Thursday, 18 December 2008

Withdrawal symtoms suck!

Seriously! Who would have thought that blogging could be so addictive? It hasn't even been a week since my last post and I couldn't go any longer without sharing my inane and unimaginative holiday-brain thoughts with the blogosphere. Sheesh! I need net access at home. First priority for next year!

I got stuck into the veggie garden yesterday. I am sunburnt and look like a lobster, but it was awesome. I will take pics and try to post them again soon.

I just wanted to tell you all that. Because for some inexplicable reason you guys seem to care. Awesome it is indeed.

Well, I don't have much time, but I'm going to do some quick reading (sorry if I am too hasty to leave you a comment) and satisfy my bloggy needs ;-)

Friday, 12 December 2008

Christmas humour

Have a jolly Friday. See you when I see you!

Thursday, 11 December 2008


For any of you who may be regulars here (yes, this is a bit of a presumptuous post. Deal with it), please note that due to lack of internet access, this may be my second last post for awhile. I promise to try my best to post occasionally during my holiday, but as I finish work tomorrow and will only be back in early Jan, and I don't have internet at home, don't hold your breath. Unless you're a masochist, then please - knock yourself out.

BUT... do return tomorrow. I have some twisted Christmas Friday funnies for you.

Until then... I leave you with a Christmas email classic (just in case you haven't seen it before):

FROM: Patty Lewis, Human Resources Director
TO: All Employees
DATE: October 01, 2003
RE: Christmas Party

I'm happy to inform you that the company Christmas Party will take place on December 23, starting at noon in the private function room at the Grill House. There will be a cash bar and plenty of drinks! We'll have a small band playing traditional carols...feel free to sing along. And don't be surprised if our CEO shows up dressed as Santa Claus! A Christmas tree will be lit at 1:00pm. Exchange of gifts among employees can be done at that time; however, no gift should be over $10.00 to make the giving of gifts easy for everyone's pockets. This gathering is only for employees! Our CEO will make a special announcement at that time!
Merry Christmas to you and your family.

FROM: Patty Lewis, Human Resources Director
TO: All Employees
DATE: October 02, 2003
RE: Holiday Party

In no way was yesterday's memo intended to exclude our Jewish employees. We recognize that Chanukah is an important holiday, which often coincides with Christmas, though unfortunately not this year. However, from now on we're calling it our "Holiday Party." The same policy applies to any other employees who are not Christians or those still celebrating Reconciliation Day. There will be no Christmas tree present. No Christmas carols sung. We will have other types of music for your enjoyment.
Happy now?
Happy Holidays to you and your family.

FROM: Patty Lewis, Human Resources Director
TO: All Employees
DATE: October 03, 2003
RE: Holiday Party

Regarding the note I received from a member of Alcoholics Anonymous requesting a non-drinking table ... you didn't sign your name. I'm happy to accommodate this request, but if I put a sign on a table that reads, "AA Only"; you wouldn't be anonymous anymore. How am I supposed to handle this?
Forget about the gifts exchange, no gifts exchange are allowed since the union members feel that $10.00 is too much money and executives believe $10.00 is a little chintzy.

FROM: Patty Lewis, Human Resources Director
To: All Employees
DATE: October 04, 2003
RE: Holiday Party

What a diverse group we are! I had no idea that December 20 begins the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which forbids eating and drinking during daylight hours. There goes the party! Seriously, we can appreciate how a luncheon at this time of year does not accommodate our Muslim employees' beliefs. Perhaps the Grill House can hold off on serving your meal until the end of the party- or else package everything for you to take it home in little foil doggy baggy. Will that work? Meanwhile, I've arranged for members of Weight Watchers to sit farthest from
The dessert buffet and pregnant women will get the table closest to the restrooms. Gays are allowed to sit with each other. Lesbians do not have to sit with Gay men, each will have their own table. Yes, there will be flower arrangement for the Gay men's table. To the person asking permission to cross dress, no cross-dressing allowed though. We will have booster seats for short people. Low-fat food will be available for those on a diet. We cannot control the salt used in the food we suggest for those people with high blood pressure to taste first. There will be fresh fruits as dessert for Diabetics, the restaurant cannot supply "No Sugar" desserts. Sorry!
Did I miss anything?!?!?

FROM: Patty Lewis, Human Resources Director
TO: All F*!@g Employees
DATE: October 05, 2003
RE: The F*!@g Holiday Party

Vegetarian pricks I've had it with you people!!! We're going to keep this party at the Grill House whether you like it or not, so you can sit quietly at the table furthest from the "grill of death," as you so quaintly put it, and you'll get your f*!@g salad bar, including organic tomatoes. But you know, tomatoes have feelings, too. They scream when you slice them. I've heard them scream. I'm hearing them scream right NOW! I hope you all have a rotten holiday! Drive drunk and die,

The Bitch from HELL!!!!!!!!

FROM: Joan Bishop, Acting Human Resources Director
DATE: October 06, 2003
RE: Patty Lewis and Holiday Party

I'm sure I speak for all of us in wishing Patty Lewis a speedy recovery and I'll continue to forward your cards to her. In the meantime, management has decided to cancel our Holiday Party and give everyone the afternoon of the 23rd off with full pay.

Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Christmas presents and more plagiarism

This morning I see that another one of my press releases has been published online by the same sneaky journo who took credit for the last one. Once again, she has used her name on stuff I wrote. Sigh... I doubt I will ever be ok with this aspect of PR. Anyway... onto a nicer topic: presents.

I love shopping for gifts. Love, love, LOVE it. I can spend hours trawling the mall or market for something perfect for the person I'm buying for, and usually start my Christmas shopping in September. This year, however, I lacked money due to needing to fund a new house and various other expenses, and am only just starting the shopping now.

Seeing I don't have a 13th cheque like I did last year, the gifts have to be less expensive, but I still want to get TSC something special. Specifically, a table tennis set.

Why? Because that's what he wants, for some odd reason. He could happily play ping pong for hours on end, and while I don't understand his fascination with it (I can play for 45 min tops before I'm bored out of my skull), I'd much rather buy him a table tennis set than a Playstation.

He has been nagging me to get table tennis since we moved to Joburg, and I promised him that when we moved into the new house and had more space, I'd buy him a table.

Problem is, I can't afford it. I have to buy presents for my family, his family, our friends and my work colleagues (not to mention the various secret Santa stints), plus an anniversary present for him (for next Tuesday). We also need so much stuff for the new house (and by need, I do not mean the new carpet I'd love to buy for the floor in the living room or the gorgeous scatter cushions I spotted at Boardmans - I mean stuff like cleaning equipment and other such joy-inspiring purchases). And we need to pay our house-sitter while we're away, and keep some money stashed for petrol and spending for the holidays.

So, TSC is unfortunately not getting a table tennis set for Christmas. The cheapest fold-up one with wheels I can find is R1 500 and I just can't stretch my budget that far on one present.

I was feeling miserable about the fact that he wouldn't be getting what he wanted until I remembered that as well as space for ping pong tables and the like, the man now also has space for his all-time favourite thing to collect: TOOLS.

It's unbelievable - he can get as excited about an orbital sander as most women would get about being given six pairs of Jimmy Choo shoes or a shopping spree in Paris. In fact, if you had to ask him to choose between a lump sum to spend on power tools or an all-expenses-paid cruise along the coast on a five-star ship, he'd probably go for the former.

Men are so weird. So it's off to Builder's Warehouse for me this afternoon. In my stilettos. I always end up with about five store salespeople following me around asking if they can help. It's that obvious that I don't have a clue.

I leave you with this (old but awesome) video clip. Now this is entertaining table tennis:

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

New header and more hellish bureaucrats

What do you guys think? Designed by the oh-so-creative Exmi, it is awesome, is it not? Doing a little victory dance at my desk. Btw, it's Exmi's birthday today, so stop by and send some love.

Thanks for all the sympathy on my post yesterday. I actually wrote the attorney a snotty email:

Dear *name*,

As per your email (below), I have opened an electricity account with Eskom in my name for the property, and on Friday went to City of Joburg to do the same with the rates.

I did this specifically because your letter states that I must do so urgently. After sitting there for an hour and a half on a Friday afternoon, I was informed that the rates account is automatically transferred and that I had no reason to be there, so had wasted my time and petrol and still had to drive back home in the peak traffic, all for nothing.

Before I trek to Johannesburg Water today, kindly confirm that I do actually need to be there as I will be highly annoyed to repeat Friday’s performance.

Kind Regards,


She replied:

Dear *Mrs Doodles*,

I do apologise for having wasted your time. I do not understand the Council, they instruct us to advise the clients to go and open up accounts and pay deposits and when we do they say it isn’t necessary. I am just following my attorneys instructions to advise the clients.

I have spoken to Petunia at JHB Water on Tel: (011) 870-1500 and she advised that you definitely need to go into JHB Water to open an account and pay a deposit.

Kind regards

So I went to Joburg Water yesterday. The stupid GPS was having an off day, and despite the fact that I was crawling in traffic, could not keep up with me. Gloria (the GPS, so named by a friend) kept telling me, "turn right" after I'd passed the street and then saying, "recalculating... recalculating..." Eventually, after an hour of listening to Gloria's nonsense, I just found the damn building on my own.

And, of course, it was the wrong building. I had to go to the other Joburg Water building, despite having checked where I should go on the website before setting off in the first place. When I got there, you can guess what happened, right?

me: Hi, I'm here to register a water account for this property.

bureaucrat: Hmmm... *types stuff into the system and ignores me for many minutes* Your complex oversees your water bills, so you don't need to open one or pay a deposit. I can open a sewage account for you, but that's about it.

me: Just shoot me now.

bureaucrat: Ummm... sorry? What?

me: Nothing. Yes, please open a sewage account for me.

And then I sat in traffic home again, which took another hour and a half because there was an accident on the N1 highway. Joy.

But... I cheered myself up by stopping at the shops to pick up gifts for my next two secret Santa things and buying some prawn cocktail from Woolies to enjoy while TSC (who is allergic to shellfish) is away. Yum, yum! Ate it with an avo on my veranda with my cats. Delish.

I must say, I battled to sleep without TSC next to me, but I did enjoy indulging in some seafood and having a few hours to get some unpacking done. That said, I can't wait for him to come home tomorrow.

Monday, 8 December 2008

Weekend catch-up

What a busy weekend it was! Most of it pleasant, though.

The one exception was Friday afternoon. I received a letter from the attorney handling my property transaction on Wed, telling me that I urgently needed to go to the city council to set up rates, electricity and water accounts in my name. So I book Friday afternoon off to do that and TSC and I head to the ugly governmental building in the centre of town (a 30 min drive from us) to go and do the rates and water accounts, seeing we've already done the electricity.

As we arrive, it starts bucketing down with rain. There's no undercover parking in sight, so we make a dash for the entrance and get soaked to the bone. At reception we are told that we are in the wrong building and must go to a building in the next street. Seeing the rain is coming down like cats and dogs, we climb back into the car, drive around the block and park outside the entrance to the correct building. We run inside, now completely wet.

At reception we are told that we are at the wrong entrance. It's the right building, but they won't let us walk through it to get to the department we need to be at, we must run around the outside of the building in the pouring rain and go through the other entrance.

So we do. And we get the correct form, fill it in and stand in line. There are two people at the counters for registration and deposits. There are three people in the queue in front of us. A full hour later, we finally sit down with the man who can help us.

"Why are you here?" he asks, having scanned through our form.
"To register the rates in our name," I say, thinking that he is a useless power-tripping bureaucrat.
"But that happens automatically," he says. "You don't need to be here. You need to be opening your water account."
Seething inwardly, I smile politely and say, "But the attorneys said I needed to be here. Uhh... so where do I open my water account?"
"I don't know why they told you that. You need to go to *address* to open the water account. But it's 15h30, so they'll be closed now."
"Oh, ok. Well... thanks for your help, I guess."

Stupid damn attorney. What a waste of time and petrol!

We then sat in Friday afternoon traffic for an hour and a half to get home. And I have to trek back into town again today to do the water account. And they can't tell me how much the deposit will be. And they don't take debit or credit cards. They only take bank guaranteed cheques or cash. Why must they make everything so difficult? I know, I know... Because they can.

Anyway... Friday night was spent making a last few pieces of jewellery to sell at the Christmas market on Saturday, and I ended up packaging and sorting my wares until 2am. Saturday morning I had to be up early to get to the house and set up my stuff. We didn't have that many people turning up, but I made good money and will now be able to spoil TSC for Christmas. Yay!

Then my folks dropped off some curtains they've donated to us (we're their top charity cause) and after a quick lunch with them, we rushed off to the Bloggirls Christmas event. What fun! It was awesome to meet everyone's partners and kids and to hook up with one or two blog ladies I hadn't met before. We were ridiculously late and it poured with rain, but much fun was had by all and we arrived home to two very hungry kitties at about 10pm.

Sunday after church we spontaneously had a bunch of people around for lunch, which was entertaining amidst all the boxes. I ran around like a headless chicken looking for things like the grater, a vase and my hairdryer to restart the fire when the rain and then hail arrived (this always seems to happen when TSC and I are at a braai). It was lovely to have people in our house for the first time and I can't wait to have a proper house-warming party early next year.

This morning at 2am, TSC left to go to Namibia to renew his blasted driver's licence, and I didn't manage to get back to sleep after that. I would so like to be doing this right now...

But work is beckoning, so I must do some writing. We close at the end of the week for Christmas holidays, so there's lots to be done before then. Have a great week!

Friday, 5 December 2008

Time is like that arcade dance game...

...You know that one where you have to step on the little lights when they light up? They start out slow and then they speed up until there's no way you could stamp on all of them even if you had an extra pair of feet.

It feels like time is like that. When you're a kid, the school holidays feel like they go on forever and ever and eventually you just want to go back so that you can stop being bored. And when you're at varsity, you think you're really busy with exams, lectures, assignments, sports and other activities. And then when you start working a full day, it feels like there's never time to do the things you used to do and like you are the busiest person on earth. And if you move in with someone, you have to take their time into account too. And then if you have kids, you have someone else that you are responsible for 24 hours of the day, seven days a week, and busyness becomes the understatement of the century.

I wonder if the game slows down again as you get older? Because it feels like everyone I talk to just gets busier and busier every year. Or is it just me?

Anyway... enough with the "deep" stuff. Here's a Friday funny for you. Looking forward to seeing those of you who are attending Bloggirls tomorrow. Have a great weekend, all.

Thursday, 4 December 2008


Is it ok that I wrote a press release and some lazy journo copied and pasted it into a publication and put her name down as the author?

That, my friends, just hacks me right off. I know it's merely a press release, but it's not the first time this has happened. Surely it's still my intellectual property? And it's bad journalism!

I don't mind so much if someone posts my press release as it is without naming an author. Yes, it's still lazy, but if that person wants to slack off, and the company I've written about still gets some space, fine.

But, in my opinion, using something I wrote and saying you wrote it is so not ok! Any thoughts on how to handle this? Am I overreacting? Should I ask the lazy little slob to remove her name from my work? She'd probably pull the whole release and I'd get in trouble with Boss Chick for losing our client's space.

Sigh... In other (far more pleasant news), my uncle has recently returned from his trip to Nepal and taken some absolutely AMAZING photos. Check them out here.

K, off to write more press releases for people to plagiarise.

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Aha! I just found my camera cable

Which means you all have to suffer through a photo update!

Here's Sapphire, in the crate I was trying to pack. Typical cat ;-)

Marble, also getting in on the action:

Some of our boxes, stacked in our old flat's dining area:

Me, trying to keep things light and fun, among the boxes in my fairy wings in the old apartment:

And, lastly, my beautiful new garden that I am totally and utterly in love with:

Pics of the house itself to follow, once the boxes have been unpacked. We're getting there. You can actually see the floor now.

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Song lyrics gone wrong

You know that Alanis Morissette song You've Already Won Me Over? The lyrics go," You've already won me over in spite of me, so don't be alarmed if I fall head over heels..."

Well, my brother used to sing along at the top of his lungs with the lyrics, "You've already RUN me over in spite of me, I was alarmed and I fell head over heels..." he was convinced that those where the right words.

And TSC has a habit of making up his own lyrics as he sings along, seeing he can never remember the real ones. And then there was the time my mother made me turn off the radio when Counting Crow's where singing Big Yellow Taxi. They sang, "They paved paradise and put up a parking lot," and my mother thought they were saying," they paved paradise and put up a f***ing lot." What she thought that was, I have no idea.

She also took great offence at the song "Pumping on your Stereo" by Supergrass, which she thought was "humping on your stereo".

But none of those quite match up to the collection of misheard lyrics at, which include:

  • "Let's pee in the corner. Let's pee on the spotlight," instead of "That's me in the corner, That's me in the spotlight" from R.E.M.'s Losing My Religion
  • "My anus is the centre hole," instead of, "My angel is a centerfold" from Centrefold by the J Geils Band
  • "The algebra has a devil for a sidekick eeeeeee," instead of, "Beelzebub has a devil put aside for me" from Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody
  • "Might as well face it; you're a d*ck with a glove," instead of "Might as well face it; you're addicted to love," from Addicted to Love by Robert Palmer. The person says she thought it was a funny song about Michael Jackson
  • "We built this city on the wrong damn road," instead of , "We built this city on rock and roll," from We Built this City by Starship

Got any misheard lyrics you'd like to share?

Monday, 1 December 2008

I feel like I'm 80 today

I'm so stiff from packing, carrying, scrubbing and sweeping that I can't move my right arm above shoulder level. My knee joints ache and by feet are in spasm. If this is what life's going to be like when I get really old, I'm glad I've got a few more decades to get used to the fact. But...


How flipping awesome! Photos to follow when I find my camera and its cable. Neither are in the fruit bowl, so now I really dunno ;-)