Thursday, December 06, 2007

I saw a dead man today

I read an article in one of our daily newspapers that compared Jamaica to a country at war. It reminded me that this was exactly why my blog was started...hence the name 'On the Edge of War'. At some point within the almost two years of the blog, life has been so normal that i almost forgot about the war that was brewing. This sense of well being was jarred over the past two weeks when almost every morning i awoke to the news that multiple people were killed the night before. Actually a story in another newspaper heralded the fact that 47 people have been murdered in the last 7 days. The latest statistics indicate that there have been 1477 reported murders since the start of the year. In a nation of approximately 2.5 million people that puts us third on the murders per capita list, behind only Colombia and South Africa.

I would be lying if i said i was not more than a little scared. A co-worker's cousin and her husband was attacked two weeks ago, their door was kicked off and shots fired. The husband died, the cousin is battling for her life in the hospital. They think it is a case of mistaken identity. Purportedly, criminals will send a note of apology to the family of the deceased in case of mistake identity. How gallant of them.

This increase in violence seems to stem from the local government elections that were held yesterday. Local Government???? WHO THE HELL CARES ABOUT THAT? Well, so many people thought, but obviously this is not the case, even a little power is still power i guess.

I apologize if my ramblings are a little disjointed, i am feeling a tad out of it this morning. I was awoken at 5:30 am by banging on a neighbour's door (aaahhh the joys of apartment living!). Turns out that they were trying to wake the occupant whose smoke alarm was going off. They finally had to break down the door and the woosh of smoke that erupted led me to rush inside (i had gone on my balcony to find the source of the racket) and throw clothes on and try to grab important papers and my laptop. I went downstairs to see them breaking down the front door with a pick-axe...the back door had burglar bars and no amount of commotion could rouse the occupant. There was no hindrance at the front, but the smoke was so heavy, no one could go in. By this time the fire brigade was called and had turned up in a timely manner, just as the apartment caught fire. Unfortunately the occupant was long dead from smoke inhalation. It seems the smoke alarm had been going off since at least 10 pm last evening, but no one who heard it figured out what it was. The firemen then informed us that the only reason the building had not gone up in flames was the fact that the apartment was tightly closed preventing air from entering. The flames started after the doors were opened and oxygen allowed in. Of course maybe if a window had been open someone would have seen the smoke early and the occupant could have been saved. Again, maybe not!!

The police came, they sealed the front of the apartment but they couldn't seal the back. The bedroom is towards the back, and there, through the window, we saw the unfortunate soul, lying half on and half off his bed, fully clothed, his cell phone burned, his mattress charred and a hole in the bed where his cigarette had fallen from his fingers.

The coroners are yet to arrive.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

I cheated!!

And i feel really bad..

No folks...i did NOT cheat on the love of my banish those thoughts from your heads right now!!!

I cheated on my hairdresser with my pedicurist...*Sigh* The story goes like this: I was planning to wash my hair easy task with more than my share of hair and loc's that almost unravel as soon as water touches them (hence my propensity for only washing when i go my loctician every six weeks). So i am getting a pedicure and the talk turns to hair and i am informed that they also do grooming of a light bulb went off in my head and i thought to myself "why not get my hair washed here." Now i expressly stated that i only wanted it washed and palm rolled and i was assured that this would be so.

Next thing i know the loc'ing tool comes out..i insist there is no need to tighten i am again assured that no tightening just a single pull through to get them sitting down...however 4 hours later, my hair has been fully groomed, the normal cost for grooming is then INCREASED (due to the amount of hair they say) and i have lost at least two hours of my day that i was planning to dedicate to work (that i still have to do by the way).

Now i was to see my regular hairdresser in two weeks, but i will have to forego that visit and i feel really shitty, like i just stabbed a friend in the back...*sigh*

Am i the only one who can't get hairdressers to listen to me???

Friday, November 02, 2007

How much is too much?

Where do we draw the line? At what point can we take no more? When should we just say enough is enough.....stop now!

well it has been raining almost continuously for the last four weeks. I think there was a three day break at one point, but that occurred while i was off the island, so as far as i am concerned, the rain has not stopped. Now i love rainy weather, i love the overcast skies, i love the sound of raindrops on my window and i love the slight breeze and cooler temperatures that it brings.

The only thing i hate about the rain is the Jamaican road. Craters the size of small cars open up, water flows along it like a re-directed river, traffic is bumper to bumper, no one wants to wait and intersections become gridlocked, and my usual 5 minute journey to the gym becomes 30 minutes.

Apart from this, it's still love, so while the majority of Jamaicans are begging for a ease in the weather, i am happily going along singing "send down the rain!"

Let me add that i commiserate with those who have been flooded out, or have lost property due to landslide. One person lost her life when a landslide took part of her home and my condolences go out to her family.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

What Have I Been Doing?

After a fellow blogger made underhanded comments about my tardiness to update my blog, i decided to do something about it today. I was actually surprised to see that i haven't written a post since July!!!!

Since that time, I have been on vacation...TWICE, received an increase in salary, received a promotion; Jamaica has had a general election, a change in ruling party, a hurricane (sideswiped, thank god!!!) and flood rains. Lucky Dube has been killed in South Africa, Jah Cure free from prison in Jamaica and Beenie Man separated form his wife. All in all, alot has happened in the three months since my last post.

Then there was Mellovibes last night..Now you should all know that I am no spring chicken, and while i do make an effort to drag myself from in front of the tv from time to time and go shake a leg or lyme with friends, I am normally willing the time to pass quickly so that i can get back to my Well not so last night. For some reason, i have never been to Mellovibes before, something (vacations included) has always come up causing me to miss it, but i have always recognized it as a party that i would really enjoy. Music from the 80s and 90s!!!! I danced so hard last night that at one point i thought i was having an asthma attack. I was doing the running man in three inch heels for chrissake......and the intermittent downpours didn't help either. I didn't even remember that i could bubble down to the ground...LOL .....I love 80s-90s music!!

oh yeah...I have also been working very hard. The stress at work is never ending...but here's to more Mellovibes!!!!


Tuesday, July 03, 2007

My slight headache is a brain tumour????

So i finally went to the orthodontist after repeated urging from my dentist....I decided to get the assessment done and move from there. Afterall i had what i thought was a slight problem - my top and bottom teeth meet edge to edge instead of the bottom ones being slightly inside of the top ones (a slight under bite?). I also have an inherited condition that results in a hardly noticeable missing incisor. I however have a beautiful smile that i constantly get complimented on. :)

I think the first sign of a problem was when the treatment co-ordinator said "oh oh, you have many problems there." I was like 'what? I barely have one little problem'. It became even clearer that things weren't going well when we sat to look at the many closeups she had taken of my face and teeth and said "hmmmm u may have to do dental surgery to correct for that missing tooth". SURGERY? (BTW big up to Blends, my face looked almost flawless on my close-ups). She became quite agitated and went to get the Orthodontist who looked at the pictures and became extremely grim.

He looked at my profile and asked me what did i think of my jaw. I commented that i have fat cheeks? He said your lower jaw is too big, you are gonna have to do surgery to pull back the jaw bone, and we are gonna have to extract three incisors to maintain the symmetry of your teeth...this after 24 months of braces. When he saw the incredulous look on my face he told me to hop on to the examination chair and proceeded to list all my defects to his eager co-conspirator.

Open bite
Cross bite
protruding lower jaw
missing teeth
spaces between teeth


Full orthodontic treatment suggested - 28 - 30 months of braces. Dental surgery after 24 months to correct the protruding lower jaw, retainers for the rest or your life.


His projected treatment costs totalled USD 13,440.00 and yes he quoted his prices in US dollars. Does anyone even remember that slight problem that i had before i entered his office. I did comment that this is the exact reason people hated going to doctors...all i wanted were painkillers for this slight headache and what do I get - a prediction that my life as i know it, is coming to an end.

Well i am sure you all can tell that i am keeping my openbite/crossbite/protruding jaw/spaced out teeth smile that i know is absolutely beautiful.

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Sunday, May 27, 2007

How Safe is Safe?

So my blogging stopped as suddenly as it; had something to do, i imagine, with the fact that i had cable tv and internet installed that very week. The phone people (cable and wutless??) originally told me 20 days to installation, when i checked back two weeks later they told me another 5 weeks...i however got a voip phone (for international calls) installed the very same day i applied....not from c&w.

Anyway, if you don't know by now, i have moved house. This should be my final move for a loooong time, as i am in the process of purchasing the apartment into which i moved. This apartment is very centrally located yet quiet and homey. There are automatic gates that need either a code or a little device to open, and although there are no security guards, i think we all felt pretty safe. Well i sure did, though the few apartments that had signs indicating that they were further protected by a private security firm did give me cause to wonder in the early days. Well that feeling of security was certainly shattered in the wee hours of Saturday morning, when the quiet of the night was interrupted by repeated screams.

I had awoken about 30 minutes before the commotion started and had made my way into my bedroom, getting up from in front of the tv...i fall asleep in my settee almost every night!  I was actually not feeling very sleepy and had gotten up to use the bathroom when I heard what I thought was a child crying. It turned out that it was a young lady who had awoken to find an intruder in her apartment, whose purpose it seemed was to rape her. Thank god her fighting and screaming drove him to run away even before neighbours could react. I am hoping here, that eventually they would have reacted. Of course I also could not get back to sleep; by time the police and security firm left it was about 4:30 am. I tried to go to sleep, but every time i would doze, something would wake me and i would jump up, adrenaline pumping...i think i finally got to sleep at about 7 am (it was bright and sunny then) and i still had to lock my bedroom door before i could feel comfortable enough to sleep!!

This incident drives home the fact that you always have to be smart about your personal security, even if you are in the 'safe haven' of your home. In places i have lived previously, i would for instance try to get home a dawn when i think it would be safer than in the early morning when it is still dark out. At this complex however, that fear was no longer with me and i happily head home at 4 am after a night of uhhhhhmmmmmm relaxation...but now I must ask myself 'how safe am I really?' and know that no matter what time it is, I have to keep an eye out for any danger that may be lurking.

I give thanks still that i have never been robbed or attacked (does this count?) *knocking on wood*

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Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Getting Old Part Deux

When it rains, it certainly pours. Here i am again, just one day after writing my last blog entry. As unbelievable as it may seem, the reason is very simple. Having just moved house, i have yet to receive cable, internet, or phone services. I am like a ship without a captain, an aimless wanderer in the sea of life. I went and paid for both cable and internet services today...cost me a tidy sum too, but life is just not the same without these things which have become necessary to everyday life.

I also went to see the doctor today about my trick knee...i have been having problems since my university days (waaaaaaaaaay back in the day), but finally decided to go get it checked out..his verdict....I am old and fat and need to take care of my body....dammit...thank god for a healthy sense of self..otherwise i may be forced to kill somebody...Now if there was any doubt in my mind about the aging process, it has certainly been removed.

One thing that i will take away from my visit to the doctor today is the need for young athletes to care of their bodies. I will admit that i was bitter for a few minutes. The thought that my being athletic and playing a sport that i loved, a sport that kept me fit and strong, has now resulted in my having irreversible knee issues was a little much to bear. Should I then discourage my offspring (still hoping) from playing sports? I decided that the answer could not be as simple as this. There must be a way for youngsters to get all the positives that sports bring, without damning themselves to a pain filled life.

Or maybe I should just accept that i am an old bird

Getting Old!!

Now anybody who has ever moved house before knows that this is not merely a one or two day affair, but more of a gradual process that can take up to three months. Well I began this process on friday and given how the apartment looks, i am estimating a six week journey (it could be worse huh?).

Now if you are young and spry moving is a breeze, otherwise, not so cool. All that tugging and hauling and constant trips up and down a flight of steps will take a toll on aging bodies. My cousin, who helped with the heavy lifting, is complaining that he can't move. He rushes to reassure me that its good pain, and he likes the pain (this said as he tries to stifle a groan, probably after shifting the phone from hand to For me the pain is not so good. I cannot bend one leg at the knee as the pain is just unbearable. In distress i describe the pain to my boyfriend; distress caused mainly by the fact that i had scheduled a tennis session this week, plus paid for three months at the gym; distress caused by the realization that my weight will move in the wrong direction (sorta like my age) if I don't get moving (not soon; to which he nonchalantly replied "you're getting old!!"

Is this what passes for honesty in a relationship, may i have less honesty please. Can you not reiterate stuff that i am very aware But no, i have had knee issues for a long time due mainly to a long period of competitive volleyball. I have always tried to avoid the doctor and the pain has always abated. This time i fear this is not going to be the case (we do find it harder to heal as we get older you know), and i feel its time to cancel that appointment with the orthodontist (afterall my teeth don't hurt) and get in line to see an orthopedic specialist...the very name conjures images of old people dont?

Still, I am enojoying moving house, it gives me a chance to update stuff (just the little things) and get new stuff (just little things) to make the space livable. And guess has been three days and i have not encountered a single lizard.

Life is good!

Sunday, April 01, 2007

I wish i blogged more!!

But hey! I am not a writer and i writer i shall never be..i don't even feel bad about my lack of blogging...a fellow blogger even threatened to remove the link to my blog...but still i am unmoved...a writer i am not. That said let me get right into it. I expect to move into my own apartment before the month is out. I am hoping this will be a defining moment in my life as i really cannot identify any thing thus far which i have found to be life altering. Maybe its just my outlook on life and my willingness to work with the hands that i have been dealt, but there has really been nothing that i can pinpoint which has redirected my thoughts or actions. My experiences thus far has helped to shape the person i am today; but to pinpoint an event and, this is where i became a better person, i just cannot do it. Now there have been points in my life that i can point out as being important..but were they eureka moments.? i just don't think so!

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Sunday, January 28, 2007

A Life Lost

He was my cousin, but more like a brother to formative years were spent in his presence. He is probably the reason i can be described as a tomboy, or am quite comfortable in the presence of men, though i had no true father figure. Though he couldn't teach me the intricacies of romantic love, he certainly was able to impart brotherly love. He fed me bird peppers once, not even tomato and sugar could cool that heat and i took many a beating to cover for him...yes i was that in awe of my big cousin who was like a brother to me....I was the only girl on the avenue playing 'salad' a kick, but if he was playing then surely so should I.

There was so much promise, so much potential ignored. He could have been anything he chose...he was a teacher and a father, but none seemed to mean a lot to him. Hard work got overshadowed by easy gain. His was a life lost. It was hoped that losing his mom to that dreaded curse, cancer, at much too young an age would have helped him to rise instead of pushing him further down. it did not. It
was hoped that as his kids achieved without much input from him, it would have given him a sense of pride and a yearning to himself achieve. Instead he fell further into the abyss called life. Trouble with drugs, trouble with the police...accused of a wrong, yet set free, we thought that again this would be a chance at a new beginning...unfortunately it was not to be.

His was a life cut short at the relatively young age of thirty eight by a police man's bullet. While the circumstances are at this time unclear, what is truly clear to me is that i am grieving for what could have been, and what never will have the chance to be.

I hope whatever demons you were fighting in life have let you be in death.

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