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.