Thursday, September 29, 2011

Coz life happens while we're busy making other plans...

Like a runaway train, life can get away from us and surge out of control. It sneaks up on us. At one moment, we’re all dressed up for the party, relaxed and unworried about taking a little nap. Then suddenly, everything changes: it’s time to go, we arrive late, or we’re locked out… for good! Show’s over.

While observing others and observing events in my own life, I've realised that lives don’t go sour overnight. They may appear to, and the final unravelling may be swift and terrifying, but the process takes time and thousands of tiny decisions, building one upon the other. And often we hardly notice where they’re leading and what they’re adding up to.

As we examine our consciences, we usually find no single matter of great seriousness, no murders, no child abuse, no major hates, no adulteries. And we think we’re home free. But what we really need to look at are the persistent patterns of our daily choices which cumulatively define who we are.

In the Watergate crisis, “Deep Throat” said to “follow the money” if we wanted to find the real culprits. In our lives, there’s a parallel: Follow the persistent patterns of your choices if you want to find out who you really are.

Here’s the bottom line: If you don’t want your life to surge out of control, track the patterns of your daily choices early and often. It's all a part of living consciously. These patterns and choices will tell you who you are and where you’re headed, and they’ll tell you when you have some course corrections to make. The patterns don’t lie, so watch them closely, with The Almighty at your side.

Now, if only I could take my own advice!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Coz we live and learn...

So Michi has nominated me to participate in the 7 Links project by Tripbase. The ultimate goal of this project is to get bloggers to dig into their archives and regurgitate those posts that had an impact on the world in some way or form. (I've tried to stick to 7 links... really I did. But I'm a dynamic woman and nothing is ever that simple with me). Anyway, here goes:

1. My most beautiful post
Ok so this is already difficult and I haven't even started yet. I cannot think of a beautiful post... especially since it's all relative innit... one man's beautiful is another man's yawn. It's a toss between Tumbleweed and Weird Encounters. I'm sure I've posted more touching stuff, but I can't remember right now.

2. My most popular post
This is also difficult because there's no one definitive answer. I cannot mention the number of people who come to this blog looking for answers to the complex female psyche by searching for what women say and what they really mean. It's staggering! And then there's the other huge contingent fascinated by prophecies  and the foreboding of Gog and Magog before The Last Day. And it's safe to say that the entire Latin American audience came here by searching for pictures of the Soccer World Cup and it remains one of my most searched, most viewed posts ever.

3. My most controversial post
Definitely the LIVING Islam range... Part 1, Part 2 and the third installment. This is mainly because there are currently 72 factions in Islam... some are more closely related to others, while other's couldn't be more different. Everyone's interpretations of what it means to be Muslim differs across the spectrum. And not everyone is wrong. Not everyone is right either, with some even losing sight of what Islam actually means and stands for. The rituals of prayer and worship are not what define us. It's the kind of people we are. There is no place for evil and evil actions in Islam. The Almighty is very clear about this in several passages of the Qur'an. But people will always see what they want to see. And the unfortunate truth is that most people don't realize that the key to their connection with Divinity lies in their Humanity.

4. My most helpful post
Well, for some reason everyone wants to know How to deal with a Psychotic Bitch. Seriously. The only reason it's not at the top of the list in question 2 is because it's been deemed helpful. Ironically, it's right up there with the what women say & what they really mean post... er, does anyone else see a pattern here?

5. A post whose success surprised me
Has to be That Special Kind of Asshole, Part 1 and Part 2!

6. A post I feel didn’t get the attention it deserved
I don't write for attention, but I would have to say Stop embarrassing yourself, you're Asian! tops this one. However another current issue really grates my cheese. I ardently believe that we, the human general public, are being played like puppets on strings. Firstly our governments lie to us telling us we have Freedom of Speech when we clearly don't. Like I said, we never had freedom, and we never will. And secondly, the monkeys people who do have this freedom abuse it. We are all too ready and willing to believe every single thing we read in our media. And when you have a media that is driven and motivated by sensationalism to promote sales and increase their revenue, a media that is not focused on the truth and integrity, we have a HUGE problem. I highlighted this when I re-posted Charles Thomson's lengthy article "One of the Most Shameful Episodes in Journalistic History" which detailed the facts surrounding Michael Jackson and his trial, and brought to light actual factual information from the trial itself that was contrary to everything we heard on the news! It literally left me with a hole in my gut and my jaw dragging on the floor in absolute disgust.  To ruin a man's life because you want to sell newspapers is beyond despicable. Murdoch and his kind should burn in Hell.

7. The post that I am most proud of
This is a toss between Girls Behaving Badly - I still believe I should have my own candid camera show on tv - and Coz things are different, it doesn't necessarily mean they're better... as I've said in a comment on another blog, I'm an anti-feminist but my definition of feminism doesn't include abuse and violence etc. For the most part, my idea of being "free" and "feminist" is NOT having a man telling me how to think/feel/speak etc. As for the rest of it... I think it's utter bull that we have men these days proposing with a ring he expects you to help him pay off - detailing how much the woman has to contribute to the rent. If it is her choice to contribute, then by all means, go ahead. But he wants to sit by the pool with his friends, a drink in one hand while smoking weed with the other, while she works her bum off all day, then STILL has to come home and look after him and cook and change lightbulbs and worry about the service on her car and all that other caca.
I'm like: be. the. freaking. man! Change the light bulb! Mow the lawn! Tell me about the freaking Hydraulics in the car and wait for me to roll my eyes like you're speaking Greek! Get up in the middle of the night and go see what that noise is all about! Show me the kitchen, I will be more than happy to cook for everyone. But EVERYTHING else is your problem coz you're the man.
Only because I've spent most of my whole life having to worry about things I shouldn't have to worry about because of a lack of a male figure in my life.
Again, I don't account for abuse etc. because I see it as a non-factor. It's unfathomable (to me) in a sense because a man who even *dared* raise a hand to me would go to sleep and wake up in his own version of Guantanamo with a life sentence. Death would be too easy.

Anyway, there you have it. There are so many people I'd like to nominate that it's difficult to remember everyone. So I nominate everyone who reads this... especially because I know some people wouldn't because it's not their kinda thing. I would like to mention a few specific people though, just for the hell of it: Angie, Kaloo, Deidre, DeanNas, SadyAfrocentric Muslimah and GB, even though I know gorillas are too busy for such things. There are others I'd like to mention too but like I said, I get the feeling it's not everybody's thing. Either way, do it or don't - it's up to you.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Coz getting back on track is harder than I thought...

It's almost a month since Ramadan ended and honestly, the blessed month has lulled me into a routine that I'm finding very difficult to get out of. Well, with the exception of the eating. It's the fracking eating that's killing me!! Well, actually... no. Now that I think about it, it's not so much the eating because I've been good and sticking to the healthy stuff. It's the fracking LACK OF exercise. Yes that's it! And it's gotten to the point where I've picked up 2kg's since Ramadan ended and this Kardashian backside is driving me CRAZY!!! I wish I could just cut it all off. Yes, just CUT. it. all. OFF! 

And still for some reason, I just can't seem to find the motivation or energy to get back into my routine. I used to exercise for an hour at least five days a week- even in the middle of winter. And not just easy peasy stuff that your grandma can do while she's crocheting another doily and drinking her tea. I really went for it with the High Intensity Training y'know. I'd end off DRENCHED in sweat, knowing that I'd done more than my fair share for the day.

But now, things are different. There used to be a time when I'd tell myself that I'll just start on Monday. I used to love that Monday excuse. And I usually did start on Mondays. And I usually succeeded too. But this time around, Monday is telling me to piss off with my sad-ass excuses and the result is that it's been almost two months since I stepped up to the plate. Maybe there's more to it than just not having the will power to go back there. Maybe it's because I know how I'm going to DIE during the first three days of training...

Unfortunately though, I have to be realistic. For me just eating healthily isn't enough. I only have to LOOK at a plate of chips to gain 12kg's. This means that I HAVE to exercise, whether I like it or not. My body type is such that when I don't exercise... even if it's just taking a walk... I feel edgy and irritated. It actually affects my personality. Yes it does. So yes, I have to do it. I know I have to do it. I just have to get started dammit!

And I can't help but wonder if I'm the only one feeling so frumpishly frustrated? Yep, I'm pretty sure I'm the only one with newly acquired back-fat. Now I feel all lonely with nothing but my little blob of back-fat to keep be company, and a fat ass driving me absolutely bonkers. Maybe I should start fasting again... full-time.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Coz this is everything that is wrong with the world today...

The perfect recipe for disaster on a social catastrophic scale:

Er... He? She? It? Thing? What exactly  is ZARA selling?

It's the 21st century and in the third world, food is still a foreign concept...

...while in the UK, 6.7 Million tonnes of edible food is thrown away annually amounting to £10.2 Billion each year. In the US $43 Billion worth of untouched / unopened edible food is discarded each year.

Want to be famous? The great news is that you don't need ANY kind of talent... just a pretty face and a penchant for whoring your life to the world should do it.

War zones are not playgrounds.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Coz the circus came to town: my weekend in pictures...

So that was a small part of the weekend that was. In retrospect, we should have called the authorities and told them that the circus was coming to town because we are a rather loud and quirky bunch. Travelling with 60+ people (including a lot of little midgets) is not easy. But it's oh-so-much fun. I've chronicled my weekend trysts before in Cape Town although there were significantly fewer people there. This time however, we were on the other end of the country in the northern Province of Mpumalanga. The last time I was in the Sabie region was in 2000 so it was nice to go back after such a long time. My excitement was evident and I took over 1000 photos in two days. Here are some of them (click on images for larger detail):

We left quite early, around 5:30am on Saturday morning in a convoy of 6 vehicles. Half of the family had left on Friday. The drive is usually around 4 hours long - 6 hours if you're driving in a convoy and have to stop every now and then for someone to pee. It was a long winding road.

After 6 hours of pit stops, winding hills and being tortured with John Denver and Barbara Streisand courtesy of Mother and her sisters, we eventually settled on a place to meet the others. The MacMac Pools was an ideal location to picnic. Fortunately for us, the braai (BBQ) was already underway when we got there, just in time for lunch.

Just coming out of winter, none of us were prepared to swim. But the water looked too gorgeous and the temptation was just too much for some of my cousins. When we were all kids we used to spend the entire summer year after year, perfecting the art of diving, inventing new techniques and swimming for hours on end in my aunt's pool. It was fun to watch them negotiate their diving strategies. And it wasn't long before others joined them.

After lunch and a great time at the pools, we made our way to The MacMac Falls. Waterfalls are like Churches in that if you've seen one, you've seen them all because really after the third one they all begin to look the same. But they're still so pretty and there's nothing like watching nature in its element, marveling at The Almighty's creation. The entire province is very tourist-y with several stalls selling hand-made African crafts etc. and we encountered quite a few Europeans and Americans on holiday throughout the weekend.

The days were hazy as we're still in "spring" (term used loosely because 28C / 82F days aren't uncommon). However, the views are much clearer in the winter and summer. After oohing and aahing at the falls, we made our way to God's Window.

After a seemingly endless day, it was time to make our way to our accomodation for the night. We stayed at the Forever Blyde Resort close to the Blyde River Canyon. At this point in time there were 11 cars in the convoy packed with people and luggage and food. Much like the Western Cape Province, wild monkeys usually roam free in this part of the world and we were advised not to feed them or leave our windows open because they would in all likelihood break in and steal our food.

After an eventful night, we were up early and ready for another day of exploring. After a breakfast of leftovers from the previous day, we made our way literally a few meters up the road to the top of the Blyde River Canyon. The views were hazy in the early morning, but still spectacular

From here we split up temporarily. Some went horse riding, other's went fishing and the rest of us went to visit the Bourkes Luck Potholes - a section of the river that eroded the rocks over thousands of years to create potholes along the course of the river. Like most of Mpumalanga, the natural terrain means that your tekkies/ trainers/ sneakers are a must. We quite enjoyed exploring...

Afterward, we hit the road again to go to the Berlin Falls. The region is littered with Waterfalls, with 9 major waterfalls and other minor ones along the way.

Then we left for Graskop. A number of family members went on the skyway trail across the gorge as well as the big swing. Because I'm terrified of vertigo, dangling in mid-air is not my forte so I chose to stand by and watch while I babysat some of the midgets and accepted last minute changes in a few Wills. Even Mother's sister had a go. Those who weren't up for participating had a great time watching from the deck.

We then left to have a picnic / lunch at Lone Creek Falls. The region is a haven for bikers and we encountered many along the way. Before lunch some of us prayed in congregation on a patch of green grass beside the river... men in front women behind... before digging into a combo of salads and fries.

Before we knew it, it was time to pack up and head home. We briefly discussed a convoy strategy and had to get going. Aside from being tortured with various renditions of every Chris Brown and Usher song for five hours straight, it was a pleasant drive. We all arrived home around 08:00pm that evening, exhausted but safe thanks to The Almighty... though some of the drivers had trouble keeping up with others. We had to stop on more than one occasion to wait for a lone ranger or two that had to potty.

And that was it. It was a hectic weekend but great non-the-less. We had some hiccoughs along the way as anyone would especially with 60+ raucous family members, all with minds of their own but most of it was wonderful and we have a lot of good memories to share and take home with us. As someone who's been very fortunate to travel quite a bit, I must say that the world looks more-or-less the same no matter where you go. It doesn't mean that it's any less beautiful and that we can't appreciate it especially when its just around the corner. For the most part though, I often find that it's not so much the destination then the journey and the people you share that with that counts the most :)