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Monthly Archives: December 2012

2012 – My Lists (Entertainment)


Not that my lists matter in the grand scheme of things but here is how my 2012 went in terms of movies, music television and books.

MUSIC – ALBUMS

I bought over 50 albums this year and it is sad to say but i barely listened to music this year. I don’t know what had me so distracted but i felt as if nothing much was moving me and this year’s crop of tunes were no help. There were alot of cool songs but when it came to albums, well let’s say, i will be buying less and less albums as the years go by and just more songs

BEST:

  1. Pink – Truth About Love: Pink ROCKS!! She kicks ASS! And this album is a gem amongst the drivel of bad albums I had this year.  Try, The Great Escape, and Slut Like Me are always on repeat.
  2. Emelie Sande – Our Version of Events : While I still believe this album chronicles a break up in all it stages. It is still a refreshing sound from this artist. “Clown” is my favourite song.
  3. Robert Glasper Experiment – Black Radio: Recommended by a friend and loved for life by me. This refreshing Jazz infused album just flooded my ears and found a home within. Lalah Hathaway, Meshell and Ledisi sing on it. Need I say more? Listen to “Gonna Be Alright” featuring Ledisi as an introduction, then hear Lalah’s “Cherish the Day” and stay for more.
  4. Lionel Richie – Tuskegee : I bought this on a slow day and found myself loving the country twang on these remakes of his classic songs. What a way to refresh an artist’s catalogue.
  5. Pitch Perfect Original Movie Soundtrack – Such a great movie and such a fun soundtrack. Since You’ve Been Gone and the Bella’s Finale medley are killer.
  6. Maroon 5 – Overexposed : Solid Album
  7. Delta Rae – Carry The Fire: “Bottom of the river” and its video hooked me and “When Tomorrow Comes” made me buy the album and savour it!
  8. Ella Andell – Bring Down the Power.: While stuck in Piarco Airport for 3 hours waiting for a LIAT flight to Curacao to arrive, I heard this album in its entirety and realised that I have been neglecting the awesomeness of this lady of the soil with a killer voice.

MUSIC – IN PURGATORY

  1. Frank Ocean – Channel Orange : Because of  all the hype surrounding him, I haven’t even taken the wrapper off the album.
  2. Brandy – Two Eleven: Despite the auto-tuned voice all over this album, I enjoyed a few tracks after it got stuck in now defunct stereo.
  3. Heather Headley – Only One in the World: I wanted and wished to love this album more than anything else but it felt incomplete for me and just missing her magic. It’s not a bad album just not my favorite from her. “I Wish” still remains a classic song.

 

MUSIC ALBUMS – WORST

  1. Macy Gray – Covered (A voice can grate on your ears for so long without causing it to bleed)
  2. No Doubt – Push and Shove (Right to the back of my music collection! What the hell was this?)
  3. LMFAO – Sorry For Party Rocking (and for buying this waste of time album even if it was on sale)

MOVIES

Best:

  • Pitch Perfect
  • Argo
  • Life of Pi
  • The Avengers
  • Chronicle
  • Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
  • 21 Jump Street – still shocked I liked it
  • Ted – irreverent and hilarious

Worst

  • Prometheus – I fell asleep twice trying to watch it
  • Total Recall – I recall it not being this much Bovine Excreta! Kate Beckinsale rocked though!
  • Rock of Ages –still trying to figure out what went wrong with this movie. Oh Yeah it was a really bad Broadway Show!!
  • Dark Shadows! –Ah want meh money back!
  • Savages – See Dark Shadows
  • Taken 2 – took my money is right
  • Tyler Perry movie and actor!! –
  • All Adam Sandler releases
  • The Expendables 2 – so disappointed in this sequel

SIDE NOTE::Let me just state that I refuse to acknowledge how much I liked Breaking Dawn Part 2 but that was mainly because Bella actually had a personality. Who knew being dead improved her insufferable whorish teenage ways!  The Fight scene in the open field is what made me appreciate suffering through all the other awful ones, but I REFUSE to make mention of it on any list!!

 

TELEVISION

Best

  • Scandal (Guilty Pleasure) – You can ignore the over-acting and some unbelievable scenarios and just fall into this drama that keeps you on your toes and your heart racing.
  • Downton Abbey – brings out the aristocracy in us all. The Dowager Countess Lady Grantham kicks ass!
  • Arrow
  • Homeland
  • Duck Hunters
  • The Voice –USA
  • New Girl
  • Mindy Kaling Project
  • Tosh.0 – I cant help but watch this clip show!

Worst – I have given up on you

  • True Blood – I don’t know what this season was about but I’m glad it’s over.
  • Boardwalk Empire – Errr
  • Once Upon A Time – I am lost!
  • Grey’s Anatomy – Enough with the Meredith suffering crap!!
  • X Factor USA – This show is just awful

BOOKS

This is embarassing but out of the 20 books i purchased over the course of this year, i have only fully read two of them.

  • Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan
  • Perks of being a Wall Flower – Stephen Chbosky

Both were really good I am also not ashamed to say that the first book is geared towards young adults/teenagers but the writing is so good and takes me back to my love of Greek/Roman Mythology.

Here are the books that I have started but yet to complete:

  • NW- Zadie Smith (My fear is that this will be as bad as The Autograph Man)
  • The Power of Six- Pittacus Lore (Sequel to I am Number Four)
  • The Night Circus – Erin Morgenstern
  • Look Who It Is Alan Carr My Story – Alan Car (Very funny but still don’t know why I never picked it back up)
  • A Storm of Swords – George RR Martin (I am told it gets really good but I find the pages with Kaleesi to be insufferable and so I keep putting it down)

I would honestly blame my fickle personality to not be able to commit to a book but honestly, there are books from last year i am yet to complete. It took 2 years to finish Midnight’s Children and I still wasn’t over the moon in love with it like most other people were.

Here’s to 2013 and may my focus return so that these lists will make more sense in the future.

 
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Posted by on December 31, 2012 in Books, Entertainment, Humor, Movies, Music, TV

 

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The Morning Comes


’Cause the devil’s in the details and he’s taking his toll
Sending good men down the foot trails of some lost lonely souls

As I was sleepily going to let 2012 slip by without a signal notation, WordPress.com reminded me of what I did on their site this year. It wasn’t much but it made me realise that this year I slacked off on a lot of things I used to do and it almost felt as if I lost my passion.

I started off the year racing to Music Festival to try and recover or remember the joy of singing/competing in some way. The only thing I remember about it is that I hate losing and I didn’t enjoy singing a single song. Well I enjoyed singing two out of the three songs but losing at every turn left the melodies with a sour taste in my mouth. Plus it made me cognizant I was singing for the wrong reason. I wanted to be heard but I guess not in a good way. When God wants to teach me a lesson, he crushes my spirit good and proper so that I don’t make the mistake again. Lesson Learnt.

Then came “Little Shop of Horrors” in May 2012. Honestly, I loved my voice in that production and I felt as if I had come home to my craft. From rehearsals to every night on stage (well backstage – being the voice of Audrey 2), I found a joy, an energy, a feeling that for me resonated in my performance. I  felt as if I could do this job for a living. I was reinvigorated. While no one may have complemented my performance much on the show, I felt good about it and I love that feeling. I knew I did good work.  There are people who may not like me for whatever reason but they cannot deny that I don’t  give my all for every performance. Being the voice of Audrey II felt right. We were one! I loved it.

And then that was it for performing. Doldrums. Nothing again. (insert cricket chirping noise here…)

I didn’t mind much this time as I concentrated on work more and all the intensity that brings with it and well this time my boss had no comment in my performance appraisal about him believing that he wasn’t sure if I wanted to be there! Hmm the things people say even when I never took a sick day nor a personal or vacation day in 2011 for any performance. 2012 proved to be the same.

Photography also took a short nap after I started off the year with an ambitious project of a photo a day for January on flckr.com. Coming towards the second half of 2012 I could no longer fight off the need to be creative and so with my camera in hand, I took shots of anything and anybody I could find. One day I do hope to have a gallery exhibit with some of the photos that I took (some that still shock me because I wonder how did I get that particular shot).

Yup in looking back, 2012 started off with promise and then slowly dissolved into an experience that I still can’t quite come to terms with. A lot of soul searching and denials continued to occur within me during this time.

I kept being confused at why the prospect of love never finds me. Only to realise it is not in the form that I am looking for. God has blessed me in so many areas of my life, why must I be selfish and think that just because i am not married , have children or in a serious relationship that my life is not complete?  How selfish is that thinking?

I questioned friendships, relationships and found that for some people, I think Jesus would agree and fully endorse me not speaking to them ever again. There is no hate but as my soul gets older, its tolerance for irrational people, drama, lies and  BS is not as high as it used to be. Every year there are casualties. Some friendships are mourned but with the death of some, comes a sigh of relief, the angels singing on high, a new song. Freedom!!!

As with every year, some people are hurt, some people die and some people got sick and no amount of writing about it can repair/fix the feelings they had or experienced. Especially when one is absent from the process and one just doesn’t know how to get back into it. A Man Apart!

I have become somewhat of a recluse; peeping out into the world on occasion; living through other people’s eyes and not taking chances. I have strangely enough found new friends, reignited friendships lost and still remained “me”.

I say babble on about all of this because I turn 40, (FORTY!!), in 29 days’ time and it is FREAKING SCARY!!! I still can’t come to grips with being that old. When did it happen? I still feel that a part of my life must have been fast forwarded because I can’t recall how this came so soon.

I worry.

I embrace it.

I worry some more.

There are things still yet to be done. In the scheme of life, I’m way behind on some of the goals and milestones that are set out for normal people. Alas, I am not normal. I never considered myself normal.

I am that curbside prophet still waiting for his rocket to come.

I am a singer still waiting for that big break. That one hit. That album. That tour. That success!

I am an actor waiting for that one movie role, theatre role, award, million dollar pay day. That indie movie with critical acclaim. That Vanity Fair/GQ Spread

I am that chubby boy waiting for the appearance of abs, the low body fat measurement. That hot body with spectacular pecs and a chest that means I never have to refer to them as “tut tuts”

I am that dreamer, who sees so much and wants to do it but feels constrained, feels helpless, but still wants to press on!

I am waiting.

Waiting for life to begin!    I have started it a few times but them it seems to lose steam.

Out of everything, I know one thing to be true….

I still haven’t found what I’m looking for…. So I must journey on.

Onward to 2013 and all the blessings and challenges it brings.

I’m ready….Are you?

 “And I say oh, oh
Rain don’t change the sun
Jealous is the night when the morning comes
But it always comes.”

Delta Rae -The Morning comes

 

HAPPY 2013 EVERYONE!

 
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Posted by on December 31, 2012 in Emotions, RANT, Uncategorized

 

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Love Actually


People have asked me, if I have ever been in love and when my response results in a “No” , they are shocked. It is the common belief that we have all been in love at some point in time

By my definition or “understanding” of love, I have to say that I have been “in like”, “strong infatuation” and “in lust” way too many times, but love…ummm never!

I am sure of it!

Then this happens………

On Wednesday afternoon, I pick up my god-daughter, Kai, from school to carry her home to Chaguanas.  All is going as planned so far. We first stop off at Hi-Lo in Woodbrook to secure a juice box, some gummi bears and bottle of water. While there she spots a toy purse with Dora the Explorer plastered all over it.

Kai: Uncle Tefan can I get Dora please!

I smile and first think if her mommy would be pleased if I purchased it. Fearing a sharp scolding and probably a thump in the head, I answered Kai:

Me: No Kai, we will get you Dora for Christmas, but not now

Kai’s face gives a slightly puzzled look and continues to look at the toy.

Kai: But I want Elmo

Me: Well will see about getting you those things for Christmas

Kai: But ah want it now.

I smile and push the stuff towards the Cashier to ring up and pretend she didn’t almost win an argument with me. I can’t always be a pushover.

Ok we are off again.

photo 2

There is a heavy amount of traffic on Wrightson Road and as a result we are stuck in it with slight movement every few minutes or so. Kai was singing to a song on the radio when all of sudden it was announced:

Kai: Uncle Tefan, I need to wee wee.

Me: (slightly panicking) Oh ok Kai, we will get you to a place just now.

Traffic is not moving an inch. I see Capital Plaza (formerly Crowne Plaza) ahead and I think it is an ideal spot for her to use the bathroom.

Two minutes later……….

Kai: Uncle Tefan I think it coming down!

Now, listen, I am not about to let my goddaughter pee at the side of the road like some proletariat’s offspring so I start looking at options.

  1. I can park the car and run with her in my hands to Capital Plaza and hopefully she can make it there.
  2. I have an empty glad container in the car and she can use that until we can sort stuff out.

Ok, yes I know the last idea was very bad but I was worried about her discomfort in slow moving traffic.

We start creeping to London Street and I see this Tyre shop called “Quick Service” at the corner and realise that if traffic were moving faster we could be by Capital Plaza in no time.

Kai: Uncle Tefan I have to go.

With that statement I climb the pavement and drive into the Tyre Shop, grab her out of the car and ask the woman at the front desk if there is a customer bathroom nearby. She points me in the direction of it and we are off.

We get there only to discover that the door is locked and therefore someone is inside.

Kai: Why we not going in?

Me: Because the door is locked so that means someone is in there. Hopefully they will finish quickly to help out this little girl who needs to use the bathroom (said in the direction of the door)

Did you think that person took me on?

Oh hell no, Mr Man came took his time and came out like 5 minutes later while everyone in the store could see the child’s discomfort. He didn’t even apologise. We had to clear the way to let him pass as he was a portly gentleman and I braced myself for the smell that might follow his extended bathroom visit.

Thankfully, the smell was mild and we got through the ordeal without any soiled clothing.

Disaster averted.

We drove up to Chaguanas incident free but I did have to play Glee’s version of  Gangnyam Style like 10 times because she wasn’t interested in hearing any other song I had in my Car’s CD player or iPod.

photo 3

  After dropping her home and driving back down to town, I realised that my fear wasn’t her wetting my car seats, I worried about the humiliation she would feel over the incident and how uncomfortable the rest of the trip might have been for her.

It was at that moment that it hit me. I love this child unconditionally. My first impulse was not to protect my nice recently acquired car or the upholstery (which is normally my modus operandi when dealing with adults who sit in my car), it was the child’s well being.

Wow, am I growing up?

So this is the way love feels? Hmm not bad.

I could grow to like this!

 
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Posted by on December 21, 2012 in Family, Humor, Travel, Uncategorized

 

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Leaving Las Vegas


To say that my Las Vegas vacation was a planned one would be stretching the truth a bit. November was carded to be my vacation month. I was supposed to have the entire month off to just relax. Plans were afoot to visit my Godson in England, see Heather Headley in The Bodyguard and take a trip over to the continent if a certain host was welcoming.

However, it was seems it was not meant to be. As the end of October drew closer I found my boss unresponsive to my email requests on confirming my vacation dates (I had submitted them in July). Finally, on October 31st, he tells me, in the office corridor that if a particular transaction I am working on is not closed, my vacation will not be possible.

All things were in place for the transaction to close the next day and for me to board a flight on November 2nd. But he obviously knew something that he wasn’t sharing.

I spoke to him around 8pm that October 31st night and he said I would be reimbursed for my purchased ticket as he realised he was at fault for not communicating sooner. He also revealed that two important signatories would not be back in the country until November 9th, so that there was no way the transaction was closing. I closed my eyes at this point and imagined his head exploding as Michael Ironside did in Scanners. When I opened my eyes, he wasn’t even aware that I had closed them as he was still talking. I went home dejected.

Hope was still in my heart for a later flight on Sunday but that proved futile. So my UK vacation was off.

Vegas was mentioned to me by a couple friends planning a birthday lime there but I had committed to England and to be honest, Las Vegas was never even in my top 10 places to visit as I always viewed it as a soul-less city devoid of a real personality other then “Sin”.

All of sudden, Las Vegas became a strong possibility and despite the transaction and two others that were picking up extreme steam beyond November 9th, I got clearance to proceed on one week’s vacation from November 23rd. (Remember: how I was supposed to have the entire month off? Sigh. .apparently nobody else did).

Anyway off to Las Vegas I went starting with an 8am flight in Trinidad on November 23rd and arriving in Vegas at 6:50pm (11:50pm –Trinidad time). I was beat and tired like a whore after a navy vessel had come into harbour. But the group of people I met up with were intent on having as much fun as possible. This meant going out that night around 11pm- Vegas time (3am- Trinidad time). Obviously, no one cared how tired I was as they wanted to maximise the Vegas experience.

Palms Place Hotel Room View

Palms Place Hotel Room View

I will not recount all that occurred in Las Vegas but just give you a list of things I learnt while there.

THINGS I LEARNT WHILE IN LAS VEGAS

    1. Las Vegas is Overrated: I know i said this before and my  opinion hasn’t changed.Having travelled a fair amount of times but not as extensively as some of my friends, I found Vegas not to be a well put together city. It is a city for Americans who are afraid of foreign travel (i.e no passport) and who want to experience it close to home. Seeing a Parisian café or the Eiffel Tower or any random ostentatious hotel, didn’t move me to any great “Wow” or “OMG”. For me, I had seen stuff like this already in cities that actually had a real vibe and arguably a strong rich history of development. It just felt put together randomly. I may be wrong!
    2. The cheap things in Vegas are food, whores and alcohol (not necessarily in that order). Water is really expensive on the Strip unless you walk with your own or go into a casino and start gambling, then every drink is free. I’m not saying I did that but I am just passing on info.
    3. All Taxi Drivers have foreign accents. For the last time, I am not from Senegal nor am I from Nigeria!!
    4. McDonalds only serves Fried Chicken in Trinidad. One late night while the whole group felt for friend chicken, I ventured down to the closest McDonalds and asked if they sell chicken alone. The guy’s response with a perplexed look on his face: “Do you mean the patties?” Popeye’s and KFC close at 10pm. WTH!!
    5. Not all the Cirque Du Soleil Shows make sense. “Zumanity” while seemingly risqué gets boring really quickly. “Ka” on the other hand is worth the price of admission!
    6. You need Abs to work in Las Vegas: At no point was there a performer in any Vegas show that didn’t posses abs of steel. It seems a requirement for work within SinCity. Guess I’ll keep my day job.
    7. Indoor Skydiving is WICKED FUN!: While I wanted to pee myself when we got into the wind tunnel room, the experience turned out to be extremely amazing and I wish I could get to do it more often.
    8. Friends don’t like their pictures taken in Las Vegas: For some reason, people are afraid of cameras in Las Vegas. Unless you are a street performer (they welcome it), people generally run at the sight of a tourist with a camera. Especially if they are stumbling through a courtyard, drunk as a fish, singing trying to sing Bad Romance by Lady Gaga.
    9. Jet Lag is REAL: Going back in time takes longer for your body clock to adjust. Four hours behind Trinidad meant it took FOUR days for my body clock to fix itself and even then I was still getting to bed around 3am (7am- Trinidad time) and waking up at 8am (12noon) feeling refreshed. I missed going to Hoover Dam one morning all because my sleep patterns were off. Confession: Sometimes I would sneak a nap while everyone else was in another room hanging out and drinking.
    10. Peer Pressure is REAL: I have heard about peer pressure since I was a child but it never really bothered me as the fear of God and my mother always surfaced to remind me that these people didn’t matter. As I grow older and well my mother can’t scold me or give me the disappointing look, I find that peer pressure is a real thing that can force someone to end up in clubs and magic shows (Chris Angel or David Copperfield) that they would never ever think of visiting. So was the case when I found myself in a club one night that played only Southern Rap Music. I wasn’t sure if to be more scared of the women or the men in the club but because of my company I had to show no fear and somehow find the coordination to dance to this type of music. The last time I actually danced I think the “butterfly” was popular. So you see my predicament. And what the hell is the “Dougie”?

Las Vegas was an enjoyable trip and I found myself laughing a lot and sometimes scandalously. On Sunday, over the Bellagio Buffet, the entire table burst into laughter so many times that we wondered if we might be escorted out of the area. Of course, based on the laughter and range of accents, I met some other Trinis that were also in Vegas. Of course no plans were made to hang out with any of them as conversation was always kept short.

I do however, now need a vacation where I can actually just sleep. I still have the rest of my 14 vacation days to take as I cannot carry over that large amount into 2013. The problem however, is when do I take it and will I get approval.

STAY TUNED…….

Spent US$10 only

Spent US$10 only

Sunset at 4pm.

Sunset at 4pm.

Water Show at The Bellagio

Water Show at The Bellagio

 
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Posted by on December 3, 2012 in Entertainment, Travel, Uncategorized

 

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