Archive for ‘Robin’

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.

 

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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.

 

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 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

Merry Bloody Monarch Indeed

Well, as is the case annually, Trinidad and especially Port of Spain is about to turn into the anarchic mess that is Carnival. Traffic has been snarled for the past week ( even worse than usual) and everywhere there is evidence of tourists and migrated Trinis who have resurfaced with insta-accents. As the weekend progresses there will be gratuitous music blaring from giant trucks that will clog the roads and give anyone with a brain a headache, Fortunately, the average Trini seems quite able to place his or her brain in their empty carnival costume box and stow it under the bed until Ash Wednesday.


People such as me who have work and a tendency to avoid chaos will be left struggling to get from place to place and cursing the lack of any order in the capital. Which is not to say that Port of Spain has much order to begin with. Come Sunday night or early Monday morning the traffic lights in the city will be symbolically switched off as the city hands over control of the streets to the people. Shortly thereafter all hell will break loose and j’overt will begin at 4am with people wearing everything from just mud to simple costumes. Then we will progress to Monday Mas followed by the even more street clogging Tuesday Mas.


Don’t get me wrong, I thing Carnival in years gone by was great – a testament to creative souls who laboured all year to create a band wit the help of masqueraders. Now it is about as much an expression of the  dedication and creativity of the Trinidadian people as PriceSmart. We have taken a people’s festival celebrating art and turned it into a disease riddled streetwalker.


I was at work in physical presence today only and though we had a newscast that resembled War and Peace I managed to pull it together thanks to Melissa Wong, Ria Rambally and Robin Morais. Where all those stories came from I have no idea but I was able to get them all in between the two newscasts.


I am a bit out of sorts for the usual reasons lately but also because I just realized Robin has gone to Guyana and Brazil with Marina and Peter and Naz are in Atlanta en route to Las Vegas…all fleeing Carnival. Omar just popped in ( after asking) to change so he could go to another party and I am sitting here happy to be in the condo away from it all and away from people who have to party their lives away.


Back to work tomorrow so I will leave you now. 100_0810.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 29, 2008

Out of the Depths

Back home now after a day of producing news and then an 8pm ieNews meeting with the CEO and staff. Meetings drain me in a way that I cannot fully explain and a 2 hour meeting is like torture. I know we have to have them to improve our product and Tony Maharaj actually holds a great meeting but to my mind it is still a meeting. I sit there waiting for the inevitable sniping and I got a bit of it sent in my direction but really not a lot. In all the media houses I have worked for the usual complaint about me is that in order to get the job done I can be a bit cavalier when it comes to the feelings of staff. I know it is in my nature but to be honest I have never seen news as a chance to make friends and develop that warm fuzzy feeling. It is all about getting the job done. Being quite thick skinned myself it amazes me that people don’t just recognize that what I say in the heat of getting a newscast on is not to be taken personally.  To his credit Tony actually explained that to staff saying he has known me for a long time and he knows how I operate so people should adjust to my method a little bit. It is always nice to have a CEO who understands you…if you ever get one…chain yourself to the company and stay there forever.


In all fairness to the crew, though, most of their concern was not directed towards me.  My feeling is they should notice I get the news on in a timely way with minimal stress to the staff and technical crew and they all get to go home earlier…to me that must count for something.


We carried an item of news about Guyana that rather interestingly reflects my sentiments in yesterday’s entry in that an expert in Guyana is suggesting the recent killing of 11 people there may lead to further ethnic conflict.  This was coupled with the coincidence that I had the President of the Global Organisation for  People of Indian Origin ( GOPIO) T&T chapter in for an interview today as well. I am sure his organisation has many good points but I still don’t understand what an Indian from India and an Indian from Trinidad or , for that matter Guyana or Fiji, have in common. Other than appearance I don’t see what the heck they have to sit around and talk about. As I told the guest, sure Trini Indians may loudly announce they are Indo Trinidadians here and vote for the UNC but let them migrate to the US or Canada and watch how quickly they run out and buy an “I am a Trini” t-shirt.


Other than that I chatted with Binky today who is always supportive and is like a mini-me, saw Omar briefly, was invited for drinks by Alvie ( I was too tired after the meeting) and did the usual check-ins with Robin and Peter. Whatever the ups and downs of my days some things are as predictable as sunrise and sunset. 100_4427.jpg

January 28, 2008

The crazy season heads for a climax

Carnival is a week away and it is now unavoidable even for those such as me who make every effort to ignore it this year. Today was the Panorama Semis so getting anywhere in Port of Spain involved circuitous routes weaving in and out of back streets. Apparently every year Carnival comes as a complete surprise to the police as I found myself driving down several streets only to be met with barriers. It seems that putting a sign at the top of the street saying “Road Closed” is beyond their capabilities. Given their abysmal crime detection rate and inability to curb our crime spree I really don’t know why i am surprised.


Work was the usual and I managed to read  the 6:30 news without stalling or falling down dead..so I guess that was good. We had a good selection of stories and I was happy I was able to get some video of Guyana to do a follow up. I have to say Melissa Williams is young ( as anyone is compared to me) but she will one day be a very competent Head of News as she is scarily organized and has a great ability to get info on any breaking story. Ria Rambally did a few stories too and I think her potential is astounding. She voices very well already and is getting pretty handy at stories as well..for someone who is just a hair over 20 I really don’t know what to say.  Oh sure, she tried on her Tribe carnival costume in the office ( it looks like a tribute to the corbeau) but that is just a reassuring sign of the ebullience of youth ( and I swear Melissa did not try it on and I do not have photographic evidence of same).


I am still working at putting direction back in my life by changing the roles that different people play in my life but it is proving harder than I thought…I may have to go back to my old blunt ways. I simply cannot afford to have people or situations push me back into that dark place I experienced recently. I know what i have to do and as Sister Paul taught me…it has to be done or else I cannot progress in life.  On a bright note I am pleased to say that the people who genuinely kept abreast of how I was coping made themselves evident very quickly. The list of those who were concerned is amazingly short but rather telling..I will not embarrass those who didn’t bother but I will say that Peggy, Urse, Ric, Richardson, Robin, Binky, Kirby, Alvin, , Mark, Melissa, Giselle, Steve ( who was angry I didn’t call him) and Astrid are on my A-List now…not that the benefits to them are great..but still. And those who I didn’t tell are certainly excused.


And to my Fodor’s Editor Doug Stallings …who I know will never read this..thank you for being your usual understanding self.