Monday, August 11, 2014

Life

Out of no where (honestly) this song just popped into my head.

"Life in this world is a great struggle,
for both the young and old.
And even those who have great riches,
have troubles of their own.
Rich men envy poor men,
poor men envy the rich,
therefore what is the sense in envying your neighbour."

It was a marching song in primary school.
Back then it was just that, a marching song (we'd sing it and march to our classrooms after assembly).
Singing it now, the lyrics seem all the more real and make so much sense.

What can I say, "c'est la vie" (just about the only French I know, well plus "je m'appelle Dentaa").

Friday, August 08, 2014

20 Additional Quirky Quotes!

I quit the game (more like I lost too many lives), but decided to play again and again and again till I completed (what can I say, I'm determined like that and perseverance generates success).
My determination to complete the game had me coming across additional quotes, which I've put together here.

1. Never mess an apology with an excuse.
2. Sometimes thought and planning are the way to go (especially early on).
3. Sometimes speed is the way to win (especially later on).
4. A shortcut is the longest path between two points.
5. The only substitute for good manners is fast reflexes.
6.You can only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.
7. For every action there is an equal and opposite criticism.
8. Honesty is the best policy, but insanity is a better defence.
9. If at first you don't succeed, give up, no use looking like a fool.
10. Genetics explain why you look like your father and if you don't, why you should.
11. A closed mouth gathers no foot.
12. Some days you are the bug, some days you are the windshield.
13. When you hear the toilet flush and the words "uh oh", it's already too late.
14. Everything takes longer than you think it will.
15. Never test the depth of water with both feet.
16. Never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and it bothers the pig.
17. If you look like your passport photo you're not well enough to travel.
18. No man has ever been shot while doing the dishes.
19. How long a minute is depends on which side of the bathroom door you're on.
20.Politicians and diapers should both be changed regularly, and for the same reason.

Still hilarious, still not sure if I'm learning anything worthwhile though, or if I'm just trying to teach a pig to sing.

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Don't Change!

In response to the behaviour of others, changing you might seem a good idea, but is it really?

Let's say you are a very giving person, and you do so cheerfully. Everyone likes a cheerful giver, but there are those who will just take advantage and use you always and only to their benefit. Should you change?
Let's say you love to smile. You smile all the time. Even when you sad, you find the silver lining in whatever situation you going through and still smile. You find out that not everyone that smiles back at you actually means it. They smile to your face, turn around and behind you say nasty stuff about you or worse yet do nasty stuff to you. Should you change?

Yesterday, I went to use an ATM. There were 2 ATM's in front of the bank, one was being used by a customer so I went to the next. The customer finished and left while I took my time to complete my transaction. I was about to do something (I guess it could be called weird) so I turned around first. There was this lady standing not too far behind me, but I figured she must be waiting for someone inside the bank. She couldn't possibly be wanting to use the ATM because the other machine was not in use. I took a second, thought about it, and went on ahead to do what I wanted to do.
I will not put money in my purse until all the notes are well arranged. The notes have to all face the same direction with whatever inscription or picture on them facing the same direction. In order not to inconvenience others (and to avoid stares), I take the money from the ATM, walk away, and then I do my arrangement before the money goes in my purse.
When I was done with my arrangement, I carefully put the money in my purse (I don't like crumpled notes in my purse either) and backed away from the ATM. Then the lady behind me moves towards the machine. Of course I feel bad, so I say, "so sorry, didn't realise you wanted to use the ATM. So sorry about that". The lady walks on by with an angry look on her face and doesn't acknowledge that another human just spoke to her. I'm about to walk out of the area, but I feel like turning around and asking her why she didn't just use the other machine. I decided against it. No point in being confrontational. I did after all inconvenience her (more like she inconvenienced herself) and for a second I wondered why I even bothered apologising to this lady. For one thing she didn't want my apology and I thought she standing there waiting for me to finish was just plain silly. There was a very not-in-use ATM right next to me, with the very same buttons and functions as the one I was using.

Should the same situation happen again today would I do the same thing I did yesterday? Yes (minus me doing the arrangement of the money in the presence of another).
When I offend someone, I say sorry, when I inconvenience someone, I say sorry. Whether they want it or not, whether they choose to acknowledge it or not, that is just me.

My money arranging is restricted to notes, no coins (they'll get themselves disarranged anyway if I bother).

Monday, July 21, 2014

I Choose Life!

Last week I was indulging in computer games with seemingly questionable lessons to be learnt. Over the weekend, I decided to indulge in some television shows. One of them, "1,000 ways to die".

Depending on what I have to do, I watch this show every now and then. Waste of time?
I chanced upon re-runs showing over the weekend. The title really does speak for itself and some of the death scenes albeit based on real life events, are actually hilarious (probably the narration brings out the humour in them).

This morning, on my way to work, my mind was wandering, and decided (on its own) to settle on the different ways I could have died since I woke up (or before I woke up). Come to think of it, what stopped a swarm of ants marching right up my nose and blocking my airway while I slept or marching down my throat and chewing some vital organs? Where did I even get the whole ant thing from? Well, my mum did tell me of how when my older brother was a baby, he'd fallen ill and was on admission at a hospital. One night, my aunt who's a paediatrician walked in to check up on him, only to find him all covered with ants. Turns out some cough syrup he'd been given earlier had spilled on him. Fortunately, no harm done, he was cleaned up and is very ok as at now (at least he was ok enough to have an argument with me over the weekend).

It really is by God's grace that I or anyone reading this has life!
Given a choice, I choose life! Amen!

But come to think of it, there really are over a billion ways to die every single day. That none of us succumb to any one of these ways is a miracle we should be grateful for.

Friday, July 18, 2014

20 Quirky Quotes!

I'm home and bored and playing tumblebugs for the umpteenth time, and I try to make my obviously utter waste of time appear valuable.
At the end of each round a quote pops up.
This time, I decide to put all the quotes together.
They're mostly hilarious (to me), but who knows, I just might learn something worthwhile (or not).

1. Ambition is a poor excuse for not having the good sense to be lazy.
2. A 3 year old's voice is louder than 200 adults in a crowded restaurant.
3. Never trust a dog to watch your food.
4. Always remember you're unique. Just like everyone else.
5. If you want your spouse to pay attention to every word you say, talk in your sleep.
6. Confidence is the feeling you have before you understand the situation.
7. Once you've seen one shopping centre, you've seen a mall.
8. Everything your mother warned you about is true.
9. Diplomacy is the art of saying "good doggie" while looking for a bigger stick.
10. Don't worry about what people think. They don't do it very often.
11. The glass is either half full, half empty or twice as big as it needs to be.
12. A bit of hard work never killed anyone but why risk it?
13. Bills travel through the mail at twice the speed of cheques.
14. Money will not buy you happiness, but it will let you be unhappy in nice places.
15. Never argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.
16. A photographic memory is no use if it's never developed.
17. If it jams, force it. If it breaks, it needed replacement anyway.
18. It is far more impressive when others discover your good qualities without your help.
19. If you lend someone $20, and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.
20. Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.

Did I learn something or classic case of "too much time on my hands"?

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Consumer Protection

For obvious reasons, I steer clear or Shoprite shops in Ghana.

Yesterday, I was at the Accra Mall to watch a movie ("Think Like a Man Too" is just hilarious. I honestly almost fell out of my seat. Kevin Hart, you get any funnier, I will fall out of my seat) and decided to get some fruit juice at Shoprite. I guess I figured with their track record (roaches and flies), packaged fruit juice would be harmless. Wrong!

In school I took a course in Consumer Studies (not because I wanted to, but because it was a core and I wanted to graduate) and I learnt quite some interesting things. Honestly at first, I felt taking that course was a waste of time. Turns out it wasn't and I, without realising it still practice some of the stuff I learnt.

I can't shop without picking up the item and checking for expiry dates, especially consumables. It makes shopping rather tedious and quite annoying, but I'd rather be tired and annoyed than be ill or worse yet, dead. So yesterday, I pick up the juice I wanted after first checking the expiry date. Satisfied, I turn to walk away when this other bottle of juice I had no intention of purchasing caught my attention. I was curious about the combination. It was cranberry and some other fruit, maybe kiwi (not 100% sure). I pick up the bottle, look at the label and then even though I had no intention of buying, like reflex, my eyes shifted to the expiry date.

The juice expired in April 2014 and as at July 2014 it was still on the shelves. Just to be sure I got the right date, I checked the manufacturing date as well. It was manufactured in April 2013. I put the juice back, was about walking away (figured it was none of my business) when I saw 2 shop attendants not far from me. I picked up the bottle, walked to one of the attendants, gave it to him, pointed at the expiry date and walked away. Have no idea what the attendant did and how many of their products are expired. I hope he plus his management do right by their customers.

Why didn't I take a picture? I did think of that. Had I had a copy of any newspaper of yesterday, I would have taken a picture of the bottle of juice with it.

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Adventures in a Foreign Land - Snow, Frostbite, Ice & Slush

I see these adorable slippers in a shop but can't buy them because I don't have enough money. I go back to the shop a week later to get those very slippers, and I'm just about to pay for them, but the guy at the counter wants to and does question why I choose to buy slippers in Fall. Ah! I so didn't get that. So why is the shop selling slippers in Fall and why has the price been slashed by more than 50%? Is it not to entice me to buy it (that's what I wanted to ask him)? I just smile, say nothing while he goes on about how I'm probably going on a vacation in the Caribbean (I wish), and then some of the other shoppers start pointing outside with excited looks on their faces. Finally, the guy shuts up and turns round to look outside. Oh my! it had started snowing. My very first time seeing snow. Now, I'm in a hurry to get out of the shop. The guy turns round to face me and goes like, "now, you definitely can't wear those here. Better speed up on those vacation plans". Ah! This boy paa! Which one is his own? I'm buying my slippers to take back to Gh and there he is going on about vacation.

Finally! I step out of the shop and the snow flakes awwwwwww... I honestly don't know how to describe the feeling. I walked and walked and walked (when I could have been on a bus) just so the snow flakes would fall in my face (breathtaking). First snow that winter so the ground was still brown. I just couldn't wait to see the ground all covered in snow like I'd seen in movies and read about in books.
My fascination with snow was extremely short lived. Let's see, first the temperatures were always somewhere between 20 to 30 degrees below 0, when there was enough snow on the ground, I managed to twist my foot in it and fall (fortunately there was more than enough snow on the ground to cushion my fall), oh, and then I got caught (or got myself caught) in a blizzard (with that one, I got blown to the ground no less than 10 times), and then the frostbite. Ok, ok, ok, slight exaggeration. I guess it could be characterised as frostnip, but that really was my fault. I disliked the idea of wearing a tuque (knit cap or ski cap). I didn't look good in it. Beats me how I was ok falling because it was not my country plus no one really knew me, but I was bothered about how I looked in a tuque. I've given up trying to understand that. My ears were always exposed to the cold, which could be for long periods especially when I'd stand at the bus stop. Turns out me using just my hair to cover my ears was not enough. With time, one of my ears became real huge and extremely darkened (looked almost burnt). Then the darkened part pealed away (more like I forcibly removed the dark part) leaving me with one regular coloured ear and one ear that looked bleached. With time, I ended up with this:
Looks like this is permanent since the ear has been like this for a couple of years. My response to curious observers depending on my mood is; it was caused by hair relaxer or I got burnt by a hair straightener (it's possible I caused a couple of women to go natural)
And then when it wasn't too cold, some of the snow would start to melt, then it would get cold, so the melted snow would freeze. There were thus quite a number of icy patches here and there when this happened, and yours truly would slip, slide and fall. Unfortunately, no cushion for me this time. I would fall bum first and would feel the full impact of the fall.
Some cities use sand, others use salt on the roads and sidewalks in Winter. I lived in a city that used sand. Hmmmmmm... so when it was nearing Spring and the snow started melting, there was a lot of not so nice looking slush around and then there were some icy patches too, which I'd slip on, and when I'd fall, not only did my bum hurt, but my clothes would look not so nice (dirty).

Moral: not all that glitters... and, when in Rome...

It really wasn't all that bad all of the time. There were quite a number of fun times in the snow, like the snow fight and when we were putting decorations outside for Christmas and when we didn't have to bother putting our drinks in the fridge for a party (we just buried them in the snow out front), oh and when we kept our Thanksgiving dressed turkey in the garage (I thought that was funny).