The musings of a silly student... And not much else.

The musings of a silly student... And not much else.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Rhodes Daily Photo Blog

Hey everybody!

I just started a new blog and I hope you will all go check it out (and rate the content, and become fans, and revisit it regularly). I just heard that I have an article published in Jiggered Magazine - a magazine I have loved since the first time I laid eyes on it (and it costs money, too!). I will catch you all up on my life and hopefully start my experimental blog sequence sometime in the next two weeks.


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Listless and Subjective

Ahh, lists. The list - the loveliest thing that has ever been invented since the elephant - has been keeping busy people from doing their real work for centuries. Lists have been keeping people forgetful for almost as long, and lists have provided people with easy-to-process, mostly meaningless and completely irrelevant information for as long as they have existed.

I tried to have a separate blog for my lists for a few hours, but this bugged me and I deleted it.

Here is my first list, a list that is important for all people to peruse and apply to their daily lives...

The Top 10 Best Lists for Anyone:

10. The to-do list:

Everyone knows that to-do lists are important, but nobody really knows why. We cling to them as though they held our life essence and we never stray from them. Therefore, I thought them worth a mention (and not much else). Here is a cool blog by Sasha Cagen called "To-do List" that shows how your to-do lists reveal your inner creep. Just kidding. But not really.

9. The favourite music/movies/books/art list:

This list has been keeping people pretentious in the fuss-free, easily accessible way they prefer for years. Need to impress a potential sexual partner a party? Whip out this bad boy. No need to get into details about your personality or your pets. Here is a list of lists of bests for if you couldn't come up with some yourself.

8. The list of obscurities:

This list acts in much the same way as the previous list, but it includes only music, movies, books, art (and their creators) that nobody else knows about. This list is your secret weapon when you meet somebody you really want to impress, or if it's someone that just pisses you off. Either way, it will serve the desired purpose of intimidating and bullying your conversation partner into admiration and/or submission. Here is a website that, well...
Uhm... Hell, I don't even know.

7. The list of stuff you'd do in a broken elevator/on a long bus trip/waiting

Everyone knows this list. It is usually filled with fun, inspiring and productive (or at least giggle-inducing) stuff to do when you have nothing else to do. Aside from that, it is usually drawn up in the precise situation it is being drawn up for. Who really has a list like this prepared for that wait of doom? I do. Making lists is the only point on it.

6. The dream list

This list is a list of dreams you would most love to have once you perfect the art of lucid dreaming. First on mine, for example, is that I would like to dream about perfecting lucid dreaming. Apparently, once you learn how to do it, you'll have the most fun you've had in ages. Which is why i have had the foresight to recommend making a list of the dreams you'd most like to have - and then HAVE THEM. Bahahaha.

5. The list of back-up plans

When there is a lot resting quite precariously on something you need to do, having a list of alternate options is important. Always have a back-up to-do list for when your first to-do list fails. Don't make this list too long - ever. Sometimes you can get too confused and your lists will end up devouring you (no, seriously, they eat you whole) and you will never be able to do what you needed to do on your to-do list in the first place. Even writing about back-up to-do lists has got my back do up to... What?

6. The contact list

Some people call this "The Little Black Book" - but I don't recommend one if you want to be taken seriously in life (because, no, life is not a Sex and the City episode and most things those four gals do will probably be frowned on and/or illegal where you live). A contact list, for any serious people, is a list of people you can bug for information (if you are a journalist), favours (if you are a journalist or a no-good bum) and for making further contacts (if you are a super-networking cyborg). Build it up, use it wisely, never share it.

5. The list of places you'd most like to visit:

This list is just great when you're trying to get to know people. If they want to visit London, you know they've probably never been out of South Africa. The rest of Africa? Probably a pretentious asshole. Rio de Janeiro or Mauritius? Run from this girl (it'll be a girl) like you've never ran before. She is just softening you up before she spends everything you own on self-tanner and Cosmopolitans at the local Holiday Inn and runs away with the pool boy when your resources are depleted. To see some other people's opinions on their favourite holiday destinations (use the tips I have taught you), click here.

4. The "If you had three wishes BLAH BLAH BLAH" list

...just because everyone is always going to ask you, it is worth preparing a cool answer for. Make it something like 1.) To get out of this conversation 2.) For your face to then explode comically and 3.) To own a prostitution ring. Or something.

3. Your list of favourite websites

This list is important to have (and to keep accessibly bookmarked in your internet browser) because sharing your favourite websites is fun. You can waste more and more people's time with websites and URLs that they will never check out, even if it is "the best thing since"* and even if you make them swear on their mother's lives that they will. They won't. But it's fun anyway.

2. The shitlist

No, I don't mean The Definitive Shit List*, I mean the list of people that you hate. The concept of the shit list, first introduced to me by an ex-boyfriend of my mother's, is that every person who wrongs you ends up on it. It is the perfect tool with which to intimidate, guilt trip, scare or insult somebody. Keep one, and keep it up to date. And preferably public.

1. The funniest Youtube videos list

This list is probably the most crucial list for any self-respecting person in the world to have. Who doesn't like videos of cats playing the piano, autotuned everything (with nuts you'll love) and people falling in ways you couldn't even lucid-dream of. do it.

Let me know what you thought of my first list and share yours as well!

* Made you look.

Blogging about Blogging about Blogging about...

I have chosen the free time I have today to catch up on some blogging, following some very interesting (and kind of inspiring) lectures on digital media and blogging as a social media platform by Mr. Jude Mathurine as part of the Journalism and Media Studies course - an Introduction to Digital Media.

There are so many things you can blog about, so many different ways to blog about these things, and different facets of the digital experience that many bloggers are not even aware of. I have been thinking about the possibility of doing a sample blog-post in every genre we discussed - this will be a very interesting exercise and will (possibly) yield some quite entertaining results.

Let me know what you think of this idea?

Monday, September 27, 2010

Just Listen

Today, I am having a brilliant day. I am busy crafting a beautiful, wonderful story for online journalism mentoring program as part of a Journalism assignment and I am loving every minute of it. Getting in touch with sources across the country is a tough task, but I must say that I have approached it with much gusto and I feel that I deserve the success I am experiencing.

The rest of my life is quite a blur at the moment, and I would like to fill you in - at a later stage.

Right now, I am simply dropping by to deliver two key points:

1. Never be so busy looking at the sky that you miss the dog poop you are about to step in.

2. Always do your buttons from the bottom up.

...I wish I had pictures of all the people I loved in my room right now. I think I will go print some this week, and put them up all over.

PS: Can you believe that I only have two months left in this cozy little res room?

Monday, September 20, 2010

Easily, life slips on by...

The weather in Grahamstown today is chilly, but not predominantly. It is also melancholy and tired, but very satisfied. It is as if the bones of the world, after an achingly hard day’s work, are content in the knowledge that they will soon rest, and be stretched out across the seas, over all the beauty that is the world itself.
That is how I feel today – I feel a nostalgic sadness, a pleased sigh of contentment, a resignation to the day and the week and the month and the year and the life that is mine and can never be changed with anything else, and I am happy. Upon arriving at my modest residence room at 5 o’clock in the glum afternoon, I was struck with a sudden rush of wistfulness that bubbled in my nostrils and fizzed in my brain as it whirred past my eardrums. This weather, the light in the room when I opened the door, the smell that is finally my own, but still my mother’s...
It all reminded me of being young – taking duvet days and listening to the rain outside, taking in the smell of the new earth – and of being older – falling asleep doing an art assignment and waking up to find the house submerged in the half-dark of such a late afternoon hour. I remember thinking that I had never felt so cold, so lonely, and so utterly small. I had also never understood life so easily.

On the topic of having your own smell. Every single person has a smell, and buildings and homes and institutions and companies have their own smells as well. When you are in your own house, you never smell its smell, but when you return to it after some time absent it hits you like only home can.

You will never smell your own smell, but I remember reading about some studies done that claimed that each person has a particular smell and that people who are a good genetic match to that person will love it. Put simply – or romantically – this means that your soul-mate will adore the way you smell. I don’t know if I believe that this is the case in all people or in all relationships – surely, there are people that are in relationships and dislike or feel neutrally about their partner’s smell, and surely there are people who love each other’s smell but can’t stand each other’s anything else.

Back to the topic – having your own smell. I remember realising that our house had a smell quite distinct to any other, and that every house smelled different. People might smell like their houses, but they also have a distinctly individual element to their own smells. I remember wondering whether – and when – I would acquire my own smell, and what my own house would smell like one day. Although a residence room is not a house and lacks the smell of a kitchen, living room, bathroom, child or partner, it is quite a good litmus test for my personal smell. I don’t mind it, but imagine disliking your own smell? That must be what drives air freshener sales...

Next year, I will have a flat (what I will call my ‘practice house’), complete with kitchen, living room, bathroom, spare room, and my own Ben. This will be the true house-smell test. What kind of cooking will we do? What soaps will we use? Will we have flowers in our house? These are all relevant questions when considering your house smell.

Go on, all of you. Go smell your house.

Safe from the outside world

So, I bet you are all wondering what I have been up to the past while! Here is an updated mini-biography, the one I use for freelance work I do for Women Inc.

Kayla is currently a first-year Journalism and Media Studies student at Rhodes University in Grahamstown, South Africa. She is the editor of the Comment & Analysis section of student newspaper Activate and she a writer for the Politics, Business, and Features sections, as well as a sub-editor for the paper. Her other subjects are Economics, English, History and Sociology. She devours books and sees herself as one of the blessed few who actually enjoy working. She is involved with student society SHARC (Student HIV/AIDS Resistance Campaign) at Rhodes and has recently graduated as a certified Peer Educator. She is also a Media Representative for SHARC. She is the community engagement representative for the African Drum Society and is currently working with up-and-coming student society Common Ground in the same capacity. She loves watching art films and her guilty pleasure is shopping.

There are many things in this biography you already know, and some you didn’t. I have updated it a few times in the last two weeks, because I don’t really know where to draw the line when it comes to getting involved. Should one? I haven’t encountered any problems as of yet, but these commitments are still young. I hope that I can give them all the attention they deserve, and keep a little for myself.

Right now, me-time amounts to Monday movie nights with Ben, Friday morning baths, Friday laundry days, Saturdays with Ben and Sunday afternoon picnics (for which I have become quite renowned) with friends.

The rest of my days are divided between lectures, tutorials, normal meetings, meetings where I lead and meetings where I am led, preparatory meetings and recapitulating meetings... Tests, essays, assignments, reports, preparations and plans, putting up posters and spreading words. I do it all.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

So, there I go, shuffling from the world...

When you don't believe in magic, or stories, or something that you can't see, I believe that your life is probably not really worth living. Benjamin told me a lovely story while he was cuddling me tonight, about a young boy prince who unlocked the evil of the world (and whose favourite dish was spaghetti) on a quest for a magical flower.

We make up stories like this sometimes - the recipient of the story has to come up with three or four elements they would like to encounter in the story, and the storyteller then incorporates them into a story - short, sweet and simple, or elaborate, daring and ethereal. Whatever you feel like.

Lying on his chest, I allowed my mind the freedom to wander for the first time in very, very long... Drawing sparkling pictures in my mind's eye of elegant castles, deep and mysterious caves, dazzling flowers, and mountains that seem to roll on forever, I was truly happy for that moment. And I still am, knowing that this beauty is right there, under anybody's tongue, waiting to be born in another's brain.

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - The Ship Song

Come sail your ships around me
And burn your bridges down
We make a little history, baby
Every time you come around

Come loose your dogs upon me
And let your hair hang down
You are a little mystery to me
Every time you come around

We talk about it all night long
We define our moral ground
But when I crawl into your arms
Everything comes tumbling down

Come sail your ships around me
And burn your bridges down
We make a little history, baby
Every time you come around

Your face has fallen sad now
For you know the time is nigh
When I must remove your wings
And you, you must try to fly

Come sail your ships around me
And burn your bridges down
We make a little history, baby
Every time you come around

Come loose your dogs upon me
And let your hair hang down
You are a little mystery to me
Every time you come around

Come sail your ships around me
And burn your bridges down
We make a little history, baby
Every time you come around

We Take Mystery (To Bed)

Being back at Rhodes has spun me into a vortex of confusion and stress faster than you could say "beach holiday OVAR". I will give you a brief overview of the occupation of my mind over the last two (only two?!) days.

The usual lectures, sucking up time and energy and not yielding any significant or visible results as yet - psh. Tutorials for which I still have to prepare. Meetings. Tests. Essays. How is it possible to get this involved this early on in a term? Do you all know that I am officially the Community Representative for African Drum Society? I hope so.

Thinking and thinking and thinking, not a moment's rest, and I keep thinking about thinking, and now I am thinking about thinking about thinking. Life sucks when you can hardly live it for trying to figure it all out. I think we should all stop trying to find reasons for things, to find neatly packaged definitions and thoughts and ideas that explain life, because life is incredible and inexplicable, and if you keep trying to define it, it'll slip away before you even realized you were alive.

So that's that about that. I know, it's all been said before, but I don't think enough people have taken notice of what exactly that means. Most people just take it as another 'Truth of the Month', sampling it, rolling it around on their tongues, trying it out for palatability and leaving it in the corner when the next existential fad comes along. It's not an answer, or finality, or even a thought. It's just a recommendation, mostly for myself, to remember how to be alive.

On another note, ban gospel music in my res. It's really not appropriate at midnight or 6am. No, wait. It is never appropriate. Am I supposed to be tolerant of their music because it has religious subject matter? If they can tell me to turn down my certifiably awesome music, they should stick theirs up their bums.

That's that with that, then.