Jun 27, 2011

Time for a proper catch-up

Yes in-dee-dee...
I was having a read through my blog today and there are HUGE gaps missing, so I thought I’d take the opportunity to have a bit of a life catch-up.

Work is going well. I went on a Social Networking conference a couple of weeks back, which I really enjoyed. It was hosted by Mark Sham. Interesting guy… dynamic, funny, intelligent… I’m definitely up for another of his conferences if he makes his way to Durban again. He’s given me a new outlook on social media in general; particularly Twitter and Facebook. I’m going to use those two, combined with a blog to change the way we communicate with our clients and prospective clients. I’m hoping that by opening a two-way communication channel we’ll begin to drive traffic to our website and at the same time show people (prospective clients) the value in the products and services that we offer.

Today I spent my day putting together a specification document for a timekeeping application. I’m tired of Excel and fighting with adding up my time. It’s painfully time consuming and dismally boring. I’ve actually given up with the whole timekeeping thing until I can find a better, more intelligent solution. Tomorrow I’ll finish up the spec and send it off to Darren for a quote.

Barry (my IT guy) and I have reached a weird plain of friendship; although, he is the worst hugger I have ever come across and I have zero desire to ever touch the man again. I always smile when I open my Outlook and there is a completely random, non-work related email in there from him. They are usually strange and entertaining and have a way of making me laugh in that kind of cynical “Oh Baz, what have you done now” kind of way. He is Annie’s kryptonite. The other day he was working out if the iPad was 11 inches, using his penis as a guide. All I heard coming from Annie was “I’m sorry; I so did not need to see that in my lifetime.” I giggled… a lot. Obviously his penis was inside his pants, but the motion of hand to iPad, then to crotch, back to iPad was a little much for our country girl. The two of them provide hours of entertainment for our little office.

Maryla is on leave at the moment. The very lucky bean is frolicking around Paris and Euro Disney with her son, Janek. I have to say that I am horribly jealous.

Ok, enough about work…
My hobbies were starting to get the better of me, so I’ve decided to can a couple and focus on the ones that are important to me. I’m still beading and mosaicing, but not often. I started belly dancing and lasted two classes. It’s really… REALLY not for me. Flamenco yes, belly dancing no.

I’m enjoying Flamenco again. It’s school holidays now which means that there aren’t any classes and won’t be again until the 20th of July. Gosh, a whole month without class. Seems a little strange, but it will probably do me some good to chillax.

Poi is going well still, although I seem to have come to a bit of a grinding halt in terms of progression. I’ve learned a good few moves, but am struggling to find someone to help me move gracefully when spinning… Actually, part of the reason that I took up belly dancing was because the teacher said that she could teach Robyn and I to flow… meh, it didn’t work out. Martin has been an amazing help, but I’m stuck at the moment and am getting frustrated with it as a result. I am spinning fire these days, fairly comfortably. I also have the most awesome sets of flowlights. The colours are pretty… Mom bought me a set of limited edition watermelon-coloured flowlights, but I am only getting those for Christmas.

From left to right - Water; Earth; Spirit
Work-type Hobbies:
Yeah, I know… I always have these.
I’ve been helping friends get their websites sorted and as a result have been neglecting my own. I will, hopefully by the end of the year, have sorted out my own website. Although, to be honest, the website isn’t going to make me any money so it really is going to be an added expense a month for pure indulgence, so I do have to think about whether or not I really want to be putting it up.

Martin’s website was the first of the two projects that I have been working on.
I’m completely stoked with the way that it has come out, although I’m not totally stoked with the copy… but that’s not up to me. I sorted out the design; he can sort out what he wants to tell people and how he’s going to get the message across. Have a look at his website and let me know what you think.

The other website, which is a monster of a project is a re-design of Fire and Lights; Robyn’s performer portal. The poor chicken really needed some help with this one. I get the concept of what she’s trying to achieve, and it’s a phenomenally good one, but the execution of it leaves much to be desired. I don’t blame her though; she’s not a designer and she’s not a developer. She has to try getting her concept across as much as possible and hoping that the professionals that are building the site for her understand her and translate her thoughts into something amazing. They didn’t and as a result her portal is boring, full of bugs and difficult to use. I’ve give the design and the home page a complete overhaul. Check it out :)

Fire and Lights home new page
I’ve also given a couple of the other pages on the site a bit of a rethink and have come up with, what I think is, a good base to start with. Hopefully her developers will be able to expand on that… Hopefully. I’ve also started a blog for Fire and Lights. If I can just get Robyn to sort out the first post I’ll be able to get it going. It is her blog in the end, so I want her to have the first say in it.

Once Fire and Lights is up and running we’re going to sort out the Beads and Beyond website. Then she should be pretty much sorted and it will be just a case of updating them.

Personal Stuff:
Life has been strange in this regard… strange, but really good. Wayne and I seem to really gel. At first I wasn’t sure, but the more time I spend with him, the more I enjoy spending time with him and the more I want to spend time with him.

Ok, here’s the story of how we met… or at least, my version of what I can remember. You know I’m useless with details, so bear with me.

Mom had started mentioning about this guy at her office called Wayne. She would say “He’s a sweet boy… Odd… But sweet.” She told me that he loves to swim in the sea, plays violin and makes music. Kind of odd for someone who works in Fixed Assets at Toyota, but anyways… she did say he was “an odd boy.” Anyways, the “odd boy” turned out to be a 31 year old man who sent me a friend request on Facebook one fateful day. Now bear in mind that I knew of Wayne, but neither he nor I had ever laid eyes on the other, let alone said a word to each other, so needless to say I was curious as to why I was getting a friend request from someone who really didn’t know me from a bar of soap. I called mom… She said, in only the way mom can, “Buggie, I was telling Wayne that I need a son-in-law.” At this point I cringed and with long teeth accepted the friend request. Mom was right, he is odd, but in a really great way. He’s different from the other men I’ve had in my life in that he is genuinely loving, endlessly patient and puts up with me and all of my shit. In my defence, I did tell him that I was a difficult person… stubborn, set in my ways, uncomfortable in my own skin sometimes… all of which he has completely taken in his stride. He’s amazing. He wanted to go out right off the mark, but I was like “no” … I’ve been down that road too many times, but two months down the line I got an sms to say (again short version) that he wanted to know where he stood in my life and that I kinda needed to start making some decisions about us. I told him that I would take him seriously and go out with him, but at the same time he needed to take me seriously and make a rather huge life decision. I told him that I was tired of playing relationship games and that he had to make the decision there and then to marry me within two years or he must go away. At this point I can hear you going WTF Ash??? Don’t worry I was as surprised as you are now when he said yes that is his intention. Two days away from our one monthaversary he said to me “Do you realise that I’m completely and madly in love with you?” My heart felt like it had come home. Look, it may be famous last words as we all know that I am dismally useless at relationships, but I think (I even kinda know) that this is my guy for now and for the rest of time, and that fills me with a warm and fuzzy happiness.

Ok, moving on…
I’ve been reading this web-comic called the Seraph Inn. It’s really sweet. The story can get a little lost at times, but in general it’s sweet. Martin introduced me to it. That bean is a wealth of strange internet stuff… at the ripe old age of 24.

And dear heavens we’re on page 3 of the word document, so I guess it’s time to end this one off. Mark needs to update his blog so I think I’m going to go poke him into doing just that.

Have a great evening

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