Sunday, September 16, 2012

#9

Venice, Italy. The Venice Carnival or Carnevale di Venezia occurs every year and ends with Lent, forty days before Easter on Shrove Tuesday (Fat Tuesday or Martedì Grasso), the day before Ash Wednesday. Masked men and women parade through the squares dressed in elaborate costumes and there's always a party of some sort at any given moment.

Legend has it that the Carnival began with the victory of the "Repubblica della Serenissima", Venice's previous name, against the Patriarch of Aquileia, Ulrico in the year 1162. To honour the victory, people started to dance and make reunions in San Marco Square. Apparently, this festival started then and became official in the Renaissance.

But for some reason, the Carnival declined and ceased during the 18th century. In 1979, after a long absence, the Italian government decided to bring back the history and culture of Venice and sought to do so using the Carnival as the centerpiece of their efforts. Today, approximately 3 million visitors come to Venice every year for the Carnival.

My take on the Carnival of Venice is one mixed with awe and intrigue. For the most part, I think the costumes are stunning and beautiful, with their elaborate detail and exquisite finishes. But then there are times when I think they're kinda creepy. Either way, I'd still love to make my way there at some point to see it for myself. Here's a sneak peek at what to expect:








Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Sometimes love is an act of vanity & desperation

Some people think that the answer to all their problems is to get married. Specifically, they think that if YOU get married, the world's woes will cease to exist and life will become an episode of The Brady Bunch.

But, through careful observation over the last 100 years, I've come to see that married people are not any happier or content than single people. It's just that they have less time to think about their problems. 

I always go on about how allergic I am to married men - but I never tell you why. See, there are always three types of married men that I encounter:

The first are the misogynist pigs. They're the ones that only see skirts, and not the human beings in them. They generally want to screw everything they set their eyes on, mostly because they're not getting any at home or because they suffer from some or other long-standing insecurity. For them its about the chase. The skirt is a challenge and every triumph is a notch on their egotistic belts - a quiet, desperate attempt to prove their masculinity. And since I am not for Sale and never will be, I never had and never will have any interest in the misogynistic pig.

The second kind of married man I frequently encounter is the dreamer. The dreamers are the ones that always thought of married life as a fairytale and hoped it would yield certain benefits. But the spell of blissful matrimony is broken as soon as the honeymoon is over and she flips the switch, cue Unleash the Dragon. Suddenly, they find themselves married to Cinderella's evil step-sister instead. And then they want to look for that fairytale elsewhere, desperately seeking the love and admiration they received in the initial stages of their relationships. And since I'm no ones consolation prize, there's no place in my very real life for the dreamer.

The third kind of married man I often encounter is Mr. Perfect. He's everything you've ever wanted and searched for in a man. He's all that and a bag of chips AND a super yacht with a lifetime supply of Ben & Jerry's to boot. He's the man whose every reference is always accompanied by the if-only-he-wasn't-married moniker immediately followed by a deep sigh of regret and disappointment. And from all the married men you'll ever meet, he's the most dangerous. Satan incarnate.

The thing about Mr. Perfect is that he would only ever need to blink for you to fall head over heels in love with him. But he'll never, I repeat NEVER, leave his wife for you and even if by some miracle he did - you'll never be happy because you cannot build a relationship on the ruins of another. The entire scenario is set up for you to fail from the beginning and can and probably will leave you mentally ill and emotionally scarred for life. I've seen this a hundred times and I go to extra lengths to avoid this man whenever I see him.

But from all my experiences over the years, nothing, I repeat NOTHING had prepared me for the incessant amorous advances of the younger single male. Flattered doesn't even begin to describe it. Curious comes closer.

Seven years is an awful lot of time when you're looking back. He's still a kid, I keep telling myself. We have absolutely nothing in common. And just today I decided that it would never work because at the very core, we are different people and we want different things. For instance, I HATE having to make decisions, but it's all I seem to do with someone so indecisive. Also, I always look for a partner who will take control of the relationship - and he's more than happy to relinquish any control he may have!

I don't see this going past the next 24 hours. But it was still nice to be looked at in awe and admiration. 

Monday, September 3, 2012

Where have you been?

I've been feeling kinda weird lately. Don't know if it's got anything to do with the Full "Blue Moon" this past Friday night, or the fact that Spring has certainly Sprung in Johannesburg over the last week. While nothing drastic has occurred, there definitely seems to be a shift of energy ... I can't exactly put my finger on it, let alone explain it.

All I do know is that I've been practically living at work. It hasn't been that bad. And I've become quite chatty over the past few weeks too. My usual brazen opening line: psssst, what's your name, what's your story? has garnered quite a few friends, associates and acquaintances. And as I attempt to keep myself busy by poking my nose in other people's business, my own life plods along, dragging me unwittingly with it.

I can't lie though, most days I have fun. But there's this distant nagging feeling like it's all pointless y'know. Life. It's pointless. We live, we die. We have fun, we're miserable some of the time. We love people we can't have, and hate those that are around all the time. We spend money we don't have, and eat far too much. We wish we could sleep in every morning, yet wake up anyway to do it all - over and over again. It's not only pointless, it can become quite meaningless too.

At work, I have this incessant need to connect to everyone on some level. It's not entirely possible, but it's not impossible either. It's like I need to know that other people are living too, so that I don't get sucked into the vacuum of my own existence.

We should be living in the moment, but there's no instrument to measure how that's done. How do you know whether or not you're living in the moment? Is that not determined by perception? Or subject to opinion?

Here's how I see it: the fact that you're here, reading this, is a clear indicator that you're very much alive. And who's to say that that's not living in the moment?

Thing is, we'd all love to feel like we're LIVING the crap out of life. No one wants to just exist. We want to feel and believe that there is some point to things... a bigger picture... some grand culmination of events.

But alas, dear reader, I have come to see that there will be episodes in your life, when you will just exist. Yes, it will be mundane... sedentary maybe... even boring. But there's nothing wrong with that. It's life. We have our ups and downs. Good times and bad. Not every moment can be a roller coaster ride, no matter how many digital post-it inspirational quotes make you want to believe otherwise. There's nothing wrong with that. And there's nothing wrong with those digital motivational posters either. That's life.