Monday, September 29, 2008

WHAT'S A GOOD PLACE TO HIDE MONEY?

By now, most of you are aware that the American banking sector is on the verge of a collapse and that the American government and others are working overtime to head off disaster.

Okay, so me, I no go lie. I dey fear! How are people managing? Banks are failing left and right. I can't help but think that in this day and age, it might be better off putting one's money under the mattress than in a bank, no matter whether the bank is insured or not.

So on Saturday, when my hubby came in from the golf course, we had the following conversation,

SolomonSydelle: "Baby, we need to have some serious cash on hand."
Husband: "What do you mean?"
S: "I mean, I want to make sure that if things go bad, I can buy plane tickets and we can get to Dominica and simply live on the farm."
H (laughing): "You don't want to fly to Nigeria, instead?"
S: "Hell to the naw!!! Besides Dominica is much closer, oh."

At this point, Husband is trying hard not too laugh too much and even I am smiling. But I continue to make my point.

S: "We need to have enough money on hand to handle things if the sky falls."
H: "Wifey, whatever happens, we can always go to an ATM and withdraw the money we need or just use our credit cards. Besides,..."
S: "Eh, eh oh! How do you know that? What if the banks run out of money?"
H (doubled over in laughter): "Baby, banks are insured. You know that. They can't run out of money..."
S: "Oh really? And did you think we would be talking about a $700 billion bailout plan for banks that are closing their doors left and right? What if the government stops people from withdrawing their money? They did it in Argentina some years ago. Also, what if credit completely freezes? After all, China owns America's debt, so if they chose to demand their money..."
H (not laughing anymore): "They wouldn't do that."
S: "Ah, but you know that they could."

After only 5 seconds of serious pondering, Husband looks at me and asks, "How much money do you want?"

lol! It's funny how with men all you have to do is point out the reality of things to them for them to get really serious.

Anyway, my people, where should I hide this money? I told Husband to hold off on bringing the money home until I think of a great hiding place. It has to be somewhere that the kids obviously cannot get to. Especially Bomboy, because he would simply eat it. TE would put it in her money bank and TK would simply use it to stuff empty bottles and/or throw it in the trash. It also has to be someplace that a thief would not immediately turn to.

I am of the opinion that I need to buy one of those fake Bibles that you can hide things inside. What thief would look in a Bible? lol!


But honestly, what do you guys think? Does it make sense to pull some money out of the bank? How much? And where would you hide your money if you had to? Am I the only person thinking this way? Should I just not do this at all?

Anyway, I hope you all have a blessed week and come back on Friday for a new TTTEC segment. Catch up on old installments and prepare yourself for the next one. By the way, TE lost one of her baby teeth recently, lol! She feels like she is a big girl now, lol! And, she washed dishes this morning, can you imagine? My goodness, these kids are getting big....

Happy 48th Birthday to Nigeria!!!!!! We shall all be in our green/white/green on Wednesday (the actual day of Independence). I will post a pick of my outfit on Friday. Aunty Verastical, you asked for it oh....

=)

Friday, September 26, 2008

SQUASHING? FATSPLOITATION? HUH????

Okay, my gurrrrl, Billie Paige, told me about some new past time some people have. I am not one to judge anyone. People will do what brings them happiness and satisfaction. For me, at this moment, listening to D'Banj's "Gbono Feli" is what brings a smile to my face. It even reminds me that its been a while since I have seen hot amala gbi gbono feli feli. lol!!

Sorry for the digression, but yes, as for Squashing, I am trying to understand this new and seemingly growing phenomenon. Never heard about smashing? Well, watch the clip below.

   

Okay. We can all get through thsi together alright? **Takes deep breath**

Squashing is apparently the practice of heavily obese people landing their weight on others. Some people find it sexually stimulating, others...well, I don't know. Squashers definitely have their own community and accept themselves for who they are. Listen to the Queen of Squashers, Queen Racqui, explain squashing on Tyra Banks show.

Part 1:

Part 2:


And before we start hating, let me just mention that I respect everybody's 'hustle'. Clearly 'Fatsploitation' is how Queen Raqui makes her living and carries out her 'sexual revolution'.

But, walahi, me I no sabi.

What do you think about all this?

Monday, September 22, 2008

BACHELOR CATCHERS & LATRINES

Today's post was originally titled 'My House Is Not A Latrine!!!" but after receiving and email from Misan at The Afrobeat, I just couldn't stop myself. lol!

I never heard about Sarkin Nalako until today. Sarkin Nalako is Kano's 'batchelor catcher' and the position has been passed down for at least 3 generations. His job is to shame bachelors into getting married and he catches bachelors by putting a noose around the bachelor's neck.

The 'Bachelor catcher'
Source: BBC

"Its important to encourage people to get married to avoid the immorality of having
sexual intercourse with lots of people," says the Sarkin Nalako.

In Hausa tradition, a man cannot be recognised as an adult unless he is married.
So, the whole concept of a bachelor dog is quite funny to me, although it makes sense, you know. A very public way to make sure that young men don't just 'loaf' around but become family men. It probably works, after all most Nigerians do that to their kids. Parents are constantly talking, in public, about how so and so is already married, and when will you be married.... Not much difference between that and the Sarkin Nalako's method, well except for the noose around the neck. lol!

But, um, I started giggling when Sarkin Nalako said that getting married will help "avoid the immorality of having sexual intercourse with lots of people." Fine, I'll tell the truth, I am cracking up!!!! I want to ask Sarkin Nalako how many women he has slept with since he got married. I would then ask him how many of those women were wives of his.

However, considering the number of 'single yet searching' women I know, the dog catchers, bachelor catchers could be a lot more useful in Lagos where all the young men I know are too busy having fun to think about commitment. Although weddings are always the rage in Nigeria, I am still amazed at how many people are still looking for a partner. Let's do an informal poll, if you are 21 and older, let us know in the comments if you are single, married, in a relationship or uninterested in marriage. There shall be no judgment. =)

LATRINES
So, back to my silly kids. You guys know that I am "potty training The King" right? Well, the guy has taken his peepee sessions to a whole new level. The boy has now determined that his closet is a suitable place to peepee in the mornings. Na wa oh! Everyday, I manage to step on wet carpet when I step into the closet to get clean clothes for the day. Kai, I don taya! I have tried everything, I have spanked, I have threatened, we have taught the guy how to stand and use the toilet (yipee!!) but for some reason, the guy prefers to peepee in his closet. Please, someone tell me, what am I supposed to do? Husband finds the whole thing entertaining but is trying to teach the boy to use the toilet. By the way, did I mention that the toilet is right next to his room?

I keep telling the guy that my house will not be turned into a latrine. I should enact my own 'war against indiscipline' campaign in this house. Maybe that will help. Potty training TE was so much easier than this, and the thought of going through this once again with Bomboy is quite daunting! Ah, but God is definitely in control. =)

Hope all of you are fine and that you had a great weekend.

UPDATE (9/24/08): Abegi, make una go share your thoughts on this issue. Is it 'rude' to call Yar'Adua "Yardy"? See me see trouble oh!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

TALK TO THE EASIER CREW: WHAT TO DO?

My people, thanks so much for taking the time to swing by and participate in TTEC this week. I also want to thank all the brave readers for ssharing their stories and putting them up for all of us to know. Even though these readers remain anonymous, I still think it is a brave thing to share one's problems with the whole world and be vulnerable.

That being said, I thank everyone.

Today's issue is one that I hope we can provide reasonable suggestions that will be helpful for this specific reader. Please keep in mind that I have discussed this issue with the reader but honestly had to reserve my comments, as I am a little confused on what she should do. So, it's up to you to make suggestions.

Please swing by For The Love Of Me. The babe is back to blogville and not only finished her dissertation (which i can't wait to read), but also had a baby!!!!!! Please show her some good old blogville love! And on a sad note, today marks the one year anniversary of the passing of fellow blogger Jola Naibi's mommy. Some of you might not be familiar with her blog but when I started blogging, Jola Naibi was one of the few bloggers who reached out to me and showed me some serious blog love. So, if you have the time, please show her some love too, as this must be a tough time for her. We love you Jola Naibi!

Alright, on to the issue of the week...

My family has always been very close knit. We are 3 girls and one boy, who is the oldest. I, Uzo, am the youngest. All my siblings are married and I am still in school studying accounting. However, I have discovered something and I am afraid to tell my sister, Uche.

My parents and my brother Ugo were vehemently against Uche marrying her husband Nnamdi. Their objection was because he is Osu.[1] For years, my father refused to give his blessing even after Uche threatened to commit suicide. The only thing that changed my father's mind was when she got pregnant. At that point, my mother insisted that Uche and Nnamdi marry and unlike everyone else who had big weddings in Nigeria, Uche was allowed to marry over here (in the U.S.). She had a court wedding.

I was also against Uche marrying Nnamdi but not for the same reason as everyone else. Uche and I are closest in age and as we live in the States we are very close. Unlike everyone else, I knew that Nnamdi had cheated on Uche repeatedly during their relationship. My sister thought that he would change once they were married. I didn't think so and it seems that I have been proven right.


During my recent trip to Nigeria, I heard from Nnamdi's younger cousin (we went to Corona primary school together), that Nnamdi is sleeping with his ex girlfriend and apparently everyone in their family knows. His cousin, Christiana, swears by it and claims to have been told by the girl's sister who lives in Lagos and apparently Nnamdi has promised to divorce Uche. He has already paid for her apartment and car, and my sister always tells me that Nnamdi handles all their finances, so it is possible she has no idea. Now, mind you, my sister Uche is a housewife and is pregnant with their 3rd child. I know that she is stressed out and she is in her 4th month. I don't know whether I should tell her. I haven't shared this information with any of our siblings because things are so tense because of Nnamdi.


Uche has been through so much with Nnamdi before and during this marriage. Knowing about this will kill her, but am I only making things worse by not telling her what I know? Should I tell my siblings? My brother Ugo would kill Nnamdi. They absolutely hate eachother. My parents would bring her and the kids back home to Nigeria rather than allow the embarassment to continue. Please help! I hate being in this position.



[1] - Osu refers to an outcast. Read more about the Igbo custom here.

Alright, please help this babe out because, personally I am unsure what step she should take and I might explain why in my next post. God bless!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

STICKS & STONES WON'T BREAK MY BONES, BUT POTS & WOKS WILL HURT ME!

When TE was a toddler, she would play in the kitchen while I cooked. She would crawl over to the cabinets and pull out pots and pans to play with, banging their lids on the floor. Sometimes, she would leave pots and pans all over the place and once in a while Husband and I would hurt ourselves tripping over the remnants of her playtime in the middle of the night. Eventually she got over it but as soon as that happened, her brother TK started his own love affair with my pots.

Like his elder sister before him, once TK learned to crawl, he would bring out pots and pans from the kitchen cabinets. He would fill them with toys and close the pots as if he was cooking some gourmet meal. lol! Thankfully, TK soon realized that pots are useless in the fun department without serious food in them! And, we all know how my boy loves food, shebi? So, he moved on from playing with my pots and started to play with other things.

The beauty of having 3 children is that everything happens in threes. If one pikin catch craw craw for yansh, anoda pikin sef go catch craw craw. (hahahaha!) So, it was no surprise to Husband and I when Bomboy took up playing in my pot cabinet. I swiftly began to discourage him from banging up my Wolfgang Puck set which I got for a very good deal and expect to last until I find something nicer that is affordable. Anyway, Bomboy, being the stubborn little child he is, did not take too kindly to my disciplinary tactic. Whenever I would tell him "No, put that back!", he would cry and sometimes he would  lie on the kitchen floor and roll around kicking the floor in protest.

Well, I could handle that. Wetin consain me if im wan fight with ground, shebi? So, each time he would throw a tantrum, I would ignore him and go back to whatever I was doing. In time, Bomboy learned to simply put the pots or pans back in their cabinet, close the cabinet doors and walk away from the crime scene.

Or so I was deceived into believing.

Bomboy has taken his Bomboyism up a notch! Today, I asked him to put my wok back in the cabinet and it is only the grace of God that saved me. I was gulping down some water when I instructed Bomboy to return the wok. I didn't even look at him. Next thing, TE started shouting, "Mommy look out!"

Through the corner of my eye I saw something dark approaching me. I turned just in time to see a very upset Bomboy charging at me with a huge wok in his arm. He held the thing above his head like a weapon and was screaming at me in protest as he approached.
http://images.crateandbarrel.com/is/image/CrateandBarrel/ContemporaryNS12InchWok?$lg$

Mehn, if you see the way I picked race, eh? Kai!!! I ran into the pantry and held the door closed. In the kitchen, Bomboy was screaming and banging the door with the wok, TE was shouting at him to put it down, TK was chuckling away, clearly entertained.

TE soon wrestled the wok out of my very angry son's hand and I was able to come out of the pantry. But, I did indeed spank the little boy. Just once on his backside. I had to discipline him and warn him that violence is not the answer. however, I can't lie, I was laughing sha. I just couldn't let him know because I don't want this to become a pattern of behavior - him charging at me with a heavy pot and me hiding in my own pantry from my 15 month old son. lol! Can you imagine?

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the last installment of TTTEC. I continue to encourage the reader to simply take it easy but she is still quite distraught. She told me she has an update and I only hope all is well. Do keep her in your prayers. We will have a new issue on Friday, so please swing by again. Thanks everyone!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

CODE NAME 'AGBEPO' & ASSORTED MEAT

Life is so funny. The average person spends a considerable amount of their existence daydreaming. Personally, I imagined myself a high flying, powerful woman commanding armies of people to the benefit of as many as possible. The queen of an indomitable empire. I also imagined myself a secret spy working on behalf of Nigeria to take down all the bad guys. Can you see it, SolomonSydelle - powerful corporate magnate by day (in my power skirt suit and striking high heel pumps), sexy secret agent by night (crushing all of Nigeria's foes with my stilettos!).

Well, I am indeed the queen of my own empire. It is a small empire, but it is mine. And, I do indeed crush my foes, but not with stilettos. I crush my foes - dirt, poop, a mightily scarce mouse, and much more with a brush, antibacterial wipes, bleach and gloves. As such, although I do not control a mega empire as intended, I have paid my dues as a mother of 3 lovely children and can now be called Secret Agent Agbepo.

Do you know what 'Agbepo' means? 'Agbepo' is a Yoruba word for the person (usually a man) whose job it was to remove the human waste from homes that did not have indoor plumbing. The English equivalent is a 'night soil man'.

Why is Agbepo my code name?

Because I have been cleaning up poop for far too long and am quite an expert now. lol! But, once I get the boys potty trained, I will shun my Agbepo code name and apply for a new one - stilettos!

Anyway, how are you all doing? Apart from 'Agbepo', another word has been on my mind rescently - ASSORTED. Remember when that was the key slang term in Nigeria? Guys would hail babes by saying "That babe is ASSORTED!". Guys would hail some fancy new car, "Ol' boy. That ride is ASSORTED!!!" At one point, 'Assorted' was the word used to clarify that an object or person was 'phat'!

Well, some older Nigerian man at a Nigerian restaurant cracked me up recently. He was waiting in line for his order and here's what he said.

"Ehmu, ehmu!" and then he coughs.

"Did you get my order?" He said in an 'assorted' accent, heavily laced with his Yoruba tongue. He was probably an Egba man. "You know, white rice, with ASSORTED MEAT [1], efo [2] and moin moin [3] on the side!"

My people, I just started laughing and am laughing right now. ASSORTED MEAT!

I wish I had recorded him saying it, but you can listen to my impression of the guy's hilarious statement -


Now, do you see why I am cracking up? Imagine someone saying that right next to you while over gesticulating to ensure that everyone knew that he ordered assorted meat. How could I keep a straight face? The guy was literally shouting as if he wanted to show off that the meat we mere mortals were getting was substandard in comparison to his ASSORTED MEAT! lol

And, can I just ask, why are we Nigerians calling meat 'assorted'? I mean, isn't that the fastest way to get other people to not eat it? hahaha. Na wa for Nigerians.

I hope everyone is fine. Forgive my relatively random post. I've got lots of work to do but will provide a new TTTEC post on Friday. See you then!



[1] Assorted meat - refers to an order of different kinds of meat ranging from goat meat, to beef, to other parts of the cow.
[2] Efo - a dish made from vegetables. I make mine with Kale and add tomatoes, onions, cod fish/salt fish and various other things.
[3] Moin Moin - a bean cake dish.

Monday, September 1, 2008

HOW MANY MASTER'S CAN ONE WOMAN HAVE?

When Husband and I got married, my lovely mother chose to give us a lecture filled with advice on how to make a marriage last. She warned my hubby to be kind and encouraged him to treat me like a rare gem of some kind. (Sorry, I do not remember everything she said, lol!). When it was time to lecture me, my very dramatic mother kicked things up a notch.


"SolomonSydelle!"
"Yes, mommy."
"SolomonSydelle!"
"Yes, ma."
"SolomonSydelle!"
"Ma?"
"Omo mi[1], how many times did I just call your name?"
"3 times, ma."
She nodded her head slowly.
"Good. Listen to me very carefully oh," she held her earlobe for emphasis. "You must always respect your husband. Talk to him in a soft, sweet voice."
At this, my hubby began to chuckle. Even I struggled to keep a straight face as my mother continued to speak. The thought of me using a "soft" and "sweet" voice just to talk to my husband seemed funny at the time, though I have come to learn the significance of that sage advice.

However, my mom was ambivalent to the soft giggles her speech was generating. She soon dealt the death knell.
"SolomonSydelle!!!" She shouted. "YOUR HUSBAND IS YOUR MASTER!!!! You must always obey him. Sho gbo mi bai [2]?"


Haba!!!! Master, ke? I couldn't help but think about slavery and was nervous about what I had just gotten myself into. I didn't sign up to be anyone's slave, oh! But, my mother soon finished her lecture and hubby and I talked about her advice and since then, in jest, I sometimes call Husband, "Master" and we get a good laugh when we remember my mother's dramatic but useful lecture (thanks mommy!).


But, all that long history to set up the story for today. Bomboy, the Officer General of my house, believes that he is master and commander over me. Whenever the child sees me dressed up to leave the house, he transforms from sweet baby, flashing 6 teeth and adorable dimples, to a mean, hulking boy that eyes me up and down like I am a disappointment to him.


Na wetin??? The other day, I began getting dressed to attend an engagement party and as soon as Bomboy saw me dressed in my cute red top, my tight jeans and Tahari pumps - it was in trouble. Not trouble in that the guy started crying, oh. He just looked me up and down, remember how girls can eye each other properly in primary and secondary school? That is how the guy looked me up and down, oh!!!! I had to beg and cajole. For where? The bobo no gree [3]!!! I didn't know I had to ask permission from my child to go out and have a good time!



So, I decided to just go out and enjoy myself. Yeah, right! I was at the event and my eye was on the clock. Almost as if I couldn't go home late for fear of rebuke from my 15 month old son! Can you imagine?


Anyway, I came home with some chicken sent directly to him by his God mother. He never got to eat it because his father found it first. But, thankfully, by the next morning, he had slept any issues away. He greeted me with a bright smile! Nevertheless, I am very worried about this new behavior on Bomboy's part. When I married my husband, I never thought that a baby could be my 'Master', but it seems Bomboy is definitely letting me know that he runs this house!


PS: Thanks to all of you for taking the time to share your thoughts on the last installment of TTEC. 'Patience' told me she appreciated the advice and she singled out Vera Ezimora's comment as very helpful. She sends everyone their thanks. 'Patience' has also told me to inform everyone that she will soon make a decision and will share it with us. I wish 'Patience' the best and thank you all, once again, for your help.

PPS: Why did I just find out about Naijaleta's post on 'SolomonSydelle Sect'? Na wa for una, oh. Not a single one of you told me about that post!!!!! Anyway, I just want to say to Naijaleta and everyone that this Nigerian blogville family to which we all belong is an incredible family of incredibly talented, inspiring and wonderful individuals. We aren't all Nigerian, after all Shona Vixen, Jarrai and others are a strong part of the family, but the wonderful thing is that we all work together to have a good time. Thanks Naijaleta for giving as many Nigerian and non-Nigerian bloggers a shout out. I for one am honored to be mentioned!!!!

Finally, where is Positive Girl? The Last King of Scotland? and a few others whose names escape me at the moment? na wa oh! Is Tininu (the boisterous guy) back to blogville? I need to go hunting. That's what I'll do on Wednesday. Smoke out everyone. And, I just wish I could 'smoke out' Yardy. Wissai im dey? I just dey get emails say the guy don quench. I hope that is not the case oh. Naija does not need that at all, at all.

Thanks people, God bless and have an excellent and fulfilling week.


[1] - "Omo mi" means 'my child' in Yoruba.
[2] - "Sho gbo mi bai?" means "Do you hear me?" in Yoruba.
[3] - "The bobo no gree" means 'the guy did not agree' in Pidgin English.