The return of weekend pop culture consumption & more

While I was on holiday overseas, pop culture didn't feature on my radar at all. Sure there was painfully realistic romcom (500) Days of Summer showing on the plane during the flight to Egypt (which I still have to review), but once I was on tour in the country I was just too busy, Internet-deprived, and frankly delighted to escape my life, and its related routine, for a couple of weeks. I didn't even open the short story collection I took to read... but then again that was sacrificed so I could try and keep my travel journal up-to-date.

Anyway, now I'm back, the completion of my travel journal was my only accomplishment in yesterday's melting Summer heat, and I'm returning to my usual amusements.

On Friday evening, after a good catch-up with a girlfriend, we went to see An Education, a highly acclaimed coming of age drama centred on an over-achieving young woman living in London and attending an all-girls school in the early 1960s. Jenny is on track to achieve her dream of studying at Oxford when a charming older man disrupts her life plans by showing her a world of glamour, fun and excitement.

An Education is up for 3 Academy Awards - for Best Picture, Best Actress and Best Adapted Screenplay. Of course my full review will appear here soon, but An Education's major strengths are its performances and charming, lightweight tone. The storyline is quite predictable however - especially the final self-fulfillment "message" - and I'm not sure how much enjoyment male viewers will receive from the film.


My followers on Twitter will know that I quite regularly promote gaming events being held in my hometown of Durban. On Saturday there was a Short Games Day, organized and hosted by Tenletter blogger Jerall (Jatori on Twitter) at Destiny in the Windermere Shopping Centre.

Now I like to think that by promoting these kind of FREE events - which are designed to showcase boardgames and pen-and-paper roleplaying for the curious, and give existing gamers a chance to meet fellow enthusiasts - I'm doing my bit to build the gaming community in Durban, and simultaneously combat the apathy that locals are famous for. However, until Saturday I was a bit of a hypocrite in this regard. I was happy to promote these events but had yet to show my face at one. And that's kind of an insult when you consider the effort Jerall is making to grow the pastime in "the worst gamer city in the world."

So on Saturday morning I headed off to town to play some short 30-minute boardgames, and achieve my goal of expanding my social circles. There was a group of 4 of us there, and the 3 games we played (none of which I was familiar with) were comical but strategic card-and-dice game Ninja Burger (in which you play a fastfood delivering ninja), the ridiculously difficult co-operative zombie boardgame Last Night on Earth and multi-award winning card game Dominion.

Personally I found Ninja Burger the easiest game to pick up, although I was starting to get my mind around Dominion by the time the game ended. Last Night on Earth has a great cinematic feel - you play as character cliches like the high school jock, feisty farmgirl and mysterious drifter - but the game seems to have a definite zombie bias. The human heroes are just so damn vulnerable.

Anyway, Durban Game Days happen at least one Saturday every month. I would love to see some more locals in attendance in the coming weeks and months!

Also in terms of gaming this weekend, our weekly Dungeons & Dragons campaign drew ever closer to a conclusion after almost 3 years. After defeating a powerful sorceress about to march her army into the Empire, our band of adventurers received news that the Empire's political and spiritual capital city has fallen to the forces of the demon god who has invaded our plane. Unfortunately, our old teammate, no doubt corrupted by the god, is wearing the mantle of the Jade Emperor and leading this powerful fighting force - which also, incidentally, comprises of huge blue dragons. The first stage of an epic battle looms this Thursday evening...


A busy Friday evening and Saturday aside, I did experience some patches of depression this weekend. You see the news filtered through to me that the ex has some serious interest in an old college friend: a busty, sporty blonde who is always the life and soul of any party - and has in the past captivated at least 2 other guy friends within my social circle. Chickie is my damn polar opposite.

In the 2-3 weeks immediately after the break-up I had my holiday to occupy my thoughts. Now that I'm back, my number of mental distractions is reduced, and the temptation to brood is much greater - especially when I see the ex making major progress with his life goals (career, personal fulfillment, family), which he didn't formulate while we were together. Now I know this is far from the truth but I can't help but give in to irrational emotion here. Looking at his life improvements makes me feel sad - like I was a Starter - or should that be Beta? - Girlfriend who was never to be included in the greater life plan. Alternatively, I was a 6 year obstruction to life progress.

I'm trying to keep busy despite feeling bummed out every now and then. I have my personal goals and projects to work on. And out of interest I've sworn I'd never be someone who went underwent a complete and very public personality change post break-up.

As for moving on relationship-wise, I've given some serious thought to my options. I've always found introductions by friends to be the best route to relationships, so I'm working on expanding my social networks. In terms of my nature though, when it comes to love I definitely see myself as a desert flower. Or, rather, I'm a desert flower seed.

It may sound selfish but at least at the beginning of a relationship I'm the cautious Capricorn, more responsive to attention than someone who dishes it out first. I've been deprived of affection, romance and loving physical touch for so long now that part of me has kind of shriveled; headed deep underground despite how much I crave it. The same goes for my sex drive, because as women, well romance and desire are directly related.

So basically I'm saying I hope there's some great guy out there who realises that if he has some patience, and can work his rain-making magic, I am fully capable of opening up and blooming in some quite spectacular ways.


As a postscript I apologise now for using this blog to write about this kind of personal stuff. I find writing a far easier way to express myself and process my thoughts than talking to a human sounding board who continually interrupts, and can get quite emotional in response. It's just how I deal...


Craig said…
No worries! Quite frankly, the personal stuff is precisely what makes a person keep coming back to a blog. It helps humanize what otherwise could have been a simple news aggregator bot for all we know!

Chin up, life always tends towards the good stuff more so than the bad stuff I've found! :)

(just a pity the bad stuff always hurts a far lot worse than one expects when those patches do inevitably hit!)
Riaan said…
I'm sorry to hear about the personal stuff bumming you out, it's good that you're keeping busy as well as expanding your social networks. I'm sure that in no time you'll meet a great guy who'll complement you perfectly! And if those KZN lads can't catch a wakeup, look North! Some of us Valies know a good thing when we see it... ;-)
Pfangirl said…
Thanks for the comments, kind words and encouragement, guys. It's really appreciated, as well as being a nice little ego boost:)

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