Saturday, December 27, 2008

Things to Do Over Xmas

1. Correct anybody that says Happy Holidays with Merry Xmas.
I'm so with Diddy on this, check out his Diddy Blog on youtube.

Xmas is not about holiday time people, its about the birth of Jesus. So the next time somebody says 'Happy Holidays', smile and say 'Its Merry Xmas actually'. You don't need to be PC about calling things what they actually are. If a Jew said Happy Hanukkah to me on Hanukkah, I wouldn't be offended, I'd just say Right back atcha.

All this overly sensitive PC nonsense needs to stop. Respecting everybody's culture, belief and customs are the way forward, not homogenising everything to a glorious hue of beige.

2. Exercise.
With the recession looking deeper and darker than most of us had anticipated we're all going to be spending a lot of time at home. No need to let your increased sofa contact turn you into a lard ass though. Get thee to a gym. Or if not, walk long distances, jog, get a skipping rope, whatever tickles your fancy, just make sure you do some exercise.

Nothing like being broke and a few/several inches thicker all over to make the recession seem a hell of a lot worse than it is.
...make the most of the extra free time by getting yourself better acquainted with some exercise. Your ass will thank you for it.

Currently on my On-The-Go playlist
Camp Lo - Lumdi (yes, they're back!)
Lupe Fiasco - Hip Hop Saved My Life (Lupe I can live without, but I'm loving Nikki Jean's vocals)
Jazmin Sullivan - I Need You Bad Remix (she opened for Maxwell know, the show where we were front and centre!!!)
Cut Copy - Lights and Music (discover the underdog and learn to love them people)
Estelle - Come Over (not a huge Estelle fan but I'm loving this one)
Lady Gaga - Just Dance (fun, upbeat, pefect gym/club song)
T-Pain and Justin Timberlake - Can't Believe It remix (trousersnake, on the vocoder, love it!)
Beyonce - Diva (don't like the video much but feeling the 'tude of the song)
Geto Boys - My Mind's Playing Tricks on Me (old school, they did almost all of it better)

3. Read
Most of our broke asses will be sitting out the recession at home so get yourself better acquainted with the low cost past-times. A good healthy mix of a little silly chick lit with some classics and a light sprinkling of contemporary classics will keep you entertained and intrigued. Reading for me is like feeding your mind and soul. You get to meet a wide range of people, discover places, vicariously live through experiences you'd never get to learn about any other way. Curiosity might have killed the cat but being daft as a dodo doesn't look all that fascinating either so, grab a nice Liberty cushion, a blanket and start working your way through some seriously good reads.

I do about a book a week so if anyone is interested in getting a book swap going, I'm game.

Here's my list of a few fabulous reads. Read them quick as the entertainment industry has a nasty habit of picking great books and turning them into crap films and TV shows.

Lipstick Jungle - Candace Bushnell
Candace Bushnell is the reigning Queen of the chick lit scene in my opinion. A genre of books that can be so mind numbingly dull, you really need to choose very wisely.

I've read all her books so far and this was by far my favourite (I'm awaiting the arrival of One 5th Ave so I'll let you know what I think about that after I read it). Its sexy, string, plausible, glamorous and set against the sexy decadent backdrop that is New York. Victory the fashion designer, Nico Reilly, Head of Bonfire (clever word play on Bonfire of the Vanities that makes me think its a thinly veiled Vanity Fair), and Wendy Healy, married to the beautiful but not so sharp Shane, studio head of Parador.

This book is a much better read if your mind hasn't been adversely affected by the decidedly sub-par TV show.

Shantaram - Gregory David Roberts
Don't be put off by the sheer size of this book....and it is HUGE. A friend of mine in Spain gave me a copy and I almost left it there as it was so damn heavy and bound to tip my case over the baggage allowance.

Its at least 1000 pages but it moves quickly as Lin's story takes us from his escape from a 19 year sentence in Australia to the under belly of India which sees him moving with all walks of life from slum lords, slum dwellers, his Pakistani taxi driver who becomes his best friend Prabakar aka LinBaba....and of course, the girl, Karla.

Every man's story centres around a girl and even for hard-as-nails Lin, the elusive and beautiful Karla proves the rule. It is one of the best books I've read in a long time and although it has faint echoes of Papillon, this is also a based on Gregory David Roberts true life story. Gregory David Roberts captures the essence of live in India, and the chameleon like qualities Lin possesses allows him to traverse the country and society and get front row and centre seats to every social strata.

Yes, Hollywood is butchering it. The film is due for release in 2011, but it might just be redeemed by the fact that Johnny Depp is playing the lead. I'd pictured Lin as a heftier, almost shaven headed Russell Crowe type, but we shall see how this pans out.

100 Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
A true Latin classic that is characterised by magical realism and a musical and melodious literary flow. I have a lot of love for Latin writers as more often that not they manage to weave a strain of beautiful fantasy into their story lines...and oh my, the way the Latin writers speak of love. This book doesn't have a conventional plot, more a series of connected narratives. The underlying tone, as I understood it, seemed to be, don't forget your history, culture and where you came from (so I'm sure he'd agree with me and Diddy on the nonsense of Happy Holidays).

His second (?) book Love in A Time of Cholera was penned almost 20 years later and is a story centred on the complicated love between Fermina, Juvenal and Urbino. If you ever need to find great quotes on love, say if you need to do a reading at a friend's wedding or something, leave all the 'How shall I compare thee to a summer's day' nonsense at the door and give the people something interesting, powerful. magical and real to think about.

On Beauty - Zadie Smith
I've read all her books so far, White Teeth, The Autograph Man and her most recent work, On Beauty.

I really didn't get what all the fuss was about White Teeth, The Autograph Man, for me, was a much more interesting read and On Beauty is a fantastic book. It was hard for anyone in my vicinity to talk to me when I wasn't at work or asleep as I was constantly reading this boo. Its a look at the inner machinations of a British/American family living in the fictional university town of Wellington, just outside Boston. Howard Belsey is the never quite lived up to his full potential professor from England, his wife, Kiki is his robust, rambunctious African American wife and they have three very lovable children, the quiet tortured soul Jerome, the acerbic, insecure and incredibly intelligent Zora and Levi...who is just a little boy lost in hip hop translation, and an absolutely adorable one at that.

I loved the accuracy with which Zadie captured all the characters in her book, you feel like you're practically living with the Belseys and watching the emotional landscape constant;y shifting and changing in that way characteristic of all families. The book has many other characters such as Howard's professional nemesis Monty Kipps who is of Caribbean descent and an infinitely more successful academic, and his devastatingly beautiful daughter Victoria who seems willing or unwilling (you decide) to wreak havoc wherever she goes.

Half of a Yellow Sun - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
It took me a while to get round to reading this. i love the fact that a young Nigerian author is doing so well on the global stage but I have to say, i was more than just a little bit put off when I met Ngozi at an event, I was presenting an award and she was doing a book reading and she came off as just a little bit frosty and stand-offish. So while that put me off reading her book for a while, I'm glad I did as its fantastic.

It follows the lives of a rich Igbo family with twin daughters around the time of the Biafran war in Nigeria. We watch the stories of the beautiful twin Olanna, her professor lover Odenigbo who she moves to the town of Nsukka to live with. Her seemingly cold and reserved twin Kainene, her English lover Richard who feels as Biafran as anyone else and the charming and accurately captured 13 year old houseboy Ugwu. I wasn't around to see the Biafran war but this book tells the story of the savage violence and tribal hatred in such an accurate way, it helps to understand the underlying strain of tribal relations in Nigeria.


tyna said...

i just love reading ur blog! thanks for the fabulous read list, am trying to get back on my reading, exercise, new yr resolution i plan to keep thx to u.

Hawt said...

hiya,just wanted to say i love reading ur blog...very on point and not unnecessarily cluttered like some other ones :-). I also love reading and i just finished Candace Bushnell's One Fifth Avenue,and its so delish!!! u'll definitely love the characters.i wont spoil the fun for u...bur it's a good book.loved it!!! I'm reading Cecelia Ahern's Thanks for the Memories atm.Keep doing wot u do :-). take care.

Tiger Tem said...

@Tyna...Thanks! I love writing it so i really appreciate hearing from people like you. I'm so with you on the reading and exercise thing THROUGH the holidays and into the new year! I just said to Tyna, I love eharing from people who read my blog all the time. My copy should arrive during the week so no doubt I'll be done by the weekend.

I've read all Cecelia Ahern's books so far, I love the fact that she's around my age, has a loaded and connected Dad so could technically have done nothing (her dad is Head of Govt of Ireland)........and she's a real cutie! What's not to love about her!

Hawt said...

oh is he?...that's interesting,she's really good eh.tho' most of her stories are fairy tale-ish lol.but she's got the Irish humour,and dats one of the reasons i love her.

Dropsofglamour said...

Merry Christmas to you too. I've been good. Made the move back to Lagos so i'm currently trying to get used to being here permanently. So how's life and business?