Tips for Nude People

Nude people, yes, you with your fingers in the wrong place posing for a picture. You, who think your boyfriend is taking a nude picture of you for fun. Yes, I am talking to you if Kim Kardashian inspires you. Listen here!
You are not the download site’s 100,000,000,000,000th visitor, or the winner of the suspicious $10,000 on that random pop-up site. And OK, maybe your parents are stuck in Northern Haiti and they are depending on you to rescue them but it sounds purely doubt-able that they would have the resources to use the internet and send you the email….in Northern Haiti.
Everyday there is a new cyber-breach caused by bots on your computer or hackers in the cloud or some hideous thing.
Fortunately, the only thing that differentiates me from you, nude people, is my cynicism for trust in mankind, totally useless. So if you are not me, I will ask you to:

1. Go against expectations and make your password, “password”. Hackers will be trying to find a more complicated password, and it will be right under their noses! Those fools.

2. Ever notice how all security breach stories involve Apple Macs, and Windows phones. One word!Payphone!

3. “Clean” your devices after every use by tossing it in soppy water! Good luck on that one!

4. Keep your nudes in a folder named “Notes” or “The History of Wanking”. Sorry I mean, “The History of Banking”.

5. If looking at nudes in public, cup your fingers around the edges of the screen to stop anyone from phishing but most importantly to stop any minute scraps of data from escaping through the side-loops of your phone screen. That is how you make sure!

@JohnMazerolle…I feel you!

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You have to visit Brixton, London

Brixton is a district of south London, England, within the London Borough of Lambeth. The area is identified in the London Planas one of 35 major centres in Greater London. Brixton is a multi-ethnic community, with a large percentage of its population of Caribbean descent. The district houses the main offices of the London Borough of Lambeth.

This July, I flew to London with a blindfold, expecting to uncover the most unheard of corners of the world. Brixton will forever remain my favourate place out of all the boroughs of London. It’s the birthplace of David Bowie, home of one of London’s best-loved music venues and the location of Britain’s first cultural centre dedicated to black heritage. Below is an exhaustive list of things to do when in Brixton.

  1. Federation coffee. Simply the best coffee in Brixton. Sourced from the finest roasters and accompanied by the kind of cakes and sandwiches worthy of such excellent caffeinated beverages. Opening Times: Monday – Friday 8am – 5pm; Saturday 9am – 6pm; Sunday 9am – 5pm. Unit 77-78, Brixton Village, Coldharbour Ln, London SW9 8PS.
  2. Carioca. This place presents a festival of mouth-watering wonders and is widely acknowledged as providing a real taste of Brazil’s diverse culinary culture. You will not be disappointed. Opening Times: Monday: 10am – 4pm; Tuesday – Thursday 10am – 4pm/ 6pm – 10pm; Friday – Saturday 10am – 4pm/ 6pm – 11pm; Sunday 10am – 5pm. 25-27 Market Row, Brixton, SW9 8LB.
  3. Brixton Beach. Even though Brixton is not near any water source, they made it work! There is beach/rooftop at Pop Brixton! An ultimate blend of rooftop bar and urban beach, plus a few container booths that go easy on your pockets. As well as giving you the chance to feel the sand between your toes and the sun on your face, this Cuban-inspired spot is serving up street food from the likes of Mac To The Future and Nanban and cocktails as well as hosting a packed program of bottomless brunches, beach parties and fitness classes. After 5 pm, there is a Cuban band that plays out on the dance floor. You can literally dance right next to the the guy with the tambourine. I did! Twice! DJ Rawl Breaka hosts a good house, dub and breakbeats session at the same venue.Brixton Rooftop, Pope’s Rd, London, UK, +44 20 7733 3709
  4. African Food! Yaaaay! Get your West African food fix at Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen, a cozy little restaurant inside a shipping container at Pop Brixton, where you can feast on a range of tasty dishes including jollof rice, lamb in a peanut sauce and puff puff doughnuts. Brixton Village, also known as the Granville Arcade, has a wide choice of eateries. On Acre Lane, Khamsa serves delicious aromatic Algerian dishes with a Berber influence. If you’re vegetarian or vegan, try the buckwheat pancake meals at Kata Kata on Brixton Hill.

    If you like Jamaican food, try Refill on Brixton Road or Ultimate Jerk, a 24-hour takeaway on Coldharbour Lane. Both have impressive menus and are handily located less than a five-minute walk from Brixton’s Tube.

  5. Craft Beer? Yes! Founded by two local couples, Brixton Brewery is very a much a neighborhood operation. It’s an independent brewery that turns out small batch, unfiltered and unpasteurized craft beers, with many of their limited edition varieties making use of local ingredients. If you want to learn more about the process you can take tours of the brewery, complete with tastings of course.Arch 547, Brixton Station Rd, Brixton, London, UK, +44 20 3609 8880

Comment below if you have been or are going to Brixton and especially if this article helped you!

Pop-Brixton

7 Things to Consider before Buying a Car

I am no expert. I have only bought my first car recently. Feel free to take this opener as an all-round disclaimer. However there is something brutally pressing about buying not just any car but the first car.

Assuming you’re buying from a dealership or depot, I need you to understand the duo-notion that you’re about to get yourself into: You and The Depot/Dealership. First things first, you should ensure that You can drive and You can bargain. Check out the candidate dealership/depot and ensure that it’s legit.

  1. Have a breaking point on your budget and your dream car. Know what you are comfortable spending before walking into a dealership. There are too many extra features, several colors and add-ons, and professional sales people will try to sell you on them. Consider your dream car, and have a clear picture of what you can buy and what you cannot. If you’re not walking into the dealership with cash on hand, ensure that you have a long-term source of income to cover up. Get the best price available and ensure you stay within your budget. 

     

  2. Shop around.  Many dealerships offer similar styles of cars at very different prices. After deciding what kind of car you are looking for, sample a large collection of dealerships. Remain within your limit and binge-benchmark. A word I came up with when I was buying my first car. I put together a chart of comparison for all dealerships and private car sellers and their primary contacts.
  3. Who are you going to call? Speaking of contacts, pick for yourself that one dealer that you can connect with. Like picking your favorite kitten from the litter, it’s easy. It’s easier to bargain with one dealer than to keep repeating yourself to the rest of the team. I found it easier to put together one primary contact for each dealership or depot. And if possible, be sure to get personal with your favorite kitten, if you know what I mean. Give them a feel of what you are looking for AND what you can afford. Don’t be afraid to detail your needs and be prepared to listen to what they have to say. In fact, let the dealer do most of the talking. Most experienced dealers have enough knowledge o run their own dealerships; picking their brains may just get you the right car.
  4. End-of-the month purchases: Note the date by which you want to be driving your car. Just know that as the month winds down; sales targets look tough to meet for certain dealers and manufacturers, richer deals often come out to play. Most dealers will look to close faster as the month winds down, which grants you [the buyer] a great deal of leverage.
  5. Buying a used car. If you buy a pre-owned car, make sure to get a full history of the vehicle. The history of the car will pretty much give you a picture of the value of the car. Lots of car makers and their dealers are offering 0.0 per cent AND cash discounts on pre-owned cars. So look for those. Check the date of the safety. It expires after 36 days, weekends and holidays included. An unscrupulous seller might date it so it runs out shortly after you take delivery of the vehicle. Don’t forget to test-drive it and look out for unusual smells and sounds.
  6. Control your emotions. Of course it’s exciting to buy a car. Enjoy it. Treat car buying like I treat emails that really aggravate me. I write my reply, then sit on it for 24 hours. Do the same with a new-car offer. Take it away and sit on it for 24 hours before you pull the trigger. You’ll thank yourself later.
  7.  

    Go for free add-ins. Just so you know, I am an African immigrant so….. Anyway, make sure to get those free step mats or a carton of air fresheners or a discount on that Jubilee insurance. Rod-side assistance will definitely come in handy. With the leverage that you have, the salesperson will be inclined to include free shin-dings that you would have to spend money on as a new car owner.

Good luck!

Alone

Alone

 

In 2015, I posted  a line or two about loneliness. It was at the time when I realized that if I were to die in my sleep, there would be no one to dial 911 ASAP.

Do you have that someone that would dial 911 in case you died in your sleep? Assuming you live alone…. #IndependenceSucks

Thank goodness that hasn’t happened yet; I still would maintain that preparedness trait! I like to think of myself as a fireman. That’s why I have signed up for Life Insurance before I am 30 and have started to earn above $100,000 a year; simultaneously. Don’t ask me who my beneficiaries are! You’re probably NOT one of them!

Anyway, the post I opened with [above], haunted me this year when Facebook decided to relive my memories for me…. these guys must be SO IDLE! I found myself approving, accepting and aligning with the notion in my statement.

For starters, I entered 2017 ALONE.

All my friends and family had traveled, all I had were acquaintances whom I wouldn’t hold a breath for if the Titanic was sinking….AGAIN! I definitely wasn’t going to spend that magical minute at midnight with. I remember dressing up so well and then wondering, “What for?”

After texting all those people I met when I was drunk and unrepresented, and coming up with nothing but excuses, I decided to join the “Downtown Cool Bars and Random Adventures“, a random meetup group in Toronto filled with horny guys and alcoholic females. Don’t take my description for it, it’s an amazing group of people who understand what it means to be home alone in your downtown condo on a Friday night in the Americas.

My New Years Eve, leading up to 2017, was spent with rare but random people. People that I would love to spend a day with if I didn’t have a liver, and people that I could totally hang with if they knew how to dance. Literally!

I laughed, I exhausted my diaphragm, I counted down to a new year with people whose second name I wasn’t even sure of, but for sure, I was happy. If you put into consideration that I was in foreign territory and without the element of familiarity; I was STILL happy!

And for sure, at 12.30 am, January 1st, 2017, I Ubered (Is this even a word?) home; satisfied that I had defied loneliness and still ended up with a smile on my face. So you can imagine how bizarre it felt when Facebook reminded me in the ninth month of the year; how aggressive loneliness can be!

Surely on the morning of the first day of the year, I put on my skates and went skating on Victoria street. ALONE. It was too cold for a pair of gloves but the ice was too crispy for a learning skater, all the better. I skated alone, Dear Reader. And it felt SO good! I laughed at myself, laughed with myself, and when i fell so hard, I nursed myself back up. It was like, I was my own friend and I knew, for once, who mattered most, who ailed most, whose happiness (teeth) mattered; MOST.

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I was happy! On my own! There is no feeling that can describe that.

Of course, I must have looked like a lunatic to all the people that were skating around me.

And now I can tell you for sure, Dear Reader, if you don’t celebrate yourself, nobody else will; if you can’t enjoy your own company, when you’re low, or high a.f. (literally), no one possibly can, and if you dread time with yourself more than you treasure time with rare people, a.k.a, people.you.don’t.know, you will never understand what a gem you truly are and thus you definitely can’t award the right person; your company, your beauty, your intellectualism. It’s a chain, you see!

You are who you are!

You’re the only person who knows who you are! TRULY!

Love yourself; and then you can master to love someone/thing else!

 

 

Customer Service – The Ancient Way

It has often been said, charity begins at home!

But what really do we know about the way we were raised and the context in which we were raised that formulate our attitudes and conduct in various situations.

There was a joke someone told about the rate at which customer service has evolved. He said, “Before everything changed, agents would kneel down before me to facilitate my spending. Today, I have to kneel down to facilitate my spending.”

Pick the figurative queues.

In the past, a market place was a vibrant place. The home was a treasure and the compound was communal. Everyone was welcome, everyone was loved. Ancient Africa was beautiful. Guests were ushered into a home with utter care to show empathy for the long journey traveled, even if it was a near-by neighbor. Water was fetched, a bath was prepared, an animal was slaughtered on command and the plates were shined. Everything was put on hold until everyone had eaten.

In the past, food united everybody. The community it gathered in good faith spread positivism better than the warm rain. And the laughter, as genuine as the morning sun. This here, brewed the ingenuity of the continent. Everything was put on hold until everyone had eaten.

And the only payment anyone ever wanted was a heartfelt “Thank you”,  “Asante Baaba”, “Tsikomo Bemba”. Not to forget the reciprocal treatment in the future.

This is what customer service is. Looking beyond the dollar, and the exchange rate, and the skin color and the change, and the tip. Focusing on the quality of service, the food, the aura, the genuine smile, the good faith, and the heartfelt Thank you. Especially the heartfelt Thank you!

Mr. Mutagubya Alvin

I broke my bong at the Station

Friends, if you haven’t gone through this, then it is indeterminable whether you have lived your life to the fullest. Re-evaluate your goals. And to help you friend, a bong is larger-than-life designer pipe usually made of glass that is built to enhance the inhalation of mound substances.

Anyway, on this beautiful winter evening (lie!), I found myself at St. George station’ an inter-sectional train station in Toronto that connects the green line to the yellow line; with a two-level platform, you are able to board trains that will take you to different directions of the city. On that gruesome day, I had managed to get myself in the best company ever known to man. Numbing depressants and a never-ending flow of alcohol can’t describe it enough. I was accorded a beautiful, tall-as-a-giraffe, larger-than-life bong that could disable a 200-lb club bouncer. I have never been happier in life.

So the odds had me stumbling into the train steaming like a burnt, worn-out train. I walked in there like I had paid more fare than everybody else. I pulled the blue seats (seats designated for disabled persons) and sat my bong on my lap like a new-born baby. In my oblivion, I forgot how much responsibility I was carrying, literally. When my stop came up, I got to my feet as quickly as an army cadet; with my balance at risk, I swung my arms to hold onto a near pole for support; that’s when my bong flew and splashed to pieces on the floor of the train.

It brings me to tears just re-telling my story. At that very instant, the doors opened and two train inspectors walked in. We exchanged strange looks as we observed the amount of destruction that had just occurred. With a tear residue in the corner of my eye, I forced a brown-teeth smile, said hello and waltzed off the train. No loss has ever been that heavily loaded unto my chest, no other loss.

Until next time.

Chronicles of a Side Chick (I don’t know…)

“I have to go.”

The most morbid words to my ears. The stealthiness irks my soul and every virtue I stand for. I know you’re not mine. I know you won’t leave her for me. And I know we don’t have a future. I also know there is no way you will accept us: me and the baby growing inside me as we speak.

“Wait, just a few minutes…”

I need you to hold me longer, to kiss me and tell me everything will be alright. My love for you is unbeknownst to even me. I also have to find a way to break it to you. Softly. I just don’t know how you’re going to deal with it. I didn’t know my life would come to this. To me, this is adulthood, the worst version of them. Entailed with bad decisions, regretful nights, wistful mornings and consistent tears. I don’t know how I haven’t lost it yet. Or have I already?

My friends said I needed to move on and find someone that puts me first. They said I deserved better. They were right. I just didn’t know how to live without you, how to take everyday like you didn’t exist. That was an impossibility. Still is.

“I really have to go. I have to pick her up and I am already late …”

It’s when you use her as an excuse to leave me; when you put her before me so vividly, so unapologetically; that you make me feel so worthless.

“I am pregnant!”

I almost shouted. The expression on your face changed, your agape lips, your dumbfoundedness, and the veins forming in your forehead – priceless.

“What?”

I don’t know how you’re going to tell her. I don’t know if you’re going to tell her. I don’t know what will happen to us. I don’t know what’s going to happen from here on.

I promised myself I wouldn’t listen to your abortion mantra. I will have this baby, with or without you. Maybe this baby will be my reminder of the love I could never let go of, the days I will never forget, YOU! Maybe my baby will better direct my focus, make better decisions and put myself first. And we, my baby and I, shall take on the world together.

With or Without You!

“And I am keeping it.”