Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Crazy is as crazy does

Sweet Jesus1, it's official. Today shall henceforth be known as Mood Swing Tuesday.

Since the moment my alarm clock yanked me out of sweet slumber this morning, I’ve proceeded to run the entire gamut of emotions. From gushing over my newly-pregnant buddy’s first visit to the gynae’ (awww)… to fuming over insensitive twits in the office (I’m very sensitive, you know)… to laughing at random silly things (it doesn’t take much)… to feeling sheer elation over having confirmed plans to go for pizza and wine next week (yes, I’m a loser)… to slumping into the depths of despair over the distinct lack of direction in my so-called life (‘tis indeed bleak).2 And all this before lunchtime. Eish.

One minute I feel like breaking out into song while frolicking in fields of daffodils (like a wacky hippy). Very Disney-esque. But then suddenly that happy feeling is replaced by a strong compulsion to violently rip the heads off selected co-workers, using nothing but my bare hands and well-manicured claws. Godzilla-esque. And then back to the happy place. And then off to Godzillaville again. Sheesh, it’s enough to make a girl dizzy!

(Hmmm, one has to ponder… After I go postal, will the CSI guys be able to track down my blog and read this post? It probably wouldn’t help my case in court. Though it might secure me a nice little padded cell and an endless supply of Schedule 6 drugs! Hey, that doesn’t actually sound so bad! [And would it be the guys from CSI Miami or CSI Las Vegas? Personally, I’m rooting for the latter. That Horatio and his naff quips make me want to throw up a little!])

Anyway, what’s up with these mood swings, hey? Time for a holiday, perhaps? Maybe more frequent visits to the gym to work off some of that ‘tension’? Or how about a complete change of scenery? Maybe I should quit my job, sell all my earthly possessions and then head for the hills where Phoebe (my cat) and I would live off the land, foraging for berries and killing bears to make warm winter coats 3 . Sure, I’d miss having a telly but on the upside, I’d never, ever have to worry about visiting Anita my Hairdresser again to have my roots touched up. Because let’s face it, nature doesn’t judge.

1 To be pronounced ‘hay-soos’ for more effect.
2 No, it’s not PMS.
3 Oh relax, I would never kill a bear. For one, they’re so big and fluffy and cuddly. And secondly, Africa doesn’t have any bears.

Saturday, 28 March 2009

Even the Arch is doing it!: Earth Hour

Hey kids, please don't forget to support Earth Hour tonight.

You may be thinking it's a little naff, but it's for a REALLY good cause. So remember, at 20h30 tonight (SA time), switch off all your lights for one hour. Pretty please. There are so many good things to do in the dark, so do your bit for nature and for the animals and for the climate and for the world and...

Friday, 27 March 2009

Gimme Gimme Gimme!

I love receiving parcels!!!

By courier or in the post box - I don't mind. I just love discovering a little (or large) parcel with my name on it, filled with stuff just for me. LOVE IT!!!!! The reason I'm bringing this up now is because yesterday afternoon a parcel was delivered to my desk. With my name on it. With great little goodies inside! Although, it wasn't really a surprise. A few months back, I renewed one of my magazine subscriptions and they told me they were sending me a gift. But I had forgotten all about it, until yesterday.

Lucky me got a bottle of perfume (great timing, as my regular perfume is almost finished), a cute little notebook (for my rather random thoughts) and a pen (to scribble said thoughts). I was over the moon! :) And the perfume smells really nice!!! It's called Sexy Darling (by Kylie Minogue). I generally stay clear of fragrances launched by Britney Spears, J Lo and the like. After all, what do they know about perfume? (Yes, I know they have professionals who help them, but still, I refuse to support their already inflated personal wealth and egos.) But Kylie is so sweet. And her music is fun. And she goes way back. And her perfume smells nice. (And it was for free!)

Anyway, there was nothing good on TV last night, so I decided to take some pics of my newly acquired loot!


(Not sure where they were going with the design of the bottle. I think it's supposed to resemble a pear or something. But I think it looks more like a butt. Hmmm...)

I'm such a nerd - 'can never have enough pens!

Cute, hey? Seriously the highligt of my week!

Thursday, 26 March 2009

Pretty as a picture

While surfing the glorious web the other day, I came across this gorgeous site. Such stunning photography and what a fantastic way to make a living! Ah, I'm jealous! It makes me want to give up my day job and instead take pictures of pooches, kitties, rabbits and hedgehogs. (Yes, I think hedgehogs are great!)

Anyway, yesterday I didn't have to go into the office and was lucky enough to have the day to myself. Bliss! I took advantage of the warm afternoon and spent it in the garden with my cat and a camera. Sure, it sounds a little arb, but what a great way to spend a couple of hours. So incredibly relaxing! I took an obscene amount of photos (yay digital photography!!!) and after sifting through them later, I found a few that I was quite chuffed with. Nowhere near as good as the ones at the Cowbelly blog but not too bad for an amateur with a moggy cat. There's still much Photoshopping to be done, but here are some of my faves in the meantime...

I think my cat is gorgeous. But then again, I may be biased.

You're probably thinking that I'm one crazeeeeee cat lady in the making, but don't give up on me yet. I'm dying to photograph some pooches and I've already made a mental list of friends who have dogs. ;)

While on the subject of animal photography, the other week my gal pal Des and I headed off to the 2008 National Geographic Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition. Stunning, stunning, stunning!!! The showcased photographers come from all over the world and needless to say, their photography was really awesome. Here are some of my favourites from my exhibition:

(If I remember correctly, the above pic by Steve Winter won the overall prize.)

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Just call me Barry

So I've been catching up on movies over the last couple of weeks. Here are three in particular that I thought were pretty cool! All three are based on novels (and Jennifer Anniston is in two of them. But that's just a coincidence. Really, it is).

Marley & Me
Okay, first of all, I need to confess that I haven't read the book, which is a pity because I think books are often better than their moving image counterparts. And the movie is pretty good! In case you've been living under a rock and don't know, Marley & Me is based on actual events and follows the lives of young newlyweds, who adopt a beautiful golden labrador puppy (as a sort of starter kit for kiddies) who turns out to be the 'Worst Dog in the World.' From puppyhood to old age, the viewer watches as Marley wreaks absolute havoc on the lives of John (Owen Wilson) and Jennifer (Jennifer Anniston), who grow as individuals, a couple and as a family. It's a really heart-warming story that reminds us that things don't always turn out as planned, but that sometimes 'different' can be even better.

Alan Arkin plays John's tough but endearing newspaper editor and there's extra eye-candy in the hunky shape of Eric Dane (McSteamy from Grey's). Oh, and look out for Kathleen Turner as the misfortuned doggie obedience trainer. She's only in the movie for a short bit but it's truly hilarious!

I guess what makes this movie a winner, apart from the gorgeousness of golden puppies and pooches, is the ability to relate to what the characters go through. Keep in mind the movie spans about 15 years, so a lot happens to the characters during that period. That's life. On that same note, prepare yourself for non-stop sniffling during the last 15 minutes or so. (What is it with animal movies and crying? Sheesh.) All the same, it's a really feel-good movie, and it'll make you want to go home and hug your dog. Or cat. Even if they do drive you mad occasionally. Or all the time. :)

Useless trivial fact no.1: Twenty-two different labradors played the part of Marley.
Useless trivial fact no.2: The director, David Frankel, also directed The Devil Wears Prada.

He's Just Not That Into You
Of course I had to see this movie - how much more chick flick can you get? Okay, well that's not quite true because in chick flicks, there's almost always schmaltzy moments galore and a sickingly happy ending (hey, not that kind of happy ending). Nope, in He's Just Not That Into You, there's heart-ache and drama and screaming and well, reality. Which is what makes it nice and refreshing. The movie starts off with a little girl being bullied by a horrible little boy (kids, hey?!?!). In tears, the little girl is 'comforted' by her mother who consoles her by saying that's how boys act when they like a girl. And so it begins... Basically, it's a reminder to us chicks to wise up and spot the signs of when a guy is just not interested. How often do we console our friends and ourselves with excuses for why men haven't called / pitched / anything? We do everything to make those excuses when the cold truth is, they're just not that into us. And actually, that's okay. Instead of pining for days (or weeks [or, ahem, months]) it's so much better to see it for what it is and move on. Now, that's not an excuse for you lads to act like jerks and high-tail it as soon as you've 'bedded' a lady. It's more a case of, if you meet someone in a bar, or if you've had a date and then there's 'radio silence', then rather cut your losses. Better that than your dignity. Easier said than done, though. Right, ladies? Yeah...

The movie has a strong cast. Scarlet Johannsen, Jennifer Connelly, Jennifer Anniston, Ginnifer Goodwin, Drew Barrymore, Ben Affleck, Justin Long, Kevin Connollly and Bradley Cooper. Their characters pair up to reflect various aspects of relationships, and while some work, some just don't. Drama: tears and laughter, and hopefully a lot of penny-dropping for the audience. I watched the movie with a couple of my gal pals, and what we saw on the screen really rung true, in more ways than one.

Useless trivial fact no.1: The movie is based on a book which is based on a line from an episode from Sex and the City (Remember Miranda's 'A-ha!' moment?).
Useless trivial fact no.2: Okay, not sure this is a fact per se, but I read somewhere that Ginnifer Goodwin and Justin Long are definitely into each other. Talk about life imitating art. How sweet.

And now for something that could never ever in a hundred trillion years EVER fall under the same genre as the two flicks above. Watchmen is based on the graphic novel published in the eighties, and believe me when I say what it lacks it sentimentality and fluffiness, it more than makes up with violence. It's still cool, though!

I've heard a lot of bad reviews about Watchmen, which is actually kinda sad. I think some people bought their tickets expecting a superhero movie along the same lines as Spiderman, Superman, Batman or (heaven forbid) the Fantastic Four (bleuch!). In which case, they were in for a nasty surprise. Watchmen is dark, gritty and yes, violent. The superheroes don't possess any actual supernatural powers (except for Doctor Manhattan) and they're in fact a bunch of vigilantes who dress up in costumes because the scumbag criminals they went after were also in costume (you know, as you do). For a while, the Watchmen are hailed as heroes and adored by the public, but as time goes on, the tables are turned and suddenly they themselves are being targeted, forcing the ones that survive to go into early retirement. Anyway, with the rather brutal murder of an ex-superhero, formerly known as The Comedian, the story begins.

The plot is fairly complex and poses a few universal questions. At least, that's my take on it. Then again, the movie theatre I was at has a prehistoric audio system and periodically, the channel carrying the voices (does that make sense?) would disappear and the audience would be left to lip read. (FAIL!) So yeah, I missed some pretty crucial parts. The movie is set as the height of the cold war between Russia and the States, and this plays quite a big role.

Anyway, forget about any pre-conceived notions of superheroes and go watch it. Be warned though, it's pretty violent. Almost Quentin Tarantino-esque. It's also directed by Zack Snyder, who directed 300 - another film not exactly known for it's touchy-feely-sensitivity. But the characters are cool. Especially Rorschach. And I like Nite Owl too, even though his 'day persona' is a little nerdish.

Useless trivial fact no.1: The Comedian, who in spite of being one of the 'good guys' is actually a real bastard, is played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan. Yeah, he's the guy who plays Denny Duquette on Grey's Anatomy, though trust me, he's much, much nicer (read: hotter) in Grey's.
Useless trivial fact no.2: Nite Owl is played by Patrick Wilson, who was the peado-creep in Hard Candy and the philandering hubby in Little Children. But in Watchmen, he plays an uber-super-duper good guy. (Except in the love [sex] scene with Silk Spectre, cos there he turns into an animal. Ahem.)

So go watch some movies, and don't forget the popcorn...

Monday, 23 March 2009

Breathing deep

It's been a pretty miserable couple of weeks. Work is toxic, my piggy bank is broken and I been sinking into a pretty nasty abyss of a funk. Before I head for the nearest bridge, I thought I'd make the effort to remind myself of all the good stuff that's around, even if sometimes, it's hard to spot at first.

Part of that process involves being pro-active and so at long last, I've given my little blog a make-over. It's still a work in progress as I'm not 100% happy with it yet, but it's a start. Anyway, since last I posted something, I've been away for the weekend, eaten at some amazing restaurants very much off the beaten path, been on a complete bender with a buddy that nearly resulted in alcohol poisoning (yes, my liver and I are very ashamed) and I've had close encounters with city squirrels. (The cute and fluffy kind.) I'm going to bombard you guys with details of all the above over the next couple of days (perhaps not the bender evening though) but in the meantime, here a couple squirrel pics.

I came across these little guys while in Cape Town's famous gardens the other week. They're very people-friendly and happily munch peanuts out of your hand while keeping a wary eye on scavenging pigeons.

More tomorrow...

Monday, 2 March 2009

'Get out of jail free' card

After a horrible week of mounting stress and anxiety, we had that work meeting about the retrenchments. I'm safe. Job-wise, that is. Most of my friends and colleagues weren't as lucky as I was. In my team alone, only four out of the nine of us get to keep our jobs. The rest of the company has also been slashed to pieces, leaving everyone absolutely reeling.

Strangely enough, I don't feel the relief I thought I would've felt. Instead I feel sick. It's so awful to see so many people I care about going through so much crap. Don't get me wrong - I'm extremely grateful to have kept my job. I certainly don't want to come across as ungrateful. But at the same time, it feels like I'm on a sinking ship. It's also difficult to know what to say to people who aren't staying. I've been retrenched before - about six years ago - and so I know how tough it is to take that knock. Never mind the financial stress, the self-esteem also takes serious strain. At least, it did in my case.

Anyway, crisis averted. For now...

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