I’m a special person.
Well, most times, when I’m faced with something I consider daunting or frankly, any important work I need to complete, I will let my mind wander endlessly. I will busy myself with every useless chore imaginable; I will do absolutely anything that is not what I should be doing whilst deceiving myself that I’m building momentum to take on the task.
A few days ago, my diversion of choice was combing through a comprehensive list of the 940 species of birds found in Nigeria. I was, in fact, searching for the name of a particular bird I see often but couldn’t place. I cannot and will never be able to explain how or why I felt the urge to search for this bit of information, but I found myself perusing the list as though I’d been assigned a paper on it, and this paper would constitute 80% of my final grade.
I need to add that this confirms I’m some kind of superhuman because even when the constant consequence of my distractive actions presents itself — realising I’ve wasted a shit-ton of time, panicking, begging God to save me and having to do a large amount of work within a short time frame and at breakneck speed — I always manage to get the work done, and usually better than I could have hoped for.
I finished A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini and talked about it here. I’ve also read An Orchestra of Minorities by Chigozie Obioma. It’s been billed as a ‘tragic love story rooted in Igbo cosmology.’ Rooted in Igbo cosmology? Yes, and interestingly so. But a tragic love story? I’m not too sure and this is only due to my personal bias. Anyway, I’ve felt no impulse to review it or write about it especially with all the hype it’s been getting. But I will say that it’s a great book even though I still share the grievance I expressed concerning his debut novel, The Fishermen, here.
I’m currently reading a riot of a book, This is Going to Hurt: Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor by Adam Kay. It’s a memoir by a former UK doctor turned TV writer. Basically, it’s a compilation of short and funny anecdotes from the diaries he kept during his time in the NHS (National Health Service) with context and commentary. In it, he attempts to reveal a doctor’s side of the story; the ups and downs, struggles, victories and what have you. I really love his wit and humour and I’ve gotten a lot of laughs so far that I just have to share a few excerpts:
“Sunday, 20 March 2005
There’s more to breaking bad news than ‘I’m afraid it’s cancer’ and ‘we did everything we could’. Nothing can prepare you for sitting down a patient’s daughter to explain that something rather upsetting happened to her frail, elderly father overnight.
I had to tell her that the patient in the bed next to her dad’s became extremely agitated and confused last night. That he thought her father was in fact his own wife. That unfortunately by the time the nurses “heard the commotion and attended it was too late, and this patient was straddling her father and had ejaculated onto his face.
‘At least it didn’t . . . go any further than that,’ said the daughter, in a world-class demonstration of finding the positive in a situation.”
“Monday, 25 September 2006
How the other half live. In antenatal clinic, an extremely posh patient attends for a routine appointment. All is well with her extremely posh fetus. Her extremely posh eight-year-old asks her a question about the economy (!), and before she answers she asks her extremely posh five-year-old, ‘Do you know what the economy is, darling?’
‘Yes, Mummy. It’s the part of the plane that’s terrible.’ You can see how revolutions start.”
“When you reach a certain age, your body attempts to turn itself inside out via your vagina, but you can avoid all this by performing pelvic floor exercises. There are leaflets that describe these exercises in confusing detail, but I always just used to tell patients, ‘Imagine you’re sitting in a bath full of eels and you don’t want any of them getting in.”
I’m afraid I haven’t found any new music worth sharing. I have, however, been listening to a lot of funk, especially music by one of my faves: The Brothers Johnson. Funk is a genre of music that’s essentially a blend of soul, jazz and rhythm & blues. Key instruments used to produce its glorious sounds are the bass guitar, electric guitar, keyboard and drums. I dare you to hear a sound produced by the combination of those instruments and not move. It’s just really — and at the risk out sounding like someone a time machine spat out from the 1970s — groovy.
Film & TV Series
I’m binge-watching the first season of The Suite Life of Zack & Cody. I know, I know. But I tell you, it’s funnier re-watching this as an adult. My favourite character is, of course, Mr Moseby.
From around the web
Bambizulu Baskets — I think these Zulu baskets are gorgeous (and I’m also open to accepting any of them as a present).
“Everything Happens For a Reason” — And Other Lies I’ve Loved —a TED Talk that has now become one of my favourites. I don’t want to give too much of it away but the gist of it is on making peace with things we cannot control/change, not needing a reason for everything(usually the bad) that happens and the fallacy of virtue = success. These are things I’ve slowly learned in the past year and I still continue to learn.
Secret spectacles — a young Ghanaian man went undercover as a migrant to expose the harsh conditions, brutal treatment and human rights violations faced by migrants who attempt the desert-crossing travel along the trans-Saharan trade routes to make it to Europe. It’s really long and heartbreaking but so worth the read. What this young man did was frightening and rather reckless, but oh so brave and extremely big-hearted.
The ungrateful refugee: ‘We have no debt to repay’ — a great essay by Dina Nayeri who “was just a child when she fled Iran as an asylum seeker. But as she settled into life in the US and then Europe, she became suspicious of the idea that refugees should shed their old identities and be eternally thankful.”
How the Hell Has Danielle Steel Managed to Write 179 Books? — Danielle Steel’s work ethic is unbelievable and not something I’d even encourage. But to be honest, if I had it, I’d be unstoppable.
The heat is on and the funk just won’t leave us alone. Everybody take it to the top, we’re gonna stomp, all night, in the neighbourhood, don’t it feel alright?
– Lyrics from Stomp! by The Brothers Johnson (1980) aka Ehmie’s jam
Ps. I updated the blog. I added two pages: a contact info page and a sidebar page — a collection (and tiny explanation) of all the sidebars I’ve published on the blog.
Peace and much love to you,