Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Complete Secret Diaries of God by Koos Kombuis

The fictional God that Kombuis has created is a God of kindness, but he is also a God of fallibility who is looking over his life (several trillion years long) and judging himself and his actions. But the book is more than just a book about God and his travails in trying to form a relationship with the people and planet he created, it is also a biting satire on the world we have created. In the new version God is taken to a prison called Beverly Hills, from where he only manages to escape when he volunteers to be a Grim Reaper. The politics of Heaven and Hell, the Devil's "Plan B", Paul's letters to the Americans, the British and the Pope – many outrageous events are related in this new version!

Loved this! It reminded me of Lamb, a bit. Hysterical and I definitely would recommend it if you enjoy this sort of thing.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The First Fingerprint by Xavier-Marie Bonnot

In an underwater cavern off the coast west of Marseille are the first human engravings known to man. Among them is a crude drawing of a three-fingered hand, which has long puzzled archaeologists. Is it a hunting signal? A mystic sign invoking the spirits? Or is it, as many believe, evidence of ritual mutilation in a Shamanistic world? The Hunter evidently believes the latter. Driven by inhuman voices to maim and kill, he severs the body parts of his victims - and signs his savagery with a print of a three-fingered hand. Commandant Michel de Palma, of the Marseille murder squad, heads to the university in Aix-en-Provence to investigate further, but the clique of pre-history professors he encounters are as hard to unravel as the meaning of the cave-drawing itself. As he gets closer to the truth, the group of academics close ranks. Slowly and alone, de Palma begins pursuing a mystery that dates back to the Ice age. The First Fingerprint introduces a policeman as polished as he is brutal, as charming as he is deceptive. Michel de Palma, called the Baron by his colleagues, knows the dark underside of the city of Marseille as do none of his rivals. But his enemies are everywhere: in the crime-infested sinks of the suburbs; in the sleek and squalid bars of the old quarter; even in the police ranks themselves.

Yawn. I'll admit I'm a little tired of these standard crime novels ... there is no exciting twist. This one was particularly difficult, as I think often happens with translated books. Not because of story-line or anything, but with this one, because I couldn't tell the characters apart some of the time. I dunno if that happens to you when reading foreign names, there's just something about them that doesn't always stick in my head. Anyway, I thought this book would be a *lot* more interesting than it turned out to be ... sadly it wasn't. I wouldn't really recommend it at all.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Oh the Stress

Okay, so here is the full story of probably the most stressful week of my life:

It's no secret that visas terrify me a little. The fact that you spend a fortune booking a trip and then have to apply for visas, which apparently should be a mere technicality but to be honest, your holiday really does hinge on them, without them there are so many countries that you cannot visit with your little Green South African Passport.

The irony here is that I was never really too worried about my Russian visa, definitely more for my Chinese one (because I had read somewhere online that people had had a problem getting into China with a fake Polar Bear Capital of the World stamp from Churchill in their passport, it being an unofficial stamp in an official document and all) and the Mongolian one (sending my passport all the way to the UK & back had me nervous for this one). But as it turns out, the Russian one caused me more stress than any visa in my life had before.

I had my passport collected by the Visa Service company I was using (I have a lot to say about their customer service, but this is not the post for it!) on Tuesday afternoon and expected that my passport would be submitted to the Russian Embassy in Pretoria on Wednesday morning.

On Wednesday morning, a little before 10am, I called the Visa Service Company to confirm that all was in order and my passport had been submitted (yes, I was calling *them*, take note, it'll become a trend) only to hear the woman say "Oh, I was just about to phone you!". And then she proceeded to completely ruin my week by telling me that they'd been told that the Russian Embassy was no longer issuing visas for people leaving the country by Train. EXCUSE ME? Being that it is a legitimate way to travel and that this was, in fact, the way I was travelling, you can imagine my complete horror at the news. She then said that they could try submitting it and see if it got rejected. Um, NO. I promptly told her to get clarity on the issue before submitting my passport. There had to be a way to get a Russian visa, and she should find out exactly how.

But, based on her past effort levels, I went off to do some research of my own. There was no specific mention of not providing visas under these circumstances on the Russian Embassy's website, although it did request you include your return air ticket (which I had in my vast pile of submitted documentation, but it was departing from China). I figured already having my Mongolian & Chinese visas in my passport would count in my favour, but what I really needed to set my mind at ease was to speak to someone who could give me a straight answer. I tried calling the Russian Embassy in Pretoria continuously from 10am till their reception apparently closed at 11:30. Not a single time was my call even answered. It just rang and rang .... I sat in meetings with my phone attached to my ear listening to it ring, just desperately hoping for an answer.

My dad suggested phoning a few other Visa Service Companies, he was completely sure this woman had her facts wrong. One of the other companies I spoke to had never heard such a thing and another said it'd be fine but you may have to provide a copy of a train ticket. At this point I guess it made a little more sense ... If you were flying in but couldn't prove you were leaving because you were planning on buying a ticket once you were there, I can see how things might be trickier ... Not for other citizens who can travel the globe with ease, just for us, from South Africa, where as I have seen now, your Russian visa specifies the actual specific dates of your entry & exit of their country. Sigh. Panic stations.

The Visa Service woman also had no luck getting in touch with them ... and said she'd keep trying till 3pm. This is about where I really lost it telling her that even I knew the embassy reception had closed at 11:30 and of course she'd have no luck getting thru for the rest of the afternoon :P SIGH. Anyway, we decided that they would take my passport and documents to the embassy on Thursday and see if it was accepted for submission. I then got in touch with Real Russia (who were fabulous!) and managed to get further confirmation documentation which I mailed to the Visa Service Company.

I also decided then and there that I'd pay the extra R400 for speedy turnaround (1-3days instead of the usual 4-20days they offer). I wasn't having the stress of not knowing hanging over me for such a lengthy indefinite period of time.

Dad also suggested I try the Cape Town embassy, and one of the other Visa Service companies also told me they were easier to get hold of, but I had to wait till Thursday morning to try that (these Embassies sure have ridiculous hours!!). At 9am I promptly called and they answered almost immediately. But I was told to phone back in half an hour to speak to a Diplomat. This is about when my resolve cracked and I had to disappear for a bit and just let go of all the emotion and terror swirling inside me - lucky thing we have an empty office next door to ours.

But, things started to turn up from here ... I called back and spoke to the Russian Diplomat in Cape Town, who sounded like a lovely sweet man with a thick Russian accent who was very reassuring and made it sound like with all the documentation I had submitted there wouldn't be a problem. I also called the Visa Service company later in the day and heard that my application had been accepted for submission. And that they'd be able to collect it the following day. 1day turn around, completely worth that R400.

On Friday I was still a little jumpy, because until I actually had my passport back with the visa in it, I wasn't off the hook yet ... but I was definitely calmer based on how things were going and what I'd heard.

At 3pm (when I, again, called the Visa Service Company) I heard that they had collected my Passport and it had my Russian Visa inside it! Oh I can not even begin to explain the relief and elation. The best part was they managed to deliver it to me that same afternoon. I wouldn't spend my weekend worrying, I have everything I need for my trip, Holiday 2011, is a GO! Okay, I do still need travel insurance and foreign currency ... but those are easy! Oh, and my new camera ;)

I won't lie, I paged thru my passport about 100 times on Friday afternoon and think I showed the visas to everyone I work with ...

Monday, March 28, 2011


Well, it was certainly a more relaxing weekend than usual ... I think that was partly because of the emotional come-down after such a stressful week and because of a delightful 18hour power failure we had.

The weekend started on an exceptional high as I found out I got my Russian visa and managed to get my passport back that afternoon. We also finished work early and had a braai at the office to watch the cricket (well, I may have been too busy paging thru my passport to care). And then an absolutely massive thunderstorm started. And apparently killed out power at home at around 16h15. It didn't come back on till between 10 & 11am on Saturday morning!

So Friday night was very quiet and uneventful. I pretty much read my book by candlelight and went to sleep early. Which I really needed after such a dreadful week.

On Saturday I did some shopping and pretty much did nothing much for most of the day ... as I said I was a little emotionally bereft so didn't really know what I wanted to do nor did I care too much either way about anything really.

On Saturday evening, it was @Louiseysch's birthday party, which was a throwback to our youth as we went and ate dinner at the Spur and then went ice-skating. I haven't ice-skated in probably 5years. And it wasn't exactly ideal (I found out afterwards that school holidays started on Friday, maybe that's why). It was crazy-crowded with all these kids zooting past us ... now I can skate, not well, but enough that I didn't fall at all and I'm not hanging onto the banister for more than just the first time around the rink, but I can't stand these people who fly in front of me because I just simply don't have that much control over where I'm going. And mostly because I have no interest in falling, most especially not because of someone else bashing into me. Luckily none of that happened, but it makes for a less than ideal experience. I think I'd prefer to go skating on a close to empty rink ;) A bit like watching movies, really! Anyway, and the fact was that the ice was in pretty bad shape by the time we'd finished dinner, with plenty of deep grooves around. Also, not ideal for someone so not in control of their skating as me. So, I didn't last very long, probably went round about 10 times before my feet were absolutely killing me! But still, I guess it's kinda nice to do these things ever so often to remind ourselves :)

I was going to go to RR for their 8th birthday party after that, but my feet were just killing me so decided to head home instead.

And then on Sunday, I started learning Russian, at home in the comfort of my own bed (love the internet!). I managed to learn the whole alphabet (all 33 letters of the alphabet ... so at least I should be able to pronounce words I read) and later in the day, I learned to count to 10. I'm feeling quite impressed with myself since languages is really not my thing.

And for lunch I headed off to visit @louisabouwer in her new spot. It was a lovely afternoon spent catching up, eating pizza & drinking champagne watching Nicola's antics :) Just what I needed!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Almost Over

Sigh. So it sounds like today is going to be D-day in finding out if this week's stress and worry are to be but a mere memory, or whether the potential disaster has struck. Logic tells me all should be well, but the seed of panic that lives in my brain is currently a fully grown oak so there's little I can do to remain calm until I get the necessary confirmation. Cryptic, yeah, I know. But I'll tell all next week once I've dealt with and accepted and cried over (with relief or agony) whichever outcome comes my way.

In other news, to escape my brain, CollegeInstructor and I went to watch Red Riding Hood last night. It was not spectacular. It had potential ... I picked a completely different ending, mine would've been much better than what they went with, I think. But it served it's purpose.

Another highlight of yesterday was getting access to the full collection of photos taken by Jenty and Alana Meyer for the Sass Designs shoot. And they are amazing! I've been ooh-ing and aah-ing over them the whole day. And seeing the photos reminded me again what a special day it was spent with some of my favourite people.

On the other hand, and perhaps because of my present overly wrought state, many many things have been annoying me supremely. Customer Service and communication are at the top of the list. And if fact, most customer service could be vastly improved by better communication ... Sigh. I won't rant here, but know that it's been a very rough week with a very low boiling point. Sigh, it may have been a mere 4 days long, but I feel as tho I have aged years. I can NOT wait for it to be over. More importantly I can NOT wait for this weight to be off my shoulders. Keep your finger's crossed, please.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Ups Amongst the Downs

Mkay, so there have been some ups in the world of downs I'm currently living in. There is something major afoot that is weighing heavily on my mind and until it is resolved, I'm not going to be able to focus on much else ... but I don't want to talk about it. Not yet. (I'm still in complete denial)

The ups, however, I will tell you about :) On Tuesday evening I managed to have dinner and a catch-up with @Rubyletters before she headed away for work for another 3 weeks. We decided to go for sushi and I suggested we try somewhere new, Yo Sushi in Rivonia. It wasn't earth shattering, I won't be heading there instead of Yamada in future, but that said it wasn't bad at all. The service wasn't great, but I've found that it rarely is at a sushi restaurant. Still, it was lovely chatting the night away with her :)

And then last night The Trucker and I went for dinner at Mumbai Brasserie. Another time I'll introduce him to Ghazals ;) But in comparison, this place wasn't bad at all. The ambiance was not great because when we arrived at 7pm, we were the only people in the whole place (although there were probably another 3 tables by the time we left). But on the plus side we did get to sit outside and it was a lovely evening. I stuck with a Chicken Makhni, not because I'm boring and only ever eat that (well, probably because of that too), but how else to best compare it with Ghazals? It was definitely on a par. After that, we went to Doppio Zero for coffee & ice-cream (well, I had a hot chocolate, but semantics). Another lovely evening.

I'm beginning to think I may eat out too often ;) hahahaha.

Ps. Am loving Firefox 4!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Foodie Weekend with Mom

Well, I do love a long weekend :) Doesn't everyone? Most especially one when Mom comes to visit! We had a fab time.

I picked her up after work and after she'd had her first Gautrain ride on Friday afternoon. We headed straight to the shops to stock up on ingredients. Instead of the usual eating out, we were planning on cooking at home this weekend (most especially since I'd eaten out 3 nights that week already).

For Friday night's dinner we made Beetroot Burgers (thanks to The Creative Pot for the recipe!) which turned out to be completely delish and amazed us both! I highly recommend these as something different and the colours are so much fun :) fyi. we couldn't find buckwheat so we used oats instead.

On Saturday I made us crumpets for breakfast and we were supposed to go on Past Experiences' Naming Jozi Tour ... which sadly got rained out completely. Seriously, we were drenched! It was a bit of a disappointment, I was looking forward to showing Mom a bit of Joburg city centre. Oh well.

After that we came home and got warm and watched Julie & Julia. Hugely appropriate for our cooking weekend, I thought :) And I did enjoy the movie. We also watched Iron Man, because Mom had never seen it - and she loves Robert Downey about as much as I do ;)

On Sunday we started with breakfast at my new favourite spot, The Salvation Cafe, where we both had my fav Mexican Spinach Burrito. Divine! After that we popped in at the Rosebank Rooftop market as is tradition and had a wander around there and I got 4 more frames for my wall :) Only need 3 more and I'm done (have actually added 2 new photos which is why I'm not just 1 frame short) and then I'll need to find a good framer to do the mountings for me ... Don't think I'm going to attempt it myself, especially in situation where the photos need to be cut to size. Would rather a professional did it properly! Can't wait for it all to be done, it is going to look so awesome :) *grin*

On Sunday evening, we went to watch Freakonomics. I was super keen since I'd so enjoyed the book, when I read it absolute ages ago ... And so, I guess the movie will be interesting for people who haven't read the book (although I'd recommend you do that instead!) but for me it was pretty much just a rehash. I'm honestly not entirely sure why they bothered making the movie. Although don't go expecting a normal movie, it's documentary style (what else could it be, really?) and I did rather like that different people directed each segment so they were each quite different. As I said, I'd recommend giving this one a skip and reading the book instead.

And then we went to go and find some dinner. I had a craving for Butternut Panzerotti. Do you know how long it took us to find what I wanted?!? We figured Col'Cacchio as the obvious choice, although I'll never go there when craving pasta again, their selection is tiny and they server their panzerotti in that butter-sage sauce (which I despise) and so shortly after sitting down and receiving our menus we were up and off again. Next stop en route home was The Green Peppercorn (kitchen already closed by 19h30 on a Sunday night) and Pomodoro (entirely closed). Then I figured we'd try Doppio Zero, which was the winner! Wow, I got to have exactly what I was craving for dinner, perfect :)

Monday was far more relaxed and involved more cooking. This time we made Simply Delicious' Roasted Aubergine & Feta Fritters. I'm a big fan of aubergine, but not of cooking it ... and these came out perfectly. I was also a little worried while we were cooking them, but we found the cooler leftovers to be even better than eating them warm :) They were really yummy!

On Monday evening, we watched Whip It. It was actually really awesome not to have Mom flying back on Monday evening, no mad rush to the airport, no wasted afternoon. I dropped her off at the Sandton Gautrain station on my way to work this morning.

It was a lovely weekend :)

Friday, March 18, 2011

What a Week!

Righto, an awesome week, generally (aside from the I hate people factor, but I'm glossing over that right now, cause I'm in a good mood, although tired).

So, what have I been up to since my rare Tuesday morning post. Well I had a delish sushi dinner with @Nadgia. So much of talking, so much of eating :) And, of course, we finished the evening in the customary way with the best hot chocolates at Rocket. Was a fab evening.

On Wednesday it was CollegeInstructor's birthday so France & I had decided that we should all go for dinner at our favourite spot, Gourmet Garage. Left to his own devices, CollegeInstructor would probably have ignored his birthday entirely! As I said before, we also had a little surprise planned. Sadly however the weather did not play along ... we wanted to take him up in the Monte Casino balloon, he's been wanting to go forever! Oh well, we'll reschedule. Dinner was divine! As always :) And it was a really lovely evening.

Yesterday I finally got my passport back (it was a slightly delayed delivery because of the storm on Wednesday afternoon). It has my Mongolian visa in it and I am thrilled :) I mean, I'd be curious to know how many South Africans actually have Mongolian visas. Can't be many (since they don't even bother to have an embassy here!). Considered submitting my passport for the Russian visa today (to the visa service company), but I figure it's just going to sit around their offices till Tuesday so I'd rather have it locked away in my safe where I know it till then. So next week I'll start the last visa application process. Then all I need is my travel insurance and currency and I'm set. Wow. Really getting excited now. And I've ordered this book from Kalahari. I don't usually buy travel books for the places to visit, but I thought being stuck on a train it'll be handy having a guide telling you when to look out for what in the scenery. And that way I can at least read about what I'm seeing too :)

And then last night I met The Trucker for an early dinner and then we went to watch Cirque du Soleil's Saltimbanco. It was quite different to what I remembered from Varekai, I guess some of that was also the venue: I was up in the nose-bleed seats for Varekai ... at The Dome, they were way more spread out, but we did have good seats, even if they were pretty far away. And the acts, I remember Varekai felt more varied. But don't get me wrong, the acts were still quite amazing! I'm also curious if anyone actually gets the whole little storyline (is there one) of the show? Me, I'm just there to watch the amazing outfits, props and performances honestly ... Anyway, it was quite mesmerizing and awe-inspiring and I'm thrilled I was able to watch another of their shows :)

And that was my week. Mom is arriving later this afternoon so am looking forward to a lovely long weekend with her :)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A Rare Tuesday Post

I know, right? What on earth could I have to say on a Tuesday? Most especially since I did not go to SCM Dinner last night even!

Well, there's not much, I'll be honest, but still stuff worth saying. The first news is that my passport (with Mongolian visa!!!!!!) was collected by DHL London at 14h09 yesterday afternoon (they're 2hrs behind us at the moment). Oh the thrill and relief and the once again constant refreshing of the DHL tracking page. *big smile* It should be safely home tomorrow. I can't wait to see it. I know, I get a weird thrill paging thru my passport. (For now I'm focusing on the happiness of getting my passport back safely and the glee tracking it every step gives me ... and nto the fact t hat it costs double the price to send the exact same item from there to here as it cost to send it there in the first place!! My less-than-48hrs-not-even-getting-off-the-train in Mongolia is probably going to be the most expensive visa of my life :P)

In other news, I skipped SCM last night. Simply because I have no free nights left this week till next Tuesday! Tonight is my twice-postponed-already sushi dinner with @Nadgia - can't wait for some girly talk, seriously she is one of the people I can have the most honest conversations with and I adore her for it :) Tomorrow is CollegeInstructor's birthday so France and I are taking him to our favourite, Gourmet Garage, for dinner (and there is a little extra surprise too! Shhh) :)

On Thursday, The Trucker and I are off to see Cirque du Soleil, which I am sosososo looking forward to (note to self: collect Computicket tickets!!). It feels like absolute ages since I saw Varekai. Plus, since it's on my life list, it's kinda awesome to get the opportunity to watch them perform again ;)

And then ... on Friday afternoon Mom arrives for the whole long weekend :) YAY!

Clearly I am in a splendiferous mood this morning. Despite working an extra 2hrs yesterday and no doubt more during this week. I'm putting it down to a very early night (literally just about fell asleep reading my book last night at 20h30!!) and a good long much-needed sleep. Wow, I am amazed at the difference it makes. I'd say I'm pretty lucky sleep-wise, considering how many people I know who suffer from insomnia (seriously, it's like *everyone* these days!). But still, even for me, who generally sleeps a full night as the norm, and extra long nights sleep was sheer bliss.

*bounce bounce bounce*

Monday, March 14, 2011

Not quite Hibernation

Okay so it wasn't entirely a hibernation weekend, but it was pretty close.

I did nothing on Friday evening, I worked late, popped by the shops on the way home and made home-made pizza's (sort of) for dinner :) Yum. And I watched The Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus.

I've been dying to see this movie since Heath died ... yes, still devastated. And I finally got round to it (I don't remember it being on big screen here?). It's not an amazing movie, but I did quite enjoy it. I especially enjoyed how they "fixed" it after his death, I think it worked brilliantly.

On Saturday I was up fairly early and headed into Joburg city-centre for another tour with Past Experiences. This time a shopping tour :) I adored it. Got to take the Rea Vaya for the first time and even came home with some fab little purchases! Great fun, I highly recommend it for the girls. I doubt it was much fun for the few boys who got dragged along with us.

And that was pretty much it for the rest of Saturday. I watched Eat Pray Love finally as well. Which I was surprised I loved. Aside from the minor fact of someone up and leaving their real life indefinitely without any income ... I mean I know the dollar is powerful but really? I think I am Liz Gilbert and I am still hunting for my word too. Sigh.

After that I headed off to Red Room. Which was fun since I haven't been in ages and I got to wear the new little dress I bought that day :)

Sunday was very busy in the morning. Dropping recycling off, cleaning the bunny hutch, that sort of admin. But I spent a lot of the rest of the day just relaxing. Which I definitely needed. I have a very busy week ahead. And I watched The Last Airbender. Which I had heard was rubbish, and it was, which is why I didn't watch it on the big screen.

Friday, March 11, 2011

The Swing of the Pendulum

Sigh. I was having such a lovely week. Seriously, Wednesday was a fabulous day. Mom booked a trip up to Joburg for the March long weekend, my passport made it safely to the UK (thanks DHL, it may cost extra, but the peace of mind and detailed tracking is SO worth it!) and to the Real Russia offices and was scheduled to be submitted to the Monglian Embassy yesterday and I got a surprise dinner invite to Cranks with some of the work crowd (some of the guys from Cape Town were up). Seriously, it was a perfect day :)

On an aside tho, I feel I should put out a warning here about Cranks. Although it is one of my fav spots, the guys were drinking their Thai red bull & whiskeys and only when the bill actually arrived did we find out that they were R81 *each*. My gawd. I mean they don't have a drinks menu or anything, but surely when your drink costs more than some of your main meals you warn a person?? But other than that, it was a lovely night with plenty of laughter.

Yesterday, however, was a different story. Seriously, I was not ready for the pendulum to swing back so soon! Yesterday I found out my passport will be ready for collection on Monday. They tell you the visa can take up to 5 days. I'm trying not to stress too much about this right now, but seriously in the back of my mind, I'm still terrified about what getting it back within 3 days means ... (See @Doodles, you have some serious worry-warrior competition here!).

And then I also scraped my car ... against a car parked in the fcking driveway of the property I live in!! So this guy (one of the people who work in the home office in the main house) has been parking his car in the most annoying spot for the last 6 weeks or so, but he barely seems to notice. And finally yesterday disaster struck. Luckily his car doesn't have a dent, although there is some paint damage. But I'm hoping he'll stop parking there now :P My car, on the other hand, has a lovely dent in the wheel wing, some paint scratches and one of those weird little things they stick onto the side of the car has come off. I am less than thrilled to have to deal with this now. *sob* The most annoying part was that my OUTBonus is due in August :P Urgh. Seriously?!?

And then last night was Bookclub. It was my last one for now cause I decided to resign. I just haven't been enjoying it that much in the last couple of months and after about 5 years, I need a break I think. Funny how it works in fluctuations, I was one of 3 girls who resigned this month as well. My Bookclub always was one that ebbed and flowed ... Feels kinda weird leaving tho, since I started it originally back in the day when I was still dating Bean!

Urgh. I feel like I am in serious need of a hibernation weekend.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Little Bits

An uneventful week so far to be honest. SCM Dinner on Monday was quiet and last night my dinner with @Nadgia got postponed again (this time she postponed) ... ah well, we'll get round to it eventually.

I am avidly tracking my passport on DHL's website ... and other than that not much, hey. Hardly seems worth the blog post.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris

Sookie Stackhouse is a small-time cocktail waitress in small-town Louisiana. She's quiet, keeps to herself, and doesn't get out much - not because she's not pretty - she's a very cute bubbly blonde - or not interested in a social life. She really is ...but Sookie's got a bit of a disability. She can read minds. And that doesn't make her too dateable. And then along comes Bill: he's tall, he's dark and he's handsome - and Sookie can't 'hear' a word he's thinking. He's exactly the type of guy she's been waiting all her life for. But Bill has a disability of his own: he's fussy about his food, he doesn't like suntans and he's never around during the day ...Yep, Bill's a vampire. Worse than that, he hangs with a seriously creepy crowd, with a reputation for trouble - of the murderous kind. And then one of Sookie's colleagues at the bar is killed, and it's beginning to look like Sookie might be the next victim ...

I was kinda curious to read this book because I've debated a number of times whether I should get myself the box set or not (I really do want the Harry Potter box set too ... I prefer box sets when the series is complete tho). And also, because I love the tv series so much. This book was cool, it was very similar to the series ... or rather, what I remember of Season 1, which was quite a while ago. I'm not yet ready to buy the box set tho, they don't feel like significant books, I think I've enjoyed the tv series more. (Harry Potter, on the other hand, I feel the complete opposite about and would love to own the books but have less than no interest in the movies made).

Monday, March 07, 2011

More Weekend Stuffs

Wow, another busy weekend. But it was all good :)

Friday night started out interestingly with my first visit to our local Hooters. More of a yawn than I was expecting, to be honest. I can't really understand why people go there ... the food was awful. I shared their tater-tots and boneless chicken wings with @samanthaperry and none of the food was finished, even with help from a few other people round the table. I think McDonalds food might actually be less processed than Hooters' food!! Anyway, it was a friend's birthday and we had a laugh.

Saturday was very lazy until I started to get ready for a wedding I was off to with @scottjorton. Awesome opportunity to wear my Sass Designs dress to an actual function *yay*. Although I'll admit I played with it for quite a while before settling on which style to wear it in this time - nice to wear something new :) I copied the style in the pic from the website. The wedding was good fun. Jees, the couple had been dating for 10 years ... since high school. I was amazed.

On Sunday I ended up having a spontaneous breakfast with The Trucker at Doppio Zero, which was great fun. And then I had a very relaxing afternoon before heading to watch The King's Speech with CollegeInstructor & France.

I *loved* it. Seriously, I hadn't seen a trailer for it, although I had a vague idea what it was about ... and it sounded dull. But it won the Oscar, so I figured I'd give it a try. Loved it. Oh, and how nice to see Helena Bonham-Carter in a normal role, hahaha.

This morning DHL will be coming to collect my passport (now with a very fresh Chinese visa in it, got it back on Friday afternoon) and it'll be shipped off to the UK for my Mongolian visa. Sheesh, it's all really happening.

Friday, March 04, 2011

Back in Gear

So am slowly feeling better. Still a bit snotty, but the headache has gone :)

But as such, the week has been pretty quiet with not much done on Wednesday evening either. I think I kinda needed the time to readjust to Joburg ;) But last night CollegeInstructor and I went to watch The Green Hornet.

Which I completely enjoyed :) I mean yes, Britt Reid is about the most annoying character in a while and Cameron Diaz paled in comparison to Gwyneth Paltrow's similar Pepper Potts role in Iron Man. But, you know, I still laughed out loud and generally would recommend you watch it for light entertainment & a bit of escapism ;)

(Oh, and I had no choice but to watch it in 3D, which was annoying :P But I survived and this may have been one of my better 3D experiences, sitting pretty much center-center in the cinema ...)

And now I have a crazy busy weekend ahead ...

Thursday, March 03, 2011

The Facebook Effect by David Kirkpatrick

Today - six years after it was created in a Harvard dorm room - over 500 million people use Facebook regularly, in just about every country on earth. That a company this powerful and influential was started as a lark by a couple of 19-year-olds makes it a fascinating and surprising tale. That one of them, the visionary Mark Zuckerberg, had the maturity, strategic smarts and luck to keep his company ahead of its rivals anchors the tale. With exclusive inside access to all the company's leaders David Kirkpatrick tells of the vision, the tenacity, the refusal to compromise, and the vision Zuckerberg has to remake the internet. A brilliant and fascinating cast of characters created Facebook and Kirkpatrick has interviewed all of them. Never before have Zuckerberg and his closest colleagues told what really happened as they built their dynamo while eating fast food, staying up all night, and thumbing their noses at how things are usually done.

I loved this book. And I think everyone who uses Facebook and everyone who doesn't even have a Facebook account (yes, @DoodlesofaJourno, I'm talking to you!) should read it. So yeah, literally, everyone. I guess it is kinda weird having it come so hot on the heels of the movie The Social Network (which I also loved), but this is completely different. This is the real story, not the Hollywood version. This barely mentions the lawsuits and whatnots, it's more about how the company came about and grew the way it did. Make no mistake, I have a huge amount of respect for Mark Zuckerburg and what he's managed to achieve. Damn, but I wish I'd been around when this was just getting started. It must've been quite amazing to be involved in.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011


Urgh. I have not had a fabulous couple of days. Well, I guess Monday was mostly fine, went to SCM Dinner and caught up with everyone.

But I haven't been well. Had a headache most of yesterday, which almost never happens. And then the day ended with a 2hr meeting in a hot stuffy room, I felt completely ill by the time it was over and raced home, missing a work social function and canceled the sushi dinner I had planned with @Nadgia (so you know I must've really not been feeling good!) :(

So yeah, other than that, not much has been going on.

Oh, but my passport is currently at the Chinese Embassy getting my visa!! *about the only exciting thing going on in my life right now*

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