Friday, 30 October 2009

The Root of all Evil

Who was the asshole who came up with the concept of money?

I really wish I could find a picture of him on Google, and put it on my blog and say IT WAS THIS GUY! And then blame him for all the problems of the world. He took convenience to a level it never ever needed to reach.

The purpose of that ^ rambling is because money is always the problem; never the solution. You feel good when you make an extra dollar, only to have to spend that plus 10 more within the next minutes, hours, days, whatever. Bills here, bills there, bills everywhere.

I hate it.

What is the number one cause for divorce? Financial Stress. Why do we fight wars? Financial power. Why do we go to school? To be financially stable. Why do we want to be financially stable? So we can perpetuate the cycle.

I know I am drawing on the obvious here, but I have to tell you, at 19 years old I am thoroughly frustrated. I am thinking about going to live in the mountains of Peru where I can run around naked, bathe in rivers, cook, and have babies. (I know I have said I do not want children but I think I would prefer that lifestyle instead. If it was not for grammar class and him I promise you I would have lost my mind already because I don't do routine. It is far too.. routine.)

Every familial argument is always about money, or the lack thereof. There has to be a way to free yourself of financial obligations. Why can't it be that we just pay for the basics. Light, water, food, gas - and the occasional entertainment. Why does it cost so damn much to have a cell phone? Why the car insurance? Why the mortgage for the other 4837658 places when you can only live in one, or the car payments for the other 80977663 cars when you only need one.

People need to learn to simplify, just stick with the necessities so money does not have to rule your mind. I guarantee to you that the money does not care half as much about you as you do about it.

Last time I checked, it was just a piece of paper.

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Don't Influenza Me

I feel like over the past year my immune system has completely died on me.

I also feel like I have written way too many blogs about being "sick." (I am still going to mention that I spent all day yesterday wallowing in my own self pity and weakness and wishing that I really do not have the flu right now.)

My lovely prima esposa came to my rescue as my night nurse with some theraflu and some dinner. Very much appreciated. I worry that she might have caught my disease, and if so I assume the tables will be turning within the next few days.

Anyway I am still not feeling my best, but I do have something to smile about. (Other than the prospect of my long distance love being not-so-long-distance anymore :D ). That last test I was late for in Grammar class turned out to be a success! I managed to pull off the only A in the class, by which my teacher used to curve the grades for the rest of the class - which she kept complaining were terrible. How lovely did I feel? Just delightful. Especially since I turned my test over right after she said "the highest grade was a 91," and saw a 91 printed very neatly on top of my paper.

The nine point curve was not that helpful for the rest of my classmates, but I, on the other hand, cannot remember the last time I got 100 on a test.

Then, the best part is that the guy next to me - who when we came out of the test last week had to mention to me that "it looked like I was struggling over there" - got such a low grade that the letter won't change even after the curve. I bet he felt like a real jerk when we swapped test papers. But hey, I never told him to insert his foot into his mouth on that lovely Wednesday afternoon.

Nonetheless, this causes for a celebration. (As soon as I get better that is.)

Saturday, 24 October 2009


Daytona is very fascinating, to say the least. This won't be another Blackberry story, but it is something worth writing about.

Last night I accompanied a few friends to Daytona because I have nothing better to do with my Friday nights. We got there around 9, which was good timing for the event we were to attend. After a few hours, my female companion and I decided we were hungry and wanted to explore what Daytona had to offer.

What a decision.

As soon as we stepped out of "Wise Guys" we found ourselves on Main St - which by the complete lack of human activity should quite probably be renamed. It looked like a town in the Midwest, or at least how I picture it anyway; the Harley's, country music, building structures - and I want to say that I saw tumbleweed blow across the street but if I did, I would be lying.

Anyway when we got to A1A we saw a diner on the corner across the street, so we crossed it and attempted to look at the menu. It looked like that Diner in Grease where Sandy and Danny tried to eat in peace until Rizzo and the rest of the Greasers rudely interrupted. It had neon coloured lights, coulourful images on the walls, brightly pictured food items on the stand-alone menu outside, and shiny silver round tables and black stools for eating. The bar was oval-shaped and they were showing wrestling on the television. I'm sure they had a jukebox somewhere in there too.

I saw all of this from outside, all before I saw "the sign" that completely took me off guard - but not until my friend got offended and was ready to storm away. Oh, but I cannot forget the looks of death we were receiving from the folks inside as we stood there looking at the menu.

The sign:

Everyone I have asked thus far suggests it could be gang related. I won't deny that, but I think they could have put "no violence" to avoid the confusion all together. I will leave you to make your own interpretations. With that said, on to what came next.

There was a Papa Johns not too far and we decided that wings and bread sticks would be delightful choices, but before we could get to Papa Johns we had to pass another pizza shop that was broadcasting "fresh New York style pizza". They had wings too but my friend was bent on Papa and I wanted bread sticks, so we kept walking.

But before we could finish deciding, we heard a man with a deep down-south-accent telling us that we have made a mistake.

"Our pizza is the best," he said as he stood on the restaurant porch smoking a cigarette. He threw us off guard a little bit because he came out of nowhere, and after that Diner sign we were somewhat paranoid and slightly afraid to go inside Papa Johns while the competition was watching us. Nonetheless, when we thought he was no longer standing and staring, we made our way inside PJs.

The guy in there was not any less scary. In fact, his accent was even deeper, and he resembled a leprechaun. All the while he had an evil grin on his face and he was not excited about us only ordering bread sticks - considering they were practically closed. We stood there for about 5 minutes waiting on the bread while he veered at our discomfort from the back of the store.

He was a short guy; bald with pasty skin and the bluest eyes ever. His hands were full of veins and they looked very strong and muscular - if that is even possible - as if he had a hard life. He seemed to be trying his best to make conversation by observing the fact that we were both on our phones, and then making a joke about us "calling him." We both agreed to just smile and nod, wait for the bread sticks, and then get the hell out of there - which is exactly what we did.

Of course when we got outside, the other guy surely was waiting for us to come back. He kept talking about how amazing his pizza is and that we will not regret it. (He also made fun of my bread sticks after he opened the box and looked at them.)

The pizza truly was good - but the fact that I had to leave my box of bread sticks outside on the counter as the manager demanded, was not thrilling. Neither was the fact that he sat with us to watch us eat. He put his foot in his mouth a few times too when he decided to mention that we do not "look like Jamaicans." He said there are two types of Jamaicans: the black ones and the ones like me. "You don't look black. You look like you are mixed with something. And you," he said to my friend, "you look Brazilian. Are you guys sure you are from Jamaica?" I am not sure sir, are you sure you are German/Irish ?

Oh, the ignorance.

Now that we are on the topic of Jamaicans, after we went back to the event my other friends were ready to go and we made our way to someone's house. When we got there, we were introduced to the most Jamaican Jamaicans we have met outside of Miami. Some of them came from places in Jamaican that I never remembered. Kingstonians (those who are from Kingston) were there too, of course, but for once they were out-numbered.

So we got to have a few good anti-Kingston arguments - something I am not too used to- and we talked about the difference between "country" and "city." Turns out there are three Kingstons. Kingston city, Kingston Parish, and New Kingston - some of which are not even in Kingston? Yeah, I know. Confusing.

Anyway, Daytona was definitely an experience. Had it not been for the getty at the end of the night, I am not sure I would be fully convinced to ever go back there again.

Thursday, 22 October 2009

'Tis A Sad Day In Room 306.

No matter how many times it hits us, death is the one thing I think humans will never learn how to deal with.

What can you do to help when someone is mourning? What can you possibly say to that person to make them feel even just a little bit better?

Nothing. Nothing at all. You just have to sit there like a faithful friend and cry with them. You can give hugs until you are blue, and mention over-and-over that you are there for them, that they need to be strong, that the person is in a better place, that time heals all wounds... But that is as far as it goes.

It is a kind of uselessness that far surmounts any other. No matter how many pretty words you can come up with, it won't mask any of the pain that the person bears in their heart from the moment that it happens.

I suppose if you have been there before you should be able to help more than someone who never has. Maybe you can mention what you did to feel better, or how you managed to pull through every day despite your heavy no-longer-whole heart.

After so many deaths, I wanted to believe I had all the right words to say. But I didn't. All I could do was walk with her and tell her my stories and experiences with the grim reaper. All five-thousand. For once I was actually able to get through the funerals, the goodbyes, the regrets, the pain - all without shedding one tear.

We just sat there on the hill (my hill that is); her listening and me speaking. I suppose that was helpful enough, but I still can't help but feel like there should be more I can do. I guess this is how my friends felt every time I was in her position; Completely helpless.

Either way, I'm here for you prima esposa. And I'm sorry.

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Story time

Remember that story I told you about? The one I had to write for my grammar class? Well I figured I would post each episode on my blog. Enjoy :)

Episode 1:

Andrew’s usual morning routine went a little something like this; Wake up, take a 7-minute shower, put on jeans and a t-shirt, make breakfast, brush his teeth, and head out to class.

You see, Andrew was your average college freshman, with his independent skills growing but still somewhat inchoate. He went to Ohio State University with an undecided majour – the only thing he was ever certain about in his life was well, nothing.

High school for Andrew was just like high school should be; a bunch of immature students walking around in their limited friendship groups, going from class to class. It was four years of not learning anything more than how to make friends with teachers and pretend to do homework at home.

Now that he was in college, 200 miles from everyone he knew, Andrew experienced a loneliness that was intimidating even to a 6-foot, average build, 19-year old college freshman. Fortunately for him, he was one of those good looking boys without hubris - humility works way better for making friends.

Thus far, he lived a pretty average life. He never experienced anything traumatic to bemoan until one morning when he was awakened by an unusual pain in his chest. Not being very paranoid, Andrew never took heed to the pain, and attempted to go about his day as he did with every other. The routine continued until one morning when the pain exacerbated and he decided to go to the doctor.

Have you ever thought about what you might do if your life had a time limit?

On that “regular” morning, Andrew was forced to answer this question. The doctor came back with the result after less than 30 minutes: “I am sorry to tell you this Andrew,” he said laconically, “But you have an extremely rare heart problem, and you only have a year left to live.”

Friday, 16 October 2009

Soro-what ?

This being my second year in college, maybe I should be ashamed by the next statement I will write, but here goes: What is a Sorority?

Before you jump the gun here, I'd like for you to walk with me for a minute.

I never payed much attention to American college life because well, I was not an American college student. Sure I have heard of fraternity's and sorority's (if I remember correctly my high school even tried a little something at one point; not sure how far that went.) but what are they? What is the purpose of joining one? What do they stand for?

The only thing I have heard from those who decided to dedicate their time, life, and sometimes even grade point average to become a part of is for one word - networking. So, what you are saying is, in order to network, I need to allow myself to go through weeks of "secret torture" so that I can meet people? And then all 500 of us have to become "sisters" for the rest of my life? I'm sorry, what? I do not even like you like that Jasmine.

Excuse number 2: "You can put sigma on an application anywhere and the overseer will know exactly what that means." Well, I am not a hiring manager, but enlighten me.

These organisations portray themselves superior to the individual. I know I have written about individualism in this country being a problem (or if not then keep your eyes open), but now it seems as though if you do not have sigma, alpha, delta, zeta, kappa etc behind your name, well then your qualifications just do not matter. You are just an individual, and who needs one of those when you can be a brother or a sister.

I do not understand. For an organisation that brags "prestige" why is it that the procedure in which to join has over the years caused a number of deaths and injuries to those who are interested? Why is it that the attitude amongst much of the Greeks is that of "Oh you're not in greek life? I'm sorry.. Who are you?" I understand having a certain respect for those who were able to make it through "hell week" but do not think for a second that someone else who is simply not interested could not do it too if need be.

Another thing, what is with the secrecy? It almost feels like a cult. (And let me say, I am slightly afraid to even be writing about this right now.) What happens after you join? Do you then become a part of the initiation of the new folks? I mean who comes up with that initiation shit anyways? What if you change your mind? And why can't I touch your cane ! Is it sacred? Will lightning strike me five times?

Am I ever even going to get an answer to any of these questions?

I am thinking that is a no; but I am open to all objections.

Saturday, 10 October 2009

Lost For Words

I write to you today with 2 days of built up anger in my heart.

Why am I angry? Because Jamaica has yet again proven itself to be a country that is incapable of dealing with its many social and moral issues.

The Government has always had trouble controlling the country's violence, as stories of completely inhumane and seemingly unrealistic crimes committed to people of all ages, colours and sizes circulate in the country on a daily basis.

In April of this year, Jamaica was in the news for an alleged "hijacking" by a 23-year old Stephen Fray. He was able to skip through all security points and board a CanJet airplane headed to Cuba. No one was injured in the process, nothing was robbed, and one shot was said to be fired in the air by Fray, who demanded to be flown to Cuba.

By the grace of God, Jamaican police officers fired no shots at him, and he was induced by family members to disembark in the wee hours of the morning. The rest of us, who were awakened by phone calls of the shocking news, could only sit in front of the television, pray for his and everyone's safety, and watch it all unfold.

He was later diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia - a diagnosis that was thrown out by the Jamaican court system.

The trial was held on September 27 - yes he had to sit in jail for 5 months without bail - and he was found guilty on all charges. Maybe our familial relations has made me a biased source, but I strongly believe with every fiber of my being that the sentencing of 83 years - 20 to be served - that he received 2 days ago is malicious, ruthless, and quite barbaric.

Instead of focusing on lagging airport security and mental health awareness, the Jamaican government chose to "make an example" of him by sentencing him to more years than they do the average rapist and murderer - if they are even sentenced at all.

My cousin put it better than I can:

" I am absolutely disgusted at the outcome of young Stephen Fray’s court case. The final verdict was inhumane, to say the least, and unjust in every aspect. It is a disgrace that Jamaica calls itself a developing country when it is completely negligent towards providing good health care to citizens, more so, the mentally ill.

It has been said that Stephen’s sentence, to serve twenty out of eighty-three years in prison, was to set an example to Jamaican citizens highlighting the basis that “if you do the crime, you do the time.” I strongly believe that is utter foolishness. Why then do we have murderers, rapists, and child molesters rampant in the streets? Stephen Fray is an innocent young man who is only guilty of having Schizophrenia, a mental illness that he has no control over without treatment.

What happened that night of April 19, 2009 caused a lot of international attention on Jamaica. Now how embarrassing is it on our country when other nations see how inhumane our government is towards our citizens, especially our youth? Over the years the Jamaican government has found it so hard to tackle the crime and violence in the country, yet they are comfortable imprisoning a young innocent youth. Why must Stephen Fray suffer because of an unstable government? The example that the Jamaican government should have set is that of humanity and understanding.

Political persuasion should not have deliberated Stephen’s sentencing. They have completely robbed Stephen of his youth, freedom, and right to receive proper medical attention as a Jamaican citizen.

We need to speak out, reach out and change the face of our country. Words are powerful and voices are effective. Our youth are our future and Stephen Fray’s promising future should not have been taken away from him. All Stephen needed was help; all our youth need is help. We need to stop being negligent and start doing the right thing for a change. The world is watching! "

Racquel Fray

Its not over cousin. We will continue fighting until justice is served.

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

On To More Unimportant Things.

It is October and I have yet to go back to Miami to visit my friends, my car Fabian, and my house. It probably does not sound like a big deal to you, but to me that is majour.

At first, the weeks went by and I never really noticed. Now that I am so engulfed in endless schoolwork, I realise that even if I wanted to go home for a weekend, I would not have the time to do so. I could always just wait until thanksgiving, which I might end up doing, but that seems oh so far away. (On the plus side, after Thanksgiving means Christmas break!)

Mother dearest came up here this past weekend for "UCF Family Weekend." She did not cook as much as she probably should have, but it was nice to have her here. I went grocery shopping as usual, and we did some of the family things that my school had planned. We got a caricature that literally took the artist, Maria Bolton, about 3 minutes to draw.

We also did sand art, which brought out my inner child - because while every one else was satisfied with one, I sat there and went on and on and on...

I swear this could occupy me for days.

Last but certainly not least we went to the mall, wherein I spent a bit of my birthday money on clothes from American Eagle. They were all lovely, but my favourite shirt by far was not bought in Aerie. I won't reveal it's origin, but look, and enjoy. :)

I must find the perfect occasion to wear this.

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Hello October

Finally! September is over . I am very excited to move on to what October has to offer; since September was no good.

Still quite bitter about The Commercial, my friend and I are planning to write a letter to Michael Moore. Sounds a bit crazy, I know, but we are excited. I am sure he likes getting emails about his work anyway, I mean who wouldn't?

I have actually been hesitating to make a new post because I would love for more people to read that last one. As for my friend, I'd like to add his bit:

"Being the "great friend" who introduced Meisha to Michael Moore's Sicko I guess she felt it fitting to contact me when she had seen that horrific "Anti-FREE Health Care" commercial. As soon as she mentioned it instantly the feeling of disgust came creeping back to me as I was also fueled with rage. We briefly discussed writing a blog or a letter to Michael Moore himself, even though the latter doesn't actually affect anything it was the simple fact that he highlighted something so important in his documentary that I personally believe all American people should see: We are supposedly the world's biggest SUPER POWER but yet American's all across the country are suffering from the lack of a proper health care system. You have people in this country that hate the job they do everyday but they subject themselves to staying in that very same job because of the health care benefits. How many of these people do you think know that they still have to get approved to receive care and the more severe the illness/disease is the less likely they will get approved to be treated?

Its time that the people, the masses realize that the powers that be do not care how many of us survive, they do not care about how healthy we are as a people nor the longevity of our families. The private corporations who capitalize on our current health care system would love to see things stay the same because they know they are overcharging us for simple medicines or "check ups" at the doctor. I mean how many people without health insurance have taken a trip to the doctor for a minor illness (from a chest cold to random unwarranted aches and pains) only to have your doctor tell you that you should take some Advil/Excedrin/Tylenol and then find out that your bill was anywhere between $100-$400 (and I am being very generous with those figures)? Or even worse, have your doctor prescribe you his OWN medicine which even seems like the better alternative because it is actually cheaper?

This has all got to stop! I want the masses to remember that we voted in Obama because he represented CHANGE, so if things are not going to change for the better then why did we go through all of that trouble to vote him in? Lets not fight against Obama because by all rights he is actually trying to do what he said he was going to do and I applaud that. He is the first President I have seen in a long time who honestly seems like he wants to fight for the masses and not just the few wealthy millionaires and billionaires in the country. Our population stands at over 300 million right now and I am telling you this without a shadow of a doubt:

"According to the U.S. Census Bureau, nearly 46 million Americans, or 18 percent of the population under the age of 65, were without health insurance in 2007, their latest data available."

I am not lobbying for these Americans to go and get health insurance now but what I am pushing for is that the masses wake up and support their President with his Health Care plan in anyway they know how. We cannot sit idly by while these already wealthy people capitalize on the demise of the rest of the population. This is our country too, we share it and I will be damned if I let some wealthy privately owned corporation fund an "Anti-Free Health Care" campaign while I say nothing. I may be one person, along with Meisha it makes two of us but we have voices, computers, the internet, pen's, pencils, paper and through one or all of these mediums we will be heard! Its time we the people make a difference...."

- Alexander Day