Category Archives: Humor

You clever little Bishop you!

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So today is supposed to be the day that people intentionally remember that ‘someone special’ in their lives. I’m sure that for 86.87% of men, it’s the day that the reminder alarms on their phones go crazy – reminding them to go out and buy lovey-dovey stuff for that one special lady.

But who was the original Valentine? Well, waaaaaaay back in time, Claudius II was the Emperor of Rome and he was of the opinion that men who weren’t hitched made far better soldiers than their married counterparts. It was this opinion that led him to making a law that young, unmarried men were not allowed to take the leap of faith into marriage.

Then along came a Bishop Valentine. *Cue ‘saves the day’ music* He felt really sorry for these young men and decided he’d start conducting marriage ceremonies on the sly. But as with any story like this, his secret didn’t remain secret for too long and Emperor Claudius II sent him to jail. (In fact, not only was he jailed, but the Emperor also tried to get Valentine to start worshipping various Roman gods. Valentine’s response: he started trying to convert the Emperor to Christianity. The result: our hero was sentenced to be executed.)

Now in terms of the actual emergence of Valentine’s Day, there are numerous theories about how it came about. The most popular being that whilst in jail, Bishop Valentine fell in love with his jailer’s daughter. Then, shortly before his death, he sent this lovely lady a note and ended it with “from your Valentine” (as any good man would do…). Those who knew about Valentine found this rather romantic and shared the story with others. He become rather popular and eventually was promoted from Bishop Valentine to Saint Valentine.

After his death, he then became a Patron Saint and was considered by many to be the spiritual figure who oversaw a festival that occurred annually on 14 February – one during which Romans would send out cards declaring their love to those they had their eyes on!

And there you have it – a brief history of Valentine’s Day. Now go out and buy heart-shaped chocolates! (Even if you keep them for yourself! 😀 )

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14-2-12

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It’s that time of year again – every second ad on TV is about love and pictures of couples in loving embraces with hearts floating above their heads are popping up everywhere. Yip, it’s Valentine’s Day fever (and we haven’t even hit the 14th yet).

I never enjoyed V Day – probably because I spent the majority of them alone, doing one of two things: (a) contemplating sending chocolates and lovey-dovey gifts to myself, or (b) remaining defiant and swearing that “actually I don’t care…I’m totally unphased by Valentines’ Day! I’m happy for all the couples out there…”

Now you would think that since I have a significant other, I’d be looking forward to V Day – but really, it’s a little sucky because I’m in South Africa and he’s all the way in Germany. And you’d think that since we’re now legally married, we’d get to spend our first V Day together…apparently not.

So there won’t be any candlelight dinner, no popping of champagne, no cuddling on the couch with a DVD, and definitely no chocolates packaged in a heart-shaped container.

And so I have to say, theoretically Valentine’s Day this year is on 14-2-12…but I say, mathematically, 14-2-12 = 0. Therefore, Valentine’s Day is cancelled!

(Though actually…Mani’s taken the night off from rehearsal in honour of said V Day…so I have to admit, I’m excited!!! YAY ME! :D)

 

 

Trust your fiancé?? Never!

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Carmen – super mad ninja organization skills.

Mani – super mad ninja procrastination skills.

Add the two together and you have a recipe for disaster. But hey – opposites attract.

So I’ve been on Mani’s case about designing our wedding invites because I need to get them out to people. In true Carmen style, I’ve planned things way ahead in advance and need everything to run in the order I’ve planned it. Only problem is – some of my planning requires Mani to set aside his love of all things delayed and actually do what I ask him to do (or…lately…what I have to beg him to do!)

Last night I entered another pleading-sighing-pulling-my-hair-out stage, begging Mani to work on the invites. (*Note: the ‘deadline’ for completion of the invites was yesterday…..they’re still not done. End of note). Eventually, he said he’d send over what he’d already designed to see what I think. This is what I got…

Yeah, never get a Mani to do a Carmen’s job 😉

I want to be a…: Tang yuan

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Yes, a Tang yuan is what I want to be. That’s the thought I had today. Well actually, the original thought was, “I want to be like a glutinous rice ball” – and then I thought about it further and did some research and learnt that glutinous rice balls are called Tang yuan.

So why on earth would I want to be like a glutinous rice ball? Well, these little fellas are rather resilient let me tell you! You take them out of the freezer and they’re really unappealing. If you didn’t know they were glutinous rice balls, you’d mistake them for round pieces of chalk – not appealing at all. But these little suckers are exposed to boiling water and instead of disintegrating, they become softer and more interesting, as they gently float around in the pot.

Not only does their outer consistency change, but so do their contents. These balls are sometimes filled with (very yummy!) fillings – my favourite being red bean paste. The result is that when you lift these little darlings out of the boiling water, blow on them to cool them down, and then bite into them – there’s a burst of sweetness that makes you shut your eyes and try your best to savour the moment forever!

But this still doesn’t explain why I’d want to be one of these little curiosities. Well, I think they’re remarkably brave, and for a little thing that goes through so much heat (boiling water is hot you know…) – to simply just rise to the top and then actually be changed into something better by the heat – is awesome!

That’s what I wish to be like something that – through heat and pressure…circumstances that may not really be great – still manages to come out the other side in a gloriously magnificent manner – even better than before! It’s a challenge, but it really is my wish for myself.

I wish not to disintegrate in the midst of trying circumstances, but rather, to use said circumstances to my benefit – as an opportunity to become even better than before. Easier said than done, I know, but at least I have the right intention 🙂

What’s next?!

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My posts have been somewhat dark lately, I know, but I’m not going to apologise for it. If you’re one of those people who’s always in a good mood – then good for you. But I’m certainly not, and my blog really is a reflection of things I’m experiencing and feelings I’m feeling. However, I do know that my previous posts were far more upbeat, and since I’m feeling better lately, I’m better able to bring in the ‘lighter side’ of life again.

So with that, comes a ‘lighter’ post – about automatic flushing toilets. Yes.

Look – technology is great. Just the other day I was thinking back to when CDs were first the ‘in thing’ – I was so excited about it that I rushed out (like 90% of the world’s population) and purchased one of these ‘CD thingies’. (I don’t think 90% of the population chose the CD I did though….Los del Rio’s ‘Macarena’…I’m ashamed to admit it…and I’m even more ashamed to admit that to this day, I still know how to do the Macarena dance…). Then after CDs, it was DVDs, and then Facebook happened somewhere in between, and mobile phones got smaller, and then bigger again, and touch screens became the in-thing…and it’s all just been a flurry of technological advances. But automatic flushing toilets…no, surely not.

I can understand that the idea of a toilet that flushes automatically would be good – especially for lazy people who don’t want to waste energy turning around and pulling the flush lever (because really, it uses so much energy…not) – but I have proof, in the form of first-hand experience, that this novel idea isn’t so novel after all. Let me explain…I happened to be in a shopping mall this past weekend, and after spending 7 hours in a hairdresser’s chair, trying to sort my disastrous hair out (and after 5 cups of coffee), I needed a loo break. And it was whilst I was perched on the bathroom throne, enjoying the solace that only a bathroom can provide, that I realized the loo was flushing automatically. At first, I thought it impossible – that I was somehow imagining things. But then it happened a second time. And it left me speechless, feeling robbed of my right to flush a loo when I feel I’m ready to! And as I sat there in the cubicle, with my mouth hanging open – feeling completely stupefied, I just thought – what has the world come to? Now we have to fear toilets that tell US when THEY think we’re done? No, surely not?!

As I left the bathroom (after washing my hands using an automatic soap dispenser!), I heard two ladies laughing…in a shocked sort of way…and talking about the fact that they’d gotten the fright of their lives when their toilets flushed automatically…twice…

This experience has made me wonder…what’s next?!

Superpower that’s not so super

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Right so, I may get overly anxious and freak out about things that should not be freaked out about (is that even grammatically correct?!), but I have to accept myself for who I am, and try to work with myself and not against myself. And what I am, at the moment, is Anxiety Girl, yeah!!!! I have the superpower to freak out! Hahahahahaha! Ok, I’ll explain by letting you see the picture my awesome friend Lauren sent to me…

Yip – Anxiety Girl! Hey, it’s good to find the humour in things and when I saw the picture I couldn’t help but laugh. And this morning I was reminded about why this is, in fact, me…I’d received some work a few weeks back and the type of work it was, was something I hadn’t done in aaaaaaages. So what did I do? I put my Anxiety Girl cape on and freaked out about it. “I can’t do this…I haven’t written something like this in ages…this is going to be difficult…I just want to give up…why me….why me…” I’d wake up every morning, not wanting to face the work; I’d sit at my desk wondering how on earth I’d “get through this” – but I did. Before commencing the work, I prayed and asked God just to direct me and calm me. He directed me, but I ‘un-calmed’ myself…

However – I completed the work in record time and it seemed to be ok. When I handed it in, I had the “Ok, well…whatever…I did what I could” attitude. But because I still had my Anxiety Girl cape on, I was already expecting to receive comments from my editors on my work, saying “This is AWFUL…please just rewrite this, and this time, do a good job”. But I was proven wrong twice! Firstly, the editor thought the work was so good, she didn’t have to ask me to implement edits.  I was overjoyed – but then my negativity interjected my positivity and said, “Yeah ok sure…but wait until it gets edited further, but other people…they’ll find fault with it and you’ll have to redo everything, HA!”. But then…I received the work back from the other editors, and got a positive response – so much so I was told that I’d “done a good job” – and in my field of work, that happens very rarely.

So, the lesson I have to learn, I think, is to start packing away that Anxiety Girl cape. I have to resist the urge to jump to the most negative, ridiculous conclusions, and rather, let things just unfold as they’re meant to…

Anxiety Girl, over and out!

Decision-making

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It’s never easy to make decisions – but when it comes to relationships, decision-making is even harder. In particular, Mani and I struggle to decide on what movie to watch when we head down to the local video* store to pick up a DVD. He has this insatiable urge to always choose alien movies – if it’s got an alien, 5 people who all die, and lots of laser guns shooting blue rays everywhere, then Mani’s bound to absolutely love it. Me on the other hand…I prefer thrillers – movies that play psychological games with you – or movies that scare you to the point of having to revert back to your tendency as a 2 year old to want to sleep with the light on, snuggled in the arms of your favourite teddy bear.

At first – in the early days of our relationship – there’d be a tug-of-war involving frustrated exclamations such as, “But yoooou got to choose the last one!”, or “Why do I never get to choose a movie! I don’t want to watch one anymore!” Ah – but our relationship has evolved (thank heavens!) and we’ve found a way to settle almost any argument, and it can be summed up in three simple, but very profound, words: Rock. Paper. Scissors.

Yip indeed, we use Rock-Paper-Scissors to settle our disputes. In fact, when Mani bought a new cellphone while I was in Berlin, I loved it so much that I begged him to hand it over to me. (I foolishly thought that his love for me was so great that he’d look into my eyes and say, “Yes of course. Take it. And here, have this piece of cake I bought for myself too…and this really awesome coffee machine…it’s all yours!) But he never handed it over and eventually we settled on a round of Rock-Paper-Scissors to determine who would walk off with the phone. Sooooo yeah…Mani has the phone, but I really don’t care, because its proven to be rather crappy :P. Ok granted, when we first played the game, I sucked – I never won, so I had to endure countless alien movies – but I’ve caught on to the logic behind the game, and I’ve won a few rounds, much to the dismay of Mani. Muahahahahaha! 😀

So let it be known – decision-making isn’t easy and there are courses you can take on “How to make decisions,” but honestly, if you want to follow my advice, use some Rock-Paper-Scissors magic because it does wonders – especially for relationships. And just another pointer, rather than attending a course on how to make decisions, try to find one that teaches you how to win Rock-Paper-Scissors – it’s far better and much more enjoyable 😉

*Isn’t it odd how video stores are still referred to as ‘video’ stores, even though videos have been taken over by DVDs?

Please note that the views expressed in this post are my own views and I cannot be held accountable if you decide to take any advice I give. Honestly now…a course on Rock-Paper-Scissors…phhht!

Men vs. Women

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Relationships throw you slap-bang in the middle of the Men vs. Women War. You start to realise just how different these two forms of the human species are, and you’re sometimes confronted with things that make your jaw drop.

But I’m learning to have fun with the differences and not to (ever) expect that men and women are the same in every regard.

Today Mani and I were emailing back and forth about some stuff, and true to my womanly nature, my emotions littered some of the emails. The result – he sent me a graph indicating what my emotions are like. I reacted by creating and sending him a graph too. And so I present to you two graphs that indicate the differences in the emotions on men and women 🙂 :

The Emotions of Women

 

The Emotions of Men

A Dream-chaser

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I was speaking to a friend today* and asked her how she’s doing with her dream of becoming a full-time photographer. She said it’s going, but the going is a little slow. And then it just struck me – (you know how it is, sometimes you have lightbulb moments and you sprout the most awesome stuff forth) – the whole dream-chasing thing…she asked me to share on my blog what I shared with her, so that’s what I’m doing.

Basically, I told her that chasing a dream is like cooking an awesome meal – it takes time and that takes patience.  Sure, you can rush through the whole process, but that’s not going to produce a meal that’s as good as what it could be. You need to be patient and you need to go through the process, until eventually, you have the end product. And that end product will be superb 🙂

Yeah I know, easier said than done, but it’s just a thought – use it, don’t use it.

The other thing I thought I’d mention in my post today is a silly story about rainbows. Well not a story really, but it just shows how daft we can be sometimes. This almost reminds me of my silliness with the Lines in the Sky. It’s become pretty apparent to me that here in Berlin you can have all 4 seasons in one day 20 minutes. On my way to one of the U-Bahn’s today, I removed my jacket because it was too hot, and within a few minutes, it was pouring with rain and there was thunder and lightning. Yeah, odd. Anyhoo – my point was about rainbows (which appear often because of the frequent Summer showers) – every time I see one, I giggle to myself because I’m reminded of how, as a little girl, I confused myself. You see, remember the whole story with the flood and Noah’s ark? Well, I always thought that in the Bible, God had said that the rainbow means it will never rain again. LOL! 😀 So every time I saw a rainbow, I thought, “But it just rained…I just don’t get it?!” And then one day I realised (I’m not sure how) that I’d got it all soooo wrong. He didn’t say it wouldn’t rain again, he just said “When I gather the clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will recall the Covenant between myself and you and every living creature of every kind. And so the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all things of flesh.” (Genesis 9:14-15).”

See how we sometimes get things completely mixed up?!

Yeah, you can laugh, I won’t hold it against you 😉

*Don’t you just love it how you can email someone on the other side of the world and still call it ‘speaking’? (Or is it just me who thinks this way?!)

Lines in the Sky

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Allright, so I made a complete fool of myself today – or at least, I think I did. But either way, it’s ok because it only happened in front of Mani.

You see, the thing is, since I arrived in Berlin, I’ve noticed that every single day there are areoplanes in the sky that have loooong trails of smoke behind them. Now forgive me for being stupid, but back home when we see that, it means that some or other company is using an aeroplane to do advertising through skywriting. What I noticed here in Berlin though is that none of the smoke trails actually say anything. They’re just solid lines. And I thought, “Honestly, that’s rather silly?!”

So I’ve been here for just over a month, and I’ve seen these lines in the sky on a daily basis, but today I just couldn’t keep it in anymore – I had to know why the Germans feel it’s necessary to send planes into the sky to make arbitrary lines, when the lines just serve no purpose!!! I was walking with Mani when this urgency to know hit me, and I just blurted out, “Ah man! Can you do me a favour? Pleeeeeeease can you just find out why on earth there’s always planes int he sky making stupid lines. I mean, helloo?! What’s the point, they’re not advertising anything??!!”

This was his reply:

“They’re areoplanes. When aeroplanes fly, they give off smoke and stuff. That’s the stuff that makes the lines – they’re not supposed to be advertising anything. There are some major airports in this city, so obviously there will be planes going up every day, which means there will be lots of lines in the sky.”

*Sigh* Honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever been that stupid in my life before! Thank goodness Mani was a little distracted by something else, because if he’d realised just how silly my statement/question was, he’d have died from laughing so much. Whoooooops! 😀

Ps. These ‘lines in the sky’ are in fact called condensation trails, or contrails….yip…..