday you're further from Monday so I guess that balances things out.
When I'm at work my desk tends to get pretty messy and it's the one thing I hate sorting out. It's kind of my home away from home so I try not to not to ever let it get TOO clean.
Things on my desk at the moment:
24" Flat Screen Monitor: Yeah, my work is baddass like that
Lunch Box: Pink
Styrofoam rock: When I got this I liked to throw it at the people I work with
Coca Cola Football
Raphael Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Action Figure
Hulk Action Figure (Hanging off screen)
Lycra remains from the gym ball we destroyed yesterday
What do you have on your desk?
This weekend's going to be mighty entertaining one, that's for sure. I've got my best mate Ryan coming through for a few days. I've known him since I was 10 and we went to school together, played in bands together, went to varsity together and shared a room at said varsity.
I haven't seen him for almost two months and although it might seem homoerotic I'm looking forward to hanging out with him.
When the weekend spits me out on Monday with only vague recollections of X Box's, Wii's, Beer and Braais I'll tell you all about it.
Wish me luck, that's all I'm saying.
PS: I'm a total conspiracy and undercover story whore so if you share that fascination with me you have to check out Damn Interesting. It's a group of fantastic writers who've compiled reports on everything from whether one remains conscious when one is decapitated (a question we've all pondered I'm sure) to an American Fascist coup that lost steam.
Have a great weekend! Here's a picture of a clown to get you in that party mood:
Mmmmm...works so good!
Thursday, January 15, 2009
But writing about your life is really hard and can kind of take it out of a guy. Making something relatively normal seem interesting is like trying to take a tomato and turn it into a bloody Mary, you can do it but it's not that easy.
It's for this reason that I've decided to make the 'My Life' saga a Wednesday thing. That way you guys don't end up bored and I don't end up mentally exhausted. Ok? Deal? Great!
Right, on to business.
Today I'm going to tag a few of my favourite Bloggers and try to entice them into answering a few questions.
These are Blogs you should really really be reading. Sure I don't have a lot of readers right now (ok I have 4), but if even one person happens across my blog and follows a link on to one of these amazing Blogs then that's awesome!
That Damn Expat - I've been reading Expat's blog for a few months now and it's grown so quickly. She's really smart and stuff and she likes to write about Sunday Schools and her cleaner Magda (among other things of course). Oh and did I forget to mention that she just got married, on New Years Eve? Read it!
Wild ARS Chase - This is one of the most refreshing guy blogs I've read. He's a really funny fellow and writes about his girlfriend Capricorn, Christmas Door Competitions and Bromances. Not necessarily in that order of course. In a world of (generally) female bloggers this is my dosage of 'dude' for the day, and it's great.
Confessions of a Jersey Girl - Rachel is a great writer and she's been through some pretty hectic stuff. It's really cool to read up on how she gets through it all and moves forward with her life. Yeah, it sounds totally gay coming from me but I think she's awesome. Oh yeah, and she just got her own page/URL!
I'm a Mom in Real Life - Ok this is just funny. I haven't read a more honest, down to earth; take me as you see me blog before. Rachel and her husband Dan and her Daughter Diana get up to some pretty funny stuff. Check this out on a Wednesday especially if you like Vlogs!
Clever Girl Goes Blog- Tia is one of the best writers around. Sure she's huge (think 1600 followers huge) but her posts are personal and really witty. She's a complete princess and that makes me laugh. This was the first blog I started reading when I signed up to Blogger.
Ok. So if any of you tagged peoples read this I challenge you to do a post answering a few (not so easy) questions!
*serious face for serious questions
Rule 1: There are no rules! Kapow!
Rule 2: Ok the only rule is don't forget to tag at least three Blogs that you read regularly when you're done!
1) Where does the toe tag go on a dead person if they don't have toes?
2) Do dentists go to other dentists or do they just do it themselves?
3) Isn’t Disney World just a people trap operated by a mouse?
4) If when people freak out they are said to be "having a cow", when cows freak out are they said to be "having a person?"
And the real cruncher:
5) How fast do hotcakes actually sell?
That's it, only 5 questions. Easy!
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
So it's in honour of that lack of inspiration that I've decided to write a few posts about how I came to be the squirrel that I am today! Hope you enjoy it, here it goes....
I was born in Johannesburg, South Africa in 1987 on July 29 at 15:40 after putting my mother through 36 hours of labour (sorry mom). I think I weighed 3.2kg and I had all my fingers and toes. A few days after I was born my mom was re admitted into hospital with complications. Unfortunately for my very inexperienced, previously childless Dad, the nurses wouldn’t re admit me into the maternity ward and I was handed to him along with a bottle, a few diapers. After spending a few days with him in a hospital linen closet my Mom got all better and we headed home to our little house in Benoni.
PS: I found out about 18 years later that my current girlfriend, who I live with, was admitted into the same antenatal ward the very day I left it. How about that?
I was the second grandchild in my family and the first boy so naturally I was completely fawned over and spoilt. At that time all four of my grandparents were alive and I visited them all the time, you would swear I was a little Italian king given the way my grandmothers obsessed over me.
About 18 months after I was born my little brother, Daniel appeared and three became four. Daniel was dopey and stuck in his own world from day one, he still is today.
A few weeks later my Mom noticed that I had developed a red spot on the back of my left knee. She took me to the doctor who diagnosed it as an insect bite, gave me some cream and sent me home. Ten days later the little red dot had turned into a mean and vicious black spot, I was screaming and crying all day and I wouldn't sleep. After a whole crap load of confusion the same doctor called in the advice of an etymologist (insect guy) who told my mother that I had been bitten by a Violin Spider, one of the most venomous little critters in the world.
I could have been bitten anywhere but it seemed likely that it would have been while I was asleep in my cot. The cytotoxic venom started moving through my system and eventually settled around the bite (behind my knee) and down my leg near my ankle. The poison started to literally eat away and kill the flesh in the affected areas, leaving it dark and discoloured, kind of like this (NOT FOR THE SQEAMISH!).
A few days later I was admitted into hospital for what would eventually become almost two months. In that time the doctors had no choice but to carry on cutting away the dead flesh in the hopes that the poison would dissipate and leave my leg intact. It all got pretty serious and my Dad told me a year ago that the surgeons explained to him the night before I started fighting back that soon they would have to amputate both my legs or I would die (my Mom still doesn't know this so don't tell her ok?).
Eventually I started responding to the venom and it neutralised. I needed a number of skin grafts to repair my leg and doctors had to cut wafer thin slivers of skin from my backside to cover the affected areas in the hopes that the grafts would take.
Unfortunately skin grafts weren't too widely practiced in 1989 and a douchebag general surgeon cut an inch thick chunk out of my right thigh and slapped it onto the affected area with all the grace of a pig on a unicycle. It obviously failed to take and I almost bled to death after he severed one of my main arteries. Later, my parents tried to sue him but were unsuccessful because everyone knows you can't sue doctors, even if they butcher a two year old.
After more than 6 graft operations and lots of recovery I learned to walk again and I started healing. I still have massive scars on my legs from that adventure and chances that I will have to have further surgery at some stage to release the pressure behind my knee from the scar tissue (which doesn't grow).
It was all pretty hectic, and my parents spent many sleepless nights at the hospital with me. Thanks to them and the (not so) wonderful wonders of modern science I eventually got better and ventured off to experience exciting things like school, girls, cars and rock music……
But more about that tomorrow!
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Now my lady has always been a stickler for anything cute and furry. She grew up with a host of dogs, cats, birds, chickens, tortoises, rats, well you get the picture.
In the beginning of 2008, to put a stop to her near constant whining I bought her a little hampster, nice, neat and easy to keep. Naturally she was absolutely over the moon and I was replaced for a few weeks with this little grey rodent. Eventaully everything settles down and we got on with our lives.
When we moved in she happened to notice that we lived in a pet friendly complex full of cats and dogs. Whenever she saw one she'd give a shriek and grip my arm so tightly that I'd start to get pins and needles. Our conversations usually went something like this:
Tom: We can't get a cat woman, we live three stories up and the cat wouldn't be able to get back up again if it went outside for an adventure.
Lee: KITTY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I want one!
Tom: Seriously, we can't get a cat. It's going to live for 18 years and we don't know where we're going to be then. You can't take pets overseas.
Lee: Please? Meow...
Tom: And what about Eliot? (our hampster)
Lee: He lives in a cage. Meow, please? Meow?
About a month ago Lee started dragging me to a few pet stores "just to look". Big mistake.
I sort of hinted that I thought the guinea pigs were kind of cute. Heck, I really do love animals and those furry little balls of fur were running around with each other and it was kind of cool.
For those of you who don't know what I'm talking about, Guinea Pigs (called Cavies) in the US, are basically super big, clever sociable hampsters.
Naturally Lee jumped on this with girlfriend claws outstretched and managed to convince me that getting two of these little critters would be a good idea.
Lee: "And you can train them, and cuddle them, and feed them lettuce and play with them...."
For some unknown reason I went along with this and it became a giant snowball that just grew bigger and bigger as it rolled on. I thought that it would be kind of cool to get some friend for Eliot and that it couldn't hurt because the things would only live for 3 years anyways.
After a few e mails we found a breeder and Lee went and picked two out. She scheduled to pick them up the following day after we'd sorted out the cage and whatnot. Then we quickly ran out to spent way too much money before the pet store closed on a small rabbit hutch and a few accesories.
We got home and i set myself to contructing everything, filling the cage with assorted grasses, installing the toys and filling the water bowl.
That's when I decided it was enough.
Our apartment smelled of hay, the hutch was enormous and grass was getting everywhere.
I sat on the stairs and started eyeing Lee out, trying to telepathicaly let her know that i no longer thought this wasn't a good idea. She kept looking at me and smiling that 'I can't wait until I get my new furry babies' smile and generally missing the hint.
Eventually I caved in:
Tom: "Everything kind of smells like grass"
Lee: "It's fine! It will go away, don't worry"
Tom: "That cage is kind of big, and the grass smell is really bad"
Lee: "Do you want to get the Guinea pigs still?"
Tom: "Do you?"
Lee: "Not really"
Tom: "Thank God"
Call us bad people but we pulled apart that cage quicker than I could say "I'm sorry Guinea Pig breeder, this aint for us". We took the cage back the next day with the excuse that it didn't fit our apartment, which it didn't..kind of, and after recieving some very dirty looks from the pet store guy as he handed us our R1000 back in cash.
All in all we felt kind of bad but hey, we went and had a waffles right afterwards with our pet cage money and that made everything go away. Yeah, we're nasty people and yes, those Guinea Pigs had to stay with their Guinea Pig family but at least I'm not sweeping hay and cutting an assortment of fresh vegetables that aren't intended for my ingestion every evening.
No pets for a while if you ask me.
Monday, January 12, 2009
So my weekend went pretty much according to plan.
We had an awesome practice session on Friday night, and the show on Saturday was an AMAZING success. I'm not sure if it was because it was the first gig of the year or because it was Andre's last show with us, but we had about 300 paying guests.
I've done a lot of shows at that venue, and we DOUBLED our previous attendance record. It was so much fun, we played really well and I went to bed with a huge smile on my face.
The braai was also great. We had to move it to a friend’s house because so many people came. I drank beer and cooked all afternoon and in the end (after waiting about three days for the fire to cool to a reasonable temperature) the food was delicious. So high fives to me - 'Braai Master Tom'.
I've also come to the conclusion that I'm way to sensitive. I have a nasty habit of taking things too seriously sometimes and I tend to get really worked up about what people say to me. It's starting to affect my relationships with my girlfriend and my friends and that's not cool.
So often Lee will say something to me in an oh so slightly snarky tone and I'll freak out. I know I sound like a girl (no offence ladies) but I've had this problem all my life and it's a tough habit to kick. When you grow up constantly on the look out for approval it can be hard to rewire the bizniz up in yo head.
About a year ago I got into Karma and trying to gear my thoughts towards excepting people for who they are and not letting their moods or actions get me into a funk. Unfortunately I fell off that wagon a bit this year but I can slowly feel myself getting my head getting back on again, which is awesome. I felt great when I was at my mental peak. Very little would phase me and that would free up my mind to do the important stuff, like thinking about what I was reading or listening to or seeing etc.
Last time this happened I went on this weird exercise where I drank nothing but water and didn't eat any bread and only a small amount of meat. I know it sounds completely crazy but it really helped, and while I definitely don't see myself going that far for a second time I might try something similar sometime soon.
Ok, so I hope you guys don't think I'm a hippy now. I don't own a caftan and I'm not much into bartering really (unless someone wants to take my broken computer off my hands in exchange for their not so broken one?).
I think we all have our weird quirks and ways of getting ourselves into the right space. Mine is starving myself of beer and reading philosophy. Sure it sounds strange, but it works.
What do you guys do? Do you have any advice?
PS: I apologise for the title of this blog. In no way do I endorse the common usage of the words ma', whak or (and especially) bitchez. Sometimes I just need to purge my inner Ghetto. Word to yo' mother.
Friday, January 9, 2009
It's not much yet, but soon you'll have photo's and logos and headers and all that jazz. I'm pretty bad at this but, along with my decision to hike up my writing socks, I've also decided that it's finally time to learn to use Photoshop. This is going to be one heck of a jump considering I've never used a design program apart from Paint in my life and I'm generally terrible at that kind of stuff.
Nevertheless, I'm not an old dog yet, so here's to me jumping on the design technology bandwagon.
I see this year being good to 'I am Tom' - Fingers crossed!
Sad news for my woman, her girls night has been cancelled in favour of a 'go out with her sisters boyfriends parents for dinner' night. That might be awkward, too awkward for me. I'm glad I have an excuse.
Me, I've got my guitar next to me and I'm watching the clock. 53 minutes to go and I'm off to band, hooray!
Have a great weekend!
This is kinda what it looks like.
This weekend I'll be going to band practice after work, after that I'll probably have a few drinks with the guys before I head home.
Lee is off to have a girls night with her sister and some friends tonight so that means she won't be home before twelve, leaving me all the time in the world to play X Box and listen to loud, angry music before she gets back. When she gets home she'll definitely have some pearls of wisdom to share with me about how to flaunt your cleavage and not spend a cent on drinks all night. Awesome, I'm so proud of her.
After that I’ll probably do the fancy dance, brush my teeth and go to bed.
Tomorrow we're getting up early to head back to our parents house for the day. This will give me an opportunity to steal whatever I need for the Braai (barbeque) we're having on Sunday from my parents. When I say steal, I mean borrow, and when I say borrow I kind of mean claim as my own.
The list is:
The fact that my Moms will watch me pack all this stuff into my car and drive off into the distance makes it that much cooler.
I'll get home, shower and then somehow slip into some skinny jeans for the show tomorrow night. I used to be a big fan of having my nether regions cooped up for hours on end in a limited amount of denim but lately I've been getting over it. Nevertheless, and in the spirit of keeping up appearances I'll spill myself into my tightest pair, pack my gear and leave for the venue where I will:
- Arrive and chase the sound guy around, getting him into shape and back on time
- Shout at the opening band who haven't arrived for sound check yet
- Franticly try to bribe the barman to give me the change I should have gone to the bank to get
- Stamp a whole lot of people after taking their money
- Get onstage and rock some faces, sweat, sing, gyrate, jump, run, sing, sweat, sing, gyrate etc
- Re apply my make up (figure of speech)
- Stamp some more people
- Pay some people
- Pack up
- Go Home
See how I made my list go from biggest to smallest by limiting the number of words I used in each line? I'm an artist, I know.
On Sunday I'll wake up, take my woman out for a big breakfast at our breakfast place where they make the most fantastic eggs, mushrooms, steak etc ever.
Go home and clean clean clean.
Get ready for everyone to arrive, set up the chairs, light the fire.
I'll watch everyone arrive with a smile on my face while thinking
"If these guys piss on my toilet seat I'm going to throw them off the balcony"
I'll drink some beer, cook some food, eat some food, laugh a bit and then everyone will go home.
At this point we'll clean our little flat (again) and settle down to watch the Sunday night movie, which happens to be the Golden Compass this week. Hooray.
Lee will go to bed, I'll play some X Box or read little and then I'll turn into a werewolf (not really).
It sounds so exciting; I can't wait for my weekend to start. What are you guys going to be doing?
It was more awesome than a drunk monkey.
Then my computer deleted it.
I'm so bummed right now.
Please don't give up on me. I'll be posting every weekday from now on, and they will be cool posts full of witty anecdotes and hilarious stories about my life, I'm just a little sad right now. Especially because I complied an informative list of 9 things that make me happy.
1) Peanut Butter and Chocolate
4) Wes Anderson
5) Self depreciating, sarcastic British humour
6) Satirical animated series
7) Planning things
8) Being organised
9) I can't remember....
When I do remember I'll rewrite and publish it. For now please accepet my humblest apologies, the little attention I recieved last year ( thanks Expat!) was underserved. I promise to work harder at earning collective, Bloggy love.
I'm off to wallow in a pool of self pity. When I pull myself out of it and dry myself off I will creat a post of sheer wit and excelence.
I hope you all had a frikken awesome christmas new year. Mine was very hot and fun. I got an X Box!