Tag Archives: random

Creating a monster

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I wish the Twilight trilogy had come out when I was a kid. That way, I could have read about vampires and scoffed at these pale pathetic beings. I could have gone to bed to dream of sugar, spice and rainbow-shitting unicorns.

But no. My childhood was pre-Twilight; before Stephenie Meyers managed to dig deep into the recesses of her lack of imagination to create characters that would forever shred all vampiric street cred and turn them into immortal objects of derision.

Before Meyers, there were real writers who didn’t shame the horror genre. They were called Anne Rice and Stephen King. I read their books and watched a young Kiefer Sutherland in Lost Boys and my innocent little brain kept all the images to unleash them before my eyes at night. My imagination, as with most children, was overactive, and gorging it on terrifying books and movies certainly did not help.

Remember in Science class when they told us plants and people compete for oxygen at night and that’s why you shouldn’t sleep with a potted plant in the room? I used to imagine waking up a shriveled gray mass of skin and bone, while a fat grinning cactus sat on my windowsill, thriving off of my oxygen and singing songs from Little Shop of Horrors.

My mind was capable of taking harmless facts and, from them, spinning gruesome horrors, covered in blood and gore and more blood. After reading Doyle’s The Hound of the Baskervilles, our pet dog became a radioactive bear-wolf-demon and, if I dared to peer over the covers, I’d be sure to find him poised at the foot of my bed, ready to attack me and take over my body. And no one would ever know that I was missing because my soul would hover in space, unseen for all eternity.

When I read A Christmas Carol, my heart wasn’t filled with yuletide warmth at Scrooge’s conversion into a good guy. No; at Christmas that year, I was convinced that the ghost of Jacob Marley had somehow found its way from the Dickensian world into my Mbarara village – and it was headed towards my bedroom. In the night’s quiet, I heard the infernal rattling of chains and waited for a ghostly face to appear inches from mine, to judge me for whatever sins I might have racked up at that age, and condemn me to an eternity of incessant torture.

I would glance over at where my siblings slept soundly, insulted by their unaffected sleep and swear, swear to never read a book or watch a movie again. I figured that if I stopped feeding my brain with information, it would have nothing to stew into festering terrors to keep me up at night. I resolved to be an ignoramus who could curl up and sleep peacefully.

Inexplicably I’d eventually dose off and wake up to another day, the night’s horrors forgotten. I’d find myself bored and pick up a book about a schizophrenic doctor with an evil alter ego and convince myself that this time, I wouldn’t let it get to my head.

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Meh.

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Random Friday mind-vomit :

  • My head feels cavernously empty and my stomach full to the brim. I owe this strange feeling to an hour of sleep last night and an opulent Ethiopian meal at lunch today.
  • I owe that one hour of sleep to my colic nephew who kept us all up with incessant braying, refusing to be nursed or cooed or threatened into sleep. But I’m not mad at him. He’s too cute for that.
  • … hey wait a minute, we didn’t try alcohol. I swear next time (tonight) I am lacing that milk with hard liquor Baileys, and then no one in my office will squint their eyes at my bloodshot ones, mind-judging me for being up to all sorts of imagined raunch and debauchery on a Thursday night.
  • But now any mother reading this is mind-judging me for my proposed nefarious plan. Whatever. He’ll drink alcohol eventually, anyway.
  • So I stayed up watching Year One which I recommend highly to ye that haven’t seen it. Jack Black, Michael Cera. That usually translates to hilarious.
  • Especially in Nacho Libre. But not so much in that film where he was a radioactive weirdo.
  • I think my mind thinks more coherently when I’m sleep-deprived than when I’m not. It’s probably the same science behind how drunk people sometimes drive ‘safer’ than sober people.
  • When I’m not sleep-deprived, it’s been said that I exhibit ADHD tendencies. Such lies.  I have the attention span of a … of a thing with a long and enviable attention span.
  • I want alcohol.

Look, a post with no football-talk!

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I thought I’d let up on the FIFA chats for now. We’re launching our Resource Center at my work this evening. It’s kind of been my pet project, and there’s going to be diplomats and other fancy types and everything better go right or I will set myself on fire and kill everything that’s moving.

I’m not nervous, though.

Also, bungee-jumping with friends tomorrow. Wheeee!!! I’ve been meaning to do this for ages, and certain people in the past have told me to go jump off a cliff so figured I’d take them up on it. Must remember to carry camera.

And now, an important message from the Cookie Monster:

damn straight

 

Happy weekend all!

5 Cool Things to Know About Beer…

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If you’re going to drink copious amounts of it tonight (and/or every other night… you know yourselves), you should know a little more about it than the price, right? No, not really. But these are funny, so you’re welcome 🙂

1. The ancient Babylonians were the first people to brew beer. And they took  their brewing seriously – if you made a bad batch, your punishment was to drown in it.

2. In the Middle Ages, clean water was often hard to find. Many people chose to drink beer instead because the alcohol made it safer to drink than regular water.

3. The Vikings believed that when they died and went to heaven, a giant goat whose udders provided an endless supply of beer would be waiting for them.

4. In 1814, a brewery tank of 3, 500 barrels of beer ruptured, causing a tsunami of beer in London. Two houses were demolished and nine people died.

5. Prohibition in the U.S. lasted 13 years, 10 months and 19 days. When it was lifted, President Roosevelt said, ‘What America needs now is a drink!’ a.k.a ‘Let’s get wasted, muthafuckers!!’

What some famous people have to say about beer:

  • You can’t be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline… at the very least, you need a beer” – Frank Zappa
  • Not all chemicals are bad. Without chemicals like hydrogen and oxygen, they would be no way to make water, a vital ingredient in beer” – Dave Barry
  • All right, brain, I don’t like  you and you don’t like me – so let’s  just do this and I’ll get back to killing you with beer – Homer Simpson

Happy weekend 🙂

‘The guiding spirit is creative innovation’

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This morning, I watched my one-and-a-half year old nephew “paint a picture” – that is in quotes because all he did was make a beautiful random mess of colours all over the paper. He was at this for about fifteen minutes; and then he stared at it for a moment, looked at me, grabbed the cup of water (we were using water paints) and poured it all over his masterpiece and walked away. Hilarious!

Every time I see him, I ascribe a new calling for him – today it’s tortured genius 🙂

And now I could launch into a reflective homily on how easily we let go of the consciousness of the beauty of life; of how we lose sight of the what-the-fuck of it all as we grow older, but instead I will be kind and plug and share an opportunity from Kenyan literary magazine Kwani? to be a published short-story author!

Kwani? wants any African under the age of 30 to write and submit a short story on the (very generous, methinks) theme The Africa I Live In. Details here.