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Monthly Archives: April 2009

Trippin’


This has been bugging me for sometime now but the more I think about it, the angrier I get.  

 

I pride myself in being the type of person that uses logic when trying to get my point across to someone rather than emotional hysteria. Alas, in some of my attempts, I fail miserably.  Trying to bestow logic on an individual is like me trying to fit into a Waist size 29 pair of jeans.  It just aint happening. No matter how hard you try.

 

For all intents and purposes I always try to remain calm and collected when I anticipate that I am about to have a difficult conversation with someone. The flaw in my plan is that, I assume that :

 

  1. the other person will be a rational thinking as I am or that
  2. the person’s knows that they done something wrong and will be remorseful

 

and therefore will see my point and accept defeat (well not really accept defeat but more like bend to my will,, no understanding). Why am I going on like this? Let me present my situation to you and let you be the judge.

 

I lent about 10 original DVDs to friend of mine named Raphael Nigel on January 17th 2009. At the time he was in between jobs and said he wanted an easy distraction from spending money.  Watching movies always did it for him and kept him from going out to drink etc.

 

Now I am always hesitant to lend my stuff out as people normally don’t know how to care for other people’s property but given his situation at the time, I said that I would be nice. I instructed him that he was to handle them with care and treat them as if they were his own (hindsight is always 20/20). He promised me that I had nothing to worry about.

 

My Ten DVDs

·         My So-Called Life Box Set

·         Across The Universe

·         Hancock

·         Incredible Hulk

·         Indiana Jones Trilogy

·         City of God

·         Skins- Season One

·         Y Tu Mama Tambien

 

 

We cut to April 26th 2009 when I give him a call requesting the return of my DVDs since I have not heard from him since the time her borrowed them:

 

Nigel: Boy, I aint finish watch all of dem yet. Hey have you seen Wolverine yet? I have a copy of it

 

Me: No I am good on that end. Umm you have had them for some time now I would really like them back.

 

Nigel: Oh Ok ..hold on…(I hear rustling in the background)

 

Nigel: Yeah yuh could pass for them.

 

Me: Pass for them? Didn’t you come to my house to borrow them? Why can’t you pass and drop them off?

 

Nigel: Oh God why yuh moving so? Ah washing right now and I doh have time to do that plus is you who want them.

 

Me: You had them since January….You don’t think that is a long time to be holding onto someone else’s property

 

Nigel: Is only DVDs.man. What is de big problem?

 

Obviously whatever I am saying is lost on him so in the spirit of living peaceably with all men…

 

Me: Here’s what. Let me pass for the ten DVDs now since I know u home.

 

Nigel: Ten? You aint lend me ten DVDs

 

I feel the left side of my head tighten. Oh God I’m getting a stroke

 

Me: Yes I did. (I proceed to list them out)

 

Nigel: Oh ho..yeah yeah yeah. My bad. Oh I don’t have all here Some across by my girlfriend, but they safe

 

(Oh God….my right eye is out of focus right now and my right arm is also going numb…I think I am having a stroke)

 

Me: Buh Wha de mudder ass wrong wid u!!!!!  What dey doing dere? I len she anything?

 

(As you can see, English is failing me at this point as I am losing my cool)

 

Nigel: But wha’ppen boy…I tell yuh dey safe. How u getting on bitter so?

 

Me: Bitter? Obviously you using the word in the wrong context?  My problem is that I lent YOU the DVDs and if u carried them over to your girlfriend’s house then you should’ve brought them back to your place afterwards.

 

Nigel: Dread I sleep over and I just leave them there. Yuh go get dem back man.

 

Me: When?

 

Nigel: Me aint know nah.. She kinda not talking to me these days…..

 

Me: Here’s what organize yuh business and get me ALL of my DVDs by Saturday 2nd May. Ok?

 

Nigel: you real bitter boy?

 

Me: What am I to be bitter about? I just think you should have taken better care of the things I lent you. Is that too much to ask?

 

Nigel: Hear nah, right now you real upsetting me and I not in a mood for this shit so I gone.

Me: Saturday eh.. ah not playing.

(He hangs up)

 

Not in a mood? Upset? He has had my DVDs since January and he is upset that I want them back?  The nerve of some people!!

———————-

In the past, I have been accused of not having faith in humanity and all that touchy feely stuff but when stuff like this happens, you kinda have to believe in your base theory. People are idiots. I did him a favour by lending him my DVDs and now I am the one upsetting him? In the past three months it never dawned on him to return the stuff to me now that he has a new job?

 

People, am I insane?  Am I being unreasonable here? Should I have let him return it when he was good and ready? (Please!! Not even I agree with that last statement).

 

And what is this bitter thing? I don’t get it. For someone over 30years of age with a solid education in their back pocket, I expected more. I guess I am learning my lesson that common sense is not as common as many make it out to be.

 

How was your weekend?

 
1 Comment

Posted by on April 28, 2009 in Uncategorized

 

End of the Road


This global financial crisis is wreaking havoc on my life. With people losing jobs at an alarming rate and with the collapse of CL Financial and what little money I had in there, one would think that there would be no more bad news to be had at any point in time. Then these bits came

 

ITEM 1

All U.S. Virgin Megastores To Close By June

http://www.billboard.com/bbcom/news/all-u-s-virgin-megastores-to-close-by-june-1003951620.story

 

This one sent my head in a tail spin. WHAT? The “mothership” at Times Square is leaving? WTH!!!!! What am I going to do? My last visit to the mothership and its sister-ship in Union Square was in September 2008.  I didn’t stay long in either. Spent probably just a couple hours in each for at least three or four days….Now they are closing? Sigh What am I to do?

 

The first time I set foot in the Times Square “Mothership” was in 2000 when I was just walking around Times Square and saw the sign. I gasped at the time and I think I was locked into a tractor beam that literally pulled me towards the store. And what did I see?

 

I saw heaven on earth. Wall to wall CDs on multiple floors, with posters and bargains and gadgets and magazines galore. I have to admit, I think I jizzed a little in my trousers on entering. I had gone to the store alone at the time and had nothing else planned for the day and so I spent the rest of the day until about 7pm (well I did leave for lunch around 3pm but only for 20 minutes). Did I mention that I entered the store around 11am?

 

When I finally left the store I had in my possession a total of 25 CDs, 12 DVDs and 5 Music related Books. VISA was probably loving me a lot that day. On subsequent days I may have picked up a CD or four depending on what I remembered or some new artist I decided to try out.

 

It was the first time that I realized that unlike in Trinidad and the rest of the Caribbean, not all CD prices stay the same after being on a shelf for what seems like an eternity. It was at The Virgin Megastore that I was introduced to Rachelle Ferrelle (Individuality Can I Be Me?), fell in love with the Musical Soundtrack to AIDA, and where I bought my Lion King CD (a musical I would later be a part of who knew!). I listened to entire albums while in the store, fell in and out of love with Rolling Stone magazine in that period and bought so many accessories for my Sony Discman (at the time) that a few of the items remained unopened for like six months after my trip. Virgin made me happy. For the first time in my life I was home. I was on CLOUD 9.

 

Finally there was a place on the planet that understood me and my eclectic tastes and no one to judge me at the checkout counter when I purchased a Broadway CD, along with Rap, alternative and Jazz CDs.  A few times, a couple of the reps in the store even suggested some stuff for me and one even told me that I should apply for a job there. I laughed at that one then, but hmmm it still tickles my fancy sometimes.

 

On my last visit in September, I only purchased 10 CDs from the store (J&R Music World had the other CDs way cheaper than they did) but the love is still there. Still strong. Nothing beats stepping into a store where music fills every floor and and any CD you can possible imagine is available there at your disposal to test.  It is sometimes the best way to be introduced to a new artiste or find obscure works by one of your favorites. I just love that store. It is HOME (click heels three times….hahahahahahaha)

 

Virgin Megastore made me want to own my own music store and just be a source of inspiration and help to anyone who entered my establishment.  I still get upset whenever I go into a Music Store in Trinidad and ask about a new CD by a particular artist or even when I go just to browse.  The lack of information by these people who “pretend” to like music is astonishing. Just the other day I walked into “Jus CDs” and asked if they had the new Annie Lennox album.

 

Music Clerk: She aint come out with an album in years boy.

Me: Umm yes she did. She did an album last year called Songs for Mass Destruction and she has a new one out now. Her Greatest hits Collection

Music Clerk: Really, well we doh ha none ah dem dey….(turns to another clerk)….We have any Annie Lennix in de back dey?

Other one: Who dat?

Music : some ole white woman. She real creepy looking and she used to sing with that band the Uriddims

Me: Eurythmics….EURYTHMICS!!!!

Other one: Oh ho she. All we have is de latest one. Songs for Mass Destruction.

 

At this point, I was ready to assault these two individuals for their lack of knowledge on anything…but instead I just walked away.

 

I really gotta get my own store…..

 

Virgin Megastore Times Square closed it doors on March 31, 2009. R.I.P.

 

CD retailer Virgin Megastores closing all U.S. locations

 

www.chinaview.cn 2009-03-30 13:34:46

 

 

 

 

 

Two persons pass by the Virgin Megastore at Times Square in New York, the United States, March 29, 2009. The store will be closed on Monday. All the other five Virgin Megastores in New York are set to close before this summer. There were once 23 retail locations based in the United States. The physical CD retails witnessed smashing challenge from the digital download music market, the analysts said.(Xinhua/Gu Xinrong Photo)
Photo Gallery>>>

 

 

 

ITEM 2

‘Blender’ Unplugged

Like many other magazine titles, the Alpha Media property found the going to rough to continue

 

http://www.adweek.com/aw/content_display/news/media/e3ie60616bd56e878597497fe5b96fe6c1d

 

Back in 2001, when I used to subscribe to Maxim Magazine (for the articles of course), they sent me a free copy of a spin-off magazine that they were launching. It was called Maxim’s Blender. I can’t recall who was on the cover at the time but I was really happy about a new magazine devoted totally to music unbiased and sponsor free in its take on musicians (Rolling stone sucks at being unbiased- The other day they declared some idiot Jamaican artist to be the New Bob Marley….I swear they need electro-shock therapy).

 

Anyway I read the magazine and was hooked. Another free issue came the next month and when I didn’t see one the following month I hunted it down. No one in Trinidad was carrying it at the time so I had to import the sucker myself which mean a slight delay in it receipt.  I didn’t care though, I was so happy with this magazine.

Then I moved to Germany in late 2002 and was cut off from the magazine for like a year and a half. It was ABSOLUTE torture. I caught an edition or two on a visit to Geneva or to London but it was just basically teasing me that nowhere in Hamburg could I find this mag.

 

While I mainly buy the magazine for its album review section and its never-ending list compilations, I just love discovering someone new in its pages or reading a review that aptly described how I felt about an album or didn’t. I remember one or two albums(Glitter and Damita Jo) and that they trashed (stop laughing)that I absolutely loved and many that they declared genius that I would never EVER purchase. But hey, it’s all good.

 

Everytime they compiled a list of the top albums in any year I would always count to see how many out of the 100 or so did I own. I never cracked like over 25 or 30 albums in any one year but I normally had a few of the top ten acts and most of the top twenty. However whenever they went too hardcore rap or Rock on me, then I was lost and would just glance over those lists.

 

Now it’s gone. I bought the April issue of it 3 weeks ago and now it seems bitter-sweet since I don’t think the magazine should go out like that on such an “ok” issue. We need an issue with a Blender list of the Best Blender lists of songs or albums.

 

 

 

So Cruel World,

What are you going to take from me next?  

J&R Music World??  

Peanut Butter?  

Facebook???

HMV????

 

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  

 

WHAT MORE DO YOU WANT FROM ME????

 

 
1 Comment

Posted by on April 14, 2009 in Uncategorized

 

Better Than Me


(Names have been changed to protect myself from future harm)

 

“Ok Folks…Welcome to The Art of Writing”

“We will first begin the class with a prayer”

 

A PRAYER? What? What kind of bogus stuff I get myself into here!!!! Why are we praying? This is insulting for those who are not of the same religion.

 

“Ok now hold hands and let’s begin”

Hold hands? Where’s my Purell? Why is this man’s hand so sweaty in an air-conditioned room? Why is she in this African wrap mumbling “O-something”. Here we go…

 

“Father God/ Goddess/ Universe or whomever you are to anyone listening….”

I am not listening to this prayer. Lord forgive these heathens.  As a matter of fact, let me just say Lord that despite the fact that we don’t talk often, I still love you and whatever this man is mumbling right now.. “Oh he’s praying for the course”. But anyway, protect me from any crazy people in the class. I see a few here and a fat girl has already scoped me out and asked me what book I was reading. Please help me to avoid her without hurting her feelings…Is he done yet?  Yeah ok..Amen..

 

“Asche”

 

Huh? Asche? Who?Look “The Blood of JESUS!!!” But what kind of thing I am in here? That is what u get from subscribing to something you saw on the internet. Anyway keep the chant alive. “Open Mind! Open Mind! Open Mind!

 

“Once again. Thank you all for coming out. I didn’t expect such a large turnout”

 

“Ok let’s first begin the class with introductions.”

Great!! These people will know my name now!!

 

“This is how it will go. I want you to say your name, what good thing happened to you today and why are you doing this class?”

 

Ok two out of three relevant questions? What good happened to me today? Jeez I can’t think of anything….Ummm I still have life? No, no boy it has to be funny. You can’t say something stupid like the rest of them. Ok the first guy is going to talk.

 

Hi, My name is Ayinde, and leh meh see what good thing happen to me today?.  Hmm Oh, ah still have life (DAMN IT!!! He took my thing!!) And why am I here? Well it have ah something in me I feel it need to come out and ah come here to see if this is it. (You mean that you came here to learn English?)

 

Hi, I is Frank, and wha good ting happen to me today is…well me ent know yes…..I was just real tired today.

Teacher: “Well think of something positive. This is the object of this exercise. It forces you to remember details. We do so much in one day but we only sometimes remember the bad things. So try again”  (Wow that was insightful)

 

Frank: Well am…am….ah reach here safe. Yeah dat is it. Why I doing this class…Well I want to expand my knowledge and ting and better meh self.

 

(Ok not bad. No comment here. Why is this Big Xena-type girl turning around to me and smiling so much? Do I know her? No. I’m positive of this !!  Oh shucks I’m after this guy….What good happened to me today? THINK, THINK, THINK boy!!!).

 

Yeah          People          Bless      up.  My     name       is        Warren         Gill-Campbell (Why does “sweaty palms” have a hyphenated name and why is he talking so damn slow?) and     well        ah       doh         have      ah           good          memory         so        I cyah remember         much about          today          except          meh        mudder          drop me here. ( Oh Lord he is 7 years old).  Oh, ah did     pick out this       cool T-shirt to wear. (Ok I guess I found the class idiot. You had competition before but you won by a mile with that statement). Yeah well I here because I like this kinda ting but I have no clue how to get into it. (Oh ok he talk slow before because he was thinking at the same time? Ok mental note made. Oh shucks, me next)

 

My name is Stefan and today I had a really good “Oil down” for lunch.  It was hard to concentrate after eating it but I managed. (The crowd laughs…Yeah I’m funny and ppl are nodding.  Why is Xena trying to ask me a question in the middle of my little moment? I’m sure she wants to know where I bought it. Jeez!! Ok she is not shutting up. Alright yes yes we all know you need to beat up a village right now. But there are none, so just chill!!!). I am taking this class because there are so many ideas and stuff floating around in my head and I need to be able to get it out in a constructive manner. (I think the teacher was just impressed with my eloquence.. heh heh heh heh. Yup I’m a big kiss ass!! LOL).

 

Winnie Mandela, the African head wrap woman, begins to read from her note pad. She even reads her name from it. Wait? Ayinde is her son? Lady? How old are you? Hmmm somebody had sex in their teenage years? She have 3 children? Yup she doing this long time. Oh she is interested in making her poetry and stories in animation. Oh ok… Umm what that have to do with this class?

 

Ok the rest of the class does it much quicker than the first few people but no one was as original as I was. Heh Heh Heh!! I win!.  I win! (Boy do I need help).

 

It is just like me to go into any classroom setting and try to size up my competition. This is why I cannot study on my own for any kind of exam that does not involve me sitting behind a desk in a classroom. ACCA and CFA never appealed to me because even if there is a class for each subject. No exam done within it will help me guage who is the nerd , the dunce and/ or  the revision partner.

 

In every class I attend, I have to do this. This is not a strategy to be the best but to let you know how much work you have to do in order to excel in the class.  After a while one is able to figure out who is the “brains” of the class, who is just an “information hoarder”, who takes good notes, who is a “hard worker” and who is just “clueless” at everything. These roles in any class must be identified as each of these people will help me to better study for the class and eventually the exam. The “information hoarder” is not that important unless you have to do a “project” or you missed a class or two and require notes. You also want them in your group as they know where to get any kind of info that is required..

 

The “Clueless” are only good towards the end of the class when you are trying to revise a topic. They will obviously be lost and still looking around for notes. There you can sweep in and offer some version of help after you have condensed your study plan and therefore get to the nitty gritty with them. You will therefore have revised two or three topics with them and they actually learnt something.

 

Of course you need to be careful with the “clueless” as some of them are brilliant but lazy.  In helping them revise, they quickly absorb your summarized info and together with what info they have studied, you have just given the beast enough ammunition to totally mess up the grading curve and potentially cause yourself to get a less than stellar mark.  You need to observe their movements carefully.

 

The “Hard Workers” are the guys you want to generally team up with for both studying and projects. They want to get things done as quickly as possible and are always ready for input that will open up their way of thinking.  Their projects and group meetings usually run smooth and you don’t run the chance of handing in your project two minutes before the deadline. The “clueless” are famous for this.

 

STAY AWAY from the “pretty people” in the class. Always remember, animals use the skills God has given them in order to survive. The “pretty ones” never study and know that if they say at least two intelligent sentences in class that people will gravitate to them. With this gravitation comes the fact that they do little or no work in project scenarios and will just cause the other project members a lot of grief if a meeting disrupts their “beauty” time or “lover” time. Be very aware of this. When a project is due first thing in the morning and the entire group is up putting it together, the “pretty people” will declare that they are tired and that there is no need for them to be there when everyone else has it under control.  At this point a group member (hopefully not me) will cuss them stink but this just slides off their back.

 

Why do you ask? Well, these creatures always have back-up plans. If they anticipate or find out (through a project member who has fallen in love with them) that the group plans or sabotage them, they usually are already in contact with the lecturer who has already gotten a “sob story” about an ailing family member or a relative on drugs etc”. This is why some universities have made it mandatory that people fill out forms which state how much they think each group member has contributed to a project.  These creatures are slick and therefore one must always be on your guard for unexpected flirting and weird calls from them when you least or don’t expect it at all. But anyway I digress…

 

The Motley crew for this writing class doesn’t fall into that type of class but you still want to know who you can form alliances with and who is just looking for someone new in their life to torment (Xena fits in this latter category. She looks like tropical storm weather but one can never be to sure as depending on what she mood she is in that category can rise easily to hurricane.

 

This first class was extremely informative as we were basically given a framework albeit “holistic”, that he wants us to move from neophytes to shamans by the end of the course.  It is important that we understand the basics of story-telling and writing. He even made mention of the fact that any good comedy has a “family type” setting in it.  If there is no strong maternal or paternal type person within the comedy make-up then the format is in crisis before it starts.  He then challenged us to find the “family type structure in shows such as “Friends”, Two and a Half Men” and “Seinfeld”.

 

One class member says that he only watches black comedy shows as he can’t relate to the “white-themed” ones.  Then the teacher asked him how many of those “black-themed” ones are still on the air? He couldn’t answer.  The teacher pointed to the fact that most black shows cater to a much smaller demographic and offer harsher stereotypes of minorities than most other shows, they also don’t always follow the “family type structure” and hence fail before they even start.  Then, I pointed out that  they suffer from bad writing and bad acting.(Yes, I had to put my two-cents in) The guy then jumped up and said that Tyler Perry’s House of Payne was the funniest thing of TV. Then I blurted out, well if you like badly done Church skits then you would have no problem with it. He was lost with my critique

 

I pointed out that unless you grew up in a traditionally Black Christian/ Pentecostal background, you get the Tyler Perry humor. If you didn’t then it is lost on you and therefore it won’t hold your interest for long.  The teacher agreed with my statement partially (I will deal with his bipartisan approach on another occasion. He needed to fully agree with me!!) and stated that we would explore it further during one of the classes.

 

We then had to chose  two days of the week that would be comfortable to everyone for class. In no time we chose Monday and Thursday.  Then “Xena” raised her hand. Apparently, she can’t come either of those days because she works late everyday. When asked what days could she attend class; she says she is not sure as she works late everyday.  Oh I forgot to mention that when she was giving her introduction , she said she didn’t know why she was doing this class. She thinks or guesses she was just looking for something extra to do.(Yeah Xena great way to win over the villagers!!!)

 

At this point I hold my head and think “why did she come to the class anyway?”  Winnie Mandela then tells her to make up her mind if she wants to do the class and sacrifice her time. If not then don’t return. ( I think Winnie and I will get along fine.)  This sparked a semi-debate between them on who should mind their business.  No one cursed but “Xena” looked poised to drive her sword through Winne. The rest of the class (well me) pointed out to her that she was the only one who didn’t know why she was actually doing the class and now she is also the only one who has a problem with the time schedule. Therefore as the only one with the problem, she should go home and think about what she wants to do, while the rest of us will be here on Mondays and Thursdays for class.

 

I saw hate in eyes after that statement. Then I knew for sure she was in love or in the least intrigued by me and would surely try to get my number by the end of class or afterwards. Heh Heh Heh Heh

 

Class didn’t last long after this and we were dismissed. I rushed to the bathroom as these days I have the bladder of an infant. The bathroom facilities dictate that I really try not to touch anything in there. I made a mental note to walk with hand sanitizer and paper towels of some sort so that my hands don’t pick up anything that could be lurking in that bathroom (like leprosy).

 

On walking back to class to get my note book, who could stop me in the corridor but “Xena”.  She decided to tell me that I did not offend her and that she likes how outspoken I am. (yeah right). Then she asked if she could have my number so that if she misses a class or two that I could give her the notes. I smiled externally (Internally: Oh Lord It has begun! She’s in love!), then I told her that I don’t give out my numbers to strangers and that we will see what happens as the class progresses.

 

I thought I handled that well. I did not offend her nor did I out-rightly reject her. I just told her basically that her request would be taken under consideration.  It would be denied but she doesn’t have to know that.

 

As I left the building to head to my car, I saw “Mr. Hyphenated Name” on the corner on his phone asking his “mummy” where she was as he was ready to go home.  I laughed to myself because he didn’t sound so sheepish in the class but I guess you just never know what is going on with the people you meet.

 

I really hope that this class gives me some measure of insight into writing. If not, then I guess I still found something to do other than eat peanut butter on an afternoon while using Facebook.

 
2 Comments

Posted by on April 6, 2009 in Uncategorized