About Me

Living in the Caribbean is probably like living anywhere else, with the same ups and downs. But it does have its own vibe and flavour and gives me a unique perspective on most things. I'm often sarcastic, mostly funny, always looking for a new adventure. I have not boxed myself into any one category of life. I love a lot of things and dislike a lot more. I write about them all.

Finding Balance

I took this photo this morning to prove the point that I clearly spend way too much time at the office. Yet, I can say,"Thank God, I have a job". Sure, I probably work too much, and I know I complain about working too much but I am still pretty grateful. Yesterday I actually "celebrated" my 2-year work anniversary. On the one hand, it seems like I have been at this job for 200 years and not just 2. But on the other hand, it seemed like it was just yesterday, I packed my winter jackets, boots and scarves and moved back to Trinidad, after a mostly awesome 14 months in London. I had not even unpacked my bags before I headed to interviews and was in a position to consider not one, but a few job offers. Some wait months and months before they even get called for an interview. I had not even had time to really wait, as in a matter of days, before bags were even unpacked, I was signing jobby job documents. So I try not to complain too much, too often.

However, I decided to try to map how my various roles match up to each other right now, and it was pretty pathetic. As an employee, I am probably pretty awesome in terms of the amount of time I invest in that role. This indirectly correlates to my role as super diva which I try to maintain since one must always be fabulous, even if that means, dragging one's self off the bed after only 3 hours' sleep (damn you, "Scandal") and taking the dressing table to the office to ensure you don't look like roadkill, cause lemme tell you, my reflection in the office bathroom mirror pre-prep was less than outstanding.

Beauty in a bag. Saving the world from the shock of my nashy appearance, one flat iron stroke at a time.

As an aunt, for example, while love-wise I am top of the charts, in terms of the time I am investing in that role, I am right now, Bad Aunty/Absent Aunty. Same goes for daughter (though I am not that bad here), sister (really bad sister), friend (meh). The employee time drains the energy from me, and this impacts the other time. I get home after work and go straight to bed, hardly ever making time for the other folks.

In doing this little exercise I realise that while the roles are all important and go hand-in-hand, the attention investment is unbalanced. These are the reminders I need to remember to scale it back. I do it today and then two weeks later, I fall back into the same pattern. After my little health scare, I was scaling it back pretty consistently. For a while. However, I have left the office not just late, but very late every single day this week, and worked at home last weekend. Sometimes it cannot be helped, but sometimes, you can just make the conscious decision to just pick up the bag and stick to the plan. I now just don't consider my health, but also the people around me, who need a little "me" time with ME.

This is how happiness grows.

"There is just too much sexiness in 'Thor 2'" and other Randoms

The title of this post = the exact words running through my mind while sitting in IMAX watching "Thor - The Dark World" today. I mean, it was too much for me, with Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston and Idris Elba just heating up the galaxy. I remember when the purists were up in arms for the first movie that they cast chocolate goodness, Idris in a movie about Nordic gods. Well, Asgard clearly did not suffer from having a bit of chocolate up in the place!!

Thor, Loki and Heimdall - Thor 2 - The Dark World. More like the "Sexy" World

The movie was awesome, though there was just not enough Loki. Tom Hiddleston is a brilliant actor and does Loki so well, that I felt immensely cheated. Still, I enjoyed the few moments they gave us of him, and loved the twist ending. Would love an explanation for that! Man, I am ever so glad I left the work laptop in the corner and decided to get out of the house to 'lime' with great friends. We also did brunch at Chaud Cafe and Wine Bar, and ate a lot, laughed a lot, which was just what the doctor ordered. I am so glad I left the house today. Life needs balance - I constantly have to remind myself of this.

Chicken Bruschetta Flatbread at Chaud Cafe and Wine Bar

Speaking of doctors, I have what I hope is my last doctor's visit for a long, long time on Monday. This is now my 6th doctor's visit in as many weeks, following many prescriptions, IV fluids, blood tests and an MRI. I always thought MRIs were a quick thing. But lying in this little tunnel for 40 minutes while this machine groaned and moaned while zapping my overworked brain was both annoying and terrifying. So much has been happening recently, but with a great deal of faith, and positive vibes from within and from the awesome people in my life, I am still as fab as ever. I am fine, I assure you.

And the malls are busting out with Christmasness, which typically would annoy me tremendously, but after the scare of the past few weeks, Christmas decorations, parang music and store clerks ridiculously dressed as elves and reindeer seem trifling. I will just deal with it, with a smile. Being accosted yesterday by grumpy reindeer reminded me that I have it pretty good - I could have been working as a reindeer in a supermarket. I felt it for the poor girl, dressed as this reindeer yesterday, trying to be cheery but clearly upset, embarrassed and unimpressed by her life and this outfit. She was the grouchiest reindeer EVER! I gave her a smile and counted my blessings. My biggest worry today is starving myself enough so I can look less like an oompa loompa and more like Athena by the time holiday parties and birthday festivities roll around.

Christmas at Gulf City Mall, La Romain

Besides, celebrating Christmas in November also means that all these tiring corporate events have pastelles, which I can kidnap in generous doggy bags and have at my leisure while sitting at home, watching Lifetime.

Pastelles are a local treat at Christmas here in Trinidad and Tobago. I love them!!

I am content.

Come Dine With Me: Reality TV at its best

While living and studying in London, one of my fave tv shows was Come Dine With Me. It was also one of the few tv shows that my cousin and I could watch together - when he was not riveted to the English Premier League. The show is a reality show that takes 4-5 strangers from a particular town or region and have them host a three-course dinner at their homes, where afterwards they would be scored on their evening. The person with the highest score at the end of the week would win 1000 quid.

As you know, I love food, I love dining out, I love cooking. So I love this show. But this is often the "dark" side of dining, the funny side - not the Instagram-ready glamour shots of haute cuisine. The reason this show is so amazing is because these people are Average Joes and Janes. They are NOT chefs by any stretch of the imagination. They are often kitchen novices and there are very often kitchen and hosting disasters. They are often bonkers, nutters, loons, a bit too eccentric to be real. The narrator of the show, Dave Lamb, surely adds to the comedy with his snarky commentary.

I think most people watching this show can catch a glimpse of themselves here. In my own quest for kitchen greatness, I have burnt dishes, had cakes fall or be like gunk, forgot to add eggs in a cake and then tried to add them when it was way too late, forgot to put the lid on the blender. Don't lie - you know you have done it too. Even the best cooks have their little slip-ups, but still, I love seeing the foodie train wrecks - the unabashed walking disasters. I keep thinking of my own friends and how a local version of this show might look and I laugh just thinking about it.

The show is great fun and when I discovered they had a US site on YouTube which would allow me to get my jones all weekend, well, that was all she wrote. I have missed this show, and with the rainstorm plaguing my neighbourhood all weekend, I almost feel like I am back in the den in London, watching my fave show after class in the afternoon. Except, this is much better. I have added an episode here, so you can grab a glass of wine and see for yourself.

Be Fair. Please don't Share. - The Social Media Privacy Question

Photo credit: The Daily Mail
A very contentious issue came up this week. I already had a bit of a rant about how much we share at the risk of being socially anti-social. The question this week was what do we share, particularly as it relates to privacy, and drilling down even more, other people's privacy.

In this social media age where it seems to be open season for sharing, you have people sharing the most intimate details of life via Facebook updates, and photos on Facebook and Instagram. The problem is, it's sometimes not details about their life, but about yours.

New baby? Oh, let's post about your new baby - from when it was born, to the first photos.
Just got married? Let me share your photos, your vows, your buffet table.

I mean, is there a limit to how far we go with the sharing? I have no problem with those who wish to share their breakfast, lunch, dinner and midnight snack with their 600-strong network. I do have a problem with those who feel sharing my special moments with that same 600-strong network is cool.

Now it's different folks for different strokes. There are those who have no problem with you taking photos of their wedding or children and sharing them everywhere, and that's fine. There are also those who feel like these are private moments that they wish to keep within the confines of cherished personal memories in a closed network of friends and family - whether they choose to keep that network offline, or online. There are some who will argue that you cannot stop persons from taking photos and sharing them on Facebook. My counter argument is, if I invite you to share in a special moment that I would like to keep private and bound to those closest to me, and I ask you politely to not share those moments with your online network, and you do, then I would have to strongly re-evaluate my relationship with you.

A super cute way of being very firm with
your guests about what they do at your wedding
A couple invites you to a wedding because in the most ideal of situations, they consider you a friend and someone special enough to share in their special day. They invited YOU - not you and your 600-strong Facebook network. Children I feel are particularly off limits because people guard them so closely. I have not even shared my niece's photos with friends since my brother has not done so with his friends. I am not "bes'" aunty and I respect the parents' decision to keep their little girl from the interwebs. I have shared her cuteness with friends one-on-one via email or instant messaging but that's aunty pride, and not a desire to overshare.

People need to respect other people's privacy especially if it is explicity requested. If your own life is so sad that you have to share everything from other people's lives to get "likes" and "comments", well...

What's worse and as I indicated in that other post, you lose the special moments when you are glued to the screen of the phone, trying to get the best angles etc. Just live life. Just enjoy the moments for what they are worth.

The Growing 'Thing' that's Halloween in Trinidad (and Tobago?)

My Halloween costume after the fact
When I was a child, Halloween was not something we celebrated here in Trinidad and Tobago. It was not a "thing". The closest we got to Halloween was the celebrations we saw on television and movies in the US. Noone dressed up - in fact you had no access to costumes for dressing up. There really was no interest in this thing called Halloween.

Fast forward to 2013, and the influence of media, particularly social media, and Halloween seems to be a "thing" here now. There are stores which cater to those who want to participate in the Halloween dress up, there are Halloween parties, there is trick or treating. Trick or treating!!!

Now in the West of Trinidad, where there are many expats, I know this is a big thing, but I thought it amusing that there is this "nonsense" in the Southland as well.

My friend was sitting watching tv on Thursday night, waiting for "Scandal", when she heard this noise outside her house. Thinking it was someone up to no good, she picked up her emergency club and headed to the front door. I mean, she lives alone, and in these crazy times with all sorts of criminals about the place, she was not taking any chances. As she peered out, she heard children's voices. She opens the door, and there they were - little goblins, pirates and the like, asking for sweets. What she did next made me laugh out loud as I imagined the cuteness looking back at her.

She sucked her teeth and closed the door. lol. Well, 1) she had no sweets so what was she gonna do? Give them rice? and 2) seriously? trick or treating in Trinidad? Her words were "I was scared out of my wits and is f...g trick or treating? I was just damn vex."

LOL. One of my colleagues pre-empted doors closing in his kid's face by buying the sweets and recruiting friends and family in the neighbourhood to hand them out when they knocked on doors. I mean, it really is not a "thing" everywhere as much as some may want it to be a "thing".

I myself was part of a Halloween themed event on Thursday, where I really had no choice in the matter. Still, it was fun - and hey, after the week I had, it was nice to be able to dress up and let loose. Still, Halloween in Trinidad, while growing in popularity, still has not grown on me and clearly not on my friend.

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