It’s all in the detail

guys.jpgTen things I learnt/observed (not necessarily first hand) in a sports bar while watching South Africa beat Whales over the weekend. In no particular order…

    1. When your team plays rugby, do not invent a drinking game that is based on the number of points they score. 34 -12 is not necessarily a good score.
    2. There is nothing romantic about drunk dialing at 1:30 on a Sunday morning, especially not when your mates are yelling “he tried to pick up a hooker” in the background. Don’t ever say the words “I just wanted to know how you are.” Trust me, don’t. Not at 1:30 am.
    3. Cheap is just unforgivable. If you claim to have left your wallet at home when it is your turn to pay, then you are a cheapskate and you are stupid! I can handle stupid when I’m forced to. Cheap? No!!
    4. Life is often like a staged play. Masks and make-up and shadow puppets, and then some. Never buy a drink for a guy who says he went to school with older brother, and when probed about it ten minutes later, can’t remember your brother’s name.
    5. Factoid: A two at ten is a ten at two. When your mate says, “Hey, you want to meet a hot chick?”, do not try to convince him that she’s not. Let him wake up next to her the next morning and find out the hard truth for himself.
    6. There is no such thing as public indecency at 2 am on a Sunday morning. The cops may disagree, but they have to be around to catch you in the act.
    7. When a girl wears a green t-shirt that says “I’m a keeper”, it usually means that she is not, unless it refers to the fact that she can “keep” her liquor down better than you can.
    8. When your team scores a try, do not throw your hands in the air and jump up out of your chair at the same time. There is no dignity in falling backwards and landing on your arse. Not even when you are drunk.
    9. When a guy throws a shitfit about a decision the referee made, let him be. He is bigger than you are and will pound you into the ground with one swing of his giant fist. Nobody’s perfect. Accept it.
    10. It is indeed possible for your hair to hurt when you are hung-over. (I learnt this the next day.)

Ain’t life grand?


Doctor, we have a pulse!

Hello!Psssttt! I just wanted to let you know that I am still alive. I haven’t posted at all since I changed companies, and it kinda feels like I’ve been cheating on the few of you who read and comment regularly. That does not however mean that I haven’t been reading or following the escapades of my favourite bloggers online.
To be honest, the change has been a bit tougher than I thought it would be. But, I am an optimist and I’m hoping that things will smooth out a bit over the next few weeks. I’ve been really really busy and have not had time to write a decent post or anything remotely meaningful.
Long hours, even longer meetings and a never-ending induction programme have taken its toll on me. In some ways I almost feel like Santiago who’s hooked the big fish and is struggling to get it to shore (Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea) (corny reference… I know!!)
In hindsight I probably should have negotiated a January 2008 start date, but it is too late now and I am stuck chasing my own arse for the next couple of weeks until I go on holiday. Yeah, I managed to get them to agree that my going on holiday, after a less than two months of work, would be both beneficial for the company and for productivity. What can I say, other than everything is negotiable.
On the plus side, my new colleagues are very friendly, supportive and helpful (the quiet before the storm?) and I am feeling right at home. I have already identified a few accomplices whom I know I can rely on should the need arises. It may or may not last … sooner or later they’ll get to know the strange personality behind the calm exterior. The job prospects are truly exciting and I have a bona fide shot at doing something that I genuinely like and am particularly good at.
Is it just me or do you also sense a parody in the making?

Jack vs. Henry

Jack Bauer Henry VIII

He: Hey… The Tudors are starting on Mnet tonight in place of 24.
Me: So I’ve heard. Could be interesting to watch.
He: I dunno. Action vs drama. Jack Bauer tortured and killed at least 7 people per episode. Henry VIII only killed his 6 wives.
Me: That is actually not true. Of the six wives… 2 were divorced, 2 were beheaded, one died after childbirth and 1 survived. You could actually learn something from watching the series.
He (unfazed): I might. Seems a bit of a downer to me.
Me: The many intricacies of your 22 year old psyche intrigue me.
He: I miss Jack already.
Me: And so you would.

(That settles it. I’m taking him with me.)

The goodbye guy

Good byeI’ve had an extremely frustrating week. Monday began on a really bad note, but it helped me get through the rest of the week. Who knew misplaced anger could be so therapeutic?
As my last work day (next Wednesday) draws near, I’m starting to get exceedingly irritated. For once the days don’t seem to move. It feels like I’m going around in circles. There’s not really been much time to reflect on what I’m leaving behind or what I’ve achieved in my time here. What with the endless stream of people popping in, wishing me well and expressing their disbelief at my leaving at this time of the year. I may have as well have set up office in a busy train station. The one thing I am certain of is that it’s the right time for me to move on and focus on my career.
I’m due to start my new job in the next day (cutting it close!) so I’m more focused on what lies ahead for me. Be that as it may, and as reluctant as I am to admit it, I am actually going to miss this place. Working here has had its ups and downs. For the most part people seemed to understand my my unusual, if not somewhat eccentric behaviour. The one thing I won’t miss is the insane deadlines and the hours spent toiling under my boss’s iron whip. [Screw you, you sadist!]
My colleagues have hinted that they would like to throw me a farewell party. I hope it is not one of those affairs where we snack on finger-snacks and where they hand over a small gift (I’d settle for an all-expenses paid holiday in the Maldives) and a farewell card. It seems so contrived.
I hinted that I would prefer going out to a pub lunch where we get drunk afterwards and where the girls can have their way with me, but I don’t think that will materialise. So much for drunk and debaucherous behaviour. I am all for staggering home at 3 am, clutching a half drunk bottle of champagne and leaving a trail of cigar smoke. Sigh… those were good old’ days!
Be still my inner juvenile delinquent! Stupidity does not look good on a grown man.

RWC World Cup FinalThe title and the picture has nothing to do with the content of the post, but I just could not help myself. So there! Bite me, Kev and Mr R Rabbit!
I was notified by the IT department this morning to clean up my e-mail account as I’ve exceeded my storage limit. Gah! (Wonder if this has anything to do with my resignation?)
I had a quick look at my inbox and found that I had 283 unread messages, mostly mail-forwards and funnies sent to me by colleagues and friends. I deleted them all and freed up a whopping 18% of the space allocated to my account.
Spurred on by my moderate success, I did the same on my cell phone. I cleared my entire inbox! It is not that I don’t care to receive the coy and flirtatious sms’s people send to me. Quite the contrary. I enjoy a good laugh. I like witty, flirtatious banter. If only they did not take up so much space and time.
Moving on. Text messages and emails have become pivotal in modern flirting and communication. The attractive thing about text messaging is that they are secretive. No one knows (or so we hope) but you and the person that you are flirting with. Embarrassment in front of others is almost nil. For many people, the electronic medium has opened up a whole new world of low risk flirting. Anyone can text. Even my mother is pretty nifty with a cell phone.
In most cases the art of flirting is trial and error. There is no class or seminar that can prepare an individual for flirting. Courtship behaviour is not a subject that can be taught.
Text messaging and emails have taken flirting to another level(?). Coy verbal phrases can now be exchanged while we are at a distance. If a message goes unanswered, it is repeated or the individual will ask,” Did you get my message?”
These days, if someone I’ve met or a girl I find interesting sends me a text or email that doesn’t grab my attention, I feel pretty apathetic about them.
For example, any text that starts, “God, I’m so pissed off at the moment,” or “You would not believe what just happened,” immediately makes me think, that perhaps I should pretend I left my phone at home rather than get into this.
The one thing that vexes me is e-mail that has been sent to my work addy or text messages that contain excessive insipid digital banter – such as 😉 lol !!!!!!!!, cu l8r, etc. I don’t mind the odd lol or smiley, but when used excessively, they make me feel like I’m nursing someone, rather than communicating with them. Do I make sense to you?
The bar of digital conversation has been raised considerably over the past few years. If you don’t start trying that little bit harder, pretty soon the only thing keeping you warm at night will be a string of emoticons.

Green and gold

Springbok Rugby EmblemGreen and gold fever has reached fever-pitch in South Africa. Yep, RWC- Ebola has reached epidemic proportions and it is near impossible not to be assaulted by wave after wave of unrelenting mass hysteria. The RWC 2007 final is here and you can try and run, but you won’t be able to hide from it.
I drove past two of the neighbourhood schools this morning and every school kid was dressed in green and gold (t-shirts, face paint, SA flags… the whole shebang!) in support of the Springbok Rugby team. From what I can gather schools (and businesses) throughout South Africa are doing the same. IT IS FRIGGIN AWESOME!!
A lot of people are bandwagon fans of a sports team. Nothing wrong with that I suppose, other than that it can be a little annoying when a random stranger starts talking about rugby when it is clear they do not know the first thing about the sport.
To these people I say, become a bandwagon hater. We all despise the English rugby team right now, so just follow the trend and hate them too. I find myself taking jibes at Johnny Wilkinson for no reason at all, other than he kicked his team into the final.
I don’t know if bandwagon hating is just as bad as (or if it is even the same thing) bandwagoning itself, but it’s a lot easier to hate things for no reason than to like them and to have to draw on 20 hours of SuperSport programming to back up your reasoning.

SA rugby fan
(shamelessly borrowed from Del’s blog)

Update: Seems were aren’t the only ones that have gone completely bonkers over tomorrow’s final. Read this.

Money treeI resigned from my job today (again… hehe). One of the companies I interviewed for a couple of weeks back came through with an offer that was too good to pass up. I start my new job on the 1st of November.
When I handed my boss my letter of resignation, he questioned my decision to leave (as he is entitled to, I suppose) and asked if I am sure that this is what I wanted to do.
When I said yes, he remarked that everyone has a price.
While I realise that more money is not the only reason why I’m leaving, I have to admit that it played a considerable role in the decision making process. There were other things such as job satisfaction, my ambition, career prospects and my sense of self-worth to consider, but I probably would not have made this decision for less money.
Everyone has a price. This kind of thinking leaves me cold and filled with dread to some degree. On the one side it says you are jaded and cynical and basically have no faith in humanity, while on the other you might argue that you are just being realistic and recognising that “the love of money”, as the saying goes, “is the root of all evil”.
Some people claim they would do anything for money. Like the movie Indecent Proposal would you sleep with someone for a million dollars? What other crazy things would you be willing to do if you were paid enough? Would you sleep with the boss for that job promotion? Would you mooch off of your rich friends. Would you evict a poor tenant who cannot pay? Pollute a community? Cheat on your taxes?
You are prolly shaking your head right now and saying, “I wouldn’t do any of these things… not for any amount of money”. But what if your circumstances were so dire and so desperate that you really can’t see a way out them? Why do people sell out on their moral beliefs? Is it because they believe that money can buy happiness, or is it more likely because people think that money can buy security? Or at least give the false impression of security.
Rarely are the circumstances as straight forward as when you ask a straight guy, “Would you French kiss another dude for a million dollars?” is it? Without hesitation 99% of the guys asked would say no. But how different is this situation really from the hot girl at the church fair who charges two quid for a kiss on the mouth? “Ahh”, you say, “but it is for a good cause. It is for charity”. But then you could also argue that you are your own charity. Or is it ok because she kisses members of the opposite sex, despite the fact that many of the men she kisses are married?
Just for the record (and please, do not over-analyse this!), show me a briefcase with a million in cash and I’ll be the “pretend fag” with the bottle of Listerine Mouthwash and a packet of Wrigley’s gum. I am confident enough in my own skin to know that one kiss does not make you a gay man. Let’s talk again when I walk away with the million, and when no one remembers what I did a month from now.
I guess the real question (imho) you need to ask yourself is whether you will be able to live with yourself (and the consequences) knowing what you had to do to earn the cash. Perhaps my view is too simplistic and I am not really thinking about this clearly and rationally.
Some things are morally inexcusable and regardless of which way you slice it, no amount of money could make what you did seem right. For other things it is truly up to the individual and what direction you moral compass points to.
Do I have a price? In as much as I would like to believe that I don’t, I guess I do. It all depends on the situation, where I draw that line in the sand and what the mental impact of my actions will have on my life and the lives of others.
Do you have a price… or don’t you?