Friday, January 30, 2009

The Ganges and The Nile

The Ganges and The Nile
David Rudder

Once upon a time there was a magic island,
Full of magic people.
Let me tell you a story
'Bout their pain and their glory, oh yeah.

Many rivers flowed to this naked isle
Bringing fear and pain
But also a brand new style.
And of all these rivers that shaped this land
Two mighty ones move like a sculptors hand.
And today those hands, across the land, man, they're still landscaping.
And there's no doubt we go work it out, there is no escaping.
As the river flows there are those who would change its passage.
But every common man got to under-stand up and send a message.
So put up your hand if you understand now.

See how we moving, watch how we grooving
See how we step in style.
One lovely nation, under a groove
The Ganges come meet the Nile.
Them boys with the hidden agendas, and the mind-benders,
People done take in front.
Various smart men, and politicians can come along if they want.

Cus the people got the power, and the glory.
See how we float in style.
See how we moving, watch how we grooving.
The Ganges has met the Nile

Differences, there will always be.
So let you be you, and I'll be me.
That's the damn ting self that makes it sweet.
Brother bring your drum, lewwe start to beat.

Don't mind them politcky politicky politicky politicky politicians.
And with their politricky politricky politricky politricky situations.
We done jamming and we jamming and we jamming and jam cus we know the story.
Let them fight if they want in this land of a different glory. (i might have this line wrong)
So put up your hand if you understand now

See how we moving, watch how we grooving
See how we step in style.
One lovely nation, under a groove
The Ganges come meet the Nile.
Them boys with the hidden agendas, and the mind-benders,
They will always do their do.
Various smart men, and politicians, dem could come along too.

Cus we moving with the power, and the glory.
See how we float in style.
See how we moving, watch how we grooving.
The Ganges has met the Nile

See how we moving, watch how we grooving
See how we float in style.
One lovely nation, under a groove
The Ganges come meet the Nile.
Them boys with the hidden agendas, and the mind-benders,
They will always do their do.
But now that we holding hands, trudging to the Promised Land
Them could come along too.

Cus we moving with the power, and the glory.
See how we float in style.
One lovely nation, heading to salvation.
The Ganges come meet the Nile.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Dollar Wine

I know you have been dying out which soca song could possible be known all the way over here in Elbonia.  Seeing as soca just isn't what you think of when you think about this country.  Vodka, snow, Russia... sure.  Soca?  Not really.

So imagine my surprise when I found out that a song from my home country was a BIG HIT over here, and also apparently on Disney Cruises.

There is a special dance that goes along with it, of course.  Like all good soca, there must be dancing instructions for the audience:
Cent : Shake your hips to the left
5 Cent : Shake 'em to the right
10 Cent : Push the booty back
Dollar : Thrust it forward like a dog humping your leg.  No kidding.

Enjoy today's workout!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Pan sweet pan

I was going to post a song, Trini soca of course, that a friend over here in Estonia loves.  When we met (at a Caribbean party, natch) and he found out I was Trini, it was the first song he asked if I knew. 

But you will have to wait with intensely baited breath for that.

Because before I found that song on youtube, I wandered over to Tash's and learnt that she is taking Lou to the pan yards tonight.  And my heart broke a little.  You see, pan is a BIG part of Carnival, it being our National Instrument and all.  The pan yards are where the steelpan bands practice for the big competitions leading up to Carnival.    And there is nothing like standing in the yard, surrounded by those sweet, pulsating rhythms.

I chose ''This One is For You Bradley'' by Phase II.  They won the Panorama competition in 2006, and I heard them practice it just before I left for my life here in Estonia.  It was the last time I heard live pan. 

Monday, January 26, 2009

Interview With a Vampire, plus some pan.

Not really though.  She isn't a Vampire, as far as I know.  But she is a witch, by the Church's standards.  And that is a whole 'nother post.

Anywaaaaaay, gratefully, Witchypoo herself has provided the fodder for today's post in the form of a questionnaire with things that she was just dying to know about me.  In my mind anyway.  Otherwise I would just post music.  Cuz I don' have nothing else to post.  My life is all of that and all.  (That shouldn't be read with sarcasm though.  My life is simple, quiet and predictable.  And I actually do like it like that right now.  It had been the opposite for a few years.  Cycles and all.)

Back to the 'view.  It started here and then Witchypoo did it here, and now I'm doing it here:

1.What's the top item on your bucket list? Why?
I don't actually have a bucket list. Does everyone?  I thought about it when I saw the movie, which was a highly original thought, I know, but couldn't actually decide on specific things that I MUST do before I die, other than the , again original, ''Visit India''.  I guess I'm a bit more of a go-with-the-flow kinda gal.  Besides, I never in a million years even thought about visiting Estonia, yet here I am 3 years, husband and child later.  Life will do with me what it will.  No complaints so far.  Although, if I could have a say in it, I would prefer my next home-country to be a lil warmer. Brrrr.

2. What is your fondest memory as a child?  
Sitting on the loo with the door wide open as my brother meandered dramatically up and down the hall shouting ''Ooohh noo.. the wind is blowing me... oohh nooo... the police are chasing meeee''. *giggle*

3. What would you most like to learn about
This changes.  But right now, child psychology.

4. If you had a do-over, what would it be?
My last 2 years at high school.  I would insist that I be allowed to do art.  Fuck ''what kind of job are you going to get with that''.  The stuff I did hasn't landed me a dream job either, and I've forgotten about 99% of it.

5. Besides blogging, what is your guilty pleasure?
A box of chocolate chip cookies every night... dunked in camomille tea.  I know, I know.

And that's it :)

Want to be part of it? Follow these instructions:
1. Leave me a comment saying, "Interview me."
2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. I get to pick the questions.
3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone
else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them
five questions.

Any takers?

Today's Carnival Groove: Pan in A Minor by The Grand Master Kitchener.  One of, if not the BEST Steelpan song ever.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Giving Praise - Trini Style

High Mas I © David Michael Rudder

Our Father who has given us this art
So that we can all feel a part
Of this earthly (lesser) heaven....amen
Forgive us this day our daily weaknessess
As we seek to cast our mortal burdens on this city...amen
Oh merciful Father, in this bacchanal season
Where some men will lose their reason
But most of us just want to wine and have a good time
While we looking for a lime, Because we feeling fine, Lord....amen
And as we jump up and down in this crazy town 
Send us some music for some healing...amen

Our Father who has given us this art
So that we can all feel as if we are a part
Of your heaven....amen
Forgive us this day our daily weaknessess
As we seek to cast our mortal burdens on this painful city...amen
And on this day when we come out to play and sway
And do a little breakaway
Some will say what they have to say
But only you know the pain we're feeling.....amen

As it was in the beginning of J'ouvert 
So it shall be on Carnival Tuesday ending (good vibes)...amen

Everybody hand raise
Everybody give praise
Everybody hand raise
And if you know what I mean....put up your finger
And if you know what I mean....put up your hand
And if you know what I mean....put up your finger
And if you know what I mean then scream
O, give Jah his praises
O, let Jah be praised
O, the Father in his mercy
Send a little music, to make the vibration raise
So Carnival Day, everybody come and celebrate
Everybody come and celebrate
See the ragamuffin congregate
Everybody come and celebrate
And everybody say, oo,a,a,oo,a,a I love my country
oo,a,a,oo,a,a I feeling irie (repeat)

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Feeling Groovy?

Hubby and I got hitched the week before Carnival in true trini-style with lots of people, lots of food, lots of alcohol, pore-raising-tassa-drumming, and of course, hip-shaking-soca-music (there was not much rent-a-tile dancing going on).

He left this morning for a week in California :(  I miss him.

This song is from Carnival 2007, when we got married.  It makes me think of my Funny Dude.

Sugar Boy
Written by: Kernel Roberts
Performed by: Patrice Roberts

Sugar, sugar (whoa whoa) X3
Sugar, sugar

[verse 1]
I don't know where you are, it hurtin' my head
I just toss and turn, you're not in my bed
Cause when fly find sugar, it just want to stick
Them women out there thirsty and they want to taste it

Sugar boy, sugar boy, don't play with my head
If I can't get you I don't wan't no one else
Sugar boy, sugar boy, please understand
Don't ever give my dinner to another woman

[verse 2]
All is yours my sugar baby from head to toe
Sweetness have my foot high up, I wouldn't let you go
You're truely a snake oil man in all that you do
You bring out the tiger in me when I'm loving you


Sugar, sugar (gimme sugar) X3
Sugar, sugar

[verse 3]
Do me what you want, you sweet magician
My body catching a fire while I'm wrapped in your arms
I'm going crazy every time we caress
Just don't leave me honey, you are the best


Gimme the healing, you make it right
Boy the way that you love me, give me tonight
Boy that feeling shivers my spine
Give it to me baby, one more time

[repeat verse 2]

[chorus] (X2)

Sugar, sugar (X4)
Sugar, sugar , you're my sugar (X2)

Friday, January 23, 2009

And the winner is....


Bluebella!!  Whoo hooo!!  You won a copy of ''Tears and Tantrums''  by Aletha Solter using my completely scientific method of closing my eyes and squiggling my finger around on the screen.

I dunno where you live though, so I can't stop by to drop it off personally.  So send me an email so I can get it to you (trdonaghy AT yahoo DOT com).

I know your kids are perfect angels, but I hope it has something new and good for you :)

Because I love to torture myself.

Despite my admittedly lame efforts, I am unable to ignore Carnival this year.  I tried for a few weeks, from Boxing Day until this week to forget that Carnival even exists.  I didn't listen to a single song, or look at a single Carnival website.

I've been involved in Carnival since childhood, like almost all trini kids.  It is in my bones, my blood, my veins, my hair follicles, my sweat, even my boogers.  And when this time of year rolls around, that itch starts.  The fever rises.  My waist and hips start moving separate from the rest of my body.  My feet get the urge to jump.  My hands want to hold a rag and wave.  My body feels the pulse of the music.


There will be no skimpy, beaded bikini this year.  A wool coat is what I need to wear.  No fancy, feathered headpiece.  A knitted hat to keep my ears warm has to suffice.


This just SUCKS!!!

But I have to laugh, because if I don't I just might go mad.

And I will continue to torture myself by listening to the music that is the backbone of Trini Carnival.  Besides, I need to ensure that the Angel is well immersed in her Trini culture, right?  And she loves it.  Because, even though she was born here, she is a Trini.  When I put it on, she bumps to the beat.  Because this is a beat that you can't ignore.  It forces you to move.  

So, from now until it is over, I'll share it with you.  I will try everyday, to post a song from Trini Carnival.  Some will be old, some will be new, some slow and groovy, some crazy and fast, but they will all be a real reflection of Trinidad's heartbeat.


Today:  It's Carnival by Destra and Machel, from Carnival 2003.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Somewhere over the rainbow.

The Angel has an ear infection :(

I noticed some time back that she was tugging at her ears, and I thought that they smelt funny.  But she didn't seem to be in pain, so I didn't rush her of to the doctor, my idiot mind thinking maybe she just had an itch.  I have itchy ears all the time, and never thought anything of it.

You see what happens when you listen to your mind all the time???  SHADDAP ALREADY!

Being present and aware is much harder than I thought.

And now my mom thinks that I am negligent.  Because she rushed us to the doctor at the first sign of a cough and fever... because it might be meningitis.

So now we're doing the antibiotics thing.  Funny enough they are the same antibiotics that I was given regularly as a child (Amoxil).  I thought they would be useless by now, after all the misuse and uncompleted courses.  Lord knows how many super-bugs were grown back then.

On another note, the night and nap time venting continues, with added intensity for the infection.  Poor little thing.  I wish I could make it all disappear.  I wish I could make her life nothing but warm, sunny days with ice cream, friends, rainbows and bunnies.  But I can't.  Indeed, I shouldn't even wish that for her.  For there would be no rainbows if it never rained.  

She trusts me more and more now with her sadness and anger.  When I first started accepting her cries, she would hardly make eye contact during her venting moments, and would pull away.  Now, her big, sad eyes lock with mine as she pours her little heart out.  Who knew that being a baby could be so hard.

There are days when I wonder if I am doing the right thing.  It can be hard to listen to your baby cry like that.  And I sometimes feel so helpless.  I'm her mama.  I should be able to make it better.

Am I saving her money on therapy later, or am I adding to her bill?

The thing is, apart from the times when she vents, she is a happy baby... growing in confidence, trusting her daddy more, needing me a bit less, and sleeping sooooooo much better.

Time will tell.

Sunday, January 18, 2009


I just realized I spelt Holy Grail wrong!  KYAH KYAH KYAH KYAH.  sigh.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

I have found the Hole Grail of parenting and want to give it to you!


No kidding.

Imagine that you have had a bad day at work.  You had a brilliant idea but nobody would listen or nobody understood.  The fax machine was tormenting your very soul.  Lunch was crap.  Traffic was insane.  You couldn't find your favorite pen.  Your boss was an ass.  Your co-workers were idiots.  You came home and just wanted to sit and vent with your best friend.  Then, instead of listening, your best friend starts to sing Itsy Bitsy Spider and show you shadow puppets.

If you are a parent, grandparent, aunty, uncle, nenen, tanti, babysitter, nana, papi, teacher, or any other kind of caregiver for young children, your life will be forever changed after you read ''Tears and Tantrums'' by Aletha Solter.

I mentioned an article that I found by the same author recently.  Well, the book really brings it all together.

The Angel, whom I love with every cell and fiber of my being, could be described as a clingy baby.  To put it mildly.  I could not do anything much at home during her waking hours.  Cooking, cleaning, laundry, having a shower, computerizing, talking on the phone... all nearly impossible to achieve when she was awake.  And despite being fed solid food, she still nursed a jillion times a day too (leaving her nice and plump, and me looking like a string bean).  And night times weren't much better.  At 13 months, my beautiful baby girl still woke up to nurse at least 4 or 5 times a night.

Until yesterday... well it kinda started last week when I mentioned the article.  But I only read the book yesterday.

Last night, after following Dr. Solter's advice, my sweet, precious, beautiful, wonderful Angel peacefully slept EIGHT HOURS STRAIGHT.

And today, I have been getting my work done with ease while she plays happily, coming over every so often for a snuggle or a giggle.

It is nothing short of a miracle.

How did this happen?  I know you are dying to know.  The book will give you a better understanding, but in short, I no longer repress her need to vent.

When she gets upset, I no longer nurse, sing, rock, soothe, distract with funny noises or silly games.  I sit, lovingly hold her, look into her eyes, tell her that she is safe and loved, and accept her sadness, frustration or anger in its full force.  I let her vent.  How ever many times she needs to.  And after 13 months of repression, she has some venting to do.

Nap time and bed time are times when we lie down together, and feeling safe in my arms, she now lets it all out.  All the frustrations of her day.  When she feels better, she happily and peacefully drifts off to sleep...  and STAYS that way.

Some Attachment Parenting folks might not agree with this approach.  Indeed, when I started following the advice of AP resources online, calming and soothing her cries was more of the focus.  But I actually feel more attached and connected to the Angel when she vents with me.  W  She is beginning to really trust me with her sadness, fear and anger.  She now knows that I will listen and accept her, unconditionally, validating her feelings.  Good and bad.

So, who wants a copy of the book?  I'm giving one away for free. Let me know if you want it in the comments.  I'll choose the winner somehow or other by next week sometime or other.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Tears on my pillow

When the Angel was a newborn, I started reading everything I could find on babies.  Some things made sense to me, some didn't.  One thing that struck a note was from  ''The Continuum Concept''.  I didn't read the book, just some stuff on the website (I'm sure there is a lesson in there).  The author mentioned that in the tribe she studied, the babies there hardly cried.  These were not the colicky, tantrum-throwing, clingy, whiney little ones that are often prevalent in western culture.

Somehow, that little piece of information got warped in my brain.  It was warped into ''If your baby cries, you are a bad parent and you are doing it wrong.''

Did I mention the warping?

So, it became my modus operandum to ensure that my baby never cried.  When she became colicky at around 6 weeks, I spent her crying hours curled up with her on the bed rubbing her feet to turn the cries into moans.  (The pain of my rubbing probably distracted her from her own pain, now that I think about it).  When I discovered that nursing would almost instantly stop any cries, I shoved my boob into her mouth at the first note of distress.  Anything that caused crying, like putting her down for a second, or not letting her play on the stairs even though I had things to do, was not done.

A year of this turned me into something resembling a slave.  

Thank you Oh Warped Brain of Mine.

The lightbulb moment came recently.  I started to realize that this did not make sense.  That this was going to ensure that my Angel was definitely heading down the road of the ''Spoilt Brat'' that I thought I would never raise.

Lesson Number One: It is OK to cry.  

Lesson Number Two:  It is IMPORTANT to cry.

Lesson Number Three: Letting my baby cry while I sit lovingly and attentively with her does not make me a monster.

Lesson Number Four:  Constantly sticking my boob into her mouth is not helping her.  It is actually making it worse.

Lesson Number Five:  Bad feelings need to be felt and acknowledged, not distracted and pacified.

I've started to put it into practice.  There has been some crying, and my clothes are covered in snot.  On the first day, most of the day was spent sitting with her, drenched in tears and not getting much cooking or anything else done. But it is getting better.  She is even starting to play on her own a bit.  And today she fell asleep at nap time without being nursed down in her sling.  A day I thought I would never see.

I have made many mistakes in her first year.  And Lord knows there are a jillion more that I will make in the years to come.  Hopefully, none too damaging, and hopefully she will forgive me.

At present there is an alien noise from outer space on the baby monitor.

peace and love,

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Wax on, wax off, wax on, wax off, wax on, wax off...

Ah yes, Presence.  The ability to accept and be in the Now.  Elusive little thing it is.  And I keep forgetting.  But at least then I remember.

(I'm still reading ''A New Earth'', anyone guessed?)

And at present, the baby is making wake up noises.  Thus concludes this post.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Hello Again!

I know it has been forever.  The essential combination of Inspiration, Time, and Computer Availability has been in short supply over the past month.  I did start a couple posts, but inevitably a crisis of catastrophic proportions would arise, like a poopy nappy, and that was the end of that.

Thanks Eye and Lou for reminding me that I am loved :)

So, 2008 is soooo last year.  My first year of motherhood (more love, less sleep); my second year of married life (more laughs, less shaving); my third year away from home (more freedom, less good food).

Onto 2009!  I continue my journey into the realm of awareness.  Fingers crossed that I maintain the momentum.  N.B.  The Celestine Prophecy, The Seat of the Soul, Many Lives Many Masters and A New Earth are definitely worth your time.  Any others I should check out?

My Eureka moment last night:  I can be happy in Estonia.  The reasons for not being so are excuses out of fear.  Get a grip, get a life, get off my ass and quit whining.  Feel free to kick me in my cyber-butt should I regress :)

peace and love.

P.S.  The Angel thought that the most fitting place for a poop was in Buckingham Castle over the holidays. tee hee hee.  My (Irish) father is proud.