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Monthly Archives: January 2013

THIS IS 40!


As I turn to rise and stretch my hand to take off the series of alarms that go off, to herald a new work day, I take a moment to say “Thank you God” for my life and especially for the blessing of being able to see my 40TH Birthday.

This morning I smell of “Absorbine Junior” due to the fact that my right shoulder hurts from exercising on Friday and not necessarily as a result of old joints.  I look in the bathroom mirror and see me: A very low almost bald type haircut, (I started taking it a couple years ago, owing to the receding hairline) and specks of gray hair that started to pop up. My goatee is neatly trimmed and also speckled with gray but this one I can bear. My body is slowly finding a nice form. I have lost 15 pounds and went from a trouser size of 38 to 36 and my clothing fits so much better.  I no longer have a second trimester belly! So good things are happening.

I have not had the desire to buy any hair dying products as yet and I think it has to do with denial of my age.

In the life of a normal person, at the age of 40, I would be married (insert name of person I thought was “The One”), with at least two children (Tallulah and Dylan), a mortgage or two, two dogs, a stray cat and a good job. Instead, I am single, no children (except my sisters, my personal trainer, TSTT/BMobile, and my parents), renting and a great job that affords me the opportunity to delve into other passions without being too upset. Life’s not bad.

I did not try to see the movie “This is 40” as I found it insulting that these people were haivng a crisis at that age when mine is yet to begin!

I am FORTY years old.  It’s so hard to believe that I am this old! I have spent four decades on this planet. Two Score!  Strange though…I don’t feel old! My knees may beg to differ but what do you expect from trying to be limber all during my teenage year when I knew nothing about the word “exercise” or “warm up”!!

I am plain and boring for 40. I don’t smoke. I rarely drink but I do enjoy a sip of an alcoholic beverage every now and then. There are no tattoos, no piercings or any kind on my body. My biggest act of rebellion was my attempt at a ras that didn’t last long as the Trinidad heat was too much for all that hair! There were no jerry (gheri) curls and designs in my head. I was the simple child. No protest or trouble from me. All I wanted was peanut butter and bread with apple juice in the house. Simple stuff!

Hmmmm….

When I thought of writing this blog, many ideas came to mind and the only one that stuck for any length of time is… If I could go back in time what would I tell my younger selves at the turn of each decade? And so, knowing that even if I could go back in time, I should not alter the past but just make myself aware of certain events. Would that still be right? Would my younger selves even acknowledge me on or would they look at me with disdain? Lord knows when I was younger I rolled my eyes or nodded at everything people told me but ignored it. Oh well… here goes.

1983

Dear Ten Year old Stefan,

Life is going to change a lot after you do Common Entrance next year. New School. New People. New Teachers and new forms of torture. Be prepared in Secondary school as the shock of not coming First in end of term exams doesn’t go well for you the first time, but you learn to cope.  You will be popular in school and even jeered at but know that it’s all in good fun. You will fight with a guy named Dale St. Rose a lot and you will lose everytime so try to keep your wisecracks to yourself.

Mommy will change churches and it will result in your tv time schedules being disrupted but you will adapt. Be very weary of “Church people”. They may all love God but they certainly do not love other people.

There will be romantic links but nothing significant and you will lose your cherry but I wont tell you when (It goes by really really fast). The strong romantic links will come when you change schools for 6th Form. I won’t tell you what school you change to but just know, those years will mark the start of some great experiences and a few academic rewards that you never thought possible.

You will get more siblings during this period and your family will increase in size otherwise. I can’t say more but don’t worry, you will pay it no mind.

This may be a shock to you but not everyone you meet will like you and some may even try to kill your spirit.

Ignore them!

Believe in yourself!

Don’t ever give up on the Dream!

P.S You can sing!! So ignore it when a teacher puts you in the “B” Choir. She has no idea what she is doing. Keep on singing in the shower!

1993

Dear Twenty Year old Stefan,

Ok forget your teenage years, life changes here in ways you never expected. You are going to start UWI in September and you need to prepare yourself for this new world. UWI will be fun but it teaches you some really important lessons on friendships and on trusting people.

I can’t tell you when, but you will be hurt deeply during this period. It will change your outlook on most things but you need to understand that it is all for the best. It will be hard to see it then but trust me when I say it gets better.

Grooming takes on different and new meanings in this period. Adjust quickly. You will also take awhile to find the right deodarant. You won’t stink up the place but extreme sweaty arm issues will abound during this period. 

Oh and after you leave school you will balloon into a small whale. This is when your weight issues will kick in and you will struggle with them for awhile. You get a really good job in banking (don’t knock it) and it gives you the opportunity to travel more than you have before and you even live in a couple countries.

In 2002, you will do something way outside your comfort zone and you will be rewarded.

I can’t tell you what it is but it ties into the fact that I told you when you were ten that you could sing!

Don’t ever give up on the dream!

2003

Dear Thirty Year Old Stefan,

Hmmm so you live HamburgGermany eh? Hahahahahahaha who would’ve thought? I am so proud of you and what you have accomplished! You are braver than I thought possible and for that I wish I was you all over again. Oh BTW people are spreading some wild rumors about you becaus  of this move but don’t let it bother you even if you are shocked at the sources.

This decade is going to be one of ups and downs and you won’t always be in Germany but wherever you end up you will have fun.

It is sort of sad to say but there will be no great love for you in this decade but trust me when I say you will meet some people that will change your life for the better! There will however be a woman who will sweep you off your feet when you meet her and all I will say is that her initials are KT.

You will see Janet Jackson, Whitney Houston and a host of other artistes live and up close. Try not to freak or scream out as you are a grown man now.

You are still a bit cynical on love and “Church people” but you are clearer on who God is in your life and what a relationship with him means to you so don’t be too worried. Don’t lose your generous spirit in the wake of all the liars, thieves and other shady types of people you will meet in work and in life. Just be smarter in the way you handle stuff.

There will be many people who claim to be in love with you or express love for you and you will not feel the same or question it. It’s okay to question it but don’t be too harsh. 

Keep your head up! Coming down to the end your resolve will be tested but as you would’ve come to realise by now, God never leaves your side. So don’t lose faith!

Don’t ever give up on the dream!

——–

2013

Dear Stefan,

You are not done. There is still much to do on this road of life despite you feeling over-the-hill. Please ensure that there is at least one Photography Exhibit of your work somewhere beyond your living room or computer. And it wouldn’t kill you to at least try and do a music set in a some little bar all by yourself.

The Dream is still alive!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!!!

 
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Posted by on January 28, 2013 in Emotions, Entertainment, Humor

 

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Turkey Lurkey Time


Did you know that there are over 35 ways to prepare and bake a turkey? Did you there are over 650 related recipes? I did not know. Rather I had no clue that to bake a turkey was such a feat requiring super strength, dexterity, skill and tones of patience. If I had known this from before, my mother’s request for me to prepare the Turkey and Ribs for Christmas lunch would have yielded a negative response. (Yeah right, like I could say no to my mother!)  It would have resulted in me ordering the stuff before and laying it out nice and neat as if I had prepared it. Did you know that HiLo will prepare a turkey for you once you ask? Who knew!.

BTW, in case you haven’t caught on as yet, I am no cook/chef/wiz in the kitchen. When I tell people that my skill is ordering food, they doubt me. Give me a list of people and I can precisely determine the amount of food you will need from any particular restaurant. Chinese food restaurants are very easy for me. I don’t think it’s a gift but it just developed overtime. I of course ignore those “special needs” idiots who need “leg and thigh only” or “peas must not touch the meat”. They need to be delivered from their neuroses.

Anyway, I digress. I decided that I would bake the turkey myself and of course, being the great chef that I am, I decided to defrost the turkey on Christmas Eve day. I took the turkey out of the fridge around 8am that morning and just left it in a bucket filled with water in  the sink while I ran errands and sourced the ribs for Christmas Day.

I didn’t fully understand, well comprehend that a turkey must be fully defrosted before baking otherwise all kinds of health concerns can arise and sundry baking drama. I read all of this on the internet over the days leading up to the baking moment and I just couldn’t understand why anyone would go through so much trouble for a stinking turkey when to cook/bake a chicken one does not go through all this drama.

Anyway, around 4pm, I settled down in front of the computer to decide on a final recipe for this turkey. The day before, a guy had told me that I needed to brine the turkey for like 12 hours and then stuff seasoning under the skin and everything would be ok. I had no idea what “brining” was nor was I leaving a turkey out in any kind of solution for 12 hours to achieve the moisture and taste he described.

Anyway, I settled on the recipe of an Australian Chef who simply took a big stick of butter (garlic I think) and mixed in some herbs and spices (parsley, rosemary, thyme yadda yadda yadda) into the butter and them he proceeded to put this mixture under the skin of the bird and viola, he was done. I liked it! It seemed simple enough and I would have no problem with the seasoning as I had loads of it at home. What I did not have was the type of butter he recommended. I assumed Blue Band and Flora Margarine spread would not do. So off I ran to True Value to get this special butter.

While at True Value, I kept searching for the special butter and kept getting upset as I realised that I might have to drive to Hi-Lo Alyce Glen for greater butter variety. As I was about to leave, I saw a friend named Kurt and I told him of my butter woes. He told me that I was creating work for myself. We walked me over to a section of the grocery where alot of Chinese products were and he handed me a bottle of “Chinese Chicken Marinade” and told me to bathe the turkey in that and placed it in an oven bag and all would be fine.

I was a tad confused. I asked innocently, “Umm why would I put chicken marinade on a turkey?” He stared at me as if I had donkey ears coming out of my head. Turkey is Chicken boy and it is just a sauce! I didn’t question his logic. I took the bottle of marinade and also picked up some oven bags and headed home.

I stared at the turkey for awhile when I got home. 

It big eh?

This bugger was big! There were still a few parts of it that were cold and slightly frozen, so I knew I had at least an hour or more before I placed it in the oven. And so I began to work! I got out my seasoning and placed it under the skin of the turkey (Oh I used some lime juice before as brine solution but I think the only effect it had was…well none). I then placed the turkey in a big bowl I had (that was too small for it but it had to work) and began to pour the chicken marinade on it.

After about two or six coats of the marinade on the turkey, I covered it down for 45 minutes to let the marinade soak in. I came back to the turkey a couple times within that 45 minutes just to baste it over and over so that all the juices stayed it.

At 7:25pm, I decided it was time to place the turkey in the oven. I had set the oven a few minutes before to 425 so that it would be ready for the bird.  I placed it in a tray and then proceeded to waits for the 3 hours it was estimated on the Butterball label that it would take to bake.

Here Goes!

Somewhere in my mind and mixed up in all the info I had devoured, that oven setting of 425 made sense. It was only 40 minutes later when I decided to check the Butterball directions that I saw the setting was actually to be 325! I ran quickly to the oven and changed it. I prayed that the turkey suffered no damage.

Being in the oven bag I realised that I could not keep basting the turkey like I had read so I trusted that this bag would seal in the juices and provide a succulent bird.

At 11:15, I jumped up from in front of my computer and ran to the kitchen as I realised that the bird had been baking beyond the required time. I am ashamed to say that Angry Birds Friends Tournament on Facebook was the reason I lost track of time.

I took it out and well here is the result below:

Oh Lord What ah do here?

Oh Lord What ah do here?

I got scared immediately. The damn thing was burnt and it didn’t look brown and tasty like the one the Australian chef has taken out of his oven. It looked sick! I didn’t cut it or taste it that night as I feared that I might just chug the entire thing in the dustbin and order KFC chicken the next day! Thank goodness I remembered that Christmas Day is the ONLY day that KFC is closed in Trinidad.  So I covered that bugger down and prayed for the best.  The Ribs fared much better and I must say everyone was pleased the next day except me.

On cutting the turkey on Christmas Day I discovered that the top part of the breast area was rather dry. The other parts of the turkey were rather moist and tasty but my OCD only concentrated on the dry portion.  I was disappointed.

Everything went off well on Christmas Day and I was told by everyone that they will look forward to another succulent bird for Christmas 2013.

I nodded in agreement as I knew that someone will be baking that damn thing for me next time. No headache again.

How was your Christmas?

P.S. I was “Detour” T-shirtless this Christmas. Finally, the Gods have heard my cry!!

 
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Posted by on January 9, 2013 in Food, Holidays, Humor

 

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