Today, the not-so-random…

January 29, 2010 - One Response

So I found my windchimes – muchos gracias to KP and this lady here.

I went with the Nakumatt junction option, and they claimed to have no idea what windchimes were [groan]. But since KP had bought his there, I gave him an in-store call and he directed me to the exact coordinates of said dangling bell thingies.

They have a lovely selection, but they were all either too masculine or too fancy, and I wanted something in red.

Yes, windchimes can be masculine. Think undecorated hollow pipes[though they produce the most amazing sounds].

The only red they had was a tiny flowery one and a shrine to valentine’s day. That thing had more red hearts than a **insert appropriate simile here**. So what I did is I bought the two red ones, attacked them with a pair of scissors, and ended up with something I could hang in my house. And as a bonus, Princess got about a hundred red beads shaped like hearts. Yay! **DIFJ**

[Incidentally, the other Nakumatts probably had them too, since the Junction attendant had no clue what I was talking about!]

Then yesterday I was early for a date so I passed by Enka Rasha as advised. They have the prettiest windchimes in everything from butterflies to dolphins to seashells, wooden, metallic, girly, boy-y, and all at such fair prices. Me like!

Now all I need is an hour glass. I’m going to browse Enka Rasha a little more next time I’m in town. They look like having hourglasses.

Next project … does anyone know where I can get a typewriter?

UnwellMatchbox Twenty

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She’s got it!

January 28, 2010 - 3 Responses

I don’t know what it is about these Rwandan women.

Back in Dar, we had this neighbour kid. She had to be, what, twelve? Fifteen at most; she didn’t even have proper … rib-padding yet. But when she walked, you just couldn’t help staring.

Here was a tall, polite, pre-pubescent girl in an extremely unflattering school uniform, but you still couldn’t take your eyes off her. She’s tall [er than me. At 12! And I’m 5’6!!] , light, graceful, and when she walks I swear I hear music playing … and I’m straight!

Yesterday I saw another one. She was full grown, 5’8, semi-light-skinned with glasses and a bob. She was wearing a blue v-neck t-shirt, pedals, and strappy sandals, nothing remarkable. But she had style and those Rwandese hips.

This girl walked like a cat. I don’t mean she was cat-walking in the choreographed way of trained models, no. She was just strolling, off-guard, yet she could have put any beauty queen to shame. Yaani her walk is just sheer grace. I glanced at her once as I walked past, then looked again, trying not to be too impolite. I noted that she looked good, in an effortless, unpolished kind of way, then walked on.

But then I noticed a few watchmen literally breaking their necks as she passed. You know that thing wolf-cartoons do where the eyes are glued to a person and the neck swivels trying not to break contact? They were doing that.

A few metres away I noticed some … people having the same reaction. Except these people were girls. One girl had actually stopped and turned to watch Ms Rwanda even though she was now almost 100 metres away.

What can I say, the girl had presence. They call it je ne sais quoi sijui X-Factor sijui nini-nini. They say it can’t be described, but that you know it when you see it.

Me, I saw it, and I know it.

And the coolest part is she didn’t even know it. She was just strolling along minding her own business, totally unaffected, with her handsfree thingies [or possibly an ipod] in her ears.

Ai, kweli huyo, ameumbika.

In less jaw-dropping news, is it just me or that billboard, the Fanta one, the one where a guy and a girl are sharing a drink out of one bottle using two straws [there’s one on Mbagathi roundabout and another on valley road] … is it just me or is the Fanta in that bottle yellow?

The animal [cannon ball] song Savage Garden

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Random Sunday

January 24, 2010 - Leave a Response

A person that I am very fond of is getting married. She’s lovely, so cheerful and full of life; feisty and red-haired, with the prettiest blue eyes. It’s taken her a long time to find the love of her life  – she’s almost fifty!

Hearing the news, I couldn’t help giggling. I’m so, so happy for her. She’s been so busy with her career and her travels and her nephews and niece that she hardly ever had time for herself. She started work as a teenager, went back to school at 40, and is now a bride at fifty.

So much for being off the shelf!! She’s totally renewed my spirit.

I wish you all the happiness in the world Jen, you both deserve it!

I’m a romantic. A cynic one, but a romantic still. I’ve found my The One, but it scares me a lot because it feels like the clocks are all wrong. But I’m glad for my friend Jen, because it proves that there is such a thing as perfect timing, and I’m sure that for my Sailor and I, the perfect time will arrive.


I was reading through some old posts today, and it made me sad. It reminded me of cows and chicken and online tweef. Sad really.


I met an old friend yesterday. She’s one of the toughest people I know. She lives with a condition – it’s a miracle she’s still here! Yet she’s all energy and smiles, it’s truly amazing. She’s like this ever-growing bubble of happiness that just sucks you in. Great hair too! When I grow up, I want to be just like her.

The thing with my friend Phie is that she’s real. She always says exactly what she means, firmly, gently, warmly; it’s hard not to laugh with her. What you see is what you get, and it’s up to you whether you like her or not; she doesn’t care. Or if she does, she hides it very well.

I still struggle with that. I feel bad when I realise that I don’t like someone, and worse when I realise they don’t like me. I know these are perfectly human emotions, so I don’t know why it bothers me so much. I mean, I love garlic, but I’m not too fond of hoho. There’s no particular reason for it – it’s just taste. So why would it bother me that someone is my garlic while another is my hoho?


I’ve discovered another thing that bothers me: older guys. I’ve been dealing with a lot of them lately – prospective clients – so I have to handle them with care. The thing with these guys is … well … they’ve got game! I don’t know if these skills get better with time, or if they’ve had a lot of practice, or if it’s maturity and wisdom, or if I’ve just never been darted before, but meetings with these over-forties always leave me confused. I walk out of the venue in a daze with this retarded look on my face thinking ‘What just happened?’

It’s possible that the reason I react is that I can’t dismiss their words or swat brush them off – in my eyes, it’s like talking to my [grand]dad. Or it could be that they are so subtle that they can sneak up on you unnoticed.  It could be that they’ve been around long enough to learn the tacks that work; I have no clue. All I know is half the time I’m asking myself if this is business meeting or a date, and the other half I’m wondering whether what they just said was really smart or really inappropriate…


Another thing that’s on my mind is green eyes. I’ve always liked green eyes. Mostly because everyone is so taken with blue. I’ve never actually seen green eyes in person. I’ve seen them in hazel, in contacts, and on Ben Ten; they always look really pretty. So I have always wanted to see real green eyes.

Yesterday I saw some on TV. It was on Master Chef – Thomasina’s. She’s this interesting-looking girl – a freelance writer, and she’s kind of gothish sometimes. She calls herself Tommy.

Looking at her eyes, I was disappointed. I mean sure, they’re pretty, but they’re not the super-magic fairy-telling breath-taking colour I imagined. They were really just an indistinct shade that’s not quite blue and not quite brown. They’re supposed to be very rare.

So I suppose that means I’m over my infatuation with green eyes. Maybe I can switch to grey – those are still hot. Or the deep-brown-type hazel. Apparently, hazel comes in two shades. There’s the reddish-brown hazel and the greenish-grey hazel. I’m going with reddish-brown, because it borders on burgundy.  I still wonder the green eyes so amazed me though.


I had this gigantic mirror made – 6 by 3 and a half – and placed it at the foot of my matress. Now princess and I spend ages each day just staring at it. We’ll find any excuse to view ourselves, and sometimes, we’ll find no excuse at all.

I often work in bed, cross-legged, with my laptop on my knees, and I often take mirror-breaks to grin at myself or pull a funny face. Princess sometimes perches on the matress to watch herself eat.

What I’m wondering is … are we vain? Was this sudden obssession with reflections  recessive, or would any human being react this way if exposed to a six-foot mirror?

Oh well. I suppose these are mysteries to be solved another day. For now, the dishes. I’ve become fairly accustomed to cooking and cleaning. It’s not nearly as bad as I thought, and I’m almost getting good at it. Especially when accompanied by X FM.

How far we’ve comeMatchbox Twenty

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Shida ya kuwa baabi

January 20, 2010 - 3 Responses

Naskia s’ku’izi tunaitwanga ma-odinari. Ai … lakini si hiyo ni jina ya tene kiasi … miaka ka’a ngovo hivi.

Dude, I am old.

No, I will not even pretend to attempt further. For me, speaking sheng’ means substituting Anglicized words for Swahili, adding -ing, and occasionally throwing in ‘authentic’ words like ashu, Kingoso, and anchwanimbee. It’s a number. Possibly 300.

But the main problem with being a baabi [is that even how it’s spelt? I refuse to believe it ignites from Barbie]… the main problem with being a baabi isn’t the language, it’s the taste.

It’s not so much that you call it a mat rather than a matatu [or worse, a ma-three!] It’s that you’d rather use the Smartbus, or drive. It’s not that you say 5 reds and 3 Gees instead of soo tano na ngiri. It’s that you have no problem spending said Gees on, oh, I don’t know, original DVDs?

Today my odinari-ness led to a rather interesting day. See, I am looking for three things. A windchime, an hourglass, and a digs for Agnes and Fluffer McKitty.

I love windchimes. They have this happy, happy jingling sound. I especially like the shiny metallic ones that clink like little silver bells. I’ve seen them in many different houses, but those were always gifts, so they have no clue where to buy them. I asked. Severally.

Oh, and Aggie and Fluffer are fish. Possibly goldfish.


The problem wasn’t so much the finding of the windchimes. Well actually, yes, it was. But more than that was the look  I got every time I said the word windchime. Nobody knew what it meant, so I had to describe, in Swa. Mostly, broken Swa. With gestures.

Yes, my Swa is broken again. **grin**

Hizo vitu una-hang kwa roof alafu wind iki-blow zinapiga kelele.

One lady had a stall with chandeliers [on Tom Mboya! I’m still wondering who buys chandeliers out of a stall on Tom Mboya.] She looked at me like I’d lost my head – pretty much the same way I was looking at said lady, whose stall sells chandeliers! On Tom Mboya! Perhaps I should have just said ‘chandelier’. Just for effect.

Another lady asked if I was referring to a doorbell. An attendant at card centre stared at me blankly. No one had any suggestions on where I could get one.

So. Does anyone know where I can get an hourglass and windchimes? I’m easy on the home for Agnes…

Closing time Semisonic

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Lolest Squared

January 12, 2010 - 4 Responses

Go here ——–> seriously.

How now? Teeheehee!!!

PS: The link is in the arrow. I’m just saying.

Also, here ——>

What goes around comes aroundJustin Timberlake

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Feeling cheeky…

January 8, 2010 - 5 Responses

… or at least I was when I started this post several hours ago. Now, not so much, but hey.

Also, this post is rated. You have been warned.

So this gentleman here referred me here for reasons that will remain relatively undisclosed. Suffice it to say that it suffices to say where I obtained said info.

Now. First, I am of the straight persuasion, and my flavour of choice is one six-foot-three vanilla sailor that I love to bits. I also have a passing attraction to several of the other Ks in question.

I have no issue with gays lately, perhaps I have grown up or made peace with the bill of rights. For whatever reason, I  am accepting the LGBTQs. Don’t ask me to spell that out, I’m not even sure the letters are correct. I’ll google it later.

Second, I am a firm advocate of beauty in women. I know a pretty girl when I see one, and I fully comprehend they who drool at Megan Fox. Jamani the woman is hot. But  that said, I am not really the curious type, bi or otherwise.

The only  thing I wonder about is the appeal. What is it about girl-on-girl-action that makes boys so crazy? And why is it such a thousand-dollar show when a chick goes DIY?

I asked the pretty boy that I adore and he suggested I google it. I laughed, then did as he said.

According to this it is simply the lure of the unattainable – the guys are attracted to GOGA because they are not directly involved.

Also, projection. Dude can picture himself in the space between. Eh … yeah.

My pretty boy and I bounced ideas around and found a few more … possibilities. I for one think it’s about exclusivity. I mean, when one guy is watching two girls, he is the only male available, so technically, it’s like a harem. Technically. Kind of like polygamy, but without the gamy.

I figure it’s also a visual thing. I mean, ngingi takes part largely in the brain. The body parts are just the puppet strings. Hence wet dreams et al. So if your mind is stimulated enough, your body responds accordingly. With GOGA, the mind is stimulated without the [exhausting] burning of calories. It’s the ultimate shortcut. Better than XTV.

I suppose the same applies to DIY, coz he can see himself shadowing the … er … movements. I hear some girls like to watch guys too though I can’t think why. But then again, I prefer to have the lights off, so hey.

Ok … that’s enough for today, yes? Time for a glass of brrr.

Nitapitia baadayeAbbas Kubaff aka Doobiez

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Green sludge

January 3, 2010 - 7 Responses

There are lots of ways I could tell this story. I could go with the crazy bus trip which involved getting stuck in the mud, spending the night in the middle of nowhere, meeting 4 shy nuns and a rude bus driver, losing my luggage [on a bus?!] and getting charged 100,000 [still on a bus].

Or I could focus on getting a pretty one bedroomed flat for 15K with no safcom network, and then, just days after signing the lease, seeing a second flat a few doors away – for 16K – with an extra bedroom.

I could go on and on about how I’ve changed a phone number that I’ve had for the last ten years because I’m just too tired to play somebody’s silly games. You, yes you. You are not well. You need help. Please go away!

Or I could talk about how I have spent three months worth of savings in less than a week because the cost of living has gone up that much…

I’m home to stay, and I’m glad. But there are a lot of challenges ahead of me. I’m happy to be here, and I’m pumped to face whatever I will find. I’ve learnt some lessons already. Like no matter how much you save up, it’s never enough for the move back home. Like people will surprise you; the ones that I thought would be happy I’m back could care less, and the ones I thought wouldn’t notice are being such darlings about helping me out. Like floor cushions are overrated, and carpets are very, very important. Seriously!

Like the scenes in movies where people have gobs of fun furnishing their new houses are, well, scenes in movies! Like big little brothers are priceless, and family, even dysfunctional family, is the greatest blessing ever.

Like Masai market is open on Sundays, and has lots of pretty calabashes but no clay pots. Like it feels really good to finally be indifferent about the Ex. Like I am truly blessed to love a Sailor boy who loves me back, and my heart has never been gladder.

Like no matter how hard they try, nobody can steal my joy but me.

So I choose to tell this story from a funny note.

See, today, I cooked.

The whole time I was in Dar, my nanny did the cooking, and when she was off, we subsisted on noodles and take-away fries. And ever since I got home last week, I have conveniently showed up at my dad’s during mealtimes. It’s so cool to have family nearby.

But today, finally, I had to cook.

So. Ugali and sukuma wiki. Also, eggs.

Now, see, eggs cost 9 bob. I am still in trauma. And mboga comes pre-cut now. [I can also get pre-boiled githeri, yay!] I have a choice of plain sukuma or spinach mix. I chose spinach mix.

But … well … I forgot to ask how much mix there was in the spinach.


So by the time I was done cooking … well, I had this sufuria full of green porridge that, well, I haven’t tasted it yet, but it had princess grabbing the last pack of Maryland cookies and hanging on for dear life. Me, I hid in the bedroom with my laptop and sought solace online.

Le sigh.

Off to have a whiff of green sludge.

Happy New Year people. Spinach porridge notwithstanding, it’s good to be home.

Did I mention there’s no safaricom network in my house? Zain rules. Yu’s pretty good too. Arrivederci!

Welcome back Ma$e

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December 24, 2009 - 4 Responses

So I finally watched Shuga…

There’s a bunch of things I like about it.

  • I like that it shows more than it tells. There is so much information delivered subtly by the movements of the actors, and no pointless narration. A common [and extremely irritating] characteristic of some movies is the endless speeches. I like that in this film, the script is succinct. My props to the actors too for expressing emotion so well! Totally cool.
  • I especially like that the characters don’t constantly call each other by name like in those Mexican soaps:

“Forgive me Orlando de la Monte Cristo, it was not my intention to harm you.”

“But you did harm me Maria de Almeida and I will never forgive you. Never!”

“But Orlando de la Monte Cristo, they made me do it! Please Orlando de la Monte Cristo, you must be-lieve me!

“No Maria de Almeida, I will never believe you!”

Or, more recently…

“Rose, you must live.”

“No, Jack, not without you.”

“Live Rose, you must live.”

“I’ll never let go Jack, I’ll never let go”

Blah blah blah. I am so glad there was none of that in this movie.

  • I like that the Christian crowd in it is cool. Christians are always portrayed as boring and prudish in movies, so it’s nice to see some actual real normal-type Christians.
  • I like that the virgin girl is funky too. Again, girls like that are often portrayed as lost, prusidh and shady. Yet Valerie somehow made virginity look cool. Virginia, not so much.
  • I like that the issues showed through without sounding preachy. That’s really rare. Most times when someone tries to do a movie or a song with a message, it ends up sounding annoying and dumb. Just try listening to the ‘Save the whales’ song by Simple Plan. I think it’s called Crazy, ironically. Now that right there is punk rock at it’s lowest. Tsk tsk.
  • [For the record, j’adore Simple Plan, but something about that song is just wrong. No, everything about that song is wrong. Srsly!]
  • The quality of production in Shuga is just brilliant!! The shots are beautiful, the soundtrack flows seamlessly, is totally mood-appropriate, and is neither overwhelming nor submerged. The editing is superb, the acting is natural, the sex scenes appear totally unforced and tasteful, the actor’s reactions are authentic, and there are very few corny lines. Nice!
  • The wardrobe is superb! Did you see all those shoes?
  • [With the one exception of the singing church-girl’s hair. That’s just wrong.]
  • And why was everyone wearing those immensely annoying scarf thingies? What are they called again? Now I know I’m utterly a fashion misfit, but seriously, those things are just shady. Seriously.
  • Yes, I am aware that nobody says  *cough* cough*shady*cough* anymore.
  • That Leo is just soooooooooooooo pretty! Can anyone say Cougar?! YUM!!
  • [He is no competition whatsoever to my beloved Sailor, but man, that Nicholas Mutuma (that’s his birth name) is hot! Rrrrrr. ]
  • What. I like pretty boys. **cheeky grin**
  • Still on the pretty boy, I like that they used the gorgeous one to be Mr Nice Guy for once, instead of the standard assexual dopey side-kick type nice guy.
  • And I like that they had a boy feeling guilty about impulse sex. Usually it’s just the girls that do that. Maybe because we’re emotional and have more to lose.
  • It’s interesting that I didn’t notice His Prettiness until close to the end of the movie. In the first scene where he was labelled ‘fly guy’ I was just like pfft. But then he turned on the nice and suddenly, zee aaaiiiiiiiz! I think the sweetness makes him more attractive. He probably wouldn’t be as yummy playing, say, Skola.
  • Heeheehee Dr Roundhead Sheath.

The one thing I didn’t like about it was the artist placement. I mean I know big names sell, and it was perfectly ok to see DJ Adrian spinning in a club, and Antoneosoul and Valerie had active roles, so that was cool. But I really don’t see how Nonini, Nameless, and Jimmy Gait’s cameo appearances helped anything. I’m just saying.

Also … panty removers? Is that like a cocktail or something? I mean, I’ve heard of Archer’s Smirnoff Ice Panty droppers, but panty removers? Really?

I am so old.

Oh, the subtitles. Heh heh heh. Somebody needs to check the subtitles. Minister of Choomz, that’s all I’m saying.

Bring on the pretty jail-bait prey **rubbing hands** Those eyes! That smile!

Yep. Two separate pictures. God bless google images. *wrist on forehead*eyes shut*dramatic victorian swoon*sigh*

Ok, now that my silliness is done away with, I’m off to get tested. This movie has done good. Much good. Kudos and all that. Somebody please get these Vimeo Bomb people to make many, many, many more; they’re so much fun-ner than Bollywood.

I’m not entirely sure I liked this movie. One reason I sense this is because after using an entire gig of bandwidth streaming it, I watched all three episodes simultaneously [in mini-bites, pun intended] and after it was done buffering, I didn’t bother to replaying it to watch the smooth version.

A second reason is that apart from Nicholas ‘Leo the Pretty Boy’ Mutuma, I didn’t bother to check the credits.

I always check the credits.

I’m the chick in the movie hall that the sweepers hate coz I won’t leave till the screen goes completely blank.

So the fact that I didn’t bother with the credits means it didn’t impress me much.

This coming from a girl whose favourite book is Wuthering Heights, favourite movies are Minority Report, Kill Bill, Shawshank Redemption and Castaway, and who liked Wanted so much she watched it two times in a row. I got to the end, rewound it, and started again.

Yes, I did say rewound.

That said, there is a lot in Shuga that I liked. And, in case it isn’t clear yet, what I loved most was the acting. The scenes were all so real, and that was totally cool. The soundtrack was excellent too. And the pretty shoes. For that alone I say bow down.

I’ve got a loaded gun [god?] complex, cock it and pull it

Sugar we’re going downFallout boy

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Blue. And not the good kind.

December 22, 2009 - Leave a Response

I went to the hotdog stand today, you know, to get a hotdog. I’m feeling pretty down and hotdogs are the ultimate comfort food after ice cold weetabix. I’ll need that, later.

The hotdogs are doused in mayo and ketchup, and dipped in diced, salted onions. I usually skip the pickles and mustard, coz I’m not a pickles-and-mustard kinda girl.

Today should be a good day. I mean, the office closes tomorrow, and I just found out I have 2 months worth of freelance work. Yay! Plus we get a Christmas bonus, and I can maybe hit the beach Friday.

So why am I so sad?

I’m having one of those … how long has it been? More than a week I think. Maybe it’s because the pretty boy that I adore is stuck in the middle of nowhere and I have no way to hug him.

Or maybe it’s because the Nanny just walked in and said, ‘We have no water! What are you going to do?’ I hate when she does that. She creates an impossible situation then wails, ‘What are you going to do?’ As in

  • ‘Dada, it’s 2.00 a.m., the shops are closed, we have no bread for Princess’ breakfast. What are you going to do?’
  • ‘It’s Friday morning. You always wear jeans on Friday. All your jeans are dirty. What are you going to do?’
  • ‘You left me housekeeping money to last two weeks and went on a work trip. I finished it in three days. We can’t reach an ATM. What are you going to do?’
  • ‘You’re late for work and I just burnt your favourite shirt. What are you going to do?’
  • ‘I fought with princess over TV channels and she locked me out of the house. What are you going to do?’

Times like that it’s all I can do not to shove the dear girl’s head down the toilet and flush it.

I suggest a solution to the water problem: ask the landlord’s wife. She’s a sweet old lady, she will know how to talk her hubby into opening the well for us so we can fetch water. Nanny decides she doesn’t like this idea so she goes out, banging the door behind her, and all I can do is sigh and try not to scream.

Oh soap bubbles.

Princess decides to take advantage of the ‘nobody can see me’ moment and throws her food away. She hates eating. I am too tired to spank her so I give her some quiet time in the naughty-girl corner.

And the child falls asleep. Sigh. So much for punishment.

Granted I was in a foul mood when I came home. She asked me why I’m sad and I said I’m just tired.

“Mummy, you’re always tired.”

Yes I am. I’m stressed out. And I don’t even know why.

My face has been a mess lately. I’ve tried facials, steam baths, water … nothing works. It’s like I suddenly developed Achne. The bad kind. Even my boss has noticed. The lady at the salon figures it’s stress, but it won’t go away and I can’t make it stop 😦

I can’t control my emotions. They just spiral and twirl away all on their own, and I hate that. It’s like being a teenager. Except I don’t have the reckless i-can-do-what-i-want trip. I can’t do whatever I want. I’m an adult and a mum. I have stuff to do.

I wish the pretty boy that I adore wasn’t so far away. Coz I could really use one of his famous fix-all hugs right about now.

I have to go listen to agonising screams plait my baby’s hair now. Sigh. Too bad my noise-blocking headphones are broken.

PS: The creepy black vampire guy in New Moon is Kenyan-born. His names’ Edi Gathegi. Sweet!!

Secret smileSemisonic

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The joy of headphones

December 17, 2009 - 2 Responses

It’s that time of month when I get cravings for sugar and … other things … and when my face breaks out. Meh. I have got to find a way to fix that. The cravings I can handle, the skin problems, not so much.

So I’m sitting in my room with the lights off and my headphones on high. Also, some e-books from the pretty boy that I adore. Thank God for sweet guys.

About those headphones.

I have heard people sing with headphones.


I always assumed the reason they sounded so … tortured … was because they can’t quite carry the melody. Like those people who try to sing you a famous song [and they will even tell you its name and artist], but you still have no clue which one they mean coz the tune is … well, it just isn’t there!

Or being serenaded by a teenage boy. Not the pretty castrato type, I don’t mean those. I’m talking about the regular my-voice-is-breaking type that vascillate between ‘sexy’ inaudible mumbles and frightfully girly squeaks.

Also, really, anyone singing Halo and sounding like a strangled cat has to be at least partially tone deaf, right? Can’t blame them entirely though, coz those modulations and ad libs can get tricky!

But I love to sing, and I do it fairly well. So when I’m getting some headphone therapy, I sometimes take said headphones off for a few seconds while I sing, so I can listen to my level of, you know, [strangled] catitude. Of course I sound fine, and conclude that my, er, singing, is bothering no one.

So here I am, singing along to Justin Timberlake’s ‘What goes around comes around’ as I read my e-book and wham! It hits me. It’s not about tone at all!

Well actually, it sort of is.

See, I assumed that the reason for headphone-itis is that you can’t hear yourself, so you can’t tell when you’re off key. Or, alternately, with songs in rock or Beyoncé … without the instrumentals or the ad lib, they just sound wrong. Try singing Naked Eye with the guitars & drums on mute and you’ll see what I mean.

Consider as well that many modern songs are more like, you know, chants. Every line sounds the same. Think Monica-Brandy boy is mine. Or Savage Garden-Truly, madly deeply. Take away the [instrumental] track and you basically have people droning. It’s not even real talking, coz there’s no inflection. Transcribing these songs into solfa is torturously dull. Believe me, I had to do it for music class.

But the true cause of headphone-itis is pitch.

Let’s face it, we’re no Justins on Mariahs. So while we may all be very good with the actual tune, it’s not quite so easy to jump between the high and low parts.

For example. What goes around. In the verses, his voice is kind of low and mournful. I believe the right term would be weepy.

Then in the chorus, he totally changes and goes all whinny.

Result being, I sing the verses an octave higher just so I can keep up, then when I get to the chorus, I can sing in my normal baby voice.

And of course it’s worse with the harmonies, since you will start out singing lead, then jump to the back-up then back to lead … and with true rock songs, you can actually sing the guitar.

Think 911 by Wyclef Jean and Mary J. You start out singing Wyclef’s part, then you jump to Mary’s part, and by the time you get to the pweo-pweo-pweo guitar part, anyone watching is thinking ‘Please God, just shoot me now!’

Now, this all sounds fine to you, you have an in-speaker orchestra.  But the person outside just hears rumble-rumble-rumble-squeak-squeak-tenenenene-bam-kaPow!

Hence, headphone-itis.

But but but…

… it’s just so fun!

Go on, grab some headphones. You know you want to…

♫  AwenaKassim

I just love the way he whines ‘penzi langu hulihitaji Awena-a-a-a-a-a-a … kipenzi changu Awena-a-a-a-a-a-a-a’ Then the instrumentals tu-lu-lu-lu-lu and the humming at the end na-na-na-na-na…

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