Monthly Archives: January 2008

Feel Good Time

This weekend I opted not to go to any carnival fetes nor did I attend a gathering I was supposed to. The former was primarily because I am just not feeling carnival this year at all (probably getting too old), the latter, well I thought that if I attended that one I may have assault charges brought against me so I stayed home.  Well not really home but I went over to a friend’s apartment and along with his flat-mate, Cherane, and Khamal, we played Monopoly.


Now I haven’t played this game in ages and I am a very sore loser when things aren’t going my way. Plus a few months ago I saw them play the game with a group and (1) they slaughtered everyone  and (2) they are just evil when in the midst of the game.  This time around I thought I would give it a try since I wasn’t doing anything else.


Monopoly is just one of those board games where you fight for the smallest of things. For example, I wanted to be the horse so I had to “rock, paper, scissors” someone to use it. My only logical argument was that “I always play with the horse”. It is either that or the car. Why would u want to play with the thimble, boat or hat?


Anyway, my main beef with their method of game play has to do with the rules. I don’t know if it happens in other countries but in Trinidad people has forgotten the basic rules of Monopoly and started along the way making things up. I put it down to the fact that whenever the game first arrived in Trinidad (how ever long ago that is), one person read the rules, understood it on a basic level and started to pass it down to everyone that played. In the process, you get rules such as the following:


1.      If your die roll reveals double digits you can buy property before rolling again. (HUH!!!! If it is double digits you roll until it is no longer double digits. Where you land after that, then you can purchase)

2.      If you roll three sets of double digits, you go to jail. (actually I have no problem with this one)

3.      You cannot buy property in the first round of the game. (WHY???? )

4.      You are not obliged to pay someone rent if the die has been rolled by another person. (WHAT????? )

5.      You cannot purchase houses or conduct any sale until it is your turn to place (and that is before u roll the die). While it brings a semblance of order, I find it infuriating to have to wait that long if I want to put houses on my property based upon someone just paying me rent. LOL

6.      No rental income or housing purchases can be done while in jail. (Uhmm yuh mad? Martha Stewart was able to run her business while in jail. Why can’t I?)


Those are just a few that tick me off.


The game was underway and both Cherane and Reagan were buying up property like crazy. I wasn’t faring so well. My die throws were either on Chance/Community Chest or just on property they had already purchased. It wasn’t going good for me at all. At the end of three turns on the board, Cherane and Reagan had almost total control. I owned Oriental Avenue, St. James Place, Indiana Avenue and Pacific Avenue. All railroads and Utilities were gone. The remaining properties were Boardwalk, Park Place and Marvin Gardens.


Things were looking gloomy for me as Cherane and Reagan were laughing uncontrollably at the other two players who hardly held any properties. I took comfort in the fact that the four ones I had were nice bargaining chips for anyone wanting to control  a piece of the board. Then it happened…..God smiled on me. I  bought Park Place in one turn and then landed on Chance a 15 minutes later only to be told to “Advance Token to Boardwalk”.  From then on, the game changed.


With my acquisition of these high worth properties, Reagan and Cherane went into overdrive with the “wheeling and dealing”. Offers were made for my other lesser known properties and most of the offers were rejected. You see, those two had in the long run had no one colour all to themselves and therefore their rental sums were reduced to $2- $22 depending on the location. With my acquisition of Boardwalk and Park Place, my rent doubled without me even putting a house on any of them.


Then fortune struck further, Khamal, the other player had both North Carolina and Pennsylvania Avenues and was in a financial bind. He did not have enough money to pay rent on a Hotel on States Avenue. So we struck a deal. I agreed to the following:


I would give him the money in exchange for:

  • Partnership in owning his two other green coded properties ( I had one of my own).
  • Rental on all three would be shared.
  • Immunity for four landings on Boardwalk and Park Place.


Wasn’t that fair? I think so. Khamal was getting flustered before as Reagan kept shouting that he wants his money. Cherane on the other hand was offering him two railroads and New York Avenue for his Marvin Gardens and Ventnor Avenue. Now any reasonable person knows that is a bad deal but the killer mode Cherane was in, you saw a loan shark. You saw someone who would sell their mother in a heartbeat and buy her back at a discount. No kidding. Cherane is vicious at this game. She however does it with a smile that makes you believe that she is being sincere. Pure evil she is.


Khamal took my deal and we were off. I started by putting up houses on that final stretch of the board. Should Reagan or Cherane land on any property there, we would be in the money. As luck would have it, Reagan landed on Park Place with two houses and he had to mortgage some of his properties to pay me. Muhahahahahahahahahaha.  The slum lord was a bit strapped for cash for some reason. Hmmm I wonder why.


I was becoming filthy rich and the bank was only asking me to change my cash to $500 bills now. LOL!  Khamal came up short again owing to landing on two hotel (one on Connecticut Avenue and the other on St. Charles Place.  I just told him that I would pay for it once he gave up his immunity on Boardwalk and I got all the rent from the next person who landed on the green coloured properties. Cherane was that person. $900 was all mine. MUUUHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA


Cherane got away for a few rounds after that but then she landed on Pacific Avenue with Three houses and DAMN!! She was still able to pay without blinking an eye. The game came to an end when Reagan landed on Park Place again with three houses and a total rent of $1400 in rent. He just handed all his money and properties over me.  Cherane seeing my level of control opted not to continue on and Khamal was just happy that the game was over.

I felt really good. I normally suck at these games and Monopoly is one of them. I am normally the one that lands on “Chance” and “Community Chest” and pulls the card that requires him to “Pay each player $50” or “Pay Poor Tax” or gets taxed on houses. I am just not that lucky. This game of chance came out in my favour this time. I don’t think I will chance it at another time….


How was your  weekend?

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Posted by on January 21, 2008 in Uncategorized


Gone Too Soon

This is not how I wanted my first blog for the year to be. I envisioned me giving you tales of bad experiences at some restaurant or at some all inclusive fete that I attended. Instead I am writing on the loss of a friend. A very good friend. Someone that I am missing a lot even right now


Zen Dionne Jarrette came into my life one February afternoon in 2007 while I was hanging out with my friend Reagan, Lylah and Nydra. She and Reagan had been best friends since high school and you would be amazed at the stories they have to tell on their experiences.


Anyway, I just remember being at the pool and this skinny girl with big breasts comes up to me and says..”Who are you and why don’t I know you?”


My response: “ Well, if you don’t know the answer then you need to talk to Jesus ‘cause I can’t help you”


She stared at me and proclaimed that we would get along fine. And so we did. We had a lot in common. We spoke at length about music, (songs from the past that I used think only my friend Matthew & I knew about), books, food and our obsession with the Chinese Race (that topic is for another blog at another time way in the future). It was really cool. She was amazing.


Reagan commented once that he found it strange that we both got along since we had such strong personalities and that Dionne always rubbed people the wrong way initially. Well she did rub me the wrong way initially but these things stopped bothering me along time ago. Once you got to know her, you just knew you were rubbing shoulders with someone that had DRIVE. Actually she was never in Drive she was always in Turbo Boost mode (for the Knight Rider fans).


She also reminded me of an aunt I lost about 12 years ago as they had the same smile and just the ability to draw me in completely.  Sigh… I really miss her right now.


Within the last couple months we had taken up going to “51 degrees” on a Saturday night and making fun of everyone while grinding away to every slutty song that played. We would actually clear the floor when the song “Hot Gyal” came on. It was amazing how much fun we would have. If I danced with someone she did not approve of, she would come in front of me while dancing, stare intently at the girl I’m with and say, “Like yuh want meh to buss she face!!!” . While the terrified girl would try to run, I would always assure them that she was joking. It was hilarious. It’s been awhile since I had so much fun with someone.


With her, she always picked these lame looking dudes to dance with and if I objected she would ignore me. However, if some hulk of a brute approached her she would demand that I do my duty and use her line.  Fearing for my life and the safety of my future unborn children, I would just grab her hand and pull her to me for a hug. It worked most of the time. The odd time it didn’t work the guy didn’t stay around not too long after that as I just stood there staring at them not blinking at all.  LOL! How crazy was that?


I loved her. We were friends. Good friends. The only person I had to share her with was Reagan and well whatever lap dog of a guy that was trying to woo her (and failing miserablyat it) at the time but for the most part she was MINE!! (to be said like the seagulls in Finding Nemo)


She shared my disgust at the level of customer service we get in Trinidad and trust me when I say almost every experience I have spoken about she has been there with me. The Zanzibar incident was on her birthday (we’ve never been back since).


The last time we had dinner was last year around December 21st at Trotters. Trotters is/was the new hangout where we were certain service would be good. The food is not all there but the service is really good (plus they make a good brownie sandwich). She always had the “Brown Cow” Cheesecake as her starter and then everything else afterwards. Boy could she eat…….She had my appetite and the leanness that every fat person wishes they could have.  We had dinner there and then she jetted off to New York.


The last time I saw her was at Outta de Blue fete on Saturday 5th January. She was covering it for the Guardian and I had gotten a free ticket and so I was playing “Media”.  We spoke twice after that and then I went to Barbados for work on Wednesday. I got back home on Friday night and early Saturday morning (1am) Reagan called me to tell me that her family found her body in her apartment. I don’t know what happened nor do I think I really want to know. I am just at this point – hurting.


I haven’t cried at all and for most of Saturday I was in denial about the entire thing. I kept waiting for her to call me and for us to joke about something. I didn’t dare call her phone. I just couldn’t.


Then the calls started to come. Phone Numbers I didn’t know kept calling and asking me for information. They could not reach Reagan so they called my number.  Huh? Where did they get my number from?  I was not ready for the calls nor was I ready to deal with the truth of her being gone. I stopped answering my phone.  I stayed indoors for as long as I could. It did not get better.


I got up at 4:16am Sunday morning and went into town to buy newspapers. She made the front page. She was accustomed to making the front page of the Guardian with her pictures but this was just a small line in the front: “Guardian Reporter die –see page 3”.


I read it. I read it over and over again and then I went back to sleep.


There is nothing more that I can say. I am not good at all in dealing with death. I just don’t know how to feel and even what to say.  I’ve lost someone close to me and I can’t cry at all. I feel numb.  Just numb.  This is the most I’ve even spoken on the topic and I think it will be the last.




Now that you’re gone I can’t cry heard enough I can’t cry hard enough for you to hear me now

– Williams Brothers “Can’t Cry Hard Enough”



Who can say for certain
Maybe you’re still here
I feel you all around me
Your memories so clear

Deep in the stillness
I can hear you speak
You’re still an inspiration
Can it be (? )
That you are mine
Forever love
And you are watching over me from up above

Fly me up to where you are
Beyond the distant star
I wish upon tonight
To see you smile
If only for awhile to know you’re there
A breath away’s not far
To where you are

-Josh Groban “To Where You Are”


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Posted by on January 14, 2008 in Uncategorized