Recently in Jaw-Dropping Awe Category

There once was a little girl from Canada. 

A special spirit, she was always amazing to those who knew and loved her, but then one day, after getting a wonderful and noble idea and - more importantly - acting on it, she unintentionally began drawing attention to herself until the rest of the world recognised her awesomeness as well. 

In fact, her story is featured in a newspaper today in Nanaimo, the Canadian town where she resides with her mom and her older (and equally special and gifted) sister. 

I'm writing about this today, because I am so proud and lucky to count her incredibly creative and talented mom among my "real life" friends. I haven't seen this kick-arse little girl since she was a wee babe, but time and distance apart haven't changed how deeply this remarkable trio of girls have burrowed into my heart. 

And this? Is just the cusp of the amazing things that are in store for all of them. 
On a Friday afternoon in mid-March, as I was getting my car washed (which is probably why it began pouring at that moment, but never mind...), who would show up next to me but a major South African celebrity: Haas Das* himself, the legendary Riaan Cruywagen

Riaan Cruywagen.jpg

For my international imaginary readers, 
he is one of South Africa's most veteran and famous television news anchors and a total legend in his own right. (Americans, Riaan is basically our version of the late, great Peter Jennings and Tim Brokow.) 

Despite a disguise of sunglasses and a cap (so, sadly, no sighting of the infamous, "alleged" toupee), he was almost immediately accosted by another fan, so, since he was already disturbed by another fan and didn't bite the guy's head off, I eventually worked up the courage to also go over, shyly say hi and ask for a photo op. 

He was incredibly gracious and - rather surprisingly - deadly funny. (Which is why the resulting picture of the two of us is of me all puffed cheeks and squinty-eyed from cracking up!) I told him that I'm a journalist as well ("but only in online media, so really, it's No Big Deal") and he said: "Well, what a coincidence, so am I!" 

No shit, Sherlock.

He was SO lovely to me. Chatted to me for about 30 whole minutes. Of course, he didn't have much of a choice. I kept on incessantly quizzing him (if he hadn't believed that I was a journo, he believed me by the end of it!) and he couldn't really escape, since he was essentially held hostage there until they had finished cleaning his car. 

The interroga... conversation was about all sorts of things, from what it was like to live in Washington, D.C. almost a decade apart (he was foreign correspondent there from '81-'84), to journalism, his first big scoop in D.C. (Hinckley's attempted assassination of Reagan) BlackBerry phones, iPods and cars. It totally made my day! 

And from then on, whenever he came onto the TV and said: "Goeienaand, welkom by die nuus om 7 op SABC 2", (Translated: Good evening, welcome to the news at 7 on SABC 2), I pretended (in a Nurse Betty kind of way) that he was speaking JUST TO ME. Because we’re now BFF and therefore thisclose.

But I'm rehashing this story tonight, because earlier this evening, exactly 37 years (to the day) of anchoring his first news broadcast, Riaan retired. To great fanfare and sadness. 

I sat in front of the television, absolutely rapt throughout his entire final broadcast, waiting to see if he would get emotional during his last goodnight. 

And? I ENDED UP MISSING IT. Right at the crucial moment, the satellite decoder somehow decided that RIGHT THEN WOULD BE AN EXCELLENT TIME TO RESET ITSELF and so it first had to warm up and rescan all the channels. Meaning that I missed his very last goodbye. 

Utterly bereft, and going to campaign the SABC to put the final broadcast on YouTube. Or something. 

*Haas Das was a fluffy rabbit puppet who read the news out of animal land to kiddies when I was little. Riaan voiced Haas Das, even before he assumed that same position as human (or robot, if you care to believe some for his continual excellence and unchanged hair) anchorman. 

I just feel genuinely lucky to have crossed paths with him. 

Enjoy the break, ye legend! 

It all began about two months ago when I received an email from my gorgeous editor. "How would you like to go to Frightfully-Exotic-Destination-Far-Out-Of-The-Country?" (She actually called the place by its proper name, of course. This is just me, up to my usual amateurish writing tricks.)

My reply was probably half-incoherent as usual, but I DO recall that I said something along the lines of: "AREYOUKIDDINGME? Of COURSE I do! I want to go ANYWHERE!" (Yes, I always yell at her on email.)

Unfortunately my hysterical over-enthusiasm and willingness did not make it a done deal. Not by far. We had to actually enter a global competition first. This required us to complete a flurry of virtual application forms, answer almost 200 questions, write some essays, take pictures (UGH! WHY do people need to see what a writer looks like?!?), submitting all of it on time and crossing our fingers until they turned red then blue then black.

Being my usual 'optimistic' self, I decided not to get my hopes up at all. So I tried my best to forget about the contest (HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Right, because I don't fixate. At all) and just carry on with my no-life life. Two weeks ago, Ms Gorgeous Editor and I both received emails informing us that we had made it through to the semi-finals. (I wasn't surprised about her success. I've been telling her all along to just pack her bags already.) One step closer to a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, but I still didn't dare to think about it.

Thing is, as always when I forbid myself to do something, my lack of any self-discipline results in me hardly thinking about anything ELSE! I even went as far as joining the contest's Facebook page, Googling the amazing destination, reading travel articles about it and losing myself in the photographs. But then I'd crossly remind myself to yank my hopes back to earth in order to protect myself from sure, heart-shattering disappointment.

But yesterday morning really early, LONG before my usual wake-up time of round about the crack o' noonish, I got up and obsessively calmly checked the website to see who had been selected. The press release stated the usual "everyone was amazing, but sadly we couldn't pick you all" consolation. (Don't they KNOW that stroking your ego before brutally crushing it just makes the horrible news even WORSE?) Then they said that the chosen ones include the likes of Olympic medalists, beauty queens, Harvard grads... and that one guy even received a personal endorsement from his country's head of state, and I knew right then and there with such a crystal clear certainty that I was out. So I climbed back into bed, curled into a ball and told myself that not being picked isn't the end of the world.

I was just drifting back to sleep when a text message notification on my phone woke me up. It was Ms Gorgeous Editor and she told me that she has made it!!!!!

And... she told me... so have I.

SO HAVE I!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

On August 12, her and I and two other Saffas will be jetted off to Taiwan for two glorious weeks to attend the Republic of China (Taiwan) International Youth (! According to the Taiwanese, I'm still youthful!)  Centennial Homestay celebrations with 246 other people from around the globe. We will be staying with host families and all we have to do in return for being handed this amazing adventure is to tell the world (or, in my case, my three imaginary readers) about our experiences on our blogs, on Twitter, on Facebook, or whatever other social media platforms we have available to us.

I honestly still can't believe it! I keep on staring at the list of names, expecting my (horrible) name to disappear from it when they realise their terrible mistake at including the likes of me. (I'm just kidding, judges! Please don't get any ideas?!?)

One thing is certain: I would NOT have this to look forward to had it not been for the help and encouragement of many people, from former and current employers, fellow bloggers and co-workers writing me the most lovely references, to family, to the few other people I had confided in about entering. My Gorgeous Editor has my eternal gratitude for telling me about it and inviting me to enter in the first place. I know she has told me to stop thanking her already, but wow... how can I ever thank her ENOUGH?

There is Elaine, the fabulous lady from the Taipei Liaison Office in South Africa who bent over backwards for me and graciously answered all my queries during the application process.

Then there is my darling friend Lemony, who patiently sat up with me until the wee hours (while she was ill, no less!) to listen to me stress and vent and moan and cry, making me cup after cup of coffee and just generally calming me down and jotting down my answers to the questionnaires faster than I could even dictate it! I guess you'll be getting that souvenir from Taiwan after all, Lemony!

And of course, none of this would be possible without Alice and the rest of the SayTaiwan Homestay organisers and judges.

Although I am definitely walking on clouds, my joy has been a tad subdued and bittersweet. As some of you know, this year has been particularly awful for my family. Three months later, we're still reeling from my brother-in-law's murder. I'd be lying if I said that I don't feel guilty for having this thrilling opportunity land in my lap at a time when my sister is hurting so deeply.

But bless her, for despite her grief, she is so genuinely, unselfishly happy for me...

These past few weeks have been a whirlwind of major deadlines and illness too. (I've been battling a bit of a cough and riling up the neighbourhood dogs since I apparently have the ability to bark louder than they do; but far worse than that is that my mom and aunt both ended up in hospital with double pneumonia! Such overachievers, they are. They couldn't just be content to get pneumonia in merely ONE lung each - no, they had to go for the whole deal!)

Anyway, the stress and worry and fatigue were all starting to get to me one day, when I decided to just take a bit of a break. By keeping myself tethered to my laptop, of course. (Why, don't you take a break like that too?) I opened a South African news site and saw that my favourite humour columnist, one Mr. James Clarke, had just published a new column that very day!

I settled in to read with a cup of coffee, only to almost choke on it the next minute. Because right there, in his column, much to my UTTER astonishment and delight, I saw my very own name in all its hideous* glory!!

It was truly a lovely surprise and a heart-warming pick-me-up on a day when I had been feeling particularly overwhelmed and down.

And a few days later, I sat down and wrote him this e-mail:

Subject: Y(our) 55-Word Short Story Contest

Dear Mr. Clarke,

Oh my word! And I thought that I was a procrastinator!! You see, for the past three and a half years, I’ve been meaning to send you an e-mail to inform you, Threnody, the Slow Spokes (remember, my little term of endearment for your Tour de Farce team?), your E*D*I*T*O*R, the esteemed members of DENSA and the rest of the Stoeptalk group that I have left the United States, returned to South Africa and that I am now living right under your nose – well, sort of… okay, not at all – in Stellenbosch.

I have to tell you, living among all this fermented liquid inspiration has done wonders for my writing career. These days, I’m working as a freelance journalist, writer and blogger. (You’ll be happy to learn that I’ve refrained from trying to compose any more limericks though…) I’ve also remained an avid fan and reader of Stoeptalk through the years and thanks to the web, I’ve been able to read it wherever I’ve been in the world. So I was absolutely delighted (and utterly floored!) to see my name in your column again! Tell Threnody that I’m not even offended that my mail was misfiled with the teabags (even though I’m a fan of coffee, myself.) My sister, however, is very concerned about the fact that your secretary hasn’t made you a single cup of tea in a decade!

Since I’ve sadly never been in possession of the kind of face that can launch a thousand ships (ED: More like the kind of face that can SINK a thousand ships), I’ll only be too happy to be the girl whose long ago e-mail inspired her favourite columnist to launch a 55-word short story contest! Does that mean that I’m not eligible to enter though? I hope not!

Then I proceeded to tell him all about my clumsy attempts to write tiny tales on twitter and even took a (long) shot at entering a few in his/our contest.


However, before I am able to tell you what he said in his e-mail, I have to tell you a bit of a back story. But I'll save that for next week, when his new column will be published.

*Yes, I loathe my real name. But that's also a story for another time.

I'm still utterly astonished when people stumble upon this here obscure and highly neglected little blog and... gasps!... actually read it. As if that isn't incredibly enough, sometimes (okay, rarely... okay, never! This is the first time ever) people even ask permission to use something I've written and subject their own readers/members to the torture of reading it too!

I received the following e-mail earlier this evening, and I have not been able to stop laughing since:

Good evening Redsaid!

I am Chief Petty Officer Storm Windfall of Lotus Fleet, a Roleplaying Star Trek site, where we while away the time for the release of Star Trek Online, the game.

I am surfing the net for interesting titbits to post on our forums, when I happened on your site.

I never laughed that hard! You wrote i quite well and I could place myself in your shoes, not having that much Star Trek knowledge!

May I, please, please, PLEASE post it on our forums?  I would like to share it with the members, it was so funny!

Thank you for your time

Storm Windfall
CPO Lotus FLeet

PS: Pay us a visit, anytime!

Of course I said yes! I mean, wow, I'm so flattered! So, all hail to all the esteemed members of The Lotus Fleet and welcome to this incredibly obscure little blog. It is, in fact, SO obscure, that it is officially part of the world wide cobweb - that dark, damp, forgotten and largely ignored corner of the Internet where all forgotten websites come to die.

Oh, in case you're wondering? The post Chief Petty Officer Storm Windfall of the Lotus Fleet (I love saying that!) is so interested in, is this one...
It's aliiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiive!

The "it" in question being me.

Yes, the snake didn't get me after all! I'm actually back in my own little hovel, which, although far tinier than my sister and brother-in-law's gorgeous, sprawling farmhouse, is at least, mercifully, devoid of reptiles and rodents.

*Knocks on wooden forehead.*

Work has been very busy, but I'm not complaining at all (well, a little bit... but that's just because I'm TIRED), because I'm just too grateful to still HAVE work as a writer. (ME!?!? Working as a WRITER!! Sorry. After all this time I still have moments of utter disbelief that there are people willing to pay the likes of me to do this. I'm extremely grateful, every single day.)

And speaking of writing... I have, quite accidentally, stumbled upon a new mini-hobby of sorts.

Remember my initial aversion to join Twitter? I didn't actually ever see the point of it, to be honest. To me, it seemed too much like glorified texting - which I hate, because I'm way too verbose to keep myself within such stingy word constraints. Anyway, as you may or may not recall, she finally convinced me to do it.

After a few hesitant and yet mind-numbingly boring and uninspired tweets, my twitter page became yet another web spot for me to neglect and ignore. But then I read about this Canadian author called Arjun Basu.

Allow me to nick the rest of this story from my other (equally neglected) blog:

Sometimes true creative genius sprouts forth and flourishes in the most unlikely places.

When Canadian writer and editor Arjun Basu signed up for his own Twitter account at the micro-blogging Web site, his initial tweets were, he admits, just as banal and boring as that of the next guy.

Sure, Twitter was already graced by a few poetic souls dreaming up haikus (or 'twaikus', as it was quickly dubbed) within the 140 character posting constraints imposed by the site, but most users were merely tweeting about the inane minutiae about their lives. There were a lot of uninspired "Standing in line" and "Starving" postings in the site's early days.

One day, as Arjun was staring at his blank Twitter box, wondering what to type, an image of a child trying to reach a cookie on a table entered his mind, and he decided to post it to Twitter as a short (VERY short) story.

After that, he wrote another. And another. And soon, the published author and former magazine editor had a following of more than 7 000 eagerly devouring his every Twister - for that's what he calls his 140-character short story creations.

A literary agent soon came calling. There has even been talk that some of his byte-sized pieces of micro-fiction could eventually be used as sources for really short films!

These days, as Twitter continues to expand as a global source of news and entertainment, Arjun has also become a bit of a celebrity. He and his creations receive media attention almost daily. It was through one such online news story, in fact, that I came to learn about him and his Twisters. I immediately found his Twitter page, signed up to follow him and was soon enraptured by his brilliant stories.

Here, just to give you a tiny taste, are some of my favourites by him:
"When he stroked her shoulder softly she felt it all the way in her toes. And she knew she would end up marrying him. Because she had no legs"

And this:
"He fell in love with the girl at the post office. But because her job was so tragic he never asked her out. His stamp collection is enormous"

This past weekend, I read another newspaper story featuring Arjun and his Twisters. Suddenly inspired, I wrote the following tweet on my own Twitter page: "
Inspired by the brilliant @arjunbasu, I've decided to try my own clumsy hand at writing #twisters and #twitterature. Stay tuned for 1st try."

A few minutes later, I posted my first ever Twitter short story: "
She looked too wired, so when she nervously asked for coffee, he gave her decaf. After the explosion, he saw her face on TV: suicide bomber."

A few hours later, much to my absolute astonishment and delight, I received a private message on Twitter from Arjun Basu himself!
He was very gracious and kind and told me to "keep going"!!!

Needless to say, I was absolutely floored. I never in a MILLION years thought that he would ever even notice my tweets, let alone acknowledge it!

And so, with Arjun's permission and blessing, I have been keeping at it. I've just posted my fourth attempt and I have to tell you, it's amazingly difficult to try and create a coherent story in just 140 characters. (Remember also that every punctuation mark and space also count as different characters! Also, I've decided to at times resort to American spelling, since it's a bit more economic than ours!) Writing such short shorts is brilliant exercise for firing up and jolting the old creative writing brain, though, but also terribly intimidating.

I can only hope to one day be even HALF as good as the extraordinarily talented Mr. Arjun Basu!
"Virgo dear, make a list of all your dreams. On Thursday, some of it will begin to come true."

That is more or less a translation of my horoscope as it appeared in last Saturday's Afrikaans daily.

I remember that one, because the astrologist doesn't always address me that fondly. In fact, I've long since suspected that she (he?) has it in for Virgos...

("You, Virgo, aren't a perfectionist. You are merely an endlessly lazy, good-for-nothing procrastinator who then conveniently blames never accomplishing anything on a fear of being imperfect." That was an almost-but-not-even-really-nearly verbatim quote of a previous horoscope. See what I mean though?)

But Saturday's horoscope also stuck in my memory, because it's not often that the horoscope gets that specific and mention actual days. Usually it is far more vague, committing only to "your fortune should change around the middle of a month. Not a particular month. Just any old month in any old (or new) year."

Which I've never taken seriously, because, well, I've never HAD a fortune!! (Plus, even if I did have one? It never says whether it will change for better or for worse, the cowards!)

Now, before all of you, my esteemed and highly intellectual imaginary readers, scoff at me for believing in such claptrap, let me assure you that, of course I don't believe in these things! I merely read it because it happens to appear near the crossword puzzles - which I always attempt in my endless pursuit towards intellectual stimulation. (So what if it's a few pages removed from the actual crossword puzzles? I did say NEAR. And that is SUCH a relative concept, isn't it?)

Anyway, so I've been rather looking forward to tomorrow. In an extremely skeptical manner, of course, but still. I figured that even if all of it ended up being hogwash, my time of fervent hoping mild curiosity would not all have been for naught since Thursday is, after all, just a day away from the weekend. Which would immediately give me something else to look forward to.

(Even if I do still spend all of my weekends alone. By myself. Solitary.)

When I woke up today, there was no indication that this would be a supremely remarkable day.

I staggered to the kitchen, as always, blindly following the intoxicating scent of coffee.

Then, once I had been sufficiently caffeinated (which really, is never), I begun researching and writing, as always. (No need for all of you to know that I procrastinate and get distracted with blog-reading for hours and hours first!)

I posted a story to this community blog site I also write for.

And carried on with my day.

Later, I went to this site. I sometimes trawl it for additional distraction research.

And thought I didn't have nearly enough coffee in me and that I was surely hallucinating when I saw this: 

Words. Written by me. (Complete with an annoying grammar mistake which I had picked up and fixed in my actual post... but apparently that was not before some delusional creature benevolent soul had deemed it worthy of appearing on freaking MSN SOUTH AFRICA!!)

AND THEN... JUST WHEN I THOUGHT (okaysorryI'llstopscreamingnow) that my day couldn't POSSIBLY get any better, I received an e-mail with this subject:


Which I of course immediately dismissed as spam.

Until I saw the reputable name of the sender. On whose blog I had entered a giveaway contest just yesterday, with absolutely no hope of actually winning!

Thank you so much, all of you lovelies at the oh-so-chic Elle Decoration SA blog! Your superb writing, stunning photography and impeccable sense of style are what mere mortals like me can only HOPE to aspire to! (Not to abuse the generosity you are already showing me? But would you accept unsolicited writing from a rather deranged blogger who just so happens to be a freelance writer? One who has always dreamed of writing for any member of the Elle family?) And thank you Putuymayo World Music! I've been a genuine fan of the label for a long time. In fact, during my years in reversed-exile, your African compilations were a constant companion, a soothing balm for my heart-ache and homesickness. And merci beaucoup to Mme Françoise Hardy for having a son, whom I correctly identified in order to win! I think Thomas Dutronc has just become my favourite name. Ever. In fact, since I loathe and despise my own so much (and the poor dears at Elle were subjected to it, as I had to identify myself when I entered the contest), I think I might change my name to Thomas. Non?

Okay, maybe not.  

And thank you, my horrorscope, for once getting it almost right! 
What does it take to pluck a blog from the murky, despairing, solitary depths of the worldwide cobweb... that creepy, perpetually dim corner of the Internet where largely ignored and highly obscure websites dwell? And which, coincidentally (or not), has happened to be the sole domain of this little blog for the last... well... many, many months?

You employ the likes of THIS girl genius! (Henceforth to be known as my lucky charm... she'll find out why in a bit. And it doesn't JUST have to do with the fact that this blog is being forced down the throats of unsuspecting feed readers well-fed again!) She prodded and poked me with a stick, and then did all sorts of web genius things to get me operational again...

And so here I am and able to say: Hello my scores of imaginary readers! It really is delightful to be back among your feeds!

WhadoyouMEAN you didn't realise that I was even gone?!? Thanks... I know it's been a few days weeks months, but you have to admit... that's a long stretch, even for me, the World's Laziest Blogger. I've lazily held onto that title for five years in a row, I'll have you know. And that's rather remarkable... especially if one considers that I have only been blogging for three and a half years!

Speaking of years... Wow, what a year 2008 has been so far!

Frankly, I was really really glad to see 2007 go. And normally, I'm so sentimental, I can hardly stand to leave a room! Let alone huge chunks of time (like years), or certain countries, or let go of my ever expanding collection of How-to books.

2007 lived up to its last three numbers since it REALLY kicked my arse. That's probably why I didn't have too many qualms to kick it on ITS puny little behind when the time came! In fact, had it been up to me? 2007 could have ended a year ago already...

2008 started off with a rather literal bang. And I'm not just talking about the fireworks which probably severed a few of its detonators' limbs (is 'detonator' even the correct word to call a drunken amateur who lights and sets off fireworks?) at the beach in Gansbaai where I was, scaring dogs and children and endlessly amusing inebriated adults for kilometres around (and yes, that last bit - the scaring dogs and children part? I'm totally talking about myself and not about the fireworks... sadly I don't think I was the one amusing the drunk adults...)!

No, the literal bang refers to the next morning, when my first act upon waking up was to slam my enormous noggin' against the bottom of the top bunk bed (of COURSE the youngest daughter is assigned the kiddie room at the beach house, didn't you know?).

And no, of COURSE no one believed that my ensuing headache was the result of that rude awakening and had NOTHING to do with what I may or may not have consumed the night before!

Okay, so that was basically all you missed until January 1st 2008. Riveting, 'eh?

See why I haven't been blogging?!?

(So as a dinosaur veteran , I would just like to take it upon myself to give the novice bloggers out there some advice: When you start a blog? It's a good idea to have a bit of a life first that you can write about. Or, if not? Then at least a HELL of an imagination!)

But my sad lack of a life and imagination are really not the only reasons why I haven't blogged. Even though I'm sure you'll agree that they are all very valid reasons.

I'll spare you the rather gory details (exploding computers, for one...), but let's just say that me not writing? Well, it has paid off in spades.

You see, the South African blogging community has been soooo grateful at not having to be subjected to my feeble attempts in a while, THEY HAVE NOMINATED ME FOR THE 2008 SOUTH AFRICAN BLOG AWARDS!!!!

No, I can't believe it either... and if you (or they) or anyone else were to look closely at the three (THREE!!!) categories I am nominated in (and no, smart arses, they do NOT have categories called Worst Writing and Most Boring Blog On Earth, Let Alone in South Africa), you'll see that it had to just be a major oversight... a gross mistake!

But will what is clearly a huge mistake prevent me from shamelessly begging for your votes or resort to downright bribery to get it out of you? Well... no. Of course not.

So please clickety-click on that there fancy SA Blog Awards 2008 widget so beautifully embedded by Miss Dee in the left hand column (a.k.a. the sidebar) of this blog and vote for me?

If you don't, you might just leave me no choice but to do something awful... like BLOG EVERY SINGLE DAY!!!

So I know that I kept at least one guy occupied this past weekend!

He was such a gentleman. He did all the work and I received all the satisfaction. As if such selfish one-sidedness isn't bad enough, I have to rather shamefully admit that the poor guy also had to work very long and very hard before it was over. I honestly didn't think it would require this much work, you know? But he did it, without any complaint and showing amazing patience. (Or, if he did talk dirty or complain, it wasn't audible to me.) Then again, one would expect nothing less from a professional, wouldn't one?

I don't even think he is too expensive. I wouldn't know, because he rendered his services free for me. Isn't it delightful? He took one look and thought that I needed it. I've not allowed too many people in (one has to have major trust to expose such hidden parts), but I'm so glad I allowed him, because apparently the change, although subtle, is visible to everyone. I never in my wildest dreams thought that it would be, but it is! I know many people accomplish this step on their own, but I just couldn't.

In case you too would desire his services (and it doesn't matter whether you are male or female. He doesn't discriminate), I shall discreetly put you in touch with him.

Besides, you never know when YOU might need a major blog software update.

What? What did you THINK I was on about, ye dirty minded beasts? A new haircut?

(Yeah, yeah... I KNOW that writing something with a lame twist smacks of amateurism. I've never claimed to be a professional, have I? Oh, right...)

The gentleman in question is Miguel from WebaddiCT(s) . He undertook the mammoth task to upgrade this blog from the ancient, dinosaur version of Movable Type to this shiny, brand-spanking new one. Considering that he had no prior knowledge of MT, he did an amazing job, don't ya think? I know that a few of the changes are definitely visible to you guys, but man, you should see how awesome it looks back here now!! So much so, I might even be tempted to write on here every. Single. Day.

What? Don't look at me like that! Stranger things HAVE happened!

What's that? Like what, you ask. Oh, you with all your annoying questions... I'll think about it and get back to you.

Anyway, thank you so much Miguel and all the other WebaddiCT(s)! Who knew that the My Perfect City Challenge contest would have so many gifts-that-keep-on-giving in store for me! As if that radio isn't awesome enough...

Oh, and you know what else? A few weeks ago, I received another prize in the mail! Thank you, rockers at SA Rocks, for the gorgeous t-shirt. I can't wait for that rumoured season... I believe it was called 'summer' in ancient times, when it still dutifully showed up here in the Stellenbosch area every year at around September... to come around again one day. Because I plan to proudly wear it.

Because I have just read this.

Mr. Hanington, I wish I knew you in person.

But I am very, very lucky to know your amazing daughter. For a little while, I was fortunate enough to share an experience (living in a foreign country) with her. I just wish that we got to hang out more when we had the chance...

Now we are back in our original, opposite corners of the world, each battling our own demons and trying our best to move on and gain momentum until, eventually (hopefully) we'll take off and fly.

She is doing so much better than I am!

And now I know exactly why: She has the unfair advantage of having your genes!

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!)


  • Redsaid Author Profile Page: Terra: YES! Wait... you didn't think that I would be this possessed to post for NO REASON, did ya???... [go]
  • Terra.Shield : OH! ... [go]
  • Marco Author Profile Page: Be a bit like serving drinks at AA?... [go]
  • Marco Author Profile Page: I personally think it is a mindset that has been cultivated over the years, and one, if not stemmed,... [go]
  • Redsaid Author Profile Page: Ms. Crazy Cat Lady Pants!!! Squeeeee! Sooo good to see you! (I thought NO ONE was bothering to read ... [go]
  • 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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