Wednesday, September 3

Here's the thing about being an oddball

I'm pretty weird.

I don't say that in a twitter-bio "I'm soooo crazy!" kind of way. My weirdness is a practical part of my everyday life. For the most part, I'm a fan of my eccentricities, but they do come with a stock standard amount of bullshit.

I can't take credit for some of my weirdness: my ridiculous name, or my Russian heritage. Some of my weirdness is intentional: the way I sometimes dress, the things I choose to say or post, my hair (which was between purple, blue and green for the better part of the past year.) Still other bits of me, I'm not even sure of: my accent, for example. Did I choose not to acclimatise to the other kids' way of talking in Grade 1, because I'd decided I was a special BAMF whose cartoon voice was totes adorbs? I don't remember. I just know if I try to do a South African accent now, I sound like I've had a stroke.

I also walk funny. I walk a little splay-footed, and apparently I have a 'bouncy' walk. And I walk on my tip toes a lot of the time. I DON'T KNOW WHY. STOP ASKING.

Ahem.

Just for the peace of mind of those who actually know me ( so 98% of my blog audience [the other 2% is google traffic looking for naked Misha Collins pictures]) I don't feel seething hatred every time you ask me about my idiosyncrasies. People are naturally curious and I get that. I get hella curious about other people. But I only ask them about their weirdness once I've put in the time to get to know them.

What does inspire seething hatred is this:

People who think, because I am strange, that they're entitled to a performance.

"Pronounce your name for me?" is a constant one. I mostly get it from people behind computers needing to fill out forms. They can see it clearly, all they need to do is type it in. But no. They want me to say it. Because it's weird! Wow! Here I am, saying my own name over and over like a fucking Pokemon.

See, just because I disrupt your sense of order doesn't mean I'm a fucking exotic bird you have to interrogate (who the fuck would interrogate a bird anyway?) to find out its origins and reason for being. You are not a customs official at the aviary border patrol.

"Why is your hair purple?" It's genetic. No seriously, what am I supposed to say? Because I'm protesting the abuse of lavender fields? Do other people have compelling reasons for dyeing their hair? Not one single fucker asked me why my hair was red. Or brown. Or blonde (though somebody should have, that was a bleak couple of months.)

"You're Russian? Say something in Russian!"
Okay. Dance, monkey! Dance!
"That was English..."
Yeah.

"Why are you walking on your tiptoes?" BECAUSE THE FLOOR IS LAVA. No seriously, I have no idea why I do this. And. It. Doesn't. Matter.

Seriously. None of this matters. It's all just different flavours of the same uncomfortable one-sided conversation. "You're disrupting my sense of order! Explain yourself so I can categorise you!"

I'm still working on a not-ridiculously-rude way to opt out of these interactions. Like, maybe pulling my shirt over my head and hovering away?

Suggestions welcome.



Sunday, July 20

How to give up on things

So much for a month of bloggery right?

At least I have an excuse this time - I'm back in the real world as a full-time worker bee person.

I'm at a very exciting and forward-thinking company now, and it's getting me thinking about all sorts of new ideas for my own writing / creative pursuits. Problem is: following through. It's a bitch.

So if you have any ideas on how to NOT give up on things, leave them in the comments. Which I will totally read all the way through. Promise.

Friday, July 4

Poltergeists vs. kitchen scissors

"You're all gonna die in there! All of you! You are gonna die!" - Kane, Poltergeist II.

Poltergeist II was a really bad movie.

I pulled that poetic quote from IMDb because I have almost no memory of Poltergeist II. I watched it when I was about seven or eight years old. It was a textbook case of I-wanna-watch-this-because-I'm-brave-no-wait-dear-God-this-is-traumatizing-I'll-stop-watching-before-I-get-scarred-forever-too-late.

Fast forward almost two decades, and this is what I've spent my late evening tweeting:

Full disclosure: I started tweeting to distract myself because by then I needed to pee.


In my mind, murderers and demons are interchangeable and equally plausible threats.
My exact words were, "Uh, so if there are any murderers or rapists around, could you make yourself known? Thanks..." and then legitimately waiting for a response. Holding kitchen scissors. I went for kitchen scissors because I felt like a knife was just overly dramatic, and if someone walked in on me I could always suddenly pretend to be making a salad or something.

 Girl Has Most Ironic Death Ever. 

Aaand we're back to regularly scheduled programming.

Poltergiest II probably didn't break my brain and turn me from a rowdy, confident kid into a ball of anxiety who couldn't be left in a room alone. But it certainly didn't help. Something about the way a normal big-haired 80's family had their everyday life invaded by unexpected, sticky, horrible things definitely stuck with me.

And today's Writers' Boot Camp prompt is "one of my greatest fears."

So my biggest fear - well, besides the existential stuff like never making a mark on the world - certainly my biggest-by-volume fear is the strange intruding on the familiar. A sudden grab, an unexpected voice, a pair of blinking unfamiliar eyes looming in the dark. Typical Stephen King stuff.

You know they say people spend most of their lives worrying about stuff that'll never happen? Maybe. But come on. If there were a psycho in my shower, I'd rather slam on the lights and walk confidently into the room holding kitchen scissors than just kinda assume everything will be fine.

Psychos are shit-scared of kitchen scissors. Everyone knows that.

Wednesday, July 2

And when I see how sad you are, it sorta makes me happy

Long-time readers of this blog may remember that I've discussed my favourite words before, which led to a tiny meme, hilariously odd offshoot posts and my blog ranking quite highly on Google for the keyphrase "Benedict Cumberbatch weequashing."

But it's been two years since that post, and my Writers' Boot Camp challenge today is to list my top five favourite words. So, putting aside Benedict Cumberbatch weequashing in crisp twilight (for just a minute) here they are. In no particular order.

Just

Just like, just let me tell you this one thing. It's just that I just love the word just and I just can't help myself when I'm just writing or whatever to just slip justs in wherever they just might be.

Editing for me is just about 80% just-removal. And 15% wondering why I didn't just study engineering so I could just have a real job by now. And just 5% actual work.

What is it about the word 'just' that's so appealing to my unconscious brain? Is it a verbal act of minimizing, making my words and ideas smaller and less significant, (it's not an idea, it's just an idea)? Or maybe it's about justice, stating that my words are fair and just and RIGHT.

Whatever the root, it's just annoying.

Direwolf

Yes, I've been watching a lot of Game of Thrones. And I'd probably be a Stark because I enjoy bulky layers and I'm really rubbish at staying alive. But come on, doesn't the word direwolf send a shiver down your spine? Doesn't it instantly invoke fear, respect and awe?

Who's a bloodthirsty puppy? Who's an awe-inspiring fluff? You are! Yes you are!
Also, you can buy a direwolf now. Okay, you can buy a giant grey Alsatian, but STILL.

Facetious

Means "treating serious issues with deliberately inappropriate humour." Which is what I do best. I was never quite sure what this meant until about a year ago, and now it's one of my favourite words. It feels really fun to say. FUH SEE SHUSS. You could definitely incorporate that into a killer rap. Also, it's fun to just drop it into casual conversation when you can tell the other person isn't QUITE sure what it means but just kinda rolls with it and pretends that they do.

Schadenfreude

Just listen to this. I can't really make a stronger case for this beautifully cruel German word. The title of this post is from the opening lines of this song. I'll be forever grateful to Ali for introducing me to Avenue Q.

Monkey

Pet names are gross, aren't they? Love is gross. Gross and awesome. (Don't worry, I have an equally ridiculous pet name for him.)

So I guess my favourite sentence would be something like "Not to be facetious, but I just get schadenfreude when that monkey just rides his direwolf."

THEY CALL HIM THE YOUNG WOLF.


Tuesday, July 1

A blogging challenge and deathbed confessions

It's July! I'm still reminding myself to buy 2013's Christmas presents. How is it July even.

The lovely Roxana, with whom I used to work, has invited me to join Writers' Boot Camp this month. That means 60 minutes of blogging for every day in July.

I'm not usually up for these meme-like challenges, but looking through the posts people have already put up today, I got all inspired and I figured - why the hell not? (Which is obviously how all great creative ventures start.)

So here goes. Day one's topic:

Even if you know me well, you don't know this.

I have freckles!

Wait...

I'm awkward!

Um...

I shot a man in Reno just to watch him die?

Sorry internet, I have no deathbed (blogbed?) confessions. I'm incredibly lucky to have a handful of truly close, loving relationships and if you know me well - then - here I am! (Don't tread on me.)

But obviously, I'd like to share something in this post. So here it is - not a confession so much as a question mark, a parallel universe, a what-if.

I've always wondered if I could have made it in the performing arts. 

I understand if that dorky little thought made you chuckle. If you know me, you know I'm one of the most awkward, self-conscious people in the world. I can barely make eye contact with people, and I can't remember a time when anxiety wasn't my constant companion. That's why I love writing! You can backspace, edit, and construct a confident tone even if you actually feel like your insides are being microwaved.

So you might wonder why on earth I'd think performance wouldn't be my worst nightmare.

You know what's weird? Probably my favourite memory from high school was being a co-MC of our grade eight play. I was on stage for maybe a minute, I messed up, and afterwards someone told me I sucked - but it was SO MUCH FUN. I felt completely at home on that stage. I laughed off my mistake and a hall full of bored parents even cheered for us! I mean, how cool is that?

If some angelic sponsor descended into my life and let me go back to varsity for another degree, I'd study drama or music. Maybe it's the compelling secret urge of every insecure introvert to be the centre of attention. Maybe I would just love more storytelling skills. It's probably a little bit of both. With a massive wad of Gen Y entitlement to fame and fortune stuck in the middle.

So there it is, something you probably didn't know about me! It's not so much a regret - I don't honestly think I would be incredible at acting, or singing, or stand-up - but it's a little something about me that I don't usually share.

I've always toyed with the idea of having a youtube channel, and discovering Anna Akana has re-ignited that urge. But I honestly don't know what I could do with video that I couldn't do better with writing. Except maybe karaoke. And drunk makeup tutorials. And drunk karaoke.

Wait, all karaoke is drunk.

Nevermind.


Friday, May 16

HappyThankYouBeerPlease - a sneak peek at Beer House Fourways

You know the old adage, "Don't go to Fourways on purpose"? No? Is that just something I say to myself? Right.

Well, Fourways has never been my favourite place - it's crowded, the drivers are mean, and the fake sky at Monte Casino gives me Truman Show anxiety.

But the other day I was invited - in my capacity as Dasia of Dasia Has A Blog, monger of puns, slayer of webseries, queen of the scandals and the first Ben - to the roof wetting of a new Beer House establishment in  - you guessed it - Fourways.

And so, to the not-so-old adage of "Don't go to Fourways on purpose", I said, "Screw you - FREE BEER!"


One of my favourite things under the sub-category of FREE STUFF.

Beer House, like most cool hipsterish things, is originally a Cape Town brand. How will they fare in heartless, stingy Joburg? Pretty well, I think. They've got a brilliant location - big and airy, it used to be a Keg apparently - in Pineslopes Centre, right next to Stones. With Billy The Bum's in the same centre, Beer House is the prime spot to chill away from the randy teenagers of Stones and the bad decisions of Billy's. Or at least get the night going at a place where you can actually hear your friends talk. (God, I'm old.)

This isn't even the free beer talking (anymore) - I seriously can't wait to go to this place once it opens. They have a huge selection of craft beers (99 bottles on the wall, 20 on tap - it's like a beer fest that's on ALL THE TIME) and though I've got the refined palate of a raccoon, the sheer variety gets me giddy. The people who run it are super friendly and very knowledgeable, sending me straight to a brilliant brew after my nearly-useless hint of "Um, I don't hate Amstel? I drink Corona on pay day?"

No, of course I don't remember which one I had. It was the tap on the left, okay?

Don't hold me to that. Might've been on the right.

So 'roof wetting' is one of those weird terms that nobody really knows the origin of (I googled it and the closest answer I got was "In Bermuda, they used to wet the roof..." wow, internet, you're the best.) But basically it was a first peek at the unfinished venue. They're planning to open mid-July 2014. You can keep up with Beer House on twitter @BEERHOUSE4ways and on Facebook for burly beerly goodness.

My night at Beer House was such fun, I've decided to do more reviews of eateries and drinkeries around Joburg (it's part of my plan to blog more in general.) So keep up with me by liking my Facebook page for new posts.
And comment below or drop me a line with suggestions for places I should review!

*Images used in this post belong to Beer House, but I totally got permission to use them because I'm "press", bitches :)

Thursday, April 3

3 Fun and Easy Ways to make Social Media Managers Hate You

You might think a big business’ social media just happens, like rain or Saw sequels. But there are thousands of disgruntled Humanities majors who got swept up into the role of brand bitch social media manager because their life’s biggest achievement is their facebook profile, and that’s something you can put on a CV now.

Here’s how to make them hate you.

#1: Assume the social staff own the company

CEOs spent their time racing radio controlled sharks and rolling gold blunts, right? Wrong. They’re painstakingly replying to every single dumb question on their company’s facebook page.



#2: Be in a demographic that can’t spell

I’ve worked on brands who try to speak to the youth of the world by saying ‘da’ instead of ‘the’. Sadly, these brands often have no idea how anyone actually talks, so writing with their style feels less like a dialect and more like a speech impediment. 



#3: Be a sore loser. And a sore winner.

Brands love running contests, it’s the easiest way to get the unwashed masses valued consumers to engage with them.

Sadly, most people who enter contests on social media are not usually… well… they’re not the kind of people you’d nominate to be humanity’s ambassadors to an alien race. Unless the aliens came over because they heard Human Nuggets were delicious and nutritious.

Sore losers love to cry foul because no fair and just universe would keep them apart from that random thing they want for free.



And if you think losers are bad, you should see the winners

Never like your own post. It's like high-fiving yourself in the mirror while taking a selfie.


And here's a pro tip if these don't work: if you really, really want to make a social media manager hate you, just remind them that they'll probably never make a living from their scathingly witty blog. :(