Friday, December 15, 2006

Bah humbug! And Other Stories......

My disdain for Christmas is well known in the blogosphere. Last year my scoffing began rather early, as soon as I saw the first decorations go up. But this time round it seems people's fervor for Christmas has been quenched, maybe it's the bad economy or they could be planning a sudden ambush? Anyhow I was reading one of my many fave blogs and I came across this jewel that I want to share that sums up how I feel about some of these big holidays that are just turned into commercial spiels by the big corporations...

Stupid Commercials

I was watching football earlier today, and I couldn't help but notice all the annoying commercials, all essentially saying the same thing, BUY YOUR WOMAN ALOT OF EXPENSIVE SHIT. Look, the entire point of commercials is to peddle your product to the target demographic i.e. your audience. Are these advertisers stupid? They're not even selling a product, they are selling you the idea of gift giving. How thoughtful of them.

Here are the commercials I saw

1. Commercial for Lexus. Out in the driveway is a Lexus RX series SUV, with a red bowtie on it. 2 women scuttle outside and assume it's for them. One declares she knows it's for her because it's her favorite color. The other one thinks it's hers because she wanted something shiny for christmas.

2. Another Lexus commercial. Hubby blindfolds his wife and take her outside. in the driveway is a brand spanking new Lexus LS (Base price is well over 60 grand, fully loaded can surpass 80 grand) with a red bow on top. I guess that was her christmas present.

3. Kay jeweler commercial, some douche surprises his wife with a gold bracelet while they are watching TV, and at the end of the ad, the announcer states that sales start at a "mere $3500".

4. Another jewelry commercial, but this time it's Santa. Santa goes to the mall and picks out the most expensive diamond for Mrs. Claus. Takes said diamond to the North Pole to give Mrs Claus, she's all happy and asks how he knows what she wants, Santa winks into the camera.

5. Another jewelry commercial. This one almost seems like a demand. Announcer says "She's been good all year, why don't you do something for her for a change?" Some guy surprises his wife with diamonds. Nothing like subtle shaming language to get your point across.

Seriously, who are they selling this idea to? Who saw these commercials and ran out to buy an $80,000 vehicle as a present? Do men ever get gifts on Christmas?

A few weeks back I got an e-mail about Safaricom wanting to recruit engineers and other professionals to work in Kenya. Since I am not in any of the fields they wanted, I promptly trashed the email.
If I had examined the e-mail much closer I would have noticed some things that Ntwiga has mentioned in his blog. Important things like they do not specify the skill set, experience and positions they have available. It was just a blanket call for applicants. Seems someone went for an "interview" and it left a bad taste in their mouth. Do read Ntwiga's post for more details. This is professionalism at it's worst!
Frankly I think Safaricom need to style up and stop playing us for fools!

Anyway back to my irreverent self. Wendy Williams interviewed Carmen Bryan (Nas' Baby Mama) about her "guess who I slept with?" book aka tell all. I do love the way she skewered her, sprayed lysol on the book and called her out. I mean let's be honest, how do shag and tell?Such things need to be left behind closed doors where they happened! How does your only claim to fame be the people you slept with?!
Ps:Take a look at NY from Flavor of Love, her implants make it look like her chest is going to explode!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

A Kubaff, A Mboch and My worst grade....

This kubaff decided to go around UK spreading AIDS and in typical British fashion they had to highlight the fact that he was African. I have noticed that in British media they never fail to mention the fact that someone is African or Caribbean whenever someone of color is involved in an AIDS issue but don't seem to talk about it much whenever it is a white Briton,American or someone from another country.
So what happens?Everyone begins to connect Africans with AIDS.But on the other hand that kubaff needs to be arrested and put behind bars!This crap of people spreading AIDS willingly shouldn't be tolerated at all!But on the other hand some people sleep around so much that pin pointing exactly who gave it to you is a task and a half, so what happens is that everyone you slept with gets hauled in for testing?
I can imagine the drama at someone's office if the public health office call and tell the receptionist to ask you to report to your nearest clinic for HIV testing. Okay I do know that they are more tactful than that most of the time.
By the way, how easy are UK women? That dude looked like one hot mess in his leopard skin jacket!

On to today's theme song!I am sure most of us grew up with a house girl in the house. Their importance to Kenyans is vastly under appreciated. One only has to look at America where only the rich can afford to have hired help and have instead to use mod cons to get the work done and stay at home to look after their children for the formative years at least, if they want to go out they have to hire a babysitter or send their children to daycare which in many cases resembles a warehouse for children. Studies have proven that daycare is rarely beneficial for children, but back to the subject at hand. In Kenya if a mother gets a good house girl they can go back to work much faster after having children, give a bit more concentration to work and have a life outside their homes.
But in return few house girls get fair pay, are overworked and forced to live in poor conditions. Then of course there is always the ever present specter of seduction by the man or men of the house. I do recall a friend of mine whose mum would only hire very ugly old women to be the mboches of the house because they were a family of 3 teenage boys.
I do recall a friend of mine who told me how an aunt to his cousin came from upcountry with a pretty young girl to be their house maid. His cousin and the brother took one look at her and were delirious.
The next day without giving any reason the girl said she could not work in that house and went back with the aunt, what had actually happened is that the cousin and his brother had subjected the girl to some tag team action since she was sleeping in the room next to theirs and the aunt was sleeping downstairs.
I also had a neighbor whose wife used to travel often leaving him in town with their young children and the house girl. For some reason house girls never used to last in that house and the wife thought it was because they were bad workers. The truth was that he would bed them and when he got bored or they refused to be seduced he would fire them.
I am sure that we all know some other story like that of the abuse of domestic workers in Kenya, which is shameful because of the great service they do us as a society.

I got my lowest grade in grad school. A C grade. Yes a C in my uni is 75% and above so in one way I do feel less appalled. But what makes me smile is because it was in Quantitative Analysis. That is higher level statistics. Here you don't only solve the statistical quandry but you analyse the results and how they relate to your hypothesis. Memorising formulas ala 8-4-4 is of no help at all here! So the fact that this gentleman here who used to get Ds in high school math managed to get that grade is nothing short of a miracle. But on the other hand I do have the feeling I could have gotten a B if I put my head down a bit earlier. Oh well you live and you learn. Now to wait on the other grades to confirm that I am done with the 'ville!
Anyone remember this tune?
Someni vijana, someni kwa bidii; kisha kwa kusoma. Mtapta kazi nzuri sana!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Just About The Ladies!

I came across this article on the BBC website and it seems women are changing with the times. I mean when it gets to the level where some establishments that sell alcohol do not welcome large groups of women, then you know it is an issue. Another article I read had this bouncer who said drunk women are harder than men to deal with because despite him being far larger than them, they will still try and fight him and in the process of restraining them it is far easier to hurt a woman. He went on to say in his years some of the most violent acts he has seen by drunk people have been at the hands of women. I have this Kenyan chic pal whom I stopped clubbing with because she rarely failed to get into a fight or confrontation of sorts as soon as she had some alcohol in her. This thanksgiving the only fight I saw was between two chics. Not to say that men don't fight but this whole issue of women diving into the fray is somewhat disturbing!

Moving on we all know that a month or so ago, MYWO (Maendeleo Ya Wanawake Organisation), Kenya's national organisation for women had elections. For some reason or other I didn't read feminist blogs harping about it. Why wouldn't they? This was the perfect example for women to show that they are far more savvy and civil when it comes to politics as compared to men. Those blogs always go on about how things will get much better when women are given a chance to take the reins. Why then didn't I see the issue of the elections on the blogs?
Well for one reason. They were no different then what goes on in the "patriachal" parties. First things first, the elections were 2 years late. They were also marred by violence and corruption.
Complaints are still being heard about the election. So what have we learned today? That women in themselves are not a panacea for the ills that bedevil Kenyan politics. The rot goes far deeper than gender people.

On a more humourus note. There was this chic I was in uni with in Kenya who gave two guys an STD. She was also a member of the university basketball team. After the news got round about her condition, there was this one dude who took it upon himself to warn the others. When she got on the court with the rest of the team, he would run around the court screaming; "tutachomeka tutachomeka!" Basically meaning that everyone is going to catch her STD (burn).
Needless to say after this happening 2-3 times she quit playing. I think it had something to do with the stares and the laughter.
Stay safe and don't burn!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

On Reading

I read M's post the other day regarding the attack of the literati. One question I would like to ask, what is more important? What you read? Or the fact that you read? A reading habit in itself is hard to cultivate, and I think anyone who goes out of their way to read when they don't have to should be lauded. But it is apparent others feel different.

I examine what I read most of the time and I think according to the criteria M's critics set up, I am an epitome of failure. My reading is very varied, I have a copy of Dante's Inferno at home and a Fantastic Four comic nearby. This is what I have been reading lately apart from school stuff, you be the Judge.

Details Magazine - This is not one of those lad mags that are full of pictures of half naked women and how to sleep with them. This magazine actually has some interesting articles and pieces of trivia. But I doubt it meets some people's standards of reading.

Wolverine Origins - I borrowed this graphic novel from the local library. Nothing beats some good art and a roaring tale to finish up the day. Another failure in some many people's eyes.

Certain Prey is one of those crime thrillers that is part of a series with the same protagonist throughout. It made for good reading, what I liked most is the fact that the villain(ess) is human, flawed, likeable and gets away at the end of the book! I doubt it meets the intellectual standards expected of literature though.

Men's Health - I guess now you all know that I love to read mens' magazines (after all I am a man!). I do enjoy the health tips and general advice that is given in this magazine (I don't mean the dress for more sex article!). I don't think it is as good as the South African version due to all the adverts (my small bro tears them all out).

Things Fall Apart - I do think that I have found redemption by reading Chinua Achebe's yarn about the rise and fall of Okonkwo. Or maybe it is too little too late because according to the literati schedule I should have read this 15 years ago.

On writing - No I am not jocking M's style, just his pic. I came with this book from Kenya and forgot all about it. It makes for good reading and an even better learning experience.

Moving on, when I finished watching the video below, I swear there was a faint smell of weed in the room.

Important Announcement! I should be leaving town soon and that means I will be staying at my sister's till I set myself up in my own place. As a result my muses will not be with me and instead of subjecting you and me to substandard blogging, I will blog 3 times a week instead. Don't be sad, Tato and I have H.I.P.P.I.E part 2 - 4 on the way!
Happy Jamuhuri Day!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Saving Scrap, Sicknote and Shrinkage

I had another post written but I was packing my things and I got to thinking. As a child, more often than not my mother always found an extra use for something. After reading newspapers were used to light the jiko, clean windows, line shelves and more. By doing this we ended up getting the maximum use from something before throwing it away and ended up buying less. In her quest to save money my mother was is a defacto environmentalist. This ended up being passed to me. How, you ask?Let me give you an example or two.

1.I buy the 24 pack mineral water bottle crate. After I drink the water in a bottle, that bottle is used to a) carry drinking water in the gym b) contain used oil after cooking c) carry liquid detergent when I go do laundry at a friend's place.

2.As students we get free subscriptions to the NY Times. So I end up having alot of extra issues in my house. I have found multiple uses for them; a) lining the shelves in the kitchen b) used them to add a few inches to my jua kali tv stand that is made up of a bucket, wooden board and 5 inches of newspapers ( I have a tv stand but decided that I would assemble it when I moved out). c) I used what I had today to wrap up my porcelain plates. I may be a bachelor but I dont eat off plastic and paper plates.

3.Whenever I go shopping and I have polyethene bags. I use these to line my waste paper bin, carry out trash and to carry stuff around when I dont want to use my backpack.

I do know I could do a whole lot more but the thing is that every small step counts. Here in the West people tend to be very wasteful, it is said that America generates around 70% of the world's trash on it's own.
I think that if we are going to call ourselves environmentally conscious, we might as well do ourselves the favour of making sure it is reflected in our everyday lives. Remember, the earth still needs your help!

If there is anyone who has ever needed to visit a witchdoctor, it is this man. He suffered a concussion over the weekend. Chris Kirkland was once a Liverpool player and was touted as the next big thing, being in contention for a place on the English team, but a constant stream of injuries and bad luck put paid to that. This dude has managed to get injured whenever a big opportunity has come his way. The British media dubbed him "sick note" at one point in time. Name it and most probably he has had it, knee injuries, shoulder injuries, back problems, a broken finger, broken wrist,kidney injury, groin injury and now a concussion.

"I want people to stop talking about the injuries, to stop saying 'oh, Chris Kirkland, always injured', and say 'this lad is good, he can play'.

During his four seasons on Merseyside, Kirkland made just 45 appearances due to his injury problems, resulting in another loan move to West Brom last season.
- Chris Kirkland on Sporting Life Website

Someone please help this man! How he finds the strength to go on, is way beyond me.

On a lighter note; I now know why Idian housewives in the Parklands part of Nairobi are known for indulging in illicit relationships with their shamba boys and watchmen. Wouldn't you if your man was part of the itty-bitty committee??