Friday, December 28, 2007

I have a tan...

Todays my first time at a cafe since... I'll call all the people I'm supposed to.. just got a number 2 days ago(long story). Having a blast... I have a few mosquito bites to show for it

I've eaten a few other Nigerian dishes: akara, akamu(pap), abacha/ ugba, breadfruit(ukwa), egusi soup, snails....
(Theres more to come)

A king in rivers state sent one of his bodyguards to get my number at the airport... crazy stuff(The bodyguards really couldn't believe that anyone could say no to 'his excellency)

Im still yet to go clubbing... probably will on the 30th.. i went to a masquerade festival... even the masquerades were shocked a female wanted to take pictures with them... most others run when they come
They're so ugly they've become beautiful... Lawd

I went to the stream... lol(as a true village woman)
A lot of village girls are scary looking with their overdrawn eyebrows and long boot wearings selves... I almost collapsed laughing cos the entire place was a fashion faux pas
(I decided that the next time I see someone so terribly unfashionable... that I'd actually ask to take a picture of or with them... )
should be fun

I DRANK STAR!!! hehe.. 2 bottles.. im a true alky...
no shaking!!!
and i went on a midnight drinking spree with some friends and family members ... heard so many igbo folk tales and drinking songs... i have never laughed so much in my life.

I have taken so many pictures... even of goats and chickens... I feel as though I dont even have enough time to go the places I want to and see everything.

I have a little more than a week

In general, Nigerians are mostly nice...
I have no time... too many stories to tell and I've fallen in love with a song 'timaya'... its the new yahoozee'

I have a question though: 'Is almost every Nigerian at an internet cafe involved in fraud?'

Im in a cafe with about 50 computers for public use... and every single one of them that I've passed is a yahoo account writing to a mugu...

As Charlie Murphy would say... 'We gots to do better!!!'

... and yeah I have a tan(and mosquito bite on my forehead of all places)

Saturday, December 22, 2007

In Nigeria...

Im at a cybercafe sitting right beside a criminal!!! He's proposing to a (white?) woman.. something about he loves her and wants to spend the rest of his life with her.. I'm laughing so hard my sides are hurting(whats even worse is his diction.. its absolutely horrendous!!!)

I dont have enough time to tell the fun and funny things I've seen in the few days I've been here... I'll try to come on periodically cos the 'Nigerian Experience' is one i think needs to be shared with the world...

1 guys slipped me his number on the flight to Nigeria, one slipped me his number at the baggage claim, one slipped me his number the day after at a computer store.. basically every day that i've been out... someones given me their number... or tried to get mine
(omo i too hot.. lol)
but me no interest ( for some reason Jill Scott's "Better at home" comes to mind...)

I love it though.. so far i've eaten Suya, roadside yam(the best!!!), amala, vegetable soup, okro soup, sardines(hehe...), plantain chips, some terrible cookie(nigerias version of shortcake?)

I drank something called gordon spark... some dry gin mix.. it tastes funny...
I havent eaten rice, pizza or pasta.. (a True Nigerian Experience if there every was one... I LOVE IT!!! )

I love NIGERIAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
(But I'm gonna have to find a way to go out without my mom.. I havent gotten to chill with any friends yet... I still have about 2 weeks though)

Thursday, December 06, 2007

This Christmas...

I can't wait for!!!

While my neighbours struggle to shovel the snow in their driveways, and my friends down incessant cups of coffee for warmth... I'll be in Nigeria basking in the sun.
(It'll be my first time back since I left... THIS IS MAJOR!!!)

I'm packing a bottle of SPF 30 sunscreen, 2 sunglasses and 12 stilletos(maybe more) for my 21 day stay.

Suya for breakfast, snail stew for lunch and Suya for dinner... I won't eat a sandwich for the duration.

I'm incredibly excited but it probably says lot about me that my first thought when I realized I'm actually going to Nigeria was 'dang why did I have to gain weight' (I've never denied being slightly shallow... smile)

I only have a week and a bit, and I still have so much to get in order:
  1. A digital camera... I plan to capture every yawn
  2. A new bathing suit... I own numerous two-pieces but I've decided that I won't show any belly on this trip. I want to avoid being asked how much I charge an hour or thrown in jail (whichever comes first).
  3. Hepatitis Shots... and mosquito repellent (Dancing Queen still has scars from September)
  4. A little black dress... I own 10 LBDs but I have a terrible habit of not repeating party dresses
  5. A music player or some sort... where I'm transiting, they no 'speaky English'

For the next few weeks, my blog will be that of a tourist... the before, during and the after...

I'll see my maternal grandparents for the first time in 14 years... this christmas.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Me Against The Music

Last night was one of the most liberating experiences of my life...
I was out in my red jacket... with a few of my closest friends.

Hype Boulevard picked me up for a pizza. We drove around... and then...
took a trip to a Jamaican restaurant for salad and a sad friend...

A quick stop to pick 'Dancing Queen' from work... and 'Complex Simplicity' from monotony
We checked in at the cineplex... 10.30pm and the last movie playing was Beowulf
We'd watched it before.

Funny metaphors, Great company and an SUV...
Leaving there, we laughed to our hearts content... at boyfriends, exboyfriends and ex-almostmotherinlaws

Next stop: the bowling alley-
We went upstairs to the wrinkled white woman at the counter and her chippy smile

$2 for bowling shoes... $3 for each game

Complex Simplicity: I want a size 9 shoe
Dancing Queen: I want a 9 and a half

All the girls: What do you want Overwhelmed... a size 15?

Me: FUCK YOU>>> BITCHES!!!

We decided not to bowl anymore after it turned out that my girl 'Hype Boulevard' and I didn't have socks on... and we sure as hell werent going to wear those 'for-all' shoes without any

We decided to go to a bar...
Hype Boulevard and Complex Simplicity had never seen Dancing Queen and I drunk

We walked in... to about 8 guys grinning at the door, a pool table and many more nursing beers with a smile.
Sat at the far leftside of the bar

A pitcher of Stella Artois... and 2 Pineapple Malibus
and interesting conversations...

"I can't stand the bastard... "
"You guys won't believe this... I actually think this brown boy is sexy...God his voice"
"Whitelips is such a perv"

Half an hour later:
"Waitress can we please have more Pineapple Malibus"

"God wheres the eye candy..."

"Why don't we do some shots"
"Sambucas for all of us please... and a lighter"
"Light that bitch up and on the count of three"
"GO"...

ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh

"I havent had some in a while"
"lol... you probably forgot how"
"... you need a duster to clean out those cobwebs"

...laughter...

"I want escargot. She wants some vegetable spring rolls'
"The blue hawaiian comes with vodka? One of those please!"

I took off my red jacket... hmmm I was feeling nice

"The escargot's delicious... and the blue hawaiian... blue heaven!!"

"A shot of tequila for all of us... and salt"
"Salt on the hand... lick... down the shot... and lemon"
ahhhh... fire

I wanted to dance... like a white girl
so i stood up and shook my dark hair and danced without rhythm
my friends laughed as we trooped past the 'gambling room' to the bathroom.

We decided to go to a strip club... and once again trooped into the car.

On the otherside of the stripclub was a danceclub...
We weren't dressed for it...
...I was in VANS, a hoodie and a size too big skinny jeans...
...Complex Simplicity was in a jean jacket, blue jeans and loafers...
...Hype Boulevard was in a leather jacket, jeans and black loafers..
Dancing Queen was a bit more suitably dressed in her black winter jacket, jeans and black boots.

We'd never EVER been to a club in flats!!!
...or dressed so 'bummy'... even as teenagers

But that was what was so enchanting about it... the unexpectedness... and simplicity
No tweaking of hair and eyebrows, lipgloss and stilletos, cleavage and jewellry
...well other than Simplicitys Movado and my 'Rolex' (inside joke)

I danced liked a maniac... we all did...
Hip-hop and Reggae all night
'...weh dem a do weh dem a try marrow wi fly into the sky... gun mi na borrow mi money buy...'
'...I got my drink and my 2-step its on... and I'm home get the patron and tell them that its on'

2 Jamaican guys with too much jewellry winking at me while i danced like someone in a trance...
We dared to be as silly as we wanted to... danced without thought... consciousness... or care
We laughed and joked and screamed when our songs came on...
Displayed moves we'd almost forgotten we had... old school, new school and everything inbetween
For the first time in my life, I knew what it meant to dance like no one is watching:
...foolish... unfettered... and free.

Last night was the most liberating club experience I've ever had...
no artifice or fancy clothes...
Just me against the music.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Another again...

I just got into a car accident with my mom a few hours ago.

I have a few glass shards on my face, arms and feet. My left knee hurts and I have a migraine.
...not bad at all... considering the extent of damage to both cars...

I'll probably be in a lot more pain tomorrow... there's a sense of deja vu cos I've been down this road before.
... I've been in 2 major accidents with cars that got totalled in the space of 6 months.
... I pray this is the last...

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

I can't tell you

I can't tell you that I think you're beautiful
... inside...

I can't tell you that I sometimes want to be vulnerable
...and put my hand in yours...

I can't tell you that I could loose myself in your voice
...You make me mad...
...You make me laugh...

I can't tell you that I sometimes see the picture you paint

I can't tell you that I like you
I can't tell you
I

...I'm almost tired of saying no...

Thursday, November 01, 2007

A Model Life

On a sunny day sometime last month, I was walking downtown with my close friend Ayo. We were waiting for my friends Hype Boulevard and Dancing Queen to meet up with us to go shopping.

About to cross a busy intersection, I was stopped by a slightly chubby and pretty black woman:

“Hi… do you have a minute?”

Me: umm… sure

“I think you’re very pretty… you have a unique look…and “

Me: {wow I’ve been attracting a lot of lesbians lately}

“ ummm… thanks”

“Well I work with a modeling and acting talent agency…”

Me: Oh

“… and we’re currently scouting for potential faces to fill in for quite a few jobs… so I was wondering if you’d be interested.”

Me: thanks I guess… but you should recruit my friend Ayo instead… she’s the beautiful friend… and I’m the brainy one…

They both start laughing… apparently I’m funny in addition to ‘pretty and ‘unique-looking’

“Of course… she’s gorgeous… I’d love to have her sign up… as well as you”

Me: … I guess there’s no harm

I completely forgot about this ‘meeting’… but then... last night

Ring Ring Ring

Me: Hello

Male Person: Hi... may I speak to Overwhelmed?

Me: Speaking

Male Person: Hi… I believe one of our agents saw you last month and signed you up… well I was calling to schedule a come-in

Me: Come- in?

Male Person: yes… we’d like for you to come in to our office… so we can see you and possibly discuss what we could put you up to

Me: Things such as?

Male Person: Music Videos, Informercials, Commercials, Voiceovers, Movies… we’ve worked with movies such as mean girls, honey, A Cinderella man… that sort of thing

Me: I see…

Male Person: So we’d like you to come in to the office looking smashing… you know first impressions are always the best…

Me: lmao… really? I don’t mean to sound skeptical but I can’t say I completely understand any of this… I mean you guys just saw me somewhere… all of a sudden movies and music?… whats the catch? I come in and you then tell me some $1, 000 acting development fee that I have to pay… or this could even be something else…

Male Person: listen… if you come in and you’re the next Naomi Campbell or Giselle Bundchen… we’ll cover everything… even pay for your toilet paper… but we can’t say until we see you what’s going to happen… you said on the sheet that you’re 5 ft 11 right?

Me: Something like that…

Male Person: and how much do you weigh?

Me: 160 pounds.

Male Person: you know what… I think you should check out our website and you’ll see a lot of things we’ve done in the past...

Me: hmmmmm

Male Person: … I want you to come in for an interview this Friday at 12.30

Me: hmmmmm

Male Person: Any questions?

Me: this is your number right?

Male Person: Yeah…

Me: alright… thanks

I could interpret this either of two ways:

a) I’m even prettier than I imagined... that I will soon start making millions, showing my double belly button piercings and long legs in Elle Canada or in Ben Affleck’s sophomore movie directorial …

OR

b) Or these fuckers are trying to sign me up for some elaborate scam… first I go in… they tell me how gorgeous I am… how they haven’t seen a look like mine…since… well…ever. They’d tell me stories of girls with slight ‘model disabilities’ who ended up making it big… Kate moss in spite of her height, Tyra Banks in spite of her boobs… so I Overwhelmed could make it in spite of myself. Then they show me videos of Dita Von Teese and tell me about the new kind of modeling that’s coming to the forefront… the most important kind of modeling… burlesque… something along the lines of exotic dancing/ stripping.

I have to decide by tomorrow…

Monday, October 29, 2007

Mummy Sunday 17

Inspired by one of my favorite bloggers LondonBuki, this is my seventeenth Mummy Sunday post and the sixth installment of the “When You Weren’t There Mummy” series!!! This one is written in memory… the good the memory registers even in the midst of the bad.

My Gold Watch

Mummy,

Not like my father as much as I did then… there are some things I think of in relation to him that actually make me smile.

He was an impressive looking man wasn’t he…

I say ‘was’ cos I’m not sure what he looks like anymore…my image of him has gotten blurry in the past few years…

…he might not be as handsome now that I’ve seen real beauty…
…he might not be as tall now that I’ve grown a bit…
…he might not be as scary now that I’m stronger…

Mummy, I’m not sure how I’d feel if I ever saw you wearing brown or even pink lipstick… cos my entire life… even the times when you weren’t there… the first thing I thought of in relation to you is RED lipstick.

In all the years I lived and ‘un-lived’ with my father… he always wore a Gold watch. It was a gorgeous, huge watch whose colour never faded… It had a big screen and really big links… the most wondrous thing he owned in my opinion
… it was such a thrill for (11 year old) me to sneak into his room and try it on when he wasn’t home… I’d wear it for hours on end… and even snuck it to school on quite a few occasions…

Looking back on it now he probably had a spare cos he never went anywhere without that watch…

It was so beautiful and big and always almost falling off my wrist … so I had to constantly flip it up… then it’d catch the (sun)light… and sometimes glint small circles on the board…
…Joy…

I haven’t thought about that watch in years… but then I went to a store last week and saw this beautiful shiny male gold watch… I tried it on and didn’t want to take it off.

I left the store without it… but had to go back and buy it…

I’d most likely get offended if someone told me that I’m like my father either in looks or actions… but I somehow don’t mind feeling connected to my better memories of him… in…

My Gold Watch

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Life in a Song 7

Two weeks ago, I watched a wonderful movie called ‘Volver’ with my friend ‘Hype Boulevard’(I called her that cos she’s a fantastic hype(wo)man... you want her on your side in the event of an altercation… or dance-off… her ‘rants’ alone will win you anything).

Volver (the movie) was directed by Pedro Almodovar and featured an all-Spanish cast of which I recognized only Penelope Cruz.

The best scene in the movie was when Penelope sang to her daughter in her neighbours restaurant… the same restaurant that housed the deep-freezer in which she’d hidden the dead body of her husband… {talk about unexpected plot}

In the film, Penelope lipsynchs the song ‘Volver’, as it is actually sang by Estrella Morente… a woman with a voice that can turn the sky gray

Volver by Estrella Morente

I don’t understand a word of Spanish but then again... I don’t really have to speak Spanish to understand love, innocence and its loss… frustration… death.

Volverrrrrrrrrrrr

The song starts out like a Shakespearian pathetic fallacy or foreshadowing of some sort.

Ms. Morente knows and has felt pain… there are tears in her voice… age and accompanying wisdom… mistakes made… and of course lessons learnt.

Hers is the voice of the woman who just lost the love of her life in a fire…
… the voice of the man who just discovered he has inoperable testicular cancer…
…the voice of the woman who just had stillborn twins
… the voice of the man who discovered that the boy he’s called son for 21 years is actually his best friends
… the voice of the child soldier in Iraq...

Her song is the smile on your face as you watch the man you love marry another and happen to catch the bouquet afterwards... the tears that come after the laughter.
It is a voice of sorrow… but also of hope

Estrella Morente is the truth… the kind you hardly find in English music… or storybooks...
She is an ambassador for singers long gone… she sings the sorrow they won’t let you see in the movies

Ms. Morente sings with a voice that should be housed in a different room and only let out in times of perfect silence… a voice of passion expressed and passion restrained.

I have no idea what Estrella Morente looks like but I love her for the gift of her song
…beauty surrounds me...

Today I will wear yellow.

Volverrrrrr

Monday, October 15, 2007

Shot to the head

My Jehovah Witness along with a few of my ‘Jungle friends’ play soccer and wanted me to come out and watch their game last weekend.

It was fantastic fun… God some of the most beautiful men on the planet PLAY soccer.

a visual delight…from the warm-ups outside to the actual game ‘inside’…

Well-developed calves in long white socks handling the ball with mouth-watering dexterity

…no white bread... I'd rather wholewheat…

Heaving chest muscles moving in rhythm to the samba in my head

…tomatoes, lettuce and bacon please…

6-packs rippling from here to Morrocco…

…mayonnaise? Of course… actually… make that extra mayo…

Biceps flexing the words out of my mouth…

Hmmm….

Beads of sweat travelling down... down... down

YES… chocolate… hot… ice cold… whatever you have…

Asses one should sign a contract to see…

Log in my PIN #?…. of course… with pleasure

See I was in my groove… feeling good… looking even better…

Cheerleader from Vogue… I was wearing a cocktail ring that got more compliments than my hair… nails a shade of red that only exists in Robert Rodriguez movies… a smile so bright a convicted criminal could personally request that it be the last thing he sees before he hangs…

I was in my groove alright…

Then like a Sofia Coppola movie gone horribly wrong…

POWWWWWWWWWWWW

The ball comes flying towards me and hits me on the left side of my face…

POWWWWWWWWWWWW

God this is embarrassing I think in that second… Here I was doing the cute girl thing… standing in the spectator stand cheering on my ‘team’… pretending not to notice the number of guys checking me out…

and now this...

So I had two options… I could slink off in embarrassment and basically sit out the rest of the game… or

Or I could play the damsel in distress… raise a dainty hand to my forehead… slightly swoon and get on with things.

I live in a primarily ‘me’ universe… so I of course did the latter.

“OUCH… oh that hurt… God!!!”

Swarms of concerned guys came over… one so beautiful I was tempted to freestyle a sonnet to him that incorporated the words ‘mandolin’ ‘play’ and ‘me’

‘Are you sure you’re alright? One guy

‘You want some ice?’ another guy

‘I’m so sorry about that hon.. you ok?’ yet another guy

‘This Scarlett O’ Hara stuff really works’ I think to myself

I smiled ‘Oh it hurts a bit but I’ll live… I think’

Relieved smiles…

and we all went back to the game… I made lots of friends, learnt a Spanish soccer song and found out that I ‘eat apples very sexy’ (lol… don’t ask about the odd compliments I receive… someone once told me I had cute knees)

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

That Extra 10 pounds…

I have probably weighed myself about 6 times in my entire life. The last time I did a few months ago… the scale said 165 pounds and BMI said I was in the healthy range.

I basically just go by the renowned Australian method of measuring my weight by how tight or loose my pants feel.

I am not skinny by any stretch of the imagination… but I have chosen not to be hung up about weight and suchlike. Not to put down anybody who has any body image issues… but I think it’s so important to love the skin you’re in… I’m a big believer in inner beauty (spoken like a true ugly girl… lol)

I’d much rather be complimented on my sense of humour, my 'smarts', even my Igbo than my ‘cute’.

I know and love my body… and have remained the same size for a while now… so it was with great surprise that I saw some pictures I took in a belly-top a few days ago… Jesus eating fish and chips with no ketchup in Nazareth… I’ve gained weight!!!

I mean whoever knew that developing a passionate love for peanuts and cheesecake after 3am could lead to such visible 'pudge’…

I’m still a medium… and don’t have to squat to get into my pants yet or get a friend to ‘flesh’ them out for me…

BUT

Oh heavens now I won’t be able to audition for Canada’s Next Top Model’s third season… lol… I kid I kid.

But seriously though, I’m 5 ft 11… and the comment I get most often is ‘you should model’…

… this has nothing to do with any sort of physical perfection that sort of comment would ordinarily imply… it’s really just that most people think every tall girl should model.

… I’d have to lose about 63 pounds of the 170 that I probably am right now… and magically manufacture high cheekbones and ‘high fashion beauty’

…ain’t gone happen…

After modelling, the next thing is basketball… basically folks just figure that a tall girl should do something that’s usually exclusive to her height…

To play basketball I’d have to remember what a 3-pointer is and actually learn to execute one… wear baggy shorts, forgo stilettos and wear my hair in a pony tail…

…In an odd way I think of myself as a tomboy… just not the kind that doesn’t wear heels…

Last weekend when I went out partying… at least 3 people commented on my heels and height… one of them mentioned that I would intimidate guys who would want to talk to me to which I replied that ‘the sort of guy who would be intimidated is probably too short … and I’m not interested in anyways… besides it has nothing to do with any dude really… this is all me’

I decided to become a bit girly this month. I have worn eyeshadow and mascara three times in the past three weeks… with mixed feelings. The first time I thought I was going blind… I was blinking so much. The other two times were alright I suppose but I’ve decided I’ll still keep off…

Mary Magdalene in hooker heels... I mean big hair, big shoes and eyeshadow… does it get any more drag-queen?

But anyways back to me and the belly-top… I’m on an xyz axis leading to serious exponential flab.

I don’t do diets… but I think I just might have to stop the cookies after 11pm before I have people walking up to me asking when the triplets are going to be born…

I wouldn’t want to mess with perfection…

So i've decided to stop eating the rest of the puff-puff I brought home from a party last weekend… or any cheesecake until I wear that belly-top and it looks exactly the way it would have a month ago…

… I find myself singing Billy Holiday and Louis Armstrong’s ‘Dream a little dream of me’ every time I think of the delicious puff-puff… Lord please do me a solid… give me 'Sampsonian' strength to resist the Delilah that is puff-puff!!!

In keeping with the theme of self-love… this month I’m celebrating my hands. I’m wearing pretty cocktail rings… really bright nail polish and huge male watches which I've loved since I was a child.

… speaking of male watches… I tried on the most GORGEOUS Christian Dior watch last week…. It had these tiny diamonds, a little white detailing and looked so ‘tough and chic’ on my wrist… my friends had to force me to take it off it was so pretty… the only problem was the price tag…

All $5, 535 of it

I need that watch in my life… Anybody know the going price for souls these days?

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Life in a Song 6

Celine Dion is my favorite artist of all time. She was the first 'Life in a Song' I wanted to write but it seemed like every word I put down failed to capture the essence of her music... the joy that radiates from her voice...

Years and memories ago… I lived in a house where I wasn’t allowed to do much else but study and breathe…

  • I got slapped for talking to boys…
  • For reading a romance novel I got beaten so bad I turned green the next day, my body covered in gashes, some of which I still bear the marks today

  • I was punished for watching tv sometimes… and radio was never encouraged

Life... I was supposed to learn life from my father and textbooks…

About two years before I left Nigeria, my step-mother bought a burgundy rechargeable light with an internal cassette player

I can still picture it… portable, glossy… with fluorescent lights…

I don’t remember how I came in contact with my first Celine Dion tape… but I certainly remember how much I fell in love... with the sound that came from a place so deep inside...

Almost every night for those 2 years, I lowered the volume in the rechargeable light/ cassette player and listened to Celine Dion’s albums under my pillow in the non- privacy of the room I shared with my sister Fire and 3 ex- step sisters.

In a house where my very existence was considered a burden, Celine’s voice was freedom.

Celine always told a story … always took me on a journey…

I’d been numb for so long… but she made me cry when she wailed for things lost… and smile when she found something better to take their place…

‘Seduces Me’ is my favorite Celine song at the moment. It starts off with brooding sort-of- Spanish piano playing in an atmosphere of darkness and mystery. Then almost as though she didn’t mean to, her voice comes in…: ‘Everything you are… everything you’ll be… that just the current of love so deep in me… every sigh in the night… every tear that you cry… SEDUCES ME… your most innocent kiss or your sweetest caress SEDUCES ME’

There is perfect precision in what she feels… and in the way she tells me what she feels…

The rhythm of the song is so wonderful that one could listen to it by itself… so it’s basically a bonus that Celine chooses to do any singing at all

‘I don’t care about tomorrow… I’ve given up on yesterday… here and now is all that matters. Right here with you is where I’ll stay…”

Her voice on this bridge is so haunting… rings so true…

‘and all that is you becomes part of me too cos all you do seduces me’ is the best line of the song in my opinion…

I love the highs and lows of the song… it feels like unwrapping a gift

Seduces me is a song on her ‘Falling into you’ album… an album I think should be taken as a high school course… dizzying perfection of this nature should be experienced from a young(er) age. The amount of joy on the album is such that it can make random strangers walk up to each other and hug…

I have no words to describe how I feel when I listen to this song as it changes from day to day. Some days I shrug my shoulders in pleasure… some days I cry… and beauty like that I have to have in my life quite regularly

Ms. Dion is a part of my history… personally and musically.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Traditional D(ist)ress

My friend 'Complex Simplicity' is graduating from my University in about two months...

I’ve known Complex simplicity since I started, we hung out quite a bit, but usually as part of the group. She’s fun, smart, beautiful, witty, a wonderful dancer (most of my friends are now that I think of it)

I feel as though in recent weeks, I’ve gotten to really know her. She’s strong like you won’t believe… I admire her ability to be the way she is after all she’s gone through…

She has a very odd imagination however... the one person I know who finds humour in horror... lol
…a bigger il divo fan I’m yet to meet…

So we’re all very proud of her… cos she’s the very first one to graduate in our ‘dance circle’. Were going to miss her terribly… her graduation however is in a few weeks so I have time to gush later.

See the thing is that Complex Simplicity (living up to her name) has decided that the whole crew must wear traditional outfits to her graduation.

Problem:

I don't have any traditional outfits... ankara, lace or anything inbetween...

I remember wearing my very first lace-wrap when I was 8 on my way to ch
urch… and my wrapper falling down in broad daylight exposing my hoo-haa(well technically I had on a 'shimi' and underwear but I was emotionally scarred nonetheless)
…in the 13 years since the incident, I can’t say I’ve felt any particular desire to wear anything traditional(except when I had to for my paternal grandparents funerals- God rest their souls)

Now I pretty much don't have a choice

So I have about a month to pick up a material... and style... AND get it made...
This would be quite simple if not for the fact that not only have I NOT found a tailor yet, I don't even have any particular style in mind

… I have seen some gorgeous traditional pieces over the years but never paid particular attention as I didn’t think I’d actually have to wear one.

I want a fab… slightly unexpected outfit…

I’m going fabric shopping next week with my girl(s) so over the next few days I’ll be looking at designs. I haven’t been able to find a great many traditional designs online and I’m one of the odd(er) Nigerians who just found out about Ovation magazine last year and of course don’t own a copy.

Solution:

I’ve basically been thinking of ‘western’ designs that translate traditionally (thanks Geisha).

I need HELP.

I’d appreciate any suggestions, pictures, drawings, ideas… web links right here on my blog or in my inbox (overwhelmednaijababe@gmail.com)

I’m currently leaning more towards a dress but I’m open to other things…

CONGRATS Complex Simplicity… we’re SOOO proud

Saturday, September 22, 2007

What A Mighty God We Serve...

Sometimes we get hung up on the stress... the distress
Even more than our problems, sometimes Life itself starts to weigh us down...
Questioning ourselves... questioning God...


Why me? Why not me?
WHY?!?!?!


We try to keep our heads up and fight through it... to keep a cheerful smile
...but when we go to bed at night... we cry...
You've done it for others Lord... you told me you loved me... you told me you'd take care of me...
Why hasn't it come?! Why do you let others look down on me Lord?!?! Why do you let my enemies rejoice Father?!?!?!

You pray every day and every night... every night and every day... waiting on him... patiently on him...
Then... sometime... somewhere... a tiny beacon of hope... its finally happening...
Then you find out its a mirage... a half-actualized illusion... which is infinitely more painful because you know you can do it... things just aren't going the way they're supposed to...


Then after praying for so long... fasting for so long... waiting for so long...
After all these years...
FINALLY!!!
PREGNANT!!!


You're afraid to hope... but then you want to... this time God... at least this one time...
You talk to him... and tell him you're READY for your miracle... you want to testify to his goodness...


After all these years, YOU CAN because after all these years he hit you with a double blessing...

CONGRATULATIONS SISTER TAYO on your twins
We're so happy for you...
Thank you Jesus for your never-ending kindness...

Monday, September 10, 2007

Clive Owen,

Seeing as we will soon become man and wife… I’d love for you to tell me what name you’re most comfortable with… C? Cli? CliveO?

… after watching you last weekend in Shoot Em Up… I have decided you’re the one for me.

Boy you were FIRE!!! I have never felt so about a greasy dude in my life… something about your sexy tussled hair, that black coat, stubbly chin, intense eyes kept calling my name… and don’t get me started about the carrot
Boy the things you did with that carrot... you stabbed people with it… bored through brains… operated guns… locked doors… flipped stations… Beta Carotene never looked so good.

What sold me on you Clive was your unsmiling face through it all… the exact reason I thought Steven Seagal was the most gorgeous guy on the planet for years and years… non-smiling is a talent… an art if you will… and blessed are those who have it…

Speaking of talent… Clive you were perfection in ‘Closer’… even besides the flawless beauty of Jude Law… your gravelly smoothness was something to watch.

Shoot Em Up is possibly the best movie I have seen the entire year (yes I did watch Bourne Ultimatum). I usually hate it when movie commercial voiceovers call every summer movie a ‘non-stop explosive’ with ‘action that will have people gripping the edge of their seats’… but I find myself repeating those same words…
You had humour… dark humour… dirty humour… sarcasm… you were singing my life with your gun…

The dialogue was so witty… your comebacks I wanted to wear as a jacket. Each scene blended into the next one seamlessly… 90 minutes went by like 9… your reactions matched their actions…

Based on your performance in this movie... I have decided to pick up my cross and 20 pairs of my favorite stilettos and follow you… we’ll buy more along the way…

Ok so maybe the scene with the ‘air’ fight wasn’t that believable… but hey does anyone actually look for reality in movies other than ‘Harry Potter’ and ‘Lord of the rings’?

Clive for you I will step out of my comfort zone:
. I will cook your meals:
Jollof rice (Nigerian wikipedia calls it a fry-fry mixture of onions, pepper, tomatoes, chicken and rice with groundnut oil)

Omo tuo ni nkatie nkwanyi, a Ghanaian meal of rice balls and groundnut soup that is every bit as proteinous as it sounds…

Carrot- pineapple- coconut cake

Anything outside this menu… we’ll make use of the yellow pages or go to the Ivy(which I'd prefer actually)… just giving you a heads-up before you start expecting me to show up on movie sets with cupcakes and ‘caviar bolognaise’
This girl will not be ‘stepford-wifed’…

. I will bear your children… I’ll dress our first girl in orange nail polish and put black bows in her hair. She will compete in “So You Think You Can Dance’s” 28th season. The other children can figure things out for themselves as they go along

Clive I’m a very patient, very sweet girl… although I will not hesitate to rip you another hole if you decide to cheat on me with my sexy binshes Londonbuki, Idemili or Soul. I know you’re tired of British babes anyways with their nasal accents and ‘leek soup’ appetizers… I’ll feed you maple syrup and we’ll watch Ice hockey together and go for romantic rendezvous in Igloos up north….

I look great in yellow…

I have excellent retentive memory… I can actually recite Avogadros law in Yoruba…'avogadros law lo so wipe equal volume of all gases at the same temperature and pressure contain the same number of molecules’.

So I’m black… Nigerian to be exact… I heard you like blondes… but don’t worry. I have highlights… courtesy of afro-beauty supplies... and they come off too...

And most importantly… I can hold my liquor.

Let me know when you’re ready to announce our engagement… I want to book ad space in Ovation Magazine…


Your sugar…
Overwhelmed Naija Babe… you can call me Whelmed or Olive…

Monday, September 03, 2007

Cranberry

I love cranberries with a passion that’s not my own… a passion of the same magnitude that Marilyn Monroe had for diamonds in the charming 1957 classic ‘Gentlemen Prefer Blondes’

Cranberry is the colour of my heart...

I buy cranberry herbal tea bags, crystallized cranberry tea, cranberry flavoured cheesecake, cranberry muffins, cranberry pies, cranberry waffles and similar pastries.

I’d rather cranberry juice than any other… and lace it with anything from vodka to rum for a ‘boozier taste’
(Note that said ‘lacing’ usually only occurs on some weekends… in bars, clubs or other places of group dancing… I decided from a very young age to experience life sober)

I love ‘cranberry-chunked’cereal… but the general mill and even kelloggs versions pale in comparison to my favorite(st) cereal in the whole wide world… Woodland Berry Granola (WBG)

If it were a singer, Woodland Berry Granola would be a Celine Dion… high notes and heart-felt harmonies ($5000 more for alliteration please)

If it were a song, WBG would be Sheryl Crow and Sting’s “Always by your side”… delightful and definitely NOT ‘over-played’

Woodland Berry Granola is a Manolo Blahnik of a cereal if you will… not for the price… but the make… the aesthetic as well as digestive appeal.

The slightly sweet taste of almonds juxtaposed against the tart and tang of cranberries in a crunchy granola background… it’s almost too much… an embarrassment of taste one might say.

Fact: There is an awesome punk rock group named ‘The Cranberries’.
(no… I’m not prejudiced because they name themselves after this fruit I adore… I like them as a result of their lyrics, musical arrangements and umm vocal abilities)

Fiction: All addictions are bad.
I realize it might seem like a bad idea to have any addiction at all… but considering what other ‘celebrities’ my age are getting into these days… drugs, booze fests and all-around craziness… I think a little ‘cranberry’ overload can and should be forgiven

Having said that, I really do hope that someone in ‘cranberry power’ reads this and gives me a discount or something cos I’m running a bit low on funds right now
… yes I conveniently blame my depleting funds on cranberry(ed) stuff and not my recent ‘For September’ shopping expedition.

Speaking of expeditions, I just might have found my Halloween Costume… which means for the first time ever I might actually have a theme as opposed to the past when I just wore my own clothes, some cleavage and red lipstick and claimed to be dressed as Salma Hayek.
(lol… two Halloweens ago… hey… I was a teenager then and ‘costumers’ got into the club for free… lol).

Friday, August 31, 2007

Life in a Song 5

Escapemonos...

Even my cybersis simply can’t believe that I don’t own a portable music player...

I’m terrible with technology… I will admit that I am slightly attracted to the idea of carrying my favorite tunes in a place other than my head/ computer… but then it’ll take away valuable time I use to think… write… and life as I know it might cease to exist…

But this post isn't about my lack of music-technology-knowledge... it's about the beautiful Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony ballad ‘Escapemonos’

Like its title suggests, the song is entirely in Spanish, a language I speak nothing of. Granted I used to have a Spanish housemate Vanessa, and she introduced me to guacamole, Latin dancing and Tony who simply couldn’t understand how I could not be interested in him despite the fact that he was funny, handsome, intelligent, extremely wealthy, completely disregarding the fact that he was 4 inches shorter than me (without heels…. Um no thanks)

But I digress…

Escapemonos is a beautiful song… I can’t say anything about the lyrics cos I don’t know what they mean… and I lost Vanessas number along with my old phone…

–But I can say something about the emotion in their voices…

Marc Anthony’s voice is as haunting as Jennifer’s is sweet
His voice asks the questions… and hers provides the answers…

There’s something about foreign language ballads that just make me feel as though we feel deeper, love harder… something about them suggests there’s no alternative...

A big Jennifer Lopez fan, I’m one of the people who actually got her Rebirth album and know every single cut on it… find it beautiful and heartfelt…

I’m also of the opinion that she sings better in Spanish… and even better when she sings with Marc… it’s as though he sees the her that nobody else does…

There’s a simmering fire in her voice… as though she’s finally found home and a level of comfort she never had…

Escapemonos is like the Spanish answer to the Italian ‘Somos Novious’ by Andrea Bocelli and Christina Aguilera… a gorgeous song that tells heart-truths… of loves lost and love found.

The emotion in this song is so strong it’s almost tangible…

It’s a song I imagine “So you think you can dance’s” Mia Michaels would choreograph and bring tears to my eyes like she did with the contemporary piece Ivan and that other girl danced to... or the one Heidi and Travis did to the Celine Dion song.

To be able to listen to this song on the move... I might actually purchase a bloody Ipod... hopefully it doesn't go the way of the 9 cellphones that I've used in the past 2 years...

Escapemonos.........

Thursday, August 23, 2007

One Year on Blogspot

…with tons of questions that I didn’t have any answers to… to relive certain memories and to try to forget others…

On this blank black background, exactly one year ago… I started blogging.

Overwhelmed Naija Babe:

He probably doesn’t even remember this, but Olawunmi once told me a Yoruba saying… something about your name influencing the things that happen to and around you…

I still don’t mind the name Overwhelmed… but I wouldn’t mind being called Olive as well…

Olive means to me intelligence and inner beauty and grace and fun and compassion, individuality and strength and self- love and loyalty and honesty… me.

See I actually love my real name… but I’m one of those weird people that constantly gives myself new names every couple of years.

I initially started with the name thing so I could have a consistent name to give guys I wasn’t interested in without being rude… I never want to hurt anyone’s feelings so I’d rather do a ‘My name is Phoenix but I’m not interested’ bit than ignore the person completely or give them a ‘Beyonce/ Ciara/ Raj’ name that I won’t remember to answer to if the person actually remembers my ‘name’ and tries to call my attention later...

It started out this way… and gradually evolved to the level where I actually take my names quite seriously and put a bit of thought into them… and for that reason will not hesitate to cut a dude for… (if I will get into trouble for saying that… it was a um metaphor… if I won’t… shit… I MEAN it!)

My names are usually a bit abstract …

In Ghana, it was Passionfruit.

A couple of years later, I got bored and changed it to Paradise.

A few months into the name, I knew I liked it but it didn’t excite me beyond measure… or give me particular pleasure when I used it. I decided to go French… ‘Paradisia’ I had a good run out of this one cos people always asked…

Then a year or so ago… I adopted the name ‘Phoenix’. I used this one in serious company… with a straight face… it cracked my friends up. I heard a lot of ‘bird’ metaphors in relation to this one… but it went over pretty well…

I haven’t completely phased ‘Phoenix’ out… but I’m gradually introducing the name ‘Olive’

(and yes I do realize I might be upsetting the ‘p-name’ balance by using Olive… but hey what’s life if one doesn’t take chances?)

Slight digression before I completely forget…I have a mildly funny story about my name Olive … a message someone left me

My Voicemail:

{You have 1 new message left at 10.45pm on July 14 from (***) *3* - 4**9

“Um hi… this is William. I don’t know if you remember me cos we met about 2 weeks ago at _______ but the few times when I’ve tried to call you... your phone has rung off. See I’m not even so sure I have the right person cos I remember you specifically saying your name was Olive but your voicemail says ‘Overwhelmed’… so I’m not even sure… but um if this is Olive… then please give me a call at (***) *3* - 4**9. “

I just laughed and laughed… he was a cutie but I never did call him back. My sister Fire suggested at the time that I tell him Olive is my middle name… lol… but nah… too many explanations. }

Anyways…

Where does Overwhelmed Naija Babe fit into all the names I’ve ever given myself?

I think it’s one of the most honest names I’ve had… the others are more ‘good time’, perhaps slightly fun(ny) ‘sometimes exotic’… completely conceptual

Overwhelmed Naija Babe started out as brutal honesty and truth… has evolved into laughs that try to mask the pain…thoughts like: ‘not-talking-about-it-means-it-will-go-away’… truth that shows up in the dead silence… some healing… truth but in doses that slide down easier with a bottle of vodka… outside suppression that I fight against without knowing who the enemy really is… having ideas… rejecting them… picking them up by the tail… shaking them to see if anything will fall out…

Overwhelmed Naija Babe… knowing that people are stabbing and hugging me at the same time… a slap on my cheek with their right hands and a soothing touch with their left hands… fighting the angels as well as the devils… mental FUCKERY.

Overwhelmed Naija Babe… writing me… loving me… accepting me… celebrating me…

Overwhelmed Naija Babe… genuine smiles… genuine affection… embracing the good… rejecting the bad… standing up for myself…

Overwhelmed Naija Babe… constantly working towards not being a victim of my memories… making COMPLETE peace with me.

One year on blogspot eh…

Here’s to the rest of my journey… wherever it takes me.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

This Tree

Tall and Weak…
Binding roots that uphold but choke me...
supplying water and DDT...

Above the soil you introduce me to sunlight... and just a few hours later... darkness
extreme... numbing darkness

Roots of my tree... what exactly do you want me to be?

Tall and Strong... I am this tree and this tree is me

Saturday, August 18, 2007

My Fish

A good number of my earliest and fondest childhood memories have something to do with fish.

Growing up in England, we always had an aquarium filled with fish of all shapes and sizes.

I can still picture our black rimmed fish tank and climbing up on the chair to feed them for the first time when I was 4 or 5.

I remember putting my hands in the tank to see if the fish would bite or come to me… and my mom reprimanding me time and time again.

I remember feeling so proud when people visited and crowded around our tank to admire our gorgeous fish

Fish meant home… beauty, happiness, tranquility… family.

In the 90’s, we left England… and our fish.

In the 7 or so years that I spent in Nigeria, I never once saw an aquarium that wasn’t being used to store ‘food fish’:

’120 Naira for this one madam… na titus fish… e sweet well well’

’ok because you be fine madam, I go collect 105 Naira for your hand…. 90 too small… abi you want make I waka go back house?’

My fish:

From a ‘pet’ to my ‘pot’

In the one year I spent in Ghana, I never once saw an aquarium that wasn’t being used to store ‘food fish’:

‘chale… e be the correct protein this I want sell you… 20, 000 cedis.. the ‘price’ that’

‘chioo… yellow lady wey di ye… wu ha aduni paaa… mi ma wu 18, 000 cedis… last ‘plice’’

Then I came to Canada on a freezing February night, bundled up in my ‘Ghanaian bought leather jacket’, black kangol hat, dark blue jeans and ‘Canada sent sweater’ and saw something that warmed my heart… told me I had arrived:

It wasn’t the beautiful house we were ushered into, the beautiful room that became ours, the beautiful gifts on the bed in that room…

I saw an AQUARIUM

Once again… beauty, happiness, tranquility… family.

I was home!!!

But right now, I am heartbroken…

Last night, my mom mistakenly turned off the water supply to the aquarium.

We woke up this morning to a tank full of dead fish.

My beautiful, beautiful fish… DEAD!

  • Celine was 9 years old gold and black and white and huge and absolutely stunning… the queen… and oldest in our fish tank. She was a bit of a bully and had a very hearty appetite. RIP my darling… I hope you’re in a better place where you can gorge on ‘fish cheesecake and vodka’ much tastier than your earthly ‘nutrafin’

It was a testament to your size and beauty that every Ghanaian person who visited our home always made a half-meant joke about the possibility of frying you to eat with kenkey and hot pepper… although I’m sure it must’ve been an affront to your dignity.

  • Awilo was 8… and the ‘Tony Blair’ of our aquarium… RIP my gorgeous... everytime I dance to ‘Coupe Bibamba’ from here on out… it’ll be in memory of you.

  • Shina P was 5 years old… and the loner of the tank. He ate when he had to and moved only when he had to... he had a very quiet dignity about him and just took his time with everything. I think he was an orphan or nursing a broken heart or something… and a bit of a pretty boy … I never once saw a string of poo hanging out his ass… his stripes were always fresh to death. A Versace of a fish… our Shina P was.

  • Dr. Evil, Chinua Achebe, X, Nicole, Cashew, Kweku Abrewa Kojohoho and Tombo were the other members of our fish tank family… full of personality and energy… full of life.

… and now they’re ALL gone…

Only two of our newest fish… the 1 year old ‘Rita’ and ‘Geography’ survived it…

We found them struggling to take their last breaths… probably writing ‘fish wills’ and mentally releasing life insurance documents…

We turned the power back on immediately… and so far they look alright.

Celine, Awilo, Shina P.. Dr. Evil, Chinua Achebe, X, Nicole, Cashew, Kweku Abrewa Kojohoho, and Tombo… azu e ji eje mba… ono na iru ona na azuyou are gone but will never be forgotten.

When you get to fish heaven, remember to remain a family and use all the lessons we taught you while you were here…

I love you guys with all my heart and I grieve your loss

Overwhelmed

(on behalf of the ‘Naija Babe’ family)

REST IN PEACE!