Sunday, March 27, 2011

No such thing as bad publicity

Thanks to all the hate rants and 'thumbs down' votes that Rachel Black's 'Friday' song has been receiving, I've had
"It's Friday, Friday
Gotta get down on Friday
Everybody's lookin' forward to the weekend, weekend "

stuck in my head the entire weekend, in that annoyingly screechy, muppet villian type voice.



Everybody may think that's it's the worst song ever made and because of that the kid has been trending on Twitter for the last week or so, but Black is pulling in the moola and may even be a millionaire in her teens. In fact, I even see 'Friday' becoming a trend and being sung to in clubs and at parties because it catchy, simple and so stupid that it automatically picks up the mood. If Aqua's 'Barbie Girl' could do it, why not 'Friday'.

The thing is, there have been worst tracks in the history of mankind. Unfortunately, it is the bad songs that seem to be remembered word-for-word rather than the most brilliant songs. Maybe because we laugh just thinking about them, quote them all the time and hear people mocking them constantly.

One such song is Chelley 'Took the Night'. I hated it the first time I heard it on the radio. I thought it was the worst song I ever heard. After months of mocking it and mocking people who sing it at clubs, it became my ringtone. And now I sing in the shower.



Honestly, I think that the whiny monotone teenage is an accidental genius, much like the Scaffold was with their days-of-the-week song. It's how cult follwings begin... with something really bad that was hated by many people.

Man, I wish I sang 'Friday'. I swear my voice is just as bad.



Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Cupcake Extraordinaire

I used to think that I was pretty good at baking cupcakes. Not brilliantly amazing but decent enough. After all it is the only thing that I can bake without flopping and is kinda my thing at home. For birthdays and anniversaries, you may often find me decorating cupcakes with the names of those being celebrated. But then I came across Michelle Martin's cupcakes and all my delusions went out the window!

My cupcakes:

Rainbow Cupcakes with White Icing -->>


 
looked very pretty on the inside

Vanilla cupcakes with blue peppermint
icing and yellow lemon icing



Chocolate cupcakes with rainbow icing and very messy hands

Michelle's cupcakes:






FML!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Amazingnesses

Painting with his mouth:


A quadriplegic at Pavillion, overcoming his obstacles




and not letting his disability hinder him.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Something I never thought I would EVER see in my life....

A pizza vending machine!!!!!!!


This little monster was found at the Johannesburg airport.
I had been wanting to test it but alas I feared my life :)


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Changing the world: It's the small things that count

During my more naive and idealistic years, I thought that studying law could enable me to help make a dent of change in the world. Then a visit to one of the magistrates courts slapped me back to reality. Two years later, Jurisprudence (the philosophy of law) discussions put into words what I had witnessed in the court that day:
- the legal system ultimately only assisted the affluent
- the South African Constitution is a great written work but too ideal to implement effectively
- lawyers, judges, attorneys, advocates, prosecutors... they were all human and swayed by human flaws
- justice was just a matter of perception... undefinable

To be honest, my path into the world of journalism was not a planned one but it made me see more instant effects. I'm not the all-caring all-for-change happy floaty person who hands R100 notes to beggars and I don't pretend to be nor do I preach about helping others. However seeing it and being able to do something does make me smile.

In the first couple of months of my life as a journalist I wrote an article about refugees and a week later I received a call from the refugee that I spoke to, pastor Matabaro, calling me to visit the Old Prison in Pietermaritzburg immediately. I went there, a tad annoyed for being pulled away from my scheduled day, only to find masses of refugees collecting food. A person from a church had read my article and now donates food monthly to help out all the refugees. "You did that!" the pastor had said to me that day.
Refugees happily accept their packets with one
month's supply of food

I've written about many non-profit organisations in my last nine months of working for a newspaper. All of them doing good for the community in their own special way. Recently, a women repeated those three words to me after her project had received some funding.

"You did that!" she said.

It never means as much to me as it does to them. I'm merely doing my job. I have little control over what goes into the newspaper and what doesn't and sometimes, I wish I cared more. (I blame studying law for killing all empathy in me, despite me only studying it for two years).

Almost two years ago, I wrote a post on how easy it would be to make a change using modern technology. Today we witness instantaneous alerts about the earthquake in Japan, the nuclear power plant explosions and other countries that may be affected by it. The devastation is broadcast everywhere (except maybe Libya... but that's not because they don't care!), and people are calling to help globally.

In that light, here are some of the non-profit projects that I have written about that are making small but great changes in society (their details are at the bottom of the linked articles).

Monday, March 7, 2011

While in Cape Town...

...I was chatting to a random guy.

Him: So are you from Durban?
Me: Ya, can you tell by my accent?
Him: No the way you look.
Me: You mean the way I dress?
Him: No the way you look.
Me: Is it because I'm Indian?
Him: No... You just look like you are from Durban.
Me: Riiiight!

*Scratches head*
Landing in Cape Town (taken from the plane (see shadow) obviously)

Friday, March 4, 2011

Overheard conversations, cooking nightmares and looking out for yourself

Exhausted and starving, I arrived home at 7pm regretting my recent decision to stop the take-aways and start cooking my own food.
1.       Because it was cheaper in the long run
2.       I had just bought a fridge full of fresh vegetables (which don’t last long)
3.       It’s healthier
However, when you are exhausted and starving, cooking is the last thing you want to do. Especially when you live alone and don’t really care about how it tastes since there’s no one to impress.
What my oven did to my cupcakes... Yes,
the oven did it!!!!
Restaurants and take-aways just make life THAT much easier. Fast food lets you get on with your life at the desired speed without having to encounter any speed bumps. No waiting for an hour for the strange gas oven that came with your flat to heat up so that you can roast a small bowl of vegetables. No washing up tons of pots and cutlery. No splashes of gravy on your walls from your fire spitting stove that only heats things at one temperature: super hot. No flopped cupcakes… I can go on for a while.
ANYWAY, what sparked this post is a conversation I overheard in the canteen this morning about fast food and restaurants. Said co-worker:
“You know what fast food outlets should have at their till points when people come to buy food… *dramatic pause*… a scale. So they go there, check their weight and realise that maybe buying the food is not a good idea. Or it should have a BMI index calculator that screams out your position on it’s index. Or maybe even a tag so that if you’ve bought KFC or McDonalds three times in one week, the waitress can pick it up and refuse to serve you…”
Cigarettes have those warnings that smoking will kill you so why not restaurants?! There’s ‘Don’t drink and drive’ adverts everywhere so why not healthy lifestyle adverts. Warnings against gambling addictions are placed in casinos so why not comfort food eating or food addictions or healthier option posters at food courts?

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

A Simple Observation

While walking through the aisles of CNA one afternoon with one of my friends, we noticed:
And when opened:


And when opened:



Just saying!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

What? That got an Oscar?


While I did not watch the 83rd
Annual Academy Awards,
the Oscars just seem to
have lost it's gleam.

I’ve never really been into the Oscars or any film award shows until 2009 when I had spent most of June watching movies at the Durban International Film Festival. I had watched almost every film nominated before the night, so I had favourites that I was rooting for.
Living in PMB for the last six months, I seem to have been kicked out the loop of the movie world. The one cinema here houses only mainstream films and screens Leon Schuster for two months.
However, in my catching up, I find myself less and less impressed by this year’s nominated films. As a budding film director, I feel despondent despite continuously viewing film after film trying to find something that excites me and inspires me to make something just as brilliant.
A friend of mine had been ranting and raving about some of the awards, pointing out the many great films that have never received an Oscar. This year, however, I can’t think of any film or performance more worthy than those that have been nominated or have won. Was it simply a mediocre year at the movies?
Colin Firth finally grabs the Best Actor award
for 'The King's Speech', though I must admit
I enjoyed 'A Single Man' more.
Last night I watched 'The King's Speech' and was somewhat disappointed. It's a great movie. Brilliantly filmed with exceptional performances... in fact, everything in the movie is perfect, except for the fact that it's extremely average. I forgot about it half an hour after it ended, forcing myself to try and think of something that makes it worthy for its Best Picture award. Maybe it was simply perfect; the type of perfect that Natalie Portman loses her mind to in Black Swan, the type of perfect that audiences don't really care about.
In terms of the winners, I think David Fincher should have earned the Oscar bragging rights for Best Director and maybe Hailee Steinfeld for Best Supporting Actress. Other than that, I pretty much lay on the indifferent fence, apathetic about the options. I do have one question, how does Jeff Bridges always get on the list?

It’s been a while since I’ve found a film gobsmackingly sublime. That said, there are many films that I have watched and loved of recent, but that spellbinding after effect that leaves you walking around for days still thinking about the movie seems to be lacking from all of them.
It makes me think of a quote from one of my all time favourite movies, 'Fight Club':
“Everything is just a copy of a copy of a copy”
Has the film industry run out of new and amazing ideas? Or are audiences happy with the mediocre entertainment they are being dished?
Maybe I have just watched way too many films…