10 Android Apps You Will Love

If you are like me, that is. Our friend B just joined the Android world (he finally admitted that Windows phones suck) and asked me to recommend apps. So I remembered that I have never actually written about the apps that make me sleep better at night. So here goes:


Why You Have That Headache 2

You take the painkillers and they simply don’t work. Not in the least. You get that headache again on a Friday night and you just get mad at the world. You don’t finish your supper and just shut everyone out and go to bed. To struggle to sleep. You decide to not move out of the house the next day. To stay put. To iron all the clothes that have piled up over the month and just chill out. Your hair’s a mess. The growth is just annoying. Maybe that’s why your head is aching. That growth is always painful anyways.


Happily Ever After?

Remember Lucy, that naïve girl who was always so unlucky in love? I’m talking Lucy of the WhatsApp mishap. Lucy of the wingman drama. Well, here is the sequel…

Lucy had had enough at this juncture. She quit WhatsApp and threw it in the pit of oblivion. She stopped acting out of desperation. After all, she was young and free, right? No more Drew, no more George or Sam.


Fast Fade

I did this on the bus. Amidst distracting texts and Google Docs lying to me that I can do this offline. It’s been a week and a half, that last week of June. You know something is up when I don’t blog. All the same, such times are enough to come up with a million posts.

Anyway, one lesson from last week. Fast Fade. You know Slow Fade, right? Casting Crowns nini nini. Ever listened to the actual words to the song? I have.

Love Technology

Why She Gave You Her Number

So she gave you her phone number and you feel a tad achieved. Cool. But do you know why? If you thought that is the first step in the ‘ingia box’ sequence, think again. It should be noted, however, that the reasons below will not necessarily apply in the world beyond Web 2.0 per se. I do not go out much so my experience as far as number exchange is concerned is a bit biased. I have several memories of giving my number to people I just met mostly during my late teenage. One particular one is worth telling before I give you the reasons.

One bright afternoon in the year 2008, I met a strange dude in the dusty grounds that are the chief’s camp at Kikuyu. I had just landed my first phone and thus was understandably excited and eager to fill my phonebook with numbers. You know what I’m saying? The chief’s camp is a forlorn place where kids like me back then who had attained the new status of adult went to sign up for identity cards. After a rigorous exercise where some other rough guy turned my fingers about in ink and made fingerprints in some document (my memory is fuzzy at this point) then took a very dark picture of me that will forever be my identity, I walked out to find two guys who were coincidentally walking out of the place too.

One of them seemed to have his act together and said hi. Then the conversation picked up as we walked down the hill towards the main road. Apparently he lived in the general direction I was walking too. Muthure, I think. Now that I think about it, he might as well have come from Dagoretti for all I know. The guy was on a mission and direction was the least of his concerns. Half the talk for the next ten minutes was on why I would not give him my number. Eer, because I don’t know you, perhaps? Eventually we had to part ways and he made a final attempt for my number the umpteenth time. What was I supposed to do with a new phone anyway? Just like that, he got my number.

I swear I had not even walked two steps before my phone rang. Yes. I had made a mistake and he was going to bug me for the rest of that month and many more months to come. I picked that call by the way, with a smile. Again, what am I supposed to do with a new phone?

“Ulisema ni Calo (sic)?” he asked.

“Eh,” I answered.

Sigh. He was a shrubber. Maybe, just maybe, that contributed to my shunning him after that but that is a story for another day. To cut the long story short, his number was edited to read ‘Do Not Pick’ just to remind myself never ever to pick his call even 10 years down the line. There is your first reason, gentlemen. She is not used to the occasion where numbers are exchanged so she’ll give it to you anyway.

You’re not a stranger

You have known each since forever but somehow you have never asked for her number since you had other ways to communicate i.e. Facebook, Twitter, physical meetings; the works. If you ask for her number, it will pretty much be expected for her to give it to you. She might even ask why you never had it in the first place. Like I thought you had it all this time!

You make her laugh

You make her ROTFL. She LOLs and DWLs in all your conversations. You are conversational. You seem genuinely interested in what she has to say on Twitter. You moved the talk from the wall (back in the good ol’ Facebook days) or TL to the inbox and DM respectively. You are too sweet in all fairness. You like her photos with moderation, not all of them like a depraved stalker. You tell her stories. You want to know about her day. You are the best buddy she could ever ask for. (Yes, I said buddy. Friend zone alert.)

You bugged her craftily

You asked for her number the first time and she did not budge, probably because you asked too soon. So you completely forget about it (or pretend to) and you proceed to make her days (refer to previous reason). Months pass on. Long rains come and go. You keep the DMs and Facebook chats alive until you are sure there is no chance in hell she will say no the second time. You keep the chats so entertaining she bookmarks the threads on her Opera Mini. She is in. In fact, when you ask for her number and call, she will glow. If you disappear after that, she will actually search you out. Ask why you disappeared, why you are doing this to her.

You massaged her ego

Say she has a blog, or talks about a certain issue on your social network with some level of tact. You hit her mentions, telling her how impressed you are by her prowess. How you would love to have her as a business partner nini nini. How you have bookmarked her blog on Pulse. How you will refer her to a professional you know. I mean, wouldn’t you give your number to such a person yourself?

She likes you

Okay guys, I had to put this one here even though it is the last possible reason. In all fairness, I added it to give you some hope that it is not all in vain. She might actually like you and that is why she gave you her number. Most times, it is directly connected to the making her laugh reason. The liking grew on her. After all, she’s not made of stone. Also, she may feel indebted to you for some skewed reason. She does not want to be the bad guy.

Why She Gave You Her Number

Other reasons include assuring her it’s just for WhatsApp purposes or giving her an out-of-this-world reason. For instance, that you know her BFF who happens to be stuck somewhere in trouble. Call me right now. It’s urgent.

There you have it. Don’t go misinterpreting these acts of kindness. She is not easy. She is just responding to her instincts based on your personality and behaviour. Be assured that no girl will give you her number the first day you ask on social media, especially if you are not Mark Masai or some other hot celebrity. Also, no sane girl will give you her number after you have followed her on every possible social network, +1’d all her posts, liked all her photos and retweeted all her tweets. Creepy much.

Now go ye and hatch that plot!

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How to Take a Social Media Break Without Breaking a Sweat

First things first, if you clicked this link hoping to learn how you can quit social media altogether, kindly move along to the next link. You cannot quit social media. At least not in this day and age. Unless, of course, you have never entered the fray in the first place.

Moving on, you can take a social media break like I do every once in a while for various reasons. Mostly I just do it to look at things differently; to react to situations differently other than just tweeting about them.

Let’s get to it. This is how you can take that social media break, whether you work in the industry or not. It does not involve deactivating or deleting accounts which is pretty pointless in all fairness.

Decide you want to do it

You will have to make this decision in earnest. Resolve to go on holiday and mark the dates. Do you want to take the break for an hour, a week, a month? (Yes, there are those who are off social media only when they are asleep.)

Also, determine what exactly falls into your definition of social media. Facebook? Facebook and Twitter? Facebook, Twitter and…? Once you determine the timespan, figure out why you want to do it in the first place. Reason enough? We are good to go.

Log out

Log out of your Facebook and Twitter and whatever else you spend your time on. Log out on your favourite browser or mobile app. Alternatively, you can use Facebook as a page you manage so that you do not leave it unattended, especially if you are in the social media marketing department. That way, all your activities on Facebook will be for work and nothing else.

Also, disable all those apps you have set to launch when your computer starts up e.g. Google Talk and Facebook Messenger. Unpin that Tweetdeck tab on your Google Chrome and close it. You could unpin that Metrotwit icon and whatever else you may click on accidentally on your taskbar. And yes, you are a certified social media addict if you have all these going on on your desktop. Rejoice.


Unsubscribe from those daily bundles. Switch off packet data and Wi-Fi. If you cannot function in this proposed arrangement, probably because you need to check your mail and stuff on the Internet, you will need to do the following: Transfer your social networking apps to your memory card and… wait for it… remove it from your phone. Yes. Remove it and keep it safe because you will be needing it after the break.

Alternatively, you could simply stop reloading credit into your phone. Also, you could toss your phone out the window of a fast-moving car, provided you have a new phone planned on your budget come the end of the social media holiday. See? There is a wealth of strategies you can adopt.

Retreat to alternatives when the withdrawal symptoms start to show

You love motion pictures? Go hard on them. Watch movies and series during your free time and resist the urge to tell the whole world what you think of, say, Lupita Nyong’o’s acting and whatnot. Just watch and talk to people within inches of you about it, not strangers you’ve never met. Just this once.

Look around you when you walk or travel. I realized just the other day that I miss so much during my bus trips because I am always on my phone. If you think admiring the world around you is boring, get a book to read on your way to and from work. Lose yourself in it, just don’t miss your stop. If there is yet another unusual traffic jam on Waiyaki Way caused by a stalled vehicle near CCK, make a witty comment to the guy seated next to you. You may discover that you are not as introverted as you have always thought you were.

You can also decide to have your letting-off-steam avenue as another social networking site that your people don’t frequent. I realize that that goes against what I am trying to communicate but hear me out. Sites like Pinterest and Google+ are not your average social networking sites. They are more. And since they have the element of growing your business or helping you organize interests, they can be perfect spots for chilling out during your break.

Yep, even Honda campaigned for social media intermission a while back.

Call people

So you cannot talk to your best friend any more because you are so used to tweeting and chatting each other up on Facebook Messenger and Google+ Hangouts. What next? Call, call, call! You know, that thing you used to do for hours on end back in the day when you got your phone. Wipe away the cobwebs on the calling button and get talking. With your mouth. It is refreshing. You may run out of words to say because you are so used to typing and hiding behind WhatsApp smileys but it gets better eventually.


If you are not really prepared to go full throttle on an actual break, you can go on a mini-break, especially when you need to focus on a project and all you keep doing is chatting people up. Just turn off the chat features across-the-board.

There are social networking sites that make it very difficult to go on breaks; read Google+. 😀 But, you can go on a Hangouts break by signing out of it. You can also decide to ignore that notifications bell. I know someone who does it pretty well. I tried to ignore it on my break and failed miserably in a matter of hours.

There you have it. The ball is in your court. I promise you will come back feeling a lot better.

Moi University

The ABCs of Graduation (Moi University)

Announce your arrival, way before the day, to ensure you get to a place to spend the night in Main Campus. Otherwise you will end up walking to the venue and perhaps not even make it to the ceremony.

Bring your own camera, despite everyone else bringing theirs and tagging you incessantly on Facebook. You have to record these memories.

Moi University Graduation Ceremony

How to Get in the Friend Zone

Sometimes you really like a guy. Sometimes he really likes you too. But if you are like me and find a million and one reasons for not making it a thing, you will want him to stop liking you. In other words, you want him to ‘friendzone’ you. Okay, scratch that. You do not want a guy you like to friendzone you but it is way better than falling out completely.

Oh, and who said only men get friendzoned? Come on! That is the biggest fallacy out there right now. Girls get friendzoned too. It is just as painful but we are more mature about it. (Ahem)

Everyone talks about how to get out of the friend zone but I am here to tell you how you can get in. Here are a few things you could try. One or a combination of them will usually work. (Similarly, if you do not want to get into the friend zone, this is what you do not want to do.)

  • Tell him about all the men in your life who are itching to have you. This is regardless of whether they exist or not. Just make it believable. Make him see that you are selling like hot cakes and give him about five stories (made up or not) about men who have tried but not succeeded. Ensure you make him know that none of them will have you because of certain characteristics they have. It would make it all the more entertaining for you if he has some of these characteristics. His response will be priceless.
  • Be an online freak. Be a Twitter and Facebook addict. In addition, make sure more than half your followers and friends are male. The corollary to this is that 90% of your conversations will be with your male followers. Make sure they appear as authentic as possible, despite the fact you have never met half the men you are tweeting. This will paint a picture of a girl who simply does not want to be held down by a relationship.
  • Reject any offer to buy you anything, edible or not. However, you have to be careful with this step. Refusal might be interpreted as playing hard to get. The thing about playing hard to get is that, depending on the recipient of the act, it could mean that you want him to try harder or move on. Pray that he is one to give up easily and move on. The moment you accept trinkets and chocolates, he believes he is paying for you in instalments. Refuse to be bought.
  • Listen to his every woe. Listen to stories about his exploits. Listen to everything he tells you. Give him your time. Sooner or later, he will start giving you stories about the ladies he has been with and revealing his crushes. Before you know it, you will be his boy. He will get himself a girlfriend while you still offer him a shoulder to lean on and then proceed to tell you about his beautiful love life. Meanwhile, you will start to think that maybe you shouldn’t have listened as much. If you are still not sure that he has really friendzoned you, wait for the day he will send you a picture of his girlfriend on WhatsApp. Yes, sweetheart, he has completely friendzoned you, to that extent. You are now a fully-fledged bro, one who can offer an opinion on whether he picked the right and eye-pleasing apple in the garden.
  • Be the girl who lets him call you pet names from the word go. Reciprocate with the expected honey and sweetie. Eventually, it will dawn on him that that is as far as it will go. No sane girl just accepts pet names out of the blue. Unless, of course, she calls every Tom, Dick and Harry sugar, pumpkin and darling respectively.
  • Start a blog like this one and keep hinting at him. He may never get the message but the very fact that you blog ensures that he never entertains the thought of a relationship with you for obvious reasons. He may find his name all over the Internet the next day after you write a post about him, complete with a picture and a compelling case of how he slapped a defenceless woman such as yourself.
  • If all these fail, you can now go for the jugular. Tell him to his face. You are like my brother from another mother. The worst that can happen is that he will cease talking to you. The next thing is the friend zone. And that is exactly what you want right now.

The friend zone is a necessary evil. If it did not exist, then it would be a chaotic world with everyone liking everyone at the same time. Friendzone the right people and make sure the right people friendzone you. Then pray these people are the same people. If you are going to follow through with this messy business, be sure you want it. There is no going back on the friend zone. Once you are friendzoned, that’s it, no matter how many movies you watch that claim otherwise.

Made of Honor. Only happens in the movies.
Only happens in the movies. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am an expert at getting friendzoned so you can be assured that, for once, I am writing from experience. I used to believe the friend zone did not exist. That it is just some mythical thing men conjured up in their brains as an excuse for not winning over girls. I now know better.You cannot say that and in the same breath claim that platonic relationships exist. The friend zone should not be confused with a friendship that clearly has a lot of unspoken vibes holding it together. You will have to be a friend before you are any other thing anyway. Now it is up to you to figure out where you want to be found in the jungle of friend zones.


What’s up with my WhatsApp?

First things first, nothing is up with my WhatsApp. I don’t have WhatsApp. I had it, but I don’t anymore. No, my phone did not fall into water or get stolen. My trusty phone is intact despite all the times it slipped from my tiny grip.

In short, I deleted my WhatsApp. Why? Because I wanted to. In fact, I needed to. A number of factors led me to this decision. I tend to have a sentimental attachment to any form of information delivered on my phone so you can imagine how hard it was to delete all those interesting conversations that had accumulated in my little Samsung Galaxy Pocket.

For one, men had finally found a way to get my number the easy way. No, let me put it this way; I was giving my number away too easily. Maybe it’s because I feel that WhatsApp is like any other social network. Only difference is that it needs you to have your friend’s number. What’s the harm in that? That aside, I have quashed a vulnerability. He has no excuse to ask for my number if it is not to call me. I can simply say I do not have WhatsApp and move on. No more dishing out my number to tweeps like I am another Shiku I don’t know. (By the way, I wonder how a dude can delude himself into imagining that a girl will take him seriously when he makes his intentions known solely via an app. Seriously? Do you think your dad won your mum’s heart through some scribbled shorthand?)

Secondly, I would keep falling out with friends that had grown close to me in the past couple of months. I attribute this to talking too frequently on that little app. Frankly, I could ‘talk’ with someone for an entire day and continue the next day. We would argue at some point and get really mad at each other. Eventually, it really got to me. WhatsApp was making me do things that I was not accustomed to. It makes it so easy to send multimedia to friends across the globe. Somewhere in the middle of that frenzy to send pictures of yourself, your food, your dog and practically anything and everything you own and see, you will find yourself sending something that will make either party mad. I couldn’t handle it anymore. Let’s just say I am still adapting to the information age.

Back in the day, 2008 to be precise, it was so hard for me to upload a photo on Facebook, leave alone send a multimedia text to anyone. I remember my first profile picture was Juniper Lee (Google to the rescue!). That is all I could put up because I neither owned a high-end phone with a camera nor did I own a USB cable. I did not even have a picture of myself on the Internet. When I finally put up a photo of myself, it was months down the line and I used my BFF’s phone. Nimetoka mbali!

Now you know why you do not see me on WhatsApp. I took a break. I tend to run away from situations. If I feel I am pissing you off a lot, I will back off. Maybe in that time, I will grow up a little to handle myself in a better way. In the meantime, you will also forgive me for whatever wrong I did.

WhatsApp (Photo credit: abulhussain)
That’s what’s up with my WhatsApp.