Sunday, 31 May 2015

Surviving College: What Should Be In My Bag

I actually wanted to write this really early in the day around three p.m when the sun took a peek out, kids were playing outside and for once their excitement didn't bug me. Energy was at a high. Well, procrastination took over, so here I am writing a few hours later than intended.

What's in my college bag? A lot. Most of it necessary.With these bad boys the phrase fully equipped would be a perfect description of where I am at on any given day immediately translating into productivity.

These are the essentials that have me set and ready on an average college day. Note that one or more of these things fail to get in my bag thanks to a chronic case of forgetfulness so this post might as well double up as a checklist.

1. House keys. These are rarely in my bag. They are usually on my person. Literally attached to the hip. Before leaving the house, patting my side pockets has become a ritual just to confirm their presence. Experience could not have been a better teacher after an incident that left me sitting outside my own home for a good four hours.

2. Phone and earphones. Interestingly enough I have never forgotten my phone but I can't say the same for my earphones. One thing's for sure I am not the type of person to borrow earphones. If they aren't there, there goes my sweet escape from the now.

3.Little bag. The bag within the bag. There is no mystery here. Just some meds which will save my class the horrors of seeing me in full sinus mode i.e sniffles, chesty coughs, wheezing, red eyes etc. and me the embarrassment cum misery. Other stuff include tissue, pads and some good old fashioned oil, you cannot afford to be walking around with chapped lips or rough hands something a little petroleum jelly could fix.

4. Gum/Sweets. These are usually saved exclusively for the library, afternoon classes or classes that generally have me nodding off. They are not 100% effective but bare in mind the fight between myself and the Sandman still goes on, it doesn't necessarily have to be won.

5. Books. These are just one of those necessary things. You either have them or you have a system that works for you.

6. Stationery set. Everything in here remains compact and intact; pens, pencils, sticky notes,a ruler, eraser there used to be a sharpener. The only down side to being this prepared is people around you tend to think that your set is communal as they frequently proceed to help themselves to the contents. Although sharing is caring it can escalate into being annoying.

7. Water bottles. Two 500 mls usually do the trick since I have become very particular on getting a liter of water daily in my system. I could carry a one liter bottle but a bonus health life hack for you, smaller bottles are less daunting so you get to your one liter goal in a more relaxed manner. Two bottles is yet another instance which is mistaken for sharing is caring when it's really abuse of the sorry soul who hurls a liter of water from home every other day.

8. Lunch and break box. Carrying my own lunch and snacks saves me a tonne in the financial department so an investment in  tupperware  has gone a long way. One perk of carrying my own food, I can eat during lunch just to keep the hunger pangs at bay during those mid-morning classes.

9. Novel. A good book plus my favorite tunes just before the beginning of an early morning class does the job. A nice calm way to start the day since I am not a morning people person. It also comes in quite handy when I happen to be stuck in a never ending Nairobi traffic jam.

10. Wallet. Holds most of my money. You always have to have a secret stash somewhere else in case of an emergency.

11. Raincoat. This used to be an umbrella but after I lost one and replacing it would cause a dent on my tight, tight budget. The next best thing was a raincoat I've had since primary school which has served me well enough. Hey, it's either my primary school raincoat or having a psychological breakdown every time I see the clouds gather. What would you do?

12. Coins. Public transport always has me experiencing change woes; you can't give the conductor too huge an amount lest you spend your entire commute home eyeballing the conductor who may be cheeky enough to make away with your change that also happens to be the rest of the week's fare. Or forgetting that you had change altogether. Take my advice and play it safe either with exact change or when the conductor asks that all too important question, "Uko na mbao nikurudishie finje?" you will be making it rain on them with nothing but coins.

I hope these essentials become as important to you as they are to me. Well at least some of them. It is the last day of May so see you next month. Until then,

Have a good one!

Thursday, 28 May 2015

Book Review: Where She Went

People, people,people,relax. I am here. What do you say we get to it then?

Remember how I gushed about all things If I stay here and could not wait to read Where She Went? Well all that has changed. Of course for the better, let's call it a bitter sweet type of situation. Why,why did it have to end? *hysterical cry*Well, you know what they say about all good things.

My verdict on Where She Went awaits.

The sequel of If I Stay picks up three years after the accident. It's not the Mia show anymore but fear not, Adam tells all. Adam's band has catapulted into fame, winning nearly every musical accolade out there not forgetting their fair share of drama that is threatening to tear these guys apart. Adam himself, well he is the new kid on the block and Hollywood just can't get enough of him. Let's just say his not the romantic, small town Oregon boy he once was. Mia on the other hand is making it big in the classical world with an early graduation and world tour dates set, she is a big deal. Their paths cross three and a half years later forcing them to confront the gap that was.

The book starts of with a guy who looks like Adam, sounds like Adam but is not the Adam we all knew. You cannot help but ask yourself, "Who is this guy and what has he done with Adam?" No time is wasted giving you drama in that teasing dose.

Adam is all over the place emotionally and it gets pretty dark. You get to see him in a whole different spectrum, to be precise lonesome, depressed, embarrassingly needy chap which in the beginning is humiliatind then it is just downright sad, finally escalating into the emotional wreck that is his current being. But the real Adam is still in there somewhere fortunately.

They are a lot of things you don't see coming making the book quite a thrill. Even though the three year gap changed both of them, there are still some things that manage to stay the same; their good old fashioned awkwardness. Groovy and the Geek still reign.

Getting the answers we are all looking for, the whole process is sheer torture. On the one hand they are still tiptoeing around each other as if they are afraid of awakening the dead. Each others moves could be wrong so they are very calculated. On the other hand "Wilde Man"over here has a case of cat got your tongue.

It gets pretty intense you nearly forget that all this is happening within a day or should I say a matter of hours. There's bowling, talking more like shouting at the Statue of Liberty, a lot of crying from unexpected parties, some scenes reminiscent of telenovelas, you know the ones, wind in hair, tears flowing, drama the whole get-up. But even with the intensity some of their conversations are so easy its like the drama between them never happened.

I should warn you, the way you are led into following this story its almost like you are frantically digging for a treasure of some sort and when you are just about to throw it in, it all comes rushing out as if the right button had just been pushed. And within it all, there is everything. Things left hanging dangling in mid air that have you on the verge of sharing Adam's meds with with your frustration levels getting the best of you. The only way to vent? Turning the page.

The vivid description is also top notch to the point where Adam brings you on stage to have a taste of the rockstar life that is now his. You hear all the distractions and listen for the voice in the crowd.

Their is a lot I loved about this book; there was a lot of throwing it back to the the times before the accident and immediately after the accident, Kim is back and she is one bad mammo jamma of course in a good way, Adam's few spurts of sweetness, Nia becoming this outspoken, connected badass babe and of course it answers a whole lot but my undying love goes to the chemistry between these two, they cause such a reaction I do not want to ruin it all for you.

There are a number of racy, steamy, raunchy parts in here but  in Stephen King's words, "one must not come lightly to the blank page."

If you read If I Stay reading this book is a requirement and if you haven't it is about time you get with the program.

Have a good one!

Monday, 25 May 2015

Media Monday: TokyoTales, Nellyville, Good Music

Hello people. It's Monday. State the obvious why don't you? Well my week has gotten off on a rocky start but after a scripture reading and watching a bit of Wendy Williams with Hot Topics being served just the way I like it, Hot, I was up and ready to roll.

Now on to your weekly dose of stuff that has tickled my fancy this past week.

It is no secret that I am a reality t.v junkie, Keeping Up With the Kardashians, Dance Moms, Bring It! Cake Boss, Flipping Boston you name it. My policy is, if it's on and I have the time, why not give it a shot. So when I heard that  Nelly of "Hot in here" would have a reality t.v show,Nellyville, I was tuned in.

A couple of episodes got me hooked. Here I was thinking that I am the fifth addition into Nelly's close knit family. Nana, Li'l Shawn a.k.a Tab, Stink and Tre are the residents of Nellyville. I'm sorry Ms. Jackson, wouldn't want to forget you there (I just had to, a little Outkast never killed nobody). Ms. Jackson is Nelly's girlfriend who also happens to be Mayweather's ex-girlfriend, small world, huh?

You get to see a whole different light on Nelly. Who would have ever thought that he would be a family man. He knows all four of his kids like the back of his hand; he knows when a party has Li'l Shawn's name written all over it and when to go on a Daddy-Daughter date with Nana or supporting Stink as she takes her driving test more than once not forgetting to support Tre as he explores his future in the world of sports. But hands down, the one who takes the cup is Li'l Shawn. His intrigues will see you being his partner in crime and leaving him to deal with the aftermath.

Be warned a binge on this show will have you owning a St. Louis accent adding more r's in a word than necessary. I am talking about being scarrrrrrrred, nerrrrrrvous, tirrrrred and barrrrrely remembering how you talked before.

Don't think I have forgotten about your Youtube fix. Have you ever wondered what it would be like to go on an exchange program, in a foreign land, far from home? No this is not an AIESEC pitch but that's one way of fulfilling your exchange program dream. I bring you South African teenager Kemu of TokyoTales.

This fifteen, year old at the time that is, decided to go on a one year exchange program to Japan on her own and live with a host family whom she has never met before, basically living with strangers and documenting it through vlogging. Daunting, I know. She captures the whole experience with such a positive attitude and such enthusiasm, she's got me thinking of going on my own exchange.

Besides being a bust of energy and a breath of fresh air she gives out some pretty useful tips, stuff that I would never have thought of. She advises against carrying your whole house as you pack, learning the language mainly the basics before hand, getting along with your host family and a whole bunch of other stuff that were not on my radar.

The good news is I watched all 20 of her videos in a night and the bad news is she only has 20 videos when you wish she had more. However,that should not be the reason not getting you over to her channel

Now for music. This week I am switching up a bit, instead of just one band why not a couple of people whose songs I cannot stop bobbing my head to.

This may be the wrong way to start, but if you watch t.v beyond a certain time certain ads air. I might as well come right out and say it Wildest Moments by Jessie Ware was the soundtrack to a Durex advert. This makes it a lot harder to say why I like the song. Well at least the music video is in no way, shape or form raunchy have a look and listen here before I lead you to thinking any less of me than you already are.

The next guy is Josef Salvat. Yet another discovery that happened in the small hours of the weekend morning. It's another one of those chill songs with just the right amount of rhythm, almost upbeat except not all through. Earphones in, eyes closed and calm is all yours. Open Season.

Last but surely not least, Hozier. This guy is good. I actually forgot how good he is. Yes, Take Me To Church was a smash hit but his got some great music. I for one have fallen head over heels in love with From Eden. Those guitar chords make me embarrassed to admit the only instrument I can play is the descant recorder and Hozier's voice is strong, moving,distant and foreign while the video just made me make a mental note to go on a family road trip when I have my young, fresh family with just the one kid. I feel guilty just writing about the one song.

You go have yourself one heck of a week.

Have a good one!

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Book Review: Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

Up until last week, I had never read a Stephen King book. Not such a big deal right? Wrong. Around these parts Stephen King, John Grisham and Danielle Steel are all the rage. If these authors decided to set up base in the 254, they would probably receive a hero's welcome. It is safe to say it was about time I jumped on to this ride.

Stephen King: On Writing has since borne my fascination with all things Stephen King.

I was pretty much a blank canvas when I started reading this book and gladly so. My expectation was to find an instruction manual of some sort with do's and don'ts. Well, wasn't I pleasantly surprised to find that the book was quite the opposite.

This would be manual kicked of with a memoir. Within this section I found myself reading between the very lines that he urged against. I became acquainted with Little Stevie King, Steve and finally the renowned Stephen King. Through it all a couple of things are constant take for instance the support system he had in form of his mom during his early years and later on his wife, Tabby, who also happens to be his Ideal Reader (I.R.), his various journalistic stints which involved writing for his brother's paper Dave's Rag,  the much needed umph he added to the otherwise dull school paper, later writing for Playboy, Jugs etc. he has seen it or should I say written it all.

He explains a couple of creatives' misconceptions; this fascination of being deep and spontaneous through writing, calling it divine dictation,

"First there is a mountain/ then there is a mountain/ then there is no mountain"

When really it's not about being deep anymore; it never was even though you would have liked it to be. It is about understanding, understanding your own work, others understanding your work and you understanding their work.

Another misconception I am glad he expounded on is drugs and alcohol in the lives of creatives through his own struggle with alcohol and cocaine. He hides nothing, letting you into the mind of the addict. What made sense the most when it came to this,

"It's a misconception that creative endeavour and mind altering substances are entwined"

Then he gets to the good stuff. The nitty-gritty. Why we are reading the book in the first place. He gets you the budding writer going on what needs to be in your writing tool box beginning with the bare essentials; grammar, vocabulary, use of passive voice etc. Basically drawing the line on a couple of things.

Through this book aspiring writers and writers alike are torn apart highlighting some of their writing demons. They are torn apart limb from limb and more than that pounded and ground into a fine powder so that they are put back together with their tools of the trade sharper than ever before.

Leaving nothing to chance he illustrates everything he talks of through precise and clear examples borrowed from his own work or other famous authors. But if there is one thing he could not have emphasized enough is the importance of reading to all writers :

 "If you don't have the time to read, you don't have the time or the tools to work.

 "Reading is the creative centre of every writer's life"

 Can he make it any clearer. I mean the guy reads 70-80 books a year himself!

You have an opportunity to lose nothing and gain everything from this Stephen King installment. Die hard fans will have a sneak peek into what was going through King's mind when he wrote some of his best sellers and newbies like myself will become converts looking for their next "Stevie Wonder " fix from the wide selection he already has.

This book has earned a spot on my favorite book list and I honestly cannot wait to re-read it a good million times eventually becoming one of those snotty people  who whenever the opportunity arises gets the chance to quote him.

Have a good one!

Monday, 18 May 2015

Media Monday: Fun For Louis, Shura

Merry Monday everyone! Isn't that  a switch up from the usual Monday Blues. I hope the week has started on a positive note. If it has let's take that a notch higher with your dose of what I have been into.

As you may already know I am a big fan of the 'Tube. Call me a fangirl if you wish considering I may possess  all the traits of this new category of mankind. It so happened that on one of my binge trips to Youtube nearly every British Youtuber was raving about Thatcher Joe's Youtuber Impressions video.

Joe Sugg does does quite the job leaving you in stitches. He has done a number of these videos but why this one in particular stands out was his stellar impression of the man or should I say channel of the week, Louis Cole of  FunForLouis.

When I first saw Louis my immediate thoughts when he helped the JacksGap duo to transform Jack's room into a ball pit was, "Here comes trouble." A few weeks later, I decided to head on down to his channel and when the search recommendations read "FunForLouis Arrested" , told ya!

Yeah well, as per usual I was wrong, he wasn't the criminal the search suggestions had painted him out to be. Turns out he is just one tall, globe trotting, lover of all things thrilling, dread-head who absolutely reeks of fun and adventure.

So far through his escapades, I have been to Cuba, done some epic snowboarding in Canada, had a meet up in Florida during Playlist Live, swam with sharks and taken a casual ride in a Ferrari in Dubai, caught up  with Casey Neistat in The Big Apple, had a conversation with a resident at the International Space Station and the best part, that is not even the half of it.

His vlogging skills are through the roof, aspiring vloggers want to be him while the best of vloggers have bowed down to him even lightly poking fun at him by coining the phrase "Louis Style" or going right ahead  imitating some of his shots. Case in point, his coffee and door scenes. He just may be dubbed The Godfather of Vlogging.

Watching his channel is such a treat, mind blowing and I kid you not, you never know what's coming. His editing and hip-hop jazzy soundtracks that his got going on hit the spot. Go ahead, watch a couple of his videos and see if you won't be craving a cup of coffee with Louis' stamp of approval, wishing you could replace walking with penny-boarding or saying his outro  "Peace out, enjoy life and live the adventure, BOOM!" with him.

Now for music. I am beginning to question my own taste in music nowadays. This slow indie types were never my thing, believe it or not. Which gives you a hint that the next band/musician is no different.

Shura. My best music discoveries are usually made on late Saturday nights. Shura was at a whole other level as I stumbled upon her early Sunday morning between 12 and 1 a.m.

The song 2Shy. It did not waste anytime by getting to the good stuff with the 80s feel it was giving off. Then the oversized denim jacket Shura paired with a print button down shirt not forgetting her blond blue-is-the-warmest-color tipped hair. She looked and sounded to be straight out of the 80s and that just hit the ball out of the game park for me. I thought it was enough until the song just picked up at the right time.

Her dreamy voice and her lyrics just leave you feeling some type of way with how she wears her vulnerability on her sleeve.

Her signature 80s vibe is soft, light, subtle but most importantly not trying hard at all. Her music can fit in Say Anything (1989) in that iconic scene where John Cusack raises the boombox  or Paper Towns (2015) because we all know Quentin felt some type of way about Margo but he was just 2Shy to say it.

Have a good one!

Saturday, 16 May 2015

Surviving College: The Kenya M.U.N. Experience #2

Your probably thinking , "Now this girl enjoyed the heck out of Kenya MUN, two articles in a span of a few days?" Well, it would be gravely hypocritical to negate your thought. What I will say however is that the previous Kenya MUN article stood a chance of being rather long. So, what better way of stopping myself from writing a novel from a one week experience than splitting what was meant to be a single article into two.

The final and second part of this series serves as pointers to you and reminders to me on how to get the most out of an MUN experience. I would have honestly preferred it to be your go-to guide on being the best delegate but I figured,that would be one of those it-takes-one-to-know-one situations and although I know of a couple best delegates, I am not one myself. Therefore I choose not to lurk in unknown territory but spill on my observations from the trenches.

1. Rules of procedure. Be as acquainted as you can with these. This fancy jargon can be either hell on earth for newbies or a walking on sunshine fete once you get the hang of it. The good news is the more you are around it, the easier it becomes. It should not be the reason why you are not leaving it all on the dais.

2. Know your country. From the not so big things like being a kingdom or republic, its location to the gargantuan things like allies and enemies, foreign policy, GDP. This is just to prevent embarrassing moments like supporting a resolution that is not even remotely close to your countries foreign policy or worse the complete opposite of its policy.

3. Confidence. Chin up, shoulders back and head for the dais like it ain't nothing but a thing. Speak with the confidence of a rapper spitting the illest rhyme. This coupled with relevant content makes one lean, mean debating machine.

4. Content. Keep abreast of the current and past details of the issues in question. When you know what you are talking about, your confidence is at a record high as opposed to when you are just winging it.

5. Participate. Write, submit and read your resolution, raise your placard for both time for and against, be heard in crisis situations even though I am not a fan of those, get called out for two-way conversation, raise a point of parliamentary inquiry or even move a motion to adjourn debate. Of course do all this sensibly. Keep in mind, however big and powerful  or small and unknown your country is, it does not matter. I am pretty sure I made the Kingdom of Tonga proud, yes, that is a country. The last thing you want to be is the delegate who raised the placard only when it was time to vote.

6. Dress to impress. I would say go crazy but the fact remains that it is an official environment and the term "going crazy" will not do it. But still do not be a plain Jane or John about it. You can  afford to shake it up a little, for instance it doesn't have to be all suit and tie, you could be the definition of bourgeois and throw in a kravatt into the mix or be a show stopper in cultural wear.

7. Have fun. Make friends, have a sense of humor, Heck! Be the committee clown if you have to while adding to the quality of debate. Make it memorable for you. Your best thing about the entire conference should not be the super comfortable swivel chairs, although I do admit a break from the wooden chairs back at school is much appreciated.

I would be happy to hear anymore of your own pointers since there are a lot more tips out there or even contradictions you may have in regards to my own. Other than that,

Have a good one!

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Book Review: Rebel Belle

Hi, People!

I trust that you've had a good week and are looking forward to the weekend which is just around the corner. Where does the time go, huh? Anyway this book review was supposed to be up yesterday but after Nairobi turned from being the city in the sun to the city in cool waters, more like the city below cool waters, the electricity went under to. That out of the way, let's get to it.

This one was so good, to good in fact and the worst part is when I started this skeptical was written all over my face. You should have seen me pouting when I started reading it. Before I get carried away, as if I already haven't, the beginning.

Nearly every book tuber was mentioning Rachel Hawkin's, Rebel Belle either in their To Be Read pile or Monthly Wrap ups. Quite frankly seeing this pink piece of literature being waved in front of me every now and again may have been some mind control of some sort. If ever a publisher had a doubt in their mind over the power of marketing through "The Youtube" well let me be of assistance here, guess what? It works.

The basics: Harper Price is the classic Southern Belle with a to die for jock boyfriend. This high school sophomore also is a member of the cheerleading team, class president, Queen Bee amongst her friends complete with a second in command who also doubles up as her best friend, Bee and the cherry on top, potential valadictorian of her class. The world is her oyster and there's nothing anyone can do about it. A questionable incident leaves her with magical powers sending her perfect world into complete disarray having been imposed on the duty of protecting her arch nemesis David Stark.

So I would be lying if I didn't say that this book didn't come off as weird. Magic powers? In high school? What is this a Harry Potter spin off purely based on Hermione? The option of putting it down sure did cross my mind yet I still kept turning the pages. If I didn't know any better these magical powers may have been used to cast a spell on me. Rachel Hawkins, what do you have to say for yourself?

My speculation of being spellbound does not change the fact that the writing is really good. Not Shakespearean or Dickens good, relatably good, natural-flow good, continuously captivating to say the least. The moment I saw the familiar "basic" terms, Starbucks and lip-gloss that goes by the name "Coral Shimmer" , I knew I could go with the flow.

The characters are rather familiar almost as if you are the new kid in town and in no time you have nick names for everyone. That's how close you become to them, especially Harper. She became Harp, completely rubbing off on me. Her friends were mine and her enemies-David- were hated with a passion. Yes, I became a member of her posse, longing to be as prim and proper as her. In fact, wanting to be her.

You know it's Young Adult when it has just about the right amount of young love and Rebel Belle did not evade the stereotype. It did not take the usual undying love route, it was not the Eleanor and Park or Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark or Four and Tris we are used to. This one was subtly unsettling, keeping me hooked, hook,line and sinker. Harper and Ryan, Ryan who reminded me of Sebastian from The Carrie Diaries, Ryan whose got that James Dean day dream look in his eye and never goes out of style. I have to constantly remind myself that he is a fictional character. Their relationship is on the rocks from the get-go. Hawkins does a great job of saving us all the rainbows and harps before it all comes tumbling or should I say in their case cascading down. Disintegrate is more like it. 

Then, before our very eyes Harper and David-her arch enemy since their kindergarten years- become "a thing". The whole world knows it and sees it except Harp. But who can blame her its made to look like David goes from being a Will Darbyshire to a Marcus Butler, not that there's anything wrong with Will Darbyshire to begin with.

Through Rebel Belle you will inroduced to some pretty weird terms; Paladins, Oracles etc. It's the true world of fantasy right here. It gets pretty bad ass to, with fight scenes where heels turn into murder weapons and everyone is a suspect even those in Lilly Pulitzer.

I liked nearly everything about it. From how relatable and current it is to how distant it becomes. Keeping up between the two worlds is quite invigorating.

The only disappointing thing about this book was how little I got to know about Harper's sister. I kept hoping and hoping and then the book ended and I was still hoping. My only consolation is the sequel that will *fingers crossed* address this.

Parting shot. The way this book will end... let's just say no one is spared the drama and there is loads of it. You will be left at the edge of your seat eagerly awaiting the sequel, "Miss Mayhem".

Have a good one!

Monday, 11 May 2015

Media Monday: Casey Neistat, Youth Club

I don't think I need to state the obvious anymore. You and I both know I've got you sorted in the media department. May the celebrations of the end of Monday, begin!

First up, Casey Neistat pronounced Nice-Tatt, let's say it together now, Neis-tat. I knew I liked this guy when he started of one of his videos with a For-Dummies on how to pronounce his name. I see where he's coming from, trust me. I still have to politely correct people that it is neither Edna nor Edwin, simply Edwina. That and I am probably one of the annoying people whose been referring to him as Nay-stat, Knee-Stat and any other mispronunciation you can think of.

As you may already know through this article I am a bit of a JacksGap fan. This channel blazed the trail for what is now my slight Youtube addiction. Let's call JacksGap a town square, where I met Caspar Lee, Danisnotonfire, FunforLouis, Will Darbyshire, Mr. Ben Brown and ultimately Casey Neistat. Now that's networking at its best.

The video was Words of Wisdom: Casey Neistat and being the Jack Harries enthusiast I had become and seeing as to how  it was only a three minutes long, there was no reason not to play it.

"I don't like film making," excuse you, was my immediate response, "I like telling stories." Just like that he got me. You could tell that more than knowing what he does he knows why he does it; passion. In Casey's own words,

" I always made a living to make movies, I never made movies to try and make a living" 

Let's just let that marinate a while.

So who is Casey Neistat? On a quest to find that out myself, I became a subscriber to his channel. Besides being a film maker extraordinaire, his a father a pretty cool one might I add, a husband, daily vlogger,  an athlete having run and been ranked in a couple of marathons and triathlons, let's just say with this guy the list goes on and on.

His daily vlogs have become a necessary part of my morning routine which always keep me coming back for more. I literally never know what I'll wake up to. It could be Candice being her usual camera shy self or adorable Francine smiling at us, Owen working his first job or Casey casually answering a phone call from Anna Wintour. Anything and anyone can pop up on his channel. Don't say I didn't warn you.

Casey Neistat never fails to present his viewers with a challenge, either through his lifestyle or the one-on-one talks before the actual vlog. He dares to do what has never been done before and manages to remain human about it. Go on over to his channel and soak it all up. You will not be disappointed, if anything, you will be inspired and constantly reminded to DO MORE and WORK HARDER. (You'll understand why those are in bold once you watch a couple of his vlogs).

On to the music scene now. The band I am about to introduce you to are just epic. They aren't big stars ...yet, and part of me wants it to remain that way. Super cool and laid back is their aura and their music knows how to hit highs and lows with excellent precision and timing. Who am I rambling on about? Youth Club.

Their song People came on. The fusion between the bass guitar, drums and the keyboard, each distinct yet one and don't even get me started on the muffled sensuous vocals. If you thought People was something wait until you hear She's a dancer and Your only self.

Each of their songs brings these very elements to play. This should not be mistaken to mean that their songs sound the same, on the contrary that's the mystery, how do they manage to sound so different in the same way?

Listening to them just makes me feel like going out there and doing something, something new, laid back and relaxing; penny boarding, skate boarding, surfing, you name it. That's the vibe they give, breezy and surf-culture. Go ahead and listen to their EP "Colours" and "Brothers" on their Soundcloud because the three tracks, simply will not be enough.

Let me know what you think about Casey and Youth Club. Other than that,

Have a good one!

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Surviving College: The Kenya M.U.N Experience

Hello there! It would be rude for me to start this post without wishing all mothers out there a Happy Mother's Day so here it goes...Happy Mothers Day!!

Reading Jackson Biko's article in the Saturday Nation did one of two things; made me have a warm, fuzzy feeling inside and made me think of a time when Mom simply will not be there. She won't be there to ask me how I am doing in Math, a question that will always send a cold sweat over me, neither will she be there to make a sarcastic yet hilarious comment. So to the lady who has helped me in all aspects of life and continuously puts herself last giving up some of her dreams just so that my sister and I can recognize ours, who gave me and herself manicures even as she ran late for work when I was a toddler, who organized the most Turnt sixth birthday party a six year old could ever ask for and never passes up a good thrift find for either of us, I celebrate and appreciate you, always.

Enough with the mushy stuff. My account of Kenya Model United Nations awaits.

Since high school, I have always been a club bug. Not just any club though, clubs where I felt accomplished, successful, top of the crop even. But for this mix of my then and to some extent current definition of self-worth to come about I joined the best clubs. Clubs recognized the world over, a golden ticket of some sort or an all access pass to the world. Of course, even with my mind set on goals the equivalent of world domination, I did not pass up the "small time" clubs either.

Fitting the description of a club and society that also doubled up as an all access pass to the world was Model United Nations. East Africa Model United Nations (EAMUN) to be exact.

Saying that I enjoyed EAMUN would be an understatement, of course enjoyment was there, definitely, but more than that was the experience, all of it. The good, the confusing, the intimidating, the silliness, the work, was all enough to leave me craving for more. What better way to satisfy this craving than joining Kenya M.U.N.?

The two organizations could not be more different. The first thing you notice about Kenya M.U.N is that it is absolutely student run. There is no teacher telling you where you can and cannot go or reminding you that your bus is leaving and you might as well make plans of teleporting yourself home if you miss it. Forget it being a simulation of the real world, it is the real world, complete with hierarchies and everything. It's all you and on you. Daunting and scary yet exhilerating and riveting at the same time.

I would be lying if I said that KenyaMUN was a walk in the park. Maybe it was the fact that I had been out of the game for a while and was rather rusty or maybe it was the confidence that seemed to be oozing, leaking even, from everyone but me. Whatever it was had me questioning whether it was worth it. Not for too long though, in no time I had made a 360 degree attitude turn, that should be read to mean we moved into committees which meant smaller less intimidating groups. We were back in business.

My resolution, if I do say so myself was the bomb dot com or so I would like to think since it did pass Security Council and General Assembly with the help of my fellow delegates from Fiji, Thailand, Israel, Cuba and Committee 1 at large. Shape the future was the hashtag and #ShapeTheFuture we did.

It wouldn't be MUN without the guest speakers and there were plenty of those. The one who carried the day, no, the week was one Ambassador Kimani, Kenya Permanent Representative to UNON, Ambassador Martin Kimani to be precise. Besides recognizing the delegate from Kenya and making him feel all boss, he gave us some note-worthy step-by-step pointers on what to do if you want to be a diplomat summed up by this quote from his speech "Remember, delegates are soldiers in suits". At that point, he should have felt free to drop the mic and expect a standing ovation which he would have undoubtedly received. But of course in true diplomatic decorum he left apologetically in a hurry to go meet and brief Mr. President on some important matters I am sure. If those are not life goals, then go ahead  and define them for me.

The conference was not without fault seeing as to how there were a couple of disappointments; take for instance the number of guest speakers, a never ending list of them to.You know what they say about too much of a good thing. Fortunately this was made up for by the light-heartedness within and outside of debates where humor was in plenty.

Flaws and all, I am already thinking of Kenya M.U.N 2016.

Have a good one!

All photo's in this particular article belong to the author of the article.

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Book Review: Me Talk Pretty One Day

What's good world? On to the book review then, shall we? Yes, no small talk this time round.

Now this book took me an insanely long time to finish. It's not a tough read, neither is it a long read. Honestly, it just was a case of unlucky timing; smack in the middle of the semester was when I got my hands on this sucker. As I look back, I can't help but wonder why, why did I choose to read it at that moment? Maybe to feel like a rebel, a rebel without a cause that's for sure.

The book stayed in my bag so long to the point where it began to get dog ears, being squished here and mishandled there. I felt sorry for it really, it's only getaway, my hands and in true getaway fashion the much needed break from the hustle and bustle that was my backpack, it did not come around as often or as fast as anticipated.

From the very beginning then. I came across this book last year as I scavenged the internet seeking a break from the dystopian world that I had become so accustomed to. After reading an excerpt, I was pretty much sold or was it just another case of pretty darn good enticement?

My expectations were an 'Eat, Pray, Love' type of story, a guy's version of 'Eat, Pray, Love',  'Eat, Pray, Love's'  inspiration. Can you blame me? The guy moved to Italy with his love interest, if anything, I expected more. Classic symptoms of a Young Adult addict.

The Lowdown: An autobiography. The life and times of David Sedaris. From having a lisp and having to go through mandatory speech therapy to a rather unpleasant coming-out-of-the-closet moment to his stint with drugs, not just any drugs, methamphetamine to all the odd jobs he's ever had, from the degrading personal assistant one to being a mover; a career that just didn't do him or his frame justice.

But what stood out the most? Humor, a weird sense at that, especially when it comes to matters his father, who is quite a character. Let's just say you do not have the slightest ideas of hoarding until you meet Sedaris' father.

So this book was not my cup of tea and judging from the Goodread's comments it was not a lot of people's either. Disclaimer: Scrolling down to the comments is never a god idea, brace yourself for spoilers, opinions that will affect your view and an overall biased opinion on everything related.

It wasn't all bad, especially if you are into sarcasm David Sedaris may just be king.

Have a good one!

Monday, 4 May 2015

Media Monday: Rachel Cobb, Ta-Ku Songs To Break Up To

And it's Monday, but not just any Monday, Media Monday. Can you feel the excitement in the air? Well, neither can I but let's change that up, shall we?

First things first, Fight Night happened. Mayweather did his thing, Manny thought he won and I learnt a whole lot about boxing. It feels good to be a part of history. I wonder, is this how it felt in '74 during the Rumble in the Jungle? Was there that much hype? Oh well, for now I can only be grateful for being in the moment that has since been dubbed "One of the greatest economic events of all time," because one day, when I am old and frail, yet still swagged up, my grand kids will probably ask me to tell them about the time Mayweather beat Pac-man and I will effortlessly tell the story, gory details and all. They will look at me bug-eyed and think, "Dang! She's old" and "I wish I was there to see it". I said it before and I will say it again, it feels good to be a part of history.

The betrayal I felt when I saw Mayweather and Pacquiao hug after the fight had me giving them the stanky eye. Here I was thinking they were sworn enemies. I guess that's what you call good sportsmanship, ey?

This week, to your cart of Youtube indulgences I would like you to add one Rachel Cobb. I stumbled upon this channel on a late weekend night. At the time this chilled out curly haired girl had only one video up, another thrift haul, at least that's what I thought. Her style is '90s and I know what you are probably thinking, isn't everybody's? Well let me assure you for her, this trend is not a trend, to her it's a style, her style, effortlessly put together. I am telling you this girl knows her thrift-finds, the moment she started dropping names like Joey Bada$$, I knew we had a winner. It's not all about style for Rachel, she has monthly inspirations that steer you in the right direction; musically, book-wise and even towards other Youtube channels that have you briefly forgetting about her channel, except you wouldn't dare to as you eagerly await the next batch of monthly inspo.

This channel does it for me. It's chill, it's mellow, it's minimalistic, it's cool, it's informative. Don't believe me? Go ahead, check it out. The channel of the moment awaits.

Remember how I said Rachel's inspirations steer you in the right direction? Well that was not just some lame complement being paid. Her inspirations are as legit as they come so much so that she introduced me to Toro Y Moi who in turn steered me to what would you be your musical dose of the moment Ta-Ku Songs To Break Up To.

To be completely honest with you, it's the album art that reeled me in. This should be a lesson to all Youtubers, fun thumbnails = more views, as if they already didn't know. So, this album is quite something. Not at all what I am used to but it is a mix of dark, chills and chilled music (a little word play for you there). A combination of both instrumentals and vocalists who are a mash-up of Lykke Li, Jhene Aiko and Tove Lo and any other voice you can think of which seems to float over the tune, almost as if it's a chant of some sort.

This one is for the times you just need a break with your feet up and a cool drink by your side in a Lamu type climate watching the waves come and go as the breeze swings you in your hammock ever so gently or for those assignments that have you working well into the night or because of how warm and subtle the album is, not reading a book while listening to this would almost be abuse. Maybe even have it play in one of those homy and cosy coffee shops.

Why don't you do yourself a favor and the next time you just want to chill, have this therapeutic piece playing in the background. You're welcome!

Have a good one!

Saturday, 2 May 2015

Surviving College: Studying Through The Semester, Lifehacks

Word up guys and girls!

Two things I am over the moon about; School's out for summer! come on sing along with me, I know you want to, unless of course you are still in  the sea of misery studying for your finals which of course you would be excused...go on, sit in the corner and soak up all the information you can. If it's any consolation, in my neck of the woods school is not closed for summer, the much anticipated break comes around the coldest time of the year around these parts.

The second thing I am excited about and I just can't hide it, well, not really, Floyd Money Mayweather vs. Manny "The Pacman" Pacquiao. There is all sorts of trash talk and mind games, what, with Manny during the stare down telling Mayweather "Thank you" and the whole world is just like "For what?" Then, a day or two before, basically throwing shade at Mayweather insinuating that he is nothing compared to De La Hoya. Darn it! I am loving this Pacquiao guy. I can't wait to see the champion of this fight. Yes, I am torn or maybe just afraid to say whose side I am on.

But what brings us here today? Well, the story goes that a stressed student during finals week is a product of poor reading habits? I am here to tell you it is a downright lie. Yup, you read right, a lie. Boys and girls, ladies and gentlemen, it is not a story, it is a fact.

Having emerged from what could have been an academic tornado, with myself right in the eye of it, the question that kept on ringing in my head was "Why didn't I read this stuff any sooner?" I made a mental note to never be in this situation again, next semester will be a whole different ball game. Please note that this note was once a promise, in fact, the promise before the mental note is the offspring of many other promises identical to this mental note. I hate to break it to you but these promises have all, all been broken. The result of generations of broken promises? Mental notes. I mean you can't go wrong with mental notes, not to mention that the risk of disappointing myself is nearly negligible. Win-win situation anyone?

Don't worry, I am more than aware of what I have said up there being nonsensical. Don't call the psychologist yet.

With all that said, here are a few tips for myself and possible you dear reader, to keep me/us on the straight and narrow academically speaking which will have us smiling all the way on to an academic excellence list.

1. Studying is a gradual process. It is not the insane all-nighter, caffeine taking the place of your blood temporarily, with eyes deer-in-headlights wide, believe it or not, it's one of those practice makes perfect kind of things. The fuel that propels you during day one needs to burn all through to the end of the semester, not just during the first few days or weeks if you are lucky.

2. Use the library immediately after class especially if there is stuff you have been instructed to take duly note of. One lesson I have learned while in university, when the lecturer walks out of class it is not a case of out of sight out of mind, the lesson continues, except it is all on you. Summed up as, You + Library = Relationship goals. That juicy conversation you just have to have or that juicy snack you just can't wait to sink your teeth into can wait just a tad bit longer, unless of course your on the verge of death or embarrassing loud, stomach growling.

3. From the notes taken on my library trip, read and write short notes based on these notes. These personalized notes are probably going to be a lifesaver in the long run saving me from reading a book cover to cover pre-exam day.

4.Read both sets of notes or  all notes you may have taken (if you've got more than two sets, more power to you and go on with your bad self, slaying already!?) a couple of times a week.The more you read, the more familiar and understandable what was once Greek becomes.

5. Get a hold of some past exam questions. This is where you get to showcase your brilliance and of course  get to be familiar with what to expect in your exams plus some of the questions are often repeated, word for word, here is your chance to get a perfect score!

6. Be consistent on all of the above. Change the game and make it easier said and done, in fact, be the worst and make it easier done than said. So maybe I am taking it a bit too far, but you know what I mean.

When finals come around you my friend will be the boss of conceited statements like, "Come at me bro', you know I got it. " because this time you will have got "it".

Have a good one!