Friday, 30 March 2007

Good Morning Glory . . . FIGHT!

Morning, the unpleasant time of the day that involves waking up isn’t always so unpleasant. Some mornings you wake up and feel on top, you feel good, alive and ready for combat.

I don’t think my Pops saw it coming this morning, but before he left for work I managed to ‘son’ him twice. I don’t think he was looking for beef, but that’s usually the case when you find it.

Round 1 . . . ‘ding ding’
My parents’ room has a built in toilet and shower (en suite), my Pops has appointed himself gatekeeper. I ignored the gatekeeper this morning and strolled into his room to get some bog roll. There wasn’t any left around the house so my parents’ room was the last resort. Surely enough there was one chunky roll of toilet paper on the holder. I took it off and was heading out of the room.

“Where are you going with that?” he snapped.

He was ready to go into a rant when I told him that I bought it (which i did) and there is none left in the house. His brain started thinking of a counter attack as my mum watched to see who was going to come out tops in the stand off.

He couldn’t say a thing.
I wouldn’t usually class this as 1-0 but I was in a good mood this morning and started dancing in his face with the toilet roll in my hand. My mum was laughing hysterically and he couldn’t say a word. Just as he was about to say something I turned around and walked out of the room . . . toilet roll in hand. 1-0 to Ak-Man.

Round 2 . . . ‘ding ding’
My Pops must have been looking for the equaliser; we had another showdown about 15mins later. Not enough resting time if you ask me.
As I finish brushing my teeth I was ready to get a shower. I left the bathroom my pops bursts out of his bedroom holding a blue shirt.

“Iron this” he commands gleefully.

I started whining like a twelve year old and to make matter worse my younger bro is watching . . . not gangsta! I’m trying to explain to him that I have to get ready for work; he just tells me that I have to do it. Ugh, he’s making me feel like a house servant! This isn’t cool at all. Then to seal his equaliser he imitates the dance I did in his room and my bro starts laughing at me. It’s levelled up at one a piece now, but it cant end like this.

Round 3 . . . ‘ding ding’
His shirt is ironed but he has another problem.
As it turns out, I was the only person in the house who had any shower gel this morning. I waited patiently for a few minutes . . . he then came out of his room and nonchalantly strolled across into the main bathroom. I knew what he was looking for and I let him take it . . . just so I can take it back.

“I’ll be having that” I told him.

He looked at the shower gel and then at me. I had a grin on my face and was ready to take him out of the game.

“I know you’ve got more” was this his attempt and salvaging his pride?

I took the shower gel out of his hand and told him that it was my last one (which it was) and I was ready to jump in the shower. Fortunately my brother was watching the duel, and nothing makes you rub it in harder than having an audience present. I waited for myself and my Pops to be in good view of my brother and then did a little jig which cracked up my brother and we both laughed at my Pops. Not too hard though, never too old for an ass whooping. 2-1 to Ak-Man!

A to the . . .

Tuesday, 27 March 2007

Good Morning Glory

I’ve got money to make, so I have to get from my bed to my desk before 11am. Yeah I know, I’m lucky too start at 11am but I still find time to sleep whilst at work. Here is how it goes down.

My alarm goes off (or does it go on?) . . . Anyway, it’s just a teaser to help me slowly wake up. I lean over to my desk and reset my alarm for 08:00 and go back to sleep.
Half an hour flew by and my alarm is making noise again, I lean over and press snooze . . . back to sleep again.
. . . Snooze
OK, I really have to get up now; I’m 20 minutes behind
schedule. I drift off into a tiny snooze, shake it off and roll out of bed. I get off the floor and put on my ‘house clothes’ (AKA old clothes), switch on the hot water and go to the bathroom to brush my teeth.
Brushing my teeth takes between 10 and 20 minutes (seriously). This is for two reasons: 1) I do everything extremely slowly in the morning until I get out of the shower and 2) I think I have a psychological problem . . . it’s like my teeth are never clean enough (obsessive compulsive?)
While I wait for the water to heat up a little bit more I do 120 press-ups. These are done in reps, four sets of 30. They also help me to wake up and keep me busy if the bathroom is occupied. After each set of 30 press-ups I pose in my mirror ‘looking good’. I used to do 8 minute abs in the morning but I put it on hold to tone up my upper body (arms and chest).
Shower time! I get clean . . . what more can I say? I don’t sing and I don’t play with a rubber duck.
I get out of the bath and attach my iPod to my speaker system. I choose some music that matches my mood and get dressed while rapping or singing along. This process involves more mirror posing, but I’m awake now so it’s serious posing, get ready for another day posing, ‘you’re the man’ posing, ya dig?
I should be leaving the house now but I must grab a few things before I go. I fill up two bottles with tap water and make two slices of toast. I’m good to go.
Bopping to the train station listening to music . . . good times.
I get to the station and see a big queue of people waiting to get their travel tickets or top up their Oyster Cards. I laugh to myself ‘Ha ha ha, imprudent fools’. I walk past them extra happy and ‘tap in’.
There are a few things I REALLY hate about Dagenham East train station. Firstly, no one ‘works’ there so everyone has to wait to use the only ticket machine there, or just walk through the gates and pay (at least £4) at their destination. Secondly, it’s on the District Line. The only lines I know that run less frequently are the East London Line (which should be called the South London line) and the Silver Link line. This means that getting to the station early doesn’t mean you will get to work early . . . or even on time for that matter! Apologising to your boss is not gangsta.
I’m (hopefully) on the train now and heading towards Barkin station where I will catch the 10:28 C2C train to Fenchurch St. I’m usually reading a book, listening to music or reading The Metro (my favourite newspaper) if I’m lucky enough to get a copy.
I get of at Fenchurch St. and head over to Pret to get some grub for my shift. Two slices of toast is just not enough for a growing lad so I buy over priced food to satisfy my gut.
Even when I’m late I stop to buy food, I rarely leave the building at work so it’s now or never! I used to splurge at Benjy’s but it seems they have closed down. This troubles my soul; Benjy’s was the house of bargains! I used to get ham and tomato rolls for 25p each! I shed a tear in loving memory; plus the girls that worked there we’re better looking than the Pret girls who all look they used to work on a farm.
I’m in on time, look around to see what’s been left for me (paper work), and sign on to MSN Messenger . . . ‘Morning Rainbow Drop’ . . . ‘What’s up Razor’ . . . ‘What’s Poppin Boiji?’ . . . ‘Aye Aye Nigga’.
This is my typical weekday morning.
A to the . . .

Sunday, 25 March 2007

Abandoned Nation

Some of you may remember the article I writ in January titled “Well, At Least We’re Staying Out Of The Papers” Well you can call this a follow up. Seeing that I am a young black man who lives in London, I feel that my opinion coupled with experiences certainly matters.

It’s highly unlikely that no one was a victim of these ‘lost youths’ in January, I still believe that the media simply overlooked prospective stories at the time. Why they did this I’m not perfectly sure, but it’s clearly evident that they are now trying to send out a clear message. This message seems to be that if you are a black male, and between the ages of 15-24 your chances of ending up on the front page are greatly increased. This is regarding both sides of the trigger.

We have (since February) seen an escalation in the reporting of youth murders in the news. A particular focus has been placed on murders involving young members of black communities in London. There are areas of London which are infamous for gangs and gun/knife culture. I used to live in one of these areas; I witnessed and experienced first hand the reality of senseless violence. When street life is hyped up, fabricated or subject to manipulation I find it easier to filter out the non-fictions and exaggerations.

Kodjo had recently spoken about knife crime when interviewed by the music
channel MTV. He said: "I think stabbing has got worse but the media also make it
bigger than what it is."

He is the latest teenager to die in a
series of attacks in the capital in recent weeks. Last month, three teenagers
alone were shot dead in separate incidents in south London.

Cox, 15, was shot dead at his home in Clapham while schoolboy Michael Dosunmu,
15, was shot in his bedroom in nearby Peckham days after James Smartt-Ford, 16,
was gunned down at Streatham ice rink.


Kodjo Yenga’s unfortunate story has a dark ironic undertone. In the face of this I still agree with his statement. Youths have been killing each other for as long as I can remember, and no one has been able to develop a solid theory or solution regarding this for just as long. When you ask someone who lives in the ‘streets’ about street life and they tell you that the turmoil is being overestimated, you can perceive that source to be quite reliable. Also take into consideration that everyone outside of the ‘streets’ is pretty clueless as to what is actually going on in them.
The Home Secretary admitted yesterday that the Government does not know enough
about the scale of knife violence and ordered police forces to start collecting
statistics on the use of knives in crime.

John Reid made the
announcement after the death at the weekend of 15-year-old schoolboy Adam


One major problem is the power of a negative minority; unfortunately the actions of a few can affect the lives of many more, rarely is this seen as significantly as when something bleak occurs. All of a sudden every young black male has a knife, every Muslim is a suicide bomber and all white females are binge drinkers. In reality there are not as many young, black, heartless killers as we are led to believe, nonetheless there are definitely too many. And of course they are not all young and black, but this will be our little secret.

How do you reason with the unreasonable?
Killing people is wrong, is this not common knowledge? Of course it is, but some people just don’t give a f*ck. Let’s not beat around the bush regarding this, it really is that simple. What’s frustrating is that no provocation is required when it comes to getting a knife in the chest, or a bullet in the head. Young tyrants are murdered on the same streets as ‘model students’.

I refuse to buy into ‘social theories’ which suggests that street crime in the UK is an imitation of that in the States. Murder and popular culture are two entirely different affairs. This isn’t a matter of Gangster Rap, baggy clothes and New Era caps. It is rather a dilemma that involves the heart of man, which in turn transcends deeper than race. And living in a society embedded in the developed world I believe that it also transcends deeper than culture. Without being too circumstantial, murder isn’t a culture, it’s a mind state.

The murder rate can be reduced significantly with a little bit of thought and a lot of effort, but who is ready to put the effort in? We are all consumed with our own problems until the reality of an abandoned nation becomes one of them.

A to the . . .

Friday, 23 March 2007

Shareen Presents: Have We Got It All Wrong?

Following the vast number of deaths appearing in the news of the young boys being killed, it has sparked a theory in my mind that ‘we’ as a consensus have got it wrong with whom we perceive to be the most vulnerable sex. The term vulnerable is defined as being, ‘capable of being physically or emotionally wounded; open to successful attack.’ Chambers (1991), ‘Concise Dictionary’ p1204. The word itself is compared to being ‘susceptible’, ‘weak’, ‘defenceless’, and ‘helpless’. I don’t want to put words in people’s mouths, but I will go on to assume that when relating these words to a particular sex, we would associate the female sex with the terminology.

I believe as a female, going for an evening out, there are so many factors I should be expected to consider. Forget the, ‘what am I going to wear?’ and ‘does my hair look nice?’ I have to think about whom I am meeting up with, where I am meeting them, is it a safe location? Am I going to be isolated? How am I getting home? Am I going to be on my own? Have I got extra money for a cab? I could go on . . . Hope you get the general drift.

Our friends, family, the media and the government have always had an instinctive concern for women’s safety. You have family (in my case my parents) ensuring I let them no of my whereabouts. When I go out for an evening they tend to want an idea whom I’m going out with and also for me to give and approx time that I will be rolling through the door.

The focus is largely on ensuring the safety of females, making sure they are careful of accepting drinks from strangers as they may contain a date rape drug. We should walk around clubs with fingers or palms covering the top of the drink, we are told not to get too drunk so we can get home safely, we are told to get into registered cabs to insure our safety and to travel in numbers even if it means crashing at a friend’s yard for the night. We are told to watch our back when walking on a street, and to stay visible to others etc.

Other terms for vulnerable are, ‘in danger’, and ‘at risk’!

Should men be considered to be at risk more so than females? My conclusion is YES. There are no statistics or evidence, and I have not begun to look for a study on the matter, so if you don’t agree calm down its my own theory. I have various reasons which have lead to this conclusion but I will only name a few… its 00.24am … I do want some sleep you no!

From my point of view, men are more likely to be:

1. Beaten up
2. Robbed
3. Stabbed
4. Murdered
5. Threatened
6. Involve in fights/gangs

I am not excluding females being subject to the same abuse, but males are more vulnerable to these kinds of situations. And because we associate man’liness as being ‘strong, brave; dignified; noble.’ Chambers(1991), ‘Concise Dictionary’ p 630, we may not worry about a males safety as much as we really should. The world is not the same place.

I am not saying that mums and dads do not stay up waiting for their sons to come home safely, but I am sure guys do not give as much details to parents of their whereabouts. Not as much as their female counterparts. Whilst females may say, ‘I’m going to the cinema’, males may just say ‘I’m going out.’

This is a contested issue and so much more could be said, but my point is that males need to be protected as much as females, it doesn’t take away ones macho’ness. We just need to stop taking for granted that men should be able to stand up for themselves and be safe out there, anything can happen to anyone at any time as made evident on the news lately.

Take care of yourselves and each other.


Wednesday, 21 March 2007

Stomp The Yard

Tag line:
He will challenge their traditions.
Their traditions will change his life.

Yes this is the same movie as You Got Served, Bring It On, Drumline and probably even Honey (I haven’t seen Honey . . . yet). Feel free to add similar movies to this list.

So why go and see it?
Well if you like the movies listed above then this film is a must watch for you. It follows the conventional formula to a tee. I personally believe that they intentionally make the acting and storylines dire for this sub-genre. Fighting is replaced with dancing, sex is replaced with dancing and the strongest currency is if course your dance moves. If you can’t ‘bust a move’ you’re nobody, an extra if you’re lucky, a ‘boot licker’ . . . or a hot female (i.e. Megan Goode). “How’s it going Meg?” ;- )

What makes this film different from its predecessors is the dancing style used, it’s known as ‘stepping’ (line dancing meets break dancing). A style used by (black) fraternities to . . . erm . . . well . . . it’s noisy and most of it looks the same. They stomp, clap, shout and take it way too seriously. Are great levels of skill and coordination used? Of course. Is it impressive? Hardly.

Now this movie would be extra boring if it wasn’t for the main star. A streetwise east coaster who is a bad ass b-boy. Can you see where this film is going yet? That’s right, put this all together with two tea spoons of romance, positive moral undertones, and you have the 2007 version of Drumline.

What lets this film down is not the deprived script which we have come to expect, and it’s also not the amusing attempts at acting that we can’t possibly take seriously. Disappointingly, it’s the lack of actual dancing. Too much emphasis is placed on the weak storyline and its humdrum turn of events. I didn't really feel like dancing after I watched this movie . . . what a shame.

Throw in special guest appearances from Neyo (and his meat head), Chris Brown and MTV presenter Sway (who doesn't deserve a hyperlink). There may have been some other big shots in this film that I never recognised.

It’s definitely worth a watch. If you do insist on paying to watch this movie make sure you’re with good company so you can discuss how corny the film is during and after.

Follow this like for a trailer:

A to the . . .

Monday, 19 March 2007

Ak-Man And Microsoft Paint Presents: ‘A Few Of My Favourite Things’

I can’t think of a practical use for Microsoft Paint. It’s pretty lame unless you have the imagination of an eight year old, or a ridiculous amount of spare time on your hands.

…So I decided to use it to illustrate ‘A Few Of My Favourite Things’. These pictures took longer to do than you might think (not really) and I put a lot of thought into it.

So yeah, anyway . . . I’ll let the pictures do the talking.

So many colours from a biro,
I’m trying to put my mind on a page.
All that gushes out is colours,
Uncontrollably, it needs to be arranged.

I was handed a paintbrush.
No one ever taught me how to paint.
I just run wild on the canvas,
It’s easy when you don’t know what to say.
By Ak-Man
A to the . . .

Sunday, 18 March 2007

Four Is My Favourite Number Anyway . . .

Before I get started I’ll like to thank Copper Stiletto for nominating my blog site for David McMahon's weekly blog awards (The Aussies). I read her blog very often, in fact its one of my favourites (not just saying that). She came second on the list this week, which should tell you something.

The list was put up on Saturday, I almost forgot to check it out because I don’t really chill online on weekends. When you spend so much time on the net at work you kind of run out of things to do online when you get home.

-Oh, that’s it! Downloading, that’s what I mainly use the net for at home-

Naively I checked out the list and started from the top. This set me up for disappointment; well that was my first reaction. I can’t lie in the name of humility. I scrolled down checking if my blog had made the list at all, and got about halfway before I scrolled up again looking for my URL (maybe I missed it?) . . . I scrolled down further, and further . . . and then a bit more. Then I got to the bottom.

I started going through the motions.

There was anger . . . “What? How is this possible? I’m the best damn it! How dare you offend me like this I shall have my revenge on you!”

Then there was denial . . . “Maybe there was a formatting error and the list was writ in reverse. I should email him and double check, just in case.”

There was more denial . . . “I don’t care, it’s just a stupid list anyway”

A little bit of self resentment . . . “Maybe my blog just isn’t that great”

Finally appreciation . . . “Four is my favourite number anyway”

Ok, so there is a huge difference between four and forty (thirty-six) but I looked at the list and thought to myself “there I am”. There are LOADS of active blog sites out there, and I know this for a fact because I spend a lot of time at work looking for good ones to read (they are hard to find). So for Mr. McMahon (a pro writer) to see my blog as attention worthy . . . well, that’s a great credit indeed.

I’m not accepting defeat by the way, I’ll be number one on that list in due time. The spirit of competition is flowing through my bones now. So if you find yourself laughing uncontrollably in your chair, crying self reflectively or even thinking introspectively, thank Copper Stiletto and Mr. McMahon for pushing a modest writer over the edge.

The villagers should have gone after Frankenstein . . . not his monster.

A to the . . .

Wednesday, 14 March 2007

Mr. Know It All

Nobody likes a smart-ass right? Well surely they’d prefer that to a dumbass . . .

Some people receive (junk) emails and nod in agreement when the obvious is questioned. Or they gasp in amazement when the unbelievable is presented as truth (conspiracy theories and photoshopped images). I however frown at my intelligence being offended by stupid questions which require very little thought if any.

I have an answer for almost everything, even it’s just an opinion or its just plain wrong. If I genuinely don’t know I’ll admit to that (eventually) and ask for the answer, there’s no shame in that. But if someone asks you ‘some’ of the following questions and you scratch your head in thought . . . well then lets just hope you're better looking than they are.

When you're driving and looking for an address why do you turn down the volume on the radio?
This is the kind of question annoying passengers ask when you’re lost and they are listening to one of their favorite songs. “Hey, why are you turning it down? I was listening to that!” Tell them to buy an mp3 player and start riding the bus! It’s a lot easier to concentrate without a passenger and the Red Hot Chili Peppers singing a duet about Cali . . . again. “Put my Nas CD back in the player. I’ll start listening to the Chili Peppers when they start making sense.”

Why is it called a building if it’s already built?
This really isn’t as smart as it sounds. If everything built was called a ‘built’ . . . ? Well hopefully you can foresee the problem with that.

Do fish sleep?
Yes, why wouldn’t they?
Oh I get it, you want to see a fish sleeping so you can tap on the glass and wake it up, then send it swimming (in fear) to the other side of the tank . . . where you’ll be waiting with a big grin on your face ready to send it right back.

Why do we press harder on a remote control when we know the batteries are getting weak?
This question isn’t too stupid I must admit. It’s something I also do, maybe out of habit, maybe out of hope, but most likely our of laziness. Remote control batteries should easily last the best part of a year, and this goes for clock batteries also. A clock can stay broken for a few days in my house before someone takes a battery out of the remote control to fix it. Then someone takes the batteries out of someone’s unattended CD player to fix the remote, and the CD player’s owner gets new batteries for their CD player. It’s ‘The Lion King’ all over again.

If people evolved from apes, why are there still apes?
OK, this is the God Vs. The Evolution Theory question all over again.
I didn’t come from a monkey, and no scientist can prove that I did. I just had to get that out of the way.
Monkeys (yes I know there is a difference between monkeys and apes) may be the closest animals to the human race, but they are not human, and humans are not monkeys. There are some humans who act like monkeys, and vice versa of course, but I’m yet to see a monkey driving a car (manual/stick shift) or a human casually jump from one tree to another, banana in hand. People did not evolve from apes; at best we evolved from dumb humans . . . some of us anyway.

Why do people constantly return to the refrigerator with hopes that something new to eat will have materialized?
This question isn’t stupid, it’s just funny!
Like the remote control question it’s funny because it true. I do this also. It’s a matter of hope; you hope that you’ll see something you missed on previous visits. You hope someone may have slipped some food into the fridge between then and now. You hope that an ingenious idea will pop into your head and you’ll be able to make a meal out of butter, ketchup and lettuce. You hope, and then you open the fridge, and then you . . . start looking through cupboards also because you spend 15% of your wages on takeaway and the shops owners know you on a first name basis.

Why is it that whenever you attempt to catch something that's falling off the table you always manage to knock something else over?
Because you’re clumsy.
It just took you three hours of online browsing to find a recipe that consists of butter, ketchup and lettuce; you aren’t quite ready to watch your only meal of the day fall all over the floor are you? So yeah, your lunge to save the plate is quite exaggerated, but you caught it with ‘monkey like’ like athleticism at the expense of your remote control. Meh . . . it wasn’t working properly anyway.

If money doesn't grow on trees then why do banks have branches?
That’s so smart . . . NOT! Asking this question also puts you in the dumb position of assuming that money does in fact grow on trees.

Why does a round pizza come in a square box?
Did you order a pizza or a round ‘box’?
For someone with no food in their fridge you should just be happy that you have pizza. The pizza boxes are flat packed like beds from IKEA. If they were made round then this would make things a lot more difficult and expensive for the 'box' producers and consumers. Expect a rise in pizza prices.
Oddly enough a square box is more practical because the corners make the pizza slices easier to access.

Why is it that people say they "slept like a baby" when babies wake up like every two hours?
Because they slept like a baby, they never woke up crying like one.
When babies sleep it’s VERY hard to wake them up. You can take them out of the baby seat in the car, and into their bed at home without them making a noise. If fact, you can make as much noise as you want, babies are deep sleepers.

If a deaf person has to go to court, is it still called a hearing?

Why do people pay to go up tall buildings & then put money in binoculars to look at things on the ground?
The world looks a lot different up there, and you can see things that you cant down here. The binoculars help you to see things a lot clearer, if you were as smart as you like to think you are you may have brought your own pair up with you.

Why do doctors leave the room while you change? They're going to see you naked anyway.
Well it depends why you went to the doc in the first place. If you have a cold and end up naked in a doctor’s office then shame on you. It’s an issue of politeness, we all value our privacy. Plus getting undressed in front of someone makes it seem like a show and I aint dancing for prescription drugs.

Why is there a light in the fridge and not in the freezer?
OK, this is a sensible question; a light for the freezer would be beneficial. If your have a common fridge-freezer you may notice that the freezer has no light but the fridge does. Freezers and fridges are designed differently, if you put a light in the freezer you wouldn’t be able to see much at all because of the way the compartments are layered, thus making the light pointless.
Next time, just turn on the kitchen light.

Can blind people see their dreams?
Ask a blind person.

Why does the Alphabet song and Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star have the same tune?
Now you’re just being annoying.

A to the . . .

Monday, 12 March 2007

24 Hours Until The End Of The World

Sticking with the jubilant theme of the world coming to an abrupt end, I decided to document my last 24 hours on earth. Maybe when I get to heaven, a television series can be produced in a similar style to ‘24’ . . . good times.

What’s on my ‘to do list’? It’s not just that I have 24 hours to live, the whole world as we know it will cease to exist. Scary isn’t it?

Here’s how I’d likely to play out the final day. . .

Everyone’s screaming is waking me up; I get told by my family that the world will be over in 24 hours. Its way too early for this nonsense, I tell them to shut my door behind them and I go back to sleep.

My alarm wakes me up and I remember the earlier ruckus. I of course don’t believe this until I look out my window and see (well I watch) vast amounts of people having sex and fighting in the field behind my house. It’s then confirmed to me when I turn on the TV and see warning notices on every channel! I brush my teeth, have a shower and put on my best clothes. (Jeans and a T-Shirt)

I rush back into my house (from the field) and have another shower. I reply to some text messages and call some friends. Not wanting to waste anymore time I switch on my PS2 and relax with a few games of Pro Evolution Soccer 6.

I call my mum to find out where my family are. She tells me that she’s in church with my dad, brother and sister. She tells me that they have left me the keys for the Tigra and that I should meet them at church. I stop at McDonalds (which is still open) and get a large Chicken Premiere meal with a still Fanta and two apple pies. I tell the cashier to keep the change (2 pence) and speed off to church breaking sharply in front of speed cameras.

I get to church, it’s packed! They are listening to everyone’s testimonies of their life and singing praise songs between each person. After a couple hours I look outside the church window, everyone looks like their having fun. I sneak out of the building and jump in the car. I start calling people and say some of the realest words I’ll probably ever speak. I get a call form *BLEEP* and she tells me to come to her house. I start the car and make my way there.

I get to *BLEEPS*’ house. She made me a nice meal. We eat and chat for a while, I apologise to her and explain my side of the story, she does the same, we hug and make up. Very sweet and all that but I’ve been getting text messages and missed calls from another girl who I REALLY need to visit ASAP! I leave *BLEEP* at her house and sense that she wanted a bit more than just a chat and hug. Oh well, times against me.

I get to *BLEEPS* house and it’s on before I even take off my jacket! Good times are enjoyed!

Me and *BLEEP* get into an argument and she kicks me out. What a bitch!

I’m chilling in the car when *BLEEP* taps the window; she get in on the passenger side and we make our peace with each other. A Kiss To Send Us Off then she leaves.

The reality of the world ending starts to sink in. It took a while but I’m actually scared now. It’s becoming too much for my mind to take so I call up *BLEEP* and tell him to meet me with all the alcohol he can get his hands on. I park outside his house and he gets in the car with alcohol and snacks. We get drunk in the car whilst talking about our lives and spilling out our guts about some of the dumb shit we’ve done over the years . . . and dumb shit we’ve done today!

I’ve got to get to church! I drive back east with the windows down trying to shake off this high.

I chill in the car (outside the church) for a few minutes and finish a bottle of water. I make a few more calls, respond to a few more text messages, and head back in to the church.

5 hours left till it’s ALL over. I find my family and tell them all how much I love them. After this I pray and pray and pray . . . mainly for forgiveness. I pray for my soul, and for all my friends and family.

Everything goes silent, no one says a word. It rapidly gets darker and I begin to feel an outer body experience. Everyone seems to disappear from around me, then . . .

A to the . . .

Friday, 9 March 2007

Sasha Presents . . . Her Own Blog Site

It wasn’t her . . . it was me.
Maybe I didn’t treat her right, let her know she was special; say the sweet things that would have made her stick around.
Maybe she just out grew me, was I holding her back?
Maybe her pen was too big for my page and she has so much more to say.
Maybe I never paid attention to the little things; spelling, punctuation and grammar . . .

At least I never go the lets just be friends speech, that’s bonus right? Shows that there is at least hope. She said:

“Hope you don't feel I'm stepping on your toes. Sash x”

Nah . . . wouldn’t matter if you were either; I’ve got Tims on.

OK, it’s not that serious for a few reasons; I’ll put the Kleenex away shall I?

We weren’t J Lo and Ben, Justin and Cameron, Brad and Jennifer . . . or even Brittany and Kevin. I have shaved my head bald on a couple of occasions, but that was out of boredom, not because of a fragile mental state. It’s A Darker Shade Of Black, not a crazier one.

I have always wanted her to start her own site because she has a lot to say, and she’ll say it in ways that I won’t/don’t.

The biggest problem is that I’ll now have to write more to keep the updates coming. Having someone else who likes writing possibly more than you do is a great asset indeed, it gives you the opportunity to take more ‘breaks’, and put more effort into each piece, because you aren’t as rushed.

So now I’ll step my game up and bring more meat to the table, more fuel to the fire and more . . . sand to the beach?

Check her out over at:

In loving memory . . .


A to the . . .

Tuesday, 6 March 2007

The Race To End The World . . . who will win?

The three main contenders are:

1. God
2. Man
3. Nature
4. Technology (Not yet in full contention)

People have been screaming that the world will end for quite some time now. The boy keeps crying wolf and nobody can even be bothered to tell him to ‘shut up’ anymore. Will the world end in my life time? I hope not, and I don’t think so either. I’ve come this far, don’t really want to leave earth by default. I want to grow old and tell my grandchildren stories about how the iPod cornered the market, the rise of Youtube, the evolution of MSN, and why I never joined MySpace. It seems however that many ‘things’ don’t want to see this happen.

Who (or what) will end the world?

Technology . . .

When I say technology I’m a bit undecided on its potential to end the world. Technology, I believe is more likely to wipe out Man (its creator) than to end the world. You see, technology can’t really do much until Man develops Artificial Intelligence (see Terminator 1 - 3, and The Matrix 1 - 3). If this does occur prepare to be liquidized into battery form as computers rage-out with an Oedipus complex.

“Welcome to the desert of the real” – Morpheus

Mother Nature . . .

She sounds so sweet doesn’t she? Open your window, beauty is all around us. Smell the pretty flowers, walk along the beach as the waves crash against the shore, look up at the clouds as the birds fly across your view and notice how they (the clouds) remind you of bunny rabbits, Bambi, and roses, “Hey, that one looks like a Blackberry”. Isn’t nature beautiful?

Do I really need to go on about Tsunamis, Hurricanes, Earthquakes, Snow, (yes snow, I hate it) etc? I should hope not. It seems as though we have pissed her off doesn’t it? We’re ruining her perfect ecological balance in exchange for natural disasters. I’d be vexed if I was her, “I do so much for you and this is how you repay me? Ok, let’s see how you deal with a little bit of bad weather” *insert evil laugh here*

Can Mother Nature end the world? Not without ending herself also. I think she is just trying to shake us up a little. Its working too, look at the Global Warming campaigns.

Man . . .

Me and you, them and us. We are in fact a pain in the ass of Mother Nature and of course one another. Anything dead or alive, fact or fictitious, good or bad will have at one point felt the wrath of mankind’s lust for destruction. Everything must be eaten, burnt, sold or used past the point of depletion. No stone shall be left unturned, no blade of grass un-trampled. If this wasn’t bad enough please introduce war, WOMD, terrorism and of course global warming. To bask in your glory put all of this on a computer and develop and program which calculates Doomsday, just so we know in advance when we would have achieved our greatest feat yet . . . the end of the world.

Forget the preservation of life, we want to be like God, in fact, we want to be God! We want to beat him at his own game (I don’t think he’s playing though) as a big thank you for creating us and giving us all we need to survive and live happily.

Can Man bring the world to an end? O yes we can and we’ll probably get quite close before God tears open the sky with his bare hands and brings all existence to their knees. “It wasn’t my fault” we’ll all yell, “Bigger boys made me do it” . . . I honestly don’t want to be around for this.

If I stumbled across a magic lamp whist searching for treasure in Egypt (my typical weekend) and a genie popped out offering me three wishes I wouldn’t waste a single one on world peace! One-billion pounds would last a lot longer; a KFC family bucket may in fact last longer; the flavor from a Wrigley’s juicy fruit stick of gum may in fact last longer than world peace.

God . . .

My money is on God ending the world. Not only has He told us He will end the world, He also told us how he will do it. Hows that for bravado? Expect a lot of fire, flying horses and angels. Those of you who don’t like surprises should read the book of Revelations. It’s the last book in the Bible, and is a real spoiler, quite scary also. The ‘rapture’ doesn’t sound like anything to joke about so I won’t say too much at all.

Why does God want to end the world?
So that there can be a new heaven and a new earth. Old things shall pass away. God is the originator; He had everything planned out before he even got things started so I can’t see him letting the other ‘contestants’ beat Him to the post. When your in control you let others think what they want, it doesn’t bother you, you don’t even have to say ‘I told you so’, they’ll just know.

I once dreamt that the world had been blown to pieces by Sadam. People were floating in space, on chunks of earth. It was weird . . . very weird. This was a long time ago by the way, probably when I was 12 or 13.

A to the . . .

Saturday, 3 March 2007

Sasha Presents: Akwaaba to Open-mindedness!!

Ten years ago, you had the well settled Caribbean’s referring to the recent influx as 'boo-boo's' (name calling = possible hostile familiarity of our own Wind rush journey nearly 60 years previously). Now, however, name calling is not just for those from opposing sides. ‘Af’ doesn’t mean ‘of African heritage,’ as I frequently hear Ghanaians and Naijas etc referring to their own not-so-well adjusted counterparts as afs, freshies and JJC's (Johnny Just Come).

Growing up with heavy influence by my (mainly Nigerian) sistas, I'd like to share my cultural musings with you from a Jamaican/Guyanese P.O.V. I, personally, love the cultural melting pot that's going on, though some may not agree. Last year, I visited Ghana for my birthday. To me, it meant sunshine, food, education, but you'd be surprised how many times this conversation occurred:

Them: You're going Ghana? I didn't know you were Ghanaian.

Me: I'm not.

Them: So what are you going to Ghana for?

To which I'd say, ' Oh, you're not English. What are you doing doing here then?’

I expected that small-mindedness from my parents’ generation. Is it ignorance or a fear of the unknown? Rebellion against the multi-cultural world we live in? Or is it purely an attempt to retain our identities and culture without it being watered down? Maybe it's a mix of all of these things, though we're not as dissimilar as we may think.

You call it plantain; we call it plantin (though the adding salt to it will never make sense to my sweet taste buds). Speaking of salt, there's another commonality: high blood pressure. You have yam pounded, we have it whole with ackee and salt fish. Ghanaians are on banku, we've got our cornmeal, but tilapia and escoveitch fish are essentially the same dish.

I'm sure that 'malt' should be THE continent wide drink of Africa. There's not an Af household I know of without a crate of the stuff stashed somewhere, meanwhile, while us Jamrocks appreciate supermalt, pass us a dragon stout, Red Stripe or Guinness and we're bredrins for life!

There is only one mystery that defies me. Why is it that when you're offered stew, you're offered chicken or meat (pronounced mit)? What, because chicken isn't a meat all of a sudden? And what is meat? Beef, lamb, goat, veal?! Boy whatever it is, it tastes good! Answers on a postcard anyway!

Even though it's just a comical look at food, and I’m fully aware of the complexities of this subject, you can see, there's nothing to be scared of! We inhabit some of the most beautiful, culturally rich countries in the world and we should delight in, not shy away from proudly sharing our histories and our futures. I'm on it, if for no other reason than knowing that I can bop into one of my many 'aunties' households, pronounce 'Ebi n pa mi' (Yuroba for I'm hungry!), and I'm sorted with a plate of Jollof quick time!

One thing I know for sure is that I'll be donning my kente cloth and jamming to Mz'bel come Saturday! Not because I’m a culturally inept 2nd generation Brit, but because I delight in any forwardly progressive, stereotype changing, celebratory exhibition of my blossoming, powerful, black people. Ghana Independence means I'm honorary Af for the day. Head tie and all!