Friday, April 28, 2006

The Space Ship Has Landed

... next door to me!
When I left home yesterday morning to visit my cousins in HIllcrest, my street was peaceful, calm, quiet... Yes, one could go so far as to call it the very picture of tranquility. As I got into the car I got the faint scent of Indian incense in the air, but didn't think much of it. Must be the neighbours blessing the new day with a manthra or two.
Drive to my cousin's. Eat. Drink. Laugh. Drink. Eat. Drink. Drive home.
And there it is. The Mother Ship, parked right next door to me.
Turns out my neighbour, Praveen, is getting married... again. The first wife couldn't put up with him being such a mommy's boy, so she left a couple of times. And then eventually she just stopped coming back. In no more than a few months he had hooked up with a new girlfriend and the wedding talk started. Wife Number Two is just out of high school and he's pushing forty. There's something like 18 years between them. It's all very interesting... But hey! I say to each thier own. In fact, to quote Ron Burgundy I say, "When in Rome!"
I do start to get a little twitchy however, when I come home to find their entire house covered in lights and my bedroom is directly next to their house. I am approximately 8m from the big, red flashing Om sign.
You know. Sometimes I just feel so, so tired.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

And the Oscar goes to…

(Drum roll please!)
... Eric Gabriel (my dad), for being a guitarist in the musical "Forever Home", and (later that same night) the Publicity Award for selling the most tickets to the show.
But let me begin at the beginning, a very good place to start. It was a dark and stormy night. Father Danka (I think that's how you spell it?) and Father Merlin (like the wizard… I KNOW!) were talking about writing a modern musical about The Prodigal Son, or one of them had SEEN a modern musical about The Prodigal Son, or one of them had lost a script for a modern musical about The Prodigal Son that had been sent to him by a friend from overseas… Something like that. The story gets fuzzier everytime they tell it. Anyway. Father Merlin goes off and writes his own version of the play, complete with his own musical score.
(Aside: Personally, I thought that the script was a little too loose and I don’t think this priest should be writing music ever again. But I TOTALLY love the reasons that he did it, and the effect that it had on the young people involved. The point of it all was for the St Annes’ youth to put on a play during Lent, reminding people – and themselves – that it’s never too late to turn back to God, even if you may think that you’ve gone too far with gangs, drugs etc. It kept these teenagers off the street and gave a few young people a couple of moments in the spotlight. There were these two young rappers in particular, that were just so talented and I can only imagine what those moments in the spotlight have meant to them. Growing up in Sydenham and witnessing the rough stuff that’s going on around them, this taste of celebrity might be the push they need to try to pull themselves out of it all and go for something bigger and better. So, yeah. There were times when I found myself hissing an impatient sigh, but I had to be encouraging since I knew The Big Picture. Dad has been in other productions that were more “polished” but not any less important that this one.)
The play ran for a few weeks leading up to Easter at the Maris Stella school hall (all proceeds going to charity) and last Saturday (22 April 2006) Father Merlin hosted a little thank you / “Oscars” party for the cast, crew and their families at the St Theresa’s hall. On the table, waiting for us, were some yummy finger foods and some polystyrene plates/cups that had mom and I in a fit of giggles. She knows I can be a real snob sometimes, so she and dad smuggled some real glasses in with our bottle of scotch. I’m notoriously bad when it comes to cutlery and crockery. At traditional Indian weddings, it’s still an “in-thing” to eat without cutlery. I’ve been known to carry my sterilized fork in a plastic bag with my serviettes – all neatly rolled up in my beaded evening bag. Sorry! I just can’t master eating with my fingers! And I generally hold on to a clean plastic cup for them to serve my dessert into. (Normally, dessert is slopped onto your plate right after you’ve finished your breyani and dhall, so you end up getting dhall mixed into your sweets… Yuck! Hence my extra clean plastic cup for dessert.) Don’t get me wrong! It’s all part of the eating-off-a-banana-leaf tradition that makes Indian weddings so cool. I just happen to know how I like things arranged on my plate, and in what order I’m going to devour them. (I’m getting quite set in my ways lately. Must be the lack of […]. You fill in the gaps – fun/sleep/male “companionship”… Whatever.)
Aaaaaaaaaanyhoo. The evening kicked off with some entertainment in the form of a gumboot dance performed by a group of boys from the St Theresa’s Home, and an OUTRAGEOUS dreakdance routine done by three boys calling themselves “Naughty Tsotsti” – I think they were also from the home. Then there was a jazz piano performance by, I-think-his-name-is, Melvin Peters. He’s supposed to be this famous pianist guy, who’s won a bunch of scholarships and traveled the world etc. He was good, but his speech was so long, he had me trying to slit my wrists with the plastic fork on the table. Yawn. And then they gave Father Merlin the mic and he called everyone up - individually! – to receive their awards. It took a while, but the kids deserved the special attentions, and dad lapped it up!
Here are a couple of pics… The infamous polystyrene cups. One of dad’s awards and part of the crowd.
I got pretty wasted on the scotch we were swilling under the table. And we eventually went home, finding out a couple of meters down the street that we had driven off with the boot wide open. (Note to self: Stop getting wasted at church jorls. No wonder you can’t find yourself good Catholic husband!)

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Separated at Birth

Am I wrong?
I don't think so!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006


Hey gang!
Sorry about the Joaquin post coming up ten BILLION times!
I was having technical issues the day that I posted it - the TBWA system, need I say more? - so when I evetually checked the next day, it had been posted like THREE TIMES instead of ONE, like any sane person would do things. I've also removed them in my "edit posts" section, but for some reason they're still on the actual site... GROAN!
So apologies!
I hope you like Joaquin too, otherwise seeing his mug this many times might be a tad frustrating... heh heh heh!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

So in love right now...

Okay. So there I was minding my own beeswax on a Monday morning, when my cousin Lynette smses me to ask if she's gonna see me at the Robbie Williams concert later that evening. Little did I know that my life was about to change... FOREVER!
I knew that he'd be coming around that week. I'd forgotten that it was that very Monday. And for some weird reason, (forgive me Robbie!), I just wasn't amped to go... I KNOW! What was I thinking, right? So I called my mom up at work to ask if she was still able to hook us up with the comps that some friends in the ad industry were threatening to send our way for MONTHS. A couple of calls later... I WAS GOING TO SEE ROBBIE... LIVE!!
Got home. Got dressed. Prayed that the rain would stop. Packed our rain stuff just in case and drove (break-neck speed) to the stadium. We got there just in time to catch Freshly Ground, who were so freakin' awesome I can't actually get it down in words, and then we waited... And waited. Everyone else got rained out, but mom and I were prepared. We were comfortable, but my heart was beating faster and faster as the hour dragged on. Finally, with a crash-boom-bang-KAHPOW, Robbie was there and time stood still!
If I never get to see another concert for the rest of my days, believe me when I say - I'll be just fine thank you very much! Every wink, every naughty smile, everytime he turned around so I could see his bum... EVERYTHING was all just for me!
I've been having a Joaquin Phoenix thing for a while now... But I gotta say... OHMIGOD! I've got to be forgiven for perving Robbie BAD! He's divine...
(The stage shot is from my kak camera phone, and the Robbie closeup is courtesy of my mate, Annelie Strydom.)