I’m going to Miami

And now you may thank me for having the Will Smith song stuck in your head.

This is not a mere coincidence. I’m actually going.  For real ya’all. I’m boarding a plane to cross the Atlantic, for the umpteenth time, and dropping down landing safely in the poster-city of all things American Summer.  Even though it seems most of the people over there don’t speak English.  Or American for that matter. I’m travelling for (and not in) business, but I do intend to sneak away and stick my weird looking toes in the sand of South beach.  I don’t know anything about Miami other than what I’ve seen in movies or in rap music video’s.  Based on this limited, one-sided portrayal of the city, you may rest assure that there are certain things I will NOT do whilst exposing myself.  To the sights and sounds of Miami. Continue reading

It’s getting hot in here

“…so take off all your clothes…”

I’m kidding…unless you want too…nah…I’m just messin’ with ya…but would you be interested…I’m still kidding…DOWN BOY.

I blame the heat.

Me @ nine in the evening.

Me @ nine in the evening.

Living on a round planet dictates that we have to share summer between the northern and southern hemispheres.  As it turns out, the South are now suppose to be basking in the warm, soothing rays of SUN.  Only we’re not.  We’re frying.  “Basking” is not a verb I would use when one enters an oven every time you try and venture outside. Continue reading

Hello Summer, you might be asked to leave soon as you make all the other seasons look really bad.

Just a little note...

Just a little note…

“Excuse me.  Are you on your own?  I just had to come and talk to you.  Hotness is my weakness. Is it just me or is this place really heating up?”

Summer wasn’t impress, probably heard all these pick-up lines before.

I needed to up my game.

“Summer, how was heaven when you left it?”

“Summer, may I follow you home, as my parents always told me to follow my dreams.”

“Summer, did you just fart?  ‘Cause you blew me away.”

“Sorry, I didn’t mean to be so forward, but you look kinda pale.  I heard the doctor said you need a bit more Vitamin Me.”

I know I seem desperate, but I have a confession to make.  I love Summer.  I absolutely L-O-V-E Summer. To death.  She’s my favourite season and I might even be considered a serial stalker.  Of Summer.  And who can blame me?  Summer is just awesome.

It’s the way the longer days drag by, allowing you to do absolutely nothing, with heaps of time to do it perfectly.  Summer makes you slow down, giving you an opportunity to go nowhere slowly.  It’s all about sitting, laying, reading, idling, sleeping, lounging, resting, spooning, napping, tanning and a bit of walking once the cooler or ice-bucket needs a re-fill.  (If the kids have removed themselves from an acceptable shouting distance, that is.)

Summer is beautiful.

It has these amazing clear, cobalt blue skies that stretches from horizon to horizon with shadows playing hide and seek as our yellow star laughs its way across the sky from East to West.  The wonderous changing screensaver of luminous thunder clouds rolling in, soaking the earth with life-giving water and providing earthlings with a spectacular show of light and noise.  Leaving behind the brisk coolness and revitalising petrichor that lingers and makes the Gringe sigh.

Summer has never-ending fields of Irish green grass that stretches across mountain and valley and savannah, scattered with a million dabs of brightly coloured flowers waving their picturesque splendour at anyone with an eye.  Or two.  Releasing a blend of fragrances from lavender and jasmine to rose and lily.  And then when those lawns are cut, the distress call of the plants releases chemicals that makes you want to lie down in it and make invisible grass angels.

It’s the roaring of the turquoise, clear, expansive ocean when it chases wave after wave after wave of white horses onto unspoiled beaches, where coconut suntan lotion attack your nostrils, mixed with aromas of strawberry and apple smoothies.  And vanilla ice-cream.  And cigarette smoke.

It’s the sounds of boisterous kids splashing in the pool.  And then the sound of annoyed parents having to refill it.  It’s the roar of laughter from friends that increases in volume as more empty wine bottles take up space on the table.  Not to forget the mouth-watering flavour of meat grilling over an open fire at nine in the evening.  Because that’s when we braai.

Summer has her quiet moments too.  The silence on the highways as fewer cars have to commute people to work or school.  The hummed noise of parents wrapping gifts, hiding it under the Christmas tree.  And the intoxicating beauty of flashing LED lights and big red and golden balls dangling from the tree, leaving most humans speechless.

God, I love it...

God, I love it…

Summer brings excitement to my life.  I cannot live without Summer.  Summer makes me feel alive.  Summer does many things to me.  Summer makes me all warm and fuzzy inside.  Summer stirs feelings.

Feelings of anticipation for my annual vacation.  Feelings of relief for a difficult year, that is now history.  Feelings of celebration.  Feelings of nostalgia.  Feelings of joy.  Feelings of excitement.  Feelings of happiness.

I’m infatuated with Summer and ecstatic that she agreed to stay awhile.  I’ll try not be cheesy.  I’ll try not be sunburnt.  I’ll try not to wear a vest and flip-flops to the mall.  I’ll even try to blog a little less.  I promise to spend quality time with my great family.  I promise to have fun.  I promise to enjoy every moment of what Summer is going to be dishing out this year.

Because for all those wonderful people who’s been living under a rock made of blankets… SUMMER IS HERE!!!

“So Summer, I think there’s something wrong with my phone.  It doesn’t have your number on it.”

It’s raining…a tad too much

Summer is a synonym for fun and sun and all things great.  Warm, lazy days sipping cocktails around the pool and having friends idling on lilo’s.  It is a time to be outside, exposing our skin to free Vitamin D, soaking up our yellow star, turning our awfully bright, white bodies into various shades of healthy tan to third degree burns.  For as the Wife always says: Brown fat looks better than white fat.

Unless of course all of this wondrous activity is hijacked or annihilated by a little annoying necessity, I liked to call, RAIN.  Or Mother’s Earth spite, if you’re that way inclined.

Wow, the rain makes my son younger...

Wow, the rain makes my son younger…

Don’t get me wrong. Continue reading

My first real face-plant.

Royalty Free RF Clip Art Illustration Of A Cartoon Clumsy Businessman Falling On His Face

Yes it hurts.

It happened instantaneously.  One moment I was on my feet, the next, I was lying on the floor, spread out amongst shocked faces that turned into hysterics shortly thereafter.  Final result: Floor = 1, Ah Dad = 0.  And I have the bruised cheek (and ego) to prove it.

We celebrated the arrival of 2014 in spectacular fashion with some great friends.  It was the awesome-st of awesome, a sort of middle-age frat party if you will.  Our joyous gathering migrated from friends talking, to eating, to appreciating eighties music, to dance roulette.  (For those uninformed people, dance roulette is a game where you flick through your music selection on your tablet and then dance to any random song that comes up.)

Eventually we ended up in the pool.  It was there.  It was clean and shiny.   Technically we just kept on jumping in and getting out and jumping in again.  Like anxious toddlers standing on the side waiting for daddy to catch them.  It was basically an exercise in water displacement.  I was a little disappointed to find there was still water left in the pool after our Olympic level diving sessions.

What we didn’t realise at the time was that all those little droplets who were exhumed from their serenity of glittering in the moonlight were plotting revenge.  They were gathering their forces and sneaked by in little streams and puddles.  They eventually made their way onto our “dancefloor”.

We were refreshed and decided to continue our game of dance roulette.  And here’s a little known fact: White men can’t dance, but white men with too much punch think they can.  It was my turn and I was assigned a great eighties anthem.  I was about to do an interpret dance on “Shout”, my own freestyle version of it , when I stepped on the rebellious water that gathered silently in a huge puddle on the floor.  (Curses for making water a clear liquid!)

I slipped.  Spectacularly.   And fell on my face.  With the loudest “DUD!” every recorded in the history of man.  A full-on text book face-plant.  This only happens when your head decides to move south at the speed of gravity and your body follows suit, only to be stopped by a concrete floor.  I was am still pissed at my arms for failing miserably in breaking my fall.  And now I have a semi-swollen, blue-ish tinted left cheek, with a much more bruised self-esteem.  In fact, I think my pride is still stuck on that damn floor.  Must admit chewing is slightly more difficult than last year.  (But it was worth it!!)

To add insult to injury, which in this case implies a literal reality, I asked my wife how the hell did I manage to fall so hard…on my face?  Don’t people normally slip and fall and end up on their asses?    Her reply was a sinister one, camouflaged with layers of love and sympathy.  When actually is was just a very typical I-told-you-so.  She said:

“It happens when grown men wants to act like little kids.”

Isn’t she lovely?

Things I learned on Christmas day

This post would obviously not reflect the lessons already learned, like the true meaning of Christmas, how to wrap a gift that doesn’t come in a box, and the anxiety of a male forced to accompany the wife on a last shopping spree.  (Technically I’m still battling with that last one!  I morph into a mutation of a crying baby, tantrum throwing toddler, slouching teenager and aching geriatric all in one.)

Weird shit I tell ya.

The few things I did learn on this Christmas day would probably be considered common sense, but give me a break for I need to come  up with new material for my blog, which I desperately neglected over the last two/three weeks.

1. I understand why gluttony is considered one of the seven deadly sins.  Because I almost died of the amount of food I consumed over the last two days.  My belly button popped and my stomach was hanging over my knees.  I was constantly uncomfortable, felt slightly guilty, hid my gym membership and just. kept. on. eating.  I’m ashamed.

2. The idea of inviting extended family to join on this day looks great on paper, but you will learn quickly that sharing a portion of the same DNA would be the only thing you’ll have in common with people you see once a year.   You will understand that there is life beyond our blue sky, cause I’ve ask myself numerous times from which fucking planet does all these uncles, aunts and cousins come from.  Awkward moments of silence, watching channels I didn’t know existed on cable and sitting through hours of the MOST boring stories ever conceived by humanity, tempted me in shoving my finger into a pencil sharpener as a reminder that there are things that can hurt more than spending countless hours with a weird extended family.

3. The youngest member of any family will get the most attention.  Fact.  Doesn’t matter what that age might be, it can range from three weeks to 14 years.  Everyone will goo and ga and take photo’s and comment on every action of the said little person.  And those actions will include s(h)itting, playing with a piece of chocolate wrapping paper and talking in some gibberish language, also spoken by adults after too much wine.

The last lesson was actually just a reminder of how amazing this specific fake-tree-fake-snow-too-much-food-holiday actually is.  (At least down here in Africa, where the chance of seeing snow in December would be equal to finding a good Adam Sandler movie.)  It’s a wondrous holiday where we can reminisce in the blessings we receive daily.

It reminded me of how fortunate I am to have a shitload of good food on the table and a SUV full of the weirdest family members, all laughing, sharing, giving, talking, eating.  It’s the one day where normal definitions of dick/dueche/bitch/idiot/annoying doesn’t apply and we accept one another with all our faults and hazzles and just hug and share and love. (It makes it easier when there are some colorful wrapped boxes involved…)

So I trust everyone had a very, merry Christmas.

Don’t tell Mom

dam3

I can fly, I can fly!
Yes it’s my son.

These three words are the universal shield all fathers will yield at some point in their lives, protecting ourselves from the arrows and fireballs spewed by mothers when we know we’ve done something wrong, and it involved their angels.

*****

The year is racing towards the finish line, which implies school almost done and the summer break is waiting in the wings.  We are about to commence the process of loostening the bolts that keep our composure and sanity in tact and we can remove the stick from our asses.  It’s time for vests, baggies and flip-flops and whatever clothes woman will not be wearing.  It’s also time for a lot of sunburn.

In the spirit of soaking up the vibe we went to a dam on Saturday.  And with “we”, I mean three friends and a bunch of kids.  No wives.  But before I continue with the post I feel it important to act like a dictionary and explain the word “dam” to all those who is unfamiliar with this little word.

In South Africa we don’t have any natural lakes, as that was all given to the Americans.  We got gold and diamonds instead, so we’re not complaining.   But in order to allow bodies of water to accumulate throughout the country, we’re stuck with copying beavers i.e constructing walls in rivers.  General consensus being that this is done to create reservoirs of water for human consumption, when in reality the main reason is to generate entertainment for men.  Guys with jet ski’s, speedboats and catamarans.

One of the friends took his REALLY NICE boat along for the day and also provided numerous things to pull behind the boat.  It included waterski’s, kneeboards to more elaborate forms of blow up lilo’s and what not.  The dam was as flat as a mirror and the sun was cruising lazily along his path from East to West.  It was going to be a great day and the excitement of the kids was tangible.

Shortly after we arrived the kids were in the water, taking turns trying their best to stay on the floating devices as they were pulled behind the boat.  And Yes to all concerned, they were all wearing life jackets.  We’re men and that is not necessarily a synonym for irresponsibility.

After a while the dads wanted in on the fun.  Well, actually I wanted in on the fun.  The sun was hot and the flat water looked really refreshing.  I jumped in and swam to where my son was waiting on a floating device that’s REALLY difficult to describe, so I added a photo.

dam9

When words fail me…

Just before I dove into the water I think I saw a devilish grin appear on the friend behind the wheel of the boat, but I shrugged it off as my imagination.  Once I finally got on this thing, which took a lot more effort than I care to admit, the boat leapt forward and we were speeding through the water like no dolphin ever could.  It was on.

Whilst moving at the speed of light, I was screaming instructions to Son for leaning left and then right, avoiding waves and the break of the water.  Fun, fun, fun. Speeding across the water surface, water spraying in our faces, laughing loudly with the adrenalin flowing freely though our veins….Until we flipped.

I did three superb somersaults before hitting the water, which actually felt like concrete at the time.  Knowing Son was with me a few seconds earlier, I desperately struggled to the surface and was relieved to see him floating a few meters away, unscaved.  Until he turned around…with blood on his face.  (Which is always such a great thing to see for any parent)  I swam frantically towards the boy and I’m sure, even that Michael dude from the Olympic games would have been impressed with my agility and technique.  I’m sure it only felt like I was splashing wildly, getting nowhere.

The boy was fine, it was a just nose bleed and he could count three fingers, even though I was only showing him two, but that’s a different story.  A nose bleed is relatively normal for any decent face plant on a human child.  I pulled him towards the boat and then the captain basically had a heart attack and nervous breakdown, simultaneously, upon seeing the boy.  Son had a very nice bloodstache developing on his face by now.

It looked like this, only red.

Once we were all in the boat and the bleeding was under control, I just grabbed my shield and held it up high and said: “Don’t. Tell. Mom.”  For I know she would probably kill me, only to revive me, and kill me again.

When we left the dam several hours later, because boys don’t really care about nose bleeds, they care more about adventure, the kids were sharing experiences in the car.  I had eight of them all packed tightly in my seven seater.  They were trying to determine who had the biggest wipe-out of the day.  My son ended the discussion abruptly when he said:

“Guys, it was me.  I wiped out and there was blood involved.” Case closed.  A hero was born.  And a smile, bigger than any Jack-o-Lantern ever made, was spreading across my face, for I knew another memory has just been logged in my son’s journey to adulthood.

And he did tell Mom.  As a matter of fact he couldn’t wait.

I stepped on a bee.

I haven’t done it in a while, but here is a reworked post, especially prepared for Newcastle night (4) copy. Please enjoy, but remember, always in moderation.

Ah dad...

I’m guilty of homicide. Or maybe manslaughter, as it didn’t happen on purpose.  I wouldn’t harm a fly…wait…I would.  I would crush those annoying flying vermin in a heartbeat.  But I never meant to hurt the bee.  It’s not my fault I stepped on an insect with suicidal tendencies. Besides he might be dead, but I was stuck with the discomfort of a swollen foot and rigid toe, that became an exact replica of a thick vienna.

Like most tragedies, it happened unexpectedly.  A perfect summer’s day.  The sky was cobalt blue, and the sun was playing hide and seek behind puffs of cotton ball clouds scattered across the sky.  The butterflies were dancing amongst the flowers and even the ants stopped working to bask in the smiling sun.  I know, for I was playing outside with the kids, passing a rugby ball.

Son decided to show us some “trick passes”, which just became ingenious ways of throwing the ball on the ground.  It spend significantly more…

View original post 492 more words