Love Letters to Friends, As Well As Very Important Musings on Earth Shattering Matters:
Thread Count, Powerlifts, Quilting, Karaoke, Lemon Cookies, and Graphomania

Sunday, October 18, 2009

It's Not You; It's Me

This is just to say I haven't forgotten the address to my blog, as E suspected I might: I started class, and during the modular term class is at odd times.  This weekend, for instance, I had 6 hours yesterday and 8 hours today of Supply Chain Managment.  Ow. The pain.

The good news is: I'm off for a beer and sunset watching with some fellow students soon.  The bad news is: despite fighting back from a 6 point deficit twice to hold the lead with 2 minutes left, WP lost in the semi-finals yesterday to a determined and relentless Blue Bulls team who would not DIE. DIE, you Bulls, DIE!  But the match was pretty good - lots more kicks than I am accustomed to seeing, and several times when I actually convinced myself I knew what was happening.  But I bid adieu to the fierce fightin' initials of WP (jou lekker ding!) until next time.

In weird news, the Cheetahs upset the Sharks yesterday in the early game, meaning it's anyone's match for the final in two weeks.  So I have time to study up on my rugby - oh, and my supply chain management - before watching it all go down on the big screens in The Brig, on my last day of class.  Hopefully I'll have written you something compelling before that!

gossip girl

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

An Excerpt from a Cape Times Sports Op-Ed Piece Which Made Me Laugh Out Loud Today which an ex-tighthead prop speaks up about what made him a good player, and explains things much better than me

From the article "This Tighthead Prop Thinks It's About Time WP Lifted the Cup....", The Vice Squad by Telford Vice, printed in Cape Times October 14, 2009 sport section (p 14)

To lend the number 3 jersey the dignity it demanded, you needed a skull of Kevlar,

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

On Rugby and the Language of Sports

Stormer Spoken Here (Badly)

Last night I finally met some of my classmates; not so much during class (a painful 4.5 hours long, starting at 4:00) as during a bout of drinking afterwards at the student "bar", The Brig. Far as I can tell, The Brig is actually a large, unused room that was repainted and supplied with a foosball table and a few refrigerators (and no bathroom); the students supply the beer and tend bar and generally keep it up as a convenient student hang-out in lieu of heading to town to drink. Last night, one of my classmates, who works for a brewer in Mauritius, supplied free promotional Phoenix Lagers to all, precipitating a lovely evening of chat and relaxation, albeit somewhat curtailed by way of it being Monday. As usual in a room full of guys, the talk turned to sport, wherein I enthusiastically recounted my hope that I could catch the upcoming rugby match between Vodacom WP and the Sharks, and, after a pause filled with bafflement, one of the locals remarked, "You speak some rugby, is it?" Well, no, but I'm learning.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Cash on the Barrelhead in a Leapfrogged Parallel Universe

Today’s tale is regarding the payment of rent. So let us begin by imagining that we are at a Woolworth’s store.

But let me stop here to clarify: not a Woolworth’s like you might remember from your youth; not the Woolworth’s with lunch counters that hosted part of the American civil rights movement; not the one Nanci Griffith described nostalgically in preface to her song Love at the Five and Dime: “Woolworth stores are the same everywhere in the world. They have this wonderful smell to ‘em, they smell like popcorn and chewing gum rubbed around on the bottom of a leather-soled shoe. The first time we went to Europe… we were driving through central London - we came around a corner and by golly, there was a Woolworth’s store! And I wanted them to stop the car and let me out so I could go fill up my suitcase with unnecessary plastic objects!”

The original Woolworth’s died an interesting death, turns out;

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Home is Where the Bath Is

...and the ambiant lighting.

After some issues with being able to get my cash together, which point I'll get to some other day, I moved into the casa today, so this is the place that until Nov 1 will be home.  SOME PEOPLE were requesting photos; I'm pretty sure these aren't the kind they meant, but it's all I have at present.  I'm also quite sure there's a better way to show all these, like say a Flickr slideshow; but I am lazy, and the hour is late.  And I have some serious solitaire to play before bedtime. (And no that's not a euphemism, you sickos.)

So welcome!  I'll give you a tour.  Here's a floor plan:

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Geography Lesson: A Guide To Apartment Hunting

in which we discover that silence really is golden, and at current market prices, weighs about a pound
In my previous international traveling days, lo these decades past, the complaint about Americans was that they were exporting all their crap, like fast food and Whitney Houston, as an expeditionary force with which they could overwhelm all the world’s nascent culture with low quality uniformity. This tactic, by the way, appears to have worked: KFC and light rock are rampant here. But in these days when everybody is trying to export their crap to everybody else, the complaint has become more direct: Americans are just dumb. A joke I have heard no less than three times in one week is that the war in Iraq is intended to teach Americans geography. Oh yeah? If we’re so dumb, how come YOU’RE the ones eating Original Recipe and still listening to “Saving All My Love For You”? Ha! Ha HA! Ahem. However, given that 63% of young Americans cannot find Iraq on a map, I provide this geography lesson as a public service to my American friends, after the jump.

The Week in Review

So apart from my encounter with The Artful Dodger on the day I visited the school, and the subsequent pall that has cast over my wanderings, the first week has overall been pretty pleasant. Here’s a recap, mostly for my benefit, so I can remember things to write about later. But if you enjoy elliptical phrases and references to streets you’ve never been on, have at it. And if someone (AHEM, ELLEN) wants to remind me how to make HTML links so I can find the appropriate restaurant websites and so forth for the folks following along at home, we can be all interactive and shit. You know, like Dancing with the Stars.

Leaving – at UIC at 9 am to receive my final shot; my awesome sister drives my ass up to Carmax to sell the Civic, which fetchs 3 grand! Ha! Thanks, Carmax, you suckers! Cruise by a bank branch and find a Potbelly’s with time to spare, though I am delayed by my luggage, which is over the 70 lb limit…by 3 lbs. Goodbye, running shoes.
The plane ride – long, sleepy, cramped, and full of dumb romcoms and food I’d never normally eat. I can recommend a Japanese flick called Departures, a bit sad but very sweet. I interact with no one, thankfully, and the leg from Amsterdam to Cape Town is 11 hours, of which I sleep approximately 7.

Tuesday night – arrive 9:30, am the last one through customs, take what appears to be the last cab at the airport to the city, and sleep like a dead person.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Blahg Blahg Blahg

Rule number one: don’t walk around alone. Even in the daytime.

Which is a problem for me, since I am pretty much always walking around everywhere alone, given that I AM alone. More to the point, I LIKE to walk around alone, and so that is how I started out in my adventures in Cape Town, and that is why I was held up at knife-point on my first day in the city.