Posts

Showing posts from October, 2005

Bomb scares, Boredom, Halloween

This last weekend was a mix of great fun and boredom. Pretty much the whole of last week I had sat at home and not seen anyone, so I was looking forward to socializing and getting out and about.

On Friday evening, it seemed like I just swapped the routine’s setting for Paul’s house. I was pretty bummed when we received a call, after 9pm that Gareth was meeting up with G and Shirley at the Pavilion ‘for something’. The fact that they were already having / finishing up with dinner, and about to decide on an activity (which included maybe just going home) meant we didn’t have much time to get there. So Paul and I just ended up lying on the couch watching Ace Ventura: pet Detective and a bit of Dumb and Dumber.

On Saturday, after a slow start, Paul and I headed to the Pavilion to do a little shopping. The place was packed with end-of-the-month shoppers and it took a while for us to find parking. The main reason for heading to the Pav was for Paul to buy some new hiking strops, and because i…

Christmas in October

I worked at the annual Christmas House in Pinetown on Tuesday evening. Apart from last year I’ve been involved for the last 5 or so years, working at one of the tills.

Essentially the name Christmas House pretty much sums up what it is- a whole house is decorated, and crammed, with Christmas related crafts that are all for sale- there are tree decorations, table settings, dolls, teddy bears, cushions, wall hangings, gift bags, candles, tree skirts, fridge magnets, cards, sweets, nativity scenes, novelty gifts etc. There’s tons of stuff, all reasonable priced (Although, the big spenders took some of the most beautiful merchandise home with them on the opening evening). Basically, the sooner you go, the better the selection. And it changes every year.

Anyway, it’s fascinating to watch the consumer greed take over, with people spending hundreds to over a thousand rands on Christmas decorations. Many people are there buying for their business or B’n’B, but there are also people splashing …

Comedy, Cats, Comics & Wors

Paul’s cousin was away this weekend so a large chunk of the weekend was spent at his place, literally across the road from bar Billy the Bums.

We weren’t there much on Friday night however, as we joined the gang at Sibaya Casino for the big Comedy Festival running there. It really was an awesome evening, with a combination of around 8 local and international comedians entertaining us for 2 and a half hours. Angelo the Greek-Canadian MC, and LA resident Pierre were probably my favourites. My least favourite was an Australian comic who was scarily misogynistic- I fully understand that male comedians will use relationships and women as material, and I have no problem with that. I really have no problem with laughing at myself. However, there seemed to be a lot of spite behind his words that pushed the misogyny beyond acceptably funny.

On Saturday, Paul was out of the house by 6:30am to travel up to Nottingham Road to do a quote for a prospective client. I was awake too, given the fact that…

Clarification

I feel the need to clarify some things in my last post, seeing the strong criticism I received.

A) I was writing when I was feeling particularly down and brooding. A day later I have a cold, a burnt mouth and incredibly stiff legs (damn lunges). But despite that, a blog is to vent your personal thoughts and feelings.

B)I maintain that I can’t work a fulltime job for a company for R5000 again. I’ve already done it (and at a Godawful dictatorial company as I’m sure Ash and Shirlz will agree). For one thing, it’s a question of quality of life- an 8 to 5 full time job for that amount isn’t worth it. It’s a waste. For another thing, it’s fine and all that if you’re living at home, but when you’re at that age when you want to move out; have some independence; have a real career underway, the money is woefully inadequate of you don’t have a second income coming in, from a partner or room mate. A one-room rented place (apartment or granny flat) ranges from R800 to R2000, depending on the locat…

BA Pizza

‘What’s the difference between a BA and a pizza?’
‘A pizza can feed a family of 4.’

There are several jokes like this. And I’m bringing them up because I had a pretty crap Monday and most of it centres around my future.

To start off I basically had to face an inquisition when I approached the Financial Aid / Bursaries office to draw 2 scholarships out of student account and put the money in my bank account. I have to ask permission of the office to do this. Now the big issue is that I received these 2 new scholarships halfway through this year, presumably as a result of my first semester marks. I already had 2 scholarships before this.

Now Mr Bursar loads up my details on his PC and hums and ha’s, ‘I’m concerned that we’re giving you so much money’ and ‘Are your marks really that good?’ It sickens me that I have to justify why I should receive the money (which will go towards paying off a hefty chunk of my car to my parents) when I have worked my ass off to deserve it. Scholarships are ba…

The Smokey Weekend

Most of this weekend, I’ve smelt like smoke, thanks to the 2 braais we had.

Friday evening was braai-less. Paul and I, along with my sister, her boyfriend, and my father went to see The Burning Bush, the play at my mother’s school. We go to the Benjamin Pine school play every year, and this year my mother was co-producer. Anyway, you’ve got to love school musicals that have happy, catchy little choruses like ‘Kill kill kill kill, kill all the Hebrews’.

On Saturday we went to Paul’s place and spent the day working on our Honours projects. I finally organised my Forum Users survey questions and put them online. I really hope that people take the time to actually complete it. And I’m bracing myself for the little shits who either refuse to take it seriously, completing the survey with utter garbage, or try to appear all ‘cool’ and ‘heavy’ and produce utterly false responses.

I also finished reading Snow Falling on Cedars again on Saturday morning. In just over 24 hours I had re-skimmed the…

Relationships

You know, it’s interesting thinking about relationships and the difference age makes to them. I ended up at a 15 year old’s blog the other day and I was confronted with all kinds of ‘Oh woe is me’ whining about broken hearts, and half-baked Love poetry with a capital L. I like to think that Shakespeare wiped out Romeo & Juliet for that same reason- they annoyed the crap out of him. The much older Antony and Cleopatra, with their cross-dressing and sexual games, who also end up killing themselves in error, are a far more interesting couple.

And then there’s watching Gareth with Denbeigh. That relationship just seems so much more relaxed, and comfortable, free from hormonal teenage angst. As a sidenote, Gareth in a relationship reminds me of my bachelor uncle who got married last year. There’s that exact same kind of personality change from a brooder to a light-hearted, smiley, physically affectionate (dare I say cuddly even) guy. That’s a compliment BTW.

It all makes me extremely g…

My Warrior Within Unleashed

Ha! After much stress-induced trembling and mood swings, I finally finished Prince of Persia: Warrior Within today. Although, the accomplishment is tempered with the knowledge that I no longer have a procrastination activity to keep me from working on essays and assignments. Ho hum.

Anyway, I finished the game scratching my head over the plot. I ended up back-tracking to one of the major boss battles earlier in the game and the cut-scene that followed it. Watching it again, the time travel mumbo jumbo, and motivations for the Prince's actions, began to make sense. Although the plot was ultimately pretty weak, at least I now know where I stand for the Babylon-set game.

And yes, I have finally reached the conclusion that my favourite overall game genre is Action Adventure. Puzzles, killing and jumping- instant gratification gaming at its best.

Pics from the Train Ride Weekend

Image
As promised, a few images from last Saturday’s (1 October) steam train ride from Kloof to Nottingham Road (a part of the Natal Midlands by Mooi River) for the Vintage Steam Fair, or something like that…















A Demo Column

I’ve written another demo gaming column.

In the past I tried to get in on the whole gender issues in gaming angle. However, as some of you have pointed out to me already, restricting yourself solely to such subject matter is really pigeon-holing your discursive abilities. You’re just re-treading the same ground over and over. Gaming is sexist. Women are excluded. Gaming is sexist…

So this time I’m trying to break away from the restrictive category of ‘women and games’, and prove that, despite not being one of those obsessive gamers whose hobby consumes their entire life and bank balance, I can actually comment on gaming. Besides, my comic strip covers gender issues.

Anyway, any feedback would be appreciated:

Jesus is a LANer

Competitive gaming is the key. LANs are going to elevate gaming into the pop culture mainstream.

At least that’s what I hear every so often, however ineloquently put.

The fact of the matter is that there are small group of gamers out there who believe that it is only …

Stupid Stupid

Right, last Friday I drove down to university for the sole reason of attending a Eng 102 Tutors Meeting. Part of it involved setting another time to meet and discuss the Cosmopolitan essays we have just received, and make sure we’re marking to the same standards. After much wrangling we decided on Monday 17th, because that’s when most people are on campus.

Today I receive an e-mail that the meeting has been shifted forward to this Friday, 14 October so we can talk about the next course section we’re covering. So I’m pissed off. I’m not going to waste my petrol and part of my day off again to schlep all the way into Durban for a 20 min meeting. So I’m skipping it.

I’ll phone my fellow tutors afterwards and find out what happened.

The Rest of the Weekend

Apart from Friday night, the weekend was a pretty lazy, inactive one. And it felt pretty wasted for that reason. I was in the mood to do something; be social. But it was rainy and cold so I just passed the time doing reading and research for my English presentation (tomorrow, Tuesday), playing some pool, Prince of Persia: Warrior Within, Quake III and Warcraft III, and watching Paul play Half-Life 2. On Saturday evening, G came over with Shirley’s PC (which makes a weird ambulance siren sound when it is recovering from a fried power pack), and he and Paul were having great fun literally throwing the boot at the Combine police force. For a messiah-like figure, Gordon Freeman is surprisingly childish…

Beautiful, beautiful game though, and I’d say pretty experimental in approach.

Sin City

We weren’t really in the mood for clubbing on Friday evening, so after gorging ourselves on pizza and pasta at the Musgrave Mimmos (where I had my fave- the Rustica with its marinated chicken, bacon, onions and jalapenos), we headed upstairs to the cinema to see Sin City.

Kill Bill: Volume 1 was the coolest film of 2004. Sin City is the coolest film of 2005.

Essentially Sin City, based on the graphic novel series by Frank Miller, is the Pulp Fiction of comics (unsurprisingly, Quentin Tarantino is a guest director here, alongside Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller). Sin City is a gritty retro look at urban corruption, chronicling the seediness of life in Basin City, a metropolis that exists in perpetual darkness. It’s also known as Sin City. There are prostitutes in bondage gear dishing out vengeance, hitmen, strippers, serial killers, paedophiles, crooked and straight cops, evil clergy, as well as a healthy does of gun fights, beatings, hand-to-hand combat, cannibalism and dismemberment…

Ding Dong, the Wicked Witch is Dead

Yay, it’s over. I’ve just finished writing my Media assignment, due for next Monday (or Thursday depending on who you listen to). Either way, it’s done and I don’t want to look at it again. I was really afraid I was going to be working my ass off on it this weekend, but I managed to round it off this afternoon. I don’t think the essay is too bad actually. It’ll be interesting to see my mark though. It’s always a bit unnerving to be marked by someone you don’t really have any contact with.

Anyway, the essay is the reason I’ve been a bit AWOL from this blog at the moment. I’m not intending this to be a particularly long entry either. I want to get my Tutorial preparation for Monday out the way this evening because I’m doing an English presentation on Tuesday (on Bloke Modisane’s Blame Me on History), and, apart from reading the novel, I haven’t done any other preparation. Plus I’m speaking about the novel in terms of autobiography genre conventions, and that’s one of my weak spots. After…

The Student Bonus

I’m not going to lie and say how thoroughly I’ve enjoyed studying again, because I haven’t. Honours is a heavy workload and a lot of stress (because, yes, I'm a student who actually works). But today I did get to enjoy one of the benefits of not being a corporate wage slave trapped inside an air-conditioned office. Today was a beautiful day, so, once I got home from university, I spent my afternoon in my bikini outside in the sun reading about, of all things, Apartheid era black oppression.

Anyway, the weekend was a good one. On Friday evening, Paul and I missed Shirley’s Red Eye do (and some apparently very drunken shenanigans at Tiger Tiger) to join my family for dinner. It was mother’s birthday so we all headed up to John Dory’s in Kloof to enjoy their current series of prawn specials. Paul and I both had the rack of ribs / 8 prawns combo.

But beware John Dory’s. They’re pretty stingy, Their Coke is that horrible water-syrup mix, and all that my mother received for her birthda…