Bless Me Father … No Seriously – BLESS ME!!!

Bless Me Father … No Seriously – BLESS ME!

I know that this is the most solemn of weeks in the Catholic Calendar and being a card carrying Catholic all my life, I really should be better behaved. However, there are some things that occur and at times that are so inappropriate, that one cannot help but share the levity of the situations.

Maybe levity is not the word. Maybe the perfect word is FRUSTRATION.

I’m actually addressing here the need of some individuals to ‘suck up’ to the Parish Priest. And no … my little home away from home is not special in this regard … get a group of parishioners from any and all parishes together and you will be entertained for hours by stories of people who believe that when they ‘curry’ Father’s favor, that they are on a direct flight to heaven – no stops!

We have a few such individuals at my church but we have since gained a new reigning queen of the brown nose. While I have no actual problem with anybody’s attempts at brown-nosing, I do have a huge problem when they attempt to destroy others in their attempts.

You do you … that’s my philosophy … and if that means that you get your jollies by being up under the priest’s chasuble, then so be it … but leave my name outta your mouth.

This woman – let’s call her Queen Bee – is raining frustration and divisiveness among the members of a parish that is already fraught with people who question the goings on within. We don’t need to have Queen B add to our miseries. The need to create issues, situations and tensions is an epic fail in my book.

The need to constantly be ‘rinsin’ out de pries’ ears’ as so colorfully put by one of my compatriots screams of insecurity. It tells of a woman who finds it impossible to properly function without the destruction of another… and sometimes it’s OTHERS … not just one person that is being trashed down the chute.

Sabotage on a ship is called mutiny … in the government it’s called treason … what do we call it when it happens in the Hallowed Halls of the Church? I can’t think of a word because frankly, I never thought that there was a reason to have one or know it.

Is it that every church based ministry has to have its own Judas or Judas-Ann (hey, she may not have existed back then but I’m sure you know a few of them now!) in order to make the rest of us stronger?

Here’s the thing … it only works if the perpetrator goes out and hangs themselves. I know that it’s a heartless statement and I agree with anyone who says such. The trouble is that when you function as a unit with others who see to use their ministry to build family in church and within ACTUAL families, it is a pain in the ass literally and figuratively to have people like Queen Bee sit and lay in wait to report to the priest and this results in most cases in innuendo, half truths, and sly remarks from all sides.

I must have come up in a different time, but I remember ministry as being something that gave personal satisfaction and it also went a long way to make the ones who served feel like they were contributing to the betterment of the entire congregation. I’m not used to back-biting and back-stabbing ways. This is culture shock to me, but then again not really.

I had my own run-in with individuals who saw to it that, having taken a stand on a particular issue, I was removed from the helm of a particular music ministry. The shock sent me walking – no running – away from my faith. I have since seen the error in my judgment and have come back home. At the time I saw it as a fluke that was allowed to happen. I guess not. Be that as it may, I am stronger for what I have been through and I will not be moved… this is MY parish just like anyone else’s and it is my duty to make damned sure that things are as they should be at all times!

We all want to be blessed not just by our Pastoral Leader, but by each other … and there are times when I firmly believe that blessings from each other are more important than blessings from our earthly shepherd. How can Queen Bee really be feeling when very few of her compatriots are willing to bless her? How can she be feeling when she is at times greeted with silences when she walks into a meeting space, for fear that she may overhear something and others fear being misquoted. How can she feel knowing that she is picked for committees and positions of ‘authority’ simply to not ruffle her feathers or maybe in an attempt to impress the Shepherd?

Maybe we should feel sorry for her…

Uhmmmm … NOT!!!

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Goodbye to You, My Trusted Friend…

John Bevan Foard … if you said that name to anyone in Maryland, they would look at you cross-eyed.

Punkey Foard … now THAT would get you one of two things – a grimace or a smile.

Punkey was known from one end of the state to the next. He was also famous in the farming communities in Pennsylvania … all over DC and the rest of the East Coast. They knew and respected him in Europe as well as South America, where he would go to shop for Valley View Farms. Then there’s the Trinidad and Tobago connection, as well as St Lucia, Belize and various other parts of the West Indies.

Those of us who knew of his passing on Sunday evening said goodbye to Punk’ this morning in just the way he wanted – simply, quietly, without fuss and fanfare.

We sat quietly in the Chapel at the Crematorium and reminisced about the man we all knew and loved.

I’ve always looked on Punkey as another father, so that finding out yesterday that he was gone hit me hard – perhaps harder that I was prepared to deal with. It honestly felt like I had lost my father all over again … so fierce was the pain in my chest.

I looked at the faces sitting in that little chapel. Most of us wore the same shocked and disbelieving expression. I listen as Kathy told us what were his instructions regarding his ashes and I realized that Punkey was really a romantic soul. That’s not really a surprise … I believe he honestly loved everyone that he met.

Yes there were times when he knowingly or inadvertently rubbed those same people the wrong way, but deep down he had everyone’s best interest at heart.

Today I said goodbye to my friend, my second father, my benefactor and someone who made it possible for me to laugh heartily and laugh often, even on days when all I really wanted to do was curl up and die.

Thank you Punkey for the privilege of being a preteen at many a lavish table at the Hilton, the Normandie, Chaconia and Holiday Inns. Thanks for New Year’s Eve parties at La Boucan or at home … for Sunday evening roof top dinners at fine restaurants. Thanks for the gift of knowledge given and the opportunities to explore beyond my comfort zone … for chances to witness new and different cultures and sights in my youth – both at home and abroad.

You got me into mischief, into trouble and always managed to get me out of it… Thanks for supplying me with a ton of ‘big brothers’ and additional cousins.

You threatened to ‘cuss down’ my ex-boss when you thought she had no respect for my ‘personal off time’ – proof yet again that you really were my persona protector.
I guess what I’m really trying to say is … Thank You Punkey, for making me a priority in your life when you really weren’t obligated to.

I love you, I miss you, I’m blessed to have known you…

Go with the angels and Rest in Peace.

The Pen Is Back!!!

It’s been a while since I’ve addressed all of the totus bul tatathat has been orbiting my personal atmosphere.

For those of you who require some sort of translation, please allow me …

Totus Bul Tata – My own Latin for the total bull shit that seems to need constant release.

Moving on …

WASA: The Ballad of Many a Dry River
Shock of shocks! There is corruption at the Water and Sewerage Authority! People have actually been making money off of the water woes of the common man. WOW … (as my boss would say with that particularly sarcastic drawl). I can attest personally to the fact that we the consumers have been paying for truck borne water deliver for EONS! There have been illegal and ‘almost’ legal connections made to WASA mains for forever!

Why is everyone so shocked by this now? And how dare the new CEO and Chairman talk about the fact that this authority is rotten from the head down and right through the core??! The unions connected with WASA have taken this statement personally, and well they should. The sad thing is that they are taking it to heart for the WRONG reasons. They appear to be genuinely surprised that anyone would ever endeavor to point fingers at their membership for committing such sins.

YEAH RIGHT!!!

Wake the hell up Pilgrims. This shit has been the status quo since time immemorial. The thing is that had it not been for changes at the helm and in the climate pattern, much of this would have gone unnoticed or dealt with … just like the leaks in the roads that have to be repaired 20 – 100 times before the family businesses of WASA officials can be financially sated.

Question – has WASA collected ALL of the outstanding monies owed to them by big business and governmental departments and ministries? Are consumers still being billed for water and sewerage services that they haven’t received? Are ‘favors’ still the order of the day at WASA headquarters if I need to have something done? And are people in certain departments still being paid for a full days’ work when they typically leave after two hours? Just asking …

Drought is apparent all round, financial, moral and actual drought.

I’m all for conservation, but you can’t tell me how long m shower needs to be until you fix the myriad leaks all over the island(s). you can’t tell me that y yard has to become a dust-bowl until your Engineering, Planning and Implementation departments start working COHESIVELY with the Ministry of Works and Transport, thereby allowing for WORKING SMART and not HARD; i.e. don’t wait until Works fixes the road to SUDDENLY remember that there is a need to OPEN A TRENCH for water/sewerage works to be done … EPIC FAIL!

PS: Loving the fact that everyone is wearing their dusty covered cars like a badge of courage! Too cute …

TTRA: An Umbrella? Unheard of …
Welcome to the era of Sophisticated Fuckwittedness. Self explanatory peeps …

So the Trinidad and Tobago Revenue Authority is an umbrella authority that would seek to bring all revenue-based authorities/ministerial departments into one cohesive unit. So far, so good. So discussions and negotiations for this authority have been ongoing since the early 2000’s … talks have been held with the relevant stakeholders … sod was turned for the development of the ministerial campus – INCLUSIVE of offices for same. Okay … we good.

As a result of totally asinine and fucked up decision making and actions by the former leadership of the Public Servants Association (PSA), there’s a new Sheriff in town … we’ll call him Cowboy Y – as in ‘WHY ARE YOU SO FUCKIN STUPID??’ All of a sudden, decisions that were all but made, and settlements that were close doff and accepted are all back up in the air? Again with the Unions. Cowboy Y has NO authority to promise public servants payments … much less say WHEN such payments would be made. So yet again … why are grown people blindly following the Sheriff into certain doom? Can we talk here? Let’s chat about the Pack Rat Mentality (PRM) or maybe it’s Grown Folk Peer Pressure (GFPP) … not sure, but it IS something. Some of those people who are risking aneurysms while marching aimlessly in 36-degree Celsius weather are some of the same people who profess that they are independent and free thinkers. Here’s the thing … these are also the same parents who ask their children if they would jump off of a cliff if little Timmy next door did it. Meantime, they are yelling at their kids for looking at them in THAT tone of voice – the one that says “Are you Freakin’ serious??!”

Again with the massive doses of sleeping pills … WAKE UP!!! You are effectively ‘spinning top in mud’ when you should be doing what you can to prepare for early retirement or career shifts. I never said that it was pleasant … what I am saying is that it is time to stop acting like you didn’t know that it was going to happen … YOU KNEW! Stop drinking the blasted Kool-Aid and take a purge!

Opposition: We Just Say No For No’s Sake
What a frickin’ mess this Motley Crew be! What – I’m supposed to give them a free pass just because the leader is a female? Fuckno! It’s because a woman is rumored to have more common sense that I will NOT. People … if you’re gonna say ‘no’ to a bill/amendment/Chinese take-out restaurant order – give a fuckin’ reason! No for no doesn’t sit well with the public at large. We are a lot smarter than you think we are – honest! Shit like that just pisses us off.

Then there is the latest batch of Parliamentarians. The leader has successfully regurgitated a man so pompous, a man with his head stuck so far up his ass that he is effectively out of touch with reality and common sense. He needs to go back to visiting the damnable Queen.

Another faux pas is the keeping and placing in the front bench … the Automaton of the Panday Era – the Marked one. What purpose can he possibly serve but to be a constant reminder of a bygone time that most of us would rather forget???!

Then there is the addition of the bald-headed, ox-like moron (did I say that out loud???!) – I mean, oxymoron. She began her decades of being the Tirade Queen by going up against the then UNC government – which by the way was made up of the majority of jackals that surround her now – the same ones who spat her out without her long-service award, gratuity and pension. Enter the era of the Bell and Placard – but where is she now? Sitting in the opposition UNC’s lap, of course. But wait – it get’s worse. Every year she parades the highways and byways supposedly in the name of and for the love of children. This includes her recent crying jag at the funeral held for that unfortunate family recently gunned down in the midst of gang warfare. She cried … she cried for the ones gone and she cried for the ones left behind. Yet she stood in Parliament last week and wept for the PRISONERS? Aren’t these the same prisoners, some of whom sit in their cells with their mobile phones and order hits from within those walls??? PICK A FUCKIN SIDE AND BE TRUE TO IT! Y’all waffle more than Aunt Jemima.

Is it any wonder that many view this particular leader’s election of some sort of political gag, with her dangling at the end of some marionette strings???

This is where the Pen pauses … stay tuned for more!

HOW TO ROMANCE A PISCES…

I received this message in the mail … take a look … I think it’s pretty accurate (smile)

The following is a brief overview of how someone with their Sun, Moon, or rising sign in the sign of Pisces may behave in romantic relationships.

Pisces live for love, but they don’t just want any old relationship … they want to lose themselves by fully merging with a soul mate. The words “love bug” and “cuddle bunny” come to mind when thinking of a Pisces in love.

Both women and men of this sign crave relationships, and are happiest with someone to connect with deeply. Ironically, those of this natural 12th sign (the sign and house of isolation and retreat) don’t do so well alone… though they can be very shy and sensitive, causing them to hibernate.

I call them the “best-kept secret in town…”

Unless afflicted, they’re generous, soulful, romantic people who make supportive, giving partners. They so long for union and deep connection that they have to be careful of “settling” and not holding out for that soul mate. Their attachments can be fickle and fleeting, causing them to “love the one they’re with.”
You see, this is a water sign and a mutable one to boot – meaning, they tend to change with the scenery, and so can their emotions. One moment they’re weeping at a TV commercial about kittens, the next they’re laughing at something funny in an email, and the next they’re sharing deep wisdom about a spiritual truth.
So you never can be sure who’s going to answer the door when visiting these “fragile flowers.” Pisces is symbolized by two fishes swimming in opposite directions – there are many interpretations of what this means; but the symbol of water almost always means the emotions, and swimming in two directions is indicative of the sometimes confused, indecisive way they move through life.
So many things can seem interesting, and draw their focus. This is considered the most thin-skinned, impressionable sign of the zodiac, so it’s critical that they surround themselves with those who honor their tender feelings and are healthy.
They have to be very careful who they give their heart to, because over time they’ll morph into a version of that person – taking on their beliefs, mannerisms, style, and values.
You know those people who grow to look like their pets? They’re probably Pisces.
In love, they follow their heart over their head, and have to be extremely careful of picking lovers who aren’t good for them.
This is the sign most likely to say the dreaded words “but I LOVE him,” when treated
badly. OVER-GIVING, over-accommodating, putting the needs of the other person FIRST, and avoiding confrontations at all costs are the greatest challenge of these watery beings in all of their relationships.
They have yet to learn that the word “no” is a complete sentence – and an actual word!
This is the natural sign of volunteering and self-sacrifice, so they make the best counselors, teachers, and consultants; but they should avoid picking partners who
need HELP, and do all that counseling, teaching, and consulting ON THE CLOCK and FOR PAY – not in their private lives…
One of their other romantic strengths and challenges is that Pisces is ruled by Jupiter – the most wise and optimistic planet in the solar system. So, their Jupiterian nature LOVES to uplift and inspire others, and always believes in the best of people, only seeing their good qualities, and giving them too much benefit of the doubt. Let’s just say they could use a few more “street smarts” and a little less empathy.
Jesus’ advice to “turn the other cheek” and forgive endlessly is a VERY Piscean ideal … beautiful but potentially dangerous in one-on-one relationships.
Speaking of Jesus, Pisces LOVE having a spiritual life, able to easily meditate and take to other spiritual practices such as yoga and chanting.
They’re often found in places of spiritual retreat such as yoga classes, ashrams, and
monasteries.
(This is the sign of mystics…)
And they LOVE the arts – especially the emotional arts like music, drama, and poetry. They’re creative, alluring dreamers and need a partner who appreciates what they have to contribute.
Because of their deep, soulful emotional sensitivity, they have great spiritual gifts and
incredible intuition. Pay attention to their “take” on things, and their advice – their gut instincts are always right on, even though they aren’t skilled at following them themselves…
Their intensity of feelings can lead them to self-medicate and do things to NUMB OUT – such as over-eating, over-spending, or drinking and drugs…
Let’s just say boundaries, structure, and doing “grown up” things like paying the bills on time and keeping their affairs organized aren’t their strength.
“Going with the flow” and soaring to high creative, mystical heights are. They long to please, and don’t mind letting a lover lead – especially in the bedroom. (Wink, wink…)
If in love with a Pisces, be sure to be a patient listener – they NEED to share their
innermost thoughts and feelings and thrive on lots of attention…
They feel soothed by animals and nature, and especially enjoy being around water. When stressed, they need to withdraw from the world. The best way to comfort a Pisces is through something soft and loving – they long to be touched, massaged, bathed, and petted. They DO NOT respond well to “tough love” or constructive feedback, and take any criticism way too hard.
Though they’re MORE than willing to admit their faults – and take the blame for things that are not their responsibility. When upset, they’ll withdraw and pout, being a “silent screamer” over any other kind.
A Pisces will almost never speak in anger or be cruel unless something else is going on in their stars. In fact, it takes A LOT to make them angry – they’ll give and give and give and give and give and give, all the while saying, “I’m fine…”
But they do have a limit, and when they hit it – WATCH OUT. Silent screaming begins… And it’s deafening!
On dates they’ll love Hallmark Card moments – walks hand-in-hand by the ocean, the sharing of innermost feelings, reading by the fire, watching the sunset, and gazing deeply into their lover’s eyes. They’ll prefer quiet nights for two to exciting
social events with groups.
Though natural homebodies, they love to travel, especially to distant far-flung places or islands.
To win one over, do something heroic and generous like rescue a lost dog, or feed the
hungry … read up on the lives of saints and the teachings of the world’s religions. Memorize lines of Rumi and Shakespeare, and have lots of candles, bubble bath, and mood music on hand.
If you’re willing to be the more “in the world,” organized person of the two of you and
remain un-phased by their moods, this can be a lover and partner to be so grateful for.
There’s nothing they won’t do for the one they love. So life with a Pisces will be a dreamy, romantic adventure, full of snuggles, support, art, and passion.
You may not know that there are actually THREE signs within the sign of Pisces, each with even more distinct, specific personality “quirks” and emotional needs.
You see, the very first system of astrology, Vedic astrology of India, looks to twenty-seven smaller constellations called “nakshatras” that were later incorporated into the twelve Greek signs. It’s these twenty-seven signs that tell you what you REALLY need to know – who you are, what matters most to you, and who you best get along
with.
Knowing what constellation a man is born into is THE way to know what he really needs and wants when it comes to love – and if you’re compatible with him or not.
May God and his planets and stars shower you with love!
Carol Allen
Yep! That’s us alright!

BEWARE THE IDES OF MARCH

I am a Literature buff from a ways back. I’ve always loved the written word, and have since developed quite the love for the spoken word as well. Words are soothing to me…

One of the books that I studied at examination level in ‘High School’ was Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, and one of the lines that has been stuck in my head since then is “Beware the Ides of March!”

I remember having been particularly offended the first time I heard that line because of my understandable affinity for the month of March. It is after all the month of my birth … and while my birthday is nowhere near the 15th, I happen to be offended by any reference to ill-will that may occur in the beautiful month of March.

Ah, the innocence of youth. How I long for the days when bad news, disappointment and – well – disgust came as such a shock to your system that it could actually shut you down. Now the jadedness of perceived ‘seniority’ may make you ill at such occurrences but they generally roll off of one’s back like so much water.

I must confess that my own encounter with the Ides of March could not have been prepared for … but then again it could have been. I suppose that I am just overly sensitive right now … who knows. Prepared or not, it’s always a devastation when the people that one has held closest to one’s chest turns out to be the ones that literally stab us in the back.

There aren’t many people that have had the privilege to be let into my inner sanctum, but it looks like I’m going to have to pull a couple ‘membership cards’ from some of the people in there. What good is it when one attempts to build up resources and those same resources have no problem spitting you out on Idus Martiae (Latin, Ides of March). Others have said to me that I need to ‘let it go’, that that is the way that they would handle it. I do so solemnly wish that I could just dust off and press on. It is a little difficult when the individual involved has cut so close to the bone. My mother has this saying that she uses from time to time that says that it is always worse when you’re bitten by your own flea. Well that is precisely the way that I feel right now. Oh I know that I have to put on my big girl panties and deal with it, and believe me I will. Right now on the other hand, I need to take this time to reconstruct my ‘fortress’, as there seems to be some bricks that may need to be chipped away.

And like Caesar, I was warned … I had my own seer, but like Caesar, I ignored the warning. Now, again like Caesar, I am forced to turn and look at that brick and ask “Et tu Brute?!”

I find it all so unfortunate, ironic and just garden-variety wretched that in this world, it could be so hard to find like minded spirits to share ones inner self with …

What happened to honor … what happened to actual friendship, and support? Is it that most people have now come to the point of being friends through convenience, and as soon as they have achieved their own Zen and Xanadu, they then disavow the others who have to this point been there for them? Should that be the case then yet again I am forced to hold tight to what little faith I have left in our Humanity.

The good news is that I am approaching the end of my own tunnel, but theirs is still waiting in the wings … and in true Pisces form I will probably be there yelling that they beware there own Ides of March.

That’s the way that I’m made up … it is a part of me that I love – my ability to love others no matter what … and it is another object lesson to me along the way, and I have learnt from it to I am thankful, and I will be more thankful as soon as I reach around and pull the dagger out that had been so firmly SLAMMED into my spine!!!

“Joy Cometh in the Morning”, and I will be the better for it.