Wednesday, January 28, 2009

"My education was dismal. I went to a series of schools for mentally disturbed teachers." Woody Allen

His movies have never grabbed my attentions for too long and less so when he is in one. I saw the trailer for Vicky Cristina Barcelona way back and was not too intrigued and when I heard it was a Woody Allen movie I had no inclination to watch the thing. A friend told me it was good stuff though and at the risk of confusing any newcomer to my blog I am sure the two of you regulars will be okay with me bashing out some more details on a film I have just seen... as if this was some kind of movie critics blog. Rest assured it is not.

I do however, tend to not watch movies for a few months, and then do a few at a time. Sometimes back to back. I remember at high school I bunked out from boarding school on a Saterday night to watch Pretty Women and Die Hard 2. Both memorable. Then in Boston for a couple of months I paid for one movie, watched it, then snuck into the bathroom during the change and into the cinema to watch a second without a ticket. I forget the first, but the 2nd ...well how could I forget the second? It was Roberto Benigni's - Life is Beautiful ... and I am happy to say Boston now holds some of my tears shed over some incredibly moving scenes in a great movie.
I have been wanting to watch so many movies actually over the last 3 months or so. I think since Busting Down the Door came on the circuit, but I have been too lazy to actually make it to the Bioscope. Until this week that is, when I watched Burn After Reading on Tuesday - average. And now this evenings viewing of Vicky Cristina Barcelona.

Well this, in my opinion was a pearler. Such a pleasant flow and some interesting characters that were fiery and spicy, but not in the obvious way that I think Woody Allen normally gets his muses to perform for him. I did not feel the exact puppet like movements from the actors being influenced by the little fella coming alive on screen, but rather just some of his ideas, which have always been sexually controversial. Didn't he marry his daughter or something? What a strange cat ...well at least he never tried to hide any of it. Of course his movies were an outlet to get his perverted notions across, but this time there were some really well portrayed ideas on what goes on between men and women in love. One notion really rang true to me in the movie, but I won't go into that. What was brilliant though - acting wise, was Penelope Cruz taking on the fiery suicidal self confessed genius of art and music and sex. The first time that I really took to what she was doing on screen. Incredibly impressive performance I thought.
The fantastic performances all round and the exquisite yet subtle presentation of the Spanish city, culture, landscape and language was all too impressive for me to enjoy only a little bit. It was inspiring, thoughtful, agreeable, disagreeable, soft and fiery all at the right times without being invasive ...which was all a surprise - from my first impressions way back when the film was first introduced to me in an over lengthy trailer - and a good one at that.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

"I only have two rules for my newly born daughter: she will dress well and never have sex." - John Malkovitch

Burn After Reading ... have you seen it yet? If you have keep reading. If you have yet to see it and are planning to, then you should probably go make yourself a cup of tea and why not a croissant to go with it(I have some spare if you are all out, some have chocolate in them and others almonds and a dusting of sugar for extra pleasure. I dig them all). If you are not bothered about the film then you can read on, or by now you might be gatvol of this post anyway, so in that case head back to your skinner kak that you were reading before hand.

So I popped over to the Labia Theatre on Kloof to watch the movie by the sometimes enigmatic Coen boeties - Burn After Reading. A top cast of dudes and a women whom I think won an Oscar for best supporting chick a few years ago. I think it was called Fargo and in fact also the result of the Coen's efforts. Yea that's her ... you got it spot on. Correct, the one with the funny mouth. You wondered what it was about her face that bothered you right? Have a good look, I bet you its her mouth. Very pronounced. Perhaps pushing out of that head too much ... moving away from the Golden ratio of Divine proportion, but not enough to make her ugly. Lets call it - interesting. An interesting look. Good.

Well I paid 20 bucks for the movie which is, I think, about half of the SterKinekor and Nu Metro prices and was amused by the ticket I received from the elderly lady whose knitting I interrupted to make the transaction. It was one of those little tear off "admit one" things that we used to get when watching movies like Puff The Magic Dragon or Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo at school for 2o cents.
So for R20 I sat down to watch Brad Pitt, George Clooney and John Malkovich do their thing for me on the big screen. The plot was decent. Brad Pit was damn funny as a gay, quirky gym instructor dude, Clooney an ex body guard, adulterous sex fiend and John Malkovich the scary alcoholic ex-CIA freak.
Now as entertaining as Pitt and Clooney were for me in rolls that I just never thought they jelled to, Malkovich was incredibly close to the way I would imagine the fella to be at times in his real life. I mean that is a stupid assumption to make and I hope that is how it stays, as when I saw him go at one of the other characters with a tomahawk type axe blade, it just felt as if those 6 blows he inflicted on the victim were supremely comfortably suited to him. The movie shows off how old he is looking too with some strange teeth going on and all sorts of skull action that accentuates his intense and pronounced dialogue.

Brad Pitt really is a funny cat in this one though and its worth going to watch just to laugh at that whole vibe even if the rest of the film - for me - was just decent.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Worldly wealth is the Devil's bait; and those whose minds feed upon riches recede, in general, from real happiness, in proportion as their stores ...

Worldly wealth is the Devil's bait; and those whose minds feed upon riches recede, in general, from real happiness, in proportion as their stores increase, as the moon, when she is fullest, is farthest from the sun.

This morning, as I went outside for the first time I noticed a strange effect of light. It was softer than the weekends burning sun. Softer and with a kind of shadow that gave me an eerie feeling that I enjoyed. Obviously I looked skyward to check out what was happening? I thought perhaps it was a fire that was blocking some of the morning light, but there was no smell or bank of smoke. Still the unfamiliar light was working on my senses which were not quite sure what to make of it all. Was there a natural disaster pending? It might have been a dragon flying acorss the sun, but I have not seem one for ages. I think I started tapping into the way people of ancient times must have felt when something happened that they were not expecting and that they had no control over or knowledge of.

You see out DSTV has been bust for a week or so now and my laptop in for repairs. I don't buy newspapers really, neither do I listen to the local wireless (I would like to but I have yet to find a Disc Jokey that I can stomach for more than a few minutes. I still have to resort to audio streaming so get a dose of the brilliant Johny Vaughen from Capital FM in London a few times a week)so basically I have been out of the target zone that the peddlars of information make use of to ply their trade.

If I had been more in touch I would probably have known that I was experiencing a partial eclipse of the sun. But I was not so I just sat there staring at the strange blueness waiting for the dragons to appear or a swarm of locusts the evelop the city bowl in unprecendented numbers never before seen in these parts since Kaizer Chiefs played Ajax in the BP Cup soccer finals.

Eventually the answer was provided to me from an unlikely source. The Pikey neighbour lady from next door was standing on her death trap rickety rotten wood deck that hangs half way over the road forming some sort of car port as well as a place to grow desert cactus, place a windmill and gall the while giving those driving down Buitenkant Street a cheeky little bridge to pop under and out of if the wind was blowing in the right direction.
So Pikey lady in Bikini top from the 1924 Elle spring Catalogue and Judron rugby shorts covering the bottoms, is balancing on the precarious wooden structure with a pint and cigarette in one hand sunglasses on and a welding mask in front of her eyes, brazenly staring directly at the sun and the partial block that the moon had on it at the time. She knew about the Eclipse it seems and began educating all those that were in earshot, which for her was double the amount due to some drunken 8am vision. I knew better than to look directly at the sun, but I dicided that as I turned on my heal to head back inside, I would take my chances with the sun rather than risk turning to stone for looking directly and scary Pikey women.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

'GOODBYE BUSH' - Veet advertisement

There is a ton of Obama 'stuff' out there at the moment, hey of course there is. I mean this is the biggest thing since Nelson Mandela gave birth to Francois Pienaar back in 1995 I think it was. Anyway my brainy cousin Damian put 50 pounds on Obama winning the whole shebang shebang early in 2008 at 17/1 and cashed in nicely.
I on-the-other-hand do not back Obama. Nore Madiba actually. They deal in politics you see, and that is a game not worth the energy it devours. I think they are both cool guys and don't lump them in with the other bad eggs out there, but are they honest? Not a dot of it I'm afraid.

The world was watching though and so was Australia. An ad agency down under got it spot on with this little beauty in the Australian Daily Telegraph for their client Veet.

Good work people.

Monday, January 19, 2009

It's damn hot! It's so damn hot, I saw these little guys, their orange robes burst into flames. - Robin Williams

I knew when I was cutting those masses of chilli's that I was going to be paying for it somewhere down the line. I was making such a concerted effort not to touch my eyes that I seem to have neglected all sorts of other potential dangers of those little guys that pack such a burning punch.
You see we have a massive chili bush, so as not to waste any, I harvested the lot. That was way over 100 chilli's. I decided to have a go at making some chili flakes. I am not too sure how to go about it, but so far I have taken care of the chopping and am sort of getting them under some heat in the oven - slowly. It seems to be going okay, but to dry the chopped pieces out in the oven seems like it will take a long long time so I am waiting for the wind the stop before I put them outside in the sun to dry ... any tips? Besides the obvious ones about not touching body parts - its too late for that! I have multiple wounds and of the worst possible order.
Firstly I thought a wash with soap would do the trick to get the strong burn of my mitts. Strangely though the Lemon and Poppy seed muffin I smashed shortly after the hands wash packed a huge dose of burn. After a short stint of confusion, I realised that I was not going to get rid of the chili burn from my hands too easily. The big problem was that while I was thinking how to go about shaking the burn, I took a pee and neglected to take care. Next thing I knew I had a burn in my pants like I have never felt before! Don't let me go into too much detail about that one though.
I managed to get through the mouth burn and willy burn with extreme bravery and a small serving of fear and thought that my carelessness had taught me a lesson and all was done with, I suppose chopping up 60 chills will leave its mark.
Two hours later though the burn was just as strong as ever, much the the determent of my forehead this time. I had just run along the promenade in the evening sun which was hot enough to get a decent sweat going. Wiping my brow a few times I never suspected a thing. When I got back to the gym though and while talking to Cape Towns legendary TBG, I felt my head burning like I had been lying in the sun all day with baby oil on my forehead. I realised it was a transfer of the chili burn still lingering with intent. Damn was I ever going to get over this ruthless attack? At least I had managed to avoid getting it in the eyes as was the original concern (well I suppose genitalia would have been pretty close to number one concern had it occurred to me that appendage would have been in danger, but I never thought I would be that stupid ... how wrong I was. Not for the first time either when dealing with my ... uuuurghum, never mind), but that did not last long. Next step was a shower at the gym and would you know it while washing my face I rubbed my eyes which set alight straight away. It was instant pain. I was stuck on options to alleviate the now throbbing eyes. I was just about to give in and start weeping (natures own antidote you understand) when I realised I could use my towel to rub the eyes. I picked a spot on the towel that I hoped my 'infected' hands had not touched and gave the eyes a good gauging. I am not sure if the burn ceased at that stage, but the discomfort of pushing the eyeballs to the back of my skull in an semi delirious error of judgement and over zealous attempt to rid myself of the pain by pushing at them with fingers numbed from the effects of 60 chilli's, certainly masked what ever feeling I had been suffering from the chilli's in a brand new type of pain that had me wondering when the piano was going to fall on my head just to finish things off.

I can't wait to taste my new chili flakes, I wonder if they'll be hot?

Sunday, January 18, 2009

"George Bush, my part in his downfall" - Pi

The PlanetPi blog has been going for less than a year, but already it has managed to topple the leader of the most powerful nation on another planet - Earth.
I am happy to announce that Georgie Porgy Bush has decided not to be president of the United States of America any longer.
After just a few derogatory mentions on this blog he has capitulated. Glory days I say!

Here are some of his best:

1. "Will the highways on the internet become more few?"

2. "It’s a time of sorrow and sadness when we lose a loss of life"

3. "I appreciate the fact that you really snatched defeat out of the jaws of those who are trying to defeat us in Iraq"

4. "I remember meeting a mother of a child who was abducted by the North Koreans right here in the Oval Office"

5. "We’re concerned about Aids inside our White House – make no mistake about it"

6. "I’m honoured to shake the hand of a brave Iraqi citizen who had his hand cut off by Saddam Hussein"

7. "I’ve coined new words, like “misunderstanding”

8. "I recently met with the finance minister of the Palestinian Authority, was very impressed by his grasp of finances"

9. "It’s in our country’s interests to find those who would do harm to us and get them out of harm's way"

10. "One year ago today, the time for excuse-making has come to an end"

11. "I promise you I will listen to what has been said here, even though I wasn’t here"

12. "You teach a child to read, and he or her will be able to pass a literacy test"

13. "I don’t particularly like it when people put words in my mouth, either, by the way, unless I say it

14. "[The Taliban] have no disregard for human life"

15. "When the governor calls, I answer his phone"

16. "Those who enter the country illegally violate the law"

17. "I think we agree, the past is over"

18. "America stands for liberty, for the pursuit of happiness and for the unalienalienable right of life"

19. "My job is a decision-making job, and as a result, I make a lot of decisions"

20. "One of the great things about books is sometimes there are some fantastic pictures"

21. "There's an old saying in Tennessee — I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can't get fooled again."

22. "The problem with the French is they have no word for entrepreneur".'

Aaa what a blessing the fool is to depart.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Creativity: ‘The leap across a chasm not bridgeable by reason’ The Art Off Looking Sideways

St Thomas (a religious and philosophical dude that seems to have been on top of his game in the 1200's) distinguished between two ways of apprehending the truth of things. One is Intellect and the other Reason.

Reason is how man draws the outer world into his experience to understand it. Reason works by stages; it starts from the outside with our perceptions of the material world. These perceptions lead us to form pictures, and theses in turn, can be raw material for understanding.

Intellect recognises directly the true nature of things by a single leap into the dark.

We are constantly taught to reason at the expense of being creative. Creativity would improve our Intellect. Something so clearly lacking out there.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

It is often said that before you die your life passes before your eyes. It is in fact true. It’s called living … Terry Pratchett

I just got back from the Medi Clinic Emergency ward. I had to pop in to see if my buddy Millertime was not in too much trouble. He was still freshly bashed up when I got there, but let me take you back an hour to put things in place.

It is a cracker of an evening in Cape Town again and the sea water temp is just peachy. Pushing the 20's I tell you - bliss. I sms Millertime to meet me at Camps Bay for a session of bats and then a swim across the Bay. His last sms to me: 'where do we meet?Speedo or boardies? What time?'
I reply: 'Speedo, in front of Sandbar see you in 15min - no stress'
That was the last I heard from him and after waiting 30mins on the beach I wondered if something else had made him late - its not like he does not know the way there. I knew he was coming from town on his scooter. I also knew he was likely to rope his lovely lady Bron in for the beach so perhaps the time had been pushed out a bit to make sure she could get there after work. Not a problem, but I decided to give him a call to check out the vibe. No answer and phone is off. Strange. I pop down to Mark the massage dude and ask him to keep my bag while I go for a swim. Just as I am about to make my way into the surf, Millertimes Dad calls:

"Hi Ryan. Greg asked me to call you to tell you he won't be able to meet you on the beach ... he is in hospital after an accident on his scooter."

I quiz Mel about the state of his son. He does not know much and is on his way to the hospital. Now what really blew me away is the fact my buddy has just been T-Boned by a four wheeler Golf Jumbo jumping a red light from Long Street over Whale. The scoot is mangled and so is Greg. Although no head injuries or broken parts of his skelington, he does have some chunks of flesh missing and a massively bruised hip. And even amongst all this personal shock and pain he is marshaling his family to get a message to his buddy to make sure he is not left wondering why he did not turn up for a swim.

When I got to the emergency ward the nurse was chastising the fellow from a dizzy height. Something about helmets and speed and general lecturing that our boy had turned off to. All in all a fortunate fellow in a situation that could have been phenomenally worse. Another phenomenon is the extent of the regard that Millertime holds his friends in. Hope you feel better soon punk. Good to have some more war wounds to show Al. Don't forget to look into the human high jump mat you landed on.

post script: Part of the reason Millertime remains relatively well intact is the fact that he landed on a women pedestrian upon his descent from the sky after being launched yonder from the force of the impact. So he landed on this poor thing who was taken to hospital in a neck brace.

Friday, January 2, 2009

“Well, Columbus wasn’t looking for America, my man, but that turned out to be pretty okay for everyone.” - Vince Vaughn

I spent the last few days in an extraordinary holiday location. Some friends bought a kids holiday camp type place called Outward Bound renamed it Eden Campus and now own the land that has all sorts of activities that seem so much more fun when you don't have a school master telling you to:
"Scott, you think you smart huh? Right, climb that tree with Jones (the class fatty) on your shoulders ... it will make you stronger".
"Geez Sir, fat Jonsie is the one who needs to loose some weight, can't he carry me?"
"Scott! Enough back chat, get on your knees and take his weight or no tinned peaches for you at dinner tonight"
Aaaa yes its all in the presentation. I had huge fun climbing the 20m high blue gum trees and swinging from Tarzan ropes this time around. The canoes were huge amount of fun too and the naked dancing a highlight. Did I say naked dancing? Hooo Haaa ... That was special girls! Especially with little 7 year old Tara watching with interest. Good healthy fun and games in the bush.
The next stop to visit the Cookes on the Breede river was also looked forward to in anticipation. As I got closer and closer though I realised that I was just not going to get hold of my good buddy and therefore had no clue where to go to find his recently bought, renovated and flooded (the 100 year storm of flooding in the area wreaked havoc in on so many of those houses on the river) holiday home on the river.
It was a surreal drive as you can imagine. From Knysna to Swellendam on New Years Eve there was clearly not too much traffic on the normally chaotic N2. It was then I decided to just push on through to Cape Town and home; to avoid the many parties that were going on and to just take it easy that night. Now the drive got really quiet and incredibly profound ...allowing for my mind to drift. I decided the sunset would bring a good indication of the year to come and decided with solemnity that as the sunset for me I would do a 40 hour fast which I had been keen to do since earlier in 2008 when I had been ill and was not able to eat for a couple of days.
Pertinently my sunset - the last one of 2008 - was over the irregular line of tin roofs and spiky telephone poles the framed the top end of the Khayelitsha master piece. The fast started and with little difficulty (even with La Muzik's New Years day delicious looking luncheon spread) as I had water for company all the way. I did loose some physical energy in the last hours. That was balanced by the clarity of mind and general feeling a well being. I great way to begin another year and I must admit although I enjoy getting fall down drunk with buddies and have done on many a 31stDec/1stJan, this is a special way to respect my existence and place on this earth on a day that is worth celebrating in many forms and not just at the end of the bottle, as I have been accustomed to doing for many of the last 34. Now its a couple of days into 2009 so lets have a closer look at that Tequila. Ole.