Friday, June 26, 2009

The Day The Music Died



I didn’t believe it when I checked my phone messages this morning and saw a text message from an unknown number saying that Michael Jackson was dead.

I was still doubtful when I checked my Twitter and Facebook and saw the countless messages outpouring from fans, expressing their disbelief and shock.

I was hoping the world had somehow got it wrong when I logged onto CNN and BBC.

By this time, the numbness had set in.

On the drive to work this morning, all the radio stations were playingMJ tributes. I was still numb, waiting for someone to confirm it was all a sick joke.

My day began with a long meeting, half of which I was not really present for, kept hearing MJ songs in my head. Only to find out during the meeting that I wasn’t the only one in shock, as my colleagues were also in a state of disbelief...

You can only appreciate the sheer magnitude with which Michael affected our lives by how news of his death has transcended racial, cultural, media and even musical borders.

Today the world collectively mourns. Even in his death, he has managed to unite the world.


I can’t help but feel that in his dying, a big chunk of my childhood has gone with him. All my childhood memories are interlaced with Michael’s influence.

- At 6yrs of age, I remember how, after watching Thriller, I was freaked me out for weeks.
- At 7yrs I was fully smitten with him and secretly wished I could be the girl in his “The Way You Make Me Feel” video.
- In junior school I remember what a big deal it was to stay up late (ie 10pm) to catch his Bucharest concert.
- My siblings and I spent countless hours imitating his dance moves (I hopelessly suck at the moonwalk).
- The opening beats to “Remember the Time” still gives me goosebumps.
- When I am in a bad mood and need to vent, I will listen to either “Scream” or “Don’t Care About Us”.
- When I am feeling upbeat, I will listen to his earlier recordings when he was with Jackson 5, “Rocking Robin” and “ABC” being my two favourites.

*sigh*

I can’t believe that my unborn children will live in a world where he is the past.

Michael Jackson will be to them, what Bob Marley and Elvis Presley are to me…amazing musicians from another era.

Sleep easy Michael, may you find the peace you sought in this life, in the next.

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead,
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last for ever: I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood.
For nothing now can ever come to any good.

W.H. Auden

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Unbearable Lightness of Being...Yourself

The nominated read for my bookclub for the next 5 weeks is Milan Kundera's novel, "The Unbearable Lightness of Being." I vaguely remember watching the 1988 film adaption at a very impressionable age because all i remember of the flick is that there was a dodgy s*x scene and everything looked gloomy. I am praying the movie lives up to its hype, because nobody seems to have a bad thing to say about this book.

Have any of you read it?

Anywho, the reason i named this post after the book is because i totally identify with the sentiment behind the book's title. I haven't read the book, but i would like to think that it addresses the hardships faced in maintaining a sense of individualism and self in a world where conforming is the name of the game.

I am currently the embodiment of the term, "The Young and The Restless". More than ever, i feel a calling to do my own thing, break out, break away...take the road less travelled. Thing is, the great unknown is scarying me sh*tless...i have got too comfortable in my 9 - 5 routine and my lovely corporate title and big name i work for, although in the same breath, these are the very things that are making me miserable and killing me softly (and i'm not even a Fugee).

The analogy i give friends and family is that i'm desperate housewife stuck in a loveless marriage that doesn't make any sense anymore but i've got so used to the trappings that come with it, that i am actually thinking twice about leaving.

So when am i gonna grow a pair and leave this charade is the big question...*sigh*?

Anyone have any advice for me? I'm all over the place right about now and any insight would be greatly appreciated?

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The Naming Game: Okay this is a bit random but i don't understand people who name their child before the child is actually born? A woman can be 6 months pregnant and her and her significant other have already dubbed that child "So-and-So The Fourth".

Maybe its the superstitious African in me but i don't believe that any child should be named until they've popped out of the womb, are breathing and we can get a good look at who we are dealing with here.

Make the name lists (heck i have those and i'm nowhere near popping out a sprog) but until that miracle comes full circle, hold back on naming the kid.
What do you think about this?
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Twitter's War of Words: Did you guys catch the volley match between Perez Hilton and John Mayer on Twitter, twas priceless! Firstly, does it make any sense that Perez Hilton tweets to his fans to call the police 'cause Will.I.Am has socked-it to him, inside of just dialling 911 on his own? Then he proceeds to play the victim although by the sounds of it, he instigated the attack...eish.

Can you say DRAMA?

Poor John, he tried to school Perez but sadly, fools seldom listen, lol.

John 1 - Perez 0

Chuckles: I was sent this picture in an email titled, 'The Milkman's Child" - it had me in stitches :-)


Happy Hump Day Chickens
Love,
V x

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Sunday Night Poetry XIII


It seems Father's are not that highly appreciated amongst poets! Mother's have pages and sonnets dedicated to them but Father's, eish, there are few and far between. Dad's seldom get the love and respect they deserve, even Joseph in the bible only gets opening credits and then there's no mention of him.

I would like to wish all Dad's out there a Happy Father's Day and thank you for being there, through thick and thin.

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Self-Portrait

I resemble everyone
but myself, and sometimes see
in shop windows,
despite the well-known laws
of optics,
the portraits of a stranger,
date unknown,
often signed in a corner
by my father.

A. K. Ramanujan
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Those Winter Sundays

Sundays too my father got up early
and put his clothes on in the blueblack cold,
then with cracked hands that ached
from labour in the weekday weather made
banked fires blaze. No one ever thanked him.

I'd wake and hear the cold splintering, breaking.
When the rooms were warm, he'd call,
and slowly i would rise and dress,
fearing the chronic angers of that house,

Speaking indifferently to him,
who had driven out the cold
and polished my good shoes as well.
What did I know, what did i know
of love's austere and lonely offices?

Robert Hayden
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Late Fragment

And did you get what
you wanted from this life, even so?
I did.
And what did you want?
To call myself beloved, to feel myself
beloved on the earth.

Raymond Carver
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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Puttin' On The Ritz

“If you’re blue
And you don’t where go to
Why don’t you go where fashion sits?
Puttin’ on the Ritz”

The “Ritz” in this instance would be the Arise African Fashion Show currently being held in Jozi till this Friday (20th June). The event is show casing Africa’s finest designers and let me tell you, the continent is brimming with talent y’all!

I was quite disappointed to notice that Zimbabwe was not represented at the show. I am not sure what that’s about, but then I've recently concluded, “Duh, they’re waiting for me innit.” – now if I could get past my current “sewing a zip” frustrations in my sewing class, I would be on the fast-track to stardom. On a serious note, I KNOW Zim is teeming with designer talent and quite frankly don’t understand the lack of representation…mmmmh.

I was hoping to catch the Sika show, their stuff is fan-ta-bu-lous, but sadly couldn’t get any tickets. Thanks to my friend D, who managed to rustle up some free tickets for Sunday’s show, were I caught the Martinique* designer, Paul Herve Elisabeth. His summer themed collection that brought the Caribbean vibe to chilly Jozi made me wish it was summer already *sigh*
*Side-note: Up until about 72hrs ago, i didn't even know there was a country/island called Martenique...eish, i need to reacquaint myself with an atlas!


Things that stood out for me at the show:

1. Some people were dressed like they were trying to upstage the designer and/or the models. What’s the point of getting all tarted up if noone is actually paying you any attention?

2. There was a pack of mohawk’d, dapper-inspired, vertically-challenged boy-men at the show. Supposedly, they’re a jozi fashion show staple. Twas the darndest thing; there were so many of them, I couldn’t tell if I was looking at a new boy-man or one I’d already seen, lol.

3. I didn’t get the memo which would have informed in that a pre-requisite to attend these shows is to speak in French ‘cause EVERYONE was parlez’ing their francais. It sounded so cool that I was content eavesdropping just to hear those sexy lilting tones.

4. A model is only as good as her walk. If her walk is wack, you end up focusing more on that than what she’s wearing. I’ve watched enough FTV and even attempted that coltish-baby giraffe walk to know it isn’t easy, but if that's your profession, you must at least try and look like you know what you are doing.

There was one model who was straight up limping, in the beginning my mates and I thought she was on some gangsta steez, but no, she was limping, eish – occupational hazard perhaps?

5. The way to get into any VIP area is to walk in there like you belong there…or just wait until there’s a mad dash by people that those manning the VIP entrance are so overwhelmed they let you in anyway :-)

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Fascinating Rhythm: I was coerced into attending a Zumba dance class at one of Richard Branson’s gyms yesterday evening. Given my aversion to all things gym-related, I must say that I was impressed by the class. Lordy, I was gasping for my inhaler after an hour of gyrating suggestively, hopping around and channelling Janet Jackson’s “Rhythm Nation” dance moves – the trainer was a slave-driver.

Thankfully, I was also kept thoroughly entertained by watching the puzzled and intrigued faces of people walking past the class, especially when the gyrations became downright raunchy!

Spud’s Back: I picked up the 3rd instalment in John Van De Ruit’s “Spud” series called, “Spud - Learning to Fly.” It had me howling in laughter and shaking my head in disbelief. The book makes me nostalgic for boarding school as it reminds me of a time when having to evade the wrath of prefects and matrons, after being caught talking after lights-out, was one of my biggest concerns.

Even if you never went to boarding school, pick up a copy anyway, it won’t disappoint!

So Long, Farewell: As predicted Ella flat-lined on me over the weekend and now I am using a dodgy replacement that is so wack I am afraid to bring it out in public. It is so basic a phone it can only save 10 smses at a time, i can’t access internet on it and i can’t change the ring tone… why did Vodafone even bother making it?

The good news is that hunt for a new phone is now on, the bad news is that I won’t be joining the Berry wagon anytime soon coz the prices are just plain outrageous (I mean SERIOUSLY, it’s a phone, not a new kidney!). I am feeling more inclined to go with another Samsung model, after all, Ella did love me long-time.

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Okay, let me summon the energy to prepare myself mentally for my return to work tomorrow, eeeek. Just when I was starting to get into this 4-day weekend routine!

Stay smiling chickens!

Love,

V x

Friday, June 12, 2009

Yes Please!

The power of positivity is not some airy fairy concept people, this here is a super-duper power!

Superman may have been able to fly, run very fast and hide behind a pair of out-dated spectacles, but his true power was his unshakeable optimism that good would triumph.

Spiderman had a fondness for brightly coloured spandex, could generate webs on a whim and spent too much time swooning over Mary-Jane than was deemed healthy, but it was his positive "can-do" attitude that made him hang in there (mind the pun) and keep fighting for all that is good.

And then there's my favourite real-life superhero, Obama! The man whose campaign slogan reeked with positivity, hope and all that feel-good ish, say it with now, "YES WE CAN."

This past Tuesday night i watched Jim Carrey's flick, "Yes Man" which not only had me in fits of laughter but also made me nod in agreement.

To embrace Life's gifts and opportunities, you need to open yourself up to the possibilities and just say Yes...not to everything though, but to the things that you previously would have said No to 'cause you either believed;

- You would fail at it;

- It's not your usual kinda thing; and,

- People would judge you.

We are on this earth for such a short period of time (this past weeks many disasters reaffirms this), it just doesn't make any sense to limit our options and experiences. We need to live big, think big, love big and it all happens with a lot of Yes and embracing the power of positivity.

True story :-)

Che Face...Il Gran Rifiuto

"For some people the day comes
when they have to declare the great Yes
or the great No. It’s clear at once who has the Yes
ready within him, and saying it.

he goes from honour to honour, strong in his conviction.
he who refuses does not repent. Asked again.
He’d still say no,
Yet that no – the right no –
drags him down all his life."

C.P. Cavafy

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364 days and counting: Have you got your tickets? Neither do I, but i am gonna get them eventually, even if they're shite ones where i end up watching Kazakhstan versus Bolivia, i am there like a bear! These type of events rarely happen, and i'm quite excited they're happening in my back-yard, yippee :-)

Oh, and if any of you are real die-hard footie fans hoping to get a peek at your favourite players, FIFA is currently hiring 15 000 volunteers from all over the world to assist if you're keen.

Thing is though, supposedly one of the rules is that you can't talk to the players or approach them in anyway. So if you are happy to swoon and/or hero-worship from a distance, this may be the gig for you, lol.

You can ring my bell: My phone is on life-support, the phone priest is on his way and is about to read it its last rites! Ella (my phone) and I have enjoyed just over 2 years of companionship, which in phone years is like forever!!!

A classy lady if i may say so myself, Ella has managed to stay fashion forward and relevant no matter the competition. Sadly, her current battery life leaves much to be desired, not to mention the countless scratches she's occured when i have dropped her.

Ella will be gone soon, in the meantime i need to find her replacement, any suggestions?

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Not only is the weekend upon us, but it's a loooooooooooong 4 day weekend to boot! Next Tuesday is a public holiday ("Youth Day") and i took the Monday off work. The challenge is to find non-money related activities to pass the time 'cause as Simply Red once crooned, "Money's too tight to mention."

Happy frolicking chickens,

Love,

V x

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Il fait mauvais

Ooooh, look at me, trying to resuscitate my O'level french, lol.

Guys, i don't know what the heck is going on today? Joburg has decided it's gonna try and channel Cape Town and now it's freaking raining on top of it being extremely cold. If this is the side-effects of global warming, then methinks that we should all be very afraid 'cause this ish isn't normal! I am holding thumbs that it doesn't snow this year like it did in 2007, that would truly be the icing on the cake.

Turn your lights down low: We have been having power cuts all morning today at work. I got in and the lighting in the office resembled that of a shady back-street boudoir. With the extreme baby-making weather going on outside and lack of lighting happening inside, its only a matter of time before people take advantage of dark boardrooms etc.

With all the first-hand reports i've heard of on-going hook-ups and bed-jumping in my department, i'd bet my right ear-lobe that people will be getting frisky up in hurr!

On the topic, i honestly don't understand why people hook-up with co-workers? Fair enough, you spend most of your waking hours at work and in close proximity to peers with, more or less, the same wants, values and drive as you...but still! Yes, there are some happy endings but more often than not, these things end badly and people get nasty.

Any of you chickens engaged in some 9-5 lovings?

Future's Made Up of Virtual Insanity: There's progress and then there's progress, sometimes i think as human beings we may be getting a tad bit ahead of ourselves! According to CNN, a new home pregnancy test can tell you within 10 weeks whether you are expecting a boy or a girl.

What happened to the element of surprise, just when you thought sonograms were invasive enough, along comes this test. I can't help feel that this test will be abused, take places like India or China where the boy-child is revered, now with this new home test, the rate of early abortions are more likely for those carrying a girl.

Sometimes ignorance is the way forward!

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Okey dokey chickens, let me get back to work...actually let me compulsively check my Twitter and then get back to work, tehehe.
Love,
V x

Friday, June 05, 2009

It’s a State of Mind

Don’t you just love it when you find the exact music that captures the mood you are in? Most mornings I spend the drive to work jumping from radio station to radio station trying praying to hear something decent, but those morning DJ’s talk too darn much for my liking. Then whilst the traffic proceeds to crawl at 1 metre every 10 minutes I’m usually busy flipping through my CD’s hoping something will jump out while inwardly berating myself for not getting that iPod connection thingy for the car. This morning I find a gem, a blast from the past, a CD chocker block with summer themed beats from early 2000.

I forgot that the traffic was crawling, I forgot that it was a cool 10 degrees outside, in that moment I was in, what Shona aptly termed, a Saint Tropez state of mind! Those beats reminded me of balmy nights at varsity and laughter-filled nights on white sand beaches with family.

My current Saint Tropez mind involves sunny skies, a big white Diddy-ish yacht, mojitos, a gold bikini with matching heels (so pornstar i know, but i love that look), some D&G stunners, the sounds of “Lady (Hear me tonight)” by Modjo playing in the background and fabulous company (preferably of the easy on the eye variety).

So tell me, what and who does your Saint Tropez state of mind involve?

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The Brady Bunch: Back in February when I was holidaying in the Cape, my mates and I caught a comedy show by David Newton who is a self-proclaimed award winning comedian. Guys, it was PAINFUL, he wasn’t funny…h e was offensive. There’s such a thin line between being funny and being rude and sadly he veered more towards the latter. The exact opposite is true of another South African comedian Trevor North, he’s hilarious…side-splitting-oh-my-hat kinda funny, so there’s some redemption among South African comedians.

This weekend, Wayne Brady of the “Whose Line Is It Anyway” fame, has taken a trip out to the motherland and is performing and I seriously can’t wait to see him!

Funny guys NEVER finish last. True story :-)

Miss New Booty: It appears that all those Woolies Peppermint Caramel Sundaes that I’ve been scoffing down as though my life depended on it, are finally having the desired effect I was going for. My booty is making a comeback, YAY! Random outburst, i know, but i thought i'd share!

Bad News Week: Heartfelt condolences to the grieving families with loved ones on the Air France plane that crashed. As tragic as the story is, and as nervous a flyer as I am, we must still remember that it’s still the safest mode of travel - for now anyway.
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Have a great weekend chickens, be good…or at least try to be good ;-)

Love,

V x.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Blame it on the (Insert your beverage of choice)

This weekend started out like most weekends, full of great intentions! By 10pm Friday night those intentions were "Dead and Gone!". I thought i had taken adequate precautions to ensure i made it home at a decent hour, i was only carrying enough cash to have two drinks and seeing as "drinks" was with people from the office (people i had seen all day) i figured that like Houdini, i would make my great escape.

I had not factored into my plan that the big boss man would start sponsoring round after rounds of drinks and with year-end performance appraisals round the corner, now was not the time to be a party-pooper, lol.

Jagerbomb, you are not my friend!

Don't even get me started on the R1500 bottle of Moet that was consumed the following night, thinking about it makes me weak! The stuff doesn't even taste that nice hmmph *sulk*


Moral of the story: Always ask the price for whatever you're drinking even if management refuses to give you a pricelist.



New Moon
November 20th!

November 20th!

November 20th!

The first movie from the Twilight series left much to be desired. The movie didn't follow the book's sequence, i think they mis-cast the Rosalie character and Kristin Stewart kept doing this annoying eye-fluttering thing when she was trying to convey confusion. However, with all the hype the books has received, here's hoping they've got bigger budgets, better acting coaches and actually follow the books!

I can't wait :-)

Where's Wally My Mojo: It's official my mojo and this city are not compatible! I've tried everything...okay, nearly everything but i give up! Can you say RELOCATION, lol.


Twitter Diet: You know that feeling you get when you've consumed too many jelly babies (thinking about it is actually making me feel queasy), i think i've over-indulged in Twitter.

So some rationing and detoxing is in order...i am gonna start with only checking Twitter after 10am - baby steps. Interesting how my diet coincides with John Mayer going awol on Twitter...hehehehe.

Alrighty chickens, let me get on with the rest of my Monday - let the clock watching begin (1hr 32mins and counting)

Love,

V x