Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Sign of the Times

Sunday in Toronto an electrical Transformer blew plunging some of the city's core into a power outage.

Now what was interesting to me in the report about the power outage was that the American tourists who experienced the power outage or heard when the transformer was going up automatically assumed that the city was under some sort of terrorist attack.

No thoughts that something faulty occurred in the wiring or it was an accident. The first culprit for anything out of ordinary these days post 9/11 is terrorism. As it turned out some rodents got into some of the machinery and got fried causing the transformer to blow but at the time it happened that wasn't known so one of the first assumptions was terrorism.

Now growing up in the Caribbean I experienced many an outage. Water supply cut off, electrical outage, TV station gone on the fritz stuff like that. Burst pipes would leave you waterless for a whole day forcing you to go to the standpipe, go to another area and get water from someone there or wait for the water truck to reach your area so you could go fill buckets with water. And let me tell you nothing is heavier than a bucket of water. Whew! Now when we had a loss of water I never thought terrorist I just thought burst pipe. Not so now.

Power outages while not a norm in Barbados(wouldn't want you north American folks reading this thinking we are more backwards than you already do) certainly happened every now and then. So when your lights went out the first thing you did was check with a neighbour or look outside if it was dark to see if the street lights were off. If they weren't you had a blown fuse. If they were then something must have went wrong at the power company. We never thought, the country is under attack or an act of terrorism had occurred but that was a different place and a different time.

Last year when we had the huge power outage in Toronto all the way down to NYC I was at work when it happened. Computers went off so I thought they had crashed then realized that the lights had gone off too. Went into the corridor and the lights were off...Ok so everyone went home. Since there had been some construction outside our building earlier I assumed someone had hit some power cable by mistake. Started walking up the street noticed the power was off in other buildings too, hmm must be bigger than I thought. Walked some more no traffic lights working at the intersections...why that interesting this must be affecting alot of the city. Got home, no elevators, no lights. OK maybe its affecting more of the city than I thought. It was only later on that anything involving the words terrorist entered my thoughts. I just figured some machine broke causing a big power outage. It could happen and apparently it did happen but there were lots of folks thinking it was an act of terrorism.

In this post 9/11 climate I guess you cant be too careful but it does seem a bit worrying that terrorism has become our number one culprit for anything that happens to which we don't automatically have the answer.

Monday, August 30, 2004

Ah sick

sick like a dog den. I feel I gine dead lawd ave is mercy.

So what can I say. I had to stay home from work today because I was sick. Actually I don't even know what I'm doing sitting down in front of this computer because right now I'm feeling really achy and I'm going back in my bed right after I finished here.

But don't worry I aint dying yet. Probably just the flu bug that I caught. How I catch it you ask?

Either of two ways; the rain or the wife. Now as for my wife anytime the woman get sick its usually only a few days later that I will be sick too......And she gets sick regularly so you know everytime I hear her sniffling I have to start taking precautions like SARs hit my house. Quarantine she, put on the mask and the gloves and talk to she from across the room. Yea a lot of good that does. She was sick on Saturday and Sunday so I think I caught whatever it is she had. chupse! Is alright for the priest to get up there on his big pulpit and look down and talk about "in sickness and health" but he don't live in my house and this thing getting out of hand.

Not to put all the blame on the wife since she might actually read this a week from now and start cussing me but the second way for me to get sick is if I get wet in the rain. Something about the rain and me up in this place just don't agree. No problem with snow but let me get wet in the rain and more than likely I'm down for the count. So most days I usually take precautions and walk around with some sort of rain jacket regardless of the weather prediction but since my good jacket get mash up while I was moving pan racks I really aint got a good jacket ta take with me anymore so I was hoping it wouldn't rain this weekend. I mean the weather forecasters have been beyond terrible this summer. They predict rain, the sun outside bright, bright. They predict its going to be 28 degrees and we're lucky if it get past 14. I personally believe that they were in the back throwing darts at a board to determine what to say. So with that in mind I aint pay them no mind this weekend and what happen? I get wet Friday, I get wet Saturday and I get wet Sunday.

So lets say my illness is not completely unexpected. I was squeezed between the sick wife and the rain so from Saturday I had started taking precautions. I raise the code from an orange alert to a red. I drink echinesia, I drink coffee and lime, I drink rum, I drink cerasee tea. Well none of it worked and now today I was laid out flat on my back sneezing, coughing, achy and tired and taking over the counter medication.

I know I was fighting a losing battle from Sunday afternoon when I came home and realized that my appetite turn appe-slack. Then I start getting sniffly and then I started feeling achy. So I took some of that night time medicine thing that's supposed to make you feel better in the hope that by this morning I would be fine but nope nothing doing.

Sunday, August 29, 2004

Olympics dun

Oh no what will I ever find to talk about now?

I actually enjoyed this years Olympics surprisingly. Canada didn't win any track and field medals and Barbados didn't win any medals at all. Oh well. The Caribbean athletes still performed very credibly so I congratulate them all. My boy Oba didn't medal but I'm glad he made the 100 finals.

I know most folk wont agree with this but I'm actually a bit sad that the Basketball dream team lost. C'est la vie I guess.

I got a chance to watch some of the final events on Saturday in the presence of some ladies and I must say it put a completely different spin on the Olympics for me. Who knew male butts evoked such emotion. I'm going to have to go into the gym and work on mine.

I guess the only disappointment I have with the Olympics is this guy Paul Hamm issue with his gold medal in gymnastics. I mean come on the guy won because someone forgot to add the scores of another guy properly. Now he is refusing to give up his gold medal. Somehow this just does not invoke the Olympic spirit.

Excessive force?

Just finished watching this discussion show on community TV about police brutality. To tell you the truth it really wasn't that well done a show but it was interesting. Three youth and a moderator addressing the concerns of police using excessive force and their brutality of young people.

As expected (this is North America after all) there was a young black man there who had experienced brutality. He told his story about standing outside a convenience store when police approached him and his 4 friends, said they fit the description and proceeded to beat the crap out of them. Charges were pressed against him and his friends only to be thrown out of court later on but both he and his friends still carry the scars, both physically and emotionally, of the beating they received.

Anyway what was interesting about this show was that the other two young persons on the show tried to justify the use of police brutality on innocent civilians. They said maybe the guy fit the description, maybe he was hanging out in the wrong place at the wrong time, and maybe the policemen had dealt with youth who had given them a hard time in the past and their actions were colored by those previous experiences. Un-frigging-believable.

Then there was an on the street segment where they asked a bunch of young ladies about their views on police brutality. Surprisingly or maybe not so surprisingly given the bias by the interviewer towards choosing a totally homogeneous sample all saw absolutely nothing wrong with police brutality.

All I can say is wake up people.

Cash rules everything around me

Cream! dinero! dukkets! Loot! moola! Cheddar! Dollar dollar bill ya'll

"And my mentality is money orientated, I'm destined to live this dream for all my peeps who didn't make it"

Money. Sometimes I wonder about my attitude towards money and I wonder if I've grown up yet. Its not that I'm frivolous with money I think I have respect for it but at the same time I don't know if I take it as seriously as I should. I know I need it and its important but somehow its just not as important as other things in my life.

I blame it on too much time spent in Church as a child. You know all those stories about Solomon and how he chose wisdom over riches and was given the latter as a bonus. And all those verses about not storing up wealth for oneself on this earth. I think they were secretly trying to turn me into a socialist from young. You know what they say "Train up a child in the way he should go so that when he is grown from it he wont depart". Well looks like they succeeded.

Saturday, August 28, 2004

Dream 3

Another crazy dream. Must have been all of that food I ate at the Ex yesterday. Oh well. Remember the last one?

I don't remember as much of this one as the last one but here goes. I'm walking up a paved sidewalk on a hill pushing a shopping cart like a homeless person and two guys who went to primary school with me catch up to me while pulling a huge container up the hill. I mean a huge container like the ones pulled by those big 18 wheeler trucks. We chat for a bit, we got around the corner it gets fuzzy from there.

Next I"m in St Mikes Hospital. No idea how I know its St Mikes since I've never actually been there but I just do. There are a whole bunch of people including myself in one room like we were at a meeting or protesting or something of the sort. The room has a big glass window which opens up onto a corridor and another room with what looks like a bunch of electronic equipment. For some reason I assume that's the room that organizes the ambulance and paramedic calls.

At some point this one guy standing alone in the corridor just loses it and starts throwing stuff into the room with the electronic equipment. He then goes into the room and starts destroying the equipment. Two guys run out of the meeting, somehow I know that they are supervisors or management and they are going to stop the guy from trashing the place. Or at least that's what I think. Talk about excessive force, they subdue the guy and then continue to beat him up and kick him around. So I run out the door with two or three women (they take the lead mind you) to try to stop these supervisors from killing the first guy. (sorry rather confusing as we didn't stop to exchange names)

As we enter the equipment room, the two supervisors run out through a window to the outside. Two of the women pursue them and the great mass of persons in the main room start to pour into the room with the equipment. I am holding the injured guy's head and he is unconscious and looks like he is in pretty bad shape. I grab a phone and call 911 only to get one of my friends on the line. Whoops wrong number! I said oh I was trying to get 911 sorry I'll call you back. To which the person responds ok fine I guess you're just another one of my friends who deserted me.

As I write this I realize I was at a hospital so why was I calling 911 but then I think oh yea there was some protest type stuff going on so maybe that's why I did it.

Anyway I finally get the real 911 , tell them what's happening, they agree to send someone but then suddenly a serious melee breaks out around me. Fists, feet and chairs are flying. Some dude is standing on a desk swinging a chair at me which I partially block and we wrestle for the chair. It breaks I have a piece he has a piece and we are going at it like those fake wrestling guys. He hits me I shake it off an hit him, I hit him he shakes it off and hits me. Then I wake up.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Amazing Race

I hate reality TV. I just needed to get that out of the way. To me there really isn't that much 'real' about the devised situations that TV execs have put together and labeled as "reality TV". To me its actually mislabeled and should really be called 'People doing crazy stuff and making fools of themselves to get on TV' television. I'm not a fan of Survivor, the Real World, Trading Spouses, Fear Factor none of those shows.

However I do make an exception for the Amazing Race. Yep, so much for dissing all reality TV. Here I was taking a strong stance against this genre and now I admit that I watch one of the shows. That's like saying I'm anti-drug, despise the heroine, ganja, cocaine but I' really cant get enough of this crack thing.

Anyway despite the obvious fact that I'm crazy I still dislike all reality TV ...except the Amazing Race. What can I say it is the enigma that is me. I got hooked on it last summer when there was nothing else on TV and I came back this summer for another season.

I think what appeals to me so much is the fact that they travel from country to country and see all of these amazing places. It would probably be better if we could do without the American attitude of entitlement but then again it probably adds to the entertainment value of the show.

Anyway last year it was really funny watching contestants complain that the South Koreans didn't understand English or watching them travel on the crowded buses in one of the cities in India. Priceless. This year they have gone to South America, Russia, Africa and the Middle East (more on the Middle East later) .

It was actually rather annoying watching them in Africa. These guys had no respect for the locals , well except for the black team of course. Last week in Kenya two teams got basically robbed because their bus ride cost $100 dollars while the other teams paid about 5 bucks. This was hilarious but what was annoying was watching them throw money at the bus driver like he was a beggar and not someone providing them with a valuable service. They agreed to pay the 100 dollars when they got on the bus and told him to take them wherever they were going, if they disagreed with this cost they should have gotten off. I tell ya even in his own country a brother cant get no love.

This week in Tanzania another team entered a taxi and agreed to pay 100 US to the airport. Actually all the teams agreed to do the same thing but this one team got upset because the taxi broke down and on arrival at their destination they refused to pay instead telling the taxi driver he had to take $50 or nothing. The arrogance of these guys eh! (thought I'd throw in some Canadian flavor). So the taxi driver brought the cops to whom the team was equally disrespectful until they became afraid that they were going to miss their plane out of town or be taken to jail. The ugly American mentality rears its head I guess. (I live in Canada I'm allowed to American bash occasionally) Personally I was hoping the cameras would cut out and the locals would give them a good cut ass. That would have just made my day.

Anyway they flew from Tanzania to Dubai. yeahhh! What's the big deal about Dubai? Well I spent 6 months working there a few years back and it was kind of cool watching these guys run around streets that I knew although they ended up in the middle of the desert doing desert entertainment stuff which I never did when I as there. But it was cool when they were actually in the city. They got ripped off on the water taxi (abra). They each paid about 10 US to use the water taxi to cross the river from the Dubai side to Deria when in truth I've been across for about 2 dirhams (about 40 cents Canadian). Of course they missed the authentic, packed to the gills , I swear this thing is going to sink experience that is truly a ride on the Abra but it still brought back some nice memories for me.

Please Lord

Don't let him be black.

Those were my exact thoughts yesterday at some point after I heard about the hostage drama at Union station. I got a call at work asking if I had heard about the standoff. I hadn't so I started searching the web to see if I could find any information and also started emailing friends I knew who worked in that area to make sure they weren't the one taken hostage. Luckily they weren't.

Anyway it turned out that some guy shot his wife in the underground tunnels in the area of Union station and then ran outside, held a lady hostage and police shot him dead. Pretty sad right? Here's the story

Well I was just hoping that it wasn't a black guy. At first I wasn't too worried. Whenever I think Union Station and that business area down there I think white dudes in expensive suits so I thought one of the corporate lackeys had cracked. Then I saw a picture online of the black hostage and immediately race entered my thoughts. Oh oh, I hope he isn't black. The thing is I wasn't the only one thinking that as I confirmed from an email I received moments later from a friend.

We were both hoping he wasn't black. In my world forget being innocent until proven guilty, you're white until proven otherwise. Sadly a few minutes later I saw another picture of the situation and he was indeed black. Damn!!! Well that made my day. (see previous post)

Call it the North American black collective consciousness but every time I hear about a crime in this place I always have this sense of worry that its going to be someone black. Come on I know you've all seen the black collective consciousness at work before even if it was only the O.J case. Blame it on the media, blame it on what is perceived, I don't know but its worrying.

When I lived in Barbados I never had this issue because we're 90-95% black. If a crime happened and it wasn't a black person committing it then that was a bit shocking. Must be some crazy tourist I guess.

But I dislike this black collective consciousness thing. I understand the 'we are all brothers' and 'we are all minorities trying to survive in North America' line of thinking and the 'united we stand' rhetoric but why should I be feeling this way about some dude who commits a crime? I don't know him, I could have passed him on the streets and we wouldn't speak, he aint my family. So why do I care that he's black?

Possibly because up here we are all judged on the collective. Let it be known I am an individual but no-one recognizes that. Hell, some folk cant even tell us apart which leads to a lot of innocent black men getting charged for stuff they didn't do and gives policemen excuses to pull us over as we drive citing that 'we fit the description'. It leads to the perception that every negative action by a black individual is collectively owned by the entire black community. We are judged as a collective on the actions of individuals. We know this and that's why it affects us so that when a crime is committed we secretly hope its not a black person who did it because we know that their sins will be judged as ours.

Its not even like you have a choice or maybe I'm not strong enough. Strive as I do to avoid this black collective thinking its become so conditioned in me that every time I hear some crime story I think I hope that dude wasn't black. Why because although I know it wasn't me I am thinking that its just something else that will make people think negatively as me.

Now I just read this over and I'm giving the impression that the norm is for the crimes to be committed by blacks. Not so in my opinion but why is it whenever suspects are white you don't hear their description in the news given as "suspect white , 5'10" with a scar on his left cheek" but just suspect "5'10" with a scar on his cheek"? Meanwhile if he is black the first phrase is 'suspect black'. That's got to be wrecking havoc with the black man's thinking.

Anyway interestingly, on the opposite end if a black man achieves something positive the black community celebrates it as their achievement but other communities see it as just the achievement of one black man and you know they are thinking 'he/she isn't like the rest of them'. So you just cant win.

So when its a negative achievement others view it as a community achievement and blacks try to avoid that perception although we feel that pain but when its a positive achievement blacks feel a sense of joy and embrace the achievement but others see it as just one black man doing something good. Funny how we judge one another.

Ups and Downs

A so it a go I guess but yesterday was pretty much a roller coaster of emotions for me.

Started off pretty down. Just woke up not feeling great for some reason. Then I got bad news to start things off. Not bad news like someone died or anything but just I got some news that I didn't really want to hear from my selfish viewpoint. Oh well.

So I went in to work early and then it got worst. Man shoots his wife and hold a hostage at Union station. I was at work thinking lord I hope he aint black, please lord. What do you know? He's black. (see next blog) Damn. So yea it was pretty low at that point.

Then I had a meeting with my boss and I got a promotion. yeahhh! Well its not really a promotion, more like more work with no extra pay but its on a project I wanted to be on in an official capacity and the news couldn't have come at a better time since I've been contemplating quitting for a while now if things didn't change. Now the only question is now I've got what I sort of wanted can I actually do it? Ummm not so sure about that but I've always liked a challenge. I have no idea how to approach what I'm supposed to be doing so I'm going to have to jump on this seriously and try to pick up as much as possible as soon as possible so I don't make a fool of myself.

Then and this was the pinnacle of my day.......I got Gmail. yeahhhh! Can you tell I'm a wanta be geek. ha ha ha. In case you don't know, no Gmail does not stand for gangsta-mail. Me no bad man. Anyway, the Gmail thing had me positively beaming. Best I've felt in days no weeks, possibly months. Ok forget wanta be geek even reading what I just wrote I'm like man this dude is a loser. ha ha ha

Anyway then it all fell apart. Thought someone close would be happier for me with the promotion thing so that brought down my high. Then I went to squash and got totally annihilated partially because I was upset about that. Oh well, c'est la vie. What goes up must come down.

So I went to bed early. This morning's been not bad though, read an interesting blog and had a laugh and found out one of my friends is going back to do his PhD. So far so good. Oh wait its not 7 yet. damn!

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

I well vex

I aint see it yet but I hear dat Perdita fall down in the 100m hurdles. The one great medal hopeful that Canada had this Olympics gone an fall down at the first hurdle. I mention her before here when I was talking about how Canadian athletes are not living up to expectations. I really thought she was going to be the one to live up to the hype. So now I vex.

First off I didnt want to talk about Olympics today, I was trying to avoid the topic completely. Even when I was watching Usain Bolt mess up his chances in the 200m I say 'alright boy remain calm ya aint got to write bout the Olympics' but now this one track hope that Canada had gone and mess up. Another runner of Caribbean heritage not living up to expectations. Is like the West Indies cricket team infect track or something. I cant deal wid this sorta thing. They messing up my zen.

Monday, August 23, 2004

What happens next?

Well the men's 100m finals was completed yesterday and I'm a little disappointed at the showing by the Caribbean men. I was hoping for more from Kim, Asafa and Oba. Well to tell the truth I wasn't really expecting much more from Oba given his injuries in the past few years and the fact that he just seems to be lacking that competitive drive in that event these days but I was really expecting a lot from Asafa and Kim. Oh well, every day doesn't break the same and like I said yesterday, you just cant disrespect these guys because to make the Olympics and to go to the finals in an event like the 100m is an honor and takes much hard work, dedication and sacrifice..

But all this Olympic talk has really got me thinking about something I used to spend a lot of time thinking about years ago. What happens after the Olympics are finished? What happens after you've had your one moment in time where you are racing with destiny to quote Whitney? What happens to athletes after they retire? Well not exactly that but what happens to persons who achieve so much at a young age and then move on? Can they move on? What if your best days are behind you so early on in life ...at least according to public perception?

What is your life like, if the perception is that you have passed your peak and it happens at an early age? You have had that one glorious achievement of your lifetime, you can climb no higher and its downhill from there. What is that like?

I think about that because of the young age of most of these Olympians. The gymnasts are mostly teenagers, Michael Phelps the swimmer is 19, the men's 100m winner is 22, Oba is 28 and he's thinking of retiring. The only one battling the age wall that exists with athletes with any success is Merlene Ottey who bravely shows she is still not giving up at 44 years old. Why is that? Is it because without athletics her life is incomplete or it will seem like an amazing phase of her life is over and she is trying not to give that up? Ignoring her case though what happens to these young persons after they have reached a pinnacle at the Olympics?

Well at least with athletes there is a tangible way to tell that you have peaked or achieved the best you can achieve when you've won a medal or broken a record but what about the average man on the street? How does he know that he has hit his peak and its all downhill from here? How does he know his best days are past? Have I hit my peak already? Are my best days past and I don't know? Have your passed?

And how does one embrace this concept that their best days are past? How do you climb down from your Mount Everest at 22 or 28 or 32 or 35 with many more years of living to go?

I guess its not really that simple because athletes may not think they have peaked after they medal or break a record. They will still be striving to break others as time go on. But what happens when they retire from the sport? By then they know their best sporting days are over. I guess you can strive to peak in other endeavors but suppose you never reach that level of accomplishment in those endeavors then your best days are actually behind you after sports. Imagine that! 22 or 28 and you have peaked. Isn't that kind of scary?

Politicians go on till they are old and gray, so too businessmen but athletes peak early. Maybe athletes can go into business or politics and try peaking in that too.

Do you give up after peaking? Is it like some memory in the distance as time goes on as you reminisce about when you had that golden moment and you wish that it could happen again. Are you sad after its all over and you look back thinking what more can I achieve now, I'll never be back to being this good at anything?

That's pretty depressing isn't it.

Sunday, August 22, 2004


And I'm not talking about the West Indies cricket team this time, I'm talking about Canada's Olympians. Ok, I'm being extreme with the losers comment since no one who is a world class competitor can be thus classified but I'm sure it caught your attention.

However, every day its the same thing with the Canadian athletes continually not living up to expectation. Canada isn't usually a track and field powerhouse but they are always in contention in sports like rowing, synchronized swimming (not a sport by the way) and ummm supposedly they are in contention in other sports like ummm I cant think of any more but they're out there I'm sure. So far Canada totals 3 medals at these Olympics; no gold, two silver and one bronze. Two of those medals are in sports that are way on the fringe in my opinion; Trampoline isn't a sport its something kids and circus performers use and synchronized diving well lets just ask what's going to be synchronized next, walking, weightlifting?

Anyway its pretty sad watching Canadian athletes, like the rowers who actually had medal hopes, explain why they didn't live up to expectations. So far, I've seen a female fencer cry, a male shotputter talk about his injury , a swimmer basically blame his teammates in the relay for their failure and this morning a rowing team, that was number one ranked in the world and failed to medal, discuss how everything fell apart on the course. The emotions displayed seemed very raw and real and I can tell that these athletes don't currently have the penchant for spinning disaster that Brian Lara seems to have mastered. But then he's had a lot of practice.

So I'm wondering why the Canadian teams are not performing well at this Olympics. This should be where the top athletes peak and you give that little extra as you are squarely in the public eye and this is the biggest and most prestigious sporting event in the world. Or maybe that's it. Maybe the Canadians are choking in the face of public expectations and being squarely in focus but compared to the US, the expectations on the Canadian athletes are nothing. Every US athlete is expected to win gold to prove American supremacy. Here no one really cares that much about these Olympics. I mean its not like its the winter Olympics or Hockey or anything important like that now is it.

So is that then the reason? Is it because of the lack of support that these sportmen are not raising the level of their performance and not medalling? Is it because Canadians in general have this nice guy thing going and are not as competitive as other countries? I have no idea.

I read an article by another unsuccessful Canadian athlete this morning who says she's not useless and she hopes the public can still love the losing athletes. Again that's some pretty raw emotion on display. One cant help but get down when losing especially when you think of the sacrifice and determination usually necessary to reach that level of performance (especially if you are drug free). Then to have to deal with the perception that you let down the public has got to just add even more to your feelings of failure.

Perdita Felicien is the Canadian track and field athlete with the most pressure on her mainly because she is the top ranked 100m hurdler at these games. Gold is expected of her. Anything less is well just not what is expected. I'm looking forward to seeing her performance. I hope she lives up to expectations but if she doesn't I wonder what the excuse will be.

Saturday, August 21, 2004


You feel like sharing and sometimes you just don't. That's just the way life goes I guess and for a 'closed' person like me its more time the later than the former. So today I really don't feel like expanding on anything much. If I did I could talk about how sad it is that the West Indies cricket team got whitewashed by England today and how as much as some folk think that it will lead to real changes in the organization of cricket in the Caribbean I have a real fear that nothing will change. "The more things change the more they remain the same" someone said in Animal Farm but we'll just see what happens.

I could talk about apparently just missing an interesting incident at dominos last night where some drunk gay guy came by and kicked in the door of the place we play at only to have to run for his life as four pissed off black men chased him up the street. No they didn't beat him up just turned him over to the cops. But I don't feel like talking about that.

Could talk about how it looks like the old house next to my apartment was attracting some undesirable over the past two months and how management knocked down the step and boarded up the front today. But I don't feel like going into that.

Could talk about more Olympics and how I was hoping that Campbell from Jamaica would win the women's final and how I hope and pray to God that my boy Obadele will make the finals tomorrow and come out with a medal. But I don't really want to talk about that either.

Could talk about digging in the crates at used record stores (even when I"m tired sometimes) searching for gems like O.C's first album Word ..Life' which I've been trying to find for years. Or could talk about how I"m really feeling the new Masta Ace album. But I don't really feel like it today.


Friday, August 20, 2004

Another Dream

So this one is a variation on one I've been having quite a bit lately. At least that was the impression I had when I woke up this morning. The events are real but the characters have been changed to protect their identity. ha ha ha

Not sure where it started but Jim (not his real name) entered the room hesitantly. Jim was the wickedly handsome brother who caused women to swoon at his very approach. His shirt hung off his bulging chest as he stepped as gingerly as a 6 foot muscular brother could into the room, which is to say not very gingerly at all. .......... oh wait a minute wrong story! Where was I again. Oh ok!

Not sure where it started I remember it from entering what appears to be a hotel room where I'm talking to one of my friends. I'll skip over this part since its rather vague but he or one of the two women with him is wearing a yellow robe decorated in thin streaks of blood and he tells someone to go take a shower to wash it off. I'm not sure what was happening there but it appeared that someone had gotten beaten up. However it wasn't either him or his companions

Then I find myself in a smoky bar. Loud nondescript music blaring, a mix of mostly forgettable characters interacting and I'm just strolling around with no obvious motivation. (What's my motivation for this scene again?) I may have stopped to talk to someone I know but I cant remember. Suddenly I look at the front door to the establishment and there is a fight going on with two guys. Most of the bar's inhabitants crawl their way to the incident but I decide to head for the back door as I'm not looking to be in any bar melee if things get out of hand.

I exit the club and I'm on what looks like Spadina Ave. On the outside, the bar looks like Grossman's but since I've never been inside I have no idea if their interior fits what I saw or not. As I start walking down the street I look back to see about 10-15 cops swoop down on the fight at the front of the building while a crew of bearded, leather jacketed, biker looking types stand around .

I hurry down the road and it is gradually changing from Spadina into the street I lived on in Barbados (almost said live on. Got to remember or accept that I don't live there anymore). I cross to the other side at some traffic lights. I guess the street is still more Spadina than Barbados at that point as there are no traffic signals on the street where I lived. On the other side of the street I start walking north (not sure how I know direction here but it felt like north) at which point I see these guys, maybe a group of 4 or 5, dressed all in black wearing black masks walking towards me. The street is completely transformed to the street I lived on in Barbados by now in case you are wondering and these guys are spread out across the street walking from my vantage point in a line.

These guys have a variety of tools in their hands, although I am not close enough to see the tools in detail, and are purposely striding down the street as if on a mission. At the same time they seem to be going over the details of this mission in rather loud voices which strikes me at that moment as a very last minute approach and not very professional at all. Regardless I feel a certain dread at their approach and run away down the middle of the street because I've seen these guys before in other dreams and for some reason I don't want them to either see me or catch up to me.

They don't chase after me as I run away but they proceed to a house at the bottom of my street,climb the step and attack the door with safe breaking tools as the bottom of the front door seems to be partially that of a grayish silver safe. Meanwhile the top of the door is just one of your regular types of old style Caribbean wooden house door with two pieces opening in the middle and each piece containing one big pane of some type of frosted or decorated glass which they could have easily broken to gain entry,

Still I don't have time to think about all of this as I'm still scared of them and afraid they will see me watching them. Then I wake up.

Street People 2

Ok just got back from lunch after having successfully avoided the kid parked across the street with the chocolate almonds and I realize I have deeper issues with the kids begging for money for their schools (see yesterday's post). Not sure what it is yet but I think it has something to do with on a whole isn't this teaching kids to beg a bit too early in life.

Also the fact that 95% of the kids doing this begging are minorities just leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Something about black kids or Indian or Chinese kids begging people, white folk in particular, for money definitely does not sit well with me as I just get these images of slavery or colonial days flashing into my head. I mean things have changed haven't they? Isn't this going to affect us teaching these kids to have pride. I know false pride is bad and sometimes you have to suck it up and just do what you got to do but that doesn't mean I've got to like it does it.

I could a been a contender

That's what I think after watching some of the sprint heats at the Olympics.

I just finished watching the female 100m heats and there are just some folk there who should not be there. Take for instance this one heat with Gail Devers of the US and Veronica Campbell of Jamaica. There was some Somalian girl and this Afghan girl in that heat. Now I didn't expect anything of the Afghan girl because lets face it she's probably the first female athlete from that country and well if I really wanted to be mean I could make a joke about burkas but I wont. Anyway, I saw her best times and they weren't the greatest so like I said I wasnt really expectingmuch. Then I saw her at the starting lineup and she just looked like your average female on the street whilst the other runners looked all muscular and defined. I'm guessing testing her for steroids would be a waste of time but thats just a gut feeling. Still I did not expect that after 20m of the race the girl would be about 10m behind the rest of the field. At one point I thought she was going to be the first person to be lapped in a 100m race.

Then there was the Somalian girl who was equally as bad. CBC showed a replay of Devers from start to finish from the angle straight down the lane. Why is it that the Somalian girl start on the right of Devers and then somewhere in the middle of the race was on her left? The woman run cross 3 lanes of track! I know some people who cant walk straight to save their lives but when you in the Olympics I would hope you can run straight.

So if dem sorta people could make the Olympics I feel that with proper training I could reach olympic form.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Street People

Ok I understand that there has always been and probably always will be beggars, or panhandlers if you wish to call them that, on the streets of a big city like Toronto. That is assuming we don't legislate them off the streets.

Now in some cases I actually have a heart (surprise, surprise) and may give someone a few coins but in a lot of the cases you know they are just looking to get that quick fix of drugs or alcohol and I am definitely not supporting their habit. Also you have the ones who are just out to con you like the "shaky lady" who was just the epitome of sad sitting on the sidewalk,tugging on ya heart strings, doing the St Vitus dance (Sydenham's Chorea) and when ya hear the shout the woman stop shaking and was able to hire a big Bay Street lawyer to go after the tv station who accused her of being a fraud. I tell ya!

So to keep it simple if you catch me on a good day I may give you a few cents but if I'm suspicious of you, and I'm a very suspicious person, then you are not getting a red cent from me. If your shoes better than mine, doan ask me for a dime, if ya look high, I walking by and if ya smell of alcohol , lata fa all y'all . That rhymed in case ya didn't notice:-)

Anyway the point of today's ramble is not to go off on beggars. As the saying goes beggars cannot be choosers. Unfortunately in North America beggars are part and parcel of city life and I actually feel sorry for some of them because I don't think that anyone wants to be on the streets doing that or at least a lot of them don't.

No, my beef today is with the newer street people. The kids whose schools put them out in front of stores to harass you for money for their fundraising attempts and the guys who are raising money for Greenpeace, the Humane Society and a whole host of other organizations. I know this is going to sound heartless but those people just get on my last nerve.

First the kids. I ant that mad at y'all. Well I am but not really. The way I see it, the Governments and funding agencies have cut back your school budgets and the schools are forced to get creative in their fundraising activities. Somewhere along the line some smart or stupid (I haven't decided yet) teacher probably said 'hey no one can resist a cute kid on the street. Lets send them all out with chocolate to beg for money."

Now what the teacher didn't realize was that one kid occasionally can be cute, kids at every other corner interrupting your journey with "please sir can you support me by buying these chocolate almonds for basketball camp, going to the museum or insert other great school cause here" hmmmm definitely not as cute. Its akin to tha whole 'Are we there yet" thing you see kids on tv annoy their parents with. After the first time, it just gets old, tired and annoying.

Another thing to think about is why is it that the only thing these kids can sell is chocolate? I mean, don't get me wrong, I'm a chocoholic so they might catch me every now and then with that marketing scheme but is there a secret backroom deal between the schools and the chocolate producers to get us addicted to their product? Well kiddies let me break it down for you. It goes like this. I support you by buying your chocolate, I eat your chocolate which then makes me fat and starts me on a path towards diabetes and a host of other health issues. Now the government must put more money into health care meaning? Yes, less for Education. Which means what? You kids have to hit the streets even harder to sell those chocolate bars. Comprende! You're not part of the solution you're part of the problem.

Ok I dun wid dat. On to the worst of the lot. The street tele-marketers I call them since its the same premise. What ever happened to interrupting me when I'm at home at night relaxing trying to get a bite to eat. You mean that wasn't satisfying enough for them? Did they sit around and say well we annoy him at home but now with call display we aren't as effective as we used to be and we're feeling somewhat unfulfilled so lets change the game. Lets take it to the next level! Lets take it to the streets!

So what did they do? They now interrupt me as I'm walking along, trying to get me to subscribe to some charity or some other thing I am not interested in. Sure Greenpeace is a great organization .....but not when you are stopped by two or three of its representatives on the street as you try to head to lunch every single blessed day. And don't get me started on the Humane Society folk. If they only know how many big rocks I throw at fowls and dogs and cats when I was a youngster they would know better than to approach me about money for animals. In fact they would see me as public enemy number one.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Before Last night

I never died in a dream.

The actual dream started off the usual way. I was being chased by someone or the other. Yea I have those dreams a lot. Anyone knows what that's supposed to mean? This time I'm being chased by white supremacists. Yes those same dudes with the pickup truck that I saw in Scarborough yesterday. I don't know if they are actually white supremacists mind you but well they sure looked like a couple of extras from a Time to Kill when we saw them yesterday but that's another story and in my dream they played the role of white supremacists. Talk about stereotyping folk.

Apparently in dream world they were upset because I wanted to move into their neighborhood. Strange thing is there was a black guy with them chasing me and no he didn't look like Dave Chappell in case you've seen his skit with the black white supremacist. The black guy was asking them why they were after me and they let out the usual hoopla about first they move into our neighborhoods then they're sleeping with our sisters rah rah rah. Insert your own inbreeding joke. So he asks well why do you guys not chase me too cause I'm black to which they had some response which made sense both him and them in my dream but I cant really remember what it was.

Anyway to make a long boring story short, I'm being chased, I 'm jumping a fence, I get caught and I'm murdered somehow. I think it was stabbed and then I have this whole Phantom comic book like scene where this guy (not my son apparently) was promising to revenge my death and putting on a purple mask and then I wake up.

And in case you're wondering no I'm not on drugs!

Before last night I've never died in a dream. At least not that I can remember. Any of you ever died in a dream? Whenever I think about that I think about the Matrix movies. The Matrix is sort of like a dream isn't it? You are physically located in one spot while you believe you are doing stuff and having a life as you stroll down the corridors of your mind. People who die in the Matrix supposedly don't wake up in the real world because of the trauma associated with dying. So I guess dreams aren't really like the matrix after all or I'd be pushing up daisies and not writing this blog but then I should have figured that out a while back when I realized that in order to dream I don't ram a big spike into the back of my head. Duhhh!

I've got to start making a distinction between the real world and movies but until that time Scottie one to beam up!

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Ever wonder

about words and expression? For instance, as human beings we have the capacity to edit ourselves before actually conveying an expression be it verbally or otherwise. In order words what I think isn't necessarily what I say. Someone may say something I don't particularly like and my immediate thoughts may be rather hostile towards that person but what I actually convey to them may be just a smile or shrug or a laugh. Rather strange when you think about it isn't it.

Can the other animals do this? What happens when the head lion in the pride roars and orders one of the younger lions to go run after a giraffe and the younger lion thinks to himself why don't you do it yourself. Is this what the younger lion immediately says in response or does he have the ability to pretend that he's happy to complete the task since he knows that not doing this will just lead to him getting beaten up?

And as humans does having this ability to edit ourselves make things easier on us or does it just complicate things by giving others false impressions as to our true feelings.

Monday, August 16, 2004

I'm not kidding

This morning this was my horoscope in one of the local newspapers:
  • "If a Billionaire gave you $10 Million to walk down the street every day for a month and scream "I am a total idiot!" would you do it? You're basically doing that now but you're not paid for it. You are worth more"
So how does one interpret these things? Are they saying I'm an idiot but I can get paid to be an idiot? Or are they saying you are too clueless to know you are an idiot? Or are they simply laughing in my face and saying boy are you an idiot?

And another thing who writes these things? and werent they alot less mean in the past?

Sunday, August 15, 2004

Hip Hop Peace Concert

"With all that Big willie talk, hop you're playing yourself
With all that big gun talk, boy you're playing yourself
with all that rah rah rah, you're playing yourself
you're playing yourself, you're playing yourself"

So said Jeru da Damaja about 7 years ago and I couldn't help think about how relevant those lyrics are to hip-hop today. The 'real' hip hop has become lost or hidden as the culture of bling bling, big willie-ism, BET video promoted rap has gained prominence. Common said "I used ta love her" before all of this became mainstream and I personally still love her (hip hop) but sometimes I just get frustrated with what passes for hip hop these days.

I cant blame folks for hating on hip hop because without any further knowledge of the genre, what one hears these days is 99% crap. That's what gets airplay and video rotation and the money and popularity. Meanwhile real hip hop remains in the underground existing beneath the line of sight of the masses. A so it go!
Oh well, I could go on and on about this but although its Sunday I'm not here to preach.

"I'm your idol the highest title numero uno, I'm not a Puerto Rican but I'm speaking so dat ju no"
Special Ed

"I reminisce for a spell or should I say think back
22 years ago to keep it on track
the birth of a child on the 8th of October
A toast but my granddaddy came sober
to count all the fingers and the toes
So I suppose you hope the lil black boy grows
18 years younger than my momma
but I really got beatings cause the girl loved drama
In single parenthood there I stood
by the time she was 21 had another one
This one's a girl, lets name her Pam
same father as the first but he don't give a damn
irresponsible plain not thinking

papa said chill but the brother kept winking
still he wont down you or tear out your hide
on your side while the baby maker slides"
CL Smooth

Yesterday I went to the second day of the hip hop peace concert held in Toronto. It was amazing! Well everything besides the screeching of the two hosts. Someone please next time turn down the treble on those ladies. yikes!

Besides that though it was nice to be immersed in the culture of hip hop. Dj's spinning, scratching and cutting the records, b-boys breaking and my favorite the mcs rocking the microphone. No fake gangsterism, or talk about how much 'ice', platinum, designer gear or big cars with satellite tv, and video games in the dashboard someone has. No rented mansions with pool parties featuring girls in skimpy bikinis.

Much love to all the acts that I saw yesterday Masia One, Subliminal, Code Blue, Dan-e-o & Lindo P, Cl smooth, Pangea Project, Special Ed, Jeru da Damaja, Lil Dap , Mc Colliziun. Everyone of these acts put it down for real hip hop. Much respect to Masia for her comment about Flow 93.5 FM sponsoring this show but the local artists on the show not being able to gett any play on that station. She really hit the nail on the head with that one.

Pangae Project, Dan-E-O your performances made you at least one new fan yesterday. Keep on doing what ya doing.

Saturday, August 14, 2004

The Olympics start

Missed the opening ceremony unfortunately but its not like I really care. I think my Olympic spirit died after the 96 Olympics. Back then I was in school, the Olympics were in North America and I was able to watch almost every event live without the silly time delay. Time delay is rather annoying when you can go online and find out the results and see that your team/ sportman lost or didn't make the finals etc.

Anyway, this morning I woke up and turned on the TV to see what Olympic sports are on. Women's softball with the US beating up on Italy and beach volleyball Canada vs the Swiss. Now beach volleyball ya got to love that sport. Women in revealing outfits surely incapulates everything that the Olympics are supposed to be about. uh huh!

Now what had me with the beach volleyball, since the women weren't really saying much, was the lingo. The one word that stood out to me was 'pokey'. Now anybody that from the eastern Caribbean can tell you what that word means there. I wont spell it out for you if ya don't know but lets say its not a word you would hear in polite company.

Not sure what it means in volleyball but I couldn't help laughing when the commentators used terms like 'Canada using the pokey to good effect in this game' and 'here come the Swiss with a lil pokey'. Almost thought that Playboy was sponsoring the olympics this year. 'And she uses a lil pokey to gain that point'. Wow talk about your bribing scandal?

It got me thinking though how one word can mean so many different things depending on the culture, professions, ethnicities, groups in which it is spoken.

Still I couldn't help but laugh at the thought of my mom hearing this on TV. She would probably turn it off one time an say 'but looka what TV come ta doah. one time ya couldn't talk summuch wuflessness on the air. '

Lets get it started

First blog whoopee doo! ok now everyone dont get excited all at once.

This will be an interesting venture indeed. Why? Well anybody that know me knows that I dont talk much and am not one to readily share anything about myself.

So then why do I have a blog? Good question. Now if I told you I'd be sharing now wouldnt I? See the dilema? So I guess you'll just have to figure that out on your own.