Friday, 18 December 2015

Pulling An all-nighter





At some point in the semester if you are not the perfect student like myself (go figure), you realize the rubber has met the road, sleep might as well become a rumor and you and caffeine might as well become besties. Maybe you were slacking or have a professor who goes from zero to a hundred covering more than you can handle or more often than not you have a pesky deadline. What better way to get your life than pulling an all nighter? Of course there are better ways, for starters giving organization a go, but let's just ignore that for a minute, kapish?


First make a list of some of the goals you want to achieve within these few hours. Let them be realistic goals, small ones if you may. It could be covering a few topics in your course outline other than the whole syllabus. Look at it as working smart other than working hard. You could either make a mental list or if you are more of a visual being , write them down and cross them out once you achieve them.

Pulling an all nighter needs you to be all in. I am talking physically, mentally, emotionally. That being said, psychological preparation is a necessity. Your state of mind definitely  influences how long you will stay up hitting the books. Once you know the goals you want to achieve and the limited amount of time you have to do this you will be less distracted. You will definitely get a whole lot more from your all nighter.

Have some motivation/ reward system as you read. Reward yourself with a cookie every hour on the hour or a minty sweet to get that sugar rush going. Your milestones don't go unappreciated and it keeps you going towards the next pit stop and the next after that. After satisfying your sweet tooth do not forget to brush to keep them cavities a long way from your pearly whites.

We would all like to imagine that we are lean mean studying machines, but the harsh reality is taking little breaks every now and again does more good than harm during these hard times. Stretch to get some blood flowing, fix yourself a sandwich, a mug of coffee or tea, listen to your favorite jam of the moment (Sorry from the Biebs, just had to throw that in there). You are fired up all over again this time for the homestretch.

At some point in time during the all nighter, reality hits even harder. Chances of you covering everything you intended to are not looking good and you are just about ready to fall into panic mode. One word, prioritize. You may be good at one topic not so great at another, cover the topic that is most challenging first and breeze through the other at a later time . Panic mode has hereby been aborted.

Study in silence. If you are the type that needs music blasting at maximum volume do whatever suits you don't let me bust your bubble. I find that studying without having anything else on has me more productive. Otherwise, lyrics and what I am trying to read mash up to form one hot mess of mush which goes without saying, is not good, not good at all.

So, here's the thing all nighters generally should not be your usual  go to. Sure it produces grades above average, but it would probably be easier to study all through the semester on a moderate basis  and have nothing but As on your transcript other than going to the extremes. And that's the truth, Ruth (can you tell I just watched Do The Right Thing?)

Have a good one!

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Surviving College: Get your life

Am I the only one who is in absolute awe at how fast these months are flying by? Here I was thinking that articles would be on the daily. okay, maybe not but what do you know October 2015 is out the window and so is the first week of November.

The beginning of this semester did not have a traditional start to it. With an internship here, an internship there back-to-school shopping done in bits and pieces, my life at least school wise was in shambles. I was hanging by a thread trying to keep it all together , except when you are all over the place that's almost impossible. So in the words of Tamar Braxton it was time for my disorganisation to take several seats. Turns out only the little things in my shambles ridden life needed changing just to get my little old self centered, simply put, I needed to get my... 


Let me switch things up a bit and start from the bottom, what can I say? Drake had a point.

 At the end of a long college day the essence of a night time routine could not be stressed enough. I am no Youtuber so no mood setting candle is featured. From the moment I get home, chores are the name of the game #GrowingUpAfrican; setting the table for dinner, doing the dishes maybe the kitchen floors if it's my turn and setting the table for tomorrows breakfast. It should be noted that I am no saint and sometimes I ditch a chore or two of course not as often as I would like .

Before any of that happens though, I have got to make perhaps the most important pit stop, the fridge and hit myself up with a snack. It could be a glass of yoghurt, yesterday's dinner, a good ol' Blue-Band(margarine) and jam sandwich; anything that's fast and easy to fix varying with my degree of hunger on any given day.

After dinner and doing the dishes it is just about time to hit the sack. So I lay out tomorrow's OOTD other than coming up with something rushed the next morning in the shower and compromising on my philosophical thoughts time which in turn makes me waste a whole lot of time.

A moment of reflection on the day, I usually do a dose of Bible Study. I have to say it is probably what helps the most. I wouldn't say I am all too faithful in terms of doing it every night because you know that sandman, sprinkles  a tad bit more dust than necessary. Just having time to reflect, show some appreciation, vent, address a weakness or two or learn something about God. It couldn't be more soothing. Your Bible, a daily devotional (I suggest odb.org/ or ourdailyjourney.org) , a notebook, time and just the right environment should be your tools of choice.  

I usually intend it to go something like, I say my prayers and I am out like a light that is, if I refrain from taking a peek at the 'gram feed just before bedtime which usually translates to endless scrolling 10 p.m is lights out.

Something else that I find works absolute wonders (isn't it a coinkydink that I am listening to Oh Wonder? ) is a little siesta in the course of the day. Say your afternoon class is cancelled or you just so happen to get home earlier than usual, mark my words, never pass up a chance to get a nap in. I for one know that afterwards my energy levels are not at par with an Energizer Bunny's , regardless, they are higher than usual.

Do not get it twisted, I wouldn't say my life has taken a complete 360, what I would say is that it's well on its way.

Have a good one!  

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Skincare: Hydrate and Moisturise

Now let me tell you something about skincare. I do not know jack! I see all these moisturizers, masks, cleansers, scrubs and I wonder, what the heck? or as we like to say over on this side of the globe, #Wharrathose. So I may know just a wee bit judging from the product name dropping and a few fancy-shmancy terms like I don't know, exfoliate? Basically I hope you get the idea that I am certainly no pro  and that whole story up there is a disclaimer.

I would say two, maybe, three months ago my face was not a pretty site, at least to me it wasn't. Zit fest descended upon me and every time I saw my face, I went from student to self-proclaimed dermatologist. Pocking and prodding would go on for what seemed like hours on end. Popping a pimple here, picking a scab there. The situation was only escalating and honestly I never knew how vain I was until this bout hit.

My motto, If you are not happy about something, do something about it. This situation is certainly no different.

There I was, no plan, no strategy but most importantly no cash to purchase even a tube of a skin care product. This was going to be good. But this girl, she was not going to go down without a fight. I did the only thing I could do, go old school in this situation. Nothing but natural and organic products going in or on my body.

I tossed my petroleum jelly, of course it's still within close range and olive oil came into the mix. Almost immediately my skin became right and tight. Of course I cannot take all the credit for discovering all of this olive oil goodness. My sister had been using it for quite a while and it clearly worked. She was getting complements left, right and center so I just had to get me some to.

Getting into this save-my-skin mission, I honestly thought it would be one of those overnight  miracles. Roll out of bed one morning and Ka-Pow! I  would be zit free. Yup, it did not happen like that, not even remotely close to that. I woke up the next morning and every other morning after that for that matter and nada, it was time to go back to the drawing board.

Diet wise I was doing pretty okay,eating my vegetables and my fruits whether they were just meh or deserved to be on a menu of a five star restaurant. Junk food is an urban legend, at least in my life so when it comes to fatty foods that typically leave your skin experiencing a break out, I can safely say I am doing the least. This is where I think the phrase "common sense" should be completely done away with.

My water intake let's talk about that.  Eight glasses is the recommended intake, I was doing two. Common sense not so common, huh?

Since I am all about go big or go home, not really, eight glasses of water? Please, three liters is more like it. 2 glasses in the morning, a bottle after my mid-morning snack and another bottle after lunch. No way near done, this is just the midway point. We are back at it with 2 glasses before supper preferably at least half an hour before supper, 2 glasses after supper, 2 glasses before bed and a whole lot of bathroom breaks. You loving my life yet?

Again the cycle began. Poking, prodding, popping, picking, endless gazes at myself reconsidering my diet-just reconsidering-   then it came to me, maybe my hands and face should go long distance. Now that I think about it  maybe having a pet-cone around my neck would have sealed the deal much faster.

My skin now, well it is not blemish free but I am a lot happier. Goal achieved but the journey still continues. So what did we learn today kids? If you want your skin's fleekage levels amped up: water is the real O.G., olive oil is B-A-E and keep your hands where I can see 'em when showing your skin who's boss.

Little bonus point for you, throw in a little coconut oil if you want to add some flavor in your moisturizing fete.

Have a good one!

P.S. I don't mean to toot my own horn but 'Toot! Toot!' I took these photos myself and they are fire  by my standards , who am I kidding? VSCO deserves all the credit.This is also the All Rights Reserved.

Friday, 9 October 2015

Book Review: Quotes from So Long A Letter by Mariama Ba

Hello good people!

I think by now if you are a regular on this blog you know that if I enjoy a book as much as I did this one quotes are bound to follow. This instance is no different. So, what do you say I cut the small talk and get right into it?

"Confiding in others allays pain."


"One does not fix appointments with fate. Fate grasps whom it wants, when it wants. When it moves in the direction of your desires, it brings you plentitude. But more often than not, it unsettles, crosses you. Then one has to endure."
"Death, the tenuous passage between two opposite worlds, one tumultuous the other still." 


"Death is just as beautiful as life has been."
"I have enough memories in me to ruminate upon. And these are what I am afraid of, for they smuck of bitterness.'
"I think of all the blind people, the world over moving in darkness. I think of all the paralysed the world over, dragging themselves about. I think of all the lepers the world over, wasted by their disease.
Victims of a sad fate which you did not choose, compared with your lamentations, what is my quarrel, clearly motivated."

"Your stoicism has made you not violent or subversive but true heroes, unknown in the mainstream of history, never upsetting established order, despite your miserable condition."
"They forgot the source of this easy life; first up in the morning, last to go to bed, always working. "
"You want to draw a line between heartfelt love and physical love. I say that there can be no union of bodies without the heart's acceptance,however little that may be. "
"I counted backwards to determine where the break in the thread had occurred from which everyhting had unwound."
"Every night when he went out he would unfold and try on several of his suits before setting on one. The others, impatiently rejected, would slip on the floor. I would have to fold them again and put them back in their places; and this extra work , I discovered, I was doing only to help him in his effort to be elegant in his seduction of another woman."
"Leave! Draw a clean line through the past. Turn over a page in which not everything was bright, certainly, but at least all was clear."
"A nervous breakdown waits around the corner for anyone who lets himself wallow in bitterness."

"A victim, she wanted to be the oppressor."
"For pain, even when it's past, leaves the same marks on the individual when recalled."
"All or nothing. Adieu." *This one is my favorite by the way!*

"I went back to my loneliness...I wore it again as one wears a familiar garment. It's cut suited me well. I moved easily in it..."
"But Daba is like all the young, without pity."
"Life is an eternal compromise."

"Daba is my wife. She is not my slave nor my servant."
"Does it mean that one can't have modernism without a lowering of moral standards?"
"And also one is a mother in order to understand the inexplicable. One is a mother to shield when the lightning streaks the night, when thunder shakes the earth, when mud bogs one down. One is a mother to lighten the darkness. One is a mother in order to love without beginning or end."

"One is a mother so as to face the flood."
"What does one gain from pleasures? Early ageing, debasement , no doubt about it..."
"Despite everything-disappointments and humiliations-hope still lives on within me."


Mariama Ba
"It is from the dirty and nauseating humus that the green  plant sprouts into life, and I can feel new buds springing up in me."

"My heart rejoices each time a woman emerges from the shadows. I know that the field of our gains is unstable, the retention of conquests difficult social constraints are ever present and male egoism resists. "

"To love one another! If only each partner could move sincerely towards the other! If each could only melt in the other! If each would only accept the other's successes and failures! If each would only praise the other's qualities instead of listing his faults! If each could only correct bad habits without harping on about them! If each could penetrate the other's most secret haunts to forestall failure and be a support while tending to the evils that are repressed."

Is this book deep or what? I hope this gets you all fired up to read it and throw in a couple of quotes that I may have overlooked. To read my book review go here.

Have a good one!

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Media Monday: Summer Break, Just A Band ft. Owuor Arunga "Winning In Life"

Hasn't this been a long time coming . Anyway, what it do good people can you believe I'm coming  at you with a Media Monday installment? Yeah, I know, me neither. Without further adieu let's get into it son!

Without a doubt if there is a skill that I have mastered to a T, wasting time. I can look  at my nails for what seems like months on end, play with a strand of hair like a kitten with a strand of yarn except our enthusiasm and discreteness levels are worlds apart and stare into nothingness to the point where I give spaced out a whole new angle. But finding Youtube channels that serve more as distractions other than entertainment at least in my case, someone call Guiness Book of World Records because I deserve that plaque honey.

You guys know it all started with Jack's Gap then a little DanIsNotOnFire with a sprinkling of Caspar Lee then Thatcher Joe, just throw in whichever Youtube channel you can think of in this category, chances are I was/am  an addict for a while. Then I discovered vloggers and now Youtube series. Not just any Youtube series, reality series. A combo of two of some of my favorite things. You say heaven on a screen, I say, "Hi my name is Edwina and I am a Youtube-a-holic."

I was back at it again this past weekend. It wasn't the plan but four playlists and two seasons of SummerBreak later, I'm hooked.


Summer Break brings teens from diverse social backgrounds mostly seniors on their last summer break before they start the rest of their lives in college as freshmen and they throw in a couple of juniors going to senior year for the sake of series continuity in the next season. It's also vital to  add that it's mainly a huge ad' campaign by AT&T  a successful one if I may add. Not that it is on this side of the Sahara, but ey, that didn't stop me from lusting after some of the gadgets that were on constant 'casual' show. This is also a heads up on why you will see so many not so sneaky promos in form of selfies, videos through out the season.

It's safe  to say that the two seasons I've watched are pretty much the same, same story different cast. They have activities, road trips you know, the kinda thing to keep the story alive and some drama brewing. When I say drama I mean relationship drama; bro-to-bro, boy-girl, squad/crew/woes or whatever you call your group of friends these days and perhaps the most essential, what's a reality show without a cat fight?

They do try to throw in some actual real aspects of their lives like careers, inspiration, life and death situations but mostly leaving for college. The thing about reality shows is, at some point you end up feeling as though you are them. They have a whole new languge which you master, you call them by their nicknames 'RayRay' anyone? 'ship 'em (WhitRay), take sides when the crew is beefin' basically, you become attached. When it's time to say goodbye to the cast, people you will be forgiven for shedding a tear or two.

This is  where I tell you, 'What are you waiting for? Go watch it?' but there's a twist. Watch it at your own risk, hey, don't blame me if you go through all three seasons in a day or so.

One more thing, it could do with a little bit of diversity. I mean I haven't been to Cali' but I am pretty sure it's not all blonde, brunette babes that make up the female teen demographic.

Until recently Soundcloud  was just another website to me  but I'd say since mid-September I have abused the heck out of it. Reason, Winning In Life by Just A Band ft. Owuor Arunga. Blinky Bill, one of the members, who put it on his Insta bio had me all up on it.

It starts with the usual Just A Band flare, I can't describe it, but you know they are in the building. Almost seamlessly, Owuor Orunga hits the tune up with just the right amount of trumpet because the excitement is still coming but still marking his territory. Enter the Blinky Bill husky voice which I have to say is what I always look forward to. It's just climax after climax with this hit especially when it's pure instrumental fusion between both of them after the ' Kila mtu' turn up signal.

You still playing hard to get? No worries Just A Band gotchu. With some classic, classy trumpet and some funky jazz beats they leave it all on the track, no beat left behind. At this point, even if you do not want to admit it don't sweat it, I'll say it for you, you are officially lit. You are brought back to earth from that cloud 9 experience so suave, you don't even mind the song ending.

The video dropped not too long ago and the awesomeness spilled over there to, plus can you get over the single artwork cover? No? You are not alone. Don't forget to have a listen.

Have a good one!  

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Surviving College : First Week Hacks


*sigh* I  just had one of the easiest mornings in a while; cancelled class, sleeping in and waking up to one of the best DJ sets courtesy of Just A Band's, Blinky Bill topping it all of my tweet getting favorited by him. Can you blame him? My hashtag was, how do I say, fire?

In other news, it's a new month. Besides smoothly easing into it, one month into the school year and homie we made it! Let me be completely honest and say that this whole month felt like the first week of school. Sure it flew past but getting into the hang of things, not so much.

Either way, I figured let me share a few pointers on how to get your bearings on the first week especially in college where the temptation of cutting class is at a record high.

Go your first day. Have an early night and a mindset that vacation is over, sadly. Of course there's the little leeway that  you don't have to rock up on time, so in my humble opinion use the heck out of it, but don't abuse it. Use it because chances are, your professor also hasn't gotten the hang of the schedule plus it is an unsaid rule. The upside besides getting your academic life? Seeing all your friends and classmates. Maybe you missed them or missed seeing their faces. Either way get to know whether their vacay was yay or nay. It takes the dreadfulness out of the first day anyway.

My schedule/timetable comes out nearly a week before school starts but there's always the possibility that a few changes may be made. Usually this is just for rules of engagement between the class and the lecturer i.e moving a class that would otherwise start at 8 a.m. to 8.30 a.m. or 9 a.m. Some professors go out of their way to tell you when your group assignments, tests, individual assignments and the like may be. Does being M.I.A on day one scream no-no yet?

Now that you got your schedule, it's time to know your schedule. The location of your classes, materials  you need each day for instance rolling up on Wednesday or Thursday without my Sale of Goods Act, yup, not happening. Your schedule also lets you know when you do not have class which is a good time to schedule, drum roll please...library binge sessions, study time and group work dates. Slowly but surely by consistently attending class this schedule and your personal schedule become second nature.

The first week is also prime time to size up your lecturer. Are they drill sergeants or the easy going type.Chances are you already have the down-low on them from their past classes but just keep it old school and hear it all from the horse's mouth before you form an inaccurate opinion about them. Of course, accord to each of them the same respect. The first week basically sets the pace for the whole semester and you can gauge whether this is going to be "that" class (exciting) or "that" class (meh).

You and I both know that the first class equals introductions, ground rules, the ol' what-do-you-expect-from-me, what-do-I-expect-from-you run down and course outline. It can take anywhere between twenty minutes and an hour. If you are lucky telling you where all the course materials can be found marks the end of a class. Or does it? Some lecturers waste no time and dive right in. I am not such a fan of this, (who is?) but they are usually the type to complete the syllabus in record time leaving you ample time to study for finals. If anything, I think this is reason number one why you should get yourself to class on your first day/week.

All in all my first month back to school is of to a bumpy start with concluding internships and prior  commitments which thankfully I am done with but on the flip side, the library is seeing a lot more of me these days. No, I do not have tests (yet) or exams, just, you know, working smart. One can only hope that this whole "star student" thing lasts.

How was your first month back in school? Up, down, can't get any better? Let me know in the comments,

Have a good one!  

  

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Book Review: So Long A Letter by Mariama Ba

So we are just going to jump right into the good stuff and ignore the little now-you-see-me, now-you-don't situation I have going on in the blogosphere.

First up, let's not get things twisted I have been reading. I'll Give You The Sun was ah-mazing, To All The Boys I've Loved Before was cute and Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey is, well not my usual. Don't fret, one word descriptions of whole books will not be the norm I just happened to outdo myself in the procrastination department. Well, what do you know, the P word just crept in. Basically, the review of the first two books will go up because I can't live with myself if they don't.

Now that I have aired all my dirty laundry in front of you, the real good stuff.



In a effort to redeem myself from this putting the 'pro' in the procrastination phase, I read So Long A Letter by Mariama Ba borrowed from my good friend Lena. She happens to hold this read and author very highly. Obviously, any literary fave of a friend's is a literary fave of mine, okay, maybe not but you get the picture.

There's something about African Writers, maybe it's the way they make you slow down and force you to stop and smell the roses or whatever aroma that takes you to that special place or how their imagery is so rich and the language so distant from my level, at least. Their sentences are short, but tell a whole story and the repetition is everything but tacky. Aren't or aren't I describing the perfect book?

Meet Ramatoulaye recently widowed first wife of Modou. While she is in mourning she writes her best friend who might as well be her sister, Aissatou, a letter that recounts her life just before and after Modou's death, a long, long letter hence the title, I guess.

Ramatoulaye starts from the beginning working her way back to find the way forward. We follow her as she goes through all phases of grief. Going back and forth in between them, surpassing some, dominating in others but healing nonetheless.

While reading it, it was almost as if, I was invading her privacy. Feeling every inch of her pain especially when she thinks less of herself. You are in her anguish, despair and regret. But because you can't change the past you read on just as Aissatou would.

The source of it all Modou. Just when you are about to start baying for his already cold blood she appeases you, telling you of Modou of the yester-years, described as a god of some sort.

Each turn of a page is like pealing of the seal of another secret, and you thought you knew intense.

Even as she is down on her luck the way she portrays  nearly every woman, in this book you just might understand her inferiority complex. A phoenix rising from the ashes was redefined by Aissatou; braver, stronger, tougher than all her problems. She and no chills Daba earn themselves a spot on my literary bad ass babes.

Finding her balance amidst this whirlwind of emotions is no easy task yet she still manages to be critically realistic. Not driven by intuition or emotion she manages to make the right decision. Not always the one you are rooting for but right nonetheless.

This book makes you want to read and re-read some of its texts over and over again. For a better understanding , not really, for a highly deserved appreciation probably. It is for the divorcee, widow, sugar-daddy and his young love interest especially his young love interest, for families left behind, for those who grieve. For the men it's the ultimate anti-douche guide. Hold your horses now, Ramatoulaye doesn't throw around the "men are dogs" mentality, if anything , she throws the most respectable shade ever. For ladies, super therapeutic as a How-to guide if ever your relationship goes down the drain.

Now I am scared. Of happily ever afters, marriage and possibilities but most of all, having daughters. All will be revealed once you read it.

What takes this book up there? Ramatoulaye takes you into each character's mind, exploring their thoughts, picking them because rants simply don't do it anymore. No man or should I say contentious issue is left behind especially when the right button is pushed.

Do your future a favour and pick up this book!

Have a good one!   

Sunday, 13 September 2015

Surviving College: Holiday Memories

'Sup guys!

It's only the first week of school and I am just about ready to tap out. Or it's just a severe case of holiday withdrawals. What better way to get over it than looking back on the period that was. These are just a couple of highlights that made it memorable; the good, the bad and the neutral.



Nairobi floods. It seemed like just another rainy evening. Myself indoors nice, warm and toasty. If only everyone else could have sung that same tune. Traffic jams that lasted until four a.m and power outages that lasted even longer. I guess it would be safe to say that since then Nairobi has learnt a valuable lesson on the importance of maintaining the city's drainage system. Well, hopefully. But still, what a way to kick start the holidays, huh?

Driving license. Guess who can now be legally behind the wheel cruising at a few kilometers per hour? This girl! Yes I may be two years too late on this bandwagon but I finally got round to it. I would love to say that my skills give Lewis Hamilton a run for his money but it is what it is. There was also the driving test from hell which I may or may not write about. Probably will. All in all , homie we made it!

Posting  three times a week. The month of May would have had you thinking that blogging was my full time job. Posts three times a week, quality posts, somebody call the fire department because I was on fire; Media Monday, Surviving College, Book Reviews, didn't I spoil y'all or what? Well that fire was put out soon after,  be careful what you wish for.

Internships. I had two in four months, talk about a personal best. Of course there will be more in depth posts but this is what you guys you should know; it was the best of both world with one being the liberal artsy environment  and the other the traditional 'profesh' situation plus I learned a tonne from both. This may be my very definition of productivity.

Interviews. In a span of four months I had two interviews. This little experience here taught me a little something about preparation. No stones were left unturned and I sure wasn't about to disappoint my foyn self. It is at this point that I feel like a post dedicated to acing an interview should be in the works, yup, I'll go ahead and put it on my to-do list. That being besides the point, I aced one of them and tanked in the other...until I got a call back from the one that I was supposedly 'unsuccessful' in. Take that failure! That just goes to show what putting yourself out there gets you.

Goals. Especially for my blog I was aiming for nothing but the stars. 36 books were to be read; let me break it down. Two books read a week, 18 posted while on holiday and the other half scheduled for the last quarter of the year. A couple of sewing, knitting and crafting D-I-Y's, find bae, walk down the aisle, start a family, buy my first home. You follow? Yup nearly none of that happened but it still makes for a good laugh.

Other cool stuff: my sister's graduation. YAAASS! She sure showed college, slight obsessions with summer 2015 music playlists, joining HerCampus. retweets from Marcus Hanley by far #1 cool kid from where I stand, Jay Aysher and MTv Africa Music Award (MAMA) Best Pop and Alternative Act 2015 Jeremy Loops.

Little story for you. I have been continuously convincing myself that I was the first to congratulate Mr. Loops on his MAMA win. Him favouriting my tweet had me on cloud 9. It doesn't end there.Well with Jeremy Loops it does. JSomething from Mi Casa mentioned my little old self  in a comment on Instagram. Might as well kick this degree to the curb and be some type of social media guru!

Not convinced that I'd make one heck of a social media guru? Now y'all know in my head, Jack and Finn Harries are my woes. So when I made it into the What do you believe in? video, I knew they felt the same way. Girl in the white sweater with pandas across it, reppin' the 2-5-4 at 0:42, that's me. My clip is only a second long but I always thought fifteen minutes of fame was a little too long anyway.

Yup, as I suspected a walk down memory lane was the perfect cure to holiday withdrawals.

Have a good one!

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Road Trip

I'm alive! I'm alive! If you had a doubt in your mind that I had been wiped off the face of the earth, I am still kicking it!

Besides working like a dog, I popped in and out of the city of Nairobi for a second, literally. Travelled out on Friday and I was back in a heartbeat on Sunday morning. To be precise, 4 a.m. That was my sister's "bright" idea.

Why the impromptu road trip you ask?Well, my Grandma Mildred passed. This past year has been a tough one for my family. Hopefully, if I find the courage, I may do a post dedicated to all the family members who are no longer with us. But, mark my words, this funeral was a celebration of life, which Granny deserved by all means. Whoo! I'm getting a little misty eyed here.

Again, mark my words, in my culture, funerals tend to be the definition of dramatic. Even that may be a bit of an understatement. We go all out; professional mourners, singing, boogying until dawn (the wake) there's some some significance behind it, I forget, church service after church service. Emotion wise we give mood swings a legit run for their money. What can I say it's tradition.

As I said we travelled Friday.Nearly missing our bus by a whisker. A very valuable lesson was learnt, sometimes paying a pretty penny for a cab trumps saving money. Learnt that the hard way. But what momma don't know, momma don't need to know. Except if she reads this post  that entire statement goes up in  flames. It is one thing to roll up fashionably late and it is another to roll up like we did; backpacks that outweighed us, unravelling sleeping bags (mine, figures) and carry-ons packed with your usual road trip tidbits, plus a book...of course. We were a sight for sore eyes nearly every stare asking whether there was some sort of evacuation where we were coming from.

Now the title of this blog post is highly misleading. Honestly it was my version of an apology for my blog hiatus that lasted slightly over a week. If anything it will probably be a visual story. My photography levels were pretty bomb considering I have no legit photography  skills or camera. Imma go ahead and pat myself on the back.

Feast  your eyes on the sites that make up my beautiful country.

P.S. They could have been more breathtaking scenes i.e fir tree forests but I could not whip out my camera fast enough. Yet I still want to be a photojournalist.


 If ever you are in Kenya and are doing the tourist thing, you've gotta stop here (Great Rift Valley Viewpoint) and take it all in. In the distance is Menengai Crater, a mountain (my geography is not what it used to be) and on the floor, further in the distance is a geothermal power plant.
 Lake Nakuru. If I was any better at this photography thing, you may have seen the flamingos.

 'Cause you gotta fill your car boot with groceries.



This is the money shot.




 Kenya is among the top 10 tea producing nations in the world. Welcome to the original home of what may be your heaven in a cup, Kericho.

This post would not be complete without letting you know of my sister's "bright" idea. Do not get me wrong, I love this girl but when we were on that night bus, my feelings towards her... we nearly froze to death! Okay, maybe not, but those below zero temperatures hit past the bone to the very core of my being. The whole point was to come see her play which she produced  *three cheers for my sister* but if that was the price we had to pay...it ain't happening ever again.

Oh well, until next time.

Have a good one!

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Book Review: Quotes from The Absolutely True Diary of A Part Time Indian

As indicated from this post, I was clearly about to re-print the whole book but I want to keep things A plus between myself and Sherman Alexie. Also that post stood a chance of being as long as a thesis at the rate at which I was going. Therefore, here are some of the quotes that I want to remain forever engraved in my memory or in this case, my blog. Plus, you guys simply do not understand how philosophical this book is. I kid you not, this is one is for my lifetime. So, from where I left off;



I used to think the world was broken down by tribes," I said."By black and white. By Indian and white. But I know that isn't true. The world is only broken into two tribes: The people who are assholes and people who are not.

And I kept trying to find the little pieces of joy in my life. That's the only way I managed to make it through all of that death and change.

Do you understand how amazing it is to hear that from an adult? Do you know how amazing it is to hear that from anybody? It's one of the simplest sentences in the world, just four words, but they're the four hugest words in the world when they're put together.
You can do it.

He may not have loved me perfectly, but he loved me as well as he could.

I mean, you have to love somebody that much to also hate them that much, too.

Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.

Yeah, I figured any nightmare would be better than my reality.

"I didn't know what to say to her. What do you say to people when they ask you how it feels to lose everything?"

In the middle of a crazy and drunk life, you have to hang on to the good and sober moments tightly.

Branch by branch, Rowdy and I climbed toward the top of the tree, to the bottom of the sky. 

My sister is running away to get lost, but I am running away because I want to find something.

He smiled mysteriously. Adults are so good at smiling mysteriously. Do they go to college for that?

I draw because words are too limited.

Have a good one!


Monday, 17 August 2015

Surviving College: What I Learnt My First Year of College

What it do, good people?

 Back to school is in a few weeks time, so there wouldn't be a dandier time to walk down memory lane other than now. Shall we?


Let me be the first to put it out there that this last school year technically speaking was not my first year of college. I did a diploma which took a year and four months to complete making that my very first year of college. Now, I am on to my degree, having completed my first year, earlier this year. So if you were a year or two behind me in high school and are thinking, "Say what!" now you know. If you weren't, well you also know.


It's no cup of coffee. The making friends, long classes, getting up early for class, cancelled classes. It does get a little overwhelming I'll tell you that much. During my diploma making friends was not so easy. That's what gave me the most anxiety. By the time I started my degree though, I couldn't care less, one of those been there, done that, bought the t-shirt type of situations. I thought about it less and eventually found my social circle.That's another cheeky lesson for you, do not overthink it. Hey maybe it found me. As for the long classes and getting up early, I wish there was an antidote out there because I am still dealing.

It gets easier. You'll probably find your kind soon enough; people you can vent with and share a light moment during that never ending class. They will be your lunch buddies, snack buddies, walk-home buddies, any buddy (get it!). After a while even a cancelled class does not sting as much and long classes will not necessarily be boring, they may be even be highlight of the semester.

Join a club or two to break the monotony. I am just going to go right ahead and say it, Model United Nations which I talked about here and here give you a week off from school. If that is not a good deal, point me in a direction towards one . That should not be a why you join though. You still have your fair share of school work to catch up on thanks to your, "leave of absence", but it is well worth it. Also most clubs give you that hands on experience way ahead of time in your career field, possibly even explore other options inside and out. This year I got the best of both worlds; some much needed leave and some hands on experience. You simply cannot go wrong with that.

Most people are cool once you get to them. First semester I barely talked to the people outside my social circle. But by the second half of the school year there were hugs all around, inside jokes, heart-to-hearts, roasts; bonds of some sort. Turns out we just needed some time to get to read each other, don't we all?

When you are sick rest. Of course don't be the person that goes overboard and misses nearly a whole week in the name of a mild case of the sniffles. In my case, last semester alone I had tonsillitis, sinusitis and some stomach situation which I will spare you the details and me the embarrassment. Fortunately (you have to look for even a little good in the bad) they happened at either, extreme of the school year where classes were not yet in full force or they were just winding up. While I was doing my diploma on the other hand, I twisted my ankle but limped through a couple of my classes since I had tests and what-not. Sometimes you just have to be a trooper.

Money will be tight. You know how Johnny Bravo would open his wallet and a butterfly would come out proclaiming freedom as the only contents of his wallet besides i.d., well I was not too different either. Of course there's no butterfly in my purse, I'm pretty sure that's cruelty to animals, but on the  buckaroos front I pulled through. This serves as testimony.

And finally...


Procrastination is the enemy. Especially when exams swing by. You will probably read that chapter later, huh? Or go to the library tomorrow. Mhmm. Tomorrow is usually the weekend before exams which has you collapsing under the weight of a few unread chapters that eventually morphed into whole books. This, if I follow through will probably counter this tale of horror.

I guess I made it through freshman year. Second year, we might as well get this show on the road.

Have a good one!  

Thursday, 13 August 2015

Book Review: The Absolutely True Diary of A Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

This has just been one of those weeks. A new internship, new schedule and time to adapt a new. Inspo has also been on the low, so has time but hopefully I will soon get into the swing of things.



The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian. Isn't this book something? But like most books I end up adoring, I didn't like it at first. For one, I new nearly nothing about it, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. The temptation to put this read down was rife . but the guilt would have simply killed me.

It all began with 13 Reasons Why. Sherman Alexie loved it, so did I. If it wasn't for his remark on the cover of 13 Reasons Why, this part-time Indian and I would have never met. I don't know who to thank Jay Asher or Sherman Alexie, either way this was one killer find.

This book starts on a depressing note and the trend shows no sign of disappearing. If anything, the deeper you get into it the more dominant it becomes. Meet Arnold Spirit Jr. never mind that I only figured out his name 48 pages in, one of the most unfortunate souls the planet earth has ever seen. As the title suggests he is of Indian descent living on a reservation with his mom, dad, sister and grandma. His whole life is there and he cannot imagine his life any different. Besides his family, Rowdy his best friend means the world to him, despite the fact that they are polar opposites. There's not much to do or become on the res, thus in a bid not to become another res statistic he chooses life beyond it. Going to the predominantly white high school. Shuttling between these two areas that are worlds apart.

To the good stuff. The elephant in the room or should I say in the book,illustrations in this book are mad good and just add a certain pizzaz maybe even joy to this otherwise ball of depression. Like there's  this one that just cracked me up as he contemplated the answer to "Are you poor?", what about the "How not to act poor". Death by comic strips.

Part-time Indian really gets into it and I have to admit that's what I like about it. Life on a reservation has been painted out to be a dead end. Your future, that of your parents and that of your parents parents are no different. Unfulfilled potential fills the air. So does death, stalled lives after high school also dreams. Junior has this unique ability to see the best in everyone despite what is on the surface, what they could have been other than what they are. Hence the dreams.

Arnold Spirit must be the bravest teen in fictional history. Of course at the rate at which I read, this is subject to change but Arnold despite everything trudges on. His health  is in shambles,  well kind of, but it doesn't stop him from playing varsity basketball in his freshman year of high school. In the looks department, well you can be the judge of that, but from his self description he doesn't have a lot to go on but he dates the finest girl in school.He's the perfect target for bullies but with Jr. here, what you see isn't exactly what you get. The classic underdog tale. Earning himself a spot on my bad-ass list.

Capturing his personality in a few sentences, I refuse to. Ignore the fact that I just tried. You just have to read it to understand Arnold's spirit.

Out of nowhere, the people he holds dearest to his heart begin to die. No it's not an epidemic or an attack, it's just life. He seems like he can handle it but you start seeing his surface giving in. Complete with fault lines escalating to huge gaps. Sherman Alexie shows Arnold at his absolute best and worst.  From when his been beaten to an absolute pulp and his down and out both literally and metaphorically to how he copes with it all the hurt, the laughter, the tears, lists and most of all the support. Closing in the gaps, slowly but surely. Sealing in the fault lines. He really is a trooper with one heck of sense of humor.

In a way this book did it all. It doesn't need a prelude not even a sequel. Any more or any less would simply corrupt it. Honestly, it was enough. This is going to be one of those books that will be my go-to-guides when I'm down in the dumps, after the Bible of course.

I leave you with a couple of though provoking quotes courtesy of this part-time Indian:

"When anybody, no matter how old they are , loses a parent , I think it hurts the same as if you were only five years old...I think all of us are always five years old in the presence and absence of our parents"


"If you care about something enough, its going to make you cry. But you have to use it. Use your tears. Use your pain. Use your fear. Get mad Arnold, Get Mad."


"When it comes to death, we know that laughter  and tears are pretty much the same thing"


Imma have to stop myself guys and do what I do best, divide a lengthy post into two. Next time, expect some Part-Time Indian quotes.

Have a good one!

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Surviving College: What to do with your Weekends

This post was meant to go up on Saturday, here comes the but...it was also meant to be scheduled...but my attempt at being organized has failed tremendously. Heck! It is up now and the weekend swings by ever so often.

Weekends are usually a great excuse to sleep in, laze around in your pajamas, chill, maybe hang with friends, stay up late and do your assignment(s) last minute. The problem comes in when all your escapades leave you starting the week even more tired than you finished it. Well it's time to break the cycle.

image from: thejobshop.wordpress.com

Set your alarm. I know, I know, it's the weekend. Here is where we agree to compromise. Set your alarm a few hours later than your usual weekly wake up time, of course at cock's crow is out of the question. The sooner you are up, the earlier you get to start your to-do list and the earlier you get to finish it. See, it's not all bad.

Clean and neaten up. If you are anything like me, early mornings leave your room in utter disarray. Clothes stuffed in the closet, my variation of folding and a spread, lumpy bed. The weekend is my time to right my wrongs. A little closet organisation, actual folding, sweeping, dusting, moping equals a sound mind. It takes between 45 minutes and an hour.

Then I proceed to the next best thing.

Laundry. I dread every minute of laundry but hey, what has to be done, has to be done. Usually I have a couple of things soaking and others sorted while I clean so that it's one of those in-'n'-out jobs. It isn't. Either way, there is no need to have a laundry pile giving Everest a run for its money.

Meal Prep. I live at home so I do not have to this. But  I did see Youtuber Jayla Koriyan do this and I thought, what a way to be organized. If you have no idea what a meal prep is, let me school ya, this is where you pre-cook and pre-package meals for your consumption during the week. Prepare a healthy menu of your choice, cook everything on it on a given day (the weekend), package it in Tupperware, toss it in the fridge and after one long campus day, pop it in the microwave, eat to your fill, then you can hit the books or the sack. It's all up to you. No hustle, no bustle.

Treat yo' self. Give yourself some TLC. From a lady's end, this would be the perfect time to detangle, wash, deep condition and style your hair for the week. A facial mask may also have my name all over it. If you are into mani-pedi's there could not be a more convenient time to do it. Easing into the chill part of the weekend and you don't even know it.

Chill/Hang out. You can either unwind solo with a good read, binge watch a series maybe even watch a movie. Or if you are one social butterfly link up with a homie or two and have a good time at a festival, party or one of those campus soi·rĂ©es . Did you have a doubt in your mind that the fun was never going to begin?

Schedule blog posts/videos. If you are a content creator who has to juggle this thing called college you probably want to write or film during the weekend since you are heavily swamped with work the rest of the week. The last thing you want is your viewers/readers thinking you pull a disappearing act every time school is in session.

Church. It is always god to show the Almighty your gratitude for getting you through the week and you just might be fueled with inspiration to tide you through the next week.

Assignments. We are kicking last minute assignments to the curb. Your professor is not about to leave any stones unturned as they test your understanding  of the latest topic of discussion thus the dreaded weekend assignment. Schedule some time to get this done. Reasonably early Sunday morn'/mid-morning is a good bet, leaving you ample time to enjoy a second dose of chill time and have an early, anxiety free night.

Sleep. This is one of those legit ways to re-energize for the week. A siesta on a Sunday afternoon does wonders while turning in early enough has you set and ready to roll come Monday morning.

Put some of these on your weekend to-do lists. You will not regret it.

Have a good one!

 

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Book Review: The Duff by Kody Keplinger + Movie Review

Good day everybody!

I'm still carrying on with the good vibes I started the week off with while listening to some Majestic Casual the Hip Hop playlist if you want specifics and overplaying No Sleep, Janet Jackson featuring Mr. Cole World. Blissful living I tell you. Yet another reason why I am little Miss Sunshine this week is because I happened to watch The Duff. But before I get carried away, like I usually do, the book review.

Subconsciously, I have this list of bad ass fictional female lead characters. You are probably expecting a little bit of Tris maybe some Katniss, I hate to break it to you, they are not even featured. So far only Mia and Kim from Where She Went have made the cut and now Bianca from The Duff.



This is the first time I show complete appreciation for how negative, pessimistic and cynical one could possibly be. Right of the bat Bianca is one of those people. If she does not like you, she does not try to change it but if she hates you, that is a whole different story. Her friends, Jessica and Casey are bombshells which makes B, you guessed it, their D.U.F.F. (Designated Ugly Fat Friend). Of course she was unaware of this and so were her friends. This is where Wesley Rush comes in. She has got a few choice words for this guy. Hate is a strong word but she really,really, really does not like him. I have to tell you that was the bait that had me hooked in the first place.

Just like Bianca, Wes has one hell of a mouth on him. Sarcasm could be B's secret weapon but Wes' insidious insult after insult is a good match. On the home front, things aren't very rosy for either of them. This sends them into a series of events as they try to cope.

There are a couple of things I loved about this book; it gets you laughing quite a bit and I mean laugh out loud moments especially when it comes to Wes and B's back and forth. Case in point,

"...along with glass of cherry soda. Interesting choice, by the way, I'd always pegged you for more of a Sprite girl. You know...plain"

When it comes to B being blunt, it's painfully hilarious. But behind the sarcasm and insults these guys are actually really tough cookies going through some really rough patches. On both their home fronts, things are not very rosy which sends B into a series of questionable actions. This is where my dislike comes in. It is very raunchy; sexual content is quite up there. The things these teenagers are doing! Gasp!

The story also feels very familiar at least some parts of it, definitely some cliches but do not get it twisted, there is originality.

The movie on the other hand is a different entity on its own and for the first time I don't mind. Bianca Piper is played by Mae Whitman (Parenthood). The plot is somewhat different  since this Bianca is not feeling the Duff demeanour and seeks Wes' help to drop it in exchange for some much needed Chemistry tutoring.

In all honesty, I like the movie way better. Then again I may be biased, I am a die hard Parenthood fan. There is  a lot of build on most of the characters; Wes is a jock (which could explain why he is such a hit with the ladies), Jessica and Casey are more than just beautiful faces. The soundtrack is pretty bomb, very now, with Charlie XCX, Icona Pop, The Vamps ft. Demi Lovato names you like to hear. It is, mark my words hella funny. HI-LA-RI-OUS. The original story has been changed up a little, a couple of new things added in, actually whole main characters which kinda sorta made it quite entertaining.

You can probably finish it in one sitting, watch the movie and that would be a day well spent if you ask me.

Here is an activity for ya, can you spot Kody Keplinger in the movie (channeling my homegirl Dora the Explorer).

Have a good one!



Monday, 27 July 2015

Media Monday: BET Awards 2015, No Cameras Allowed

Monday people.

You know I got you. For some reason the weekend has left me with some prep in my step. What can I say, POTUS in Kenya the craze was infectious. Media Monday was going to be packed but you know what they say about to much of a good thing.

BET Awards 2015 happened a century ago, well if you are not much for exaggeration it happened a month ago. I watched it a week later after it aired, you know me, Little Miss Punctual. There was such a hype around it, a week later it was still buzzing.

Opening act, Kendrick Lamar. Kendrick and I go way, way back. My last year of high school, 2012; Swimming Pools (Drunk), all white ensemble, artsy video. Just like that he gained a fan. Next thing you know every time his song came on it was necessary to spit his rhymes. I was super stoked to see him as the opening act on that cop car swaying to that Alright beat. Dancers were on the stage, in the crowd and Kendrick was working that stage. Just when you thought it does not get any better, Jidenna and his classy self.

Empire star Chaz with Drip Drop. Enough said. At this point you are probably thinking okay, they have outdone themselves then Boom! a Janet Jackson tribute. You should know that in 2002 there was a similar performance by P!NK, yes, Usher and Mya who just like you, I wonder what face of the earth she disappeared to. Which was better? Maybe the right question is can you put Jason DeRulo, Tinashe and Ciara up against their predecessors? You be the judge. All I will say, Ciara + Rhythm Nation, at ease soldier.

On to the movie front, No Cameras Allowed by Marcus Haney. Main stream movies and myself...not so much, so when the indie bug gets me, it gets me good. There's only one thing to do in that case, visit international film festival sites. The perp' this time was Toronto International Film Festival (tiff), Next Wave. 
Some movies clicked others well, meh. But No Cameras Allowed? When you see a trailer that begins with "In some way I'm a thief..."with close-ups of Beyonce, Jay-Z, Mumford and Sons, Skrillex, Martin Garrix, Tiesto etc. Good grief! That is a game changer.

Photo from: variety.com

Who sneaks into Coachella, Bonnarroo a bunch of EDC concerts, the Grammys, manages to get all access passes(the unconventional type), sneaks 16 of his friends into one of these festivals and that is just the beginning? The one, the only Marcus Hanley. You thought you knew bad. Maybe you even thought you were bad. Marcus is the epitome, the very definition of Michael Jackson Bad.

Being tight for Coachella cash and gas coupled with strong like for a girl who was going to be at the weekend festival, now his girlfriend basically set of his career. The documentary kicks off with a narration from Marcus and his friend on how it all went down. You know how there is always that one person who tells a story so well you think you were there? These guys are them.

His strong will power is simply insane. It's either that or the odds are ever in his favor. Without a press pass he was backstage when Jay-Z performed Empire State of Mind, one of his favorite artistes during his performance turns and sings into his camera.Imagine Hozier as the artiste, I as Marcus. Marcus would probably hold his own I on the other hand I would probably sublime.

The way he tells his story, scenes reminiscent of Ocean's 13 come to mind; how they all meet at one spot after sneaking in, emerging from the crowd, one by one. I feel like I am spoiling it for you. All you need to know is that his pictures are in Rolling Stone, he could possibly pass as a member of Mumford and Sons but most importantly getting to the top is  not always a smooth ride. He has set the level, can you get on it?

Have a good one!

Saturday, 25 July 2015

Powering Kenya



Photo by: Mutua Matheka 

City in the sun by day but in the light by night , defines Nairobi. Walking in Nairobi’s Central Business District during the day can be daunting especially if you do not know it like the back of your hand. It has been known to give worldwide capitals a run for their money. Didn’t Julius Nyerere compare it to London way back when? With Vision 2030 around the corner, Nairobi aims to be a 24-hour economy by being the city that never sleeps and powered by Kenya Power we are bound to get there.

Already, breakthroughs have been made in terms of lighting this already enlightened nation. Whole industries have been given a much needed boost.  Take the world of photography for instance. Everybody wants a bird’s eye view of the city; the quest does not go unsatisfied with nearly every photography enthusiast and professional alike setting up camp on Nairobi’s skyscrapers, just to get that perfect shot of the light illuminating the streets. On your feed, appreciating the talent and hard work of the Mutua Mathekas and Tintsehs who manage to capture Nairobi’s best side is necessary but acknowledging that Kenya Power is at the forefront of such progress is paramount.

The entertainment industry ought to pay homage to Kenya Power. Just as the Kenyan people are known to work hard, they also play hard. A weekend without a highly anticipated event is nearly unheard of. Behind the microphones, the music sets and lit stages, at the heart beat of it all is the electricity. When artistes release their albums- Juliani’s Pulpit Kwa Street- they cordoned off whole lit streets, if they felt the need to give back to their fans, Kenya’s internationally acclaimed act, Just A Band held free concerts in these very streets and when there is a need to remind us of how  far we have come as a nation, exhibitions; Kenya Burning by Boniface Mwangi serve as a perfect memo.

There is no denying that Kenya Power has gone big, but it has not forgotten about the grassroots. Small businesses and entrepreneurial ventures both in urban and rural centers are at the frontlines of being Kenya Power’s biggest beneficiaries. Radios blasting tunes and television sets with the latest on the Kenyan scene keep small business owners company. Tailors work tirelessly on a ladies Kitenge fabric set to be the show stopper at the next wedding they attend. Juakali artisan apprentices work even harder in the hopes of opening their own workshop one day. Dreams and ambitions of progression remain valid due to Kenya’s number one power provider’s consistency.

Its impact  continues whether it be in the number of business incubations cropping up especially in the Information Technology sector or how it directly affects you tirelessly  look for an outlet to charge your gadget. The next time you flip the switch or even crank up the volume on your T.V. set appreciate that Kenya Power continues to power Kenya while empowering the nation.