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Archive for the ‘Gossip’ Category

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?

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Independent woman?One thing that I find uncomfortable and that annoys the shit out of me is when a woman (or a man for that matter) tries so hard to prove that she is an independent woman that she forgets to relax and just be herself.
I am all for “girl power” or whatever you may want to call it, but there is a fine line between asserting yourself and basically saying that you don’t need anyone in your life to be happy.
I met with a woman today and all I had to listen to, for what amounted to a considerable amount of time, was how independent she was (financially and otherwise), how much she has achieved in her lifetime, and how she does not and will not take a backseat to anyone because of her gender. [Good on you, sister!]
All of this ambition and self-assuredness are good and well I suppose. I actually found some of the things she mentioned quite admirable and… and at the same time, quite scary.
In talking to me about her independence she actually told me how insecure she really was. Which could explain why in spite of all her accomplishments she has yet to hold down a successful relationship? Any man brave enough to get close to her, would spend half his time trying to get enough distance between them to re-grow his own testicles and to find a relationship in which he can be a man.
All the while I kept thinking to myself, “Why are you telling me this? Don’t you know that quietly asserting yourself is sometimes the best way to get a point across?”
I had visions of her being dumped a lot or being mistreated and looked down upon at some point in her life. She made me think of her as the proverbial wet blanket. She would be the first person to end or leave the party. The sad thing is that no-one would miss her. She is so obsessed with not appearing weak that is exactly how she came off as… weak.
In putting up a front and broadcasting “I am woman hear me roar” to anyone who cares to listen, she has forgotten who she really is. I saw a scared little girl who is afraid of being alone and who overcompensates for her flaws. She is probably afraid of her own successes, none of which has brought her much happiness. Whatever happened to being “inter-dependent” and combining your greatest skills with that of your partner?
I may be completely off-kilter in my assessment of her, and perhaps this is how she wants to spend the one life that was given to her.
The side effect of all of this is that she paints a very bleak picture of herself. I am not sure she knows who she really is. And when she finally does meet someone she likes, she will screw it up.
Independent women, ball busting super-bitch or just plain scared little girl? You decide.

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I work with aliens

Overheard in the tea-room
Guy 1: I couldn’t make it to this morning’s status meeting. Did I miss anything important?
Guy 2: Nah, you didn’t miss much. Every time someone said something, it was like in one brain and out the other.

Gives new meaning to the term schizophrenic, don’t you agree?

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Oh joy! (part 2)

I guess the follow-up post on Saturday’s conversation with the nephew is overdue. Despite the tricky nature of the subject, it went remarkably well and much better than I expected. He’s a good kid and we get along fine .Of course I had him helping me clean up the garage first, while I contemplated the all-important next move.
Help in breeching the subject came from an unexpected source… television.
I was all set on using KN’s amusing, yet unorthodox approach when television provided the all-important opening. We were watching an Australian Open women’s singles match when he commented on their muscular forearms. Hehehe… figure the hormonal teenager to notice all the finer details of competitive women’s tennis.

Me: Yeah, I hear vigorous exercising of a particular muscle group can do that to you.
He giggled: Is that why your mouth is so big? From putting your foot in it?
Me (Laughing out loud): Keep that up and you’ll be following in my footsteps. But since you hardly ever exercise, I reckon you aren’t in danger if that ever happening to you. Although your mom mentioned that you have been getting a lot of forearm action lately.
[All out laughter. He throws his hands up in the air and covers his face.]
He: I guess it is all out in the open then? Mom spoke to you, didn’t she? I had a hunch she may talk to you about that. I’m just glad that she did not take it upon herself to talk to me. Our last conversation about sex is something I never want to do again… ever.
Me: You know your mom does the best she can, but I share your sentiments. She can be a bit over the top.
He: I knew I should’ve locked my door.
Me: Next time try the bathroom (more laughter).

To be honest, I was quietly amazed at how calmly he approached the whole thing. No theatrics, to denial. Cocky (excuse the pun) little bastard!
He: I am embarrassed, but I am not going to lie to you. My buddies and I talk about what we do all time. Discovering that our penises (he used another word) are much more than something you pee with, is kind of a big deal. There is quite a bit of forearm action going on.
Me: I understand. You know of course that you don’t have to beat it death in one go. It may not seem like it now, but there is a lot more to becoming a man than being sexually active. (Awkward silence)

I did not want to break it to him that the ongoing fascination with sex and his penis would last for quite a long time. Come to think of it, men never really get over it.
What followed was a long and candid discussion on the subject. I‘m not going to go into detail. It is amazing how much kids learn from other kids. When you put all of their bits and pieces together, the truth is basically in there somewhere. Television, cinema, MTV and magazines pretty much demystified what was once a forbidden subject. It took me back to my own adolescent days when sex was pretty much all my mates and I talked about. We had us a good laugh at the myths surrounding sex and masturbation.
He was actually much more concerned about how he should act around girls. What should he talk to them about. When is it ok to ask a girl out and to kiss her. Believe me, whipping it out and getting naked with a girl is not the most important thing on their minds. It may get to that stage soon enough, but right now it is all wishful thinking. In reality, 13 year olds aren’t comfortable enough with their own sexuality to jump to the next level.
I tried to make him understand that I realise there is a lot of pressure from his mates to do certain things. Hanging out at the mall, smoking, drinking, doing drugs… and getting a girl. He should not feel compelled to do anything he does not feel comfortable with. Doing what he knows is right and acting responsibly is far more important. There is lots of time to grow up and become a man. It is ok for him to still be a boy… and kicking my ass in a game of Tekken 5 (A martial arts combat game for PS2).
I got off easy, I think. He is more mature than I give him credit for. Growing up without a father can do that to you. I’d also like to think my status as the “cool uncle” made it easer for him to talk openly.
I can only hope that I will have the same open relationship with my own kids one day. Yeah rght!

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Oh joy!

stork Sex has always been a dicey subject for me and when my sister asked me to speak to my nephew on the subject; I was more than a little alarmed.

ME: There is no way you can expect me to do this! No way! He’s your son. What on earth makes you think I am equipped to talk to him about this?
SHE: In case you haven’t looked in the mirror lately… you are a man and I’d rather have you speaking to him about this than his father. (She’s divorced and the Ex is persona non grata. She is still not over the fact that he walked out on them)
ME: [V], he is turning 14 this year. It may be a bit presumptuous of me, but common sense tells me you should have talked to him about sex and puberty over a year ago. ‘Coz if you haven’t done so by now, I am sure he already got the short and sexy version from his mates at school.
SHE: Of course I spoke to him about puberty and sex. It was the most uncomfortable thing I’ve ever had to do and at the end of it we both agreed never to bring it up again. Hence, I am asking you.
M (laughing): Ok… so what you need me for?
SHE: Well, I walked past his room this morning and I think he was… (She leans forward and whispers to me) uhm… masturbating.
ME (somewhat surpised): Masturbating? Oy! (At this point I am thinking, “way too much information on the nephew”. I wanted to ask how she came to this conclusion, but thought it better not to know the inimate details)
SHE: Yes. And will you stop laughing? This is serious.
ME: Uhhh… yeah… whatever you say. What do you want me to say to him?
Would you rather he has unprotected sex with girls his age? Considering the alternatives, masturbation is safe and harmless and I am sure all the boys of his age are doing it. Come on,sis, he’s only experimenting, for crying out loud!
SHE: That is not what I meant. Listen, just talk to him about it, okay?
ME (still amused): You know of course that all those stories mom and dad fed us about going blind, infertility, hairy palms, etc. aren’t exactly true.
SHE: Yeah, I know, I know… just let him know it is…well… okay and talk to him some more about safe sex, girls, and the consequences of teen pregnancy, etc.
ME: Uh… you sure you want me to do this?
SHE: Being sure has nothing to do with it, but right now, you are all I’ve got.
ME: Thanks for the vote of confidence, sis, and the glowing recommendation. I’ll be sure to include you on my resume.

I still remember the time when I reached when reached puberty. My father handed me a book and said, “Here, read. And if you have any questions, you can speak to me or your mother about it”
Short and sweet… no fuss. I read the book and didn’t ask them a thing. I wasn’t going to risk it. Knowing my parents, going to them for answers would have been disastrous and embarrassing. Besides, we kind of had a history of avoiding the truth about sex.
When I was 7 or 8 years old, I finally plucked up the courage to ask my parents where babies came from. My mom looked at my Dad, who looked at my Mom, who then related to me the myth about the stork who delivers babies. The woman did not even blink once. Brilliant!
So, for many years after that I was convinced that I needed to have sex with a long-legged bird in order to have children of my own one day. Abstinence seemed like a gift from God.
I dunno how to breech the subject with him. Uncles aren’t meant to do these things. I think I’ll stall until he’s 18, hire a porno and hand him a six-pack of beers to go with it.
“Here, watch. And if you have any questions, you can speak to me about it” Hopefully, he’ll be to drunk to say anything.

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