Monthly Archives: February 2012

moneysmart column. BUDGETS

My latest column for moneysmart website

But are they in your budget?

February, the month of Budgets.

February: The month of love to the lesser financially minded; the month of Budgets to those in the know. We get the State of the Nation address in February when we all watch our President talk about where we have been, where we are going and the fact that our soccer team is pretty much useless. Some people only watch to play drinking-games or to see J.Z chuckle and win the crowd over with all the candour and swag of his rapping namesake. Nonetheless, the country comes together; they trend on twitter. They comment, discuss, mock and applaud… read more

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Moneysmart Column. Budget V-day

I write a weekly column for the moneysmart website.

This week it’s about Valentines day – BUDGET

Like the rhino in our game parks, the rhino on our money is endangered. And I don’t mean in light of the recent announcement that the Big Five are being replaced by Madiba by the end of 2012 on our National reserve. No, they were a dying breed in all of our bank accounts long before. This thanks to a global recession, mixed with a healthy dose of Christmas consumerism and holiday joy.

Just when we thought it was safe to go back to our local malls, Valentine’s Day attacks us like a money hungry ninja. (If said ‘ninja’ was clad in pink and red ribbons, dipped in sugar and engraved with cheesy rhyming love poems.)

February is the month of Budgets here on moneysmart. So here is a list of ways to spoil your loved-one on a budget, whilst still managing to make yourself look creative and thoughtful.

READ MORE on the moneysmart page here.

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Cute Valentine Puns (For the Cheapskate)

Ah Valentine’s day. Here are some adorable ways to get around the cliche of stuffed teddies.

It will earn you a slight shake of the head, a little sideways glance. Perhaps a coy smile and utterance of ‘oh, you silly thing you’.

And then, voila. Sex. (Hopefully)

Roses

Give your loved one the gift of roses. FIVE roses.

Slap a bow on this. Romance, in a box.

The World:

You always whisper about wanting to give her the world. Now you can:

You've got the whole world. In your hands.

You can place this in a little box and when they open it, you’re pretty sure to get laid by the sheer adorableness of you.

The world. Also Available in book form.

If your lover is more the ‘paper back’ kind of person, you can write a little inscription in the front. Something to be treasured forever. Longevity of your adorableness. You won’t have to wash dishes for DAYS.

Say how you feel:

Never sure about announcing your feelings? Grab a bottle of Olives, make a little sign on it that says “olive you” and there you go. You’re adorable. And you’ve avoided using the big L word.

James Bond had SWAG in his martinis.

Make sure they aren’t one of those types who hate olives ( you know what they say, you either love them or you hate them… or you think they’re ok.) Because then you say “Olive you” and they say “I hate Olive” which doesn’t really make sense… But it would get awkward.

Pop one in a martini and get her drunk enough to sleep with you.

Ho ho ho. Merry Valentines day.

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V-Day D-day.

“You have to kiss a lot of frogs…. until you’ve kissed a thousand frogs.”

It’s that time of year again. When singles are forced to decide whether they are happy or sad to be single because all the couples adopt an air of smugness and every mall assails you with tacky pink and red ribbons, hearts and sugar-highs.

Valentines Day. *ugh*

I’m a happy, bubbly optimistic person all of the time. I’m not a cynic. But love has never been kind to me. This puts me in a conundrum. it’s valentine’s day. I want to yell ‘LOVE IS FULL RETARD’ and run away doing the ugly cry. But then you see. I am not really a cynic, like I said. And I’m not one of those bah-humbug people. Although, I’m really starting to doubt that I’ll ever be lucky in love. I’m certainly not lonely. I love my life. But I am trying to cultivate a disbelief in this fairytale love ‘crap’ ideal.

As many of you know, I often think of my little 6 year old self. I try to live each day to make her proud. I try to live my dreams. She would be very disappointed to see how I had given up on the notion of a prince. (although, come to think of it, she’d be very disappointed that I didn’t marry MacGuyver or Knight Rider. Knight Rider was the Hoff. What the hell did 6 year Old Angel know?!) It’s FUNNY to be anti-love and as a comedian I do embrace that. But that’s not really who the little girl in me is.

True story. Every wish i made as a child was to fall in love. Every single one. Birthday candles. Shooting stars. Lady bugs. Eyelashes and dandelions. We even had a copper frog statue on our entrance hall table (God knows why my mother owned that) but i would kiss it every morning on my way out to school, just in case. I went to an all girls’ school, I’m not sure who I thought I’d find. Perhaps it would have been easier had I just preferred Joanie to Johnny. But alas. That’s never been the side of the hockey-field I wanted to play on.

I guess my wishes all came true. I got pretty good at falling in love. But falling, by definition – hurts you. And boy oh boy. If you think a scraped knee is sore, Dear Six Year Old Angel, wait ’till you have a broken heart.

In spirit of Vday, I shall reflect on all the ghosts of Valentine’s past:

I’m usually single on Valentine’s Day. In fact, last year I ended things with a guy ON Vday because he wanted to get more serious… and I really didn’t. The year before that in 2010, was one of the only years I had someone.

Everlast? Not quite

I was all loved up with big batting lashes around cupid-infected eyes. He gave me bubble-gum pink boxing gloves (aww) And took me into the magaliesberg (awww) after brunch with his family (awww) then we abseiled through the canyons (aww) and had a picnic in the wilderness. (double awww.) What a keeper. Yeah…. No….. He wasn’t…. Clearly.

In 2009 i lived in Korea and the guy I was casually seeing was in the US Army, He had flu that weekend and quarantined himself for the weekend. So I went out and got drunk with my friends. But I did that every weekend anyway. A few weeks later we quarantined each other from the relationship.

One year in like 8th grade, we used to have to send carnations to each other and our friends on Vday, and then the humiliating process of the flower delivery coming class to class would ensue. So just to be sure that I wasn’t one of the awkward pre-teens with no-one who loved me, I ordered myself a carnation… Yes. That I was that lame. I got 2 that year. The other one from my BFF.

I can be romantic. One year in my early twenties I tried to win back a boy, whose heart I had broken, on  Valentine’s day by leaving a bunch of black-helium balloons on his front porch. He was an emo-kid. The black balloons were an ironic thing… I placed one red one on a longer string to rise above the black ones to represent love and happiness. It was an in joke. He got it. I thought I was adorable. He called me crazy, through incredulous laughter when he walked onto his porch and phoned me a few minutes later. He still didn’t forgive me though. He made the right choice.

Hell I even got “proposed to” one year on Valentines day (vomit) After one month of dating (double gag) Shame, bless him. We were kiddies in University. He hid the ring in a piece of purple tissue paper and placed it under the salad of the meal he had prepared (yes, stop laughing…  really)

Yes, Romance lies within this.

In the dim candle-light I thought it was that gross bitter purple lettuce, so avoided it. He got increasingly anxious. I had no intention of eating the purple lettuce. He had to point it out to me (this was not going well) I was touched and terrified. I wore the ring for a month (switching it to my right hand secretly in public). Then of course managed to break up with him. (whew) *awkward*

I’d have to say – all things considered, my most successful Valentine’s day was in std.4 or 6th Grade. I was a kid in Plettenberg Bay, it was the year Madiba was about to be made President – and I got 5.. yes FIVE real live cards from real live boys. 11 year old Angel had some GAME. I only kissed a boy when i was 13, so fat lot of good that ‘game’ did me. A week after V day it was back to name calling and pony tugging anyway. Those were the good old days. When a guy would pick on you for weeks and weeks, sending you letters across the class telling you how ugly you were, how funny your pigeon toes were (mostly applicable to me only) and then one day, you get that letter – surreptitiously passed across the class. You brace yourself for the insulting drawing or nasty limerick and then there it is: “Will you be my girlfriend?” with the three little check blocks drawn alongside. Yes. No. Maybe. A simple pencil tick would define the next few weeks of your love life. Who you’d share your sandwich with. Who you’d save a seat for on the bus. Who you’d push down the bully in the playground to defend.

The Ultimate Decider.

Life was simpler.

I guess what I’ve garnered from this is that even though life might seem to keep sending me hate-mail. Nasty limericks in the form of boys saying mean things, leaving me for other girls or just not being that into me. I guess, we have to keep opening those metaphorical letters. Coz one day it will have a question. A question that makes our heart smile. And maybe we’ll want to tick the ‘yes’ block.

Dear six year old angel, You win. Optimism triumphs yet again.

Besides, who am I even kidding. I love pink. And hearts. I should be in my element on V day. Even if I’m single. And I am.

Happy Flippen Valentine’s day.

*Love love love High five*

I will leave you with this fact:

@WhatTheFFacts : Women who remain single are likely to be high achievers of above-average intelligence.

Just saying.

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Mandela’s on the Money!

We knew the Rhino was endangered. But what if I were to tell you that the Lion, the Elephant, the Buffalo and the Leopard (as well as the rhino) were all set to be extinct by the end of 2012.

Hold the phone. No need to call WWF in terror. It’s our money that’s going extinct.

Soon to be extinct.

But fear not. No need to book those tickets to Australia. Our beloved father of the Nation is coming in to save the day.

The announcement was made on Saturday 11th February 2012. 22 years to the day, since Nelson Mandela was released from prison. Our Tata Madiba will now replace the big 5 on all 5 of our bank-notes.

I think this is a wonderful idea. Big five to HIGH-FIVE.

Ladies and Gentlemen... Mandela's on the money!

Look at that little secret smile on his face. I bet he’s smiling in anticipation of all the pairs of boobs he’s going to be hidden between.

Talk about ‘All about the Benjamins’ – now we have our own slang. It’s all about the Rolihlahlas – I’m off to earn the Madibas.

JZ "Big Pimpin with all the Madeebs."

This is the first time our money will change since 1992. When we left behind the Dutch flowing locks of Mr. Jan Van Riebeeck for the diplomatically chosen animals of the big 5. Thank goodness our cool factor has been upped yet again from the Pantene Haired dutchman.

I think it’s high time for a *high-five*

Remember these? Old Van Riebeeck Doth posses no swag.

If we didn’t love Mandela enough, as a nation before. Just think how much we will love the sight of his face now. In our wallet. In old coat pockets long forgotten only to surprise us on a rainy day…. Peeking at us from above a stripper’s thong.

Our Tata, soon to be seen between stripper's Ta-Tas.

*High Five Tata*

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Joys of Pooh

I saw this wonderful little fact on twitter today:

@WhatTheFFacts Jim Cummings, the voice of “Winnie the Pooh,” calls children at the hospital to talk to them in character.

This makes my soul smile. Just imagine the joy a little child might have, speaking to Pooh on the phone. Oh the magical intrigue. Oh the moment of happiness in a bleak hospital bed.

*High five* Mr. Cummings for being such an amazing soul. I googled him and it turns out that this story is true. Cummings who is the voice of Not only Winnie the Pooh, but Tigger too, works with Famous Fone Friends or the Make a Wish Foundation and will phone children as their favourite cartoon characters.

How magical that things like this even happen.

Read more about Jim Cummings extensive carreer here, he’s pretty much added his voice to every beloved cartoon from the Simpsons to the Jungle book (King Louis AND Kaa the snake)

This story made my day. *random high five moment* I shall leave you with a sage quote from the Pooh himself:

“It is more fun to talk with someone who doesn’t use long, difficult words but rather short, easy words like “What about lunch?”” – Winnie the Pooh

“What day is it,?” asked Pooh. “It’s today,” squeaked Piglet. “My favorite day,” said Pooh.

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Safe House – Reviewed.

So, today I got to go to the pre-screening of Safe House, starring Denzel Washington, Ryan Reynolds and CAPE TOWN.

You can read a bit about the backstory and see the trailer in my previous blog post here.

Safe House is set in Cape Town – for no reason other than it’s a cool place to be set. There is no political undertone, not once is there a ‘is it coz I’m black?’ subtext and there is very little reference to anything about WHY they are in South Africa in the first place.  None of the baddies are South African, all of the leads are foreign – no one is attempting a South African accent (where they undeniably fail, with the exception of Matt Damon in Invictus) and the bottom line is: Safe House is just a COOL movie, about CIA rouge operatives – with lots of guns, lots of chasing, lots of escapes and lots of COOLNESS. It makes Cape Town look beautiful, with some great helicopter shots coming over the mountain. And it doesn’t put South Africa in a bad light at all. Thank you Safe House for putting us on the map.

Now I’m a girl who generally doesn’t like shoot-em-up action movies, but Safe House is worth watching for lots of reasons (Ryan Reynolds’ abs aside). 90% of the scenes are recognisable places in the city, you get to hear sentences like “we’re tracking the suspect, he just turned into Darling Street” and “I’m out of the city – just getting into Woodstock now” (these things will make you bounce in your seat with glee if you are like me.)

There are lots of cameos by recognisable South African celebs in the form of Henchmen, cops and CIA intel workers. (Jenna Dover pulling off a believable American Accent)

You will get to chuckle with all the patrionism of a local as the geography of the car chase scenes make absolutely NO sense, and each cut sees the actors on roads in different parts of the city (but more photogenic) To an international audience, this will go past seamlessly – to us, it’s just a smug little giggle.

Spoiler Alert: There are Guns in the Movie!

The plot is an average CIA movie, not too many twists – not too complicated. The acting is great by the two leads with Ryan Reynolds even spitting out a few lines of Afrikaans – bravo! Our Greenpoint stadium even makes a cameo. The movie succeeds in making us look like a cosmopolitan city with a functioning infrastructre and police-force to be reckoned with. You won’t be cringing – you’ll be proud.

The most unbelievable part is that, during the high speed car chase scenes through the inner city like Long Street and Darling Street, there is not ONE pedestrian casualty. All the pedestrians dive out of the way of the cars, even when they ramp pavements. Now, anyone who has driven in Cape Town will attest to the fact that we are some of the world’s best drivers – because we are constantly having to be aware of jaywalking pedestrians EVERYWHERE. I chuckled at the notion of them diving out of the way of ANY car…

And ladies – if your patriotism isn’t enough to lure you to see a movie full of guns and punches, let me leave you with this:

Ryan Reynolds has a shower kissing scene in the first 5 mins. Yes. Yum.

And with that mental image nicely in my mind, I shall bid you all a very good night – and a Safe House.

*high Five*

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