Wednesday, 19 March 2008

Another Question Is...

Is there anything more annoying than the sound of finger nails scratching dry skin?

My colleague seems to have some kind of craw-craw...sorry, i mean rash or eczema on her wrist. She also has extremely long natural nails and every now and then she scratches it and it makes a horrible grating sound.

I came across this explanation for why the sound of nails on a black board is so irritating:

It has been noted that nails across a blackboard hits exactly the same frequency range as the screeches that many species of primates use to signal "Danger! Predator!" We could be tapping into a very deepseated instinctive response to this range of sound, to jump up and look around for danger.

Nails on blackboard, nails on's all the same to me - irritating! So much so that i want to scream at the top of my voice for her to stop.

I'm reminded of one of those Walt Disney or Hanna Barbera cartoons i used to watch as as child. The cartoon character (i think it might have been Bugs Bunny)was in a house at the foot of a hill. In the house with him was another person who was either ill or trying to sleep. Bugs Bunny kept crashing into things and yelling out in pain, making lots of noise. He kept getting told off or probably bashed on the head (those cartoons were so violent!), so finally, the next time something falls on him/burns him etc, he claps his hand over his mouth, runs out of the house, up the hill and when he gets to the top of the hill, he lets out the biggest shout. Of course things keep happening and he keeps having to run out to the top of the hill and yell...therein lies the humour, see?

I have no idea why this particular sketch has stayed with me, but my, oh my, i really wish i had a hill to run up each time she starts scratching so i can let out a scream and then return to my desk! Maybe i should just run down the corridor screaming 'yey, yey egbami o! (somebody save me o!)'! Lol! (Oh, i do crack myself up sometimes! What is it they say about laughing at your own jokes? Never mind. I don't care).

I am a very tolerant person, but i'm not sure how much of this i can bear.Aaaaaaaaaaargh!!!

I felt a bit guilty about posting this so i sat on it for a while. Today, however, i realised the scratching had stopped, therefore, it's not some kind of affliction the poor woman has to bear, and i feel better :) (there is some logic in there somewhere)

Have a lovely Easter weekend, folks!!!

Saturday, 15 March 2008

A Day in the Life of UCS & Nayo @ Soho Revue Bar (13th March 2008)

I went to a wedding today. An old University friend from the Old Country got hitched today. I'd arranged to meet up with some other friends somewhere along the way and then travel down together, but made a detour into the shopping hell that is Oxford Street! Don't get me wrong, i love Oxford Street. I love actually, i love window shopping better than the act itself. It's funny, i've never been one of those females who gets up one day and decides to go shopping for the sake of it, and still manages to come home with bags and bags of stuff. No. I'm more calculated. I take mental notes while out window shopping and then decide if i want to get the thing(s), so when i go back to the shops, i go with a purpose.

I remember taking a trip to Rome a couple of years ago with 3 shopaholic friends (big mistake!). I mean these girls were hard core!!! We'd already planned our itinery ahead of time i.e. hit one of those out of town shopping outlets on the first day and then spend the rest of the weekend sight-seeing (i.e the part i was looking forward to). So we get to the Outlet (eventually), only to find out their Sale started the following day. My friends decided it wouldn't be prudent to shop then, but to come back the next day and you really couldn't fault their logic. To cut a long story short, we spent the whole of the next day shopping. Or at least they did. I spent the whole day scowling and drinking copious amounts of coffee.

We'd agreed to get a taxi back to Rome after the shopping trip, but having spent all their money SHOPPING, we now had to cross express roads and catch buses and trains and anyway, it wasn't funny at all! We finally made it back into Rome late afternoon and i insisted on seeing some sights. Well, the Colliseum has shut for the day by the time we got there, and we got to cast a cursory glance over the Trevi fountain. That was it. What a waste! I was so annoyed. I digress though.

So i dashed down to Oxford Street to get a card and gift. 'Cutting it a bit fine', i hear you say, given that the wedding was this afternoon? Well, i only heard about the wedding earlier this week...and from another friend back in Naija! I was a bit miffed and almost didn't go, but i soon got over myself. After all 'Rejoice with those who rejoice..' the bible says. Not 'Rejoice with those who rejoice and also send you invitations well in advance of the wedding day'...

I also took advantage of being in that vicinity and had a look round in a couple of shops for a skirt to complete my choir uniform for tomorrow. I finally found something in Zara, and as i stood in line to pay, i caught the Manager-type guy (well, he was in a suit) who was serving at the counter, checking me out in my wedding finery as his customer input her PIN. He smiled when our eyes met and i smiled back. It was very refreshing, seeing as how i'm used to 'franking' Naija men (see here. Maybe it's about time we reopened that debate. Naija men, why do you like to frank ya faces at people you don't know? Would it kill you to smile? Would your face crack, perhaps? The funny thing is that when you actually, on the off chance, get to meet some of these same franking (frowning) guys, some of them turn out to be quite decent. So why, oh why, can't your faces reflect this?).

Anyway, back to my manager dude. He was kinda cute (ehn, so what would i have done if he was 'ugly'? Scowled? Lol!). He was also, i'm guessing, Spanish. All Zara staff seem to be. Now, do they ship them over from Spain to work in their branches here in the UK? Or do they advertise in Spanish? Answers on a postcard, please. The mere fact that he smiles rules out the option of him being English! Unfortunately, there's one person in front of me and as he finishes with his current customer, she goes over to his till and i have to go over to the girl beside him (also Spanish). Ah well...c'est la vie.

The wedding was great. But i love weddings, period. I also reconnected with some other old friends, which is always good.

Earlier in the week, i went to see new Nigerian singing sensation, Nayo, perform live. Hailed as the new Sade, Nayo is starting to generate a buzz over here in the UK. I went to see her at the Soho Revue bar. Men, Soho at night is scary! Well, maybe scary's a strong word. Perhaps seedy and sleazy describes it better, what with the women standing in doorways inviting men in to come and check out the girls on offer, and the punters (perverts, in my book) trooping into sex shops with impunity! But this is not a post on the moral decadence prevalent in today's society, now is it?!

Minor rant: Nigerians are so --- (you fill in the blanks).
I rocked up to the venue and was waved in by the bouncers. The naija chic at the desk asked for my name and now consulted the list in front of her. 'No, you're not on the list' she says finally. As i try to process this info, someone mentions the words 'guest list'. I'm like 'Excusez moi! Do i look like some kind of groupie/hanger on? I paid for my ticket fair and square online. Capiche?'. The girl now goes 'oh, do i have a reference number'. I tell her, Noooo because the website only said to bring along the credit card with which you made the booking. Then ensues frantic mobile phone conversation explaining situation to faceless person on other side of line. No list had been produced of people who had bought tickets online. I'm like 'Duh-uh!!!'. I wait about 15mins while they get their act together. The sad thing is that i'm not surprised!

I finally get my hand stamped with what a friend refers to as 'the mark of the beast' and am allowed to go up the stairs and into the venue. After the support act does his thing, Nayo finally comes out.

Looking good, sounding good...Nayo is an undeniable talent. Great voice, great presence, charming and engaging. My only issue is that all her songs seem to sound 'samey'. I'd be willing to hazard a guess they were all produced by the same person. She also needs to work on the smoothness of her segues between songs. I believe all that will come with time, and all in all, i really was impressed. My best bit was when she did a bit of improv, asking the audience to shout out words or phrases which she then weaves into a song. Enjoy (Don't say i never do anything for y'all, my faithful readers :))

Monday, 10 March 2008

Question is...

Is there anything more disgustingly annoying than the sound of a grown man SNAPPING gum? there? Yeuch!

Wednesday, 5 March 2008

The Impostor Syndrome

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Impostor Syndrome, or Impostor Phenomenon, sometimes called Fraud Syndrome, is not an officially recognized psychological disorder, but has been the subject of a number of books and articles by psychologists and educators. Individuals experiencing this syndrome seem unable to internalize their accomplishments. Regardless of what level of success they may have achieved in their chosen field of work or study, or what external proof they may have of their competence, they remain convinced internally that they do not deserve the success they have achieved and are really frauds. Proofs of success are dismissed as luck, timing, or otherwise having deceived others into thinking they were more intelligent and competent than they believe themselves to be. This syndrome is thought to be particularly common among women who are successful in their given careers and is typically associated with academics.

I don't know what's going on, but my blog seems to have developed a life of its own. Regular visitors will concur that the tone of my blog has always been light-hearted, recently, however, it has become more confessional and that worries me. This new found garrulousity worries me, because in real life, i am one of the most unforthcoming, secretive people you'd ever come across...just because that's the way i like it. I'm the one who's the good listener who patiently listens to the woes of all and sundry and even dispenses sound wisdom as required. I just never feel the need to spill my own guts in return. Now, whether this is a reflection on the people around me (i.e. they do not inspire confidence) or whether it's just a fundamental 'flaw' in my make up, i do not know.

So, anyway, Impostor Syndrome. The above definition is completely me on any given day. Won't go into details except to set the scene by saying that to date, i've worked for one of the 'Big 4' accounting firms and the only person who seemed unimpressed by it guessed it....ME! But that's not the issue here. The issue is that yesterday, i felt so much more like a fraud, as in a meeting, i was congratulated and praised for my dedication to my current job, whilst in my heart of hearts i knew the only reason i was still there was because i hadn't found anything else suitable. And believe me, i had been searching!!!!

Some background: In June last year, my boss left suddenly, under a cloud. I work in a team of three - said boss, moi and an assistant X. Assistant X soon followed boss' suit, leaving me on my lonesome. Oga kpata kpata brought in an Interim Director to do my ex-boss' job three days a week, and this arrangement continued until the beginning of this week when said Interim Director became a de facto employee. Now, this is not the time nor place to go into details of how much of an irritant this guy is... and now i'm stuck with him 5 days a week. Lord, hellep me!

Back to the meeting. My team's role requires that we be seen to be independent and objective, yada yada yada...therefore we report to a Committee rather than having direct reporting lines to the organisation's senior management, and at the meeting yesterday, the Chair of the Committee made a point of praising me for his words '..believing in what they were trying to achieve and sticking by it through this period of change..'. I smiled and nodded my acknowledgement whilst inside i felt sickened. I wasn't there because i wanted to be! I was there because i have bills to pay! I don't know about anyone else, but ain't nothing going on but the rent over here, let me tell you something!

Yes, so it's official. I am an impostor...Sue me! The good thing is that i have recognised this and made amends and plans to get my life on to the path which will lead me to a career i feel passionate about. In October this year, i begin a one-year Foundation Course. It's scary, starting over in this new field. But no pain, no gain, hunh? Not since Secondary School have i actually enjoyed studying for the sake of studying and i know that i will experience this again because of my desire to increase in knowledge in this field i've chosen. It's something i have a natural aptitude for and which i know i will enjoy studying and subsequently doing for a living.

So, roll on October. Yippee!!! And in the interim, does anyone have any suggestions on how to refrain from strangulating an irritating Boss?

Monday, 3 March 2008

I Feel

I feel
On the brink, but also in a rut
On the way somewhere, but glued to the spot
Just about to sink, but treading water still
About to utter the words on the tip of my tongue, but choking on them too
About to take a step, but limbs strangely immobilized
I feel hopeful, but bizarrely cynical too
Warm, but acid often rolls off my loving tongue
Waiting, but impatiently powering on
Burdened, but weight absorbed by determination not to bow
Restless, but dead calm permeates my being

As long as I feel, I know I’m still alive
My feelings are the pulse throbbing away on the wrist of my life
Signifying the beating of my heart
And if my heart can go on, then so can I