The Wisdom of Neil

‘The universe is under no obligation to make sense to you’ – Neil deGrasse Tyson

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I’m lying on the sofa nursing a throbbing headache and feeling a bit sorry for myself. I had my last cup of coffee more than twenty four hours ago… and my body is reacting to the serious dearth of cortisol and epinephrine with a resounding wtf. I’ve decided to go caffeine free for a week. Or die trying. At the moment the latter seems more likely.

Because I broke my Playstation controller and holding a book seems like a lot of effort right now… I’m re-listening to ‘Astrophysics for people in a hurry’, hence the quote… while blogging on my Macbook which, as usual, is perched precariously on my burgeoning midsection.

Neil is one of my favourite people on the planet. Insofar as I feel I know him as a celebrity personality. I have to add that caveat because Louis CK used to be one of my favourite people on the planet. Until he was outed as this weird masturbater who would whip out and polish his one eyed python in polite company with little or no encouragement. His comedic brilliance is now forever tainted by the mental images of an ejaculating ginger.

Which begs the questions. Do we really know anything about anyone?

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This morning I took my daughter for breakfast at Krispy Kreme. It’s important to set nutritional benchmarks early on I feel. I think she feels intimidated by the sheer volume of choice in the display case so she always orders the second most boring thing, (after original glaze, which is my favorite) chocolate with multi-colored sprinkles.

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Afterwards our meandering sojourn took us past the toyshop where I said I’d buy her a Schleich toy of her choosing.

This is what she chose.

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Which is quite a weird choice for a two and half year old girl I thought. Oh I tried to negotiate a different outcome. Pointing out the Panda… Jurassic and Cretaceous herbivores and various felines both African and Asian in origin…  but it seems her heart was set on the giant octopus.

See opening line.

Inspection…

Yeah I think I’ve found your problem right here… It’s a basshole.

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Two year olds are awesome. I’d love to be that inquisitive again.

If the feeling takes you that you should like to inspect the basset hounds… eh… rusty sheriffs badge, you should likely do so.

My first reaction, sitting nearby on the lip of the sandpit, was ‘no, that’s gross’. But I caught myself just in time. I don’t really want to stifle that natural curiosity and interest. Besides it’s not really gross, she’s just having a gander… and he keeps his chocolate starfish pretty damn sparkly*

*annoyingly, that… eh… maintenance, is done with loud slurping noises every night just before bed time. Nothing like that melodic sound to lull you to sleep.

Josh Waitzkin (chess guy – ju-jitsu guy I like) has a great parenting theory. He’s particularly careful about his use of adjectives when he’s talking to his progeny.

He uses the example of the weather. If his kid wants to play outside and it’s stormy out, he doesn’t say the weather is ‘bad’. It’s just weather. In any event I’m trying to live that philosophy. It’s not a disgusting spider that you need to be scared of… It’s just a spider. Let’s have a look at it. And then put it outside. (Admittedly this was a little more challenging with a black widow the other day)

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This sort of language is harder than it sounds. We are very conditioned in our responses, describing things on autopilot, ascribing adverbs and adjectives with almost no consideration. I only realised how broadly negative my language was until I paused to take cognisance of what I was saying.

I still mess it up quite regularly. But I am trying to get better at this.

Will I succeed?

I struggled through the Lorax* with my two year old before bedtime last night. Nothing like a little Dr. Seuss to make you doubt you your ability to read out loud or annunciate clearly.

*got to start them early on that climate change stuff

I think there is a tempo that I’m failing at. Or maybe it’s the lack of lysergic acid diethylamide coursing through my body that’s the problem? Although that might make Dr. Seuss even more scary than it already is… maybe I should switch to some Shelley or HP Lovecraft. You know, lighten the mood a little bit. I find the Lorax remarkably dark…

almost like its a portent of things to come.

In any event. I do think Dr. Seuss answers some important life questions.

Like will I succeed?

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Which I find quite comforting.

Challenge rating

I’ve updated my definition of challenging.

Trying to insert a suppository into a feverish two year old that knows what’s coming and is fighting you…

Grateful I have twenty five years of jujitsu under my belt to prepare me for this…

Joey goes for the flying arm bar…

Toddler wrangling

‘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.

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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.

Sorry.

 

Roundup.

I fell asleep in front of the television watching Ricky Gervais on my laptop. (My daughter has secreted away the Apple Tv remote) I vaguely remember some Caitlyn Jenner jokes… and then nothing… I woke up about twenty minutes later, discombobulated, Humanity still in full swing. Closing my laptop I rampaged off to bed with the stealth like poise of a baby rhinoceros, navigating by iPhone light (so I wouldn’t fall over an errant German Shepherd sprawled out in the passage like some sort of dinner for one-esque rug). After that I tried (unsuccessfully) to unfurl the blanket that my wife had (with advanced mathematics) somehow established herself in. (you know, so I could get a tiny corner of warmth) After ten minutes (okay, maybe more like thirty seconds) of furtive probing I gave up and the did married couples version of when someone tries to pull the tablecloth out from under all the crockery.

After a slew of cuss words that would make a B-Block inmate blush and the hijinks of  navigating through the domestic version of the Tough Mudder… I wasn’t sleepy anymore. And so here I am, back where I started. Albeit in my pajamas now. With my teeth brushed and sparkling clean.

We have an excess of office furniture at work at the moment. It’s not really serving a purpose, other than taking up space, so I decided to appropriate a filing… shelf, cupboard thingy. I had the minions drag it down the stairs and then delivered it to my house this afternoon. (flagrant abuse of managerial powers entrusted unto me… by… well… me)

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Tada! The girl progeny has a new bookshelf (from which to dispense and distribute her books to every conceivable corner of the house). Some of these books she inherited from me and are not currently age appropriate (HP Lovecraft, Edgar Allan Poe, Chuck Palahniuk*) But I figure she’ll grow into them eventually

*I’m kidding. There’s no Chuck Palahniuk in there.

Did I mention it was the progenies birthday party this weekend? I can’t remember. After a quick brainstorm we decided that the thought of having a gazillion people in our house, with a plethora of snotty, little people in tow, rummaging through our vinyl collection and poking at my lego (and that’s just the adults) filled us with dread and loathing… Plus we’d have to lock the dogs away, and since that’s not really something we would even consider, we decided to have her party at the park instead.

My wife made a Peppa Pig cake…

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… and much fun and merriment was had by all. Except the girl child, who absolutely hated all the attention and tried to remove herself from any and all social activity. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

IMG_8636.JPG She also refused to take off her hat. And spent the morning looking mostly pensive. Although sometimes she would mix it up with a bit of a scowl. (REALLY awesome photos) I’m sure the talk will be of my strangely mute child who has clearly fallen off the development ladder.

Speaking of which, we had our first teacher-parent meeting at the Kindergarten she attends this week. They made us sit on the little wooden stools in the classroom, while her teacher and the principal took opposing tiny chairs. I must be honest, I felt a little uncomfortable… like I was in trouble…. old habits die hard I guess. Or maybe its a guilty conscious. Either way I did my best not to squirm. Or flee.

Turns out she’s the best in her class. Even in the long, illustrious history of the school they have rarely seen such raw magical ability (is what I imagined they were saying) It’s all very impressive for a mudblood (her mother’s a muggle). We smile politely. ‘Do we have any questions?’ ‘Not really’, we both mumble.

In other news I ordered books today. And then clicked same day delivery. (this is how I roll… sometimes) Two hours later I had received…

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…I know. It’s a university textbook. On potentially the driest subject imaginable. I go through weird phases. I’ve already devoured two chapters and so far I’m really intrigued.

I’m not sure why I felt the need to reveal my strange proclivity. In any event, twenty  minutes of killing stuff on playstation and then bedtime for Joey. Sweet dreams. Joey out.

Dollhouse. Not the series.

’twas the night before the birthday and all through the house, both parents sat building and cursing out loud…

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Playmobil (initially) amused me with their warning on the box. I imagine this is because giving your kid an unassembled model that takes you 60 minutes to assemble while your kid is having a melt down might… fray the nerves somewhat.

It took two of us (with some serious degrees* behind us) more than an hour and a half to assemble this… without the screaming child. (which would definitely increase the challenge rating imo)

*albeit it primarily commerce and not engineering degrees.

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In any event it is done and when she wakes up tomorrow we will unveil the fully assembled dolls house in all its glory.

We are very cunning. And wise. Yay us!

Blunt force trauma. And other hobbies.

My daughter turns two next week, on the ides of March. Fortunately boys called Brutus are few and far between these days, a name relegated to the junk heap of epithets along with Adolf and Kermit. Albeit for different reasons.

Speaking of strange (but awesome) names I campaigned long and hard (if we had a boy child) to call him Tiberius. My wife used her veto almost immediately. My second option was Ender. And while not vetoed, I was given an arched eyebrow that suggested I should start coming up with more sensible options lest I receive a stern reprimand and have my PlayStation controller locked in the cupboard for a week.

I have casually mentioned to my daughter that given her auspicious birth date she should avoid politics, crossing Rubicon‭s, suspicious Italians called Cassius* and (for good measure) two Gauls, one of whom may or may not be carrying a menhir.

*amusingly I played (a gay) Cassius in our school play version of Julius Caesar. Quite progressive for a Catholic school. (Maybe he was just effeminate… I think outright gay would have been a bridge too far)

As life advice goes I think I’ve done a pretty good job so far. (Joey pats himself on the back). Yay me.

Age two is a big year. It’s when we start training martial arts in our family (since of this generation). I’ve taken to tossing a various assortment of workshop tools (mostly spanners) at her when her mothers not looking. I must be honest… at the moment… she’s not giving me much to work with (in terms of reflexes).

But then earlier while I was closing curtains she snuck up behind me in the gloom, silently padding into the room without me noticing. As I turned I tripped over her, fell over and hit my head on the edge of the exercise bike.

And it suddenly dawned on me…

Ninjutsu!

Ideologically I really like Ninjitsu. Practically it’s a load of shit. Trust me I know. My martial arts evolution went something like this…

1. Tae Kwon do (ages 10 to 15)

2. Ninjitsu (16 to 18)

3. Traditional Japanese jujitsu (18 to 19)

4. Western boxing (19 to 30)

5. Brazilian Ju jitsu (19 to present)

Of those Ninjitsu was the least helpful in terms of any remotely useful techniques. In fact I’d go as far as to say 99.9% of it is a complete waste of time. BUT… it was loads of fun and lends itself well to training montages and a cheese infused 80s soundtrack.

The bo staff training. Day one.

I jest. Obviously. I can’t actually teach bullshit. I find it super unethical.

I think mostly we’ll concentrate on jab/cross combinations and fighting from the clinch. I think that’s a pretty good base. Then maybe move onto to single and double leg takedowns. Maybe the suplex.

As an amusing aside my first black eye was dished out by a girl. (In a ring*)

*as opposed to, for example, on the dance floor of a nightclub.

So realizing after school that Ninjitsu actually offered me zero practical skills I joined a traditional ju jitsu school. This was just as Royce Gracie was cleaning up in UFC 1. I felt quite smug that I’d made this leap before most people.

Traditional ju jitsu was… okay. The class was divided into three core components. Wrist locks or aki-jitsu, throwing (judo style throws) and grappling. I only really liked the grappling element and endured all the other stuff just so I could grapple for three rounds at the end of the class.

Soon after that I entered my first competition. I’m going to say it was a pancrase type tournament. But I’m not 100% sure thinking back now. No closed hand strikes to the head…. hm… that’s pancrase isn’t it? Anyway I remember I was docked a point for taunting. Ha ha.

In any event I broke my foot in that competition. Really badly. Compound fracture where the bone was sticking out through the top of the foot. I went for a shoot and the guy sprawled and then collapsed and somehow my leg got twisted up and when I scrambled up I happened to look down and my foot was all mangled and fucked. I spent three days in hospital and ended up with a three inch stainless steel pin for my trouble. A large part of my foot still has no feeling in it from the nerve damage.

I was out of action for 8 weeks…. so my sensei borrowed me his UFC collection 1 through 10 on VHS and some grainy bootlegged Pride tapes as well, ostensibly because he felt sorry for me.

Weirdly this was my undoing because I suddenly realized I had NO standup game. NONE. I quit soon after and joined what had been up until recently a Jeet Kune Do gym (it would eventually become a part of Straight Blast*)

*I actually rolled a couple of times with Forrest Griffin. I say rolled… but really he turned me into pretzel.

Anyways MMA wasn’t really a thing yet but they were progressive enough to know that something was happening and were fusing Muay Thai and grappling into this weird… something.

I loved it.

I was a pretty good grappler. But my stand up was abhorrent. Like really, really bad.

My first sparring session went like this…

I’d been speaking to this police woman who was sitting on the bench waiting for the class to start. We were talking about mutual people that we knew. She was bandaging her knee up with tape. It looked horrible. It was all purple and scarred and fucked up. She’d been sheltering behind a wall during a shootout and had taken a bullet to the knee. I was impressed she could still walk nevermind fight. We ended up getting paired up together for our first round of sparring.

Damn. I’m fighting a girl. And an injured girl at that I remember thinking.

I would take it easy on her.

Damn…. She came in hard. No mercy. I withered under her onslaught and made a classic rookie error. I dropped by head. Bam! She hit me with an uppercut! (First black eye) then she hit me with another uppercut. Bam! Second black eye.

With both eyes closing up I had to call it. Couldn’t even finish the three minute round.

That was my first experience of boxing.

I got better. In fact my boxing… and especially my dirty boxing eventually surpassed by grappling skills.

Now I’m old(er). My body after almost thirty years of abuse isn’t as spry as it used to be. I used to love hard sparring. It was my favorite thing in the world. You never feel quite as alive as when someone is trying to knock you out. But… I also decided I’d rather quit while I was ahead and keep some level of cognitive ability going. (I suppose you could argue the damage has been done)

So I took up stick and knife fighting instead.

(me in black)

(me in white and camo shorts)

We used to record our fights so we could learn from our mistakes.

Ah. Good times. Its making me a little nostalgic now. Stranger things and the Masters of Doom has recently really given me a hankering for the ‘good old days’. Life was simpler then. Being an adult I’ve decided, mostly sucks.

How cool would it be if my days could be filled with Dungeons and Dragons, grappling, board games, playstation, comic books and reading. Although ideally I’d really like to do these things AND still have a wife and daughter.

Juggling life is harder than you think it’ll be.

Rain, rain go away

Because I made fun of the UK in my last post it’s started to rain.

It’s not all bad. We are listening to our new LP’s while pulling the girl-child round the house in a card board box.

We spent all our money on coffee and analog technology. So we have to make due with the box we got at the farmers market and a piece of rope.

Admonishing me for going too slowly.

The German Shepherd is amused.

Time served for good behavior?

So every day my daughters playgroup/kindergarten sends pictures to the class whatsapp group. This is what your kid did today. Its usually a series of four or five photos with a little blurb that make you feel better about the money you’re spending to send them there.

Yesterday was no exception.

Something with colored water and syringes, I forget the learning application. Fine motor skills maybe?

Hmmm. Whats that background

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So my daughter is locked behind the gate. We imagine it was something innocuous, like she was having her nappy changed and was waiting to come back into the playroom. At least we hope its that and not that she was serving some sort of time out because sunk her canines into some kid who didn’t know they were poking the bear when they reached over and picked up her play-doh. (Also how I know she is my daughter)

For now we are treating it as a humorous event. Although I will be scrutinizing future photographs very carefully.

An underpinning theme of shotguns

This seems like pretty good advice for life. Even if it is printed on the side of a box of Cadbury Astros.

I mean if you’re going to live your life by hard inflexible commandments this might not be a bad choice. Also they’re delicious. (Jo takes a moment to display his complete disregard for portion control) Nom nom nom. (mouth noises)

Before this I was lying on the sofa listening to Zero Hour narrated by RC Bray, book five of the Expeditionary Force series. I’m not very far into it, but already I see its following the same formulaic linear progression of the previous books. Which is really quite sad, because I loved the first two books. Especially Columbus Day, which pivoted so fantastically half way through with the introduction of Skippy (the magnificent). Unfortunately Craig Alanson has decided to make hay while the sun shines and churn out this series for as long as possible. I’d like to say who am I to judge. But I’m being totally judgemental about this.

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William Tucker, Amazon Customer, you sir are a liar and scallywag. And should we ever meet I should like to cuff you with my leather glove. Unless of course you happen to be a hulking behemoth with a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu… in which case I’d like to defer our engagement until after I retrieve either a very pointy stick or some double-oh-buck. (yes, I realise I spelt it phonetically)

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The other audiobook I downloaded was this…

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Which follows the story of the creators of Doom. Arguably (along with Wolfenstein 3D) one of the defining games of my era and the primordial soup that spawned… well… people watching other people play Call of duty on Youtube.

Masters of Doom is read by Wil Wheaton, which… in all honesty, put me off initially and made me a little intractable about listening to it. It’s not that I dislike Wil Wheaton. But I don’t exactly like him either. I don’t think anyone should test the social dynamic by trapping us in an elevator together.

Fortunately some rave reviews tipped me in the right direction. I’m glad they did because I’m really enjoying it so far. To Wil Wheaton’s credit, he reads really well so I feel I should apologize for my previous calciferous-ness. (Is that a real word?) I think I mean recalcitrant. Joey opens google. So yeah, I definitely mean recalcitrance (ha ha) and not producing calcium carbonate. (Even after considerable thought I can’t make that work) Perhaps if I’d spent more time reading and less time playing video games and masturbating I would have known that. (only occasionally at the same time)

You know what I find weird about America? I realise this is not exactly a smooth segue into my my next paragraph. BUT… there are no electric kettles. Initially I thought this was only happened in hotel rooms… But then I found out there are hardly any electric kettles ANYWHERE. I find this genuinely disconcerting, almost like a mirror world Fringe experience.

Our electric kettle decided to commit suicide yesterday. So we’ve been reduced to using the stove top kettle to boil water.

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Seriously. I’m growing old here. Also Kurt Cobain would have turned 51 today. If he hadn’t blown his head off with a shotgun. This blogpost may be developing an underpinning theme.

I think it’s because Americans don’t drink tea. Which might be a American war of independence thing. I’ve spent the whole day thinking about it and it’s the only thing I could come up with. I also briefly spent some time picking my nose and  wondering why my navel lint is always blue.

ALSO my daughter sunk her teeth into another kid at playgroup again today. ‘Take my stacking blocks and will maim you chick!’ Another day, another incident report. I think that brings us up to five. (vaguely I wonder what the record is, not that I’m competitive, just curious)

Ok, I’m competitive. I mean if you’re 5-0 on the playground and you’re not even two yet? This is why my wife has the serious conversations about social norms and I just stand there looking stern. My speech would have been ‘Seriously, those other kids are dirty and you don’t know where they’ve been…’ ‘Do you really want to put that in your mouth?’.

 

Which as I understand* doesn’t really get to the crux of the matter.

*I don’t really understand, but agree that my notions and firmly held convictions are waived under certain circumstances.

Willowcreek

We went away for the weekend because my friend won a holiday. Albeit in the middle of nowhere (with somewhat challenging circuitous ‘roads’ and other navigational hazards involved in getting there).

Three hours from Johannesburg via towns I’ve never even heard of (let alone knew existed). It requires dodging potholes and donkeys but its a very pretty part of the world.

It has a log cabin (in the woods) esque type vibe with no cellphone service. There are three or four other cabins on this farm, but I only ever saw sign boards for the others, so relatively isolated from each other. Nor did we see any other people while we were there.

This one was our cabin.

I tend to oscillate between savage and nerdy pursuits so an appreciation of the fine art of fly fishing is generally lost on me. (It’s not punching people in the face nor is it playing pretend and rolling dice) Also probably a limiting factor is my inability to be absorbed in a menial task like repetitive casting for any length of time. I imagine some people find it meditative. I find it quite difficult to switch off. Maybe one day when I’m big.

Still, I did try it for a while and trundled down to the dam with a borrowed rod. It’s was okay. I mean mostly you just stand there… wasting time. It’s not very efficient. My friend swears that without drinking single malt from a hip flask I was never really going to ‘get it’ anyway.

To be fair I find value in other nonsensical things which other people might be equally judgmental about. The cabin provided some board games (scrabble and monopoly). Which I thought was quite cute.

We brought our own. Although with three kids (between the ages of 8 months and three years) finding time to sit and play anything substantial for any length of time was perhaps wishful thinking.

Played two games I’ve never played before, The Grizzled, a fun but super difficult cooperative card game and Sherlock Holmes consulting detective which is a very different kind of ‘board’ game. I’m not really sure how you’d classify it. Oh. Thematic co-operative murder mystery. Well there you go.

Daaaaaad, take the picture already

It was a good weekend, with friends I’ve had since the first grade. Now we’ve all gotten married and bred a new generation of role-players. It’s an odd feeling.

Found this in the cabin bookshelf (next to the monopoly). I didn’t read it, but the title made me wonder if maybe I’d be writing a book like this one day…

Double underpants

The movie Trainspotting had a formative effect on my life. It convinced me that heroin was a bad idea. But, perhaps more importantly, it impressed on me that shitting the bed was terrible experience and indeed something I never wanted to intimately participate in.

While on the whole I’m fairly confident in the sealing integrity of my sphincter, when faced with the added challange of a bacterium I tend to err on the side of caution by doubling up on my underpants. I’m happy to announce that I still haven’t chalked up that particular close encounter and remain poop in the bed free (since ‘83).

I had a piece of white toast for breakfast. My first ‘real’ carbohydrate in more than a week. Hopefully it will stay down. It’s was delicious and the only thing I really felt like eating. The sprog sat next to me on the floor spearing raisins with a fork and then transferring them into her mouth. Together we read the Hadeda book. Which is likely the most Johannesburg Northern suburbs children’s book ever written.

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‘Early in the morning there’s nothing tastier than a parktown prawn’

Saturday mornings used to the sole domain of the long brunch. Now we have all these responsibilities.

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Like swimming lessons. This one kid hasn’t stopped screaming since we started. It’s making me think bad (murderous) thoughts about his parents. (Not very stoic of me) He screamed the entire class last week too. The kids name is Noah. Maybe he has some historical aversion to water.

I chortle at my Genesis joke. Funny.

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.

Almost free stuff.

I broke my Fitbit.

…sooooo my Fitbit broke. (Like a car accident let me not admit culpability). And then two weeks later I broke my wife’s Apple Watch

my wife’s Apple Watch broke (randomly)

The resulting trauma of these events fueled a foamy and introspective apoplexy where I raged against all fitness trackers and vowed from hereon-out to track my fitness data via journal (with a pencil) instead..

…that little endeavor lasted about a week before rolling over and assuming a position not unlike a dead bug. Clearly I have almost no capacity to self motivate.

I need colored circles and stupid achievements. I’m guessing that is probably psychologically quite telling and likely positions me on the spectrum of someone not to share a foxhole with.

I’ve been counting down the days for my banking rewards program to assign spurious pretend money to my account, which happened this morning. (I have this thing about not spending real money on such frivolity)

Sha-zam! Four hours later I have a new shiny Apple Watch.

I have to laugh at the size of the delivery box though. Although maybe they just didn’t trust their courier, so they Trojan horsed it. Which now that I think about it actually makes sense to me.

In other news our slide got delivered yesterday afternoon.

We’ve been building a fort (raised platform, whatever) in the garden for the girl spawn. Up until this point its been a completely free exercise. We’ve using wood (pallets, boxes, container dunnage, etc) that I’ve scavenged from work and brought home piecemeal. The only thing we’ve paid actually money for was the fiberglass slide.

Basset hound used for scale.

The little ‘house’ structure was also free. My brother in law was using it as dog kennel but it was starting to fall apart (and his dogs never used it anyway) so he offered it to me. Replaced some of the rotting timber, a coat of paint, a home made stable door and Tada! This corner of the domicile is starting to take on the form of a real Branch Davidian compound (from which to wage war)

Jo sticks the landing. But gets smashed by a German Shepherd in full gallop shortly hereafter.

*fade to black*

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!

Achtung.

Me and my daughter went to the Museum of Military History this morning and took selfies with tanks (as one does)To be fair I took the selfies and she tried to stick her fingers in my mouth.I’m going to go out on a limb and say Russian T-55. I was too busy chasing the midget through the gun park to read any of the plaques. For the first hour we were the only ones there, so we had the whole place to ourselves, save one lone gardener mowing the lawn. I really like this museum. Mostly because it has this!This is a Messerschmitt Me 262. Only this the two seater night fighter version. It’s the only one left in the world. Designated Red 8 (how very Star Wars). I’m not really a ‘plane’ guy, but the styling and engineering that went into this plane fascinates me. I even have a scale model of an Me 262 on my book shelf.

Along with a plastic bunny.

And Nathan Drake sporting an AK SU 74.

After the museum we went to the bike park. She’s not old enough to ride bikes, but she likes to monopolize the wooden Jeep analog and watch the other children play. I have to sit in the back and occasionally pop a grape into her mouth whiles she drives us to ‘woolies’ to buy ‘sweeties’. At 21 months she already knows where the good stuff is.