Rolling with the Punches- My Take on Relationships

The Ship of Emotion- My journey on the Sea

There is a storm raging in my heart
My little ship of sanity is tossed and torn in the winds of lust and hate
The storm hit so suddenly, there was no time to prepare
I salvage what I can and carry on, battered and bruised but a survivor

In the calm of the morning, I sail in the sea of expectancy
My flag flies high and I am excited for the journey ahead
My ship rocks in motion with the undulating sea and we move ahead in unison
As the waves of passion lick against the bough, the winds of hope fills our sail and plough forward into the oceans of discovery and young love

As the day drags on, the wind dies down and the once caressing waves calm and still
In the heat of the day, the suns rays make the journey ahead unbearable
Shedding light on our faults; my insecurities, your inexperience
My mouth is dry and throat is parched from words unspoken
There is no wind, there is no movement, there is no change
We sit idly waiting for a catalyst

In the haziness of the twilight, things are uncertain
The flames of passion have stirred again in the loins of our journey
Reconnected with the winds of change and waves which are beating on the boat with a sense of urgency
The clouds of impending closure are rolling in and it’s our last desperate attempt at keeping the ship on track

The storm comes violently and does not hold back
The fury of nature and our raging emotions
Your blow lights up the sky and the electric shock strikes me down
Our ship shatters against the jagged rocks of our failed relationship

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Da Vinci Exhibition- Tasty Tidbits from the Master

OSSLass Ramblings- Do you giggle when you say Regina?

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Christmas is a sad affair when you are broke and unemployed. But enter the most awesome uncle and aunt who buy you a ticket to the Leonardo Da Vinci exhibition held at the Chavonne Battery Museum, V&A Waterfront in sunny Cape Town. Having to wait till the 12th January was absolute torture but as it turns out…absolutely worth it.

I could drone on for days about the 2 levels filled to the brim withDa Vinci inspiration that they had on display but I fear I will scare away some readers so I will give some quick highlights of the best bits! You’re welcome…

Da Vinci the Wing Nut

  • Men have been obsessed with the idea of flight even since Icarus, Daedalus and their ill-fated aerial escape attempt in Crete. Da Vinci, however, was the first to focus on the actual science of flight through wind, air and atmospheric pressure
  • He…

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Da Vinci Exhibition- Tasty Tidbits from the Master

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Christmas is a sad affair when you are broke and unemployed. But enter the most awesome uncle and aunt who buy you a ticket to the Leonardo Da Vinci exhibition held at the Chavonne Battery Museum, V&A Waterfront in sunny Cape Town. Having to wait till the 12th January was absolute torture but as it turns out…absolutely worth it.

I could drone on for days about the 2 levels filled to the brim withDa Vinci inspiration that they had on display but I fear I will scare away some readers so I will give some quick highlights of the best bits! You’re welcome…

Da Vinci the Wing Nut

  • Men have been obsessed with the idea of flight even since Icarus, Daedalus and their ill-fated aerial escape attempt in Crete. Da Vinci, however, was the first to focus on the actual science of flight through wind, air and atmospheric pressure
  • He was pre-occupied with idea that human powered flight would be based on a “flapping” wing. When this was not achieved he moved onto stationary wings where he had greater success with his gliders etc. His man-powered flapping machines were known as “Ornathopters” as they were all based on studying bird/bat wings
  • As an ex-skydiver I was really intrigued by his parachute design. In 2006 Adrian Nicholas recreated and tested the design. He deployed at 9800 feet from a hot air balloon and said that the ride down was smoother than any he had experienced using the current parachute. At 2800ft he had to cut away and deploy his “modern” parachute as he would have been crushed by the giant pyramid structure which made up the design, upon landing

Da Vinci the Grease Monkey

  • Da Vinci was a practical guy. He improved many of the existing ways of doing things in the 1500s as well as created amazing inventions to ensure that his designs would work optimally
  • Some of the ones that stood out for me were:
  •    Anenometer- the first one was created by Leon Alberts on which Da Vinci improved
  •    Wax hygrometer- This was essentially a scale which had wax on one side and cotton wool on the other. He believed that it was really important to know the water content in the air for when it was going to rain etc
  •     Screw threading machine- this was notable as screws were just changing from wood to metal during this time and there was a need to figure out how to thread the rods quickly and efficiently
  •     Flywheel, ball bearings, coil springs, transformation of motion- turning rotary motion via teeth into energy, eccentric cam and the jack (which I would be stuck without on dark dodgy roads when tyres burst in the middle of the night)

Da Vinci the War Revolutionary

  • Da Vinci was a pacifist by nature. Having said this, he realised that he needed good commissions to pay for his true passion which was strippers…OK not really… science
  • In the Venice vs Turkey war he went to the council with his forward thinking plans of changing the battlefield and having an underwater war. This idea was rejected but he was still appointed as Military Engineer and he created movable floating barricades to keep the enemy at bay
  • He put the same tactics into military planning as he did in his theatrical endeavors. He believed that one could overwhelm the enemy using big booms, special effects of light and smoke
  • He created the Ogival Bullet- this was because he realised the ammunition used at the time was not 100% effective and were putting pressure on the weapons. He studied air and water currents and derived that the bullet should be elliptical in shape

Da Vinci the Aqua Man

  • Da Vinci called his submarine “the ship to sink another ship”
  • Although his submarines were never utilised in his time, Italy named their submarine the Leonardo Da Vinci in honour of him after WWII. This machine sank 17 allied ships
  • His Scuba Steve suit was made from cork, pig skin, bamboo and a bell shape device at water surface. This was tested in 2002 by Cozens but with limited success

Da Vinci the Artist

  • Mirror Room- Da Vinci created an 8 sided box covered in wall to wall mirrors. This was for the scientific study of the human form, seeing the dimensions from every angle and getting a better perspective. He added a peep hole which the model didn’t know about. He didn’t want them to know when were being watched, hoping that they would relax and reveal themselves and their natural soul…sounds like a bit of voyeurism to me 🙂
  • Mona Lisa- everyone knows about this beautiful painting and it’s controversy. The piece that interested me was the revolutionary usage of the high definition camera developed and used to reveal the inner layers of the painting. Pascal Cotte used a camera which was 240million pixels and 1500 DPI to take photos without filters of this diminutive painting. This allowed them to discover the secrets hiding beneath the painting
  • An interesting tidbit I learned was that Napolean had this painting in Josephine’s bedroom quarters and his bathroom so there is significant water damage on the painting from this time
  • My favourite bit of the whole show was the pieces around his notebook sketches and the history of the Battle of Angiari. In 1503 he was commissioned to do a fresco of this battle on the wall of the Parliament in Milan. Michaelangelo was commissioned to do the battle of Cassina on the opposite wall. Apparently these 2 artists hated each other and each were using different approaches to try and outdo each other. Apparently a very young 21 year old Raphael popped in and out to learn from these masters. There was a huge storm which resulted in flooding of this giant hall and both paintings were destroyed and could not be restored or completed.

Da Vinci the Thespian

  • Da Vinci was a talented fellow. He was a singer, musician and actor as well as a scientist and artist. He was hired by the Duke of Milan for these purposes and put on plays with the first noted special effects
  • The forerunner to the projector and spot light was based on his projector design and notings. We wouldn’t have movies and modern day powerpoint presentations without this

In conclusion- The exhibition was professionally put together and there was a fantastic assortment of different mediums:

  • Recreations of some of his designs which was amazing to see
  • Interesting texts to read
  • Amazing little mobile audio devices which you could carry around and let the narrator take you through the history audibly
  • Interactive gadgets for you play with in order to aid you in understanding the mechanics of his designs

Take your friends, take your grandparents, take your kids, take your history, science physics and art classes…hell take your dog just get there!

The Details:
http://www.davinciexhibition.co.za
Pricing- R140 Adults, R110 Seniors and Students ad R400 family

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The Things I’ve Learned from Anime- Man I’m a Dork!

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Over the last couple of years I have become more and more obsessed with Anime. No particular genre, just a couple of random episodes here and there so that when it grips me I am completely consumed with the story until there are no more episodes, spin-offs or relating Manga that I can indulge my obsession with.

After this last binge, I started thinking about why it was something that I was so easily lost in. Why I spent every waking moment thinking about the characters, the stories and why I was trying to learn something from their situations that I could apply in my own life.

So here are my ramblings and musings on the lessons I have learned from Anime. I am going to put a disclaimer here- these are just some of the million thoughts I had about some of the million Anime I have watched…mmmmkay…so to all the hard-core followers, just take this from whence it comes.

Kids or young adults are more likely to be the “chosen ones”

  • I spent a lot of time thinking about this as why is it hardly ever a random 30-something year old who one, particularly uneventful day, realise that they have been chosen for a greater cause. This is weighing quite heavily on my heart as I am at the moment, busy looking for that bigger cause, greater meaning and feeling that I am too old to offer anything valuable to society. Essentially I was looking for myself in one of these characters.
  • I think that this is because children are still bold. They have the courage to try and do things without worrying about what others might think of them. They have seemingly unrestrained potential and they are only really limiting themselves by the constraints of peer opinion. They have enough imagination to accept that the “fantastical” situation is not what you’d consider “normal” but still real, whereas an adult would spend too much time worrying about whether or not they should believe or accept this situation into their realm of perceived reality instead of running with the challenge.
  • On a negative, most of these “kids” that are deeply conflicted as they are still dealing with childhood developmental issues, like parent issues, schoolyard mentality. This leads to a lot of them having a whiny teenager attitude and moaning about “why me”. 
  • Having said this their training is still relatively quick (hooray for montage) and although a lot of them take the failures to heart, they are still motivated enough to keep going. Failure is not an option.

The battlefield is more psychological than physical

  • It doesn’t seem to matter where or what kind of battle is going on, it seems to be more focused on internal drive and ability. Even amidst a violent, overly bloody battle pitting 2 evenly matched characters together (don’t even get me started on the underdogs)…there is always focus on 2 things:
  • The dialogue between the hero and antagonist. This draws attention to the motivations behind the battle and the mind games that happens when you are facing certain death. This normally brings up back-stories and flashbacks (especially in cases like Bleach).
  • The inner monologue on the character’s motivations for finding their own strength to continue this fight even when they are losing. Also how they are rationalising this fight and the toll it is taking on them physically and psychologically.
  • I found this quite symbolic in my own life because we are normally trying to justify the decisions we make, find the strength to carry on in difficult situations. I find this also in daily life where I could be sneering at my opposition across a business table and strategising my next move and anticipating his, analysing his weaknesses whilst all the while trying to keep motivated and have the resolve to see this through without letting my own insecurities get in the way.

Love has many different forms

  • The one thing I love about the characters I watch is that they have the same intensity of dedication and compassion for family, classmate, team mate, mentor and partner. The fierce loyalty that you can feel towards someone else is not only for a “master” or a significant other. 
  • I marked this down to young, unrestrained passion but when I was thinking about my own life, I realised that with age my opinion of a loved one has changed. It is the people closest to me that I would die, and more importantly kill for. Whether it is a partner, family member, friend or mentor, I think that there are some bonds which can’t be explained by a word more powerful than pure love.

Release

  • A lot of the characters when they are “powering up” or fighting a nemesis, there is a lot of primal screaming as their power grows. The more energy and feeling they seem to exert as well as the more committed to cause they are, the more powerful their attack.
  • I love this. I think that in life (and especially in my case) there is so much that we internalise and generally “keep our mouths shut” with keeping our opinions to ourselves that things end up building up inside. I have had many a thought of just standing in a crowded street, with legs apart and arms out, starting with a low growl and ending up with a full blown roar as the wind slowly starts to pick up and dance to the song of my war drum and hot energy starts to swirl out from my hands until everything climaxes into a bright white explosion which leaves me feeling satisfied and my enemy defeated! (that ended up sounding a little more porno than I intended)

Dark and Light

  • There is a lot of emphasis on personal demons in Anime. Whether they are portrayed as a separate character which is physically embodying these traits or just internal dialogues between our angels and demons, this is quite a popular theme.
  • I personally love this as my personal tag line for myself is that for every ounce of light that radiates from my soul, there is the same amount of darkness lurking beneath the surface. I am a child of light and a child of darkness.

So in conclusion, I still have many hours left in my life to spend on living vicariously through my favourite characters in Anime. I hope one day when I look back at my life, playing on a movie screen for a theatre filled with my loved ones that they will be just as entertained, touched and motivated by my story as I have been by these.

Now I’m off to work on my powers…..

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Dealing with Change

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I have had a genuinely crappy year. I don’t mean this to be a negative thing but when I look back…wow…I think the amount of “self-growing”, “self-awareness” and “dealing with nonsense” I have done in the past 12 months would impress even the Dalai Lama. Let me take a step back…

About 2 years ago, I moved provinces to open up a branch of our company. I threw myself into the challenge and unfortunately spent almost every night and weekend working, thinking that “what I am sacrificing now will eventually pay off.” It didn’t. Turns out the work/life balance has been so well written about because it is, in fact, that damn important. At the beginning of the year, things started unravelling for me and I started dropping the ball on certain aspects. Alas, I am a Virgo and that really isn’t something that I deal with well. So, I had my first full-on nervous breakdown. About 3 months later, having made no changes to my workload or life balance, I had my second one.

These weren’t necessarily bad things. I learnt a few valuable life lessons from this:

  • Your body isn’t as resilient as it was when you were in your early 20’s
  • There is a reason women need to communicate- I nearly went insane keeping all of my thoughts and feelings to myself…Damnit we need to purge man!
  • Working by yourself with no people around at all is soul destroying. I wake up in the morning alone, in silence and unless I speak to clients telephonically or go to a meeting, I go to bed without having said a word to anyone sometimes
  • You get to know yourself the best in man-made silence
  • If you don’t find the work/life balance, life will kick you in the butt until you realise how important it is
  • No matter what, never lose your sense of humour. Sometimes it is the only thing that will get you through a really tough situation

There was a little light at the end of this tunnel, I was given an amazing opportunity to go to the United Kingdom on an epic road trip from London to Scotland with the most eclectic and soulful group of people.

The weekend before this trip, I was savagely mauled and had half my face ripped out by our family dog. Let’s just say…I’d had better days. There was no reason, no explanation for the attack but this event was the catalyst of change for me. I remember lying on the casualty room bed, freezing from the adrenalin overload and picking the pieces of muscle and fat from my hair. While I was (literally and figuratively) holding my pieces together I remember my mom coming in and saying to me ‘If only you had gone to bed earlier”. I know that I was already, after the last 6 months, dealing with a very heavy depression and feeling incredibly suicidal. It was then that I decided… no. No, this can’t be where my life is heading. There has to be more to life than this. Nervous breakdowns, being overworked, underpaid, never being acknowledged, constant thoughts of leaving this planet, and wallowing in negativity. I decided then that if my looks were going to be forever different then so were my choices. I wasn’t going to deal with the “if-onlys”, the “what-ifs” and the wishful thinkings. It was now going to be about the and-now?

So the first thing to change, deal with the depression- done and dusted. Next, what do I actually want to do that will make me happy – not that easy. I spent a good month or so, going through my strengths, weaknesses, pros, cons, experiences to try and derive through some mathematical formula what would fill that gap. While that helped steer me in the right direction, it was a decision of the heart that led to my ultimate choice. I need to get back into the creative field. I have a wealth of business and sales experience. So the natural fit for this is Marketing/Communications/Social Media Management.

Unfortunately, this is a bit of a blow to a company that is relying on you as a revenue generating resource and I had to resign. Now as I sit on the cusp of greatness and/or unemployment I have to remind myself that everything I am doing, is for the right reason. I need to find my little slice of happiness and a company that I can plant my feet in for the next 5 years.

Having said that, dealing with change is not easy. For yourself and for those around you. I think for you young adventurers on the same new and exciting path that I am on, don’t be discouraged by the road less travelled. Don’t be discouraged by those who don’t understand the reasons behind your moves. Keep pushing forward and remember, your old self is behind you, you now have every guilt-free opportunity to explore!

Oh…and if you could spare some change…I’m gonna need it

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The Wizard of Oz: A Corporate Analogy

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You are larking about in the sunny cornfields of home, without a care in the world, when “shazaaam” in a whirlwind of an experience, you have left school and are dropped without any rhyme or reason into the working world I call Hell…I mean Oz.

Sound familiar? Ok perhaps you don’t speak with a Kansas drawl or have a penchant for little dogs and sparkly red shoes but I’m pretty sure this is an accurate description of most people’s rude awakening into the working world.

You find yourself in the workplace with only your vast teenage experiences as reference (which, let’s be honest, comprise mainly of speed-texting, movies, music and your amazing ability to hide things from your folks), and perhaps the textbooks which you parrot-fashioned crammed and have subsequently forgotten from your drunk-binge riddled varsity years.

You land slap bang in the middle of an already thriving eco-system with it’s own deep history and characters who are already entrenched in their own stories. Upon arrival you are swamped by a hundred minions, singing the praises of the great and powerful Oz as well as warning you of the dangers lurking in the shadows. You are dazed and confused but optimistic at meeting all these people who are curious about the foreign newcomer. You are then told that in order to find your ultimate wish, be it a way “home”, a path to greatness, a raise, a promotion, that you need to follow the already built and well-travelled yellow-brick road.

Although you have been warned about the potential danger and hardships you will encounter along the way you head off skipping and dancing to follow your dreams. Sometimes the road is smooth-sailing, sometimes it’s a little bit more like “bundu-bashing” and you have to cut back the obstacles to forge your own path, but you are certain that there is a reason you are on this road and continue with a steely resolve.

Along the way you meet the following characters:

  • The Lion-

This timid employee is loyal and dedicated. They have probably been in the company for a long time and know every pitfall. They are seeking courage. Looking for the courage to speak up against the ills in the office, the courage to make known their ideas and probably the courage to demand a raise or promotion.

  • The Tin Man-

This hardened and thick-skinned employee may seem ruthless and cold on the exterior. They are probably go-getters and do what they need to, to get the job done. They are seeking “heart”. The ability to empathise with the people they encounter on the way and form more connections instead of just moving up the corporate ladder.

  • The Scarecrow-

This employee has probably been placed in one role as that is what they are seemingly “designed” to do. They are happy to do the same thing, day in, day out. They are seeking “brains”. I don’t mean brains in terms of intelligence, not at all. I mean brains in terms of inspiration to do something different, learn a new skill and perhaps break-out of the stereotype they have created for themselves.

  • Toto-

This employee will blindly follow the leader of the pack. They will in all likelihood follow trends, be a little gossipy or “yappy” and would prefer the pampered life or being someone’s pet. They are in search of independence. The strength to themselves become the leaders and find their own “Totos”.

After meeting all the amazing and colourful (Techno-colour) characters on your journey to the Emerald City (which could perhaps be seen as the corner office with the view), you are finally about to encounter Management. As you may remember from the movies, it was an awe-inspiring event for Dorothy and her motley crew in meeting the Wizard. There was an all-knowing, all-powerful appearance to him and they were fearful upon approaching him. But behind that smoke-screen of illusions was a small, insecure individual dealing with their own issues and just as human as the rest of them (Ok well not all of them)

So after a long journey, much singing, dancing, drama, you realise that your reward was a harsh introduction to reality and that nothing is what it seems, and you are now able to afford a nice pair of shoes. So it’s time to move on as there is now nothing more to be experienced and gained from this world, on to your next Oz. Although your setting will be different, the characters pretty much remain the same.

In conclusion, don’t fear the Wizard, don’t fear the witch and don’t fear the journey of the unknown. Instead embrace each opportunity as an adventure and make sure you have an ecclectic group of individuals to share in your journey. Because although the worlds may change, your connections will always be there.

Disclaimer- this is just my opinion…written a little tongue in cheek.

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An Ode to My Alter Ego

So I have an alter-ego, affectionately and appropriately known as “Tequila-Derryn”. She is completely uninhibited and free-spirited but also a hooligan and doesn’t know her limits. I often wish I could smash the two-worlds of the unreserved Tequila-Derryn with the over-thinking, self-depreciating normal Derryn. Anyway- to this effect, I wrote a quick poem to my weirdness…

She is my unsung song, my unwritten poem,

She is broken and bruised,

She is real.

 

She’s my strength,

She’s my weakness,

She’s locked away safely in the confines of my sensibilities.

 

I love her,

She hates me,

With a heat akin to the flames of Hell.

 

I wish she’d acknowledge me,

Like I admire her,

We’d conquer the world.

 

She is me,

I am her,

We will never be together.

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