Archives For July 2005

yesterday, hidden amoung the smoke and mirrors of the faux bombs in London, Congress voted to extended the Patriot Act. all under the guise of keeping `us` safe.

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part of the demo

July 21, 2005 — Leave a comment

i have a birthday coming up in about a month, give or take a couple of days and i realised that this is going to put me in the closing end of the `youth` demographic. not that i hold much store in these things but it get me thinking.

vic and i have done our part for the population explosion, me more so that her. we don`t have any pets and every week debate whether after we clear up our debt if we want to buy a house or continue renting.

the boychick is more than likely to go to college in about eight years, that would put us in our early 40s and want to travel. so the constant dilemma is, do we buy a house and where, or do we just squirrel the money away we would have spent on a house for us to travel when and where we feel like.

we like nashvegas, but housing prices here are skyrocketing and unless we get in on the cusp of `the next big thing` neighbourhood, i don`t think we can afford to live here. that begs the question, where do we move too and when do we move and can we get our house rented when we`re ready to travel? how will we pay our mortgage? do the questions never end?

are we slackers? i mean, we don`t own a home and don`t seem desirous of doing so, we`re struggling valiantly to be a one car household and the only vestige of being part of the demographic is the debt which we`re not actually increasing but not necessarily eliminating completely at the moment. should we have more ambition? vic is following her life`s dream and i`m supporting her and i`m content, do we need to be more ambitious?

In the Beginning

July 20, 2005 — Leave a comment

i`ve been listening to a lot of blues lately, not because i`m unhappy, to the contrary i`m incredibly happy these days. it`s like my fasination with the roots of words, listening to the blues is like having a historical education in popular music.

i got a chance to further my education by watching Lightning in Bottle — A one night history of the Blues, that featured performances by people like Clarene `Gatemouth` Brown, Solomon Burke, Robert Cray, Dr. John, Buddy Guy and of course, B. B. King. watching that dvd and listening to the performances you can hear where rock & roll, jazz and swing all started. sometimes as it`s obvious as Hound Dog and other times it`s just a nuance.

i love music, i`ve always said if i could pick a new career path, i would choose sound engineering for live shows. i`ve never had any real aspirations to be a musician, but i love listening to something and hearing the work that was put into it to achieve something that touches you every time you listen to it. at a live show there are so many variables to take into account and no opportunity for do overs

child’s play

July 19, 2005 — Leave a comment

i never found the time to do my Charlie and the Chocolate Factory review and it opened this weekend to lukewarm reviews. it`s kind of saddening that in this summer of remakes and rehashes, the one glowing nugget in the steaming piles of dreck goes unappreciated.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is not so much a remake but a reinterpretation and before you get on your high horse about not messing with a good thing, bear in mind the author hated Gene Wilder`s Wonka and found the movie just a little to bright and cheery. this version may be filled with some bright colours but the tone is closer to the spirit of the book.

in HP news, i realise there is a camp of people that believes it`s cool not to have read the books or feel about the draw of the books, i say more power to them for their believes. i`ve continued to live without having seen Titanic, ever, so who am i to judge them. i`m just thrilled that in this period of tiny attention spans, that not just a single book but a series has ignited the imaginations.

i had my hardy boys and secret seven and famous five growing up, but i can`t recall a series of books that grew with me. each successive book in the HP series not only shows  the growth of the characters, but a growth in the writing taking the readers along for the ride. it`s been seven years since the first book came out and the children and adults that started reading then are still anxiously awaiting the next book. because of hype? possibly, but more likely because we`ve become attached to characters we`ve watch grow and mature. if that makes me a geek then so be it, i`ve never shrugged away from that moniker.

i`ve always know that Trinidadians were copy cats but the incident in Port of Spain yesterday is incredibly saddening for me. not necessarily because i thought that Trinidad was immune to terrorism, i mean we`ve had armed insurrection before. we`re generally laid back as a people but there`s always been a breaking point.

but there are marked differences between insurrection, terrorism and a prank gone throughly awry. and from all indications it appears that yesterday`s… i don`t even have words for it, in Port of Spain may have been a prank that went heniously wrong. there is no rhyme or reason for it. compounding this are the idiots that are crying wolf and wasting the resources of the minimally trained police and emergency services by calling in bomb threats.

this is not a slight to many of the people who choose to protect and serve in Trinidad, but the percentage of people who join the police and armed forces out of a desire to make a difference as opposed to not having any other options and seeing an opportunity for a steady paycheque and get off on the power trip are slim.

the fact that one of my daughters was in Port of Spain less than three blocks away still has my stomach in knots. some of it is fear but most of it a bubbling rage that someone would dare to put my child in danger for what is most likely a prank. i understand that there are people injured and thankfully no one is dead; yet. but i`m mostly blind to that because this is my child.

child like joy

July 11, 2005 — Leave a comment

this week i`m connecting with my inner child. with me i don`t generally have to go far. i think one of the reasons i`ve never had a job in what qualifies as a `normal` profession is that i`m a little too in touch with my inner child. apparently a lot of employers tend to frown on the concept of a frolicking, practical joking adult in a professional environment.

however today and Friday, i get to indulge my inner child without reproach. this afternoon, i get to see sneak peek of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and then Friday night, Vic, the boychick and myself are going to a local bookstore for the midnight distribution of the next Harry Potter book. we`ve had our vouchers for the last two weeks and last night we started re-reading the last book in preparation.

i`m looking forward to both these events with a barely supressed glee. i trying my best not to bounce off the cubicle walls. long time readers know of my love Roald Dahl and it was interesting to find out that Dahl hated children and the first version of the movie that he believed was too `happy`. all Dahl`s tales have a sting to them and his children`s tales were no different, i think that`s why i`ve always loved them.

J.K. Rowling wasn`t the first author to not pander to children that read, neither was Dahl, but both of them understood that children have the same range of emotion that adults do and not every story has to be shiny and happy all the way through.

black & white

July 8, 2005 — Leave a comment

from Renee Cox`s Yo Mama`s Last Supper

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i`m trying to keep my rage and my cynicism in check at the same time. vic pointed out to me this morning we have more friends in London than we do in Nashville and thankfully all of them have reported in or i have gotten word from mutual friends that they`re ok. there is an advantage to knowing some artist types, they don`t generally get out of bed before noon.

London is our town. ideally, if money were no object and we could move tomorrow we would, we love London and to see it shellshocked and torn apart is incredibly distressing. i`ve been in all the stations that were attacked, i`ve been in the tube sitting for minutes wondering why the trains aren`t moving and i empathise and sympathise with those with friends and families still unaccounted for or lost. i`m upset that this  has happened to my `adopted` city but my major question is not so much the `why` but the `how`.

has the security gotten so lax in the four years since i was last in London?

American Gods

July 6, 2005 — Leave a comment

vic and i have been listening to Neil Gaiman`s American Gods for about a week now. i had heard more of it before i convinced her to listen and now we`re listening to the last six hours of the unabridged version that i downloaded during a free audible trial.

i`d read the book before, but listening to it, is lending some more nuance to the tale. it`s also got me thinking, especially in light of the political and religious climate here, in this country and in this town. in the store there is a standing joke among those of us that work on a Sunday; find the Lord, lose all good sense and manners.

the worst behaved people that we have in the store are always on Sundays. it`s amazing how badly all these people in their Sunday best behave and how steeped they are in their belief that they have the right to talk to you however they feel like. this isn`t a rare occurrence, the store has been open four Sundays, i`ve worked three of them and without fail there is at least one person, still dressed for church and comes in and abuses us. and that is primary reason i loathe organised religion; the people.

every time my shift ends at the store i find myself more than a little surprised that it`s over. i`ve never really considered myself a people person but i spend at least 20 hours every week interacting with people, answering questions and giving them the best advice i can and at the end of the day i feel good about it. but i digress.

i think Nashville has more square footage allocated to churches than there is office space, this might be an exaggeration, but i doubt it. drive along any major thoroughfare and there is at least two churches per block or a strip mall. it`s all about what you worship, isn`t it? and all of them, churches and malls are massive erections screaming for attention. and i wonder where is the humility and couldn`t the money spent on building these gaudy displays be better served in helping those in need.

these are the sort of thoughts that i have that make me a `bad` person but i can live with myself.

things must be dire if i`m quoting Ms. Spears or is that Mrs. Federline?

actually it`s really quite simple, my younger daughter has passed her Secondary Assessment Exam and is moving on from primary (or elementary school, for those of you unfamiliar with the British school system) to high school.

i think i covered this last year when my older daughter passed the same exam. they are no longer little girls, well they were never little. my younger daughter is a towering  5` 6″ at 12 and her sister is just marginally shorter. i`m still in awe, i have teen and pre-teen girls in high school, luckily they`re at the same school and i`m incredibly proud of both of them. i have young women.

this is a humbling and frightening thought. i remember what i was like in high school and hope they don`t make the same mistakes. i`ve always joked about getting a gun and being that father sitting on the porch when the young men come to visit but they`re growing up and i`m missing so much of it. i miss them so much.