Tuesday, September 27, 2005

White girl!

Image hosted by Photobucket.comBefore you think I'm back I still on break but I was just reading Kami's blog and I felt inspired to rant a tad. Thanks Kami!

So New York Yankees captain and shortstop Derek Jeter is receiving hate mail relating to his being a traitor to his race and dating white girls. You can read it all here.

Well I was utterly shocked by this news. Derek Jeter is black? Really? No! Really? naaa stop joking! For real! Jeter is black? Damn! lol. Seriously though I thought Jeter was one of those guys who would claim he's Hispanic or I'm part French, Iroquois, Dutch, Lebanese, Polynesian, midget and Eskimo mixed or something like that, I never really thought of him as black. No not cause he is light skin is just I always thought he wasn't black. Hispanic or something maybe lol. Of course Hispanic isn't really a racial group but that's another post.

Anyway I'm just making a little joke of Jeter. He's a great player and has done well for me in numerous fantasy baseball pools so I aint mad at a brother. Date who you want to.

Still I think I need to go to the FBI and turn informer. I think I know who sent Jeter that letter. See all now the FBI looking at white supremacist groups, rednecks, and supporters of apartheid, David Duke, Strom Thurman and those sorts of fellows. Pssst listen closely all them law enforcement police bwoy barking up the wrong tree. Is true ya know!

Lean over let me whisper in your ear (but not like them ying yang poppits). The person who sent Jeter the letter is ...Listen closely.... a.... i serious ya know.....Nobody else aint listening right.... alright I gine tell ya....Its a...... BLACK WOMAN!

shhhhhhh! Don't tell anyone I said that.

Is true! I aint lying. It had to be a black woman that sent him the letter. Forget the white supremacist angle for a minute. No one gets madder at brothers for dating white women than sistas? I lie? Tell me I lie?

I call it the 'White girl' issue. It affects black women and it occurs anytime a black man is seen or has even been heard to have been in the vicinity of white girls.

So in this case some sista out there clearly got tired of seeing Jeter with all those white women when she single, eligible and ready to mingle and find a decent black man. She going to the club and all she's meeting is these losers and her last 5 dates have been with dudes who cant put two sentences together. So she see Derek all in the limelight with white girl after white girl (sorry I don't know his dating habits so I'm assuming that's what it is) and she just got vex and send Jeter that letter one time.

Is true man! Think about it. Anytime a black woman see a brother with a white girl, you ever see how her face duz set up like rain about to fall? She will chupse, she will give dirty looks, she will cuss, she will give cut-eye, she will do everything in her power besides throw big rocks (and sometimes she wishes she had a rock or two to throw) to register disgust with that black man.

Let me give you a story. One time I was walking into Chapters book store downtown Toronto and this white girl was walking near to me. I cant remember what she looked like because I wasn't paying much attention. She wasn't with me lets set that straight! I don't want my black female readers to start cussing me so let we get that straight one time. I did not know the white girl. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

So I'm at the store's entrance and as we reached the entrance together I just held the door open for the girl, just trying to be courteous. She said thank you. Well at that very minute two sistren was leaving the building. They were chatting all nice and happy when all a sudden they see me holding the door open for the white girl. Boy if ya see how facial complexion change one time quick quick so. If them two girls had anything on them they could throw at me I man wouldn't be here to tell the story. Talk about face look vex! I almost run back through the door but then they might have chased me down and beat me to within an inch of my life. And I'm walking into the store trying to shrug it off and proclaim my innocence without loudly shouting 'she aint wid me I doan know de white girl' but the daggers that shooting from these sisters faces already brand me somehow to be a 'race traitor' and them ready to kill me.

And that's not a one time occurrence for me either. Its happened a few times at least. I think a sisten explain to me that I seem like a brother that would date white women, I don't know exactly what that means one of you sisters will have to explain.

But you know what's funny about black women and this white girl issue. It holds for any situation. How I mean? Well sometimes brothers have the same type of issue when we see black women with white men. However men are more discriminating with who they apply this issue to. If we see Halle with a white man, we would be vex. Brothers would be like 'oh man! Why she have to be with that white dude and leave the brothers, that's just wrong son, that ill!' Same thing if we saw Beyonce with a white man or Janet Jackson with a white man or some other sister on the street who we consider beautiful. Brothers will be straight upset. But say we see Whoopie Goldberg or Grace Jones with a white man ya think bredren a kick up fuss? No star we discriminating about it like that.

Not black women. Oh hell no. A brother could be walking down the street looking musty, smelly, ashy aint bathe since last year. He's the type of brother that you don't want, you're friends don't want, you would even warn off the pretensious chick that's always trying to put you down at the club from talking to him. But somehow even though you know that this man is undesirable squared and you should be happy that he found someone and isn't single and bothering you with his musty self you will still have that white girl issue. Look you know no black woman in her right mind aint going to want the dude why you tripping?

So yes, I definitely think the Jeter incident is an issue of a black woman just getting vex and sending him a letter. Don't blame the white supremacist is a black woman do that. Clearly any idiot can see that (which may explain why I spotted it first). What's that FBI number again, I letting off some info, dem have a reward? I man turning informer!

Friday, September 23, 2005

End of summer

Alas another summer has officially come and gone. Last year was the summer of pink well this year was the summer of the flip flop and the lacy tops.

You know the flip flop, the flippit to the flippit the flip flip flop and it just don't stop. Sorry couldn't resist. But seriously this summer it seemed like the flip flops were out in full force. A lot more than previous summers. Every man jack was wearing flip flops. Well every man jack besides me that is. I man never get with the flip flops or sandals just not my style.

And then there were the lacy tops. Oh my! This summer the in thing for the girls was the lacy tops which looked more like lingerie, more like they should have been worn in the bedroom as opposed to on the street. Not that I'm going to complain, to each his/her own, I'm just saying it was kind of interesting walking down the street feeling like I was in my own personal Victoria Secrets show. Yeahhhh baby!

On a totally different topic I believe I saw someone with piercings in the back of their neck, just below the hair line today on the subway. I've seen face, body, ears but never back of the neck before. It was rather disturbing and looked painful. Ouch!

Anyway this summer was a bit different for me as it was my first summer spent in the wild burbs of Scarborough aka Farborough aka Scarberia, in my own house dealing with house issues as opposed to apartment issues. I much prefer apartment issues I must say, where's the super when you need one lol.

Still the wife said I've adapted to the handy man role quite well. I guess its just a matter of my motto being if it has to be done and you can do it then do it even if you're never done it before. Of course I'm the rather fearless handyman except for things electrical. I've been known to not use gloves with all sorts of crazy chemical stuff, one of these days I'm going to mess around and dissolve off my fingers or something. I think its cause I am accustomed to as a kid helping my dad do stuff and he never wore gloves. Only thing is today's cleaners and thinners and stuff seem to be way more strong than the ones I remember as a kid. Hmmm maybe the warning industrial strength signs should have been a giveaway but bah who reads that ish lol.

I remember quite a few years back when I was doing a weekend job finishing a deck for someone. Did the whole job and then went to clean out the brushes. Not even sure what solution I was using but I thought oh I can just easily put my hands in here and just try and clean out some of the bristles. Nope, it started as a slight tingle, hey that means its working in shampoo terms right, umm no that means that my hands are going to be on fire in 2 minutes and will burn like I dipped them into hell 's deepest pits for the next hour. Well I learned my lesson there but its not the lesson you would think I should have learned. Lesson learned was if you're going to burn off your fingers make sure you do it on your own project instead of crap for other people.

Hmm come to think of it maybe its a good idea I stay away from the electrical stuff. I can just see myself randomly touching exposed wires saying 'no that's not liiiiiiivvvveeee!' and ending up with Don King's hair.

Anyway living so far from downtown is weird though. As a man who has always lived closed to the centre of things all his life its an interesting transition to being this far away from downtown but still no complaints lets just say that a brother learned a lot about skunks, dandelions, raccoons and seeding lawns all within the short space of time.

All in all I cant really complain about this summer when I think of it. It was hotter than last year so I definitely wouldn't complain about the weather and although I didn't get any major time off work I still had time to do a few useful things and enjoy some summer events. Of course that whole month lost to pan practice is just a blur but besides that or rather even including that things were pretty decent this summer.

Anyhow, think I'm running out of things to chat and I'm just not feeling in a sharing mood these days, been depressed and life and Toronto or life in Toronto is getting to me so I'm considering a blog hiatus for a while. Or maybe I'll start to recycle the blogs. I know there are some hilarious ones most of you guys haven't seen yet. We'll see how that works. lol. Still since I haven't given you guys anything funny to read lately the least I can do is link you guys to Thykness' site which has a hilarious post about waxing.

Until the next blog stay safe and have a great weekend.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Popular Media day

Ok I guess I should jump back on the horse and blog about something or the other.

First off ANTM is back and although I didn't know this I accidentally stumbled onto it tonight as I made dinner BUT under no circumstances will I be wasting valuable blog space on that show this year ...although my man Nate Dogg was on so I can confidently say that I watched without sounding effeminate. What?? I'm comfortable with my masculinity, who said that lol.

Hold up wait.... (just had to throw that little Nate Dogg line in) All I'm saying is one girl needs to do something with her eyebrows , Twiggy was harsh on the sisters and my favorite girl is Ebony. I 'm done, I'm a respected blogger I cant be talking about no top models no more lol. Yea lets talk about something sports related or something like that, Anyone see the game? That reminds me I wanted to do a blog about how the Jays continue to get whiter and the Raptors will suck big time this year but with whinny Vince gone I may actually go watch my first game in 3 years.

Secondly, the new Damien Marley cd is kinda hot but if you read my man obi you'd already know that. Today was the first time I got a chance to really listen to the full second verse of welcome to Jamrock. Wicked lyrics my yout.

Come on let's face it, a ghetto education's basic
A most a the youths them waste it
And when they waste it, that's when they take the guns and replace it
Then them don't stand a chance at all
And that's why a nuff little youth have up some fat matic
With the extra magazine inna them back pocket
And have leisure night time inna some black jacket
All who not lock glocks, them a lock rocket
Then will full you up a current like a short circuit
Them a run a roadblock which part thr cops block it
And from now till a mornin not stop clock it
If the run outta rounds a brought back ratchet

Kinda deep. Overall I think I still like Halfway Tree better than this album and I must say I'm astonished that he re-made Pimper's Paradise but its kinda nice although not as good as the original which was one of my favorite Bob songs. He also samples Exodus on Move. I guess its his pops ish so he can use it. One bad move though, the Hey Girl song is pure BET throwaway. Its dreadful, that's probably the one bad point on the album although I got sidetracked and haven't finished the last two songs yet.

Thirdly, its new tv time. Yea if I'm going to do a popular media post why not just do it all one time. I'm just rambling here in case you haven't figured it out yet. I'm personally really not feeling the new tv season at all. I know everyone's raving on this whole Prison Break show. Sorry but I just cant get with this shows premise, I mean what happens once the guy breaks out and how can they sustain this show for longer than one season. If they had straight out said it was a miniseries maybe I would watch but they claim that even after the guy gets away the story will continue. Well duhh then it cant be called Prison Break can it?

I'm waiting to watch the premier of Chris Rock's Everyone Hates Chris but I fear that will disappoint. Only show so far that's grabbed my attention is Steven Bochco's 'Over There' and even that's sorta questionable cause I really hate the dumb black character they have Sticky Fingers playing. Still its sort of like Tour of Duty for the new millennium I guess.

And finally in a previous blog I complained about those striking CBC dudes taking over my local community station in the morning and taking off my favorite radio shows. Yea I know CBC radio is all informative and a great listen but yo the man interrupt soca and dancehall in the morning to inform me. Soca and dancehall man! I man missing some new soca tunes to get me going in the morning first so that then my brain wakes up and I can then take in the information. lol. Well anyway apparently this is the last week for the CBC guys on CIUT and from next week I get my Worldwide and Morning Ride shows back. Yesss!

Ok not my best prose ever. ok tomorrow a decent post. Promise.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Random quote

"Very few people who are not involved with inner-city schools have any real idea of the extremes to which the mercantile distortion of the purposes and character of education have been taken or how unabashedly proponents of these practices are willing to defend them. The head of a Chicago school, for instance, who was criticized by some for emphasizing rote instruction that, his critics said, was turning children into "robots," found no reason to dispute the charge. "Did you ever stop to think that these robots will never burglarize your home?" he asked, and "will never snatch your pocketbooks....... These robots are going to be producing taxes."

Taken from Still Separate, still Unequal America's Educational Apartheid by Jonathan Kozol Harper's Magazine September 2005

Monday, September 19, 2005

Welcome to T dot

Was walking up Yonge street through the rain Friday evening and heard Lil Kim's blatant rip off of Damien Marley's Welcome to Jamrock and thought to myself let me do a T-dot version. So I sat on my subway ride and made this up between sleep and pondering life's eternal question; arent vybez kartel's neva neva and nuttin nah go so by notch basically the same song? why do subway riders stand in the doorway and stop other riders from getting on the train when there is ample room in the aisles? What does Paul Wall mean when he's talking about sitting sideways is he talking about riding in a TTC bus? And the greatest mystery of all can the rumours be true did the Source gave Lil Kim's new album 5 mics and if so why?Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Anyway as you can see still I dont feel like saying too much this week, just still jdid today i guess.

Oh and off/on topic why is it if enter Welcome to Toronto in google images one of the first images I encounter is two topless women who really should be covered? Now now guys dont all rush to google now. lol

Anyway here is my first draft 'needs to be edited' or thrown in the garbage Welcome to T-dot have a great week.

Out in the streets they call it murder!

Welcome to T dot
it started getting hot, on my block
nuff black man fi get shot
it look like it cant stop, wont stop
and then some eediat
claim all blacks fe get stop (by police!)
dey say we need more cop
some say that the yout is a bad lot
even parents saying this a bad crop
it seem like a bad plot
filmed in a t-dot backlot
ya dont know what man have in him backpack
cause every day it seems man lost him head
fraid fe walk some street cause the place get dread
gangsta aim at enemy, shoot you instead
bullet dont know rasta from baldhead
welcome to T-dot!

Yea I know I make the place sound like Falujah or something when in reality it is quite safe compared to most North American cities but as I said it was just what popped into my head. Maybe I need to do a Caribana version.

Out in the streets they call it soca!!

Welcome to T dot
I jumpin up till I get hot hot
soca music play non-stop
I on pun the pan rack
i looking an i had to say whats that
dem gals have summuch back back
dem looking real phat phat
man wine an end up wid a break back
faget ta tek him ginseng extract
him neva shud test dat
him neva shudda claim him can best dat

or something so..

Friday, September 16, 2005

Ah tired

For some reason this week has worn me out. I sat here at the computer last night with thoughts to write something interesting and then I decided forget that I'm going to go read a bit.

This week has drained my energy like it was a costumed villain who plotted to absorb my super powers. Getting weak....... What's happening? Who stole my energy?

Yesterday was actually a pretty nice day weather wise although I wasn't in the greatest of moods. Went to a spot I hadn't been to for lunch in quite a while (prices went up decided it wasn't worth going there too much) and on my way I passed this store that was playing some old hip hop I hadn't heard for a long time. Couldn't match it with the catalogue in my head though. That's annoying. Then on my way back I got it. LOTUG's second album Keepers of the funk. Cool! That helped to improve my day.

Plus I stopped and talked to the dread about his fete tomorrow night. Not sure I'll reach but the dread is cool people. Been buying 'conscious' reggae from the yout for like a year or more now and its only a few weeks back that I found out that he's in business with a bajan bredren that I've known since like 95. Small world aint it? Like earlier this summer I found out this sistren I've known since University is the cousin of one of my best friends back home. The Caribbean community just too small. Everyone's connected to everyone else somehow.

Anyway as you can tell I've not much to talk about this morning at least not in the short time I have before I go to work. Everyone have a great weekend.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Hijabs gone wild

Sorry guys as a man trying to run a nice family oriented blog I cant give y'all no stripper stories. What wunnah trying to do put me out of business? Get me banned from Blogger? Plus my wife duz read this blog on rare occasion. Knowing my luck she would read this one. Y'all trying to break up a happy home and get me divorce? I aint got no alimony money ya know! She already tek half a mine ya want she tek all now. Cuhdear!

No seriously I could make up a stripper story if you guys want but in reality there isn't much to tell of this one. Like I said last post a stripper lived on our floor in residence for a few months. She was from some small town and was the girlfriend of this biker looking guy who also living on my floor, she was performing at one of the local strip clubs, they fought a lot and at all hours of the night, she stole another floor mates money or something like that and she was drunk a lot and might have taken her clothes off once or twice from what I HEARD (nope didn't see anything and given what she looked like with clothes on I don't think I missed anything). Oh and dudes roommate was well upset about having to share his room with an extra body. There stripper story done!

Ok! On the other end of the spectrum from strippers lets talk about something a little more refined. Muslim women.

Now Toronto has seen quite a large influx of folks from South Asia and the middle east in the last few years and many of them are Muslim. In fact I'd say its safe to say that our whole demographic is changing rather rapidly with the influx of these immigrants. Take Scarborough for instance where a few years back it was mostly Asian, Blacks and Whites. Well now I think the dominant ethnicity is becoming South Asian (Pakistani, Indian, Sri Lankan etc).

This doesn't sit well with some folks but I think that happens whenever a new ethnic group starts to move into an area. Actually its rather interesting to me just from the standpoint that I wonder if the sort of comments I hear today are the types of things one heard when my Caribbean black folk were immigrating here in the 60s.

Image hosted by Photobucket.comAnyway, I'm not here to do any serious social commentary on the face of Toronto, I'm just here too talk about hijabs. Yes hijabs, you know the head covering that some Muslim ladies wear. All do not wear it as I think it depends on how strictly you follow the religion and your personal beliefs etc.

Its sort of reminds me of how when I was growing up it was the norm for all Christian ladies to wear hats to church in the Caribbean. Hats was serious serious business! Lace hats, cotton hats , flowered hats, big brim hats, small brim hats. Hats was style and class! Boy if a lady wasn't wearing a hat something was wrong with her! She would be the focus of gossip and people would think she backsliding. A lady's head could not be bare in church. No joke. That was like almost the ultimate sin. Ya could cuss people all week long and no one would say anything but don't show up in church bare head at all or ya name getting ridicule. It was almost like the person was walking around naked in company.

'hey hey looka she doah, looka how she come in the house a de lord wid all she head expose'
'but wait dat aint miss brown daughter?'
'yes dat is de said one doris, de said one'
'whapart she mudda?'
'oh she gone ova in away ta visit de son that live in Boston'
'so wait ya mean she wait till she mudda outta the country an come inside hayso looking so. wha happen de mudda hide all de hats before she leff home? chupse! wha she aint got no shame looking so this bright Sabbath morning? I know she mudda train she betta dan that. wha even if she couldn't find a hat home she cudda borrow one.'

Well just like the pious devout Christian ladies used to wear hats back in the day I guess its the same with the Muslim ladies and the hijab. And no I' not talking about the veil over the face or burkas or the other stuff. Just the hijabs and only the hijabs.

Now I'm not Muslim but I do admit to having had quite the fascination with the religion at various points in my life. Now from what I can tell and I aint no expert just someone who asked questions, the hijab is worn to cover the ladies heads and to add to the modest dress of the Muslim ladies. No titillating fashions to be worn in public for these ladies. What some who wear the burka wear under those long robes though is another topic for speculation but that is another blog and before y'all ask I don't know. Cheese on bread den! Wunnah real gypsy (nosey) though. lol.

Anyway I just found out that aside from referring to the actual head dress, the Arabic word hijab also just means the practice of dressing modestly. Cant stress this modest dressing thing too much here because that's what its all about.

Why? Well because from what I saw with a few young ladies in Toronto this summer they missed the memo which outlined what the hijab means. Either that or modest has taken on a new meaning.

One day this summer doing a little walk on the main road I passed some young ladies and one of them just shocked me. Beautiful young lady, Hijab on head, belly at de door (exposed), navel ring showing. Hmm not exactly modest dress now is it? I almost didn't believe my eyes. Had to do a double take but yep there it was Hijab, belly ring together in a strange unholy unity. Doesn't showing your belly defeat the purpose of wearing the hijab? Oh I'm Muslim and I'm wearing my hijab to show my piousness and cover my head but all my stomach is exposed. Ok then.

Then a few weeks back I was in a certain mall and I walked past another young lady wearing the hijab. She was a rather voluptuous woman and was also wearing a rather revealing top and tight tight sweat pants with writing across the butt. She was showing every curve of her sizable assets. Nuh lie! Not only that but the woman was walking and wining! Ya know wining? That is when the waist and the buttocks got rhythm and sway and bounce as you walk. I had to say to myself boy I hear bout nanny wine, ten cent wine, dollar wine and a whole heap of other wine but I never hear bout no hijab wine before. That must be the new calypso for next year lol.

Hijabs, revealing tops, tight pants, hmmm again not a combination I had imagined.

Anyway don't get me wrong. This type of thing isn't commonplace. These two ladies and another one I saw were anomalies to the whole hijab thing but I just found it really grabbed my attention because you really done expect to see that sort of thing when you see the hijab. No wonder those fundamentalist people always saying that the West duz corrupt. Lawd ave mercy!

Monday, September 12, 2005

First Day of University

Well last week I did the first day of Primary school and promised I'd talk about my first day of University so here goes.

First day of University for me could actually be broken down into three separate experiences on three different days over the course of that first week. The first experience was the day I moved into residence, the second one was my programs initiation/orientation day and the third one was the actual first day of classes. All of them had that first day feel and provided me with jitters and the feelings that I was embarking on a whole new adventure.

I'll only go into detail about the first one - moving into residence though. The first day of actual classes was basically about my first algebra class and how I totally freaked out and ran to find tutors afterwards as I was afraid I didn't have what it took to be in University. The initiation/orientation experience was basically a run down of the b.s initiation we had into our program and how Jdid was forced to fight off a horde of stupid half drunk frosh (freshman) on his way home because of some silly inter-departmental rivalry.

I won by the way, as the battle stopped after they claimed I was "fighting back too much". Hey I'm sorry I didn't know I was supposed to let 5 strange guys, run up to me on the street on the first day of school and without fighting back let them beat me up, just because I was wearing a t-shirt saying I belonged to a faculty they had some issue with. I didn't get that memo apparently. Oh my bad I wasn't supposed to fight, the sane ones recognize the odds and run away so you can either laugh or trip them up and then beat them up. Actually I know one dude who got his arm broken that year while running away during a similar initiation melee. Well clearly they didn't realize I'm not completely sane. 5 to 1 looked like great odds to me even if they were for the most part bigger than me. That's ok big man have muscles, bony man have sharp elbows and I've been throwing bows way before Luda. He who fights and runs away lives to fight another day maybe but well who said I wanted to fight another day? I was perfectly willing to scrap on their terms cause if I'm going down all I know was I was taking at least one of their punk asses with me. I fought and I fought dirty.

So anyway clearly I still got issues with that crap since it wasn't something I signed up to do at University so I've said enough about that lets talk about my first day in residence.

Image hosted by Photobucket.comSo before I get into the particulars let me just tell you all that my journey to Canada and University was actually my first time leaving the Caribbean, actually leaving Barbados, actually leaving home, so some culture shock was expected. I came up to North America about three weeks early and hung around with family here and in the U.S just to get my bearings but going off to residence was still a major undertaking as this was going to be the first time I lived on my own, set my own rules did my own laundry etc etc.

So Labor Day (traditional moving in day at my college) I got my georgie bundle (shout out to Urban Sista) together and one of my family members drove me down to school.

I was a bit nervous since I was unsure what to expect. This was after all a whole new experience and here I was in a foreign land without the usual safety nets I was accustomed to.

The residence building was a rather imposing structure from the outside. A large four story brick building with lots of generic looking windows and a courtyard in the centre. Very institutional like I found. I was still not used to being in places with so much artificial light and found that the long hallways with its artificial light had this disconnected feeling to them like I was cut off from the world. There was also had this strange smell like the carpets had been cleaned but whatever debauchery had occurred in the place had still not been completely wiped away.

I also found that from the first the hallways with their drab colors just gave me this feeling that this place was built for functionality and not for warmth. You know sort of like how they use those creams and other colors at fast food places to encourage the mind not t linger after you've finished eating. This place would be my dwelling but not my home if that makes any sense. But what's a brother to do, just got to be comfortable and remember the task at hand is to go to school and not FAIL!

I thought that the dorm rooms were small although at that time I really had no comparison for dorm rooms. But then again most dorm rooms are small. Two beds, two desks and some clear space in the middle of the cheaply tiled floor. I got there ahead of my roommate so I was able to select the bed where I could roll clockwise without falling off. The beds were small though as I was accustomed to sleeping on a queen sized mattress all my life. How's a brother to stretch out? Oh well at least they weren't too short.

My roommate showed up a bit later. He was actually another black guy and it turns out that the dorm director had paired us up not simply because we were the only two black guys on that floor but because we were the only two guys who had said we liked hip hop on our applications. Mind you roomie was way more into the commercial stuff than I was (Mr Hammer cringe!) although at one point during that year he metamorphosized into this Afrika Bambatta medallion wearing, proud to be black entity but I had no problems with that as I think my Malcolm X shirt might have been the spark to the change anyways lol. (And yes that was after I had read his autobiography so I did know who he was and what he stood for)

Image hosted by Photobucket.comStill it worked out pretty well for us and homeboy was/is still cool so I aint got no complaints there.

Anyway speeding up this story, after settling in a bit around 4 o'clock the Don, floor leader, called a meeting so everyone could be introduced to each other. I was meeting small town guys from places like Coburg, St Catherines, Mindon, Elmira, Chatham, Sudbury, Port Hope and a string of Ontario towns I'd never heard of before in my life but then again up to that point I wasn't even sure where Scarborough was. lol

Everyone seemed cool for the most part although you kind of knew that some of the small town guys had never been this close to a black person in their lives and were wondering what part of Jamaica Barbados umm Bahamas umm Bermuda was. It just showed by the way they looked at you.

So the Don asks if we're all of drinking age (19 in these parts) or at least had fake ID's and once that was sorted out it was off to a bar for us.

Now I'll be honest here. Growing up in the Caribbean you see a lot of alcohol around you even if you aren't drinking. Every small one room grocery shop has some stools or side room or rum shop attached where guys go on their lunch break or whenever they find time to hang out and share a snap bottle, or a few Banks beers, slam some dominos and argue cricket or politics. I'd been in or around many a rum shop from young. Actually many many a rumshop. Still I was going to learn that a rumshop definitely is not the same as a bar and up until this point I had never been into a bar.

Actually as we marched up the street, I was a little skeptical about this whole bar thing. Couldn't we just chill somewhere and converse without drinking? Why did I need id to drink, I'd been to parties in Barbados and I'd never showed no id. Sorry I guess that was just my small island naivete showing out.

So we reached the bar and walk in. I was imagining Cheers since that was the only bar context I really knew back then. Instead I walked into this extremely gloomy establishment, where the few lightbulbs were clearly losing the battle against the dark. One could barely see where one was walking. Thick long wooden benches and tables like something out of a medieval viking feast covered the floor and there was an overwhelming smell of stale beer permeating everything.

From the get go I was uncomfortable. I was just fidgetty like whoa this is not the sort of place a nice Christian raised yout like you should be going into. Yea I know I'd been int rumshops but like I said something here was just different, more unholy to me somehow. My senses were on edge cause from my imagination this was the type of place where crazy stuff happened; people got drunk, started bar fights, knives were drawn, people died. Hey what can I say I had a vivid imagination.

I'm not feeling very comfortable with this set up and the seedy looking characters who are here already and as it stands I barely know the people I'm with and I'm one of two black dudes in the place. So nope was not very comfortable.

I could barely see who was sitting across the table from me anyways. We ordered some pitchers but I declined any of the alcohol since the glasses and the pitcher didn't look too clean and I had no intention of touching anything besides the partially sticky benches in that establishment. yuck!

So after chatting for a few minutes when the drinks came I excused myself on the pretext that I was going to the bathroom and I just left my floor mates and that bar. Although I was to live in that area for the next 10 plus years I never went back to that spot (although I heard its cleaned up quite a bit now) and to tell the truth of all the bars I've ever went to that remains the grimiest and dirtiest one I've seen.

Anyway that night everyone came back to residence fall down drunk, puking up their guts. Another smell to add to the melange in the hallway carpet I guess. All the while I'm thinking what have I gotten myself into. It was the start of the craziest year of my life on a floor where drugs, alcohol, strippers and fights were the norm. Yep there was actually a stripper living on our floor rather clandestinely for about two months at one point, long story! Apart from the fighting (I had to serve some fool who messed with me once), I kind of stayed away from it all by spending lots of time in the library (And I've always hated libraries for study purposes). About 3/4 of the freshmen on that floor that year ended up dropping out, transferring university or program or going on probation just due to the craziness that was going on but thankfully I was able to ride it through. After all I had the strong motivation that if I screwed up I probably wouldn't be able to show my face back in Barbados ever again.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Dirty Rotten

Image hosted by Photobucket.comSKUNKS!

Last night Pepe and one of his boys were having an epic struggle on my back lawn. I had no idea what the crazy racket was outside until we turned on the lights and there they were beating the crap out of each other and spraying up the place something fierce. And even though all windows were closed somehow that smell still filtered into the house so that the entire place smells like skunk. Dirty Rotten Scoundrel Skunks lol!

Anyway today is just a random mish mash of stuff today. First up big up to Humanity Critic for sweeping the Black Blogger Awards. He probably couldn't have done it without Solitaire as campaign manager though.

And summer is over or almost over and the one and only Starfoxx is finally back so to all her fans go check her out. Oh yea big up all Toronto massive, Star, Urban Sis, Marlo, Soli, Radmila, Big N, Nat, Becky and anyone I forgot. By the way where's the Big N these days has his site been jacked?

And in case anyone feels left out just big up everyone who reads here and all the bloggers out there too numerous to mention. Speaking of which I've noticed a significant increase in the black bloggers out there in the past few weeks. I'm checking comments on other sites etc and just seeing a whole bunch of new names. Is it folks are new or just we getting more connected? Big tings a gwan! Good to see us making moves BUT on another note what's up with my Caribbean massive. No new Caribbean bloggers who are actually in the Caribbean, what a gwan there? I feel like is Mad Bull and Dr D intimidating the yout dem or is just them 'faid of Kami :-)

Had a nostalgic episode yesterday when I was listening to this sort of old country-ish song with some Mexican guitars called Perdoname (don't think I was listening to the original version though) which means forgive me in Spanish on the subway yesterday. Some of you Caribbean folks from my era may know it. That song just brought back memories of my yout and I could see myself listening to CBC (Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation not Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) as a child. It was really a strong vision. Somehow calming. I started smiling broadly but then folks on the subway gave me that 'wha wrong wid you?' look so I retreated back into my headphones.Sigh!

And finally big big big shout out to my brother the one and only Rogue for hitting me up with the new banner. That's my homie from Bim (Barbados). We've known each other since we were like in primary school when I was writing stuff like 'don't copey' through High school when we were discussing deep philosophical questions like if you throw a big rock and chop somebody but nobody see you throw the big rock does that mean that the person was actually chopped by a big rock. Hmmmmm! Actually we never discussed that but I think its worth discussing. Ah the stories I could tell but which I wont. So much respect man, not sure you read this stuff but hey just thought I'd still give you your props. One!

Have a great weekend folks. Monday I'll do the first day of University blog.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Eediat Ting dat!

And here I was saying ok enough talk about Katrina and let me try and lively up the spirit by chatting a bit about back to school (don't worry will still do the first day of University post in a few) when along comes this:

Barbara Bush while touring a facility filled with some of those displaced from Hurricane Katrina had this to say "So many of the people here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this, this is working very well for them

And although Echo and Humanity Critic amongst others beat me to the punch on this story (yea I saw it Wednesday morning but was just too busy to blog) I just have this one thing to say. EEDIAT!!!! (idiot)

Image hosted by Photobucket.comThere I said it! sigh. What is wrong with that woman? She senile or she gone dotish or what? Does she think this is a makeover show for the poor where we're sending in an interior designer named Katrina to remodel these people's homes.

"Hmm lets give the room some more space. Those walls must simply go, and that wardrobe must be replaced".
"I think this place needs a bit of tweaking, I'm imagining water everywhere for that new aquatic look that's all the rage these days. Think Venice!"

Seriously Mrs Bush what kind of dumb-ass statement was that? Do you drink? Do you have a drug problem? Well at least I guess now we see which side of the family Dubya takes after.

So the folks were poor do you seriously think they are happier now that they are homeless and have lost all their possessions? What kind of logic is that? You actually believe things are better for these folks now that they are living in makeshift housing? What does that say about America the beautiful, land of a thousand opportunities?

And if these people are so poor that a hurricane striking is actually an upgrade to their existence what does that say about your son's leadership of the country and presidency?

No wonder Kanye said y'all don't like black people.

On another note CBC broadcasting is on strike here. You know Canada land of the strikes. So local community Radio CIUT (University of Toronto's broadcast station) has actually signed one of CBC's regular morning guys to do their morning show during weekdays on a volunteer basis.

Image hosted by Photobucket.comI have a big issue with this. Personal but an issue nevertheless.

Why? Cause the usual morning shows on CIUT at least two or three days are West Indian music shows. So Monday morning I didn't get any King Turbo dancehall reggae show (although I usually forget that's on these days) and even worse this morning I wake up in the mood to listen to D'Bandit and Court Jester do the Worldwide show, the highlight of my week radio wise, and bring me some hot soca, dancehall and hip hop and get a brother moving this morning.

Instead I get to listen to some dude with the emotional range of a rock do the morning show. How am I supposed to get motivated by CBC's morning monotone where the man aint even sound like he wake up yet. I listen to 5 minutes and did ready to go back to sleep. Chupse!

And its the time of the year where the Kingdom of Soca djs would be playing all the new Bajan crop-over music too. I think this CBC guy better go hit the picket line and let me get back my shows in the morning cause I want my soca. And no soca or die wasn't a threat ......at least not yet anyways lol.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

First Experience

Image hosted by Photobucket.comWell yesterday was the first day back to school for most kids here in Toronto. As a result my bus ride is now about 5 minutes longer and I get to watch the high schoolers smoke herb in the bus shelter for another year sigh!

Anyway was talking to some fam the other night and her son went to his first day of school yesterday and I got to thinking about my first day of school way way way way back in the day.

Now if you've been reading this blog for any amount of time you know Barbados I man a born an raise right. Must be proud of my heritage and dem sorta tings denn!!

Anyway I can barely remember anything about that first day of school except that I was the youngest kid there since most of the kids started at 5 but because my dad was a friend of the headmaster of the primary school and I apparently was a precocious little tyke (I've always wanted to use them there words) I got to start at 4 and a likkle bit. (It came back to bite me in the butt cause I had to repeat a year so that I could do the 11+ with my peer group. What's the 11+ ah that's another story for another time)

So there I went off to school, a tiny little thing, my little afro combed and greased properly, holding mommy's hand all outfitted in my new 'criss' pressed khaki shirt and pants. With the khaki socks held up by an elastic garter and the dark brown leather shoes polish off nice and shiny. Cause all the schools in the Caribbean when I was growing up had a school uniform and for most primary schools khaki was the boys outfit. So imagine how dapper young Jdid was looking that day, all bright and bushy tailed, ready for the school world lol.

My school was less than a 10 minute walk from home so we reached there rather quickly and I settled into a line in the school yard where assembly was held for the infants classes. I don't remember why assembly was outside because the school had a huge hall that was used as well. Assembly consisted of singing, a prayer, announcement and reciting the Barbados pledge of allegiance while standing at allegiance: I pledge allegiance to my country Barbados and to my flag, to uphold and defend their honor and by my living to do credit to my nation wherever I go.

Not sure we actually did all that stuff on the first day but that was the usual way things went. It was interesting standing there in line that first day though as I was pretty much surrounded by other boys and girls in the same situation as myself. Meanwhile anxious parents mostly mothers stood by on the side proud yet worried about their children as they made this leap to primary school.

So this first morning when assembly was over and the teachers started to lead us away there was a lot of crying as some kids ran back to their moms or resisted following the teacher. And me? Nope none of that for me apparently. I don't remember it but my mom says that apparently even back then the ice water ran through my veins and I didn't even so much as look back much less cry. I just followed the teacher and was off to class to find out what all this school stuff was all about. See even back then I was emotionless. Memo to wife lol.

So any of you remember the first day of your school career?

Next: First day at University.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Katrina at a glance

Just a note for you guys to link to Ink Blotter and check out some photos taken by Nikki first hand of the tragedy of Katrina. It touches the heart.

Sunday, September 04, 2005


Tearin up s*** with fire, shooters,
Now I got a laptop computer

Ice Cube - We had to tear this ...... up!

Image hosted by Photobucket.com Somehow whenever I hear that word 'Looters' this Ice Cube rhyme from the Predator album always comes into my head. Also the little trivia that the movie Trespass was originally scheduled to be called Looters but Hollywood changed the name after the LA riots. What's the point of this? Well no point really just random trivia in my head I thought I'd share.

Anyway I wanted to speak a bit about the whole Katrina, New Orleans mess. Clearly things got out of hand with the shootings and the violence and the response from the
authorities has been very slow but at least finally it seems like help is coming through. Took 5 days for the relief efforts to really start going they say. That's a pretty slow response time.

Its kind of shocking from the point of view that here we are seeing a first world country, the last remaining superpower, the place if any on the globe which should be able to mount a rapid response to this type of scenario, produce a very delayed response to the tragedy.

Some said that it looked like New Orleans was a third world country. Was that supposed to be a dig on Third World Nations? Well the Caribbean was hit by some pretty bad hurricanes last year to the extent that Grenada, Haiti and the Caymans are still not 100% recovered a year later but well death and devastation is supposed to be second nature for these third world countries aint it? That stuff isn't supposed to happen in North America.

And don't give me a story that the New Orleans tragedy is way worse than what happened to the Caribbean last year because you can't totally sell me on that. The bigger difference is that the New Orleans story is being more extensively covered by the media because its at home and there are a million reporters giving you full day coverage on the networks and delving into every personal tragedy and putting actual human faces on those who suffered irrecoverable losses. For the other tragedies we got some brief news at the start, one or two personal stories and then as the days dragged by the media got bored, moved on and ignored the waiting, the aftermath and cleanup.

No, I'm not trying to belittle the experience for those on the Gulf Coast who are going through it at the moment but lets just realize that other people in far flung countries across the globe have suffered in silence, reduced to mere statistics on deaths and homelessness when the cameras weren't rolling throughout their tragedies. That doesn't mean that those persons didn't suffer as much as the folks in New Orleans and Mississippi just that no one told their stories. If a person in the Caymans or Sri Lanka loses their home and livelihood or loses family in a disaster what makes their story less tragic than if it happened to someone in North America?

Image hosted by Photobucket.comOf course when it all boils down to it, from this situation if one didn't already know it one now recognizes that one inalienable fact, poor people 'duz get unfair' and this occurs regardless of if they are located in the belly of North America or the poorest war torn nation in the Caribbean Africa, Asia or the Middle East. So if you're poor and living in North America do not necessarily think that you are so much removed from the poor of other Nations. Poor is poor regardless and poor will always be treated with less respect than rich.

Oh and just in case you're wondering reports have said that Katrina's victims, the people who didn't evacuate, are amongst the U.S poorest and may not have had access to vehicles.

Catina Miller, a 32-year-old grocery deli worker who lived in the Ninth Ward, a poverty-stricken New Orleans enclave created in the 1870s by immigrants who were too poor to find higher ground, said she certainly would have liked to have left the city before the hurricane hit.

"But where can you go if you don't have a car?" she asked. "Not everyone can just pick up and take off."
Do they expect the people to have walked to safety?

Still that wasn't supposed to be the point of my blog here. I made some comments about Looters on some other sites and I'm here to defend my point of view. I support or rather refuse to fully condemn the Looters. I said it on Camps site and I'll say it again. I don't want to be sounding like an apologist for crime but in the face of what happened I would be lying if I said I condemn the looting. (Oh and Solitaire posted a good blog on the whole looting thing which references a news story on why these things happen.)

Image hosted by Photobucket.comSo why do I support the Looters or at least not condemn them to the extent of others? Not saying I would have personally looted, I cant make that judgment till I'm in that situation, but just trying to put myself in the shoes of some of those folks, shellshocked from the hurricane damage and without possessions and the necessities required for survival. In this situation the human instinct for survival takes over, its every man for himself and persons will do what it takes to get them through these situations alive. I mean it wasn't as if there was a timetable given for when these people would get supplies of food and water so if a supermarket was right there with goods on its shelves why starve and leave the products there where they do no good. And if you needed medication and you weren't getting any and a pharmacy was right there with bandages, asthma medication and diabetic strips etc hey go right ahead and take them. Like I said every man for himself cause it wasn't like there was an authority present to provide your basic needs or at least address when they would get around to providing those needs.

Now the other part is when the looting goes past the need to get items for survival, past the need to get necessities. Persons looting for profit or personal gain. This is a more difficult stance to defend. So what do I say to that? Well again I wouldn't do it but from a certain perspective I understand why it occurred. In a sense it was just an escalation of the looting for necessary items. Why would folk loot the Nike store (them shoes too damn expensive and they been robbing us anyways but that's not the point since those goods are luxuries not necessities) and the electronics spot even though they have no electricity to power whatever they took?

Things just got out of hand.

I see it from a certain viewpoint as folk being opportunistic. From another perspective as animal instincts going into overdrive and anything not bolted down being fair game to be taken. People who for so long had little decided to take what they probably couldn't afford before the Hurricane.

Marauders and conquering armies have been looting since the beginning of time. Maybe its part of human nature. I mean generals and commanders would have to give the order NOT to loot after a town was captured so maybe looting is somehow second nature to man. Maybe we are all born thieves. It does seem like not looting is more the unnatural behavior in certain situations doesn't it? I think the shock is today we assume that mankind is more civilized now and should act with more decency. Well in the face of a crisis when the adrenalin kicks in many of us sadly seem to revert back to those primitive instincts.

I could also justify the looting by saying what does it matter those places are insured but that's a cop out.

The unnecessary looting was a sign of freedom or at least the absence of authority! A bad sign of freedom but a sign none the less. Anarchy arising in a situation where there was a power vacuum. Don't despots use that to justify their heavy handed rule? Take a look at how the liberated Iraqis stole everything not tied down after Saddam was overthrown. Why? No authority, no power, no government to stop them. No rules, no law ... but that's how chaos begins.

Who was there to stop the New Orleans looters? Not the cops cause apparently they were looting too. Yes I agree people should know right from wrong and should have some sort of moral compass to steer them but in the aftermath of stressful, traumatic situations like the hurricane well I guess sadly as Wyclef Jean said 'anything can happen'.

Another sad perspective is that this looting may be the closest these folks come to actually protesting the pathetically slow response of the government to their needs. Anyway that's my justification for saying its sad that these things happened but on some level I understand why these things happened. No I'm not saying its a good thing but sometimes these things do happen.

The question I have to ask though is what percentage of the survivors were actually looting and what percentage of those were taking items they didn't need, looting for profit rather than survival stealing guns, shoes, electronics and the like (although one could make a case that guns for protection and shoes to wear are necessities in these circumstances, an ipod or a laptop computer umm no). Was it a majority of folk looting, because thousands survived. Were thousands looting? Or was it that it was a minority of survivors looting but this gathered media interest and make a better story than the persons who were just trying their best to survive without looting. Just a question I wouldn't mind having answered although I read here that its a small percentage, a criminal element that the media seems to be focusing on hence giving a bad name to all the survivors.

So some have said they are ashamed when they see these folks, especially with the media emphasis on the black ones, looting. I say its pretty sad but I'm more ashamed that they were forced into a situation where looting became a viable survival option because of the in-action of those responsible for their safety.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Sign of the last days

Well I think we're all going to hell in a handbasket now.


Students Allowed To Curse At Their Teachers

August 30, 2005 12:00 p.m. EST

Hector Duarte Jr. - All Headline News Staff Reporter

London, England (AHN) - A British secondary school is breaking ground by allowing its students to curse at their teachers. The catch? It cannot be done more than five times a lesson.

A count of how many times the F-word is used will be kept on a blackboard. If a class goes over the limit, it will be "spoken to" at the end of the lesson.

The controversial policy, which the school hopes will improve the behavior of pupils, was lambasted by parents' groups yesterday, warning it would backfire.

Parents were notified of the plan, which starts when the school term begins next week, in a letter from the Weavers School in Wellingborough, Northamptonshire.

What more can I say.