Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Things I plan to do in 2011

in no particular order.

  • Learn conversational spanish
  • Run a 10k
  • Cook more
  • Save and Invest (more?)
  • Paint my apartment
  • Lose at least 15 pounds
  • Get to work on time
  • Return to playing tennis
  • Listen to my Personal Trainer
  • Stop Procrastinating
I know there is more, but i will add them as i remember them...or i will never get this post off!

Sunday, January 02, 2011

2010 and the return to music

2010 was a particularly trying year for me.  Initially i requested a do-over, but i think it's best to put it behind me and look forward to 2011.  Listing all that went wrong, or all that i did or didn't do would be way too painful and so i won't attempt it, except to say that my purse was stolen with ALL my stuff and i gained 5 pounds. There were high points however, i became 'owner' of my first car ever, i continued to meet mortgage payments and other monthly obligations, work was relatively busy, i only quarreled with JPS once, renewed old friendships, attended some great sessions, spent US Thanksgiving shopping liming with great friends, my BFF tied the knot (around some unsuspecting dude's neck...lol), spent christmas and new years eve with family and great friends.  

But best of all in 2010 was my return to music. I have always been a music fan; initially i consumed only what was fed to me on radio, and in Jamaica that consisted mainly of pop, hip hop and r&b but i would religiously listen to american top 40 every Friday night which broadened my tastes considerably and led me to a lot of music that didn't receive much air play here- songs like Because i Love You (Stevie B) or Children of the Night (Richard Marx) or Hold On (Wilson Phillips) and yes i loved New Kids on the Block!! During my university years i proudly declared that i was a lover of Caribbean music.  The soundtrack of my life was filled with only Reggae, Dancehall, Calypso and Soca.  Later on i was to declare that i loved Black music, and thus again included hip hop, rap and r&b in my life, but the fascination that i had for music in my teens wasn't really there and i really didn't pay much attention, if it wasn't on the radio, i really didn't know it.  Yes, i looked forward to, and attended the Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival yearly for the wonderful live performances (yeah not you, Miss Ross), but i still was only partly there.  

That disaffection came to a screeching halt on May 29, 2010. What happened you ask? Well on that night I saw Jill Scott in concert (for the 2nd time) and Maxwell (1st time ever, but there will be more i am sure)!


Blown Away!

Having seen Ms. Scott once before, i knew she was great live and she did not disappoint, she was fantastic, but i was not prepared for Maxwell. I seriously have no words.  I couldn't (still can't) get enough of this beautiful man with the beautiful voice. His music soothes my soul...I am not even afraid of traffic in Kingston anymore, i look forward to road trips and flights (i should try that England trip now hmmm)..NOTHING bothers me as long as my max jams playlist is on!!  I have fourteen videos on my Iphone, One is Eric Benet's Sometimes i Cry. Do. I. Love. Maxwell? UNAPOLOGETICALLY SO!! 

I listened to EVERYTHING he sung, i wanted (needed) to find more people who sung like him and my search led me to soulbounce.com and there i found wonderful people to listen to including the badass Janelle Monae.  What makes her badass you ask?  Well she "tips on alligators and little rattlesna-kers" while dancing on her tightrope!!

<<== birthday gift from by bestie!!

Now in addition to artistes like Alicia Keys, Erykah Badu, Jazmine Sullivan and John Legend, I now listen to Eric Benet, Chrisette Michele, Musiq Soulchild, India Arie, Janelle Monae, Lalah Hathaway, Eric Roberson, Cee-Lo Green and yes, Kanye West and many more!

I found my way back to music and i don't think i'll ever leave.  Thank you Max!!

Viva la 2011!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Driving Me Crazy!

Sometime in August, I 'bought' a car for the first time in my life. A nice car. Nice enough that I have been allowed into VIP parking a time or two with nothing but a smile and a request.  The car purrs when the accelerator is engaged, leaving those around me in my dust ( i choose my targets carefully..lol).  I also get a lot more respect on the road.  Taxi drivers who used to dare me to continue driving while heading directly at me, now stop, swing back into their lane, or don't bother to come at all.  Life on the road WAS good.

See this all changed about three weeks ago.  Three weeks ago, the rains came.  The meteorological service advised that there would be some rain and possible flash floods. Their warning so subdued that as usual, we all ignore them. It had been raining that entire week; everyday there would be showers of blessing leading up to the weekend, when it rained a little harder and for a little longer; by Sunday the rain was continuous and was steady right into Monday.  The system that was to later become Thunder Storm Nicole was upon us.  In true Jamaican tradition the roads were chaotic as we ALL headed out to our respective jobs. (Did I hear some laughter here?). 

 Monday night was when things got really chaotic, bridges were falling all over the Island (our old infrastructure are well past their design life), gullies were overflowing their banks, taking informal abodes with them, some with people still inside.  People died.  It got worse on Tuesday and this night was when the retaining walls fell; large walls, small walls, gully walls, they were dropping like stones and again, people died.  In total, it was reported that eight persons lost their lives and my heart goes out to all their families.

Jamaicans as a whole, lost our roads. Main roads, arterial roads, minor roads, roads that weren't even roads before.  ALL GONE.  Potholes galore.  Driving on the streets of Kingston is like an off road trek with hazards thrown at you from all angles.  You not only have to look out for the tire bursting, rim bending, car swallowing cavities, but u also have to look out for the taxi dude or the nice old (wo)man who is on your side of the road trying to get away from the sink holes that may or may not have just developed (in front their very eyes). 

To exacerbate matters, the National Water Commission (NWC) had just embarked on a program of sewer pipe installation in Kingston, generally down the centre of existing roads.  Trenches were outlined beautifully in yellow, then excavated, pipes installed and obviously haphazardly refilled and covered with black topping.  The resulting damage produces holes (i can't even call it potholes because they are something entirely different) large enough to swallow entire cars. A number of roads in the corporate area look like the picture below of Barbican Road.

It is also apparent that most of the gaping holes within what was once our streets are forming in trenches that were dug by some utility or cable company.  It thus suggests that any part of these trenches can fail at any given moment swallowing your vehicle whole.  

I don't know if you are scared, but i certainly am.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Running my Life

There are two sets of people I envy: Writers and Long Distance Runners.

Being very left brained (let's save the left vs right discussion for another post), i have always looked with awe and great appreciation on those who can weave words together that mesmerize; be it a line, phrase, poem, song or an entire tale. My aunt, a great english teacher, once told me that my essays were pure bones, no meat. I have never forgotten these words which were said to me when i was still in primary school, and though i am still convinced that the skeleton is what is important, and the meat is unnecessary drivel adornment, my envy remains. I think in part this blog was to help me face that envy head on.

Running has always been a different kettle of fish.

I was very athletic in my youth :), athletics (100m), tennis and netball in high school; volleyball, football, cricket at university and even a short stint playing for my country in volleyball. But what i could never do was run for any length of time. Excruciating shin splints, knee issues, back pain, all would surface if i tried to run for even 5 minutes. Thankfully after finally getting it all checked out, the issues seem to be pronated feet and an underdeveloped quad (vastus medialis) and with some rehabilitation and semi-customized insoles, i have been able to jog on the treadmill at the gym with no adverse effects. I thus decided to participate in a 5k for charity last weekend in the driving rain of the system that would become TS Nicole. I chose to run, thinking i would walk more than run, but wanting the option to run just the same. I finished (albeit 172nd out of 267 entrants) in 36:22 having run (jogged) at least 85% of the distance. I have been jogging consistently in the gym since and have decided that road racing (uhmmm participating) will be my new thing. I am off to get running shoes, customized insoles and proper socks.

I feel invigorated, energized and unstoppable. I feel like I can conquer the world.

Runners beware!!

Sunday, June 06, 2010

all i ever think about

heard this song for the first time today....and it is so how i am feeling right now!!


Monday, May 17, 2010

The anatomy of Hurt

At first there is a sinking feeling..
unless u have felt this u probably cannot imagine what the feeling is..
but literally it feels as if your heart drops to the very bottom of ur stomach..
it then begins to beat so quickly, u think u may be having a heart attack..
your whole body becomes weak, u want to move but u cannot
even to lift ur hands to brush away tears requires what feels like a superhuman effort..
u are hungry, but u have no appetite..
u force urself to eat because the hunger pangs are crippling you..
yet u can take no more than two or three bites of what u have prepared..
ur tummy aches and u have to use the bathroom..
five times in 3 hours...the diarrhoea dehydrates you..
you are now even weaker than you were before...
u try to sleep, but u can't, images of the betrayal plays thru ur mind constantly and they will not stop..
if you believe in a higher power, u BEG them to stop the pain,
u have been through it before, u know u cannot go thru it again..
you try to distract urself with things you have to do,
clean house, watch tennis, write that report...
but before long u remember and all you want to do is crawl into bed and fall asleep...
nothing gets done, u have wasted the day, u r now even more behind than u were before...
and still you cannot force yourself to do what u know needs to be done...
u see u think i am just angry and upset..
what u don't know is that i have died a little inside...

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Happy New Year?

I think i will be back to blogging this year....i hope all those who have expressly stated that they missed my blog will be happy..

Originally this blog was started to focus on the normalcy of life in Jamaica amid the turmoil (crime stats indicate that we MUST be at war), now it shall pretty much focus on anything that i am focused on.

It has not been a particularly happy new year for me thus far, but i have had to grin and return the sentiments as they are told to me. I do wish everyone health, strength, prosperity, love and laughter for the new year....it is a new decade and trod on we must, and maybe just maybe the sun will break through the rain clouds and not only will there be a rainbow but also a pot of gold waiting at its end.