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Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Something’s Gotta Give




It’s disgusting… truly… but I am one of those terrible human beings who have never voted. *Dodges flying rotten fruit and a chorus of Boo’s*.

I can’t argue with the peanut gallery, because they are right. It’s just inexcusable; some might say its plum crazy.

So at 28 years of age, I made the long overdue (10 years expired) visit to my local registration office and unmuted my voice, my opinion and my right as a citizen of South Africa. Next year, I too shall adorn the iconic black stained thumb that says: “I count”.

I want to have some politically heated and compelling answer that satisfies the question “Why haven’t you voted before?” but I don’t. My only guess is that naivety and ignorance somehow seeped in through my pores and paralyzed my convictions. I suppose I had that uber-kak attitude of Ag, nothing’s going to change anyways. Why waste a good public holiday that could be spent having a braai or a lie in.

And this is coming from a gal, who despite making use of peroxide every six weeks or so, is sort of a smarty pants. Mamma didn’t raise no fool.

For a long time, I have been one of many South African’s unsatisfied with the current dude in power, and the ripple effect of the ruling party’s actions and words that have filtered down a tiered pyramid of corruption and short sightedness. It’s always sort of been one of those things that I’ve put out of my mind, because it saps my mental energy and if I’m really honest, well – it hasn’t really affected me has it?

Sure, I have to put up with metro police who would rather I drive home drunk in the hopes I’ll have to offer them a bribe, than do the responsible thing and get a driver to make sure I don’t kill someone or myself on the way home from a night out. Hard to believe that these “public protectors” greet said driver with anger and resentment, claiming he or she is “stealing from them”. Lift your jaw from off the floor; this has happened to me at least 5 times.

And yes, it makes me mad that our education system is disintegrating, that teachers drive BMW’s to a school where children are desperate for an education, but have no resources to learn.

It totally sucks that our criminals literally get away with murder and that a massive contingent of woman have become accustomed to the fact that they will probably experience rape at least once in their lifetimes.

It’s awful, maddening and scary.

So much so, that I think… like many people, a state of numb hopelessness sometimes fog’s my ability to do or say much about it.

The problem with being a dormant dweller in this life is that, like a volcano that’s been brewing and bubbling underneath dark ashy crust, eventually… some kind of shift will inevitably crack the charcoal and allow a trickle of molten lava to escape its fiery pit.

You see, the problem is not acknowledging that which disturbs and dislodges us… the real tricky bit comes when something surprises us with absolute hope and blinds us with the un-doubt that there is in fact, potential and possibility to be more. To be better. To be great, even.

For me, this realization has come in waves, as I learn more and more about a thriving little industry waiting to explode and illuminate the Dark Continent. Wanna hear some pretty awesome stats?

R8,802,194 – that’s how much the new Schuster movie has made in SA, after being released for only a few weeks.

R8,363,238 – Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, and by the way… Screenings stopped for 48 hours after the announcement of Nelson Mandela’s death.

R8,135,484 – SA animation, Khumba has earned this whopping number.

Know what that means? It means something that we’ve intrinsically known for a long time, that Africa has compelling stories to tell the world… and for the first time in a long time, the world is listening intently. These may be South African box office numbers, but in recent years the reception of South African filmmakers, artists, performers and writers has been nothing but celebrated in all four corners of the globe.

The calibre of talent, met with advancing skill and poetic delivery in all aspects of our arts and culture industries has knocked me off my Manolo’s. Well… if I had Manolo’s to be knocked off.

We’re sort of shit hot… and it’s just the beginning.

Maybe pride speaks to us all in its own way… maybe it’s taken me so long to say: Screw it, I want a change! because I’ve kept myself guarded and complacent, sure that we are destined to remain a sort of functioning, kinda ok, moderately miserable nation. I’m starting to believe, that we’re not. That we are absolutely capable of turning things around… we are, after all, resilient motherfuckers.

I’ve decided that I don’t care how or what moves you… whether it’s the teeth-grinding irritation pulsing through your body every time you pass under one of those dumb e-toll gantries, or a flabbergast speechlessness that crucifies your mind when you think about the R290 million revamp on Zuma’s pozzie. The point is… something’s gotta give.

If art reflects the voice of a society, then by all accounts we are taking the scars of our past and turning them into stories that revitalize our outlooks, courageously purge our pains and heal our silenced hearts. It reminds me of the way a musician can turn the tragedy of a break up into a Grammy award winning hit.

It’s shown me that every new day is a chance to turn it all around – if you’re willing to have your hardened surface break open, and let the light out.

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

I got love for you 2013




Dear 2013

I would like to take this opportunity to cordially thank you for a challenging year of self-discovery, overall I did not hate you… so well up bud, you klapped 2012 six love.

It’s not often that my November spirits are so high - usually I am a sleepless wreck playing the role of jester whilst the rest of the world is winding down for holiday season. As I sit at my desk, an artificial breeze, dispatched from the humming air conditioner above me, reminds me that salty sweet coastal air is but a few weeks away. Penetrating neon lights that could make Natalie Portman look like a meth addict, dance along my skin like the Sun’s opening act. Even the Columbian coffee that falsely promises me an electric bolt of concentration is beginning to stain my tongue a luminous cane-and-cream-soda green.

I yearn for the sweet salvation of a December holiday and the start of a new year, but 2013… I got so much love for you!

I got love for the one way ticket you gave me out of My Comfort Zone. I’m not going back there.

I got love for new friends who bring me unexpected adventures and companionship. Who make me learn and unlearn things about myself. And I got love for the veteran souls who always walk next to me, allowing me to be a mess, a wonderful complicated mulch of realness.

I got love for unexpected teachers who humble me and twist my shoulders to face a new direction when all they want to do is slump and slant towards the tried and tested. I got love for knowledge, wisdom and truth. Give me it all!

I got love for the sparkly human being who does my dishes, picks up my laundry and always shows up with a smile.

I got love for independence and learning to trust my gut. I got love for the little instinct twanger in my solar plexis, who plucks a warning chord every time something feels super right or super wrong. After so many years of being unappreciated, I’m giving that little fucker a standing ovation. You were right all along, happy?

I got love for foundations and the world’s best damn brick layers for giving me something so solid, I don’t doubt it will reach into the sky and rival the Empire State Building.

I got love for LOVE and FAITH and TRUST.

I got love for all those glass half fullers… you bitches are converting me.

I got love for missing the mark and letting my trajectory beam like a rouge star burning across undiscovered universes.

I got love for voices of reason, able to penetrate through tough and protective armour that keeps the sun out.

I got love for every stamp in my passport.

I got love for skin thickening agents and criticism immunizers.

I got love for believing the best… really really believing.

I got love for Fake Greys, our unofficial pet who glistens with delight every time I park my car and shell out a few pats.

I got love for my accountant who humours the lack of tax knowledge that a blonde actress possesses.

I got love for a ‘no’ button that allows itself to be temporarily out of order from time to time.

I got love for the easiest roomy in the world, whose quick with a laugh, dmc or glass of wine at the drop of a hat!

I got love for words: splutter, incandescent, plethora, audacious

I got love for being star struck

I got love for doing stuff that feeds your soul, even if it doesn’t feed your wallet.

I got love for innovation and creation and IMAGINATION!

I got love for my eternal optimist, my dreamer with his head in the clouds and his gravity centred. I got love for my best friend who shape shifts into my personal stand-up comedian, Bob Dylan, soul mate and sous chef. I got love bursting outta me like a stupid care bear. 


I got love for hitting over 10 000 page views! I got mad love for my readers and followers.
 

Yours Faithfully (for another 35 days… then I’m ditching your ass for 2014)

C

Have you got love for 2013? Leave a comment starting with “I got love for…” 

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

One of the Boys



Since the beginning of time every girl has longed to be the recipient of a couple of phrases. Let’s state the obvious: I love you. Let’s move in together. Will you marry me?

But long before that there is: What’s your number? And I’m not talking about switching digits in the traditional sense.

A few weeks ago I was reading the Saturday newspaper (I know, so very grown up) and after I’d caught up on Malema’s latest blunder, done the word search and clenched my knuckles at the on-going e-toll saga I found an article that I liked so much, I read it twice.

The article was titled: “How lots of Kissing helps a girl find Mr Right” and I know you are thinking, Pfft! Typical girl, zoning in on the most Cosmo-style feature amongst hard hitting news stories. I don’t care, I’ll take it.

The article stated that in a recent study at Oxford University (nogal), researchers discovered that kissing allows woman to suss out their potential partners in more ways than you think. I mean obvs if the guy is treating your face like a canvass for his tongue paintbrush, you’re outta there… but I’m talking about chemical compatibility and how collecting more samples, if you will, makes for a more discerning search for Prince Charming.

So really, the more a woman kisses different suitors, the more able she is to find a good match for a lifetime partner. Not only this, but her future relationship choices are far more conditional and focused. Yeah that’s right, all this time you’ve been thinking: Eh What a slapper that one is, when in reality the girl who “kisses around” may make better and more mature decisions when it comes to love and committed relationships.

According to the article, kissing serves three main purposes:

· It helps asses the genetic quality of a potential partner through subconscious readings of taste and smell

· It is used to create arousal (dah, we know that one)

· And it cements bonds in a relationship, keeping a couple together for longer.

The theory goes that because women are created to have children and dedicate a large amount of time raising them, they are more selective when it comes to a potential husband. Research has also shown that women who value the art of kissing are much pickier when it comes to deciphering who The One might be.

This begs the question around an age old inequality: Why is it socially acceptable for men to “sample” many woman, when in actuality it seems that woman have even more of a right to be playing the field, yet get heavily criticized for this behaviour? In the words of Ms Aguilera:

The guy gets all the glory the more he can score, while the girl can do the same and yet you call her a whore.

Now that’ll give you something to think about won’t it. Besides, how will you boys ever learn to kiss a girl without experienced smoochers doing a public service in their Varsity years? I’m not talking about myself of course, I was practically a nun. Eh-hem.

So yes, inevitably you are going to ask those dumb numbers questions: how many people have you slept with, how many have you kissed, how many serious relationships, how many one night stands, WHATS YOUR NUMBER? And if a girl is smart, she’ll tell you exactly the truth. Divided by two or three, to take into consideration all those times it totally didn’t count. It’s an unspoken rule amongst woman that there are just so many mitigating factors when it comes to those calculations, for example kissing a girl, doesn’t count. If it only went in once, totally doesn’t count. If it was a charity snog, doesn’t count. And the list goes on…

And yes, inevitably we are going to ask you all those dumb numbers questions: how many times have you had your heart broken, how many relationships have you had, how many times have you been in love, WHATS YOUR NUMBER? And if a guy is smart, he’ll tell you exactly the truth. Multiplied just a few times, to take into consideration many, many extenuating circumstances. For example that time you accidentally touched her boob… that was totes 2nd base. Or when you went in for a frenchy and she pulled back thinking it was just a friendly hello, you tapped that right?

So I guess what I’m saying is that your partners’ history is always going to be somewhat of a mystery, and maybe that’s how it should stay? Physical connection is really just a kind of speed dating, trying to asses a potential mates’… potential. With all that being said, if she’s on your arm, surely she’s sussed out enough subliminal information about you to think you’re alright? Better than alright. You are the lucky chosen genetic match, a cut above all the other idiots she’s kissed before. That’s got to count for somethin
g.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Soothing that ol’ Summertime Sadness





Yeah yeah yeah, summer is here. Woo Hoo. Do you sense the sarcasm?

While everyone else is getting amped about the arrival of October, I am mourning the loss of crispy winter days in July. I know what all the fuss is about: it’s about braai’s and beach bodies and outdoor activities and longer days filled with sunshine. Bah! Ham buck!

Everyone forgets that with those things come hot irritability, holiday season price hikes, 38 Saturday afternoon events and the inevitable onset of thigh gravy (ever sat on a plastic chair in a skirt? that mushy wet mix of epithelials, including the residual from the chairs last guest, is what I call thigh gravy).

So it only seems fitting to celebrate my woes with something I think we can all agree is a summer success – cocktails!

Here is my soothing (and slim) remedy to scorching afternoons in the sun:

Summertime Sadness

Ingredients
:

2 shots of Vodka/Gin (I’m a gin gal! But Vodka will work just as well)

100 ml soda water

100 ml pear juice

Handful of fresh Basil

Handful of fresh Mint

Squeeze of fresh lemon juice

1 cup sugar

1 cup water

Ice cube tray

8 – 10 Blueberries

Prep Time: 15 Mins

Freezing Time: 2 – 3 hours


This is so easy, it’s going to seem like one of those recipe’s that’s too easy. But sippology shouldn’t be a chore… in my opinion.

In a medium saucepan, add sugar, water, basil and mint. Bring to a boil over medium heat and then take off the heat, keep the lid on (to preserve the minty flavour) and allow to cool until leaves start turning a browny colour. Add a squeeze of lemon and strain the liquid (syrup) so there are no longer herbs in it.

Pour the syrup in an ice tray/ Tupperware and allow to set in the freezer. The syrup won’t set completely, but it will make an icy granita like texture that you can scoop out with a spoon. Most importantly it will be icy cold and super minty sweet – adding a punch to your cocktail.

In a medium to large sized glass pour the shots, pear juice and soda water. Now add your sweet mint basil cubes and top with blueberries.

For a shnazy touch, I filled half the ice tray with the syrup and in the other half I filled the cubes with water and then added some blueberries, mint leaves and lemon zest. This creates cute little designer ice cubes that dissolve and add extra garnish and flavour as you drink.

I think this would make a fab jug as well – perfect for entertaining girlfriends by the pool. Just adjust the quantities according to taste.

Now – a stack of mags, flip flops and some jazzy tunes and you are set to revel in mid-summer melancholy! Enjoy!

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

The Perfect Storm




Someone must have shanked that community of 3 am tweeters. I must remember to send them a fruit basket…

I thought to myself, as the first few chords of Bob Marley’s Get up Stand up woke me for my 6.30 am interval of snoozing. Between this and the next alarm at 7.00 I contemplated how clever my play on words was – no one will think I’m actually just talking about the noisy birds that have taken up residence in the tree directly outside my window, they’ll think *snigger* that I’m talking about Twitter. I must find a way to use that. I also need to find a way to use the line “I have an itchy cricket” because it’s hilarious and wildly inappropropri…

Get up Stand up! Stand up for your right... Dismiss.

It’s been a while since Bob has serenaded me awake because, as I previously mentioned… those mother-cluckers outside my window are worse than a bunch of drunk coloureds, insisting that I wake up at 3 am every morning with their incessant summery nattering. But on this particular day, the sun was nowhere in sight… instead, a powdery grey blanket of overcast had wrapped itself around my city. Joburg… you lookin swanky gurrrrl!

I couldn’t stop thinking about our fight on the way to work. The empty bottle of vodka was still rolling around on the passenger side floor and with every ting it gave against the metal lever at the bottom of the seat came a responsive twang of guilt from the pit of my stomach.

Did I actually say that? That’s terrible. Where did it even come from?


It came, from the dark festering mound under the carpet, where all unresolved issues sit and amalgamate into one deadly relationship amoeba. This one was particularly nasty, mostly because it was soaked in the audacity of a Russian Bear.

I wound down my window for some fresh air. There was an undeniable feeling of anticipation that had started to infiltrate through the tapering morning stillness. It’s how I knew, and know, that my city just gets me. Like it had climbed into a pair of old tracksuit pants and said: Sit. Tell me everything… and no matter what, I’m totally on your side.
I wished in that moment that it had done just that – and that we’d sat for hours running over every line of dialogue (if you can call it dialogue) said. I wished that it could collect all of our ugly words and stuff them back into our mouths like a sleeping bag in a tiny sack. I couldn’t tell, but as the day progressed into unsettled shades of cumulonimbus, I got the feeling that it would have told me the ugliness was better out than in.

By 4 o clock it was so dark, I struggled to see the last few items on my to-do list. Blinds battered and bashed against the office windows, panicked and trapped. Mock-charge rumblings from the belly of the beast had begun boldly escaping until a piercing crack solidified the intent. Mother nature’s tumultuous symphony had reached its crescendo.

And just like that, Joburg had its first glorious summer thunderstorm.

The deluge was epic and I stood watching it cascade into the parking lot, in two minds about risking the 50 meter stretch to my car. I felt an inherent all-or-nothingness propel me outside where the hard rain pelted against my skin until my car door slammed. A moment of calm resided as I watched raindrops turn GHD’d locks of hair into spiraling water-slides and apply cheeks into mulchy smeared canvasses of mascara. And then…

Carly: Hello?

My Man: God I miss you. Isn’t this weather just…

*massive smile*

Carly: I know

The next time I looked up, a thick magical coating of gold had sprawled out underneath a magnificent amber sky. The smell of hot roads fighting the cool downpour floated up joyfully into an approaching dusk and even the unmoving scourge of contempt I’d had earlier for those damn birds dissipated, as they began crooning from crevices of refuge.

Later that night, while wishing it were possible for arms to wrap around a person twice, I looked into the kindest set of eyes with absolute peace.

The storm was over and it occurred to me that maybe sometimes gale force winds, maddening torrential torrents and crashing thunder are a necessary prelude to the most beautiful and harmonious rays of sunlight. And sometimes… good things are allowed to come undone, so better things can come together.