When Thoughts and Prayers Won't Do

I have accepted that life comes with a good deal of the good and the bad. It’s very healthy to wade through life with that mindset. Yet sometimes the bad is so staggering it can eclipse all the wonderful good. Such was the case on May 24 when NINETEEN children and their teachers died mercilessly one afternoon in Uvalde, Texas. How could? How can? How? Just how. And now, where do we go from here?

Whenever there is a tragedy in the U.S, especially a shooting, the first thing a lot of lawmakers and regular citizens alike say is, “our thoughts and prayers are with [the victims]…” Now, ordinarily this is fine. Prayers are great. Thoughts too are fine. It is also especially great when you feel helpless, because prayers are anything but useless. Prayers are powerful. I know for sure I would not be here without prayers. But when the people literally—LITERALLY—in charge of making the law and changing them where necessary also parrot the line without any bite to it, you begin to wonder. When they are joining us to express moral outrage online even though they have all the power to do something, your blood boils even faster. Forget putting out statements, forget tweeting, get TO WORK. Pick up your pen and fix this and make your coworkers do the dang work too. DO something. We the people can’t really do much. We can grieve, and use our voices and vote, but you are the ones with the actual power to do something. How can you waste such a privilege, such power? 

Friday Reflections

1.) Elizabeth Moss is a powerhouse of an actress. I have never not seen that woman put up a STELLAR performance, with every breath of air from her and hair on her skin fully embodying her character. I hope she gets more recognition, this New Yorker profile does her some justice, especially helping us understand the contradiction as a pop-icon and feminist steeped in Scientology.

2.) Blogging is a hobby for me right now. I realize that' sounds crazy especially in this world where everything is monetized. 

3.) Stop catastrophizing.

4.) "It is easy to dress up a lie so nicely, that it starts to take on the glow of a truth. We cannot talk about the admirable decision of the UK government to accept refugees from Ukraine without also talking about the other refugees who the British government will unceremoniously ship off to Rwanda." - Chimamanda Adichie.

5.) Self defense training for stand up comedians. 

4.) Jane Fonda. The iconic. That is all.

5) Trevor Noah's remarks at the White House Correspondents' Dinner. This felt like OG comedy. Just pure roasting. Although he came for everyone, it was definitely not mean spirited and he came for everyone.

6.) She  donated her kidney to her boyfriend and then he cheated on her.

7.) Today's reflections are short and sweet. Have a good weekend!

Freedom (or Lack of) of Religion in Nigeria

 As important as it is to me for this blog to feed your soul, I also am quite intentional about not talking about every darn social ill and injustice that occurs in the world. After all, where would one begin? In the past couple of weeks alone, American leaders have decided to hold all the power on women's body, some other moron perpetrated a racist attack on black people going about their lives this weekend, food for babies is scarce and some people think "illegal" babies should not get food, and oh gas prices won't stop skyrocketing, and oh wait a minute, Mr. Putin threatens us every other day with nuclear war. And that's just in America. 

That said, something happened in Nigeria last week. Deborah Samuels, a student at the Shagari College of Education Sokoto in Sokoto State, was brutally murdered. They stoned her to death and set her ablaze because she made "blasphemous statements" against Prophet Mohammed. They had asked her how she passed and she said "Jesus O". She had also apparently complained because they turned a What's App group for group study and class activities into a religious group, which bothered them. So they plotted to kill her. They actually recorded themselves doing this and posted it online. There are a lot of layers to this madness that I do not feel like writing about, except to share the below which I posted on Instagram this past weekend:

I have been thinking about what it means to not just kill another human being but to actually set them on fire.

It’s many things—barbaric, sadistic—but it’s actually not animalistic. That’s the thing: animals don’t do that to their kind.

It’s not just that Deborah died, it’s the gruesome way she died; all that agony and despair.

I can’t stop thinking about it and I didn’t even know her.

I am not a theologian but I know there is no way God or any god is so sensitive or weak as to need human beings to defend him like so.

In a free society—nay, in a sane society—blasphemy should not be “illegal”. Either we have freedom of religion or we have “blasphemy”. We can’t have both.

You can get offended, roll your eyes, get angry even,  if someone attacks your religion or your God. But to kill them. To kill them? To KILL THEM?

I have been thinking about it.

And I hope everybody else is thinking about it too.



An Unforgettable Italy Trip Plus A Comprehensive Guide to Visiting Rome and Florence

 For as long as I have remembered, I had always wanted to visit Italy. It’s funny because I don’t like traveling. I don’t hate it. But in my list of predilections, it’s not at the top. I do it because it is never not memorable (and absolutely FUN) but I would rather just sit on the couch with a book, a T.V. show, or MS Word open, and me writing. But Italy was the exception. I have just always wanted to go. I have never watched Eat Pray Love or any movie based in Italy, by the way. Nothing. It’s just a spirit thing. In any case, my birthday was approaching and I thought, perfect timing.

So here came Italy and me. And of course, the best travel buddy in the business, my one and only sissy poo, who is ordinarily way more adventurous so she didn't need that much convincing. I know people tend to do these types of trips with groups of friends. So you may be asking, why not ask friends. I don’t have that many friends and asking people to invest thousands of dollars because  I was celebrating my birthday is not my style. I told them though and said they were welcome if they wanted to. You may also be wondering how a trip that happened in March is only just written about in May. Just let's move on from that. Okay let's go. Italy in a blogpost.