Things that made me happy this week

4 05 2012

Happy Fried-day, blog readers!

It’s cold and rainy over here, so I’m obviously over the proverbial moon about it. No need to match my mood to the glum weather – especially now that the weekend is but a few hours away… and my first wedding anniversary just around the corner… *eek*

There have been a lot of developments during the last week: finding out that the books I worked on have been provisionally approved, dealing with (big) changes to said books, working with a difficult person who sort of thinks I’m her slave, doing freelance work, finding out the time of my interview next week… in a word: LIFE.

But besides all that, there were a few things that truly made me happy/smile, and I thought that I’d share them with you via photos. The smallest things can make you happy (a smile, a mug of tea, a fluffy cat) – it’s just how you decide to view life & the situations you find yourself in.

Okay, enough of waxing sentimental. Here are (a few of) the things that made me happy this last week:

A book on origami my mum bought me

Taking this photo of Smudgy at the perfect moment – it looks like she’s laughing!

Buying myself a copy of the new Stephen King novel

Raindrops on the sunroof as we drove to work yesterday

A lot of attention/affection from Smudgy. Here she’s keeping me from my freelance work

The prospect of baking more yummy goodies – glad I bought this magazine 🙂





Addy’s Rock of Ages 21st

26 04 2012

Morning blog readers!

And how are we all this morning? Hmmm??

I have a substantial headache, but other than that, I suppose I cannot complain. Tomorrow is a public holiday here in South Africa, as is next Tuesday (we’re probably one of the countries with the most public holidays – it’s ridiculous). So, if you take into account that I’ve put in leave for Monday, I’ll be having a 5-day weekend! 😀

I’ve taken on some freelance work and will be working over the long weekend, but (1) at least it’ll help me in the experience department, and (2) it’s extra money in my pocket, which is always nice.

We had my sister’s 21st birthday party last Saturday. Theme: Rock of Ages. Dress code: 50s to 80s attire. With that taken into account, I thought it only fitting to bake some rainbow cupcakes for the 60s/70s. I nearly ‘lost it’ when the birthday cake came out too moist (hate hate hate our oven!), and it made crumbs that got stuck in the icing, and I couldn’t get it to look a bit more professional… yet, overall, I think it turned out pretty well. I’ll share some photos below:

Addy's 21st birthday cake! I even made the 'd' in her name look like a musical note

Here's the origami piano I made 🙂

Thought the edible guitars would add a nice rockin' touch. Note: they're store-bought

Detail on cake: hearts & black 'beading'

Cupcake toppers...

...plus rainbow cupcakes...

...equals pretty (awesome) treats!!!

Some of the (80s) decorations in the hall

Feelin' the 50s/60s vibe with this sweet ride

For the birthday girl, who's a music student

This was placed in the foyer

And finally, here she is: the birthday girl! ❤





I’m freeeeeeee

15 03 2012

Blog readers!

I’ve missed yooouuu!!!

This whole year has been crazy-busy for me. I’ve been working a lot of overtime, weekends ceased to exist for a period of what seemed like endless time, many a disappointment and frustration abounded, and yet I am still here – happy that it’s nearly over… if only for a while.

Image

To ‘celebrate’ the fact that the last three of the books I was working on were burnt on disc at 21:30 last Friday (talk about a long day at the office… and great hunger on my part, with no food or monies), I spent the weekend reading… Oh, and dealing with a HUGE headache that bordered on the verges of migraine land. Monday evening, my amazing friend Mr Awesplendmarkable – thus named because he’s awesome, splendid & remarkable – sent me his latest novel 🙂 To make it more exciting (I was already in great anticipation about it), he made Smudgy & myself joint-dedicatees, along with one of his other friends and her kitty companion. If that isn’t cool, then I don’t know what is!! [I was able to finish the book in a day, even with sleeping and going to work and all the little things that go with it.]

Last night I was baking up a storm because I was commissioned to do so. Since I’m the office ‘bakester’ (or should that be bake-STAR, amirite??), I was the obvious choice for providing goodies for one of our colleagues’ last day in office before she moves on to better, brighter things. I was never told what to bake, and ‘cake’ is open to interpretation… so I baked chocolate cake, cheesecake, cupcakes plus some carrot muffins and cookies. I left work angry – so much so that I started crying when I got into the car – so baking was therapeutic.

Probably because I was very seriously contemplating whether I could get away with inflicting irreversible, epicly-proportioned harm on certain individuals.

Image

But that’s all right. It’s over now. I’m free. Today is my last day in office, then I’ll be on leave until (and including) the 26th. The next almost-two-full-weeks is going to be great. Sleeping, reading… reading… more reading… I think you get what I’m driving at 🙂 And even if I get bored, I’d much rather be bored at home than bored or super-busy at work. [Repeat after me: “I need a vacation!”]

Now I just have to hope that the Department of Basic Education approves these books. Otherwise I don’t want this job anymore. To quote someone or other: “F*ck this shit!”





Scattered Brainings XV

26 01 2012

* What ever happened to common courtesy? Have we become so consumed in our own lives and problems that we cannot be bothered to even be the slightest bit friendly? We have an open plan office setup at work. At some or other point in the day, you are likely to cross paths with most of the people in your section, like when you go to pick stuff up or make copies at the printer. The least you can do is to give the other person a smile, or at least a nod of acknowledgement when they say ‘hullo’ to you (though saying ‘hullo’ back would be preferable). Many times, this does not happen. I’m not asking you to be the nicest person in the world, but if I say ‘hullo’ to you, would it really kill you to say ‘hullo’ back? I’m now at the point where I’ve given up trying and don’t greet certain people when I see them because I cannot elicit a response from them. Time to bake some murder muffins

* About a week ago, one of my colleagues asked me how I was doing despite – and I quote – “the deer-caught-in-the-headlights look” that can be seen on many a face when referring to the upcoming submissions. Being me, I immediate wondered how this would translate into fashion – what would the key colours, style and accessories be for that definitive deer-caught-in-the-headlights look? What will make you look confused, scared, and ‘cute’ all at the same time? (Confession: I think I may be losing it…)

* Saw this on Facebook and just had to share. As a Scooby-Doo fan, I approve:

* Last week, while dining out, my Significant Other asked me: ‘Where do you see yourself in 5 years?’ This is one of the most annoying/ scary/ shrug-inducing questions ever uttered by man. I had this sudden urge to answer, “About two and a half months away from turning 30”, but decided against it.

* Don’t you just hate it when something silly/ annoying gets stuck in your head for days on end? You have that song playing in your mind when you wake up; it sneaks in every hour or so while you’re busy working; and it might just make another appearance before you go to sleep. Oh, and don’t forget the accompanying imagery! I watched a certain YouTube video that has been ‘harassing’ my mind for perhaps over a week now. I have four words for you: “Every day I’m shuffling”

* I’m a bit worried (already) that I won’t reach the goal I set myself for my 2012 Reading Challenge on Goodreads. Last year I was able to read 145 books (yes I did!), with my initial goal being 100.  This year, I’ve decided to set the bar at 100 again, and then see how it goes. I was off to a bad start since it took me nearly two weeks to get through one book – not because I’m a slow reader, but simply because it failed to fully capture my attention. Luckily I’ve been able to pick up the pace and am ‘on track’, according to Goodreads… yet things are going to be super busy until mid-March here at work. I’ll just have to catch up…

* Paper cuts. (Enough said?) I am the self-proclaimed queen of paper cuts. It’s not that I get a paper cut every day or anything like that (although, yes, there are often days when they appear out of thin air and leave me exasperated as to their precise origin). It’s just how things turn out when I do get one. When I get a paper cut, it has to be exceptional. Take Tuesday, for example. Three paper cuts… on the same finger… at the Exact. Same. Time. (!!!)

* Yesterday morning on our way to work, I told my Significant Other that I’m not meant/ cut out for writing. (Haters gonna’ hate?) I just feel disconnected from my writing. Stephen King says that if you have any hope of becoming a successful writer, you should read a lot and write a lot. I’ve got the reading part down pat, yet I am lacking in the writing part. I have been consumed by the schools sector of the written word… I still enjoy reading other people’s manuscripts (not only at work, though it is part of my job – I’m talking about actual ‘real-world’ novel writers) and doing some editing/ providing feedback… but that makes me feel… I don’t know… like a hypocrite? They say those who can, do, and those who can’t, teach… or edit. Which has always bugged me. Because if you yourself cannot write, how can you teach someone else to do it and tell them what is right/ wrong (or grade them on it, *cough* one of my university lecturers *cough*)? In any case, I think I need a big nudge to get me started on my own writing again.

* Being home alone in the evening makes me want to bake and watch a Disney movie (usually THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG or TANGLED). Why is that? I ended up baking raisin-and-flaked-almond oats bars last night… and watching THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG… again…

Topped off with melted chocolate chips!!

* I say the word ‘um’ a lot… at work… while talking to my line manager. This annoys me. It reminds me of an English lecturer we had at university who would say “and, um…” before/ after Every. Single. Sentence. Not the best way to focus on PARADISE LOST, I can assure you.

* Since I have a pear-shaped figure, does that mean I should only eat pears? Or can eating a different fruit help change my shape? *Ponder* I’ve heard of people who are pear or apple shaped, but not a word about any other fruit. If you were banana shaped, would you be bent? Are small, plump/ round people grapes? And what about really large people – are they watermelons? I’m thinking about this too much!!





I’m too busy thinking of… other things… to come up with a better title

10 01 2012

My dearest blog readers!

I trust that most of you are back at work already (if you’re not, enjoy it while it lasts…)

I started working again last Thursday (I’ll admit that I checked & responded to e-mails a few days in advance, obsessive-compulsive and all that), and so far, things are… well… crazy. That’s as good a word as any.

I’m not entirely sure if that’s crazy in a good or bad way, sometimes it’s actually both, but it is kuh-raaaaay-zee nonetheless.

As ever, I have many figurative face-palm moments when dealing with people who come across as incompetent, stupid, petulant… the list goes on and on. You try staying all helpful and happy while explaining to someone how to find and apply styles in Word, saying the same things over and over and over again – perhaps there is something to that old saying that patience is a virtue!!

It’s all right, though. I manage to stay very calm during the day, addressing problems as they arise (the ‘joys’ *cough* of Project Management) and working for (more than) my money’s worth. Then I get home after a long day and prepare supper – some ‘quiet time’ while my Significant Other is busy working… a good time for contemplation…

Those 50s housewives had the right idea

Yip, nothing nicer than taking your aggression out on whatever you’re busy whisking/ stirring/ whatever and finding your centre as you think about the things you’d like to say to other people (or, yes, the murder you want to commit – we’re all mad here…) A kitchen is as good a place for thoughts of malice as any, don’t you think? I’ll start brewing a storm in a teacup and see where things go from there…

So if you see me on an extremely crazy-busy day, and I’m calm & ‘relaxed’ & smiling (vacant, borderline-psychotic expression optional), you know what I’ll be thinking of that night!

[That’s probably also why I enjoy baking and have taken many treats to the office – a sort of, “here you go, enjoy, I imagined your face as I was beating those g*ddamn eggs into what could possibly be termed a stupor”, the grin never leaving my face… If I ever take the time to bake you some treats, you’ll have to decide what my intentions were for yourself.]





Some Christmas blog entries

19 12 2011

Well hullo, dearest blog readers!

I hope that you’ve all got your bells jingling and the halls decked, because there are only 5 more ‘sleeps’ until we hit Christmas Eve!

Many people are already on holiday (lucky them), but if you’re like me and still working until the last (which, for me, is Friday), then you don’t have to feel ‘ashamed’ if you haven’t been experiencing the feel-good spirit that the festive season is supposed to evoke. It still doesn’t feel like Christmas is around the corner. All I can think about is work, work, work…

I do have my tree up, though – that should count for something!! 😉

Small but suitable for our apartment

There's even an edible candycane on the tree!

Smudgy's very own stocking

Let's jingle some bells!

Ooh, shiny...

I spent last night baking some Christmas cookies while watching THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS, so I’m sure that counts as getting in to the spirit of things… right? Now all I need to really get me going is to watch my favourite ‘Christmas’ movie: DIE HARD!

I know lots of people search for Christmas-related blog entries around this time, which is why I decided to share a few of my old entries that I thought you’d enjoy. I’ll see if I can find time to be cynical and get my “bah humbug” on before the 25th 😉

Yippee-ki-yay…

FESTIVE RAMBLINGS:

* It’s Christmas time

* Christmas: Fall Out Boy style

* Call me Cookie

* “Oh I’m the happiest Christmas tree…”

* Christmas carols with a twist

* Garfield – the 12 courses of dinner

* Christmas with South Park

* Christmas carols with LOLcats

* The 12 days of Christmas: Pokémon style

* Cartoon Christmas specials I grew up with

* Christmas sing-along with Garfield

* Holiday cheer?





Christmas is a-comin’…

28 11 2011

Good morning, blog readers

I hope you all had a nice weekend. I spent some time with my family, baked some goodies (chocolate cake, cupcakes & cookies!), and had to help my Significant Other move our entire bedroom around because he bought a second air-conditioner (this included making cupboard space by unpacking, repacking and sorting what I would or wouldn’t need/ use anymore).

So the ‘countdown’ to Christmas has begun. Truth be told, I have yet to hear any Christmas music playing in the shopping centres or grocery stores. Some people say that they have heard the carols playing and angel choirs a-singin’, but I’m not sure how much of it we’ll be hearing this year. There’s been a movement to have Christmas music banned/ toned-down since people find it offensive (or use it as an excuse why they’re spending so much). I think it’s quite sad… I myself am not religious, but neither is all Christmas music, and Christmas isn’t just about religion. It’s a time for family and friends, a time to be together and be grateful, to show what others mean to us and just have a nice, relaxing, feel-good time. It’s the one time of year that you ‘have’ to do aforementioned (though we should be aiming for this throughout the entire year).

My Significant Other isn’t a big fan of Christmas music, anyway, so I foresee many evenings and weekends of me sitting with my headphones on 😉 At least he doesn’t mind a Christmas tree in the apartment.

Speaking of the festive/ holiday season, I’m halfway with my shopping. I’ve bought Christmas gifts for my two sisters, my Significant Other and my mother-in-law, plus a birthday gift for my mum. That just leaves Christmas gifts for my parents and my sister’s husband, and a birthday gift for my older sister. Perhaps I should try to find something for Smudgy, as well… *laugh*

There’s the gift of giving and the rapture of receiving, but the most important thing of the festive season is being together and showing that we care. Like Garfield says:

“Christmas: It’s not the giving, it’s not the getting – it’s the loving.”

Have a great Monday!