Random Friday

I had a mild headache last night, and it developed into a migraine at some point. Coupled with disturbing nightmares, the pain made it hard for me to sleep. I tried massaging for a bit, but it only relieved the pain slightly.

Since I’m a believer of The Secret, I know I drew the pain with stress. The premise of The Secret is to stay happy. Keep yourself positive and good things will be drawn to you. It seems pretty easy, and who wouldn’t want to be happy? But it’s hard for me. I’m wired for depression. Give me any scenario and I’ll find you a sad ending. I’m an expert at finding every silver lining’s cloud.

It’s not something I enjoy. It’s not even something I’m proud of. But each time I have a daydream, someone gets killed. I could start out riding the banana boat and eating cotton candy, but at some point in my reverie, somebody will die. It’s going to take a lot of will power to overcome that, and on some days, it’s harder to put in the effort.

I have some issues I’m dealing with, and I have three more deadlines to live up to, but these three at least are workable. Meanwhile, I’ve done some email and some tweeting, so here are some random thoughts for Friday.

Last Monday morning was set aside for a breast exam. I chickened out last minute because I don’t want some stranger working my tatas. I know that it’s important and it’s free, but it still feels quite invasive. I’m seeing a client near The Women’s Hospital next Monday, so maybe I’ll man up and get it done. Maybe. Hopefully, it’ll be done by machine.

I was listening to Eminem all yesterday. I liked a lot of his stuff, but by the 5th hour, I was deleting most of the tracks. I only kept half the Marshall Mathers LP, and only one track survived in Off The Wall. It’s the song where he sings ‘Drugs are baaaad’ with an awesome hillbilly accent. Love it. Re-up was mostly skipped over, though I’ll listen to it again, just to be sure. I suspect the music didn’t change, but my mood sure did.

I think there’s depth to Eminem. He talks a lot of trash, and sometimes sounds quite violent. I don’t know how much of his persona is real, of whether it’s all for publicity. But he’s a father of three – two adopted – and he married the same woman twice.

I’ve no idea if that was love, pity, or media, but I think is says a lot when you marry the mother of your baby twice, especially when you know she’s messed up. I think it shows family values, which is an odd trait in a person who regularly slams Kim and his mum. I think there’s a lot more to Slim Shady than we’re willing to see.

I met some interesting people last week – a guy and a girl. I talk a lot one-on-one, but usually, when I meet a group of strangers, I operate in silent mode. I sit back and observe – unconsciously – and it takes me a while to realize that I’m not talking. But this time I was pretty loud. I’m not sure why. Possibly a sugar high.

By the end of the lunch time meeting, both strangers were giving me odd looks. They were both pretty good looking, and I don’t think I said anything weird. I’d love to get into their heads and see what they were thinking, but for now, I’ll just assume it was the purple hair.

A few days ago, I wanted some illustrations done. I was referred to one guy, who referred me to a second guy, and then a third. In the end, I had two phone numbers. Intuition made me dial the second number first, and the guy was good. We agreed on terms and he soon got to work. Later, I called the other guy, just to see what was up. He wasn’t as cool as the first guy, and after I mailed him the brief, he referred me to the guy I’d already chosen. Hurray for intuition!

On a whim, I decided to get a bouncy castle. I Googled ‘Bouncy castles in Nairobi’ and got a comprehensive list, complete with emails, websites, prices, and phone numbers. I called the first number on the list and got a discount. I.Heart.Google.

My conclusion is that The Secret is working for me. I was worried about attracting money, but I’m drawing a lot of it indirectly by getting great deals and discounts, all by listening to the voices in my head. I’m also hearing about a lot of good gigs. So far, none of them is stuff I want to do, but the fact that I hear about them tells me I’m on the right frequency. So, thank you Mr Universe. You rock.


First pregnant women and now trolls

A few weeks back, I confronted a makanga. Last week, I argued with a pregnant lady. And yesterday I fought with a troll. It’s a descending spiral of violence assertiveness, and I suppose I should have known better. The first rule of the internet is not to respond to the %£$%$^$&^%$&£ but he rubbed me the wrong way, and he was really, really annoying.

The first time he spoke, I sat on it for a few days, then responded through somebody else.  See, the troll had kicked up some stirring, and the new guy hit me in response, so I swiped them both with one broomstick. I ended yelling at the wrong person, who, by the way, was mature enough to apologise. The troll, on the other hand, just kept on pushing. Some people are just built that way.

The next time he posted, it wasn’t directed at me, so I just nkted, tsk tsked, highlighted the nut, and went on with my day. But the third time he did it, it made me so mad that I went onto Gmail and repeatedly called him a name. The name was idiot. I felt my sentiments were strong and that I should direct them in person, rather than catfighting in public for all the web to see.


Mr Troll chose to be offended, and suggested I should express my sentiments on the wall instead of posting them on email. [Can you say facebook?] Now, if I called you an idiot in private, why would you want me to repeat it in public?

Trolls are all about attention. They want you to get up and yell. After all, if you argue with a madman, no one can tell the difference. It’s like the story of a guy who jumps into a river. While he’s swimming, a crazy person comes and grabs his clothes. The naked swimmer then jumps out of the pool and sprints after the crazy guy who’s holding his clothes. When people look, they don’t see a man stealing clothes. They see a crazy naked dude harassing Millicent Bystander.

So really, attacking a troll is futile at best and ridiculous at worst. Still I took the bait and exchanged a couple of emails, then told him to go away, because he was messing with my kharma.

He didn’t go away. He quoted William Ruto. Like seriously? I call you an idiot and you respond by quoting William Ruto? Seriously?!

Now, in all honesty, I should know better than to talk back to a troll. The best approach is usually to ignore them. But I have to admit, it felt pretty good to fight back. It didn’t achieve anything, because an idiot is an idiot and a troll is a troll. Still, it felt good to stand up for myself. Granted, it’s far more empowering to break the brother’s nose, but I could get arrested for that. Plus, I punch like a girl.

After the exchange, the troll dared me to paste the conversation online, word-for-word, just to be sure I don’t give a biased viewpoint. I’m still thinking about that. But by the time he made that ‘request’, I’d gotten all the piss out of my system and could hardly be bothered to swat the fly away. So I just said ‘hmph’ and moved on to my next email.

Is there a lesson in all this? I’m not entirely sure. I guess I’m getting bolder, or maybe I’m getting older. I admit the war of words was childish, but it felt good, and I feel achoven. I’ve always said people shouldn’t mess with CB, and I guess I’m finally walking the walk. I don’t know whether or not such sagas will end well, but I’m feeling pretty good right now.

Now I just need to stop punching like a girl.

Sound of pulling heaven down Blue October


What to do when the customer is wrong

I had a clash with some clients today. I found out that they were doing something that is dishonest, unfair, and just plain wrong. Not only was this client taking advantage of me, he was also skimming my profits in the name of ‘sound business practice’.

I’m usually quite big on justice, so my first instinct was to call him and give seven pieces of my mind. I’m INFJ and I’m also a mel, so I have quite a few pieces to spare. But because I’m a writer, I express myself better that way, so I wrote an email.

The thing about being a woman is sometimes you get feelings you can’t quite explain. It’s called intuition. And my intuition was screaming at me not to hit the send button. So I called a trusted friend and explained what was going on. He advised to smile, play dumb, complete the project, then cut ties with the client. My tantrum email could:

  1. cause bad press
  2. be misquoted and used as evidence against me
  3. start beef with this client and all his associates
  4. paint me as a spoilt baby, which is far from ideal in the business world.

So I trashed the email, pasted a fake smile, and continued to work with the client. More than once during the workday, I grabbed my phone to dial and rewrote several mails. I had to rewrite them because 4 times out of 5, my first drafts were a verbal bitch slap. I had to remember to be an adult about things.

When things got really bad, I spoke to my better half about it. He asked if we could sue the guy, and when I said no,  he made me laugh until I cried. How I love that man.

Finally, when the project was over, I turned to walk away. But the thing is … I didn’t want to. I wanted to sit that client down and explain that I knew what they were doing, and that they wouldn’t get away with it. I wanted to brand them with purple ink, red flags, and a neon swastika, just like the guys in Inglourious Basterds.

But when I think about it, all the soldiers in the movie ended up dead, Shoshana got shot, Marcel turned to toast, and I don’t even like Brad Pitt. So I chose to be a grown up, smiled, curtseyed, and quietly shut the door as I left.

I know the client will wonder why I no longer take his calls, and he might show up at my door with chocolate or start a hate campaign in Zuqka or The Star. I just hope new clients will take my word over his.

In the meantime, I’ll smile, sit pretty, and try to avoid the fashion police. If he says one thing and I say another, then people can choose who to listen to. But if I get nabbed in Buzz with the wrong shoes or the wrong outfit, then there’s no 3CB to talk my way out.