Thursday, July 22, 2010

What's this pretty picture?

Yesterday, while searching the net for exciting new ways to create graphs (work related) I found this super cool website that basically takes any website that you punch into the system and generates a graphical representation of the website. The one you see above is my actual blog and here's what the colours mean:

blue: for links (the A tag)
red: for tables (TABLE, TR and TD tags)
green: for the DIV tag
violet: for images (the IMG tag)
yellow: for forms (FORM, INPUT, TEXTAREA, SELECT and OPTION tags)
orange: for linebreaks and blockquotes (BR, P, and BLOCKQUOTE tags)
black: the HTML tag, the root node
grey: all other tags

Try it out for yourself right here and let me know how your blog / website turns out.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Girls like me, love makeovers like this.

Little Tannah, who you might recognise from my previous post, has a lovely dad named Rob who just turned thirty. To celebrate he threw the monster of all parties last Saturday at the DHS Old Boys' Club, right here in sunny Durban. Or should I say, moonlit Durban.
The theme was "R" (for Robbin) - wear anything or dress as anything beginning with the letter R.
Now... let me give you a brief history about my foray into dress up parties. Being the super social, eager-to-please party girl that I am, in the past I've taken these dress up things very seriously. Some might say a little too seriously. And often, less than an hour into the party, I'm sweating my ass off under several layers of face paint, a wig and a ridiculous outfit that would NEVER in a million years get me laid, let alone a phone number. So this time around I decided the key words would be "Comfort", "Confidence" and "Sexy", so I decided to wear a little black dress, some killer heels, and a giant rose ("R" for rose, geddit?) in my hair.
But in an effort to look a little special, seeing as it was a special occasion, I booked an appointment at Truworths' Mac counter to have my make up done. I've had my face done there years ago for a wedding that I was going to and I quite enjoyed the experience. If any of you girls have ever had a Mac makeover you'll also know that you can dance, sweat, smooch, get wasted, lose your shoes, purse and specially coiffed hairdo, but your makeup stays right where they put it... Nice.
I'll be honest... I started to worry when I walked in the door for my makeover and my eyes caught sight of the tattoed freaks who were doing the makeovers. If I wanted to look like a hooker with syphilis, I would've snorted a gram, drank a bottle of cheap booze, waited a few hours and done my makeup myself. BUT! I very calmly waited in the seat, until God smiled on me and sent the most amazingly talented angel to do my face... Robyn did everything I asked for and more.
The brief was: Give me a Kim Kardashian smokey eye, with hints of colour to pick up on the bright pink rose I'll be wearing in my hair. I want drama. I want sexy and I want it NOW!
Well, I skipped all the way back to the car, making smokey-sexy eye contact with every hot boy I saw along the way. There's something about the power of The Smokey Eye that cannot be denied. No wonder Kim Kardashian manages to smoulder and pout and purr every time we see her on the red carpet. You really do feel super sexy.
When I got home, I was determined to capture the look on my camera, so I could remember the feeling, but also in the vain hope that I could look at the pics and practice in the mirror until someday, God willing, I would be able to achieve something even REMOTELY close to this perfection. Flash-forward three days, to me spending two hours at a make up counter trying to find colours that come close, that I can experiment with without breaking the bank; then flash-forward another three hours to me standing in the bathroom, COVERED in sparkly shit, red-eyed and teary from having poked my eyes out with various brushes and mascara wands. (Read: FUCK THIS!)
Here are some pics of me trying to catch the makeup in normal daylight, and looking like a total fool in the process:

And here's the finished product - hair, makeup and LBD:

Well... On several levels, we'll call it a success:
1. The last thing I remember was drunkenly trying to order a Steers burger at four the next morning. But my makeup was FLAWLESS when I got home at 4.30am. Result!
2. I met a super hot boy we'll call "Rockstar". More on this as things develop. *wink*
3. Super hot "Baby (Ron) Burgundy" mumbled that he's picking up a certain "change" in me... Mysterious. I like.
And yeah. I'd recommend it, and I'd suggest that you go as far out of your comfort zone as possible. Have fun, ladies. We've only got one life to live. Don't waste it on losers or playing it safe.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Once upon a time... a land far, far away (about 4 minutes from my house), there lived a little 8 week old princess named, Tannah. She had teeny tiny fingers and teeny tiny toes, and the cutest button nose you ever did see.

Now, her mom, Lorraine, a very good friend of mine (and normally very mild mannered woman) threatened to throw me into a hessian bag and beat me with a stick if I didn't make one of my crocheted baby blankets for her precious angel. But you see, she really didn't have to because, unbeknownst (spelled that correctly on the first try - HOORAH!) to Lorraine I had started the blankie months before she announced the pregnancy. This was only because I crochet so slowly, I'd need more than 9 months to get it done. Well, despite my head start, I still wasn't ready for the baby shower, seeing as smarty pants over here decided to try something new that didn't work and that had to be unpicked and started again. *sigh*
Eventually slow and steady won the race and little Princess Tannah got her baby blankie made with loads of love and the odd finger cramp or two.
Here it is in her cot.

And here she is, all snug as a bug... Precious!

You'll notice I rather sneakily put a little blue stripe in, just in case there's a little Prince sometime in the future - fingers crossed!
Tannah and I are best friends now. In fact, I'm her official babysitter. Jealous? You should be! She's an angel!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Books, booze and belly-stuffin' - in that order.

Last Thursday was my turn to host book club, and as ever, this Little Domestic Goddess planned a dinner that would have made Nigella proud... At least I think so.
We started with a Moroccan Lentil soup and mini bread rolls - a new recipe off the internet that worked out very well, although I could have warmed it a little more before serving. Oh well.
The main course was an oven-baked prawn pasta - my second time making this one, and just as rich and comforting as the first time.
And dessert was my special homemade apple pie - a tried and tested recipe from my mom that is so easy it's embarrassing, and so delish it always has guests coming back for more.
Here's a pic of the pie when it just came out the oven, and before it had cooled enough to be dolloped with fluffy clouds of whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon:

It's basically a moist sponge cake, dotted with pecan nuts, on top of sweet, cinnamon apple slices. Yum.
I wish I had the good sense to take more food pics (of the other courses) before we devoured it all, but there was so much talking, drinking, eating and catching up to do, it clean slipped my mind.
Don't ask me WHAT we were thinking, ending the night off with cranberry schnapps shooters, but I was completely hung over and exhausted the next day.
Though... I'd still do it all again. And I wouldn't change a thing.
What a great night. Thanks, Eight Non Blondes, for making it so special.

Saturdays are CATurdays...

... devoted to superior quality snoozing, sofa hogging and warming oneself in the sunny garden, if you could actually be bothered to get off the sofa at some stage.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

FEEL IT! It's almost over...

South Africa has well and truly experienced something the likes of which we'll probably never see again in my lifetime, through the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
My dad is a huge football fanatic, so I've grown up in a house where there was almost always the sound of a match humming through the tv, and my dad in his couch, nibbling on a bowl of peanuts, periodically yelling some sort of insult / instruction at the screen. So when we heard that SA had won the bid to host it, we were super excited! And as we watched the Durban stadium being built, and the growing number of SA flags flapping around everywhere that excitement grew. But, for whatever reason, we just didn't seem to get around to purchasing tickets in the early online stages. Eventually my dad felt that he might be happier just watching it all on tv (too lazy to get off the couch, I guess) until the day when ticket sales opened to the public and my brother Donovan decided that this was too good an opportunity for my dad to miss. So he offered to buy tickets for dad, mom and myself. My mom waited in the queue for almost an entire day, but by the end of it, she'd walked out of the bank with three tickets to a Round of 16 match at Durban's Moses Mobida Stadium. Success!
As the weeks rolled on, we watched all the matches on tv and prepared for our own, not even knowing who'd be playing... And just as luck would have it, mom and I came down with the rottenest flu EVER just a few days before the actual match. I was clever enough to see a doctor and get my antibiotics a few days before match day, so even though I was still on them, I was already feeling strong. NOTHING was going to keep me away from this one! Mom, on the other hand, adopted her usual Martyr Approach to dealing with the flu, which basically consists of her self-medicating on useless over-the-counter stuff, and slogging on at the desk until she can't go on, has lost her voice completely and is a walking snot / phlegm factory. Our match was on a Monday, buy by the Sunday night, she couldn't breathe and we had to rush her to the Ethekwini Hospital to see a doctor immediately. One hot Nigerian doctor, a couple of tests and some good drugs later, she was tucked in and hopefully on her way to being strong enough to attend the match at 4pm the next day.
Long story, short... Or long story, long, the three of us piled in to the car, all bundled up in our Winter gear and headed off to the stadium at around 1:30pm. By 2:15pm we'd found a parking and by 2:30pm we were walking through the gates of the stadium for the first time ever. Well, it wasn't dad's first visit there, as his jazz band had the honour of being one of the first artists to do a gig in one of the 5-star suites at the stadium a few weeks before.
The start of the experience was mind-blowing and exhausting and, well... altogether far too much for us to take in, so by the time we got to our seats we were completely deflated. We'd had no idea that our seats were at THE TOP MOST ROW of seats in the entire stadium. There were far too many stairs to 2 people on antibiotics and the vertigo at the top is so extreme, that for the longest time mom and I just sat there, holding hands, breathing deeply and trying not to puke.
My trip to the food stall wasn't any better... Not only did I pay R140.00 for 3 hot dogs, 3 cokes and a packet of chips (HEY??!!), but they insisted that it's stadium policy to take the caps off the coke and hand them to you already opened. So? We're supposed to drink flat coke by half time? And have all sorts of crap flying into the unopened bottle? I don't understand. ANYWAY! I then had to carry the cardboard box filled with our food and drinks all the way up the flippin' stairs again. By the time I got to my seat I was so dizzy, I thought it might be game over for Carma-Sutra.
We were early so, of course, people had only just started filtering in... First a few puffed out, happy faces peppered around the stadium, then a few more, and before we knew it, it was time to pop the earplugs in because of the deafening Vuvuzelas going mad around us.
A while ago, my friend Noodle mentioned that she felt an "ugly cry" coming on from all the pride she'd been feeling in the build up to the event and now it was finally here! Let me tell you, I cried my eyes out! One of the ugliest, sobbing, snotty, open-mouthed cries I've done in a LONG time. I didn't ever think I'd be that proud or that emotional, standing there in that crowd of 62000 people, most wearing orange like myself, with painted faces, sore hands from clapping as loud are we could, and swollen puffy lips from blowing on those Vuvuzelas with everything we had!
Netherlands kicked Slovakia's arse, 2-1, as I had predicted at the start of the match. Result!
It will be one of the most unforgettable experiences of my life.

Here are some pics of the stadium filling up:

The stadium bursting at the seams with ±62000 people:

Mom, dad and Me, the super happy football fans:

It's almost over. Can you believe it?
The semi-finals will be played today and tomorrow, and the finals will be on Sunday.
I feel like it's flown by so super fast, but on the other hand I think I've watched enough football to last me a lifetime.

Viva South Africa. VIVA!

It broke my heart when I heard that MY year was going to be a tough one.

The Year of the Tiger. It only comes around every 12 years, you know.
It's supposed to be a really auspicious time for Tigers like me (born in '74) to marry, or have kids and basically to do anything of importance or serious significance.
I was in a relationship at the start of the year, and there were all sorts of wedding-y promises. But, I guess the things that I wanted for ME and MY Tiger year weren't what the stars or The Ruler of the Stars had planned for me. I didn't want to hear that my finances would be on shaky ground, or that this wouldn't be my year to find true and lasting love.
When the relationship ended violently and in a blur of confusion, anger and hurt, I thought that The Year had gotten me.
It was over, before it had even started.
I put up the protective barriers around my heart, carefully counted the pennies in my budget and quietly, softly waged my silent war against the stars and their Ruler.
I never thought this would EVER end up being My Year, or that the reason for my happiness would come from such unexpected "little" (?) places.
My best friend, Rachel, had a baby boy this January. Little Delwyn: The sunshiny-est bundle of joy to ever come out of a Winnipeg Winter. And on Sunday Rachel called all the way from Canada to ask if I'd be his Godmother. Me.
See, his folks have chosen two people in Canada to be the primary/local Godparents, and then one from the Philippines (where the dad's family is from) and little old me to be the International Godparents. Baby D is going to have Godparents on three different continents. Now that's what I call Spiritual Insurance at its finest.
We haven't yet figured out the scientific/IT bit yet on how I'm physically going to be a part of the Baptism (remember my Tiger year has doomed me to 12 months of canned soup and no international air tickets - whatever!), but if Neil Armstrong could send us a message from the moon IN THE SIXTIES, I think I'll figure out a way to let Delwyn know his (International) Godmother loves him and is there every step of the way...
I plan on taking this Godmother thing VERY seriously on a number of levels:
1. As FAIRY Godmother, I plan on granting His Royal Cuteness as many wishes as I possibly can. I'm thinking of getting him a lion cub for his first birthday... Too much?
2. As CATHOLIC Godmother I hope to be a spiritual lighthouse that he can call on at any time in his life when he needs a little guidance to help steer him safely to shore.
3. As SICILIAN Godmother I'm hoping to use my years of training at the gym to "take care of" any kneecaps that might get in the way of my Godchild's happiness... Capiche? (I'm not really Sicilian, but a little poetic license can be allowed on auspicious occasions such as this, I'm sure. For-geddah-bowd-it!)
Being the pretty serious Catholic that I am, I not entirely sure that Rachel and her husband Nestor quite understand how much this means to me and what an honour it is for me to be a part of Delwyn's life in this way. I'm sure that at some point I'll stop getting choked up whenever I think about it, but I'm not sure if that time will be any time soon or even in the next months or so.
However, just to make sure that I didn't get too confident, The Year of the Tiger distracted me long enough, for me to close a ten ton steel gate on my car on Sunday night, coming home from my parents' place.
The door's dented.
But nothing could dent the happiness in my heart.
What a great day to be me.

There he is, the little pudding...