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Since Animal has been bothering me for months to revive this blog, I figured that this could be her birthday present!  Nice, huh?!  However, I would be lying if I claimed that she was the sole reason for ending my blogging hiatus.  The other reason is that NaNoWriMo starts in just 2 short weeks and posting here will warm-up my writing muscles! 🙂  But I suppose I should say a little something about the Birthday Girl… I’ll try to make it something nice.

Happy Birthday!

Oh, Animal!  Thank you for providing me with 2 decades of amusement!  :::Sigh:::  I cannot even quantify the amount of laughter and joy which you have given me!  From that time when JewJew made you eat grass… to that time that you became a literal chickenbutt… to that time when you climbed up the bookshelf and then it tipped over on you, burying you in books and toys… to that time when your hotdog jumped in the air and made you break that plate… to the time when the Christmas tree fell on you… to that time when you were drinking beer with that guy in the dining room at like 2:00 in the afternoon… Goodness.  I don’t even know what I did to deserve such a bundle of amusement!  I almost feel compelled to join AF on his next church retreat so that I can thank the Lord for such a blessing.

I guess what I am trying to say is, I hope that you live to amuse me for many many many more decades! 😀

Dear Baby,

I cannot believe that you have already been alive for a year.  Thank goodness that you have outgrown your not-so-cute-alien-looking phase.  You could still use a tan, but at least you are not ugly.  Personally, I am impressed that you are even still alive. Between your insane mother, your questionable grandmother, and the Mike’s Hard Pomegranate Lemonade…  Well, let’s just say that you have already proven yourself to be a trooper.  Please tell your mother to stop buying strange hats for you.  And tell your uncle to fix his hair.  Anywho, here’s to you! 

Bisoux,
Votre Tante

bee

bee1 

bee2

bee3

beea

I know that I am a little late for a post such as this, but better late than never.  I wrote a post about the inauguration of Barack Obama, but then I already had an ideal post in my inbox.  Thus, I bring you an email that my Mommy sent to her children on that historic day:

Hello people, 

I just came back from watching the Obama speech, and for the first time since I came into this country,.I feel like it is all worth it. 

Life here for immigrants is not easy. Anywhere we go, on the job, to the store, even in schools, we’re treated differently. They talk about equal opportunity, but for the first generation immigrants it is not true. Over the years your dad and I has agonized about the what ifs….the what could have been. 

And today, watching that face up there, my belief was reaffirmed….the conviction that for the four of you, things will be different. There is no limit to what you can be….and where you could be. America is open to the likes of us….You may have to work twice as hard as your white counterparts but your dreams are still attainable. 

I just want to take this time to remind you that you guys are a part of this nation so make good use of the prospects out there. Have a vision and work hard towards it.   

We’ve always talked about being all you can be. It is not true for your dad and me. But for you guys, there is no limit to what can be achieved. With life and good health, there should be no excuses!!  Make an impact in this world. To make a difference that counts, you’ll have to work hard to achieve your life’s goals. Remember, time waits for no one…so make good use of the time you have now….when you are older, things gets more complicated. Don’t wait till your old age and live with regrets. 

Remember to thank God everyday for a brand new day and use it wisely: and pray for wisdom to make the right decisions….the right choices. 

If there is one thing that takes you nowhere, it is mediocrity. Decide on what to do, and do it to the best of your God-given ability. Strive for excellence. 

We love you guys so much and want you to have the best of both worlds. 

Obama has given us HOPE…..but HOPE without WORKS is nothing! 

You can do it….it is not just a slogan. You can make it happen. You are very smart and intelligent individuals. Make exceptional use of God’s gifts to you. 

God Bless 

Love, 

Mom

This post will be photo-laden to compensate for the fact that it is text-poor.  But it is still a post!  Which means that I am another week closer to winning $10.00 from someone who is already poor. >:]  For those of you wondering why I have not blogged about my favorite part of the year yet, don’t worry! 🙂  I will.  I am just too sleepy to put in the effort which such a post would deserve.  And now, pictures:

 

 

Baby
Baby

 

Baby Likes Black AND White People!
Baby Likes Black AND White People!
Baby Likes Faces
Baby Likes Faces

 

Baby Likes Boobs!

Baby Likes Boobs!

Baby Likes Fat People!

Baby Likes Fat People!

 

 

 

You know how every family is supposed to have that one crazy uncle?  Our family is so large and strange that I always found it difficult to pinpoint this individual.  However, we were reintroduced to Uncle “Big Ben” today for the first time in a little over a decade, and I immediately knew that he was THE ONE.  It would take me much to long to recount our entire encounter, so here is a snippit for you:

Uncle Ben: You are the Major’s son?
Juju: Yes. Who are you?
Uncle Ben: Uncle Ben! Like Big Ben! Uncle Big Ben!
Juju: Uncle… Big Ben…? 
Uncle Big Ben: Yes, You should join the service in Ghana!
Juju: I already did.
Uncle Big Ben: You did?! It is good.  This is why you should not drink.
Juju: Oh… I don’t drink…
Uncle Big Ben: Do you drink?!
Juju: No…?
Uncle Big Ben: Good!  I drink!  It is not good! That is why you should not drink.
All of us:    😐 

It is very difficult to convey the ridiculousness of the situation.  I wish we had videotaped the day, because we would have received a few million hits on YouTube.  Basically, this strange man… who showed up to the funeral in a grey hoodie… would randomly pop in and ask us random questions and dole out various nuggets of wisdom.  And he would yell practically every word in a garbled mess of English and Twi. 😐  It was really disconcerting the first few times.  And then it just became funny.  At least until Juju’s other friend drank his orange soda and then spilled someone else’s drink on the carpet.

Someone please tell me why we were at dinner on Friday night (one of our centennial family restaurant trips) and my brothers (this includes you, Emmanuel) and Father proceeded to get into a 30 minute debate about “crab fries.”  Crab fries?!  CRAB FRIES??!!  I did not even know that such a thing as Crab Fries existed until my Dad ordered them; and upon the arrival of said appetizer, he began to lament about how they were not made out of crabs.  My brother refuted this point with some semi-illogical bit of logic, and thus ensued the longest conversation about crab fries which I have ever heard.

I think the most amusing thing I heard of late, however, was during one of my final MARC train commutes.  Those of you who have not heard yet, my former MARC train crew has endearingly come to be known as “The Thug Train,” by the conductors and staff at Union Station.  Perhaps, if their trains were consistently on-time and non-trifling, then we would not have earned this moniker.  Anywho, one of the amusing parts of the commuter experience is observing/pointing/laughing at the newbies.  Well, on this fine Friday, one of the conductors decided to give the bewildered newbies (and in all honesty, there is such chaos when boarding the rush hour trains that sometimes I am still bewildered even though I am no longer a novice) a verbal heads-up.  As all of the regulars stampeded (mob-style) up the boarding platform, his words of guidance were as follows:

Random Conductor on Platform: Hello Everyone! This is the Thug Train to BWI!  For those of you who are new to our fine system of public transport, BE CAREFUL! This is the THUG TRAIN!  They will elbow you in the head and push you over the rail in order to get a seat on this train!  I know!  Because they have done it to me before… And I was not even trying to get on the train…  Okay!  Thank You!

I was dying! 😀  It made my day.  He was not even trying to be funny.

CRAB FRIES!

CRAB FRIES!

In honor of the impending witching season (and also of NaNoWriMo 08!), I bring to you a short story.  Although, my use of poetic license and of monikers may be liberal, the majority of the following narrative is still mostly somewhat true.  Or at least partially based on a true story.  Or truly based on a partial story.  Or something… The point is that it did actually kind of happen.  And in 3D.  Enjoy! 😀

One mild yet sunny day, not quite yet in the ides of autumn, a group of scientists were toiling away in their shady basement laboratory.  The lab was so vast, and buried so deep within the university, that soft and numerous drafts were experienced daily by its inhabitants.  It could have passed for a dungeon.  Perhaps it was one.

For weeks, these chemists, biologists, and clinicians had been slaving away.  Food. Water. Pooping. Sleep.  All of these things had become unnecessary.  Luxurious nothings from a former life.  Adaptation? Evolution?  Epigenetics?  Whatever the cause, there was no time to try to pull logic from rapidly fading memories.  From dreams.

8:00 PM.  The Deadline.  And quite literally so.  For in every pseudo-dungeon, there lies a pseudo-dragon.  Perhaps there are places on this earth, tangled within the superstring, where an exception exists and defies this rule.  However, the Cartesian coordinates for such a locale were clearly not the same as those for this one.

As the researchers scurried, much like their mice did in their cages down in the room below, to collect and collate their data, the Dragon skulked out of its opulent chambers and into the harsh sterile glare of the main room.  It sniffed visibly (as if someone had just put an open bottle of beta mercapatoethanol under its nose), thinking of how little the lighting up here did for its Prada clothing.  It’s gold jewelry.  It’s sizable cloud of self-importance.  It thought to itself (and then proceeded to share the thought aloud) that the lighting did almost as little as the peons running about it’s domain.

Accustomed to such helpful commentary, the peons continued with their work, not daring to meet the Dragon’s soulless gaze.  Rather, they kept their eyes on the clock. 4:13. 4:28.  The soft hum of machinery just barely masking the whispered prayers.  Fervent pleas to the gods of science and technology.  Pleas for good results.  Success.  Tenureship.  Escape.  One researcher looked up, perhaps to his deity.  Were those cobwebs he saw? Or just the workmanship of the spiders.  Haphazard algorithms?  Or very deliberate designs?  Like their data.  Like every action which they were performing now.  Working as one seasoned perpetual motion machine.  Dragon observed, offering little physical aid and even less moral support.

5:00 PM.  The final paper.  Compiled.  Reviewed.  Edited.  Corrected.  Consecrated and sent.  A communal sigh.

6:30 PM.  Response Received. “Manuscript Rejected…” Dragon reads aloud calmly, yet shaking with unimaginable fury.  Despite the tendrils of fire escaping its nostrils, the room temperature seems to have become sub-zero.  Everyone tries to play dead.  To make no sudden movements.  To make no movements at all.  But in a room frozen with fear, their warm breath is as visible as liquid nitrogen…

To Be Continued…

If we are still alive later this week… 😀

I’m back!  My apologies for the sporadic posting!  It should be better now that we finally got our router (that story could be an entirely separate post of its own).  I know you guys all missed me from your sweet “Where the hell are you?” and “Hey. Why don’t you update your blog, so I can laugh at you?” messages.  I missed you guys too!  Some of you!  Sometimes.  Before I get into what I have been up to, I have to share this awesomeness with you:

It's Rosie!  The Riveter!

It's Rosie! The Riveter!

Hohohoho!  I never thought that I would see Animal power-washing our fence.  Or anything other than her hair, for that matter.  But look at Rosie go… I am going to print and frame this.  Do not be surprised if you receive a Christmas card from me this year with this photo on the front.  This shot is so classic that I should commission Thomas Kinkade to paint it.  I hope he accepts food stamps as payment.

Moving on… I do not even know where to start.  Perhaps with the shady guy who tried to follow us home from the shore on Labor Day weekend.  Or the story which commenced upon our return that Monday, when we discovered that we were locked out of our house.  Or maybe with the morning we arrived at the station, only to find that none of the trains were running to DC because someone got hit by an Acela… and the awesome traffic that resulted from this, as everyone tried to find an alternate way to get to work that morning.  The word on the street is that it was a suicide, although the media portrays it as otherwise.  People were very angry that someone would so selfishly take himself out in a way which affected thousands of commuters.  Hahahaha:D  Oh, I mean… um… that is not funny.  I would like to note that Jacqueline STILL got to work before me that morning… So whack. >:|

Perhaps I should tell the not-so-humourous story of the 90-minute late train at Union Station last week… the frightfully angry mob which I was stuck in the middle of… and the appearance of the K-9 patrol to settle things down… Or about how excited we were to finally get a new showerhead, only to discover that the old one could not be removed with the Jaws of Life.  I would also tell you about how “We are not Captain Planet,” but you would not understand what I was talking about.  I would also tell you about our UPS adventure, but that would take me about 5 hours.  As would the tales of some horribly awkward lab meetings.  I did my first cervical dislocation and dissection the other day.  It was totally kind of traumatic, and the doctor I was working with laughed at me, because I was so like this —>  :O!!!!

To say that the last 4 weeks have been long would be an incredibly gross oversimplification.  At least I will have some awesome material for NaNoWriMo this year. 😀  If anyone has any advice on removing an old crusty showerhead without breaking the arm from the wall or on Fidelity vs. Vanguard Group or if you would like to buy me a condo in DC or offer me a book deal, please email me! :]  Thanks! Lobu!

Well, everyone keeps referring to him as a “stripper.”  However, I prefer the term “performer” or “entertainer.” Haters. :p  Anywho, the girls and I celebrated the first upcoming wedding of the season with THE bachelorette party of the century!  We started off with a fabulous dinner at Buddakan in Philly.  The food was incredible and the company was awesome (even with you there, CKL!  Actually, I should say ESPECIALLY with you there!)  Hahaha!  And, of course, we were dressed to kill.  We even had some cute guy drive by and honk at us as we were entering the restaurant.  Hot Girl Check-In!  What What?!  Or perhaps we just looked like hookers? Whatevs. >:]

After dinner, we headed over to The Cave…  Oh, The Cave…  It was our first time there, and I am pretty certain that it will not be our last… Hahaha!  We did take numerous overly-amusing and scandalous photos, but the Ya-Yas have pretty much made it clear to me that if I post any of them, I will be excommunicated from the Sisterhood and possibly assassinated.  So… I guess you will just have to use your imagination… or come visit me and I will show you the pictures non-virtually.  There is not too much that I can say about the experience, while maintaining the classiness of my blog… I will just say that it was SO worth the $20 cover charge, and I had way more fun than I had expected to have.  The girls may even claim that I had TOO much fun… >:]  But, honestly, it was not my fault that “Secret Agent 0069” took such a liking to me, you know?  Not that I disliked the attention… After the show, he came over, sat next to me, put his arm around me… And the following ensued:

Secret Agent 0069: You are so beautiful… And not just because of your breasts.

Me:… Thanks?

Secret Agent 0069: Do you have a boyfriend?

Me: No.

Secret Agent 0069: What??  You are lying! A girl like you?  You must!

Me: Nope, no boyfriend.  Do you have one??

Secret Agent 0069: (laughs) No!  I do have a wife though!

Me: ……………………..

Secret Agent 0069: But I still need a girlfriend.

Me: ………………………

Secret Agent 0069: (laughs, kisses my cheek, and leaves)

Me: ………………………

Hahahaha!!  I know!  But that boy was so freakin hot, I couldn’t hate on him.  Anywho, it was a good time. 😀  Of several bachelorette parties and a birthday party group, we were the youngest.  See?  Fun for all ages!  Go check it our for yourselves!  Bring your mothers! Grandmothers!  Wives!

How was everyone’s 4th of July??  Mine was nice!  We went into Philly, and saw John Legend in concert (for FREE, obviously) as part of the Welcome America Festival.  Estelle was there also and performed “American Boy,” which is one of my current hot jams. :] I also got to see SOME of my favorite cousins and non-cousins that weekend. >:]  And lastly, I was kidnapped by Brendan. :/  The end.

The last few nights have been horribly restless… Thanks to a certain bedmate. >:| Ordinarily, the sleepless nights which result from sharing my bed with someone are incredibly gratifying experiences. However, this has never been the case when the bedmate in question has been Animal. To give you an idea of how talented she is at sleeping, let me relay an anecdote to you.

Many moons ago, Animal and I shared a black metal Ikea bunk bed. She used to sleep on the top. The top bunk had a series of rather high guard rails, perhaps a foot or so (something like this). One night, a terrible crash woke me up. After glancing around the room and seeing nothing unusual, I deduced that the noise had come from outside. The next morning, I got up and peeked at the top bunk to see if Animal was still asleep. She was gone. This was odd, because I usually wake up eons before her (and most other people). I went downstairs. Still no Animal. Later that morning, I returned to our room in search of a lost book. Imagine my surprise when I peered underneath the bed to find, not my book, but my sister… This girl had rolled over the guard rail… fallen on the floor… been completely unperturbed… and then rolled underneath the bed and continued to sleep…

Due to some interesting circumstances, Animal and I found ourselves as roomies again for the weekend. Just thinking about it makes me tired (You did no help either, Ju!). My door frame is still broken from her last encounter with my domain. This time she also broke my glasses and managed to toss and turn to such a degree that my sheets are now half off the bed. She also hit me in the face several times. I am pretty sure that, had we been a married couple, I could have had her arrested for assault. After all of that, she was still talking about how we should move in together (and how she should not have to pay any rent). Black. At least she is still thoughtful enough to “cuh-caw” at me. :/

Speaking of black people, I owe an apology to a really cute white guy with Pennsylvania license plates. He just happened to be next to me at a red light on Friday at the 70 & 73 intersection in Marlton. I had just had a furniture-buying misadventure, and then some PI cut me off on 73, and some other stuff. So we’re at the light and I had the windows down. Evidently, so did the dude next to me… but I did not realize that at the time. It had just been a really long day… and then the radio thing… And I freaked out and yelled (I yell really loud), “WHITE PEOPLE!!!!” out of nowhere. I saw that poor boy jump out of his skin via my peripheral vision. If you, by some odd chance, happen to be reading this, I am so sorry for needlessly scaring the cr@p out of you and generalizing your people. Well, partially sorry for the generalization anyhow. And I think you are WAY cute! Email me. ;D  Oh! And John from Target… I’ll totally be back Friday night… ;D  Or beforehand if you call me… ;D  Holler.

This weekend I discovered that I am an awful gambler. I suppose that this is for the best, seeing as how I am an impoverished African child and all. We were at the Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, and I was doing pretty well at first. I just wanted to cash out and go after about 20 minutes. However, I was told that this was not “the way to gamble.” One would think that the process would have been made easier due to the fact that it was not my money that I was gambling. But no. Every 5 cents that I lost made me want cry. It was so painful. Never again. On the bright side, they have an awesome lunch buffet there (for $25:p).

Also on the bright side, the parents went to Ohio for the weekend. Ohio. I know. Who goes there? On purpose? I only know 3 people who have actually LIVED in Ohio, and all of them have since left. However, apparently this was the ideal location for my dad’s high school reunion. Mind you, he went to high school in some bush in the middle of Ghana, or something like that. So how they settled on Ohio… Who knows? And they DROVE. 8 hours. I am sure they probably drove passed at least 3 klan meeting locations during this time. I almost felt bad for them. Pray that, to bless them for surviving this journey, God will allow them to go to Ghana for a month this summer. Pray hard. >:]

I attended Dr. One’s dholki this weekend. Everything was so beautiful!! And, of course, the bride-to-be was even more stunning than usual. I still gave her a run for her money though. >:] Everyone and everything was so gorgeous. The food was wonderful. The music, lovely. I am tempted to throw one myself. But I do not have a gazebo to pimp out like she did. Nor am I engaged. Nor Muslim. All small details really. 🙂 The entire backyard was manicured like some English garden… but that gazebo… Especially at night with the lights on… Amazing. As already stated, I looked good too. >:]

Gazebo

MePretty

MePretty2

I should note that the photos of me were taken after the party at MY house! Which is a giant mess right now since the shipping container does not arrive until next weekend. :p Dr One’s house looked as amazing on the inside as on the outside. I think that I will move in with her. At least until her wedding. I am sure that they will kick me out for that night. >:] Eww. So jelly.