26.04.2018 – Thursday

We have modest goals now. Like trying to get out of the house at 7am. Why are we so bad at this? – My wife, seventy-twenty-three.

…while I drag the two year old towards the car by her ankles. The old gods, Wotan and Freya raise their clipboards in unison, I’m in serious jeopardy of loosing my status as a bona fide German, punctuality is not an optional extra in this geographically bound subcategory of Homo Sapiens. I may have to haul out some cultural stereotypes to rack up some quick credit. Socks and sandals (apparently) is a surefire ten points.

Maybe its the threat of violence and ironclad discipline that is lacking? Maybe we should enroll my daughter in assassin school instead of a Montessori. But then we’d have to fear for our lives as well deal with the constant frustration of a toddler exerting her will. I’m not sure I’m ready for that level of constant vigilance. I already got eye-gouged once this morning.

Tomorrow is a public holiday here. I’m not sure which one*. I can barely remember the made up Christian holidays never mind the spurious secular ones meant to… actually I have no idea. Maybe if there was free beer or gladiatorial combat I’d be more into it.

*Freedom day! (I checked)

Having never been oppressed or deprived of liberty (other than by the tax-man) I can’t really empathize. I mean I could try… but it would just be empty platitudes meant to virtue signal.

25.05.2018 – Wednesday (I think)

Gurgle. 

You know when you were younger and your parental unit walked in on you and your friend playing and they would ask, ‘are you playing nicely?’

I’ve thought about this question… and I’ve decided that the answer is no, I’m not playing nicely.

I saw this tweet today. It perfectly encapsulates how I feel about life at the moment.

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Other than this profound realisation… I am actually fine.

I am also procrastinating. I should be paying attention. I’ve been grappling (I think that might be too kind a verb) with this (stupid) tax calculation for… about two days now. I’ve now finally asked my wife to help me. This is basically my default setting. Try something obviously beyond me. Get frustrated. Get angry. Get depressed. Ask my wife to open the child-proof container.

Its a vicious cycle.

My day started off at Starbucks. The slowest Starbucks in the history of the world. Ever. Also the guy in front of me didn’t know what he wanted and then had to connect to the free wifi before he could pay for his Caramel Frappuccino® . This incensed me for a lot of different reasons. Mostly because despite sporting the appearance of a grownup he was just so clearly inept at life. How did he get here? What evolutionary fluke was playing out? Should I step on his larynx?

Things never really recovered from there. I spent my day fighting with people and sending mean spirited emails to my banker. Which I then apologised for. I was hoping for some quid pro quo, you know an admission that it was his ineptitude that caused me to lose my temper and write nasty things… but alas no such admission was forthcoming.

I’ve learnt to moderate my angry replies somewhat in my old age. Difficult to come back from ‘I hope you get sick and die’. (that particular customer still hasn’t paid me)

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I’m glad why wife is struggling with my tax query. She’s had to haul out her university textbook. Seriously this thing is thicker than the bible… but with less incest and murder.

She’s asked me to forward her my spreadsheet. Watching me work in excel on my Mac is making her… twitchy. She doesn’t say anything, but I know its because I can barely colour between the lines and she’s third year fine arts. Watching her alt-tab through fifteen million pages starts to make me nauseous. I go eat some cake.

Its coffee cake. With walnuts.

We had a two legged wall jumper in our garden last night. The Basset hound discovered him while peeing at one AM and gave chase.

We live on one and a half acres of trees and shrubbery (the non Monty Python version). Its potentially the least tactical advantageous place to go tromping around after intruders despite all the Dutch courage heavy ordnance and body armour can provide. Its not a very interesting story though and I only mention it to get up to five hundred words.

23.04.2018 – Monday

I swallowed a bug.

That is a bit of a misnomer. It’s more like I inhaled a bug. I can feel it crawling around in my alveoli. Well more likely flailing around in the sticky gumbo, like some world war one trench fighter, slowly succumbing to the undertow of muck that coats the inside of my lung. I can feel its death rattle though… and its upsetting me. Die already.

This caps off my crowning achievement for the day. Which was wrestling a half decomposed rat away from the Basset Hound before he could eat it. It came apart while we grappled for ownership of said rodent. I then had to pry his jaws open with my fingers to extract the other half before he gulp-gulp-swallowed.

This is still better than the dead bloated toad he tried eat once. But not worse than the time he rolled in human faeces. That was truly a vomit inducing affair. Just thinking about it gives me the heebie-jeebies.

I feel this is some sort of (greater) metaphor for my life at the moment… like I’ve been (unfairly) singled out to have a torrid time. Embrace the suck. Or something along those lines. On the plus side I am still alive and standing. So there is upside to all this workside calamity… even if it isn’t all immediately apparent to me.

May these two hundred and fifty words provided proof of life and underscore that I have yet to succumb to some spurious malady.

 

 

 

 

17.04.2018 – Tuesday

‘I got schmutz on me’ – My two year old (getting her Yiddish on)

 

I’ve just watched ‘Farmer in the dell’, seven times in a row. Apparently… ‘this one’ is my favourite. (it really isn’t)

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Any chance I can be electrocuted with a car battery or waterboarded instead? I don’t I really mean that, but I’m wallowing in self pity at the moment… and it’s making me crotchety. Well, more so than usual.

I started my day off trying to multitask. As the male of the species this is usually where things start to go wrong for me. Attempting to unlock the car, answer my phone and toss my messenger bag into the back seat, I fumbled my tupperware and dropped my plantains.

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I’d like to say that I was stoic in this face of this development, C’est La Vie etc. But I’d be lying. I proceeded to annunciate some choice blasphemy, interspersed liberally with cuss words (used as conjunctions). You’d think with the amount of vitriol being espoused something serious had happened.

A grown-up would have moved on. And therein lies the rub. Unfortunately this incident turned out to be the splinter that festered and rotted the appendage off at the joint. Or something to that effect, because the rest of my day never really improved.

I’m making it better now with cure-all, restorative ice-cream, directly out of the tub, like some post breakup ritual experience. I also tried to quit my job today. Which is harder than it sounds.

15.04.2018 – Sunday (bloody) Sunday

What’s worse than your Basset Hound drinking his own body weight in water just before bedtime? It’s a trick question. There’s nothing worse.

‘Wake up human, I need to go pee’ 

A quick survey of past experiences means this REM fracturing occurrence will likely begin at two thirty seven AM and end approximately thirty minutes later. It’s rarely a case of go outside and come back in again… afterall a virtual menagerie of night creatures have tramped through the perimeter by this stage… and ALL of these interloper spoors need to be thoroughly investigated via snout, sent for threat assessment and then graded according to suspiciousness and girth of critter.

Color me excited.

‘Are you listening to church music?’
‘It’s John Cougar Mellencamp’
‘Okay… It sounds like church music’

While our Venn diagrams do overlap musically, my wife tends to view anything that isn’t Seattle circa 1990 as straying from alternative orthodoxy and should therefore be (at least initially) regarded with suspicion. (I click next). Kasabian.

‘Better?’
‘Meh.’

In Johannesburg when the mercury dips below 18C (65F) its broadly considered a sign of the end times. In very short order the dress code goes from Billabong beach casual to Northface Antarctic expedition. Also everyone suddenly starts subjectively hypothesizing how this winter is ‘Going to be REALLY* bad’.

*By REALLY bad they mean two days where the temperature will drop briefly below zero. One of those days might also be cloudy.

Since my toe-nails, cuticles and actual toes received a smattering of purple nail polish yesterday I knew I was purple-traitoring (perpetrating) a cultural faux pas by committing to flip flops today.

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But… I felt it was more important to… eh… strut my stuff as it were.

Unfortunately strutting my stuff (and trying to embarrass my wife) meant I clipped my little toe on this… f’ing… bolt

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Which cut my toe open. (I’m not having much luck with my ability to amble along these days)

Soon I was trailing O+ through the mall like it was the invasion of Normandy. (this may be a slight exaggeration)

After about thirty meters my profound and very public display of hemorrhaging  was remedied with a Disney band-aid (featuring a portrait of Princess Elsa) and a suggestion that I should ‘toughen up’. It does not get any less alpha-male than this.

I briefly considered intimating that maybe ‘someone’ should buy me a lollipop for being particularly brave… you know… under the circumstances. But then decided better of it it.

I spent the rest of the day in the kitchen. I made a roast chicken for lunch. Baked liver bread for the dogs. And fried up enough plantains and sweet potato to keep me out of ‘real’ carbohydrates for the week.

I also bought a west African Yam this morning. It’s a serious beast of a tuber (onion used for scale).

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I have no idea how I’m going to attempt cooking it yet. It’s not a very sexy vegetable, I cannot lie.

Apparently it’s good for you.

14.04.2018 – Saturday

‘Who ate the last cookie? I know it wasn’t you, because you would have left the empty box in the cupboard’

I feigned ignorance, shrugging non committedly…. but actually… it was me… I just inexplicably changed my modus operandi. Consider me admonished.

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For my sins I was corralled and then subjected to adornment. I would have preferred some cuticle work and maybe a seaweed wrap (applied to the soothing sounds of some Enya-esque alter ego). Unfortunately I got the backstreet hatchet job experience, the real life consequences of diminished bargaining power.

But that only happened much later… before things started going really awry for me we had breakfast at the Farmers market. (which included carrot-cake and a plus-sized chocolate croissant)

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Not exactly the cornerstones of high density nutrition and paleo. I mollified my concerns with dietary platitudes and bandied about terms like ‘cheat days’. It seemed to work and for good measure I inhaled a home made chicken pie. It was pure ambrosia of Olympusian* proportions. Just thinking about it now is illicting a Pavlovian response.

*My made up adjective for today.

We also bought eggs, homemade sauerkraut, sourdough and kimchi.

I love kimchi. I eat it on toast. I would write a poem about it, if only kimchi rhymed with… anything. Basically a haiku is my only option.

In your gut it does
probiotic health effects
but with garlic breath

(Counts out syllables on his fingers) I think that’s right.

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I also played with my DSLR for a bit.

13.04.2018 – Friday evening

I can’t decide whether it’s Falkor (the Luck Dragon from The NeverEnding Story) or a Basset Hound caught in mid-gallop, heading for the cookie jar.

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“Never give up; and good luck will find you.” – Falkor

I blew the dust off my DSLR earlier. Quite literally. The last pictures on there were from my wife’s baby shower. (My daughter just turned two) I don’t know much about cameras and, rather embarrassingly, I have never even swapped out the lens it came with. There is another lens in the bag… but I don’t know what it does. Wide angle maybe? Is that even a thing? After engaging with the stratocumulus mimicry above my domicile I meandered in a circuitous fashion around my garden.

I took a picture of some daisies….

Adjusting myself for what I thought might be a better ‘shot’, I put too much pressure on my twisted ankle and toppled over, furrowing myself rather unceremoniously into the flower bed.

I lay there for a while (as one does) before deciding that the best course of action would be to make this sad sort of mewling sound. Eventually staring down the double barrels of starvation and hypothermia and with no spouse or canis familiaris in sight I picked myself up and hobbled back towards the house. (ostensibly to make myself a sandwich)

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I don’t know much about light… (Other than it comes in waves and is measured in lumens) but I’ve decided that I really like the color yellow. Who knew.

13.04.2018 – Friday

I’ve decided (recently) that I hate running. I realize hate is quite an intense verb and that I used to run almost every single day.  In terms of time efficiency, it’s a really good workout, but… I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed running, not really. I suppose I could frame my statement with various excuses; I don’t have the right build, gait, mindset or that distance running is counter evolutionary to our bipedal form, but I think the reality is that I’m just more inclined towards sloth (the vice not the marsupial) and therefore just resistant to the whole concept of forward inertia coupled with the aggressive locomotion of my lower extremities. Besides, running is bad for you.

‘Why do you run Joey? Because it feels so good when I stop’.

I usually wake up (stupid) early, usually somewhere around four am. Theoretically this time between booting up and breakfast is meant to be spent in zen like contemplation, girding my loins for the day ahead. More often than not I loose myself in some mindless (fake) news event or some YouTube rabbit hole instead.

This morning I decided to take the German Shepherd for a walk. The Basset Hound was still snugly furled up in his pillow fort and it would have proved… challenging to extract him from within its confines without considerable effort.

In any event I appreciate the way that the world feels at four thirty am. I like the Noir effect and how the only people that are awake are those indentured beings delivering bread and newspapers (I’m guessing this won’t be a ‘thing’ forever). Although this morning I did meet another idiot walking his dog. (weird)

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The ubiquitous selfie. (I’m the one on the left)

My sojourn takes me up past a film studio, through a park and then I loop past a cemetery on my way back. Just under three miles. Only about five meters from my house on the return leg I tripped on the unkempt verge of my neighbors pavement and twisted my ankle. I’ve been hobbling around today ever since. The irony.

So maybe its just walking upright that seems to be problematic for me? I feel the weight of my ancestors and my kin (all the way back to homo-erectus) as they collectively share a look of concern and then face-palm.

‘Damn Joey, been walking long?’  

At thirty nine and two months I’d like to underscore that I am a slow learner. Recently my wife has been trying to teach me some more ‘occult’ like accounting practices (specifically deferred tax). If ever there was a concept that has wrinkled the gray spongy stuff!

I feel I may have reached my ‘trick limit’ and that new tricks are now beyond me. Maybe I’m aiming too high though. Instead of deferred tax I should maybe just concentrate on the basics. You know, like putting the toilet seat down and eating with my mouth closed.

That seems like a lot to remember though.

 

 

 

Weekend round up

I worked all weekend. Which let me tell you is not how I imagined the entrepreneur dream working out for me. At the moment it just seems to be one cluster-fuck after another. An endless cycle of work-related sodomy. (without the dinner or jewelry that is sometimes involved with this sort of enterprise*)

*at least… so I’ve been told.

I’m feeling super sorry for myself… and while I promised myself today would NOT be an uberEats day… its turned into an UberEats day.

I did get a chance to catch up on Casey Neistat last night. I quite like the new format. And I like the fact that Casey now has a side kick.

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I mean if you’re going to go with a sidekick a dopey (atypical*) South African is probably the way to go. I’m only 50% embarrassed.

*I can’t decide if he’s representative or not. I’ve decided to give ‘us’ the benefit of the doubt and go for atypical. (although now I’m immediately filled with doubt)

After Casey I watched Fog of War.

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I know. Mixing Fog of War with Casey Neistat is like chasing your Pinot Noir with caramel vodka. (for some reason this makes me think of a friend that drank ethanol out of a science lab beaker… and lived… she should have been Casey Neistat’s sidekick)

I don’t think I’ve EVER seen a movie with a 97% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

It really is that good and totally worth every lofty percentage point. I must be honest my Cuban Missile Crisis knowledge is probably below average. I mean I had a vague sort of sense of it and I assumed nuclear annihilation was a possibility. But I had no idea how close we (humans) came to obliterating the entire world. Wow. Even Robert McNamara says, ‘yeah we got lucky’.

That doesn’t fill me with massive confidence about the species. OMG.

Because I was (basically) an absentee parent this weekend I had to tag in the German Shepherd to do fill in for me.

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She’s quite maternal though. So I think it worked out okay.