Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Sleep and...

This is one thing we all happen to share in common-the love for sleep! As we grow older we cherish it more and it turns into a treasured forbidden pleasure. On Monday, my usual company (a.k.a where i go for dinner on Monday's-bless you Ruth and Kui. NB kui has this cute 7month old with edible cheeks.) had gone for a trip to Dar, so I was left to my own devices...and from early on in the day I had already started planning how I was gonna sleep early. Hey, Nyeri was cold, drizzling in the afternoon I was all set to go. It then hit me there are so many aspects in sleep and atlast a blog-post was inspired.

1. ritual.
Tuck mosquito net in- its so soothing hearing a mosquito trying to get to you and you know damn well there ain't no chance in hell they will reach you.

Enter a pair of clean cold blue sheets in my clean t-shirt and blue pj bottom. I like my sheets cold, so that i can wriggle myself and toes in them till they get warm. Note clean is used relatively-sometimes your sheets are reeking from that pyjama/body odour smell... or a littlle drool stain... sometimes the househelp didnt quite aerate the sheets so you still have that powerfoam smell goin on...However that entire nasal phenomenal(just like your own towel) makes you all the more at home

I usually start sleeping on my left side then after a few minutes sleep on my right-all covered up to the neck-my poor head is the only thing that remains exposed am sure with a lot of cajoling from the rest of the body!

2. ... a new bed.
Be it a hotel, at relatives or friends place. The act of adjusting to a mattress that doesnt embrace your physique-your curve and sinew, or new funny detergent/dust smells is torture. Trick is sleep around...and have yourself a ritual and that will no longer be a problemo.

However, sleeping with cousins is quite a different thing.Yup you got invited over to celebrate christmas and you went there hurriedly only to discover the whole family bonding thing is being stretched to the limit.

Besides the invasion of privacy, there is the restriction of freedom! You can't yawn out loud in whatever direction you well please with a funky mornin breath! Can't fart, belch, scratch much. Can't stretch or sleep diagonally-u become tied down in your own space! You can't coil however you damn well please cause the elastic on you pj aint what it used to be-so you're under threat of exposed crack!!!

3. ...lots of it.
Ladies and Gentlemen there is no greater joy than sleepin at around 7:30pm/8:00pm on a work night...and you sleep and sleep and you get wake up in the middle of the night thinkin its 5:00pm to discover it's only 11:30pm. Jumping jupiters! If this could be packaged and send as christmas presents it would be such a joy! After re-confirmin the time you cuddle up some more and start your second journey, but this time smiling!

4. ... peeing.
Am the kind that never wakes up to pee in the night. Either out of sheer laziness or the fact i get pressed around 6am and am too afraid to risk not falling back asleep again. So i hung in there! I think its a bad habit cause around 8am it's not even the urgency to go that wakes me but a radiating back pain! The bladder is so full-with a kind of pain you can backtrack up your renal system all the way to your kidneys!!! Whoa! Trust me you sprint to the loo-and by the time you relocate all your sphincters through the pain it takes like forever to pee-trust me sitting down becomes an option. Cause it's like trying to learn how to pee all over again. Numb with pee you stand there half awake willing somethin to happen...eventually you pee. And it takes long too...just when you thought you are through..wait...not yet....wait.... this is the kind you return to the loo after ten minutes to pee again.

5. ... the runs!
Oh trust me if you need to take a shaite while need to take a shaite. Nothing like good food poisoning to make you wake up and pay attention. This is a sign you don't mess with. If you body has given you ample time let alone warning to better run!!!!

6. ...insomnia.
(this is dedicated to my pal/cousin/blog-wife/yesterday's birthday girl MJY)
For some apparent reason you're not falling asleep. Even worse you fall asleep only to wake up a few hours later blinking away in frustration. Tossing and turning-now your beds all messed up! You're messed up!!! It's ALL messed up!!!
Chanting doesnt help! Counting sheep doesn't help! Cursing helps a bit!

To me these are a few reasons why i have insomnia

-stress: ur worried about something/depressed/something's nagging you. (Actually for some reason am usually more susceptible to depression at night than in the daytime-darkenss is my kryptonite!)....then i remember "wait a minute!" For me besides tv, sleep is the other way i escape from reality "so, ebu start escaping...chap chap"
-If you are too warm. Unleash them woollen socks. Throw off some blankets. Then try again.
-If you are hungry/thirsty-tsk tsk u should know better than to sleep on an empty stomach!
-If you had napped earlier will pay the price!
-Ten minutes after sleeping you wake up. Your housemate darn gone asleep leaving "Mugithi/Zilizovuma/Zilizopendwa" playing in the try to yell at him but he cant hear you over the said music and snoring. Your pride won't let you wake up and go switch the bloody thing off so you resort to calling him via your cell phone
-In laziness you did not make your bed...and now your toes are touchin bare blanket since God knows where your sheets are. You fumble around...but still you are having skin to blanket relations...eeeeew

Now for some reason if I'm up awake: I find joy in waking up others. That sadistic pleasure of pickin up your phone and calling up your friends/phone book. You call and as soon as they pick up the phone all groggy-you hung up! Pure pleasure. Now THAT knocks me out faster than a glass of milk!!! Wah and I sleep so deeply. When I wake up the next morning I'm caught by surprise by numerous insulting sms' ..and being the dumb ass that I am I have totally forgotten the entire 1-2am incidence!

(bless you friends for baring up with me-even when u threaten to lynch me I know you never mean it. And you must admit- a little disturbance while sleeping- as irritating/freaking annoying as it is-makes you sleep even deeper! bless you once again see you at 2am!)

7. ...dreams.
You know there are those shallow shallow dreams-and then there are those MAJOR dreams that you are so wrapped up in-it would take a forklift/crane to awake pull you out of. You dont even 'wake up' from them you 'come to' from them. So vivid and real are they...a completely deep, heavy sleep which is totally engulfing-entirely pleasurable. Wholistic in every essence-mind, body and soul!
Sigh! God knew what he was doing giving us the ability to dream.

8. ...prayers.
Speaking of the same God! Ever notice how whenever you start praying before you actually sleep!!!! I think that's the rudest thing we ever do in prayer-leaving Him hanging! And am guilty of solving insomnia sometimes by beginning to pray again..and before you know it the artist formerly known as St Lucifer has lulled me to sleep.

9. ...TV.
Now if you are flying in your dreams like superman or spinning a web like spiderman...that is just plain dreaming!! However!!! If for some reason Stefano Dimera has held you captive in Maison Blanche...and all of a sudden you have escaped and killed him and ended up a prisoner in Oz. You end up in solitary, and you're opposite the Hannibal who's trying to seduce you to chew your own toungue-but before he manages to you dig out a tunnel Shawshank style to end up as some 'lost' 'survivor' on an Island Jack Sparrow style....then my friend you have dreamt well! Though a lil time off the tube wouldnt hurt one bit either.

10. ...inappropriate places.
Now to hell with deep sleep and good dreams this beats them all. Sleeping at the wrong time at the wrond place. This is entirely physically refreshing!!!
Am sure you have happened to been victim to this:

-sleeping in class. Ngai those boring afternoon classes in high school as you were forced to read shamba la wanyama...or in college in those lecture theatres where no one knew if you existed...

-sleeping in a meeting/talk

-sleeping in someone's couch while watching a boring movie....or as you await a culinary surprise that the person has mastered in preparing and apparently you should be dying to taste.....zzzzzzz

-sleeping in your friends car as they are driving and ranting and raving about crap! And in fact this one is so sweet that you doze off for like a minute or two and you wake up startled and utter unconsciously "Hmmm?!?!?!" and like a miracle its just in cue with what your friend was saying and you hear them affirm and proceed... " EXACTLY!!..can you believe?!....." and off they go on and u nestle back in for another minute of sleep

Now the problem with this sleep it leaves you with such a guilty look in your eyes. Either that or the effort to remain awake is so draining as you fake listening/paying attention/replying as you struggle not to yawn. Ever tried yawning with plan?! its a killer you try to distribute the yawn in piesces through your mouth/nose heck even your eyes if it's possible...the more you stiffle the bigger it gets...your eyes well up...your body is about to shut down....

11. ...and lack of it.
No am not repeating insomnia. Am talkin about denied sleep as a result of staying up late. For me in Uni i discovered that sleep was a luxury and hence used to wake up to read. there's a time i slept for a total of 4hours in 3days. Yaani 2 hours each.
I was a walking zombie! Blood shot eyes. And my threshold for jokes was so low-anything if not everything was funny! My head was light! I could feel all my muscles cause they were tight as hell! No appetite! Vision blurred!

Aint that the coolest!!!!! To think all that can be cured by just sleeping. And the funny thing is the CAT i was reading for- yup you guessed i failed it well! Yes there is a thing like failing well as compared to failing badly. Failing badly is when by your standards you have done dismally! But failing well is when not only have you performed badly by your standards but also in comparison to your classmates. Yaani you're at 30+% the rest are at 60+% there is almost a pride in such failing...

So yes that's my story....and am wishing you all a pleasant night's sleep..or even at your a friends a restauraunt....anywhere u maybe enjoy you're sleep-but preferably not when reading this blog though!

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Life: 102

Hot on the heels after Life: 101 Sgt Life from Life Academy is back to spew more life lessons/theories learnt the hard way.

11. Mirror: Its funny how you never notice that what you see in the mirror is not what others see. For starters, simply put, the mirror shows you a laterally inverted image of yourself so unless you are completey symetrical your view of yourself is not the same as others. Now physics aside, getting deeper...people have different perceptions of a person-especially with regards to success. Here you are thinking you are a failure when others actually envy you. On the other hand, here you are thinking you're the king of the world-boastfull and proud -when u really are the freaking scum of the earth.
Reality check: we probably have two lives: one perceived by you and the other, as perceived by others. Live you own life and don't live it for others. You would be surprised what other think about you!! In the long run-whether positive or negative-that should never define you at all!

12. Envy:Wow! What a powerful mortal sin. Greater than jealousy- transcending further than hatred. It's deep!! And if you have never succumbed to envy, the bloody thing can consume you, control you, and damn well near change you for the worse. When they said its a deadly sin-they knew what they were writing about!!!!

Reality check: No one is freaking perfect and the faster you learn this the better. We cannot all be created equal-not everyone should act the same.
-If you're the sporty type, with the athletic build-good for you!
-If you're the next Einstein...the new yardstick for high I.Q-good on you!
-If you look like a cross between Denzel and Halle or Brad and Jolie...well guess what (sniff!) good for you!
-If you have special abilities which i don't have...of course you are better than me there-and over there and not forgetting that other thing...and there's that....well guess what???

You're not me and am not you anyway! Everyone has weaknesses and strengths-REFUSE to let others put you down-with their airs and egos!!!!

13. Selflessness: Is there a trully selfless act out there??? What is my point? Does anyone ever do good without the hope of atleast feeling good about it. Is there an act that you can partake and totally not benefit heck even suffer for-so long as it was selfless. E.g you fling youself in front of a moving van to save someone-sure you break your legs or even lose your're still feeling good for having saved someone's life.
I believe in random acts of kindness but am yet to discover purely selfless acts.

14. Success and Happiness: What is it after all? Is it financial and material? Is it social? Is it about raising a family...or attaining higher levela of education? Is it street-smart? Is it achieving what you strived for and accomplishing it all? Is it being happy with who you are? Is it being what others would like you to be? Is it looking in the mirror and liking what you see looking back at you?
Would you concider yourself happy or content with life and if so with what criterion do u decide with? If you were to be asked "what would make you happy or content with life?" would you have an answer? Or are we created in such a manner that we will never stop seeking more?! Will we ever stop yearning for better? Scriptures say its not wrong to want more...but why want more all the same? Why live life in search of success and happiness when all it brings is either disappointment or discontent?!

15.Greetings: At my work place it's taboo not to shake hands! How do i know this is? Well... the matron once pulled me aside and told me SO! Deng!!! "How come you don't salimia people. You know its very rude" She was short of calling me arrogant. Apparently the correct thing to do is walk to everyone...great each and every person by hand and exchange pleasantries...

The following are not forms of greetings:
-'Morning!' or plural 'Mornings!' u smile and walk past.

-1st person 'Hey?'
2nd person 'Hey!'

-1st person 'Bitch!?'
2nd person 'Punk?!'

The art of morning quiteness is lost on my workmates. Instead, one has to learn how to make greetings associated with small talk that is quite monotonous and repetitive after 2 years of working in the same place with the same people with the same greetings!

Learn how to be social and how to make funny small talk impromptu. Problem is if you are as asocial(yes i made that up!) as I am you will be reduced to..." Habari ya asubuhi? weekend?.. kuna mvua kali-lakini atleast mahindi itamea"

16. Making a fool of yourself: Oh you know what am talking about. Embarrasing moments don't count cause in retrospect you look back and smile. I'm talking about those moments either your worst side emerged, or you did something so stupid/thick that memories could bring back tears in your eyes. Whenever you remember you even shake your head and try change subject!!!(Note you're changing subjects whilst talkin to yourself!)

You always create sticky predicaments for yourself. It is human to err/to blunder/to get conned/to be caught lying....-roll with the punches. Lift yourself up and rise...for tomorrow you make a fool out of yourself again.

17. Instinct: Trust your instinct and train it as well. Do funny experiments and you will realise that most of the times your gut instinct is always spot on! With regards to many aspects of your life, you usually have a deeper insight of things than you give yourself credit for!

18. Gossip and secrets: Everyone has the potential to back-stab and back-bite so don't get all pissed when you hear someone said some thing about you behind your back. Don't get all emotional that someone has revealed your secret. For starters you ought to know better! Secondly these don't work:
-pinky swearing
-' Oh, i promise i wouldn't tell a soul/him/her/them!'
-'who would i tell anyway?' (that's the one i use when juicing out info!!! it works wonders!- heck you give an illusion of "by the way who on earth does he know anyway!"

In this world of treachery and deceit and blackmail-you either have to learn how to fight dirty or stay clean!

19. Humility: Is more than just a virtue. Happy are those that are modest and humble....

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Luther Vandross

It's with sadness that R&B fans worldwide receive the news of the passing of a legend. Chicago Tribune is quoted "There's no telling how many babies were conceived, hearts healed and lovers reunited to the suave soul ballads of Luther Vandross, who died Friday at 54."

Known for his numerous love songs and his battling weight problems that only he and Oprah(girl you're on your own now!) could understand, this legend will forever withstand the test of time in the R&B genre. In the musical circles he was referred to as "The Voice" or "Pavarotti of Pop" or "The King of pillow talk"...and it was obvious why. He was purely all voice-don't think anyone could ever come close to him when it comes to unleashing vocals....not to mention the gift of writing story-telling lyrics. These were not merely tawdry love songs-this were deep meaningful songs!

Undoubtedly, my two favorite songs include the commonest wedding anthem "here and now" and "if only for one night" His other greatest include: "so amazing" "secret love" "always and forever" "can heaven wait" "dance with my father"...and you remember those 80's hits "never too much-1000kisses from you is never too much" even the song for that Danny Devito and Bette Midler movie...."give me a reason to love you now"

His duets have been breathtaking-think of
- " there's nothing greater than love" with the late Gregory Hines. One of the greatest duets ever
-"endless love" with Mariah...its almost better than the original
-"best things in life" with Janet Jackson
-"i know" with stevie wonder

His albums were the kind you just play start to finish. In his case it was not about a single-but about an album in its entirety. Funnily enough his wonderful, timeless and classic songs were never chart toppers, but he was a star nonetheless. It was with "dance with my father" that he ever had a number one album, and sadly that was his last work of art. As Mariah is the best female voice of our time, he was the best male voice of our time. In his own words he had said he didn't want to be remembered as a popstar but only to be remebered as the voice! Love songs won't be the same- though his music and definitely his voice will live on.