Thursday, January 31, 2008

10 Things I Love to Distraction

In the interest of this list actually being enjoyable, I offer a disclaimer. God, family and friends don't count for my purposes. It goes without saying that I love them all.

1. Coca-Cola – I am a Coke fiend. Always have been, probably always will be. Not Pepsi, or Diet Coke or any other pretenders to the throne, Coca-Cola specifically. Full of calories and ice-cold. There is no better sensation than popping that can open and feeling those fizzy bubbles hit the back of my throat. I am a Coke lover for life. If I could deliver it directly into my bloodstream, I would. Seriously.

2. Manchester United – I have been red for as long as I have understood the concept of football. From the days of Sparky to the domination of Cantona. I love Manchester United so much that when they are on top I am joyous and when they are sub-par I am moody. Ronaldo is the sparkle in my eye, Ryan Giggs is my rock in the storm.

3. 2Pac – When I was younger, I was sure that hip-hop was not my thing. N.W.A did nothing for me, and Run-DMC made my head hurt. I was more inclined towards the smooth stylings of R&B and New Jack Swing. One fateful day, I needed a new tape for my Walkman having destroyed my Boyz II Men album, and the only tape my best friend had was 2Pacalypse now. It was love at first beat and I have never looked back since. I go through phases of loving different songs old and new. My current phase has me loving ‘Holla at Me’, but one thing remains constant, I love 2pac.

4. Joss Whedon – I have made no secret of my Buffy/Angel/Firefly obsession. I thought it was limited to the TV shows, but the arrival of the comics continuing the series has reversed that opinion. I recently went to a comic conference just to hear him speak, and in that moment, I knew I was lost. There is no witticism that this man spouts that doesn’t resonate with me. He is every closet geek’s dream come true.

5. Dodo – I would have said plantain, but that would be inaccurate. I love dodo specifically. As a child, I ate it with everything possible. As an adult, I understand that nothing in the world tastes better than fresh dodo and stew with a bottle of Coke.

6. Pop culture magazines – I anxiously await the arrival of my Entertainment Weekly subscription. As soon as I land in the UK, my first task is typically to hit up WHSmith and purchase Empire Magazine. If I won the lottery tomorrow, my first task would be to buy myself a seat on the EW board. Yes, I actually care that much.

7. Internet forums – This is somewhat of a cheat because my forum love developed through my pop-culture obsession, but I have since branched out. Political forums amuse me the most. There is nothing like an unpopular opinion setting the web aflame. I live for the banter. Okay, not really, but I come pretty close.

8. Gladys Knight – It started with an unnatural obsession with ‘Midnight Train to Georgia’ and culminated in full blown obsession with my discovery of ‘I’ve Got to Use My Imagination’. Gladys speaks to my soul. I have no idea why, but her inimitable growl transports me to a different place every time.

9. Champagne – Le bubbles make me sooooo happy. I know it is a cliché, but I really do love champagne. I’m not even a connoisseur, I don’t need Dom Perignon or Cristal, a glass of Veuve Cliquot does the trick. Lest I sound like an alcoholic, I shall refrain from further waxing poetic about the glories of champers.

10. Shoes – I left the most important till last, because I truly love shoes to distraction. Whenever I step into a shoe shop, I literally have a shoe-gasm. I love to drool over completely impractical footwear that I would probably never purchase. I gives me such a thrill to see a deliciously gorgeous pair sitting on a pedestal, and a shoebox is probably the single greatest invention of all time. There is nothing better than returning home form an arduos shopping trip and cracking one open to revel at the gorgeous footwear inside. God knew exactly what he wasdoing when he gave me size 8 feet, because if he hadn’t, I would probably be bankrupt by now. One thing is for sure, I love shoes to distraction.


Monday, January 07, 2008

Bad Vibes...

I have a bad feeling in the pit of my stomach. It's festered all weekend, squirming in my stomach, but I can't put my finger on why. I'm not one for supernatural phenomena for the most part (outside of Christianity, but that doesn't count), but I can't help but get the distinct feeling that someone I love somewhere, is in a great deal of pain.

It is completely irrational, but the sensation continues to gnaw at my consciousness. It is intent on propelling itself from the back of my mind where I have forcibly shoved it, to the forefront where it can displace everything else. At times like this, I wish I was much better at staying in touch with my peeps. Would I know for sure if something befell someone I care about? Or would I be forced to hear about it second, third and maybe even fourth-hand? Does any of this even matter? Or am I just driving myself crazy over what currently amounts to nothing more than a tingle down the back of my spine? I guess time will tell..still, bad vibes all round.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Right time. Right place. Right man.

Even up in New York City where there will be no electoral scrambling until February, the excitement is palpable. There is a real buzz in the air and a sense that something dramatic is about to take place. Today the Iowans will caucus and we will see whether all the buzz and hype of the last year has translated into anything solid.

My first experience of the US electoral process was in 2004, and the difference this time is astonishing to behold. This time, nothing is cut and dried and everyone (well, almost everyone) is a contender to some extent. This is what I imagined when I was learning all about the lofty ideals of democracy in school. I know that there is a lot of standard politicking, empty promises etc. going about, but still, there is a sense that something very exciting is about to happen.

In 2004, I really didn’t care. It was a case of hoping for the most tolerable of the bunch. This time however, there are several capable people with varying strengths jockeying for votes. It feels more like a scene from The West Wing than modern day politics (for TWW fans out there, you will have notices the nod to the tagline of that great show in my title) I am actually excited at the prospect of a vote that doesn’t involve reality TV!

I cast my lot with Barack Obama, and for the first time since I moved to the US, I am saddened by the fact that I am ineligible to vote. I really think he has something very special, something one rarely sees in politicians these days. It is intangible (that appears to be my buzzword of 2008), but he really resonates with me. If I could, he would be my number 1 choice, but I do my part by persuading my friends who are registered voters that his cause is one worth supporting.
The political roller-coaster of a year has swung into action, I can’t wait to se how it plays out!

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Wednesday, January 02, 2008

10 Things I Hope for in 2008

Out with the old and in with the new! 2007 seems to have flown by in a blur, and I can barely remember any resolutions I made much less whether I kept them (well…I can think of a couple, but they are not very blog friendly). To kick off the New Year, I have decided to do another ‘10 Things’ list. These are not so much resolutions, as they are things I hope and pray for this year. I have decided to split my list into tangibles and intangibles. This way I can look back on the year, and if I have achieved the tangibles I’ll know I have a pretty good hit rate.


1. A driver’s license – It is nothing short of depressing. At the grand old age on 28, I do not hold a driver’s license anywhere in the world. It is beyond embarrassing. It makes me shudder with mortification. It must be rectified, and so top of my list of things I am praying for this year is a driver’s license.

2. Winter sports – The theme of this year for me is adventure. I want to try new things and take risks. In my world, this equals winter sports. I have lamented very often and very loudly about how much I hate winter, so this year in effort to enjoy the season more, I want to go skiing, or snowboarding…or both. Many a bruise and bump lies ahead!

3. Beaucoup de manuscripts – This one will really take some major determination on my part. Determination to replace my laptop, determination to save up for that shiny new Macbook I so desperately crave, determination to resist the temptation to procrastinate, determination to pluck up the courage to share my work with the rest of the world…whew! Well, I guess if it was easy, then it wouldn’t be on my list of things I hope/pray for.

4. An interesting stamp in my passport – This year I want to go to a country I’ve never visited. I want to have more than a typical beach vacation. More than a trip to a European capital of culture. Somewhere in Asia/Africa/South or Central America should do the trick. Cuba would be lovely, but who knows.

5. More American friends – I am living in a British/Nigerian bubble in the US. It is a bit of a shame really as I haven’t done this intentionally, it just happened that way. All my friends are Brits or other Nigerian people for the most part. I’m not saying I don’t know any Americans, but all the Americans I socialise with are either people I know from work or my roommates! Now is as good a time as any to reverse that trend.


6. Wisdom – This year I pray that I grow wiser. I am already intelligent, educated, well rounded and generally very smart. Some of my choices last year did not reflect this. I know we all make mistakes, but I pray for wisdom this year and hope that this will allow me to avoid some of the pitfalls that befell me last year.

7. Perseverance – I have commitment issues. Not of the relationship variety, but generally with a lot of other things. Too often I allow myself to become side-tracked by a new bright and shiny object. More often than not, I am too far gone before I realise that I have taken my eye off the ball. In 2008 I pray that I am able to focus and persevere to achieve my goals.

8. Courage – This year signals a lot of changes for me. I pray that I have the courage to take the right fork in the road ahead. I want to find faith in my choices and the ability to follow them through and have confidence in the strength of my convictions. I want to be able to look in the mirror and acknowledge that I am steering myself down a path of my choosing, regardless of the consequences.

9. A renewed sense of responsibility – Living in a different country from most of my family and friends affords me the luxury of neglecting to call my friends and family without having to feel guilty about it. I am able to forget birthdays and anniversaries because I have a handy excuse. I don’t want to be like that anymore. It really is not in my nature to be so thoughtless. I chalk it up to extreme laziness, so in 2008 I want to reprioritise. I want to afford my relationships with family and friends the importance that they deserve. I want to nurture my bonds with those who love me instead of testing them. I want them to know that I love them just as much.

10. Love – In 2008, I want to give love to those who deserve it. I want to treat it like the precious commodity that it is and hand it out accordingly. I want to be open to receiving love. I want to be able to distinguish between real love and the impostors who so often arrive bearing her hallmarks. Most of all I want to let my love for God, and my love for myself shine through in all that I do.