Life Lately: 15.1.30

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BIRTHDAY!!

I’m super old now, but somehow I’m not really feeling any different. The only strange thing this year is that I’m very relaxed over my birthday – I just want happiness and peace and not a lot of fuss. We went to the Walter Sisulu National Botanical Gardens on Sunday and it was very lovely. The weather agreed and it was all sunny and pretty and green. I consider those Gardens as my second favorite place to go to in Johannesburg and it was so nice to visit there again.

House Break in and other criminal activities

I don’t think any particular law abiding South-African will take offence when I say that we have a huge problem with crime in our country. We have so much amazing things in our country to be proud of, yet we are still faced with senseless crimes that mostly gets justified or ignored by our ruling party. My big issue with the world, but South-Africa in particular, is how easy we can ignore or forget crimes we’ve heard of. Look, if you live in my country you do need to somehow block out all the negativity you hear or you will constantly live in fear, but it is too easy to forget horrific events. What I’m basically trying to say that you feel removed from violence and crime when you are not physically involved.

Earlier this week we heard that one of the ladies at work had been held hostage and that her car had been highjacked when she was sitting with her boyfriend as he was stocktaking at work. I was so furious on her behalf – her car had been her pride and joy and she had only had it and her license for about three months before this happened.  I am so relieved that she and her boyfriend made it out unharmed – shaken, sure, but not raped or killed, which is very rare nowadays.

Just as I was getting over my anger for that incident, we received a phone call from my brother in law. He had just gotten home and the second he walked in he noticed that their television was missing. Further investigation showed that the house had been ransacked and numerous precious items were taken – the TV, his computer screen, his brother’s home and work laptop and a large amount inherited jewelry that had been in the family for decades. There are miracles in this horrible tale: miraculously the cats and dog are fine, they weren’t hurt, the thieves couldn’t access the safe that holds the family guns and cameras, the thieves didn’t find  the (a spectacularly large and irresponsible amount of) cash. My sister’s brother in law’s girlfriend usually stays there in the week and works from there but she was home with her parents – another miracle that can’t be ignored.

So I am relieved but I am furious. My friends and family work hard for what they have and take pride in what they’ve accomplished for themselves and then some entitled idiot walks in and takes everything just like that (The security footage showed this went down in all of ten minutes)

Another disgraceful talking point is our Police Service. There is a station less than fifteen minutes where my sister lives and the police took AN HOUR to get there, because they “couldn’t find the place then turned back” Yep, those were actual words. They’ve obviously never heard of these miraculous inventions called cell phones or GPS because who could have possibly used those to quickly get the directions again that had already been given?

After this I heard that a girl I’ve known for years had been attacked while jogging close to my house. The area I’m living in is supposed to be extremely safe, so I went through such a crisis after this attack.

Oh, a note to everyone out there: Don’t ever tell a person that they need to be thankful in such situations. Yes, these were all miracles, but I personally feel that the notion that we have to be thankful that our houses were only partially ransacked is mad.

Some questions asked by the police:

“Did you give anyone permission to break into your home?”

“Did you see any fingerprints?”

That is not to mention that the one officer sat texting for ten minutes before she even got out of the police vehicle.

So yeah, I’m pissy about this. We live in a country that tells you when you get robbed that it happens to everyone, be glad you’re alive. OR: you should protect your house enough that no one can break in. This sounds exactly like the type of culture that teaches women to not get raped instead of teaching men not to rape (that is another mindset you get in this country)

So here’s a notion:

What about we get a police chief with actual credentials instead of a membership with the ruling party?

What if we train police officers properly, teach them how to appropriately react in crisis situations?

Actually work on stopping crime instead of sympathizing with perpetrators?

Okay, now that that is off my chest, I will stop moaning and somehow remember how miraculous my country really is.

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Housesitting and Kitler the Cat

I am currently housesitting for a friend and having loads of fun. It is quite lovely to be on my own and do whatever I want. I have to admit that it’s a huge adjustment to be solely responsible for feeding myself! I’m getting better at it but I can see when I have my own place there won’t be a lot of cooking going on. Also, washing clothes is such a schlep.I am also the current feeder of Kitler, my friend’s kitten. We have a very abusive relationship. I am scratched all over and regularly get jumped against.

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True Blood Season Five:

People really weren’t exaggerating when they said this is the worst season of the lot. It is SO bad. Every character is up to his own business, the plot does not thicken it just becomes painful and unbearable; the acting becomes worse and suddenly the vampires’ eyes bulge when they get killed. I finished it by watching it and alternating with other stuff just to give my brain a rest from all the “What the fucks” that were running around. I’ve started Season six now which is miraculously better than season five.

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Reading:

I’m still reading Silver Shadows by Richelle Mead. It’s not bad, I’m just not really focused on reading right now while I have so much going on at the moment. I’m probably going to try and read the Night’s Circus first to understand what Zoë is trying to express about it 😀

Watching:

Series wise I’m going to trick myself into watching True Blood Season 6. I have a yen to watch Game of Thrones again before the new season airs and the same goes for Sherlock (although there is still way too much time left before the new season starts). Someone let it slip to my sister that Rob Stark dies and now she’s refusing to continue with it. I don’t even blame her, though.  #FuckFiltch

As for movies I’m steering clear of the cinema until the Jan/Feb slump is over. I have a few films of 2014 I still want to watch and am nearly finished with the Theory of Everything (Sob, it’s fucking glorious).

Unisa

I’m hopeful that this is my second last year with Unisa. I have two practicals this year and it is quite debatable how I will get everything done, but hopefully with some super hard work and excellent planning I can master it all!

And some True Blood Memes, because it’s weekend

Bill drinking game bill meme

(You’d think for such a ridiculous show there’d be more memes around)

What’s up in your life?

Have a great weekend!

 

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Thoughts 9.1

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Firstly, this post was initially incredibly whiney, (sadly not WINE-y). I edited a lot to make it not seem like an incessant moan session, so if you are reading this, know that I love you (in a purely unfreaky way) enough to change a post to positive. It started off one night as I forced myself off the internet (you freaking addictive thing).

It is September, which means Spring. I am so happy it is warmer. To the Northerners reading this, Winter is coming. You all at least get some snow while all we do in SA is get cold. I can’t wait for November, I am going to the coast (major dancing, partying and loafing will be involved, all on the beach)

What is happening quite soon:

I am doing the Colour Run in Johannesburg. It is my first time doing this and I really can’t wait.

I am up for a two week practical Chemistry class. That means two weeks of not dealing with work which is the best thing to happen since sliced cheese.

Speaking of South-Africa, here is a cute article about slang words South-Africans use.

Can people just not be such asshats?

I have this huge confession that I LOVE Kate and William. They are so sweet, and I don’t care if feminists think that she should do more with her life than pop out babies. Some women want that, just FYI, and it is their free choice to make. Anyway, I am super excited that they are having their next baby! So everyone who is moaning about the British money being wasted or whatever bug you have up your ass, just be happy for once that a couple is happy.

Another case of sever ass-ism are the people who left two Labrador puppies in a dustbin. My sister will now adopt one and the brother will go to another safe place. This is not the place to mention what I will do to the people that did that, but let’s just say for now I hope they end up in a dustbin without food or water. Would seem like justice.

Movies watched recently

Not a whole lot, but I saw One for the Money Friday night while drinking wine with my sister (the wine couldn’t even save that plot) and I saw Lucy in cinema Saturday. I also saw THAT was epic and I had such a good time with it, so keep an eye out for the post!

I am busy reviewing some Marvel films for my Marvellous Monday Blogathon. The table with available movies to watch is updated every Monday as the instalment post is posted, so hop over and takes a look.

Reading List:

To finish:

A Faint, Cold Fear – Karin Slaughter

Dead to the World – Charlaine Harris

Angel’s Fall – Nora Roberts. Yep, I am actually re-reading this for the gazillionth time.

To begin:

Dead as a Doornail – Charlaine Harris

A Game of Thrones – George R.R Martin

Series

After finishing the glorious Sherlock, I haven’t watched anything new. I was playing around with Vampire Diaries season three as part of my plan to catch up with all of it, but I am still not finished. I am going to start True Blood soon, with some light-hearted New Girl in-between because I just love that ridiculous show.

A hot guy, because I can

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And this one that Zoë sent me. Because we understand that so well

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5 Things Friday: Five things that makes me happy right now

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I’ve had an awful week at work, and I had a number of ideas for this post today: things that makes South-Africa awesome (I will only post that though once I am not so angry anymore that they stole a work colleague’s car from a secured parking lot and I am walking outside every two hours to check on my car… I guess that means good exercise at least), I had some fitness and weight loss ideas running around in my head but I didn’t even have the urge to share my limited knowledge on that subject. So I’ve decided to share with you the things that make me happy right now.

Bones season 1

It is so much fun watching a glamorised version of what I do every day. I love the characters and although the story is weak in the beginning it is definitely becoming more solid and the acting is getting better and better. And the lab is AWESOME. I want it I want it now.

The Fact that I am watching Captain America: Winter Soldier tonight

Captain America
Finally!! Of all the Marvel movies, Captain America has the best story. I really can’t wait! Watch out for the review next week!

The fact that I am watching Divergent next weekend

Divergent
This is obviously movie month here, but I can’t wait to see Tris, Four and the Dauntless. WHOOP

I am seeing my best friend at the end of April!
ZOE!!!!!

I got 100% for my Microbiology assignment at Unisa.
#HappyLabRat

Enjoy your weekend!

Weekend Fun and Happiness

I was so frustrated Friday Night. My BlackBerry was quite clearly on its last breath and my upgrade was only due at the end of March. My brother in law suggested I check the dates out because our service provider had pushed up some of the upgrade dates. I checked, and I could! So I went  in to Vodacom, with my patience fully in place (Good service is a bit of a myth in SA) but was so surprised with the efficient service I received – I was in and out in 40 minutes at the most! So I tweeted them my thanks – I fully believe in letting companies know when they are doing something right – and now my deed is done by putting it up on the blogosphere as well. I upgraded to a Samsung S4 Galaxy Mini. I am SO happy with it. Happiness forward!

Saturday night I went to a braai at a friend’s house. We had lost contact for a few years so the last few months had been the awkward getting to know each other thing again. It was much better than previously this weekend and I had loads of fun. She also has a dachshund puppy.  It is so incredibly cute and fluffy and wiggly! I WANT ONE AND I WANT IT NOW.

Fast and the Furious 6

It took me two days to finish it, but it was so worth the watch. I am always so entertained by the franchise and its latest instalment didn’t disappoint. I think the reason the sequels work so particularly well is because the cast is so much a family now. Their insults and interactions flow effortlessly.

Car

Still not over the complete freedom!

Karin Slaughter

The woman is probably the ballsiest writer out there. She leaves you horrified at the world she creates and unable to put the books down. I finished Kisscut, and although the ending irritated me (it was a realistic end but not the one that would have satisfied me). I took a while finishing the book – I think that last bit of the reading challenge exhausted me so much and I am taking time to recuperate.

Committed by Elizabeth Gilbert

Started on the sequel to Eat Pray Love. It is just as well written as EPL, and I can’t wait to see where it goes. Books by Gilbert are always so full of knowledge and having just read about fifty pages I already have some extra facts floating around in my head.

Black hair

Dyed my hair black. Now it is the color of my soul. Kidding.

Sort of.

The Iconic Book Scene

Email me your favorite book scenes at natashastander@gmail.com!

And a quote:

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Source

Enjoy your day!

Weekend, Final Countdown and Birthdays

This weekend was hectic and lovely. I really like a busy weekend once in a while. On Friday I went to Gino’s to have some pizza with some colleagues. It was really wonderful. The pizza was delicious!

Saturday morning I read Blindsighted by Karin Slaughter. I am so happy I finally started on her work. Slaughter’s books are really descriptive and intelligently written, without being too violent and therefore unreadable. The only glitch is I figured out who the killer was way before the book’s end, but luckily it didn’t deduct from the joy of discovering a new author.

Saturday night we had a braai for my sister’s birthday. It was really nice. Touch wood, but it seems the temperatures are slightly dropping in Johannesburg.

Sunday we went for a picnic at Rietvlei Zoo farm. It was also really lovely and so relaxing to sit under the trees and enjoy the cool temperatures.

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Skies at Rietvlei Zoo Farm

Book Challenge

It is the final countdown! I am on 94 books at the moment, and with only this week I will be reading my ass off to finish the last six. I can’t believe a year has passed!

Happy Birthday

To the best older sister I have. Happy Birthday Theranne!

And a quote for today:

Oscar Wilde

 

 

Weekend, Book Challenge and raging at the weather

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Happy, erm, Monday

So, I was spectacularly late this morning for work. It is raining like it is England, and I am not impressed. I hate driving in the rain. Johannesburgers are horrific drivers at best but it seems that in the rain they think it is Need for Speed Joburg. Meh.

Speaking of driving, I finally have my own car! It feels unbelievable that I can do whatever I want. I have been unhappy with my car-lessness for years, so I am so incredibly happy about it.

Friday I visited my sister (in my own car). Saturday said sister brought me car seats as a belated birthday gift and that night I drove myself to a braai at friends.

Sunday was my dad’s birthday. Happy 58th birthday Daddy! We celebrated at my sister’s house with brunch – our picnic plans were ruined by the rain once again.

I finished Suits Season three, which was absolutely good. I also caught up with Pretty Little Liars Season four. Without giving away too much to those who still needs to watch, the latest A development is deliciously freaky. I also appreciate that the show is getting real development – season three was all about stalling.

At the braai I went to we suddenly had the inexplicable urge to know our Chinese Zodiac signs. Apparently I am a Horse. Which is a lot better than being a Rat, I might mention. But it is supposed to mean I am more cunning than intelligent. Watch out folks.

Book Challenge progress and countdown

I had a good reading stint this weekend. I read and finished The Fault in Our Stars (cry cry cry). I also read The Notebook – one of Nicholas Sparks’ better attempts, and finished the Rescue, also by Sparks, which wasn’t the best of attempts by him. I thought to finish Shopaholic Abroad (Sophie Kinsella), but not even for finishing a book challenge will I read such atrocious nonsense.

I am officially in the last month of my Book Challenge countdown. I am already at 86 books, which means fourteen books left. I am so happy I decided to track how many books I can read in twelve months. I have certainly thought it must be a fair number, because I am always reading – even if I am in a slump I will be reading. It is part of who I am. I could never change that.

I have to say the only drawback of doing this was that I couldn’t reread my favorite books – or I could but I couldn’t add it to the list. If I remember correctly I only reread Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and Indigo Spell (Richelle Mead). At the beginning of March I will probably start going through my favorite books.

New authors

One of the perks of not rereading books was definitely exploring new authors. Some I won’t be persuing again (Katie Fford, Patricia Cornwell) but some others I definitely will. I really enjoyed Veronica Roth (DIVERGENT WAS AWESOME), Francis Scott Fitzgerald (the Great Gatsby), and Bryan Green (The Fault in Our Stars).

Reading List:

Karin Slaughter – Zoe’s been telling me to read these books for ages, and I am going to try them. There are 7 in the series and I will probably start tonight on them.

The Quinn Legacy by Nora Roberts – 4 books.

7+4 = 11 + 86 = 97. If you know of any three books worth reading please mention them to me!

Really want to read the sequel to Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follet, which was amazing, but it doesn’t seem like a good idea to tackle a 700 page strong novel with four weeks left in the challenge!

What did you do this weekend?

 

Life Lately

Social media causes fights. I was in the most intense disagreement on Facebook last Friday. It is so ridiculous that people seem to think they can attack you on your (very innocent) status and then get a fit when they are put in their place. Said person has since unfriended me, but I am completely okay with it. BUT I am still astonished to see how bigoted and idiotic people are. I am gobsmacked that people don’t realise that what they put on Facebook and Twitter can negatively impact their careers. That putting something out there can say something about your country or race when the majority really doesn’t feel that way. I am shocked that people who I grew up with, who had exactly the same opportunities as I, raised in the same social-economic environment, can become so completely weird and blind. It makes me truly, truly sad.

A Trio of losses.

Three greats died this week in three important circles: Paul Walker in Entertainment, Baby Jakes Matlala in sport, and then of course the colossal President Nelson Mandela of my home country, South-Africa. I am so honoured that the world is grieving with us. Currently, 70 heads of states are flying in for his funeral, which is the greatest amount of leaders ever gathered for a funeral. That, in itself, speaks of his legacy. This past few days I have witness our great nation once again showing the world who we are: Broken, sure, but mending and refusing to be told who we should be. We are once again united, and stand firm against the grief that threatens to overwhelm us.

Moving on

I have been trying to block out most of the Mandela coverage now. Save for news bulletins and tweets, I am trying to function. It is very difficult to actually read other news too, and rightly so, but I don’t want to get caught up in the frenzy. It has been exhausting this weekend, and I am too much affected by any news, always. So this weekend we went to Monte Casino, played ten pin bowling (I SUCK at it), watched Catching Fire and then ate and the Met Grill. It was lovely and I felt much better for it.

Unisa Results

The final release dates for all results is now the 20th of December. It irritates me to no end. I need to plan my syllabus for next year, you know. And who keeps results till 5 days before Christmas?!

I seriously need to buy Christmas presents. Like ASAP and I have no idea what to get. Perhaps I am slower than usual because I still can’t get my head around the fact that it is DECEMBER.

Movies: I finally saw Catching Fire after weeks for delays, and it was so amazing. This weekend I will hopefully watch The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. I hope it is good. I wasn’t overly impressed with the first movie (A lot of theatrics and very little loyalty to the book) so I will reserve judgement for now. Also, I re-watched one of my favourite movies, PS, I love You. I have always enjoyed that film and to me, that is Gerard Butler in his prime. He is gorgeous, and kudos to Hilary Swank’s Holly for getting over his death – just not sure if I would have done it.

Currently reading: Beautiful Creatures (my 74th book). It is odd, but still good enough to try and finish it. I am nearly on holiday, so then I will most likely be closing in on 100 books if I have nothing else to do but read. Which is unlikely, since it is December and everyone and their aunt has a function, but I will do my best.

Speaking of holidays:  This is my last week at work, and between power-cuts, closed off roads (for the Nelson Mandela memorial at Soccer City FNB Stadium) and dumb nurses, life is going to be interesting. I apologise for any rants that may occur, blog or elsewhere. I can’t wait for the holidays. I am planning a visit to my best friend, who lives in the hottest place on the planet (okay, that is slightly exaggerating but Nelspruit is pretty toasty) and furthermore just relaxing back home. I really, really need it. I am at that point where I am likely to snap quickly.

Weekend stuff

Reading

Insurgent by Veronica Roth. I went to bed at two am on Saturday because I was reading Divergent. I am such a bad ass. LOL. It is very good. The second book is a bit stretched out, but it is very good as well. The books have the same train of thought of Hunger Games, but manage to be completely original at the same time. They are my 64th and 65th books in the challenge

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Watching

Finally got to go to the cinema on Friday. WOW. I wanted to watch Oblivion, but that had sadly finished. So I watched About Time (With Rachel MacAdams) and had such a good time. It was wonderful and funny. It is the type of Romantic Comedy people enjoy even if they don’t like Romcoms.

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I am on the last episode of Season 2 suits. Still in love with the fast paced lawyer drama. It is just that good. Afterwards I am going to watch Supernatural season three, to make my friend happy.

Le Good life

I had way too much chocolate the last week. I don’t really care, because I was studying Chemistry, and you need chocolate if you are studying Chemistry. This week I will learn to refrain myself in favor of losing weight, and I am determined to succeed.

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Feeling better and happy Monday

I went through the last couple of weeks feeling decidedly down. It seemed like nothing good ever happened anymore. Everything and everyone was depressing me.

I was irritated with myself more than anyone had been irritated by me – and that is saying something.

So this weekend I did some thinking, decided that the power is in my hands and started to believe that things would go well again. I received a gentle prod from up Above that bad things never comes from God, and I started to believe that again.

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Things I did to stop feeling so down

–          I stopped reading the news. It is so depressing and just serves to make me angrier.

–          Removed myself from negative conversations

–          Changed thoughts when they became negative

–          Spent more time alone thinking, reading and sleeping

–          Read more Bible, which really helps me.

–          Kept on exercising because endorphins are really great.

–          Watched some movies

So, I’m feeling better. It has been raining the entire weekend in Johannesburg, and it is washing away all the dirt. I am using the rain to wash away all my internal “dirt” as well. Deep I know 😉

PS: As soon as you start being more open to the universe, the universe starts sending positive things to you. Hopefully some exciting stuff coming up!

PPS: Happy Monday. I hope it is a great day, and that you are being positive! 🙂