Thursday, November 29, 2007

Keep Breathing

Open any news site and just scan over the main headlines they’re sporting, more often than not, its just a whole lot of bad news.

This world will never run out of bad news and that’s kinda depressing. What’s even more disheartening is how unreactive I am to most of these stories unless they directly affect me.

Some call it being cold, I think it’s just another form of self-preservation. We as human beings have to acknowledge that unless we belong to the cast of Heroes, none of us possess any super powers that can bring about world peace and alleviate poverty all over the world with the flick of a hand.

That’s why when I read stories like the one about Baby Grace I swear my heart breaks, it just crumbles because such situations are SO unnecessary & unavoidable.

Although I can’t do anything about what has happened, I believe I can possible make a difference in the present and future somehow. Every community has a Baby Grace or child in a similar situation that could be saved. It’s true what they say, charity begins at home.

"Keep Breathing" - Ingrid Michaelson

"The storm is coming but i don't mind.
People are dying, i close my blinds.

All that i know is i'm breathing now.

I want to change the world...instead i sleep.
I want to believe in more than you and me.

But all that i know is i'm breathing.
All i can do is keep breathing.
All we can do is keep breathing now."

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Performance reviews in an alternate reality

In all my excitement at it being the end of the year I had completely forgotten, or rather conveniently ignored that this time of the year means a lot of things in the big bad working world, one of them being dreaded performance appraisls.

In T-minus 45mins I have to have a one-on-one with the dreaded dragon-lady-boss to go over what I’ve been up to over the last 12 months. It’s not that I concerned about my performance at work, not at all, its just that any activity that involves the dragon-lady-boss is usual unpredictable and this is one of those situations where unpredictable is not good all. All that stands between me and my full yearly bonus is this dreaded meeting, eish.

I’ve been discretely observing her from the corner of my eye for the last few minutes and its looks like she’s having a good day (fingers crossed) which hopefully means minimal incoherent ramblings from her part during the meeting.

Performance appraisals suck, but at least they’re restricted to one aspect of our lives; just imagine they spilled over into other facets of our lives, like relationships. Every individual and their significant other would be meeting up to have conversations that went a little like this:

Partner 1: It’s been a few months since we hooked up at Joe Blogg’s crazy house party and we’ve been quite serious since then so I thought now would be a great time to assess your performance in this relationship.
Partner 2: Is it that time already? Golly whiz, how the time flies!.

Partner 1: Would you say you display a supportive attitude and rapport with me, your significant other?
Partner 2: Indeed I do, don’t you remember that night at [Insert Location] I had your back when your girls/boys took the mickey out of you, so I would rate myself pretty highly for my supportive attitude then.

Partner 1: Would you say you’ve been willing to work necessary overtime and take up additional responsibilities in this relationship.
Partner 2: Why sure, if you think back on that time you were tied up at work and I picked you up some food/tampons/bog roll and took up the roles of counsellor, chef and massage therapist when you got back to your place after a rather stressful day at the office.

Partner 1: You’ve done pretty well thus far. In the bedroom, however, would you say that you continually strive for continuous improvement and excellence of service delivery in that department?
Partner 2: (some shuffling in the chair and clearing of one’s throat) Well, I’ve never heard any complaints from you and given previous assessments from your predecessors I would say I score top marks in this department.

What I would give to be a fly on a wall if such conversations came up between people, lol.

Anywho, let me go and do some last minute prep for my review.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Santa baby: My Christmas Wish List

Santa baby,

Be a darling and get little old me a few things
from my Christmas list. I’ve listed them in
order of priority to help you out a little bit
(how very considerate of me, I know).
With less than a month till the big day,
I’m not leaving anything to chance!

So this is my list (the short-and-as-realistic-as-i-could-make-it version anyway)

1. Win an all expense paid holiday for two to The Maldives
2. A year’s subscription to “Habitat – The Art of Living” magazine
3. Gilmore Girls: The Complete Series on DVD
4. Nigella Lawson’s book “How To Be A Domestic Goddess”
5.Yoga & Tai Chi workout DVD’s.
6. BBC Prime’s Jane Austen adaptation of “Pride & Prejudice” DVD
7. A bright red and/or black oblong clutch bag
8. Book - 'Vogue' Covers: On Fashion's Front Page
9. Movies: Bundle of Joy & Auntie Mame
10. World Peace & Good Health for all.

You and I both know that the day is more about the people we share it with and the love and laughter we share on that day…but lots of pressies wouldn’t hurt either, lol.

"Think of all the fun I've missed,
Think of all the fellows that I haven't kissed
Next year I could be just as good
If you check off my christmas list”
Marilyn Monroe – Santa baby

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Playing it nonchalant

As some of you might have noticed, I’ve been in a bit of a rut of late. Lots of things in my life have to change, one of them being my job…yes, I know I’ve said this before but this time I’m not only saying something about it but am actually doing something about it too :-)

The more I either research or participate in interviews the more I get the feeling that I’m about to go on some huge date of sorts.

You’ve got to admit, the similarities are uncanny.

The Night Before

  • Try and find out absolutely everything about prospective mate/employer, resorting to
    a) Googling them (God bless Google);
    b) Calling up friends who have any inside knowledge on prospective mate/employer, most importantly, what “type” of person they’re looking for.
  • Have hypothetical conversations in your head with prospective mate/employer, trying to pre-empt any questions that may be thrown to your way.
  • Rehearse how to come across as witty, engaging and intelligent, but in a entirely unrehearsed way.

The Morning After the Night Before

  • Obsess over what to wear at first meeting trying to find a balance between enhancing your best feminine bits without looking like a woman of loose morals.
  • Call up friends for a last minute spirit boosting talk, said friends should provide calm, soothing reassurance with statements like, “You’ll blow them away” and “You’re the baddest mofo on the block”.
  • Debate whether to put on makeup shades you haven’t experimented with yet like that bright red blush still in its wrapping.
  • Decide against the crimson blush at the last minute (common sense finally kicking in) in case you end up looking like Aunt Sally from Worzel Gumidge.
  • Watch the clock obsessively fearful that somehow a couple hours will pass without you noticing.

En Route to Rendezvous

  • Don’t open window on drive for fear of messing up strategically hair-do.
  • Attempt to find something soothing to listen to, however find you are too jumpy so even the likes of Texas sounds like some heavy dirty south gangsta rap.
  • Opt for silence instead.
  • Decide to use silence constructively and send a shout-out to the Big Man in the Sky hoping he can score you a big favour (pretty please).

Final destination

  • Do last minute hair plumping and lip balm application in the car.
  • Announce yourself to the maître de/receptionist who assesses you with exaggerated disdain (am I being paranoid or are they actually smirking!).
  • Silently give yourself a last-minute pep talk although to all onlookers it looks like you are thoroughly engrossed in the reading material found in the elaborate waiting area.

Show Me What You Got Lil' Mama

  • At the mention of one’s name from said “date” miraculously morph into the perfect blend of charming nonchalance (thanks to previous nights rehearsals).

    Let the dazzling begin…

Grand finale

  • Smile and laugh where appropriate (even if said remark is as dry as the Kalahari).
  • Reiterate just how happy you are to have this meeting/get together without giving off an air of desperation or stammering.
  • Say cordial goodbyes, walk off to your car all the while praying that they will call.......... (after all, didn’t they promise to.)


Monday, November 19, 2007

So many questions, so little answers

I’m a bit of control freak...who am I kidding, I’m a whole lot of a control freak. I’m that person who’s always trying to find a logical reason for things. I have an innate need to make sense of all the crazy and illogical things that go on in this world.

When I was younger it was much easier to put two and two together and come out with four. However, as I get older, that particular equation is coming up with all manner of double and triple digit numbers, let’s just say, nothing is adding up.

Maybe it’s a case of the 20-something syndrome which causes you to doubt not only yourself but everything and everyone around you. Of late I have a lot of questions and i need answers and I’m drawing blanks here, my knickers are in a permanent knot.

After a little reflection this weekend, I narrowed down a bit of the problem. I am always trying to draw on answers from myself, which is kind of absurd now I think about it. When did I become all-knowing and powerful, when did I ever have all the answers, when did I morph into The Great & Powerful Oz?

There’s nothing wrong in questioning, for the questions we ask not only help us find answers about questions we asked, but reveal answers about ourselves. (Okay, that line sounded cryptic, even to me and I’m the one writing it out! Hope you get my drift anyway).

What I am learning is that at times however, you have to relinquish control, admit you don’t have all the answers, acknowledge that a lot of things are beyond your sphere of control and just have faith. You can’t worry about what has occurred in the past, or what is to occur in the future, all we have control over is the here and now.

Sometimes faith is all you’ve got but I just need to remember that that’s a lot in itself right there.

Friday, November 16, 2007

My very own Itchy & Scratchy show...

My younger brother’s little admirers have a tendency to shower him with gifts…lots of gifts. I have never seen anything like it! Given that Christmas is just round the corner, he’s going to be in the money, quite literally.

What was I saying again, oh yes, gifts. He has all sorts of really expensive colognes sent to him from diasporan admirers, he has countless chains & bracelets, teddy-bears (ummm, who buys a guy a teddy bear?), clothing and probably a lot more I would rather not know of!!!

What puzzles me the most is where are 16 – 20yr old girls sourcing the funds to buy him this stuff? Many a parent is wondering where the extra cash in their wallets has gone or why certain furnishings in their house have gone missing is my guess.

Once in a while, I tend to pocket some of these gifts, the chains mainly, ‘because they usually have amazing pendants…oh and because finders are keepers and losers are weepers.

I do, however, get paranoid that one day I will find some random female admirer of his glaring at me while I’m at the shops or out on the town, because she recognises that chain I’m adorning was her gift to my brother…but I am willing to take that risk.

Correction, I WAS willing to take that risk, but no longer am because I came to the vast realisation that as generous as those 16 – 20yr old girls are, they’re freaking cheap!

Those chain gifts of theirs are made from the most freaking reactive metal ever…a metal that has now been absorbed by the pores of my skin and turned my neck into not so subtle red shade and adorned it with a rash which is itchy like heck!

Poetic justice you may say….bloody unnecessary & most unfortunate I say!

Have a fantastic weekend!

V x

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Good Friend Gone Bad

Someone near and dear to my heart is dealing with a case of "good friend gone real bad" syndrome. You know the one: You have a fab "friend", during the sunny, fun times they are there for you but when shit hits the proverbial fan, there're nowhere to be found.

Ah yes, we've been through that kind of situation at some point in time. It makes us reconsider what traits truly makes a friend, what kind of people we want in our lives and we realise, that life is too short to surround ourselves with people not worthy of our time and attention.

We all need to weed our friend garden once in a while.

I've been blessed with amazing friends: friends i've had for a longtime, friends that at times know me better than myself (this can be annoying sometimes, lol), friends who are extremely supportive especially when i've messed up but who had let me know long before that i was on the road to messing up, friends that make me laugh until i snort, friends who pass me the kleenex when i'm sobbing my heart out, friends who have driven me to the doctor when i was incapable of doing so myself, friends who amaze me with their generosity of spirit, friends who challenge my ideals and thoughts, friends who encourage and inspire me to be the best that i can be and friends who would take a bullet for me.

To all these friends, i would like to say thank you and i love you all to bits :-)

A Snarl for Loose Friends

Many who say friend,
friend, clutch their balls like prayers
for fear something of themselves
may break loose and get away.

Many who mumble love,
love keep an eye fixed for the fire
ladder, the exit hatch and at the first,
sign of trouble do not hang around to chat.

Many who talk of community
called the real estate agent last night
and the papers are drawn up to sell their land
to a nuclear power plant that shows dirty movies.

Don't count your friends by their buttons
until you have seen them pushed a few times.

Marge Piercy

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The Silent Treatment

The traits above accurately describe my current boss and then some! Now, i've worked for some interesting characters, most notably;
  1. A recovering coke-head who constantly fell off the wagon & who was prone to unexplainable fits of rage;
  2. A power hungry, frustrated ex-combatant who sadly had already been-all-that-he-could-be and had a dislike for all things female;
  3. A lecherous old man more interested on the length of one's skirt rather than one's opinion on strategies for the next quarter; and,
  4. The career sportsman who spent more of his time at sporting events than actually in the office.

Yes, i have a wide array of bosses who have taught me a lot, more along the lines of what NOT to do when in a certain situation. At the same time, i have been blessed with some amazing mentors who have provided me with guidance, motivation and inspiration...sadly, my current boss does not belong in this category!

My current boss is Passive Aggression personified;

  • She over commits and rarely delivers and then starts pointing fingers and blaming everyone else but herself!;
  • She has fits of rage where she talks to herself and is often heard telling herself off (cuckoo!); and,
  • She's moodier than a 14yr old teenage girl PMS'ing - she's been known to go days without talking to any in the team even when subtly prompted because she's having guy issues??!!!.

My colleagues and i are almost used to this behaviour now (although honestly, who should really get used to such behaviour). We have developed some coping mechanisms like; avoiding direct eye contact with her (she seems to see this as sign of aggression, lol), reverting to email as a mode of communication and last, but not least, putting our earphones on & playing soothing music whilst doing one's work.

Not an ideal situation at the very least, but definitely a learning curve...albeit a steep one :-)

Friday, November 09, 2007

"We Ride (I See The Future)" - Mary J Blige

Just can't help it
I love my hun
All that I need
And all that I want
Said I just can't help it
I love my hunAll that I need
And all that I want

[1st Verse:]
Everybody asking "Why Mary ain't mad no more?"
It seems like a question
That I've already answered
Like too many times before
Now ladies if you got a man
And he treat you real good
Ain't you gon' flex
Every chance that you get
Now ain't you gonna love him
Just like you should
Especially when you never thought you would
Oh you know that I'm all into the feeling
And I never look to lose it
Oh for sho' this is consistent
With you I find a rhythm

From the day, to the night
We ride
We ride
We ride
Hey, how you like it
How you like it
I see the future baby
You and I
Better with time

And it is, what it is
And I just can't help it
And I felt, what I felt
No, I just can't help it
I see the future, baby
Me and you
That's how we do

[2nd Verse:]
I got a song in my heart
That's all that I need
I sing it a capellaI
sing it to the beat
What we are is classic
You know it because your attitude shows it
Now fellas if you got a girl
And she treats you right
Ain't you gonna spend
Every dollar, every cent
Ain't you gonna make sure she stay fly
Especially when she's reppin' you for life

[Chorus x 1]


You are mine
I told you before
I wouldn't lie
I need you and more
Gotta stay with you
I am safe with you

Let me repeat it
In case you forgot
Love is a mountain
And we're at the top
Breath and strength
Cause I see the future in your eyes

[Chorus x 1]

Just can't help it
i love my hun(And we ride)
All that I need
And all that i want
Said I just can't help it
I love my hun(And we ride)
All that I need
And all that I want

From the day'
Till the night
We ride
We ride

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Man, I feel like a Woman!

Granted, us chicks have to put up with some rather natural “nasty” afflictions like going through child-birth, PMS, wearing very high-heels, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I love being a chick, cause truth be told, we get away with murder (sometimes literally…watch the Crime and Investigation channel if you think I’m lying).

Today’s events at lunch cemented in my mind the huge benefits of being a member of the so-called “weaker” sex, one of which was quick and efficient customer service.

My female colleague and I paid a visit to the bank where we were told by the male teller that they were closed and would be open in an hour’s time. After much sighing we walked out, wondering what to do next, only to be called back by the same teller, who informed us, with some rather flirtatious smiling, that he would do us a favour, even if it cost him his job. We reciprocated with simpering smiles and the like, got our transactions done and sauntered out of there, discussing a) What would possess him to break banking policies and b) Men are such easy targets sometimes.

We then proceeded from the bank to service/gas/petrol station to get the oil and water in the car checked, only to be eagerly assisted by not one, not two but FOUR mechanics….FOUR! Eish, in a country not known for its customer service by a long shot, this was a miracle. It was amusing to watch the mechanics bustle about, competing to do the various checks, laughing amongst themselves at how there were four of them there. For performing a service (that was for free) we left them with a tip and a smile.

Yes, today’s events reinforced, that its great to be woman!

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Mums the word!

Like most Zim queens*, my mother tends to believe her children are up to no good. On countless occasions my siblings and I have tried to convince her that we turned out pretty well…who am I kidding, we let her know that she got blooming crème de la crème of the brat batch**.

However, this theory is constantly put to the test when she finds the odd copy of the Kama Sutra (not mine) when “dusting”, the secret ciggie stash (once again, not mine) when putting clothes away, the ever depleting bottles of booze from the bar (that's me) or the mere fact that we are out until dawn gyrating to the devil’s music (guilty as charged).

Nope, judging by the amount of time my mother spends praying, honestly, you would think that she had spawned four versions of the devil incarnate.

Nevertheless, nothing, NOTHING could have prepared me for the conversation I had with her a couple of weeks ago. People, I could not make this stuff up if I tried!

Background Scene: It’s 10pm on an odd Saturday night and I am IM’ing and FB’ing friends. All in all, it was the perfect recipe for a very lame night indoors.

Mom: (Suspiciously looks into the room) “What are you doing?”

Me: “Messing about on the computer” (sheepishly trying to look like I am doing something constructive)

Mom: (Sits down next me and looks off into the distance quite pensively)…….(silence).

Me: (nervously watches her out of the corner of the eye wondering “what’s up”)

Mom: “So I was thinking, you and your sisters need to sit down together, talk and tell eachother, ‘No more fornicating’”

Me: (burst into a nervous giggle which then turns into a coughing fit) “What???”

Mom: “There is so much evil in the world, without exposing yourself to it by sleeping around.’

Me: “Umm, who’s sleeping around exactly…after all, it is 10pm on a Saturday nite and I am still at home with no intention of fornicating tonight.”

Mom: “Well, just something to think about, good nite”(and she exits the room)

I promptly dissolved into laughter, which then caused a lot of snorting and wiping the tears out of my eyes, all brought on by my excessive amusement.

I was left there wondering WTF???

My mother has spouted some truly priceless stuff in the past, but this, definitely makes my Top 5 List of Mum’s quotes. It’s right up there with, “If I buy you silk pyjamas for Uni, promise me you won’t go around showing them to all the boys!.’

Yes, my mother is a riot! As the dutiful child that I am, I thought it only the right thing to call up my lovely sisters and pass on our mother’s very wise words. These words were met by fits of giggles and expressions like, “You lie!”, “Urrrgh, I hate that word…”fornicating”, “Gosh, I wish I was getting some…but I’m having a bit of a dry spell actually” and “Trust you to defend yourself Vim and leave us hanging”.

*Queen = Zim slang for “mother”, after all, we all know who is really running the show at home :-)
** Come now; look at what Marilyn Manson’s mother has to put up with? Or the mother who reared Miss Always-caught-without-any-knicker’s Britney’s