Of things cheating and others emotions

This week i found myself in unfamiliar territory. You know, the type of stimuli you get exposed to for the first time in your life.
I know my friends may be surprised at how well I’m taking it; hell, even i am surprised at me. Had it been in 2009 or 2010 I’d be a series of frayed nerves and on the verge of emotional breakdown. But it’s 2012 and I’m a rock!

So, why am i still cheerful despite having gone through what should be a gut wrenching experience, a horrible breakup? I mean, i just broke up with my best-friend of many many many years, my confidante, and in gay terms – the love of my life! Maybe the experience was so shocking my systems shut down and rebooted on reserve energy where emotions don’t exist. So many maybes. Maybe I’m still in denial (but i know I’m not…at least i don’t think i am). Some part of me still cares, my inner child is probably pining for her, but the rest of me – pardon my french – just doesn’t give a fuck!

When Ben loves, he doesn’t do it half way, when Ben cares he doesn’t do it in small doses, when Ben gives he doesn’t do it in potions. He loves with his whole heart, he gives with his whole being. Loving with his whole being is the only thing he can give and the world can’t take that away from whom he gives it to.
He doesn’t just give it to just anyone, hell, he waited his whole life to give it to that special somebody and she blew it.

As the walls build up and get fortified, he realizes it’s gonna be a while before somebody else ever manages to scale them successfully. You see, normal Ben doesn’t just love anybody, he doesn’t just miss anybody. When Ben says he misses you, you better damned believe it he misses you. When he says he loves you, well bring out the band and give the 21 gun salute for you are part of the less than a handful! Ben’s love is not a diamond in the rough, it’s a fucking living planet in the emptiness of the cosmos…i.e hard to find…for the slow ones! Hell, he doesn’t like human beings that much!

Anyway enough of the third person speak, i relate better to my life if i look at it from a 3rd person perspective. But my biggest suspicion over why I’m not emotionally responding appropriately is my medication. Bipolar meds are built to control moods, and moods determine emotions. I’m thinking i stop taking them for a day or two to mourn, but nah. Moving on swiftly…

Cheating is the number one relationship breaker, so I’m led to believe, in the world. In my books cheating is the worst thing you could ever do to your other half(short of murder) and there is no coming back from that. I have written an article on why men cheat, so that base is covered, but why do women cheat?

From experience, women cheat for one or more of the following reasons:
a) she intentionally wants to hurt you
b) she’s emotionally/sexually attracted to somebody else
c) she got drunk
d) financial reasons

I would really love to go through them point by point, but really, there is no fucking excuse to cheat! Fuuuuck, just dump somebody! Save them the pain of being cheated on!

Only a stupid woman would cheat to hurt a guy! Do you realize a guy can go loco and fucking kill you and the ass wipe you’re cheating on him with? I mean why not just end it? I’m not the violent type but we see it all the time on the news. If a relationship has reached that plateau point why not fucking end it?  Isn’t that why cave people invented the classic “it’s not you, it’s me” line?
I know it’s the emotions finally breaking through, but if you dumped me because you met somebody better(ha, as if) I’d understand, it was probably not meant to be.
If you cheat on me because you got drunk and one thing led to another, I’d understand, sure I’ll dump your cheap ass immediately but I’d understand. Drunk girls do the most stupid of things, we all know that, we’ve all been on the wrong end of a tequila overdose. But if you do it just to hurt me, what do you gain? The sex probably sucks but that is beside the point. You fuck somebody you don’t care about, somebody you wouldn’t have given the time or day just to prove a point?

Moving on, women also cheat for financial reasons too. Assume you are a couple and between you the money doesn’t seem enough. In comes this guy, a guy your woman would never give it up to under normal circumstances, but he is rich, he dangles a carrot and promises her a job if she gives it up to him, kuonja tu. And here I’m talking to the girls, y’all are just stupid! You know that? STUPID! With a capital S.T.U.P.I.D! Everyone knows those jobs never work out but you are so stupid as to leave or cheat on somebody you love, somebody with promise and would give the world just for you, based on some stupid promise!

Jeez for Christ’s sake, what the FUCK is going through your minds? Pussy is just pussy where no emotion is involved! And take my word for it, from a guy, it’s the cunt count that matters in such circumstances! All we want is the bragging rights. When a guy loves you, he doesn’t do it because you’re the only one who will give it up to him, he does it because you’re all that matters! So next time you’re walking around feeling sweet like you got a golden hymen, remember, you are not that special!!

I’ll stray a bit. For a young couple with no kids, financial constraints are at most(should be) just a stumbling block. You always have the option of moving in together to save on rent and other expenses. But remember you have a lifetime ahead of you to build on the financial bit. Nothing ever comes easy for most people, if you want to live the fast life you have to work towards it, don’t take any shortcuts. Shortcuts only lead to disaster and in many cases jail time.

I have never understood why most people assume that one day you will wake up and everything will be sorted out. The journey to the top takes blood, sweat and tears. But really that is a concept many women will never understand. They are pretty much happy to be the trophy girlfriend or clande, not realizing thousands of girls are hitting 18 everyday, and their nectar is much fresher and innocent and their boobs perkier than your wrinkly ass, so you will get replaced sooner than you think, and what will you do then? Try to rebuild the bridges you burnt?

People, this world we live in, is a mean motherfucker! It will eat you up and spit you if you’re not careful. Be careful the toes you step on, they might be attached to the ass you have to kiss tomorrow.
I believe I covered this in the why men cheat article but women, you are responsible for the monsters men become! Men are emotional beings too, very emotional, but destroy that part and you and your gender become just life support for pussy and adding notches to the bedpost. So beware lest your stupidity becomes the undoing of your gender.

There is never an excuse for cheating whether a dude or a chick. Remember, you always have the option of breaking up first if you feel the need to have sex with other people. Don’t create a monster. Don’t destroy another human emotionally…some things can’t be fixed, especially not with an ‘i’m sorry’!

And at that, I’ll go back to my happy little world of binary poetry.
Keep well my friends

You’ve got to learn to wait

This should fall under the write thinking category or matatu ride one, but i lose track sometimes. This was a story as it was narrated by one of the passengers in the matatu i was in, but i’ll do it as a first person narration; since i realized it will/might make more sense that way.
Disclaimer: The entire narrative was in Swahili so some details are lost in translation. Plus it was a conversation
 Here goes… Psst…names have been changed by the way…ok, now here goes for real….

 Eric became MP in 1997 and was subsequently made a minister in the Moi government. As you all know being an MP at that time came with a lot of perks. He was in charge of roads and development. Nowadays Eric drives an old Mitsubishi Lancer and sells water to residents in his area for 3 shillings. What’s worse, he can’t afford to hire somebody to do it for him, so he does the selling personally. His wife works at a certain TSC branch in Nairobi, so the family is not that well off.
So what happened? In 2002 Eric, like many other MPs from the Moi government(Not many enough – Ed), lost his seat and that is where his problems began. You see, Eric never brought any significant development to his constituency. When electricity was brought in, it was because he had to get it to his house, and that was as far as that project went. When he dug a bore-hole, it was in his compound – which is where he gets the water he is selling to the residents.
As you can tell, Eric’s problems stem from the fact that people’s curses have weight. When he was in the ministerial position he lived like there’s no tomorrow and therefore never saved anything. On the up side Eric has connections with the police and administration police(AP) and he is able to get people into the force. He used this strategy to help him garner votes for the 2002 election…though it didn’t go that well for him because he got 26…yes TWENY SIX votes in the 2002 elections IN THE WHOLE CONSTITUENCY! Anyway, whaat he does is this, he takes note of the families that have relatives who need employment, and he takes his forms and goes to the family and get’s the jobless “kids” employed. But as you noted before, that strategy didn’t work(It sucked ass – ed).
One incident in particular messed it up for him, there is this family where the father has over 30kids, so he approached the with 3police forms and 4AP forms and signed up seven sons. In his strategy drawing board he figured that he’d he would get at least 50 votes from that household alone. The flaw in the logic stemmed from the fact that other residents saw it as favoritism; how could one household get so many entries while the rest of the community was languishing in poverty and joblessness.
Anyway, I had finished campus, doing a course in electrical engineering, and needed a job. So i approached him for a job and he gave me forms for joining the police force! Me! A university graduate becoming a lowly police officer getting 11k a month, GROSS(grooss, i.e., net + deductions – ed)! I turned down the offer since i would rather stay at home unemployed than waste my degree with the police. I mean, he could have offered to get me in the army or something!
My friend, John, from campus, who did mechanical engineering, took up his offer and joined the police force. As for me, I eventually got a good job in the aviation industry, but my friend…not so cool. John had been in the force for a bit when he got frustrated. One day he was walking along Jogoo road, and he tried to stop some cars(didn’t think to ask why he tried to stop the car- ed). None stopped, so he got pissed off, took his gun off safe, switched it to rapid fire and opened fire on the vehicles.

You see, he was frustrated why he had a degree in mechanical engineering and had to work his ass off carrying a freaking G3 rifle with all its heaviness and risk his life everyday for peanuts. His fellow police officers had to wait for the bullets to run out before restraining him because there was a big risk of him killing them had they attempted to calm him while his gun still had ammo.

Fortunately nobody had been hurt during the rant, just damaged vehicles. After he had been restrained and arrested, John was put through a mental checkup and was put in Mathare hospital(an asylum/mental hospital in Nairobi). Upon further enquiry, I found out why John had become frustrated.

In Kiganjo(Police training academy) they don’t allow calls to the cadets from outside. It so happened that John had been called for a job to head the department of a very large company in Eldoret. At the time he had been a cadet. The company tried to contact him in vain and even called his next of kin. But his father had informed the company that he(John) had gotten another job elsewhere and didn’t need that one. After that the family had set aside the invitation letter and forgot the story. So john had found out way later from friends about it. He took leave from work and contacted the company but found out his position had been filled in long ago and there was nothing more they could do for him.

After that it was all downhill for him. John has several siblings all with degrees and very good jobs. They are based all around the world, USA, Australia etc and they called him from time to time to update him on their status, and here he was, a lowly police officer(just because it says lowly shouldn’t imply they are, they’re why you sleep soundly at night, they are poorly paid though 😦 – ed). So he thought himself as the black sheep of his family, this coupled with the success of his siblings and his own lost opportunities really frustrated him. The second time he flipped and was admitted into the asylum again i was called in as his friend, together with his father.

As it turned out, John had grown up in affluence, he’d never known poverty and his father was pretty well off. In the meeting it emanated that the main reason John was frustrated was because he wasn’t doing what he loved. The senior police were actually surprised when they learned of John’s qualifications and it was agreed that they should transfer him to a department where he didn’t really have to interact with people and and also find him something where he’d get the chance to use his academic qualifications.
He was transferred to the department of motor vehicles and he was put in as a supervisor. After that John’s mental health improved and he seemed to love what he was doing. After he started slowly going up the ranks and today John is a senior in the department of motor vehicles for the police and rakes in quite a lot of money, a far cry from his first years in the force. [end of story]

What does John’s story teach us? It teaches us that in life we have opportunities available, but we have to be patient and smart. John, in this story, is an exception in that he ended up in the place that best suited him. Most people rarely get that second chance. So people, we have to be careful in the decisions we make. It is really important that we follow our hearts. Desperation most of the time does not end well. If you jump without thinking you are almost always bound to hurt yourself.

[ed note]
The first half of the story was written almost immediately after the narration by a stranger on a matatu. The second half was finished about 2or 3 months later so there some discrepancies in the narration due to some bits of the story getting forgotten, and it has been greatly shortened, but the moral still stands, you’ve got to learn to wait. The road may be hard and bumpy at first but stick to your guns, follow what you want and eventually you will achieve it.

Keep well mes amies.

Death to santa IV: it’s never that serious

Dear diary,
It has been an eventful year…no thanks to Santa, that no good, lying, non existent son-of-a-bitch. You know santa, you suck! Not even the lack lustre imagination of a demented twenty sth year old can give you life anymore.
2011 was a good year for me. It was a year for new things; new friends, new relationship, new home, new job, new medication. I’ll expound presently.
In 2011 i continued to bleed friends from the seams. But i didn’t mind it that much, there is only so much patience you can extend even to people who you’ve known since you were toddlers and when the fat lady sings, even childhood friendships gotta move to bygones *sigh*. Betrayal is like that crack in the mirror, overall the image may seem all bright and rosy, but you can’t escape the fact that there’s a freakin crack in the mirror. Good riddance to that trash.
Oh yeah, my best friend came back, though now she’s no longer my best friend rather my good friend now… comparative and superlatives my dear watson… It’s true a guy and a girl can be best friends, but when you put a relationship in the mix you have to sacrifice one for the other. The only way you can have both is if you’re in the relationship with your best friend. Semantics make my head hurt. See diary, i’m learning, seems the life lessons are far from over.
Did i mention i got a new job? Yeah, i did, the pay is on the iffy end of the scale, buh i love what i do because it expands and challenges my mind, and i’m not just saying that for the sake of it. The environment is great though sometimes i need time to breath and stifle that sense of panic and anxiety that builds up from time to time, though between my shrink, my girl and the bipolar medication the explosion is kinda sorted out…which segues us to the next new thing…
So i’m now on bipolar medication. After years of being on the fast dangerous lane all my systems were given a hard reboot and put on a slower pace. Am i agreeable to the treatment? Yes and no…t really. On one hand i hate having many of my ‘normal’ impulses dulled to the extent i think i’m actually becoming slow. On the other hand, i love this being in a stable relationship thing, which would normally not be possible with the runaway train that is my unmedicated mind. The problem with the meds is they don’t provide you with a checklist where i tick the features i want deactivated and leave the ones i wanna keep, it’s more of blanket smothering of all features. Ok, i admit i’m a bit biased against the meds because of what some of the side effects do to my body, but overall, my shrink was right, they have given me a richer life experience and i’m less likely to put myself in life threatening situations and stupid situations like walking out on things like my job. But the best thing about the meds, they took away the depression that plagued my life since the mental breakdown of 2009/2010. That is one thing i’m not ready to go through again! Viva la medication!
Did i mention that i stopped being reckless in all aspects? I didn’t? Nowadays i look both ways before crossing the road, i’m unlikely to do random hook ups with girls i barely know and best of all i do this because i’m looking out for what’s best for me! Last year i didn’t have that self preservation urge! So it’s a big step for me!
Finally, my friends, i know i rarely make outgoing calls but i do appreciate, especially the ones that come through when i ask for their help. Ok it’s kinda hard to be mushy when the music playing in my background has shifted from lady antebellum to ‘rudia’ by kenrazy…rudia ndio term tuli-use na kila kitu ika-go cool…ni vipi, maze jo sikulala, nilitoka straight bado nikaenda kusaka, bahati mbaya nikapata niliyemg’amu, akanicheki hakuamini akashangaa akaniita akaniuliza ‘nini mbaya?’ nilipofika nikaona izo mapaja, macho haina pazia, nikaona mpaka mbaha, tukabonga alafu tukarudia… Ok, love is gonna save us by benny benasi is now playing.
Where was i before i got distracted? Oh, yeah, friends are like urine, everyone can see the stain, but only you know the warmth…ha! I really do appreciate my pals and i know i sometimes make them walk eggshells around me and i’m extra cautious but it passes with time. I’ll quote somebody, i forget his name, who said, ‘Lord, protect me from my friends, i can deal with my enemies!’ Ok, if no famous philosopher said that, i’ll claim it for my own…
I have made numerous friends this year, more than i can count on both hands, met many awesome people, had laughs and go-fuck-yourself moments. We’ve had fun, partied ‘like we just don’t care’ and in general brought the house down. The story behind the eggshells needs a whole blog entry so i’ll expound that in its own time in a different post.
Finally, diary, as i wind up. I’ve been mentioning in passing the relationship. I’m thankful for this one person who stood by me through all the stress, tears and confusion that comes with having a boyfriend with(had) multiple personas, especially when they overlapped, exercerbated each other to create horrible combinations. Lord knows the pain that came with that and the endurance required. She is Godsent. Here’s a toast to less turbulent times.
And finally, in this entry that is less hating on santa and more on what i’m thankful for, my family. Fate stuck them with one helluva fuck up but they’ve endured him admirably, hehe. I’m happy to have them.
2011 was a year of mixed blessings and a whole load, and then some, better than 2010. Here’s to 2012 being a rockstar haven for Ben and co!
Happy new year â mes amies!
Signing out officially on 2011, Ben

You’ve got to find what you love

This is a prepared text of the Commencement address delivered by Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple Computer and of Pixar Animation Studios, on June 12, 2005. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D1R-jKKp3NA
I am honored to be with you today at your commencement from one of the finest universities in the world. I never graduated from college. Truth be told, this is the closest I’ve ever gotten to a college graduation. Today I want to tell you three stories from my life. That’s it. No big deal. Just three stories.
The first story is about connecting the dots.
I dropped out of Reed College after the first 6 months, but then stayed around as a drop-in for another 18 months or so before I really quit. So why did I drop out?
It started before I was born. My biological mother was a young, unwed college graduate student, and she decided to put me up for adoption. She felt very strongly that I should be adopted by college graduates, so everything was all set for me to be adopted at birth by a lawyer and his wife. Except that when I popped out they decided at the last minute that they really wanted a girl. So my parents, who were on a waiting list, got a call in the middle of the night asking: “We have an unexpected baby boy; do you want him?” They said: “Of course.” My biological mother later found out that my mother had never graduated from college and that my father had never graduated from high school. She refused to sign the final adoption papers. She only relented a few months later when my parents promised that I would someday go to college.
And 17 years later I did go to college. But I naively chose a college that was almost as expensive as Stanford, and all of my working-class parents’ savings were being spent on my college tuition. After six months, I couldn’t see the value in it. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and no idea how college was going to help me figure it out. And here I was spending all of the money my parents had saved their entire life. So I decided to drop out and trust that it would all work out OK. It was pretty scary at the time, but looking back it was one of the best decisions I ever made. The minute I dropped out I could stop taking the required classes that didn’t interest me, and begin dropping in on the ones that looked interesting.
It wasn’t all romantic. I didn’t have a dorm room, so I slept on the floor in friends’ rooms, I returned coke bottles for the 5¢ deposits to buy food with, and I would walk the 7 miles across town every Sunday night to get one good meal a week at the Hare Krishna temple. I loved it. And much of what I stumbled into by following my curiosity and intuition turned out to be priceless later on. Let me give you one example:
Reed College at that time offered perhaps the best calligraphy instruction in the country. Throughout the campus every poster, every label on every drawer, was beautifully hand calligraphed. Because I had dropped out and didn’t have to take the normal classes, I decided to take a calligraphy class to learn how to do this. I learned about serif and san serif typefaces, about varying the amount of space between different letter combinations, about what makes great typography great. It was beautiful, historical, artistically subtle in a way that science can’t capture, and I found it fascinating.
None of this had even a hope of any practical application in my life. But ten years later, when we were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to me. And we designed it all into the Mac. It was the first computer with beautiful typography. If I had never dropped in on that single course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts. And since Windows just copied the Mac, it’s likely that no personal computer would have them. If I had never dropped out, I would have never dropped in on this calligraphy class, and personal computers might not have the wonderful typography that they do. Of course it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards ten years later.
Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.
My second story is about love and loss.
I was lucky — I found what I loved to do early in life. Woz and I started Apple in my parents garage when I was 20. We worked hard, and in 10 years Apple had grown from just the two of us in a garage into a $2 billion company with over 4000 employees. We had just released our finest creation — the Macintosh — a year earlier, and I had just turned 30. And then I got fired. How can you get fired from a company you started? Well, as Apple grew we hired someone who I thought was very talented to run the company with me, and for the first year or so things went well. But then our visions of the future began to diverge and eventually we had a falling out. When we did, our Board of Directors sided with him. So at 30 I was out. And very publicly out. What had been the focus of my entire adult life was gone, and it was devastating.
I really didn’t know what to do for a few months. I felt that I had let the previous generation of entrepreneurs down – that I had dropped the baton as it was being passed to me. I met with David Packard and Bob Noyce and tried to apologize for screwing up so badly. I was a very public failure, and I even thought about running away from the valley. But something slowly began to dawn on me — I still loved what I did. The turn of events at Apple had not changed that one bit. I had been rejected, but I was still in love. And so I decided to start over.
I didn’t see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.
During the next five years, I started a company named NeXT, another company named Pixar, and fell in love with an amazing woman who would become my wife. Pixar went on to create the worlds first computer animated feature film, Toy Story, and is now the most successful animation studio in the world. In a remarkable turn of events, Apple bought NeXT, I returned to Apple, and the technology we developed at NeXT is at the heart of Apple’s current renaissance. And Laurene and I have a wonderful family together.
I’m pretty sure none of this would have happened if I hadn’t been fired from Apple. It was awful tasting medicine, but I guess the patient needed it. Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith. I’m convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.
My third story is about death.
When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: “If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.” It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.
Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.
About a year ago I was diagnosed with cancer. I had a scan at 7:30 in the morning, and it clearly showed a tumor on my pancreas. I didn’t even know what a pancreas was. The doctors told me this was almost certainly a type of cancer that is incurable, and that I should expect to live no longer than three to six months. My doctor advised me to go home and get my affairs in order, which is doctor’s code for prepare to die. It means to try to tell your kids everything you thought you’d have the next 10 years to tell them in just a few months. It means to make sure everything is buttoned up so that it will be as easy as possible for your family. It means to say your goodbyes.
I lived with that diagnosis all day. Later that evening I had a biopsy, where they stuck an endoscope down my throat, through my stomach and into my intestines, put a needle into my pancreas and got a few cells from the tumor. I was sedated, but my wife, who was there, told me that when they viewed the cells under a microscope the doctors started crying because it turned out to be a very rare form of pancreatic cancer that is curable with surgery. I had the surgery and I’m fine now.
This was the closest I’ve been to facing death, and I hope it’s the closest I get for a few more decades. Having lived through it, I can now say this to you with a bit more certainty than when death was a useful but purely intellectual concept:
No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.
Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.
When I was young, there was an amazing publication called The Whole Earth Catalog, which was one of the bibles of my generation. It was created by a fellow named Stewart Brand not far from here in Menlo Park, and he brought it to life with his poetic touch. This was in the late 1960’s, before personal computers and desktop publishing, so it was all made with typewriters, scissors, and polaroid cameras. It was sort of like Google in paperback form, 35 years before Google came along: it was idealistic, and overflowing with neat tools and great notions.
Stewart and his team put out several issues of The Whole Earth Catalog, and then when it had run its course, they put out a final issue. It was the mid-1970s, and I was your age. On the back cover of their final issue was a photograph of an early morning country road, the kind you might find yourself hitchhiking on if you were so adventurous. Beneath it were the words: “Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.” It was their farewell message as they signed off. Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish. And I have always wished that for myself. And now, as you graduate to begin anew, I wish that for you.
Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.
Thank you all very much.

For mpesa the one testicled man was king

Sometime i really get frustrated at a little something called protocol. I know the title may be termed as a tad misleading but i got it from the saying “in the land of eunuchs, the one testicled man was king”. Crass? It’s about to go downhill then.[ps. i got both testicles intact]

In Kenya there is a money transfer system which has revolutionalized transactions and the way business is run. It has been termed brilliant and empowering and all that business “professional” bullshit. To me it also reflects the number gormless idiots live in this country. In the terms i directly used on some of them, a bunch of dumb fucks.
I understand how the system has helped businesses grow and i know how it has eased out the issue of unemployment(to a degree). I also get how it has helped the government in terms of tax, so that our stupid MP’s get something more to waste. But some of the logic does not compute…in latin it’s something along the lines of non sequitur(?).
Anyway, the part of the logic that fails me is when it comes to depositing. Since time immemorial when the first caveman offered shell storage services where other cavemen came to deposit their excess shells for storage till a rainy day, he never asked the cavemen to show their identifying rocks before depositing. Or biting a clay template or some shit like that. That habit was carried down over the centuries to todays banks where you aren’t required to produce identifying documents to deposit money. I can’t go into deeper details about why it isn’t necessary except by saying banks earn from the money saved with them. They are gentlemen and have a limit to how far they will screw you…unless you are taking a loan or mortgage.
Today I forgot to carry my id….-fuck it-, i didn’t forget to carry my ID. I am a  proud Kenyan and love my freedom so i never carry my id because i am free to walk around anywhere in this country without having to produce my identification documents to anyone. As long as I’m not infringing on anybody’s rights so i have the right to do whatever the fuck i want to do whenever the heck i want. So i needed to send some cash urgently and hit the first vendor(that’s what they’re called, right?) and it was easy, didn’t need documents but their float was several thousands less than what i needed to deposit, so i just deposited what was available and moved to the next one.
This is where i got ticked off. So the lady, a nice looking lady, kinda easy on the eyes, got around asking my number; i told her, asked me if i had an id, i shrugged. she looks at me and asks me whether i had my id, i told her no, coz i was making a deposit, not a withdrawal. She looks at me and without batting an eyelid tells me i cant make a deposit without my national identity card or passport. Without batting an eyelid i look at her squarely and told her to go fuck herself, turned and left. Ok, i didnt tell her to go fuck herself…ok i did.
At the next place i was a bit more open to reasoning with stupid people. So the conversation goes:
“hi[stupid people], i would like to deposit”
“K, you have your national id card”
*Shrugs*
“What’s your number?”
“072 asterix asterix asterix…etc”
“Where’s your id?”
“I don’t need it”
“excuse me [finger snap] but you need your id to deposit”[ok, I’ve exaggerated]
“*bored face*i know the number off-head…it’s my id ainnit?”
At this point i was bored, but i had already exhausted my weekly quota of “go fuck yourself”s so my attitude changed to something akin to patience. So i go:
“why do you need my id?”
“Because it’s required”
“Yes, we’ve already established that[inner groan], i mean why do you need it?”
“To identify you”
“I have my health insurance card with me, acceptable in most institutions for identification purposes”
The last bit was drawn out in a duh kind of way…seriously! stupid people.
“When you are typing out your thing, do you enter my id number anywhere?”
“No, but we need it to know it is you who is depositing”
“huh? never mind. After you deposit to my number, what happens? On my side i get a confirmation text, yours?”
“We also get a confirmation text”
“Good, we’re getting somewhere now!
“In that confirmation text…YOUR vendor confirmation text, is the id number featured anywhere?”
“No”
“So why do you need my id again?”
“[instead of a light bulb, a candle flickers somewhere in her TINY TINY brain only to get extinguished] To identify you”
“In this whole process why is my id needed when any identifying documents would suffice?”
“To know that it is you”
“[inner groan] Look here(stupid), i have a document whose names match the names returned in the confirmation sms. Isn’t that enough? I mean, if i could fake the names in your confirmation sms wouldn’t that mean the integrity of the whole mpesa process is compromised?”
“huh”
“i mean, it’s not necessary to require an id to DE-PO-SIT[mouthed syllable by syllable for emphasis] money… even banks don’t require that part! coz it’s redundant!”
“We need your id to deposit money”
“You know what, GO FUCK YOURSELF!!!”
And i left.
For those who don’t see the logic, or lack of it in this case…well maybe you’re reading the wrong blog…perhaps… And i bid your farewell.
Keep safe

Write thinking: of things bipolar and others relationship

There isn't enough light to read so i just decided to do a write think.
Today they opened up the new museum roundabout. Guessing it's now the museum hill fly over. Drivers are confused because they are used to the roundabouts. Irony here stems from the fact that the current traffic snarlup is more serious than before. Teething problems perhaps.
Anyway as usual my mind goes to my girlfriend…former. I'm playing alot of slow music trying to stifle the panic i feel rising in my chest. The only reason i'm holding it together so well is the unusually large amount of bipolar meds i've resorted to taking.
The chemist is starting to get suspicious because i've been there almost everyday buying stuff they aren't allowed to sell without a prescription. But i have a legitimate prescription and with one of the pills going at 200ksh a pill and the other at 60ksh i guess they can't let the business go just like that. But a little online research revealed that it's actually almost impossible to overdose on medication for controlling the fluctuating of noradrenalin in the brain. In laymans language that means i can't die if i popped the whole freakin bottle(th term 'bottle' is loosely used for illustration of quantity…the pills actually come in blister packs).

Anyway i can't really tear her a new one here because it was probably my fault(probably is used loosely here in place of definitely). I'm not angry, just sorry that something good went to waste when it was still salvageable.
Only a few people can see the pain i'm trying to hide. My work has actually improved, incredible, right? Classic overcompensation at work.

A recent statistic i read indicates that 90% of relationships in which either or both of the partners are bipolar are bound to fail. However it has been established that that statistic is a farce. The relationships require more work but with a little bit of endurance they may work out. In general, the general success/failure rate of bipolar relationships is not alarmingly different from the normal ones.

Anyway what makes bipolar relationships so significantly different(i'm not contradicting myself)?
Out of the top of my head i'll say the level of awareness about mental health in kenya is pretty low. I'm bipolar yet when my psychiatrist explained it to me i was actually surprised and in awe! I have since then accepted the fact that bipolar is a disease just like diabetes and requires constant medication. Now you see why i'm not mad at her for leaving me? Untreated bipolar is a ticking timebomb and my shrink was the only person aware over how close to the edge i had come. When i told him of the note i'd written, albeit a clichéd one he turned white and didn't want me to leave his office. I had everything planned, i'd also written an email quitting my job and the only thing that kept my boss from getting it was that i'd left my laptop at the office the previous day and i'd run out of airtime meaning the email got stuck in the drafts in the gmail application. So yes, bipolar is a serious disease if left untreated. Some of the sideeffects to the medication are particularly evil, but thank God i'm alive, yes?

The strange thing about bipolar is how effectively it screws with logic so that i can go from being the most rational person on earth to exhibiting the symptoms of a crazy person to depressed, no definitive segue. During that period in my head i know i'm doing one thing but to an observer i'm doing something totally different. The closest i have is by using the analogy of a pencil and you are the artist. Normally you have a clear visual in your head of what you want to draw. So you take a pencil and clean paper and set out to draw the image in your head. Eventually at the end what you have drawn is nothing like the image you had in your head. With a bipolar person during a cycle/spell the same thing happens to normal functions.

Eventually you get tired of explaining your actions and why you said or did some things and just lay there and take the blame and fire. But one thing most people don't realize is that it may be difficult to associate with a bipolar person especially an unmedicated person, but we are still human inside. We need love just like everyone else and we aren't crazy. The only difference is we need medicine to control our moods and interpersonal relationships.
I guess i should have found a way of getting my girlfriend to research more about bipolar but c'est la vie. Better to have loved and lost etc.
I'll end by talking about mental health awareness. People who are mentally sick are not necessarily asylum material. Sometimes mental sickness is so subtle you never realize it's there until it's almost too late, like in my case since it'd gotten to the level i'd accepted it as normal behaviour. Bipolar people are not a danger to society but they are a danger to themselves. If you ever notice significant shifts in the mood of your better other and behavior shifts, chances are they are bipolar. I'm told it's actually more common than people realize.
Look after your mental health. You just might save that relationship you value so much. And i'm at the end of my journey and coincidentally this entry. Keep well my friends

Write Thinking: Matatu Trip

This entry is kind of different since i’m doing it on the go. It’s based on a style of writing i picked from a good friend.
The matatu i’m in inches forward. I look outside at the flyover being constructed by wu yi and co. It looks really stable but i can’t help but note a flaw in the system but then again i’m not an engineer to determine the structure of struts, girders and all.
The matatu inches forward several meters. In the background they are playing kenny rogers’ gambler. I think of trump cards and my thoughts stray to my girlfriend. Relationships have interesting dynamics. Personally, i usually avoided them because of all the emotional investment they require, meaning before you get into one you have to be triple, quadruple sure of the person you’re doing it with. I am happy, some rough patches here and there, but it’s all good.
Yaay, the traffic is moving at least. I look around the vehicle. I’m seated near the back so i have vantage position. I remember my shrink asking me about my fears. His question had been specific at first, ‘Ben, in a matatu do you pick the vantage point maybe because you are scared of an accident and dying.’
Of course i told him as long as i’m not sitting between two people, i’m good to go. Of course by now he also knows i barely have any phobias. Self imposed shock therapy worked magic for me. Why i’m seeing a shrink is a story for another day.
The matatu is really eating the asphalt now. Progress. I look at the pretty girl in at the back and smile. No flirting. I’m smiling because the guy next to her has his pits next to her face. Smile is evil now…haha.
I think of my job. The paradox that is my personality comes into question over its usefulness. I don’t know whether it is because i stayed so long without having my bipolar treated or what is the cause, but i am a child of two worlds. When my girlfriend calls me a geek, i always correct her and say half-geek. Reason being I’m at home in the forest or ocean depth(been there done all that) as well as behind a pc.
Back to my job. I know i love coding, the money in it may not be all that especially compared to alternative careers i could easily get into but i stay on for the love of the code. Coding is like poetry, but with methods and properties.
The outside is just a blur now and i think of my best friend (former). I recently realized i have more female friends than male. I guess it has something to do with having daddy issues. Though in retrospect as a kid i grew up with pretty girls all around me and i am used to getting hit on, though that is neither here or there since i’m write thinking(picked that from another friend).
15minutes and i’ll be home. Been on the road for a little bit over half an hour now. Short journey.
Now onto me. I like this trip because i get to think. Sometimes i get too conscious of my being ‘ergo tum’. It’s not always a good thing, me reflecting over me, especially now that i’ve run out of meds and can’t afford them for the next week or so. I’m usually too curious in testing the limits of my existence. I have this theory about death. It’s really straight forward actually. If you are not scared of dying then you won’t die. Sometimes i wonder, is it really that bad? I mean if the other side was so horrible wouldn’t somebody have escaped and let out a warning before being dragged back. So yes, i believe in an afterlife. Life in itself is inexplicable, and i know this might be a fallacy, but the existence of life justifies the existence of an afterlife, cogito ergo sum. It is arguable whether all sentient beings continue on after they die but i believe animals also probably have a thereafter.
Anyway i’ve reached the end of my journey which means this session of write thinking is over.
Keep well my friends.

Whom Do You Believe In

Funny story where i got the topic for this entry. An episode of Tom and Jerry where tom had read in a book that a cornered mouse is harmless. Then got the crap beat out of him when he managed to corner jerry. Regardless of where i got the heading, this will be one of my more serious entries. Politics and things politician.
I dabble in the philosophy behind politics sometimes and upfront, my views may seem naive and one sided. But i represent a considerable chunk of the populace, the 20sth year olds with access to information and influenced by social networks, though i drew the line at planking. Most of the time when politicians refer to the youth, they mean me and like minded others.
What does politics mean to me and what influences my voting criteria? Politicians promise a lot of things, they come bearing words of development, jobs, and more money…same old things we heard them promise when we were kids but somehow when they get into power forces beyond them change their mindset and the people get nothing.
I have a job, i was lucky i didn’t have to rely on politicians to get it otherwise i’d have been among the thousands of university students wasting away at home waiting on promises of a brighter future. At least i can safely say i’m no longer hustling, but thousands are and most are already in despair, and they are degree holders! But i’ll skip that for now, i’ve established there is desperation among a large chunk of th population.
A question we ask all the time is how come we see the same old useless politicians getting voted into power all the time? Aren’t people sick and tired of being the politician’s bitch year after year as they rob the taxpayer’s money? Seriously, what the fuck is wrong with people(kenyans). Don’t people get tired of seeing on the news the minister for agriculture or special needs ask ‘what drought, who died?’ When kenya gives Japan, a fucking DEVELOPED country, $1million there is no outcry.
My generation must be retarded or just plain stupid. Come voting time somebody will argue they won’t vote because the same old leaders will come into power. Won’t bother explaining the flaw in that argument.
My generation is the java generation, not the programming language, but the coffee place. My generation watches the news and is pissed at what the politicians are doing to our beautiful country. But that is soon forgotten. We’ll sign an online petition and our duty to our country is done. My generation doesn’t produce leaders it produces coffee zombies and sexual deviants. We are happy enough just to get laid and live like there is no tomorrow, like there are no diseases, like we won’t have kids whom we would want to have a happy future and a country they’d be proud of. My generation loves twitter, tv series, spoken word and to fuck!
I admit this entry won’t have a second draft and as such the ideas will not necessarily flow logically.
I’ll go back to myself. I am a 20sth year old waiting to vote next year, my views represent the views of many of my peers. What am i looking for when picking who to vote for?
Age? Am i looking to vote for somebody closer to my age? My answer will be no. when i look at somebody like eugene all i see is a spineless little punk trying to ride the ghost of his dead brother and since spirits aren’t tangible i see a little boy stumbling in the dark holding onto delusions of grandeur.
When i look at a politician like martha karua i have semblance of hope. Somebody determined to make a mark through actions not words. Instead of laying back and complaining ‘oh, women aren’t getting support because all the men have taken everything'(i don’t like fida…cunts) she plays it as an equal. She may not have the money but she has that fighting spirit you can’t help but love. Maybe she’s lying through her teeth like everyone else but come tomorrow she is the one i’d most likely vote for, emphasis on ‘most likely’. I have my doubts when it comes to some of the politicians she associates with like one mbuvi. But that is a story for another day.
Another politician that gets my interest is peter kenneth although i have big doubts over whether he can take the game to the big boys the way martha does. He would probably be my ideal candidate come 2017 but not 2012.
Anyway my decision is not based on tribe otherwise several others would appear but i refuse to contribute to their online presence by mentioning them especially one mr wiper. Anyway i’ve run out of characters since i’m on my phone so hopefully i’ll fill in the missing blanks once i get to my laptop.
Keep well, vote wisely

Conversations

Another day with the funk, second one this year. My reasoning is since i’ve caught on this one, albeit late(by a couple of days).
So, for two years i’ve been living in denial. The thought of having to take medication for the rest of my life and it’s not my fault is more depressing than what i have, because there is no denying the latter does have it’s awesome moments.
So, what is it like living with something you barely believe exists? I’ll let my conversation with my now imaginary doctor paint the picture…
Ben: Hello, ben speaking
Doc: THE Ben?
Ben: Yup, in the flesh…uh, i mean voice *awkward pause*
Doc: So, how can i help you?
Ben: You remember that thing that you told me that i have so i stopped coming?
Doc: You mean the bipolar?
Ben: uh…maybe…
Doc: ben? We talked about this…you have to learn to say it out loud.
Ben: love it how you say my name
Doc: ben!
Ben: yeah, i kinda believe you now…
Doc: kinda?
Ben: this is a big step for me, man…too much at stake
Doc: So you want to get medicated huh? You know i can’t give them to you just like that, we have to identify blah blah blah [medical jargon here] to come up with specific treatment.
Ben: *sigh* yeah i know, bt it’s not lk it’s AIDS where i hv to take the pills all the time, everyday
Doc: why did you call me then, if you aren’t planning on listening?
Ben: I’d missed you
Doc: why do i put up with you?
Ben: ok. Ok…sorry! i just want it to go away and i can be a me i can control again
Doc: Morbid thoughts again?
Ben: Yep. This time it’s worse because i’m not scared of them at all…i visualize it and it doesn’t seem so bad. The end seems…peaceful. You think God would punish me for something He gave me in the first place, theoretically assuming i go through with it of course.
Doc: Have you told your family yet?
Ben: No! It’s my problem and i’ll sort it out myself!
Doc: Girlfriend?
Ben: Doesn’t have the whole picture…
Doc: And you seriously believe you can do this alone?
Ben: I’m a big boy, been through worse and came out still breathing!
Doc: It’s going be hard. Why are you so insistent on going it alone?
Ben: Because i don’t wan’t anyone’s pity. Pity is for puppies(typo for using default t9 value)
Doc: You know the big risk in that. You can’t have a relationship with the people you love yet you leave out important things. Omitting important facts intentionally constitutes to lying even if you are doing it thinking you are protecting them. Because you are not. You are just a scared little boy thinking you’ll get rejected for being what you are.
Ben: *suprised* jeez! Ok, i kinda get it!
Doc: Kinda again?
Ben: Ok, i get it.
Doc: what made you call me?
Ben: coz i’m spiraling back into the funk and i’m ready to admit i was wrong about being able to handle it myself…if at all.
Doc: good. Now, will you let your family in on your condition?
Ben: i doubt it.
Doc: *groans* girlfriend?
Ben: *shrugs* i don’t know. Maybe. I doubt it.
Doc: suit yourself. Just remember, complacency here might lead to your undoing. Get th first step out of the way quickly. Then you will have a better quality life.
Ben: Yes mom.
Doc: Excuse me?
Ben: Just kidding, i joke when faced with impossible decisions.
Doc: So you will think about what i have just told you?
Ben: Of course
I’ll admit the role of the doctor has been played by my conscience. I’m increasingly learning to listen to it so as not to screw up.
Anyway, the funk has never killed anyone….that i know of….um…that i know in person. But it does fuck up relationships, i’ve seen. I don’t know anyone living with it to be able to share experiences. Mine have been mostly denial and occasional bouts of acceptance(but within the depression environment) though.
After all the self evaluation you eventually realize there is really not much you can do when it comes to psychological messes. Part of the reason is most people have no idea what goes on in the mind of a funky person. On my part i never talk about it because it might come out looking like an excuse for being who i am and how i behave. You eventually learn to live with the consequences of your action even on factors that were beyond your grip, but one thing i want to come out clear: when it happens, most of the time i confuse the symptoms with other things like stress, depression or euphoria(in the case of the manic cycle). The big difference is the symptoms/manifestation disappear suddenly and i’m back to normal.
The best way to give a visual on bipolar is this.You are on the beach, strolling casually enjoying the sun on your skin and the breeze in your face. Somewhere under the ocean an earthquake is occurring; too far away for you to feel the shock waves. Out of nowhere, the ocean “overflows” and in seconds you are swallowed up then dumped inland. Assuming you don’t drown you find yourself on dry land again, a bit wet with wreckage around you, and you barely have an idea what happened. To stretch out the scenario a bit, you have to be accountable for the damage and live with it. Simply because if you say something like “bu…buh…but it was the ocean that did it” is just using excuses.
Who said life was fair anyway. Seen people go through worse for things beyond their control, so yeah…suck it up, and handle things with a sober mind. Unlike stopping an earthquake, the mind can be tamed with some (expensive) psych therapy and happy pills….although I’ve partially tried the former and haven’t had a chance to try the pills(looking forward to that bit).
In conclusion i guess i’m finally on step 1…acceptance. Will do something more comprehensive piece with time.

1000 words: Trip to the ladies

There is really nothing wrong with having bodily functions and needs, so I have no idea what all the fuss about not mentioning them. They range from peeing, pooping, sneezing to eating etc. will focus on number 2 and a touch of number 1.

But I have to admit, guys know those two exist on women, but as far as we’re concerned, when women go to the ladies, they go to freshen up. We have often passed near those ladies rooms that haven’t been cleaned up in a while and there’s a bad odor coming from it, well that is because it’s the men’s toilet stinking up the next room. All that exists in a ladies’ toilet is the mirror, where all the freshening up is done; the sink where they may want to wash their hands in case extra make up drips on it (what? Who knows, maybe lipstick melts like chocolate); and the toilet bowl which is only used in those rare occasions where a the lady gets food poisoning or drinks a little bit too much and needs to drain off the extra alcohol through her mouth. So what is the nether region of a woman for? I guess the most important is sitting, copping a feel, and staring at when she doesn’t know you’re checking it out.

Anyway, yesterday I was caught up in a situation involving my bowels. Yes, men have bowels let this not be mistaken as an underhanded implication that women don’t have guts and mine happened to be full again don’t assume that I’m full of crap (dear Lord, stop with the intestine jokes already – Ed). Thing is I’m one of those people who are mentally limited to going number two in only a couple trusted bowls. Took me a few minutes (which seemed like days) to do a mental location of all verified loos within a non-stressful radius around the CBD and I located one.

A few minutes later, of careful walking so as not to have a more obvious embarrassing rapture, i was there and immediately headed to the gents. After a few second of gasping I finally made my way out. It was occupied and in use…hence the sudden loss of breath… that and the smell. When I got in in, this is what I found the previous occupant had left… To make the scene a little bit more serene I took out all the stains and wrapped the turds in neat little gift boxes.

As I walked out dejected and pressed I happened to glance into the ladies toilet and saw this And I got an idea, why not casually stroll in and check it out, purely reconnaissance. And it was magical. The loo was clean and nobody saw me go in so I figured since I was in there and there is no crime against it so why not end the agony. Finally my guts got reprieve. After a while there was movement outside the door, probably somebody adjusting their make-up, though she knocked to check if the loo was occupied. I just assumed that’s why girls go in twos into the loo, and since this one was alone she was just verifying so that she could have company. I knocked back and she stopped. Probably the comfort knowing there is somebody else in there.

I had the urge to cough and I held it down albeit with the greatest difficulty. Have you ever tried to cough like somebody else? Yeah nobody ever has to do that….except me at the time. Eventually I let out a cough and it was…stupid!

Lesson for today: use the toilet correctly! We don’t need that crap! Somebody could die from all the pressure

Ok let me just admit it…I just wanted to show off how well I can work illustrator skills. How would you rate your toilet?