Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Why American TV shows worry me

If you are watching or have watched any of the following shows you may have come across a common concerning thread:


Walking Dead

Falling Skies



The 100

Under the Dome

The common thread that concerns me so much is how the people get very gun ho and turn on eachother.  There is an inability to deal with conflict.  Is this how American script writers perceive their culture?  Is this perception true?

I don't think it is entirely fair.  When I see footage of the behaviour after 911, people were not turning on each other and going to arms they seemed to be going out of their way to help each other.  

In most of these shows the characters do have to defend themselves but many conflicts are started unnecessarily because every body is so swift to take revenge.

On the other hand I have also seen footage of the riots that happened when there was a blackout in New York.  Also I have seen scenes of violence in New Orleans after being devastated by hurricane Katrina.   As a South African I am astonished at the reaction to blackouts.  We have black outs all the time, we carry on - cook on gas, light candles and wait for the power to come back on.

I think it is time that Americans started communicating with script writers and start asking them to send out a more positive message.  If an apocalypse hits Americans have for years been fed the message that they do not now how to deal with any difficult situation besides for shooting the crap out of eachother.

If you know anything about the history of my country South Africa you will know that in 1994 we went from Apartheid to a democratic country PEACEFULLY!

After many years of extremely bad human rights violations, people were angry and the situation could have been terrible.  Instead our new government set up a Truth and Reconciliation Commission.  The TRC played a vital role in taking a volatile situation and turning it to calm.

American script writers watch out you are teaching people that the only way to resolve a problem is to pick up a gun.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Guide to Cheesy Holidays

My Carmen has accepted a job in China - she leaves in August.

She told me that she would love to make a lot of money and get us all to come have a holiday with her in China.

I said, "Then I could for real take a slow boat in China"

Then I was thinking of how there could be a world tour of cheesy destinations.

1. Take a slow boat in China:

2.  Go to France to kiss:

3.  Go to France to eat fries even though these have nothing to do with France and originated in North America:

4.  See a letter in France:

5. Have a hamburger in Hamburg (again nothing to do with Hamburg - North American invention):

6. Actually go to Timbuktu:  (Check if the Ebolo outbreak is over first)

7. See a fly in Spain:

8. Eat Italian Kisses in Italy (No idea where these originate - chocs filled with ice cream.)  The Italians have a chocolate filled with hazelnut that that they call a Chocolate Kiss):

In South Africa we call these Italian Kisses
9.  Eat cheese in Switzerland - really really cheesy.

Monday, February 24, 2014


Michael and I have been watching "Lost".  In an episode somebody used literally incorrectly.


"People literally use literally all the time when they literally should not.  It literally should only be used literally in cases, like, 

"I literally fell off the wagon" - you know when you do fall off the wagon and not when you start drinking again."


"Like when you had sex and you say we were literally banging on the bed, oh no that is entirely wrong."


"It would work if you did not have sex and you were sitting on the bed banging drums."


"I could see "I literally have defined calves on my legs" working, but I would have to illustrate that one."


"I have no idea what you are talking about. I think you had to bring up calves because you are proud of your calves because of cycling."


"When I do the illustration you will understand."

Below are examples of when you can use literally (illustrated for ease of reference)

I literally have a bun in the oven:

I literally kicked the bucket:

I literally have a chip on my shoulder:

That literally is a piece of cake:

She was literally pulling his leg:

I literally have an axe to grind:

I literally hit the nail on the head:

I literally hit the sack:

Literally holding your horses:

I literally was dumped:

Anybody literally have any other good literally suggestions?

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Our clients think I am psychic WOW

This is a typical day.



"@#$ @#$'s office good morning."

Annoying Client Very fucking annoying client:

"Hi Vivian, I did not get that email yet."

Me checking my sent items:

"It was sent at 8h30"

Very fucking annoying client:

"OK if it does not come in 20 minutes I will call again."




"@#$ @#$'s office good morning."

Very fucking annoying client:

"I still did not get the mail which email address did you send it to?"


"I sent it to"

Very fucking annoying client:

"Oh that is the wrong email.  I now use" (This is said in a tone as if I am supposed to know.)


"My apologies I will use my crystal ball before sending you emails again."

Alright I don't say that but I do wish.........

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Making a run for it

I am going to the dentist tomorrow to get a very broken tooth cut out.

I am really, really, really nervous but my dentist is awesome and in 15 years she has never hurt me.

A friend asked me if the injections worry me?  I explained that my dentist puts a numbing jelly where she is about to inject first.

My eldest daughter has a real problem with injections to the point that even though she is in her 20's she still refuses point blank to have any except when it is our dentist.

Carmen was 3 and Raewyn was 2 when I went to the local clinic for them to get their inoculations.

We knew Carmen was the problem, so we opted to have her inoculation done first.

My Mom, myself and two clinic sisters all had to hold Carmen down.

When we were done we turned around to get Raewyn.


We started looking for her frantically.  Fortunately there were large gardens surrounding the clinic.  We found her outside, making a run for it, heading for the main road.

When I was a child I was petrified of X-rays.  When ever I went for one, I was told not to move a muscle.  I was convinced that if I moved I would die.

Is it what the dentist does or is it the sound?
Have you ever avoided a procedure or run from having something done?

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

It's In a Hug

My darling husband Michael is German.

If you know any Germans you will know that hugging or in fact any close physical contact is not their thing.

About 4 years ago Michael took Carmen our eldest daughter to the airport.  I could not be there to see her off because I could not get away from work.  Carmen was embarking on what was the biggest adventure she has had so far.  She was flying to Cape Town and then sailing to the Caribbean.

When I called Carmen to ask how her first flight was she told me it was miserable but her highlight was:

"Mom, I can't believe it Michael HUGGED ME!"

Early in December last year we had what we now refer to as hell week.  We all argued and not mild disagreements - screaming, shouting, earth shattering stuff.

In this time our very loved ex-president Mandela passed away.

I was in a very dark place because of all the fighting and a certain person who upset me immensely.

Michael sat down next to me and put his arms around me and hugged me:

"Don't worry Vivian, even Mandela would not have like this person and he would have given this person a good slap."

The hug and the vision of our former president slapping this person cheered me up immediately.

A few days ago a gay friend was pouring out his heart about his relationship problems.

Awkward non affectionate Michael patted him on the shoulder and said:

"It will get better."

Different versions of "Its in his kiss"

He does not hug people or awkwardly pat people because he likes to do it.  He does it because he knows we need it.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

That's not my ring tone!

Back in the dark ages (the 1970's and 1980's) when I was a child.

We did not have mobile phones.

We had ONE yes that is right ONE phone in the entire house.  Usually in a place where everybody could easily reach it and where everybody could hear your conversation.

Ours was downstairs opposite the front door.

A boy that I liked once phoned me and because everybody could hear the conversation I turned his request for a date down.

We lived in a double storey house.  As a rule whenever I had reached the top of the stairs the &*^%ing phone would ring.

When you went to meet people at a park or a festival you had to be very specific about where you would be.  I wonder how we found people back then.  I don't remember struggling except for one instance.

I borrowed my Dad's car and drove to the neighbouring town.

The car broke down and I walked to a nearby repair garage that belonged to a friend of my Dad's.  I phoned home to tell my Dad where I was.

My parents were not home but their housekeeper answered.  I did not know that she was dyslexic.  I dictated the phone number to her and told her I was at Pine Pinaar's garage and she must please tell my Dad when he returns.  When my parents returned the only part that the housekeeper got right was that the car had broken down in Nelspruit.  She gave them a completely different name for the garage and she had 4 digits of the 7 digit phone number written down.

My parent's drove to Nelspruit and frantically looked for me.  I can't remember how we eventually found each other but it took hours.

On my aunt's farm it was even worse.  There was a party line.  This meant that when the phone rang you had to listen for your specific ring and answer.  Anybody could listen in.  When my friends accompanied me to my aunt's farm they loved listening in on strangers phone calls.  When you wanted to make a call, you had to pick up the phone and enquire:


If nobody answered you could spin the side thingy and ask for the number that you wanted the operator to dial.  They only did away with the party line system about two years ago!

At some point land line phones became mobile and we thought we were very fancy walking around with the phone.  Best of all finally privacy!

Then in the nineties MOBILE PHONES!

At first you could only get mobile phones on contract so they were not easily accessible.  You had to earn a certain income and the calls were very expensive.

Having a mobile phone was a status symbol.

In the early nineties we all had a good giggle at the executives who would be talking away on their bricks when the phone would actually ring.

By the late 90s when it was becoming the rage to have a very small mobile phone, my Dad borrowed me his brick to use as I had to drive home late at night from work and we lived in a dangerous area.

My work colleagues had so much fun teasing me regarding my brick.

Things like:

"Is that a weapon?"

"Are you going to kill somebody or make a phone call?"

"Careful you don't lose your phone."

Then text messages came about and in SA  we call them sms.

I heard people talking in the office talking about sms and I thought they were talking about some new sex thing.

I could not figure why it was the rage topic.  I did not have a tv and I worked long hours so I never knew what half the topics of conversation were about.

A few years later things were a bit better financially and I finally bought a semi decent mobile phone.

My daughters were very excited about it.  They liked mobile phones a lot more than I did.  I soon realised that their generation was born to sms so I would pass my phone to one of them and dictate my message.

Around this time I was shopping in a supermarket.

A phone was ringing and ringing.


A woman tapped me on my shoulder and said:

Your phone is ringing!

I responded briskly:

That's not my ring tone.

To prove my point I pulled my mobile phone out of my bag.

I wanted to stick it under her nose and shout:


The problem was it was actually ringing.

I turned bright red and answered it.

Yip my daughter's thought it was fun to change my ring tone without consulting me.

After that for years I never actually would know what my phones ringtone would be and I learned that when I heard any strange noise I had to dig my phone out of my bag and check it.

Then came the internet and when we decided to get ADSL we for the first time in years had a land line phone.

I asked my youngest Jess to phone her Granny.

She picked up the phone dialled the number and asked:

Where is the call button?