Monday, January 26, 2009

Who Is Valentine?

As I was writing my post about Valentine’s Flowers, a question came to my mind: who anyways is Saint Valentine?So I did my homework and came out with some interesting findings about the origin of Valentine.A sure thing is that if more than 700 Christians are named valentine and are celebrated every 14th day of February, then there must have been a saint named Valentine that was executed for being Christian.The story goes that a roman priest, Valentine, was executed in 273. In 270 BC, Rome went to war and the roman emperor had difficulties getting people to join the army. The emperor thought that the men preferred to stay close to their wives and fiancés so he decided to forbid marriages and engagements. The couples then went looking for someone that is willing to unite them in marriage and they found Valentine. When the emperor knew about that, he sentenced Valentine to one year in prison. After that, Valentine had to appear before the emperor and swear to give up marrying people. Valentine refused and was killed on February 14 of the year 269.To honor his sacrifice for love, couples kept the tradition of celebrating their love at this precise date every year. Year after year, the tradition evolved to exchanging Valentine’s Day Gifts, offering valentines roses to their loved ones and so on…Of course there are many stories to how and who Stared Valentine, I just picked the one I liked the most.Hope you like it too!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Tim Arel, Rescue Me!

I still did not figure out an amiable way to settle my conflict with the Landlords. I was considering getting in touch with the homeowner’s association but I cannot seem to find one. I would have loved to get in touch with North Point Management, where Tim Arel presently works, but I believe they only operate in New York (I have to get that checked however because I am not sure).

Tim Arel, if you remember, was referred to me by a friend. I was thinking that even if North Point Management only operates in New York, it might help me to drop a line to Tim Arel as he would probably have contacts in my area, or at least have some helpful insights regarding what is the best thing I could do to help my situation.

I get frustrated when I have to wait longer for a simple matter, because then it just seems to me that people are making a big issue out of nothing. I mean it is okay to take your time if you want to, but I don’t think it is fair to impose it to others. There is a French saying that says: your freedom stops where others’ start, and I strongly agree with that!

I just needed to vent, but I will keep you posted about what happens with me.

New York...Amos Tamam...Here I come!

Want to hear the good news? I am finally going to see New York!! Since the time I have wished to go there. You would probably that I would have been there before, based on the fact that I live in Boston, which is not that far away, but no, I haven’t, I was too busy settling in, looking for jobs…
Anyway, it is a business trip but I am truly excited as all that I know about New York is:
1. The statue of liberty
2. Amos Tamam (You might remember my post about Amos Tamam, the entrepreneur that introduced credit cards payment service to New York Cabs!)
3. The streets they show on Sex & the City
And that’s about it! So I am now actively making a plan to make sure I maximize the use of my time while I am there, as I am only staying for 3 days. My first thoughts are of course to take a closer look at the statue, have dinner at the Buddha Bar, most likely take a lot of cabs and try Amos Tamam’s handy service, and certainly do some shopping!
But if you have any ideas about what might be interesting to do while in the big Apple don’t hesitate,

Monday, January 19, 2009

The Kenyan Media Fight

I was upset to read the latest Kenyan News. Apparently, as the New Year began, the Kenyan President put into action a new media law that forces a number of boundaries on media operations.
In one of my previous post, I had mentioned how proud it made me to see the African Media spread its wings and run free from government control and influence. Linus Gitahi, who I cited as one of the very few media people fighting for the press and media freedom, affirmed that this new law gives the government the right to seize any material used by the Kenyan media. Linus Gitahi said during an interview that the Kenyan President is enforcing this law to give the government power over broadcast whenever the “country’s tranquility” is in the spotlight. I personally think that this is only an excuse to limit the media’s freedom and thus exercise a higher control over it.
As Linus Gitahi said, this law would not only affect the Kenyan Media, but the Kenyan Democracy as a whole.
How can it be that we are celebrating a happy change in America, and others are still fighting for media press, it sometimes seems to me as ones are live in the present and others are still stuck in the past. It will take some courage and a lot of patriotism from Kenyans to get things moving and grant their own change.

Babangida's Videos

You might remember the post I wrote about polo in Nigeria, in which I had spoken about Mohammed Babangida being a devoted polo fan and a skillful player. Well, this morning as I was surfing on the web, I found a number of videos on YouTube that show Mohammed Babangida playing polo with his team. There is one video that shows him receiving the polo trophy as his team won the tournament. I, as well, found three videos of Mohammed Babangida’s Weddings (yes! he has two wives, as his religion permits :).
You can just go on to YouTube and type the name Mohammed Babangida to find a range of videos posted by African polo fans. You can also try typing his father’s name to get a sneak peek of one of Nigeria’s greatest leaders. Or you can simply search for Nigeria to see a world a lot different from the one you are used to.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Flip with K-Designers!

I just finished my post about flipping houses, and I cannot believe I forgot to mention K-Designers!
K-Designers is great contact to have for remodeling houses, changing windows, installing decks…They are simply efficient. The price is right, the timing is respected and the service impeccable. My mister originally used K-Designers Service when remodeling his house. They did not ask for down payment and provided a wide range of guarantees. He was glad he did so because even though he is a handy man, he knew it would take him a long time to get the job done, he was looking for a professional to hand the task over to and know what to expect, and that’s what he got with K-Designers.
We do not however live in his house as he has it rented out (and the truth is that I wouldn’t want to live there even if I love the house, simply because I want us to get a new house with no memories but ours! You must think I’m crazy but I guess it is a girl’s thing!).
But if I ever get a new house and need any renovation, you know where I’ll go J

Property Power!

Every Saturday morning, my mister and I turn to A&E to watch one of our favorite shows: Flip This House. It is a reality show that follows realtors who go around looking for old, unattractive and/or misshaped houses, give them a makeover, and sell them for a profit.
I have always been fascinated by the Real Estate industry, especially the renovation part of it. I believe it is a very rewarding business for people who have the nerves to keep up with its high-speed feel; a little like Braden Power, a young real estate entrepreneur, who with his brother, formed Power Properties in Dallas.
I often talk with my mister about getting a start in the real estate; more than ever now that he is tired of the food business. I seriously believe he has got what it takes to succeed in this line of work; all he needs to work on is developing a clever flair for opportunity. And opportunity is important in the real estate business, I mean who would have thought that Dallas would turn out to be a lucrative real estate area, but Braden Power had a good intuition. He took the risk and did not hesitate.
Braden Power knows the property field, and mostly understands the buyer’s expectation. When he renovates a house, he makes it as good as he would want his house to be. I think that this is much more interesting than building from scratch, it is more challenging as you have to make the best of what you have in hand. I also think that working in that field makes you a stronger negotiator, a quick thinker and a excellent decision-maker.
If I ever had to be my own boss, I would certainly do that for a living!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

My United American Insurance Company Card!

If you have read my “Bad Week” Post you know that I had to go for a Root Canal, and I above all had to fully pay for it. $1084 for 30 minutes at the dentist and 3 days of tooth ache!
Well, it didn’t stop there, a week later, my stomach started bothering me, I go to the doctor (fully pay again) and I am told I have a Peptic Disorder. As my pains were growing, so was my medical bill, It was then that I decided to get health Insurance (don’t blame me, I just got a job! Which unfortunately doesn’t offer health insurance!)? So last week I researched a couple of health insurance companies, and finally settled for United American Insurance Company, and now I cannot wait to see how much i save on my next visit to the doctor’s office.
I lastly understood that it is more expensive not to have health insurance! United American Insurance Company was the best choice for me and my mister as we can easily afford it, it takes our age and condition into consideration and also has life insurance options, which I figured that if I start at 24 years old, I could end up leaving more than enough for my loved ones!
I however always taught that the medical bills were outrageous in America, I mean I expected health care to be affordable in such an advanced country, and then I had to face it, if you don’t have health insurance, you better be healthy! The thing is that no matter how much you care about your health, exercise, have a perfect hygiene…you just never what is going to happen. But now, I feel relieved, as soon as I get my United American Insurance Company Card, I am heading to the doctor with a banana smile!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Bad Start

Oh God! I painfully started my week!
First, my tooth was hurting like crazy!!! I had to go see the dentist for a Root Canal, Which I discovered costs almost the same as my monthly rent! And so for 3 days, my tooth wouldn’t stop aching even thought I took all the world’s pain relievers!
Second, I theoretically was watching what I put in my plate last week, with the intention of losing some of the holidays’ weight, and then when I go on the scale, I sadly discovered that I have indeed gained 400grammes (still trying to figure out how, why…). Luckily, when I stepped on the scale this morning, I had lost 1 kilo!
My teenage brother is causing some troubles at school. I do not know what has got into him, he used to be such a sweetheart, but now all he cares about is his friends, looks and video games. My mother has been complaining to me about his inattention at schools (But knowing my mom I thought she was only exaggerating!), turns out things with him are far worse than that. The schools director called my dad telling him that my brother could be expelled. And I just don’t get it. I mean, my oldest sister and I have also been typical teenagers, bringing home some troubles, but we always knew that school was the way to parental independence. Now my brother is rebelling, and I just don’t know against who or what???
I know I have to call him and speak with him, try to figure out what’s going on, but I seriously do not know which attitude to have, should I be angry and yell at him, or be nice and listen to him? I have tried it all before, and I guess it didn’t work.
My real concern however is him getting hooked on drugs, because if the influence of his friends, and his need to impress them lead him to risk getting kicked out of school, it won’t be so hard for them I guess to get him started on something else!
I really hope I am just being over-dramatizing! But please, if you have any advices, they would be more than welcome!