South West/20 Black

Just came back from my first proper holiday since I started work. Been almost 9 months and I can say it was very much needed. Also thoroughly enjoyed it. Don’t know how travel blogs work but I’ll just mention (some of) what we got to and where we stayed. Ecetera

Quick Summary

  • Never considered myself the outdoorsy type or person before this trip but it might have changed my mind.
  • Out of 10 days, I only had to plan one day, the Grand Canyon leg of the trip and it was stressful for me. I still suck at planning trips but think I delivered, see below for details.
  • Grand Canyon has such a fitting name. Words and pictures can’t described how grand it is
  • Zion National Park is by far the most beautiful place I’ve ever been so far. Thunderstorms ruined the plans a bit. Want to return for The Narrows
  • Google pics sometimes catfish real location (see Horse Shoe Bend)
  • Lol jk, if you’re looking for views, timing is very important tbh (E.g. Antelope Canyon). Also Vivid Filter on iPhone.
  • Vegas has a ridiculous number of gigantic hotels. Feels bigger than New York
  • Cirque Du Soleil MJ Show was lit. Wish they let you record.
  • It’s amazing the sheer number of artistes there are performing every night in Vegas, so much choice.
  • Don’t gamble kids, the house always wins.

Story Of The Trip

Can’t type the funniest trip out because reasons. But here is one I can tell.

So after Tiesto, we were going back and some of us stopped at a casino to play Roulette while I just watched. From the sidelines, I told them I could predict numbers and quite rightly so they ignored me.  I kept saying it. On their very last bet, I told them with the utmost confidence to place a bet on 20 black and some stranger listened to me and place a $50 chip. Dealer spun the wheel and rolled the ball and where did it land? 20 Black. I was spot on an dude made what 35x back and cashed out immediately. He gave me that $50 chip and hugged me for me efforts. My friends who didn’t listen to me meanwhile lost all their money for the night. I rubbed it in a bit and they left me hahaha, that was the first time I got lost (also realised how much of a privilege it was for me to walk around semi drunk at like 5am with no fear of anything happening to me).

Image result for Roulette shot spinner

Deadly Game. Source: Amazon

Anyways next day we got a roulette shot spinner and while we were testing it, a friend asked me to predict it and I got it wrong but where did it land? 20 Black. Coincidence? Wait for it. Testing it more, it landed on ,yup you guessed it, 20 Black like 20 times. There was obviously something wrong with it, it clearly wasn’t straight. Coincidence surely? Nahh. That evening a friend made lots betting on 20 Black as well. That last night, we all passed on seeing Diplo to go to the casino. 20 black finished us that night, now way we were not putting something on 20 Black so we basically lost big that night because of 20 Black. In the end Vegas always win, and you or your wallet lose. Would definitely go back still though.

PS: As I type this the full cost of the holiday has not been calculated and sent to me so all this sentiment might go away when I see it. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, amirite?

Only read this if you really care because I can’t summarise and it’s super long. Or just look at the pictures

Las Vegas

We stayed at The Wynn/Encore for the first two days. On the first night there we went out to Encore Beach Club. We thought Diplo would be performing but it was actually Duke Dumont, he was actually alright. Now this I think this was probably my favourite venue but least favourite night. It was raining and it’s like the people there that night knew my money was not their mates. I hide my face. The night ended with a promoter trying to get me to a strip club called Sapphire, I just wanted some Tacos at that point. Think Encore still has my favourite casino.

We had dinner at Allegro, which was alright. Portions deceptively large. Second day we went to The Buffet at Encore, which was a super colourful place with lots of fake flowers. Great value for money though. The next night we went on a tour of the Vegas strip, which is an essential. We saw a waterfall show at the Wynn, Palazzo, the Venetian and fake Venice up until Flamingo (which actually has Flamingos in it!) , the Mirage volcano explosion show. Caught a brief glimpse of the Belaggio water show before we had to go back in preparation for the road trip.

Road Trip:

We had 2 drivers and 2 passengers for our 4 day 3 night hiking trip. We rented a 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee SUV from Alamo and set off around 8:30am on our 5 hour trip to the Grand Canyon South Rim, stopping once for a change of drivers.

Hoover Dam:

Disappointing tbh *Insert Killmonger “Is this your da” meme*

Grand Canyon South Rim

View from the Desert Tower

We got there around 2:30 and checked in at the Yavapai Lodge, which was the best value for money and the least grand place to stay in the Grand Canyon Village. Also it was the only place available when we booked it. We did a bit of the Rim Trail in the afternoon when we got there, this is probably the easiest trail, superflat but you don’t get to go down the rim. Took a bus to the Train Depot stop and walked all the way to Hopi Point to watch the sunset, stopping at El Tovar Hotel, Hopi House, Kolb Studio, walked a bit down Bright Angel Trailhead. Shame we didn’t get to reach Pima Point, because that is apparently lovely as well but it’s impossible to do it all really. For Dinner, we had a super late one at best diner in the village, El Tovar hotel. It was actually pitch black navigating though.

Next morning we had breakfast at Yavapai Lodge, checked out and dumped our stuff in the car then took a bus to the South Kaibab trailhead and walked down to the ooh Aah Point, Cedar Ridge and the Skeleton Point. The lazy man in me is saying the extra 3 miles Skeleton Point added to the journey was not worth it because that uphill hike back was a deadly one. I do think I preferred the view from Cedar Ridge tbh but happy we went all the way. Going up takes more than twice the time to down. Glad we all made it back in one piece. After that we, went to the Maher Point near the visitor center, which also a nice easy one to see if you’re short of time. Then as we drove of to our next destination, around 3pm? We stopped at the Grandview Point and the Desert View watchtower. Think any of the view points along the Desert View drive is essential viewing tbh. Overall think we hit most of the boxes apart from Yavapai Point, Hermits trailhead and Tusayan Museum and Ruins. I believe we squeezed in as much as we could into 24 hours given time and physical constraints thought tough choices had to be made. Decided against the helicopter ride because no be Pounds and Dollars me and my guys dey take shower o.

Page

But did you clock the seahorse in the sky (S/o to the tour guide for showing me the finesse)

Arrived at the Horse Shoe Bend at Page for around 6:30. I would be lying if I said every picture of this on the internet was not a catfish. However it was still a lovely view.  At night we stayed at Best Western Plus Hotel. We debated whether to pay for a tour of the Antelope Canyons. After finding out it was illegal to go there without a guide we decided to bite the bullet. At night, we decided to check out the nightlife and we the down was dead apart from the local club Windy Mesa (read sarcastically), a Pizza Hut and the Bowling Place. We played Bowling and that was actually sick. I won without getting any strikes. Next morning we set off to the Lower Antelope Canyon for out tours by the Lower Antelope Canyon Tours. Great guys! Apparently it’s better in the Upper Antelope Canyon and peak time for beauty is around 10am but missed out on both because we were so impromptu. However, this was super super lovely place. Walking through it was incredible, the tour guide was super nice and friendly, even helped take some fire photos(Hint: set your iPhone Camera to the Vivid filter and see the magic happen). At this point we were meant to head to Zion but Thunderstorms meant we decided to explore more in Page so we headed to Glen Canyon and the Lake Powell Dam. Which was  a great stop, not at grand as the Grand Canyon but this Dam definitely wins against the Hoover imo.

 

Zion

Thought Lauryn Hill was singing about her son when she said the joy of her world is in Zion but she must have been singing about this park tbh

We drove through a lot of the park on our way in stopping to take pictures at certain points. Honestly, this is the most beautiful place I have ever seen with my bare eyes. Hands down the prettiest place on the whole trip. And this was just driving through and stopping. Still mad about the Thunderstorm messing the whole thing up. We stayed at Best Western Plus Hotel. The hotels here were fantastically designed with the themes matching the mountains and having a lovely views as well. The next morning we had breakfast then set out to do a quick tour to beat the rain. We decided on the Emerald Pool Trail which was amazing but such a basic hike in terms of energy compared to the one we did in Grand Canyon. We took the bus round and if not for time we would have done the Weeping Rock, Angels Landing and the Narrows. We went there only for the Narrows tbh but it was legit so much more than that. Amazing scenes. We had to be back in Vegas for the Airbnb we booked though + rain so we had to jet off in a jiffy

Las Vegas

This time we stayed at the MGM, and the rest of the contingent, about 5 more people came. We did Vegas Vegas this time. This time around, the Vegas experience felt like the movies. Adult playground in Downtown Vegas was sick, Downtown Vegas in general was amazing, like 5 outdoor concerts were happening. Dunebuggy racing was incredible and I did that without my glasses or License, was sorta like Mad Max, Tiesto at Hakassan was probs my fave night, the people here were my mates haha. Still don’t know a Tiesto song though. Buffet at The Wicked Spoon, Driving range at Top Golf, Pool parties, David Guetta at XS was sick since I actually knew some of his song: Memories, Titanium, Like I Do, Sexy Bitch, Who’s That Chick etc but these EDM DJs are still a living sha. Man didn’t even rock headphones. For all I know that could have been a random ginger dude on stage and I would not have known. Travis Scott at Marquee was sooo sick, he brought out French Montana, this would have been my fave night of the trip if not for that my wallet got goosebumps everytime I remember how much we paid to get a table (never have and still don’t get tables tbh). Did the Michael Jackson Cirque Du Soleil thing which was sickk. I get why they don’t let people take pictures or vids but I wish they did because I remember the first Cirque Du Soleil I went for being sick but can barely remember a single thing they did. Did a proper tour of the strip (I did this walk about 4 times because I got lost on two nights). All the way from MGM to Encore this time around. Caesar’s Palace is like my fave tbh.

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Barber Shop Chronicles

Movies, TV Shows, Cartoons and Social Media have always talked about the barber shop as if it were some sacred place where the best debates where had. Especially for people of color. The bond between a guy and his barber is meant to be inseparable. The countless number of tweets about cheating on your barber. However, I couldn’t really relate with that, ever since like I started boarding school. Actually, I lied. Let’s take a step back.

Image result for ronaldo haircut 2002

How your barber looks at you when he knows you cheated on him 

 

Growing up, my dad always used to take me to a barber. I remember when he gave me the Ronaldo haircut, 2002 was a wild year (see featured image). But think there was definitely some family like atmosphere there. I would watch pros play Checkers or Draughts and sometimes they would even let me and my bro play while we were waiting to get a haircut. There were random WWE fights on at times, also some movies and even cartoons! Probably lasted about 4 years or so but the guy packed up his stuff one day, and ever saw dude again.

Then we went to a different guy, there were no checkers here but there was still a picture of Ludacris (not sure he knows how much of an icon he is, especially in Nigerian barber shops). Anyways, after a while, my dad started paying barbers to come to our place to cut our hair. Don’t know when we got our current guy but let’s just say I think he was the same person that shave like half my eyebrows and sed a clipper on my eyelashes lol. I asked him for a fade one time and he heard TuFace, don’t have to tell you how that ended. Think he’s okay with the very simple stuff but I have developed a one chance per hairstyle policy so I won’t try any new hairstyles with him. He does mad shape-ups (friction was what we used to call it back in the day, my bro went to an “international” school and I remember laughing at him for calling it shape up but now that’s what I call it too.

Think in secondary school, we tried to run away from barber shops but I remember seniors used to have sweet gist there sometimes haha. And had some real convos with the boys in the barbershop (every convo was real af back then). I probably visited the barbers like 5 times in 4 years after graduation, and really had no particular hairstyle. When I stayed at my aunt’s there were some Caribbean barbers that were rude to my momsie once but they were by far the best barbers in the area (apart from the place that some Prem players use but that one needs appointments). I tried everywhere and resented whenever I had to use them. I was happy when they closed down. At uni, I stuck with the same barber shop throughout and still never got any of that camaraderie I see in the movies.

Anyways fast forward to today and why I’m even writing this. Since I moved into our place, I found a new local barbershop and I alternated with the 2 barbers the first two times then stuck with one barber like the next 5 times. Out of coincidence, more than anything or it could be the fact I naturally levitated to the barber that was not bald. Seen the guy in Oxford Street once and he hollered at me. There’s TV with Nollywood, football and discussions flow more than any other one I’d been at

The last two times I came, I went to the bald guy because I was in a hurry and I paid it no mind. So last night, in preparation for Vegas, I went to get a haircut and my usual guy was there. Then next thing he switched up and asked me why I’m always coming late.  I don’t understand, like. He didn’t put an any indication that he was closing soon. Okay one time, I was super late and he still agreed to cut it for me, owe him one for that. Next thing he starts saying he could have asked me to leave but he didn’t want to be somehow. I honestly didn’t even get it. If you’re closed tell me and I’ll try again another time. I didn’t understand why he was unusually passive aggressive tonight.

Then he drops it. “It’s not good to be letting different barbers cut your hair”, he says. I am taken aback, I actually re count all my haircuts and I tell him all my haircuts since I moved have been at this barbershop. That’s when he let’s me in on the game, he thought I was his guy and he didn’t like when I went to the other guy even though they’re in the same shop. He said the other barber knew I was his guy but is always trying to poach his customers. The penny drops for me there, I’d finally made it. Finally had a bond with the barber. I was still upset by what he said earlier but at least now I understood why, he felt there was betrayal of trust lmao. Funny thing is I always preferred him but didn’t even know I had a choice as to which barber I wanted to use since I usually go to whoever is free.

Doesn’t matter, your boy is set now. Unlocked another level in life: Barber bond. Let’s see if it can survive another betrayal

 

Books I read in 2018

My aim this year is to read 12 books. Started off at a decent rate so might actually raise that to 20 a year. This is not including the programming books I buy haha. Will update as I read and give one of my favourite quote or one I think summarises the book nicely and a quick  150 word summary (I say summary but will probably just be me preaching) of each book and fun fact about what made me buy the book.

12. Computing With Quantum Cats: From Alan Turing To Teleportation [Non-Fiction] by John Gribbin

 

11. Born A Crime: Stories From A South African Childhood [Non-Fiction] by Trevor Noah

“Then the cops started firing tear gas into the crowd. The tear gas had nothing to do with me or the music. Tear gas is just what police use to shut down parties in black neighbourhoods, like club turning on the lights to tell everyone to go home”

Summary: He describes SA post-apartheid, never really belonging to either group as a colored person. He describes it as a combination of removal of natives into reservations, slavery and segregation happening to the same group of people at the same time. But think this book is really an ode to his mother Patricia and his relationship with her seems truly funny and full of love. He manages to talk about apartheid, violence, domestic abuse, hood living, childhood crushes, playground politics, language, privilege, religion and so much more all with humour. Some of it would be little side comments and metaphors like the quote, other times it would be whole chapters leading up to punchlines like Hitler and God dealing his shit. Part 3 of the book is perhaps the rawest but still funny. It’s amazing but also not surprising how far he has come given his childhood.

Random Fact: I’ve heard Trevor Noah tell jokes about his childhood and his mom growing up so when I knew he’d released a book about his childhood, I ordered it immediately. I had no idea about the book till I saw the hilarious page about black people and cats on someone’s snapchat story

 

10. Skin In The Game: Hidden Asymmetries In Daily Life [Self Aggrandisement] by Nassim Taleb

“Things designed by people with no skin in the game tend to grow in complication (before their final collapse)… Anyone who has submitted a ‘scholarly’ paper to a journal knows that you usually raise the odds of acceptance by making it more complicated that necessary”

Summary: The above  quote = Pot. Kettle. Black. This book was such a chore to read, maybe because I have no skin in the game, in fact according to the author, only himself, artisans and a select few do. That’s how obnoxious the author comes across. Seems to use this book to take potshots at people who had previously criticised his work, social scientists, economists, policy makers, bankers, Hilary,  and Mosanto. Also showed no love to authors of books on my Amazon wishlist (Thaler, Pinker and Pinketty). Sad! Referenced his previous books like 100 times, like dude no, that will not get me to buy them. He did make some solid points about skin in the game. E.g. If you give an opinion,  you are morally obligated to be exposed to its consequences, if someone follows it. Also liked his thoughts on virtue merchandising and dynamic inequality. Better Review Than Mine Haha

Random Fact: Always read excerpts kids. I started reading an excerpt and after like the first 4 lines I was like I love this already, went to Amazon and purchased and stopped reading it to avoid spoilers. Nothing could have prepared me for how obnoxious the author came across as despite some of the good points he raised. Sentences where unnecessarily convoluted and was not a big fan of his writing style. So again, if you get a chance to, read an excerpt, will save you a whole lot of trouble,

9. Children Of Blood And Bone [Fiction] by Tomi Adeyemi

“I know you’re scared.” Everyone turns back to me. “I’m scared, too. But I know your reason for fighting is stronger than your fear, because it’s led you here. Each of us has been wronged by the guards, by this monarchy that’s sworn to protect us. Today we strike back for us all.

Summary: A fantasy novel set in Orisha, a place inspired by Nigeria’s empires of the past. A huge simplification of the story is one were life was terrible for you if your hair was white or if you housed or helped anyone with white hair and you live a normal life otherwise. Call it Non-White hair privilege. However, white-hair people have magic within them but they’ve not been able to show it since one wicked king took it away and started the oppression of white hair people. Swap out “White Hair” for “Black” and you see it’s really a story about race. Touching note by the author at the end about police brutality. Had the chance to flex my Yoruba small with the magic spells. Good read but do wish we heard both sides and wish the 2-page epilogue wasn’t written. Set it self up nicely for a sequel.

Random Fact: I’ve never read Harry Potter and only seen 3 of them because (no wasn’t cuz my mum didn’t allow me I promise) so this must be my first fantasy novel since Artemis Fowl. Decided to read one with and African twist after Blek Penta and was gonna read Nnedi Okorafor but wanted to get in on the ground floor with this one rather than having to catch up a series.

8. Why I’m No Longer Talking To White People About Race[Non-Fiction] by Reni Eddo-Lodge

White privilege manifests itself in everyone and no one. Everyone is complicit, but no one wants to take on responsibility. Challenging it can have real social implications. Because it’s a many-headed hydra, you have to be careful about the white people you trust when it comes to discussing race and racism

Summary: I picked it up looking for some answers for some burning questions but only found some because nobody has all the answers duh. It shined some light on Black History in Britain and how it led to an ingrained structural racist system. White feminism and intersectionality are things I believe I understand but think this helped further that understanding. Race and Class chapter made me think and is still something I’m wrapping my head around because of my somewhat privileged class. The chapter on White Privilege was this book’s MVP and I’ll probably reread it multiple times. Overall I think it was a good book but a lot of the points covered are the same points I’ve seen on social media. Don’t know if that’s a good or bad thing. I still don’t wholly agree with some bits but could write books about that. Anyways, the (un)learning never ends.

Random Fact: Generally don’t speak to white people about race so I could have told you why without reading the book. Very big fan of the book cover and not ashamed to say it played a big part in me buying this book.

7. How Music Got Free: The Inventor, The Mogul and The Thief  [Non-Fiction] by Stephen Witt

“Watching rap videos with Grandpa sounded like the premise for a comedy skit, but in Morris’ case most of the videos were ones he had green-lit and budgeted himself. After a bit of searching, the two opted on a mutual favorite: 50 Cent’s “In Da Club,” which Morris’ grandson liked because it bumped, and which Morris liked because it had moved 8 million units”

Summary: This books gives a brief history of the consumption of music to explain how piracy became prevalent. It follow Brandenburg[Inventor of mp3], Morris[The Mogul aka Universal Music Group CEO] and Glover/Kali/RNS[The Thief aka source of  almost every illegally downloaded song]. It touches on the mp2-mp3 format war, Napster, Oink, iPods, Limewire, BitTorrent, PirateBay, iTunes, Vevo and Youtube Ads, the court cases of the music industry while trying to curb piracy. The RNS piracy crew was immaculately run like a sort of mafia, the fact that the leader of it all was tried and acquitted is bursting my brain hah. I really enjoyed this book because I quite like music and consuming music so I was aware of a lot of the things mentioned in the book but there was still stuff in there that blew my mind like who really runs rap. Highly recommend

Random Fact: Since I started my journey to read 12 books this year. I have mostly been buying new books or reading ones I had but never read. On my Amazon wishlist, I have over 60 books added, over like 4 years but this book was the very first addition to that wish list. Also if you like this music sort of stuff, I recommend The Defiant Ones on Netflix

6. The Autobiography of Gucci Mane [Non-Fiction] with Neil Martinez-Belkin

“My father used to say that if you keep looking back you’re going to trip forward. That in life, sometimes you reach a fork in the road and you have to make a decision… To be firm in that decision you can’t keep looking back. You have to make peace with the past”

Summary: Fun part about this book was him giving some insight into the process before some of his hits like Lemonade and Wasted. Sneaking out of rehab during the lead up to The State vs Radric Davis (only Gucci album i’ve listened to as a whole). The beef with Jeezy, still don’t know how that even started. How he gave Migos, Young Thug, Waka platforms. How he linked with Zaytoven, Mariah Carey, and MikeWillMadeIt. Mad he glossed over some features I love smh. This really gives an insight into how easy it is to get stuck in that prison-probation-prison cycle. Talks about drug abuse, with lean in particular. It made it easier rationalise how youngins could get caught up in gangs but still couldn’t make me understand the love for chains and getting iced out. His prison descriptions left me shook. Just hope he’s finally out of the vicious cycle

Random Fact: Recommended to me by George. First rapper biography I’ve ever read. It’s amazing the shit these guys could be going through when dropping hits

5. Brotopia: Breaking Up The Boys’ Club of Silicon Valley [Non-Fiction] by Emily Chang

“…meritocracy is impossible to achieve, because … a meritocracy is always based on an imperfect definition of merit and often narrowly defined to favour training, connections and education primarily available to the wealthy”

Summary: This books tackles the huge gender balance in tech in Silicon Valley in particular. It gives some insight into the historical context for the low numbers, why “meritocracy” makes it worse, how companies with the best intentions still get it wrong, why women leave the industry. It discusses big sexual harassment stories and airs experiences of some women. It talks about the role of founders, VCs and LPs and sex culture and tries to offer solutions. Could write a whole blog post about this and I must say in some parts, felt like she was reaching. Hard to read about things that point at your privilege and while I don’t agree with all of it, it definitely  made me reexamine myself and shows there is a lot more to be done. Tech is eating the world and it would be a shame if women don’t have seats at the table

Random Fact: Always followed Bloomberg Tech twitter for a while for their article but watched an interview the author did with Sheryl Sandberg and I thought she was great so I followed her. Was so impressed I decided to buy her book hah. Also love the cover.

4. Origin [Fiction] by Dan Brown

“‘Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.’…the single greatest strength of computers”

Summary: A typical Dan Brown book in that it has a lot of reference to religion. But this was different in a way. It talks a lot about the two greatest questions “where we are from” and “where are we going”. Creation vs Darwinism, Religion vs Science (I think these can co exist unlike the latter). Don’t want to give to much away but Winston, one of the characters paints a picture into what the future of tech would be like. It talks about how Technology has undergone through it’s own Darwian evolution and the next stage would be tech absorbing humans to form a new species. We typically can’t deny that tech devices today are basically and extension of us. A natural next question is that of Singularity and also when technology becomes self aware. Decent read overall

Fun fact: Bought this book on an Amazon Christmas Sale thinking it was the 4th Dan Brown book only to find out it was the 5th, so I was forced to buy the 4th and that’s how I started my year with 3 Dan Brown Novels

3. Inferno [Fiction] by Dan Brown

“If you could throw a switch and randomly kill half the population on earth, would you do it… but what if you were now told that if you didn’t throw the switch right , the human race would be extinct in the next 100 years. Would you throw it then even if it meant you might murder friends, family, and possibly even yourself?”

Summary: Kofo told me before I started reading this book that this was her fave Dan Brown book because it didn’t follow the same pattern and I agree 100%. The good and bad guys are fluid in this one. This is another book I could probably right another blog post about. It talks about how humanity is heading for a massive crisis if we don’t do something about overpopulation. It’s something I think about often, not even globally but with regards to Nigeria and Africa is general. The ever growing population should be a top concern for every one and half-arsed solutions won’t cut it. The eventual “solution” proposed by the book somehow strikes a balance but doesn’t seem realistic. Or is it? Stay woke

Fun fact: Want to visit all the places Dan Brown name drops in his Robert Langdon books, he makes them sounds sooo cool. Also learnt a new word Agathusia

2. Lost Symbol [Fiction] by Dan Brown

“What if I told you that a thought… any tiny idea that forms in your mind.. actually has mass? … What are the implications?.. if enough people begin thinking the same thing, then the gravitational force of that thought becomes tangible .. and it exerts an actual physical force. And it can have a measurable effect in our physical world”

Summary: Now this is your typical Dan Brown book laden with symbology and Illuminati and Freemason references. Storyline felt so cliche. There was a nice plot twist but overall would actually give this a pass. But some of the societies he mentioned like the Invisible College and the Institute of Noetic Sciences did pique my interest. Claims that ancient philosophers, scientists and wisemen knew and wrote about discoveries today seems ridiculous. Feel like it’s just people reading too deeply into their text. Noetic sciences which is essentially the study of consciousness seems interesting. Seems like it might explain why there are times I have a song in my head and Spotify plays it next or someone starts singing it 5 minutes later.

Fun fact: Bought this book like 5 years ago but forgot I had started reading it, until I was more than halfway through. Wonder how much of books we read we actually remember, that’s why I think writing these is probably a good idea

1.Basketball And Other Things[Not Sure] by Shea Serrano

“We were coming back down the court and I was letting everyone know he couldn’t guard me and so I said something close to “You better call your mom to help you guard because you sure as shit can’t do it by yourself.” He said something close to “My mom passed away in 2009.” And so what I should’ve said there was either said (1) “Ay, my bad, I didn’t know” or (2) nothing at all. But neither of those are what I chose. instead I responded – and I’m so sad and embarrassed remembering this-but instead I responded, “I guess it’s gonna be a long-distance call then”

Summary: Great book for anyone that loves Basketball. Still probably my best book till date. Lots of great animation. It’s essentially a collection of your most burning basketball questions like

  • Which NBA players get remembered for the wrong reasons
  • What’s the plot for Death Hammer 2: Hammergeddon
  • What year was MJ the best version of MJ
  • Am I allowed to _________ During Pickup Basketball
  • Fictional Basketball Player Drafts
  • Greatest Dunker, Disrespectful Dunks Hall of Fame
  • Most Important NBA Championship
  • Most perfect duo
  • Was Kobe Bryant a Dork?
  • If 1997 Karl Malone and a Bear swapped places fr a season, who would be more successful

Basically just listed all the chapters lool. Best Such an easy and fun read, really really recommend. So does Obama

Fun fact: End up reading a couple of his articles on Ringer but didn’t end up buying it until I saw it on Obama’s recommendation list. Taken one of two things from this books. I should read more sport books or I should read more books by Shea Serrano, (his only other is the Rap Yearbook)

Indennità

The new sheriff in town in my division had taken a survey way before we started, and on the first day of training, one of the first emails I received was the top findings from that survey. Casual dress, curved monitors and competitive rates. Casual dress code came first, I was a big fan of this because I hadn’t bought new work clothes like I had planned to. Next came the curved monitors and honestly I can’t remember what life was like before getting them. Who would have known something so seemingly trivial could be so important. Loved the monitors so much, I wanted to get one for my house till I saw the price, still triggered.

The next was competitive rates, the smoke to the fire started to come when the new summer intake were sent their offers. The subject of many-a-gists was whether everyone else would see a similar rise. I still don’t know whether everyone got a jump as stark as ours. Different things from different people from different grapevines. Today was the D-Day

I got called into the room by my manager’s manager and he started by telling me the bonus. Honestly, my pokerface was so strong because I was so startled by the amount. I was not expecting that at all at all. Like I’m still in shock. Next he told me what my new annual salary would be. That would have floored me if not for the fact I was sat down. Business must have been boomin’ this year. If I only cared about money, I would say I’m half as big as I once was 😉

Anyways, I am still shocked. S/o to my Oga at the top. The taxman has not come to take his pound of flesh though. Just thought I’d write down how I feel now while it’s still fresh. The challenge now is to maintain my current level of spending. I say as I throw away my cold left over white rice and stew and plantain(tbh I forgot to put it in the fridge) and instead eat a celebratory Domino’s.

This the biggest day of my life
We got big guns, been graduated from knives
It’s the day in the life and I’m ready to ride
Got the spirit, I’m feelin like a killer inside
Financial outbreak, I’m free but I ain’t out yet
Ridin with the plug so I’m close to the outlet
At the red light, rims sittin off set
I look better on your girl than her outfit

-2 Chainz

UPDATE: Called my parents to tell them the news and my Mum mentioned Tithe lmao and my dad jokingly called her a “spoiled sport” haha. They’ve been trying to get me to do it since I started

Ranking Mohits

It’s New Years Day and I’ve just come back from crossover service. Because I forgot to et an inflatable bed and my bro has like 71 laptops on his double bed, I’m couch crashing while my parents are here. My dad is on his phone on the couch as I type now (I swear our parents use their phones more than us [Whatsapp Mostly] but that’s a story for another day). Anyways, not in the mood to write a reflective post so I thought I’d do something else. The TATI BILLION concert was a few days back (again, a stypry for another day but a quick Twitter search will tell you the full story)

LAST PLACE: K-Switch

Anyways, the highlight of the concert was the Mohitz reunion. Which beckons the question: How do you rank the Mohitz members. Now I have no idea how this will end as I type this tbh. Last is obviously K-Switch, who is better known as D’Banj’s (apostophes here are weird) than anything else. At least he gave us Sister Caro, so he at least has one banger to his name.

DIDN’T MAKE THE PODIUM: Dr.Sid vs D’Prince

D’Prince vs Dr. Sid. My initial thoughts would say D’Prince  because he seemed to be up next after D’Banj and Wande even though Sid managed to drop his Mohitz album Turning Point  but Omoba album never materialised. Digging deeper, it’s tougher than it seems. Think Dr.Sid wins post-Mohits era but D’Prince wins before that. So who wins overall? Gonna list their top 10 songs and the stronger one wins.

Dr.Sid: Winchi Winchi, Over The Moon, Pop Something, Something About You, E Je Ka Jo, Baby Tornado, Surulere, Love Mine, Chocolate, Tiwa Savage’s If I Start To Talk

On second thought think Dr. Sid wins this by a mile tbh but D’Prince still my fave. Turning Point is an underrated Afrobeats album, lowkey classic. D’Prince’s (apostrophes again!) album was a hot mess of like 30 songs. It was really a Frenzy But let’s carry on with the comparison so the records show I tried to make an argument for D’Prince

D’Prince: Omoba, Give It To Me, Ooze, I Like What I See, Take Banana,Call Police, Goody Bag, Journey Of a Thousand Miles, OYO, Wizkid’s Wad UpBonus for the Non-D’Prince fans here: Gentleman, Bestie and Man For The Night.

Verdict: Can’t argue with the classics from Dr. Sid in the Mohitz era.

#5: D’Prince, #4:Dr.Sid

PODIUM: Don Jazzy, Wande Coal, D’Banj

Now where it gets harder: Wande Coal, D’Banj, Don Jazzy. How to I rank Don Jazzy who is primarily a beat maker. Ranking their post-Mohitz performance.

Gonna cop out now and put Don Jazzy at number 2 because of his verses on Wind Am Well and Pere. His Mohitz production and production for non-Mohitz artistes like Ashawo, Wind Am Well, Critical, Now Is The Time, IjoyaUnder G solidify his place as Nigeria’s best producer. Giving less weight to his post-Mohitz production because Mavins while individually strong, as a unit, they come nowhere to Mohitz. Secondly, in the fall out of Lil Kesh being robbed of his Next Rated, Olamide revealed he took credit for some beats that weren’t his and thirdly Mavins have a bunch of producers, some other Baby Fresh guys. However the koko is that, as much as Nigerian Producers carry a lot of songs, it’s still an artist’s game so props Don Jazzy gonna get second. His longevity is way better than Wande’s and D’Banj’s so #2 seems Fair.

Now lot at stake here for D’Banj and Wande. One is #1 the other is #3. Tough Call to make. Let’s set some criteria: Solo Projects, Best Mohitz Verses, Post Mohitz performance, Features, Number of Classic Songs

Solo Projects

D’Banj: No Long ThingRundown Funk U Up, The Entertainer, DKM (really a compilation), King Don Come

Wande Coal: Mushin To Mo’Hits, Wanted

Ngl never listened to D’Banj’s first 2 albums as a whole but people them calling them classics must be lying. All the songs on No Long Ting seem to be on Rundown Funk U Up. Rundown however has some extra bangers so that pushes it to the very good album tier. The Entertainer, for me, is his Magnum Opus. DKM is a slept on decent album and King Don Come is another slept on decent album (lols just jammed it now and I’m pleasantly surprised, maybe it’s first listen blues. I have heard half the songs on it before though).Underrated aspect of D’Banj because Nigerians Musicians at the Top generally don’t make good albums. M2M is a certified classic and think it is better than any album D’Banj has put out. Wanted on the other hand was largely disappointing after the wait and way to many songs. 23 ffs. Winner: D’Banj

 

Post Mohitz Performance:

D’Banj has made slept on decent songs, But Wande takes the cake here. Iskaba, Amorawa, Baby Hello, Ashimapeyin etc. Winner: Wande Coal

Features:

D’Banj never really did features like that but don’t think Wande Coal has ever had a bad feature. Let’s list their top 10 features and see who comes out on top

D’Banj: Tony Montana Remix, Fi Mi Le Remix, Let’s Get The Party Started, Wind Am Well, Lagos Party Remix U Bad as well haha, Sister Caro, Give It To Me, Double Wahala Remix

Wande Coal: On A Very Good Day, Winchi Winchi, Wake Up, Antenna Remix, Wish List, Kiss Your Hand Rmx, For Me, My Woman My Everything, Ashawo, Who U Epp, Run Away remix, Need I go on. Winner: Wande Coal

Best Mohitz Verses:

Honestly to late for me to go back and rate these but Wande Coal carried the chorus on damn near every Mohits song lmao but D’Banj never had a bad Mohits verse. Winner: Tie

Classic Songs:

D’Banj: Tongolo, Tongolo Remix, Why Me, Gbono Feli Feli, Fall In Love, Suddenly, Entertainer, Olorun Maje, Endowed, Endowed Remix, Oliver Twist

Wande Coal: U Bad, Bumper to Bumper, Who Born The Maga, Taboo, Ololufe, The Kick, Iskaba, Rotate

Wande has more great mainstream songs but I think D’Banj post Mohits tracks have been underrated heavily. However, if we’re talking classics D’Banj still takes it Winner: D’Banj

So we have a tie overall. Wande Coal more talented, D’Banj has more charisma and is the better performer. My younger fam more likely to know Wande Coal than D’Banj but D’Banj has a harmonica so in summary

#6: K-Switch

#5: D’Prince

#4: Dr.Sid

#3: Wande Coal

#2: Don Jazzy

#1: D’Banj

Did I seriously think I would not finesse a way to make D’Banj and Don Jazzy #1 and #2. End of the day a lot of the music we enjoy today would not be possible without these 2. Should really be Don Jazzy, Wande then D’Banj. but anyone who tells us you don’t have to make sense to be an entertainer and spits the most fire gibberish ever, ushering a new wave of “entertainers”, by that definition of not making sense, deserves to top every list.

 

Year in Review: 2017

Started of not wanting to write an introspective blog post. Was going to do a top albums list but that would honestly be too tough. Think I listened to albums very sparsely this year. Didn’t really take time to take them in. Might do a top 10 for Nigerian projects (SPOILER: Niniola’s This Is Me probably #1) and EP, less to work with so probably easier to make a list. I also wanted to write and article about “TV Show Crossovers”. See Mallory Archer- Lucille Bluth, Jesse Pinkman-Todd Chavez, Vanessa Shameless- Vanessa Gossip Girl, Jason-Negan, etc. But that proved hard to write without assuming everyone watches this show. So lets do a review of my year instead. No more than 5 things from each month will used Google Photos to jog my memory.

January:

  • Made corned beef stew for the first time (made it like 10 times this year)
  • Got 6 daily mixes on Spotify
  • Learned a bit about drones from the Cambridge Consulting Network

February

  • Really made strides in Python / Raspberry Pi for my 4th years project
  • Had my first Valentine and was in a relationship for the first time
  • Participated in the ACS Take Me Out

March

  • Discovered a trap door in College that led to some basement
  • Played my last college basketball game (I came out of retirement later)
  • Was top 5 best dressed at the ACS Affair (Kente bowtie was worth it then I guess)

April

  • Past papers

May

  • In a viral photo
  • 4th year Project Report in full flow
  • Free Jollof from Ije Shop

June

  • House hunting
  • Mayweek, balls, garden parties and festivals
  • Graduation (Distinction/First Class)
  • Graduation dinner
  • Played Golf for the first time

July

  • New York!
  • First full time Job!
  • Papers signed for first apartment!

August

  • Nothing happened in August apparently lmao
  • My birthday, had the best beef ever at Blues Kitchen
  • Long distance woes for real
  • Moved into my house proper

September

  • Nothing happened in September too?
  • Did my first Java programming

October

  • Saw Loyle Carner in a concert
  • Did more Java programming
  • Finished my second book of the year (Rise of The Robots)
  • Started doing Gym lol

November

  • Nunu’s Kitchen
  • Went up to Scotland for a Golf trip
  • Started my first web development project

December

  • Idk , snow?

 

Years not over. Managed to make it look super basic but I had really high highs this year and can’t think of a single low apart from not hitting some of my personal targets. Hope next year is better!

 

Balance:

Well it’s been a while since I posted but a lot has happened since I last posted. I graduated from Cambridge with a first, told my parents about loml, moved into a flat with my bro in London (I’m actually paying bills lol), had a serious quarrel with my mum, went to New York for training and started my new role in my full time job. In short, I began the rest of my life. I could go on for ages about any of these but I’m going talk about balance.

In the now immortal words of MC Quakes, the alter ego of Roadman Shaq who gave us Mans Not Hot, “You need to know the balance… Everything balance… Everywhere you go the balance ” Whatever that means haha. But I do really need to know the balance and I’m struggling to hack it at the moment.

Every human being gets the same number of hours in a day. I still love sleeping and waking up late as possible without being late for work. 24 hours, I would ideally like 8 hours, I’m okay with 7hrs but if pushed I could probably do 6. Let’s stick to 8 hours. So I’ve got 16 hours a day left. I spend 9 hours at work with 1 hour for lunch, that leaves me with 7hrs a day so why does it feel like I never have any time.Okay make it 6 hrs a day to account for time it takes me to get ready for work and settle from work. Still 6 hours seems like plenty of time but I can’t seem to do anything. What exactly do I need to do you may ask.

My job involves sitting at a desk all day so I figure that I need to exercise so I don’t become big boned. Hence I signed up for the gym at work but I’m not sure how to fit that in yet. There is a gym 5 mins from my house but I chose the one at work because exercising at work probably boosts productivity. The fact they give you free gym gear so all you need to bring is trainers and fresh boxers also helps. Might switch to the one at home because it may make more sense from a time management point but we’ll see.

I only specialise in the underrated cooking art form known as microwaving. I’m trying to expand my repertoire now that I’m a big man. Now that I’m living on my own with my bro, we have to cook for ourselves. Only thing I know how to cook in corned beef stew tbh, which is a good start. It sustained me earlier when we moved in. Nothing greater than a mother’s love. Exhibit A: My mother, who was back in Lagos at the time was worried that we weren’t eating well sent order a ton of food for me and my bro because she was (rightly) worried that we wouldn’t eat well. The food has lasted for almost a month but I’m down to the last bowl so I really do need to cook more things than fried plantain, omelettes, white rice and corned beef stew.

Choosing a career where I only use about 0.3% of the content of my degree means I have to learn on the job and outside the job to make any significant impact. My first project was in Python, my current one involves Java and some SQL. All of which I have never used before. So I have to read some books and do some online courses. I completed an ~8hr course on Java and that’s just 30% of the Beginner level. I know the level I want to be at and I am sooo sooo far from it so I do need time outside work to improve my skills.

Entertainment is probably what will have to suffer if I need to find the balance, but it’s one thing that helps you unwind. I don’t want my whole day to be  productivity hack, sometimes just be useless tbh. I enjoy listening to new music, watching TV shows, watching sports and want to get back into reading books and start listening to podcasts. No idea how to fit these into my day as well, not yet anyways. Especially the reading books part.

Maintaining relationships, this is perhaps the most difficult one for me. I used to think I was good at keeping in touch but that’s just a lie lol. Don’t think I ever was. My main method was to hit people up randomly when I saw something they posted on Twitter r Snapchat but I barely have time for even those anymore. I spend most of my time now talking to loml and I enjoy every second but a part of me feels like I’m trading off time with my other friends. There’s surely a way to do both because I’m not the first person to get a job. Another random, I just noticed I’ve mostly been hanging out with work and uni friends and not Secondary school and 6th form people.

Anyways, in summary I thought I had this time management thing on luck in uni but work life has made me second guess it. I haven’t even considered the intersections between all of these like how staying fit may involve eating healthy which may be more time consuming. Or skipping lunch to go gym may mean not hanging out with work friends. Even my Natwest Balance, Bank Account Balance, is affected by all of this as well. Working on finding the optimum