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it’s magic 101 Comments


Every upcoming holiday leaves me reminiscing about the holidays back home. The distinct smell and sound of holiday awakens an underlying homesickness that prefers to be dormant for the sake of sanity. Despite myself, like any other fool I am taken aback with all that glitter of the American Christmas.

Come Christmas, I feel my adrenaline rush when I see flaring poinsettias lining the window sills, boughs of holly adorning office desks, the lights brightening dreary winter, the red gloves and scarves, the snow splattered cars crowding area malls, the foggy sky or rather the smoggy sky, the colorful sugar cookies, candy canes loosely clinging on Christmas trees, frosty, Rudolf, Santa and Ginger bread man, the carols blasting everywhere you go, evident  bad hair days, the snow stricken pale faces, the salvation army bell, the red and green everywhere, the beeping of snow cleaning  trucks, tacky inflatables cluttering front lawns, the traffic, the long lines in store register, the countless credit cards being swiped, worrisome scrooges loosening up their pockets, the kids excitement about what they will get……….. Continue reading ‘it’s magic’

inviting our own deaths 71 Comments

My eyes scan the room falling upon the anxious faces of somebody’s loved ones. I witness their anxiety mirrored on my face. There are five patients in the room. On my right lies a motionless man. He was the driver of a car that overturned and killed his assistant. His loved one sits caressing his head. Close to the entrance is a man asleep hyperventilating with his hands clasped by a female loved one.

He is a victim of a hit and run and by the looks of things, his days seem numbered. On my left is my own eighty year-old beloved uncle with a broken pelvic bone and a sandbag strapped to his right foot weighing it down to keep him from moving it. He was hit by a taxi driver and abandoned before he could receive medical attention. In a bed next to him rests another man who was also in a car accident.

I enjoy driving most days. But these days in Addis the few times that I drive, I do so in paranoia and travel as a passenger with unease. Impatience and aggressiveness on the roads has long been a trademark of the city but nowadays either I have become slow or there seems to be a “crazy” spreading around to get “there” faster.

Continue reading ‘inviting our own deaths’

bernos™ via Agnes & Lola on CNN 63 Comments

Although slowly, we here at bernos have been made some progress over the summer. We have been sending our products to retailers in various parts of the world.

I remember when we first sent some bernos™ tees to a store in US Virgin Islands about 18 months ago.

One of these stores is Agnes & Lola anAfrican Boutique based in London; which launched this past summer.  It was nice to see Lola Remi and Agnes & Lola featured on CNN this past weekend. Continue reading ‘bernos™ via Agnes & Lola on CNN’

Beauty and Fashion 95 Comments

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I know such a serious title to this post. I usually title my posts after I finish writing them.  This is one of those things I somewhat think about but never read anywhere.

I remember Karl Lagerfeld the Chanel Fashion designer wrote a book around five years ago about his diets.  I heard it was his doctor that actually wrote it or something to that extent — half and half of sorts.

Regardless he lost some 92 pounds in about a year.  After wiki-ing it looks like it was an extreme diet that required about 1000 calorie intake a day or so.

He was over 70 when he started his diet.  He is one of the most iconic fashion designers of the last 40 years.  But it was still interesting that a man of his age would go to such extreme to look good. I am not saying he is almost dead but you know what I mean.  It just doesn’t seem like a health issue as opposed to a social issue. Continue reading ‘Beauty and Fashion’

Protocol 59 Comments

I have a friend who always buys present to girls in his life; expensive ones, considerate ones, cheap ones and significant ones.

A friend, a female one once asked me why I agonize about time; time I spend with potential mates while they are still potential… “as long as you are sharing the costs. I’m just saying.” This way when I was 24 years old and well my time was a gift. It’s funny to think about it now. But it makes reiterates a good lesson in my life.

What is your protocol?

That is what he asked when they were about to pay for whatever it is they were going to do? She asked what he meant, and he recapped; how do you want to deal with our finances?

Meaning, do you want to split the bill, or he pays this time and then she pays the next time. He wanted to make it clear.

Now she is still seeing him casually but I refer to him as ‘protocol.’  The choices in his wording are pretty funny but he is African American; and am somewhat stereo typing but I like ‘lets get something straight’ while you are potential aspect of it in that culture. Continue reading ‘Protocol’