What happened this weekend, feeling sorry for myself and such matters

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Image source

Truly, nothing much happened this weekend. I devoted my entire Sunday to reading. More on that to follow.

Saturday I saw my one uncle. My extended family aren’t close, and I really don’t care much for it, but I arrived to say hi on my grandmother’s request. Which she turned around so it seemed I was dying to see him. Queue extreme irritation.  It was nice to see him, but also very obvious why my mother isn’t interested in staying connected with them. I am content with the family I have, as cold as it sounds. I don’t need people who only deign to show their faces every seven years.

Afterwards, I went to the shops, spent money I shouldn’t have, and got a new book. My little sister found a DVD she has been searching for ages for – Letters to Juliet. We also got Breaking Dawn Part one. That night we watched both. I will be posting reviews sometime during the next couple of weeks.

Books read

Last week I read about four books, and turned towards madness when I read Nora Robert’s the Witness the entire day yesterday, and finished it. 488 pages.

I think I will be giving reading a break, even if it is only for a few days.

PS: it was an amazing read

Feeling sorry for myself

My newly married sister and her husband are returning from Mauritius from their honeymoon, and it means I am back at home. I love home, but it is very crowded at the moment. I will miss my freedom and quiet so much. It is true motivation to get in a place where I can live in my own place.

Diet, exercise and studying

The three things I really need to get done. Like right now.

Starting with exams the first of November, and it is extremely close.

Chemistry, here I come.

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5 things Friday – 5 things

This week went by fast – I only started working again on Wednesday, so it wasn’t much of a week. For a quick one it has been quite eventful. Here are Five things that either happened to me or in the world this week.

Independence

While my sister is on her honeymoon, I am taking care of their flat. It is unbelievable how free it makes me feel to be completely on my own. The independence is staggering and very educational. It isn’t so easy to take care of yourself, is it? Funnily enough, I miss my parents. It is natural to want to live alone after a certain age, and I can’t wait to be out on my own, but I still miss them when I don’t see them after a certain period of time.

Friendships

I mentioned last week that I recently got contacted by a person who I banished from my life a few years ago. The banishment was justified, and in the last while I haven’t given it much thought – it is natural for people to go on with their lives. It was all well until the contact happened. I am supposed to see said person tomorrow. I think I will only be certain tomorrow if I will do it.

Then there is another person who is extremely close to getting an earful from me. She has been my friend since we were seven years old, and I really thought we would be friends forever. I am in no way saying that people should put their relationships before friendships, but there has to be a balance. We had arrangements this week to meet up, and once again, she cancelled. Not only did she cancel on me, she cancelled after she told me at the wedding she would certainly be there – I suspect that she knew then she wouldn’t come. There is no way to say this nicely, but her new boyfriend is an ass. He is most definitely behind this as I know he dislikes me. So for once (apart from a slightly childish Facebook post from my side) I walked away. I discussed my feelings with someone I trust, and just left it there. I am not sure what I am doing right now about our friendship, but I have mastered the ability to keep my mouth shut – no small feat.

A quote from my diary at work – very apt.

“Wisdom is divided into two parts: (a) having a great deal to say, and (b) not saying it” – unknown

So, the idea of friends and what it means have been bugging me. My friendship group is big and complicated, full of fights and drama, but also of love and laughter. These two people above are not part of my intimate group of friends, for which I am grateful, but shutting them out permanently will break my heart. I really have no idea what to do with them.

South-Africa blushes – again

SA is known for many things – braaing, beautiful scenery, crime, and corruption, a president without basic education, Oscar Pistorius, crime, corruption, and crime.

After the terrorist attack in Kenya at the Westgate mall, where more than 70 people were killed, it is rumoured that a woman nicknamed the White Widow was one of the masterminds. There is now a red alert issued from Interpol to find her. What does this have to do with South-Africa, you ask? It would seem that this woman lived in SA with an illegal South-African passport for three years, while she was still being searched for by the United Kingdom for suspected terrorist involvement there.

Let’s all just hang our heads in shame, SA. Our country is not only a hotbed of criminal activity, but apparently also a convenient hideout for terrorists.

*I really love South-Africa. This just seems like a bit much.

Branding

Last week Friday my blog broke its record for most views in one day – thank you! It was amazing to see when I logged back on after the weekend. I am so excited about my blog – it is constantly growing. I finally have an outlet for all the opinions I have.

I have been playing with the idea of a second blog, focusing on fashion and beauty. I love both, and would be incredibly happy to start a blog for it. I am still planning and organizing my thoughts, as it would probably triple the amount of work and writing I am currently doing.

Personal branding is very important, especially on the internet today. I want to find a name for my work that will be instantly recognisable – I don’t think my blog’s title is very memorable right now. That said; I am worried if I change the title again, it will confuse my current users. Any comments or suggestions?

Love for RPattz.

I am watching all the Twilight movies again, and I have been reminded how much I liked Robert Pattison. For some reason, I forgot how looky he is. I have been reminded. Thank you, Twilight.

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Have a good one!

The very extended weekend

I’m back! It has been a really long time since I have been at work. It feels very strange, I have to say.

The weekend was largely dedicated to my sister’s wedding. I was on leave from Wednesday, and I went and brought their wedding present. I got a DVD player – they didn’t have one until now, and I thought it would be something they can really use. Thurday we did our nails – it took AGES. We were four people who went at once, so it wasn’t unexpected.

Friday was such a crazed day. My sister, the bride, woke up with the terrible stomach bug that had been terrorising the entire Johannesburg last week. We rushed her to the doctor, and he gave her an injection. We tucked her into bed immediately and hoped for the best. Then I, my family and our soon to be extended family went and set up the reception hall. That evening, my best friend in the entire world arrived in Joburg. I am so touched that they made such effort to be here. Truly, their week had been terrible, and they still came – that is true friendship. Thanks, Zoë.

Wedding day

We started wedding day with getting our hair done. At that point, hair was the only stress factor I still had. During the week my sister went and checked that we were booked, and our names wasn’t even in the diary! Even after that was fixed, I was still worried. Luckily (and really luckily, as I would have blasted them on every single social platform I had access to if something had gone wrong) our hair was done as quick as possible. I won’t mention the salon’s name, as I wasn’t impressed with their attitudes at all, and at the end of the day, I could have easily done my hair like that myself. I can however say that I won’t be returning to them anytime soon.

Afterwards we went to the Lido hotel in the South of Joburg to get ready. In the last few years they made a lot of effort to fix and upgrade the hotel to a modern environment. It looked really great there!

Our wedding car driver (a dear friend) forgot the flowers at the church and raced to and from in ten minutes (quite a feat, I can assure you), and then we drove to the church. I was so stressed out by the busy road that I was five minutes from church when I realised that my sister was actually getting married. I arrived at church completely stressed out.

It was the most beautiful ceremony. I was close to tears a number of times, as you are supposed to be at weddings. Everything was so beautiful and happy and sweet. It was so right.

On Monday we waved off the newlyweds to Mauritius. Enjoy, Mr. and Mrs. Van Vuren!

I was on leave on Monday (to recover from an insane week) and slept so nice. It was wonderful. I am taking care of my sisters apartment when she is away, and I can guarantee that I will be sad when I have to move back home. I certainly see the advantages of getting my own place.

Tuesday, the 24th of September, was Heritage day in South-Africa. We are an incredibly culture rich society – we have eleven official languages. On Heritage Day we celebrate our diversity as people and our unity as a nation. It is also Braai Day now – where South-Africans do what they do best – braai. Going to a braai is the equivalent of going to a barbeque. Just don’t call it a barbeque. Foreigner.

My book challenge had a revival this weekend. Despite having a million things to do, I read five books this past week and a half. Four of them were easy – it is the Bridal Quartet books written by Nora Roberts. Appropriate. I am now busy with the Three Sisters Trilogy, by the same author. I have always loved both series. I am now at 52 books. It will be a miracle if I manage to read another 48 books by February (that is when I started my book challenge). I need to get through my two exams with Unisa before I can fully relax and just read. I wish I had known my year would be so insane, and then I would have made my challenge 52 books in a year. LOL.

That is what I have for you on this Thursday, which feels like a Monday.

PS: This post was for yesterday, but my internet chose to not work on the day I returned. Nice, I know.

 

Happy Heritage Day, South-Africa

South-Africans

Happy Heritage Day

You might have cleverly deduced that today we celebrate our diversity and heritage here.

We have this great nation, with so many different cultures.

every day we strive to be more integrated, and understand each other better.

It isn’t easy, because we have a very recent past of racial segregation.

I am Afrikaans, which means my forefathers were mostly the guilty party of Apartheid.

Even though my forefathers were poor and worked in fields, and were considered not that high up on the social ladder, today I still carry a mark of being white, and Afrikaans, in South-Africa.

I am proud to speak my language, and proud to be Afrikaans.

And I am proud to be South-African.

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Ode to my parents

My sister asked me to make a toast to my parents on her wedding. A terrifying thought, but not impossible, as I truly admire and respect my parents. I never went through a rebellious phase, and they never needed to lock me up and hide the key. I think that means they are truly outstanding parents. Not to gloss over our relationship – because sometimes I want to murder them like any other twenty year old – but they both have qualities that I find amazing. My dad is amazingly intelligent and well read. He knows something about everything. What I admire the most is his religious knowledge – he isn’t a Christian because he was raised as one, but because he has researched and studied the Bible and related theology for years. My mom has a rare and terrifying gift – she is able to take care of children. You might think it sounds like something small, but she is able to take care of 20 kids under the age of two effortlessly. I am not a kid person – they scare me senselessly. So I really admire her talent.

Here is the wedding toast, translated into English. I left the Afrikaans part as well, as tomorrow is Heritage Day in South-Africa.

Wedding Toast

Evening everybody

My name is Natasha Stander, and I am sure everyone here knows I am the bride’s sister. My toast tonight is to two people who is directly responsible for raising the amazing person who married Stefan tonight – my parents Jan and Theresa Stander.

I searched for a quote to describe good parents – the closest I could find was a quote by H. Jackson Brown.

“Live so that when your children think of fairness and caring and integrity they think of you”

These wise words describe something about my parents – they were always fair and honest. We never had to doubt their love for us, or that they care. We always had everything we needed. They taught us that you could have anything if you worked hard enough for it.

So this is not only a toast, but a thank you ask well – thank you for the love and wisdom and advice of a lifetime.

To Jan and Theresa!

Heildronk

Naand almal

My naam is Natasha Stander, en ek is seker meeste van julle weet Theranne is my sister. My heildronk vannaad is op twee mense wat direk verantwoordelik is vir die fantastiese mens wat met Stefan vanaand getrou het – my ouers Jan en Theresa Stander.

Ek het gesoek na iets wat verduidelik wat goeie ouers is. Die naaste wat ek kon kom was iets wat H. Jackson Brown Jnr gesê het:

“Live so that when your children think of fairness and caring and integrity they think of you”

Hierdie wyse woorde verduidelik iets van my ouers – hulle was altyd regverdig en eerlik. Ons hoef nooit te getwyfel het dat hulle vir ons lief is nie, of dat hulle vir ons omgee nie. Ons het altyd alles gehad wat ons gekort het. Hulle het ons geleer dat jy enigeiets kan wees as jy hard genoeg daarvoor werk.

Hierdie is nie net ‘n heildronk nie, maar ‘n dankie sê ook – dankie vir die liefde en wysheid en raad vir ‘n leeftyd.

Op Jan en Theresa!

5 Things Friday: Five romantic movies you have to watch

Happy Friday!

While you are reading this, I am probably running around like a headless chicken – my sister is getting married tomorrow. Many congratulations, sister and very-soon brother-in-law! May you have happiness and love in abundance for the rest of your lives. I am so proud of both of you.

Here is my installment of Five things Friday, and keeping with the theme of lurrrvee, Five Favorite Romantic movies I love and think you should watch.

Movie One: Crazy, Stupid Love

Steve Carell, Julianne Moore, Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling star in this movie. Usually star studded films can steer horribly wrong, but I really liked this one. It had a few surprising twists and turns, and managed to be both funny and serious at times.

Movie Two: Dirty Dancing

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Patrick Swayze dancing. ‘nuff said.

Movie Three: Letters to Juliet

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I think this movie is seriously underrated. Amanda Seyfried is one of my favorite actresses (it may be because she is one of the only young Hollywood stars not acting out right now) and she is wonderful in this touching romantic film about finding lost love, and how you can achieve something if you never stop believing.

Movie Four: 10 Things I hate about you

This movie is one of my all-time favorites. Heath Ledger as a teen? It is hilarious to see 90’s high school kids as well.

Movie 5: PS I love you

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Prepare the tissues. I cry every single time when I watch it. Maybe it is only because Gerard Butler dies. But it is still excruciatingly sad.

Movie Review: The Amazing Spiderman (2012)

The Amazing Spiderman tells the story of Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield), a high school student, who is bitten by a radio-active spider. He must stop Dr. Curt Connors (Rhys Ifans) from spreading mutation serum onto humans, causing them to become reptile-like.

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A young Peter discovers that his father’s office has been ransacked. His father takes secret documents, flees with his mother, and leaves Peter behind with his aunt and uncle. His parents are later killed in a plane crash.

As a teen, Peter goes to Midtown Science High school. He is in love with Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone), who, unfortunately for him, is the daughter of police captain George Stacy (Dennis Leary). He discovers his father had worked with Dr. Curt Connors to combine human and animal DNA to cure illnesses. Peter sneaks into Oscorp, the company where Connors works, to speak to him. While walking around in Oscorp, Peter is bitten by a modified spider, and he develops superhuman speed, strength, a heightened sense of danger and the ability to stick to surfaces.

Peter solves the missing key in the serum when he goes through his father’s documents. At school, Peter gets into trouble when he finally retaliates on the school bully’s taunts. Peter’s uncle dies when he rushes after Peter when they have a fight, and Peter starts to search for the man responsible. He apprehends other criminals in his search, and attracts the unwanted attention of the police force. Peter finds out that Gwen’s father is the police chief, and after a disastrous dinner at her house, he tells her that he is Spiderman, and they kiss.

The Amazing Spider-Man

When the test mouse regrows its missing link, Connor injects himself with the serum, and his missing arm regenerates. Connors mutates, and begins to become a large lizard-like creature.

Peter suspects that Connors is the lizard, and after an unsuccessful confrontation in the sewers he leaves his camera behind, revealing his identity to the Lizard. Connors goes to Peter’s high school, and they fight there. The police start a man hunt for both vigilantes, and Connors head to Oscorp with the intent to disperse his serum across the city. Meanwhile, Gwen develops an antidote and gives it to her father to give to Spiderman. Peter and Captain Stacy reach a tentative truce when Peter tells him that Gwen is in danger, and Peter promises the dying man that he will stay away from Gwen for her safety. Gwen realises what her father made Peter do, and the movie ends hinting that they might resume their relationship.

Rating: 7.5/10

I didn’t watch The Amazing Spiderman for quite a while because I have never been a Spiderman fan. Andrew Garfield really did a phenomenal job as Spiderman. I am really impressed by his portrayal of the character. The action scenes were entertaining enough, and had the added bonus that the action wasn’t stretched out too much.

I would recommend this movie to anyone who loves comic books, superheroes, or the traditional story of a messed up guy trying to save the world.

Book Review: Twilight (Stephanie Meyer)

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Book: 45/100

When Isabella Swan moves to Forks from sunny California to go live with her father, she thoroughly expects it to be a nightmare. Used to sunshine, she is now in a place where it perpetually rains and is always cold. Despite her awkwardness, she is immediately popular at her new school. She makes many friends, including Jessica, Angela and Mike, who quickly develops a crush on her.

The only person who doesn’t immediately like her is the impossibly handsome Edward Cullen. He and his siblings always seem removed from the rest of the student body, content to be on their own. Bella and Edward’s first meeting in biology class is highly awkward, and she can’t help but feel the anger he directs towards her. Hurt and confused, she is bewildered when he disappears the next day, because no matter what her mind tells her, she knows it is because of something she did.

Upon his return, Edward is much more civil to her. Bella is drawn to him, but she senses the danger that lurks beneath his beautiful surface. When he saves her from an impossible accident on a snowy day, she even starts to suspect he may be something more than human. Her persistence to know answers irritates him, and they frequently disagree on it.

Bella and some of her friends head to La Push, a beach in a reservation. Bella reconnects with Jacob Black, who she knew as a kid. He tells her the tale of the Cullens and his own people, and even though he doesn’t believe the legend, she is much more prone to believing it, with what she has seen of Edward’s strength and speed.

Edward saves Bella once again later on when she goes shopping with her friends, and is herded by men who want to harm her. She finally gets him to admit the truth, that he and his family are vampires. He realizes that she accepts him either way, and that even though he will always be a danger to him, she will be with him forever.

After meeting Edward’s family, Bella joins them for a baseball game on a stormy night. Everything goes well until another group of vampires appear – vampires who don’t share the Cullens “vegetarian” lifestyle. A fight nearly breaks out when James, one of the other clan’s vampires tries to attack Bella. Edward reads James mind and realize that his vampire ability is hunting, and that he will never rest until he has Bella.

Bella is taken to safety by Alice and Jasper, while Edward and Carlisle search for James. When he eludes them, and heads to Phoenix, Bella knows that he will eventually find her. He calls her and threatens to kill her mother if she doesn’t show up alone. Will Bella and her mother survive this attack?

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Rating: 6/10

The first book in the Twilight phenomenon is truly enjoyable. It is well written, despite all reports. I appreciated the new direction Meyer took on vampires, and how their existence could be possible. The book was a solid baseline for the other books to follow – how Victoria would become so dangerous to them, much more than James ever was.

Bella as a character is somewhat weak, but mostly she depicts what teenage girls truly are – just a little obsessed with social acceptance and boys, and insecure about themselves.

Will we judge her for dropping her friends in favor for her boyfriend? Yes, because she is absolutely the first girl ever to do that.

Edward, despite being overbearing and protective, seemed like a fine romantic lead to me. If you had to wait a hundred years to meet the love of your life, you would also become a bit obsessed, no?

I think most people who love this genre have read this book already, but if you haven’t, and you like vampire romance, you should give it a try!