Wednesday, 31 October 2012

My vampire snail went missing on Halloween. Coincidence? I think not.

I have a pet snail! How awesome is that?

I mean, it’s not like a real pet. Like, I don’t have a leash for it or anything. Maybe I should explain.

So this snail has been coming into our house for weeks. It only ever comes in around midnight and it always leaves before dawn, which leads me to believe it might be a vampire snail. Either that or it just has a really accurate little snail-watch. Also, it never leaves the two square meters of space immediately adjoining our front door. I kind of grew really attached to the punctual slime monster, and I had to keep telling people to watch their step at night and not to kill it, and then I started writing exams and everything went down smoothly, and naturally I assumed that the snail was good luck.

I named him Snail, because I was afraid that if I gave him a real name he would start feeling pressured to be a house-snail and be all domesticated and shit. But it seems that even Snail was too much, because last night while I was studying he never showed up. And I should know, because I stayed up all night and I kept checking.

I felt abandoned, and friendless, and was sure I was going to fail now that my good luck charm was gone.  But then my exam went even better than the exam for the first part of that module and I actually finished before the time was up, and then I got to thinking: Holy shit. All that time, was Snail actually holding me down? I felt betrayed.

And then I forgot all about the Snail debacle because I realized that IT’S HALLOWEEN. I haven’t slept much for the past week and shit’s been so hectic that I hadn’t even remembered the best holiday.

Let me say that again: THE. BEST. FUCKING. HOLIDAY.

For those of you who live in countries where trick-or-treating is a thing, have fun literally taking candy from strangers. I’ll be over here, catching up on lost sleep. Yeah, it’s obvious which one of us is getting the fuzzy end of the lollipop here. (Hint: it ain’t you).

Happy Halloween motherfuckers! Have fun and don’t step on any snails.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Song of the Week

To celebrate the first edition of what I hope will become a regular fixture, I present a double whammy.

This is Die Antwoord. They kick ass.

(Warning: There's a gross part, so if you're not into that sort of thing...what are you doing here?)

Their visuals are fucking stunning. Seriously. Just look at this:

They're pretty fringe, and some folks really dislike them. I think they're hyper creative. The songs really grow on you, too. "Jump motherfucker, jump motherfucker, jump" has been stuck in my head all day. I almost started singing it with my grandmother in the room.

Note: They’re South African, so yay for common origins. The other language they use is Afrikaans.

Friday, 19 October 2012

Examination Procrastination Part 2: Cigarettes and Gunfights

So I still haven’t really buried my nose in the books. I have, however, spent some time making sure that I’m well prepared to enter the Examination Hall Of DOOOOOOOM. We have to present a bunch of identification documents and such to be admitted, and I’m usually very bad at remembering those things. And if I fail, I want to fail because my work was inadequate, and not because I didn’t even get the chance to be inadequate, damnit.

I was going through the examination guidelines and they were all pretty standard until I got to the rule that says that “Smoking is not allowed in the examination venue”. At first I was like “duh”, but then I kind of went “Bummer”, because if they hadn’t explicitly put that there I might have been able to light up if all those fucking essays started getting to me, and wouldn’t that be awesome? Then I started thinking about why exactly they felt it necessary to include that in the list. Had there been recent incidents of people getting up in the middle of an exam to take a smoke break? But then they were told that they weren’t allowed to leave the room until they were finished writing, and then they went like “Fine, then I’ll smoke in here”, and the supervisors went “You can’t do that”, and then the smoker said “Where does it say that?” and  the supervisors said “Uhm…now that you mention it, nowhere, really” and then the smoker didn’t say anything ‘cause he was too busy lighting up like fifty cigarettes and passing them out.

Then I realized that that was just wishful thinking and I got back to reading the rest of the rules.

And then, casually tacked on at the end, almost as if it were a mere afterthought, they inform us that oh yeah, by the way “Firearms are not allowed inside the examination venue”. And I got to thinking, why the fuck would somebody bring a gun into the exam hall? Were they going to hold the lecturers hostage until they gave them the right answers? Also, note that it’s just firearms that aren’t allowed. Other lethal weapons, however, are apparently fine. So I’ve decided that I’m going to rock up for my Theory of Literature exam with a bow and arrow and at least two swords.

My first exam is on Monday. I’m looking forward to writing in a smoke-filled room where a gunfight could break out at any second. Because this is South Africa, and if the room were quiet and peaceful we’d all probably be like “What the fuck? Where’s the noise and the violence and the pollution? I can’t concentrate under these strange circumstances!”

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Examination Procrastination

I’m slowly finding out that studying from home calls for a level of self-discipline I’ve never had.

My very first tertiary-level exams start in four days. When I’m nervous about something, I tend to actively avoid thinking about it. So for the past two weeks I’ve pretty much been sitting in front of piles of closed books, staring into space and thinking about anything except Heart of Darkness and Russian Formalism. While this sort of behavior may not be promising on the academic front, I think I have done some serious introspection.

For instance, I’ve managed to figure out why Martha Stewart scares the shit out of me. It’s because she’s just too damn efficient, and it’s not fucking natural. I am convinced that some time in the future I’ll turn on my television and this will happen:

“…Today I we’ll be demonstrating my very own technique for DIY artificial insemination. Ladies, we’re gonna need a mirror for this one. Also, one to two vials of frozen sperm. Personally I like to keep at least a dozen vials stored in the back of the freezer, just in case. And ladies, remember to never keep your sperm for longer than twelve months!...”

And then the next day on the news:

 "In a surprising and rather bizarre piece of news, today a sperm bank was held up by two anxious women, one of which kept asking her victims, at gunpoint, if her balaclava made her look fat. An altercation ensued when one employee realized that the robber's "gun" was, in fact, a cleverly modified hairdryer...."

Great. Now instead of writing about Robert Frost I’ll be writing about frozen sperm. Won’t my lecturers be surprised.

Monday, 8 October 2012

Mildly Amusing Cartoons

I’ve been drawing for as long as I can remember. I’m not the best artist, but what I lack in talent I make up for…well, by admitting that I’m not that good. I also have a habit of drawing cartoons about things that I find funny and other people find mildly amusing at best. The reason I’m telling you this is because I have decided, against my better judgment and the advice of several loved ones, to set my cartoons free in cyberspace. 

Like the Calvin & Hobbes cartoon says: the trick to good self-esteem is to lower expectations to the point where they’re already met. So now that your expectations are sufficiently lowered, let’s commence with a tiny little roundup.

These first two are the start of a series. I’m planning to do a whole bunch of drawings about this middle-class father and son who are just plagued by all these biblical, seemingly holy things popping up in their everyday lives (Gettit? Biblical? Plagued? …Forget it).

Most of the time when I show this to someone I have to explain that a shrug is both something you do with your shoulders and a ladies sweater that opens down the front.

This last one was actually drawn for my mother, according to her specifications, so the idea really wasn’t mine. (My mother’s dieting exploits are a daily source of laughter at my house.)

This situation has actually occurred several times in real life.