Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Recession, Changing Plans and Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist

I come from a family of big dreamers and over-achievers. My father worked for years on Happy Land, Happy World, a Nigerian theme park that was supposed to be like The African Disney World. My mom left behind the stability of a really great job and moved to a third-world country to create a life for herself. I have one sister who’s in medical school and another one who’s a filmmaker. Reaching for the stars is in my blood people. So it’s no real surprise that the career path I chose to follow is a difficult one. We Ajayis don’t know how to do things the easy way.

When I first decided it was time to go back to Nigeria for a while, I was devastated. I love Nigeria and I can’t wait to spend time with my family and friends there but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel like a failure having to move home at the age of 25, a college graduate who just couldn’t find a job. It’s a hard pill to swallow and incredibly difficult not to feel like I failed to measure up. We all have plans for our lives; how does one come to terms with the fact that things aren’t going to unravel as planned?

Then I remember Santiago. In this dream-crushing recession, Santiago is like a beacon of light, a familiar friend constantly reminding me that a detour and the end of the road are two different things. I remember that he had a goal too and he left everything he knew behind in pursuit of that goal. He trusted God (fate/whatever), gave up his possessions and… was robbed for his trouble. It took a year before things picked up for him again.

So yeah, I thought I’d be a kick-ass editor by now (on my way to being a respected and successful writer) and my pride is bruised because instead, I’m unemployed and moving back in with my parents. But I have faith in God and the talent he gave me and I believe that this is just a detour.

Thanks Paulo Coelho : )

Friday, December 9, 2011

Subway Playlist

  • Edward Maya & Vika Jigulina - Stereo Love
  • The Cataracs ft. Dev - Top of the World
  • Sabi - Wild Heart
  • Avicii - Levels AND Flo Rida - Good Feeling
  • Karmin - Crash Your Party

Happy Weekend! Can you tell I want to go dancing?

The 5 Best Commercials of 2011

As 2011 comes to an end, it's nice to look back and make "Best of the Year" lists. Since I spend so much time watching television and I don't have a DVR, I watch a lot of commercials. Here - in my humble opinion and in no particular order - are the five best commercials of 2011.

Kraft Macaroni and Cheese Commercial: This commercial makes me laugh, without fail, every single time I watch it. You have this cop talking to a class during career day and this kid (who is better than some actors twice his age) is just so smug when the police come to take his dad away later.

The Force: Volkswagon 2012 Passat Commercial: This commercial premiered during the Superbowl along with commercials that featured crazy graphics and Ozzy Osbourne. But if you ask me, this one was the best. It was simple and cute and something everyone could relate to (Star Wars is universally known even if you're not a nerd).

2012 Honda Pilot Commercial While Ozzy's commercial with Bieber wasn't as funny as people (by people I mean me) expected it to be, Honda's little tribute to the rockstar with an Acapella version of his song "Crazy Train" was kinda perfect once again proving sometimes it's better to keep it simple. Click here for the extended version.

* How much do we love the random black kid?

Microsoft "Dog.PPT" Commercial : When I was a kid and I wanted a dog, I sat my parents down and read them a little essay that I worked really hard on, which highlighted all the reasons why having a dog would benefit them. This kid used a powerpoint presentation. Who got the dog? It wasn't me.

We've all tried to convince our parents to give us something at some point. Microsoft took that universal experience and gave us a commercial everyone could chuckle at.

Chevy True Stories "My Dad's Car" Commercial: I am totally that ridiculous sappy bitch who will cry at a commercial. But before you judge me, know that I have standards. A Kay Jeweler's commercial isn't going to do anything but make me change the channel. Or throw up in my mouth.

But this Chevy commercial makes me a little teary-eyed every time I watch it. Because that Chevy Impala is beautiful and because these are real people. And who wouldn't want to do something that awesome for a loved one?

Anyway, those are my favorites; what are yours? Is there a commercial I didn't include that you think should be on the list for the best in 2011?

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Veganize It: Milano Cookies

Because I love carbs, my biggest priority since going vegan has been finding recipes for the baked goods I once enjoyed. I've said it before and I'll say it again; I would not survive if I couldn't eat my sweets. Call me a fatty all you want because of it.

My most recent project were Milano Cookies.

 I followed this recipe.

Not bad, right?

I used wheat flour instead and skipped the orange zest because I didn't have oranges around.

So what's my verdict on the Vegan Milano Cookies?

They were shit.

The cookies were way too hard; I almost broke a tooth eating one. I try to use wheat flour for all of my recipes but this is one that really needs white flour in my opinion. I think I used too much dough for each cookie because they weren't thin at all. So yeah, these were one giant disappointment. But...

I'mma try again.

JMO: Finance Guys and Gold Diggers

So I'm browsing (because I love it so) and I notice there are a lot of posts about finance guys (because let's face it, most of the stories are about men) and how dating them almost always ends in disaster. From there I stumbled across the GS Elevator twitter feed which I find hilarious and my sister finds horrific.

*Am I a bad person for laughing? I don’t think so. I’m just not surprised that people can say evil things.

Anyway, I feel like it's 2009 again and the uproar about the whole Dating A Banker Anonymous “support group” is still fresh. Are you completely drawing a blank? Click here for a refresher. 

Though no longer exists, there's something that never gets old about this topic: men who are banking and the women who date them. 

What I find funny is the outrage. The ladies that started the Dabagirls site received all types of hell. Not for duping The New York Times but for being honest about their preferences. And now with the stories on Gawker, people are so quick to chime in with their “maybe next time she’ll think about dating someone for more than just money” comments. Oh please. 

It’s not just the money, it’s the lifestyle. It’s dating someone who speaks your language and is interested in things that interest you. Let’s take the paychecks out of the equation for a minute; what does a teacher have in common with a woman who works in an industry like fashion? What the hell are you guys going to talk about on a date? I’m not saying it never happens but women who date guys in finance aren’t likely to date the guy who majored in education because they live totally different lives. These women aren’t gold-diggers; they’re snobs (no judgment ladies. Everyone is a snob about something).

I have very little sympathy for most guys because THEY make it about the money. I’m sure this doesn’t apply to all men but there are enough of you. If you’re doing well financially the majority of the conversation you have with a woman involves how many figures you make, how exclusive your neighborhood is, where you vacation, and how often you frequent the best restaurants in the city. You’re basically telling her that the only redeeming quality you happen to have is your bank account.

If you’re just never going to make the big bucks, you still make it about money. Except you go on the offensive and go on and on about how money is the root of all evil like you’d turn up your nose to a million dollars. And then you start talking about how you’re looking for a woman who “isn’t a diva” or “is down to earth” as if a woman can’t be ambitious if you’re not.

So my question is why do men make it all about money? How about having a personality?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011