30 March 2007

It is well ...

I have been involved with a battle for about 10 years now. Those of you who know me will be really suprised to be reading this. When I was in Nigeria, the condition was managable for me and for the most part I actually forgot I had it. However since I moved to the US the condition has reared its ugly head and gotten progressively worse. I will spend this weekend undergoing prescribed treatments and I am really hoping and praying for the best.

19 March 2007

My 'Singing' Purse

I love gadgets and I am one of a dying breed of people who read actually read the VCR manual and try out all the features. When my IPod was new and shacking me a lot more than it is shacking me now I must have set like 50 different clocks for different time zones (okay I set 3; Nija, Jand and Dallas) I noticed I could also set an alarm. How will I 'hear' the alarm I wondered as I set the sound to 'beep', the IPod comes with headphones and the yeye thing will not play if the headphones are not connected. I promptly forgot about the whole thing until like a month ago when out of curiosity I changed the alarm sound from beep to one of the playlists I have set up with the intention of watching the thing at the appointed time. I must have gotten caught up watching HGTV or something cos I forgot all about my experiment. The other day I was napping when I was roused by - Corrine Bailey Rae? 'I dey heaven?' I wondered as I opened my eyes. My laptop wasn't on and I do not have a cd player or anything like that. The sound seemed to be coming from my purse. My heart started beating double time as I backed away from the said purse, believing it to be possessed then my sleep addled brain finally figured it out - it was the alarm on my IPod! But how come I hadn't heard it before I wondered as I reached for my purse and retrieved the culprit. Usually about this time I am listening to my IPod at work which is why I hadn't heard it up till now and on weekends when I am not at work I am either at the gym or the headphones are not connected. I was shocked at the volume coming out of the headphones, I could hear the song clearly, lyrics, intruments and all. Not bad at all coming from such tiny headphones. Usually when I am in the gym I have the volume turned all the way up so I guess that was another reason I could hear it so clearly from so far away and immediately feared for my poor ears. Dummy thats what the 5 holes on the other side of the ear piece are for!

13 March 2007

Where is Africa? - Update

Over the weekend I stopped by WalMart to pickup a disposable camera (I had to record the metamorphosis of my room for the sake of posterity). I try to avoid going to WalMart when I can the lines to pay are always so long a quick trip to get sugar could well last an hour minus your commute time! Anyway I had no choice really on Saturday, WalMart was really the only place to go since it was on my way and I am conserving fuel (recent increases in gas prices have bumped the cost of my bi-weekly trip to the gas station from $35-37 to $42!). Soooo … I am patiently waiting in line when the guy behind me asked where I get my printer consumables from. One of the ‘joys’ of owning a printer worldwide is buying printer consumables especially ink. I have a friend who has a somewhat radical solution to the problem – trash the printer and buy a new one. I passed on this solution. We started chatting and he asked the inevitable question ‘Where are you from?’ I took a deep breath and said Nigeria. He then asked ‘How is it over there? Is it as chaotic as the media always seems to portray it?’ That kinda stopped me in my tracks; this is not the kind of question I am used to being asked. ‘Not all the time’ I reply taking a closer look at him. ‘Didn’t think so’ he replied. ‘I go online and want to read about Africa and that doesn’t make any sense since Africa is made up of different countries’ I nearly passed out! I took another good look at him. Nothing looked amiss could this guy have read my blog and somehow found me here on the ’10 items or less’ line which was moving a lot slower than the other line where each person had atleast 2 carts brimming over with purchases? Could he have followed me with the intention of proving to me that not every American is ignorant to the fact that Africa is a continent not a zipcode? ‘That’s right’ I reply. ‘I am from Nigeria which is only of 54 countries on the African continent’. We spent the remaining time in line talking about Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa well I talked and he listened and no, he wasn’t staring at my paint speckled bosom going by his body language (head cocked to oneside) he was actually really listening to what I was saying. As I finally got the chance to pay for my purchase he bid me a good afternoon and thanked me for the enlightening discussion. ‘My pleasure’ I replied. What a coincidence, considering the fact that I only just blogged about my annoyance with the whole ‘do you take I405 North or South to Africa?’ thing. I guess the ‘Universe’ is trying to tell me something, less annoyance more patience perhaps?

12 March 2007

Yar'Adua Blames Opposition for Death Rumour

At this time I think we should all be paying close attention to Yar'Adua's running mate the man with the two first names - Dr Jonathan Goodluck (abi na Goodluck Jonathan!?). Make we no be like the Trojans, as I dey look am so e be like say na him we go dey vote for come election day!

Yar'Adua Blames Opposition for Death Rumour allafrica.com

A little home improvement

It’s been warming up of late (or I have adjusted to the cold whichever one you like) and I had been telling myself I needed to get a proper bed, that and I don’t think my back or knee can take much more of my present sleeping arrangements. I knew I wanted a blue themed room with apple green, purple/chocolate brown accents. At this point I think I should mention I am suffering from an overdose of HGTV. All those 30 minute makeover shows where beginning to put ideas in my head and I was beginning to fancy myself as an interior decorator of sorts. It has gotten so that when I am not watching a specific program on TV I am watching channel 74 on mute.

Last week Sunday I was working on my laptop and as usual HGTV was on mute. I looked up and saw the most beautiful blue themed room on ‘Double Take’. I quickly interjected some apple green accents in my mind and was convinced I wanted this room. A quick trip to the HGTV site and I found the blow-by-blow of how the total look was achieved. In January a colleague had taken me to a reasonably priced furniture store and so on Monday I went back to look through their catalogues. I found a perfect bed at a reasonable price and asked to have it delivered at the weekend. Next I needed to change the color on my walls from ‘Hospital White’ to ‘Seaside Pleasure’. Unfortunately the paint store listed on the HGTV site is in North California, so I had to find a substitute locally. A colleague suggested I try Ralph Lauren Paints and I was like ‘shebi na light blue, how difficult can it be to choose’, boy was a wrong; I never knew there could be so many variants of ‘light blue’! After much deliberation I settled on one (I can't remember the name now) and stopped by HomeDepot to pick up my selection along with paint supplies plus I had received a discount coupon in the mail and if there is one thing I love, it’s a bargain. Paint? Check; Roller and paint brush? Check; Paint pan and painters tape? Check; Plastic sheets to protect the carpet? Check. I head of to pay and while in line had an interesting conversation with a 70-ish year old man about finding bargains in unexpected places. He also suggested I get a canvas sheet that I could reuse on future paint projects and as much as that sounded like a good idea, storage would be a problem I passed.

Saturday, I was up bright and early and spent an hour carefully taping my room. Then I whipped out my roller and started painting. I was very happy I decided to do this before my furniture arrived; with each roll of the roller a fine spray of paint was emitted and in a short time I was covered in tiny spots of paint. 3 hrs later as I tried to survey my ‘damage’ I realized that painting is not something to be done on an empty stomach I was starving. A tub of yogurt and a granola bar later I was able to see clearly, I felt like I had conquered the world. I found it was much more convenient to use a chair as opposed to a ladder to get to hard to reach places and wearing old socks meant afterwards I just took them off and tossed them. Clean up was a breeze (although I forgot to anoint myself from top to bottom with baby oil as suggested on a site I visited, its supposed to help get paint off skin easily) and since I was in the spirit proceeded to clean my apartment from top to bottom. Once my apartment was spick and span, I pulled on some sweats and went to get the furniture people. Somehow they had forgotten about my delivery as such I had to wait till like 6;30 pm for them to come. As long as they will carry the bed into my apartment, no wahala. I was beginning to feel the effect of all that activity as I left the furniture store. I went home and lay down on my airbed (for the last time) as I waited. By 7 pm I was beginning to suspect they would not be making the delivery on Saturday. I was glad, ba energy. Sunday morning and everything hurt, and in the oddest places! Who send me message o! I hobbled over to the phone and called the furniture people and with all the iciness I could muster I demanded to know why I didn’t have furniture in my room. The guy apologized profusely. Na apology I wan chop? Abegi give me a further discount! The furniture is on its way he assured me. Finally it arrived and setting up wasn’t so bad considering the fact that I almost couldn’t move. I wiped the sweat from my brow as I surveyed the result of my weekend of manual labor. Nice. Now all I need is a club chair in pinstriped fabric and a bench for the foot of my bed then on to the hard task, picking accent pieces. I can hardly wait! Before that though I needed someone to bathe me, feed me and tuck me into bed I was that worn out. I must report I slept like a rock and was surprised I heard my alarm at all this morning. Now that the aching has subsided, I am keeping an eye out for ideas for my living room and yes I will be painting!

09 March 2007

Where is Africa?

Along with a lot of people I was shocked to see Sabrina Sloan voted out of the top 12 on Idol yesterday. Unlike a lot of people who after the fact swear at a persons brilliance (a la Jennifer Hudson), I actually devote time after every show to vote for my favorite performances of the night, not that Sabrina is my most favorite, that honor goes to Melinda who I think is very good if a little polished and as such might not win. Anyhow I didn't think Sanjaya would still be around or that Sundance would be going home this early. I did want to keep Jared around just for eye candy!

Anyhow they had been buzzing all week about a huge announcement on Idol and finally it came; 'Idol Gives Back' to whom I wonder. According to the Idol website,

‘"Idol Gives Back" is a two-night special to benefit children and young people in need in American and Africa airing Tuesday, April 24 and Wednesday, April 25 on FOX.

The show is partnering with the Charity Projects Entertainment Fund (CPEF) for this

historic television event – IDOL GIVES BACK – a two-night special raising awareness and funds for organizations that provide relief programs to help children and young people in extreme poverty in America and Africa.

Ryan announced on the show that he and Simon had already made a trip to ‘Africa’ to witness the poverty and sickness firsthand perhaps to authenticate its existence after all they are serious celebrities who can only lend the ‘weight’ of their ‘serious’ celebrity to real causes. Cowell seemed totally convinced that poverty is real in ‘Africa’ as he stiffly shook hands with children on the obligatory tape made of their fact finding mission. Ryan went further to try and experience this poverty by attempting to balance a basket of bananas on his head. Randy will be taking Paula on a tour of his beloved home state Louisiana and its surrounding region to see how people are living post-Katrina. You guys should save the money and watch Spike Lee’s documentary, he managed to capture the whole Katrina situation very well and since we all know the mess FEMA has been my guess is as good as yours that not much has changed since that documentary aired.

First it irks me when I hear ‘celebrities’ especially the black ones (who in my opinion should know better) say they went to Africa like it was a suburb of LA! Oya bring a map and show me the exact spot on which you stood and I will name one of the 54 countries that the continent is made up of. When your assistant made your travel plans, where did they tell you you will be going? Did you land at the Africa International Airport? Please do not tell me you traveled thousands of miles and don’t know exactly where on this lovely earth you where headed! South Africa is one of the 54 countries on the continent, if that is where you went, please say so. I here people say all the time they went to Europe, traveling through Spain, Germany etc. If you can do it for Europe you can do it for Africa. The inability of these celebrities to tell you exactly where they went shows me they don’t give a toss about the place, they just want to mark the attendance register of ‘African Pilgrims’, making this like some rite of passage so you can show the world you are ‘down like that’. Then again ‘Do me I do you, God no go vex’ is a popular saying. The locals are not as ‘simple’ (dim witted) and ‘happy’ as you might think. While they (celebrities, etc) are busy making the ‘in’ trip, my African brothers and sisters have wised up and will pose for the obligatory photos and participate in the requisite games just ‘drop something’ before you go.

Second, generating awareness on behalf of a cause and raising money for it is a good thing. I am pissed that today’s scam seems to be raising money for ‘Africa’ to eradicate aids, combat poverty, emancipate the girl child, etc. With the effort put into raising money for Africa by now one would have thought ‘Africa’ would be totally ‘free’ from the different elements it has had to wage a ‘war’ or ‘go into combat’ with. Alas! Enough with the videos of the snotty nosed, half naked, mud encrusted, fly/flea attracting very black children. Your persistent display of these images on your national TV is the reason why I have to put up with such comments as ‘You speak English so well’ every other place I go. Imagine my further irritation when I read about Bono and Project Red abi Champaign Red abi Red Champaign! (I dey vex no be small!) At least with most Nigerian scammers, the ammo is to hook up with the scammee’s greed; no ‘innocent, starving, disease ridden African children’ are exploited in the process. How can you spend $100M to make $18M? As my people will say ‘Oluwa ma je kin sowo short’ (God don’t let me trade at a loss). You really don’t need to wear your charity on your new boobs which you acquired on credit or receive calls on it for that matter. Shey they would have done a lot better by donating the $100M instead of ‘investing’ it with the belief that it will yield fruits/multiply (as if the weeds of their greed go gree). I know that the $100M didn’t come out of any one person’s pocket, the participating companies (GAP, Motorola, etc) spent the total from their individual marketing budgets. I say continue to sell your normal $10 t-shirts and give to charity fair and square, God knows you get the tax break. Shey if they hired marketing companies indigenous to Africa, they can at least claim the money is right now circulating through the continent, creating jobs for people who actually want to know how to fish and not wait in line bowl at the ready to be fed. And don’t get me started on the outside influences from the US, Asia and Europe that are fueling the various conflict areas on the continent, conflicts that are ensuring that we cannot heal ourselves from within.

I am not impressed; Oyinbo man if you want to help Africa, help Africa else leave my mother land out of your scam!

Bono, Who Preaches Charity, Profits From Buyouts, Tax Breaks bloomberg.com

07 March 2007

Reunion Galore

Just heard Genesis are also reuniting and going on tour. The tour 'Turn it on Again' will kick of in Toronto and the reunited band will be without Peter Gabriel (the original lead singer who left in '75 and was replaced by Collins) who is busy on a solo project. Phil Collins will be available as will Mike Rutherford and Tony Banks.

Do You Have Two Ears and a Heart? Genesis Reunion Tour! rollingstone.com

05 March 2007


Over the weekend I received a link via IM from a friend. I recognised the name as that of a guy I had gone to school with. I clicked on the link and nothing could have preped me for what I was to find there. Here was this young man from a good home professing to not only be a 419 scammer but also a gay male escort with a preference for transsexuals! I was just shocked to realize that by reading that profile I had in that instance become the acquaintance of a 419 scammer who was a gay male escort with a preference for transsexuals! I didn’t even think the 6 degrees theory would relate me to one! As if this was not bad enough there were pictures, full frontal and 'sidal' nudity erasing all doubt that I had somehow managed to read the whole thing worng! Is this some sick joke played by his friends? A scorned lover (female or male) out for revenge? A young man coming 'out of the closet'? I proceeded to read the sole post on the blog. The more I read, the closer I came to the conclusion that some one/people really had it in for this man. But how did they get such incriminating pictures? Which brings me to a question I always ask when another celebrity sex tape gets released - Why take naked pictures of yourself (copulating with another human being, doing a hand job, stepping out of the shower, striking a Superman pose, whatever?) Why make a sex tape and be so careless with it that your biggest opening at the box office would have to be financed by you? If you must take pictures of yourself in the nude goofing around ala Superman or make a video of yourself making whoopy, the next thing to do is fly to Switzerland and entrust such pictures/tapes to a Swiss banker. I am thinking our 'stud muffin' here probably posed for these pictures and his scorned lover decided to post them online. What a grudge!

Speaking of home videos/pictures that 'kobalise' I caught a report on TV this morning about two teenage boys in Fort Worth Texas who decided to teach their 2 year old and a 5 year old nephews how to smoke pot and had the genius to catch this apparent coming of age ritual on tape! The police found the tape while searing their house on a warrant for suspected robbery.

In situations such as these, two heads are better than one so I buzz another friend and after much discussion we arrived at the conclusion that the guy was the victim of '19' hunters. My friend had heard and seen things that made him believe our stud here was actually into 419, apparently after graduation from UI this guy came back like 2 months later to say hi to his peeps driving a very correct Mercedes Benz. This doesn't say much I mean it could belong to his parents, brother, sister, sister’s sugar daddy etc. The fact that this same guy was always seen in the company of known '19' boys in the Gbagada area made the source of the financing of the car and his status generally suspicious. As we talked I decided to Google the guy and the first link was to this blog! That kinda blows a hole in any attempt he tries to make to get legit work in this part of the world, a startling amount of employers actually Google prospective employees and unless this guy does facial reconstruction he really can't talk his way out of this one. (Out of curiosity I Googled myself too, was glad to find that all references to me were in ASP and ASP.NET forums asking/answering work related questions I am thinking that’s a good thing from an employers point of view) I then found links to other sites online dedicated to 'outing' '19' scammers. I found pictures of other '19' people in various compromising positions much like what I had seen on our studs blog which quickly threw my jilted/scorned lover theory out the window. Then my friend tells me that there a people who actually hunt this '19' boys down and out them. In Dateline NBC style they ask then to do specific things, e.g pose in the nude on 3rd Mainland Bridge with your erect member facing Ketu! I don't know if I was a guy I would be able to sustain an erection butt naked on 3rd Mainland bridge but hey I guess the thought of all the money that will soon be in their possession is more of a turn than I will ever know! Our stud muffin said on his blog he drove 10 hrs to and from a rendezvous with a bisexual man, his wife and their gay friend all for a fee of 7,000 Euros. Apparently the naked pix he took were for an application for an escort service and of course they needed to see what he had to offer. I am thinking the latest hot scam is to con gay men/women. One of the ‘19’ scammers outing websites featured a guy I knew very well from UI. (fashi 6 degrees!). This one was really pathetic because not only did they publish his picture, home address and international passport information page, they also dragged his wife into it pictures and all! Of course they had a sensational story as well which only helped me join the dots! Imagine there I was some 7 yrs ago thinking the guy was a hard working effico entrepreneur meanwhile he just had everyone so fooled. I guess the revelations of the weekend brought home to me a startling truth; 19 scammers are not some guys far removed from us, we know them, work with them, went to school with them and we really are sitting ducks, busy believing they are the thieves without when in reality they are the angels within.

The Wa-Zo-Bia Naira

'Wa - Zo - Bia, wa lede meta'

Those lyrics are from an Ebenezer Obey or I.K. Dairo song? Anyone?
I just saw pictures of the new Naira notes on the BBC website. The look nice and all that, but I wonder was it necessary? Really? I mean the cost of producing the notes and coins (which apparently cost more than notes) fine the notes have a host of 'relevant' security features ... After further digging I found out that the arabic writing on the notes had been removed and the new notes carry writings in Yoruba, Igbo and Hausa. I have often wondered what the Arabic writing on the notes mean't but have not been sufficiently motivated to ask. Since a lot more people speak/read either Yoruba, Igbo or Hausa as opposed to Arabic it does make more sense to have text on our national currency in those languages and assuming the 'Wa-Zo-Bia' renderings on the notes are a direct translation of the Arabic text I guess I will have my answer as soon as I can get a close up of the new notes. I must also admit its a small albeit relevant victory for Christians.