Happy Birthday, Cumin!

Today was a lovely day. Fantastic birthday 🙂

I’ve made a big song and dance on Twitter about it; complete with wishlist ten days ago. It’s not like me to put myself out there (self-deprecating humour and self-effacing behaviour are pretty standard) but it didn’t kill me to say, “Hey, I’d like this.”

Today, I had a wonderful time and this in the context of a great day with one of my best friends yesterday and another lined up for tomorrow. One’s birthday is one of the few times a year when they are allowed to have the spotlight on them. It was a nice to be treated specially but not to be the centre of attention.

Here’s to a lovely year ahead; may it be memorable.

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Your New Year Resolutions Are Doomed To Fail. Here’s Why.

A guest post by Barbara

It’s been more than a fortnight now since the New Year arrived and we were once again plagued with thoughts of the goals we’d like to accomplish this year (dear Jesus let me accomplish just one thing on this list). And once again, sadly but surely, we are doomed to fall into the rut of trying, failing, trying, failing and then finally resigning ourselves to failure.  

Come on. You know who you are.

The reason why our New Year Resolutions always fail is quite simple. They’re made in the New Year. Why, pray thee, must you wait 365 days to decide what changes you ought to be making in your life? Why, pray thee, do you somehow believe that the power of a fresh year is all you need to propel you into achievement? Sure, it helps to have a clean slate, but if a clean slate is all we have, then folks, we don’t have much. It’s like expecting Ernest Hemingway to channel through your fingers simply because you have a pencil and a blank sheet of paper in front of you.

Now, let’s not throw out the baby with the bathwater. It is helpful to have that pencil and the blank sheet of paper. Now all that remains to happen is as simple as it is arduous:

Do the work.

Want to lose weight and get ripped? Do the work.

Want to learn something new and dominate the class? Do the work.

Want to be a success and be a real boss? …

Expect to sweat, plan to lose sleep and prepare to flex your muscles. Make a do-able plan and actually DO IT. Every. Single. Day.

Note: I asked folks on Twitter & Facebook to contribute to the cause that is #CuminWrites366. Barbara is the first contributor to be published; here’s to many more and Thank You Barbara!

Happy, the movie

Just watched a movie about being happy at PAWA254. Now listening to Eiji Han Shimizu who was part of the team that made the film (he does manga, too!).

It made me happy because I was with Trish ♥ & Nani & I ended up sitting next to an AIESEC friend.

Also, so many things resonated and it spoke to a part of me that’s been feeling like happiness was out of reach.

Cheat sheet: personal growth, close family and friends, & a sense of community. That’s it; that’s what you need for 40% of your happiness portion. Because 50% is down to genetics & 10% is all about exercise and being active.

Also, meditating on compassion and loving-kindness; which is something I struggle with. So, yes, mindfulness.

Watch it, if you can. It was really good.

Death by prose | Sticking your middle finger in its face, you may see the world smile

Yesterday I saw a sign that informed people at the train station that ‘Failure to buy a ticket for a trip will result in prose-cution’ and the only thing I could think of was Prose+execution=prose-cution. Don’t tell me; it’s a random way to emerge from my cocoon.

Here’s my attempt at staying alive:

You say to me

FUCK what the world says about this and that

[excuse your french]

You want to be with me

 

And because of that

[F- to what these and those people

Say about how we should be]

Serenade is a rude word

Talking to another man

-Like that-

Is not kosher

 

But what does the world say?

He’s not that into you

-Does he call you (not?)

-Does he text you (often?)

-Do you love the feel of his lips on yours (so good they are,. So supple?)

 

You’ve got a fast car

But I’m not sure I’ll enjoy the ride

I am of the world

I have not the rectitude your love demands

 

I want-

information

Breath(lessness)

travel partner

Loverfriend

 

I’m as good at silence

As you are at communication

We are good-

We take each other as we are

No newandimproved

Just takeitorleaveit

 

Let’s run off to an island

Where we’ll be together

-Always

No questions, doubts

No worldly expectations

 

I have asked for little

I have not had a surfeit

[how that word sounds like a frothing over]

 

I want more

A few of my favorite things

I got this cover of the original song from ‘Sound of Music’ and I couldn’t resist 🙂

So here’s a list (for when I forget 🙂 )

  1. Music: Well, who doesn’t? There’s always that song that captures your mood, lifts your spirit, expresses what you can’t put into words…ah, music
  2. Silly stuff…: Wouldn’t measure up to randomness if all I did was the serious stuff, now would I? Would I??? *wearing maniacal ‘ANSWER ME!’ look* I thought not!
  3. Punctuality: Am I the only one who doesn’t enjoy waiting? It really gets my goat [I love that expression]
  4. Affirmation: Anyone who’s been tuning in for episodes might have noticed this but there, I said it. I think we all like that someone to (sort of) vindicate us [I used to love that word when I was 16…I wonder why…]
  5. Hugs: I’m a sucker for those…as is one Mo…who I have not heard from for yonks. He’s great with hugs…him & X (most times, sometimes they feel cursory-I *do not* like cursory hugs) & 2BF5 & Jay (his are really awesome, they involve spinning me round and round-usually in malls…fun times)
  6. Communication: I talked about this in my last post. How I’ll stop nagging X about that topic but I’ll state it here for the record: I try to communicate with people but a reticence on your part really won’t earn you any favours. It turns out being in a relationship with the non-communicator makes me tetchy. Enough said. I find that it’s so easy you simply have no reason not to (other than you don’t want to, pure and simple in which case I get a hint!) reply to e-mail, texts, messages…pick the phone (Quite passive, you see) but what I really cherish is the active communicator. The one who sends the e-mail/text/message…the one who calls. One of the many reasons why I love 2BF5…
  7. The world & all in it: I really love this planet. It’s so tiny and yet so large in terms of the diversity you find in it. Aah, I love you Mother Earth & I love you World 🙂
  8. A person who gets along with my friends: As you might have gathered, my friends are pretty all-sorts (Understatement of the Century) so I quite like folks who can get along with most of my friends. I can assure you, ALL is pushing it quite a tad…
  9. Kisses: I love me a good smooch, I do. Those ones that take you away…especially in my dreams where I’ve had lots of those as opposed to real life where I’m saving all my love [cue Whitney Houston pre-drugs singing ‘Saving All My Love’] (and my kisses, too, apparently) for The One [capitalisation is of utmost importance-this is not an issue one can toy with :D]. I think all the Latin men I have watched have raised the bar-I better not be disappointed 🙂 Couldn’t help throwing in this video for entertainment’s sake:
  10. Touch: I speak a language called Touch. What it means is that if you want to communicate how you feel about me, touching me is a good option. Also, I only touch people I like. If I have had physical contact with you, be assured, I like you. Though of course anyone who thinks of a hug as touch had latched on this 🙂
  11. Honesty: No matter how bad the truth is, Just Say It! It’ll be that much worse when I discover it. It really grinds my gears when I practically have to drag information out of someone. Really, if you’d told me we’d have moved that much faster…
  12. Transparency: No, not TI, that body those of us in some parts of Africa associate with damning corruption reports but rather saying it as it is. Obfuscation is so irritating… Yes, I can hear you saying I said honesty above but how else was I going to throw in ‘obfuscation’? 😀
  13. A good listener: Who doesn’t love a good listener? Also the person who doesn’t tune out (yes, it’s you I’m talking to, you know yourself..) They’re so hard to find…but also so valuable once you do…
  14. Compliments: Just not about my hair…J/K I loooove compliments so I give them quite freely. I know more than one girl who has been left wondering about my orientation but I love compliments so if you see me, you know what to do 🙂
  15. A love of family: My family means a lot to me so institutions, people, who respect family count for a lot to me…Viva la familia!
  16. Food: I love food, really I do. I plan meals in advance, I walk halfway across town for food offers, I explore a new culture through its food. I wouldn’t go as far as calling myself a gourmand like one Mo has, but hey 🙂

Part of the reason I wrote this is because I lost my uncle yesterday and I thought about how loss occurs so easily and how forgetting is something that we are all susceptible to. My next post will be listless [no, not in the ‘she looked listless’ sense :D] but this is for memories’ sake.

Also, this blog sometimes veers into ‘Love Jude‘ territory-that being the title of a book where the blogger/diarist is obsessed with her boyfriend Oren & every post is about him. I saw that in myself when I re-read it the other day. Hilarious though it is, I spend a lot of time talking about X and maybe, as a book called ‘Sex & Sensibility’ by some Christian bloke called Steve Ayers suggests, my other relationships suffer as a result.

Situation shall be rectified.

🙂

To round it all off, here’s Makmende, the Kenyan phenomenon spun by an experimental Kenyan group (too funny, *they* describe themselves as such), Just  A Band, that has supposedly gone viral. Enjoy & I’ll catch you later 🙂

Functional Dysfunction

(Or ‘How to stay chaste in an oversexed world’)

So I’ve realised I’m a nag. Really, I am. I have the ability to talk about, and pursue, one topic past the point where anyone is interested. I’m turning into my mother…not a source of mirth but hey, it’s better than turning into say, a troll (amongst other things) Scratch that, my mum’s pretty awesome so…..but I digress.

Now, my favourite nagopic (nag meets topic to create) is communication. I can talk about it forever with Mr Man, aka X. The poor guy has heard so many versions of the same thing till he probably recites what I say (my repertoire of lines is that limited) but I found a new one over the weekend. It’s not going to be good for him…especially considering what I’m going on about… [Edit 24.3.10 I spoke to X yesterday and promised him I’d stop with the nagging…a long-term birthday gift, if you will, being as it was his big day]

Now, to stay chaste in an oversexed world, I recommend:

#1 Staying away from your preferred gender (I’m being inclusive here): Em, once you start, you can’t stop… Not that I would know but humour me..

#2 Running (yes, I know I said running) away from erotic dancers. Here I can speak with authority… On Saturday I had the pleasure of spending time with a friend I’ll call 2BF5 (ask not..OK, ask later) who is one raunchy dancer. But, as I have a little, umm, shall we say, ‘situation’, the dancing was terribly unsettling. A girl has urges….don’t stoke them!! I should have run, but he’s so much fun (woop! woop! we had us a rhyme there) so I stayed through the torture, the pain, the agony, and the shaking pelvis (grinding is more like it but let’s not even go there) Torture!!!

#3 Not talking about ‘It’ in any form. Really, it works. As long as you don’t discuss how your boyfriend is the last person that would be your baby’s father were you to fall pregnant (this is not to say I have had this conversation with anyone….) you’re almost home dry. It’s as easy as it sounds, except for the exclusion. The exclusion only succeeds at making the said boyfriend sound umm, incapable 😉

#4 Read the Bible or similar religious book (but let’s speak of the Bible for the purpose of this post):  Really!! Think of all the punishment that awaits you, ignore any offers of forgiveness from God and keep your legs clamped. It may take some effort (reading the Bible in my case) and you might end up like Shoshannah (not real name, to protect the privacy of the (now) long dead) but TOUGH! Man up! Or the female equivalent of manning up…

It’s been long, my next post will be longer…

I hope…but take my advice 😀

Nishike pole pole mimi ni bibi ya wenyewe

Which loosely translates to: Hold me slowly, I am the wife of others

I turned 21 on Saturday, 30th January.

I had an interesting day….Or rather, an interesting 3 days 🙂

January 29th: I begged a phone off my friend E, saw a Facebook post by my friend that’s usually referred to as SSS (Sole Soul Sister) and called her. Yes, I would have wine and chocolate with her (yes, my non-drinking self would have wine and chocolate, stop staring 🙂 ) and yes, she could sleep in my room as part of that ritual called ‘The Sleepover’. Signpost in my head: This Way To Fun Times. I met her and her friend Charles, an amiable guy, after her boyfriend of 2 years (time is important, just keep reading) left her in my care. We went to the food court at the mall we were at, I told them a funny X-related story, and we bought wine after unsuccessfully trying to buy soda. Translation: We left the soda in the trolley for so long, the guys at the supermarket (wisely) decided we didn’t want it 😀 We met Jay & Co, went back to the supermarket….and the 2 of us ended up in my room 😉 he he he

It was interesting… Around her I am not reticent…at all. I didn’t need the tongue-loosening powers of wine to get me talking. About how down I had been in the 1.5 years we had been apart. About X. I’ve known her for the last 7 years and in a sense she is me…I can trust her. That, for me, counts for a lot. And she let me speak about how the absence of [intense] physical displays of affection in my relationship with X had got me confused, should we say bewildered. That >6 months into it, all we had done is hold hands…And here was a person saying that which I had wanted so badly to hear: Let it be…don’t rush it and look back and think to yourself: This, not that, is the right moment [though I momentarily forgot her advice the next day]. Everyone around me, minus my twin, has created the impression that the absence of a make-out session up to this point signals the presence of a malfunction in my sentiments for this boy, a quirk on his part….[not that my virginity pledge doesn’t complicate issues]… I was happy to know she has been happy. Because as the person I could always trust to pull me out of the doldrums, I wanted; need, actually; her happy. And she is. I’m not playing catch-up again 🙂

January 30th: I woke up on the morning of the birthday to the presence of SSS, A gift I have not received since she transferred schools when she was 16 & I 15. It was a better gift than any I could have asked for. Having X call me to meet him close to my hall of residence [“Meet me Halfway”]

and meeting him… E and SSS had met the day before [during the time at the mall] so when E came, they had time to bond after SSS had had time to speak to X. X & I were left in my room, I snoozed, E & SSS waited for almost an hour and IT happened.

IT: My roommate’s best friend walking in on me sleeping with X lying next to me. We looked so chaste; almost like 6 year old cousins having their Sunday nap on the same bed. My 4 year old cousin & I have had scenes like that, my 9 year old brother…no biggie. I had my eyes closed [not least because I was asleep], he didn’t…no cause for her reaction. Effusive apologies, almost like she had found us doing SOMETHING [your mind is now allowed to wander…] and the humour of the situation not being lost 🙂  SSS & E called me post-bonding and I went off to the city (all of 10 minutes away) to get drinks for my party-let as well as meet Marie & our mutual friend I.

Marie, X, I & I all headed to the Nairobi National Museum [a great place to have any sort of event…] where J, her boyfriend K [no jokes], her friend S, and our friend B were waiting for us…Getting high on soda is a plan; as X and my previous run-ins with Coca Cola products have shown.  We drank litres of the stuff, played random games, got to know each other, talked, made fun of each other & made up for lost (friendship) time. I was told, by J, how after a series of arguments she had urged K to ‘court her’ a romantic notion that included chasing her like the past months hadn’t happened. X & I clocked 7 months on my birthday and J was tired 2 months into her relationship & SSS had logged 2 years in one relationship. Time is so fleeting and yet we attach so much to it…

We all walked (I joke not, past 1800) to the city centre-ish with Marie & I walking in front of us. J asked me for more than a year if X and I were going out and the answer never changed: No. But our body language, mirrored so clearly in my friends’, said it all. We liked each other….a lot 😉 J had asked me what the deal was but being as I had asked the girl half and it had said pretty much nothing,  I wasn’t pushing it. Oh, but after we had walked into the city & were about to order dinner, they decided to leave. There’s never been a moment, surrounded by friends, as awkward as J asking them if they were dating…and them saying yes….*cue jaw drop*

How now? when I had tried subtly? But being as the guys (X & I) had hit it off at an earlier meeting, I got to pry [If J can, why can’t I…J/K] and asked the question that had such heat in my  brain  I could almost feel its searing effect: When did this happen? Or was I always blind (Yes)? X & I walked them to the corner, dinner was had & we went to a club. This after Jay, happily gay, had come over and had conversation & strangeness with J & K (who X & I have beaten at the awesomeness that is ‘vogueing’, thank you very much) being all over each other. Jay was hard-pressed to understand how our straight selves were going to go to a club that attracts the gay crowd sans him… But go we did.

Post K having a talk with me about ‘taking care of J’ before he left, we went to the club. On our way there it was revealed that one of X’s friends [a member of AIESEC, the organisation that he is-I did not stutter] tended bar there. Before I forget, X became President of his AIESEC chapter (coincidentally, the code for the organisation within the organisation is the letter X) and I almost died-of pride. Seriously…Which some people would say is a good thing 🙂 She was so happy to meet me, his friend, saying that it felt good to finally meet me post-X’s conversations about me. And she was pleasantly surprised to realised he has friends outside AIESEC [remember, earlier, I did not stutter?] and we had an interesting time that included me getting a call from my mum & jokily telling her I was out with X getting drunk (“take care of yourself”) [that was the night before :D]. This didn’t last long as the crowd sought by J & B was elsewhere & so J’s friend K, her boyfriend J & the rest of us left.

X left us at the entrance of the 2nd club [we would later sing ‘Another one bites the dust” when Kate’s J left]  and we went and had unbelievable fun. Which included guys hitting on K after her boyfriend left & not single B. Which was an improvement on the joke that was the last time we had gone out together when, with my relationship with X now declared to J, she had repeatedly fended off the men that tried hitting on me by insisting that I had a boyfriend [though stated as, “Yeye ana bwana”-she has a husband :D]. We left that club because of J’s insistence.

The one we went to had an age limit that the lady at the door imagined up at the sight of us [23 & over-who ever heard of that?] and we ended up at the club we had gone to for B’s 22nd on the night of the 8th/9th. We-J & I- (you have to believe this) fell asleep & in the end J went to her hostel (my & B’s former residence) & I put B up for the night. Thankfully, my roommate hadn’t been in on those 2 days, sparing all the parties involved the awkwardness of a shared bed…

Sunday January 31st: I woke up to lock the door after B left, lay on my bed and showered & ate in time to look calm when X came to watch Woody Allen’s ‘Vicky Cristina Barcelona’, the first of his films we are (were?-English is confusing…) to watch together. We were originally meant to watch ‘Sherlock Holmes’ at the theatre but a conglomeration of factors meant that we started on our list… The twin & X had an awkward moment when I left him to get VCB & she went to my room to pick her book without my informing her of his presence. But it was OK in the end…with X remarking on the film’s ‘European’ qualities…

This past weekend rocked…the CAT I had today, that I aced, couldn’t cast a shadow on it… The small moments (my uncle-who calls me his ‘niece & friend’-calling me, my friend & I planning a post-birthday lunch in lieu of her presence) the ones that made the day what it was, the time spent with X (so hard to get since I became a First Lady 😉 )….I had a great time…

And about X & I not being physical…I couldn’t have said it better than SSS did… I want something to happen,  I’d like for something to happen…but I have the sense to know that rushing matters won’t make for a great ride and so while I wait [need I say ‘hopefully’?], I shall enjoy all the beauty of my life & the joy of my love 🙂

PS Mo, I wish you’d been around…it would have been like the Ribena ad with the blackcurrant that can no longer contain itself…its goodness just overwhelms it… We miss you…