Toronto has 5 seasons; spring, summer, fall, winter and construction.
There is always something being built, renovated or demolished in the city.
Though this is inconvenient for residence of Toronto, it is a sign of a healthy, growing city.
Welcome to Construction city.
This sign by Dundas Square prepares motorist for delays and detours.
What more is there to do on a finished building? Well, maintenance is essential for public safety.
Dundas and Jarvis awaits the completion of another condo. Construction City is headed for a name change…Condo City.
Pedestrians are appeased with graffiti art for the inconvenienced caused by all this construction.
No, this is not the entrance of a haunted house, it is a pathway for pedestrians secured from falling objects.
Construction zones over lap in the city’s skyline.
Detour…take this right, construction zone ahead.
A maze of steel, helping to finish this building.
Tower of Babel? Who knows, at the rate this is climbing we may touch the heavens soon enough.
Danger due to….Construction!
I had no previous knowledge of the artiste Potential Kidd or his hit song “Yahso Nice”, until I was asked to sign a petition protesting, Lime’s, use of his jingle in their most recent promotion. I have since listened to the song and to say I am revolted would be an understatement. The singer explicitly describes a sexual encounter with a female and goes further to assert his heterosexuality with the line, “before me turn a batty man, me prefer turn a raper” and all this is punctuated with “a yahso nice”.
Lime for a mighty long time has been relegated to the back of the line with respect to telecommunications in Jamaica and the wider Caribbean. Therefore, it is no surprise that their desperate marketing department would jump on a catchy slang to attract a younger clientele, not realizing the damning effect this will inevitable have on the society. However, Lime’s ill-advised move allowed the power of advocacy to be revealed once more.
Socially conscious Jamaicans took to social media to campaign against the message of this song and even more so, Lime for legitimizing this message by buying into it. This endeavor quickly spread across the world, with people as far as the Netherlands, Brazil, Peru, Canada, the USA and our brothers and sisters in the Eastern Caribbean chiming in on the imprudent step on the part of the struggling telecommunications network. It is also notable that several organization such as Jamaica AIDS Support for Life (JASL), Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coalition (CVC), which advocates for minority and disenfranchised groups in Jamaica, also stood in solidarity with the cause and asked for Lime to do the noble thing. Within a week, Lime had reneged on their contract and Potential Kidd made a public apology, all of this due entirely to a small group of advocates.
In sixth form I had a teacher who struggled to impart worldly wisdom to my year group. One of her many little mantras was “Changing the world is as easy as speaking up”. This is basically advocacy, a refusal to remain silent even when the odds are stacked against you. The willingness to speak out against immorality even when it has become the social norm. To stand up for the rights of those who are unable to stand for themselves. Fighting for a cause, even when you will not be an immediate beneficiary. This latest testament of advocacy has renewed my faith in the act and will find me being more aggressive in speaking out, for and against….you should too, the world can only benefit from this…it r the truth.
I pledged never to write about the people around me in my blogs. This is if we become friends and they stumble upon it eventually, that would be awkward. However, I have to write about my experience last night which still has me pinching myself.
Last night I had an encounter with a random girl, she might as well have been a ghost because I don’t know where she came from, neither where she went after.
I live in a shared space with five men. We all have our own rooms, but we share bathrooms and kitchen area. Now this situation lends itself to so many stories, but we will have those on another day.
This particular Saturday I sat down to dinner of curried chicken and white rice. I heard a knock on my door and there was this red-head waving to me in the doorway. This is unusual, because I have never seen a woman in this house. She introduce herself and was kind enough to apologize for the alcoholic fumes leaving her body because it is her day off and she has been drinking, so she maybe drunk. Wait, it isn’t awkward yet.
She said she smelled my dinner and it smelled so good that she was wondering if I have any more so that she may have some. Please understand that this is a common joke among Jamaicans back home. We will ask to share in a stranger’s meal as a compliment to how good it looks or smell, but will definitely not accept after the polite consent from the cook. A Jamaican friend of mine shared how he was severely beaten by his mother because she caught him accepting food from the neighbours; What made it worse was that it was a dumpling… that warrants the death penalty in Jamaica. This tacit rule is rooted deep in our culture and we all blindly obey it without thought to question its origin. Anyway, back to Miss Thing….I nervously laughed at the request and she laughed too, but I became confused because she was looking with expectancy. I said to her that I don’t have any left as I only prepared for one . Now please understand my surprise when Miss Thing takes the plate from my hand and starts eating….as God is my witness it r the truth. She shovelled too clumps of chicken into her mouth before I even registered what was happening. She handed me back the plate while informing me she graduated from George Brown with a Food Management degree and my dinner is very tasty… as if I didn’t know; I told her thanks with a smile.
She goes further to take my cup and begin drinking. At this point I started looking around for a hidden camera because clearly this was a prank, it had to be. She then steps beyond me, sits on my bed and starts shooting questions at me about where I’m from and what I am doing in Canada …looking around the room as she speaks. Then Miss Thing removes her shoes, so I say, “This feels so surreal, like I am in an updated version of Goldy Locks and the three bears.” She responds, “…but there are only two bears,” and starts to cackle…0_O She eventually left, well not before taking some more of the rice and giving me a high-five.
Can somebody explain to me what happened? I’ve never had this experience in my life and I am too shock to be angry. Can anybody say if this has happened to them and if I should expect more encounters like this? Clearly I am not in Kansas any more Toto…and that r the truth.
As early as the sun rose in Toronto I was deep in a discussion around abortion. Let me hasten to say, I am not an advocate for abortion, but I think it should be an option made available to all women; there is a difference. The decision to terminate a pregnancy is not taken with the same leisure as that to shave the eye brows or dye ones hair, it must be a painful dilemma. I believe this should be respected and the woman given the opportunity to make a decision in the best interest of her and the foetus. People who advocate against abortion are called pro-life, but I really believe they should be called anti-choice, because that is exactly what they are doing; denying women options with regards to what happens to and inside their bodies. I have no issue if you are against abortions, no one is forcing you to have one, so why prevent those who desire to partake?
Let us face it, the world has almost 7 billion people, with a large percentage malnourished and suffering. You want me to think a divine creator will hold it against you because you did not add to this pool of drowning souls? We are using non-renewable resources faster than we can find a suitable replacement, because the world is overpopulated. We will not end up on an endangered specie list any time soon.
The conflict is heightened by the inability to decide at what point life begins; in the womb or after birth. Personally I believe “life” begins at birth. The foetus may be ALIVE but it is not a LIFE. If a census was done in a town that has a pregnant woman, would the foetus be counted? The argument is that the child could die before it is born, however, terminally ill patients in the hospital are also counted, they could die too, so what’s the difference? Is it that one is born and the other unborn?
I was born a liberal to a very conservative family and many times my mother and I have clashed over this issue. I remember one heated argument we had, I turned to my younger sister and told her if she ever needed an abortion I would give her the money. Needless to say, my mother was livid…exactly what I wanted :D. In another instance she shared with me how she had talked a friend out of having an abortion; mom was so proud of herself. I pointed out to her that this woman was in her mid 40s, had seven children already, was a grandmother, she was unemployed and to make it worse her husband struggled to provide for them…this never moved my mother to see logic, instead she pointed out to me that God’s knew this was going to happen and he allowed it…0_o. Shortly after this, my mom migrated and the friend had a son… Would you believe my mother had the nerve to share with me how her friend was having a hard time catering for her 8th child? I said to her that she should be sending money for the baby and she was livid…again….exactly what I wanted :D. I understand and respect my mother’s viewpoint, but at the same time still hold firmly that the pregnant woman should decide. How many of you having voiced you opinions against abortion have actually visited a home or even given support to a family that has too many children? I have actually heard the argument put forward by some anti-choice people that women who had sex are aware of the “consequences” of this act….ahhm, at what point can we comfortably consider a child a “consequence”? When is it acceptable to view a child as pennant for bad decisions made by adults? How pitiful Consequence Pennant Jackson would be in a home where she is unwanted.
The catholic church as we know is anti-choice, they have even made an offer to women contemplating abortion to take the child to them after it is born….this raises my eye brows higher than Joan River’s hairline. Not only is the catholic church viewed negatively for how it “handles” children, but if they want to take care of unwanted children, look how many are already on the streets. What are they doing about them? Why not use the resources available to provide for those already here? What irritates me most is this is coming from a group that is against contraceptives….seriously, in this day and age.
I have also played the “what if…” game with people. They ask me what if my mother had an abortion, what if Mary had aborted Jesus or Beethoven’s mother terminated her pregnancy…I am willing to play this game with them and ask what if Stalin’s mother had an abortion, what if Charles Manson’s mother had one, how about Napoleon, Gaddafi, Hitler, damn, since we playing this game, how about George Bush… would we be better off had their mothers’ aborted them?
The debate on abortion will not cease, it is an issue of ethics and can be argued strongly on both sides. It all comes down to the reproductive right of all women, she should have the right to decide what happens to and in her body. I know I will never be faced with this decision myself, but I have many friends and family who may find themself at this cross road… My advice is to get as much information as possible and weigh your option to ensure you make the best decision…and that r the truth.
What if I were BLACK?
Not smooth, rich black, grinning black,
but coarse BLACK,
abrasive and obscene BLACK.
The make you cringe type of BLACK,
Would we be friends…?
What if I were HIV+?
Not victimized, poor thing, HIV+
but “brought it upon himself” HIV+.
Messed around, sexed around, slept around HIV+,
Would we be friends…?
What if I were CRIPPLED?
not faulty machines, accident crippled,
but broke the law, had my ass clipped CRIPPLED.
CRIPPLED due to disobedience,
Would we be friends…?
What if I were DULL?
Not shy, stay by myself dull,
but a sad DULL, no jokes or dramatic anecdotes DULL.
DULL u scurry to escape from as it draws near,
Would we be friends…?
What if I were GAY?
Not happy, suave, well groomed gay,
but angry GAY, loud, defensive GAY.
Pelvic bone in your eye shoving GAY,
desire the smooth finish of women’s clothing GAY,
Would we be friends…?
What if I were an ATHEIST?
Not agnostic, flat out ATHEIST,
call you foolish for believing ATHEIST,
regard as ramblings, eternal soul ATHEIST,
Would we be friends…?
Life MAY NOT take me down this road,
so perhaps what I should ponder is,
WHY are we Friends…?
I’ve never lost a close friend, until today. Whitney is dead.
She died and it felt like a friend I grew up with was taken away from me and tears leaped from my eyes.
U don’t have to know me on an intimate level to know I love Whitney; pre and post Bobby. Give me Whitney, she can do no wrong no matter how wrong she seems. She for me is music.
The genesis of this love-sick fascination with Whitney was her vocals. The raw grit that exist in her tone. The ability to hit notes that some people only dream about and can only perfect while taking a shower. Most importantly, the fact that she can do it live trumps everything and makes her the greatest in my eyes.
I became conscious of Whitney around age 6, the video for “Greatest Love of All” was the trigger and man was I shot. Not only was she gorgeous, but she had the type of voice that made your hair stand on end when she hit that “love of aaaallllll” note. My mother had similar earrings to those she wore in the final scene, u know the big ass ones with diamonds all over it? Yes, I must confess I would often pin these earrings to my ears and pretend to be Whitney with a towel wrapped around my head and hair brush in hand. This is the hold she HAS on me. I would act as both adult Whitney and child Whitney as they walked unto the Apollo stage to merge into one in that classic video.
Whitney continued to blossom as a mega star and my love and devotion grew deeper. I use to look forward to award shows to see if Whitney would perform. If u think she is good on record, u have not heard her live. This woman sang with her entire being, from the glue of her wig to the sole of her feet she delivered while looking impeccable. Oh for the Bodyguard years when her voice had fully matured and was at its peak. How many singers u know can stand before a microphone, orchestra in the background, spotlight on them and they rip the concert hall to shreds? This art died in the early 90’s and we may never see it again in our lifetime. I‘ve seen every movie, every tv show, watched thousands of interviews on youtube which Whitney did and say this without reservation that she is my friend, she is a major part of my life.
I really did love this woman, saw past her imperfections and accepted her with all her flaws because they made her beautiful. I carried this love for Whitney and am never afraid to defend her. I read once that God repairs the broken wings of angels, well, he had to call in Whitney for a tuning of her voice. No matter what she did, how she died, NOTHING can erase the impact she had on music and that r the truth.
I’ve heard many stories pertaining to employee-employer relations. I’ve heard tales of supervisors being diabolic in their actions against subordinates. I’ve even listened to stories which ended with a desire for co-workers to die a slow and painful death, or be tormented forever in a dark hole….however, I can’t connect to these stories, I worked with a group of people who were like family.
Our home was the small staff room, perched on the fringes of the school compound and houses 10 teachers, we are the last to receive information and usually deprived of basic amenities like tissue, soap and hand towels . We have even been called “the teachers in the diaspora” to show how much we are separated from the main building. Yet, with all this, I would never exchange our positioning. Within the small staffroom though, there was a core group which I considered my family. We had an enviable relationship that eclipses all the other ills I’ve listed above. They made work bearable, a major feat when u r working at a boys school. If there was ever a time I was low in my spirit, u can count on my family to lift me up. We all had unofficial assigned roles and we were true to them.
Boss Lady (Cross) was the Claire Huxtable of supervisors. We were allowed to have fun, but work must be done :D. She has high standards and great expectations of us and you feel the impulse to work hard because Boss Lady believes you can do it, so you will do it. Never had a better supervisor and God knows it will be hard to top her.
Super Chef, (Campbell-Jones) is the consummate cook and nice parent. You know the type of mother that helps you to hide the bad report card if you promised to make good on the next one? Yes, that’s here. Plus she can cook like no one can, her things not local either; blue berry pies, red velvet cakes, crepe a la peach, hello please! Super Chef have the thing locked! I would give anything now to have a slice of one of her pies…*sigh*
Hampster Queen (McCleary) is the pretty sister you have that is also down to earth. She is a fashionista who is able to make a potato sack look good. The poor boys at Wolmer’s found it difficult to deal with this beautiful teacher who is no nonsense; it intimidates them. She is bright like god but funny enough, she is so humble about it. The only draw back is that she supports the PNP, but I will forgive her for that, we are all allowed a vice *rolling eyes*.
Fair Knight ( Tyson) is the spoiled younger brother that you want to beat up when your parents are away. Yes, he gets away with things and you just want to punch him but U can’t, because he is endearing :D. The funny thing about Tyson is that his greatest vice is also his most endearing feature…You want to strangle him but end up hugging him…cho.
Distant Cousin (Atkins) She is a story all unto herself. Atkins and I are runaway slaves. We were trapped in Egypt and escaped to the promise land of Wolmer’s at the same time, so we have a shared history. However, this woman refuse to move over to the small staff room because she loves the energy of the main staff room, well that is the unofficial reason. Atkins though is the crazy sister, the one who you find always messing up and forgetting things, but you love her still though you laugh at her. She is an enabler, you can share your indiscretions with her and trust that she won’t be judgemental, I love her for this. She doesn’t sit in the small staff room, but she is there often enough for us to leave dinner for her, lol.
Power Puff (Scott-Banton) is a ball of energy. Have you ever witnessed someone walking into a room and their energy is able to make the space bright and sweet? Well if not, you have never met Scotty. She is one of the sweetest persons I know, and she is so genuine. This young lady has the heart of an angel with a little impish alter-ego which makes her perfect :D. If you’re planning something evil, don’t tell Scott, she is going to talk you out of it unless the person really deserves it. She is the younger sister, who is convinced she is the mother of the group, always trying to ensure that we were alright.
Kevin (mi cyaan member him nick name) He started as the neighbour who liked our older sister and wouldn’t leave our yard, but soon became an adopted brother into the family :D, you know like Steve Urkel? Kev became a brother though and I am happy our mommies adopted him, because he was a good bro. Granted I would constantly end up in arguments with him, it was coming from a good place.
Madam Pampadore (*******) hmmm, the crazy aunty locked-up in the attic. Not crazy hahaha, but crazy…0_O. This woman was able to take the most trivial issue and make it histrionic, OMG! However, I think she played a role in the rest of us bonding. We had cause to laugh and talk about her behaviour and that brought us closer together. SMH at mad Mavis.
I miss you guys so much and I look forward to a great reunion in the future. Signing out for now, Captain Mello and it r the truth.
It’s a long time I have not done this, feels like I’m having a writer’s drought. Well have no fear, I am back….*fanfare and confetti*.
I’ve landed safely in the land of the maple leaf, dearly beloved. I can say this is truly a first world country. A dear friend asked me if I feel like I am in “farin” and without a doubt I KNOW I am in “farin”. Haven’t seen many Jamaicans, well, except the lady who came on the bus and broke out in praise because she got a seat…0_o, but that’s another post entirely. I’ve seen a lot of Asian, Caucasians, Asians, Latino, Asians, Blacks and did I say Asians already….they are all over the place and though I get confused and wonder if I’m in Asia or North America, I’m just happy to see them. It reminds me that Canada celebrates multiculturalism and it makes me breathe easier.
I was warned by many people about the brand of cold that exist in Canada and to be honest, it isn’t as bad as they said, just goes to show how dramatic Jamaicans can be. Still, I’m loving the scarves, boots, gloves and coats, it feels very fashionable and I feel like I was born to do this :D. I bought long johns, though it is the most unattractive piece of garment I have ever worn, it is extremely vital for my scrotum. I praise the Lord for them like the old woman on the bus.
So far, so good, Canada has been good to me and I’m gonna do my best by her….miss Jamaica, but welcome the change and it r the truth.
I typed the title and tears sprang to my eyes, it is amazing the way words affect my emotions…
People who know me well, know I don’t say “good bye” I always say later; later in the day, later in the year, later in our lives, but never good bye.
Good bye is too final for me. It has no promise of a reunion within it, so I simply refuse to use it. Instead I say later, yeah I have issues, but who doesn’t.
As much as “later” comforts me, I’m not looking forward to saying this on or before the 21st, the day I will board that plane to experience life in a new world…Canada, land of the Maple tree and Niagra Falls.
A world I’ve never seen, but have heard various tales about. It is never an easy decision to pack up and launch out in the quest to “follow your heart”, never easy to say later to friends and family who have been your safety net all your life.
I went through a list of possible things to take with me to Canada and for a moment I wished I could pack people in my suitcases, no, I’m not psychotic, maniac, or a serial killer. I just want to transport my friends and family to help me maintain normalcy in my new life. kinda taking my safety net with me…sigh.
I read a book once, or was it a movie I watched…hmmm, it sounds more profound to say I read it, so I read a book once that said a journey always begins with a tear… I can testify. I’ve always been easy to cry. I know I’m gonna bawl my eyes out…as my friends line up to give their tribute of love and devotion at my throne, and I shall stretch forth my sceptre and they shall kiss it as a sign that I have granted them pardon for all the years of….*slap* damn, I was day dreaming while typing…yeah, so I’m going to cry, bawl even as I reflect on how much I will miss home…
I’ve often questioned my need to be patriotic to this land I was born in. I’ve often ridiculed her for affording me second class citizenship in the global community. However Jamaica is all I know. She has birth in me a passion to make a better life for me and young Cassanova Antonio Williams esq (my future son who will be a lawyer :D) Jamaica has helped to shape me into who I am and for that she holds a special place in my heart…forever. I’ve never been away from Jamaica for longer than 3 weeks, never experienced living with anybody outside of my immediate family, all that will change and soon…I am as nervous as a cow in a patty shop, but I am ready…no turning back now, all systems go 😀