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Archive for June, 2007

Best UncleI had a call from my older sister a few days ago that my nephew wants to spend the coming week with me. It is school holidays again and I reckon he just wants to get out from under his mother and sister for a while. Solution? Visit the single uncle.
I might actually enjoy having the kid around. It will take my mind off work and all the other things that’s been plaguing me for the past month.
He is 15 years old (going on 16) and quite the character as those of you who have read my blog over the past 3 years would know. No doubt he will provide good blog fodder and plenty of things for me to worry about.
I have a few ground rules that he needs to adhere to. No more embarrassing conversations. Stay out of my bathroom. Remain fully clothed at all times, and do not under any circumstances expect me to drive you around when you go on a date. Other than that he can pretty much do what he wants to.
It is strange how he seems to want to challenge me on all things these days. I reckon it is all about growing up and staking the claim to his own manhood (Ok, that did not come out as I intended!)*, but it can be downright exhausting having to deal with all that testosterone around the house.
The last time he came to visit was over Easter and already back then he was quite a handful. “A handful” maybe a bit of strong phrase, but he certainly knows how to rattle my cage.
Here’s an excerpt from one of the many telephone conversations we had during his last stay (around Easter). I was going to blog about it at the time and had the post saved to my drafts, but never got around to publishing it.

He: I am bored. There’s nothing to do around here.
Me (sarcastic): Would you like me to pick you up a copy of The collective works of Tolstoy on my way home from work?
He: No need. I already have a book to read.
Me: Really? What are you reading?
He: I found a copy of The Art of seduction by Robert Greene in your study.
[WTF is the kid up to?!]
Me: Erm… How’s that going for you?
He: I’m up to phase 4: Moving in for the kill.
Me (gulp): See you tonight. You realise your mother is going to kill me if she finds out?
He: I do… better you than me.

Why don’t kids his age read comics anymore?
*(Tread softly Kyknoord)

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Bubble Boy - Jake GyllenhaalOn my way home from work last night, I made a quick stop at the grocery store to buy a few dairy products. It is all part of my new eat healthy/fitness regime. [You can stop giggling Katt.]
It was just after five and there weren’t many people around. Lucky me, or so I thought!
I had finished my shopping, and was choosing a check-out line. There were only two lines operating. In one of them, the person working the till was a good-looking girl. Not being the kind of guy to pass up an opportunity to flirt with a hot check-out girl (hubba-hubba), I wanted to hang back until she was free. Much to my dismay, I realised that the second line was empty. It seemed pointless not to make use of the opportunity for a quick exit.
Behind the till was a young man… and a very weird young man at that. Not only did he suffer from an acute case of blond highlights in his hair, both his eyebrows and his lower lip were pierced. Yikes! He must have felt me looking at him, because he looked up and gestured to me to come forward.
He started ringing through my groceries. When he grabbed hold of the six pack of Danone Activia yoghurt I had in my basket, the band-aid that was on his index finger came undone, and attached itself to one of the containers.
With a grunt, I pointed at the yogurt in his hand
“Ooh sorry!” he said nonchalantly. He daintily plucked the band-aid from the container and re-applied it to his hand. I was dumbstruck.
“What are you doing?” I asked, “Aren’t you going to replace that?” (I was referring to the yoghurt.)
“I just did” he said, and he held up his finger.
“I’m not referring to the band-aid. I’m referring to the yoghurt. Surely you don’t expect me to…”
I gave up. I could feel the hair on the back of my neck standing up. My dark side had come out to play. I could already see where this conversation was going. There was a no way I was going to get through this without serving up a severe insult and making reference to a vast number of blood-borne infectious diseases that could be passed on by his band-aid. Most of all, I did not want to lose my cool in front of the check out girl.
“You know what?” I said, “I changed my mind. I just realised I have yoghurt at home. Please can you cancel the transaction on that particular item?”
He called one of the supervisors over and she reversed the transaction for him.
After he had rung up the rest of my groceries I headed out of there.
God knows what is going to happen to that particular six pack of Danone Activia. I pray that they disinfect it before putting it back on the shelf. I’m just happy they did not end up in my fridge.

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Why is it that women have such odd criteria when it comes to deciding whether a man is a good match for them or not? It is not only that they are odd (irrelevant?), I can for the life of me not figure out what they are getting at.
Take my friend Jeannette for instance. Against my better judgment, and strict policy of not getting involved in my friends’ personal lives, I’ve been trying to set her up on a date with a guy I know. The Lord knows she needs help in that department. She’s always complaining about her difficult it is to find a good man, how limited her options are and how the good ones are either taken or gay.
Playing cupid is not exactly something I am good at, but I figured the girl needed help. And it just so happened that I know someone who is available. (Am I a good mate or what?!)
Sooo…. we are having a drink, and I’m laying down a major sales pitch by telling her what good qualities he has, what he looks like, what he does, etc. It is at this point that she interrupts me and asks if he can dance. What this had to do with the guy’s eligibility/sexual prowess/all-round decency was beyond me, but as she put it:

“Ooh, [K], I just love me a man who can dance”

My WTF needle went off the chart and my brain came to temporary standstill.
It is a fact of life, isn’t it? Women love men who can dance. That’s been true since the beginning of time. Those brave fellas who are willing to go out on the dance floor will win the affection of female onlookers. And you don’t have to be any good. Too good says you are as gay as a pink lizard. You can go out to the centre of the floor and do your best impression of a gyrating cow having an epileptic fit and some girl will be telling her girlfriends, “I think he’s kinda cute. Just look at the way he stomps about and drools all over himself.” That’s dancing for you.
I fail to see the connection between dancing and eligibility. Michael Jackson can dance. George Michael can dance. But surely no woman in her right mind would want to date one of them. Would she?
Perhaps women just like to see how willing men are to humiliate themselves in order to get laid. Show me a man who dances well, and I will show you a man who will be manipulated for the rest of his life.
So what is it with women and guys who can dance? Really. I need to know.
(In case you are wondering … I can “dance”. But only after the 4th shot of Tequila. I am so much sexier on the dance floor when it looks like I’m floating on a cloud.)

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Man in hammockDa ChitSter has been a bad boy yo! Not that I am good by any standards. I’ve been neglecting y’all and have been unable to make my usual blog rounds since last week Tuesday.
Not that it should matter much in the scheme of things yo, but it’s killing me that I have not been able to pimp my brain by reading about everyone’s exciting lives. And for the record, I just want to say that I fully support not working for living. I am 100% anti-establishment and here to corrupt your souls!
I’ve been working hard over the last few days. In doing my bit to delight the man I have asked myself repeatedly “Could I live without this job?” and “Would it really be such a bad thing if I ended up on welfare?”
I’ve had the benefit of working on numerous business proposals, attending a seemingly endless string of meetings and having a fun time with my dull and unimaginative co-workers. Yay me!
While it’s not completely awful; the best part of working at in a corporate office as I do is that I’m not forced to deal with 40-year old child molesters, serial adulterers and porn addicts. I kid you not… well, perhaps a little! The scariest part is that I could fit right in. This could be why they had so much to say to the contrary when I pointed it out to two of my colleagues. I doubt my situation is nearly as rosy as everyone would have me believe, but who am I to challenge the status quo. (kidding!)
I feel like a free-range chicken whose head has been lopped off, but things should settle down by next week. I’ve also got a headcold and some personal stuff on the mind and therefore not sleeping as well as I would like.
There seems to be no rest for Mother Nature though. She has embarked on a “let-me-freeze-your-balls-off-where-you-stand” binge. Currently the city is only about a degree away (in my opinion) from setting the mark for the lowest temperatures this winter. Kinda makes the case for global warming, don’t you think? Not that I would know; I am fairly oblivious of these kind of things other than when it affects my personal comfort.

Everybody’s talking all this stuff about me
Why don’t they just let me live?
I don’t need permission; make my own decisions
That’s my prerogative…

Sensible blogging will resume when I thaw out and get the words of the song out of my head.

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Running on empty

Hitting the pavementIt has been 2 weeks since my thigh muscle injury. In an attempt to strengthen the muscle and despite the fact that winter is here, I decided that I needed to get my ass off the couch and do something that is physically challenging.
My first thought was to go to the gym and run on the treadmill, but there was no guarantee that one available at that hour and I was not in the mood for standing around.
I strapped my thigh up tightly and dressed in a warm tracksuit pants and jacket. Seeing as I have not run in a while, I decided a 10 k run around the neighbourhood would be a good start. This basically amounted to a suicidal schlep through toxic exhaust farts and barking dogs.
I’m not a great runner. I used to be, but not so much any more. Tired toes dragged across the pavement, shoulders hunched forward and my arms flailed about like a fresh salmon on a sushi shop counter. I’ll get better in time as I build up stamina and become stronger.
A young woman wrapped in tight, sweat-stained lycra sportswear bounced past. I just wanted to bite her. It spurred me on to no avail. If it wasn’t for my ego, I would have given up after the first 5 k.
On my way back I had to make a quick pit stop at the public facilities in the park a kilometre from where I live. Going behind a tree did not seem a good idea. A small voice in my head kept telling me, “Keep going until you reach home. You are going to end up on the early morning news”. I did however realise that I would not make it to my front door without peeing in my running shoes.
As expected they were in squalid condition. There was water everywhere (at least I hoped it was) and an odour that gave new meaning to the phrase Eau de Toilette. It must be an elaborate city council ploy. Leave it to rot, then when people complain they’ll be able to justify an increase in rates.
It was an interesting place, decorated by the local delinquents, presumably without adult approval. Concerned parents would be happy to know that their children are not all stuck indoors playing computer games and indulging in daytime orgies. Instead, they’re there armed with spray cans and permanent markers and marking their territory in a primal fashion by writing on toilet doors.
Someone had written, “I fucked your mama.” Another had replied, “Go home Dad, you’re drunk.”
So the jogging is entertaining and I think I may do it again tomorrow night. But just in case, I am changing my route and driving to the local school’s sports grounds and jogging around the rugby field instead.
Phew! All this positivity is downright exhausting.

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FrustrationI’ve just had what is without a doubt one of the weirdest conversations I have ever had with another person. The guy’s argument did not make good sense to me and yet on some weird, wacky level it almost did.
I walked into a colleague’s office this morning just as he slammed down the telephone receiver with a loud thud. [I really should work on my timing]

Me (in mock suprise): Whoa! Easy there, Sparky. Violent behaviour like that will make me believe that you resent me being here.
He: You know what… beautiful women are certified bitches! I’ll bet you anything that ugly women have better personalities.
Me (laughing): They do? And what do you base this revelation on? Have you made a pass at Jenny down in finance again?
He: Seriously dude. Unless you’ve been called fat or ugly at some point in your life or have experienced firsthand how hurtful it is to be ignored because you’re a lardo or an uggie, you’ve had an easy ride in life.
Beautiful girls are the biggest bitches on the face of the planet. They were popular when they were in high school and in college. They regularly get out of tricky situations such as getting traffic fines by batting their eyelids. And… they have the best jobs and can pretty much manipulate men at their discretion. They don’t need to be nice to other people.
Me: Dude, that kind of reasoning is just crazy. It cannot be that simple. Surely, people are who and what they are regardless of what they look like?
Ugly/fat women may have suffered more ridicule in life, and may or may not for that reason have more compassion, but that does not necessarily mean that the opposite is true.
He: You obviously have not had the privilege of being dismissed by a pretty girl or taken advantage of in some way.
Me: Erm… as a matter of fact I have. But that has not turned me into a caped crusader for “The ugly women have better personalities” society.
He (loud sigh): Fuck, I am so angry right now. I think I suffered a mild haemorrhage in containing the urge to reach into the telephone and grab her by the throat.
Me: I see… you had a run-in with a pretty girl, didn’t you? Well… perhaps I should come back later and we can finish what I wanted to talk about when you have less anger to deal with.
In the meantime, I suggest you deal with whoever made you angry and leave ugly/pretty girl debate for a time when you can think more clearly.

[I leave before he can stop me] I can’t deal with this shit right now. I sense there is more to this than what he lead me to believe. Let him stew in his own thoughts for a while.
And yet I can’t help but wondering if there is some inkling of truth to what he said: Do people who have not had it easy in life have more compassion for others, and does this necessarily mean that they have better personalities? I hope not, because if it is, we are screwed.

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Return to sender?

@emailI have a word stuck in my head: Kerfuffle. It is like a piece of gum that is stuck on the bottom of my shoe. The harder I try not to think of it, the more I do. If only I could use the word in a sentence or spring it on some unsuspecting soul at the office. That would make it go away, wouldn’t it?
Perhaps I should just go up to the rooftop and shout it out loud. K-E-R-F-U-F-F-L-E!!!
Okay… now that I hopefully got that out of my system, let’s get back to the post, shall we?

These days it’s so easy to ridicule someone behind their back via email or instant messaging. My co-worker, Gingerbread man, and I trash talk our colleagues via email all the time. What can I say? They do many strange things that beg us to ridicule them. My brain screams “WTF” more times than I care to remember.
Yesterday I fired off an e-mail about the guy sitting next to me. He is a tired, arrogant sonofabitch who believes that management is out to get us and who constantly complains about the promotion he was overlooked for a few months back. Give it a rest already, genius. Life is pain. Anyone who says differently is selling something.
He had declined an invitation to a senior meeting I had invited him to by offering up some lame excuse about taking his cat to the vet. It could have been the truth, but is it any wonder he was overlooked? The excuse was so lame I just had to make a snide remark about it and share it with my partner in crime.
Just after I had hit the send button, I heard the Outlook chime for an incoming message. Unfortunately, for me, it came from the computer of the very guy sitting in the office next to mine.
Dammit, instead of forwarding the email, I had replied and sent it back to the sender. I quickly checked my Sent Items folder and realized that I had screwed up.
I hurriedly scooted over to his desk and worked my magic on him. I told him that I was just on the phone with our boss and that he wanted to see him in his office right away. As soon as he left, I went back to his office and deleted the pesky email from his inbox.
Close call!
He returned to my office some time later and told me that the boss had not wanted to see him. “Err, sorry” I said, “I realised after you left that he had not actually asked to see you. He merely asked whether I had seen you.” He was not happy.

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