Telling my side of the story

WARNING: I'm not that deep.

Friday, June 30, 2006

It's Our Anniversary

Can't believe another year has gone by. This year was better than last and I hope the trend continues. DH wanted us to go out of town to celebrate and had made reservations at the Ritz Carlton in some city. I saw his to do list:
 Home Depot
 Call Robert
 Pay for Reservation
I don't know if I'll regret telling him to cancel the reservations because I would rather us spend the money re-doing our place. I want to buy new furniture and just generally spruce up our place. Unromantic, I know but I figure that's a longer-lasting gift for the two of us. Somehow, I feel bad because it's almost July and he hasn't taken any vacation time this year. He doesn't seem to mind but that's a sour spot for us. I can't live without taking time off and going somewhere, anywhere as long as it's away from my daily routine. I've taken a few trips without him, one with my girlfriends and a couple other family-related trips. Hopefully, he'll be happy when he finds out that I booked us a room at the chateau. We just love that place. I'm going to find some spa time and if he wants to join me, that would be fine too. I'm so selfish. Just me, me, me. I give gifts that I can benefit from. Anyway, it's our anniversary and I'm so excited! Don't call us, we'll call you.

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Thursday, June 29, 2006

The Naija Student In Me

This is a post I wrote some time last week, I'm guessing. I was worried about my essay writing skills. It's all good now. I have my scores back from the quizzes. Still, I thought I'd post this just in case anyone out there can relate to being a Nigerian student abroad.

Being that I've been out of undergrad for a while and my last grad class was three years ago, I am not the most confident student these days. My class requires a group project at the end of the semester and we've divvied up the work so that each person has a section to handle. I really never know how to 'attack' a question. I'm never sure what angle to come at it from. In a way, I've reverted to my pre-college way of thinking and answering questions. You know, the Naija way of doing things has come out. Everything that was learnt in college in the US, I really don't remember so I'm back to my comfort zone. It's really funny how Naija students think, the way we were taught to reason. You are asked to answer a question and you want to prove why that question even exists. I'm now at quiz #5 for my class and up until Tuesday's class, I had been feeling insecure about everything I'd turned in. I'd been answering my questions the Naija way and I wasn't sure if that would work. We're asked a question and I start by re-stating the question. For example, one quiz was about the strategies firms use to increase their profits and I start by re-stating the question, or rather my header is something like "How firms increase their profits: strategies for increasing demand and reducing the costs of production" and then define demand and talk about the factors of production. Who begged me? I seemed to have forgotten that in Yankee, they are looking to you to come at a question from a more realistic or from a real-world point of view. I can't dub (copy) anyone so I'm relying on my Naija composition/essay (therefore, thus, hence, etc.) days to carry me through.


Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Oprah Show Sweepstakes

Oprah's giving away 10 all-expense trips to Chicago to watch a taping of the show. Click here to enter the sweepstakes. You can enter once every day from June 26th to July 2nd. See you there!


Monday, June 26, 2006

Home for Lunch

One of the things I love about my job is its proximity to where I live. I love the fact that I never have to worry about the one-hour commute that is the average one-way commute time here. I love the fact that I never have to worry about gas prices. Really, I'll complain that it's $3 a gallon but I only fill up every other week so 40 bucks every couple of weeks isn't that bad. If it were every other day like some of my colleagues, that would be a different case. I love the fact that I have the luxury of waking up 30 minutes before I have to be at work. In the past, I loved the fact that I could come home from work. There was a time when I craved efo (vegetable soup made with palm oil). I would rush home and eat it with anything at lunch. Efo isn't something you want to eat at work so having lunch at home meant I wouldn't have to deal with people saying "Hmmmmmm, what is that smell?" But I digress.

Today is the first time I've come home for lunch in a looooooooong time. I've been so consumed with staying close by so that if I'm ever needed, I'm in the building. Today, I didn't plan on coming home but at 11:55 this morning, it seemed like a really good idea. There is a point of saturation and working through lunch gets you there very quickly. This past Friday, I was at work until 7pm. On a Friday! I didn't even break for lunch. This corporate America sef. It gets really tiresome. Today, I'm looking out for my sanity. For real, some time ago at my old job, I literally felt like crawling under my desk to get away from the work. I was ready to scream and yell at everyone to leave me alone. That's when I knew it was time to leave.

Going forward, I am going to block out my calendar at lunch time so I have less "working lunch" sessions. In fact, I am going to physically leave the building at lunch time so people can't reach me. People always feel it's okay to barge in with "I know you're at lunch but could you..." Who am I kidding? Today's probably going to be my last lunch at home in a long while because there'll be fifty messages waiting for me when I get back.


Thursday, June 22, 2006

School Report

Child, this school thing is kicking my behind. I don't really have time to blog but took a break from studying to report that it's not as easy as I thought it would be. I mean, I didn't think it would be easy but I had no idea how involved it would be. So, I had a quiz on my first day of class. I mean, who does that? The first day is supposed to be about fluffy stuff. The typical first day of class should be about introductions, the who are you, why are you in this program, what do you hope to achieve kind of stuff. The normal first day of class should be about housekeeping items like don't use your cell phone in class, you can only be absent twice and you have till this date to drop the class type of stuff. The usual first day of class would of course include going over the syllabus and getting an overview of the class.

That was not the case for me. We didn't even do the introductions that I was dreading. The guy came in and said, "take everything off your desk except a pen or a pencil, you're having a quiz." It wasn't a fluffy quiz either. It was the real thing. We had to do work without even knowing what the class is about. Apparently, he does this with every class to test people's prior knowledge of the subject matter. Okay, if I had prior knowledge, I wouldn't be in class, would I? Anyway, I've had two more quizzes since my first day (June 13th). Keep in mind that this class meets only twice a week. So that's an average of one quiz per class. I have another one tomorrow. So I'm back to studying.


Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Miami H-E-A-T!!!

The Miami Heat took it home yesterday, giving Shaq his fourth ring and coach Pat Riley his fourth NBA finals win as well. It was beautiful! They started the finals down two and ended up winning their last four games in a row. They were my team to win this season, DH was rooting for the Dallas Slackers! The team was 15 strong but it was Dwayne Wade that blew me away. Yes, he totally deserves to MVP.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Birthday Wishes

So my birthday's coming up soon and here's what I really want:
 A bimmer - Prententious, yes, but I really want one. I drove DH's a few days this past week and it felt really good. It drove like a dream and felt very solid. No need for further explanation. It's a nice car and I want one. Don't know that I'll be getting it though. Maybe next year. I dropped hints a little too late. Besides, all the times he asked if I wanted to change my car, I said no because I was being a cheapo as usual.
 A new wardrobe. I want a newer, hipper look. My current look is pretty boring. My closet is full of basic stuff from Sisley/Benetton, Banana Republic, and Loehmans. I want to diversify and have a younger, hipper look. Especially when it comes to work. I am doing a little okay on the play side although that could use some freshening up.
 A cleaning company to help clean every couple of weeks. My friends call me lazy but I think there's more that I could be doing with my time. If I had a cleaning company, I could concentrate of filing my mail and getting rid of excess junk.
 Pick up the pace. I haven't been riding since last summer. My bike's still looking very new.
 Renovate. I want to finish doing my bedroom and re-paint the whole place. That would be a nice gift.

Not too much to ask, huh?

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Kneel Down and Feed Your Husband

I have been having conversations with people all around me about the Nigerian (Yoruba mostly) tradition of the wife kneeling down to feed her husband cake at their wedding. My sister and I like most women of our age group love, love, love attending weddings. Especially Naija weddings. That's where we get to mix with other Naijas, check out people's fashion sense or lackthereof and pretty much have a good time. One thing that drives us both crazy is the Naija or is it Yoruba tradition of the bride kneeling to feed her husband a piece of their wedding cake. It just drives me crazy. What's that about?

In all of the weddings that I attended where the bride knelt down, there has never been a move on the groom's part to join her (indicating that they are partners) or even dissuade her from the discomfort of kneeling down in her gorgeous gown. They usually smile smugly and enjoy the attention. Guys I have talked to say it's about submission. It is humiliating more like it. One of the reasons given by older people is that it shows that the girl has been well brought up. I just plain don't like it. However, it is a personal choice. If a woman wants to be submissive, then it's up to her. I just don't like the way it is portrayed as an act of respect. There are many ways to show respect without belittling a human being.

At my wedding, I was nervous about being asked to do it. Sometimes, the person or persons overseeing the cutting of the cake (usually friends of the parents) will not ask the bride to show this sign of respect but guests at the wedding might yell "kneel down, kneel down" and she'll end up doing it. Anyhow, at my wedding, I was all tied up in knots because I didn't know whether or not I'd be asked. As we were making our way to cut the cake from our table, I kept telling DH "I'm not doing it, I'm really not". We had already had the discussion. Several times. Yet, I was nervous about having to disobey the officiant. Luckily, she didn't ask me to, neither did his aunt and uncle standing behind us, nor our guests. All that nervousness for nothing. In fact, contrary to the typical kneeling down, she asked us to seal it with a kiss. Nice.

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I'm Coming Out

Today was the first time I told anyone I had a blog. Guess what? She already knew and asked why I was a closet blogger. One of my reasons for blogging is to say what I want without a care, particularly when it comes to work. Obviously, I can't do that. And I haven't done it. Nevertheless, I will continue to speak my piece and voice my opinions especially about all things Naija and start to speak more about my experience with being a friend, sister, full-time employee, student, wife, fun lover, onijogbon (trouble maker) all at the same time.

I blog because I want an avenue to say whatever without feeling like I am boring people close to me. If I feel I've had a very good day at work, I'll blog about it. If I've had a crappy day at work, I am not sure I'll blog about it. Really not trying to be dooced (fired for something written in a blog). When I am self-employed, that would be a totally different situation. As someone who never kept a diary, I figured this would be a good way to chronicle my activities. I don't know that I'll be self-conscious about what I write but I might as well start to reveal more about myself. So much for staying in the closet.


Monday, June 12, 2006

Customer Service Update - Delta Airlines

Just a quick update about a previous post regarding Delta Airlines. I am back to loving Delta! I checked my account and noticed that they refunded my $25. Twice. I had paid for my buddy to leave early with me so I got reimbursed for that too. I don't like that I had to spend so much time on the phone with the reps but love that they listen to their customers. Talk about customer service! I will fly Delta the next time I travel. Most likely.


School Starts Tomorrow

So school starts tomorrow. I'm excited, anxious, almost terrified. I haven't been in school in three years. I got a letter some time ago saying that my time was up. I couldn't believe I had lazed around for three years. So much for 'taking a break'. After being out for so long, I need an A to make up for lost time and to prove that I am not an olodo. Actually, I had started to think that I was an olodo after making Bs my last semester. I knew then that it was time to hang it up for a little while. What I didn't realize was that little while would last for three years. Whowouldathunk it? I mean, I can hardly believe it myself.

Oh well! I just bought my book today. In fact, I went to the bookstore over lunch to pick it up. Got easy street parking and paid for 31 minutes. I shouldn't have wasted my 55 cents. It took me less than 5 minutes to walk to the bookstore and back. I also went on my professor's website and printed my syllabus and the 'suggested reading' for session two (Thursday's class). He has nine articles listed as 'suggested reading'. I'm reading three tonight, another three tomorrow and the last three on Thursday. That should put me a week ahead of schedule if I stick to it. Hopefully I will. Before I forget, in addition to the nine articles, he wants us to read the first two chapters of the textbook by the second class. That's about 49 pages for the first two chapters alone.

Frugal me. I bought the used textbook - cost $30 less than a brand new one. Then I went online and saw it for half price on I have till next Monday to return this one. By then, I hope to have the even cheaper book and read chapters 1-6.