Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Irritating Gardening Types


I recently decided our kitchen courtyard was looking a tad drab and lifeless. It had a lot to do with the plethora of pretty pots rolling around with dead things sticking out of them. Being ever intrepid and creative, I decided, right there and then, to turn the courtyard into a kitchen garden. Aha, a plan and a perfect sunny weekend to embark on my project.
 
No sooner had the idea gelled in my head than I had youngest offspring in the car with me and off to the garden centre. And this is where the simple idea of a few pots, some partially rotted animal excrement and a few bagged plants would bring my vision to life. No such luck.
 
Of all the people working in all the garden centres in all the world, I had to have the worlds pre-eminent horticulturalist as my sales assistant. And my dear word! What is it with people who know the scientific name of every bloody plant in Christendom? Can they not spare us mere mortals the agony of wandering around behind them wondering how a pretty pink frilly flower could be named something that sounded to me to be very close to the words cunnilingus vulgariosis and such like. I actually found myself flinching as Vusi painlessly and fluently delivered each genus, sub class and species in perfect latin, with frequent pauses and backward glances to make sure I was paying attention.
 
All I wanted was a few pots of parsley, maybe a floral tribute or two and some other stuff that grows without the involvement of more than a cursory sprinkling of water as I dashed past it and memory connected each morning. What I got was a hell of a lot more than I had either bargained or budgetted for.
 
I did however survive botany 101 with Vusi and came home with Max wrapped around a potted jasmine in the front seat and the entire back of the car filled with compost, fertilizer, pesticide, more pots, a veritable collection of herbs in trays, and more plants than I really wanted with names I couldn't pronounce. Or remember. But Vusi and his command of Latin has certainly made a lasting impression.
 
My kitchen garden is now planted and to date I haven't killed too much of it except perhaps the basil which I cleverly blamed on the cat. I am looking forward to the full bloom of summer where I will proudly tour my friends through said garden and refer them to each plant (that is still living) while making idle reference to their names, peering down my own nose imperiously.
Here we have a simple naming system and a tributory one at that. As it should be. I have named them all Cunnilingus Vulgariosis Vusius.

Monday, January 2, 2012

2012: Space on the Wheel

Nina Simone wrote
"It's a new dawn
It's a new day
It's a new life
For me
And I'm feeling good"

And I am, very.

2012 is a year if so much promise, so much mysticism - every date thus far has held some numerological wonder.. 01.01.2012, and 02.01.2012...and that's just for starters.

There is talk aplenty and Hollywood speculation about this year. The Mayan's for one were emphatic that this is it, the year of the end. Christian fundamentalists (bar a few false starts in 2011) are waxing rapturous about 2012 and many many clever people are speculative as to what this "End of Days" is actually all about.
Of course the Mayan's could have just run out of space on the tablet of stone but all evidence is pointing toward some monumental shift, some spiritual about turn, some cataclysmic world event.
I for one, have believed for a while now that Revelatory events have been evident for quite some time. This is echoed by not a few very clever bods world over in one way or another. Just this morning I read my dear friend JP's contribution to the mindset (see Confused of Calcutta) of radical change. He chose to quote Crosby Still and Nash (I would expect nothing less of JP) but he could quite have easily quoted the same sentiment from the writings of Socrates through Steve Jobs frolicking as he might in between in the Bible, the Gnostic texts, the Koran, any Eastern philosophy and even the Kama Sutra.

2012 is an overcoming of darkness with the Light in my opinion. From the perspective of Biblical writings one aspect is amply evident... the flack the 99% are levelling at Banks. As a debt counsellor I could draw on Biblical prophesy until I am blue in the face as to the havoc that is unleashed on ordinary people by mercurial greed of retail banking. As a feisty debt counsellor I can tell you that the resistance from these banks to change and financial freedom is astounding. I expect to be served with a writ in the next few weeks in an attempt to shut me up on the subject, but that's another story.

Lets focus on just this aspect for just a minute. The Christians call it Mammon. The Bible warns thoroughly that one cannot worship Mammon and God. It is one of the reasons why I stopped going to church (lower case intentional). There is not one, you see, that doesn't intertwine physical wealth with the love of God. Self proclaiming, self designed and thoroughly misleading, there is this mistaken belief that God is some benevolent giver of things which is wholly untrue. If we tithe, chant, babble in tongues, charm snakes and dance and sing en masse, God will enrich us. In my not limited experience, I have never met so many debtors congregated in one space before as in a church. The Prosperity Pulpit has a lot to answer for. Lets not talk about the Vatican.

As an aside, did you know that there was in 2011 a fabulous side industry to the Rapture That Never Was (oops). In the US of A, you could pay, in advance, in crisp greenbacks, a firm that would come to your house post-Rapture and collect your abandoned animals. I kid you not.

Anyway, I digress. My belief, shared by many in various different shapes and guises, is that 2012 is about enlightenment, get it? A diametric shift away from Mammon and a levelling. globally. It's already happening. Universal currency is weakening (Euro) and in some places crashing entirely (Greece). The almighty dollar (in which so many Trust) is farcically fragile. Cataclysmic events (earthquakes, floods, eruptions, famine) force us to rethink our mortality (or immortality as the case may be). The Arab Renaissance along with a groundswell of resistance to despotism, puts the voice with the people, the meek (Matthew 5.5 for the Bible readers)... see where I am going?

It really doesn't matter what your religious persuasion is; religion is dogma - Marx (and the Marquis de Sade who coined the phrase first, incredibly enough) was right. My best friend Corinne worships God incarnate, and follows a living Master. She is Santmat and she has a hugely valid and undeniable point. Trust me, I have tried to deconstruct her belief system and failed for a number of years now. My friend Mark has eschewed mainstream Christian dogma and evangelises in Israel. A man I know, eschewed mainstream Jewish dogma and evangelises worldwide as a Christ loving Jew.  They refuse to be defined or boxed. They are vagabonds.

For myself, I am in love with God, totally and completely, indefinably, heathenly, wantonly. My walk takes me to briny places steeped in lore, criss crossed with truth and lies. My walk calls for open mindedness, alertness, a third eye, a brave heart, discernment. I love Jesus equally, Jesus being God made man. That's my view. There is room for more, plenty more, and my life is consequently called to service. Jesus never was in church. He was in the gutter, the brothels, the underbelly. He was not lily livered; He had a temper to equal his Father. He was the ultimate outlaw. For that fact alone, I will stand on a street corner and proselytise. For this, I am a vagabond.

The only question to ask yourself for 2012 is where are you spiritually? What will you stand and stand up for? What will your contribution to Enlightenment be? Because it's happening whether you like it or not. What will you stick your faith to friend, because you are going to need to stick it to something thoroughly or be thoroughly stuck in return.

Bring it on.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Only in South Africa

I got an alarming little email today from our Durban office..about a nasty interloper in the lavie. Picture the scene. The story goes that one fairly nerdy policeman (he is an IT specialist with the police) named Sandile Msibi, went to the loo for his morning constitutional.  Lucky for him the loo lid was closed because as he opened it to pop his bottom on the seat, a bloody great snake said how's your father from inside the bowl.

Now the warning in this email, and I quote verbatim, says "it's not strange that snakes swim along the sewer lines and end up in the toilet bowl. It's by God's grace that his toilet pan was closed, otherwise God knows what would have befallen to them. And as he lifted the pan, he saw the snake and closed it right back (unlike those of us who enter the toilet backwards, taking it for granted the course is clear!!!)."

Now what is hilarious is this intrepid policeman then bellowed for help which came of course because he was in the police station...and the hapless snake was killed right there in the loo cubicle, so says the warning.

The email came with picture evidence of this sneaky snake which I just had to look at and realised that we South Africans do things properly. A job done by us is a job very well done. And clearly we don't like snakes. 

In my minds eye I can see the chaos that ensued when help arrived too. Uniformed officers racing round trying to find the appropriate tool for the job of eradicating the snake...without getting bitten. And a proper job was done.

Yes, same lavie, now minus the snake. Actually minus the lavie too. I love the four pound metal hammer and a coat hanger used for the job. And I can see the guys all with mental images of a snake attached to their privates smashing the lav repeatedly till the snake was well and truly done in.

All I can think is it was lucky Sandile Msibi was in close proximity to lav paper because I for one would have needed it instantaneously had this happened to me.

The email ends with this sage advice,
"Beware!!! Always make sure the pan is closed when you go to bed lest wild life gets into your bedrooms, always switch the light on when going into the loo, and lastly but not the least make sure there is nothing in the bowl before you use the toilet.". 
You have been duly cautioned.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Injurious Behaviour

I had more than a little giggle this morning at the mishap of a friend of a friend during her bathtime. It got me thinking that girl mishaps are so funny. Men can take the biscuit too but for some reason women manage to do things properly with just the right amount of embarrassment to make it hilarious and legendary. 

Roxanne got into her bath; and one can only assume she had locked out all small people demanding and fussing, forgetting that her last foray into the bathroom had been to dress a banged up knee and the bottle of gentian violet was still on the edge of the bath. Unnoticed, this bottle dropped into the bath and dyed Roxanne from head to toe, a delicious shade of blue.  It takes a good four to five days for gentian violet to wash off. And Roxanne is now Smurfette.

I have legendary cooking mishaps. On one particularly off night, I produced home made pasta with a flourish for one of my directors who had graced us with his presence. The pasta I was so proud of was so stodgy it came out of the bowl in one great lump on the end of the serving spoon. So we sliced it like polenta and tried to be polite. But the funniest story I ever heard was my mother's friend, Marialena , who was running late for a very posh do and got herself in a twist quite literally.

Marialena is a drop dead gorgeous Greek goddess, tall, olive skinned, svelte and with a mop of to die for hair that is her crowning glory. And she is pretty. And clever. So picture the scene. She decides after she has dressed in her evening frock, complete with stockings and killer stiletto heels, that she needs to fix her nails, one of which has broken.

Not an issue. She stands in the bathroom and prepares to stick a false nail over her broken nail and here comes the rub. She opens the nail glue and sets the false nail on the edge of the basin. Then she pops a drop of the nail glue on the nail and picks the nail up. She now has the glue bottle, lidless, in her one hand and the glued false nail in the other. So she holds the glued nail in her lips while she shuts the glue bottle and puts it down, only to discover she has now glued the nail to her own lips, and her lips shut. The chaos that ensued involved her ever loving husband Mike, falling about laughing, some small amount of blood, paint thinners and a couple of stitches. The stitches were in Mikes head where her stiletto connected with him when he suggested leaving her lips like that.  That's doing it properly.

Which reminds me of the funniest story I ever read and I copy it here in totality because it is too good to precis.  There are loads of stories closer to home of a similar ilk but I have to beg permission from the ladies in question before I dare publish a word...

All hair removal methods have tricked women with their promises of easy, painless removal - The epilady, scissors, razors, Nair and now...the wax. My night began as any other normal weeknight. Come home, fix dinner, play with the kids. I then had the thought that would ring painfully in my mind for the next few hours: "Maybe I should pull the waxing kit out of the medicine cabinet." So I headed to the site of my demise: the bathroom. 

It was one of those "cold wax" kits. No melting a clump of hot wax, you just rub the strips together in your hand, they get warm and you peel them apart and press them to your leg (or wherever else) and you pull the hair right off. No muss, no fuss. How hard can it be? I'm not a genius, but I am mechanically inclined enough to figure this out. (YA THINK!?!) 

So I pull one of the thin strips out. Its two strips facing each other stuck together. Instead of rubbing them together, my genius kicks in so I get out the hair dryer and heat it to 1000 degrees. ("Cold wax," yeah...right!) I lay the strip across my thigh. Hold the skin around it tight and pull. It works! OK, so it wasn't the best feeling, but it wasn't too bad. I can do this! Hair removal no longer eludes me! I am She-rah, fighter of all wayward body hair and maker of smoother skin extraordinaire. 

With my next wax strip I move north. After checking on the kids, I sneak back into the bathroom, for the ultimate hair fighting championship. I drop my panties and place one foot on the toilet. Using the same procedure, I apply the one strip across the right side of my bikini line, covering the right half of my *hoo-hoo* and stretching down the inside of my butt cheek (Yes, it was a long strop) I inhale deeply and brace myself...RRRIIIPPP!!!! 

I'm blind!!! Blinded from pain!!!!...OH MY GOD!!!!!!! Vision returning, I notice that I've only managed to pull off half the strip. CRAP!!! Another deep breath and RRIIPP!! Everything is swirly and spotted. I think I may pass out...must stay conscious...Do I hear crashing drums??? Breathe, breathe...OK, back to normal. 

I want to see my trophy - a wax covered strip, the one that has caused me so much pain, with my hairy pelt sticking to it. I want to revel in the glory that is my triumph over body hair. I hold up the strip! there's no hair on it. Where is the hair??? WHERE IS THE WAX??? 

Slowly I ease my head down, foot still perched on the toilet. I see the hair. The hair that should be on the strip. I touch. I am touching wax. CRAP! I run my fingers over the most sensitive part of my body, which is now covered in cold wax and matted hair. Then I make the next BIG mistake...remember my foot is still propped up on the toilet? I know I need to do something. So I put my foot down. 
DANG!!!! I hear the slamming of a cell door. 
*Hoo-Hoo*?? sealed shut! 
Butt?? Sealed shut! 

I penguin walk around the bathroom trying to figure out what to do and think to myself "Please don't let me get the urge to poop. My head may pop off! What can I do to melt the wax? Hot water!! Hot water melts wax!!! I'll run the hottest water I can stand into the bathtub, get in, immerse the wax-covered bits and the wax should melt and I can gently wipe it off, right??? WRONG!!!! 

I get in the tub - the water is slightly hotter than that used to sterilize surgical equipment - I sit. Now, the only thing worse than having your inner regions glued together is having them glued together and then glued to the bottom of the tub...in scalding hot water. Which, by the way, doesn't melt cold wax. So, now I'm stuck to the bottom of the tub as though I had cement-epoxied myself to the porcelain!!! 

God bless the man who had convinced me a few months ago to have a phone put in the bathroom!!! I call my friend, thinking surely she has waxed before and has some secret of how to get me undone. It's a very good conversation starter - "So my butt and hoo-hoo are glued together to the bottom of the tub!" There is a slight pause. She doesn't know any secret tricks for removal but she does try to hide her laughter from me. She wants to know exactly where the wax is located, "Are we talking cheeks of hoo-hoo?" She's laughing out loud by now...I can hear her. I give her the rundown and she suggests I call the number on the side of the box. YEAH!!!! RIGHT!!! 

While we go through various solutions. I resort to scraping the wax off with a razor. Nothing feels better than to have your girlie goodies covered in hot wax, glued shut, stuck to the tub in super hot water and then dry-shaving the sticky wax off!! By now the brain is not working, dignity has taken a major hike and I'm pretty sure I'm going to need Post-Traumatic Stress counselling for this event. 

My friend is still talking with me when I finally see my saving grace...the lotion they give you to remove the excess wax. What do I really have to lose at this point? I rub some on and OH MY GOD!!!!!! 

The scream probably woke the kids and scared the dickens out of my friend. Its' sooo painful, but I really don't care. IT WORKS!!!! It works!!! I get a hearty congratulation from my friend and she hangs up. I successfully remove the remainder of the wax and then notice to my grief and despair... THE HAIR IS STILL THERE......ALL OF IT!!!!!!!!! 

So I recklessly shave it off. Heck, I'm numb by now. Nothing hurts. I could have amputated my own leg at this point. Next week I'm going to try hair color.....

Screaming with laughter here. I want to be friends with this anonymous American woman. She will get on with all my other girlfriends. Have a happy weekend.

Monday, June 13, 2011

It Takes Two

My dear friend JP invited me onto a beta site of a great new social networking thingamy called turntable.fm this last week and my whole life has been flipped on its pip. I have been known to be a bit of a music junkie but this site has made my addiction a total obsession. You get to DJ people, with other people, real people, and chat and share new music. It's better than karaoke and anyone who knows me knows how hard it is to get the microphone off me when that whole things a going on. Best of all, the Monica Geller in me is totally enthralled. You get voted on for your music. So you get points as a DJ and the more points you get, the cuter, funkier, more intimidating you can make your avatar.

So in my short lifespan on the site I have accumulated 186 DJ points and strut my stuff as Mammacass which I find quite hilarious. The site works on the same principle as chat rooms so you get to choose who you hang out with which can be bloody intimidating - especially since it is a beta test site at the moment and full to overflowing with very very clever IT developer types, including the very boffins who write all the code for Twitter, Facebook, Google and so on - and they all have kicking music collections.

I have consequently found myself sticking to what I know. "Retired Hippies" draws my attention on a regular basis which is strictly late 60's and 70's music and yes, they do get tense if you get the dates wrong! "Cmon in" is fabulous for anything goes and there is a very sociable gang of regulars who hang out there but my absolute favourite is the "80's Fun Music" room where I have unpacked my entire repertoire and am still not bored.

Sadly like all things internetty, I don't think the site will be free for much longer and I can see the day soon  when we have to buy credits and become paying customers. I mean hell, someone has to pay for the development and what a fine concept it is. I think it will be worth every cent.

To join the beta test, you need an invite from a Facebook friend already on the site. So go to turntable.fm and  click the Facebook login. The doors are shut from time to time but keep trying - it's worth the visit. Oh and it only works on Google Chrome so you will have to download and install that first.

I am rattling the windows right this minute to Bruce Hornsby & the Range..That's just the way it is. See you on the flipside.