Sunday, September 15, 2013

Human after all

I don't know what you did this weekend, but mine was probably the laziest weekend I've had in a while. Staying up till late, playing Scramble with Friends, eating Ofada or 'designer stew' with white bread, yeah, whole grain took over my diet for two years now, drinking wine and dancing my body and soul away in front my TV to Michael Jackson's hits.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

11 things I hate about you

  1. Your name of Amoge has made you versatile and creative.
  2. There is hardly anything you cannot do if you put your mind to it, but a driving urge leads you to one experience after another, seldom finishing what you start.
  3. You cannot find peace of mind or lasting contentment in anything you do.
  4. As soon as a challenge is met, boredom sets in, and you yearn for another experience.
  5. This restlessness makes it difficult for you to assume responsibility and to establish stable, progressive conditions in your life.
  6. You could do well in sales work or in meeting the public where quickness of mind and expression are all important.
  7. You have many friends, but lose interest in people very quickly.
  8. Your intense mental activity spoils system and concentration, and plays havoc with relaxation and sleep.
  9. Out of your quick thinking has been borne hasty speech.
  10. Acting on impulse instead of with forethought has led to many disappointments and bitter experiences.
  11. Your whole nervous system could be affected by the intense emotional influence of this name.

What one website said about people who go by Amoge, my middle name. I'm not taking it personal.

Well, you got served!

Photo credits: Andrew Zimmern

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Quote Unquotes: Frequent Flyers and Jersey Accents

"I'm gonna be real honest with you and I don't want you to judge me. I don't know you and I don't want to get to know you. I've been watching you and I think you are sexy and beautiful. You're from Georgia and I live in Philly and I don't believe in long distance relationships. I don't want a relationship. I've had so much craziness in my life and I just wanna move forward. Right now, we're both out here in California and I just want to get all the craziness behind me and have fun. I want to have sex with you."

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Birthday Shout-out

TFY* and birthday wishes to my dear friend Patrick O.A. Over the last year, we have made more fun and career building memories in this city than we did in all our five years of undergrad. Happy birthday, bighead.

*Thunder Fire You, PatrickSpeak.

Entebbe and Idi Amin's Uganda

The infamous Operation Entebbe with simple, everyday people on board an aircraft. Instincts, gut feelings and still small voices would inspire decisions, or indecision. 
One or more would arrive late at the international airport, and having being delayed by traffic, miss their flight and go back home disappointed, if not frustrated.
One or more would curse the TSA under their breath and wish they could shunt the good-for-nothing-else-but-wasting-time airport security queues. 
For one or more, some stroke of luck, or God, would cause them to reschedule or cancel this reservation.
And all the others, 248 of them, would board the Air France flight. 
Maybe it would be someone's first time of flying in all his 60 years on earth. 
Or it would be someone's qualifying flight to reach a frequent flyer status.
Or someone was going to ask a friend to become a lover. 
Or a couple going to their honeymoon destination.
Or a group of friends taking a vacation, or spring break.
Or someone was pregnant.
Or someone had a fallout with a friend and was going to make amends when she got back ...
Simple, everyday people.

Okay, imagination aside, maybe I watch too many movies. That was me trying to identify with situations and emotions; how human beings tend to act just before a life changing or perhaps, even a life claiming event. I was reading an article about travel, and for some reason, the word "Entebbe" popped up in my mind. It made me drift for a moment and embark on thought-train routes into a classified military operation that became part of world history. I read that the hijackers of that airplane were Germans and Palestinians, which made a most nefarious yet perfect tag team with sworn animosity towards Jews and Israelis. I wonder what was in it for Uganda though and what made Idi Amin collude on 'staging' the operation, so to speak. That, I'm not very clear on.

Growing up, Idi Amin was a man who scared the wits out of me because I had seen a movie which portrayed him as a cannibal. My dad had a VHS tape called, 'The Rise and Fall of Idi Amin' and for the longest, I didn't even know it was a movie. This was of course before I understood that movies were acted. It was seemed very real to me. I had thought someone managed to record everything this evil man was doing. To this day, I remember a clip where he opened his fridge to show a human head stored inside, and another clip where he sliced someone's ear and put it in his mouth. Sick. But anyway, a most fascinating part I later read (believe me, in a sick way), apart from the numbers, hundreds of thousands of civilians that were killed in his regime, was this soi-disant title of Idi Amin's:

"His Excellency, President for Life, Field Marshal Al Hadji Doctor Idi Amin Dada, VC, DSO, MC, Lord of All the Beasts of the Earth and Fishes of the Seas and Conqueror of the British Empire in Africa in General and Uganda in Particular"

What a man. What a tyrant. What a terror.

Stories of men who misuse their authority, abuse people, and make such mockery of the term 'leadership' in Africa make one's skin crawl and many a time, I dare to imagine what life would have been like, in a different era. While my own day may still be a long road from perfect, it has come a long way from political unrest and unthinkable turmoil that older generations and even my own parents witnessed in a civil war. It's an unending occurrence of historical events, leadership and the world revolving that makes for progeny, and I as write this post, I light a candle for Jonathan 'Yoni' Netanyahu. Jared Angira's No Coffee, No Grave also comes mind, where the Kenyan poet writes:

who could signal yellow
when we had to leave politics to the experts
and brood on books
brood on hunger
and schoolgirls
grumble under the black pot
sleep under torn mosquito net
and let lice lick our intestines
the lord of the bar, money speaks madam
woman magnet, money speaks madam
we only cover the stinking darkness
of the cave of our mouths
and ask our father who is in hell to judge him
the quick and the good

Photo credits: Wikipedia

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Midas Well

Are we blogging about food now?
Yea, we midas well.
In the spirit of reading, eating, traveling. Stuck between healthy eating, and guilty pleasure calories.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

That's What He Said

So I did;
Give me
Wants, Whims,
Good, Bad,
Greed, Needs.
You withheld.
Only in Your time.

Again I did;
Show me
And in my wait time,
Comes growing faith
And building trust.
I learn patience.

As always, I do;
Prune me
You always give what I need.
Let me have it
But only when You've made it beautiful,
Like You do with all things
In Your Time.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Only In America - Punxsutawney Phil

I could not believe what I heard on the news today, actually caught on the Wall Street Journal. A prosecutor filed a criminal indictment against a groundhog, who happens to go by the name Punxsutawney Phil. Phil’s crime? It predicted an early spring which turned out to be fraudulent. And this so happened to make headlines, that the rodent was to be pardoned and the blame would be transferred to the Phil’s handler.

*Punxsutawney Phil - a groundhog, resident of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. On February 2 (Groundhog Day) of each year, the town of Punxsutawney celebrates the beloved groundhog with a festive atmosphere of music and food. During the ceremony, Phil emerges from his temporary home on Gobbler's Knob, located in a rural area about 2 miles (3.2 km) east of town. According to the tradition, if Phil sees his shadow and returns to his hole, he has predicted six more weeks of winter-like weather. If Phil does not see his shadow, he has predicted an "early spring." The date of Phil's prognostication is known as Groundhog Day in the United States and Canada. He is considered to be the world's most famous prognosticating rodent. During the rest of the year, Phil lives in the town library with his "wife" Phyllis.

I'd rather you tagged me (or my ignorance) un-American, but I must say I am amazed at the ridiculousness of this whole scenario. What?! It's really tempting to insert a clip from Sweet Brown, who woke up to go get a cold pop, and then thought somebody was barbequeing. "I said, 'Oh, Lord Jesus, it's a fire!' Then I ran out. I didn't grab no shoes or nothing, Jesus, I ran for my life. And then the smoke got me, I got bronchitis! ...'" AIN'T NOBODY GAT TIME FOR DAT!

I guess it is safe to conclude that when such trivialities make headlines, it implies all is well in the land. After all, I have seen gas prices drop these past couple weeks from $3.89 per gallon to $3.45, employment in Georgia is presently seeing some economic victory with companies like Caterpillar erecting a $200 million factory and employing people in thousands, and General Motors making a comeback in Metro Atlanta this year, also recruiting, expanding and building new facilities. There's a lot of ongoing reconstruction and expansion on the GA state route 316. And just the other day on CNN's Piers Morgan Live, there was some rather dense talk about the TSA allowing knives back on airplanes, a policy that will take effect on April 25 this year, since terrorist groups reportedly know not to take a plane with a knife. So I guess, while Erin Burnett reports it's been 600 days since 'we' lost AAA, it's all peaches in the Peach state, and peaceful in Uncle Sam's land at the moment. 
Hey, what was I ranting about again? Nothing. Other than the fact that this year's spring is fraudulently cold, nothing.

Photo credits: Google Images

Thursday, March 21, 2013

World Poetry Day: For When He Held My Face

Shall it go down in history that I knew it was poetry day and failed to acknowledge it? Nope! And on this note, before the clock strikes 12, I present this painted soulful expression written by Ajike. Enjoy!

A little more gloss.
More smack.
More gloss.
This mirror. Or my eyes. Which?
What did it matter?
I was going to be with the one I believed loved me.
They said he'd like flowery,
He'd call me beautiful.

Tug, tug, pull, pull
The flowery dress did fit right
Except for the chest area
There was the jacket to take care of that.

Little flower blooming, if only you knew.
If only you knew to take a walk instead on lying cuddling up to him,
Like the many times you imagined him while you chatted.
He had nothing to entertain you with; thoughtless.
Do you not prepare to make someone you care about comfortable in your own home?
No, don't make mountains out of mole hills.
Sit pretty and enjoy his company.

He was back with something for you to drink.
What happens after is a blur but he holds your face and blurts out,
"You are not fine jor."

You still say it sometimes, not missing the last word.
Get that voice out of your head, darling.
That sinking feeling when he said,
"I do not see you in my waking and sleeping ..."
That, you appreciated; the honesty.
You would not have it any other way.

That feeling resurfaced, when he left you for another.
It was final and you knew to be wise,
To walk away from his offer of 'love.'
Love is not a decision you make without those feelings.
Men are crazy; crazy in love.
If he's not crazy, crazy for you at first,
He'll never grow crazy in love with you, ever.

But you know now to love yourself first.
What does it matter that you failed, that you made a mistake?
You learned to be vulnerable, to be human, to hope, to take a leap, 
To not wait to be perfect to love and be loved.
You are strange, and beautiful, and kind and special,
Something not everyone knows how to love.
Including you.

To growth and loving yourself first, Ajike.
Shine brighter!

For When He Held My Face by Ajike A., 2013.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Point of Return

These are the most profound lines I have read in a newspaper article. While reading the New York Times, the words from this paragraph resonated with me.

Deep calleth unto deep ...
Safe to say the novel Home hit home. I trash my old papers, but wouldn't throw this one out for almost a year; I had kept it from May last year until last weekend. I finally took a picture of the excerpt so I could posterise it, see it over and over again and stretch those words in my mind. 

Sunday Book Review, New York Times (by Leah Hager Cohen, May 20, 2012, Page BR1). Reviewing Toni Morrison’s novel, Home.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Everyone's Irish on March 17

This year, I had the funnest St. Patrick's day ever. I mean, how Irish can Lagos really get? I'll admit I did celebrate the day back home with a pint of Guinness; even a renounced Catholic like me knows to pay respects with the rest of the world. However, with that being said, there is absolutely no hedonic thrill in beer for me, which proves the good Sire Arthur Guinness had me in mind when he put his name on the malt bottles too. I therefore drink my beer un-fermented.

Well, St.Patrick's this year was different in more ways than one. With my soul uncontrolled by geography, I was miles and cultures away from Lagos, and I went celebrating with friends; a relatively diverse group of Africans, Asian and Americans of Irish descent.
With the winter cold giving way to the pleasant spring, the weather was warm and beautiful and were we glad to chuck our coats and boots for the skimpies; shorts, dresses, sandals. It was barely 2 p.m. and our host was mixing and serving up alcoholic drinks. Board games, Pizza boxes, crates of Blue Moons, Ginger Ale and Gin cocktails later, we were headed Downtown Athens.

Downtown, at the rooftop of the Georgia theatre, we had walked in on some guy's surprise birthday party. It was a party, I wanted cake and I didn't know the celebrant but I managed a hug from the birthday boy and a hat which had 'Happy Birthday 30' written on it. We made our way to a Vietnamese restaurant, and as we walked in, the waiter wished me a happy birthday. "She's 30 today," my crew cheered. By the time we were done with our meal, someone dimmed the lights and the restaurant staff actually came singing a birthday song and served me cake. So there I was celebrating my thirtieth birthday, only 3 and a quarter years early. Woozy and giggly, I was loving every moment.

There was a hookah bar, a taco shop and a Starbucks somewhere in the itinerary and our drinks were seemingly bottomless everywhere. The entire day was dictated by spontaneity, and in the spur of the moment, one of us wanted to go dancing and so we wound up at a club on Broad Street. Series of mojitos and other beverages later, we were on a stage doing the Harlem Shake (the Baauer one).

"Con Los Terroristas!" A member of our party starts staggering and that's our cue to exit. The guys are wasted, the girls are relatively sober, which meant we practically carried men to the car. Getting home and getting them out of the car was as dramatic as it was hilarious, but we made it. It so happened that all of our cellphones went dead right before the action, so we missed an excellent opportunity to make videos or even take pictures for future taunting. Talk about luck o' the Irish.

Photo credits: Google Images

Friday, February 22, 2013

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Athos, Porthos, Aramis

Once inseparable friends who lived by the "all for one, one for all" motto, memories, experiences and years down the line, point where a one-time musketeer decides his life could do with some detoxification and decides to let go of one of the three.

It’s a very awkward place to be. That point between friends, when friendships, once sweet, goes sour, one friend needs to detox and realises some 'friends' have to go. Struggling to avoid taking a biased stand and be fair to both parties when one bashes the other to your hearing. It’s a difficult position, Porthos most of the time makes a case against Athos and takes offense when Aramis won’t take his side.

Photo credits: Google Images

Friday, February 8, 2013

Lit-Rally Speaking

“Book collecting is an obsession, an occupation, a disease, an addiction, a fascination, an absurdity, a fate. It is not a hobby. Those who do it must do it. Those who do not do it, think of it as a cousin of stamp collecting, a sister of the trophy cabinet, bastard of a sound bank account and a weak mind.” 
                                                                                                                              ― Jeanette Winterson.

Literature is one of the ways I know to stay true and keep my inner child alive. It's my first love, first passion, first ambition and first sense of direction I ever had. As a child, I was sold; separating myself to handwrite books, magazines for kids my age and by the age of 10, I started my own reading club, gathering my classmates during recess. All this was before my mum told me I was smart enough to be a doctor and channeled my mindset and energy towards practising medicine. Few years down the line, I would wind up in the Sciences and eventually develop more than a liking, a degree and a career in Engineering. But through it all, I kept my 'Lit-thing' going.
Beyond new year's resolutions, I'm doing a lot more reading this year. I'm expanding the walls of my knowledge, my intellect, my library and my Amazon wishlist, waiting to be fulfilled hereYea, to (good Samaritans) whom it may concern :)
Only weeks ago, I picked up V.S. Naipaul's A House for Mr. Biswas and decided to read more works from Nobel Laureates. My style hasn't changed: good ol' paperbacks, hardcovers, and less of digital formats. It requires a level of discipline to give reviews of reading matter when done reading. I'm checking this list in no particular order and without an achieve-by date. In total, it's 106 ... and counting. If you have read all or any, have a review, I think it would be good to share.

Nobel Laureates in Literature
·         2012 - Mo Yan
·         2011 - Tomas Tranströmer
·         2010 - Mario Vargas Llosa
·         2009 - Herta Müller
·         2008 - Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clézio
·         2007 - Doris Lessing
·         2006 - Orhan Pamuk
·         2005 - Harold Pinter
·         2004 - Elfriede Jelinek
·         2003 - J. M. Coetzee
·         2002 - Imre Kertész
·         2001 - V. S. Naipaul
·         2000 - Gao Xingjian
·         1999 - Günter Grass
·         1998 - José Saramago
·         1997 - Dario Fo
·         1996 - Wislawa Szymborska
·         1995 - Seamus Heaney
·         1994 - Kenzaburo Oe
·         1993 - Toni Morrison
·         1992 - Derek Walcott
·         1991 - Nadine Gordimer
·         1990 - Octavio Paz
·         1989 - Camilo José Cela
·         1988 - Naguib Mahfouz
·         1987 - Joseph Brodsky
·         1986 - Wole Soyinka
·         1985 - Claude Simon
·         1984 - Jaroslav Seifert
·         1983 - William Golding
·         1982 - Gabriel García Márquez
·         1981 - Elias Canetti
·         1980 - Czeslaw Milosz
·         1979 - Odysseus Elytis
·         1978 - Isaac Bashevis Singer
·         1977 - Vicente Aleixandre
·         1976 - Saul Bellow
·         1975 - Eugenio Montale
·         1974 - Eyvind Johnson, Harry Martinson
·         1973 - Patrick White
·         1972 - Heinrich Böll
·         1971 - Pablo Neruda
·         1970 - Alexandr Solzhenitsyn
·         1969 - Samuel Beckett
·         1968 - Yasunari Kawabata
·         1967 - Miguel Angel Asturias
·         1966 - Shmuel Agnon, Nelly Sachs
·         1965 - Mikhail Sholokhov
·         1964 - Jean-Paul Sartre
·         1963 - Giorgos Seferis
·         1962 - John Steinbeck
·         1961 - Ivo Andric
·         1960 - Saint-John Perse
·         1959 - Salvatore Quasimodo
·         1958 - Boris Pasternak
·         1957 - Albert Camus
·         1956 - Juan Ramón Jiménez
·         1955 - Halldór Laxness
·         1954 - Ernest Hemingway
·         1953 - Winston Churchill
·         1952 - François Mauriac
·         1951 - Pär Lagerkvist
·         1950 - Bertrand Russell
·         1949 - William Faulkner
·         1948 - T.S. Eliot
·         1947 - André Gide
·         1946 - Hermann Hesse
·         1945 - Gabriela Mistral
·         1944 - Johannes V. Jensen
·         1943 - 1940: No Nobel Prize awarded this period
·         1939 - Frans Eemil Sillanpää
·         1938 - Pearl Buck
·         1937 - Roger Martin du Gard
·         1936 - Eugene O'Neill
·         1935 - No Nobel Prize awarded this period
·         1934 - Luigi Pirandello
·         1933 - Ivan Bunin
·         1932 - John Galsworthy
·         1931 - Erik Axel Karlfeldt
·         1930 - Sinclair Lewis
·         1929 - Thomas Mann
·         1928 - Sigrid Undset
·         1927 - Henri Bergson
·         1926 - Grazia Deledda
·         1925 - George Bernard Shaw
·         1924 - Wladyslaw Reymont
·         1923 - William Butler Yeats
·         1922 - Jacinto Benavente
·         1921 - Anatole France
·         1920 - Knut Hamsun
·         1919 - Carl Spitteler
·         1918 - No Nobel Prize awarded this year
·         1917 - Karl Gjellerup, Henrik Pontoppidan
·         1916 - Verner von Heidenstam
·         1915 - Romain Rolland
·         1914 - No Nobel Prize awarded this year
·         1913 - Rabindranath Tagore
·         1912 - Gerhart Hauptmann
·         1911 - Maurice Maeterlinck
·         1910 - Paul Heyse
·         1909 - Selma Lagerlöf
·         1908 - Rudolf Eucken
·         1907 - Rudyard Kipling
·         1906 - Giosuè Carducci
·         1905 - Henryk Sienkiewicz
·         1904 - Frédéric Mistral, José Echegaray
·         1903 - Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson
·         1902 - Theodor Mommsen
·        1901 - Sully Prudhomme

List culled from The Nobel Prize website