Archive for ‘Binky’

June 12, 2008

Night without end.

 

WARNING – VENTING ALERT!!!

 

I have just returned from being subjected to another awful M. Night Shyamalan film. Actually, based on recent experience with his films it is redundant to use that particular adjective but this one is so egregiously bad that words almost fail me … but not quite. I hadn’t planned to go to the movies but Alvin, Binky and Alvin’s cousin Amshad said they were going and would pick me up for the 9:15 showing of The Happening. Warning bells should have gone off in my head but since my flu/cold/terminal disease has kept me a virtual recluse lately I went. Foolish move.

 

Those who know me even slightly well know that i love the medium of film but nothing irks me more than a badly made film. In this case M or Night or whatever his fans call him has achieved the previously unachievable task of making a film where there is simply nothing good about it. SPOILER ALERT!!!

 

I found it strange that the film opened here in Trinidad before the official release date of Friday 13th in the US ( gosh what a clever release date) but I am sure once the critics rightly savage the film on Friday it will be thrown straight on to DVD. Actually, in my view that would be a waste of a DVD blank. The premise of this travesty, in a nutshell – and not to put too fine a point on it – is that the plants get annoyed and decide to kill us. But they don’t actually kill us themselves, oh no, that would be far too simple and a bit too Day of the Triffids, what they do is release a “toxin” in the air that makes us kill ourselves in a variety of creative and colourful ways. We throw ourselves off buildings, shoot ourselves, slash our wrists, get run over by lawn equipment and even bash our heads into walls. Oh gee..I almost forgot…we also jump into lion cages and tease them until they bite our arms off as it is captured on iPhone video ( despite the fact iPhones don’t do video) . If we take this incredibly stupid premise that the plant version of Google Labs suddenly figured out this clever formula and pair it with some of the worst and most stilted dialogue I have ever heard and then throw in some incredibly bad acting we  end up with a recipe for an instant headache.

 

When I say bad dialogue I don’t mean just bad dialogue I refer to the sort of dialogue that would make your eyes roll back into your head and never want to emerge again. We are talking lines such as “don’t let the wind catch you” and “if I have to die I want to die with you” and I, of course ,paraphrase because I was having a hard time staying conscious. This sort of thing might work if it is done tongue in cheek but M N S takes himself so damned seriously with what I gather was meant to be a morality lesson about the environment. 

 

The acting made me think they just rounded up a bunch of people and dropped them on the set. Mark Wahlberg makes a fine underwear model but i swear his range makes Keanu Reeves look like Larry Olivier. Zooey Deschanel, the female lead, seems to have been given some sort of pupil dilating drops and then pumped full of medication before being let loose on the set. The only person who seemed to have escaped this film with her career was Betty Buckley who at least managed a camp crazy lady performance.

 

So, to summarise, people start dropping like flies within the first 5 minutes, then for the next 6 hours..ok fine…1.5 hours …we have to listen to bad dialogue as people try to figure out what is going on and “run from the wind”.  I am all for freedom of expression but I shouldn’t be lured into having to sit through a grade Z movie. I can see no reason for this “film” other than wasting time and effort and making cinema enthusiasts feel ripped off. I read with alarm that M N S is about to embark on making another movie. Please M. Night do film a favour and put down the pen, fold away the director’s chair and step away from the camera.

ADDENDUM

I’ve slept on it and decided I was too kind last night. This film was not just bad it was monumentally bad. It is an affront to bad film. It is the Burj Dubai of bad film making. It is, in short, the gunk under the toenail of bad film making. Those writers who dare to liken M N S to Hitchcock are off their trolley. Hitchcock was a genius and a tremendous talent. M N S should not even be allowed to say the name Hitchcock. I want my 90 minutes back and Alvin wants his $180 back.

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June 6, 2008

Happy Together

 

 

It has been an interesting week thus far culminating with me sitting here nursing a sore throat and a fever. I don’t handle illness well and I tend to take a strange approach to handling it. When I woke up this morning convinced that someone had forced me to swallow a tennis ball coated with glass shards I went into my normal mode of action. I downed as many pills as I could drank several cups of coffee and headed to the shops. I bought every medication known to man, several gallons of gatorade and a slim volume of poetry by Rimbaud. My solution to such health dilemmas is to follow my Mum’s advice….over medicate and read something interesting. If this entry is a bit disjointed you can either blame it on medication or Rimbaud…much the same in the long run.

 

Wednesday I hosted a little soiree for Peggy which turned out rather well. I decided that I was not going to stress myself with elaborate plans and thus even the cooking was approached with little or no plan. I had purchased about $1,000 worth of stuff for the party the day before and basically tossed the whole plan out the window. Peggy and Steve arrived early and we simply engaged in excellent conversation ignoring the arrival of others. At some point Peggy managed to make a Rajasthan beef dish and I cobbled together a quick tiger shrimp and mussels balti and some basmati rice. It also learned that my cousin Satu Ramcharan was also coming over in addition to Alvin, Binky and Kavir. All I know was that the evening turned out to be a lot of fun with Peggy and Satu keeping everyone entertained. I had never spent any time with Satu before but apparently the gene thing makes for great company so the three half caste cousins fitted together perfectly. Things were so animated I never actually got around to serving the Haagen Dazs. Who knew that Steve would be so interested in  politics that he and Satu would almost have to step outside to have it out? I tell you he might be my friend but he is also a cameraman and they are a strange breed.

On Thursday, with my fever beginning to start I had my old friend Monique Tosello-Pace over with Peter and Naz for another smaller soiree. She is here from France and sadly my state of health and burn out from the previous night resulted in us just having roast beef and watching Hitchcock’s The Birds . Still, it was good seeing Monique again if only for a brief time. At least we managed to consume the Haagen Dazs that was unused the previous night.

 

Back to the murders tomorrow as I have to work ( I believe we have had 10 since I last wrote) but there may be changes in my work situation coming around the corner. I know that I will have to have both Peggy and Satu over again soon and, if I am lucky, perhaps I can have Peg do a short reading from Jahajin for us. I have said many times in this blog that I am not a family kind of guy (except for my immediate family) but having known for decades that Peggy was something special I am now wondering how I could have not noticed Satu. Are there other interesting half-castes in my family ( and we all are) that I could have overlooked? 

 

The final good but not surprising news is that when I bought the Rimbaud I asked the sales clerk how Jahajin is selling and she said “really well”. Apparently certain people in this country can still have great taste.

 

May 12, 2008

Tender is the night

The funny thing with blogging, or at least my version, is that I sometimes take longer thinking up an entry title than I do actually writing the entry itself. I realise, given the quality of some of my entries, that this might not come as a surprise to most readers but I still find it interesting. Why I chose to use the name of one of my favourite F. Scott Fitzgerald novels is anyone’s guess but I just sort of liked the sound of it. I love reading but there are few book titles that really capture my attention – Tender is the Night is one of them, as is The Beautiful Room is Empty by Edmund White ( though I am not as crazy about the content of that one). Speaking of blog entries ( and I was) I got an interesting comment from ( apparently) Nawab Ibrahim Ali Khan Shish Mahal related to my previous entry entitled Days Go By. I am very glad he took the time to post a comment and when I have time I will certainly respond to his invitation to gather more information about he intrigue surrounding the real claimants to that particular title.

It was a pretty normal day at work today and I confess I spent much of it tinkering with my newly adopted Power Macintosh G4 533 Dual Processor that Richard passed on to me so as to give it a happy home. I really don’t need another Macintosh in my place but with me and Macs need always takes a back seat to want. I got the old girl working this afternoon and I will buy a couple of extra hard drives and a new monitor for her during the week to get her fully up and running. I must say for a 7 year old machine she seems to be able to hold her own in terms of speed with my newer and ostensibly faster Macs. I really must stop anthropomorphising Apple products it is turning into a money pit for me and results in me being surrounded by more bits of technology than I could conceivably ever find good use for. I might donate her to an orphanage or seniors home once she is fully kitted out.

I was very happy to learn this morning that Philippa Talma was finally released by her captors after 9 days in captivity and the trauma of her kidnap ordeal. We have been told she is in good shape but I am sure that if she managed to escape physical harm the mental anguish will not be any easy matter to deal with. I understand that money may have been paid to the kidnappers ( we were told it amounts to $60,000 ) but nothing close to the $3 million demanded. It is all well and good for the authorities to say that the family should not give in to the demands of kidnappers and I understand the concept of what they are saying but if it were my family member I would do anything to get them back. I don’t know what her family situation is like but I hope she and her kids pack their bags and get out of this country as soon as possible. I don’t say this because I believe we should throw our hands in the air and give up but I truly feel it may be better for the recovery process if they deal with the aftermath in a totally different environment.  Speaking of which, there were three more murders overnight bringing our count for the year to just under 170. Has the government immediately expressed their horror at the current state of affairs? Nope. They will continue to build countless tall buildings no doubt under the assumption that if we keep looking up we, like the PM, will not be troubled by whatever dirty business is going on at ground level.

Off to bed now as I actually went out with Alvin, Binky et al last night and ended up crawling into bed after 4am abuzz with diet cokes. There’s much to be said for alcohol as opposed to aspartame. Still, I had a good time and caught up with some old friends while meeting a couple of interesting new acquaintances. .

March 21, 2008

Junk in the trunk

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As I type this I have just returned from spending a bit of time with Alvin and Binky just shooting the breeze and catching up on the usual bits of news that seem to make life slightly fun. That being said I had to take 3 aspirin before leaving the house as Clyphil has artfully conspired to ensure that every muscle in my body is in some sort of spasm following his torture session in the gym. You know it is all very well for a 23 year old to be telling people to sit on a ball and contort themselves into various unusual positions but I would like to see him do it at my age. That being said, I must say he really gets me to do things that I would never have even ventured to do at the gym otherwise.  I have now taken 2 more aspirin extra strength and I am hoping that I am able to sidle out of bed tomorrow as I have a day off and there is a plan afoot to drive to Icacos on Trinidad’s extreme South-Western tip. It is entirely up in the air if I will go or not as it is my day off and sleeping in is high on my priority list ( as opposed to getting in  Robin’s HiLux for a 4.5 hour drive in each direction). I am only considering it because I may get a chance to take lots of pics and it will be fun hanging out with the usual gang.


I added another gig of RAM to the iMac G5 that i am currently using after I agonized about whether or not to but two gigs of matching RAM so as to switch the processor into a 128 bit data path which is theoretically faster but the thought of tossing a good 512 Mb stick in the drawer seems wasteful. So far the machine is, as the say in the tech world, “teh snappy”. I am never sure why tech people like to spell “the” that way but i guess it is a inside joke on a common typo. Now, of course I am almost certain I will run out and purchase another 1 gig stick on Tuesday just so I can see how snappy it can get ( and it is pretty damned snappy now). Why do i obsess on technology so??? It is a curse. I also know that within a month I will be buying a Macbook Air and most likely an iPod Touch…just so I can have them…never mind my old iPod is working an I have given away the at least two iPods I have bought since then. For that matter why do i need an Air since it is only thinner than by powerbook and not even noticeably faster? Ah well.


And speaking of technology, I cast a rare glance into my junk mail folder on Apple’s Mail today to see if anything slipped through the cracks. Nothing did amazingly given I use 5 email addresses on the programme but the content of the junk mail truly amazes me. I mean what else but junk mail would have subjects like “Boobs galore at SM beach” or “longer and harder os good for her” or even the tantalizing “Britney loves it large”. I mean God bless Britney and her refusal to settle for anything less but really who, other than a spam emailer, has ever sent out anything with such subject lines? Even more puzzling is who on earth would open one of those emails and click through to the advertised site? Surely someone would have to be dumb beyond reckoning to respond to such a thing. I suppose, though, spammers count on the .001% ( I hope)  who would be stupid enough to actually open and check such an email. But  even in that select club who would be so extraordinarily cretinous  to actually whip out a credit card and order the product? Well yes, I suppose there might be a few people with internet access who are actually cretins..but surely they would not have a credit card? I ask myself how these spammers actually make money given the abysmal response rate? Now being a Mac user I might also assume that many of these spam items might also be vectors for viruses which cannot affect me so i will excuse those enterprising souls who use it for that purpose…but again…who the hell would open an email with such a subject line??


It says a lot about the human condition that out of the 310 items of junk mail that Mail has caught a goodly 275 are for something to do with either penis enlargement or sex in general. In case you are wondering the remaining emails seem to be trying to sell me a Rolex which , of course, one would naturally purchase via an unsolicited email. No matter how developed we become as a species with our technology it always seems that someone will use the latest and greatest tool to push sexual content. Don’t get me wrong I have nothing against sex and i hear it is very good in the right circumstances, but there is something terribly wrong when sex seems to dominate every aspect of human life. Look at the internet and personal computers..possibly the most powerful combination of tools to spread information that has come along since writing and most people use it for…make a guess…sex. I would not be surprised if at least 80% of people view some form of sexual content on the web or even use it for arranging sexual trysts. I would not be surprised if closer to 100% of teenage boys use the internet for looking at sexually explicit material at least a majority of the time. Despite the fact it just comes down to something going in somewhere and a bit of friction the sex urge is part of the internet and , from what I can see, a major part of the world of spam.


Maybe it is just me but do that many men really obsess about their penis size? There seems to be no lack of fraudulent products available through spam or on the internet in general for addressing the ..ahem..point. It is all too sad.


Now if you will excuse me I have to do some clicking to see exactly why Britney is so emphatic.

March 3, 2008

Mismatched

There was no blog entry last night because, shock of shocks, I was at a social engagement. It was Johnny & Amado’s joint birthday party ( at least I think it was) and the theme, as I mentioned before, was mismatched. I can’t say that Robin and I won any prizes for our outfits. I thought a Burberry waistcoat and a timberland shirt would do it but apparently it sort of matched. Robin’s entire closet consists of colour coordinated pieces so he had to resort to an unfortunate tie. Still, we went. I can’t say anyone was especially awfully dressed but i suppose we all had the fear that we would be caught in a traffic accident and have to be in hospital looking bad so hedging seemed the order of the day. The party was the usual J&A mix of disparate types of people but it somehow made sense in their home..where disparate is the order of the day.I had gone to the party in Rob’s car but when we all decided to leave i went off with Alvin to another party just to burn off the high i had from drinking too many diet cokes. That worked out fine and I met Peter there who eventually dropped me back to get my car. It was an evening of musical cars.


Despite my late night sojourns the lack of any drinking meant I was in perfect shape to produce news today as planned and eventually read it at 6:30. It has reached the point now that I can blandly say there were only two murders today and the rest of the news was pretty well run of the mill…all capably handled by the two Melissas, Nadine and the editors. The only problem I had today was that in my quest to avoid calories I opted to eat a rather strange assortment of items for lunch since the slimfast was not doing a damned thing. All I can say is do not,and I mean DO NOT eat a bag of salted prunes, a bag of dried apricots and wash it down with Gatorade. I have one more combination to add to my expanding list of combinations  to avoid. Amazingly, I managed to read the news without grimacing even once.


At least in my quick drive to pick up the explosive combination i was able to stop around Port of Spain a bit to take some shots that I can use in this blog . Tomorrow, in addition to the usual interviews I am supposed to do a radio programme at night as well…oh joy. I am looking forward to starting the digital media course tomorrow. I got word from Knights Media that i was accepted for an online course on the subject and it sounds like avery worthwhile undertaking. I note with interest that blogging is a key component of the course so we will have to see if anything i learn ( or not) will be reflected in my blogs. I will keep you posted.


And before I  forget I now have one less reason to leave the couch. I used the Wii store online to buy the Wii internet browser and I can now surf the internet on my television. Was there ever a happier reason to celebrate my beloved Wii? I think not.


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February 17, 2008

Night Off

Just got back in after being with friends for an evening after work. It is now 1:55am and I have work in the morning so I shall dismiss any attempt to post an actual entry and summarize my day today in point form.

  •  Planned to go to the gym this morning but woke up late because of the sleeping pills.
  • Called the office to check on things, had several coffees and then drove to work.
  • Scrounged for stories and added a story about the Boissiere House to the lineup.
  • Managed to get a hold of Nicholas Laughlin via Facebook and assigned the story.
  • Thought of the house being torn down and got quite irate.
  • Returned a DVD to the store, got two more and drive back to work ( total elapsed time: 15 minutes).
  • Newscast was completed by 5:00pm
  • Giselle and Wong went home and I killed time before reading the news by reading news on the internet and trying to figure out what my editor in New York meant by “planner”.
  • Put on jacket and makeup and went into studio to read the news at 6:20pm.
  • Heard my cue, watched the monitor for the news opening and saw only black.
  • Muttered ” i am not seeing anything” through the talkback.
  • heard Director say “oh shit!” and sat there looking at my script.
  • Much scrambling in my earpiece and then was told we have a computer problem.
  • Told the Director to call the tech person and then sat there hearing lots of noises in my earpiece.
  • Finally heard the Director ask me if we should start the news at 7pm should we get things fixed and could I please call the CEO and the IT guys ( which I assumed correctly  meant I could get out of the chair).
  • Tried to reach the CEO..no luck…got the IT guy though
  • Went downstairs to see the Director under the console looking desparate at which point the IT guy seized control of the system by remote access and fixed whatever it was.
  • Told the Director that I refused to answer another viewer calling on the phone to ask when our news was going to start and we were going to start as soon as I threw myself back in the chair.
  • Threw myself back in the chair and started the newscast at 6:53pm.
  • Finished the news and drove home to relax..arrived home at 7:58pm.
  • Sit down. Grab a dinner of leftovers. Phone rings. It is Robin saying our friend Alvin II who is visiting from the US would be in town in 1/2 hour. 
  • Asked what that had to do with me.
  • Was told we ( Peter, Naz, Robin, Alvin II and myself) were going to dinner at The Verandah for 9pm before the kitchen closes..
  • Cursed on the phone and told Robin I hate this kind of mad rush and I would let him know.
  • Despite myself I was in the Mondeo and heading to pick up Robin by 8:40pm.
  • Picked up Robin and continued to The Verandah.
  • Sat waiting a few minutes for everyone else to arrive.
  • Drank 2 diet cokes.
  • They arrive and we are seated. I already ate so I just order another diet coke and a bowl of soup.
  • Grab a ciggy outside with Alvin II ( nice to see him again btw).
  • Dinner is almost over and Peter starts to feel ill and heads to the bar to lie down.
  • We continue to eat until we remember he is ill. Naz checks on him then me.
  • I encourage him to go and lie down in his car outside. Dinner is hastily ended and Naz and Peter head home to convalesce.
  • I ask A II if he would like to go out befor eI drop him back to P&N’s where he is overnighting before returning to his family in Fyzabad. He says yes. Amazingly, Robin says he will come along ( like he has a choice since I drove).
  • Call Binky to find out that he and Alvin I are at Alvin I’s club..so we head there.
  • The five of us stand there chatting for a couple of hours while I drink diet cokes. I discover that spraying Listerine pocket fresh in my mouth before sipping is almost like having a rum and coke.
  • Alvin II, Robin and I look at each other and determine that at 1am it is time to leave.
  • We get in the Mondeo and I drop Alvin II up to Ft. George followed by Robin back to Maraval. 
  • Leaving Robin’s place I run into a 4-way police checkpoint.
  • The officer is  very polite and as I show them my Insurance and DP he reminds me that my insurance is expiring next week. I tell him that I know and just had my car undergo the useless inspection so i can renew it.
  • He says “enjoy your night sir” and off I go.
  • Continue on to Cascade where I park the car and come upstairs still wired from diet coke.
  • Open the laptop to write an entry despite my better judgment.
  • Omar is online so we chat for a bit and I tell him that his company was missed this evening though I understand he is drained.
  • Get bored of typing to him. Call on the phone. Tell him I may skip the blog entry tonight. He says “well, the world won’t end”.
  • I agree and ring off.
  • I proceed to type the last 902 words. 
  • It is now 2.19 am and I have work in the morning. 
I just realized I like this sort of machine gun entry but I recognize it must be annoying to read. Suits the way my mind works though.
 
Nite nite. 
February 15, 2008

Move along, nothing to see here

It is now just a pinch short of 1am and after spending the last 5 hours hammering away at the Curacao chapter for Fodor’s 2009 I am almost in sight of the end. That being said, the last section which is rather innocently called “Essentials” is one of the more finicky sections so I probably have another couple of hours work before I am done. Rest assured, those hours will not start now. So how do I end several gruelling hours hunched over a keyboard? Well how else? By banging away at a quick blog entry. No one can accuse me of not being obsessive compulsive about some things.

I managed to survive Valentine’s Day without much trauma by artfully immersing myself in work and my pretending to enjoy being at the gym. Speaking of which I realised this morning that since my building has now been transformed into a “gated compound” I spend an inordinate amount of time looking for the damned gate opener thing. Since that followed on the heels of be being awakened multiple times by people sending me Valentine’s text messages I was not in a good mood this morning but I managed to shake it off by consuming several cups of coffee. Who was it that decided that something that starts off fresh and quickly decays into a withered mess would make the best possible Valentine’s gift? Was it meant to be symbolic? If so then someone has a lot of explaining to do.

I didn’t hear of any of my couple friends successfully pulling off a romantic evening. Last I heard Alvin and Binky were wondering where to go for dinner at 10pm…good luck with that one. Omar aka Grommit called to invite me to a “Bachelors Lime” at Shakers around 9pm but as I was hopelessly immersed in writing at the time I had to decline. Strangely, “bachelors” included Astrid but I suppose she is an honorary one. Even though I am being a responsible adult I am sorry i didn’t pop into town to join them but I suspect the temptation of martinis might have thrown my diet off just a tad. God I would love one just about now ( gin, whisper of vermouth, stirred and with 2 jumbo olives,  thanks) but since such a thing is not going to happen I have taken a sleeping pill and am now off to chemically induced slumber.

Bon Nochi.


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February 11, 2008

Back to Black

 

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. n501560998_313463_6705.jpg ( me and my bitches on the beach)

February 9, 2008

Goodbye Aruba hello Curacao

It is now 1:09am Trinidad time and I have just sent the Aruba chapter of Fodors 2009 off to my wonderful editor Doug. This means I only have Curacao to complete and there is light at the end of the tunnel though Curacao is quite a handful. I love Curacao, though, because it is like a Dutch twin of Trinidad with all the ethnic diversity and the same odd mixture of smugness and insouciance. When walking the streets there it is hard not to think you are visiting some distant cousin of Trinidad with a clear genetic strain that makes itself felt.


With work facing me tomorrow ( oh the joys of working in television 7 days a week) at least I can  see an end to coming home and having to pound away at the wretched iMac keyboard. Speaking of which my iMac has what was for years the standard Apple keyboard which i have always maintained was a travesty. It is spongy and the key travel is so annoying it is like walking in loose beach sand or snow. Peter Sheppard has kindly visited the Apple store in Las Vegas and bought me the new small apple chiclet keyboard that is now standard on the new iMac so I can look forward to that to make my Curacao typing less painful. I know this is of little interest to anyone but the best keyboard ever made for the Mac or any computer is undoubtedly the MacAlly IceKey. Mine has finally bitten the dust after several years of Fodors and much Instant Messaging but what a divine creature she was. Almost no key travel and a satisfying and reassuring click to let me know I actually hit the key. Sadly, that sticking “k” key which was resulting in far too many “KKK” entries in my typing spelt her demise. I loved you MacAlly IceKey…may you rest in peace. You earned me many thousands of  dollars and I will place you in my closet to find eternal peace.


I am happy to report that I found the dark cloud over my head lifting slightly today which was a wonderful feeling. I don’t know how my brain chemistry works but I am happy to feel a tad better after 3 weeks of wanting to fly off a cliff at great speed. Preferably onto the head of the preternaturally chirpy Ms. Ray. No point ending my own life without helping the world right?News today started off dismally but then Parliament came along to save the day. We have not had a murder here in at least 24 hours and I was beginning to long for one if only to fill a minute or two of news. What we ended up with was a typical Trinidad story of government stupidity…scratch that…several stories of government shamelessly wasting money. How they do it and stand up in parliament without showing any shame I will never know.


We learnt today that our useless blimps…inexplicably purchased to fight crime are costing a lot of money. The imbecile National Security Minister stood up in the house and happily informed the population that the first one we leased for ..I think 4 million dollars..was ..and I quote “unsuitable for our atmospheric conditions”. Ahem. So I guess we never asked when we leased it? Also, I wasn’t aware that our hellish “atmospheric conditions” in the halcyon Caribbean were so much worse that the US that we leased it from where they have things like winter and tornadoes. Then we leased a second one that has since broken down and is costing..I kid you not …millions…even though it is still grounded. I love the second one because that particular crime fighting behemoth is painted bright red. Maybe it is just me but if you are trying to sneak up on criminals for surveillance with an object that makes an ungodly racket and is huge doesn’t painting it red make it a bit more obvious? To make matters even worse we learned from the Minister that the last one we actually purchased for $15 million costs well over $1 million a MONTH to maintain. So apparently this giant insult to taxpayers costs $17 million a year to maintain…well over the cost price of buying it. As far as i know a Caribbean Airlines jet which makes money and gets serious use costs a lot less than that to maintain a year. How the fool stands in parliament and says these things without prefacing it with “I am so sorry” I will never know. But wait, dear reader, there is more. The Attorney General stood up and said..without a hint of irony..that the Chaguanas Court is a mess so 3 years ago the government rented a building to move them into as an interim measure. It seems after spending $4 million  they have not moved in yet. The reason? Apparently the building was not suitable. Umm…then why did we rent it? But all is ok…the government is spending 8 million on the rented property to make it suitable. So let’s see. We are spending $12 million on an interim measure that isn’t ready after 3 years. I am pretty sure that we could have built something in that time. Apparently incompetence is alive and well and accountability is dead and buried here in T&T. It would not be so bad if there were not other things that are screaming for attention and yet the money has been happily flushed. Once again I feel I should ask our brain dead Minister of National Security “what other crime riddled place uses a blimp”? The answer is nowhere…as if he would listen to common sense.


Ah well, thankfully I finished the chapter though I know the queries will be pouring in soon. There was some idle talk of liming tonight from Alvie and Binky but Binky’s comatose collapse in Cunupia ended that plan and Grommit’s plan seems to have failed too. I guess they are all paying the price for partying through carnival. I know one thing. After my interview with Band of the Year winner Brian MacFarlane today I will be playing MacFarlane Mas come next year. He is such an wonderful person and I am so happy for him. So the plan is..next carnival Vern will be fully clothed in a fabulous costume and making a statement on the streets of Port of Spain. I eagerly await MacFarlane 2k9. 100_1002.jpg

February 8, 2008

Journey through the vortex.

This is meant to be a short entry as i take a bit of a break from Fodor’s Aruba. It was a different day in this post Carnival period. I was really depressed today but I managed to not break into tears…so yaay for me. I took the bull by the horns and spoke to Tony about my mental state of late and I must say he was pretty incredible. I will not repeat his words but he was supportive and genuinely concerned.

News went very well and the reporters and editors got everything in early so the actual broadcast was stress free. I just wish I didn’t feel so awful lately because other than my brain telling my body to feel gripped in a knot of imminent disaster…things were great. I was really happy with our newscasts and I don’t care what anyone says to the contrary.

Other than that I foolishly decided in my depressed state to call Mom. I have since advised Binky, Grommit and Peter Police to stop me from doing anything so foolish in the future. If I was depressed before I was pretty close to wrist slashing after. Mum has her own battles to face but after a certain point I had to ask her if she thought that telling depressing things to a depressed person was the wisest thing to do. At which point she brought up some even more depressing incidents from my past. I finally told her what I said in my blog earlier…that it is better I pretend I have a perfect family in Toronto than deal with the reality of what I have. So now I have to hide any sharp objects in the vicinity.

Otherwise I have had some really supportive people around. I must say Peggy has been incredible because she understands the process ( and YAAAAAY for the launch of her amazing book yesterday), Binky has been a rock for me, Alvie has been his usual self but not bad. Despite Rob, Peter and Naz missing I did pretty well. For some reason I always miss Rob the most. He can’t handle emotions well, he is totally at sea…but he is still just an amazing person in his own weird way. Sorry this is such a boring post…but it is my life.

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