Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Why do they call them pigs? They’re more like cows!

August 7, 2009

I mean guinea pigs. We have one now, Picalo, and she loves grass…


J.M. Coetzee is the Steven Cohen of the literary world

January 10, 2009

I stopped reading him before ‘Disgrace’. Then I found his first book ‘Dusklands’. The level of misanthropy is astounding. He delights in the indignity of people, in the baseness. It is not “…the horror, the horror…” which some ascribe to him.

Therefore, he is similar to Steven Cohen the performing artist who takes this mockery of the human beings to scary physical heights. Good luck to them both.

Shakespearean Buddha

October 22, 2008

To my mentor, H.

As far back as I can remember, I used to get this sensation of utter despair whenever my mind wandered to thoughts of existence. I mean, when thinking about where this All comes from, and what is going to happen when the Universe ends. I abandoned God when I was a pre-teenager, so maybe this was part of the residue:)

It was quite painful to contemplate, occurring mainly in the evenings when I would be in bed. Nowhere to run! I could no longer occupy my self with the usual whirring of work and reading and talking and…It was similar to a toothache, actually, in that it hit a nerve, somewhere in my brain.

I’m sure many have experienced this. There is even a French School named for it:)

Major relief was provided some years ago when a certain H. told me the only thing he knew about Zen Buddhism. I do not recall the exact words, but effectively he said that when we look up at the night sky, we see stars. They’re just stars. It had quite an effect on me. That night I went out and held my arms raised against the sky. It felt like I was connecting with something. And, yes, I saw stars. As though for the first time.

It calmed my mind tremendously. That sensation is no longer overwhelming when I occassionally do experience it (For more on this topic, refer to Osho’s book ‘Intuition’).

I was reminded of it on Saturday while watching the movie ‘Good Night and Good Luck’ about Ed Morrow. In it they quoted Shakespeare:

Cassius: “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, But in ourselves…”

The Bard Buddha. The Buddhist Bard.

While I am here rambling on matters non-material, I remarked recently that my two favourite philosophers, Nietzsche and Wittgenstein, had in common that they were both hospital orderlies during a war in their era.

Now I think there is another link: Nietzsche’s famed ‘Übermensch’ is premised on the idea of what we are Becoming. Just as the tree is what the sand, water and sunshine are becoming, so too, the Übermensch (that is, incidentally, also of the earth) is what we are becoming.

The connection to Wittgenstein is the latter’s statement that the meaning of a word is in its use (he may not have been the first to say this, I agree, but it was central to his language arguments). So, simplistically, the lever is the use of a stick, somehow. So I want to say: the lever is what the stick is becoming.

Or is that saying too much? Should we rather pass over in silence?

Joan Armatrading is a genius

September 8, 2008

I thought I’d better just say that.

Drop the Pilot.

The Shouting Stage.


There is more.

I must have heard these songs a hundred times, but the penny only dropped on Friday on my way to work.

Funny how things work, hey? Our brains obviously have to connect things to understand them. No thought is an island.

Are these words related?

July 21, 2008

Hey,where you been,huh?

Me mainly been trying to get a visa to get back into Deutschland. I had to deal with the Ice Queen at the embassy this morning. Not the best thing for a Monday. She recognised me, at least. “You’ve been to Chermany, before, ja?”

“All the time,” I wanted to say, but that would not have been prudent. It would have been impudent.

And that is the question. What happened to the ‘r’?

Undercover German guardtjies

June 13, 2008

Leaving work tonight, I waited with Caroline for die Zug. There was a group of four people sitting. They laughed, ad we commented that they were happy that it was the weekend, ust like Caroline who was depressed in teh week, mainly, i think because she is a French girl, and only eats on meal a day,  but primarily because she is going to see her new German boyfriend this weekend. now where was I? Oh, right, we got on the train, and had our usual fun with the train lady voice: ‘Bitte Umsteigen and ‘Peregrine Strasse’ are our favourites.

Anyways, to my great surprise, at the next station the group of four people that we saw sitting at our stop suddenly move into our carriage and start asking for tickets. Was it a hold-up? No, they were undercover ticket conductors. Imagine that, hey! Fortunately, we had bought tickets and had stamped them on the train. What will happen next, I wonder?

…and Automobiles

June 13, 2008

well, the seqence did not extend alphabetically: tonight was M again. So it was MNM. Funny that.

N again after this? Back on track, as it were? The train, I mean. der zug.

Planes, trains, now where and when is the automobile’s turn?

June 13, 2008

M, next one must be O!

My mother’s tongue

June 10, 2008

She had a stroke a few months ago. So her speech is slurred. But she beats on. I guess it is another phase of your life, when people don’t understand you as much as you would like. I suppose that is often the case, though:)


What a day yesterday was.

June 6, 2008

It all started the day before. Hee hee.

Eva called to say that they need me (schnell) in Germany. So I started at 09h00 yesterday by booking my ticket for Sunday adn getting my ’embassy’ letter. That all finished at 10h30. The it was off to teh bank. I didn’t have to wait long in the queue, but at the desk it was painful: I changed euros into rands, and then back into euros again. All for getting a slip of paper saying that I ahd mad  aforeign exchange. But I wasn’t going to use Rands to buy Euros, not at R12 to the Euro, no sirreee! I rather used the R9.5 to thte euro money from last year. I lost R600  in commission & fees to teh bank.  What a strange thing foreiegn exchange is. It turns out that it is easier to jst get a bank statement with and credit card limit details. Next time.


But the fun did not stop there. Because the transaction dragged on for forty minutes (dring which time I went to print teh exmbassy letter I had requested by telephone earlier), it was 11h40, still no money. I said I had to go and pleae ro fax the receipt to me. I hurtled into town, parked on the pavement, adn dashed into the Safmarine building, got my ticket adn sat down for a minute. The Noon gun went off! Just in time. I went downstairs again to await teh fax at the potnet just around the corner. No answer from the bank people. Park teh car.

Call the bank again. Get money from the Autobank, even though I have Euros900 in my pocket. Call again. Yes they will fax it. Wait at the postnet. No fax.

Back to the embassy / consulate. Queue number 54. The queue is at 36. Wait. Call the Postnet to find out if they have the fax yet. No. Call again in ten minutes. Twenty minutes. Yes, they have the fax. Finally! Gettit. Back up to the 19th floor. Thankfully the lift works, no load shedding. Hand in my application two hours after I got teh ticket. Smiled sweetly. Got a hard time, of course, as usual, but thankfully wasn’t teh monster lady from before. I don’t thnk even I could charm her. I will have to go thru the French next time. Who do I know in Paris?

Rushed back to do some work. But wait, have to go to the bank ot get the actual money. Guess what? Wait again! feels like I’ve been queueing all fucking day. Eventually get out of there at 15h00. Six hours of admin!

Better go now to get my visa…