Friday, December 17, 2010

How I Learnt To Skate

Every time I set out to write a new post, it always turns out to be as much fun as startling a porcupine. 

Trying to write something becomes almost impossible since the pressure to write something better gets to me leaving me an emotional wreck fighting a possible case of low self esteem and hopelessness. To add to this cesspool of low self esteem induced writer’s block, I usually have to fight certain influences in my life that if left unchecked would ruin my life as I know it. Being the self proclaimed writer I am, I prefer writing letters to these influences, hoping that in some way I will maintain control over my already twisted life. I have to admit, some of these letters are a bit unnecessary. 

Others are a bit weird.

And others are, well, necessary.

So to make sure that I find something to write, I have been forced to seek alternative forms of inspiration (something that doesn’t involve sniffing glue). This time I was however, lucky. It seems inspiration was bored and decided to look for something interesting and found me (yes, I am cool like that).

I had decided to go visit a friend and talk about…well, nothing just talk and somewhere between awkward silence and habitual clock checking, my friend’s small sister, as if noticing my state of despair asked me a question that would forever change my life, dreams and aspirations. While I prefer to hide behind my pen and write about (read make fun of) what other people do, the excitement got the best of me and I found myself doing something I wouldn’t imagine myself doing even if Jessica Alba walked out of the ocean in her blue bikini and whispered in my ear (that was weirdly specific), did I say Jessica Alba? I meant girlfriend.

Anyway, my friend’s sister comes to me and asks, “You want to go outside and skate?” “Skate? Did she just say skate? As in S.K.A.T.E. skate?” I was so excited that I forgot the fact that I had never touched a pair of skates in my life, let alone skate. It was just like Jessica Alba had walked out of the ocean in her blue bikini, held me by the hand and asked me to play Call of Duty on PlayStation 3 with her (Do not make that face, the only thing better than  Jessica Alba is Jessica Alba playing video games with me)…again, I meant girlfriend.

At this point I was falling into a bottomless pit of childlike excitement. In less than 45 seconds I had pictured myself in the Olympics, beating all the racers, forget the fact that they had skated professionally probably since they were toddlers while I had skated  for months (at least in my head I had) winning medals and becoming the greatest skater of all time.

A few moments later I was brought back to earth by an eleven year old girl who could not understand why this adult was behaving like a monkey on steroids at the sight of skates. After putting on her skates, she helped me put mine on amid my unnecessary attempts to “help”. I think one of the reasons why skates excited me so much was because the looked like Robocop’s boots, and touching the robot cop’s shoes was like touching an angel’s wings. She then helped me get on my feet and this is where my dreams came crashing down into a million shards of disappointment forming a loathing for skating and all things on wheels. For the first several minutes I could not move. I looked like a dinosaur giving piggy back rides.

“Form a ‘V’ with your feet and walk towards me.” She said. “How about I take this evil contraptions off and walk away from you?!” “What?” she asks, “nothing” I say as I try and walk towards her like a duck at a Texas show down. All of a sudden I can’t move since my brain is clogged with rumblings coming from my mouth, which I think were prayers. It finally hits me; the only thing between me and death is 6 tiny wheels. “I am going to die!” “I am going to die!”  “I am going to die!” the constant recital of the fact that I think I am going to die increasingly frustrates my pre-teen tutor. “Shut up and walk towards me!!!” she says, her voice sounding like a demon possessed can opener.

By the time she's frustrated I've moved from being bald to an afro

Okay, one leg at a time, just like walking and…I was walking!!! “You see, you can skate.” She says as she glides around me like a freaking dandelion in the freaking wind. 

“Soon you’ll be skating like me…” No, soon you’ll be standing next to my hospital bed with doctors debating on how to put a cast on my broken butt!

A few tries later and I’m almost skating. My tutor looks pleased but I am pretty sure there’s a difference between skating and removing gum from the soles of my shoes. A few minutes later another friend comes and I am more than glad to take off the skates. I hand them over to him. No sooner does he put them on than I start yelling… “Form a ‘V’ with your feet and walk towards me.”

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Graduate of the Year Award Winner

For someone who only four years ago did not know what an anecdote was or which part of the world Cyprus is, I think I have done considerably well. Well, am sure you might have an idea of what an anecdote is, on the other hand you may belong to the category of people who will definitely fall into a slight depression after they google the word and realize it is not what they were so convinced it was - a vegetable, and then start questioning everything they know and realize that most of their life has been a series of wrong definitions and lies. By now, thanks to google, you have also confirmed that Cyprus, with a capital 'C' is a country and not a glorified tropical fruit. I however cannot blame you, I mean not everyone...knows things.

For some of us, knowing things means seeking knowledge and so about four years ago, I joined university. With all these big dreams and potential I walked the streets on campus, and just like all the great world academicians in their first year, spent a great amount of time trying to find out where the bathrooms were. I really do not understand why these very important facilities are the most hard to find, I mean...they are more important than class rooms if you ask me.

 Another great task was finding people I would call friends. After serious research and a series of interesting experiences, I realized that the term University is derived from the words 'Universe' and 'Insanity' mix the two and you have 'University'. The level of weirdness on campus is incomparable. I would not be surprised if some people were raised by wolves! It was in university that I saw for the very first time a man with straightened hair covering his eyes and blaming it on his emotions. If you ask me, the only straight thing about him was...well, his hair.

 It was also in university that I discovered the word 'culture shock', and not because it was taught in class, but out of the shock I got from what people call culture. Wearing torn clothes with scruffy hair and 'loud' jewelry is not culture, it's called being misplaced. At least that's what I thought in my first year, before I got my first pair of torn Jeans, lost my comb in my second year and became a revolutionary conscious rebel and member of the poetry club.

Only in university could you find those revolutionary poetry clubs convinced that poetry is all we need to solve all of earth's problems and that taaaalllkkkiing lllliiike thiiiiiis... sounds cool. So some torn clothes, scruffy hair, crazy talk...I mean poetry, and retardedly slow speech and a rebel was born. You see university, it's all your fault. So much for being and institution of higher learning, how about and institute for high learners! Oh ya there was some 'highness' involved....

So all that, plus the annoying room mate who has unending stories about how his day was and how the government needs to solve all the problems including his sucky day, then throw in some propaganda and senseless rhetoric about how spinning backwards long enough would turn back time and you have a relatively normal campus life. So between fighting 'the system' and skipping classes I became a mini version of Che Guevara, with the lyrical prowess of Mos Def and consciousness of Common and the wisdom of is so easy to lie to yourself. Instead of all that I became the weird guy who dressed funny and wrote random words down with no grammatical structure whatsoever and called it poetry. At some point I became the unit for crazy where people would tell each other something like, "I think you are spending too much time with Ras." or "Are Okay? You seem to be pulling a Ras lately...I hope everything is Okay." Hey but at least I was popular.

Unfortunately exams do not care for popularity and so most of the times I found myself staring at the lecturer invigilating an exam, wanting to ask, "Okay, I've seen the worst that could happen, where's the real exam?" and then they'd give me the, "This is the exam" look and I would start wondering what would happen if I faked a stroke or bit off my thumb and then tell the lecturer how impossible it was to hold a pen without my thumb. So most of the time I found myself writing the lecturer a note at the bottom of the answer sheet, partly trying to fight the system by declaring how results did not determine who I was and partly kissing bum in an attempt blind the lecturer of the fact that I knew nothing.

Sadly, all great things have to come to an end.

I have been thinking of several phrases best suited for such an occasion, so after numerous attempts, this is what I came up with... I AM DONE WITH SCHOOL!!! YOU HEAR ME WORLD? DONE!!! D.O.N.E. DONE!!! Okay, I know I could have come up with a more creative string of words but you know what, I do not care. I do not care because no teacher or lecturer is going to look at my work condescendingly, dangling affirmation over my head like a sadist dangling crack cocaine in front of an addict's face. I do not care because I do not have to wake up every Monday morning trying to figure out if I had an assignment due that week or worse, an exam. Lastly, I do not care because I am a step closer to my dream of living in a room with an endless supply of potato crisps, unlimited internet and a comfy chair. Still I can't get rid of the nagging feeling that I have it all wrong.

In my head, I feel like Columbus after discovering America. I feel like a pioneer, a voyager a...enough with the corny nouns...I am freaking excited!!! I feel like a bee after some idiot stupidly shakes my hive and then is not smart enough to run away in time before I regain my composure. I feel like the world owes me an award for World's Greatest Graduate.

Even the voices in my head are excited. They are like, "dude, we should burn something" and am like "how about my old class notes?" and they reply, "We were thinking more of the part of the constitution that talks about school." and then I stop thinking before I get myself into trouble.

So,  I remain optimistic...after all, what's the worst that could happen?

Friday, November 26, 2010

The Voices in My Head: A Camping Experience

I consider myself to be quite an outdoorsy person (I made up a word and spell check didn’t correct me…score!) having climbed Mount Kenya 3 times, done Mount Longonot and camped in the wilderness, I think am, well, pretty outdoorsy (there I did it again). There are however those moments when I realize that there is a reason why electricity was invented, why wheels are an integral part of the human race and why hiking for kilometres with the weight of an American 13 year old Playstation addict who has a soft spot for bacon on my back is not a really good idea.

At times I am thus required to sermon my super human powers, then get more frustrated when I realize I have none. This is the point where every outdoorsy (I’m loving this word) person has to experience, the point when you come face to face with your worst enemy. Now in the wild, your enemy could be a simple 3 horned chameleon which the worst it could do would be freak you out so bad that…well I’ll leave that to the imagination. Your enemy could be anything with wings, teeth bigger than your fingers, horns and fur. Yes fur, they may look cute but they are not. The enemy here however, does not have wings (unless you are a fairy), does not have big teeth, horns or hooves (this of course is situational because some people are just one sip of blood away from growing all of these).

The enemy here is that voice that tells you what to do. The voice that stops you from doing some things, the voice that asks things like, “If I shave off my left eye-brow, will I become a mono-brow or a right-brow?” The voice that tells you to look at the weird thing growing on the back of the neck of the guy standing in front of you in the elevator, no matter how hard you try not to; or the voice that tells you that your new born niece is not as cute as the mother thinks and she probably will grow to look a bit funny (read strange).

Last weekend a bunch (56 to be exact) of friends set out for a camping expedition to the Hell's Gate National Park in Naivasha. Apart from that one time we stopped over at a gas station to buy food, the trip was characterized by my incessant banging on the window by my head, before I realized that sleeping in a fast moving vehicle on our poor roads was, in the best words, dumb. We arrived at camp at some minutes to 6 in the evening and so the first thing that needed to be done was set up camp. Now, when you are 56 and only 6 of you know how to pitch tents the scenario is not what you would call enjoyable; but when 4 out of the 6 are busy entertaining the newbies with stories of past expeditions and experiences, you kind of get the urge to kill something.

So some minutes till dark and half of the tents have not yet been put up. Forty minutes after dark, we realize that some tents are missing pegs. For those of you who are new to this, the peg is what holds the tent down to prevent it from turning into a hot air balloon in the middle of a stormy night. Everything else goes well, the food, the company, the fire, the tents (none of them flew off into the night) and the breakfast. We even had sun-warmed showers. The tables turned about 45 minutes after breakfast when we started setting down camp to prepare for the 10 kilometre hike to the second camp site. So far, so good.

All my outdoor experiences have been defined by the back pack I have with me and so normally I would attach my tent, sleeping bag and mat on the back pack and hike on...not today! Today, people carried school bags, duffel bags and some even carried shopping bags! Where the heck did they think they were going...for a sleep over then ice cream?! All the while the voices in my head have been doing their voice practice, minding their business as I mind mine...until one voice notices something wrong and ask, "What the...?"

Realizing what is bound to happen, I'm like, "Okay voices, relax, it's going to be fine." The voices go, "Okay, so where was I yaa...if I cut off a duck's foot....wait!!! Why on earth do those chicks look like they are going for shopping? Ras kill something now!" I'm now a deer staring at the hunter's barrel (couldn't find another metaphor) "Ah, why don't we see what we can do, may be I could attach an extra tent to by back pack..." Almost immediately, the voice turns beast like, like the bass part of an all dinosaur acapella group, "Shut up, get do not need this." At that moment one of the girls comes to me and asks if I'll help her carry her purple hand bag. "Do you mind carrying my bag for me?" "Mind if I kill you and stuff you in the bag?!"

Ooops! I cover my mouth with both hands and she asks, "What?" I whisper, "Nothing" as I briskly walk away saving myself from a lot of judgement and probably pepper spray.

Monday, November 15, 2010

I hate Organizations

My organizational strategies class seems to have created in me a loathing for organizations. Before the class, this was my career aspiration: Become famous and possibly rich through this blog, and the many I will have created since my life will revolve around eating potato crisps, the internet and not leaving my house. I couldn't picture myself handling various responsibilities since responsibilities are life's way of telling you, "Hey! I have another side, a side that you'll probably hate...." I couldn't see myself handling a 9 to 5 job, waking up early each day, wearing a tie and hating Mondays. Now because of this stupid class, I have affirmed this. I hate organizations, I hate the corporate slave ship and I hate all the people who made everyone else hate Mondays!

Knowing that life does not usually end up the way we want, I have prepared myself psychologically for the kind of organization I would work in. This would be a normal day at work for me....

I would gently tap the snooze button on my alarm clock since I'll love waking up at 4 in the afternoon. A quick shower then straight to the closet. Black suit, white shirt, blood red tie, gator boots and holster check! Oh wait! Sun glasses, check! I would then run down stairs and find my partner impatiently waiting. The drive away from the city would be refreshing as I sip on some Red Bull (the breakfast of champions) and meditate on today's projects. My partner would slow down as we approach the gate making time for us to show the friendly guy holding the AK-47 our ID cards. We'd park right under the huge AREA 51 sign, it shields the car from the sun.

The doors would slide open with a swoosh after flashing our cards to reveal a large warehouse-looking building with hightech gadgets and people in suits walking around purposefully. We would walk towards our station past the aliens in the huge liquid filled incubators and then just as we approach our desks, I remember the practical joke my partner pulled last time and I see this as an opprtunity to hit back. So I push him violently and shout, "He's got a gun!!!!" and watch as everyone, me included take our guns from our holsters and point at his direction.

The chances of that happening are however not as promising as I would like and so I have to prepare myself for the alternative.

After waking up at 5 in the morning so that I can beat traffic and get to the office before my boss does, I get to the office 25 minutes after the mail guy who is always 30 minutes late. I discover that I forgot my tie and that is probably why my boss is giving me this weird cold look like I'm the one who told his wife about him and his last secretary at the office party last december. I would then walk to the coffee maker frustrated, since the space bar on my computer keyboard is broken and so icannottypemyreportlikethis, only to find the coffee maker broken and so I have to wait until lunch since they forgot to bring tea bags. I try to get some work done, but the IT guy can't fix my computer because last week I got frustrated and 'accidentally' stapled a stack of papers on his forehead. And so like a zombie I would drag myself back to my desk and wait until it's time to go home...and probably kill something.

Therefore, to prevent any life altering disappointment, I have decided that the only organization I would work for is one that would hire me as a kick ass undercover agent.

Otherwise I'll settle for my house, a pantry full of potato crisps, unlimited internet and a bunch of followers bent on seeing that I become famous.

Anything else can eat a bag full of smelly socks!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Freaking Army of Korean Zombies

I always thought zombies were fun creatures. Why on earth would you be scared of a zombie, not unless you were asleep and one creeps up on you. You only need to shoot or hit one in the head or, run away or walk briskly either way the stupid creatures would only catch you if for some weird reason you wanted to be caught. That however changed. I can now say that the only thing that freaks me out more than a zombie, is a spider and that's because zombies do not have eight legs!

My school shares an exchange program with a Korean university (I feel the need to state that it's the other Korea the one in the South) , so every year a group of Koreans spend a semester in Kenya while, sadly a bunch of Kenyans, for no apparent reason go to a country where there names will not be pronounced right, the food probably at some point wore a leash (most ignorant joke I have said this year...I promise) and Korean is the first language. While I have no problem with learning a second language, Korean isn't exactly at the top of my list. Anyway, this gives us the chance to share our cultural experiences and apparently learn something out of it.

I therefore developed a liking for Koreans. They were cool, they dressed like they own Mr. Price, and they had a surprisingly good taste in music. I still am not sure how Ehud, my Korean buddy listened to Common and Lauryn Hill. I'm beginning to sound like the American idiots who ask us how we live on trees and whether Kibaki is a member of the Mungiki; but there is a point to all this...I hope. So for some time I enjoyed Korean company, even their food; until I signed up for the International Youth Fellowship (IYF) 2008.

The IYF is an annual youth camp that runs for a whole week. Oh, and it is organized and facilitated by Koreans. So on seeing the poster I was somewhere between excited and confused. "So many Koreans! It's going to be just like a star wars meets Lord of the Rings meets Common and Lauryn Hill convention. I was convinced that this was going to be the event of the year...probably even the decade. The problem is at that particular time, I had malaria.

I usually don't get sick a lot but when I do, the disease makes me feel like a giant cyclops beast swallowed me, then threw me up then chewed me again, then shared me with his dragon friend who saw it a good idea to breath fire all over me.... So while I was fantasizing about how much fun the Korean event would be, the cyclops and the dragon were not yet done with me and so sadly, I wouldn't attend. At least I thought so.

One of my friends, now near the bottom of my best friends in the whole wide world list, and still waiting for me to accept their Facebook friend request, signed me up for the camp. As if that wasn't enough, he signed me up as: (Before we go any further, in this particular blog I will reveal my identity, then I will erase your memory at the end) Kefa Kariuki Peter. Kefa, is Amharic for Peter and so for obvious reasons having Peter and Kefa in the same name is redundant AND ANNOYING to say the least.

Just in case you didn't believe me!
So I got a call a few days later (the dragon was still playing his part) cheerfully reminding me that the camp was starting in a couple of days. My attempts to cancel didn't bear fruit when I was told that money was spent on registering me and that I had to go.

I managed to get there with a fever, cough, running nose and slur. I guess they are used to weird flus (ahem...swine flu...ahem...bird flu) because none of them seemed to care. "Kepa. Kepa! KEPA!!! KEPA KARIUKI PETER" "Crap! That's me. That's me? That's me!" Kepa? as if Peter was not bad enough. Then all of a sudden, with the cyclops spitting me out and the dragon spitting fire at me, I started sweating profusely. Nobody believes me when I give this story and this is why:

All of a sudden, all the Koreans turned pale and their eyes blood shot. Before I realized it was an army of Korean zombies it was too late. They were all over the place. "Kepa! Kepa! Kepa!" They kept repeating that as they came towards me. I tried to mumble a few words, "It's Kefa...It's Kefa!" "Stop calling me..." I remembered my first rule about zombies: hit them in the head; I did not have any weapon. Rule number 2, RUN! So I was wrong, this zombies could run!

They caught up with me eventually (you can't run far with a boiling point fever) then next thing I knew, I was surrounded by some Koreans and my freaked out friends.

The doctor said I was hallucinating because of the fever...yeah right!

Since I revealed my identity, I sadly have to erase your memory. All you need to do is stare at the image for 10 seconds thinking about unicorns or any mythical creature of your choice and then blink 15 times.


Monday, November 1, 2010

A Bald Head and A Funny Song

It's probably 30 degrees outside as I write this post. I normally do not care for the weather, but today something special happened. I woke up extraordinarilly happy, shoved my matress under the bed, got ready for the day and took off. I wasn't going to let anything get in my way not even the hot Athi River sun. I grabbed the 'D & G' sun glasses that were conveniently lying on the table and cool-ly put them on, a subtle voice in my head saying, "bring it on". Basically, it was going to be a good day.

I usually have an organizational strategies class on Mondays. I shouldn't say this for fear of spoiling the credibility of our fine learning institution but I fear for future organizations. I have nothing against this particular person, but when you include giving key holders as a strategy for enhancing individuals' perception of an organization's mission and vision statement, I can't help but woder how much thought was put into that presentation. Regardless of the key holders in my head and the annoying yet entertaining presentations, I still wasn't going to let anything ruin my day.

I should mention that my organization strategies lecturer is an amazing person. She has this amazing way of putting things into perspective without even breaking a sweat. I remember how this one time I understood a concept known as Systems Thinking using a cooking pot as an analogy. Now, over the years I've come across random analogies and silly songs we sang to remember things. Remember Richard of York and the colors of the rainbow? Once she starts talking, a world is created in your mind where you can either get lost and day-dream your way to the end of class or you can build castles and civilizations and apply what the lecture is about. Today, I got lost somewhere in there.

One of my good friends cut her hair. I like that statement, it shows possibility of some hair still left and so, I will rephrase it: One of my good friends, a girl, shaved her head bald. There, that's more like it. I have nothing against ladies with short or no hair but sometimes, honestly, they push it. I recently discovered the dynamism that is people's head shapes and so every so often I find myself wondering, "If that chick cut her hair how would she look?" or "I wonder how the back of her head looks." So here I am, in class, my mind processing several million thoughts per second and then, wham! There she is head as bald as the moon.

My mind almost goes into overdrive (before I continue, let me explain overdrive: this usually happens when my mind is extremely excited. Images appear from everywhere, then numbers turn to blobby images and the the blobby images turn to light then everything turns smokey and a loud voice commands me to either take off my shirt or start singing out loud. At this time it is usually too late and all anyone can do for me is restrain me and hope for the best.)

All the questions I asked about head shapes are answered all at once so my mind is heading towards overdrive then my lecturer says something and I calm down. I think she asked me a question; or everyone in the class just decided to look at me all at the same time. Ya, that's probably it.

So all I can see is bald heads and a voice telling me to sing. The voice keeps getting louder until I shout, "what song?" (This is the amazing part about this whole ordeal. I could move my lips but no sound came out and so I conveniently had a conversation with the voice in my head after my lecturer and the rest of the class apparently got tired of looking at me blankly.) I still do not understand how I was able to separate the apparent imaginary voice from my mouth and that in my mind. So a few more bald heads and my mind could take it no more and as if on cue:

No hair, for my hair brush
No hair, for my hair brush
No hair, no hair, not fair, oh where, no hair....

As if nothing had happened, the images disappeared, the music stopped and the class ended. I walked out with a smile, an image of a bald head and a funny song. Today still is a good day.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Dear Dad

The sermon series at my church this month has been about fathers. Fathers who smothered their kids with love and care, those who encouraged their kids to persue their dreams, those who were there physically and emotionally, those who had the line 'spare the rod spoil the child' tatooed across their eyeballs, those who just sat on 'their' couch and read the newspaper not caring about anything else, those who tried living their dreams through their kids and well, fathers who were just plain mean. In whatever category your father falls, one thing is for sure, our fathers did and still do shape our outcome... something about an apple not falling far from the tree.

Now my dad is kind of a hero to me. The reason I say kind of a hero is because I've seen him exhibit super human strength and I've seen Him so scared that if a girl I liked saw him, I'd quickly tell her a story of how I normally volunteer at this mental institution and every once in a while they let me take a patient home.... One time thieves had raided our house and as they were cutting through the window grills (read security bars), he thought they were in the kitchen. Like a psychotic man on steroids and red bull my dad charged towards the kitchen door with a metal pipe and actually stabbed the door. I kid you not. The metal pipe went through the wooden door like a shank through neck tissue. Then all that had to be ruined by this time he wanted to check out the TV antennae that was conviniently placed on the roof. He carefully set the ladder against the wall and started to climb. Three steps up and poor dad was shaking like a psychotic man who'd gone cold-turkey. He had to be convinced that he was only 12 inches high and that he was safe. (Don't worry dad, even Super Man is kind of a hero to me, wait till I whip out the kryptonite stashed under my bed).

So in a bid to appreciate my dad, I decided to write him a letter just to let him know a few things I had in mind:

Dear Dad,
Hope this letter finds you well. Over the years I've been thinking of all the cool things you ever did with us and from the bottom of my heart, thank you. Teaching to ride that bike without trainers, showing me how to drive, how to cook (like a man) and well how to be a responsible man.

Having said that, there's something that I've wanted to tell you. Remember that day you came from work and found your room in a mess? The 'kitambaa' covering that old wooden Grundig TV was on the floor, the place looked like it had been TP-ed and it looked like somethings were missing, well it wasn't me. While I appreciate the beating I got, one reason being I learnt a few valuable fighting moves that day, it was not me. After a thorough investigation, I found out that it was the cat. Yes, the cat you loved so much. She got in, had the time of her life then left; and that's the thanks she gave you for loving her so much! Life however, has a way of ensuring justice is done.

Remember that day you came from work and found your cat covered in vaseline? Well that was me. Though not intentionally, I take full credit for that. I guess you have earned the right to know how it happened. Small brother and I were playing catch with the big tub of vaseline, the one you guys bought and made sure it would last at least one school term. So while we were clearly breaking the world record for most consequtive catches, I finally tossed him a fierce one (what can I say, you taught me well...) when he couldn't catch it, it hit the ground, cracked on the side, pushing out a 'blade' of vaseline that cut across the room and onto the cat's back. We were young. Instead of picking the vaseline off the cat's back, we smeared it all over the cat's body. You gave a beating, but it was worth it. Your cat looked like the metal pipe you stubbed the door with!

This two memories have stuck in my head because they remind me how much you loved us (by how much you disciplined us :)). I appreciate you and well am old enough to say this... I love you. Hope Mppru (His cat) still loves you, wherever she is.

Love Your Son,

On the real, appreciate you father today. He might have been the hero in your life or the villain; the important part is you wouldn't be alive if it wasn't for him. If you are a dad reading this post, I salute you. To all the dads out there, THANK YOU. 

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Why Do I Have Veggie Tales Singing in My Head?!

I still do not understand why Bob and Larry of Veggie Tales have been singing in my head the whole day. Kind of gives new meaning to the phrase 'the voices in my head are doing voice practice.'

But I think I can trace where it all began.

I recently discovered that the reason I actually hate my job is because I love it so much that it actually makes me cross, unwittingly, the thin line between bonding and bondage. I still do not understand why every morning I get to work I feel like Grim after a staring contest with Billy or Chowder after an awkward session with Panini... (okay for all you who start their sentences with the phrase 'siku zetu', I usually just have a bad start to the day.) So as a result, I desperately needed a vacation. Having been to Mount Kenya three times in the last two years, I wasn't planning on setting a new record for most number of mountain climbing trips so I decided Mombasa was the ideal getaway.

Now such a trip is important to a simpleton such as I. Everything had to be planned out. The old kanzu I inherited from my old man, the kikoy girlfriend gave me, the shorts I illegally acquired from my boys and the amazing assortment of toys I carry around in my back pack (one of them being an old slingshot I always carried around until some cop confiscated it at the Kenya-Uganda game at Nyayo Stadium. Anyway, I got a new one!) So after making sure that everything is in place, I sit down with my friend's laptop (I'm beginning to make a habit of borrowing laptops...) to compile a road trip mix tape and just as fate had dictated, as if the planets had aligned to set in place some weird cosmic outcome (by the way I totally do not believe in that nonsense) I stumbled upon the folder of folders: Ten Years Of Veggie Tales Greatest Hits.

Just so that we are on the same page, this is Veggie Tales; the Veggie Tales - the greatest bunch of singing vegetables since the Californian raisins and all other have-been or wanna-be singing veggies. As if that is not enough, on opening the folder I discover 25 songs!!!!!! Okay my excitement probably makes no sense to you at this particular moment, but for the sake of understanding where I am heading with this blog, pretend you care. I sample classics such as The Hairbrush Song, His Cheeseburger and The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything and then copy them on my phone and I am set; Mombasa here I come.

My excitement however starts diminishing when I look at the time and find out it's only 7.30 pm and my bus leaves at 11.00 pm. Four hours!!!! That's how much time I have to spend idly waiting for the stupid bus. Oh and I forgot to add, I am still unwell (refer to previous post.) Girlfriend tries to cheer me up - in vain. 5,000,000 hours later the bus gets here and its all roads leading to the getaway of the year. Again, as if the planets did some silly gig and ended up in a certain pattern, me and girlfriend were split up; I got a seat at the back while she was somewhere at the middle of the bus. Crap!!!! Now am pissed, am tired, all my psyke is gone and for some funny reason, Bob and Larry can't stop singing in my head.

Now don't get me wrong I, clearly, love Bob and Larry but singing vegetables aren't exactly recommended at times of great stress and frustration. So like a mad deranged freak I spent a few minutes cursing at some singing vegetables under my breath. All the while trying to figure out how I will end up with girlfriend sitting next to me. Anyway, after playing cryptic cube with people in the bus I ended up shuffling enough people to see girlfriend next to me; at least this time the song playing was Endangered Love, which is a cute song about learning French and Going to the ball, totally irrelevant to the situation...damn you Barbara Manatee!!!! (Google this stuff...just saying.) So girlfriend is there, the bus is on the move and then I remember I still haven't taken my medicine. I have to mention that this little pill is supposed to deal with flu but I wouldn't be surprised if it was made from horse tranquilizers. No sooner had I taken the pill than girlfriend's voice turned to something close to a dragging cassette player and then there was darkness; then I woke up to this...

So much for my much awaited road trip!

Friday, October 15, 2010

I think I'm Sick...

So today is just one of those days you just can't figure out why in the world things are going the way they are. I woke up to an aching body, confusion and a runny nose wondering why my body was aching, my head was jumbled up with thoughts and why the heck I always have to reach for tissue every morning. Memories of yesterday's rock climbing trip help in making sense of the body pains.

I still gather enough strength to get out of my sleeping bag (long story that i'll be sure to post about when the time is right), find my mattress mate (still part of the long story) sorting out stuff for his Mount Kenya trip. I feel the need to say that I have been to Mt. Kenya three times in the last two years, twice last year, once this year so I felt a bit nostalgic. So between grunting under my breath and offering 'life saving' advice, I found myself saying things i wasn't even sure least i knew who I was talking to. Anyway, after a few minutes i dashed into the shower only to find a dry floor and tiles....

I understand water shortage more than most people, but my reaction was a bit on the overreacting side. I honestly cannot remember what exactly I did or said but I think there is a reason why guys are looking at me all funny. After a while I decide to go to a friend's a shower there.... No point, he lives in a hostel so the queue of random men in towels waiting for the sole hot shower doesn't look worth it, especially today. Before I can even plan my next move my phone rings and it's a client. I forgot to send her the flier i was designing for her company.... Crap! "Hallo? hey, how are you...ya, i sent it...guess it didn't reach you, lemme see if I can send it again." I have to look for a computer!!!!! Argh!!! Okay, a few 'come down Ras(s)' later, I meet my friend who reluctantly gives me his laptop and I send the darn flier. That is of course after several minutes of derailment and going through folders in an attempt to add some spice into this day.

So done with the flier, then I remember I had a date with someone scheduled at 11.30; it's now 11.48. "Why world, why?!" Anyway, I have a computer...hmmm. Go through some pictures, show off some old designs and then it hits me; I can start the blog I've been thinking about for the last few weeks...okay to be honest, months (I pride myself in being one of the great procrastinators. If I was president I would have procrastinated promulgation just coz the two words almost sound the same.) A few paragraphs later and I am here.

It hits me the reason my day is so crappy is coz I must be sick. The runny nose, groggy voice, creased face (partly coz of the annoying people talking to me now) and weird day. At least I started a blog...wait, I'm supposed to be hanging out with girl friend right now...! Crap!

Hopefully she'll like the blog....