Whoever was blasting Whitney in the office today.....

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Via here


A kind of ultimatum note....

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Luke tagged, and since I owe her and various others answers from way back when, I'd better respond before I'm banished.... Seven Things

Seven dreams before death:
Does
Voicing
Them
Bring
Them
Within
Reach? Seven things I can't do in this lifetime: Believe without question
Watch Hendrix play live
Be the person my father wants me to be
Be a stand-up comic
Excel at anything that requires good hand-eye coordination
Make peace with dying. Or growing old for that matter....
Answer a meme properly
Seven things that attract me: I see most people went with 'attracted to the opposite sex', so I'll interpret this slightly differently.
The smell of the sea, the night before it rains
A really good black & white photograph
The feel of new guitar strings
Forests Ingenuous conversation
Tattoos
Dusk
Seven things I say: Anyways
But I digress
No worries
FFS (you'll know what this is if you say it too!)
Ja right (an Africanised version of, Yeah right.)
WTF?
I just don't get it.......
Seven books that I love: Snowcrash - Neal Stephenson
Ash - Mary Gentle
Perdido Street Station - China Mieville
Shampoo Planet - Douglas Coupland
Blindness - Jose Saramago
Light - M John Harrison
Choke - Chuck Palahniuk
Seven movies that I've loved:
The Big Lebowski
Amelie
Blade Runner (The Director's Cut)
High Fidelity
Mysterious Skin
and for fun
Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens
Shadow of the Vampire Oh, and since everyone's been tagged by now, tag yourselves if you haven't.


Holy Encephedigital Conversions, Batman....

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Going through my stats this afternoon, I noticed a few visits from the SA Blog Awards. Strange, I thought to myself, and clicked through to bring my confusion to an end. Imagine my surprise when nestled under Best writing on a South African blog, I find the words Ten Miles. Hey! Someone stole my blog title! And then slowly I begin to understand.... How the hell did that happen!?!?!?!?!?!?! Anyway, the Chitster and Kyknoord are both there as well, so please go and vote for them. I know it's a relatively small competition, so one nomination could have seen me there, but I know there were more of you, so I demand an explanation! Now! And if you're wondering, yes, this is just a ruse to get you to vote for me instead of anyone else. You were smart enough to work that out, so you're obviously smart enough to know who to vote for..........


Icarus Falls - Part Five

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There is an old circus saying that goes, "The day you don't think about falling, you will fall."
********
In 1962, Horvath Ambrus set foot on the Pionir, his family in tow, and twelve creased and grimy notes comprising his former life's savings, now held snugly in the hands of the ship's First Mate. Ambrus ushered them gently toward a cabin at the stern, thankful that the last of his fame had managed to secure a place of relative comfort for the long journey. They had left Budapest days earlier, but it was only once he felt the streets of Rijeka beneath him, that Ambrus let the months of worry drift away in the offshore winds. Estzi held two-year old Aurelia close, and Gabor refused to leave his father's side. Even at six, he was already developing Ambrus's lithe frame. Konstanz conducted himself as if he were the oldest; taller then Gabor and seemingly less desperate for the comforting presence of his parents, no one would have guessed that he was only five.
They are strange, these things, these reasons that compel us to sacrifice comfort and security, to choose the undiscovered above the familiar. Love is the artisan behind many of these new directions, but greed also drives men to forsake title and stature. So too ambition and survival, which are more closely linked then might be guessed.
Whilst love was certainly a part of it, for Ambrus the reason was as simple as two faces.
Jens and the others had already taken the tent down, leaving Ambrus to collect the last of the ropes. An uneventful week had passed in Tokaj, attendance figures were dwindling and after three long months, he was looking forward to a week's respite. As he finished with the ropes and went to hook up the last trailer, Ambrus noticed a misshapen figure just beyond the edge of the clearing. Parts of its body seemed to bulge and undulate in unnatural ways, but as it drew closer and the moonlight brighter, Ambrus could see his mistake. This was no shape-shifting creature formed from shadow; this was a small child, a boy, clutching a baby in a threadbare blanket. Ambrus gestured for the boy to approach, close enough for him to lift the blanket and look upon the face of a baby girl. And though they would fade as Aurelia grew older, it was the flecks of purple in those dark, entrancing eyes that first whispered to Ambrus, you will never come home again.
Strange too is the existence of a world where men are heralded for their explorations into unchartered territories, yet entire communities can be victimized for simply being different. In much of Eastern Europe, 'gypsy' was just another term for outcast, and in certain areas the hatred ran so deeply, that a young brother and sister may well find themselves orphaned. And when Horvath Ambrus made these two outcasts a part of his family, rather then gifting his legacy to them, it was brother and sister whose tainted heritage became his own.
"Taking your dogs for a walk?" For months Ambrus had tried to ignore the insults, but he knew that they only signified worse was to come. An inexorable ice age, that would snuff them from this earth should they choose to remain.
Standing on the Pionir's port deck, Ambrus allowed himself to hear the exuberant applause, to feel his body soar through the air. But the applause slowly quietened to the sound of keel through water; there was no audience to thrill, and there may never be again. Under the light of the stars, the ocean seemed as vast as the Carpathians, with no end in sight.
Ambrus was falling, and he hoped to God that the new country would be a net to catch him.


Lessons learnt......

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Just thought I would share with you two 'guidelines' that were made clear to me this weekend past, in varying degrees of pain. Firstly, simply because it may APPEAR that the row of spikes mounted on an electric gate are about as sharp as George Bush at a Mensa convention, does NOT mean that this is the case. Secondly, when you have narrowly avoided impaling a foot on aforementioned spike due to your cat-like reflexes which slammed on anchors seconds after spike had sliced through sole of shoe, does NOT mean that said cat-like reflexes will aid your rapidly aging, no-longer-a-teenager ass from transferring the weight-you-promised-yourself-you-would-never-gain-after-marriage to your ankle as you hurl yourself over the gate, only to hit the tarmac in your first and only performance as the creation of a Gepetto on LSD in the hit broadway show, Stringless Base Jumping for Rebellious Puppets. This public service announcement may or may not have been mildly embellished for blogging purposes.......


Better late than never....

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So......you like? Does it work? Anyone spot any irregularities?


Bloggies

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The South African Blog Awards 2006 are well and truly upon us, so if you have not yet visited the only man in Cape Town who loves a play on words more then I do, please go and vote for him. There are a variety of categories, I'm sure you will find one that fits. And no, he's not paying me for this. At least, not in monetary terms.........


Fictional Musings

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The prolific and always inventive Jason, led me to the talented and infectious Kelly, who runs a side project called Fictional Musings. She welcomes short fiction contributions, so hop along if you're curious. Oh, and you might just see a familiar face......


Icarus Falls - Part Four

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His eyes shimmered green to blue; not like the passing of clouds across the surface of an ocean, but more the constantly shifting, always unsettled scales of a lizard in the sun.
And pressing herself tightly against a wall, they were all Cloris could see.
She had been running for more than an hour, weaving in and out of dark alleys and derelict buildings, hoping beyond all hope that every step brought her closer to losing her pursuer. Cloris paused for a moment to catch her breath, her lungs heaving tiny nebulous galaxies into the frigid night air.
Tonight. Tonight I will outrun him. Any second now, I will wake and this chain of nightmares will be broken.
She waited desperately for the sound of the alarm to stir her; closed her eyes and knew that the instant she opened them, it would be accompanied by the light spilling from behind curtains, the stabbing pain of blood flowing to newly wakened limbs.
But when she opened them, the sky was still empty above her, the concrete still cool beneath her bare feet. And he was approaching from three feet away, those eyes locked onto hers, that face like an ancient forest, like a ceaseless crashing of wave upon rock. Slowly, those silvery wings unfurled......
BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP
A shape flailed frantically beneath a red sheet, before emerging in the shape of an arm and, finally, resolving into a hand. The hand fidgeted with a few dials and switches, and after a few threats of static, settled on a local station. They were broadcasting some pre-recorded interview with some forgotten writer. Tenebrous? God, why can't anyone talk in simple English anymore.
Cloris lay there for a few minutes, just thinking. One more night of this, and sanity would slip from her fingers like a child's balloon at a fairground. She made her way to the bathroom, glad at the soft feel of the carpet underfoot. The windows seemed to be promising a temperate day, the smell of something sweet drifting on the air. A faded orange towel hung over the mirror, and Cloris carefully lifted a corner, peering at the reflective surface beneath.
A strand of silver hair glared back.
She reached for the container of hair dye on the sink, checking to make sure that it had been opened. She'd used twice the directed amount last night, but as with the four previous attempts, the morning had washed away all traces. At least she hadn't been hallucinating.
Today held little hope for her either; she was already running late for work, it was a ten hour shift, and she'd probably have to grab her first meal from the diner on her way home. As she laced up her boots, a song from the radio faded, a sultry voice whispering the closing lines.
"I'm anything but your kind...."
Cloris grabbed her apartment keys from the hall table, a sardonic smile playing across her lips. If only you knew how right you are.


Icarus Falls - Part Three

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There was something about the glowing tip of a cigarette that spoke to Constance. Perhaps it was that the glow became more furious the closer it burnt to the filter. Or that last, curling wisp of smoke; that last, eyes-closed drag. Bliss from the ephemeral; is that not the meaning of life, as advertised?
Well, not at this particular moment. The neon signs flashing in the window of the diner were drumming a rather different definition, finding it somewhere between Budweiser and No Vacancy.
He tried one last time to divine a star from somewhere beyond the omnipresent smoke, failed, and made his way to the diner entrance. Had anyone been bothering to pay attention, they may have blanched at the sight of Constance closing his hand over the cigarette. He tossed the dead butt onto the pavement, smoothed an ashen hand through his dark hair, and slipped into the welcoming light.
A few inquiring glances were tossed his way, but none of the patrons seemed too anxious, and so returned to their edible oddities. Most assumed the waning concern was as a result of an astute assessment of a non-threatening visitor, but as Constance stood 6'5" and had eyes to sever beat from heart, an intelligent observation would conclude that something else was responsible for putting them at ease.
He spied the coffee-machine toward the back of the diner, checked to see that a fresh pot was brewing, and strode toward an open booth.
As he sat down, a woman lurched from the table opposite and darted for the bathroom, leaving a trail of broken crockery and flustered waitresses in her wake. Constance made a mental note not to order the Lasagne Surprise, and spent the next three minutes meditating on the strand of silver hair that had just scurried past him.


Icarus Falls - Part Two

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If you're only just visiting, it starts here. **********************************************

Cloris was huddled underneath the third basin on the left. An incipient new species of funghi was slowly spreading on the tiled wall behind her, and if she had been capable of lucid thought, she would have guessed by the smell coming from the second stall that the bathroom hadn't been cleaned since last week. But at this moment in time, huddling definitely seemed to be better then trying to figure out the chemical make-up of the liquid pooling toward her from a cracked pipe. When the man of your dreams strolls into a gas-stop diner and sits at the table next to you, wires are bound to get crossed, synapses to misfire, and if you're not careful you may just end up under a basin in the bathroom.
This is, however, not the man that you have been hoping for since you first noticed this alien and wholly entertaining opposite sex; the man who effortlessly matches your top ten, will not compromise on, painstakingly selected and hopelessly unrealistic list of traits. He is, in actuality, the man who has been appearing in Cloris's dreams for the last two months, with a rather unnerving regularity. Unnerving, mainly due to the fact that she has never met him before. And perhaps the foremost reason for Claris's current location, is that in the dream, seconds before she wakes up, he spreads his wings and slips through her eyes, into her skull.


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