Saturday, 26 March 2011

Earth Hour 2011 : It's Personal

Here's a fun fact: "We live in a global community. Never mind the moral implications — when an environmental catastrophe creates millions of refugees half-way around the world,..." You're going to FEEL it from your comfy sofa honey.

"When earth gives up there will be no bail outs"

I was talking to someone today when i suddenly remembered what i thought to be an extremely fun fact. So, i proceeded to share. I gasped "Today is Earth Hour Day!" i exclaimed and my friend looked at me and shrugged "So" she replied "It's not like it make's a difference, less people using means more for me"

Now my friend was probably just poking fun at my excitement but that statement really made me reflect. As i sat there i thought to myself "Oh my gosh...people actually believe that....!" You know? Much like the saying "It's Happy Hour/five o'clock SOMEWHERE" as a reason to have an conduct a frowned upon action; in the case of the happy hour an incredibly early drink, in the case of my friend people's quickness to believe that their small contribution to reducing climate change is fruitless

Have we considered carefully the dangers of climate change?  Has it sunk in that this means more rapidly spread disease for us to face at our children's' bedsides? That it means more flooding? That it means more drought? That it means more hurricanes?!

Do those things matter to you?

The argument may be but is it enough? my one solitary action? it is not enough my one solitary action....My answer is this: Alone we will not make a difference. Together? We will DEFINITELY make a statement.

This earth has provided me shelter, food, entertainment, comfort and all the essentials PLUS extra! Earth. Is. Worth. It.

I want to be a part of that shared voice!


Sources and good reading:

So climate change...interested in what are the dangers?

What IS Earth Hour?

"The technologies that will help us decarbonize energy are developing, but they need a push — and that will only happen if we keep climate change near the top of our political agenda. Earth Hour, Earth Day, Earth Year — we'll need it all." ~Time: Read more

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Snazzy Jazzy Poetry Night at the Grenada National Museum

I’d been invited before. In fact, the Writer’s Association of Grenada (WAG) of which I am presently the Vice President,  has also been invited to read poetry at the venue.

On this Friday in question, I finally made it. I stopped being a hermit and went out! I couldn’t have picked a better way to break that vicious homebody habit either.

Now, as a person who dabbles in various bits of artistry myself, writing, (zomg really?  I know my paints from my pens pretty all right....a poetry and Jazz night? Oh yes please! 

I wasn’t let down either. 

The music was just as intoxicating as I thought it would be. The band members played almost like we, the audience, weren’t even there! As though it was just them, their instruments and their friends having a Friday night jam session in a room where the lights were low and the music, could glide across the area and then bounce back to you so that it filled every corner of available space.
I loved how the crowd was so diverse too, there were tourists, poets, local art museum curators, business people who had finished for the day, students looking for a ‘lime’, (decreolize: hangout) and musicians, just to name a few. 
One musician, a newly arrived Peace Corp. Member by the name of Sean, was called up in fact, to perform impromptu on his guitar. All the peace corp. members on island were celebrating Peace Corp. 50th Anniversary just next door and had trickled in to observe afterwords.

Sean sang a classic American hit: Sweet Caroline and then hit us with a sweet sweet back in the day hit by the Back Street Boys, my favourite band back in my teens so you know I was pleased!

Sean Park - last week's audience guest guitarist

I was so pleased in fact, I had to go again. They have it only on the first Friday of every month.
Have I express how impressed I am with the saxophonist? His playing, is so impressive, enhanced ten fold by his deliverance! For most of the song he is seated. Until, he suddenly stands and belts out a high note via instrument. Tilting his head back, rocking slowly forward then. 

I look forward to these moments the most because they don’t seem like they’re just done to show off but because he’s really going at it!
Speaking of going at it, the second time I attended, there was this guitarist who was lost in the music, he and his guitar were having an intense, heated conversation that we in the audience were privileged enough to witness.
Deep Guitar Guy

Toward the end of the night, he let us join in that conversation too, by way of urging us to clap to the beat while they played. We did, boisterously. 

The room came alive with music and a love of it. There even came a point in the night when a woman became so overwhelmed with rhythm, she stood and danced to the beat of the drums and all the other wonderful instruments on stage: sax, keyboard, flute, harmonica, steel pan. I can’t name them all by memory…

Let me just stop for a minute to say that I find there is nothing like the heavenly sound of steel pan music. I’m not particularly interested in it during carnival and so but when it plays soft music it seems to caress the air and convinces me that angels have steel pan as back up for the days when their harps need tuning… 
This week The MC (Sax Man) singled out another known artist in the crowd and called on him to ‘come on up’ not Sean this time, don’t know if this new young man was a tourist but he was wearing a white shirt that heavily resembled a ‘I heart NY’ t-shirt, which for some weird reason I thought was hilarious and I chuckled when I saw it! I guess cause I haven’t seen one of those in years, it’s like a classic or something isn't it?
He did go ‘on up’ and I enjoyed the song he played on guitar the most that night.
The week's guest guitarist

But he didn’t stop there, I observed him not return to his seat but take an open place next to the guy on the drums who, quickly took him under his wing and got him acquainted with the beat. I admired this guy, what a terrific creative attitude!
I had been late, having spent most of my evening chatting at the art gallery with Maryse and her little docile doggy Noisette (NuNu), from both of whom I learned so much! 

After that I filled my time with taking pictures on the carenage at dusk, meeting up with my old college drama director Mr. Amen, whom I haven’t seen since he migrated, and who knows what else, before I made it!
So this time I missed the poetry portion :( but it shall not happen again! 
What’s sad though is that they have little to no funding. There is a little basket at the door where patrons are kindly asked to donate how ever much is possible in efforts to keep this going and I urge anyone who goes to spare them some, however much is up to the value of your experience. 

Keep in mind though, this is fuelled by us the people, our little donations ensure this keeps happening. Too many artistic avenues have disappeared here in Grenada because of lack of founding…

I applaud whomsoever had the idea to do this for going ahead with it, also the band, for always delivering a soulful performance.

More of The Band

A. Belfon on the Sax and also MC for the night


It was a great night, an opportunity to be surrounded by art, positivity and a love of both. Needless to say, I think they’ve made a permanent visitor of me.

Maybe even...a performer? ;)

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

When You Walk With Purpose You Collide With...poetry? 1/2

Ah sweet serendipity….can't you and I be lovers? For I surely love you, you make my heart dance and twirl! ‘Why so metaphoric?” It happens when I feel particularly inspired :) Given the events of Friday the 11th of March I surely did so feel.well.

I’m such a contemplative one, always musing on this or that.

My travel dream is to go to Italy. Not to be confused with my occupational dream which is to teach English in S. Korea for 6 months to a year some day...which is a dream that kind of cheats and will find a way to plop itself squarely under any category I can come up with (I really love South Korea) Yes, my dreams ARE categorized, cause I’m orderly like that, but I digress…

Going to Italy is on my bucket list. Just imagine a marvel-er like myself in a place like that of fine food, fine architecture and fine scenery, not to MENTION cobble stone, I LOVE cobble stone! You’d never hear the END of it!

On this Friday in particular I went to Italia! (saying it that way makes me happy happy joy joy) Well okay not ALL of me just my taste buds and they didn’t stay long... but it was enough to renew my appreciation for the fine fine country and made me want even more to bring my entire body there instead of just my food tasters...

Well after the events of the Friday  (I discovered a jazz and poetry night but lets not get ahead of ourselves, separate post on that) before, you know your girl wasn’t going to miss this! I was poised and ready. 

Sure I felt like crap and everything was daunting me: my bag was too heavy for an evening out, the work day had been too long, just got back from the doctors' where I had a four hour wait for a LITERAL MINUTE'S’ worth of attendance (I can forgive it easy the Dr. in question is wonderful, super understanding, super nice and told me that I’m 'all better' so I can live with a four hour wait to hear that) I lacked sleep and on top of that I was late yada yada. Cry me a river…BUT I was out there! Poetry at the ready, lookin' artistic in my long black flowy skirt and with matching gifted gloves. I walked with PURPOSE baby, I could DO this, I was going to OWN THIS!
Wait….where…did this ballet studio COME from? What do you mean no jazz and poetry night tonight!!? I kid you, not. I arrive to find ballerinas finishing up their evening practice and alerting me that it’s ‘not happening tonight’……………..blink blink blink.

Not going to lie, I only recently discovered that ballet classes were even available here in Grenada via the local news doing a story on it and even then it was not this instructor standing before me who'd been showcased.

So I bombarded her with a question or ten (not like I had any place special to BE *mumble grumble*) and she told me that there were at least three major Grenadian ballet schools. She clarified the difference in levels of classes they offer, difference between what she called ‘modern’ and ‘ballet’  both of which are being offered and told me how much it costs, which of course I don’t remember now. All I remember is that it was rather interesting, the entire turn of events.

Regardless, after my super duper concise education on what they offered and looking around at their seemingly recently white washed studio with its ballerina bars for training and black music notes painted on to their walls in beautiful contrast.

I stepped outside and noticed my surroundings for the first time that night.

I somehow had stepped into a small nook in Italy and had not noticed...? I was now facing small, too seater square wooden tables, they had that cosy warn look to them. Their aqua-ish green paint chipped in multiple places. REAL vines were hung from posts here and there. There was a thick lit burgundy candle placed atop a thin, long candle holder just at the top of the few steps I’d just climbed to get to said platform.

In my short time on the inside, the day light had receded and the moonlight had settled in comfortable above head. There was no covered roof so when you sat, you sat at a restaurant under the stars. And I DID sit, gazing up at the overcast sky as the sky and moon played peek-a-boo with each other.

My companion for the night was late, as is usual for her. I suddenly didn’t mind being with myself on that night however. The moon and I are very good old friends you see, we can speak with just gazes.

The tables were very few. If only six of them with two two seater coaches to my right up against the wall of the building . Straight ahead and beyond the little aqua tables was the bar, with three high chair seats. The bar was the only part of the set up actually unmovable and a part of the building. From where I sat I could see that behind the bar was not drinks but a fridge from where they pulled wine, just beyond that was the kitchen were they prepared the dishes you ordered. EVERYTHING was within sight.

I got the impression that the Italian chef was annoyed with me, just sitting there not buying anything but I stuck it out as I waited. I watched him explain what was on the menu for the night, how he would not cook a chicken if he did not buy one that morning, the same goes for any fish, so that no flavour is lost, about how that is how it is done in Italy and how you NEVER mix cheese with fish. Some people would be bothered over the fact that the chicken they are eating was alive yesterday, fortunately for my tummy I am not one of those people.

I met so many people I haven’t seen in a while, like a wonderfully cheerful and positive friend of mine…. Moreen St Clare, she is a Grenville member of the Writers Association of Grenada. On that night she was accompanied by her daughter, niece and the other person with her was her…sister…in law? I didn’t ask. After those joyful hellos and good byes I met Mayres a French member of the Writers Association of Grenada. She came bearing her German lady friend and Spain originate friend with her. They invited me to sit with them.

Surprised and just a tad shy (it happens) I complied and I don’t regret a moment of it! Within second of sitting down I learned that they were ALL artists. Spain Lady, a diver and seascapes painter. German Lady, an earring maker among other things like: qualified herbalist, candle maker, stained glass painter.

We had good fun of the clean and dirty kind; (lets just say the intellectual discussion was of all colours of the rainbow :) but we all have artistic license so dont worry that's legal.

Our order came, and for 30 bucks we had stuffed potato, a tomato also stuffed with something cheese and delicious, do you know how much I HATE tomatoes? Not THIS tomato! It was HEAVENLY. Mahi Mahi, in a delicious light lemon garlic sauce, fried cassava. Just pure heaven on a plate ok?!

I couldn’t speak, all that came out was a series of ‘mMMm’s and ‘aaah’s and ‘omg! So good!’

You know when you watch those shows where people get dressed up in couture evening wear and buy something that only fills a quarter of their plate and you think ‘Psssh girl I’m GROWN, needs me some gown people food!’ No? The hungry voice in your head doesn't sound like that? Huh…...thought that was normal.... but they’re enjoying every tiny bite when you watch them, each even more than the one before it…and you say to yourself ‘Pssh cause it cost so damn much for so little they want it to last as long as they can make it and fool their mind into THINKING they full…’

NO! This was not such a case!!

It was so good I didn’t want it to end! I wanted every last morsel to melt on my tongue slooooow. I also had a cup of ginger beer to go with it. Everything was more than amazing!

The conversation and the food were delicious and fed mouth and mind simultaneously. By the time Eli showed I had eaten every last crumb and was not ashamed.

I convinced her to try it and wouldn’t you know she had the exact same reaction! Good to the last bite! But Eli is a food lover and has what i like to call a 'plush pallet' so I expected as much haha.

My tummy sang my praises for the rest of the night and way into the first part of the next day. I don’t know how he did it but the unique mix of herbs and spices, both of which my dear Spice Isle is well know to be plentiful in :), were as mind blowing as the moonlight that night.

I can only explain it with one word: skill! Or maybe two, the next being: experience! Or three, the next being: magic! But I’m leaning strongly towards the first two!

After more wonderfully stimulating conversation, I said good bye with hugs and double cheek kisses as I’m not sure when next I will meet these wonderful women. :(

Eli and i took a few fun snaps to remember to evening in Little (Grenadian) Italy by:


Then high tailed it across the street to the ART EXHIBITION. A friend I’d met on my way to the ‘poetry and jazz night’ Mayres, and both her friend told me they had pieces on display and considering how this night had started and how awesome it was shaping out?! I was going to ride that wave till it caved! 

There was no way I was going to miss this!

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