23 Cool Things To Do. Or Not.


1. Use your head and listen to your heart.

2.  Aim for being imperfect. You’ll probably succeed. And success is good for you.

3. Make rules and then use your head, listen to your heart and if your rules don’t apply any more, toss them. When you’re making new ones, use your head, listen to your heart.

4. If you’re going to speculate on the future, make sure your speculations make you happy and optimistic about life and you and everything. If they don’t, find something else to do other than speculating. (Hint, see 7, 11, 12…)

5. Avoid smugly spiritual people. In fact, avoid smugly anything people.

6. People who believe they’re better than you usually have a tremendous skill you don’t have – bullshitting themselves.

7. Snuggle up as often as you can to a furry animal that loves you and wants to be snuggled up to.

8. The word anal sounds horrible because it is horrible. When you see it disguising itself as a human, run as fast and as far as you can.

9. Do something new for God’s sake. And yours.

10. Bored is angry.

11. Let yourself fall in love once in a while. And have sex. Sex is good for you. At least I think that’s what somebody said to me once.

12. Eat dark chocolate more than once in a while. Especially if the sex thing isn’t happening. Mind you, if that’s the case, there’s always the other option… Have the chocolate afterwards. Or before. Or during.

13. If you want a face lift, to hell with all the smugs who say you should learn to love yourself for who you are.

14. If you want something you can’t afford, find a way. Try to stop short of robbing a bank but if you must, then be Hollywood about it and don’t get caught. Hey, you can even write the book or the screenplay and sell it to George Clooney. If you don’t know how to write, here’s my number…

15. Get the heck out of whatever one horse town you inhabit in some part of you. Jump on that one horse before somebody else does and ride on out of town.

16. This whole business of worshipping at the altar of balance is getting out of hand. Go on, take a risk; get unbalanced now and then.

17. Which would you rather have on your tombstone: “she was always soooo nice to everybody” or “damn bitch drove me crazy sometimes”.

18. If there’s something you don’t like about yourself find a way to change it. If you don’t want to be bothered… Oh. I got nothing for you then.

19. If somebody bullies you, clock them.

20. Too much insurance = not enough living. It’s a proven mathematical formula discovered in the tombful depths of some Egyptian queen or other. Or was it Euclid? Darwin? Well, whether they said it or not, I just did.

21. If you’re feeling blue be kind to yourself. Whatever you do, lecturing yourself into a false state of blissful happiness is neither listening to your heart nor using your head. Blue is blue. Better to cry and have somebody hold you or snuggle up to a furry animal that likes it and loves you. Pretty soon you won’t be feeling blue any more.

22. Take up the hula hoop.

23. It’s much more fun to be sassy than overly well-mannered. On the note of fun, have some. Have a lot. Throw balance right out of the window on this one.


Dirty Washing and Dumb Rules

Isn’t it a strange culture we have, built on rules that keep everybody separated from their natural joy?  The great lubricator of the system of rules is fear.  Keeps everybody worrying, keeps everybody down.

Fear of not working hard enough, fear of not being clever enough, fear of not making enough money, fear of getting old, fear of doing something wrong, fear of anyone seeing what you’re really feeling, fear of really feeling what you’re really feeling, fear of looking like a fool, fear of actually being a fool, fear of – okay, okay, I’m going to stop soon but there’s one more.

Fear of not being cool, and fear of letting your washing be seen hanging on the line.  The latter is a big taboo here in South Africa, amongst a certain class of people.  Who coincidentally revere the Italians.  They build villa-like houses with Italian marble everything, take Italian lessons, go to Italy for their expensive holidays.  Most of all they love Italian fashion, and buy their clothes in Milan, which makes all their friends think so much the more of them.

When those clothes are dry, and on their bodies, they are the ultimate status statement.  Yet when they’re wet, and on the washing line, fear of not being cool gives way to terror of letting your Washing Be Seen.  Even though we idolise Italians who hang their washing out to dry all over the place.

I wonder who made the rule up, who first decided it wasn’t cool for your neighbours to see your wet clothes.  It must have been one person, no?  Or could a whole nation one day have woken up, sat up in bed in a fright, and said in unison: ”NO WET CLOTHES IN PUBLIC!”

Of course wetness doesn’t apply to bathing costumes.  Which is a relief.  So they all sat up in bed and said their unison thing, paused when it struck them that bathing suits are made to be exhibited wet, and all said once again in unison “EXCEPT FOR BATHING SUITS!”.  Then they paused again as they thought that one through “EXCEPT WHEN THEY’RE NOT ON OUR BODIES!”

Some of the rules we live our lives by here are a bit absurd and meaningless. In fact, most of them are. We take them so seriously even though they rob us blind of all our joy, our capacity to be creative, to experience the new, to be happy and love each other, to spread our wings and fly.

And all the while we’re following them we’re dreaming about the good life, the free life, the untramelled life, the life we’re going to have when we’ve made enough money.  Until one day we die in our rule-bound prisons.  Oops. That didn’t go so well, did it?

Emilio’s got the right idea.  When in doubt about the washing – clean or dirty – take a nap.

My Geeky Love Affair with Bill Gates and a New Laptop

Image representing Bill Gates as depicted in C...

Image via CrunchBase

Well, the Bill Gates bit is pushing it, I’ll admit, no offense Bill, you just don’t look like my kind of guy.  But I love my laptop and I’ve finally given in to the seduction of Windows.  It’s just so clever.  I’ll never be able to get my head around how it works, but that’s the beauty of it all, I don’t have to, any more than I have to understand how a tiny seed turns into a huge tree, or cow eats grass which becomes more cow.

Life is full of these miracles and the wonderful thing about being human is that a) we’re always falling in love with somebody or something and b) we’re always making mistakes but it doesn’t matter because either we learn something brilliant from them or somebody has created a safety net and our mistakes don’t matter at all.

Enter Bill Gates again.  Here’s the thing about my laptop.  The transition from my old desktop with its nice big keyboard to my new toy with its miniscule and ridiculously sensitive keyboard  would have been fraught with the trauma of lost files, inadvertently transposed words and sentences, things sent to outer space to get totally lost and just general misadventure.

Such is the drawback of sensitivity.  Bad enough having it in my personality, now I have to deal with it in a laptop.  But wonder of wonders, every time I do something I shouldn’t have or didn’t  mean to, Windows happily has already saved for me before my digital faux pas – as in faux pas of the digits.  And then of course there’s that lovely “undo” capacity.  You made a mistake?  Just take it back.

Ha.  Life without consequences.  I could get addicted to it.  So this transition to something new and exciting has been – well, new and exciting.  I get the greatest kick out of working on my bed, just like in the movies, or just anywhere else I feel like.  There’s something about not being confined that utterly thrills me.  When I was a small child apparently I refused to sleep in the same place during the day.  I had a pillow and blanky and I chose my spot every time.

My mother told me about that often, but I could never remember it.  Now I can at least identify the feeling, that of a triumphant kid free to make a choice from moment to moment where I’ll sit or lie down and work.   I went to a bookstore café the other day with my laptop, just in case I wanted to write.  As it turns out I didn’t, because Vogue and Vanity Fair vied for my attention.  But I felt like a big shot just carrying my darling around.

Who says love has to hurt?  This geeky love affair is bringing me nothing but pleasure, pleasure, pleasure.