The ZHING.

donkeyAt a point in my life I lived in Muguga  for a year. On market days you would see donkeys walking around their business, I’m yet to see a place with more donkeys. These donkeys however were heavy laden (J that sounds biblical). If it were possible wakenya wangepatia punda shida wabebe pia. Now you would be seeing a donkey walk around with the burden of corruption neatly strapped on its back, hiked maize flour prices, or wait for it… mashakura!

I mean, white sparkly teeth! I know you probably hear this all the time from your food, but you must bleach or something ’cause that’s one dazzling smile you got there! And do I detect a hint of minty freshness? And you know something, you’re… ~Donkey from Shrek

This one time I saw a poor donkey carrying loads of hay on the one side and gallons of water on the other. I could have sworn that I saw a tear drop cascading down its cheek. Muguga is a sloppy area and so you would see them come up the road from KARI towards the market place. There is a steep slope I would say, I mean I was a fat lazy girl, that slope looked like a mountain to me and I was free of any burden. Sembuse punda aliyebeba mizigo?

They would walk ever so slowly that you find yourself silently doing a countdown of when they would collapse under the weight of the load they are carrying. Their limits were outstanding. I mean each day they would wake up knowing that they would be carrying loads possibly thrice their own body weight. And yet they still wake up.

I couldn’t help then but admire these beasts. I still admire these poor beasts of burden. Since my government has been dishing out awards, I would like to nominate all donkeys across Kenya for the Order of the Grand Warriors. They deserve it. Forget those HSC fetes.

I pray for that thing that wakes the donkey up every morning. That thing that lets the donkey allow its master to beat it senseless and not bite the living daylights out of him. That thing that lets the donkey carry a load thrice its body weight in size and bulk and not just slump down and take a break from it all. Most amazing thing, the donkey does all this without braying (Let me come clean, I learnt that donkeys bray… today… I always thought they neighed too…).

I baptize that thing… the zhing

As a middle-aged adult, sometimes you carry on too much. You have a load from the workplace ranging from demotivation to apathy, you have a load from home, anything from financial struggles to unruly children, not to mention personal loads ranging from loneliness to depression. Then the societal expectations of you clashing hard with your own capabilities and needs. Do not forget the government failures that directly affect your wellbeing for instance insecurity, lack of proper infrastructure and I have to mention, incessant industrial actions.

You are expected to take it all and turn it to bubbles and balloons so that you are able to live just one more day without hurting someone. Many people walking the streets of Nairobi are ticking time bombs. They just need that trigger. That straw…

When I first heard the saying the straw that broke the camel’s back as a young girl, I thought it was ludicrous. I thought, just how feeble is the camel that a mere straw can break its back? I did not know that decades later I would be waking up to pray;

Lead me not into temptation and deliver me from the straw…

That straw could be anything man. Belieee me. It could be a stranger physically rubbing shoulders with you; it could be your son talking back at you; It could be the makanga shoving you; It could be your boss make an unfair statement; it could be your mother making a correction; it could be anything man… It could be the government announcing the rise of electricity levy, si they just cut the unga subsidies not two days ago? Anything and BOOM… Shit hits the darn fan.

Look at the donkey, his loyalty, his perseverance, his passion, his tolerance and his attitude. That’s all you need. Get the zhing… adopt it, marry it… woleva mehn.. nobarre’s judging you… but just get the zhing.

Wake up in the morning and make an intentional decision to be tolerant, to be loyal, to persevere and to be passionate. The world will read your aura and the world will present you with better situations.

Try to make that conscious decision to not be a tool, to not be THE straw.

Don’t be the straw man.

 

Lipstick Notes

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Tangent Swerve

Tangent Math

Apparent Mathematical Tangent: I assure you its pretty useless in this post 🙂

It was a day to my birthday. I was all gassed up, because who wouldn’t be happy to open a new chapter in their life? Then reality checked in. An encounter with my son left me questioning myself. Had I accomplished enough? Would I have given him a different answer if he was older?

***

My four year old was resting under a tree. Enjoying nature’s breeze. From his expression, he was very happy. You can easily tell when he is jolly, because unlike most normal earthlings, he vibrates. Like seriously, he visibly vibrates. Not like a Nokia though. It’s weird if you ask me, but also interesting at the same time.

Of late he has picked up this courage to ask very ludicrous questions. I think it has something to do with sitting under the tree. Remember how our ancestors could only get the courage to face crises while sipping mbangara under trees? Well, he doesn’t sip busaa… Not yet. He always pauses after his questions, looking straight into my eyes as he awaits his ‘genius’ mother to give (read cook) her answers.

Sorry for digressing. From under the tree, he screamed “Mamaaaa” to which I responded, ” yes baby?” He then walked to me holding a plastic container full of dirt (which reminds me, I need to deworm my entire clan), paused between my legs and straight up asked, “Why are we not rich? Mama, when will we be rich?”

I was not ready for this!

Where do I start?

I take a sip of my cheap (no wonder the questions) whisky which by all means is the smoothest whisky I have taken in my life… Wait there was one other, but I don’t think I’m paid to mention it here.

Like any other African parent, I answered the question with another question. I asked him what he considers rich. “Being rich means we will have our own aeroplane.” Where do kids get these ideas from? In his defense, my son has been in a plane a number of times but he was too young to be remembering that. Young man doesn’t want to just ride in one, he wants to own one! Like a boss!

Yaye!!!

He also tells me that he needs money to buy me a car and a house. But his sister had told him that it was not enough and not to ask me because… Mum does not have enough. My boy figured the only answer to his problems was to become rich.

So I go all Dolly Parton and her coat of many colors on him and tell him, “ But baby, we are rich, we have eaten and we always do, we have clothes and we go to school, but most of all we have each other and that’s the true meaning of being rich”

He gives me a double take. Like he knows that I have gone all parent on him and repeats, “Then why don’t we have an aeroplane?”

I ran out of wit and parenty statements, sighed, took a large gulp of my whisky (like our ancestors did when they needed the wisdom in tough situations) and finally told him, “Baby, go play. And if you really want a plane, ask God to give you one. One day, and it doesn’t matter when, but He will”

That worked the magic. He hopped away all happy and said, “when He gives me a plane, I will buy you a house”

Figure of Speech

Figure of Speech Tangent: Now you get where I was going with the tangent image up there? No? Oh Well…

If he was 15, dear Lord, I would have gone on a tangent. I would have blamed my ancestors for not occupying a less rocky and more arable land; I would have blamed my grandparents for not grabbing enough land to make village heroes up to the 5th generation; I would have blamed my mother for not marrying the wealthiest man this side of Sahara and rendered us spoilt kids for the rest of our lives; I would have blamed me for not having the right combination required for success and finally would have blamed the government for failing me and my children.

That tangent would have spiraled out of control. Poor boy would have regretted asking such sensitive questions. In fact it may have ended disastrous for him… he may have gotten an ass whooping for suggesting that I am not rich!!!

Truth be told, I do believe what I told him. In my family, lies my richness. I am happy we have each other. So many people have lost their loved ones.

So as you go into the new year with hopes and dreams, always remember the things that truly matter at every moment, situation and in the general outlook of life.

Always.

Talking of dreams, I should tell you folks about my recent dream, maybe one of you could be an interpreter.

LipstickNotes

*I have also resumed my reading. Please if any of you have any nice book suggestions and authors that may not be well-known but made a mark for you, go ahead and suggest the book. I shall look for it.

The Monster Under My Bed…

…Or Lurking in the closet.

I was never scared of this monster. Not even once was I afraid to look under the bed at night or check the closet in the dark. It could have been because I never thought it existed.

As a grown woman, I now know monsters really do exist and they are scary. Damn Straight Scary.

Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. And so we must straighten our backs and work for our freedom. A man can’t ride you unless your back is bent. ~Martin Luther King, Jr.

One such monster is one of change… Suddenly what you are used to or what you have known for a long time will have to be replaced or to be moulded into something different. Never mind that it could be positive or for the better ( as it is often said in hindsight) truth is, it is certainly unsettling not to know.

I am that woman today. Clouded by a myriad of uncertainities. The only constant thing around me is Change.

Internally I have grown some these last few months, I feel like a caterpilla. In the process of change. Which may be a good thing. Or Not. My own feelings are revolting against me; what I used to feel, I dont. Not any more.

But change comes from within. Once the need for change is registered in one’s brain, the whole universe agitates for that change. Surprisingly though, we are never prepared for what happens next.

I realise the prospect of change is not scary. The change itself is. The fact that the end result of change is displacement and sometimes more closer home the end result is, Indifference.

I am aware that I may be about to face my monster. Only thing is my monster doesn’t confine itself under kids beds or in their closets. This particular one is in full glare of the public. Lurking around me and daring me to run. Whispering my name and reminding me of the situation every single moment.

Lurking. Whispering. Always around us.

Waiting for the moment. The deciding Moment. The moment of acceptance.

It’s just waiting for the molt.

 Then you have to face the monster.

Only the wisest and stupidest of men never change.~ Confuscious

 

LipstickNotes

 

 

The Flipside…

Life may suck.
More often than not it does suck.

The best way to deal with sucky sucky life is to suck right back.

Go out with your head high, look at it straight in the eye and dare it to dish you any more bs it has in its store, because what you will do is climb on top of every shove and be a better person.

If its that sucky job, get so good at it that it becomes enjoyable.

If its your man/woman sleeping with another concentrate on being such a good person that soon a better person will come along and appreciate you. Pr they will realise how a big ass thats dishing it to his friend doesnt fill that vacuum.

If its that other man and woman who keeps calling you names be easy because their time will come. After all they are ugly inside so they want to project it on you. Sucky sucky lives. So keep smiling because their lives suck so much they not only want what you have they wish they were you.

When their time comes you will be well ahead you will just LOL at how bad it made you feel that they had the nerve to call you names.

If its that sucky friend who is just sucky, good riddance you dont need that bs anyway. Walk away.

While life mocks us, we humbly look at it and dare it some more and sooner than later it will find us too boring to be sucky sucky to.
After all we dont come out alive.
Whats the worst it can do? Suck some more?

And life goes on…

With Love,
LipstickNotes

With Love
LipstickNotes

The Unlikely Feat…

The Hardest part of a business, is minding your own. ~Unknown

I thought some things are simple.

You know, like minding your own business.

Whether at home, in the office, in traffic or even in a public vehicle.

I thought wrong.

It’s a feat, an accomplishment even a miracle for some people to just sit their behinds down and mind their own business.

It’s almost sinful for them to do so too.

Civilization depends on, and civility often requires, the willingness to say, ‘What you are doing is none of my business’ and ‘What I am doing is none of your business. ~George Will

Sometimes I see why we might not be able to achieve even one of the millennium goals.

How can we?

When we spend the biggest chunk of our time with our noses  far up someone’s business we actually lose the sense of smell.

But then again its not my business that people like being in other people business.

Infact its not my business that people choose to be up my business.

All I endeavour to do is be off anyone elses business. For sanity’s sake.

It’s a rot in society that will not stop. Not because its difficult to stop but because stopping it will render alot of people useless. Thats where they thrive. And thats where they must be left ; In other peoples business.

You should see these people when they find new information from their basket of  “other peoples business i need to venture” my saying they are like crazed dogs on heat, renders the said dogs quite polite.

Poor Souls.

…and to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you… ~ The Bible. The Good Book. 1 Thessalonians 4:11

LipStickNotes

My Birthday Wish…

That I get it back!
Whole!
And Intact!

For my birthday this year I want my heart back!

“Giving away a heart can hurt … having a broken heart can be life threatening, even to the strongest people. But, receiving one is the greatest gift.”
Source Unknown

LipstickNotes

sand through the hour glass

sand through the hour glass

Insanity or a Philosophy? Be The Judge

Use what talents you possess, the woods will be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best.Henry van Dyke

I sit looking at the cursor blink… I want to write, I need to write… Only everything I wrote about today seemed predictable. So I tried to write anything but what I want to write about, anything else in this whole world… so here goes nothing…

As a kid I used to have so many theories, theories that maybe I should have tried to prove when I got older. You see I have always wanted to know, I question everything and try to explain everything… maybe that’s not right but it worked for me.

So the theories, there is one that I believe in to date, . It’s the theory that tries to explain déjà vu. Have you ever been in a scene that you know for a fact that you have been there before? The same people, the same story, the same settings, everything is the same?

Have you also been in a vivid dream, a dream that you are almost not so sure that it’s a dream anymore? But you just can’t get out? And then you make a mental note in the dream to remember the dream and analyze it. And then the next morning, you try so hard and you cannot remember…

So in my youth, I decided the two have something to do with each other. Sometimes when you are sure you have been there before then you most assuredly have been there before. It could have been in that dream. Or maybe we live in two parallel worlds, one is the world we know of, the world we are living in, the world I would assume you are reading this blog in because it’s the world I wrote it in and then there is the other world; the world of could have been and should have beens. The world that explains the alternate outcomes of the various actions we take.

All are lunatics, but he who can analyze his delusions is called a philosopher.  -Ambrose Bierce

Am sure you think am kuku? How does déjà vu come in you ask? How? Here is how, when in all possible worlds the outcome is the same then the worlds meet and you are sure you have lived that moment again, because you have and the results are the same and that my people is my theory that seeks to explain déjà vu.

What am I on about?

Anything else in the whole world, anything else in the whole freaking world and I choose to try and explain déjà vu?

Seriously?

LipstickNotes

 Life is a tragedy for those who feel, but a comedy to those who think. -Horace Walpole

I demand an apology…

I have watched the complete Season 1 of Newsroom almost three times in the last two weeks. What draws me to this show is the moral responsibility that the show insists professional journalism has towards the public…And I completely agree with that stance.

…. [Pause] we sure used to be. We stood up for what was right. We fought for moral reasons. We passed laws, struck down laws for moral reasons. We waged wars on poverty, not poor people. We sacrificed, we cared about our neighbors. We put our money where our mouths were. And we never beat our chest. We built great big things, made ungodly technological advances, explored the universe, cured diseases, and we cultivated the world’s greatest artists and the world’s greatest economy. We reached for the stars, acted like men. We aspired to intelligence, we didn’t belittle it, it didn’t make us feel inferior. We didn’t identify ourselves by who we voted for in our last election. And we didn’t… we didn’t scare so easy. We were able to be all these things, and to do all these things, because we were informed. By great men, men who were revered. First step in solving any problem is recognizing there is one…. Will McAvoy – Managing Editor ACN – Newsroom

Will brings it all down to one thing, information. Information should be provided to the people in a timely and factual manner with no bias and no filtering. It’s the prerogative of the people in charge with information dissemination to have integrity while doing so. It is important to know that an informed people form the best society, make the best decisions and is the basis of a successful economy.

We are extremely lucky to have and encourage journalism that scratches NOT beyond the surface, journalism that does NOT ask the questions that need to be asked, journalism that does NOT care for the entire fact, gives importance to hyperbole and innuendo.

What’s sad though is that even with that knowledge, we have turned the mainstream media to a tool for propaganda and rumor mongering, a mouth piece for the politicians to spew their lies and melodramatic reactions, an avenue where non-issues are given the prime hour and advertisements run longer than the NEWS.

All channels will report on the same piece from one angle, no one bothers to look for the other sides of the story or the different angles of the story; no one bothers to hire professional analysts who without fear or favor will analyze the economy, politics and the government. No one bothers to bring in experts on different subjects to weigh in on bills that are being passed in parliament and/or form a debate to dissect the bills.

We will have weeks and weeks of reporting on domestic violence as affects a small sample of the populace while no one is bothering to give insight on how to handle the increasing number of terrorist attacks from an expert point of view, no one is bothering to highlight the possible repercussions (economic and political) of electing a candidate facing charges in ICC from an expert in the matter, no one has bothered to give us a full cover of the new developments in the country, their expected outcomes, expert views on how to best achieve the goals, no one bothers to bring in analysts who will highlight to the people on the 5 year political scorecard of each politician. No one bothers to do a follow up on reported matters and expected or promised changes in policy or operations. No one wants to be the government’s watchdog for the benefit of the people.

Instead we spare 5 minutes to follow a campaign rally give each speaker 2 minutes airtime to pollute the mind of the electorate oh and as if that snot shallow enough follow up with assorted video footages that show the politicians position on some rumor or reaction to another politician, and then we go ahead and report on important issues in passing and look for humorous juicy tragedies to dwell on. We then cap it all with a leading, non-intelligent question;

Tonight we ask you do you think candidate A should team up with Candidate B? SMS your Yes and No answer to …

That is the sum total of NEWS from my country. That is what the journalism profession has been reduced to. Years and years of experience and studying, years and years of research reduced to 30 minutes of pure hogwash reported in an unintelligent manner.

As we give importance to the doctors to stick to the laws of their profession so should we insist on the Media to do what they are here to do, to quote Will McAvoy once again “… and for 23 hours a day, you should make a profit, but for one hour a night, you work for us.” in his apology to the electorate.
I think the Media houses in my country owe us an apology;

  1. they owe the young girl who will vote for the first time in March 2013 an apology for enforcing the belief that the next leader should come from a certain tribe,
  2. they owe the old man who lives in the rural area an apology for possibly helping him make the wrong choice of candidate every 5 years at the ballot since 1992
  3. they owe the 14 year old boy who has no clue on how to differentiate between issues and non issues making it hard for him to know for sure what he wants to be when he grows up an apology,
  4. they owe the baby being born today an apology for being born to a country that is full of debt, corruption and a self-defeating tax policy.
  5. they owe themselves an apology for allowing to be driven by self-conceitedness and denying themselves the opportunity to realize their full potential in growing their careers, for reducing their industry into an industry of jokers and morally unstable people, for not giving themselves an opportunity to realize the real power each individual has in making this country a better place.
  6. they owe the rest of world an apology for being a tainted window into our country, for not being able to paint the real picture of this country and for not being able to provide support structures that would expose the country to the rest of the world and/or bring the rest of the world to this country…
  7. they owe the whole country an apology for denying them access to relevant and factual information, denying them the whole analysis of a given picture from different angles, for denying them the power to make INFORMED decisions

I consider the manner in which the custodians of information and the people entrusted with dissemination of the said information conduct their business to be in moral turpitude and for that I demand an apology.

LipstickNotes

The price some will pay for greatness.

I have come to the conclusion that not all of us will end up in marriage, happy or otherwise.

I have also realized that not all of us were made for conventional relationships as depicted by the society.

Its the blunt truth. And that truth might be difficult for even the most reasonable person. However it is a truth that needs to be realized and embraced. The sooner we realize that about ourselves the better we will be.

It is then and only then that you will spend the energy you would otherwise use (waste) on relationships on other things and aspects of your life that you actually thrive in.

Like everything else I also know that there is a provision for trial and error or how else will one know they actually belong to this group of individuals?

There is also a provision for unions that are based on pure lust and meaningless canal desires.

Some Women are not meant to be happy, they are meant for greatness.

One day most of you will remember these words and when that day comes, please sure to give me credit on them…

LipstickNotes

I found myself questioning my very existence!

Have you ever questioned your existence? Your livelihood? Your means? And our future?

I have. Most recently being yesterday. Yesternight to be precise.

Let me tell you what happened yesterday.  I had an opportunity to see with my own eyes and touch with my delicate fingers a baby like this one right here (pictured above), In the flesh (metal that is). Belongs to someone I know.

If you are still wondering what it is, it’s a Mercedes-Benz C63 AGM. I was in awe… Complete and utter awe… How people own such things is beyond me…(not in a negative way by the way, just a wonderful way)

You see even if you decided to give me this car, I will not be able to maintain it. the consumption of this car is above my means…truth is my means are not anyones gauge, my means are way down there… 1500cc engine Toyota means 😀

To be honest it’s not the first time I have seen this particular car, it’s just that this time I saw it up close and candid. I got to get in and the dashboard looks like it can take a command and brew you a cup of coffee.

Do not be fooled it IS all that and a bag of chips.

Recurrent Numbers

The numbers around the maintenance of this car are staggering… you know, the service ( and I have to mention that the car was well maintained, looked brand new when in fact it’s a 2008 car)

In perspective I think should my friend decide to give me all that he has spent on this car I might be able to get myself a nice cool Toyota 😀

For instance he said his car would need 8 spark plugs. Each spark plug goes for the Equivalent of USD1000 in KES. So he needs USD8000 to replace the spark plugs…

I am still in awe… and not just because of the beauty of this car or the amount of money it must cost him, but also because someone can afford to have such a car for these our roads. You need to do the Mombasa – Mazeras Road to know what am talking about.

If I owned this car I would be CARRYING it to work…

But I always say should you make enough money to afford such a car why not?

Given all this am still strangely drawn to the Range Rover Evoque. OK the reason may be I do not want to make so many general requests to God, I want to be specific and the last detail. I will still get me a Range Rover Evoque. And I will be happy jumping on to it every morning to work.

You remember what I told you before? about the Evoque?

LipstickNotes

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