Thursday, August 21, 2008

More violence

The Star reported this morning that a 68 year old pensioner from Portugal living in an old age home in Southdale, shot two residents and then shot and killed himself. He must have been listening to Bles Bridges. He is evil.

I blame him. Lets boycott his music.


Two hours sleep...nuff said!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

This is for all you heavy metal ignoranuses!

I am sure most of you in South Africa have by now have heard of the tragic, senseless, horrific killing of a schoolboy in Krugersdorp as well as the injuries suffered by three others, all at the hands of the same demented pupil at one of the schools. Its really sad, and my heart goes out to the family and friends of all involved. No one should have to go through something as horrific as this.

But, and this is a big BUT, I am deeply annoyed and irritated at how the media and many other narrow minded people have jumped on the "lets blame heavy metal for this" bandwagon. All because the kid in question wore a Slipknot mask while committing these evil acts. Oh how I wish he had gone dressed as Celine Dion, bwhahahhahaha (in fact, if you had me listening to her music, I probably would go out dressed like her and kill everyone in my sight).

Most people seem to be missing the point, that this kid had serious issues (no shit, hey) and even though his parents noticed a "change in him" some time back, did they do anything about it? No, they just let him be. So who is to blame here? Hmmm? This is bad parenting at its worst. They should have seen the signs. And who in their right mind buys their kid a samurai sword? WTF. Someone should have called child services.

Since that Black Monday I have joined several groups on facebook, that either support or blame heavy metal, just to get both sides of the story. But it seems to me that metal is winning the fight as the dissers are keeping very quiet - looks looks like you idiots havent got a leg to stand on, your arguments are futile and unsupported. I was quite interested by one comment that one of the metal supporters made "Hitler listened to classical music, but did anyone ever blame Mozart or Beethoven for his genocide?" I dont think so.

So why should heavy metal always get the blame when something like this happens? Because we are the minority, and so misunderstood. For me, heavy metal gives me a chance to express myself and let go of some of my day-to-day frustrations. Its just so easy for them to blame this kind of music, isnt it? Instead of blaming the true culprits - his parents, who are probably right now being made out to be victims. Please. Dont make me throw up.

And lets turn this around a bit, to other, less "notorious" music genres. What about hip hop, rap and whatever other ass-churned out crap that comes out of these so-called musicians that condone degrading women, gang wars and greed. Does anyone ever blame this shitty music for violence? I dont think so.

Actually, the more I think about this, the more indigestion I feel coming on. I could go on and on about this, but I think I have made my point. Instead of pointing fingers at the music, look at the deeper, underlying factors. This boy was not right in the head. Whether he listened to Britney Spears or Cradle of Filth does not matter. He was crying out for help but no one noticed. Until it was too late. How sad.


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

I am about to look like a chipmunk

This year has been the worst for me in terms of my health. I am starting to believe that Im decomposing at a rapid rate - dont all jump for joy at once. Just as I thought I had finally gotten the better of my sinuses, my wisdom teeth decided it was their turn to torture me a bit. Hell, not a bit, A LOT. So much that I felt like my brain was about to explode.

So I went to the dentist, and turns out that not only do I have to get these godforsaken teeth out, but also another FOUR molars, just to make space for new BRACES. WTF. That's a total of EIGHT TEETH! Why not shoot me now.

The whole weekend I spent in extreme pain, temporarily masked by random salt water rinses, antibiotics and whiskey shots. I was in agony. I am STILL in agony. The pain seems to get worse and worse and it doesnt help that I have a huge gaping hole on the side of my mouth, which I keep on biting since my gums are swollen. So I cant really eat. Even drinking water is painful.

The next step is for me to see an orthodontist for a full assessment before I go under the knife. But, as my luck goes, I could only get an appointment next week Monday. Another week of excruciating pain? Oh hell no, please put me out of my misery now!!!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Great service, for a change

The manager that runs Fegos below our offices never fails to amaze me, especially today. The way she keeps that little coffee shop running is nothing short of amazing. You can immediately tell that she is enthusiastic, smart and on top of things.

When my boss asked me this afternoon to give them a call and order him some food, I instead offered to walk down there. Anything to get out of the office. I have been cooped up in here all week. So I took some extra orders from the rest of the team and off I went, happily whistling along and enjoying the breath of fresh air. Yes, I was in a good mood (and still am, heheh).

As soon as I walked into Fegos, as I was greeted by the manager with a big smile and she immediately took my order. She then barked the different orders to her designated employees and insisted it be done immediately as "the lady is in a hurry". I wasnt. In fact, I didnt mind waiting, it was good to get out. But she explained to me that if she didnt order her staff to get a move on, they might probably take the rest of the century to make a little toasted sandwich.

So while I watched Argentina kick some Serbian ass at soccer in the Beijing Olympics, everyone scurried about to prepare my stuff. The coffees were ready in no time and my droolworthy carrot cake (yes, I know it doesnt count as cake, having carrots and all, but I was craving it) as well, but my boss' toasted sammie took forever and ever and ever. Still I didnt mind, I was happy to remain there and watch the soccer match.

The manager promised me it would take about another minute and went and sat at her table to carry on with her work. But, 5 minutes later, when she looked up and saw that I was still standing there, all hell broke loose in the kitchen. I think she might have prepared that sammie herself, because a few minutes later she brought it, all apologetic and made me promise that I would come back tomorrow for a free cappuccino. She doesnt like to have any angry customers. I wasnt angry, but fair enough. Who can turn down free coffee?

So even though I didnt ask for it, and never felt like I was being treated badly, I was quite impressed with the good service this manager tries to maintain. Nandos should take a lesson from her!

Monday, August 11, 2008


One thing I learnt after this weekend is, that if one tries to cram way too many things into two and half days, chances are you are probably going to run away screaming and get absolutely nothing done, which is what practically happened to us.

Monkey and I had planned a series of things that we wanted to accomplish this weekend. First, go see his brother, wife and baby. Then meet up with a buddy of his to get some work, go watch the rugby at my parents' house, then play the women's day gig at Rock Bar (three way whammy on Saturday, lots of celebrations, more on that later). Then Sunday we were hoping to go with his parents to the botanical gardens, race back to church so I could fulfill my tea duties and maybe finally attend a trumpet lesson, then go to my parents for a braai. After that, come back home so monkey could do some work. Well, as I look back, I think we only did about a quarter of those things. It was just too overwhelming.

Friday we did go to his brother's for a braai. It was very chilled and the four of us had a great time chatting and ooohing and aaahing at cute lil Alisa. In her fluffy brown overall with hood and all, from the back she reminded me of an Ewok from Star Wars. She looked so adorable! So from now on, whenever she wears that outfit, she will forever be called an Ewok.

Next morning, while it was noon actually, we surfaced and while Monkey was making breakfast/lunch, I read a book and slowly started getting ready for this day's events. We had lots to celebrate that day 1. Women's day, of course. And I pointed it out to Monkey, that since every other day is man's day, we women should at least be allowed one public holiday. He didnt agree. All my arguments fell on deaf ears. 2. It was 19 years since my family and I made the Groot Trek to South Africa, leaving our beautiful Argentinean shores behind. Therefore, it was quite ironic and momentous that on this day SA and Argentina were meeting head to head at Ellis Park for a rugby match. I hoped that at least the Pumas would give the Boks a run for their money, though I knew who would come out winning here. And last, but not least no. 3 - Monkey and I were celebrating 3 months together. A small triumph, most of you might say, but we treasure every moment together.

After lunch we decided to take a nap before going to watch the rugby. Yes, we sleep too much. We havent reached our 30s yet and we already sleep like two old farts. It was supposed to be a 30 minute power nap. But lo and behold, when I eventually opened my eyes and looked at the time, the game had just finished. I cursed and got up, and tried to check if maybe SABC was maybe showing a delayed match but all they were showing was the Olympics. So I phoned Ferdi, who glumly told me the dreadful score. Just as well I hadnt seen it, it would have pissed me off royally.

So instead, we sat at home until it was time to go to the Rock Bar and had some drinks. I was starting to feel ill again since my sinuses were still giving me hassles. But I put on a brave face and tried to have a good time. This was a new venue right below Stones in Melville. Rather small, but not too bad. I cant remember the first few bands that played (one was a rather gay one from Cape Town, lol) but I quite enjoyed Heroes from Red. Awesome stuff. Then it was Torment's turn, who was headlining the event. I dont know how it happened, but the boys were coerced into playing topless, hee hee. It was Women's Day after all! Of course, Ferdi did the same, any chance to show his belly - he takes it!

The rest of the evening was almost a blur as I now couldnt hold on any longer. While the boys packed all the gear, I passed out on a bean bag. I was quite dismayed when they suggested we stop at Bimbos for some food. Yes, I was hungry, but more than anything I was nauseous and in need of my bed. But we went stopped there anyway, and I was getting very uptight and impatient as the service was incredibly slow. Thirty minutes later, we walked out armed with food and off we went. I managed to eat half a steak roll in bed then rolled over and fell asleep. I had told Monkey earlier that he could go to the Botanical gardens on his own while I slept, there was no way I was getting up for the next 12 hours.

Well, neither did Monkey, turns out the previous night took its toll on both of us. So he phoned to cancel with his parents and eventually we fell asleep again. No church either. Oh dear me, Im going to hell. Oh wait, Im the devil's mother, so...
So another breakfast turned into lunch. We didnt even get out the house, except when Monkey went out for a quick drive to get some food and a DVD. While we watched "Cloverfield" (freaky movie, not too bad), he worked at the same time on his laptop. And thats how we spent the rest of the day, until he finally called it quits just before the 20:00 etv movie. So I had a nice lazy day, Monkey, not so much. But I honestly think that from now on, we will try do just one major thing per weekend. Us old farts cannot take on too much, lol.

Friday, August 08, 2008

F*ck Nandos

I think I am a victim of society. The evil, chicken-loving society that keeps on screwing with my preferred culinary habits. How dare they keep messing with me? If you read my blogs on a regular basis (you should, dammit, I dont do this for fun. Ok, ok, I do), you would know that I hate, I loathe, I totally abhorr chicken due to a childhood mishap. And as I am fussy, some might add the word "extremely" to that statement, the only animal that I dare eat, is Daisy the cow.

Since today is Friday, a day where most of us are tired after a long week, most probably also hungover after "Phuza" Thursday, we tend to jointly order from a greasy fast food joint of choice. Today's was Nando's. We have an in-office delivery system so we quickly browsed through the menu, wrote our selection down on a piece of paper and the designated person placed our order in time for lunch. Many of you would be surprised to learn that Nando's not only sells chicken, but also vegetarian burgers and beef prego rolls.

The last time we ordered from Nando's I got ripped off to shreds cause I opted for a veggie burger. Sacrilege! What was I thinking. So this time I went for a more neanderthal beef prego roll, chip and coke combo. My mouth was watering at the thought of tucking into the juicy roll; I couldnt wait.

Surprisingly our food arrived on time, so a friend and I went down to collect it. Back in the office, I took all the food out and started dishing out, while I searched for my yummy prego. But I just couldnt see it. Everyone had their food, and all I was left with was a chicken prego roll. A CHICKEN prego roll!!! FFS! What the F*CK???!!!!! Are you chicken lovers trying to be funny?

As soon as I exclaimed the F word out loud, everyone groaned a "Oh no, not again" in unison. You see, this is not the first time it's happened to me. It's not even the first time it's happened with Nando's, they have screwed up my order before. Damn chicken people. Last time I was patient while I calmy got my order corrected. This time I was sick, tired, sleepless and on a time bomb ready to explode. And explode I did. Unfortunately, the poor office delivery guy unfairly got the brunt of it. It was not his fault as he had placed the order precisely according to my instructions. He immediately phoned Nando's management and it turned out that the Nando's cashier decided to be clever and improvise on my order, since apparently they DID NOT SELL BEEF PREGOS ANYMORE. So who gives him/her the right to change my order? Huh?

I just didnt give a flying f*ck anymore so I demanded my money back. Even though I had already greedily wolfed down my (f*cken cold) chips and coke, I got my full money back, and rightly so. I am not going to take any more kak service, I wont stand for it. Im tired of people taking me for a ride. And I know this is a small victory on my part, but its a victory nonetheless and a path to greater things. Yes, I am taking this seriously. I am taking a stand!

Spring is coming

I can tell. My sinuses are on a mission to make my nose as red, stinging and swollen as possible. I feel like it's on fire and the more I sneeze, the more blood vessels I burst. Note to self: don't ever, ever try to block a sneeze ever again, even if it means you have to spray your entire pc screen, DO NOT STOP IT, it bloody hurts.

I must have used half a box of tissues already. It started yesterday morning, when I was awaited with a day full of exciting events. Well, did you think I was in the mood for it all? Hell no. I just wanted to crawl into bed and die. But I sucked it up and faced it all, even though monkey mistook my lack of sleep and sickness, for grumpiness, which ultimately DID make me grumpy, lol.

After a hard day's work, I met several of my workmates at the Baron across the road for pre-drinks, pre- to a Economic panel discussion we were all attending. I had been looking forward to this discussion for days. Being an Economist myself, I wanted to listen to what SA's top 4 banks' chief economists had to say about the looming MPC meeting (interest rates to remain unchanged? I hope so!!), petrol and food prices and overall global economy.

Most of it bored me a bit since I generally keep up to date with economic views on a daily basis, so most of it was not really new to me, except that I sat up and took notice when it was mentioned that it has been forecasted that petrol prices will come down over the next few months. That would certainly be bloody awesome.

*sneeze* *wipes away snot from screen*

Where was I? Oh right, the panel. Considering how economists can go on and blabber about anything and everything just to make themselves heard (biggest bullsh*tters on earth), this meeting was concluded in just over an hour. I think most people were eager to tackle the snacks and bar. I for one, just wanted to get out of there as I had another, more entertaining party to attend. I grabbed one drink and nibbled on a few treats then I was given a lift by one of my colleagues on his beautiful cruiser bike. Yes, I am becoming quite the professional 2-wheel passenger. Its so thrilling!

I took a quick pit stop at home then monkey showed up at my place, on time as always, surprising me with a beautiful bouquet of tulips. Totally unexpected and spontaneous, one of the great things I love about him. And the fact that he gave me one of my favourite flowers without having a clue was a big bonus too. I am truly the luckiest girl on the planet.

We went for drinks at a pub in Northcliff, to celebrate one of his mates' birthdays. I tried to act lively, but after a few minutes I withdrew myself and quietly sipped my drink. It had been a long day, and my nose was still on a mission to torture me. Needless to say, we didnt stay long, and being a Thursday night, I wasnt up to partying till late, especially since I had to get up at 5am the next morning. So when I made a face when monkey suggested that we have one more drink and go, it was mistaken for grumpiness. I WAS NOT GRUMPY. lol. Just tired.

Getting up in the morning was a real mission, but I somehow managed. I watched jealously as monkey slept peacefully like an angel (he had coerced his buddy to take me to work so he could sleep) and immediately decided that this was not fair, so I lunged and landed flat on his stomach with full force, only to be met by groans and moans from monkey - I had landed on his wrist and bent it backwards. Sometimes I forget my own strength. I felt bad, but it was an accident so I was immediately forgiven. I must just be careful not to damage my guitar hero's tools again! That could potentially be catastrophic!

I still look like Rudolph the rednose reindeer but Im not going to let that stop me from having a good time this weekend. Lots of good things happening! I will just have to keep my tissue box close by...

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Padkos vir die dag

I got this email last week from my dear friend Tink, with some inspiring words that I definitely took to heart and will try use as my mantra on a regular basis (easier said than done). Im sure some of these will at least inspire some of you. If only all of us lived by these words...what a beautiful world this would be!

Make the most of all situations and live a beautiful life.

Take a 10-30 minute walk every day and while you walk, smile.

Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day.

When you wake up in the morning, complete the following statement:
"Today my purpose is to..."

Live with the 3 E's...
Energy, Enthusiasm and Empathy (see, no ecstasy here).
and the 3 F's...
Faith, Family and Friends (no f*cking here? Oh hell no lol)

Dream more while you are awake.

Try to make at least 3 people smile every day.

Realise that life is like school and you are here to learn.
Problems are simply part of the curriculum that appear and fade away but the lessons you learn will last a lifetime.

Smile and laugh more. It will keep the energy vampires away (hopefully not the blood vampires! Yum).

Life isn't fair, but it's still good.

Life's too short to waste time hating anyone (so true, yet so hard to do).

Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagreements.

Make peace with your past, so it won't mess up the present.

Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

Burn the candles. Use the nice sheets. Don't save it for a special occassion.
Today is special.

No one is in charge of your happiness except you.

Forgive everyone for everything.

What other people think of you, is none of your business.

Time heals almost everything. Give time, time.

However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.

Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.

The best is yet to come. BELIEVE.

No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.

Do the right thing.

Spend time with your loved ones often.

Each night before you go to bed, complete the following statements:
"I am thankful for..."
"Today I have accomplished..."

Remember that you are too blessed to be too stressed.

Enjoy the ride. Remember that this isn't Disney World and you certainly don't want a fast pass. Make the most of it and enjoy the ride.


Sin City

Waking up with a bottle-of-red-wine induced hangover at 6am is never easy, and is extremely painful, especially on a Saturday morning. I had gone out for dinner the previous night with my monkey, letting the wine do most of the talking and later stumbling into the house with red-stained lips and teeth, I struggled to go to sleep as early as I intended. As I groaned and dragged myself out of bed, I thought I had enough time to get ready before my sidekick Liesel picked me up early that godforsaken morning, so everything went in slow slow motion as I went through my routine and finished packing my bags. Only Liesel arrived 15 minutes earlier than I thought she would, so slow motion turned into fast forward as I gathered my suitcase, leftover cold pizza (best for a hangover, yum) and bottle of water to cure my dehydration, and jumped in the car.

So why were we up so early when I should have been sleeping in, you ask? We were off to Sun City for our annual work conference. Some of you might remember that last year I was lucky enough to score a single room at the Palace. Well, yours truly got lucky second time around too, only this time I was sharing with Liesel, which was awesome nonetheless, as she is a party animal of note.

After a 15 minute detour, no thanks to the GPS (I still think those things are useless, use a map dammit! Much more trustworthy!), we arrived at Sun City with about 30 minutes to spare. We left our luggage in the car and went to register, and get some coffee and pastries before the long procession of events began. Our division was decked out in black and white sports jackets, the men with red socks (hardly noticeable) and the women with crappy, furry red scarfs that really belonged on a pimped-up dashboard. So it was easy to see our crowd of people, who made the majority of the bank. In total, our bank had about 1000 attendees at this conference. Surely, we must have taken over most of the resort.

At 10am sharp, we all marched into the Superbowl and found our designated round tables, filled with notebooks and pens for doodling, and water and refreshments. The choir opened the conference, their powerful voices filling the crowded hall. They never fail to impress me, and by the end of the day they almost had me in tears as the music got to me. It was so emotional. Damn, that sounds gay.

We sat most of the day watching hilarious videos (people getting caught looking at themselves through a one-way mirror and sampling food that’s still “alive”) and presentations done by our talented people, including a little Borat video that had me in stitches. I was even caught on camera during this little film, how embarrassing. And it’s true, the camera does add weight to a person…

After all the awards, speeches, lunch, tea, sneaking off to the bar for drinks (Liesel and I couldn’t sit still), we finally staggered to the palace to check in and get ready for the evening partytjie. The palace rooms are truly luxurious, I hope one day I can come back with monkey.

We got ready in no time and had enough time to spare to meet some of the boys at the palace bar, until we got in the lift, that is. It’s only three floors but the stairs are hard to find in that maze of rooms so we got in and stopped on the second floor as more people got in. And more, and more, and more. Some people thought it would be funny to get in as many of us as we could (and more) into the lift. This felt worse than a UNO jam. So, for a tiny lift that couldn’t hold more than 8 normally sized people, it had to put up with over 15 people, some of them a little bit on the porky side, if you ask me. Poor me was squeezed into a corner right at the back, and being claustrophobic, I struggled to breathe and panicked as the doors groaned shut. We got to the first floor but the doors refused to open. My panicking turned into hyperventilation, I had to get out of here! But no matter how many times the person in front pressed the open button, the doors refused to obey. I struggled to even move, it got extremely hot in there in a matter of seconds and the air seemed to disappear fast. Our alarm button was completely ignored by security, and try as we might to force the doors open, it looked as if we were going to spend the rest of the evening squashed like sardines in there. I tried to remain calm and quiet, fearing someone might slap me for being such a girl, but as the air was scarce, my breathing became heavier and heavier.

The worst thing was that we had no cellphone reception in the there so there was no way to even get one of our colleagues to come to our rescue. Ten minutes in there seemed like 10 hours. Then one of the guys managed to get the doors open a few inches and as some cool air creeped in, we started to scream for help. Our calls remained unanswered for a while until finally one of our colleagues who was passing by, forced the doors open from the outside to let us all out. Being right at the back, I was one of the last ones to get out, in spite of some of the gentlemen letting me go before them (there were that many people in there), and as I stepped over the threshold, I almost fainted as I breathed in the rush of fresh air. Call me a weakling, call me a pussy, but I never want to go through that again. If I didn’t have such bad luck with stairs too (I was born a klutz), I would avoid lifts altogether.

So that ruined our stop at the bar as there wasn’t enough time left for a much needed stiff drink. We caught the bus back to the Superbowl, only to be met with a huge crowd of our people waiting for the doors of the Superbowl to open and let them in. So we got a drink outside and waited, and waited. Just before 20h00 we were let in and raced to get a good table.

We had more and more speeches and finally got to eat dinner just before 22:00. I was starving and glad that the choice of food was incredible and delicious. I even had dessert. I was once again disappointed to see that our entertainment this year was Freshlyground. Yes, as monkey pointed out to me, they are very good and a truly successful band due to their diversity, but they hardly appeal to me. I sulked by the bar and downed several spontaneously invented suitcases (SoCo instead of Jack, so what would you call them? Handbags? Lol), I was ready to party as the dizziness took over. I got kakked out for continuously sms’ing my sorely missed monkey, so I said goodnight, put the phone away and ran to the dancefloor once the band left and the DJ came on stage. Only the DJ was not up to my liking. Throughout the night, he played a few of my favourite songs, and whole string of crappy ones.

As I was trying to avoid sickness and a major hangover, I stopped drinking just before midnight, as I was sure my mood wasn’t about to improve no matter how much I drank. I danced as much as I could, even a bit of langarm, but eventually I called it quits after chowing a huge much-needed hamburger at 2am. Liesel was in full form and didn’t want me to leave, but I felt a migraine coming on so I bid my farewells, sad to be outlasted by most of the “older generation”. I took the bus back to the palace, and because I still felt very much awake, I dawdled and was in bed just before 4am.

I couldn’t really sleep, and was even awake when Liesel came back at 6am. If I got two hours sleep, I was lucky. But I didn’t feel tired when I got up just before 8am, showered and packed my stuff. We went for a quick bite downstairs, wishing we could have stayed for longer as we drooled over the huge selection of treats at the Palace’s buffet tables. They even had waffles! But fragile as I was feeling that morning, all I could swallow were 2 little croissants.

The ride back was much quicker (no detours lol) despite running into a few traffic cops on the way. The weather was perfect for a bike ride and I watched as the most beautiful bikes raced past us.

Liesel dropped me off at church just around 11:30 for my meeting with the Spring Festival committee. Once that was done, a sickie monkey, who also partied way too much the previous night, picked me up so we could go visit his parents. We then went to his place and I helped him with his filing of credit card statements etc, which hadnt been looked at since 2005. Men are so useless at this, looks like I am going to have to bully him into doing this on a regular basis.

We went to bed extremely tired, as we were both ready to pass out, but since he had a sore throat, he was awake most of the night, which meant that I was awake too. It was really tough getting up the next morning, and even though he took me to work that freezing morning on the bike, I was quite late. Thank goodness my boss took the day off, otherwise he would have hanged me on the spot. After suffering most of the day, almost overdosing on myprodol and falling asleep, I went to bed early last night and sighed happily as I closed my eyes and fell asleep. Aaaaaaahhh.