Relocating

Horror

Wed 6 Feb 2008, 15:39

Got a text msg from a friend last week, i.e. “With immediate effect: Nkosi Sikhaleli iAfrika will be replaced with ‘Hello Darkness my old Friend’, composed for you by EISHKOM. Welcome to OUR world – pitchblack & €powerless!”

With no power outage today, Thank G-d, I’ve had a less boring day … managed to trawl the net today and read blogs of others’ (this blog site is a fabulous, amazing microcosm of South African life – it’s great!). I found really interesting things on my travels through cyberspace – like the weed graphic in my previous post *evil grin*.

I’ve also played Scramble (on-line version of Boggle) and Sudoku and even Mental Blocks. Going into the 4th month since the freak fall and 3rd month since the surgery and have another month to go before I can sit. Walking around in the brace and then lying flat the rest of the time can drive one batty. I feel as though I’m morphing into a LunaTic. *Sigh* this year is going to drag until I can get back to my business and my hobbies.

Wraps

Thu 7 Feb 2008, 21:12        2  Comment(s)

A few hours ago, a couple of Associated Press’ Entertainment News Wraps were:

“When I look back on this last year, it’s like, what was I thinking?” — Lindsay Lohan

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

“Mr. Heath Ledger died as the result of acute intoxication by the combined effects of oxycodone, hydrocodone, diazepam, temazepam, alprazolam and doxylamine.” — A representative for the New YOr City medical examiner. Ledger was found dead in his New York apartment Jan. 22.

“While no medications were taken in excess, we learned today the combination of doctor-prescribed drugs proved lethal for our boy. Heath’s accidental death serves as a caution to the hidden dangers of combining prescription medication, even at low dosage.” — Kim Ledger, after toxicology results revealed that her son Heath Ledger died from the effects of taking six types of painkillers and sedatives.

What was HE thinking? — ME.
In this day & age, (in any age), which adult doesn’t know that combining even 2+ kinds of painkillers and/or sedatives, even prescribed by their medical practitioner, is absolutely lethal. Or is the quote merely a euphimism for OD!

Topics:  entertainment celebrity medical

Devastation

Tue 12 Feb 2008, 17:35        41  Comment(s)

You are a wonderful people, each & every one of you & I will thank you individually, but for now, my grateful appreciation to you all for your kind thoughts and prayers.

Unfortunately her life was meant to end today. She died in casualty – lost too much blood.

I’ve just had to call my daughters in Northern California to tell them this horrible news. We are such a close family, that it’s terribly painful to share bad news. They feel so helpless so far away.
My cousins (her children) are on a plane as I write this, from San Diego & Toronto, to attend their mother’s funeral.

And I am angry.

Thanks again for your caring support & strength.

Aftermath

Wed 13 Feb 2008, 15:54

I believe the news has been on radio and the papers. I see it’s in The Times this morning. How senseless and sad that this is the news we have to hear and read every single day. I’m almost numb – trying to be strong for everyone around me, near & far. I still can’t believe this nightmare. Her life snuffed out quicker than a candle flame. Such senseless tragedies we all have to deal with every day of our lives in this country. Also yesterday, a family lost their 12 year old daughter Emily to a stray bullet. And two weeks ago, a stray bullet at Balfour Park fatally hit Sheldon Cohen, sitting innocently in his car, waiting for his son to finish soccer practice.

They were on their way to get a walker for my uncle – he’d had a knee operation and got out of hospital on Monday. My mother was borrowing their walker. So off the 2 “girls” went to a medical supply company in Johannesburg Rd, Lyndhurst. Waiting for the security gate to open, this young boy (who had been running around Lyndhurst all morning apparently, waving a gun), suddenly appeared and tried to open the locked door. Because it was locked, he took took a step back and shot at the window. The bullet went right through my aunt’s neck and whizzed passed my mother’s nose and out the other window. She says it took seconds and my aunt groaned and slumped on my mom’s shoulder and chest. My mom tried to stem the bleeding, but she couldn’t move as M had fallen on her. And my mom had nothing to stop the blood except her hands. How traumatic & senseless and tragic these killings are. For what? This pig didn’t even take anything. (He’s been caught I believe, a 21 year old, after a R20,000 reward was posted in Alexandra township. But how long will he stay in jail? And why are these kids exposed to guns? WHEN IS OUR GOVERNMENT GOING TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT CRIME?!!)

We’ve organized for trauma counselling for my mother. She’s blaming herself as she had their walker to start with. And her brother-in-law is blaming himself for sending her out to get another walker. None of them are to blame. My mom is 82 – and my uncle is 80 – and they’re all very “op en wakker”. But they need counselling. These things should NOT be happening. When is the government going to wake up?

Why are we still here. Why are my husband, son & I still here? Such rhetoric. My 2 daughters, a son-in-law and 3 grandchildren are all in the USA (San Francisco). After this, they won’t come back here and I don’t blame them. My place, at this stage of my life, should be with my precious grandchildren, not putting ourselves in the line of fire here. I’d like to enjoy my grandchildren before it’s too late and staying in this country is like playing Russian roulette – do we know if we’ll be lucky enough to see another day, never mind another week or month. I am sorry that I have to be so negative, but this tragedy has made me realize that I’m living in a fool’s paradise, if I think things are going to improve. We are wasting our lives away by staying. But it’s not easy to just get up and go and at the end of the day, money IS an object.

Supagran, put your papers in again. If you have the opportunity of leaving, then you must.
Personally I don’t think there’s hope for this country and I certainly don’t think the World Cup should be here in 2010. FIFA would be mad to allow tourists to come here and be targets for the massive criminal element in South Africa. This, besides the power shortage crisis.

Aunty Myrtle may have been 80, but she was a [mentally] young, vibrant and adventurous lady, with everything going for her. Her husband, three fabulous children & their spouses and 7 grandchildren were her life. As were her extended family, which of course included my mom and all of us. My poor mother: she’s lost her precious sister now, 3 1/2 years after losing her son (my brother who had a heart attack at age 51) and it seems she won’t be seeing her great-grandchildren again – she can’t travel the 30 hours to N. Calif. and I will dissuade Nicki from coming and bringing her children here.

Myrt had always been my confidante and my friend – the 25 year age gap had never been an issue, not since I was a teenager. She was my mother’s only sibling & best friend. The glue that held our family together and MY rock. Since I couldn’t be around for my mom since she had her fall in January, M shlepped her to doctors and taxied her around and took her out wherever she and [Uncle] Mannie went.

Forgive this disjointed missive – my fingers are flying as the thoughts are flowing. Heartfelt thanks and love to all of you, for your condolences, kind and helpful thoughts and prayers to my family and myself during our time of need. Your words have been a source of comfort to us all and I thank G-d that I landed in this Blog community when I did.

Topics:  death killings senseless tragedy

And then it was Friday…

Fri 15 Feb 2008, 16:50        4  Comment(s)

Yesterday was the funeral. It was awful to see how broken my poor mother is. She’s in a daze. My cousins are crushed. Their mother, who was the matriarch and centre of their lives, is gone forever. My uncle is numb and still in shock. As are we all. But trying to be strong for the others. What a mess. The adage “man proposes and G-d disposes” is so true. None of us know what the next minute holds for us. I do try to live every day to it’s fullest. Some days… not so much. But, not many do make the most of every minute. Do you? So sad if we don’t.

And why do we wait for a funeral to see old friends and family. How sad is it, that we don’t see these people for years at a stretch and suddenly at the funeral of a loved one, there are literally 100’s & more people, (it was a HUGE funeral – about 500 souls – yesterday), a lot of whom, family and/or friends, who are known from our youth or at least 10 or 20 years prior. I’m amazed that we (and I am as much to blame), say “we must see you more often – why don’t we keep in touch”, “why do we wait for another tragedy or loss?” and yet another funeral “happens” and we say the same things all over again. Pathetic.

I would like to thank you all personally, for your wonderful, warm thoughts, prayers, wishes and hugs. But as I don’t have your email addresses I will do so in this post. To each and everyone, who has left a message, words cannot express how touched I am at your kindness and sensitivity. Your caring and support is so greatly appreciated during this time of the loss of our loved one.

Hugs to each and every one of you,

Di

Topics:  death funeral thanks family friends

Light Relief

Sat 23 Feb 2008, 15:49

I haven’t been around for the past 12 days – we are in mourning for our beloved aunt. In the middle of it all, my husband has had a ‘lapse’. This terrible tragedy last week was the final straw for him, I guess. And I have to be strong for everyone.

However, being either horizontal or vertical in my prison (the fibreglass, revolting brace), I needed some light relief this weekend and I thank the author of the missive below (unknown unfortunately), for assisting me in taking my mind of the SH** that has hit my fan!

Hope all of you are well and thanks again to all of you who left messages for me last week. Your thoughts and wishes have comforted us immensely.

Hope you enjoy this. If we can’t leave this mess of a country and have to live here, we do have to laugh at the South African situation. Don’t we?
Hugs,
Di

“It’s in your moments of decision that your destiny is shaped”

In the year 2007, the Lord came unto Noah, who was now living in South Africa, and said, “Once again the earth has become wicked and over-populated, and I see the end of all flesh before me.

Build another Ark and save 2 of every living thing along with a few good humans.”

He gave Noah the plans, saying, “You have 6 months to build the Ark before I will start the unending rain for 40 days and 40 nights.”

Six months later, the Lord looked down and saw Noah weeping in his yard – but no Ark.

“Noah!” He roared, “I’m about to start the rain! Where is the Ark?”

“Forgive me, Lord,” begged Noah, “but things have changed. I needed a building permit. I’ve been arguing with the inspector about the need for a sprinkler system. My neighbors claim that I’ve violated the neighborhood zoning laws by building the Ark in my yard and exceeding the height limitations. We had to go to the Metro Council for a decision.

Then ESKOM demanded a bond be posted for the future costs of moving power lines and other overhead obstructions, to clear the passage for the Ark’s move to the sea. I told them that the sea would be coming to us, but they would hear nothing of it.

Getting the wood was another problem. There’s a ban on cutting local trees because the Nature Conservation authorities say it will upset the balance of the local ecological system.

I tried to convince them that I needed the wood to save us all from extinction – but no go!

When I started gathering the animals, the SPCA prosecuted me. They insisted that I was confining wild animals against their will. They argued the accommodation was too restrictive, and it was cruel and inhumane to put so many animals in a confined space.

The traffic authorities said it would take six months after completion of the ark to plan a route to the sea. I told them also that the sea would be coming to my back yard. They threatened to have me committed.

Then the Department for Environment ruled that I couldn’t build the Ark until I had arranged and conducted an environmental impact study on your proposed flood.

I’m still trying to resolve a complaint with the BEE group on how many ‘affirmative action’ persons I’m supposed to hire for my building crew.

The Department of The Interior has insisted that I provide them with a list of the people who want to work so that they can check that they are not from any non-designated group.

COSATU say I can’t use my sons. They insist I have to hire only Union workers with Ark-building experience.

To make matters worse, SARS seized all my assets, claiming I’m trying to leave the country illegally with endangered species.

So, forgive me, Lord, but it would take at least 10 years for me to finish this Ark.”

Suddenly the skies cleared, the sun began to shine, and a rainbow stretched across the sky.

Noah looked up in wonder and asked, “You mean you’re not going to destroy the world?”

“No,” said the Lord. “The SA Government has beaten me to it!”

Topics:  south africa humour politics tragedy killing

Tribute to Myrt

Sat 23 Feb 2008, 18:10        (1) 20  Comment(s)

I can’t promise, but I’m hoping that this is going to be my last sad posting for a long, long time.

On Monday morning, we are going to unveil the tombstone of our beloved Myrtle. It is quick, but in the Jewish religion, we can do this after the [now] official 7 days of mourning. This seems to have become part of our halacha (law), or maybe just the norm in recent years, due to the nature of split families and the distances, [mainly] children, have to travel to bury their loved ones. I’m not sure how ‘halachchik’ it is, but I have no doubt the very religious will enlighten or correct me.

Under ‘normal’ circumstances, we observe ‘shloshim’ which means THIRTY. Thirty days, before we can have an unveiling, [in the ‘old’ days]. I learned, when my younger brother (my best friend), died suddenly of a heart attack, 3 1/2 years ago, whilst playing a soccer match, that the soul does not rest until the ‘shloshim’ has been reached. In those 30 days, the soul is making its (his/hers) peace with people and events from it’s past life. Actually, this is how I interpreted it at the time of Brian’s untimely passing and it seemed to help me get through the shock a little bit better. Perhaps I’ll be able to apply my past learnings after the unveiling of the stone next week, in order to come to terms with Myrt’s tragic ending.

She was a beautiful person with a heart of gold. We did have our differences, but we always had a strong bond with each other.

The NE Tribune in Johannesburg published, what I deem to be a fair obituary for her. She will never be forgotten and my heart goes out to my mom with my prayers for her strength to survive the trauma of watching the life ebb out of her sister because of a senseless, barbaric act of violence.

Topics:  tribute,obituary,tragedy,religion,Jewish

Chatnet

Sun 24 Feb 2008, 15:53        2  Comment(s)

Were any readers, CHATNETTERS from the OLD Beltel days?
Remember the days of yore, when online banking was done in a basic DOS format via Beltel? The cyber highway had not yet been established – the days of no Internet… oh my hat!

I guess most of you were teeny tots and not many have even heard of Chatnet and Frogg.
‘Twas the early 1990’s (oh those were the days in the last millenium *G*). In fact I think it probably started in 1990. I remember teaching my husband to access a bank profile and do his business and personal banking via that mode. Whilst teaching him (I was a computer teacher in my youth), I came across all the chat lines on Beltel. And oh boy.. did I have fun. And met a wonderful cross culture of young and old. We formed some long-lasting friendships. And had some great get-togethers. But so many have dissipated into the ether.

We’re now trying to make contact with all our old friends and acquaintences from those days. If you were a Chatnetter or a Frogger please let me know what your “nick” was and where you are in the world. And if you are a Face Book member, or plan to join, please do join the groups, either, or both,
“CHATNET (South Africa) on Beltel” and “Frogg”. We have both those groups up on Face Book now and it would be great to connect with you again.

Whilst on the subject, I ran the IRC Channel Moonbeam and there’s a group for that too on Face Book, so don’t forget to hook up there as well, or let me know if you were one of the IRC’rs on Lagnet and on some of the other servers. (Don’t forget to tell me your ‘nick’ from IRC as well).

Hope you’re all having a wonderful weekend. I’ve been sorting out my computer – amazing what one can do with a laptop on a tummy, even while lying (head no more than 30 degrees up) on a bed. Now there’s no excuse any more, not to answer all the emails from the past 4 months. Cannot wait for mid-March when I’m allowed to start sitting for 1/2 hour a day – spread over the day, nogal! Perhaps by end of March or early April I can get back to some work. One can dream. I hear you all saying you wish you weren’t working, but believe me, when one is forced into this type of recuperative retirement for so long, it’s a hellava jail sentence.

Keep smiling,
Di

Topics:  chatnet beltel frogg cyber highway moonbeam irc

Get off your high horse

Mon 25 Feb 2008, 22:47        15  Comment(s)

To say today was a bad day for me, is an understatement. Was a smallish, pretty private unveiling of the stone for my darling Aunt. It made everything real…Myrt is really not coming back. I was sobbing and looked at my mother and saw her sobbing… ughhhhhh.

After a long day with the family, reminiscing, I needed a distraction. I always find Oprah rather amusing; (yes she’s a philanthropist, but it’s always loud and never would she be anonymous with her donations… it P’s me off. OK I know she’s achieved fantastically in her life, but lawrdy lawrd, she does irritate more than a little).

So when I happened on her site and saw that one of her shows was “Are you a shlumpadinka,” I had to investigate. According to the text, Oprah’s been using that word for years. HUH? Where did she learn that? In our family, we’ve been using that word FOREVER – it’s a derivative of a Yiddish word according to my knowledge. And it means a frumpy or sloppy person.

Now here’s the best part:
“Though this word isn’t in Webster’s Dictionary—yet—Oprah says she knows a shlumpadinka when she sees one. “I made this word up a long time ago,” she says. “It represents, for me, a woman who dresses like she has completely given up…and it shows.”
YEAH RIIIIIGHT Now who named her [Granma] Moses and gave her the tablets to come down the mountain. Although I know quite a lot of Yiddish words, I needed to confirm some facts. Off to the Yiddish Dictionary Online and sure enough in black & white, (ok on a fawnie colour), is the definition of

SHLUMP – person who is stupid, foolish, inept; person who is sloppily or poorly dressed, careless dresser, untidy person (American Jewish).
Exactly as I thought!

Believe me, there are many variations of Yiddish words depending on locale; i.e. German, Rumanian, Polish etc. My great-grandparents came from Russia and Germany and they must have used the word shlumpa and shlumpadik, as those words have been passed down in our family, through the generations.

Sorry Oprah, but in my book, that is pure plagiarism… and of another language too. And now you think the Webster dictionary is going to add ‘your’ word with acknowledgement to YOU? I think not.

Topics:  yiddish dicionary shlump

The suggestion that Zuma has done for South Africa’s international image what Borat has done for Kazakhstan? Hmmm

Tue 26 Feb 2008, 22:40        (1) 10  Comment(s)

Wounded Nation

So my daughter phones me from San Francisco to tell me about a Friend’s Daughter who has the opportunity to do some exchange programme in South Africa. The friend wants to know what Daughter should do. (How can any of us be responsible for someone else’s life and tell them what to do? – Me).
Friend, knowing about our aunt, says she saw an article in a Scottish Newspaper – The Sunday Herald -about South Africa this past Sunday and promptly sent it to Nicki with the request that we [almost] make the decision for her… basically. Be that as it may, N has sent the article on to me. I don’t particularly like to cut and paste other people’s work, so will give you the link to read for yourselves.

I’m not shocked and it says nothing we don’t know. What is scary, is how the rest of the world sees us. Not through rose-coloured glasses any more, not a rainbow nation, but exactly as ‘we’ are. A now third world, poor excuse of a nation. We have become a laughing stock.

I have to point you to two excerpts in that article:

“One local newspaper columnist suggests that Zuma has done for South Africa’s international image what Borat has done for Kazakhstan. ANC leaders in 2008 still speak in the spiritually dead jargon they learned in exile in pre-1989 Moscow, East Berlin and Sofia while promiscuously embracing capitalist icons – Mercedes 4x4s, Hugo Boss suits, Bruno Magli shoes and Louis Vuitton bags which they swing, packed with money passed to them under countless tables – as they wing their way to their houses in the south of France…”

and

“The Scorpions are being killed off because they investigate too much corruption that involves ANC leaders. It is as simple and ugly as that…”

It’s a long article, but I urge you to read it, just so you know that the world KNOWS.

Topics:  south africa politics violence blacks whites

The Lighter Side of Life

Thu 28 Feb 2008, 21:47        (1) 14  Comment(s)

Just heard this and had to share it with you…

A female CNN journalist heard about a very old Jewish man who had been going to the Western Wall to pray, twice a day, every day, for a long, long time.

So she went to check it out.
Off to the Western Wall and there he was, walking slowly up to the holy site.

She watched him pray and after about 45 minutes, when he turned to leave, using a cane and moving very slowly, she approached him for an interview.

“Pardon me, sir, I’m Rebecca Smith from CNN. What’s your name?”

“Morris Fishbien,” he replied.

“Sir, how long have you been coming to the Western Wall and praying?”

“For about 60 years.”

“60 years! That’s amazing! What do you pray for?”

“I pray for peace between the Christians, Jews and the Muslims.
I pray for all the wars and all the hatred to stop.”
“I pray for all our children to grow up safely as responsible adults, and to love their fellow man.”

“How do you feel after doing this for 60 years?”

“Like I’m talking to a fuckin’ wall.”

=-=-=-=-=-=-=

On the 9 February I moved the bulk of my LiveJournal blog, back to South Africa.

Left back entries there.

So long & adios…. :)

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About d1nx

Techno-Gran living and working in Pretoria, South Africa and spending 3 months of the year with my 2 daughters and their husbands and 5 grandchildren on the East Bay, Northern Californa. Started blogging on my recovery from Spinal surgery in 2007 and have taken many twists and turns on my life's journey and varying chapters of my life.
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