Oh Blog It All

My shallow thoughts and inane musing have to be kept somewhere and the backyard is full up. Oh but wait, thanks to a little known invention by Al Gore, not only can I save these ravings for posterity, I can inflict them on the world at large. Thank you Al, you're my hero. NOT.

Name:
Location: Cape Town, South Africa

I'm a petite blonde with really big....... OH wait, that's for a different site. If I had my way I'd be an overweight house wife operating a phone sex line from home. But I don't get to have my own way, so I'm just a brunette with really big ideas who has a day job that I can tolerate - they pay me to pitch up. I share my life with, in no particular order, a geek and a cat. Life could not be better I tell ya!

Sunday, July 24, 2005

This Blog has moved

If you'd like to read more, please check out Geek's Girl on my new domain.

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Song Lyrics, because I always wanted to use song lyrics in a post.

Lyrics that I have found, so far, that are sort of relevant to this post include:

"Start spreading the news, I'm leaving today"

"I'm taking a ride"

"I'm leaving on a jet plane"

"I want to be in another place"

"Got to move on sometime"


If you're wondering what I'm on, the answer is anti-histamines and I'm still quite drowsy. If you're wondering what I'm on about, well I'm trying to tell you that I'm moving my blog. You might recall that sometime ago I mentioned (okay, wrote an entire post about it) that I have my own domain.

I had hoped to have my blog moved to there before the end of last year. But then Santa brought me and iPod and an EyeToy and I got a little side-tracked. Do you blame me?

So, finally I've got things set up on my domain and now you can go read my blog there if you like. I also plan to copy all my archives and previous posts accross to that side as well. Okay when I say "I also plan to copy..." what I really mean is that I'll be asking my Geek for advice on how to do it, then I'l claim that I'm not computer savvy enough to do it myself and can he please help me and when he agrees to help me then I'll nag and nag and nag and nag and nag until it's done. And yes, he'll have read this post and know what my plan is and he'll still love me anyway but only because I'm a damn good cook.

"Let me take you on a trip"

I hope you'll stop by at the new blog and check it out.

Best regards

Geek's Girl

PS - "I'll make it all worthwhile"

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Willem Dafoe Ho Hair

When I started writing this post it was going to be all about how evil digital cameras are. And no, it had nothing to do with the fact that I didn't get one for Christmas. Rather it was a reaction to a folder sitting on our company server called "End Year Party 2004". Specifically it was those pictures that happened to have me in them that were particularly evil.

I was going to explain the evilness of digital cameras by pointing out that in the good old days developing photos were expensive and people were more careful about what they photographed, unlike today's people who snap away with reckless abandon and then leave the sad results somewhere for all to find.

I just know some of my co-workers are looking at those pictures, the ones with me in them, and wondering how in hell I got a job here. I bet you some of them are thinking I'm the special affirmative action case the company had to hire - you know, one 'intellectually challenged individual' on staff that cancels out at least three white male middle managers. Affirmative Action is a strange concept sometimes.

And for the record, I'm not really an 'intellectually challenged individual', blog posts to the contrary. I'm more like what you imagine Dilbert's Induhviduals to look like. I think it has something to do with my droopy eye, the one I only have in photographs because my mirror doesn't lie. .

Before we go any further I just need to state that NO, I will not be posting the photos on this blog or anywhere for that matter. I'm not going to be the girl who goes down in history as the Induhvidual who broke the Internet.

But I'll give you an idea of how bad it is. There's the photo of me standing in line at the bar to get a non-alcoholic beverage. You know it's non-alcoholic because my hands are clasped before me and my eyes are closed, I look like I'm praying. In fact I think I was praying because I saw the guy with the digital camera coming my way and I just know I was thinking "Please God, please let me not end up in any of these photos".

Then there is the other one of me, taken from behind, where I'm doing some kind of bird impersonation with my leg bent all funny. The bird in question could a be flamingo or a crane or something, I'm not sure which. The only thing I know about birds is how to make a decent roast chicken and I'm not even sure chicken is a bird.

The first prize goes to the one of me doing my "Old Crone" impersonation. It's a side view picture and it looks like I have a widow's hump (though I swear, Your Honour, I divorced the SOB) and this when I'm only 30. Then there's my scrawny arms and claw-hands seemingly held in readiness to pounce on a small child and eat it. Oh and I think that was the day I decided to forgo a full petticoat and go with a wine barrel with shoulder straps instead.

I was going to blame this all on the digital camera but then realised it's not the camera's fault. The camera (digital or otherwise) doesn't make me wear a hairstyle reminiscent of the wig Willem Dafoe sported in Boondock Saints. The camera (digital or otherwise) just tells it like it is. So I looked at the photos again, carefully, and then it hit me in the face.

It was the blouse - the back one with antique coloured roses all over the place. This blouse is what you would get if you decided to allow florals to inspire you in your circus tent design business. It's bad and it gets worse.

My own little circus tent carries the Penny C label so it wasn't a cheap circus tent you understand. I just wish Penny C would take the time to actually look at people who wear something a little bigger then a size 8. Would someone please tell Penny that us non-anorexic people really benefit from darts, and tailoring, and small print florals. Unfortunately some of us only learned this after increasing her net worth by a few thousand rands.

Yes those same few of us also value, value for money and only wearing something once is just criminal so every now and then we drag it out of the wardrobe for one last wear. We do this while conveniently forgetting that there may be digital cameras floating around at the event in question. And then we end up with the sad, pathetic results sitting on a server for all to look and laugh at.

You know what they used to do to witches, well, the time has come for the same to be done to the blouse. Tonight it will burn, BURN, BURN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

But that blouse was expensive, so expensive, it will be like burning real money. I think I might need a few fruit dainties to help ease the pain. Or maybe some chips, with dip of course. Peanuts, what's a blouse burning without peanuts? Oh, and smoked oysters in cotton seed oil on sesame seed crackers. Some cheese and wine maybe, I want this to be a classy affair. And if it proves to be really hard work we can have beer and pizza (ALWAYS with extra cheese, and salami and cheese and bacon and cheese) afterwards to replenish our strength.

No more shall the Penny C Circus Tent Blouse make me look like a pious, barrel-shaped bird impersonator with Willem Dafoe Ho Hair. It's evil reign ends tonight. And if the rest of my wardrobe doesn't take note and start making me look good in photos they will follow suit.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Yet Another Blogger gets Dooced

I give you Mr Joe Gordon, yet another blogger that has been fired because of his blog (i.e. dooced).

Mr Gordon tell's his story here

Granted, I've never read his blog before and really can't say whether his employer was justified. Somehow I doubt it though. You see, readers and fellow bloggers alike, this could be any one of us. The question is whether our employers have the right to govern every aspect of our lives. The answer is a resounding NO.

I wish I could boycott the bookstore in question (I already actively choose not to buy EA games but not quite for the same reason) but alas I live in another country where fortunately they don't operate. What I can do is draw attention to Mr Gordon's story and hope that you might do likewise.

Friday, January 07, 2005

Good Girl

I was one of those good girls at school. You know they type, friendly to my classmates, respectful to my teachers, always did my homework and my chores. I did well enough at school to make my parents proud even if I wasn't top of my class. I was liked by pretty much everyone too.

Except the boys, boys never did like me. Or perhaps they did and I never noticed. I was sure, though, that if one of them really liked me he would have at least asked me out, even if our date was really the two of us meeting at a school dance and him buying me a colddrink. But I didn't even get to have that kind of date.

Boys, it seemed, really didn't like me, which is why I ended up going to my matric farewell with my cousin Jacob. I might not have minded going to my matric farewell with one of my cousins if that cousin was Robert, who was ten years older then me, who smoked and swore and had a tattoo. I thought he was cool, my mother thought he was trash and so she was the one who called Jacob and asked him to go with me.

There was a time when I used to think that Jacob was kind of cool too. He knew all these really big words like 'disconcerting' and would use them whenever he got the chance. I thought that this made him really clever. Then one day I noticed him noticing my boobs and I thought he was a bit creepy. He became really creepy when I noticed that the looked at everyone's boobs, including his mother's, as if he were seeing them exposed in a porno magazine. Then he would smile this creepy little smile and slide his hand into his pocket.

When I think back on things now I realise that I did have other options besides having Jacob go with me to the matric farewell. I could have risked asking Dominique to go with me and if he said no (which he wouldn't have because he didn't have a date either) I could have gone alone (Dominique did). But I was only 17 and terribly shy and naive and all I did was mope around and pray for some calamity to befall Jacob or me so that the whole thing would be called off.

The day of the Matric Farewell dawned cloudy and cold and both Jacob and I were in disgustingly good health. I did have a glimmer of hope for a disaster when the electricity went out at about two o'clock but that glimmer faded when the lights came back on at five. Then we were being driven to the venue by my mom who seemed grimly determined to get us there in one piece.

Things I remember about my matric farewell - the girl who arrived in a silver dress that looked as if it was made of tinfoil; dancing with Jacob and having him stare at my bust the whole time; only having the starter and desert because I somehow overlooked the section of the buffet serving the main course; Jacob staring at the bust of every girl at our table; catching Dominique looking at me and smiling a regretful little smile as if he wished that he were the one sitting next to me.

I dearly wanted to go to the after party and my parents might have allowed me to go but Jacob filled them with horror stories of teenage drunkenness and teenage sex and so I wasn't allowed to go. Instead I found myself in bed just after midnight, reliving my matric farewell only this time with Dominique by my side. I think I fell asleep with a smile on my face.

It started out as a good dream. Dominique and I were walking along the water's edge holding hands. There was so much I wanted to tell him, tried to tell him but he silenced me with a kiss instead. Then there we were, laying under the willow tree, him undressing me and telling me I was beautiful and he loved me and how he was going to fuck my pussy raw. And it wasn't Dominique any more, it was Jacob and he was holding a hand over my mouth and pinning me down with his body as he shoved his cock into me. And it hurt, so much, and I just kept telling myself that it was a horrible dream and I would wake up and it would all be over.

I did wake up and it was all over, all over the sheets. Blood. I told my mother it was because my period had come early and I was unprepared. And when the bleeding carried on for days I believed I was right. Eventually the blood did stop flowing and my stomach started swelling and I found myself sitting in the doctor's consulting room and my mother was asking “who?”.

I knew the right answer was Jacob. I gave her the right answer. Jacob. And she asked again “Who?” And she was still asking three hours later as she hit me with a belt anywhere she could reach. Who?

And I remembered the beginning of my dream and how lovely and perfect it was. Who? And I said Dominique. And she stopped.

My mother sent me to live with her sister while we waited for the baby to be born. It was adopted by some family and I was never told whether it was a girl or a boy. I was allowed to move back home after that but I knew that Dominique and his family had moved to another town so there didn't seem to be much point in going back. They say you can never go back anyway.

It's been 12 years now. I still sometimes google for Dominique's name, hoping he has a blog or a home page or that his name will be listed somewhere. I thought I found him once but I just could not bring myself to send off the carefully worded e-mail I had composed. What if it wasn't him, or worse, what if it was? Could he ever understand or forgive?

I wish I were a writer, a good one, so that I could write a new story. In the new story Dominique and I will make love under the willow tree. My swelling stomach would be a source of love and pride for both of us. We will get married and watch our son grow up. When we're old we will watch our grandchildren play in our front yard. We will look at each other and remember that willow tree with fondness.

And that story will have a happy ending.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Enjoy the Silence

This is a story of a Teenage Crush, Gambling, Blasphemy, Deception, Religion, more Deception and a Threesome. It is the story of a love affair that began 15 years ago and is still going strong. It is the story of my obsession and I share it with you today because, well, this is my blog and I can ;-)

I think there are only two things in my life that were fated to happen. Finding my soul mate (yes, in case you're in any way confused, I'm referring to my Geek) and falling in love with the look, the sound, the brilliance that is Depeche Mode. On both counts Fate steered me in the right direction in sometimes very subtle and obscure ways.

In the case of Depeche Mode, Fate started in Std 8 with Greg. Greg who I sort of fancied who was (and I'm presuming still is) a DM fan. I know this because Greg had Depeche Mode scrawled all over his suitcase and I noticed his suitcase because I sort of fancied him and when you're in Std 8 you do corny stuff like notice everything about the person you sort of fancy.

When we had a raffle at school, Greg bought ticket number 101. So when '101' was released and 'Everything Counts' made it to the 'Toyota Top 20' TV show I watched and listened because I knew Greg would be watching and listening. At the end of the song everything counted except Greg. I needed to own that album.

So along came the Gambling. In those days we lived an hour and a bit's drive away from Sun City and my parents liked to occasionally spend a day there, hopefully winning big enough so that we could actually afford some food. While my parents gambled I browsed in CNA and no surprise, they had '101' just sitting on the shelf all innocent and unpurchased.

At R40 the album was a steal and indeed I considered stealing it because I only had R5 to my name and was not allowed to legally gamble. But I was legally allowed to buy scratch cards. I got lucky at the scratch cards, Dad got lucky at the slots, we had groceries for a month and I got to own my first bit of Depeche Mode ever.

My parents never took to the Mode way of life. My mom took strong exception to the song 'Blasphemous Rumours' but only because she caught the line about God having a sick sense of humour. She didn't think it was funny and she was pretty sure God didn't either.

I never quite figured out what my dad didn't like about them, but I know he didn't like them because when I asked him to play my tape in the car he'd threaten to throw it out the window if there was any Depeche Mode on it. I resorted to taping DM songs between those of London Beat (who? - yes, exactly) and leaving off Blasphemous Rumours so as not to upset the parents. They never noticed the difference and I got to feel like I was being a little subversive. From there it was a short step to me getting a tattoo but that is another story entirely.

The first DM CD I ever bought came at a bad time. It was right after college and before I moved myself to Joburg (okay Kempton Park but it's close enough when you're coming from the sticks). I was unemployed and bored and so I found religion. Specifically, the born again Christian type.

Depeche Mode had just released 'Songs of Faith and Devotion' which might have been a very spiritual album but certainly didn't qualify as Christian. At least my born-again self didn't think so. But I bought the CD anyway because, born-again or not, I was and still am a loyal fan. A loyal fan who felt extremely guilty over the purchase and took solace in the fact that even though I owned it, at least I wasn't listening to it - we didn't have a CD player.

Curiosity eventually got the better of me and a friend of my mom's ripped the CD to tape for me. Amazingly, once I listened to it, lightening didn't come down from the heavens and smite me for my wickedness. I gave up the born again thing soon after because it was making me fat - no sex, no swearing but but fatty food is okay.

I finally moved off to Kempton Park and got a job. I continued to add to my DM collection, purchasing the CD versions of all the vinyl albums I already owned and once even maxing out my credit card to keep my collection current and complete. I got the videos and DVD's because what kind of fan would I be if I didn't have those in my collection. I even bought a pair of Docs because that was what Mode fans wore and what kind of fan would I be if I didn't have the right foot ware.

Then along came 1994 - a momentous year for South Africa, Depeche Mode finally toured our beautiful country. Okay, so we also had a our first non-racial elections and we won the Rugby World Cup but let's not get our priorities screwed up.

I was earning R200 a week at the time and wasn't sure I'd have the money to afford a ticket so I immediately started planning to rob the local ABSA. The plan wasn't going well though, sperm donor refused to drive the getaway car, I didn't know where to get a gun and that damn balaclava was just so itchy and stuff. Things were getting desperate. But then Fate stepped in. In a rare moment of insight and generosity sperm donor actually bought the tickets for me as an early (and only, but I'm not complaining) Christmas present. Sperm donor may have given me a crappy set of genes but he sure gave me one of the best gifts ever.

February 11, Standard Bank Arena. I wish I had taken the time then, when I had just gotten home from the concert, to write about the experience, the songs that were played, the mood of the crowd, the thrill of seeing Dave Gahan, Martin Gore, Andrew Fletcher and Alan Wilder reach out and touch close. But I didn't. Damn, where were blogs when you really needed them?


It was at that concert that I purchased my first, and so far only, Depeche Mode T-Shirt. Not quite the devoted fan now am I? But if it makes you feel any better the T-Shirt is still kept in the clear plastic bag it came in and so are the remaining ticket stubs. I've worn the T-shirt maybe three or four times and when my time on earth is done I fully intend for the T-Shirt to go with my remains to wherever my remains are to remain.

I said there would be more Deception and indeed I have a confession to make:
Dave, Martin, Fletch, I'm sorry but I hope you'll understand. I strayed a little. I listened to another band. I bought their CDs. I've even had naughty dreams about their lead singer - just like I have had naughty dreams about each of you. Again, I am sorry, but if I tell you that this other band is Linkin Park, do you understand? Can you ever forgive me?

While the guys digest this devastating revelation let me get back to the story, specifically a few weeks ago when I wished (but then was sort of glad) that I could not reach through the radio and french kiss the DJ - Nicole Fox may not have appreciated my showing my appreciation that way.

Dear Nicole played the 04 remix of 'Enjoy the Silence' and I stopped breathing. Forget naughty undies, nothing breathes new life into a romance like an incredible remix of an incredible song.

I fell in love all over again. And would have rushed out to buy the CD were it not for a little no-shopping rule the Geek and I follow for a month before every gift giving occasion. Rule came about because my Geek would just simply buy what ever it is he wanted which left me with nothing to get him for a Birthday / Christmas / Valentine's / Arbour Day gift. So now it's a rule and it works.

Anyway, so even though I wanted the CD as well as the next three box sets (4, 5 and 6 - naturally I already have 1, 2 and 3) I had to put all of that on hold and focus my energies instead on getting my Geek something really fabulous for Christmas. Which I did, by the way. Nothing says I love you more then Woollies Marmalade.

Now I know it would have been all sweet and nice of him to get me the box sets and the Remix album for Christmas and I think he was going to get them for me but then opted for an iPod instead.

Yeah, truly, like I'd choose the box sets over the iPod - I'm a DM fan but I'm not a stoopid DM fan. Besides which, now I can rip all my box sets (which previously adorned the top shelf of my wardrobe because they're way to precious to be kept in plain site to be seen by the unappreciative) to my iPod and I can actually enjoy them every day, as opposed to saving them for ultra special occasions.

And I got to treat myself to a few post xmas pressies - namely the box sets and the Remix album.

It would perhaps be misleading of me to say that I had my first experience in a threesome yesterday but that is what if felt like when I discovered that the amazing remix that I was prepared to tongue a DJ for was done by none other then Mike Shinoda. From Linkin Park.

For a few moments it was a bit strange having DM and LP share audio space. I felt a little weirded out - like that guy who's having an affair and one day the mistress says they should have a threesome and she has a friend who is willing and the friend turns out to be the guy's wife. But then I realised that we're all adults here and long as it didn't do any harm to the hi-fi it was all good.

Of course this is not the end of the story, just the end of this chapter. And because I totally suck at decent blog entry endings, I'll just borrow from 'Enjoy the Silence' and leave you with this:

"Words are very unnecessary, they can only do harm".

Monday, December 20, 2004

Twenty-Two

He would always try to kill me in winter. It took me years to realise that his attempts at ending my life always happened in winter. He'd come at me and put his hands around my neck and really squeeze for a few seconds before the anger subsided and he'd let go. I'd go to work the next day wearing a scarf to hide the bruises. I guess he knew that he wouldn't really go through with it even though he had to try. And once he'd tried and failed, he knew his secret was safe, hidden by yet another scarf.

I don't know why I stayed for 22 years. Perhaps I really liked scarves and needed a reason to buy them. But after 22 years of his trying to kill me he finally realised that the one he really wanted to kill was himself. And so it was that when I came home from work on a lovely summer's day in December, that also happened to be our 22nd wedding anniversary, I found him hanging from a wooden beam. His one, and only, anniversary gift to me.

The policeman did not understand when I told him that I was responsible. That because I'd refused to die, that finally he had to take his own life to get rid of me. The policeman called it suicide, I called it murder.

During those first few winters, when he would wrap his hands around my throat, I'd fight it, I'd struggle, claw at his face, I'd spit and kick. And all he would do as he squeezed a little harder was smile. He liked that I fought to stay alive. He'd only not kill me then so that he could experience the pleasure again.

But when I realised that I hated wearing scarves, that I'd walk around the whole time feeling as if the scarf was trying to finish what he had started, I decided not to fight any more.

So he came at me again, his hands around my throat, I said a prayer to the God I wasn't sure I believed in and then I died. I gave up my life and my body gave up its struggle. The first time I did that, he squeezed harder and I started seeing spots before my eyes (was that what my life was, spots?). I could feel my heart slowing down and my lungs slowly folding in on themselves and just before I was sure I'd solve the riddle of God's existence, he stopped. He let me go. I fell to the floor, I hit my head on something. There was blood.

When I woke up, I was in my own bed, wearing a clean nightie and a bandage around my head. He brought me breakfast, he fussed over me, he held my hand. And he smiled at me. For this, I thought, I'd die again.

And so it went,every winter, he would kill me, I would die and be reborn. He would take care of the new infant that was me.

I miss him, miss the special times we shared when he took care of me and I knew what love really meant. I hope that he is with God now.

The policeman says that I was very brave, to have put up with all that abuse for all those years. The policeman does not understand that it was not abuse, but the cycle of death and rebirth, the cycle of nature, the cycle of life.

My cycle has finally come to and end. As I tie the infinite variety of scarves that I have collected over the years together to make a noose, as I drag a chair from the dining room to the lounge where the ceiling beams are exposed, I think of him.

I know I will not see him on the other side, he is with God I'm sure, just as I am now sure that there is a God. I know that I will be burning in Hell for what I am about to do. But I have no choice, my cycle has ended and there is no one here to squeeze.

With these scarves I damn myself to hell, again, for murder a second time.

Friday, December 17, 2004

Olympic Gold

The January issue of Cosmopolitan came out on Wednesday. I got myself a copy today because I had an e-mail telling me that my blog was getting a mention or three on their back page. Yes, I am human and have an ego and the only thing of mine that was ever going to get into Cosmo is my blog - my bum is way too big.

Yes, I still got the mention (or three) even though I said some not so nice things in a previous post (refer "Why I'll only date black men"). I'd like to think that Cosmo is soo cool that they can handle the criticism (someone called it dissing, but I disagree) and still mention my blog in an article. Truth is, the article was written and done long before that entry was posted. They might have done things differently if they had the chance.

I could of course just delete that post and pretend it never happened. But if you're that guy in the Ukraine that reads my blog regularly to learn English you'll know that once I publish it, it stays. It might not be the most witty and articulate entry, it might tread on a toes, it might make even me cringe, but still it stays.

I started my blog so that when I list 'writing' as a hobby I can actually prove that I do write. Finding things to write about however is not so easy. I didn't deliberately set out to rip Cosmo to shreds but the only reason I started reading the mag is because I knew I was getting the mention. I had high hopes that they would give me more reasons then a mere ego boost to continue reading. They didn't.

Of course I could have said nothing but I felt very strongly about that particular article and that issue of the mag in general. A letter to the editor may or may not have gotten published but my blog is available 24-7, and I don't have to worry about the best bits being edited out.

If you're visiting my blog for the first time, solely based on the Cosmo mention, well, hello there!

If your're going to stop reading Cosmo purely because of some comments I made in a previous blog entry, well then Cosmo can probably do without your subscription. I'd like to think that the Cosmo readers (and there are more then a hundred thousand of them) are smart enough to make up their own minds.

And lastly, for the record, the January issue is so worth it, not because of my blog getting a mention (or three) but because they have Ryk Neethling presiding over the whole month of January in an unbuttoned shirt!

Monday, December 13, 2004

Love Hurts

I wanted to include the 'ooh hoo' bits like from the song but I'm not very good at writing ooh hoo's in a such a way that even if you're unfamiliar with the tune you could probably figure it. I also don't know who sings the song or even if the song is called "Love Hurts" but I do know that line is in the chorus.

Anyway, I had to stop wearing my engagement ring yesterday. No, not because we broke up, we will never break up and if my Geek ever tries to break up with me I will hunt him down, tie him up and keep him locked in the bathroom. Forever. It helps that he would do exactly the same thing to me were I ever stupid enough to even think about breaking up with him. Yes, our relationsip is part mutual admiration society, part obsessive stalker and it works just fine.

Getting back to the ring, I had to take it off because this being the hottest summer in Hell, sorry I meant Cape Town, my fingers keep swelling and my ring was chafing my finger rather badly. It hurt a lot so I had to take it off.

The ring itself has always been a bit small and my Geek did offer to get it made bigger but I had waited a loooong time (like from about five minutes after meeting him in person for the first time) for this ring and no way was I taking it off and giving it back to him. Even temporarily. What if, God forbid, he decided there was so much more he could be doing with his life and his credit card limit then wasting it on jewellry and a lifetime commitment to me? Not a chance I was willing to take, despite what I said in paragraph two.

But it got really bad, you understand, so I had to take it off and now I'm sitting here wondering if I am still as engaged without the ring as I was with it? The answer is probably a yes but I'm still expecting some comments at work today about me not wearing it.

That is assuming my colleagues notice. It took them nearly an entire day to notice it in the first place. I don't know how they failed to notice it, it's not a small ring, or rather, it's not a small rock.

I mean when colleagues did finally notice, one guy took a look at my ring and exclaimed (in Afrikaans) "Is hy mal!?!"

Roughly translated this means "Is he out of his frigging mind? What right-thinking, sober, sane man would spend all that money on a ring. He could be out buying serious power tools, season tickets to Newlands and maybe a sports car. Either he loves you way more then you can imagine or it's fake. I'm going with option b because nothing that big can possibly be real and no one person can ever love another that much anyway."

Of course I might have misunderstood him, spending three years and one term in an Afrikaans language school really doesn't qualify me as an accurate translater.

Right, so I'm posting this ringless - which just sounds so wrong on so many levels - here at work where no one has yet noticed. Whether they notice or not is rather irrelevant in any case as I still feel naked without it, as if I came to work not wearing a bra. I've realised that I just don't have enough perk to go around braless.

I am seriously considering going home at lunch time and putting my ring on. But what if I do wear it for the whole day and the chafing gets so bad I get my whole finger chafed off? What would I do with the finger - give it to my Geek?

"Here Honey, have a finger!". Just what kind of message is that going to send out? That I love him a lot but not enough to give him a whole arm, just a finger. And isn't giving someone the finger a rather rude thing to do?

Luckily for me I'll be working through my lunchtime so I don't have to worry about making any rash decisions. Meanwhile, please excuse me as I need to nip off to the ladies to, uh, pep up my perk.




Friday, December 10, 2004

That would be telling

Sometimes working late has its little moments.

It was late yesterday, after normal business hours were over and done with that my boss (no. 1) found out that our company had won some award. My other boss (no.2) was really excited about this.

Here's the scene, the three of us standing at the top of the stairs discussing this. Well, when I say discussing, it was more like boss no. 1 grinning like the Cheshire Cat (because he got the news first) while boss no. 2 was making whooping noises, doing the whole "yes' thing complete with hand motions. I just stood there smiling and think ja, whatever.

Up the stairs comes another co-worker, takes one look at this scene and asks, "Who's leaving?"




Tuesday, December 07, 2004

The Fish Biryani Ain't for Me

Today I had yet another disappointing lunch from the company canteen - fish biryani. I knew I should have opted for a plate of hot chips but I was just so excited at there still being 'meals of the day' left over that I didn't stop to think why, I just grabbed.

It might not have been so bad were it not for the the octopus tentacles cooked to the point where Moses could have used them to carve out the ten commandments. I didn't finish it,could not finish it and ended up throwing about half of it away, feeling very guilty as I did so.

You see, when I was a child my parents were always sure to remind me of all those starving children (then in Ethiopia) that did not have any food while I was wasting mine. So for a brief moment I considered sending my leftover fish biryani via FedEx to wherever starving children find themselves in the world today, but then realised the poor sods might mistake my philanthropy for misanthropy.

The canteen, though, is the least of my worries in that place. What really gets me is working hours of overtime and Saturdays too for zero pay, the vague hint of a Christmas bonus (that you can be sure will be put to better use sending the CEO off to Paris or the Caribbean) and the odd thank you, which is immediately followed by "...but this needs changing, that is wrong, and the other thing I have yet to think of but will remember just before you want to leave so that you can end up staying for an extra few hours".

You see our CEO lives and works in another country, on another continent, in a time zone several hours behind ours which means that when we're near ready to drop, he's just arrived at work all bright and perky.

We pretty much get on with things here at the tip of Africa, despite his absence. We build boats that may spring the occasional leak but none yet have sunk (and even if they had, we can find a hurricane somewhere to blame). We don't need him and he knows that we don't need him. But rather than letting us get on with the job while he sits back and makes money, he has to remind us that he is the boss and must do as he says and if we don't like it, well, we're more then welcome to leave.

Most don't. They have kids to feed, accounts to pay, bookies to pay - the usual, and unless they have another source of income, they can't leave the current one.

Funnily enough, I don't have these problems. Well, I do have accounts to pay (I love my credit card) but the cat is the only kid in the house and she doesn't eat that much (also she could, in theory, catch her own dinner - but that is only if things are really desperate and her humans fail her completely you understand). And I stopped gambling when I realised I get better value for money at Sweets from Heaven (I can always look at my hips and see where my money went).

I'm very fortunate that my Geek is in IT and hence earns caboodles of money (like every one 'in IT' does -don't they?)so he can afford to support both of us, mainly because I'm cheap (cheap as in I prefer sensible, hard wearing, long lasting practical shoes and the two outfits that match those shoes).

So why don't I quit? Simple, I feel like I don't have a good enough reason yet. I know it sounds crazy but I'm really waiting for the one event / comment that just pisses me right off the edge (bit of a peculiar visual but you know what I mean), then I can pick up my handbag and flounce out of there and drive off into the righteously indignant sunset. Until then I feel l need to stay here.

Besides, unemployment scares me. At home I have ADSL and a PS2 to keep me busy. If my Geek gives me just a few days of unemployment I'll give him back the me that lives in her pj's for days, playing games, surfing the net, watching way too many Ricki Lake reruns and he'll have to live on pizza because I simply won't have had time to cook (I was busy). He might not mind living on pizza but when I no longer leave our bedroom because I can't fit through the door he may become a little worried.

So I stay, promising myself that I'll quit just before Christmas shut-down, when I know the bonus is a non-event. Or maybe I'll wait till after our wedding in February,when I'm decently married. Or I could wait until I'm pregnant and be a stay at home mom. Or maybe I should just wait for retirement - only another 30 years away.

In the meantime I ate the biryani in the hopes that it would make me violently ill and I could at least go home early. That plan didn't work. But maybe tomorrow I should retrieve my leftovers from their resting place and have them for breakfast. Then I could stop feeling guilty about the starving kids and end up on my Christmas break two weeks before the rest of the company.

Hospital food has got to be better then the biryani.

Friday, December 03, 2004

Christmas is Coming!!!!!

Not the most original title, but until I can think of something better it will have to do.

For the first time in my entire adult life I finally have my Christmas shopping done weeks (three of them) before the big day. Go me.

This is a very serious and important milestone for me. Usually I leave shopping, be it for birthday, Christmas, anniversary, Valentine's or whatever to a day or two before the event. Then I dash into the largest mall that is closest to home and run around trying to find that something perfect for the someone perfect in my life. Of course there never is anything perfect to be had so I end up buying a metric tonne of crap stuff in the belief that quantity is always more appreciated that quality. I know and you know it's not true, but I have to delude myself and my aching feet into believing that all that last minute panic buying is worth it.

But not this year, oh no, I took myself off to Tyger Valley and in just over two hours (had it been just under two hours parking would have been free, making it a perfect shopping day) had everything I felt I needed. There is still one item outstanding but that's just one of those things and totally under control I might add.

I can't say too much, my someone perfect reads this blog as well, don't want to spoil it for him. Except I now cannot wait for Christmas - I am so excited. I love giving presents, watching people's faces as they unwrap their gift gently, or rather gingerly, whilst praying for something nice and then getting something horrible and having to pretend they love it to bits (oops, will you look at that, I dropped that lovely vase you gave me and it's shattered into a thousand pieces, oh dear). Just kidding, I really do love it when I give someone something they really wanted - the look on their face is so worth it.

Some dweeb whom I once dated (and who had yet to admit to himself that he was in the closet to begin with) gave me a really crappy gift - this after his hinting about how wonderful it was. Turned out to be some bubble bath and soap. Oh yeah, originality and thoughtfulness, two totally overrated concepts when applied to gift giving. And there I was thinking I was getting a microwave oven, Lord knows I hinted my heart out for it. Bastard, I hope he suffocates in that closet. (Why did I date him? Because I was lonely and desperate and there was bugger all else to watch on TV).

Buying gifts can be frustrating, expensive, stressful and downright scary. So what is the secret to my success this year (and it was a success, I even have the pressies wrapped and tagged)?

First off, I adopted the rule that I only buy gifts for the people I spend Christmas day with. Last year I spent a good bit of money and even more time on buying gifts for the family, even though I would not be spending the day with them. Some have yet to call and say "thank you, your gift totally sucked but at least you thought of me even though I couldn't give a toss about you".

Then I moved so damn far away from anyone that the only person I'm spending Christmas Day with is my Geek and I prefer it that way. It's a helluva drive for us to go round to the folks, both mine and his and with Christmas being on a Saturday and him having to work the following week, it's just not practical for us to go there. God I love being 30, I can get away with lame excuses like "it's just not practical" instead of the honest "no fucking way do I want to spend Christmas day with my 'sad' (my mother's euphemism for suicidal) brother".

When I arrived at the mall, I had a list and a plan. I knew what I wanted to get and where I could get it. Granted I did not get everything on my list and added an item or two, but because I had a plan, I didn't spend hours thinking "will he like this, is it a good idea to get it for him, let me have a look at a few more places before I decide" Indecisive being the nicest thing I can say about myself - I end up wandering around the mall like a lost fart in a perfume factory (my dad just loves this expression, I have no idea why), feet aching, hungry, dazed, confused and buying stuff totally not related to the gifts I was looking for - not that I knew what I was looking for in the first place.

As I said though, this year the shopping is all done. I stuck to the plan. I am so damn proud of myself, this may be my single biggest personal achievement of the year. No Gran, getting engaged is not an achievement, times have changed you know.

Oh shit, forgot about all the Christmas peripherals, you know tree, decorations, crackers, cards, tinsel, booze, food. Guess I'll be heading back to the mall.

But at least I have the presents - isn't that what Christmas is all about?

Sunday, November 28, 2004

"WHY I'LL ONLY DATE BLACK MEN"

Yeah, quite a subject isn't it, though not the reason I bought the November issue of Cosmo. Someone, who may or may not still read my blog suggested I get the issue. I can see why she suggested it, I'm sure she gets a little thrill every time she sees her name on an article. I must admit I got a little thrill on her behalf seeing her name in print. True, I've never met this woman but I am at least electronically acquainted with her so it was really cool seeing her name on something.

Now that I had the magazine, and had read the bit written by someone I sort of know and got my 95c worth, I thought I should read all the rest so that I can get my R23 worth. It's taken me this long to get through the mag. Apart from being really stressed at work and spending quality time with my Geek, my cat and my PS2, I haven't had much time to read the said magazine.

So today I put aside all other distractions and did some serious reading. At 308 pages (as per the cover statement) I thought I had quite a task ahead of me. Once I realised that about 90% of those pages were filled with either advertisements or skinny models in skimpy bikinis, it suddenly did not seem such a daunting task.

Might I just take a moment here and now to thank Cosmo for so thoughtfully including an article on boosting my self-esteem. After those bikini models, nearly 50 pages worth, it's reassuring to know you devoted three whole pages to my mental well-being (although you might have held off on adding yet another bikini clad model in said article, it kind of spoiled things for me).

Back to the title – which I borrowed direct from the cover. As a white South African, I was looking forward to a very interesting read. A lot of things in our country may have changed but dating and marriage across colour lines is still not that common (at least now people have the good grace not to stare).

From the title I had made two assumptions, that the author was a woman and that she was white. I was close, the author is a woman, a black woman. Which begs the questions, why the hell does she need a page in a very popular woman's magazine to make this statement and justify this? Do I need to do a write up on why I only date white men? It seems like such a non-issue if you ask me.

I could understand and would have welcomed an article from someone, regardless of their race, talking about why they only date people from another race group. Are white men more attentive? Are black women more accommodating? Are Indian girls just so damn drop dead gorgeous that no one else can compete? Are coloured men funnier and more apt to make you laugh and not take life too seriously? The answers to these questions would have made for fascinating reading. It might also have made us look at ourselves differently and question the race assumptions we make.

At the very least, the author might have spent more time on the cultural differences she and her partner experience - he's Angolan, she's Nigerian. It might be obvious to some, but for others it needs to be spelled out that skin colour and culture are not one and the same thing. A Swede and a Brit may share the same lack of a tan but they certainly don't share the same culture.

Yes, I made the assumption that she was white. Partly it's because I think Cosmo's demographic goes more in the pale direction but mostly I just expected something explosive and revealing from the title. Had the title been “Why I only date White Men” I would have assumed that she was a she and that she was black.

So, I'm curious to know what came first, the title or the article. If it's the title, did Cosmo's editorial staff have to look far to find a story to suit? Had their intention been to publish an article more along the lines of a mixed race relationship and did they then reach their deadline and have to make do with something else?

Assuming the article came first, just where does the author live? If she resides in Africa, surely Africans don't bat an eyelid at her refusal to date white men? In fact I'm hard pressed to think of any nation that expects black women to date white men.

No one expects Cosmo to be a deep, philosophical read, least of all the people at Cosmo themselves. Then surely they do not need provocative titles on their cover to sell magazines? So why the misleading title, who are they hoping to con into buying their magazine? Me? More questions then answers and if I thought they would give me the printing space, I would write a letter to the editor. However, unless I'm offering up heaps of praise I doubt it will get printed.

I probably won't be buying Cosmo again, which is a pity. The magazine has potential (they did include an article on Mirena, a contraceptive I had never heard of and think I need to talk to my gynae about), but if I wanted barely dressed babes I'd buy FHM.

Fortunately me not buying Cosmo won't leave a lot of staff writers unemployed. Cosmo never catered for my kind in the first place. My kind being the thinking woman with a brain, wanting information, entertainment and an acknowledgement that there is far more to life and living then how you look in a swimsuit.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Home is where the Traffic Department says it is

I have been living in Cape Town for nearly eight months now. For this whole time I've been able to convince myself that I have merely been on an extended holiday, if what one does on an extended holiday includes moving all your furniture to your "holiday" destination, getting a job at your "holiday" destination and changing your postal address to that of your "holiday cottage".


Native Capetonians are thinking that I'm paying their city a compliment, that things here in the mother city are just so damn nice it's like being on holiday and never wanting to go home. Sorry, Native Capetonians, you've got it wrong. I've been pretending to be on holiday because all holidays must end and then you get to go home - in my case home would be that lovely little place called Joburg.


Ah, you noticed that I'm not all that fond of Cape Town. Allow me to digress from the story for a moment to tell you why.


We were lured down here by promises of a better quality of life and coming from Joburg we figured it could not be any worse. We're still waiting for the better quality of life happen. It may have happened of course, but with the gale force winds and the C-plated drivers with a death wish I've been somewhat focused on merely arriving at work alive and not looking like a bag lady having a really bad hair day.


Whatever the better quality of life supposedly is though, I'm pretty sure that it involves "The Mountain". My "holiday" employer's offices are located close to "The Mountain" and apart from the odd occasion that it looks real purdy, I really don't know what the fuss is all about. I bet it doesn't impress the folks from Switzerland who have the Alps as a benchmark. It sure don't impress this Joburg Girl. In Joburg we have lots and lots of flat topped mine dumps all over the place and in winter, with the smog, the whole table cloth effect is reproduced ever so nicely and at a fraction of the price.


Anyway, back to my sad lament.


Sadly, my holiday has come to an end even though I'm not going home. Them bastards at the traffic department have put and end to my hopes and dreams of returning to the city where equality isn't a pipe dream, it's more like a pipe bomb; where all the inhabitants have been been victims of crime (although some have been more victimised then other, lucky sods, they end up having the best dinner table stories).


Before I go any further let me just state for the record (and in case some traffic cop reads my blog) I'm not knocking the traffic department. Many a time, and I've seen this with my own eyes, the placement of a well positioned pointsman has helped keep traffic flowing.


And you have to admire the bravery of the traffic officers. I mean, just because you're wearing the khaki uniform with matching day-glo yellow and toxic orange vest smack-bang in the middle of a busy intersection does not mean that a huge big truck won't drive smack-bang into you. Naturally these brave people deserve danger pay, but with the gravy train barely making it out of the station, funds have to be raised.


One good way of raising funds for all kinds of things is licensing all kinds of other things. In South Africa we licence EVERYTHING. We need a licence to watch TV. We need a licence to own a gun. In some towns, we needed a licence to own a dog which is why we are a cat family. We need a licence to drive a car. And the car, if it wants to be driven, needs a licence as well.


It's this last licence that had finally ended my Indian summer here in Cape Town. My car licence had to be renewed before the end of this month. So, week before last I took myself off to the licensing department, stood in the obligatory long queues and forked over a few hundred rand for the privilege of driving my car AND getting a new number for my number plate - because according to the traffic department, if you've been in one spot for nearly eight months you're no longer on holiday, you live there - damn!


Then, on Tuesday, the man in my life, my soul mate, my all, came home with a little something for me, the new number plates. To be fair, I did ask him to do this, but it would have been so nice if he'd behaved, just once, like a typical male and just forgot. I was counting on him forgetting so that I could continue living my holiday hallucination and continue on my merry little blue way in my little blue car with matching blue and white number plates (yes, I'm still sticking with the whole blue colour scheme and I just know that the Gauteng Traffic Department designed the number plate specifically to match my car's paintwork).


This story does not yet have an ending, try again on 30 November when the current licence expires and I have to change the plates.


I'll probably also start a new blog then called "My adventures as a C-plated driver”: where I will recount the joys of driving in heavy rain without switching on the headlights, changing lanes without indicating, deliberately ignoring the concepts of right of way and not stopping at stop streets. Oh, let's not forget developing an total intolernace of people driving cars with GP number plates. Fortunately, for him, my Geek is already a C-plated driver.



Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Currying Favour and Flavour

I have, for some time now, been considering a career change. I am just so tired of working for idiots. Working with idiots I can handle because I sometimes get to tell to tell them to fcuk off (when they’re safely out of earshot, of course) and they make my ‘average’ look like ‘brilliant’ when compared to their ‘mediocre’.


It’s working for idiots that really is the challenge because I can’t kill them. Well I probably could and make a good case for justifiable homicide at that, but with my luck, mine will be the docket that doesn’t go missing. (The only cop in our family is my step brother and we’re not that close).


My other option is simply to leave, look for something else and probably end up working for another idiot – yeah, there’s a prospect that gets me all excited.


But the Universe together with my e-mail may have possibly provided a solution.


In my previous entry I posted an open letter to Amy Bruce, offering her some advice for getting out of her predicament. No, I haven’t had a reply from her but it seems someone else did read my post. I received the following in my inbox this morning:


------
Subject: FW: PLEASE FORWARD AND R2,00 WILL BE DONATED


Love is the key, forward is the motion, don't be afraid to love
someone. Hi, my name is Surita Diputs Naidoo. I live in Chatsworth,
South Africa. I am 8 years old, and I have been in a hit and run accident
with a taxi.My 14 year old brother was killed instantly, and my father later died at RK Khan's Hospital, Chatsworth. My mother and I are now living with my grandparents.


The doctors have told me that I need corrective surgery as my face
and arms were badly burned in the accident. Fortunately, my plight
was brought to the attention of a wealthy Herbal Importer in Reservoir
Hills, South Africa, who, with the help of IBM, have promised to give me
R2 for every person this e-mail is forwarded to.


Please send to as many people as you can and GOD bless. Remember,
have a heart. Surita Diputs Naidoo, Unit 9, Chatsworth, Durban,
South Africa.

------

I took the liberty of tiding it up a bit, those 50 000 forwarding arrows are a bitch.


Getting back to my career choice, perhaps I am meant to be helping little kids like Amy and Surita by giving them advice that might just help them get through this difficult time in their lives.


So, let’s see if I can help Surita:


Dear Surita


I am so glad that your e-mail made its way to my inbox. There were just so many other messages from demanding bosses and ungrateful co-workers that it’s a pleasure to receive something that is not work related and where I feel I can really make a difference.


I really am sorry to hear of your accident. It might help you to know that you are not the only victim of a taxi incident. Perhaps you and your mom could find a local support group. Hearing other people’s stories and how they overcame the difficulties they faced might well help you in recovering from this tragedy and dealing with the loss of your brother and dad.


I must tell you that I am a little surprised by IBM’s attitude – they clearly have the funds to help you out one time and all yet they make you send around an e-mail to the entire planet. Surita, child, I hate to break it to you but I think whomever you spoke with at IBM doesn’t really work for IBM. I have it on very good authority that e-mail tracking is damn near impossible and with the resources they would need to spend to track an e-mail, it would be way cheaper to pay for your surgery themselves.


IBM is not a bad company, at least not as far as I know, so I don’t think they would be this cruel.


Your wealthy Herbal Importer is another matter all together. He sounds very much like a self made man and I gather them self made types hate giving things away for nothing. Witness Donald Trump’s “The Apprentice” where Donald makes the contestants prove they have what it takes, that they deserve a shot at the big time because they earned it (oh wait, your mom’s probably flogged the TV to pay for medical expenses, sorry, that was a rather insensitive slip on my part).


I’m thinking that perhaps you should approach your wealthy Herbal Importer with the following proposal.


Importing herbs can be rather difficult but even if you make it past those blasted dogs at the airport, delivering the herbs locally can be a problem. Now that our local police are no longer allowed to make use of the services of professionals for free (I keep forgetting you’re only 8 years old, ask your mom to explain this one when she thinks you’re old enough), they have to find other ways of keeping busy and as always, they pick on the innocent folks running the herbal import industry.


This is where you come in. Cops are very unlikely to hassle an 8 year old. It’s more likely that they will give you an armed escort to wherever you need to go. So, you can happily go along and help your wealthy Herbal Importer to deliver his herbs to his clients in Chatsworth.


Now, I know and you know that your little deliveries will hardly make a difference to his bottom line. However, it’s your willingness to work, do something for yourself that will impress this self-made man. I’m thinking that he’ll be so impressed that he’ll pay for your operations himself. Or failing that, he’ll at least let you have some herbs to take home.


The latter might be preferable. Next time your mom makes some breyani she can leave out the curry leaves and use some of your hard earned herbs instead. Guaranteed that after that meal you’ll feel A LOT better (so will your mom and grandparents for that matter). You’ll feel so good, in fact, that you might just want to give up this silly surgery nonsense.


I think you should embrace your circumstances (the herbs will help) and focus on getting your education. Your Herbal Importer can’t live forever and your dedication and hard work from such an early age will stand you in good stead when he has to choose a successor for the herbal import business, 20 years from now.


Once you have control of the empire you can get that surgery. It will be a case of seriously delayed gratification, but I think the wait will be worth it and you can get your boobs done at the same time (turst me, at 28,you'll be wanting better boobs).


I wish you the best of luck.


Sincerely


Geek’s Girl


PS – I live at Unit 12 Bellville, Cape Town, South Africa. Not that I expect any payment for my advice, it’s payment enough if my advice works for you, but if there’s any chance you can send some of those herbs my way I’d be most grateful.


PPS – Am doing a little research project of my own and would like to know if you were wearing shoes at the time of your accident? If so, did you make it all the way to the hospital with both shoes?

Monday, November 08, 2004

I have a heart, I'm sending this

Okay, so I haven't managed to post anything in a while. Partly it's been because I have not had anything to write about. But mostly I've been a bit busy at work, you know, actually working. I'm not usually quite that motivated to really do anything resembling work at the office (although typing e-mail to friends, family and foes seems to fool the folks into thinking I'm really busy) but you know, the 25th rolls around, I get a pay slip, I think, shit maybe I'd better DO something to earn this this piece of paper. This enthusiasm and productivity lasts about as long as the money does – it's a long 48 hours. Yet despite my massive work load (this week I really earned the Christmas bonus I'm never going to get), I did have time to read my e-mail.

Once again I received an e-mail from a concerned co-worker about Amy Bruce. I remember the first time I received an e-mail about Amy Bruce. I was so moved by her plight I e-mailed absolutely everyone in my address book. That poor, dear child, only seven years old and already a victim of cancer and abuse. I shed a tear for Amy Bruce and I said a prayer because I really did not think my paltry efforts at passing on her poignant e-mail would save her life.

So imagine my absolute delight when I received yet another e-mail from yet another concerned co-worker about Amy. I thought Amy was sending out a message to the good, kind people that passed on her mail to let them know that her and our prayers had been answered, that her tumour was gone, her cancer was in remission and that AOL / Bill Gates / Some or Other Charity had paid her millions because her e-mail message had traversed the cyberglobe a thousand times.

And yes, it seems that her e-mails and our prayers have been answered, in a manner of speaking. As usual God is moving in ultra mysterious ways. You see, Amy is still suffering from cancer. She still has the tumour. She's still with the family who repeatedly beat her and caused her tumour in the first place. Yet God's miracle to Amy is the fact that 5 years after I received her original e-mail she is still alive and she is still only seven years old.

One of the best things about childhood used to be that it did not last. Your life may end before your childhood does but provided you could survive brocolli, breath mints, your big brother and your strange uncle Bob with the bulge, you'd eventually grow up. Not poor little Amy though, doomed forever to be seven years old, too small to defend herself from the awful adults calling themselves her parents, too young to just walk away. When He said suffer the little children to come to me he wasn't kidding!

I sent that e-mail halfway across the world. I wasn't sure where little Amy lived (I always put the lack of address down to Amy being afraid that her parents would find out about her desperate plea for help and finally beat her to death) but I feverently hoped that God would send an Angel to rescue her. He didn't. I guess even God needs an address.

But all is not lost. I have some advice for Amy and maybe, just maybe, someone out there will read my blog and be able to get my message across to this poor child.

Dear Amy

Not you cancer nor your tumour or your parents for that matter have managed to kill you (yet). I know I can't help you personally but I'm hoping I can offer some advice that a five year old seven-year-old like yourself can put to some good use.


You do have some positives going for you. You're still alive and you're still seven years old.

First off, forget AOL and all the rest. Rather focus on the cosmetic companies – like Revlon, Clinique, Elizabeth Arden (to mention but a few brands resting on my bathroom shelf). Every year they spend millions on research and development to create products that will keep women looking young and wrinkle free. These products don't work though so the R&D continues.

I bet if you told these cosmetic companies your story they would rescue you in a heartbeat in the hopes that they can turn your miracle into moolah.

Of course they will want to perform all sorts of tests on you, to find the secret of your seeming eternal youth. Don't be alarmed. These are scientists and big business types. They do not believe in God or miracles. I say go along with whatever they want to do. It can't be any worse then your current situation (what's another tumour?) and at least you can stop worrying about second hand smoke, I'm sure they'll let you have your own cigarettes.

I'm sure too that they will establish a lovely eternal youth product range bearing your name. And for every jar of potion purchased a donation will be made to the foundation that also bears your name (hey, sooner or later even the best test bunny gets euthenised).

I, in turn, promise to buy the useless potions and shall think of you often as I pursue my quest for eternal youth (as every woman must when she turns 30).

I know the solution is not the best, but it's better then a beating.

Sincerely

Geek's Girl




Friday, October 29, 2004

Soapies, Secretaries and Satan - They're all IN this together

For the longest time I fought against getting an INtray on my desk. I learned from bitter and painful experience that INtrays are more then just weirdly shaped plastic receptacles (that may or may not communicate with all the other weirdly shaped plastic receptacles currently loitering on your desk). They are in fact the spawn of Satan and being the evil bastard that he is he’s made sure that every damn cubicle / open plan office dweller has one.

I know you think I’m over reacting. You’re sitting there all smug and sure of yourself convinced that I’m two screws short of an orgy. It’s a harmless little piece of plastic, it’s handy, you can put stuff in it and it makes your desk look organised. Well, if that is what you are thinking then you, my friend, are so far gone that you probably shouldn’t even read any further.

Of course some of you may be viewing your INtray askance – wondering just what makes it so evil. Well, pull your chair a little closer, I’m going to have to whisper, we don’t want this information getting out and causing a panic. (If you have to tell someone, only tell those you really love and give the asshole that sits next to you and always used your coffee mug, even though you’ve asked him like a million times not to, another INtray – he deserves it).

Your INtray is the reason you always have so much work to do and never enough time to do it in. It’s the reason you work hours and hours of overtime and completely miss the first 18 years of your child’s life. It’s the reason you don’t even realise that your spouse has run off with the maid, the minister, the gardener, the neighbour or all of the above.

See your INtray really isn’t an INtray. It is a breeding ground for papers. You put one sheet of paper in there and leave it alone for a while. Guaranteed when next you look at it that one page has become seven pages, all of them having something to do with more work for you.

But it does it so subtly that you’d never know if I didn’t tell you. Your INtray is cunning, it’s devious, and it ALWAYS operates in stealth mode.

I can just hear my Geek asking me how this is done. Really it’s nothing too technical, just watch an episode of Egoli* and pay particular attention to the Secretaries. What do those Secretaries do all day besides lunch, gossip and pause dramatically? Yip, copy documents**.

Copying documents would be harmless in itself but that’s where Satan comes in. To cut a long story short, Satan knows how to bend time and space to his will (before he went over to the dark side he knew some pretty powerful people, he paid attention, he picked up a few interesting tid bits, okay?) and has created an invisible portal between your INtray and the ‘office’ set on Egoli. There in full view of cast, crew and the nation of Egoli addicts, the Secretaries copy those documents. Bear in mind that theirs is a one of a kind copier (that most certainly is not made / sold / distributed by the Copier Company Sponsor of the Day). It doesn’t make exact copies of the original (duh, else this whole scheme wouldn’t work). It subtly alters every single copy in such a way that to the untrained eye it just looks like more work to you, the poor slob currently drooling over the keyboard.

The original and the ‘copies’ are then warped back to your INtray and suddenly you got a whole lotta more work to do. It’s so simple (apart from the whole bending space and time thing, which takes a few millennia of workouts in the gym) which is why it works.

Now of course you think you know all the answers, but try stopping the spread of this evil. It’s not as easy as you think.

You see, when I started my new job I didn’t want an INtray. When they made their first offer I said no, thank you. I declined the second offer politely but firmly. The third offer came with an incentive, no more liver and onions on the canteen menu if I said yes. Saying no then was the hardest thing I ever had to do. And then the bastards kicked it up a notch – they offered me a blue one. A lovely blue INtray that just so nicely matched my blue paper cube and my blue mouse pad and even my blue car. How could I not say yes, blue is my favourite colour.

I remember the old days when I did not have an IN tray. Every evening I would go home on time, my desk clear of every shred of paper, all my work done for the day. I’d come in the next morning and surf the net for two hours before someone thought to give me some work to do (their INtray was looking a bit full you understand). But now, now my INtray is so full stuff is spilling over the sides. I made the mistake of putting ONE folder in my INtray, now I have, count them - one, two, three, four of the bloody things.

My only hope is to win the lottery and thereby leave this sorry excuse of a job or get my sorry ass fired for spending too much time on the net blogging about inane issues. I need to get away from this desk, this office, this company, find something new and swear by all that I hold holy (i.e. my entire Depeche Mode collection comprising CD’s, DVD’s, Videos, Box Sets, T shirt and poster of Martin Gore going through his cross dressing phase – it WAS the 80’s ok) that I will never, ever, EVER allow an INtray on my desk again.

But of course he did not become the Lord of Darkness on edgy good looks alone. It takes a bit more then that. He knows I’m onto his evil scheme and Satan is up for the challenge. He’s reengineered the INtray. It’s got a new look, a new place on the desk, it’s bigger, it’s bolder, it comes in 256 colours.

It’s New and Improved.

It’s called an INbox.

You have been warned.

* Egoli – typical soapie set in Joburg complete with the obligatory obscenely rich family, the obscenely poor family that makes good and an assortment of pretty faces and paltry story lines that enthrals (on a daily basis) everyone from chain-smoking house wives to deported union representatives.

** When it comes to a scene set in the office where the Secretaries are supposed to be “working”, that “work” is copying documents. It just slays me that I worked hard on developing a pleasant telephone manner, learnt the alphabet so that I could file documents alphabetically, learned to type with ALL TEN FINGERS yet according to TV if you want to be the Personal Assistant to the CEO of a Large International Corporation then ALL you need to know is how to copy documents.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Tux Lives Here!

We are a two-fridge family. (We were almost a three-fridge family but the universe and my best friend plotted against us to prevent such an abomination from happening).

One fridge – the big one – is used to store the regular stuff like milk, eggs, margarine (although technically it's low fat spread), the obligatory bottle of gherkins (blame my mother for this one), limp vegetables and the as yet to be named and identified species of plant / animal / intelligent life form (our people have contacted it’s people and they are currently in talks) that lives way, way in the back, where the light doesn’t reach.

The other fridge – the little one – used to be the drinks fridge. I say used to be. Currently the little fridge is housing a recreation of the South Pole. Or it could be the North Pole. Its’ so frozen up in there it’s hard to tell. (I understand that this an important question, one that needs an answer and so I’m keeping a keen lookout for telltale signs of elves and reindeer, if I spot any, I'll let you know).

Now the little fridge shouldn’t be a problem. And it isn’t really, you know, apart from the danger posed by yanking open the door in a hurry and thereby dislodging the glacier that is the ice making compartment, having it fall on your toe and break it and then finding out that Discovery doesn’t cover skiing accidents.

The little fridge actually has several advantages. During an extended power failure ours will be the only household in the neighbourhood with cold beer. And we can take the concept of being a Linux Family all the way by adopting a penguin! For those of you thinking of following suit please note that they frown upon pinching penguins from Robben Island – apparently you’re to go to the zoo and wrestle a polar bear for one, just like everyone else does.

Yet despite all the obvious advantages to having the little fridge, the big guy in our house has decreed that the little fridge must go. I’m not too sure where to. The plan this weekend is to put it out on the patio and hope it just sort of wanders away by itself. I doubt this plan will work though and we’ll probably end up getting snotty letters from the Body Corporate about municipal bylaws, public indecency and the Geneva Convention (which may or may not have anything to do with anything else it's just I hear the BC like to bandy that one about quite a bit).

So for now the little fridge remains where it is, in the kitchen, providing a handy storage for the cat food and the broken coffee machine and not to mention the door being a great place to display our St Elmo’s Menus Collection.

But we don’t plan on living under Body Corporate dictatorship forever and when we move, I suspect the little fridge will be meeting with an accident. Which is not so bad really, if it ends up in a nice home where people will love it and care for it and regularly defrost it.

I just hope Van’s wife believes him when he says “But Skat, it really did fall off the back of a truck”.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

To Post or Not to Post

It’s an important question and yesterday the answer should have been “Not to Post”.

That I had something interesting and worthwhile to write about is not in doubt. It’s how I wrote about it that bothers me.

I was very much enamoured with “Just A Geek”, but worse, I was even more enamoured with myself. A few half decent posts and I thought myself to be the next Wil Wheaton, albeit in a dress.

I wrote that post partly from a fan’s perspective but mostly from my delusional notions as an equal to Wil Wheaton – published author.

The truth is that I wrote that post for Wil’s personal benefit, hoping through some sheer miracle that he would read it, be thrilled to bits about it, link it to his site and before you know it I’m on my way to Blogger Superstardom.

What a load of crap. I knew that even before I published but I went ahead and published it anyway.

If I’m lucky then I’ll have zero comments from people telling me that what I wrote was total overkill in the I’m so desperate to be funny department. And if I’m even luckier (and I am) then my fiancé will tell me exactly what I need to hear, that I can (and have) done better. I considered deleting the post but then what will I have to remind myself of what NOT to do? So the post stays.

And maybe one day I will get round to telling you about this book I read weekend past because it’s a good book and I do think people should read it. But not today, today I’m, what, going for total overkill in the opposite direction? Me thinks I need to ease up a bit before I loose sight of why I started blogging in the first place – TO END WORLD HUNGER, WIPE OUT THIRD WORLD DEBT AND BRING ABOUT WORLD PEACE.

Sorry about that, my inner beauty queen got out for a moment and typed some stuff (yeah, who knew she could type) that is totally at odds with the real me (said in my best tortured soul voice).

As usual, I never know when to stop. So, what I really need to do is get back to what my employer pays me to do. Those cardboard burgers won’t supersize themselves you know :-)

Monday, October 25, 2004

Just A Humble Opinion

So, I now have access to the joys of the internet. And, once the novelty of porn had worn off (okay, so I never really went to the “heavy” sites, more like the “free spirited, free thinking, run around naked in the moonlight and we’ll tell you how to give a decent blow job” type – and just so you know, you don’t blow and it’s not a job unless you’re a professional in which case you don’t need to read sites like this), I started looking around for other things to check out and read.

Someone suggested I read www.wilwheaton.net. Wil Wheaton, the same dude who brought Wesley Crusher to two-dimensional life of the small screen in Star Trek. I was sceptical, I was most certainly not a Wesley fan and through no fault of his own, a Wil Wheaton fan either. But a few visits to his site made me revise my opinion.

I read his blog regularly and am rather disappointed when more then 48hrs goes by without something new being posted. Mr Wheaton is, indirectly, the reason that I blog. I just want to be clear on that. He did not tell me to “blog it and they will read” or anything.

Anyway, this weekend I finally got the chance to read “Just A Geek”, Wil Wheaton’s latest book (this is his second). What follows is my totally biased review.

My biggest problem with Wil Wheaton’s “Just A Geek” is the four-whole-double-sided-totally-blank-except-for-some-weird-stain-resembling-my-auntie-bess’s-purple-butt-birthmark-pages RIGHT at the end. Bastard. He could have written more, he should have written more. Dammit, I so wanted him to write more.

The thing is I read books for entertainment. I don’t seek some deeper and profound meaning that may or may not lay hidden between the lines. I do not hope to come away from the experience with some mantra that will make me thinner, richer and a better person to boot. I read for entertainment and Mr Wheaton delivers.

Forget Robbie Williams, this Saturday past Sweet Uncle Willie entertained me!

He made me laugh. He made me cry. He made me write this favourable review! Actually he didn’t make me write anything, it’s just that once I read the book, I had no choice (can I please have my kitten back now). It was well written and inspiring. I figure if he can go from being an actor to a writer then I can go from being a clerk to a stripper. Or maybe not, don’t think soon-to-be Mr Geek’s Girl will be too impressed with that.

You know what, I’m trying so hard to make this a serious review, the kind they print in newspapers but I just am not getting it right. Ah well, at least I tried.

So, in summary, I loved the book, I think you should read it – preferably your own copy that you bought yourself and not the library’s copy because you’ll want to read it again. (Don’t tell anyone I said this, but I think you may just learn something about Wil Wheaton and about Life – but you didn’t hear it from me).

There. That’s it. I’m done.

Except for one more little thing: To quote Mr Wheaton, quoting himself, “Jesus. By the time we get there the kid won’t be dead anymore” But that’s okay, because what you will find in the not-dead-anymore kid’s place is Wil Wheaton – Just A Geek.

Thank you God. Amen.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

I P Less. It saves you more.

Okay, so if you’re in Cape Town and you’re reading this, well you know all about the water restrictions currently in place. And doubtless yesterday’s rain won’t make a drop of a difference.

Warning – this post is a bit potty. If the mere thought of someone (especially a woman) admitting out loud that they don’t just go to the toilet to powder their nose or wash their hands offends you – stop reading now. I am a woman who uses the toilet on a pretty regular basis (Kellogg’s High Fibre Bran does it again and again) which is a damn sight better then squatting in the garden. Which I have never done, mind you, my name is not Ferdie. Point is there was a time in humankind’s history when toilets did not exist. I for one think the world is a better place since their invention.

Getting back to the issue of water restrictions.

I’m really keen to help, do my bit or not do my bit rather, so I’ve stopped watering the garden. Okay, so I never, ever watered the garden to begin with but that’s because the moss growing on the paving doesn’t seem to need watering. I haven’t had a bath in months and shower only when my co-workers complain about the smell. So it would seem that I am co-operating fully with the authorities and at this rate I’ll certainly meet the 20% saving the EXECUTIVE Mayor is convinced I can manage (she has high hopes, our EXECUTIVE mayor does).

But then I go and flush this 20% straight down the toilet – and I mean that literally. See my rule is if there is anything left in that bowl after flushing, you flush again. And again. And again until that bowl sparkles like it’s filled with spring water. And without going into any crappy details, I think I’m doing the right thing here. However, my dilemma involves that bit of toilet paper that just doesn’t want to move on.

I don’t have this problem at home, probably because I buy the nice, soft two-ply and infinitely water soluble type. Leave a piece of the expensive paper in the bowl and in 10 minutes it’s totally disintegrated, like it was never there to begin with. But the cheap, tough, doubles as sandpaper, 10 000 rolls for a Rand type that my employer insists on buying just does not want to co-operate.

My question is this: If I have flushed and there is nothing else left in that bowl, is it okay to leave the bit of stubborn toilet paper? Normally I would not ask but understand, we have water restrictions and I really don’t want to see my neighbour’s petunias peg because I flushed too much.

I considered asking my fellow bathroom users here at the office but most of them are Muslim and I don’t know if I would be causing offence. Also, they’re currently all fasting which means they’re doing more then their fair share of cutting down their water usage – if you don’t drink, you don’t pee.

So, the dilemma remains but until I find a solution, I think I’ll continue to flush.

Hey, maybe if I’m really lucky, the EXECUTIVE Mayor reads this and has some words of wisdom. Then again, this is the same EXECUTIVE Mayor who sends me a personal message that starts off with “Dear Fellow Water User”. I am neither a fellow nor is my name Water User – I know this because I called my mom to check.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

I got me a domain and I'm afraid, very afraid, to use it

So. Apparently I now have my own domain. Am I the only one whose mind goes on this whole S-M bend when I see the word “Domain”? Probably. But I have given some thought to my ‘welcome to my world’ little ramble, it goes a little something like this:

Welcome to my Domain. The next whipping will commence in 30 minutes. Please report to the dungeon where your personal dominatrix will handcuff you to the wall. Please ensure that your persona dominatrix knows your safety word, phrase or signal. Please note that the following words are not suitable for use as safety words:
No
That tickles
Please Stop
That doesn’t tickle anymore
I’m begging you
What the hell is that!
You’re gonna put it where!?!
I feel faint
I see stars in front of my eyes, is that a good thing?
Oh my God I can’t breathe

Please note that passing out cold is not an acceptable safety signal and your personal dominatrix will continue punishing you because you’ve been a bad, bad boy.

If you really can’t come up with your own safety phrase, we recommend using “Gary Moore”.

No, I’m not really a s-m freak, just figure the pseudo porn allusions should get me some extra traffic. It’s a sad, sad day when you’re grateful for the glances of balding, 50 year old men sitting around in their aerated green underpants who visit your domain (I just love this word) in the hopes of seeing pictures of naked anything (male, female, canine, bunny rabbits, whatever, they’re not fussy).

Maybe my welcome needs a bit of work, huh?

I have big plans for this domain (there’s that word again :-), want to make it a freaky, funky cyber-place to hang out in for those people, like me, who don’t have a life.

And you can tell I don’t have a life because I do have a blog.

Monday, October 18, 2004

Suspended Animation

So there I was at approximately 08h20 on Saturday morning, buck naked, hair dripping wet, totally horizontal hanging in mid air for the obligatory split second before landing with a resounding SLAP! on the wet, bathroom tiles.

I gotta tell ya - it's a great way to start the weekend. Honestly, my biggest worry at that moment was that I'd need medical assistance and I just couldn't see myself being very dignified lying naked on the bathroom floor while strange me look at me. Yes I know, not all medics are men but with my luck, the all girl crew will be out attending to some male Hollywood celeb like Nicholas Cage (celebs seem to be popping up a lot in Cape Town, must be something in the air) who got a splinter or something.

Mind you, here in SA, where road accidents are as common as my best friend's ex boyfriend's latest shag mate, my biggest fear is being involved in a car accident. And no, its not because I worry about the injuries, my car being wrecked, the loss of transport or even a limb for that matter. No what I really worry about is my shoes.

See every time they show one of these really bad accidents on the news (South Africans have seen so many that they have to be really gruesome to make it to the evening news), there will be this shot of a victim / corpse on a stretcher, always missing at least ONE shoe. If the poor blighter is really unlucky, it's both shoes. I don't know how that happens. I'm pretty sure these people set out each morning wearing a shoe on each foot, unless they only have one foot in which case they're wearing a shoe on their only foot or unless they don't have shoes or they don't have feet which means their problems are so much bigger then mine.

Yes, I know, I'm an insensitive clod.

Okay, so where was I before I side tracked myself to offend footloose, I mean, footless people? Oh, right, anyway, so I don't want to be one of those people who ends up in hospital minus a shoe or two. I don't know how it happens, I don't care how it happens and if I ever find myself the victim or a serious car accident I'll be the woman with the serious head injury - must be a head injury, the medic's thinking, when the conversation goes something like this:

(Apologies to my granny for the language, if this situation ever really happens I'll be under a lot of stress and will probably swear and I'm sorry Gran but considering the circumstances, it might just be a tad justified)

Medic: Ma'am are you in pain?
Me: Where the hell are my shoes?
Medic: Ma'am, can you move your arms?
Me: Where the hell are my shoes?
Medic: Ma'am, can you move your legs?
Me: I can't feel my fucking legs - where the fuck are my shoes?
Medic (examines me further): Ma'am, you don't have legs anymore
Me: Yeah, whatever, where the fucking hell are my shoes?
Medic to Traffic Officer and anyone else listening to this conversation: Boy, she's had a nasty knock on the head, we'd best get her off to hospital now.

As the ambulance drives away into the sunset, Piet the traffic officer - actually he prefers the term speed kop - turns to the 20 000 or so vultures gathered around the scene and says: OK, which one of you okes got the shoes?

Dawie, from Dawie's Dad's Panel beaters puts up his hand.

Piet: Dawie my boy, it's been a long standing tradition that whichever vulture, I mean tow truck driver, gets to the scene first gets to take a victim's shoes as a souvenir. But really, taking the whole damn leg - my boy it's not done.

Dawie: Sorry Piet, but I had no choice, she had her bladie shoes superglued to her feet!

Friday, October 15, 2004

Ye Gods!

After my mediocre start at a first entry, I felt it time for another.

The question is though, do my legions of Lone Readers (all two of them) want to read about my minor day to day crises - like, you know, should I wear the red shirt or blue blouse to work today or what the heck am I going to cook for dinner, or, what I would do if I won the lotto. Considering I absolutely hate reading stuff like that on other people's blogs, why should I inflict the same crap on my Readers?

So what the heck do I blog about? You know some days my life is really made up of the mundane. Disappointing I know, but not every day can be fabulous unless you're a God, but even then fabulous gets a bit boring now and then (so you liven things up by causing a hurricane, a world war, Microsoft - some days the Gods can be cruel and this all in the name of fun). Of course it does not help that I have been spending time with the Child Goddess Aphrael (refer David Eddings' Sparhawk books) who seems to be all about fun and kisses. But Aphrael is a change from American Odin (Neil Gaiman "American Gods) so I'm not complaining. Yet.

I do seem to be reading a lot of books lately that involve a lot of Gods. What strikes me about, could be, maybe, might not be, fictional Gods is that they are not all knowing and omnipotent. They make mistakes, they do stoopid things and sometimes they are not nice. But they are Gods and can fly and do all sorts of other freaky stuff. And they come across as being so much easier to love and more of a pleasure to serve - of course this would be the Good Gods as opposed to the Evil Gods (I have been reading A LOT of David Eddings lately). And the Gods, Good and Evil, are more direct and accessible, unlike the Christian God I was raised to believe in. Whom I haven't necessarily stopped believing in, by the way. Rather I've just given up on religion which is a whole other and rather dangerous concept in my humble opinion. But I don't want to go down that road.

What I will say is that there seems to be a very deep need in human nature to have Gods that are more accessible, tangible. Or maybe it's just me. My reading choices lately do seem to involve Gods a lot (which is really a step in the right direction, I used to only read Barbara Cartland - which makes me wonder about what deep and abiding need I had then, big dresses, stupid, penniless, orphaned teenage girls and rich older men with big houses and a things for statutory rape - thank Gods I got over that).

And this is about as far as I can get with this particular train of thought - now do I post this or wait till this train has make all it's stops and is at the station? I don't know, what I do know is that I'm stretching the train analogy.

I'm sure I'll have some more Godly thoughts in the future and I'll be sure to share them no matter how inane or pointless they seam.

Have a good one!

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

My First Post

Oh wow, "My First Post" now if that isn't the most original title you've ever read :-) At least you know what you're in for, you have been warned.

Anyway.

So, this is it. My first post - what the heck do I type here?

You know, I had this draft of my first post - a deep and profound statement about what my intentions with this blog are and how I plan to use it for the power of good (or evil, don't know yet which side I want to be on. Good always seems to win but Evil seems to have way more fun). However, having read that draft I think it's more a case of pretentions then intentions.

I did have the thought that Bloggers are a bit like "Midnight to 3AM" DJ's - prattling away, never really sure that anyone at all is listening, or in this case reading. Yet, we do it anyway and choose to believe (deep, DEEP down in the bottom of our pancreas) that someone, somewhere is reading. Yip, our one and only Lone Reader whom we wish to impress, excite, amaze and astound.

Blogging is to adults what imaginary friends are to children.

And on that note, I'll end this, my first post.

Have a nice day now. Well at least try and have a nice day or if you can't manage that then do something nice for someone. I dunno, something like helping a little old lady accross the street or something - but make sure there's no oncoming traffic, little old ladies make a HUGE mess when they go splat because they challenged a bus and lost.

I just don't know when to quit, do I? Obviously not. Okay, am going now. Bye.