Every now and then I fall apart

31 05 2010

Why do chicks cry so much?

It’s something I don’t quite understand fully. Sure, women are more in touch with their emotions, and it is our ‘feminine’ side that – allegedly – causes us to cry. Giving over to emotion is no picnic in the park, as most of us know, and the vulnerability of crying (not in the case where you are crying due to a surplus of humour-induced laughter) can be somewhat embarrassing and even degrading at times.

Men are lucky. Most of them only cry at funerals, or when something has really, really touched them deeply. I’m not saying all men cry at funerals, of course, yet it is difficult not to shed a tear when a good friend or loved one/ close relative passes away. Some men cry on their wedding day upon seeing their beautiful bride. Others cry tears of joy when a child is born, or tears of happiness after a successful operation and recovery. Note, thus, how men mostly only cry when it is deemed ‘appropriate’ – when it comes to those people in their lives who are closest to and mean the most to them.

Women, on the other hand, can cry at the slightest thing. I cry fairly easily, so if a novel or film ‘gets’ to me, don’t be surprised if I shed many a silent tear. But seriously: I can cry at almost anything. I even cried the first time I watched the film 300 (!!)… and I sobbed quite a bit when Ray the firefly dies in THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG. That’s how big a ‘sissy’ I am.

Last night was another case in point.

I haven’t been feeling well lately. No specific reason, I suppose, just a general kind of ‘off’-ness. Of course, one could argue that I still feel a bit messed-up, relieved, hurt (i.e. in physical pain) and many other emotions after the laparoscopy. Not being able to find a job for 7 months already, as well as feeling unsure about in which direction my life is heading, doesn’t help how I am feeling, either. As such, while I was sitting in front of my laptop last night, I made a huge mistake: I decided to listen to Westlife’s latest CD. Oh goodness… how the tears came flooding then…

I just couldn’t help myself. After a while Smudgy actually wanted to lie down on my lap (a rarity, I assure you), and the therapeutic stroking of my cat helped me feel better, but also had me crying more. No reason – merely stupid female sensibility. Ooh, I’m so sensitive, I’m so emotional, I’m listening to sad music and I just cannot stop myself… Wow, are all women like this?! I ended up going through all the Westlife albums I have on my laptop – yes, I have all of them – and listened to all their ‘classic’ sad songs: MISS YOU NIGTS, TONIGHT, WHEN A WOMAN LOVES A MAN, UNBREAKABLE, ANGEL… and their entire Love Album. THE ROSE always causes a weepy, teary-eyed state to overtake me. Yes, I know it’s originally sung by Bette Midler, but for some inexplicable reason, it’s the Westlife version that gets me all choked up.

Theirs, or my younger sister singing it. Seriously.

My younger sister once performed at a talent evening while she was still in high school (either last year or the year before that, I’m not sure), and decided to sing THE ROSE. I was sitting up on the balcony with my mum and dad, feeling disgusted and appalled by the students’ behaviour, waiting for it all to be over – my dad was videotaping it – when my sister started to sing. And just like that, tears in my eyes.

Another reason ‘why’ women cry, is because they are hormonal… which means, from a biased (often male) point of view, we cry because we’re more fragile and irritable at a certain time of the month. PMS? Are you serious?! Just because I do have my period, or you believe me to, doesn’t mean that I am definitely, for sure, most certainly going to cry more and due to the slightest thing… *roll eyes*

Yet one thing I cannot deny makes many of us, both men and women, feel sad and as a result causes tears is death. Especially when it is unexpected and sudden. Shakespeare wrote, “Death, where is thy sting?” And now I answer: found in the hearts of those left behind.

It is with great sadness that I tell my readers that my older sister’s father-in-law died of a heart attack yesterday morning. So much confusion is left in the wake of death-come-suddenly, and one can only hope that the love and support of others can help to ease the mourning, grief, and seemingly slow and painful passage of time that the family left behind now faces.

Love and cherish those close to you - you never know when they might be gone forever...


Where’s my team spirit?

28 05 2010

I must be one of the few South Africans who don’t get it, because all around me, I see people completely amped for tomorrow’s Super14 Rugby final, and becoming absolutely stoked for the FIFA (soccer) World Cup starting on the 11th of June. Is there something wrong with me?

I’ve never been much of a sports lover. In primary school, I played a bit of tennis and netball, but that didn’t last very long. I have watched a few rugby games, although I’ll openly admit that I don’t really enjoy the sport. There’s nothing wrong with loving the game and having a good time while watching it, yet it’s the diehard super devoted don’t-you-mess-with-my-team fans that truly scare and confuse me. Banner waving, beer guzzling, verbal disputes about whose team is better splattered like sacrificial blood all over Facebook… it’s just bizarre. I don’t care if you’re a Blue Bull or a Stormer, and I don’t particularly care if you think the other teams are lame and that your team are quite godlike to you – almost as mythical, powerful and revered as the many great Greek deities (i.e. gods and goddesses) of old – just don’t force me to be a part of it. I’d rather read a book. Or take a bath. Or clean the entire apartment from top to bottom. That’s how interesting I find rugby.

Percy Montgomery was (is?) a great player, though. And not because everybody says girls just think he’s hot. I carry no knowledge of this supposed ‘hotness’, and hotness in a guy has never been appealing to me. Of course, looks are important to a certain extent, but you won’t find me drooling over well-muscled and toned, half-naked, teeny-tiny underwear or Speedo clad men in calendars or select e-mails one’s gal pals distribute. I’m just not into it.

Cricket I can still watch, if the need ever arises. I used to love watching one-day cricket matches with my dad when I was younger, and I believe that back then, cricket was worth watching. Nowadays, it’s simply… I don’t know… different. I suppose that sounds pretty lame, huh? I don’t know how else to put it. Sure, changes occur as time elapses, and there are certain economics that apply to and develop with a sport, and that’s cool. Yet cricket has lost the ‘charm’ it once held for me when I was thirteen years old. Ten years have passed, after all. Blame my love of reading and studying for causing my disinterest in the wacko world of sports. Or blame my mild-child mentality, if you will. It always helps to have that as a fallback excuse (for ‘excuse’, read/ understand ‘scapegoat’).

I also preferred watching soccer when I was younger – especially Portugal, which constituted my favourite team during those years of innocent youth. I think I actually watched quite a bit of the 2002 FIFA World Cup, and while I don’t recall watching any other of the World Cup games prior to that year’s tournament, I found it rather annoying how some teams would fake their injuries and just roll around clutching their knees in pain. That’s not tactic, boys, that’s only immature whining… like a little kid throwing a tantrum, or a diva wanting to get her way. It was then that I decided not to watch soccer anymore.

This epic year for South Africa – which seems epic to everybody except me – rings in the 19th FIFA World Cup tournament. The first game was played in 1930, and since the beginning, three teams have proven to be the best of the best, giving their records: Brazil, Italy, and (West) Germany. Brazil have won five times, been the runners-up twice, gained third place twice, and came in fourth place once. That means that out of the thus far eighteen tournaments played, Brazil have been amongst the top four competitors ten times!! No wonder a lot of people are putting their money (literally and figuratively) on Brazil to come out on top this year. Italy has four wins, two runners-up positions, one third place and one fourth place standing, placing them under the top four competitors eight times. Germany has been one of the top four competitors eleven times (yes, you read correctly) – they have won three times, been runners-up four times, placed third three times, and gained fourth place once. Even though I’m not really into soccer, I would love to see two of these top three countries come head-to-head during the finals.

With all this commotion and excitement going on, I am sincerely worried about the state of my team spirit-ness (hey, you get happiness and sadness, so I figured I’d add a ‘ness’ on the back for fun – after all, the question isn’t why, but rather ‘why not?’) Will I become more eager once the games begin, or will my indifferent spirits be raised to greater heights once the semi-finals begin? Or… worst-case scenario… will I plainly continue to fill in my position as Little Miss Apathy up until the very end? I hope not.

Otherwise it’s going to be a very l-o-o-o-n-g World Cup month ahead…

Do films have the same IT factor as their novel counterparts?

27 05 2010

Have you ever read a great book or story, then found the film version to be utterly lacking? It happens all too often, although there are cases where the film is also great, or for some people even better than the book/ story… since they never read or even knew that there was a book/ story, of course.

I’ve read most of Stephen King’s work, so it goes without saying that I watch the films with a critical-yet-open eye and mind – every director has a different take to a tale, and cuts and/or changes become necessary in order to fill the film into the allotted amount of time for the project. Now, not all films become theatrical releases. Some of them are made for television, whereas others fall into the direct-to-video category.

As far as the theatrical releases go, I’d say that – as a devoted King reader – I am pretty pleased with the results. I have seen: CARRIE; THE SHINING; CHRISTINE; STAND BY ME; PET SEMATARY; MISERY; IT; SLEEPWALKERS; THE DARK HALF; THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION; THINNER; APT PUPIL; THE GREEN MILE; DREAMCATCHER; SECRET WINDOW; 1408; THE MIST; and, most recently, DOLAN’S CADILLAC. (Come on, who hasn’t seen THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION or THE GREEN MILE? You know how great they are!!)

I actually watched SECRET WINDOW before reading the novella, and even though the endings between the two differ, I think both work pretty well for their target groups. 1408, the film, differs greatly from the short story, yet all-in-all I find it to be an enriching experience. John Cusack is a phenomenal actor, and he portrays his role as Mike Enslin with passion and conviction, which is no less than I would expect from Mr Cusack. Throw in Samuel L. Jackson as Mr Olin, and you’ve got a done deal. The only thing that bothered me when I watched the film the third time (besides the fact that the paintings aren’t the same as in the short story, but no biggie) is that it differed from the ending I had viewed previously! I went to see the movie twice on the in the cinema, so there of course the ending was the same, as they wouldn’t screen two different endings. Yet when I watched the DVD my younger sister brought home one day, the disc’s ending differed from the on-screen one, and I must admit that I was most ‘disgusted’, if I may put it that way. I’ve you’ve seen the film, and you are a Stephen King devotee like myself, I think you’ll know which ending I prefer.

One film that truly failed to grasp my attention, I’ll admit, is the 2009 release of DOLAN’S CADILLAC. I’m not sure what I was expecting, but what I watched is definitely not what I had envisioned from reading the short story. I just couldn’t get a ‘feel’ for the film, and it actually quite annoyed me… I’ll have to watch it again before making any further remarks, so let’s just continue, shall we?

The made-for-television films and series I have seen are: THE TOMMYKNOCKERS; THE NIGHT FLIER; ROSE RED; THE DIARY OF ELLEN RIMBAUER; ‘SALEM’S LOT; DESPERATION; and NIGHTMARES & DREAMSCAPES. THE NIGHT FLIER was all right, although the female reporter never appeared in the story. I liked ‘SALEM’S LOT very much, as well as NIGHTMARES AND DREAMSCAPES. DESPERATION was so-so, my mind wandered at times, and I kept feeling that the novel was by far superior to its film adaptation.

ROSE RED, a television series, used to be the highlight of my week at the time it aired here while I was in high school. Those evenings were some of the best spent in my life, and since then I have been trying to get my hands on a copy in order to re-watch it. I rented it from the video store once, yet their copy was damaged. I almost forgot about it, having pushed it further back in my mind in order to study and what-not, but now I am on a raging quest to find it – and once I do, I’ll be having a ROSE RED marathon. Who needs sleep anyway?!

And yes, I actually do have a candidate to fulfil my ‘utterly lacking’ criteria as mentioned in the first paragraph of this blog entry. I am referring, of course, to THE TOMMYKNOCKERS. After wasting about 3 hours (181 minutes/ 10 860 seconds) of my life, I was totally put-off reading the book again. I cannot ever recall whether or not I made it to the halfway point in the novel, though I highly doubt it. The whole film was about build up, as if you had to grin and bear through every gruelling minute and agonizing second of the film, hoping that some sort of climax or ‘wow’-factor would make an appearance to save the day (and by ‘day’ I naturally mean the film)… yet it never happened.

It never happened. *Cue hysterical laughter*

On a different note, I am pleased to inform my readers that FROM A BUICK 8, CELL, and BAG OF BONES are in development. BLACK HOUSE, THE DARK TOWER, and THE LONG WALK will also be turned into silver screen wonders (and I use wonders, of course, quite optimistically). Oh, and apparently remakes of PET SEMATARY and IT are also going to be made. The only question is, will they ever find a suitable candidate to fill in the horrible clown-shoes of Tim Curry as Pennywise…? *shiver*

I *heart* HIMYM

26 05 2010

I can’t state it any clearer than that. I simply love the television series HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER. I have yet to watch the fifth season, but what I’ve seen thus far is phenomenal. They say HIMYM is the new generation’s FRIENDS… and although FRIENDS was pretty cool, at some stage, I believe HIMYM is far better.

But let’s not get into a debate. The reason I’m blogging about HIMYM is because, while he still lived here with us, my Significant Other’s brother pointed out that the two of us – my S.O. and I, of course – are a lot like Lily Aldrin (aka Lilypad) and Marshall Erikson (aka Marshmallow)… all this because he became single and fancied himself to be Ted Mosby, which I don’t believe to be all that likely, but there you go.

Now, I love Lily and Marshall. They’re a great on-screen couple. Sure, they have their ups and downs, but things always turn out for the better, plus what would a television series – or a relationship, for that matter – be without a bit of drama? Luckily, throughout the drama, we’re able to laugh, as well, which makes the series even more enjoyable.

I may not be a kindergarten teacher, yet I believe that I have pointed out before that I am pretty great with kids. I even considered (and still consider, actually) to become a part-time nanny or something of the sort. After all, working with kids is in my genes, since my mum is a teacher. Perhaps I’ve missed my true calling and the publishing industry isn’t actually the right place for me… but let’s not think on that now. Lily’s crazy – I’m crazy. Lily loves clothes and shopping – I can appreciate lovely clothes (although I don’t wear designer labels or have an insane amount of credit card debt). Lily felt compassionate towards the goat and saved its life – I love animals. Lilies are my favourite flowers. Her name starts with an ‘L’, and my name starts with an ‘L’… oh, and you know Marshall’s name starts with an ‘M’? Well, so does my Significant Other’s name!

You might consider my S.O. and me to be a bit of a ‘boring’ couple. We spend most evenings at the apartment, watching television, snuggling together, sometimes even building puzzles and being just plain silly. We even have a kind of ‘couples speak’, where we have private jokes or quotes from different shows we apply according to the given situation. White, yellow and purple were the colours at their wedding – we’re opting for white and yellow. Only now am I starting to see the similarities, as I haven’t really thought about it before, merely taking my S.O.’s brother’s comment as a joke since we all like watching HIMYM.

Lily and Marshall went to Scotland for their honeymoon… and as I have always wanted to go there to see all the castles – though Marshall wanted to see the Loch Ness monster (who he refers to tenderly as ‘Nessie’) – we are genuinely hoping to go to Scotland for our honeymoon. For some wedding pictures and videos from the series, click on this link to view the website the creators made for the on-screen couple. It’s gorgeous.

One thing I am hoping for, since I’m supposed to be Lily, is that I look as lovely as she did in her wedding dress (not that I have a body like hers…) This is what Lily looked like in her wedding dress:

When I went to look at wedding dresses last November, I tried one on that is sort of similar to Lily’s, what with the bow it has and all:

Even though the dress was quite lovely, it wasn’t truly ‘me’. I tried about five different dresses, yet decided to stick with my first choice… which I am not going to show here, since that would pretty much spoil things. You’re not supposed to see the bride all dolled-up in her wedding dress until the special day arrives, after all. But I can tell you that it is a simple, elegant strapless satin A-line gown (“with side-draped bodice and asymmetric skirt”, according to the magazine inset I saw the dress in).

I’m trying to think of other parallels between Lilypad & Marshmallow and my S.O. & me, yet at the moment I cannot really think of anything, except the fact that both the on-screen couple as well as us real-live sweethearts truly love one another – in sickness and in health, for as long as all of us shall live 🙂

Things I’d love to do

25 05 2010

Everybody has a list of things they’ve always wanted to do, right? Whether it’s to learn how to water-ski or to visit Loch Ness, that list is there, no matter if it’s on paper or merely in your mind.

Quite some time ago, I started setting up a list of things that my Significant Other and I can do together. Now this list might not be as glamorous as the always-wanted-to list, but at least it gives us more ideas how to spend our time other than going out for coffee (tea for me, of course) or sitting at home watching animated films all the time.

Some things we do on a regular basis, like going to visit our parents every weekend (which, on the list, I specified as having to do at least once a month). He also draws me a bath on a regular basis, adding bubble bath and lighting a candle or two so I can just relax. Other things – most of the list, truth be told – we haven’t gotten round to. So here it is, my little list of what I’d love to do:

* Go to the Zoo

* Pay a visit to the Holocaust museum

* Walk through all the bookstores in Cape Town

* Try various coffee shops (in Cape Town, along the road, here in Durbanville, etc.)

* Take a drive somewhere nice and pack a picnic basket

* Take random pictures as we’re driving along

* Pick strawberries when they’re in season

* Stay at a guesthouse for an entire weekend

* Go on a wine tour

* Have a DVD evening once a month and select a specific genre

* Choose a restaurant to dine at every third month and pick according to theme/ food type

* Go for walks more often/ go on a walking (or hiking) route

* Go to Ceres to pick cherries

* Have breakfast at Rhodes Memorial, or high tea at the Mount Nelson

* Take a leisurely boat ride

* Learn how to dance properly

* Do something extremely special for one another once a month

* Visit various museums

* Take a trip to an art gallery

* Wander through beautiful gardens

* Go ice-skating [I haven’t done if for fourteen years! Last time was in 1996]

* Pay entry fee and walk about the castle in Cape Town

* Watch a theatre piece or ballet performance

* Build puzzles together more often

* Visit Butterfly World

And, last but most definitely not the least: take a trip to Scotland (our honeymoon, hopefully) and visit all the castles. A girl can dream, can’t she? A girl can dream…

What? I'm helping...

Mini Entries

24 05 2010

#1: MEN

I have started to believe that men are somewhat pathetic – little wussies, to be quite frank. Case in point: I own a cat, so I have to clean its litter box. Why? Because the smell makes my Significant Other nauseous. I kid you not. Smudgy threw up yesterday morning, and my S.O. gave it one look before saying: “Dibs on not having to clean that up”. What a gentleman… In today’s society, both men and women in relationships (or single) have jobs, so it would be unfair to suggest that a woman still has to do all of the housework. Sadly, the stereotype is still mostly applicable. My married older sister works in the import-export business, battling with people all day, taking care of orders and bringing work home, yet she is the one who has to clean the apartment, do the laundry, and prepare meals. I may not have a job (yet, although my optimism is dwindling), but I do all the housework. I even take out the garbage and scrub the toilets clean! I’ve also been known to scrub the shower from top to bottom, although my S.O. is mostly responsible for the cleaning thereof. I suppose things will be a bit different once I get a job, but in the interim I don’t mind much. I’m a neat freak who likes to cook, after all… Although I’m still a bit cross about the vomit-cleaning-incident of yesterday.


I’ve been feeling pretty nostalgic regarding sweet treats I used to indulge in as a kiddie. I even have a list of favourites: Wilson toffees; green Fizzers; KitKats; Caramello bears; JellyTots; jelly beans; and Manhattan Dinosaur gummies. Of course, if it were a kiddies party, one would need lollipops to add to the goody bags, as well as mini-Smarties boxes, perhaps even some marshmallows and cupcakes. Do you remember the mini-cones one can buy, the round cup-shaped ones you fill with cake and top off with icing and sprinkles? Man, those were awesome 🙂 That got me thinking: what ever happened to some of our favourites? For the longest time I’ve been missing Rascals – why did they even take it off the market? Everybody I know used to love it, and there is no way that Skittles can even compare to the juicy flavours that Rascals had in every little one of them. There used to be a chocolate bar, Time Out (if I am not mistaken), covered in blue wrapping with red lettering, and a man and dog printed on it in white. There always used to be a little cartoon strip printed on the back. That was also a great treat. The commonplace substitute would probably be a Twix, though I’ll admit I’m not too fond of that… Stores used to sell Tango chippies, prawn flavoured chips in a pinkish prawn coloured packaging with a man and woman dancing on the front – great flavour. Luckily, Woolworths’ prawn chippies come close enough in taste, so I’m quite happy (caution: they are addictive!) But one thing that truly saddens me, is the fact that Fruit Loops are no longer available in stores here. What’s up with that?! Every now and then the cereal companies take a few flavours off the market, only to bring them back later. It’s quite annoying, as this always seem to coincide with my craving for them *sigh*


What with so many people I know getting married within the last six months, my mind has been dwelling quite a bit upon wedding etiquette. I believe it is fine to wear black to a wedding, as black is always very stylish – however, you should not look like you are in mourning or appear to be displeased with the marriage that has taken place. Even if you don’t approve of it, just smile and keep up the facade; it is the couple’s special day, after all, so keep your remarks and thoughts to yourself. Also, don’t wear an inappropriately short dress – it just looks tacky. Even though I now know what the hoity-toity stick-figure-like girl’s name was at my older sister’s wedding, I still refer to her as “the-girl-in-the-inappropriately-short-dress”. The couple really wanted you to be at the wedding, otherwise you wouldn’t have been invited, so the least you can do is to put in some effort and look decent, not like you’re trying to pick up guys or hanging out at a bar/ strip club… Something else I find to be important: during the ceremony, when the bride first walks down the aisle, and everything starts falling into place, whispered comments as well as ‘ooh’-ing and ‘aah’-ing is fine, but if you know you’re a loud person – and also someone who likes to talk – rather keep your mouth shut until you can talk to the bride herself later. Nobody wants to hear your remarks above the introductory music, and nobody certainly wants to listen to your monologue while the marriage officer is busy inducting the couple into holy matrimony. It’s times like these that I would love to just duct tape the offender’s trap shut… and for my wedding, I already know for whose mouth I need that roll of tape – a big, super strong type.

Friday already?!

21 05 2010

I simply cannot believe that Friday is upon us yet again – where did this week go to?

I suppose I had a pretty all right week, considering that I’m still recuperating after surgery last week. I just wish that I would stop being bloated; I hate only fitting into two pairs of pants… I tried on my jeans this morning, and their all right, although now they fit a tad too snugly. It actually makes me feel fat (despite the fact that everyone keeps telling me that I am not fat, and I’m not saying I am, either, I’m only saying I feel that way). After all, how would you feel if suddenly your clothes don’t fit you anymore… most of them, all at once? It’s horrible 😦

At least yesterday was a great day. I had arranged earlier in the week to go to my parental home to do some laundry. When I arrived there, I was surprise to find my mum at the door. Turns out she had a bit of a scare after her operation, and the doctor told her to spend the day at home. It’s a good thing I was there, because I was able to keep an eye on her – plus having company when you’re not feeling well helps a lot, too.

I washed a lot of laundry, hung all of it out to dry, did all of my mum’s ironing, and folded up my Significant Other’s clothes. While there, I decided to wash the dishes, and baked a double layer chocolate cake (with caramel in the middle and on top) for my dad’s birthday. The only crappy thing is, he had to work last night, so I only got to see him the afternoon for about an hour before he had to head back out. At least I was able to give him his birthday present… I also made a pretty mean batch of lasagne, so when my Significant Other came to fetch me, the two of us sat down for supper with my mum. After we left, we made a pit-stop at my older sister’s apartment, as my mum sent her and her husband some lasagne for supper along with us. All in all, a pretty busy day. Still, it was lovely to spend some time with my mum, making her lunch (and supper!) and seeing to it that she had everything she needed. There’s nothing more gratifying than doing something for someone you love.

This morning, Smudgy had to go back to the vet for her rabies shot. I wasn’t sure how she would take it, but she seems to be doing pretty well. She was very well behaved, and now she’s taking a little nap on the bed. I’m not sure, however, how she’ll be feeling come next Friday – that’s the day we’re going to have her neutered. I’m already starting to brace myself for her sad kitty-eyes, and only hope that I’ll be able to make her feel better when the time comes, even if it is only by stroking her and saying soothing words.

The weekend doesn’t hold much in store for us, what with it being close to pay day, and finances being (extremely) tight and all. On the other hand, I am looking forward to Sunday, as we’ll be having a belated birthday get together for my dad. Nothing special, just a nice afternoon braai (BBQ) consisting of my mum and dad, my sister and her husband, and of course my Significant Other and me. My younger sister is still at university, busy with exams, and as she is writing on Monday, she’ll need to fit in all the revision she possibly can.

So here I am, sitting in front of my laptop on a Friday morning, already pondering what next week has in store for me… and wondering how long it’ll be before I finish watching all of the South Park seasons (currently busy with season seven, and I only watch during the evening…and perhaps an episode or two during lunchtime).

One thing is for sure, though: if I don’t fit comfortably into my jeans by the end of the week, I’m afraid I just might go slightly mad…