31 March 2009

You’re Not The One…

You're not the one for me!

Sure! You make my heart skip a beat

And you lift me off my feet

But you're still not the one for me!!!

The one for me wouldn't love me then leave me,

Wouldn't leave me to hold my pillow tight,

Each and every night,

So you're SO not the one for me.

You might brighten up my very day

And love me so well in every way

But you're still not the one for me.

So what if I love you so much it sometimes hurts,

When you take my heart and grind it in the dirt?

So what if you are my all and all,

When you kick my heart 'round like a football

You might be my first and my last

But you see…you're so not the one for me.

I reason, I ponder

I search and I wonder

Logic tells me that I'm right

But my heart still puts up a fight

And whispers…

You're SO the ONE for ME!!!!

Written: 18 April 2008

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By the Window

I sit by the window and watch life go by

Everyone's in motion but I.

My life stagnates like water in a pail,

They live, they love

They laugh, they cry

But I…

I sit by the window and watch life go by.

One day maybe

I'll join in life

But for now it seems

I'm destined sit by the window and watch life go by.


Written: 18 October 2005

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30 March 2009

Wordzzle Week 54

10-Word Challenge:

sugar bowl, cotton, wizard, fundraising, Ben Hur, salmonella, luke warm, telescope, bank, walk-a-thon.

Story: Emma hurried out of her office in the Bank in order to get home to change for tonight's benefit. She'd decided to attend the charity fundraising at the Metropolitan Center, in aid of victims of the latest salmonella outbreak, dressed as Cleopatra while Oscar her date was still stuck between going either as Ben Hur, the
of Oz or a sugar bowl. The evening was a bust, Oscar spent most of the night looking through the Mets' telescope, the wine was luke warm and the mousse tasted like a swab of cotton and Oscar, the silly fool, had registered them for next week's walk-a-thon without even asking her.

Mini Challenge:

challenge, sparkling cider, melancholy, snail mail, master carpenter.

Story: Jonathan was master carpenter
at CraftsRUs. As he sipped on the glass of sparkling cider his wife had brought into his workshop, he found himself in a state of melancholy as he considered the new challenge that had arrived via snail mail.

Mega Challenge:

Story: The annual Sugar Bowl
was in less than three weeks and Jill was distraught and decidedly melancholy! She'd been given the job of organizing the whole shindig and everything was spiraling madly out of control. The master carpenter was behind schedule with the float, the council was still dilly-dallying over the permit that would allow them close a section of the borough for the fundraising walk-a-thon. The challenge
of getting the state health inspector approval for the food vendors still hadn't been surmounted, especially with the current salmonella outbreak and the snail mail brigade were back on strike again. Moreover, hell of all hells…the cotton candy machine was double booked for that day.

The rest of the Sugar Bowl committee was lukewarm about her ideas on the theme and entertainment for this year's extravaganza. She wanted a Roman or biblical theme with the entertainers dressed up like Cleopatra, Mark Anthony and Ben Hur. The others wanted a cosmic and magical theme with complete with fairies, elves, witches, wizards, and a giant telescope. The Miller people still hadn't fulfilled their pledge of giving them 24 barrels of sparkling cider and the committee's bank account was almost in the red. She was in a total tizzy and was sure that she was doomed to go down in history as the ONE…the one who ruined the Sugar Bowl!

For more about Ms. Raven and instructions on how to do the Wordzzle for yourself, go to Views from Raven's Nest

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Wordzzle Week 57

10-Word Challenge:

apoplexy, doctor, hummingbird, shallow end of the pool, brigadier general, mustard, greed, parallelogram, slumber party, casual.

Doctor Stuart in his usual low and monotonous voice educated Brigadier General Mustard on the realities of his current condition.

"Apoplexy is a result of excess pressure on the brain and that explains your bouts of loss of consciousness and voluntary motion. I can assure you that this condition is not one to be taken casually. There is no quick fix here! If you do not listen to my advice, you will find yourself in the deep end of the pool without a lifejacket, if not dead!"

All the while, the brigadier general stared out of the window, focusing past the parallelogram formed by the trees in the arbour to; a cheeky little hummingbird sang in one of the trees, and his granddaughters and their friends, splashed in the shallow end of the pool, before heading out for their planned slumber party. He thought to himself "I once thought that I no longer have the greed for life that makes one care to live, till my daughter, Carrie, and my granddaughters' came back into my life! Now I want to live" and resolved to do whatever the doctor thought was best.

Mini Challenge:

Mount Olympus, arsonist, portraits, birch trees, "that car needs a new muffler."

Story: Shirley tilted her head to get a better view of the particular picture she was reviewing. It was one of a series of portraits by Michel Von Strauss titled the Arsonist's Revenge, and this one had a smoldering Mount Olympus obscured by a clump of birch trees. The Sunday Review had paid drive to Michigan and her car kept backfiring and contributing in no small measure to Global warming. She made a mental note to tell her mechanic that that car needs a new muffler

Mega Challenge:

apoplexy1, doctor, hummingbird, shallow end of the pool, brigadier general, mustard, greed, parallelogram, slumber party, casual, Mount Olympus, arsonist, portraits, birch trees, "that car needs a new muffler."

Brigadier-General Mustard was having a Mount Olympus sized fit! Carrie tried to calm him, reminding him what his doctor had said about apoplexy. He was livid with rage. An arsonist had set fire to the guesthouse, luckily no one had been in. his granddaughters had gone to a slumber party and would not be back till the next day. The birch trees in the arbor had been obliterated and he feared for the lives of his favorite hummingbird family that usually congregated there. Unusually for her, Carrie was dressed in casual wear, a pair of joggers with a strange parallelogram motif, and she had a grease smudge on her blouse. The brigadier general mused on that before asking her about it. "Oh dear me" she responded, "It must be from that old banger of mine, that car needs a new muffler I think." The General started to get a little suspicious about the identity of the arsonist
when he discovered a grease-stained rag, hidden behind a flowerpot near the
shallow end of the pool
. Especially when the insurers began asking about the value of property in the guesthouse and Carrie started to go on about a group of portraits that he was sure had already been sold last year. Could Carrie be the arsonist and was
the motive?

For more about Ms. Raven and instructions on how to do the Wordzzle for yourself, go to Views from Raven's Nest

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Pen and Blank Pad

Over the last couple of weeks I've had sort of a writer's block. It's not that the ideas don't come...it's follow through that's the problem.

1001 bright ideas pop into my head, and a few are kinda great (if I say so myself), I even hear voices in my head spewing forth witty dialogues (and yes...I do know how that comes across!!!) but when it comes to putting pen to paper (or in the 21st century, finger to keyboard, or in my case, to mobile phone keypad) I ram a brick wall. The fountain of words dries up, the voices press mute, and my muse jumps ship.

I think I understand why I'm muse-less! Over-anxiety! I got a lot of props for writing humorous and insightful little pieces, and some actually suggested I should think of writing professionally, either as a columnist or a novelist. Now I don't know about that (although flattery is always appreciated), but now I have expectations to live up to... and they're not my mother's! (whose expectations I've at long last stopped trying to meet. I started disappointing her from when I hit 16 so why should I stop now? :-)).

Competition is also rendering me 'pen' shy. It's not that I'm actively competing with anyone here, but blogspot has provided me an opportunity to see what's available and I'm green with envy. The talent abound, and the sheer artistry of many of the bloggers here has me hyperventilating, panicked and feeling like a fraud (even though I never pretended to be a writer). I need to step my game WAY UP!

The pressure to perform is getting to me, I believe. The sarcastic wittisms that formerly dripped effortlessly from my 'pen' have dried up quicker than a water droplet in the Sahara. The tongue in cheek humor that once graced my posts, now washed up and faded... like a Hollywood starlet gone past 30!

The once fun activity now begins to feel like work (ouch...did I just say that dirty word, the W word). The thing I did purely for pleasure and free psychotherapy is suddenly my own private hell.

I've decided I'm no longer writing for anyone. I'm going to write just for me. Hopefully like Stella, I'll finally get my groove back.

DISCLAIMER: All thoughts and opinions expressed here are all mine (crazy as they might seem). All works here are my original work (unless otherwise stated)

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28 March 2009

Here I Stand!!

"HERE I reflect... looking inward, I believe I speak for most (wo)men when I say that in life, you're tempted to find ways to occupy the emptiness and loneliness you feel with temporary fixes. The more I tried to feed that void, the more I hungered. My search for oneness eluded me because the superficial shrouded me. Being truthful can be hard, but lying to oneself is harder. Sooner or later, you realize there's something missing in life. Something meaningful...something spiritual"

There's a group that I'm digging right now. They're called The Script. I heard a song from them called 'Breakeven' about the realities of ended relationships and I was kinda hooked. Interest piqued I dug further and chanced upon a track called 'Fall for Anything'. The chorus has a line that goes '...stand for something or you'll fall for anything'.

Now the song is actually a cry to women about listening to the same old lines spewed out by men to get a little somethin' somethin' but it got me questioning...'What do I REALLY stand for?'. And I'm sad to say I found I could think of anything.

It was a hard truth to accept! And more questions arose. What is there in my life that I would willingly fight for... die for? Apart from my children, to whom I have a moral obligation, I could think of nothing. What ideals govern my life? I'd like to say I'm incorruptible, morally above board, dedicated to something, but I can't! I realized that I'm just a person who floats on the currents of life's endless sea. Moving from one day to another, or should I say moved by the winds of destiny, towards my imminent demise.

If I were to die today, what legacy would I leave behind? What would I have done of note? What would I be remembered for? How many lives would I have touched? I have only one answer to give...Nothing!!!

I have found on bitter and sober reflection that I, as I stand here, stand for nothing!

"HERE I kneel...bowing my head in prayer. Remembering the times when I grew weary gives me humility. Knowing that change is never easy. I have confronted life's trials with passion, determination, and resilience. God's voice orders my steps. I am not perfect, but I am emboldened by His promise... I pray for the strength to speak up for what I believe in, and most importantly, to stand up for what is right!"

The above quote speaks volumes to my heart and I pray that when the time comes I can say boldly...HERE I STAND!!!

Quotes from Usher Raymond's "Here I Stand" single. Tweet It...You know you wanna

27 March 2009

The Wish-list!

Many a night I've lain on my bed and wondered "Why am I alone?". Don't get me wrong! I'm actually one of those weird people that can and does enjoy their own company for days on end, by design! That said I do like 'adult' human companionship from time to time.
I want someone to talk to (it is so...o NOT cool to be talking to yourself in a locked room!), someone to enjoy the silence with, someone to snuggle with Sunday morning when playing hookie from church. Someone to watch really bad Hong Kong movies with while you play critic from opening credits till 'THE END' rolls on screen. Someone who shares my taste in 'weird' music by Nigerian standards and has the commonsense to tell me I look gorgeous when I gain ten pounds. Someone who really gets my dumb jokes and gets it when I have an epiphany. Someone to be my +1 when I get an invite to a gig or party (going stag has its virtues but when everybody else is a pair it can get old). Someone to be there when I cry and someone I can let my guard down with 99.9% of the time.

Now this isn't atypical! I'm sure I'm not the only person with this wish-list, but where the irony is is that I'm in a relationship and have been for 6 years!
Yes...for those of you who think I'm a lesbian...I have a man! But do I really? We've been together for ages (longer than a lot of marriages I might add), but recently I've found myself asking why do I feel so alone! Why am I still living the single life? He's been on transfer for almost a year but this current state of affairs started long before he left.
I was initially content with the status quo...we hook up when we need to, hang out individually, call before we visit (ok...that was my idea...what you don't know about doesn't count) etc. But a six year booty call isn't my idea of a relationship. I love him, and recently he confessed that he loves me too, but I'm not sure I want to continue on this ride anymore.
Maybe turning 30 has something to do with it. I've realized that I want far more. I WANT to get married and have more children (I have 3 daughters from previous encounters) and time's a-wasting...big time!
I've been gentle with him, letting him know I'm there, never pushing him and letting him find his feet in our thing, but I can't allow that anymore. I want all those things on my wish-list! And I want them soon.
At the same time I'm kinda scared of letting go. Me...back on the dating scene! Agh! Frightening thought! Should I be so ready to throw away 6 years filled with some moments of joy or should look for something more? Maybe the question I really need to ask myself here, I guess, is: do I deserve the Status quo or do I deserve the wish list?!

DISCLAIMER: All thoughts and opinions expressed here are all mine (crazy as they might seem). All works here are my original work (unless otherwise stated)

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24 March 2009

Forbidden Pleasures

DISCLAIMER: The author of this note is slightly psychotic. Anyone who takes this note too seriously has only themselves to blame.

Have you ever wondered why stolen food always tastes better? The things you really shouldn't do are the things you crave the most. Good habits die without resistance but bad ones need deliverance services to exorsize. 1001 cliches exist to describe the lure of the forbidden. What is it about us that makes contraband seem so desirable. I guess it's because of the thrill that comes with unacceptable behaviour, the feeling of power that comes from getting away with that that you shouldn't really be doing. It's an addictive feeling, a certain highness and like a drug you need a fix every so often to renew that feeling.

My question however is slightly deviant. Who dictates what is forbidden? What is hallal, what is haram? I was listenin to a radio program this weekend and the topic was morals and values. The guest speaker danced around the topic for the near hour long duration of the show but at no time could define morality.
Defining morality causes it's own set of moral dilemma. Imposition of one's moral codec becomes an infringement of another's inalienable right to moral freedoms.
How does this relate to the topic at hand...forbidden pleasures...well morality or ethical norms determine what's forbidden abi? So it's a question of ethical values. It can not be forbidden if my value system allows! I believe most cases of psychosis arise from conflicts between an individual's set of values and that of the larger society. When the individual struggles to justify his values and society's and the divergence exists, the struggle to comply causes madness! That's just me talking.

Originally Posted: Dec 21, 2008. Tweet It...You know you wanna

I'm Better Than You!!!

I gain great satisfaction from being in the position to thumb my nose at other people and say "lookee, I'm better than you." The joy of being able to say (even if it's only to myself alone) I'm better than Mr. A or Ms. B, is damned near orgasmic. The pure joy of it can't be expressed adequately in words.
Highly sanctimonious behaviour I agree but we all do it! How many times have we gleefully rejoiced at another's disgrace when their private dirty little misdeeds become publicly aired like laundry and said "I wouldn't have done that" or "I wouldn't be so stupid as to get caught" thinking we are wiser, smarter and generally better than the "culprit". I accept my human nature and don't pretend about it even though I do feel some 'very slight' sympathy for the disgraced soul, but the sympathy stems not from empathy but rather from the fact that I just thought of all my own dirty laundry hidden away in the closet and rue the day it might also come to light.

Originally Posted: Jan 11, 2009. Tweet It...You know you wanna

Commitment Pt. 1

DISCLAIMER (My psychiatrist asks me to state this for obvious reasons ;-) ): The author of this note is slightly psychotic. Anyone who takes this note too seriously has only themselves to blame.

Ok...I've done truth, fidelity, and morality so I might as well throw commitment in the mix! Commitment (relationship-wise) can be defined very loosely as:
agreeing to hook up with one person for better or worse (not necessarily in form of the standard ball-and-chain arrangement called marriage), and promising to have no nookie on the side for as long as your relationship shall live.

Now this said, the dictionary has another definition of the word commitment. Commitment may also refer to.
the period of confinement, or the actual confinement of an individual, in a psychiatric facility. Sometimes the commitment is entered voluntarily by the person so committed, (but usually there isn't much choice in the matter on the part of the committ-ee * author's addition).
English language has always intrigued me with its ambiguity, play on words and subtle ironies. How ironic that the word for a loving relationship and the confinement of a mentally unstable person (i.e. craze man in local parlance) are the same! This might be just coincidental (yeah...right!), but the general behaviour of people in "committed" relationships makes me beg to differ. Now here we have the makings of a great research topic.

The Hypothesis: there is a strong positive relationship between committed relationships and deteriorating mental health. Research questions arising:
  1. Do relationships actually make people asylum-worthy?
  2. Does love make one crazy?
  3. Are those in relationships already latent psychotics and being in a relationship just acts as a catalyst or trigger for the craze to start?
I'll pause here for now, but will continue this line of thought in a subsequent note.

Originally Posted: Jan 11, 2009.
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I Hate Christmas!!!

"...My people perish for lack of knowledge."

Seriously...i hate Christmas! Don't get me wrong i love God, and am mad about Jesus, but this thing called Christmas i don't get.
My reasonin is quite simple...who...someone please tell me with historical and scriptural references...told anyone Jesus came into this world December 25th? How many of you actually know the historical origin of 25 December? Or are aware that in most pagan religions (that originated before christianity) the day is set aside for the worship of the Sun deity's birth or the start of the Winter solstice? Orisis in ancient Egyptian worship was born that very day. History itself tells us of the early church's assimilation of old religion practices during the propogation of the religion.
That aside the purported reason behind the season has been overrun by commercialism and materiality. How many parents didn't buy presents for their children, but instead taught them about sacrifice, dedication and love as Jesus lived his life...seeing as Jesus is the reason behind the season?
If you like call me the Grinch's sister i gree! But i don't do Christmas!

Posted: Dec 18, 2008. Tweet It...You know you wanna


Fidelity! The elusive grail for which we strive. Faithfulness! Nice concept but a genetic impossibility. Man (and i do mean men) by nature is wired for propagation of the specie, not monogamous bliss.
Even as a woman fidelity is an improbable attainment. Why? you might ask. By virtue of its very definition fidelity precludes total commitment...mind, body & soul. Any feelings of attraction, affection, or lust (even if never actioned) for another constitute infidelity.
The gravitation towards another for extra-relationship satisfaction of needs (be it companionship, communication, or affection) is infidelity. Fidelity is Totality. No one person can fulfill our every need. So are any of us truly faithful?
Posted: Nov 14, 2008. Tweet It...You know you wanna

Just the Way You Are!

I like 'old school' jams...Billie Holiday, Charles & Eddie, Isaac Hayes etc cos for me that's the era when music still had soul, now it's all just bang, bang, booty; and bling, bling. From time to time when I want to really unwind I open up my collection and just listen to the oldies.
Recently I put on a Barry White CD and the song 'I Love You Just the Way...' drew my attention. It's actually a cover of a Frank Sinatra song but I think Barry did it better. Anyway the reason the song got me thinking was it's theme. "Don't go changing the color of your hair, don't go trying some new style... cos i love you just the way you are!"
The song is all about acceptance, loving the person you see...flaws and all. I've noticed however we rarely do (women especially).
We meet a person, start a relationship and then (ever so subtly) we start trying to change them to fit our perceptions of what they should be. It begins maybe with the way they dress, it moves to how they talk, who they roll with, what they should be, where they should be at in life, in the gospel according to you!
I'm not saying certain things aren't necessary to try and change such as life endangering habits, poor hygiene, dietary patterns etc but the manner in which these issues are brought up and handled also matters ... think constructive not destructive critique, or else it's just plain old nagging!
When you first met, the person was 'cool like that', by the time you start comparing them with others or the fantasy in your head, the problems start.
People never, ever change...unless THEY want to. If you push, they pull...away! I mean if they kept trying to change stuff about you, you'd start feeling inadequate and most likely wonder why they were with you at all! What you see is pretty much what you get, so maybe we should learn to love our partners...just the way they are!

Posted: Jan 27, 2009 Tweet It...You know you wanna

His Mistake

As you already know I like music (my notes should've given that away by now) and have pretty eclectic tastes... jazz, soul, r n b, blues (think Nina Simone, Ella Fitzgerald & Muddy Waters), hip hop, rock, techno, electronica...you name it, if the beat is tight and the lyrics make sense, I listen (although I do admit i'm a tad partial to r n b). The title of this piece is courtesy of Usher. On his CD 'Here I Stand' there's a track called 'His Mistake (I Can't Win)' where he laments the inability of his lover to let go her memories of the man that came before.
The lines that caught my attention (paraphrased) were:
"I'll do anything to prove I love you, but girl I refuse to pay for something I didn't do". "Why must I do time for another man's crime...always guilty before the sin... I can't win!"
Now apart from being good music the words echo the actions of many of us (self included). So many times we take the hurts from prior relationships, all the old baggage and garbage, the other person's crimes, abuses, betrayals etc (guarding them jealously) and transplant them into our new relationships. The law courts usually state a person is innocent till proven guilty, the same should apply to relationships but alas it's usually a case of guilty till the person proves themself innocent (and innocence is harder to prove than guilt).
We never truly forget the betrayals and pains of past loves even when we find true happiness with another, and the moment something happens that comes even remotely close to what an ex did, memories rush wildly, like a dam breaching, causing us to start building mountains out of what might'nt even be a molehill, jumping to assumptions (assume translation: making an ASS of U and ME) and seeing the angel of doom hovering at our doors standing hand on guillotine.
We talk of "forgive and forget" but it's easier said than done. We might have forgiven and moved on but we never forget. We might push it to the netherland of our subconscious, but events tend to trigger even the most repressed of memories. Sure Mr.(or Ms) A cheated, lied, pretended to be what they weren't and broke your heart, but does that naturally preclude that Mr.(or Ms) B will too? It is unfair to judge others guilty because of the sins of others male or female. Just because two people are named John Doe doesn't mean they'll think alike or act alike...each is a unique individual, just as you are! As the good book says it is foolishness to put old wine in new skins, it's a waste of the good wine and the wineskin.
Superimposing the negative characteristics of the old on the new is a recipe for disaster. Instead of spontaneously enjoying the joys the new relationship brings we spend so much (needless) time looking for demons lurking in the shadows, and overlook the angels dancing in the sunlight. We get so busy preparing for failure that we never accept the possibility that success lays at hand.
Every relationship should be judged on its own merit, otherwise a self fulfilling prophesy arises, you being the Most exalted prophet of doom.
Usually when you think something long enough and hard enough you begin to attract it to yourself, positive thoughts receive positive outcomes, negative thoughts breed negativity. Being cautious with your heart and emotions is all well and good, but being overly cautious leads to a stand still. An overly cautious businessperson never reaches Fortune 500 status, it's those who take calculated risks, and follow their gut instincts or intuition that skyrocket. Yes...the pain is real, the scars exist but scars heal eventually.
Holding on to the hurt takes power completely out of your hands and gives it over to your ex. How? The person though long gone still has control over your life...look how they're affecting your current relationships and virtually dictating the course of your current affairs. Holding on to the past with such tenacity closes the door to future happiness, and actually blinds one from seeing opportunities that exist. Also, holding on to hurt is an act of pure undiluted selfishness, you rob others and yourself the total experience of (the unchained, unhindered, demon free) YOU.
Love...agape or erotic is based on trust, if you continually distrust because of the mistakes of others who weren't even meant to experience the WONDER that is YOU, you'll NEVER find the ONE that (truly) IS!
So please...don't make him (her) pay for 'His Mistake'.

Posted: Jan 28, 2009 Tweet It...You know you wanna

It's the Way You Are...!

As we enter the month of love I decided to do something a little different as I might not be able to post this come Valentine's.

It's the way desire lights in your eyes when you catch my eye across the crowded room.
It's the gentle touch of your hand on my shoulder, the careless brush of your hand against mine.
It's the scent of you...so uniquely yours, that makes me weak to my knees.
It's the feel of your hair...rough against my finger tips!
It's the warmth of your breath against my neck as we dance to music no one else can hear.
It's the promise you whisper as our bodies sway,
the words of intent you say.
It's the way we rush through the door desperate to be unchained from civil bonds,
the clothes that stifle our inner flames.
It's the feel of your hands sliding down my naked back.
It's the feel of your tongue, so cool and moist, grazing my navel, to rest upon my thigh.
It's the hunger with which you kiss me, me...the bitter sweet taste on your lips!
It's the salty taste of you upon my tongue.
It's the feel of your skin slick, gliding against mine like the softest of silk.
It's the way you light a fire in me, making me blaze, burnin as with fever.
It's the way you speak my name, in my ear ever so softly, like a benediction and prayer.
It's the passion and the tenderness,
the fire and the ice,
the heat and the cold,
the blatant sexuality and the latent sensuality,
the pain and the pleasure,
the danger in your kiss and the safety in your arms,
the hurricane and the eye of the storm,
it's all the contradictions that you are!
It's the way you free me from myself, in turn to captivate me with your particular brand voodoo.
It's the moment we implode, then explode; of your end, of my beginning, left no trace, locked in the most primal of embrace.
It's the way you hold me all night long, till alas comes the morning.
It's the way you be you when you're with me!
It's everything, it's nothing.
It's really just YOU!

Originally Posted: Jan 26, 2009 Tweet It...You know you wanna

I Want It All\Resource Scarcity!

Disclaimers and buyer beware signs are back in force, I'm officially back on the Love Train! Yipee :-)
Alright, I'm down from my little soap box and back to being an apostle of love (or whatever you call it).
When I was younger (not that I'm OLD, but younger than I am today) I had the belief that I could have it all...great job, great man, great family and a body like Halle Berry's after having the requisite 2.4 children. I still want to believe it's a possibility, but my brain says...hell no! But why not? Why isn't it possible to have everything? Why can't one have it all?
For a brief moment let's look at life as an ongoing business concern. No one starts a business aiming to fail...so business plans are written, partnerships formed, mission and vision statements are composed, SMART objectives, short- and long-term goals, targets and KPIs are established (if you're a smart business owner that is!). Now...every business is plagued by a recurring theme...resource scarcity! Thus activities must be prioritized...ranked in order of importance and resources allocated efficiently and effectively to help meet set objectives. If resources aren't supplied and scheduled just right...chaos ensues! The Japanese managers utilise the JIT (Just In Time) philosophy, supplying operational needs and resources as at when due to minimise overhead costs. The cherished resources include money, raw materials, human resources and time.
Ok! MGT 101 over. Job! Man! Family! You! Resource scarcity! There's only one me and God only gave the day 24hrs. How do I split myself equitably so that nothing suffers (including me)? Time is the greatest enemy. As women, socially, emotionally and biologically we are fundamentally programmed as 'nesters' (...home and hearth types). It isn't a Cinderella complex...that's just the way it is...we are designed to propagate! Like men...we also have the achievement drive. We want to succeed. But therein lies the Catch 22, can we fulfil both our 'feminine' urge to nest and our 'masculine' need for gratification\fulfilment and come out of the experience guilt-free? If we work the 12-14+ hours necessary to survive the corporate jungle what time's left for the rest? What time is left for tucking in kids at bed time (so that they don't start thinkin Aunty Ika is mummy), when you get home after 3 hours lost in traffic? What time is left to take care of your 'Madam' duties (so that Daddy doesn't start thinkin Aunty Ika is mummy)? How do you share the 24 hours? How do you share YOU? Something has to give! Job? Man? Family? Can we juggle all these balls without dropping one?
Is this a damned if you do, damned if you don't dilemma? If you concentrate on the career...are you selfish (and being successful does require an amount of selfishness and single-mindedness, and yes...ruthlessness)? If you concentrate on the family...are you an under-achiever? Do men have these same issues?
I'm not saying women can't have it all...hell...I want it all...but it's a high risk stunt, a bit like walkin a tight rope without a safety net...any miscalculation...SPLAT!
But hey...life itself is a risk...take the chance...you just might make it across the wire!

Posted: Jan 22, 2009 Tweet It...You know you wanna

Inevitable Change?!

No disclaimers or buyer beware statements today, just a question.
Before I ask you the question let's check some definitions. Change...change can be defined as moving from one state of existence, or from one transitionery stage to another. Change is a natural constant, even the earth is constantly changing. Change could be rapid or gradual taking years or a millenium. Change may be subtle or pronounced. However, no matter its mode or its process, one thing remains... whether you like it or not things MUST change.
We tend to be very ambivalent regarding the matter of change. If it's a good change we're all for it and worthy advocates of the change of state. If the change is painful, hard or unwanted then the story changes.
In the recently concluded US Presidential election and campaign which culminated in the swearing-in of the first ever African-American into the White House, President Obama's main thread was Change, that the time had come to move from the status quo. The American populace agreed with him and voter turnout during the elections was the highest in US electoral history in at least 30 odd years.
On the 20th of January 2009, millions of people across the globe gathered in front of televisions and large screens to watch America make history. Nigerians appeared to be more overjoyed than the owners of the property.
Now my first question is...what makes America any different from our own obodo Naija? America didn't wake up civilized or organised but went through violent birth pains, and still is, to arrive where it is. Order didn't appear overnight, more often it came through a violent and bloody process. Is it the people that cause the seeming difference? It isn't that Americans are not also as criminally inclined (if not more so) than the average Nigerian but systems exist, that are generally respected by all, that provide checks and balances and thus limit peoples' criminality.
We may argue that systems don't work over here and that those in positions of power refuse to allow change. However i can't place the blame on the 'leaders' totally. I recently went to an office within the secretariat, I needed something done and a procedure exists for handling my request. However I needed it done NOW -NOW and the official processing time is 10 working days. Being the typical Nigerian i circumvented a lot of laid down rules. I waived the online payment only law, gave gratuity, and within 36 hours i was done. We demand change from our leaders but feel exempt from the process itself ourselves. Americans stated categorically that they were ready for change via their votes, may be we need to review our change policy. If we say individually and collectively "NO i will not circumvent the process just because i can...or because its painful or inconvenient", "i will not jump the queue, i will not sit at home and allow myself be defranchised." "I will stop bitching about what doesn't work and instead do my share to make it work".
The book of Proverbs is full of words of wisdom to the foolish. Severally people are cautioned about sloth, you want to eat but are too lazy to put the spoon in your mouth, what next? You drop dead of course after a while. We can not continue to ask, pray and beseech for change and then refuse our function as change agents. We constantly say 'e go better' but then wait for others to act as catalysts for the change. Now if the job belongs to no one in particular, and everyone is waiting for someone to do it, eventually no-one does it. I believe as we keep shouting YES WE CAN! But the real question is...do we really WANT to?

Posted: Jan 22, 2009 Tweet It...You know you wanna

Don't Stop the Music!!

I'm in a very 'chatty' mood at the moment ... I seem to be spewing out notes on a daily basis as against the one in two months I was doing a while back! Maybe it's because people on fb keep giving me lots of fodder to work with. And also i'm listening to the radio again.
The radio is a great source of inspiration, firstly care the music and then the human interest pieces. I'm one of those people that forgo the beat and actually listen to the words...don't get me wrong booty shaking beats are great, but I pay close attention to the lyrics. I could write 50 notes after just an hour of listening to the radio. The DJs are givin me plenty of motivation.
But seriously ... have you noticed that more than half the songs played nowadays are about all about sex, love and relationships? It seems I'm not the only one with a bee in my bonnet regarding l. s. & m! Some of the greatest songs ever written have been written about love. Sex is the 'in' thing. Everyone's talking sex, even our Nigerian artistes have joined the booty train, tellin us all to "wind am well", "scatter my dada" or cure their craze! :-)
I was recently asked me why most of my notes (actually it's only 40%) seem to be about relationships. My reply was simple...you write what you know. Relationships are all around us, it's next door, in your own life, on the tv, on the radio, in the papers, and even in the churches with their singles mixers, conferences for the 'single and searching', and couples' counselling.
Now ... if ribonucleic acids were my flavour i'd be waxing lyrical on the beauty of RNA, DNA and genetic splicing, but of that I know little better than nothing. I'm no relationship guru, by ANY standard, I muddle along blindfolded like most folk, making the rules up as I go along, but I find everything about relationships fascinating. It's so basic but ever so complex...pretty much like DNA. I could do social commentary or political analysis but that's no fun!
So pardon me my fascination with love, sex and relationships!

Posted: Jan 19, 2009. Tweet It...You know you wanna

What's Love Gotta Do With It?

A lot of my notes will make reference to popular culture in form of title and\or subject.

Tina Turner asked the famous question "What's love got to do with it?"
And really... what's love got to do with relationships? The thing no one ever seems to tell you is...what next?! I mean we do the boy meets girl, they fall in love, get married (hopefully), have d 2.4 kids, then...? What's the next stage in your joint evolution? Is marriage or togetherness the optimum stage in a relationship? Is there more to life than that? Do you forget "I" totally because you're now a "We"?

Many relationships crash not because love isn't there, but because they have a preconceived notion concerning what love can achieve. Love might move mountains, but it doesn't take the place of the good old fashioned elbow grease required to make a relationship work. It's not everyday you like the person you love, hell most days it's a pure real-hate-tionship. There's nothing right about your partner then. What love does is remind you that there's something you did like about them to begin with, and help you tolerate them for that day.

Love isn't blind, it's tolerant, there's a big difference between the two. Tolerance means 'I see your faults but I can live with them and accept your imperfections. Blindness means 'I can't see f**k all!'

Love doesn't make it all better and doesn't solve all problems. Love helps you make compromises. Love is long suffering, i.e. patient, it's empathic i.e it allows you put yourself in the other person's shoes. It definitely ain't selfish. But with all its virtues if one doesn't put in the work, have patience, maturity, commonsense, trust and possess a certain amount of stubborness, no matter the love, it won't work.
If I start building a house and stop at the foundation, will it build itself? I don't think so! I might have love in my home that's the foundation, but I sure need to have other fruit of the spirit too! Dealing with another person is always difficult... your orientations differ, your values might not always sync, as you grow changes are bound to take place, issues that were never on the table come up. Negotiation skills, compromise, maturity, and wisdom become the order of the day.

So...wise up, roll up your sleeves, do the work!

Originally Posted: Jan 18, 2009 Tweet It...You know you wanna

If I Were A Boy (DJ JD Remix)!

Before I go any further let me give props to my girls Peace Ebri and Beyonce for this title and starting point!

Now onward... If I were a boy would I truly be a better man? Would I have any recollection of life as a woman and show any empathy to the woman in my life? Would I listen to what she had to say? Not just hear but listen. Would I accept the fact that she doesn't have a fish brain and sometimes speaks sense? Would I value her and not take her for granted? Would I not make jest of the fact she's more in tune emotionally than I thus appearing to be a tad over sensitive? Would I say it as it is with no bullshit involved, not leading her on if I didn't really want a relationship and only wanted to "tap that ass"?

But this I know for sure: I'd hang out drinking with the boys (I do that already, so no biggie), I'd check out the honeys (I mean God made beauty so why not appreciate it?). I'd bounce out the house in a pair of raggedy ass jeans and a dirty T and not give a hoot (ok...even as I chick I've been guilty of that, but in my defence 'I bin dey for area'), I'd have a pot belly and still demand abs like Jess Alba's from my babe (signs of la dolce vite {the good life} pour Moi but plain laziness in her...5 kids not a factor). I'd go out all night and feel that I didn't have to justify myself when I get home (I work all day so if I party all night and never spend time with my chick why she go vex...after all I pay the bills!?). I'd act like God made the world just for me and everyone else should be grateful I even give em the time of day. I'd do all sorts of s**t that chicks can't do cos it's slutty but for a guy it's called sowing my wild oats. I'd play the field (10 girlfriends, 5 wives and 100 mistresses) and if any of them complained I'd remind them it's a man's world (but God save them if any of them tried the same). I'd take it that it's my God-given right to screw up, cat around and then be forgiven (Hell...she should be grateful I even apologised to begin with... now she's just being stubborn!).
Well there it is...that's what I'd do... 'If I Were A Boy'!

Originally Posted: Jan 17, 2009. Tweet It...You know you wanna

I Be Ashewo*!!!

Please permit me a few moments of your precious time while I ramble on with inane topics. I know my words may be shallow and dense, lacking in substance and not worthy of more than a passing glance...but they are my words.
The topic of today is very simple, prostitution. Prostitution is one of the oldest professions in the history of mankind. It's even noted in the Bible. Many may argue it's not the most honorable line of work but i wish to disagree. Every woman is a prostitute (ok some exceptions to this exist)!
Hold up...before you bring out the stones and daggers...let me speak! What is prostitution? Prostitution is the exchange of sex for another commodity (usually money) i.e. prostitution is trade by barter. We do it everyday, we exchange sex for something. Why do you have sex with your boyfriend, lover or husband? Not cos you want to half the time. We exchange sex to breed commitment (or the illusion thereof), to maintain commitment, for security, we use sex as a bargaining chip, trading it for what we want.
Single ladies give men sex even if they have doubts about the sustainability of the relationship cos more often than not we believe he'll get it elsewhere if we don't give it up. Or under the false hope that sex will make a man stay, we give. (Please note: if you don't meet up outside the bedroom he'll still waka, and sorry o...sex does NOT assure fidelity or commitment).
Single ladies...stay in a relationship and tell the guy you're not having sex with him anymore and see what happens! If he's still there (as loving as ever) 6 months from now, hold him tight! Even virginity is at times used as a weapon and a commodity. Keeping sex off the table till marriage can be compared to a marketing tool. If I make a product so scarce, I increase the demand for it among purveyors of that particular product. Don't get me wrong, virginity IS good! It is an honorable state and I sincerely advice my daughters to remain virgins till they marry.
Just because money doesn't change hands and the fact it isn't negotiated for on street corners doesn't mean it's not prostitution. Marriage has been defined by some as legalised prostitution, after all it is licenced. In Holland where ashewo is legal you can be sued by a commercial sex worker for not fulfilling your obligations as a client, in marriage the same applies, abi? Now, if you... my fellow women (and some men) say "haba...na lie" answer me this...why do you continue to sleep with the man you're with?
Me, sha...I gree say I be ashewo!
PS: Responses are welcome!

*Ashewo: Local parlance for a prostitute.

Originally Posted: Jan 16, 2009. Tweet It...You know you wanna

Sex and the Top 5

I'm a very sporadic writer. I write when the fancy takes me or when an event occurs that stirs my pen, but more oft than not i write for the sake of it. Today is for the second reason. Two events stimulated my juices. One was a status update (thank you Andre for motivating me) and the other a call from an old flame. Both issues connect to my note on recycling.
Now Andre asked if great sex could keep a woman in a relationship. Various responses came in (and i'm sure many more are yet to come) mainly from the guys. Some of the replies were humorous, some serious and some eye opening! Now this is strictly my own view on the matter. I have stayed with a man longer than I should just because the sex was great, but eventually the sex no matter how good (even in the best of relationships) gets a little old. And truely if it ain't happening elsewhere in the relationship eventually I bounce. However I have occasionally recycled men cos the sex was so good, or cos i was just used to him like well-worn comfortable T-shirt (the comfort of the familiar) but the old headaches eventually resurface. Women are far more complex than "plain old" shagging. A woman's needs are far greater than sex. She wants a friend (companionship), a daddy (emotional and financial security) and then a lover (sex). Contrary to popular lore sex doesn't breed commitment. But as I said I speak for myself.
My old flame meanwhile had the balls to wanna hook up with me in his words "let's hang out tonight". No biggie you might say, but he happens to be married (to the woman he left me for). Now he wants to recycle me!
Guess he thought I be flattered that even though I never made it to the top 5 countdown for madam post, I made No. 1 on the recycled nookie\mistress list. Well I assume that that was his line of reasoning. Or did he think I was still so hung up on him that I'd gladly jump on the bandwagon. I'm not even going to go into the morality issue surrounding extra-marital gaming (the number of married men playin away is not encouraging at all), but instead wonder if I did something while we were an item that gave the impression that I'd be impressed by the attention. Now I can't remember if the sex was all that, but even if it was doesn't self respect come into the mix on my part?
Posted: Jan 15, 2009. Tweet It...You know you wanna

Spread the Message

This was initially a message sent when invitin my friends to join me in an HIV awareness cause, but i thought it served its purpose better here for any and everyone to read, (its been a tad revised)

All too often we stick our heads in the sand and do an ostrich imitation, trying to hide from the things we fear the most and don't understand. HIV and AIDS are real, just because you might not have seen death from Aids related complications doesn't mean it ain't real and can't affect you or those dear to you someday (sex isn't the only way to get the virus). Pretending it doesn't exist won't make it go away either.
You might wonder how you can help stop the spread...simple.
1. Know your status: If you are positive, stop unprotected sex even if your partner is equally positive, tell your partner(s) past and present to go check, and do go for counselling.
2. Educate don't discriminate: Stigmatization is the result of illiteracy, know the facts not the fiction about HIV.
3. Do your ABCs: Abstain, Be faithful (or if A and B fail always ensure...) Correct and consistent condom use; and most importantly
4. Spread the message not the virus.
Posted: Nov 10, 2008. Tweet It...You know you wanna

The Truth.

What exactly constitutes the TRUTH? Is there truly an 'absolute' truth? Is my truth less true than urs or more so? Is truth subjective or relative? My truths are a function of my own realities. So therefore...will my truths change when my realities do? Or are there fundamental truths in my life that will remain?
When i was younger i thought truth was a virtue, something to be sought, but now that i'm a little older (and hopefully a little wiser) i discover that truth is sometimes a bad thing. The truth shall set you free (or so they say)...the quest for which is at times a prison in itself.
In court they ask for the truth, the whole truth and nothin but the truth...but how true is the truth?
Posted: Nov 14, 2008. Tweet It...You know you wanna

(Re)writing History...

How often have you told your story? Each year you tell the same story...or a variant of the same story. The essence is fundamentally the same, but an amount of embellishment is present. In the tellin of your story this time around you were maybe a little braver, a little smart? You were the master of the witty retort, the pure poetry of your rejoinder rivalled the greats...Shakespeare, Milton and Yeats. You stood up and were counted. You were the voice of reason and rationale. The buck stopped with you and like a colossal you took charge.
As a wise man said history is the victor's PR, the loser's version of history is seldom heard. Tracy Chapman aptly stated in her song Telling Stories "...there is fiction in the space between...you can write it down but it doesn't mean that you're not just telling stories. " But as she also states "sometimes a lie is the best thing" as the truth would be too much truth to bear. Alas, it is only in our words we rewrite the past, the deeds remain unchanged. Since we cannot truly change the past, and the future is not ours to know, the only history worth writing is the action we take in the present.
Posted: Oct 30, 2008. Tweet It...You know you wanna


I've always thought of myself as being environmentally friendly. I segregate waste when possible, use natural fibers where feasible. I try to cut my carbon emissions, most of my appliances that use refrigerants are CFC free, aerosols I use are CFC free etc. But recently I've come to believe I'm taking the recycling issue a little too far!
Not only am I recycling actually waste, I've started recycling on a more personal level.

It seems I have a habit of recycling relationships. Now recycling garbage is one thing, recycling people is another ball game. Junk can be useful, but are recycled people any use? Don't get me wrong one man's trash is another man's treasure and all that, but didn't the relationship initially end for a reason?

Very rarely are the reasons for ending the relationship rectified, but one tries again all the same and repeats the same vicious cycle that killed the union the first time around. Maybe it's a case of the familiar...pretty much like a pair of worn-out but highly comfortable slippers you keep planning to toss. Or the ratty T-shirt that you just can't seem to relegate to the trash heap. And as they say... better the devil you know than the angel you don't, abi? But I think the time has come for me to finally throw out the trash.

Originally Posted: Jan 13, 2009. Tweet It...You know you wanna

22 March 2009

Wordzzle Week 55

I recently came across a blog (well not really...it was listed on blogspot's blogs of note and i liked the title) and I'm glad I took the time to read it. Now by no means am I a writer, nor (more importantly) do I pretend to be one, but I do enjoy jotting down a tale or two and musing on paper about whatever crosses my mind.

Now Ms. Raven offered me a challenge. She presented me with a series of words and said make of this what you will. So I did...and this is what I came up with.

10 Word Challenge
Words: humanity, shadow, richochet, wrong, pluralism, mathematics, person-hood, printing press, ink spot, choral society.

What has gone wrong with humanity? Why and how have we become a mere shadow of what we once were? Mankind speeds loftily to its end like a fast moving bullet that had richocheted off its due course. We are a generation that calculates strange a mathematics to compute the worth of one's person-hood based on the volume of a bank account or the colour of one's skin. A generation that thrives on isms and schisms. We have forgotten the pluralism that makes life, the duality of actions. Karma no longer exists, only the 'here and now'. Well I say "NO! Stop the printing press a new story will be written today. I refuse to be an ink spot on the pages of history, illegible and nothing more than a blemish. For today my voice shall be the soprano in the choral society for change."

Mini Challenge
Words: kingdom, take names, best seller, three times, inner demons.

The fairy kingdom organised an annual bake-off to celebrate Queen Matilda's birthday. Melvin, a fairy new to the kingdom, came across the palace attendants busy with preparations for the event and asked "What goes on here, pray tell?" Meli the chief palace fairy said "we are here to take names from all the contestants at the bake-off in Queen Matilda's honour, strange fellow."
Now unknown to the attendants Melvin was plagued by inner demons that only cooking alone seemed to cure and as it stood he was three times winner of Martha Stewart's cooking contest and his cream powder puffs were currently a best seller at Walmart's. Boredom and lack of challenge had brought him to Matilda's realm. Needless to say he registered and won!

Mega Challenge:

She watched his shadow fade away as she stood looking on longingly after him. Where was the humanity in the situation? He walked out of her life without a second glance. 6 years of togetherness over just like that. Not even a by your leave. Her womanhood (sorry that's not PC and she always was that...her person-hood) was in tatters. How could he? Leave HER...and for a younger woman no less?

Six weeks on, she finds herself still calculating mathematics of pluralism, the words attendent with coupledom still very much part of her vocabulary. Slowly she begins to understand that there is no more 'US' only 'ME'. She gradually starts the process of recovering her individual identity, although three times in as many days this month she's caught her feet walking by his house by their own volation. She still struggles with the inner demons that tell her she is and will never amount to anything without him.

Three months down the road she finally decides enough is enough. She enters the dating market again and even goes to see "The Lost Kingdom" with the cute guy in the next office. She joins the choral society as an avenue to meet new people.

15 months on, on the road to recovery, she goes to the local printing press to complain about what appears to be an ink spot on the cover of her wedding program. The printer apologises for the error and for the life of him can't understand what went wrong with her order and offers to redo the job for free. Rather pleased with herself for being assertive, she gleefully strides out only to bump into HIM! All the emotions, the rage, the long suppressed hurts richochet out of control...for the briefest moment. She quickly regains her composure and gives him a bright smile and asks after his health. He smiles sheepishly as he replies her. She's happy to see him, not because she missed him, but because she's doing just fine without him, and looks like a movie star; and he very much looks like hell warmed over and visibly blanches when she tells him of her wedding next month to one of the most eligible bachelors in the country. She's done well for herself since he's been gone. Her therapist had advised her to write a journal to help her overcome her grief. An editor friend of hers chanced upon a few pages and offered her a contract. Currently the journal is available as a self-help book called "Take Names" and has been number one on the New York Times best seller list for three months. The rights have been bought by a big Hollywood movie company and Hugh Jackman is pencilled down to star as her love interest. In the acknowledgement section of the book she thanked Tim profusely; as it goes in the book "To Tim: thanks a million for dumping me. Without you going i'd never have amounted to nought!"

For more about Ms. Raven and instructions on how to do the Wordzzle for yourself, go to Views from Raven's Nest

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Wordzzle Week 56 Challenge (I think so!)

10 Word Challenge
Words: partition, imagination, salvation, mirror image, green power, highway, roasting marshmallows, serial killer, autograph, cartography.

Everywhere she turned she was confronted by her mirror image. Going to the world famous "Hall of Mirrors" at the amusement park had been Tony's idea. Dear, darling Tony...once her only true love and salvation...now just another notch on the serial killer belt! She questioned the reality of the situation. "This is just my imagination playing tricks on me...I'll wake up soon...I have to!". Somewhere in the distance the smell of roasting marshmallows could be perceived, so strong she could almost taste them. "I'm close to the exit," she thought to herself with great relief. Suddenly a hand touched her bare shoulder and she screamed.
"Ms. Mackenzie are you okay?" asked the rather shocked young man. "I'm so sorry I startled you, I just wanted your autograph. I just got your book on cartography, 'Mapping Our World' and had wanted you to sign my copy".
Red-faced and embarrassed as hell, Michelle hastily scribbled her name before bolting to the back of the partition that seperated the auditorium from the ante room. Mortified she ran for the exit and jumped into her green powered car and burned rubber all the way to the highway. Suddenly she burst out laughing self-consciously "That'll teach me to watch horror movies alone again!"

Mini Challenge
Words: cell phone, big Mac, panther, legendary, poets corner.

Big Mac, the legendary leader of the Black Panther movement, strolled down to the poets corner for a little coversation and his usual morning latte only to meet the ghost of T. S. Elliot yapping on his cell phone with Marilyn Monroe.

Mega Challenge:

Driving down the highway on the way to a Salvation Minstries retreat behind the wheel of her so-called green power car, Michelle Mackenzie (aka 'Big Mac' or just plain Mac to her friends), wondered, while starting at her mirror image in the rear view mirror, for the umpteenth time why she'd accepted Michael's invitation to the revival, but it provided an opportunity for them to spend some time together.
The breeze from the rolled down windows carried with it the smell of roasting marshmallows and the sound of childrens' laughter, making her smile as she remembered happier, carefree days.
To wile away the time on the seemingly endless drive Mac gave her imagination free reign to conjure up ideas for her new novel about a female serial killer, that would hopefully help her career cross over the invisible partition seperating her from joining the legendary 'Best-sellers' honour roll. The novel's main protagonist was an out of work detective with a degree in cartography...of all things...trying to hunt down a killer called the Panther. Her editor thought it was a lousy idea but Mac was determined to stick to the plot.

Just outside Abuja her cell phone rang. It was Michael asking her to meet him at a cafe called the Poets Corner in Zone 10, and from there they'd head on to the revival. 20 minutes later she arrived at the cafe, took a seat and ordered a latte. 20 minutes more passed by which time Mac had gotten to the hundredth item on her 'foul things to say to Michael for always keeping me waiting' list, she felt a tap on her shoulder and turned ready for the 'mother of all wars'. There stood two young girls holding a copy of her last novel, sheepishly asking for her autograph.

For more about Ms. Raven and instructions on how to do the Wordzzle for yourself, go to Views from Raven's Nest

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19 March 2009

Home Sweet Home!!

Well my vacation is well and truly over! Glad to be back home? Yes and no! I'm an Omo Port Harcourt, born, not exactly bred, but very much buttered in this town; and wherever i go PHC and Naija always beckon me back. But as much as I'm a green white green lover I can't stomach a lot about my country. I've been away a month and a fraction and as my return loomed closer I shed a tear or two. Not just because I was saying goodbye to my new found family but because of what I knew was waiting for me on my return.

I knew I was back in Nigeria the minute I disembarked the plane. The escalator wasn't working... international airport o no be local o!...neither was the airconditioning. We were herded through Immigration like cattle in the sweltering heat, a 15min process, for 1 1/2 hours and then another hour was spent waiting for baggage to appear. The nearly 3hrs spent trying to get out of the airport would've gotten me a third of the way to Dubai! That notwithstanding since i arrived Port Harcourt I've had about 2hrs of power. Not new you might say...but I've been in a country where the fact that light went for 2 minutes is an abomination and blood is being called for!

Now...what baffled me about the Philippines was how they did all the things they did with no money other than that that is accrued through taxing OSWs (overseas workers), exporting rice and tourism! 90% of the roads I travelled were tarred, all villages and hamlets (or barrios) had electricity and water as well as their own standard elementary and high schools. One of the schools I visited looked like a park with flowers, a mini stream and cafeteria; and please note this is a public, provincial (equivalent to Local Government) school, not a high brow private city-based school.
Everyone knew what to do, drivers didn't need to be told to obey street signs, pedestrians were always given right of way, citizens were respected by all. The governor of the province came to see the family after Mama's passing. The strange thing was he came without flashing sirens, heavily armed guards or a tv crew to witness his arrival. No children lining the streets pretending to enjoy standing for hours under the baking sun. No police flogging drivers and pedestrians off the road to make way for the Governor. No! He came like the ordinary man he is and people didn't even bat an eyelid at his presence.

Here we pay for what we don't see. Light, water, sanitation, you name it we pay for it, but we never see it. Every month billions enter the bottomless pit called federal account but we see nothing in terms of social amenities and the likes. Even if government does nothing other than adequately provide the basic social infrastructure, I believe the average Nigerian will be content and most agitation will end.

Accommodation is paid monthly unless you want a long lease, and the accommodation usual comes furnished. A self contained (furnished) apartment goes for about N80000 - N100000 per annum. I pay N120,000 for a 12*12 unfurnished self contained, where I'm responsible for everything from plumbing to leaking roofs and my rent gets jacked at will.
We 'hala' left right and center Giant of Africa (person wey get mouth fit use am talk anything abi?) but we only seem to be making giant strides internationally in the arena of advanced fee fraud, trafficking women to Italy, pushing cocaine and embezellment! Isn't it time we had a reality check and did a real audit of the state of the federation. Oil hasn't improved our lot as a nation, we are instead held hostage by OPEC producers, marketers and government alike what with ever fluctuating prices at the pumps. Maybe we should reevaluate our income sources and diversify just the way businesses do when a product is getting old.

I met a lot of Nigerians coming home from jaunts all over the world at the airport and to a one, all were busy bitching about how lousy our country is but no-one saw fit to offer a solution to improve the downright dismal situation. They blamed every Muyiwa, Danjuma and Chukudi for our collective problems but not once did they put the blame on them. As I always say...let's take a little responsibility for God's sake! We are all to blame! A man who sees a murder taking place and stands watching is just as guilty as the murderer. So as we sit watching the murder of our beloved motherland aren't WE culpable?
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Falling in Lust

We all talk about love, Love, LOVE...like it's gonna go out of fashion or'll soon go extinct like the dodo or something. It seems everyone is: in the process of falling in love, is in love, has recently fallen in (or out of) love, in a love-hate relationship with love, or just all out of love. Love or lost love is in all the songs, is a recurring theme in movies and novels. There's always a love interest for the heroine or hero woven into the plot. We seem to be a generation pretty much in love with the big L. Selling Valentines Day paraphenalia is a multibillion dollar industry. Everyone loves love. Now whether we truly love or even understand what it really means and entails is open to discussion.
I ain't in a loving mood tonight. Hell no! Love is so...o last season. I'm falling in lust! (Or rather should I say have fallen in lust!). Yes o! People rarely admit being in lust. They try and justify their baser instincts by tagging it love eagerly saying 'I love you' rather than getting real and to the point and just saying 'I lust you'. Many a broken heart would still be whole if people (male and female) were honest enough about how they really feel and what they really want from the person they 'love'. Tell me the truth, boo! Do you really love me? Do you even really like me? Tell me boo...will you always be true? Or do you just dig my fly booty (pronounced boot-ey)? I'd rather sleep with someone knowing it was just for the sex than have a guy try and deceive me with words of love, waxing lyrically about how he sees the stars in my eyes and how roses dim in beauty when placed next to me (what men will say to get some ass!). That way I don't end up feeling used and deceived when he suddenly falls out of 'love' with me and my sparkling eyes! Anyway as for me o... I'm happily in lust (don't ask me with whom!...ok...you made me say it..his name IS...like I'm gonna tell YOU!). I'm hooked on the thrill of sex for its own sake, on not having to discuss the future or direction of our 'relationship', of not having to feel bad for thinking is jokes are lame, of not sayin wtf when he hooks up with another hottie...cos truly (for now anyway) I don't give a shit! Lust is very liberating and noncommittal. A little lust makes life a little bit more interesting especially when no one gets hurt. Tweet It...You know you wanna

The Morning After...

So okay...you've finally had sex with the person you've been in lust with for so long, then comes the morning after and you wake up wondering what to say!
Last night may or may not have not lived up to your s-expectations (it rarely does...unless of course the gods of lust have called you blessed) Now even if the sex was omg fantastic, there sometimes exists that lag in brain to mouth coordination. You don't wanna be all 'umm...so what's that your name again' or appear so desperate to get rid of them (or eager to bounce if it isn't your crib), neither do you want to wax too poetically about the orgasm that you maybe never had (for the ladies) before you end up sounding like you've never done this before (had sex that is). You search desperately for a witty one liner to open up the 'I really have to be getting home' coversation which can be awkward if it's your house. If you're lucky (and here the lust gods really blessed you) you guys get back to the more important matter of Anatomy 101 and together continue the search for the location of the ever elusive G-spot!
Now all the above is assuming the night before rated 6 - 10 on your scale. Now if it was a 0 to 4 rating it becomes a hell of a lot more difficult to progress to the exit without making it look like Ben Jones took tips from you. If you ever been unfortunate enough to have encountered erectile dysfunction or dismally inept performance (some ladies think layin down spread eagle constitutes active participation) on that one night of lust it becomes kinda like crossing a field of land mines; a case study in diplomacy and verbal wizardry to leave without further bruising your object of lust's already dented ego (that is assuming they realize that they fell well below the cut off point).
If however...it was just a 5 on your scale retaking the bed test might be an option. The task now becomes introducing the topic (especially if you were the party that scored 5) at just the right moment for maximum effect.
Assuming you were well and truly blessed and the morning after turns into breakfast in bed (food not on the menu) and you stroll home the next afternoon with that swagger (yes...there is an 'i got laid...and laid good' kinda swagger) issues of etiquette arise. How long can you stay without calling so you don't come across as a total shit heel and inadvertently slam the door on more nookie from the same source (if you're so inclined to eat at that spot again); how many times can you call in the proceeding days (for the ladies) without coming across as needy or a potential stalker in the making? Is it forward to suggest another hook up (ladies again) if the sex was all that. And how do you move it from lust and transitional sex to something with more meaning? And how do you politely turn down offers for more than sex when you don't want it to actually go beyond just sex?
Now I end this random musing with a question for my few dedicated readers (just cos i'm curious)...what have been your most awkward 'morning after' experiences? Tweet It...You know you wanna

Let's Talk About Sex!

"Let's talk about sex baby...let's talk about you and me...let's talk about all the good things and the bad things that may b...let's talk about sex!"
One of the most popular songs ever by Salt n Pepa (backed by Spindarella) is most likely Let's Talk About Sex, it was an anthem amongst teens (I knew every word of every single line) and it was a song of defiance. It dared to ask questions, and talk about what was then (and maybe even till date) a very controversial theme, I believe the song is still on the NCC NTBB list.
Even with all the westernisation and liberalisation issues of sex still are very taboo. Sex is everywhere but people still pretend like it isn't and pretend that they are immune to diseases and viruses transmitted through sex. When people are upfront about one of the most beautiful and fundamental activities in human life they get labelled.
As a human being, woman and mother I advocate talking about sex...i.e. Sex education. HIV and AIDS continue to ravish the world's population and especially Africa's because of our very laissez-faire attitude to sex and all things concerning it. Old diseases make triumphant returns far better equipped than their human incubators. Medication and scientific discovery are not advancing as quickly as viruses mutate. Something needs to be done before we get wiped off the face of the earth care our sex drives,
Now as a woman I advocate sex education because we are the major victims of sexually transmitted infections, sexual abuses and violence. Did you know that a woman has a five times higher risk of contracting HIV from her partner than he from her, just by virtue of her anatomic design? Women are also more likely to harbour an sti in their systems without symptoms (resulting in PID and or infertility) while their male counterparts usual get a heads up within 2 weeks of infection. Several times women have been infected by partners who on discovering their infection treat themselves without informing their partner so that they can get treatment too. Also intercourse with an uncircumcised partner increases by almost 50% one's chances of getting HPV the major trigger for cervical cancer.
My people tend to be very hypocritical and judgemental about sex, we're all doing it, whether we admit to it...well that's a whole different story. Buying a condom requires the ability to play poker (ability to maintain a poker face) when walkin into a pharmacy. The glares and stares make one ask the ground to open especially as a woman. But should i have unprotected sex just so you don't look at me as a slut and play Russian roulette with HIV, AIDS, syphilis and unwanted pregnancy?
Women also bear the brunt of sex gone wrong...unwanted pregnancies, botched abortions, death and social stigmatisation. Even if the guy doesn't deny paternity the stigma is purely the woman's.
More cases of teen pregnancy are reported annually with girls as young as 13 getting knocked up, still falling for that old line about not gettin pregnant the first time. Pedophiles pray on children unrelentingly, maids, nannies, teachers, uncles and aunts initiating babies into adulthood prematurely. As parents we need to educate our children on the realities of sex, reproductive health and the truths about love, sex and marriage and not allow society take over our role as teachers and moral compasses in our children's lives through tv, music videos, pop icons and peer groups. We should give them facts not fiction and swallow our discomfort about talkin sex cos if we don't someone else will. Tweet It...You know you wanna

My 25 Things

Sorry o! I'm mobile so the cut and paste issue's a pain. U know the gist sha...write 25 things about you that ain't too well known then tag 25 of ur friends including the person who sent you the note to begin with.

1. I enjoy living by myself because i get to walk around the house naked and not feel self-conscious about my flabby thighs.

2. I have an underwear fetish and keep hearing the mantra...buy, buy, buy even though I'm yet to wear 1/10 of what I have.

3. I like writing for the fun of it.

4. I hate when people get shocked when I say something sensible. Sure I might be cute and paint my nails green but I do know the difference between integration and differentiation.

5. I believe that like wine I get better with age.

6. I believe that sometimes you have to be a follower, not every one can lead at the same time.

7. I hate watching movies with people who keep asking "so what's happening now?" when we're both watchin the movie for the first time... I didn't write the script!

8. I really like the p. y. t.s I see in the fashion magazines but i'm not quite vain enough to try very hard to look like them.

9. I AM vain enough to care about what I look like...enough to contemplate joinin a gym.

10. I feel like i'm underachieving 75% of the time.

11. I'm painfully shy, but cover it with displays of bravado.

12. I think men are a necessary evil 10% of the time...5% of the time I wonder why we need them...85% of the time I just love em, love em, love em!(maybe).

13. I have a tendency to procastinate.

14. I am my own worst critic.

15. I concur with theo and think Sean Connery is very sexy! Entrapment...yes please!!

16. I have a mild case of OCD.

17. I like my own company a bit too much.

18. I've been learnin french for 20yrs + and still can't say anything tangible.

19. I think geek chic/nerdy is sexy.

20. My criteria for a good book (and man :-)): action packed, fast paced, intelligent, juicy and humorous.

21. I met Daley Thompson and Sir. Sebastian Coe (olympic champs) and had the privilige of learning tricks of the trade from them.

22. My mother is my role model, if i ever get to be even 50% of what she is i'd be a goddess!

23. I have a slightly sadistic streak and believe revenge is like eating great cake...to be savoured slowly and deliberately.

24. I have a very dodgy attention span. If it's not challenging or relatively spontaneous my eyes start glazing over zombie-like

25. I sometimes take my friends for granted but i love them all dearly and will go the extra mile to help a friend in need. Tweet It...You know you wanna

Fairytales for Adults

I have this song I love to bits, and it's courtesy of that cute little skater girl Avril Lavigne "My Happy Ending". It's actually one of my "breaking up is never easy" songs. (Don't act like you don't know what i'm on about! the songs you play when you're going through the standard breakup cycle and you start to play different songs or watch movies suited for each phase of the healing...but that's a lesson for another day.)
Now the song is about a relationship in its death throes. The girl laments the death of her fairytale romance. It starts with a request to talk the situation over, not so much for reconciliation sake but for closure! Why the song catches my attention is for the simple fact that the whole relationship was founded on suppositions, fantasies and daydreams...the Cinderella tale. Prince Charming, white horse, big ass castle in the sky and a life of luxury sitting on chrome.
Almost everyone enters a relationship with preconceived notions of what's what. Expectations are high...he'll be a gentleman, be loving and caring, always put your needs first, the sex'll always be toe curling, orgasm inducing stuff. He'll get on with all your family and friends and they'll love him to bits. He'll hold you when you're sick, hold your hair when you puke. He'll think you look beautiful even when you wake up groggy, red-eyed, mascara streaked and hung over Sunday morning.
She'll be a PMS-less, nag free, sex bomb who's always ready to get down and dirty at the drop of the hat. She'll be the classic girlfriend...beautiful, moderately intelligent, and will cook and clean in exchange for sex! Most importantly she won't be a clingon and will NEVER NEVER EVER ask those 2 silly questions women are congenitally prone to..."Do you love me?"; "Where is this relationship going" or any other variant of such.
Sadly, alas, unlike the Princess and the frog, kissing turns him from a prince to a frog. He doesn't call with the desired frequency, he hates all your friends and the feeling is mutual. He turns out not to like the idea of giving you cunnilingus as much as before, now that you two crazy kids are going steady. He complains about your housekeeping, cooking, makeup etc.
She turns out to be the devil's spawn, the sole offspring of the Beast and Shiva come that time of the month. She bitches about everything...from your choice of friends, your lame dress sense to your total lack of ambition careerwise and your penny pinching attitude when she wants to buy stuff. The fairytale romance is gradually starting to look like a match made in hell.
He tosses his clothes willy nilly around the house and thinks they just magically appear in his wardrobe washed and pressed...after all he has maid service (or is that a magic fairy). His laugh that was once so adorable now starts to sound like nails grating on a blackboard and makes your teeth (and ears) hurt. He trades taking you out for a Valentine's dinner for a Man U match. He can remember how many goals Giggs has scored in his career or Michael Jordan's stats but can't remember your shoe size not to talk of your birthday. He hogs the remote and doesn't help with the housework even though you both worked the same 12 hour shift.
She walks around the house with a wrapper tied round her chest, hair rivalling Medusa's, she farts in bed, spends 2/3 of the day yapping on the phone talking about nothing at all, and even though she isn't an heiress she spends your money like she is. She constantly complains about you not spending time with her then acts suspicious when you do. She doesn't like your mother and is barely civil to your friends. When you do buy stuff for her she bitches about the size or complains that you're cheap (and stingy to boot).
Fairytales...I loved them when I was a little girl, but I wised and stopped believing in them about the same time I stopped reading Mills and Boons (I mean...seriously! Shit like that only happens in the movies). Real life happens to us all and continues to interfere with our relationships. We need to enter whatever it is with realistic expectations and remember that perfection is only found in God, Jesus Christ and the dead. Tweet It...You know you wanna

The Younger Man???

I'm currently trying to picture myself as the 'older woman' i.e. sugar mummy. :-) Got your attention there didn't I? The thing is I'm not "old" old, and not the typical age one would usually associate with sugar mummies, but i am beginning to thinking about spreading my net, broadening my horizons and reevaluating my relationship options, and this includes younger men.
It is a bit much for me to get my head around! My kid brother (who absolutely hates when I call him that) is roughly 3 1/2 years younger than I, so any guy his age or younger kinda feels like I'm cradle robbing. But more and more guys in that age bracket seem to be coming my way (maybe it's a testimony of how much younger than my age I look...but I don't think so). Now when good 'single' men (single being the key word) in my age bracket are becoming few and far between, and the ones you do meet don't really want to settle down yet and you are not getting any younger yourself, are younger men the next frontier? And how young is too young? What age difference is too great? 1 year? 5years? 10? (Now that's a little too young for my blood personally...but who knows maybe by the time I get to 40 that might not be such a huge gap!).
Another factor that mitigates against the older woman, younger man relationship is cultural. It's almost engraved in stone like the 10 commandments here, thou shall not date a younger man. Men can date 18 year olds even when they're 60 (blood tonic), women dating guys even 2years their junior raises many an eyebrow. The words desperate, tokunbo and cradle robber get bandied about, and snide comments and funny looks become the order of the day. The young man gets questioned by his friends relentlessly about how much settlement he's getting for servicing the old bird, and asked if he didn't see all the PYTs all over the town. She gets asked if she couldn't find a man her own age, and that why doesn't she leave small boys alone. Let's not even get into the issue of family members! Or if people really want to be spiteful, they ask ..."Is this your son?"
Now I'm not saying I will date a younger man (although there is this cute, insanely sexy, fantasy inducing, "my age - 5" guy who could make me change my mind. It's thisclose! ;-)) but I don't want my happiness tarnished, belittled, tainted or in any way sullied just cos I'm f**king a younger man if I do decide to! Tweet It...You know you wanna

Hey There!!!

This is officially my first blog space ever! I really don't know what this blog'll be about...a little of this, a little of that, but definitely a whole lot of me! All I can promise is that this will be painfully frank and i'm open to 'constructive' criticism and feedback on anything i put up here.

I'll put up my posts from my facebook account to get the ball rolling and give you a taste of my mildly psychotic humor. Enjoy reading. :-) Tweet It...You know you wanna