Posts Tagged ‘varsity

23
Jun
10

In Whisky There Is Comfort Still

I had this way of picking up things and drinking them when I was a kid, probably like most kids do. When I was 3, the electrician came at night to fix something or other and my mom offered him a beer, which he drank a sip of and left on the living room table.

I picked that bad boy up and drank the whole thing. Then I jumped up and down in my cot, laughing my ass off for about 2 hours and then I passed out stone cold and woke up feeling fine the next day. There’s Irish in me, not a lot (my grandfather was half English, half Irish), but enough ;)

I think about a year later I had my first taste of whisky. My mom has always enjoyed a whisky and soda in the evenings and had poured herself a glass and left it on her bedside table. I thought it was just water and took a sip, but unlike the beer, I didn’t down the whole thing because it tasted like crap.

 

 

I spent the rest of my childhood sober until I was about 12 or 13 and my good buddy Ricky T and myself drank our way through three six packs of his dad’s “Two Dogs Alcoholic Lemonade”. Two Dogs was like an aborted first attempt at an alca-pop and tasted awful, but did the job pretty damn well.

How we thought we’d get away with drinking his dad’s entire stash is something I don’t think we gave much thought, if any, at the time.

From that point, the story gets long and complicated and I won’t get into any of the details except to say that from an early age, I was never shy to drink like a goddamn fish. I’ve never been an alcoholic and have very seldom if ever gotten drunk alone or binged for longer than four days, but I learned to drink hard and I did it well.

At varsity I started drinking whisky because I thought it looked cool and for R6 you could get a double First Watch at one of the bars in Grahamstown and so naturally I drank that foul fucking stuff like mother’s milk. You could clean engine parts with First Watch. It’s Canadian whiskey, which means they use rye instead of barley to make it and because of that it can be quickly mass-produced and sold much cheaper than normal whisky. It’s nasty, but damn! It does the job.

 

 

Back then, a bottle of Jack Daniels was my idea of a fine whisky. Me, Barman and Graumpot had a tradition where we’d buy one another a bottle when our birthdays rolled around and sip it on ice. Bleaugh. What the hell were we thinking?

After varsity I drank Bells with an air of faux sophistication and thought myself an accomplished whisky-drinker. Eventually I tired of the taste though and gave up on whisky in general, that is until about three years ago.

I started working PR for the Whisky Live Festival and as a part of that, went on a number of whisky tastings and started to learn a little about the spirit. Over time, my interest for whiskey began to mature naturally because of the close contact I had with it and the people involved in the big liquor marketing and distribution companies in South Africa and I found the more I learned, the more I wanted to learn.

All of this culminated recently when I attended ‘Whisk(e)y 101’ with the College Of Whisky, the first part of the course they put together to train people to become whisky presenters. Since that course, I’ve been enjoying various whiskies on an almost nightly basis (Talisker, Singleton, Bushmills 16 y/o, a bottle of Dimple 15 y/o) and amazingly, this spirit, the flavour of which was once almost inaccessible to me, is slowly opening up.

 

 

I find myself admiring this amber liquid against the light, watching the legs fall and wondering what journey that dram took to find its way to me.

The thing about fine whisky is that it is made through a process that cannot be speeded up and as such, it is almost immune to the unnatural acceleration that has come to define the way humans do things.

I take comfort in that fact. I take comfort in the thought that somewhere across the world, a master distiller still picks his way through his distillery, nosing and tasting his whisky as it lies in oak casks, his palate able to almost distinguish individual atoms of scent and taste, waiting for the perfect moment to blend or bottle his whisky so that when it reaches us, all the way down here in Africa, the product we are getting is perfect in every way.

The simple pleasure I get out of enjoying a dram of good whisky far outweighs any of the times I drank the stuff to get shit-faced back in varsity which, I guess, is a clear sign that I’m getting old ;)

The end with, here’s one of my favourite whisky quotes, 10 points to the person who guesses who said it:

“The water was not fit to drink. To make it more palatable, we had to add whisky. By diligent effort, I learned to like it.”

-ST

29
Mar
10

The Nuns Of The Antarctic

When I was younger, I fancied myself quite the budding poet and used to scribble out random and garbled verses that were mostly really shit, but hey, at least they rhymed.

In highshool I got published in a collection of poetry compiled by the poetry institute of Africa called ‘Shadows and Silhouettes’ which got me pretty excited until the thing finally arrived and I realised they’d pretty much published EVERY SINGLE POEM THEY GOT SENT.

To get published I think you just had to bang a out a verse or two and be in highschool, that was about it.

I tell ya, life is shitty sometimes. My buddy Barbarian fucking nailed it on Saturday night. We were sitting in his flat in Vredehoek and talking about some random thing or other when he said the funniest thing I’ve heard in months.

‘Christmas food,’ he said, ‘is crap.’

 

 

That simple sentence nearly had me in tears because he’s fucking right. The turkey is always way too dry and stringy, the Christmas pudding gives you the runs and mince pies are severely overrated.

You put your knife and fork down after eating Christmas food and you feel like your internal organs are dangerously close to rupturing.

No matter what anyone says, at that stage, you’re glad Christmas only comes once a year.

See, the magic of a thing is in the anticipation of it. The moment I found out I was going to get published, my adolescent mind filled up with all kinds of hallucinations of grandeur and I was pretty sure fame and fortune were close at hand.

 

 

Needless to say, over the next few years I wrote less and less poetry and became more and more sceptical of other ‘poets’. I started to suspect that really what they were doing was using poetry as a guise to write a pile of wanky shit that means nothing to anyone, including the person who wrote it.

This is especially true of the so called ‘poets’ who used to haunt open mike nights in varsity.

Pale, frail and nervous looking people, they would always go up there and read something that sounded like a confession about how their uncles fiddled with them when they were young and now they spend their alone time in their granny’s knickers listening to Anthony And The Johnsons.

 

 

I got drunk one night at such an event and wrote some poetry of my own on a serviette. After a particularly heart-wrenching performance by a guy who only just barely managed to keep his shit together onstage, I decided to jump in there, bar serviette in hand, to recite a poem I called:

Untitled

He drank until the day he died.
He drank to dull the ache inside.

He smoked until his lungs caved in.
All he ever knew was sin.

After what happened, he just gave in.
After what they did to him…

Dopey fucked a penguin.

Boy. Did that go down well.

-ST

13
Oct
09

What is sexy?

Two years back I ended up modeling for People Magazine, which was, at the time, a new low for me.

How it happened was that I’d organised a fashion shoot for People at Floyd’s Barbershop in Fourways Crossing (who used to be a client of ours) because the interior of that place ROCKS and is ideal for any kind of shoot.

 

 

The most badass barbershop in Joeys

The most badass barbershop in Joeys

 

They closed the shop early and everyone waited expectantly for the People crew to arrive, which they did, without the actual model.

They asked me if I wouldn’t mind stepping in and saving the day, so I figured sure, why not? How hard can it be?

And that’s the thing, it wasn’t hard at all, UNTIL they swung the cameras on me and said the most terrifying sentence I’ve heard in a good while:

“Ok, now, act sexy!”

Funny how that sentence had the exact opposite effect on me. The first few pics looked like I was bracing myself to be run over by a bus. Thankfully it got better. Floyd’s Barbershop keeps a fridge full of free beer for its customers, and by the time I’d drank the fridge half dry, I was feeling pretty DAMN sexy, biatch!

The resulting photos are possibly the most hilarious shots of me I’ve ever seen. ‘Gay’ doesn’t even begin to describe it, all five pages of it, but hey, they paid me R1000 for two hours work so I was pretty stoked all in all.

It got me thinking though and because of that experience, I have a new found respect for models because that shit is NOT easy, and yet they manage to pull it off and create the perfect ‘phwoar!’ effect more often than not.

 

What I like to call the 'phwoar!' effect in action

What I like to call the 'phwoar!' effect in action

 

However, not all of us can create that effect because nature is cruel and most of us weren’t fortunate enough to be born with smoking good looks and hot bodies, but lucky for us, there is another kind of sexiness that goes way deeper than the flesh, and that’s the kind of sexiness I find the most compelling.

About four years ago I was going through a particularly bad patch, drinking heavily, partying a lot and I ended up wasted at a party where I ran into a girl I’d known for a year or two. She saw the state of me and refused to let me drive, insisting I go home with her instead. My friends had all gone home by that stage, so it was a total no-brainer.

Back at her place we drank some more and at some point in the early hours of the morning, the conversation started getting really intense, she was probing, she wanted to know why I was such a mess, she was hitting nerves all over the goddamn place and I ended up breaking down completely.

Later we fell into bed together, but my performance was pretty pityful to be honest, and I ended up slipping into a booze-induced coma halfway through.

The next morning was the usual sheepish and embarassing affair of coffee and polite banter before she dropped me off wherever I’d left my car. End of story as far as I was concerned.

But then, nearly two years later, I ran into her again on another crazy nameless night in another crazy nameless club or bar somewhere, we did the ‘Oh-hi-how-are-you!’ thing and went our seperate ways into the thronging crowd, but all through the night I kept catching her gaze across the room.

Later she approached me and we spoke about the night I went home with her. She started out joking about it, saying how crazy that party was and how out of hand we all got, but her tone changed the more we spoke about it and eventually she looked me in the eye and told me that night, watching me break down in her flat, was the sexiest thing she’d ever experienced.

My mind reeled. On one hand I was flattered, but on the other I was completely taken aback. In no magazines I’d ever read did it ever recommend crying like a baby as a means of creating an unforgettably sexy experience.

So I’m curious – what is sexy? I’ve met at least a hundred (ok, ten) really good looking women that are dead sexy looks-wise, but completely vapid and ugly inside. It’s sad because billboards and magazines and movies and TV celebrate only the shallowest kind of sexyness when in truth, and in my experience, true sexyness goes much, much deeper than that.

If anyone’s feeling brave, I’m keen to hear your stories.

-ST

08
Oct
09

Sushi for Breakfast

I can honestly say that you haven’t eaten breakfast until you’ve eaten SUSHI FOR BREAKFAST. I just ate SUSHI FOR BREAKFAST and the delicate and delicious flavours combined with the natural brain-enhancing oils of the fish have pumped me UP TO THE MAX!

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so go out right now and nail some SUSHI FOR BREAKFAST. You can thank me later.

 

Sushi for Breakfast - Nom!

Sushi for Breakfast - Nom!

 

In other news it’s another sunny day here in Joeys and the weekend looms ever closer. Tonight it’s my good buddy Jacey-got-the-aceys birthday at a place called Sky Bar. It’s a pretty swanky place, but last time I went there it was full of people in their mid-to-late thirties, half of whom seemed to be Jewish.

I have nothing against Jewish people, half my family is Jewish, but sometimes it feels like they have something against me. Like this one time way back in varsity I got invited by Peggles to a 21st for one of Peggles’ Jewish friends, and I think Pa-ool was there as well.

Anyway, the Jewish guy settled on a Rasta theme for his birthday, which we all thought was pretty cool. I figured we’d arrive there and find a whole bunch of bohemian student-types smoking hookah and passing joints around.

Boy-o-boy was I wrong.

We arrive at the dude’s parents house to a party of the most swankily dressed ‘Rastas’ I’ve ever seen in my life. Designer Rastas, we called them. And not a hookah or joint to be seen for miles. The girls were pretty smoking hot though, but what very quickly became aparant was that everyone at the party knew each other really, really well, as in, grew up together and EVERYONE was Jewish except for Peggles, Pa-ool and me.

Also, I was the only guy there who actually technically wasn’t invited. Peggles thought it would be a chilled 21st and I could crash it, no worries. Wrong again.

In my defence, I tried my very best to be as polite and sociable as possible, I talked to as many people as possible, introduced myself, made polite conversation, but the whole time I got this feeling like I was not welcome.

After I’d put a couple drinks in me I decided fuck this and rolled a massive spliff. Peggles, Pa-ool and I ducked behind some bushes in the garden and proceeded to burn that fucker down, completely oblivious to the fact that the speeches had just started, and more importantly, everyone was gathered, friends and family, down-wind from us.

 

This was about the size of it... only smaller...

This was about the size of it... only mine was bigger... (that's what she said)

 

By the time we were through, everyone there hated us. Leppers would have been more popular. It was hilarious – I’d move towards a group of people to try and engage in conversation and the group would almost instantly dissolve and disappear. It was like there was a magnetic field around me making it physically imposible for anyone besides Peggles and Pa-ool to come within 5 feet of me.

Haha, good times.

So anyway, Sky Bar is the plan for tonight, then tomorrow my buddy Pooperoo is here from England and wants to party so I just gotta find the right place and the right time and it’s AWN!

I just hope J-Rab is up for it. Her arm is still hurting a lot, but she’s a little trooper and I know she’s a damn side tougher than she looks.

She wouldn’t be able to date a maniac like me if she wasn’t ;)

-ST




A Word From The Kind Folks At Nokia

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