Saturday, December 31, 2005

Auld Lang Syng

Well not going to overwhelm you with nuh lotta long talk today, I've done that enough over the past year. Just a quick shout to say happy new year to all of my friends in blogland and to all of my blog readers wherever you may be.

I wish you all the best for 2006.

2005 was a mixed bag for me but at least I'm alive at the end (well 15 hrs more to go so cross your fingers). Started off a bit rough ended a bit rough was a bit rough in the middle too lol.

Not making any resolutions for 2006, just going to see how the year treats me. No big plans or goals although life will be changed (hopefully for the better) when the yout arrive in February or March. Should be interesting.

Anyway Tomorrow is 2006 lets hope for a better year for everyone the world over and less pain and strife and natural disasters and violence than 2005. Take care everyone.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Bang Bang!

Bang bang, he shot me down
Bang bang, I hit the ground
Bang bang, that awful sound
Bang bang, my baby shot me down.

Nancy Sinatra - Bang Bang

Yet again sadly I've got to blog about the violence in the T-dot. Sigh!

2005 instead of being the year of the Rooster should have been named the year of the gun up here because there has been no let up in the murders and the gunshots even as the holiday season is upon us. Gunman no celebrate either Christmas or Kwanzaa it seems.

On Monday afternoon seven persons, all seemingly innocent bystanders were shot up on the main Toronto thoroughfare of Yonge street in the midst of busy Christmas bank holiday shopping. Kinda scary.

Not sure what to say about all the violence except that its rather shocking although not really if you catch my drift. Its shocking that its happening but its not really shocking because of the mentality of the youth these days and the seeming ease with which guns are available for criminals.

Today I'm reading about police detectives claiming that by this incident Toronto has lost its innocence. What the hell are they talking about? We lost our innocence years ago when that British lady got shot and paralyzed at Caribana, we lost our innocence prior to that little kid in Etobicoke getting mistakenly shot in a drive by this summer, we lost our innocence before a bus driver was shot on his route while doing his job and lost his eye a few months ago and we sure as hell had lost our innocence before gunmen shot down a youth on the steps of a church about a month ago all here in Toronto.

Oh wait a minute the violence is happening in broad daylight in the midst of downtown now not constrained to so called ghetto borders or to ghetto victims. Gunshot nuh have name on it, innocents get caught in the crossfire. There is War on the Streets!

Dudes all year long it was gunshots in the streets and no one was taking it seriously. Oh sure we had our "black leaders" meet with the Mayor and the Prime Minister and such but did that solve anything?

Actually lets step back a minute. First up who are these black leaders and what is their claim to fame? In my opinion they hold as much clout as I do in being able to solve any crime situation cause the gunman aren't listening to any old fogies rattle off rhetoric in front of a camera. Give us a break! Who elected you to speak for black folk anyway and do you have the power to go to the criminals and gunmen and get them to stop the shooting? If you don't then stop trying to get photo ops to make it seem like you actually have clout while lulling the naive into a false sense of security thinking that progress is actually being made.

Do religious leaders have the clout. Sorry not to disparage religion seeing as I myself am a believer but the days of religious leaders actually holding sway in black politics is at an end if it ever got started in Canada. Aint no Jesse Jacksons or Al Sharptons up here and even Jesse and Al are caricatures in my opinion. All bark and the only bite they have is soundbites. The people that need to be reached to stop the violence have ignored any religion or religious leaders from long time gwan.

Nope no real leaders around here besides the thugs and the gangstas and maybe that's one of the real issues that we should be dealing with in order to come to grips with this violence.

Then we had the stupid politicians bitching about the rapper 50 cents coming into the country. 50 cents is a millionaire now he aint shooting no one. Dudes a movie star, got his own shoes, his own video games, his own drink, his own clothing line etc, he's a business.... man! But if you look closely the word G-unit does have the word Gun in it so maybe he is subconsciously telling the youth to shoot up the place along with what he's saying in his more overt rhymes.

But seriously causing a ruckus about his entering the country and his giving a concert does nothing to solve the situation of gun violence. If you want to blame his music well alright then I probably couldn't argue against that being one of the factors on impressionable youth although you'd have to name quite a few other media and entertainment influences including Hollywood's penchant for shoot em up blockbuster movies and the marketing of extremely violent video games to teenagers as well. Plus after you ban 50 from entering the country are you going to ban his music? And as someone pointed out to me a while back why would you ban 50 cents from entering Toronto now when we graciously hosted him to film his piece of crap movie Get Rich or Die Trying earlier this year. Isn't that a tad bit hypocritical? We'll gladly have you in Toronto to film your gangsta movie but don't come back to hold a concert to play your gangsta music. Explain to me that logic. Oh wait a minute the City makes money off the film industry a lot more than it makes off some lousy one off concert.

Pure lip service a gwan when dealing with this gun violence issue. Politicians playing politician football and 'mekkin mock sport' with this issue because they don't have a clue how to go about solving it.

Neither do I come to think of it so maybe I shouldn't be so harsh. I really don't have a solution. What I will say is that its nothing as simple as black leaders meeting with politicians or banning 50 cents and it will not be simple period.

So where's the solution? I guess 'We got to put our heads together and stop the violence'. Plans must be put into place on both a short term and long term scale. Mentalities need to be changed, perceptions need to be changed, opportunities need to be created, guns need to be eradicated, positive role models need to be found, communities need to be embraced, stereotyped need to be dealt with and security has to be enforced. Remember two things. One we have to stop the younger ones from following in the footsteps of their elder peers who are criminals or this crime cycle continues indefinitely and two all the youth aren't bad in fact its probably just a very small portion who are doing this stuff.

Not that either of those two things really help when someone is mourning the loss of a innocent loved one who gets caught in a shootout.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005


Happy Kwanzaa!

That was the greeting I received from someone (not black) the other day when I wished them merry Christmas. I was taken a back a bit actually. Actually I felt rather insulted like I should run up on them, grab them by the collar and say so ya think just cause I black I don't celebrate Christmas? What da?

Anyway I probably sound somewhat ignorant here and de wife say I should be glad that people know about Kwanzaa but I really don't see it that way. If they think that Kwanzaa replaces Christmas or just because I'm black I have to celebrate Kwanzaa then I think they still got a lot to learn.

Image hosted by Photobucket.comNow before I continue let me get one thing straight, I really don't deal with no Kwanzaa business. I have no tradition to celebrating it and its not like I'm looking for extra celebrations to add to my life unless they come complete with added holidays. Yea hook a brother up with those 7 days of Kwanzaa as vacation days and I man will be waxing poetically on Ujoma, Kujichagulia, Imani and all that and jumping and waving like its Caribana in December but otherwise for me its Kwanzaa Swanzaa.

Ok I wont disparage the 'holiday' although lets be clear about something just because I'm black does not mean I need to celebrate this does it? Its like saying just because I'm black I got to like Lil Jon's music or whatever stupid ass stereotypes people believe about us. Yeaaah! OK! What!

Yes I'll agree that the seven principles associated with Kwanzaa ( Unity, Self Determination, Responsibility, Cooperative Economics, Purpose, Creativity, Faith) are strong principles and the holiday can actually serve a purpose as a reminder to us but still I aint celebrating no Kwanzaa. The colors may be the red, the black and the green (with a key you sissy!) but still I aint celebrating no Kwanzaa. The greetings may be 'Habari Gani' but I aint celebrating no Kwanzaa and I damn sure aint giving up Christmas for no Kwanzaa.

Its not a religious holiday, its not a National Holiday (and if it was it would be an American National holiday and I man aint American), its not an actual African holiday although the roots are African and although it seems to be getting bigger and bigger in the islands (Yes I actually went to a Kwanzaa celebration in Barbados my last time) its still a relatively new thing there.

I mean nobody never ever offer me no Kwanzaa ham, nor no Kwanzaa black cake nor no Kwanzaa Sorrel and wunnah want me to celebrate? Chupse ya mekkin sport!

Yes I'm being a bit facetious here but no I am not trying to sway anyone one way or the other about Kwanzaa just stating the facts about myself and that I don't currently celebrate this holiday. So if ya see me on the road you can just wish me merry Christmas or happy holidays and keep the Kwanzaa business to yourself.


Sunday, December 18, 2005

Remix - ol time Christmas

Did this one last year (when I had like 5 regular readers) and thought I'd sort of remix it and offer it up again. Its a long post (even by my standards) so tek ya time and read it and in case I don't blog again before Christmas all the best and Enjoy the Holidays.

de de do do doo doo doo

I took the role of lead singer
Parang soca in Arima
Fans heard of my parang band so thousands flocked the grandstand
Ne-ville Cook was the mc
When he intro-duced me
People jumping like carnival
To my rendition of serenal??

Alpacata alpacata
Who no rampu no paratha
Maria Maria Maria!
Me choroson
From Port o Spain to Faisabad everybody know Jdid mad
Maria Maria Maria
Me choroson

Was listening to the calypsonian Crazy sing some parang yesterday (I still cant decipher those words even though I've heard this song a million times) trying to get myself into the real Christmas spirit. Didn't work lol. Might be too late for me but give me the old time parang, a Christmas ham cutter and

"a gallon a rum, a gallon a rum, all I want is a gallon a rum
..........ya bringing ya family ta eat me out
and then in January cant even buy a stoute".

Image hosted by Photobucket.comSo my selector rewind cause, ol time Christmas come back again if not for real at least in my memories. For me it was all about the music, the food and the Christmas program at the Church.

Christmas back then to me was more that the one day. As a child there was so much anticipation of the actual Christmas day that sometimes when it arrived it was a bit anticlimactic.

But leading up to that actual day. Oh wow! Fun and excitement cann dun!

In Barbados, once Independence day was finished and December 1st hit, bram! Christmas music would be pounding down non-stop on our local stations; CBC, VOB and Reddifusion. Big tunes like this spouge one:

wha ya gonna gi me fa Christmas I need something from you
give me something for Christmas boy and I'll give you something too

and this one in parang

Hurray hurray hurrah!
Hurrah hurrah dey say!
Our savior was born today
It was through his light
While a shepherds (plight)??
for they just couldn’t believe dere eyes
And when he come a man
Ya kno dem non-christian, get tagetha an pound nails in he hand
And on the third day he rose again
So ya see he shed his blood fa we!

You just couldn't resist the Christmas fever with sweet music like that. It definitely put you in the proper frame of mind for the season. It was an eccletic mix, reggae, soca, gospel, parang, spouge, r n b every music under the sun. From Felic Navidad (Prospero ano y Felicidad) to Good King Wensalas. Big tune dat! Merrymen, Draytons Two, Singing Francine, Nat King Cole, Crazy, Michael Jackson, Jacob Killa Milla artists of all genres. Music coming from every radio in the neighborhood, transistor, radiogram, stereo, every store speaker downtown, everywhere. Just total immersion in Christmas music.

Around neighborhood in Barbados everybody was busy painting both the inside and outside of their house and putting up new curtains, making the place look pretty, pretty, pretty just trying to get things looking special for that one day. Moving the furniture around and choosing some nice bright colors for the inside and outside walls. All like now, I would have paint in my hair, on my hands, on my skin and be trying to use the turpentine to wipe it off but just ending up with my skin looking dry and ashy and smelling of turpentine. Boy I do so much painting as a yout helping my father that I was a painting pro before I reach 12.

Verandas and outside walls being painted in bright colors as everyone tries to out do their neighbor in the painting arena. If one man gone yellow another one gone blue or green with brown trim or cream with aqua marine trim or something so. Every color under the sun and everybody turn superstar painter like dem middle name is Picasso.

Santa Clause, do you ever come to the ghetto (ghettoe-oo!)
Santa Clause, do you ever wonder why we suffer so
Santa Clause, When will you come to the ghetto (ghettoe-oo!)
Santa Clause, we would love to see how those reindeers go.
We aint gonna fuss,
We aint gonna fight,
But where are the presents that you brought for us.

The curtains made from fabric that you bought down by Swan Street or Kirpilani or from Miss Ram or that you 'truss' from the "coolie man" in the Suzuki van (that rhymes) who would then have hell to get certain folks to pay. When January came, anytime there was a knock on the door or window you would see certain houses get real real quiet instantaneously and their inhabitants peeping from behind the said same curtains they "truss" to see if it was the coolie man coming for his money.

Sorry boss, all the money dash way on Christmas and they cant afford to pay even a little installment. So Coolie man standing up in the hot sun with the van motor running, looking screw screw and every passerby he asking 'wait you see mistress so n so dat live hayso? You know wha part she gone?" And everybody just responding in the negative cause them know too well that Miss so n so hiding behind the curtains but they wont say so cause well when is them turn to truss from the coolie man they going do the said same thing. So poor coolie man can only stand and knock and get agitated and then go along about his business and check back the next week when the whole scenario played out one more time.

But don't feel too bad for him ya kno! Yes boy fa now they had the coolie man fooled but in the long run they still paid him and he still made his extravagant profit so that by next year no more Suzuki van but he had a little small store in Swan Street all bought and paid for from those little ends of cloth he had sold that Christmas. Cause you could only run from the coolie man so long before ya had to pay him because people would get 'fraid that he put the steel donkey pun them doah!

And lets not talk about the curtain fabric. All sort of designs, all sort of bright pretty pretty cloth which the women would sit with at night in the weeks before Christmas and slowly turn into curtains for the windows and doors. They either worked by hand, with a needle and thimble, getting the youngsters with sharper eyesight to thread the needle as the night got darker or using one of those old time clunky heavy duty Springer sewing machines. Is serious iron them things made out of boy! Solid solid solid and well made to last a lifetime.

Of course in making the curtain they had to match the colors of the house or sometimes the house colors would be chosen after the curtain colors. I aint sure which one led and which followed but you couldn't have a new paint job without new matching curtains cause that would look like ya aint got no style or no money and no one wanted anyone to believe either one of those.

Even if the curtains were finished a week or two before Christmas you would wait till Christmas eve or a day or two before Christmas to get up on the chair and put them up. So Christmas eve all you would hear is the rapping of hammers hitting nail heads, pounding out a distinctive Christmas melody as those new curtains went up at every house. It was a Christmas tradition cause those curtains had to look bright and new for the Christmas morning.

(baron version)
Mumma mumma
Would you like to join your sonnie
I am over here happy in this cold cold country
Darling for this Christmas
I hope everything is happy
come and join the chorus cause we will be having a party

Meanwhile the fruit for the Great Cake was steeping in rum, brandy, and wine since long time gone in September or even before that. Cherries, Raisins, Currents, mixed peel, that you had to help grind up in one of those old fashion hand mixers with the handle that you turned, all seeping up the alcohol. I tell ya, If ya eat two pieces of that cake when it dun, ya best not be driving anywhere lest the policeman ketch ya..............Matter a fact ya eat two pieces of that cake ya gine sleep cause that thing potent after all the fruit absorb all that liquor.

Dem church sisters may not touch a drop of alcohol but give them pieca great cake and I guarantee that their blood alcohol level on par with the fella that been hitting the bottle up by the corner rum shop since morning. This cake serious ya know! If it was North America a yout would have to show ID to get pieca cake.

And that cake taste real nice. Almost as nice as the ham when you cut off three slice and eat wid two sodabix or put it in a fresh salt bread and add a lil pepper sauce. Something bout a Christmas hamcutter that just taste better than any other sandwich in the world back then.

Everything nice, nice and in abundance. Nice n Nuff!

Sing we Noel, Calypso Noel
Sing we Noel, sing sing sing sing
Sing we Noel, calypso Noel
sing we Noel sing

A few days before Christmas my mom would give me a whole heap of green peas to shell. See me sitting at the dining room table feet dangling, bag of peas bigger than young Jdid. On one side two big bags full of pea husks, worms and and the occasional pea chink, the discards from the process and on the other side about a half a tray of fresh green peas. It would take a good hour or two to finish all that shelling even when I wasn't taking regular breaks to play with the big fat cream colored or green worms that came out of some of the pea shells. By the time I was finished the job after my mother had warned me about 6 times not to eat my handiwork my hands would smell of peas and chinks and my finger nails would be all green but there was enough peas in the tray to make our Christmas peas and rice dish cause Christmas in Barbados just wasn't Christmas without rice and peas using fresh green peas.

Yea true you could go down Cheapside market and get a few pints of already shelled green peas but it was so much cheaper to just get me to do all the hard work especially since we had two pea trees in the back yard.

Church bells ring a ling
Angels sing a ling
Happy Birthday Jesus
Snowflakes ding a ling
Sleighbells jing a ling
Happy Birthday Jesus
All year long we wait
just to celebrate this Christmas morn

Anyway about a day or two before Christmas suddenly ya nostrils perk up like when the dog smell his dinner on the way. I talking bout them pot starvers (mongrels) we used to own dat was real dogs not these poor great North American pretenders that cant even chew two chicken bones without getting sick. Is Kibbles and Bits fa them if ya please! No leftovers! Wha up ta last week I was telling the wife dat back when I was growing up we din need no recycling green bin for leftovers, we had a natural recycling device. He did name Rover or Spot or Blackie or Brownie or sometimes he was just de Dog. But nowadays dogs get posh and only eating brand name, store bought food. What a ting! Chupse!

Anyway I digress. Selector bring back some music to set the mood.

I've got that old feeling
that seems to fill the air
Its Christmas in my Caribbean land
and though there's no snow or sleigh bells to be heard
this feelings oh so grand!
now soon the bells will be ringing
choirs singing in good cheer
and old forgotten friends are brought to mind
oh tell me of this feeling
why cant this Christmas feeling exist amongst all people through the year (oh yea!)

I going wake up real merry
bake me jug and me turkey........

Not much Christmas lights when I was growing up. Too expensive to buy plus electricity was also expensive. Just one or two houses did the big light extravaganza that we have today. Instead to make the place look presentable ya would sweep up the front yard after ya finish paint, dig up the grass (none of that lawn business) maybe put down some marl or small stone out front and combined with the poinsettia and the snow on the mountain flowers blooming the place would still be looking real colorful still.

Now as I was saying before I digressed about two nights before Christmas your nostrils would light up from the scents wafting in over the breeze. It started the first night with sweet bread, Great cake and pudding and continued into the second night with the meats; delicious ham, succulent pork, turkey, chicken with the gizzards as stuffing. Heavenly scents! Everyone in the neighborhood baking at the same time and had started a day or two before Christmas because the ovens are small and ya baking enough to feed two armies so it took some time to get the job done.

Why we baking so much? You play you aint know that when Christmas day and bank holiday come round people gine be visiting and you have to have food to serve them. How it gine look bright Christmas somebody stop by and you cant even offer them two slices of sweet bread or pudding or if they is a good friend a slice of great cake. And all ya hearing;

So Santa Clause is in town
He comes but once a year
So ya vex because he came around
To visit me my dear

But Maizie in all in this heat

Wine up under the Christmas tree
Maizie I am vex because
ya making movements wid Santa clause

Maizie where is the Reindeer
Maizie I aint see no sleigh
If he have no reindeer no sleigh?
He came on BWIA

And of course as a child you don't want regular dinner those days when you start smelling those scents because you're hoping for a first slice of cake or meat that night and you staying up late dreaming of hot sweet bread. You eyes light up when the first sweet bread or piece of meat emerged from the oven and you might try to sneak off a lil taste when your mother wasn't looking but you had to be careful that she aint catch you and pelt some liks in your backside cause you know full well that the food is for Christmas and afterwards and the baking being done is as much for the guests as for the family.

Ah yes dreams of sweet bread and great cake washed down with a cold soft drink from the 2 or 3 cases that got bought from the drinks truck when it was up the street earlier that week by the village shop. A few weeks before ya had to go out in the yard, collect up all the empty drinks bottles to make sure you had a full case. Then wash out all the insects and cobwebs from those bottles cause you couldn't go and give the drinks man no nasty bottles ya kno! It wun look propa!

Then you had to make sure you knew what day the drinks trucks came to the village shop. The Banks truck came on Tuesday and the Ju-C truck Thursday so all Tuesday and Thursday ya trying ta keep a look out for the truck or if ya smart and ya on good terms with the shopkeeper (Meaning ya aint owe him no money) ya tell the shopkeeper ta give ya a call when the truck reach. Tiger Malt and Plus, Sprite, Ju-C, Bim and Frutee in all sorts of flavors from Red (Kola Champagne) to Yellow (Pineapple) and Banana and even Sorrel Flavored although the sorrel flavored ones aint taste as sweet as the real thing. You would tell the drinks man to mek sure he doan gi ya nuh stale drinks either cause if you open a drink and it flat ya gine be real vex. But those drinks had to last into January so you couldn't start drinking too early although if nobody looking you might sneak way one and even sneak a lil Falurnum in the drink to spice it up. :-)

But ya din have ta do dat too often cause first ya frighten ya get ketch and secondly ya had sorrel.

Image hosted by Photobucket.comAnother task for me as a youngster was to get the fresh sorrel and cut off the fruit (is fruit or is leaves?) from the seed so that it could be dried and prepared into that delicious Christmas drink. Another tedious task where the discarded portions, the big seed in the sorrel fruit, were more than the actual usable pieces, the petals which were steeped in hot water to prepare the delicious potion, and this time there were no fun worms to play with like with the peas. But the ends justified the means because the sorrel drink with a stick of clove in it was the most refreshing thing Christmas offered me as a youngster (except for the mix up sweet drink/beer/falurnum concoction that my dad did every Christmas which would knock me out for hours after Christmas dinner).

Drink a rum an a punch a crema
Drink a rum
Is Christmas morning
Drink a rum and a punch a crema
mama drink if ya drinkin

Christmas eve night everything in full gear. The cakes mostly done bake unless ya run outta gas and you weren't smart enuff to have a spare bottle in the house. I mean you know is nuff nuff baking to do so ya shoulda been prepared. Don't blame me looka try and run down by the gas station and buy a new bottle...if all aint sell out yet.

Its all the scent of meat baking that you sniffing in the air. And the sky bright with stars and outside chilly, by West Indian standards, but you still pushing ya nose through the jalousie (jealousie) window or sitting down on the step with the rest of kids indulging the sense of smell and being overcome by that feeling of Christmas. "boy you Mrs Browne like she baking a nice peica pork cross deyso." "You smell that ham that Miss Clarke baking? you that thing smell so good it got my mout watering real bad then!" "Ha ha, you smell dat? Wuhloss somebody sweet breads like dem burning." "Chupse dat cud only be Mavis wun cause you know she cann cook, wha even she husband say so."

The air smelling sweet, the stars looking brighter, the air just feeling sort of tingly on ya body. You can taste the excitement or is that smell it.

You cant wait for the Christmas morning.

Image hosted by Photobucket.comOne Christmas eve casually I was walking down the street
One Christmas eve casually I was walking down the street
I was attracted by the voice of a lil boy
as he strolled along the street no shoes on his feet
as he walked he continued to repeat

Listen Mama I want you to tell Santa Clause
To bring a trumpet and a consantina for me
I'm so lonely and have no children close by me
ma you don't kno how happy your son would be

Merry Christmas everyone.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Christmas Rush

Image hosted by Photobucket.comWell a brother attempted some Christmas shopping this afternoon and lets just say that whew was it was tiring. I came home and had a soft drink (pop, soda) and I swear it was like the sweetest thing I've ever tasted in my life. I literally felt like I was in one of those soda commercials. Ah refreshing!

Good thing I've only got like 2 or 3 gifts to pick up because if I had to shop for any more persons I may have had a severe case of fatigue right about now.

Anyway after observing the proceedings this afternoon and with nothing better to do while standing in line at the cash for 1/2 hr (woulda swear I was in a government office in the Caribbean) I came up with a couple of laws (10 so far) about this whole Christmas shopping phenomena which I shall share. (feel free to add) Oh I should add that most of these laws only relate to shopping in Toronto but probably hold for other places as well.

(1) 95% of persons wait until the last minute to shop.

(2) Aside from Christmas Eve and after 5 on a weekday the week before Christmas, the weekend before Christmas is the worst time in the year to shop. Especially if you wait till late in the afternoon or evening to go to the mall.

(3) Even with the best laid plans it usually takes much longer to find what you are looking for because everything is a mess in the malls.

(4) Women shop in packs usually accompanied by hordes of children.

(5) Hordes of children are in veritably unruly (today's blog word is in veritably by the way) because they are bored with being in the mall or they want their mothers to buy them the entire mall.

(6) At the cash register never choose the line which appears shortest. Its usually the slowest and most people recognize that which is why they are all in the longer line. Its just because you (read me) are a bit slow that you haven't realized this yet.

(7) If you do happen to choose the shortest line and it is the slowest as it will be don't by any means switch lines thinking that you can cheat fate because any line you switch to will immediately slow down.

(8) People will hold up cash lines for the most trivial of stuff. They will spend 200 dollars on one item but then argue about whether a pair of socks is actually retailing for 2.29 or 1.99.

(9) The saddest persons at the mall are men who are shopping with their significant others. Either you are going to spend way more time in the mall than you want to or you are going to spend way more money than you first intended. Luckily I shopped alone.

(10) Anything you buy before Christmas will again inveritably by at least 40% cheaper on Boxing day.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

65 hundred dollar question

Ok quick post on the run. Christmas is in the air. I haven't been into the malls yet but I've heard that they are quite the sight these days. To tell you the truth I'm not much in a Christmas mood yet and not sure I'll be in one this year.

The good news is that next Wednesday is my last day of work for two weeks. Hallelujah! A brother be running on pure adrenalin for the last couple of weeks and the wife takes lots of pleasure in laughing at me as I fall asleep in the couch at 930 every night. So lets recap that wake at 530 get to work before 8 leave around 6 get home after 7 which leaves possibly 2 hrs to watch TV, blog, relax etc no wonder a brother is tired.

Anyway we haven't put up any lights or anything yet but others in the neighborhood have gone to great lengths to "beautify" their properties. But when is it going overboard with the lights?

When we lived downtown there was this one strange house close by which had a million lights and decorations. Actually on the whole that entire house was a bit out of the ordinary. We nicknamed it the Ginger Bread house. The regular brick or aluminum siding had been covered by a cork/wood like substance which along with other decorations causing it to look year round like the fabled house from the Hansel and Grethel story. Never did see who lived there though but I'm thinking wicked witch perhaps lol.

Well up here there is one house I've seen quite close by which has literally thousands of lights. Its actually quite beautiful from a certain point of view but still.

Was talking to a neighbor the other day (no not the one whose poodle hates my guts and always rushes at me for some unknown reason) and he knows the persons at that house and said that they told him they spent over 6500 dollars on lights this year. $6500 in lights! Wow I wonder what they spend in gifts and since they obviously have money to burn whether they could see their way to hooking a brother up with a loan.

Monday, December 12, 2005


Image hosted by Photobucket.comBeen following the Stanley Tookie Williams story this evening. In case you don't know what I'm talking about its the story of a man on death row who is about to be executed at midnight California time tonight.

Williams is in jail for the alleged murder of 4 persons back in 1979, murders which he has repeated denied committing but for which he was sentenced to death back in 1981. His lawyers have filed motions and asked for clemency from Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger all to no avail up to this point. Would you expect clemency from a Governor better known as the Terminator? Alrighty then!

Williams is also purported to be the founder of the notorious Crips gang in LA, something which haunts his past and may be a factor weighing into the repeated denial of clemency.

Was arguing the point with someone who said that if he was indeed the founder of the Crips street gang he deserves to be executed since so many innocents have been killed by this notorious group but my argument was if that's the case and a man is judged not on the actual crimes he was being charged with but on other crimes then many a politician would deserve the death penalty for their ignoble deeds.

Tookie's is an interesting story because in jail he has become an outspoken critic of gangs, has written numerous anti-gang books aimed at kids and was actually nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. Surely here is a rehabilitated man. Still his opponents harp on the fact that he has never apologized for committing the murders. Tookie's claim is that since he didn't commit the murders he has nothing to apologize for. A weaker man would probably just apologize and gain clemency but Tookie seems to be sticking to his guns (so to speak). Got to respect that somehow.

Now I'm not here to debate the right and wrong of the situation as I'm sure everyone has their own belief. His lawyers claim he was set up and that the witnesses were frauds, the prosecution claims he is a cold blooded murderer and deserves to die for his deeds. The debate will rage on up till the injections are delivered into his body and even after his, what I now believe to be inevitable, death tonight.

No that's not what I'm here to discuss. My issue was with what I just saw on CNN. As you know CNN has to give you 24 -7 coverage of every even remotely interesting news item delving into every nook and cranny of any aspect of the individuals involved and this news story is no different. Interviews with Jessie Jackson, recorded comments from the governor, statements from Tookie's lawyers etc etc but what really grabbed my attention was this.

CNN interviewed a former death row inmate (cant remember the name) who was wrongfully accused of murder and spent a decade on death row. He continually protested his innocence (just like Tookie) and in 1995 he was exonerated proving that sometimes the justice system can be indeed wrong. You would think someone like this would know that sometimes the system can make mistakes but yet this former inmate was absolutely adamant that Tookie deserved the death penalty even if he did apologize for the murders. He claims that the proof against Tookie is irrefutable and he deserves to die. Wait a second they don't put you on death row unless the evidence is irrefutable do they? So wasn't it irrefutable in your case yet somehow they proved that it was wrong and you managed to escape with your life?

Imagine that. Your ass got lucky and got a reprieve but yet you cant have the same compassion for someone possibly in a similar situation. Here is someone who should realize that everything isn't always black and white in justice and sometimes you get caught up in the grey but yet he was so confident in Tookie's guilt. Absolutely amazing!

Anyway Tookie I'm writing this like you're already gone because I honestly don't expect any last minute reprieve. God go with you and forgive you for any sins you have committed.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Bin hiding

Did I tell you guys that I saw Osama at my supermarket the other day? Serious thing ya kno!

De wife was away and I was meandering my way through the supermarket buying all sorts of foolishness that I didn't need to when this fella come in the front door that made me do a double take. Osama is that you? Ya bin hiding in Scarborough?

Ok yea it wasn't really Osama but seriously if I was going to go by the "all people of other races look the same" theory that certain people seem to be fond on I would swear that it was him.

The face was a bit different and he wasn't as tall as the real Osama but that's where the differences ended. Y'all must have seen that silent video they play on CNN over and over with Bin Laden up in the mountains in Afghanistan or someplace so where his face look bushy bushy with a big salt and pepperish beard. He is wearing a certain style of turban wrapped around his head with a green army jacket over his traditional garb? Y'all seen that right? Well the fella in the supermarket did look just just like that.

Oh yea I'm being stereotypical you say. Always picking on the Muslim people y'all say. First I was telling wunnah about hijabs gone wild now I'm saying that all the Muslim men look like Bin Laden. Cuhdear!

But I wasn't the only person in the supermarket that had to do a double take cause everyone in the checkout line turn around with the same look I had thinking to themselves wait no that cant be Bin Laden. Seriously if any CIA agents used to shop in my supermarket that man would be skin out on the floor all like now. Blam! Shots would have rung out. Cause if ya just saw him from the side you would swear that it was Bin Laden.

I mean even I was there thinking wait them got a reward for Bin Laden? Looka let me go and lik he down with this shopping cart cause a brother could use some big money.

I also wanted to follow him around though to see what a Bin Laden clone would buy in a supermarket. I got this theory that the man was on a pork run, I wish I had followed him with a camera.

Sunday, December 04, 2005


I'm tired. Respect to all the folk who gave me greetings and to all those who came out for my birthday gathering. I felt the love. And yo what's with all y'all giving me alcohol? Not that I didn't appreciate the punch a creme, the rum punch, the wine and the bacardi black but are y'all trying to say a brother's a lush or something (but my words don't be slurrin, I never lose my balance)? I'm just playing man.

Anyway I realized I need to just ramble today cause I haven't actually sat at this computer and typed for a while and I got to keep the skills up.

I just wrote like 2 paragraphs on my writing and some stuff about being older and potential and failure and all that jazz but blah blah blah I don't feel like sharing so if a man cant get introspective when he rambles I'll retreat back into an old familiar spot.

Sports. Didn't get a chance to say big up to the TnT warriors for making World Cup 2006 in Germany. Also big up to Brian Lara for reaching his milestone as cricket's leading run getter. I'll be totally honest I'm not a big Lara fan but he's got the stats to show that he's great so I can give him his props. Too bad the whole International cricket team sucks. What is it with me and backing losers.

Speaking of losers. The C-raptors won back to backs (playing twice in two nights) for the first time since 2000. That's amazing considering they went into the back to back with a record of 1 and 14 or 15. Must say that although its not the best team it was refreshing to see them win. I find it hilarious when the reporters call Mo Pete a veteran though. Yea he's been around 4 or 5 years but still. Oh and I still think Sam Mitchell is a questionable coach though. Friday's win was made inspite of his antics in my opinion.

Its election time in Canada as our minority Liberal government was brought down. I don't usually chat politics but some things are funny here. (1) Why is it that every conservative leader in this country has like the slickest hair and no facial expression. They all remind me of Odo from DS9. Its like the Dominion trying to take over.
(2)isn't it funny that Paul Martin after kicking up fuss behind the scenes to get rid of Chretien couldn't even hold his government intact for a full year. The dude wanted to be PM from long time gwan and he got his wish but its just not working out as he wanted.
(3) what's with the NDP voting against the Liberals? Dumb move by Jack Layton. Jack your party historically sucks and you were in a position of strength in Parliament for the first time in years. You could have gotten some of your agenda through. You wont win any more seats this election in fact you are likely to win less, should have stuck it out and made deals with the Liberals because if the Tories win there is no way your agenda and theirs can work together.

Anyway enough rambling I'm gone.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Dereliction of Duty

Yes I've been noticeably absent the last couple of weeks so I apologize. Just when I was getting the hang of this blogging thing work has reared its ugly head and just taken over my life. Serious times like Gypian say.

Anyway I still have a bunch of stuff to say and I'll try to be a bit better starting next week.

Image hosted by Photobucket.comAnd tomorrow actually in under an hour its my Birthday. Where all my Sagittarius people at? Man a brother is getting old but I'm still looking young (occasionally) lol.

Actually its kind of funny cause I'm starting to get to that stage where its kind of weird to say how old you are. Its not really that I am ashamed of my age or anything. I've worked all my life to get here but its mainly because most of my friends are younger than I am and I'm still trying to look cool.

You know in your 20s if anyone asks how old you are you are quick out the gate with 21 or 27 or 29 or whatever but you hit those thirties and when someone asks your age you are purposely vague like I'm in my early thirties or I'm in my mid thirties never giving an exact number, thinking they don't need to actually know my age and never giving any specifics.

And no one ever gets my age right, on one hand some folks think I'm like 35 or 37 which is a few years older than I actually am (being purposely vague see) and on the other hand some people still think I'm 27 (meaning they clearing aren't seeing the ridiculous amount of grey hair a man my age has) which is either a good thing or a bad thing because either I look 27 or they are saying that at the age I'm at I should be farther ahead in life.

I know some of you folk will probably be like fa real you're thirty something lol. Yep.

But yea birthdays always make a brother look back at what he's accomplished and where he is in life and for the most part its a bit depressing but lately I've tried not to depress myself by being too over analytical. At least I have my health, well except for that back thing oh and the niggle in the hip oh and the foot thing. Ok well maybe I don't have my health.

But what can I say I've lived to see another year. Not everyone can say that so to God I give thanks.

Wont over indulge in the self analysis and introspection here but I'm just going to go enjoy my birthday and thank God I'm another year older. 10 minutes to go before the birthday begins.

Oh and again like last year I still aint see Halle Berry for my birthday.
See you guys with some posts next week.