Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Versatile Blogger and 10 things I love about me

So I have these amazing, down to earth and always interesting bloggers Toinlicious, Cherrychatter, DammyJewel, Stelzz and Naija4life to thank for bestowing the Versatile blogger award to me. I totally appreciate it and I think you guys are the dog’s bollocks too.

The rules of the award are:
1.  Thank the person(s) who shared the award with you by linking back to them in your post. (Done)
2.  Pass this award to 15 recently discovered blogs and let them know that you included them in your blog post. (UnderDone)
3.  List 7 things about yourself. (OverDone below)

In the spirit of the awards, if you have yet to get on to ToinliciousDammyJewelStelzzFashiondivvahNewlywedDuchessThe Blunt blogNaija4lifeDeeDee’s DigsThe New Yorker Project pages, pls check them out right now!!

Toinlicious says she is prettier than Kelly Rowlands and has the most amusing family members to boot. With a niece and nephew called Kimberly and Timberly that should give you an inkling.

Cherrychatter's blog writes lively hilarious posts about dating and a single girl's dilemma with interfering Nigerian Moms and Aunties.

DammyJewel gives us a vignette of a day in the life of a newbie residence doctor. Want to read of the surgery assistant who fainted in the middle of a surgery and was wheeled out of the theater? Click here.

Stelzz writes about her walk with God in self discovery. But when Nigeria and Canada get to her she blogs about them too.

Fashiondivvah blog is eclectic. From feminist issues to music to fashion to relationships. ohh and she loves oaks plantain chips

Innovatedbabe of Newlywed blog makes me want to marry like yesterday. The stories she tells of her marriage are so sincere and refreshing.

Duchess writes about her personal experience with disability with loads of sincerity, passion and humor.

Chintan is blunt and her words cut like a two-edged sword but lurking behind that toughness is a soft and sweet interior which she reveals to ardent followers

Naija4life doesn’t have the political or economic clout to resolve the world’s problems but believes that his pen and a determined heart can start the fight.

Deedee’s recent digs at Nigeria in her 10 things I hate about Nigeria caught my attention. Hilarious read. And you’ll know she aint lying. She’s forgiven though cause she also wrote about 10 things she loves about Nigeria.

Ria Nicole of the New Yorker project gives us anecdotal posts about New York which are mostly humorousperverse and thought provoking.

Now back to me

So this is going to be a cross between things about me and appreciating my virtues ala Myne’s post

#1 - I am adaptable. Really. I can adjust to life anywhere. Take me to Alaska and I’ll probably become more Eskimo than the Inuits. My mom used to despair at how easily I make myself comfortable in other people’s homes. Be it a palace or a hut. As long as I can find love and warmth there…..

#2- I am a magnet for children because the agbaya child in me is irrepressible. Sometimes I think it confuses children. One minute I am scolding, the next, I am the pretend donkey and you are riding piggy on her back and dancing to the Mickey mouse club theme song.

#3 - I love books. I love reading. Each book is like an unopened gift pack. The writer’s style, the plot, the characters are all ingredients which add up to a perfect muffin or vomitus. While other girls dream of future kitchens and children’s rooms, I dream of my own home library.

#4a - I can’t tell lies. I find it difficult to lie. The few times I do, I’ll probably confess by night before harm is done or trip myself up. To help myself, I am learning how to tell people ‘it’s none of your business’ when they ask me personal stuff which really isn’t their business anyway – rather than lie.
#4b - I don’t flatter. A corollary of my inability to tell lies. So believe me when I say ‘you are beautiful, awesome or write amazingly. It is sincere.

#5 - I am wise with money. I believe in saving up for things and weighing opportunity costs but unlike the ‘Silas Manners’ of the world, I also know when to let go and have some fun. In fact that is the ultimate incentive of penny pinching: being able to ‘treat’ myself.

#6 - I am loyal. I will stick with friends through betrayal, lies, ill treatment, gossip and postpone calling it quits for as long as I can. But when I say it is over…it is.

#7 - I forgive and forget. Now read the last sentence of #6 again.  Do you see a problem? lol.  I have sincerely kissed and hugged ‘sworn enemies’ then when I get home I think, ‘but I shouldn’t have hugged him/her. I shouldn’t even be talking to him/her. Why? Errrrr I can’t remember. Sometimes I think I should keep a journal.
Anyway that’s for friends. For boyfriends that broke my heart…I have an elephant’s memory.

#8 - I love my legs. I think they are the hottest bits about me.

#9 - I love spur of the moment plans/trips/holidays. I hate planning things to death. Urghh. Eg. Weddings. If I could, I’ll elope like Okeoghene. Seriously. Thinking of 6 months of marriage counseling and booking halls and catering just makes me break out in hives. Too much drama plzzzzzzz.

#10 - I love to fantasize. My favourite sexual fantasy (err don’t you have one?) is my mom walking in on my hubby and I making love, in my bedroom, in my parents’ house on a Sunday morning and I raise my head long enough to scream, “Mom, we are busy!!!!”. And she mumbles a quick apology and closes the door. Orgasm!!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Crazy Stupid Bridesmaids and a Hangover

I’ve watched the first Hangover thrice and I don’t mind introducing new converts to it. It was 100 minutes of pure hilarity.
When I heard Hangover 2 was out. I wondered what new madness could top the previous? I mean pulling your incisor tooth out, stealing Mike Tyson’s pet tiger, marriage to a stripper, naked Chinese men, was mad enough.
I understand that if a recipe worked excellently the first time, one should repeat it faithfully. So Hangover 2 followed the exact recipe of Hangover 1: boys night out, wake up in a strange bed, strange animal in the room, naked Chinese men, missing body parts, a monk. But something just didn’t ring funny this time. Maybe cause it was so predictable?
I have a love/hate relationship with Zach Galifianakis and this time he was as irritating and painful as a sore throat. Shaving his head didn’t make him more endearing. I like Brad Cooper but his good looks couldn’t save this train wreck. Stu (Ed Helms) tattooing his face duh. Guitar playing brother in law chopping his finger off…unbelievable.
I only watched this movie to the end in other to write this review. Do not pass go, do not waste your money. Wait till its free on cable. In fact watch a Nollywood movie instead.
Ginger scores it 2.2/10

I  heard it was the female version of the Hangover so I imagined drunken orgies and cat fights and girls getting facial tattoos or pulling off their teeth. Arghhhh.
Beautiful surprise!! What I saw was a tasteful and almost realistic depiction of female friendships, being a third wheel in your best friend’s life, jealousy, planning a wedding, and settling for less than perfect cause you thought that was all you deserved. There was drunken behavior, shitting in pants, even animals etc but we were always ladies thank you very much.

Annie (Kristen Wiig) was living an under-perfect life. She was broke and barely able to pay her rent cause her fledgling bakery business got hit by the recession. In the romance stakes, she could only boast of a fuck buddy. Then her best friend, Lilian (Maya Rudolph) gets engaged and made her a bridesmaid. Which was all fine and dandy except that Helen (Rose Bryne), Lilian’s Boss spoilt wife was set to usurp her position as best friend and plan a very expensive wedding.
Annie suddenly becomes a third wheel in the planning cause although she loved her best friend and knew her likes, dislikes and dreams, she knew zilch about planning an unforgettable wedding. But it wasn’t just about Helen, Annie needed to fix her life before she can recognize the love and friendships on offer.

I guess this is what we can call an authentic chick flick. It focused on women (mature women at that!), our friendships, money matters, fashion and family and of course men. Yes, there was the requisite romance but it wasn’t the raison d’ atre nor was it the ‘over the top’ type with last minute airport/taxi/bike rides, just a simple ‘I’m sorry’ carrot cake.
Me likey very much!!

Ginger scores it 7.4/10

Crazy Stupid Love
He had been cuckolded by his wife of 25 years, the woman he thought was his soulmate,
He was the ladies man till he met the girl that made him ditch his ways.
and He was a 13 yr old in love with his 17 yr old babysitter who was in lust with his father.
Three intercalating romances with enough twists and turns, humor and great dialogue to keep you glued till the end. and even as the credits roll, though you feel all warm and fuzzy, you cant help but wonder.... 'Will Jacob and Hannah last?', 'Will Emily and Cal make it?'
It’s been a long while since Hollywood gave me a romance I couldn’t second guess. You wished for the best but it was real enough to make you realise that finding your soul mate is no guarantee of forever. How will the past affect their future? 'Will Jacob and Hannah last?', 'Will Emily and Cal make it?', 'Will Robbie's professed love for Jessica survive adulthood?
Who was in it:
Steve Carrell from The Office (hated him there but he has redeemed himself admirably here)
Julianne Moore (regal as ever)
Emma Stone from The Help (This has been a good year for her!)
And the last but the best, Ryan Gosling. He is officially my latest crush. He was the epitome of bad guy turned good. You go from hating his treatment of women to rooting for him to get his love. Did I mention his body??. That guy’s body had me reaching out to touch the screen.
Mr. Right if you are reading this. hint hint. Gym please.
Analeigh Tipton played the teenager in love with an older man with the exact amount of angst.
Marisa Tomei gave great laughs as the scorned woman.
Kevin Bacon. The home wrecker. Why does this guy love playing annoying roles? Pfft.

What more can I say about this movie?
If you love romance, please do yourself a favour and go to the cinema now. I promise you it will be money well spent.

Ginger scores it 8/10

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Help

So a while back Myne blogged about the movie The Help (View article...) and the fuss made by Black women historians about its inaccuracy. I don’t have their lived experience so I may not fully understand their view point but I can appreciate movies and The Help was a beautiful movie which DID NOT make light of the travails of the black nanny/housekeeper. Infact it highlighted the insensitivity of the white racist mistresses and masters in those terrible civil rights era (the 60s). For the maid trying to earn a living, what does she know about the big picture, it is the daily meanness of her employees that affect her more than the death of a Malcolm X (ask the househelp in a Lekki Town house in Nigeria what she cares about Goodluck).
They say why should a white woman write their story? And I ask why can’t she? 
 I also contend with the statement Portraying the most dangerous racists in 1960s Mississippi as a group of attractive, well dressed, society women, while ignoring the reign of terror perpetuated by the Ku Klux Klan and the White Citizens Council, limits racial injustice to individual acts of meanness.

Racism includes insidious acts of ignorance and injustice which spiraled into a way of living for the society written into laws by government. The society/government/policy makers are in turn made up of individuals. Laws were written by mothers, fathers, wives, husbands supported by spouses, families, children who saw no wrong in their actions. Because if enough had cared enough to say ‘this is wrong’, maybe some stupid laws would never have been passed. It was a ‘harmless attractive well dressed society wife’ that pushed for separate toilets for the servants, far from the family house wasn’t it? Somebody thought, whites shouldn’t sit in the same bus with blacks and with the support of others wrote it into law etc. The Ku Klux clan were made up of men who had supporting families. It has always been about people.

My friend Chiz asked .…I don’t understand how these women think. The nannies carry, feed, hug, kiss, practically raise your most prized possessions - your kids but you deny her the toilets in your home??! Why weren’t they scared she’ll pass on her negro germs to their kids? Smh.
Then you compare the normalcy of Celia Foote's attitude (Johnny’s naïve new wife) and you wonder how it was easy for her to see Minny as a fellow human who could teach her a thing or two while another (Hilly Holbrook) needed a slap in the head.

Anywho, The Help was a peep into the lives of black maids in the 60s in America and in particular the lives of Aibileen Clark (Viola Davis) and Minny Jackson (Octavia Spencer) her sassy outspoken friend. The white protagonist is Eugenia ‘Skeeter’ Phelan (Emma Stone) a young white woman who has just started off her journalistic career and wanted to write a collection of stories about family, housekeeping, being a nanny and cooking recipes as told by these black women who had done it all their lives. A perspective certain to be controversial if not dangerous for the maids.
The maids were at first reluctant because they were afraid to lose their jobs but Aibileen sets the pace, then Minny, then a murder occurs and these women realize that if they don’t tell these stories, it dies with them. The book becomes their voice...
It was a movie about the ignorance in racism, peer pressure, faith, strength of character, friendship, survival and humor. Mostly it was just plain heartbreaking.

Myne found the the scene where Minny was putting her 13 yr old daughter through her new duties as a maid heartbreaking, for me, it was when Skeeter’s mom baldly sacked Constantine(Cicely Tyson) her maid of 25 yrs old to satisfy the demands of her genteel society friends. The hurt and yet understanding in old Constantine's eyes touched me. When I asked myself, ‘Ginger, at that moment would you have done differently?’ I wept at the shame of my answer.

The performances of all the cast was outstanding, while the thread of humor saved it from being a Precious (but then again, maybe that is the problem critics had with ‘The Help’, the use of fecal humor to trivalise what was painful and evil). Nevertheless, I think Tate Taylor, the screen writer and director did an excellent job!
I also loved seeing the pretty new black faces. Aibileen wore the saddest face I have ever seen. But when she smiles, her face can light up the darkest tunnel. A reviewer gives her fulsome praise here:

Viola Davis’ Aibileen is sorrowful, exhausted, and wary. When she walks, you feel the rust in her back and knees; when she misses the bus home because Skeeter wants to talk to her, her eyes and shoulders tell you what it costs her to extend her day. Using her controlled physicality, her low voice, and her radar for realism, she quiets the movie down — which it desperately needs — and turns herself into the embodiment of the pain, compromise, and strength The Help otherwise struggles to get right.

Ginger scores this movie 8/10.


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