Thursday, April 26, 2012

The real winners are...

I wonder whose bright idea it was to cancel House after it's 8th successful season. It's so like Hollywood innit... the minute they have something good that's worth watching, they go ahead and get rid of it so that they can torture us with never-ending pointless soapies and reality shows about people we don't care for and their dogs.
What really stands out about the character (for me) is that I can't ever imagine anyone else playing Gregory House other than Hugh Laurie. In fact, sometimes its difficult to distinguish that they aren't the same person. It was indeed a sad day to hear that House was axed. And then I thought of all the memorable lines. There are hundreds of witty one-liners, I've narrowed it down to my top 5:

5. "There is not a thin line between love and hate. There is - in fact - a Great Wall of China with armed sentries posted every 20 feet between love and hate."

4. "It's one of the great tragedies of life — something always changes."

3. "Disappointment is anger for wimps."

2. "You talk to God, you're religious; God talks to you, you're psychotic."

1. "It's a basic truth of the human condition that everybody lies. The only variable is about what."

The neurotic, sarcastic anti-hero has become a winning formula for successful TV shows. I guess it's because people can either relate to the characters or they wish they were more like them. My all time favourite anti-hero was Karen Walker but she's got some stiff competition from Sue Sylvester, the resident torturer slash teacher on Glee.
Sue Sylvester is the only reason I watch Glee. In terms of nastiness, it's difficult to establish who'd win between Gregory House and Sue Sylvester. Although, I somehow think that Sue is just downright mean (but oh so funny). My top 5 favourite lines:

5. [To Emma] "You know, the way you use your mental illness to help these kids is really inspiring. I'm shocked you're not married."

4. "I, for one, think intimacy has no place in a marriage. Walked in on my parents once, and it was like seeing two walruses wrestling."

3. "I suggest you pre-actively check into rehab, as you are a future alcoholic."

2. "I'm reasonably confident that you will be adding revenge to the long list of things you're no good at, right next to being married, running a high school glee club, and finding a hair style that doesn't make you look like a lesbian."

1. [To Will] "I don't trust a man with curly hair. I can't help picturing small birds laying sulfurous eggs in there, and I find it disgusting."

There are so many lines that I can't even pick just five. I wonder who sits around thinking up this stuff.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

There aren't any Kangaroos in this part of the world...

There used to be a time when if I wanted to get into shape, all I had to do was eat jelly (jello) for three days straight and I'd have a stomach flatter than a surf board.

These days, things are laughably (is that even a word?) different. With age comes growth - mentally, psychologically, emotionally and *ahem* physically. Since I changed my diet 6 months ago, I've had my fair share of challenges. For one, I miss bread like the desert misses the rain. But I would be lying through my teeth if I said I've cut it out completely. See, it's these dreaded weekends that really get to me. Let me illustrate:

From Monday to Friday, life is quite simple. I have a cup of coffee with skim milk and sweetener around 07:30am in the morning. And then around 10:30am I usually have another cup of coffee with some fruit; either a banana or apple or papaya or a combination of fruit with yoghurt and a handful of nuts and seeds:
Handful of unsalted almonds, dried cranberries, walnuts, sunflower and pumpkin seeds etc. on top of yoghurt and fruit serving

I don't eat anything for the rest of the day mostly because I don't have time. Then around 04:30pm, I do variations of this for 90 minutes:

The workout is intense, burning between 600 and 1000 calories depending on the routine.

Then between 06:30pm and 07:00pm, supper follows. When I'm being strict, its always vegetables and rice and chicken or fish served up in a healthy stir-fry. But on other days, Mutton curry and rice do nicely, served with grated carrots and coriander:

And then around 08:30pm, I usually have a cup of tea with one row of Lindt dark chocolate with hazelnuts:

In addition, I drink around 3 litres of water throughout the day and that's how it is from Monday to Friday every single week. But then the weekend sets in and its like everything flies out of the window. For one, I just CANNOT work out on a Saturday, no matter how hard I try. And I also can't stay away from carbs... damn potatoes. Baguettes are the worst. It's like a symphony in my mouth. I'm like an addict. I'd rather eat the baguette and break out and itch for two days then keep to the program.

And the result is that I've got a pouch I can't seem to get rid of. I don't mind being on the round, but this poncho has to go. Damn this aging business. 

All is not lost though because I have a plan. Last week sometime, I came across two articles (actually Mother sent them to me) that have brought some much needed clarity to my life. According to Dr. Marcelle Pick, most people tend to overlook adrenal health leading to adrenal fatigue which is often curable, although many don't know it. 

Amongst many other problems, adrenal fatigue often leads to excess cortisol flooding your system which leads to that annoying abdominal weight that's impossible to get rid of because of an imbalance in hormone levels. And what is the root cause of all this?

Stress.

And suddenly it all makes sense. I've been through the karmic ringer these past two months, suffering under the weight - no pun intended - of extraordinary stress and pressure with not much relief.

Also, according to Dr. Pick... I've got it all wrong. Firstly she recommends beginning the day with protein within an hour of waking up in the morning. Secondly, I shouldn't be drinking coffee at all, never mind guzzling it down  throughout the day like a bottle of Jack Daniels. She also recommends that any intense exercise be done in the morning to avoid over-stimulating your system and that it's important to have three meals a day with two snacks in between to maintain sugar levels; with breakfast around 7am, lunch between 11am and 12pm and an early dinner between 5pm and 6pm.

So I've decided that from the beginning of May, I'm going to institute a few more permanent changes in my lifestyle. Like severely cutting down on meat and dairy and cutting out caffeine, wheat and wheat products entirely. And eating more regularly. And drinking slightly less water (around 2.5 litres is ideal for me). And making sure I get enough sleep. And switching to decaf coffee and green tea instead. And trying to work out in the morning... oh wish me luck!

For the full articles, click here and here. Both are very informative and it's recommended reading for both women and men alike.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

What's life without a healthy dose of crazy...

We were talking about what it means to be a parent. Out of my 18 students this month there are 2 Engineers, 3 Doctors, a Journalist, a Business Analyst, an Accountant and about 9 students or soon-to-be-students.

Out of all of them, only 3 are parents. So I expressed my concern and doubt at my own parenting potential-slash-skills.

"I just don't think I'm cut out for it", I told them. They all tut-tutted and in their own respective ways, tried to reassure me that I'd be just fine. "I really don't think so guys", I continued.

The ramblings continued and then Ana-Lidia told me that once her two year old son told her over the telephone "I love you Mummy and I miss you". To which Ana-Lidia responded (much to her own surprise) "Why?". The two year old was silent for a moment before replying with a perplexed "I don't know".

We all laughed.

And then I proceeded to tell Ana-Lidia and the class that I'm sure if I had a two year old son who told me "I love you Mummy and I miss you", I'd probably respond with:

"Look here my boy, you're a Liar. But don't worry, it's not your fault because you are genetically programmed to fib your way through life and I love you anyway. And Mummy will fix it by beating that Pathology out of you and I'll make it all right again".

We laughed again for quite some time, before I added: "And then I'll get a pair of handcuffs and every time I go shopping, I'll cuff him to the bicycle rack outside the shop and say 'Wait here, I'm just going in to buy a couple of things'..."

At this point, everyone's faces looked like this...

...which prompted uncontrollable laughter from me. Their reactions eased from shock into nervous laughter before I said "DO YOU HONESTLY THINK I'D DO THAT?!?". And a much more relaxed "Nooo" echoed through the class.

My abilities or lack thereof still remain questionable.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Life is a comedy for those who Think and a tragedy for those who Feel*

But that doesn't mean we shouldn't feel or be allowed to feel. It just means that we shouldn't subject said feelings to our warped perceptions.  That's all. Nothing in life can be achieved or enjoyed at it's full potential without a significant balance of the elements. 

I had the strangest dream. I dreamt that Raul da Silva bought me a truck load of sweets and chocolates as a gift. For everyone who doesn't know who Raul da Silva is, well he is a South African Portuguese guy and was one of my classmates in high school. We were always friendly and had many laughs, but we were not exactly friends. And having NOT seen him or even given him a thought in over 13 years, you can see why I find it so strange.

I'm beginning to wonder if it has anything to do with latent junk food cravings or if it's more than that. Seeing that my body feels it quite apt to betray me continuously, regardless of what what I eat or despite all the things I DON'T eat, perhaps my unconscious mind is just filtering the hidden secret yearning to eat a truck load of sweets.

Although, I have no idea what any of that has to do with Raul. He's like the last guy on earth I'd ever think of.

Speaking of which, this previous post highlighted the findings in a recent poll conducted among 2000 British women on what they define as the perfect man. They are by no means, my personal views on what I define as perfect.

My personal requirements in contrast, are quite simple:
1. Someone I can respect and trust with my life.
2. Someone who is my friend.
3. Someone who knows the value and art of compromising.

Love cannot exist without the first point. If you cannot trust or respect your partner, you've already failed and you'll never be able to love sincerely. Secondly, at the core of every successful relationship there is a solid foundation of friendship and companionship that gets people through good times and bad - and it's all you really have when everything else fades away. And because no two people are alike life would be simple, uncomplicated, peaceful and pleasurable if we mastered the third point.

And that is that. Everything else is dispensable. Money comes and goes, so do friends and acquaintances. But the feeling that you'll always have someone in your corner, someone on your side, someone looking out for your best interests, someone in the thick and thin of things - that must be priceless. For everything else, there's Mastercard.

In the meantime, it seems like every time I blink I put on a pound. Gosh I hate being a woman sometimes. I remember brazenly giving out advise to Dreamlife and wife over a year ago. Now I feel like I'm batting for the other team. I'm in the market for some miracle cures if anyone knows anything... since nothing else seems to be working.

Anyway, when these Durex ads start coming on late at night, I know it's time to go sleep.

*Title from Horace Walpole

Thursday, April 12, 2012

#6

Two words - Lençóis, Brazil.

The Lençóis Maranhenses National Park (Parque Nacional dos Lençóis Maranhenses) looks like a desert. But it isn't. According to Wikipedia, it's an area of low, flat, occasionally flooded land, overlaid with large, discrete sand dunes. It encompasses roughly 1500 square kilometers, and despite abundant rain, supports almost no vegetation.

It is located in Maranhão state, in northeastern Brazil, just east of the Baía de São José. Composed of large, white, sweeping dunes it is subject to a regular rain season during the beginning of the year. The rains cause a peculiar phenomenon: fresh water collects in the valleys between sand dunes, spotting the desert with blue and green lagoons that reach their fullest between July and September.
 You could have your very own lagoon, for a limited time offer.

The area is also surprisingly home to a variety of fish which, despite the almost complete disappearance of the lagoons during the dry season, have their eggs brought from the sea by birds.

And while we're in Brazil, we can also pop on over to Rio... two words: why not?

Monday, April 9, 2012

Perfection is overrated...

We'd been talking about it all week. That's what happens when you have too much time and not enough people to gossip about. Add to that, the chocolate has been scant (part of a ploy to lose the awful spud induced blobs that have mysteriously coated my abdomen and backside over the last gluten free six months... I'm still coming to terms with bread-less days).

And then this past weekend I came across this article. Apparently, clothing brand Austin Reed conducted a poll trying to find out what women want in the perfect man... someone akin to TV Presenter Steve Jones. 
Now I'm not completely averse to Mr. Jones and his kind, I just think that having certain expectations is setting yourself up for failure. My Mr. Jones certainly won't have all the characteristics listed in the publication - not because I don't want him to but because that's life. Not every man can be Steve Jones, in much the same way that not every woman can be Candice Swanepoel.

So according to 2000 female respondents, the perfect man is...

1. Six feet tall - Really? I never really put much thought into height but at 5'2 myself, that's quite tall.

2. Muscly, toned and athletic - *GRIN* although realistically speaking, I wouldn't expect it.

3. Brown eyes - Personally, I don't care. As long as he can see ME, it's all good.

4. Short dark hair - Well again I don't care. As long as he doesn't take longer to do his hair, than I take to do mine.

5. Smart dress sense - "Smart" is relative... as long as he's not Gay about it.

6. A beer / lager drinker - According to the survey, men who drink wine or spirits are a no-no. I'd prefer good old H2O.

7. Non smoker - I have to agree. Although a "smoker" would not be a deal breaker.

8. Wears smart jeans, shirt and a - This is what I call being Gay about it.

9. V-neck jumper - No man should put too much thought into his wardrobe. It should just happen naturally.

10. Gets ready in 17 minutes - Yeah, sounds good.

11. Stylish - More Gay-ness

12. Wants a family - This is a big one for me. Since I don't really want any kids, I don't know how this would fare with a potential partner. Although, I'm sure if I had the right partner, I might be open to the idea.

13. Earns £48,000 a year - That's roughly ZAR600 000 a year. Not a requirement for me. I don't care much about money but I love travelling and have a very long bucket list to go through... so we should at least be able to afford to do that a couple of times a year. 

14. Loves shopping - Are we still talking about heterosexual men?

15. Eats meat - I'm not particular about this. As an adult, he can eat whatever he likes as long as it doesn't include other women.

16. Clean shaven - My personal preference, although I wouldn't mind stubble. However, moustaches went out around the same time Tom Selleck shot the final episode of Magnum PI.

17. Smooth chest - Don't really care, as long as he doesn't look like a monkey.

18. Watches soaps - Hahahahahahaha. Really? Hahahahaha. I want to beat some testosterone into those men who watch soaps willingly.

19. Enjoys watching football - I don't really mind if he wants to watch sport - but it has to be for the right reason. The only reason I ever watched football was for Michael Ballack's thighs. If he's watching football for the same reason, we have a problem.

20. Drives an Audi - This surprised me. I'm partial to Audi myself as a personal preference but I never judged a man based on what car he drove. Driving an Audi won't make your shlong any bigger so I don't get why it's a necessity.

21. Educated to degree level - This is only important for conversation purposes. However, keeping in mind that not every graduate can hold a conversation.

22. Earns more than you - This doesn't matter if we adhere to the old adage "what's yours is mine and what's mine is mine". Hahahaha. Seriously though, it shouldn't matter if we're working together towards the same goals.

23. Jokes around and has a laugh - Absolutely ESSENTIAL. Non negotiable. Too "serious" is a Deal Breaker.

24. Sensitive when you are upset - This man does not exist.

25. Tells you he loves you only when he means it - This would be greatly appreciated by most females. If only men like these existed.

26. Admits it when he looks at other women - Hahahahaha. This man doesn't exist either.

27. Holds a driving licence - Non negotiable. Unless there's a valid reason.

28. Can swim - Doesn't matter unless we're on the Titanic or the Costa Concordia.

29. Can change a tyre - Not essential but would be nice if he could.

30. Rings mum regularly - His relationship with his mother is his business, whether he calls her or not.

I can think of a few other details I'd add to this list...

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

I can't tell you how to make it go¹⁰

I’m going to pull a mirfaan⁰ just because as my brother from another mother, he’s a little more than fucking² awesome¹.

One of the things that I really really want to do now that I’m the big three–oh³ is to quit stressing. I become too anxious and stress way too much for my liking over absolute shit*. I want to internalise⁴ the fact that there are many things (and people) that I can not change and that I really should stop trying to.

Speaking of age... it kinda irks me that people look at me and think I’m still in my mid twenties. Jamais!⁵ I wish I looked my age. Guess I must be the only female on earth wasting wishes.

I will⁶ live really and truly⁷ fearlessly⁸.

_________________________________________________________
Footnotes:

0. and because pulling anything else means risking serious injury
1. just ask anyone in the Southern Hemisphere – yes the men too
2. pardon said French
3. 30 on the 30th, how eloquent is that?
*see footnote ²
4. as opposed to just realising and accepting it; been there done that
5. that’s Never! in some more French
6. because I’m done wanting things, and saying that I want things, it’s time to just shut up and do it
7. I’m sure there’s an Adverb in there somewhere
8. in a time when truth is vague and obscure and uncertainty reigns, this is no time to be a chicken shit Frances
9. I have the naughty urge to tell everyone to fuck off**
**there's some more of that beautiful French
10. Title taken from Linkin Park's By Myself