Monday, December 08, 2008

Awesome Weekend!

Wow, what a fantastic weekend :) Seriously folks. Erm, Friday started out with a movie. Varen & I went to see The Boy in the Striped Pajamas (yes, that's how *they* spell pyjama!)

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is a fictional story that offers a unique perspective on how prejudice, hatred and violence affect innocent people, particularly children, during wartime. Through the lens of an eight-year-old boy largely shielded from the reality of World War II, we witness a forbidden friendship that forms between Bruno, the son of Nazi commandant, and Schmuel, a Jewish boy held captive in a concentration camp. Though the two are separated physically by a barbed wire fence, their lives become inescapably intertwined. The imagined story of Bruno and Schmuel sheds light on the brutal, senselessness and devastating consequences of war from an unusual point of view. Together, their tragic journey helps recall the millions of innocent victims of the Holocaust.

Varen bought me this book last year before my trip to East Africa. I loved the book (see, it really is supposed to be pyjama!). The movie was done amazingly well. And actually I went home and read the book again this weekend. Such a tough story told thru the eyes of innocence. If you haven't read the book, read it. And then watch the movie :)

On Saturday the morning was a bit of a mad rush to get things done before the bloggirls xmas party. Almost bought a laptop, but kept changing my mind. Finally after almost spending 9 grand, Varen & I changed our mindset. Originally he'd told me to stick with Core2Duo or at very least DualCore chips. By the end of the morning we were looking at a machine with 2 Gb RAM and 250Gb hard drive. All very impressive specs for lots of moola. But I wasn't so sure ... cause I don't really like a wide-screen 15", I'd prefer a 17". But then we chatted for a bit and had a think. Actually, this laptop is just sort of for fun for me. It doesn't need to do any serious work, store my photos, let me connect to the internet, play a few strategy games (if I ever get a chance!) and run Photoshop every so often. And at most it'd probably get used an hour a day, if that. So why spend all that money on the fancy specs when I'll barely be using the power of it. (Now if I were buying something to use at work all day then I'd be happy spending some serious money and push my budget up to about 15 grand, but that's not what I'm looking for here). So we headed home with a new plan for Sunday :)

And then it was off to the bloggirls Xmas Party at Louisa's house :) Wow, it was such fun. Varen & I were there from 14h30 till 21h30. My favourite lady bloggers were there: Jackson & his mom, Angel&Glugs&theKnucklehead, Sweets (and yes, we all nagged her to start blogging again!), Exmi&TheBoyfriend, Tamara&TSC, Jeanette&DH&2kids and Louisa (obviously). I also got to meet some new girls, Arkwife&Hubby and Ruby. The Secret Santa worked out well. The boys seemed to get on quite well ... and it's amazing how many of them are Afrikaans! Angel made some delish cupcakes for us - yummy!
(That's a pic I stole from Angel on the right but, those were the cupcakes she made for us!)

I can not begin to explain just what a wonderful afternoon I had and how fantastic all the people there are. Really genuine people who I thouroughly enjoy the company of ... and let me tell you, they can be hard to find! I am amazed at what bloggirls has turned into since I started it in May, but I have a feeling next year is going to be even better :) I've got some great new ideas like spa days and Christmas in June ... I'm really looking forward to it.

On Sunday morning Varen & I went to Doppio Greenside for breakfast with J9-double0blonde and Squeak. Was nice to see them because we haven't really had a chance since we got back. After that we went to complete our laptop shopping ... well, that was the plan. We headed back to Greenstone Mall (where we'd been the day before) because we'd seen a Dell Inspiron 1525 (with a Celeron chip ... I know but I tried to explain this already) for R5499 at Game.

And here begins a rant (figured you needed a bit of a warning after all that upbeat stuff from the Xmas Party!). We waited ages for someone to assist us. Now these Dell's are supposed to come in a variety of colours and I wanted red, which was the colour of the laptop on display. But it turns out that Greenstone Game only had pink or black so he kindly checked the system for me and found 2 red ones at Eastgate and 8 in Wynberg. I insisted before we started driving around that he call them and confirm that they did indeed have the laptop I wanted and would keep it for me. Eastgate turned out not to have any - funny how often that sort of thing happens! But Wynberg did. So off we drove. Only to get there, find the guy, say I was here to buy the red laptop, sent from Greenstone etc. etc. He comes and asks if I want that with or without internet - an annoying price difference to all the Game laptops is if you want it cheaper you have to sign your life away to mweb. There was no chance I wanted that! Let me explain, the laptop I was lok at cost R3999 if you took it with a 2 year internet contract or R5499 without. But the dude came out saying without internet it's R7999. Nope buddy, that's not the Celeron, that's the Core2Duo ... see the price difference that helped with my decision making?! Then we went over to the display case (yes, in Wynberg they have the laptops behind locked cabinet doors!) and pointed out the R5499 one that I wanted. To which he replied, that special is only for the pink ones. He has red and black, but then you have to pay R6499. Yes folks, he wanted to charge an extra R1000 for a different colour ... there was no difference in the machines at all! He even pointed out a handy Game flyer he had stated "available in pink" as his reasoning.

So we left, in a near-rage, and drove back to Greenstone - Varen was now determined. And well, if I couldn't get red, black was fine by me ... but not for an extra R1000! The dude at Greenstone didn't ask any questions, just went and got the black laptop. And while waiting I browsed their adverts at the counter. Would you believe that Game had 2 advert inserts (you know those huge annoying things they fill newspapers with!), one valid from 30 November - 07 December and the other valid from 04 - 07 December. The one the guy in Wynberg showed us starting "available in pink" and the other without any mention of such a thing ... both for the exact same price. Can you believe how annoyed I was! See adverts below.

But, I left happy with a new laptop, in black, and Varen & I went home. Brother Zion came over for the afternoon and he & Varen installed and got my machine up & running (you know, removing Windows & installing Linux). I am loving it :) It's all new and shiny and mine! I've never had my very own computer before, one that didn't actually belong to a company, anyway.

We watched Be Kind Rewind on dvd in the evening.

Jerry is a junkyard worker who attempts to sabotage a power plant he suspects of causing his headaches. But he inadvertently causes his brain to become magnetized, leading to the unintentional destruction of all the movies in his friend's store. In order to keep the store's one loyal customer, an elderly lady with a tenuous grasp on reality, the pair re-create a long line of films including The Lion King, Rush Hour, Ghostbusters, When We Were Kings, Driving Miss Daisy, and Robocop, putting themselves and their townspeople into it. They become the biggest stars in their neighborhood.

It's kinda fun, but you sorta see all you need to in the trailer to be honest.

And that was the end of my awesome weekend :) Except that I went downstairs this morning to find Bell had broken out of the new hutch. She'd climbed onto the cat-box (that I put in there to give them some hide-away space from the thunder & lightning we've been having) and pushed open the top lid and managed to somehow get herself stuck in the small space between the hutch & the wall. Boy was she was happy to see me! Crazy bunny.


Louisa said...

Congrats on the new toy! And thanks for coming on Saturday - I had such a great time...can't wait to see what happens next year.

ExMi said...

it was a very cool party. good to see you guys again. (like it's been forever since the last time i saw you!)

Tamara said...

Bloggirls was super awesome!

I feel your pain with Game. I wanted to buy my Dell there and I was sent to a branch that supposedly had stock of the one I wanted, (which was in Pretoria!!!) only to discover that they didn't have any. I was fuming. I also had an argument about the fact that the notebook was available without internet, and it was me that shoved the flier in their face to prove my point ;-)

AngelConradie said...

silly bunny- glad you could rescue her.
i van't get over the laptop crap!!!
bloggirls was indeed awesomely spectacular and i can't wait for next year!

Unknown said...

OMW I would have had a cadenza in the shop!! Glad you got your toy at the end of all that!
So cool to see you again :)

phillygirl said...

@louisa - thanks :) yep, I had a great time too!

@exmi - yep, it was fab seeing you guys again too :) happy birthday for today!!

@tamara - oh my word, i wish i'd had the damn flyer with me ... sadly it was only something I found out after the fact :( but all's well that ends with a laptop!

@angel - yeah she's a crazy little thing, such a character!

@jenty - yep, i swear i could see smoke coming out Varen's ears by the end of it! I think he was more annoyed than I was :)

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