Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Blog Closure Notice

I have to close my blog. For my own good. "GOOD" meaning safety, peace of mind, etc...

Sorry. Has to be done. By the end of today, I will be gone.

Was nice. Bye.

I *heart* blogland

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Flashback: Proper English

When I was little, my mommy forbade us to use her colognes, so, of course we stole uses ever so often, and we thought it a great honour and privilege to be given a 'legal spray' from the lady herself.

One day we were all going somewhere very special, and mummy felt extra-generous with her cologne. She lined us up (four kids) and sprayed each of us: two squirts behind the ears, one on the neck, and one squirt splat in the middle of our chests.

So my turn came, and I got sprayed. And I felt good for about two minutes. Then the damn thing started to burn.

Ruthie: Mummy, it a bun me inna me chest...
Mummy: Speak better than that child!!
Ruthie (baring her burning chest-- and with a heavy lisp): It is burning me into my yasso!

PS: 'Yasso' - Jamaican patois for 'here-so' or 'here'

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Today's Wise Words

My verbal panacea... in any situation... doesn't necessarily convey acceptance... or rejection... just quiet realisation of where the chips lie:

it is what it is...

Today I had to accept that and just move on...

Did I wanna? Oh hell no!! I wanted to sound an alarm and call a whole goddamn infantry!! But that wouldn't change a thing. Fact is...

it is what it is...

I wanted to fight in futility for all I was worth... kick and scream and throw a hissy fit... make somebody pay for the foul mood I was in. But that wouldn't change a thing. Fact is...

it is what it is...

Every cell in my body said war! Fight the obvious, unchageable truth! Fight, dammit!! Fight!! If only to feel like you did something. But that wouldn't change a thing. Fact is *sigh*

it is what it is...

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

O to the B to the A -M-A!!

I don't know who the fifth President of the United States is. Or the twelfth. Or the twenty-third. Or even the thirtieth.

I'll probably forget who the fortieth President of the United States was. And probably the forty-second. And even the forty-third.

BUT

I will never forget the 44th President of the United States:

Barack Obama

First African-American man to be elected President.
One of the youngest American Presidents ever.

Cause I saw it happen with my own two eyes.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

No Daddy!

I can't begin to imagine how the father of former Immaculate Conception High Head girl, Pia Phillips, must feel. In a time when most parents want to preserve the lives of their children, he accidentally shot his... on her 18th birthday!! She died shortly thereafter.

The man must be beating himself. And wanting to die too. Can you imagine? For the rest of his life, he has to live with the knowledge: He killed his daughter...

Oh the irony...
Oh the tragedy...

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Hear the Mothers' Cries

Mummy: Hey Ruth, listen to me: I love you, hear? And just... be careful on the road... Make sure you pray before you leave the house and watch who you go into taxi with... Just... be careful, y'hear?

An ominous, unsettling dread filled the pit of my stomach. A lump formed in the back of my throat. Sudden weariness overtook me. I blinked hard and swallowed before I hung up the phone.

My mom is worried about me... My mom - this woman who has always been a pillar of strength and certainty that God will watch over her children, this woman who never worries because she knows that when we were younger, she drilled general safety rules into our heads and trained us well, this woman - felt the need to tell me to be careful... because she's seen so many young girls get abducted and raped and sodomised and burned and murdered in the last few weeks that she's become agitated about the safety of her own children.

I can't explain the effect that had on me. I've been watching the news. I've seen the spate of senseless attacks on young girls. But it never hit so hard as when my own mother called me to remind me that she loves me and that she wants me to be careful on the streets... It just pierced my heart and opened my eyes.

Have you ever really stopped to think about how our mothers must be fretting and worrying and praying with all their mights that this angel of death will not visit their homes?? How they must be agitated when their children leave home for schools in the mornings? How they must be relieved when their children return home from school in the evenings? How grateful they must be that the only harm their children saw that day were cuts and scrapes and playground bruises?

Betty-Ann Blaine started an organisation called 'Hear The Children's Cry', and that is very important. But I think, in this time, we need another group. For mothers. Nothing compares to a mother's love for her child, and I think, in this time, if mothers get together and exercise their creative genius, unleash the full extent of their maternal instincts, they will probably come up with more effective precautionary measures and solutions for this crisis than anybody else...

Jamaica needs to hear the mothers' cries...

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Where Did All The Good Cartoons Go?

::Earth! Fire! Wind! Water! Heart! Gooo planet!!
By your powers combined, I am Captain Planet!
(Sing) Captain Planet, he's the hero...
Gonna take pollution down to zero...

Whatever happened to all the good cartoons??

I mean the cartoons that were witty and interesting and funny, but still wholesome and educational. Where did all the 'smart' cartoons go??

I remember when my own disenchantment with Toon-Land began. It was the dawn of the Cow-And-Chicken era. Everybody was going crazy over Johnny Bravo and Dexter's Laboratory and Powerpuff Girls, but I was shocked and disgusted! Why would anybody ever allow such rubbish to permeate their television screens? And how could they possibly replace a brilliantly planned series like Jayce and the Wheel Warriors with something as nonsensical and trivial as Cow and Chicken?? It boggled my young mind.

Remember the original Power Rangers? Silver Hawk? Jayce & The Wheel Warriors? Zoids? Kissifur? Tale Spin? Yogi and Friends? Paw-Paw Bears? The Flintstones, the Jetsons?? Or remember the TLC/PBS-inspired educational stuff like Sesame Street (admit it, you liked Sesame Street when you were little!), Professor Iris, Bookmice, Zoobalizoo, The Puzzle Place, Reading Rainbow, Between the Lions, Magic Schoolbus and whatever great cartoons you used to watch in your time??

I remember me and my siblings fighting over who should be which planeteer in Captain Planet, using mommy's broom to imitate Thunder Cats (thunder, thunder, thunder, thunder cats!!), and using her clean sheets to pretend we had powers like the kids in Dungeons and Dragons (now there was a real cartoon!). Today? The only good stuff I see are animes and some Disney/Nick stuff.

What happened to all the good, wholesome programs? When did we move from pure, unadulterated fun to nothing but nonsense and stupidity? Is this some wholesale conspiracy to dumb down our kids??

I would never let my kid watch today's nonsense! I'd rather buy Sesame Street reruns and force-feed my kid home-made episodes of Reading Rainbow.

*SMH* I don' know when or where the decision was taken to start systematically lessening the intelligence requirements for cartoon production, but it pains my heart to see the rubbish we pass off as entertainment for kids nowadays... *sigh*

Can anybody tell me: where did all the good cartoons go??

Monday, October 27, 2008

Randomosity: Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da, Life Goes On...

If you did tell me I would stay away from blogger for this long, I would say you lie!

Good News:
- I finished all my assignments and I did all of them properly. What usually happens is that I concentrate so much on the first two or three big essays and presentations, that I completely neglect the others till the night before and then have to do this nasty, patch-up rush job... not this year!!!

-Boss lady was so impressed with my work that she offered me a more permanent(ish) deal, and my story comes out in the Gleaner tomorrow (update: it did!)...

-I'm employed, and I love(!!) my job...

-Mommy's here!!!

Bad News:
-I'm still in school =D

-I haven't been home to see mommy yet

-Three of my friends died in a car crash that totally incinerated their bodies in Oracabessa. I've never been hit by that many deaths so close to me at once... totally shook up, can't believe it... just can't believe it...

Life Lessons:
-Doing the right thing is hard...

-You can love someone and still want to strangle the living daylights outta them...

-Death is painful...

Monday, October 13, 2008

Where, oh where is Ruthibelle?

.......................buried under books!!

**This MIA announcement brought to you courtesy of the University of Tertiary Education in collaboration with the Ruthibelle Pursuit of Knowledge Foundation (RPKF). For more information, contact the University at 1-888-STILL-DISORGANISED or the RPKF at 1-888-TOO-MANY-ESSAYS...

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Dear Daddy Dearest,

I should start by saying how much I love and respect you as a man who can own the word 'father' in its fullest sense. As a man who actively contribute to the welfare of all your children. As a man who stick with one wife for all of 24 years, and as a husband who still do corny things like hug your wife from behind and kiss her on the lips before your children (yuck!)...

But seriously daddy... I think is time you and me talk. And since I still fraid to tell you these things just so, I decide to write this letter.

*Deep breath*

See, daddy...

I'm a big girl now.

Most people agree.

I not being feisty or rude or playing some rebellion game. I'm 20 years old now, you know. I think I have enough sense to make certain decisions without.... parental interference.

*deep breath*

Daddy, I think is time for you to let go.

I don't mean let go as in desert me and cut me off completely (especially not now when I halfway through university, oh God no!). I mean loosen your grip a little so I can... you know... breathe...

Daddy, I done know where I come from. You drill that into my head and I will never forget it. God knows I love home, and I will forever be a country-bumpkin at heart, but some things can only stay in the heart. I don't want to live there forever. And sometime soon, you must realise and accept that I won't.

And this religion thing... *sigh*. Daddy... would you please stop interrogating my friends bout religion? If they not Christians, then they just not Christians. Leave them alone and stop frighten them with hell and eternal damnation every time they come round.

And... ahm... this thing about me having a boyfriend that you like... You realise, daddy, that is not you the young man dating, is me? How you expect me to get married, sir, if I don't date nobody? And how you expect me to date anybody, sir, if alla them fraid a you? And how you expect them to stop frai a you, sir, if everytime they come near your house, you sit them down and preach them a sermon or conduct CIA-level interrogation?? You know me stubborn just like you and me not going fall for the set-up thing you and mummy try with Jazzy! (Jazzy=my older sis)

Daddy, I know when you look at me you still see little defenseless five-year-old Ruthie with the lisp and the buff teeth and the crooked little smile, but if you look harder you will notice that the lisp disappear, the buff teeth grow out properly, and the smile not so crooked anymore. This overprotective, control-my-life, interrogate/convert/scare-away-my-friends thing... *sigh*... it have to stop.

Daddy, when you look at me, don't see the big, bad world waiting to get me. Don't see the men you will never trust with your precious little innocent daughter... Don't see the things you have no control over and can never change anyway. See me. Beneath the make-up and the earrings and the pretty floral patterns, is the same Ruthie you raised from baby. I still your baby girl. Just a woman too. And woman mean autonomous freedom to decide my life... without well-intentioned but undue interference... you understand what I saying?

With Love,
Ruthibelle.

Cc: Mommy Dearest...

Monday, October 6, 2008

To be young and in shorts!

The sight that assailed my eyes at the university today! What we call a mature student, in a white t-shirt, showing off his pot-belly and extraordinarily obtrusive navel, and -of all things- shorts!! And I don't mean jeans shorts, like what them young boys wear from time to time, or even beach shorts, I mean the primary/basic school, PE, right-under-my-behind shorts!!

This man traipsing all over campus, oblivious to the stares and giggles, speckled chicken legs and all, with his book-bag strapped over his shoulder...... oh lawd! I had to shake my head, bite my lip, and look away.

But it made me think about how popular shorts are becoming on campus. With the girls, I mean. And they keep getting shorter. The other day I saw two with their thin little strips of shorts-band-aids showing off butt-cheeks and cracks... not to mention the microscopic skirts, and sheer, sheer nylon tights!

I'm not trying to dictate what people should or should not wear to class, but this is the kinda thing that make professors complain bout student attire, the type of thing that leads to discussions bout university students wearing uniforms to classes... Why, when we have freedom, we always indulge in excess??

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Thought for the Day

For those moments when you feel faint.....

Thursday, October 2, 2008

The Gang Of Five!

Our taxi driver was antsy today. Didn't even pick up passengers at the regular bus stop. He went around the corner, then came back on foot to call us into the taxi.

And when he drove off, he took all the backroads he knew, didn't once venture onto the standard route... The "Gang of Five" was on the road.

From what I gather, this is a group of five police bikers who frequently patrol the Town-Papine route: smart, seasoned veterans and every illegal (and many legal) taxi man's worst nightmare.

My driver ketch him fraid: suddenly remembered his outdated license, his unpaid insurance... even noticed that air was lacking on two of his car-tires. The man started to sweat... called all his taxi-friends to warn them that Gang of Five was patrolling the area.

He heard that they were on Old Hope Road, so he decided to drive on Mona Road. Then, he got another call: the Gang of Five was making its way to Mona Road.

My driver nearly died on spot. Ahead of us, we could see a couple cars parked by a gas station, right beside an intersection. There was no turn-off before the intersection, and no way to see who was around the corner... Our driver slowed to a crawl, craning his neck to see if the dreaded Gang of Five was around the corner, waiting to track him down and charge him for all the sins he now vividly recalled...

There was no Gang of Five around the corner. But even then our driver wasn't pacified. He kept saying how these guys were cunning, and could be waiting around any corner, on any main road...

I found it fascinating to watch a grown man nearly pass out from fear of a group of policemen. I thought it fantastic that police can still drive that level of fear into wrong-doers, (even if I did endorse his wrong-doing when I chose to take his taxi)... I sincerely hope he took the rest of the day off, though, cause even if Gang'o Five don't catch him, sheer terror alone goin' give him a heart attack!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Writing My Passion

In my times of greatest conflict, I find it easy to write.

Flip open a notebook. Pick up a pen. Write my fingers into a tizzy. Let my fingers lead me into alternative, imaginary worlds...

I wish I could write from my heart. I wish my heart had hands to write what it felt. I wish there was some process through which my feelings bypassed my mind and all the other regions of my body that seem to throw them into confusion, and just went straight to my hands, to my fingers, so I could write, and adequately, clearly, express what I feel.

I wish I knew what my writing voice was: you know, that style, sound and quality that is uniquely, distinctly me. I wish imitation were a difficultly acquired skill, instead of an educational necessity. I wish intelligence, uniqueness and individuality were more readily advocated and encouraged, so that more people would grow up discovering themselves – their true selves – in their own ways, instead of getting lost in a sea of shiftless imitators. Then, perhaps, perchance, maybe people would find themselves. And I would find myself.

To find oneself: what does that mean? To find oneself?

I need to find myself
Amidst all this empty drifting
To pour my heart into a bowl
And do some careful sifting

What I need is to be totally completely free
What I need is to be totally completely me...

Who am I?

In times of greatest conflict, I find it easy to write.

Copyright 2007
Writefully Mine
Ruthibelle

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Ding-Bat Class?

I don't mind being misunderstood, so much as I mind being misunderstood and then ridiculed, as was the case in one of my gender classes.

It's a small class of six students. Just six of us. Five women and one man. From the first class I could see trouble: these students hardly talk. When Teach asks a question, you can hear crickets chirping. I hate those awful silences, so I talk. And sometimes I get flack for it -flack I can live with so long as we end up having lively, fruitful discussions that move the class past a boring, uncomfortable snail's pace.

But today was different. The question was whether women ever wish to be men, and why. Personally, no, I don't wish to be a man. But I understand why women would (all the other women in my class) considering the inequities that still exist in some societies, negative perceptions of childbirth, etc.

This girl, call her Curly, was presenting on the subject and said that men enjoy sex more than women. I objected: Do they really? And if they do, isn't this because we have been socialised to believe that men ought to be more sexually dominant?? She rebutted me on the basis that men are (I interpreted that to mean naturally and inherently) more sexually virile and dominant. She went on to say that men find it easier to have orgasms than women.

I argued that the only reason we think men find it so easy to live out these sexual roles is because they've been conditioned by society to do so. In another society, things would probably be different.

Enter laughter here.

I relate a tribe in Mexico where the women are the sexually dominant ones. They approach men, initiate sexual intercourse, and have much more fun with sex than the men do. In fact, the men secretly administer suppressants to these women to cool them down... I argue that if sexual aggressiveness is really a natural, in-born masculine value, wouldn't all men everywhere display the same sexual behaviour? Margaret Mead's research backs me up.

Enter laughter again.

The entire class gets on my case about it. Curly says that for men, any hole will do. I refute. This is not an absolute and I think it's important to look at the explanations behind our actions rather than just accepting the 'absolute finality' of the actions themselves.

Laughter again. Enter Ruthi getting a little pissed and annoyed.

I don't know. Maybe my point wasn't very well-made. Maybe they didn't get what I was saying, or maybe I missed what they were trying to tell me... It just annoys me, though, that instead of trying to get what I was saying or explain clearly what they were saying, they all had a laugh-fest about it.

I guess my persuasion skills need work. Or maybe I'm wrong. Maybe it was a classic example of miscommunication.
Or maybe I'm in a class full of ding-bats!

Monday, September 29, 2008

The Maddening Family

My weekend in a nutshell:

1. The Ride Home
Daddy gets the urge to check on me every 5 minutes for a two-and-a-half-hour taxi ride: asking where I am, how much longer it will take me to reach home, how many people are in the taxi with me...

2. Arrival
Mummy calls (all the way from Canada, mind you). Her complaint: why don't I sign up for some phone plan and call her more often? She talks right through my explanation that I am studying, not working and therefore usually broke, and continues to berate me about being so distant...

3. Inspection
Auntie Flo comes over to me, squints her eyes, pinches my skin, pokes my ribs, then says: "But gyal, you a get mawga. Dem nah feed you ah town?"

I guess, one day, when I have children, I'll understand...

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Friday, September 26, 2008

Tagged 2: Introspection

This tag courtesy of Ruth Rhytswell...

Should inspire thought...

Give the first answer that comes to mind...

I AM … living, learning, growing… and loving it!!
I WANT… more clarity, wisdom
I HAVE … a heart packed up with dreams, fingers itching to write, a mind that refuses to be still, an expansive imagination… many trades, some mastery
I KEEP… books, and I mean all my books: notebooks, textbooks, scrapbooks, novels, magazines, devotionals, diaries and journals
I WISH I COULD … rewrite history??
I HATE … crowded closets and overused words
I FEAR … dying and adding to the wealth of potential that remains forever buried in a cemetery. That will not happen to me!
I HEAR … the sound of a revolution… lol. Nah, actually, I hear cars passing outside…
I DON’T THINK … I could tolerate being average, I like to stand out too much
I REGRET … not trying harder…
I LOVE … life. And good food!
I AM NOT … never communicating, so pay attention!
I DANCE … in stops and starts (hey, that’s my beat!)
I SING … when I have a song??
I NEVER … procrastinate (this is the future me, lol)
I RARELY … keep still, always moving…
I CRY WHEN I WATCH … anything! (I am a sap!)
I AM NOT ALWAYS … straightforward
I HATE THAT … I don't have everything I think I need
I’M CONFUSED ABOUT … the theory of relativity (I almost believe it, I think)
I NEED … money, and more time!! And love.
I SHOULD … be quick to listen, slow to speak... and I should get going. I'm already late for a class, lol

What about you?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I Had Real Teachers

Not the archetypal zombies who do the job solely for the salary, take out domestic frustrations on unsuspecting students, live a lie everyday they step into classrooms, unknowingly committing mass murder... I mean real teachers.

Primary School. One Miss Taylor comes to mind. That woman pushed me into public speaking, encouraged me to write my two-bit poems and short-stories, even allowed me to share them with the class. Showed me off like I was her prized possession, the jewel in her crown... (in retrospect, it probably wasn't very beneficial for my classmates), but the unwavering belief in my greatness killed the shy and antisocial in me...

High School. One Mr. McKenzie. I'll never forget the day he called a few of us out of class. Told us the story of the professor who gave pearls to all his students and encouraged them to excel. Explained that while he had no pearls, he had carefully selected words...

Another Mrs. Kerr-Harvey. Gave me my first real zero... Lawd, you know I bawled down the whole school bout that! Me? Zero?! For a 5-minute late paper? I nearly died! Some days I wanted to kill her: for the first time in my life, a teacher refused to choose me (!!) or any other student for that matter, as a favourite, but doled out equal treatment to everyone... no wonder we ALL love her now.

Mistresses Wilson and Mullings. A darling pair. No they're not gay, but they've been teaching together at that school for so long that they're like the proverbial bench and batty. Always so concerned about what I was doing. And in sixth form when I slacked off and was falling into the lethal throes of depression (I was spoilt rotten and getting a rude awakening), these two queens worked really hard to pull me back into more youthful, light-hearted, yet focused ways.

University. Images of a Mrs. Spence quickly appear. "Wake up to your own power!" she daily drummed into a hall-full of women's heads. And wake up we did.

Mr. Gibbings. My Trini daddy/mentor. Sweet memories of uncensored classes; unaltered writing styles appreciated as distinctive offerings from unique individuals; archaic ideas bounced around like the fallible, questionable theories of other mortals... Empowerment through encouragement and open-mindedness... A good human being. A great teacher. Coined my favourite phrase, "What a pound?"

I had real teachers. Not this rubbish in the classroom that takes the sparkle out of kids' eyes, turns them into dull, monotonous machines regurgitating text-book edicts. Too many rules, one smart old lady told me. Too many rules that restrict action, thought, self-expression and self-realisation...

I had real teachers. And for that, I am eternally grateful.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Famous For the Wrong Reasons

Ananda Dean. This little girl is famous in Jamaica right now.

Not because she won a government scholarship. Or can sing like an angel. Or can recite poems. Or is a netball or sprint champion.

She is missing.

A $350,000 reward is being offered for her safe return. It's been days. They found her schoolbooks.

The mother's desperate plea: "Please, I don't care who you are. Throw her outta the car at a police station or somewhere... Please, just leave her somewhere we can find her."

But I think she knows... I think we all know...
Yet we quietly pray, and desperately hope...

**UPDATE** Ananda Dean's decomposing body was found in bushes in Cyprus Hill, St. Andrew. RIP Ananda.

Monday, September 22, 2008

No Air, No Air...

::Tell me how I'm supposed to breathe
With no air
Can't live, can't breathe
With no air
That's how I feel
Whenever you aint there
No air, no air...::

:: became the anthem of a bus-full of commuters travelling from Papine to Crossroads/Downtown this evening.

Packed to capacity, the bus was an acrid mixture of human odour, and stifling body heat. You could feel the steamy vapour rising off the hot tar on the road, squeezing between closely-packed cars on the traffic-jammed route, seeping into the bus, inspiring sticky trickles of sweat down blouse-backs, on necks, on foreheads and behind ears; little beads of sweat on arms and legs and above lips; stuffy, hot air taking a slow choke-hold on every-one's lungs...

When the radio started to play Jordin Sparks and Chris Brown's 'No Air', the whole bus lustily sang along, directing their words at the driver...

"Driver, gi we some breeze nuh!" One irate passenger said, to many shouts of agreement: "Yes, AC, driver, AC!"

The driver, not missing a beat, took up a huge, flat notebook and started to fan. With a little smile, a shrug and eyes pleading understanding, he turned to his audience and sang, "No air, no air..."

The bus exploded with laughter.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Thought For the Day

What you see............................................................is not all there is!!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Armed, Dangerous, and Mad as Ever!!

Why are mad people allowed to roam this country armed and dangerous??

Picture with me: A mad man. Cushioned between two light-posts. So well-concealed that you can't see him until you're actually walking right by him. Uncomfortably close. Grinning. Leering at you in a sleazy, disconcerting way. With his dingdong out of his pants, in his hands, pointed at you: Eeeeeeeeeeeew!

That met me this morning on my way to school. I stepped off the curb, into the raod, and nearly got hit down by a passing car... All because of a madman showing off his nasty, big, black (and I mean black) dingdong. Yuck, yuck yuck!

There used to be this madman in St. Mary named Dudus. He would hide between the stalls in a lonely alleyway that we used as a short-cut to get to the bus park early in the mornings. He waited until girls were passing, then he would come at them, shaking his dingdong... Police knew about it. We constantly complained. But apart from an occasional beating from the men in the area, no-one did anything to get rid of him...

Why are mad-men allowed to roam this country armed and dangerous?

There's this madman called Cat on South Camp Road. Always has a machete in his hand, a knife in his waist, and an old bucket... Cat always laughs hysterically when I pass him. I complained to a security about it (begged him to follow me past that lunatic). He laughed. Cat wouldn't hurt me...

This madman named Scotty in St. Mary was like the Pied Piper for dirty, smelly dogs. He had a radio stuck in his crusty, thick locks. Scotty didn't really trouble anybody, but he always had this machete... I never felt comfortable...

Why are madmen allowed to roam this country armed and dangerous?

Gussie was another St. Mary madman. He always had a crocus bag over his shoulder. Always cussing imaginary people. Or real people. Depending on his mood, the weather... stuff you can never count on. He too totes the proverbial machete. And his is always sharpened and ready-for-use...

WHY ARE MAD PEOPLE ALLOWED TO ROAM THIS COUNTRY ARMED AND DANGEROUS??

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Raped on Duty

That's what the Gleaner headline screamed at me, and my blood boiled even before I took up the newspaper and began to read, because I knew that it was a woman abused by a co-worker (again) simply because she was a woman, with a vagina, and her abuser was a man -a male chauvanist pig- who believed it was his sovereign right to exercise sexual dominance over vaginas any and everywhere...

But it got worse. This woman was a police constable. Her abuser was a colleague, another officer, a man who has probably handled a plethora of rape cases against other men in the country... and he did it while the country was battling with the devastating effects of Gustav. Yes, Jamaican police have fouled up again! And in an even more despicable and shameful way!

To add insult to injury and pour sulfurous salt into raw, open wounds, this constable is being victimised by her own colleagues, who are treating her like a villain, labelling her a traitor, for standing up and speaking out against gross injustice and unpalatable abuse. She laments, "It's like I have done something wrong. No-one remembers that this man violated me."

The tragedy deepens because the very same people who she has to be looking to for help are the ones who are playing hanky-panky with her report, doing everything they can to slow the process, and trying to ensure that her case never reaches the court. They have leaked her story to the general public in the area, and exposed her to humiliating stares and comments from random people on the streets everyday. Can you believe, even the person in charge of her division (a male) has now made it a habit to go to her work station and stare at her for at least a minute every day?? And she explains that this happens everyday to countless other women in the force, who keep silent and feel helpless...

I pray to God that this case gets intervention at the highest level possible and that justice is served to this police constable. Everyday she has to see the faces of her rapist and his friends, jeering and mocking her... I call Women's Media Watch, Jamaicans for Justice, Women's Affairs Bureau, JFLAG, and just about every other NGO and civil awareness group in this country to start rallying for her right to a fair trial! Let this be the precedent that puts police rapists to shame!! I am so upset... I wish I could inflict serious grievous bodily harm, dole out cruel and inhumane punishment, to the bastards who think they have a right to any woman's body simply because they are men, especially the nasty, rotten, disgusting pieces of effluence that plague our police force...

Those "Good Old Days..."

I was reading this post by D-Empress about how sweet and simple life used to be, and how absolutely undesirably horrible things are now, when I was overtaken by a burst of righteous indignation, and in what might have been blind rage and folly, I penned this reponse:

While I understand quite clearly the essence of your article, and am even wont to agree on some of the finer points, I have to admit a weariness of "older" generations lamenting the never-ending virtues of days gone by.

As a member of this present and apparently disadvantaged generation, I feel compelled to refute the notion that humanity's best days are far behind us, long gone and never to return. I always think it is grossly unfair to my generation for older persons to describe the period in which they lived as "the best" period of life, for them to look at us with something akin scorn and disdain, or treat us like poor things.

Our lives may not be remotely similar to theirs, but make no mistake about it, we do our best with the life/time we have... Do I sound a little precocious, bitter? Maybe, but I get so annoyed when I hear anybody talking about the good old days... as far as I am concerned, my best days are NOW. It is what I have, what I can use, and I intend to enjoy it (like they did theirs) to the fullest...

*Whistles!* Quite a rant, huh?

Monday, September 15, 2008

Screeching Tires

My knees were so weak, I barely had strength to walk to the safety of the sidewalk... with the bus-the driver cussing me to pieces for not running out of the road like a sensible being, the bus-full of people wondering if I had a death wish, or if I was slightly suicidal or just plain crazy.

And me? I just stood there with my big, teared-up bulb eyes watching the bus drive away, trembling ever so slightly...


*SMH* Screeching tires. I've been causing/hearing that sound since I was a tiny little thing. My first major road accident was when I was four, crossing the road to go home from basic school. A bicycle man was coming down the hill full speed and couldn't brake in time. He ran straight into me and sent me sprawling... destroyed my little pink lunch kit (funny the things you remember... I don't even remember dude's face, all I remember is that he ruined my cute little lunch-kit and I was devastated).

Since that time, I have been plagued with an irrational fear of crossing the road... a situation accutely intensified by my move from rural country to urban town.

I loathe crossing town roads. Too many lanes and lines and lights to look out for... especially at cross-roads with four to six different lines of traffic... I still get scared about it (no kidding). And it's become a self-reinforcing habit. I get scared, my timing goes off, and by the time I swallow the panic and work up the courage to start the arduous trek across the road, the traffic light changes, and here comes a line of speeding cars at little scared me...

My mother is always especially concerned about this, because when I'm scared like that, I don't fight or fly. I freeze.

So this evening I was crossing the road and a huge white bus suddenly turned the corner and came at me full speed... I remember the flash of white, a bus-full of frightened people screaming 'moove!' and more than anything else, the familiar sound of screeching tires...

Saturday, September 13, 2008

For Sale: My Virginity

Nope, not mine!

Hers.
Name: Natalie Dylan
Age: 22-y-o
Occupation: College Student
Claim to Fame: Auctioning her virginity to raise money for college tuition...

See CNN video here, or check r2.

Quote courtesy of the soon-to-be-deflowered 'entrepreneur':
I think empowerment to women is picking yourself up in order to better yourself...

Really??
Feminism?
Capitalism?
The beginnings of prostitution??

Friday, September 12, 2008

Gustav Woke the Dead?

Gustav just earned my respect. Even though it was a 'mere Tropical Storm', it's scope and magnitude was so great that it surpassed the boundaries of the living and traversed into that mysterious realm reserved for the dead: Tropical Storm Gustav managed to unearth several dead bodies, disturbing the peaceful sanctity of our dearly beloved departed. To the best of my knowledge, not even Hurricane Gilbert did that! (Get the full story on this most unnatural occurrence here).

Humour and disturbingly high gross-and-freak-me-out value aside, there are some very legitimate concerns being raised:
1. What did these people die from and is it a public health risk?
2. How soon will their bodies be returned to six-feet-under and out of public sight/mind?
3. Who exactly will be performing this crucial but highly repulsive duty?
4. And come to think of it, when a body gets washed or dug or blown or somehow-removed from a grave, who do you notify? The Cemetery (if it's a cemetery)? The Parish Council? The police? The family of the deceased? Whose responsibility is it to ensure that the dead and buried stay dead and buried?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Randomosity: Today's Thoughts

My eyes have seen the best Tyler Perry movie thus far (and I've seen them all)... Family That Preys is worth seeing on the big screen. I feel happy that I went to watch it, even if I was all by my lonesome in that big ole theatre...

UWI is just as disorganised as I remember it... Cancelled 2 of the courses I was supposed to study, now I have to choose stuff I'm only marginally interested in. This may not augur well for my GPA...

Finally got me some Japanese from Little Tokyo... sooo delicious! I love Jap/Chinese food!

My little bro seems very serious about school. Called me to let me know he starts 6th form next week, and he's all-business. I sincerely hope this mega-motivated phase lasts till the end of the school year...

You know how people get homesick and feel like they'll just die if they don't go home soon, and get depressed and sad about it?? I'm Dude-sick...

I'm lucky to have friends like Skinny (now studying for Masters). Saw her today. Had a lovely chat. Reminded me why I have people like her for friends, and just what a terrible friend I've been, not calling, emailing... Love her to death and will do better. Good thing she reminded me her birthday is in a week *Hangs head in shame*

The AC in the library makes me shiver, my hands white. Note to self: walk with sweater, lotion...

PS I was in the ladies' room just now washing my hands when in walks an old man. Me: This is the ladies' room... Old man ignores me. And with a dazed look he proceeds to check each and every stall (they were all unoccupied). I hightailed it outta there!!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

First Years and Freshmen

I had my first class today and hallelujah! I feeel like I'm back in school... homework and reading to catch up on already! Lucky me got the last text book for a course from the bookshop-- oh yeah! No borrowing texts, or suffering through dust-induced allergy attacks from hundred-year-old library copies... But I've noticed something horrendous about myself. I'm ashamed to say it, but... I resent first years. Too cluelessly perky. And too squeaky clean: fresh faces, fresh clothes, fresh books, fresh bags, fresh money... new in every way! Hate em, hate em, hate em!

Especially the ones traipsing around like they know the ropes, or like they have a clue... Boy, don't be psst-ing at me like I'm some roadside thing, and do not turn and ogle me when I pass you in the hallway, cause that pretty little sweetie-wanna-be standing beside you is shooting me daggers with her eyes, and I ain't able. Plus, you just got here, calm your azz down!!

Overheard a group of "freshmen" talking the other day: how hot the girls at Uni are, what they wanna do with em... What??? Word of advice: get your head in your books and out of your pants, cause that's not gonna help you any! Furthermore, in time you will (hopefully) learn that:
Real men + getting laid = don't talk about it!
I honestly can't wait for the end of first sem, when they realise just how much serious work this is and how exciting it is not!! When they learn what broke and stressed means, and the shine from the shoes wear off, and the clothes have been washed a coupla times so they don't look so sharp and new anymore... It'll be harder for the con-men and rip-off artistes to spot them... I can't wait for them to get past the oohs and aahs of their first university encounter and wise the hell up!! Bad mind? Maybe, but these cats are getting on my very last nerve with their trying to play it cool.

What gets you through University is being focused and being you -the you your parents packed up and sent off with hopes that you'd at least get a pass degree and find a decent job, the you that did well enough to get accepted into this place, the you your real friends already like and trust... yeah, the uncool you. This ain't no party. This is school, and if you don't wise up soon, you'll look back and see a whole semester hopelessly gone and a new one smirking at you... Why I even care, I don't know, but everytime I see a first year dude walking with that extra bounce and dip, or some little lady swinging her hips like they're on suspenders, it irks me... I mean, damn! Did I look like that???

Sunday, September 7, 2008

JCF Caught In Compromising Position

Yes mi chile!! That distinguished group that serves and protects and, above all, ensures that no illegalities occur in our island - the Almighty Jamaica Constabulary Force - made a major, major, major boo-boo: they spent millions of dollars purchasing ammunition from an illegal dealer in the US. If it wasn't for the consideration and alertness of the FBI, the arm of the law in this country would have completed its business transactions with an unauthorised and unlicensed international dealer. Scandalous. Just disgraceful. *SMH* (Read the full Gleaner story here.)

Of course, the Government is already playing the cover-up/cop-out/blame game. Commissioner of Police Hardley Lewin had nothing much to say, but referred the Gleaner to "the people who were actually involved" (what is he trying to say?). One unfortunate "involved" soul is a heretofore unknown DCP Bent, who, I have a feeling, is seeing the writing on the wall... (adieu, madamoiselle Bent, adieu).

The Ministry was trying to make it look like a set-up, but the FBI wasn't having it at all:
Gilbert Scott, permanent secretary in the Ministry of National Security, said: "The matter regarding the purchase of weapons from Taylor and Associates was part of a sensitive security collaboration between Jamaican and USA law-enforcement agencies." But Judy Orihuela, media representative for the FBI, Miami Division, said that the case was "not a sting operation".

Apparently, we even wired them the money already: US$81,100 to be exact, that's 5.8million Jamaican dollars! Quite an expensive "sting operation", no? If it wasn't so disturbingly sad and tragic, it would be laugh out loud funny... Really makes you wonder about the regulation of those entities in our nation that are supposed to regulate us. As the good book says, he that is without sin cast the first stone...

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

School Again?

Oh Lawd!! I can just feel ma belly rumbling and tumbling at the thought alone. I hafta change rhythm again... get into the school vibe, get my mind back in class-and-study mode. After this summer, and four months of non-stop working... ah not sure ah able.

I suddenly feel too old for all this, (I know, a whopping ripe old 20). Ah feel sooo tired at just the thought... oh lawd! School again.

So I made ma trek to the University today, and the weirdest thing happened when I reached the gate to go on campus. It's like some magnetic force (really more like a whole lotta fear and apprehension) was stopping me from entering. I was frozen. The people passing me musta thought I was crazy: just standing there looking on without budging, this sorry look on my face. I started to walk forward, then stopped, turned back, then turned round, started towards campus, then stopped again.

I had to think hard about it. Stepping back on campus would mean reimmersing myself into an atmosphere that had almost defeated me. Almost. The bouts of depression and panic that university life has taken me through... Lawd, ah not sure ah able. One more year of crazy scheduling and sitting through semi-interesting lectures, burning the midnight oil... alla that good stuff. One final year. One last time. I can finish my double major degree (that I really want), or punk out with a major/minor (which wouldn't be too too bad). I not sure if I want to go through alla that again...

So that leads me to the whole topic of New School Year's Resolutions.

The start of the school year is always the perfect time to get yourself back together and make some new goals, you know, recommit and refocus. My mind now running helter skelter all over the place... thoughts of text books and lecture notes and class-times and part-time jobs already running through my head... so much to think of, so much to do...

No backing out though. I'm in this for the long haul ("long haul" being exactly 1 year/the equivalent of exactly 2 semesters, and not a second more!). Life should be very interesting this year, considering all the new circumstances under which I will be toiling. I know it will all work out (I have a somewhat naive but unshakeable belief that the universe will always right itself and that God loves me specially from everybody else, lol - just ask my friends). So here I am again. Back in Uni. My last year.

Can I do it?? Yes I can. I have to. So I will.

PS Man, you should see the newbies all decked out in they Sunday best for the first days of class... Lawd you want to see them with they fresh faces and they dandy ribbons... lol. Can't wait to see those same faces halfway through first semester, round midsemesters time when all they papers due and they have a ton of exams too. That should be interesting, lol.

Monday, September 1, 2008

SFGTD

Got this little email:
To: YOU
Date: TODAY
From: GOD
Subject: YOURSELF
Re: LIFE

Dear Valued Client,
This is God. Today I will be handling all of your problems. I do not need your help. If life happens to deliver a situation that you cannot handle, do not attempt to resolve it yourself! Please put it in the SFGTD (something for God to do) box. All situations will be resolved in due time. Once the matter is placed into the box, you are strongly advised to let it go. Do not hold on to it by worrying about it. Instead, focus on all the wonderful things that are present in your life now. You are strongly advised to recommend these services to a friend as well for bonus customer appreciation points. Please be reminded also that the fee for the termination of these services is only a lifetime of pain and misery.
Have a nice day.
Love,
God (CEO, SFGTD Inc.)

So I opened a (new) SFGTD Box yesterday. So far I put school, work, family, friends, finances and future in there. I have this special deal with unlimited box space, but my list keeps getting longer. I think the box will soon be full...

Question: What would you put in your SFGTD box??

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Enough With the Hurricanes!!!

As if I don't have enough personal hurricanes?
As if I don't have ENOUGH on my plate without having to worry about securing myself and this house against no damn hurricane...?? And flooding! And leaky rooves! And no electricity! And no pipe water... and whatever other calamity hurricanes usually carry??

Gustav, do yourself a favour and stay away from Jamaica, cause now is NOT the time for you to come messing with me... right now I could slay a dragon with my bare hands... yeah, I'm in THAT sort of a mood...
BE WARNED!

PS I wish this country was movable! Like around now, Jamaica could move to somewhere else out of the hurricane path, and then come back when the hurricane season is done! And don't be telling me no rubbish bout I could move, cause my house would still get demolished, and then what would I come back to?!!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Randomosity: Heard In A Shop

There I was, sitting in this little Chinese restaurant in Half-Way Tree square, waiting for my chicken chop suey to go. In walked two girls, call them Patrons 1 and 2.

Patron 1 was wearing a blue jeans Bahamas shorts, and a yellow and white polka dot baby doll blouse, accompanied by big, gaudy, yellow and white plastic bangles, huge yellow plastic hoop earrings, yellow ballet shoes, long false lashes, curly hair extensions, and a big, bright yellow bag (girl was brighter than the sun, I tell yah!). She had a barrage of tattoos up and down her bare arms, on her back, and on her legs. She came in, sat down, and immediately put her head in her lap.

Her friend, Patron 2, came in after her, wearing a much more subdued baby doll dress with brown ballet shoes. She sat, gave everyone the cursory glance, and immediately started louding up Patron 1.

Enter Patron 3, chatting loudly on her cell phone: Am I disturbing something? (Pause). How you say you working today? You don't sound like you're at work... (Pause. Hisses teeth loudly). No, I'm jus askin because... (Her face clouds over). You nuh sound like you deh a work...

Things I learned in a shop today:
1. When you call a man and he says he is at work, and he doesn't sound like it, don't believe him. In fact, it's perfectly acceptable to complain about it when you get off the phone, so a whole shop of people waiting for their lunches can hear and sympathise bout what a cheating, lying bastard he is, and how long you've CHOSEN to put up with his cheating, lying ways.

2. If you ever feel really sick, go out with a friend who will offer you some kind of non-humiliating support, instead of making the whole world know you got knocked up and now having, not just morning, but day-to-day sickness, and causing her a whole lot of grief and trouble. No, scratch that. The lesson is: DON'T get knocked up.

Finally my ticket number got called, I collected my lunch and walked out of the restaurant into the hot sun to make my way back to work. I passed trucks full of pieces of board from illegal stalls that some policemen were pulling apart. I wonder if TVJ was anywhere nearby. You think I might see myself on 7 o'clock news?

Monday, August 25, 2008

We're finally becoming friends.

Before yesterday, I had nothing but bouts of anger, fits of rage and wild tantrums whenever I was in your presence... We've been fighting for so long, I didn't even think this was possible, but we're finally becoming friends!!

The problem was that I was always having "accidents" whenever I was near you, and I figured you were jinxed!! Either that, or you were deliberately setting traps for me, making sure that I had nothing but pain and trouble around you...

See all the scars I have from fights with you and your friends? You know how much crockery you've caused me to break in sheer anger, or because I was too flustered and upset, or just plain frustrated and all out of ideas... It was like you were constantly trying to burn me, to make sure that your jumpy hot oil of problems was always searing me... but now... finally, we're becoming friends!

Yesterday was our last fight, because yesterday, I finally won. Hear that? I won!! And it's funny. When you realised that nothing you did could spoil my good mood, you had the good sense to call a truce...

So I agreed to stop banging stuff around and cussing like a sailor when I was around you. I decided to be nice to your croonies for a change, talk to them with respect, you know, be nice. I agreed to be more open-minded and promised to stop scandalising and sullying your character. In turn, you would be civil to me, and even help me out a bit here and there.

So yesterday, because of this truce, I was able to cook a sumptuous meal without one single curse word or any cuts or nicks or burns... I treated the kitchen and all its utensils with respect: I never cursed, I never got upset, I didn't break anything, I didn't yell... nothing. I was nice to the kitchen, and for a change, that be-atch was nice to me: allowed me to cook my merry way through a three course meal that my auntie (my only audience) thoroughly enjoyed. What did I cook? I won't even bother to tell you, cause I can hear you saying, 'that was all?' and trumping my little spirit... But I think me and the kitchen will live on good terms from now on: we're finally becoming friends...

Friday, August 22, 2008

I Fell In Love With The Olympics

I'll be sad when the Olympics is over, because I for one, am in love with the Games. Or maybe not so much with the Games, as the feelings the Games unlodges inside me, the wide range of rollercoaster emotions it took me through... I'm crazy in love with it, and not falling out anytime soon.

I wish I could live my life like that: going from one Olympics feel-good moment to the next. Yeah, I'm a punk-ette like that (punking out on real life... lol).

The Olympics are the Greatest Games On Earth for a reason... had me crying and motivated and then demotivated (looking at all the guys with their chiselled bodies, and all those girls just carved to a T), and then right back up there again...

I watched a woman win pole vault and keep jumping till she broke her own record because she could and she wanted to...

I watched a Jamaican man-boy become a man right before the world's eyes and watched the world turn into sour grapes gringos about it (Usain to the weerl, taking no prisoners, lol!)

I watched another Jamaican superstar, and a whole team of Jamaican and American relay super-star-ettes get humbled on international cameras and walk off that track like they were still people of colour on a mission...

I watched China get away with "bloody murder" and allegedly underaged athletes... (lol)

And I felt it deeply as once-great heroes fell before my eyes (Ato, you are dead to me), and others took their place (Usain, you are now my heartbeat, lol)

I watched all of this, in the space of nine days, and I'm left breathless and tired and emotionally drained and yet somehow pumped... even though I wasn't there.

I'm now filing the Olympics into that special place where I file all magical or magical-like moments in my life. I now look at it with reverence and deep, solemn respect. I now look forward to the Olympics as another great moment for me (even though Lord knows I ain't no athlete) because the emotional scope it offers is just any sap's dream. And that is exactly what I am: a big ole sap.

I cry for everything. So you know I cried when innocent-looking, fresh, young, first-timer Shelly-Ann Fraser took gold in the women's 100, right? And you know I cried when Sherone and Kerron missed that baton pass and rendered Jamaica gold-less in the 4x100 too? Bawled like a big ole baby, like it was me out there feeling the pressure of an entire nation and breaking...

Yep. I fell in love with Usain and Asafa (well, Asafa was always my baby, and I mean that in the most non-corny way possible, lol). And I fell in love with Veronica and Sherone (no I'm not gay) and Maurice and Chelsea. I fell in love with some Kenyan and Spanish and Russian and Belarusian dudes and chicks I dont even know the names of, and other people from countries whose names I can't even pronounce, and had never heard of before the Olympics and will probably never remember til the next one... They set my heart racing and then slowed it down and then speeded it back up again. For a week and bits, they had me eating out of the palms of their hands, drinking in their every moves... yeah, I fell in crazy, sweet love with the Olympics.

Now I HAVE to be at the next Games. And it's too late to tell me about money for plane fares and lodgings and food and expensive tickets and all that. It's already in my 4-year plan. I have to go see that for myself: up close, cause I need to get drunk like that again, on pure life and adrenaline and sweet non-drug-induced, oxygenic euphoria.

It's the natural high, baby. It's beautiful.

And I'm an unredeemable addict.

Bittersweet 4x100m...

Jamaica's finale in the Olympics 4x100 relay is a poignant lesson in the magnificent scope of the greatest, most anticipated Games on earth. The Olympics are about more than a spate of concurrent victories, more than mellifluous, perpetual praises: So easily we forget that for every handful of athletes who experience sweet victory, there are many, many more who have to learn the hard and gruelling lesson of disappointing defeat.

Much love and respect Jamaica's women's 4x100 relay team, who disqualified in the finals of the 4x1. We love you still.

Hats off to our boys who finished their relay in world record time...
You all did us proud.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Veronica To The Flippin' Weeerl (& Other Olympics Musings)

Too many things to talk about today:
First, big ups to the 2-time Olympics 200m gold medallist: Veronica Campbell-Brown. She never disappoints, and while she not into showBOLTing (lol, ma friend came up with that one, hadta use it), we still love her: nuff nuff nuff respect!! And congrats Kerron Stewart, you get silver and bronze in your first Olympics meet... girl yuh laaahge!!


Next, today is Usain Bolt's birthday. Happy 22nd. Read the tribute here.

On to relays: what is going down with the great US of A?? How them manage to lose the batons in both 4x1 races?? I was actually disappointed cause I wanted the finals to be the battle of the bests. Was it a case of too much pressure/too much effort, or was it just nerves? Or lack of practise? One'a my friends say is the goozum* that they trying to work on we backfire on them, LMAO. (*Goozum - Jamaican word for obeah, witchcraft). Ah well, such is life and life is such, and when Jamaica gets the gold, I sure as hell won't cry for America. But still, it look like somebody work summ'n on America, cause they just keep messing up...

And finally, one of my friends did a post on the sense of unity that has been sweeping over Jamaica since the Olympics (quote from his blog here):
what irks me is this false sense of unity, which has arisen as if the political and class divisions that separate us won't return when the Olympic Games are over.
Of course, I sent him a scathing response, cause I thought what he was saying was just cynical, pessimistic bull. But when you really think about it, after the Olympics, then what? We go back to killing each other every day like is a national hobby? The Olympics have inspired literal, tangible and visible lightness in this country's atmosphere. The sky seems clearer and twice as blue, birds' songs carry an intensified chiro of joy, bright smiles meet you everywhere you go... random strangers grinning off them 42 with each other like them is long-time friends. The entire nation is eclipsed in a happy, surreal euphoria: a heady, intoxicating joy/hope has washed over Jamaicans. Such a heavenly feeling caused by just five Olympic golds in three days... Like GC said, now if only somebody could do something about the crime...

Something Special About Usain Bolt

Dedicat to the Fastest Man on Earth, on his Birthday:
It's more than the lightning speed laced up in those spikes, more than the lizard-like lip-licking tongue movements; it's not the relaxed, at-home look on the track... there's something special about Usain Bolt...

Many reporters have captured the aura around this phenomenal youth, but still fail to explain that mysterious X factor. Is it the glimmer in his eyes? The way he smiles *swoon*? The almost-proud swagger that punctuates his walk, and declares his presence? Or is it the romanticised story of a man-boy overachiever, humanity's affinity with fairy-tales and lightning-quick happy endings?

In all his hype, there's something almost child-like in the way he delivers himself up to the people, something refreshing in the carefree way he owns up to being young and Jamaican, the way he can pop a 'nuh-linga' on international cameras, and laugh at a stunned and speechless world (like he can't see what all the fuss is about)...

It endears him to friends, frightens competitors, and constantly leaves the world's jaws dropped in utter amazement... What is it? I don't know, but there's something special about Usain Bolt.

Happy 22nd Birthday, Usain. You have given Jamaica soo much to be proud of. You are already a national hero in my books...

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Double Goooold!!

Usain Bolt: Fine style & world record time: 19.30seconds!

Melaine Walker 'jumped' in: 400mh Olympic record 52.64s!!

And back at home, the celebration:
1. Half Way Tree Road was jammed with human traffic!!

2. Jamaican flags were selling like hot bread!!

3. Even the police forgot to do their job...
JAMAICA TO DI FLIPPIN' WEEEERL!!! YEAH MAN!!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Usain Under Attack??

Like anybody in the international spotlight, Usain Bolt has been coming under some serious attack for (of all things) his "braggadocious" attitude. Apparently, several people, including big-timers like Mike Costas and Ato Boldon, are hating on the Jamaican (dare I say it?) *super*star* for celebrating his Olympic success in fine style.

People like this guy are saying that Bolt should tone down his attitude and be "more respectful" to the 100m race (since when are athletes required to be 'respectful' to a frickin race? And how was Bolt disrespectful? Was it the gall he had to actually win a major race when he is only from a small Caribbean island? Was it the precocity, nay, effrontery and audacity he showed in already being an athletic force to reckon with at a mere 21? Tell me, where was the disrespect??) They even assume that he deliberately ran a "slow" record time for the million dollars he will get next time he breaks it (I say that's smart money management, lol, and 100m in 9.69s ain't slow baby!)

Still others, like this little fella, think that Bolt needs to develop a modest personality... (Where was this when all them other athletes were showing off for years and years?) He says Bolt was 'indulgent and over the top' (so what? I'd indulge myself a little, nay, a lot, if I did what he did). The article's last-line:
"I was reminded of snowboarder Lindsay Jacobellis who was set for gold in the Turin Olympics. She tried to show off on a jump and crashed out of first place. I hope the laidback Jamaican looks carefully over his shoulder."

Reeks of bad-mind, nuh true? And the difference is that Usain done win the gold already and them can't take it back from him (not unless them want start World War 3 up in ere)!!

Some people have gone so far as to accuse Usain of using performance enhancing substances. On that point, I say we are guilty as charged, but here are the performance enhancing substances our athletes use:





Yeah. Take a good look... nothing but some solid ground food and some all-natural juices!! Our athletes- and any Caribbean athlete for that matter- train for long hours and work very hard. When they finally achieve, I say if they want to strip themselves naked and run around that stadium, they deserve to!! All them haters can get upset if they want to: that in no way negates the fact that USAIN BOLT WON THAT MEDAL AND BROKE THAT RECORD! So tuff! We don't really care what they want to say. Our country just produces great sprint runners... no ands, ifs or drugs about it!!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

1,2,3 Vic-to-ry!!

So you-know-who was late for church this morning because she, uh, she, well, she took a little longer than usual to "get ready". Couldn't miss this race for anything, and it was soo worth the wait... lol. Congratulations Shelly-Ann Fraser, Kerron Stewart and Sherone Simpson: First, Second and Second (tied) in the Olympic Women's 100m Final.


With Jamaica, it's always extremes: You either love us or hate us. So right now, I figure, the world is either celebrating our Olympic success or hating our guts... whatever they choose, the fact is that they have to sit up and take notice. Our presence is just too strong. Indifference is not an option...

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Usain Lightning Bolt

Jamaica held its breath. Trinidad refused to breathe. The entire Caribbean froze in anticipation, the taste of victory thick on their tongues, a sweet scent wafting up in their nostrils. The second before the gun, the world was absolutely still. Even the birds refused to sing. Something great was about to happen. No-one made a sound. Then the gun, and they were off.

It only took 9.69 seconds for the world to find its voice again. Like Lightning, Usain Bolt struck and unsettled China's Bird's Nest, defying history's boundaries and shattering international, regional and national records, and giving Jamaica another reason to smile.

Words cannot describe the euphoria emanating from Beijing, China, since Usain ‘Lightning’ Bolt secured his place in history- at a delicate 21- as the first Jamaican to win the Olympic 100m gold, and the world’s fastest man. Caribbean sunshine flooded China’s Bird’s Nest when Trinidad’s Tyrone Thompson stood his own ground and took silver in the event, with Jamaica’s Asafa Powell and Michael Frater copping fifth and sixth places respectively, and Churandy Martina, from the Netherland Antilles, coming a close fourth. The dense smog must have lifted by at least a couple of inches, allowing a little bit of Caribbean light, laughter and even tears into the eyes and hearts of the spectators who witnessed this phenomenal, unmatchable moment in time.

In just under 10 short seconds, an unprecedented 6 Caribbean men participated in an Olympic 100m final. Carnival could never rival the effects of all 6 Caribbean nations caught up in celebration at once. Pot covers came out, whistles were exhausted, voices grew hoarse from strained overuse. The region climaxed in the ecstasy of its grandest accomplishment yet – proving that the Caribbean is indeed the world’s sprint capital, and that Jamaicans are a ‘little but tallawah’ people.

Primary School Flashback

Grade Three - You've heard me say I've always been the bright kid/teacher's pet/everybody's sweetheart, right? Well, this is a good example of both. In primary school, Teacher's pets get to pick out 'talkers' (i.e. make a list of the disruptive kids who move from their seats and talk loudly when the teacher is out of the classroom... basically be the informer/snitch/classmates worst nightmare, lol). I'm not too proud of it, but I was this (reprehensible) person. This one time, Teacher goes to staff meeting and, as usual, I get to pick out the 'talkers' while she's away. Weeelll, I finish my math work first (I usually do, cuz maybe I was reprehensible and what-not, but I was a li'l sparkie... just saying). So I allow some of the slower kids to copy the answers from my book. Teach comes back and catches them, starts chiding them, tells me to come get my book from them. I go over, pretend to be shocked and upset, take my book back and give it to the teacher for marking. After Teach leaves, I go back to the same kids and apologise. My little conscience was heavy that day, boy!! They didn't like me too much for a while after that either, but they eventually got over it (there are only so many kids in a class that will allow you to copy from their book)... I was a little punkette for doin' them like that, I know. But hey, I was 7! I'm groomed on congratulations, remember? Besmirching my spotless rep with Teach versus temporary hatred from classmates - that wasn't too tough a decision yo!

Grade Four: I remember the teacher beating (yes beating) another student I was sitting next to with a strap. When she moved her hand backward with the strap, it flashed across my face by mistake. Straight across my face: over my nose, under an eye, cross the mouth... the works. A nasty weal developed. Daddy showed up in school the next day (put work and alla that on hold) to find out how Teach made that error, and make sure she knew to be very-extra-uber-careful next time... (bap-bap!). Teach was extra-nice to me for the rest of that day, and maybe I used that to push the envelope a little. I was 8, and again, a little punkette, but obviously, I got it from my Daddy! *PoPs cOllAr*

Friday, August 15, 2008

I'm Seeing Things

Little particles of light flitting before my eyes and on walls and on computer screens and books and just everywhere. And I don't mean the kind of imprints you see when you look into bright light for too long and then look into a dark area or vice versa. I see these little shiny specks just poppin' up out of anywhere at any hour of the day in any light all over the place.
I've never tried to touch one (can't give anybody a reason to call me crazy), and I don't know if I'm the only one seeing them (I strongly suspect so, because this chick at work the other day just walked right through a coupl'a them, and never even flinched).

I used to see this kinda thing when I was younger - everywhere, but they went away. Now they're back again, and I'm wondering what they really are. What causes your eye/mind to suddenly play tricks like that... I'm not crazy, and I'm not sick either. I'm just seeing things that nobody else does... whatever that makes me, I'm not crazy!

Can You Read?

If so, take a minute, pause, and whisper a tenkie Jesus.

She stayed on my mind all day... I was sitting at E-Park typing this post when she came up, asked if it was alright to sit beside me. Started talking. Said she hardly visited the park. Never had the time-what was the time? I told her some minutes after 7. Started exclaiming over the million and one things she had to do. Then she noticed my laptop.

Old Woman: Ahm, I can ask you a question? *Rb nods* What is that?
Rb: A computer.
Old Woman: So you can use it to talk too?
Rb: No
OW: Oh, so you using it to do school work and them kinda things there?
Rb: I not doing school work right now.
OW: *moves closer* Me a disturb you? *Rb shakes head, continues typing* So like somebody who can't read, them can use that?
Rb: No. If you can't read you can't use a computer.
OW: Oh. So like somebody that can help themself...
Rb: If you can make out some words then you can work your way through, but if you can't read at all then you can't use a computer.
OW: *stands and starts rummaging through her bag* Sometimes is not their fault you know Miss... *Rb looks up... what?* Sometimes them parents split up and them just can't read miss. *Rb nods.* Like this girl mi friend tell me bout miss. She was eight you know miss (How weird is it to have an old woman calling me miss?). And her father chop off her mother head... and she see it. She inna the children's home for 8 years. So that mean seh she a what?
Rb: 16
OW: Is 16? 8 and 8 a wat? 16, right. Is not her fault you know miss. Sometimes annuh fi them fault that them can't read...

Then she picked up her bags and walked away.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Mindless

It's too easy to fall
Into a feeling you fight to forget
Dude has that effect
Discovered my secret, untouched parts
Left fingerprints on my heart...

This by far
the most explosive year
of my short life
pity the poor sap
who's there
to share
when the fuse disappears...

Realising this nasty habit
of denying things
til the very last minute
then it's like freeze-frame
a fifty-second flashback
regret and shame
and little pieces adding up...

I'm not an actress
it's hard to tell lies
can't play mind games
or do deception/disguise
truth is like a haunting wind
constantly whistling in my ears
resonating in corridors of time
palpitating with heart and mind...

Even when little white lies would make my life easier
i still tell the truth...

How do you let love down?

How do you look into the eyes of the people
who support
and believe
unconditionally
and say you've failed?

The anguish
of looking into loving eyes
and reading disappointment...

How do you let love down?

I’m not blessed with the luxury of care-freedom
try as i might
i can't pull that off
i care
i really do
groomed on compliments and congratulations
i've been the star in their crown
was supposed to continue that show…

For things to fall apart now is killing me
Who am I if not who they expect me to be?

How do you let love down?