Rat-on-a-rope

I’ve had a lot of weird stuff thrown at me during the course of my life. I’m putting Rat-on-a-rope at the top of the list.

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I should probably mention that the rat is, in its present condition, very much deceased. Although whether it died on impact or was dead prior to becoming airborne is not immediately clear to me. I am not a detective, nor did I feel comfortable checking the rigor status of the recently departed rodent.

I was likely NOT the intended recipient of the arium rattus. I just happened to be in the general vicinity when it fell from the sky. It came sailing over a five meter high wall at the back of my warehouse, (I sometimes go sit in the sun on the container ramp and eat my lunch) so I have no idea who launched it.

Perplexed I wondered what I should do. Was this a game? Was someone waiting on the other side of the wall ready to receive? I imagined some indigent, Goonie* type monster with no friends, casting out into the world, willing someone to play catch. 

*I realize this may date me.

My day actually started off with another dead body. I don’t know that person died either. They were covered in foil which in turn was weighed down with bricks and bits of detritus to stop it blowing away (the foil I mean). Two uniformed officers were busy taping off the area with that ubiquitous yellow tape. It annoyed me because it was causing traffic to bottleneck. Hopefully my legacy on this planet is not to fuck up traffic for an hour.

I don’t think the two cases are related.

But as I’ve said, I am not a detective.

Hide and seek

The little person surreptitiously hid away my keys before story time last night. This lead to an increasingly more frantic search this morning as I upended the house searching for them. Eventually she woke up. ‘Do you know where you put daddy’s keys?’

(Almost) Two year old’s are naturally resistant to interrogation I’ve found. ‘Me, funny’ and then running down the passage, doesn’t, as you might imagine, give you very much to work with. Especially when you’ve just gone through the trash (outside, in the pouring rain)

She had at some point during the evening, likely when I was supine on the sofa and preoccupied with my phone, clandestinely concealed them in her puzzle box. You know the one that comes with predetermined cut-outs and you’re supposed to put the correct shape in the correct slot. (I’ve gotten quite good at this)

‘Hey guys, help me look for my keys’

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‘Zzzzzzzzz… zzzzzzzz’

Eventually my wife found them. She has better instincts for what little people might do with objects of desire (keys, iPhone’s and credit cards). In fact without assistance I would still be wandering aimlessly through the house, likely mewling and feeling sorry for myself. (this is kinda my go-to response to frustrating events)

South Africans find moisture very challenging and now delayed, my morning commute became the aquatic version of ‘Fury Road’.

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It also meant that going to gym died stillborn.

On the plus side I did get my 400% badge yesterday. (required another 30 minutes of shadow boxing and push ups in my pajamas)

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I feel like one of the cool kids now. Whether or not this will allow me to sit with the cheerleaders and football jocks remains to be seen.

I am however, hopeful.

Happy Saint Joey’s Day

Statistically the 23rd of January is supposed to be the most depressing day of the year. (Northern hemisphere winter and also the day that people are supposedly the most broke) It is also my birthday. Which is either auspicious. Or suspicious depending on where you stand.

While not yet officially canonized by the Catholic church, Joey has preempted matters somewhat. Saint Joey, patron saint of procrastinators and lost causes. I’m assuming those haven’t been taken yet (although I’m not exactly current on the sainthood spheres of influence). I will now preform the first of many miracles by making this three egg omelet disappear.

Today I am 39 rotations.

Which I always imagined was ridiculously ancient.

I must be honest I am quite glad to be here. I almost didn’t make it. This time last year I was still reeling from the after effects of a pulmonary embolism.

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Δ An MRI, post embolism and subsequent express train to my lungs. I developed a clot on my right forearm just under my elbow which disintegrated and the associated shrapnel from that lodged in my lungs. Apparently this is quite unusual, since I had none of the risk factors, possibly a boxing or jujitsu injury. Although no one can tell me for sure. Interestingly this is what killed Theodore Roosevelt (my all time favorite human)

Better in my lungs than in my brain.

I started today at 4am with a mini-triathlon.

Emphasis on the word mini. 5km round the track. 5mi on the stationary bike and then 500mtrs in the pool.  I’ve decided that I don’t really want to turn forty and be more or less the same person I was when I was turning thirty nine. That seems a little defeatist. I’d like to better… stronger, faster and smarter.

The latter might be beyond my control, but maybe I can do something about the other two.

Looking back on thirty eight I did learn a couple of things…

  1. Don’t chop up chilies and then go down on your wife (or probably anyone for that matter)
  2. Heel cream is NOT toothpaste, even when enclosed in similar packaging with similar viscosity
  3. If it tastes funny, stop brushing.
  4. Your child vomiting on you is less onerous than your date vomiting on you. (which is very onerous)
  5. Operating on yourself with a pair of nail scissors may not lead to optimum results
  6. And also infection.
  7. And finally… my co-workers may be smarter than I give them credit for…

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(This decoy didn’t work. Or rather, didn’t work for as long as I had intended)

I got nifty birthday presents. Every year I say ‘oh, I’m fine, I don’t really need anything’. When I was eighteen my parents gave me a self-help book (Don’t sweat the small stuff) and a chess set with missing pieces. (I’m still wondering if by small stuff they might have been referring to the missing pawns) Which leads me to believe that maybe I should have rather asked for something. Things have improved dramatically since then…

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These days people ‘get me’. Joey-polis is getting some public transport. They’ve always had a very good rail system. But the addition of a bus service will definitely help out my citizens.

In other news I have finally updated my Fundamental Joeyism page into something I am happy with (took me a while)

Anyways, wishing you all a very happy Saint Joey’s day. Hopefully it is of the extremely groovy variety. May your hemorrhoids never hang like grapes.

The dramatization of an otherwise trivial event.

I stood on a bee. (Not just any ordinary honey bee, an African killer bee*)

*I’m trying to make this story sound more dramatic than it really was.

Barefoot and almost naked, I had just come to the conclusion that frying up bacon in my boxer shorts wasn’t the greatest idea in the world (after getting bacon fat spattered in the general direction of my nipples). I had just stepped over to don my Nelson Mandela apron when I stood on the errant bee. If only I still had hobbit feet.

There was the perfunctory utterance of profanity and then I shouted for my wife (as one does) who expertly tweezed the sting and associated poison sac from my foot. (While I lay back on the bed and fought the urge to go towards the light)

This is the second bee I’ve stood on recently. Prior to that I’d gone twenty years without any close encounters of the bee kind. The last time I got stung (when I was in junior high) I swelled up like a basketball and they told me I was allergic. In addition to this life altering news they said that I should carry round this vial of blue pills (unfortunately not the matrix kind) with me at all times, which would hopefully allay my demise. I don’t think epi-pens were a thing back then yet. I lost the vial shortly thereafter… but I have been telling everyone since then (from the dietitian to the anesthetist) that I am allergic to bees.

‘As requested we have brought you the corpse of the purple-traitor’

The problem with wondering if you’re going to go into anaphylactic shock is you start stressing about going into anaphylactic shock. Which sounds stupid, but I was fully expecting my throat to close up and choke to death. My blood pressure and heart rate spiked dramatically (a sure sign of things to come I imagined). To cut a harrowing twenty minute story short, I didn’t die. In fact the entire episode was completely self fabricated. Turns out I’m not allergic to bees. Not even slightly, other than in my mind. I think there might be a life lesson in there somewhere. (Like don’t trust doctors*)

*yeah, this is my takeaway.

Sufficed to say this bee sting episode was a lot less traumatic than the previous one. Which was kinda embarrassing. I clocked 5.4km round the track and then 500mtrs in the pool this morning with (almost*) no ill effects.

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* other than to my pride. I was lapped round the track by a guy with a serious impediment. His right foot was almost at a right angle to his left foot, which looks really awkward and you might suppose he wouldn’t be able to bring the pace… but there he was. In my defense I had a bee sting!

Tomorrow I will train harder.

Not bananas!

My sole experience with plantains was accidentally buying one in a supermarket in Hell’s Kitchen, just off Columbus Ave. I thought I was buying a banana.

What he hell is wrong with this thing I wondered shortly thereafter, completely disgusted and spitting the half chewed contents into a bin.

At the green grocer on Sunday morning I noticed a crate labelled Plantains. And then underneath someone had scrawled ‘Not Bananas!!!’ in sharpie. I felt quite smug that I knew this already.

Supposedly Plantains are a super healthy alternative to starchy carbohydrates. Kinda like Sweet potatoes, so I bought a couple, not entirely sure what I was going to do with them. (I’m trying to mix things up and not buy the same old boring produce every week. Next time I might might dive off the deep end and buy some okra!)

This morning  I furtively googled how to cook a pla…

Placenta?!?!?

I find it quite worrying that Google suggests placenta as an option to finish your search query. Is this really such a commonly googled phrase? I know some cultures do eat* human placenta (I know this from my prenatal class… in so far as you needed to let them know that you wanted the placenta post delivery and that you needed some sort of document or form lest you were mistaken for an organ trafficker or witch doctor) In any event I didn’t really think people actually went for this sort of thing… but humanity constantly surprises me.

*with a fava beans and a nice Chianti?

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Anyways. The first recipe that popped up was frying them up for 4 to six minutes a side. (The Plantains I mean) Which is nice, I imagine, if you like your food resembling and tasting like charcoal. After about a minute and a half on each side they were done.

They were quite tasty. I’m not sure what they taste like…. certainly not at all like a banana… maybe more like a potato fritter (kinda). It had my mind doing mental somersaults. Like some weird herbaceous Batesian mimicry. (There might actually be a term for food that looks like other food that isn’t, but I only know the milk snake/coral snake zoological version)

I think I could get into it though. I’m trying to reduce my carb intake these days and this seems not only super easy to prepare but also infinitely substitutable.

Drums in the deep…

My two year old daughter likes the Pixies.

Specifically Vamos off the Surfer Rosa Album. Which is probably the most ‘insane’ song off any Pixies Album. I used the word probably quite loosely.

To be fair she also likes the Muppet show.

Actually so do I. They don’t make ’em like that anymore. Spectacularly creative titles like, ‘The Great Gonzo eats a rubber tire to The Flight of the Bumble Bee’, and ‘I’m in love with a big, blue frog’.

In any event I’ve been wondering if should buy her a (tiny) bass guitar, à la Kim Deal, in an attempt to head off the inevitable progression towards becoming a drummer (like her mother)

I have this reoccurring nightmare where all my progeny are girls and all of them want to be drummers and I live out the rest of my days in this estrogen infused haze, driven slowly mad by the rhythmic thumping of the tom and snare.

My wife used to have an acoustic kit set up.  The down side to this is that everyone* within a quarter mile radius knows when you’re practicing.

*What do you mean everyone? EVERYONE!!!!!

Its difficult to express in words how much I love Gary Oldman.

Weirdly the German Shepherd loves the drums. She’s used to come in and lie on the sofa. In fact she was super upset (in so far as I can read doggy emotions) when my wife swapped to headphones and electric. The lying-on-the-sofa-playing-PlayStation version of me was very glad. (difficult to hear the sound of my gunfire over the crash of the hi-hat)

My libertarianism suggests that I shouldn’t try influence the musical instrument proclivity or disposition of my daughter… and if she wants to play the Tuba… or the drums… so be it.

 

 

 

*opens browser*

Second Hand bass guitars

GO!