Telling my side of the story

WARNING: I'm not that deep.

Friday, April 27, 2007


Seriously. I cannot stand him. First of all, a porter is a person (usually a man) that carries out concierge-type duties. When I was at Moremi Hall, my dorm at the University of Lagos, there were several of them and we called them Baba Porter pronounced (PORTA). Their main job was to announce when people had guests and let people in or out of the gate. I guess they were older that's why they were called Babas.

Anyway, anyway, we have one where I live and I totally cannot stand him. First of all, let me describe him. He is an older gentleman and this is probably going to be the last job of his career. It is a pretty sweet deal compared to people his age who are forced to take up jobs at places like Wal-Mart that require them to stand up all day long. Our Baba Porter gets to sit behind a desk between 9-5 (usually stays from 10-4, but whatever) and surf the internet all day long when he's actually at his desk. His main job is to let people through the gates (without getting up, all he does is press a button). His job also entails delivering FedEx packages when people are out, opening peoples' doors for service people while they are at work, helping out with the drycleaning service i.e. giving the people that come to collect the drycleaning your drycleaning when you take them to him, etc.

Most people I talk to hardly ever use him for all these extra services. I only use his services for opening doors for people. In fact, when we have cleaning people come, he doesn't even open our door for them, he just gives them the keys after making me fax over a release (like dude, you don't know my voice? He NEVER does this to DH). Anyway, he also lets me into my place when I lock myself out (which is like twice a year!) and delivers packages once every three months for us o pari. That's it. I don't use the many services that they say he provides like getting tickets, booking restaurants, etc. The less contact I have with him, the better. In fact, I try not to have any contact with him because he is so annoying.

Reasons why:

  • He is very lazy. I have caught him sleeping in his car several times. Okay, so he's old but he's never at his desk when you need him and there are people that really do need him.
  • He is a busybody. He knows everybody's gist and doesn't mind sharing with anyone. Who cares??? I don't need to know dirt about my neighbors.
  • He displays unreasonable Naija gateman-type behavior. I don't have a better term other than one day, I came home from work real quick to get something so I parked in front of the doorway so that I could be in and out and he made me drive my car all the way to the back. People do that all the time when they are going to be in and out but I guess I had to be his scapegoat of the day. I think this is what started my irritation.
  • He committed the biggest no-no or faux-pas. One day, he came into our place when we were out without our permission to drop off a package. Okay, what happened to leaving it in front of our door like we usually ask him to or calling to find out what we woul d like to do like he usually does before we say go ahead and leave it outside? Instead, I come home from work one day and call it woman's intuition but I knew someone had been in my house. Then I saw a strange package on my dining table. I picked up the phone to call DH to ask him if he'd been home but he hadn't. Baba Porter had been at our place in our absence! That was just so freaky to me. Like, how are you going to make me uncomfortable in my own home? I started thinking what if he'd installed some peeping Tom devices. Probably not, but still this whole episode made me uncomfortable. Since we're not the best of friends, I asked DH to talk to him about this and make it CLEAR that he is not allowed to do that EVER again. Seriously. Because he has our keys doesn't mean he can let himself in any time. What happened to calling first which is the protocol when people are at work? Sheesh!!!
  • Finally, today, I locked myself out of the main door. I don't know what's wrong with me!!! I am working from home today and went to drop off the mail for the mailman (who by the way, I greeted but he didn't reply. Whatever. I'm going to call the Post Office to let them know that our mail smells of smoke every time. LOL. It really does.) Anyway, I forgot to take the new set of keys they issued and had to walk round to Baba Porter's desk so he could buzz me in. While I was there, I asked him for a set of keys for my sister-in-law who didn't get a copy when the new keys were distributed. Guess what? He asked me to make her a copy. Why? Pourquoi? Doesn't she pay her dues that are also used to pay his salary? I was like, "Um, no. The notice says each person will receive new keys." and he replied, "Well, you'll need to make her a copy." Now, I don't like to go back and forth with people - I don't have that kind of time but I was like "Excuse me, there should be enough keys for everyone." That's when he said he was outof keys. Okay, he could have said that all along and that would have been the end of the matter. Now, I know that it's not possible for them to run out of keys because they were supposed to make enough for everyone but I wasn't about to stay and argue with him. The dude just reminds me of those unreasonable gatemen in Naija.

K. Enough of my ranting. I really just don't like him.

Even my family knows this. One day, I forget where I was but my sister and my mom needed to get something from my place while I was out. I was on the phone with my sister while she was right in front of him but instead of having her hand him her cellphone, I called him on his own phone to tell him to let her in. Ol girl, see how I spared you??? He coulda lodged something in your phone. Okay, that wasn't nice but dude gets on my nerves like that.


Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Confessions: Mine and Middle Schoolers

My confessions:
  • Last night, I had trouble going back to sleep so I got out a tub of chocolate ice cream that has been sitting in my freezer for like a month and ate three quarters of it! I sure did. Not only that, I ate it straight from the tub (something I NEVER do) and splashed chocolate syrup on top of it before digging in.
  • Since I couldn't sleep, I stayed up till almost two in the morning watching Middle School Confessions on HBO. That really had me troubled. I watched most of it, TIVOed the rest and went to bed truly disturbed.
  • I didn't want to get up this morning. Scratch that. I couldn't get up this morning. It was really hard waking up around 8:30.
  • Finally, in my groggy state, I locked myself out of the house and because I didn't feel like asking Baba Porter (again) to let me back in, I just went to work like that. Needless to say, I can't get in the house until after 10 tonight when DH and I get back from class so I won't be going home between work and school to watch Oprah or take a nap. Too bad.

On to the point of this post. That episode (I don't know if it's a series) of Middle School Confessions was about issues affecting children between 11 and 14. They interviewed a bunch of kids in that age group who talked candidly about sex, depression, violence, alchohol abuse, family life, etc. Man, every parent, aspiring parent, or plain simple concerned citizen ought to watch that show. It was truly bothersome. What those kids are doing, thinking, going through, is mindblowing. One of the kids that struck me was Miri Rae, a sweet looking be-spectacled 12-year old who says she is gay. She didn't say that she'd had any encounters with another girl other than she had found herself liking another girl. My thing was this, how could she be so sure? They also featured a 14 year old boy who had already gone all the way with another boy and was definitely sure he was gay. I was just left confused about Miri Rae. Did she jump into conclusions or is she really gay? I don't know. Her mom too wanted her to be open minded and not be in a hurry to label herself because of how she would be judged by society. Life's hard as it is.

Another person that worried me was Orlando, a bi-racial 14 year old whose dad is in jail and his mom and high school counselor were doing their best to put him on the right track. He skips school, smokes, drinks, and hangs out with older guys who could very well be drug dealers. This is a prime example of a boy that needs some serious intervention if not, he'll be laying dead in an alley somewhere. His mom seems to have lost total control of him. She didn't seem strong enough. She said the system has failed him. Has she failed him? She let him out of the house and said "Stay out of trouble" when he wanted to hit the streets after skipping school for the day. Stay out of trouble? He was going to look for trouble! As soon as he was out of the house, he was back on the streets hanging out with the no-good crowd, smoking and drinking.

Then the next group I remember are what I would tag the 'silly' girls. They are in fact really silly. These are 12 year old girls who casually engage in oral sex and other very intimate acts with boys so that the boys can like them. They haven't gone all the way yet but it won't be long if they keep going the way they are. I wonder where their sense of self-esteem is? Somebody needs to take those girls aside and tell them what they are really worth. It is a sad state of affairs for girls if they feel like the best way for boys to like them is to let them touch them. Of course they will like them, but not for long! It's going to be on to the next girl when they are done with them. Man, someone needs to teach them the same lessons I was taught - hold yourself to high standards, don't give it up easily, etc. All that's missing these days. I sound old but these girls are 12 for crying out loud. One of them's going to be dealing with pregnancy soon and their moms had better take notice!

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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Nigeria's Presidential Elections

From what I heard on CNN, there were 25 candidates on Saturday. How do you choose from 25 different candidates? Weren't there primaries held to limit the final vote to the candidates with the highest percentages of votes? I was only aware of seven that were running at some point - Yar'adua, Buhari, Atiku Abubakar, Utomi, Okotie, Duke and Orji Kalu. At the beginning of the process, I was very excited because I thought things truly had changed in Nigeria for us to finally have candidates like Duke and Utomi putting throwing in their hats.

However, as things progressed, the old Nigeria began to surface. It turns out that the future leader would be selected, not elected when he was chosen by his party as the candidate. Why weren't the people given a chance to choose their party's candidate in primary elections? Instead, a few old cronnies got together to decide for the country. Naija is messed up like that. I hate that last sentence. I hate that I even thought to say that but things like that happen in Nigeria. What were the issues? What did the candidates stand for?

Apart from Duke and Utomi, I never really got to know what the candidates were about. I am looking forward to the day when we'll vote based on what candidates can do, the issues they hope to tackle when they are in office. I asked a few Nigerians around me: "Would you have voted if you were in Nigeria?" Some said yes and I asked who they would vote for? Without knowing the man, they said Yar' adua because that's who the current president supports and with nothing else to go by, that's the choice they would have made. I most likely would have voted at the gubernatorial level but other than that, I think I would have saved myself the trouble of voting for a president that had already been selected a long time ago. That's speaking as an outsider. Perhaps if I was in Nigeria, I would know more but based on what I've read about the presidential process, I would have been better off staying at home. Sad indeed.

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Saturday, April 14, 2007

Back ON the Saddle

Is it on or in the saddle? I am using on because it has this connotation of more control. As in, I'm on top of things versus letting things overwhelm me. Anyways, all is well. I am counting down to the last two or three weeks of school. For most (two) of my classes, we've got two meetings and then it's bye bye forever. I've had what I hope is my toughest final in all my classes. That was on Wednesday. Once again (meaning I did this on the last exam), I stared at the paper for a while not quite knowing which way to go with my answer. I got through the exam so-so and then the next morning I woke up feeling somehow that my answers were wrong. God help me on that one. If I fail, I don't graduate. How about that for some cheery news?

Anyways, today is Saturday and I'll be working on two of my projects. Not a great way to spend Saturday so here's what else I'll be doing: I'm going to get my eyebrows waxed - It's been like a month so they are looking muy (very) bushy. That should lift me up cause I've been feeling kinda yoogly. Also, I am going to the MAC counter at Bloomies (where the make-up artists are hotter) to return the NC45 I bought for my sister. (Yes, you - Since you don't need it any more, I will be exchanging it for some eyeliner or gloss and pocketing the change.) I am walking to the mall so that should take care of my exercise for the day. While I'm at the mall, I'mma pick me up a new bra from VS. Yes, sad state of affairs so I am taking advantage of the $10 off coupon I got in the mail. It's funny how I don't think Victoria's Secret has the best bras but I find myself going there for such things by default. Seriously, my most comfortable bra is one that I got for $10.99 from Target but they don't have it any more and I can't read the name of the brand to search for it online hence VS is going to get my $$ today.

When I'm done with all that. I'm going to head home or to Borders to face my projects. How about that for a Saturday? At some point, I'mma have to go to the farmer's market to pick up some fish. Earlier this week, one of the scrolls at the bottom of the screen on CNN said that the chicken is a distant cousin of some kinda dinosaur. That definitely put me off chicken for a while (I'm sure this is a very temporary feeling). It's going to be chicken of the sea for me and my household for now.

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