Small Steps, Big Differences



Last week I was lying in bed thinking about wanting to get more involved with the younger generation.  I wanted an opportunity to engage with them more and to share any knowledge or experiences I have that could possibly impact them, if even in a small way.  The very next morning I received a text inviting me to do mock interviews with eleventh grade students at Westwood High.  Talk about manifesting! (No, I’m actually not an old girl of Westwood.  I attended Immaculate)

Fast forward to today.  While walking through the school there was hushed chatter…”I like her hair”, “She’s pretty”, ” She looks like such and such”.  I pretended I couldn’t hear any of it and chuckled to myself.  Listen to them with all these praises while all I’m thinking is that I hope I don’t fail them (or myself).  I had prayed that I would be able to connect with the girls and have valuable input to offer them.

Being at Westwood felt a little surreal.  These young ladies are so disciplined and well-mannered that it leaves you a little dazed.  I was very impressed.  So let’s talk about the interviews now…The girls came dressed in business attire, and I gave them feedback on their portfolios and pointers on how they could improve their answers to the questions I asked.  I was also able to offer some guidance on their career paths.  For most, this was the first interview they were experiencing, and I’m grateful I had a chance to help prepare them for when they find themselves in an actual interview.  Even if I had tough critique I was careful not to be rough in delivering it.  “Miss, will persons in the interview always be this nice?” one student asked. “Deeeefinitely not” I answered. “Sometimes they’ll be like this”…and I proceeded to give her my best Miranda Priestly (Devil Wears Prada). If you know me well, you know my imitations are ON POINT so just imagine 😂

While the students were memorable for some reason or the other, one stood out in particular, and I think she’s a big part of the reason I ended up there.  It’s like I was meant to meet her.  She was pleasant, reserved and unassuming, but something about her was engaging.  She had a beautiful smile and a sparkle in her eyes, and there was something about her spirit.  It was the kind you instantly feel drawn to.  Something in her portfolio sparked my interest and I asked her to explain some more about what she had written.  She was very open in sharing that she had been through a very dark period and suffered from severe depression, but she was now at a place where she was feeling more victorious in the battle.  Just her sitting there and sharing her story showed great strength, and I was moved.

“Do I look like I have it together?” I asked her.  She smiled shyly, nodded her head vigorously and said “Yes.”  “I don’t always have it together” I told her. “Sometimes I look like this but I don’t have it together.  Sometimes I’m a MESS, and there are times I’m really down, but I keep going and believing that there’s light at the end of the tunnel.”  We spoke some more and I hope something connected and that she was able to take away something valuable from our exchange.  I’m so happy I had the opportunity to meet her and all the other young ladies.  There are some impressive and powerful ladies ready to take the world by storm.

Here’s to more positive manifestations, more meaningful exchanges and more small steps toward making big differences.

Find Your Bobbette

Just like most of you, I recently learned about Luton Shelton’s illness.  Our star footballer has been battling Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) since 2016.  As per, ‘ALS is a disease that gradually paralyzes people because the brain is no longer able to communicate with the muscles of the body that we are typically able to move at will. Over time, as the muscles of the body break down, someone living with ALS will lose the ability to walk, talk, eat, swallow, and eventually breathe.’

A young man in his prime (only 32 years old) facing this life threatening disease…let that sink in.

Since he went public with his illness, I’ve been seeing several posts on social media pertaining to him.  Today it was one of his own posts that really made me stop and think, and it was because of the caption.

bobbette Taken from Luton’s Instagram page (@ls_21)

Luton and Bobbette have been together for over thirteen years, and are about to celebrate five years of marriage.  When they met, he was a healthy man ready to take on the world.  She could not have possibly foreseen what the future would hold – that the love of her life would be diagnosed with a neurodegenerative disease, that his speech would become almost unintelligible, that her husband, the legendary footballer would get to a point (very early on) where he would rely on her for his every need; taking her from not just his wife and mother of their three young children, to primary caregiver.

It made me think about how the choices we make now impact the rest of our lives; how important it is to ensure that we look for more than just a pretty/handsome face and a little spark in a partner.  You need a fire, someone of substance; someone who will stand by your side on the field when the crowd has left the stadium.  Do you have a ride or die, and if you do, do you appreciate him/her?

I’ve had my own ‘Bobbette’ at different points throughout my life and not acknowledged it.  I have been fortunate to have a few good men cheering in the stands for me.  They’ve had a sign with my name, they’ve been shouting the loudest…they were my number one fan…and I didn’t even stop to give them an autograph.  Let’s be real – we have all had a ‘Bobbette’ and not appreciated him/her, and sometimes as a result of that, they’ve ended up walking out with the rest of the crowd.  Luton looked in the stands and saw value in Bobbette, and today she is by his side, sitting on the bench with him and seeing him through his darkest hours.

This couple really got me thinking that you may be scoring goals now, but will you always be?  When all is said and done, you want to know that the person you settle down with will have your back through the good and the bad, and literally through sickness and in health.  You want him/her to see all your flaws (yeah we are all FAR from perfect) and accept them, to appreciate and love you for…YOU…no matter what challenges life throws your way.

At the end of the game will you be alone on the field or will you have your number one fan by your side?

Click here to watch an interview with Luton, his wife and father – Courtesy of The Gleaner

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How The Lizard Stole Good Friday

Lizard Meme

My fear of lizards is here to stay. There’s no getting over it. Somehow one found its way into my room yesterday through a window that the mesh frame needs to be fixed back onto. I wasn’t worried about anything getting in since I don’t open the window. Well, it seems there is a space big enough for lizards to get through. I heard a rustling by my window and from the sound alone I started freaking out imagining that it was probably a lizard. I ran and got the broom before moving the curtain so I could be prepared. With my heart racing (literally), I moved the curtain and there it was on the wall. I immediately started freaking out. I gingerly moved closer to the window so that I wouldn’t frighten the darn thing and slowly slid it open, hoping the lizard would run out. No such luck. I tapped the broom beside it on the wall. All now it nuh move -_- Since it was being stubborn I realized I would need to actually touch it with the broom. Ugh! I barely touched it and instantly the thing flew, yes flew off the wall and ran under my bed!!!! One big chuck off from the wall, similar to when Shaunae Miller dived across the finish line to beat Allyson Felix.

My freaking out reached the next level because now that it was on the ground it meant it could run anywhere in the house and get lost, and ain’t no way me and it living in here together. To make matters worse, even though I saw it go under my bed, when I bent down and looked there was no lizard to be seen. I simply HAD to find it and get it out, but first, serious precautions had to be taken. I closed my bathroom door and ran for newspaper and stuffed it under the door. I was taking no chances, and if it meant I would have to close the bathroom door and stuff newspaper under it each time I went in and out, then so be it. I then rolled up a large carpet I have on my bedroom floor so that if I needed to push the lizard out with the broom there would be nothing in the way. I moved everything that could possibly hinder my mission; shoes, dresser, you name it.

Feeling certain there was nothing it could run behind or into, I did what any person with an irrational fear of lizards would do. Don’t judge me…I removed the pillow cases from my pillows, took the sheet off my mattress and then umm I kinda sorta took the mattress off the bed too. I said don’t judge me :/ With the way my lizard paranoia works, it was a feasible thought to me that since I didn’t see the lizard under the bed, it may somehow be chilling out in my sheet or my pillows or even under the mattress (Yes, I know how silly that sounds). I moved the base of the bed and voila! Out ran the lizard. It ran towards the curtains. They touch the ground so it pretty much got lost in them. I moved the curtain, hoping it would just run out into the open and then I could shove it outside. Nope, it ran over to the curtains by another window. Frisky little bugger.

This clearly wasn’t going to be an easy task. I thought about going for KP to have her put her cat skills to work, but then I remembered the last time she ignored me in my plight with another lizard outside. Clearly I needed reinforcement of the human kind so I made a call, the whole time keeping my eyes glued to the lizard so I would know exactly where it went if it decided to sprint again. “Can you get a lizard out of my room please?” Thankfully the answer was in the affirmative. When he arrived I stayed a safe distance away and pointed to the wretched thing. “There it is!” I said. “This is what you’re afraid of?” he asked. It was on the curtain so he wrapped it up in there, opened the window, put the curtain through it and shook the lizard off outside. He turned to look at me and started laughing. “You really are afraid. Look at how you’re sweating.” Umm yeah, sweating and having heart palpitations. Call my fear of lizards irrational, but it’s definitely real. “I need you to seal me up in here. I don’t care what you have to do. Just seal me up so nothing else can get in.” “I can’t do that. You’d boil up in here,” he said. “I don’t care. I will boil up. Just seal me in here.” My request was met with more laughter.

I thanked him profusely for getting rid of the lizard then took matters into my own hands. I went outside and stuffed every part of the window I could with newspaper. Ain’t no way anything else getting in here with me.  Needless to say, I was exhausted at the end of the day. Moving around a dresser, mattress and so forth will do that to you. I’m just happy the problem is solved. I called my mother to tell her about ‘Operation Lizard’ and despite knowing how afraid I am of lizards, she just couldn’t make sense of it. “You took the mattress off the bed? But why?” “Mommy, I can’t explain. I just get crazy when I see lizards. Even my heart was racing.” “You really need to get over this fear,” she said. Well, I know for a fact I never will. As I started off with – My fear of lizards is here to stay. There’s no getting over it.

Loving The Skin I’m In


I love skin care and hair care!  Skin care is definitely going to dominate this post though.  I’m that girl who has honey and baking soda sitting on her bathroom counter.  If you haven’t tried that, you definitely need to.  The exfoliation is amazing and your skin feels so smooth and soft after!  Recently, and by recently I mean just this year, I decided to give makeup somewhat of a break.  I was never one to pile it on.  Lord knows I haven’t mastered contouring or anything like that.  My everyday routine was just some lightly applied makeup.  Even though it wasn’t heavily done, sometimes it felt like a real chore to remove it at nights.   That, along with a ‘new year, new me, unbothered’ feeling and generally just feeling more comfortable with myself helped me decide to start going about my day fresh faced. I totally understand how liberated Alicia Keys must have felt.  That being said, of course there are days I feel like primping, and out comes the foundation, eyeliner and so forth.  Come on now, I didn’t totally give it up.  I’m just glad I’m at a point where I’m equally comfortable with or without it.  Thankfully I had been taking care of my skin, or I can’t promise that I would have been comfortable enough to go without makeup.

That brings me to skin care products.  Recently I came across a natural skin care line called JAMNATURA.  It’s online based and offers a variety of products; soaps, creams, body oils and masks. I’m a stickler for products that are largely organic.  Of course being a Jamaican it sweetens the deal that these products are infused with Jamaican herbs and spices.  Winning! P.S. It doesn’t hurt that the sister duo behind this awesome new line has great skin.  I’m a believer already 🙂 The sisters describe the products as having ‘healing, regenerative and anti-aging properties.’  I’m most excited about the Dried Hibiscus Soap which is stated to offer benefits such as evening skin tone and controlling oily skin and clogged pores.  It gets better…from now until January 28th, 2017 at midnight JAMNATURA is offering 10% off the Dried Hibiscus Soap (while stocks last).  Just enter the promo code ‘HIBISCUS’ when you’re checking out.

Check out the site and see the other products they have to offer.  You’re sure to find something that you like, just as I did.  I’d love to get your feedback.  Let me know what products you’ve tried from JAMNATURA or are going to try, and what your experience is like.

2016: Year in Review

And just like that, it’s 2017 already. Every year we say that the year went by quickly, but for me, 2016 really and truly felt like it just flashed by.  As I usually do, I’ve rounded up the trending topics for the year.

Let’s dive right into it.

Jamaican men seemed to have lost their minds.

As the end of the year approached, there were quite a few cases of men seemingly snapping and brutally murdering their lovers (in some cases ex-lovers).  It all seemed so unreal, but domestic violence is very real.  I urge you to look out for your friends and family members.  Be on the alert for signs of abuse and don’t turn a blind eye.  You could be the difference between them living or dying.

It wasn’t only Jamaican men who seemed to lose their minds; the American police seemed to have gone crazy too.

It became common (too common) to see broadcasts about civilians being killed by the police in the United States of America. More often than not the victims were Black, and the officers’ actions were questionable.  Watching playbacks of the shootings often made me stop and wonder how in 2016 we were seeing such cruel and seemingly racist behaviour. How did we revert to this?

And in other news in America, Donald Trump became President of the United States.

Were you surprised? I was. Why? He made such crass and racist comments yet still he had such a large following.  That in itself made me realize a sad truth.  What do you think?  Did Hillary Clinton not do enough during her campaigning efforts to encourage the public to vote for her?  What were Hillary’s downfalls and what were the things that worked in Trump’s favour?

Fallen icons

We bid farewell to even more musical legends in 2016. I read a tweet that said we should lock the remaining musical greats in a vault to ensure their safety because we can’t afford to lose anymore. Agreed! Prince, George Michael and David Bowie all left us. Prince, he just seemed immortal, didn’t he? Sigh. We also lost actor Alan Thicke. I remember watching him on Growing Pains. I used to love that show. This year we also said goodbye to Fidel Castro; perhaps one of the most controversial figures of all time. Right as we were ready to close 2016, Carrie Fisher and right after, her mother Debbie Reynolds left us too.

Right here in our homeland Jamaica we were reminded that longevity is promised to no one.

Tears flowed for St. George’s College football captain Dominic James who collapsed while playing the game he loved, and was pronounced dead at the hospital. Whether you knew him or not, you couldn’t help but feel emotional. I think we all joined in mourning with his coach Neville Bell, his George’s family, parents and other loved ones.  We were plunged into mourning again at the stabbing death of Jamaica College student Nicholas Francis.  Over what? A cell phone.  This child’s life was taken because of a simple cell phone.  Another tragic occurrence was the plane crash in Greenwich Town which resulted in the deaths of Jonathan Worton, Dansheer Gilmore and Ramone Forbes. I didn’t know them, but I really felt it, and seeing posts from friends who actually knew them was very sad.

Delus, there is no way I could go on without acknowledging you. I didn’t know him either but when I read that he had committed suicide I couldn’t sleep. I happened to encounter him once and I very well knew who he was when I was walking past but I continued along as if I didn’t.  He gave me a big bright smile (which I guess is what I remembered when I couldn’t sleep) and said, “Gwaan like yuh doe wah smile.”  It wasn’t said conceitedly; it was all in good fun, and at that point we both burst out laughing.  As Chronixx sings, ‘They see me smile but they don’t know what I feel inside.’

I’d like you all to acknowledge that depression is real.  It is not something made up and it is not a sign of weakness.  We all have our troubles and sometimes it’s harder for some of than others to overcome them.  If someone is brave enough to open up and talk to you about something, don’t trivialize their problems.  Don’t dismiss them and tell them that someone has it worse than they do.  Whether that’s true or not, their problem is still just as important and very real to them.  It doesn’t disappear just because ‘someone else is worse off.’  Hear them out.  Also, don’t just throw a ‘pray about it’ or a scripture at them and send them on their way.  They’re struggling. They need more.  Why not offer to pray with them?  Someone opening up to you is a big step for them, and how you respond can either help or make the situation ten times worse.

For everyone we lost, whether named here or not, rest in peace.

We figured out Kartel’s secret.
On a lighter note….Yes!  We finally figured out how Kartel is still managing to put out music and rule the airwaves.  Okay, actually, the world may never know Adi’s secret but take a look at this video.  It was too funny not to share again.

JLP wins

The Jamaica Labour Party emerged victorious in the February 2016 general election.  Some persons felt that the PNP spent too much time focusing on Prime Minister Andrew Holness’ house versus real issues at hand. What are your views? Whatever the case, I can’t say I’ve ever seen such an interest amongst the younger persons in the population to go out and vote. I hope this trend continues. It was good seeing young people getting involved and making their voice be heard.

X6 Murder Trial

This case gained much public outcry, and even became a trending topic on Twitter.  Quite frankly I don’t even know where to begin to comment on this trial; it all seemed like such a fiasco.  All I will say is rest in peace Khajeel.

Spice served it up hot and spicy.
In honour of our athletes’ outstanding performance at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, the Government held a reception for them; the Sports Gala and Awards Ceremony, which took place at the National Indoor Sports Centre.  It wasn’t Asafa’s green suit that stole the show, neither was it Usain’s or Julian’s dance moves that left us talking.  No sir, it was dancehall artiste Spice who gave us a performance we will never forget.

For the full story, check out this link for my blog post on Spice’s performance

Portia Simpson Miller announced she is stepping down.

People’s National Party Leader Portia Simpson Miller gave the surprising announcement that she will not be seeking re-election as party president next September.  Here’s an excerpt from the Jamaica Observer – Many, including the youth arm of the party, Peoples National Party Youth Organisation (PNPYO), have since called on her to resign.  PNPYO has
called for a change in the political vision being presented to the public, beginning with her as leader, as “the premier political movement in Jamaica, finds itself at a crossroads, where the noble institution has lost the faith, trust, and confidence of the majority of Jamaica’s people”.  Remember when she said she was waiting on God to give her a sign for the date of the 2016 general election. Do you think she waited on a sign from God to step down too? Hmmm.

Photos of Gully Bop and 50 Cent had us wondering what’s going on.


As the older folks say, ‘What nuh dead, nuh dash weh.’  Gully Bop came on the scene looking like this.  See picture below (apologies for the picture quality).


He skyrocketed to fame after a YouTube video of him singing. He was ‘cleaned up’ by Ms. Chin and that was quite a dramatic romance. As you all know, they are no longer together, but it was good while it lasted.  Gives me hope too. Maybe there’s a Mr. Chin out there just waiting to scoop me up lol.

Anyway, this year, photos of Bop and none other than 50 Cent surfaced and needless to say we were all shocked. There is speculation that ‘Fiddy’ will be casting Bop in his hit series ‘Power’ or that there is a collaboration in the making.  Well let’s see if the big reveal happens in 2017.

Mia-Skye captured our hearts. #prayforMia

I’m guilty of wasting time on Instagram.  Are you? It starts off with looking at just one picture, and before I know it I’m scrolling through tons more.  It was because of this however that I came across a little girl with a personality ten times as big as she is; Mia-Skye.  Sass, precociousness, charm, wise beyond her years are just a few of the words that sum her up.  I can always count on an amusing post to make me crack a smile or burst into full out laughter.  As you can probably guess, I’m about to launch into an epistle about Mia.  Just a short paragraph would never suffice for this shining star. I hope that in sharing her story, you’ll be encouraged to help her in any way you can.

Recently, Mia was involved in a serious car accident which left her near death.  As explained by her mother, Sasha, this is damage to several parts of her brain.  She had half of her skull removed in order for the doctors to remove a blood clot and bleeding in her brain.  Can you imagine your child or another loved one having to go through that? The part of the skull that was removed was placed in her abdomen in an effort to preserve it.  Due to complications she will instead have to get an artificial acrylic bone made to replace the part of the skull that was removed.  She may have to undergo more surgeries in the future as the artificial bone won’t grow with the rest of her head.

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Going back to the hospital yesterday was such a reminder of how good God has been to us. Kids that we left there who weren't as critical as Mia, were still there when we went back…sigh… As her tummy was being dressed yesterday her doctor kept saying "mommy I hope u know Mia is a miracle baby… Patients who come in, in her condition rarely make it to this point"..I told her its the prayers… and I know that God worked thru her as she tried to save her life. I remember hearing the doctors telling me that first night what it is they need to do and thinking " dear God a it dis.." But u see faith… It can truly move mountains! And the God we serve… Is a wonderful, merciful, forgiving, healing, miracle working God. I DOA know bout anybody else but I know I'm not deserving of all that He has done for me. I keep looking at all the posts I've made since all this and I keep thinking.. Bam yuh nuh see everything we beg God fi do di Boss just a come all the wayyy thruuu for u!! Mi wuda wicked if mi Neva talk… So we prayed that everything was OK at her evaluation and it was. Surgery date set for the next 2 weeks. GOD IS GOOD!!!! So let's pray that within the next 2 weeks she doesn't get sick and her body doesn't absorb anymore of the bone in her tummy… Thank u Jesus! Thanks #teamMiaSkye mi love unu… All the persons who send me their own personal stories with similar injury.. Unu give me hope. Thanks as always for the prayers and msgs… #prayforMia #justiceforKhajeelMais

A post shared by Sasha Sepaul -Brown (@badgyalbam) on

There are many things that Mia has had to relearn – seemingly simple things that we take for granted; holding a pencil, walking, etc. I don’t personally know Mia or her mother, but I check Sasha’s account (@badgyalbam) daily for updates on Mia.  I then share the posts on my Facebook page because there are so many other people who have fallen in love with this little girl just as I have, and want to know how she’s doing.  My Facebook friends message me thanking me for keeping them updated.  See, I’m telling you; she’s a special little girl.  It’s amazing to see the outpour of love, prayers and support from all over the world, and just as me, they don’t even know her.  She just has an indomitable spirit that captures you.

There are days I read Sasha’s posts and celebrate right along with her for victories whether big or small, and other days it breaks my heart when I see that Mia is experiencing a setback.  If I feel sad and down, I can only imagine how her mother feels.  This is her child, her baby girl, and there is no break from this ordeal. This is 24/7 for her.  She has had to go from watching her lie unconscious to undergoing surgeries and pretty much having to re-learn everything.  I am sure she wants to take her pain away but she can’t.  All she can do is be there for her.  Sasha is what I view as the epitome of strength.  Even through what must seem like the darkest of times, she still holds the faith and manages to keep it together for Mia.  Compare me to Mia and Sasha, and I just seem like a real wuss. I can be a really big complainer. When things don’t go the way I want, I’m often guilty of feeling all ‘woe is me.’  I look at this little girl and her mother and how positive they remain, and it is nothing short of amazing.

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I love u *kiss* ur ma best friend in the whole wide world. I love u * kiss* ur ma best friend in the whole wide world OK?… I love her soooo much!! I will NEVER stop praying for u! I will NEVER give up or lose faith!! U are my everything… I will do anything needed to have u back to ur usual self. I will sacrifice anything… I will give up everything! She's just 4… She looked at me and said "u sad?" And I sed " gweh nuh man u see nobody sad?" And she say "come here man"…. And I turned on the video…. I wud give my life in a heartbeat to take away all that you are going thru right now. I pray I can be as strong as u are one day… Even with all that u face, u see tears in my eyes and can comfort me…. God u see mi tears…. Oh God u hear mi cries… Sigggghh… But mi Nah stop pray Meemz.. Team Neva give up! Team affi stay strong! Team must have victory!! #GodAlone! #prayforMia

A post shared by Sasha Sepaul -Brown (@badgyalbam) on

I’m asking, as well as encouraging you to say a prayer for Mia and Sasha, and to donate towards Mia’s medical expenses if possible.  As you can imagine, her medical care is very expensive and she needs all the help she can get.  If you would like to donate, please see the below information:

Scotia New Kingston Branch
Account # 000946761 
Branch # 50575

Go Fund Me

What moments in 2016 stood out for you?

Too Spicy For You?

spicsPhoto Credit:

In honour of our athletes’ outstanding performance at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, the Government held a reception for them; the Sports Gala and Awards Ceremony, which took place at the National Indoor Sports Centre.  It wasn’t Asafa’s green suit that stole the show, neither was it Usain’s or Julian’s dance moves that left us talking.  No sir, it was dancehall artiste Spice who gave us a performance we will never forget.

Dancehall is a HUGE part of our culture, so hey, including this genre in the performances for the evening was no shocker.  I’d like to know though what thought process made the organizers of the event arrive at booking Spice.  What songs was she to go on stage and sing that could be deemed appropriate for the event?  No, really. One of her ‘milder’ songs that comes to mind has lyrics that go like this – “Tell a gyal seh, me is a girl mi nuh fight over man. From mi likkle bit a jus suh mi tan. Dis yah gyal only wah gi him one. After dat him tun fool cah him jus get di bomb.  Tight ***** gyal nuh fight over man…’  I don’t think I need to continue.  Just imagine the rest of the lyrics. Actually, I did some research and found that she does have a song that is more ‘toned down.’  It’s called ‘Baby I Love You’ but before researching, I had neeeeever heard that song.  It clearly went to file 13.  Maybe there are other songs on the tame side, but as I said, I only know the popular ones that get a lot of airplay.  I’m sure this is the same for majority of persons.  They mainly know her lewd songs.  Knowing the nature of the songs that Spice has in her repertoire, I can’t say that she was a prime choice to perform at an event of this nature.  But fine, they booked her and she came out and sang her hits ‘Panda,’ ‘Suh Mi Like It’ and ‘Indicator’.  She didn’t get very far with ‘Indicator’ but we’ll get into that soon.

In my opinion the outfit seemed rather risqué for the occasion.  There she was with that sheer bit of her dress showing her bottom in all its glory.  My co-worker said, “She’s up there singing, “I got this thing round a back yah, mi know how fi shake it up like a shaker. Left to the right, move like indicator…Left side a jump, right side a jump. With lyrics like that, tell me what type of outfit you expected her to go up there wearing.”  I can’t agree with that one.  I’m partial to thinking that she could have gone even a tad demure for the event. Maybe just give us some cleavage and call it a day.  I mean this event was attended by the Prime Minister and other government officials.  As my co-worker also said, what she gave us was more of hazard lights than an indicator. Bwahahaha. Indeed!

I wasn’t there so I don’t know for a fact what the running order was like, but it seems there was a big blunder there.  Bwoy, no one took a second look at the running order and thought that it was a bad idea to have Spice perform after gospel singer Kevin Downswell?  That was a sin committed right there lol.  Imagine Kevin just took the people to church.  Glory!  They just got through hearing lyrics like this – ‘Lord I love You because You first loved me…’ ‘So I give You everything, no holding back.’  Well, it looks like Spice was listening backstage because she certainly gave us everything and didn’t hold back lol.  The reaction of some of the persons in the audience was just priceless, or should I say ‘Pryceless.’  Yeah Shelly, we saw you girl lol.  You know what though?  Had she gone up there and sang one of her file 13 songs (which would have been more appropriate), I can almost guarantee that still she would have gotten an awkward response from the audience. Most persons don’t know those songs so I can’t see Spice getting much of a positive reception from the crowd had she drawn for any of them. Damn if you do, damn if you don’t lol.  Some persons say that she received this response because people turn up their noses at dancehall.  They say that the same persons who snub Spice will go out and jump in Carnival.  Yes, it is true that some people do shun dancehall culture, and yes some of the persons tittering at Spice’s performance ‘carry on bad’ at Carnival, but guess what?  This was not Carnival; this was a reception for our athletes.  There is a time and place for everything.

But things got worse. Spice, how yuh salt suh? So, she directs them to drop the track for the next song, but not a track drop. No sah.  More like if you dropped a pin you would hear it. *cricket cricket* Well, I have to say that true to her name she handled the situation with such ‘grace.’  Realizing that ain’t no track dropping, she started singing ‘Indicator’ acapella.  Thankfully, some of the audience members clapped, giving her a rhythm and a little boost.  She sang a few lines, bowed, said ‘Thank you’ and exit the stage.  Spice, I have to give you your props mumz.  You held it together like a true performer.

But hold on, it doesn’t end there.  The next set of performers was a dance troupe and you won’t believe what music their dance was choreographed to!  None other than Spice’s ‘Indicator.’ On it comes, blaring through the speakers.  That is what you call adding insult to injury.  Yes, it was mixed with a samba type beat (if I heard the clip correctly) but…it…was…still…‘Indicator’.  From what I could see in the video clip, the dancers were in short shorts and every now and then would bend over, backs to the audience, bottoms up in the air.

So, the producer of the event, Lenford Salmon has commented on the matter.  He says that they have done several events of this nature in the past and had dancehall acts (he cited artistes like Mavado and Bounti Killer), and that they tailored their performances to conform to the event.  He also went on to say that they had spoken to Spice’s management team regarding same and were assured that she would conform.  Her attire and lyrics were raunchy but I have to say though that her performance did seem more toned down than what I have seen of her at other events.  In my opinion, she actually gave a performance that in comparison to some of her others could be considered ‘tame.’  It could have been much worse.  That being said, it went wrong from the minute they booked her.  As I said before, what popular songs does Spice have that wouldn’t make you want to cover your children’s ears?  Mavado and Bounty Killer are not only popular for their explicit hard core songs.  I mean Mavado can draw for ‘On the Rock,’ ‘Big League, ‘Give it All to Me’ (clean versions that is). The list continues.  And we know that Bounty Killer has popular songs where he isn’t in war lord mode.  Well people, Mr. Salmon said that Spice’s performance made the audience uncomfortable but he cites ‘technical difficulties’ for the track not being played.  I call foul on that.

I’ve shared my two cents.  What are your views?  Click the link below to watch the full video of Spice’s performance.  Clip courtesy of @TheRaahtedShow.

Spice’s Performance at the Sports Gala and Awards Ceremony

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Shopping Partners…

kanyeThe expression I need to perfect

I meant to go to the supermarket much earlier today but it felt like such a task to leave home. I finally decided that this bum behaviour was not going to cut it and unwillingly dragged myself out of the house at minutes to 9. I threw on my jeans and a T-shirt with a sweater, and looked presentable enough to be seen in public, but not enough to really be seen if you get what I mean. I just wanted to be in and out like Casper and not bump into anyone I know.

I got to the supermarket and was going down an aisle when the unthinkable happened…I heard someone say, “Hi there!” I reluctantly turned around only to see a man who I didn’t know giving me the biggest smile. “Not today sir, not today,” I said in my head. I looked at him quite blankly and hoped that would shut him down, but nope, no such luck.

Man: Can I shop with you?
Me: What? What do you mean? (pushing cart and walking away while asking, so clearly not interested in the response)
Man: You know…we shop together.
Me: Why would we do that?
Man: (Now pushing his trolley and walking alongside me…ugh) Well, you can help me shop.
Me: I’m sure you don’t need any assistance. I’m certain you do this all the time.
Man: Well, I’m not usually the person who does the shopping.

Of course I start thinking that probably means he has a wife or girlfriend at home, and here he is harassing me. Hmmm.

Man: I’m Chris. What’s your name? (By now we’ve walked down two aisles and I’m wondering if my expression isn’t accurately conveying my thoughts…go away)
Me: Krystal (My tried and true fake name that I’ve been using for years. The Lord must be tired of hearing me lie)
Man: So how old are you Krystal? I’m not quite twice your age. (Ahhh I see what you did there. Drawing for that Shabba song, trying to be funny)
Me: Not twice my age. Are you sure about that?
Man: You look about 23.
Me: Nope

He deliberates further about my age.  We’ve now gone down yet another aisle and I realize it seems we really are ‘shopping together.’  I purposely stopped at the mayonnaise and took an agonizingly long time. Decisions, decisions…Hellmans or Kraft, oh and there are all these different sizes. Glass or plastic? Hahaha.

Man: So I’m not even going to ask you for your number, because I know you’re going to say no. (Yaaay! My expressions seem to be working again. He knew not to even ask)
Me: You’re right.
Man: Instead, I’m going to ask you to take my number. (Really Slick Rick?)
Me: Umm no. How about you just look out for me whenever you’re at the supermarket. You might just see me again. You never know. (While writing this I remembered the time I gave a guy the first 6 digits of my number and told him he would just have to figure out the seventh. Believe it or not, I got a call from him. My number ends with an 8 :/)
Man: They say lightning doesn’t strike the same place twice.
Me: I don’t know what to tell you then. Just hope for a coincidence.

Well, he went off on his way and I continued without my shopping partner. What have I learned? One, I need to work on my expressions; they aren’t effectively portraying my thoughts.  Two, it could have been that I bumped into someone I actually know, so this ‘I hope I don’t see anyone I know’ really doesn’t cut it.

Keeping it Real: Twists & Turns


I was going through emails the other day in an email account that I no longer use. I haven’t used it in years. You know that phase you went through when you had a cutesy email address but then you get older and realize it just wasn’t going to cut it anymore? Yup, that was the account I was going through. I came across an email from the Vice Principal of my alma mater (high school), inviting me and some other alumnae to come back and address the girls. I had missed the years… The gist of it would have been to share our experiences about our time in high school, where life has led us career wise and so forth. I loved the idea of this. Believe it or not, I actually enjoy public speaking (once I know about it beforehand and I’m prepared, that is). It’s weird, right? One, who enjoys that? Two, it doesn’t seem to fit my personality being that I come across as reserved. So how does it all make sense? Well, I used to be bored to tears listening to some of my classmates present, particularly in university as that required constant presentations. I made a mental note that I NEVER wanted to make anyone restless and bored, which is how I felt sitting there at times. I therefore would put a lot of effort into making my presentations interesting and engaging, so much so that I even had a lecturer ask me and my partner to present to another class. But back to presenting to these young ladies…how wonderful it would be to address them!

Oh but hold up, ‘What have you achieved?’ I thought to myself. What could I stand before them and say? A marketer by academic qualifications and by passion, I have worked in event planning, customer service and sales. Why? A degree and a love for something do not necessarily translate to getting the job you want. I’ve had MANY forks in the road along the way; some due to being made redundant or laid off, insufficient financial compensation and so forth.  Of course I have held marketing positions too, and some of my jobs have been at reputable companies, companies that others would have been happy to work at, but I always felt they were only scratching the surface of what I have to offer.

I do have to say thank you to Air Jamaica/Caribbean Airlines for starting me off in the working world by offering me my first permanent job.  I worked hard as a temporary worker during the holidays and it didn’t go unnoticed.  When I finished university I got a call inviting me to an interview and I was successful.  We all know the unfortunate story of Air J/CAL though, so from there I was back at square one.  It was a rough road ahead from there.  There were days I wondered if getting my degree was worth it because I was applying for jobs but no one was calling me and when I was lucky enough to get an interview, my lack of experience was a problem. Yeah, that dreaded cycle – no experience equals no job and no job equals no experience. You see the problem there?

For some reason, I always had twenty-five as the age in mind that I would have achieved all my hopes and dreams by, or at least have even the makings of something great. Imagine my disappointment when that age came and went and I had not yet actualized the things I had hoped to. Can you say meltdown? I’ve had them.  My disappointment has led to me complaining about not having an established career or seeing any real glimmer of it. That in turn caused me to be called miserable, negative and ungrateful. Here’s the thing, a relationship to some is what a career is to me. That’s where my focus is. I’m more likely to be the friend with the career problems than the man problems. Despite planning weddings, don’t ask me about what I envision for mine. I haven’t the slightest clue. All I can tell you is I want a nice dress and nice ring, and that my walk down the aisle will be non-traditional but touching as I lost my father at fifteen. My point is, I’m just focused on achieving success and feeling far from it impacts me greatly. I’ve found the labels of being miserable, negative and ungrateful to be so very unfair. I’m not satisfied with just enough. I want to achieve my full potential, and if that makes me any of the things you call me, then sorry, not sorry. Say what you want.

I was recently successful in an interview for a marketing a very established company.  Could this be the glass slipper in my Cinderella story? Ironically, I have interviewed with this company  in the past and made it to the next round and so forth, but was not successful. I had even felt dejected and thought perhaps I should not apply again. I thought, ‘What’s the use?’ Well, it seems that Bob Marley was in my head because I went at it again.  ‘Dem a guh tiyad fi see mi face.  Cyaa get me outta di race.’ This time, I crossed the finish line. It ended up being worth it after all, and I actually don’t mind that it happened this way. For anyone who would like to think I got the position because of ‘friend and company’ or a ‘who yuh know’ type of situation, no siree, I earned it fair and square. The funny thing is that I think all the twists and turns along my path greatly assisted in making me stand out. What seemed like bouncing around has turned out to be gathering important experience. My event planning, sales and customer service experience has given me more depth for this particular marketing role.

While at my last place of employment (this was just last year – 2015), a co-worker who was ahead of me in school was preparing her presentation as she had been asked to address the girls just as I had been. How I would have loved to contact the Vice Principal and tell her I wanted to be a part of it. I remember watching her prepare and feeling somewhat down that I didn’t have an amazing story to share about my awesome career. But guess what?  I think I’m on my way there. In any case, I now see that maybe I am in fact someone that these young ladies need to hear from. Not all of them will have success at the first attempt, or even the first few attempts. Many will walk a path similar to mine. What I can now say is that even though the path is long and filled with unexpected roadblocks, ones that will have you sit and cry in front of them before you find the strength to get around them, the journey does not end there…there is hope. I am the realist, the ‘what they need to hear,’ the ‘preparing them for the real world,’ because truth is, studying hard and doing well do not equal you automatically achieving success and not knowing all this sets you up for disappointment.  Before success, you must go through the twists and turns.

What Can WE Do?

Today I saw a little boy at a stoplight that I frequently pass. I know the regulars so I realized he’s new. It’s sad there are even any ‘regulars’ in the first place.  I’ve been trying to stick to my resolution that I’m not going to be conned anymore by insincere and/or rude persons (you’d have to read my previous blog posts or have seen my Facebook posts to know the back story to that) and apart from that, my windshield is getting scratched by the windshield wipers and I really don’t need that.  Anyway, the point of that diversion in my story is that I had made up my mind that I was going to tell him no. I did just that so he wiped off the little area he had sprayed and went on to the other cars. His little face melted me though. He wasn’t like the little boy I’ve posted about who was quite rude and tormented me each day.

I started blowing my horn for him to come back so I could give him something.  The banana man got his attention for me.  He came back and I handed him the money. He politely said, “Thank you miss.”  Typical me started talking to him.  Why I can’t let people go on their merry way, I don’t know. “I’ve never seen you out here before.  Are you going to be out here now?”  He hung his head and all he could offer as a response was, “Nothing miss.”  I then asked, “Are you okay?”  He said, “Yes, miss” and my heart melted even more looking at his face.  He walked away but not before turning back to say yet again, “Thank you miss.”

I drove off and all I could think was, well suppose he had said he’s not okay.  Then what?  How could I have helped?  The truth is, just the mere fact that this child is out at the stoplight is enough to tell me that he’s not okay.  That brings me back to this – what else can I do to contribute?  Heck, what can WE do?  Yes, I’ve done and continue to do things, but is this drop in the ocean enough?  What else can I do?  How do I make a bigger impact and dare I go as far as hope to get these children off the street?  There are many key issues arising here; the lack of employment, the need for family planning to be emphasized and even the need for parenting classes, among other things.

I did the Digicel 5K (great initiative) recently and in the midst of feeling pumped as I went along, I also felt sad.  There were a few times that we passed homeless persons or children out on the street watching as all the excitement passed them by.  I mean children you could clearly see were less fortunate.  I saw one that didn’t even have on shoes.  This walk took place in the night and some of them were standing there with no adult in sight.  There we were walking to raise money and awareness for special needs, and here were other needs lining the street. So many areas need our help.  Just this weekend I was driving  downtown (yes I had someone with me this time so no getting lost) and saw a homeless man with one leg dragging himself across the street. Now I’ve seen many homeless persons, as I’m sure you have, but this hit me on another level.  Can you imagine that this is how this poor man has to get around?  Just dragging himself. Man…

There’s so much to be done and I commend those who have joined the good fight in whatever way they can.  I’m straying a bit , but I guess my mind is on areas in general that lack so much and need assistance.  Our hospitals are one such case.  While recently they have been in the media extensively, the truth is that it is not news to us that some of them are in a deplorable state and it is not news that some lack essential equipment.  We knew this.  A particularly upsetting incident reminded us of these things, and has put it further in the spotlight, but as I said, we knew that these things were happening to some extent.  We’re guilty of getting outraged about things then forgetting all about them.

Tremendous kudos to Shaggy for all he does for the Bustamante Children’s Hospital. He didn’t just turn the newspaper page or change the channel or send out a tweet with a great hashtag when he realized the problems the hospital faces. He took action.  I used to volunteer there while I was in high school and I ended up stopping.  It pained my heart to go and play with the kids and cheer them up for a brief moment, only to leave them lying there in their hospital beds.  It’s something that I really, really should have seen through because those children look forward to the visits, but I wasn’t strong enough to continue.  I chose instead to start volunteering at the Salvation Army’s School for the Blind.

I enjoyed assisting the students with their homework assignments and developed a good relationship with them.  There is one in particular that I am so proud of.  When he was studying for CXC he asked me for extra assistance so I picked him up and let him come to my house to go over notes. I was his ‘writer’ for the exam and I remember there were some times he would ask me what answer he should choose.  I refused to give him any answers and instead encouraged him to listen carefully.  I am beyond proud to say that he passed with distinctions.  He went on to pursue his degree at UWI and get this, he even has his Masters now!  After achieving so much, he now has a problem; there are barely any job opportunities for the visually impaired.  Well, there are barely any opportunities for persons with disabilities full stop.  I need to rephrase that even more.  There are barely any opportunities even for persons who don’t have a disability.  I’ve been privileged to be a part of this young man’s life and watch him work against the odds to accomplish all that he has, but how do I help him now?  If anyone can assist me in answering this question, please let me know.

Today I was reminded that I need to find ways to do more.  I need to find a way to take it to a higher level.  I also need to encourage others to get more involved, and I’m happy I can use my blog to reach persons.  I worry that my drop in the ocean is not enough, but if we all do what we can, our collective efforts can accomplish something.

I’d like to end by letting you all know that if you have items (in good condition) that you want to give away, you can take them to the Salvation Army’s headquarters on Waterloo Road.  Just put the bag in the receptacle, and that’s it.  As simple as that.  Do what you can, volunteer where possible, make someone’s life a little easier.  Let’s be a TEAM, because Together Everyone Achieves More.

Know When To Zip It

There’s that famous saying – ‘Honesty is the best policy.’ Is it always?  I was in the supermarket the other day and a gentleman beside me was having a conversation with a lady I presumed to be his girlfriend.  Anyway, as I was so close to them I heard him say, “There’s nothing wrong with giving a compliment.  There’s nothing wrong with being honest.”  Suddenly he directs the conversation to me.  “Look at this lady right here (Umm this lady right here who’s minding her own business?). Miss, you look FANTASTIC! She does! There’s nothing wrong with telling her.”  Can you say awkward? I felt awkward for me AND for her.

I said thank you and couldn’t help but laugh.  Did he really just do that?  And why did I have to be the one he used to make a point? Lol.  I immediately looked at her to see if she was getting ready to take her earrings out and throw all one hundred pounds of me to the floor, but her face didn’t offer much expression.  Actually he ended up striking up a conversation with me and she walked off (still in the vicinity).  The man continued his point, saying he doesn’t see what’s wrong with being honest.  I told him that can actually get you in trouble sometimes so you have to learn when it’s best to say nothing at all.  Case in point, what he had just done.  Not every situation calls for you to voice what you may be thinking.  He then started telling me about a scenario with his co-workers where it really did turn out that it was perhaps best to withhold the truth.  You’re probably wondering why I stood there entertaining a conversation with him being that his girlfriend may not have been amused.  Well, I was trying to get the attention of the staff in the bakery.  His girlfriend came back over and get this, he introduces her as his wife.  The plot thickens! I gave her my warmest hello and sweetest smile and thankfully they got what they were waiting on and left.  Never a dull day I tell you…

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