Tuesday, November 30, 2004
god bless bim on independence day
god bless bim we hope and pray
dis little little island in the middle of the sea
in the middle of the sea
in the Caribbean sea
dis little little island in the middle of the sea
it means the world to me
Barbados land of sun
Barbados land of sea
Barbados means the world to me.
God Bless Bim - Merrymen
Well its Independence day for Barbados. 38 years old today by my count (1966) so congrats to my birthplace.
Well not sure what to talk about today exactly but seeing as its Independence I guess it should be something related to Barbados. Ok, nothing's coming to mind right now so I'm going to have to wing it.
I find in general Caribbean people who go overseas to live, work, basically survive eventually become more nationalistic than the average person living at home. I guess its just something you do to preserve your unique identity when you are 'a foreign.' Something we do to feel proud. Our pride in country and our behavior and attitude are probably some of the best free advertisement that the Caribbean tourist boards get actually. I hope they recognize that.
We tend to try to keep the memories of home through association with our fellow men, listening to the sounds of home, going to the gatherings and speaking in our national dialects. To tell ya the truth to me nothing makes my day as much as walking down the street and suddenly encountering a random person with a bajan accent. It just takes you back somehow plus it helps you remember that you are not alone in this place as well.
Yet strangely enough as we here in the diaspora (yo never thought I'd get a chance to use that word) think of ourselves as more Caribbean or surround ourselves with the trappings of that lifestyle in order to retain our memories, as we become more nostalgic for the good old days, the opposite tends to be happening at home. Progress its called. So we do our thing here, survival, and in the back of our minds there is a longing for our island homes but its more the home of our memories than the home that actually exists today with the negatives of crimes, drugs and lawlessness. We only remember the good and try to ignore the bad. Not that we don't know that our homes are imperfect its just mainly the way memories and nostalgia works . Hey I'm not trying to cry down the Caribbean, I'm just saying that its not all sunsets and 'all fruits ripe'. The real is its just like any other place with the good and the bad.
Also to add to that some of us are here thinking we are sharing a brotherhood with our fellowman in the Caribbean but when we do go home for a vacation , to visit the family etc you notice the clear distinctions being made. For me I'm now a bajan-yankee or a bajan-canadian or a bajan-limey I just cant simply be a bajan. So distinctions are made in your foreign home and also in your birthplace. You are from but not actually of in whatever local you exist in. You exist in some grey blurred area between distinct worlds. Like Buju say "Things change". We no longer the same as those back home. Progress. Why cant I go back and simply be bajan or whatever nationality, why the distinction. My navel string still bury back there, I still born and raise back there with dem same folk that now making distinctions.
Oh well que sera que sera or a so it a go.
On another note in rambling through that (its not supposed to be no deep thoughts so don't read too much into it) some memories of Barbados just get in my head so I'll share them.
Things I remember. I think of the sea on mornings around 6 as the sun is coming up, of being surrounded by its cool waters. I think of fishermen hauling in 'moses' and the buckets of fish they have caught. I dream of snowcones and tip and run cricket. Rain beating on a galvanized roof, me sweating as I walk in the hot sun, liming in Bridgetown in front of Cave Shepard watching all de girls in dem nice work clothes looking real sweet at lunchtime but not giving ya de time a day cause dem looking fa big man wid nuff dollars.
Lunchtime you say? I dream of hot turnovers from zephrins, fresh salt breads, fishcakes, bakes , ackees (gineeps fa all wunnah people dat play wunnah gotta be different :-), gooseberries, fatporks, dunks, sugar apples, chilly plums, sugar cakes, glassies, comforts, black b**** (I not Eminem so doan cuss muh, dat is the name of a confectionery we duz have in Bim), bajan cherries, mauby, pudding n souse, sorrel.
Cutting the seeds out of fresh sorrel, picking green peas off the tree, cutting down breadfruit with a big stick wid a long sharp knife attached. Guttaperks, pelting rocks, catching minibuses which proceed to do the 'milkshake' and 'rock de cradle'. Cheapside market, walking through the Parliament building yard (cant do dat no more), walking through Swan street, Nelson street, Roebuck street, Palmetto square. Going up in the country to visit family, traveling roads with nuff blind corners and having to honk every two seconds. Rum shops with fellas dat is experts in talking foolishness and waxing poetically.
Playing cricket. Having batsmen ducking from bouncers, mastering the square cut. Going to Kensington oval. Marshall and Garner opening the bowling. Sitting down in the Grounds stand with all the old timers telling stories of the greats like Weekes and Worrell and also stories of Hitler Downes, Mannie Martindale and a whole bunch a fellas I never even heard of. Sleeping hard in the Kensington stand after lunch stretch out on the benches during regional games. LOL
Bush tea, aloes, ferrol compound , shark oil, mecurocomb, iodex, bengays balsam, and all the other stuff I used to have to use when I sick.
Calypso sweet sweet sweet on the radio; Gabby, Bag, John King, Kid Site, Sir Don, Classic, Serenader, Duke Check E.D shirt W.A.S, Cubba, Georgie Porgie, MADD. Kadooment, performing at NIFCA, liming in Oistins, going to the cinema and feeling to cuss people talking all through the movie....But it was all love still.
Too many memories so little time. So for these and all the rest I thank you Barbados.
Monday, November 29, 2004
Now I really don't know too much about classical music, I'm strictly hip-hop, soca and reggae with a little Sarah Vaughn, Coltrane and Miles thrown in the mix but I really enjoyed this guy's concert even if the Star's reviewer said that he was overwhelming and too attacking in his approach. Like whatever dude! I bet you cant even string two notes together. chupse! Full a big speech criticizing big man and aint got no skillz.
Classical music isn't my thing though. I mean I don't know a waltz from a jig, the only concerto I know is Buccaneer's Skettel Concerto (and Brand Nubians Concerto in X minor) and the only symphony I familiar with is Part 1 and 2 by the Juice Crew; "Listen closely, so your attention's undivided. Many in the past have tried to do what I did. Just the way I came off, man I'm gonna come off. Stronger and longer, even with the drum off." In fact most of my classic music moments are associated with Bugs Bunny cartoons or when I'm at Kennedy or Bathurst station and they piping it into the subway but I still felt this concert.
Actually I went mainly because I was showing some support for the guys that brought him; Proteus World Music. Good people!
In essence this was my first concert where they didn't frisk you at the door. :-) Ok I'm exaggerating but this was my first classical concert with a real professional classical musician. I've been to a couple of amateur concerts when family members were playing with a little orchestra but it was free and I only went so they wouldn't confuse me night and day about supporting them. Plus I went in the back and fall sleep hard hard but don't tell nobody. I mean really how dey expect muh ta stay awake when the music aint even got no words? Ah mean is it too much to ask for even a "throw your hands in the air" a few "lawd a mercy!" or somebody in the background shouting out "come wid it!" every now and then. Unless hmm maybe they wanted me to break into a little freestyle over some Brahms or Beethoven; "check it check it uuh check it yo yo yo! when I compose this verse like Beethoven with the fifth, I give praise to the lord for giving me this gift , now I might drink a fifth on that I plead the fifth, mcs who wanted to battle come fourth then left fifth......"
Anyway enough foolish talk. Awadagin played Liszts sonata in B minor and Beethoven's Emperor concerto. Don't ask me to hum or repeat it fa ya doah. He played it with more energy and expression that I would have expected from a classical performer (which is probably why the reviewer felt he was overwhelming). Dude was really feeling the vibe. I mean at some points he almost had classical music sounding rhythmic.
I personally liked how the man played. Awadagin brought energy to the stage and rhythm to the piano. I'm giving him props. Now if only he would do a collabo with Buju or Ghostface Killer I would be he biggest fan. :-)
Sunday, November 28, 2004
Came really close to winning the domino tournament last night. Made it to the finals for the first time since May 2002.
Smallest turnout we've had in a tournament since maybe 2001 but hey who am I to complain. I've been having bad tournaments since 2002. In fact I don't think I've made it past the first round of the playoffs in about 2 years. Hey never said I was good at dominos. lol
Anyway we ended up with a total of 8 teams last night down from the usual 16-18. In the prelims me and my partner didn't do too well. We lost both sets 6-3 and 6-4. That gave us a number 7 seeding for the playoffs so we played the number 2 team. Now this match was the most satisfying as we played one of the most boasy men in the history of dominos. The man so confident his nickname is "King". Now before I go on let me say that I can barely understand two words out of this bredren's mouth. I mean I really don't have a problem with Jamaican accents .......Except for the King. And don't feel is cause I bajan ya know because some of his bredren from yard have also complained that they cant understand what the man saying either. LOL
I remember once having that problem with some fellows in Barbados. They were from St Lucy or some northern parish and for a town boy like me I just couldn't figure out what they were saying......And you know you can walk from St Michael to North Point in 1/2 hr cause the island real small infact one day I throw a big rock from Bridgetown and hit a fella in Holetown. Nuh lie!
Anyway I have to pay close close attention to pick up what the King saying but all I know is the man mout full of chat. So we start the set (playoffs go to 10) and him and his partner run out to a 2-0 lead and talking away a storm most of it just registering as a mumble to me cause I cant concentrate on deciphering the man chat and play at the same time. We rally back, then went past them and led 5-2. They switch sides. We win one, they win two games so its 6-4 and we losing the momentum. All the while now the King and his partner starting to cuss one another about why King should always pose how this one a play like domino novice, how him partner shoulda switch 5s instead a bringing back the blank etc. Me and my partner just calm calm. I posing my partner running serious security for me like if him name Brinks. We end up winning 10-4 and the bwoy dem was in shock. It was jokes. The men tell the King "you nuh real Domino King you a Burger King!" Biggest joke of the night.
After that we moved on to the semis and played the team that beat us 6-4 in the prelims. They had scraped past the team who had beaten us 6-3 by a score of 10-9 in that last round. There was no real drama or big talk in this set just some steady dominos. This set they started out 2-0, then I remember we started trading games and it was tied at 5-5 and 6-6. Suddenly so we pick up the pace and hit the accelerator (ie draw nuff nice card dem!) and won the next 4 games. Talk about stress. This is serious game ya kno. Real real emotional and stressful.
So we made it to the finals. Called wifey who I was supposed ta link wid to head home and said I'm in the finals. The woman was in shock lol.Guess that says a lot for my skills.
Anyway the guys we played in the finals, beat up on us 10-6. Interesting set of guys this. Found them really difficult to read (yea like I'm a master reader of dominos right!). Plus its like the men play drunken style domino. How many Heinekin can these guys devour and still play. I swear they were getting better with each drink. Then again our luck also ran out at that stage so it didn't help much. Couple of games we get pass of the pose and had hand with so much holes it look like Swiss cheese. Oh well, they had won their semi 10-1 so 10-6 wasn't bad I think we put up a decent fight.
All in all I cant complain. It felt good to get back in the finals. Going to miss next month's tournament but I'll be back in 2005....maybe. Or maybe I should go out on a high.
Friday, November 26, 2004
So conversation overheard at the gym last night
Guy #1: So when's the last time you sweat?
Guy #2: Last night
Guy #1 with a twinkle in his eye: ouuuuh!
Guy #2: New positions
Guy #1: You'll have to show me sometime. ha ha ha
Is it me or was that somehow a tad bit disturbing. I mean I don't want to get ban from traveling to London like them want do wid Buju and man like Vybz but still something not right deyso. That's all I'm saying.
Why is it that some women with no assets persist in wearing low rise jeans? I aint implying nothing too serious here just asking a question dat is all. By no assets I aint just mean that your backside aint big or as curved as J-lo. No I mean when it completely devoid of curvature, like when ya could draw a straight line down ya back straight down ya backside all the way down your legs. Dem aint fictionnnnnnnnnnn the pants drop down roun dem ankles if them walk too fast.
All the talk about ham over at the Doc's website mek me go in the supermarket last night to do some advanced scouting on my Christmas ham. So far the pickings aint as bad as last time but I aint truly satisfied. The search continues...I will keep allya informed. All the talk got me craving sorrel too. Going to buy a package this afternoon in Kensington Market. Actually I might have some here but you can never have too much of a good thing.
Started back playing squash despite all the aches and pains. Got to try to stay in shape. Strangely enough haven't gained weight with all the crap I ate whilst moving (fries, burgers and pizza for about a week) but the overall appearance could be better. This year has been terrible for my health actually. Between injuries and illnesses I haven't been able to get a decent run in the gym at all. I getting old, boy. Its all downhill from here.
Stayed up late last night to watch the Lakers vs Sacramento game. Lakers lost yeaaahh! Man they look pretty terrible. Its like Kobe and scrubs.
Had our first snowfall in the new home. Luckily it wasn't much and it melted quickly. Not looking forward to shovelling at all
Have always been a fan of the Strictly the Best reggae cds from VP ...until last year when they condensed it down to one cd (#31 if you're keeping count) a year. It seemed rushed and not as vibrant as the previous offerings. Still I bought this years offering yesterday. So far I'm not even sure if I've heard half the songs on there. I think VP records needs to go back to the drawing board on this concept. Could say more but will save this for its own post.
Holy crap! Having a house in a Toronto suburb means getting a million flyers in your mail at least twice a week. I mean seriously its just incredible. I got like a good 20-30 flyers in my mailbox yesterday. Good gosh people think about the environment.
What are you selling us the creator dwell in us
I sit in your unknown class while you're failing' us
I failed your class 'cause I ain't with your reasoning
You're tryin' make me you by seasoning
Boogie Down Productions - You must learn
One of the issues in the local news in Toronto last week has been the collection of race based stats for schools in this area. Basically the thought is that the drop-out rates, pass rates and achievements of students has not been uniform across racial groups and that for whatever reason students of certain ethnicities (blacks, Portuguese and some other ethnicity I don't remember were mentioned) are not being done justice.
The need to collect stats was placed to a vote last week at a Toronto School board meeting and was passed by a slim 11-10 margin. Actually it should be a big issue but discussions involving race here are usually seen as somehow not being politically correct or at least not something we really should be discussing in the public forum so while it made the news it wasn't as big a brouhaha as it could have been.
So what's this all about. Well from my vantage point I'll deal with the black kids. Many black kids are failing, are dropping out and are being failed by the school system. Or as Royston James puts it in last Friday's Star "We already know that too many black kids are failing. Too many black kids are being suspended and expelled. Too many black kids are dropping out of high school. Too many black kids are graduating without passing the Grade 10 test that's required to get them the high school diploma. Too many black kids are hanging around the 'hood, not in college. Too many black kids are selling drugs. Too many black kids are at the detention centers, and in jail, and in prison, this very minute."
Like KRS-one asked "Why is that?" and how does collecting stats help us solve this issue? Well in my opinion the collection of stats here doesn't really help us at all. Don't we already know pretty much that certain ethnicities are failing more than others? Do we need really exact stats to tell us this? The issue should be why haven't the numerous recommendations made over the years to improve the school system been put into place?. Also are we sure this failure thing is a race issue moreso than a socio-economic issue? Do we collect data on the income of the families who have kids failing? Maybe more black kids are failing because more black kids are from the lower end of the socio-economic scale ie poor families.
Will these race stats be helpful? Wont they just place another unnecessary stigma onto the shoulders of black students if it is shown that they are failing or dropping out of school in disproportionately high numbers compared to other races? I mean us black folk already have many stereotypes to contend with , ingrained beliefs as to our academic ability which have been passed down the line from generation to generation. Wont collecting race based stats add another stereotype? Wont these stats give teachers an opt out clause for why their black class is doing poorly when it could just be that the teacher isn't putting in the effort to assist his/her class or that there is just something inherently wrong with the system?
What is the point? What if it is found that lots and lots of blacks are failing what then? Have the powers that be decided what the next step will be?
Now also from my viewpoint while the school system holds alot of the blame for the failure of black students we ourselves as a community are far from blameless. I remember when I was growing up education was a thing of value. Parents saw it as a way for their children to get ahead in life and make a better living than they (parents) had. Hence parents were generally very strict about school attendance, discipline and performance.
For some reason maybe the potential for a better life proposed by an education never seemed to have materialized for us black folks and it seems to have trickled down to our general attitude towards schooling. Hence we have a big set of lawless yout with chips on their shoulders acting a fool and not even trying in school whilst their parents sit back and do nothing. Or is it that the parents are too busy making ends meet to put in the effort required to guide their children? Whatever it is we are not doing our part by being vigilant about what the youngsters are doing and how they are performing. Pay some attention folks.
The school is only part of the problem the community must shoulder its fair share of the blame.
Come on people wake up.
Thursday, November 25, 2004
I remember one calypsonian saying that "Carnival is Bacchanal and Bacchanal is Carnival" well substitute the word carnival with cricket and you would have accurately defined West Indies cricket. Everytime I am convinced we have turned a corner or there is at least no way things can go bad at a particular juncture I am rudely jolted back into the reality that the code by which West Indies cricket operates is synonymous with Murphy's Law; " Anything that can possibly go wrong will go wrong."
Its really disheartening to a fan like me to have to deal with West Indies cricket. Sometimes I duz get vex and want to give it up, actually scratch sometimes make that frequently or nuff nuff nuff times. Sigh!
I mean how something as seemingly simple as signing a contract to go to training camp can suddenly turn into what could potentially be the biggest labor dispute in West Indies cricket history is beyond me. Didn't the Board know that various players were signed to C&W contracts before they signed a contract with Digicell? Couldn't this issue have been solved without all the drama? Any of these people ever hear of discussion and compromise?
All that is happening is that West Indian cricket, its management and players are making themselves look like royal jackasses in the eyes of the world while we the fans look on with feelings of sadness, bitterness,anger and frustration. And all this coming not long after we managed to finally hold our heads up high for the first time in quite a while in celebration of the win in the ICC tournament. One step forward two steps back as usual.
Is it too much for us fans to ask that the WICB be run professionally? Is it too much to ask that we try to settle issues amicably? Is it too much to ask that the organizations involved do their due diligence beforehand so that these disasters do not arise in the first place? What kind of incompetence exists in the WICB anyways?
Here we have a situation where 15 players have been removed from the list of 24 invitees to training camp and will not be allowed to tour Australia because they failed to sign contracts. They failed to sign the contracts because of a disagreement with one clause which is seen as a bit heavy handed. Basically its about well its rather complicated actually dealing with the rights to intellectual property, competing cellphone companies and probably much much more depending on which association is speaking at the moment. Check this link for the Players latest statement.
Anyway of the 9 players left only two were probably guaranteed spots in the final squad so basically we will be sending a B team to Australia and its not like our full strength squad is that great to begin with anyhow. Oh well maybe the team sent will be able to gain some experience and contribute something useful in the future. Actually of the 9 players that signed apparently one is the vice captain of the Players Association. So much for solidarity in the ranks.
We have heard many times about the insularity in our cricket and how the team was divided seemingly along national lines. This divide of players who signed contracts and those who didn't also isn't good for Windies cricket. It can only add to the divisions in the team when this debacle is finally resolved. Of course there is rumor that the signees may back out and support the guys who didn't sign. Can you say lawsuit!
So how will this situation be resolved? It has gotten way out of hand. Can it be resolved? Is this the end of West Indies cricket? Nope! Counter to popular belief West Indies cricket is still more than Brian Charles Lara so West Indies cricket will continue. However this incident could be a disaster which causes as much damage to Windies cricket as natural disasters have done to the region of late. A disaster from which Windies cricket will take years to recover.
And is what we really fighting bout when ya look at it carefully? We fighting over which phone company name going on a man jersey. Boy I real shame fa true.
Wednesday, November 24, 2004
Anyway boy it look like we having a real Day after Tomorrow type year in the Caribbean this year. Hurricanes, Earthquakes , Floods a fella just cant get a break.
First we had the hurricanes that lik down Grenada, Caymans, Haiti and parts of Jamaica and the Dominican Republic. Now we have an earthquake that hit Dominica (someplace different from the Dominican Republic fa all wunnah dat doan know) and Guadaloupe this week and it seems like the torrential rains not stopping at all in Barbados this week and since everybody know Barbados flat flat flat is only a matter of time before the whole place flood away,
Boy Caribbean people musse wicked bad to be encouraging this sort of wrath from God. Is smite ya get smite nuh? Liks in ya backside! No but seriously it just as the saying goes when it rains it pours and in Barbados' case literally. Its just been one natural disaster after another. And God forbid that the underwater volcano Kick Em Jenny ever decide to erupt because all a we in the Eastern Caribbean goose cook.
Lawd ave mercy!
Tuesday, November 23, 2004
Anyway a new spot opened and I am all about at least giving a bredren a chance to show me what he got. So I found this place last weekend but I wasn't hungry then so I told myself I would check it out today. Now today lunchtime was short for me because I had certain appointments to keep so from saying that I should have known not to go to a West Indian place but my head bad so I went anyways.
Now I could make this blog about the some of the questionable service that you get in certain Caribbean restaurants but I don't want to paint all with the same brush...At least not today so I will not mention the fact that they didn't acknowledge my presence in the restaurant until I was there nearly 10 minutes. No, what this blog is about is the fact that they decided that since they offering FREE RANGE jerk chicken they can jack up the price on a jerk chicken lunch to 10 dollars when you can get it at the other places for anywhere between 4 and 7 dollars.
10 Dollars? I know allya saying that is Caribana prices when the fellows does make you pay two three times the usual price for a little piece of food on the road like if the chicken name soca chicken or road march fowl and duz come with a pre-packaged with a lil' costume so you can jump in a band . I mean even a little patty and cocoa bread on Caribana day duz be real real expensive. So if you aint have big pockets eat before you left home on Caribana. I warning you.
Infact, true true story, I hear that one year the calypsonian Rupee was down Caribana and he was getting real real hungry. This was before he was a big soca star ya know and he pockets was on E. Flat and empty. Anyway a Jamaican fellow selling some food see he out there half deading and decide ta have pity on he. So he call Rupee over and hand him two bakes and Rupee was so glad to see the bakes that he jubilantly responded "Thanks for the festival". After two bites of the bakes, he then realize wait that sound like it could be a tune ya know and next thing ya know the man had a big song and he did a soca star taking bout 'Thanks for the festival, thanks for the carnival' . See how things duz work out? Now in case ya slow or ya bajan which aint the same thing and ya aint get the joke, what we bajans duz call bakes is basically the same thing Jamaicans duz call festivals give or take one ingredient. So now you can all let out a collective ohhhhhh!
Anyway as usual I digress. Now I don't see why a man got to pay 5 dollars extra for a pieca chicken just because somebody decide to write FREE RANGE on a menu in front of it so I had to leave the restaurant. I mean when I was growing up we used to raise chickens free range in the back yard because it was cheaper than buying from the supermarket and now you telling me that FREE RANGE more expensive that the supermarket regular chickens?
No boy, I aint paying no extra money for no free range chicken.
Plus how am I to really know is actually free range chicken you serving me? Just because you put the words free range in front of chicken that don't mean it true. Why I could name this blog Pudding and Souse and today I still writing about chicken. Ya see what I mean?
I mean you have any proof that the chicken is free range? Show me some photos of the chicken out in the yard running round, show me a video tape. Show me the chicken ID, passport, Citizenship card, something so. Show me he ancestry and sirehood, he pedigree. Give me a letter of recommendation from Farmer Brown extolling the virtues of said chicken who roamed the free range.
Show me a detailed listing of this chicken's dietary habits. How am I to know that he wasn't eating the same stuff they feed to the non-free range birds? How I know that the farmer wasn't feeding the chicken the good stuff but the chicken like some folks who would pass up good cook food for McDonalds used to sneak out to the non-free range hangout to eat some of the other food? Prove it to me. If you cant prove that to me then why should I pay extra just on your say so.
Let me see the chicken alive so I can interrogate him about his activities and dietary habits. You Mr Fowl, is it true that on the night of October 25th you were seen eating non-free range food? IS it not also true that you were in fact head of a fowl ring of undercover birds who dealt strictly in the smuggling of non-free range food to the free range birds?. We have video to prove it. Show me some ID, tell me some stories of your days on the free range. Prove to me that you are infact a yard fowl.
Anyway I hope you get my point. I not paying no extra just on your say so that it is free range because all I see is a pieca chicken on my plate and I cant tell who he mudda was, who he father was or where he grow up so is juss you word that he free range and I aint coughing up my hard earned coppers just so.
Monday, November 22, 2004
On Friday there was a crazy brawl in the Detroit vs Indiana game. Fans throwing food and drinks at players, players responding by rushing into the stands swinging away like WWF wrestlers. In a word bedlam.
So the punishment has been handed down by commissioner Stern. Ron Artest suspended the rest of the season, Jermaine O'neal 25 games, Stephen Jackson 30 games, Ben Wallace 6. Well there goes the heart of the Indiana Pacers squad and with it any real hopes for this season. Was it a deserving punishment? Yes and No.
On the one hand yes because this melee has brought the league into disrepute. Players should stay on the floor, fans in the stands. Fans already think that most NBA players are a bunch of selfish, overpaid thugs but now they are taking this behavior to the paying fans in the stands. Not acceptable. One does not pay the price of NBA tickets these days to go get one's head caved in by the players.
On the other hand, there was a fight on the floor, players were already hyped and upset and then they are assaulted by fans. I can understand why Artest would charge in throwing those 'bows. He felt threatened he reacted in the spur of the moment.
Fans need to respect players and players fans. Its that simple.
A little closer to home, the Raptors beat the Spurs yesterday with just 4 points from Vince Carter. Who would have imagined that? Vince just doesn't seem to be playing with intensity and just doesn't seem to be involved in the team first concept that the new coach Sam Mitchell is preaching or is it just that the trade rumors have affected his play? Whatever it is I think it is time for Vince to move on. I aint mad at him. His time just simply is up. His heart is no longer in the game in Toronto, his excitement has dried up and the fans are not coming to see him. In other words he is no longer our franchise player. Can he be a franchise player elsewhere, revive his career? Quite possibly so Toronto needs to explore that option to better themselves and also to give Vince a chance.
Do we trade him to Portland for Shareef? My thoughts are a bit divided on that. (Lack of sleep has me waffling on everything this morning) Shareef will bring the points but his natural position is power forward, the same as Chris Bosh so I can see Shareef retarding Bosh's development a bit if brought in. Still it might not be a bad deal given that Shareef's contract is up at the end of the season.
Oh well, Vince respect due, you did alot for the franchise, you were the man, you gave us some wins and some respect in the league with your earlier play but like a rapper who cant follow up his debut album you've "fallen off". You don't dunk, you don't drive, you've become a far less accurate version of Reggie Miller playing on the perimeter and most important clearly you upset the fans by demanding a trade. You have lost our love and loyalty as was shown by the fact that you've been booed this season. I've already spoken on this whole issue with the trade so I wont repeat myself but Vince like O.C said 'times up'.
Sunday, November 21, 2004
Then went up on the roof to clean the gutters. Took about two hours. Now I'm afraid of heights so this was quite the adventure but my motto is if its got to be done , its got to be done. While on the roof meet the other neighbors. Seem nice enough I guess.
Cooked. First time using the new kitchen to cook a full meal for me so it was kind of weird. More laundry, watched star trek enterprise, my 3 -4 hours of sleep catching up with me so I'm snoozing as I write. Damn wife trying to kill me with the blasted cleaning products. She is starting to piss me off.
Oh before I go let me tell you about last night. Excellent night of dominos and karaoke and charades. Actually not that excellent but I was able to drop two six loves and not get any and although I refuse to play charades its kind of funny watching West Indian people play. Imagine someone chose to give us a charade where the answer was actually 'Stamina Daddy' . How the hell does one sign for something like that. LOL
ok Tomorrow back to the serious topics.
Saturday, November 20, 2004
Actually kind of like the plant stuff. I think its a reflection of my upbringing as both my godmothers were some serious plant persons. Its interesting what you learn while not really paying attention but now I think I've almost like this stuff. Like when we bought the last plant, think it was a croton, my wife suggested that we get the plant people to repot it for us. Sacrilege! I was seriously offended. lol. Anyway, right now I'm more into the house plants than the outside stuff though maybe because I can grow some tropical type stuff indoors. I'll leave the outdoor plants to wifey ...And since she's going to be out there anyways maybe I can throwin the lawn no extra cost.
Also been listening to Eminem's new album, its not that bad. Not classic but better than the last one. He seems a bit less cocky on this one though and I'm not sure that's going to help his image. Actually at times he just seems to be really apologetic which really doesn't play well in hip hop. Oh well, overall about 3 mics maybe 3 and a half if I'm going by the way the Source rates stuff.
Anyway about to run off to Steel Pan class in a bit. Got a recital in three weeks. Nope I'm not the musician in the family but its fun and the Steel Pan is a really sweet instrument. Right now I"m learning to play the tenor pan but I learned to play the Double Alto earlier this year. I'll give you all a bit of inside info; if you want to learn to play then the tenor is way easier than any other instrument. Double Alto sounds better though but its tough. Got to find my sticks.
So pan class will take up the bulk of my day then I've got a birthday party for a friend to attendlllllllllll. Should be nice because these events are the only time I see certain folk. So its a night of dominos and apparently we got some reggae kareoke cds so "once selector fe select some big tune fe me, I man fe chat nuff lyric pun de mic dem. seen! lawd a mercy, wunna 'ear me!" once I've had a drink or two that is lol.
Still kind of pissed about yesterday. Its actually funny because it takes alot to get me pissed. I'm usually Mr yea whatever, no emotion and I kind of like that so now I'm mad at myself for being mad. Silly aint it. Oh well.
Anyways going to go get ready to bounce. And gonna take my Pete Rock, Ed OG cd which I bought because my man told me the tracks were nice. If they aint I'm looking for a refund kid. Just kidding!
Hope everyone is safe out in cyber land.
Friday, November 19, 2004
Crush, Kill, Destroy, StressJust had to deal with someone I didn't want to deal with. My former super. Sigh! (ok before you go any further I'll apologize if my language is a bit colorful but I'm really upset right now and I wanted to let off some steam)
Organized Konfusion - Stress
I'm vexed, fumin, I've had it up to here
Phife - Scenario
Went to turn in my keys for the apartment, had to clean up the place and all that before doing that so I've kept them for a while, and knew that it was going to be some b.s with this dude.
First thing, I knew he was starting to act a fool from the day I went to reserve the elevator for the move. Usually folk reserve the service elevator for like 3-4 hrs, he was giving me grief for wanting it for two hours on a Sunday. He was on some shit about how we will be waking up folk with the move and he's had complaints about people moving on the weekend. I said fine but recognize that the weekend is the only time that you can generally get your friends to help you move and its not like we've asking for the elevator at 7 in the morning, we're starting around 10. Anyway very grudgingly he allowed us to use the elevator. Anyway that was my first sign that he was out to cause me stress. He said we had to come get the elevator put on service at 10 precisely because he was busy that day. Fine, we followed the rules, wasn't trying to cause any drama.
Ok, as we finished the loading of the van we got him to take the elevator off service. Still not trying to cause any ruckus. So then he sees this old wooden futon frame that we brought down which was broken and which we wanted to throw in the garbage. We were leaving it behind the elevator by the recycling bins where everyone else was leaving their old furniture and stuff. Nope, cant leave it there he says, if not he will charge us for moving it. Have to call the City and arrange pick up. Again , no drama, wifey was visibly upset by this b.s but we played it off like ok cool. We're moving so whatever.
Anyway we cleaned the apartment a couple of days after the move. Did a pretty bang up job of it too I might add. Only probably forgot to clean the oven but considering that in the process of cleaning the fumes from all the cleaning agents almost killed me literally and I am now on medication because of that shit then what's one f'in oven versus my health.
Also I called the City and guess what they said? Oh all you have to do is leave the frame outside and when we come to pick up the garbage we'll get another truck to come grab it for you, no problem. See no worries. No need to be overly dramatic.
So we moved the futon and awaited pickup.
Ok fast forward to today. I come in to return the keys and dude starts off about my leaving the frame. I told him I called the City as you told me to and this is what they told me to do. He starts with this whole line about the building getting fined and they will charge me for leaving garbage rah rah rah. Oh and going on about maybe I can go and break it up and put it in the garbage. Look guy I know I don't dress in no suit and tie but I'm on my way to work, I am not dressed to go behind some garbage and try to break apart anything at the moment. The City said they would pick it up so I'm leaving it.
Anyways so I'm still like ok you know what I followed the instructions, so if there is an issue just give me the property manager's number and let me talk to him because obviously you are pursuing a line that isn't seeing my point about following the instructions. I mean I'm wondering what all this is about. I've never done dude anything, been nothing but courteous to this guy, haven't been a pain about fixing stuff, haven't been causing any drama in the building, but since we turned in our notice dude's been mad hostile.
Anyway guy continues on, all but ignoring me, getting ready to mop the lobby or something while I'm still waiting to get this over with so I exhale and inquire are we going to do this or what cause you are being mad disrespectful and like you I have a job to do so lets get this over because I have places to be.
So we go do the inspection of the apartment. Now the guy is going on about this needs cleaning and that needs cleaning although we all know they aint going to do jack before the next tenants come in. I'm like what the !!! You are trying to make it seem that we left the place a pig sty! Come on now, we left the place in a hell of a better condition than we got it. We cleaned everything down, I patched even the frigging nail holes in the walls , we swept, moped, dumped garbage, cleaned fridge. Aside from the Oven the place is on point. So we got into an argument about the state of the apartment and I'm standing there with a cup of hot chocolate in my hand daydreaming about what would happen if I was Mary Woodson, the hot chocolate was a bowl of grits and he was Al Green. F'it I've been so pissed I just realized I forgot to eat my bagel. Son of a !!
Anyways thank God I'm a peaceful brother because this bitch was on last nerve and I was able to refrain from doing something I'd regret later. Too many black men in jail already son, so just breathe! Just stay cool, he's just being an asshole, but he's not messing with me or my fam physically so I'm going to let it slide. So, he wrote down his crap, I questioned him on it, I got the building managers number, I handed in my keys, its done.
Someone just asked me how much of the drama I think was racially motivated and you know what although I cant prove it and I'm not one to cry wolf or nigga at every incident I cant deny that I got the strong feeling that there definitely was a bit if not alot of that involved. Anyways cant prove shit so f' it, shit happens, we survive. We livin this til the day that we die, Survival of the fit only the strong survive.
Forget Industry Rule 4080, its not just record company people who are shady. To all the shiesty landlords and supers. f' all yall.
Thursday, November 18, 2004
Seasons change mad things rearrange
But it all stays the same like the love doctor strange
Fugees - How many Mics
Someone just reminded me that now I'm in the suburbs I'll have to give up hip-hop. God forbid I ever play some reggae or soca. I can already see my neighbors saying "Why does he keep referring to bloody cloths? Just don't understand the significance."or "Obviously he's really into cars because they keep on referring to Bumpers". Actually I've been thinking about going straight country; save that achy breaky heart for billy ray cyrus type ish. Yea right!
Anyway when I was moving (haven't actually settled in yet mind you) I made a few trips up and down the highway ferrying random breakable items, plants, my precious CD collection (if you touch it I break ya neck) etc to the new spot before the bulk of my stuff was moved. What I learned in these trips (in a car with no CD player) is that urban radio here (Flow 93.5) plays the same 10 songs over and over. Its like radio BET up in here. I swore I heard John Legend's single like every single time I got in a car. Mind you its a nice song but still...
Listening to that song though got me thinking about the Fugees a bit. Actually the thought process was more like hmmm John Legend's 'Used to love you' is a nice song, oh wait didn't Common do a song "I used to love H.E.R" about hip hop back in the day, hmmm Hip hop in the 90s; Tribe, Fugees, Gang Starr, Brand Nubian that was nice. Fugees hmmm why'd they break up oh yea heard they are getting back together. What's that all about?
Anyway I'm sure most of you have heard that Lauryn, Pras and Clef finally got back on stage together at this jam that comedian Dave Chappell threw on Labor Day. Well apparently the reunion is official and they are planning on working together to create some new music. My initial response was wow the Fugees are back, Saints be praised! death to the wack mcs (masta ace slaughterhouse), its about time, that's going to be a nice album. Now after some time to think it through I'm like whoa slow ya roll son should they really be attempting a comeback?
Yea for purely nostalgic reasons its hype to think of new Fugee stuff being some amazing, off the hook music but realistically how many rap reunions have actually lived up to the hype? Think about it, Think a-bout it, Think about it. (I'm quoting some Special Ed here for you non-rap folks) I mean lets face it, stay out of the game for too long and you are history, you're ghost,finito, its a (w)rap. This rap game is unforgiving, does not give many second chances and does not encourage comebacks. Its mainly because the core audience are teenagers and young college students. They listen to the music for a couple of years grow up and move on. Sadly I haven't either grown up or moved on but that's another blog. sigh! Anyway because of this phenomena (with the college students, teenagers not with me not growing up) its hard to have any continuity in the rap game so the turnover of artists is crazy. If you can make it past three albums you are lucky.
I mean Think about it, the Score was the joint back in 96 but again think about it, that was 8 almost 9 years ago (It came out Feb 96, I remember buying it during Reading Week and listening to it on a long bus ride to Detroit). The kids listening to rap now think songs like Whoa (2000) by Black Rob are old school, they think Dr Dre's 2001 (1999) is old school, they think Get at Me Dog (1997 or was it 98) by DMX is old school heck they might even be thinking Nelly is old school by now. So by that reasoning the Fugees must be like the great Grand-pappies and Grand-mommies of this biz. Its going to be really tough for them to come back as a group and get the kind of buzz they had before.
As an aside, I know I could turn this blog into my personal tirade against Lauryn Hill and her self-righteous, holier than though act but my spider senses are tingling saying 'don't start none, wont be none' because I know I'd probably get beat down by the quickly gathering mob of down to earth, Jill Scott listening, natural hair, head wrap wearing "conscious" type sistas who think Lauryn is so sinsurrre (sincere) and since I tend to bruise easily please ignore any disparaging comments I make towards L-Boogie who believes that she is Bob's latest reincarnation.
Sigh! That off my chest back to business. Its true that Clef has kept himself in the public eye and Lauryn has done enough onstage crying to be a more than a distance memory but still as a group can they really pull off a comeback? (don't call it a comeback they been here for years?)
Lauryn's fanbase is intact , Pras never had any fans ( I 've got the solo album how sad is that ) and Clef well Clef is Clef, he's going to do his thing regardless.....but they are 8 years older can they pull it off? Eight years in Hip hop is like 25-40 in regular years. The Fugees are no longer relevant to the Chingy crowd. The Fugees cannot pull off a comeback. I just don't see them coming back together and having the same energy, vibe and chemistry as previously. PLUS they have to live under the shadow of the Score. Making a dope, well classic album early in your career always haunts your later efforts. Ask my man Nas if you don't believe me. Any album the Fugees make now will be compared to the Score and unless its better which I truly believe it wont be then any new album just subtracts from their legacy. Its like Jordan playing for the Wizards after an extended break. Unless you can win another title then everyone is going to say you should have just hung up the boots and called it a day instead of coming back to struggle even if you have your odd sparks of former glory every now and then.
Guys don't go in the studio together and do this. don't let the record company and the fans pressure you. don't ruin your legacy. Leave it as it stands. Let kids 10 years from now say "yo that Score album was tight, that was the ish, that was a classic" not "Well yea the Score was a classic but that follow up I don't know son, it wasn't all that. I mean I heard dem cats was nice but maybe it was a fluke because those follow up albums just weren't banging"
Come on guys I'm begging you please don't go back in the studio. You cant repeat the magic of the Score. Do it for me guys. Let me have my nostalgic moments untarnished. Let me remember when The Score was the record. When Clef was all like 'I haunt MC's like Mephistopheles, bringin swords of Damocles, Secret service keep a close watch as if my name was Kennedy' and Lauryn was reppin with lines like "behold, as my odes, manifold on your rhymes Two MC's can't occupy the same space at the same time" and Pras yea Pras was all on some "Like my man wyclef I wear my sunglasses at night". Come on guys do like Pras said and make "A clean Getaway like Alec Baldwin Driving in my fast car playing Tracy Chapman"
Put down the microphone ha!
Put down the microphone
baa who listens to me anyways. Do whatever!
Tuesday, November 16, 2004
She was old school, when I was just a shortyI was reading Nahmix's blog this weekend on hip hop and somewhere I saw a mention of that line from the movie Brown Sugar and thought to myself that's a nice question to ask.
Never knew throughout my life she would be there for me
on the regular, not a church girl she was secular
Not about the money, no studs was mic checkin her
But I respected her, she hit me in the heart.........
But she was there for me, and I was there for her
Pull out a chair for her, turn on the air for her
and just cool out, cool out and listen to her
Common - I used to Love H.E.R
So to all you hip hop heads holla back and let me know When did you fall in love with Hip Hop?
I'll go first. Back in 86-87 my older cousin lent me two old hip hop tapes. It had tracks like Roxanne Roxanne, Hard Times, Freaks Come out at Night, Five Minutes of Funk and Fly Girls (track that Jay Z jacked for a duet with him and lil'kim on his second album). I remember being intrigued by these guys talking so fast and rhyming. I remember rewinding over and over to catch the words to Roxanne Roxanne. I was hooked. I wasn't immersed in the culture since I was still living in Barbados back then but something about the beats and the words appealed to me. Man I killed those tapes, copied them, killed the copies , copied them again. It was crazy.
After that I taped every hip hop song off the radio I could find for the next two years and I remember the first actual hip hop album I bought was LL's Bigger and Deffer back in 87. I've been through the Good (conscious lyrics in the late 80s early 90s) the bad (the bling bling, the rampant misogyny) and all the in between but I'm still in love with hip hop and I'll even make the probably rare claim that its been a positive influence on me.
Monday, November 15, 2004
You tell me to forget
That my grandmudda was born right dey so
All right I say I shall go...........
and I hope ya kno it's true
that'll I will never never ever forgive you
because looka whu yuh gone and do
to my Emmerton
Mighty Gabby - Emmerton
Last week they tore down the old jetty on Bay Street. You know the one down by the Jemmotts Lane, Bay Street Junction, next to the old Family Planning Building just across the street from St Patricks Catholic Church, just down the road from the fishmarket and the Starline Supermarket. Yea that one, the one on Browne's beach, Burke's beach, Carlisle Bay whatever name you feel to give to the best and probably most underrated stretch of beach in Barbados. A place I've been familiar with since I was a small child.
To be honest the jetty was a dangerous spot. Its been rotting as long as I can remember and as a child, adults would gave us kids numerous warnings about climbing onto it to jump off into the sea. Those warnings were ignored by many.
True the jetty was in general an eyesore, slowly crumbling bit by bit under the steady constant erosion of the waves but to me growing up it was just another feature of the beach. Actually the only real standout feature on the beach itself. Earlier on, it was a natural break for me when I was running laps in the sand from the Yacht club wall (since removed as well), just below Grand Barbados hotel, down the beach to the Jetty. I would run up and tap the dark rotting wood with my hand or foot quickly turning, like an Olympic swimmer hitting the wall and bouncing back, to head back up the beach. I would also have secret races (I was racing they weren't) with other joggers that I had seen ahead of me, trying to pass them before they reached the Jetty. Great motivation, great exercise. Of course that was back when I considered myself a runner and the beach a good training ground for my school sports sprinting. Back when I wasn't so injury prone.
Recently its been a natural turning point for those long, early morning swims with my dad from up by the parking lot below the Bay Street/Beckles road intersection past Harbor Whites (sorry I mean Lights), the new Carlisle Bay Center, the new lifeguard tower and the supermarket.
Even walking the beach with my dad it was a landmark. We walked down the normal stretch of beach past the swimmers, those out for an early morning dip to help the arthritis and other ailments, the original chat groups soaking away in the sea while arguing about politics, cricket and religion ...without the aid of a computer and the groups of walkers who my dad always introduces me to year after year proudly saying something like "this is my boy who now up in Toronto. He come home to get in a few sea baths". Past the children dashing in and running back out of the cold morning surf, the serious joggers and the guys, usually dreads, brushing up on their football skills (real football not that stupid American crap). We would walk down past the people and all the landmarks previously mentioned and then duck under the Jetty to emerge in an almost different world. A world devoid of all but the most serious walkers and runners who went all the way down past the Boatyard (night club), a world devoid of swimmers and dippers and football players and just a lot more empty than the stretch of white sand on the other side.
Once upon a time the tide stopped you from going much further than the Boatyard. There was an old wall you might get past occasionally if the tide wasn't as high, but only if you were very careful as that area was rather mossy and rocky and it wasn't usually worth the risk to bare feet to thread there. In recent years though the tide didn't come in as far (global warming, shift in tides who knows) and so you can go past the Boatyard, past the old Harbor Police Headquarters all the way down to an old weather-beaten wall which I assume is somewhere in the vicinity of the back of Mannings or the Coast Guard HQ on the edge of Bridgetown.
It was just a strange netherworld back there on the other side of the jetty. It was quieter, to me it seemed somewhat colder and human life was sparse although at one point someone seemed to have built some sort of shanty and was living out there.
As I walked or sometimes ran back there, I always thought it to be a quiet spot where someone could make a drug drop in the dead of night and I imagined myself finding a large lost bag of drug loot washed up on the beach which lead to me being chased and shot at by a swarm of bad guys. I would end up staggering and falling bloody into the sea still clutching the bag of money (I'm rich beeeeeeetch!) after being shot numerous times. Are you telling me I'm the only one who's had that dream. OK fine be like that its not like I'm unstable or anything!
There was always lots of action near the jetty. Schools of fray and sprats darting furtively in the calm blue waters; now you see them now you don't. "Man-O-Wars", "Sea Lice" and other invisible beasts of the depths lurking to sting you if you were in certain areas of the water on certain days. There were also people on top the jetty, on the beach next to it or in the sea close by. All on the inhabited side of the beach. The Jetty was sort of a defacto wall dividing the sands. A defining line between Jekell and Hyde, quiet and loud, Bert and Ernie. The Jetty acted as a curtain which when pulled back revealed another, a different room from the one you were in.
Its crazy how thinking about this jetty makes me remember my beach runs or my long swims. Makes me miss home and my dad and think about my need to go back soon and have myself a good sea bath. Time to get some good salt water in my skin which is currently being ravaged by this dammed cold humidless weather.
So to the Jetty, thanks for being there as a stop sign and a portal. Thanks for being my finish line and turning point for countless swims and runs. Thanks for just being. Thanks for the memories.
To be my sunshine after the rain
It's so hard to say goodbye to yesterday.
(good gosh I just realized I wrote a eulogy to a jetty, how sad is that?I really need help)
Sunday, November 14, 2004
I've never been tooken out,
I keep MC's lookin out
I drop science like girls be droppin babies
Enough to make a ... go cra-a-azy
Energy buildin, takin all types of medicines
Your ass thought you were better than
Ason, I keep planets in orbit
While I be comin with teeth, bitin more ish
Enough to make ya break and shake ya ass cause I create,
rhymes good as a Tasty Cake, mix
This style, I'm mastered in
Nuhhs catchin headaches,
what? What? You need aspirin?
This type of pain, you couldn't even kill with Midol
F around get sprayed with Lysol
In your face like a can of mace, baby
Is it burnin? Well it, now you're learnin
how, I don't even like your ........... profile
Give me my ............., CH-CH-BLAOW!
Not seen and heard, no one knows
nuhhh be quiet as kept
Now you know nothin;
before you knew a whole lot
Your ass don't wanna get shot!
A lot of MC's came to my showdown
To watch me put your ass lo-o-ow down
Ol Dirty Bastard is dead
I think I blogged in a previous post about remembering the first time I heard Brooklyn Zoo. I kind of liked Mr O.D.B. He was rather wild but talented and funny. Return to the 36 Chambers was my favorite album from him and to be honest I really didn't pay much attention to the rest of his solo stuff because he seemed to stray off from the whole Wu Tang sound quite a bit.
Actually after that first album O.D.B seemed to lose it a bit more and he was getting more attention for non-musical exploits than for his music. He owed child support, did his infamous "Wu Tang is for the kids" Grammy speech, was on the run from the law and then went to jail before coming out and joining up with Rockafella. O.D.B On Rockafella? As Lil' Jon would say "What!"
I just recently saw the Wu reunion concert live performance DVD (got to find that in my pile of boxes again soon) and he looked completely tame compared to his previous crazy appearance.
Anyway I'm sorry to see O.D.B go. Sounds like he had a heart attack or something of the sort. 35 is way too young an age to be going out with that sort of medical condition. Of course sadly now we will be forced by the record labels to ingest tonnes of his previous scraps, unreleased songs and other snippets that he probably wouldn't have been too keen on letting see the light of day if he was alive. Just so the record labels can make a killing off this man's death.
Rest in Peace Mr O.D.B aka Dirt Mcgirt, aka Big Baby Jesus, aka Dirt Dog. You will be missed.
Hey Dirty, baby I got ya money, don't you worry
Saturday, November 13, 2004
Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
Parents need to have a firm hand on their kids from young. I'm going to give it to you straight; I don't have any children yet but I'm from the old school as far as parenting goes. I'm not all about being friends with your kids. For me its about controlling your kids, getting them to respect you and making them realize that you are an adult and not on the same level as them. They are under your care and that you are the boss. Yep I said it. You the parent, are the boss.
Its all well and good to go the whole friends route that the new parenting guides espouse but I'm going to be all about the respect. Do what I say, no lip and give me my proper respect.
Now why I'm speaking about this today is because two times today on public transit I saw examples of kids who just don't respect their parents and parents who cant control these kids.
The first was at the train station where a mom asked her 5 year old to move out of the way on the escalator. Kid had the audacity to turn around and ask her why and when she told him it was so that other persons could get past him he responding by asking her if his standing in the way was a crime. Was a crime? What the !!? Now I know, as God is my witness, unless I'm senile no 5 year old is going to be talking to me that way. Since when have the inmates taken over the institution? I mean I'm not going to say I'm going to resort to corporal punishment if its unnecessary because I wasn't brought up that way and it would be unfair to impose it on my kids but on the real I remember the good old days when all that back chat would warrant 'two box ina ya mout' from your moms. Homie did not play that! You had to respect your moms, you pops and your neighbors too. If you gave Miss Johnson down the road some lip she would come to your mom's house stand up by the window and lodge a complaint against you. You didn't stand a chance because your parents would not ask you if what she said was true or not. You were guilty , guilty GUILTY. ya mudda wud lik ya and she would tell your father when he got home and it would be more hot lashes in ya tail. Whapax!
The second situation with kids gone wild was with this lady who got on the bus with her three little daughters. Oldest daughter couldn't have been more than 9 years old. First off when they got on the bus they just jumped in and ran down the aisle to the back with the mom laughing at their behavior. Cool! Then they were all in the back joking and mekkin' sport. No worries. Then we got to our transfer spot and as they waited mom and daughters fooled around, pulling at one another and horsing around which was all well and fine........ Until the bus came.
Bus begins to pull up and the mom is desperately trying to be serious and get the kids to stop fooling around to no avail. Then as the bus pulls into the bay one of the little girls almost steps out or is pushed out infront of the bus. Luckily the bus driver was alert. Then the mom starts berating the kids about their behavior and saying that's why she never takes them anywhere. Meanwhile the kids are completely ignoring her as they get on the bus and start pushing the stop requested button every other stop and just wilding out.
Now see that's where the friendly thing fell apart. Ok cool, no need to be totally draconian with your kids and I have no issue with playing with them or joking with them but everything in its place and time and when the parent say cut that out, cease and seccle wid the foolishness, I fully expect that parental voice to be heard. I not playing. I serious like a judge.
The thing is some parents allow their kids to wild out at an early age and laugh it off as just childish behavior and then when the child gets older the parent attempts to reign in the child's behavior. Problem is its too late and the child is too far gone. The child has become accustomed to disobeying the parent and their rules.
Remember the bible verse from the top of this blog. I'm serious. Do not let the kids get out of hand because later when they become teenagers and adults and turn out badly the parent will be blaming the child for being bad behaved, hard-ears, wicked or no good but whose fault is it when the parent did not try to control the child's actions, instill from early the right way to do things, and teach them respect and good behavior.
I always heard from my dad that sometimes you have to be "cruel to be kind" (my new personal mantra and working title of my yet to be penned autobiography) meaning sometimes the laws and rules you lay down may seem harsh but its for the best. So at some stage you have to lay down the law and your kids will see it as you flexing your muscles and being unkind to them but in reality you are just teaching them for the future or protecting them.
Mind you if the child lawless all de talk I feel ya gotta gi dem liks. nuff nuff liks. beat kill dem wid liks an more liks. I not joking!
Hey but what do I know I aint got no pickey to contend wid.
Friday, November 12, 2004
Bust shots at Big Ben like we got time to killOk nothing coherent today, oh as if its ever coherent. Just some random thoughts and I'll try to keep each to a paragraph but don't sue me if I don't.
Meth - The Jump Off
Where to start? Ok well let me start with what was my first idea on what to blog about this morning. Before work, I scanned the newspaper and saw a tiny article saying that CBS (forgive me if I have the networks mixed up) was forced to issue a general apology to viewers because an "over-zealous" producer cut into CSI-NY York on Wednesday night to report that Arafat was dead. Well excuse me for interrupting your precious mind-numbing serial with actual news! How rude of me! Repeat after me, CSI is just a show, get over it!
Next, the commute this morning wasn't half bad. Got here in under an hour and with my Wu-Tang greatest hits CD and an interesting article on how AIDS could possibly ravage Russia in the next few years, the stations just flew by and yes for all those wondering someone did sit next to me on this ride although I had the seat to myself for about half the ride and it was the last or close to the last seat taken. Que Sera Que Sera!
Two thoughts on the entertainment; Wu's greatest hits is hot 2 def but I think I'm making my own greatest hits from Wu Tang members CD sometime soon. Along with the group hits I think that Incarcerated Scarfaces, Ice Cream, Brooklyn Zoo, Shadowboxing, Daytona 500, Labels, will be on there. I'm open to suggestions or at least to discussion cause I'll probably do what I feel like anyways. Oh, and Inspector Deck's verse at the opening of Triumph is the fyah!;
I bomb atomically, Socrates' philosophies
and hypothesis can't define how I be droppin these
mockers, lyrically perform armed robbery
Flee with the lottery, possibly they spotted me
Battle-scarred shogun, explosion when my pen hits
tremendous, ultra-violet shine blind forensics
I inspect you, through the future see millennium
Killa B's sold fifty gold sixty platinum
Shacklin the masses with drastic rap tactics
Graphic displays melt the steel like blacksmiths
Black Wu jackets queen B's ease the guns in
Rumble with patrolmen, tear gas laced the function
Heads by the score take flight incite a war
Chicks hit the floor, diehard fans demand more
Behold the bold soldier, control the globe slowly
Proceeds to blow swingin swords like Shinobi
now that is some ill wordplay and its also kinda ill in the video to watch him perched on the side of the building like Spider-Man while spittin his lines.
Since I'm over a paragraph on this one the article about the the AIDS situation in Russia is kind of disturbing. Did you know that Russia's population is in a serious decline. No one is having kids and life expectancy is like 58 and now there is possibly a serious AIDS epidemic lurking which the Russian government is ignoring. Scary! Mind you Africa has been ravaged by AIDS, the Caribbean has been getting hit pretty hard too and apparently black women in North America are the group with the most new cases over here. There just seems to be no good news regarding this disease. In general I think something is going to have to be done worldwide
Next topic. Oh this is a good one. First I was called shifty, then I was told I was a flight risk and today to top it off I was told that I'm unstable. So in case you're keeping score at home that makes me a shifty, unstable, flight risk. I mean come on unstable? Anyone who knows me knows that I'm a paragon of stability. Please don't hurt yourself in the fits of laughter that line will provoke. Ok yea I'm unstable who isn't?, flight risk umm not really, the shifty thing though no way. Still I'm not letting any of these jokers write me any references or be character witnesses if I even get into trouble. Man if I didn't know myself and heard these guys describing me I probably would think that I'm not such a good person to hang around with.
Finally. Ran an errand this lunchtime. Don't want to go into any real detail so I'll be purposely vague. Dropped off "some stuff" at "a business" to get it "worked on" last week. It was supposed to be a simple drop-off, pay the cash, come back next day pick up type thing but it turned into this big drama in the lobby with me and like 3 staff members which wasn't really necessary. The main boss lady was from the Caribbean and she gave me one of those looks that only black women can give you where they quickly examine you from head to toe with a look that says I'm not really totally disgusted by you but you know you aint ish either. Unfortunately the situation was not one where cussing the parties involved and leaving was an option but man did I really have to hold my tongue. So it took awhile to sort out during which I felt like it wasn't really necessary for three staff members to be all up in my stuff in this most unprofessional way since it really wasn't a big issue and I had everything that they required for the job. Anyway the situation was sorted out.
So today picked up the finished item and another girl who wasn't even involved the first time had chat for me about the situation. I don't see how its any of her business. This is how it works: I show you my receipt, you hand me my stuff. Simple isn't it? But no she starts going on about my stuff even though she wasn't involved and my package is sealed which means I assume that this week was quite boring and my stuff was probably shown around the office.
Now, not that it was a delicate matter or I have anything to hide but still where is the professionalism? If there was an issue bring it to my attention or to the attention of someone who can actually do something about it or advise on the situation. If not only those folks working on my stuff should be involved. Why are you showing my stuff around to low level folk who don't have any say in the situation. Have I been put here to entertain you or amuse you, is your life that boring? Was my package that out of the ordinary with what you usually see. Am I some sort of freak to you? Just be a professional and do your damn job. Do you not realize you are pissing me off and I'm unstable and I could snap at any moment.
Don't push me cause I'm close to the edge
I'm trying not to lose my head
Thursday, November 11, 2004
Anyway the neighborhood seems quite friendly in a weird Mr Rogers type of way. Actually its rather disturbing to a city boy like me. Naa its not that disturbing because I grew up in Barbados where like Cheers everyone knew your name .... and ya business too actually. But living in Downtown Toronto, the past however long its been, I've just become accustomed to folk moving super fast or staring at you without saying hi or acknowledging your good mornings. I mean I lived in the last apartment for 4 years and I barely knew a few folk in the building but I wasn't that close that I would even tell them I was moving.
I mean yea I still remember the woman across the lobby trying to jack a couple of my boxes when I was moving in and the crazy guy who assumed that every black person in the building was looking for me (and no that's not what made him crazy, he was crazy because he thought people were breaking into his apartment every week and moving his furniture) and all the countless old ladies who gripped their purses tighter in the elevator with me.
Actually I think folk in the building got along better with my wife a non-threatening black woman than with me because they probably thought I was going to go Biggie on them like "I've been robbing ....... Since the slave ships , with the same clips and the same four fives." It was actually rather funny no scratch that highly annoying to have folk try to lock me out of the building or not hold elevators for me because they thought I didn't belong there or they were somehow afraid of me. Glad that craps over with.
But back to the topic at hand. It is rather scary to go from one extreme of unfriendliness to almost the other extreme. Actually its not even the other extreme its more like going from totally unfriendly to normal. Man its creepy. I'm sleeping with one eye open because its disturbing. Mind you its still all good because one of our next door neighbors has been described to us as "rather quiet." Now since the street in itself is quiet I can only assume that this is suburb lingo for unmannerly and they are probably the only folk who haven't come by to introduce themselves since we moved in. We've seen them and said hi and they have barely acknowledged us. But who cares they make me less paranoid about the friendliness and besides they can get the finger....The middle.
Anyway I'm going to go chat to Bob about those Leaf games and what's the latest at Home Depot. ...NOT!
Wednesday, November 10, 2004
Anyway the move was successful. I am now currently in my new house. First house actually so I guess most folk see it as a major stepping stone in life. I'm more like yeahh whatever. Guess I am a master of the understated.
But yet the move was great. Good mad help from my people so I gotta give them love. I mean most of these dudes were playing dominos till 4 or 5am Sunday morning but still showed up at my door at 10 am to help me lift and move stuff. So yea I gotta give everyone who helped out or offered to help madd love. Much respect!
Sorry if I'm rambling today (like anyone would think something is different since I usually ramble) but I'm feeling kind of weird at the new setup. This corner just doesn't feel like a creative corner at the moment. Either that or not sitting at a computer for the last .........Wait a minute whoops I know what it is...Monitor is too close to me and on the wrong side as well. Ahh that's better.
Anyway what was I saying. Oh yea, the move went well and now I'm renting from the bank and living in the burbs. Me, Mr city living in the suburbs. Say it aint so. Chatting with neighbors, raking leaves (just finished and man is that a lot of work), me on a quiet residential street. I cant stand it already.
I've got to change my whole persona; wear a tie, say howdy to Bob instead of giving him my ice cube grill, vote conservative, buy a SUV, live in Home Depot, Rona and Canadian Tire (actually can I say that I'm already in love with those stores especially Rona), talk about grout, drywall and hardwood floors, lawns and backyards, buy a dog, have 2.5 kids , ahhhhhhh stop the madness already!
Actually it was funny the reaction I got from most folk when they heard I was buying a house. Not that I had to deal with haters or anything, infact I think most folk were genuinely happy for me but still I did get some strange comments. Comments like "well its about time" and "I'm glad to see you are making a commitment to Toronto." Whoa hold on commitment to Toronto? I didn't know I was seen a s a flight risk. Would a judge deny me bail because he thought I was going to skip the country? Did it appear that my bags were packed and I was ready to skip town? Wow! Talk about perceptions.
To tell the truth when I heard these comments I began to think maybe I was ready to skip town fter all but now this house has got me bound here. Man I feel like Kunta Kinte after they chopped off his foot. I'm grounded.
Yea right! If anything these guys have the wrong perception. Maybe buying the house will get me out of here sooner than I planned. Maybe I'll just get so frustrated with sweeping leaves and shovelling snow and all that good stuff that I'll bounce out of the place.
Anyway back to unpacking and building stuff.
Friday, November 05, 2004
Anyway its pretty amazing what stuff you find while packing. I found my whole stash of bills (including some very scary, scary phone bill), maps, and various newspaper clippings from when I was in Dubai in 99. There was one newspaper clipping in particular that I found really funny when I was there and I told a bunch of folk about it but could never find it ......until now. The problem was I remembered the story as being really big when it was just a very small three paragraph article written in small print.
So I figured I'd share it because to me it was actually kind of funny and a bit silly. Oh should mention it was a clipping from the Khaleej Times newspaper which was to me the better of the two or three local newspapers available in the emirate. I believe the article is from sometime in September or October 1999). Oh and I copied this article exactly as it was written except I removed the name of the deputy head.
So here goes:
Dubai Municipality has ordered withdrawal of all kinds of cotton candy (candy-floss) locally called Al Manfoosh from the market, according to the deputy head of the Food Control Section in the municipality.
In a Press release issued yesterday, he said that the cotton candy was banned in the emirate after many analyses and tests carried out by the municipality showed that it contained coloured sugar which could be dangerous to public health, especially children.
The deputy head said that it has been noticed that when children ate candy, they stopped eating other healthy food as this candy reduced appetite. It also caused tooth decay because it contains high percentage of sugar.
Thursday, November 04, 2004
Actually as much as I like them , they dont offer highspeed in the area I'm going to (you would think I'm moving to behind God's back) so thats it for me and them. Looking for a new provider to start up next week. Actually I guess my relationship with the current provider was getting a bit testy. Their tech support has gotten less reliable in the past couple of months and I always feel aggravated when we chat. Oh well!
Anyway moving, packing, fixing up the new spot, cleaning up the old spot, I'll be off work for a few days but if I get the chance I'll still try to post because sigh ....I'm addicted.
To all my fans, fellow bloggers and just people i email every now and again to beg to read my crazy rants , like the Terminator ...I'll be back
Wednesday, November 03, 2004
Why Bush won the popular vote:
(1) Fear. Most Americans don't know who attacked them on 9/11. Al Quada, Iraq, Afghanistan? What's the difference? To them its all some non-white, brownish looking people with funny headgear who live somewhere outside America and may have some oil. Hell even Puerto Ricans are suspect these days. Bush has done a good job of using this confusion to his advantage. So what if Kerry says Iraq isn't Al Quada or there are no WMD's. All the average citizen knows is that someone attacked America and they should pay and that's what they think Bush is doing; making it safer for Americans.
(2) Bush is a maverick. He went against the wishes of the UN, he went against what all the poindexter dudes in suits and the hippies were saying about peace and he is kicking ass and taking names. Watch any good American action movies lately? Americans love the misunderstood, often criticized action hero who charges in to beat up the bad guys and save the city/town/girl/family, save somebody from evil intentions. In this election Bush is that maverick and heck he's even from Texas so he's a good ol boy. He's John Wayne with rocket launchers.
(3) Bush is opposed to gay marriages. What is less known is hey so is Kerry but the Republicans have instilled into the populace that if Kerry is president gay marriages will be legalized and the whole country will become 'girly-man' capital. A vote for Kerry was a vote against the bible was apparently the slogan in some states. Good God-Fearing Americans cant let those liberal hippie dudes do that to their country.
(4) Stem Cell Research. I really don't know much about this one but seems like the Republicans did a good job of making this an issue
(5) Bush's propaganda machine was better oiled and ran smoother than Kerry's.
(6) In a climate where soldiers were dying daily, fear of terror attack was high, jobs were being outsourced, the economy was doing poorly and basically anything negative that could happen was happening to the powers in the White House. Kerry just played too timid and didn't attack the incumbent well enough. Kerry just hasn't made an overwhelming case for himself so better the hard-nosed devil you know that the so called flip-flopping one you don't right?
(7) Sadly Bush is the more charismatic of the choices or rather Kerry is the least charismatic of the two. While we would hope that persons pay more attention to issues than the actual leader's charisma or charm alas that's not the way it goes.
Its more complex that the few reasons I've listed but I just thought of these few ideas as to why Bush might have won the popular vote. Maybe Americans are stupid, maybe they are silly, maybe they don't know the real issues but I think they can still rationalize why they voted en masse for Bush.
Without going into the myriad reasons why this occurred I just think that its rather interesting when you look at the map to see the spatial distribution of the states where each party won in black and white or rather red and blue.
The Democrats haven't been able to win an election where they had a Northern based candidate for a few decades now. Those candidates just don't seem to be able to make inroads in Southern and Midwest states. Maybe in hindsight Edwards from North Carolina would have been the better Presidential candidate for the Democrats. Its like two America's exist when it comes to voting and I'm not talking about America for blacks and America for whites, or America for the poor and America for the rich, those are another subject. Wait a minute I'm losing count does that mean there are 6 Americas?
Tuesday, November 02, 2004
I know everyone else in the world is going to be caught up in Bush vs Kerry but I just thought I'd go a different route as the season starts tonight.
So much has changed since the season ended. Kobe was acquitted, apologized and then resigned with the Lakers, Shaq made a splash in the big pool in Miami , T Mac is playing with Yao in Houston and Dallas lost Nash, Walker and Jameison. But alas some things remained the same too, Detroit is still strong, Vince is still a punk , Kobe is still stupid and selfish and Isaiah is still trying to build a champion in New York by addition without the requisite subtraction. Oh well!
Anyway I decided I'd make some NBA predictions before the season starts. First the easy ones;
- Shaq will not play all the regular season games.
- Kobe will hog the ball from his teammates.
- Some NBA player will end up paying child support.
- Some NBA player will demand a trade saying he wants to play on a winning team and management isn't trying to put together a winning franchise so he wants out. This despite him being paid more than the GDP of many small states.
- Some player will have a criminal charge brought up against him.
- Faulty measurements will continually be given for shorter NBA players. Yea like Damon Stoudamire was ever even close to 5'11".
- I will not be signed to consecutive 10 day contracts by the Charlotte Bobcats, hence I will be unable to use Dave Chappell's slogan of 'I'm rich beeeeetch!'
OK that's done with now onto the hard stuff. Crystal ball don't fail me now.
- Detroit repeats as Champs
- Western conference champs will be Sacramento
- Scoring leader will be Kobe Bryant
- Vince Carter will not be traded till season's end
- Jason Kidd will be traded by December
- The Raptors will make the playoffs (you heard it here first) with a 43-39 record
- Allan Iverson will cuss someone (Actually this should be in the easy section)
- First coach fired will be Lenny Wilkins in New York
- Some player will finally buy a car with rims bigger than the actual car.
- NBA posses will be scaled back to an average of 4.378 members per player. This rule will actually be a sticking point in the negotiation of the next collective agreement leading to a lockout. The two sides are just divided over whether players with smaller than average posses can pass on their additional posse space to players who are over the limit.
- Shaq will shoot over 60% from the freethrow line (ok now that's just delusional thinking on my part)
Monday, November 01, 2004
If me head was bright, I woulda be a damn fool
Sparrow - Dan is the man in the van
That is the title of a 1963 Calypso from the Mighty Sparrow. On first listen you find yourself asking what silly nursery rhyme stuff is Sparrow going on about. With rhymes about Twisty and Twirly, Puss in Boots and Humpty Dumpty you really wonder what possessed a grown man to write music for big people talking about this rubbish.
However on deeper examination one realizes the extent of the social commentary in this song. Sparrow is singing about the education system in Trinidad and indeed the entire Caribbean at that time. Most of the nursery rhymes listed in this song actually come from a books called the West Indian Readers, by British author Capt. J.O Cutteridge, which were used to teach students in the region from about the 1920s to the 1960s. Sparrow is lamenting the use of these books for so long to teach the children of that time. The use of these books indeed to indoctrinate our society with things British which made no really sense to the locals.
KRS-one also takes a similar potshot at urban schools teaching black youth in North America in the 1989 song "You Must Learn" when he raps;
"See Spot run, run get Spot
Insulting to a Black mentality, a Black way of life
Or a jet Black family,"
It is understandable that everything you learn in school cannot relate to your immediate surroundings or culture but in many cases the extent to which what is taught veers away from what the students sees in reality is quite drastic when it doesn't need to be and by not having what is learnt in school enforced in a student's regular daily life it becomes harder for those youth to learn.
A few paragraphs in Cecil Foster memoir Island Wings come to mind. He speaks of doing an exam in Barbados in the 50s or 60s to determine which High school he would go to. The exam questions had been set in Britain and a number were quite unfamiliar to what the students had been learning in school. Luckily, some local teacher however examined the paper, determined it was rather unfair on the kids and gave the students the answers to the questions he deemed culturally biased.
Lets face it most of us do better when we can relate what we are learning to the familiar. It gives us a foundation on which to build. I had one Professor at University continue to use the sport of Curling for his science examples so I tuned out. Now had he been using basketball or cricket I might have aced the course.
Back to Sparrow though. As the above quote says 'If ma head was bright, I woulda be a damn fool'. To Sparrow's mind what were these books really teaching? Was there some hidden agenda to keep all us colonial subjects docile and subservient to the Great Empire by brainwashing our smarter students? After all it is usually easier to maintain subjugation by brainwashing than to fight wars.
Anyway if you can find it, listen to the song's lyrics and see what you think.