Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The End of March

Monday night was the usual SCM Dinner :)

And then last night CollegeInstructor and I went to see The Hurt Locker. I thought it was brilliant. Probably not ordinarily a movie I would go see (oh gee, a war in Iraq, you say?) but it was filmed really well and I'm definitely glad I saw it. I would definitely recommend this one!

Other than that, some interesting things going on ... thankfully not in my life tho (they are not the sort of things I'd like to be going on in my life honestly!) And I'm looking forward to yet another long weekend - yay!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Host by Stephenie Meyer

Melanie Stryder refuses to fade away. The earth has been invaded by a species that takes over the minds of their human hosts while leaving their bodies intact, and most of humanity has succumbed. Wanderer, the invading 'soul' who has been given Melanie's body, knew about the challenges of living inside a human: the overwhelming emotions, the too-vivid memories. But there was one difficulty Wanderer didn't expect: the former tenant of her body refusing to relinquish possession of her mind. Melanie fills Wanderer's thoughts with visions of the man Melanie loves - Jared, a human who still lives in hiding. Unable to separate herself from her body's desires, Wanderer yearns for a man she's never met. As outside forces make Wanderer and Melanie unwilling allies, they set off to search for the man they both love.

Okay, I know this took me absolute ages to read, but I loved it. Really, far far better than the Twilight series. I would seriously recommend this book, even if Twilight doesn't appeal to you, don't be swayed by that, this is *nothing* like it.

Monday, March 29, 2010

More Shopping

Hmmm, now where did the weekend go ... again! I tell you, life seems to be flying by, week by week.

On Friday night I went to Byblos Cafe for after-work drinks. Their service isn't great, they don't have a wide range of cocktails and their hubbly's weren't that impressive either. Won't be rushing back anytime soon. Then I headed home expecting a quiet night in due to lack of options. But Beukes got home and invited me to sushi with some friends of his. Actually it turned out to be one friend of his and a whole bunch of people he didn't know either, but it was fun :)

Also on Friday my dining-room table arrived :) Yay. Sadly tho, after seeing it in my place, the red chairs are just not going to work with it, so Saturday started with a hunt for *white* dining-room chairs.

I started at Design Quarter and found a few potential white chairs at Coricraft, Boardmans (could they have a more useless excuse for a website?), @Home and Mr Price. I was surprised by the small range @Home had, because I remember about a month ago they had loads of cool chairs ... so I went to Melrose Arch but there was nothing extra to see there :( And then I thought I'd try that giant new Sutherlands store (huge disappointment there!).

And then I narrowed it down to my 3 favourites (with a little help from Mom over email & phone calls).

See, I managed to find the cut-out chairs I had my heart set on (at Boardmans this time). But after actually sitting in them, I realised that as pretty as they were, they just wouldn't be practical ... you end up leaning too far back. And apparently the backs do break quite easily :( The first pic is of the Andrew chair at Coricraft, this was Mom's favourite, but I think it's quite boring and I don't know that I could have that much white leather in my house ... So as much as it fitted the requirements, I just wasn't feeling it. My favourites were definitely the Ribbon D chairs at Boardmans (middle pic), and they were by far the most comfortable!

But I was exhausted and headed home to relax for the rest of the afternoon and mull over my purchase decisions with a pizza from Col'Cacchio while watching Series. I like to balance my weekend days with crazy busy mornings and long relaxing afternoons of nothingness.

On Sunday I headed back to Design Quarter to look at my 3 narrowed down choices again and more specifically to find out what stock they had available. I sat in the cut-out chair one last time and crossed it off my list :( Then I sat in the Ribbon D chair again and noticed that they were now marked down from R699 to R399. Oh what a difference a day makes ;) I decided to check the stock of the chairs and Design Quarter only had 1. But they were happy for me to buy one from them and one from Northgate, take 'em home and test drive them with my table and then call in stock from elsewhere for me to buy. Which is exactly what I did! To be honest I didn't even bother to go and look at the Andrew chairs again. These were my initial gut-feel choice and now I could get about 2 of them for the price of 1 Andrew chair. Sold!

I got them home and was disappointed to discover that they don't actually fit under the table because of the arm-rest. But I have been checking them out and sitting in them regularly since then and decided it doesn't matter, I still think these are the chairs!

Did I mention how comfy they are?

Oh, and I also bought myself the most awesome laundry basket while at Boardmans. Seriously, I was using one of my cardboard moving boxes till now. So I knew I needed to get one, but talk about a grudge purchase! I hate those wicker and those plastic ones! To say it wasn't high on my list of things-to-buy would be an understatement ... until I saw this one!

After my shopping spree, I headed off to Schwabinger Stuben in Randburg for Loulou's birthday lunch. Was a lovely afternoon with a very large plate of food! (Oh, and don't order the spatzle!)

And to end off the day, after Bert and a friend came to check out the chairs and give me a 2nd and 3rd opinion, we headed to O'Hagans for the Pub Quiz.

Friday, March 26, 2010

The Fear

Sigh, life is weird lately and it's only really dawning on me now ...

Went for dinner at Panarottis for their all-you-can-eat Pizza special yesterday, with Beukes, CollegeInstructor and DJMike. This is not something I'll be doing again in a hurry, although the boys seem to have it pegged as a weekly event. My problem is I could only eat like 5 - 6 slices (which is still pretty worth it for R45 ... but measly compared with the boy's 12!) but then felt completely ill. Plus they only start bringing out the more interesting pizza's later in the evening once I'm already done. Ah well, all in the name of trying out new things, right :)

But onto the emotional stuffs. As happy as I am in my life right now, I'm terrified. Things are mostly going very well and life is good, hence the "happy". And when I'm not terrified, I do have a general sense of peace about things. But I feel like my fear is under the surface and peeking out in horrible ways. My already low tolerance for people has hit rock bottom ... and I don't know how to fix that.

I'm terrified of life in general, of money after buying this house (although the house will be fine it's my annual holidays I'm starting to worry about still being able to fund). Of my living situation (it's complicated and drives me nuts, but I don't think I can move right now). Of buying all these household items and not knowing where I might end up living or being able to afford to live ... what if that place doesn't have the space for all the furniture I'm buying (and that I want) now. I guess they all come back to money. And the truth is I have been spending a lot of it lately ... and plan on spending more. I know it's not all going to nothing, I will have assets (the house and sort-of the furniture) and I will hopefully have a very nice holiday to show for it all (this year at least) ... but I like to have a giant buffer of cash sitting in my account for rainy days. And although I'll still have some, it's hard to watch a rather large accumulation dwindle so rapidly. I just keep trying to remind myself it's not like I've done nothing with it or blown it on who knows what and what I've done is mostly worthwhile and are "good" spends. It doesn't stop the fear tho.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Dull Dull Dull

Having an average week ... super glad it's already Thursday tho :) I am off to try out Panarotti's all-you-can-eat Pizza with the boys for the first time tonight.

Last night CollegeInstructor and I went to watch The Box. Stupid, stupid mistake. The premise of the movie sounded kinda interesting to me so even tho I am not a Cameron Diaz fan, I thought it'd be at least interesting. It was so so dull. Even when they were trying to be interesting, you sat there going "Gee, I don't even care". Seriously. Ridiculously boring. And it didn't even really make sense. It got to be quite predictable too (aside from the way out there wtf stuff that I didn't get at all).

And I have a question. In the end, why doesn't he get any blood on his shirt? Could somebody please tell me?!?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A Weekend With The Mom

Shoo, and now to report back on a lovely long weekend, that was crammed full!

As I said before, Mom was up in Joeys visiting so we kept ourselves super busy, doing all the mother-daughter shopping we don't get to do being cities apart. Friday night started with dinner at Orient. We decided to share their chicken satay, vegetable tempura and Peking-style Duck. The satay sauce was delish, but we could've done without the tempura. The starters were a little cold for me, but the place was packed and our waitress distracted so I don't think that's the norm. The Peking Duck was yummy, but I have no idea how one person eats it on their own!

On Saturday we started with breakfast at Mugg&Bean and then hit a whole list of furniture shops (with me on the hunt for a dining-room table and Mom looking for ideas for her new house). And I took her past the complex my almost-bought studio apartment is in :)

I found a new table to covet at Weylandts ... but it is 3 times more expensive than the (very cheap) last one. I spent the rest of the weekend weighing up the decision and decided to buy it yesterday. It's about the average price of a square 1.5m dining room table (from the many I've been looking at) and I'm over the last one after the bad service and realising just how much effort Mango-wood is likely to be (it's a soft wood and requires regular oiling and I even read on a website that you should leave a humidifier on in drier climates ... Joburg, hello? Sounds like too much maintenance for me).

It's a square teak table with a slatted top but is actually for outdoor use ... it's been soaked in mud for a week or something. It's got a gorgeous finish (because it's unfinished wood, if that makes sense). Hopefully I'll do the EFT today and it'll arrive early next week. (Sadly can't find the exact table on their website :( ) **Update** I found it after I received the invoice with the actual Table name on it. It's the Casa Slatted Teak Table :) Sadly, it doesn't have a great photo attached :P

I know it probably sounds mad, but I've realised that a dining room table is an essential item for me, more so that a TV. I'm feeling so stifled food-wise without one (mad, I know). I feel like I can't cook, or there is no point in cooking, because I have no where to eat at the moment. And now that it's just me, really, I want to be able to invite people over for dinners, so that I can cook again (pointless just for one, really!). So I decided, after much um-ing and ah-ing, to make an investment in my dining room table, and get the one I really wanted.

Now to find chairs ... I was all set on those white chairs from @home (which they no longer seem to have, sadly), or just white chairs in general for some reason. But I saw a picture in a magazine this weekend and am now thinking of old-style farm chairs painted in enamel red. Something like that picture on the right.

I also discovered Mr Price Home has the ladder desks in stock again. Can you spell *annoyed* ... they told me they hadn't had new stock of those in months and weren't even sure if they were going to get any more ... and now, a *week* later, there they are! I would've totally waited a week to get the couch if I'd known! Then after some afternoon relaxing at home, I took Mom for an early dinner at Yamada Sushi, which was delish, as always.

On Sunday we decided to catch the early (10am) show of Alice in Wonderland 3D at Il Grande. Meh, the movie was okay, I wasn't hugely blown away. The story-line is pretty dull, but I guess it was just a great excuse for some gorgeous creativity. Helena Bonham-Carter was quite perfect in her role, I thought. It was Mom's first 3D movie :) But I think I can now say that I'm over the excessive expensive of unimpressive 3D. 3D just doesn't blow me away, for the most part I don't actually think I even notice it that much anyway.

After that we went to check out the Bird Gardens. It was smaller than I expected, but fun to walk around. I don't actually know how long it's been there, but I'd never been before. I think it's worth a morning outing.

Then we had lunch at Gourmet Garage. I had their Peanut Butter Burger, which was divine. It's weird, I never think of going to Gourmet Garage, but they actually have divine burgers! We also had their sweet-potato fries on the side ... which to be fair are not actually fries, but more like crisps. And then we relaxed for the rest of Sunday (it is supposed to be a bit of a holiday for Mom, can't run her off her feet all day every day ;) )

On Monday we were up pretty early and ready to hit the shops again, this time on the hunt for some new clothes ... Mom visiting me in Joburg is always an expensive expedition but she does usually re-stock her wardrobe each visit ;) We went to Sandton and left laden with shopping bags! And then we headed back to Weylandts to make the final decision on my dining room table.

And after another few hours relaxing at home, Mom had to head back to Cape Town :( Till next time ...

(I think that's everything we crammed int our weekend, but it's a bit of a blur already by Tuesday morning ;) )

Then I headed off to @jarredcinman's for some drinks to end off the long weekend. Definitely a good one.

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Friday, March 19, 2010

All I Can Eat

Yay, yay, Mom is here. Sucks being at work while she has a relaxing day at home tho :( But I'm sure the day will fly and then we have a nice long weekend together ... which no doubt will be filled with shopping and other fun mother-daughter pursuits :) Yay.

Last night, before going to fetch Mom tho, Beukes, CollegeInstructor and I headed off to the Spur for their all-you-can-eat Rib Night. I know, I can't believe I went to the Spur either. Honestly I haven't been in years! And the last time was with Bean at ORT and it was an awful experience that put me off completely.

But aside from the fact that you have to have buffalo wings with your first plate, it was delish. I was not particularly keen on the whole buffalo wing idea, but they were nice too. And my first plate of ribs was sublime :) It's strange to me that on your repeat plates they only bring you a plate with ribs or wings or a combination, no starch with it ... you'd think that would fill people up so they'd be eating less? But I did enjoy a trip down memory lane drowning my chips in Spur's yummy salad dressing :) I only managed half of my second plate of ribs before I had to leave. Plus they weren't as delish as the first plate.

the only real down-side to Spur's Rib Night (every Thursday, I gather?) is that you still have to wait for your food to arrive, a far cry from the ready-to-eat-on-arrival Pizza's at Panarotti's all-you-can-eat pizza night (also Thursdays, I have yet to go, but the boys have been for the last 2 Thursdays!), so it wasn't ideal for me who was in a rush.

And then it was off to Lanseria. Now I know I've sung the praises of Lanseria many times before. And still, I think it is the way to go, if only because Kulula is the only airline using it so there is inevitably just your plane-load of people to compete with for luggage and parking spaces. The problem is trying to get to Lanseria and back in the dark. Sheesh but that road is terrifying. There are no lights, plenty of trucks (even at 8pm at night!) and random stop-signs that pop out of no where! *shiver* Anyhoo, Mom arrived safely, and I got her home safely. Yay for a long weekend with The Mom.

Ps. And thanks to The Peeb who was organised enough to send my 30th Birthday Present up here with Mom ... it's staying wrapped till the Big Day :)

Ps. Am contemplating doing a 365 project from my 30th till mt 31st. I think I'm tempted because it's a pretty significant milestone (rather than just one random year). But I'm not sure I can commit to a photo-a-day. And it's not the posting them that worries me, as Louisa suggested .... because honestly I probably won't post them here, they'll probably be elsewhere under my actual name. It's more the remembering to take a photo every day and lugging my camera around with me constantly. But I started thinking about it when I tried using my camera on Sunday, for the first time since I did my camera course, and realised I could barely remember any of it! I want it to become a habit. So that's what's driving me for now ... Just over a month to change my mind - hee hee.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Worry for Nothing

Wheee! Aside from a rough day at work yesterday that really only had to do with the fact that I had to *look* for work on Tuesday but yesterday had 70 bajillion things that needed my attention, it has been a fantastic week for me :)

A bunch of us went to Luca's for dinner on Tuesday evening for CollegeInstructor's birthday. Naturally we shared their house salad and cheesy pizza bread to start. damn, I love their salad!! I had their Melanzane for my main which was quite nice, except that I could hardly tell the Aubergine from the cheese!

And then I got a call yesterday from my lady at Ooba giving me an update on my bond application (that I had only emailed her on Monday morning!). FNB has already approved my bond :) *Relief* Absa would only give me a 70% bond because I wasn't an exisiting customer (which is fine because honestly I don't want my bond with Absa or Nedbank. Just don't like either of them). And now we wait to hear what Nedbank and Standard Bank come back with. Obviously it's a bit of a non-issue tho, unless they offer me a lower rate than FNB.

And Mom arrives later this evening. Double Yay! But first we're off to Spur for all-you-can-eat ribs :) Paha. CollegeInstructor and Beukes are on a mission to find an all-you-can-eat option for every night of the week!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Panic stations

Nothing much happening ... except mild panic has set in. I handed all my documents over to the Bond Originator yesterday morning. Sigh. I hate things like this that are totally out of my control, there's nothing more I can do. I have to let it go, and accept the outcome (I guess I'm less positive about these things because it's happened before, when I was trying to get a 2nd bond while I still owned the place with Bean, and got rejected). And that's eating away at my brain :( I keep trying to tell myself that hopefully last time it was cause they didn't want me having *two* bonds at the same time ... but who really knows! I think I'll be absolutely devastated if the bond doesn't get granted!

Went to SCM Dinner last night :) Woke up sweaty at 3h30 this morning. Was weird. (Worry, no doubt). And today's weather is all overcast but not very cool. Hope it rains soon! Mom's nearly here, can't wait! And my couch arrived yesterday :) Although it's hardly useful at this stage ... just sitting on it, staring at a blank wall, is pretty pointless if you ask me. But still, it's arrived and I love it :)

Monday, March 15, 2010

More Weekend Madness

Another awesome weekend, although I really am feeling that time is just flying by lately. The weeks and the weekends.

Anyhoo, on Friday evening I went to Sophia's for dinner with J9-double0blonde. I had their Panzerotti di Zucco which is Pasta pouches filled with pumpkin and cheese in a broccoli wine and cream sauce. It was quite yummy. Although the restaurant looks pretty average from the mall-side (the entrance), I saw later on that there is an awesome balcony on the other side. So I think I'll be going back sometime to try out their balcony and another one of their pasta's (the Ravioli Paphos, filled with haloumi cheese and mint in a tomato basil sauce, sounds worth a try!)

On Saturday morning I got a bunch of admin done. Had to drop off my over-flowing recycling, buy the bunnies more food, collect post. And then I went and looked at a few more furniture places (didn't find anything appealing :( ). I also met up with @themba_m who sold me his old wireless router.

> Follow @themba_m on Twitter:

So on Saturday afternoon I got myself all signed up with Afrihost (yay for R29 a Gb!) And then gave up for the afternoon, although Afrihost was super efficient about activating my adsl, I wasn't up for the hassle at 4pm on Saturday afternoon and figured I'd leave it till the week (I was amazed and how useful and efficient Telkom and Afrihost turned out to be on the weekend!). On Sunday afternoon I re-tackled my not-yet connected internet and it turned out there's a fault on the Telkom line :( Oh well, so now we wait yet again for Telkom to sort themselves out. (Naturally you can't diagnose a problem like that till the router is connected, so there's no way they could've told me about this before I actually tried to set up my internet! Sigh).

And then on Saturday evening I headed off to @tfrayne's 80s themed birthday bash. And what a party it was, everyone was dressed-up and in the spirit of things :) Sigh, I do enjoy a good house-party, far more than actually going to a club. At least at a house party, there's usually a way to connect back to anyone you meet, you know? Someone can vouch for them, they're not as much of a random stranger. Not that I met anyone at this party, sadly :(

> Follow @tfrayne on Twitter:

On Sunday morning I woke up after only 5hrs sleep and let the bunnies have a run around. And then headed off to Mr Price Home where I *finally* bought my couch. I'm rather disappointed in myself actually, because although I'venknown for ages exactly what I was going to buy, I've been putting off the actual purchase and they've now completely sold out (like none in the whole of Joburg or Pretoria!) of the ladder-desk that I wanted :(

The couch should be delivered later today (yay!). And then I headed off to spend a beautiful lazy Sunday on the grass at the Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens with Arkwife and her lovely family (Arkbaby is sooo cute!).

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Ps. Mom is arriving on Thursday, can't wait!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Happy Philly

On Wednesday evening I was hoping to get to go and see the new Alice in Wonderland, but even the 5pm 3D screening was too packed for my liking (there's a reason I go to the 5pm weekday show, there's at most 5 people in the cinema with me!) so instead CollegeInstructor and I went to see Daybreakers.

I actually quiet enjoyed it and won't lie, it's nice to see Ethan Hawke acting again (it sorta reminded me of him in Gattica). And I will say that I enjoyed the twist on the usual vampire story, this time it's humans who are the rarer species, not the vampires. All in all a vast improvement on last weeks movie watching!

And then last night was book club :) All in all it's been a pretty great week. I'm almost finished getting my bond documents together (my first Telkom bill came yesterday so I can finally FICA myself properly :) I know, such a sad thing to be excited about)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Quick One

So yes, you may have noticed yesterday that I updated my post. Around 11h30 I got a phone call from the Estate Agent (not a useless one at all!) and my offer on the Garden Unit was accepted :)

Not only that, I also stopped worrying about my car registration because it was paid last Wednesday. And this morning I got my refund from the dining-room table :) After 2 rough weeks, things look like they're back on the up for me :)

Now I have things like bond applications and legal forms to worry about ... hee hee. Sheesh and the info the Bond Originators require is quite exhaustive, but I'm hoping to have it all together by the end of the week (I kinda wish I'd known what they'd needed in advance so I could be a little more prepared for this but anyhoo).

I also had the chat with my land lady and that went well, she's agreed to sort out our geyser issue (the one that has us sharing it between 6 people!). My only wonder is how on earth one house racks up a bill of 3grand a month for electricity - does anyone know if there is such a thing as an Electricity Auditor, because I seriously think we might need one.

And last night I went out sort-of celebrating with CollegeInstructor and MissB to MissB's favourite spot, The Magic Forest (which is actually a new place called JD's where Kumquat used to be). It's great, we ate and drank under leafy trees and fairy lights :)

And hopefully I'll be off to watch Alice in Wonderland this evening too :)

The Dead Room by Chris Mooney

A mother and her son have been executed in their home and fingerprint matches show their attacker died twenty years ago. But how can dead serial killers return to haunt the present? The answers lie in the darkest shadows of The Dead Room. When CSI Darby McCormick is called to the crime scene, it's one of the most gruesome she's ever seen. But the forensic evidence is even more disturbing: someone watched the murder unfold from the woodland behind the house - and the killer died in a shoot-out two decades earlier. The deeper Darby digs, the more horrors come to light. Her prime suspect is revealed as a serial killer on an enormous scale, with a past that's even more shocking than his crimes, thanks to a long-held secret that could rock Boston's law enforcement to its core. Is it possible to steal an identity? Or are dead men walking in Darby's footsteps? The line between the living and the dead has never been finer.

Shoo. This was exactly the sort of book I needed after the very slow read of Virgin in the Treehouse. I snapped it up in a weekend :) It starts off really well, gets a bit wishy-washy in the middle and then practically takes off at the end. Definitely a fun, mildly-twisty crime read.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

I Put In an Offer!

Wowee, so I did it. Yesterday I went to see the Garden Unit a second time (just to make sure it was a good spot and I wasn't swayed by the tenant's gorgeous furniture!) and I signed an offer for the place!!

I know, it was quite a surprise for me too. Well, only in the sense that I signed it there and then, I think I knew since Sunday I'd be signing an offer on one of the two units. Shoo, I won't lie, I did wake up in a panic at 04h30 this morning, wondering if I'd done the right thing. But in the bright light of day I'm still happy with my decision :)

I feel like it's going to be a good week. Well, I did before I went to check if my dining-room table credit card reversal had shown up on my online statement yet (it hasn't!) and then I went to check if my car license renewal cheque had been deducted yet (I posted it like 2 weeks ago!!) and it hasn't either :( So I'm not thrilled. There's nothing I hate more than the idea of dealing with a government department (except perhaps SARS or having to go into an actual bank branch!). These license renewal things terrify me cause you have to send the form in with the cheque ... so now how on earth do i prove I've sent it off. And I can't resend it or anything because I don't have the document anymore. *panic stations* sigh.

Anyway, I will remain positive and upbeat while I wait to hear if my offer was accepted (because the owner is in Cape Town, she's got till next Monday).

08h11 Update: Got hold of the Randburg Licensing department (a miracle in itself, I know!) and my license was paid last Wednesday! *relief* Silly me, I checked the wrong bank account for my cheque (I only use them once a year to pay my license registration, so forgot the cheque book is attached to my old account!). Now to just get hold of Madisons :P

11h25 Update: My offer just got accepted!!

Monday, March 08, 2010

The Weekend Stuffs

Another weekend gone. Sho, the weeks just seem to be flying by these days. But I will say that, right now at 7am on a Monday morning, I am feeling quiet upbeat about this week ... it is still fresh with possibility :)

Friday evening started the weekend off perfectly with ... nothing! Which is exactly, exactly, what I needed. I went home, the weather had turned all rainy so the bunnies couldn't really have their usual outside run-around time so I settled straight in with some new series. And there I stayed, aside from a minor break to make some yummy tomato soup and cheese toast for dinner. It was the perfect end to a crappy week.

Saturday was slightly more energetic. I was up and let the bunnies run around in the morning. And then headed back to bed to watch some more series (you will notice the trend by the end of the post ;) ). Eventually I got up and headed off to Mugg&Bean in Sandton to meet up with The Bunny Farmer for lunch (she was up in Joburg for about 24hrs to go to whatever expo was on at the Dome this weekend). Was awesome being able to catch up in person again :)

And then I went and wandered the mall ... well quiet a few malls as I whiled away my afternoon. Bought some new tops, but otherwise that was the extent of it.

And then I went to watch the Stormer's game with Beukes, CollegeInstructor and another friend of ours. Was great since the Stormers had such a fun game (bu that I mean, they won, the other team didn't score *at all* and they got a bonus point, yay). And then I headed home for ... you guessed it, more series!

On Sunday RubyLetters & I met for breakfast at JB's Corner in Melrose Arch. Was so lovely seeing her again and catching up in person :) After that I headed home to collect my cuttings and CollegeInstructor and we went investment-house-hunting.

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Would you believe I've actually found 2 places that I am keen to buy ... am now just trying to weigh each one up. Both are studio apartments, actually in complexes right next door to each other, so they are the exact same area. They are roughly the same price (well, depending on what the owner of Unit One is willing to accept, but my offer would be roughly the same as Unit Two's price). Unit Two is slightly bigger (smaller balcony too).

Unit OneUnit Two
+ Garden Unit+ Top Floor Unit
- Would have to pay transfer costs etc.+ Buying straight from Developer, so no transfer costs etc.
+ Already has a *private* tenant (am waiting to hear how much rent she is paying and if she is keen to stay)- Would have to find a tenant and it seems rental management fees are quite a bit (close to 10%)!

Looking at it laid out above, I think aside from "The Tenant Factor", Unit Two is probably the better buy for me. But there is, in my mind, something to be said for already having a happy tenant in place, depending on what they are paying, of course. Which hopefully I should find out today. This really could be it, folks :) Ps. did I tell you the tenant in Unit One has the most gorgeous furniture? The whole place has been done in an almost Nouveau Victorian style and it's gorgeous!

After that I cleaned the bunny hutch and then spent the rest of the evening relaxing with some series.

See, after last week I really craved the escapism of series and managed to cram it into every nook and cranny of the weekend. I'm convinced that's why I am feeling rested and relaxed this morning and ready for this week.

Friday, March 05, 2010

More Annoyance

Urgh. Life is just irritating me this week. I haven't been in a great mood. I have to do something I don't want to this weekend (confrontation is not my thing, okay?) and life is turning sour.

So, I finally got an answer on when my dining-room table should be arriving. Brace yourselves. Mid-June. Yes, that's right, three and a half months. I have no freaking clue where it's coming from, my best guess is that either it hasn't even been made in that far off destination yet or that they are planning to ship it piece by piece by canoe :P I promptly told them to refund my money and to call me when it arrived, on the off chance that I hadn't found myself another dining-room table in that time. Which to be fair I may not have ... as I said before it's not a must-have purchase right now. Although I think I should probably step-up the purchase of a couch now that I'm not expecting to be spending on dining-room chairs any time soon either :P Sigh. Frustrated much, yes.

And then I had a lovely dinner at JB's corner with some work friends last night. But just before we left I checked my phone and found out my house alarm had gone off 4 times. Beukes had called to say something weird was going on with the alarm when he'd gone out but I had assumed he'd got it sorted. I found out just how screwy the situation is this morning when I tried to switch off the alarm ... with nothing bypassed and the damn thing "ready" and NOT armed, it kept going off :P Not ideal at 06h30. Seriously, it happened like 4 times in a row before he came and showed me how he got round it ... just a now apparently broken alarm system to the conversation I have to have with the landlady this weekend and you must know how excited I am about the prospect of it :(

Seriously folks, where di my mojo go?

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Grr. That is All.

Am not so much in a happy place at the moment. I don't exactly know what it is ... yesterday was a shocker of a day. I was in a foul mood, my pc at work restarted 4 times during the course of the day (our UPS stopped working on Monday, how freaking typical?!) and then this morning I woke up with some weird nervous feeling in my stomach.

I don't know what is wrong, perhaps I'm just coming down hard after the last two months of being blissed-out ... this is real-life, baby :P The honeymoon period is over, the silver-lining is starting to slip. Not that ever even for a second do I want last-year's life back. No, no, no. I don't know what I want, I don't know what would make me happy and care-free again. Sigh, sometimes dealing with real life and responsibilities is the pits.

I think I'm probably just hormonal or something ... hopefully it'll pass soon. Perhaps it's because since the whole dining-room table fiasco, I haven't bought anything new for the house. Sigh, don't even get me started on that. I'm hoping to get some kind of estimate of how much longer till the damn thing actually arrives today. But if it's more than a week I am seriously telling them to refund my cash and call me when it arrives and then, if I haven't found another table I actually want, then I might come round and purchase it, again. Maybe. Pfft.

Last night CollegeInstructor went to go see The Wolfman (it's really nice actually having someone available to watch 5pm movies with ... since he's not working at the moment and all).

Btw. the movie is absolute rubbish. I was honestly expecting far more from a movie starring Anthony Hopkins and Benicio del Toro! Seriously folks, it's one giant yawn-fest ... I got up to go to the loo and I didn't even care what I missed :P

So, here's to a happier day and a great dinner this evening with friends :)

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

The Virgin in the Treehouse by Willemien de Villiers

A young woman with an unshakable faith in the Immaculate Conception awaits celestial instruction while living in a treehouse at the back of a friend's home. A failed artist whose deepest desires are only ever revealed to her in the dreams which she never remembers. A wise woman who lives in a red car. A domestic worker whose daily experience of atrocity forms the fabric of her life. And the King whose chest is home to a bird of paradies. These are some of the unforgettable characters in Willemien de Viller's new novel. Her delicate touch and sensual flair for storytelling is both thought-provoking and timely.

I read this very slowly. It's not a bad story, in fact it's beautifully written if you like interesting characters. But not so much of the plot ... many things are merely alluded to, even more aren't explained at all. It's just a nice meandering story about people's lives. Even nicer is that it's written and set in South Africa, which is always a little extra bonus, I think.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

A Progress Report

You'll never believe it ... yesterday Telkom actually called me prior to arriving at my house and told me what time they'd meet me there! Okay so I had to skip the only meeting I had yesterday to be there, but after an hour (yes, it took that long!), I have a phone line. No phone, mind you ... apparently you're supposed to request one when you place the order (you think that's a question they would've bothered to ask a customer, but anyway). But I don't really need the phone ... I need the internet! Which of course I couldn't even get started on yesterday. According to Telkom's call-center, my order is still marked as "pending" so I have to wait for it to be updated to "installed" or whatever before I can request an upgrade to the dsl line. Oh well, I guess that gives me plenty of time to figure out what on earth I need to purchase (wireless router? anything else?) and how to set it up (on linux nogal :P) before it arrives, streaming down my phone line.

But that was merely the cherry for the day, not everything else went as swimmingly. The Useless Estate Agent, from Renprop (don't use them, I won't ever again!), did not bother to return my call from Sunday so I called her again. Let's keep in mind now that it's been two full weeks since I first saw the place and just a little less than that since I expressed my serious desire to buy it, on condition I could see the actual unit first. To cut a long story short, I had to call her twice again yesterday, she didn't bother to email me as she'd specifically said she would and then the 2nd conversation ended rather smartly after she confirmed that the developer had decided to take the unit I wanted to buy off the market. It'd almsot be funny if she weren't so freaking useless and if it hadn't happened to me last time I was ready to buy a place :P

And naturally there's also no news about my dining-room table :( I'll phone again tomorrow.

But there are good things afoot :) Well, things that feel like good things (no, none are boy-related ... that department has gone very quiet lately), you can never really tell if things are going to actually turn out to be good or not, you just have to go on your initial gut-feel and accept that sometimes you might be wrong, but that those decisions may still lead you to the real good thing ;) Cryptic, no?

Monday, March 01, 2010

Good Balance

Good Morning all :)

Wow, what a weekend. And yes, it involved everything I thought it would on Friday, and a bit more even.

The weekend started with after-work drinks which were very tame compared with the last few weeks, I think we were out of there by 6pm. And then I headed home and faffed around eating dinner and reading the magazines I'd bought for my workshop the next day. And then at 9pm I met up with Bert and J9 and we went to Movida with some friends. Now to be fair I hadn't been there before and at 9pm the place is *quiet*. But eventually it does warm up ... I'm so with Jenty on this one, I just can't get my mind around sitting at home waiting to go out somewhere so late. And if I go out for dinner beforehand I'm generally not in the mood to go out somewhere else after. Well, I haven't been in a long time ... I guess it'll start coming back to me now as I get into the single swing of things. Movida seems like a pretty cool place, decor-wise, but I'm definitely not back in the swing of clubbing yet ...

I left pretty early, around 00h30 and headed home to get some rest before my full day workshop on Saturday. I was up bright and early and even made myself a breakfast of scrambled eggs before heading off to The Fairy Godmother's Dream Setting and Goal Mapping workshop. I will say that I had a lot of fun and it is was a well-spent day, but I arrived already knowing what my dream was ... and now I just have to figure out the really hard part, the getting it. I want to build my own house (not me there with bricks & mortar, but you know what I mean). I've wanted it since I started designing it in my travel-diary while traveling around Southern Africa in 2004. I can see bits of it in my head ... although I'm not exactly sure how they fit together. My biggest thing to overcome is where I want to build it, Cape Town or Joburg. My gut says Cape Town, Noordhoek maybe? But, who knows where life takes us ... So anyway, it was nice to get clearer on some of the things I want for my house and hopefully start making it more real to me (although I can picture parts of it in my head, I don't think about it too often because it mostly depresses me because it seems so unattainable). What was also truly incredible for me on this workshop was watching other people realise their dreams and goals and how different they all are. Anyway, if any of this piques your interest, I would recommend it.

And after that I raced off to join CollegeInstructor and Beukes at MissB's for a braai (in her brand new braai!). We had an awesome evening, the braai didn't collapse (although the boys are convinced that weber included some 'spare parts') and the food didn't burn :) And then we stupidly decided to head off to Billys for some dancing. The stupid part was Billys, not the dancing. Eurgh, it was horrible. Not at all how I remembered it (but let's be honest it has been *years*). Needless to say we didn't stay too long.

And on Sunday, Sunday I blissfully did almost nothing! I read in bed, Angel came by and dropped off my cute cupcake order, and then Beukes and I lazed in the shade reading our books. Eventually CollegeInstructor emerged and we headed off for some sushi (I had been craving it for a while) and then I cam home and relaxed some more. It was a perfect way to spend a Sunday!

Ps. Telkom is supposed to be installing my phone line today (3rd time lucky?) and I found out on Friday that my dining-room table isn't even in the country yet ... it's out floating on a ship in a container somewhere :P Oh, and I still have not heard a word from that useless Estate Agent. Charmed, as you can imagine.

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