I said it!
melopoeia, phanopoeia and logopoeia sound like some species of butterfly.
Ten Years Before Yaw
When I researched (more like googled) the ten years before Yaw happened, I didn't come up with happy stuff. You know what, let me stop this blog entry and go look for happy stuff. brb. I'm back. I found no happy stuff. Here's what I will do, I will intersperse the bleak stuff with some history of manchester united and music or something. Aight, here goes: sometime before Yaw, Idi Amin was sitting in Uganda and decided that all Asians needed to get out of his country so he sent them packing. The European Free Trade Agreement was put in place and Manchester United was having problems on the field. Pablo Picasso passes away, while reggae music starts to gain in popularity in the United States. Manchester United play against Manchester City in the English league and are relegated by a goal scored by Dennis Law, a United legend who crossed town to play for City, the bloody wanker! Well, Law did not play soccer after that. While this was happening to United, Patti Smith releases what is considered to be the first punk rock single. There is also the Watergate Scandal and Richard Nixon resigns. South Africa also get booted out of the UN because of apartheid. The U.S pulls out of Vietnam while Christians and Muslims fight in Lebanon. Somehow the players of Manchester United ignore all this turmoil and manage to win divison two to bounce back to the first division! Here, they go on to qualify for Europe and the following year, spoil Liverpool's dream of completing a treble by whooping ass in the FA Cup Final at Wembley. The disco inferno is sparked by Saturday Night Fever and the king forever leaves the building at Graceland, Memphis, Tennessee. Some smart dudes at Sony decide to introduce the world to the Walkman, the first portable stereo. Margaret Thatcher, who probably had a Walkman, becomes British Prime Minister and finally someone manages to oust Idi Amin from Uganda. The Soviets invade Afghanistan and United win nothing :( Tragedy: John Lennon is shot and Manchester United continue to be under-achievers. Reagan becomes US president and Iranians decide it's time to hold some people hostage while Iraq fights them. Robert Mugabe leads the first black government in Zimbabwe (and still does) and the AIDS scare gets real. In the midst of all this, geeks around the world jump for joy as Apple introduce personal computers. MTV happens. Michael Jackson thrills the world with Thriller. Manchester United win fuck-all. Yaw happens!
Hmm, that's my light-hearted take on history before I was born. I honestly hope that I did not offend anyone. If I did, sorry.
Currently Playing: another Tracy Chapman joint
I should have added this to the meditation on where I come from but here it is anyway. I miss how we give directions! Now, here, you ask me where E. Seneca Street is and my answer will be of the form: go down College Ave and turn left onto Dryden. Go down to the stop sign and make a left onto Eddy. Go down two blocks and then turn right onto E. Seneca. Ha! Not in Ghana. This is how we give directions (or used to until they started naming streets and taking away the fun): go down this road till you see a big white house on your left, that's where my friend lives. Next to it will be a small road with a mango tree on the right, it has good mangoes. You should pick up a few and try them. Go down that road till you see a woman selling fried plantains, she is a bad woman -- gives you less plantains for the same amount of money each time you go. Go past her a little bit then make a left at the drug store, their drugs are so expensive. On that road, you should see a sign that says "Jesus Saves Church", hmm...that church. Make a left there and there should be a big brown house on a hill. That's where you want to go! And people actually follow these directions and they work! Now, won't it be awesome if mapquest or yahoo had that feature?
I am Meditating on Where I Come From
I come from a small part of a suburb of Ghana's capital, Accra. That wasn't where I was born or anything but it will do. So, this part of the suburb is called "First Stop" and the suburb itself is called "Dansoman." First stop is called first stop because for a time it was literally that, the first stop for buses when they entered Dansoman. Oh, and by the way, there is a "Last Stop" (my uncle lives there) but no "Second, Third...." stop. The way parts of Dansoman were named is quite funny now that I think about it. There is a place called Roundabout because there is a circle or roundabout there (dunno, what it's called in America.) Well, let me just trace the route the bus follows when it enters Dansoman. So, you start from FC Video, called so because there used to be a video rental called FC Video. Then you get to a place called Sharp Curve because the road curves there. Then you get to a place called Akoko Foto. This translates to "Picture of a Chicken" and it was called this because there used to be a poultry farm there and legend has it that they used to take pictures of the chicken :) From Akoko Foto, you get to First Stop, where I live. Next stop is Zodiac, which gets its name from a Pharmacy called Zodiac that sits there at the corner. You go down that road to get to Roundabout. Go about that roundness and you are at a place called Mama's Inn. Mama's Inn gets its name from a small food place that was by the side of the road called Mama's Inn where you could go eat. I don't remember if it's still there. Next up is Control, then Exhibition and finally Last Stop. (I miss home). Next time, I think I should be in charge of naming the parts of Dansoman, what do y'all think?
Dansoman, as legend has it, is named after a man called Danso. Apparently he started the town when he first moved there and so all who came later on to settle there referred to it as Danso's town or land. The "man" in Dansoman translates to mean kingdom or land that belongs to someone. Sort of. I don't know how true this is but that's the only story we tell of where we got our name from. I like living in Dansoman. Most of my friends live there and everything that I need is close by. There is no need to venture into Accra proper until I really need something. Of course the fact the roads leading from Dansoman into Accra are bad is part of this. Story is that since people in Dansoman did not like the ruling party back before 2001 when we changed governments, the ruling party decided not to develop our roads as punishment. Well, I haven't been back in a while so I dunno if the new government fixed them up. First Stop is quite the interesting place to live. Apparently when I was a kid, I was quite popular. One reason was that for a few years I only spoke English. No Ghanaian language cos that's what we spoke at home. My mum is an English teacher. So, the kids had this guy who only spoke English to play with and that made me stick out. Eventually, I picked up the language. I have been told that people who came to look for my mum were simply told to ask anyone around where I lived :) I really do not know who was there before all the developments took place but I guess it was some sort of tribal village type thing. We live quite far from the areas that are considered vital to capture when a coup or any such events take place so nothing interesting historically occurs around us. I think that's enough meditation for now. If you are ever in West Africa, holler and we can meet up or something. You'll love it!
Currently Playing: Some Tracy Chapman song
So, I just realised that I use the word "so" a lot. So I guess I should start thinking about cutting back on that.
Awkward Love Poems and Forebearance
I walked into GS 258 not quite knowing what to expect since I had never been to a reading. Well, I have heard a poet read her work but she came to our school and then there was that other time when we...okay, fine, I have been to a reading before BUT not in Cornell! Well, initially I was worried I'd be the only undergrad there but my fears were quickly allayed when Elle and Alissa walked in (josh was there as well). So, there I am sitting waiting for the poets or whoever reads at these things to read when I turn around and see all this alcohol being lined up for mass consumption! Now, if I was someone who drunk, that would be incentive to go for every single reading but I am don't drink so no effect. It still was interesting to see all that alcohol laid out though :)...Now, to my response.
First up was Alex-with-the-strange-last-name. He read some poems he'd written. He described the first few he read as "awkward love poems." I thought the poems would be about professing love or talking about love in an awkward way but somehow that's not what I got. Instead I heard awkward poems that talked about love (maybe they are the same thing...I dunno). I didn't find his poems all too interesting. Actually, I think it might have had to do with the way he read them because his voice didn't carry any emotion. Neither did his reading conjure any feelings or imagery for me. Maybe I am being too harsh here since I do NOT have an ear for poetry. That said, I did like the last poem he read. It was called "There Must Be Some Mistake." In this he talks about trying on a sweater in a shop and finding that it doesn't fit. It was supposed to be about how we labor to present ourselves to people around us (or something along those liines). The line I liked most talks about how you would be in a shop trying on a new sweater and you realise that "your head's up a sleeve." Overall, he did something I'd prolly never have the guts to do. Read his work out loud to people and I give him mad props for that.
So, Alex sat down, people drunk (drank?) more beer and Elle and I talked about how happy we were for Eric (think class, engagement...), then Ann stood up to read. Ann essentially read a few pages out of a book she's been working on for the past four years called "All At Sea." The part she read described how two friends met. Eleanor (Ellie) Raftery and Forebearance Keith were on "The Neptune," a ship sailing to Australia with convicts from England. The English did this to well, get rid of them (the convicts) essentially. I pieced together what had happened before the part she read from what I heard. Some women had been brought up out of their cells or something for some reason but their relative freedom compared to everyone else came with the condition that they take regular baths or something. Anyway, the meeting between Ellie and Forebearance (the chapter she read is called "Forebearance") happens in the shower room? where chickens also happen to be running around. Ann has some great dialogue between the characters in the room especially a scene involving Ellie and a woman called "The flasher". (I could go on and on retelling what she read but that would get tedious...) Overall, I liked the reading. We learned a lot about the different characters and a lot was set up for upcoming chapters as far as Ellie and Forebearance were concerned. If she could get the description of the scene to match the dialogue then I believe we could have the makings of quite a good novel here.
I enjoyed my time at the reading and oh, at the end they had open mic and a student in probably another creative writing class, went to read her sonnet and I liked it! Why? cos it sounded like mine. Silly reason I know, but still...Maybe I should have signed up to read mine :)
Currently Playing: T.I -- Rubberband Man
I missed the reading at Lost Dog Cafe. Essentially, I am in deep shit! Anyone know of any readings going on, please let me know.
Poets Die Younger Than Novelists
I read this interesting article on CNN.com
about a scientific study that shows that playwrights, novelists and nonfiction writers live LONGER than poets. This article justifies why over 90% of the work I hand in for this class is in prose and not in verse. If you want to live long, and who doesn't, switch to prose! :-)
I do intend to respond to this week's and last week's blog assignments. I just haven't done em yet, thats' all! and I do know some history...:)
I am thinking of skipping this week's blog cos I am no history buff! Heck, I am skipping next week's as well...Well, I guess I could make up some history. Hmm...Ah, well, onward to google! I wonder what typing in "Ghana History" will pull up...
Epiphany Part 2
I don't particularly like prefrosh. Don't ask me why cos me no know. However, I like what they bring or what Cornell does when they are around: Cornell flips THE SWITCH. THE SWITCH is the weather switch that Cornell scientists have developed over the years in an effort to entice more prefrosh to commit to the school and more recently to make parents feel better about paying for a Cornell education. You ever notice how when parents are here for First Family Weekend (or whatever it's called) or, more importantly, when prefrosh are here for Cornell Days, the weather magically transforms into unseasonable I-want-to-take-my-clothes-off-and-splash-in-the-gorges-gorges type weather? This, I tell you, is no coincidence. Just think, a school of Cornell's stature surely will not leave the fate of how many students enroll into the hands of the Ithaca weather gods. No! Scientists have for many years now been working on and improving THE SWITCH. THE SWITCH involves a series of operations that are started about a week before the rush of warm, beautiful weather is actually needed. What they do is vary the air pressure so we get warm air sans rain and snow from the south and Caribbean and channel the cold north winds to another place for a few days. When they do this, we get what we have now, 70-degree weather in Ithaca. Prefrosh are impressed by our beautiful campus (the suckers) and commit. Same thing happens when parents come here...people give out more money when they are happy! Hmmm...I guess that kinda means I would like it if prefrosh never left (no matter how much they get on my nerves). They bring good weather! Now, I wonder if it would kill Cornell to leave THE SWITCH on for a whole semester!!!! Forget Ithaca, just warm up CU. Is that too much to ask for? Ok, I will settle for slope day...warm up Libe Slope on May 7th! So, yeah...when you drink this weekend, which is over anyways, toast to the prefrosh and whoever is in charge of THE SWITCH. (Also pray that they forget to turn it off like they do when it's summer :))
Currently Playing: J-Kwon -- Tipsy
I went to my blog page and noticed that the large ad banner at the top of the page was advertising cheap airfares to Accra, Ghana. Naturally, I was immediately curious and amazed that it new I was from Ghana since I didn't put that in my profile anywhere. Then I went through everyone's blog page (yes, I am avoiding some work I need to do) and I noticed the following:
A few people, Emily and Elle are examples, have banner ads that advertise oil paintings. Anna has an ad that advertises plastic mouldings. So I skimmed through their blogs and realised that Anna has a line about muoldings in one of her entries. Emily and Elle in their responses to the art pieces in Johnson probably mentioned oil painting at some point and I mentioned Accra somewhere in my postings. Basically, I am just pointing out something everyone else probably knows...there is a dark force out there reading ALL our blogs and putting up banner ads!!!!! or they just have a program that scans pages for keywords and deploys ads. Nah, there is defintely some evil force reading our minds and our posts to put up ads that make Yaw forget all work and excitedly post his findings. :) OK, back to work. I wonder what the ad on dear old Walt and Emily's front porch says...
Will it be Kwame or Bill? Apprentice Finale tonight!!!!
*I normally don't watch reality TV so if I am raving about this then you know it's good :)
Currently Playing: Michael Jackson -- Beat It
got this in an email from a friend. not supposed to be deep or anything; just something to make you laff. me likes....
It can buy a house
But not a home
It can buy a clock
But not time
It can buy you a position
But not respect
It can buy you a bed
But not sleep
It can buy you a book
But not knowledge
It can buy you medicine
But not health
It can buy you blood
But not life
So you see money isn't everything
And it often causes pain and suffering
I tell you this because I am your friend
And as your friend I want to
Take away your pain and suffering!!
Send me all your money
And I will suffer for you!
Cash only please...
Currently Playing: R. Kelly -- Thoia Thong
Most people are disappointed when I tell them that I watch wrestling. I have to admit that I don't know why. They always ask me whether I know it's fake and my answer is always, "Yes!" Then they ask, so why do you watch it? My answer is always, "So I can write something down in the 'guilty pleasure' parts of questionnaires!" :D
Currently Playing: Frankie J -- Sugar Sugar
yaw's not so creative answer to julia's blog
I won't classify myself as a stalker but I certainly do look at my fair share of my classmates' blogs. OK, who am I kidding? When I need to find an excuse not to do homework, I find a blog and read it to death. It's fun! Somehow, it seems, I always missed julia's blog.
She has some really good entries that make it worth it avoiding an assignment for. This line in one of her blog entries caught my attention for many reasons: Truth is like technology. Of course the main reason was that I had seen it on Aunt Walt and Uncle Emily's front porch one day and also because I like (the progress of) technology. That line intrigued me but sadly I didn't click the link (I didn't click on any of those links actually :)). Well, now I have read the entire blog entry and I like her examination of the subject of truth. Julia likens the search for truth to the endless desire of consumers to possess the latest in technology, a particular example being the Ipod. While I agree with this, I would like to pipe up for the few out there who resist the urge to splurge out on new technology simply because it's a fad. These are the people who do not jump onto a new 'truth' simply because everyone believes it. Sure, the ad execs will try to get you to buy it but then eventually the consumer has the power to resist this urge. Accepting something as the truth (like buying an Ipod) is all entirely up to you, the user. You have the power to say no and keep using your 8-track but will you? I guess the main issue here is whether people out there will be able to stand for what works for them and what they believe in. Will you keep your vcr and your vhs tapes when everyone is moving to dvds and laughing at you for being stuck in the dark ages? Or are you going to stand your ground and say the vcr (truth) you have (believe) is what works for you and you refuse to change? The subject of 'What is the truth' is one in which unfortunately there is no truth. No one is right on what the answer should be but Julia does a good job with her take on it. She goes on to say that "truth is just a label for 'what realy happened.'" I agree and would add onto that and say that it is also a label for what we believe happened and in lots of cases the latter holds. Her observation that people do twist truths or as she puts it "personalize [truth] with [their] own truth-addendums" is one of the few things that I think are absolutely true in this world. Most truths ARE 'aggregate-truths'! I guess the only way to avoid falling into a system where you believe in an 'aggregate truth' is to stand by the first Ipod you buy and refuse to shell out money for "the thumbnail-sized translucent ipod bound to hit the consumer market in 2020." Let the truth be told!
Currently Playing: Ying Yang Twins -- Naggin'
I have come to a strange yet true conclusion: Ithaca is like Accra, Ghana! What led me to this? Well...both places have exactly two seasons in a year. Not too difficult to figure out. In Ithaca, these seasons are: the season when white stuff (usually snow) falls out of the sky and the season when white stuff doesn't fall out of the sky. In Accra, the same situation exists except what falls out of the sky is not white. It's always rain and the day it turns white we will all die (no central heating anywhere :)) So, yeah I dunno where this posting is going. I guess it's my way of saying this: why the f@#$ is it snowing in April?!
Response to Reading
If Maxine Kingston's piece was, like our assignment, a response to some artwork then I want to see what artwork inspired such a thoughtful story. I was particularly struck by the assertion that by default we assign white faces to characters in the stories that we read. I guess the reason why most people, sometimes including me, do this is because we live in a society filled with stereotypes whether we want to admit to it or not. When a writer writes a character we immediately look for sterotypical attributes and assign a face, a color and some sort of stature in society. We have comfort zones around us that allow us to do this and it will be interesting if, like she says, one day an author comes out and says, "Dear reader, all these characters whom you've been identifying with -- Bill, Brooke, and Annie -- are Chines -- and I
am too." Things would suddenly get interesting.
I've only been to the Johnson Art Museum twice. The first time was because my advisor took all his advisees there as part of some class all enginerds take in their first year. The second time was because we had to as part of an assignment for the 281.12. I am not a big fan of art. I have a hard time appreciating and understanding art, especially when it's supposed to be complex and all that artsy jazz. When you start yapping on and on about different eras of art you lose me. So it should come as no surprise that I walked into the Johnson Museum in search of the simplest piece of art I could fine. One that would require little or no profound interperation on my part. I walked through the Johnson looked at a few paintings and asked myself what the artists were thinking when they made them. Then I saw "Roadside Bin" and I stopped walking. It told a simple story that somehow grasped me and it was simple (d'oh!). This painting by Thomas Hart Benton shows a man, a boy and a girl with a horse at a roadside cotton bin. The horse is carrying bags of cotton, which the man is pulling off. The boy is dragging one of the bags on the ground while the girl empties another into the bin. I don't know what season cotton is usually picked in but this seems to be in the fall since there is a tree behind the bin with yellow leaves. The man is the only one wearing shoes. He is wearing a pink sleeveless shirt and blue pants while the boy is wearing a yellow shirt and blue pants topped off with a yellow hat. The girl is similarly dressed in a white skirt and scarf and a red blouse. The horse looks tired and weary and the boy is staring at the horse wuth a great deal of concern in his eyes. There is also a basket sitting behind the man on the ground.
This painting keeps it simple yet has enough elements in it to occupy most people's attention. Well, at least mine. I like how you can look at the way the characters (is that what they are called if they are in a painting) interact with each other. The boy and the girl are on one side of the horse while the man is on the other. The boy is looking at the horse (and the man) with a look in his eyes that draws your attention and sympathy. I guess from my standpoint, the most important thing is that this painting doesn't try to overwhelm you. It doesn't make you scratch your head and say "What was the artist aiming for here?" While this may not be a desirable feature all the time, I'd like to see this show up in my writings sometimes. Sometimes, simple is good enough to convey meaning and effect.
Currently Playing: nothing! :)
Am I the only one who finds it disturbing that we can be made to lose or gain an hour every year just like that? Well, now I am pissed cos I lost an hour of sleep!