Monday, December 10, 2012

Something in the water?

I took a look at my Christmas shopping list the other day and noticed something, it's pretty much all children. Is it just me or is everybody pregnant? I'm starting to feel like the powers that be are slipping more than just fluoride into our drinking know what, I'd rather not think about it.....oh geed.

I'm thinking it's an age thing though because I have the same mindset. Maybe I've been drinking the "chupid water" too but at 30 with one child, I'm about ready for some small goal, five a side, if you catch my meaning. I want all them badboys hatched and through college by the time I'm fifty. Do the math, clearly I'm running out of to find me a victim.

Well at any rate, the point is, I hope all you baby factories realize that your Christmas present days are over (with one or two notable exceptions). Don't think both you and all your little niglets are getting something; welcome to "AnnualChristmasCardville," I know you'll like it here.

Merry Christmas everybody.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Dinner Party

Here's the thing, I speak and write the Queens English fluently, I have a few degrees on hand, tend to dress respectably (on occasion), take interest in the fine arts, history and it's because of these things, people often mistake me for cultured. (I know right.......pfft.)  

In all honesty, my calling is closer to that of wajang, bacchanalist even, clearly not fit for high society. I'm the guy on stage in a fete, doing things we'd rather not speak of, the cacahole shouting "WOI" when a Benjai comes on. 

So imagine my discomfort when asked to attend a formal dinner party. The invite said "swanky, candle-lit affair," no liquor of any only, dress code: dinner-wear, pants/slacks, button downs and loafers. Menu items to include light hor d'oeuvres, exotic cheeses (gouda, etc), fruit plates, gourmet chips with salmon-flavoured cream cheese, oven-roasted herbed salmon with spanish rice, hand-made jalapeno sliders on artisan bread with chipotle mayo.......what, no pelau? 

Sure we had fun, sort of in the way senna could be "fun." But in all honestly, I really started enjoying myself when someone slipped the Grey Goose from a pants leg then threw on some Private Ryan. 

I've come to realize that I have no place in polite, civilized society, but I clearly don't fit into the hood crowd either. Go figure. I think I'll stick to the "grown and sexy" vibe going forward though, it's business casual meets dress to impress, polite company meets youthful exuberance, but most importantly, people not afraid to get a little sweaty. 


Monday, October 15, 2012

Miami Carnival

So Miami Carnival was a week ago........I didn't go.

Moving on

I ended up instead in a little place just south of the GA border called Tallahassee, FL. Tallahassee is a special place for me as I tend to gravitate towards the town whenever I am going through personal problems. I really should move there now that I think about it.

As you often hear people say, it's not the destination that's important, but the journey you undertake to get there.

Each time I make this drive, I take a non-typical route that takes me through the back-country of southwest Georgia rather than the well-traveled route south on the I-75. My route has the added benefit of  killing any hope for a cell phone signal for nearly two hours straight. This is the part I enjoy the most; two hours to just sit and ponder my own existence, my choices in life, where I'm going, where I've come from, etc etc.

Of course I think there's the added thrill of that sense of danger, where if I blow a tyre or roll the car in a ditch (God forbid), I'm screwed.

For it to be the capital of the State of Florida, Tallahassee is a completely dead city. Nothing fun ever seems to happen in that place, ever. If it weren't for FAMU and FSU's campuses, I'm not sure the city would even have a purpose. But this trip was different, the little airport down there hosted an airshow, which so happened to be my son's first. Judging from who his father is, it's not likely to be his last airshow either.

I think the little rascal enjoyed himself but the significance of the event was lost on him once he spotted the kids play area.


After that he couldn't give two shits about those damn planes. What's that? Men jumping out of planes? Meh.........bounce house? AWESOME!!!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Heart Walk 2012

I think I ticked quite a few people off this weekend.

You see, I am not a morning person, at all. I've been invited to and subsequently missed many events because of that, so the fact that I was out the house at 5:30, on a Saturday morning no less, had more than a few people, somewhat less pleased with me. I apologize for all your collective, many long years of frustration. 

.......but that's a no, I still won't be game for getting up on Saturday/Sunday mornings, don't even try it. :)
View looking east along 17th Street from the
Millennium Gateway Arch

So where were we?

Oh right, Heart Walk up, did it, had a damn good time and managed to get a decent workout in. A win win win situation if you ask me and I think I'll definitely be doing it again next year. 

Maybe I ought to give this early morning thing another look because seriously, the sunrise with Atlanta's skyline as a backdrop literally made my jaw drop....though alternatively I could probably get the same effect at sunset thus negating the whole early morning nonsense....Hmm. 

I'll need to check on the attendance figures but the event had a really good turn out. I wouldn't be surprised to hear figures like 20,000 or 30,000 or more in attendance.

17th Street tun up!!

For a person like myself, the party jumbie, the habitual wajang and otherwise career misfit, it felt good to know that I was finally putting my energies towards something useful. 

I'd been oblivious to the plight of CHD sufferers till I met someone that had it. I feel guilty in that I hadn't been putting the same level of effort into others around me that suffer everyday with other afflictions, like MS for instance. But don't worry, I'll fix that, better late than that I've gotten a taste for it, I think I'll definitely be getting on board next year for the causes of both MS and CHD. 

Don't worry, church people, allyuh next, I'll be on board soon.


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Fond Memories

One of my fondest memories of growing up was of the time after I'd gotten my drivers license. As I'm sure many of you can attest, a son with a drivers license equals a mother who no longer needs to drive anywhere......ever.

I became the errand boy, the chauffeur, the delivery service (she did catering on the side); people would probably pay good money for this sort of driving experience at 16. But the one enduring memory I have of this time, was my Sunday routine. Like many trinibagonian families, we had a market day. I think my grandmother's was Monday or Tuesday but ours was always Sunday.

Every Sunday morning after church, she'd give me the list, most often hand written in pencil on a torn, wrinkly piece of copybook know, the usual market stuff:

2 hand ah green fig
3 pound ah tomato
some (yeah she wrote "some") cucumber
2 bunch a shadow beni
a bag ah carrot, some sweet pepper
a watermelon (taste it an make sure it sweet)
stop by de rastaman an get some senna (Jesus......)
5 pound ah Carite (make sure it fresh)
two big bunch ah callaloo bush

The market run was just a cover though, well for me anyway. Market days began for me, what became a lifelong addiction to doubles. See I'm from Maracas......St. Joseph, not Maracas Bay. Which means market was Tunapuna Market. If you're paying attention, you know what lies between St. Joseph and Tunapuna.

Curepe Junction

Oh gawd yes, every Sunday morning, without fail, two doubles, everything, slight pepper (ahem....TwoWithSlight) and a coconut water.....water nut, ice cold, no jelly. It's a pity the pudding lady didn't come out on Sundays or I'd be talking about my black pudding tradition as well, but alas.


I'm telling you this because I have within the past few weeks located a hitherto unknown (to me anyways) group of Trinidadians living in Lawrenceville, GA who serve hot fresh doubles, aloo pie, bake and shark, saltfish, pone, tunnocks, etc every Sunday morning. I can't begin to tell you how good it feels to again be waking up on Sundays, running 3 exits up to get barra hot out the oil, fresh channa, hot bake an shark and I'm sorry but I can't remember the last time I had an aloo pie that good.

All they're missing now is saheena and pholourie. Now obviously I'm not going to broadcast the people's address but if you're interested, give me a buzz, I'll send you the address; hot fresh doubles, every Sunday 11 to 2. The lime is real nice too as there are chairs and tables laid out for folks to sit back and relax, red solo (glass bottle) in hand.

Link up!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Bye Bye will be missed :(

It's a shame but it's been ten years and I still haven't gotten used to the concept of seasons. Well okay fine, yes I'm used to the changing of the seasons, I just don't like it.

Being a trini, clearly Summer is my thing. But you see, the thing is, it goes far deeper than just familiarity. Yes I like warm weather because that's what I grew up with; the word "cold" only makes sense for me when placed in from of words like "beer." My problem with cold weather stems from the fact that it signals the end  of water-based activities (at least in Georgia) from Labour Day in September, through Memorial Day in May.

Eight months
Eight months of no pools, no waterparks, no more trips to the lake, no beach access and you can pretty much forget Tybee Island, barbecue season is now over........seriously, what is a stranded islander to do? Well you make the best of it, is what you do. Florida keeps it real, you know damn well Miami's beaches stay open year round, but it's just a crying shame that for 8 months of the year, your nearest open beach is either a plane ride or a 10 hour drive away.

But it's not all bad I suppose; I do look forward to the Fall for one reason in particular, the Fall colours. If you haven't already, take the time in mid-October to drive up to the mountains somewhere, when it looks like the mountains are absolutely ablaze in gold, orange, yellows and bright reds as the trees prepare for Winter.

Shit to do
If you live in Georgia, I'd suggest driving up to Ashville in North Carolina, take a ride on the Blue Ridge Scenic Highway. Needing something closer to home, October is a great month to hit Helen in the north Georgia Mountains for Octoberfest or drive through the rolling hills in North Georgia's Wine Country out past Dahlonega. I hear the riverboat tour out in Chattanooga, Tennessee is another great one for seeing the Fall colours.

It's not an ideal compromise for a river lime jumbie like myself but there's no use in complaining, Winter is coming and it's coming hard, I'll just have to deal with it.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Time to make a difference

If you've been following me a long time, there are two things you probably thought you'd never see on this blog, photos or imagery of any kind, and a message about something serious. I'll address both deficiencies here today.

I want you all to meet someone special. This is Shevoni Charles, or simply Chevy. Chevy was born with a congenital heard defect (CHD), an abnormality of the heart that restricts blood flow through this most essential organ. And though you almost couldn't tell it by looking at her, Chevy has been through quite a bit in the year she's been on Earth.

Free spirited and precocious, she makes it hard to believe that she has endured so much. Chevy however, is one of the lucky ones. She still has a long road ahead of her but the fact that she's here today is still nothing short of a miracle. So many children born with CHD, don't quite make it, this is truly a horrible and debilitating condition.

Her mom does a much better job at conveying these struggles and also serves as an excellent resource for finding out more about CHD and also for finding ways to help:

Love Lessons of the Half Hearted

That being said, I've decided that maybe it's time I start doing something to make a difference. I've started contributing to the American Heart Association and further to that, I'm going to go out and show my support during Heart Walk 2012. I'd like to ask for your support as well; we as Caribbean people have shown that we can do what it takes to make things successful, we as a community showed our strength when it came to supporting Anya Ayoung-Chee on Project Runway, we showed impressive camaraderie in support of our varied Caribbean nations during the Olympics.

I'd like to ask for just a portion of that support; let it be known that our people can make a difference for worthwhile causes as well. We make a great showing in support of MS research, it's high time we do something for CHD as well.

I will be going out to walk and show my support on September 22nd at Atlantic Station for Heart Walk 2012. I'd love to have a few of you out there with me in support of Chevy. Also, as part of Team Bravehearts, I've set up a donation page, you can find information on how to contribute, info on the walk, as well as any info you need on efforts to combat CHD.

American Heart Association - Heart Walk 2012

Please do what you can to help put a stop to this disease.


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Big tings a gwan

Perhaps through some hitherto unforeseen cosmic alignment, the party Gods have decreed this coming weekend, a liming weekend. Trinis being what we are, typically lime every weekend but the upcoming schedule is especially ridiculous.

The debauchery begins on Friday night with the AUA meet and greet at Pizza Bar in Mabelton. I understand there's a lady's night at Mingles on Friday as well but I can't overdo it, my niglet expects to see his sperm donor sometime that night.....i.e. I will not be going to Mingles that night.

Okay, let's see now, Saturday....oh right, Stamina's birthday is coming up apparently so the usual Thrive thing on Saturday nights is now a Wear White party in Stamina's honour. The coup de gras comes after with Red Lotus' "Til drunk do us part" at the Roti Shop which is (you guessed it) FREE BEERS ALL NIGHT!!!

And you know what? That's not the end of it either. Tommy Joesph and Errol Fabien are doing a comedy show on Sunday night which I expect will be well worth your time. I saw Errol and Nikki Crosby when they had their show a couple years ago so trust me, allyuh need to go.

Here are the links for the various events, so I don't want to hear any complaints this time. Last time had some folks talking bout how I was partying too hard and not telling anybody in advance.......consider yourselves advised.

AUA Happy Hour -

Embrace Satudays -

Till Drunk Do Us Part -

Laughter - The Best Medicine -
(couldn't find an event page for this other than the facebook page)

Monday, August 13, 2012

Wild meat......kinda

It still surprises me as to just how much wildlife is around the place living harmoniously with people. I went to a bredren's place last Friday which had a lake out back. There was an alarmingly high number of ducks just walking about the place.......all kinds, Canadian geese, weird-colored, strange-looking mofos, etc.

What struck me as odd was that there were more geese running around than the last time I was there which means they multiplied in that time; which makes sense........except in the mind of a Trinbagonian. Putting it lightly, if I'd been living there for two years, there would be no ducks to speak of today. There probably would have been a curry-q every weekend for at least a month.

 I also saw a deer grazing on the other side of the lake, and while my buddy remarked about how beautiful a sight it was, I was going over the budget in my mind for acquiring a high powered rifle.....with a scope.

There is something about my people that makes many of us incapable of leaving wildlife alone. I should know, a manicou once met it's demise, making the mistake of coming too close to my apartment one time. The little bastard soon found itself on a plate with some white rice and a green salad.

One of the big ones looked in my direction as I was digging in my pocket, perhaps expecting me to share food or something. Little ducky didn't realize it was that close to being invited to my next curry lime as an "honoured guest."

No matter, I got my wild meat fix in later that night with some stew wild hog with provisions that another friend made.

Don't be surprised though, if you get an invite for some curry in a couple weeks time........dem damn duck days numbered, trust me.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


I'm sure every one of you knows at least one person you can think of as "ornery." You know, that old fuss pot of an aunt, or a grandfather that complains about everything or that mother-in-law that just won't shut the fuck up.

They couldn't always have been like that could they? Of course not, everybody was a child once but think about it, at what point in their lives did they shift from youthful exuberance, to ornery, fun stealing, sap sucking, asshole?

I'm thinking 30.

I took the youngster to the neighbourhood pool on Sunday and all of a sudden my old people vision kicked in, tingling like spidersense. The pool was packed......with teenagers; running by the pool (a major no no with me now), diving, dunking, splashing, cussing (of all things). As I'm trying to relax in a far corner, the bastards are horse-playing around, kicking each other in the pool, jumping in regardless of who's standing nearby.

After about 30 minutes of the nonsense I'd had enough. In typical me fashion, I politely asked them to tone it down, stop running around and if they must dive or jump in the pool, they should at least do it on the other end away from people.

But what I really wanted to say was......................

"If allyuh jump allyuh mudda ass in here one more time, I go strangle all ah allyuh mudda cu........"

you get the idea.

But at the end of the day, it was just teenagers being teenagers, since when did this become annoying? I don't like being "that guy" who killed all the fun but enough was enough.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Ten Years

July 31st, 2002 at 3:00 pm, I set foot in this country on what was to be, a four year excursion in the pursuit of my Bachelors degree at Morehouse College.

Here I am, 10 years later, almost at the exact minute of my arrival, pondering my experiences. July 2012 also marks my 30th year in existence so as of this point, I've spent exactly one third of my life, in the United States.

I've made (and in some instances continue to make) some mistakes and there are many things that I wish I could go back and do differently. The last decade has played out like a greatest hits of the top ten things a person shouldn't do with their twenties. But I am a firm believer in the true value of experience, the true value in making mistakes. I believe you never truly learn until you've done something retarded or made silly mistakes like I have.

But my twenties weren't all bad. I've learned the value of what it means to have true friends as well as family members that truly care for your well being. I can't imagine where I'd be today without the very close knit group of individuals that have supported me throughout the years. I'll avoid calling names because the list of people is extensive, I don't want to run the risk of leaving people out.

I must thank God first and foremost for helping me see this milestone in my life and for putting people like my parents in my life. We haven't always seen eye to eye over the years but despite our differences, my folks have always had my back. Special mention goes out to my eldest brother who, were it not for his support, I can't imagine where I would be today. To my brother's closest friends, you all know yourselves, and despite my waywardness over the years, have always looked out for me as though I were your own flesh and blood.

My beloved aunts, uncles and cousins particularly the Atlanta-based crew, the Pittsburgh posse, the Orlando massive, those in New York, Toronto, Mississauga and of course my two beloved "little" brothers and all crew in T&T, my Fatima bredrens, thank you all. My closest friends, you all know yourselves, I can't name you all but know that I have appreciated all of the support and occasional cuss out that you've done on my behalf. Special mention goes out to the Loganville crew, the dougla, my Tan, Dr. John and everyone else I've had the pleasure of calling my friend, Thank You.

Last but not least, thank you lil Nick Nick for loving your Daddy. Bless

Anonymity......or not so much

An interesting thing happened to me last Friday night.

Before I continue though, let me preface this by saying what many of you already know and have been trying to tell me for years............the internet is by no means a private place, and even if you think you're secure, you really have no idea who is looking at you.

Case in point........

Friday night I'm out with my home girl doing the usual (clubbing.....duh). Friday nights are always slow for West Indian clubs in downtown for some reason; but, we took the chance and headed to Mingles for the Sexi Bleu Jeanz party. As is my habit, I tweet or update Facebook even while clubbing; the party itself was slow and never really picked up so clearly I had extra time to tweet.

Up front was a very empty dance floor except for two girls dancing by themselves. From the nature of the dance moves, it was fairly clear that they probably weren't West Indian.........don't ask, you already know what I mean.

After watching them "dance" a while, I decided to tweet about it............

"Well at least those two girls "dancing" up front are entertaining." 

Would you believe they found the tweet and responded? I'm still flabergasted at this point. How did they.....who in the.....what the hell? I'd checked in at Mingles on Foursquare earlier in the night but that doesn't explain how a completely random and vague tweet that made no mention of or reference to where I was or who I was talking about, was located by the very people I was talking about.

That right there is scary. Good thing I didn't say anything derogatory and in all fairness the young lady was an awfully good sport about my commentary. Lesson learned people, be careful what you say online, you really have no idea who is watching.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


June 20th marked the official start of summer. Now that probably means nothing to you lucky ones living back home in T&T but for us in the US of A, summer is a big deal. We finally get to do some of the shit trinis get to do year round. 

Feeling like a beach run? Well if it's before Memorial Day or after Labour Day, guess what? You outta luck homie. In the State of Georgia at least, beaches are closed from Labour Day to Memorial weekend. Even more horrifying, is the fact that it's not just closed beaches, but pools, rivers, lakes and waterparks as well. 

That being said, we literally have 3 months of beach time followed by 8 months of bathtub surfing for kicks. And it's not like we're in college anymore, most of us work; those 3 months are really 24 days total (Saturdays and Sundays) that I can devote to beach season. Many would argue that beaches are readily available in Florida outside that timeframe. I would in turn argue that a 4 - 6 hour drive is impractical each and every time I felt the urge for salt water. 

(which isn't to say I haven't already been to Panama City Beach twice this far).

All in all, it's almost August already and I've only put in two beach limes and two waterpark trips so far and haven't seen a river yet. Thankfully the crew has decided to do Sandy Springs Summer Splash Festival this year, a City-sponsored, six mile float down the Chattahoochee River near the end of July. Twelve trinidadian and/or otherwise caribbean-oriented people, two inflatable rafts, alcohol, six miles of open river..........trouble. 

Stay tuned..............

Monday, June 4, 2012

ATL Carnival

Yes.......Yes, ATL Carnival was bess this year. I didn't even get to hit everything but you know what, all the parties that I did make it to were very very good.

This is the kind of thing I'd been missing all these years, days passing with little sleep, so much alcohol flowing, you'd swear we owned a rumshop. I won't go into all the meaty details but I will note that the party in the square after the parade, was particularly good, with many of the big acts destroying the crowd as usual (Kerwin, Iwer, etc.)

But I have to give it to my good friends the Arthurs who showed up at Wear White Sunday night with a big cooler in the trunk. I pulled up, there's a crowd round the car, hard soca ponging and most importantly, rum punch. They'd only been there 30 minutes but already the rum punch was gone, the vodka was about gone, the rum was halfway done, they'd finished most of the smirnoff.......and mind you this was before we event went into Wear White.

By 6:30 am they were sweeping the floors but you know what, we went over to C&J Hideaway to carry on the partying. I swear we didn't leave the Hideaway till about 9 the Monday morning. This is the kind of shit I missed but no more. We'll be out there ponging hard for Caribana (maybe) this year plus New York for Labour Day and definitely Miami.

Atlanta Carnival has had a somewhat sordid history fraught with controversy and whatnot but most important of all, it was never really any fun. Well, one of the oldest and largest Carnivals in the US has finally figured it out. I hope they keep on doing it like this from now on.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Gearsing Up

Believe it or not, I haven't participated in any Memorial Day Atlanta Carnival festivities in years, three years at this point. Nothing......not a parade, not a flag party, no cooler fete, nothing. A certain pesky ex made it a life mission to keep me separated from own culture, preferring instead to maroon me on a farm picking strawberries. The blame rests squarely on my shoulders though, shame on me for allowing it.

Needless to say I'm a little out of practice and having not done a T&T Carnival in 9 years, I have plenty catching up to do. Seriously, four days with little to no sleep takes practice, just take a look at the schedule:

Wednesday May 23rd: Hangover - Allyuh people must be mad, I have to work Thursday, if I end up in hangover I am  sure to get fired the next day. Free drinks all night = TIGHT at work. Sorry, but I'm skipping Hangover this year.

Thursday May 24th: Flag Party - Yes, Flag Party, my traditional ATL Carnival. I'm off work Friday and if flag party is anything like previous years, this will be a bess lime. I fully expect to get caught in Friday morning rush hour traffic after the fete. Free with your flag before 12 am so you know what that means, reach there by ten because the line will be've been warned.

Friday May 25th: Decisions decisions: Friday night will be a pressure night for many, not for me though, I've already made up my mind. Loyalties will be stretched, allegiances tested because at this point, a decision has to be made. Are you going to the Machel fete or are you going to Kerwin/Benjai/Lyrical/Destra et al. Of course if you really want to mix things up we can throw in the usual Jouvert party at the Atruim. Honestly I'm squarely in the Kerwin camp at this point as 4 artistes for $25 makes more sense than one artiste for $35.

After the Kerwin, I suspect we'll find somewhere to be, Atrium possibly, maybe Party Room or 426 till sun up.

Saturday May 26th: Parade/Square/Carnival Explosion: First off, I'm not getting up to see no damn parade Saturday morning so you can forget that. Look out for me in the afternoon jumping some fence to get in the Carnival Square down on Auburn Avenue.....I haven't heard too much hype over the Carnival Explosion fete Saturday night so I may or may not go but it might be worth a look (Kerwin/Iwer/Alison Hinds/Lyrical).

Sunday May 27th: BREAKFAST FETE: 5am to 1pm Sunday, we go be jamming hard, with free bake an buljol to boot. I promised to take the kiddies to a waterpark Sunday afternoon; I only hope that I don't drown in the people pool with all the alcohol I would probably have consumed by then. I believe the Wear White party is Sunday night so budget allowing, I'll probably be there too.

Monday May 28th: SLEEP: Trust me, I will not see the light of day on Memorial Day if I'm to function at all the following day.

So, liming schedule tentatively in place, let's hope we all have a safe and enjoyable Memorial Day/ATL Carnival Weekend.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Hog Maws

At this point it's safe to say, I love country people, particularly country people here in Georgia. Over the past few months I've developed a particular fondness for Lagrange which I think I've written about at length. Aside from the outgoing, exceedingly friendly nature of folks in the bush, it's really the food that keeps me going back.

I'm sorry but as trini as I am, my burning desire for a good goat roti is often overshadowed by a powerful need for collard greens with pork knuckles and fatback. I've been known to quickly slip through a plate of neck bones, and any thought of oildown quickly evaporates with spoonfuls of my former mother-in-law's fried corn. Don't even get me started on the giblet gravy over dressing, the cornbread or the salmon croquettes with grits that I miss.

Yup, you'd swear I was born here.

But southern cooking has it's fair share of WTF chitterlings for instance. What the fuck were they thinking? Boiled pig intestines with pepper sauce. Really? I tried a bite just one time and just couldn't get the damn thing past my lips. You see it's the smell that gets you; I'm almost sure they don't taste half bad but sorry, if it smells of ram goat and wrenk poonk, I not eating it.

Take it from my experience though, sometimes it's better to eat first then ask questions. This past weekend, my plate had a few additions that gave me pause. Next to the pot with the pig ears and cabbage was another pot with a creamy white, "meat-like" substance, chopped up then boiled with onions and celery. Hog Maws I'm told, the taste and consistency reminiscent of the meat you get on pig foot souse. It was only afterwards I discovered I had been eating pigs stomach, or more specifically, the lining of the pigs stomach.

Brilliant.......who's bright idea was this?

Why are these things delicacies? Well I imagine that African slaves weren't afforded the better cuts of meat which went to their masters so they ate whatever "meat" they were allowed....ears, snout, ribs, tails, hooves and entrails. As it turns out, pig stomach isn't bad at all though I doubt I'd see any of you lining up to try a hog maw pelau anytime soon.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Tink it Easy?!

My phone rings around 8:00 Wednesday night, one of my home girls calling.........

"whatchu doing tonight?"

A question like that in the middle of the week could mean one of two things, booty call or lime. For one, 8 is too early for booty generally speaking and two, this wasn't that type of home girl. So anyway, she whispers those few magic words that get my blood pumping:

"We have some chicken to cut up, Anto say she bubblin have alcohol."

For a millisecond, I did consider that I still had work in the morning......whatever. Got to the place and right when I'm thinking it's a little intimate family lime I'm going to, I see cars parked down the block. I get inside and is hard soca jamming, house packed, people wining down de place, three big iron pot on the stove and everybody TIGHT (mind you is only 10 o'clock). 

You have to bear in mind that this went from idea to lime in about two hours. Where all dese people come out from?.............on a Wednesday night mind you. Vodka shots were in constant rotation so over the next four hours, TIGHT became RHELL TIGHT, as in "wrm ahm, vuzum fih wuk" or something thereabouts but you get the picture.

Let's just say I wasn't planning on driving anywhere at that point, had to cap out on the couch. I still managed to roll off said couch four hours later, finally made it home around 7 a.m. and was back out the door at 8:15 fresh and ready for work. 

Trini people oui......allyuh not easy nah. 


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Playing with Fire

We've already established that I have a propensity for doing stupid things (choices in women notwithstanding), but some things really take the cake. Sometimes even when I know better I end up taking risks anyway; I mean  honestly, what's the worst that could happen right?

So here's the set up. My apartment complex has no in house security. But why meddle with fly by night security agencies anyway when you could just hire the real thing. So they did just that and now we have GWINNETT FRICKING COUNTY PD patrolling day and night. 

This isn't new, the arrangement began back in February so it really isn't a surprise to see the bad boys in there on a daily basis. Truth be told, you only really see them parked up near the gates or near the leasing office. But bear it in mind that I'm aware of their constant presence as I tell the rest of the story. 

Now I exercise often, three to four times a week maybe but being the 220 pound hunk of manliness that I am, I sweat profusely.....but I don't take the time to shower before leaving the gym. I spread a towel on the driver seat to make my way home.Heck no, I will not be sitting my sweaty behind on cloth seats. You know what else I don't want to get dirty? My seatbelt..........I don't know bout you, but sweat on a seatbelt is disgusting and over time, my nice brown seatbelt will become a not so nice black seatbelt. What's the best way to avoid a sweaty, dirty seatbelt you ask? You don't wear it.......duh. 

So as I'm driving into the complex yesterday, not only is my seatbelt off, but I have the cell in hand texting with the right hand, a cup of ice tea in the left and I'm steering with me knees, a trick I picked up from my father's first born son. Who say I didn't roll right past Gwinnett County parked up right in front my building. O.O

Odd.......they're not usually back here. Shit.

Babylon watch me, I watch back, homeboy shook his head and went on about his business. I guess management doh pay him enough eh? For those of you who don't know, driving without a seatbelt, texting while driving and arguably driving with no hands on the wheel are all against the law in the State of Georgia. Babylon coulda throw the ticket book at me if he really wanted to but I suppose you'd have to be a special breed of asshole police to hand me three tickets right as I've made it home. 

Monday, April 23, 2012

An Award

Got an award today!  thanks  Stax @ Multiple Sclerosis & Me!!!

Liebster is a German word that translates to; dearest, beloved or in this case favorite. The idea of the Liebster Award is to give it to an up and coming blog with fewer than 200 followers. – in order to create new connections, and bring attention to their wonderful blogs. 

Thanks again Stacey!

Here are the conditions that go along with accepting the award;

1. Thank the Liebster Blog Award presenter on your blog.
2. Link back to the blogger who presented you the award.
3.  Copy and paste the Liebster Blog Award on your blog.
4. Present the award to 5 bloggers who have a following 200 or less, who you feel deserve it.
5. Let them know they have been chosen by leaving a comment on their blog.

Tracey Chan Insipiritus
Ian Fitzwilliam Ceasars Soccer Shorts
Keith Francis Keithos

Thursday, March 22, 2012

One More Thing

There is one additional circumstance I neglected to talk about yesterday. I had to think about whether I wanted to tell the story or not for fear of the drive by bitch slaps I'll probably get from my unusually passionate friends and family. Some people are serious about their Dwaynie.

But no sense in keeping it locked away, so here we go.

Bright and early Sunday morning after a hectic night (see previous post) a bredren and I decided to make a last minute Kool Runnings run. Again, there are no doubles men here so a 24 hour jamaican spot is the next best thing........especially when there's more alcohol in you than blood. Now as we're on the topic of blood, it is important to note that God blessed men with two "heads", but gave us only enough blood to run them one at a time. Be mindful of this fact while you read this story.

Standing in line eyeballing the ox tail, a young lady walks up to us. I say "lady" loosely as she was closer to "gyul." She struck me as untidy looking, disheveled, she'd sweated her hair out, her eyes were blood shot and she was clearly tight. She smelled good though, in a sort of Chanel meets hemp sorta way. All in all, not girlfriend material obviously but good for peg (we're all adults here).

The other head............
"Smallie whey yuh from?" Turns out she's one of those U.S. born children of trini parents. Whatever, inconsequential. Before I knew it, I'd offered to pay for her food and in no time she's sitting with the boys eating. One time you could tell something was wrong with this chick. No woman, drunk or sober eats in polite company with her nose literally down in the food. By the time she was done, there was a ring of bones, rice and cabbage around the plate.

"Which one of you fine gentlemen is going to walk me to my car?" Okay, I wonder where she parked?

"Party Room"

How the hell did she get from Party Room to Kool Runnings without her car? Its like three miles...........I'm thinking La Diablesse; I started sneaking glances under the table looking for the cow leg. At this point I didn't even care for an explanation. I just needed her gone. But I couldn't do it, I couldn't just leave her alone; she's bad news but I'm not an asshole. Home-girl was clearly in no condition to drive herself anywhere. I voiced my concerns and in response I got: "well you'll just have to be a nice boy and follow me home then."

My head is thinking:!!
My "other head" is thinking: "Hmm......What did I do with those condoms?"

Now we're on the 285 and my girl is booking it. Ninety-five mph and up, left indicator on......going right. Right indicator on.....going left. She tells me we're going to Duluth but we bypass I-85. Soon she's coming off on Peachtree Industrial but darts back on 285 at the last minute. Before I can react she drifts into the adjacent lane (it was occupied) and right before impact, jerks the car back and almost hits the person on the other she's fish tailing. O.O

I get her to come off on Ashford Dunwoody into a gas station. Conveniently her gas tank is empty so I'm like "stay here, gimme the money let me go pay for your gas." Oh, that's interesting, no gas money eh? What the hell was she planning to buy her food with then if I paid for it?
I offered her $10.........she demanded $15.
Before I knew it, the chick had pumped her $15 gas and drove off.
I got a call an hour later with a:

 "Thanks for your help, I really appreciate it......and oh by the way, I got another number, this isn't my phone, please don't call on this line, I'll text you the new number......kay bai."

I never heard from her again.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

One Hell of A Weekend

There ought to a be a law against having this much fun; I hadn't been this active since Morehouse ('02 - '05). I suppose being single is a plus because it wasn't going to go down like this previously. I'm talking Friday night "1996" (Sean Paul performed live by the way), Saturday afternoon, Piedmont Park, Saturday evening, Tassa. Later Saturday night was the usual Thrive, followed by by a quick run out to 426 and Party Room down in Stone Mountain. Not to be outdone, I still managed to make it to Kool Runnings even after Party Room.

But there's no point in bragging about my social life, that would be boring. I'd rather talk about the other crap, the shit that happens behind the scenes, the silly things that make for fun stories. I often wonder why I end up being the focal point for nonsense, or why I seem destined to be a walking punchline, here for peoples' enjoyment. But either way, shit happens often, so here it is for your reading pleasure.

Brace Festival
I normally mind my own business in a fete, I try not to wine on any buttom I don't know. Though I might buy a drink or two for a pretty face, I basically keep it simple: wine, wine, jump, drink, wine, drink, jump, go home. Last Friday, with a few drinks in the ole keg, I figured hey, let me wine on something different. With my confidence level high from all the working out, I figured there'd be no harm to tiefin a wine. Still ever cautious, I reached for low hanging fruit (or so I thought), a mampi.

Honestly I didn't think a big girl could move that fast. I was barely on the buttom before she'd side stepped deftly and disappeared. Wow.......the thick thing had talent; crowd navigation is not one of my strong suits but somehow home-girl pulled it off. And here I was thinking I was doing her a favour. With that ability, I bet getting to the bar is no trouble for her; takes me thirty minutes just to figure out which direction to move in the first place..

Buying drinks is tricky as by the time you get back, either half of it splash on your shoe, or all the ice done melt. Worse yet, don't let me have to traverse a crowd with a hot pee. Though in hindsight, I think I understand how this works now. The larger the mass moving through a pliable medium, the lesser the effort required to travel. In other words, you're a crowd of people, I'm a bus (the mampi) moving in your direction, you'd move Right? No such luck for the guy on a bike.

Driveby Witnesses
After the party I headed to Lithonia to deliver a package to a friend.........because 5 am is totally appropriate for package drops (obviously because they were wide awake). Feeling a little peckish, I stopped at a QT for some doughnuts and coffee. Those of you living at home, QuikTrip or QT for short, is like a US equivalent to the doubles man. Same theory, you leave a fete tight like a wet pantie, you swing by the doubles man first. No doubles men here so it's down to Waffle House, IHOP and of course QT.

So as I'm pulling up to park, I notice a dark-coloured Honda Accord parked in the adjacent spot. A quick glance at the occupants reveals 5 adults, mid-fifties, early sixties dressed formally, suits for the men, dresses and hats, etc for the women. Odd......but whatever.

A cup of coffee and two donuts later, I'm walking back to the car and surprise surprise, the Accord's front passenger window rolls down. "Sir I want to tell you about our lord and saviour.....can I leave you with some reading materials?"

Allyuh not serious.................Jehovahs Witnesses?! Nah!!

Five o'clock in the bloody morning, Witnesses out erm......witnessing. I didn't have much chance for escape either, how could I? They were parked directly in front of the door, next to the Maxima. And, forgive me, but is it too much to ask that you exit the car before hassling me? It somehow feels like cheating when when I don't have to work too hard to dodge yet another Awake magazine.

This same group of JehWits swung by the house later but I was relieved to find that hiding behind the couch is still an effective countermeasure. They, as a result, seemed to be convinced that no one was home even though there were four cars parked on the driveway.

Go figure.


Thursday, March 15, 2012

Unintended Consequences

I have to admit, I'm pretty damn proud of myself. Why? I've gone twelve straight weeks of going to gym at least 3 times per week. What has since occurred is a rapid bout of waistline reduction and beer belly destruction, the likes of which I'd never seen. I haven't been able to wear size 36 waist pants since freshman year in college, but now, no problem.

But I'll tell you what is a problem:

I haven't been able to wear size 36 waist pants since freshman year in college. 

Simply put, I don't own any. Well I own one but you won't catch me leaving the house in it anytime soon. Same way you keep emergency drawers, I have emergency pants. Don't look at me like that, girls you know you have an emergency panty or two. A set you keep handy just so you know it's time to do laundry. Trust me, when you're down to that last pair of Charlotte Street-bought Joe Boxers with the holes in it, you know to get your ass up and wash some clothes.

Where were we?

As of late I've taken to poking holes in my belts to get pants to fit. Many of my cherished Ecko t-shirts and button-ups I probably can't wear anymore. Which brings me to my next point, I'll be thirty years old later this year and though I don't think it's a problem yet, I've started to think about what a thirty-year old should wear. How much different would that be from what a twenty or twenty-five year old wears. I've been off the social scene for quite some time but now that I'm back, I've begun to notice that my typical jeans and t-shirt numbers don't seem to cut it anymore.

Furthermore, baggy jeans apparently don't cut it anymore either but trust me, you're not going to see Mr. Thunder Thighs over here in any skinny jeans any time soon, you could forget that fantasy. Budgetary constraints prevent me from doing a major wardrobe refresh right now, so my over-sized clothing will have to do. But eventually when the time comes, I think I'll need some help. I'm wading through a morass of tight jeans, fitted tops and pedal pushers (capris to some of you), Kangol caps and Clarks and I'm honestly not feeling it.

Hell no.

Don't misunderstand me, I'm not trying to conform or be trendy. As the grey hairs start growing in one by one, and lines in my face begin to appear, I have a genuine concern that my jeans and jersey days are over. The big, fat Rhino (Ecko) print everyone is so used to seeing may have to...............wait a minute, how old is Chris? He still wears Ecko everything with jeans and he's like 40.

Okay, sorry folks, rant over. What time is it.......hungry already.


Monday, March 12, 2012

Contacts come in pairs

For all intents and purposes I should be declared legally blind. I really have no business driving a car or worse flying a plane (my eventual goal). The other day I was dispensing some soft serve ice cream and straight missed the cone (more on that later). You see, unknown to most people except my oldest of friends, I'm as blind as a bat. I actually grew up wearing glasses.

Carib bottle bottoms actually or the Steve Irkle glasses if you're not familiar with the whole Carib bottle reference. Long story short, my glasses lenses were maybe a half inch thick, so thick in fact that when I finally made the switch to contacts, my friends at the time joked that the lenses would probably look like silicone breast implants.......assholes.

Curiously though, my eyesight has degenerated over the years at different rates so that the vision in my right eye is far worse than that of my left leading to hilarious depth perception issues (like the ice cream cone snafu). Normally speaking, a full set of contact lenses eliminates this problem but I wouldn't be me if I didn't always lose a lens now would I.

So now I'm walking around with one lens, missing people's hands when they reach out to shake. But before you consider me a madman, consider this, I've done this for years.Not exactly a justification but because of how long I'd gone with a single lens in the past, my brain seems to have trained itself to look through only one eye. Despite me having only one lens at the moment, I don't actually see the blurred vision coming from the other eye. The aforementioned depth perception issues do pop up from time to time though.

Why don't I just get a replacement? Have you not seen the price of gas lately? When your choices become eat, pump gas or see properly, all of a sudden vision takes a back seat. That plus the fact that I wear semi-permanent lenses, not disposable ones thus they cost quite a bit more......and my prescription has expired so no free emergency lens for me, not without a full exam, new prescription, new lenses, etc, etc.



Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The Nature of Attraction - The Weirdo

There must be something wrong with me. Mother nature designed us in such a way that man attracts woman, woman attracts man.....generally speaking. The nature of that attraction is unknown but is widely accepted that you're going to attract or be attracted to individuals with certain qualities.

For men it varies but we've narrowed it down to a few key features namely: buttom, tut tuts (lol), dimples, buttom, nice personality, cooks, fucks (often)......among other things. Women.........well let's be honest, who knows what women really want, I doubt even women know but let's humour ourselves shall we? Nice body, built, but not too muscular, decent job, nice car, clean cut yet rugged, sensitive, yet authoritative, well-mannered yet daring......oh Jesus Christ. *slaps face

Lawd fadda........women.

But alas, this is not a women bashing post, so where were we? Oh right, the nature of attraction. So the point goes, you essentially attract qualities akin to those that you yourself reflect. So if you're a health jumbie for instance, you're probably going to attract the same, if you're an upstanding, well to do individual, you're probably going to attract a well to do, upstanding individual. Foreigners, guess what, you're probably going to pull another foreigner, jamaican with a trini, bajan with a guyanese, etc.......except my trini posse here in Atlanta, any more closely knit and we'd be bordering on incest.

It should go without saying, that, if you're a slut.........guess what? Alrighty then. So what's my problem? I feel like I'm a well to do, upstanding guy, sensitive, funny, body-wise I'm not top notch but not bad either, I cook, I work, I have my own place/car/etc. Apart from mostly staying broke all the time, what is so wrong with me that I keep attracting wackos? 

Case in point..........

Saturday night, dance ram......ah mean RAM. Man wining like snake oil going outta style, if a bum bum move, wine passing. Alcohol flowing like water, the DJ an all tight, soca jamming, dancehall running, people palancing all over. But near the end of the night, as I'm sitting, updating Facebook, a smallie slides in next to me. Now if you know me well enough, you'd know this is a big deal, no strange woman speaks to me unless she's asking for directions, or invariably to speak to the dude next to me. 

She sits quickly, slips over to me seductively; she's on me before I know it. I turn, we make eye contact.....she's cute. With but the tenderest of movements she's soon whispering in my ear. With the music still playing loudly, she's hard to hear, but I know what  I heard:

"Ey boy, yuh know where I could find some ecstasy to buy?"


Out of all the fellas in here, she picks me with this shit? Which of my qualities attracted this nonsense? How exactly did I pull this kunu munu? Clearly I must have missed the "Reserved for Ecstasy Dealers" sign posted on the seat behind me. Though in hindsight, with the kind of wining that was taking place prior to this encounter, I suppose I shouldn't be surprised that she thought I was on something to begin with. O.o

I suppose they don't call us Winer Boy Crew for nothing.



Sunday, March 4, 2012

Have pot, will bubble.

Complacency.........when it comes to cooking, we are all guilty of it. You and your spouse may collectively know maybe ten dishes, half of which either of you could prepare well enough. Why do you think so many families have taco nights once a week? Tacos are quick, tacos are simple, and tacos are astoundingly hard to fuck up. With only seven days in any given week, six really (taco night), the average family might have a rotation of four, maybe five regular dishes.........let's not even count the single people, particularly single men (Ramen anyone?)

I myself am guilty of it. I possibly know eight dishes, four I probably do regularly, none of which involve tacos. And for those of you that know me, on a lazy week it's probably ramen and cheese with corned beef Monday to Sunday. For quite some time I'd taken to existing off of fast food and come to think of it, though I've lived at the present location almost a year, I really haven't cooked much in all that time......aside from the aforementioned ramen/corned beef concoctions, scrambled eggs, etc.

I'm talking about the things that I'm known for, macaroni pie for instance, stew/curry/bake chicken, stew pigeon peas, pelau, callalloo even, I can honestly say I've made none of these at home in almost a year.I volunteered to make a beef pelau for some friends a few weeks back and I'm not afraid to say it, I was a little intimidated. I'm normally comfortable cooking for people but that's when I'm normally cooking often to begin with. But when you've been out of practice a while, things get ticklish.

Trust me, you don't want to mess up cooking for Trinidadians because no amount of alcohol will make them forget a buss beef pelau, you'll never hear the end of it. People who weren't even in the lime will be talking about it weeks later. Thankfully, I've been told my efforts paid off and the pelau met expectations. Phew.

With gas prices rising steadily, and food prices following closely behind, fast food has (again) become far too costly a lifestyle to upkeep And yes, fast food in general, is still very unhealthy.

But whatever the rhyme or reason, I've decided to make an effort to not only start cooking again, but to expand on the number of dishes that I am able to prepare. As a trinidadian, the obvious thing would be to go to town on our cherished Naparima Girls Cookbook (which I intend to) but that would be too easy. I want to try different cultures, Caribbean at first (pepperpot, escovitch fish anyone) but eventually move on to Middle Eastern, European, Asian, African, etc.

My next challenge would be baking because truth be told, with all my bubbling ability, I can't bake worth shit (for my Shawshank fans).

As usual, I'll keep you guys posted on my efforts. I might even start adding a photo or two finally (gasp).

We'll see


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentines Day - It's not so bad after all.

In light of the circumstances surrounding my recent breakup, one would almost expect that I'd be bitter today, that I'd post nasty and demeaning anti-love messages. But frankly, I'm not bitter at all, quite the contrary really. Though I do miss having that one solitary person to dote over, I'm reminded of the fact that I do in fact have all of you (you know yourselves).

Valentines Day will always remind me of the fact that when things seemed at their darkest, that my friends and closest family members stepped in to say "bredren, we have yuh back." Those of you struggling with the single life "doh study it", you're probably single for a reason. Behind all the smiles, the giggles, the chocolates and the obnoxious flowers, relationships in shambles, marriages in ruin.

Doh study it

Because you're free, you actually embody a state of mind that many (no not all) married persons wish they could. But you know what many people don't think about when it comes to single people and Valentines? It's the fact that we don't have any one person in particular to spoil, and that's a good thing, because now, you spoil EVERYBODY. There's so much more to today than "that special someone," especially when you realize you've been missing all the other "special someones" you absolutely couldn't live without otherwise.

So here is my challenge to you; if you're married, in a relationship, just bulling, etc......more power to you, love the one you're with and love them hard. But if you're single, don't begrudge those that have someone in their lives, pity them. Pity them because on a day like today, when it's all about love, that they cannot share that love with all those who deserve it. Single people, reach out to all those people who love you, and love them back hard and when today is over, keep on doing it. Buy flowers for whomever you want to now because it's okay, it's actually appropriate, she's not going to kill you or have an attitude because there's no she.

Appreciate the friends and family who love you because eventually, when that next relationship hits, you'll probably forget. Human nature I suppose.



Monday, February 6, 2012

What are you people?

There are unique group of people that share this planet with the rest of the human race; a group that despite varied sensibilities, exhibits a common mindset. A hive mind of sorts, though one that honours and respects its unique parts. A group that has evolved a unique set of attributes that sets them apart, like the ability to blend seamlessly, wholly and completely into other cultures, yet retain intact, the most minuscule details of their own. A group that seems immune to alcohol and can seemingly go days without sleep a few days each year.

Though rare by comparison, numbering a mere million, their presence can be felt all over the world. You see glimpses of it all the time, a flash of red in the corner of the eye, gone just as quickly. Sometimes they slip; accents slipping out mid-sentence, giving them away for a brief moment. These people have "a look" too, that despite being of different races, you can often tell by looking at them, the truth that lies more than just skin deep. It's almost like the Matrix, like the agents......they know who they are, they know each other, but you can't tell by looking at them, until they want you to know. 

Their fanaticism is infectious, their love of their own culture, inspiring, and despite varied religious backgrounds, all worship one thing........the lime. 

These people are known by one name: Trinis. A word that invokes so much more than just an island nation in the Caribbean; it is a state of mind, a common sensibility, a culinary experience, a cultural diaspora. I proudly count myself as one of these, and despite where I find myself from day to day, a TRINI I'll always be. (Oh shit, it rhyme O.o).

So how is it that I managed to find myself at a Superbowl lime of all things? Simple, as a TRINI, I like to lime.......period. I have no interest in American football whatsoever, but in nearly ten years here, I have never missed a Superbowl lime......never. After being here this long, I now understand the vagaries and complexities of the sport but do I give a fuck? No. 

I was there for the camaraderie, for the ole talk, the fun, the food, the alcohol..........I was there to lime.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Fantastic Friday Again - February 17th, 2012

It's that time of year again when all of Trinbago is abuzz with Carnival excitement. Last night I finally got in on some of the action by watching the last half of the Soca Monarch semifinals and for those that managed to catch it, most agree, it was pretty weak. After nearly 47 face palms, this again appears to be a competition between Iwer George and Machel Montano; the rest were just filler. 

Another observation that seemed to be shared by many..........maybe we should just cancel Power this year. With the sudden, meteoric rise of Groovy Soca (thanks Kes/Kerwin/Benjai), artistes have apparently forgotten how to write Power songs. Throughout the night, crowd favourites were moving the masses not with power songs, but groovy ones and for those that elected to do both, their power options were decidedly weak by comparison. Machel didn't even sing a power song last night if I remember correctly; does that mean he's doing groovy only for the final? And with Bunji not even competing this year, what's the point. 

But I digress

Despite my quibbles, I'm never one to back down from a liming opportunity so come Fantastic Friday, I will be stream partying somewhere. This unfortunately is the only option for many of us "foreign-based" who are either unable to or cannot afford to travel. Stream limes have become our way of feeling like we're there. In years past, our options were either a crap feed from Ustream or pay USD$20 for a slightly less crappy but crap nonetheless stream from the official source. 

This year, the carnival streaming Gods appear to be merciful, thus permitting paid streams for USD 99 cents promising HD quality streams (I'll believe that when I see it).  

Go to for this streaming option. Otherwise, monitor Facebook and Twitter #WITArmy on the night for the inevitable Ustream/Livestream link or two. For the free vibes, I recommend you pay attention to Asylum Radio

Nothing is fool proof though so as usual, expect the typical stream failures as millions of Caribbean people around the world crush the internet for one night. At 99 cents, I also expect much more people to be jamming the paid sites as well. I really hope that after years of problems, that these folks really get their act together. By now we should have server farms rivaling the likes of Google, Apple, etc, capable of handling the expected traffic. 

With Caroni no longer in existence, I  know we can find some sugar cane land to throw down some damn servers. 

In any case, I hope you all have a safe and enjoyable carnival weekend whether it be live and in person, or vicariously over the web. 

D. T. J

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Lingering Doubts - Still more

Clearly I still have an ax to grind as there are a few items I still haven't covered but once this is through, I promise, there will be no more hating on T&T, just positive vibes from here on out.

What is with all this peeing? 

Picture it, fresh off the plane, terminal walls all around me painted in pastels seemingly bland and uninviting. The a/c as though attempting to compete with the cold climate I'd just left behind, gives the airport a very cold yet welcoming feel. Then the doors open, the heat hits you, a lone mosquito finds its mark and then like a bat to the hits you:

"What the fuck is that smell?!"

I'd almost completely forgotten what piss smelled like. Thank you Trinidad and Tobago for that very vivid reminder. At first, I was confused, I couldn't figure it out, what could possibly be the source of this uniquely foul odour? I hadn't been home in something like 8 years and thus unfamiliar with what smelled unholy, like a mix of boiled pig tail,stale buljol and old goat roti.

It is very evident to me that we as a people, still have a very loose understanding of hygiene in public. Namely, it is still socially acceptable to relieve oneself when the feeling hits, whenever and wherever one so happens to be at that point in time. I am complaining but I'm clearly in no position to judge. I vividly recall using the "piss wall" back when Watercolours was in its heydey in the paddock, Queens Park Savannah. Sure there were port-a-potties but why waste time? I swear there had to be like 20 fellas at a time lined up peeing on the wall.

I'm a reformed pisser.

I am not the same person I was 15 years ago, I no longer relieve myself in public spaces (though I do indulge in some R Kelly-ing from time to time). I would like to enjoy my country without having to smell this funk. How can this even be civilized?

Though I suppose I could understand when the options include either pee on yourself or possible gang rape in a public toilet. Think seriously, can any of you even tell me where to find a public toilet in T&T? The ones I can think of are on beaches and those are not free. I think there is one on Independence Square and I believe one or two in the Savannah.......and guess what? They smell like pee too.

I think I'll go pee on the wall by Five Points Marta Station next week just to see what happens.

Anyways, I still have one or two more gripes that I won't articulate today. Look out for one or two more of these gripe fests before the month is up. Peace.

D. T. J

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Fruit Frustration

You know, there are some things in this world that I just don't get: women, communism, grits, etc. Fine, so I don't know it all; I can live with that. But the one thing in this world that frustrates me to no end is fruit.

allow me to explain.......

I love fruit though sadly I don't eat nearly enough of it. As a part of my New Years Resolutions for 2012, I'd promised to adjust my diet (slightly) by incorporating more fruits and vegetables into my daily routine. At home as most Caribbean people tend to be, I was a fruit fanatic; I'd practically suck a bucket of dous dous mangoes by myself. Silk fig? Yes please and not to mention pomerac, pommecythere, guava and my absolute favourite, the sapodilla.

But here's the thing about eating tropical fruits; they come with a handy dandy, colour-coded guide to freshness. See it's simple:

Green - not ripe
Brightly coloured  - ripe/ready to eat
Dark Brown - throw that shit away and/or cuss the fruitstand man.

This method is so fool-proof that we don't even use the term  "unripe" at home. All unripe fruit are simply referred to as "green." Can't make a good mango chow without green mango now can you? I'm sure there are many of you that won't go a week without green fig and buljol or green fig with stew chicken.

Smell it.......feel it up

And if you so happened to be colour-blind, you still had your senses of smell and touch to aid you. In most cases,  rock hard fruit with little to no scent was unripe, slightly firm but fragrant meant ripe and ready to eat, and lastly soft and squishy, runny and foul smelling again meant cuss the fruitstand man. Even if you couldn't tell by touch feel or smell, such as is the case with watermelon, we trinis developed an ingenious method of quality assurance, the vendor would just cut the damn thing to give you a taste.

I bet you all remember those little triangle-shaped wedges cut into the watermelons that your parents brought home.

But temperate climate fruits are an entirely different animal altogether. Even after living in the US damn near 10 years, I still have trouble telling the difference between ripe, unripe and spoiled when it comes to most fruits. Apples, plums (the american ones obviously), peaches etc are especially difficult for me. I just don't get it; whether an apple is unripe, ripe or long past spoiled, the colour never changes and neither does the firmness to be honest with you, not to me anyway. Plums are a favourite of mine but too often I come home with a bag of plums that all taste like ass. (you ass connoisseurs out there know what I'm talking about).

The Americans in my life say that I need to take the time to feel the minute differences in firmness. The fruit should be firm but should have a little "give" but not too much "give."


I won't be at Kroger molesting fruit anytime soon. Ya'll can forget that shit.

I seem to have had success with gala apples though so I think I'll be buying those exclusively from now on. Next week I'll try my hand at picking melons out.........cantaloupes and honey dew melons to be specific. Honestly I can't go wrong there I'm thinking, they taste the same no matter what state they're in.

I'll let you know how that goes. Later


Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Country Christmas

I chose to do something different this year rather than the typical parang lime/trini Atlanta Christmas. Those close to me have probably heard the name pop up often as of late:


Lagrange...............go ahead, scratch your heads now.

I've always had a fondness for and an attraction to, small towns though I'm not sure I'd classify Lagrange as such; there is a mall after all.....with Macys (wow). Admittedly, I didn't spend much time exploring the City, having only discovered the town square my second trip down there. I was more enraptured by the small town charm and hospitality I experienced from my host family (whom for privacy sake we'll call the Richardsons). Having known me vicariously through their daughter over the past eight years, they welcomed me as a son, as though they'd known me all along.

And yes, you read that right, I said daughter. What, you think I'm crazy? Obviously I went out there behind some woman (we're just friends so relax people).

Where were we?

Oh right, Lagrange, bess Christmas.

From the time I got down there on Christmas Eve, I could tell I was onto something. I was barely out the car before the first Bacardi and Coke greeted me (my kind of people). I breached the kitchen and couldn't quite comprehend the sight before me; a whole chicken, seasoned and simmering nonchalantly in a pot on the stove.

"Times must be tough" I thought to myself, "Is boil chicken we eating?"

I came to find out later that all the meat was then combined with bread crumbs, etc then baked to create a chicken stuffing (or dressing as it's known in the south) for the turkey.........fucking brilliant. The chicken bones were then used to make a stock which in turn became chicken fucking gravy (somebody pinch me).

My home girl, no slouch in the kitchen herself, made a roast beef that I would eat off the floor. The beef was combined with potatoes and carrots then broiled in the oven on low heat for hours; it was like pus........erm.......heaven on a fork. The rest of the Christmas dinner itself included ham, turkey, turnip greens, broccoli and cheese pie and mac and cheese.

Oh and Mr. Richardson brought out his "pepper sauce" though it's not quite what you think; nothing like what we Caribbean folk call pepper sauce. This was literally pickled, whole jalapeno peppers in a jar. You'd pour the pickle juice on your greens then chomp on a whole pepper for added effect. Dessert was red velvet cake and homemade cheese cake which had a bit of a lime flavour to it.

So believe it or not, I actually managed a Christmas without pastelles, black cake, ponche a creme or ginger beer, no ham and chau chau, no bake and buljol, but as you can tell, I had a pretty good time with great people, and if they'll have me, I'll do it again.

Special mention goes out to Stax and Gabby for hosting the pre-Christmas potluck that set the standard for the rest of the holiday..........I had not consumed that much alcohol in such a short span of time, in a very very long time. Whoever made the pelau, please know that you are a master of your craft, and may virgins worship at your feet. A word of mention also to Mr. and Mrs. Quamina for hands down, the best Christmas house party I have ever been to (seriously).

And with that, I will leave you all with just two words............RUM BALLS     (again, ask Stax).

Lingering Doubts - Creature Comforts

As I continue to struggle with this whole "moving back home" concept, having recently been home, I'm more aware of some of the things I'd be giving up, like affordable yet fast and reliable internet, paved roads, electronic road info signs.......and Strokers (of course).

Yeah I have a skybox here in the States but it's known by another name: "mailbox." Maybe you've heard the phrase before? Call me spoiled but I am so used to $3.99 overnight shipping with my Amazon Prime, I'm not sure I can give that up. You order it today, it's here tomorrow, no extra freight charges to calculate, no duty fees to worry about.

Jesus, why is this file so big?! Four gigs to download?! This shit will take all week. Oh wait, no it won't; at least not with Comcast pumping 22mbps of blazing fast internet into the apartment.One night I caught up on 6 months worth of PSN (that's Playstation Network for some of you) content, downloading upwards of 20 Gbs in one night. Not even a burp from Comcast, not with their 250 Gb per month download limit. There isn't enough porn in this world to bring me close to that limit each month.

And when I'm on the road and need to connect, Comcast (via Sprint I believe) 3G mobile mifi device. 4G is it now but I couldn't justify the extra cost, not when my phone turns into a 4G hotspot  for free (thank you T-mobile). With the ability to connect up to 5 devices per mifi, the car often becomes a rolling hotspot. Basically anybody riding with me, with a laptop, tablet, iPad, PSP, Nook, Kindle Fire, etc, can get a connection from me (maybe I should start charging). Road trips with uncle Dwayne become fun all of a sudden with Netflix streaming direct to the car. No more watching Finding Nemo 10 times on a Miami run.

and speaking of roadtrips............
I'm still waiting on the powers that be to invent a GPS device that will find Sauce doubles in Curepe Junction, the Original Souse King in El Soccoro, then plot me a course from Las Cuevas to the Pitch Lake, detouring through Penal, all while showing me live traffic along the route. Exactly......doesn't exist. We all know somebody driving a foreign used (abused?) car with a "GPS" unit in the dash. The car typically has no clue as to where it is; driving along the foreshore, a quick glance of the screen and you'd swear you were in Okinawa, Japan. It's almost like T&T exists geographically in one hell of a satellite blind spot.

What do I rely on when lost? Nothing fancy......only my Garmin Nuvi 1690 with NuLink!. NuLink!, I suspect, is just Garmin-speak for Google: Frankly I don't understand why Garmin just doesn't put this shit on everything they make (shoot, we put Lil' Wayne on practically everything, why not NuLunk!?). There are a few features available which frankly, I never really use (flight times, gas prices, movie times, etc)

But the real draw is the glorious 3G cellular chip in the 1690 that allows me to do Google local search by tapping into AT&T's mobile network.I self guided myself through Pittsburgh, Tallahassee and many other cities as though I was from there. Which would you rely on? Your 4 year old "never been updated since you bought it" GPS? Or would you rather a GPS with up to the minute information thanks to Google?

And if all else fails, I still have Google Maps on my phone to guide me when in a pinch.

I'm not trying to make T&T out to be this backwater, caveman society. To be fair, many of these things I enjoy are quickly creeping into the country............but not not nearly quickly enough. Another problem I have is that when advanced products and services do make it home, they're sometimes sub-par, low quality yet ridiculously overpriced.

Trinidad and Tobago is my land, the land of my birth, the land of my ancestors (give or take a generation or two), and arguably speaking, it's where I belong..........but not without my hi speed internet connection.

Fawk Dat

I have a few more but check back with me next week for those.