RSS

Monthly Archives: July 2008

Spinning Wheel


So in my new quest at fitness this year, I have embarked upon a novel idea…I’m going to do a Spin Class. Well it wasn’t my idea but that of my friend Rachael who wanted company to go to it. I thought to myself…."Stef boy,(that’s what I call me inside my head) yuh put back on all the weight yuh lost a year ago. It is obvious the "doubles" diet not working for you and your present/non-existent gym routine needs to change". So I decided to give it a try.

 

At first I was apprehensive about going as I detest organize cardio activity. Organized Cardio makes me feel inferior as I am not always able to keep up with the coordinated few and their kicks and arm movements. Then there are the people that you see everytime at these sessions that NEVER seem to lose a pound but seem to sweat buckets while working out. All the sweat seems to do is make life difficult for the next person to use that area to workout and well leave a lingering odor and Lysol still can’t remove.

 

In my quest to be a "new" man for 2008 (Yup I’m off to a very late start), I took up the challenge. I mean how hard can bike riding be? I do it for 10-15 minutes in the gym and it seems ok. What could go wrong?

 

Here’s a synopsis of workout:

4:20pm             Arrive at Spinners World

4:30pm             Woman with a Westmoorings accent announces the trainer is late so she will start class

4:35pm             Ok not off to a bad start.

4:40pm             Ok just hit my mouth on the top of the bike while trying to do push-ups and pedal

4:45pm             Trainer Arrives – his name is Christian (Another Westmoorings accent)

 

Jeez I need to take a class to understand these people or is it that I don’t understand “Spin Class Speak”?

 

4:50pm             Asked to pedal between 125 and 130 but I seem to be stuck on 115.

4:43pm             Keep the Rhythm. Umm I think I’m doing it.

4:55pm             Add Resistance? Oh turn this black knob

4:57pm             My row is being penalized. He is only making us do runs longer than the front

5:00pm             Add Resistance. Oh ok. Keep the Rhythm

5:01pm             Add Resistance… What De HELL!!! Again

5:02pm             Add Resistance…Ok I just put my hand in the area. I not changing it

5:05pm             Add Resistance… Steups!!! Ok swishing from side to side not bad but after adding resistance I cannot keep my speed above 100. This man mad yes

5:07pm             He just asked the class what they want to do now. Some eager beaver upfront yapping away and he is smiling at her suggestions. Oh Lord!!!!

 

I turn to Rachael and asked her the time length of the class.  Rachael is moving in and out of consciousness and uses her hands to spell out 45 minutes. Poor girl stopped moving about too much when

 

5:09pm             Oh Lord, these push up things again?

5:09pm             I think I just burst my lip

5:10pm             Did it again….I tasting blood now

5:10pm             How many of these push ups are we doing?

5:11pm             Keep the Rhythm? He mad I tired. My legs, my LEGS!!!!. My thighs are rubbing together. Balls hurt

5:12pm             Arms Curls? In Spin Class? What the hell did I sign up for?

5:12pm             Rachael is on her bike but there is barely any movement

5:13pm             The guy next to me just got off his bike and waddled to the bathroom

5:15pm             He is not coming back. 45 minutes are up and this man not showing signs of ending this class.

5:16pm             Add Resistance? Umm yuh was late. Time to end the class

5:16pm             Keep the Rhythm……Wait is he singing the song while we cycle?

5:17pm             Rachael is drinking water and smiling at me. Her legs have stopped moving.

5:17pm             Some idiot up front is not using his hands.. Steups..Spin FREAK!!!!!

5:18pm             Rachael’s head is on the bike.

5:19pm             Add Resistance. Ok Mr. Man…..I will deal with you in the car park afterwards

5:20pm             Remove Resistance? Can it be?

5:21pm             Ok we are slowing down

5:22pm             Ok I’m off the bike and trying not to fall over while we stretch.

5:22pm             Ok didn’t work. I fell over. Rachael is laughing at me

5:23pm.            Class has ended

 

My legs are not my own right now and I realized why I slipped. I left a pool of water under my bike. My jersey and shorts are soaked.  Thank goodness I brought a change of clothes.  Rachael is still laughing at me. It’s not funny anymore.

 

Next Class is Friday morning at 10am. It is a holiday on Friday. Should I go? My legs are not that bad this morning and I do feel a bit energized.

 

Too bad I had two Chicken Patties when I got home….Guess I should’ve had a salad.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on July 30, 2008 in Uncategorized

 

Never Again


You all know how I’m into being “one “with the people, right? Yeah I’m all for equal opportunity and for hanging out with anyone……..Yeah ummm that sounds like me.

 

Well on Saturday night, I did such a thing. I went to a party called RAW (Ready & Willing) in Santa Cruz with an acquaintance of mine that well let’s just say I normally don’t hang out with.  He has been bothering me for awhile to hang out with him and his “crew” and he says that they are “down to earth and real cool”.

 

His first attempt at getting to me to go out with him and his friends saw us visiting Zen (the nightclub) on the night before a holiday and he made a point of saying that we have to stop at Cro Bar and one other bar before heading to the club as they have to get a “buzz” before venturing into Zen. At the time I kept my comments to myself and just said: “Stefan , why you so stuck up? This is how people have fun. Loosen up!!!” Well I left them when they got to Zen citing stomach issues from a roti I had earlier and the fact that I can’t go in public toilets. In reality, I had no intention of hanging out in the “general area” of Zen with people that both drank and smoked a lot.

 

So this time since he said the party was in a plaza in Santa Cruz, I knew it would be open air and therefore not as bad as being in a confined space.  Plus we were picking up two girls this time before heading there.

 

Oh ok..I guess I could give it a try.,…

 

Yes we picked up two girls and one was in a tight fitting dress that well..sigh…left one wondering how was she breathing normally. She looked really good. She looked good to eat. The catch is, we had to pick up some guy in Belmont who they all worked with and who requested as soon as he got in that I carry him to Frederick Street so he could purchase a shirt for the tonight’s party. Mind you, the time when we picked him up was 12:30am Sunday morning.  We got his shirt in town and were on our way to the party.

 

When we got there, I surveyed the crowd outside of the party and found them to be lacking something. Anyone who knows me, knows what I was thinking at that point. I went into my version of “bad boy” mode. My version involves putting on a serious face, moving my head slowly and if spoken to, I would only utter three word phrases. No complete sentences are allowed as they give you away. My signature phrases for the night were:

 

Wuz de scene” – Translated  What is the scene or How are you doing?

Respek” – Translated: “Respect” or simply “I understand your viewpoint”

Yeah Man”: – Translated: “Hello” or “I acknowledge your presence”

 

Now my translations may not be spot on but they interchange so much in this environment that the use of any combination will be understood by the subjects.

 

On arrival, the girls disappear into the party, my friend is getting people to put up to buy a bottle of Grey Goose Vodka for his crew to drink for the night. Grey Goose? HUH?

SIDENOTE: Apparently, in fetes/parties where drinks are not free on entry, the common practice is to pool your money and purchase of bottle of liquor along with soda or juice and some ice and have everyone drink from it for the rest of the night. Who knew?

 

I opted not to contribute to the bottle as I was driving and therefore had no plans to drink anything other than juice or Shandy Carib. This was not seen in a positive light but I was given the line “Respek” by two of them so I still felt in the mix.

 

Well they ended up buy a bottle of Absolut and made do with that plus  some cans of Red Bull.I took one drink from them and nursed it for at least an hour until I walked to the bar and just left it there. Vodka with a hint of Red Bull is just not my kind of drink.

 

Overall, the party wasn’t a bad one. The music was highly entertaining, even though I was unaware of most of the tracks being played. Some I remembered or had heard of due to my brief moments of tuning into 106 and Park on BET and 96.1FM or 96.7FM.  The girls made me feel really welcome but the one in the tight dress was playing hard to get and she was only walking the party as if she was on display.  I was intrigued by her. She seemed to be able to construct full sentences with minimal use of green verbs. In other words , she spoke well. I said that I would at least dance with her once for the night and well who knows.  Then it happened, she pulled out a cigarette and never stopped smoking until the entire pack was done. Any sexiness that was left in her died after the third cigarette was lit. Oh well…….I bet those grapes were sour anyway….

 

As the night goes along, the crowd is not big but they are having a good time. I decide after seeing some of the dance moves going on to go get my camera and take some pictures. And I do, I start snapping away and then I realize that some people are looking at my camera and not at the lens for the photo.  I then observed that two guys keep circling me ever so often and looking at the camera. Hmmm, I immediately shut it off, and kept it to my side against a wall for like five minutes. When I noticed the passed by and looked to see if I still had it, I knew I needed to get my camera out of there. I did it so fast that I swore I was moving at light speed to my car. I however made sure that I wasn’t followed and that the guys that were canvassing me were on the other end of the party when I left.

 

I’m happy to report that my Panasonic Lumix digital camera is safe at home.

 

Anyway, by 4am, my bed was calling but these people were not ready to leave at all. So I did what I normally do in situations like these. I go to my car and sleep until the rest are ready to go. Ummm how does one fall asleep in an area where you are really not comfortable. Well you put the car on and don’t put on the air-conditioner. One has to stay alert just in case.

 

At 4:45am my bladder told me it was time to get up. I went back into the party to use their facilities (I was not about to pee on someone’s wall and risk getting shot at).  On completion of my task I proceeded to walk out of the party again. This time I detected that the mood in the event had changed. It seemed tense in some manner but I just couldn’t put my finger on it.

 

I get back to the car only to hear the tight dressed one shouting to another girl:

 

Tight Dress: Ah not taking dat disrespek from no one. How he go come and touch my ass and tell he partner she ready for it. Nah I will F*@#$&*G cut him up.

 

Hmmm ok something is happening. I just get back into my car.

 

Then some guy in a green shirt comes up to me and tells me:

 

Green Shirt: Fadda doh study dem. We up here real mellow. Dem on sh*t.

 

On that note I decide to get off the ledge that I had parked my car and face it in the direction to leave the party.

 

As I do that, my friend comes to the car with the two girls and push them into the back seat and tell them to “Keep yuh ass here!!!!”  The tight dress one is still cussing up a storm and I keep apologizing to my car as it is not accustomed to this type of language being used. He then comes back, takes something from my front passenger seat door pocket and heads back into the crowd.

 

Not too long after, he and three other guys come running to the car trying to fit in it. I say to them that my car seats four but that fell on deaf ears. Then I was told to drive. So I did.

 

When I started to drive off, tight dress told me that I need to stop and go back for Melissa and Shanna. She not leaving them behind. I was about to respond when my friend told her that he didn’t bring them here so they have to find their way home. Plus his driver is not going back for them

 

Excuse me? Did he just say what I think he said? His Driver? Oh hell no…….(I said nothing. I held my tongue. It will all be over soon). Even when she started smoking in my car, I held my tongue as it would all be over soon.

 

I dropped the guys into town and the girls where they lived in Diego Martin. As soon as I drove off from dropping the last girl, my acquaintance turns to me and apologizes profusely for the events of this morning. He had that he never thought the party would take a turn like but he likes that I didn’t panic and that I kept my cool. H

 

“Yuh real cool under pressure boy. I like that. We could lime any day of the week”

 

Me: Where should your driver take you now?

Him: Nah I aint wukking today..Leh me sleep by you and we go go beach around 12 or so.

Me: Excuse me? Beach? Boy yuh mad or what?

Him: Small ting. Ah go call a next set a girls to go beach wid we.

Me: Umm I dropping you home. Try and lose my number nah.

Him: Yuh vex bout tonight? Ok Ah go let yuh sleep. We go do beach next weekend.

 

Sigh…….

I got home alone at 6:30am and slept until 12:30pm.  Ate something ,then slept again.

 
1 Comment

Posted by on July 21, 2008 in Uncategorized

 

Drive


Have you ever reached a point of absolute frustration where you want to:

  • Pull your hair out
  • Start cussing everyone in site
  • Hire a vagrant to pelt excrement at people, or in the absolute extreme
  • Walk around naked with your dirty underwear in hand wiping it in people’s faces?

 

Well I am happy to say that I am so past these points of frustration now. I am indifferent. Totally lost all ability to feel, care or let certain matters upset me. Who or what, you may ask, has brought me to this state? Frankly, it is my car.

 

Now don’t get me wrong I love my car. I love the fact that it prevents me from having to ride along with common folk in public transportation vehicles. Breathe their air, smell them and sigh…engage in actual conversations with them on topics I really don’t care about like Cricket or the PNM/UNC/COP/ Race Relations etc…

 

My car just has me tired at this point.

 

Now back in December 2005, I purchased a Renault Megane II and I was in love. The car drove really smooth, hardly made any noise whatsoever and was very fuel efficient plus it seemsd to look  more expensive than it actually was. I thought I had found a gem.

 

I will leave out the fact that most people advised me not to buy a Renault but I wasn’t going to purchase a:

 

  1. Nissan – the most stolen car in the world
  2. Toyota – Do I really want to drive a box?
  3. Audi – Do I really want someone to lock my neck and take the car?
  4. Volvo – Well, this one I really liked but Maintenance Costs start at TT$1500 with every visit to the dealership and there is a 2 week waiting list for parts
  5. Peugeot –Had one. Nuff said
  6. Mazda –The M3 looks like a girly car
  7. Honda – Had one of those and they have no features whatsoever
  8. Subaru – This car just ugly without its flare kit and I’m sorry but I don’t want anyone coming up to my car asking me to race.
  9. FORD – Fix Or Repair Daily? Ummm no. one month waiting list for parts.
  10. Mitsubishi – Ummm No

 

So I had narrowed down my choices to Renault or a Ford (well Ford is now European made so I was assured that the old problems no longer exist). In the end, I chose the Renault. Why you ask? Umm well…the salesperson threw in a 6 CD changer plus the built –in single CD one that was there already .so I can play 7 CDs in my car. That sold me totally. When I asked Ford if they could change the single Cd player in their car, I was informed that the car cannot be altered. So my decision was made.

 

Hey, don’t knock my decision for a car based solely upon the inclusion of a CD changer. It is a very good CD Changer system and is probably the only thing that hasn’t gone wrong with the car since I purchased it 2 ½ years ago (knock on wood).

 

Bear in mind that the Renault comes with a 2 year warranty on its maintenance.

 

PROBLEMS PROBLEMS

From out of the gate, problems started up with this car. First off the block, there was some constant squeaking while driving. Carried it back in with two weeks of purchasing it and they said they fixed it. Really? You fixed it? Ok so why did I have to visit the dealership two more times before I actually stopped hearing the noise?

 

My 5000 service came up really fast (as at the time I was still living in Arima and working in town so I was stuck in traffic for most of any 24 hour period) and they found  some sensor wasn’t functioning properly so they changed it. Err Ok, I didn’t notice anything but my driver’s side handle was peeling at a rapid rate.  They promised to change it since it was under warranty. I got the handle changed in August 2007 (it was on special order apparently – No cost to me).

 

For the next few months in 2006, nothing went wrong with the car, all was well. She drove well and I was still finding new features in car that made life much easier. For example:

  • Automatic lights when the light outside changes. So I go into an underground parking lot and the lights come on and automatically switch off when the light level increases. Hmm let’s see a Nissan or Toyota or Mazda do that!!!
  • Control  of Car Stereo from the steering wheel.
  • Trunk space enough for three dead bodies
  • Back Seat has a tray that comes out in the middle where on can place drinks etc
  • Car Key: did I tell you that my car key looks like a card so there is no mistaking it when people come asking if you picked up their keys by mistake.

 

But I could go on and on. The car basically has features only found in a lot of high-end cars and at a price of TT$140,000, it was a steal of a deal.

 

Then 2007 arrived and the squeaking started back and the service center at Renault kept insisting they were not hearing anything. Then the car started to give me a hard start and shut down all over the place. After making me pay for every time they had to change some coil in the car in an attempt to fix the problem, it stalled totally  in front of a traffic light in St. James one weekend in November 2007.l.  I got it wrecked to my home then carried it to Renault who refused to pay for the Towing since it was their fault the car still wasn’t working. They just ignored my rants and cussing.

 

They fixed it after keeping the car for a week and me having to bum rides to work as I was NOT traveling to do anything. They gave me a discount on the bill. A $500 discount on a $4000.00 bill. Yaay…Yeah right…

2008 got a little better (I think).

In one small swoop, I had my 60,000km service , which was now outside the 2 year warranty period and lo and behold, they needed to change EVERYTHING in the car on top of keeping it for two days for the service. Cost after their 10% discount….sigh.. I’d rather not say. Let’s just says “they bull meh real good”

 

To make matters worse, after paying that hefty bill, I park my car in front of my aprtment and some IDIOT hits my back door while reversing near my car and drives off without even stopping to tell me anything.

 

Renault placed the cost to replace the back door at $8,000. Their straighter/painter/Dick Turpin type money grubber saw the damage and said minimum $4,000 to repair. Hmm and here all I thought they needed to do was just push out the dent, the window was still working so no glass internally was shattered.

 

I went to a guy recommended by a co-worker and got the door repaired for $1,500 and it looks great.

 

By now, I am hemorrhaging all around from this car. I’ve cut down on entertainment expenses, established a fund for my car, and haven’t taken anyone for a nice meal in a long time and I cook at home (sigh, I’m becoming poor.). Anyone wants to take me out, I’m available but can you come pick me up? LOL!

 

If this is what it is like to have a child, then I good just the way I am.

 

I just made another appointment to go in to the Renault Service department because the last one I scheduled for changing my wheel bearings (or something like that), they told me nothing was wrong with them. Huh? What? But you gave me a paper from my 60,000 service telling me that I need to change them soon.

 

So after that wasted visit, I’ve scheduled another one since the car seems to be making more noise than before and I feel as if the tyres are dragging on something. I just don’t know what to do anymore. Based on these recent developments, I have cancelled a planned trip to Barbados for Crop Over, as one never knows who will be more expensive.

 

To make matters worse, every time I go to the Service Department, there is someone new there whom I have to bring up the learning curve with my car. So much so that one girl called Afeeyah would run and hide whenever she saw me coming into the building. It is Afeeyah’s fault. She spouts the most garbage to me when I arrive and therefore suffers my wrath. One time I came into building really quietly and she was the only attendant there. As I walked in I saw her in her office on the phone and then I blinked and she was gone. No honestly, she disappeared. No where to be seen but the sound of a slamming door in the distance indicated that she had fled the building to safety.

 

The General Manager of the Dealership, Sebastien Proux (aka  ze French bastard), refuses to answer my calls and emails.  I just see discounts on my bills when they hand them to me. I don’t want n stinking discount, I want a NEW FREAKING car.

 

One girl at the dealership offered to purchase my car from me for the lovely price of TT$40,000. I asked her in a very calm manner (but I was boiling inside), if she was also going to take over the loan I have. She just laughed and said, “Mr. Simmons yuh real funny yuh know.”

Murder was the case that they gave me started to play in my head for some strange reason.

 

I don’t know what to do anymore. I am stuck with a car for another 2 years while the maintenance bills on it mount up to high heaven and while the resale value dwindles. Serves me right for buying a car solely for the gift of CD changers.

 

The CD changers work brilliantly though and they help ease my tension when I can be seem on any road in Trinidad screaming y head off in the car to one of the randomly selected tracks that comes up on my player.

 

Don’t you just love it?

 
1 Comment

Posted by on July 15, 2008 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , ,