Thursday, 17 December 2009
Photography, Joanna Banach.
I go away tomorrow for my Christmas holiday with my family and I honestly cannot wait. My parents have a habit of renting villas that claim to have wireless internet connections…then don’t. Consequently I spend the whole trip on edge because…
Me + No Internet + Roaming Charges = Crazier than usual
As per usual, it’s 24 hours before my flight…
I haven’t packed
I haven’t done the family sightseeing itinerary.
I’m supposed to going to THREE parties this evening. So inevitably I’ll get back home early tomorrow morning, pack, shower then head straight to the airport.
I'm paranoid about leaving hair products in my suitcase (I have an irrational fear that my suitcase will get lost in transit) so I’m trying to figure how I’m going to sneak liquids on the plane.
Sidebar: Last year I had to perform a weave extraction upon landing so I had scissors on me. Somehow I managed to outsmart airport security and get the scissors on the plane. …(don’t even ask how I did it)
Despite the protestations of my parents that ‘this time it’s different’, I just know there won’t be any wireless. Ergo this is probably my last official blog post of twenty-oh-nine. Shoot, it’s my last blog post of the entire decade!
When I started blogging in July last year I never envisioned that
a) I’d be blogging over a year later
b) This many people would be reading
Yet If I had to sum up my 2009 in a word, I’d use ‘uneven’. It has been a year of many highs and lows…
The highs were things like graduating (BA Hons baby!) from a university that’s now ranked fourth in the world : )
Watch the hits on this site increase, month on month.
The positive reception to my vlogs, filmed in my bedroom on my dodgy mac!
Having various celebrities endorsing me on Twitter. The most bizarre moment was waking up one day and discovering that Jamelia had tweeted the ‘Friendship Detox’.
Seeing this video (forward to the 1.40 mark lol) and discovering that what I do is connecting with people that I’ve never met.
Singing backing vocals for N Dubz on the Jonathan Ross show
Playing piano at the Royal Albert Hall (which was on my list of things to do before I die…)
And meeting incredible people and having the opportunity to gain insight from them.
Then there were the lows
Being let down by people I expected more from…
Letting myself down….
The hugest low occurred a few weeks ago when I lost someone who I loved dearly. This aunty was an amazing woman and full of kindness. Her death hit my family hard, because whilst living she lavished us with love. She did thoughtful things, like send me perfume in the post for my 20th birthday (even though she lived thousands of miles away). Her untimely death and the admirable way in which she lived her life, was a stark reminder to live each day to the full and appreciate those I love whilst I can.
This year has been far from perfect. But it’s been the year I needed to have. If I had a choice, I would have opted out of it. Yet in retrospect I realise, it was all character building. I’ve learnt so many useful lessons (I’ve touched on those lessons briefly in posts like this, so I won’t rehash what I’ve already covered) and for that fact alone I'm pleased with my year.
Anyway! Before I bid you all farewell for the year, I would like to say….
Words can’t really express how grateful I am to all of you for your support! You know I hate Oprah moments, but a lot of good things have happened this year, due to your support and encouragement. The comments, emails, Facebook messages, tweets, all of it is really appreciated. I am nowhere near where I need to be and in the broad scheme of things my achievements thus so far are but a speck. However you have all chosen to get behind what I do and helped me immensely. So thank you, thank you, thank you!
I have absolutely no idea what 2010 will bring but stay with me and together we’ll find out!
I hope you all have an amazing Christmas and an incredible new year.
I’ll be back on January 4th!
Peace, Love and Courage
P.S I’d like to say a special thank you to my parents, three little sisters and special friends, without whom I would have definitely quit this year. Love you all xxx
Oooh! And before I forget, that amazing website, Find Me A Dress, now has an iphone application available on iTunes. You know I co-sign anything that makes shopping easier!
Monday, 14 December 2009
I’ve been absent of late, but it's because I’ve been super busy and just haven’t had the time to write something that I believe is worthy enough to post.
I keep saying my life is random.com…
Last week I got a call to sing backing vocals for N Dubz on ‘Late Night with Jonathan Ross’. It was a great experience and I think I'd definitely put it in my top 5 gigs in terms of learning.
I appreciate everyone that emailed/tweeted/facebooked me saying stuff like 'there's someone that looks just like you on Jonathan Ross' , 'well done' etc. Thanks a lot : )
For those of you that missed it (and care)....
I did a photo shoot last week!
I'd like to send a massive shout out to Robbies Photographics. Especially Joanna Banach, who was my photographer, make up artist and hair stylist for the day : ) I'm really happy with how the pictures came out and Joanna and Ron (the owner of the studio) were an absolute joy to work with. I can't wait to work with them more in the coming year!
I rarely speak about my political views on this blog, just because I’m not trying to push my agenda, but today is a one off. Forgive me, this morning I felt like indulging my inner politics nerd!
Our Vote, Our Voice
I know it’s a bit premature, but for the last few weeks I’ve been thinking quite seriously about which party I’m going to vote for in the next general election.
Even though I’m a cynic (or jaded optimist) I don’t believe any vote is inconsequential. My reservations with our first past the post voting system aside, I believe exercising my formal right to vote is my duty as a citizen. I vote because there was a time where people like me (black and female) were disenfranchised. The fact that people died in order for me to able to exercise a right I daily take for granted, means I take voting very seriously.
Sidebar: I can’t stand people who don’t vote, justifying their laziness and ‘disillusionment’, by hiding behind clichés such as ‘voting is pointless’ or ‘politicians are corrupt’. I think they’re as problematic as inept politicians.
I know I’m never going to find a political party that’s a personal ideological fit or has a workable mandate. Anyone with an iota of sense will be aware that it’s practically impossible for any government to fulfil all of their promises. After a stern talking to from my uncle, I’ve decided against soiling my ballot sheet in an act of political protest and settled on trying to figure which political party is the least of the evils.
Watching Brown, Cameron etc continually speak about issues I don’t care about, I worry that in the coming decade the social issues afflicting British society are only going to worsen.
I’m genuinely worried about the BNP and their growing presence. Nick Griffin is a foolish pitiful man. Despite his foolishness, he has managed to connect with a significant segment of the electorate that New Labour neglected.
The mainstream parties have all been afraid to speak about the negative effects of multiculturalism. This is because stupid people would label them ‘racist’, even though they’d just be speaking fact. Speaking objectively and critically about the implications of having a bunch of people from different places in one space, is not racism. Sadly the failure to address the fact that many people (including migrants themselves), feel that ‘Britishness’ has become a redundant concept (combined with a declining economy) was the perfect breeding ground for a twit like Griffin.
Nevertheless, the public aren’t stupid. I doubt there’s going to be an explosion in race riots or race hate crimes in the coming decade, people aren’t stupid. Extract migrants from any western economy and that economy falls apart.
I also worry because ….
Instead of encouraging entrepreneurship or apprentiships ….
The governement encouraged too many people to go to university.
Which is stupid because university isn’t meant for everyone
So now we have….
A bunch of people with useless degrees and rising youth unemployment.
However just like Thatcherism dismantled society, Blarism created a generation of individuals who feel entitled and believe that suddenly it will all magically fall into place.
Ergo, there’s a bunch of unemployed graduates/people who think it’s the governments duty to actually create jobs
When all government should be doing is fostering job creation.
I’m also worried because…
Despite a decade marked by a spike in gun and knife crime….
I don’t see the governement trying to lengthen school hours or create after school clubs/holiday programs that keep the kids off the streets.
I don’t see the incumbent learning a lesson from strain theory and attempting to diminish the power of factors that actually cause criminal behaviour.
And despite Blair’s (futile) attempts I still don’t see any mechanisms that ensure that teachers actually do their job properly.
I bet you’re wondering where all this has come from?
Anyone that knows me personally will know that I believe that this country is one of the best (if not the best) places in the world to live.
Sidebar: If you disagree with the above statement, I don’t mind. It wasn’t a patriotic statement (I despise patriotism),it was a rational one.
In a few weeks we’re going to be in a new decade. In that decade (for the majority of us) our tax contributions will rise and we’ll start raising children in this space. I would hate to see thing get worse, rather than better.
So I guess the real question is, how do ordinary people like ourselves ensure the souls in Westminster actually do something to fix the things going wrong? Sadly I’ve concluded that people that create legislation don’t really care enough to do anything. We can lobby all we want…they’ll just build a community centre, hold a knife amnesty or better yet claim to have created x% more jobs, and then everyone will pretend the problems have been fixed. Furthermore even if they all cared, there is a limit to what the government can actually do.
I guess the real question is when are we all going to stop relying on the government to fix things and start trying to fix things ourselves?
I often mock the environMentalists (emphasis on mental) who sleep on tarmac, live in trees and guilt us about leaving the tap on whilst brushing our teeth, but at least they’re doing something.
Even though I don’t like to share my resolutions…
For the new decade, I’ve decided to
1) Pick a social ill
2) Do all I can to ensure that ill is reduced/eradicated
3) Connect with people trying to do the same
Hope some of you join me…..
We could start a movement : )
Peace, Love and DUKU!
Wednesday, 9 December 2009
This blog was supposed to be posted a lot earlier, however if you follow me on Twitter you will be aware that I literally got home at 5.30 in the morning. Currently it feels like a bunch of drunken fairies are holding a funky rave in my skull. * Pops ibuprofen *
A few days ago I got an email, that intrigued me so much I began to write a lengthy reply straight away.
Sidebar: Straight away = 2 days later
My laptop is about as reliable as the national airline of a third world state.Mid-way through my reply she crashed.I honestly believe my laptop (actually all electronic devices) has some sort of personal problem with me. The glorified piece of plastic vexed me so greatly, I contemplated writing a blog post about ‘The Apple Macintosh’s Superiority Myth’. However over the summer , I started watching conspiracy DVD’s. After watching a few DVD’s I started visiting those conspiracy websites that people with wild imaginations (and undiagnosed mild schizophrenia), set up for the ‘greater good’. Although I’ve concluded that most of the conspiracy theories contain as much veracity as a full head of weave, you can never be too careful. I’m really not trying to beef with Steve Jobs.
Back to the email! Let me break it down in a few points
1) Twenty something year old man
2) He’s single
3) In his words he has ‘a lot of potential’
4) Sadly, he can never seem to get women’s numbers
5) And if he does get a woman’s number either
a) She’s aesthetically challenged
b) He didn’t want her number that much.
The rather heartbreaking question asked at the end of the email was…
‘Christiana what am I doing wrong?’
Immediately I concluded that either he has
a)Halitosis so severe it’s life-threatening to those exposed to it
b)Offensive body odour
Contrarily there are millions of people with bad breath/bad body odour who are married with kids. Such things aren’t the impediment that (sanitary) people believe them to be.
So I thought….
What is he doing wrong?
A friend of mine (who believes he’s too sexy for a pseudonym) said to me…
‘Christiana there’s nothing to figure out. He’s aiming too high. He’s probably a 4 and on a good day a 5.5. I bet all the women he aims for are 10s. I recommend you tell him to aim lower. Best thing for his self-esteem. Or make a lot of money so his face/personality/poor taste in clothes doesn’t matter….’
After having a debate revolving around the above statement, my friend (grudgingly) came to the conclusion that more money = more problems -→ Exhibit A: Cheetah sorry Tiger Woods.
Money would exacerbate the young fellows problems, not solve them.
Then my friend said….
‘Christiana, unless it’s business I rarely see you handing your number out. But most of the guys that approach you are of a decent calibre. Why do you say no to them?’
So I told him the reasons why I usually choose to keep my eleven digits sacred. After my list we realised that there are specific variables, that if thrown into a situation, make it impossible for a man to get a woman’s number. It doesn’t really matter what a man says or does, because these exogenous factors have the real control of the situation.
So here’s our
Top 10 Factors out of your control, stopping you getting her number
1) She just got out of a relationship
Coming out of a (pretty awful) relationship normally catalyses the ‘anti-men’ phase all women go through at some point. When you approached her you had no idea that her hatred runs so deep she’s contemplating taking up political lesbianism.
2) Her shoes hurt
Never underestimate the power of poorly built stilettos. They have the unique ability to simultaneously destroy the spine, cause feet to bleed and make the things people say sound really annoying.
3) She thinks you’re too nice.
There is a big difference between actually being too nice and a woman having the perception that you are too nice. I had the misfortune of being in the same lift as a woman who just turned down a date because the guy being discussed was too nice. When her friend asked how nice, she said (and I quote) ‘He says please and thank you a lot’.
4) She likes your friend
When you approached her, her heart sank to the pits of her stomach. Unfortunately, she wasn’t staring at you; she was staring at your friend.
5) She recognises your face from Farcebook
There are many people that we feel we know, but don’t actually know because they are always tagged in albums we feel compelled to browse. We browse these albums even though by picture 45 of 121 we think ‘boring’. No one likes to give their number to anyone that they recognise, but they’re not a celebrity. My recommendation: hide all tagged photos.
6) She heard ‘about you’ from people
Most women have at some point met a man and pretended that he’s an absolute stranger. I use the word pretend, because the truth is she knows his entire life story. Even though London’s a big city, somehow we always run into people we’ve heard about. And their character references aren’t glowing.
7) They just played ‘her song’.
Everyone has a song that when played in a club, conversation immediately ceases. You’ll drop your drink, rush out the toilet and even return to a club if you hear ‘your song’.
You + Your song = Straight to the dancefloor
If you’re speaking to her and they play ‘her song’, it’s pretty difficult to approach her again, rebuild your rapport and then get her number.
8) Her friend saw you first and said she liked you
Every clique has a female member who always manages to spot good-looking men first and (pre-emptively) verbally express her interest to her friends. It's a classic power move that women that only hang around with women use.
If this has occurred, the codes and conventions of female friendship mean she must kindly decline to take your number.
9) You remind her of her ex
It’s not your fault you bear the facial characteristics/personality traits of someone that once made her cry daily. Life’s unfair.
10) She just doesn’t want to give it to you
Peace, Love and QG
P.S It’s highly unlikely that our mailer is so unlucky that he always finds himself in such a predicament. We suspect that he needs to work on his game or find some way of stopping his palms sweat so much.
Sidebar: There is a definite link between having really sweaty palms and poor game. I have absolutely no evidence supporting my theory. However I’m sure eventually a suspect university will do a study and it’ll get published in The Independent.
Friday, 4 December 2009
As we’re coming to the close of the decade, everyone seems to be doing those ‘definitive’ lists. The ‘100 best books of the decade’, ‘ 100 best films of the decade’, ‘ten best albums of the noughties’. All these lists are pretty meaningless because they’re subjective, biased and limited by the fact that there is no universally agreed criterion for inclusion. On that basis I thought I’d do my own (extremely flawed list).
The people/things/events on my list aren’t there because they’re necessarily the ‘best’ in terms of quality. We live in a day and age where success doesn’t necessarily mean substance or brilliance. Need any proof Google ‘Katie Price’. Everything on the list is a reflection of my opinion.
Feel free to argue, co-sign or make any additions, although many of our civil liberties were eroded this decade at least we still have freedom of speech. Embrace it : )
Here it goes….
The Noughties list
Artist of the decade: Lady Gaga
She came real late but when she landed, she sure made her mark. She is art. It’s contrived, but epic. The one thing I can’t get over is the fact she’s signed to Akon’s label……
Honourable Mention: Kanye West
Raps first (self proclaimed) fashion icon, he’s released one and a half classic albums, proclaimed ‘George Bush hates black people, made Taylor Swift cry and brought black middle-class angst to the masses. And we must not forget that without his production on ‘The Blueprint’, Jay-Z’s renaissance probably would have never happened.
Book of the decade: The Secret
This book definitely isn’t the book of the decade because of how good it is. I don’t get ‘The Secret’ hype. However Oprah co-signed it and I guest that’s all that matters.
Honourable Mention: The infamous Mohammed cartoon
Not quite a book but loads of people burnt it like a book and threatened to burn people if they published it. What they thought that would achieve, I don’t know.
Band of the decade: Coldplay
There’s not much to say about them really. Inoffensive stadium rock pop with a pretentious social conscious.
Film of the decade: I don’t know, I don’t watch films.
Technological Innovation: The BlackBerry
Sportsperson: Usain Bolt
Honourable mention: Michael Phelps.
Fashion item: The Skinny Jean.
Honourable mention: The ‘It’ Bag.
Website of the decade: Facebook
Facebook has permeated our lives and popular culture in a way that Twitter and Myspace probably never will. Like crack cocaine, it’s addictive, bad for your health and can potentially destroy your relationships. Well they do say all the real drugs are legal.
Honourable mention: Youtube
Rapper of the decade: Lil Wayne
Accompanied by his trusty sidekick (cough syrup) Lil Wayne has used this decade to become Hip-Hop’s first rock star. I’m not a huge fan, but even I can acknowledge the genius of ‘a milli’. A song that lacks a hook, chords and a chorus, yet somehow manages to be the definitive Hip-Hop record of the decade.
Honourable Mention: Jay Z
He married Beyonce, became a star in Europe and finally sat on Oprah’s couch.
Role model: The celebrity
Whether it was Katie Price/Jordan, Jade Goody (RIP), Kerry Katona, Jay Z, Lindsay Lohan, 50 Cent, Kate Moss, Alexa Chung…… all of a sudden, celebrities became the individuals we all looked up to. Celebrities became our God and according to Darwin, God became a delusion. Sad times.
Comeback: Whitney Houston
Even though her recent X Factor appearance, lent credence to the theory ‘once a crackhead, always a crackhead’, Whitney is back. And hopefully it’s for good.
Honourable mention: The comeback that never was, MJ at the O2.
Death: Michael Jackson
I know it’s a macabre category but I can’t think of a death (since Princess Diana’s) that has caused such an outpouring of grief.
Politician: Barack Obama
There was a time when seeing his face on television moved people to tears (no hyperbole). In recent times his cult of the personality status has been revoked. However, what he achieved undoubtedly impacted my life in a way words can’t really express, so to him I’m very grateful.
The event: September 11th
Just when the dust had seemed to settle from the cold war, and the western world was settling into a ‘zone of peace’, 9/11 happened. The events of 9/11 have undoubtedly determined the political, social and economic trajectory of the entire decade. The image of the planes heading into the twin towers has become iconic, not necessarily because of what it meant at the time, but what followed after.
Osama bin Laden (a somewhat mythical figure in the Clinton era) became a household name. The US and the UK are now involved in two proxy wars, neither of which are being fought successfully. New terms/phrases entered our vocabulary: ‘Islamaphobia’, ‘war on terror’, ‘code orange’ and the infamous ‘weapons of mass destruction’.
The Iraq war served to isolate the USA and for the first time in many years, the general international consensus was that America had become an aggressive hegemon. This isolation (and the quest to reduce it) was the very basis on which Barrack Obama launched his election campaign. Dare I say, without 9/11 there would have been no Barack Obama.
9/11 changed it all.
Peace, Love &opinions
Wednesday, 2 December 2009
At the moment, I’m on a self- imposed driving strike. I tell people it’s because I’m trying to help the environment by reducing my carbon stiletto print, but the truth is I can’t be bothered to drive.
I’ve been driving since I was 17, now I’m 22. That’s five years of repressed road rage. In that time I’ve managed to run my car into a bus (long story), scratch both cars I’ve owned on multiple occasions and my parents have threatened to ‘seize’ my car keys because of ‘parking so appalling, it’s offensive and an embarrassment to the family’. At present, my diva level is Grade A. I’m insisting on being driven.
The other night one of my boys came by to pick me up. We were going to a party…
Sidebar: What occurred at that party deserves a blog entry of its own. Famous rappers + Female & Male Groupies = Acts of desperation Katie Price couldn’t match.
I get in the car and we start driving towards our destination. Just when it seemed like we were all going to be in a car together without a debate kicking off, someone made a statement.
Mind you the person who made the comment takes pleasure in being a ‘charming antagonist’. Yesterday I received a text from him that read…
‘Christiana if you don’t blog on the Tiger Woods incident you’re proving my suspicions of being a down low misandrist. No one deserves to be beaten. Especially with a golf club they bought. Send the right message, speak out against domestic violence’
Anyhow! There are numerous issues I have made a conscious decision not to debate about. For example iDont discuss…. The Israeli/Palestinian conflict. Anything relating to theology/religion. 9/11 conspiracy theories/Conspiracy theories in general. Abortion. Most discussions about race/racism or whether Tupuc’s alive. The rationale behind my disengagement is simple. Such debates tend to generate more heat than light.
The statement was (my Blackberry Curvella is a huge distraction, so there is a possibility like most Government statements, this contains an inaccuracy)
‘Women would be much happier if they accepted that monogamous relationships are abnormal. Polygamy being reinstated as a Western norm would get rid of a lot of social issues. It would probably save the institution of marriage’
Now personally the polygamy vs. monogamy debate is pretty much cut and dry for me. First and foremost my Great-grandfathers on both sides were polygamists. I can’t remember how many wives they each had (over 10), but the stories and effects alone have shown me that it’s not a model that’s conducive to happiness. Furthermore I don’t even like to share my clothes or personal space, so why on earth would I share a man?
So I stayed silent. Minding my own business, PING!!!ing things I really shouldn’t….
Sidebar: Is it me or does BlackBerry messenger make you type things that you’d normally only type if inebriated?
Apparently my friend that made the original statement presented a pretty flawless argument. I think it’s because he’s done extensive research so he can justify his cheating ways to his future offspring. I can’t remember all (any) of his points, I wasn’t paying that much attention. I did catch the words/phrases ‘community’ ‘natural’ ‘harmony’ ‘sexual freedom’ ‘a world free of Maury’.
However after hearing him say
‘Put it this way, it’s only looked down upon because of economic modernisation. Monogamy started being promoted, when economic development meant the upkeep of many wives became economically unfeasible. So they started to promote, monogamy as the superior marital arrangement. People now believe that polygamy is backwards because of mind control…. When really if you can afford many wives and mistresses and you love them all equally, what’s the problem? Western snobbery is what prevents people from seeing polygamy as an ideal….’
Blah blah blah….
I knew my friend would never be persuaded by my belief that: I think it’s the most beautiful thing in the world, when someone chooses to commit themselves solely to one person because they believe the person is so special, they’re worth the sacrifice.
So I said…
‘Cool, I get your points. I’m presuming you’d be fine with being one of four husbands then? As long as your wife loved all four of you equally and could afford to keep you all?’
To which he said…
And everyone laughed at the bewildered look on his face.
The whole ‘monogamy vs. polygamy’ debate is viewed through such a narrow prism, the idea that a woman would want many husbands isn’t even discussed. Now I’m no feminist, but I find it quite amusing (and evidence of rampant patriarchy) that people who claim that ‘monogamy is impractical’, tend to believe it’s impractical for men, not women.
Since he couldn’t address my point, we thought we’d put it all to you. I know where I stand on this…..
Monogamy = Hard work, but desirable because the outcome = Stability + Commitment + (ideally) Happiness
Polygamy = A bit strange
But hey, that’s just my opinion.
What say you?
Peace, Love and 300