Fake it till you make it.

A couple of weeks back, as I was looking for what I can only hope was more useful and life changing information (probably not, I have been known to read a 2-page menu if it looks interesting, such is my idleness), I stumbled across this article, When (Not) to Fake an Orgasm.  I had a hallelujah moment, heavens parting, light streaming down...a kindred spirit has been found.  This woman is the agony aunt I wish I had growing up, I would be much saner if I’d spent my youth reading clear thinking like hers, instead of the ’Mills & Boon’ type bullshit that passed for sex-ed in my day.  I like a woman who has no time for fluff, is all I’m saying, because fluff is what got us believing that an orgasm is an easy thing to have.  It’s not.  You don’t believe me, do you?  The men reading this are leaning back, grinning cockily, hands on dicks, thinking, ’What idiot can’t come? Must be a chick thing...’  The women, on the other hand, are sitting there thinking, ’Not easy? Lakini...what is this cow smoking today? ’  An orgasm is hard to come by, that's why we feel the need to cheat.  That’s right, I said it, we cheat you, and I shall show you why, once I dispense with formalities.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is not a post about upward mobility.   Just thought I’d clear that up for anyone who may still be optimistically hoping that this week is going to be the week I become a serious individual.  This is about orgasms, and because there is no way to have a conversation about coming without getting explicit, you may want to consider exiting stage left if you’re feeling a little fragile today, looking for some fluffiness and whatnot.  These words, in all their varied permutations, may be used in this post, occasionally together, such as in this sentence: orgasm, come (not literal), cum, ejaculation, masturbation, wanking, lips, breasts, orbs, nipples, penis, clitoris, vagina, pussy, ass, ass-hole (literal), penetration, sucking, oral, anal, pornography...have I left anything out...ah yes, sex.  Still here?  No?  I lost them at ass-hole, didn’t I?  Don’t worry, odds are we’ll never get there, but I couldn’t pass up the chance to throw it in, not when it was sitting there looking oh so inviting, all puckered up and shit.  Stop cringing, you should have left when you had a chance, my lovely, now you’re on the dark side with the deviants.  Insert my evil laughter here...

To fake or not to fake, that is the question.  I know, not exactly Shakespeare, but in my defence, my English came by ship, and my ship is somewhat bandia.  Have you ever faked an orgasm?  Be honest.  Yes?  How many times?  Only once or twice, you say?  Really?  She chuckles an evil chuckle.  I’ve done it, more than a couple of times, but in my defence, when I started doing it, I didn’t know I was doing it.  Back when I thought I was having intense, mind-blowing, earth-shattering woohoo!’s (I can’t keep typing orgasm, sounds like a bloody dildo manual, no?), turns out back when I thought I was coming, I wasn’t.  I figured it out when I actually had mind-blowing, earth-shattering woohoo!’s, late in my 20’s, which in turn means that everything before had been, well, fake, no?  And that’s not to say I haven’t done it since, I have, needs must and all, but now that I’m older and (marginally) wiser, I’m starting to wonder if I should be bothering with all that faking jive, and why I’d want to in the first place.  Wait, don’t lynch me, there’s some thought behind the thought.

Young and naïve, we used to believe that sex is all about the orgasm. ’You must get off!’ was the one thought running through our minds, because everything we saw and heard seemed to stress that getting ourselves, and possibly others (time and effort allowing), off was the most important aspect of sex.  I can’t recall ever reading, or more importantly watching (I am a firm believer in the power of a good visual, blog notwithstanding), any sexual encounter that did not culminate in instant fireworks.  Back in my late teens, if all the Sidney Sheldon’s I read, steamy Dallas episodes I watched and sappy R&B I listened to were to be believed, all it took was for a man to drool over a woman, undress said woman, insert his penis into her vagina (under a well designed sheet concealing everything, of course) and one minute later, there was great gasping of joy, the end.  Occasionally, if I ventured into the odd Harlequin romance, there would be much staring into eyes, longing kisses, tender stroking of trembling fleshy orbs, grasping of rigid manhoods, thrusting into moistness, and then the great gasping of joy.  See, sex was a very straight line: man + woman + inserted body parts = gasping of joy.   No if, but or maybe. 

Luckily for the boys this wasn’t that big of a deal, because a teenage boy is so randy, he can get his rocks off just by thinking about it, I assume.  Teenage girl?  Not so much.  It’s hard enough wrapping your head around the thought of a foreign object a couple of inches wide, and several inches longer, going up a passage that neither looks nor feels nearly large enough to accommodate it, then we’re expected to enjoy it?  Greatly?  Hmmm...  Trust me when I tell you this, any girl who tells me she enjoys sex at that age (let’s ignore the fact that she probably shouldn’t be having it at that age to begin with) is lying to me, or to herself, or to her mother.  Frankly, in our teens we had no clue what sex was.  Which is why when we went off to college/paid employment/accommodation other than our parents’ houses, we quickly indulged in our favourite pastime, experimenting.  No porn was left unwatched, no orifice unexplored, no appendage unsucked, no location untried.  Only, we still had no clue what sex was all about, the same formula applied: man + woman + inserted body parts = gasping of joy.  Yes, you may have learnt to use your fingers (and other) to get yourself off, but your path to coming with another person was pretty much the same, no?

Until you met that one person who shagged you like a superstar, and your world changed. 

Don’t be shy, we all have that someone in our past who took our sex from 10 minute fumbles to hour long marathons, it’s part of growing up, being exposed to new, umm, things. For some of us, this person came along when we were 21, for the late bloomers, perhaps 31.  No matter though, as long as the person eventually came along, yes?  Yes?  For crying out loud, you idiot, what are you doing sitting here if you’re still having 10 minute fumbles, and only 10 minute fumbles (some smart-ass was about to point out my quickie theories...)?  Get out and find a half decent lover, then come back and tell me all about it (I’m a sucker for a good tale, no?).

Today's soundtrack is the appropriately titled, 'Mindblowin', a funky old jam from my teenage years.  I'd love to tell you something about the song, or the woman who did the song, but I know next to nothing about her.  All I can tell you is that it came out in the 90's, mid I think.  Smooth was one of the first sexy female rappers I saw back in the day, hair done, well, nails did, prancing about in lingerie, in her own video.  Suffice to say she was my role model back then, still is, now that I think about it (if I could rap this well, in clothes that small, I would, oh, how I would, but I digress).  I'd put up the lyrics, but they do nothing to help the song, just listen to it and enjoy, it really is quite brilliant, dodgy language aside.

Now, assuming your fucking marathon, fuckathon is more apt, didn’t only involve tedious thrusting for long stretches of time, I’m guessing you had one or two, or five, orgasms, probably of different intensity.  And thus the thought began to form in your mind, ’Maybe there’s more to this coming business than I thought. Maybe, just maybe, the formula is flawed. I wonder...’  Next thing you know, you’re sitting there googling different types of orgasms and wondering how you never knew this before. This is assuming, of course, that you are mildly curious as to why this one person had you calling out you grandfather’s name, and your previous lover didn’t.  You’re a relatively educated person, knowledgeable in the ways of condoms, experienced in at least 7 of the Kama Sutra positions, but alas, you didn’t know about the eleven different orgasms a woman can have (from what little I’ve read, the number of ranges from two to ten, number eleven is a bonus I suspect).  That’s right, 11 Different Types of Orgasms, from head to toe, quite literally.  Hands up any woman here who has had all eleven?  Nine?  Five?  Fine, three, you must have had at least three of these, no?  Wait, don’t tell me.  If you do, I might have to tell you my number, which in turn means I’ll have to work it out, which in turn means I may have to call several gentlemen I do not wish to call.  Gentlemen, how many of these do you think you’ve given your woman?  If anyone just said eleven, you are a shameless liar and you will burn in hell.  I’m guessing the average is in the region of five, and given that you buggers are delusional it may actually be two.  That’s also the number of types of orgasms men have, two, or four.  Exciting, no?

I must detour slightly, because my reading on the topic of men and their come (the act, separate from cum, the substance resulting from the act), is proving to be most amusing.  On one forum, one lovely gentleman claims that there are four types, common ejaculation + orgasm, multiple ejaculation + orgasm, prostrate ejaculation + orgasm, and dry orgasm. I know, only a man would list things in such an uncreative manner, could this sound any more mechanical?  The Male Multiple Orgasm Forum is for anyone who is genuinely curious, and looking for a manual on how better to come, and from the way these buggers are waxing lyrical (pun intended), I suspect they may be onto something.  I’m hoping one of my lovely deviants is willing to be my lab rat cum ’come researcher’ (that’s a mouthful, no? Wait, that’s even worse...).  Then there’s the other end of the spectrum, The Myth of the Male Orgasm, a bunch of scientists arguing that the male orgasm is a disease.  “It should be noted that Dr. Amelia Leviathan is in close agreement with Dr. Shoot. She too believes that what passes for male orgasm is actually a disease. But contrary to Dr. Shoot, she believes the affliction is actually a form of epilepsy localized in the groin. She feels she proved this in her much publicized recent study of 100 male rats, 50 of whom had epilepsy. The epileptic rats, Dr. Leviathan found, could mate with the female rats, even if the female rats didn’t want to. The nonepileptic rats just sat around exposing themselves.”  Rats exposing themselves?  Exactly how big is a rat’s dick?  Or should I ask, how big were her rats?  Bottom line, men have different orgasms too, or none, depending on which bloody scientist is speaking.  Detour over.

As it turns out, there is a lot more to orgasms than we have been led to believe.  Put differently, that age old formula is not entirely accurate, possibly just plain wrong.  See, there’s two things wrong with this notion.  One, that penetrative sex alone will automatically result in orgasm.  It doesn’t, not for most women.  Two, that orgasm is the end goal for any and all sex had.  It’s not, as many women and (admittedly fewer) men who don’t come during sex, willingly or otherwise, can attest.   Do you think that the sole purpose to your sex is for you both to get off?  Given that there are up to fifteen different ways of coming, combined, you may be right in thinking so, who knows?  I figure, for as long as you’re not hung up on one particular brand of orgasm, say, ejaculation, or U-spot (you must read these links, my friend, otherwise you will remain clueless), then you have lots of room to play around.  Take your time to discover all the different pleasures your body has to offer.  Once we begin to appreciate that there is more satisfaction available to us, from tingling skin through to melting limbs, then we are no longer stuck in the same old ruts we’re used to.  You, my lovely, are a...say it with me...veritable cornucopia of pleasure.  Five minutes or five hours, come or don’t come, it’s all up to you.

Which brings me back to where I began.  To fake or not to fake.

I talked about faking it when I was younger, because I didn’t know what coming was all about.  At the risk of TMI-ing myself (lakini that ship sailed a while back, no? Ah well...), I don’t think I had what these internet experts are calling a g-spot orgasm, or any other of the vaginal orgasms, till well into my 20’s, either that or the ones I had were baby versions.  Despite the limited variety, that was relatively good sex, good enough that I smile when I think back (no one ever smiles at the memory of bad sex, absolutely no one).  When I was moaning and groaning, in what I thought were the throes of passion, I wasn’t deliberately trying to deceive, in my head I was doing what was expected of me.  I moaned just so, because that’s how Sharon Stone moaned for...pretty much every man she made a movie with in the 90’s.  I arched my back, like so, because that’s how the woman in ’Sugar Hill’ arched her back when Wesley sucked on her nipple.  I’m not giving you examples of random scenes from movies just for the hell of it, I’m trying to show you that my sex was learned behaviour, it was practically scripted, and, unfortunately, not by me.  I knew that I was expected to react a certain way to a man’s touch.  I was expected to have sex a certain way.  I was expected to come, on cue, after this and that happened.  Only, I didn’t. I looked like I did, I thought I did, but I didn’t.

Gentlemen, the reason women fake it is because we’re trying to play along.  We know that you expect us to come when you flick our clitorises, fuck our pussies (I really don’t like this word, but ’fuck our vaginas’ sounds wrong, no?), or lick our ass-holes (you didn’t think I could use it, did you? Stop sneering, different strokes...).  You obsess over making sure your woman comes, because someone somewhere told you that’s what you’re expected to do.  Come to think of it, you’re probably reading the same script we are, and acting out your part.  That determination to get her off is the reason she gives in and simulates the great gasping of joy.  She wants to satisfy your demands, she wants you to stop pounding her like a jackhammer so she can roll over and finally get some sleep, she wants you to finish whatever the hell it is you’re doing so she can get back to Alejandro and his lovely behind (on TV, or perhaps in real life?).  We know you get a great deal of satisfaction from our pleasure, too much sometimes, given how you insist on getting it out of us by any means possible.  Problem is, sometimes you just can’t do it for her, because you don’t know how, and the only way she can get you to get her off is by telling you, or showing you, how to get her off, something your ego may not be ready for.  More importantly, it may be something her ego may not be ready for either, because it’s entirely possible that your woman is in need of some education too.  Either way, if she knows she won't get off, and she knows you expect her to get off before you finally get off (her), then she will fake it, till you make it.

Wait, stop frowning, in our defence, men fake it too.  Yes, you do, as many as 25% of you.  Your reasons aren’t too different from ours either; tired, bored, lost interest (in the sex and/or the woman), performance anxiety (can’t keep it up, for whatever reason)... same shit, different bed.  We all fake it to end it, but do we have to?

I’ll be straight with you, I think faking it to put someone out of their, or your, misery is a kindness.  No really, it is.  Some days we’re too tired to keep going for hours on end.  Some days we’re distracted, and despite the good sex being had, our minds are elsewhere.  Some days we have sex to satisfy the other person (not that it’s such a great inconvenience or anything, we still get all warm and flustered, we just don’t need to get off).  It’s sex, it’s complicated and rarely ever as straightforward as they would have us believe.  That said, faking it all the time is just silly, and self-defeating.  Why on earth would you pretend to come, all the time?  Don’t you dare sit there and tell me s/he doesn’t know how to fuck you, you probably don’t know how to fuck you either, you wilfully ignorant bastard.  Folks, that silly formula is the reason why half of us claim to be unsatisfied with our sex lives, and the other half are faking their satisfaction.

Yes, I do know that I’m throwing stones in my glass house.  This post is my own attempt at learning something new, because even in my oh so liberal thinking, I still have some ways to go, and then some.  It wasn’t until I met the man who rewrote that script, almost a decade ago, that I began to have sex that wasn’t ’by the (good girl’s) book’; I was writing my own script, acting it out with a man who wanted, nay, insisted that I direct it myself, choosing what, where and how, a man who had thrown out his own script.  I admit, it could be that I’m a bit slow when it comes to sex, hence my poor track record, or it could be that my vagina was insensitive back in the day and therefore impervious to orgasm, who knows, but I’ve slowly gone from an old movie on a 21”, B&W TV, to a 55”, 3D, HD TV, in glorious technicolor.  Hell, these days it’s fucking IMAX is what it is, relative to back then that is.  Yes, I realise that’s not saying much, I’m sure some of you are already fucking IMAX and her seven sisters.    Point is, if there’s actually any, I finally opened up to the possibility of sex being more than just a quick roll in the hay and a come, and with it came a certain amount of freedom.  I don’t have to fake anything any more, because I’m no longer playing a bloody role. 

In an ideal world, we should never have to fake anything, if you don’t or can’t get off, then it’s all good, because the sex is more than that, right?  Unfortunately, finding someone with whom you can have this level of honesty is rare.  Damn near impossible actually, but I live in hope.

This one is the last one.

Don’t worry, I'm not going to waste your time whining about the 2.5B celebrations, there is no point.  We all agree this is a stupid idea, yes?  Frankly, anyone not offended by this idea is most likely on the mendacity gravy train, and therefore unlikely to be swayed by my clear thinking and sound arguments.  I could ask questions about our most genius government's need to spend 200M on... I'm not sure what its for, to be honest, you tell me.  “On the proposal to spend on 50th Anniversary Publication Popular Edition, the meeting recommended that the copies be enhanced from Sh60,000 to Sh100,000. It was therefore recommended that the budget be raised from Sh120 million to Sh200 million.”  Do you have any idea what that's all about?  All I know is at 100k per, that makes 2000 pieces, of something popular, allegedly.  Say it with me...bollocks!


Ladies and gentlemen, I'm done ranting.  Here.  No, I'm not done being angry, at the rate this gova is going, I'll be angry well into the next decade.  Thing is, I'm thinking its time to get a bit more focused in my anger, and by that I mean more random.  Not content with being an insignificant little bugger in my corner of the internet, I shall now go forth and find another insignificant corner of the internet, one where I can let my ranting mind roam free, without having to worry about sating you with tales of my love life gone wrong to keep you hooked.  To this end, I'm taking this show on the road.  Dunia wiki hii, the category, is off to... drums please... Dunia Wiki Hii, the blog.  I know, its very creatively named this new blog.  Folks, if, like me, you like to scour the web for all things random yet news worthy, then please, join me.  I can't promise it will be anywhere as engaging as this house I've built (I mock myself, of course), but I can promise you it will be informative, and maybe even thought provoking, even if the thought is simply, 'What the...?'

And just so you know, I'm not completely delusional in my belief that others share my fondness for rants and whatnot, I realise most of us would rather just get on with the business of living.  But life is not that simple, and I remain convinced that the odd conversation about what ails us is much needed, even when said conversation is an unrestrained (if mildly educated) outpouring of anger, pure, unadulterated anger.  Humour too, but anger mostly, at least from me.  I'm not alone in this, you see, I'm hoping to rope in a couple of like minded individuals, people with a fondness for random news, or people who like to rant at the powers that be (be stupid more like, but lets not split hairs), or news junkies who like to read those little news bites on the side of the page...basically anyone who has a passing interest in, well, anything really.  If you feel like joining our merry band of, umm, two currently (but we're looking to hit three by year's end), you are most welcome, provided you are well acquainted with spell check (just saying...).  Woolie of the sheep fame has kindly tagged along for the ride, he's the resident expert expat, because we are nothing if not international, no?  Perhaps not.

Thank you for indulging me in this my little pet obsession for the past year and a half, my lovelies.  Here's hoping I see you on the other side.

Stop frowning, I'm not going anywhere. I'll still be here every week (or so), going on and on about everything but siasa.  Speaking of which, I'm off to the sewer...


Letter From London - The Royal Announcement

Last week, on the evening of Monday 22 July Kensington Palace made the long awaited announcement that the Duchess of Cambridge had given birth to a baby boy. The child with the title Prince of Cambridge was born at the private wing of St Mary's Hospital in Paddington arriving at 4.24 pm. Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge and second in line to the throne was said to be delighted. On Tuesday the Duchess presented her new son to the world when she was photographed holding the baby prince as they stood at the hospital steps where they were greeted by crowds of well-wishers.

A day later the Royal Family announced the name of the future king. The new baby is to be called George Alexander Louis. He will be known as His Royal Highness Prince George of Cambridge. Prince George who is third in line to succeed Queen Elizabeth will one day become the head of state in sixteen countries namely, United Kingdom, Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Canada, Grenada, Jamaica, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, the Solomon Islands and Tuvalu. He will also assume the title the Head of the Commonwealth. He will be the Supreme Head of the Church of England and The Defender of the Anglican Faith.

The Royal birth and the wide media attention that it generated have enhanced the image of the UK's hereditary constitutional monarchy, “just like Kenya's” perhaps some cynics would say.

This was also the week that scientists decided to talk sh&t, literally. Please bear with me. According to the good people at the University of Sheffield's Project Sunshine Initiative the nutrients needed to grow crops in our fields are rapidly running out. The boffins are proposing a different if not radical and perhaps even random new fertilising source: our own excrement.

It has long been known that human faeces contained certain nutrients that helped crops grow and human excrement was used as a source of manure before the advent of manufactured fertilizers. Modern attitudes towards human waste may be starkly different today but it still remains a fact that our poo and urine contain essential plant growth nutrients.

As the world continues to face a growing population, rising food demands and diminishing mineral resources, producing fertilizers from human urine and faecal waste has never been so appealing. The basic feed stock comes free of charge! What is required now is to develop secure composting solutions that would address all the important public hygiene concerns. The scientists at Sheffield believe that they have the technology and know-how to do just that.

The major issue to be considered when contemplating the use of human waste for fertilizer has to be the harmful organisms found naturally in human waste. The most deadly of these would be the hookworm, ringworm and the tape worm. E.Coli, Cholera and other harmful bacteria also pose a major public health concern and need to be acknowledged.

The use of untreated sewage though common is a highly risky affair. Far better to introduce a system of sewage collection and treatment where the solid waste can be allowed to decompose thus eliminating harmful bacteria and worms' eggs. The benefits of a viable system would be a relatively cheap and abundant source of plant nutrients giving increased crop yields and a solution to the problem of waste disposal. There will need to be on going research to discover the effects of applying man-made contaminants such as chemicals and drugs as well as non- organic heavy metals in the reclaimed compost

Random facts
  • A random person produces on average 1.5 tonnnes of urine and faeces every year.
  • Phosphorus and Nitrogen, essential for plant growth are found in human waste.
  • Human waste is already widely used as fertilizer in India, Mexico, Nepal and Ghana.

The team at Sheffield University believe that it is only a matter of time before we take the issue of using our excrement for fertilizer seriously.


36 and counting...

I turned 36 two weekends back, and I forgot to tell you.  Then again, you forgot to wish me a happy birthday, so I guess we're even.  

Now on one's birthday, one is expected to wax philosophical on the meaning of life and such like nonsense.  The reason I didn't was because I already did all that at the beginning of the month.  Which means that I have nothing to tell you now.  I'm bila issues this year, at least no more issues than I normally have.  I am surprisingly devoid of man drama, thanks to a lengthy purging process, some of it not entirely by choice.  There are no men vexing me currently. Well, there's one, but he's vexing me in a good way, so he doesn’t count.  Get your mind out of the gutter, bloody perverts, I mean vexing in the literal sense, he's fucking with my head, and I like it.  I have no work drama worth talking about, work is work.  I have no family drama either, because my relatives have finally given up on me and resigned themselves to my fate as the errant child.  Not to tempt fate or anything, but I'm okay, this month at least.

Happy birthday to me.

I went for Karaoke a couple of days earlier, figuring singing is a good way to celebrate the day (because it worked so well last year), and that's when I made a shocking discovery.  Turns out, I can't sing when I'm sober.  Let me rephrase, I can't remember the words when I'm sober.  Yes, the whole point to the exercise is that the words are on a big screen in front of you, but only idiots follow those Made in China lyrics.  The rest of us experienced (ahem) types know to sing songs you know back to front, your memory making up for what is often a complete lack of vocal ability.  So there I am, early, too early, and on drink number one, and I get called up to sing.  I'd picked the song I always pick, because it's short, and easy, but lo and behold, I couldn’t remember the words.  Completely blank.  I'm standing there looking at the screen, struggling to recall the melody and thinking, 'Shoulda had a stiff one first...' (take that as you will).  Worse still, everyone else was sober too, because it was too bloody early, so I know they knew I was making shit up.  I don’t know why I keep subjecting myself to mild levels of public shame, I'm starting to suspect I may have masochist tendencies, and not the good kind.  That said, shame = free drinks, and I am nothing if not cheap.  In fact, I'm thinking of pulling that stunt more often, pity booze is kinda nice, no?  Probably not.  It's usually followed by a demand for pity sex, and that one's kinda crappy.

Slight detour.  Remember the dude I hit on last year, the one who lenga'd my vibe with madharau?  I will have you know that I did not let that sleeping dog lie.  No sir, not at all, I went back and showed him the error of his ways, over a sustained period of three months.  You must have realised by now that I can be quite persistent when I put my mind to it, and that bugger was not going to get away with that humiliation of my person(age?).  How now?  I have a reputation to protect.  I plied him with booze (too easy given his fondness for what I consider alcopop), and then I did the gushing female thing, 'I love your voice,' said with a suitably awe struck tone (just for the record, I wasn't lying, the man can sing like a baritone angel.  Problem is, he knows it, he uses his vocal chords to funga small girls...), I may even have unleashed some cleavage to get him to focus.  And then after all that effort, I realised I wasn't interested in the man, my only interest was in redeeming my wounded pride.  Once that was done, I returned to my normal ways of propping up the counter and ignoring the men looking to funga something, anything I suspect.  The moral to this tale?  Booze, shameless flattery and a boob are useful seduction tools.  Hmmm...  Clearly my age has not come with added wisdom.  Detour over.

So, I'm sitting there, thinking back over the past year, struggling to recognise the somewhat broken woman I was last July.  That sounds dramatic, no?  Too dramatic.  I wasn’t that fucked up, but I wasn’t all that good either, was I?  One year ago, I was drowning my sorrows, trying to see my forest from my trees, or vice versa.  This year?  I was blissfully sober, drinking white wine, if you can believe it, and generally feeling quite...settled?  Who is this woman, man?  White wine?  In a bar?  In the almost local?  

Hang on, I need to explain the wine story, so you can properly understand the depths to which I have sunk.  I'm a red wine drinker, have been for (too many) years.   White wine lacks...balls.  I like a wine with a big set of cojones, full bodied and as dry as possible, but smooth, like butter.  Problem is, the drier the wine, the worse the hangover, you wake up as dehydrated as a desert, and it gets worse the older you get.  A couple of months back, I split a bottle of white with a friend, because she doesn’t drink red, and I'm the booze langa, willing to switch drinks if need be.  Next morning, I woke up sans any hint of pain, and this after I knocked back two thirds of the swill.  I had a eureka moment, leaping out of bed (more clothed than Archimedes, thankfully) and dancing around with glee.  My fellow winos, you who know the pain of which I speak, if you're drinking and not eating, the trick is to drink sweet wine (apparently the sugar helps), white if possible.  Your body can, nay, will thank me later.  That said, that white stuff has no balls, its like Ribena, only without the colour.  Old age sucks...  Let's continue.

I have become a woman who drinks the mild drink, so as not to hurt the following day.  I am the woman who can comfortably embarrass herself in front of friends, and strangers, and not go into hiding for three months (see blog.  Yes, this one.).  I'm the woman who happily goes home at midnight, despite unnecessary name calling from the drunkards at the counter, because I can't handle more than four hours in the bar these days, not without greater spirits moving me, and even then, maybe another two hours at best.  And when I get home, early and damn near sober, I read a book to fall asleep, a real book, not a book with pictures.  I'm no longer the woman looking to lose herself for as many hours as possible, these days it seems I'm happy being me.  What the hell is going on?  I sound grown up, almost sane.  This is horrifying.  Thing is, it also feels really good.  It feels like this woman you're reading, Alex, she's no longer a separate entity, distinct from the real me, or is it that the real me has finally caught up with Alex?  Whichever it is, I don't feel like I'm pulling in different directions any more, kinda like the many voices in my head have finally shut up.  Does this make any sense to you?  No?  I'm not sure it does to me either.  

All I want to know is, who the fuck is this woman, and what did she do with the other one (I'm thinking buried in the garden, corpse to be discovered in a few months' time, minus fingertips and teeth.  Stop looking at me like that, I watch 'Dexter', I know how to dispose of a body...)?  Don’t get me wrong, I like this recently joined woman, only she's a bit scary in her peaceful quiet.  Yes, this is me quiet, and peaceful.  I can see you smirking, you malicious bastards, waiting for the other shoe to drop.  No worries, I'm waiting too, suspicious of this recent development.  Feels like the calm before the storm, either that or its the calm after the storm, who knows?

I think I'm going to enjoy 36...  

Blogging 203: Who are you talking to?

Friday night, I was given a lecture by the self appointed leader of the legion of Kai ni kii? deviants, he claims to speak for all 36 of you when he tells me that my erratic posting schedule is unacceptable (deep frown for emphasis).  Why do I refuse to post twice a week, as agreed upon?  He then warned me that I will lose my legion to other more reliable bloggers.  Are you laughing?  You are, aren't you?  Humour aside (he was speaking in jest, but only a little), the man does have a point.  We have a contract here, you and I, I write, you read.  A token few sacrificial lambs volunteer to comment once in a while, to keep me occupied, and the show goes on.  Thing is, even as I endeavour to satisfy 'the legion', I'm starting to realise that the buggers I'm reading do not feel the same compunction to satisfy me.  Frankly, I'm a bit disgruntled, as a reader.  

Now I have an embarrassing confession to make.  Up until January 2011, I had never read a single blog.  I was that idiot who’d hear people talking about blogs and wonder why they didn’t just go out and buy a book like normal people.  Then I discovered Bikozulu, back when he had the crazy chicks stalking him in the comments section, and then mamas picking fights with the stalkers, and then others hitting on the mamas (it was better than 'Days of our Lives').  I spent a month waxing lyrical to anyone who cared to listen, talking about how I had finally discovered…wait for it…the interwebs.  I know, I’m a complete technophobe.  Until that point, I only ever went online to do research for work and read my mail, and sometimes a bit of smut, because what is the internet for, if not sex?  I’ve made up for my ignorance since then, once it occurred to me that there must be others out there, idiots (not unlike like myself) with a fondness for all things peculiar.  How right I was…  I keep saying this, it’s frightening the number of random blogs out here, some good, a few bloody excellent, and, unfortunately, some not so good, and by that I mean painfully bad. 

Slight detour.  Is there a rule that states that spell check is optional on the internet?  I ask with seriousness, because I'm starting to think this is one of those things I don't get, like LOL and *ducks*.  What the hell, man?  On the up side though, that’s how I ended up here, with my own blog.  Somehow I convinced myself that if the geniuses who no speaka da english can do it, then why not me?   Why not indeed…  Detour over.

Whenever I visit a new blog, the first thing I do is go to the very first post, or the 'about' page, to get an idea of the brilliant plan, and from that I’ve come to classify bloggers as one of three types.  There are the artists, they who talk about their ‘passion’ and such like froufrou nonsense, sijui how they love words and have always dreamt of being writers.  Those are the types who subject you to their angst and what not, in between (what they consider) finely crafted prose, and verse (always with the poetry...), often forcing you to sit through their never ending drama, purely because they’re skilled enough to keep you glued to their page.  Evil bastards those ones, (sometimes) brilliant, but evil!  (For the record, I may be slightly jealous of that evil talent, but that's beside the point.)  Then there are the analysts, they who are so obsessed with putting the comma in the right place, they often forget to put themselves in as well.  Now you know I have love for random discussions, because I have a fondness for knowledge, and I do see the value in having impersonal discussions about serious matters, but I struggle with these types, because more often than not they refuse to tell me a story, or swear.  Which brings me to the last group, the batshit insane.  These buggers, they’re just lovely.  It’s usually an unending stream of (occasionally delightful) random stories, with a fondness for TMI, and perhaps uncensored language.  Frankly, they’re a little fucked up and not too proud to admit it, in all its sordid, technicolor detail.  Of course, being that they're insane, they can and will drive you mad every so often, but its a small price to pay for a glimpse into their lives.

The reason I categorise my bloggers?  It's not to gauge the quality of their writing, good writing doesn’t discriminate and is often found in the unlikeliest of places.  I do it simply to determine my level of engagement.  See, in the early days, I thought every blogger was eager to talk to random strangers, seeing as how they’re out in the public sphere, with those handy little comment boxes at the end of the post.  Not so much, as it turns out.  Turns out, most of the artist types can't be bothered to talk to you, because they're macelebs in their misguided heads.  The analyst types do not know how to talk to you, often thrown off their stride with the sudden intrusion of a stranger into their hermetically sealed world.  The insane ones, on the other hand, they talk so much, all the time, you're scared to talk to them, and when you do, well, you've just signed your soul over to the devil, and become his new best friend.  This commenting mess is like goldilocks, only without the baby bear option that fits just right.  Back when I first started, I was that quiet idiot in the background, reading, laughing, crying, getting pissed off (often), but for the most part silent, too scared to get sucked into the peculiar chatter that characterises most comments sections.  Then I started scribbling my own most brilliant and eloquent thoughts (I mock myself…) and I realised that the quiet buggers can sometimes drive a blogger mad.  No really, mad!  I started commenting on blogs, actively, because I finally realised that what a blogger craves most is a reaction, even something as basic as a smiley.  (I was also commenting because they said that it’s the best way to get traffic to your blog.  FYI, they lied, that only works if you whore yourself with tacky links and cheesy 'me too!' comments, and even then, not so much, but that’s a story for another day.)  Most bloggers want to know that something they wrote got through to you, or at least that’s what they, we, say.  

What we should actually say is that we want many, many readers on our on blogs, and the tons of praise that comes with them.  What buggers, sorry, bloggers will never admit to, because admitting to it is to show our vanity, in as much as we’re just happy to be read, what we really want is a glowing review.  We want you to gush all over us and proclaim us the next (insert name of favourite writer here…), because what are we if not a self-indulgent bunch of narcissist word whores?  What?  I’m just saying, someone doesn’t wake up and plaster their thoughts on the world wide web for the good of mankind; they’re either looking to show off like the artists they think they are (hence the narcissism), or they’re looking to share their (alleged) brilliance, and by so doing earn some love, or sympathy, or absolution.  We crave your comments, like a junkie craves his smack, but, and there's always a but, but not if you’re going to tell us that you don’t like it, that you think its shit, that we should consider a refresher course in English, and typing.  That we don’t want to hear, those are the comments we delete, dismissing you as an ignorant philistine, incapable of grasping the brilliance that is our (and we say this with posh accents) ‘writing’.  All we want is shallow, if possible mindless, praise, or at least that is how it would appear.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is what frustrates me most about blogs.  

I am constantly looking for comments that go beyond the post.  If I like the post, I'm curious to read what other people think as well.  I have questions that I want answered, things that may have been left out in the post.  Its not that I want to post negative comments, or read them for that matter (pissy comments are often most unattractive, even when they're funny), but I may not necessarily agree with what's being said, and I'd like to discuss it further, if possible with like minded individuals.  Simply put, I want more.  See, that's the beauty of blogs, they go where the papers and magazines can't, in content and language.  Here we can get down and dirty, no?  Apparently not.  After many bland responses, or simply being ignored, I’ve learnt to stay silent.  There’s nothing worse than trying to talk to someone and getting the 1-2 brush-off, makes you wonder why you even bothered to waste those two minutes, no?  I was under the misguided notion that being online meant that I can actually talk to the author of the brilliance, instead of just sitting back and soaking it in like the adoring fan I’m expected to be.  What is this new media for, if not to have better conversation?

My dear bloggers, you might want to consider engaging with the masses, really engaging, not just 'thank you', and 'cheers'.  Listen, we’re all looking to build some form of audience, stands to reason we must meet some of their expectations in the process, these buggers are just as selfish as we are.  They expect satisfaction, all the damn time.  As the author of this disturbingly accurate essay points out (The Internet Narcissism Epidemic), “...we get accustomed to having even our most minor needs accommodated to this degree, we are growing more needy and more entitled. In other words, more narcissistic.”  Now I’m not saying bloggers should be playing to the gallery, we all have our reasons for doing what we do, no?  Thing is, you must at the very least acknowledge the presence of a gallery.  If you choose to write an opinion piece, know that there will be a genius who wants to discuss it with you, perhaps even prove you wrong, so you had better be willing to back up your strong words, right there.  If you choose to wax lyrical, penning literary masterpieces, then be prepared for a self styled 'critic' calling you out on your (ab)use of language.  If you choose to delve into relationships, or sex, get ready to bare your soul, or other, for your audience, because that’s what’s expected of anyone who tries to be Dr Phil, or Hugh Hefner.  

This audience we crave, it's a double-edged sword, on the one hand keeping us going with their patronage, but on the other hand, constantly demanding more and more, because they must have their pound of flesh.  The lovely bastards out here reading are working under the (possibly misguided) impression that you’re there to entertain them, at all costs.  I know, the gall!  But that’s how the internet works, and if you don’t like it you always have the choice to go the other way.  Stop chasing the numbers, and chase the high you get from seeing your words on a page, even if the page is yours alone, and possibly shit.  Tell your story as you see fit, and then kill the comments thingi at the bottom, so the nuisance buggers (such as myself) know not to bother you.  That actually works, by the way, it comes in quite handy when you’re having a bad day.

The point to my little diatribe is this.  If you choose to talk to the public, then talk to us, not at us.  Interact, dammit, this isn't a bloody newspaper with unseen readers.  This, my lovelies, is the interwebs, home of the idle and chatty (and sometimes vile) langas, bloggers and readers alike.  What's that?  You don't think you should talk to the hoi polloi?  Then who the fuck are you talking to?  You don't like the nasty reactions you get sometimes?  Come now, a stupid comment gives you the (unfortunately too rare) opportunity to bitch slap an idiot.  Be honest, who here doesn’t love doing that?  Folks, every so often someone will come along and attempt to have a conversation with you, because something you said resonated with them.  Or perhaps they want to point out the flaws in your not so brilliant thinking, or writing, again, out of resonance.  By the time someone sets up camp in your house, and proceeds to have a bit of a chat, or rant, they’re doing so because they have genuine interest in what you say.      

I am very disgruntled.  Methinks I have been cheated by the promise of the interwebs.


So you found a man, now what?

You went out and identified a man who you think might just be the right man for you.  Good for you. Problem is, now you have to figure out what to do with bastard, no?   No?   What, kwani you buggers know what to do with a random man when you angukia him?   Be honest...  Thought so.  These men they are confusing, just when you think it’s all good, they turn around and start acting like twats.  But not to worry, that’s what Dr A is for.  I am going to make like a bullshit expert and tell you how to move your newly acknowledged infatuation from ’Could it be?’ to ’Yeah...perhaps...no!’

The 2013 Kai Ni Kii? Guide To Finally Getting A Man (Funky Soundtrack Included).


What?  Si you have a man now?  Granted, you don’t know what to do with him, but that’s how I get to make money off your ignorant behind, with Book 2, see?  Good plan, no?  No?  You’re reading, aren’t you?  Insert my evil laughter here...

As I was saying, thanks to Book 1, you identified a man who really likes you.  Well woohoo! for you, you are one step closer to your happily ever after.  But wait, before you go out and buy your fluffy white dress, slow your roll for a minute and ask yourself, is the man looking to keep you, or just borrow you, or maybe give you away to someone else?  That’s right, after the giddy optimism of the initial heady days of electricity and unrequited (or perhaps requited) chemistry, all those lovely infatuated moments we love to get excited over, now comes the hard part, the harsh reality.  Once your hormones die down and your dopamine levels return to acceptable levels, you have the unenviable decision to make.  Should I stay or should I go?

Now because no self help on the internet is complete without a mindless test, let’s have one, shall we?  Listen to the three MJ tracks on the soundtrack (at the bottom of your screen, that thingi written THE SOUNDTRACK, click to play) and then answer the following:

1. Which of the three songs made you think about said man (or woman, because I know you buggers are playing along)?
a. 1
b. 2
c. 3
d. EH?

2. When you thought of him, did you?
f. EH?

3. Now which of the three songs do you think he would use to describe you?
a. 1
b. 2
c. 3
d. EH?

4. The real answer this time, not the one you like?
a. 1
b. 2
c. 3
d. EH?

5. Last question, and I need you to think long and hard about this one. Isn’t the second song a bloody classic?
a. YES
c. EH?

If you answered anything but b) to the last question, get out of my house, you ignorant philistine.  And if you answered EH?, leave too, because you can’t be bothered to play my tunes.  That’s why you don’t know what’s going on, bloody cheapass!

You want the other results, don’t you, because you think I may actually have some insight to offer?  Say it with me...really?  You just answered your own niggling questions, my lovelies, but because you need someone to tell you what you already know, you continue to give your money to a bunch of idiots who claim to have all the answers.  Ahem.  I will proceed.

1. Does he want you to move your ass the fuck on?

If at any point you picked the first song, ’Billie Jean’, my friend, the writing is on the wall.  Not only is your new found relationship on its death bead, the priest is standing over its rapidly cooling body smearing olive oil on its poor forehead.  Let it go, accept and move on.  Don’t even try and tell me sijui it has a funky beat, I gave you options.

I know (and you know I know this one only too well), this is a hard one to accept, because odds are you’re hoping he feels, how do you say, different.  In his defence though, it’s possible that he realised that it wasn’t going to work out only after he got to know you better, and found out that you have the unfortunate habit of picking your nose in public, and now he’s trying to figure out how best to bump you off.   Odds are he has taken to ignoring your phone calls, and texts, and generally being unavailable. Sound familiar?  You, my dear, are his Billie Jean.  Leave now while you still have some pride left, before you get to my CSW levels of desperation (creepy stalker woman, by the way, not commercial sex worker, although desperate times do call for desperate measures, no?  Perhaps not.).

For forty days and forty nights,
The law was on her side,
But who can stand when she’s in demand,
Her schemes and plans,
Cause we danced on the floor in the round,
So take my strong advice,
Just remember to always think twice...

Yes, it’s disappointing, but tell me you haven’t met a guy and realised he wasn’t quite what you were expecting, a month or two down the line?  You do it too, often I’m guessing.  Well, shoe’s on the other foot, so get over it, and get over yourself, and move on with your fine self.  More fish in the sea and what not.

2. Does he want to feel your ass, and not much else?

Love is a feeling,
Give it when I want it,
’Cause I’m on fire,
Quench my desire,
Give it when I want it,
Talk to me woman,
Give in to me...

If you picked ’Give In To Me’ (for ye stubborn buggers who still haven’t played the tunes, that would be the second track), especially in reply to number 1, then yours is lust.  Good growling lust, because you must have growled, in a good way, no?  The good news is, if you picked the same song for him in number 4, then you’re both horny little bastards.  Enjoy your blissfully carnal relationship.  At least until one of you gets bored and moves on in search of a new high.  I’m just saying...

If, however, this song was picked only once, then you might have a bit of a problem, because you two are not on the same page.  If you think this song describes how he feels for you, then you already know that he’s looking for a little sumthin’ sumthin’.  Yes, he may also be looking for love and happiness, all that good stuff, but if he was then you’d probably have picked the third song.  Come now, no one who wants more than sex readily admits to the object of their affection not wanting more as well, we are nothing if not delusional, no?  Unfortunately for us, if it walks like a duck, and it talks like a duck, my lovely, odds are it will fuck like a bloody duck (unless it’s a brightly coloured chicken masquerading as a duck, in which case...you’re a bit fucked, possibly over. Ah well...).  What should you do?  Well, you can hold out long enough for him to get tired of waiting and bugger off in search of an easier target.  Or perhaps he’ll relent and give you the deep and meaningful relationship you want, sans the sex he wants.  Then again, he might relent, and all the while keep getting what he wants from another, but at least you won’t be the one getting screwed.

I am so bad at this motivation crap, it’s a miracle I haven’t been sued yet...

The moral of the song is this.  If he’s growling lustily and you’re dancing through the proverbial flowers, Disney fantasy in mind, then do the safe thing and walk on by, you’ll live to prance another day.  Put differently, a single swallow doth not a summer make, so don’t go thinking if you shag him he’ll be more inclined to stick around. He won’t.

3. Is he feeling you?

The reason this comes last is because it’s a process of elimination, think Ockham’s razor, but with a slightly blunt razor (hence my possibly flawed logic).  Assuming that you’ve decided that the man isn’t trying to exit stage right, and he’s not just interested in your honey, honey, then you have no choice but to conclude that he’s interested in you, all of you, not just your woman bits.  Hence the song, ’I Just Can’t Stop Loving You’, a syrupy ballad if ever I heard one.  Hang on, not so fast.  Don’t start tripping fantastic yet, just because MJ likes to wax lyrical about love, that doesn’t mean you should, the man was not sane, and apparently he was high on expensive shit too (explains the genius bit though).  Feeling you does not equal love, it just means he wants more than a warm body on a cold night.  Remember, it’s early days yet.

You know how I feel,
This thing can’t go wrong,
I’m so proud to say I love you,
Your love’s got me high,
I long to get by,
This time is forever, love is the answer...

You really picked this song?  Remind me again how you ended up on my cynical blog?  I worry for you...

I’m guessing your romantic behind is not too satisfied with my simple elimination theory, yes?  Not enough drama for you?  Fine, let’s try a less scientific approach.  You could make like a creepy woman and engage in a bit of subterfuge, such as we do, stalk his facebook page, his twitter account, his home address, his work address, his bar...hell, just stalk the man, live and in person, if you feel so led.  You know, the usual.  Problem is, all that gets you is a lot of information about his drinking habits and his favourite football team, and not much else.  So he recently friended a girl with a hot picture and a stated fondness for body shots (and reading, because the hot chicks on facebook just love to read, don’t they?), that doesn’t mean he’s taking shots off her seemingly tight body, does it?  Does it?  The answer we’re looking for is no, yes?  Nod now.  Good girl.  Rather than drive yourself mad with random pieces of information, why not try the new improved Kai ni kii? approach, proven to work in most situations (not) involving normal people?  See, all you have to do is...wait for it...nothing.  Wait, don’t leave, there’s more.

Doing nothing is not as nothing as it sounds.  You simply need to sit back and watch, and listen.  If the man is feeling you, then the poor bastard can’t help himself, he’ll tell you, and show you, and then beg you if you appear unconvinced.  All you have to do is figure out what language he’s speaking, because you know he no speaka da english.  And how do you do that?  Do I even need to say it?  That’s right, wait for Book 3.

Yes, I’m laughing, and yes, it’s evil my laughter.  And yes, I do in fact have a lot of spare time on my hands, clearly.

The Only Relationship Book You Ever Need To Buy is definitely worth a read, and the comments are even better.


Letter from London - pass it on

Just in case you missed it last week (July 8 -14) was National Transplant Week in the UK. The theme this year centred on the need to call for more people to sign up with the National Organ Donor Register and once registered to communicate their wishes to their close family and friends. The idea is that should the worst happen and a donor was to die in hospital the family would have been fully aware of the donor's intentions and would not stand in the way of organ removal. Organs for transplant need to be removed and processed quickly if they are to be used to save or significantly enhance a patient's life.


The Organ Donor Register (ODR) wass launched in 1994. It contains names and address details of potential donors. To date there are close to 2 million registered donors who have indicated that they would like to donate their organs and other body tissues to save lives. Registeration was made simple by providing a form that one could fill whilst completing a Driver's Licence application. General Practice surgeries also offered simple registration facilities. These two methods remain the most popular ways for donors to get on the ODR but with new technology online and mobile phone registration are becoming widespread especially amongst younger donors.

Some random facts

Patients' waiting times (in days) for various organs:  Liver 142; Lung 412; Kidney 1168; Heart ?

Did you know that you are far more likely to need an organ transplant than to be a donor?

An ageing population, an increase in diabetes and kidney disease and advances in transplant techniques all mean that we will see a steep increase in the number of transplants in the coming years.

Afro Caribbeans are 3 times as likely to suffer from kidney disease as the rest of the population.

S E Asians are more likely to suffer from heart disease than the reat of the general population and 4 times more likely to need heart and kidney transplants

Traditionally organs for transplant have come from Road Traffic Accident or brain haemorrhage patients who have died in hospital.

All major religions support organ donation.

The random questions

So there we have it. Organ donation is viewed positively and is supported by the vast majority of the population. After all what could be more valuable than giving someone the gift of life?

So all is fine in the transplant world, right? Well not according to Sally Johnson of NHS Blood and Transport. In an interview for Sky News she said that radical change is urgently needed if the country is to achieve its transplant objectives. As things currently stand a donor may be on the ODR but if at the time of death the relatives object to organ removal there is nothing to do but accept their wishes. In a cruel twist potentially life saving organs and tissues are buried or cremated even when the deceased was a donor on the ODR. Every year 1000 people in the UK die for lack of organs for transplant. That is 3 people every day. The NHSBT would like a change in legislation so that relatives would have no say if a donor was already on the ODR. Heated debate is inevitable. A more radical proposal by the NHS seeks to give registered donors priority should they require an organ transplant themselves. There is little chance of this being adopted seeing as transplants must be performed on the basis of need. The question, though needs to be asked. Is it fair that one is prepared to accept and organ transplant if they are not willing to give?

A few weeks ago the Welsh Government decided to introduce an “opt-out” policy for organ donation. In future it will be assumed that a deceased person is a potential organ donor unless they had specifically signed and opt out card. Another tricky one, no?

A random Joe

Finally, meet Joe*, a 29 year old Kenyan living in Catford, S.E London. 3 years ago Joe was diagnosed with kidney disease. The doctors explained that he had a rare autoimmune disorder that had caused his kidneys to fail. Joe has been on dialysis now for two and a half years. He visits the dialysis unit at the local hospital three times a week where he is connected to a dialysis machine that filters and purifies his blood. The process takes four hours to complete. In addition to the dialysis Joe must continue to take a variety of medications to control his immune system, his blood pressure and his cholesterol levels. He also takes powerful pain killers for gout which is common in kidney disease patients.

Joe has been told that the long term plan for his treatment must be for him to have a kidney transplant. By getting a donor kidney to replace his malfunctioning pair Joe would be able to come off the dialysis treatment and have every prospect of living a normal life. There has been a huge increase in the diagnosis of kidney disease and the demand for kidney transplants is on an all time high. Joe has been on the waiting list for a donor kidney since soon after his diagnosis. The estimated time on a waiting list for a kidney from a non-living donor is approximately three years.

Nine months ago Joe was visiting friends in the West End when he got a call to say that he should make his way to hospital immediately as a suitable donor organ had been found. He rushed about and got to the hospital to prepare for the life-changing operation. The team at the renal unit carried out a series of tests and after several hours told Joe that the operation would not be going ahead after all. The test results had come back positive for certain factors that would have meant that Joe's body would almost certainly have rejected the organ. People on transplant waiting lists go through several of these false dawns especially when theirs is a rare tissue type compared to that of the general population.

Two weeks before I met with Joe his doctors outlined yet another option which they thought he may like to investigate. They asked him to look into the possibility of obtaining a kidney from a living donor, most likely a close family member. Tests would still need to be done in order to assess the suitability of such a match but a living donor transplant usually means that the wait need not be so long. To date Joe has not made any decision on this most difficult proposition.

As the debates continue one thing we all agree on is the need to do more to increase the number of potential organ and body tissue donors. Have you registered with the ODR?

Transplant Week


This one is about mendacity.

I have to break one of my own house rules today and put up a video link, but only because I can't see any other way to explain this term. Up until I watched this movie many years ago on TCM, I had never heard the word mendacity before. These days, its all I think of when I listen to yet another slimy politician and grimy bureaucrat telling me lies and more lies. The stench of mendacity...

men·dac·i·ty [men-das-i-tee]
noun, plural men·dac·i·ties
1. the quality of being mendacious; untruthfulness; tendency to lie.
2. an instance of lying; falsehood.
1640–50; Late Latin mendācitās falsehood, equivalent to Latin mendāci
deception, lie, untruth, deceit.

These people, they be lying to me. And not just lying, but lying mendaciously.

So, the house that cost 400M, soon to cost 500M, or probably more. This story of the VP's house has vexed me for many years. In a scheme cooked up early in the last decade, it was decided that the government would build an official residence for our most esteemed vice president. 'Why?' you ask. Well, apparently the VP was sans residence, other than his own most stately mansion (at the time the VP was one Moody Awori, co-owner of Kenya Inc.). 'But what about the house on Kabarnet Drive?' you ask, 'The one that Moi used to use as his home away from home, away from home, ad infinitum?' Turns out, the NARC government, in a fit of uncharacteristic generosity, saw fit to gift said house to the ex prezzo on his exit, rather than send him packing to Kabarak, or Sacho, or wherever else the man had built himself a mansion. Thus, finding themselves without an 'official' house for the country's number two, and resisting the urge to build another house on the disturbingly large piece of earth the State House sits on in our capital, the geniuses decided to go out and buy a piece of land. Not a house, land, because buying a house just makes no sense. Good plan, no? They started off by identifying a suitable plot in Karen, of suitable size, near an all weather road to boot, because our VP wasn’t going to drive on any potholed cattle track. No sirree bob, the man would have to be near tarmac, and trees.

And so it came to pass that a mansion was planned, out in the boondocks, next to some military installation or other.  Drawings were prepared, bills drawn up and tenders went out.  A contractor was appointed, and off they went to site, everyone content with the contract price of Ksh 197M. '197 Million Shillings?'  I hear you ask.  Why yes, but not for just one house, that would be silly, and our government is anything but silly.  The original project “...covered construction of the main house, guest house, an office block, a gazebo, swimming pool and a garage.”  Cost of Kenya's Vice President’s house doubles to Sh380m (easier to read on the MARS Group site).  Well okay then, if they were building all of that, then I guess the figure doesn’t seem that high, does it?

But, alas, this is government, and they are nothing if not fastidious about quality.  In 2008, several years after the contractor went to site, they fired their contractor, “for delays and poor workmanship”. And it gets better, because apparently “...the government has paid Dimken Sh69.9 million as certified payment for 80 per cent of the work done.

Now, can we pause here briefly and ask a simple question, if they had been paid 70M for 80% of the work, how was the total contract sum 197M?  I know I'm not a genius, but even I can tell there's something amiss with those mathafus, no?

Having fired their contractor, the government then sent out a tender for completion of the works, such as they do.  “The cost of building an official residence for Kenya's Vice-President has doubled to Sh383 million after the original contractor was fired for delays and poor workmanship. A new contractor, Italbuild Imports, has been named to complete the job after Public Works ministry kicked out Dimken Kenya Ltd.”  383M, from 197M?  “The ministry's public relations officer, Mr Ali Chege, defended the new tender price, saying the previous contractor had done only 30 per cent of the work before being stopped.”  

We must pause again.  30% of the work?  But you had paid for 80% of the work, no?

“Speaking on behalf of the minister, Mr Chege defended the cost escalation, telling the Nation that prices for cement, paint and labour had since 2005 increased by about 75 per cent. He also said some parts of the completed building would be demolished and built afresh because of poor and defective workmanship. He, however, did not explain why the contractor did a shoddy job in spite of supervision of ministry engineers and architects.”  And just to prove that he was not content with the dodgy answers he was getting, this brilliant journo (and he really is quite brilliant, bless him) dug deeper. “While the ministry is quiet on why taxpayers are footing the bill for failure by the engineers to supervise the construction, minutes seen by the Nation show that there was a resident engineer and a site clerk whose job was to ensure that the construction was done in line with the specifications. The minutes also show that the ministry technical team used to visit the site on Thursdays.”

If I was diligent, and I'm not, I would go back and get you material prices from 2005 (when the first tender went out) and 2009, so as to illustrate the 75% jump in prices.  Or not, I'm pretty sure the price of my labour didn't go up that much in 3 years.  Let's continue...

Mr Chege also defended inclusion in the new costs of items that had already been bought or completed by the previous contractor. The Bills of Quantities in the tender document includes the cost of roofing (the house is already roofed), Sh3 million for a generator (which was purchased by the previous contractor) and Sh2 million for connecting electricity, which is already on site. Other costs include Sh17 million for plumbing and drainage works, Sh7 million for drilling a borehole, Sh6.4 million for landscaping and Sh60 million for civil works. The ministry, however, says that the entire roof will be brought down and built afresh. "We were forced to include the budget for roofing because the roofing that was done was not professionally and properly executed. It is of poor workmanship, defective and unsatisfactory," Mr Chege said. He also confirmed that a generator had been bought, but said the Sh3 million would be used for "installation, testing and commissioning". He said of the electricity on site that it was a temporary connection needed during construction. The Sh2 million would be for the full installation, he said. The ministry further defended spending Sh7 million on a borehole, saying the amount was reasonable. The cost for the VP's house had gone up by another Sh57 million because of including staff houses, security house, caretaker's house, pump house and landscaping. Demolition work and additional works, which include mechanical equipment for kitchen, sauna and swimming pool, will cost a staggering Sh117 million.”

Hands up anyone who has ever had any dealings with mjengo.  I'm guessing more than half of you have your hands in the air right now, because we are not young ones here.  Now tell me, does any of this bullshit smell funny to you?  No?  2M to connect stima?  17M for plumbing and drainage and then 60M for civil works?  117fuckingM for mechanical equipment for a fucking kitchen and pool?  This must be one hell of a digs, no?  Lets have a look shall we...  Pictures of the new 400M residence  I know, absofuckinglutelty amazing, isnt it?

Do you understand why I talk of the stench of mendacity?  Where in those pictures do you see landscaping worth 6.4M?  All I see is grass...

Fast forward to October 2011, and the house et al is almost complete, the new contractor claiming it would be ready by December that year.  During the site inspection, the minister informed us that the government had, in fact, recovered the some of the monies paid to the previous contractor, easing our concerns about the continued (mis)use of our tax shillings.  “Obure confirmed that the government had recovered a performance bond and advance payment guarantee of Sh37 million from the guaranteeing bank after the termination of the first contract in 2008. “The matter is still at the level of arbitration, we are all interested in the amicable settlement of the matter, but as far as government is concerned we have recovered what we are supposed to recover and so the government and the public have not lost money on the project,” he stated.” (New Kenya VP residence almost done)  Unfortunately for us, the company in question was wound up that very month, some would say conveniently.  “Equity Bank has succeeded in a bid to wind up a firm initially contracted by the government to build the Vice President’s official residence in Karen. The bank carried the day after Mr Justice Leonard Njagi concurred with the bank that Dimken Kenya Ltd, owned by businessman Dick Githaiga, should be wound up over a debt of Sh197 million owed to Equity and other creditors.” (Firm building VP house woundup.)  For the more legally inclined amongst us, take a gander at this, Kenya Law Reports.  And that was the last we heard of that story, despite the strange coincidence of a 197M debt.

Let's 'move on' to 2012, and the technical handover of the house to then President Kibaki. “According to project manager Linus Kibisu, the mansion whose construction began seven years ago, is now ready for occupation. "The landscaping has been done, the road works have been completed together with the drainage…everything is ready. We have today (Thursday) performed the technical handover of the facility to the Ministry of Home Affairs who will now decide when it will be occupied,” said the architect. "All that remains is the furnishing and we are good to go."” (VP residence 'ready for occupation')  Alright then, we have a house et al, finally, and just in the nick of time too, because we wouldn’t want the Baba Jimmy leaving a white elephant behind, now would we?

Come 2013, a new government and a new VP, sorry, Deputy President, and the house was about to have its first tenant.  But wait, wasn’t the DP supposed to move into the PM's former office as well?  Ruto took over the office a week after the Supreme Court upheld the Jubilee Coalition victory. He settled on the second floor, exactly the same office Raila moved into in 2008 after the power-sharing deal between him and former President Kibaki under the National Accord. Ruto also occupied the half a billion-shilling Deputy President’s residence in Karen suburb... The DP occasionally visits the residence that is barely 2km from his palatial home in Karen... Though there is no clear role she is expected to play, two weeks ago Rachel Ruto the DP’s wife also took over the offices of former Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s wife Ida Odinga at NHIF building in Upper Hill.”  (Deputy President William Ruto took over PM office and VP house)  

Keep this in mind as we skip to the present, and last Sunday's revelations of renovations to the VP/DP's complex, Ruto house upgrade to cost Kenyans Sh100m.  “Initially, the refurbishment was projected to cost nearly Sh200 million, but it is said to have been scaled down to around Sh100 million after some components were removed... Although the building was completed in September last year and inaugurated two months later, the main house has remained vacant. Mr Ruto, who was elected Deputy President in March, is yet to move in and only uses the offices and gym facilities there, like his predecessor, Mr Musyoka did.”  So he uses the office and the gym, both of which he has in his Karen spread (he showed us, remember, I saw it on TV, he even has a prayer room, no?  Perhaps not, I may have made that part up...), just down the road?   Fair enough, traffic from Karen to the city centre is a bitch most days, right?  Moving on (ahem) swiftly, refurbishment?  To a new house?  But sir, whatever could be wrong with this brand spanking new complex that needs to be fixed at such a hefty cost?

I'll skip over most of the changes planned, the lovely bloggers at Diasporadical have already had a field day with those (ah iCon, that cat is pure genius..).  I want to focus instead on those I feel have been ignored, because they sound almost innocuous.  “The Sunday Nation also established that one of the masionettes earmarked for the caretaker in the compound will be refurbished and converted into an office for the Deputy President’s wife, Mrs Rachel Ruto.”  Remember the office she took over at NHIF, the one we didn’t know even existed?  “It is expected that the offices will eventually be expanded to accommodate more staff from the deputy President’s office. Currently, the residence is fully fledged with secretaries, security personnel, procurement officers, finance and human resource people.”  Again, remember the office he kicked the PM out of, the one that was supposed to house my governor and his antique car, that big building on Harambee Avenue with the hideous perimeter wall, the one someone tried to attack with a grenedi several years back?

Aaaaahhhh...  The ripe stench of mendacity, my lovelies.

I'm off to go get drunk now, because that is my solution to the lies, not unlike my dear Brick in 'Cat on a Hot Tin Roof'.

PS.  Ms Kilonzo and her no registration, no voting antics?  Fucking mendacity!

Damned if I do, damned if I don't.

Last year, round about this time, I came to the not too startling conclusion that I didn’t like how I was being treated by certain men. At the time, it was more frustration than anything else, I had finally gotten tired of being used and abused. Thing is, even after that post, and a month of soul searching, not too much really changed with me, at least not that I could see. I was still dating, or not dating, the same or similar idiots, I was still moaning about work, bitching about my former local, complaining about the never ending stream of complaints from my friends, whining about serikali... In as much as I would have loved to say that writing that post was the beginning of better days, it turned out to be just another thing I wrote, to be forgotten almost as soon as it was published.

Or so I thought...

Turns out, some of what that woman said last year actually stuck. Better still, some of it makes sense to me now, 12 months later.

What? Why are you staring at me like that? I keep telling you buggers I'm a bit slow, and you think I'm joking. Half the time I put down stuff that I have barely admitted to myself, at least not consciously, only realising what it is I'm actually saying when I'm doing the final edit on my phone, after I've posted. Roho safi, if it wasn’t for the lovelies on the feed, some posts would never have stayed on these pages. Ah well... Bora you don’t try to blackmail me when I run for president, I guess its all good. Yes, I plan to run for president, I'm going to pull a Dida and show up one month to elections, just in time to be on TV. And just for the record, I'mma bring my three wives, just because...

I don’t know where to go after that little piece of brilliance.

I was talking about last year's epiphany, one that only become clear to me many months later. I talked about no longer trying to figure out what it was I could do for these men, but what they could do for me. What they would add to my life, and take from it. I have since refined that thought to what is it I want, really want, from these men. It was not enough to figure out where a man was coming from, I need to figure out where it is I want to go. And after a year and a half of aimless rambling, I think I can finally say what it is I truly want, right now at least.

  1. I want to spend time with geniuses who know that I am more than a walking pair of breasts, and an empty womb.

    Yes, my boobs are relatively spectacular, especially the right one, but let's face it, pretty much every woman thinks the same about her boobs, and rightly so. We know they're brilliant, but once in a while it wouldn’t hurt you to look up, or down, at the rest of us. Its frustrating to be constantly be reduced to nothing more than a sex toy, to be used and discarded at will, and all because a man chooses to focus on my parts, and not the sum of my parts. I don’t mind the odd ogle every once and again, but I'll be needing you buggers to look at the rest of me, the rest of the time.  But not at my stomach.  Why, oh why, is it assumed that my lack of children is something I am keen to change?  I don’t want babies, and I sure as hell don’t want yours.  The next time I am subjected to an hour long discussion about someone's child's development issues, I will go postal up in that shit and smoke someone's ass.  Same thing will happen the next time a man offers me his dodgy seed.  Dude, while I have no doubt that the combination of your drunk genes and mine will, in all likelihood, result in the next Barack, being that we're both oh so brilliant, I fear I am unwilling to expel another living being from my hoo haa on your account, given that we met only a few hours ago in a dark corner of an otherwise well-lit bar.

  2. I want to spend my precious time with buggers who like to think, preferably outside the box.

    So help me, you will seduce my fucking mind, or you will die trying (because I will kill you). While being lusted over mindlessly does have its benefits, I prefer that you drool over my pretty little head, thank you very much.  I am tired of being bored by men, and women, of what I consider wanting intellect.  That’s right, I said it, and I'm not taking it back.  Read a book, dammit, maybe even use bloody google once in a while.  I want, nay, need people around me of slightly greater intelligence, at least enough that they know how to spell beat (just so you know, bit has a different meaning).  Interests extending beyond the latest new club in town.  Reading lists that include books without pictures of naked people.   Scratch that, I'll settle for reading lists, period.  Open minds willing to question conventional wisdom, willing to challenge me and my absurd theories about the (alleged) death of Tupac (the man is still alive...) and the snooping Americans (why is no one else concerned about this drone saga? This shit is real...).  People willing to interrogate their own actions, instead of simply complaining about everyone else's.  Which brings me to...

  3. I have no interest in blaming other people for my woes any more, and I have no time for those that do.

    I can bitch.  When I put my mind to it, I can rant for hours on end, about anything and everything under the sun, but to what end?  Whining about the man who didn’t call me when he said he would, or the man who woke me up at 2:34 in the morning (this very morning) with an ill-advised booty call (we shall revisit this one at length, useless bugger...)?  And then...  Calling serikali a bunch of greedy bastards, and their press lackeys idiots?  To what end?  Enough with the nonsense words.  I've learnt that if I don’t like something, then I need to change it, and if I cant change it, then I'd best learn to like it.  I'm not saying I won't bitch any more, that would just be silly, what will I do with my time?   I'm thinking more along the lines of action-oriented ranting. I talk about the problem, and then I come up with an almost workable solution.  It may not be a particularly intelligent solution, or acceptable in polite society (I'm covering my ass for when I tell some idiot to go shove it up theirs), but at least it will be a break from the incessant whining I suspect I may have become famous for.  My people, all I'm saying is that this narrative needs to be changed, because the helpless female/Kenyan routine has gotten old.  For how long will we keep being led around by the nose by self interested buggers looking to get one over on us?  Be knowing, I'm not entirely sure what form said new narrative will take, but I figure for as long its no longer woiyee bullshit, then I'm good, no?  No?

  4. I want a man, or three, but not a husband.

    I don’t know how many ways I can say this, I do not want to get married.   I have nothing against marriage, I think its a most excellent institution (although, the fact that its called an institution does take some of the shine off it).  I have no bitter woman issues with men, sijui servitude and all that FIDA drama, I think men are just lovely, if somewhat stupid occasionally.  I have no issues with life long cohabitation, as long as the TV is not shared, and my CD's are never rearranged.  I just think that some of us, or maybe just me, were not built to be wed.  Perhaps we are evolutionary defects, missing the gene responsible for craving white fluffy dresses and matching dinnerware, or perhaps we're just outliers, responsible for making up the bell curve that is humanity, who knows?  I do know that I do not want to stand before God and man and declare Mr Alex to be my one and only, forever and ever, amen.  Which is not to say I don’t want Mr Alex, because I do, but like I said last year, I've come to terms with the fact that my unwillingness to get hitched means my fate may instead be several Mr Alexes (serially, ideally, not simultaneously, unless they're open to a threesome).  Is that a contradiction?  So be it.  I've made my peace with it, I suggest you do the same.  Now if only I could convince the mother...

  5. I wanna be rich.

    Note, I said 'I', not 'we', this is all about me and my interpretation of wealth, because I am at that point in my life where I've started planning for my future, alone.  I look at money as a means to an end.  I want to live comfortably, without worrying about next month's rent or next year's insurance premiums (an ever pressing concern for jua kali types, unfortunately).  I want to be able to afford to tell a nasty client to keep his shitty job, because I can get by without his two bob.  I want to take a year off when I turn 40 to go see what's left of the 7 ancient wonders of the world.  I want to be rich enough to buy a BMW from the showroom, and not the used car showroom, the 'brand new, fresh off the boat' showroom on Mombasa Road, because I want my car to come with that karatasi used to funika the steering wheel, so that the leather doesn't get stained by the greasy paws of the drooling masses, they who want to touch but can't afford to buy (that would be me, currently).  Its not that I'm particularly obsessed with material things, mostly because I don’t have too many, but the 5 series is my one abiding obsession in life, and while I am not yet desperate enough to kill for it, I have considered prostituting myself, for the right price of course.  What?  Stop frowning, we all have a price, just that mine is German.  I'm just saying, if you got the money to buy me my honey, then I got your honey, honey.  And speaking of honey...

  6. I want to get laid, preferably more often than once a month (if only I was that lucky...).

    I've been single long enough that I can comfortably go for extended periods without getting any.  I've also been in relationships where sex was considered a secondary activity to work, partying, booze, family (his, not mine, clearly, and no I'm not talking about married men you perverts), F1, F2 too...  Going without is pretty much a given for women my age.  Thing is, I'm no longer content to accept this sad state of affairs.  My people, women want sex as much as men do, perhaps more if recent research is to be believed.  I've said it before, and I'll keep saying it until I find the man who is willing to be my (steady) supplier, girls just wanna have fun, too.

  7. I want to live in a society that's just.

    I no longer harbour idealistic dreams of the meek inheriting the earth, these days all I ask is for a fair wage for a hard day's work, and the freedom to enjoy the fruits of my labour.  That's it.  I do not need to be harassed by a government that seeks to tax my daily bread (literally).  Cops who insist of milking me for tea every time I chapa an (apparently) illegal right turn in Westlands (and then ask me out on a date immediately thereafter, because I would date a man who's just extorted 400 bob from me for his lunch...).  Politicians who seem to think that our, OUR, treasury is their little slush fund for tax free cars and mansions.  Wanna-be politicians who can't be bothered to vote for their fathers like the rest of us pathetic raia, because they can't be bothered to queue.  Banks that charge extortionate interest rates and telcos that sell me imaginary bandwidth.  Mechanics who claim to change my gearbox, only to replace it with an older one, and all because I'm female and therefore incapable of distinguishing between a carburettor and an oil filter.  I want a just society, and if you're not going to give it to me, then I plan on taking it for myself, because I will be damned if I'm going to sit around on my ass any longer, waiting for someone up in the heavens to come down and make it all better. Hang on, by saying that I have just been damned, no? Ah well...