Danger out of context

Ahhh, how easily people can start random panic! Shall I write a soap opera?

Thoughtless (or maybe that was not as thoughtless as I initially thought) propaganda can sometimes almost incite revolutions!

Take for example the big hype around Coca-Cola’s acidity. Yes, it DOES contain phosphoric (or some similar) acid, and yes, phosphoric acid does have a PH of around 1.1 or something when in pure form and in high concentration, but in Cola it is not in pure form, and the ratio, according to certain sources on the web (which could not be verified at the time of writing) is around 55%

So – that would make the pH of Coca-Cola around 2.3 or whatever, right? Yes, that is scary. Very scary. But did you know that stomach acid has an acidity somewhere between 1 and 2? That is almost double as acidic as the Coca-Cola you enjoy so much! And that is in your stomach 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, while the Coca-Cola moves through your digestive system rather quickly. Your stomach lining is made to handle that heavy acidity, so that your stomach acids, required for digesting your food, can be contained. Do you really think that a little bit of Coca-Cola, that stays only an hour or two max, will upset your stomach lining terribly?

Now – before I unleash the wrath of the millions of health fanatics all over the world (or at least of the few people who read my blog), let me just say that nothing that is done in excess is good for you. Be wise in what you eat and drink and be generally safe, and you should remain healthy, but honestly, before you think that your next glass of soda may kill you, or even your next cigarette may cause cancer, think whether you have this whole “I am going to die!!!12!!1!1!” theory completely out of context.

Personally, I don’t smoke. I drink very little alcohol, and I drink far less Coca-Cola than I used to, but I do not have any objection to responsible use of the vices that the extremist health freaks say will kill you ūüėČ

Tango time!

Very few dances speak so much to me as much as the Tango does. I am sure everyone interprets the Tango in their own unique way, but for me, the Tango represents a courtship. The love-to-hate relationship between two people who are trying to get accustomed to one another.

The body positions in some of the movies appear as if the two are drawn together in a tight embrace, yet at the same time as if they are pushing each other away. Perhaps he had garlic for supper?

Perhaps they are staying close enough to each other to explore each other, yet far away enough to prevent pain and heartache. Sort-of like a cat and a dog if they have never been exposed to one another. Cautious, yet curious.

If you postulate that the above paragraph is true, then perhaps you will be able to see why I like the Tango so much. It is a cat and mouse game. So is courting someone. So is exploring each other. Finding that special one. Everybody say “I am tired of playing games” what they mean is “I am tired of playing games that make me sad or depressed.” There are good games, exciting games, that makes the courting process so interesting and fun.

Oh, and just for interest’s sake, apparently the Tango partially originated as a dance between two males. A challenge to a duel of some sorts. This is according to a Tango specialist in my ballroom dancing community, but a quick search to this matter on the web couldn’t confirm this. That may explain the pushing away part quite well, though!

Out of sight, out of mind…

Someone once said that a tidy desk is a sign of a cluttered draw. Does that necessary flow that a cluttered desk is a sign of an empty draw? No, it does not. We often believe that if something is out of sight, it is out of mind. In many cases this works, at least for a while. Until the desk gets too cluttered, and the draw is also full. Then we need to purge. To clean up. To detox. To rejuvenate.

Envision this tidy desk of yours, or the cluttered one, if you wish. Envision this cluttered draw or empty one, should you so desire. Make sure you are thinking of YOUR desk and YOUR draw. Not a generic one or one of a family member or a friend. What does your desk look like? Is it messy? Is it tidy?

How do you think this symbolizes your life? Are you hiding your pains and fears away in your draw, or are they available for everyone to see? Are you a control freak who keeps everything around you tidy, but inside yourself, you’re a mess? Do you want everything in its place? Do you HAVE everything in its place? Are you in control of yourself, or not? Are you trying to control everyone else around you because you can not control yourself? These are just a random bunch of questions. I want to make you think. You don’t have to think sense, just think, and really, nobody has to know that you thunk at all – it will be our little secret.

I am equating my desk with my mind. My desk is usually messy, but so is my drawer. And with messy, I don’t mean dirty. Not in the gutter, nor is it unkept and dusty, and coffee spilt over it. It is untidy. But everything is in its place. It is usually easy for me to find something on my desk or in my drawer, even though it may be impossible for someone else to find it. I know where everything is.

That is similar to my mind. I can find things in there that I never knew I collected before. I get random flashbacks from when I was 5 years old, that probably nobody in the world would remember, even if they were present at the time, and had the same memory stored away somewhere. The reason being that for them it was just something that happened, for me, that same event made a profound impact on the way I do things.

Some days I get this urge to clean everything up around me. I pack out my draws, and repack them. I clean up my desk, and reorganize everything. I have realized that I do this only when I am in a situation where I have absolutely no idea what is going on around me. This could be work pressure, some other issues, such as missing someone, or being in pain, or whatever your situation may be. Once I have packed and reorganized, everything starts to pile up eventually, and it gets messy again, but I know where everything is, until I don’t know anymore. Once I get to that point, I purge again.

I do the same with my mind. The same with my emotions. This is evidence in the posts I make on my blog, and when I make them. I tend to write stuff when something is bothering me. Lot of the posts on here revolve around losing the love of my life last year (2008). Then it went quiet. I dealt with it, and moved on. My blog has been quiet. Until now.

So – what is bothering me now? It is simply that my desk is getting cluttered, and I know that soon I will need to clean it out. For me that is a good thing. It rejuvenates me. It rejuvenates my soul. It makes me feel back in control. My desk and my draw are both tidy. At least for a while.

Edit 2022: Decided to keep the article I wrote above. The girl I lost in 2008 was not the love of my life, of that I am sure. I just know at the time, it felt as if my heart was ripped from my chest. She had a purpose in my life, and I will always be thankful for the lessons learned, but I am now married for 11 years, have two beautiful children, and am a very happy man as it stands. Thank you for being in my life while you were, special lady!

Speed dating

I have recently (last night, in fact) attended my first speed dating event ever. It was a heck of a lot of fun. When I registered for the event, I was a bit skeptical, because I thought that all I would meet there would be a bunch of desperate or needy people. After doing some research at speed dating, I saw all these video clips of speed dating featuring the most gorgeous girls and the hunkiest men (I would presume…) and I thought Yeah, even gorgeous people would need new girlfriends or boyfriends from time to time! So that though was quickly squashed and my perception changed, so I prepared my thoughts for last night and off I went, all charged up and happy. I know those video clips were made to bring forth people’s best sides and were probably staged, but they sufficed to change my attitude about speed dating.

So – as I arrived at the¬†venue about 30 minutes early (I had to travel about 80km, so rather be safe than sorry), I immediately loved the venue. The up-stairs parlour was perfect for the prupose of speed dating, as it was just big enough to taken about 20 people, was secluded, and could be separated from the rest of the venue quite easily. Now, on to the event…

The SmartDate hostess (Amy) and owner (Jenny) was there well ahead of time, and as we arrived, we were explained how the process works. Sounds easy and fun, so now we’re just waiting for everyone to arrive, so we can start. As the people arrive, I start to evaluate the ladies arriving, and checking out the competition for signs of nervousness and obvious signs of discomfort. None were. Everyone was smiling and laughing, and having a drink. Then the event started.

First up: Kate. Wat a nice lady. Not sure we will be 100% compatible, because of the way the conversation went – we have some htings in common, but some major differences, but it was really, really an amazing time. Definately someone to make friends with.

Second person I spoke to was Chantelle. She is working in the travel industry, and seems to be well-read. we have lots of things in common, and laughed a lot during our brief encounter. Definately some potential there, as far as I am concerned!

Next I spoke to Robyn. I was totally dumbfounded. She was spontaneous, beautiful, exciting and friendly, and didn’t seem nervous at all. She has style, and loves dancing, just as I do. BINGO!!! But we’ll see what the results of the event was. We can only get each others’ contact details if she feels the same, so let’s see.

Kathy is a teacher. Teaching small kids, and focusing a lot on the problem solving skills of these young future stars. We have had a decent 5 minute conversation about teaching and lecturing, and general cognition of people of all ages. The time was up too soon. I would definately want to talk to Kathy again.

Alice also works in the travel industry, and she travelled a lot. She values her friendships most of all, and that is why she will never leave South Africa. Seems to be a really nice person to get to know better. Time will tell ūüôā

Yvain. Oh Yvain. Not only does she remind me of one of my favourite movies, Star Dust, but she was a heck of a lot of fun to talk to. Too bad we only had 5 minutes.¬†She is working for an investment bank. Let’s see if we are matched up.

Next was Olga. Delightful lady to talk to, and just like me, not a morning person at all. We’ll be absolutely compatible as far as that is concerned. She was funny, yet knew when to be more serious, and I am sure if we had more time, we could’ve talked for hours.

Karen is involved with helping children. She only came for the social aspects of the event (a girls night out with her friends, Kate and Zasha), so no potential there for that particular reason, but we still had a lot of fun talking.

Zasha. Beautiful and interesting. Well-travelled, but now settling in South Africa. We had an interesting conversation, and I really think she and I will be able to connect on an emotional level, so, we’ll see.

Well, that ends the official part of event. Afterwards we went downstairs and had a drink or two and chatted with each other. I went back upstairs and chatted to Kathy and Robyn, together with one guy who was at the event, Ivan. We had an aire of mocking each other, and just goofily fooling around. This was quite a lot of intellectual stimulation, as we had to think of what to say to tease the other, but without offending them. What fun! So – my singular drink was finished, and I had to drive back home.

I will definately attend another event as soon as possible…!

Some more myku’s

It has been a while since I posted on my blog. Been away for over a week, and then on training for a week. Time to update a bit. And what better to update it with than with a bit of creativity. I have written a few more myku’s:

In response to: I’m happy with where I’m at, As long I’m still moving, Not simply running like a rat, But moving towards improving

To be happy where you’re at
Requires a purpose in life
But to get a purpose in life
Make yourself happy to be where you’re at

NOTES:

The key is not to look for extravagant things to make you happy, but to make the most of what you’ve got. Always good to broaden your horizons, but do not feel that if your life is not particularly exciting or daring, that you have no purpose…

In response to: I hate to bother you, but could I borrow a shoulder to cry on and a cup of tomorrow?

When tears threaten
And you feel beaten
And your emotions are bare
My shoulder is there

NOTES:

You sometimes wonder when someone is *really* your friend. Real friends won’t need to be asked for a shoulder to cry on. Real friends will instinctively know that something is wrong and will often not only offer the shoulder the cry on, but a possible solution to the problem that made you cry in the first place…

Ghosts from the past

Just as E.’s face appeared to me in a dream shortly after I have met her, her face is now gone again. I have a weird dream that I have quite often. I can recall 6 times that I had this particular dream, always the same, except twice, both of them concerning E. The first one, I saw her face, as her back was turned to me, face sideways, and now, I had the dream again, again different, her body towards me, but as I reach her, she turns around, and vanishes. Here is the basic dream:

I dream I am walking in some serene and calm place, may be a tropical island. I see a topless woman standing in front of me, but her back is towards me. She seems familiar, but I can’t see her face. I see her long, straight, dark hair blowing in the wind. Usually when I get to the girl, I wake up, without seeing her face. Only when I met E., I realized where this dream comes from: it comes from one of my favourite Afrikaans songs, called “Droomvrou”, which means “Dream Woman”, and the words describe a woman standing with her back towards the man, but he feels he knows her, even though he never sees her face. Interesting how music can influence you so profoundly!

In E.’s case I saw her face clearly the first time I have dreamt this dream about her. The second time was actually completely different, though the same scenery. I had the following dream last night:

Again my serene and calm place. Again a woman standing in front of me. This time, her body is turned towards me, still naked, but the nudity is blurred. I walk towards her, and when I reach her, she turns around and vanishes.

I woke up startled, wondering what that meant, and after writing down the dream (scared I will forget it), it dawned on me what it meant, at least what I thought it meant. She is out of my life, and my soul is beginning to accept this fact. I have already given up on getting her back – I knew that was not going to happen, but I never gave up on getting a friendship going with her again (my previous blog posts will show just that…). Just about a week ago, I still posted about this friendship that I so desperately long for, as I feel we had a very special connection. I was still fired up¬†about keeping the friendship alive.

But now it is done.

Suddenly it is all clear to me. Why be friends with someone who does not want to be your friend? Sometimes you REALLY have to cut your losses and move on. MOVE ON! That time has come for me. I am free.

Perhaps my planned career change has something to do with this new mindset Рthe thought of leaving the old behind and embrace the new. I am attempting to exchange the comfort zone of a fixed salary each month for a fluctuating income and being my own boss. If things go well, I will leave my day job by the end of December. My new venture starts 1st of September. So, just as I plan to leave the old job behind, I am leaving E. behind now. Deleting phone numbers and throwing out all memories and souvenirs that remind me of her. It is now her choice entirely to get over her grudge against me. E. is now a ghost from my past. But she is not a poltergeist. She is not haunting me anymore.

Until the next time…

Myku

What exactly is a myku? Difficult to define, as I can’t find a proper definition anywhere, but it is similar to a haiku, which is an ancient form of poetry. a myku has less restrictive rules and¬†consists of 4 lines. I have recently stumbled upon http://www.mykuworld.com [Edit 2022: unfortunately, the page does not exist anymore], a site where you write your short little poems. But, what makes this interesting is that each myku world consists of 5 x 5 squares. Someone starts with a single myku, and people can write their own myku in that particular world, based on the content of the starting myku. After one reaction, the next person can react to the original myku, or the second one, and so on, and in the end, it forms a whole storyboard, one myku extending another, complimenting each other. I have started to write some mykus and will post some of them here, together with some notes, where necessary, to explain my thinking process while I was writing the particular myku. Here goes:

On the subject of being missed:

Do I count? Will I be missed?
Will someone cry if I am dissed?
Will I resolve to solitude
Or will I excel in attitude?

NOTES:

Reading the first line may make you think of a suicide note, but that is not the case. The second line is the key. It deals with the loss of the one you love. If he/she dumps you, will you be missed? Do you silently fantasize that he or she will take you back; that external factors influenced the decision? Will you wait in solitude to find out? Or will you challenge with attitude and either ask directly, or move on with your life?

On the subject of “Living Life Large”:

A hollowbacked expression
“Live Life Largely”
A pronunciation anomaly,
“Live Life Lushly”

NOTES:

When a colleague of mine, who also has a strange English accent, said the first quote, I accidentally heard the second quote. This got me to thinking that living life large, such a hollowbacked expression, can be given new life by changing the word to lush. What does “Living Life Lushly” tell you about the person living it?

In response to: I stopped to bring flowers to your grave, but forgot that you are still alive

Forgotten friends are everywhere
Sad and fragile, they’re among us
Shattered feelings here and there
Everyone’s from someone else’s past

NOTES:

It’s too late to say goodbye when the person is no longer with us. Don’t forsake your friends…

On the topic of lost love and the lost friendship thereafter:

Hold no grudges
Deal with pain
Forgive, forget
All in vain

NOTES:

When breaking up there is seldom friendship after the fact. In most cases, friendship fades when the romance does. And the pain that you experience because of that is often worse than the pain of the romance lost.

On the topic of being egocentric:

Ego, the devil in us all
Explicit, the hatred in us all
Untold anger lurks inside
If you dare disturb Ego’s pride

NOTES:

Our ego is the devil, for sure. Pride, anger, sadness, misplaced superiority, inferiority, hate, intimidation, disintegration of the soul. The ego is damaging. Control it.

I see dead people…

As you may or may not know, the line I see dead people comes from the movie The Sixth Sense starring Bruce Willis and Haley Joel Osment. If you have been reading my blog posts in the past, you will know that my posts are often spoiling the plot if you have not seen the movie yet. So Рif you have not seen the movie yet, and want to, please do so before reading this post.

As you also know, when I talk about a movie, I don’t give a review. I look at the lesson that I have learned from the movie, and I share that lesson with you.

In the movie, Malcolm Crowe (Willis) is actually killed in the beginning of the movie, but the viewer does not know this until the very end. Cole Sear (Osment) has the ability to see ghosts, and states at one time that people only see what they want to see. This is what this post is about.

How often does it happen that you see something the way you want to see it? How often do you think everything is fine in your relationships? Nothing wrong. Zero defect. Or do you actually only see in hindsight the millions of things that were wrong right from the start? Do you realize in shock that you should’ve seen the break-up coming? Or do you realize that a particular thing you did caused much more damage than you wanted to believe? Or, after the break-up, do you only then see the signs that your significant other was cheating on you with someone else? Or, do you only see after the fact that your child lied to you about not stealing that money from your purse? Or what about those flowers your husband brought you today? It is not his usual behaviour, so why now? Who knows. Maybe he just wanted to be romantic. He wants to show you he loves you. Right? Maybe. Maybe he is apologizing for something he did…?

It is very difficult to do, because you’re often blinded by your circumstances, but try to look at every situation as if you are not IN the situation. As if you are an observer viewing your life from outside your body, and as if you are totally impartial to the outcome (sort of like the ghosts in the movie Stardust). But if you start to manage this, you may actually see the inevitible before it happens. Good luck with that…

Is romance dead?

I had an earlier post where I said that romance is a key ingredient to any successful relationship between lovers. But I am starting to wonder if I am not too romantic. Is there such a thing as too romantic? If you believe the girls I have tried to date, probably yes.

With my previous love, I made a mistake. I moved in too quick. I rushed things. E., I am sorry. I messed up something great for both of us. But, what happened last night baffles me. I am truly amazed. I went on my first date since E. and I broke up. Me and this lady friend C. had a wonderful time talking on the phone and texting each other. There were even hints that we liked each other, but it was only subtle hints, such as “I can not wait to see you” and things like that. Nothing serious.

So – last night was this date with C. We went to watch Rugby. Her brother is playing for the first team of their local club. True to my romantic self, I bought her flowers. No, not red roses. No, no romantic card dictating my ever burning love to her. No, I did not even give her a kiss when I gave it to her. I have not even held her hand once during the entire evening (maybe that was the mistake? Not holding hands?)

At one stage it was starting to be really cold (it is Winter in South Africa, and I have some sort of cold or flu…) so, I said that I want to go sit and watch the game from inside my car (I had a prime parking spot next to the field, so we do not miss any of the action) but she did not want to come and wanted to stay with her friends next to the cold field, so I went alone. Another situation where I think I showed her that I am not attached to the seam of her dress, so to speak – I do my own thing, and she can join me if she wish or not if she does not want to.

After a while though, I thought I would text her to find out if she thought I was rude for leaving the side of the field to go to my car. She responded, but not with an answer. Her response was: I am going to be really honest with you. I do not feel the same about you as you feel about me. There can be nothing between us. And I was like WTF? and responded with That is okay. You are nice and all, but I also think there is something missing. Just out of curiosity, how do you think I feel about you? No response. I went out to the field again in the cold and stood next to her and her friends and watched her and her friends’ reactions closely. Trying to figure out what sparked that kind of text message from her – maybe some group pressure from her friends? (Am I just being paranoid now?) I could not see anything in particular that was out of place, so I continued watching the last 15 minutes of the game next to the field, and said goodbye to her friends and her, and asked her to walk with me for a bit.

I asked her again what I asked in the text message. Again avoiding the answer. So I gave her the answer: I am not in love with you, but I think there is potential for us to be together over time. Good answer, right? Wrong? Maybe. I do not know.

On my way home from the game, she sent me a message, and her message was something in the line of Sorry about what I said. I was just caught off guard with the flowers. Sleep tight. Now this can mean many things. Sorry about saying at she does not feel the same way I do, supposedly, or does it mean sorry for ever saying anything to hint that she actually may like me. I do not know, and again, she is avoiding the topic. Some people deal with problems by ignoring them. It is an effective tactic in some cases, but does not work all the time. Will it work this time? Perhaps, because I really can not be bothered with trying to sort this misunderstanding out – our friendship is way too young to take so much investment from me if she can not be honest with me.

So – where does the subject of this post come in? It comes from this response of hers. I was just caught off guard with the flowers. While I agree that sending flowers in its most basic form (no card with nice words, no ceremony in handing them over) is a romantic situation of some kind, but that is really mild. I opted for some imported flower from Madagaskar of some kind together with some blue Irises, pink cellophane and lime green ribbon. Bright colours, but nothing indicating burning love. If anything, I stayed away from a lot of red, the colour of love. So – if this simple gesture caught her off guard, I assume that she is not used to receiving flowers “just because”. How sad.

And this is why I ask if romance is dead? Are males so unromantic these days that women gets frightened when a man is even mildly romantic? Us men have only ourselves to blame if my hypothesis is true. If my hypothesis is NOT true, on the other hand, what could it be? Drop my a line if you have an answer for me, please, and I will post your response here. I have disabled comments because I like to have my posts out there for a few days so that I can think about them myself first… ūüôā To contact me, use the contact link in the navigation bar.

The winds of change

Whether we want to admit it or not, we often change little things about ourselves to be likable to others. Or do we? What constitutes change? Is wearing your hair loose because your partner likes it that way considered to be a change? Is agreeing with the one you love for the sake of peace (or because you love that person) considered to be a change? What exactly is change?

From the Unabridged Dictionary (v1.1): Change (verb): to make the form, nature, content, future course, etc., of (something) different from what it is or from what it would be if left alone.

If you consider that definition of the word change, my given examples would be considered changes. So what if we change something, and then change it back to the way it was? Does it cancel out the change, or is it now two changes? Technically speaking, it is two changes, because a change alters the state of something from the state that it is currently in.

But why this discussion about what change is? If you understand the concept of change, you can try to define what someone mean when they say You are changing yourself so that I will like you. What the heck am I on about? E., an ex of mine always said that I was trying to change myself to be more likable to her. Did I? She seemed to think so, but I do not. If you merely agree with something she says, even if you disagreed yesterday, does that mean you changed yourself? No. It means you have changed your opinion about something.

Let us presume you are asked if you want to have children. Let us say a few years ago you did want children, but at the current moment in time, you are not so sure. I mean, it is possible that you are unable to have children. Do you see your self waking up at two in the morning to change a diaper? Do you think you would expect too much of your children and press them too hard to achieve what you were unable to achieve in your younger years?

I was like that once. I wanted children. Then, at the time I met E., I was unsure whether I wanted children or not. The thoughts given above where running through my head. E. proclaimed even before we were seriously dating that she would never have children again. I can understand that, with already having had 2 (beautiful) daughters, and having to raise them alone. She would not start over for anybody, and that was okay. This got me to thinking, and it affirmed my thoughts about having children. I decided that I did not want children, at least not at this time in my life. No way, Sir.

Now the following question remains: By affirming my feelings about this, that I do not want children at this time of my life, did I change my opinion about this so that we have a better chance of staying together? Considering the facts, if she does not want any more children and I do, would that not cause a lot of trouble in our relationship? Yes, but only if I wanted some and she did not. But since I made up my mind that I did not, would it harm us? Probably not. Unless one of us changes our minds again. But did I change my mind in an attempt to make our relationship last? I doubt it Рbecause I still feel the same, almost two months after the breakup.

So, I ask again… Did I change myself to ensure our future, even at a great cost to myself? I think no. But what do you think? Drop me a line by using the contact link in the navigation bar. Would be interesting to hear some other people’s take on this…

Edit 2022: So, today, I am married for 11 years, and I have two beautiful boys that I love to pieces. So I changed my mind again to have children. What good is a mind if you can’t change it?