It may get hairy…

Posts tagged ‘vent’

It’s not a case of black vs. white

I’m not sure why I woke up thinking about this, but I am sure that this will probably result in negative feedback, that being said, this is something I’ve been meaning to write for a while. I have no intention of offending anyone and if I have, I hope you’ll understand that it wasn’t meant.

I grew up in this wonderful country and I was raised to treat everyone as equals, regardless of religion, culture, sexuality or race. Colour has never been an issue for me and it took me a long time to realise what an issue it was for everyone else. South Africa has come an incredibly long way and I, for one, am proud of us as a nation. We’ve kicked anarchy in the head and so what if we’re stuck with cretins running our country – push ’em out and move on. We’ve dealt with a lot worse.

However*, there is one thing that I’m struggling to deal with – how we as South Africans have started to deal with race. I was once taught that it’s not politically correct to refer to ‘blacks’ and ‘whites,’ but rather black or white people. We are not a colour nor an adjective. We are all people, we just happen to come in different shades. Having said that, I’ve always believed that talking about issues helps us solve them. I remember an interesting comment from a colleague in the UK who visited SA: “I have never heard a nation talk about race quite as much as in South Africa.” It was an interesting observation, but I think it’s healthy. Our history is based on race issues. We (I use that term loosely) fought apartheid and won, as much as the Germans have the Holocaust to deal with, our cross to bear is race-related. Talking about it, joking about it and bitching about it is our nation’s form of therapy.

However, what was once an open platform now seems to have one of those terrible signs that we used to see everywhere, with one change: “Geen Blankes.** It seems as though white people are no longer allowed to voice our opinions on race-related issues and/or South Africa’s political state. I’ve always spoken openly about political issues and race (and sexuality and religion…etc.) and while I’m well aware that I’m not black and that I haven’t suffered, I am African and I live here too. Don’t take away my right to speak.

While in University, I had a wonderful ‘diverse’ group of friends and we all felt free to say whatever we wanted and joke about everything. Just as someone will tease me for being ginger, I was teased about being white and alternatively, I teased my friends about being black. It was an open, honest environment – we made light of our history. When I started at Uni, there was one person who made a drastic change in my life, without even knowing. My friend Nonny rocked up and my door and decided to introduce me to everyone. Long story short, I got to know a lot of people in a very short time and found they actually liked me. I went from an insecure, shy and moody post-adolescent to a confident woman…and a lot of it is thanks to a girl I used to mission around arm-in-arm with, calling her my fashion-accessory, making light of a current fad of preppy white students, making ‘friends’ with a black student (it was strange, but it was definitely a thing for a while). My friends were my friends not in spite of our differences, but because we could make light of them.

Before you go off at me, I’m not advocating that everyone goes around slinging racial slurs, but I do think we’ve taken a little step backwards. I would like to be able to have an open discussion that mentions race.  For Pete’s sake, I was chatting about my cat and actually stopped myself from saying ‘black,’ in fear of offending someone. I know this is my problem, but it’s something that I think a lot of white South Africans feel these days. We even fall short when describing a person. Imagine this: A man forgets his change at Checkers. The cashier is a white woman, about my age (still under 30, thank you!), she asks her friend to run after him and give him the change, but I can almost guarantee you that when she describes him, she’ll say he’s tall, with a small nose and brown eyes. The poor sod would have disappeared changeless before she mentions that he’s a black guy wearing a checkered shirt. I want to be able to mention race without people assuming I mean anything negative towards that race. I am not racist. I have never been and I never will. By mentioning someone’s race, I am not showing that I have ill-will towards them, I’m mentioning it because it helps me get whatever point I need to across, even if it’s something as simple as returning change.

If we write a political statement, say on Facebook, we’re swamped with angry, sometimes violent, comments about how we don’t have a right to say these things. Yet, we live in this country too. I’ve never felt as separate from my black friends, even those I consider family, as I do lately. I don’t believe I have the right talk about politics or race anymore.

I generally don’t do politics… it’s not my thing and I couldn’t be arsed. This kind of post is definitely a first for me, but it’s my way of saying I love my country. I love my country so much so that it hurts. Unlike others, I have a British passport, I can bugger off to another continent if I so please. I don’t. I’m a first generation South African. My family chose to live here. My parents loved this country so much so that they moved back to SA right in the middle of what they thought was about to be a civil war. My grandfather was taken to that terrible seventh floor, where they used to make you bungee jump sans cable (obviously, as he turns 84 on Sunday, they couldn’t prove that he was helping out a Chinese couple, as they suspected and which he was). My folks were at every ‘Free Mandela’ thing in the UK that they could get to, wearing hats and sunglasses, as they knew that the SA government was watching and recording faces, so they could stop them coming back into the country. I was born here, 10kms from where Shaka was, out of love for this country.

I have the ability to drop everything today and move. I could go live on the dol and stare at people’s shoes on the tube in a second. But*** I don’t want to. I chose this country. If that doesn’t make me African, what does?

All I’m saying, is that it should no longer be a case of black vs white, but Africans vs our pathetic government.

*Those that heard my rampage on sentences starting with a conjunction, this is my poetic license. It applies to *** too. 

**After much Googling, I still can’t find the spelling, so I hope this is right. 

 

Advertisements

Poetry for potatoes

We’re all aware that in the desperate process of trying to be unique and original, we become sheep.

Take Emos: Their lives are an endless fight against the crowd, the normal, feeling sorry for themselves, having a good ol’ suicide chat and vehemently hating the world and most of all, themselves.

In my day we called them Goths, they just didn’t have floppy girl-hair.

In some way, we’re all sheep. The pseudo-intellectual has something going for them, thinking out of the box…but they never seem to stop and enjoy life (how many of these do we know?). The narcissistic actor/journalist/presenter that does nothing but tell the world how amazing they are, through what they incorrectly assume are subtle techniques. And then there are those of us who desperately don’t want to grow up, they still want to keep going against the flow.

That’s me. I’ve always thought finances overrated. If we could go back to bartering days, I’d be as happy as a pig in poo. I’d trade poetry for potatoes and enjoy every moment of my life. I started my own business, not because I didn’t want to make money for someone else, but because each day, travelling back and forth to work, a sharp thought twisted and plunged:  So this is how we humans decided to spend our lives? Bugger that.

The bigger picture is a curse. I could be happily working in some investment (okay, I’m fucking terrible with numbers) media company, working my way up, meeting people, meeting someone, settling down and living my ‘life.’ I don’t judge people like that, I envy them.

Now my company is a year old, I’m going on 30, my friends have all risen high up in their respective companies and are raking it in. They’re no longer getting  married, they are married, or they’re getting divorced. They’re on their 2nd and 3rd child. They’ve bought houses, sold houses, bought and sold cars (I’ve bought one, but was saved the ‘selling’ bit by a friendly security company turning my little Uno into scrap metal), they’ve been given promotion after promotion and almost all of them have a pension.

I’m not doing badly, I’m earning more than I did in my last salary, which wasn’t bad, and this is after only a year of being in business. I’m pretty darned proud of myself, but I’ve started to realise that I have no investment, apart from my car. If something should happen, I’m screwed.

So now I find myself considering buying property. The thought scares the bejesus out of me. How grown up is that? Owning something as big as a tiny flat? Probably another copy & paste job? Only because I want some form of safety net. I’d do it wisely, keep a cheap ass rental for me and rent out the bought flat for an exorbitant amount of money that only barely covers the monthly installments.  I spoke to a bond guy, and I need to earn slightly more to apply for a bond. It’s easily done, I only need to make one more monthly sale.

But I don’t want to. I’m happy earning what I’m earning. I’m happy clinging desperately to my youth. I’m happy being transient and not being responsible.

This sucks.

So, my little sheep friends, what made you grow up and how hard did you fight it?

Return of the Grammar Nazi

After scrolling through some related sites, I came across this. I don’t think it needs any explanation. Suffice to say, if you’re reading this, you’ve probably been there.

 

 

 

Gallery

15 Grammar Goofs and the Urge to Maim

This is the first time I’m reblogging another’s infographic. A friend found it on StumbleUpon and I just had to steal it.

As most of you know, I’m a bit of a Grammar Nazi. It’s not something I’m proud of, as I tend to insult people or patronise them unintentionally. It’s not purposeful, it’s more a of a …tick. I can’t help it.

I have a long list of pet peeves, including dolphins, touchy-feely people,  maggots and men who spend more time on their hair than I do. The below 15 Grammar Goofs are well up there, but I also find my blood starts to boil when I see grammatical errors in corporate documents, emails or marketing material.

We all have some form of spell check on our emails; for God’s sake, even Hotmail has a our friendly little ABC (tick) button. How can we allow emails to go out to clients that are riddled with, not only grammatical errors such as the below, but smiley faces (punch me now), exclamation marks (really?) and (God forbid) quotes. You may need someone to tell you each day that obstacles are there to be overcome or that you’ll regret more the things you didn’t do, than those you did, but your clients don’t.

Personally, it makes me want to punch you in the face.

Wouldn’t you just love to respond to these people and show them the error of their ways? It’s my daily wish, but sadly, I’d have no money, as I’d spend all day correcting emails. On a side note: If there are any errors in this post, after I’ve pressed the button and read it through, it’s because I have a new keyboard, with an overly sensitive mouse that likes to type in random places.

May I burn in Grammar Nazi hell for all time.

15 Grammar Goofs That Make You Look Silly

Like this infographic? Get more content marketing tips from Copyblogger.

And so I’m back*

It’s been a while since we’ve chatted.

A lot has happened since the days of The Diet, some good, some bad…some stupid, some funny (quite often both). So here goes:

I dieted. I lost next to nothing. I stopped dieting, ate what I wanted to and attended a wedding. My Grandfather got married. He cried through the ceremony with happiness. She laughed with joy (the thing, not a person). My parents split up. I learnt that laptops apparently don’t like red wine. I learnt that when one spills red wine on one’s laptop, one shouldn’t use a hair dryer. I learnt that hair driers melt laptop keys.

I laughed with people and at people. People laughed at me (quite notably the computer store clerks). People laughed with me, but perhaps not as much. I cried. A lot. I started the Soup & Yogurt diet. I learnt that the  Soup & Yogurt diet no longer works. I borrowed my Mum’s treadmill. I ran. I ran some more. My face got fat. I visited Hole in the Wall (wow). I started the Eating for your Blood Type diet. My fridge broke. I ate lots of ‘cold’, but not cold meat. I saved and I saved. I lost all email access (sorry). My business boomed  (bloody Murphy). I hired a freelancer. A freelancer saved my not so tiny bum. I bought my very own sexy laptop. I saved for a laptop all on my tod (through connections). I was sad. A lot. And then I decided to be happy.

In summary: Like many people, my life is series of Mr Bean** moments. My laptop arrived today and I decided I just had to visit my blog again to tell you all about this rather strange period. Of course, I can’t do that without wine, so there’s a glass of wine, in a shoe box, far, far away from my new laptop (but within arm’s reach).

I woke up this morning and despite the nagging feeling that yet again, something would go wrong, I decided to be happy. It’s both easier and harder than it seems. Things did go wrong, but I managed. While running back and forth in Woolies checking out ingredients and getting an audience, I saw flowers. Flowers make me happy. I’ve had a great work month, but alas, work and cash flow seem to misunderstand each other, so while I’m swimming in clients, I can’t afford to buy flowers. So I bought them.

I’ll be dining on more cold sausages in a sealed container tonight (no fridge, remember), but hey, I have flowers. I’m not sure how long I’ll keep them alive, or allow them to make me happy, but I hope each and every one of you finds a ‘flower’ today 🙂

That’s my corny bit, now I’m going to get plastered.

*Admit it, you sang the song. 

** I even have a teddy – 

Ode to a Dieter

Don’t

Here endeth my ode.

Right, you’re aware that of late I’ve been a ‘slug?’ So it turns out [cue drum-roll please], there is a reason that I have been so slug-like.

And it’s all my bleeding fault.

You’ll have noted from my previous post that woe be to those that mention ‘exercise,’ ‘diet tips,’ their own elixir of twigdom that made them slightly less fat than they were before and/or any other suggestion for weight-loss. This isn’t because I didn’t want to do the hard work involved in losing weight, it’s because I’d f**king tried it already.

Honestly, I jogged, I yoga’d, I callen… (whatever the hell you call it)’d, I cut out carbs, I did the Atikins diet, I ate healthily (according to my food-technologist Grandfather), I followed the soup & yogurt diet… I did it all.

And I gained.

Honestly, how do you live off of only liquids and still gain weight? I managed it.

Eventually, the slug slithered off to the doctor. He held no insights, as my slug bloods came back proving that I was a veritable human. He weighed me.

Before I go on, please note, in past years, I’ve shed as many tears as a statue of the Virgin Mary (here our similarities stop). The result of my weigh-in showed that I had gained an enormous 10kg….in one month.

I couldn’t camp out in the middle of McDonalds and gain that amount of weight.

I burst into tears in this strange doctor’s office. So, off I pop to the dietician, thinking that this is surely it. The end of the road. The doctor says there’s nothing wrong with me and the dietician will tell me to live the life of a squirrel…and I’ll still not lose weight.

Firstly, she took one look at what I was eating and dropped her pen.

My problem: starvation. I’ve been on diets for well over a year and have cut out almost all carbs. My body decided to go into ‘survival’ mode, kicked up my insulin and squirreled away (ooh look, another squirrel) the fat into my tummy, thighs, arms and even my chin…just in case.

The solution: Eat bread.

Well, not exactly that, but I have to eat sh*t loads of specific carbs, to get my body back in order. Seed bread, not white, but lots. Oily fish (puke, but I’ll do it) and other stuff like BAKED BEANS (f**k yeah!).

This is heaven. She actually has ‘sandwiches’ in my diet plan. Sandwiches??? It’s like cake to other fat people. I love my carbs so much and I haven’t had any for so long.

The Disadvantages:

The only thing I shall miss is cheese. I’m not allowed cheddar, but am allowed mozzarella.

Can someone please tell me the point of mozzarella? I’m determined to prove that it’s not a food, but merely some form of edible rubber whose sole purpose is to keep the pizza topping from falling off.

The Advantages:

I can eat bread AND have booze! Granted, only 1-2 glasses of wine for three nights a week, the rest is a no go and no, I’m not allowed to accumulate my ‘units.’

Conclusion

I ate according to the guidelines yesterday. I nearly puked I ate so much, but I scoffed it all down. Lo’ and behold, I actually slept! I also find myself in control of my emotions. On a sad note, my dog, Mathilda, had to be put down this morning. In the last few months, I would have been inconsolable, unable to deal with her parting and unable to help my parents as a result. After eating well yesterday, I’m in control of my emotions. I shed my tears when I came home, but only a little and I helped my parents through their grief.

I have once again found my ‘off-switch.’

To my fellow dieters, I bid you farewell.

Go forth and gorge

To be, or not to be… a slug

For the last few months, I’ve been sinking into a melancholic abyss. I get lethargic and fatter – couch potato takes on a new meaning as I gorge on potatoes. Alright, in all honesty, I’ve been eating really well and just continuously gaining pounds. Now, don’t give me the exercise lecture, been there, done that – it didn’t help either and yes, I did it for a significantly long period of time.

Anyway, this combined with my total lack of motivation has made me akin to a rather large, rather red, slug. So imagine this slug can’t find a way out of its slugness and sits at its laptop, day in, day out, feeling increasingly sorry for itself. Until one day, it communes with a non-slug that it really doesn’t like and all of a sudden the slug is filled with anger and a desire to not be slug-like, so that it can compete with the non-slug and show the non-slug it is so much better than it and is, in fact, a butterfly… or some equivalent happy, bright, non-slug like thing.

So, it is with this burst of motivation, anger and jealousy driving me on that I start upon my journey to salvation. My first step towards freedom, self-love and all that gushy stuff. This drive of non-slug-like envy raises me up to do what I have to do! To take my first step into the future that is mine to hold and so today, I took this first step. I grabbed my future by the balls and told it ‘I am the captain of my fate!’ And so today….

I did the dishes.

Now, I’d like a round of applause and someone to come do my laundry – there’s quite a lot.

Tag Cloud

%d bloggers like this: