Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Merry Christmas everyone! Do I have to say good week everybody? Pish! I don’t care. All I know is that I am so excited about today mostly because I am sharing it with you my folks. I am going to be as irreverent as I want to be, I am going to write and probably break as many writing rules as I want to, because I don’t care! I have had the toughest and most depressing week. I have plenty of challenges still hounding me at my door but here’s the amazing thing. I have God! I have God who’s ALWAYS got my back, who never gives up on me no matter how stupid i get. He will flog me o, make no mistake, and it hurts when He does! But, with His other hand He wipes my tears and tells me it’s because He loves me and wants the very best for me; and i have always had the best, even when I’ve had little. I’m in a career i love so much, that feeds me. I haven’t done as many movies as my cotemporaries but the few I’ve done have given me a good name. I am not rich yet am very wealthy. I have a blog where I get to express myself and share with readers who love to read what I have to say. All this is a tip of the iceberg of what is to come. I have so much to look forward to I want to fly to the heavens. I couldn’t have asked for a better lesson to learn at this point in my life before I enter the incredible blessings that await me next year. In fact na una de celebrate Ekerisimesi (Christmas for the uninitiated). I don enter 2012 since yesterday! Make una dey dia!

First thing I’m going to do after getting rid of you guys is I’m going to pounce on a soundly sleeping Frieda. I love it when she wakes up startled – she likes sleeping on her tummy, hehehe- looks around confused, gives the lamest attempt at protesting – she’s the worst actress ever – settles in with a small smile and starts purring like a lazy cat as I start to intensify my administrations. Fly hands fly! Don’t worry folks, she did the same to me last night - I was asleep too! Fly hands fly!

After the expenditure I shall take a thirty minute nap, wake up, take a shower and begin to plot whose houses I’m going to raid. I will of course be putting the homes with the best of cooks at the top of my priority list. Only homes full of love and warmth but with not so adept culinary skills will top the former, however I will do my best to enjoin the latter to join forces with the former to make for a laudable success. And just so I don’t appear inconsiderate, I shall be armed with a bottle of wine for each household; a pretence of a fair exchange to mask the stealth predator that I am. I shall of course endeavour not to drive as i plan on being properly inebriated in the course of the night – safely ensconced among friends of course. Fly hands fl... oh heck!

Whoooo! That was fantastic! Sorry guys, couldn’t wait. Off now for my thirty minute slumber. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Have a great year everyone!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

This Coming Christmas...

Bam bam biyam bam bam… Top of the week to everyone! Don’t mind me please, I have, for some reason been humming the old song by Rihanna all evening. Don’t bother asking me the name or the words of the song because I don’t know and probably never will. This is coming from the lips of someone who nursed a dream of becoming a rock star at the age of six. Thanks to my Igbo father, that dream only saw the four walls of almost every bathroom I took my shower in and was always left there. I did however, have the privilege of meeting someone who actually defied her conservative Nigerian parents’ expectations of what a good Nigerian girl should be; subservient, have a safe professional job, provide both families with a huge litter of kids and give her parents a grand funeral when they’ve passed on.

Faith plays my character’s other love interest in the movie being shot at the moment. She’s one of the most effervescent ladies I have met who affects one almost instantly with her bubbly nature upon meeting her. I mean how many Nigerian women travel widely around the world for reasons other than shopping or hustling – and by hustling I mean honest, legal enterprise which,contrary to negative opinion, is what most of our wonderful ladies do? Faith travels widely on excursions, professional gigs and even skiing trips. Talk about breaking the norm. she had the gumption to stand up to her parents and do what she always wanted to do – music of the rock genre, and is actually very good at it. Like a smart Naija babe too, she made sure she bagged a good university degree, started a business that currently runs itself before gallivanting the length and breadth of the globe in pursuit of her dream. Youth reading this, please take note and be smarter than me. I’m meeting up with her later this week over coffee and that I am looking forward to.

Christmas is almost upon us and from the way things are, it looks like I’ll be spending my Christmas here in the US. I can’t seem to get a flight to Lagos earlier than the 28th so I’m looking to make the rest of my stay here in the States as eventful as possible. Fortunately, I tracked down two friends I haven’t heard from in a while; one’s in New York and the other’s in Dallas. I’m opting for the one in Dallas because my cousin lives there as well and it’s the warmer of the two. Even if I do go there, I wonder what the difference will be apart from the routine stuffing of one’s belly with food and drink; the very reason I want to run away from this place where I am. One of the greatest crimes one can commit, as I learnt from Thanksgiving, is to refuse people’s generous offer of food, especially as it is often a gesture of love in our African culture. Perhaps if we lived in the Roman times when there were vomiting troughs for the relief of overstuffed bellies so their owners could return to their gluttony, it would be a different matter, but my ever slowing metabolism dictates the pace these days.

As I sit here in this gray winter in Minnesota I keep asking myself what one does for amusement in this weather that does not involve drinking, eating, clubbing or the cinema? Ice fishing? Hunting? I can’t even shoot a catapult let alone a - Wait a minute! That’s it! I can go learn how to shoot at a shooting range! And then next time I come, I can take up hunting! Thanks guys, I got it; I got my mojo back! Now I can go to bed. No, I’ll do that after watching two more episodes of Family Guy and Robot Chicken. Have a great week everyone!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Snow Driven

Good week everybody. I hope you do have a good week because mine is not starting very well here. I am very nervous and I have good reason to be. In a few hours’ time I will be driving out in the typically sedate Minneapolis traffic to run some errands since I will not be on set today. The difference between today and the typically boring Minnesota traffic is that it snowed here last night. What I go out there to face on the icy roads is a stark reminder of the terror I faced two weeks ago, and the new perception I have of the Minnesota driving experience.

I am an avid driving enthusiast. I love to drive in all environs and strive to do so in whatever country I visit, just so I can get a feel of the pulse of its natives. The added challenge of driving on the left hand side of the road, which is the case when I travel to countries like the UK, is one, or mad cities like Paris where cars are used to nudge other cars – with their occupants still inside them- out of the way so they can fit better into parking spaces , or the mad mad Lagos traffic where the proclivity to having an accident is almost entirely dependent upon whether one has a loud functioning car horn or not. Like I said before, Minnesota traffic is boring. One never exceeds the set speed limits on its roads without the risk of getting speed tickets from bored policemen under pressure from overstaffed stations to rake in as much revenue as possible to be able to keep their jobs. Roads are wide and the traffic is sparse. Rush hour in Minnesota means driving ten miles (sixteen kilometres) in twenty minute; in Lagos, rush hour means driving sixteen kilometers in three hours. And traffic jam? Well, let me put it this way. On my way home one day, I hit a traffic jam not two kilometres from my home. Since I was already near, I relaxed, unperturbed, and waited. Three hours and two hundred metres later and almost tearing my hair out in frustration, I pulled over to the side and went into a peppersoup joint. Two odekus (big stout) and two bowls of goat meat peppersoup later, I got into my car and got back in line three cars behind the car that was right behind me when I pulled over at the joint TWO hours earlier. Enough said.

You can then understand my low opinion of the Minnesotan rush hour which Benitez, our operational manager who takes us about to places we need to go, continuously complains about; that is until a few weeks ago when the snow finally fell for the first time. It fell on a Saturday, as had been precisely predicted by the weather forecasters five days earlier and as always, the soft look of the brilliant white sheet over everything thrilled everyone in the room; everyone but the battle hardened drivers in the group who knew what the fluffy innocent sheets portended. We drove out unto the crunchy ice of the just fallen snow on the quiet side streets jabbering animatedly. There were four of us in the car and the plan was to drop the other two passengers off before me because I lived the furthest away. We turned the corner into the main road listening to a tale of some vitriolic prima donna who loved to give waiters a hard time when suddenly we noticed the two cars in front of us were struggling to stop. We followed suit and to our horror, well my horror actually, realized we were on a smooth sheet of ice and car wasn’t going to stop. I watched mesmerized as our vehicles slewed all over the place and ours finally came under control when our quick thinking Benitez turned the wheel towards the pavement (sidewalk) brushing the tyres against the kerb, giving us much needed traction and bringing us to a complete stop. My participation in that conversation ended there. My next and continuous focus of interest was the traffic around me, half expecting to be rammed into from behind by some heavy truck or being T-boned by some out-of-control vehicle that couldn’t stop at the lights. In the course of our two and a half hour journey we observed no less than six serious accidents on the road – it was later to climb to a record four hundred and eighty by the next day). Amidst all this, cars kept whizzing past us like it was summer. I will not lie to you, I was scared **itless.

As I make up my mind to venture going out there on my own, I do with nervousness and a certain thrill of adventure. If others can do it, well so can i. I will not go out there armed with foolishness though; I have asked for tips on how to drive on black ice and how best to control my vehicle when the inevitable occurs. Finally I don’t bloody care what anybody thinks; I am going to drive like a ninety year old grandpa out there. Pray for me somebody and see you hopefully next week. Have a great week everybody!