February 11, 2008
Well my mental pall has lifted quite a bit so this may result in a rather rambling and disjointed entry today..not that most of them aren’t…but this may be more so. There was no entry last night because I actually got enticed to go out and socialize by Binky/Jason/Vesh. He is probably the only person who can actually get me out of the house once I am settled in after work. As might have been predicted his “hang out for a hour” turned into frolic through Port of Spain into the wee hours. As it turns out Alvin was stuck at work so it was just me and Binks which was a lot of fun and I think I needed a bit of mindless fun.
Of course going out that late when I have to work on Sunday is never the wisest of ideas but sometimes it is good to throw caution to the wind for the sake of mental health. Nonetheless, I was not a pretty sight this morning as I tried to get myself ready to head to the office. I was also faced with having the company jeep parked at my building with a shredded tyre that decided to suffer catastrophic failure as I pulled into the gates of my compound last night. Thankfully, the ever handy Steve came and took care of it for me. I may be good at some things but changing tyres is not one of them. At work it was one of those Atacama dry news days which leaves anyone compiling the newscast on the verge of tears and reaching for the valium bottle. Thanks to some creative work on Melissa William’s part, though, it came off quite well in the end despite the fact a bit of delayed video meant that her voice was in 3 back to back stories in the first section.
Now that I am coming out from under the depression a bit I am thinking a lot about various aspects of my life to see how I can improve them. I am content with my television and writing jobs so I can leave those alone for the while. I really should be taking better care of myself physically so I will try and start the gym and be a tad more conscious of my diet this week. We’ll see how long that lasts. My family, sigh, well let’s just say I can’t do anything about them. I love them all but it is best if I stay in a constant state of denial. My love life? Hmm..if I had any real semblance of one or even a poor semblance of one I might be able to work on it. Right now it is a bit like being put at ground zero on Sept 12, 2001 ,given a trowel and being told “put it back up”. My judgment in picking people is my ultimate failing as given a choice of 5 perfect choices and one completely ridiculous one I will always pick the ridiculous one. Do you know how whenever a hurricane is bearing down on an area and expected to arrive at any minute they always show some fools out surfing – when it comes to relationships I am one of those fools. Not sure how to address my colossal problems in that area but I guess I can try a few things. Other than that I have the best group of friends anyone could conceivably want. Best of all I don’t think anyone else has such an well rounded bunch in terms of ethnicity, gender, orientation and personality.
Had a nice relaxing evening watching the 50th annual Grammy Awards to see how my girl Amy Winehouse does. I think she is the most amazing talent to come along in a long time and inevitably that sort of creativity comes with personal turmoil. I hope she can pull through her difficulties but with that much talent she may end up imploding. I watch her and I see Janis Joplin redux. I truly hope she stays around for a long time though, if she is sounding like that and writing music like that at 24 who knows what wondrous moments lay ahead?
I have a day off tomorrow ( finally) and I plan to use it to finish off my Curacao chapter for Fodors so I can stop stressing Doug Stallings my editor and put in my invoice. Off to bed now..well as soon as Amy wins Album of the Year..which ..unless they are all deaf..she will. ( me and my bitches on the beach)
February 2, 2008
My journey to work today began with me feeling like crap, so nothing abnormal there, and then I headed out to work only to discover that the Queen’s Park Savannah , normally a giant roundabout, had been made two way in honour of Carnival. No police were in sight so the drive to work was interesting to say the least. On arrival at ieTV i could see the endless throngs of bewildered tourists wandering about for no apparent reason as there really isn’t that much to see on Tragarete Rd. From that point it was back to getting the news going and Giselle and Melissa Williams managed to pull together a great assortment of stories and I organized to cover Tribe distributing costumes to last minute would-be masqueraders. Which also allowed me to help out Astrid by getting her bank card up there to pay for her costume. I did this in response to poor Astrid calling me in desperation and using the F word more than I have ever heard in one conversation…so Astridy of her. As it turns out our news was a great mix of carnival material ( Junior Parade of the Bands, Soca Monarch, Calypso Monarch and Panorama) and other harder stories. Giselle read because we struck a deal so I will end up having to read the crap…sorry…creatively stretched news tomorrow. Other than that Peter and Naz say they are freezing their asses off in Atlanta, Alvie and Binky had a colourful evening last night and are out again running Sky this evening, Omar apparently, after being “exhausted” yesterday and going partying was even more “exhausted” today is out partying again. God save me from chronic party goers..not a good influence on me. Tomorrow is the last day when perhaps 10% of sanity prevails so I better enjoy scrounging for that 10%. I am feeling awfully proud right now seeing Peggy’s book listed on Harper Collin’s India and on Amazon as not available.
February 1, 2008
Generally speaking, my reflections on work are of a happy nature full of musings about bonhomie and getting news out on time. Today I had one of the worst days I have ever had at work and it is in no way related to the newsroom staff. Given I have been producing news since Moses was in nappies I am not in the habit of taking criticisms of my judgement lightly and I am especially not fond of being found essentially faultless but having to now face the prospect of working even longer hours in my indefinite 7 day a week work schedule. Were I living in an option free world i might be in an even worse mental state than I have been in since earlier this evening. I will not give the details of my experience here but, while I recognize that others may be under stress, there is no need to spread the stress to innocent bystanders. Enough said…I am a professional and will handle my problems in a professional manner.
Moving on to other subjects. I am now counting the hours for Carnival to end and get the hell out of my face. The traffic, steelpans parked in the roadways, flocks of JCBs ( just come backs) and hordes of tourists clogging my HiLo is driving me crazy. I almost want to say “welcome to Trinidad now hurry up, sleep around and go the hell back where you came from”! I have been feeling a bit down this evening because of the aforementioned and my general mood lately so I think a list would do me good. Let’s talk about my list of things I don’t need in my life of late..here is Vern’s list of things not needed on the voyage:
1. Condoms or anything even remotely related to sex.
2.More soca music
3. Another peep from the Mondeo
4. Anybody new in my life under the age of 30. I am still dealing with the slew I have.
5.More junk in my condo.
6.Drama of any sort not related to a film or theatrical production.
7.People who think that pondering what fete to attend is really an intellectual pursuit.
9. Jesus freaks explaining to me why I have to be saved.
That has me feeling much better already. Someone should write a book on “Blogging as Catharsis”.
Other than that in news of friends … Robin is off to Guyana and Brazil for Carnival ( the Amazon not Rio), Omar/Grommit is in Tribe fete, Astrid is in bed, Binky and Muz are home ( I assume), Steve is also in Tribe fete and Peter and Naz are in places unknown..though they are in Las Vegas for Carnival.
I hope tomorrow is a better day and i must say thanks to my cuz Peggy for making more sense than I have seen in a long time.
January 31, 2008
It is after 1am Trinidad time and I have just uploaded the T&T chapters of Fodors Caribbean Guide for my editor in New York to check. I am about a month behind schedule and because of various work and personal problems I am desperately trying to get all my chapters done. I feel awful about the situation but given the last few months there is little I can do about it. When your family is in turmoil, television is demanding, your personal life is a soap opera and depression is creeping back where it hasn’t been in 10 years…a few deadline misses are par for the course. I just feel really badly about letting my Editor Doug down…I really am crazy about the guy. He is easily the nicest editor I have ever worked with.
ieTv was overflowing with news today so that was a snap and it went perfectly. The writing when I got home was the real hardship. At least I had a couple of online friends to keep me company. Stevie came here to change for the Wednesday Bacchanal Fete that Binky and Alvie also went to. I know Stevie wanted to stay here tonight and as much as I care for him as friend the prospect of waking up at 3 or 4 am to open the gate to let him in and then waking at 7 am to let him out was more than my mind could bear given the Fodor’s writing. I hope he understands.
Other than that..let’s see…my back is killing me from typing all night but I am sure I can remember. Grommit is home tired and a bit sick, Binky and Alvie called from the fete simultaneously a moment ago on my home and mobile lines..so I chose to answer Binky and Astrid is missing in action.
January 28, 2008
Carnival is a week away and it is now unavoidable even for those such as me who make every effort to ignore it this year. Today was the Panorama Semis so getting anywhere in Port of Spain involved circuitous routes weaving in and out of back streets. Apparently every year Carnival comes as a complete surprise to the police as I found myself driving down several streets only to be met with barriers. It seems that putting a sign at the top of the street saying “Road Closed” is beyond their capabilities. Given their abysmal crime detection rate and inability to curb our crime spree I really don’t know why i am surprised.
Work was the usual and I managed to read the 6:30 news without stalling or falling down dead..so I guess that was good. We had a good selection of stories and I was happy I was able to get some video of Guyana to do a follow up. I have to say Melissa Williams is young ( as anyone is compared to me) but she will one day be a very competent Head of News as she is scarily organized and has a great ability to get info on any breaking story. Ria Rambally did a few stories too and I think her potential is astounding. She voices very well already and is getting pretty handy at stories as well..for someone who is just a hair over 20 I really don’t know what to say. Oh sure, she tried on her Tribe carnival costume in the office ( it looks like a tribute to the corbeau) but that is just a reassuring sign of the ebullience of youth ( and I swear Melissa did not try it on and I do not have photographic evidence of same).
I am still working at putting direction back in my life by changing the roles that different people play in my life but it is proving harder than I thought…I may have to go back to my old blunt ways. I simply cannot afford to have people or situations push me back into that dark place I experienced recently. I know what i have to do and as Sister Paul taught me…it has to be done or else I cannot progress in life. On a bright note I am pleased to say that the people who genuinely kept abreast of how I was coping made themselves evident very quickly. The list of those who were concerned is amazingly short but rather telling..I will not embarrass those who didn’t bother but I will say that Peggy, Urse, Ric, Richardson, Robin, Binky, Kirby, Alvin, , Mark, Melissa, Giselle, Steve ( who was angry I didn’t call him) and Astrid are on my A-List now…not that the benefits to them are great..but still. And those who I didn’t tell are certainly excused.
And to my Fodor’s Editor Doug Stallings …who I know will never read this..thank you for being your usual understanding self.