Talk Show Mania
When: Jan 27th, 2006 2:27:53 am - Subscribe
I'm feeling: Weirded Out
Talk, Opinion, Music, Life, Stuff: Opinion, Life

Is it me or are there too many talk shows on TV? The latest one to be screened on the box (and mine really is a box) is the Tyra Banks show, which started in September 2005, if I am not wrong. I’m thinking that after 20 years of Oprah, every topic under the sun has been discussed!

Yet people are still drawn to talk shows, and every new show is guaranteed to have a viewing. What draws people to these shows (me included)? Is it the joy of watching people air their dirty linen on TV? Or is it that we have too much time on our hands? Maybe it’s the hype surrounding the show host, like Oprah or Tyra. I guess the main appeal comes from people who don’t have a problem talking about personal issues on the box. We can sit at home and watch people talk about issues we may be facing but can’t deal with.

TV shows have also brought about a revolution in people behavior. I remember watching a show called “Men, Women and Dogs” or something like that. Two male friends were comparing notes on how to pick up women (what else?) One, lets call him X, is the more dorky and sensitive dude, while Y is the down and dirty playa. So X tells Y that he checks out women from book stores. He takes Y to a book store and explains the different type of women he can find in such a place. According to dorky X, women who pick books featured on Oprah’s Book Club are women who don’t really have a mind of their own. Well, at the end, each dude found a lady to date. Since that episode, I am very conscious not to rush to Oprah’s book section (even if I didn’t like that program). Sad, but true. Thankfully she doesn’t really feature non-American books, so I’m safe.

I can imagine if we had a talk show here. Oh the drama! Would it last a week? The general perception is “you do not air your dirty laundry for all to see”. But we are still wajuaji - nosy people. I can imagine people would enjoy watching others air their linen, but wouldn’t do so themselves.

In the mean time, we have taken a 3-week break from non-stop talk shows because of the Africa Nations Cup. Not that I’m complaining!! Watching men playing football is eye candy :-) Can’t wait for the World Cup!

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2006 In Review
When: Jan 16th, 2006 2:04:47 am - Subscribe
I'm feeling: Anticipative
Talk, Opinion, Music, Life, Stuff: Life


Happy New Year all!! My New Year was great!! I hang out with my friends, counted down the New Year with screaming and excitement and then continued hanging out till morning. I didn't sleep till Sunday night, which was almost 36 hrs of insomnia. I think that was time well spent.

Anyway, this is a pivotal year because I have decided to do the unthinkable. I am going to set some New Year resolutions. This, my friends, is an unprecedented happening. Never, in the history of my life, have I written anything of such magnitude like resolutions. I tell you, it's BIG!! But I will write them (sometime soon) and maybe share some on this thing. But you can be assured that one resolution will be to lose weight. This is probably the most common resolution at the beginning of the year, and the most broken resolution at the end of the year. But what are New Year resolutions if you don't say you want to lose weight.

Resolutions aside, there are a few things that I want to see happening this year. I checked out my horoscope predictions for the year just for the sake of it. The predictions say a lot nice things. (They should, or no one will believe them!) Apparently, I should change careers or business from September, watch my health especially in March, and watch my financial decisions during April and May. But horoscopes are not real. I mean, how can I and 510 million Aquarians have the same pattern of life?

So, here are my predictions of what's going to happen this year

1. January - I will be one year older. Yes, I am a January baby. Just so you know, my ideal present would be a laptop, or maybe roller blades, but I'll eat pizza for sure.

2. February - “clever" men know the time to start dating is February 15th. On February 14th, we will be assaulted by flowers in all hues of red. Those who take it more seriously will dress up in red. Wallets will be empty, and credit cards maxed out by 15th.

3. March - A slow month with nothing major. The interaction of Mars and the stars will give away Osama bin Laden's hideout. The position of the sun over the Indian Ocean must bring rain to our parched country.

4. April - The heavy rain season continues in full swing. I will consider stealing a car because walking around in rain is not good on my hair or clothes.

5. May - I will begin my Masters degree. In spite of my genuine excuse that I am working, my professors will do their best to drown me in work.

6. June - One public holiday, at least. This is time for colonial retribution. During the World Cup, (which I will watch religiously) Angola will win Portugal 1 - 0 in a thrilling match. This is the most important match in my opinion. PS: If you are from a country with a team in the World Cup, I need you to send me a mini-flag and team jersey to wear while cheering.

7. July - Boring, cold, slow month after the World Cup. My sister turns one year older, which means pizza!!

8. August - A cursed month in Kenya. All sorts of mishaps and deaths occur at this time, except last year, so let's see what happens this year. The stars are a bit fuzzy on this one.

9. September - 2nd semester of my MBA. Those professors are at it again with all their assignments. I'll prolly have cut weight from all that work.

10. October - two public holidays, hurray!! 2 days off school and work. This is a good star!!

11. November - No referendum this time, so it will be just another month. Al Zarqawi will be shot by the Sagittarius arrow.

12. December - time to take a chill-pill and enjoy the end of another year. This means party after party after party. Hurray!

Happy New Year! grin.gif


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Merry Christmas
When: Dec 22nd, 2005 1:54:29 am - Subscribe
I'm feeling: ((( Excited )))
Talk, Opinion, Music, Life, Stuff: Opinion

Merry Christmas All and A Happy New Year.

This is the conclusion of another great year. A time to eat and enjoy myself and meet with my relatives. I have no complaints, except of course, that I didnt lose the weight I said I would. Infact, I have gained some. Oh well, there's always next year.

In this age of materialistic commercialisation of holidays, I choose to remember the true reason and meaning of the holiday. Jesus was born, one night, in downtown Bethlehem, to bring salvation to those who believe in Him.

I have been watching this Merry Christmas vs. Happy Holidays bull going round in the western hemisphere. What the hell is Happy Holidays? Political Correctness at its best!! I could go on and on about it, but I'd rather look forward to doing Christmas the Kenyan way.

So I will go to church on Christmas morning, sing christmas carols at the top of my (hoarse) voice, wish my buddies a Merry Christmas, go for our family get together, sing some more carols and have a Christmas sermonette, eat, drink and be merry with my relatives, and then go home in the middle of the night. Or maybe Monday morning.

Christmas IS the best time of the year.

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Madd Progress
When: Dec 15th, 2005 11:00:57 pm - Subscribe
I'm feeling: Excited
Talk, Opinion, Music, Life, Stuff: Stuff

Microsoft released the Kiswahili Language Interface Pack for Office 2003. They will release Windows XP in Kiswahili sometime next year.

I downloaded it yesterday and I must say I am terribly excited. Finally, I can use something in my own language. Its very interesting the way, technologies seems so much more accessible, now that it is in Kiswahili. I mean, I am in the IT field, so I am no stranger to computers, but this latest development makes computers seem nearer somehow.

For those who use OpenOffice, there is Jambo OpenOffice - the Kiswahili version. It was released late last year. BTW, Open Office is free software. One problem though. The team did not involve Kiswahili speakers of other countries, except Tanzania. The rest of East and Central Africa speak Kiswahili, so why were they left out? sad.gif You can download the latest version at www.openoffice.org .

If you are a Kiswahili speaker, you had better get this software ASAP. grin.gif

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The Scariest Day of the Year
When: Dec 6th, 2005 12:48:35 am - Subscribe
I'm feeling: lovely
Talk, Opinion, Music, Life, Stuff: Scrrrrddd!!

OH MY GOODNESS! On Monday afternoon there was an earthquake measuring 6.9 on the Richter Scale. I was in the office, on 19th Floor somewhere in the middle of the hustle and bustle of Nairobi. There I was, doing the whole IT thing, when I decided to step out of the office. As I walked down the corridor, I noticed people running around, which is unusual, because I am the hyper one.

I thought a colleague had collapsed at the lift or something, so I asked someone, "what's going on?" There's an earthquake, she tells me. I started giggling (how inappropriate) and went to one of the windows in the reception. I looked out of the building and noticed that it was swaying! Like the Kenya flag on a Friday!

Our building is near the site of the 1998 Bomb Blast, so the people milling around the windows were told to move away quickly, lest flying glass cuts them. After a few minutes of helpless inaction, we decided that it's best to scamper for safety.

That's when I started feeling woozy, like I had been jumping on a trampoline. My (very) short life didn't flash before my eyes as I rushed back to the office. I quickly grabbed every woman's essentials, my handbag and cell phone, and took off down the stairs. When we got outside there was already a big crowd of Nairobians that had spilled out onto the streets.

And true to the Kenyan spirit, rumours started flying around. Apparently, a text message had been going round that warned people that there would be an earthquake. How true that is, I dunno!! Some people said they thought they were having heart attacks, while others thought something from lunch was punishing them. Oh the drama!

I didn't think it was a big deal till I saw on the news that it affected East and Central Africa. The upside (if there's any) was that no one died, except in D.R Congo, and I left the office an hour early. What a day!


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State Of The Marital Union - Part 2
When: Dec 6th, 2005 12:36:09 am - Subscribe
I'm feeling: Kidogo Amused
Talk, Opinion, Music, Life, Stuff: Opinion, Life

Celebrities have made a fashion of making a mockery of marriage. It's too bad we look up to them (other people, not me :-)). If it isn't Elizabeth Taylor and her collection of husbands, it is our dear Nick and Jessica, or Brad and Jen, take your pick. In high school, we had a slang phrase for people who kept changing things and opinions on a whim. For example, you could say, "So and so changes her nail polish/ hair style/ boyfriend like underwear." In the same breath, we could say such and such a celebrity changes boy/girlfriends like underwear.

I really need to understand what big problem people have with being married. Marriage-haters seem to be more that married folk. Everywhere you turn, there is someone, most probably a woman, saying she doesn't believe in marriage. Yeah, right. Most of these people are not married, and have never been married, so what do they know?

Me, I personally believe that the problem is not marriage, but the people who marry. When you come together with a partner, that is the only time you can create the space called marriage. If you are in that space, you know what it feels like, and so you are qualified to speak, and possibly complain.

If you don't come together with another person, then you can't create it. If you are not married, how can you complain about marriage, when you and another person are not in that space? However, if you are, you can complain, because you are in that space.

My point, there are some things you can't start to comprehend until you get there. If you are born without a physical challenge, then it's kinda hard to really know what lack of hearing or sight is. In this situation, you can empathize from what you see or hear about physical disability.

If by accident you lose either, then you come to truly understand what a person born in that situation is going through. It's prolly the same with being married. When you get in is when you truly understand what happens, otherwise when you are outside, you do not have that very vital first hand experience.

This is not to say that being outside a situation doesn't give you a valid viewpoint. I'd just rather hear about the trials and tribulations of being married from a person who has actually been there, at least once. It's a credibility issue! But then again, we have all seen things about marriage that we don't like, like infidelity and abuse, and so we don't want to go there. But then we have to remember it's one or both of the married people in that ‘space' are the ones who commit infidelity, not the marriage.

Now to these celebs, I should prolly feel sorry for them. But maybe they would say they wouldn't want my pity. Have they heard of pre-marital counselling? They can afford the best shrinks before marriage and avoid the most expensive lawyers after. It only makes logical sense. (I'm being cruel, hehehe, but I had to say it.)

Thus, we need to be very careful about the sources of our information. If someone complains about marriage, they may be covering up an issue like fear of rejection. I believe that there is a message behind a person's words, there is something they are trying to say underneath the words they use. Just think of your own words. How many times do you say, ‘men are dogs'? (words) You hope that your friend will pick up on the fact that you want to talk because some dude dumped you (message behind the words). Then you wait expectantly for them to ask, "What's wrong?", but all they heard was ‘Men are dogs'.

But then again, some people really just don't believe in marriage. Take your pick.

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Statistics - Whats Going On?
When: Nov 30th, 2005 5:19:07 am - Subscribe
I'm feeling: Kinda Bored
Talk, Opinion, Music, Life, Stuff: Life, Opinion

In the Numbers section of the Nov. 28 Time Magazine is an interesting, what do I call it - fact. Apparently it took Apple Computers online store 20 days to reach 1 million downloads for the new video iPod, while it took only 7 days for a website offering porn videos for iPod to reach the same mark.

I, for one, am totally in lust with Apple Products, like the Ipod and the 17 inch G4 Powerbook. (I want one of each for Christmas.) But thats not the point. I wonder, were these people spending hard earned money to buy iPods (which are not cheap), just to view porn? I hope not. Or maybe its not hard-earned. Anywho, its interesting how much faster the porn downloads were, 3 times as fast. Steve Jobs and his people at Apple couldn't have seen this coming.

This little statistic is tucked away at the corner of page 25, but has big implications. Apparently the porn industry is very huge, earning millions of dollars. So, I guess it makes perfect sense for the businessmen and women of the industry to diversify their product range and target market. Soon they will start PODcasts, a fancy name for broadcasting pre recorded media content over the web. (I hope I haven't given someone a business idea!) This, my friends, is what is called capitalism - Show me the money!

How far are we willing to go to make money? Pornography and the term porn, draw the biggest number of hits on the Net, followed by the term religion. Do the people at Apple just this event as an indicator of the popularity of their gadget? It translates to good sales of that beautiful gadget, but there are other considerations. Of course, Apple cannot start telling people how to use their IPod, but the ethical question rests on those who use that technology to propagate porn. (Hold on, we are asking the wrong people ethical questions.) Ok, I'm hating, but honestly, what's going on?

In other news, Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson, (ati who??) have announced their split after 3-odd years. Celebrities, what planet do they live on? However, that's for another day.

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I-Vote, Therefore, I-Rock
When: Nov 23rd, 2005 4:17:12 am - Subscribe
I'm feeling: Totally Jazzed
Talk, Opinion, Music, Life, Stuff: Life

Hurray!! The referendum period is now over. After months of noise in the public domain, we can now get back to important things, like the coming Christmas holiday (oohh! and building the country).

Voting is sooo exciting!! I could vote everyday if it was possible! Kenyans came out in their numbers, some 6 million people, and 57% of them rejected the proposed constitution. That number includes ME!!

Thankfully, the process was very peaceful, not to mention free and fair. We are quite the democratic bunch, arent we?

There are a number of things that came out of this period. One, the loong weekend, from Saturday to Tuesday. Needless to say I did absolutely NOTHING!! I loved doing nothing.

Two, we once again proved that we know what democracy is. Its not a big concept to wage war over, just the ability to go to a polling station, cross a space on a paper, place the paper in a box, and wait for the results.

The next voting period is two years away, and in that period, knowing how Kenyans are, we will see all sorts of things in the political arena. I wonder whats next. It had better be accompanied by a long holiday.


I-Vote, Therefore, I-Rock!!

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Who Asked For Your Opinion - Part 2: So We Are All The Same?
When: Nov 2nd, 2005 11:14:12 pm - Subscribe
I'm feeling: Tickled
Talk, Opinion, Music, Life, Stuff: Life


" I cant escape this life that I'm living,
I'm in a fix, I'm in love with two women,
I've got two honies on my mind,
And I don't wanna let none of them GO!" - Lost Boys (hip hop group)

I'll tell you where you can GO; Netherlands. Apparently, polygamous civil unions are possible in the country where smoking weed and same-sex marriage are legal. A heterosexual man, Victor, "married" two bi-sexual women, Mirjam and Bianca, in one civil union function. What is the world coming to? Are Africans being beaten at their own game? At least a polygamous African man will marry one wife and take a break before getting another!

I almost died of laughter reading this story. I passed it round the office and needless to say it livened the dull, rainy afternoon. I mean, how can you upstage an African? We run this!!

On the serious side (yeah right!), there are a number of issues that intrigue me. When the missionaries came (even from Netherlands) to spread the Gospel in Africa, they set about to eradicate the "backward and retrogressive practices of the war-like natives" like polygamy. Barely a century later, their descendants are in the final stages of legalizing the same "practices" Africans are still castigated about. Talk about preaching water and drinking wine. (I wish these missionaries could rise from the dead now and see what is going on in their countries!! Hehehe! )

Which brings me to the million guilder, no, euro question, do we as Africans need to listen to foreign opinion about our culture and traditions? Why should we be made to feel inferior about our traditions, when some years later, those castigating us will rename and adopt our traditions? And why is it that when Europeans adopt such "unions" they are viewed as progressive and "LIBERAL" (oh how that word irritates me!), while Africans are called backward and retrogressive people out to stifle "women's rights"? Note that in Africa, polygamy is culturally acceptable.

On the other hand you can not compare the African view of polygamy with this newfangled Dutch version. There were cultural, (note - cultural) reasons for polygamy in Africa e.g. the necessity of labour in agrarian societies, pride and prestige of polygamous families, safety and security against high mortality rates e.t.c. Someone said culture establishes social institutions to maintain the continuity of a society, and polygamy was one of those institutions in Africa.

I can help wondering if polygamy in Netherlands is the logical progression down the "slippery slope". The slope started with civil unions then same-sex marriages. Now that same-sex marriages are allowed, it is only a matter of time before polygamy and polyandry and other group-type marriages are legalized. Watch this space. I'm interested to see how long this marriage will last.

What will they pick up next (from Africa)? Hmmm. There are those pushing for marriages where a woman can marry many men. Polyandry, I think. Before the liberals claim it as another progressive, industrialised thought, may I note that it is already practiced by the Irigwe and Tiriki communities of Nigeria (a country in Africa, for those who are deficient in geography), amongst other African communities .

We could go on, but I have a term paper due some time soon. In the mean time, it will be very interesting to see what new developments take place.

In the words of my fave singer Jill Scott - "What goes around comes around really do, really does come back around"

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State of the (Marital) Union
When: Oct 26th, 2005 5:27:07 am - Subscribe
I'm feeling: confuzzled
Talk, Opinion, Music, Life, Stuff: Life

"It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife." Not my words, I hasten to add, before I am accused of plagiarism. The first sentence of that awesome book Pride and Prejudice still rings true today, even though people pretend that they don’t see the need for that institution.

So I was chatting with someone about the prevalence of sugar daddies, and now sugar mummies. These are the older, married folk of society who have affairs with younger members of the opposite sex, i.e. sugar daddy gets a young girl who he piles with money and expensive gifts and gets an especially warm bed in return. A sugar mummy is the female version. For a long time sugar daddies were the norm in society, partly because men have more opportunity to accumulate wealth and power. These men of "stature" still attract women at their feet like flies to rotting meat.

Sugar mummies are more interesting, more so, in the African context where such ideas do not apply. It’s not an issue of whether it is right or wrong, moral or immoral, dating and marrying older women is just not African. Take it or leave it.

But then feminism came along, and there was an outbreak of sugar mummies. These women have beaten men at their own game. They may be wealthy, lonely women trapped in loveless marriages, whose husbands are getting a little extra marital loving. So they go out and do the same, after all, an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. And the young men are not complaining!! Would you, if you had women beating down your door?

This phenomenon is also encouraged by the hard economic times and a lack of jobs for the youth. Sugar daddies and mummies started adulthood in a time when jobs were common like air. 20-30 years later, the concept of job availability and security is at display in the museum. If you look for a job for a long time in this harsh and competitive environment, and you can’t find any, (and you have bills to pay), what do you do? Get a sugar someone!!

Any way, back to this person; he is not amused by the shortage of marriageable women. "Sugar people" have totally obscured the courtship landscape. Check out this scenario: A guy of say 25, with little in terms of material possessions to his name, wants an wifey. He started working at 22, so he doesn’t have a lot. Like a typical bachelor, he has 1 (plastic) cup, one spoon, 1 (small) cooking pot, 1 chair, 1 (undersize) bed and a huge state-of-the-art entertainment system.

A lady of 25 has more material possessions (and a better furnished house) than he does, courtesy of her sugar daddy. Of course, the lady wont dare hook up with a broke dude. The dude is now resigned to non marital bliss until his net worth increases. What is he to do? End of scenario.

I finished reading Pride and Prejudice for the fifth time (love that book!), and I still don’t know what to think of the situation. Its not that all women have sugar daddies! No, but they are a blip on the dating radar that cannot be wished away for some people. So, is my friend looking in the wrong place, or is he looking in the wrong place purposefully because he has commitment-o-phobia? Or are there no women to marry? Heck, do we need to marry? Hmmm.


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