August 2005 Archives

The day before yesterday, during her brief but mighty fine guest appearance here at Redsaid's, the gorgeous Miss Dee was too modest to mention the fact that she was solely responsible for this here brand new Lady Liberty design! Well, she did, in a Seussical kind of way, allude to it, but she wasn't nearly as boastful as I would've liked her to be! (Had I been capable of creating such wondrously beautiful things on computers (or even just with my own two hands), I would've shouted it from the rooftops!)

And what's more... she gave it to me as a birthday present!!!!

She was quite stealth about it too. Asked me casually what design ideas I'd have in mind for a new skin for my blog, and proceeded to whip this up in her spare time. And I must tell you, this looks better than I ever could've imagined!

Am I a spoiled brat or what? (Update: Dee must be a mind reader. She must have sensed that I'm about to credit her for these gorgeous new digs, because I've just been e-mailed by her to thank my regular web-goddess Emily, without whose help this new skin apparently wouldn't have been up here! So Em, thanks for once AGAIN being part of my lovely surprise! I'm really touched at how many hours you guys have spent (wasted!) not only reading my drivel, but also just giving me sooo much in terms of tech support (a LOT. I'm a complete idiot when it comes to all things computer related) and yet another gorgeous design!

And whilst we're still on the subject of being spoiled... thank you all so very, very much for all the sweet birthday wishes!

Despite the screwy start to my day, what with the early morning combat with the Ikea furniture (I have since decided that putting Ikea furniture together should be classified as an official Olympic sport and that it should be called Swedish Wrestling) during which I invented new curse words in several languages and brushed up on a few golden oldies, the rest of the birthday was fantastic.

We were at the airport at seven in the morn' (WITHOUT COFFEE) and then I proceeded to play "spot the South Africans, but especially my sister."

I was SO excited, I could hardly contain myself. In fact, the boy had to use all of his strength to try and prevent me from jumping on every person who walked from the customs hall into the international arrivals lounge. You know, I had to... just in case the person turned out to be my sister. (So to the perplexed-looking guy into whose arms I flew at Dulles Airport two mornings ago: I'm sorry. It's just that I hadn't seen my sis in five years and she could've undergone many changes during that time, you know? I couldn't risk NOT giving you an enthusiastic greeting, just in case you DID turn out to be her. See? Very simple.)

After what felt like eons, my sis finally DID walk into the lounge. And in my frenzied search for her...
I
totally
overlooked
her.

It was the boy who spotted her first. He pointed to a blond* bomb-shell and said: "THERE she is!"

I didn't even double-check to make sure. I just ran into her arms and bawled and laughed and jumped and screamed and bawled some more. (She's married to an Italian, which of course gives me permission to get really embarrassingly emotional in public!)

It's now been almost two full days since her arrival and I still can't quite believe that she is actually here!

I'm convinced that she's given me some of her jet lag, because I'm so tired that I can't see straight...

More later when I'm more coherent. (Ha ha, as if I'm EVER coherent!)

* Her highlights are new to me. Looks fabulous on her though!

Ladies and Gents, (Or as Red might say... Lady and Gent). This is Deeleea guesting at Redsaid for One Day Only!

I just wanted to say Happy Birthday to Red and introduce her new blog birthday suit.

To cheat and simply paraphrase a certain Dr who wrote a Whole Book about Birthdays... Let me just say...

Congratulations Red!
Today is your day
Though you live in strange places
And are so far away

Your good friend Down Under's
Not gone and forgotten
That today marks the Day
On which you were begotten!

She'd normally sing
On a momentous occasion
But today has instead
Done a small illustration

To wish you great joy
On your day of days
And to tell the whole world
That she thinks you are ace.

Happy Birthday!
Have a great time with Sis... And for goodness sake!!

Get Some Sleep!!!

Screwed

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That would be what I am right around now... screwed.

And it's all mostly thanks to Ikea.

You see, it's now 3:50 AM on the east coast of the U.S., and as we are speaking, my sister is hurtling through the sky at... well, I'm too tired/lazy to know or look up how fast those South African Scareways planes fly across the Atlantic.

In any case, she'll be here in just a few hours, and I AM STILL PUTTING HER BEDROOM FURNITURE TOGETHER!

Oh, damn those Swedes and their Swedish efficiency! (I don't think I have Swedes among my three/four or now sometimes five (FIVE!) readers, but if I do... my gross generalisation excludes YOU of course!)

"Well, Red", I hear you murmur. "Why are you still putting her furniture together at this late stage?"

Oh, my dear readers, how little ye seem to recall of my awful habits! Don't you remember that I was born two weeks early (on this very day, in fact) and that I've since tried my damnest to catch up on all that leisure time in the womb that I'd missed out on by being 14 days early?

Well, I still haven't caught up on the lost sleep, that's why I might seem a bit slow to the rest of the world.

Anyway, back to those Swedes and their proudest export: their Ikea stores and its chirpy, do-it-yourself wares.

I've never claimed to like DIY projects. How-to books, yes, but that's entirely different.

Now look, I'll admit that I'm no novice to Ikea's furniture. I've been on a first-name basis with a few chairs named Jors (or was it Hork? I forget. Besides, after a while they all blur together in one's memory. A bit like ex-boyfriends, I suppose. Although I'll be quick to assure you that some of Ikea's chairs have more personality and spunk than a few of those boyfriends ever had!)

But still, tonight a friend and I were almost defeated by a bed named Malm. So we've decided that the Swedes definitely need more sun. They MUST be deprived of much needed oxygen or some essential vitamins during their dark, long winters.

Why else would they insist on explaining how you should put their furniture together by printing a manual without a single word in it? (Well, no words except for the name of your particular purchase. I think they're very proud of the fact that they pay someone to name their furniture.) Seriously, their instruction booklets are like the printed equivalent of charades. That is, if you are playing charades and you are the only sober person in the room.

I'll admit that they do a good job in their pictorial instructions, because most of the time it's relatively easy to decipher. But this time I was almost stumped, courtesy of two little pictures. One picture showed you the correct way of putting some parts together. Right next to it was the picture with the big X through it, telling you how NOT to put it together under any circumstances!

It looked EXACTLY the same as the other picture. (I'll provide evidence a bit later.)

Anyway, thanks to my very clever and capable friend, Malm is now standing, waiting patiently to provide comfort and rest to my jet-lagged sister.

And I'm happy to report that I don't have a single screw loose anymore!

Which is great news, especially considering that I'm older today than I have EVER been before.

Nanny saga still being written. (Promise, Kim and Kerri and Dee and Ensurt!)

While all three FOUR! of you wait with baited breath (yeah, right) until the day I finish that (and the travelogue AND the host of other things I still have in draft form. Yes, it's getting awfully drafty and cluttered here in the back corridors at Redsaid's! Can anyone say "Short attention span?"), here's something else for you to gnaw on.

I'm still writing the Nanny Saga, I promise. All this living in the past is making me a little crazy (-ier than usual?), so I took a bit of a break from all the serious stuff to write a birthday e-mail to my best friend's daughter.

"Hi there Birthday Girl ,

Happy Birthday all the way from the United States! I can't believe it's been two
years since your arrival here on earth! How do you like it so far? I know you've already seen the Indian Ocean and Botswana and Pretoria and Johannesburg and all the places inbetween, and that's almost more than what I have seen at the age of 31... well, ALMOST 31. I'm glad you also like travelling. I see we'll get along well.

Just eleven more years until you'll be able to give your mother plenty
of teenage drama. And believe me, if you knew how naughty SHE was as a
teen (and even into her college years... ESPECIALLY into her college
years! In fact, she was the one solely responsible for my corruption in
college, although of course, if you'd ask her, she'll vehemently deny it!) you'll
never feel guilty about your own hormonal tantrums!

In fact, I'd advise you to start practicing already. Besides, isn't this supposed
to be your Terrible Two's anyway? I say, LIVE IT UP, girl! I'll bring the
booze if you bring the... WHADOYOUMEAN you haven't been introduced to the splendours of alcohol yet?!? You've been around for... sorry, your auntie isn't the most mathematical type... well, 365 plus 366 (leap year, remember?) days already! After all those days of hanging around, have you learned NOTHING yet?

And no, I don't care about all the words you can already say or the motor skills you've already developed. Because take it from me, Little One, a person really doesn't have to walk to be able to get through life. And I should know. But drinking? Now THAT's a very valuable social skill indeed!

Please tell your mother to e-mail me!

Love,
Your auntie Red."

See why I was such a great nanny?

Weepy Post Part II

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Have to catch up? Well, you didn't miss much, and although I don't normally force more of my writing on people than is absolutely necessary - besides, usually even minimal exposure is sufficient to inflict the desired amount of torture - I'd still state the obvious and encourage you to read Part I first.

Now, before I continue the saga, I just want to ask you to please forgive me for telling this in such fits and starts. This is the first time I'm ever writing this story in full, and although I've already told it to a few people, these aren't memories I like to revisit.

People who have heard the story often encourage me to write it down. Not just for the therapeutic value of it, but they actually think it would make a good book! (Not unless I'd hire a ghost writer, though!) I've always used the excuse that it would be too blatantly indiscreet or disloyal of me to write this story. I've even used the feeble defence that it might not even be my story to tell, that I can't really claim ownership to it, you know? Truth is, it's always been just too difficult to face that part of my past.

So why am I writing it down now?

Well, I've been stuck in immigration limbo for so long and, even though I rarely write about any of that stuff on here, it's been weighing on my mind a lot lately.

And since these events were a crucial part of the journey that has brought me to this point in my life, and since I'm telling this story to explain how I became an illegal immigrant (by the way, this is NOT a how-to manual! Rather a How-NEVER-to, please listen-and-learn-from-my-mistakes story!), I've decided to finally release it.

I know it sounds really melodramatic ("MOI? MELO-DRAMATIC?!?" she says with fluttering eyelids, the back of her hand sweeping across her brow) to use words like "releasing", etc. Truth is, I actually think there might be a valid point hidden in all that "therapeutic value" psycho-babble.

But even more than that... my situation has had me feeling quite desperate lately. And if you'd ask any stalker, I'm sure they'll agree that desperation is NOT a good mental place to be in! So I'm hoping that in writing this down, an answer will come to me and I'll have a sudden, miraculous and clear revelation on what to do to get out of this tricky spot in my life, because right now, I feel rather stuck here.

I'm also hoping that I'll finally reach someone who is going through the same thing, because in all the years I've been in the U.S., and in all the years since I've finally filed with Immigration to become legal, I've never met anyone who is going through quite the same thing as I am. At times it's made me feel as if I'm all alone in this boat (or more like a rickety old raft, maybe) and so I'm lost in this seemingly endless sea without any nautical/navigational skills!

Of course I KNOW that I'm not as alone as I feel, because well, according to U.S. immigration statistics, my case is but one of 3.7 MILLION backlogged immigration cases. But more about that later.

I know I'm pinning a lot of hope on this little story of mine. Maybe, if nothing else, it will just be good to finally get it out of my system...

So thank you for bearing with me. If it's this frustrating for me to write this down (and it isn't even a literary description of the events!), I can only imagine how frustrating it must be for you to try and lumber through it!

And on that note, here, at last, is the continuing story.

Work in Progress

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Been writing and rewriting the whole sad story since Friday.

Promise to post it as soon as it's done.

Weepy Post

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Let me forewarn you: This is going to be my 'weepy' post. The one in which I indulge in melodramatic self-pity and sob and shout and shake my fist about.

So yes, it's a little bit like drunk-dialing, I suppose. And I believe everyone should be entitled to do it at least once (or so... let's not limit ourselves. I might end up enjoying it so much that I'd want to make a habit out of it).

As I sit here tonight, I feel drained and defeated. On the one hand, I have so much to be grateful for. For one, I've recently found out that my one sister is coming to visit me! She'll be arriving on my birthday and staying until the 18th of September, and needless to say, I can't WAIT, because I haven't seen her since 2000...

Yes, that's five years.

But that's not the worst of it. I haven't seen my dad in NINE years. My other sister in six years, my mom in four years, my other sis in a year.

This is why.

You've often seen how I refer to myself as an "outlawed alien," and recently many people (more than I could've ever expected, thank you!) responded to my appeal to sign that very naive Green Card petition I had written on my own behalf, but I've never really told you how I ended up being an illegal immigrant in the first place.

So, in case you've ever wondered how a person manages to achieve the same legal status as a Cuban cigar in the States - other than rafting in or outrunning the BCIS (formerly known as the INS) - here's your answer.

Back in 1996, when I was 21 and still living in South Africa, I was a recent graduate from journalism school and found myself working for the press office at the local Egyptian Embassy.

My room mate had just returned from Washington D.C. where she had worked as a nanny. I was forever interrogating her about the States. What is it like? What are the people like? Luckily for me, she had been seeking an audience for some time, so she was more than willing to talk about her experiences with me.

One fine day, after I had moved out and into my own apartment, she phoned me at work, almost too excited to speak. Eventually, I managed to decipher the gist of her news. A friend of the family she had worked for in Washington was also looking for a nanny. Since they had gotten to know my friend quite well throughout her stay in D.C., they wanted her to come back and work for them, but since she'd already 'been there, done that,' she told them about me instead.

"You absolutely HAVE to go!" she said. "You'll have the best experience, and besides, they are willing to pay for your ticket and everything, that's how desperate they are to find someone."

She eventually managed to persuade me. It didn't take very much, mind you, because I'd always dreamed of travelling and living overseas for at least a few years of my life. Since I've always been more of a dreamer than a doer, I recognised this as just the push I'd need to bring at least one of my ambitions to fruition.

So before long (and it all happened really fast... within less than three months) I was in touch with my future boss, and after exchanging a few e-mails, letters and phone calls, the deal was done. They were going to buy my ticket; I only had to quit my job, move out of my apartment and store my furniture, and then get on the plane.

The only time a visa was ever mentioned, was when I asked about how I should go about getting the correct one. My prospective boss was very quick to tell me that I needn't worry too much about such details and that I should just get a tourist visa and get to D.C. already.

I was bitterly, bitterly naive and didn't see any reason to question this. Besides, according to my friend, this family was wealthy and really well connected in D.C. So without much of a hitch, I managed to get a tourist visa valid for one year and on 9 November 1996, I left South African soil. Little did I know for just how long...

The transition from sunny South Africa to a very chilly Washington D.C. was incredibly tough.

For one, I didn't know a soul, so I was incredibly lonely. It also didn't take me too long to figure out that the couple I was working for (by looking after their only son) had not been happily married for a long time. In fact, by the time I got there, their marriage was pretty much on the rocks.

I lived in the house with them and sometimes the atmosphere in that mansion was chillier than the D.C. winter blustering outside.

It was awful. I received a very small salary - far below the minimum wage, which was probably why they never cared so much about my visa status - and I worked way more than 40 hours per week. Some weeks they simply forgot to pay me, and I never had the nerve to remind them. (Yeah, I guess one could say that I'm not much of a business woman.)

After three months of this, and what was probably one of the worst Christmases of my life (during which the FATHER flew into a rage because he hadn't received the gift he wanted!), I found employment elsewhere.

This is where you are probably going to think that I'm making this up, but believe you me, if I really did have such an imagination, I think I would've used it to crank out a best-seller a long time ago.

Even though my responsibilities increased by one child, two dogs, a cat and a few more household chores and errands, and even though my small stipend didn't increase, life with Family Number Two seemed like paradise in the beginning.

The atmosphere in the house certainly felt a lot warmer than I had been used to. Little did I know that they had a huge skeleton in their closet...

Please don't hate me, I swear I'm not doing it on purpose, but all this purging has worn me out. I promise to continue this later.

This meme is sooo old retro, hopefully you can't even remember reading and doing it yourself anymore. And please, if you're one of those elephant-memory types, just PRETEND that you can't remember it anymore, okay?

I actually can't believe that ANYONE would want to know ANYTHING about me, let alone tag me on a meme, but whaddayaknow, apparently there is someone, because I have indeed been tagged! (So direct all of your hate mail to aforementioned domain name @..! Naah, I'm just kidding. I can't remember whether his domain is even a part of his e-mail address.) Oh, but just to be clear, he tagged me long before this meme became retro. But since you've never known me to do something in a timely fashion, I couldn't suddenly change my ways and become... gasp... DEADLINE-driven, now could I?

So here goes then with the retro-meme:

Three screen names I've had: I'm the type who forgets passwords and screen names, so I've only had a couple and they all contain "red," for obvious reasons.

Three things you like about yourself: I like to read, and I guess that's never a bad thing. Geez, I'm boring!!! So let's spice it up a bit. Besides, he didn't say that I wasn't allowed to embellish a "bit!" So here goes: I'm super athletic with a killer body. No, really, the doctor said that the likes of me run the risk of getting all types of killer diseases. Oh, and let's not forget that I'm a spitting image of Nicole Kidman. This fact is even more obvious if you're completely blind and/or very imaginative. Seriously, this would've been easier if you had asked me three things I don't like about myself!

Three things I don't like about myself: Oh. Oops. Careful what one wishes for! Okay. My inability to tan (I just glance at the sun through tinted windows and I freckle!), my lack of any useful skills, my procrastination.

Three parts of my heritage: Third generation redhead, South African, and by the looks of me, I'm sure there was some Viking interference in my bloodline generations ago!

Three things that scare me: Being stranded in a place where coffee isn't readily available around the clock, serial killers, and rodents.

Three of your everyday essentials: Coffee, how-to books and nowadays, streaming South African television on Kuduclub.com

Three things you are wearing right now: Jeans, tee, and perfume.

Three of my favorite songs: Oh, man! Just three? That's almost worse than asking me to pick fave books! Fine. I'll give the answer that will make me sound cultured and oh-so-refined. La Vie Boheme (the cast of Rent), Rachmaninov's 3rd Concerto (aren't I just SOOOO sophisticated?), and Dave Brubeck's Take Five! always makes me happy.

Things I want in a relationship: Love, laughter and every once in a while, some space.

Two truths and a lie (in no particular order): Oh, my. This question sounds somewhat familiar! I have one deformed toe on each foot. I've starred in a music video. I've been to Madagascar.

Three things I can't do without: Once again, can think of many things I WOULD be able to do without, but unfortunately, that's not the question... Okay, I know there's the obvious, like oxygen, a heartbeat, etc., so I'll say: My family. This would come as a surprise to them, I think, because I've lived so far away from them for the past nine years. Books. Dogs. Well, obviously I don't NEED dogs for survival, and I don't even have one right now, but I have to have a dog "fix" every once in a while. I just love dogs. They make me soo happy.

Three places you want to go on vacation: South Africa, Morocco, Tibet.

Three things you just can't do: Mathematics. Give up on this insane quest for a Green Card. Gymnastics.

Things you want to do before you die: Get this stupid Green Card process over with, travel EVERYWHERE, write and publish at LEAST one novel.

Three celeb crushes: Irish writer Roddy Doyle, Jon Stewart, and then Ewan McGregor and Craig Ferguson are tied for third place.

Three people you want to know these things about: Since I have exactly three readers (I KNEW it was bound to come in handy one of these days!), all of you. (That is, of course, in the event that you haven't already done it.)

It's been a big week for dogs.

First*, there was the unleashing of Snuppy, the world's first cloned puppy.

Then* Jake, a 4-year old Golden Retriever from San Diego, dog-paddled his way into the record books as the first dog to ever take part (and successfully complete!) in the annual Alcatraz Invitational, during which mostly human swimmers brave the trecherous 1.2 mile crossing from the infamous and now historic island prison of Alcatraz to the San Fransisco shore.

Jake made good time in just under 42 minutes. In fact, by placing 72nd out of 500, he beat out most of the humans.

*Actually, Jake set his record last weekend, before Snuppy was introduced to the world, but I only realized this after I'd already written this whole story (all four paragraphs of it!). And since I'm the world's Laziest Blogger...

Okay, better late than never. (Or perhaps you'd prefer never, when you read it!) Almost two months after my trip, here's a bit more of the travelogue. I promise to have the next installment done before we are all dead, but please don't try and speed me up by holding your breath!

Post Card I

We arrived on a night flight.

I looked out the small window, not expecting to see much beyond the dim outline of my reflection in the glass. So the view I was met with made me gasp as much out of surprise as out of the beauty and wonder of it. And wondrous it was!

For on this occasion of our first meeting – or so I fancied - the City of Angels had donned her evening best. Her lights sparkled and twinkled like diamonds that had been sewn onto a ball gown befitting the Oscars. She wore it so beautifully! It hugged her ample curves and sprawling valleys and trailed off into the distance.

Whoever said that big girls can’t dress up?

Post Card II

We waited for our luggage.

The woman who had sat next to us on the plane let her pampered little pooch out of its cage. As soon as the cute pup tasted freedom, it began running around in frantic circles, giving a few excited yelps.

The dog's energy seemed to rub off on all the travel-weary folks nearby. It especially affected two toddlers, who had been cranky from the long journey just moments before. As soon as they caught sight of the dog, they immediately stopped wailing. With tears still dripping down their bulbous cheeks but already long forgotten, they wobbled over on their unsteady little bow legs to investigate this novel little creature.

As curious of them as they were of it, the dog stopped running long enough to allow the chubby toddler hands to pat-pat-pat its coat. This new sensation brought along shrieks of delight and toothless, drooling grins from the toddlers.

Their parents, although grateful for the distraction from the crying, nervously hovered nearby. Not near enough, it seemed. In what I'm sure was merely an experimental gesture, one of the toddlers leaned over and gave the dog's tail a firm yank. The dog growled and snapped at the air around the culprit hand. No damage done, thank goodness. Just a terrible fright all around. As their parents scooped them up, the wailing resumed again with renewed vigour. The pup guiltily slinked back into its cage.

We picked up our suitcases and left.

Post Card III

In the bit of travelling I've done thus far in my life, I've discovered that every place has its own distinct smell. Los Angeles is no exception. As we stepped from the airport building out into the pleasantly cool, clear evening, I inhaled deeply (although I'd deny it should I ever run for office, har har), and the smell was good. SO much better than I could've ever imagined it would be. And imagine it I did. I've always been partial to places with year-round palm trees (might have a little something to do with my aversion to any weather temperature below 65 degrees Fahrenheit), so for that reason, I've always wanted to go to California. After so many years of imagining and dreaming, I couldn't believe that I had finally made it there.

Post Card IV

At the rental car place, I once again waited with our luggage. I insisted on waiting outside, because for the first time since I'd been in the U.S., the weather felt "South African." We hadn't even left the vicinity of LAX yet, and I already wanted to move there!

The wait at the rental car place seemed endless (even though it was already long after midnight, LAX and the car rental office were still remarkably crowded) and quite suddenly I was overcome with the fatigue that takes hold of you when you've had an extended day.

A Latina grandmother who had also been waiting for her daughter and son-in-law to pick up their rental car, started pushing her little granddaughter around in a stroller. I watched them go up and down the sidewalk and every time they passed me, I smiled at them. At one time we tried striking up a conversation about how long it was taking to get a car, but she couldn't speak a lot of English and I can't speak a lot of Spanish (except to say "Pardon me. I don't speak Spanish." And, of course: "Beer, please."), so we continued to just smile at each other instead. Finally her kids came out of the rental office. Luckily the boy wasn't too far behind, because at that point I was about ready to keel over.

He smiled apologetically, but it seemed that the long wait had been worth it.

Because he had pulled up in a zippy little convertible!

Post Card V

On the road from LAX to Pasadena, we had the windows down (the night air was too cool to have the top down). The combination of the invigorating air and the happy, lively Spanish tunes blasting into the car drove away the fatigue and immediately gave us both a renewed energy. I STILL COULDN'T BELIEVE I WAS ACTUALLY IN CALIFORNIA! I leaned out the car window. Tall palm trees stood at attention and lined both sides of the street like a formal welcoming committee. I grinned from ear to ear.

Post Card VI

Woke up in the Hilton in Pasadena to a cloudy day. So much for sunny California! But I wasn't upset at all. I still thought the weather was gorgeous, pleasant and warm with low humidity. And later, when I glanced at the weather reports on CNN and saw the high humidity and warnings of bad air quality on the east coast that I had just left behind the day before, I appreciated the Californian weather so much more, sunny or not.

When I left the hotel at around noon to meet the boy for lunch, I saw something that almost had me weeping with joy: Just down the street from our hotel, there were these familiar trees bursting with lilac blooms. I know that sounds like a rather strong emotional reaction to have to trees, but the thing is, it was the first time since leaving South Africa that I'd seen any Jacaranda trees, and my South African hometown, Pretoria, is known as the "Jacaranda City." In fact, there used to be this superstitious tradition among students in the city to go and sit under the Jacaranda trees while they studied for their final exams. The belief was that if a blossom from the tree fell onto your head, you'd have luck and get a passing grade.

I scooped up a few of the fallen lilac blossoms and crushed the smooth silken blooms between my fingers.

From then on, whenever I left the hotel, I always picked the route that would take me to my beloved Jacaranda trees.



















about
is a South African girl living in South Africa. That doesn't sound very original, we know, but you might find it remotely interesting when you learn that she has only recently returned to South Africa for the first time after a nine year, one month and two week (non-stop!) stint in the United States where she accidentally became an outlawed alien (also known, especially in immigration circles, as an 'illegal immigrant.' We prefer the term 'outlawed alien' ourselves). During her reversed exile from her homeland, she kept herself occupied by winning this website (but only after shamelessly bribing the judges) and thus being unleashed on the web where she slowly, leisurely became the World's Laziest Blogger; by being a nanny and by attending sci-fi conventions in search of other aliens. In the US, she also made her sailing debut, her international acting debut, tried and failed to learn the piano, and never learned to cook. She is hopelessly addicted to coffee, dogs (especially Labrador Retrievers), how-to books (with a particular fondness for her copy of the Time/Life A - Z Medical Encyclopedia), and she tends to grossly overuse parentheses (we're not kidding) during her attempts at writing, which you may - if you really have masochistic tendencies - subject yourself to by reading the words to the right of this column. If you REALLY and truly STILL want to know more, you can read her C.V. here.
Or you can stalk her send her some love via e-mail at: redsaid[AT]gmail[DOT]com

The Wish List (Because yes, she really does need more how-to books. Honestly!)

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  • Ms. Pants : Kitties don't get enough credit sometimes. (All times, if you ask me, but I'm a Crazy Cat Lady.)... [go]
  • Redsaid Author Profile Page: Hey Tamara! I know, right?? That is a tough act to follow indeed. I adored that dentist. He used to ... [go]
  • Tamara Tipton : Well, I am not sure how any dentist could live up to that standard! LOL! I hope your appointment was... [go]
  • Redsaid Author Profile Page: I'm really really glad that I'm not the only one, Po! Sometimes I drive myself mad with all the what... [go]
  • Po : Those questions run through my heads for various times in my life too, that is for sure!... [go]
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