Scattered Brainings XVI

27 07 2012

* Anyone else have a routine they follow when they first arrive at work? For me, it’s simple: I go through my e-mails, have a mug of tea… and have a look at some comics & memes on my favourite sites. It only takes about 5 minutes, if that, which makes me feel a little less guilty about going onto these sites in the first place. At least I’m a diligent worker for the rest of the day.

* Smudgy might be against healthy snacking. Why else would she steal the apple I wanted to take along to work from the kitchen counter… twice? Oh, wait, that’s right – (a) it was small enough to be considered a toy, and (b) she’s a cat, so she does whatever she wants. Like sleeping on my brand new coat before I even wear it.

* Not having drowned thus far during aqua aerobics feels like a great accomplishment to me. Yeay exercise!

* I know you’re supposed to feel flattered when people think you’re younger than you really are. I’m just wondering at what point in your life this is supposed to be complementary and when the guesstimated difference is a bit too extreme or even astonishing. The women in my aqua aerobics class thought I was only 15 or 16 years old! (I’m told it’s because I’m so small & ‘skinny’.) Now imagine their expressions when they hear that I’m married and how old I actually am. The shock value / surprised faces are really quite amusing.

* The weather is cold, and for the past week I’ve been wearing not-really-heat-inducing jerseys at work with the sleeves rolled up because I feel warm & semi-claustrophobic. I’m too young to be getting hot flashes, right?

* Pink macaroons taste like Bakers Zoo Cookies. If you live in South Africa, go buy one at a Limnos Bakery and tell me I’m wrong. They are awesome!

* We’re watching the second season of GAME OF THRONES at the moment. While interesting, I can’t help but want to groan in joint despair and annoyance when we have to see another person’s naked form and all that hoo-ha. Get on with the story already!

* Also, has anyone else joked that Jon Snow and Samwell Tarly are like Frodo Baggins & Samwise Gamgee in LOTR? Come one: Samwell – Samwise? Both a bit portly, well-meaning, supportive and a true friend? Jon and Frodo each with their own type of burdens to bear and roles to fulfil / adventures to go on? No? Just me, then…

* Is it weird that I find it weird that people don’t think it’s weird to have a whole conversation while in cubicles/stalls at a public/work restroom? Weird.


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!!

Scattered Brainings XIV

31 08 2011

* Old school video games are awesome. We didn’t play a lot (our SEGA machine had Alex Kidd in Miracle World built in), but my limited ‘experience’ won’t stop me from having fun… even though it probably accounts for why I get my behind kicked when playing against my Significant Other. That, plus the fact that he has been gaming for many a year.

* Finding new things to do is fun. I might not be very good, but my Significant Other and I are having a blast playing video games… which makes two and a half hours disappear each time, somehow… We also bought a Monopoly board on Monday – the South African version – and might start making mosaics/ building small things. Having to teach me all these things (excluding the mosaics) probably ties in with that “Love is patient” line.

* It’s ‘scary’ to realize how much you have in common with someone you find a tad annoying and, yes, sometimes overwhelming. Betty Bright drinks green tea, loves cats, doesn’t like rugby… and believes that the two of us think alike. Really?! This coming from someone who thinks she can do everything / knows best and whose species is most likely extinct already. [Sorry, couldn’t resist an age-related joke!]

* Sometimes I think I should either opt for the book or the film version thereof and not both. Just by looking at the cast for the first PERCY JACKSON film – along with what I heard about it from various sources – I immediately knew that I should steer clear. I had the same feeling when I read up on the cast for THE HUNGER GAMES. Yet, in this case, I am willing to wait it out and let the film decide it for me.

* Baking is awesome. What makes it even more meaningful for me (childhood memories aside) is how much people appreciate something as seemingly insignificant as a cookie or two with their morning coffee/tea. I brought some of the cookies I baked on Sunday to work yesterday, and my co-workers were delighted 🙂

* Speaking of which, when our Publishing Manager came to thank me for the cookies, she said that she didn’t see me as ‘domesticated’. This does not make sense to me… unless I am actually a household pet or something *laugh* I think she meant she didn’t see me as the domestic type, and not as someone who isn’t house-bred.

* Why are people so curious? I’m convinced that motorists are the people with the most curiosity. Just look at the excruciatingly slow pace of traffic when an accident has occurred, or when a truck has pulled over, and how immediately after you pass the vehicle(s) things go quicker. And why? Because everyone was staring and turning to look at what happened. Ogling should be a (criminal) offence.

* The fragrance of the air freshener cans in our Ladies Room at work is called “Baby Caress”. I find this highly unsettling…

How do YOU know what baby would taste like, kitteh? Also, with the air freshener: does it smell like dirty diapers and spit (like babies do), or is it the powdered, clean, 'new human' (baby) scent that's enticing...? *shudder*

* In just under a week, three or four people’s fathers have passed away (said people work for OUP). This makes me appreciate the fact that I still have my dad even more… and also makes me worry about his safety/ health/ longevity. Three deaths related to the (people in our) workplace is kind of eerie.

* I was having such a dull day at work yesterday that I actually started jotting down my brainings for today’s post. Talk about being constructive!

Scattered Brainings XIII

29 06 2011

* I cannot stop thinking about the fact that I (supposedly) blink a lot… and thinking about it makes me act on it! —blinkblinkblink—

* I wish that all the Naruto Shippuden episodes were dubbed. The subbed episodes are fine, I guess, since you get used to reading it pretty quickly. I just miss the characters’ English voices.

* We bought a table and six chairs for the apartment on Sunday and they delivered it yesterday. Accordingly, my Significant Other and I rearranged the whole living room when I got home from work in order for it to ‘look right’. Now all we need is new couches.

* Oats cookies/ blocks are ‘healthy’, right? I mean, it has eggs, brown sugar, oats, raisins… it’s like having a bowl of oats for breakfast, but in a compacted form. Hey, for someone who doesn’t actually eat breakfast, it’s a step in the right direction. [And yes, I baked them myself.]

* My Significant Other and I seem to be in popular demand when it comes to lunch/ dinner invitations. Everybody wants to feed us! We had a BBQ at our neighbours’ apartment on Friday evening; Saturday my sister and her husband came over for a BBQ; and on Sunday we had lunch at an uncle and aunt’s house (on the in-laws side). However, we were also invited to a BBQ at our friends’ new house on Saturday, and my father wanted us to come over on Sunday – but since we had already made our plans, we had to turn the invitations down. We’re already ‘booked’ for this coming Saturday… any takers for Friday and Sunday? 😉

* Smudgy has been a little bit more of a house cat since we’ve been back. She loves cuddling up on or under the new duvet – which she has practically claimed as her own – and she comes to curl up beside me on the couch, since there’s enough space for her, my Significant Other and myself… and even if there wasn’t space, she’d get it. I cannot deny her what she wants… mostly.

* I finished reading the Hannah Swensen murder mystery series last week. That’s 14 books and two novellas. Now what am I supposed to read? [Aside: in case any of you know the books, I’m pro-Norman.]

* I’ve read 80 books this year (including two manuscripts) and am currently busy with number 81. At this rate, I’ll be well over my goal of 100 books by the end of the year.

* When we bought Smudgy, I signed her up for the Whiskas Kitten Club, which sends e-mails with tips etc. After a year, they e-mail you to let you know that you won’t be receiving any more e-mails from them since your cat is no longer a kitten. I have been receiving these e-mails on the first of every month since January. Not only do they send the same e-mail every month, saying that I won’t be receiving any e-mails anymore because my cat is a year old already, but they messed up because Smudgy’s birthday is in December *shakes head* Wonder if I can block them…

* It’s so strange to go visit my parents and Mewsy’s not there. I miss him 😦

* Still waiting for our wedding photos. Starting to get annoying. Apparently our photographer took leave from work so he could finish our photos! Let’s hope I hear from him by next week…

* Everybody excited about Pottermore? And the last Harry Potter film?? The 15th of July can’t come soon enough!!

* Speaking of films, I’m not sure when was the last time I went to the cinema. Want to go watch KUNG FU PANDA 2, but now it’s school holidays, and I’m not particularly in the mood to sit there with a bunch of kiddies who cannot sit still, are noisy, don’t understand what’s going on… and all the other annoying things kids do.

Scattered Brainings XII

24 02 2011

* Who invented the bags that flour, sugar, and other necessities/ baking materials are packaged in? How do they think we’re supposed to get it open without ripping it apart (okay, I exaggerate, let’s rather say ‘tear’) since the glue is so stubborn?

* I’ve been really lazy this last week or two when it comes to reading… and yet, when one takes into consideration that we’re nearing the end of February, is it amazing, sad or scary to think that I have already read 26 books this year?

* My Significant Other’s a programmer, while I’m pro-grammar. It works.

* I have learnt that boredom leads you to doing things that you haven’t done in a very long time: painting your toenails… then adding a top layer with golden glitter/ shimmer in *sigh*

* “For a crazy cat lady, what comes first? The cats or the crazy?”

* We had quite a fon-due (fun do, get it?) over the weekend with amazing friends of ours. Pity that I don’t eat pork – besides bacon & ham – but I’m very pleased with myself that I wasn’t nauseous… although it was close, at one point during the evening. Hurray for endurance!

* I cried while watching EAT PRAY LOVE. Not really because of the film, but because I was feeling oddly emotional at the time. It was fun watching it with two programmers/ developers, though.

* Smudgy is a real opportunist. While I was taking a shower the other day, she stole the rest of my oats cookie (she did look a little bit guilty). And if I’m sitting on her chair, she’ll meow at me to get off… and sometimes even meow some more until I put the fan on! Such a demanding little miss.

* I love buying people gifts that they love, want and appreciate 🙂

* FUTURAMA is better than I remember. Back in the day I watched the first season, found the characters annoying, then dropped it. Now I even laugh or smile in amusement at times… because yes, stupidity is funny.

* Found out that a writer friend of mine is going to name a very minor ‘character’ (who the reader only hears about) after me in his latest book. Then a lot of other people can mispronounce my name – goody! 😉

* Some Facebook games are really stupid. Take your relationship, match it to the fruit on this list and then post it on your status to show your support for Breast Cancer Awareness? Uh-huh… Some people have whole fruit salads going on!!…

*…Soon (i.e. upon getting married) I’ll be going from an apple to a banana – what a transition!

* Thank you very much, Universe. You seem to want me to be jobless.

* Cats are disgusting. Then again, they probably feel the say way about humans. Smudgy is busy playing with a huge grasshopper… in. our. apartment.

* I ❤ Stephen King. You’ll be hearing it until you get sick of it (and me) – and then some!

Scattered Brainings: the music edition

7 01 2011

* What’s with all the annoying music on the radio? One can barely stand to listen to it, excluding the news and traffic updates, of course (which is vital).

* There are only three Ke$ha songs I can listen to: TiK-ToK, YOU’RE LOVE IS MY DRUG and TAKE IT OFF. The rest makes my ears want to bleed… another reason not to listen to the radio.

* Willow Smith is nine years old. Nine, and she’s already starting to become a singing ‘sensation’ (despite the fact that her song WHIP MY HAIR makes me want to strangle her with it and stop that annoying sound coming from her mouth that is deemed ‘singing’). I shudder to even contemplate how she’s going to turn out by the time she’s sixteen or eighteen.

* People don’t seem to know how to write songs anymore, which is why the ruin remake old songs. Those songs – like ELECTRIC AVENUE and (I’VE HAD) THE TIME OF MY LIFE – are ‘classics’ in their own right. Don’t butcher them.

* My Significant Other doesn’t care much for Katy Perry’s music, and although I agree that FIREWORK only seems to be one long repetition of the chorus, I cannot help but like her second album, as well. Maybe I am a bit ‘girly’.

* Apparently repetition in a song is what makes it ‘appealing’ and causes it to sell. But having Shakira stuck in my head for the second (or third?) day in a row is making me loca loca loca

* Whenever Cee-Lo Green’s FORGET YOU plays on the radio, I need to turn up the volume. It’s a feel good song… and definitely stands out above the rest of the noise.

* Four months until the wedding and I cannot decide on an opening song (for the dance floor). Pretty keen on AT THE BEGINNING – from the animated film ANASTASIA – though I have no idea how one would dance on that. Perhaps I should stick to slow dancing and opt for Jamie Cullum’s I’M GLAD THERE IS YOU. (Then again, there are so many great songs, how does one pick?)

* On a related note – i.e. wedding – trying to decide on an opening song makes me thing of the movie THE WEDDING PLANNER. “Are you aware that Fran has chosen teal for her bridesmaids? Teal – the colour of gangrene… Oh, oh, and I honestly love you as your wedding song? You might as well commit matrimonial suicide right now!” 🙂

* I’d almost go as far as saying that I’d rather listen to the Jingle Cats meowing away over the airwaves than what they currently have on offer… though it might drive one crazy after a few songs…

* I’m going to try and make a list of some of the songs they play ad nauseum on the radio. I say ‘some’ since the list could get quite long – perhaps I could do it in segments… Watch this space.

* This morning my mind was overflowing with things I could say in this post, yet now, I am drawing a blank. How typical.

Scattered Brainings XI

29 11 2010

* I think Friday was pick-on-me-and-my-cat day at our apartment complex. First I greet someone who commences to give me a nasty, unfriendly and eyes-blazing-into-my-skull-look before turning around and finishing his cigarette. Then another neighbour blames my cat for making so much noise and keeping him awake, when in fact I keep my cat indoors at night because the one cat terrorizes all the other cats.

* The kiddies at our complex have been eerily quiet for the last few weeks. Not entirely quiet, but sometimes you almost don’t even know that they’re there… except for the one crazy little girl who tells you to go away and drive her little bike into the steps repeatedly and won’t get out of the way of approaching vehicles.

* I love listening to our next door neighbour play the piano – it’s lovely. Reminds me of home. Now that it’s the festive season, she (I presume it is the woman) is practicing Christmas carols. That’s probably the closest I’ll get to hearing it before the 25th, since my Significant Other isn’t partial to it (Christmas music, I mean).

* Speaking of which, while my Significant Other was playing games on Saturday, I was able to listen to some Kenny & Dolly as he wasn’t really paying attention to what was playing in the other room… or to me, in fact.

* Note to self: when my Significant Other asks me if he can play one more game on a Saturday, don’t make plans for snuggling on the couch and watching a movie or perhaps having some wine – because a game is never quick. He asked me if he could play one more game at five-thirty/ six-o’clock. At quarter of eleven, I decided to get into bed. I have no idea what time he decided to come to bed and sleep.

* I have been neglecting my LOLcats and seriously need to catch up with the cute! Nothing to brighten you day like LOLcats in your inbox 🙂

* This year, I won’t just be having two Christmases, but three! We’ll be spending the 24th with my parentals and the 25th with my soon-to-be second set of parentals, as per usual. In addition, our group of friends is going to have a small get-together to fa-la-la-la-la and deck the halls with a bit of good cheer and nyummy food on the 18th.

* Why does that blasted black-and-white cat have to pick on my cat so much? Sure, he ‘picks fights’ with all the cats in our complex (and there are a lot, though policy states there are only allowed to be three in the whole complex), yet he seems to derive the most pleasure from chasing and harassing my cat. I had to get out of the car this morning to chase him away and close our open apartment window so he wouldn’t jump in and have Smudgy whimpering in a corner… if cats can be said to whimper, that is. ‘Cowering’ is probably a better word here.

* It would be nice if someone would be me a flat iron so I can add a bit of a wave/ curl to my hair on a regular basis – my hair and make-up trial proved that this suits me (*cough* hint-hint *cough*)

* Why are there so many really nice specials on when we cannot afford to buy anything for the apartment due to having to save for the wedding?

* Home: a place where people are glad that you pop in for a visit, no matter how long you stay… and even when you bring along a batch of laundry to wash.

* Home is also a place where I feel compelled to do the washing up (dishes, cutlery, etc.) even after I’ve told my father that I won’t do it. I also go do the ironing every second week.

* I try to stay away from places that sell cheesecake, yet if it cannot be helped, my headaches intervene, saving me from myself and keeping me from ordering some anyway.

* If you had to ask me why they split the last Harry Potter book into two movies, I’d have to say it’s in order for them to capitalize big time – if you can make a hell of a profit, then why not? After watching the first instalment, it felt like I could have sat there for another hour or two. Now the waiting begins again.

* My working day usual starts off with raisins and almonds. At least I’m getting in some iron!

* Whole wheat pasta tastes the same as ‘regular’ pasta, though it does help along digestion.

Uhm, no kitteh, he was borned, but that's kewl... Ooh, a shiniez!

* Ooh, almost forgot this one: Stages of waking up my Significant Other – sweet and loving, understanding, neutral, slightly irritated, frustrated, resigned. Only takes about 25 minutes.