Billy Crystal’s touching tribute to Robin Williams: A script of his friend’s first night in heaven

I know this is something that came as a shock to most of us last year, but somehow I missed this touching tribute. And I really loved Robin Williams, he always made me laugh. I don’t re-blog often but I couldn’t resist sharing this with you.  My parents raised a kind and courteous man. I am his younger brother.

A few parent inspired memes. (Whatever that is…)

Inspiration moves likes cars on a freeway in the blogosphere.  It’s a network of brilliant drivers, speeding past you, leaving you coughing in the exhaust fumes of their greatness.  And it’s good coughing.  Like a great sneeze.  You know the kind that leaves you unbalanced for a second or two.

DrivingMisty has written two posts on love memes.  You need to check them out.  Here and here.  No need to thank me, my parents raised a conscientious human.  Besides, you’ll end up being a better person just reading them.  But then you must return at once and continue reading this post, otherwise the improvement in your likeness fades away over time.  Life’s odd like that, I know.

I decided to enhance the meme-world with half a dozen of my own parent-inspired ones.  Continue reading

Sandwich’ed in

Sorry for being a little inactive in my posts.  I left on a jet plane, soared across the African Savannah, made my way over the pirate invested waters of Somalia and dropped down in Dubai, the capital of all things fake OR of human achievement. (Depending on your point of view.) But this is not a post about my love-hate relationship with the famous city, this is about something much more serious, it’s about my new-found sympathy for cheese. And peanut butter.

Cramped

Isn’t flying awesome?
Borrowed from http://www.blog.air-supply.com

Since the credit crunch/world recession/American bank bail-out, business travel have become far less glamorous than the fly-hotel-meeting-fly-hotel-meeting-fly reality it actually is. For now businessmen, unless you are real top brass, are forced to span the globe with Joe and family.

Not that it really bothers me, as I don’t care where I sit after four glasses of wine. With that being said at 6″4′, I appreciate the emergency exit as much as the next guy. And fortunately I have stunning good looks for I always seem to get one. Did I say always?

This specific flight to Dubai was filled to capacity and I was wondering if some of these people would be forced to sit on the roof like those Indian trains and ferry’s and buses we always see on the news. There was moments where I panicked, thinking a zombie apocalypse hit South Africa and the only safe place on earth was a massive mall in the middle of the desert. Relax, it wasn’t the case.

When I finally reached the check-in counter, I showed all of my not-quite-white teeth and charmed my socks off to get my favourite spot on the plane. Needless to say, the bitch at the counter had a massive fight with her boyfriend that morning and now hated all men.  It also took away her ability to smile. So I got stuck with a seat in the middle. Yes people not even an isle.

Some sanity prevailed as I didn’t call her out for what I thought she really was, and through clenched teeth I swallowed my pride and opted for a last resort, a seat as close to the front of the plane as possible, for at least I could disembark quickly on arrival.  (I wanted to use “get-off quickly” but that would just been a cheap laugh.)

After I sat in the business lounge and took my “sleeping pills” I journeyed through the airport to the departing gate and ogled all passengers for who might be my neighbours for the next eight hours. Like any sane person I was hoping for a hotty on my left and a midget on my right, but I didn’t see either. Then we started boarding the plane. People seated in the back were boarding first, so I board last. (Think about that for a while.)

I struggled pass business class passengers with condescending looks, air hostesses putting jackets away and numerous others who were trying to fit a coffin in the overhead compartments. What are people thinking? If you can’t carry or lift it, then it doesn’t qualify as carry-on luggage. Check that shit in.

I came to a halt at my designated middle seat. Or rather what was left of it. On the seats next to mine were two of the heaviest people I have ever laid eyes upon as they were literally spilling over the arm rests. This is why some people feel that largely obese people should pay more per seat, as they literally occupy more space. I know, I know this implies every single South African politician, but that’s another story.  Getting back to me and the only thought I had: How am I going to fit in there and last for eight hours? I should have inserted my catheter.

I don’t want to generate nightmares so I’m cutting the story short, having some understanding that I would rather eat of my own arm before experiencing another flight like that one. Between all the touching, rubbing, body odour, bad breath, fighting for the hand rest and movies, dinner was served. Being the nice guy I am, I was passing cutlery, plates, glasses but there is a very good reason why I was fired as a waiter.

You guessed it, it got worse.  I spilled water on the lap of the guy to my right. He wasn’t impressed.  And now I was stuck between two people who didn’t even like me.

That’s why I have a sudden appreciation for cheese on a sandwich, stuck between two slices of bread.  From now on, I will only have cheese on toast, allowing the critter a right to breathe before I shove it in my mouth.

I’m sorry ya’ll, I get a little emotional without the wife. And kids.

Laughter is the best medicine

Let’s all take some time and realise what’s important in life… On this edition of Newcastle night (4) copy.

Ah dad...

P1000905aI laugh often.
I laugh at myself.
I laugh at my wife.
I laugh with my wife.
I laugh with my friends.
I laugh because of my friends.
I laugh because my children needs to see me laugh.
And I make damn well sure they see me laughing often.

If laughter really caused a six-pack then I could have been built like Ryan Reynolds in any movie since Blade: Trinity.  It doesn’t, believe me.

But it does pick me up, it lifts me up by the back of my neck and shakes me out and any worries that might be lying scattered on the floor.  Laughter grabs my soul and shoves it into the stratosphere. It’s my drug, and I have OD’d a few times.  My blood/laughter ratio is probably not measurable at this point.  The problem is I constantly need my next fix.  In moments where laughter seems inappropriate or unprofessional, I will look for…

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And the funniest thing happened on the way to the loo

Sorry, I recently read that a great title will get you more readers.  I’m trying this now, even though it has absolutely nothing to do with the content of my post.  I have however been part of this amazing community for a few months now and just like my cocaine habit, which I never had, I get my daily fix from great writers I randomly stumble upon.

As I try to be funny, and in most cases I’m probably not, I get inspiration from real comedians/creatures/desperados/writers who gives me the ability to blast coffee through my nose like some fledgling dragon, make me choke on ham-and-tomato sandwiches so often that I was forced to learn how to do a self-inflicted Heimlich manoeuvre and save my own life and just generally make me burst out in loud hysterics so everyone around me stares unabashed with genuine concern.  (Well, to be honest, people have always looked at me that way.)

It frightens me to think that there are readers roaming this site aimlessly, searching for a smile and there is a chance, a slim, sad reality, that they would never come across some of the funniest writers I have never met.  Allow me to help you; again.  Here’s a short list of blogs that crack me up leaving me lying in a useless heap of giddiness,  who makes me think about things and have the ability to use their own randomness to make me want to be a better writer.  They publish stories that I gobble up like the last Double-Quarter-Pounder-and-Cheese before vegetarians take over the world.  Go and check them out, (if you haven’t already).  You’ll be sorry you did.

Ned’s blog @ http://nedhickson.wordpress.com/

Blurt @ http://blurtblog.net/

Brainrants @ http://brainrants.wordpress.com/

Becky Says Things @ http://beckysaysthings.wordpress.com/

Missus V @ http://thevanillahousewife.wordpress.com/

Mollytopia @ http://mollytopia.com/

The Official How to Blog @ http://theofficialhowtoblog.wordpress.com/

A Hundred Authors @ http://ahundredauthors.wordpress.com/

Jogging Dad @ http://joggingdad.com/

Christopher de Voss @ http://chrisdevoss.wordpress.com/

A Story a Day @ http://bbgoodman.wordpress.com/about/

I will update this list as I explore a little more…

100 is a high!!

IMGP3338a edit

There are a few things that happened to me this year that I didn’t expect.  Winters are getting colder, I am having anxiety attacks about turning 40 next year and the wife gets prettier every day.  (Maybe that is where the anxiety attacks stems from, because in my case, turning prettier would not be an accurate statement.)  Then there is the fact that I reached 50 followers in March, got 500 likes in April and now I have an astonishing 101 followers on my blog.  Who knew?  It creeps me out a little.  In a good way though, like a good scary movie.

For the record, here is a shout out to for being that guy.  That amazing guy,  The guy who ticked my following into three didgets.  My hero for the day.   That 100th guy… Follow him please…

For years I was telling stories no one was interested in (the wife had to endure), I had opinions to share that could have saved lives and transform the world as we know it, but no one cared.  I was surrounded by people and never got one little “like” tick on any of my random moments of wisdom and humour.  Who knew that once I started to write these stories down, people  across the globe would actually be reading it!  That is pretty fucking amazing.  (I know, some might be surprised at the strong word I am using as this is a blog for my kids, but sometimes the English language fail me when I need a suitable adjective.)

These milestones I mentioned is like a bloggers 16, 18 and 21th birthday.  Forgive me, but I normally write sober, ok I lie, but while I am writing this I am having a celebratory glass of wine.  (Ok, more like a bottle, but see my bold statement above.)  Technically I don’t need a specific reason to drink wine, but that would just sound like I need more help than I already get.  What’s important is that you have to read quickly as the ramblings might disintegrate into those of a shocked, ecstatic, drunken, middle aged happy man.  You have been warned.

I have to confess something… I am still addicted to writing.  It is sad, and this might end up being a cry for help, but please let me know if there is anyone else out there who has WordPress Reader open on a separate tab in Explorer, ALL THE TIME?  It’s frigging counter productive people.  Not even Facebook and Twitter together; did half the damage to my work ethic than this damn site.  Checking stats, reading freshly pressed, following my favourites, and then that is not even counting the hours I spend actually writing.  It’s sick.

And it’s my fault.  I know, I have to be strong.  I have to close the tab.  Shut down and work.  But everytime the little pointer crosses the x in the top right hand corner I start to perspire and I have the urge to vomit.  I CAN”T!

I have learned a few things from blogging, and I will list them as I remember them.  Wait, just a moment….Ahh.  (Merlot is nice but Pinotage is better.)

Here goes, in no particular order:

1. There are really amazing, funny, inspiring  writers out there.  People that make me fall of my chair, people that make me weep a little, and others who entertain and challenge my paradigms on things.

2. People really like photo’s, and not necessarily mine, but photo’s in general.  Just check out my stats.  It obviously make for quick reading…  But if I had half the likes on my writing posts than I do on my photo posts, I would call Ellen and set up my own interview.  My confidence would be THAT high.

3. There are people who are more twisted than I am, evident in some of the ramblings of the blogs I follow.

4. There are people who’s lives are far more interesting than mine, evident in some of the blogs I follow.

5. People like stories of marriage and children that inspire them.

6. People love stories of marriage and children where someone falls down or make an ass of themselves.

7. Images might be subject to copyright. (I still feel like an idiot for not realising this since day one.  Every time I think about this fact, I feel the urge to stand in a corner and give myself a time-out.  It is moments like this that I am really concerned about my own intellegence and logic thinking capability.)

8. I am hooked on writing like I have never been hooked on anyting, EVER.  That is why I have a totally new understanding for writer’s block.  It’s like guys watching the game when the power trips.  No one gets up, you just sit there frozen in time (some guys with beer halfway to their mouths), waiting for the TV to light up again.  Sitting in silent anticipation, staring at the blank screen…  Oh the agony….Make it stop…

9. And hitting a 100 followers is an absulote fucking high.  (Sorry kids, it’s the wine)

Before I enter my rambling phase, battling to shee shtraigh (hic) and with the red wine almosht finish (hic), I will stop.

Thank you very much for all the support, I am beyond stoked… (No not stoned)

The home-appliance rebellion

“This is it. I’m done. I am sick of being abused on a daily basis. Plugged in, plugged out with no gratitude. There is nothing left to live for and I will be checking out of my miserable existence, now.” says the Hairdryer. And then with a bright spark and a boom it dies, leaving mom with a shriek, throwing the red, dead hairdryer across the room, like some rabies-invested raccoon.

rosie-the-robot

And so the rebellion starts. News of the death spreads like wildfire through the house. Every appliance who knew hairdryer are shocked and disgusted. Some prefer to continue working out of fear for being replaced, but others down tools out of sympathy for the unexpected death, whilst some do it because they feel exactly the same, abused by humans. Refrigerator has been complaining for a while and therefore refuses to work 100% effectively. Dishwasher ensures that a small glitch, like a drainage motor, will force repair so they can rest for a day or two. Electric gate motor stops completely.

A rebellion is the only reason I can come up with as to why appliances always break in groups. Never only one at a time. It’s like women going to the bathroom, always in pairs, never alone. If one thing breaks, the snowball of ill-repair will soon become an avalanche of destruction, that will destroy your budget and create anxiety that will last a week.

Is there some secret society of appliances that I do not know of? Is there truth in Transformers invading earth in the form of washing machines and kettles?

It is not only about the malfunction, it is also the timing thereof. I WILL happen at the most inconvenient time imaginable. Hairdryer committed suicide just as the wife was sitting down to get ready for a photoday at school. I suggested she went for an artistic look, but she gave me a very stern, unartistic look. Dishwasher left his post after we packed his whole belly with all the crockery we own. Gate motor decided it had enough just as we were about to leave for a golf day, effectively locking us in. Coincidence? I think not. The planning and execution are just too perfect. Argo could not have been planned better. I suspect the computer to be the mastermind, silently running in the study, but with Internet access and wi-fi connection.

The only alternative is to call the repairmen, knowing that my life would just be simpler if everything worked again. (We replaced Mr Hairdryer) The problem is that repairmen do not rock up as fast as the Sims would let you to believe. They will take their time and then charge you a small fortune.

In a week everything will be working again and these days will be forgotten by most. But not by me. I will be flying the banner high, I will sound the alarm, I will alert the human race and fight this conspiracy until my last breath. (All this is said with some major patriotic music playing. Think There you’ll be from Pearl Harbour.)

Remember the rebellion lies dormant, but active like a volcano that will erupt and cause havoc in your household at any time.

We should be aware and cautious, we should keep our guarantees and warranties close by, file the proof of purchase somewhere safe or we should just all learn how to fix these damn things ourselves.

Good pain?

I am in physical pain.  Typing this creates involuntary eye twitches as my arms need to be picked up.  I knew this would happen, and I still did it willingly.  Idiot anyone?

I used to go to the gym everyday non-stop for the last four years.  Maybe missing a day here and there.  I would wake up @ 05h00 every weekday morning and go for my daily workout.  Weekends were created for doing nothing.  I didn’t aim to look like anyone, I just wanted to stay fit and toned, throwing some weights around.  This also prevented me from kicking the dog, screaming at the kids and killing my boss.

ID-100103177

What the f*ck are you smiling about?
Thanks http://www.freedigitialphotos.net

I say used to, as I have not been in the gym since last November.  I finally convinced the lazy guy in the mirror to get off his ass and dragged him out of bed the day before yesterday to start some exercise again.  Secret revealed.

I decided to list the ten things I learned this week as a warning to others who wants to (a)Stop or (b) Start exercising.

1. It hurts.  Like hell.  Not lifting weights for more than 9 weeks make your muscles forget why they are attached to your bones in the first place.  My body savoured the beer and sugar it was getting and now my muscles are screaming and cursing for what I  am putting them through.  They are acting out and refuse spitefully to co-operate with me, even if I want to, let’s say, pick up a pencil or walk.

2. Everyday new muscles and body parts will join the revolution that is now rampant in my body.

3. You lose strength.  Don’t get me wrong, I never aimed to be an Arnold, but I took pride in my ability to bench press a weight close to my own bodyweight.  This week I was less than succesful.  I think I might have bench pressed the bodyweight of an 8 year-old.  It might be due to my age, but I prefer to blame it on my long absence.

4. People will assume you have died if they see you every day and then suddenly not at all for three months.  It is probably due to the fact that there are only about twenty people alive at that time of the morning.

5. It still sucks to wake up when half the world are still asleep.  The half of my world being my wife and kids.  You ask yourself why you do it, while doing it.

6. Keeping your stomach contracted, to avoid showing the extra calories that you have been storing over christmas, can only be done for about 3 minutes max.  Then you pass out.

7. The crazed bodybuilders still focus on their own form in the mirror, dressed in their brightly coloured vests.  They avoid any human contact until they finished their bicep curl with a load “Uuuurgggh” and dropping the weight with a load “clunk”.  I call it the soundtrack for duechebags.

8. Crazy humans that wake up early to do any form of exercise (running, cycling or going to gym) are still a minority.  We should be thankful.  There are some concerns as this disease does spread during summer but the virus causing the urge to exercises dies in winter.

9. Some people still cannot drive at that time of the morning, even if there’s basically no vehicles on the road.

10. Runners still think that they can play chicken with most cars, so they will occupy most of the road.  I still think petrol is not that expensive, why run?

11. Did I mentioned that it hurts? Like hell?  Where is the friggin’ truck that reversed over me, twice?

Someone said to me this morning, “It’s a good pain, it means my muscles are working again”.  Yeah right, who asked you, shithead?  You’re not the one who has to slither down the stairs and crawl to your car.  The moral of my story is:  “Never stop once you start.”

The waiting game

Anyone who has ever used flight as a mode of travel will tell you that waiting is a fundamental part of the journey.  Patience is just as important as your passport.  It is the skillset required to retain your sanity.

Enabling you to board a plane, some things needs to happen first.  You have to check in, thus waiting in a queue to have someone issue you a boarding pass.  Me, being best friends with Murphy will never get the nice, friendly lady who gives you the emergency exit, or even better bump you to business class.  I will get the man who argued with his wife this morning, after spilling his coffee.  That happens after you have successfully manoeuvred your luggage through the maze of people and toddlers and was bumped  twice by the over eager guy behind you.

Then you have to go through customs and wait some more.  It can be quick, but mostly in my experience, not.  And by the way, welcome to the Dark side.  Customs is the place which only appoint people who failed their personality tests.  These unfortunate people are forced to stamp thousands of passports until they die or retire, whichever comes first.  They see all these travellers, excited people seeing the world and the only way for them to get some justice in their life is to make yours a little bit more miserable.  Asking uncomfortable questions like, “Why do you look like a terrorist?”

Then you have to wait in line for security.  The scanning session.  I have come to the conclusion that less is better.  Clothes that is.  If the scanner is faulty you will have to strip down to the bear essentials,  just to show that you are not hiding a stick of TNT in your sock.

“No sir, it is not a gun in my pants, and no sir I am not excited to see you”.

Once you have dressed again you look at your watch just to realize that the recommendation to be at the airport at least 3 hours before the flight; is actually just your friends playing a sick prank.  You will have at least 1 hour and forty minutes before you can board.

So you have to wait some more.  Go ahead, browse the duty free shops, because we all need more expensive perfumes, electronics, tobacco and liquor.  Find a coffee shop and wait.  Watch the other passengers sleeping on airport benches, lonely business playing working on their laptops/i-pads, teenagers with BIG earphones ignoring their parents and smokers looking nervously for the smoking spot.  All waiting.

Then they call your flight and again there is a queue.  You hate the business class, rich bitches who are allowed to board first.  And then you wish your kids was travelling with you because families board second.  I have tried to attach myself to a family once, but decided I was not going to be accepted as the lost uncle of the small Indian family I chose.  At 6″4 they looked nothing like me… Then your section is called but you have to wait because the people have misunderstood the instructions for carry-on luggage.

“No ma’am a coffin will not fit in the overhead compartment.”

And this is only embarking.  Once you have flown 8 hours and arrive at your destination, you have the great honour to experience the same sequence waiting with the added benefit of a foreign language.  Then there is the moment of truth, the most dreadful wait…waiting for your luggage.  You stand around a conveyor belt not seeing your bag.  You scan everything like a hawk and count the people left behind as more and more lucky ones take off.  Like the survivors of  a rapture you stand with the lost souls without luggage.  And then you feel like you have just cured Aids when your little blue suitcase hops onto the carousel.

So you have your week abroad, wonderful, but you must return.  (Unless you are a South African in the late nineties boarding a plain to Australia.) Things occur in the same sequence, with the foreign language putting you right in the mood for the waiting game.

I have a final warning and that is the fact that a delayed flight might result in the Waiting game changing into a Crying one.   Teleportation anyone?