Archive for April, 2011

Once was a comedian

Next to “Man, interrupted”, this has proved the most painful post I have to make. Not because the subject is new or unexpected to me. But as I feel, by making this post, i’m contributing to the pains and betrayal of/to a man who had had more than his fair share of both. I’m talking about Artist/Comedian Lemenih / Limenih / Limeneh Tadesse; a childhood hero of mine. And a relative by blood. If you are wondering “why” i’m making this post, therefore, if it pained me so, rest assured I haven’t figured that out yet.

Am I copy/pasting these most unflattering images of his because I am burdened by the journalist’s duty that my readers have the right to “the truth”?! Or am i doing it because I need [to keep] my readers interested.. like a clown at a children’s beach party where everybody is dozzing off.. now that I’m trying to “retrace my steps” to what has always made me a happy/fulfilled woman — writing/being read/connected/understood, cost what it might?!

I’m also not sure how the rest of the family in general [included in this category are the good men and women of Washington DC, who have been helping and taking care of Lemenih physically, emotionally, and financially for an entire decade], and his children in paritcular, would react to this article were they to come across it. Or if they would ever forgive me! However, I hope the judgement won’t be too harsh upon me as it might do him more good than harm. It’s also a sort of “thank you” note, a respectful nod of the head, to those of you who have been there for him when the rest of us couldn’t. May you be there for all those who need a helping hand. And may there not be many.

Eshee…

According to “ቁም ነገር መጽሔት” ቅጽ 10 ቁጥር 110 መጋቢት ሚያዝያ 2003 እትም (For better viewing, double click on image. To return to post, press the back-button) :-

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April 23, 2011 at 6:22 am 4 comments

Year II: Part deux

There hasn’t been many Hollywood movies in Ethiopia when I was growing up. But, somehow, by some weird reason [namely, my uncle being in the entertainment business as well as a close friend to the owner of “Rahi Video”… Mr. Rahi?!], I’ve watched them all. I’ve started with Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” and gone through every shit, from every genre, Hollywood came up with [Back to The Future, Eyes of Laura Mars, Django]. A curiosity fueled by “Police ena Ermijaw”, plus 42 of Agatha’s Christie’s books, I’ve always been inclined to read and watch movies with “twists” in them: Twisted minds, twisted kids, twist-endings.

If I paid “Arada” a visit and decided to drop by “The British Council”, I hunted for books about serial killers, self-appointed Messiahs who led their followers to mass-suicides and/or unsolved murders. I fed my lust for pain and suffering [for “Pain by itself is just pain. But Pain + Distance can = entertainment, voyeurism, human interest, cinéma vérité, a good belly chuckle, a sympathetic smile, a raised eyebrow, disgusted contempt”] by browsing through the “Suspense/thriller” section of “Philips Video”, which I was the proud member of despite being intensely disliked by one of their rather-plump, rather-cute, rather-sophisticated sales representative who didn’t hesitate to show how she felt about —- anybody [these were the “take it or leave it”/”Kebele”/”ration” days in which the only thing in shorter supply to goods & services was the tempers of those who “provided” them]. Alas, did her distaste to my “smarty-mouth” [i’m only guessing here] stop me from striding in and taking the book, the movie, the audio-book home? Nossar it didn’t! Take them I did. And read/listened to or watched them – through gaps in the blanket, between my fingers, over the shoulder of my mother or somebody older/braver who kept asking, while trying to free their back off my vine-like presence, parasitic and persistent, “yemitferi kehone lemin tayiwalesh?”.

Ofcourse, the shoulders won’t always be there. A time would come when I’m left alone.. a few minutes before I fall asleep or need to go to the “shint bett” after hours [which just happens to be located at the back of our house, infront of the piece of land dedicated to “arem ena muja”; the spot where the “berenda mebrat” doesn’t get to]. For those times, I fashioned what Darwinians might call “a survival mechanism [for those paranoid fucks to whom “rationality” isn’t always the option]”. “These killers”, I reasoned with my myself, “are fictional. There is perhaps half a dozen crew members and two hundred by-standers watching this guy follow that woman down that dark alley [and no woman in her right mind would walk down a dark alley at night. Right? Right?!]. Even if it’s based on a true story,” continued I the self-monologue, “it’s happening in America. The killer would have to cross continents to get to me. And what are the chances of that happening really!?”.

Ofcourse, there were “ghost” stories. THEY can cross borders. THEY can watch you when you can’t see them: tickling your 6th sense, making you shoulder heavy, the hair on the back of your neck stand. But Ghosts were evil spirits, right? And America is bound to be full of them due to its lascivious living. Which is why you don’t hear about ghosts and people with split personality disorders in Ethiopia. We have the fear of God, we abeshas. “People of the book”, so to say – “Are ye not as children of the Ethiopians unto me, O children of Israel?”, and all that. As for the remnants of stories from your childhood (of “qorits”, “erkuus menfeses” and “gAneNs” who attack young girls in their sleep), doesn’t their presence, by default, mean that God exists too? And that Angels are real? And what’s an angel for, if not to protect thee wee lamb [True, you were a sturdy 13 pounds the day you were born. And haven’t been exhibiting a “wee-lamb-like” yewahinet since 3rd grade. Alas, what are your uncharitable deeds: cynicism, atheism, breaking the 3rd commandment atleast twice a day, compared to the sins of others?!. People like Hitler! John Wayne Gacy! And Nietzsche.. who not only had an incestial relationship with his sister but actually declared God “dead”!?]. Time to get your Pslams 23 going.

Bihonim.. Bihonim… I tried to avoid watching scary movies at night. When it’s something haunting, like “The Omen”, like “Far From Home”, something that stays with you for days, and creeps up at night when you are most vulnerable, I feared freely. I kept the lights on, I wrapped my self in the blanket – not leaving a breadeth of hair out in the “unsafe world”, I glued my back to the wall, to it’s fortress-like quality (thy rod and and thy stifness they comfort me oh mighty wall). Still.. I kept getting jerked out of a feverish sleep – by something squeezing my chest, racing my heart, making me breathless.. its over-whelming power turning my bones to mesh. No curse more than the curse of being a chicken with imagination. I drew the scariest scenarios. And shook, shamelessly, like a leaf.

It was, therefore, “inconcevabl-ish” to me (more…)

April 19, 2011 at 5:59 pm 2 comments

Year the 2nd: Part une

As it turned out, America [among other things]* is not a place where you come to make your marriage work. So I will be single in exactly 22 + the liQimQami days it would take the apartment owners to issue us an Eviction Notice. Single and homeless. Single, homeless, talentless, education-less, no, not-jobless but, then again, that has been as much a comfort as “having your health” would be when you are broke and feel there was nobody to love you. [Yes, it was a mutual decision. Napkins?!]

Alas, the news isn’t all bad. I have received my 10 year I-551 form, otherwise known as “permanent green card”. Got 2,500 dollars saved (2009’s tax-return, a gift from soon-ex-husband-to-be). And got nothing to tie my clipped-wings down to the city in California that doesn’t have a Walmart [or a school I can afford to go to – not that I have actively looked – or a taxi chain, a Chinese food delivery service, an Ethiopian restaurant, or Ethiopians for that matter. It’s a rare-bird of a town; quite, “yegeter Qebele” kind of town, full of amedam immigrants. The kind of town that doesn’t make the news until a  pedophile removes his GPS tracking device, crosses it’s rocky hills, rapes and kills two teenage kids, and buries them in a shallow grave. It’s “hidden” and spanish as it’s name.

Still, the apartments are as intact from earth-shaking them to pieces as only an american building contractor can; the waitresses at Ihop are as smiling as other waitresses at other Ihops around the country and the streets are as safe as Addis Ababa’s can never be, at the rate of about 2 people meeting their Creator through car accident every six months. And the ceremony, the two dozens or so police cars that block the street and surround your body when found dead in the street; the integrity of the human soul, the solemn look and the gracefullness of the “officers of the law”.. that definitely stands in stark-contrast to Addis where a body stays ill-clad, neglected and unseemly, until a kind old woman on her way to “gebeya” drops her [probably only] “netela” on it. In the day time, it’s streets are filled with an almost non-existent traffic, and a warm .. lazy.. air that seems unable to make up it’s mind whether to be as hot as Arizona’s or borrow a “cool” page from it’s coastal neighbor, Oceanside. At night, half naked adolescent black girls from cities far and wide walk it’s streets advertising, as well as looking, for men to shack up with. Middle-aged white guys with too much teen-porn under their belt to keep them sane and legal as well as undocumented-aliens with whom, Chris would emphatically assure you, no self-respecting girl would shack up with [makes you wonder where all these adorable little Hispanic kids come from, then, at the rate of 6 child per mother]. (more…)

April 8, 2011 at 9:39 pm 13 comments


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The blogger tries to think outside the box, or wonder why she sometimes can't.

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"I will speak for you, Father. I speak for all mediocrities in the world. I am their champion. I am their patron saint." - Antonio Salieri, from the movie "Amadeus"

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