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Archive for the ‘Kak’ 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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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.)

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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.

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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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Grilled BBQ SteaksYesterday, the 24th of September 2007 was a public holiday. Heritage Day. Heritage Day is a day on which South Africans across the spectrum are encouraged to celebrate their cultural heritage and the diversity of their beliefs and traditions, in the wider context of a nation that belongs to all its people. Sounds good doesn’t it?
In 2005, a media campaign sought to “re-brand” the holiday as “National Braai Day” (translated National BBQ Day), and encouraged all South Africans to get friends and family together and to cook up a storm in true South African style and celebrate. How wonderfully patriotic we are!
Our company decided to get in on the festivities and we were all invited to attend a BBQ at an outdoor venue in Johannesburg. My scepticism aside about how much CO2 we’d be sending into the atmosphere and how many animals we’d be consuming, I was surprised at how well organised the event was.
As a rule I shy away from socialising with my colleagues on what I deem as my time, but [S] reckoned it was better than spending the day by ourselves. Who am I to disagree and stand up a chance to play with the other kids?
I had been forewarned about what NOT to say, or mention, etc. It’s a thorny issue as I tend to make weird statements that have no bearing on what is being discussed, but the better half resided over my behaviour (and she was sitting right next to me).
So I told the odd joke, ate food in the appropriate fashion (small bites and chewing with my mouth closed), listened to jazz, talked about sports, the state of affairs in Africa, laughed and smiled at comments, flirted politely and made appropriate statements like “cool” and “wow”. I even called my boss dude.
I was trapped in a Jane Austin set novel in the 21st century, eating the gorgeously cooked food, drinking the carefully chosen wine and making sure that my underwear did not show above waistband of my fashionably distressed jeans.
I was so charming and fitted in so well, I wanted to have sex with myself, in a non-sleazy kind of way.
I did however slip up at one point when I got asked a particular question about my food. “So, how would you like your meat?”
“I’ve not touched the vodka, so for now I’d like it to stay in my pants”
At which point, red wine flew out of my boss’s nostrils and [S] gave me a look that was so dirty, the white T-shirt I had on turned decidedly gray.
“Just kidding”, I said laughingly, “dead and well cooked with a generous helping of soot”.
Everyone giggled. The jury is till out on whether they laughed with me or at me.
Old habits are so hard to break… and so apparently is my ability to stay in line! Bugger.

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Bros hanging outGrowing up, every guy out there has heard about or practiced The Bros before Hos rule. It is only the number 1 rule in The Guy Rulebook!
It actually sounds worse than it is. Especially the “Ho” part. Tee-hee!
The rule doesn’t advise spending every second with the guys without a thought for your girlfriend… it’s about maintaining balance.
However, as you grow older and settle into a relationship it gets harder to enforce this rule, especially when the opposition in many cases is the one who can and will withhold sex.
It is easy to push aside the guys who were there when you were single as you embark on a new and exciting relationship, but it is also wrong.
I am not talking of totally neglecting your girl in favour of your friends or asking her to play second fiddle to them. Who would want to? Especially since she plays the (your?) fiddle so well, if you know what I mean.
No, I am talking about becoming so consumed by your new flame (relationship) that all your time is spent with her (and her friends) and your calendar is booked weeks in advance with shared plans. When your personality and individuality wanes and you start referring to yourself in terms of “we”.
You have no time for your friends and when they make plans to hang out with you, it becomes a case of “Sorry dudes, I have to check with there gf if we have anything on the weekend” or “Dude, I know we’re supposed to watch the game tonight, but she really wants to go look at new wallpaper for the bathroom.” Gah!
Why am I bringing this up? Well as you know, we are in the midst of the Rugby World Cup. (I won’t even mention the Twenty20 Cricket World Cup).
In South Africa, being the rugby nation that it is, this means less time spent with [S] and more time spent in front of the telly or the local sport’s bar with the mates.
It puts an enormous strain on the relationship and I constantly find myself defending myself for not “spending enough time with her”. To avoid this fate, I try and ensure that I have enough one-on-one time with her. I re-arrange my schedule and make time for her when the teams I support are not playing. That way I am able to keep my appointments with bros and with [S].
It is a battle getting the extra time from your girl, but it’s worth it. It is not about attending all the crazy nights out. The real depth of friendship comes from a beer and game of pool or watching a game with the mates.
If you start canceling plans, you’ll quickly find that there’s never a good time to hang out. Sometimes a girl will want to monopolize all your time and attention. Other times, she’ll want to split the last bond to the single life… your bros. What gives, I say? If you made plans with the guys, you have to stick to them, reminding her that the two of you can do things together the next day or the day after.
Life with a girlfriend and no guys would be a sad existence. So would plenty of bros, but no woman. There’s room for both. Deep down, you should remember one truth: It’s more likely your bros will help you when she breaks your heart, than her helping you when all your friends take off.
And open and honest relationship can only exist when there is compromise and when people in it are allowed to retain some individuality and independence.
[Note: BIG game tonight. South Africa vs England. Time to make us some potpourri!]

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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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