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Monday, October 27, 2014

Baby Dreams

Baby Dreams

Ever since I was a little girl I had dreams of having a family.  Growing up I played with dolls and pretended to be a Mom,  in fact,  a working Mom who juggled ever facet of life.  When I was a little older I even watched my nephews on a regular basis.  Later,  I baby sat on the weekends and evenings and during summer holidays.
I continued to care for children throughout my college career,  then made a career of it in fact by getting a master's in Education and in the end being the Head Mistress of a Nursery and Elementary School in Nigeria.

For years,  I made friends with midwives and doulas, lived/worked/collaborated with organic farms,  food coops, and environmental organizations.  Working in Education I attended and even taught at conferences regarding the latest teaching method and parenting skills.  I had this idea of how easy it is to actually to be that dream parent. You know the one I'm talking about,  the kind that only feeds your kid organic food,  who never turns on the TV,  who makes all the food from scratch, etc.  I stupidly blindly believed the utter crap and nonsense I was preaching until I had a kid of my own.

So along comes baby Naniya.  She was born in Jersey and shortly after we moved to Brooklyn.  I started working full time when she was six weeks old.  But even before this,  all those ideals and beliefs I had long been thrown out the window and I opened a new window.  I call this window,  "whatever works for you as Parent's window. " Lol.

I breastfed her until about 8 weeks.  Around week 5 I had to start giving her formula as well because I couldn't supply enough milk.  She was literally sucking me to death.  It was painful and time consuming.  The pump I got didn't work and I didn't at the time have access to more resources that I got later on,  where I would have been able to pump probably had I had a better one.  I was blessed because my Mother-in-law lived with us and she took care of Nani while I was at work.  But my first two dreams of one breast feeding long term and staying home longer with my baby were dashed quickly when the start reality of NYC life set in.

It's funny because at the School I ran,  parents kept telling me, "Oh, you just wait until you have kids of your own. " Lol.  I've already used that line myself now.  And now I truly get it.  In fact,  when my sister or friends tell me stories about their babies,  I can totally call their bluff within seconds.  In my yahoogroups I often feel guilty when some parents make comments and talk about how they raise their child in what was my "dream" way of raising Nani.

But over time I've gotten over the guilt.  She's 16 months old now.  She's strong,  healthy,  extremely happy,  energetic, and I'm no longer embarrassed to admit,  that yes,  sometimes Elmo is her Babysitter, and sometimes Queen Elsa and Princess Anna. I'm no longer ashamed to admit Yes,  she would bounce in her jumper chair for at least an hour up to 3 times a day.  In fact,  she's got amazing legs because she spent hours doing squats, lol. Also,  I'm not ashamed to admit that at one point she stopped eating anything,  like anything and would only drink milk.  But you know what,  at some point that stopped.  She decided to start eating again and did so with vigor. I'm also not ashamed to admit that yes,  on the average she goes to bed after 11pm and sleeps till 9am or later. I'm sure most of you reading this are in utter shock by my last words and want to call the authorities on us.  Now before you all faint or start screaming, let me tell you why.   Her father is a musician and an artist.  Her mother is a writer and works as a consultant.  Naniya has adapted to our schedule which also helps us be the ones to take care of her.  She's not in day care.  She's in our care.  Naniya has never really been sick before.  I can say this is because she's not been in daycare.

We still strive to feed her well rounded organic meals,  make sure she has lots of activities which teach her things and burn her energy and give her a balanced life she needs. We are doing the best we can.  And it may not be the dream way I thought I'd parent her but it is the best way I can for now.

So the moral to my story is this,  please don't feel guilty for not being perfect but feel proud for trying as hard as you can to just be there and finding what works for you. 

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Jealousy

Jealousy is an emotion that I wish I didn't feel.  I don't often feel jealous but when I do it is strong and vicious.  I am incredibly loyal and devoted to the ones I love so if I feel someone is threatening my territory I naturally strike back.  I'm fierce and will fight back or even attack if the need be.

Jealousy is an emotion that knows no logic.  It's uncontrollable like a storm.  It has no boundaries.  It's dangerous.

Recently, I've been afflicted by its disease for good reasons but I wish it were one that could be controlled by a pill or something because it's literally killing me from inside.

It's this impossible thing that makes you paranoid, nauseated, and all consuming like a bad case of typhoid or some other tropical disease. 

How do you deal with your jealousy? How do you deal with jealousy when your lover is the jealous one? Comments happily accepted.

Good night.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Laolu and the Afromysterics Upcoming Performances

As most of you might know, I am the manager of the band, Laolu and the Afromysterics, I'm going to be making a post every so often here so you will keep abreast of the upcoming events.



So here we go:

August 7th @ Four Freedoms Park on Roosevelt Island, NYC 6-7:45 Free
August 29th @ Spike Hill in Williamsburg, Brooklyn 9p-1am
August 30th @ Bar Chord in Ditmas Park, Brooklyn 9p-12a
September 5th @ Silvana, Harlem, NYC 10p-12am
September 13th @ East NY Farmers Market, Brooklyn 11a-2pm
October 17th @ Shrine in Harlem, NYC, Felabration, 9-12am

photo courtesy of Alakija Studios
www.alakija.com


Also, check out www.laolusenbanjo.com
instagram: LaoluSenbanjo
Facebook:  Laolu Senbanjo
twitter: @afromysterics




Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Music performances in Brooklyn

So we've been working hard at the Laolu Senbanjo Gallery in Brooklyn lately. We've got loads of shows coming up!  Check them out here!  If you are in NYC you should try and come!

Www.laolusenbanjo.com 646.239.6170

Monday, April 7, 2014

Arik Air Rage

Arik Air Rage
My reaction
By Kate Hallet
So after reading on Twitter about this Arik Air Rage stuff and talking about it with my family and friends, then upon watching the actual video myself I was shocked to discover that all of it was nonsense,  utter bullshit, waste of time discussing,  and people acting a fool unnecessarily.
I mean,  first of all,  this did not occur mid flight as supposed,  this did not occur in the air,  it occurred on the ground before the plane moved at all. Now,  in my years of flying I've waited in planes without electricity all over the world. Often because of refueling,  I believe it's necessary but I'm not an aeronautical engineer,  but I do recall them often saying we have to turn off the air momentarily while we refuel.
Now,  I don't think anyone will argue with me regarding good customer service skills are not the norm in Nigeria,  yet,  people freak out when they are given none,  yet I must admit,  the flight attendants were not rude, were giving out drinks, and seemed cooperative.  Also,  I was a bit fearful for them because mobs can kill people. When you fly in Nigeria you often have to wait,  immigration treats everyone terribly and blatantly request significant bribes.  Life in Nigeria is often hard and filled with stress.  I often wonder how and why I did it. And why I ever consider going back? So why is it people question when they get no customer service or are treating people poorly? I mean,  I highly doubt those same people who were shouting,  screaming,  and throwing themselves at the doors are kind and provide impeccable customer service at their jobs,  lol. 
Nigeria needs a culture shift plain and simple. Religion has power in Nigeria,  yet people are not kind at the bank,  on the road,  at the stores, the hospital,  etc,  even though when you yourself go to those very same places you expect and hope top be treated with kindness. It's such an oxymoron and we are so short - sighted to remember,  this could be me.
Considering this whole malaysian airline situation as of late, I would think twice before boarding a plane,  and before causing a ruckus on one.
I mean,  why in God's name would you fly Arik over the Atlantic anyways? Hello! If they have terrible customer service as it is,  God forbid something bad happens,  what do you think they'd do than? Think twice before you book,  My people!
And please,  next time calm down,  drink water,  greet your neighbor,  and thank god you are not MH370.
Good night and Good luck.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Davido performs in NYC

So Davido performed a few days ago in Brooklyn.  Ironically, not far from where we live.  This is the second time I've had a 'run-in' with Davido.  We first met back in Abuja at Gospell's studio when he was recording there.  Anyways, I was looking forward to seeing him again.  

So he performed at Jamaican club I'd never heard of before called 48 Pulse that's in East Flatbush.  I'd never really been to that part of Brooklyn before and it's kind of in the middle of nowhere.  It's in a strange part of Brooklyn to me because where I live there's literally everything one could need.  However, I literally had to drive ten minutes just to buy a scissors.  Anyway, so the club is quite large, but definitely not one I'd ever heard of, it's in a part of Brooklyn most people have no desire to go to, and usually when you tell a Nigerian that you live in Brooklyn they usually frown.  So... needless to say, it was quite shocking that Davido, one of Nigeria's current music superstars was performing in East Flatbush at a whopping $40 a show!  I mean, Antibalas charges $25 for their performances and they play at SOB's with like 11 other guys in their band.  It's totally cray cray and absurd to me that people would literally come from all sorts of areas in New York and Jersey to come to East Flatbush in droves to see Davido for $40 not including their transportation cost.  AND LITERALLY people did come out in droves.  

Ok, so that's part one of the story but this is part two.  Laolu and Onyew performed at this show.  Their sound check was so late that people had already arrived.  They had a very LONG sound check, like 45 minutes.  They performed a lot and people were really enjoying their flow.  However, when it came time for them to perform, they were actually supposed to perform just one song with another musician but I don't want to rip him to shreds on my blog, which most of you would say is my style, but he's not a very serious person, the crowd wasn't feeling the live music because the audience was just cheap and silly.  Again, I could say worse but let's leave that til later.  We left around 3am and struggled to leave because all exits were literally blocked, like for real.  We got home around 3:45am.  Which by the way was the time that Davido had left the stage.  We live ten minutes away.  So in between the time we left and got home Davido had performed his twenty minute lip synced set!  Na wa for him o.  Like, oh my God.  People paid $40, at least $5 for the subway but there's no station around there and you cannot walk around that neighborhood, and so they likely spent at least $30 minimum for cabs and they got a 20 minute show that wasn't even what they wanted.  

So I am so disappointed in that crowd that night. I mean, I knew that back home in Nigeria, most people do not appreciate live music monetarily.  However, people at least come.  Since we've been stateside, we've found that West Africans do appreciate live music both monetarily and by listening and dancing but these folks, I dunno, maybe it's an age gap, or something?  Scratch my head because all they seem to want is the same crap that people want back home in Nigeria.  A cd played over a loud speaker, speakers so loud you cannot hold a convo, a bar that's so packed that you cannot order a drink, and the same damn beats over and over, music with no heart, no soul, no meaning, no creativity.  What is wrong with us????

So in the end, I learned a lot that night.  One, that is not Laolu's crowd.  Two, Laolu performs at much better venues than Davido.  Three, that you do not always get what you pay for!

If you want to find out the real heart and soul to most musicians in Nigeria, look to the producers.  They are what you should be paying $40 to see.  They are the true Artists.  

Long Live LIVE Music!

Dollar Vans

So I live in Brooklyn, a part of Brooklyn that's called Ditmas Park but the greater area is called Flatbush.  In fact, our zip code, 11226 is the most diverse zip code in all of NY.  This should tell you a little bit about our neighborhood.  So in our neighborhood we have these terrorist on the road, they are called, Dollar Vans.  They are these long 15 passenger vans that are decorated in their own ways, usually with all sorts of advertisements on them but it reminds me of the large trucks in Nigeria that haul all sorts of goods.  Anyways, point being, they drive like madmen, swerving in out of traffic when and how they want.  They never signal, never obey the speed limit and I am always surprised that they don't kill pedestrians.  In fact, when I see them, it almost seems like they are kidnapping people because similar to Nigeria there seems to be a conductor or a guy who's collecting $2 from the person entering but they enter usually with the van just slowing down, not coming to a stop, the conductor helps pull the person in while the van still is in motion, so to me it looks like kidnapping because once that happens, they speed of crazily.  

I never once expected such things to be happening here in NYC.  This is just one of the many things that NY and Nigeria have in common.  I continue to both fear them (these buses) and at the same time, fight them and they remind me of my days of learning how to drive against the achabas in Yola, later learning how to deal with the Abuja Friday Mosque traffice on Fridays, and later even driving in Lagos.  

So no matter how far I seem to get away from Nigeria, Nigeria never seems to leave me, ever.  


Monday, March 10, 2014

Girl Scout cookies available in Brooklyn in March 2014

St. Augustine Episcopal Church

4301 Avenue D
New York, NY

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Saturday, March 15
11:00 AM-2:00 PM
0.9 Miles

St. Augustine's Episcopal Church

4301 Avenue D
New York, NY

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Saturday, March 22
10:00 AM-2:00 PM
0.9 Miles

Brooklyn Prospect Charter School

3002 Fort Hamilton Parkway
New York, NY

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Saturday, March 15
6:00 PM-9:00 PM
1.2 Miles

Pathmark

1525 Albany Avenue
New York, NY

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Saturday, March 22
10:00 AM-3:00 PM
1.4 Miles

GS Troop 2696

925 East 37th Street
New York, NY

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Sunday, March 23
12:15 PM-2:00 PM
1.4 Miles

Kings Church of Christ

1371 Rogers Avenue
New York, NY

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Saturday, April 5
9:00 AM-3:00 PM
1.4 Miles

Brooklyn College

2900 Bedford Avenue
New York, NY

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Sunday, April 6
2:00 PM-4:00 PM
1.4 Miles

PS 372

512 Carroll Street
New York, NY

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Saturday, March 29
1:00 PM-4:00 PM
2.1 Miles

Private Home

18 Cambridge Place
New York, NY

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Tuesday, April 1
10:00 AM-6:00 PM
2.2 Miles

Hasan Laundro Mat

404 Nostrand Avenue
New York, NY

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Saturday, March 15
11:00 AM-1:00 PM
2.3 Miles

Friendship BC

92 Herkimer Street
New York, NY

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Saturday, March 22
10:00 AM-12:00 PM
2.3 Miles

Bethany Baptist Church

460 Marcus Garvey Boulevard
New York, NY

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Saturday, April 5
11:00 AM-5:00 PM
2.3 Miles

Epiphany

716 Lincoln Place
New York, NY

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Sunday, April 6
2:00 PM-4:00 PM
2.3 Miles

Epiphany

716 Lincoln Place
New York, NY

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Sunday, April 6
2:00 PM-4:00 PM
2.3 Miles

Steve""s Salumaria

Bath Avenue
Brooklyn, NY

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Saturday, April 5
9:00 AM-6:00 PM
2.5 Miles

BROWNSVILLE RECREATIONAL CENTER

1555 Linden Boulevard
New York, NY

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Saturday, March 22
12:00 PM-5:00 PM
2.5 Miles

Old Navy Atlantic Center

625 Atlantic Avenue
Brooklyn, NY

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Sunday, March 16
1:00 PM-4:00 PM
2.9 Miles

OLD NAVY--ATLANTIC MALL

625 atlntic avenue
New York, NY

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Sunday, March 30
12:00 PM-3:00 PM
2.9 Miles

PS 270

241 Emerson Place
New York, NY

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Friday, March 14
3:00 PM-6:00 PM
3.4 Miles

Emmanuel Baptist Church

36 Saint James Place
New York, NY

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Sunday, March 30
9:30 AM-2:30 PM
3.4 Miles

Citibank

375 Court Street
New York, NY

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Sunday, April 6
11:00 AM-3:00 PM
3.5 Miles

New Grace Center

650 Livonia Avenue
New York, NY

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Saturday, March 29
9:00 AM-3:00 PM
3.5 Miles

IS 228 David A. Boody Middle School

228 Avenue S
New York, NY

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Tuesday, April 8
5:00 PM-8:00 PM
3.6 Miles

PS 20

166 Essex Street
New York, NY

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Saturday, April 5
1:30 PM-4:30 PM
5.0 Miles

Bank of America

89 Murray Street
New York, NY

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Sunday, March 30
2:00 PM-4:00 PM
5.4 Miles

Washington Market Park

Greenwich Street
New York, NY

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Tuesday, April 1
3:45 PM-5:00 PM
5.4 Miles