Cape Town Carnival, Unconditional Love, Iziko

You would be forgiven for assuming that my recent two week absence from the blog was due to me having a fulfilling career, having an intense romance with a millionaire or falling into a deep coma. None of these things have happened.

Instead over the last few days I have:

1)      Bitched about a certain “3 star” hotel in Midrand (Villa Via). My complaints range from extensive water damage to stains on the bedspread. (I think it’s blood. I could be wrong.) I will “white people angry on Monday” and will be writing a formal letter of complaint, including pictures.

2)      Been blown away by the floats at this year’s Cape Town Carnival.

carnival

3)      Fretted about my weight. I met up with my dearest father and one of the first things he said to me was, “You’re picking up weight. You have a muffin-top.” And just in case I didn’t get the message the first time around, the next day he would prod my mom to reinforce the message.

My dearest mother, “You know your dad doesn’t like fat people, right.”

Unconditional love, I wonder what that must feel like.

4)      Attended the “Wildlife photographer of the year, 2012” exhibition at the Iziko Museum. Absolutely stunning!

5)      Watched the movie, “Argo”. Enjoyable.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Cain, Abel, David Maine

I’ve just watched “Rise of the planet of the apes” starring James Franco, best known for his role in the Spiderman franchise. The movie (plot and special effects) is absolutely brilliant.

James Franco plays a scientist who’s intent on finding the cure for Alzheimer’s. In his search for this miracle cure, he develops an experimental drug which is tested on chimpanzees. The result of the drugs is rapid mental development – think chimps playing chess and communicating complex ideas through sign-language.   

John Lithgow, who plays James Franco, is compelling Alzheimer’s suffer. And the plight of the smart of smart chimpanzee … At one point I found myself so moved by the storyline that, and I’m not ashamed to admit, I found myself wiping away the tears.

 

*

Anyway, I’m currently reading David Maine’s, “Fallen”. I’m a huge David Maine fan. I’ve loved him ever since I picked up his book, “Samson”. And I’m glad to report that “Fallen” doesn’t disappoint.

It’s the story of Adam and Eve’s expulsion from the Garden of Eden. And unlike most stories it doesn’t start it the beginning. It starts off with Cain, the first person ever to commit murder, as an old man. Cain looks back on his life, on the murder of his brother and the events that led up to this unimaginable act.

Here’s an extract of the novel:

Lately something strange has been happening to Cain: he has been having conversations with his dead brother. In the early morning, during the rift between sleep and consciousness, Abel appears in the hut, squatting at the foot of Cain’s sleeping mat, cracking his knuckles or picking his teeth. – And how is it lately? he likes to ask. His voice is colorless, like the air.

Abel has gone fifty years now, and Cain is a jumpy, scared old man.

These visitations terrify him, but the terror precludes any violent outcry. He does not command Spirit begone! Or Out with you, shade! or any dozen other entreaties that cram into his mouth, fear command that he lie half-groggy on his mat and converse civilly with his long-murdered brother. So he replies, I am well enough.       

Black Swan, Burlesque and routine

There was a period in my life, three/four years ago, where I used to go to the cinema every week. Every Tuesday – half price movies. The SAME FUCKING DINGY CINEMA. It’s not so much that there was something we wanted to watch playing EVERY FUCKING week. It’s just that it had become a routine and I’m so glad that phase of my life is over.

I hate, ABSOLUTELY fucking hate routine.

My pet peeve? Eating out as the SAME restaurants. Ask Barry. My eye starts twitching and my mouth starts foaming as I start ranting about this subject.

Yeah, I get it. The food is always great. The service is always great. You know exactly what to expect. But mother of all that is good and pure, there are so many restaurants in Cape Town, and yeah sure, some of them might disappoint you, but you know what? We’ll just call it a learning experience. A good story – the restaurant we warn all our friends against. Coz honestly how can anyone play it THAT safe?

Anyway, this blog post wasn’t supposed to be about my neurosis, I was originally planning to write a “review” on the two movies I managed to watch this week: Black Swan and Burlesque.

Even though both of these movies have a similar theme (women who aspire to be dancers), they are so completely different. Burlesque is your run of the mill movie about a small town girl, who dreams of dancing on stage. Fifteen minutes in and I already knew how it was going to end.

Black Swan on the other hand was dark and … unexpected. I swear I loved every minute and would definitely watch it again. (A more detailed review to follow soon.)

Social Network – The Facebook Story

Yesterday I went to the premier of the movie, Social Network. Sounds impressive right? You’re thinking red carpets, tuxedos and paparazzi, right? Yeah, no! There was free popcorn and coke though …

Now you’re probably sitting there thinking, “What a dumb ass name for a movie. If they couldn’t even come up with a creative title for the movie, then there’s no way they could have come up with a brilliant script.” But don’t let the title discourage you. The movie, which stars Justin Timberlake (and a whole lot of other people I didn’t recognize), is about Mark Zuckerberg, the creator of Facebook. The movie focuses on why he created Facebook and the people he screwed over in the process.    

My impression of the movie?

I loved it. I loved the opening dialogue. The loved that you had to pay close attention to everything said or you’ll miss out on a brilliant piece of witticism. I love the lead character even though he is an arrogant asshole. And just in case you were in any doubt of his arrogance, here’s a quote from the movie

“I think if your clients want to sit on my shoulders and call themselves tall, they have the right to give it a try – but there’s no requirement that I enjoy sitting here listening to people lie. You have part of my attention – you have the minimum amount. The rest of my attention is back at the offices of Facebook, where my colleagues and I are doing things that no one in this room, including and especially your clients, are intellectually or creatively capable of doing.”

 

I like to think that’s it is because he has a veneer of vulnerability beneath his arrogance, and NOT because Fahiema’s right and I’m attracted to assholes.   

Anyway, my sister thought the movie was, “Long.” Yeah, she’s concise but then again she doesn’t need to be eloquent. She’s studying medicine and the only thing she needs to know is how to dispense Panado – The GP’s choice.

Eat, Pray, Love

If you’re going to the movie, Eat, Pray, Love, expecting to see car chases and shootings, you’ll be sorely disappointed. It’s a chick flick with the main character Elizabeth Gilbert, played by Julia Roberts, talking about her feelings non-stop. Some women will end up crying (cough Dizzy* cough) while others will attempt their best to stifle their yawns (me).

Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t think the movie was a complete waste of time. I did SO enjoy the scenery. Elizabeth Gilbert travels to Italy to discover pleasure; to India to mediate, chant and scrub floors all in the name of religion (spirituality?) and to Bali to absorb the wise teachings of a toothless man. But other than that … well, I have to agree with Francesca Rudkin, the film “comes up short when it comes to life-changing affirmations, or epiphanies.” It’s JUST difficult to pity or emphasize with a woman who is paid to travel the world for an entire year, can attract men like flies to manure AND has a successful career.

Anyway, that’s pretty much all I have to say about the movie. Feel free to head over to the comment section to disagree with my viewpoint.

And I’m afraid to sleep because of what haunts me

And I’m afraid to sleep because of what haunts me,

Such as living with the uncertainty

That I’ll never find the words to say which would completely explain

Just how I’m breaking down

Sleeping Sickness – City and Colour

(This is what happens with I write with out direction.)

There’s so much that I’d like to say to you. With my regular indulgence in a late night cuppa coffee, comes the inevitable caffeine induced insomnia. Tossing and turning, the words and thoughts come easily. Too easily, when all I want to do is shut the world out.

I think about how I could be spending THIS time productively. I could be reading a book. Fear and loathing on the campaign trail? To kill a Mockingbird? I must have read this book half a dozen times already, yet it never fails to captivate me.

Of course, instead of reading a book, I could be writing one. THE ONE, as I often jokingly refer to it.

None of these thoughts actually spurn me into action. Instead, my fingers will nimbly reach over and locate the iPod on my dresser. Adjusting rapidly to the eerily glow cast by the iPod on the darkened room, my eyes will search for the City of Angels soundtrack. For the first few minutes, I’ll focus all my attention on following the crescendo of the violin. Classical music will lull and calm me, and sleep will come. Or at least that’s the idea.

But before long, various scenes from the movie will flood my head. I’ll think of the scene just before Meg Ryan dies. Meg riding her bicycle, head turned up to the sky, hands spread out wide. Meg hopeful.

I’ll think of Nick Cage’s monologue: “I rather like one touch of her hand, one smell of her hair, one kiss of her lips, than living in eternity without it!

I’ll think about the scene where Nick’s character, Seth asks her to describe the taste of a pear. And as I think about this scene, I’ll wonder if Meg ever read a passage from Earnest Hemmingway’s novel to him. I’d never been a huge Earnest fan but there’s something so incredibly … sexy about someone reading to another. Or at least to me, it’s sexy. It’s sexy because there’s a type of vulnerability and hopefulness attached to it. Hope that THIS someone will simply get it. Will get just why you love THIS book, THIS passage. That occasionally you’ll find yourself reading something so beautiful, it leaves you wistful, awed and defenceless.

And I’ll think about all this before sleep ever arrives.

Give me your tired (but not if they’re lazy workers), your poor (though don’t take our precious jobs) …

Give me your tired (but not if they’re lazy workers), your poor (though don’t take our precious jobs), your huddled masses yearning to breathe free (but not if they’ll be a burden on our overtaxed health and welfare systems),the wretched refuse of your teeming shore (though we’ve manufactured plenty of our own especially around the Gulf Coast). Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me. I lift my lamp beside the golden door (which is labeled no admittance).

 

Yesterday while watching Crossing Over (no, not the show where John Edwards speaks to the dead), I was reminded of the above quote. Whilst the blog post in which this quote was originally found, dealt with Americans fear of immigrants, the film provided us with an alternative viewpoint. The thought provoking film looked at families torn apart by deportation, the extreme lengths that immigrants go to to arrive in America, how certain officials abuse their power etc. (As one review so eloquently put it, ” the film wags its finger at the U.S. for deigning to protect itself by cracking down on those who haven’t earned green cards.”)   Personally, I loved the film and couldn’t stop crying when the 15 year old Bangladeshi was separated from the rest of her family. (Spoiler alert).

Anyway, if you’ve watched the film please head over to the comment section and let me know what you thought of it.

Invention of lying, Amsterdam, Croatia, Rome, Spain, Morocco

Busy. Always …

Quote from the movie, “Invention of Lying”.

Jennifer: No. But I enjoy the end result of the job which is money. And the hours are pretty good for the amount of money I make, which I spend on things I like, such as clothes, hiking, drinking – even though I know it’s bad for me. (PAUSE) But I’d rather just get all the money and not work for the results.

This is the quote that popped into my head as I thought of travel destinations. Right now the list of cities/countries that I’d like to explore has grown exponentially.

The original desire to explore one city/country in each continent BEFORE revisiting a continent has waned. I guess I’d always assumed that I’d only ever have money to travel to five destinations and that I’d better make those good choices. But with two promotions in as many years, there is no pressing need. There’s suddenly this belief that there’ll always be time … there’ll always be money.

(Of course there’s also the fear that I’ll spend so much time vacillating over a destination that I’ll never travel).

After seeing this picture I’m currently in love with Amsterdam. More pictures of awesome European destinations available HERE.

*You can find the script for the Invention of Lying here. And yes, occasionally I read the sections of TV/movie scripts even AFTER I’ve already watched the movie.  Sometimes the dialogue is just too good not to indulge.

Kick-ass & Tiger Woods

Yesterday I opted out of my Wednesday 6km run and joined Barry and his Friend With Hair (yes, I know I’m getting really creative here with nicknames) for the movie, Kick-Ass instead.

Barry: My fingerless gloves are losing elasticity.

FWH: Your momma’s losing elasticity.

 

Me: Anyone wants some Corn Nibs?

FWH: Anyone wants some popcorn? Salt and Vinegar?

Me: Who puts Salt and Vinegar on their popcorn? I’m totally judging you. This is my judgmental face. Don’t confuse it with my happy face.

 

FWH: We went to the aquarium for New Year’s once. There was alcohol. We drank beer while sharks swam around.

Me: Do you know what I’d like to do at the aquarium? Eat sushi.

During the movie there’s a scene where the male lead applies self-tan on his crush. She was completely naked save for a pair of panties.

Me: Wait! I get why she has to be naked. But why is he walking around in just a pair of briefs?

*

A reporter on America’s Golf Channel mistakenly said Tiger Woods dropped out of the last round of the Players Championship because of his bulging dick. What the reporter meant to say was “bulging disc”.

3 things that disturbed me about the movie, Precious

Last week I watched the movie Precious. I asked my friend, Cougar what the movie was about and she replied with, “It’s about a black girl who doesn’t have much.” Given this synopsis, I like any other normal person (and yes, I do consider myself normal) inferred that this was a rags to riches story that would rival Oprah’s. I assumed that it would be a movie about how against all odds this black girl became a millionaire – basically a remake of The Pursuit of Happiness. Yeah, no.

You see what my friend “forgot” to mention was that the movie was really about a girl who abused by her father. So when, 5 minutes into the film her sweet ole daddy is coating his hands in Vaseline before jamming his hands down his pants and proceeding to rape her, I was more than just a little surprised. In fact I was horrified. It didn’t help that the rape scene is interspersed with sounds of the bed creaking and her father moaning.

The second thing that disturbed me was the fact that Precious refers to her first kid, a sufferer of Down Syndrome, as Mongo. This is short for Mongoloid. Now, I can be an asshole of the grandest kind (Alanis Morissette – Everything). I am insensitive as fuck and when I recently read a Cracked article that referred to Stephen Hawking as Wheelie, I laughed without guilt or remorse. But even I found nickname distasteful. It didn’t help that Precious’ mother called the kid an animal.

And if all this does NOT force you to leave like a white elderly couple whose middle class sensibilities have been offended by the profuse use of foul language (this actually occurred), then I present you with the third thing that disturbed me – Mariah Carey. So it turns out that Mariah is once more trying her hand at acting (anyone remember Glitter?). Now, it’s not that the girl can’t act; it’s just that her face can’t move. The whole time I watching her I can’t help but think, “Mariah girl, you need to step away from the Botox.” Seriously, her lips kept moving but her cheeks remained perfectly still throughout the film. How can actors expect to move the audience if they can’t even frown?

Anyway, those are just three of things in the movie that disturbed me. I’m not even going to talk about the scene where she pukes. or the scene where her mother masturbates or the one where her mother tries to crush her with a TV set. Nope, I won’t talk about any of these. I don’t want to spoil the movie for you =)

*

Photos that have absolutely nothing to do with the movie, Precious.

Poor quality of photos are a result of using my photo instead of a good digital camera.

Woman on stilts at the Cape Town Festival.

Photos taken last week Friday.