April 27, 2007 at 5:55 pm (Uncategorized)

Ok, so I’m heading for the great big bird soon. If I don’t post this week don’t think I’ve abandoned y’all. I’m off to Portugal (ja, don’t be jealous) and am not sure how much access to the net I’ll have. I’ll be back in about 10 days or so.
If you don’t hear from me until then, be good. I’ll come update you folks on all the goings-on over there when I’m back.

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Scarlet blood on their hands

April 27, 2007 at 3:27 pm (crime, frustrated, missing)

I wonder how they sleep at night. Surely, having blood on your hands is enough reason to keep one awake. I would certainly not be able to live myself if I were them.
A few days ago we got word one of our colleagues had died in a car crash. It was awful – she’d had the day off because it was her birthday and had lost control of her car before hurtling down on on-ramp off the N2.
But worse, was finding out she didn’t have a driver’s licence. How’s that possible, I asked. She had just bought the car a few months ago. Well, it turns out you don’t need a driver’s licence when you buy a car. For heaven’s sake, where is the logic in that??? You need a goddamn TV licence to buy a TV so how the hell can they sell someone a car without a friggin licence???!!! Those who sell and those who allow these sales are evil, gutless worms. Profit above life. The theme of our times, it seems.
Ok, needless to say, I’m a bit wound up about this. But jirrie, is there no way they can be held accountable? Yes, she was an adult who knew she should get one but, dammit, if she wasn’t allowed to buy that car because she wasn’t a legal driver, then she might still be alive today.
I don’t know how this piece of legislation has been allowed to slip under the radar. Surely it must be illegal, criminal even? It never even occurred to me that the law says it’s ok to do it. Shouldn’t we be doing something more about this? I want to petition. Watch this space.

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A thoughtless little pig

April 26, 2007 at 3:47 pm (brats)

Call your kids stupid if you want. Go on, you know you want to.
Ok, calm down, that’s what the writer of a piece on Salon.com wrote this week. I know it’s terribly un-PC to like this article but, hell, it’s funny.
The writer basically says Alec Baldwin wasn’t such a dimwit for calling his daughter a “thoughtless, rude little pig”. All parents should be able to call their kids something like that sometimes. Hothead parents, she calls them.
Why can’t we call our kids names, she asks? Well, because it’s not polite, I guess. But, seriously, didn’t your mom or dad ever say something like, “Jissie, kyk nou vir Stupid”, when you did something incredibly dumb.
The author, Heather Havrilesky, reckons we’re creating a bunch of pansies by cuddling our kids too much. I say, right on sister. Nothing ever happened to my sister or me when our parents said something like that when we were younger (although I’m pretty sure they didn’t call us little pigs). And we’re fine. I hope.
Maybe it’s because I don’t have kids that I find it funny. Or maybe I’m just, well, a thoughtless little pig…

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An open letter to Mr Construction Dude

April 26, 2007 at 3:05 pm (annoying, desk, frustrated, work)

Dear Mr Construction Dude 
I resent having to walk down, then up, two floors, to pee. It’s already annoying having to walk to those cattle kraals (six in a row and you can hear if the other person is breathing) on the best of days so when you ensure that the one on my floor is out of order because you want to build or something, I will not be impressed.
Aside from the fact that I’m forgetful and am shocked every time I walk into a bathroom full of men, I now have to go to the Newspaper People’s toilets. Not cool. The newspaper people are not like us magazine people. They don’t like us. For some reason they think we don’t work as hard as they do.
Please Mr Construction Dude, get done with my floor’s bathrooms. I don’t want to walk that far even though my hip to waist ratio will surely thank you for it. I don’t want to walk out of the bathroom and end up on the wrong floor because I’ve forgotten I’m in someone else’s  lavatory. It’s just bizarre and people keep saying, “I haven’t seen you around here before.”
In a toilet, that’s a weird thing to be hearing.
So Mr Construction Dude…you have one week in which to finish the job. I’m giving you that much time. When I return from my trip I want to use the ladies’ room on my floor. That’s all I ask. It’s not much. 
Yours in the search for private loos
Toby Hanks

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A smoky, hazy memory

April 26, 2007 at 8:07 am (advertising, wellbeing)

There it was. A pack of smokes resting in the centre of the glossy page of the magazine. It looked beautifully styled (if you can imagine a pack of styled ciggies, that is).
It looked odd and out of place. It jarred the senses and was immediately noticeable; not because of the luscious pink and blank background but because it just looked out of place in a woman’s magazine.
But before the ailing Manto gets wind of this, let me explain. I was reading an international mag (one of the perks of my job) and there it was: a pack of Camels. Light and luscious, read the tagline.
I thought about my instantaneous reaction to it (I usually ignore ads completely) and wondered why I’d even registered the ad. Then realised it’s because it seemed so unusual.
See, I am young enough to not have been exposed to many of them but old enough to remember the ads of the Marlboro Man and Co. It just seems weird to see cigarette advertising now so I guess old Manto got her way – no more corrupting the youth with this sexy stuff.
Do you remember the times when people could smoke in malls, taxis, busses, offices, etc? I wasn’t even smoking by the time the bans were put in place but remember my mom being very PO’d when she couldn’t get her fix while doing her weekly grocery shopping. When she got that look my sister and I would split – you do not want to get in the way of a nicotine-starved mom with a trolley on a Friday night…
Anyway, even though I’m smoker, I think it was the best thing she of the beetroot/garlic wisdom could’ve done. I’m all for taking charge of your body and messing it up if you want but I do feel bad when I see non-smokers battling against the white curls when they’re exposed.
What I’m trying to figure out now, though, is why I still see nine-year-old kids bumming a cigarette (Wat? Is jy befok? Dra jy nie nog ’n nappy nie?!) and trying to look grown-up. A fat lot of good banning the ads did for them.
Maybe our Minister of Madness should insist all smokes be infused with garlic and lemon from this day on…

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We’re out!

April 26, 2007 at 8:04 am (cricket World Cup)

So our boys crashed and burned royally on the pitch. Sad, but true. Ag, I guess it’s not so bad. We got to the semis right? Naaah, who am I kidding….21-5 WTF???! Ok, now that I have that out of my system I will spend the rest of my time bothering with other, more important things and forget such a thing as the cricket World Cup ever existed. Sorry AB, but you just don’t do it for me anymore. 

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Which mask am I wearing today?

April 26, 2007 at 8:02 am (brain, colleagues and friends, ego, private personal space)

So I got my MTBI test results. Interesting stuff but mostly things I knew. Like the fact that I’m a bit of a procrastinator or as they call it, “pressure-prompted”; not very social; prefer concepts instead of concrete little details…you know, all the obvious stuff . What I didn’t see coming was the fact that I can appear cold to those who don’t know me. Geez, really? And here I thought I was a likeable person… 

But it got me thinking: how do we know we’re presenting the selves we want others to see? Yes, we all wear masks and change them according to where we are and who we’re with, but generally, we want people to see us in a certain way, right? 

So what else do I think I’m showing to the world that is seen in a completely different way to that which I intended? If I didn’t know that I can appear cold/unemotional/tough to those who don’t know me really well, what else is there about me that I don’t get (and that hasn’t been answered in this test)?

I mean, do I truly come across as the person I am? Personal experience says not always, except to the people who bother to get to know me (according to the test, I’m also very private and it’s hard to share my emotions. Ahem,  shock, um, horror).

I chatted to a colleague about this thing of how we see ourselves and what others see us to be and she mentioned a few examples of people who have no idea others are terrified of them/think they’re funny/think they’re weak/think they’re dramatic, etc. Funnily, to me, there wasn’t a question that that’s exactly how the people she mentioned comes across. But she insists they have no idea of that facet of their personalities which makes me think I am missing out a lot on the person that is myself.

But now what does that mean? I suppose I should ask people what they really think of me and how they perceive me. Might not like all of what they have to say but probably insightful to hear it anyway.
And it would be a good thing to talk to others and practice chit-chat because, apparently, I hate small talk and will only participate in deep, meaningful conversations…now why would they think that?

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I have boobs and bums

April 24, 2007 at 8:44 pm (advertising, annoying, diets, exercise, fat rolls, weight, wellbeing)

I’m a big, loathsome fatass.
At least that’s what some women’s magazines would have me believe (more about that in a different post later). Apparently being anything over a size 10 is a social crime akin to saying you lust after your brother. At least I haven’t reached that level of depravity, right?
Anyway, back to the weight and my new issues with it. Rossgen and I hit the stores because she needed to look fabulicious (her word) for a function she had to attend. I have a wedding to attend so thought I’d try on a few things while in the shop. MISTAKE!
Not since the days when I sulked out of Hilton Weiner’s child-sized-clothing stores have I felt so bad about my body. I mean, hello: I have bums and boobs; a bit of cushioning on the hip and long limbs. Am I such a freak that no store has clothes that fit me?
Apart from the obvious “shall I take a 12/14/16 because they’re never the same”, anything that looks remotely stylish only comes in sizes 10 and below. And when I do fit on a size 12/14 it looks like a sausage caught in it’s skin when you’re frying it in a pan. Yuck.
Now, of course, you could say, um, Toby, maybe it’s because you’re “well-endowed”? Well-endowed my ass. I am a normal, healthy (ok, so I’m semi-healthy because I smoke and eat junk) young woman.
I have a healthy BMI of 22,5 according to the Mayo Clinic (click on Metric to get our measurements). I have normal curves and I’m quite happy with them so why can’t all those losers who make clothes try and make me spend my money?
Do they have any idea how starved curvy women are for nice clothes that fit – here’s a whole untapped industry I say. And African lasses don’t want the skinny tie-me-to-a-pole-so-I-don’t-blow-away kind of waists.
Unless of course I’m in the minority in which case I’ll just have to fume and continue my search for a good tailor/dressmaker to cover my bootylicious body.

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The worth of getting it roadworthy

April 24, 2007 at 8:38 am (Uncategorized)

Buying a car is a bitch. Seriously. Apart from the obvious gaping hole in my bank account where cash used to be, red tape is a nightmare. Someone tell me this: Why on Earth would I buy a car that isn’t roadworthy? Yet I have to get a certificate to say that it is. Surely it makes sense that you won’t buy something that’s broken? Jirrie, what kind of fool must you be to do something like that? Anyway…I’m not going to moan too much because I’m getting a pretty blue baby with power steering and aircon. Hmmm…for that I’d get 10 certificates any day.

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All about the colour

April 24, 2007 at 8:37 am (Uncategorized)

I happened to be home last night and caught an episode of popular soap 7de Laan. I used to watch this soap often because I had to do a project at varsity on it. It was kinda addictive (I know, I know) but have since stopped watching as I work late most nights.
But here I was sitting in front of the tv. Then I remembered the furor that erupted in an Afrikaans newspaper a few months ago.
If you’re not familiar with the outrage from readers here’s a snapshot: people were saying they’d boycott the soap if they ever introduced an interracial couple. So far there’s never been a mixed race couple in the show. No, not even George and Karien cos he’s Greek and classified Caucasian, according to those who know. So if the producers decided to have a mixed couple introduces readers would stop watching. One woman even went so far as to say her nine-year-old kid watches the show and what kind of family values would something like that teach him…I kid you not, dear reader, that is what she said.
It got quite nasty when some writers gave their points (Jana-Mariana Human managed
to seriously irk some readers. Ha, ha).
Anyway, back to my viewing patterns now. In this episode Felicity and Vanessa were at loggerheads over Xander; Aggie and Alyce over Themba. Because there’s the obvious lack of black and coloured men the women have to fight over the few available ones. Clearly hooking up with Marko or Altus (sorry Paula) would just not work.
I could go on forever about the issues I have with the soapie’s direction but should stop now because there’s simply not enough space.
What I want to know from you is what you think of it. Should they keep it the way it is and not reflect real life to protect those who still want “innocent, pure love” (I’m falling off my bed as I’m laughing while writing this). Does it even matter? 

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