firstfallenpanda: (rollpanda)
So we're in the home stretch now, as it were. It's a bit calm-before-the-stormy as P's family start arriving on Sunday and then it gets all crazy. My sister has moved out to live with her bf, so the house will be somewhat less crowded. As excited as I am to be marrying my bear, I'm kinda over this whole wedding thing. Not that it's been stressful, it's just been so much planning and organising and stuff (not to mention worrying about finances) but everything seems ok now and on track and it should All Be Fine on the days concerned. I'm looking forward to seeing people I haven't seen in a while (and their new babies!).

My Ishbel shawl is finished and blocked and looks awesome! I've been meaning to put pics on my knitblog but the weathers been a bit yuck for taking pics so as soon as we get some nice weather I'll post pics of all my FOs. Wedding dress is nearly done, looking good. I've hit a bit of a bump with P's waistcoat and will have to re-cut the front facing and lining but the mock-up fit  so I'm not too concerned. I've been sewing at least 3 hours a night for the past week so I'm hoping the results will pay off. Or I'll possibly go blind :).

Also, there is a monkey's wedding outside today and the sky is full of rainbows. As I was driving along Settler's Way to work this morning there was a perfect rainbow framing Devil's Peak. Wish I'd taken a picture. Another really bright one against Table Mountain above Gardens, looked like I could reach out and touch it. Even though I know how they work it still doesn't take the magic out of them. See, woo people, science and knowing how things work doesn't make the world less magical or enjoyable!

ETA: due to a gigantic admin fuck-up my housebuilding henparty for this Saturday is cancelled. Basically they moved the build I signed up for to the Friday and cancelled the third build. The build that remained on the Saturday was then filled up. Then, they only booked me two slots as they didn't see the "party of 15 ppl" in the notes when I filled out the volunteer form! Completely useless. I was so disappointed that I nearly cried. I was really really looking forward to it and I know others were too. Hopefully we'll still get the chance to do it some day. There's a project I'm interested in call the Good Night God Bless sleeping bag, made from black bags and newspaper, so I might organise a day to do that sometime.

ps: if anyone wants banking details for honeymoon fund please email me or P.

firstfallenpanda: (Default)
We went to see Tropic Thunder last weekend. It might be the most awesome movie I've seen in a while. I'm not saying it's a good movie, or that I would buy it on DVD to rewatch, but it's damn enjoyable. I did get the feeling that it wasn't really "scripted", per se, but more of a general guideline, like "ok, guys, in this scene we need this and this to happen, go!" and then the actors all came up with lines of the top of their heads. If you don't like Ben Stiller and Jack Black, don't go see this. It's halfway between Zoolander and Nacho Libre, I guess.

RD Jr is just awesome as the black dude who's really an Australian in disguise ("I know who I am, I'm the dude playing a dude disguised as another dude"). Ben Stiller basically is Zoolander with a Rambo complex. Look out for Tom Cruise as Les Grossman, he totally steals the movie. He's absolutely hilarious (and I think he made up most of his own dialogue off the bat). Also, see if you can spot all the other film references (lots of war movies, Chaplin).

I seem to have developed RSI in my left wrist from too much knitting. I'm assuming it's from knitting as that's when I first noticed the pain. Time to cut down on my knitting :( and stock up on Ibuprofen. I'll go to the doc if it doesn't get better, apparently surgery is sometimes required. Add the sore wrist (typing makes it sore too) to my recent minor head-surgery and huge work stress and you can guess how happy I am with life at the moment. I feel like I need lots of chocolate mousse, but that's not really fitting in with my trying-not-to-be-so-damn-fat plan.
firstfallenpanda: (Default)
There's a cheetah downstairs, in for its annual checkup. It's screaming the screams of a small child throwing a tantrum: angry, scared and futile. It's stopped now, I hope they got the anaesthesia in.

In other news, see knitblog for updates on projects (if you care) and a report on yesterday's Train Ride From Hell (tm).

A rant on RSVPs... )

firstfallenpanda: (Default)
Someone who was a friend in high school found me on Facebook and friended me. We emailed a bit and he said he was coming to SA and he would call me when he got here, which he didn't. So I was all miffed then. Now he's just included me on some mass-mailing crap thing where "if you send this email to 10 ppl you get a free case of champagne"!! I feel like responding with "you fucking asshole, you diss me when you visit after saying you were keen to hook up in email and now you spam me?! Die!!"

Sigh, I seem to be having old friend email issues lately. I will drown my sorrows in tofu and yarn. And tofu yarn.
firstfallenpanda: (Default)
I just read an article on IOL about an informal settlement near Durban that's infested with rats. A baby was bitten. Apparently the rubbish-removal trucks can't get into the settlement to remove the stuff.

The thing that pisses me off, however, is this statement: "The municipality should hire us to clean up the place instead of bringing people from outside". Why is it the municipality's responsibility to get into your warren to remove your shit? Lady, there are rats eating your babies. Clean up your goddamn waste, ppl! If the trucks can't get in, organise community members to collect the shit in wheelbarrows and take it somewhere where the council can collect it, ffs.


In other news: I've cut my hair, but very few people seem to have noticed. Granted, I do cut it every year to the same length, but a "hey, new haircut!" would be nice. Just FYI.
firstfallenpanda: (rollpanda)
Is it just a local thing or are all email lists full of stupid? It seems to be an inherent problem where you have ignorant people/easily offended people/experts on internet usage/"experts" with superiority complexes using the same forum.

On the Cape Town Freecycle list there have been two asplosions in as many months. Last month someone complained about there being too many "wanted" posts, and was flamed and supported over a two-week period by half the list. Nothing was achieved, other than to clutter up people's inboxes and piss other people off. In the latest fiasco someone posted a "wanted: job" ad and was politely told off about contravening the rules. Not even told off, per se, just pointed to the group's rules. That person then got flamed for being "heartless" and "privileged" and "against the downtrodden trying to better themselves". Now the list is full of people either pointing out the rules, or rallying to support the downtrodden and unemployed, or being anarchists against the rules and flaming the rules-posters or just flaming the list in general for being stupid no-life-having people with nothing better to do and then leaving the list with cries of "oh, this used to be a lovely place where we could get rid of stuff to save the environment". Argh.

This is not new, though. There was a blow-up on another list recently about thread-jacking and when I responded with an explanation of what it is and what netiquette is I was asked by some people to write a post on the topic. I so don't want to get involved in stupid list-flames. Srsly, life is Too Short.

There ends the rant.

Whinge :(

Jun. 25th, 2008 03:35 pm
firstfallenpanda: (redridingpand)
There's a petfood talk here tonight, until 8.30. I honestly don't see why I have to stay for it, I don't ever see myself having to help customers with pet food*. I'd much rather be at home on the couch with the cats and my knitting. I'm full of snot and my tummy hurts. And I'm tired. I need chocolate and strippers**. Or chocolate-covered strippers.

I am looking forward to one day when the world realises what an evil genius I am and pays me to not blow up the moon. Then I can stay home all day and knit and play with my cats and plot evil plans for world domination***.

* isn't that why I'm in the finance department, so that I don't have to deal with people except on the phone?!

** not necessarily in that order.

*** which I will sell on Etsy to 3rd world countries for a stonkload.


Later that same day:

Ok, cheered up now. FSM bless Go Fug Yourself, cos nothing cheers me up like people being bitchy about other peoples' outfits. Also, tonight's talk comes catered with veg lasagne and chocolate brownies.
firstfallenpanda: (firstfallen)
I suppose it was my own fault for googling "i eat babies livejournal icon". I got this result (NSFW and definitely NSF people with children or squeams).

While on the one hand I support freedom of speech and find many bizarre things hilarious, I really do fail to see the humour in pictures of abortions and actual dead babies. The fact that there's a whole LJ community devoted to this kinda freaks me out a bit. Not only do they find these things funny, some of them are actively against having children and make fun of people who are offended by their humour. Now, I've ridiculed my fair share of comment-wankers on stupid forums and silly topics, but I think this one goes a bit Too Far.

Is there a line that has been crossed here? Just what in the world of humour is Too Far? I read an article a while back about a comedian who groped a woman on stage as part of his "act" and many of the audience seemed to think that was too far. How much can be justified in the name of humour? I don't think I'm speaking from a bunny-and-baby-hugger POV here. Do people who don't like babies as much as me also feel really grossed out and offended by this? There's a difference (in my mind) between those 90's "dead baby jokes" and _actual_ pictures of dead babies with LOLs written on them. What's next, LOLabortions*?

I have not read the community posts, nor have I read the Something Awful article mentioned in my first link. If I feel any differently afterwards, I'll update.

* I can see it now, an aborted foetus with "Life, you're doing it wrong" on it. Sadly, that wasn't the only Lol-caption that sprang to mind. Do I need help because I could think of at least 5 captions for a picture of an aborted foetus?
firstfallenpanda: (Default)
So, there's this craft group meeting that happens once a month in Cape Town. Jezze sent a little announcement of our KIP day event to this group as a private email. One of the ladies on the group, unbeknown to us, has a Cape Times column and asked if she could say something about WW KIP day. Instead she pastes (literally) Jezze's blurb (including her full name and email address) into her column with no fact checking or proof-reading by either of us. Now Chavendish is throwing a fit because I promised the events lady that it would be 10 people, sitting quietly and knitting with no promotions or exhibitions or any paraphernalia. But, because it's been in the media (even though we didn't mean it to) it's classed as an "event" and is not allowed as it might interfere with the people watching rugby in the food court. "Security has been briefed", apparently, and if it turns into 15 people then they'll politely ask them to leave. I'm totally going to email the "journalist" and her editor about how unprofessional this was and how it's fucked up our whole event.

I'm so despondent that I want to cry. How did a small social thing purely for fun turn into a media circus?! The radio guy this morning said he called Cav and they said nothing was happening, so he spoke to a lady in East London instead. I'm going to email him later and say that I'll still give him something, but I'll talk about WW KIP day in general and mention the other events around CT.

Jezze and I are going to go anyway and if more people show up then we'll tell them to move to coffee shops. The idea is that it's a self-running thing, people are just supposed to go somewhere public and knit, there doesn't have to be a reason or an organiser. I'm sad that something that was supposed to be fun and social has turned into something ugly and surreptitious. I also blame Elle for hijacking the day to promote breast cancer awareness with their KIP day kits. I don't begrudge anyone learning about breast cancer, but they've totally given people in SA the wrong idea that the day was organised by them to promote their cause.

The lady from Cav was very nice about it and totally understood that we never meant it to be in the media but she wanted me to understand their POV as a shopping centre and their duty to their tenants and so forth. She is happy to do something next year when it can be organised through the proper channels. But again, that totally defeats the object of just going somewhere public and knitting something for no specific reason. Sigh, why is it so hard to understand that people want to do something with no ulterior motive of promoting/exhibiting/selling something? If I were more of an anarchist I would organise something Flashmob style and try to get as many people as possible just to see what would happen. Totally take over their stupid ass-baring-jeans-wearing teenager-infested hellhole. But I don't want to burn bridges I might need to use next year, even if it's not Chavendish another centre might refuse because of this stunt. 
firstfallenpanda: (redridingpand)
I just heard that the baby buff died, a week after it left us. Apparently the owner fed it too much lucerne and when its stomach inflated she thought she could leave it till the next day. After a R20k operation, which was successful, and freaking out so much when it was here, what a stupid thing to do. Oh well, I hope she's really cross with herself. Poor buff buff, what a way to die. Colic fatality.

See my flickr page for photo of the buff, as well as cute cat pics.

Last day!

Mar. 28th, 2008 10:31 am
firstfallenpanda: (minions)
It's my last day at the office today, I start at the vet's on Tuesday and have taken Monday off to do admin stuff. The boss is in Jhb, but assures me that he'll be back in time to say goodbye. Yay.

I will miss some of the people here, but I'm so glad to be leaving and I can't wait to start at the new job. Lunchtime kitten fondling! I hope it's not a "grass is always greener" scenario and the new job is just as crappy. Well, we'll see.

I need to post about My Coke Fest and the awesomeness that is Jared Leto and Chris Cornell, but that will have to wait till I have more time. For now, just know that it rocked. Grunge is alive and well and rocking in Kenilworth.

Also, Rome (the TV series) is very good, despite the incest-pr0n.
firstfallenpanda: (rat)
I'm trying to fill out forms so my sister can claim UIF while being off on sick leave. The website tells you what you need to bring with you, but not how to fill out the 6 forms you need (the forms themselves are hardly user-friendly). Now, I consider myself a fairly intelligent person with a  good grasp of English and a fair knowledge of UIF/tax in SA, but jeez. If I'm having trouble, imagine someone not as well educated with a poorer grasp of English trying to claim anything. I think the idea is that you come into the labour office (and probably wait in a queue for hours), speak to a consultant who tells you what you need, then go get the things, then come back. Lather, rinse, repeat. I can see it taking 2 or 3 trips, with something being wrong with the form each time. For the illness benefit you need "medical certificate from a doctor" (is that the doctor who booked you off, or will any doctor do) and an "amplifying medical report" (where the hell am I going to get that?). There are UIF consulting firms out there that will help you claim, but they probably cost monies. Sigh. I think the red tape is such a nightmare that many people just don't bother, maybe that's how UIF makes its money.

Argh, irritated with bureaucratic crapshit.
firstfallenpanda: (Default)
I bought some make-up last night. I went for the Clarins automatically as I know it's cruelty-free. They did not have the shade of eye-shadow I wanted, so the woman pointed me to Givenchy. She assured me, several times, that it wasn't tested on animals. I told her it was something very important to me and I wouldn't buy it unless she could assure me that it was ok. So, I bought it and it was quite expensive. Now, after some Googling, it turns out that Givenchy is on the "banned" list according to Uncaged and The Bill Jordan Foundation from the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection's "Little book of cruelty free". So, I'm going to call Edgars today and demand a refund as I was blatantly misled. I'm actually quite pissed off. Next time, if it doesn't say so on the box, it's not bunny-free.

I am considering emailing Givenchy and asking them, but I don't know if they'll give me a straight answer.

Edit: I spoke to the cosmetics manager at Edgars, who said they'll gladly credit the makeup. She didn't seem that concerned that one of her salespeople blatantly lied to a customer to make a sale. What if I'd been a Muslim and bought a leather jacket that they assured me was cow and it turned out to be pig? I think I might actually write a letter to head-office, ccing a newspaper and animal rights group.
firstfallenpanda: (Default)
If someone wants to complete their Matric certificate, but didn't finish Gr 9, how do they go about it? Intec offers Grade 10 and Matric (Grade 12) but they can't help you if you didn't finish Gr 9. Sigh. I'm sure there are many individuals in SA with the problem of leaving school early (for whatever reason). Intec couldn't even refer me to someone who could help me. I think these institutions assume that people finish at least Gr 10, but I don't think that's at all realistic. Argh. 
firstfallenpanda: (minions)
This started out as an edit to my last post, but ballooned into a rant.

Good grief, one of the Supersport channels on DSTV has been playing the rugby final on loop for the last 3 days. Ok, we won, life goes on people. There are more important things to think about: HIV, global warming, poverty, wars. Prioritise!

It saddens me that more people watched the rugby world cup final than saw An Inconvenient Truth. It's also probable that more people can name all the players in each side than know what the current HIV statistics are or how many people have died so far this year in wars on the African continent. I'm all for a little emotional upliftment in a country that seems to sorely need it* but let's get on with more important things. I think decreasing the HIV infection rate or lowering the unemployment statistics is much more of an admirable goal than a shiny cup**.

Is it just me who thinks this way, that sport and entertainment has much too high a place in our thoughts? I think I'll start some sort of ubuntu-socialism: every person has to spend at least half an hour a day contemplating the things that are wrong in the world and how they, personally, can contribute to making the world a better place.

* I saw an insert on the news this morning about an Indian trade fair in Jhb. One of the delegates was saying how they really want to invest in SA but the only things he's heard from hotel staff, taxi drivers and other SAffers he's met is "watch out for the crime". He said that to him it seems like South Africans think the majority of other South Africans are criminals. The reporter then went on to interview someone from an international business forum who said that the negative view of our country held by South Africans is the biggest obstacle to foreign investment.

** That we don't even get to keep. We have to give it back in 4 years (if it hasn't been stolen and sold for tik :P)***

*** No, I'm not one of those people who hold a negative view of SA. I think we are brimming over with potential. I am realistic about crime and other issues and I know we have some teething problems that we need to work on, but I think it's totally doable. I remain optimistic and proactive.
firstfallenpanda: (redridingpand)
... hello late 20's. Today I turn 27. That's only 3 years away from 30! Bring on the zimmer frame and adult nappies. Although, the purple hair is quite cool* and I've always wanted to be a crazy old cat lady.

I really hope my day goes better than yesterday**, tonight P is taking me for Injun foods. Mmmmmmmm, deep-fried paneer. Then, more packing. Thankfully I have finished all the sewings. Yay! My mom is giving me her overlocker as a birthday present, score! Now I am eating a huge box of Astros, a present from a colleague***. Mmmm, astros.

I will be doing a late birthday/housewarming thing, probably 13 October. Expect emails next week, once we've unpacked, unless I don't want you there, in which case expect nothing :P. I will put a list of gift ideas on this blog.

* it will suit my lovely new ring, an antique tanzanite and white gold ring from P's parents.

** harassed by an off-duty Metro cop in the morning (who claimed to be a traffic officer, pfft), for no reason other than that I moved in front of him while I was doing the speed limit and he was speeding, so he had to swerve into the other lane to avoid hitting me. Then get home after a long day to find a letter from the noisy neighbours telling me to fuck off and threatening me if I complained again. I'm so glad we have a lock-up garage as I don't consider them above vandalism. I'm sooooo glad we're moving out in 2 days' time.

*** one of those with bad hand-washing hygiene, yes, but the box was sealed.
firstfallenpanda: (redridingpand)
I'm wanting to make soup for a soup kitchen. You wouldn't think this would be a hard thing to do. But, it seems that the general consensus on the web is that if you're not affiliated with a religious group, you can't possibly want to do good in your community. I heard on the radio that the Salvation Army is running soup kitchens. They're pretty rambo-Christian, but say that they don't discriminate. I can't get an answer on any of the numbers in the phone book, all the websites I've tried don't work or have contact details that don't work. I know of lots of churches that do soup kitchens, but I'm not affiliated with any church.

Why can't there be one portal site/wrangler for people wanting to help? Is it so hard to allocate willing people with skills to a place that needs them? I'm sure there are many people out there who would volunteer if it were made really easy to them. I've had this problem before, you have to really go looking for a charity that suits you, and when you do find them it's hard to get in contact with someone (I guess they're too busy out doing good to answer the phone). I think the inherent problem with NGOs is the bad admin. It seems to be a major fault, especially the smaller ones. There's so much to do that they can't spare a person for admin. If I had webskillz I would do something about it, dammit.

Anyway, dear readers, can anyone point me in the right direction? I don't mind if it's religious, but I'm not, so preferably something secular.


firstfallenpanda: (Default)

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