Thursday, December 18, 2008

Daylight Robbery

I was robbed yesterday. I was enjoying one of my favourite spots in Cape Town, a secret little bench up signal hill - I went with Adi and Chelsea and Dylan, we parked the car and walked to this little bench where you can sit and there's no-one else around, and the view is awesome.

We're loving the scenery, and we come back to the car to discover that the small rear left window on Adi's car has been smashed, and the seats moved forward so that the perpetrators could make off with both Adi and Chelsea's handbags, as well as my work bag.

Whilst this has been mostly an annoyance more than anything else, the total value of stolen goods must be at least upwards of R15 000, if you count two cell phones and an iPod, a couple of CDs and flash drives, my gym bag, the R1000 they managed to withdraw from Chelsea's account, the R300 in Dylan's wallet, as well as all the ID books and driver's licenses.

It may be interesting to note - I had just received a phone call as we got to the car, my call log shows this as 17:17pm. When at the bank this morning, Chelsea was told that R1000 was withdrawn from her account at 17:18pm, so those fuckers must have had a car with them, and broken into the car as soon as we were beyond earshot of the car, and driven straight to an ATM.

Anyway, I was thinking about the implications of this. Chelsea, prior to said event, was saying how she's been donating to charities, giving away clothes, giving money to beggars, even thinking about working in a soup kitchen. Now, she's on the "fuck the world" path, not giving nothing to no-one. That got me thinking.

Those people have nothing (correction, they have nothing but a few cell phones, R1300, a gym outfit, an iPod, and new IDs), but we were still able to go home and get some cash that was at home and have KFC for dinner, have a warm shower, grab some DVDs and then hit a warm pillow for some shut eye. Those kids probably didn't have all those luxuries (well, they probably did, but the point is they're stealing because they don't have what we have, presumably).

I know my little R2 handout at the robot is not going to stop some kid from stealing, but if we all stopped giving, more people would have less, and maybe crime would get worse? Who knows? I guess with the world going the way it is, petty crime is only going to get worse, as people have to eat and feed their families. I know I'd steal if I had to provide for my families and that was my only option left (granted, I would much rather get a job as a gardener or car guard or something, so I couldn't imagine not being able to get any job at all). It's sad that the world is just spiralling and spiralling on down.

On the upside, at least, Home Affairs was apparently awesome: Adi and Chelsea and Dylan had their fingerprints were scanned, and they were given temporary IDs within minutes. At least something works, eh?

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Mountain is Changing Me!

So nothing really exciting has happened to me of late, apart from my awesome new camera that I bought (which also happens to be a phone - sweet!). I decided to take the plunge and pay some cash for a decent phone, one that would actually receive smses. In any case, I've been taking photos like a madman (5 mega pixel cameras rock) and tweeting a lot too, probably a bit more than is healthy. But twitter is cool! Find me at and send me a tweet.

I've also been struggling to write lately, though I could attribute that to visiting family and not having much time for writing. Yeah, that's the reason! But mostly, I've tended to shy away from writing in my blog for fears that it would become a haven for my rants, and I wouldn't want to poison your rich and successful life with my cynical hatred and twisted sense of humour, now would I? No, I won't do that. I won't continually complain about how generally useless, unfriendly, greedy and lazy other people are.

Rather, I thought I'd mention how it's interesting how places change you, how the feeling of a new home or city can seep into your thoughts and alter, ever so slightly, the way you think. I've noticed it now that Chelsea and Dylan are here visiting - the Joburg / Cape Town stereotypes are true! Well, some of them anyway. One of which is that we Capetonians (I now qualify as one, surely?) are way more chilled out. We don't really favour strict schedules and plans, we walk slowly, we take things in, even the sun takes a few hours longer to set than in Jozi.

Is that only me? No, I don't think so. I've even noticed small changes to my accent - I'm not as flat in my pronunciation of words anymore. I also tend to notice less what other people are wearing, and perhaps not be as scared of strange looking people as I once was. The mountain is changing me!

Monday, December 8, 2008


So, I was reading the Thewster's blog today, Spiral to the Abyss. His latest post, It Starts With You, is a good idea (I think so, anyway). We all need to try that little bit harder, myself included.

Just the other day I gave a few coins to a guy on the side of the road who collects rubbish (Last time I screamed at him because he gave me attitude for not giving him money, meantime an empty bottle was lying on the road 2 metres away from him. Pick up the god damned rubbish!), and I've started using less electricity where possible. I've also made it a point lately to say hello, and genuinely enquire how the person who is serving me is. To my delight, they all smile and seem genuinely happy when they see that I'm really asking, and that I really want to know their answer. Word Thew. Word.

I've become somewhat obsessed with Twitter lately. It's like a facebook status, only you're not bombarded with all the normal facebook crap at the same time. I guess you could say it's almost like a group chat room, except more personal and much less time consuming. I like it! It makes me feel like I own an eBook reader where I get my daily newspapers delivered, and am sophisticated and political and new age and have lots of important friends that matter.

The only problem is my complete lack of twitter friends (much like me complete lack of blog readers, which is also somewhat sad). Currently it's only Hannah (Word Hannah, Word.) and Thew, and possibly Chelsea (Word Thew and Chelsea, Word.) and you. Unless of course "you" is one of the above. If not, Word you, Word.

Oh, I've also nearly completed another short story. Soon, I'll be submitting two short stories for publishing - She Eats Flowers (Yes, you have heard that name somewhere) and Unlocked. I'm also contemplating a re-write of another, though it's name currently eludes me (It's got to with a kid who cuts peoples' limbs off with scissors to steal their souls. It's pretty disturbing. Note to self: eat less cheese before going to sleep.), and that would make 4 short stories submitted this year! Which would be amazing. Word Brett, Word.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Writing Prompts

So, I did promise to have some writing prompts, and admittedly it's not easy. Here they are:

  • Write about a character who discovers that they can change the colour of anything they choose.
  • Write about a character who has died recently, and is meeting ghosts on their path to whatever their destination is.
  • Write about two schizophrenic characters, who are seeing the same "imaginary" person.
  • Write a poem about a cannibalistic shaman who travels the ancient world in search of prey.
  • Write about a magical item or talisman that controls what people see if they're in it's vicinity.
  • Write about a character who can do see how people will die.
  • Write about a character who can hear the dead, and is controlled by them.
So, those are a few. I hope they help out whoever reads this! I guess if they don't, at least they'll help me!


So I did say that this post would have some cool prompts....but I lied. I'm going to do what writers do best: procrastinate! My next post will have some prompts - I promise!

So anyway, in an attempt to find some resources for writers, and some blogs of other writers, I added StumbleUpon to my firefox installation. I came across some very cool things (one of which happened to be the blog of an escort, but more on that some other time). Two links to check out:

The strange statues has an awesome pic of a hooded statue thing, check it here:

Pretty cool, no? There are a few others to check out too. Enjoy.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Writing Prompts

I've come to learn that there are very few decent, useful writing prompts out there. My next post will be a few short prompts of what I consider to be "decent quality" and muse-ful.

Whilst stumbling, I came across quite a cute little site: oneword. You click a button - a word appears with a timer, and you have 1 minute to write anything. It's difficult, the pressure is immense! Anyway, check it out for yourself. Here's what I wrote:

I looked above, and there they were. They weren't big, they weren't scary, just... there. The bright light glinting off the broken glass, the cool damp of the morning breeze - it was a perfect scene.

You can also see what other people have written here:


Monday, December 1, 2008

The Beast

There was an excellent article in the Sunday Times newspaper in the Lifestyle magazine, about advertising and commercialism. It's written by Neil Coppen, and I found it online, here is the link: Unleashing the Advertising Beast

It's a pretty good read, and I share his views: makes one think, considering that Christmas, that joyful holiday turned commercialist stain upon humankind, is fast approaching.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Eat my shorts

I've stumbled onto the singular last vestige of truth - that all the talented makers of shorts are now dead. They've been attacked, tortured and murdered; those who were not killed were turned into Iscariot-like shadows of their former selves, twisted and bitter, all semblance of colour sense lost in the blood-dimmed tide.

They now make board shorts - once for hardcore surfer skateboarder dudes with big chests, scarred shins and spiky hair - with floral patterns and pink colours. They make them with delicate green swirls, strawberries, and stylish purple blotches.

Is it just me, or is there something seriously wrong with practical mens fashion?

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Word of the day

So, I came across this odd word (perhaps not so odd, depening on your literacy level and vocabulary) while looking for the definition of onus. Interestingly enough, onus (not a measure of your level of O) isn't what I'd imagined. My initial thoughts were that onus merely means the "responsibility" as it were. So, "The onus is on you to fix that" would mean it's your responsibility. Turns out, it's far heavier than simple responsibility:

o·nus (ns)n.
1. A difficult or disagreeable responsibility or necessity; a burden or obligation.
a. A stigma.
b. Blame.
3. The burden of proof

This according to The Free Dictionary (TFD here onwards). While looking at that, I stumbled upon (not in the Firefox application sense) encumbrance, and then - fardel. TFD gives the following definition:

far·del (färdl)
1. A pack; a bundle.
2. A burden.

Which I thought was quite cool. For reasons unknown, it brings to mind Mexican food and coffee burros, which is possibly appropriate in the burden sense (those poor donkeys). I guess I like the sound of "The burden of proof", and using some creative license and having a decent story behind it: "The Fardel of Proof" (or maybe even: The Burro of Proof). I like it, though I have no idea where I'd use it without having the fardel of sounding overcomplicated and fancy.


They didn't know.

They couldn't hear me breathing. They couldn't feel my limbs trembling or sense the trepidation or see my eyes flitting nervously left and right. They didn't know that I lay beneath them, sweat trickling and pooling on my lower back, dust settling on my cracked lips, muscles cramping from hours of waiting and decay. They didn't know that I was dead. Then again, neither did I.

They say you never really know until you know. Which is stupid, really, because how can you know? You don't pass through walls. You don't see things they can't. There is no light at the end of the tunnel. Hell, there is no tunnel! You breathe, you get hungry, your muscles ache and your sweat pools. How could you possibly know? I didn't, right up to the point where she started screaming.

I guess that's understandable, isn't it? I would scream too if I saw a dead person in front of me, because - what's that? Oh, I said they didn't know, of course. Let me explain (I really shouldn't have to, that's how stories work) - she wasn't there, where I lay waiting. The group of people above me (of which she was not a part) didn't know that I was dead. At least not yet.

Monday, November 24, 2008

What is wrong with the world?

What is wrong with people these days? It seems to me that the current crop of youth (a term I still use to refer to myself, though I hope I don’t fall into the same behavioral category) have serious social issues.

I’ve never in my life come across so many people who’s ambition in life is to get as much as possible for as little as possible in return. We are the generation of instant gratification, of double whopper super size me’s, of “The world is mine and I shall rape it and plunder it and give nothing back”.

Inflation doesn’t just apply to life in an economic context. It applies to everything. 20 years ago the single teenage stabbing per year on London streets was horrific. The attack and rape of an unarmed child was public outrage. Today, in our HIV infested world, we turn a nervous blind eye to the kids who have drunkenly owned London streets using violence and knives since they were nine years old. We avoid reading news reports of our young boys raping each other on primary school playing fields. We raise “I told you so” eyebrows at the evidence of a failing government and turn the page to read Zapiro’s too-close-to-home cartoons.

People are world fucks – I use that term as a verb, in the sense of aggravated, vulgar copulation with an unwilling, inanimate participant – and nothing is changing. I see young people daily using and using, exploiting, taking, for as little effort as possible. People are too lazy for their own good. They complain about not being taken seriously, about not having everything delivered too them.

If you want something done – do it yourself. Do it properly, and think about what the consequences mean to the next person. Instead of worrying about what Johnny “I wear bright blue skinny jeans and steal road signs all the time” WorldFuck thinks of you, worry about standing up and doing the right thing, and doing it properly.

Alpha male doesn’t mean the guy who has the most money, breaks the most things, gets most drunk, and sleeps with the most girls. It means the guy who stands up and takes control of the situation (not the people) he finds himself in, and executes the solution that most suits everyone. Yes, he may not get instant gratification, yes, he may not directly benefit from his solution, yes, he may be required to spend a little more cash or put in some effort, but that’s the way the world should work. And unfortunately, the same applies to girls – especially considering our oversensitive population’s issues with equality.

We need the youth to take their hands off their Xbox controllers and to make a difference. We need fighters, disciplinarians, hard workers, and doers. I’m sick and tired of the takers and the abusers. I’m going to do things right. Are you?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Divine Comedy

I read this book, Gargoyle (by Andrew Davidson) recently, and it was inspired I think largely by Dante's Inferno. I had heard of The Divine Comedy but never read it (still haven't read it) and knew next to nothing about it. The book got me interested, so I googled it.

I hit the wikipedia link: The Divine Comedy

And it's pretty awesome (provided that the wikipedia page is at least partially truthful. If not, the guy who fudged the wikipedia page could make a living out of the stores in his head) judging by what's there.

I've always been fascinated by the "occult", and I say that to include things like aliens, ghosts, magic, evil, heaven and hell (not in the Bible sense, but in the Constantine sense). The idea of all hell's levels, and the various creatures residing there thrills me.

The thought of a river of boiling blood in Hell excites me, as does the concept of the River Styx (which means Hate, incidentally) and the boatman Charon. Davidson depicts Charon nicely, and it ties beautifully in with the book and the themes.

It's uber cool - so cool I'd considered briefly getting a tattoo with the River Styx or a similar homage to the poem on me, though I'm loathe to get "hate" stamped on my skin for the rest of my life.

In any case, I'd recommend giving both a read (or at the very least, the wikipedia page) to see what I'm on about - it's awesome. Dante was genius; I can feel the inspiration already.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Baltho likes.

I pride myself in having an awesome facebook status. I love remembering cold days and hot milo. I like thinking about camping trips to Wells-Next-The-Sea. I enjoy listening to cool names, like Kinvara. I like thinking that I can write. I like thinking that I can write well. I find secret pleasure in finding weird emo stickers for stupid bands and idiotic plays plastered on electric boxes and alley walls and stinky dustbins in secret places in Cape Town. I like it when it's grey.

I like the rain

A small cross hung unnoticed from a telephone wire suspended across the street. Rain pitter-pattered against cool window panes and shiny streets, a soft, almost undetectable mist rising as a result. Fresh air and comfortably cold people, dressed in swanky coats, yarny scarves, and warm boots wandered the pavements, glazing over the funky coffee bars frequented by funky young people. The scene’s black-and-white photo appeal eased into calm Sunday morning as artists and writers ambled towards stationery shops and bookstores to make their living.


Ripples spread outwards as his head emerged from the water. He stood up, the water lapping gently at his waist. His chest was bear, his scars and tattoos visible for the world to see. He stood still, letting the silence take him, the moonlight glinting at the water's edge. When the water had almost stilled completely, he pulled the dagger from his waistband and raised his left arm. Steam rose off the water's surface as he lowered the blade to his forearm. Bubbles churned the water as it heated, the spirits around him screaming silently and frothing around him to enter his body. The blade sliced a two inch long cut in his flesh; blood welled up but did not spill. He let his head fall back as the blackness took him, the feint sound of chains clinking filling his ears. Only one spirit entered, joining the ranks of the others that he had killed.