Tobago! (Or My First Attempt at Outside for 2014)

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So this week  (27-28 January) I bummed a lime with one of my oldest friends and one of her friends to the sister isle. Firstly, I generally don’t go Places, so the fact that I went is applause worthy. Secondly, I don’t usually care to go Tobago, because, I think that whatever you could see there, you could see here in Trinidad and what you can see that’s unique to Tobago, I’ve already seen it before so… Meh.

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But there’s something about taking a person who’s never seen these things, who could fully appreciate the tropical weather that we here take for granted, because the UK, and cold, and the temperatures, and the vast amount of differences between the two regions…. It was cute, and contagious. The same things I don’t really care for suddenly became new and novel and ossum. And then I Did Things. And Saw Stuff. I attempted and both succeeded and failed at snorkeling (it happened, I swear it did! I just didn’t get very far  :|) I talked to People! I saw things that I had slept through before because I was younger and bored and tired of trees and hills. I saw a ginormous tree that i know already (silk cotton tree) because we had one just like it in NGHS but it was a tiny thing compared to the one we saw! Like it was huge! The shade was degrees cooler than it would be away from it. There were tree-caves around the trunk of the tree. It was great in every sense of the word.

Okay, no. I’m jumping all over.

Lemme start over.

We immediately got off the plane, after a quick 20 min. flight, to the Buccoo Reef tours. It takes you three places – you start at Store Bay, stop over at Pigeon Point – nothing much happens here. But then, if Jess’ reactions are any indication, you see the beginning of the coral reef – extremely exciting for people who like that. I…. Don’t. But it was nice to see that. After the options to snorkel or not ( I chose. And failed. Panic attack and  I pulled myself to the boat by rope) we continue to the Nylon Pool. It’s pretty calm and gentle – great for kids. Then with help from Hans of Hans Tours (our guide for the trip, highly recommend him), we headed to the Turtle Beach resort. We kayaked, pulled seine with the fishermen (like I’d do on any beach in Trinidad), had pooltime/drinks, talked with other guests, went to a cocktail party, talked more, failed at nighttime table tennis, went on the beach and stared at the stars. I found Sagittarius!

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That was just the first day.

The second day was more. Just more.

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More snorkeling, this time at Mt. Irvine (got better, but didn’t dare go too far. You could still see coral and things pretty close to the shore though) then more beach time at the hotel, (we Dug a Hole!) had lunch, and started our drive around the island. We visited other beaches, saw Random fish guts that had no reason being there (•_•) saw a Kite that was ridiculously far away, but visible so it had to be ridiculously big, went to a fort, (Ft. James?) entered the island forest reserve, (started in 1776, so wow), and then drove through civilisation. Which is a term I use lightly – it seems so stereotypically rural. Or stereotypically like the island paradise you’d imagine.  Which was nice, but not for me as a permanent destination. It’s a nice holiday for me, but I wouldn’t want to live there. And we saw more of the island’s hotels! Three to be precise. And like Jess said, it’s a personality- based choice.

Turtle beach I think was great because there were facilities for  both active and chill lifestyles. You could choose to laze around or go kayaking and pretend to be a fisherman, because you can.

The Magdelena is based at the Tobago plantations and It Is Gorgeous! I thought the converted mansion at  Trujillo in Peru was big and fancy and cool, but Oh My God, Magdalena blows it away with the architecture alone! And the pool is literally a step away from the beach and they have their own art gallery. I was – we were all pretty satisfied with the little that we saw from there, though I admit, I’d’ve loved to stay longer and explore, but time was against us. The Magdalena, I think, is for those who enjoy a quiet, more sophisticated lifestyle. It’s lovely, but not for me, really. I’d feel horribly inadequate after a while

Crown Point is great for Trinis because options. Stay or go, cook or get someone to cook for you. Lime, or stay by yourself. It doesn’t matter really. It’s great for self-sufficient people.

Oh god, these two days were perfect. And to think I almost backed out. And I failed to bring a camera. I took these with my quickly-dying phone.

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And Auntie bought us Things! Thank you, Auntie for everything!

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Growing up (or The Peruvian Porn Shop)

A summary – I knew I was immature, but I didn’t know just how immature I am (or was?) until a trip to a porn shop in a foreign country. Wait, no. Start over.

This article will focus on growing up. But that’s too wide a topic. Let’s focus on sex, since “porn shop” is in the title.

Naturally, as we get older, sex becomes a motive/goal/incentive/main focus in life. After all, reproduction and the continuation of a species is the subconscious/natural purpose in life. Adding Life is Life. Yes. Also it supposedly feels good, so that’s a plus, right?

Sex is an experience associated with grown ups and maturity. Which could be a reason why teenagers are so eager to have sex.

I think about sex. I’m 23, so, Duh. Still, thinking (and/or talking) about it and doing it – two different things. Being blatant about it, not exactly my cuppa, but I’m still trying, because, face it, I’m a grown-ass woman, and I think I could – and should- be mature about it. Whether I have had sex or not is irrelevant, but there it is.

And there is the crux of the matter. I’m physically at the age where this should be normal. Familiar might be a better word. And living in a time where sex is part of, like, everything, one expects that everyone, no matter our ages, would have some knowledge and understanding of sex – hopefully from our parents, like me and my siblings, but most likely, this isn’t the case – which leads to multiple problems – see MTV’s 16 and pregnant.

This right of passage is something that my mother finds a source of stress when it comes to me. On the one hand, she doesn’t want me to have sex too early, or until marriage, whichever, but on the other, I’ve shown no interest in the opposite sex for any relationship past friendship. I’m not normal. Girls my age should do what I’m seemingly refusing to do.

I’m sensing digression. Back to my efforts at making a point. Sex, porn shops and growing up.

The anecdote:

Back in August of 2012, my University Spanish class went on a conference trip to Peru. After the conference, we had time to wander the city. Which I and a friend did so quite happily. And we stumbled upon a porn shop, once or twice, although we didn’t go in until a the last day of our time in Peru.

Now, we had no reason for being in there except for curiosity’s sake. And we told the shopkeeper so. No, we had no Significant other to shop for. No, we weren’t looking for anything for ourselves. We were basically wasting his time, so he asked us, in a stern tone (not without reason, I think) what were we doing there, then.

So what was I doing there? Curious, yes. But for what reason? I didn’t have a boyfriend, I had no prospects in mind and I wasn’t searching for any.

I guess I thought that it was a sort of rite of passage (I’m using this phrase a lot) to go into one. Maybe I thought that since I knew what I knew after being exposed to the reality from a young enough age, I thought that it would be okay for whatever reason I had in mind back then.

But all I could think of was how comfortable my mother would have been in there when she was my age. And younger. And how uncomfortable I felt, despite the whole event being my idea.

There are a few reasons I could think of for that. 1)I’m a sheltered child, no matter what I think, and what I’ve been told about sex, sexual practices and sexuality. Being told about something and experiencing  it yourself are two different things, and will have different conclusions. They affect you differently. 2) My parents got married at 20 and 19. My mother had me just five months before her 20th birthday. By the time she was my age I was already in school and my sister was nearing age two. Being in a porn shop and setting all of that wouldn’t even phase my mother at 23. 3) I’m a  houserat. I go nowhere, experience very little compared to my peers, and I’m happy despite that.

It all boils down to the fact that I’m extremely immature, in terms of behaviour and experience alike. And it had to take a sex-themed (sex-centric?) experience for this revelation to come to me. This whole experience while focused one part of growing up showed me a greater design.

If this is true, generally and for more innocent matters, how would  I act when it comes to sex? That question has plagued me for a while.

Since Peru- since the porn shop-  I have a better gauge for measuring how mature I actually am, and where I’m expected to be more mature than I choose to act.  It’s been effective in many areas in life, not just in boy,  girl, interest, kiss kiss, bang bang, shishboombah. (If that description says something…) Since then, I’ve been making little moves and taking little steps in perusing my path to a grown-up status. I’m not there yet. Far from it, but I’ll get there soon.

I hope.

Pearl Pearson – Deaf community and the police

Okay, so I’m not the most informed person. I have access to news sites and articles, but sadly, they’re underutilized. But as it stands, thank you social media for coming through on informing people.

So, everyone but me has been aware for a while now of the beating of a Deaf man, when he failed to comply with orders that he was given by a couple of police officers. He’s been hospitalised and the family has been raising money for him. Which is good.

So now that I’m aware of the incident I’m looking up information as I type this, so I don’t get too much of the wrong info. If I do, please, correct me. As I said – not the most well-informed person in the world. But I’m not finding too much on the incident past five or six days ago. Is that right? How come if this happened since the 3rd, no one reported it? Or maybe I’m just not too far into my search. If that’s the case and y’all have info, could y’all lemme know?

This whole thing really does tend to open your eyes on the reality of other social groups around us. (And I seem to remember saying that I’d do another Rant on my take on Deaf Culture – again, not a part, just an interested observer)

I mean, the way I see it, is that we all pride ourselves in living in a time where bigotry and discrimination do not exist. We are more liberal than ever, and people both conservative and well, liberal have learned to coexist and respect each other’s opinions and differences. Really?

Well, no. Some things we all will fight over, naturally. We grow up in different cultures and different teachings and form different opinions. They’re a part of life, differences. And with new experiences out there, we’ll just have to deal with them. But what gets me, is that – seriously! if we live in an advanced, more liberating time, why do things like this happen? It bugs me, really.

Because even now, the world seems to be separated firstly into these two groups, each with their own groupy opinions. And within those are smaller groups with different individual opinions and so on. Which is fine, but it’s when things get violent, and this violence is justified on the basis of differences and differences of opinion. Which, I can only guess, is what happened here.But what where the reasons? Why did Pearson get assaulted? If the media knows, why not explain it to the people who are just as baffled as we are. I’d be crass and go on to ask, if the family know… blah blah blah, but they’ve been through enough already.

But as it is, I don’t know and neither do  alot of people, so I’m breaking social protocol here and publicly speculating. (But even as I think of reasons I want to punch myself in the face for considering it.) Race? He was a black man. He was old? What? He’s Deaf?  Ehhhhh….

ugh, I feel sick now.  Seriously I dunno….

So little anecdote-type thing while I find my bearings.

So remember in Switched at Birth when Bay got arrested and Regina thought it was Daphne and she got all panicked and practically shrieked at she needs an interpretor, because it’s required? Remember in the same show when Daphne got attacked and she finally went to report it and the officer was all what’s a deaf kid doin out of doors at night it’s dangerous ? (I mean he was right in a way, since night is a dangerous time for anyone to be out, and no one wants their sixteen year old to get attacked by random weirdos in the park. Still his thing was she’s deaf so, understandably, Regina was upset.)  And remember when Emmett basically had this same problem when he was arrested because the police officer didn’t know, or care to know what he was trying to let him know?

I think I have my bearings now.

I know SaB is a TV show, and on some level I knew it reflected the reality that is faced in Deaf communities all over, not just in Kansas, USA. But this incident just cements it. It’s real. People fear the unknown and act like morons over what they don’t know. Or care to know.

What get’s me, is that Pearson was adhering to what he knew he had to do. He pulled over, he showed his license, which states that he’s a deaf driver, he had a card  otherwise which stated it too, and then.. it.. just… blew up…. He was assaulted. He didn’t know why. His family didn’t know why. He was given no interpreter to clear anything up on either side. I’m not sure the media knew until like a week later. And the officers got suspended with pay.

It’s all one-sided to me. And not in the way you’d expect justice to work.

Once again, a minority gets the shaft. Once again, they aren’t sure why. Once again, they’re reminded of this reality.

And once again, I’m kinda ashamed of the human race.  A meme comes to mind – this is why aliens don’t talk to us. They’re afraid we’ll kill them. If this is what we do to our own people, what will we do to someone else?

whooooo

Again, I’m just ranting. I stated I don’t have too much information. But I did get this from the information I do have. If you have any more than me, lemme know. And state your own opinions. I wanna know and learn from y’all

#HITRECORDonTV

So I’m late this week on posting an article this week according to WordPress. Seriously though, I hadn’t gotten anything really new to say,  an utter lack of inspiration. But who of what should come to the rescue, but the brainchild of the Gordon-Levitt brothers.

JGL’s idea of getting real people involved and getting them to open their lives, their brains, their hearts, their talents, their Identities basically, to the world. It’s brilliant! And oddly scary! Maybe because I haven’t done something like this for years. Not past superficiality anyway.

So, to you, JGL, I’m basically saying, bring it on *while sweating  nervously *

So let’s see. Episode one tonight was just that – the number one, the first, Firsts, the concept of One, many in one, one in many.

So that’s got me thinking. What first is there to talk about? What can I say?

First date? First fight? First CD? First time driving? Or crashing? That seems fine….  I guess….. Or that time I got a black eye? There are surprisingly a lot of firsts that I’ve experienced. Specially considering that I am the first daughter and first child of the house.

How about the time I tried making that soufflé!

So, kinda lame, but I love baking, and this fancy dessert was something I always wanted to try out. Even before Clara on DW, but there’s little I can say to convince people otherwise.

So may as well get this started.

Cupcake wars actually started this little adventure.

After watching the episode, I forget which it was now, but it does seem to be the catalyst for all my baking. Of course, then I figured why not? I always wanted to, I had the ingredients, and I had the time (or so I thought – miscalculated the time I’d need to do it, and I still had to get ready for class that evening.) But even through that and my half-assed efforts as time passed, it still came out pretty decent, if more than a tad undercooked, if you could see at what I mean. Prolly not.

Still, it’s a simple enough recipe, even if it’s a bit difficult. And if it came out, where the ingredients were completely integrated, it wasn’t eggy, and had a good texture, ( where cooked :-$ ) even though it didn’t rise….

I’m not discouraged. It’ll work next time, when I have more time…

So yeah.

Moral : try one new thing, get it done, learn from your mistakes, do it better, love it and share it. It’s what new things are for.

Elsa and Elphaba – similaries and differences

For the past four months I’ve been getting more and more into the joys of Broadway music. Well, reintroducing myself to the genre. And of course, this with my interest in the true stories of the antagonist of classic stories, I’d have to cross Elphaba’s path at least once. And I have.

It’s only been fed by the fact that I’ve gotten the third book in Maguire’s Wicked Years series, and getting a closer look into the “Witch”‘s true story.

And then there was Frozen.

By this time I’d fallen in love with Idina’s voice. I mean who hasn’t? For that matter, who can’t? She puts so much emotion and personality into her character that you can’t help but focus on her. Though which her – the character or the actress?

While I was watching Frozen there were so many references to Elphaba that I saw around Elsa, and my inner tumblr-girl went on a spazztastic rant.

This seems to be a universal effect, if the internet is any proof.

Idina herself said that she saw some. So who are we to argue?

Still, I’ll try to do this in a scholarly/civil/literary manner.

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Let’s begin with focus on the songs. I’ll focus on Elsa’s  Let it go and Elphaba’s No Good Deed. 

Elsa’s song is where she decides she’ll break out of the mould set to her by her parents after accidentally freezing her sister’s head. They managed to break the spell, but all memories of her sister’s powers are taken away- not just suppressed. Gone. After her powers are revealed to Anna (good) as well as the entire realm (not so good) she breaks away and runs away and is finally free to be who she really is, without fear of harming others. She has become the Snow Queen

For Elphaba, it’s slightly different. I haven’t read Wicked but I have completed the Third Book  A Lion among Men where you see bits and pieces of Elphaba’s early life, since everyone is tied to her somehow. I’ve also listened to the Wicked soundtrack so I think I have an idea. Correct me if I’m wrong though.

Elphaba’s song comes in after Fiyero is captured and killed for his affiliation with Elphaba. Like Elsa, Elphaba’s power – both her influence and the inborn potential – affects those she loves. She becomes isolated afterward. For me, No Good Deed  is her breakout song. Like Elsa with Let it go, Elphaba becomes what she is later defined as – herself as the Wicked Witch – a title once given to her by her affiliation with the Wicked Witch of the East – her sister, Nessarose.

Here’s where things get different. Both characters are defined by their powers. Their powers have dangerous effects for those they love and are forced into isolation. These songs reflect that to some extent. But Elsa’s song is a statement for breaking out of a mould set on her, while Elphaba’s is about fitting the mould forced on her by her society. They both break out of their initial states  into something else. Elsa’s never going back; Elphaba’s wicked through and through.

Oh! And the subject of both songs. They both showed a turning point for either character, but Elsa’s song focused on herself, while Elphaba’s focused on the people she loved – Nessarose, Doctor Dillamond and -primarily- Fiyero.

On to the theme of sisterly relationships, now.

Both girls had sisters that they loved. But, naturally I think, there was a tinge of jealousy there. Elsa loved her sister enough to wake up in the middle of the night and create a winter wonderland for Anna, just because she asked for it. She loved her enough to try to save her from falling, and when that backfired she loved her enough to stay away to prevent any more accidents and harm to Anna. Elphaba loved her sister enough to take care of Nessa when she came to Shiz. She was beautiful despite having no arms and had trouble walking. She was more easily accepted at Shiz than her older sister, who was good, but was an activist against all that Oz was beginning to represent and accept. Oh, and Elphaba was green.

But, yeah, the elder was jealous of the younger in both cases – Anna lived in isolation like Elsa, but she was still free to have contact with others in the castle, while Elsa had to remain aloof and be the perfect girl. Elsa was even more isolated than her younger sister. Anna could remain carefree and dreaming, while Elsa had to live with the reality of her powers and harm that they could cause.

Elphaba had to live with the mark of her father’s neglect and to see her father’s favouritism of her younger sister over her. Both sisters are the result of their mother’s unfaithfulness, shown by Elphaba’s colouring and Nessa’s lack of arms. But Elphaba’s mark is more obvious proof of her mother’s actions, than Nessa’s. Frexpar could easily accept Nessa as his own than he would be able to with Elphaba.

Still in both cases, their sister’s misfortunes – Anna’s loss of her relationship  of her sister, and her getting her heart frozen by the selfsame sister, and Nessa’s death – were not the things that sent both girls into the antagonistic roles assigned to them by the other characters. Their love for their sisters managed to keep the darker parts of their characters at bay.

Interestingly enough, Elsa’s love for her sister was strong enough to save Anna, while Nessa was not so lucky.

Anna loved her sister. Did Nessarose love Elphaba?

Now how about Isolation as a shared theme?

Yes, I’m alone, but alone and free  – Elsa

And if I’m flying solo, at least I’m flying free – Elphaba from Defying Gravity

Both girls lived in isolation. This much is known and obvious throughout the course of the stories. They both had Fortresses of Solitude! Kiamo Ko and the Castle of the Snow Queen. If these don’t at least whisper Isolation, I dunno what would.

Elsa willingly went into isolation for fear of harming someone else. But it was too much for her, who always had Anna at her side, and then have her suddenly taken away.And then her family was destroyed with the death of her parents at sea. The one link she had to the outside world, her one link to hope despite her strong fear of her powers, was just as suddenly taken away. She may not have been as gregarious as Anna, but she was still in need of people around her.

Elphaba seems to be able to function in her isolation. Unlike Elsa, she didn’t begin in society and care of her parents. She never had to live in a mould of perfection. She was alone, because she knew she didn’t fit into the society she was living in, and she didn’t  necessarily have to. Even as a student she was known as a revolutionary person. And she was fine with it. At least, the effects of her isolation wasn’t as prominent until she became a  recognised figure in the politics of Ozian society.

Both girls weren’t free. They were prisoners to their isolation and to the societies they were expected to live in.

Still, I believe that Elphaba was, at least physically, more free than Elsa. Elsa’s parents separated her from her sister, giving her a room away from Anna’s, locked the door,  told her to suppress a vital part of her Being, control it, rather than embrace it, and to hide it from everyone. Elsa was the Princess Locked Away In A Tower. And from the way they reacted when Elsa accidentally froze Anna’s head, that this attitude was there from the beginning. Their parents looked at the scene in fear that, to me at least, seemed as if they had lived the last six years of their elder daughter’s life in fear of her powers. They feared her, even if they never said it.

While Elphaba was alone, she thrived in it, more than Elsa did, and she was free to move and do as she wanted, as long as her actions didn’t upset the political balance of Oz. She was free to come into contact with others. She was free to leave home and study in Shiz (even if it was under supervision) while Elsa was forced to stay locked up, or have minimal contact with anyone. Elphaba still could have had her sister around her, while Elsa hid away from Anna for years. Elphaba was able to find a love interest in Fiyero, while Elsa couldn’t, and didn’t in the course of the movie. I honestly didn’t see Hans doing what he did. I thought he and Elsa would have gotten together. I didn’t expect it, but I can’t say I don’t appreciate and respect it. He’s a rant for another time.

Teddy has an operation

So I’ve …ahhh… watched this Video. Naturally y’all know which one I’m talking about. I got linked to it after watching Hug Me, I’m Scared 2 -Time, so I already know this one will be disturbing. And it was. To a certain extent. Face value it was bad. Like the cigarette butts, made me frown. The sprinkle layer looked like fleshy-bits to me. And then, haha, we get to the Meat of the matter. Yar. So.

But after getting over the shock of it all, I suppose there is a deeper message to us, that this poor teddy was chosen to send.

The bon-bon layer – it’s what we all see, once the guard is let down

The Sprinkle layer – the sweetness – even that could be depleted.

The kidneys – Teddy’s patience runs out. Our patience with the world runs out. That’s reality.

The courage sack – Fear infects us. It ruins us, and stunts potential.

The heart – Even the biggest hearts get broken.

The Doctor – God? Maybe. Time? Possibly. Whoever he is, he represents the thing that mends us all. Replaces the thing we choose to kill the past hurts. That thing that replenishes the sweetness we lose. We eventually get more patient with those around us, despite our past and our situations. That eliminates the fear that once riddled us and bred mercilessly, and returns curiosity and wonder to our souls. Our hearts can be mended to. We let go of our pasts, we get rid of the ones that hurt us and allow more people into our lives who can get us better.

Or maybe I’m reading into this too much. Maybe it’s just a disturbing little video. You decide *shrugs*

 

New Year, New Goal – Unofficial Resolution for 2014

It’s a new year, full of new possibilities, new challenges, new avenues for failures and successes alike. I’m fully aware of these, and I’m scared as hell about it, but I’m gonna try to do something anyways. I’m scared, but ambitious and persistent, if any play-fights with my brother says anything. I’m gonna start a business.

It’s almost unheard of from an introvert, who’s biggest social event is hosting a sleepover with people she’s known since she was 7. But fact is, I’m old enough to try something a bit grown up like this. I’ve got the knowledge, I’ve got the resources – or access to them anyways, and I’m getting the training.

So what is this far-out business idea? I’m aiming to own and manage my own translation company. And why not? Even with the increasing access to translation software being made free and accessible online, it doesn’t mean that everyone will be fluent in a language. And if you know me, you’ll know that I’ll give you an impromptu lecture about how and why this isn’t so.

Indeed, it is a little far-fetched. There is very little going for me right now. But I do intend to correct that. I’m learning the art, and the science (and the vocabulary) behind it. Ideally, I will grow it. And then, with a growing clientèle and  a growing reputation, I’ll be more confident in recruiting partners with fluency in other languages. I do know quite a few of them.

But before we get to the idealistic, let’s get a little realistic. There’s a lot to do in terms of planning, and promoting, and finances. I want these to be sorted out or at least, started on, by the end of January. 

So allons-y and Vamos. 

Let’s get this started right.