Friday, July 20, 2012

Fifty Shades of Indifference

It would seem that the book trilogy of Fifty Shades of Grey has taken the world by storm. By world I mean the world of child-bearing 30+ women who have nothing better to do in their lives than escape to the sad and pathetic world of BDSM “mommy porn” (as the book is being marketed).
The only reason I heard about the book is because I follow MrsStephenFry on Twitter and she retweeted a funny post by 50ShedsofGrey, which also featured in HRHPrincessKate and PrinceWillsUK’s tweets. Anyone who follows these characters would know that anything they retweet is silly and not to be taken seriously (but highly entertaining). As I started following the tweets and laughed myself off my couch, I was at the same time puzzled by the nature of the tweets. Then from outer influences I started hearing about Fifty Shades of Grey. With the help of my trusty research sidekick (thank you Google) I found out a bit more. Unfortunately.
I read up the synopsis and can quite frankly say that Mills & Boon’s “The Spanish Billionaire’s Pregnant Wife” has more of a plot than 50SoG. I know because I read the Mills & Boons on a holiday when I had read all my other books and there was nothing else to read in the holiday house where I was staying. When desperate you will read the back of cereal boxes, admit it.
I could not understand how this trilogy could become so popular (but I guess it’s the same with Twilight, and note that 50SoG started off a Twilight based fan fiction. Need I say more?). Then realisation dawned. I have grown up in a liberal household. The naked body and sex was never a taboo subject. My parents even have the complete works of Gustav Klimt’s erotica. I remember asking my mom how babies were made. She told me, not the birds and the bees, but the real deal. I was cool with her answer. It didn’t shock me, and I was 4 years old! My dad once told a teacher of mine that I was a late baby (10 years into their marriage) but that him and my mom had lots of fun practicing. You can therefore understand why I never had this mind block that is so prevalent in English speaking countries. English speaking countries are still VERY prude. Continental Europe is much more relaxed.
My theory is that if you have grown up with something that is viewed as taboo and scandalous then when you come across it and you partake in it, you feel naughty and wicked doing so and it gives you a frisson. You feel bold and like a risk taker. Hence the books’ popularity.
The demographic of readers is predominantly housewives and mommies. Why? Because they live dreary dull lives that they want to escape from (if BDSM erotica can be considered spicy. It reflects more the fact that you have some serious issues and you need to see a shrink if getting spanked and chained up is the only way you can get your rocks off. Yes I have met people in the “community” and yes they major unresolved issues.). Of course I’m not saying that ALL moms have dull and dreary lives. But those that subscribe to this nonsense sadly do. The fact that many of these women’s’ lives are dull and dreary is quite sad actually. Rather than hiding in this erotic fantasy the ladies should GO AND SHAG THEIR HUSBANDS! I can guarantee the husbands will appreciate it. If they want to use a bit of kink to spice things up, by all means. But no book will “rescue” them from dull dreary lives. One is responsible for one’s own sexual happiness.
So you Ladies who might be reading the book: put it down and get a life. Put the kids to bed, you are not their slave, and get frisky with thine husbands! You’ll be much happier for it. Oh, and follow the twits I mentioned. You’ll have a good giggle.
In honour of 50ShedsofGrey:
Ever since she read THAT book, I’ve had to buy all kinds of ropes, chains and shackles. She still manages to get into the shed though.
“I’m a very naughty girl,” she said, biting her lip, “I need to be punished”. So I invited my mother to stay for the weekend.
“Hurt me,” she begged, raising her skirts s she bent over my workbench. “Very well,” I replied, “You’ve got fat ankles and no dress sense.”
“I am your master. You will obey my rules.” She rolled her eyes and walked out of the shed. That’s definitely it -  I need to get a new cat!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Happy IVGLDSW Day!

Today is International Very Good Looking, Damn Smart Woman's Day!

Remember these mottos to live by: 
  • Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, wine in the other, totally worn out and screaming 'WOOO HOOOOO what a ride!' 
  • Inside every older person is a younger person wondering what happened.
  • Inside me lives a skinny woman crying to get out. But I can usually shut her up with cakes. 
  • The hardest years in life are those between ten and seventy. 
  • I refuse to think of them as chin hair.  I think of them as stray eyebrows.    
  • Old age ain't no place for sissies.
  • Thirty-five is when you finally get your head together and your body starts falling apart.
  • If you can't be a good example then you'll just have to be a horrible warning. 
  • I'm not going to vacuum until Dyson makes one you can ride on.
  • Behind every successful man is a surprised woman.
  • Nobody can make you feel inferior without your permission. 
  • When life hands you lemons, ask for tequila and salt and call me over!!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Food for the soul

I am happy to announce that my new medication seems to be working. I am finally sleeping a lot better. I only wake up once a night and I fall asleep fairly quickly. It’s a glorious feeling. On the secondary symptoms side though, I suddenly developed the munchies. All I wanted to do was eat and eat and eat. And it was not cravings orientated. I just wanted food. But that too has calmed down. I think that I was probably resetting my appetite from meh, I don’t feel like food to yes, food is nice and I will have some.
My snotty nose is still around however. When I will get rid of it I don’t know. One day I will come across meds that will help. However, I will not let that get in the way and I’m FINALLY going back to gym. Next Sunday is the 702 Walk the Talk and I am doing the 8km walk. I need to remind my body that walking is easy.
The end of last week I was feeling rather frazzled (due to a mix of circumstances I won’t get into right now) and I needed to talk to someone and get a new perspective. So on the spur of the moment I went to visit Clemma. We have not seen each other in a while and it was awesome to catch up. We have one of those lovely friendships where even though we have not seen each other in ages we pick up right where we left off. We don’t get annoyed with each other if we don’t have weekly news.  It’s very low maintenance but we are quite close. Ooh the stories I could tell of the shenanigans we got up to at university. Awesome memories! And to think when we first met she thought I was an aloof bitch. Hehe!
Anyway, I brought scones, cream and strawberries and we sat, had coffee and had a long heart-warming chat. There is nothing better than having an awesome friend who will help you see through the forest and offer great advice. Thank you ma Cherie!
And while we sat and chatted, we oohed and aahed over Clemma’s brand new Jack Russel puppy, Lilly. Lilly is tiny and adorable. You could just eat her up. Clemma and Jono already have a JR called Oscar, a cute endearing little monster. Oscar is besotted with Lilly. She’s the best thing since doggy treats. It was utterly adorable watching the two play together. Oscar could get a bit rough and she would growl at him, resulting with him rolling onto his back for forgiveness. You can already see who will be the boss! They played tug of war with Jono’s old slipper, they ran across the lawn into the flowerbeds (thank goodness Agapanthus are forgiving  plants). When I left, they had both crashed and were sound asleep, together, in Oscar’s bed. Snoo and Squeeness!
It is unbelievably rejuvenating to watch animals play together. You forget all your worries and issues and realise that all you were worried about is really not that big a deal, that you will cross the bridge when you get to it, and that you will be calm when you do.
Thank you Clemma for all your sound advice and letting me recharge my batteries in your lovely home.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Out and About

A while back (I'm not sure how long ago, but some time ago, in a galaxy far far away etc...), someone was whingeing that it is better to live in a big European city because there is more to do and more culture. I clearly suspect that that someone probably spent all their time on their couch watching DSTV, scared of stepping outside in case someone tried to mugg/hijack/rape/kill (insert appropriate fear here) them.

I can definitely tell that there are many things to do in and around Jozi, as well as Durbs and Cape Town. Okay, perhaps not as much in the smaller towns, but that's the same overseas my dears. (Put even sleepy PE has it's share of goodies to do. Mastertons would be a definite place to see). Small towns are small towns. Since I started my bucket list year, I have done quite a few things on the list. I have been to 3 stage shows (Nutcracker on ice. Phantom of the Opera and Cabaret), I went to Madame Zingara, discovered new restaurants through my supper club, gone on a canopy tour, been to a medieval festival... 

Do you realise how much there is to do around here? We have a lot of art galleries. Yes they don't show the "big" names (as it costs a fortune to bring anything here, insurance etc), although Standard Wank to something occasionally, but we have many good South African Artists. We have museums, We have a million "organic" food markets and other markets, we have shows on everywhere, open gardens (went with mom last week to check out an aloe collection which was stunning!), parks, botanical gardens and more. You could troll all the brick-a-brack and antique stores, go to 44 Stanley ave, Parkhurst, Rosebank, Cyrilldene's China market, the Irene Market...

Every week I get a newsletter from the Maboneng Precinct. It's part of the re-upgrading of the CBD. On Sundays there is a food market, there is the bioscope which plays weird and wonderful movies, there are restaurants, art galleries, theatres, comedy nights and more. And it's dynamic and vibrant and you will always find something to do. 

There are books on what to do in Joburg. So much. It just takes getting off your lazy backside, taking a big girl pill and getting out there!

Admittedly, Jozi is not a scenic/pretty city, but it has a vibe. So the next person who tells me there is nothing to do here I will personally smack them over the head with the GREAT BIG BOOK OF OBVIOUS LAZYNESS! Kapish? No go on, after you finish reading this, take a shower, get dressed and go explore!

We can't really explore biggest darkest Africa (unless you're a mining company), so explore your concrete jungle. I promise you will find gems. I have.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Artist of the Week: Fort Minor and Hugo

Oh no, Clemma has beaten me to the weekly blog post. I better catch up hey?

Working in an open plan office is not the easiest thing. You are continuously surrounded by talking colleagues (we are a social bunch) and distractions abound. In order to be productive, I have taken to hiding behind my earphones and music. And I am always grateful when friends and colleagues give me new music.

A while back Clifford (cool colleague with nice cycler’s backside – he wears tight pants okay, not my fault I noticed) gave me some ACDC: tricky to listen to without wanting to jump around on one leg playing air guitar. “I want a Mistress…for Christmas…”He is also responsible for my new-found delight in Mumford and Sons and Lana Del Rey. Someone has to take the blame. As soon as he and his band State Society release their album I will be able to give a review. Note: the boy has talent.

This weekend I had supper with Calvin and Melissa: delicious red curry and Isle Flotante (the first time I have attempted to make custard – with success) with tons of good wine. They gave me movies, series and music. Today I am finding myself bopping my head up and down to hip-hop. Yes. You heard right. What has happened to Gerlinde? Did an alien kidnap her and mess with her brain? I NEVER listen to hip-hop!  But in my defence, this is not any random hip-hop. This is Fort Minor.

You probably remember “Where d’ You Go” on the radio such a long time ago. Fort Minor is a side project of Mike Shinoda, the lead singer of Linkin Park. So now you understand why I’m enjoying Fort Minor (being such a big Linkin Park fan).

The Rising Tied”, their one and only album, is really good. Shocking that I only got around to listening to the album now. I can only describe it as Linkin Park Lite. Catchy tunes, good lyrics and rhythm to the songs. It’s a pity that only one album was released (and 7 years ago at that). I would enjoy hearing more of that collaboration. I guess I’ll have to make do with the new Linkin Park album that’s out “Living Things”.

Another artist Hugo (Hugo Chakrabongse Levy) is keeping me company. He is a half-Thai, half-British singer-songwriter. His album “Old Time Religion” is a blend of country, bluegrass, blues, and old school rock. He even sings in Thai.

I’m discovering that I am rather partial to indie style music which makes use of a blend of styles. None of this “churned out for radio” nonsense. And yes, I am proud to say that I am very grateful to NOT be going to Lady Gaga’s concert at the end of the year. Now Big Concerts, if you are listening, please can you bring us Muse, Linkin Park, Kasabian…