Friday, December 31, 2010

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas

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.
Yummy!

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 Sharonlathan.net
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

Inception

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

Unstoppable

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.

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