Watched, Read Loved and what I’ve been up to in 2018

Hello everybody! I’ve been rather inconspicuous the last few months, and I’ve really missed blogging and interacting with everyone in the blogging world. I’ve posted a few times, and thanks to everyone that still popped in – you are appreciated! I’m almost ready in having a normalized life again, so I plan to be a bit more active with reading and posting about how I’ve managed to entertain myself since December 2017.

Firstly, I started my new position in the company I work for. It’s been quite a change, and I’ve been struggling to adapt to this new life of crazy deadlines and people with serious lack of work ethic. I’m almost motivated again, and I’m not blind to how extraordinarily lucky I’ve been to get to a point where my qualification and my job are actually aligned.

I’ve also graduated, and the event was… anticlimactic? I’ve worked my butt off to get here, and yet the day felt rushed and the moment passed too quick. However, my BSc is now in the bag and I can continue with this crazy career path of mine.

I am also finally in my own apartment. I hope someday soon it will actually feel like I live here, but for now I am just enjoying the experience and getting used to having my own place.

So yes. This year has been really big so far. We are only at the end of August now and I have been all over the place. It is good, right? To be honest it is all just a bit overwhelming.

This post has basically said nothing that I originally thought to write on it, but here’s a rundown of the films (it’s probably not all, because it has been so long), books and series I’ve explored.

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The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, The Desolation of Smaug and The Battle of the Five Armies – One movie night and three really dedicated people lead to all three Hobbit movies being watched, with a variety of sarcastic comments (mostly from me) about the length and things that happen that is entirely unrelated to the actual Hobbit book. I haven’t  had a look at the reviews about these films up here for ages, and it is probably time to revisit them. They aren’t bad, but compared to The Lord of The Rings trilogy (incidentally never reviewed on here because I don’t know how to review perfection like that), they are a bit uninspiring.

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Edward Scissorhands (1990): A pretty cool film and very deserving of its reputation, I enjoyed seeing Johnny Depp in something pre-Jack Sparrow. This is some of Tim Burton’s best work and really great to watch.

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The Duff (2015): Yes, again. It’s great to watch and such a nice laugh, I can’t understand why this film received such a negative backlash at the time. It’s certainly better than it’s hormonal book counterpart! This reminds me of a 2015 version of Mean Girls (although Mean Girls is certainly better), and on that note, I probably watched Mean Girls sometime this year too, as well as Easy A, a simply hilarious staple for chick flicks.

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Pride and Prejudice (2005): Yes, also again. I can watch this all the time, and this rerun was triggered by reading the book again.

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Vampire Academy (2015) Okay this one does deserve the hate that gets thrown its way, but it is a guilty pleasure of mine.

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Jane Eyre (2011): I loooooovvveeeedddd this. It is a wonderfully accurate adaption to the book, and another film I’ll probably end up watching ten million times.

Ant-Man (2015): I somehow kept postponing this film, and it is so stupid because you all know how much I like watching Marvel superheroes do their thing. Eventually Ant-Man turned out really fun and is a great film, and I will actually manage to see the second one before the turn of the century.

Nacho Libre (2006) and Napoleon Dynamite (2004). I can at least claimed to have heard about Napoleon Dynamite prior to my watching it. The spectacularly ginger teenager Napoleon is really a staple image in everyone’s recollection of the internet, occupying his own, very unique space. It was really quite a weird film and I am not sure what else to say about it. Nacho Libre is also… really weird. Jack Black has some strange titles under his belt, and this might bee the strangest yet.

Jumanji (2017) – Jumanji deserves an actual review, not necessarily because of it’s cinematic prowess but because of my eternal love for Dwayne Johnson. This film was surprisingly good, and included another viewing of Jack Black, who was actually quite fantastic in this film.

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Fallen (2016) – Got in my YA dose with this, and I am not sorry for a second. Is it bad? yes. Do I care? No. I had fun.

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About a Boy (2002) – one of the better random films I picked up to watch the last couple of months. Review coming soon

Tomorrowland (2014), Freaky Friday (2003) and Did you hear about the Morgans? (2009) – neither of these deserves posters on this post. Tomorrowland is getting a thrashing in it’s review (when I end up writing it), because what a load of turd. Freaky Friday is fun, but it also serves as a really sad reminder of how someone can screw themselves up so badly. The last, Did you hear about the Morgans, is neither inspirational, funny or adventurous, and is some of the poorest films in it’s genre.

 

Blindspots: I’m behind (which is a shocking surprise, I know)

Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961), Ghostbusters (1984), The Silence of the Lambs (1991), Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy  (2005), Die Hard (1988)

2018 releases:

Avengers: Infinity War Tomb Raider Black PantherThe Maze Runner: Death CureThe Greatest Showman, Jurassic World (Fallen Kingdom), Deadpool 2

books

The Obsession (Nora Roberts)Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte), Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen), Harry Potter (series), The Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams), How To Hang A Witch (Adriana Mather), Shelter in Place (Nora Roberts, ongoing), The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones

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I am really bad at finishing series. I will start off with great enthusiasm, but I never have the patience to get through the lull that inevitably strikes every show about halfway through when the original cast wants to leave and the writers are tired of finding something interesting to keep the watchers entertained. I was recommended to watch Call The Midwife Seasons 1&2 because of my love for Downton Abbey. It’s good, and I enjoy the show. I should continue into Season 3 soon and continue with my knowledge of female reproductive health when women had even less rights than we do now.

Friends Season 1-7: A series I actually finished! I loved this show. It is hilarious, and even though there are some lulls it stays funny, sweet and relatable.

Brooklyn Nine Nine Season 1 – this is a hilarious comedy and I will definitely watch some more. I was a bit crushed when they announced the series was coming to an end, but I see that there will be a final season of Jack Peralta and his fellow officers. Yay!

Riverdale

Riverdale Season 1&2 – I have a review coming in shortly for season 2, and I really like this show despite the lack of quality the last part of season 2 had.

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Grey’s Anatomy Seasons 1 – 7: As I am finalizing this post I come to you from a space where I have now banned myself watching this show during the week. There are a couple of reasons why – the lack of will to live if I am not watching it, the extreme emotional attachment to the characters and the stern talking to I had with myself that they are not real and that I can’t stop watching at night and then I am exhausted the following day (really, I need a boyfriend or a life at this stage). I couldn’t have expected this show would be so good. I mean, at seven seasons I am only halfway through the series, because the show remains super popular and it is now at it’s fifteenth (?!) season. It is heartbreaking and intense and happy and sad, and I.AM.ADDICTED.

Pride and Prejudice (1995): I am telling all of you, I know I have an unhealthy attachment to this story. The series is by far the most accurate to the book, and it is a lovely adaption that makes me really happy to watch.

So, there you have it. I have been writing on and off on this post for ages, so it is so good to have it finally out there! Let me know what you’ve seen, whether or not it has correlated with my watches. Adios!

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#100HappyDays: Days 63 – 68

Happy Monday everyone! This challenge is heading along nice, even with all my numbering faults. (I managed to have day 63 twice this week, which makes no sense, but I think I may have skipped a day somewhere – sure I did – so it will balance out!)

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Day 63 (1):

Love my eldest sister!

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Day 63 (2):

I watched Shakespeare in Love for the first time all the way through and crocheted on a top secret project. I do hope the recipient of this project loves it when it is finished!

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Day 64:

There are some things in this world that makes me ridiculously happy. Two of them are: Free things and Loyalty cards. Our – amazing – canteen at work has a loyalty based point system and I got a delicious meal out of it last week!

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Day 65:

To say that the past week was hectic and full of stress is the understatement of the year. However, I somehow pulled through in one piece, and my managers thought I was amazing. It is a really good feeling to finally work in a place where recognition occurs.

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Day 66:

Yep, more food. This chicken wrap was divine!

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Day 67:

We spent Saturday with some friends that we’ve known for ages, and it was a lovely experience. It is the best feeling to just completely be yourself, because everyone at an event knows you from when you were in your primary school clothes.

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Day 68:

Instead of resting AS ONE SHOULD on a Sunday, I finally took the time to super clean my room. Things were moved, repacked, thrown out, cleaned, new bedding was put up and curtains were hanged. I am SO happy with the results!

What made you happy this week?

#100HappyDays: Days 57 – 62

Happy Monday, folks!

I am back with another update. Today, spot the mistake! 😀

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Day 57:

When the challenge gets tough, take a picture of your food. This was delicious though!

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Day 58:

I’m such a fan of this nude Iced Mocha color from Revlon. Definitely one of my favorite colors!

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Day 60:

Our office has a coffee maker that makes the most delicious and strong cappuchino. There are very little that I find more offensive than weak flavored coffee, so this cancels out the negative day-to-day feels impressively!

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Day 61:

Love the scarf I got on a sale here in Johannesburg!

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Day 62:

I’ve mentioned before that it is weddings everywhere for the next month, and Saturday was the first one. It was so lovely and fun. Happiness is so contagious, don’t you think?

What made you happy this week?

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.

Quotesy pic of what I want to be

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Hello

I’m leaving you with a significant image today.

I was dumb enough to press Publish instead of Schedule on while loading the guest post of the PLL review.

Read here

Today’s pic is something that I want t feel. I have had yet another unpleasant discovery that a friend is a liar, and a nasty big one, and I am feeling so disillusioned. I need to stop trusting people, but it is hard.

Have a good day

N

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!

Weekend and the final countdown

IT’S THE FINAL COUNTDOWN

To what, you may ask?

My sister’s wedding!

Next week this time she is Mrs. Van Vuren, and happily on her way to honeymoon.

And I will have my life back 😉

Okay, I’m joking

Mostly.

This weekend my granny and uncle arrived from Mosselbay (East Coast, South-Africa). It is so wonderful to have them here. Our family, for various reasons, aren’t very close, and they will basically be representing our blood relations at the wedding. For that I am so grateful. I rarely feel bereft of family, because I have such good relationships with my sisters and parents, and I feel I don’t need much else. I also have so many good friends – they are true family. If I have to be honest, it is a bit strange having them in the house. By nature, I am not a talkative person – I will babble your head off if I know you, but other I am very shy.

I can also with certainty say I am not a case of being switched as a baby in a hospital – the resemblance between my gran and me is staggering – I am grateful, because I won’t grow into an old hag (I was hugely popular when I told my gran I now know I will age gracefully).

Saturday we practiced walking down the aisle. I still maintain I will strut down like a supermodel, but no one believes me. Hah. (I love my life, so I probably will gracefully glide down). Respect for my little sister – she was so sick and she still refused to stay at home and not practice. Well done little one!

Sunday night I received an email from someone I have truly forgotten about. It is one of those friendships that just died after school, and I am not sure it deserves a resurrection. Still, I will feel petty, childish and rude if I don’t reply, but as this friendship was fraught with drama, I can’t see how we can restart it. I wish someone could just tell me what to do, honestly. It is so difficult.

For such a busy weekend, I actually managed to an impressive amount of material. I finished Watermelon by Marian Keyes. I have been wondering about the missing link in the Welsh family series for ages, but never knew there was a book about the eldest sister, Clare. (I can hear you thinking that I should just have used Google). I enjoyed the book, but my favorite Welsh character remains Rachel from Rachel’s holiday. This book falls somewhere between my second and third favourite of the series. I am now really close to have read all Marian Keyes’ books. I think there is two left – I will see and read them. I really like her writing style.

I started on another Nora Roberts book – I know. It is one I read last year quite a bit. It is the first book in her Bridal Quartet series – the Vision in White. I love the entire series, and am now reading it through. It is fun and easy to read, which is just what I need right now.

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I have taken a hiatus on Wuthering Heights for a few days. I am nearly done with it, but I am struggling. It is heart wrenchingly sad and depressing. I like love stories with happy endings, dammit.

Fitness and weight loss update: Just GUESS who lost 2kg’s last week?! ME! It is just amazing what happens if you don’t eat chocolate all the time and exercise properly. I am working really hard right now to maintain that loss, and even lose some more. I am now in a wonderful gymming phase – I am enjoying it. I think it is the warmer weather. Everyone seems to be in the mood for running if you take a look at the queue by the treadmills.

Unisa: I submitted my last two assignments this morning. The one is chemistry, so I really hope that the questions I think I did right, I did right. it is statistics all over again – I just want to pass. I can literally kick myself for not taking science as a subject in school. I can sense I will love it if it can just stop being so foreign and new – and it is my own damn fault. I have to seriously sit down and focus if I want to attempt passing in November. It is essential to pass, since most of my other subjects require me to do this properly. SIGH.

What did you do this weekend? I hope it was great!

Birthdays, things that can go wrong, and thank heavens it is nearly weekend.

First of all, to my best friend, Zoë: Congratualations for making our digits the same again – Happy birthday friend! I hope you have a fantastic day.

Stephen King Quote

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old ladies funny

My apologies for not posting yesterday – technology is revolting against me again. Things that broke (and that is busy breaking): my computer here at work broke, and on it is 5 years of sample processing data. and the back-ups misteriously didn’t back up. So please keep all fingers crossed that they manage to restore all the data on there – I am trying not to think of the consequences.

Secondly, my BlackBerry is breaking. I will NEVER get a BB again. EVER.

And the freezer I keep in all my samples at work is acting up, the Liquid Nitrogen isn’t being delivered, and I am freaking at the possibility that I may lose a years worth of samples.

And I can’t be on leave tomorrow. Go figure.

Obviously things are not working out today.

A (short list of things that went right)

* I lost a kg.

* I got stock I needed.

* I can still be on leave next week for a few days.

PS: Send me some awesomely funny sites to cheer me up.

PPS: I am sorry for any spelling mistakes – my spellchecker isn’t working on the temporary PC I am typing on.

N