“Celebgate” Is Just A Photo Opportunity

Image credit: static.tvtropes.org

Image credit: static.tvtropes.org

I bet a lot of people are longing for the good old days when the only person who would see our precious memories was the person in the photo lab who would “wash” the film that contained them. I’d always wondered how much attention this person paid to the photos as they materialized – apart from the quality of course.  

Back then, my greatest fear was that the person developing the film would see how badly my pictures always came out, but because I never knew just how close the person would be looking, I knew that I wouldn’t ever take a picture (or have one knowingly taken of me) that would ever show me in a compromising position – since, you just never know.

The 2002 movie, “One Hour Photo” starring Robin Williams, in which he paid a little too much attention to the pictures, only fed my phobia. After that, I didn’t even want to take a picture in my bathing suit anymore, because I didn’t want to risk the developer laughing as he passed the extra copies around. 

So the introduction of digital cameras made me ecstatic – because not only did it mean that I didn’t have to take my roll of film to the photo shop anymore, but now I could execute all those poses that I hadn’t dared to try before. What made me happiest though was the fact that I got to see my pictures first and I could delete the ones that didn’t pass muster and not have to pay for a set of indistinct images that even I couldn’t recognize.

But improvements in technology always come with a catch. I love my body, sans clothes, as much as the next person, but I don’t feel the need to document it. Some people do however, (maybe to have the proof that they’ll need to provide later on?) but because of this, some of them have been experiencing their very own One Hour Photo moments. 

Because photos taken with iphone smartphones have been backed up by a platform provided by Apple, hackers have infiltrated it and have been able to gain possession of hundreds of photos that were stored there. They probably tossed mine (after a good long laugh) – because it’s clear that the only photos they kept and passed around, were the ones belonging to celebrities.

In the wake of the privacy invasion, ordinary (meaning non-celebrity) people have come forward to say that they know just what it feels like to have pictures of your naked person passed around for everyone to see. So apparently, it’s really nothing new, but the current uproar and subsequent changes prove that it’s all in who you know, or rather, who knows you.

Just another indication of what people do when nobody’s supposed to be looking.



Rihanna Doesn’t Take “Last Lick”

“Last lick”: an end of school game played by West Indian children where no one wanted to be the last one hit before having to leave for home.

Rihanna must be exhausted.

It can’t be easy to have to keep the public guessing about your next move as you try to stay relevant, try to get noticed or try to re-invent yourself if those things don’t work out. For some artists like my girl Rihanna, some of the behavior exhibited leaves me wondering where her good home training went.

Image credit: wordpress.com

Image credit: wordpress.com

I remember one of Rihanna’s early interviews that I read in SHE Caribbean magazine when she was just coming on the scene. She talked about how her burgeoning success engendered some jealousy among some former classmates, but I think there were more of us who were happy to see this island girl make it on the big stage – and in the US no less. It gave hope to the rest of us still chasing our dreams.

But after her second album, she started to take charge of her own image and she shed the whole girl-next-door visage. Re-branding herself as a bad g(y)al means that she constantly has to do and say things that you would expect a naughty girl to do and say. When she and Chris Brown became an item I realized that the transformation was indeed complete.

I’m not exactly sure just when she began to turn me off, but some of her instagram posts and nearly naked poses probably didn’t help. Her unnecessary use of profanity reminds me of those youngsters who think it makes them look like bonafide adults, but one thing that the over-the-top behavior says is that the attention garnered on stage isn’t satisfying enough.

She’s a very attractive girl, but she now constantly pushes the envelope with regards to all forms of self-expression including speech and dress. She is frequently given kudos for taking risks in fashion and never looks the same twice. Down here we would say she’s suffering from a serious case of “overdo”. Up there she even manages to avoid being accused of, as they say euphemistically, “trying too hard”.

"The idea!!!" as my grandmother would say Image credit: tumblr.com

“The idea!!!” as my grandmother would say
Image credit: tumblr.com

Her outfit at the CFDA Fashion awards for example, left most of us wondering why she even bothered to wear any clothes since what she did wear left literally nothing to the imagination. But since she was actually being honoured as a fashion icon that evening, she had to show why she deserved it.

She did have the grace to say that since her mother was back home in Barbados at the time, she saw the outfit at the same time we all did. Had she seen her when she was leaving the house even Rihanna knows that her mother (like most old-school West-Indian mothers) would have asked her where she was “going dressed like that”.

In her acceptance speech, she said that she didn’t have a lot of fashion role models when she was growing up, but she knew that she had a better sense of style than other girls. But her walk to the podium to accept her award while the adoring audience rose to its feet and applauded, somehow reminded me of the children’s story, “The Emperor’s New Clothes”.

When I was younger our grandmothers (and some mothers), would grumble about the bad influence of all things American when they saw us doing things that they know they didn’t teach us. But it’s easy to blame others instead of acknowledging that things that used to be taboo have now become more acceptable, so we no longer have to watch our mouths or mind our manners.

Rihanna’s latest twitter outburst directed at the CBS network over them wanting to use a song on which she featured and then not wanting to use it, and then wanting to use it again, had her livid – and she wasn’t taking the disrespect. So she told them off as she is wont to do and added in a “cuss” word for good measure. ‘Cause she na ‘fraid nobody – and she will always be in demand.

I guess my age is showing, because I really can’t abide people who behave as if they were dragged up rather than brought up and who act as if they don’t know any better. As an adult I’ve come across the types of people who always feel the need to have the last word, and sometimes it’s better to let them have it. In much the same way, when I left the playground I grew to realize that it won’t ever kill me if (sometimes) I have to take “last lick”.


A Matter of Timing

Image credit: ccrny.com

Image credit: ccrny.com

I read an article the other day that detailed some of the things that a new employee should never do. I clicked on the story because I wanted to see how many of them I could guess. Apparently the writer of the piece didn’t want to leave anything out – including the obvious.

Among the cautions was asking for vacation time during the first few months, complaining to your co-workers about your new boss, bad-talking your old boss or the people you used to work with, taking long lunches, spending time on Facebook and other social sites and calling in sick during your first month on the job.

The article expounded on each one as the writer attempted to spell out in black and white just why it was that the actions were unacceptable – at first. Apparently some of the behaviours become acceptable, (or should that be, expected), when the person has been there for a little while.

So while there was nothing inherently wrong with some of the requests – it seemed that when you asked was what mattered.

Take for example, asking for vacation before you even get a chance to hand in any “sick papers” – that is, within the first year.

Image credit: chicagocaptioning.com

Image credit: chicagocaptioning.com

In this neck of the woods, we can’t expect any time off until we’ve toiled for at least a year, so if we really need a break from the job we have to invent a death in the family or an illness that requires a hospital stay – the last for ourselves of course, and the first for somebody else.


…Because we still want the job, we just need a little break from it.

I’ve heard that there are some people who actually like the people they have to report to. And there are others who just don’t.

After you’ve been there awhile though, you’ll find that the proper place to gripe about that, is not with the other workers where there’s likely to be someone who carries messages that you didn’t send, but on the phone with your best friend while in the presence of your employer. Bonus points if she is left without a doubt that the “she” being referred to is her.

…Because we could probably do her job better than she does anyway – we’re just waiting for the higher-ups to notice.

Less than glowing reports about the people you used to work with won’t be acceptable conversation for shooting the breeze – initially.

However, if you wait long enough your co-workers will show their hands first – and then you’ll simply need to add your stories to the already colourful plate. Personality comparisons (about others), is a great bonding activitiy and can make fitting in a whole lot easier.

…Because our knack for telling stories has got to count for something. 

The article spoke about a “lunch culture” and as a new worker, you’ll do the one hour thing and actually eat your lunch during this time…

…Until your co-workers come back raving about the one day sale at Payless, and you understand then, why all the calls were coming back to you. After that, you’ll realize that the “culture” is one where the time taken for lunch is used for anything but actual eating, since kids need to be picked up from school, errands need to be run and bills have to be paid – literally. So lunch will actually be consumed in that hour when you get back and should be working.

…Because Saturday is our day off, and we don’t want to spend it running errands when we can do it during the week.

You should expect to have to wait to catch up with your favourite fashion sites, online magazines and news portals when you get home – or during lunch.

Is it time for Facebook? Image credit: forbes.com

Is it time for Facebook?
Image credit: forbes.com

But what would the workday be without being able to check out what’s happening on Facebook? Besides providing information, it is a source of constant entertainment during an interminably long day. Eventually, you find that being at home and being at work are much the same – you just have to dress for the latter. However, if you’ve been unemployed for a while, this habit will be a hard one to quit…

…Because before we got this new job, that was precisely how we spent our days.

The final infraction is really the biggest one for employers because it is frequently abused. Chikungunya notwithstanding, no sensible worker will want to have to take sick leave during that first month when you’re still thanking your lucky stars that you have a job.

When you’re more comfortable however, you’ll think it best to take those twelve allowable “sick days” before the year runs out. You might even see them as “personal days”, and think nothing of taking your kids for an ice cream in the middle of the afternoon, or catching an early movie since you’d be off the clock by then anyway.

…Because vacation days are not the only things we don’t want to save up anymore.

Smoke Signals

I was watching a video last week via facebook that showed a baby, no more than two years old dancing on a table like there was no tomorrow. Truth be told, he was doing more than I ever could at that age or even now for that matter. He was on the beat, never lost his balance and kept at it for what I thought was an extremely long time.

I enjoyed it, but it reminded me of those old-time West Indian mothers who would look at you and them calmly ask, “You know your school work?” – if they figured that you knew something (which wasn’t your school work), a little too well. And when that question was asked, it wasn’t rhetorical. It was cause for concern – and for action. Meaning, stop whatever it was that you were doing.

Image credit: quotes.poem.com

Image credit: quotes.poem.com

Everybody talks about how much smarter our children are than we used to be, but for children who are supposedly more savvy than we were, some of them don’t read signals well, a number of them don’t know what a hint looks like, and others can’t see what’s coming from two feet away.

It took me a little while but I’ve realized that there are other things that completely go over their heads.

Take for instance the hard stare. This has absolutely no significance for them, because “the look” from back in my day apparently didn’t translate very well across the generations. Most of them probably think that we’re simply searching their faces for the solution to some unanswered question, when we’re really trying to understand how our own children became so daft.

Then there’s the repeated question. The true meaning is completely lost on them, so they don’t know that a parent repeating a question simply means that the first answer that was given wasn’t the correct one and that they need to come up with another one. It’s amazing that it takes them even longer to realize that causing us to repeat ourselves doesn’t buy them any time.

And finally, the silent treatment. They don’t know how to interpret this, so the poor things don’t realize that an unanswered question doesn’t mean that they weren’t heard the first time. So it stands to reason that they would also be clueless to the fact that a continued lack of response means that it won’t ever be answered – because there is no answer for a question that should never have been asked.

But there is yet hope, because some of today’s kids will grow up to be great negotiators. I know this because some kids treat the consequences of inappropriate behaviour as something to be included in a negotiated settlement. As in – am I willing to dispense three spanks instead of the customary six for this infraction?

The only problem I foresee is them knowing how far to push their luck. Because if they can’t understand the smoke signals, they’re not going to be able to read the tea leaves either.

Ask and You Shall Receive

I don’t remember my mother having to do this when I was younger. When I was growing up, snacking was a foreign word, “grazing” didn’t exist, you didn’t consume anything without asking, you ate whatever was put in front of you and you ate it all, because children were starving in Africa back then too.

Image credit: nytimes.com

Image credit: nytimes.com

While at the supermarket some time ago I saw someone I knew, but I was a little afraid to disturb her because she was deep in concentration while she surveyed the items in the refrigerated case that held the dairy products.

When she saw me she volunteered that she was trying to find a flavor of yogurt that her daughter wouldn’t like, as that was the only way that she would actually get to have any. I laughed, but I knew what she was talking about.

I’m familiar with this phenomenon of children running a race with the parents in an attempt to finish the food that’s bought by the parents, before the parents can even get to it. They seem blissfully unaware that there are no medals for winning such an event.

I will admit to having a preference for a child with a healthy appetite as opposed to the fussy eater, but here are some of the things that can go with that territory.

Healthy eaters can go from “not ready to eat” to “famished” in sixty seconds.

Food preparation time will by then take too long and the hunger will be too great, so don’t be surprised if starvation sets in immediately requiring them to consume something else – in the meantime.

Healthy eaters don’t think that anything called food should be off-limits to them.

So you will be required to hide your favourite brand of cheese at the back of the fridge, consume your “secret stash” at an undisclosed location, and bury “their” preferred fruit among the other items that you know they won’t touch.

Healthy eaters require that you take pre-emptive action and warn them ahead of time not to touch what they didn’t put there.

Some of them don’t do denial too well, but you’ll actually find the look of shock on their faces quite amusing AFTER you get over the annoyance of being asked the same question fifteen hundred times.

Healthy eaters ask for what they already know they can’t get, while others ask for something that isn’t even there.

These are the ones asking for items that have long since been consumed (by them), or that were never even purchased (certainly not by them) – but are probably expecting them to now magically appear.

Healthy eaters stand in front of the open door like they’re doing their supermarket shopping in the fridge.

They’re not trying to cool down the whole street at all, but it’s really the only way they’ll know what isn’t there so that they can (politely) ask for it.


Guardians of the Galaxy – A Movie Review

Image credit: wegotthiscovered.com

Image credit: wegotthiscovered.com

Nothing to see here folks. Let’s move it along.

The Do Over

Image credit: thediligentadvisor.com

Image credit: thediligentadvisor.com

In business, it’s important to get it right the first time because an unsatisfied customer may not return. However, although some mess-ups are infinitely worse than others, some “customers” have no choice but to lie down and take it.


Whenever family discussions turn to the inevitable, stories about funerals are many. I remember one comment made by a family member regarding how some deceased people look after they’ve been made ready for viewing.


Making a comparison between the two local businesses that specialize in burials, my relative remarked that she would only be using a particular one, because use of the other establishment resulted in the dead person looking, well, dead.


I laughed at first, but I knew exactly what she meant. Sure you know your loved one is dead, but seeing for yourself is something else. I’ve heard stories where some make-up jobs are so bad that the person ends up looking several shades lighter in death than they ever were in life. Or sometimes the features look a little different from what you’ve grown accustomed to – a sharper nose here, a bigger forehead there.


Given the fact that most people don’t say, “Hey I recognize her because of that mole on her finger or the tattoo on her backside” (I couldn’t resist), it stands to reason that a lot of attention is paid to the face when getting someone ready for a viewing.


During my first year in college, one of my classmates had a fatal accident. I wasn’t close to her but her girlfriends made sure to visit the funeral home to do her make-up. I’m not sure how they actually got through the task, but I knew that they probably would have been happy if someone made the comment that she looked like she was sleeping.


But there’s looking a little different from how you looked in life and then there’s not looking like yourself at all, which is what I thought when I read this story about a man who was informed by a funeral home that they had interred the wrong body – days after he had attended the funeral of his mother.


Although he had questioned, prior to the funeral whether it was actually his mother because he didn’t think it looked like her, he was informed that the funeral home didn’t make those types of mistakes.


I’m going to assume that not enough people who knew her viewed the body and that the funeral home never got a picture (as is customary) to see how she looked when she was alive, because how else could a strange woman end up on top of this man’s father in their family plot?


Image credit: savoringtherhyme.com

Image credit: savoringtherhyme.com

Unfortunately for the man, he will have to say another goodbye. I don’t know whether he will decide to recall the soloist, the preacher and the choir for the second go-round. Because that may elicit a fresh set of tears – and I don’t mean just for the dearly departed.