Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Would you leave your children an inheritance?

Would you leave an inheritance?

Would you leave an inheritance for your children…another lounge topic today. Actually, the topics drifted from co-education or same sex high school (secondary school it is called in this part of the world) and them moved on to Unity schools and what has become of them. I will not bore everyone with this unity school thing…it is a local national issue and one that does not merit a lot of attention …at least on my blogsite…I have the absolute control (do I really?) but for the sake of this argument, let us just believe I have.

All of you out there who insinuate we do not do any work in my office because of all the lounge talks are mistaken…we work really hard and when we are in the lounge we talk really hard…we are professionals. We live a balanced life, once we are in the lounge we try to explore life matters and social issues as they emerge. Anyway, I hope I have laid the no work thing at rest…today the topic was will you leave an inheritance for your children? As usual everyone present had something to say but I dare say there were only two schools of thought and at the end of the day it looks like there was really no different school of thought…everyone ended up in a hybrid…

One group said they will definitely leave an inheritance to give their kids a ‘leg up’ in life. Another group said, all they owe the child is good education, values and the morals that will help the kids survive in this turbulent world. If you had an inheritance, would you be better of? I do not know. So the conversation continued. I will like to leave a legacy for my children…legacy? Now that is slightly different from inheritance. We did not explore the legacy end but we accepted it for the sake of the conversation to mean “an inheritance with values”.

So would you leave an inheritance for your children? Will en-masse wealth even if you have hurt, bruise, defraud, kill others in the process of building this wealth? Is there anything wrong with a man who toiled to build a business that outlives him, we see the Italian empires…Salvatore Ferragamo going over 3 generations now…did their father leave them an inheritance? The answer is a resounding yes? Have they built wealth for other generations and also expanded the net of inheritance to include others? The answer I will say is a big yes not to talk of people like the Bill Gates, the Bloombergs, the Trumps and the Hathway empire…whose inheritance will span more than three generations. One guy put it succinctly, “If I think that if I leave my children one million dollars and they will in turn make three million for their own children, I will work hard to leave them an inheritance but if I think that if I leave them this one million dollar they will squander it, then I am inclined to do something else or the money to other causes”. I think that it is easier said than done. If we live long enough, we can see what they make or likely to make of the inheritance but we never know when we will pass on.

The example that quickly came out was Paris Hilton…is that a good example of leaving your children with a ‘leg up’ in the world or is that a ‘leg down’? But you know how it is, we are always critical of what we do not have. Personally, I would have loved that my parents left me a huge inheritance and I did not have to work so hard…wake up so early and go to bed so late...I even had to suffer through school. With a ‘leg up’ in the world like most kids…I would not bother graduating from school…okay I would have, just so that I do not get cut off from the inheritance. One lady said that she would like leave her kids quite a bit, a home in London and else where so that they will not worry about where to go on holidays and if they want to be social workers, then they will not worry about money.

My answer? If the kids want to be social workers then they should learn to live on the salary of social workers…me I just want to eat, sleep and wake up…maybe go to the gym and look good just like Paris Hilton and with a little luck I release one track CD and call the entire world to the launching…please what is very wrong with that?

Friday, November 24, 2006

Spring Wedding or Winter Wedding?

I was told that spring is the wedding period …not sure I was told…I must have read it but hey! What is the difference…being told or reading it…even if I read it, someone wrote it and that person told me right? Okay so I was told that spring is the wedding period or rater the most preferred wedding period…come to think of it, who cares when anyone weds…or rather why wait for spring when you can wed in winter, summer, falls, autumn, harmattan, rainy season…you name it. Whoever told me this was definitely dreaming of spring wedding…new life, new flowers, new plants springing up and now that I am thinking about it (and writing about it) it is actually a good time to wed then you can align your dreams to nature…just remember though that they all wither in winter and hopefully if the thought was to begin a new life when nature is springing to life…hopefully spring weddings will survive the winter…keep your fingers crossed.

In this part of the world…(find me in the world map or ask google), the wedding period is the Cristmas or Holiday period…everyone must wed in November and December…not early November…late November just as the Christmas air or wind starts blowing. Yours truly for the past 3 weekends have had weddings to attend and I have not managed to attend any. I think they are all the same and it is summed in one wedding which the bride was having a hard time with her relations (this is another story…the involvement of relations in weddings)… anyway, this bride had had enough and she bluntly told them “whether you all come or not, the wedding will hold”…now that is my kind of bride. It is your wedding, it is your entrapment, it is your life…it is your decision. My conclusion is whether I attend or not, the wedding will hold…they will not even notice…there are so many willing attendants, so why bother. Okay, that may not be a nice thing to say. Friends ought to attend friends’ weddings etc. I agree but I am not even sure on what status or pedestal that I get the invitations.

Also weddings in this part of the world like in most part (I will not say all parts…yours truly is yet to make it round all parts of the world even electronically) weddings help you get new apparel …oh come on what is going on today…apparel? Sounds like a link in Amazon.com and you have to belong to generation “w” to know that they are talking clothes and accessories. If you get invited to a wedding…the first thing you think of it I guess “what am I going to wear?” right? Wrong…here if you are invited to a wedding…you are given ahead of time what you are going to wear…and then you get to pay for it whether you want it or not…that is not fair (I will talk about that another day)…you can refuse and be counted out of the “friends list”…it is your choice…in this part of the world, it is a social disgrace to be removed out of the “friends’ list”…your story will be told long after the wedding and even the marriage expires. I am getting inspirational…expired marriages are more like it not divorce and marriage ending…those carry negative and sad perceptions. Like mixture (medical, chemical, organic)…they expire right?

The past two weeks I have been so sure each Friday that I will be attending a wedding and today is another Friday and I have another wedding to attend tomorrow. I am very sure I will attend only I am not sure that I have any shoes to wear…oh yes, I have the clothes to wear…and I am not about to go to my favorite shop for last minute wedding shoe…I did that two weeks ago and I had to return the lovely turquoise sandals since I did not make it to the wedding and I am not sure I want to build a ‘collect and return’ reputation with this shop. What do you think? Wear whatever I have right…whether it matches or not…after all I am not the one getting married and no one will even notice…but it is not about anyone noticing , is it? It is about me really feeling well dressed and confident right? I am not sure about the link between well dressed and confidence…I want to explore that another day. You can be ‘worst dressed’ and very confident…Should really leave such topics for the Oprah show or Tyra Banks show…which I am not sure what she talks about the few times I have stumbled on her show. Never knew she could talk…you know what Imwan..with the microphone. I know what I thought her strengths were…they did not include her mouth or tongue but …C’est la vie as they say.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

When will you make your next slip?

Today I was just reflecting on how much we like to read news about celebrities, successful top executives, movie stars etc because we want to see where and when they have slipped. The media (print as well as electronic) are usually sniffing out these information, juicing it up and presenting it to us who eagerly and earnestly lap it all up.

A number of ‘busy executives’ do not read soft sells because they are busy, the younger folks like their pictures on the glossy magazines and some of us will flip through channels at the end of the day while unwinding, whether we are deliberately seeking these info or not we ‘bump into them anyway’ because it is plastered all over. The busy housewife now known as a homemaker also cannot help but see the headlines at the glossies en-route the check out counter and takes that piece of news with her. We do not seek it, we get it and we use it.

Why is it that their errors and mistakes are important to us? Why is it that they make enough lounge talk, bar conversations, blogging topics and gossips? Why is it that their mistakes are the gain of others? Someone said that is the price of being a celebrity? Why do they have to pay more than you or me? And that bring me to the real gist of what hit me today…in the little worlds of our own, our homes, our community, our office, our church (if you have any), our circle of friends, someone is looking up to us…a sister’s son (nephew), a brother’s daughter (niece), cousins? They are all looking up to one person in the family or the other or one of their parents’ friends and what would we like them to see? Our mistakes? Our slippages? Our errors? Our sins of commission and omission? I am not sure that will really be the picture we want to present.

I guess you can easily say you are not a celebrity or a movie star but you are a role model to someone and our mistakes we will like to hide from them and when we get it right we will want them to know about it. Same goes for our leaders and other people in authority over us – probably in the office …our managers and supervisors. Let us not focus on their mistakes, let us not watch like the paparazzi taking pictures and setting them up so that they will fall or feeding the wrong information through ‘the grapevine’. There must be some good in them, there must be some strength they possess…let us talk about those and let us build people and not tear down.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

When I grow up…

Today I think I will write something very different but not unrelated with our daily lives and our work lives which aren’t necessarily separate.

One day I stumbled on an article written by a girl who would turn thirty (30) in less than 2 months and she was saying that a few days earlier someone asked her what she wants to be when she grows up and she thought ‘grow up?” The last time she thought she was still growing up was fifteen years before.

We all had dreams in this life about what we want to be or wanted to be when we grow up. I remember as a young girl of eleven and twelve years, feeding my mind with all the “Mills and Boon” romantic novels and thinking, by the time I am twenty years the prince would have sought me out and we will live happily ever after. I am not even sure when I got to twenty; all of a sudden I was up but not sure when the growing happened.

Life presents different types of pressures and even if we do not have people – parents, friends, colleagues, relatives, society (which is rather faceless), name it, hounding at us, the pressures mount anyway. Pressures come from within, expectations, comparisons – pressure to follow in the footsteps of our chosen heroes, parents, role models, and the list is endless.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

The older you get the more you begin to ‘disregard’ the chronological dates and cycles apart from the wisdom (or sometimes foolishness) that comes with it. We then begin to make ‘peace’ with who we are and as disappointed as we may be with where we are, we find some contentment in being alive. Age is one of the ironies of this life, when you are young, you cannot wait to ‘grow up’ and ‘growing up’ has a different meaning. Growing up could mean, financial independence, moral independence (you can do what you want when you want), independence from parents again the list is endless. I have a sister who wanted more than anything else to sleep in late every morning when she grows up. She hated that she had to wake up in the morning to do any chores before going to school even if the chores are only to take a bath (which she really really hated) and going to school. I will like to ask her today how many hours of sleep she is now getting in a whole week as a ‘grown up’.

I have a son who by all standards is very smart and intelligent (even if I say so as the mother but he truly has a very sharp mind). At 5 years, he seemed to be very sure about what he wants to be when he grows up and the list has been growing ever since. However, in their ‘creative writing’ exams, he was asked to write about what he wants to be when he grows up and he again wrote a list but this time the list is slightly shorter and they include Super hero (so that he can save the world), a Pastor (because he wants to preach like the pastor of his church), a soccer player (because he wants to play like David Beckham), and the President (because he wants to rule the country). This was all he wrote. The teachers had to let me know because most kids chose one or two things and they wanted to be what their parents are or sisters or some relatives but not my son (now that I am writing, I am beginning to think that he must be very disappointed with his parents) because we are not any of those things in his list and I doubt that we are aspiring to be any of those but you never know!

I hope he knows that the clocks are ticking and before he knows it, he is up and grown. But he can be all of the above and even more.

When I grow up, I want to be and that time is now. If you missed the opportunity at 20, grab it at 30 or 40, you can still be what you dream to be but do not die not ‘growing up’. Better late than never as they say. Procrastination is the thief of our lives and guess what? Your best life could be now no matter what the chronological clocks tell you.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Taking the blackmail route

I have to redeem my image …my son has a poor image of me or maybe on a second thought this could be a blackmail…but if it is =, it worked. It is Sunday evening and I have just taken Pappee to get a much needed haircut. He was due for the hair cut a week ago but he had the flu last week and was in no condition to make the trip to the barbing salon. I am not always the one to do thin but I get to do it sometimes since his daddy travels quite a bit but when he is in…they usually do this together and can go off to do some men things afterwards.

So today after so much struggle within me to postpone it again, I mustered up energy after a late lunch of beans and veggies (not he lightest meals you can imagine) all I wanted was to head for my bed and crash out but sense of responsibility got a better hold of me and I had to take him to get a hair cut. As we approached the salon I just heard “my mummy never takes me anywhere but the barbing salon”. I pretended not to hear and did not seek clarification or explanation or where else he would like me to take him. I hushed him off the car into the salon because we were minutes away from closing time. Even as late as we got in, we still had to wait. Waiting for a service with Pappee is not one of the most exciting things because I will be shouting and screaming from the minute we get in to the last minute before we go…he will run through the glass doors as if he is immune to injuries and pains and my heart is always in my hands.

As soon as we finished from the barbing salon, and heading to the car, I heard the same sentence again “My mummy never takes me anywhere except the barbing salon”…again I ignored the comment and this time he went on to say “my daddy will take me to Chocolate Royale (ice cream parlour) and even when my auntie takes me, she takes me to chocolate royale for ice cream…considering I did not have nay extra money and was not about to head to the ATM to get money at 7pm on a Sunday evening when the next day is Monday and you all know exactly how I feel on Mondays…and the panic that set in within me on a Sunday evening…Oh my God! I thought “this is not good” I need to make going to the barbing salon exciting so that he can jump at the idea.

Anyway, I did not acknowledge this observation or make any promises…I just drove him home to give him a hot dinner that must be healthier and better than ice cream. What do you all think? Now that I am writing, I am sure that it was a simple plan of blackmail which worked only it will be at a future date…

I wonder what stunt he will be pulling next to get what he wants… No matter what anyone tells me, the generation z kids are way smarter that all of us.

Monday, November 20, 2006

15 Minutes of Fame in my office

You know I said I work. Okay it is not as if there is anyone who does not work. Some people work from home, some are home makers and some others get up and go work for somebody or a group of people even if it is a corporation we can narrow it down to a group of people at the end of the day. I guess it is wrong to say “I work” or “I go to work” because everyone works even if they just beg in front of grocery shops or along the traffic. The difference is in the type of work we all do. And that reminds me of a ‘friend’ of mine who works. It is important to mention this because, this friend of mine will tell you that the reason she cannot lift a finger at home or is even able to drive a car is because she works. You will think she is the only worker alive today. She does not cook, clean, tidy or do any house work because she works. Any other mother-worker who meets her will be upset because her hubby understands and will do these other things and I am always so angry with envy when I visit them because hubby tidies the room, washes, helps iron and COOKS. Can you beat that? My ‘friend’ is a very nice and kind hearted person in addition to working. She is really fun to be with and I am always intrigued at her life being just about working.

So I was at work on this Monday morning and we are doing our quarterly review which usually in a pain in the neck as everyone will sit through all the units’ presentations and ‘enjoy’ it, look interested, ask some dumb and smart questions but boy! You have to be interested and keep focused. This review is also good because we get donuts, chocolate chip cakes, and other nice evils that increase the waistline. Not that I touch any of these things…you guys must know by now that I am a disciplined eater and I only for quality not for taste(whatever that means). This particular quarter we were sampling out the new presentation format which the Finance and Strategy unit has been slaving and sweating putting it together for a while and are very happy to show it off. This new format now has a slide for “knowledge sharing”.

Have you been in any of those sessions where everyone is giving time for 15 minutes of fame? Do something to shine kind of thing? This is what this part of the presentation turned out to be so each presenter had a 3 -6 minutes of fame but it turned out in some cases to be fifteen minutes of fame. Human beings naturally crave the opportunity to display prowess or ‘to shine’ as they say in this part of the world. So we sat in this session today listening to all sorts of lectures. Yours truly was not left out, I usually do not miss an opportunity to have an audience for my motivational speaking job so here was an already made audience and I spoke on ‘staying focused to your goal’ for five minutes. I guess this is a topic that can not be fully exploited and one that is relevant to us at every stage of our lives.

Over the past two years we have looked and tired different ways of holding this session so that it is ‘more lively’, ‘more interactive’. Every new person comes with ‘a great idea’ and we try it but none so far has solved the ‘boredom’ popularly expressed by employees at the end of the session. It used to be monthly now quarterly yet we have the same problem. There must be something fundamentally wrong with it but we are yet to find out what. Everyone who works (back to the same controversial phrase), as if we do not all work even if we only surf for 2 hours, download music and listen for two hours, have lunch for an hour, have a couple of coffee breaks of 15 minutes at the lounge and leaf through the newspapers, the fact is that we all work and we all have come to work. Anyway everyone working in such ‘corporations’ have expressed the same feeling about these quarterly business performance reviews. No matter what anyone says, this knowledge sharing slide must be scrapped because it is now the focus of the presentation and people just cannot stick to the 3 – 6 minutes of fame but must talk an infinite deal of nothing for over 10 minutes.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Please Dress up Before You Talk to Me

Ever heard “we are defined by what we wear”? I am not sure I have but that is very true. I have certainly heard “Image is everything” and “First impression matters”. The first time I heard that “first impression matters, it was meant to go beyond what you are wearing…it included it but it was a lot more than that. Recently, I was reading a book on public speaking and presentations and scientific survey showed that “what the audience sees” account for 55% of your effectiveness…so dressing is important ..isn’t it then? But this goes on to say, your posture, body language etc…and the content of your presentation? Guess what? 36% (very demoralizing for people like me who think that people should look beyond what you are wearing and hear what you have to say)…that notion is wrong! wrong!! wrong!!!

No wonder all I hear about is what we are wearing or what bags we are carrying and whose shoes and sunglasses we are acquiring.
Earlier in the week, I walked into the lounge in the morning for that life saving cup of tea which gets you focused for the first time on what you need to do that day and these young boys and girls were in an argument about one designer whose bag cost up to Four thousand pounds sterling or $8,000,000 and counting the number of people (society celebrities and politicians wives who have the various designs and models from this particular designer. I was curious and I asked who this designer is and they mentioned something (have never heard and have never seen) now you know what I am talking about. I know the Gucci’s, the Fendi’s, the Pradas of this world but not who they were calling. I guess they may also look at me strangely if I say “Oh my God this is a Hermes scarf”. Is there any thing like a generational designer? Truly, this is not a subject that I know so much about. I am a very basic person and life is a lot more than what you wear (so I believe) but I have nothing against designer outfits… come to think of it, I own a few Gucci and Fendi shoes and a couple of Hermes scarf (no, I got the scarves from my late mother in-law’s drawers but I am sure she would have wanted me to have them). What do you think? I own then period!!

Back to the lounge discussions, the same day I went in for lunch and the discussion was on bags and designer make-up and perfumes. Now I was sure I was beginning to lose it or rather, I go in to the lounge at the wrong times. Just before you start wondering, we actually do some work in this office in addition to being at the lounge for breakfast and lunch. On this afternoon, I was hearing the different voices some affirming how much they will never spend on a bag and others countering and making a case for splurging every once in a while. Again, this seemed a little mundane to me but hey! There must be something like “generational discussions and topics” because I thought this was really becoming a problem, is there nothing more that we talk about and I can adequately participate in?

It is not that I have anything against such discussions, actually come to think of it, I had a similar discussion albeit somewhat different with a friend and my sister but we were at the mall where we had gone to see a movie and we had sometime to ‘kill’ before our movie starts so we were ‘window shopping’. My friend mentioned that she bought a channel bag (how could I have forgotten to mention channel in the list above?) on her way back from a recent trip for £1,500 at the airport (this is duty free purchase) which means on high street it will cost more and my first reaction was “Whoa!!, this is impressive” but how can you be buying such bag when there is “A” “B” and “C” to be done with money (my friend is doing a DBA”…she is one smart person and she will kill me when she reads this piece…yes she is definitely going to read it). And we went back and forth on how much we can spend on bags and shoes and I am not sure where we left this discussion. Now you know that I am not averse to designer or fashion discussions.

My problem is how can this topic dominate discussions at breakfast and six hours later it is still being discussed although from a different angle. What has happened to the era when people discussed national issues, books or articles they just read in the papers or in the magazine or their contribution to humanity? Again, I am convinced now more than ever that there are generational topics if not, how can I find it a bit unnerving?? I am also aware now more than ever that values may also have a generational inclination and that is where I will begin to question things.

Someone was writing or speaking (whichever one) about how materialistic the American society has turned and I believe it is not only the American society, it is the entire world. We are now described but what we wear and where we live and the car we drive. People are looked up to not my the virtues they espouse and live by or contributions they made to society but by how much they have in their bank account and the how many designer bags they have. Fancy this headline “Society Lady who owns 60 pairs of Prada shoes” and people spent their money buying this magazine. No wonder, designer and fashion topic will dominate discussions morning and night among young workers. I am sure no one will be shocked to find out who their role models are likely to be.

Recently I saw a bag that I talked about for days and it was for a whooping $700 and no one around me would hear anything else from me and it did occur to me that I may have been beaten by the same bug. Only I tried to justify my one crave and said that at least I try to own one at a time not one for every outfit…come to think of it, I wear mostly black so one will definitely be enough. I even went further to say that I want people to take me serious when I come into their office to pitch for a job or meet with an executive since we are measured by what we are wearing before we have a chance to prove that there is something else upstairs (brain)… all to justify purchasing my $700 bag.

The society does not wake up and make a conscious effort to define the rules and set new boundaries, but they evolve and then they become the norm so before you open your mouth to say anything about your wonderful invention or scientific finding and breakthrough, we have to deck you up in Armani pinstripe suit and tie so that we can even pay attention to what you want to tell us. According to Karl Lagerfield…the only thing that can make people make lasting changes to their lifestyle is fashion not even a health scare…the first time I saw it in prints I thought…what rubbish…you know what? I am beginning to believe him …what a world?

So what are you wearing? You want to be heard? …What are you wearing?...You want to make an impression?...what are you wearing? …you want to talk to youths in a youth program? …what are you wearing? If they analyze you (what you are wearing remember) and you are not close to what they have on, there is little chance that they will hear you but then this can be an urban lifestyle thing…maybe we need to all head to the villages but you know there are no cities and villages anymore…technology has taken all that away. Did I forget to ask what phone handset you are carrying? Or what car you drove to the event? It all counts!!!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

It is Christmas/Holiday Season…What are you Giving?

It is end of the year ...you mean in November? You may ask and my answer is yes. Every direction I turn it smells and sounds like the holiday season...what other proof do we need to announce that year end is here?

Holiday season has different memories and invoke different attitudes and disposition from different people but no matter which planet you come from or reside in, no matter what faith you profess (if you profess any at all)…believers and non-believers alike agree that the mood of people is somewhat different albeit for different reasons at this season. For children like my son who still believes in Satan Claus at 6 years, it means loads of presents and a time to really make effort to behave well since Santa has a way of knowing how kids have done over the year…how he does not think of Santa’s observation and punishment all through the year beats me but that is why he is a kid. Isn’t it?

Talking of Santa Claus, my son wrote his Santa list since April, I think April 06 to be precise and pasted it on his door, of all the things that he wants Santa to bring this year. In the years past, Santa has managed to bring almost everything on his list but this year…I doubt that Santa will be doing that because he is asking for quite of expensive things …PSP, Play Station, …if Santa brings even one, Santa would have done great.

Back to the season of Christmas, as I drive out I see the stores and shops have suddenly changed, decorations and very lovely items (very enticing) are now stocked to the roof top. How come it is only during the Christmas holiday season that people feel like spending without a thought? What is it about Christmas that gets us into that spending spree mood? The season is a season of joy because of one very important gift. The bible says, “for God so loved the world that He gave…”this giving has become so contagious. It is amazing to see how a seed grows. Someone has said that God is the foremost capitalist but that is in a different sense and I will not pursue that claim right here and now.

So we have no qualms then to brand this season “The Season of Giving”? There are three main words that get thrown around with the Christmas season…Love, Peace and Joy. So many cards will be saying “Joy to the World”, “Peace on Earth to men of Goodwill (the last part is usually omitted) and the Love a full word on its own…it does not need addendums. We have all started out on our list of Christmas gifts (I have started and have even edited it once so far in the last two weeks). We have gifts (and limits on the amounts if you are like me …with limited income) lined up for our loved ones, families, friends and co-workers. I am sure that for some other people, the list is longer than that. We may also be looking at the ones that gave us last year (if we are that meticulous) that we may want to reciprocate the gesture this year and add to our list.

I have two very nagging questions that are tugging on my mind:
What are you going to be giving?
Who are you going to be giving to?

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Puppy in Distress...Vet to the Rescue

Zidane was in obvious distress by Saturday morning and by late that morning pointing to mid-day Zidane’s life was hanging on a very thin thread. There was pandemonium only Pappee had left for music school and missed deperate calls for emergency. Luckily, the vet was just a phone call away and was ‘free’ to attend to Zidane. Apparently Zidane was running a very high temperature and needed intravenous fluid to help her out and her strength was failing by the minute.

I was running around the pharmacy shops trying to get all the prescription for Zidane and as you can imagine most of the shops did not have what Zidane desperately needed but we eventually located a pharmacy shop and got the fluids and set to get her going. As if that was not enough, an hour after Zidane had been placed on the dextrose fluid intravenously, the vet discovered that Zidane had swallowed something … a toad… Oh my God! A toad...there was trouble…Zidane’s system has poison and we needed a neutralizer…off to the pharmacy shops again…since the vet is on a home call…she did not have everything …optionally we could take Zidane into the clinic but revival and survival was key and time is of essence. After several searches again we could not find the antidote and the vet had to rush back to the clinic to get from there. Long story short, Zidane pulled thorugh and is currently on antibiotics for three days to help fight the infection as a result of the decaying toad in Zidane’s system.

Can we get Zidane to leave the toads that jump out of the flower garden lone? Does Zidane know that her agony was fro toad? I doubt it. By the way, did I ever tell you all about the puppy’s naming ceremony…old gist now since Zidane has been with us for 3 weeks so I am sure I did. If not, the puppy is named Zidane after the great French footballer renowned for head-butting…(no one will forget the dramatic scene of the 2006 world cup when Zidane displayed the head-butting skill before the entire world.

The name for the puppy was agreed well before we even got the puppy and no one least of all the owner of the puppy thought of the puppy gender…when we eventually got the puppy a few weeks ago and it was female…there was some confusion as to whether a female puppy can be named Zidane. Pappee settled the matter by saying “male or female it does not matter…the puppy’s name is Zidane and so it was.

Puppy’s like babies are very delicate but Zidane is one of the strongest puppies I have seen (this will be our 4th dog and Pappee’s first so we know from experience that the first 3 months are typically very dicey but so far there has not been any reason to worry about Zidane. We even got her out of the house after just one week because she adapted and was very independent not clingy at all except when she is hungry. You do not want walk in when Zidane is hungry…she will hold your two legs and not let you walk. All in all, she is a very good dog with excellent temperament. Hopefully, Zidane will stay away from the frogs and toads …if she does…she has a bright future and we will have very little to worry about..please keep your fingers crossed …

Friday, November 10, 2006

Open day

It was open day in Pappee’s school today and again we (parents) had our chance to tell the school and teachers what we feel about the school curriculum so far in the term and what the kids have been coming home with. Most mothers said parents interfere a lot in the child’s school projects and the argument went on and on. How would any mother know that another parents interefered? I did not ask ...It may be true but every parents should know it is the child's project and we only help in research and provide relevant materials

There was a bit of commotion when it came to religious studies…anything religious tend to be explosive. Why do we have to teach the children about all the religions in the world? Any parent or parents who want to send their kids to faith schools should do that so to now introduce other religions in a presumably faith school is bound to cause some ripples. I do not think we have heard the last of this. This is being introduced and parents are definitely going to be on the look out to see how this progresses. Public schools are allowed to teach whatever the government allows in the Education curriculum but private schools are definitely going to get a big fight.

I had time to meet with Pappee’s teacher to discuss his school work and look over his school work and assessments. One thing is clear…Pappee needs to pay attention to details…the teacher said when he is in a good mood everything is okay…how do you get a 6 year old to be in the mood all the time? I am going to be working with the teacher to on some activities that teach concentration and patience to help him. Another hurdle is mental maths…the school encourages mental math but then give problems that require some working approach, my dear son wants to do everything in his head. We are treading softly on that one.

There are behavioral and disciplinary issues. I am of the old school and believe in strict discipline especially at the early formative ages. I just believe that the boundaries need to be firmly set up and my experience is that these boundaries continue to be tested by children and they never give up.

I have been a bit tired in the last couple of days and have not been able to write much. Plus it has really been quiet all around except that the Christmas holiday season is just beginning and the buzz is begging to be felt…decorations and shops stocking up. We are all always excited about and during this season.

Halleluyah! It is Friday and I am so excited as always…Fridays are my best days. It is going to be a quiet weekend (fingers crossed)…a friends wedding but I may not be able to make it after all…hubby traveling…bags already packed…Pappee and his puppy? They will do well without me and me…bed, bed, sleep, sleep, food and gym…what could be better? Oh, I think I will read a little bit. Need to always sharpen the saw especially in my business.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

How old are you?

If you are reading this, there is a good chance you fall into this category (please I am looking for a term for this category but I can describe the attributes). This is how you know how old you are…when you do not understand the “slangs” and have no clue who the designer being discussed is and yet you think you are young. Lately, it is either I have been going to lunch at the wrong time or I have totally lost “it”…’IT’ being a part of the ‘happening group’. Put simply, it means that I am definitely part of the aging generations (this is sad if it turns out to be the truth honestly) because I have no clue what the young ones are talking about. My sister in-law actually hit the nail on the head a few days ago when she said that “coming first in school is not a good thing” and she will not ask her daughter to aim for first position in academics (first position in dancing is good enough). I was curious because I came from a home where you have to explain yourself for coming second and I do not know any better than that and my son already knows that “A” grade is the only acceptable pass level. My sister in-law said that it is because of I buried myself in books that I have no clue what else is going on around me. Who knows maybe she is right but we shall leave that topic alone for now.

Recently, I have been struggling to understand the conversations around me…I am lost most of the time (I mean social conversations) so if you are feeling young and hip your vocabulary is sure to give you away no matter what you have stated your age to be. I find out that I am constantly asking “what does that mean”…Jan means London…”my bad” means my error or my wrong judgment…and a host of other ones ..they have escaped me now as I write so where are these words coming from?

The office is not immuned to this jargon or rather evolution of meaningless words or phrases. When I started working over 12 years ago, you will get a memo saying “ASAP” but I have never heard anyone speak it. Today I hear, “please could you “asap it”. “Put the docks in a row” …It took the grace of God for me to figure that it means “let us get organized around here. Definitely, language is a generational thing. It has huge implications…as the baby boomers are aging and people like us in between that generation and the generation Y who is internet generation with words from Mars and Venus planets, we must try to understand them or we are cut off entirely…

The slangs you use, the phrases you use (at work ) in social conversation is sure to give away your age + or _ anyone will guess it right just like the style of your clothes or the cut of your jeans …no not the cut, the name brand on your jeans. I will be wiring about what we are wearing in another piece.

This whole language or rather vocabulary change makes me wonder why I am trying so hard to get my son to write the established letters of English alphabet the way we have been taught when he seriously wanted to invent his own. It seems like everything goes these days as long as you have one or two people willing to copy it from you and believe that what you say it means is what it means.

Have I said anything about the contents of younger generation discussions? Hardly is it about one book, or one social issue (except plane crashes) (sometimes and most times yes, it could be about one movie or the or the other) but then it degenerates to the movie actors and actresses and their private lives are the hottest discussions and any one wonders why paparazzi can go at any length to get the scoops and juice it up about the celebrity private lives? You wonder why people will die running away from paparazzi? Their stories are hot, it sells and the world laps it up because we have found ourselves with a generation that have no thoughts for anything else but mundane things as my pastor will put it. The net helps circulate “gists’ within seconds so you are even hot being the circulator of mundane gist…people flock to you and you are termed to be happening or hype

If such discussions do not hold your attention then you are old and belong to my generation no matter what date you quote in your birth certificate…the real young ones are caught up in these frivolities as my father will say…unfortunately they are no longer frivolities dad, they are the “in things”!!!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

The great guys we married

My husband is a very wonderful man (You can forward this piece to him and he would wonder what I am up to or rather what I want…) but he truly is…no doubt about that. Not forgetting that he is also a very smart guy who knows when to leave town and when not to be available. A couple of weeks ago, a colleague of mine moved to their new plush home and she was lamenting how her husband, packed up his gadgets and his clothes and drove to the new home and did not come back. By the time she got to the house eventually after making sure everything that needed to be moved had been placed in the moving van (they did not have to pack a lot of things because their stuff has been in storage), this good husband of hers, had ‘set up’ the study with the chairs that were available (they were still expecting the furniture to be delivered that day) and was having drinks with two of his friends. She came in fuming only to be greeted by three cherry merry hearts…and she had to smile as a good wife.

I broke out into a big laughter and she did not know what was funny with her story (considering she was obviously still angry at this whole thing) and was expecting some sympathy. She really looked bewildered with my reaction and then I told her that her husband is actually a very good and helpful guy but not anywhere as great and wonderful as mine. I told them (at this time we have increased to three wives) that mine took off to Dublin the day we were moving and at this, everyone joined the loud laughter. The laughter even got mre rib cracking when I told them that the first time, we moved house, he carried his laptop and his suits put them in his car and simply informed me that he is going to the new house and will sleep there (we were supposed to move the next day). I got a bit confused with the one night early move so I asked if he would be coming in the morning and he said no…I got even more confused. So the next day I got the things loaded (they were packed in the garage) and headed there to find Mr husband relaxing there. After this, my colleague could not agree better that her hubby is truly a very helpful guy even if it is to ensure that the wine rack got moved to the new house…that is help enough!!!

But I can tell you this is not a general trend with guys, this morning, I got an email from one of my senior managers (a guy!!!!) taking a 2 days vacation to move house. I got curious and called him up to say “Why do you need two days to move?” He said that their shipment will need to be unloaded and then I said “you do not need 2 days to unload your shipment” plus there are handy men out there to help . Believe it or not, he said that he will need to help his wife put things in place the second day, plus he wants to make sure that the handymen put things were he wants them so that there will be no complaints. He also said that it will be too much for his wife to handle alone. Sometimes, handymen are difficult and if he is there, they will behave themselves… He must have married the wrong woman…don’t you think? We (wives) can handle handymen, we can supervise unloading (we can even unload it if we do not have handymen)…our hubbies can be having drinks while we do this or be out of town and then they have plenty plenty rights to complain about the positions that we have placed the things when they come back.

If we ever have to move house again, yours truly will be out of town a week before and will return a week after only the house will not be moved…because my great husband must have house moving phobia which is a very rare disease.