Archive for ‘Peggy Mohan’

June 19, 2008

Get Smart

 

It is a genuine pity that blogs are not self-sustaining entities that, like cacti, can live happily and bloom with no intervention. It has now been a full week since my last entry and I am here more out of guilt than anything. Not, I hasten to add, that guilt is normally a great motivator with me.  It was an odd sort of week anyhow and I spent much of it fuming over The Happening. Nothing irks me more than bad art – I swear. Actually, that is not entirely true as reading some reviewers expressing thoughts that this was really a good film sets me off slightly more. Roger Ebert, a critic I normally respect, is way off the mark on this one. I wonder if MNS craftily slipped  something into his popcorn?

 

Work has been the usual slew of murders and the rather macabre spectacle of the Minister of National Security screwing his face up in response to a question from a reporter at the post cabinet briefing and saying “don’t you think this situation pains me?”. Ummm. The question is not how you feel about crime the question is what you are doing about the homicides right now…not in three years or next year. Sure there are many things that need to be done socially in the long term but people want the carnage to at least slow down now. I don’t understand why the goodly Minister can’t understand that a good plan involves stemming the leak in the dam immediately while at the same time building a replacement for it upstream. He simply seems not to get it.

 

I had Kevin Baldeosingh on the programme this week and he is always one of my favourite guests. He is an author, columnist, raconteur and genuinely funny person. He is also a secular humanist which fits into my world view just fine and means I don’t have to roll my eyes back too often in an interview.  I am hoping we can get him more involved in television as people that smart and funny are pretty thin on the ground in these parts. This brings me to the title of this entry which is also an artfully crafted reference to the new Get Smart movie that will, no doubt, be less funny than the original TV series.  Things in life and especially my life seem to come in spurts. It will be a drought of something and then I will find myself surrounded by it. Of late this has been the case with highly intelligent people…geniuses if you will.  I am not a slouch in the IQ department but I happily recognise there are many people more intelligent than me. Sitting with Kevin and chatting on the programme was great because he has a tremendous range of knowledge and, simply by using his insight, is able to shed a different light on a number of topics. His take that the start of the current crime wave is traceable to the sudden importance of the Unemployment Relief Programme ( aka Government make work project which is riddled with nefarious activities and undoubtedly questionable spending) was a clever and analytical approach to the problem. I am not sure he is smarter than me but he certainly thinks differently. Then I had Dr. Roodal Moonilal the MP for Oropouche East on the programme. I never realised it before but the man has a PhD done on full scholarship at The Hague. As far as I know those are not handed out willy nilly. 

 

It is an odd coincidence that my cousin Peggy ( just realised that sounds like My Cousin Vinny) was also here recently and she is a bona fide genius. I thought she was probably the smartest person I would ever encounter until I met someone recently ( who shall remain nameless for privacy reasons) who is also a certified genius. Intriguingly, while they are of different genders, they are quite similar in both temperament and making me feel that I am a few steps behind them. They also both possess that annoying feature of true geniuses that they are able to do so many things astoundingly well their only problem is in figuring out what to focus on. They were both child prodigies which is a blog entry by itself. Strangely, they are also both able to read music despite one being in science and the other in the arts . 

 

Anyone who knows me or reads this blog knows that I generally keep younger people at a great arms length since I simply have no interest in talking about what is happening with Britney. Thanks to The Nameless One I now have the odd experience of speaking to someone who is much younger than me  about the finer points of particle physics and the relevance of the repo rate to the bigger economic picture. What is even stranger for me is accepting the fact that I am dealing with someone who beats my IQ by several points and is definitely smarter despite a more than **ahem** 10 year difference in age. I will never be able to fully understand Chaos Theory in anything but the most rudimentary way ( though I know it is extremely important) and it rather freaks me out that there is someone I am talking to who can look at the formulas and see sense. 

 

On the bright side, while I must accept my own limitations, I can see that there are people who can truly change the world in their own fields. As someone who is frequently surrounded by self-important people with jacked up views of themselves it also heartens me to know that these smart people have no airs and are all amazingly humble. I feel privileged to have encountered both Peggy and The Nameless One  in my lifetime. I am the better for it.

 

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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.

 

June 2, 2008

Pretty in Pink

 

Amazingly, it really doesn’t feel like a full week since my last blog entry but the calendar doesn’t lie I suppose. It has been a busy week and , despite the two public holidays, I have been working 7 days a week but the end is in sight so I am un-frying my mind to upload a quickie here. Not much point talking about the latest in homicide as the murder count keeps shooting upwards and we are now well over 200. There was a disturbing development over the past week involving 8 year old Hope Arismandez. She went missing and upon interrogating her mother’s boyfriend he confessed to killing her and led police to her body. The tragedy is sufficient to not require comment from me. One wonders what was going on in the mind of Sunil Ali that would have led to the event. I may lose my temper from time to time but I tend not to give in to my more unpleasant instincts which explains why members of parliament do not have bruises on the backs of their heads.

 

The aberrant mind is largely a mystery to the rest of us and sometimes there is at least some good to be gleaned from such incidents in that we are able to get valuable clues to help us protect society in the future. Sometimes, of course, there are no clues to be had and no lessons learned but there is always the hope for some insight however vague. In the case of Mr. Ali we will never know. He was charged  and placed in a cell under a suicide watch but was found dead less than 24 hrs later. The details seem to vary from one source to the next with one newspaper saying he hanged himself with a clothesline that was ( conveniently) in the cell in addition to slashing his wrists with a razor blade. Our sources at ieTV suggest that , while he had some lacerations on his wrists indicating he tried to cut himself he actually hanged himself with bed sheets. The papers were, naturally, replete with headlines about him taking “the easy way out” but I think any sensible person must be led to ask some questions. Ignoring , for a moment, my complete lack of comprehension about how suicide could possibly be an easy way out of anything one wonders what sort of fools we have working in the prison system. If someone is on a suicide watch I assumed they were to be supervised constantly and not given access to anything they could use to do themselves in. Now if we are to assume that the custodians of our prisons are not complete imbeciles then we can only conclude that someone decided he should be either given the means of killing himself and conveniently allowed to do so or else his demise was somehow assisted. Neither possibility sits well with me. We have an inefficient justice system in this country but it is still there for a purpose. People are entitled to their day in court and, presumably, justice prevails. When incompetence or some sort of warped vigilantism supplants the law then we have a serious problem. 

 

The prisons have announced that an investigation will take place but I would bet top dollar that nothing will be forthcoming. As is usual here the perverting of justice will be swept under the carpet and everything will go back to looking glass normal. This is not about defending an apparent killer…it is about due process and about lessons that could have been learnt to prevent such incidents in the future. Of course the same idiots who keep electing idiots of various parties are the ones now telling the TV cameras..” He saved us the trouble..I’m glad he did it”. I can only shake my head and hope that the next generation is a little more circumspect. Mind you it may be a misplaced hope since as far as I can gather many UWI and UTT graduates cannot even spell “circumspect”.

 

In other more pleasant developments Peggy’s interviews on my programme got a lot of very good feedback and quite a few calls asking when we are going to air them again. She has been busy using her time to explore the Trinidad she has missed for 10 years and, no doubt, collecting more fodder for her next literary foray.  I am hoping to have her over on Wednesday night to meet some of my friends and there has been something of a demand for invitations. I will try not to break my rule to never entertain more than 6 people for dinner as I find anything more than that prevents good conversation. I may not be Sir Noel Coward but I will look for a cigarette holder and try my best.

 

It would be remiss of me not to mention that I also attended one of the strangest events of the year on Thursday night – Peter’s Pink Party. Peter Sheppard, having turned a certain age, decided to hold a party for himself a month after the actual event. The only rule was that everyone wear pink t-shirts emblazoned with the logo of the party on them which he thoughtfully provided via special delivery. It was the usual fun combination of people and Naz pulled all the culinary bits together well ( though much of the food was made by the excellent Wings Restaurant)  including such thoughtful touches as pineapple chow and pink champagne. The diversity of their friends never ceases to amaze me and yet everyone gets along perfectly. I am sure if crabby old me had such a party I would be safe with my six person limit…in fact even that might be a stretch.

 

May 28, 2008

Face to familiar face.

 

Now that Peggy is here to promote her book Jahajin it was inevitable I would have her on the programme for a little tête-à-tête about her visit. It is never an easy business interviewing a family member much less someone who has always rather awed me with her multiplicity of talents. Like the cat that she has always used as a metaphor for her personality one must simply approach it and hope for the best. As it turns out it was a very pleasant interview and Peggy even consented to do two interviews back to back. The logic of this was not simply to maximise the nepotism potential ( and, yes, I mentioned she was my cousin) but also to be able to get her on before the book launch tomorrow and to also have a programme with her insights for Indian Arrival Day which is this Friday.

 

Both interviews were enjoyable for me and Peggy is nothing if not an intelligent raconteur. She discussed the book candidly and was able to give insight into the genesis of the idea and her motivations for bringing it to press. I thoroughly enjoyed her discussion of what it is like to have adopted India as her homeland and the unique perspective it gives of Trinidad. I think I came away learning something but then again I am never in Peggy’s company without learning something. To this day i carry around bits of trivia and even opinions that were planted into my young head many years ago. I am not one to go about admiring people but I am happy to admit that she has played an unusually ( and ,I dare say, unintentionally) large role in shaping my mind.

 

We went to lunch at the Arabic food place near work which she hailed as serving the best food she has encountered on this trip in between befriending the entire Syrian staff…one of whom refused to believe that we are not Arabic. Over our meal she gave me some insights into her next planned books but her mind and thought processes are such that I have not yet quite absorbed all of her ideas and concepts. One does not listen to Peggy and digest what she is saying but rather one stores the bulk of it for later processing. Her mind runs like a Maserati on an Alpine road so it is sufficient to hang on for dear life and then ponder the trip in due time. I don’t think i have the full capacity to follow her thought processes fully as her vast array of talents leads her to think about literature in musical terms, of narrative in visual terms and of reality in conceptual terms. I just sit and talk to people for a living so you can see my disadvantages in that area. She is an accomplished painter, musician, linguist and now writer so I will say that were she not family I would hate her instinctively. 

The only other news today other than road blocking, an 8 year old girl murdered and raped by a family member and more accusations about UDeCOTT was the Prime Minister dismissing the notion expressed by..oooh 90% of the public that he is an arrogant jackass ( ok…I added the jackass part). All I can say is that when you decide to follow some harebrained scheme for becoming a developed country while ignoring human welfare, spending money like a high-rolling gambler on crack and build yourself a palace as a priority when work hasn’t even started on a new hospital  you have to be pretty damned arrogant not to spot your own arrogance.

 

May 25, 2008

Time Capsule

 

Well it was another day of mayhem in Trinidad with five more overnight murders and ( by our count) 194 murders for the year. Between those killings and the latest reactions by the PM to acquiesce to the demands of most of the population for a Commission of Inquiry into UDeCOTT it was a pretty full newscast. After work I made my way home to drop off some groceries I had amassed earlier and then picked up Robin in order to venture beyond the pale to the land beyond the Port of Spain lighthouse. The reason for the trip was to see my cousin Peggy and her daughter Shivani who are staying at my Uncle Clifford’s house and are here for the launch of Peggy’s book Jahajin on Wednesday. Robin was necessary for company and for directions since I am not the best night driver and anything outside of Port of Spain is likely to inspire me with a high level of confusion.

 

As much as I dreaded the drive it was interesting to see my uncle Clifford again as I hadn’t seen him in decades despite the fact i have carried his fine dental skills in my mouth for most of my life. It is lovely to see someone after such a long time and to realize their personality and charm can remain intact despite the passage of years. Peggy was her usual ebullient self and shortly after arriving and the requisite hug and kiss from her and Shivani she was engaged in an animated chat with my Uncle discussing ancestors I never knew I had. I get lost after first cousins and the fact my Great Grandfather had four siblings was news to me. After about 10 names I had never heard of I was completely at sea but I was pleased to see that Shivani shared my bewilderment and she sweetly assured me that she couldn’t keep up either. I will say, though, I was endlessly bemused to hear that two of my family members were named Stalin and Lenny. Apparently a sense of humour is not a rare event in my family history.

 

A little later on we braved the crowds at Movietowne to get something to eat at an odd, loud and garishly lit place called Zanzibar. Normally, any place that seeks to explain its raison d’être via an entire page on the menu would be shunned like a blackened banana in the supermarket but it was 10pm and we didn’t have much choice. The food wasn’t bad. With Peggy flagging and Shivani resigned to having to return at a reasonable hour we made a quick pit stop at Sky Bar to see Alvin ,who also hadn’t seen either of our visitors for a decade, had a quick beverage and then headed past the lighthouse once again to drop them home.

 

I am not known for making forays outside my normal zone – especially after a day at work – but it was an entirely pleasant experience. Peggy may have seen a few years fly by but she is still her usual irascible and insightful self and Shivani is turning out to be quite an amazing young woman. So for the next little while the author and the up and coming industrial designer will be gracing our fair shores and I suspect my life will be all the more interesting . I am looking forward to the local launch of Jahajin on Wednesday.

 

February 17, 2008

Lavabo inter innocentes manus meas.


Given that the whole point of this blog is for me to just put down my random thoughts it is rather strange that someone as hyperactive as myself can actually sit here without having any focussed thoughts. The key word being “focussed” as I have many thoughts going through my mind now.

We spent much time at work today engaged in an animated discussion about Democratic race in the US. Inevitably, the subject also turned to race.  I am not a US citizen, thankfully, so I can sit happily with my Irish and Canadian passports and feel no responsibility for the numerous stupid things they have done. I do, however, have my preferences in terms of what I would like to see happen in the upcoming US elections. I would prefer Hillary  Clinton to be the democratic candidate for president and I would also like the Republicans to be kicked into the political cellar. Any party that chooses a leader who can say the words “I know the human being and fish can coexist peacefully” deserves whatever it gets.

I do not share the enthusiasm of my colleagues for Barack Obama who they see as the ideal choice. Perhaps I am missing something but I don’t recall Obama saying one thing of substance so far in his campaign. Sure he is slick and articulate but I really don’t think talk is what the US needs now. Hillary has proven herself to be a tough contender and I vividly recall her brave but failed attempt to implement drastic changes in the US health care system when Bill was in office. The fact she stood her ground and remained stoic in public through the ridiculous Lewinsky episode says volumes. Also, and this is a bit on the petty side, Obama strikes me as a bit glib and his eyes are just a wee bit too shifty for my liking. What puzzles me is the insistence of my colleagues that my views are based on the fact that Obama is black. When I ventured to observe, that like me, most of my family, and Tiger Woods, he is decidedly mixed I was quickly informed that the fact he looks black makes him black. Who knew?  My dislike for Obama is more than skin deep I can assure them. There is that strange divide in even Trinidad society that even i feel uncomfortable crossing – the racial divide. I don’t think twice about race but apparently it means a lot in terms of group identification to a lot of people. Given my penchant for speaking my mind I often have to  flee certain discussions knowing I would probably be beaten to death for my none-too-subtle views.

Turning my thoughts to other things now I want to talk about a comment my Cousin Peggy ( author of Jahajin) left on my blog entry yesterday which provides food for thought.  Because I maintain two versions of this blog I will include the comment here:

“ The dislike of gays is one of those irrational things that prove that people are still beasts at heart.  The same people who howl about the world becoming overpopulated can have a serious problem with the existence of ingenious souls who have found a way to live happily every after at the top of the food chain without adding to world problems (and without feeling deprived either). It seems to me that gayness is one of the kindest options Mother Nature and Evolution have supplied us with.And not all that different from those of us boring straights who have only one child (or none at all).  There comes a point, when we are done with the mindless struggle for existence, when we should turn our minds to being a little bit imaginative.And that would include wondering about one’s orientation.  How many people live straight lives because they have never really thought about what they wanted in a relationship?The word ‘tolerance’ is bad in a slogan, but it is at the root of the struggle for Human Rights.  That is, you don’t have to LIKE the other guy, but you must refrain from killing him, or beating him up, or denying him a job.  Face it, most of us are not likeable…”

Peggy is not someone who thinks on a standard level and I always value her take on things. I don’t have a fundamental problem with anything in her comment and, maybe it is in the genes, I generally find I agree with her. Typical me that I will concentrate on the last bit of her last sentence.

It is true that most of us, those rats who refuse to follow the piper are definitely not likeable. I have long ago come to terms that my personality is such that people either appreciate me ( an estimated 10%) or want to avoid me like a politician would a polygraph ( 80%). The remainder tend to regard me the way we regard crocodiles in a zoo…with a mixture of fascination and revulsion. I am generally happy with this situation as I figure it weeds out undesirables. Of course, I am also painfully aware  that it may also weed out some desirables but such is life. We are all both the beneficiaries and victims of our own personalities.

I cannot count the times that someone has come up to me and said “but I always thought you were such a jerk” or “when i was first introduced to you I thought you were so standoffish and distant”. It is the eternal story of first encounters and how we protect ourselves. I tend to hide shyness around new people with an armour of  silence and disinterest. It is hardly a surprise that some take this for elitism or arrogance. There is some consolation to be had from knowing that I cannot possibly be the only person thus afflicted.Sometimes I wonder if my tendencies in that area have alienated people who might have been important parts of my life or even THE important part. There must be a whole slew of us who wonder if we have sailed past possibly  important people simply because our inherent character traits pushed them away in our wake.

On the good side, those same people could also have been the iceberg to our Titanic. 100_4449.jpg

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 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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February 2, 2008

The madness is upon us

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. 100_0784.jpg  

February 1, 2008

Nose Breathing

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. 1. Condoms or anything even remotely related to sex.

  2. 2.More soca music

  3. 3. Another peep from the Mondeo

  4. 4. Anybody new in my life under the age of 30. I am still dealing with the slew I have.

  5. 5.More junk in my condo.

  6. 6.Drama of any sort not related to a film or theatrical production.

  7. 7.People who think that pondering what fete to attend is really an intellectual pursuit.

  8. 8. Freeloaders.

  9. 9. Jesus freaks explaining to me why I have to be saved.

  10. 10.More work.


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.

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