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Showing posts from February, 2006

The Weekend

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The weekend actually didn’t end up being a complete loss after all.

Although we spent a long time at Mainport, where Paul and Warren were setting up a server (we ended up getting our Mimmo’s pizzas as take away), we did eventually end up at Mimmo’s as sit-down patrons. It felt quite strange walking in there with take-away boxes, but we did at least order drinks and a focaccia to share between Paul, Warren, myself, and Robin, who joined us.

Being in the Musgrave area on a Friday evening is like being in some Bollywood equivalent of the fast and the Furious, or, more accurately, Need For Speed: Underground. Everywhere you look there are heavily-modded, souped-up cars full of Indian youths, revving their engines, tearing down the street, or, as we discovered, waiting in underground parking lots for their latest mission to load.

On Saturday Paul was working from 9am to midnight with the sever set up. In a way that was a good thing because I wasn’t tempted to blow off work for some fun activi…

My Gaming Profile

I received my March copy of GEAR on Friday (I'll post my March column here later in the week). In the March mag the game reviewers each received a little profile. Of course you see something like that and realise how outside the 'team' you really are. It really sucks that there are no decent magazines based in Durban - to my knowledge.

It seems like almost all journalism in SA (and that includes online e-tailers) requires you to be based in the city where the publication is based. Because I think, honestly, working for a magazine is what I would most like to do at the moment.

Anyway, here is my profile, compiled using the same questions the GEAR reviewers worked with.

My name is Noelle but you can call me Pfangirl.

The best game I’ve played lately is Fable because it’s a fun, stylish-looking, and straightforward RPG for RPG-intolerant gamers like me.

I wanted to chuck my PSP / PS2 / PC out the window when playing the axeman / swordman combo-boss fight in Prince of Persia: The…

Copywriting

I’ve worked something out. Although the analogy might be too personal to make sense for everyone reading this, copywriting is for me what database programming is for Paul and a lot of other programmers.

It’s not especially difficult to do, it puts money in the bank, but man is it uninspiring. It’s rare to feel fulfilled or rewarded about you work. When dealing with the big gun clients, especially, there are no freedoms. You never write your own material- just edit down what the client has provided, normally from their overseas head office. There is no personal investment.

Anyway, there was a thread on the Pond about regrets, and I thought I’d post here what I wrote-

I don’t think I have any large, memorable regret moments. Well, at least I can’t think of one specific incident. What I do find myself doing though is going into situations with neutral to negative expectations (a glass-is-half-empty girl). I always manage to find a downside. Now while that does mean I am usually not disappoi…

Fault Lines

Ah, yes. After just 4 days of during-the-day Internet access and forum use, I have already succeeded in having a huge fight. It seems like treating an online public forum as an office water cooler to vent about personal frustrations does not work. Catharsis and honesty online (even if veiled behind anonymity of names) is how I’ve always approached forums, and blogs. But it is trouble. Particularly when your real life friends are reading it.

So I’m the bad guy. No matter whom I explain my case to, I don’t get any sympathy. I’ve apologised. Although, honestly, the thing that upset me the most, and still smarts, is the way that I was publicly named as unprofessional. That was totally uncalled for, and apparently stemmed solely from emotion. I may not enjoy a task but I still approach it very carefully and complete it thoroughly.

Half-life Isolation

*What a bitch to actually log in and edit this. For whatever reason, the first page of Blogspot keeps having an 'internal error' when it loads, and crashing out. The only reason I'm logged in now is because I had to sign in to comment on a post*

Anyway...

Yesterday was my first day at Whalley and Associates and it turned out to be OK. I’m not going to lie and say it was fantastic because it was a mixed experience.

On the positive side, people were friendly and directors kept checking up on me to see if I was alright. It’s also great to have a fast daytime Internet connection again, as well as air-conditioning in the stifling Durban summer heat.

On the negative side, apart from the 6am wake up and rush hour commute (which I haven’t done for over a year), I can’t say my work on the first day was gripping stuff. I spent the most of my time reading about tyres, as well as skincare products, skimming through brochures for copy to pare down for new products added to the Johnson &a…

Updates

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I woke up on Valentine’s Day to find that a bouquet of flowers had arrived for me. They’re very beautiful and still fresh-looking a day later, although I nearly choked when I found out later what they had cost. The Sibaya Casino eveing was not as profitable as we would have liked. Of the R600 we had to launder, we ended up walking away ultimately with R200. Plus, it seemed like we spent most of the evening standing in queues: an hour in line with other Sharks’ season ticket holders to redeem our credits, 10 minutes when we had a problem with my card and over 20 minutes at the end of the evening to cash out. I maintain that Sibaya is a pretty crappy casino- low jackpots, very little chance of winning, and never enough cashiers to serve you.

BTW, it’s official. I start work at Whalley and Associates on Monday. And my name is on file at the publishing company G works for to do part-time editing at R8-R12 a page of proof-reading. Meanwhile, that water metering device job just keeps lumberi…

What's up

Well, a quick little what's up with me. It looks like I have a week of freedom before it is back to the rat race (and I'm still absolutely paranoid about parking my car on the street all day, especially since just reading that Gareth's brother had his car stolen). Whalley & Associates said they are going to confirm details and check in on me within the first few days of this week.

So that leaves a week to really get far with the freelance technical manual job Shirley hooked me up with. Then there are other errands to do before I lose my weekday freedom- why can't I ever find work that doesn't mean I'm stranded if I ever need to run errands during weekday normal hours, go to my doctor, or whatever? Pinetown must be about 30 mins away from Morningside / Windamere.

Anyway, tomorrow is Valentine's Day. The card I found for Paul is suitably unsentimental- on the front it says 'I love you just the way you are' and inside, 'You are naked, right?…

Lara & her bedfellows: New Girlz 'N' Games

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This installment of the series will probably make more sense to people familiar with the games' combat controls. Nonetheless, I had fun drawing and colouring it.

Back to the Rat Race

I received a phonecall yesterday afternoon from advertising agency Whalley and Associates. Back in January, Shirley had sent me their ad for a writer of all trades, which appeared at bizcommunity.net. I updated my CV, sent it in, and pretty much forgot about it.

Once again, however, my very long, detailed CV (which not only isn’t blandly concise, but also mentions my fondness for The Pond online forum) got me though to the interview stage and on Wednesday afternoon I was at the W&A offices in Morningside to meet with Pete, one of the directors.

To summarise things, it looks as if I’m back to full-time wage-slavery. Probably as of the 20th I’m going to begin a probation month to see how things go. After that, according to my understanding, if they and I are still interested and compatible, there will be a 3-month contract, followed by a proper one, with a pay-jump to around what I initially asked for.

I’m not scared about the work, which spans all areas (print, radio, press release, …

Parties and Announcements

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One or two announcements before I get onto a description of my sister’s 21st party and all the associated activities.

First of all, as of April, GEAR is going to be a stand alone magazine. No longer will it be included with PC Format and T3 magazines in their sealed packets. That’s great news for people (like me) who have not been consistent buyers of the other magazines. Hopefully, once the magazine is independent, I can ask to start being paid.

Second, I’m going to be a cousin. Now that may not sound like any great announcement to many of you reading this, but I have no cousins. Until a few years back, I only had two bachelor uncles. Then my mother’s brother got married, and now he and my aunt Manuella are around 18 weeks into their first pregnancy. Of course I’m going to be more like an aunt than a cousin (with a 24 year age gap), but it’s still very exciting. So congratulations to Uncle Kevin and Manuella.

Otherwise it’s been a social week. On Wednesday evening Paul and I attended De…