Archive for November, 2010

SEA UNICORNS!

November 30, 2010

Holy shit guys. I just stumbled upon the most incredible piece of information ever to be discovered. It has changed my life on so many levels.

There is a creature… known as…

a Narwhal.

*pause for dramatic effect*

DID YOU KNOW THAT?! HOLY GUACAMOLE! I sure as shit didn’t! So in case you’re stupid and uneducated like me, I will now share with you this life-altering fact.

The Monodon monoceros, or “narwhal,” basically looks like a beluga whale except for one major difference: It has a horn! And not like, a puny rhino horn, nay. A huge, majestic ivory unicorn-horn.

This creature is probably mythological and was hallucinated by some drunk pirates on the Arctic seas, which might explain why I’ve never heard of it before. The drunk pirates then promptly decided to Photoshop tusks onto a herd (pack?) of belugas, create a Wikipedia page, and continue sailing the icy north seas in search of treasure.

Nevertheless, I would like to believe that they do exist. Let’s learn more.

Narwhals can be found in the cold Arctic waters. So basically, if you live in Greenland, I’m jealous of you. Please adopt me and take me out on your boat so that I might catch a real-life glimpse of this amazing sea beast. I will pay you a thousand clams. Or whatever it is you people use as currency.

They eat fish and shrimp and squid and rocks. They’re large and heavy and presumably tasty. They poop glitter and leave a trail of underwater rainbows behind them when they swim. They can dive really deep, and hate dolphins just as much as I do. Basically, they’re the most awesome creatures on Earth.

I will make one my pet.

And it will love me.

Now that we know the facts, it’s time to get to my revolutionary discovery, which will blow. your. mind. Ready? Here’s my philosophy: Back in the days of evolution and stuff, there were just plain old beluga whales. But because both the males and females looked pretty much the same, they had to adopt some sort of secondary sexual attribute (for example, the male lion developed a mane). What did the male narwhals acquire? Tusks. Now check this: horses, right? Both males and females look a little too similar to really tell them apart. So, my point is, even if unicorns don’t exist now, THEY WILL EXIST IN THE NEAR FUTURE!

All is right in the world.

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Okay guys, I’m back

November 30, 2010

I know you’ve all been crying tears of unfathomable sadness due to my absence. Don’t worry – I’m back now.

Here’s what you missed:

My lip ring emergency from Hell. I wanted to get a shorter piercing instead of the one I have now, so I went to a fully legit piercing shop in the mall. They changed it. Unbeknownst to anyone however, it was too short. Two days later, I woke up in the middle of the night to find that it was getting sucked into my lip! So disgusting. I needed a minor operation (using tweezers and a lot of force) to get it out. I cried. Adam laughed on the inside. It was horrible/entertaining, depending on whose side you were on.

Tattoos. Adam finally got his arm filled in, and I finally got my koi.

Remember the snake from earlier? It came back. Twice. Yeah, no jokes. Well I mean, technically, I think they were different ones each time, but everyone else reckoned that since they were the same size and colour, they were probs the same one. I thought it was a clan of cloned demon spawn, coming back for revenge.

We went to watch Harry Potter. I was utterly disappointed. Sometimes I wish I’d’ve never read the books, because the movies really have a lot to live up to. Oh and get this, the cinema was built incorrectly. The degree of the downward slant wasn’t enough to create a straight line of visibility with the screen. Instead, you had to lean sideways, to dodge between people’s heads and the backs of their seats. Adam and I thought this was silly.

They don’t have Starbucks. Or Costa. Or Caribou. Or Second Cup. Nothing. WHAT THE HELL KIND OF PLACE DOESN’T HAVE A STARBUCKS?! The only thing that was around every corner was a Mugg & Bean. I mean, what is that?

Rain. Thunderstorms, to be precise. Oh, it felt good. One night we even went outside and just sat there and watched the lightning display. Free fireworks!

I WAS IN A TANK! Okay, seriously? It was creepy slash awesome in every way. Adam said it wasn’t a tank. I have pictures to prove that it was. If you have me on facebook, you’ll know what I’m talking about. If you don’t, here’s a picture as proof. It was randomly placed on the side of a winding mountainous road.

And that’s all I feel like typing at the moment. I’ll probs create a new post in the future for the things I forgot to mention in this one. So for now, I’m going to leave you with a couple Cyanide and Happiness comics, in case you need an extra dose of entertainment to send you into a humour-induced coma.

Radiators are fun!

Punctuation changes everything.



Top 3 creatures

November 19, 2010

During my short time thus far in South Africa, I have already encountered several strange phenomena. For example, the weather fluctuation on an hourly basis is even more fickle than my five personalities. One moment the weather would be cold and rainy, the next moment would be doused in sunshine, and later yet, you could experience scattered clouds and strong ass winds. It takes some getting used to.

But even more interesting than the weather changes are the strange creatures that live in this place. The following is my Top 3 list of wildlife that are abundantly found in the back yard.

  1. The “Shongololo.” I kid you not. That’s what it’s called. But you might be more familiar with the term “millipede.” I was actually lecturing Adam about how poisonous they are and he claimed they were harmless. Of course when I just researched it, I was wrong and he was totes right. Sort of. One of their defense mechanisms is to emit this poisonous chemical thing that can kill ants and whatnot, but for humans it’ll only cause mild skin discomfort. Bottom line: You can’t die from them. And some people even keep them as pets! Another defense mechanism is curling up into a tight coil so that their little exoskeletons protect their mushy undersides. I’ve stepped on a couple though, and it doesn’t really help.
  2. The Hadida bird. This demon bird is the most obnoxious, evil fucking thing. It’s huge (like, knee height) and just squawks all day. Even at night you can hear them in the trees. They’re devil birds, I tell you. And today I was practicing my Hadida mating call (because I want it to be my new distress signal) and one of them actually landed in the yard and started eyeing me. It was creepy.
  3. The random little black snake that might not have a name. It was a dark night. So we couldn’t really identify the particular species or whatever, but Adam’s mom came screaming into the house that there was a snake in the yard. We went to investigate (and Adam had to toss it over the wall), and it was this tiny little black snake, which to me looked like any other garden snake. But they were convinced that it was evil and poisonous, so I wasn’t allowed to keep it as a pet.

Yeah so those are the winners for this post. There’s many more critters and stuff, but they didn’t make the top three. I saw a sign today that said “Attention: Animal Crossing” but I couldn’t identify the animal in the picture.

Adam said it was some sort of buck. It looked more like a mutated moose/deer/gazelle, but I didn’t say anything.

Successful arrival

November 19, 2010

I know you’re all expecting a long blog post in which I relive (in hi-def detail) my hellish trip to South Africa. Sadly, that’s not going to happen because the majority of the trip was actually pleasant! And as you know, I don’t do pleasant. I’m an expert complainer, but I’m sure as shit not going to sit here and tell you how amazing my flight was and whatnot. So I’ll keep the good parts brief, and elaborate a little on the shitty parts.

My ticket was a cheap, last-minute ticket, so I had to fly Qatar Air DXB-DOH, then I had twenty minutes to rush to my connecting flight DOH-JNB, and then I had about forty minutes to swap over to South African Airways and connect JNB-DUR.

The first journey was cool. Except the douchebag immigration guy made me pay 200 AED because I overstayed my stay by one day. I wanted to cry.

Nasser was randomly on my flight, so we played Who Wants to be a Millionaire (and lost miserably every time) and before we knew it, we were in Doha. I got off the flight and had to walk into a bus, which was to transport me to the terminal. I thought this would be a two minute ordeal, but I was wrong. This fucking bus (driving like 40 kmph) took its sweet ass time. I don’t know if it was taking a scenic route, or if the driver was half asleep, or what the deal was. But it took forever to get to the building. Why couldn’t the plane just have landed closer?

I run out of the bus into the terminal, and there’s a long queue for security x-ray poop. But this little man was like, “Johannesburg? Anyone? Last call for Johannesburg!” And I was like “Yeah that’s me, that’s me! Don’t fly away without me!” So I cut everyone in line, sped through the security and made it to the next plane in the nick of time.

The next flight was a long haul. I think it was like eight hours or something. And the plane was empty! I don’t even think it was half-full! So I got out of my shitty seat and sat all the way in the front, where I was able to have heaps of leg room for the sitting part of the trip, but I could also put all the armrests up and sleep. Which is exactly what I did. It was comfortable and time passed quickly because I slept pretty much the whole time.

When I arrived in Johannesburg, the shit hit the fan. I was under the impression that my luggage was checked through to Durban (because that seemed normal and that’s what the guy said when I was still in the Dubai airport). Apparently we were wrong. I get to immigration, and some big African guy is like “Hi. Give me your passport or I’ll eat your soul and vomit it out in the toilet.” So I gave it to him and avoided any eye contact. He stamped me in, and I politely asked “Can you direct me to the domestic transfer section?” He replied, “Go straight, get your bags, go out, come back in, and figure your shit out. Next!” Wait, what? I have to get my luggage, leave the airport, and then come back in? That sounded wrong. And mind you, I only had about half an hour until boarding.

So I got my luggage, but definitely decided to trust my gut and not follow the exit signs because I really didn’t wanna be stuck in Jo’burg. Instead, I found a “Transfers” sign and went in the direction of the arrow. The check-in guy (if that’s even what he was) just gave me shit the whole time, asking me questions I didn’t know the answers to, and making me very angry slash sad.

Eventually, I managed to get a boarding pass off him, and I checked in my suitcase. Now I had to find my way to gate D4, which was like, up three flights of escalators and on the opposite side of the airport. I found it in time, and boarded the flight. I was now on a shitty little plane, and because of all the cumulonimbus clouds, there was a lot of turbulence. After about 45 minutes though, we landed and I was finally in Durban!

My luggage surprisingly made it, and Adam was already waiting for me when I got out.

It was raining and cold and my hair was getting frizzy and gross, but I was just happy that I made it to my final destination alive.

And that was it. I’m here now, and it’s still cold, but it’s a good change from Dubai weather. I’m being forced to go shower now so we can go out for breakfast, so I can’t really write more, but I will later. I need to tell you about the strange animals that appear in the backyard. And if you want pictures, go check them out on facebook.

P.S. Ma, if you’re reading this, don’t forget to feed Amadeus! If I come back and he’s dead, you will suffer heavy consequences.

Vacation time

November 16, 2010

Well, the day is finally here! I’m going on vacation to South Africa tonight. Depending on what the situation is like over there, I might have to cut down on my blogging. But I’ll do everything in my power to still keep you updated and post regularly!

In the meantime, I will make use of my abandoned drawings, because I have a lot of shit to do and don’t have time for a real post. I’ll leave you with some animals:

This is a draft for what was going to be a full-on post, but I decided that'd've been too Wikipedia-like. So I never pursued it.

Honestly, I don't know why ANYONE likes dolphins. They're douchebaggy, annoying, have creepy teeth, and look sort of like sharks with Down Syndrome.

Yeah there's not much to say about this one. Except that bears are awesome.

Why yawning is contagious (an in-depth study)

November 15, 2010

Okay so I was kidding about the “in-depth study” part. But I did do a little bit of research into the matter, because the phenomenon of a yawn spreading from one person to another has always fascinated me. Regardless of how much Red Bull I drank that day, if you yawn in front of me, I’ll yawn back. But why?

One study (from Discovery News, so you know it’s legit) suggests that yawning when others yawn is “a sign of empathy and a form of social bonding.” Seriously? Yawns are contagious because of some primitive brain-stem function that dates back to our creation? We yawn back because our subconscious wants to feel accepted? Definitely false. Sorry, Discovery News.

Another article (from BBC News, so again legit) describes a yawn as being a process designed to cool down the brain and help one stay awake. Therefore, the reason why we yawn when we see others yawn is because “we are participating in an ancient, hardwired ritual that evolved to help groups stay alert and detect danger.” So let me get this straight. A guard is keeping watch, to protect the inhabitants of a camp site from getting attacked by wild boars. This guard stays awake all night. At around four in the morning, he starts feeling sleepy, so to “cool his brain down,” he yawns. A camper in the tent hears this yawn and also starts yawning. The person in the tent with him also yawns. Before you know it, everyone in the camp is just yawning at each other. So now they’re all awake and alert and can fight the rabid, hungry, wild boars? Something is missing in this story.

Further research only led me to dead-ends. One site claimed that contagious yawning was purely psychological, another suggested that it had something to do with neurons (I didn’t really read that one, it was boring), and yet another stated a bunch of statistics, but never really got to a resolved reason as to why.

So naturally, I came up with my own theory: demon communication. No wait, just hear it out, okay? We all have our little inner demons, right? And we all keep shit bottled up and blah blah, and all this negative bad stuff is usually pushed back into the subconscious, right? And our subconscious usually becomes active while we sleep. And we yawn to stay awake, as in, we’re tired and we’re probs about to go to sleep, right? Still with me? Therefore, when we yawn, we let some of those demons from our tired subconscious escape. And when other people see us yawn, their demons also want to come out. Hence, contagious yawning.

And that also explains why there’s evil demons floating around my house. Particularly in my closet. Bart and I yawn a lot.

Why driving in Dubai sucks

November 14, 2010

One of the major cons of living in Dubai is having to deal with many lanes of horrible drivers. Every time you get in a car, you’re playing a little game called “Am I going to live today?” And I’m not even exaggerating. I mean, it’s fun every once in a while. But every single time? Not so much.

I’m going to describe to you now what some of the main problems are, and at the end of my little lecture, I’m going to share with you a true story of how I almost died yesterday.

People who have never heard of an indicator. I’m going to be honest here. I don’t indicate every time I’m turning or merging or whatever. If there is traffic and I’d like to cut across several lanes to get to my exit, I do. If I’m turning right into a street, and I see a guy that wants to come out of that street, I signal to let him know, “Hey buddy, it’s safe to pull out in front of me, because I’m turning off anyway.” If I’m going to make an illegal U-turn, I at least have the decency to inform the drivers behind me of my plan. What really pisses me off is when people NEVER signal and expect me to be able to read their sick minds, forcing me to either slam on my brakes, beep like an angry maniac, or swerve into another lane.

The WRONG way

The RIGHT way

People who beep 0.0001 zilliseconds after the light turns green. Seriously? I mean, I too was waiting for this change to occur. I too have somewhere to go. And I too understand that green means go. Do you really need to be obnoxious?

Irritating and unnecessary

Acceptable and cool

People who don’t understand the concept of a lane. Lanes are wide enough to accommodate a full-sized SUV plus like, a motorbike next to it or something. They’re pretty wide. You have no excuse to be straddling the lane, thereby making me wonder if you’re near-sighted, or drunk, or playing a game, or trying to come into my lane without warning (again, the lack of signaling becomes an issue). Can you just stick to your side and leave me alone?

People who drive slowly in the goddamn FAST lane. It’s called “fast” for a reason, you stupid guy. The minimum you should be driving in this lane is the speed limit. Exceeding the speed limit is usually preferred. But if you wanna mosey around at 80 kmph, get the fuck outta my lane. Go creep around in one of the right lanes, the ones reserved for old people and 1.6 L Peugeots and large slow trucks.

And there’s many more problems that I just don’t have the energy to discuss: people who brake spastically, people who have young children and live animals crawling around on their dashboard, people who drive way too close behind you, etc. I understand that these issues aren’t only a problem in Dubai, but everywhere else too. However, in “everywhere else” it doesn’t happen every day, every time you get in the car, with every driver.

Now on to my story of near-death.

I was approaching a green light that started flashing yellow when I was about 25 meters away. There was a car in front of me, and no one else. The car in front of me didn’t brake, which translated to “I’m going to run this yellow slash maybe-red light, tee hee!” which was excellent, because I also planned to drive straight through it. Mind you this was a small intersection, with no cameras, there were no cops, and it was like eleven o’clock at night so there were few cars around.

Anyway, when the car in front of me got about 10 meters away, the light turned solid yellow. I was still following closely behind, and the car in front still made no indication of braking.

FIVE METERS FROM THE GODDAMN LIGHT THAT WAS STILL YELLOW, douchebag decided to chicken out and slam on his brakes. Not even a huge problem, because as I said, I checked my mirrors, and there wasn’t another car in sight. Technically I could veer into the left lane and still happily go through.

Just as I was getting into the left lane (by a thing of habit), I checked my blind spot and zeeoooom! this car whizzed past me, through the now-red light. I don’t even think it was a car, actually. I think it was a Lamborghini rocket. I swerved back into my lane by reflex, but now I had a stationary car three meters in front of my face. So I had to squeal to a jerking stop and when I came to a complete halt, I was literally practically touching the guy’s car. Not that I had an accident, but I think we were touching.

When I regained feeling in my face and the light turned green again, I shakily sped off. You have to keep in mind that this entire ordeal took place over a period of about two and a half seconds. And the worst part was, like three lights later, I caught up with the zooming guy, which really pissed me off. Because if you’re going to speed in such a way that one second you’re invisible in all the mirrors, and the next second you zoom past my window nearly scraping the body off and killing me instantly, I shouldn’t be able to catch up with you.

Anyway, the moral of the story is: Never try to run a light if someone is in front of you. Move over first, and then run.


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