Friday, March 30, 2007

No Rant Today

So, that plan back-fired. The meeting was surprisingly good, perhaps it's because I was holding the white-board marker and provided the solution and kept everybody happy and the project on track ;) Nothing like a job well done.

Which means that I can't be blogging right now, I have development to start ... but have no fear, there's no doubt I'll feel the need to rant another time, so all will not be lost. I'll just spend some time in the Jhb traffic once the schools have re-opened and I'll be on top form again, I'm sure ;)

Have a fabulous weekend! It's the 2007 SA Blog Awards this evening and I'm really looking forward to it! Will report back on Monday, hopefully with good news :)

TV Night

So I'm starting this post with not much direction in mind ... consider it an experiment in wandering conversation with oneself ;)

Last night was nice and relaxing ... Loulou and I had a quiet dinner at home and caught up on all sorts of tv. Prison Break from Tuesday night (had to be skipped since there were more important things, like Book Club), Men in Trees - my first time watching this, it's okay, but not somehting I'm going to get bent out of shape about missing if I'm out and about and the start of the new season of CSI: Las Vegas - my old fav is back, and just as good as I remembre CSI to be ... I think the characters in this one are better than Miami, and I haven't really watched enough of New York to form an opinion, not that that would ordinarily stop me ;)

And then I managed to start DH Season 2 ... I know I'm a bit behind here, but I heard it was a pretty rubbish season so have been putting it off. It started okay ... And I'm not one of those uber-fans of the first season either. Going along it was pretty enjoyable but the ending was crap.

And then what ... nothing much really. But I do have the beginnings of a rant in my head ... I'm just not in that mood this morning - yet. I have a meeting for a project with yet another annoying project manager - it must be a job requirement? This guy doesn't invite everyone to the meetings (me, hello?) and is so concerned about the ridiculous time-lines of his project instead of getting it done right. Do people never learn ... ? Anyway, they want some project done by April 11th ... and we haven't yet started development. Let's just say his expectations are more than unlikely.

Anyway, that wasn't even the rant that I have brewing ... but I'm sure a meeting with him will be enough to put me in the right mood for my original rant.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Noticed The Trend?

There seems to be a trend ... is that how things happen in life or do you just start noticing certain things more?

Well, Bean and I broke up in mid-December. And while I was going thru all the ups and downs of making that decision I know one of my good friend's fairly long relationship went the way of the toilet too.

Then there was the little upset last week between Varen and myself. The same weekend that Peas found herself newly single.

And when I saw Bean on Monday evening, I discovered that in his group of friends there were many updates. The couple who'd been together the longest, finally got engaged. So did the couple who'd been together the shortest. And the couple who'd got married first found out they were pregnant. So did the couple who got married most recently.

It's everywhere. It's hard. It's where I was supposed to be ... it's probably about where you think you'll be at 27 too.

Life doesn't happen how you imagine - shock, horror, I know, but I'm still trying to get my head around it too. When I was young (back in high-school), I thought I'd get married at the ripe old age of 22 and start popping out babies at 25. That was till I got a little closer to that age and realised it wasn't on the cards. Not only was I not ready for all that lot, but I most certainly had not yet met the man.

And where does that leave me now, being surrounded by people (or hearing about people I know) who are "there" and making all these adult life-long decisions? Although it does leave a pang in the pit of my stomach, it in no way encourages me to join the trend before ensuring (to the best of my ability) that it is the most right decision I could make - I plan on it being life-long, okay?

It's a sort of weird place to be. I want these things to happen (one day, not today exactly) and am trying my very best to be patient about it and not force it ... and not float away on a depression since I have
recently ruined any immediate chance of it :P

I don't really know where I was going with this, but Congrats to all the folk out there with the Good News. I guess seeing Bean just reminded me of the life I was headed for, the life we were supposed to have, the life just like everybody else's. Apparently that there is something in my subconscious that has other plans for me, tho.

And those are just random musings, nothing to do with any more recent event than Monday evening and the head-mess it generated that is still sneaking up to tweak at my emotions.

Last night Varen came over. We went for all-you-can-eat sushi at Sakura and then watched two more episodes of House. It was just the sort of relaxed evening I needed with him, he really has been lovely thru this all. And probably better than I deserve right now, but I'll just bite my tongue on that and appreciate it while I can ;)

And that is all I have to say today ...

Life Carries On

Things are better this morning. Life seems to have returned to pretty much where it was before seeing Bean on Monday night. Which is kind of strange for me ... all these emotions coursing thru me and suddenly things are back to normal. It feels like there should be something more, you know?

I still feel sad. But my life is fine, okay even, without Bean. I will survive, obviously. It just seems strange to miss someone that much when you're around them ... but given a little space, you're fine. Maybe it's just me?

Anyway, yesterday afternoon Varen rushed over after work to give me a much needed hug. Yes, I know we work together, but there are two offices and yesterday morning I decided I wanted to be in the quieter one ... and the one he wasn't at. I knew this would all add strain to us and whatever was going on there. It did.

But as I said, he's decided to stick around this crazy person for the time being and showed his fortitude with a quick visit to check up on my emotionally fragile state in person, which was mostly spent shopping up a storm of snacks for my impending Book Club.

Then I had the girls over for Book Club ... which was just what I needed. After all the ups and downs Book Club went thru at the start of the year, it has turned into a fabulous group of girls. There's Band and me from the original 'girlfriends' group. Band's friends Nupe and Clairey. My friend's Sal and She. And last night Loulou joined. An all round fabulous group of girls :)

Oh, and can you believe I left the million peppadews I'd hand stuffed with feta in the fridge ... :( We found them when we packed away the leftovers. How disappointing!

On the topic of books and reading, on Sunday morning I finished reading John Connolly's Book of Lost Things. Obviously due to the trauma in my life since then it dropped fairly low on the list of things to blog about ... which is why it is late.

Thriller writer Connolly (Every Dead Thing) turns from criminal fears to primal fears in this enchanting novel about a 12-year-old English boy, David, who is thrust into a realm where eternal stories and fairy tales assume an often gruesome reality. Books are the magic that speak to David, whose mother has died at the start of WWII after a long debilitating illness. His father remarries, and soon his stepmother is pregnant with yet another interloper who will threaten David's place in his father's life. When a portal to another world opens in time-honored fashion, David enters a land of beasts and monsters where he must undertake a quest if he is to earn his way back out. Connolly echoes many great fairy tales and legends (Little Red Riding Hood, Roland, Hansel and Gretel), but cleverly twists them to his own purposes. Despite horrific elements, this tale is never truly frightening, but is consistently entertaining as David learns lessons of bravery, loyalty and honor that all of us should learn.

I quite liked this book. It's not quite what you expect and although it does have the twisted fairy tales and it's not kiddie reading by any means, the book is still essentially about a young boy. As far as twisted fairy tales go, however, my favourite still remains Roald Dahl's Revolting Rhymes.

Last night, I finished my first Book Club book. Okay but, I cheated because I started it on Sunday since it
was one of my Book Club book buys - this was my month and I got fabulous books - well in my opinion, of course ;) It was Lisa Gardner's Hide.

In bestseller Gardner's first-rate follow-up to Alone (2005), Bobby Dodge, once a sniper for the Massachusetts State Police and now a police detective, gets called to a horrific crime scene in the middle of the night by fellow detective and ex-lover D.D. Warren. An underground chamber has been discovered on the property of a former Boston mental hospital containing six small naked mummified female bodies in clear garbage bags. A silver locket with one of the corpses, which may be decades old, bears the name Annabelle Granger. Later, a woman shows up at the Boston Homicide offices claiming to be Annabelle Granger. Her resemblance to Catherine Gagnon (whose life Bobby saved in Alone) helps stoke a romance between her and Bobby both subtle and sizzling. The suspense builds as the police uncover links between patients at the hospital and long-ago criminal activities. Through expert use of red herrings, Gardner takes the reader on a nail-biting ride to the thrilling climax.

I've read a couple of Lisa Gardner's books and enjoy them. This one was gripping. If you like crime fiction, you'll enjoy this. Although none of the lead characters are forensics experts (which usually seals the deal for me), it's good reading.

And on with life ...

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

How Did I Get Here?

I'm a pretty normal girl ... I would love to think I all that, but I'm probably not. I'm (clearly) slightly more opinionated than some and have an annoying tendency to say what I think without considering the possibility that I might offend. Well, that's what I've been told.

I'm 27 and have now notched up five major relationships which have each lasted over a year.

First was HighSchoolLove. He's now happily married with a lovely son. I still keep in touch with him on birthdays. That love has turned into an amazing sense of caring that he's happy with the life he has now. Admittedly we didn't speak for a number of years after the break-up (a week after Valentines day!), but we eventually got back in contact and after a brief evening fling at the Grahamstown Festival one year, we have forged this close aquaintance sort of friendship. It's nice.

Second was the Queen of Melodrama (and he'll probably love that nickname ;) ). This was a bad idea all round, everyone will agree. But we had fun for a while ... I think? After we broke up we also didn't speak for years on end and then bizarrely we met up again at a party and spent the entire evening chatting away. It's nice to remember that there were good reason's you'd dated someone in the first place. We also hooked up briefly on a roadtrip we ended up doing with a bunch of friends. But things turned sour rather quickly thereafter. I still see him sometimes and exchange the occasional email. No hard feelings, but we're not rushing to invite the other over for a fondue or anything.

Third came ActorWriterDirector. Now this was a funny one! He was super religious and I was still confused about where my own religious beliefs lay ... nowadays not so much, but he'd be horrified at what I'd have to say on that matter. It started as an exclusive friendship that just naturally progressed into a boyfriend-girlfriend relationship with a "Hey, why not? we spend all our time together anyway". And it was a comfortable place to be, I guess. These days I look back and wonder what exactly I was thinking? I gather he's also happily married these days and heading up any number of religious groups :P

Fourth along the way was The Lying Pilot. Now this boy I really thought I loved, I thought I'd marry. I was wrong, but it hurt like hell to find that out. I haven't been this messed up since he ended our relationshoip with a rather curt "I don't love you", after we'd been living together for 3 months. I think he's now married to the rich "daddy's girl" he moved in 3 weeks after we broke up. I don't bother to think about how long it was going on before that ... Either way, I hope he's happy and after three months to wash my system of him, I desperately wanted the chance to thank him and wish her the best of luck. And they'll be fine, she blindly believes everything he says because she loves him ... which is what he was looking for, along with daddy's dollars, of course ;)

And then there was Bean. Bean was by far my longest and most serious. And I'm still not entirely sure why it didn't work. Was I looking for a reason because I was just too afraid of how long the rest of my life could be ... am I afraid of a life-long commitment? Or was there really something fundamentally wrong between us, were we just not enough of what the other was looking for? How do you ever know? How do people end up loving people, anyway?

And now there is my relationship with Varen. He's taking strain this morning, not surprisingly really. I didn't speak to him when I got home from Bean's last night and he read about it all this morning right here. After a lengthy discussion, he's decided to stick around for now ... I'm not entirely sure why. But we did have some really good days. I can't promise him anything and I am certainly not thinking further than a week in advance right now. But I am glad he's decided to stay, I don't know if I think it's the right thing to do either, but it's what I want right now.

I want his warmth, his faith in me, his laughter, his company, his conversation and most of all a hug. I really am broken. Bean and I may be fine together in a few years (it seems to be the trend) and who knows, maybe we'll even give it a second try ... I guess it depends how life turns out. But for now, Bean and I are over. I ache inside after having seen him and re-opened most of the break-up wounds that seemed to have healed. It appears I'm more fragile than I realised. Maybe Varen & I will be fine, I think we're pretty good for each other right now ... he is a very different sort of influence in my life and I know I've changed the way he sees things too. I don't know if it's something more than that. I don't know anything today. And I probably won't for a while.

Maybe it seems selfish of me to continue seeing Varen. But he get's to choose his path too.

The Aftermath

This morning I'm still hollow and numb. Last night is a blur.

Last night as I clung onto Bean and the life we'd had I truly missed him. Missed his smell, his voice and just chatting to him about everything and nothing. We'd always been such good friends.

This morning I thought about Bean. I thought more about Varen. I haven't missed Bean in a long time till last night. Not in a relationship sense of the word, really. I had even stopped missing being able to tell him or show him things I knew he'd like. Till last night. Will it come back? I don't know. I don't think I miss him this morning. Not like I did last night. Maybe I'm just numb from all the emotion.

It hurts that Bean could be so much yet not enough. It's harder still that Varen has some of those bit's he didn't. It was hard to try to talk last night about what the real problems were. It was hard for him and I think he said the most honest thing he ever has to me ... he loved me more than he realised. Yup, I believe that. I think that was probably the biggest problem. He didn't know, I certainly didn't either. It hurt him horribly last night to hear how I'd thought he'd felt when actually there had been true emotion was coursing thru him and it had probably been the entire time ... he just hadn't taken the time to share it with me.

Don't forget to do the little things, ever. Sms her when you're thinking of her. Leave her notes hidden in her cupboard. Surprise her with flowers. Phone her for no reason in the middle of a busy day. Surprise her by coming home early. Sneak up and hug her while she's cooking. Sometimes sit and talk to her while she's in the bath. Look at her, admire her, love her. It's the little things.

Monday, March 26, 2007

I am Raw and Broken.

This evening was so much tougher than I expected. It was sad and lovely all at once. I had to see Bean for the last time before he jets off to his new life in the UK. He's obviously packing up all his stuff and there were still a number of shared items I'd left behind. I knew this was coming, we've been planning it since the beginning of March.

I wasn't even nervous until this afternoon. I was cocky. I love him but in that "I care for you" kinda way. Or so I thought. It was even mostly okay once I was there and saw him and hugged him hello. His eyes were blurring just a little ... I was okay exchanging small talk. "How are your folks", "How's work", "How are all those people I thought were my friends too", you know the sort.

And then we broke. It happened repeatedly over the course of 2 hours. I cried like I haven't since the very early days of our break-up and when I had to move my stuff out in December. It was like breaking up all over again. I love him. I do, in a deep and painful way. We laughed and joked, played each other music we knew the other would like. I'd missed him. I think he'd missed me too. This was a person who was my whole life for so long.

As we cried, we asked why. I told him my why, he told me his. Why couldn't this work, why didn't this work, why didn't we talk to each other about it while it was breaking silently beneath us, why didn't we notice.

Will it ever work again? I don't know. Before I left work today I never thought so. After seeing him again, feeling his tears fall on me as we hugged, listening to his pain and knowing my own ... I don't know. Maybe if we were more honest with each other, maybe if we tried harder ... maybe, maybe, maybe.

And then there is Varen. Things seemed to have reached a pretty manageble point yesterday ... and now, who knows. I have no idea how much this has set me back emotionally. I just know that as we stood there hugging goodbye, crying and crying and hugging for dear life, neither of us wanted me to leave but we knew I had to. And soon, like pulling off a plaster. Still, we spent 2 hours saying goodbye because who knows when or if we'll see each other again ... well, if I'm ever in London, I guess.

My head is such a mess right now, it cannot form coherent thoughts altogether properly. I bathed when I got home from gym. I bathed again when I got home form Bean's. I've been reading all evening. I need to escape.

In true Grey's Anatomy style, as I got in my car and drove away from his complex, Snow Patrol's Chasing Cars played. How ironic and hurtful of the universe. I haven't been able to listen to Snow Patrol since we broke up. It was so bound up in our last few months and will always remind me of him. I love him so much right now. And I thought I'd healed ...

He smsed me a beautiful sms full of all the things he should've said when we were still dating ... and goodbye. It was hard to read even once. I haven't been able to reply yet. It hurts too much.

I am Raw and Broken. And Sad. And Confused. And have all these boxes littering Loulou's lounge that I don't have the energy to go thru. And where does all this leave me and my life right now?

So Far, it's a Good Day

Good morning all. Hmmm, I am surprisingly bouncy today ... odd, especially as it is a Monday (right?).

I don't know, things just seem right in the world, for a change. It's not the weather because it is heavily overcast here - not that I mind at all, really ... I'm from Cape Town and this sort of weather conjures up days of rain and duvet's, hot chocolate and fire-side reading. Lovely :) It's not work, per say, since I have already had to deal with the idiot-people on that annoying project ... let's call it Collapso (like we do here anyway ;) ).

I think it's the calm that comes from having made the Job Decision, a good weekend filled with all sorts of activity and pretty much having figured out what's potting between Varen & I.

So, how was the weekend that lead up to this fabulous mood (which no doubt will shortly be ruined by the advent of real work) ... Friday night Loulou & I went to watch the Cobra's get walked over by the Lions in the Pro20 final at Wanderers. But, we got to sit in her company's box. So that was fab :)

A good evening where she got to point out a number of her ex-toys :) I guess Jhb is just as small as Cape Town when you've lived here your whole life.

Then there was Saturday. I went out shopping for Book Club books while Loulou prepared for her kiddies-style bday party. Got some fabulous books after pacing between Estoril & Exclusives at Cresta for hours. Turns out Estoril Books (how does a book shop not have a website?!?) is now my favourite real-life book spot. If you buy 3 books or more, you get 20% discount on each book! That is amazing ... and way better that Exclusive's piddly little "if you spend over R300 your get 10% off the total price" book club discount! And the last Monday of every month they have 20% off all the books. Yay!

Anyway, then it was back home to Loulou's Bday Party. With paper hats and sweets from the old days (chappies & fizzers) and bacardi jelly :) Was a fabulous afternoon with much drinking and a sugar-high. Afterwards we ended up gate-crashing someone else's birthday party ... some friend of one of the boyfs at Loulou's bday. Fun was had by all. And after starting at 3 in the afternoon we finally fell into bed at 00:30-ish. It was a long day.

As was quite clear the next morning when Loulou & I failed to get out of our pajama's till at least midday, actually I'm not sure if she did at all :) I breakfasted on left over chips and dip ... healthy! At around half past one Varen popped by to pick me up for lunch. This is turning into a fairly interesting break-up. But I think I can categorically say we appear to not be broken up. That's not to say we're back together, exactly. We're sort of seeing each other. Which is not to say we can't go out and do our own thing and meet new people ... but we're still exclusively involved with each other for the mean time. weird but somehow more stable than it was before ... I think it's a lot to do with taking the pressure off.

So we went to lunch at Luca's since after all the crap I'd eaten yesterday I felt a serious need to detox with their fabulous salad - yes mom, I actually went out to eat with the sole purpose of ordering a salad! Which was fabulous, the company and the salad :) After that we ended up at his place finishing Season 2 of House.

And then we had a most annoying Mr Delivery incident. We ordered Scooter's pizza for dinner ... back to that super-healthy eating, I know! We ordered at 6:30pm. At 7:30 he phoned to find out exactly how much longer our order would take. Another hour apparently, they hadn't even placed the order yet as they had a back-up and were short one driver. How is this okay? Does no one in South Africa complain? Why do we just sit back and accept such shoddy service every day?

When he got off the phone I said no ways. Scooters has a "delivery within 40 minutes or your food free" policy. That will still be quicker than the idiots at Mr Delivery. So we cancelled the Mr Delivery order ... they didn't even bat an eyelash or put up a fight. Called Scooters and discovered that not only would it arrive sooner, it was cheaper and we'd get a free pizza. Hello? Why, exactly, does anyone use the crappy Mr Delivery?

Our food arrived, we ate and watched more House. At 9pm, a Mr Delivery driver showed up with our cancelled order. Stupid, stupid, stupid. And annoying.

So the moral of that story is: Boycott Mr Delivery ... fetch the food yourself. Whatever you spend on petrol, I can guarantee you'll save on time and frustration :)

Oh, and in other news, we're busy organising our 10year high-school reunion. I cannot believe it is ten years already. What do I have to show for it? Anyway, it's been great getting back in touch with loads of the old people and I think it'll be quite fun to see them all again. Although it appears that half our year is over in the UK, so we'll have to have 2 separate reunions. I may have to pop over for the UK one ... since that's where all the single folks seem to be. I'm pretty sure the Cape Town one will turn out to be a mommies & babies day out with no one drinking and everyone wrapping up their bundle to get home by 5pm for nap time and a feed. Yawn!

Friday, March 23, 2007

I Want A Crystal Ball Too

After yesterday's marathon blogging ... three posts in one day, I really must learn to pace myself a little better ;) Anyway, there's not too much of interest to impart to the world today. Humph.

Last night I went to my current-company-of-choice's 2006 Year End Result's party. It wasn't bad. It was pretty badly attended tho, and they put all that effort into ensuring there was no snoozing during the speeches. They were pretty funny :) And then Varen showed up just in time to miss the speeches but not the food.

That was fun. There were about 8 people from our entire department of 65 or so ... but there was free food and drink. And somehow I managed to tell my Big Boss my plans for the annoying project team I mentioned yesterday ... yes, the firing them all one. I don't think he went for it, damn. This morning they have already managed to make my blood boil. It's a wonder my head has not yet exploded.

Oh and since we get on really well I let him in on the fact that I'd made my decision and I was still working here. Which he was pretty pleased about. And then he proceeded to ask me if the company name started with a C. OMG. He has secret powers of deduction ... to the point he managed to guess JofH's name when I told him my friend with the offer was one of the directors there. Gawd. How does he know all this. I am still in shock. It's a terrible thing when your Big Boss owns a magic crystal ball ... that actually works!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

The Finale

5. Job Decision
It appears I cannot be bought. Just recently (perhaps as many as 5 minutes ago) I turned down JofH's job offer. It was tough to do and tougher to explain to my friend. Oddly enough this was the decision I made back when I first started posting about this ... then the sliding-scale arrived and I changed my mind again. But I'm back at the original decision, which must mean it was the right one all along, right?

It wasn't based on anything truly tangible, it's more about the timing in my life right now and a general gut-feel. Which sounds completely pathetic but I can't explain it any better than that. Things are fairly chaotic in a number of aspects of my life currently … between trying to decide whether to stay and settle in SA or give it a go in London (only for a year or two and to try not to disappoint my dear friend, The Divine Miss M) and my ever-fluctuating relationship status.

Which means that right now I need something to remain stable, I am Taurean, after all ;) And the gut-feel I can't really explain any better than that. I know I complain about some aspects of working here (like in the previous post, for example!), but I do like it here … currently more than previously and that's purely in a work sense, which is rare for me.

Anyway, that is pretty much what I wrote to him and he was very understanding and a really good friend about it ... Thanks, it is appreciated as always :)

Categorical Statement

So we had a minor discussion about my post after he read it ... no doubt the boundary-debate is still coming :)

He feels like I made him sound like an ass in my last post. Which I never meant to ... and I certainly don't think. I was mostly trying to convey the frustration I felt at the situation ... the secret nature of things. He's lovely and I still want to call him and tell him how I spent my day and moan about the moron's on one of my projects - they really are ... My fingers are crossed for their entire team (bar 2 or 3, I'd say) to be fired. Today. As soon as.

Anyway, he's now chatted to his folks ... it was more a case of not wanting them to get involved, although they are trying to caution him merely as a prevention against getting hurt again. From me, the big bad older evil woman ;) Kidding. Well, that's just how I see it ... but I'm naturally biased to my side of things and tend to feel currently that everyone is out to get me. And I'm hurting too. But, he knows that ... even if no one else does.

And the his-friends thing ... well, I (naturally) have opinions about all of their relationships, some less than good even. But that'd never stop me from supporting one of my friends in whatever they were going thru, even if I thought it was the most stupid thing in the world. Perhaps it's just an English-Afrikaans thing? Perhaps it's just a complete mis-perception of things. Perhaps it's a completely accurate perception of things. Who can say for sure?

Either way, he read the bit about himself in my last post in a bad light ... which you might have too, and if you did I'd like to categorically state, he is not an ass. He is just as confused as me, possibly even more since he had fairly high hopes for us ...

So I've Been Busy

Was fabulous to have a mid-week public holiday yesterday and I tried to find the perfect balance between keeping myself busy and finding a little time to relax. I think I did a spot-on job.

On Tuesday night Varen & I had dinner. Perhaps not the smartest idea I hear you say ... but we wanted to see each other. I guess we're not very good at this broken up thing. At the very least we seem to have removed the obligatory bits of our relationship and are just trying keep the good bits. We are essentially really good friends.

So we went to Allora in Befordview. Not my favourite restaurant, but he likes it and during our past visits, I've managed to find the one item on their menu I love, some sort of Melanzane Pasta. So, to start the evening off exceptionally well, I discovered they've now changed their menu and removed this dish. Hello? Which left me to struggle thru the menu and try to find something else to tide me over for the evening. But without the Melanzane on offer, I won't be rushing back to them.

The company was good although there were a few tears here and there (me). I think it's a sort of weird space for us (obviously) and we just have to figure out the rules, what's allowed and what's best left behind. So just one more complication to my already complicated life.

After dinner, we went back to his place and tried to watch Prison Break. I say tried, because I fell asleep half-way thru.

It was a nice evening, but things are still a little odd. He seems to have told everyone we broke up and is now struggling to explain why we have seen each other. I've hardly told anyone - except all of you, which is hardly anyone at all ;) I think he was hoping his parents wouldn't notice my car at his house ... he didn't even tell them he was going for dinner with me. And then as much as he apparently wanted me along on the bike-ride the next day, the raised eyebrows from his friends would've been too much for him. I guess I can understand it ... but I'd prefer his reasons to be less about what people think and more about us defining our own space and doing our own thing, you know? And yes, I know he'll be reading this. I wonder if it will trigger further
debate on our relationship boundaries?

Oh, and the most horrendous thing happened. While quietly waiting for the escalator to deliver me to the top floor to meet Varen for dinner, a spotty 14yr old boy asked me if I went to Master Maths. Have you ever? Master Maths. I, yes me, was so completely flabbergasted that I could not even come up with a single witty retort. Instead I stared blankly, in shock and horror, at him till he mumbled under his breath "Never mind". Hello? I'm 27, on what planet could it be possible that someone would think that a) I'm still young enough to be needing Master Maths and b) that I might actually ever have needed Master Maths? I am still horrified. I know you might think it's cool to be considered younger than you actually are ... but to be perceived as being all the way back in high school? No thanks. At least I don't get asked for ID when I go out to clubs ... anymore ;)

So yesterday I spent my morning relaxing and catching up on the last half hour of Prison Break with Loulou. Then we decided to catch an early movie together :) And aside from the hordes of pre-teens out and about strutting their stuff (there is no way we could ever have been that annoying in our time, surely?), it was a good way to spend the afternoon. Anyway, we saw Marie Antoinette.

The Party That Started A Revolution.
Often maligned, passionately debated and ultimately a misunderstood young woman, Marie Antoinette (Kirsten Dunst), through Coppola's vision, emerges neither as staid historical villain nor divine idol – but as a confused and lonely teenage outsider thrust against her will into a decadent and scandal-plagued world on the eve of disaster.
Oscar winner Sofia Coppola brings to the screen a fresh interpretation of the life of France's legendary teenage queen Marie Antoinette. Betrothed to King Louis XVI (Jason Schwartzman), the naïve Marie Antoinette (Kirsten Dunst) at the age of 14, she is thrown into the opulent French court which is steeped in conspiracy and scandal. Alone, without guidance, and adrift in a dangerous world, the young Marie
Antoinette rebels against the isolated atmosphere at Versailles and, in the process, becomes France's most misunderstood monarch.

I liked it, I thought it was fun. Besides, I like Kirsten Dunst, when she's not MJ in Spiderman.

And then it was off to dinner with JofH in Greenside at Mama Themba's (again with the no web-presence). It's a fairly new African-style restaurant. The food is not all that, but the vibe and funk of the place are just the sort I love :) And we managed to avoid the whole job-offer discussion. I guess that'll happen sometime today. Other than that, it was fab to see him again and there was much hysterical laughter!

Then it was home to a whole night's uninterrupted sleep :) Nothing better! And now it is morning and Loulou's birthday. So, Happy Birthday to my favourite house-mate Loulou (the fact that she is my only house-mate is irrelevant!)

And to everyone in SA, enjoy your Monday-Thursday :)

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Hard to be Alone

So it was a quiet evening with much smoothie-smoothing and soup-heating (Yay, Woolies brought back my old favourite: Sun-dried Tomato & Creme Fresh).

Had a long chat with JofH who interrupted my bath-time ... it seems this Job Decision just won't get made. Every time I think it's done and I'm decided and I can relax and just let everything wash over me, it un-decides itself. How rude.

So I have till tomor to give him an answer. On the plus side, tomorrow is a public holiday :) Yay for Human Rights.

And that is about all. Spent a large part of the evening emersed in my book ... which I finished. It's a fabulous form of escapism and helps me not to feel terribly sorry for myself as the reality of 2 failed relationships in the last 4 months creeps up to haunt me. Yup, these are things that do not make me feel good about myself. As much as I know Varen cared for me a great deal (loved, even), it doesn't help me thru this phase one bit. The fact that they were both my fault is rather frustrating and doesn't leave me with that nice warm hopeful feeling for the future. And besides, where does one meet nice eligible men in Joburg?

So, as I said I've been busy reading. On the weekend I finished Steve Hamilton's I Want My Life Back.

"At the age of 15 I already had a criminal record, busted by the drug squad for possession of an illigal substance. You'd think I'd have learned my lesson, wouldn't you, but I'm still learning, even though I'm clean of street drugs now - well, just for today - and have a lot of clean time behind me. The hardest lesson of all for an addict is that the nightmare is never over and the powerful seduction of just one more high never ever goes away." Steve Hamilton's story is not a comfortable one. He tells of his life growing up with drugs and his battles with heroin, the book is at times harrowing reading but his story is touching and heartfelt throughout.

I enjoyed this book. It's a little disjointed as he keeps explaining, he is brain-damaged as a result of the drugs and it means things don't happen in order when he remembers them. And that's pretty much how he wrote the book. It's one I'd definitely think of getting my kids to read one day when they get to around that age. It certainly shows all the truly scary things drug-addiction can do to you.

And then last night I finished Roslund & Hellstrom's The Beast.

Two children are found dead in a basement. Four years later, their murderer escapes from prison. The police know if he is not found quickly, he will kill again. But when their worst fears come true and another child is murdered, the situation spirals out of control. In an atmosphere of hysteria whipped up by the media, Fredrik Steffansson, father of the murdered child, decides he must take revenge. His actions will have devastating consequences. Winner of Scandinavia's most prestigious crime-writing award: The Glass Key for Best Crime Novel of the Year.

This one was okay and translated well. I quite liked the ending but it had extra bits in the middle that just seemed to be there purely as a comment on humanity that didn't really have that much to do with the central story-line. There are far more better written stories in the same genre.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Over Again.

So, it was an interesting weekend.

Friday was quite quiet. Varen came over and we got take-out pizza from my fav pizza restaurant, Sfigati in Bryanston. I love their pizza cause of the thin base and the divine toppings. And they make it part of their menu to have a half&half. Which is fabulous! And then we got Adaptation out on dvd cause he hadn't seen it and I think it's brilliant.

The screenplay is based on a true story. After the success of his screenplay for Being John Malkovich, Kaufman was hired to write a screenplay based on Susan Orlean's book, The Orchid Thief. However, he soon realized that the book simply couldn't be filmed. As he came under increasing pressure to turn in a screenplay, the "adaptation" became a story of a screenwriter's attempt to write a screenplay about a book that can't be adapted into a screenplay. Kaufman handed the script to his employers in the firm belief he would never work again. Instead, the backers enjoyed the script so much they decided to abandon the original project and film Kaufman's screenplay instead.

Saturday was nice but we spent it doing our own thing. I had loads of admin to do (ticking shopping items off my list and all) and I met up with Sal&Bru at 10am for a well deserved St Paddy's Day Guinness. Not the smartest way to start one's day but it was good fun ;)

Then I went out on a mad shopping spree ... and still couldn't manage to get everything I was supposed to, although in a bizarrely typical girl-shopping turn of events, I did get a bunch of stuff I never even considered I might've needed ;)

That evening I went to Sal&Bru's with She&War. It was fab. We played some 30 Seconds (Sal&Bru and I won!) and then went to Luca's for their divine salad for dinner and then ended off the evening with a little Eddie Izzard. A lovely evening spent with fantastic people.

Then on Sunday Varen came over before we were supposed to head off to the Pro20 Semi-final. He came to tell me something I was going to tell him today. At this point we are officially broken-up. It was sad, for all the great things about the relationship, but also a little bit of a relief for all the ways we were completely incompatible. Luckily I hope we managed to spot this problem before we did each other any real damage. Things were starting to get nasty and the bad times were starting to out number the good. And that's not to say we don't like each other, we do ... just differently. He spent a long time waiting and hoping I would feel as strongly about him as he felt about me. I spent a long time trying to live up to an expectation that I wasn't comfortable with.

In a weird way our experience mirror's mine & Bean's ... I'm just playing opposite parts. With Bean I was the one who couldn't understand why he couldn't / didn't love me the way I wanted him to when it seemed so simple to me. And with Varen I was the one who couldn't love him the way he wanted me to. Oh the irony ...

Anyway, I think ... or rather I hope, we'll become good friends because at the end of the day we've always enjoyed each other's company and had a good laugh together. So that's what I'm hoping for ... obviously he has a bit of a say in it so we'll just have to wait and see what happens.

Actually, although there were a few tears as we realised that we just couldn't wish this to work or make it happen any other way, we left things quite upbeat and I think we'll both be fine.

And then Loulou and I went to the Pro 20 cricket at Wanderers with some friends of hers. A pretty cool game ... the Highveld Lion's cleaned up which means the final will be here against the Cape Cobra's ... which is fabulous for me since I am, after all, from Cape Town ;) So hopefully that's where we'll be on Friday!

So yes, an interesting weekend :)

Friday, March 16, 2007

Woohoo, Another One Down

Yay, there's another item to be checked off my List :)

13. Car Service
This has been booked with Lindsay Saker for Monday. Not via their website I might add ... this functionality continually gave problems! Let's hope they can sort out my mini-list of car-specific issues. Blegh.

Perhaps it's time to buy a new car ... I really like the Woolies-Sundried-Tomato-Soup Red Dodge Caliber :) But I'm marginally ashamed by this since it is, after all, an American car. And that colour description may not appear to be true based on the picture on the left here, but in real life it couldn't get more accurate!

Varen, of course, loves the idea of me buying one of these very not-cute cars. Daddio thinks I should be more practical about my car-buying. And as much as I love the Caliber I'm still a practical girl at heart ;) So we'll see ...

The Sliding Scale of Decision Making

So much for my decision making ability ... although that is not to say I haven't reached a brand new sparkly decision. We got our increase/bonus envelopes yesterday afternoon. This changes everything.

So here is a new List Update:

5. Job Decision
Well, I made the decision (again). I have a price, I can be bought. But don't be naive and suspect that the price is not variable based on the amount I rate the job and how much I actually think it would benefit me. Ah yes, you've got to love the sliding scale of decision making ;)
So for JofH's company I could be bought for one amount and for the other, my ex-Principal's job offer, I will be upping that amount substantially - heard back from the agent and apparently (and I quote, or rather cut & paste right from the email) "They LOVED you!!!!". Yup, so I feel rocks bumping up my price for a job I don't especially want.

Other than that, I haven't got much further with my List other than adding things on. Although some of the more mundane items should be scratched this weekend once I get to the shops ;)

Last night was nice, I went for all-you-can-eat sushi with Varen and a bunch of other work-friends. And Loulou joined us. Which was great. After that Varen came over and we watched another episode of House. I was exhausted so unfortunately I couldn't manage a second one :(

Thursday, March 15, 2007

List Update

This morning I'm proud to say I can scratch 2 items off my list.

5. Job Decision
Well, I made the decision, but I have yet to execute it. That'll come. But the calm of having made the decision is worth being able to cross something off my list ;)

18. Apologise to Kersh
He's my Gay Indian friend who wanted to be Jewish. Okay, that's just what I call him cause I think it's hysterical. How could any description be less stereotypical? Although he is a Gay Indian ... and last year he did try out being Jewish for a bit - he bought the little hat and everything (I know it's called a yarmulka ... although I don't know how to spell that and Wikipedia has about 18 different spellings, so I pick that one). Anyway, he's not really a friend in the close personal sense of the word but I guess at work he sort of is.

So anyway, that's done too ... he'd innocently interrupted my sparkling mood on Tuesday morning when I was trying to build a buffer between myself and the world with my iPod. Anyway, I vaguely remember being rather snappish with him, worse than the usual amount ;) Since generally I rip him off blatantly about all sorts of things - I'm convinced he lived in a box somewhere in Durbs before he moved to Jhb, he didn't know that when you put an offer in on a house you don't give the seller asking price. He's an Indian, surely haggling for a lower price should come naturally? And my personal favourite are all the words he's never heard before and has no idea what they mean. Frazzled being the most recent in my memory.

Which brings me to another question ... do people know when they're a stereotype? Anyway, that's a conversation for a different day, now I really have to get some work done.

How Interesting Can One Day Be?

I'm feeling much better in general, which is always a good thing. I think I've pretty much decided what to do about my job-decision. It's gonna disappoint some people but I feel it is the right thing. And that's all I'm saying until the people who need to know are brought up to speed ... probably next week sometimes (after bonuses and whatnot come thru!).

So that's one little bit of decision making stress off my list. On the sad side, however, I lost the last of my old-favourite fish yesterday. No real surprise really, but sad for me none the less. Those two were my fishies for about 14 whole months - miraculous really!

Anyway, and Varen took me to dinner at Cranks to cheer me up. Which was, as usual, fabulous :) And then we watched a little comedy ... Russel Peters: Outsourced. It wasn't the funniest thing I've ever watched, but there were certainly hysterical bits.

And other than that things are pretty boring here. Trying to take the week easy since it is the first week I have no back-up at work (so I actually have to work, a lot!) and then there's the fabulous stand-by :P

Ps. I received an email today about Pi Day. We missed it, it was yesterday, March 14th (at 1:59). How fun! Not that I have anything other than a cursory interest in Pi Day ... much like Talk Like a Pirate Day ;) It's just an interesting thing to notice, like when the dates & times line up at 12:34:56 on 7th August '90 ... you know?

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Boring Post

In no mood for posting today ... trying to get some real work out of the way. The evening wasn't bad, made some nice dinner (Peppadew Chicken Sausage and butternut from Woolies - yes Phlippy, the kind of veggies you can use your Microwave for :) ). Not exceptionally healthy, I'm sure. But hey, let's not go overboard here.

Watched American Idol (oh the hilarity!) and Prison Break. Lost one of my old faithful fish ... Damn, so annoying. Should never have added the new fish to their perfect balance :( Oh well. And now the last 2 fish are not looking too good, can a fish have epilepsy? So my money's not on them making it to the weekend :( I'm wondering if it would be cruel to keep a guinea pig in the bowl if the fish die - although i'd obviously empty out the water first!

And after one measly phone call from stand-by last night, I'm at work this morning in a far better mood & slightly better rested than yesterday. Although it appears I work with a bunch of children ... and I don't mean that literally in the pre-school teacher sort of way, at all! Hell, this is supposed to be one of the big South African corporates yet they seem to hire purely on the candidate's ability to annoy me and their inability to be pro-active.

So that is all I have to say for today. Except that I have started my list. That's my list of things I want to or need to do ... my brain has been getting more & more scattered lately. It's a varied list and ranges from buying some Vanish Powder this weekend (splashed some Mochachos sauce on my skirt on Monday and I only have the liquid) to thinking about possibly buying a house. Perhaps when it is complete I'll publish it here for all to see ... perhaps.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

The Best Advice

So, ordinarily I'm not such a Dilbert fan, but today I was sent a surprisingly appropriate cartoon. I think this advice is best applied in the work environment ... a place where it is frowned upon to wear my equally apt "Make the Stupid People Shut Up" top ;)

Quick Update

Mood has much improved and the home-made soup from last night made a delish lunch when paired with a toasted cheese sarmie :)

Got Any Answers?

So, I guess there are sometimes in life you should know better than to do certain things. Nothing sinister, but the mood I'm in I probably shouldn't be blogging ... or perhaps it's the only way to release the emotion. I guess it depends on who you are ... I'm already more calmed down than when I first arrived this morning so I'll let you know if it get's any better after this.

So, last night was not part of the problem. I had a fun evening at home with my blender ... and no, that is not a euphemism for any other sort of electrical gadget, it really is a blender. I experimented with my minimal culinary skills and attempted a soup sans recipe. All the recipes I've found involve far too much extra effort ... I want something I can just blend up and heat ;) Quick and easy, that's what I want in a soup.

It turned out okay and was still a fair amount of effort. And then I made myself a fruit smoothie for today. That worked out slightly better ... I write as I sit here sipping it :)

And then there was the night, the sleeping bit. Well there wasn't nearly enough of what I consider to be the crucial part of the entire process. TheBrad is off and I'm back on standby. Got the expected heart-beat call at about 3:30am and then before I'd managed to fall back asleep at around 4:30am I got another call.

It was a bizarre error, one we'd never had before so I was anxious. Hastily logged onto the system. Checked all the log files and the databases, twice. Nothing. Called the call-centre back to get the actual error message read back to me again now that I was marginally more aware. After a long and laborious conversation, I managed to explain that I had no idea what system his error was for, it certainly wasn't mine. "Oh, Thanks" he says. Nice. Now let's try to get some sleep. I have a big breakfast in the morning.

Well, I was supposed to. The big boss arranged the breakfast with a group of us last week. We were all dying to know what it was about. I still have no idea.

I got up early and managed to leave my house at a sprightly 7:10am. early enough to get in by 8, surely ... since I normally leave as late as 7:40 ... which get's me in sometimes around 8:20 or so. Well, Joburg traffic, in abso-bloody-typical style, decided to step in and shake things up. Yesterday I could understand, there was an accident ... today I passed no such obstruction. Is it just me or does the number of Jhb drivers increase every week? I managed to park at around 8:30. And the mood I was in by that stage just didn't warrant the effort of joining them all for the last half hour. Blegh. I've supremely lost interest. In life, the universe and everything.

I was wondering, last night in the very early hours, how one can tell if one is depressed? I don't know, that was in the dark, the time my head finds it easiest to attack me and really rub my nose in it. So life is not turning out quite how I'd had it all planned back when I was 12, 18, 21 ... hell, I'd go so far to add 25 to that list too.

So things are not what I planned, they're not even within running distance :P Will I settle down, get married have any mini-me's ? Do I care any more? I have a house in my head that I want to build. Will it ever get done? In fact there are so many things in my head I just don't know how to make happen right now. I don't have a clue what the right thing to do is. Move jobs? Move countries? Curl up in a ball on my bedroom floor?

I think I have nocturnal-depression, is there such a thing? Perhaps it is better known as stand-by ;)

A little distance reiki wouldn't go amiss here, mom.

ps. I feel marginally more able to cope with my day ahead.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Another Weekend Whizzes By

The weekend had it's ups & downs. The smoothie and soup project is proving more difficult than I expected ... there seems to be an awful lot of preparation before you get to actually blend a soup. Pout.

Friday night Varen & I got Ghazal's takeout and watched more House ... whatever will we watch once Season 2 is done? Saturday morning was fairly lazy and after he made me lovely French Toast for breakfast we watched Memento on dvd (we'd started the night before but quickly fallen asleep ... a little too much House, I guess)

Memento is a neo-noir–psychological thriller film written and directed by Christopher Nolan, based on his brother Jonathan's short story "Memento Mori". The film stars Guy Pearce as Leonard Shelby, a former insurance fraud investigator hunting for his wife's murderer. During the attack on his wife, Leonard suffered severe head trauma and lost the ability to make new memories. To cope with his condition, he keeps a collection of notes, photographs, and tattoos to remind himself of people, places, and events he cannot remember. He is aided in his investigation by "Teddy" (Joe Pantoliano) and Natalie (Carrie-Anne Moss), neither of whom Leonard can trust.

I loved this movie when I saw it originally on big-screen back in the day. Luckily it's a complicated enough movie that a second viewing is not out of the question, and best of all, I watched it so long ago that I couldn't even spoil the ending for myself :)

Then we went out and bought more fish ... well, 2 new koi for me. I decided the other's needed some friends and the bowl is certainly big enough. Unfortunately one has gone the way of the toilet already :( Varen got very fancy and got some new fish and filters, pumps, lights and other fish-tank paraphernalia. After that, I went home to introduce the new additions and begin my smoothie experimentation.

That evening Varen had booked our dinner at a new restaurant, The Singing Fig. The restaurant was nice, side from the paintings hung thru-out. Now I really don't mind the "all the art you see is for sale" concept in a restaurant, I actually usually quite like it. But the art was particularly random and hung willy-nilly on every available wall-space. Which leaves an almost cozy venue feeling cluttered. The food was lovely, I chose my 2 dishes from the specials menu. And then there was the opera. Now I do enjoy a little live entertainment ... but opera? Perhaps we should've read a little more into the "singing" bit of the Singing Fig? It was a little loud but impressive, none the less, I guess ... apparently that sort of thing takes training. At least they ended with a song from my fav, Phantom :)

Then on Sunday, after more House, we went and lazed at the Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens for the afternoon. I love that place, it's so relaxing, if you can get past all the screeching kids ;) And then we dashed off to Rosebank to watch Stranger than Fiction.

Harold Crick (Will Ferrell) is a droll auditor in an unnamed city (actually Chicago) for the Internal Revenue Service who is awakened alone each morning by his Timex T56371 watch. He eats alone, counts the number of steps he walks for fun, focuses on ways to save time tying his tie, and brushes his teeth exactly 76 times (38 vertical strokes, 38 horizontal). One day, Harold begins to hear the voice of a British woman (Emma Thompson), describing his thoughts and actions in real-time as if he were a character in a book. Harold attempts to communicate with the speaker, but soon realizes the voice does not know that he can hear it. His bewilderment soon turns to anxiety when the voice narrates that his watch has set in motion a series of events that will result in his imminent death.

I thought it was fab. I enjoyed it more that The Truman Show - which it has regularly been compared with. I thought it was more like Kaufman's Adaptation, which I enjoyed immensely and far more than Being John Malkovich.

And that was pretty much the weekend, without all the emotional up & down removed.

I spent some time going thru pictures that I need to get printed ... from my holiday in Egypt with Bean last June. And then I ended up upset and angry with him. And then there is the bizarre state of my relationship with Varen right now. We seem to have some lovely moments when it's an absolute pleasure to be around each other and then there are moments when we just irritate each other and get annoyed and frustrated.

I'm not too sure what will happen there ... I guess that's the nature of things. Everyday we both get to make a choice about whether we want to keep doing this or not. I feel like a lot of it is because when you break up with someone, you aren't supposed to start dating someone else quite so quickly after. I don't know if everyone is like me, but after a break-up I tend to go on a bit of an overly zealous independent journey. One where you need to re-affirm who you are by yourself and without the ex. One where you remind yourself why you like who you are and try all those things you always wanted to do, but never had the time while you were embroiled in a relationship. And I certainly don't have the time right now either ... I guess I end up feeling a little trapped. And I react pretty much how all trapped things react ... picture trying to put a cat in a bucket of water ;) I know this isn't easy for Varen and at the moment he's choosing to put up with a far amount of emotional nonsense. But it doesn't make for a very stable or relaxed relationship ... except in those in-between good moments :)

And now you have the up-and-down bit of the story too.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Lucky Loulou

So it was a fairly uneventful evening yesterday ... except I bought for myself a blender ;) Yes that's right folks-who-know-me, an actual kitchen appliance.

I was reading this magazine and there were these truly fabulous and creative soup recipes .. .and I do love a good smooth soup (Woolies is my current favourite, but they've really messed up the Summer flavours ... can't wait for Winter when they bring back the creamy sun-dried tomato one!) And second top of my list of yummy things that are blended is fruit smoothies. So I figure in my attempt to lose a little weight (10 kilos would be fabulous!) I will start improving my fresh fruit & veg intake with soups and smoothies. And try to be very organised and make myself liquid lunch for work too :) We seem to eat an awful lot of crap & takeout rubbish for lunch ... it being the most convenient and all. Lately I've tried to be good and have Subway instead of Nandos or MacDonalds. But I can't skip the Mochacho's ... it really is just so much better than Nandos :)

Anyway ... Varen & I went for sushi at Sakura and then watched 3 more episodes of House.

Loulou on the other hand, had a far more interesting evening. While at Sakura, I got a call from her mom asking where she was this evening. I said I didn't know and hadn't yet seen her. Apparently her bag was stolen but recovered by very impressive Sandton City security ... and they'd used her cellphone to call her mom. Anyway, a little while later her mom called me back to say she'd got hold of Loulou. She'd been having dinner with a friend and when her mom asked where her bag was, she replied "Under my chair". Apparently not. She didn't even know it was gone! Anyway, Sandton security spotted a guy walking around with a ladies bag and stopped him and managed to get everything back from her ... apparently they gave the guy quite a beating too. I love stories like this. It gives me a warm fuzzy feeling :) It's great to know that sometimes the system really does work!

And in other annoying morning news, I got stuck behind another truck going no more than 40 on the same road again this morning. This time it was one of those yellow construction ones with a crane type thingy (that's it's scientific name) on the back. Aaargh! Note to all truck drivers (who I know must be reading my fabulous blog, of course), please stop driving on suburban roads where I cannot overtake you and ruining my drive to work. Blegh. Find another route ... this is my most efficient one.

Righto, and on that note, start sending the soup recipes ;)

Thursday, March 08, 2007

And Stuff

So instead of posting which is what I normally spend my first hour of the work day doing, I am browsing around Facebook. So far it seems pretty fantastic, but I've just joined so it is hard to tell ... Although I do seem a little slow on the uptake there since loads of people I know already seem to have joined!

Anyway, there are loads of these network type things so we'll see how this one goes. Years ago I tried LinkedIn as well, but that was equally boring after a while.

So, yesterday evening was good, Varen & I went to watch Music & Lyrics.

Music & Lyrics follows Alex Fletcher (Hugh Grant), a washed-up 80s pop star who's been reduced to working the nostalgia circuit at county fairs and amusement parks. The charismatic and talented musician gets a chance at a comeback when reigning diva Cora Corman invites him to write and record a duet with her, but there's a problem - Alex hasn't written a song in years, he's never written lyrics, and he has to come up with a hit in a matter of days. Enter Sophie Fisher (Drew Barrymore), Alex's beguilingly quirky plant lady, whose flair for words strikes a chord with the struggling songwriter. On the rebound from a bad relationship, Sophie is reluctant to collaborate with anyone, especially commitment-phobe Alex. As their chemistry heats up at the piano and under it, Alex and Sophie will have to face their fears – and the music – if they want to find the love and success they both deserve.

I loved it! Yes, the ending is as schmaltzy as anything in the rom-com genre, but this one is truly funny in the middle. Like as in hysterical laughter funny. Plus, I just love Drew and Hugh ain't so bad either ;) If they ever make a movie about my life (as if?) I'd want her to play me. Is that weird. I know she's not your typical drop dead gorgeous actress, which I guess is what most girls would go for when picking. But I like her cause she's quirky :)

Enough of that ... This morning on my way to work I generated quite a rant at the silly South African truckers. Hello ? I know, I know ... silly us, we don't have an effective rail system and therefore have a marvelous job-creation opportunity for masses of South African drivers who can truck our produce and merchandise thruout the country. But it's still annoying! These silly trucks cause as much traffic havoc as our ever-present taxis during peak times (can't really refer to it as rush hour here in Jhb as it lasts for most of the day!). And this morning is some wriggly suburban road en route to work I got stuck behind a truck. And it wasn't even an impressive truck, mind you. It was fairly mini compare to some of the oil-tankers we have cruising our roads. But none the less, this ridiculous mode of transport couldn't manage to get over 40kms and hour! I mean really, at least drive the speed limit! And I couldn't even over-take ... nothing like truckers to remove your morning smile. Blegh.

Anyway, I'm sure I'll still have a fabulous day playing with my new toy, Facebook ;)

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Would You Internet Date?

Last night was quiet, had home Night with Loulou. I cooked. Nothing exciting, just pasta. Pasta is such a weird dish for me, although I love it ... I can't order any pasta in a restaurant that I essentially could make myself at home. So when I go out, if I'm going to have pasta it absolutely has to be my favourite Butternut Panzerotti in a creamy neapolitana sauce. Yum. My top spot for this dish is Giovanni's in Rivonia Road or Sale e Pepe in the South Road Morningview Centre. Neither of which have proper websites, annoying.

Oh, and I've stopped belly dancing for all the reasons it started to annoy me (see last week Tuesday's post if you're unaware). I've also stopped watching Nip/Tuck for all the reasons it was annoying me. I just can't relate to any of the characters and they just irritate me ... so why watch, really?

But I did watch the new American Idol. I haven't seen Simon Cowell since his days back on the original UK Pop Idol with Gareth Gates & Will Young. He's not as sharp anymore, but there were some truly shocking auditions that left Loulou and I in hysterical laughter. And I ended up watching the first episode of Prison Break Season 2 that started last night. I was pretty against watching it originally ... I don't like to watch these sorts of series on television, who can wait a whole week for the follow up episode. On dvd and watching a season as fast as possible are definitely the way to go with that, 24, Lost etc.

So it was a pretty quiet night.

In other news, my friend sent me a link to an online dating site she's busy working on. Even tho I'm mostly (except for this blog) out of the multimedia design industry these days, it's still nice to keep an eye on what friends are working on. The site is called Singles in the City ... clever name, my interest was piqued already. They had, at least, put more thought into it than whatever boring things these millions of sites are called lately.

So I checked out the site. It's beautifully designed. And it reminded me of the few friends I have who have actually tried Internet Dating and come away still single. I have yet to hear a true success story from anyone I know personally ... except for one friend from high school
who technically met her now husband online. Well, as far as I know it was thru mutual online friends. But that still wasn't Internet Dating per say, it was just good old plain chatting, which was all we had back in the day ;)

Online Dating is an interesting thing, brought about by the Internet, that most people seem to have tried, or at very least considered trying, at least once anyway. I personally haven't tried it ... but I have thought about it. I just need to find a single-window first tho, since I have morals and all that ;) Although I think Speed Dating is probably an option I'm more likely to try since at least
you can see the potential person sitting right there in front of you (this swiftly rules out the lying Photoshop-ed pictures which people apparently regularly post of themselves!).

'm not so sure the concept works tho, I guess the funniest thing is stumbling across somebody you actually know on one of those sites. It happened to me. I wasn't even browsing an Internet Dating site, I was on plain old IOL when I saw her face. And there it is for all of you :) --> I haven't really spoken to her in ages so it was quiet bizarre to bump into her online, as it were. But, I knew she had been trying out the Online scene. I wonder if she's had success. Well, let me rephrase, any long-term success.

Anyway, I'm sure there are enough people out there who've had some experience or another with Internet Dating. I'm not sure yet if I'll try it out when the opportunity presents itself. I've heard some funny stories, some horror stories and of some serious disappointment from people who tried it out. Maybe I'd do it one day for a laugh. Hey, if people I know are trying it then maybe there are some normal people to be found ;)

Anyway, and there you have the bizarre tangent I found myself on this morning. Wow, sometimes I wonder where these things come from. And if it reads a little disjointed, I apologise, it's because work reared it's ugly head mid-post and I sort of lost the tangent I was originally on :P Typical!

Update after relocating my original tangent: On the Internet Dating topic, I am reminded of a chapter in Freakonomics, a book I read recently. They have some fabulous Internet Dating stats in there! Unfortunately I am momentarily lacking any sort of recall on their actual stats but I do remember that they were interesting.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Random Bank Rant

So, I've been checking out the competition for the 2007 SA Blog Awards and pretty much most of the Blogs listed as finalists. Came across this fabulous one up for Best Post: Does This Look Like My Happy Face by muddlepuddle.

Quick now, rush off and read it before you continue here. This post started life as a comment to that post and eventually got so long and ranty that eventually I realised that I just had to bring it over here and do a proper post.

Here is my lengthy comment-post:

yeah. banks on the whole suck. they charge you for everything you want to do ... including print out a slip with your transactions on it. And I hate bank charges!

And they work the most ridiculous hours ... and no matter how "online" they get, they still occasionally require you to physically come into your branch during these stupid hours that other working people are (surprise here) at work! And then there are the queues ... dare I start on that?

I can't figure out why society hasn't forced them into a smarter way of operating. What if every bank picked a day of the week. Standard Bank could take Monday, FNB gets Tuesday, ABSA gets Wednesday, Investec / RMB / Nedbank etc. can divvy up Thursday and Friday. There, now that that's done, you banks can work your silly hours on the other 4 & a half days of the week but on your day you open from 6am till 10am and then close till 4pm after which you stay open till 8pm.

That means that
once a week all the bank employees get to do their admin stuff during their extended lunch hour and, your bank is actually open at a convenient time that doesn't require the public at large to waste an entire Saturday morning or book a day off work to stand in your lengthy queues.

I hate banks. I wish I could keep all my money under my mattress. Although it may explain the million piggy banks scattered around my room ;)

Yippee For Me!

Wow, would you look at that, it's my Blog's first foray into the Award receiving department. I have manage to snap up a coveted spot on the list of finalists for the Best New Blog (Blogs started in 2006) category for 2007's SA Blog Awards!

This is fantastic and makes me jump up and down at my desk ... yes, people are staring :)

Anyway, if you weren't on my mail for Another Gratuitous Beg for Votes (likely causes: I don't know you personally and you're just a reader who found their way here by browsing online ... don't be offended!), feel free to vote for me :) It is currently being much appreciated ! Whoo Hooo!

Another Interview

So yesterday evening was fairly uneventful. Cleaned the fish (again! That water just insists on turning green every 3 weeks ... I can't wait for winter to come along an cool my room since I'm still hoping that's the cause), watched some random tv (ER and Boston Legal) had dinner and started my new book in the bath - my favourite spot for reading!

Which reminds me, this weekend I finished reading Jane Green's Life Swap.

From the outside, Vicky Townsley would appear to have it all. She lives alone in London, is single and seriously successful. But she'd give it all up in a heartbeat for marriage, children, and a house in the country. Amber, on the other hand, has exactly what Vicky wants. This is a story of the grass not being as green as you might think.

A nice story with the ending everyone hopes for if you're reading these sorts of books ... the characters take a holiday from their real lives for a while, try living in someone else's shoes and realise just how good they had it before. That really your life is the only one made for you. I really needed this book and it's cliche ending right now.

And that is about all the news. I am planning as quiet a week a possible in preparation of the next six weeks of work-related chaos.

Oh, and I had that other interview this morning. It was fine ... nothing to quit tomorrow over tho. I seriously doubt I'd take this one. I figure I'll either stay where I am for the time being, provided they take me off stand-by as soon as possible ... which is still probably too long to wait for me! So it's JofH's offer or no move ... we'll have to see if he can afford me after our increases this month ;)

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