Sunday, February 24, 2008

Friends like these...

Lately I've not been really enjoying my life. There was a recent incident involving the school that I'm teaching at, at the moment, which put a dampner on things. It was mostly because I lost my temper at my class and, while it was incredibly satisfying to punish them after they made my lesson hell, it resulted in a parent phoning in to complain about me. It also hasn't helped that I've had the worst cold of my life over the last two weeks which just will not give up and makes my head feel like it is always about to explode at any second. But, this is not the focus of this post. This post is about friends and how they often surprise us in the most unexpected of ways.

Last night I went off to dinner with Helen, Duncan and Tom. We went to Soi (YAY!!) in Melville which is one of my favourite restaurants of all time (and space). I arrived, in my sniffly, not entirely cheerful state. I parked my car in the street, the corner of which, Soi is located on. As I stood up out of my vehicle, I thought it odd that I was not immediately accosted by a car guard coming to ensure that I knew he was going to keep an eye on my car. I brushed it off and went in search of the trio who were to spend the evening with me.

I was late. It was entirely my own fault. I'd thought that I couldn't go off and enjoy a dinner knowing that my mouses cage stank like it did. So just before leaving I decided to give it a change. I'm very glad I did now! But the point is that I was late and so I had to go and find them. I found them with ease (they were practically the only people in the place at the time) and we settled down to our dinner.

The evening was really great! We had such a ball and the cocktails were really good (something with kiwi and pineapple for anyone who is interested)! And, after some really crude and silly jokes about sugar sachets, we called it a night. Later, at home, I recieved a message from Tom saying that he had really enjoyed the evening, and it got me thinking.

I somehow always have this experience and every time I do, it seems like such a revelation, which is really stupid. I love my friends! They really lifted my spirits and I got home feeling great! I realised that I am really blessed with the people in my life that I have and I am really grateful for all of them and what they do and have shaped me into. So this post is dedicated to all of you. I want to thank you for being part of my life and for being who you are. There may be times that I want to kill some of you, and there will be times I'll want to kiss you, but through the good and the bad, I want you all to remember that I love you.

And this doesn't just apply to those who attended dinner on Saturday! ;)

So, a big up to all my peeps! You all is ROX!!!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

My big fight with the cops

Today, while heading off to the zoo, I was pulled over by a pair of Metropolitan Police officers for speeding. They were trapping on Broadway, near Eastgate, between Queen St and Allum Rd. As I neared them, the male of the pair stood out in the road and waved me down with a clipboard. I began to curse under my breath as I was not (is one ever?) in the mood for a traffic fine and I hadn't been paying attention to the speed I was doing so I was fairly certain that they may have really got me.

I pulled over to the side of the road and the female of the pair walked over to my car. I instinctivly removed my drivers license to show her when she arrived and braced myself for the upcoming conversation. I always feel so nervous when I'm being checked by cops, even when I have done nothing wrong and they are just checking peoples licenses and stuff. So being pulled over for an actual offense makes me feel about the size of a pea.

Our conversation went something like this:

Cop: Good day sir. Do you realise you were doing 79 in a 60 zone?
Me: What? Really?
Cop: Would you like to see the picture?
Me: No, it's fine. But, this isn't a 60 zone.
Cop: Yes it is. There is a sign down there [Points ahead of me down the road] saying that the speed limit is 60km an hour.
Me: But I'm not past that sign.
Cop: Yes, but this is a 60 zone.
Me: No it's not! If I remember correctly from my learners liscense test, the speed limit only changes when one passes a sign indicating that it has changed. The last sign that I saw was a sign saying 80km/h and I've still not passed the 60km/h sign, so this is still an 80 zone!
Cop: If you remember from your test, they said that any built up area is a 60 zone. This is a built up area.
Me (Getting a little annoyed now): No it's not! Even if it were, there would need to be a sign indicating that there is a change in the speed limit!
Cop: Well this is a built up area so the limit is 60.
Me: No it's NOT! There are no signs saying so, so how you expect me to magically sniff that the speed limit has changed is beyond me!
Cop (In a very matter-of-fact kind of voice): You don't have to sniff anything. It's a 60 zone.
Me (half stiffling giggles at the cop saying that sniffing wasn't necessary): That's rubbish!
Cop (Now oozing with attitude): Oh! So now you are saying that what we do is rubbish?!
Me (Very calmly): No, I think that what you do is great! It's brilliant that people like you do this job! I'm mearly stating that I don't think that what you are doing here is fair...and I don't believe that it is entirely legal!

At this point the cop put away the pen and clipboard rapidly and said, 'You have a good day sir,' without issuing me with a fine! I was so relieved that I thanked her and drove off. In hindsight, I should have gotten her name and demanded that she show me all the various necessary certification for the camera's functionality and the cops proficiency in using said camera, all of which cops are legally obliged to produce on request in these situations. She was probably hoping that I would not realise that the speed limit hadn't changed and she'd be able to get me to bribe her into not giving me a fine, which I REFUSE to do!

All in all it was terrifying, but it was so cool at the same time!

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

My first Wits Rant of 2008!

I too think that it is surprisingly early in the year for a rant but it appears that Wits is determined to really piss people off early this year. Good old Wits!

As I am sure many avid blog fundi's who love and worship my blog (big up to you guys!) will know, I have a particular grip with the people who run the university. That is parking. Parking at Wits has always been a very big problem. Several SRC's (Student Representitive Council) have been elected into power based on the premise that they would be the one to sort out the issue of parking on campus. All have failed dismally...

The problem is that the parking office sells more parking permits to students than they actually have parking bays available on campus. Naturally, while the parking office doesn't mind because it ensures them a steady income of money and to practically no cost whatsoever on their part, this leaves the students of the campus in a smidgen of a messy situation. The problem is always made worse at the beginning of the year because that is when everyone is on campus. All the new 1st years are around, most of which drop out by the mid-year exams, and all the postgrads feel that they must make an appearance to prove that they do exist and are working (even when they are not).

So, this year, in a flash of sheer genius that only the bovine, incompetant cretins of the parking office are capable of, it was decided that the already-scarce parking would be limited further as the staff of the small shopping centre on campus needed to have parking allocated specifically to them. So, who lost their parking you must be wondering?

Well, to compliment the bovine incompetance of the previous decision, it was decided that the postgraduate parking would be forfeit for the sake of the employees of the Matrix (shopping centre). So, the 300 odd parking bays which were available to postgrads were reserved for the 15 odd workers at the matrix. So what happens to the postgrads? The story gets better!

The postgrads, have been religated to park in the parking on the other side of campus which has always been the parking of the undergraduates. So this means that now we share all the parking of undergraduates between the undergrads and the postgrads, naturally leading to rage, conflict and the occasional bumper-bashing in the parking lots. In a vain attempt to ease the pressure on the postgrads, it was decided that the parking was to be shared between all students from 2nd year up. All first years have been told to park in a parking area that is miles away from everything. While I don't object to this, what I do object to is the distinct lack of any plan to prevent the 1st years from abusing the system and doing whatever the hell they want.

So, the current situation is thus: Postgrads all over the university are furious; many of whom are considering not coming in to campus at all simply because it is too stressful to even try. Undergraduates are fuming because their available parking has been reduced by about a third, leaving them between a rock and a hard place. The parking office is sitting on a large pile of money paid to them for parking permits and is refusing to discuss or acknowledge the problems of the other parties (personal observation - I actually went to discuss the sitaution with them. They didn't give a shit...).

Ah the joys and freedoms of the student life...