Year of Yes – Review

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At first, I really did not like this book and thought it is going to be a very long 7 hours listening to Shonda’s tangy, irritating voice (by now you get I listened to the audiobook, right?) and her ramble on about her family and kids, but then we hit her Dartmouth Commencement speech and I’m like hang on, this chick has got a point:

“Dreams are lovely. But they are just dreams. Fleeting, ephemeral, pretty. But dreams do not come true just because you dream them. It’s hard work that makes things happen. It’s hard work that creates change”

And that is where I actually really started to listen, just over 1 hour into the book. Yes, we hit some more (a lot more) children related stories, and I’m all like, I don’t care about children, I don’t want children, this is boring, and some parts really are boring. But then we get the other parts. The parts that resonate within me and I think to myself, my god Joan, Shonda is talking to you. The part about her weight loss; getting so fat that you have to get seatbelt extenders on an airplane is a mortal fear of mine! And even though I have never heard of the term “Veal Practice” It is something I am totally familiar with, I do it all the time!

Making avatars of people and then not knowing where your friend went, when you finally, really see the real person behind your made-up friend, yeah, done that. Until listening to this book I did not understand that it was me; I needed to have that type of friend at a certain time in my life, so I had attributed certain characteristics to that avatar person to create her into the friend I needed, and truly loved at that time.

I only read this book because everyone else seems to have read it, and I need to know what I am missing out on when it comes to popular books. Plus Grey’s Anatomy Seasons 1 to 5 is my absolute favourite TV Show ever (and then it got a bit sucky, to be honest) So while I am sure this book is not a self-help book, it has certainly, in parts, shone a giant spot light on the crappy parts of my life and yeah, I am not Shonda, I do not have her achievements and I am not the creator of some amazing TV Shows, but I share a bunch of her problems, and perhaps I can do with a year of yes myself, or perhaps a couple of months of maybes to start off with.

Unisa, the struggle is real

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Trying to register for studying through Unisa for 2016 has been the most frustrating thing I have ever done. I have previously been registered with them for a degree in Accounting, but as my degree is being phased out, I decided to switch over to the new degree. In hindsight, I should have just carried on with the old one and saved myself all the hassle.

Firstly, Unisa implemented a new system, whereby you had to request to study with them and they will then give you approval. This I did at the end of September 2015. According to Unisa, we would all have been notified of acceptance by end of December 2015. Big surprise, they had problems with the new system and the deadline for acceptance was extended to end of January 2016. Naturally that deadline passed with loads of people’s studies still pending decision and the deadline for registrations was moved to 14 February 2016.

I finally get my approval to register on the 12th! 2 days before the third deadline. I scramble to register and pay my deposit and then I had to sit back and wait for study documents which I sort of received on Wednesday. I say sort of, as I only received 1 third of my study documents with 2 thirds being out of stock. Yay me!

My first assignment is due on Tuesday; it is for a completely online course that came with a USB that supposedly have the information on it. I have no access to the online site with the actual study information on it and despite commenting on the discussion forums (like many other students who also seem to have this problem) and emailing Unisa, I still have no access. And plugging in my Unipoole USB I was informed that nothing is accessible as I am not registered for that module. Strange then, how I still get the Unipoole for CAS1501 delivered to me and have the assignment due dates loaded under myUnisa but I am not registered.

This is going to be one tough semester seeing how Unisa took almost a third of the semester just to finalise registrations and then delay even further by not providing the  necessary study documents or portals for me to do my work. I am so upset that I am sitting here writing a blog post instead of working on the 2 other major assignments that are due within the next 2 weeks.

Gods, give me strength!

Drama, drama, drama

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Lately there is so much drama on our property that it feels like I am living an episode of Days of Our Lives.

It has started a couple of months ago where I realised that every time there was a do at the lapa, somebody started a fight or got out of hand and usually brought their fighting to in front of my house, which royally pisses me off as it is usually at some godforsaken time in the morning when I was already sleeping, or trying to sleep, for that matter. I think somewhere along the line, the lapa had picked up some bad juju and it is not letting go.

On top of all that, there are 2 people who live on the property going through custody disputes, and it looks like January is the month of calling police out here to stir the custody arrangements. Seriously, I do not know what is wrong with people, if they are that immature, to cause trouble and stir up shit (on both parents’s side) they have no business being parents to begin with.

Sunday morning 09:00 I get woken up with police sirens and arguing, (you guessed it, right in front of my place, again!) because the police was here being involved in yet another custody spat. I did really enjoy the part where the policeman was shitting out both parents for their crappy parenting and upsetting their kids by calling the police on each other because they are immature and full of crap. In fact, I think these people should be fined for wasting police resources and just for being crap human beings.

So, because I hate all these dramas and having my peace disrupted by others, I started looking for another place to stay. Sadly, that just reminded me on how horrible the places available to rent are in my price range. I think all this actually happened for a reason as I have now decided it is time to buy my own place.

I have always put ff buying a property saying “I’m not settled in my life yet and don’t want to be tied down by a property and a bond” but actually, now I think I should just buy a place and then build my life around it. I do not know where I want to buy, but I have a very clear idea of what I want, I only have to make sure that I can find that in my price range (once I establish one, that is).

For now, I am going to focus on saving money. I will have to cut down on my frivolous spending and on some of the unnecessary luxuries I love so much, but I think in the end, having my own place that I can change and decorate exactly as I want to, will be worth it.

A not so DIY project 

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I was in desperate need for more bookshelf space in a very tiny area and over the last year or so I have also been on the look-out for a nice TV unit. I have not had much luck in finding an affordable TV unit that I liked and while the search continued I just kept buying more books, making the need for more book space even more urgent. Until one day I found a very affordable, nice bookcase at Game. And it just so happens I could make it double as a TV unit. So I haul this extremely heavy, flat box of bookshelf parts into my house and then I had to unpack and shuffle 3 cabinets before I could start assembly.  

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It starts out with slotting all the loose shelf planks into the side panel and then into each other, which should be extremely easy, and was, until I realised that it is the most unstable setup ever designed. So it was no surprise that half the shelf came down on my foot and leg when I accidentally bumped into it before it could be secured.

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 Luckily for me, my landlord chose that exact moment to walk past my open door and after hearing the crash and my very loud choice curses, he promptly offered his assistance and my shelf was assembled in no time at all.

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I just had to add some of the decorative bits, as I did not want a bland, black shelf. And with the help of some very affordable, easy to use adhesive paper, I gave my bookshelf / TV cabinet some character and I am very happy with the outcome.

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So merry Christmas to me.

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The children of others

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Besides the fact that my flat is extremely tiny and crowded, I have actually been content staying where I am, until all the kids came along, that is. When I first moved in one of the landlords had 2 kids, but thankfully (for me, not for him) just about 3 months after I moved in his wife left him and took the kids with her. And there was quiet, except for every 2nd weekend but I could totally deal with that.

Then about 3 months ago everything changed. Someone with 2 kids moved onto the property. Firstly, the mother is more than anyone can handle, complaining about how she doesn’t have money for anything and how horrible her life was with the man she has been living with for 15 years just for the money (words straight out of her and her kids mouths) and all she can talk is her church which she joined since being kicked out by the guy. Her kids have no manners and are of below normal intelligence, the 4 year old on this property is smarter and better behaved than those two (who are 7 and 13 years old). And even though I dislike most kids, it is so much worse when they are fucking rude and stupid.

Besides all the noise constantly, they think it is awesome to come “visit” me every damn day. I managed to get the 7 year old out of my house, by going insane on her when I woke up and found her standing in my bedroom: It was a crazy night at work and I only got home at 4am in the morning. Then as is my habit, I woke up at about 8am and let the doglet out for piddles, left my front door open for some fresh air and then went back to sleep. Now from when they moved in here I have been shouting at her for just walking into my house without knocking, but that morning when I woke up with her standing in my room right next to my I just completely lost it. I shouted and swore at her to get out and not come back as she is not welcome here. Since then, she has kept her distance.

The older girl however, is just not getting the message. She comes around every day with some boring story of woe or to watch TV as they do not have a TV at their place. It is so bad that come 5pm I have to close up everything and pretend I’m not home just to avoid her, or her mother who also just pops in. I do not know what I am going to do come the start of the December holidays.

Another thing about them that irks me is that they came here with 2 dogs, assured the landlord they are sterilised, and whoops a few weeks later the one dog is pregnant. Also, these dogs have no manners and they spend all night and day barking and whenever I take my doglet outside, their male dog tries to attack her. Since they have moved in here, they have also acquired fish, hamsters and 2 cats, but they have “no money”. People like that really irritates the shits out of me.

But the reason I am writing about all this is to give a bit of background on the main story I want to get at:

Last night my friend and neighbour with the 4 year old child put up her Chistmas tree and lights for her daughter. The next thing she is being told she is causing household problems because fuckwit neighbour cannot afford Christmas decorations and things for her kids, so she is making her look bad by having Christmas! Can you believe the insanity?!?!?!?!

While I have lost my Christmas spirit over the last years, I thought I have to do something about this shit, so I decided to put up my little christmas trees and lights as well, right where you can see it from my front door. Now just let anyone say anything about that!

2015 in a flash

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So we are coming to the end of yet another year, and it seems that time are just speeding up with every day that passes. I have just finished setting up my christmas tree, and was thinking of the year that is basically over and the year that is yet to come.

Glancing back over 2015, it was overall quite a good year for me. Sure, I had some crappy spots;  I got seriously sick with the flu for the first time in years and I basically lost my best friend, yet besides that, I have had a good year.

  • I managed to go to Cape Town on holiday for a whole week, my first holiday in ages and we had wonderful weather and mostly it was a good week
  • I attended 2 weddings. Not that weddings are actually something I enjoy going to, but I suppose the happiness of others can also count towards the good times for 2015, and there were no funerals this year. It’s all about balance
  • I made an amazing new best friend and she moved into the same place where I am staying, so yay for friends in close proximity
  • I have been very social this year with a lot of impromptu braais and drinking sessions in the lapa. I even ended up at a strip club at 4am one morning (don’t ask)
  • I got an extra bonus at work, although it was for the consultant who logged the most calls, every cent was much needed and quickly spent, sadly
  • I saw Sweeny Todd at Pieter Toerien’s Theatre, and I swear it was one of the best productions ever. Even after all this time, it still stays with me. I also saw Little Shop of Horrors and went to Madame Zingara twice. So, a good year for shows, all in all
  • I am way behind on my reading goals for this year, only managing 58 of the 75 books I wanted to read, but if you take all the socialising into consideration, that is not bad all at. And there is always next year
  • I have finally found a way to get most of my furniture in my house organised in such a way that I have more space and do not feel so crowded anymore
  • My Le Creuset collection is coming along nicely, next year I will look at saving up and getting some of the larger and more expensive pieces

In a nutshell, these are the things that came to mind today, I am sure there are many other things I have forgotten for the moment, but the important thing is that I am in a much happier space now than I was last year this time, and that is all that counts in the end.

A moviecation

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Over the last couple of days I have watched a bunch of movies to fill the gap in my moviecation. I’ve bought this lovely book last year, (picked mainly because of the beautiful photo of Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly on the back cover) to help me catch up on the great movies I have not seen yet (Plus, I really do not need any encouragement to buy a new book).

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This list of unseen movies is surprisingly long, but a whole bunch of my favourite movies also feature in this book, so I am slowly trying to make my way through all the movies in it. This also means rewatching all the movies I’ve seen before and paying attention to the synopsis of what made this movie great according to the critics who compiled this book. 

Towards the end of last year, I had for the first time in my life watched a Star Wars movie, Episode IV (as that is the one movie of the Star Wars series that made it into the book). It was really good and I actually liked it a lot more than I thought I would. The special effects, although dated, was still very acceptable to me and the movie still worked, even after all the years since its first release. 

So, naturally, that meant that I would have to watch the rest of the movies in the series as well. I really liked the older episodes, IV, V and VI, but did not like the new ones as much, even though it did a really good job of filling in the back end of the story. To me, it just missed something that the old movies have, even though I cannot put my finger on it. I think a lot of it also has to do with the fact that I really dislike Anakin Skywalker, which I suppose you are meant to do as he does become the despised Dark Lord after all. The fact that Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan is totally delicious, (When is Ewan and that voice and accent of his not completely fabulous?) got me through all the movies. 

Is it just me or are the sounds made by Chewbacca and the rest of the Wookiees really sad? Makes me think of unhappy or sick puppies :(  

Next up on my to watch list is the Back to the Future, Terminator and Harry Potter movie series