It’s a walk in the park…

Walk the Talk 09On Sunday, 26th August 2009, I participated in the 702 Discovery Walk the Talk charity event. I was entered representing, and on behalf of, the South African charter of the Monash Alumni Committee.

This is the first time I have actually participated in an event created specifically for a ‘charitable’ cause. It is also the first time since breaking my arm that I have participated in any kind of physical activity. It may also be my last, that is until my arm heals completely of course or until I can learn to stop sustaining additional injuries!

Upon taking part in the Walk the Talk event, I had no idea what charity it was for. For all I knew, it could have been in support of the ‘Foundation for the protection of Swedish Underwear Models’. Unfortunately, that was not the case. A quick Google search revealed that this years Walk the Talk was in support of the ‘Laureus Sport for Good Foundation’. A foundation that I personally, have never heard of before. Apparently, this is what they are about:

Laureus Sport for Good Foundation Laureus’ core concept is simple, brilliant and daunting: to create global awards that recognise the achievements of today’s sports heroes; to bring sportspeople together; united in achievement but divided by sporting code and then, once that community is brought together, put their reach and the support and investment of Laureus’ Founding Patrons and Partners to work by supporting a message that can help social projects around the world who are using sport as a tool for social change. That message, simply, is Laureus Sport for Good (Laureus.com, 2009).

Alright, I think I get it. So, this foundation honours sports ‘heroes’ in the hopes that they will somehow, once attaining some kind of sponsorship deal, bring on social change within ‘disadvantaged’ communities? Kind of like how South African cricketers have spurred on the underground movement of illegal ‘cricket-eering’ in the middle of crime ridden Johannesburg?! 

So, to put things into a mildly cynical perspective: I fried my lily white forehead, while speed walking a five kilometre course in under 50 minutes, butchering my tender loving feet in the process, thus incapacitating myself even further than I already am, in order to help some company foundation honour sports “heroes”, who, according to the mission statement, may not actually end up helping anyone? Seriously?!

Look, don’t get me wrong. Considering I do have dreams of entrepreneurial grandeur that are mildly fuelled by philanthropic desire, I am all for charitable endeavours.

Subsequently, all ranting and cynicism aside, the impressive fact remains that over 50 000 people participated to help make a difference in this years Walk the Talk. No matter how small each persons individual contribution may have been, a difference was made. After all, Gestalt psychologist Kurt Koffka once famously said, “the whole is other [greater] than the sum of the parts”.

So although I do feel that the Walk the Talk event could have raised funds for a different charity, just the notion of so many people compelled toward actively participating for change, in itself, is a testament to the progress of South Africa as a democracy. To have overcome adversity for positive change, even if only for a day, is enough to be considered a great achievement and inspiration to all.

Even after all of my raving, if I had the choice of doing it again, I would do so without hesitation. Next time though, I will just use different shoes and take Baz Luhrmann’s advice;-)

Until the next time “Milieunairs”!

 

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Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra – pure ‘orgasmic’ delight?!

Every so often, I would hear Freddy talk about enjoying ‘JPO’. This would occur at least once a week. Naturally, this piqued my curiosity. What, in the name of obtuse acronyms, is JPO?

A Jalapeno Pizza without Onions perhaps? No. Then how about Jared Padelecki Online (I know Freddy and a bunch of my chick friends have a thing for that guy, it is one of the only reasons why they watch The Supernatural *rolls eyes and sighs*)? Obviously, that was also not the correct answer. Eventually, like any man will eventually do after being lost for several hours and once the GPS has ceased to function, I caved and asked him to please tell me what JPO stands for. Quite simply, JPO stands for the Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra (JPO).

In a quest to broaden my cultural psyche and taste for the fine arts, Freddy invited me to last nights performance of the JPO. However, he wanted me to experience the full JPO evening that he shares weekly with Anton. Thus, the first stop was the Sievers Manor.

Anton’s house, often like my own, was brimming with family. As it turns out, his brother, Chem, is getting married next weekend so the family was having a rehearsal dinner. Consequently, Anton had to dash in and out of his apartment several times, humorously f-bombing all the way, to attend to his familial duties. Once he was able to settle down, we were treated to a lovely home cooked beef and vegetable pie, which Anton had cooked. It was very tasty, despite, what Anton himself had also noted, the extremely rich and flowery pastry, which vehemently refused to travel down my oesophagus. This resulted in overzealous gulps of cranberry flavoured water on my part. I think Anton must have thought I was really very thirsty since, like the great host that he is, he kept asking if I needed anything else to drink. After dinner, we all chatted about the usual nonsensical stuff that friends usually talk about, before heading off to the JPO.

This was my first time at the Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra. Before last night, I had never heard classical music performed live. I suppose I never really saw the appeal. In essence the music was intensely captivating, especially when the full orchestra presented itself. Something that I really found fascinating, was the way in which the orchestra appeared to assume a living, organic being. Through each verse, the symphonic organism would undulate and ripple with clear intent and distinction. Apart from the singularity of the orchestra, it was great to watch and analyse the individuals who make up the whole. The conductor, Yasuo Shinozaki, was really quite the character. Granted there were times when I though the guy was having an epileptic fit or some kind of brain aneurysm. However, there definitely appeared to be a kind of method to his madness especially with regards to the hypnotic use of his baton. The other highlight of the evening was being able to listen to Alexej Gorlatch play the piano. Granted he was exquisite, but man was he bothersome to watch –not unlike injecting heroine straight into your eyeball. You know, fine. I understand that people can be passionate about what they do, but when it looks like you are having a perpetual orgasm, with graphic facial visuals accompanied with clearly audible gasps of erotic ‘pleasure’, then you really should re-evaluate your stage presence. Honestly, if I had known sooner that playing a classical instrument could be so ‘sexually satisfying’, I would have learnt how to play one a long time ago! Come to think of it… I reckon I will start to play the piano!

After JPO had ended, I purchased a CD of the evidently ‘orgasmic’ score. However, before we could leave, Anton and I had to wait for Freddy to get his weekly fix of ‘crutches’. Let me fill you in on ‘crutches’. ‘Crutches’ is a man whom Freddy has taken a liking too. Call it a school boy crush, if you like. Every time Freddy and Anton go to JPO, Freddy furtively glances in the direction of ‘crutches’, hoping to ga
rner his attention. Oh ja, he is nicknamed ‘crutches’ because he… well uses ‘crutches’ – Anton pointed out that it is because his one leg is shorter than the other, or something to that effect. So after JPO, I found out that it is now a customary tradition for Ant and Fred to wait at the entrance for ‘crutches’ to hobble past. This is so Freddy can get his ‘fix’. Seriously… I was just like “Why have you not spoken to the guy yet? Just go over and introduce yourself. I will talk to him for you if you’d like?”. Being a straight guy, I really have no qualm with talking to gay guy, since there is obviously nothing in it for me. To which Freddy replied “Okay, would you just go over to a really hot girl that you liked and hand her over your number?”. Touché, touché… even though I really should learn to do that. After all, other than my dignity, what else have I got to lose? Anyway, as it turned out, ‘crutches’ never made his fabled appearance, to Freddy’s great disappointment. Thus, after two cigarettes and only a single glass of wine later, Anton was like “F#ck this, let us get the f#ck out of here already… I need more wine”!

Back at Anton’s place, we were treated to some delectable leftover ‘Sievers secret chocolate mousse’ – which, while we were out, Anton’s mom had left in his apartment for us to devour (Thanks Mrs. S.). Shortly after some more nonsensical conversations, we were joined by Delia, Anton’s absolutely gorgeous, and tipsy, ‘model’ sister. If I had to say that Delia looks like a refined version of the very sexy Scarlett Johansson, it would not be an over exaggeration. I found out that Delia is a model, obviously, and that she has many friends who would be more than eager to, as Anton so graciously put it, sit on my face, among other things,… again and again and again. As it turns out, Delia is actually a really cool person. She struck me as down to earth, intelligent and funny. The exact polar opposite of the model stereotype. Consequently, she invited myself, Freddy and Anton to the South African Fashion Week and its subsequent parties. I now think I know what it must feel like to win the lotto. I could not believe my luck… I was invited out by a model… to a model ‘buffet’! Thank you Lord, thank you! I swear… I felt like I needed a change of underwear after that! However, upon asking for the dates to this illustrious event, I was informed that the SA Fashion Week parties would take place between the 2nd and 4th April. My ‘high’ was short lived. I felt like I had been punched in the gut by a stripper, one who allows people to watch, drool even, but forbids them to touch. Can you believe that I will be out of the country during those dates? Murphy’s Law at its best! Surprisingly, in a move to mend my dashed hopes of letting some gorgeous model munch my cherry, Delia did say that there would be plenty more events like this, events I am more than welcome to attend! YES!

Overall, the evening was a great amount of fun. I really had a fantastic ‘fabulous’ time and would honestly like to have another JPO evening again, in the near future.

It may be Friday, but tonight I am going out with a few friends to, of all places, the Planetarium. I must have just been a kid, probably less than 13 years old, when I last went to the Planetarium. As a result I am actually rather excited for tonight. More so that I get to be out with good company. Oh, who am I kidding, I am looking forward to stargazing just as much!

Until the next time Milieu Pals!

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“I’m… gonna soak up the sun”

As I write this post I am sitting outdoors in our front yard. Half of my person is covered by the shadow thrown by the lapa and the other half of myself is silently ‘soaking up the sun’. I have Lullubelle resting gently against my left leg, her undulating breathes a quiet reminder of her unconditional loyalty, while Gizmo, the resident Pugoodle, continues to attempt a rather macabre courting ritual with Chocolate, an ADHD riddled Bouvier pup. I let the dogs be and immerse myself in the sounds of modern day suburbia – cute tweets and natural chirps mixed with the growl of an angry 4×4 and the howl of an emergency vehicle. Ah, the sweet suburban lifestyle!

As my gentle fingers stroked my laptops worn keyboard I realise that placing the laptop in direct sunlight may have not been the best of ideas, hence the partial cover of the lapa. Not only was I unable to make out what was being displayed on the screen, but with every touch of a key my fingers would smart with heat from the frying keyboard. So much for durability! A laptop in the truest sense should be water proof, shock proof and sun proof. Only then will mobile computing reach a sense of true portability.

I am blogging outside today because while we were away, for the holiday season, the sun and my skin had quite a few make-out sessions. As a result I have a lovely sun kissed look which I would like to keep. That and I thought it would be nice since my family and myself do not seem to make use of our garden enough – ‘Year of the New’, remember? Speaking of the sun and the outdoors, for those interested, the photograph above is one I found by a photographer who goes by ‘Alex Skywalker’ on Flickr. There are quite a few other beautifully photographed scenes, of a similar vain, and are worth a look. At the mention of photography, I realise that I would still like to pursue my own photographic endeavours. I have been told that I have an artistic eye and a way with the camera. Perhaps ‘ could act as a gateway for my photographic exploits? What do you think?

I also started gym again today – I am committed to going from ‘Flab 2 Fab’! To be honest, I actually could not wait to get back from our holiday and start. It felt so good to get the blood flowing into my muscles, expanding every capillary and vein until bursting point, and just to feel the pump, the glorious pump that comes with hard work and determination. Yeah! Feel it! This is definitely the year in which I obtain a ‘Men’s Healthcover look and as Naruto Uzumaki would say “Believe it”! When ‘Ab Day’ arrives, I will be sure to let you all know… and see!Visual is the way to go people… but hopefully Microsoft will not try and ban me again! *Heh heh*

One more thing, I have created a photographic album with photographs from the 2008 Christmas holiday season. New Years to follow…

 

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