Monday, 17 September 2018

Trust

A few weeks ago, I decided I needed a new carpet because my old one was getting a little raggedy. I thought about various strategies to get one including fundraising. In fact, that's how I came across the idea of starting a ko-fi page. Nobody wants to give something for nothing huh?
Anyway today, I got a new carpet. Well, not new, new. Just new to me - and all I paid for it was transportation costs.
I put something out there into the universe, believed that I had already received it, and then let it go. Yesterday my sister writes in the group chat, "Anyone who wants a carpet, come collect it."
And I have a carpet.
My next project is, I need a new sofa.
I've followed a few furniture accounts on Instagram, spend some time every day looking at the sofa I want (yeah, it looks like the picture below) and believing that I have already received it. I also updated my ko-fi with my new goal.
I have faith that sooner or later, I shall have my sofa.

Remember that I told you about how things unfold the way they should if you're paying attention? Today was that kind of day. I decided to use a bus instead of a minivan to go to town and they turned into Mbagathi road, the direction I was going, instead of going down Nairobi West like they usually do. It's rare for transport to turn into Mbagathi road after 11am in the morning and it was going on 3pm. So that really made me feel like I should update my bio to Maker of Good Decisions.
Then after I got the carpet, my sister called me a taxify (which is like Uber but allegedly cheaper) but it broke down somewhere along the way so the driver put me in a matatu (PSV) with my carpet and I just like propped it in front of me. My seatmates were very accommodating of me (which is kind of par for the course in my neighborhood but still).
The matatu dropped us off at a petrol station rather than the bus stage and so I dragged my carpet over to the adjoining Pizza Inn and had myself some lunch while I pondered my next move. Just as I was done and searching, a motorcycle (known as a boda-boda) drove in and was filling up his tank. I asked him if he was working and he said yeah. I was thinking that I would ask him to take me to the bus stage but he asked where I live and told me the rate for taking me all the way. Now I've been spilled by a motorbike twice this year but for some reason, I was like, "he looks competent enough."
So I let him take me all the way and we rode up and down these hills with the sun going down and got to witness the most magnificent sunset, with the wind whipping past at speed and nothing between me and the view. Scary and beautiful to say the least.
So I got home, minimal expenditure (except for lunch - but it was clearly part of the process) and a new carpet!
The main point of taking you through my tedious ass story about a carpet is to show you how the universe works to guide you if you let it. We work so hard sometimes, overthinking everything and not really getting anywhere. Worrying ourselves into high blood pressure or ulcers, maybe worse. Yet if we just let go and trust the process, we might find that we get where we need to be by the most scenic, interesting route that can be devised for us. At the end of the day, we would have to declare that, "That was quite a ride!"
It's difficult I know, to let go and let God. It mostly feels like stupidity to trust that all will be well when there's no evidence that this is the case. Hell, my own son has made fun of me for having this attitude. My sisters tell me I live on the edge.
I really don't.
I have come to a place where I have seen over and again that the universe comes through. I have come to a place of trust. I trust myself, I trust that my belief is not misplaced, I trust the process. It seems easy but it's the most difficult thing I've ever learned.

My son is eighteen this year and I can say with utmost truthfulness that he is alive, healthy and well because the universe has watched out for him. So many times I was without recourse; I had no way out. But a way was found. And my work is almost done. So when people ask me, "How can you just trust with no evidence that the universe will come through?"
I point to my living breathing child.
There's the evidence.
This post has been uncommonly heavy I know but I wanted you to know that even when everyone abandons you, you are not alone. So reach out, help is just waiting to take your hand and lead you home. 
Trust and believe my brothers and sisters.
This sermon has been brought to you by Pastor Annamaria. The collection box is to your right. 

Sunday, 9 September 2018

Keep that Same Energy, September

September is wildin' out! It's not even a quarter done and already so much shit has happened it's hard to keep track.
I mean not for me personally. My life is puttering along in the most mundane fashion. If I wasn't addicted to Twitter, I would be having a fairly boring existence right now.
Or maybe work-productive. I might have finished my current 4.5k assignment on Perfect Exposure by now. I might have finished part three of my sci-fi story assignment (doubtful). I might have finished editing the Harlequin Romance I'm writing. Or even the wincest big bang...
Social Media is the devil.
So first things first, Cardi B threw a shoe at Nicki Minaj during a fashion week party. It all started long ago when Cardi started breaking records Nicki has never touched and Nicki began subbing her on twitter, liking tweets shading Cardi B and her family, even her daughter (I am always bemused that someone who's brother is a convicted pedophile rapist can have anything bad to say about anyone else's children but here we are).
Now Nicki is a talented rapper but her personality is all passive aggressive, negative, small-minded bullshit. Cardi B is an okay rapper, but her personality is big-hearted, genuine, shoot from the hip type of person. What you see is what you get. So when she saw Nicki at this party, all the resentment she'd been holding back, all the little stings...well, let's say all the chickens came home to roost. Her shiny red heel came off and went flying across the room...at Nicki.
I see posts on twitter from minds still colonized wondering what 'all those white designers will think' now.
Who cares?
It really upsets me when people miss the pertinent things about a story and just go straight to the bullshit. Nicki Minaj has a history of harassment and bullying of anyone she considers to be competition. She and Safaree were truly a match made in heaven with their subbing and passive aggression and underhanded tactics.
Soulmates.
Cardi B is just out here trying to live.
Bullying is not okay. Worrying about 'what people - especially white people - will think is so 1958. Vilifying someone for fighting back when they are bullied is not okay. I don't agree with how she decided to fight back, but I do acknowledge that for Americans, violence is the go-to solution for all their problems.
If it was me and I intended to do physical bodily harm to someone, I would not broadcast it by coming in all brandishing my shoe. Nope, slow and careful, smiling. Then when I'm up close, bitch slap.
Of course, I much prefer to solve my problems with words. Lotsa words. I know a lot of them. And I'm good at using them. But we all play to our strengths right?
Speaking of playing your strengths, the legend that is Serena Williams lost the US Open finals today. It was a fraught time for us all. I didn't watch the match but by all accounts, Naomi Osaka played well.
She might have won anyway, I don't know.
But thanks to a stupid ass umpire, the focus is all on the controversy rather than the match. I don't usually approve of trolling but if I had Carlos Ramos' twitter name, I would so write him a think piece thread about how not to umpire a match.
Just with everything that's been happening in Tennis lately - with the Serena catsuit situation, the French chick penalized for turning her shirt the right way round, and now this - I think the sport is long overdue for an overhaul. Women need to take over management positions, umpires, the works.
The game is biased.
Biased against women.
Biased against women of color.
Biased against Serena Williams specifically...
Fair.
Fairness.
Equity.
Men do not seem to understand the meanings of these words!
Gosh, I am so irked.
Also happening in September, Mac Miller OD'd - may he rest in peace - and people are blaming Ariana for it. I think we have reached a point in society where when something happens we immediately just look for the nearest person to get angry at.
Except for that umpire at the USopen, because that was totally his fault.
It isn't Ariana's fault that Mac Miller is dead. He was taking life-threatening drugs before Ariana met him and she left him because of his addiction. You cannot save people. The only person who can save you is you. So blaming Ariana is not only stupid, it's ignorant and sexist. I don't see y'all trolling Bobby Brown because Whitney died.
Oh, also Bobby Brown's life story came out. I haven't seen it. I watched it on twitter which I suspect was far more entertaining than watching the actual program. Apparently, he was Janet Jackson's side piece. And he married the woman who talked him out of chickening out of marrying Whitney.
oops.
Did I forget to say spoilers?
On the local front, our most revered and wise president decided to add 16% VAT on fuel to pay for all his Chinese loans, and now nothing is affordable. Hustling has consequently been revved up times a thousand since we still have needs. So in addition to everything else, you'll see a blue widget inviting you to buy me a ko-fi on this site. If you enjoy my writing and wish to say "thanks for brightening my day Annemarie," that's how you can do it. No pressure though. I still love you all for reading.
I almost forgot the most important thing that happened this September!
Colin Kaepernick was announced as the face of Nike.
Now I've been with Kap from day one but many of you can only jump on the bandwagon because of corporate endorsement - or is it white people endorsement?
Anyways, this news fills me with so much happiness I can't even tell you. The ad is so inspiring I downloaded it to my phone so I can watch it anytime I'm feeling uninspired or the world becomes particularly ugly.
And y'all do get ugly.
I saw a post reporting that a whole entire Mayor had banned the employees of his local parks and rec from buying or wearing Nike products. It's difficult for me to comprehend that level of...just wrong. So I tried to equate it to the dark days before the post-election crisis and what lengths Kikuyus would go to, to run from the poison of their stance vis a vis the rest of the country. It starts with leadership.
It's people like Colin who shine a little light and provide a direction for anyone seeking not to drown in malevolence.
I salute him.
I salute all you keepers of the light.

Saturday, 1 September 2018

Kamikaze

First of all, I loved Revival. Let's just start there. I don't care how many albums it sold. Sometimes people don't appreciate greatness. Doesn't make it any less great.
The thing with Eminem though, you can't listen to him when you have a stick up your ass. You gotta extract that stick, sit back, relax and just...listen.
This is a review of Eminem's surprise album, Kamikaze.
I've been reading some reviews on the blogs versus Twitter. The latter are clearly fans while the former are the stick-up-the-ass people. Imagine complaining about Eminem using non-politically correct language. When has he ever been politically correct?
Never.
That's the correct answer.
But it's 2018 and we're searching desperately every day for something to get upset about. Because that's who we are now.
Eminem is very freeing. He doesn't care about your feelings. Fuck your feelings.
The whole Eminem brand is about being disrespectful.
But that's not all it is. No, not by a long shot. Eminem is about saying it like he sees it. It's about uncomfortable truth. Noone is safe. Not even Eminem.
You might know that I have a hard-on for honesty so naturally, Eminem is really up there in my top five faves. I cannot recommend this album enough. It's classic Eminem. Slim Shady in the house. If you're old enough to understand the jokes, it's also really funny. So you can listen to it for the music, or the lyrics, or the sheer entertainment value of shading everyone.
I like to multitask so I listen for all of the above.
Also, that DYSFUNCTIONAL relationship he has with his wife/girlfriend is always fun to hear/scary as fuck. They are so white trash. No other rapper goes there, just lets you into how crazy a girl can make a guy. But Eminem does - he gives a window into the crazy of what relationships are REALLY like out here in these skreets.
"I love you but I hope you fucking die though," is a lyric that I think we can all relate to.
I had to write this because...well I had to. If you haven't yet listened to Kamikaze, I cannot recommend it enough. Especially if you have some mental health challenge like I do. It's made for us crazies. Hit play and find out that you're not alone.
Have you visited my author page yet?
Why not?
There's the link, click on it.

Thursday, 30 August 2018

Stories from Twitter

I have to put my phone in a drawer sometimes because I am easily distracted. I write two lines of work and then I get some notification or decide to check if I have mail or just see if there's a follow-up tweet to some mess on Twitter...I asked myself why I am so much slower now than I used to be at finishing assignments and I realized that it's my phone.
A few years ago, I used to check twitter in the morning when I woke up and then that was it for the day. Now it's like every five minutes.
Ugh.
I need help.
That said, a lot of interesting things happen on Twitter. Why just yesterday, I saw this post a girl had written telling "Hannah from nursing school" to dump her boyfriend because he was boasting about cheating on her with multiple women, since he came to somewhere called Baylor.
Well, not too long after that, "Hannah" retweeted the tweet with a comment, "Update, I dumped him."
Now that is a fully fledged story waiting to be written.
Who is the good samaritan snitch and how did she overhear this conversation?
In my headcanon, Cheater Boyfriend and his friends are sitting in a coffee house. Talking really loudly, being all obnoxious the way boys in groups tend to be. Twitter Snitch is a waitress at the cafe and she happens to be serving them. They've gone all toxic masculinity on her more than once, commenting on the size of her boobs and one of them even slapped her ass. Furthermore, they didn't even leave a tip.
So she's like, "Okay den."
Cheater guy probably didn't even sleep with as many chicks as he claimed. Boys lie, especially to their lil' friends. All exaggerating how much p*ssy they get...it's sad.
And then Hannah read the tweet and part of her wasn't even surprised because she knows deep down that her boyfriend is an asshole. She's maybe been looking for an excuse to dump him and concentrate on her studies. and look at God, answering her prayers...
Speaking of "God" there was another tweet which just made me laugh out loud. News outlets were reporting that Mike Pence seems to think that God is calling him to be a president in waiting. Now just an aside, if he was any other color than white and said that shit they'd have him on psychiatric hold so fast...hearing voices and shit.
Anyways, so an account named "God" retweets one of the news outlets with the comment, "It was a prank call."
He he he...

No?
Tough crowd.
On a more serious note, Africa but mostly East Africa, but mostly Kenya and Uganda have been trying to get musician turned politician, Bobi Wine out of jail. He was arrested I think for winning an election; I'm not sure exactly. Something about stones and cars. I'm old enough to remember when M7 (president of Uganda) overthrew Obote (I think - former president of Uganda) in a coup. And it occurs to me that Uganda has never had a transfer of power that wasn't by a coup. 
It's 2018 and here we still are. 
Anyway, thanks to the noise made on Twitter, M7 had Bobi released on bail. The man could barely walk. He was on crutches and went straight to the hospital. 
Better M7 though because he doesn't pretend to be anything other than what he is. Meanwhile Muigai, Trump, Duterte, Putin...all cut from the same cloth but people still want to pull the wool over their own eyes and make excuses for their evil.
On a happier note, it was Michael Jackson's sixtieth (60!) birthday on August 29th and some idle twitter user decided to reimagine the Thriller video as Ola Ray going on a real date with 'werewolf guy.'
Hilarity ensued.
I wish I could post it all here but I can't. Just take it from me, it was quite hilarious. 
Happy Birthday, Michael!
Do you feel like sometimes we insist on pedestalizing some people to the extent that it isn't even the real person anymore and whatever we heard that they did, there's just this internal shrug and then the allegation is dismissed like it didn't even exist? I feel that way sometimes about people like Michael. Especially with this accusation about Asia Argento sexually abusing a seventeen-year-old boy. Many times the abused becomes an abuser. It's true for Asia and it's probably true for Michael as well. But no matter how many accusations were leveled against him, Michael still remains Michael. It's weird how the mind works. I think it's the same with Trump supporters, he's their god and nothing he does will change that. It also works with God too right? Sometimes you can be mad as fuck at him but still worship him. 
Nuance.
Have a very self-aware weekend.
                                                                                   

Sunday, 26 August 2018

Oh, Are You Procrastinating Too?

I have some work to do. I'm not doing it. Instead, I just finished up writing this delectable piece of fanfiction and now I'm writing a blog post.
It's all relevant!
And I do realize that I can't push myself harder than I want to go. However, I can't let my procrastinating ass just do what it wants 24/7. So this blog post, while distracting me from my work is also reminding me to get back to it just as soon as I have vomited my unwanted opinions all over this page.
I've seen ubiquitous posts about how people post happy pictures on IG making everyone else super jealous and envious and insecure about their lives. And I just can't relate because how are you jealous of someone else's pictures?
That's not your life.
Why do you want to live it?
Maybe it's because I grew up in the eighties and nineties. In those long gone days, if someone was taking a picture showing off their clothes or their watch or whatever, guaranteed it was the maid who was wearing her boss' dress/watch/shoes. So to me, it's still a super village thing to do. Taking a pic of a watch like, "See my bling."
"Very nice Petunia, now put it back before your boss comes."
The lifestyles of the rich and famous are so contrived sometimes don't you think? You never see the really rich dudes like Richard Branson showing off their stuff, do you?
Why not?
Because doing that is just tacky. And it's all probably fake stuff anyway.
Even if it's real, so what? Use it to motivate you to get your own if you want it so badly.
All that jealousy you're wasting on them when you could be reading my fanfic for example (link above) or buying one of my books to distract you from your reality is just crazy to me. Did y'all mothers teach you nothing?
Envy is a weird thing. I want to say I've never felt it but I don't want to be a liar. I'm trying to think carefully to see whether I have actually felt such a thing so I can relate to y'all.
Nope.
Never.
I think I'm too self-contained. I live in the real reality where I understand that I can't have someone else's life even if they are not there to live it. So I can't waste time wanting their lives. I can and I have wanted the attention they get.
For example, when I see posts on my WhatsApp groups or social media where someone says, "I've heard this book is great and I'm struggling to read it. This is my sixteenth attempt but I'm determined to finish it coz everyone's reading it."
Or someone is saying, "I'm tired of reading the same old stuff, show me something new." And then proceed to keep reading the same old stuff.
I just want to push my book in front of them and say, "Have you tried this one? I guarantee you, you'll finish it on the first try. Also very unique story."


Yes, when I see that some people are given eleventy five chances because of their name or their fame and I can't because my name is strange and no one knows me, I feel frustration. But not envy. Nope. Because clearly, my books are better. I write original shit, bitch.
(looking at you Cassandra Clare).
I feel like someone might read this and go, "Cor, that Annemarie is so full of herself."
Well of course I am, who else am I supposed to be full of?
Kanye might be wrong about a lot of things but he's not wrong about one thing. You gotta love yourself like Kanye loves Kanye. You gotta believe in yourself so much that self-doubt has no place in your psyche. When you're very busy believing in yourself you seriously have no time to dwell on the superficialities of other people's lives. And so people can post their life with impunity without the danger of having to resort to the #bowwowchallenge or the #kobikiharachallenge to keep up with the imagined Joneses in their lives.
No?
My point is, don't worry, be happy.

Tuesday, 21 August 2018

Stream of Consciousness Blogging is Educational

I just finished a 6500-word assignment that ideally should have taken me one day to write. Instead, it took me two weeks.
It was that boring.
Writing it was literally, physically depressing. I blame myself because I never like to say no to any assignment but considering how much time this one has taken, as compared to how much I'll earn from it, it wasn't just a waste of time.
It made me go at a serious loss.
Unfortunately, it's not possible to know when an assignment is going to leach your energy and take too much out of you until you start it. Who knew writing about Car Games was so soul destroying?
So here I am; a new lesson learned. Not sure what the lesson is though. Keep away from writing inane articles? Or power through them and write faster? I think it's the former.
I think.
I'm more likely to convince myself to do the latter.
Self-awareness is so important.
I've been feeling like I'm wading underwater, trying to walk forward while the entire weight of the water is working against me. Then just the thought of being under water makes me anxious. And not finishing what I start makes me anxious.
I used to scoff at people who said they suffered from 'anxiety'. I felt like, dude, that's just a normal everyday thing that people have. And that was because I had it and didn't know it wasn't 'normal' to feel like that most of the time. I take so much for granted that is actually abnormal. For example, pain.
When I feel pain, I don't treat it. I ignore it. I assume that it'll go away. I suffer through it because it doesn't occur to me to do something about it until it's affecting my work. Then I take medicine because otherwise, I'll have to stop working. I don't even realize I'm doing it until I take medicine, feel better and wonder, "Why didn't I just do that in the first place?"
African parenting guys. It teaches you to just suffer through that shit. If you can still walk, everything's fine.
Strangely enough, if my son tells me he has a headache, I give him medicine immediately. If it comes back the next day, it's off to the hospital. So different standards; in fact, opposite standards for him and me.
It's weird how wiring works.
I came on here to blow off some 'I"m so happy I finished that damned assignment!" steam with a short story. I ended up streaming my consciousness.
How about I give you an excerpt then from Marcus Devereux? I'd like to hear what you think about me writing from the point of view of a baby.


Wednesday, 15 August 2018

Alexa? Play Rewind by Sauti Sol

This song has been keeping me going these last few weeks. I don't know what's happening with me.
Depression?
Hormones?
Life is a bitch and then you die?
Any of the above?
None of the above?

I don't know.
I expect a normal amount of bad things have been happening to me and in the world but my persona and my spirit seem to be dwelling a lot on the negative. Also, I'm in that situation where I have work but I haven't yet been paid for it, so I'm broke. Poverty - temporary or permanent - is always depressing.
I'm also writing sci-fi which is my least favorite genre and so I write really slowly. It's frustrating.
On top of all these micro-frustrations, Shadowhunters was canceled for no perceptible reason. I rely on Magnus Bane as an antidepressant. It's a crisis for me to think I might never see a new outfit on him again after 2019. I need for someone to step in and fucking save that show!
None of my playlists are working to lift my mood; it's affecting my ability to work, sleep, and not go off at my child for doing things that are just him.
Example? Yesterday he bought me a coke zero...and then he drank it.
Like...
This is typical behavior but yesterday it just made me so mad. Like what kind of selfish...?!?
But I recognized the overreaction of my reaction and went to bed to fume there rather than engage him. He's been side-eyeing me all day like he's waiting for an explosion, walking on eggshells and I can't even tell him that things are fine because they're not. I never just go to bed without a word. We make a point of 'good night' and 'good morning' and 'how was your days?' around here.
It's going to be okay.
I'm listening to rewind on repeat.
And transferring my thoughts to paper...or whatever we call this. Screen?
Siphoning out my frustration and sprinkling it on all of yous.
I've been seeing a lot of posts on social media about how people don't post their failures on the internet. That's because there are vultures waiting to gather around and pick at your bones if you do. There is an impulse to protect yourself. There is also a curious freedom in letting people know when life is one huge suckage, major.
Don't try this at home folks though. You gotta have world class shock absorbers and an ability not to care what people think. The genuine thing; not the whole 'look at me giving zero fucks' which is actually you giving all the fucks and fronting.
On a happier note, my favorite cousin (yeah okay, cat's out) is in town and we had a nice lunch yesterday. He's one of the few people in the world who I can talk to on a cellular level. Usually, people's walls are up and they only let you in so far and no farther. But when me and him are together, the walls are all down. We can say anything to each other. It's curiously satisfying to have that. It's rare as unicorns.
We were discussing expectations versus reality and how people have all these "shoulds" that they live within, especially when it comes to romantic relationships. People walk into relationships with expectations; they wanna know right away if 'you're serious' and 'do you see this leading to marriage?' There's no room for organic growth anymore. Nothing feels real, it's all manufactured for the consumption of whatever invisible audience we are all performing for.
Most people have forgotten what "real" even feels like.
Oh well...
Add this song to your playlist.