12 01 2010

Well. It’s the new year. New month. New decade. Call it what you want, it’s new. If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you may have noticed that I missed quite a few things on my list of things that I wanted to do back in 2009. I did, however, manage to achieve more things than I didn’t manage, so I’m going to spin it as a victory.

Needless to say (but I’m going to say it anyway), the list carries over to 2010, and I feel sure that this time I am going to finish it. Hey, I mean, I have already ticked off one more thing already, which I’ll get to telling you in a bit.

The list then, as it stands now:

  • Paintballing (with friends)
  • Go-Karting
  • How I Met Your Mother marathon (All episodes back to back)
  • Fishing
  • Camping
  • Random tour of the country
  • Snowboarding

And then, here are a few new things that have been added to the list:

  • The Big Bang Theory marathon (All episodes back to back)
  • Swim in a natural pool, preferably with a waterfall.
  • Karaoke again
  • See an international band
  • McDonalds tour (Visit every McDonalds (at least 10) in my area and order something from each of them)
  • See a movie at IMax
  • Watch a comedy show
  • Bungee jumping
  • Rock climbing
  • Scuba diving
  • Sky diving
  • Driving range
  • Firing range

Ok I know there are a few duplicates on this list. But they were so awesome that I wanted to do them again.

With that, onto the post about karaoke!

So we were on holiday down in Ramsgate, and one night I decided that we were going to go sing karaoke. By we I mean myself and my GF, her friend from uni and her sister, and a whole bunch of randoms that the friend had invited. Was a really fun holiday all in all, but too short for my liking and too many randoms I didn’t know that well.

So everybody got really drunk in preparation for karaoke, which is something you need to do apparently (although me and my GF didn’t have anything all afternoon or evening). We then missioned off to a place called Friendz, where they have Karaoke with Henk and Felicity on a Saturday between 9 and midnight. Random place and very Afrikaans, but otherwise decent.

So we get in there, get a table, even though it was pretty full, for 12 people. We then looked through the karaoke menu, and after a few nervous discussions, most of us put our song choices down. Some people wussed out and didn’t sing anything all night though, which was lame.

First of our group to go up with my GF, who had volunteered to sing Barbie Girl by Aqua. Not remembering that there was a male part to the song, the host had to step in and join the song, but I quickly stepped in and took the mic from him halfway through the song. I know how daunting it can be to sing in front of people for the first time, and wanted to show support. Big props though for getting up there first, on your first time.

A few more randoms went and sang some random songs (not half-bad though I might add), but then it was my turn. I got up and totally rocked out to You Give Love A Bad Name by Bon Jovi. It was awesome and everybody was really supportive and awesome. A bit later in the night, I signed up for Sweet Child o’ Mine by Guns ‘n’ Roses and totally rocked that too.

Later in the night, a few of our group sang some songs too. The classic I Will Survive and a few others I can’t remember.  My GF also got up and sang Hit Me Baby, One More Time, which was supposed to be with her uni friend, but she had gone home quickly to drop off people who faded way early.

All in all it was a really awesome time, and aside from the crazy aggressive creeps, who stood on the “dancefloor” perving the female singers, it was really fun. I’ll definitely want to go again sometime. Now I just need to find a place that offers it on weekends here in Joburg.



29 10 2009

What’s this? A new post? On Michael’s blog? No … can’t be. Must be some sort of mistake. Or maybe my eyes are deceiving me? Or I’m going crazy.

No friends, its none of those things. You really are reading another post, right here on Bet This Is Original.

Yes, yes, I know that it has been exactly a month since my last post, and quite frankly, that is shocking. No reason for it, except lack of motivation. So while it may seem bad that I only get around to posting every month, it probably is.

Now, I could go on and say that I’m going to try and post more regularly, but honestly, I don’t think it is going to happen. I mean I will try, but no promises, and history would seem to be against me anyway. Lol.

So, once more, let me fill you in on the latest happenings in my life.

I’m currently writing my final exams for my degree. And I mean final, final … like final. Ever. No more exams after these 4 brief ones. Hahaha brief, when in reality each will probably have me desperately scribbling nonsense on paper for three hours.

After I finish my exams (I am quite confident that I will pass them), I will be unemployed. Lol, strange to say it but it’s true. I have applied for an internship thing, and it would be awesome if I got it, but I am trying not to get my hopes up in that respect. I don’t want to be disappointed.

I’m not even sure when I will know if my tentative plans for next year will happen or not. Some person who came to pitch it to us at varsity mentioned something about mid-January? But they still have to do interviews etc. and the thing starts in February, so that might be wrong.

Anyway, the internship will comprise 3 months in Cape Town, doing some kind of classes, I think they said. And then after that 7 months will be back in Johannesburg, where we will be working at either The Star or The Pretoria News. Could be interesting.

Hmmm … what else is news? Oh I am apparently part of the management now over at NoMoreGameBlogs. I’ve got a meeting at 5am this morning, where my boss will be showing me how to use the new features that I will be in charge of. <rolls eyes> I’m sure a Powerpoint slideshow via email would have worked just as well.

So yes. That is a brief update on my life. I want to say tune in again soon (not another month’s time) for more thrilling posts, but I don’t want to be labelled a liar when I don’t deliver. So! I guess I’ll see when you I see you (metaphorically speaking of course).

Target Audience

7 08 2009

In all things, one must identify one’s target audience, and then appeal to that audience. This is the way that everything works, from business to charity. Businesses would wither if they simply provided their product without having any idea who was buying and who they should be appealing to and persuading to buy. Those begger children/women with children/blind people at the intersection have to have a good idea of what makes people give them money, or they would starve.

It is thusly that I have come to a conclusion. This blog is never going to be popular. It will never have enough visitors that I will be able to write a book (see: MushyPeas) or even enough to earn me money. This blog that you are now visiting will primarily be a way for you (my loyal readers) to hear my rantings, ravings, theories, observations and anything else I care to post here.

And I’m fine with that.

If you guys are willing to keep on reading my nonsense, I’m going to keep on writing it.

The Gillette Advantage

11 07 2009

Shaving. It’s kak. It’s ok to admit it, although sadly it is a neccessary part of everybody’s day to day life. Luckily for me, my facial hair is not yet advanced enough to require me to shave every day. Every second or third day for me personally will ensure a smooth face.

The worst part of shaving is the cuts. Aside from stubbing your toe, paper cuts and getting hit in the testicles (for guys), cuts from a razor on your face is the worst thing in the world. It hurts like hell, bleeds like hell for about 15 minutes and looks like you put your face in a blender. And if you’re really unlucky, they leave unsightly scabs on your face for the next week or so, that just screams to everybody “Hey look! I don’t know how to shave!!”

My personal experience (only using disposable razors), is that Gillette really does make the best. I’ve tried no-name brands, I’ve tried Bic. I’ve tried two blades, I’ve tried three blades. The only razor that I’ve found to consistently NOT cut my face to shreds is Gillette razors. No matter the brand or number of blades, there is just something about Gillette that just works for me. Maybe it’s the tilting heads or something, I don’t know.

Now, before this starts sounding like a Gillette advert (no, I’m not getting paid: I wish though!), let me point out some things. I don’t think we need 5 blades on a razor, Gillette, so please stop pushing your Fusion down my throat. I don’t see the point of a battery powered manual razor: what’s the pulsing going to do except cut me? I hate your “precision trimmer” concept on your Fusion: You know what we used to call “precision trimmers”? Razors! Finally, your products are such a rip off. I am not going to pay R200 (or whatever crazy price they are asking nowadays) for three blades; especially when you are putting a 4,750% markup on them (check this article for more info on that one).

In short, I like your razors but you are crazy. Thank you.

Oh, and please comment on this story and share your best (or worst) shaving stories. I for one would love to read them.

Go Democracy!

23 04 2009

So today, here in South Africa, we had our fourth general election. What this means is that essentially the whole country (23 million people registered to vote, and polls say about 80% of those people actually turned up) went out of their comfortable warm houses, stood in lines for hours (my personal experience was 80 minutes) and made their X next to the party of their choice. Now obviously some people had funny reasons for chosing their parties, such as the struggle history of the party, the dancing skills of the party leader or just because they are the only party of a certain colour.

Whatever the reason, people went out and voted. Polling stations closed about 3 hours, 15 minutes ago as I write this (21:00 UCT+2), and theoretically we can expect that the votes are being counted already. We already know that the ANC has won the majority, but the main question is whether they have won their 2/3 majority (enough to let them change the constitution: eek!) or whether the oppositions parties managed to gain enough of the vote to prevent this from happening. Personally I’m hoping that the DA gets at least 20% and the other parties make up the last 20% … but honestly I don’t see this happening.

Even the formation of an ANC breakaway party: Congress Of the PEople (COPE) will do little to make inroads into the ANC, I think. If anything, I think they will take a little bit of the vote away from the ANC, while taking most of their votes from the DA and other parties.

So, in short, my first election was exciting and interesting, but I doubt that anything will change.

Thanks to all for voting and especially to all who didn’t vote ANC. Lol. But seriously, if you voted, you have earned the right to bitch about the government for the next five years. For those who couldn’t be bothered to vote or even register… shut up. You haven’t got any say in the running of government.

English Premier League madness

10 04 2009

Why do so many people support the English Premier League (EPL)? You know, all these rabid Manchester United or Liverpool or Arsenal supporters. (Side note, isn’t it funny how you never hear of any other team aside from those three? Are all the other teams just totally crap that they don’t even have vocal fans in South Africa? Anyway, I digress…).

So there is a lot of these people who support an arbitrary league of teams that they have no personal connection to and are rabidly defensive of their team (and rabidly proud of their hatred for the other teams), while at the same time worshipping the very players that they have no hope of ever meeting or even being close to. Hmmm … is it just me who sees how stupid that is?

I mean, honestly, what is the attraction in doing this? Do these people want to feel like a part of something greater than themselves? There are a lot more clubs they can join that make a lot more sense. And I mean, if you are really such a soccer (football, whatever you want to call it, it’s the same thing) fan, why don’t you support the local Premier Soccer League (PSL). Is everybody too racist to watch 22 black people kick a ball around? “Oh no, it has to be a bunch of white people, else they are not good enough to watch.”
<Those last two sentences was a joke by the way>

Ok, let’s assume that everybody who watches and supports EPL has very valid reasons for doing so. Maybe they are originally from that area/country and feel a sense of pride in supporting the old homeland. And that’s fine. By all means. If you just like the team and want to feel part of it, however, you are a joiner, with no clear reasons for supporting the team, except that everybody else is doing it? I don’t know. Personally I don’t see any attraction or reason for it.

So, in protest, I think I am going to start supporting a foreign sport league for no good reason. And what better sport than the absurdity of Aussie Rules Football? Seriously, the sport has 3 different scores at the end of the game. And 18 players per side. And a round field. I love it. Who’s with me? I’m gonna be reading up on the sport to get a general idea of the rules and the teams, and hopefully the next time somebody tries to talk to me about the EPL I will be able to respond in kind about the beauty of Aussie Rules Football. Who’s with me??

Pop music lifespan

7 04 2009

Innovation drives any industry. In the music industry, especially in the pop music (for this blog, pop music means anything you will find on the top 40 chart of any radio station), it seems that innovation is non-existent. All that matters in the pop music industry is the constant production of new music. It doesn’t necessarily have to be good music, as long as it has high production values and is marketed well, it will succeed.

Let me give an example to back up my insane rantings. If you look at another style of music, say … hardcore, you will notice that new albums are released at a much slower rate than the pop industry. With pop, music changes every week basically, depending on what’s “hot” at the time.

In comparison, let’s look at Metallica. They released a few albums back in the day, and they are classics. I mean ask anybody and they will tell you that they still listen to The Black Album even today. And that was released a good couple of years ago. It has staying power. As a pop example of what’s hot at the moment, will anybody remember Lady Gaga’s Pokerface in a few months time? Nope it will be gone from the collective memory, replaced by another generic song that sounds very similar. And in a few years time, when Lady Gaga releases a new hit CD, will anybody remember Pokerface? Doubtful.

I mean, look at other previously famous pop acts. The Spicegirls? Backstreet Boys? 5ive? Even Avril Lavigne has faded from memory.

Maybe it’s just me? Are there any people out there who still listen to The Spicegirls?