Posts Tagged ‘sign’

Writing in the sky

April 28, 2013

I saw it too late to read it. I hope it’s not important.



“Please be considerate and flash the toilet”

June 25, 2011

Kinda hard to avoid?

Of course, they really mean “please be considerate and FLUSH the toilet”… which is almost as hilarious. Surely you shouldn’t have to tell people? Mind you, most of America’s public toilets seem to be equipped with automatic flushers, and I can’t help wondering if there’s some sordid reason for that.

This proves that spell checkers are not all-powerful and should come with a WARNING: USE IN CONJUNCTION WITH BRAIN FOR BEST RESULTS.

Oh, okay then... If the toilet wants that, I guess...

Photo (note clever placement of flash spot) taken by my friend Jinty (read her blog, it’s crazy stuff – her phone just got tapped!) in Nelspruit, probably while going to the dentist, the doctor, or the supermarket in South Africa. People who live in Swaziland – and who can afford to leave – tend to cross the border to do stuff like that now and then. Well, to do that, and to make private phone calls.

Street level days, strippers and the DMV

February 3, 2011

They say a picture is worth 1000 words. Of course when you’re writing a screenplay you only got about 25 to make one with – if you’re lucky. It’s like writing poetry, except you don’t get to explain what it’s about to a bunch of funky intellectual lesbians in a coffeeshop before you read it. It’s gotta make sense on it’s own. But it takes a long, long time per word, if you get what I mean?

So time is pretty precious. And standing in DMV queues sucks, specially when at the end of it all, some officious prick tells you what you know not to be true – that you can get a social security number, and that you can’t have a driver’s license without one. This guy isn’t a huge intellectual star – he’s still stuck behind the written test counter at 48 years old after all, getting his kicks by grading written tests – he particularly seemed to enjoy failing people. But he won’t let you finish your sentence or show him the part in the f-1 where it says you can’t work legally off-campus. And he has all the power.

I have no idea why this poor fire hydrant is so sad. But what the hell, it was company for a while at least.

And then I had to walk home from Santa Ana – about 6 miles – when my car needed to overnight at the hospital in order to pass it’s SMOG test. I did try to take a bus but managed to take it in the wrong direction. The driver wouldn’t tell me where it went for some reason and I got unlucky. Need to get my head around this North South East West thing sometime soon.

But I guess I’ve got to tell myself I might need whatever I learned today, some time. I always wondered whether that conversation I had with the stripper in the toilets of a club called CLUB 68  (I kid you not) in Durban in 1995 –  about whether or not her tampon was visible when she opened her legs – would ever come in useful. And the good news? It’s about to.

One thing I can tell you about the guy at DMV: His brain wasn’t showing when he opened his mouth.


“You don’t celebrate Thanksgiving?”

November 24, 2010

I got that holiday feeling. By which I mean, most of the people I know in town have gone home to their families for Thanksgiving, America’s bloodiest holiday, on which millions of turkeys sacrifice for the cause, and everyone cooks, like crazy.

Fellow writer Daphne Carpel spotted this at the airport. She has an eye for the poignent in life. I almost cried when I read it... talk about the loss of innocence.

Here in So-Cal, there’s a weird vibe in the air. Queues at stores. Rain in California. So I decided to spend most of this time at home, in my new pink fluffy dressing gown, writing while consuming gallons of specially re-labled “festive blend” coffee. I would have thrown a hot water bottle into the mix, but here they are sold in medical stores only, and used to give enemas. They come with attachments. And although I’ve gone native and now get cold when the themometre drops below 60 farenheit, I just couldn’t face owning anything used to wash out the inside of your arse.

If course, there’s no avoiding the world: Every now and then I need to put my clothes on and leave, even if only to get pizza or milk, or a quick enima. This means talking to the extra-happy US clerks, who inevitably ask me, once they hear my accent: “So, you cooking up a storm for Thanksgiving?” I glance in confusion at my collection of items: Milk, toilet paper, chardonnay, an instant dinner and an overly optimistic bag of salad that will leave my fridge in compost form in a week.

Actually, cough… I am celebrating Thanksgiving. A bunch of us students who can’t go home for the holidays are meeting up and each bringing a dish and it’s going to be really cool. But I like to complicate my life, so I often explain no, “I’m South African”. The people I actually know in the USA – my new friends I guess – are mostly quite well educated. But the woman at Trader Jo’s looked at me like I’d just announced I had a bomb strapped to me. “You don’t have Thanksgiving there?” She said, agast. I shook my head. “Why not?” She replied. After thinking over the possibility of explaining why we also didn’t celebrate the 4th of July, I smiled sadly and replied: “No Turkeys”.

Not that keen to touch Activist Lori Lamb's junk. But it's some poor person's job to do so. Pat Downs are the new controversy here. Seems they're becoming more invasive. I'm almost tempted to fly. Image swiped from

Actually thanksgiving, for all its dubious historial inaccuracy is a kinda cool holiday. It’s a perfect break before the craziness of finals. It involves food and well, being thankful. I got into the spirit of it and felt like I belonged for maybe the first time when I donated a couple of cans and some instant mac ‘n cheese to a shelter. For liberal-ass me, that’s probably the moment when I know I’ve settled in a bit: the one when I do something for the community that, in it’s friendly, weird American way, has welcomed me in the end.

To those of you who celebrate Thanksgiving, enjoy. And to those of you who don’t, consider it! I can’t imagine anything better than a celebration with no baggage – no memories of missing family, no complications, just good food, and the people you choose to have with you. Your gay family, if you know what I mean. I think when I go home I might keep the tradition, just for fun. A friend and former colleague blogged about her thanksgiving excuse for cooking cool food here.

And this year I’m celebrating some great things like
The storm of creative collaboration born of slight desperation over our latests project, the first one that forces students to film a narrative – the 789.
The fact that I’m starting to make friends, and the warm and welcoming-ness of Americans so far. Thanks, USA.
The friends back in South Africa who kept me sane online, who held my hand and who I miss like crazy. Who gave me the faith it took to come here.
My mother, who sent me photographs and a card with jasmine flowers and fynbos from home pressed in it. Jasmine for my birthday. Arrived a few months late but I could still smell the flowers in her garden.
My father, who is flying my mother here to visit me.
The first crush I’ve had in ages. It’s not a good feeling exactly. But it’s better than nothing.
The future, which may not be the reason I’m wearing shades. The past that pushed me here. The hope that I’ll overcome the past.

Overshare – why not. People have died for less.


Why are these signs on this lawn?

November 10, 2010

What happened – did someone decide to erect this late at night after a bottle of pinot? Do they feel strongly about the alienation of mass pop culture? What is this all about? I am used to stuff like this popping up around Cape Town – I archived about three years’ worth on my old letterdash blog that’s unfortunately fallen prey to a squatter. And seemingly random hearts are the latest trend there.

A few thousand students must walk past every day. Every one of them stopped to read this.


"Why in the world do strangers feel the need to talk to each other at airports? I will never understand this." Well I don't know. I do. I talk to strangers all the time. Why not? I also sometimes don't talk much to friends. But most of all I don't understand why you put this sign on your lawn. I mean, I like it, but I don't get it. I love it. I don't get it.

And then on the other side, of the same sign… this!

"Life before google - a short story" BUNNY1: I just thought of something I'd like to know more about. BUNNY2: That's a damn shame.

Google THIS, fucking rabbit cartoon people. On a road near Chapman University. If anyone can explain it, I’d love to know what it’s all about.


Getting my characters from San Diego to Alabama, somewhere

October 15, 2010

They start here.


I've been to San Diego, but this isn't my photo. I found it on this site, which is a relic of the WWW's old days, I think. All wonky, all out of date, but once useful. Check it out for laughs.


The story I am turning into my script was originally set in South Africa, where I know what I’m doing. But I was challenged – nay, commanded – to set it in the USA. This is tricky, as I don’t know what is in the USA. Can you tell me? Here’s the route they’re taking, although they’ll be on the back roads. I’m even considering sending them through Mexico… is that a good idea? The main thing that must not happen is a roadblock that requires the Winnebago they’re traveling in to be stopped and searched.


If you've been to any of the places along this route, tell me about it. post a link in your comment to your blog about it... whatever you can offer me, I'd love. At some point, I'll do the trip myself. But right now, it's impossible.


Five days later, they’re somewhere around here.


Took this picture (actually only part of it) from a blog called