Monday, January 31, 2011

Emergency Room

There’s nothing like an early Sunday morning visit to the Emergency Room to put life into perspective. Excruciating pain, drips, injections, screaming children and blood spatter on the floor, from a previous casualty, really has a way of ruining ones day. And this is exactly how I spent my morning yesterday. You see I had to go to the ER due an excruciating and unrelenting pain in my chest combined with hunching over in agony every time I swallowed. All this leading up to an experience I’d rather not relive again.
Sunday morning didn’t start like any other. I didn’t sleep in, only waking up at 9am serenely rolling around in bed wondering what I’d be cooking for Sunday lunch. No, I was awake pretty much on-and-off since 2am, rolling around uncomfortably wondering exactly how bad the pain must become before it warranted a trip to hospital. Finally, by 7am I had enough and hubby knowing that I have a high pain threshold and seeing the agony on my face, even with the Botox, decided it was time to go to the ER.

Not liking sick people and therefore not loving hospitals I was not particularly thrilled on arrival, but I did want the pain to stop. We walked into the ER, completed the paperwork and waited. The waiting room being relatively small was filled with people looking concerned, tired and not ready for their close-ups. Being in a world of pain I didn’t care what I looked like either and it wasn’t my finest hour. After a couple of minutes the attending nurse called my name and ushered me into a consultation room. He asked me about my symptoms, where the pain was, what it felt like and took my vitals. The conversation was brief as he could see I was in pain and not in the mood for idle chatter. Shortly after I was admitted to the ER and waited for the Doctor.
In my little curtained cubical there was a bed, a single chair, medical paraphernalia and a couple of dried blood spatters on the floor. It wasn’t long before the Doctor arrived. Clutching my file and with a concerned expression on her face she said “One of three things is going on here. You’re either having a heart attack, have an obstruction in your esophagus or having an extreme episode of acid reflux that has hurt your esophagus. We’ll do an EKG, take X-rays and maybe take some blood and I’ll be back shortly”. It’s nice when a physician provides you with the worst case scenario first and not to mention comforting, so naturally after the Doctor left my cubical with one of the curtains trailing behind her in her wake, I requested the nurse to fetch hubby from the waiting room. After all if I were having a heart attack at the age of 33 I wanted him to be with me.

The nurse together with my husband returned and she proceeded to hook me up to the EKG machine. What felt like a hundred stickers were placed all over my chest and stomach. As the nurse was sticking them on me I noticed her arms. They were covered with scars and cigarette burns, being a curious person by nature but impeded by precarious health, I resisted the urge to ask her about it and prevented a potential uncomfortable situation. The EKG cleared me of a heart attack and I was immensely relieved! The first of what would be two intravenous medications was then administered via drip and I was sent off to X-rays.
There is a strange sense of irony when one is ill, but still able to walk and a hospital policy insists that you be pushed around in a wheelchair. I don’t understand it but hospital staff gets pretty annoyed when you don’t comply so eventually I did. At X-rays I had to take of my shirt and put on a horrendously unflattering gown which is quite an operation when your arm is connected to a drip with a one meter long pipe. I got entangle, confused, frustrated and after sobbing quietly managed to free myself from it twice. I was cleared of an obstruction by X-rays and finally diagnosed with acute "Gastro Esophageal Gastritis", a scary way of saying I had a throat infection causing cramping brought on by acid reflux that could be caused by a stomach ulcer. It’s unflattering, very painful, and something I would not wish onto some, but not all, of my worst enemies.

I was returned to the ER and administered the second and last drip. It made me drowsy, somewhat incoherent but brought some relief. I stayed in the ER for four long hours before finally being released with a month supply of ulcer and heartburn medication and a referral to a surgeon if my condition does not improve. All in all my Sunday was ruined and coincidentally my Monday was too as I am still in some pain, still finding it hard to swallow food and I still have dizzy spells, all of which should pass soon.
As I was pulling the last of the EKG stickers of my chest in the shower Sunday night, I couldn’t help but realize how lucky I am. I am lucky not to have had a heart attack, lucky to be able to afford health care and be treated in a private hospital, lucky to be in relatively good health and I’m lucky to have a husband who loves me. Frankly, if a throat infection, cramping, heartburn and a possible stomach ulcer is the worst of my health problems, then I don’t really have anything to complain about now do I. Sure it pretty much ruined my weekend and my Monday, but hell there are far worse things that could have happened.  However, I am going back to bed now, cuddle my warm water bottle and feel a little sorry for myself for a tad longer or at least until the pain stops!
Till next time.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Horrific News

This week I heard the three words I hoped never to hear again. They bring back painful memories both literally and figuratively. Memories of embarrassment, inability to eat certain foods, one week in every six weeks of physical pain, wax, chapped lips and having to accessorize my fag bag with toothpicks, a tooth brush and toothpaste. This week I was told “You need braces” again and I almost died! I had braces before and never thought I’d see the day that I had to go back to that, but alas I have no choice.
You see this week I went for my regular teeth cleaning and checkup at the Dentist. Admittedly the Dentist is not my most favorite medical practitioner to see, hence my obsession with my dental health. I have never had a cavity in my whole life and I never plan to experience the horror of being inflicted on a root canel. To avoid the dental drill I brush my teeth twice, sometimes more, a day and floss and do everything I can to keep my gums and teeth healthy. So with this week’s visit I wasn’t expecting any bad news or nasty surprises and that is the thing with optimism and expectations - neither have ever served me well.

Towards the end of what was a rather uncomfortable teeth cleaning session my Dentist, the genius that he is, decided to compare my current X-Rays with that of my previous visits and discovered something ominous. He doubled check the X-Rays and with an alarmed expression checked my mouth and said “I don’t think you are going to like what I am about to tell you” and he was right I didn’t and I proceeded to throw a hissy fit and almost broke down crying. “Braces! Really?! I’m turning 34 this year I can’t be wearing no God Damn BRACES!” are just a few boorish things that flew out of my mouth. After I dropped a few more F-bombs, he managed to calm me down.
It’s not that bad” he said “There are many adults that get braces these days, it’s almost fashionable”. Yea right, braces at my age is hardly a fashion statement and besides that they will clash with all my outfits! Apparently I am experiencing what they call an “Orthodontic Relapse”, which is just a nice way of saying you are fucked for two years and if you’re single you will stay that way!  There was no good news that day, my teeth are moving again and they will not stop by themselves and, whether I liked it or not, if I ever want to smile again on a photo I would have to get fucking braces.

Quite depressed I arrived home and started to Google braces. These days you get invisible ones that you can remove for eating and for other things that requires an unoccupied mouth, but they are expensive and knowing myself I’d probably not wear them 80% of the time which defies their purpose. You also get porcelain ones that are less noticeable and could be a more viable solution. However, they break easily and due to their fragility could increase your braces hell by double. So the most viable option is the standard metal mouth braces which one can brighten up with colorful rubber bands giving you a pretty scary rainbow smile – come on let us all jump with joy!
I’m still depressed and is looking forward to my first appointment at the Orthodontist on 3 February at 2:30pm with the contempt and enthusiasm it deserves. I’ll be 36 when my braces come off, that’s four years from 40! For the next two years I’ll be getting my braces adjusted next to 13 year old kids, be eating corn on the cob with a knife and fork, not be able to smile after eating lunch or dinner because there will be food that needs to be dislodged and my personal favorite - I’ll be setting off metal detectors at airports. All fabulous things I have to look forward too. The only upside to this is the fact that I will definitely lose weight.

As one of my more favorite medical practitioners was injecting my annual Botox touch-ups, she said something that made sense. Vanity comes with a price, a fair share of pain and a whole lot of sacrifice. Our metamorphosis of what we want to be on the inside and outside is never complete and there are always some things we would want to change. Some things are by choice and others are not and peace should be made with that. I choose not have the ability to frown as it’s highly overrated but I don’t have a choice about the braces. With just over a week before my reunion with the Orthodontic industry I will make a concerted effort to make peace with the impending fact that I will be getting braces. Fucking braces!
Till next time.

Tommy Ryman at the Joke Joint

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Hot Flash!

OK, I’ll say what everyone around me has been thinking – the weather has gone to shit! What was supposed to have been a lovely summer in South Africa turned into one big wet muddy bloody mess! The Northern Hemisphere is icing over and the Southern Hemisphere is deluged with rain and somewhere a penguin is sitting on a shrinking iceberg staring into the ocean wondering what the hell is going on! Fighting my way through rainstorms, flash floods and rain induced traffic jams, I couldn't help but wonder, have the effects of Global Warming finally caught up with us?
For some queer reason our four cats believe hubby and I are omnipotent and controls the universe and blames us for any sudden changes in the weather. It has been raining here, on and off, for the last 6 weeks and as all of us knows pussies don’t like getting wet. So when it’s time for them to go potty, mud is a less than desirable alternative for their sensitive dry, clean and spoiled paws. Consequently, hubby and I have been getting a significantly increased number of insufferable feline stares. Our pool have also over flown twice, our garden is over saturated and we are pretty sure that our house’s gutters have been expunged of all accumulated debris that may have collected in them during the winter months. South Africa has been unseasonably chilly and wet and for this my cats blames us and I, in return, blame Global Warming!

One would think that with Global Warming the planet would be heating up, then why is it that it appears that the opposite is happening – all over the world it is getting less sunny and is in effect getting colder. I’m no climatologist and I am sure that an expert could explain this in uneconomical and incomprehensible detail. But just think about events of the last 8 weeks. Heavy snow fall in Europe saw the closure of airports causing many of my fellow bloggers to be stranded in foreign countries without any spare clean underwear. There have been floods in Australia, Brazil and Southern Africa that could see cars being fitted with life rafts in addition to the standard airbags in future. The weather has gone awry and clearly Mother Nature is having a bad day and the bitch is making us pay.

As I type this I can literally see my tan fade away from my Vitamin D deprived skin. I’m finding it difficult to summon up recent memories of lounging next to the pool while sipping cocktails in the African summer heat. The once adored melodic rhythmic sound of raindrops dancing on our roof now mocks me, detains me and frustrates me. I am wet, confined to indoor spaces, prone to bad hair days, forever cleaning up muddy paw prints, struggling to dry my washing and constantly peckish for snacks which are making me fat! To worsen matters, yesterday my car’s on-board computer also warned me my breaks are falling and all this while the roads are wet, flooded, pot hole filled and congested with people who, when water is added to the equation, for no clear reason loses their basic driving skills. Global warming is making me feel claustrophobic, unattractive, fat and could also make my live potentially dangerous.

Sure Mother Nature and Planet Earth have been having a tough time with us polluting the air with fossil fuels, drilling into her for minerals, stripping her forests and over fishing her oceans. She’s also getting on a bit in age with hot flashes now and again being unavoidable and she too may not be feeling all that attractive. And for all of what we have done to her, she sure knows how to retaliate – if she’s going to die as a result of our actions she’s hell bend on taking us all with her in the form of global warming. Like a mother disciplines a child, so too are we now being disciplined by nature by being scorched, frozen, flooded and shaken about. Will we learn our lesson before it is too late and the world turns to hell, well only time will tell!
Through all of this particular planetary hot flash and motherly chastising I am doing my best to stay positive and look at the bright side. At least our house is not in a low lying area prone to flooding, our roof is not leaking and the gutters are not blocked. Killer pussy has not murdered a bird in weeks and the avian population in our neighbourhood have had some time to recover. Our garden has not needed to be watered in over a month and the pool didn’t need refilling resulting in a significantly reduced water bill. And finally, I can always go back to gym to lose my global warming weight, have my breaks repaired and as for bad hair days there are always hats.

As the rain continues to pour down in the Southern Hemisphere and the snow continues to fall in the Northern Hemisphere, we are all reminded of our fragile planet and left to contemplate whether global warming is just a theory or a very real reality. Truth be told, Mother Nature is having a hot flash and it’s a wet and cold one! In the years to come many more surprises will come our way and I suspect some of them will not be pleasant. But for now, all I want is for the rain to stop, to again see the sun protrude through the rain clouds forming a pretty rainbow and for the warm sun rays to kiss my skin and give me a few more freckles!

Till next time.

Katy Perry FIREWORK!! parody by SHERRY VINE

Thursday, January 13, 2011

8th Most Dangerous Country!

According to some statics I live in one of the top 10 most dangerous countries in the world. Specifically, South Africa is the 8th most dangerous country to live in with Iraq topping the list at number 1. So it should not come as any surprise that this week hubby and I had our home security upgraded from basic to ultra annoyingly sophisticated. While our new private security company was busy updating and replacing our old security systems with new improved security measures, I couldn’t help but wonder – have we become so overly obsessed with our own personal security that we are voluntarily turning our houses into fortresses and in so doing effectively turning our homes into prisons?
We live in a day and age where going to bed without looking your doors or leaving your keys in your car is long forgotten much like VHS and Cassette Tapes. The world have become a more dangerous place, and especially in South Africa, people are more prone to be vigilant and security conscious. So when we bought our house, a year ago, security was on the top of our priority list when doing our renovations, and this was somewhat of an adjustment. You see, we moved from an apartment without an alarm system and where 3 keys would get you into the apartment, now we live in a house where I have a set of 11 keys, an alarm system that’s complicated and moody and NOT pussy friendly!

You see, we have had too many rude awakenings at four o’clock in the morning due to one of our cats tripping one of the motion sensors while going for an early morning pee. So when this happened one too many times this past December and fearing falling victim to the “cry wolf” complacent syndrome, hubby and I decided to upgrade our alarm system:. One motion sensing beam was modified, one added and one moved; two additional motion sensors were fitted; a lock box mounted; the 8 zone control panel replaced with a 16 zone panel; two remote control panic buttons with arming and disarming functionality was provided and a pinhole camera installed. On completion of this 8 hour upgrade it was promptly followed by an hour long training session on how to operate everything accompanied by an 80 page manual. Now, if for any reason the alarm is triggered and we forget or fail to provide the right password to the control room, armed men with bullet proof vest will come bursting through our doors and blow shit up!
With all the security upgrades my one and only request was that it were to be done discreetly. I didn’t want our house to look like we were hiding Osama Bin Laden, were members of a Mafia family or were owners of a vast collection of expensive art. I didn’t want people driving past our 10 foot front wall wondering what the hell is so damn important behind it that requires 10 cameras and an armed response, as that would also attract the wrong kind of attention! Luckily, for me, they complied with my request but only within reason. Now, I know you may ask yourself is all of this security really necessary?

The simple answer is yes! The crime rate in our neighborhood is relatively low; there have been a few housebreaking's, car thefts, car hijackings but violent home invasions are rare but they do happen. Inevitably if they break into your house and you are unfortunate enough to be home you will be hurt or killed. So I’d rather be safe than sorry, and I appear not to be alone.

More and more people are raising their walls, putting up electric fences and enhancing their security systems. Homes are slowly being transformed from serene picket fences to full fetched fortresses where you can only see your neighbors by appointment. Going to bed at night have also become a complicated affair with the locking of doors, the switching on of outdoor lights and the arming of secure zones for your own protection. Unannounced visitors now have to wait up to 10 minutes before you can let them in, or else they would face the wrath of your security company and their men with guns. Jehovah Witness now have to try and pitch their religion to you through and intercom system and the paperboy needs a security clearance to deliver your news paper. And all of this because we want to feel safe!
I live in the 8th most dangerous country in the world and there still is no place like home! Yes we have motion sensors mounted at our property’s perimeters, yes we have motion sensors in every room and in the roof, yes we have armed men in bullet proof vest the press of a button away and yes we have security doors and burglar bars, but my home is still serene. It is serene because I have peace of mind. Peace of mind with the knowledge that if anything bad should ever happen that we will be OK. Peace of mind because I know if anyone who should not be here get within one feet inside our property all hell will break loose with bells, whistles, sirens, guns, bullet casings and two very annoyed Queens.  Our house may be a fortress or even a prison that keeps unwanted people out, but at least it is a pretty and discreet one!

Till next time.

Straight Gay Guy - Comedy Time

Friday, January 7, 2011

My 10 Secrets!

Here are 10 things many of you who frequently read my Blog didn’t know about me. It’s not vitally important facts but I thought it would be fun to share my 10 not so secret secrets.
(1.) I’m a little psychic. Both my maternal and paternal grandmothers were psychic. The one could read tea leaves and hand palms and the other saw visions. I guess I inherited a little paranormal mojo from the both of them and I now have a killer intuition.
(2.) I can read the Tarot cards. For a couple of years I earned a living off my inherited physic powers and I did Tarot Card readings for approximately almost a 1000 people. I retired my Tarot cards because other people’s problems depressed me.
(3.) I will die in a plane crash and they’ll never find my body. Another psychic once did a reading for me and told me many things that came to fruition. She also told me I will die in a plane crash when I’m very old - I guess I’ll have to wait and see if she was right.
(4.) Half of the houses I have lived in were haunted. In my life, thus far, I have lived in 12 houses and 6 of them we shared with ghosts. The most memorable ones were the old man that used to climb the stairs and walk past my garden flat and the old man at our current house – both eventually moved on.
(5.) I can grow a full beard in 4 days. My facial hair grows ferociously fast and I have to shave twice a day (that’s when we go out at night that is). The longest I have gone, since reaching puberty, without shaving is 3 days and I looked like a Survivor contestant on day 28.
(6.) I have a uni-brow like Frieda Kahlo. Not many people know this because I shave it off once I day. The lady that waxes me and does my eyebrows have reprimanded me about this bad shaving habit many times, but I still continue to do so.
(7.) The moon affects my emotions. Whenever there is a full moon I get restless and moody and my husband follows the lunar calendar closely because of it. I use to try to counteract the moon’s affects on me, but I eventually gave up and made peace with my full moon craziness.
(8.) My natural eye color is red. All the boys on my maternal grandmother’s side of the family have blue eyes and I do too, but my eyes are sensitive and easily irritated. Consequently, the majority of the time my eyes are red and it’s one of my major causes of discontent.
(9.) I curse like a sailor. Unfortunately I have a bit of a potty mouth and frequently drop the F-bomb. My most frequently used curse words are: Fuck, Shit, Bitch, Son of a Bitch, Asshole and Bullshit! Curse words I don’t like are: Pussy, Jesus, God and Mother Fucker.
(10.) I suffer from chronic insomnia. As a teenager and into my mid twenties I could sleep between 8-12 hours a day, but this changed during my late twenties and now an average night's sleep for me is between 4-6 hours. The only upside to this is the fact that I can get allot more done with that extra 18-20 hours in my day.

Till next time.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

We're all a Tad Crazy Sometimes

Life would be boring had we all been completely sane all of the time. We all have our little meltdowns, crazy moments and habits that other people find bizarre and makes us appear to be two eggs short of a dozen. Having received a text message yesterday regarding a former colleague’s apparent nervous breakdown (she made a number two on the bathroom floor, at work, instead of in the toilet and thought this was normal), I couldn’t help but ponder on my idiosyncrasies and the things I do, think and believe that, at times, too make me appear somewhat, shall I say, crazy.
Spending a day in my head would be interesting for some people and utterly frightening for others. You see the world according to me have certain rules; rules that one must abide by out of respect not only for yourself but also for those around you. Therefore, out of respect for your neighbors never leave the house in ugly clothes not even when taking out the trash. Performing menial task like this requires a certain amount of dignity and a robe, PJ’s and slippers is unacceptable. But there are other household chores that require less pageantry and more imagination.

Washing the dishes is something I absolutely dread and I never attempt it without rubber gloves. And this too have a certain routine to it. The dish water must be absolutely boiling hot and the items are always washed in a certain order. Seeing as this is a chore I loathe I make it more bearable for myself by wearing an imaginary tiara and sometimes I would even attempt singing. But, luckily for me we now own a dishwasher – the best invention by mankind in all of history. I still would wear my imaginary tiara while rinsing of the dishes before stacking them in my little magic cleaner, but instead of 20 minutes of washing it now only takes me 5, leaving me more time for my other queer habits like smelling my cats.
There’s a saying that reads “Always take the time to smell the roses”, well the same is true for cats. I would sniff my cats at least a couple of times a week and it relaxes me, they don’t particularly like it, but hey if they can smell each other’s asses I can sniff their fur. I believe smelling your cats is not only a unique way of showing them how much you love them and but also is a very effective way of checking up on their personal hygiene. After all, on completion of a good snuffing session they inevitably would end up spending an hour bathing themselves. Cats not only smell nice but they are also superb listeners too.

I have had many serious conversations with my cats about pressing issues. They don’t always appear to be enthralled by my discourse, but they always listen and sometimes they would even talk back. Other good listeners are telemarketers. Often times when I am bored and there are no Jehovah Witness around, I would engage telemarketers in heartfelt conversations. I amuse myself by asking them deeply personal questions about their personal lives, why they are still single, how strong they think their marriages/relationships are, whether they have ever cheated on their partners and whether God really exists. You’d be surprised by the responses I have had and how incapable they are of hanging up the phone in your ear. And this brings me to the issue of sex.
Most of us who are lucky have sex often and in order to do so one requires certain products, like condoms and KY. Frankly speaking I find purchasing these products embarrassing as the cashiers always looks at me judgingly and I know they know I am having sex. Buying sex aids became my husband’s responsibility three years ago after a rather awkward situation at a certain drug store with an over eager sales person that involved a crowd, condoms and KY. Let’s just say it was not my finest moment and the sales person had a really bad day as did I. Curiosity did not serve her well, and the same goes for my housekeeper.

Our housekeeper is obsessed with how much stuff costs and her vexing obsession has caused me to develop a paranoia about receipts. You see whenever hubby or I buy something whether it’s new dining room chairs, groceries or clothes she would dig through the trash, find the receipts and comment on how expensive and/or wasteful we are. It has reached a point where I am now shredding and hiding receipts from my maid. Sure we could fire her, but she is such a good housekeeper, sparing with cleaning products and punctual, the discreet disposing of receipts seems a small price to pay! But one day her mammoth guilt trips and assiduous curiosity about my spending habits will lead to a colossal melt down, the type I rarely have, but when I do have them they are epic!
Screaming is something people do who don’t know how to use words and I always try to avoid it. When I have melt downs I don’t raise my voice, I do one of three things – I either cry hysterically, behave like an emotionally disturbed child or become ominously quiet. In all three cases it’s always best to avoid eye contact with me, stay at least three feet way and speak with a quiet mild toned indoor voice. Transgressions of any of these rules while I am in the midst of an emotional supernova is sure to leave anyone traumatized and in need of serious counseling because I will then squeal profanities at you with apocalyptic zeal!

The world is one big queer place filled with strange and wonderfully diverse people and I firmly believe part of being sane requires us to be a little crazy. Embracing the crazy sometimes also opens up a new appreciation for the little things that makes life so very special. Sure, I sometimes behave like a child, I hide receipts from my maid, talk too and smell my cats and wash the dishes with a tiara while singing GAGA, but hey life is too short not to!

Till next time.

Cher Talks About "Burlesque"

Saturday, January 1, 2011

STR8 Against H8 2011 Calendar

In a new and super clever PR twist, the FCKH8 campaign against gay bullying just shot a 2011 calendar with a group of (pretty much naked) straight guys. You can buy the calendar here for $10 ($4 of which will go to fund the fight for equal rights & for queer youth suicide prevention). Check out the behind the scenes video below.

Making of Video: FCKH8 "STR8 AGAINST H8" 2011 Calendar from on Vimeo.

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