Archive for December, 2007

December 21, 2007

Live is Life

Not sure what to write tonight. So many things and so little time or energy. Work was really stressful today as I was balancing producing the news, checking scripts for our Top 10 Year in Review ( YIR), getting the staff to do their video links on a green screen and enjoying Tony’s largesse of ham, turkey, pastelles etc. ..oh and Johnny Black.
The hearse is still being fixed and they told me something that sounded like “blah blah blah” which I am sure will cost thousands of dollars. Am I worried? Nope. I am off to Toronto so whatever happens I assume she will be fixed by the time I get back…with a cost. I had to give up the company car this evening for the greater good..but Tony made sure a taxi took me home. Why do I work here again? Maybe because it is the best company on the planet.
Interestingly, the strongest feedback of my blog has been on relationships. Hmmmmmm. To people who have inquired via email I maintain my belief that love is love and I draw no distinction between man and woman or any other combination. If two people love each other who the hell cares what their gender is? Well …apparently some of my emailers care…I say…get over it.I am off to bed now but in case anyone missed my views I think I should make them clearer.

  • Love is good.If you find someone you love .whatever the gender…I say grasp him or her and say thanks.
  • If you want to marry someone of the same gender and you are serious and have martinis as an item on the reception menu…I will be there.
  • If people hate you for who you are…I say screw them…just ignore the fools.
  • Love is a peculiar thing and it happens in the animal kingdom in many forms….we are not breaking new ground..we are merely following.
  • Just be true to yourself. If you feel awkward being true to yourself..especially on a small island like ours…remember we are on a small planet swirling through space…guilt is just plain silly in that context.
  • Adam and Steve jokes are a clear sign that someone has run out of logical arguments..it is best to ignore the imbecile and consider ordering a pizza in their name.
  • To me romantic love is a hormonal thing…but if it works for you…go for the gusto.
  • I am a total romantic

Amazingly, I have adopted the Trini attitude of “whatever”. It is working well for me now.
More tomorrow. t_100_3662.jpg

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December 21, 2007

Do not go gentle into that good night

Well despite my plans to wear black and serve birthday cocktails at Lapeyrouse Cemetery things turned out rather differently. Thanks to good friends and colleagues it actually was one of the better birthdays I have had recently. It started with a warm bed and proceeded into a flurry of text messages ( my friends know I am not an early riser) followed by Mum and Karl calling in my semi-comatose state to wish me all the best. From there there was a bit of waking up, a bit of running around and paying bills and then a trip to HiLo to buy myself a cake. The office called to tell me that i was expected to make an appearance and that I shouldn’t “walk with my hands swinging” so I figured a cake was in order.


My office visit was typically ieTV. There was much story typing…a bit of singing to me..more story typing…and eventually cake and ice cream. I chose to cut the cake with Giselle as we have a sort of psychic bond and, as she never ceases to remind us, she is hot. It was fun. I took some cake for Tony, Kiran and Kareshma downstairs and Tony, God bless him, handed me a bottle of champagne. Why the hell would anyone work anywhere else?


The big surprises today? Well, they were multifarious.

  1. Vashtee can sing really well.

  2. Giselle can sing really well too.

  3. Peter Police buys a lot of drinks at HiLo Cascade

  4. Omar can actually wear long sleeved shirts without falling dead.

  5. Astrid can party all night and still send me a message on facebook.

  6. Melissa Williams can send several text messages in quick succession.

  7. Alvie and Binky have impeccable taste in gifts  –  ok..that isn’t surprising but it is still nice.

  8. Ursula can respond to a blog posting faster than a speeding train.

  9. Peggy still remembers me being half her height.

  10. I am able to survive another birthday without the aid of Gravol.


As that great poetess Alanis said “You live you learn”. I normally hate my birthdays but this was a great one. I managed to hear from and see many of the people who matter to me and that is ultimately the most important thing of all.

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December 19, 2007

Slippery Slope

Well it is just hours away from that day I view with singular dread commemorating that day long ago when, like a fable shrouded in the mists of time, I was born. I shall be holding a cocktail party at Lapeyrouse Cemetery …if you are coming..bring drinks!


For some reason I was contemplating scary or awful song lyrics all day. There are many songs, usually pop, that have lyrics that are appalling ( Da Doo Ron Ron comes to mind) but some qualify as just plain sick. The Crystals, under the leadership of “did I just shoot her? How’s my ‘do?” Spector unleashed the gem “He Hit Me” ( and it felt like a kiss). The chorus of which was:


He hit me (da-da-da-ah) and it felt like a kiss (felt like a kiss)

He hit me (da-da-da-ah) and I knew he loved me

If he didn’t care for me,

I could have never made him mad

But he hit me (da-da-da-ah) and I was glad


Makes you just want to burst into song doesn’t it? Strangely the song was later covered by both The Motels and Hole…some things I can’t explain.


Even before that classy little number we had “So in Love” from Kiss me Kate which starts off in such a lovely way and then degrades into..


In love with my joy delirious

When I knew that you could care.

So taunt me and hurt me,

Deceive me, desert me,

I’m yours ’til I die,

So in love,

So in love,

So in love with you, my love, am I.


Sort of gives you that warm and fuzzy feeling all over…like too much tequila. On the other side of that we have the lyrics of scary obsession that gives any man who hasn’t fully recovered from seeing Fatal Attraction shudders. I speak of such classics as I Would Die for You by Garbage. I mean it is a great song but the thoughts behind it are just a wee bit psycho…


I will burn for you

Feel

pain for you

I will twist the knife and bleed my aching heart, and tear it

apart

I will lie for you

Beg and steal for you

I will crawl on

hands and knees until you see, you’re just like me.


I will confess that one of my favourite songs expresses a similar crazed obsession but seeing as it is Melissa Ettheridge I feel I can be forgiven. I leave you with Come to my Window…


I would dial the numbers

Just to listen to your breath

I would stand inside my hell

And hold the hand of death

You dont know how far Id go

To ease this precious ache

You dont know how much Id give

Or how much I can take

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December 19, 2007

In the midst of life we are in death etc.

There are many things I want to write about today but I really can’t as I am a bit tired. Actually going out at the wrong time given work and my desperate need to finish Fodor’s has proven to be interesting…though this evening that wasn’t the problem. Work started out stressfully as the Mondeo was overheating and I barely made it to work before the needle hit the red. Did I mention I also had a near flat and had to stop at the gas station? Well..trust me it adds a whole new level to watching the needle rise.

Once at work it was the usual checking what was going on so i could do a lineup and then worrying about the car. I worry a lot. After telling him my symptoms my guy Jai at Ford started bandying about repair numbers in the $10,000 plus range. Naturally I started thinking of cliffs and edges again. After checking a few Year in Review stories ( thank you Robin) and getting a handle on things I pondered my car again. Should I pretend I never saw it and leave it in the ie car park forever? Should I crash it into a light pole and call my insurance company after volunteering for a sobriety test? I pondered all my options and the fact I couldn’t drive her too far and settled on the garage near work. I walked over to see if they could check her and, after a visit to the office, realized it was owned by friends of mine…sweet joy! I walked back and drove her back to the garage where she still is now. Apparently, after a cursory look at the engine ( and after fighting with a geriatric fool who pulled into the garage ahead of me) I was told it seemed a simple matter and I assume I will find out tomorrow the extent of damages. I am certain it will cost less than $10,000. Lesson one…never trust the dealer. I will give the old girl one thing ..she always gets to where she has to go.

Tony was his usual cool self…though looking rather dapper in a black suit…I told him the problems I was having and he blandly said…”well use the company car”.I did again…and I still feel like a lesbian with a stick shift. Note to self…if he ever sells the Suzuki…buy it!

We got our bonuses today and I find if I think of it as a large tip it makes more sense. I guess this means I have to brave past the lighthouse again to go to a DollarValue Supermarket ( we own them ) and spend my non-cash contribution. I see Smirnoff in my future.

It is still raining so I assume if it keeps up I better get to reading the Torah to check on the proper cubit scenario so I can sail out of here. I must look for a dove.

In friend news..Peter Police ( we call him that) is now a Corporal and Omar is planning to mop tomorrow…both are rather monumental. I congratulate both of them. Rumour has it Omar may actually be able to see his floor tomorrow.

Off to bed now to procrastinate further about writing and praying the Mondeo repairs are of a kinder gentler price.

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December 18, 2007

Breakdown in Communication

My apologies to one and all for my little lapse in entries. Between no internet access, the Mondeo suddenly deciding to have overheating problems, getting Fodor’s 2009 done and he stress of getting the Year in Review out I have been rather distracted. Well..that and the other social things that have been happening lately…which have been unusual but decidedly great.

The time constraints on the YIR and Fodor’s is a major stress but I hope I will complete both within time. Life is a crapshoot so I always assume things will work out well. If the Mondeo costs too much to fix I will push it off a cliff and buy something else. I have no idea why it is overheating but dammit I have options.

I am producing tomorrow and I will ensure our YIR is done before I leave…if hell freezes over I will guarantee it.


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December 15, 2007

Friends and Food

It was the best of times it was the worst of times…now I have that out of my system. It was really a day of realizing how totally inefficient transport in Trinidad and Tobago is in 2007. From traffic to bad airlinks in the region to more annoying traffic it is a miracle anything gets done at all in T & T. Now that I am unwinding with Peter times 2, Robin and Naz all is well. It is amazing what great friends can do to your system. We settled into the villa quickly and, after making a huge mess of escargot, we wandered to a restaurant to eat some more. To be honest I had already met my fat quota for the day but Sheppard needed to eat and the trip was necessary.

I know I can be a harsh judge of food and it seems my friends are less judgmental but when i see prices for entrees starting at $25 USD I expect something more than a passable meal. To me a fish broth, even when it is accompanied by the restauranteur giving an extended explanation of what kind of fish was used and where it was caught, should be full of large chunks of identifiable fish and not cornstarch. That makes it a bad chowder. Also, when i order a grilled romaine salad with hearts of palm and  sun dried tomatoes and some etc I expect to see hearts of palm on my plate. I really shouldn’t have to walk to the open kitchen and enquire as to the whereabouts of my HOP.

Despite these minor setbacks it has been very relaxing thus far and with such close friends I expect it will continue that way. The matter of using 56k dial-up, on the other hand, is a different matter entirely. I feel I have been dropped into the dark ages. Sheppard, God bless his heart, was heard telling a friend on the phone that he “doesn’t know how people survive on dial-up”. I agree. I think broadband has become as indispensable as cable…screw that..I can live without cable but not without my broadband.

Omar has been housesitting for me and a quick check sounds like things are in order. Friends are a great thing.

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December 13, 2007

Whew!

Rushed to work today as I had an 11am interview with Gregory Aboud only to have Heidi call me as I arrived in the car park to say he had to reschedule. No matter, as I had another interview scheduled for 1pm anyhow so we were covered. My main concern was to turn the office upside down to look for my missing Aruba and Bonaire notebooks. I arrived, greeted the staff and then started digging through every drawer in my work area. Voila! They were both in my desk drawer so I can now get back to work writing.

I am supposed to be heading away for the weekend to escape POS for a couple of days but now it seems I will be updating Fodor’s while relaxing. These things happen. Not sure if I will be able to get an internet connection so I may be MIA for a couple of days.

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December 12, 2007

101 Blogs of Solitude

I can’t believe this is my 101st blog entry…such dedication…such perseverance…so unlike me. If only I could put that kind of single-mindedness to stopping smoking or eating properly. I suppose the point of a blog is it is a quick 10-minute catharsis at the end of a day and does not require any major commitment ..sounds like the ideal relationship. With my birthday looming on the 20th ( feel free to send your condolence cards) it is becoming painfully obvious that ,despite L’Oreal Mens Line keeping my visage from hitting the pavement in a jowly mess, my mental faculties may not have been so quick to escape my long expired warranty.

As I happily plodded along today working on producing news and my T&T chapters of Fodor’s I had occasion to open my Fodor’s folder on my Powerbook to ensure that the Aruba and Bonaire raw chapters were there awaiting revision. Indeed they were but something was not right. There tucked in a corner of the Finder window was another file that said, quite innocently, ch08-curacao.doc. Strange, I thought, how odd that my lovable Editor Doug in New York would have foolishly sent me that file. Doug is the consummate professional who spends most of his time responding pleasantly to emails from whining writers and defending changes he has made with gentle verbal back pats. He hardly ever loses it and sends terse missives threatening legal action if deadlines are egregiously ignored by the likes of me – though I have tested his patience many a time.  I have been dealing with Doug for about 9 years and have never known him to accidentally send me a file but, optimist that I am, I opened my contracts to assuage my foolish doubts. To my horror a cursory inspection revealed the dreaded “Curacao update” lurking right there with Aruba, Bonaire, T&T along with a specific dollar amount. More horrifically I remembered that I had signed the contract assuming it was the usual 4 islands with Isla Margarita as a possible 5th to join the quartet later. I am a creature of habit and having not done Curacao for a few years I probably tuned out any reference to it in our correspondence and signed just assuming the usual. It is still a bit of a bother as it will involve an additional foray to Curacao that I could easily have done in my two transits through it on my last trip ( including my last unanticipated overnight stay on the island). Hell, I even paid the full departure tax because of Insel Air. Ah well, such things happen and I love Curacao so i am glad the woman who was gamely holding it from my grasp for the last few years has had it wrested from her.

The unfortunate reminder of my decaying brain was just the beginning today. When I got home eager to get working on Bonaire I opened the file on Tinkerbell and went to get my Bonaire notebook only to discover it was nowhere to be found. I turned the place upside down looking but no sign of it…or for that matter my 2nd Aruba notebook. My travel notebooks are the essence of my writing. They contain everything I do on my trips and are essential to my completion of the assignments. On my trip i held them in my hand luggage and guarded them as a Mother Swan guards here cygnets. I didn’t care if every shred of my Givenchy/Izod/Pink/Dunhill/Perry Elllis/Dior/fill-in-the-blank checked clothing was lost as long as I had my precious notebooks with me. So I know they must be somewhere in Trinidad right now. I am praying I kept them in my bag the first day I went back to the office and stuck them in a drawer. Tomorrow will tell.

So with these concrete and ugly reminders of my failing faculties in mind I head to bed..humbled..but determined to reassign some brain cells to replace the failed ones.

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December 12, 2007

Counting down 2k7

I am still having problems with my wireless connection at home so I have resorted to ..shudder…using an ethernet cable. I look forward to the day when everything is wireless and I include electricity in that scenario. Work was quiet but I was not producing the news today. I will be producing tomorrow and Thursday so I can sneak off to Tobago for the weekend. I spent quite a long time nagging reporters into getting the lead out on completing their Year in Review segments so we can wrap the wretched thing up before I head off to Toronto on the 24th.

Why is it that every station in the known world insists on having a Year in Review segment? Is there a national obsession with walking down memory lane at the end of each year? It seems to be one of those unwritten rules that every station has – like anchors having bulletproof hair or sports presenters being loud and badly dressed. The YIR programmes are a lot of work and inevitably stresses reporters, video editors and producers alike – where are the human rights campaigners when you need them? I will say one good thing about ours is that we gave up on the dreary chronological “this happened and then this happened” approach in favour of a top ten countdown format. I made the change after I joined the company, though it was not my idea ( can’t remember which staff member suggested it) , and it is a better approach for several reasons. It allows us to narrow down our focus to the ten main stories of the year which eases us up a lot and prevents the ugly business of looking at every little thing that happened for the entire year.It allows the reporters the luxury of getting creative and concentrating on the stories assigned to them. Our Video Editors are also spared the sheer torture of ploughing through a year of footage and can simply work on doing a 6 minute piece. Best of all, I think it is a better experience for viewers. People love a countdown and want to see the top story of the year. A year of news is, by its nature, a series of disparate events and lacks narrative whereas the public craves narrative. Creating a top 10 of the year adds the narrative that makes it easier for the public to follow the “story”. It isn’t the BBC approach and it may horrify news purists but I think it works…in fact..I am sure the other local stations will be copying it sooner rather than later.

It has been a rainy evening in Port of Spain so I have been thinking quite a bit. I am not the most emotional person but I sometimes ponder the complexity of emotions and how they move us. I gather from song and verse that love makes the world go around – a phenomenon I normally ascribe to the interplay of hormones. That being said, since we are all just great swirling soups of hormones that regulate every aspect of our lives, the phenomenon is not something to be dismissed easily. I also recognize that the emotion is not limited to the world of humans as the animal world has many examples of couplings that seem to indicate the emotion is alive and well amongst our feathered, furred and even scaled friends. I initially thought it was somehow based on the need to reproduce and that said urge was, in some cases, linked to monogamy. My initial theory was tossed out the window when I read of Carlos and Fernando the two male flamingos who are now celebrating their fifth anniversary with their adopted ( abducted) children. I would have said gay but I think that is a purely human concept as it involves a social and political aspect of which our bird friends may not be aware. More startling still, I note that C & F are bucking the trend of their ilk since flamingos are not normally known for..shall we say..their constancy. What to make of this?

It is a difficult subject to contemplate but clearly there is a need in the animal kingdom, in some cases,  to find a mate and to create a life together. Despite being a cynic I am also a hopeless romantic so I can’t say this realization shakes my world view but it is still comforting. It leads, however, to the bigger question – what makes two individuals fall in love and what makes it work. Is there, in this world of flesh and bone, a forever when it comes to love?  Clearly questions too big for this, or any, blog entry.

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December 11, 2007

Past the Lighthouse

Making up now for no entry yesterday as things conspired against being able to upload anything. I got involved in Fodor’s as I should and then went to pick up Omar to go to a “surprise” birthday party for Caleb hosted by Vishaal in Central Trinidad. Somewhere in that mix..that required me to drive past the boundaries of POS ..was the need to stop by Alvin’s house to make dip and vegetable rice. I was able to deal with the change in barometric pressure from POS and my anticipated nosebleeds never actually materialized.


Frankly I don’t see the point of surprise parties. So much surreptitious running about and 99 times out of 100 the person is not surprised. I suspect in the case of the other 1 it involves the paramedics being called to deal with a heart attack. In the case of Caleb approaching Vishaal’s house and seeing that many familiar cars parked pretty much put paid to the whole surprise concept. Despite Vishaal’s rather cavalier approach to party planning I must say I enjoyed myself a lot and it was a chance to see a lot of people I know all at once.


My plan to upload an entry upon my return home last night was stymied by ether a Mac OS problem with my wireless broadband or a provider problem. It is made especially annoying because once there are comments online iWeb refuses to open my site offline until it can connect to the internet to download them. I am going to try disabling comments for today to see if It makes a difference. Not to worry..even though the comments may disappear they are still there once I reactivate them.


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