Monthly Archives: July 2009

Always the One Taking Others to the Parlour, Never the One Getting Inked

skeleton tattooI’m the wrong person to come to when one needs to be talked out some form of body modification. I mean, within reason of course. If you will be working some sort of desk job or are in a place of employment where looking “professional’ matters in some sort of context then I won’t be encouraging you to split your tongue in half or get tattoos all over your face so you can look like some sort of cat. For those who want tattoos/piercings in places where it will be visible only when you want it to be or can be removed then go for it. Then again, it could be me and my nine piercings talking (recently I have had the urge to round that number up for some reason) and the fact that I am very comfortable with them. When necessary I take some out and they don’t interfere with my life in any way, though my nose ring did traumatize my mother since that’s one of the first things I did after I left home.

I have never taken the plunge tattoo wise though. I have the general idea of what I want and where I want and why I want it but … I’m not sure. It could be my procrastination because at this point I don’t know what the hold up is. I have taken a grand total of five people to the tattoo parlour and I have seen every possible reaction to the pain. Spontaneous nosebleeds, tears, fainting, excitement (he was more a pain is pleasure kind of guy anyway) and I pretty much know what to expect. You know, in theory. I don’t deal with pain very well and that is why even though natural child birth has been the norm for centuries I would rather have the drugs thank you very much. I have a friend who was in labour for three days and her description of it horrified me a little.

I can understand why some people are averse to that kind of body art. It’s permanent, it hurts and should you change your mind about them sometimes it’s pretty much impossible or expensive to reverse. On the other hand, if you are an adult and not drunk and put thought into it I don’t see why you shouldn’t have a certain piercing or a random tattoo that you really really want. I don’t buy the whole “when you are old and wrinkly you will regret it” story either. When you are eighty years old and thinking back on all the regrets and things you shouldn’t have done I highly doubt the smiley face on your bum or the butterfly on your shoulder will be very high up your list. Maybe that’s just me.

Before this summer ends, I am most definitely going to go for it. Take my design to the artist and finally get inked. Walk the walk instead of just talking the talk. Lakini I need time to steel myself for the pain and get one of the people who I have accompanied to their inkdom to come along with me and hold my hand because god only knows what my reaction to that needle will be.


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Musical Obsession of the Week

How I spent so long in the dark about this fantastic group is beyond me. Over the weekend I happened to stumble upon a fantastic song that led me on a hunt that ended in pure musical bliss.

Seeing as this video was released in February I most definitely need to spend more time sifting through the depths of the internet because gems like these are out there. This is the song that got me started on the Sauti Sol journey and suffice to say everyone around me is sick of hearing it on repeat and it’s only Wednesday. I guess this is why head phones were invented. When I fall in love with a song I fall hard and this one is most absolutely giving me flutters. Who is the dude with the deep voice? All I will say is salaaaleh! and leave it at that.

Sometimes all it takes is a few songs for one to make the leap from interested listener to full blown fan girl. This is the song that did it for me. It may be that I have a thing for guitars, I’m not sure. That and I like the look of the video and looking at the credits it’s no surprise that Jim Chuchu’s name appears. I absolutely love what he does with his photographs and music videos. Watching Just A Band videos will attest that he most definitely thinks outside the box.

Now, off to look for the album.

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The Circle of Life

full moonSometimes realism is good for the children, right? I hope i haven’t scarred anyones children for life by telling them what’s what.

I was babysitting and watching Madagascar 2 with two children: one adorable, the other the spawn of the devil and they asked me “Aunty J, what do Marty and Alex eat?” Without skipping a heartbeat I told them Marty eats grass and Alex would eat Marty. They were a bit perplexed that friends would eat each other. Then again I’m one of those people who think that children shouldn’t believe in Santa. As a kid I always knew that Father Christmas was just a random dude in a fake beard and gumboots but that didn’t stop me from being excited when I saw him carrying his bag going ho! ho! HOOOO! I figure sometimes that we need to give kids some credit.

Then again, I wonder if I’m that way because the kids are products of African immigrants and are less likely to be fed such tales. As it is, they don’t believe in the Tooth Fairy or the Easter Bunny and a goat is what they get to enjoy when there is a barbeque not a potential pet. Maybe I am too far removed from the culture to appreciate the nostalgia factor and because of that I don’t relate.

Thinking back to my childhood however, I can understand the attachement to rituals and ceremonies. When I was younger and a tooth fell out, my mother would tell me to save it until there was a full moon. Then, no matter how tired she was after a day of work and running a household with three kids of her own and many relations (cellotape and otherwise) she would take me out to the garden and we would bury it so that I would get a tooth as white as the moon and as long lasting. As an adult, I know a tooth is just organic matter and no way would the moon affect the growth of a new one. That won’t stop me from doing the same with my children. I guess that’s the way folks over here feel about putting money under pillows in exchange for a tooth. Different strokes for different folks I guess.

I’m sticking to my story though. No need to shield children from the natural order of the earth.

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The Forgotten Yet Familiar

the avenueI have been catching up with pals from high school the past few weeks. Questions go back and forth about such and such a person and all the drama, real and imagined that has happened since then. It’s been great, some connections I had let lapse have been renewed again and talking about the utter hilarityand absurdity of movie nights or enduring the cold and bad food can really make one miss days gone by and wonder how we ever made it through.

One habit has re-emerged however and it fits me like a glove – referring to people by both their first and last names. Back then it was necessary – you would often have multiple girls named Beatrice, two Lucy’s in the same class and an infinite number of Ann’s. And that was just in your year. Over and over again I have found myself using people’s first and last names to refer to them which just falls easily off my tongue but at the same time feels almost novel. It made me realise how many folks I hang around with and yet I can’t even tell you what their surnames are or even very much about them. It’s strange how life turns out and we get so caught up in the minutiae of our own lives that we don’t really get to know anyone.

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