Ms Onda Shtood

Hi. Welcome back. Trust the year’s rounding itself off nicely at your end? Today’s post is not what you’d call a ‘regular’. Hope you like, still.
Any man who knows all the answers most likely misunderstood the questions” – Frank Sinatra
Have you ever been in the eighth paradise? You and your crew hanging out and just ‘chilling’ like you’ve won a world coup and nothing else mattered but the moment? You exhaust the fun and then make some more? The world will swear you’re high – but what do you care? It’s the time of your life!
You revel in that and neighbouring moments. This time, your crew owns you; the rest of the world can roll over. But, then, just as you tell yourself nothing else matters, it happens. She walks right by.

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Posted in Being Misunderstood, Friends, Hanging Out, Karen | 10 Comments

Fistbump To Friendship

Hi. Trust you’ve been good and in charge since your last visit here. First, my apologies for some wrong statistics on the last post; blogger misled me x_x The actual number of published posts on here is 46 – but we’re close to the starting line. This is the #47 after #49 – and today’s post is about friendship.

 

 “Friendship is not something you learn in school. But if you haven’t learned the meaning of friendship, you really haven’t learned anything” – Muhammad Ali

 

It was that time of the day when sugar levels took a dive. Virtually everything had to be said twice to register in my head. While I tried to focus on work, my five senses indulged in a game of hide and seek. I could swear my screen was dancing to its own rendition of ‘gangnam style’ too. Whatever the case, it was a well-documented malady. There was only one antidote: lunch – urgent, heavy, lunch!
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Posted in Food, Friends, Friendship, Gangnam style, Sharing | 25 Comments

The Perfect Stranger

Hi. Welcome to Entry #49. This is one that takes us back to the very beginning. The year was 2010 – and a lot had been happening. Sort of felt it was time for another quest of self-discovery; so, I left home. Destination: Port Harcourt City! It was during my stay there that I started this blog – against popular advice (that’s a story for another day, tho).
26.06.10: Wrote this entry on the 8-hour trip back from the city. Personal fastest time on ANY post X_X. Still wondering why it never got published all that time. Random? Maybe not! A lot has changed between then and now, So, I’ve adapted it a bit. Please don’t notice.
 
“There’s no telling a good man on a bad day from a bad one on a good day” – Imisi
“A single event can awaken within us a stranger totally unknown to us. To live is to be slowly born” – Antoine de Saint-Exupery
It’s almost a general consensus that there may never be total world peace. That life may never play out exactly as we’ve imagined it. So, dear as it may be, the concept of perfection is fast fading to myth. The closer we get, the faster it seems to run. Still, we chase; the allure is irresistible and the thoughts compelling.  Some of us find excellence and renewed hunger on that chase. Some others find a comfortable spot for a good view.
Whatever the class, we all come close a few times. Whether it’s the chased losing steam – or the tracks running too close to the audience, everyone gets a rush every now and again.
Imagine, for a second, that the world was perfect. That everyone saw things from your exact standpoint; that there was nothing like conflict. Imagine that all bus-conductors were well-mannered; that no one had to raise his voice to get a point across. Picture a world where the ‘outdoors’ were just as safe as being indoors; where no one had to steal anything for any reason! Picture that raindrops would apologize and make amends on days when they breached your umbrella!

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Posted in #ALUU4, Choices, Perfection, Strangers | 10 Comments

The Veto Vote

Hi. Can’t say how excited I am to be back here. Trust you’ve been good and in charge since the last post. Wanna say a huge thank you to @som1twisted @mFoluwa and @adekunleGold for all the nudging and prodding. Now, to today’s business.
It should have been a Saturday like any other – but nature had run out of duplicates. By the end of that day, I had suffered two massive muscle-pulls, come incredibly close to breaking a local record and bungled it horribly.
A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him” – David Brinkley
We cannot tell what may happen to you in the strange medley of life. But we can decide how we take it, what we do with it—and that is what really counts in the end” — Joseph F. Newton
Later that evening, I was dragged before the grand assembly to answer for my crimes. The hall, massive beyond words, reeked of brewing death from every inch. It was truly the last stop en route to the underworld. Life’s ‘failures’ were brought in to have their cases reviewed and punished as appropriate. No one walked down those paths who didn’t deserve a harsh fate. The verdict was usually well documented before proceedings even commenced. So, the ‘fair hearing’ was merely a routine to whet the appetite of the underworld; everyone knew the drill.
Battered and bruised, I fell to the ground as the hangman announced my case. My crimes were as numerous as they were heinous. There was to be no debate; even I knew that. And, with no one to plead my case, it was hopeless before it even began. I would be hung by the neck with the rope of self-pity and drowned in a lake of depression till there was nothing left of me.

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Posted in Attitude, Choices, Determination, Life, Mistakes, Resolve, Starting Over, Veto | 10 Comments

Time Changes Yesterday

I should apologize for the long layoff – but it’s fast becoming a norm. I’m sure you’re tired of all the excuses. So, instead, have my gratitude for always coming back.
Today’s post gets its title from a school book – one I never read. You may already know how slow I am at reading. Roll that back to JSS2 and imagine how bad it once was. Yet, in spite of never getting past the cover page, the book left an impression. 14 years down – and I’m praying not to get sued for copyright violation….
“The biggest problem in the world could have been solved when it was small” – Lao Tzu Tao
“Because things are the way they are, things will not stay the way they are” – Arnold Bennett
Soon”, he said “we’ll organize for us to play against you”. There was obviously something to mull over in that line – but this brain was just too fatigued. A long week and some soccer usually leave you craving only one thing: sleep.
In a short while, though, it all became clear. “Soon, we (non-staff) would organize to play you (staff)”!  The alarms went off as I shot the man a stern (but disguised) look. Though it all seemed the same, everything had changed!
Many months ago, on a delightful Friday morning, I had met the man for the very first time. Sleep wasn’t of the usual dose going into that encounter – but, somehow, it didn’t matter. Everything conspired to look good on the day. Even the usually rowdy Lagos traffic was at peace. The bright sky chuckled with sunshine as a gentle breeze blew me into the building. It was the lad’s first day on the job.

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Posted in Change, Choices, Concorde, Martin Luther King, Obama, Perception, Racism, Soccer, Time | Tagged , , , , , | 12 Comments

My Beautiful Assassin

 
A reputation for a thousand years may depend upon the conduct of a single moment” – Ernest Bramah
I am today. Yesterday is my father and tomorrow, my son” – Imisi
There are many things I will yet forget in life – but not how I came up. Every tree has its roots; every hero, his legend. It’s been many years since that defining moment; yet, every second of it remains distinct on my mind. Like the most enchanting of tales, one just never knows where reality tangles with imagination. It’s been many seasons, but the taste lingers.
I had applied – out of sheer curiosity – for a project, to add a sense of adventure to my otherwise routine life. There was absolutely no reason to dream of ever being picked, but I was – and what a privilege it was to work with the world-renowned George Gray!
I remember thinking “work with this guy for a while – and you’d soon have grown some roots of your own”. Still, nothing is ever what it seems; hardly had the project kicked off when king-sized challenges surfaced. We required first-hand information from a war-torn region – some facts the government had been very careful in pruning out. One of us had to be smuggled in – but the question was who. Who in his right mind would undertake a journey from which he may never return? And, for the promise of what? Success at a project that may never be reckoned with? Everyone had already been forced to make unspeakable sacrifices. This new phase, however, bordered on the irrational; it seemed impossible from every angle.

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Posted in Decisions, Legend, Pride, Reputation, Resolve, Success, Tomorrow | 14 Comments

Three Sides To A Coin

Hi. Trust you had a fun Christmas/New Year break. I really wish I could have been here sooner. Can’t bore you with excuses, though. I intend to keep today’s post short and straight to the point [think I failed again!!!]. Since we almost always end on the central point, let’s try something new and start there today.
By the end of this post, I would have said that there is always a ‘hidden’ dimension which makes it hard to prejudge any situation. That dimension, I call ‘context’. In the build-up, I will hint that a changing context is precisely what makes it difficult for us to know what we really want. Somewhere, between here and the final stop, we’re going to have a bet – and it’ll take a real revelation for you not to win. So, if you’re with the night shift for #OccupyNigeria, that’s the summary.
 “The choices that really matter in life lie outside the classifications of left and right” – imisi
“Always design a thing by considering it in its next larger context – a chair in a room, a room in a house, a house in an environment, an environment in a city plan” – Eliel Saarinen
Growing up, I was fascinated by a long list of things – music, food, movies, gadgets, mannerisms, comedy, sleep, etc. It was a truly long list. I had seen the signatory Mohammed Ali “butterfly-bee” dance a few times but, by the time I saw Mike Tyson in action, I was convinced I wanted to be a boxer. It didn’t matter what my parents thought; I just wanted to be able to knock anybody out. Pa and Ma were, however, quick to point it out when Ali came down with Parkinson’s [lord bless him] – and that was it for me; no more boxing career. Next came the idea of becoming a pilot – getting to travel world. It was pretty strong too; in fact, I got a few toys and simulation games to help prepare. I’m not sure how becoming an engineer knocked that off the charts – but it did!
By SSS 3, I wanted to be an engineer so badly I let my love for biology starve. My teachers went on and on about my having the makings of a doctor. It didn’t matter; I just wanted to be an engineer – or, so I thought. By my third year in the university, though, things had taken a big turn; I wasn’t quite so sure anymore. In think I even wanted out. I wonder if I would still havechosen enginering (above boxing, piloting and medicine), given everything I now know. Somewhere along the way, my ‘context’ had changed from fantasies and dream-ware to gritty reality. Or maybe silly old me just had issues making up his mind; never mind.

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Posted in #OccupyNigeria, Choices, Context, Decisions, Subsidy | 16 Comments

Tears of a Clown

 Behold, he writes again!!! I almost cannot believe how long it’s been since my last post. For that, I’m truly sorry. A lot’s been up in this clown’s life – but I’m sure you guessed that already. A big hug to everyone who’s followed this spot, liked the page via FB, subscribed to site feeds – or checked this spot since my last entry.
Today’s feature may explain why I’ve been away – but if it still doesn’t, please hold on to my apology.
“Opportunities to find deeper powers within ourselves come when life seems most
challenging” – Joseph Campbell
“Life is the picture you paint with the brush of will and the colours of choice against the canvass of chance” – Imisi
I’m currently in a pre-employment training class, working my limbs sore to stay above the safety margin. One day, the class governor walked around, quietly asking each person if their average was above the required. As touching as the gesture was, my silly and curious mind kicked in soon after. It felt impossible not to ask a question that had always plagued my mind. So, I sent him a note which read: “…..who watches the watchman? I hope your average is great too, bro?”
I’ve always wondered; what happens if the verdict of a “supreme” court is obviously flawed? Who sees to the peace of a peacekeeper? If the World Bank happened to be in crisis, whose role would it be to prepare a bail-out? I’m convinced that if half the crime that goes on in some American neighbourhoods happened in some other country, they’d storm in to restore order. But does being the “world-police” exclude the need to be policed? In case you’re wondering when I got political, I should state clearly that this has absolutely nothing to do with that; my hatred for that dirty game is eternal!

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Posted in Choices, Disappointments, Life, Resolve | 14 Comments

The Tow Job

My most sincere apologies for the perilous silence. There have been lots of battles in the young man’s life; maybe “Tears of a Clown” would shed some light. Really miss being up here,  though – and I’m sure glad you stopped by again. Today’s issue, …….
Major: Colonel, on behalf of the General, accept my apologies for interrupting your vacation.
Colonel: Get right to it, Major!
Major: Sir, your country needs you. We’ve got a high-risk job. Off-the-radar; strictly need-to-know!
Colonel: You better tell me all you know. I’m not up for games.
Major: Aye, Sir! High-profile automobile broken down behind enemy lines. We need a discrete evacuation. High odds; nothing like you’ve ever done before.
Colonel: I’ve seen it all, son. Still, I’m not the type to turn down an offer to die famous. Lay it bare.
Major: Operation Tulip, sir. You’ll proceed to the red zone with Omega, then….
Colonel: You must have me confused with someone else. I don’t do partners. 72 missions without one; I won’t start today. Patch me through to your ranking officer immediately.
Major: We’re aware of your preference, sir, but the favour we request is your agreeing to have a partner on this. It really is a job for two. If you still wanna meet my superior, sir, he’d be waiting in the car. He’s Omega.
Colonel: Major, you mean to tell me the ranking officer in charge of this mission is to be my partner? Something’s not right, here! You best not be funning me. Tell you what: I smell a rat’s arse out there – and I’d make sure you don’t see Christmas.
Major: I’m on your side, Colonel. Ready if you are.
Colonel: Get my bloody helmet!

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Posted in Providence, Trust | 14 Comments

Bio-Hazard

“There is no fate but what we make for ourselves” – John Connor [Terminator 2]
“Who’s to know if I was born to be great? I work hard to be – and that’s all that matters” – Imisi

A few years ago, I was present at an @AIESECIFE meeting. After going through a few items on the agenda, it was time to hear an alumnus speak on ‘personal efficiency’. To be totally honest, the dude didn’t look the part; he wasn’t even near the most eloquent person I ever heard. If I was going to listen at all, something else needed to capture my attention. In fact, I already wrote the session off as a pellucid waste!

 

I, however, quickly noted from his outline how different from the popular his approach was. He began by giving a very insightful definition of personal efficiency and proceeded to highlight its two critical ingredients: Biology and the Environment. He then went further to liken personal efficiency to the intersection of those two ingredient-sets. Being, at the time, someone who had barely noticed any remarkable agreement between his Biology and Environment, I was convinced the talk was well-tailored to my needs. So, ‘forsaking all others’, I tuned in.

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Posted in Determination, Hard Work, Talents | 7 Comments