Sunday, 31 August 2008

Blog Day

Ok, I'm cheating, coz I'm writing this on 1 September and then post-dating it to 31 Aug, but I checked and it's still 31 Aug in the Hawaii-Aleutian time zone, so it's still International Blog Day.

So here goes...

My five blogs that I rate are:
  • The Purring Cat, written by Kitty Cat. A life blog by a lovely lady living in a small coastal town in South Africa who started blogging very, very recently.
  • The Arkives, written by Arkwife. Not really new to blogging, Arkwife has done the MySpace thing before, but settled on Blogger as her new space. Yay!
  • My Quarter Life Crisis, by Leez. This is Leez's second blog in the space of two months, and it's brilliant. Even if he does write like a girl. Or so some say.
  • Being Brazen, by Being Brazen. Not really a new blogger, Being Brazen writes from Cape Town and has been doing so since May. Always entertaining!
  • Alas My Dear, by Alas my Dear. A grad student in cancer research, an amazing crafter, and soon to be a mommy, AMD writes beautifully from Singapore.

Hope you enjoy as much as I do! Visit the Blog Day website at:

Friday, 29 August 2008

The long walk to Friday...

Is, at last, over. It has been a rough week and I am super stoked that the weekend has arrrived.

I have as much energy right now as George Bush has common sense, so I won't be posting a long one today.

“Life is a cement trampoline.” —Howard Nordberg. Stolen from SA-Essay's blog, this is my quote for the day.

No, I'm kidding. It's really not so bad ;-) I have stuff to look forward to... picnic on Sunday, spa treatment for hubby and I next weekend (my birthday present from my parents), hubby's birthday next Sunday... And all these good things make the rough stuff okay.

Before I bugger off to spend some quality time with my pillow, a last cry to all those in Gauteng this weekend to join me for my birthday picnic. Mail me if you're keen:

Have a good one!

Thursday, 28 August 2008


i'm completely out of steam today (it's been a rough week), so you'll have to do with a joke, which may or may not be preferable to a proper post:

An old Italo-American man lived alone in the country. He wanted to dig his tomato garden, but it was very hard work as the ground was hard. His only son, Vincent, who used to help him, was in prison. The old man wrote a letter to his son and described his predicament.

Dear Vincent,I am feeling pretty badly because it looks like I won't be able to plant my Tomato garden this year. I'm just getting too old to be digging up a garden plot. I know if you were here my troubles would be over. I know you would be happy to dig the plot for me.
Love, Dad

A few days later he received a letter from his son.

Dear Dad,Don't dig up that garden. That's where I buried the bodies.
Love, Vinnie

At 4 a.m. the next morning, FBI agents and local police arrived and dug up the entire area without finding any bodies. They apologized to the old man and left.

The next day the old man received another letter from his son.

Dear Dad,Go ahead and plant the tomatoes now. That's the best I could do under the circumstances.
Love you,Vinnie

Wednesday, 27 August 2008

The lesser of two evils

I don't want to, but if I will myself hard enough, I'm sure I can convince myself to call. Why would I do this to myself? Am I complete masochist? Sometimes. For instance, I like to play with the candles on restaurant tables and dip my finger in the hot wax... But I digress... No, the reson for this seemingly daft decision to contact the soul suckers is that I have decided that the estate agents are indeed the lesser of two evils.

*Gasp!* What could possible be worse than a mess of estate agents?!

My current neighbours.

NEED TO MOVE! If it's not the Celine Dion wannabee upstairs screaming, "A new daaaaay has beguuuun!" at the top of her lungs at 1am, it's the bunch of blokes on the top floor that chuck their cigarrette butts and the occasional broken glass off their balcony onto the grass in front of my veranda, or the troupe of drunken fools that howl at the moon from the other side of the complex.

Yes, I am grumpy today. Why? Let's think... "It's all coming back, all coming back to me now..." Celine was at it again this morning. No sleep equals very grumpy journo. Hmmm... This is a good time to call the estate agents, while I'm feeling murderous. Or maybe I'll just go look on the Private Property website instead. Yes... that sounds like a plan, batman.

Tuesday, 26 August 2008


Why are people so scathing about life blogs?

Really. I have read so many articles and blog posts recently about how boring, pointless and altogether horrible blogs about the life and times of ordinary people like yours truly are. And I have read just as many guilty posts by life bloggers apologising for the fact that they blog about themselves and what's going on in their world instead of politics, art or some other dry nonsense.

I like life blogs. Seeing I write one, you probably knew that. But there are loads of other people who like life blogs. Why? Perhaps it's because we're voyeurs who enjoy a glimpse into someone else's life. Perhaps it's because it's nice to know that other people deal with similar issues to the ones we're experiencing. Maybe it's just fun to meet new friends around the world.

To the people who dislike life blogs, I say DON'T READ THEM. It's that simple. I don't like porn blogs. Do I write rude comments and protracted articles about how pathetic they are? No. I just avoid them.

There are too many people out there who feel like they have to convince the rest of the world that their opinion is the right one. Drives me mental. More mental.

I didn't start my blog to influence world history. I started my blog because I like writing, and these days blogging is easier than journalling (I can't tell you how many journals I've lost, had stolen, spilt coffee on etc). Then people started commenting on my posts, and I discovered a whole new side to blogging - interactivity with people I would never meet otherwise. And I love it.

So I will keep writing self-involved posts like this one, and I will keep posting emails that amuse me, and LOLcats, and committing every other supposed cardinal sin of blogging. MwahahahaHAHAHA! There's nothing you can do to stop me!

Anyone care to join me?

Right. Vent officially over. Moving along...

Monday, 25 August 2008

Winning stuff is cool. Especially MONEY!

How's that for an obvious statement?

Well, it's true at least. The relevance? Well, I forgot to blog about it last week, but I won some money by entering a movie competition. Basically, all you had to do was text a message to the competition line with your movie ticket number and the cinema complex name in it

And I did so, and won R2 500 (about $325 US, I think). That was awesome. But when the woman first called to tell me I'd won, she sounded like a telemarketer. Have I ever mentioned that the only thing that irritates me more than estate agents is telemarketers?

The conversation went as follows:

Her: Good day, maam. Do you have a couple of minutes to chat to me?
Me: (Frantically working on an MC script for an event that evening, surrounded by frantic eventing folks) Ummm... It depends what it's about.
H: I'm calling from , and...
M: I'm sorry, this is actually not a good time for me, so if you're trying to sell me something..
H: No, maam, I'm calling about...
M: (Getting snappy now) Listen, I can't talk, here's my husband, k?...

So TSC chatted to this woman. And when he put the phone down, he says to me, you do know you were just rude to the marketing director of .

Oops. Anyway, we sent her a copy of my ID and stuff, and they said the cheque would arrive around 15 Aug at the local cinema complex, and they'd call us. So 18 Aug, we call them and ask if it's arrived, seeing we haven't heard from them. Yes, yes... we can pick it up anytime.

Hah! When I arrive on 20 Aug (yes, my birthday!), to pick it up, they've misplaced it. ?!?!?! So I purse my lips and do my unimpressed dance (not really), and they tell me it's at another cinema complex. So I drive there, in a foul mood, sign for my cheque, and jump back in my car, where I open the envelope, and see that it's actually for R5 000, not R2 500 (so it's about $650)!

The coolest of birthday presents, no?

Friday, 22 August 2008

Friday in the smelly office

Brrr... It is cold in my office. And stinky. TGIF, I guess, seeing I can go home a little early. And... I'M NOT SEEING ANY ESTATE AGENTS TODAY!

This is indeed a reason to celebrate. I don't have to be dragged through houses that are a) way out of my price range; b) hell holes fit only for complete destruction; c) so far away from the area we're looking in that we'd need to commute by plane.

I don't get it - how does "3 bedroom, 2 bathroom, with double garage" get translated in an agent's brain to "1 bedroom, 1 bathroom, 1 parking"?!

And thank goodness TSC is in construction, because those agents will tell you anything to get you to buy. "That little crack there," they croon sweetly, pretending not to notice the rift as wide as my finger reaching from floor to ceiling. "That's nothing. A coat of paint will do the job."

Uh huh. That's about as likely as a band-aid fixing an artery that's been sliced open, dude.

Forgive me if any of you are estate agents. Maybe you're a nice person. The mess of morons (yes, that is the collective noun for morons according to the Doodles-dictionary) that I have met over the past month or so, however, has not left me much faith in your species.

Anyway... In other news (and I promise I will get over the subject soon), my birthday was great. Thanks for all the well wishes. If it wasn't for the damp carpet under my desk, I'm sure I've have felt all warm and fuzzy.

I was spoilt rotten (just like the carpet, which is spolit and rotten) and have lovely loot, including new oil paints and a beeeeg canvas, baking goodies, summer AND winter slippers (note to self: only hint for a specific present to one person); perfume and ANOTHER stick blender (note to self: clarify present hints with deaf grandparents. Electric beater and stick blender obviously sound similar. Or something).

Dinner was fab. If you're ever in Pretoria, visit Nuvo Cuisine. The best chocolate brownies I have ever had! Yum.

Right, I'm now over the birthday thing. For this year. And, to conclude this long-winded Friday post, and for the sake of tradition, here's a funny (or not so funny) for you:

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Birthday post

The cake is a lie. Well, no. Not really. The cake is on my desk, so sorry for you if you're not in my office today. Sending you a virtual slice!

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Floods and such

Joburg's weather has been miserable for the last three days. We all thought summer was on its way in and then this cold front arrived.

To make matters worse, I arrived in the office yesterday morning to find it wet. Very wet. Why? Because the twits in the office next to ours (one of only two offices on the floor to have a kitchen INSIDE their office - the rest of us all share one outside) put the plug in their sink and left the water running for THE WHOLE WEEKEND. Morons.

Of our six rooms, three are soaked. The storeroom was hit worst. And, of course, it's the worst room that could get wet. We've lost some packaging (very expensive to print), but the stock is fine. We've managed to save most of our job bags, and our server miraculaously kept going, despite sitting in two inches of water for two days.

Today is cold, though, and we have to keep the windows open to get rid of the damp-carpet stench that pervades every corner of the office. Blegh!

But... tomorrow is my birthday. Yes, that is a loud and clear statement to be translated as, "Please stop by and say 'Happy' tomorrow, k?"

Oupie and Lilly are up from the coast, so I'll get to see them and the immediate family (very appropriately named, seeing they want everything to happen immediately) for supper.

I've baked two yummy cakes - one for life group this evening and one for the office tomorrow. A coffee sponge cake with butter cream icing, and a marshmallow-frosted devil's food cake. Mmmm... I'm very impressed with myself ;-)

I've tagged the recipe for the marshmallow frosting on at the end, seeing Angel dumped on me for not adding it the last time I mentioned it.

The birthday event on 31 Aug is now a picnic outing (we have realised that you aren't allowed to braai at the dam). I'd love you all to come. Also, please everyone tell Ruby that she MUST come, seeing she's debating it.

Right... I'm off to freeze my butt off (actually, that would be quite useful) in my sopping office. Should be fun.

Marshmallow frosting:
  • 15 ml golden syrup
  • 65ml water
  • 100g castor sugar
  • 2 egg whites

Heat the water, syrup and sugar on the stove. Bring to the boil and allow to boil until it reaches hard-boil stage (if you don't have a candy thermometer, drop a little into cold water to test). In the meantime, beat the egg whites until they form stiff, white peaks. Once the syrup mixture is ready, remove from the heat, and pour into the eggs in a thin, continuous stream while beating. Beat for a further 8 to 10 minutes. Pipe onto cupcakes or cake and decorate with sprinkles or glitter.

Friday, 15 August 2008

Blogging milestone

Woohoo! Today is my 100th post. It feels like it's been a long time coming, but I'm pleased to tick off a blogging achievement.

It's hard to believe that a year ago i didn't have a clue what a blog was about. Reading blogs and posting myself has become such a big part of my life.

So thank you to everyone who reads my blog. For putting up with periods of silence, random nonsense posts, rants and tirades and lots of navel gazing... THANKS!

I'd probably still blog if none of you commented, but it would not be nearly as satisfying. In other words, your comments are appreciated, so stick around!

Sending lots of mwahs into the blogosphere!

And have a FAB weekend.

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Joke for you

A demure young lady getting ready to board a flight from Ireland asks the priest standing beside her in the queue: "Father, may I ask a favour?"
"Of course, child. What may I do for you?" he says kindly.
"Well, I bought an expensive woman's electronic hair dryer for my mother's birthday that is unopened and well over the customs limits, and I'm afraid they'll confiscate it. Is there any way you could carry it through customs for me? Under your robes perhaps?" she asks.
"I would love to help you, my dear, but I must warn you: I will not lie," he says firmly.
"With your honest face, Father, no-one will question you," she replies.
When they get to customs, she stands aside and lets the priest go ahead of her. The official asks: "Father, do you have anything to declare?"
"From the top of my head down to my waist, I have nothing to declare," says the priest.
The official finds this answer rather strange, so he asks: "And what do you have to declare from your waist to the floor?"
"I have a marvellous instrument designed to be used on a woman, but which is, to date, unused."
Roaring with laughter, the official says: "Go ahead, Father. Next!"

Tuesday, 12 August 2008


My posts are becoming more regular again, and it's not because I have less work. Nope, it's because I'm finally managing to put systems in place for myself. Filing systems, and office routine, and an understanding of which tasks are urgent and which are not.

For someone who's apparently a right-brained, creative, messy and ditzy chick, I have a deep appreciation of systems. Not that you'd guess that if you saw my house. Unlike my boss and my uncle (not the one with the Muslim boyfriend), I do not colour coordinate my socks or arrange my CDs alphabetically (I have given up on the latter, seeing TSC insists on leaving CDs scattered around the house after use), and my cupboard is a total disaster zone (I have also given up on this, seeing I have no cupboard space and it's my cats' favourite place to play). The spare bedroom (what a misnomer!) is completely filled with beads, scrapbooking stuff, mosaicing equipment, my drum kit and sewing machine, and various other clutter. There's no room to get through the door, let alone fit a spare bed.

But, at work, I am Little Ms Anal. I colour coordinate my to do list items according to urgency, I make endless lists, and I separate all emails into neat sub-folders. I need things on my desk to be set at right angles, and I cannot work when there's a pile of random stuff in front of me - it needs to be sorted out and packed away first.

If any of my colleagues are reading this (de-lurk now if you are!), they probably don't believe a word. But that's because they aint seen nothing yet. Now that I am settled in, the sytems will begin. And by golly, if you mess with the system, you invoke the inner banshee in me.

I am, as Boss Chick puts it, a segmented person. The voices in my head verify this. What about you? Do you split your self into different roles? Have those roles grown into their own, fully-developed and entirely opposite personalities? Or am I alone in my multiple personality disorder?

In other news, we have decided to do something simple for the combined birthday event. So we're having a "the-day-before-the-first-day-of-spring" bring and braai on 31 August. Mail me at if you would like details. Would love to see y'all!

Postscript: What is up with Blogger?!? It's driving me mental - I publish my post and it doesn't show on my page. And If I type in my address in a new window, the latest post it shows is from last week. Argh!!! When you can see this (if ever), please let me know if you have any clue what's going on.

Monday, 11 August 2008

House hunting hell

Good grief! If there's one thing I don't want to do on a Sunday is drive around looking at show houses. But that's what we did for five hours yesterday.

Maybe if I hadn't spend the majority of my Sundays as a child being dragged through other people's houses by my parents (who, for some inexplicable reason think it's actually fun), I might not hate it to quite the extent that I do.

At least we had company. R and A, our best "couple friends"* in Joburg, are also considering buying a house. But A is currently away visiting her mother in KwaZulu-Natal, so R is on his lonely ownsome. He thought it would be fun to tag along with us to house shop. Hah! How wrong can a man be?!

TSC and I are impossible - he's from the construction industry so he's uber-pedantic about structural issues and waterproofing problems, and I am just pedantic for no good reason. So we make our way around the properties like two secretary birds, with our hands clasped behind our backs, picking out faults.

"It needs to be repainted."
"Yes, and WHAT is this supposed to be? A design feature? Phah!"
"The rooms are small."
"And there's no cupboard space."
"The carpets need to be replaced."
"Hmmm... what would make anyone paint a room with mustard stripes?"
"Colour blindness, perhaps?"

The estate agents, with their large stick-on smiles follow us around, getting more and more neurotic by the minute, spinning lies at a rate of knots ("The huge, littered open field next the house is not a security risk... it just means you won't have to put up with noisy neighbours"). And R, poor man, probably had a massive migraine after the 15th house had been picked apart by the two house-busters.

But, being the resident creative genius, I decided that once 5pm had passed and the estate agents had packed their smiles away (with their "On show" boards), a drink was in order. and so we happened upon the ever-so-cute Cantina Tequila just off Cedar Rd. AND... It just so happened to be happy hour, so all cocktails were half price. Score!

They don't have a menu, so you just tell them what you want (a Cosmopolitan for me, a Long Island Iced Tea for TSC and a Caipirinha for R) and they make it up for you, with a bit of a twist. The slice of orange peel in my Cosmo gave it a lovely tangy taste. Mmmm... yum.

Being well-behaved, we declined the tequila that was poured straight from the bottle down the throats of eager patrons. "Next time!" shouted the waiter. Maybe.

But for now, I'd settle for a cabin in the woods where none of my freelance clients can harass me!

*Friends that both of you get along with that you see as a couple. Very rare species.

Friday, 8 August 2008

Friday funnies

Those who jump off a bridge in Paris are in Seine
A backward poet writes inverse.
A man's home is his castle, in a manor of speaking.
Practice safe eating - always use condiments.
A man needs a mistress just to break the monogamy.
Dancing cheek-to-cheek is really a form of floor play.
Does the name Pavlov ring a bell?
Condoms should be used on every conceivable occasion.
Reading while sunbathing makes you well red.
When two egotists meet, it's an I for an I.
A bicycle can't stand on its own because it is two tired.
What's the definition of a will? (It's a dead giveaway.)
A chicken crossing the road is poultry in motion.
If you don't pay your exorcist, you get repossessed.
With her marriage, she got a new name and a dress.
When a clock is hungry, it goes back four seconds.
The man who fell into an upholstery machine is fully recovered.
Local Area Network in Australia: the LAN down under.
He often broke into song because he couldn't find the key.
Every calendar's days are numbered.
A lot of money is tainted - It taint yours and it taint mine.
A boiled egg in the morning is hard to beat.
A midget fortune-teller who escapes from prison is a small medium at large.
Those who get too big for their breeches will be exposed in the end.
Once you've seen one shopping centre, you've seen a mall.
Bakers trade bread recipes on a knead-to-know basis.
Santa's helpers are subordinate clauses.
Acupuncture is a jab well done.

Thursday, 7 August 2008

It's my party (well, it will be, I hope)

My birthday is on 20 August, and I'm stuck for a party idea. Over my (soon-to-be) 24 years on this planet, I've done pretty much everything there is to do for a birthday party, from going to the theatre to hiring a double-decker bus, murder mystery, four-elements themed, paintball, make-over / pamper party, purple party, chocolate-making class, braai, weekend away, high tea, night trip to the zoo and everything in between. Can you tell that birthdays are a big deal in my life.

I need something new for this year. BUT, I also need to find a way to cater for my friends who are students, those who have young children and people from church, work and family and that still meets my (basically nonexistent budget). In other words, I don't want to do something that will cost guests a lot of money (like going out for a big sit-down dinner), that costs me too much money, or that is only suitable for small groups. It needs to be suitable for all ages. And, to complicate matters even further, it's TSC's birthday three weeks after mine, so ideally we'd like to have a joint party that will appeal to both my loony friends and his conservative ones.

ANY IDEAS? I'm feeling very uninspired, and the best I can come up with is a madhatter's bring and share at my house, but that really doesn't grab me as hugely exciting.

Please note that all of you whom I read regularly and live in Gauteng (or will be here at the time) are invited!

Wednesday, 6 August 2008

12 Monkeys (well, 9, actually)

Saturday's dinner went quite well, in case any of you were wondering. We seated my homophobic father on the other end of the table to my gay uncle and his Muslim boyfriend, whom he refers to affectionately as "my mid-life crisis" (the age difference is about 20-odd years). In fact, Sammi (the boyfriend) is only a year older than I am.

My grandmother was miserable, which is a common state of being in her case. Much as I love her, she can drive me crazy. She did have a reason this time - she'd driven four and a half hours to see my uncle and he'd mixed the dates up, so they only had one evening to catch up before she had to drive back.

On this particular occasion, gran did not partake of the wine, so there was no dancing on the table with her prosthetic boob strapped to her head. She did keep trying to offer Sammi wine though, even though we explained that he's Muslim and thus doesn't drink alcohol. Everybody politely skirted the fact that, technically, homosexuality is not allowed in Islam either.

Poor Sammi was subjected to frequent barrages from our very non-submissive female family members, myself included. My mother thinks that foreigners need to spoken to loudly, in pidgin English, so she kept saying things like, "HOW YOU LIKE SOUTH AFRICA?" She sounded like a deaf non-English speaker herslef. LOL. I love my mom. She tried really hard to make conversation with Sammi while my father studiously ignored him and my uncle from the other end of the table and engaged in a heated (and oft repeated) pointless argument with my brother about car sound systems.

Any argument with my brother is futile. He just keeps on going until you give in to make him shut up. His vegan, ballroom-dancing teaching girlfriend, whose hippie father wears feathered earrings, is also not exactly my dad's cup of tea, so in between arguing with my brother, he tried to convince her of how normal we all are (hah!) and that she should come over from the dark side. His most-used phrase at family get-togethers is always, "I am the only normal one in this family!" This time, you could tell he was thinking along the lines of, "Jeepers, my loony wife and children are actually quite conventional after all."

TSC enjoyed his T-bone while the vegan girlfriend, seated next to him, went slightly green. The rest of us enjoyed some really good fish, which I'm assuming is Halaal by definition (correct me if I'm wrong).

Meanwhile, my gran regaled us with random tales of fellow small-town residents we've never met, insisting on going into great depth about each one's family history, how many pets they've lost and put down, and their full medical biographies. My uncle alternated between trying to translate into Arabic for Sammi and making rude remarks under his breath. One that stood out was when my gran was telling him about how my parents had taken her to ride an elephant while they were all on holiday, and how sore she'd been for days afterwards. Uncle's remark? "Well, at her age, she shouldn't be riding anything bareback".

Charming, right? That's my family.

I do love them to bits though. Life is never dull, that's for sure ;-)

Sunday, 3 August 2008

Rocking the Daisies Tag

The tag is to blog about the Rocking The Daisies Competition so you can stand a chance to win tickets and an ipod.

Here’s how it works:
1. Blog about the competition, telling us all what you would take with you to the concert.
2. Link to RTD Competition and Digicape (the sponsors)
3. Tag your friends in the post.
4. Register here, tag your name and my name (angel) and copy your blog post onto their website.

The list:
1. TSC. A concert is no fun on your own. Besides, at my height, I may need to sit on his shoulders!
2. Comfy shoes. Self-explanatory.
3. Camera.
4. Sunglasses.
5. Loads of layers of clothing.

Not very exciting, I know. But very practical, you have to admit.

I hereby tag:
Because I Can; Ruby; Supanova; Boldly Benny and Charmskool.

Friday, 1 August 2008


Yes, an auspicious beginning, wasn't that?

That's how I feel - blegh. I worked till midnight after my dinner guests left last night, and then crawled into bed only to spend the rest of the night rushing to the toilet to throw up. I haven't thrown up in years, so I found this quite disturbing. I don't know whether I've got a tummy bug or if it's something I ate. Hopefully not the latter - don't want to have poisoned my guests! Although hubby seems fine.

Urgh. My stomach feels like it's trying to digest itself. I'm going to finish up my most urgent work taks and then go home to bed. Hopefully I'll get to spend some time sleeping there this time.

Anyway... wish me luck for my Saturday dinner with my gay uncle, his new Muslim boyfirend, my homophobic father, my teenage brother and his vegan girlfriend, my mad granny, carnivorous husband and my semi-normal mom!