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Monday, December 20, 2010

December life in Abuja

This posting is just going to be some photos.  
It'll give you a taste of what I have been up to this last month.


Sunset at the end of the Hash.  


 My first Choir Practice with the Abuja Expat Choir


Mogadishu Fish Market




Me at the end of the my first Hash


 Robert and Stella's Wedding


RoRo gracing us with his talent at Choir practice

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Christmas is coming


So it's been ages since I've blogged last.  This is mostly purposeful.  Those of you know me know why.  But I am back and will be posting at least a blog a week, I hope!

So I've made the move out of Yola and into Abuja.  Abuja life is much different than Yola.  Abuja moves quicker, it's cleaner and more sleek.  Socially there's so much to do all the time.

Christmas is coming quickly.  Living in Abuja makes Christmas an actual season in Nigeria compared to life in Yola where I never felt like it was coming up.  It's nice.  I never thought I could feel like I was waiting for Christmas to come in Nigeria.  But I can't wait to start baking Christmas cookies, I want to search Wuse II market for Christmas films, and love to look at each twinkling light on every Christmas tree I come upon.  It's fantastic.

Nigeria really is my home and I am happy to be here.

I have been busy working, going to different events, making new friends and spending time with the old and wonderful ones.  A few things I have done recently were a baby naming ceremony for boss' child.  He has many names, a few are:  Okekioluwa (my favorite), Olugbemileke, Harrold, and Solomon.  I went to the Julius Berger Holiday fair.  I went to a lovely philanthropy dinner at the Hilton with Alena.  I also went to a great photography exhibit at the US Embassy.

I am hanging in there.  As usual, I am looking forward to the holidays and play Christmas carols all the time.  There will be more to come...  Happy Holidays!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

A lil taste of remembrance


Here's a picture of a pear I ate last week.  They don't grow here in Yola, but they do grow in Jos, Plateau state.  Usman, a farmer delivers fruits and veggies from there twice a week to the club.  He often brings special things to me.  I hated pears growing up, but then when I worked at the Boys & Girls Club and was in the kitchen, I began to love them.  Strange how our tastes change as we grow older...  

Sunday, September 19, 2010

A useful website

The link below is for a website that is for 'diplomats' coming to Nigeria.  However, I think it's useful for all expats heading this way.

http://www.ediplomat.com/np/post_reports/pr_ng.htm

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Relationships

Where would we be without each other?  Those of us who are lucky enough to find love and have someone complete us are truly blessed.  To me, life without love is not worth living.  I believe that I have searched for 'love' since I was a very small girl.

If you have people around you that you love and that you could not live without, make sure to tell them that you love them and how much they mean to you.

I know that since I've been in Yola, it's relationships that has made me stronger and a better person.  These friendships and this new love has renewed my life, made me whole.  I think without relationships my life would be lonely and hard.  

limbo


I have been in limbo land for a long time now.  It's actually beginning to get quite familiar, which is kind of frightening.  I feel like I am on this teeter totter going up and down, my feelings going up and down, my moods, my emotions, everything, is going up and down.  But I am still on this teeter totter I call my life.  I am still hopeful and have faith.  I sit and wait patiently for good things to come.  My faith is growing stronger everyday.  Everyday I wait I know that something good is coming really soon.

It's been pretty rainy in Yola the past few days.  We had quite the thunder storm yesterday.  It freaked me out more than a little bit.  The thunder was so loud it was like bombs dropping out of the sky.  I know this thought is heavily influenced by the game Roro and I have been playing together on Ayo lately.  However, I know soon, the rain will stop falling and therefore the lightning and thunder will too.  It's always a sad time for me.  This means Fall has come and soon Winter will set in.  In Yola this means something so different than it meant in Minnesota and Alaska.  I miss Minnesota Falls so much.  I miss the changing of the leaves, the leaves rustling at your feet when you walk down the street, the cool Autumn breezes, Mmm, I can smell it in the air as I type this.

Times are changing, good things are happening, things are getting better.

Monday, August 16, 2010

August Numbers

These are the numbers so far for August.  However, the month is getting away from me and it seems my memory is too!  So I'll be adding as I go along.  I cannot believe it is already the 18th, omg!

*Stars denote first time viewing

films:
Catch and Release
Pride and Prejudice (Keira Knightley version)
What Goes Up*
Knight and Day*
Eclipse*
Inception*
Prince of Persia*
Grown Ups*
Cats and Dogs*
On the Line*


television series:
Mad Men:  Season One and Two*
Grey's Anatomy: Season One through Six
Weeds:  Season One and Two
True Blood: Season One*

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Pool Pics


The AUN Club pool has been under maintenance for the past weeks.  So here's how far they had gotten by lunchtime today.  Thankfully by evening they had gotten much further, so we might have our pool back again soon!  Yay!



I also did some eyebrow maintenance on myself today that was much needed. So here's a pic of me as well!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Patience


Someone said, "good things come to those who wait."  Well, those of you who know me well know I am not a patient person when it comes to waiting.  In fact, it *was one of my worst traits until recently.  I was known to be patient with difficult to handle special needs children and my father, but waiting for my mom to get home from work growing up almost killed me on a daily basis.  I hate being late, I hate people arriving or meeting me late, etc.  I used to freak out when I had to wait for almost anything.  Well, not anymore.

This summer has tested my patience.  I have learned that not all things are on Kate's time.  That sometimes I need to sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride or view for a bit and that eventually it will be my time.  But I think my time is finally arriving.  My time is now.  Just like the Moloko song "the time is now."  I have waited patiently all summer long, it has not been easy, but I did it.  And guess what?  Good things are coming.  Kate is smiling again.  Of course, she still misses her friends and loved ones, but she'll be reunited with them all soon enough!  And the smile will still be there of course!

So I'm almost 30 and I have learned something new.  I have learned to wait and be patient and I did it all before I turned 30.  Now that is something to be proud of!

The weather in Yola has been incredible lately.  It's been cool, like in the low 90's and breezy.  I am loving it.  Seriously.  I just wish the pool would be filled up again.  I so cannot wait to swim again!  Anyway, I am alive and well.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Loneliness


In Yola, I have felt more lonely than I ever have in my life.  I think this has happened because I have created so many true friends in one small place.  Over the summer, most of my friends and loved ones have slowly left Yola.  One by one or two by two, they all got on planes and went to other parts of Nigeria, France, America, England, South Africa or some other place, some other place than Yola, far far away from me.  So often when we travel, our friends that we leave behind are out of sight, out of mind for the time being.

Currently, I have only one good friend in Yola.  I am lonely.  I am so lonely I have no words for it.  I miss my loved ones.  I miss them so much I cry all the time.  I miss them so much I cannot eat, keep food down when, sleep, or focus on much of anything.

I hate loneliness.  I think this is one of the worst feelings in the world.  Slowly but surely soon everyone (or mostly) will return to Yola.  However, only time will tell my fate as well.  Being in Yola without my friends and loved ones has really made me see how important they are too me and how precious they are.  I am going to make sure to tell each and every one of them how important they are too me and what they mean.  So for today, I have learned gratitude.  I am grateful for those who love me, thank you.  For all my friends and loved ones out there you all know who you are I miss you and I can't wait till I see you again...


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Optimism



So I am being optimistic these days.  I think it's helped keep me calm amongst this storm I am riding on.  I am taking a chance and hoping that things will work out as they should, and they should.  There's no reason that things shouldn't work out and they will.  I am being optimistic.  Everything will be fine.

I am usually a planner and plan for pessimism.  But not this time.  I am staying positive because everything will be just fine.  This has been my mantra lately.  Everything will be fine.  Everything will work out.

Why you might ask?  I have hope, faith and love in my life.  So everything will be fine.  What more does one really need anyway?

Baby Love


So this is the second time I have read this book by Rebecca Walker.  I re-read it because I loved this book.  Rebecca has an amazing voice and her story resonates with me.  This time it gave me some of the same thoughts, feelings, and emotions as last time, but this time I had some new ones as well.  I found this very interesting.

You see, like Rebecca and millions of other girls and women around the world, I have always wanted to have a baby, well, not so much baby, but a family.  I want the husband who will love me and our children. I want that kind of family.  The family that opens gifts on Christmas morning together and has evening dinners together.  I've always longed for this.  So far, I have not achieved this, but I am not giving up on this dream and I am not settling either.  However, I do think I am getting closer to this dream of mine.

So this book reminded me of some of my fears of having a baby.  First of, how do you know when the right time is?  How do you know when you are both ready for the added responsibility, albeit joy as well, of a baby?  Secondly, am I willing to give up my time, my energy, space, my tv and film time, money, and sleep for a baby?  I mean seriously, how do people do it?  At this point in my life, I am not so sure.  My third concern is related to healthcare.  Could I have a baby in Nigeria?  If not, can we relocate our lives to the states temporarily for a child?  I don't think I could manage doing all that by myself and wouldn't want too.  So if our jobs and life was in Nigeria, could I do it here?  How would the  carrying of a baby affect my health?  Will I ever be able to lose the weight?  Yes, these may seem like silly fears to some, but they are my fears nonetheless.

But I have many reasons why I want to have a baby someday.  I don't think I really need to list all of these because I think they are all quite obvious.  Anyway, I recommend Rebecca Walker's memoir of having a baby to anyone who's had a baby, wants to have a baby, or would just like another perspective on a female issue...

I love this book.  It's one of my favorites.  I rarely re-read anything, so, that should say something.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Birthdays

So I turn 30 in a couple of months.  I'm not sure if I am dreading this or just feeling like whatever.  I never really cared much about my age, and I am not sure if I do really now either.  The more I think about life, I don't think about it in terms of numbers.  I have been thinking about my 'goals' in life lately, well, in general most of this summer.  But when my friend commented about how now that she got her masters' she really wants to start working on her 'life's purpose' and I had the Aha! moment when I read that.  I was like, YES!  That's it.  The sad or maybe real truth is, I don't really have any life's goals.  Sure, I really want a good long lasting relationship with someone that I love and is my best friend and I'd like to have a family with that someone, but is that really a goal?  I don't think so.  But I do know that I have some idea of what my life's purpose is.  So for me, I am not so hung up on goals anymore, but more, am I filling my life's purpose, my duty to society and the people I love?

Someone very close to me just had a birthday.  I never really asked him what his 'birthday' meant to him.  That was selfish of me.  Sometimes, I make myself sad, because I have become much more selfish in this last year.  This is not good.  But I am reflecting which can make me change, right?  There we go, something to work on before I turn 30.

Last year, I threw a huge Birthday party for myself on Halloween, even though my Birthday is actually on the 20th of October.  However, this year, the University is on fall break during this time.  My big sister is scheduled to come and visit me and we are hoping to travel.  Too be honest, even though I really want a birthday party, every time I have a party, I end up running, running and running and do not get to enjoy a moment of it.  Like last year, I didn't eat anything even though everyone was complaining that they didn't get 'seconds' of meat and I didn't even have a drink the entire night.  So I can tell you what I don't want, that.  My friend Prof C threw me a great kinda surprise birthday dinner party for me at the club and that was enjoyable.  However, this year, it reminds me of when I was a kid growing up because in Minnesota we have this mid October break each year called "MEA" and it always fell on my birthday, always.  But I think I am okay with this fall break falling on my birthday this year.  This year, I want to be with the one's I love and those that love me back.  That's enough for me.  Seriously.

Oh, and age is really just a number.  I think that's why I've always taken in stride.  This is something I learned from my pops, Stormin' Norman ages ago.  He's never really grown up or changed since I came into this world, as far as I can tell, but nonetheless, what I have learned from him as that it is really just a number and you can choose to be who you want to be, when you want to be.  He may not always have agreed with the fact that I wanted to be mature and boring at such a young age, but c'est la vie.  It's just me.

By the way, we don't have Birthday candles for sale in Yola :(

Changes

Changes are happening all around me.  It feels like each moment is brand new, yes, it obviously is brand new, but I'm experiencing new things in my life and in a different way.  I'm striving and learning constantly these days.  Some of the changes are good and some are bad.  However, I'm dealing.  I'm moving forward. I don't really feel like getting deep into everything right now.  I'm hanging in there though.

I'll admit, most of my life I didn't deal well with change at all, in fact, it would usually put me into a complete tailspin and I'd fall apart.  Then one day, I got a little better at it thanks to this little drug called celexa, but you see, I am not on Celexa anymore because I haven't had access since I've moved to Nigeria. So this strength in me is my own.  I am having life thrown at me right now and I'm here.  I'm standing tall, I'm doing this on my own two feet.  I am so proud of myself.  I am doing what I have to do to move forward, to make my life work.  I think I would make my mother proud right now.  I guess I am growing up afterall.  This makes me smile.

Someday soon, I'll reveal all these new changes but for now, pray for me, please...  I need all the love, support, and hope I can get.  Thanks.  Na gode.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

thoughts


So I've been meaning to put up some pics of some things around Yola, but that might have to wait a bit.  One place I wanted to post pictures of was the club, but they just drained the pool for repairs and that ruins the ambience.  Boo.

Lately, Roro and I have been talking a lot about our 'thoughts.'  We have this way of perusing into the others head by saying "what are you thinking about?"  If you spend anytime with us, there's a big chance you will hear this phrase come out of one of our mouths.  So today I've been thinking about 'thoughts.'  What are they really?  Are they all really worth discussing?  I mean we have so many each day, I know I have thousands, literally.  So are they all worthy of sharing?  I used to think so, but in recent years I've slowed my roll in sharing them, for many reasons.  Sometimes I had no one to share them with.  Other times I had no one around that was interested or would be annoyed if I spoke.  Or sometimes they were crazy or worthless, or so I thought.  However, I have finally met someone who thinks they are all worthy of discussing.  This is so amazing.  I finally have someone who appreciates me and wants to know what I think.  Omg.  I think I'm in love.  Oh, wait, I am!  Lol.  Do you have someone to share your thoughts with on a regular basis?

When I was a child, I spoke very little.  I'm not very sure of why this is, I cannot reach back into that part of the memory box and figure it out.  But I think it has something to do with the fact that I was the only child around and had no one my age to talk too, so I had this inner world that I shared with no one.  I had 'invisible' friends galore, seriously.  I created all sorts of invisible worlds with all sorts of 'friends.'  So in Kindergarten when I wasn't so used to being around kids and especially ones' I didn't know I didn't adjust so well.  So they put me in speech therapy classes.  I had the same therapist from Kindergarten through 2nd grade.  I am not sure if that's when I stopped seeing her or not, but that's my last memory.  It makes sense that I saw her all those years because my town was small, far from the cities at that time, and I'm pretty sure my school district probably only employed one at that time.  Anyway, I hated her.  She made me feel stupid and like I was from a really low class.  I am not sure how a child of my age gets these notions but seriously, it's how I felt.  She made me feel like I came from a poor family.  Of course, this was the truth, but at that age, do we really know what poor is?  I mean, I never knew until I was much older that powdered milk was not normal and was unusual unless you were poor.  I mean, I still crave the government cheese we got each month.  Anyway, I don't think I had any real need to see this woman, I was just shy.  Plain and simple.  But later on I began to talk and I'm still talking.  My mom always blamed her (the therapist) for turning me into a jabberbox.

Anyway, so if Roro is okay with me telling him all my thoughts and concerns and it turns me into even more of a jabberbox than I already am, so be it.  I will just tell him, I told you so!  :)

For the past month, we've had a pretty good schedule and way about ourselves.  I love it.  I love having a schedule, a time to do things, it really gives me something to look forward too.  I love having someone to share my day with, and more importantly my life with.  Someone who looks forward to spending the day with you.  It's a wonderful feeling.  Being in love is wonderful, don't get me wrong, but finding someone who is compatible to your lifestyle, that is so much better.  I have a partner and a friend who gets me and gets how I want to be.

Soon, I will be posting about my top favorite songs of all time, but for now I'm going to tell you how much I'm loving Adele's old cd.  I know it's not 'new' but it's been inspiring me most of the summer.  I love 'Right as Rain' and 'My Same.'  We've watched Seasons 1-4 of the Office recently.  As well as Seasons 1 and 6 of Curb your Enthusiasm.  We've moved onto Weeds until we can get more of the Office or of Curb.  Telly on the laptop time has increased lately because of the pool drainage.  :(  I am happy they drained the pool for repairs because that means safer water polo games, but it means no swimming.  I'm trying to get rid of this belly I seem to be developing and this means I'm gonna have to gym it instead which is not nearly as easy in the Yola heat as the pool.  Boohoo!

Cheers.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Bananagrams



So I bought this game almost a year ago in Cambridge, Mass after reading about it on the plane to the states in the International Herald Tribune.  I loved the story of how the family developed and created it and made their fortune.  However, I had never played it until this last Friday night at the club.  I had been wanting to learn to play for ages.  I dragged and lugged this game around with me for most of fall and a large part of Spring, but we never played.  Finally, we broke it out and taught ourselves how to play.  Since Friday we've played every single day and have had a ball doing so, even if it has been a 'quiet' ball.  Lol, finally a game that shuts up Kate.  Miraculous!  

Here are some pics with me, Tj and Jas playing:


Here's Tj




Me



Jas



Have you ever played Bananagrams?  What's your favorite game to play with friends?  

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Grace and Gratitude






Today is Sunday.  Sunday is the best day to give thanks and gratitude.  Today I am grateful for the wonderful man that god has placed into my life.  Roro, I love you with all my heart and I know I am so lucky and blessed to have you in my world.

You have taught me how to love, to give one's heart fully.  You have been slowly teaching me the art of grace.  But most especially you have taught me how to be grateful through the many ways you show it to me.

I am grateful for your love, kindness and patience.  I am grateful for the way you encourage and inspire me. I am grateful for the way you take care of me and all the wonderful things you do for me each and everyday.  You never fail to amaze me and keep me still in awe and wonder.  Each day you show me so many blessings.

Thank you for everything you did yesterday especially, and everyday.  I love you.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Cursing Update!!!

So I've begun to curse less.  Everytime I swear now, I must swim 25 meters in the pool.  This is no easy thing for Kate.  So it's begun to curb my enthusiasm for the love of swear words.  This has been difficult for me especially in the car, as most of you know Naija's drivers are insane.  So I've racked up most of my meters that way!  :(  Yesterday, I swam four Kate laps or 200 meters.  I am doing whatever I can to keep it at a small length because I am not the best swimmer.  I am sore this morning from the damage I did yesterday.  Boo...

Friday, July 23, 2010

storms

I love storms.  But I hate what they do to the already bad roads here in Yola.  Last night we had a serious rain storm with lots of thunder and possibly lightning, but I didn't get up to look.  I was woken up by the thunder which reminded me of bowling and getting a strike.  I never get frightened in a storm but last night I was a little shaken up when I was woken up by such big bangs.  But this morning when I was reflecting on this, I remembered that come mid-October, we won't have these magnificent beasts till next May, so I must relish and delight in them as much as I possibly can.  I love sitting and watching lightning, especially the ones in the distance, I found it romantic.

Do you enjoy storms?  Do you miss them when the season is gone?


****Update, rained again last night.  I was wondering where all the rain went.  Last summer it rained a lot more.   It rained so much last night that the ground at the club was still Saturated at 5pm last night.  Not good for Mario's plants and gardens.

Fridays

Each and every week, no matter where I live, I long for and look forward to Friday.  Why you might ask?  I have absolutely no idea.  I don't celebrate Shabbat or Shabbas or anything.  But I still love Fridays.

These are some of the things I do on Friday night's in Yola:
1.  eat Pizza
2.  swim
3.  play water polo
4.  work out
5.  listen to music
6.  drink wine
7.  drink Bailey's
8.  drink Johnnie walker and cokes
9.  chill with Friends at the club
10.  hang out with my man

I'm thinking of doing something to make Friday's more special.  Not sure yet what, but I am pondering.  Got any ideas for me???  How do you spend your Friday's in Nigeria?  How do you unwind?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Unexpectedness



This was found in the tire of my car yesterday morning.  I am pretty sure it's a bullet.  We picked it up in the club parking lot.  It's strange to find in a country where guns are illegal.  We thought the tire had gone flat, but nope, just a bullet in my tire.



This is a picture of Beowulf and me in the car when we went on a little midnight expedition the other night.  He hasn't appeared on the blog lately.  So here's the B-man people!  :)


Monday, July 19, 2010

Curse like a Sailor


So I am giving up cursing/swearing.  I have no reason for this, except, I think it will make a certain special someone happy.  It is a problem.  I currently curse like a sailor.  I'm gonna work on this though.  I used to think it made me who I am, blunt and real, but I am still blunt and real without cursing.  So, I've slowly been working on this, but now I am making it real, I am going to stop cursing and swearing.  Let's see how I do.  :)

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Sundaes



So today is Sunday.  This one is a lil different than my normal one has been lately.  I decided to get up at the time folks do in these parts when they go to church.  I got up at 7am, got dressed to work out, and headed to the club.  I was all set to workout when I went to the gym to start the AC's in advance and I found the gym door locked.  So I went and told Eric the waiter to see if he could hunt down the key.  So I sat down, plugged in the mac and surfed.  I did my usual twitter/facebook thang and someone decided to try and chat with me on facebook.  Usually I just click close because well, I usually don't know the person and so what's the point.  But today I decided to see if I was closing out potential friends or something.  But I proved my point once again.  It was just some dude trying to get into my pants.  Ugh.  So it made me get on my own pulpit in my brain and preach to the choir about how there are two types of people in the world.  The good and the bad.  I know what each one wants, and I know which type you are when I meet you, even if that's on facebook.  Rasaq from this morning was the bad.  I knew it from the moment, but I tried not too judge a book by it's cover.  But...

I decided to order breakfast.  I ordered scrambled eggs with toast and french press coffee.  I got my food within three minutes.  I was so shocked.  The key was found by this point.  But I ate and enjoyed my food and coffee.  My food order wasn't slightly correct though, but I think my guardian gluten-free Angel was watching over me and the toast never came!  lol.  But I knew it was for the best so I said nothing.   I proceeded to head to the gym to work out and did my exercises, stretches, elliptical and the bike while listening to "This American Life." It was a beautiful time.  There was a magnificent cross breeze flowing through the gym (in Nigeria this never happens), I was looking at the sunshine filled club out into the pool (to which I would enter later on) looking at the beautiful bougainvillea blooms and the butterflies floating in the air.  

After my workout, my special someone joined me for a swim.  The water was a lil cold, but c'est la vie.  Afterwards we chilled and played around with Ayo (the iPad) for a bit under the hut.  Then we cleaned up, went inside to join Jas for a bit.  We chatted about tellyvision, films, and American celeb gossip, you know Wesley Snipes, this new film "Inception" and Justin Bieber and the likes.  You see, when you are living in the middle of nowhere Africa, you have to try to keep up with pop culture.  You are not inundated and smothered by it here, even if you are on fb and twitter, which the three of us are.  We are techno freaks.  I mean, we mosdef had three thousand dollars worth of gadgets on the table with us.  This is just what we carry around with us for Sunday Brunch, lol.  I mean we had iPhones, iPads, mac laptops, blackberries, nokia phones, iPods, you get my drift.  But even with all that, none of us knew what "Inception" was about.  It's quite interesting how little advertising we are exposed to here in Yola and actually Nigeria in general.  Everything is so Naijacentric and mostly ads for the government, lamido or most especially mobile phones.  Glo, Zain, and Mtn are everywhere!!!  We most definitely are never exposed to film advertisements, not even Nigeria Nollywood types.   

Jas drew Roro a Christmas tree winter scene on Ayo.  Yep, we do Christmas in July in Yola.  Which kinda makes sense because this is our version of winter here and it's cool enough that I have the windows open at this moment with only the fan on, NO AC!!!  This of course led to mall talk because in the Mall of America in Minnesota there's a store called, 'Christmas in July.'  We don't have such malls or stores to speak of in Yola, let alone in Nigeria, I don't think.  It's been a month since I've been in Paris and I must say I miss Paris, so much I really long for Abuja these days.  Omg!  Yes, you read that right.  

So tonight has been pretty nice too.  Beowulf was lucky and got to swimming.  I felt he needed a good workout like his mama.  I observed ironing while having a nice chat with Roro.  Which followed dinner and some season two of "The Office" thanks to Jas.  

This is a bit of a break of my normal Sunday routine.  But I kinda rather enjoyed today a lot.  There was lots of water involved.  A shower, a swim, and a bath!  However, I have been missing ice cream a lot.  Omg!  What I wouldn't give for a stroll down a real grocery story ice cream aisle right now.  Seriously.  Omg.  What's your favorite ice cream?  I have two.  Haagen Dazs: Rocky Road and Turtle Mountain coconut milk ice cream with cookie dough.  I wish Santa was real and could put that in my freezer for me for breakfast tomorrow.  

All in all, a great Sunday was had by me.  Today I also want to recognize all the good people in the world and may god grant you happiness and a sundae made with your favorite ingredients!  :)


Saturday, July 17, 2010

A mistake was made



I made a huge mistake last night.  I am dearly sorry for it.  I will never make that one again, ever.  When you hurt someone you love dearly, how do you make up for it?  What are some things you do?  Saying sorry is the easy part, showing someone you are sorry is the hard part.  I think the easy part for me will be in changing the behaviour.  However, I have most definitely learn from this mistake and will be forever sorry.

I also need to learn that in some battles of life, I need to "shut the hell up!"

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Heart's Desires


Earlier today, I was asked what my heart's desire is.  I thought about it an answered.  So I ask you.  What's your heart's desire(s)?  Do you have an answer off the top of your head or do you need to think about it for a moment?  Do you have all that your heart desires?

Engagements

So most of you know I've been doing some writing.  I'm working on a book.  It's about Love.  Yes, the big L-word.  And no, I'm not talking about the tv show either.  L-O-V-E.

So I'm writing my story about love, but I am talking about different issues in it as well.  So after reading something on Gluten Free Girl's blog I got to thinking about engagements.  She and the chef got engaged after just four months.  They've been giddily happily married ever since.  The reason I mention this is because I used to read her blog daily.  But then I stopped.  I stopped because of two reasons.  One, her baking skills got better than mine and she was just too damn happy all that time.  I was like, c'mon, do they ever fight, or are they always this deliriously in love and happy.  It made me sick.  Why?  Probably because I didn't have that love, or that kind-of love.  I was envious.  Have you ever thought about how love twists it's way into almost all seven of the deadly sins?  I have.  Twisted stuff, love is.  I've been doing lots of reflecting and thinking and it seems most of the happy couples I know, knew this early, they were often what some would seem as not-so-perfect fits, age gaps, from very different walks of life, very different personalities, but these short term engagements always seem to be the ones that last the longest and they often seem to show so much love when I'm in their presence.  That's the kind of love I want.  I've also noticed that height plays a factor.  I've noticed in most couples where the man is much taller, they usually seem happier as well.  I know of many couples like this.  I always wondered if there was something to this.  Nowadays, I wonder more if it might be true...  ;)

So what makes someone decide, now is that time, let's get engaged, take that next step?  When does one know they want to spend the rest of their life with someone?  And when you decide that, when is the right time to take the plunge?

So I want to know your thoughts.  How long should one date before they get 'engaged?'  How long do have the engagement period for?  What's your story?  How long did you wait before you got engaged?  I'm curious because I have this theory about happiness and am curious to see if it's true or not.  So please comment.  Tell me your thoughts on this subject.  I might be e-mailing some of you privately on this issue.  So this is your heads up...

Please comment!!!  :)

Fortune Cookies



I was talking about fortune cookies the other day.  I mentioned how I miss them even though I cannot eat them.  I ate tons of Chinese in Paris but they didn't give out any fortune cookies (yes, I am aware they are highly American).  Anyway, Steven posted this on Facebook and I laughed and thought to share with you.  

I have had many blank fortunes in my life.  Seriously.  At least three that I can think of.  I was hurt.  But damn!!!!  If I received this, I think I would die.  lmao!



Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Films

We all love to watch them...  Films that is.  I know I've watched more than my fair share in my lifetime.  Some I've watched more than I care to even admit!  lol.  Anyway, I'm going to be adding some over time but for now these are my favorite films.  They are split into two categories:  favorites and Christmas themed favorites.  I love anything Christmas and am not afraid to admit this.  This list is thanks to a special someone whom I've been choosing share my faves with...   They are in no particular order by the way.  


Favorite films:
Top gun
A Few Good Men

The Namesake
The Constant Gardener
A Time to Kill
Love Jones
Bad Boys
Notting Hill

Bridget Jones' Diary
Grumpy Old Men 

Grumpier Old Men
Inglourious Basterds

The Man in the Moon
Dirty Pretty Things
Jump Tomorrow

Christmas themed:
All I Want for Christmas
Home Alone
This Christmas
Love Actually



What are some of your favorite films?  Please comment below...  :)



Rebel Yellow

I just re-listened to the song "Rebel Yellow" by Cecil Otter after many months.  I love this song so much.  It reminds me of myself, not the words, but the beat is often in my head as I strut my stuff around the AUN campus and call out "here I come!"  Plus, my fave color is yellow and I'm mosdef a rebel.  


I never did any research about him, but it turns out he's an Minneapolitan!  


I got the song for free on the Minnesota Public Radio's The Current's Song of the Day Podcast.  I get most of my new music this way here in Nigeria.  So you can get it here too.  


I highly recommend him.  Just want to spread the music and Minneapolis love!  


http://www.strangefamousrecords.com/cecil-otter/

Malaria, Malaise, and Migraine's



So I'm busy dealing with all the things life is throwing at me.  Things like malaria with a little side of malaise and then followed by a severe migraine.  I'm recovering from it all now.  But man, I wish I could get a break.  I'm on the job prowl so if you know anything in Nigeria please give me a holler!  


I woke up on Friday and had a bad taste in my mouth.  By 11am my head was killing me, I was freezing while resting by the pool under the hot Adamawan sun, every scent and sound only made the pain worse, all I wanted was my bed, but the car was acting up and I was stuck at the club.  Finally by 1pm I was home and in bed and under the great care of my beloved.  I hate malaria.  I am going to start taking anti-malaria meds I think.  I think it's time I suck it up and risk some kidney problems in lieu of malaria every few months.  Seriously, I think it's worth it.  


I've been thinking about life and my plans a lot lately.  Thinking about my dreams, how I want to live my life, how I want each day to be spent, each holiday to be enjoyed, etc.  I am going to try and live more purposefully.  I have already been getting up each day (most days) on a schedule, I even manage to make breakfast most days before I leave the house, so I believe I am improving.  I do feel like I need to be writing more on this blog and to others.  That helps me do some more self-reflection than I've been doing.  I have been doing lots of writing, but I am worried still that most of it's crap, but I feel like it's getting better.  


Yesterday, I had a bad day.  I felt really down.  I applied for two jobs and I really hope I get one of them and I am worried that my bad mood might have shown through my cover letter, but I tried so hard not too.  I am beginning to feel the need for a job to wake up too.  I never thought I'd be saying that, but I guess somewhere deep down inside I am longing for it.  


I am also longing and dreaming of California. The sunshine.  My sister.  A few friends.  The ocean.  The food.  The shopping.  I long for it all.  I long for a cup of coffee at the Coffee House or the Coffee Bean. I dream of sitting and watching a movie in the theatre.  California dreaming has been a common occurrence.  It is my intention of spending my Christmas holiday there.  I already have a list of foods I intend on making for my big sis.  lol.   But I have noticed that in the past six months, I have been longing for the moments I am away from Yola much less than before.  :)  This makes me think about Yola and Nigeria in a different way.  


***Side Note:  I know I have some readers out there.  I know I do.  So please, post a comment.  Tell me your thoughts.  Tell me something about yourself.  Tell me what you enjoy and what you don't.  Please, I am writing for all of you afterall...

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Forever Love



Do you believe in forever love?  I do.  I actually think I have it.  I know I am blessed.

I just read this short story in "One Big Happy Family" by Meredith Maran called, "Till Life Do Us Part" and in my opinion it's a story about forever love.  She too is blessed.

Do you have a forever love?  What's your story?

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The Numbers: July Edition

I used to have this monthly feature on my old blog.  I am bringing it to this one.  Every month I list the books, I read, cd's bought, books bought, film's watched, tv series seasons completed, etc...   I will continue adding to this as the month goes on...


Books read:
One Big Happy Family edited by Rebecca Walker

Films watched:
Hotel for Dogs (first time)
Something New
From Paris with Love (first time)
The Women
Love Jones
Alice in Wonderland (first time)
Perfume (first time)
Rachel Getting Married
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (first time)
Dirty Dancing
Amelia (first time)
He's just not that into you
Imagine That (first time)
Case 39 (first time)
Double Identity (first time)
Coming to America
Edge of Love (first time)
Two Lovers (first time)
Dirty Dancing:  Havana Nights

Television Series Seasons Completed:
Curb Your Enthusiasm (Season One)
The Office- American Version (Season One, Two, Three and Four)
Weeds (Season One)

Constipation



Sometimes in life, things don't flow as easily as they should.  And others they do.  So as my header implies, things have been a bit blocked up lately.  I've been writing a lot lately, but most of it feels like crap.  I've been eating all that I should, all the good things in life, and again, it's been stuck, inside of me.  :(  So I've been slowly letting all the crap outta me.  I've been writing, even though it might very well be crap, and I've been eating, even though it very much will turn in to crap.  The only thing I can hope for is that it won't continue to 'blocking' me. 

So today, the pipes have been flowing much better and Kate has had a bigger smile on her face, even though she's had some 'accidents.' 

Here's wishing you all a wonderful day and constipation free!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Taking Control



My goal for the next few months is simple, to take control of my life.  I like surprises and spontaneity in my 'fun.'  But in other parts of my life, not so much.  So I am going to begin to take control.  Do whatever I can to end this constant flow of 'surprises.'

I have a plan for this.  I will succeed.  I will be dedicated.

Paris: Day Four


My fourth day in Paris was a Sunday.  I woke up a wee late, but still managed to get up and get outta the hotel and make it to Notre Dame for Sunday Mass.  Yeah, it was pretty funny because I don't really speak French and had no clue when to sit, stand, or say "amen."  But the church is gloriously beautiful.  I did not take pictures inside because it was during mass and it just seemed a lil wrong to me.

Later on in the day, I wandered throughout the Metro to the Arc du Triomphe and snapped some photos.  My description of Paris is slightly boring and banal, I know.  However, I am really terrible at French, I didn't brush up at all before I left, because I felt like that might be jinxing myself, because we all know, I have access to French speakers around me.  Anyway, I went alone, I had no one to talk too.  So this was the most alone I've ever been on any trip.

Honestly, I have been dreaming of Paris for a long time.  In fall, I read not one, but two auto/biographies on Julia Child and was longing to spend Christmas in Paris.  But in the end, I didn't get to go.  C'est la vie.  Seriously, I rarely get what I want in life, but I'm learning how to get it nowadays.  Anyway, but my dreams and visions I had of my version of Julia's life in France cannot be spent alone.  :(   Another day, another dream, another time I will go with the man I love and wander the streets of Paris, hand-in-hand, go to a romantic low-lit bistro and sip delicious wine, or travel by train from end of France to the other just to buy an iPad.  These are my dreams.  May they come true soon.  :)

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

creating and shaping your life

No matter how hard I've tried in planning my life out, it never turns out quite how I plan or I imagine.  Never.  Now when life throws me a curve ball, I roll with it, I bend, I go with the flow.  However, I am wondering if I should begin re-thinking this plan.  Shall I begin to plan better?  Be more preventative to make sure things are going to go as I plan them, or maybe if I do that, I am tempting my fate?

What do you think?  What's your strategy on life?

Monday, June 28, 2010

Paris: Day Three



I got a late start this day.  I woke up, got ready, and then headed to the Louvre, but much like David Sedaris, a man, I would call one of my many mentors, I wasn't headed to see the artwork.  I was headed to the Apple Store which is directly opposite of the entrance.  I went in was taken aback.  It's been almost a year since I entered into a proper Apple Store.  Wow!  I love the feeling and the rush as you enter.  They had iPads everywhere!  I played around on a few for about an hour and then decided to head out to find meself some Starbucks. 

On my way out, I saw a lady holding a cup!  I was like omg.  "Excuse moi, Madame, where did you get your starbucks?"  I realized later that, my statement was a mix of the new Kate.  A little bit Minnesota and a little bit Naija.  Anyway, she responded in a Midwestern accent and gave me directions.  I was so surprised and elated.  However, I didn't understand the directions fully and got lost, kinda.  It took me about an hour to actually find Starbucks.  I was still so thrilled.  I enjoyed my one and only cup I had the entire time I was in Paris.  Next trip, more coffee will be had. 

Anyway, this was my Saturday in Paris.  I later went to the grocery store next door, MonoPrix to get drinks and other provisions for my night in. 

I finally read a book!


So I have longing to read this book for ages.  Ever since I read the first in the quartet.  The book is "Bed of Roses" by Nora Roberts and it was romantic and held me so enamored from the start.  This book reminded me of why I love to read so much.  Hopefully, it'll give me the kick I need to read more and *write* more!  I highly recommend it to anyone who wants a good romantic read out there.  I'll pass it your way if you holler!  XXX.

http://www.noraroberts.com/books/trilogies.html

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Day two in Paris



Day two in Paris was very busy. I was poked and prodded all over by my doc early in the morning. She gave me the works. Following this I checked outta the hotel I was staying in and waiting to Check in to my other, much cheaper hotel.I was at the Ramada Eiffel Tower and moved to the Saphir Hotel on Rue de Commerce, just around the corner instead. This charming hotel was only 70 euros a night. Great room.

So I killed time by wandering through the champs de mars, down to the Eiffel tower, the river seine, and just feeling Paris out. During this walk I breathed in the cool Paris air, enjoyed the lush greenery, saw adorable dogs running off leash and no one freaked (loved this)and I even swung on a swing near the Eiffel tower. I even browsed the web at the Eiffel tower, so fantastic. But I got tuckered out by the time two o'clock came around and headed back to the hotel.I got lost but found my way by finding the audi dealership (this would become a norm for me, using boutique car dealerships as a point of direction)and got to the Ramada and moved. My room at the Saphir was so me. Filled with sunshine in all possible ways. My blanket was all the colors of the sun, the windows opened as all French windows should and let the sunshine flow through, followed by my window flower boxes filled with beautiful begonias! I chilled after this.

In the evening I went to see "Sex and the City 2" and got lost coming back but again found my way by finding the Audi dealership! A crazy Frenchman followed me most of the way home, but eventually I lost him.

The film made me lmao the way Norm, my does in the theatre.  I found many parts of it absolutely hilarious, others utterly racist/anti-semitic, and other parts I knew the French folks would not understand at all.  But I felt like they characters did not grow or evolve at all since the last film, which I was extremely happy with.  The theatre I was in was nice, I had a delicious Haagen Dazs treat that they don't have in the US, and they sell snacks during the film inside the theatre which I found interesting. However, like Egypt it would be nice to do an intermission.

I ended the night picking up dinner at one of the many lovely Chinese takeaways. It was super cheap and super delicious, yum! I miss them already.

Pics to be posted later. Btw, this post is belated and sent from the lovely and delightful iPad!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Pictures from Day One in Paris



The first picture is of me sitting in my window at the Ramada.  You can see the top of the Eiffel tower, yes!

This Nigerian in Paris


So I am in Paris.  This Nigerian is in Paris.  I know that sounds ridiculous, calling myself or considering myself a Nigerian but please listen to my reasons. 

1.  I have not been to the US for over year. 
2.  When I plug my laptop/phone/camera battery into the wall I still freak out because I don't have a stabilizer. 
3.  I am wearing a fleece and coat in 70+degree Fahrenheit weather.
4.  I look at everything with amazement, wonder and awe. 
5.  I keep wondering when the power is gonna go out. 
6.  I downloaded my usual seven podcasts in less than a minute, something that can take up to SEVEN hours in Yola. And looked at my computer screen as if there was something seriously wrong happening.  I clicked play on "savage love" immediately because I thought it must be a mistake! 

This list could go on and on. 

It's also a play on my blog title, my favorite radioshow "This American Life" and one of their episodes that is one of my top ten faves "Americans in Paris."  I am both an American in Paris and a Nigerian in Paris.  Now, the Nigerians out their, if this offends you, please, I am sorry, but meet me and you just might gladly accept me giving myself the title of Nigerian. 

So, I must say, leaving Nigeria was quite pleasant.  I had a lovely time in the Lagos airport and the trip from one to the other.  I know everyone dreads the Lagos airport, but I much rather liked it.  It was clean.  There was soap, towels, cleanliness, good customer service (Airfrance), customs was great and immigration, and the treatment was great everywhere I went.  I kept getting referred to as "sexy" instead of Bature/Baturiya/Oyinbo.  I'll take 'sexy' over white anyday.  Seriously, what's so bad about this airport peeps?  Anyway, I think I'd seriously, given the chance, live in Lagos for a short while.  The only complaint I have is they allow smoking in too many places and no where to plug in laptops/cell phones.  By the way, Lagos has a 4g network!!!

The flight was good coming into Paris.  I landed at 5:30 am.  This was my immigration experience.  I handed my passport to immigration.  I said "Good Morning." They looked at me.  Stamped my passport.  Handed it back to me.  No words said.  I walk into Paris.  Seriously.  I was dumbfounded.  After deciding I couldn't figure out the trains at 6:30am in a foreign country I lugged all my kaya (stuff) to the taxi stand.  90 minutes later (rush hour work traffic) I was in the heart of Paris.  The hotel I hoped to stay at was booked solid.  My wonderful cabbie allowed me to use his crackberry to try and call others.  We drove round till I found something.  I ended up at the Ramada for two reasons.  One, they had a room and two, they were willilng to make change for me.  David Sedaris said in "Americans in Paris" I think or maybe it was in "Me talk pretty one day" not sure, but he said that the French refuse to make change.  This is so true.  I've experienced this sooooo much since I've been here.  Since my credit card is still not working, this sucks something terrible!  :(  My room was great.  I slept for a few hours and woke up and wandered in search of food and a sim card for my mobile phone.  I ate at McDonald's.  It was wonderful.  But man, I was jetlagged.  Look at my face in the pics!

I took it easy on day one in Paris. 

Friday, June 11, 2010

Thank god it's...

Since I have no 'proper' job at this time, the days kinda blend together.  I know it's Friday and I'm excited for it.  However, it doesn't feel like Friday too me.  I know it's Friday because we have swimming practice, it's also Pizza Night at the Club, and it's Juma'a.  But to me it doesn't feel any different than yesterday... 

Things are changing around here.  In a short while everyone will disappear and some people will reappear as Summer Session one comes to a close.  It's going to get really quiet in Yola.  I never thought this would be the case, but I will still be here.  Still holding down the fort in Yola.  I'm really looking forward to it.  Last year, I dreaded the peace and quiet and this summer I will gorge myself in it. 

I'm a planner, but yet, life never goes according to my plan, it takes on a life of it's own.  Lol, my life has a life of it's own.  But I am happy with the way things are turning out and moving forward. 

So for those of you who Friday is the end of your work week, enjoy it!  Relish in it's glory!  For those of you like me, well, it's another day, and that's always a blessing!

Happy Friday everyone! 

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Travels


As I'm about to embark on a trip to Paris, I was thinking about travel.  What I like about travel, what I like to do when I travel, and where I like to go?  As I grow up, I find myself doing more reflecting on what makes me happy and what doesn't.  I've done lots of travel throughout my life and have realized that some of my trips I've been extremely happy and others, completely miserable.  So I'm pondering about how to make this trip to Paris (by myself mind you) a good one.  This is not easy for me.  Traveling alone.  I always want to share my travels with those I love.  So  I think my way of doing that will be by blogging, blogging and more blogging.  So all of you out there with me will be going to Paris too! 

Where are we going to go?  What are we going to eat?  What are we going to see?  Suggestions, please...

What are some things you that make you happy when you travel?  What are some things that ruin your holidays? 

Friday, June 4, 2010

songs iLike




So like I promised, here are my favorite songs as of late from the Seven cd set I received as a gift last week.  This was one of the best presents I have receive in a long, long time.  After living in Alaska and now here in Nigeria, I can tell you I am out of the music loop.  I am person who was never for over fifteen years out of the music loop.  I prided myself on knowing the latest and greatest in pop, r&b, rock, reggae, reggaeton, dancehall, folk, and Brit Pop for many, many years.  Now, I don't even know the latest Nigerian stuff.  I am starting to get a bit better, but I am ashamed.  I have fallen by the wayside.  So this is my attempt at coming out from under the rock that I call 'my life' that I've been living under for the past few years.  

So here's my list, in no particular order:

  1. "if we ever meet again" by timbaland
  2. "sweetest girl" by wyclef jean
  3. "boom boom pow" by the black eyed peas
  4. "with you" by chris brown
  5. "teaser" by MI
  6. "never knew i needed you" by ne-yo
  7. "morning after dark" by timbaland
  8. "shorty" by akon
  9. "sexy bitch" by david guetta
  10. "when love takes over" by david guetta
  11. "fast car" by wyclef jean
  12. "love in this club" by rihanna
  13. "pokerface" by lady gaga
  14. "bad romance" by lady gaga
  15. "love game" by lady gaga
  16. "eh eh" by lady gaga
  17. "welcome to the future" on the total dance 2008 cd
  18. "here with me" by AtB
  19. "meet me halfway" by the Black Eyed Peas
  20. "If we ever meet again" by Timbaland
  21. "Miss you" by Blink 182
  22. "Undertow" by Timbaland featuring the Fray
  23. "wahtchu say" by Jason Derulo
  24. "where'd you go" by fort minor
  25. "stronger" by Kanye West
  26. "Style na style" (remix) by Dare Art Alade
  27. "teaser" by MI
  28. "kiss your hand" by R2bees featuring Wande Coal
  29. "close to you" by D'banj
  30. "party hard" by Donaeo
  31. "I Love You" by P Square
Like I said, this is in no particular order.  There are some I really enjoy that aren't on this list.  But this is quite the list already I think.  

Thank you again.  You are too kind.  XO.


e-mail me your favorite songs as of late.  I'll try and get my hands on it.