October 2007 Archives

Neanderthal, huh?

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A friend e-mailed me this article.

Wondering if he was trying to give me a message?

Well, at least a lot of things make sense now, doesn't it? Like at least half of my ex-boyfriends... and the way my hair looks before I put a brush to it in the mornings... although sometimes it looks even more barbaric and untamed after having been brushed!

On the other hand, the article also states: "The study, published in the journal Science, comes a week after another set of researchers looking at a different gene said Neanderthals may have been capable of sophisticated speech."

That definitely rules mumbling me out as a descendant then. Unless the eloquence merely skips a generation now and again?

Nessun Dorma

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After hearing the vague cheering (and not being able to make out whether it was cheers or jeers) through the movie I was watching, I'm delighted to tell you that we won't be getting any sleep in these parts tonight.

That's right. We won!!!

Final score: England 6, South Africa 15.

I'm lucky enough to be in Cape Town at the moment (usually my stomping grounds are a bit further inland, in Stellenbosch), where the excitement in the lead-up to the Rugby World Cup (our Springbok team will be playing against England) has officially reached fever pitch.

The sun has just set on a lovely summer's day, and not even the dark, chilly fog rolling in across the sea is doing much to dampen spirits around here.

From the celebratory noises - shrill car hooters piercing the air, people blowing on vuvuzelas (for the non-South Africans among you, a vuvuzela is a metre-long, brightly coloured plastic air horn that produces a noise not unlike an elephant's trumpeting when blown on it, and very popular with South Africans showing support at sporting events), people cheering and singing - one would swear that the match has already been won. Not even New Year's Eve inspires THIS much excitement in South Africa! It is almost palpable enough for a person like me who is (and admitting this on tonight of all nights will be akin to blasphemy, I'm sure) rather indifferent to the game to also be swept up in the enthusiasm.

This neighbourhood is packed with foreign tourists, and they have been leaning over their balconies and watching the madness going on in the street and on the stretch of beach visible from here with good-natured smiles. The match kicks off in a few hours' time in Paris, and if there is a favourable outcome, I predict that we won't be able to get any sleep tonight. I wonder if the tourists will still be so understanding then? (I'll feel especially sorry for the British tourists... NOT!)

So how's YOUR weekend going?

Not even muted, just ignored

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Turns out my face is too scary even for radio...

That's right. I got STOOD UP.

By a DJ.

I kept quiet all weekend (okay, okay... but I tried, honestly) and soothed my voice with honey and milk coffee in anticipation of my big radio interview on Monday afternoon. It turns out it was all for naught, because there WAS no call, no interview.

Normally a girl should at least get one complimentary dinner before the guy decides not to phone, no?

My real name - that one that I have loathed and despised since birth - was just mispronounced live on an XM and Worldspace Satellite Radio station which can be heard live around almost the entire world.

Does a sort of mispronunciation mean that I am famous? Or does it detract from the fame?

What if the DJ gets your gender wrong? What does THAT do to the fame factor?

The station in question is UPop and I've been listening to them on my Worldspace Satellite Radio (thank you again, Web AddiCT(s)! It is honestly the gift that keeps on giving.)

About an hour ago, while poking around on the Worldspace site online, I found the station and when I heard that they were broadcasting live from my beloved D.C., I immediately e-mailed them:

"Hey there,

Just want to give a shout out from Stellenbosch - a college town in the heart of the South African wine country near Cape Town - where I am listening to you on Worldspace.

I lived in and near Washington, D.C . for nine years until the end of 2005, so it helps to stifle the homesickness I so often feel for D.C. when I listen to you guys.

Keep up the great work!" -- Yes, I know, I know. I am SUCH a sad nerd, e-mailing radio stations.

Then I proceeded to sign off with my real name, and the usual primer for English-speakers of how it is pronounced and what English name it should rather be translated to. (I used to get so sick of filling out my name on forms when I lived in the States, because I always had to add "pronounce as" in parentheses.)

I didn't add a request, so I didn't think I would hear anything from them. So I carry on working, listening to the music and to the DJ, Ted Kelly, chatting about what they will be up to in D.C. this weekend, and suddenly he says my name... Or well, kind of.

He actually said: "I hope I'm pronouncing this right." And then he SPELLED IT OUT and continued: "HE is listening to us from Stellenbosch in South Africa on Worldspace..."

By that time I was roaring with laughter. He continued to read the rest of my mail on air (about being in Stellies, and having lived in D.C.) and then said: "Hopefully he will send us his number so that we can call him and chat some more about South Africa and about his time in D.C. on the air next week some time."

When I open my mail a few minutes later, there is an e-mail from them:
"Hey there (Hideous Real Name), glad to have you listening. When you get back to DC visit us in the studio! Hey send us your tele # and we will give you a call next week on air. Always love to chat with our listeners! Ted Kelly."

When I wrote back to send my number, I added: "Thank you! I just heard you chatting to me and about me on air! What a thrill!

And well done on the pronunciation of my name. Not bad at all! But as I've said, it translates to ****** in English. Which makes me female, Mr. Ted Kelly! You are forgiven though for calling me 'he' on the air. My parents, however, will never be for giving me such a hideous name. Which isn't even all that common in South Africa either."

Minutes later, I receive this: "Well Ms. (English translation of my name added here in all caps), didn't want to make the assumption just based upon pronunciation....glad to have you as a listener. If it alrigth (sic) we will call you Monday around this time... Have a great weekend...! Tell your parents sorry for the gender confusion! Ha. Talk soon!"

So if you have XM/Worldspace and you want to hear my awful, not-radio-friendly-at-all-voice, just tune in to UPop on Monday!

P.S. How sad is my life that this is considered a highlight?

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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