My Speech

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My Speech
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Image by sevitz
My brother weighs 55 kilograms. He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother.

I don’t know what Zoey weighs, but she’s not heavy, and I’m proud to welcome her into the family as my sister …. Finally we will have a Sevitz who can sing

My brother is a very lucky man today. I’m sure everyone here is a little bit jealous. If you think about how few people have a such a good looking, intelligent, fun, witty, charming, awesome, humorous and all round fantastic …. brother who they can ask to be their best man. Zoey of course also has these attributes in spades, and to this we can add beautiful, pretty, gorgeous and someone who is lovely to be around.

I must be honest I don’t know Zoey as well as I would like to, having moved to London before my bother and her started dating. Of course Zoey is one of those extremely friendly people who are really easy to get along with, and it’s been a pleasure meeting and getting to know her these last few years.

Zoey is also called Zoo. Either it’s because of her love of animals, … or more likely because my brother doesn’t know how to do deel tekkens on the keyboard.

My brother Jonathan, is also called Jon. But only by his friends and only when my mother isn’t around. When we were growing up , if a friend called and ask to speak to Jon my mother would say – “no one by that name lives here” – and would hang up the phone. I’m not sure how many social arrangements my brother missed out on as a result but he then adopted the nickname of Nodge, which is Jon spelt backwards. In hindsight I think my mother should have let his mates call him Jon.

Let me give you a little flavor, a potted history if you like of Nodge, Jon, Jonathan, my brother …

One day when we were kids, during a family braai we decided to play hide and seek. When it was Jonathan’s turn to hide, we counted to the requisite number and started looking for him. After about half and hour we couldn’t find him at all, and went to watch TV or do something else.

Several hours pass and the grown ups ask where Jonathan is. We said we didn’t know, that we were playing hide and seek and couldn’t find him so gave up. Naturally this worried the parents and all the adults walked around calling out his name to try find him. My brother could hear his name being called but assumed we were just trying to trick him into losing and stayed hidden.

More time passes. More worry ensues. Eventually, just shy of calling the police to report him as missing – he was found. Quietly standing … as he had been for the last 4 plus hours … not moving …. behind the curtain in his bedroom.

And that’s my brother. He doesn’t look competitive but likes winning in the never give up, even if you have to stand not making a noise … perfectly still … behind a curtain. For 4 hours.

My brother’s also the kind of person who’s intensely loyal and high on my list of people to come bail me out of jail should I ever need it. As way of example, when I was last in South Africa, we were stuck the Vaal river, and fancied coming back to early. Jonathan kindly came and picked us up, on a Friday, in rush hour, from the Vaal. Which isn’t something anyone wants to be doing on a Friday afternoon.

Although I have also been told that when Zoey asked the same thing of him, he said no. So maybe this loyalty is related on the fact I’m a blood match, if he ever needs a kidney. I mean there Zoey was, locked in her bedroom – in fear for her life. She phones Jonathan and says he he has to come help her. Now. Right now. Jonathan says No, he’s just landed in Durban. Zoey nearing tears, insists Jon get on the next flight, and comes to save her. Jon holds steadfast and says firmly, no, she’s going to have man up, get a weapon, unlock the bedroom door, deal with that spider herself.

Growing up, my brother and I were quite different. If we were given three sweets, mine would be gone in about 7 seconds. Jonathan would manage to make his last several hours. Which as an older brother is about the most frustrating thing on the planet. In fact to this day I’m not entirely unconvinced he didn’t do this just to annoy me.

As he grew up my brother my brother excelled through out school scoring well academically showing that my claims to be the smart good looking one in the family where only half true.

My dad tells me that when it came to his matriculation, he vaguely mentions that he thinks he might have won some award. “Some award” turned out to 6 separate academic awards for excellence, as well as being named “dux scholar”. I’m not sure if that means we can add “humble” to the list of his attributers, or just oblivious.

Leaving school, my brother took a year off and went to Israel with Netzer. After spending a year in Israel with about two dozen Australians, the main thing my brother appeared to learn was how to walk around the house in dirty underwear whilst belching and breaking wind a lot. Fortunately for Zoey we broke him of this habit and off he went to study at Wits, in the family tradition; engineering.

Continuing to show me up academically, he followed this with a masters in environmental engineering. For this I am actually quite grateful, as it’s allowed me the excuse of being shoddy at recycling by claiming that karma wise having an environmental engineer as a brother compensates. To date this excuse has not held water with my girlfriend, but I remain eternally the optimist.

Somewhere during this time he went on holiday with a few friends from Netzer. One of those friends was a girl called Zoey who he had met about 10 years prior, at camp. At the time he met Zoey he was dating someone else and him and Zoey just became friends. He was also “just friends” when he went on this holiday with Zoey. He was not, “just friends” when he returned. Which all in all was a good thing as it leads us to today.

My brother also has a love for adventuring. He enjoys the outdoors , hiking and I recall him taking up canoeing at one point. Clearly this is something Zoey shares, a highlight of which is their climb of Kilimajro a few years back. From what I understand it’s the kind of achievement made slightly easier by the dog minded personality of someone who can stand behind a curtain for 4 hours.

Of course this stubbornness has also led my brother to do things like getting his car stuck on a sandbank. And then after getting towed to safety, driving right back onto it and getting stuck again.

So that’s my brother. Academically gifted, loyal, steadfast, reliable, moderately stubborn, an adventurer and working for the greater environmental good of society. All in all for all the fights, and veribbles and sibling rivalry I couldn’t ask for a better brother, nor could I claim not intensely proud of my brother and his achievements. I have no fears or worries for him or the future, as I know not only will he achieve everything he wants to but a great deal more to boot.

Zoey whilst my brother is the kind of person who will land up getting your perfume confiscated at airport security, stuck on sandbanks and never cook you anything more complex than a slice of toast, he will never let you down in anything that really matters. As someone who has lived with him far longer than you, I can safely say, your life will always be entertaining, always full of humor and you’ll have someone by your side who will always love you.

Of course this does lead me to ask … when he is at your side, what do you talk about. I’m not entirely sure it’s each other. Let me explain

On the stag do, we asked him a few dozen questions in the format of “What would Zoey say if asked the following question and then got Zoey to answer all the questions before the event. For example, What would Zoey say if asked “What is Jonathan’s favorite ice cream”.

My brother got somewhere in the region of 80% of the answers wrong, which is quite a spectacular fail rate. This did however reveal the following …

Zoey knows more about my brother, than my brother knows about … himself.
My brother agreed with all of Zoey’s answers upon hearing the correct answer. I suspect this is the secret to a long and stable relationship. God knows I’ve not yet learnt this lesson.
My brothers favorite ice cream is not fudge as he thought but mango as Zoey correctly established.
If my brother was a super hero he would be “Excel-man – saving the world one spreadsheet at a time.”. In other news my brother needs to perhaps get out slightly more.
Both Jon and Zoey’s ideal night out is dinner and a movie. Which is one of the few questions he got right. And probably just as well.
and finally … It would be considered highly romantic if my brother purchased a 4×4 for Valentines day.

It was also reveled by Jon’s friends that he goes to gym a lot more when interested in a girl. Zoey I’ve checked up on his gym records since he met you, and his attendance has been exemplary. I think you might be in there.

I started this speech with title of the Hollies song “He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother.”

The song starts with these words

The road is long
With many a winding turn
That leads us to who knows where
Who knows when

The road so far has brought you to each other. The next winding turns and bumps, potholes, traffic calming zones and robots that are out of order is the next step in this journey. Aside from Jon’s tendency to get lost, and Zoey’s map reading I have a lot of faith for your future on this road together.

My only advice I feel you need for an enduring relationship is this. Buy a satnav.

That aside, the love and affection you have for each other is obvious. Keep this as your bedrock and you’ll be fine.

If everyone could all please rise I’d like to make a toast to my brother and his lovely wife.

… everyone rises …

“to the bridge and groom” … “to the bridge and groom”

And with that, I’d like to introduce my brother. Who will thank me profusely for being awesome. He might also say a few nice things about Zoey.


Note I spelt Zoë name as Zoey so I would pronounce right and not say Zo (rhyming with Low)

Amotsuki, the old word for Mochi-Tsuki or Rice Cake Making is also a metaphor for Coitus
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Image by timtak
[Cross posted from Shinto Blog with additions]

In a well known Japanese dictionary (koujien 4th edition) it says that, "Amotsuki" (餅搗), an old but not defunct word for "mochi-tsuki" which means beating rice to make rice cakes, was used as a metaphor for "boji"(房事) which means coitus.

The rice beating ritual performed at New Year gave me a impression of representing coitus when, as is traditional, a woman turns the rice while her husband beats it.

In the ritual that I saw performed, and took part in, a woman knelt or crouched down beside the "usu" (bowl) and make relatively high pitched noises encouraging a man wielding a big mallet to beat the rice cake, sometimes with a grunt. Apparently quite a lot of males die each year of heart attack as they wield their mallet. The ritual is quite hard work. The men build up a sweat. The rice cake becomes more and more gooey. The thwack, thwack of the mallet (kinu) hitting the gooey rice in the bowl resounds. Finally everyone rejoices partaking of the gooey white rice cake. It is quite a carbohydrate high after all that exertion. Bearing in mind the shape of the tools used, the gender division of labor, their relative positions, and the color and consistency of the final product, I made an interpretation which prompted my my Japanese friends to call me a pervert. Then one day I was reading my dictionary and came across the entry above.

These metaphors may be quite irrelevant and coincidental but since the Shinto-Amaterasu myth is represented in Shinto New-Year’s festivities, the fact that a ritual seen as a metaphor for sex (at least in times past) should take a central role in the festivities suggests that perhaps there is a similarly metaphorical episode in the Susano Amaterasu myth. At least one researcher has suggested that the bit where Susano-O throws a backwards skinned horse into the clothing room of Amaterasu such that one of her weavers dies as a result of a shuttle entering her body, may be a metaphor for coitus.

It would not be unusual that sex is represented in Shinto festivities (examples, click with caution and or or parental advice). One commentator (essayist Ei Rokutsukel,2004) expressed the opinion that many or most Shinto festivities were related to sex.

Christian festivals (Christmas and Easter) represent birth and in the Shinto tradition birth is, or was, the dirtiest most defiled thing, as taboo as sex is in the Christian tradition.

With these reversals of the most sacred and the most defiled — with Japanese and Western religion being so polar — I used to think that war between Japan and the West would be inevitable.

Similar entries to that photographed above from an other edition of the same dictionary
餅つき 2男女交接の例え Amotsuki (rice beating) is a metaphor for sex
臼と杵 男女の仲がぴったり合うこと Usu to Kinu Pestle and Mortar/mallet very close male female relationship
臼から杵 臼は女、杵は男を象徴する。女から男に働きかけるのは逆であるの­意で)逆であるさまにいう
Mortar to Pestle. Women should not approach/influence men.

Ei Rokutsuke et al (2004) "Matsuri ha Eros de Aru"(Festivals are Eros/Erotic), "Nihon no Matsuri" (Japanese Festivals). Asahi Newspaper.

Blurred rice beater is a detail from Mochi-tsuki [8] by YoAndMi

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CAMP BUNDELA, India (Oct. 11, 2009) Command Sgt. Maj. Ruben Torres Jr., senior enlisted advisor, 2nd Squadron, 14th Cavalry Regiment, "Strykehorse," 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division takes breathing advice from Indian Army Naib Subedar Jasbir Singh during a yoga session at Camp Bundela in Babina, India, Oct. 11. The instruction is part of a cultural exchange between the Indian Army and the U.S. Army. The Soldiers are in India in support of Exercise Yudh Abhyas 09. YA09, which is scheduled for Oct. 12-27, is a bilateral exercise involving the Armies of India and the United States. The primary goal of the exercise is to develop and expand upon the relationship between the Indian and U.S. armies.

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