Life can be pretty funny- although sometimes you have to dig deep to find the humour. Often, people don’t get it. Have you ever been asked “Why are men like that?” as if you should know the answer? Why does my family laugh if I injure myself? Why should a man never be trusted to shop for clothes on his own? From the dawn of civilization, we have pondered these mysteries: Could a being as uncomplicated as a husband have found the key? Nah, but he has fun trying…
Tuesday, March 03, 2009
Form a neat, orderly queue for autographs, please
This is the book I contributed to. It's just been printed, and will be on the shelves soon- it isn't at the moment- I got an advance copy. This is my blog, so I'll brag...
I wrote a chapter on communication. Stop snorting behind your hands!
It's called the Happy Years, published by Abraham Kriel. I'll post a more formal link to a place where it can be bought later on, with isbn and other details, but, unless you are parenting adolescent children you may not give a hoot. Unless you really like me, and wish to support my first book being published.
It's been a crappy week, so excuse me while I revel in something good:
Posted at 06:39 pm by SGDBlog
Leaving Jerry Springer behind…
It's summer here in Cape Town. Not just any summer- feels like the hottest in decades. The kind of heat that causes orchids to grow spontaneously in the bathroom, and human beings to wilt like roses on the 15th February.
It would be nice if all I was shedding were petals, but no. I'm 'glowing': what my mum always said was the polite term for sweating like a chain-gang full of convicts. Why is it that I can sit in the train looking malarial with a sheen of sweat soaking right through my clothes, and other people can look as if they are enjoying a mild breeze? I sit there, groaning softly to myself, rivulets of sweat creating tiny deltas on my collar, unable to summon the energy to fan myself.
The children also seem to battle- must have some Scottish gene that prefers the barren and frozen thistle-speckled highlands. I've never seen children sweat like this. It's so hot that if you drink cold water, steam is liable to scald your nose.
My hands drift limply over the keyboard, and I wonder if it will ever be cool again. It's been 35 degrees C the last couple of days- where Neen is in the States, it has been -4 degrees. It truly is bizarre to see the difference on the video link- her in scarf and hat, me half-naked (there is a distinction there: I do not send out live footage of myself naked on the net, ok?).
But am I really complaining?
In a month or two, the monotony of winter will set in- which in Cape Town is just enough wind to spoil an outing to the beach. There isn't any point in complaining about the weather (ok, sure, if your entire town is subsumed by a global superstorm, then maaaaybe you have a right to complain). Weather just is. I'd better stop before my sebaceous glands seep into the keyboard and ruin the computer.
Posted at 05:50 am by SGDBlog
Monday, March 02, 2009
O, for a baseball bat and a dark alley
So I was at a party on Saturday night. A woman I've known for twenty years was there with her very tall, strong drunk boyfriend. She didn't want him to drive. He pulled her out of the car and beat her up, really badly, knocked her tooth out, covered her with bruises from head to toe. I tried to restrain him- but he's huge, and he beat me up- kicked me in the head and stuff. She would not go to a hospital, would not lay charges, and wouldn't tell her family. She has allowed him to stay on in their apartment, and he has convinced her that it is her fault. I'm devastated. What would you do?
- Tell your family
- Go to the police
- Keep quiet
- Forgive him
- Blame yourself
- Blame alcohol
- Hunt him down and kill him
I'm going to lay a charge today of assault (for what he did to me). I told her family. I will not, cannot, stand by and enable this abuse- one of the most violent things I have ever seen. I love my friend, and she needs to be away from him. I fear for her safety- she needs counselling, police, hospital. I may have lost a friend, but this is really one of those have-to-do-the-right-thing times.
Abuse against women and children is inexcusable. I'm a little afraid he may come after me, but it's worth it to know that he is exposed for what he is- a cowardly, brutal man with a psychotic streak who needs to be locked up, or at least very far from her.
I'm fine- a little bruised, but surprisingly uninjured. For her, the nightmare is just beginning. But she'll have the support of her family, who love her and will protect her.
*additional note: she has kicked him out, and left him. She's getting the help she needs from her family. She'll start the long process of recovery.
Posted at 07:26 am by SGDBlog
Thursday, February 26, 2009
10 LIES THEY TELL AT MEALTIMES
- This is deeeeeelicious! You should make this EVERY day, Daddy.
- Mmmmm, this is better than the food at the restaurant.
- Yes, I do want more: I'm not full!
- I'm fuuuuull (the whining inflection is important, here).
- I've always hated pasta.
- Ooops! I 'dropped' those boiled potatoes on the floor. Twice.
- I didn't eat snacks just before supper. (Conceals orange chip crumbs).
- I'm tired/need the toilet/feeling sick…
- That black bit looks like a dead fly, I'm not eating, ever again.
- You cook muuuuch better than mommy, daddy (observe the mommy slump a little in her chair and vow never to cook again).
I've had a week so far of feeding them, and they are still more-or-less upright. They've had the occasional snack to distract them, and I'm using paper plates as much as possible to avoid doing too many dishes, but at least I haven't had to call in UNICEF to prance around in white jeeps with inappropriate sources of nutrition.
9 weeks to go until Neen/mommy comes back.
*makes small calculation*: 9 x 7 days = 63, 63 x 4 people= 252.
252 x 3 meals= 756
756 pizzas@ R50.00 per Pizza= R37 800.00 (not including tips for delivery)- so call it an even R40 000.00
(40000 South African Rand(s) = 4064.01 US Dollar(s)
1 USD = 9.8425 ZAR
1 ZAR = 0.1016 USD)
That's a lot of money.
That's a lot of pizza.
Anyone offering to bake me something?
http://www.gocurrency.com provided the economic expertise; I just sat with a head full of mush after four figures.
Posted at 09:23 pm by SGDBlog
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Dunno where you live but apparently, in my neighbourhood, it is tradition to interfere with the exhaust of your motor vehicle, do something horrific to it with a welding torch and a lack of conscience.
Then you take a look at your dash, and find something lacking. That something turns out to be a GIANT SOUND SYSTEM THAT GOES BOOOOF BOOF BOOOOFFFFFF.
Then, because you are a well-rounded personality, and your abominable blue-collar job somehow gives you these hours to drive around, you choose to do do-nuts outside my house.
All I ask, is that after I’ve spent an hour crooning a Noddy book to my two-year-old, and chanting as though it’s a newly discovered spiritual discipline, ‘go to sleeeeep, now, go to sleeeeep’, you control your desire to leave tyre tread in my driveway.
And you can add to that the ungodly hour of four am.
BECAUSE IF YOU DON’T I’M GOING TO COMMIT CAR-O-CIDE.
Thanks for listening. I’m off to distribute some more baby-valium: that is, sing the Barney anthem, ‘I LOVE YOUUUU’ until my head explodes.
Posted at 08:21 pm by SGDBlog
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Over the Wild, wild Ocean
You can imagine the chaos- the unraveling of the house, the slow collapse of all that is recognizably human. In a few short days I have gone from being the person I was- just the normal guy sitting next to you on the train- to being unhinged- like Kurtz in Apocalypse now, or some other equally deranged person.
See, Neen is away. For ten weeks.
I’m like a mad grown-up version of McCauley Caulkin in Home Alone, except for one thing: I’m not alone.
I have the three children.
At least, they were children. Now they are like feral creatures circling the outskirts of the forest, looking for a vulnerable place to attack. I’m onto their little games, I can read their menacing tactics, and outsmart them in an instant. I know how to suppress the fear of their sharp little teeth (ok, so maybe I forgot to order them to brush their teeth once or four times- so shoot me), their beady little eyes (ok, so maybe I have asked uncle TV to baby-sit while I ascend the Himalayas of ironing) and their wicked claws (No shame here- I have a thing about cutting their nails- Neen has always done it- I’m terrified of lopping off a tiny digit instead of an over-long talon).
By the time she returns we’ll have devolved into hairy swamp creatures living off the green stuff in the sink and the back of the fridge.
I crave adult company, but because of the constant effort of speaking in a Barney the Dinosaur voice, I am unable to converse with people who are larger than hobbits. I nearly got arrested for trying to hug the postman the other day. Ok, so that’s a lie, but he did say ‘hello’ in a way that seemed to invite a bigger response than ‘hi’.
Somehow the house has managed to rival the Cape Town landfill- I expect to find surgical waste and seagulls squabbling over chunks of decaying flesh in the lounge.
So, they’ll find me, holding a home-made club fashioned from the decapitated torso of a Barbie doll, and signing my name in blood in the endless homework books. The children will be wearing crowns fashioned from take-out containers, and bickering over the borders to their kingdoms.
This parenting thing aint as easy as it looks.
Posted at 06:44 pm by SGDBlog
Sunday, February 22, 2009
You see, this thing won't die! Damned stubborn blog has been told to expire repeatedly, and yet seems to cling to life...
Well, it's my prerogative to keep it going, and I have decided not to keep the DNR sign up anymore.
I want to put up a PLEASE RESUSCITATE sign.
And if you don't like it, nurse Ratchett, you can lump it.
Posted at 08:13 pm by SGDBlog
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Posted at 03:47 pm by SGDBlog
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
I feel bad. I left you in the lurch. I ran and hid. I tried to stay as still as possible so that no-one would see me. I guess I owe you an apology.
If anybody still reads this- we've had some great times over the years.
But I think I'm moving on.
Here's how it goes.
On South African TV news (and probably in news segments worldwide) there is a phenomenon. The news, on any given evening, will be 30 seconds each given to a massive natural disaster and some political blowhard telling lies. This is followed by a few minutes of stock markets crashing and then twenty minutes of sports 'personalities' saying inane things like 'You know, at the end of the day, you win some, and lose some'.
After all this is over, the news presenter clears his throat, fixes his biggest toothiest smile on his face, and says:
"And in arbsville, California, locals are amazed at the antics of this man and his Jack Russell terrier, Frisket, who has learned to surf" [cut to image of amazed locals watching a dog quivering in the waves on a large surfboard]
I hate those 'news' items. They trivialise the global pain, suffering and struggles of us all. They are a poor anaesthetic designed to numb us to reality.
I don't want to leave you with one of those. As I end this blog, I want you to know the truth: The world is hurting. The world is full of sadness. I must contradict the whole purpose of this blog: Not everything is funny.
Having said that, I have so enjoyed having you round to play. I've shared some amazing things with you- You've allowed me into your lives, and I hope that you have enjoyed some of the rubbish I have put up for all to see.
Maybe I'll return with a different blog, another time. I'll be sure to let you all know.
Posted at 08:46 am by SGDBlog
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
The Shortest Posts Say the Longest Things
My mum died.
Rosemary Anne Dunlop
26-07-1946 - 15-08-2008
You were the best.
Posted at 05:19 pm by SGDBlog