The weekend before last I completely crashed. My weekday morning routine of up at 05:30 and back in bed at 23:00, combined with my early hours Jessica feed duty over weekends finally caught up with me, forcing me into bed in a state of deep slumber for most of that weekend (early nights, or should that be late afternoons!), with the only real activity being a whole heap of gardening in the hot day sun, with some blogging in the wee hours of the morning (after feeds of course).
Funnily enough, this past long weekend was pretty much more of the same.
Well except for Friday evening of course. Friday evening saw us knock on the door of Ouma for babysitting duties once more, as Chantelle and I (after a Old Oak Diner pizza for supper) darted off to Durbanville to pay a visit to Trish’s parent’s place, for the annual celebrate Trish’s birthday boardgames get together (well, it is kind of annual most of the time). Just about all of the old gang were present and accounted for, and we had a thoroughly entertaining evening comprising of the classic board game action of 30 Seconds and Pictionary.
Like I mentioned earlier, this weekend turned out not to be all that awesome, despite all the cool things that were actually going on around me. Stupid mighty morphing sickness!
Anyway, Friday evening kicked off with Chantelle preparing us some awesome fishcake burgers for supper before we jetted out in Gina G. on route to catch Steve Carrel and Tina Fey in Date Night at Ster Kinekor, Somerset Mall. The movie turned out not to be completely brainless comedy like I was expected and in the end we both pretty much enjoyed it – all I’m saying is watch out for the rotate around the pole dancing segment – you’ll be in hysterics! :)
Saturday morning we were out and about quite early already, riding all the way through to Cape Town in order to pick up Chantelle’s wedding ring which had gone in for repairs to the jeweller a week or so before (one of the diamonds had popped out of the engagement ring segment of the wedding ring). That pickup went pretty smoothly and so it was a change of direction and off to Durbanville in order to catch Andy in her newly opened games store, Games Exctera (more or less that spelling I think), sitting in 22 Oxford Street, Durbanville main.
I must say I was pleasantly surprised by the size store she managed to lay her hands on and with a good selection of XBOX 360, PS2, WII and PC titles, both new and secondhand, and with decent prices for game trade-ins, I’ve got a feeling that she’s not going to do too badly in this new venture of hers! :)
From there the sickly Craig carted Chantelle off towards Damen and Michelle’s pad, in order to join in on the manly gaming session part of Damen’s day-long birthday celebrations, with only one small snag getting in the way of arriving more or less on time – I managed to get the two of us horribly lost and in Kraaifontein of all places.
Needless to say, again not one of my proudest moments and so out came the GPS and by hook or by crook we made it back to the general vicinity where we needed to be and I joined Damen and Dean for some intense Modern Warfare 2 multiplayer battles while Chantelle stole Gina G. and went to enjoy her Saturday elsewhere.
Of course, one can only game for so many hours and when the prescribed time finally arrived, the wives and rest of the friends (even little Zandea came along for the ride!) descended upon Damen’s safehaven and so out came the charcoal and meat and what ensued what a great braai, featuring a chocolate fountain, ice cream, salad, snackies, Wii-playing, Lips karoake (Terrance’s fault again!), and just general fooling about get together in celebration of Damen’s 29th Birthday.
Not feeling particularly great by this stage of course, I’m kind of glad we had already made plans to sleep over at Mom’s place on the night, and so after saying our goodbyes, Chantelle drove me to my old home where we sat down and had a bit of a chat with Mom and Pops (who was watching the Masters of course!) before I bid them goodnight and sunk into a restless but necessary sleep.
(Oh, but before I forget, has anyone of you tried dipping boerewors in the liquid chocolate that comes out of a chocolate fountain? Wow, what an awesome taste sensation – it’s brilliant I tell you!)
Sunday morning Chantelle and I decided to skip our initial plans of going through to Church as the sickly Craig (and Chantelle who was starting to develop the same symptons that I had when it first started) needed all the sleep he could get, meaning that the morning was pretty much wasted away in bed and in front of the television.
But of course, that couldn’t last all day, oh no, not in the lives of Craig and Chantelle, as by noon it was time to get showered, changed and ready, before setting off to hit the Montgomery stronghold for a day of family braai, darts and conversation. We were joined by my mom and pops as well as Retha and Miguel and the day turned into a pleasant get together, even if both Rob and I were forced to retire early and crawl into bed while the rest continued to party without us!
From there it was a late evening back into GB where to be honest, not much else happened other than some manga reading, ice cream munching, feeling sorry for one’s self and movie watching (The Mummy was awesome to see again!), before jumping into bed for a well deserved, but probably more needed than anything else, deep rest.
And that my friends is the tale of this weekend past. Not particularly exciting I suppose, but certainly filled to the brim with damp tissues and coughed out bits of lung! :P
Wow. Serious, I’ll get around to organising another day in GB event when I get the chance boys, but before then I need my social calendar to calm down just that little bit and give me some time to breathe! ;)
It all started last week really when on Tuesday evening Chantelle and I made our way over to the cinema to catch It’s Complicated, which turned out to be a pretty fun watch. Wednesday then followed up with an impromptu visit from Retha and Miguel to our part of the world on the pretense of putting the necessary kilometers on for his new shocks. We met up at the Waterstone Village Spur after karate practice and ended up spending a good chunk of the evening dining and catching up as per the norm.
Thursday evening Chantelle and I then met up with Mom, Dad and Claire to watch the stage production of Grease at the Artscape, also a brilliantly fun bit of popular culture to absorb I tell you. Friday then saw me abandon Chantelle to her own devices (she was working in case you’re wondering) and I joined with Ryan, Dean and Terrance at Ryan’s noisy pad for some excellent Modern Warfare 2 and FIFA 10 XBOX action!
(Admittedly, Saturday I took a breather, but I did work on my CodeUnit blog all day so you can’t really call that a day off, now can you? :P)
Sunday we played host to Rob and Laluna, though our planned visit to Barbados for some drinks was cut tragically short by a whole lot of yawning and snoring emanating from the instigators themselves, i.e. Laluna and Rob of all people! But I did spend two hours on the golf driving range so technically I was out and about.
Monday saw Chantelle nip off work at lunch and join me on a trip through to Durbanville where we hooked up with Trish and Karl and their peeps (including Wayne, Candice and Mr. Brown) to partake in a birthday braai bash in honour of Trish’s upcoming birthday on Wednesday.
Yesterday I got off again (though Chantelle was working a late so again it probably doesn’t quite count), but come today it’s back in full swing, with a visit tonight to the Barnyard Theatre to catch Broadway Rocks with Karl and Trish in support of the Fisantekraal Animal Welfare group. Thursday I’m sitting without a car seeing as it is back in the shop, so nothing planned as of yet, but don’t hold your breath, Friday we’re back to being social butterflies when Wayne and Candice join us for supper here in Nagua Bay (as well as for breakfast the next morning).
Oh, and Saturday evening happens to be the Funakoshi Karate Fundraiser Ball event, meaning dress-up fun for everyone.
And then Sunday, finally a proper day off, where weather permitting I plan on sneaking out with Chantelle to some remote forest conservation area, take with some good reading materials and pack a nice yummy picnic basket.
You really can’t say we don’t deserve it! :P
It turned out to be quite the sociable and relaxed weekend this time around, with Chantelle and I kicking Friday off by heading out to Bellville after work in order to visit with Mom and the rest of the family in celebration of mom’s 53rd birthday. As per usual it was an excellent braai followed up with lots of catching up chatter between the brothers, sister and folks, all nicely washed down with lots of great tasting little snack goodies – the perfect family get together in other words! :P (Not that Chantelle lasted all that long mind you – before I blinked twice she had taken her leave of us Lotters Original and sneaked off to the couch where she happily snored away much of the evening!)
Saturday was a pretty chill affair for the first part, with Chantelle sleeping away just about the whole morning like a dead person and I happily entertaining myself with Ryan’s Devil May Cry 4, before we finally set foot outdoors in order to hit the Pick ‘n Pay and grab all the necessary goodies for afternoon braai time. So whirlwind housekeeping and setting up, and pretty soon our guests of Damen, Michelle, Robert, Karl, Trish, Dean, Zania and little Zandea arrived, heralding the start of an awesome evening in the company of good friends. As is now quickly becoming the norm, I served up a masterful array of good tasting meat off the braai (seriously this ultimate braai that Chantelle bought me is awesome!) and it combined well with all the light snacks that Chantelle created including green salad, spanspek and some home made garlic roll. And don’t forget the ice cream filled, chocolate lathered sugar cones for dessert either!
And while watching the South African cricket team take on India provided the bulk of the day’s entertainment, the evening was not to pass without building some competitive spirit and so out came our 30 Seconds for its maiden voyage, providing some excellent games in which I’m sad to say, Team Lotter/Montgomery were soundly beaten by Team Storbeck/Oosthuizen! (But boy did Chantelle become a little bit too competitive by the end of the matches – get one little thing clue or description wrong and she’ll take your head clean off, mark my words! :D)
Seeing as we had held the braai early afternoon (15:00 to be exact) in order to accommodate the Stapelbergs and their little one, the rest of the crowd bid their farewells while there was still plenty of time left on the day’s clock, meaning that Rob and I got to ring in bedtime by watching the surprisingly fun Death Race starring Jason Statham in the lead – lots of car and gun action in case you are wondering!
Sunday morning saw us sleep in pretty late, before finally rousing and setting Chantelle to work on crafting some delicious french toast with bacon and fried banana for breakfast, after which Rob and I set about playing around with Dean’s copy of Ashes, which turns out to be a surprisingly fun cricket game – not that I can bat to save my life of course!
Following that we kicked Rob out of the house and set off for the mall, where I finally picked up a copy of Twilight (the first book) for Chantelle from CNA and then an awesome little paper shredded for my study here at home. (But no toaster mind you. Still can’t find a four piece toaster that both my wife and I see eye to eye on!)
Back home it was time for serious chillax as Chantelle stretched herself out on the couch in front of American Idols for the next couple of hours while I faffed around writing blog posts, doing the dishes and in the end playing some games (Again, Devil May Cry 4 is awesome. ‘Nuff said). Evening eventually rolled by and we found ourselves surely but steadily drawn in by the amazing Will Smith Seven Pounds drama, before ending the night off with Chantelle working on her Sarie competition entry, toasted cheese sarmies and just some general office and braai dishes cleaning up.
And testing the new office shredder of course! :)
I mentioned previously in these here pages that Chantelle surprised me with a proper man’s braai this Christmas, and after giving it its final protective paint coat, I decided to at last set it forth on its maiden burning, seeing as this Saturday past was the first day Chantelle was actually off from work in who knows how long! Not wanting to plan something big, we summoned two sets of couples whom we haven’t seen in absolute ages to join us and so come last Saturday 18:00ish, Karl, Trish, Damen and Michelle joined Chantelle and myself under our new Coricraft umbrella and in front of the magnificent braai, on one of the most stunning days you could possibly imagine!
(It was such a nice day that Chantelle and I had even nipped out for a quick swim in the ocean before the others arrived. The swim would have been longer, but it was quite a hilarious 10 minutes or so watching Chantelle try to jump into her bather which wouldn’t slip on even in the slightest, her decision to shower just moments before proving to be a rather silly idea after all! :P)
Braaing on wood and thus real coals at last was an absolute pleasure and as such I turned out the perfect braai goodies, succulent meats, juicy sausage, crisp braai broodjies, it was simply fantastic. And pared with some delicious watermelon, spanspek and Trish-prepared salad, we dined like kings under the perfect sky. (And there was even ice-cream to be had too…)
From there the evening degenerated into a slog match between Karl and Chantelle over Tetris, with the Doctor proving to be the far superior when it comes to moving bricks around a pixelated screen, though I must admit to have been quite overjoyed when the Game Over finally struck Dr. Storbeck because that irritating music loop had really begun to grate my ear drums! It wasn’t a particularly late evening but it was a good evening of friends and catching up, in other words a perfect success. So I guess the question is simply who do we invite over next? ;)
So like I mentioned ages ago already, we had invited all the friends over on the Saturday evening preceding Chantelle’s birthday for a bring and braai in celebration of C’s upcoming 29th birthday, and as per usual, it quickly degenerated into yet another night of SingStar battling as Terrance and Trish once again had their way and managed to convince us (or should that be twist our arms) into hauling out the microphones and letting them loose on the poor, unsuspecting public!
As it happens, I actually managed to capture some photos for a change, so where better to post them than here?
So here goes then:
The point? Well, we all had fun, the night was a success, and our neighbours probably still haven’t forgiven us! :)
For any non-gamer out there, Capcom’s Devil May Cry is one of the most popular extreme action titles to ever grace the PlayStation 2 and there are currently 4 titles in this hugely successful franchise (the fourth game is in post production for the PlayStation 3). This 12 episode long anime series is produced by the Madhouse Studios and is directed by Shin Itagaki.
The anime details the exploits of the permanently broke and in debt (but always ultra cool) half-human, half-demon Dante as he struggles to make ends meet with the operation of his gun-for-hire business, Devil May Cry. Each episode is annoyingly self-contained and ends up being pretty much the standard demon of the week story, with Dante being challenged by some beastie which he then kills off by the end of the show. The stories are all well told, but the lack of a continuum or an advancing storyline soon becomes very frustrating and leaves Devil May Cry wallowing as a VERY average title.
The writers attempt to be clever and string the last couple of episodes into an arc, tying into the very first episodes story, but to be honest, at this late stage in the show it is a little too late. This is quite a disappointment because with the richness of the Devil May Cry universe, there was more than enough scope to come up with a compelling or richer storyline for this show than just the run of the mill monster-of-the-week formula it degenerated into.
(However, don’t get me wrong, the standalone episodes themselves are all pretty good. Predictable yes, but well executed and all interesting in their own right – perfect fodder for Anime society screenings or something along those lines then.)
In terms of animation quality, Madhouse studios, as per usual, doesn’t disappoint. Although there is a remarkably noticeable difference in animation quality between the opening and last episodes of the series (as always the big budget is spent on the two ends of the series), Devil May Cry screams pure, unadulterated style. The action sequences are fast, fluid and extremely stylish in presentation, following very much in the vein of the cut-scene style from the legendary game series. The demon character models start looking a bit flat and uninspired as the show progresses, but the main characters such as Dante, Lady and Trish never fail to shine.
Note that this is an older-teen orientated show, so there is a fair bit of on-screen violence and gore, particularly towards the end of the series.
Devil May Cry features a very competent voice cast, but it really is the soundtrack that shines above all. Heavy rock riffs feature throughout the show and add to the pace and style of every episode. If you enjoy music with a harder edge, then Devil May Cry certainly wont disappoint.
In summing it all up, to say that I was bitterly disappointed by this show is an understatement. As a fan of the game, the anime was perfectly adequate, just disappointing, while to any other anime fan this show would be pretty much an average affair and lie around on the heap with all the other mediocre titles around. The style and flair which Devil May Cry is known for has been captured well in the anime, but the lack of a cohesive storyline really, really hampers the enjoyment of this show and I can only recommend it being watched one episode at a time, spread over a decent length of time – It simply doesn’t warrant hording all the episodes and then watching everything at once.
Thank goodness it does at least try and save itself from complete ignominy by putting on a great show right at the death of the series, but it is too little too late though, and as much as I hate to say it, Devil May Cry should not be at the top of any anime fans must see list :(
Enjoyable, fun, but stops a long, long way off from being great.
Related link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Devil_May_Cry_%28anime%29