The Signs These Days!

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Brief one here:
I was just wondering…how bad exactly is this generation if they now have to have signs reminding people to wear shirts and shoes?
Well. I don’t think Steve Jobs would have liked THAT very much.
I took this photo at MacDonald’s.
Unfortunate.

LOL.
-Vanna

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It might not be ordinary…

  • It might not be ordinary to randomly decide, in the blazing Ghanaian afternoon to put on sneakers and go outside for a run in the quiet streets of residential Labone.
  • It might not be ordinary to make flowers out of crepe paper and wear them in your hair in the middle of Accra wherever you go.
  • It might not be ordinary to decide that your summer look involves spraying half your hair blue and wearing it proudly to public places.
  • It might not be ordinary to randomly release energy by dancing and jumping up and down in the middle of public places especially when there is no music.
  • It might not be ordinary to insist on numbering the pages of your exercise book solely in Chinese characters.
  • It might not be ordinary to jump on someone’s back in the middle of the unfortunately tiny Accra mall on multiple occasions, and/or let him carry you down the Silverbird Cinema’s stairs or into Game.
  • It might not be ordinary to decide to sit down cross-legged on the floor in front of Shoprite because you want to prove to yourself that you can.
  • It might not be ordinary to spend all summer completing self-given projects on researching, drawing, and writing on dinosaurs and turning my bedroom into a dinosaur/Taylor Lautner/High School Musical museum for the sake of doing it.
  • It might not be ordinary to find a full moon the most fascinating thing on earth and go hysterical whenever it comes out.
  • It might not be ordinary to find time to sit down and write over 20 pages on how academics are killing the universe.
  • It might not be ordinary to fall down laugh-crying in the middle of a bookstore because you saw a book by Rick Riordan.
  • It might not be ordinary to hold a karaoke session by yourself in your bedroom at one a.m. with your voice and your speakers on maximum volume.
  • It might not be ordinary to be dancing on the streets outside your house at nine p.m. just because you felt an impulse.
  • It might not be ordinary to want so badly not to be ordinary. But what if this is, in fact, exactly what makes me ordinary?

How was Dubai?

Let’s make this post less talkie more photo.

My family and I stayed at the Atlantis hotel in Dubai. It was blazing hot. There was a water park in the hotel. I went on the longest freaking water slide I have ever been on. Yes, I screamed. I, my brother and my father, went into a shark tank. Where there were actual, real-life sharks and other assorted fish. They were beautiful. There was an amazing aquarium where you could just sit down and watch fish as long as you want. We went to the mall, which is amazingly architected and gorgeous and huge.

My little brother, hardly aware a picture is being taken.
My little brother, hardly aware a picture is being taken.
Smile! You're in a tank with a giant fish-shark-whale or whatever that is behind you!
Smile! You’re in a tank with a giant fish-shark-whale or whatever that is behind you!
Me, screaming in terror as I go down the water slide.
Me, screaming in terror as I go down the water slide.
Woo-hoo! I survived the water slide!
Woo-hoo! I survived the water slide!
Posing after the scariest slide adventure ever.
Posing after the scariest slide adventure ever.
Me, my brother, my father. In the real-life tank.
Me, my brother, my father. In the real-life tank.
The view of Dubai from our hotel room.
The view of Dubai from our hotel room.
My brother and I posing for my dad in the blazing heat.
My brother and I posing for my dad in the blazing heat.
Peace, man! In front of another fish tank.
Peace, man! In front of another fish tank.
Me, sitting in front of one of the many fish tanks in that aquarium. This is only one of the basic ones. There was a LOT of variation.
Me, sitting in front of one of the many fish tanks in that aquarium. This is only one of the basic ones. There was a LOT of variation.
I don't really know what this structure is, but I felt the need to take a picture with it.
I don’t really know what this structure is, but I felt the need to take a picture with it.
Me, standing in front of an amazing fountain at the mall.
Me, standing in front of an amazing fountain at the mall.

Zàijiàn.

-Vanna.

On Cory Monteith’s Death

How do you presume Cory Monteith would feel, in the metaphorical event that he could witness the reactions to his own death? How it feels, possibly, to be mourned for by many but known by so few out of that many?

How legitimate are your claims of grief for people you never really knew? I suppose, to the people who really don’t think about it, it doesn’t feel artificial. But how, I really do want to know, do you miss someone you weren’t necessarily familiar with? Do you use it to mean you will miss seeing someone’s face in a new episode on television, or that you will no more feel the anticipation of a particular person’s movie or album release date?
Sigh. I never watched Glee anyway. I don’t even know this guy any more intimately than his name. But even if my favourite actress died, I do not suppose I would scry about what an amazing person he/she was. Why?  i never knew him/her personally. 
I really couldn’t even properly grieve for Steve Jobs personally so much as grieve for the world’s loss of a genius brain. And even, from what I read of his biography, that guy was a lunatic and an ass. Albeit, a very hot, genius, lunatic, ass. 
Thinking about it now, I wonder how I would react if Rick Riordan (author of Percy Jackson, a man with an amazing brain) died. I’d be devastated, but I honestly can’t guarantee that I’d even cry. I don’t know the guy! I adore him, but don’t know him.
Anyways. Just a few musings about death. 
Grieve, people, grieve.  
 
-Ivana.

On John Green’s “The Fault In Our Stars.”

I am not, just to confirm, a fan of hype. The Fault In Our Stars, people, is a greatly hyped book.

I was reluctant, at first to read it, because if everybody hypes it to be so great, it probably isn’t. And besides. I’d never heard of John Green until one of my cousins mentioned his name. My cousin, by the way, though well-informed on what’s up in the modern literary world, only manages to find the weirdest books.

But I had a chance to visit Barnes & Noble (for a book-lover who has lived her whole life in Ghana, a place where a bookstore is hardly bigger than a moderately-wealthy person’s living room, a beautiful place) and I saw on display, ta-da! The Fault In Our Stars. And I said to myself, “Ah, why not?”

So I picked it up. And I fell in love with John Green before the book started. His author’s note alone got me hooked.

“This is not so much an author’s note as an author’s reminder of what was printed in small type a few pages ago: This book is a work of fiction. I made it up.

Neither novels or their readers benefit from attempts to divine whether any facts hide inside a story. Such efforts attack the very idea that made-up stories can matter, which is sort of the foundational assumption of our species.

I appreciate your cooperation in this matter.”

Seriously. What more can I say? I love this guy.

And I loved his book.

This book caused me a lot of emotional conflict and pain. It is also now my favourite book.

And I wonder, about the people who like this book, why exactly they like it, and how much they were forced to think profoundly after it. I refuse to share what I learned from this book. It’s kind of personal. I don’t think anyone should ever share what they learned from this book. I believe it to be something that should stay personal and intimate. But I do think that it’s a must-read novel. Forgive me for being cliché, and for indulging in the hype that I honestly do dislike, but I think this is worth it.

Cool fan art I found online of Augustus and Hazel.
Cool fan art I found online of Augustus and Hazel.
Hazel and Augustus again. I think the whole "okay" thing is very cute.
Hazel and Augustus again. I think the whole “okay” thing is very cute.

Yours truly,

Ivana Akoto.

Bus Ride: #Done

Base: Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Flash info:

New York City is chaotic.

Have you ever stood in NYC pouring rain with a bunch of suitcases and no umbrella? Fun.

Megabus is FREEZING cold. They tell you the A.C. is automatic. But really, it’s constant. On like 10 degrees. Being in a bus like that for 14 hours is not fun.

Walking around downtown Toronto in the rain dragging luggage is also fun.

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Toronto!

Ok bye.
-Vanna.

Flight 2: #Done

Base: New York City
Status: excitedly exhausted

And now here is more unnecessary information.

Parental Guidance is a hilarious movie.

#willpower is a supercool album and my favorite song on it is Gettin’ Dumb.

My body was NOT made to endure 13 hours of flight.

Sudden changes in diet can seriously mess up your digestive system.

Most people usually have to use the bathroom at the same time. Why is that?

After her mama had been in the bathroom too long, a little girl walked up to her father and asked,  “Did mama die?” That, dear friend, is ADORABLE.

The Hindu guy sitting beside me during the flight REALLY likes chicken. He demanded it with his breakfast.

I just watched a pidgeon eat a Smartie. 😀

L8r,
Ivana.