November 2007 Archives

Good heavens. Is someone trying to tell me something? Because as a human (well... most of the time I pretend to be one anyway) of, I suspect (hope?), average intelligence, I am starting to develop an inferiority complex.

First I had computers outsmarting me. Then smart phones came along. Suddenly, that little device that I can hold in the palm of my hand has more marketable skills than I have!

And now, according to a recent article I've read, we are about to get smart clothes too!

By smart, they don't mean 'fancy' either.

Apparently some chemical engineers are figuring out how to combine their calculations or formulas (or whatever it is that chemical engineers make/do) with textiles to make fibres and material "that can genuinely act in an intelligent manner."

Does this mean that my shirt sleeve will be able to snatch the pen from my hand and complete the newspaper crossword puzzle if I'm taking too long for its liking to fill out the clues?

Or will we be able to have intellectually stimulating conversations with our Levi's?

Will future mini skirts have the ability to be sexy AND wax lyrical about philosophy and religion? Or will a piece of clothing's intelligence be determined by its length and size? (Actually, that might not be a bad idea. Plus sizes have suffered from discrimination for so long, a bit of respect might be long overdue.)

Or what about those trench coats always favoured by dirty old flashers in the park... will the coat take over and provide the unfortunate viewer with an informative news flash instead of... well, you know.

Could that funny jersey knitted by your aunt Martha have you in stitches with its off-beat, off-colour sense of humour?

Well... no. Not quite. Apparently the boring engineers want their potential smart fabrics be put to use "in the likes of healthcare applications, security, and display of helpful data."

Mmm. Helpful to whom, we wonder? *Cough* Big Brother *Cough.*

So much for relying on clothes to modestly cover up our flaws. Apparently our future wardrobes will be filled with Prêt-à-Porter traitors forcing us to literally wear our hearts on our sleeves.

Well, micro-chipped moccasins or not, we don't expect that too many things will change. Decked out in their green I.D. broek, women will probably still fret in front of the mirror and ask: "Does this bar code make my butt look big?"

The only difference is that it will probably be her ID broek giving her a reply and not her boyfriend/husband/partner.

Kind of gives new meaning to the term smarty pants, doesn't it?

As long as it can iron itself. THEN I will be impressed.

(For some mysterious reason I thought about you when I wrote this. No, I've no idea either.)

Okay, when I promised to continue this story LAST Monday, I really had every intention of honouring the promise. But you know what they say about intentions: Apparently the road to hell used up all the good ones for its paving.

(Mind you, not that any of you seem to have been holding your breaths to read the rest of the saga. Not even any of my regular imaginary readers fell for the lame cliff hanger I employed for the ending! I’m so hurt...)

For those of you who have NO IDEA what I am going on about (as per usual), and who will absolutely refuse to click on the first part of this story, a quick recap:

About two weeks ago, I  got to thinking (NO mean feat, that!) about the sorry state of public transit in South Africa.
All this thinking compelled me to confess my hatred of driving, and the fact that I am terrified of it AND terrible at it. Really, really terrible. As proof that I am one of those drivers that you all love to loathe, I cited the following evidence: When someone 100 kilometres ahead of me taps their brakes, I slam on mine.

See? Told you. Terrible.

Anyway, that post ended up with me reluctantly going for my driver’s license test at a testing ground in a rural area where the female population had grown extinct.

The cop who conducted my test was a decrepit old thing. Seriously, he looked as if he himself was also hovering on the verge of extinction. However, I was not going to allow his looks to diminish my terror. I mean, that movie wasn’t called “Grumpy old men” for nothing!

Sure, I had gender and youth on my side. But that was it. I certainly had no driving skills! However, with fifteen professional driving school lessons below the seatbelt and an empty bank account (courtesy of those same professional driving school lessons), I had no choice but to pass that test. Also, I had a job offer, but I HAD to have my driver’s license before I could accept the job.

So I tried distracting the old man from my awful driving in the only way I knew how. I hiked up my skirt to reveal my ankles (he was old, okay? He hailed from the sort of era that, when a woman showed her ankle, she was branded as loose) and proceeded to talk his ear off.

The poor guy. He didn’t know whether we were coming or going. Which suited me just fine, because it also explained why he didn’t even raise an eyebrow when I rolled the car back all the way to the beginning of the course after attempting the uphill pull away.

I chattered nervously throughout the entire test. And the more I scratched the poor gear box, the louder I talked.

Must’ve worked, because he didn’t say anything. Not that he would’ve been able to get a word in edgewise…

Of course, considering his age he may have been completely deaf, but then that would ruin my next theory.

It was probably all my talking that prompted him to do what he did next. He was probably so afraid that my endlessly gabbing mouth and I would have to come back and that he would be subjected to us again, he ended up passing me. That’s right! I became the first one out of all my siblings to get my driver’s license on the first try!

And now I am the one who is the most reluctant to drive. My sisters? They all have that racing car driver spirit that makes them feel at one with their cars.

If I had any choice, I would hand over my keys forever tomorrow. Seriously. If I never have to drive again in my entire life, I would be happy. I really hate it that much and I know that I am really terrible at it.

Unfortunately we live in a country where our public transit system is virtually non-existent. Or, in the event that it does exist, it is not safe to use for a girl travelling alone. Not having to drive anywhere yet still being able to get everywhere is one of the things I miss the most about living overseas. As I was being transported through the extensive network of train tunnels crisscrossing the underbellies of cities like New York and Washington, D.C., all I had to do was sit back and relax with a book or a newspaper.

So until we get decent, safe, punctual, fast and affordable for all public transportation in South Africa, none of us are allowed to suffer from road rage! Because unfortunately the bad drivers, like me, have no choice but to be on the road as well.

Please keep that in mind, because that girl nervously tapping her brakes in front of you, quite literally driving you crazy? She could very well be me.

So I know that I kept at least one guy occupied this past weekend!

He was such a gentleman. He did all the work and I received all the satisfaction. As if such selfish one-sidedness isn't bad enough, I have to rather shamefully admit that the poor guy also had to work very long and very hard before it was over. I honestly didn't think it would require this much work, you know? But he did it, without any complaint and showing amazing patience. (Or, if he did talk dirty or complain, it wasn't audible to me.) Then again, one would expect nothing less from a professional, wouldn't one?

I don't even think he is too expensive. I wouldn't know, because he rendered his services free for me. Isn't it delightful? He took one look and thought that I needed it. I've not allowed too many people in (one has to have major trust to expose such hidden parts), but I'm so glad I allowed him, because apparently the change, although subtle, is visible to everyone. I never in my wildest dreams thought that it would be, but it is! I know many people accomplish this step on their own, but I just couldn't.

In case you too would desire his services (and it doesn't matter whether you are male or female. He doesn't discriminate), I shall discreetly put you in touch with him.

Besides, you never know when YOU might need a major blog software update.

What? What did you THINK I was on about, ye dirty minded beasts? A new haircut?

(Yeah, yeah... I KNOW that writing something with a lame twist smacks of amateurism. I've never claimed to be a professional, have I? Oh, right...)

The gentleman in question is Miguel from WebaddiCT(s) . He undertook the mammoth task to upgrade this blog from the ancient, dinosaur version of Movable Type to this shiny, brand-spanking new one. Considering that he had no prior knowledge of MT, he did an amazing job, don't ya think? I know that a few of the changes are definitely visible to you guys, but man, you should see how awesome it looks back here now!! So much so, I might even be tempted to write on here every. Single. Day.

What? Don't look at me like that! Stranger things HAVE happened!

What's that? Like what, you ask. Oh, you with all your annoying questions... I'll think about it and get back to you.

Anyway, thank you so much Miguel and all the other WebaddiCT(s)! Who knew that the My Perfect City Challenge contest would have so many gifts-that-keep-on-giving in store for me! As if that radio isn't awesome enough...

Oh, and you know what else? A few weeks ago, I received another prize in the mail! Thank you, rockers at SA Rocks, for the gorgeous t-shirt. I can't wait for that rumoured season... I believe it was called 'summer' in ancient times, when it still dutifully showed up here in the Stellenbosch area every year at around September... to come around again one day. Because I plan to proudly wear it.

After blogging for so long, I feel compelled to make a confession, even though I realise that by sharing my hitherto closely guarded secret, I run the risk of exposing myself as the absolutely uncool, neurotic bundle of nerves that I am. Because you know, that’s one of the many joys of blogging and writing in general: With little effort and a few carefully chosen words, one can seem über-cool and sexy and brave, when that is actually the furthest thing from reality! Which is just another reason why I love writing so much. Yes, I know that you’ve seen right through me from the get-go, but please just humour me, okay?

Here goes. Ready? Brace youselves, because it is bad and you’ll never view me in the same light again!

So read on, if you dare. Just promise to at least try to still respect me tomorrow morning, okay?

is a South African girl living in South Africa. That doesn't sound very original, we know, but you might find it remotely interesting when you learn that she has only recently returned to South Africa for the first time after a nine year, one month and two week (non-stop!) stint in the United States where she accidentally became an outlawed alien (also known, especially in immigration circles, as an 'illegal immigrant.' We prefer the term 'outlawed alien' ourselves). During her reversed exile from her homeland, she kept herself occupied by winning this website (but only after shamelessly bribing the judges) and thus being unleashed on the web where she slowly, leisurely became the World's Laziest Blogger; by being a nanny and by attending sci-fi conventions in search of other aliens. In the US, she also made her sailing debut, her international acting debut, tried and failed to learn the piano, and never learned to cook. She is hopelessly addicted to coffee, dogs (especially Labrador Retrievers), how-to books (with a particular fondness for her copy of the Time/Life A - Z Medical Encyclopedia), and she tends to grossly overuse parentheses (we're not kidding) during her attempts at writing, which you may - if you really have masochistic tendencies - subject yourself to by reading the words to the right of this column. If you REALLY and truly STILL want to know more, you can read her C.V. here.
Or you can stalk her send her some love via e-mail at: redsaid[AT]gmail[DOT]com

The Wish List (Because yes, she really does need more how-to books. Honestly!)


  • Redsaid Author Profile Page: Terra: YES! Wait... you didn't think that I would be this possessed to post for NO REASON, did ya???... [go]
  • Terra.Shield : OH! ... [go]
  • Marco Author Profile Page: Be a bit like serving drinks at AA?... [go]
  • Marco Author Profile Page: I personally think it is a mindset that has been cultivated over the years, and one, if not stemmed,... [go]
  • Redsaid Author Profile Page: Ms. Crazy Cat Lady Pants!!! Squeeeee! Sooo good to see you! (I thought NO ONE was bothering to read ... [go]
  • Ms. Pants : Kitties don't get enough credit sometimes. (All times, if you ask me, but I'm a Crazy Cat Lady.)... [go]
  • Redsaid Author Profile Page: Hey Tamara! I know, right?? That is a tough act to follow indeed. I adored that dentist. He used to ... [go]
  • Tamara Tipton : Well, I am not sure how any dentist could live up to that standard! LOL! I hope your appointment was... [go]
  • Redsaid Author Profile Page: I'm really really glad that I'm not the only one, Po! Sometimes I drive myself mad with all the what... [go]
  • Po : Those questions run through my heads for various times in my life too, that is for sure!... [go]
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