Friday, December 31, 2010

Monday, December 27, 2010


I had a lovely Christmas day.

I had slept in the early hours of Christmas day cause I was preparing the food to be cooked in the morning – marinated the chicken, kidneys, parboiled the rice. Cut the veggies.  Woke up at 8 am and started the frying and roasting: Jollof rice (rice fried in a tomato sauce), Fried rice ( a bit like rice pilauf), sauces.
In between the cooking, we took a long walk to the Catholic church for mass. We were late but it didn’t matter. It was the Lord’s birthday and we wanted it on record that we had come to felicitate. The weather was sunny – the bright and warm kind. A blessing I think after the bitter cold days.
Kay had friends who were also alone at Xmas so they invited themselves over and from a small party of 3, it became 5 then 10. Thankfully, they came with pepper soup, salads, more rice, more chicken so there was more than enough for everyone.

I was instructed to buy Xmas hats the day before. Well, a bit too late for feeling jolly cause all the juicy red Santa woolly pom poms had gone so I was left with Xmas cowboy hats and Xmas tree caps. lol.
Didn’t matter though, we popped them on our heads and set the camera timer and got some amazing pictures.
There was a selection of comedies playing in the background – The hangover, The big Lebowski and Death at a Funereal (2007) - which set the mood laughing and silly.
I have never had a Christmas that wasn’t purely family time. Even last year’s was spent at Juno's, my adopted family in Lagos. This Xmas was with friends(new mostly) and It was fun and I'm thankful.

How was your Christmas?

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Mincemeat recipes anyone??

Hey people,
My UK and US friends are probably familiar with mince meat - a mixture of finely chopped apples, raisins, spices, suet, rum or brandy and sometimes meat, used especially as a pie filling.
But your darling Ginger, a recent resident of UK isn’t. So I when I went for my first grocery shopping after arriving Durham, I added a jam spread to my list because I knew I was going to need it to demolish a whole lot of bread before the term ended. Margarine and peanut butter don’t cut it for me. I love them but they are co conspirators with acne.
So my eyes happened on this jam jar labeled classic mincemeat and I thought hmmmm, exotic!
Till I tried it on toast the next day and went urgh! I asked my nearest Brit housemate ‘What kind of jam is this?’ and she said, ‘It’s mince meat. We use it in making Christmas mince pies’.
Okay. That was October so I had 2 months to wait for mince pie season right?? No way.
Never one to be short on innovative cooking – I’ve used it to spice up pancakes and rice puddings.

Last week Wednesday, I finally had my first taste of homebaked mince pies - one of the tutors prepared a batch of mince pies for the end of term Postgraduate meeting.

I’m still not convinced that’s the only thing one can use mincemeat for. Recipes anyone?

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

366 days of blogging

Today is the first day of my second year blogging, and I just want to say it’s been gingertastic! I gave myself 6 months to get over my need for writing TMI online but instead, I am waxing stronger.
My blog has become my fourth best friend. A source of advice, hugs and kisses. And a much needed receptacle of my movie raves. A platform for exhaling thoughts and my chance to leave gingery footprints in this world wide web.
I remember my first post: to blog or not to blog. I was so worried about what to write about and what not to. All in all I have settled into a nice tempo. I have no regret about stands I have taken or experiences shared. In fact I hope I am better for them. 
Ginger my pseudonym was chosen cause of my love for ginger cookies and ginger snaps. Unfortunately it is competing with spices, real name Gingers and Gilligan island Ginger. I should have thought of Tapioca. Tapioca's blog..hmmm

I also remember when I was a bit obsessed with blog statistics, page ranking, SEO. Thankfully I didn’t have a credit card or I would have paid it out to those page ranking consultants. Duh!
I finally got to the point where I realized I wasn’t in this to make money or get nominated the bestest Ginger blog in the world. I was in it for me but, if you come to my page and our ideas/stories/minds resonate, its wonderful.

Here are my best bits from my days of sifting through pages and pages of advice on how to become a better blogger:

From Akin of Akinblogcity about
The length of a blog post: “Follow the basic function of a good skirt; it should be long enough to cover the detail and short enough to keep the interest”.
We don’t all keep to that. Me included. Just don’t make it a regular occurrence.

From Jen over at Redheadranting, some great tips about commenting:
Right and wrong ways to leave comments: Read the article thoroughly, read the other witty comments so as not to repeat what they have said, contemplate the relevance the article and other comments have to one’s life and then make a concise, well developed, comment in the comment section. In other words, ‘nice post’ doesn’t cut it!
Do respond to comments on your own blog: Jen has this to say: ‘I will usually go back to see if a blogger has responded to my comment. I try to leave witty and interesting comments and because I like my ego stroked I go back to see if the blogger thought I was as witty as I did. Ding!! I totally agree.

From Everett of Far Beyond the stars he says:
“Put a picture of your face on the front page of your blog.” If there’s a face, there’s a human connection.
You need to link to people. Example My BlogMom Linda, the hottest blonde in Alameda writes wickedly witty stories, you gotta check her out here.
Don’t ask people to link to your blog or ask them to visit your blog or ask them to follow you.  Urghh. I’ve never done that thankfully. Following is like a handshake. it shouldn't be forced.
Establish an all star inner circle – this doesn’t mean you can’t/shouldn’t make new friends. It just means these are the bloggers who have got your back and you’ve got theirs.
Don’t apologize for being awesome. You’re writing a blog, that’s an amazing thing. You’re doing way better than the other billions of people who aren’t writing a blog. Don’t apologize for being awesome, instead keep creating awesome stuff. 
Yes, I am Gingertastic!! thank you very much.

I'm curious to know how you came about your blog name or pseudonym. Serendipity or deliberate?

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Never-ending Journey

My eldest sister and daughter decided to fly into London on the worst Flight weather day of the year. It snowed elephants and hippos yesterday messing up roads, rails and runways. 
This is 17.50 on Sunday, about 26 hrs after the stated arrival time and her flight has not yet landed. So far using the flight tracker, it shows their plane stationary at Brussels, Belgium since 9pm yesterday. There was hope they'd get in today but this was dashed when we heard the morning news that all flights into Heathrow were canceled for the day.
Poor dears!!! I'd go stir crazy cooped up in an airport for that long; not knowing my fate cause of the unpredictable weather. It wouldn't have been so bad if they could go out and do some sight seeing, but they probably need a transit visa to step out of the airport. 
At least there are two of them for company. I also hope they are dressed warmly. I did warn them but you never know.
I don't know why they have been unreachable.Their phones should be roaming right?? At least a text or two would put everybody's mind at rest.
I've been stuck to my laptop monitoring the tracker and trying their numbers intermittently. I pray I to hear some cheery news soonest!

More reasons to hate snow..

Thursday, December 16, 2010

School is over Yay!

Stolen from
Happy Holidays
Happy Holidays
While the merry bells keep ringing
May your every wish come true..

Hi BlogFam. Fall term is finally, blessedly over. 
Looking back it was a rather short term but for someone who hasn’t been in an academic environment for 6 years, it had a number of low times when I felt I needed to crack my skull open and force-feed the gray matter.
Well, here I am, a survivor. Between September and now, I have learnt about important people in Anthropology like Bourdieu, Nancy Scheper Hughes, Paul Farmer, Agamben, Arthur Kleinman, Didier Fassin, Michel Foucault – pronounced For-kuu in a throaty French manner as opposed to Foccult like I initially pronounced it. One of my tutors is so passionate about him that I can almost imagine her screaming Forkuu!! Forkuu!! O Forkuu!! in moments of ecstasy (ok..this is the point I shut up!)
I’ve also become familiar with terms like hegemony, heuristic, habitus, social suffering, biopolitics, capital, Biopower, agency, structural violence, governmentality, sovereignty and medicalisation etc.
Hope I’m not boring y’all. Just wanted to remind myself that I’ve actually learnt something :-p

So what are your plans for the holiday?

Mine are up in the air. My eldest sister is not the best trip planner and is just leading everyone on a merry dance.
She and her daughter are coming to the UK for a wintery holiday. I should be ecstatic. I was ecstatic. Initially. Till I got involved in her plans which were as changeable as the British weather. They are definitely coming sometime this weekend (tickets have been bought, Amen). But that's all I know. When her plane is arriving, where she’s staying in London, I still don’t know but I'm supposed to meet up with them at some point. Oh well I’m sure things will get sorted somehow.
Right now, I just want to savor not waking up to a 7am alarm and seeing three or more movies without guilt.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Male Psyche

Click to enlarge
   Which urinal do you think is the most popular? Which the least? lol

Saturday, December 4, 2010


Maurice Fischer: I was disappointed …
Robert Fischer: That I couldn’t be you
Maurice Fischer: No, I was disappointed that you tried.
And the ‘Inception’ was finally planted in Robert Fisher.
So I finally watched the movie INCEPTION, with a more open mind now that the hype has died down.
And I truly understood all that dreaming within a dream that’s in a dream that’s in another dream.
And it was beautiful.

But it was also a bit too heavy. Too contrived. Belabored dialogue. Laughs few and far in between. It was almost like having a psychology class, only with fancy Freudian lecturers, artsy projections and lots of drama.
They also relied a lot on the Hans Zimmer’s score to provide the tension cause without it, we really would have slept off in parts.

All that withstanding….it was worthy of the hype it received. Ginger scores it an A+ for originality.

My fave character was Arthur – Joseph Gordon Levitt. He was like the prissy guy in school who knew all the answers and looked lovable to boot.
Cobb’s character was too disturbed for my taste.
I loved the scene where they were setting the venue for the heist. And while Arthur was talking about buying out all the first class seats,
Saito informed them that he had bought the airline cause ‘It seemed neater’ Damn! Don’t you just love rich men!!
Or Ariadne talking about Mal to Cobb after their first dream sequence together — That's some subconscious you've got on you, Cobb! She's a real charmer!

Do I vote it the best picture of the year?? Nay. A best movie should be one which resonates with some of our ideals and is easily understood by the majority. 
I don't think Inception did that. I can’t think of any 2010 movie that has pulled my heartstring as much as Avatar did.
But for
Best directing - check
Best screenplay/writer – check
Best Cinematography - check
And a new category - Best Riddle – In the very last scene, was that Top about to stumble? I’ve replayed it thrice now. It sounds like. It looks like. But I’m still not sure.
Where’s Nolan?!!!  

Friday, December 3, 2010


I treated myself to a movie tonight after a long hard week - Unstoppable, have you seen it?
This movie stopped me in my track for the 98 mins of play before it let me go.
Plot: Today is the first day of work for the new train conductor Will Colson(Chris Pine) at AWVR (can't remember the full Coy name) and the last month of work for Barnes(Denzel W) a 28 yr veteran train hostler. But it was  going to be the most memorable day for the two men, cause a fully powered, 71miles per hr, 27car carrying, unmanned train on the Pennsylvania rail line is having a day out on the tracks and no one can stop it!!
Great points for Unstoppable
-The story was simply written and simply executed
-No CGIs thank you. I think they actually used real trains
-No exaggerated, protracted buddy antagonism. Will and Barnes had differences of opinion but it was approached with maturity and respect
-No stunty stunts. The decisions and actions taken were what normal people can reasonably take ‘to save the day’.
-The documentary style filming gave you different perspectives
-The alternate filming of fast and slow scenes maintained the suspense
-Excellent performances from Chris Pine, Rosario, Ethan
-Denzel is still eye candy
Not so great points
- There was a lot of train going on: slow train, fast train, small train, big train, red train, blue train, yellow train, green train, chug, chug, you get my drift…..
- Sappy ending: Will’s wife and Barnes’ daughters shouldn’t have been on that welcome committee. Last time we saw them, they were at home watching TV. Moreover there was an evacuation and traffic diversion going on at Stanton. How the heck did they get there just in time?
Thankfully that was the 92nd mins, so I’m overlooking it :-).
Ginger scores it 6.8/10

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Blast from the Past

I got an email yesterday.
From the first guy who broke my heart.
It wasn’t the first time we had exchanged mails. ( I had sent a ‘Hi, long time’ message on face book and got the same soulless ‘fine and how are you’ response) but I just knew this would be different. From email we went on to chat. And within the first two sentences, he says

I probably owe you a number of apologies.. dunno where 2 start
Apologies? Wow. well, lets begin....I'm all ears (In reality, it felt like someone had given me a sucker punch in the guts. I had waited 10 yrs to hear that…)

I think I can sum it all up by saying that you deserved to be treated so much better than I did.. you needed someone reliable .. I wasn't that person then.. my head was all over the place.. made so many mistakes..

A brief rundown
We had a mutual friend Rob. We all used to hang out together when we could. I loved his Barry White looks. He loved my chocolattey wit.
Then one day we found ourselves alone without Rob hovering over. And we got talking. Really got talking.
And fell in love.
He spoke to my 21 yr old heart in a way no one has come close to. I think the first love letter he wrote me is still somewhere in my archives at home. Where he gave me all the reasons why we should be together. How he would 'fly me to the moon and back if I'd be his baby'. How he wants us to be married by 27 and have 3 children. He even had their names picked out – the first would be Kikelomo (means 'my child to love'). I mean that was my first marriage proposal!
We had only just begun. 5 months. The future was bright and rosy. He was the only guy I have spent the triathlon with.
Anywho, before I could tattoo ‘sweet fanny adams’ on my chest, my Barry White disappeared on me.
Went to the UK for a holiday and never came back. I looked for him. online. offline. Wrote to his father, friends, called his family. But no one knew where he was. Initially.

I dunno.. wanted to be independent of my dad's money.. was disillusioned with comp sc from the stone age @ School.. When I first got here, no one in my family would help me cause I had defied my dad. lost a lot of confidence.. was a bit depressed. I figured you wouldn't want to know me cause I'd let you down... Thought you would have moved on... I did miss you but I kinda accepted I'd blown it..
I don’t know how many times I dreamt of him coming back for me in a white Porsche. I don’t know how many times I prayed for his safety and success cause I knew where he was coming from. I felt it in my bones he was having it tough. I don’t know how many times I cried. 
But one thing I could never do was hate him for breaking my heart. I guess first loves can just about get away with murder.
I finally gave up/in after 2 years of waiting.
Then 3 years ago, I discovered his brother on the internet. Stalked his page awhile, sent him messages which went unanswered. Then one day he uploaded happy wedding pictures of Barry White and a preggy wife.
I was gutted. But I was also happy. Happy to know he was okay. Happy to know he was doing fine. Happy to know he had someone to love him.

I'm still surprised you don't hate me.
Why ever? I could never hate him. But I was human enough to be hurt and wonder why I was rejected. Why someone could let me go. Let go of something wonderful. My fledgling confidence in myself as a girl ‘a man flies to the moon and back for’ took a hit that it never truly recovered from.

I'm really sorry.. never meant to hurt you.. you deserved better.
Maybe. Maybe not. But I did appreciate that apology. Cos no matter how inane ‘I am sorry’ is, it does have its place and time in history. And like I told him, it reminded me again of the sweet guy who swept me off my feet.

It's all flooding back into my head.. we had a good time together, didn't we? sigh.
Yeah we did.

I still don’t know how I feel. Relieved. Nostalgic. Closure.
…..Life goes on.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

When Homophobia rules the day

Today is world’s AIDS day.
We may not be clinking our glasses of champagne and toasting AIDS away, but we have come a long way from the world that met AIDS two decades ago.
And while some changes has finally come - The number of new HIV infections is almost one-fifth lower than it was a decade ago, according to the UNAIDS Global Report on HIV/AIDS, The Pope approves Condom use for People living with HIV  - some things have stayed the same - Homophobia.
 AIDS was first discovered in the quiet, secret gay communities/clubs in the West. They were also found to be the most at risk but alas they were an unwelcome group. Many died because it was too late for them, while many more died because they could not seek treatment due to judgment by you and I. We thought they were an abhorrence to godly men everywhere and hence deserving of death by AIDS.
In many African countries, gay men still cannot reveal their status for fear of imprisonment (Kenya), death or being ostracized. So they conform to the social norm, make some woman unhappy through marriage while continuing theis affairs on the side.
Twenty years after, Politicians are being enthroned or dethroned based on their stand on homosexuality.

Homophobia has tainted the most innocuous of actions in contemporary society. Men can’t hug anymore, men can’t wear pink shirts, male friends can’t hold hands anymore, little boys can’t dress like girls for a costume party without attracting negative attention. Like this 5yr old who wore a Daphne from Scooby doo costume.
We really should remember that the actions of the future generation are based on what the adults of Now have taught them. The young men who were beating on gay students and even had a gay torture chamber in Chicago’s Bronx were nurtured on this hate. The young man who committed suicide cause of a video leak (can we all say no to sex videos? Thank you) had met this hate before and chose to kill himself rather than meet it again.
When Odinga, Angle and Palin spew their intolerance and we make them role models, heroes, our kids are watching. And listening.
If we sow love, we reap love. We sow tolerance, We reap tolerance. We sow hatred and bigotry, we reap wars.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Happy Eggs vs Sad Eggs

The debate in the West about organic or non-organic food never failed to amuse me when I was in Nigeria. I lived in a Country where 80% of our food -fruit, vegetable, meat grew at their natural God-given pace. Yes Sire! Bulls are slaughtered at the ripe old age of 2yrs, Cows at 5yrs, the hardy local poultry takes a year to get to an eatable size. Only the genetically engineered broilers and cockerels can be relied on to get obese in 8 weeks. 
I took naturally maturing, non-fertilized and non-hormone stimulated grown food for granted.
Till I came to the UK.
   And I tasted beef that didn’t taste like beef.
   Chicken that I marinated overnight but was still tasteless after steaming.
   Carrot that tasted sweet but metallic and left my lips and tongue itchy.
   Banana that was gigantic but sweetly bland.
Then I understood. 
I've even heard there’s organic and non organic milk too. Though I can’t really be bothered about that. I’ve been drinking inorganic powdered milk all my In fact Cowbell (a popular powdered milk brand) contains vegetable fats instead of butter fat; if that’s not inorganic I don’t know what is!!

What really gets my goat is the mighty debate about free range poultry and caged poultry.
I can understand if you tell me you like free range poultry because they taste ‘Better’ (from the added insect and veggy flavor in their diet). I assume this great taste also extends to their eggs.
You can tell me keeping food producing animals in good health is essential to maximize their productivity for man. 
You can complain about poor hygiene practices in Poultry farms. 
You can tell me about over-crowding.
You can even complain about the additives in their feeds which might not be okay for human. (mind you, the above complaints are seen in both poultry systems!)

But please, please, spare me the platitudes about happy free range birds and suffering caged birds.
Please don’t talk about being humane and compassionate and show me pictures of birds who died in cages implying they should have been running free.
Death is a natural occurrence in battery cages and free range. Birds get sick and die. Birds get old and die. Birds in captivity develop bad habits and turn savage on each other. Life is not perfect, Sorry!
Note: It happens in prisons too so why are we not talking of letting criminals roam free? (Forgive, but that’s the nearest comparison I could come up with).

In case you haven’t noticed, there’s a population explosion going on globally with an inverse proportion of land available. Battery cages maximize land space available while ensuring that you have the cheap protein you need.
I love animals; I couldn't have studied Veterinary medicine if I hadnt. But I also respect animals' roles in our Ecology. As food to man. As beasts of burden. As companions.

So dear lady in the lilac cardigan at Tesco, don’t gimme the evil eye cause I picked up the crate of eggs clearly labeled 'battery cage eggs' which I noticed shoppers were avoiding.
A crate of 15 eggs for £1.82 makes great nutritional and economic sense to me than a crate of 6 free range eggs at £1.45!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Of Turkey and Tuna

I woke up to snow.
My first snow.….. And it looked awesome.

The feeling of awesomeness lasted as long as it took me to burn up my phone credit calling home to announce the news.
Then it inched lower when I rushed to class for a lecture only to find out it had been canceled cause Prof.G couldn’t get to Durham. I hung out with my friends a bit then took a walk to the market place to stock up on groceries through slippery snow mixed with sludge.

I get back so tired that all I can think of making is a Tuna Sandwich.
Then I see this exchange between mom and mike and I begin to feel like Orphan Annie.
So if I were in Alameda right now with Mom, I’d have been eating organic free range turkey with sausage and corn bread stuffing, gravy, sweet potatoes topped with pecans and brown sugar, a green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, cranberry chutney, fruit salad, fresh baked rolls, a pecan pie, apple pie and pumpkin pie with fresh whipped cream???!!!!

Darn! My sandwich is looking mighty unappealing right now…….

P.s. I am thankful to God for times like this: For Sun and For Snow, For Tuna and For Turkey, For Blood and Blog Families. You give me a reason to smile everyday. You are the Reason for the Season.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Gingery newsroundup

And the Tea bagger’s pet goes home
Well, ABC should be happy with the 24 million viewers who took out their time to watch Dancing with the Stars finale. Bristol infamousity must have riled viewers enough to make them sit up and watch and gun for Jennifer Grey (no pun intended though I hope conscientious viewers wore bullet proof vests. Who can tell, some other angry Wisconsin man might have just come with a gun).
I was never really a Dancing with the Stars fan. Haven’t watched TV in ages. I only got a wind of it over the brouhaha last week when my favourite R n B star Brandy got voted off. Brandy is one teen to adult artiste who has managed to maintain her goody two shoe image (No drugs, no prison, no pregnancy, no divorce, no bankruptcy). I just love her for that!!!!and I am glad she gave a great account of herself at DWTS, Bristol or no Palin. msheeew
Here’s saying a warm Congratulations to Jennifer Grey.  You have confirmed it  – Life begins at Fifty!!!!

Of engagements and jinxed rings..
Prince William announced his engagement to Kate Middleton. (Old news I know). A reporter says their story reminds us of childhood fairytales and princess fantasies? I guess they were intimating that she wasn’t of royal pedigree. Hello?? Like he had plenty pretty pedigreed young females available to choose from.
But I am looking at their pictures and they look so radiant, even after 2 years of cohabitation….they must really be in love. And that is the only thing that warms this cynical heart. I wish them well. And please can we quit the rumors of her engagement ring being jinxed. Come on people, stop the hate!

Wrong move, Jessica
Jessica Simpson gets engaged a week after her ex-husband got engaged. Is it a contest? First, I didn’t know she and Nick Lachey were divorced!!! What rock have I been hiding myself….. again? I am only interested in this story cause Hollywood held Jessica up as this role model teenagers should aspire to because she saved herself for marriage. I wonder what they are saying now…….cos If she were my daughter I’d slap the taste outta her mouth if she did something as silly as this. Not only does rumor have it that she dished out a parting gift of N10m to Nick but rumor also has it that the new fiancé doesn’t have an income. Do you see the same dollar signs he is seeing? Gosh, now it’s really confirmed she’s a dumb blonde.

Who pays for these Studies???
1.       Researchers have now discovered how cats drink water.
2.       Another study has also unraveled the Physics behind the wet dog shake.
For the latter, one of the justifications I hear is that it could lead to new innovations in Drying machines. Yeah right. I can just imagine the tagline -  a Drying machine that dries just like Rosco does!!

Amazon et tu?
Amazon has been accused of selling books promoting sexual exploitation of children. Books include "The Pedophile's Guide to love and pleasure"and videos depicting pre-pubescent Eastern European and Asian girls, some of whom are nude. They are listed for sale on Amazon in the U.S. and Japan. 
In their defense, Amazon claims it is censorship not to sell certain books simply because we or others believe their message is objectionable. "Amazon does not support or promote hatred or criminal acts, however, we do support the right of every individual to make their own purchasing decisions”.
The activists who want to fight Amazon or the publishers might have a tough job of it making a legal action stick cause it’s mainly pictures.
The point is even if there’s a lack of sexual abuse in the imagery, if photos focus on sexual aspects of a child then it is wrong!!! I hope people stop using them just to register their displeasure. For such a large company, it beats me that they can’t understand what being responsible is..… eejits!.

A Tragic Love Story…
An 86 yr old man who is suspected of blowing a hole through the head of his wife of 70 yrs has been taken into custody by the police.
A wife he had been visiting thrice a day, feeding and bathing her since she became increasingly senile. Rather heartbreaking cause he probably thought it was mercy killing.
But the law doesn’t work that way does it? And really where would the world be if we took the laws into our hands like that. But I can also imagine the tragedy of seeing your wife become someone unrecognizable. Someone who mightn’t even recognize you anymore. Where’s the joy of growing old together? It must have been pretty depressing. If the police hadn’t come to take him, I am almost sure he would have hastened to join her artificially or naturally. Lets spare a prayer for this old man. He did wrong but let’s focus on the motive behind it. It was love.

And to cheer you up…
And I just had to share this sweet video about the soldier who surprises his sons with an early return from Afghanistan.
Sometimes I really love msnbsc news.


Monday, November 22, 2010

Bras - love 'em or hate 'em?

I remember when I was 14. We had just resumed school after a 3month break following the Junior Secondary Exam. We were now officially in the Senior class: No more pinafores or shift dresses; instead skirts and blouse. Long sleeves instead of short sleeves, shirts instead of roundneck blouses, makeup and BRAS! For the guys, they carefully nurtured those strands of hair sprouting on their chin. Oh Puberty!
Pix from
Owing to the 3 month stretch at home with good food, relaxation and optimum hormone production, we girls were sprouting sizable tangerine size enlargements on our chests. Even yours truly. Okay there was some initial breast envy(lol. gist for another day) but then there was still hope. I knew my biology; there was still time to grow.
There was this naughty game the girls had of touchy-feeling each other’s back to locate the bra strap and pull/snap it. It was a testament to the newness (elasticity) of your straps and to the fact that you were actually wearing one thus “among” the mature.
Getting a bra for me wasn’t my Mom’s angst. I don’t think the thought even occurred to her. This was where having 4 sisters ahead of me was fruitious. I nicked a couple of small looking sizes off them adjusted the straps and ‘voila!’ I was flashing a bra too.

Well, here I am 16 yrs after and I hate that damn accessory. I don’t have that ‘damned urge’ to pull it off while at work, but the moment I get home, my skin begins to chaff and constrict like there’s an iron band around my chest zone and all I want to do is reach behind and unhook. Aha freedom.
So today, I ask, why do we wear bras? Is it a necessity? Did you ever ask? Or do we just do it cause that’s what everyone does. Is there any empirical report which says it is beneficial to the breasts?
Some of the reasons we wear Bras include: 
  • The Fashion Industry have wired us to think that way. Hello Wonderbra? Victoria Secrets?
  • Big-breasted gals need the support it provides
  • We feel Indecent and Immoral without them.
  • Everybody does so, or in other words the unspoken rules of society dictate
  • We need to wear bras at work because it's the 'dress code'. I’ve heard of that. Infact this lady was sacked for not wearing the right type.
  • We hate the thought of our breasts sagging so much
  • For support when we jump up and down doing sports and exercise
  • I am breastfeeding and I need to wear nursing bras
  • My tops look and fit better with a bra…....(Now this I can relate to!)
On the other hand, an anti bra group say that Bras are a NO NO! These are their reasons:

Breasts do not need to be supported: Wearing a bra... has no medical necessity whatsoever", says Susan M. Love, M.D.  Breasts were fine before the invention of brasserie. This is similar to the myth that women supposedly need corsets to support their stomach muscles.
Breastfeeding and nursing bras: Nursing moms (or pregnant women) are usually told to buy and wear nursing bras. There is no medical necessity to wear nursing bras either, except maybe to hide leaking breast milk.
Breasts will sag: There is no proof that bras would prevent your breasts from sagging. It's pretty normal for breasts to sag. Only young teenage breasts have that perky upright look.
Breasts jump up and down while I exercise and do sports: Exercising is not doing any damage to breast tissue or to the chest wall, and actually, movement of breasts aids the lymph flow which is good for them.
Bra-wearing has been linked to breast cancer in some study by this, errrr, couple Sidney Ross Singer and Soma Grismaijer.  They found, for example, that women who wore a bra 24 hours a day had a 113-fold increase in breast cancer incidence compared to women who wore bra less than 12 hours daily!  Hear hear hear.

So what do you think?? To wear or not to wear? What are the alternatives?

p.s. Have you ever tried the breast exercise? It’s a great one for getting the juice flowing there. Raise your hands, bend it at the elbow with the hands on the shoulder, then flap the folded limbs up and down like a bird. I was told it would get my boobs larger – not sure it

Friday, November 19, 2010

The Exorcist unveiled....

A teenage girl becomes possessed by Satan after playing with a Ouija board. Causes objects to fly about, kills priests while becoming increasingly disfigured. 
Who hasn’t seen the most terrifying horror movie of the 70s – Exorcist?
Like they need your viewership that much!! The movie, made on an enormous budget of N10m(that was a lot in those days) has made over half a billion dollars for Warner Brothers. It was also the magnum opus of Billy Friedkin’s career, an obsessive and often difficult individual who was said to have approached the making of The Exorcist in the manner of a mildly unhinged dictator going to war.. The actors despair over his manic directing came through in their performances.
Well, news news , the Blu ray version of The Exorcist is out and it contains not just all the usual digital remastering expected in a Collector’s edition, but it also the fascinating documentary based on behind the scenes footage taken from the sets.
We discover that this movie:
1.      Was mostly shot on a wobbly hand-held camera directed by Owen Roizman the director of photography.
2.      We get to admire the extra ordinary lengths the Technical staff went to- in an era long before the advent of CGI to achieve the extravagant special effects in the plot. Without these, this dark tale with its rich dialogue would have been a boring flop.
3.      Remember the rotating heads, shaking beds? The documentary tells how sometimes, just before cameras rolled, Friedkin would fire guns, so that his stars looked startled. At other times, he'd slap the actors across the face to make them appear angry. Before every take of the film, he would insist on playing unsettling music on loudspeakers.
4.      Friedkin also required his entire set to be refrigerated, so that viewers would be able to see the breath of characters freeze during exorcism scenes. In Roizman's behind-the-scenes footage, you'll see crew-members creeping about the set in 1970s ski jackets, while Burstyn and Linda Blair snivel miserably in the cold.
5.      You also learn how charmingly low-tech most of The Exorcist's other special effects were. The famous scene when Regan's head rotates through 360 degrees, for example, was filmed using a life-size rubber model of the actress.
6.      For the scene where she vomits, an artificial device was strapped onto Blair's chin, and which used a hidden tube to fire a jet of green liquid, made by mixing of pea soup and porridge.
7.      To shoot scenes at the angles he desired, he required staff to erect a bewildering array of pulleys and wires, which the cameramen would simply be dangled from.
8.      To make the bed, on which Regan sits for much of the second half of the film, rock violently, four men stood backstage pumping levers attached to the bed. 
      Burstyn and Blair were left with longstanding back problems because of the extent to which they were thrown around on the mechanical bed.
9.      As the film progressed and Regan's voice morphs into an elaborate sort of cacophony, some of the sounds used included recordings of croaking tree frogs, and bumblebees.
10. And all those stories we heard about the production being cursed, a mysterious fire that devoured a soundstage and no less than nine people connected to the project dying during filming – pure myth!!

A great deal of The Exorcist's success also derives from the brilliant performance of 13 yr old Linda Blair, who won a Golden Globe for her portrayal of Regan. Today, Blair gives Friedkin huge credit for effectively gambling his professional reputation on a film that depended on the performance of small child. It required endless patience. "Sometimes I wouldn't want to do something. And he would have to make it a game. Or he would offer me some sort of benefit. 'Would you like to have a chocolate shake?' he would ask. 'If you finish this then you can have one.' It worked."
 All hail the genius of Linda Blair, Billy FriedKin, and Owen Roizman!!!!!

Despite the comfort of finding out that it was all fake, I wouldn’t re-watch this movie for all the tea in China and even less the Recent Remake. Once was enough….Right??

p.s. Linda Blair went on to make other movies, MOSTLY HORROR and never became a big star for someone that talented and who had an early start! 
Now you understand my fears for Chloe Moretz who seems to be following her footsteps.

Culled from here

Let her In - Chloe Moretz

Saw the poster for a new movie - Let me In- with my favorite child star Chloe Grace Moretz –  a haunting Vampire thriller.
I loved her knife wielding, gun totting, vengeful quest in Kick Ass and thought she was pretty special. But I am also discovering that this is not first role in blood and gore (Amityville Horror, Room 6, Wicked little things ).
I guess that makes her a likely candidate for this genre of movies i.e. horror but I just hate! hate! that this might be her career fate in Hollywood.
She deserves to be allowed to be a child in a movie. At 13, there’s enough time to grow old and be horrific!! Little girls are meant to be made of sugar and spice and all that’s nice right?
Picture taken from
So sorry love, I might not be watching this. Though I am happy its getting rave reviews. A rating of 89% by those crabby critics on RottenTomatoes (for a movie that’s meant to be a remake) is a feat.

If you want a strong plot with real fangs and blood – not elegant Twilight-ful vampires – go watch 'Let me In'…..and tell me all about it after.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

I dont want your germs...

I don't know about the States but over here it's the Flu season and I am
tired of dodging, ducking flying contagious aerosols flying out of the
nostrils and mouths of flu victims.
To the girl in the library who decided to infect all the other students
sharing that space with you with whatever contagion you were incubating,
here are some health tips for you
1. Wearing some abominably short hip/chest exposing gown without tights,
without a coat in the middle of the night before/after the night out in
urham when the temperatures are 2.C is not a wise move to me. When you
punish your poor body like that, the result is stress, which in turn gives
rise to cold. So when you recover from this or while you are at it, wear
some warm clothing.
2. Do try to cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough. You have
probably contaminated that computer, table, door knob and surroundings with
your viruses. I know cause I have marked that table. I am going to avoid it
till I leave Durham if possible.
3. Please do not use your hands as a mouth stopper. Especially when you are
still typing on the keyboard. You are only covering them with viruses and
endangering the next user. Do use disposable tissue next time or cough into
your elbow.
4.Do book an appointment for a TB test as soon as possible cause they sound
you were racking up was mighty scary.
Note: Because I come from Nigeria, I was subjected to TB tests(Xrays, Skin tests, the works) meanwhile I should be more afraid of your Swine flu....just saying.
Mind you, I am really, really, really sorry you have a cold. Heck, I just
recovered from one 6 weeks ago (I blame that on acclimatizing anyway). It's
just that the flagrant way in which you were distributing your germs eroded
most of my sympathy.
I really hope you get better soon.
Hugs and kisses
Take care,

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Some like it RED

In the spirit of hostessing, I had a movie fest Saturday night. It felt so strange. Like I was doing Something forbidden. Something so deliciously wicked; especially when you have a pile of academic books to read. ah well, sod it all!
There was Something Old: Date Movie

Starring Alyson Hannigan(Julia Jones), Adam Campbell (Grant Funkyerdoder), Eddie Griffin(Father Jones), Jennifer Coolidge( Therapist Mom Funkyerdoder), Sophie Monk (Andy -The blonde best friend from hell).
Plot: It was a spoof of various romcoms. It was infantile and I only stuck with it till the end cause I was enjoying matching scenes, characters, lines or plots to the original movies. Sigh….
The main plot was a mishmash of My Big Fat Greek Wedding, My Best friend’s Wedding and Meet the Fockers. Then snippets from Bridget Jones Diary (Julia Jones had a diary), The wedding planner (you can’t miss the Jennifer Lopez lookalike with the signature hips to match), Iron man, Legally Blonde, When Harry met Sally (the solo orgasm at the restaurant), Shampoo (Julia Jones singing and dancing on the street), Kill Bill (now that was silly), Hitch, Natural Born Killers (that snippet was weird to say the least), Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Pretty Woman, What Women Want, Baywatch, even a little of King Kong.
I think I missed out on 3 or 4 references.
Oh and I had to google these classic love quotes exchanged by the lovebirds at the end. I knew they were too good to be originals from this un-innovative spoof writers –
Grant: I love you. You... you complete me. And I just...
Julia: Shut up, just shut up. You had me at "hello".
(Stolen from Jerry Maguire)

Grant: ... I'm just a boy, standing in front of a girl, asking her to love him.
(Stolen from Notting Hill)
Ginger scores it 3/10

Something New - RED
Bruce Willis a retired CIA agent pensioner and his old buddies(when I say old, I really mean geriatrics) - Helen Mirrer, John Malkovich, Morgan Freeman star in this action comedy.
Plot: A list of 10 names is circulating in high places in the CIA. Everybody is connected. Everybody on that list must be eliminated. Time is running out. Bruce and friends are on the run and will remain so till they find out who is behind the manhunt and what they want.
Wow: These Hollywood old timers just refuse to stay down!!! First It was the expendables a few months ago. Now it is Red.
Makes me want to compare the two movies and I will…
Plot- Expendables was straightforward, Red was too busy
Sound Quality – Red (The Expendables was a most noisy affair)
Star quality – Expendables (I loved the cast. It got the right mix of the 80s action heroes )
Action – Expendables (The action was half believable. Helen Mirren hauling a bazooka in Red was quite unbelievable)
Romantic angle – Red (Bruce’s wooing of his pension clerk was classic!)
Dialogue – Expendables (I loved the ‘real life’ cracks)
Characterization – Expendables (You knew who was who and what he was about)
Lovable Likable characters – Red (Malkovich as the paranoid agent in exile kept me in stitches)
All In all, it was a fun watch. Ginger scores it 6.5/10
p.s. I just hope Jean Claude Van Damme and his coterie of friends maybe Steven Seagull too, don’t have some comeback like this lined up… urgh.

I have seen this movie referenced too many times in articles not to want to see it. And it was well worth my time.
Plot: An American film actor, Bob Harris visits Tokyo to make a commercial for Suntory Whiskey. There he meets the young wife of a visitng photographer Charlotte. They strike up an idyllic but improbable friendship rooted in the loneliness, boredom, language, nationality and present experiences. Charlotte is yet to define what she wants from life and Bob has seen it all.
A lot of hilarity and confusions arise due to the language and cultural differences between Bob and Charlotte and their Japanese hosts. When it’s time for Bob to go, decisions must be made about the future. To be or not to be..
Wow: No its not a romcom though there was love and laughter. There were funny parts but not cliché funny. Rather mirrors of real life moments when you want to either scream and pull your hair in frustration or decide to see the funny side of it.
There was a romance which you waited with abated breathe to flower between the stars and damn the consequences.
There was a poignancy underlying every moment of Lost in Translation. Like when Charlotte asks Bob, “does it ever get better, Marriage?”. You want to hear the answer cause it’s probably a question you’ve asked yourself at some point in your own journey. And you really want to hear this man’s view given that his wife’s calls gives you an idea of the sham of a marriage they have.
I fell in love with Scarlett Johansson all over again and was happy to find out that this was the movie that set her career on fire. She’s such a beautiful girl errr, and Bill Murray is such a wrinkled old man ;-)
Ginger scores it 7.5/10
Despite the language barrier, I think I would love to visit Tokyo if I get the chance. First it was in Karate Kid now this. I am sold.


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