Wednesday, November 28, 2007


Follow your heart.
If you are on a quest to find yourself, continue. It's a pleasurable thing to learn the answers to the questions of you.

What's the big deal about failure?
If you ever find yourself failing, fail, fail, fail. And survive, smile on your face. It sucks, I know.

Wanda Sykes on Gay Marriage

Don't hate. Emulate.
This goes for "love" as well as "success" - rather than be jealous of something beautiful, find your own something beautiful.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Flattery from my friends


Ran into a friend last week, clean-cut black guy, native Arabic speaker. He told Raj in the introductions that I speak Arabic. Yes, he did. Liam, I will love you forever for saying that. Thank you. I try to live up to it.

A month ago I met another clean-cut black guy, family migrated to the US from Liberia during the war in the 1980s I suppose. We talked the entire 4000 kilometers from Dulles Virginia to Oakland California. Joe, dude, you were supposed to email me. I know the chic for you, you've got to meet her, y'all will be going happily ever after in no time.

My old friend, who has been (very) black all his life, and who I can only suspect is still clean-cut, may go the way of happily ever after one of these years soon. I think it'll hurt when he does. It's usually a little sad when my gorgeous boy friends off-n-marry like that.

Last night I went to a Nigerian restaurant and was around gaggles of nice-looking Nigerian blokes. They were sorely in need of a center of attention and were Raj not there I'd have inserted myself in their happy conversations. My wonder was "where are the girls" when boys assemble like that? I mean the girls want to marry these guys, so how come they're not hanging out together? Manners, maybe?

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

Your assignment is to jijo Shina Peters!

That means DANCE to the music. Dance dance dance and forget your sorrows. Please clear the floor.

In grad school, I always wanted to have a dance party with all the best of Shina playing and the videos projected on the screen. The music video with the opulently-figured dancers would push us all to go for it, shake that body, shake that everything. I looked and found the video for sale, but never digital, so no Shina party. Today, with youtube, well:

THE SIDE A of ACE by Sir Shina Peters.

SIDE A continued, ends at 7:50.

SIDE B is slow at first so you can catch your breath

Bobo mi Americano...Afro Juju lo gbode

This was the official Health Plan for Lagosians. After chopping jollof rice, fried chicken, dodo, moin-moin elemimeje and salaad, followed by iyan and edikaikong and egusi and "assorted" and goat and snail and pomo and liver and isi ewu pepper soup and drinking coke, fanta, and malt (and small beer/stout/wine/palmwine/imported shak for the older ones) for weddings, naming ceremonies, people's birthdays, thanksgiving and memorials, Jesus' birthday...then you get up and dance Shina, which as you've noticed is no 3-minute dance number. Then you do a set of disco, then repeat the Shina...

My goal is to practice and get the shoulder flap dance going again. My dance skills have gone soft, y'all.

More Shina and more party gist after you've digested this.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Sociable? Test yourself.


On the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, I scored -1 on a -30 to +30 Introversion scale. Today, I took a different extroversion test at and scored 51%.
So basically, both times (four years apart) I was judged to be on the knife edge between introverted and not...and placed in the Extrovert bin - phew.
In Myers Briggs, the only significant signal is that I'm "Perceiving" not "Judging": +12 out of 30. Makes sense: Biologists bug me. Super-organized folks too. My mother is a J - trust me. Hillary Clinton? Give me a little flava.
Similarly, I was judged a moderate N, with Intuition score of +8 out of 30.
I'm barely an F on the Feeling-Perceiving scale, with a +1 score there.
So I'm an ENFP, but really a ?N?P.

I re-take the Learning Style Inventory (info) once or twice every year.
It's cool to watch how life events change my orientation. Like how my AC (Abstract Conceptualization, or Thinking) score was off the charts at the start of grad school - highs above 95th percentile in the second year, and how though still dominant, it stopped being hyper-dominant by the third year or so.

The CE (Concrete Experience, or Feeling) score has darted between 60th and 90th percentile with no particular pattern. My AE (Active Experimentation, or Doing) score has always been miniscule - often in the single-digit percentile rank - and even now at its height is under the 40th percentile score.

The surge in RO (Reflective Observation, or Watching) around the third year of grad school, probably one of the most pensive periods I've known. In these six years, it went from below the 20th percentile to 90th and steadily back to below 20th today.

Another cool story is how my first foray out of the "Assimilator" quadrant came in my fifth year, upon my return from Yemen. I had become clearly a Diverger, your ideal actress-ideator. Half a year later, I had bounced back to "Assimilator" only to return the next year to Diverger land.

Divergers are the artists, creatives, and touchy-feelies mostly. I usually lived near this quadrant yet squarely in the neighbouring Assimilator quadrant of theories, models and plans, and abode of teachers, researchers, religious ministers, and (oddly enough) financiers.

Now I'm completely lost to dorkiness it would seem...classed an "Accommodator." Accomodators are like salespeople, managers and politicians - the all-too-boring, get-it-done people-people.
I never visited the Converger quadrant, home of engineers/technologists. It makes sense, although I am an engineer.

I like astrology too, think it's pretty fun and useful for learning about people - self and others. Birthday astrology is really cool too, like sun sign astrology, but with more detail. I like.