Monday, October 24, 2011

Easy. Breezy. Beautiful.

Easy.  Breezy.  Beautiful.

I've always had a thing for cover girls, and Cover Girl cover girls have really done it for me in the past.  My two favourites being

Drew Barrymore

and Niki Taylor,

in that order.

Ok, so Drew's stint as Cover Girl is still in the present, but isn't she lip perfection personified?

This month, October 2011, I add one more cover girl to my list of favourites:  Becca Schwartz.

Oh, WorkZine, you just became exponentially more welcomed in my inbox each month.  Thanks to this exposure, I'm sure Becca will attract quite a bit of attention, and she might have difficulty selecting only one guy among the many who will want to be her suitor.  Well, lucky for us, Becca has put thought into polyandry.

Imagine the law made it mandatory for you to marry four husbands and each had to be from a different country, which countries would you choose from and why? 
US - being American, I’ve found that it’s usually Americans who share the values and beliefs of mine that matter. Plus my mother has informed me that if I have her grandchildren and keep them somewhere in Africa, I will be dead to her - this way, my American husband could keep the grandchildren in the US, close to Jaja. 
Senegal - It’ll give me a chance to work on my French and Wolof skills and (assuming I also get citizenship in Senegal with the marriage) free travel within ECOWAS - important for business. When I lived in Senegal, I was proposed to at least 3 times per week so it may be good to actually take one of these guys up on it someday. To be clear, it wasn’t really that I’m all that, it was that I may hold the key to a magic visa/green card for them. Also, Senegalese men tend to be quite tall and handsome. 
Sweden - I’ve got the dark and handsome with the Senegalese fellow so I’ll even it out with light and handsome from Sweden, you know the model type. Plus the EU passport will come in handy. 
Uganda - I’ve lived here too long not to include one of you guys. I guess maybe you’ve grown on me :)

Isn't it so cute, the way she is able to speak using emoticons?  Not only is she cute, guys, but she can probably out sing all of us in a Rent sing-a-long, and she's an expert in solar power marketing.  She can light up your life.




Cover girl!

That's enough about Becca ( I gush, I gush).  I want to give a bit more credit to WorkZine.  I began receiving it around edition 28 (Becca's issue is 37).  I really like the concept and the platform they give to writers (seasoned and those learning the ropes, yet have something to say).  Check out their website:  You can also listen to a podcast of an interview with the managing editor of WorkZine, Abid Were.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

...the best dressed rebel in history.

...the best dressed rebel in history.

(Insert nominee's name here)

I'm just kidding.

The Standard Chartered Nairobi Marathon is one week away!  Stacy and I have put in the training (she perhaps better than I), and it's hard to believe those four (plus) months of literally pounding the pavement have passed by so quickly.  Back are the days when 21 kilometers constitutes a "short run".  I wish I could say that gone are the days of extra flab on my stomach.  It seems I've become leaner in almost every other region of my body except the stomach area.  Lipo might be the only solution for that pesky area.

I declare this week a week of rest and healthy eating... Let's see how long that lasts.  I hope I'm more successful at this than living off of 300k for one month.  I only have seven days to try and live right.

I'm already sort of failing.  My goal is a 9:30pm bedtime, and it's almost 9:45.  To be fair, I am writing this blog post in my bed.  Wearing only a pair of thin boxer shorts.  (How's that for an image in you head?)  So technically, I've achieved my goal for the day.

This post will be short and sweet.

There's just one more book quote I'd like to share, then it's lights out.  Or maybe I'll squeeze in another few pages of The Satanic Verses.

"You're going to be the best-dressed rebel in history," says Gale with a smile.  (pg 43, Mockingjay, Suzanne Collins)

I read all the Hunger Games books earlier this year.  Please, believe the hype; it's a fantastic ride.  Gale gives my favourite quote of the entire series in the third book, Mockingjay.  I love the satire of our obsession with celebrity and style.

Seriously, though, a great book club discussion could be guided by the question:  Who is the best dressed rebel in history?

Friday, October 21, 2011

But no one ever asked mammy how she felt about it.

But no one ever asked mammy 
how she felt about it.

I recently finished reading The Help by Kathryn Stockett.  The verdict:  I liked it.  However, I wasn't sure I would.  It came highly recommended by Sybil.  However, I read one person's opinion that referred to one of the main characters, Skeeter, as "weak... when she finally started dating" and I didn't think I could handle a southern-belle version of Bella Swan.  Well, Sybil's recommendation and the hype surrounding the film version won out, and I downloaded the book.

I finished reading The Help more than a week ago, and I planned to blog about it, but I never got around to it.  This morning, I was lying in bed finishing up the second season of Glee, watching the prom episode, and the result of Kurt Hummel winning prom queen provided the catalyst for me to finally write this post.

So Kurt was declared prom queen, and he fled the auditorium/gymnasium/wherever the prom was held in tears, pursued by his boyfriend, Blaine.  And this is what Kurt had to say:   "We thought that because no one was teasing us or beating us up that no one cared. Like some kind of progress had been made. But it's still the same ... All that hate, they were just afraid to say it out loud, so they did it by secret ballot."  It's a very touching scene of the show, and I recommend you head over to right now and watch it.

This scene with Kurt and his resulting sobs to Blaine made me think a statement that Mae Mobley makes to Aibileen on page 392 of The Help:  "Miss Taylor says kids that are colored can't go to  my school cause they're not smart enough."  This remark from a fictional child in 1964 to the woman who cared for her struck me like that proverbial ton of bricks.  1964.  In Mississippi.  I grew up in Florida, graduated from high school in 1994 (30 years after The Help is set), and remember being told very similar statements, in Sunday school of all places, as late as the early 1990s (a harsh reality to face, such bullshit was still institutionally passed on in America... how many years after the Civil Rights movement?).  Reading Mae Mobley's words in 2011 brought back a wave of memories I had repressed of the racist indoctrination I received growing up.  (By the way, the Sunday school teacher who pompously expounded on my intellectual superiority base on the lack of melanin in my skin, had a black dog named Ni**er and sons who trick-or-treated dressed as Klansmen in white robes.  Such fond memories of my home town!)  And being a fairly sensitive person, I really needed to discuss the feelings that were triggered by this.  I was surprised by my current naivete and a little shocked that the the same lies that were used to teach racism to children in the 1960s was still being used to teach racism to children in the 1990s.  My assumption is that the lies are still being propagated to children today.  (How's that for optimism?)  Since Sybil is the one who recommended to book to me in the first place, I went to her with my thoughts and emotions (I hate using that word).  And she said to me,  "It just goes to show you that despite all the progress we claim to have made, shit ain't changed."

Like Kurt said, "We thought that because no one was teasing us or beating us up that no one cared.  Like some kind of progress had been made.  But it's still the same."

The same.  Yeah, the hatred still abounds.

Below is a quote from one of today's online discussions about the recent death of Gaddafi and the reactions/comments of people from around the globe.

"Well, at least now i know that arab africans are called 'sand niggers'...oh, how developed is the west!"

Was that a vocabulary lesson she really needed to have?

It gets depressing.

Nobody likes to see a crazy lady with an axe in her hand.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Pink Cupcakes and Black Bosco

Pink Cupcakes and Black Bosco

Last weekend was better than I could have planned.  The 32 kilometer run that turned into 28 km instead still left me buzzing with endorphins for the rest of the day.  Becca was, as usual, a pleasure to meet for dinner.  Sunday's pink cupcakes bake and delivery left me with a smile and reaffirmed that I have amazing women in my life.  (Keep squeezing your boobies, girls!  Not just in October.)  Sunday evening I reconnected with an old friend, and that truly brought me happiness.  As Angela stated it earlier that day, "It's hard to find amazing people, but somehow we do.  And it's like a miracle every time!"

Another small joy that contributed to the culmination of a fabulous weekend was reclining back in my comfy-chair under a throw blanket and reading The Ballad of Black Bosco by Ernest Bazanye.  I mentioned Ernest on my blog once in a post back in 2007.  Keeping up with his blog address can become your new pastime.  But his writing and brilliant social commentary are the treasures at the end of the wild goose chase.

The Ballad of Black Bosco is a pretty impressive novella; it even has it's own facebook page!  According to which, it is about "two Kampala boys.  One becomes famous, the other becomes rich."  Bazanye describes the process of not finding a publisher in true Bazanye wit on his blog:

What does a novelist do when he or she (he in this case) finds himself in a country  where neither Penguin, Random House, Barnes nor Noble ever set foot? Does he fly to America? But he wasn’t given a visa. So does he then not write the novel. That’s what I did. 
Or that’s what I thought. Until the idle typing I had been doing in between bits of actual work at office began to take the shape of a real story and not a blog post, so I just went ahead and wrote it. I had a novel there. 
So, what does a novelist do when he has a novel and Random House, Penguin, Barnes and Noble still haven’t called? He lets the novel gather dust on a C-Drive somewhere.
Actually, I wrote this so long ago, the computer I typed it on is actually junk now. It was in 2007 those prehistoric ends. 
So what does a novelist do when he finds it on a backup CD and thinks, hey, someone might enjoy reading this? 
He puts it up online and says, well, if you want to read it, please take a look. It’s funny. You might like it.

Like it, I did.  

I even highlighted some quotes that left me LOLing and ROFLMAO using my new, nifty Kindle:

  • "I knew that voice.  I had to turn the radio up really really loud for that woman I recall.  I remember I had to switch from the BBC to Capital FM to drown her out, and ended up having to listen to Celine Dion for an hour."
  • "Al fresco means it is outdoors but there are no flies."
  • "Doc asked the hooker on his lap to move her hairweave out of his face for a minute so that he could make his point that it was wicked and vile."

And my personal favouite highlight:
  • "Why do we need Ugandans to sound like Americans?  The market for American accents has alredy been cornered.  By Americans."

Bazanye's masterful skill at writing in that horrible Ugandan-style-fake-American accent led me to wonder if he were guilty of penning the finger-nails-down-a-chalk-board irritating script for that ad from our-logo-is-the-colour-piss-after-several-days-of-not-drinking-water-and-you're-super-dehydrated-after-a-night-of-binge-drinking telecom company.

My favourite quotes may not make much sense right now, and that is because they are out of context.  I know.  So take advantage of the free download of The Ballad of Black Bosco and have a laughter-filled read over the weekend.  And as our friends over at The WorkZine say, "After you download and read, please go [to] the Facebook page of Black Bosco here and tell the writer to not make you laugh like that again."