Saturday, August 30, 2008

Gustav: From The Battle Trenches!

Well, so far all is well, in my neck of the woods.

I am currently tuned in to my faithful radio station, Radio Cayman, for which I must also confess that I only listen Radio Cayman in times of a hurricane crises. Lawd, they were irreplaceable during the passage of Hurricane Ivan!

Just now, I listened and snickerd as a lady called in to the radio to relate the fact that at 250 pounds, the wind almost lift her up and carry her away. That is a strong breeze indeed, and gives new meaning to the concept of flying debris! Lol

Gussy has now been upgraded to a Category 2 hurricane, and is currently pounding Grand Cayman and the Sister Islands. I am bored as hell, for I have been cooped up in my trench, armed and ready, from the time that we completed our hurricane preparations. As such, I think that I am suffering from cabin fever. I have poked my head out on the porch tentatively a couple of times just to watch a few trees blow, and was surprised to note that there was hardly any rainfall.

At this point, I have decided to stop watching the weather channel, especially after they reported that the entire Cayman Islands were without power. Had a good laugh at that bit of irony. Further, though they report that Gustav is battering the Cayman Islands, this apparently does not count as ‘landfall’. Landfall only counts when it hits the US.

Well, ol' ghastly Gussy does not have a visa, and as such, the jerk will soon be rolled over.

On that note, I shall now exit, in the hopes that I do not lose power and water.

Ta ta...



Thursday, August 28, 2008

Life In The Tropics...June to November...

“The boards were hung by the windows with care, in the hopes that Gustav, would never be here…!”

So, have prepared as far as I can, lifting, lugging, cussin’, fighting and fussin’ at home, the hardware store, the grocery store, all with eagle eyes and ears pressed to the weather channel, praying for Gussing Gus to shift, even at the risk of his tormenting some other plot of land. Don’t come in my backyard, I say. Mek him go and torment someone else!

But, as we sit with abated breath, enjoying the last remnants of the electricity, water, and basic amenities, praying for the best, but prepared for the worst…Gussin’ Gus makes his way forward, anxiety and uncertainty preceding his unwanted visit, and all I can say is…well shit! I am flicking fed up of this hurricane business. My back can’t take much more.

And on that irritated now, I shall now exit.




Sunday, August 24, 2008

If You Live In An Old House...

As a spry youth, I was raised in an old Caymanian House that embarrassed me to no end. No, not the one pictured!

Made of wattle and daub, the house stood on wooden stilts, that gave us access to her seedy underbelly, providing us with wonderful hiding places when I, my brothers and sisters would play rendless games of hide and go seek, as well as to provide a wonderful nesting ground for the births of numerous kittens and puppies from the menagerie of dogs, cats and one goat that called her yard home.

The house had an attic that we would access by scaling well placed furniture and doors. The attic was a treasure trove of historical wonders for us to explore, but not appreciate. We perfected the art of scaling up to the attic like monkeys, and have nary a broken bone to speak of.

I really hated that house. The house affected my ‘cool’ factor. No kiddie parties complete with clowns and ponies could be hosted for me in that old house. It was not a modern, cement house like my friends’ had. There were no beautifully landscaped lawns, as the breadfruit, mango, plum and papaya trees’ leaves would fall on a gravel and dirt ground that us chillun had to take turns raking every Sunday. I never did understand why we had to rake gravel and dirt, but when my mother placed us on leaf patrol, she loved to see the rake marks in the yard. She felt it made the yard look neat. What a weirdo.

I really hated that house. Whilst I was relegated to rake duty every Sunday, my sissified sisters were given polish duty. They were responsible for getting the coconut husks and polishing the cherry wood flooring to a ridiculous shine, using specific hand motions just like Daniel-san: Wax on…wax off.

I really hated Sundays. Sundays were full of cupboards noisily banging in the kitchen, an indication that us chillun were to wake up and start the house chores, whether we liked it or not. There was no use faking debilitating illnesses, for Mom could read right through it, and would whip out the vile castor oil as her cure all. She was a wicked ‘oman.

Some Saturday’s ago, Sonny and I participated in the ‘en plein air’ painting and drawing session, as an initiative to save Miss Lassie’s House (pictured), an old Caymanian wattle and daub house, which is over one hundred years old. This house has stood the test of time through tropical storms and vicious hurricanes, including the Rat Bastard, Ivan.

Conversely, the house also sits on a prime piece of beach front real estate, at the junction of South Church Street and Walker’s Road, and was for sale to the tune of US$1.6 million dollars. It is only logical to presume that the house would have been immediately razed on completion of the sale, to make room for a modern, elaborate mansion, and again, we would have lost a valuable piece of history. So, the National Gallery, National Museum, Cayman National Cultural Foundation and the National Trust, have all joined forces like the Super Friends, in an initiative to purchase the house, and to eventually restore it to its former glory.

Now, after having the pleasure of sitting in Miss Lassie’s yard on a beautiful Saturday morning, expressing my artistic vision, I became nostalgic for that old house that I hated so much, and which my Dad eventually converted into a modern structure. I miss the old structure, as it stood regally on its high heeled-stilts, and played a wonderful tune when rain would fall on her zinc roof. To this day, there is no more soothing sound, than that of the rain falling on a zinc roof. I miss the teeming fruit trees in the yard; me polishing floors, and raking the yard on a Sunday morning.

Of course, growing up and having been through my ordeals with my mother, I miss the fact that I can never do the same for my Sonny, that is, vexedly banging cupboards and waking him up on a Sunday morning, so that he could get his backside outside, to rake the yard. That legacy is gone, and Sonny will not be exposed to that house’s history, quaintness, and plethora of memories.

On that nostalgic note, I shall now exit.

Ta ta...



Sunday, August 17, 2008

Birthday Diva: The Aftermath

Scene: My yaad, somewhere in the Cayman Islands. Morning time. Sun bright. Birds chirping…

’Fro awakes…Opens blurry, red rimmed eyes and screeches…

‘Fro: Oh Lawd Gad! I am dying! [Nudges DV] DV!! I am dying! Oh, dear Lord!
DV: [Grunts, rolls over, snuffles…resumes sleep]
‘Fro: [Hissing] Star, I am deadin’! My head is going to explode.
DV: Hush.
'Fro: Call an ambulance. I ain't know what is wrong with me!
DV: It’s called a hangover honey. Go back to sleep.

Sigh…the dangers of excess.

And on that philosophical note, I shall now exit.




Saturday, August 16, 2008

Birthday Diva

So, today’s my birthday, as I turn 35 years young.

Hmmm…I no longer hyperventilate when I think about that number, or commit it to paper.

That being said, you may now sing songs in my praise; write poetic odes, and create detailed dissertations in my honour. Gifts are optional, though highly suggested.

And on the note, I shall now exit.




Thursday, August 07, 2008

Kiss Mi Neck...!!

So, sometimes when the mood or an alcoholic beverage hits me, I can engage in provoking shit talk with the best of them, primarily with a view to harassing a body, or putting something in the works to cause some form of dissension or strife. Is jus' so me stay.

On one particular psuedo inebriated occasion, in the midst of harassing DV, I engaged a perfect stranger to assist me in my endeavors. She seemed to be a cool gyal, and the sort who would join in for a good laugh. Nothing about she got my instincts buzzing at the time, and after that particular occasion, she became my big fren’. Whenever we would periodically cross paths after the fact, we would greet each other with huge grins and a hug like we were long lost sistrens. To this day, I ain’t know she name or nuttin'. Is jus’ so mi stay.

But, as time went on, I noticed that DV was not included in her vociferous greetings, and something about the gyal made me start to dress back and to reassess. I expressed my concerns and observations to DV, telling him that something ‘bout she was mekkin’ me nervous. DV would only grin and smirk, which made me even more nervous, for DV is a man that does know nuff t’ings, but rarely does he choose to share. What did he know? What was he holding back? Why was he smirking? Did I miss a joke? It started to make me extremely paranoid. To make matters worse, every time that we went out, should he be the first to see her, he would enthusiastically point her out to me, smirk well emblazoned across his face. Something was just not right.

And then, it happened.

One night as we were out celebrating some irrelevant occasion, I buck up the gyal. She come over, gave me a hug in greeting (not paying DV any mind), and asked me if I wanted a drink (invitation not extended to DV). I refused, after which, she hugged me as she departed, and…gave me a kiss on my neck. To backside. The gyal kiss mi neck. Is then I realize seh de gyal did a give off a courting vibe, and she did a look pan mi wid a twinkle in she y’eye.

Needless to say, for all mi big chat and what not, I was scared shitless. Did she just...?? Was she...?? Did she think...? Gasp!!

Mi ain’t know wha’ fi do, so, I ran. I hot foot it over to DV so fast, I aint care who mi lick down. Then, proceeded to wrap up and rub up pan the man like a hussy for the duration of the night, proclaiming my hetero status to one and all, and as a deterrent for she who may have possibly just hit on me. If it wudda work, I would even have told him to piss on me to mark me as his territory, but luckily, it did not come to that. I became vigilant for the duration of the night. My eyes remained peeled to my surroundings like a warrior. Never again would she invade my three feet of personal space.

To make matters worse, DV laff me to scorn. He cudda warn a body.

Now, I does see she all the time, and needless to say, no more shit talk fi me. She is relegated to a big wave from across the room, after which, I make sure that I hot step it ‘bout my business. Yes, I run like a t’ief. I ain’t shame. She effectively kissed me goodbye.

And on the note, I shall now exit.

Ta ta...



Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Bend It Like Mommy

So, I am a failure as a mother. Yep. There are no redeeming qualities in my attempt to adequately fulfill this very important role, and I don’t know if I should call social services at this point and just concede. Mek them come and tek the chil’ from me now.

This morning, as Sonny was getting ready to go to camp, I was at the end of my rope. He did absolutely nothing that he was supposed to do, and made me shout, snap, snarl, and repeat myself continually, as his procrastination was making me late for work. Albeit, I am late for work every morning but on my own volition, and it frustrated me to no end that this young upstart was interfering with my morning schedule.

Then, horrors of horrors, after tossing a particularly acerbic reprimand in his general direction, accompanied by a particularly heinous threat, he stalked off, and my keen sense of hearing picked up the following muttered words “Old peoples’ home…so miserable…”.

Now, I have no idea what the intermittent phrases were and the rage and smoke coming out of my ears hindered all other audible measures. My gasp of outrage must have given him some clue as to the clear and present danger, for the obnoxious little twit turned around swiftly, with a look of panicked astonishment on his face, and took off.

I now recollect the entire episode in slow motion. As I moved, he disappeared in a cloud of panic. The expensive high heeled shoe somehow appeared in my hand, as he bent the corner, and I released after taking angered aim at his head. I then stood back in smug expectation and waited…and waited…and watched in stunned awe as my shoe hit the wall, and fell lifelessly to the floor. Nothing. My jaw dropped, and from then on, my entire day was shot. I almost keeled over on the floor in tears, as a dry wail built up within my throat, begging for release. Sonny’s smug little snicker at having escaped did not help matters any.

See, as a chil’, I can remember many an episode when mi mudda would launch a projectile at me, my bruddas or sisters, her aim and rage to such an extent that the projectiles would bend corners. We were slippery little buggers, yet, my brothers still bears scars on the back of their heads, and let’s not mention the time that one stopped smugly around the corner to gloat, and the shoe subsequently followed to chop him in his forehead. As a bratty younger sister, I still recall that episode in gleeful satisfaction.

As a mother, I have perfected the required parenting phrases:

“…Because I said so!”
“Don’t let me come up there!”
“Shut up you mouth and eat your food!”

Many of the above have been bawled to my chagrin, as subsequently I realized that I was turning into mi mudda, sans the menopause and gray hairs. At least, not yet.

And now, this essential rite of passage for the Caribbean mother…the proverbial “Bend It Like Mummy” and I have failed miserably. I am such a loser! How can my Sonny recount the episodes to his own kin about the times that his Mudda shoe bent the corner to lace him good and proper?

I mean, my grandparents and parents alike have all passed down these sagas that are legendary to their respective tribes, and now, I have nothing. The one grandchild in my family, and I have essentially killed a critical family skill. My son will have no bend-corner-pop-head stories to relay. And don’t tell me that I should try again. I am scarred.

And on that pathetic note, I shall now exit.

Ta ta...


Monday, August 04, 2008


I would pass her in the halls as we traversed the hallowed walkways of life, me doling out the rudimentary courtesy nods of acknowledgement time after time. She, paying me not a mind, which made me start to rethink my continued acts of blessing her with my nods or pseudo smiles of acknowledgement. Stinkin’ rude heifer!

The first fifty times of non-acknowledgement on her part, I surmised that maybe (i) she did not see me (ii) she was unaware of the requirements for courteous interaction, and so I would persevere with a view to teaching her this rudimentary concept, that I called manners.

Now, do not get me wrong, for I am by no means a nice person. I hoped to shame her into courteous behavior, with my sarcastic smiles, and somewhat terse hellos. I was sure to always speak to her directly, elucidating my words with clarity on the off-chance that she was hearing impaired. Yet, she would still pay me no mind at all. Stinkin’ heifer.

Then, there is the matter of her hubby. That nice, unassuming man who was always sure to give me a bright smile accompanied by his enthusiastic wave. I wondered how a nice man like him could end up with such a horrid, rude and bitter individual such as she. He could do so much better.

Eventually, I gave up. She was not worthy of my acknowledgements, and I categorised her as non-existent in my grand scheme of things. When we rarely did cross paths, I would not even bother to fart in her general direction. No more. She won. I was done. Stinkin’ heifer!

Then, she showed up with her black and blue eye, and became the talk of the town.

Turns out, Ms. Ma’am is a very sad individual, whose hubby (the “nice man”), will often take issue with the natural shape and color of her eyes, and would periodically decorate them with his fists. This was well known to everyone but me. Her paychecks are handed over to him with no regard for her hard work and dedication, to be doled out to the licensed establishments and wenches that he should choose to share them with. She is then cast aside to take comfort in prayer, and the comfort of her children. I now understand the cloud of sadness and depression that hangs gloomily over her head.

Well, I am back at it again. Doling out my regal, courtesy nods, and have even gone as far as to attempt painful small talk. You have no idea how much I hate small talk. She still ain’t paying me no mind, but, that’s all right.

Though she is still rude in my estimation, its all right. I am not giving up on her.

And on that note, I shall now exit.

Ta ta...