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Friday, 30 November 2012

Five for Friday: Why I think Chris Brown shouldn't perform in SA

  • There's this. Warning, it's not for sensitive readers.
  • It's 16 days of activism for no violence against women and children. See that, why would we want someone to perform here just days after 16 days ends? We'd be looking away then, one of the things you shouldn't do.
  • We're rewarding him. Not only does he beat up someone he claims to love, pretty much gets away with it, and now people are putting money into his pockets. Yes, I know there are a lot of people not going, who don't buy his music - and that's great, but surely more is in order.
  • It's important to say something, by not we'll never do something. This condoning and rewarding of such horrible, vile behaviour will only lead to more people thinking it's ok - so they'll carry on and not change their ways because there are no consequences.
  • I'm under no illusion that my tiny voice of protest will change something, but if more of us say or do something you'll never know what could happen.
A late addition, but this...this is what I wish everyone got.

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Review: Endings & Beginnings by Redi Tlhabi

This is an unusual memoir of sorts. Yes, we do learn a little more about the person that is Redi Tlhabi, but more it's an exploration of violent people and why they're so. Ok not all violent people, but one person. A person that clearly made a lasting impression on her, and her life.

In Endings & Beginnings she talks about Mabegzo. She meet him when she was eleven, and at first didn't know that he was that guy the one everyone talked. They talked about him, but never in a nice way he was a gangster, rapist and all round bad guy; certainly not a person a well behaved, good girl should befriend. And friends they were, because eleven year old Redi saw the other side to him. She heard his stories, asked him to change his ways - he stopped making girls cry when she asked - and generally had a good relationship with him. A few months after they meeting him, he's dead, a death he said he knew was coming.

The book goes from that initial meeting to their time together - she'd give him her lunch because she didn't eat as much - and her finding out more about him and his story in 2004. Mabegzo's story is heartbreaking, and it just gets worse when you read more about the whys of his tail. His mother's tail is even more so, despite the circumstances of his conception and birth, she loved him and was denied him. All of those threads add together to really show you that yes, a lot of the violence in our country has it's roots in the stories of the people who commit those acts; and that yes, their stories aren't always good or something to be ignored.

All in all this book adds more to anyone's understanding of people. And it provides a partial answer - and maybe even a partial solution - to why we have some many angry and violent people in SA.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Whacked out thinking

It just hit me yesterday, it's been over a year of me being a smaller me. Yes, there've been some ups and downs, but mostly I've maintained a size 34 - even recently hitting that smaller number on some outfits. Cause for celebration you'd think, but it's not. I barely even registered this achievement - it's an achievement, it's hard work getting healthy, and avoiding candy and cake - because it just wasn't good enough. My tummy's not flat enough, my arms too flabby...let's not get started on the thigh - hip - butt area, it's all just not good enough, I must do better.

That got me thinking why isn't it good enough for me? Surely if friends and acquaintances notice, and comment in the positive on the change, why isn't the change good enough for me? This of course lead to more pondering and the continuing realisation that it's not just me suffering from this just not good enough whacked out thinking. It is bikini season after all :-/.

You'd think with it being a continuing realisation that I'd stop being surprised at this mode of operating, but it's not, and it's all just dumb. Why, oh why, do we keep on falling for this stupid societal construction of what a body is supposed to be? Why despite so many of us either having gender studies be the focus of our academic careers - I'm not the only one in that boat, right? - or just reading stories about women who dare to not shave do we give in to this thinking?

Sure we all read Susie, or Judith or Laura and completely agree - well almost - with what they say, and swear "I'll do it. I'll change my thinking, now that I've really noticed the crazy," and it sticks for a little while, but then...bam it's bikini season. I know this rant isn't really helping, but it might just remind you to check you're thinking on this crazy obsession on being beach ready - scratch that on looking good, because after all whose looking good are you aiming for?

Now excuse me while I go reread Bodies and Gender Trouble.

Monday, 26 November 2012

The weekend that was

  • Generally it's been a pretty easy going weekend.
  • Friday we went out for dinner, finishing work at 20:15 doesn't inspire one to make dinner.
  • Saturday morning was the dentist :-/. The gag reflex problem reared it's head again, which lead to more numbing shots than what was planned. This meant half my face was numb for about 6 hours, not the best feeling.
  • The afternoon and evening was all about monster slaying aka we played PFS. The first scenario we played was pretty tough, the Season 4 scenarios are killer - we had 2 deaths averted due to lucky rolls 0_o.
  • Sunday was a lazy day. We spent most of it reading, with a break for lunch with a friend at what has no become my go to option for dinner at the Waterfront - Vovo Tello.
How was yours?

Friday, 23 November 2012

Five for Friday: Dentists and related things

  • I just found out this week that I'll be wearing braces for at least two years :-/. This means I'll have them in when I'm thirty 0_o.
  • Turns out what I thought was an extra - just skew tooth - is just crazy skew.
  • Braces are crazy expensive - you pay more when you get those 'invisible' ones. Clearly I should have become an orthodontist ;).
  • I find the dentist and orthodontist super, super scary. And it doesn't help that I have a bad gag reflex. When they did the get a mould of my teeth part I nearly threw-up :(.
  • Now I need to figure out will I go the different colour elastics every six weeks  - every six weeks, I need to see the scary people all the time :-/ - or go the 'invisible' ones route. Folks who've had braces which one did you pick, and why?

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Book review: Mangaung: Kings and Kingmakers by Mandy Rossouw

I'm going to start with the blurb because this one does a great job of clearly showing what the book is about.
" In Mangaung: Kings and Kingmakers political journalist Mandy Rossuw takes us from the the last elective conference of the ANC, at Polokwane, to the present day, where we're introduced to the eight men who have the most influence on what will happen at Mangaung, and following that, in the race to the national poll in 2014. And then we take a tour through ANC politicking in South Africa's nine provinces, because branch-level dynamics are still key to understanding the ANC."

The book is an easy ready, the short chapters  - 3 to 5 pages for each one - certainly speeds you along. The profiles on each of the eight men includes interesting facts as well as how they've moved and are moving towards Mangaung. Mandy Rossouw takes her time to place everything according to the timeline from Polokwane up to about August 2012, which helps in keeping track everything that has been going on. The book really shines for me when it reaches the discussions on the goings on within the provinces. Some of what Rossouw covers in those chapters includes news that you vaguely remember reading about, but which didn't seem to get much coverage, especially the thrash of political killings.

This book is for anyone who is interested in the politics. Both suited for those who avidly follow news, and those with a lighter or new found interest.

Monday, 19 November 2012

The weekend that was

  • Friday was another taking it easy evening. Jerall gamed, I watched Downton Abbey.
  • Saturday morning was gaming at Fanaticus - there were new players and full tables :).
  • The afternoon was more gaming, but there was a character death :(.
  • Sunday we hit up the Cape Quarter market for brunch with friends E and P. We got to meet P's new person - she didn't speak much, but seems nice enough.
  • That was followed with a play test of the new Mythic rules from Paizo for Pathfinder. We were just two players, but Mythic so far seems to be fun, and very, very high powered.
How was yours?

Friday, 16 November 2012

Five for Friday: Random

  • I've gotten so off track on the healthy lifestyle train, that in order to get it right again I'm not having any soft drinks, cake or sweets till Christmas. Hopefully after that I'll be back to sticking to the only once a week thing I used to have going on.
  • XCOM is the business, fun, but very hard - on easy mode :-/.
  • I'm still not on track with the exercise thing, but all hope is not lost. I can do it, I just need to stop being lazy.
  • I've got seven, seven?!?, books on the go. I've got to get back to one book at a time. This multiple book thing isn't working that well for me anymore. I think I need to stick to two at a time, and just wait to start the new stuff.
  • I've noticed that if the friends aren't big into gaming we don't see them that often. So I've started getting things in place to see those folks at least once a month. Sure e-mail and whatsapp helps you stay in touch, but face to face is really important too.
Have a great weekend folks :).

Monday, 12 November 2012

The weekend that was

  • Friday morning the previous manger for the bookstore I work at - who's moved on to better and brighter things - called and offered me a job. It would still be in book retail, but for a larger company that has it's own publishing department. The job would still be in retail, but it's a small step to bigger and better things. Not to forget that I'd be making more money :).
  • Friday later morning, afternoon and early evening was spent with N and K down from Durban  - they came down for a concert, and turned it into a long weekend - going wine, olive and olive oil tasting in the Winelands. I introduced them to roosterkoek at De Stomme Jonge, and a mini walk around that part of Stellenbosch. 
  • Saturday morning and afternoon was work, but after that was boardgames at friends.
  • Sunday was a Shattered Star day followed by dinner at Doyu.
  • In between all of that I played some XCOM - with some squad wipes happening  :( - and got some reading done too.
How was yours?

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

The weekend that was

  • Friday was another take it easy day, Jerall played XCOM, and I read.
  • Saturday morning we went to Fanaticus to play some PFS, followed that with lunch at De Stomme Jonge which might just replace Basic as my favourite restaurant in Stellenbosch. Post lunch we played some more Pathfinder, but this time it was an AP - Jade Regent.
  • Sunday I had work, but post work we went to go watch Cloud Atlas with a friend. It is a great movie, everything about it - especially the editing and score - is good, go watch it. That was followed by dinner, and so ended the weekend.
How was yours?

Friday, 2 November 2012

Five for Friday: Random

  1. We're having success with the vegetarian dinners, in fact we're up to four a week on most weeks :). This has happened because we don't really buy meat anymore, so our protein options tend to be veg or fish - we don't do much chicken because Jerall doesn't do chicken on the bone, the silly.
  2. I'm still not used to my new hair style.
  3. I realised why I was less anxious about things when we were in NL is in part due to me having been more active. I would walk around a lot more, and I had pilates to go to every week. I've not found a class yet since being back for two reasons, I'm trying to get Jerall to join and more importantly it's just that much harder for me to get them. I'd need to take taxis, and those completely destroy your calm, which defeats the whole purpose of going. I miss the Independence I had in NL.
  4. We've been watching a fair amount of anime lately, two of which are sure to become firm favourites. Check out Sword Art Online and the rebooted Hunter X Hunter.
  5. Lastly a tale from the taxi. Last week I was in a taxi where a middle aged passenger asked the younger guy sitting next to him for help in sorting out an issue with his phone. When the younger guy said he didn't know much about that phone so couldn't help, the older guy berated him for not knowing, after all, "All young ones, know things about phones." After that the same gentlemen then asked a girl with a lip piercing what it's like to eat with those. To which she said normal, he didn't like that answer and told her "If it's normal then we'd all have been born with that." After that we were treated to a monologue on why we need to have two lunch breaks.
Enjoy your weekend :).

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Getting crafty - of sorts

During our trip I kept a lot of the tickets and other bits you collect while exploring. When we got back I used a small double-sided frame  - from Ikea :) - and put tickets from some museums in it. Sadly it wasn't big enough for all of the bits and pieces I had. Then last week I had a brain wave. At work we have smallish display stands  - double-sided to display multiple reviews - not all of them are perfect for display purposes and thus not used. I finally remembered to ask my manager if I could have one, she said yes, and the photos below are the result.

This will be the front view, and yes, this isn't the best way to display, but things fit best on the map I had. If you can't make it out it's things from the Paris trip. I love the picture of the Arc.

The 'backside'.

The little frame, this one sits on our dinning table. I'm still not sure where I'll put the big one.

The other side of the little frame.

A side view of the big one. The little pictures are from the Lourve map. In the top right corner is the napkin holder from the bistro we went to for lunch. The bottom left is the cover from the Catacombs map.

Side view of the 'back side'. I put a Miffy plaster on the map for the Centraal Museum because Dick Bruna Huis is part of their ongoing displays :).

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Me in a nutshell: I game, read, tweet, enjoy good food, have bouts of red pen rage and I'm a coffee snob.

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