Archive for ‘Peter Sheppard’

November 12, 2011

Sheppard eleven eleven

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Sheppard eleven eleven, a set on Flickr.

Peter Sheppard and his mom Margaret Sheppard’s joint art exhibition held at Y Gallery in Woodbrook, Trinidad yesterday.

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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.

 

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 16, 2008

Free at last, Free at last

Finally, at exactly 2:22pm today I finished the Curacao chapter of Fodor’s 2009 and uploaded the file for my editor. I also sent off the invoice immediately even though there is some smaller stuff left to do such as the planners and maps. Finally, an end to feeling guilty every evening and ending up hunkered down till all hours trying to make a dent. Not to say I will suddenly have a wild and crazy social life it is a few years too late for that but at least I could if I wanted to. 

I had to drive around a bit today to get my taillight bulb changed and to have my car inspected so it can get reinsured next week when the insurance expires. I did this not out of any concern for safety on the roads or my own personal safety but purely because the insurance company asked me to do it. The requirement for an inspection certificate, like so many things in this country, is a system that is only half finished and stuck in limbo. The necessary legislation to add any consequences has never been passed properly and thus if you are pulled over with a car that has an inspection sticker for..ooohhh..let’s say 2004… there is no penalty. The police officer can glance at your jalopy but there isn’t a single thing he can do. Why do these things end up half done? It may have to do with the national tendency to want to start things and then run off to do something else. A culture of distraction. More likely, it could be just a case of incompetent legislators who are unable to handle the strain of multitasking. So my car, which is in tip-top shape now has a sticker saying it is okay till 2010. In the interim my brakes could go wonky, my exhaust might develop a hacking cough and my wipers may stop working…but it is fine I have my useless and toothless sticker. 

This is just one of probably hundreds of bits of well-intentioned legislation that have been introduced in T&T which have failed to reach the stage of full implementation. The most egregious offenses in this area are probably the never ending ( and I mean years) struggle to introduce both the breathalyser and traffic radar. In a country where road fatalities are well over 200 annually these would seem to be no-brainers but, in fact, that description seems better applied to those responsible for passing the necessary legislation and actually obtaining the required equipment. Every so often we get a little glimmer of hope such as late last year when Works and Transport Minister Colm Imbert assured all and sundry that the breathalyser would be in place in time for Carnival 2008. Of course, Carnival came and went with many a driver weaving on the road steering with one hand and  hoisting a glass of Johnny Black with the other. Good luck with the radar if they ever get around to it as the traffic officer is sure to be mowed down by one of the dozens of motorists racing on the shoulder. As I look at downtown Port of Spain and the rush to erect tall buildings as some sort of simpleminded attempt to create a developed country on the surface when the reality is otherwise, I wonder about the misplacement of priorities.

 Since I am on facebook I suffer the usual deluge of invitations to join this or that group not to mention the slew of inane quiz invitations. While it is easy to dismiss the Blank wants you to take the test ”what kind of furry marsupial are you?” there are a few that genuinely grab my interest. Today, for example, I noticed Peter Sheppard had  joined the “save the Boissiere House” group. The Boissiere House is a miraculous little gingerbread gem of a home located around the Queen’s Park Savannah at the top of Cipriani Boulevard. It never fails to capture my eye as I drive by it every day on the way to work mainly because, as they say, they just don’t make them like that anymore. Unfortunately the prevailing culture of this country is that old things are bad and tall and shiny things are good. It is, to be sure, a childish mentality that somehow dismisses the national heritage as a colonial travesty that is best erased. I have written about this before and observed that Barbados and Jamaica have a more mature mentality about older buildings recognizing them as part of the built heritage and, therefore, important. I am glad to see that people such as Nicholas Laughlin and Georgia Popplewell are working to change the status quo.

I also noticed that three of my friends joined a group called “Same sex tolerance in T&T”. I am not so sure about that one. I know T&T has laws that date to the Victorian era and proscribe any sort of male-male same sex activity a fact that is beyond comprehension to anyone living in the developed world. It is a situation that is beyond silly and positively reprehensible to anyone with a brain but it is a reality. The Government ( whichever one it happens to be) will continue to bend to the perceived or real pressure placed on it by the religious hypocrites and nothing will change in the foreseeable future.  I am a realist but I truly hope that this will not be the case. Besides that, though, I really don’t see how much impact a Facebook group will have in effecting change. Perhaps it is more of a support group. 

 

 

 I have a concern with the use of the word “tolerance”. In any aspect of my life I would prefer to be hated outright than tolerated. We tolerate the fact our neighbour is an out of control drug user or  we tolerate the screaming brat in the coffee shop. On the other hand we accept other races and we accept the fact the all have different opinions. The fact is there are a lot of gay people in Trinidad, and presumably Tobago, and, by and large, the community is tolerated. Thankfully we didn’t see the Black Community in the US marching to Washington in the 1960s loudly chanting they wanted to be tolerated. They marched so the larger society would come to terms with and accept them as part of normal American life and deserving of rights.  In the case of that Facebook group it reeks of that antiquated bit of religious twaddle one hears from time to time , “love the sinner, hate the sin” .Funny how some things get me riled.

 Off to bed with my little riled self now.

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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 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 7, 2008

Uneasy silence

Today broke a brand new day ( as they all tend to do) and despite my throbbing head and a really bad cough I was able to hit the living room and greet Alvin ( he and Binky stayed over in the guest room after Carnival) with what amounts to civility for me. After I sent them packing i was able to head to work and enjoy all that Ash Wednesday has to offer; a complete lack of traffic, no noise, no speaker trucks and no vile beaded bikinis. Mind you when i got there there was no power and it took forever to come back as we sat in Stygian gloom and heat trying to follow up on stories.


We managed to get everything done in time although it involved me shouting at the video editors for protracted periods. The good news today is that despite my cynical view of the judging of Carnival Brian MacFarlane’s band Earth: Cries of Despair, Wings of Hope won band of the year. Earth was the sort of thing that made Peter Minshall justifiably celebrated. A narrative on the destruction of the earth told through the Mas it clearly blew every other band out of the water. Brian and I get along quite well nowadays, though we had a rocky stretch many years ago, so i am thrilled beyond belief that he deservedly won. His King costume also won King of Carnival which it richly deserved. What I don’t understand is how the local media including The Guardian kept referring to it as a “jellyfish”. The costume was called “Pandemic Rage” and the band is about the destruction of the earth. The moko jumbie player all in black clearly had a double helix floating in front of him which, given the name, should have told all and sundry it was a virus but apparently the brilliant media folk decided it was a jellyfish.


To me the main thing to celebrate is that Brian won with a costume that was not supported by wheels and did not require 10 people to push it onto the stage. It was not something that should properly belong on the back of a truck being driven through the streets..it was a human dancing a costume across the stage..the way a Carnival King is meant to be not the travesty that Eustace wheels out every year.


Congratulations to Brian for another amazing presentation and I am glad he is there to provide an opton for people like me and my more sensible friends who want to be in a band that is art and not merely an all-inclusive moving fete. I pity my other friends who chose to play with the bikini and short pants Mas that is Tribe…but then again…it is a rapidly dwindling number. Would I pay $3000 for a few beads and an open bar…nope. Would I pay for a beautiful costume that would give me memories of creating art on the streets of Port of Spain for decades to come….hell yes! Well…but without the noise.2244835619_2c5da14ea9.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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January 11, 2008

The Carnival Demon Looms

It has now become an inescapable reality which even the most jaded cannot deny – Carnival is around the corner. It manifests itself in many ways; the sounds of pan being played in the pan yards, Loud soca music blaring from every second car, Omar getting a twinkle in his eyes and Astrid having to attend a million fetes in skimpy clothing dispensing alcoholic beverages to the eager. Already the fetes are piling up with several happening on the same night.People are looking at their already depleted pocketbooks with dismay as they shell out hundreds of dollars for a chance to see and be seen at one ( or more likely dozens) of the more fashionable all-inclusives. People are eagerly awaiting their costumes so they can don 6 inches of lame they paid up to $4000 for months ago. Well, some does not include Omar who, up to this evening was musing about whether he should play with Tribe or Harts – never mind that both are already sold out. I gather I will be making some begging calls to at least one mas camp.

At work today I had two interviews, one with the Minister of Energy Conrad Enill who I have always quite liked. I think I first started liking him when I did my first interview with him in his previous portfolio in the Finance Ministry and we chatted about fiscal policy and the WTO for an hour after the interview was done. Most Ministers are either too self-important to want to chat with journalists off camera or know little about their Ministry and thus want to limit their discussions. Not Enill…he knows his stuff…even if I often disagree with government policy. My other interview was with Wrenwrick Brown ( and which hat did his parents pull that name out of?) of the National Carnival Bands Association. He is an interesting man. He is Secretary of the organization and also a Mas designer himself so it was not surprising his passion was evident. We ended up chatting for quite a while after the interview as well. Like many, including myself, he is concerned that the so-called skimpy mas as exemplified by Harts/Tribe/Island People are taking away the true point of Carnival and also making the festival a Westmoorings event rather than a true people event. The skimpy mas bands are run like businesses and their clientele truly believe less is more – the expected costumes are  bikinis with beads for the women and skimpy trunks with a sash for the men. They give their fans what they want and run laughing to the bank after Carnival. The fact that a costume from this year’s band is indistinguishable from last year’s or the year before is immaterial. They have different names. This year’s bikini is called “Emerald Dreams” and last year’s was called “ Forest Ficus” ..I mean really…they are different. I tend to agree with him. If I am playing in a band..as I have…I want to be part of a theatrical spectacle that makes a statement. I want the crowds to be waiting for my band to appear and to talk about it for the next week. This is why I have only played with Minshall in past years and if I played now it would be with MacFarlane without a question. These are bands that show thought and whose costumes are true reflections of their theme. It is interesting to note that this year MacFarlane..ok..he is a friend…Brian’s band is partnered with the UN as it portrays Earth: Cries of Despair. Wings of Hope. You can see the band by clicking here.

That being said my friends are split into rival camps. Alvin, Binky, Sheppard, Naz and, I assume  Johnny and Amado are MacFarlane sorts while Omar and Astrid seem to think they would die if they had to wear more than a foot of fabric anywhere on their bodies. I suppose as i said in a previous blog – diversity is good.

In good news…and yes there is plenty in this twin island republic…Omar is back in North and it seems I may see my elusive Astrid/Iggy this weekend and possibly even have a drink or 10 of frozen Stoli with her…note to self..buy Sevruga. Amusing news of the year – Grommit wants to fade back to normal colour so he can get dark again on Carnival. Where do I live again? Oh right.

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January 6, 2008

The Joys of Diversity

The usual sort of Sunday at work today much of it spent scrounging for stories and the rest feeling guilty for eating KFC ( Giselle and Vern only as Melissa showed some restraint).  I had to read today and I really wasn’t in any mood to read but I made my deal with Giselle and as she chortled at  my misfortune I manfully sat on set. I think i was okay today and even managed not to smirk at the story about the man who trapped two burglars in his home and held them hostage to beat them up. They eventually got a hold of the police who arrived, freed them and arrested the homeowner for kidnapping. Only in Trinidad.

Like most people my friends and acquaintances are a diverse bunch of misfits. They are of all colours, all religious persuasions ( though many of mine are irreligious), and are a lively mix of straight and gay. I have single friends and partnered friend on both sides of the orientation divide. I am glad I don’t know David and Victoria Beckham personally because I am not sure which category they would fit into.  The key thing is we all , by and large, get along and we do so quite well thank you very much. I have noticed in the straight/gay department , however, that there are some key differences in the homes and entertaining styles of my gay and straight friends. To wit…another list…


  • Gay friends have Grey Goose or Level in their bars, straight friends have Smirnoff.
  • Straight friends can live with beige decor for years, gay friends  need colour or they die.
  • Gay friends have Macs, most straight friends use windows.
  • Straight friends have curtains, gay friends have window treatments.
  • Gay friends have decks, straight friends have dining rooms.
  • Straight friends have napkin rings, gay friends have table baubles.
  • Gay friends have at least 4 kinds of olive oil in their kitchens, straight friends use Wesson oil.
  • Straight friends play jazz music, gay friends play Buddha Bar.
  • Gay friends start yawning at 1am, straight friends start flashing the lights at 11pm.
  • Straight friends cook things they saw on Emeril, gay friends cook things they saw on that FAB trip to Tuscany last year.
  • Gay friends serve cosmos, straight friends serve rum & coke.

I think we have rich fodder here for future anthropologists.

My friend Ursula asked me if blogging was a form of conversation or a more insular pursuit. I imagine the  closest comparison would be to an opinion piece in a newspaper and the comments  would be letters to the editor.

Keeping track of my more mobile friends Muz and Binky just touched down at Piarco, Omar is at a pool hall in South, Iggy is MIA and Steve was last seen shouting “I’m free! I’m free!” as he went on  three weeks vacation.

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