Thursday, March 30, 2006

Days of Old

Kids today have no imagination. I know this is a massive generalisation but as a close observer of loads of young uns, I can say that there is definite basis for that conclusion. Three summers ago, while I was babysitting my cousin he kept coming over to me telling me how bored he was. This boredom appeared to stem from the fact that his mother banned him from watching TV and playing computer games all day. Shock!! Horror!! What else is there to life? Imagine the look of shock on his face when I dared to suggest that he go outside and play! He actually informed me that he didn't really know what to do, so I told him to use his imagination.

This had him stumped. He had no idea what I was carrying on about, so I told him to make up a story. He got about halfway through the story when I realised that it just happened to be exactly the same as the Power Rangers movie I had been forced to suffer through the previous day. I threw up my hands in exasperation.

This is just so alien to me, because some of the most significant moments of my childhood were brought to me courtesy of my imaginary friends, and my wild flights of fancy. When I was five years old, I had my first major argument with most of my extended family. This was an argument that carried on until I was about nine and saw the light. It all started on afternoon in London, I was watching TV on my own for some reason. I don't really remember where everyone else was, but I watched on my own for quite a while. Eventually, my Uncle Ladi came out into the living room and asked me what I had been watching. I told him that I was watching a show about an old man who had a parrot named 'Kpookpaa'. He doubled over laughing at me and called all my aunts in to join in on the joke. My aunts and uncle patiently tried to explain to me why it was impossible that I saw a British show featuring a parrot with such a blatantly Nigerian name, but I wasn't having any of it. It was the source of much teasing and many tears until I turned nine and realised how ridiculous I must have sounded! It actually became a nickname for me that the family would use whenever I came out with some particularly fanciful tall tale, or just did something plain weird.

My Uncle still calls me Kpookpaa till this day, and in December when I went to Nigeria I noticed that he has started calling his 4-year old daughter 'Kpookpaa junior'. This is apparently due to the fact that she chatters on for hours on end and comes out with plenty of smart alec comments, just like me! The legendary imaginary parrot has become part of our family legacy and I'm proud of that.

Kpookpaa and all the other wonderful imaginary friends of my youth, I salute you. Thank you for many days and nights filled with joy and wonder. Thank you for allowing me to dare to dream. Thank you for keeping me company...But most of all thank you for teaching me about the power of imagination.

Monday, March 27, 2006

The age old question: Mac vs PC

Okay peeps, I need a little help/advice. I'm about to purchase a new laptop. Not necessarily looking to spend a fortune, I just want people to chime in and give me their 2 cents on whether to go with Mac or PC. I prefer the user-friendliness of windows to os x but I'm not sure that this is reason enough to rule out Mac. Comments etc would be much appreciated. Ta.

Friday, March 24, 2006

March 31st draws nigh...

The date has never really meant that much to me in the past, but now as the end of March approaches I can feel myself going crazy. The end of the financial year is causing me to pull out my hair (or what is left of it) in ways I never have before............I hope this doesn't mean I'm becoming an actual adult or anything...AAARGH!!

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

We're playing tag and it's me!

I've been tagged by Nneka so here goes nothing! The rules of the game are as follows:

1. The tagged victim must come up with 10 different points of their perfect lover.
2. Need to mention gender of target.
3. Tag 8 victims to join this game and leave a comment saying they've been tagged.
4. If tagged again, there's no need to post a 2nd time.

The perfect lover for me....
1. He has to have a sense of humour (I can't stand sour-faced people who take themselves way too seriously!)

2. He has to know how to read something besides FHM....Ignorance is sooooo unattractive.

3. He has to know what a sponge and washing-up liquid are for...If he requires a beast of burden, may I suggest a visit to the farm?

4. He has to be secure in his manhood...There is nothing more depressing than being with someone who constantly needs to remind you both that he is a man.

5. Considerate

6. Open to new experiences

7. Willing to say no to his boys on occasion for my sake

8. A connoisseur of film and music.

9. God-fearing

10. If I can have all that and he's a cutie too, then I'm happy

N.B It goes without saying that boys shorter than me need not apply!!!

I'm tagging nkem, trae_z, obifromsouthlondon, Afrohomo, Lolus, c0dec, adefunke and boo.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Verily Visibly Victorious..

In case the title wasn't a dead giveaway, I just saw V for Vendetta and all I can say is........ wow!! It's been quite a while since a movie managed to engage me on so many levels. I mean, movies usually seem to be under the impression that if they have a serious message or are tackling serious issues then they cannot be packaged as blockbusters and seen by a wider audience. This was some of the most audacious marketing I have seen in recent times sparking furious debate all over the US. I find this particularly encouraging as most of my generation seem strangely apathetic. I enjoyed last year's plethora of politically charged movies, Goodnight and Good Luck, Syriana, The Constant Garner etc, however this feels like much more of a gem. Perhaps it is because of the wealth of ideas (or what soem critics would call a lack of focus!). I found however that this meant that teh movie took me in sveral different directions at once and thatlong after I left the cinema, I continued to ponder the parallels drawn. If that isn't classed as powerful thought provoking filmmaking, then I don't know what is.

N.B : Don't be put off by the dodginess of Portman's accent (it sound's more SouthAfrican than anything else) or the fact that everyone feels compelled to shout "bollocks" every ten seconds it is definitely a movie worth seeing.

Friday, March 17, 2006

The Elephant in the room

Being based in New York City, I'm sure you are all expecting the obligatory St. Patrick's Day post....complete with pictures of green beer and shamrock. That's not really my style though, I'd rather talk about something that has been bothering me for a little while. Anyone who knows me well will agree that it's only very rarely that I am speechless, but this is strangely one of those times.

I've often wondered how I would react if I found myself in my current situation, and I have to admit that the outcome is surprising. I grew up hearing about domestic violence as one of thestarnge things that crazy people did. It never occured to me that it was happening all around me on a regular basis. This is because within Nigerian culture there is often so much blurring of the lines, you don't always realise when behaviour crosses into the realm of abusiveness. I can recall standing outside a nightclub in London, seeing one of my acquaintances slap a mutual female friend across the face. More vivid however is the recollection that the boys present were congratulating him for silencing here. She doesn't know her levels, they said. She has too much mouth, they said.

end abuse 2

My next most memorable encounter was my 21st birthday party. A guy I used to be friends with (he was also my ex-boyfriend's best friend)came to the party with his girlfriend. They had recently reconciled after being seperated for a while, and all seemed well with them. It was much to my shock and horror that a few hours into the party they began to have a huge fight which ended with him slapping her three times, giving her a bloody eye and a swollen face. I was outraged on her behalf, and horrified when my then boyfriend attempted to suggest that I should not intervene. I did what I thought was right and kicked him out, only to have the girl start crying "where is he going to go? Will he be alright?" As if I cared! She then chased after him, and in their twisted little fantasy, I became the bad guy.

That was a bitter pill to swallow, but I have since learnt my lesson. Imagine my surprise then, to find that here again in New York. As before, the current victim is well-educated with loving and supportive parents and a good network of friends to turn to, but still.......she allows him to treat her like this. I do not understand. My first encounter with his maniacal behaviour came about when she turned up at work with a black eye and fat lip. I asked her what had happened, fearing the worst( a mugging of some sort). She told me very matter of factly that she had upset her boyfriend (who also happens to be the father of her 2-year old child) so he punched her. I was very surprised that this would be taking place so I asked her about the child's safety, and her response had me in shock. She said "Oh she is too young to notice, and by the time she gets a little older, I won't be with him anymore." I have since been horrifed by the constant balck eyes, fat lips and horror stories. However it is definitely common knowledge that this is going on, and her closest friend clearly have no intention of doing anything about it. I had a long chat with her before christmas, telling her how I knew she could do so much better than that for both herself and her daughter and how she needed to get out. She agreed with me, and told me that she was plotting her move anyday now. I went away feeling certain that I had done my best. I spoke to her just a couple of weeks ago and found out that she is pregnant...again!!

I no longer know what to say or do. Everytime I see or speak to her it is like this massive elephant in the room. I sometimes wish I could be like her other friends and turn away, pretend I don't notice and say nothing. But that just isn't in my nature. I'm a mouthy little biatch...and I can't help it. If you are reading this, I want you to know how much I love you. But this cannot go on. I will not pretend that all is well while you hide your bruises under make-up. You have such a huge support system unlike several other women in your situation. My door is open to you anytime of the day or night. Call me.

end abuse 3

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Nnenna Love!

Call me superficial, call me sad, I don't care I confess to being a big fan of the TV show "America's Next Top Model". This season however, I have a huge reason to watch. The girl who is currently regarded as possibly the most beautiful and gracious person in the house is Nigerian..from the title you know her name is Nnenna. I get excited by this because Nigeria is famous for many things, none of them particularly good. When I watch Nnenna on the show, I'm proud of the elegance she brings to the proceedings. I'm also proud of her Naija accent...and I love that she hasn't replaced it with any dodgy pseudo phone!!!


It really is that Windy!!


I've arrived back in New York from Chicago in the wee hours of this morning. It's been a crazy couple of months, but I can honestly say that I've seen more of the USA in the last 2 months than I have in my two years of living here. Granted most of the time was spent in hotel rooms or board rooms..but it still counts!! Chicago was quite an interesting city. Very pretty and very clean!! They have a different garbage collection system from the one that NYC runs. The city has two levels and all trash collection and disposal is done on the lower level, leaving the upper level nice and clean!

The only thing I really didn't like about it was that Iit really was very windy, even in March! Far too cold for my liking!

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Four Legs Good..Two Legs Bad?!

Although this arrives a little late, it has been playing on my mind for a while. Although I was shocked by the violence sparked over the catoon furore, I have to admit that Western hypocrisy is causing me to look at everything through new eyes. I want to be clear, I still disagree with the manifestions of violence, however it has become increasingly clear that Europe and America seem to have one rule for them and another rule for the rest of the world.

Case 1 - Freedom of speech
It seems that freedom of speech is only applicable when convenient. So Europe can defend the printing of the offensive cartoons sreaming about freedom of speech and the importance of defending those freedoms, but when David Irving states his opinion on the Holocaust, he gets jailed?! Sounds like quite the double standard to me.

Case 2 - Democracy & Tolerance
It seems that in this day and age when democracy, freedom, equality an tolerance are the buzz words on every politician..again it's one rule for the west and another rule for every one else. Case in point is the P&O shipping fiasco dominating American airwaves. There is a massive outcry because a company based in Dubai will be taking over from P&O handling some US ports?! People are screaming about the threat to national security..crazy since P&O who currently handle the ports are foreign-owned anyway. In other words it's okay for foreigners to handle the ports if the are British, but Dubai who are staunch US allies are suddenly not to be trusted? Anglo-Saxon okay, Arab not?!?!

I'm just saying...people need to put their money where their mouths are...instead of swanning around asking for world peace, they should let their actions demand it.

Absent friends....

I've been trotting the globe far to rapidly for the last month to catch my breath much less blog. I have however desperately missed blogging and look forward to posting on all my activities properly. Hopefully I'll get a chance to do that later this week. In the meantime, I just want to say.....It's good to be back....For now!!!