Monday, May 22, 2006
Tuesday, May 16, 2006
Augusten.com says: The #1 bestseller, Running with Scissors is the true story of a boy whose mother (a poet with delusions of Anne Sexton) gave him away to be raised by her unorthodox psychiatrist who bore a striking resemblance to Santa Claus. So at the age of twelve, Burroughs found himself amidst Victorian squalor living with the doctor's bizarre family, and befriending a pedophile who resided in the backyard shed. The story of an outlaw childhood where rules were unheard of, and the Christmas tree stayed up all year - round, where Valium was consumed like candy, and if things got dull, an electroshock-therapy machine could provide entertainment. The funny, harrowing and bestselling account of an ordinary boy's survival under the most extraordinary circumstances.
Running with Scissors spent over 70 consecutive weeks on The New York Times bestseller list. To date, it has been published in over fifteen countries. A film based on the book is currently in production.
I say: Shag a brick?!?! Could this story be real?? I HATED this book so much. I just wanted to climb into the pages and save this little boy and give him the home and love that he needed so desperately. It is one of the best books I’ve ever read. I couldn’t put it down. Check out augusten.com to learn more about him. After this book, I’m really struggling to find something else to read. What could possibly follow a story like this?
Kalahari.net says: For six years Melinda Ferguson was driven by one motivating force - the next hit. For this, she would abandon her promising film-making career, lose her comfortable suburban home, her husband, her two children and, in a grueling finale to six years of remorseless self-destruction, herself. Rescued from the maw of Hillbrow's drug and prostitution underworld, Melinda not only survived, but recovered to tell this harrowing tale of how an intelligent, middle-class girl from Joburg hits rock bottom, face first, and claws her way back to redemption.
I say: Maybe it’s because I know people who’ve battled with dwelms (and lost?), maybe I know what it is to be around alcoholics, maybe it’s because I know there’s a very VERY fine line between being “a party girl” and a sad slave to chemicals… I don’t know what it was. But this book really spoke to me. I don’t think she’s an awesome writer. I don’t think she’s trying to be particularly clever with words or language, but my GOODNESS, what a story! It will make you think twice about trying that harmless little first pull on a joint…
Memoirs of a Geisha is coming out on circuit soon, so I’m sure that many will skip the book and go straight to the popcorn, technicolour version. But that would be sad! Maybe it’s because I lived in the Far East for a while (a shout out to my little peeps in Taiwan – NEE HOW MA!?) or maybe it’s because I seem to gravitate towards cool stuff from that part of the world, but whatever it is, the story just felt real and believable to me. I know a little about the culture, so I could see how this could have happened to girls in Japan, back in the day. I enjoyed letting the few Japanese words in the book roll around in my mouth – feels nice – and the landscapes, characters and wardrobe were simply stunning. (Boy, those geishas sure know how to throw on a kimono or two, hey?) Anyway. Don’t make Ster Kinekor / NuMetro rich this month. Read a book instead. Your brain will thank you for it someday.
Okay... So I've dished the dirt on book club, ie. I've told you about all the drunken debauchery and virgin sacrifices, but I've only alluded to the "literary discussions and sh1t" that goes on. So to prove to you that I have in fact read a couple of books this past year, I've decided to do the odd book review on the ones I've enjoyed so far.
(Please note! I have read more than just the couple of books I’ll be raving about every so often. It’s just that I thought I’d review the ones that really meant something to me. So there!)
The first, The Bonesetter’s Daughter, is the kind of “standard favourite” you would expect to find at any decent book club. It’s the book equivalent of a “chick flick”, but I gotta say, I really enjoyed it. In the first third of Bonesetter, I thought that maybe Amy Tan had lost her mojo, and was trying to bore me to death, or at least lull me into a coma so I’d never be able to tell anyone how bad the book was… until! Kah-boom! She whacks you with a story so rich, sad and incredible, you really can’t put the book down until you know it’s all gonna be okay. I think that maybe I didn’t enjoy the first part because I really couldn’t identify with the character of Ruth, an Asian-American who finds her old, eccentric Chinese mother to be an embarrassment to her in the ultra-slick, super-western world of America. The mom is very secretive about her past (wanting to protect Ruth from her sad story) so you could say that maybe Ruth doesn’t understand her mother and that’s why she pushes her away. But when her mother writes her story down for Ruth to read, Ruth is too busy (or lazy?) to have it translated and the mother’s story lies at the bottom of a desk drawer until she eventually starts to get sick, and Ruth (“I might lose my precious mom – WOE IS ME!”) finally decides to learn what her mother is about. (Lazy cow.) Anyway! If it were in dvd format, I would skip the Ruth bits and stick to the mom’s story, which is just… just… Trust me! Really REALLY amazing. So read it!
Instead of hanging around the house all Sunday and getting wasted (the way we normally do!) we decided to do something special – especially since it was Mother’s Day, etc. So we packed a picnic basket and bundled my gran into the car and drove off to the Botanic Gardens. The Mr Price Music at the Lake concert was on, with the KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra playing. Despite the park hotting up to what felt like 40degreesC (and one too many waltzes!) we had a really great time. The place was packed! We were lucky to get a nice spot near the stage, even though there was no shade. I’d do it again, for sure. My mom had a blast and my gran was beaming. That’s what it’s all about hey? - happy moms and grans on Mother’s Day.
What a great Friday night!
It was my best mate, Noodle's birthday, and man! What a jorl.
I got home from work thinking that I'll just have a couple of glasses of wine at the birthday dinner. I had just enough time for a shower and a brief session in hair and make-up before I had to leave the house, but as I walked in the door my folks cracked open a bottle of scotch, and it pretty much went horribly wrong (or so-very right? - I'm not sure...) from there. I had 2 (double?) shots while getting dressed. (Even though I knew I was going to KILL my diet at Cafe 99 and had been starving myself the entire day, I made sure I had something to eat with the scotch, or else it would have been way, WAY worse I'm sure.) I was fine on the drive over to Silverton Road, but as I swerved into my parking bay, something funny happened. I instantly got horribly, badly, insanely, crikey-what's-going-on-herey WASTED! I hobbled up to the restaurant carrying all the gifts and took my place with Noodle and Maria. We ordered a bottle of wine and the night got off to a boozy start! Eventually everyone rolled in and soon there was no more place at the table. (What can I say? Noodle's popular.) I think it was the great company? It might have been the loud/fun atmosphere? Or the small portions I kept ordering? Or the fact that we destroyed 2 bottles of wine at the table (one of them was Noodle's birthday pressie, a 1.5LITRE RED!!)? I'm not sure what finally did it, but eventually I had to give in to the fact that I was completely cross-eyed and there wasn't a damned thing I could do about it. A case of tee many martooni's if ever there was one.
Happy birthday Noodle Pops! You're the best.
I love this picture of you, even though it's kind of grainy and fuzzy. Come to think of it, everything I remember about Friday night is grainy and fuzzy. So I guess this picture captures it all really well!
Monday, May 15, 2006
So, do you think I'll get anything from Whiskas for this product endorsement-type-of-pic starring my precious Sabrina? it wasn't too hard to get her to sit next to the box, 'cos trust me, she sees that purple packaging and loses it everytime! I can barely get the little sachets open and pour them into the bowl without spilling it all over the place - Beena gets so excited waiting for her chow, that she manages to knock everything over in her path. This can be particulary tricky at 3am, after stumbling out of bed, eyes still closed, trying not to wake the family up, and trying not to step on her tail...
Are there any Whiskas brand managers in the house? I think it's time Beena gets a job.
Tuesday, May 09, 2006
This is a picture of my child sitting behind the dstv decoder, mnet decoder and hi-fi thing at home. There are loads of wires back there, so you can imagine my concern. She seems to do this when we have people over (at HER house - how DARE they?!), or she wants to get my attention, or it's cold, OR she's in a not-so-nice mood. There used to be a time when she was a little "slimmer" that it bothered me, but not too much. Now that she's... erm... well... a little more "voluptuous", I am very concerned! 'Cos every time she wants to jump down again, she drags half the equipment with her! It's a good thing I've been there to catch the stuff before it hits the ground, - still my mom (the REAL owner of the house) is not amused, with good reason, I think you will agree. I've tried The Stern Talk and The Look of Utter Disappointment, but neither have worked.
My brother, Brendan, has tried to perform an exorcism, but I think maybe that was a step backwards. (I'm not sure we had the right equipment?) I had a friend whose kitty was chewing on her tail (anxiety attacks) and had to see a kitty shrink here in Durban. I don't think it's reached that stage yet, but I might be getting there slowly. I wonder what the kitty shrink will prescribe. I don't like anti-depressants. I was miserable trying to get off them the last time.
Monday, May 08, 2006
Book Club was hosted by my friend, Kim, last Thursday, and it was AMAZING! In fact, it's right up there with my very first time - at BOOK CLUB that is! Candice was the host, and for dinner we had her dad's pumpkin/butternut lasagne. It was the creamiest, yummiest, most crave-worthy dish I'd enjoyed for a long, LONG while. And then came Kim, with a bottle of red wine so big, it could sink a fairly large cruise ship! And boy did I get sunk! By the middle of the evening I was slurring and by the end I was cursing and guffawing like a common fish wife. Not at all attractive. Especially when you consider that my book club actually READS books. We really do talk abut actual books that we've read. Granted that roughly one hour of the actual ±4hours we're together is really spent on books, we still do READ and ANALIZE literary sh1t. So you can imagine. (I hope Kim won't be getting thrown out of her building any time soon.) The chinese stir fry was GREAT, even though I didn't quit my yapping long enough to put away as much as I normally can, but it was the sweets that really did it. Shortbread, kissed with a layer of caramel and smothered in chocolate. Well all lady-like reserve went out the window. I had TWO there and had her wrap up another 2 for the road. Giggle!
My cousin Lynette has just come back from a holiday in Cape Town, and while she was there she picked up this beautiful bracelet for me. Cute, hey? It was a totally unexpected, man.
PLUS my prison b****, Gail, bought me the most stunning bellydance costume, EVER! I didn't take a pick of that one yet... Watch this space. It's stil a little "snug" right now, but it's the perfect colour for my skin. Thanks, Gail!
I love spoiling. If there's anyone out there, take note: Feel free to spoil me ANYTIME!