WANTED & NEEDED: INTERVENTION

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Today is one of those days when the only thing that comes to mind is the overwhelming need to SCREAM…

It’s been a while since I’ve had one of these … but it feels the way it always does … heavy, annoying, attention-grabbing, yucky.

It’s one of those days when everyone that I speak to tells me that I need to let go of the past. It’s one of those times when people are surprisingly intuitive where I’m concerned and are really concerned that I get out of the funk.

That happens because people can’t properly deal with me in this mood. They expect ‘Happy Deemay’, ‘Bubbly Deemay’, ‘Always willing to help Deemay’. It’s off putting when the person who normally picks up the pieces needs to have her pieces picked up. OH MY GOODNESS!!! WHAT THE HELL ARE WE GONNA DO??! YOU MEAN TO TELL ME THE HEALER NEEDS HEALING???!

Yes, she does. She needs to be held and comforted and talked to and soothed. She needs to hear that someone is there for her, and not just to offer her lip service and platitudes. She needs genuine concern and feeling. Basically … she needs love … agape … filial. She needs her troupes to gather themselves together and be available for her. She needs for them to know this intrinsically and not have to be told.

Where’s the Ben & Jerry’s What-A-Cluster or the bottle of Manischewitz Blackberry that would soothe her savaged soul and ravaged feathers? Where is the phone call that lets her know that someone out there … anywhere is in tune with what ails her, even though she’s still tryng to figure out precisely which one of her situations has brought on the feeling of fucked up blue funk that she is currently waddling through…

Dear Lord, make this crap go away! Whatever the ties that need to be cut, let them be cut. Whatever the fear that lingers then let it leave …. Just free me from this feeling of free-falling into the Land of Melancholia. I can’t live there … I WON’T live there … somebody please, PLEASE come get me…

My hands are reaching skyward, and I’m waiting…

Hurry.

HIS EYES …

I looked into his eyes
And I got lost …
Happily lost in their depths
Lost in the restful pools
That allow him access to my soul
He can see into me with those eyes
And he doesn’t even have to try
I can see myself in his eyes too
I watch, fascinated, as I fall
Deeper and deeper into his eyes
Deeper and deeper into him

He holds my gaze
And keeps my attention
In such a way that
I forget who may have
Squatted here before
Happily lost am I in
The cool assurance of his stare
Warmed by the dark lava like
Center orbs that into me see
I feel the heat on my face
As we silently explore our new intimacy

He pulls me in with
Those tractor beams
I’m swimming … going
Further than I need to but
Who cares…
I want to be need to him
To be totally mesmerized
By the cool heat
Of his eyes…

16 DIFFERENT WAYS TO SUNDAY…

So here it is, I’m at the start again, and trying to make sense of this crazy lil thing hat shall remain nameless.

I know that people believe that they are being helpful. I know that they think that wisdom is the thing that I crave. What they don’t get is that the thing I need most is CONSISTENCY… and I need it in all things, particularly in things concerning MY HEART.

I’m constantly being told to turn myself around – as in reinvent myself. Everyone knows PRECISELY what’s right for me, and it’s all conflicting.

Be forthcoming … be mysterious; tell him what’s on your mind … don’t say anything; be shy … be bold…

WTF??! There’s only one of me; yet everyone is trying to break me into tiny little pieces. Am I really that naïve? Is it that the life I’ve led in the past forty-odd years has really left me so cloistered and unprepared for the world?

I don’t think that I’m seeking the impossible, and I don’t believe that I’m being unreasonable. I require very little to keep me happy … I want respect, trust, love, affection, honesty … consistency. I could demand these things, but I don’t. I TRUST that the man who wants to be with me will willingly give these things and give them abundantly.

It is still amazing for me to have to realize that as a WOMAN, I’m the one who has to bend myself 16 different ways to Sunday to please the male of the species. Question is, who is bending himself into knots and twists just to keep me happy? And is he going to do so willingly and be patient while I figure out what it is I really need?

Should you be strolling through town and you find one or more of these gems, would you kindly send him way? The fact is that I have found one of them … he just doesn’t know how wonderful he Is as yet … but he will! (Wink, wink)

Journalists, or PENs For Hire …

I looked with some interest at the headline of today’s Trinidad Guardian, which indicated that there is a mass exodus of media ‘personalities, a.k.a. journalists, all of whom seem to be heading blithely into Governmental service.

Interesting …

Whatever happened to being paragons of virtue and the ‘voice of the people’? what happened to the need to investigate the wrongs and bad habits of the government and all concerned with them – be they contracts, persons of interest, hidden agendas?

Is it that these things are only important when certain people are the targets?

Interesting …

So … apparently now that ‘everything is right with the world’ we have a huge chunk of the media moving in to governmental service … what a bleepin joke!

It is now blatantly obvious that anyone can be bought for a good enough price, even members of the 5th estate.

Case in point: I have been watching with avid interest, along with some of my fellow observers, the interesting goings on and behavior of two PROMINENT members of the current Cabinet. It would seem that some people cannot walk without having their hands held, and others cannot walk without having hands to hold. Be it at the airport, the parliament, public meetings, from one car to the next … these two act like kindergarten buddies. Seeing as how the photographs have been appearing in every single daily and weekend newspaper produced in Trinidad and Tobago, I find it rather strange that nothing has been written about this situation. However, had this been the former Prime Minister’s wife and another member of the former Cabinet, there would have been such a furor brought to life that it would have been heard all the way in North America.

Why the double standard fellas? Where are those investigative minds that you’re all so proud of – the same ones who for the past few years have been reporting blindly and then printing tiny page 1 and 2 apologies for slanderous comments?

Have you now learnt the error of your ways? Or is it that this regime pays better? Inquiring minds want to know.

Has it occurred to any of you ship jumping jokers that you’re following the scent of a dangling carrot in order to keep you silent? Are you aware that you have joined the ranks of the government propaganda machine – the same machine that you raged against, a short few months ago? It just strikes me as passing strange that you’re all willing to become the right hand men and women of this crop of ‘stooges’ but you weren’t willing to do the same for those who went before.

Tell me … how are you going to spend your thirty pieces of silver – the ones who gained when you sold your collective souls and sold out the people who look to you for opinions and advice. Is it that we are all going t have to stay tuned for the Department of Information weekend programming to know what’s going on in sweet T&T?

Dare God I hope not.

To say that I am disappointed is a major understatement. To say that I’m surprised would be a lie.

Tread lightly gents, and know that the people that you will ignore on the way ‘up’ are attached to the same asses that you will have to kiss on the way back down!

WTF???!

Friendship is a funny thing. There are times when we need to stretch to accommodate the baggage that might sneak in, and there are times when we need to contract in order to keep our perspective and sanity.

I’m trying to figure out where I am in a particular friendship, and I just had a WTF moment.

As the adult on record in this get up, I’m wondering if the age difference is causing a significant shift when it comes to things like translation and understanding. Maybe it is that I’m expecting too much from the individual, but the difference is not so insurmountable that common sense cannot and will not kick in.

Why is it so easy for some of us to be obtuse and hurtful to the needs of many of us? Is it just me or is it that it feels like paranoia has become the norm for some of us? Why is it so easy for some of us to be mean spirited and bitter towards the achievements of the majority of us?

I know that I’m asking a myriad of questions, and I know that many of those questions are rhetorical. By the same token, there are really some of us who can cause amazement to hurt the brain.

Example.

I’ve been attempting to pursue a particular course for the past few months, and someone whom I now recognize as a bandwagonist announced that they would come aboard and we would stay the course together, and use our ‘existing’ buddy system to lessen the ‘pains’ as it were.

I believed them when they said that they were ready. I made myself available to them, and I did what I could to introduce her to the tenets that she would need to follow…

Why then … at the end of it all … are they attempting to make me feel that this is somehow my fault?

Hindsight is 20/20 vision and I’ve put a few pieces of the puzzle together.

This isn’t about me. It is about them and their baggage, and I refuse to be the trash guy. It’s about their decisions and their priorities and until they come to the point of acknowledging that there are changes to be made, then they will continue to wallow in their ‘ignunce’, and that’s just the way it is.

I will do what I need to do for me and that’s it. When they are ready to handle their shit, they will do what needs to be done for them – plain and simple.

We all need to be adult enough to do what we need to for ourselves, and by the same token we need to be adult enough to take the responsibility for the fucked up decisions that we sometimes make, thereby avoiding the stupid blame game that we seem to always want to play …

And that’s my take!

Doing PENance in the Food Aisle … HI Prices, LO Quality

I’ve been a loyal, card-carrying member of the Hi Lo Food Stores for as long as I can remember. It wasn’t just about the points and the prizes … I have been in Hi Lo’s corner since before the days of ‘FOLLOW DE RED ARROW AT HI LO’

There was a time … not so very long ago … when I boasted to all who would listen about the fact that their prices were better than Tru Valu’s and that the shelves were stacked better than many of the other markets.

Well…

The thrill is gone.

I went to Hi Lo Four Roads a couple Saturdays ago, in search of ingredients for a couple cakes that I had to build for an order. I looked at the baking shelf in sheer horror. The prices were between $5 and $8 more than those at Tru Valu. I even mentioned this to two members of staff who were on the lane. One of them shrugged her shoulders and said to me that members of staff had spoken to store managers about the recent pricing and that nothing was being done.

That’s when I remembered my mother’s annoyance when a couple months ago she spent over eight hundred dollars at the West Moorings branch and she had no idea what she had purchased. Faithful customer that I am, I still continued to think of the two situations as a fluke.

This Sunday morning, however, when in a state of bewilderment I walked out of the Four Roads branch with approximately three large bags, having just spent slightly under four hundred dollars, brotha the bloom was so off of that rose.

What the hell is going on with the Canning’s Group of Companies – the parent company of Hi Lo Food Stores??? Is it that the WANT to be priced out of the market? Could it be that they are searching for such exclusivity that pretty soon their own staff won’t be able to spend there?

This is ridiculous!!! There is no need to pay the exorbitant costs for vegetables when Canning’s has their own farms – something I might add, that they have boasted about in the past. How can it be that a couple blocks up the Diego Martin Main Road at West Bee’s it is possible to purchase 6 cartons of Green Butterfly Evaporated Milk for the special price of $30 and that special is not available at Hi Lo … in fact I believe that the cost of evaporated milk has soared to almost $6 a carton. Have I mentioned that we’re talking quarter litre cartons here?

How is it that three packets of macaroni can be had at West Bees for $10 dollars but not at Hi Lo? Whatever happened to specials???

You have dubbed yourself the nation’s favorite food store. Guess what? That shit no longer holds water. Have you not noticed that the month end lines have dwindled? Try doing a little sneak shopping at Tru Valu on a month end Friday and see the lines wrapping around lanes like ‘back in the day’ at Hi Lo. And it’s not just on a month end anymore. You can find those long lines on any given day. The transition is almost complete and in a little while from now Hi Lo will be a thing of the past, and that would be so sad.

What makes it even scarier is the fact that the budget has not as yet been read for the upcoming fiscal year and as such I shudder to think what the near future holds for food prices across the board.

Something has to be done, because points and prizes are no longer enough to hold on to your customers Hi Lo … better can and MUST be done.

Go back to the days of comparison shopping – when replenishing staff would go to other markets and compare so that the prices were better controlled.

Have a heart for your fellow citizens – those whose salaries have not been increased, even though their food costs have. Do the math and attempt, as the other members of the Supermarket Owners Association have, to find the middle ground.

Don’t make me come get yo ass!!!

Fix this and NOW!!!

Well, Look at What HapPENed…

“What a scent, what a scent, what a scent … the smell of the summer of our discontent…” David Rudder, The Savagery.

I suppose the thing to say today is that the writing is on the wall and that the people have spoken.

That would be the thing to say, but I am still unable to say it. I can’t say it because there are things that I have been privy to in the last few days that have left the stench of desperation and degradation clinging to my clothing.

The naive amongst us continue to parrot the words that “this election was not about race but about change.” The sad thing is that even though it was PROVEN – via print and electronic media that it was indeed about race, and not in a good way, the persisted.

I could go on here to quote chapter and verse, but at this time, the point is mute.

What I will say is that I sincerely hope that the new PM … and by that I mean PUPPET MASTER … remembers:

– That they have to deliver on every single campaign promise
– That the promised pay cut will be THEIRS and not that of the civil servants who blindly followed them down the yellow brick road
– That Trinidad and Tobago has an positive international presence – one that has been fought for, reconstructed after the former UNC regime and won back
– That although it is in their inner sanctum the time for ‘them’ to rise, that they need to remember that ALL SORTS OF PEOPLE put their misguided trust in them, therefore they would need to look after EVERYBODY’S welfare

On the other hand, I sincerely hope that the ones who blithely followed the Pied Piper down this particular road of ‘RISING’ would remain watchful and remember the following:

– That they promised an increase in old age pensions, nevermind the detrimental cost to the country
– That your children will soon no longer have the benefit of free tertiary education, so you had better have your ‘dollars’ put aside for the dollar for dollar tertiary level plan
– That the free lunches for elementary level students will soon become a thing of the past
– That your CDAP is about to go bye-bye
– That you have now ushered in the possibility of legal abortions in a country that has NEVER considered such

My grandmother and other elders had one word that they would repeat whenever we of the younger generation would do something that was doomed to cause us pain and failure. They would look us in the eye and say “Tanto, Tanto” while shaking their heads from side to side. Basically they were telling us that all we had to do was sit back and wait for the consequences of our insipid actions. So, I say it now to you … Tanto, Tanto; and if you still don’t get it, then, Bam-bye … me go tell yuh.

In the end I will continue to say God bless our Nation, and I will pray and invite you to pray for peace, common sense, patience, foresight and hindsight, particularly hindsight, since rumour has it that it is perfect 20/20 vision.

The pen rests here … trust though that she will indeed be back…

SERIOUSLY? REALLY? YOU’RE BITCHIN’ ABOUT BEYONCE???

Can someone please explain all of the hullaballoo surrounding Beyonce’s scheduled visit to Trinidad on February 18, 2010? Why are all of these supposed concerned people up in arms about the cost of the tickets and the cost of the star???

Has it occurred yet that the T&T public is looking at this from a ‘dollar for dollar’ point of view and not via conversion to US dollars?

It is always so funny to me when people get exactly what they asked for and then flare up. The Trini posse all declared that they wanted B to come to the island – well she’s gonna be here whether they like it or not. Here’s the thing though – THEY WANT IT! This is indicated by the fact that all of the TT$1600.00 tickets are gone – sold – accounted for … and this happened in one day – ONE DAY … via the internet and pre-booking. The CHEAPEST tickets – TT$450.00 – are the tickets that are struggling, and the TT$1,000.00 are almost depleted as well.

So … if this is the case … where do the Union, the Rapso Community and now I see the Minister of Public Utilities get off ranting and raving???!

The Union is complaining that they are working with 2005 salary scales and they simply cannot make ends meet. Those of you with access to someone who is employed at TSTT and is close enough to them to ask about salaries, please ask and make sure you’ve taken your heart meds, because to date, TSTT workers are the HIGHEST PAID natives in the land! Here’s the gift here … this concert will recoup all monies spent and then some, so there’s a profit at the end of the rainbow… go figure.

The Rapso and supposed Trini cultural community is talking about splitting loyalties at Carnival … oh please! Learn to accept the fact that most of the Trinis who will be attending this concert are the SAME people who will be going to all the all-inclusive fetes; have already purchased their $3-$4,000 costumes; will be buying new outfits to attend all the fetes, and will not be caught DEAD going to B’s concert with anything previously worn, so that’s another new outfit. That’s commerce, profit, loans being had – another boon to the economy as people will have to pay all that shit back! As to the claim that TSTT is not behind the culture of T&T – well … I just wanna vomit, because the biggest shows and fetes are sponsored by TSTT in some form or fashion. Every year most of us fete goers walk away with ‘nuff bandanas, neon sticks and necklaces and hats and t-shirts, etc. etc. etc. … proof of TSTT’s presence in all things Carnival and cultural. TSTT also sponsors culture OUTSIDE of Carnival, and has not indicated a drop in said sponsorship in order to have ‘Sasha Fierce’ on our shores… so do yuh homework folks …

As to the goodly Minister of Public Utilities … how you get chain up in dis shit??? You’re INVESTIGATING B-Mobile’s sponsorship of this concert? I know that telecommunications is a public utility but last I checked, didn’t you guys make TSTT a PRIVATE COMPANY a lil while ago??? So aren’t you now overstepping your bounds??? Has it occurred to you that they could be paying Miss Thing out of profits??? Never mind the advertising that goes on, we all know that TSTT has the bigger better network, and the majority of the mobile customers on this island so … again … why exactly are you investigating this??? Is this being seen as a means for media coverage or is it the cause of the day?

Now having said all of this, please note that I am likely to purchase the DVD of the Beyonce concert as performed in Las Vegas before I shell out a cent to see her live here … I don’t have that kind of money to – uhm… ‘spend’ (not waste, surely!!!) at this time. I have debts to pay, but that’s just me. I say ‘more power’ to the peeps who are willing and able to go have B’s sweat hit them in the face. Have a time, take lots of pictures … that’s my advice.

To the nay-sayers, all I can say is TAKE YOUR FRIGGIN HEADS OUT OF THE SAND! Realize that Trinis will prioritize in the ways that they choose and there ain’t a damned thing that you can do about it. They have their business fix, and honeys, be it after Carnival or after Independence … they ones who are interested will find the ways and means of making their Beyonce dreams come true … as evidenced by the very healthy sale of the ‘good’ seats.

It’s time for you guys to stop acting your shoe sizes and start acting your ages. She is wanted here and awaited with baited breath and you can’t stop that music!!!

DREAMING AWAY AT NATIONAL SECURITY WHILE VISIONS OF OJT’S DANCE IN OUR MUDDLED HEADS …

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labyrinth_puzzle

It should have been a simple process … it was supposed to be in-and-out in about a half an hour. It was not to be.

Anyone who lives here, has visited here or has even had a layover in our airport has come into contact with the bureaucratic labyrinth that is the Immigration process in Trinidad and Tobago; and none of the aforementioned segments of our society have ever really fully made it out of the maze.

Well … I found myself fully ensconced in the Matrix on Wednesday. I entered the matrix that morning at approximately 9AM when I presented myself to the offices of a REPUTABLE Commissioner of Affidavits, only to find a long line of fellow hopefuls and doors that were firmly shut … AT 9AM in a notoriously 8 to 4 country … STRIKE ONE.

I took myself off to the Hall of Justice to visit with my sister-friend, who is a Clerk to Judges, where I was informed that she was not in the building, only to call her and have her appear from INSIDE the very building that she was supposedly out of … this is a building that is virtually crawling with every sort of security device, cameras a, police and security personnel. RIIIIIIIIIIIGHT! STRIKE TWO.

I went back to the offices of the reputable commissioner of affidavits to find that she was indeed on duty with an office full of people frothing at the mouth to have their wrongs righted by the goodly officer of the Public Domain. I waited, got my form signed and stamped, paid my fees and took myself off to the Immigration Department – a division of the Ministry of National Security.

I opened the doors to two serpentining, intertwining lines – one to the Receptionist … one to the Collections Counter. I had to play a game of FIND MY END to know where I should stand. While shuffling off to my own private ‘Buffalo”, I witnessed four women bedecked in key cards swinging from their necks reading the words ‘MINISTRY OF CULTURE’, sauntering in. One of them stood off to the left and the other three proceeded to the counter to be attended to. Did I mention that they went directly to the SAME counter that approximately TWENTY of us were standing IN A LINE to get to for the same service? No? Well they did. This incensed a few of my fellow shufflers and they proceeded t raise a bit of a stink, one of them even going to far as to take himself to the front of the line. That’s when the policeman on duty decided that he felt the need to act.

Here’s the hilarity … these three women walked STRAIGHT UP TO THE COUNTER and officer chupidy stood by and WATCHED, but one man moved from the ACTUAL LINE and he is angry??? WHAT THE FUCK???! STRIKE THREE.

Another officer came over and spoke to the gentleman and informed him that that sort of thing happens often when OTHER GOVERNMENTAL OFFICERS come in to the office. Note to self: wear a Governmental key card around neck the NEXT time I need to be treated ‘SPECIALLY’ at a governmental office .

Having finally gained the front of the ACTUAL line, I presented my documents and was about to explain about my lost passport and form regarding same when I was told that all they needed were the ID Cards involved. I submitted same, was told that the passports were ready and that I needed to have a seat and wait for my name to be called. I complied.

I sat there observing the colourfully dressed members of staff, wondering how come they weren’t wearing the prescribed blue and grey uniform of the Division. I dismissed the thought as I continued my penance – yes my penance because it was almost three hours before I was called to the Issuance Counter. I produced the documents required only to be told THEN that I was unable to collect my passport because my LOST PASSPORT FORM was printed on the WRONG SIZED PAPER and not two sided as recommended. I am standing at the counter with a form, signed by the Police and a Commissioner of Affidavits (A signature and stamp that I had to pay for as previously stated!) and you’re going to tell me that it’s the wrong sized paper when your fuckin’ PDF files feed at lettersized???! And how exactly is this my fault???!

I am then sent to the receptionist who then proceeds to tell me that I “Cyah get a form until yuh have ah appointment.” I then inhale as DEEPLY as possible so as not to blow this little fuckwits brains out and inform the little brightly dressed OJTer that I was in fact COLLECTING MY ALREADY PROCESSED PASSPORT … that I already had my appointment and was sent to her to see if the form would be accepted. She then informs “Well I have tuh talk to my Supervisor!” I then went back to the other brightly dressed person who sent me to her in the first place to ask why I can’t get the passport on submission of the form, only to be told that they have to INVESTIGATE whether my passport is REALLY lost – as if I would go through this insipid shit all over again – because no one is to have two valid passports. I tell miss thing that my passport was expired and that all she has to do is check the form in front of her. eyes are rolled at me … “Ma’am … be that as it may we HAVE to investigate!”

Question – If I lost my passport and couldn’t find it, having traced and retraced my steps, how de arse are they going to investigate the whereabouts of my passport? Is the plan to stand on every corner in Port of Spain and shout ‘HERE PASSPORT, PASSPORT, PASSPORT!” in the hopes that it fuckin answers???
When the illusive Supervisor finally turns up forty five minutes later the woman – another TEMP – informs me that I ‘Should have KNOWN that I needed to ADJUST the PDF FEED so that it would print on Legal paper” and then proceeds to ask me in her own ‘warm’ way “YOU TINK YOU IS DE ONLY PERSON WHOEVER PRINT DIS FORM ONLINE?” I open my mouth to tell her just what I think of her fuckwitted and nasty-ass attitude but she cuts me off with “:ANYWAY WE EH ARGUIN ABOUT DE FORM. IT WRONG AN’ IS NOT OUR FAULT – START OVER!” and then she shoves a printed form at me … looks over my head and shouts “NEXT!”

Now I ask you — what would you have done then? How would you have felt, having been so unceremoniously dismissed by a PUBLIC SERVANT WHOSE SALARY AND BENEFITS ARE PAID BY YOUR BLOOD, SWEAT, TEARS AND TAXES? In fact how would you react having been assaulted by an entire fuckin system???!

Honestly, I felt raped, taken advantage of and thrown on a heap for speedy disposal.

I know that temps and OJTers are a part of life in the government service – heck, I’ve been a temp in the service – and kudos to the powers that be for trying to train out young’uns for the world of work; but that’s just it – THESE PEOPLE ARE NOT TRAINED!

After what I and the other pilgrims went through on Wednesday – I suggest that the Ministry of National Security Passport office is NOT the place for priggish, ill-mannered temps and pregnant, impatient, short-tempered OJTers – people are already in a state of shock and annoyance when they open those doors and enter the Labyrinth of Bedlam … the Matrix of Mayhem. It would so ease the pain and frustration to be served by a PROFESSIONAL member of staff who has a clue, some manners, and proper CSR training, but I know that somewhere in the dark and cobwebbed filled corridors of the Ministerial Human Resources Department, some grey-headed clerk just had a fuckin heart attack because they can’t remember the last time they heard CSR Training and Staff in the same sentence! That shit just ain’t done!

So as a result, we are doomed to remain like Charlie One Note … dancing in our sleep and dreaming of the day when someone cracks the code and we can finally escape THE MATRIX OF BUREAUCRATIC DOOM with the simple words “Good Morning, How can I be of service to you today?”

NB: For those of you who don’t know, an OJTer is an On The Job Training participant.