26 September 2006

Grady 'Bad Boy' Brewer - Contender Champion 2006

I would not ordinarily consider myself a boxing fan; all that saliva, sweat and blood! However I must admit I have enjoyed watching the second season of the Contender on ESPN. From the beginning I had favoured Cornelius 'K9' Bundrage and had tipped him for the finals alas he seemed to give up in the ring fighting Steve '2 Pounds' Forbes in the semi's and had to slug it out against Norberto 'El Gallito' Bravo for the 3rd place medal. I was at work (I have a part-time gig at Kohls) so I didn't get to watch the third place match but I am told K9 showed Bravo, the fight had to be stopped in the 7th round. For reasons not related to boxing skill or prowess I just didn't like Forbes and throughout the competition I was always in the corner of his oponent. Tonight was no different, I was rooting for Grady 'Bad Boy' Brewer all night and what a fight. I will admit I never saw Brewer coming. Infact I was shocked to see him fight Bravo in their semi-final fight. 'Who is this guy, and where did he come from'? I wondered as he made mince meat of Bravo. Brewer used his hight and reach to his advantage, pulling Forbes in and messing up his rythm. At the end of the 10th round, Brewer had landed twice as many punches as Forbes and thrown atleast a hundred more. A lot of the rounds for me were quite close to call, but I felt that Brewer had a good chance of taking home the 500k, Toyota truck plus the Contender title. Apparently the judges felt the same, in a split decision Grady Brewer was crowned the Contender.

On a seemingly unrelated note, I am of the opinion that as well as the guys auditioning their skills for the show, they also had to audition their wives/significant others, either that or the show hired wives/significant others for them. All the ladies were really good looking!

A storybook ending for Contender 2 MSNBC.com

Arsenal 2 - 0 FC Porto

Great game, we continued with our good Champions League form with a 2-0 win today over Porto. A great cross from Eboue finished off by Henry started it, and Hleb sealed off the win in the second half.

23 September 2006

Arsenal 3 - 0 Sheffield United

Finally a win at Emirates ends the jinx. I was beginning to fear the worst. Good goal for Gallas who has begun to justify the his transfer cost (Cole, plus #5M). Nice to see Henry back on point with a late goal and of course ever the gracious hosts Sheffield also managed to put one in albeit at the wrong end of the field!

Match Report Soccernet.com

Match Report Arsenal.com

18 September 2006

Directions to Lagos? Take the first exit on I635

I have always suspectd that oyinbo people are not very sharp, and today a recruiter provided more evidence to support my suspicions. I got a call this morning from a recruiter, a male recruiter. 'I found your profile on dice/monster/careerbuilder', 'I have a position for a developer', yada yada yada. The job description is a perfect match for me and that fact finally wakes me up. He asks for the usual; rates, word version of my resume, references, etc which I email to him. Now with my references, by default I give names, designation and email addresses, I don't give phone numbers except I am asked to. I don't give phone numbers becausue I know some one will see a phone number and ask a silly question e.g. 'Do y'all speak English in Nigeria'?

He emails me back, the position is out of town and the client will most probably want a face to face interview, I am open to travel? Sure, if you are paying. He also wants to know if I could provide him with at least one local reference. He wouldn't mind calling a reference in Nigeria as long as they can speak English!!! Imagine!!! I almost blew a head gasket. Perhaps I should just buy a crystal ball and quit looking for work. Why are these people like this, thats how one was asking the other day if I635 woud take you to Lagos!!! This yeye man spent like 30 mins with me on the phone and we had exchanged a couple of emails, all in Englsh, why would he think my Nigerian references wouldn't speak English? After I calmed down I tried to see things from his point of view. This guy probably comes across a lot of Chinese and Indian developers fresh off the boat from their home countries who develop in .NET, Java, PHP, etc and it is not uncommon that they would provide references who don't speak English. Then again, this guy was probably born and raised in the very spot in which his office desk now located. The very desk at which he is currently seated asking yeye questions via email. Come to think of it though this our dear president who likes making speeches abroad isn't really helping matters. Anyone listening to Baba Iyabo speaking his heavily accented English might just think we speak some other language in Nigeria. And the fact that I speak good English doesn't necessarily mean that my people back home do.

I guess because I am from Nigeria, and we are pretty popular on the continent I am mistaking the continent for the planet and assuming everyone knows that our president is making a real ass of himself trying to succeed himself in the upcoming elections. I guess I should just get over myself and move on. It did take me like 4 hours to calm down sufficiently to send a reply to the guy's email. At the end of the day I really need to break into the US job market as soon as I can. I did educate him though on the Nigerian lingua franca, I told him everyone speaks English well in the country, we where colonied by the British, and if he had issues I was sure the American embassy in Nigeria would be more that happy to provide an interpreter!

8 Generals, 6 Others Feared Dead

I wonder how many of the casualties would have been survivors if it didn't take 3 hours to even know the plane had gone down.

8 Generals, 6 Others Feared Dead thisdayonline.com

Man Utd 0 - 1 Arsenal

Finally, our first win of the season I feel like I won the lottery! I didn't watch the match (I really miss DSTV), but I received plenty of excited phone calls from fellow Gunners. From the look of the team lineup I see that Wenger fielded his team B and what a confidence booster winning the match must have been for them in particular and the team in general. It felt good to see us finally move up in th tables and the fact that we still have a game in hand puts a smile on my face.

Okay so I am happy we had good result last weekend, and we are doing well in Europe. However the club needs to do something about our defence. Gallas is a good move in the right direction, and I think I speak on behalf of my fellow gunners when I saw I woud like to see more moves in this direction.

By the way, is it me or doesn't Adebayor bear a resemblance to Kanu?

Match Report soccernet.com

Match Report arsenal.com

12 September 2006

Coming Home

I just watched Lionel Richie perfom 'I Call it Love' from his very very very new album 'Coming Home' on the Tonight Show. I am really digging his dark look, its hard to believe this guy is a day over 40 (he is actually 57!). The song sounded good, typical Lionel Richie fare. I must admit though I was a little confused as the song began; I thought Lionel Richie was billed to sing, not Ne-Yo. The beat reminded me so much of 'So Sick' I found my self singing the Ne-Yo lyrics to the Richie chorus! I am apparently not the only one who thinks the song sounds a lot like something Ne-Yo would sing, I found this article in the New York Times.

09 September 2006

Sorry, you don't qualify.

The other day, Spice suggested I look for part-time work, pending when I get a proper job. Of course I wasn't going to refuse her suggestion, this people are really trying for me, housing and feeding me for 3 months now I didn't want to look like I was planning to be a permanent fixture in their guest bedroom, and the thought of actually earning money really appealed to me (even if it was minimum wage) so off to the neigbourhood Kohls store we go. Yes they have vacancies, and before I knew what was happening, I had attended two interviews where I learned Vera Wang would soon be designing a line exclusively for Kohls. It was also determined that with my ' experience', I would be good as a cashier. I had to take a mandatory drug test and although I knew I was clean, my heart still threatened to burst forth from my chest as I passed my urine sample to the lady at the lab. (She 'wasted' most of it by the way, I was a little mad 'cos I had spent like 5 hours working on the batch!). Now I am waiting on the store to call me to start work. With each passing day I fear that the drug test has revealed something nasty, I don't know what is wrong with me sef! Anyhow, in preparation for this job that I have almost gotten, I realised I would need 1) comfortable shoes (of the 20 pairs I shipped in from Nija, not one meet the criteria) and 2) a cell phone so recruiters/prospective employeers can reach me when I am at work. After hours and hours of research on the Internet, and contributions from my friends, I decide to go with T-Mobile. Spice darling that she is takes me round town looking for a good deal (free phone)

I love gadgets, and for me a phone is just that, a gadget. While I would not spend all my money buying one, since I could get a free phone I had to shop around for the best in that category. I finally find a SonyErricsson phone which I wouldn't buy but was a perfect since it was free. I am thinking nothing can go wrong, then the sales person mentioned the words 'credit status' The two words that pretty much determine how far you can aspire/dream when it comes to owning pretty much anything in this country. With batted breath I waited for her to check and I was suprised to find I was actually in the system. Of course my credit score moved the phone from free, to $99.99. I was glad she didn't say I didn't qualify for a contract line. I got a good deal on another phone; a Nokia which I paid $20 for, and a 1 yr contract. The sales lady had earlier suggested that Spice take the phone on my behalf, but I figured that wouldn't really work in my favour, sure I would have the free phone but there is still the pesky business of credit history which I would face eventually renting an appartment, buying a car, etc. The earlier I start working on my history the better for me. So now I have a phone, and I am this close to starting work as a cashier at Kohls. I beginning to feel like an adult again.

Achi, where art thou?

Everyone who knows me knows I like food from the eastern parts of Nigeria. (See earlier post) Two years ago, I was in the US on holidays and I spent a couple of days with a friend in New Jersey. I had this really nice soup with garri and asked her for the recipe which she promised to give me. Although it took two years to do that, I finally received the recipe by email. Its for Native Soup, cooked Okrika style with every edible water creature, I can't wait to try it out. I was suprised to see Oysters on the list of ingredients, I didn't know Oysters were found in Nigeria waters, my friend quickly set me straight. Also I think the achi will be a bit of a problem getting my hands on, although she assured me I can get it at my local Nigeria store. However there is something I think that will stop me from making this soup; palm oil. Spice doesn't cook with it because C has problems with acid reflux and the doctor advised that he stay way from it. She manages to make egusi and ogbonna soup without palm oil, and although it doesn't taste bad, I would still prefer to cook the soup with palm oil (I am well aware the palm oil is liquid cholesterol) because I don't want to spoil the experience. I hope I will be able to wait till I get a job and start living on my own to cook this soup, but as the thing dey do me ehn, I fit just fashi use groundnut oil cook am!

Hair today, gone tomorrow perhaps? Help!

I don't know what to do with my hair.

I haven't put a comb through it since November '05, well Princess did make me in February '06, but I am sticking with my November story. Anyhow, Ore suggested to me in January that I dry my hair out with a towel using circular motions whenever I wash it to give the top the dread look. This worked fine till I got here when I must admit I stopped the circular motion thing (I was beginning to develop some serious biceps). So the top of my hair is all matted while the bottom is just normal natchy curls. I don't really mind this look, my hair kinda frames my face and my 'opon' isn't so prominent however Spice thinks the hair is distracting, it not looking like dreads or a proper afro.

Last week she finally managed to convince me to go to the salon and get my hair properly locked. She is really into hair, she applies relaxer herself at home. The deal was to go to the salon, and she would watch and then I wouldn't need to ever go to the salon again (assuming work does not take me away from Dallas). The salon is run by a Nija woman, and I must say I had some misgivings as we went for the appointment. I must point out that I no one has touched my head in almost two years. First I had problems with the way my hair was washed, I like my scalp to be thoroughly massaged while my hair is being washed, this lady hardly worked the shampoo into a decent lather. I was really beginning to doubt the quality of work I was about to pay $75 for, however I was in too deep and I really couldn't back out now. I braced myself as I was ushered into the stylist's chair. Two hours later, I realise I really should have just followed my church mind and not followed through with this 'adventure'. I felt sticky from all the beeswax the lady had used to form the locks. As I surveyed the havoc that had been wrecked on my poor hair, I assured the lady I liked what I saw. I am suprised the lady could not hear the audible ticking of my brain as I planned a strategy to get all the gunk out of my hair. As I paid her, I promised myself I wouldn't dwell on the fact that I had just thrown so much money away (I am still fresh off the boat from Nija, please allow me), rather I would face the challenge of restoring my hair to its normal state. 11 days, 2 bottles of shampoo and conditioner later, I can finally sleep without a head scarf. I really hope this renaturalisation process will end soon, I don't know how much of the almost boiling water my poor scalp can take! This morning I was thinking perhaps I should just scrape the whole thing off and start all over again, this thought crossed my mind as I inspected the progress made so far. It seems that I will succed in getting rid of the wax on the bottom parts of my hair, but the tips that had turned to dreads and where initially spicky prior to my expensive mishap, had kinda absorbed the wax and are now weighed down. I came to the conclusion that I would be needing a lot more than two bottles of shampoo and conditioner to restore the tips of my hair. Anyhow I will not despair, I shall prevail! (Nobody send me message o!)

Back to my earlier question, I guess if I can get my hair back to its pre expensive mishap state, then I will look for a stylist familiar with the look I am going for (that green eyed guy on CSI) and get it trimmed, else I will just scrape the whole thing off and start growing it again. I really don't see my self shelling out $75 on a regular basis to be fixing hair. Did I mention I am open to hair advice that does not involve chemicals or regular trips to salons involving huge amounts of money and fixing extension? I am!