Thursday, December 28, 2006

Time to GO

There comes a time when being stationary is just not an option.

This job is a fast train going absolutely nowhere.

I have simply had it.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Talkin Blues

by Bob Marley

Yeah! Oh, yeah! Now!
Cold ground was my bed last night (bed last night)
And rock was my pillow, too; (doo-oo-oo-oo-oo!)
Cold ground was my bed last night (bed last night)
And rock was my pillow, too. Yeah!
I'm saying: talkin' blues (talkin' blues),
talkin' blues (talkin' blues);
They say your feet is just too big for your shoes. (shoe-oo-oo-oo-oo)
Talkin' blues (talkin' blues), talkin' blues (talkin' blues):
Your feet is just too big for your shoes. (shoe-oo-oo-oo-oo)

Yeah, I've been down on the rock for so long, (so long)
I seem to wear a permanent screw; (screw-oo-oo-oo-oo)
I've been down on the rock for so long, (so long)
I seem to wear a permanent screw. (screw-oo-oo-oo-oo)
But-a I - I'm gonna stare in the sun,
Let the rays shine in my eyes.
I - I'm a gonna take a just-a one step more
'Cause I feel like bombin' a church -
Now - now that you know that the preacher is lyin'.
So who's gonna stay at home
When - when the freedom fighters are fighting?

Talkin' blues (talkin' blues), talkin' blues (talkin' blues):
They say your feet is just too big for your shoes, woe-oh-oh-oh!
Talkin' blues (talkin' blues), keep on talkin' blues (talkin' blues);
They say - you hear what they say -
Didn't you hear?

Cold ground was my bed (bed last night),
Rockstone - rockstone - rockstone was my pillow;
Cold ground was my bed last night (bed last night),
And rock was my pillow, too.

Sayin': (talkin' blues, talkin' blues):
I seem to wear a permanent screw - permanent screw.
Talkin' blues (talkin' blues), talkin' blues (talkin' blues):
Feet is just too big for your shoes. (shoe-oo-oo-oo-oo)

Screw Silver Linings!!!

I am in one of those moments when you just feel like bawling your eyes out. I just feel like wailing for all the things that arent yet right in my life and those that have gone irrevocably bad.


I am supposed to be counting my blessings- one-by-one, but I am tired of always focusing on the silver lining. Sometimes its OK to realise that that there is an effing big dark cloud looming over your head!

I hate getting all high and dizzy when things are going good cuz the crash is hard and hot as hell that follows.

Blasted New Beta Blogger

I couldn't sign in and it seems I missed an entire lifetime of possibly great posts.

Like the sushi restaurant chef who felt sorry for me because I turned up at his bar 3 Saturdays in a row, alone. Dude gives me a plate of smoked salmon sashimi with flying fish roe on the house because he feels I must be some sort or lonely freak to be the only woman dining alone.

I am not certain if my chest is simply high set or what, but I like and can appreciate nice things. Jamming with Miss Cherry at Faith's Pen is great on occassion but so is a good glass of wine in an upscale bar and de riguers of fine dining.

Maybe that is my problem- my versality and diversity. Most people are content with fitting a mould while I thrive outside the box. I am the bastard child of a dichotomy, no one said it would be easy.

Another One Bites The Dust!

OK so the year closes with yet another failed relationship. Its a good thing that my parents decided to give me siblings close to a decade after my birth, or else they would never have any hope of grandchildren.

I cant help it if I know what I want and refuse to settle.

I know that perfection is not attainable but I must at least chose something that is sustainable.

So this year, I dated a gentleman of rare breeding and a "Mr.Pussy" a la Sex and the City. Makes for great poetry.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

One Year In Hell

It's official.

Today makes one year since I have been in the same job. I mean the same 9-5, one client only, office politics all the way to Mount Everest, is it Friday yet, job!

The thing is that it has by FAR been the most difficult appointment of my life. I mean there wasnt even so much politics when I worked for the government.

Anyway, its kinda scary. It means I am settling down and growing up all at once and I am not entirely convinced that is such a good thing. I am making more practical decisions, being less rash, less spontaneous, and it seems that in some ways, I am stifling the carefree spirit that I have come to know as me.

I am changing right before my own eyes (still refuse to wear pantyhose though).

Can somebody hand me a camera, a pair of dirty sneakers, some torn up jeans and a car? I need to bust loose from this corporate captivity!

Monday, December 04, 2006

My Brother, The Stripper

Consider this payback for a lifetime of teenage pranks practiced on me...but my brother, who parades as an executive in the Caribbean's largest mobile phone company, is an undercover stripper.

He does shows twice yearly to aging fat women who pay him hundreds (USD) just to see a young man butt nekkid. You see these poor women are so desperate that they have to resort to paid duties to get their groove on. Rumour has it that he doles out twice as much free credit to encourage attendance.

I hear the costume consists of an assortment of sequined thongs with matching bow ties and the routine begins with him prancing around a pole to Rod Stewart's "If You Think I am Sexy."

Here's a close up of him... go figure

A fat aging woman and her money are soon parted! Ladies, BEWARE!

Tropical Displacement

Have you ever watched the epic period pieces based in the time of slavery in the tropics and wondered how the hell they wore so much clothes in the sweltering heat? Or why the stupid royal guards wore tights and wigs in a climate fit for semi nudity?

Well fast forward to present day corporate Jamaica, and I have to ask why the hell is it that we allow the practices of people who live in colder climes to affect what we consider "appropriate attire" for work?

How the hell does a lined business suit compute to 90 degree sweltering heat?

And how the hell does the concept of pantyhose survive unless there is a burgeoning desire to create the perfect conditions for the growth of yeast in the nether-regions. Yes... its gross...just tell it to those people who make those rules at countless offices across the island.

As far as I am concerned, breatheable fabric (linen and cotton) should be the mainstay of everyone's wardrobe, the suits saved for weddings and funerals during our Caribbean version of winter (which in essence is two months of mild cold fronts moving in and out of the area).

By far the most ludicrous is that one cannot wear their hair in braids, locks, or cane/corn rows. (North America plant corn, we plant cane). I mean where have we descended to when one has to seek permission to wear her hair a certain way or worse yet, to have it ruled out, by way of written company policy?

As far as I am concerned, there is no greater injustice that the prevalence of rows and rows of long weaves of fake hair on the heads of women who have come to believe that what they got aint beautiful enough. A word to the wise, work with what you've got... uniqueness is a grand thing!

Di whole a we cyaan be coolie!

Full Circle

Is there a law that says that all things come back to the point at which they started?

Its weird how life is.

Its funny how things are... the people you never gave a second look are those you end up with, the friends you thought true turn out to be your enemies, and the people you loved dont love you quite as much and vice versa.

Black and white demarkations are now grey.

The sins you thought unforgivable are petty grievances, the people you thought you could do without, are now pillars (think post pubescent independence from the clutches of the parents).

But things come full circle because all the wise musings of my dear Ma have turned out to be true:

"Its not who you love, but who love you"
"It's not who you know, but who know you."
"Don't burn your bridges behind you."
"You have to kiss ass before you can kick ass."
"Love them that hate you and do good to them that despise you."
"Chicken merry, hawk deh near"
"Deaf ears give liad trouble"
"Bush have eye and wall have ears"
"Cockroach nuh business inna fowl fight"
"Sometime yuh right hand nuffi know what you left hand doing"
"Every hoe have him stick a bush"
"When monkey want to wear trousers, him must know where to put him tail"
"You fi know how water travel go pumpkin belly"

and perhaps the most simple but profound:

"Blood thicker than water"

It makes no sense to worry about tomorrow because tomorrow has enough problems of its own. Life somehow takes care of itself. Wounds heal, people grow, people change. Everyday is precious. We are part of a continuum... once we are here, we will always be here... at least in the hearts of those we leave behind.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Unbridled Decadence

I am sitting on my all too comfy bed, in low light from the 15bulb in the bathroom, having a smoke,drinking a large glass of shiraz, wearing nothing but a head scarf and a victoria's secret bra and listening to the sultry music of my dear Nina Simone. Life is beautiful.

It has been an unapologetic lazy day. Must have those from time to time. The only interruption came in the form of a trip to the supermarket. Had to pay by cheque becuase the forgetful one leaves her purse in the office yet again. Saved me a trip to the green grocers because I am sure those cocky arses would scoff at the plebian name on my personal cheques.

Had left over Island grill for breakfast (all of about 1/2 cup of chicken and two bites of festival. Had an equally delightfully lazy dinner of mutligrain crixx, reduced fat peanut butter, applesauce, and horribly-tasting cherry cranberry juice (some experiments should never make it to the supermarket shelf). Serves me right though.. how could that combination be palatable?

I am heading to the South Coast in the morning and so I have put off all domestic duties for a mad early morning rush..but maybe i should at least wash a load tonight so I will have something to wear if somehow I wake up to a powercut.

In moments like these, I revel in my single childless state coupled with a carefree pubescent mentality, perfectly happy to be lazy and messy. I want no part of visitors tonight. I am perfectly swooned in my own mess.

I will grow up tomorrow.

Friday, November 10, 2006

May Good Duppy Walk With You Ed Bradley

NEW YORK (CNN) -- Ed Bradley, the longtime "60 Minutes" correspondent whose probing questions and deceptively relaxed interviewing manner graced some of that show's most notable reports, has died. He was 65.

Bradley died Thursday at New York's Mount Sinai Hospital of leukemia, according to staff members at the CBS program.

Bradley joined "60 Minutes" during the 1981-82 season after two years as White House correspondent for CBS News and three years at "CBS Reports." His reporting over the years won him a Peabody Award, 19 Emmys and a Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award, among many others. He was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Association of Black Journalists.

His most recent Emmy was for a segment about the reopening of the 1950s racial murder case of Emmett Till in Mississippi.

Katie Couric, in announcing the death of Bradley on CBS, described him as "smooth, cool, a great reporter, beloved and respected by all of his colleagues here at CBS News." (Watch as Couric gives the details of Bradley's death -- 1:22 Video)

"Bradley could cover any kind of a story," said Bradley's "60 Minutes" colleague Mike Wallace, singling out a profile of Lena Horne as "one of the most entertaining profiles I've ever seen."

"He traveled the world. He was in the White House. Bradley was just a damn good reporter," Wallace said.

CNN correspondent and former CBS reporter John Roberts said the newsman was "always a person you could sit down with and he could keep you intrigued for hours at a time with the stories he could tell."

Roberts called Bradley a "first-rate" journalist.

Older & Wiser

Its always better to face disappointment earlier than later.

Better to be derailed early in the journey when expectations are moderate than much later on when the train has gathered momentum and expectations are moderate.

Ignorance is not bliss. Ignorance is simply ignorance.

I thrive on information and in the abscence of being fully informed, one must form a conclusion. Silence is not without its own implications. My granny would say "silence is content"... I say "silence is the coward's reprieve."

Being older and wiser means that I am able to spot cowards earlier. Maybe my sagaciousness arises out of my own cowardice and apprehension to further distress. If so be it, call it a coping mechanism and we are even.

As A Man Doeth...

If I have learnt nothing else about men, its that they should be judged by their actions, not words.

As a literary person who is often caught up on how things are expressed, I have to say that was not an easy lesson to learn. I would often hear them speak the things I wanted to hear and ignore the very actions that contradict such oral or written confessions. Not anymore.

Words are meaningless. The more you understand them, the more you realise how inadequate they are.

They cannot be the bonds that bind us in commitment because many times people speak what they hope to be true, not having a clue to what is really true.

Just as you should never judge a book by its cover, you should never judge a man by his felicitations. Judge his actions, especially those repeated because those things done over and over are a better indication of character than anything that could depart from his lips.

Actions speak louder than words.

Monday, November 06, 2006

All is Vanity

Call me a snob, beyatch, whatever. I dont like ugly people. Its just so hard to really concentrate on somebody who is just hard on the eyes.

Its one thing to be that way, its a helluva nedda thing to be that way and not even make an effort to be attractive.

Even Ecclesiastes admits that "all is vanity."

Woman In the Mirror

I looked in the mirror this morning and saw the woman I have always wanted to be.

Strong, assertive,smart, passionate but cautious, carefree but collected, wounded but healing, single but happy.

A lot of our true selves lie under layers and as we begin to peel back those layers, we find out who we really are.

Some friends who loved us when we were struggling, poor/fat/unhappy/miserable may not like us when we are successful/fabulous/fit/happy/content, but its those who will love us when we go through changes who are worth keeping.

People may no longer want to be around you because you are busy doing things all the time instead of sitting and moping about just how bad life is. We know better now because life is simply what we make it.

Its not what happens in our lives that makes it bad...its how we react to it. Trauma does not have to result in heavy drinking or eating or the lack of movement and stimulation and spiralling depression. We have a choice.

So I am happy for the woman I have become. Still have much to work on but honey, thats what makes life so free from boredom!

With all my love to you for reading everything I have posted and allowing me to open up my chakras with you...Namaste

Sunday, November 05, 2006


This blog was never meant as a public spot for private misgivings but somehow, art has a way of being open to interpretation.

I will be emceeing my first show in a long while this evening. It will be the largest audience by far and it will also be televised. Needless to say, I am a wee bit nervy but it should be great fun.

I picked out my wardrobe last night and needless to say, I am very excited about the outfits! Did my nails and my mama and sister tightened my young locks. Woke up feeling bloated -perhaps due to three too many bailey's last night at a chic singles games night hosted in the city.

I was pleased to find the hostess splendidly decked in the lovely bronze via spiga strappy heels I sold her some time ago.

Maybe I really shouldn't give up on the shoe biz just yet!

Speaking of which, I wore the beaded nicole miller sandals for the very first time last night, accentuated with perfectly french pedicured feet. Felt like an effortless beauty.

Will be unleashing the patent baby phat ribboned stiletto pumps on stage tonigt. That should be quite an event!

Will also be brandishing the snake skin BCBG open side pumps... better put a lock on my suitcase cause I cannot afford to lose any of my prized possessions.

So I am clearly another shoe freak, patiently collecting my way to the Imelda Club. Admittedly addicted to designer shoes... lots of women love shoes but not all are label snobs. Studies have shown that women in their twenties spend more on shoes, clothes and jewellry than any other age group. I spend handsomely on shoes and designer suits and I have an ecclectic artsy taste in accessories (brands dont matter there, just style).

I like and appreciate nice things and make no apology for that. I work hard and I spend my money on things worth having and keeping.

I believe that combining a blue pin stripe shirt with a black pin strip tailored bottom is a work of art. I am alone in that sentiment but I give not a damn.

My style reflects my inner rebel, the mad creative who insists on marching to her own beat. I know all the rules, and I know how to bend them. Call me weird , eccentric, funky, stylish, diva, whatever... my style is me!

Monday, October 30, 2006

Tempered Passion

One of the greatest difficulties of being born a Leo is the intense passion which tends to consume me in matters of the heart. When you love, you love deeply and because of the intensity, when it hurts, it hurts like a muthafricker. Imagine what happens when two Leos combine those mad forces.

So I am really trying to slow mi roll, After all, I rolling stone gathers no moss.

There isn't a time limit to love but there seems to be some way to avoid heartbreak by taking things slowly. But how does one slow down a fast moving brakeless train that has already gathered momentum unless by by derailing it?

And if you derail a train and get it to stop, would you not have lost key parts in the mangled remains? And what about the safety of the passengers.

In this euphoria of something new and totally wonderful, I just feel like the best thing is to let passion go. Reason should have exerted itself before this point.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Give Praise Children

The older I get, the more I realise how important it is to be present.

I have been holding on to some element or another of my past for the last few years and its time to really focus on right now.
If I cannot see whats immediately infront of me, I cant plan for a future. If I cannot appreciate where I am now, I will never appreciate future success because I will always be looking for things, circumstances and people to make me happy.

I am grateful to be in the place I am now and my heart sings praises to God. I am complete in this moment, whether its a happy moment or a sad moment. They are both side sides of the same coin.

As much as understanding history and the reasons for past mistakes and learning from them, and all the disappointments along the way, one cannot LIVE in it. Makes no sense to dream about something that has already gone wrong.

Decisions have been made... and consequences result. Got to live with them.

I know I did the best I could at every point along the way. No use in dwelling. I just know what will happen if similar situaltions present right now. I have already learnt those lessons. Back then, I did what was true to me. In the process, I grew, I expanded and I reached higher levels of self awareness through it all.

So I give thanks for now, this present moment. the next isn't promised to anyone.

I am living my best life, one present moment at a time.

Give thanks for wisdom.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

The Son of a Preacher Man

Billy Ray was a preacher's son
And when his daddy would visit he'd come along
When they gathered around and started talkin'
That's when Billy would take me walkin'
Out through the back yard we'd go walkin'
Then he'd look into my eyes
Lord knows, to my surprise

The only one who could ever reach me
Was the son of a preacher man
The only boy who could ever teach me
Was the son of a preacher man
Yes he was, he was, ooh, yes he was

Bein' good isn't always easy
No matter how hard I try
When he started sweet-talkin' to me
He'd come'n tell me "Everything is all right"
He'd kiss and tell me "Everything is all right"
Can I get away again tonight?

The only one who could ever reach me
Was the son of a preacher man
The only boy who could ever teach me
Was the son of a preacher man
Yes he was, he was, ooh, yes he was (yes he was)

How well I remember
The look that was in his eyes
Stealin' kisses from me on the sly
Takin' time to make time
Tellin' me that he's all mine
Learnin' from each other's knowin'
Lookin' to see how much we've grown and

(The only one who could ever reach me)
He was the sweet-talkin' son of a preacher man
(The only boy who could ever teach me)
Was the son of a preacher man
Yes he was, he was, ooh, yes he was (yes he was)

On Joy and Sorrow

Kahlil Gibran

Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.
And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears.
And how else can it be?
The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.
Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter's oven?
And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood that was hollowed with knives?
When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.
When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.

Some of you say, "Joy is greater thar sorrow," and others say, "Nay, sorrow is the greater."
But I say unto you, they are inseparable.
Together they come, and when one sits, alone with you at your board, remember that the other is asleep upon your bed.

Verily you are suspended like scales between your sorrow and your joy.
Only when you are empty are you at standstill and balanced.
When the treasure-keeper lifts you to weigh his gold and his silver, needs must your joy or your sorrow rise or fall.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

To All the Men I Have Loved Before....

Thank you for sharing some very memorable (and forgettable) moments in my life.

You have to bear with me if I fail to remember your surnames- marriage was never foremost.

But really though, the most important thing is that there are a select few who actually added meaningfully to my existence.

For all the good times (bottoms up)...

And no, this is NOT the equivalent to drunk-dialling your ex!

Friday, October 06, 2006

Bullet! Bullet!!

Read the lyrics from "We are the Champions of the World by Queen and then click on the link at the bottom of the post. I promise you, it will be worth it!

I've paid my dues -
Time after time -
I've done my sentence
But committed no crime -
And bad mistakes
I've made a few
I've had my share of sand kicked in my face -
But I've come through

We are the champions - my friends
And we'll keep on fighting - till the end -
We are the champions -
We are the champions
No time for losers
'Cause we are the champions - of the world -

I've taken my bows
And my curtain calls -
You brought me fame and fortuen and everything that goes with it
I thank you all -

But it's been no bed of roses
No pleasure cruise -
I consider it a challenge before the whole human race -
And I ain't gonna lose -

We are the champions - my friends
And we'll keep on fighting - till the end -
We are the champions -
We are the champions
No time for losers
'Cause we are the champions - of the world -

Monday, October 02, 2006

Random Musing

Sheer Almshouse!! says:
I stepped away from the cheesecake earlier...but could n't resist the icebox
My clean diet is screwed when I get hungry

Boss Man says:
hahaha...did another pound bite the dust or what

Sheer Almshouse!! says:
well.. bout 1/8 pound... means an extra 15 mins of post workout soca frenzy

BossMan says:'ve been dancing it off

Sheer Almshouse!! says:
and instead of buying protein shake, i bought shoes...

Boss Man says:

Sheer Almshouse!! says:
i will be dancing it off

Boss Man says:
you should really have your own sitcom..that was hilarious

Boss Man says:
you're a woman's woman...

Sheer Almshouse!! says:
be better if i were a man's woman.. i wouldnt have to resort to the soca solo... i am WAY better suited for the horizontal tango

Boss Man says:
hahaha (compliments deleted)

Sheer Almshouse!! says:
mi gone home... got to do my weights tonight and the wine up ting before i feel too spent.
mi think mi goign to buy a go- go shoes and practice a likkle ting in front of the mirror
variety is the spice of life
and acting like a rey rey may give me vibes
is years now Stiacy Simit dont unleash
mi need a new hair too
like a red hair or platinum hair

Boss Man says:
Bongo Natty Iyah!!!
Stacy Simit...wid a new done now!!!

Sheer Almshouse!! says:
glad to make you laugh... ....
Boss Man says:
Thanks are the every respect of the word....Love...B

Friday, September 29, 2006


People keep on complaining that I am not blogging enough these days... that's because i have to feel as though I have something worth writing about!

For example, tonight is Friday. I came home before night fell, undressed, showered, and had an apple while i chatted with an ex on messenger.

I know these are supposed to be prime dating years but whats' the point? I had the silly "let's get to know each other" conversations. In fact, I dont want to "get to know" any raas body! If mi nuh know u already.. my get juuuk still!

What I much prefer are lyming sessions. And there are plenty of those. My friends lyme during the week, much less on a weekend. But since lyming is centred around alcohol and yours truly watching calories.. the safest bet is really my studio! I mean even my own bottles of absolut and cranberry fail to be irresistible in the sultry ambiance of the fridge making too much noise and the fucking chinese glee club (sorry,I will try to be more neighbourly next time).

I may as well stay home... calories are hidden everywhere and I am now obssessed in keeping them at bay. After working out 6 days a week, I have every reason to be paranoid.

Inspite of everything, I'd rather work out like a lunatic and obssess about "good calories" than have taxi men call me "my size!" I have funny memories of my skinny driver calling this out to very fat women as he took me to and from school, and putting those words into a sentence describing me immediately puts a dreadful spin on what was then funny!



People keep on complaining that I am not blogging enough these days... that's because i have to feel as though I have something worth writing about!

For example, tonight is Friday. I came home before night fell, undressed, showered, and had an apple while i chatted with an ex on messenger.

I know these are supposed to be prime dating years but whats' the point? I had the silly "let's get to know each other" conversations. In fact, I dont want to "get to know" any raas body! If mi nuh know u already.. my get juuuk still!

What I much prefer are lyming sessions. And there are plenty of those. My friends lyme during the week, mcuh less on a weekend. But since lyming is centred around alcohol and yours truly watching calories.. the safest bet is really my studio! I mean even the bottles of absolut and cranberry fail to be irresistible in the sultry ambiance of the fridge making too much noise and the fucking chinese glee club (sorry,I will try to be more neighbourly next time).

I may as well stay home... calories are hidden everywhere and I am now obssessed in keeping them at bay. After working out 6 days a week, I have every reason to be paranoid.

Inspite of everything, I'd rather wwork out like a lunatic and obssess about "good calories" than have taxi men call me "my size!" I have funny memories of my skinner driver calling this out to very fat women as he took me to and from school, and putting those words into a sentence describing me immediately puts a dreadful spin on what was then funny!


Monday, September 25, 2006

Carnival Baby

Its decided. I am not only going back again to Trinidad next year, but I have already selected the costume I want to play mas in.

The earth woman in me had to go back for another applicable theme and for 2007, the Island People band is where its at for me. Thee theme will be "Sahara", coming from "The Forest" in their debut in 2006.

While I played as a "Tree" in the forest this year, in 2007, I will be a "Nubian" in the sahara. Cowrie shells, bangles, mohawks and all, this costume is fierce and decidely afro chic...all synonyms for moi.

See pic below....

Less is More

So it seems I am slowly shrinking back to a size that is more in keeping with the majority of the clothes hung in my closet.

After busting my ass six times per week, and eating like a goat, its good to know that there is some amount of justice in this world.

I feel invigorated, refreshed and ready to take on all the flipping idiots who present with too many acts of bull to name.

I have a few bets on too.. so by the hook or by the crook, this behind will soon cease to be so dogone voluptuously vulgar.

Here's to climbing mountains and reaching peaks,


Monday, September 18, 2006

Of Hearts and Minds

I am tired of being alone and yet scared of love because in love we find both life and death.

Monday, August 21, 2006


anyway you take it, decisions delayed are decisions made

Monday, August 14, 2006

Moving Mountains

This weight loss THE RIGHT AND HARD WAY is such an incredible excercise in patience!

The pounds dont melt off because you want them to, and just when you get into a groove, something happens to disrupt your routine, and BRAPS EVERYTHING threatens to rain on your parade.

But every problem has a solution.

The race is not for the swift

Endurance. This is one helluva thing. It means that no matter what comes your way, rain or shine, sleet or snow, you will trudge on pressing for the higher goal.

Sometimes the road ahead is so bleak that we cannot see that the sun will come out, but its in these times when we have visualize and conjure the sight, heat and beauty of the sun.

"Aint nothing gonna break my stride
Nothing's gonna hold me down
Oh no, I've got to keep on MOVING!"

Love and Positive Vibrations.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Set Like Rain

And so they sat, lighting candles and singing sankeys, waiting for Fidel to find his way to the grave... and as they sang, the old Cuban women wise in the ways of Santeria, turned back their spell on them... making sure that Hezbollah and Al Queda would run out dem whats-it-not out of the middle east.

Yenge mama gimme yenge!!!!

Thanks to Guyanese newspaper, Stabroek News for cartoon.

Happy BDay Papi Castro

What can I say, August is the birth month of Fidel Castro, Marcus Garvey, "Crack is Wack Whitney" and me.

I tell you, there is something absolutely powerful about our leonine tendencies.... we do things big and with much passion and gusto, and if we fall, we drop "BooF" (whitney houston).

Papi Castro, Viva la Revolucion!!

Get well my dear hero.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Happy Birthday BC Me!!

Kali says:
how old are you?
Sheer Almshouse says:
20 fucking 6
Kali says:
wow! that's a good age
Kali says:
perfect. still young, but now wise enough
and plenty of time to still do what it is you realy want to do
to hell with everyone else
that's the way i see it
at 26 everything is possible, nothing seems too late
it never really is, but after a certain point it sure SEEMS that way!

Three years ago today , Miss Lou, the Jamaican cultural icon sang happy birthday to my when I interviewed her. Today, she is being buried at the National Hero's Park. Great things happen on this day!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

The Original Bad Man

Get well soon Papa. You know that I still have to come and pose in a pikcha wid you like seh a we run tings!

Gwaan thru Papa Castro...!

Monday, August 07, 2006

Unbridled Spirit

I have some red ants in my pants.

For over 10 years I have felt the need to travel (for exploration) as innate as the spinster's pre-menopausal maternal pangs .

For many reasons, (including money), I have postponed this sojourn repeatedly. I could have lived in Japan, and travelled the far east but I turned it down for "stability." I also could have lived in Trinidad but yet again, I turned it down. I guess the stone that has been rolling all her life gets a little frustrated with not having acquired any moss.

I cannot even go for a late night walk in Jamaica. Yesterday I really wanted to drive up to the Blue Mountains alone but feared that it may not be the wisest thing since I was not familiar in (as opposed to "with") the area. Mi just tired of how violent this country has come and I am tired of looking over my shoulder. I feel like a walking bundle of paranoia, and it just not right. Mi sure know seh Paul Bogle and Sam Sharpe a turn in dem grave fi all of the senseless killing that tekking place.

Its not even as though we are from biological tribes with motives for factions...di eediat dem name demself off warring territories and tek up a fight that they have no reason for- except boredom and unemployment.

Pork barrel politics feed laziness and hand stretching , and decades later, everytime you reach a stoplight, 3 children begging you money and there are at least 20 young men who feel entitled to your possessions, and the right to make a duppy out of you.

Having taken these last two years to really focus on staying in the same place and keeping the same home number for longer than a few months, what have I got? I feel as though my world has gotten increasingly smaller and its closing in on me.

I just feel the strong desire to travel with my camera, laptop and journal. I know I need to live outside Jamaica.... this "small island" perspective is a very close-minded way of viewing reality.

I am planning on going to Europe next year. I am saving for the cameral and the travel expenses in the mean time.

I am also re-thinking film school. Why not just really seize the day? There are so many things that are unchangeable... and maybe I have simply picked the wrong battles.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Win Some, Lose Some

Life's a bitch, and then you die.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

who am i

we struggle so hard to find ourselves
to label
to define
but did we realise that labels themselves confine?

Why cant we be the sum total of our names
the multiples of of experiences

woman/young /black/ educated/poor/ bright/promising/ graceful/ childless / spinster- the tags make us easy to describe, but no better to understand

can a bright person be dull?
a beauty beastlike?
what happens when we fall from grace or rise from the pits?

but who are you?
and what will your answer be?
who am I?
I am me.

(C) sheer almshouse, august 2, 2006

True to Myself

I dont think I ever really knew what my key talent was. Well yes, I could write ok... and I showed some potential at photography, I was a nice soprano in choir, an aggressive defender in football, good at styling hair, and seemed always to have a style slightly different from the rest, hated the constant pratice of math and piano, and unlike beethoven or mozart and all the little stupid prodigies, I never knew that Ireally had anything special about me.

I mean, yes I was told i was brilliant as a child but honestly, but frankly, that was more child psychology and motivational speech than anything else.

It wasn't until I saw myself on camera at 16 years, along with the rest of Jamaica, that I realised that Hey... maybe there is a lil fire in me. It wasnt until my first internship at CPTC that I finally belonged. Finding myself in television, was as I wrote at 16 , "an almost euphoric experience."

I still think I am a late bloomer. I have lots to say but I still struggle to find my voice. I'll be damned if I'll let them shut me up before the first note has sounded. The fat lady has yet to sing.

Monday, July 31, 2006

A Man and His Belly

I have been having heated discussions with my ex about my cooking. Seems like the forgetful one thinks that I never cooked enough.

The ex prior agrees, but he shouldn't say squat with all those steaks, post roasts, oxtail and curry goat dishes that he got out of me. Dont even talk about the lobster, conch and fish tea, as I made up for 20 years of him living away from Jamaica.

I've been cooking more though. More salads and everything. I can barely turn in my kitchen but there is something truly wonderful about making your own meals. I a fabulously healthy chef too! Men dont too fancy healthy cooking.

Mission Most Possible

Having completed the redecoration of di yard, I have surged full steam into Project Me. I quit a really bad habit, and have resumed other good ones that really were so far removed from my routine in the past 18 months that they really couldnt be properly defined as "habits" anymore.

I have resumed regular excercise with a vengeance. Even though I have always been active (the last 18 months deleted from all mention of activity), I have NEVER even tried to workout fro more than 4 days TOPS per week. Now, I am doing 6 days, whether or not I feel like.

Its a HUGE excercise in discipline and delayed gratification. But I am determined that I will have my teen body back. Yes I damn well want to have my cake and eat it. I want to have a body that belies my age to the lower end of the scale while possessing intellect and maturity at the top end.

Anyway, the real thing is that I really dont have space for clothes of FOUR dress sizes. I figure its better to stick to one. So i picked a number between 1 and 10 and I am working towards it.

But by far, my most compelling motivation is my belief that the older I get, the better I should look.

Here's to a hot stepping granny!

Friday, July 28, 2006

Bon Voyage!

If inertia is the resistance to change, I am slowing coming into motion.

I'm moving on!

Press along saints, press along!

Enough of this Rubish!+

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

The Settlers

Life is short and filled with misery. That's why good things are worth having and soulmates worth loving.

Without love, life is meaningless, as much as the act itself is a friggin pain in the ass.

I guess we are liars. We fail to be bold and fearless in love and end up in half empty relationships and marriages doomed for failure. So many of us would rather be with the one that is right on paper than who satisfies our soul.

Maybe the perennial dilemma of my twenty-something years is that at my core, I'm too honest with myself to settle. How can I knowingly accept a half empty cup when I know what it is like to be filled?

How can you?

Monday, July 24, 2006

Hindsight is 20/20

An opthalmologist told me I had 20/20 vision and prescribed me glasses.

I have made so many mistakes by analysing the hell out of situations and thinking about what others would think. If I cannot please my own damn self, what is the point in trying to please others?

Aww fuck.. I REALLY have too much time on my hands! I think I am going to jump the fence and dive into my neighbour's pool. Its so much nicer when your neighrbours have these things. They pay for the maintenance and you have all the fun.

Ahh Shut Up Already!

I have been fantasising with the idea of running away to a real strange place for the past few years.

I think its a need for shock therapy. Maybe living in a strange country with a strange language and totally foreign culture will distract me from myself.

Then I could smile and tell people things I could never get away with in Jamaica.

Sometimes living alone sucks.

I feel so retrograde. To think I have gone from cohobiting to being in love to being single for nearly three years.

Hell I dont want to think so friggin much but I just have too much time on my hands.

I think I need to start writing plays or something- at least I get to decide how things are.

Climatic Encounters

"We use orgasms to make up for all that's lacking everywhere else"

Woody Allen in Annie Paul

Friday, July 21, 2006

Reality Check

The following articulates something that I am feeling rather well, so I wont bother to write. It was written by T. Horton...

Why do we want life to be different than it is? Why do we think about who we were and who we’re going to be more than who we are now? Why do we try to predict the future with the hope that wishful thinking is enough to change it? Life is NOT the way it was. It’s the way it is. Life is not our fantasy predictions of the future or our glory days of the past. Life is that thing that is happening to you as you read this. We fall into the trap of past and future because we think the here and now is not good enough. Back then and up there are keeping you from right now.

This crazy cycle of mind hockey stems from our inability to stop caring about what we think other people think of us. The truth is that other people aren’t thinking about you as much as you think they are. We lament for days, weeks, or years over some comment made in passing, by someone who forgot what they said two minutes after saying it. Other people’s opinions of us are none of our business. Their opinions are their unfinished business.

If you want positive long-term change in life, accept the truth of your situation and ignore the people that don’t support it. Let go of your ego and find ways to love who you are right now. Living in the past, the future, and for others destroys your ability to stay in the moment. Life has peaks and valleys, ups and downs, lessons and celebrations. This is how we grow and learn. If you’re struggling with your finances, get financial advice. If you’re unhappy with your health and fitness, EXCERCISE!. You could do nothing and hope that it all gets better on its own, or you could open a new door and find some answers. “You can’t solve a problem with the same brain that created it.” —Albert Einstein.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Three Dimensional Purview

Its weird. It seems like the longer I stay single, the more I learn about love and relationships and more importantly, about how I am as it relates to both.

There is something incredibly revelatory when we step away and take a bird's view.
I am seriously at a high point in my learning curve, as I reconcile the idealism of childhood with the realism of adulthood sans the tantrums.

I guess I am getting more and more "at peace" with myself and life, and really voicing my concerns, expectations, limitations, falure and success.

It means that when I feel like complaining about the freaking chinese people and the pigs in the worforce, I am at libery to do so. It also means that I also step away from the clutter to enjoy moments that make you simply happy to be alive.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Schizophrenic Disorders

Have you ever what in the world could make people snap and turn up to work/school with heavy powered weapons and annihiliate their miserable coworkers/ classmates/teachers?

I mean not even I can fathom how on earth people who drive you to the brink of insanity daily could eventually drive you over the edge!

Its as though the barrel brings out the in the worst in crabs.

I mean, if one has to show up everyday with the most miserable countenance and doing nothing but curse and bite the hands that feed them, honestly, if you hate the place, stay home!

I find that much of the Jamaican workforce is too caught up in playing the brow-beaten roles instead of taking responsibility for their own destiny. It's as though passing on the blame that "dem poeople ya dis".."management dis," and "government dis," exonerates one from being a personal failure.

Its not your mother's fault that you are incompetent and stop blaming your father for your commitment issues! ITs not government's fault that you have no ambition and prefer to steal or beg rather than suffer the "indiginity" of working the low paid jobs that you have quallified for.

This country is full of people pointing fingers, laying the blame on someone else, from parliament, to industries, to big scandals..."it wasn't me." People, either shut the fuck up or grow up!

Monday, July 17, 2006

The Madness of King George

You know when you look at someone- it may be a friend, who is immensly talented and full of promise and that person will just not make something of him/herself? They may struggle with substance abuse (legal/illegal), or wrangle with a past that seems to overwhelming to get by and you just see them slowly waste in sadness and depresssion and then try to drown their sorrows in alcohol, sex or whatever.

Its sad.

All of us have a touch of madness... that's what keeps us interesting... however, sometimes that line between sanity and sheer insanity seems so thin that its hard to figure who's where.

The fact is that everyone is grappling with his or her demons. We are just lucky. And who knows, we may not always be.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Invasion of the Chinese

Downtown Kingston might as well be renamed Chinatown. The chinese immigrants have taken over the wholesale shops, selling everythign from Ghucci to multicoloured flip floss in mass. It wouldnt be bad if they stayed down there, it seems like they prefer to live uptown- and into my complex.

DOnt ask me how 15 pairs of shoes of varying sizes can be on the verandah of a studio apartment. How many people are supposed to hold in a studio anyway? I cannot even find a lime on the tree, even though it grows nearest to me... they are always attacking it.

If you miss anythign, you can find it in their apartment. just ask my neighbour who had left four chairs in the washroom, only to find it missing. Turns out slit eyes were cooling out on them- what else you expect- they need all the seats.

But even worse than rumaging through and begging me for items in my rubbish, was the momemnt i steepe dout my bathroom to see this balsted chunese woman skinnig har teet and looking around at my new decor. Mi nevah even reach pon dem verandah.. how di hell she reach in mi yaard?

I dont know how communal the living is in communist china but in jamaica, we keep to wisself.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Project Me

I have given up on two things siultaneously. One was a bad habit. The other was an activity. I wont divulge more. The removal of these crutches have forced me to reclaim my centre through yoga and pilates.

I have done my yoga practice twice for the wekk already. I cannot believe that I stopped practising for such a long time- no regular practice in over 1 year! Every stretch is painful because my body had gotten fat from sedentary days, weeks and months, my muscles are tight an all flexibility gained at the height of my practice has wained.

It appears that I have been embarking on "Project Me"- a lifetime journey that get ramped up in specific phases and stages. First it was the car, then the redecoration, then the spritual cleansing, then the cleansing of bad habits and behaviours and the challenge of attitudinal change via regular yoga and meditation, along with routine excercise and dietary modifications.

I am essentially cleansing myself of 18 months - 3 years of things that were not good for me. I am working on me instead of waiting for things to fall into place. Life has a way of attracting good to those who are in a good place.

The Kids Corner

As it seems, my place is becomming the hang out spot for the under 10 residents of my complex.

This Sta they will be coming to watch Wallace & Grommit, one even suggested that she would bring along a friend. I guess animated DVDS and homade icecream is the under 10 version of adult wine & cheese tet-a-tetes.

But hey, children like good people- what can I say?

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Decorator At Large

OK.. so its official. I have completed the re-design of my studio apartment.

Its just so nice to be in a space that has been purposefully arranged.

I still have a few features to work on but the major work is done and the best part is I have lots to show for it.

I think maybe its the wall colours but yesterday I had a unicef convention held in here. The black, indian, and chinese children all came by me. I am thinking now of getting kids dvds and buying an icecream maker so that we can do fun stuff from time to time.

Maybe I am really getting old. Well, its still better than being the crazy cat lady.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

On Becoming A Woman

Adulthood is overrated.

According to my dear cousin, "in all my years of growing up, and looking forward to be grown, i never anticipated that adulthood would be such a letdown. Its not that I did not expect hard times, but bwoy this is so anticlimatic."

I agreed and replied " I think I need to see a shrink."

"Shrinks have shrinks."

I guess we are stuck.

Friday, June 16, 2006

This Too Shall Past

I have been feeling quite strange recently. Its just like the rains have come and poured a serious funk.

I'm having bad days back to back.


Torn Jeans & Dirty Sneakers

I was feeling surprisingly peaceful this morning- until I got bombarded with damage control and crisis management issues.Its amazing how this just sucks energy from you... especially on days when staying in bed just seemed like the best option anyway.

I miss working in TV. I miss wearing torn jeans and old sneakers to work when I pleased.At least then the "on air" time was limited and one could go back into a funk as soon as the cameras went off.

My heart is not here. In fact, I really dont know where it is... it seems to have gotten lost in translation.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Dancing With Depression

“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
the courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference."

Reinhold Niebuhr

Babbling Fool

I was goign to write something truly profound. Then I realised that I have absolutely nothing meaningful to say.

I must be the world's stupidest person. Who else needs three alarms to wake up and still happens to be late?

Mornings are truly overrated.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Chronological Disorder

I just got an email from a former coworker greatly discouraging the tendency to delay childbirth for too long.

"Senior citizens forget everything."

Well, I might as well be called that because I have as much memory as a diskette. That's why I have a palm.

I just need to remember to put everything in it and to walk with it. Oh, and to check it all the time.

As far as I see it, children are mucho fabuloso, but without being born to two loving married parents, it can be even hotter hell.

Its bad enough that you have to breast feed every two hours and change poo poo as often, but can you imagine if you had to go it all alone? Its too much of a darling experience for one person.

So, the donation of DNA soes not a child make. Lets not count the eggs before we even get chickens!

If I end up shrivelled and childless, worse things have happened to mankind.


There's something to be said about being in a state of thanksgiving.

Its certainly reassuring to believe in divine order and that all things work together for good. How could could we handle the fact that we are simply a pack of bind rats scampering to get to a multi-directional finish line?

The Battle Continues- But I'm Out

I have been receiving interesting comments on the entry titled "Battle of the Sexes."

Let me first apologise to the wonderful men who I have come across, who were not at all depicted in my diatribe. But really, you are the exception- just ask all the females you know. Nevertheless, we celebrate that there are exceptions. Intellectual viability is possible people!

One male friend was amazed that my blog echoed a conversation he had recently with a male friend esp.. the paragraph about "for every woman there is 1/6 of a Jamaican man." Apparently the friend is a returning resident and was quite appalled that there was such a huge gap between the sexes.

Anway, there are so many other things that are going on right now that the whole idea of spending all these brainwaves trying to analyze the socio-economic dating situation in Jamaica just seems quite frankly- pointless!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Finding the Artist Within

Sometimes I feel stifled by the straight jacket I feel I have put myself in. Creativity must always be nurtured and expressed, not restricted. How many artists wander up the corporate ladder only to wake up decades later to find themselves at the top of their game, but at odds with who they truly are?

The painters have been putting me off to paint my place for a week now, and I am getting increasingly frustrated. Didn't they get the memo? I DECORATING! So what if it took me all of two years to be frustrated into making my space more personal? I guess the nonsense preamble above was really about trying to find an excuse to dabble in some paint.

I never intended to have any artistic faux finishes, but with my own inability to be entirely clinical, I am sure the result will at least be "interesting."

It will be a continuous process. I am now working on the accessories. Am toying with the idea of displaying my own photographs and charcoal drawings. That would take additional work (printing of photos) and framing of both. But hey... I'll get to really have an exhibition...well.. of sorts.

Uncommon Sense

There are some days when things just fall into cosmic order and then they are others.

Like knowing you are going to lock yourself out of your apartment at midnight in your pyjamas, discarding the premonition, only realise once you accidentally close the door, that you have just screwed up. The worst part is you knew it, but overestimated your own common sense...

So, having been forced to sleep in another bed, I wasted half the night counting sheep. First it was backways from 100, then polka dotted sheep, then zebra striped sheep, then a few times from 1-100. I had to get creative because simple clearly wasn't cutting it.

Anyway, the one good thing about summer when u are no longer in school is that the traffic gets reduced to nothingness. Now, I really get to benefit from living 3 mins from work when no one is on the road. The best part is that it will continue everyday like this for the next 1 1/2 months!

Monday, June 05, 2006

Battle of the Sexes

Photo: How Not to Make an Impression

I swear, it's either that men are simpletons or women are just too deep.

Even the way we love seems different.

A guy can be deeply, madly in love with one woman and jump right into another relationship the minute the first one ends.
The same woman, may take months to even look at another guy and years to get back into a relationship.

Anyway, we might as well just not bother because let me warn you: its a dreadful world out there when it comes to dating.

I have come across those with prepaid phones and no credit; those with perpetual "h" problems; those who spit back bones at dinner; those who think that saying they want to marry you on the second date is ok; those that think "i want to breed you" is a compliment... and it actually gets worse.

My papa may have raised livestock but I dont consider myself apart of the collective.

If young men today can simply be taught: How to Portray Yourself When Looking for Companionship, this world would be a better place. I guess that's why the guys who consider themselves eligible are busy making themselves available to as many women as possible -simultaneously.

It's a man's world where dating in Jamaica is concerned. For every smart, empowered woman, there is literally, 1/6 of a man. After all, less of them have bothered to be educated yet, alone to find an honest living. If one were to open up to consider the illiterate and those involved in illegal activity, one's options would immediately widen.

Whose fault was it that we got into this book learning and had to prove that we were brighter than the boys?

But I really have to admire the confidence of the ordinary Jamaican man. What a thing when a man on a bicycle has no qualms about riding up to well-manicured woman in a benz and "put lyrics to har." And speaking of which, the sweetest lyrics I ever received came from a young man selling roses on the Matilda's corner. He said " I may not be rich in wealth but I am rich in love and passion.."

What more could a woman really want?!?

That Blasted Rainy Day

Photo: Lovers in Boston, Portland

What's up with all the rain?

I guess the 2006 Atlantic Hurrican season had to start with a bang. Interpretation: stationary surface trough that has resulted in rainy, cold, gloomy and grey days.

I have long established that living in the UK is not an option for me... and "winter" is a farfetched concept for the person who has deliberately avoided that time for travel. I am after all a warm-blooded woman from the tropics.

I normally love the rainy seasons of May, June and October. However, this June is posing one helluva problem for me.

Is like seh, all of a sudden the I wake up and realise seh "is a cold rahtid bed the I a sleep inna" and it dont seem like anybody fit the post of Regular All Night Bed Warmer.

The ideal candidate:
-Must be able to maintain intelligent (and other) conversation
-Must be able to appreciate all kinds of movies
-Must not snore
-Must be willing to stay up late regularly
-Must be open to cuddling when desired
-Must be willing to take intiative to plan events leading to slumber
-Must be spontaneous
-Must be "spirit-tekkable"

Of course, the only person who fits that discription is me. Enough said.

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Aunt Rosa

Pudding Pan

Going back to the roots...

Mocho, referred to by many as "back a God", is the birthplace of my mother. Known for being a little far from "civilization", the Mocho Mountain range is home to many districts filled warm and friendly people who depict the best traits of humanity.

Its good to go home...even though I never lived there because the kinship keeps us connected to each other and ourselves.

Blessings to Vashtoria "Miss Modda" Allison and Harold "Papa" Allison -may his soul rest in peace.

Saturday, April 29, 2006


Yeas... that's a black man with a surf board... in Ja at that!

Washed Up

Friday, April 28, 2006

Defining Moments

Sweet, Sweet St. Mary
By SheerAlmshouse

I can still close my eyes and smell the earth, freshly roused by the daily rainfall. I see the smiles of adults and children as we pass them on the narrow trail-like road. They stand to the side as they hear the loud engine of the 70s Volkswagen bug approach.

I can still smell the sweet high country landscape covered with sugarcane, cocoa and banana trees. All these rich images will help to form the woman I will become, the woman I am –when I open my eyes.

I cannot help but visiting this profoundly visual and inspirational place when I think of what St. Mary represents to me. The memories go back over two decades. It seems longer in theory but still, somehow, it feels like yesterday.

My daddy grew up in the parish of his birth, and the birth of several generations of Morrison’s and Thompsons, to whom we are undoubtedly related. After all, in the Jamaican countryside, anyone who shares your name is seen as your cousin. We even describe them as second, and third cousins, indicating the strong families ties even where the blood bond weakens.

Theirs was a very small district that we called “Montry Gayle,” -which I have yet to locate on a map- in which my grandmother grew up. It wasn’t until recently that my grandmother set me straight that the village was in fact “Mount Regale,” located about three miles from Richmond. This was the place to which I would later travel with my father on weekends. As the only child for almost a decade, I was happy to make the journey with him.

My daddy always had a love for the land and everything living on it. He respected agriculture, and years of “upwardly mobile” university studies could not detach those heartstrings. He started raring goats, then went to pigs as he tried to find which hat suited him best as educated farmer.

It was on those regular weekend trips that my father and I would bond. He played the multiple roles of parent, playmate, comforter and educator as we took the country road to and from Kingston. It was then that I developed a keen interest in geography and social studies, and later in landscapes and of course, long winding trips into the countryside.

I remember playing with the children of the adopted daughter of my great grandmother, Mammy, climbing trees and taking turns running to the spring, turning many corners for about two miles uphill, and then sliding down the always wet, clay-like, rich St. Mary soil to the place where cool, sweet water poured from rocks.

My mother would lament the state of my clothes to my father upon our return from these trips. I played coy but I just could not resist the urge to slide down the slopes near the spring. I was a city girl on the loose in the country. Those Adventures of Sheer Almshouse came to an end the day I slipped and actually rolled all the way down. That was the last I saw of my favourite Popeye sweater and pink gingham skirt because I stuffed them under the guest bed at Mammy’s. Surely, I could not play the fool with my mother any longer.

It’s been years since I have visited St. Mary. The last time was a gathering of generations of Thompsons at the roots from which they sprung. It might have been the last. It seems that every generation rebels against the land and fights its hardest to be as far from it as possible.

We have a saying that “ wantie wantie cyaa gettie and gettie gettie no wantie.” Translated, it means “those who want it cant get it and those who get it don’t want it.” “It” here refers to any object desired. This seems ironic on so many different levels as I sit on an antique kitchen chair on a large step that doubles as a verandah for my studio apartment in the heart of noisy, nosey and peaceless Kingston.

I have essentially become a city girl with a country heart. I know the names of my neighbours, and I always make it a duty to smile and say hello. But even “hellos” now seem stifled in the concrete jungle. However, every time I come across bananas or sugarcane originating from St. Mary in the market, I have to ask the vendor’s surname- who knows? We may very well be related.

Passa Passa

December 2003

Last night, make that early Thursday morning, what in essence was Christmas morning, I took my flu-ridden self out of bed, out the door, into the streets of Tivoli Gardens for my first dose of “Passa Passa.”

Having reached there somewhere after four am, we were treated to a long “talk pon mike” session where the sound selectors allowed upcoming, and perhaps all too struggling artists to ‘bless the mike” with a sample of their pieces. I thought that maybe we had come too late and that the dance was over. I was to find out otherwise.

“Excusing” our way through the jam-packed street audience, I realized that this was by all means “the street dance” that my parents’ generation reminisce so sweetly about. We passed too many rough-looking creatures to make our “upwardl- mobilized” selves comfortable, but somehow, we managed to strike a balance by creating our own permanent “screw faces.” We had to hold the vibe.

Decked out and looking real cute the trio of us girls, seemed to be a sight for so many men of varied backgrounds who were (quite relievingly) prepared to simply admire from a distance.

The cliche “uptown meets downtown” is the phenomenon of “Passa Passa”, the weekly Wednesday night street dance in the streets of Tivoli Gardens. All animosity is put on hold as patrons dance up a storm to the latest music selected by the most engaging selectors I have personally ever heard. But I don’t get around much anymore.

“Fan them off, Thunder Clap, Signal di Plane, Pon di River, ” the selectors belted, guiding the crowd into a dancing frenzy. Old, young, rich and those who simply put aside their money woes, moved to the lastest dances in the dancehall. Yes, the dance is certainly back in the dancehall. And so is the expert selector who can keep a crowd eating out of his hands with the smoothest and most salient interjections coupled with the most appropriate songs.

The day is breaking, so I check my watch- 5:45 am and the dance is going on strong, in fact, it has just begun. All of a sudden, my too-protected-self simply lets go and allows the whole vibe to penetrate my being. From the looks of things, nobody is ready to go home. That was all good because, quite frankly, neither am I.

So we pranced and danced and inhaled the air that put us in a trance, holding this real “artical downtown vibe” until, people who looked like they were getting dressed to go somewhere started asking us “excuse” as they passed the sound boxes. It was quite a pregnant moment when an elderly lady, armed with her bible passed us by as we bubbled at the sound boxes, on her way to Christmas morning mass. We had to stop and ponder our carnality for a lingering second. The symbolism truly profound.

As soon as she was out of sight, we felt vindicated to continue in our revelry and that we did. We had breakfast at “Passa Passa” that Christmas morning; a meal of somewhat undercooked pan chicken and hard dough bread.

The sun came up on us at that blessed street dance and our true features were tested by the intensity. Not everybody holds up to daylight, and we were lucky to be given its stamp of approval, having checked ourselves through each others eyes. Of course, in the dancehall, image is everything.

So things have changed a little since my mother’s time. It seems like it’s no longer “bad blessing” for the “sun to come up on yuh face at a dance.” In fact, at “Passa Passa,” it must. Apparently, new tradition has it that one should leave the venue and head straight for work, making the necessary clothing modifications in the car. Thank goodness Boxing Day was a public holiday and I wasn’t slated to work!

The dance is back in the dancehall. I really got tired of seeing everybody standing and posing. Now everybody “a do the ‘Thunder Clap’”. Quite frankly, I love it!

So its 8:00 am and the dance is still going on strong. Our ride is ready, but we don’t like the vibe so we pass. We hitch a ride up Spanish Town Road to visit a friend, then jump on a bus heading straight downtown. We are a little self conscious, wearing party clothes in the bright morning, clearly “comin from Passa Passa” as many people inquired.

The dance was still going on… the bus had to drive though it. Of course, we made sure to “duck” our heads as we saw faces that we had danced with all night. We couldn’t simply be seen taking the “Chi Chi” bus from the venue, having looked so “uppity” in moments before. But we were still piqued for the adventure.

Since I will take temporary residence in a foreign country, it was most necessay for me to have the Passa Passa experience. Having danced unitl dawn and taken the bus home, I can assure that no matter how far I go, or how long I stay, I will always have to comeback to this blessed island home of “Passa Passa,” vibes, niceness, and so much more.

This is the Jamaica I love. Christmas 2004-“Passa Passa” here I come!

Carnival is cominggggg

These pics were taken from carnival in T & T (Trinidad and Tobago). You aint enjoyed carnival if you aint played mas in T & T! Big, fat, slim, or skinny....

St. Clair Police Station

The first night in TT, we went to pick up costumes in the elite bourgeois country club in Port of Spain only to return to find the car broken into. Well, the way TT run, is a good ting we were not around when it happened. I never been kidnapped before and probably wouldn't live to tell the tale.

Anyway, shit happens everywhere- not only in Jamaica.

And speaking of shit. Former TT Prime Minister Basdeo Panday will be spending two years in jail for not declaring funds in excess of US$250,000. However, after spending two nights, he has been released. His lawyers argue that he is in poor health.

Well, still better than the previous Jamaican Prime Minister who "forgot" that he owed roughly US$25, 000,000. How long would he be jailed for?

But you see, some politicians are simply untouchable!

Warm Cosy County Feeling

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Dr. Sonia Laveau and Mr. Selwyn Laveau have such a warm home. Maintained like a Caribbean country home, you step in and immediately feel at home. Look through every window and you will be transfixed in the lush hinterland that is Aunty Sonia's pride and joy... her ginger lily, impatiens covered garden.

Bring on the Beer

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The music doesn't really start playing until you get some alcohol in ya. "Where is the pitcher?!?" BTW- Carib beer sucks. Better off with Stag because finding a Red Stripe in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago is literally searching for a needle in a haystack. We dont mind anyway, because thankfully, our Jamaican bars are fully stocked with the good stuff. Ask for "Carib" in Ja and you will be directed to the cinema in Cross Roads (by that name).

And as far as beer is concerned, Jamaica is the only place I know where you ask for a beer and the bartender is likely to ask "hot or cold?"

You see, cold beer quenches thirts and hot beer (RED STRIPE OF COURSE) brings up gas.

Black and White

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Jouvert mawnin relic

Mek Mi Show You How Fi Pose

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Photographer: Dean Eccleston

Dr. Sonia Laveu demonstrates that the "cutey cutey" poses dont cut it. "Lift up yuh leg and pose!"

Jah Moves

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Photographer: Lisa-Marie Laveau

Welcome to the house of alms

In Jamaica, we mean something different when we say "almshouse." It isn't a place where the indigent go to for help but simply something "fucked up"- a verb.

There are many things that are fucked up about our island home, and about the world in general. This is not by any means, an attempt to exhaust the list.

But is nuff alsmhouse a gwaan and is either I make it bleed or it kill me.

Mi nuh ready fi dead yet!

But thi is not just for the purpose of identifying trash, mind you- I will leave that to the NSWMA. And you certainly wont find me articulating for "green peace" nor vegan, tofu, and soy extremes. I have lots to write about generally and lots of photos specifically that I would like to share.

So I guess this is some sort of "purpose" but the major problem is that there is none.

I was trained in media and communication and I respect the power of the web. Brats like me get to air grievances, accomplishments and dirty linen in public! And people like you would rather spend time reading my crap than doing all the things that you really ought to be doing.

Work sucks anyway- especially when you have to wear a suit!

Sheer Almshouse
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