Thursday, 30 August 2012

Untitled (Hidden Track)

Toe ek dit vir jou beskryf in die epos moes ek dit ook kry as prent.
Pragtig vir my, maar seker nie die selfde gevoel vir almal nie.
Daai dag was my voete so seer geloop, dit was die Champs en die Orangerie en les Halles en die Pompidou want as mens daar is moet mens alles sien om later te kan name-drop. En ek's net nog so lank onder 25 om oorals mahala in te kom.

Die ding is groot. Groot soos 'n muur in my kamer. Dalk 'n meter kleiner. Met 'n swart bank om te sit en kyk. Niemand anders was in die kamer nie. Dis beste as mens net alleen kan kyk sonder ander wat hul opinie wil deel en bespreek en besluit of dit nou goed is of nie. Ek weet nie. Vanaand was weer 'n uitstalling. Dis maar alles smaak in die einde.

Ek bedoel, die skulptuur wat op my tafel sit en dag en nag vir my koekeloer is nou nie almal se ding nie. Bietjie weird seker. Maar ek smaak hom met sy blommetjie waar ek vingerafdruke kan sien, waar ek agter my laptop skerm skuil en hom tog nog altyd kan sien.

Maar hierdie perd, mense. Ek wil op sy rug klim en van grys tot bont ry.

Troels Wörsel, Untitled, 2007

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Here comes your man

My man is menacing. Evil. Take all the superheroes in the world, banded together Avengers-style, and they'd also be shit-scared of him. That is why I dutifully give him R2 every time I get back to my car after a day at the university and it is still in the same condition as what I left it. 

You see, my man is the car guard in one of the streets around Tuks. Although it is still a walk, it is the nearest street without little no-parking-Ps everywhere. And I've gotten enough parking tickets, so it is a bit of a must to park with Dr. Evil if there is no space in the designated student parkings. Which is often the case. 

It pissed me off. Badman is not there when you park in the morning, but stands guard when you get back. Although he had done nothing, and it should be your right to park there without being menaced by some random tsotsi, his whole demeanour is like a prison-escapee. But since I don't want my tyres slashed or the car stolen I dutifully give him R2. Nothing more, nothing less, so that he will leave me the fuck alone. 

Friday, 24 August 2012

Bury me in surprise

A friend shared this on FB.

It sort of feels a tiny little bit like it should be on some Twilight  soundtrack. This is not an insult, all the soundtracks have been good compilations I think. I mean, Editors? Sia? Black Keys? Lykke Li? Muse? Florence + the Machine? Band of Horses? Whoever is choosing the music has a good ear.

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Spring can be the cruellest of months/ but...

The geckos are back on the walls. (Which freaks me out.)
The garden smells like Jasmine. (Which I adore.)
The evenings are too hot for my blankets. (But I am too lazy to change them.)

And these beauties have resurfaced.


Now just the Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow needs to start blooming in front of my window and I'll be in smell-heaven. 

Wednesday, 22 August 2012


My online purchasing habits have been restricted to books, DVDs and concert tickets. But a few weeks ago Mr Price launched their online retail store, and I decided to check if it works or whether one should stick to going to the actual shops. 

The website was easy to use, registration was fine and overall the whole 'ordering stuff you want'-part was also quickly done.  I thought that delivery would take at least a week, but my order was sent yesterday ( yay for tracking your purchase online) and arrived this morning. Amazing. If I ever decide to become a complete hermit at least I know I can order everything I need from the web. The sandals I requested were too small, but the rest fit fine. I am superimpressed that everything went so smoothly. And the sandals can be sent back or exchanged at any of the Mr Price stores, which are all over. 

Oh yeah, I totally bought those colourful pantalones. 

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

This is paralysed

Ich weiß auch nicht, weißt, wegen dem gehen. Ich weiß du weißt es auch nicht. Vielleicht ist es eine gute Idee einfach alles abzuwarten, zu schauen, vielleicht meldet sich die CAF, vielleicht jemand anderes, vielleicht klappt es ja mit dem Master.

Aber wenn man dort ist und es nicht mehr sein will weiß ich auch nicht was die Antwort ist.
Wenn du gehst, was lässt du hinter dir, und wen. Und wenn du bleibst, was kommt auf dich zu und kannst du es packen, alleine. Wenigstens kann man skypen. Oder in die Bahn steigen.

Alles ist sicher ein Risiko. Und in 20 Jahren denken wir uns, pah, alles halb so schlimm, die ganze Panik umsonst, Hah, die Jugend. Alles intensiver und schlimmer und voller Angst dass die Zeit nicht reichen wird um das "Geplante Leben" zu schaffen.

On verra.

via Postsecret

Sunday, 19 August 2012


I can't remember where this photograph was taken, guessing Berlin 2010. 
I wonder what this means.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Être et Avoir

Brunchtime. Lunchtime. Eating time. Conversation time.

The whole kitchen smelled of spices: cardamom and cinnamon and star anise and coconuts and oranges, simmering in a pot. All of your kitchens must have carried a lingering loveliness in them, because what everyone brought to the table today was wonderful. There were Thunderous Pupil's pancakes with a cream cheese filling and   strawberry sauce with a hint of cayenne pepper; Lucky Beggar's chocolate croissants with rosewater ice cream; Vulgar Killah's cheese scones and mini chicken pies; X-pert Criminal's conversational contribution, and well, Dynamic Madman's ( that would be me) coconut milk rice with pistachios. Nom nom nom nom nom nom nom nom. You know the food is good when there is a long moment of enjoyed silence.

Regarding the names, everyone was assigned a Wu Tang Clan name, generated by The Internet. Check what your own would be.

The Coconut Milk Rice recipe was a combination of Rebecca Crump' of Ezra Pound Cake and  Cook to Love's gluten-free version which worked out quite well. It is a bit of a weird thing, sweetish rice. I've never been a fan. But then my friends in Paris took me to a tiny place for brunch once where it was part of the dish-up menu, and it was extremely tasty. Not too sweet, and unexpectedly not too strange for brunch.

The Rice Pudding

Choc Croissants and Rosewater Ice Cream

Places. People. 

Pancakes with cream cheese filling and strawberry sauce.

For the brunch club's next meeting, it will have to be this Earl Grey, Apple and Dark Chocolate Bread Pudding

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Do it like a dude

I never got the birds-and-the-bees speech. Instead, my friend K used to get this magazine called Bravo, where each week(?) one girl and one guy would have a page dedicated to a naked picture of themselves and  a little questionnaire about their sexual experience. There was a "Dr. Sommer"-section where some doctor (or presumably just a staff member) would answer questions pertaining to sex ( something along the lines of "I want to sleep with my boyfriend, but don't know if I should.  - Anna, 13 years old). There was also a page where teenagers could recount their first time and photo-love-stories where inevitably some girl would fall in love with some guy and at some point the would end up anywhere from just kissing to heavy petting to having sex. 

It sounds all dodgy when I re-read it, but actually it was very educational. Even now the website is quite cool if you are a teenager and don't want to ask a real person uncomfortable questions. Actually, it is hilarious. The question of the day is "The sex ended so quickly!". Another one is "Moritz wants to stop constantly masturbating", or "My mom found a condom in my room", or "Pain from too much sex?". I want their problems.  And the images! Here are two gems:

This one had the caption: "My penis itches!" 

Damn. I am almost peeing in my bed (perhaps I should send in :"Why am I incontinent?") it is so funny. But also educational. I mean, most people aren't comfortable with saying 'penis' and 'vagina', never mind talking about what goes on behind closed doors. Real life is not a Sex and the City get-together to talk about the benefits of some sex swing over lunch and a Cosmo. People are embarrassed easily when it comes to anything involving bodily functions. 

In light of over-sexualized advertising, music videos, series and film, I find it quite ironic. I mean, you can't talk to your kid about what's happening in his/her pants, but watching Spartacus or Game of Thrones is fine. Even in more family-friendly shows like Glee, Gossip Girl and Grey's Anatomy people are shagging all the time. 

Funnily, a middle-school teacher in the US has created this blog about questions that her 7th graders drop in the question box. So great. 

Both images via Sex Questions from Seventh Graders

Sidebar: Uhm, when I wrote this last night, the sexquestionsforseventhgraders site was working perfectly, but seems to be failing now. But maybe its just my internet today. 

Friday, 10 August 2012

Paperbag Writer

To remember specific information during exam-time, I make colourful mind-maps with little drawings. On the one hand, they make me feel like I am preparing, and on the other hand I remember the information by associating it with specific colours and images. But mostly the information does not stay for very long, and now I have no idea what all the mind-maps in stored files and folders are meant to summarize. Sure, there are situations and specific info that we commit to memory, but mostly, we tend to forget.

Not this man though: Stephen Wiltshire is an artist from GB who draws skylines (amongst other things) after having seen them only once. In the video/ad, his sister says she would "love to be in his mind in order to actually see how he sees things". I assume it is because he is autistic and his mind works in ways we are not used to, but is that not a true statement for any being? I would also like to climb into your mind, Being-John-Malkovich-style, and see how you see. Any 'you' would do. Autism or not, we all see and understand differently.

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Snow ((Hey Oh))

Duft des Schnees

Das Fenster stand trotz winters offen, und ich roch, sobald ich in das Zimmer trat, den Schnee. 
Ich roch und erinnerte mich: das kannte ich, das würzig Kühle, das sanfte Duftgewölk von Milliarden winzigen Schneesternen; diesen Flockenduft, der hereinwirbelt, diesen Schneesternschauer. 

- Bruno Epple

For the first time in my lifetime, it snowed in Pretoria. Normally in winter, the sun continues to shine and the days are warm enough, just at night time your feet become like icicles and a heater/warm water bottle/ hot company is needed. But yesterday, everyone kept updating their FB statuses about the snow in Joburg and for the first time in recorded history, snow fell in all nine provinces. Hillary Clinton, here on some business/trade thing, was even named Nimkita, 'bringer of snow'. 

I looked out of my window and saw sunshine. What snow?! An hour later, things had changed, and rough snowflakes were falling on the washing outside. In honour of this, a few people came over for pancakes and Glühwein. No better reason than snow falling for the first time since the 1960s, hey. 

My friend Sliv's view from her office. 

via News24
on FB

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Idealistic Animals (Man)

The whole time I'be been stressing about having to choose. About having to definitively say 'yes' or 'no'.

Now I will let the chips fall where they may. For now, I choose 'maybe'.

Friday, 3 August 2012

Block und Bleistift

According to the National Geographic(the July 2012 issue, p. 28), cursive is dying out. In 2010, a survey showed that "85 percent of collegians printed when they wrote", and that as of this year, teachers focus on teaching their students how to type, not how to write in cursive.

I remember learning how to write cursive, how the letters needed to touch specific lines in our exercise books and how, in Grade 3, we started drawing little hearts and circles instead of the i-dots. I remember getting my first Lamy fountain pen, in blue. It is still the pen of choice when writing exams that take three hours.

Even if my handwriting is deemed illegible, I like it. Everything is so nicely bound, every word a little unit, tied by the cursive connectors, stitched, flowing, growing into something of meaning. How can cursive be dying out? The article states that all writing is, in fact, becoming outdated. It is true, no one really writes anything out any more. We type emails, not letters. We even type and print out letters. I mean, think about how often you still write things down? Even note-taking in class is increasingly done on laptops and ipads and whatever else. We WhatsApp, BBM, and sms to communicate. It is the sign of progress, but also a sign of loss.

My Afrikaans grandmother's handwriting is minuscule. My German grandmother's u's have a little line over them to distinguish them from her n's. My father's handwriting presses through to the next few pages clearly. My sister's handwriting is very straight and orderly and legible. My mom and I sign the 'zsch' at the end the same way. My friend Gunda's handwriting looks like it is always smiling. I know it is you writing without having to look at the name.

Cursive might be slowly disappearing, and I understand that legibility is important, but our handwriting is our fingerprint on the page. No Calibri, no Helvetica, no Times New Roman can replace that. It will be a sad day when handwriting becomes a rarity. Just look at these beauties:

Do you recognize your own?

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Je me lâche

We went to a Caribbean/Spanish film festival once, but the only screening we could attend was entitled Miranda. Not really knowing what it was about, we spent three hours watching some obscure Venezuelan general recount from prison his rise and fall from greatness. It seemed like a South American version of Napoleon, mixed in with a bit of The Count of Monte Cristo. When we left it had not nearly finished and we felt like we deserved three hours of our lives back.

Another time we (haha, a different we) went to see Ping Pong Bath Station at the 2010 Japanese Film Festival, and it was a great night. The film is about a Japanese housewife who feels ignored by her husband and teenage son and returns to the hot-spring resort where they spent their honeymoon. She finds it neglected and creates a ping-pong event to attract new visitors to the area.

The next year we went to see Kamome Diner about a Japanese lady that opens a traditional diner in Finland and her encounters with two other Japanese ladies and the Finns who don't enter her diner. After the film ended, employees from the embassy handed out these enormous rice balls with salmon at the centre, which the ladies in the film make constantly. I'm not very much into fish but it was cool walking out and smelling what one had seen being made in the film.

Another time we went to a Canadian screening of Saint Ralph about a boy who believes that if he can win the Boston marathon his mother will awaken from her coma and he won't have to become an orphan. I appreciated the not-so-seriousness and lack of grand effects because the films we have to watch at university are [intense] and often uncomfortable. Those being screened at cinemas are usually blockbusters laden with all sorts of crash/boom/bang additions.

Now, the opportunity presents itself to visit another, this time in French.
French films will be screened at Brooklyn's Nouveau from the 10-12 August, but there are sessions in Cape Town, Joburg, P.E. and Durban as well.

Here is the link to the program. I've read and seen Love lasts three years, by Frédéric Beigbeder, about how after three years your wife leaves you and you start writing a book about it. It is an easy-watching rom-com type of movie.

I'm thinking The Intruder, 35 shots of rum, Declaration of War... Well, all of them, really. One shouldn't say no to free cinema.