Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
I walk aimlessly down the street
going here, going there
nowhere in particular
and nowhere to be
of course, truth not
I know exactly
where I am suppose
can't seem to reach
over bearing personalities
I am here, where
Sunday, December 14, 2008
…Newcomer in the house of Slytherin in its second year. She was but thirteen years of age and quite awkward to say the least. She used to trip on little things like pencils and compasses; so much so that other students would strategically place these items as well as a whole host of others in her pathway to get a good laugh. They would also put bugs from Professor Snippet’s Entomology class in her jungle-like hair and get a kick out of watching them try to escape. Young Lucius would laugh along with everyone else but he would never take part in the teasing. Sometimes, when he thought they were going too far, he would put a spell on them to make them itch or make them lose all control of their bowels; whatever tickled his fancy on a given day.
Dendera’s first few months were certainly trying ones. She would spend most of her time in her dorm room studying and crying. After time, she finally learned that crying never stopped the teasing. So after a while, she started laughing along with the bullies when they would target her. She did this continuously until it was no longer fun to bother her. They eventually stopped altogether and began to appreciate her for her fun-loving personality that she was hiding for so long, and also for her intelligence which she honed from studying alone for so long; Her aptitude especially in the realm of the Dark Arts. By the beginning of her third year, she became popular for these attributes as opposed to her old awkwardness. As she got used to the halls of Hogwarts and the familiar faces and her growing body, she became much less awkward. She would still succumb to a few trips here and there but who hasn’t. At age sixteen, she was able to actually see the woman in her that she would eventually grow to be. Her inner beauty started to shine through steadily. Her two closest friends, Amelda and Brama were always by her side as support. Amelda, the more outgoing of the three, had an idea one night to transform Dendera and get her out of her shell completely.
It was the night of the Harvest Moon Dance and once again, Dendera had no plans of attending.
“I’ve never danced with a boy before”. She protested.
“Come on!” Coaxed Amelda. “It will be fun. You don’t have to dance with a boy!”
“What if one asks me?” Amelda and Brama looked at each other in silence and then cracked it with laughter.
“No one is going to ask you to dance looking like that.” Brama says.
Amelda’s laughter starts to whimper to a smile. Then, an energy efficient light bulb appeared over her head, literally. “Let’s give you a change. Make you into the belle of the ball…No that is so old and corny. Make you into the Slytherin Princess!”
“Yes. A make over. I love makeovers!” Proclaims Brama.
“Then let’s do it!”
“No No No!” Dendera says.
“Come on. It will be fun!” The girls join hands and do a circle dance around Dendera chanting, “Slytherin Princess, Slytherin Princess…Who’s going to the dance…Slytherin Princess!”
“You guys are so corny. The dance starts in two hours. All of the Dark Arts in the world can’t make me into….whatever you want to make me into.
“Dark Arts..Yes!” Amelda yelling. “What is that spell that turns animals and people stiff again? I want to make that puffy rug on your head straight for the first time.”
“Look. That spell only works on living things. Hair is dead, remember.” Dendera reminds her.
“Okay. Well then, we’ll just have to make it come alive.”
“What?!” Ambrosia yells out frightened.
“Don’t get your diapers in a knot. I’m talking about with hair products and junk like that. Brama…let us begin”. They dive into Dendera’s hair like two mad surgeons.
The Spirit Hall, where the gala event was taking place, was decked with four wooden tables with the runners donning the colors of all four houses. All kinds of treats were set on the tables that were placed against the walls, leaving space for the dance floor. It was classically lit with hues of orange and gold, mirroring the appearance of the huge harvest moon, which looked as if it was going to drop through the glass ceiling of the Hall. The stars flickered brightly this night more than any night all around the moon and reflected their brilliance on the dance floor and the grounds of Hogwarts. It was truly magical. The sounds of all kinds of chatter lit up the hall. A live band played soft classical music at the front. Everyone was having a joyous time and the turn out seemed a lot better than it was last year. The Hall was practically full. It was two hours into the party and young Lucius Malfoy, with short white hair and black suit, bored, was about to leave with his friends when…..
…Dendera Arden entered.
She was wearing a shimmering baby blue halter-topped dress with her golden brown hair let loose in skinny ringlets from a side part all down her shoulders and back. It was like her hair was the moon and her eyes were the stars. No one really knew she had blue eyes until tonight. Everyone turned to stare at this surprising beauty, from Lucius to Tom Riddle – now infamously known as Voldemort. She felt extremely uncomfortable feeling all the eyes on her. The awkwardness began to make a reappearance. She slightly lifted her gown so that she wouldn’t trip and kept her head down looking at her feet make every step. Hoping that she didn’t fall as she has done so many times before, she kept saying in her head, “Don’t fall. Don’t fall. Don’t fall.” She finally made it down to the last step. She felt triumphant as she looked up with a big smile on her face. To her surprise, everyone was still watching her gawking. She wondered, ‘Oh no. What is wrong with me?’
Then she felt a hand touch hers. As she quickly looked up, she saw it was Tom Riddle; so handsome in his black suit with his dark hair and dark brown eyes. Every girl dreamed of being on this rebellious boys arm; even Dendera’s friend, Amelda.
“Would you like to dance Dendera? He asked. Before she could answer, he whisked her away unto the dance floor and reveled in her beauty and the fact that everyone was now watching THEM. Lucius watched from a distance in dismay. He started heading out of the Hall even faster.
“Where are you going?” Professor Ticklywinks asked.
“I’m done with the night.” Lucius says.
“The night is not over. We still have the last dance. It is said that for the most part, whoever dances the last dance together on this harvest moon night will become a couple in the future, indeed. ” The Headmaster reveals.
Lucius didn’t know if this was an ‘old wives tale’ or reality, but he found himself looking over at Dendera dancing with Tom Riddle. He beat him when she entered, but Lucius was determined to beat him to the last dance.
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Monday, December 1, 2008
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Sunday, November 2, 2008
Once upon a time, when the new moon drifted into Sagittarius, the stage was idyllically set for the revelry and antics of Halloween night 2008. It was a night to remember and forget. It all started out when I decided to follow my sister over the river and through the hood to the ever exciting Greenwich Village. We ran into Grandstanding Villagers, streams of traffic, tipsy castle dwellers, flocks of vultures, a high priest, yellow cab blues and an unforgettable interlude with a Grey Goose. Shall we begin?
I was part of a religious organization in my teens and early twenties that forbid the celebration of Halloween. When I left this religion, I was so excited because now I could finally feed my inborn hunger for costuming. So putting the ghostliness and the ghoulishness aside, Halloween was an excuse for me to parade in the most outlandish costumes and still be looked upon as normal. Yeah! But somehow, every single year (4 years and counting) my plans are thwarted. The first year, which was more than understandable, my grandmother fell ill on Halloween night and ended up in the hospital. Thank God she was okay and able to go home late that night, but the family and I stood by her bedside until she was completely better. I was a black cat that year. Bad choice. The next year, a few of my cousins and I ventured to a “Halloween” party in Brooklyn and I ended up being the only one in costume. I was the Queen of Hearts that year. Off with their heads! The next year, I was an Egyptian Princess with the perfect eye make up and the works. I trekked to Manhattan only to stand on line outside of a club for two hours, watching tipsy revelers walking back and forth and slipping and sliding into piles of police horse dung. That was the highlight of my night. And now introducing, Halloween 2008.
My sister and I were able to catch a chariot in the land of Brooks (Brooklyn) henceforth, we picked up her two cohorts, I mean coworkers who were dressed as a policewoman and a correction’s officer with billy club and evidence bags in hand. My sister was donning her Harry Potter school girl outfit and I, because I didn’t get a chance to show off my digs last year, was an Egyptian Princess again. Our chariot driver gave us a set price from the beginning but I’m sure he regretted that because when we got into the city, it seemed as though 70% of the Villagers were behind wheels forming endless streams of traffic while the other 30% were frolicking on the streets, crossing at the green light and dancing to the music of honking horns, so it took us about an hour and a half to get to our destination – Aura. As we stood outside of Castle Aura on a line a block long, a man kept walking back and forth announcing that only people who want” bottle service” would be granted entry for a night of merry making. I started getting flashbacks of last year’s nightmare. I had to do something. I pulled one man aside who reeked of promoter cologne and pleaded my case with him. He was moved by my smooth words and spoke to another promoter and then they came back bearing “good” tidings together. We could get into the club as long as we paid $20 per head (which was the entry price) and follow the white nurse to the top floor. Great! The four of us trickled through the castle doors as desperate villagers attempted to grab on to our coat tails and sneak in with us. They were quickly pulled back.
So we headed through the partying crowd looking like VIP’s watching castle dwellers watch us. One tall, lanky modelesque one purposely bumped my sister who was directly in front of me, so my sister bumped her back and kept on walking. Unknown to my sister, she raised her hand as if to hit her and upon seeing this, I let out a dire warning to this girl who obviously had too much to drink and she dropped her hand in surprise (Due to sensitive audiences, I can not repeat the warning). Anyway, we were lead by the white nurse to the top floor behind red velvety curtains. The VIP Area! ‘How did we get here?’ I wondered. We were in a dimly lit, cozy little balcony overlooking our festive subjects. We were given a table, a soft red velvet sectional and asked what our preference for chasers was.
Totally overwhelmed by the VIP service, the police officer and the correction’s officer immediately protested. They thought they had to pay for all of this but the white nurse calmed their fears and told them that it was all paid for. In a second, almost by some strange magic, the white nurse disappeared and then reappeared with four bottles of chasers, two grey geese and plenty of goblets. We all dug in. The officers took a few sips of their elixer and under the spell of the music, ran downstairs to be with their subjects. I watched my little sister pour a grey goose into a glass of cranberry juice like it was water. She drank it in lickedy split and was fine. So I followed suit. For the moment, I forgot that my sister had super human powers when it came to alcohol because she got a bartending license just for fun so she could mix all sorts of drinks at home. This was one of her hobbies that started as a child when she would mix juices and beg me to, “Taste it! Taste it!” Even today when she has functions at her home and mixes drinks, I first take one whiff of it and the toxic fumes alone stop me from even tasting. I always throw it down her sink and tell her, “Mmmmm. That was good!”
Moving right along: So I poured ¼ of a goblet of grey goose into ¾ of cranberry juice and within minutes, I was on my way to Wasted Land. I didn’t eat that night and I never had grey goose before so that was my personal recipe for disaster. I stumbled over to the edge of the balcony to look at the subjects swaying back and forth and I ended up dropping my phone over the balcony. It parted three ways. That was the first of several drops for the night. Poor Samsung. I held on to the banister to get down the steps, which in my mind, morphed into a spiral staircase. I spotted the pieces, so I held on to a bouncer’s shoulder (who was guarding the VIP area) for balance and was successful in picking them up without falling over. It took me several minutes to Rubik’s cube the battery back to its base and place the cover over it. This time, I floated right up the stairs to my sister who was sitting on the couch. She started complaining nonstop about this venue not being her scene and how she wanted to go home. I told her we should probably leave.
She then asked me if I felt like I was spinning. I had to admit it and then she sternly told me that I was going to hurl. I never hurl so I just sucked my teeth and said, Yeah right. At this point, we were in Aura for about 20 minutes which in Village time equaled an eternity. For the next twenty minutes, we danced a little in the chair and laughed at the dwellers. Then I poured a second grey goose and cranberry into a goblet and took two sips for the road. My sister yelled at me but I didn’t think I would be affected as I was. Heading down the stairs and through the crowd again was a chore. When I hit the crisp 56 degree air outside, it felt like I had just stepped straight into the sun onto Caribbean sands at the hottest point of the day. I stripped off my trench coat. I didn’t know this act, plus the fact that I was walking in zig zags would trigger flocks upon flocks of male vultures to hover, and then descend over me, yelling Princess! Princess! They kept coming and my sister and I kept beating them off with sharp, loud words. Then I recalled the Kanye West song, “Drunken Hot Girls”, and realized what was going on. I was the perfect prey-pissingly plastered. I started singing the song until my sister yelled at me to shut up. Then I started apologizing to my lil sis but she told me it was okay. The same thing happened to her with her first interlude with the grey goose, but lucky for her, she was at home. Here I was on the streets of Greenwich Village, trudging like a twisted Cleopatra. Then I saw a priest or a man in costume as a Catholic priest. I went up to him and pleaded, “Forgive me father, for I have sinned!” I don’t think the priest heard me because his eyes were blank and glassy as if he were high on something…everything! My sister dragged me away and said, “Come here. All he’s going to say is take ten Hail Mary’s and call me in the morning!” I couldn’t stop laughing after that.
Then we tried to get a cab – the classic New York nightmare. Especially on Halloween night, this was next to impossible. No cabs wanted to journey over the bridge into the land of Brooks. In my drunkenness I was still able to think clearly to tell my sister to go underground and take a train to Brooklyn where willing cabs were in abundance. But my sister hates riding the train with a passion. So she had me doing the drunken girl walk for blocks and blocks sticking out my arm until she realized we were walking further into Manhattan. So she dragged me back to the opposite direction while I laughed at everything. I couldn’t feel the cold or the pain in my feet, and I felt happy for no reason, so it was okay with me. Finally, my sis got tired and we ended up at the Union Square train station. Underground, her prediction came true. My body kept trying to hurl the goose out of me but nothing would come out. With each gasp, I felt weaker and weaker. An electrical box on the platform became my best friend as I held it for balance, gagging every other second. I prayed for the train to come and after about 15 – 20 minutes, it came. I sat in the train and with every jerk, I wanted to throw up. I put my head in my lap and closed my eyes, but when I closed my eyes, the spinning increased out of control. So I had to keep my head up and stair into the excruciating light in the train. My whole body, all my senses, my entire Aura was super-sensitive. To make a long story short, we ended up at Grand Army Plaza where we got a cab immediately in my estimation. According to my sister, we were waiting forever. Apparently time started to speed up for me. I remember my sis and the cab driver having a deep conversation about the state of the world or something or the other and then in a time-machine flash, I was in front of my home. As soon as I made it in, the floor became my companion. I felt at peace to throw up all over it. Until the sun shone, we lived happily ever after. Until next year. The End.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
But I see it as a way of bringing families together to celebrate life and enjoy each other’s company. Just like Thanksgiving. Everyone was dressed in such vibrant colors that I felt as if I fell into a rainbow. The young women who provided most of the dancing entertainment had arms full of multi-colored bangles that jingled together as well as anklets of bells that created a sweet melody when they walked and music when they danced.
The house smell sooo good. Pungent spices filled the air and mixed with sweet jasmine and ghee filled deeyas. I ate vegetarian all night, alou chana, bhaji, pumpkin, currhee, mango tekarry, roti and lots and lots of sweet rice, laddoo, burfi, peda and korma. De--licious. I can still taste it.
Anyway, I ate so much pepper that I paid for it later but all in all we had much fun. We lit deeyas and sang non-sensical Bhajans. Non-sensical because only the older members of the family speak Hindi and knew what they were singing. Us young folks were just hungry...smile, so we just recite the words from a distant part of our memories. It was just a fun time even though it wasn’t entirely the way you are suppose to celebrate Diwali.
Saturday, October 25, 2008
It always goes astray
Out of the box and into the wild
Searching for a strange home to stay
Made up of different colors and different ways
My heart always goes astray
If I could tell my heart where to go
It wouldn’t leave and wander
Out of the box and into the wild
Searching foreign intimates to ponder
New beaus it finds fonder
My heart does wander
If I had a hold on my heart
It wouldn’t leave to explore
Out of the box and into the wild
Searching exotic types to adore
Hand in hand to the shore
Looking for more
My heart does explore
If I could control my heart
It wouldn’t seek to get hurt
Out of the box and into the wild
Seeking a partner in just a T-shirt
To jump out of his box and flirt
And experience his own growth spurt
But it always comes back hurt
The waves roll, the winds blow
Some parts see snow
And my heart always goes
Where it wants
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Well crazy thoughts of politics kept me up last night. The constant berage of BS on television and in the newspapers as well as in my e-mail box is making me a little fed up. I am sick of the so called political rat race to the White House and the negativity that is soaking this country, that I had to finally come out and give my honest opinion on who I would vote for in the upcoming election. I would vote for... neither candidate. Why, has nothing to do with them as people or whether they would do a good job but more about America and what is killing her.
America is seriously broken and no matter who is elected into office, there will be an immense struggle for the next four years and beyond to fix her. I know what you are thinking; it can be done...it could happen with the right person in place. Liberals and Democrats alike are saying, come on we have a fresh face on the horizon, a man of color who will lead us out of the jungle and into the promise land. Oh and by the way, Americans are not racists. The Republicans and Conservatives have chosen to ride with the warrior waving the american flag and eating momma’s pie; a man who they feel has seen it all and would know what to do. But who is the really qualified? Does it really matter in the end since these people are just puppets controlled by their respective parties. Let’s face it, the nomination process was the real test. Neither party chose strong candidates to represent them. The two-face, power hungry control freak didn’t make the cut, nor did they chose the angel face with the ambigious religious beliefs. Why, because they would not be easily controlled and they have agendas beyond belief.
We all know that out West, no one has a real opinion on who they would vote for and if they did they wouldn’t voice it. Most of the people etc., who move out there to make a difference just end up looking like and acting like everyone else around them. Straight from the script and jumping on the bandwagon of anyone that hands out the biggest jobs/paychecks. No waves there. Middle America is desparate for jobs and an infusion of financial assistance. They are going to vote for the one that talks pretty and promises a lot. East coast folks think they know it all, so it doesn’t matter who they vote for it must be the right choice. The Southerners, well they have to believe in the one who will protect their resources and their immigrants and Midwesterners... are just happy, you betcha.
If they, the candidates, both feel that they could fix the broken spots of America, why don’t these two join together, combine their resources, compromise on the important issues, take all the money that they are raising through and for their campaign to spend on advertsing and smearing and put it towards a good cause...America the Great, America the Beautiful. Can you imagine what a difference that would make. A day would come where they, our leaders would stand as a unified front and take care of business as they should. It is time to stop blaming each other and start creating real solutions across the board. America has a love-hate relationship with the rest of the world and unfortuantely with itself.
I know, I know you’re saying, stop dreaming, because egos just don’t do things like that. Your right and we will forever find ourselves coming back to the same position again and again. History’s a learning tool, no? Whew, on that note I will end here. I do not profess to be a political guru, I will just say this is only my humble opinion.
Good Luck next month!
Photo credit: Election Time by Asylum Orange at www.deviantart.com
Thursday, October 16, 2008
The film tackles a subject that could be looked at from numerous angles. We commend everyone who worked on this project. Please check out our film,“Tomorrow” to the left of this article. Feel free to share your opinions. Enjoy!
Thursday, October 2, 2008
It may sound like a great idea to move to a place where your family can have a better life, there is always a select few who will take advantage of a desperate situation. Families unable to get visas or purchase plane tickets find themselves at the mercy of these people and take on treacherous journeys via small overloaded boats or over crowded freight carriers. Haiti is one of the more popular countries in the Caribbean to have a heavy migration number. Being one of the only nations that gained their country’s independence from a slave rebellion, Haitians on a whole understand that fighting for what they want pays off in the end. One can even surmise that “Bonjour Liberté” could very well be the most common thought in their minds when they make it to a safe haven, to a new country, to a chance for betterment. After all, they are leaving behind the soil their fore fathers tilled, toiled and called home for just that, a chance at Freedom.
“Mwen Solé” written by Yaphathtoar, is a script about the Migration Struggle, Love and Betrayal of a Haitian Family. This feature film is slated for production in the early 2009 and follows a family of immigrants from Haiti to America. Unfortunately, they don't make it to the U.S. and come ashore in the Bahamas instead.
Verbal Honey’s Epiphany caught up with Yaphathtoar to discuss her latest project.
A little background...
A rising star behind the scenes as well as in front of the camera, Yaphathtoar is a writer/director/producer and a well-oiled machine. Her time management skills could be bottled as she juggles a busy freelance schedule of bouncing from film locations, to scoring and directing independent films. She also manages a drama company, founded back in 2003, 400 hundred miles away in the Bahamas as her way of giving back to the community. The Yaphathtoar Academy of Dramatic Arts (YADA), allows Bahamian students to learn from some of Hollywood’s best coaches, writers and cinematographers and then have their work showcased locally. It was on one of her numerous trips back and forth working with the students in the academy, some of them of Haitian descent, that she decided this story needed to be told; to put the plight of the Haitian immigrants who call the Bahamas their home on center stage, whether it would effect change or just bring awareness to their situation.
We chatted for a while...
VH - Why did you feel the need to write this script?
VH - Do you view yourself as an advocate for displaced Haitians or as a voice for their struggle?
VH - When did the idea of Mwen Solé come to you was it a something in the news or a personal experience you had?
Y - I’m not sure when or what specifically inspired Mwen Solé. I suppose I began thinking about it more when I opened YADA. A number of my students were Haitian or of Haitian descent. They shared stories with me of day to day challenges that they had as Bahamians born to Haitian parents or as Haitians. Of course, I had wonderful Bahamian-Haitian friends (or Bahaitian, as I called them) growing up that I was extremely close to. But somehow I realized these young people were still living exactly how my friends had lived years ago and I wondered what was being done to change these age old issues. So perhaps that is the catalyst that got me thinking about the story. It’s hard to say if it was news or personal experience. I think it was both.
VH - Why didn't you set this movie in America, why the Bahamas?
Y - My goal for Shallow Sea Films is to tell stories from the Bahamas and the Caribbean. America is very well represented and perhaps for economic reasons it would make more sense for me to pursue that market by telling Mwen Solé from that perspective. I do feel, though, that there is a different kind of wealth to be tapped into by telling the story as it relates to Haiti’s connection to the Bahamas.
Y - It needs to be understood that America is not the only nation facing an illegal immigration crisis. In fact because of our geographical situation we tend to serve as the buffer for countless Haitians trying to make their way to America. Those stories are just as poignant and compelling. Perhaps even more so since, for some, to be “stuck in the Bahamas” is like being stuck in purgatory.
VH - Are your characters based on people you know?
Y - Each of my characters is a collage of different people I know personally. It would be fair to say anyone familiar with the Bahamas and/or Haiti who sees Mwen Solé will relate to the characters on some level.
VH - Who is the film's audience?
Y - Despite its mature nature Mwen Solé is a story about family. As a coming of age, action adventure ensemble piece, it will appeal to young men and women twelve years and up. I think it will have a unique following of those who want to see more real stories from and about the Caribbean.
VH - Where would you like to see the characters going?
Y - I guess if I could have them go anywhere it would be to continue on that journey of the higher self they each discover in this work. I feel the characters as they currently stand grow considerably. While there is always room for improvement it was important in Mwen Solé to bring each individual character to their best self.
VH - Do you have in mind whom will play which character?
Y - We have a principal cast of fresh faces and strong talent who are very passionate about this story and they champion the message of it. Though it was tempting to package Mwen Solé with star power it was more important to not lose that message with that kind of flair.
VH - Do you think the Haitian community wants to see this, do they want the public to be aware of the plight and struggle of their people or do you think they want to leave their past in the past? This is not to say that everyone who migrated did so dishonestly but should we be sweeping this under the rug and rejoicing in the success?
Y - I think the Haitian community would want to see Mwen Solé because it is a story of courage, hope, healing and overcoming obstacles. I would hope that they do want to create awareness but even more so to have hearts pricked to a point where changes will be made.
Y - I don’t feel that any of these issues are “in the past”. They are very current! That’s the problem. These issues have persisted for way to long. Almost daily, in the Bahamas alone, there is a report of an illegal ship hitting the shores. What’s worst is that countless lives are lost carelessly in the process. I would be elated to wake up one morning to the reality that all of this is really “the past”.
Y - The choice to give Solé an opportunity at a new life was purely artistic. It is not, in reality, the rule but the exception. Haitians in such a case are repatriated everyday. So, no, the intent is not to “sweep it under the carpet and rejoice the success”. The attempt here is to look at each situation on a case by case basis but also to force each of us to analyze why – despite best efforts to stop them and their choice to stare death in the face and risk crossing anyway – why they continue to do so. When we look at the issues that are making them flee maybe we’ll take the time to consider what we can do to help their healing process and act responsibly on behalf of our neighbor. When we begin to do that we’ll also be helping ourselves. We have the passion to do it for other nations in crisis. We can definitely do it for Haiti. If we let go of feeling overwhelmed, make our friends, colleagues, government agencies etc. aware and accountable to do what we have the power to do then we can all rejoice openly without feeling like this is the only option to a better life.
VH - Is the immigration issue a problem in the Bahamas?
Y - Yes, it is a huge problem in the Bahamas. Our resources are very limited as a small nation with such a persistent problem.
VH - Not speaking for all Bahamians of course but do you think that Haitians are welcomed or discouraged from going to your country?
Y - Both. With a proper plan in place for naturalization I think Bahamians welcome Haitians because, like them, they are a resourceful, proud and talented people. However, they are absolutely discouraged by the means they are taking now.
VH - Do you speak French or Creole?
Y - Neither. For Mwen Solé I worked with a Haitian translator.
VH - Why would anyone want to back this script?
Y - Mwen Solé is an exciting story that offers the Hollywood epic elements with a heartfelt, socially responsible message.
VH - Are you working on a sequel to this or will the story end here?
Y - This is it. The story ends here. Originally I wanted to develop this project as a television series. I suppose that is still plausible with the right team because Solé has quite a journey ahead of him. We’ll have to wait and see what life unfolds for Mwen Solé.
VH - Do you think the Haitian community will buy this story from your voice that of a non Haitian background?
Y - The story is told primarily from Solé’s point of view. I hope that the audience will get that. I tried to keep that pure. Because it involves how this impacts my country and culture as well I think they will connect with the story. We are all familiar with the same organic challenges – desire for a better life; to provide for self and family; a respected place within the global community; to have our needs met. I hope that shines through beyond the fact that I am not Haitian.
VH - We certainly look forward to screening this very important film and wish you all the best.
Y - Thank you and the verbal honey readers for their support.
The end is only the beginning...
Verbal Honey will be screening Mwen Solé next year, so stay tuned. For more information, please feel free to e-mail Yaphathtoar at firstname.lastname@example.org
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
The theme of the first season was “Save the Cheerleader, Save the World”. This line donned many a T-shirt and button. I must admit that I too am in possession of a cute little camisole (it was a gift). Anyway, this season’s focus is on “Villians” and in the premier, it is clear that the glass wall between the heroes and the villains is no longer clear. It seems to me that the first episode is a set up to a reversal of roles. Many questions have been raised already. Who really is Mama Petrelli and is there any limit to her understated evil? What in the world is happening to Suresh? Is Sylar being brain washed to work for the “Paper Company”? Why isn’t Claire feeling any pain anymore and what did Sylar mean when he said that she is more special than the others? How many personalities does Nikki have really? When will the Peter Petrelli of the present get out of that insane criminal’s body that his future self trapped him in? Will Hiro find the other half of the stolen secret formula in Germany on his quest to locate the girl who can travel at the speed of sound? Ahhhhhhh. It’s going to be so much fun finding out these answers. If you have never watched “Heroes”, please give it a try. It will save you.
Sunday, September 21, 2008
Monday, September 15, 2008
Thursday, September 11, 2008
I was late to work as usual going to my job in Times Square. I had no idea as my train was moving underneath the World Trade Center, that the first plane had already hit. When I came out at my stop, Times Square which is usually bustling with people and cars, was eerily bare except for the endless stream of blaring fire engines racing downtown. Hundreds of these same brave soldiers – firefighters and other rescue workers moving past me lost their lives and are still losing their lives today as the effects of being exposed to toxins at Ground Zero set in.
When I got to my office, everyone was huddled around the T.V. Then I finally saw what all the confusion was about. I tried calling my family with my cell but of course there was no reception. Unknown to me at the time, my train was one of the last trains allowed to enter Manhattan. Immediately all bridges were closed. I couldn't get back to Brooklyn, at least not now. I changed into my running shoes and kept my jacket on, in case the bridges were allowed to reopen. Almost three hours passed. We watched the first tower collapse unto itself in flames; sending a toxic cloud of smoke everywhere. My heart sank instantly.
To make a long story short, the bridges were reopened over three hours later and I raced out of my building. That was the scariest elevator ride I have ever had from the 52nd floor. Outside, instead of people normally pushing and being rude, everyone walked around like zombies, hand in hand...black, white, Chinese, Indian what-have-you. It didn't matter today. I was in awe. I made it to a Brooklyn Bound train and I didn't care which train it was as long as it was heading out of Manhattan. We were packed like sardines. As the conductor started slowly and cautiously going over the bridge, we were all face to face with an unreal sight. It was no longer T.V. This was the real thing!! Columns of smoke became one massive black cloud trailing up through the blue sky. There was nothing but silence. Our beautiful skyline, the twin skyscrapers which we always looked upon with adoration, was ripped apart. More so than that, human lives were becoming dust before our very eyes. Knowing all to well that there was a bomb threat for bridges, everyone was at the edge of their seats (at least the ones that were sitting). THAT was by far the scariest train ride ever to say the least. As the thick cloud of blackness made its way over to Brooklyn, transit buses refrained from picking up the droves of frantic people in the streets. When I finally made it home 4 hours later, I experienced my first full fledge asthma attack. Well that is my story.
For the last couple of nights, I have been peering through my apartment window at the two shafts of white light emitted from Ground Zero clear into the starry heavens. It truly is a profound sight. I have one hope and one wish. My hope is that each and every one of those lives are still living, beautifully perched in the grand tree that is heaven. And I wish that all of our differences in religion, race, and gender would work as a unifying tool, bringing us together to learn from one another, not as a tool of division. There is so much to learn and yet so little time. Our lives are miniscule compared with the universe.
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
Friday, August 29, 2008
people dart in and out
cars screech to a halt
everyone’s in a hurry
places they gotta be
the crosswalks are full
before the walk sign goes green
running red lights
running on empty
it is the wrong attitude
but everyone does it
something bad may happen
begging for years of servitude
road rage is there
the burdens drivers carry
the heaviest of cargo
just waiting to explode
the melting pot
diverse and complicated
life striving in nature,
people in a maze
submerged in the sea of city life
not a neighbor who cares
good citizens are ruined
soon after moving here
we love, can’t leave it
addiction with cheaper seats
Ahhh, the city life
Brooklyn, that what it be
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
“Where is the money?!” Agent Lawson yells impatiently after an hour of interrogating Tony “The Brains” Capainello in one of the sound booths in the Marlowe movie theater on 16th Ave. and 9th street. Tony, a former career criminal with the Viscelli crime family, sits across the cold steal table, hands shaking, fingers tapping against it, repetitively, somewhat uncontrollably as he advances in MS. Shaken down by the Feds after a 2 year investigation, Tony makes a plea bargain to save himself from dying in prison. He hands them over a list of names stretching from the limo driver to the big boss himself, Vito “Gold Knuckles” Viscelli. And now, the money is the only physical evidence needed to keep them locked up.
“I-It’s in da- da- movie theater.” Tony says, looking like a child caught red handed, pleading for forgiveness.
“I know. You’ve been saying this for the last hour. That’s why we’re here. My men have combed through this place. Combed! Do you hear me!” Lawson uncharacteristically breaks through his calm, “good cop” demeanor. He takes a sip of water from his glass.
“I’m sorry Mr. Capainello, but if you’re sending us on a wild goose chase...the deal is off.”
“N-no-no goose ch-ch-chase.” Tony says, fingers knocking the table harder. “I-I loved g-g-going to th-the theater to see Red October.”
“Yes, Mr. Capainello. You liked Red October. We have established that.”
Det. Lawson looks behind Capainello to the tinted window of the booth where Agent Timbrook listens in with his headphones.
“I can’t deal with this.” Lawson says to him, raising and dropping his arms in defeat.
Just then, Timbrook gets a call from another agent.
“We need backup! Get Lawson and get back up, now!!!”
Timbrook closes the phone as coolly as he opened it. As if he never received the message, he adjusts his headphones and continues to listen in on the interrogation.
Viscelli and his men, whose lives hang on the discovery of the money, rush into the movie theater, guns smoking, picking off the Feds one by one.
“Where is back up?!” One agent inquires right before he’s shot in the back of the head. Viscelli and his men completely over power them and rush into the theater through all entrances like an army of ants.
One of them takes out his cell phone.
“Where’s da money?!” He yells to the person on the other line.
Agent Timbrook responds calmly. “Just give me one more minute.”
“I-I-I loved th-th-that movie. H-Hunt for R-Red October. Red October.
Agent Lawson, neck tie opened, wiping sweat beads off his forehead, leans over to Capainello.
“Why do you keep talking about that movie?” He asks, noticing Capainello’s hand ticks become more vigorous with every second. He feels a bit uneasy when he realizes Capainello is staring straight through his eyes as if to tell him something. Capainello desperately moves his eyes down to his shaking hands and Agent Lawson does the same. Everything is silent in the room as his hands continue to knock against the table in a continuous sequence. The tapping sounds seem to echo against everything, the white walls, the steel furniture, Agent Lawson’s mind. Everything slowed down and then stopped when Lawson realized, ‘It’s Morse Code.’ He says to himself.
Lawson releases two of his shirt buttons and stares intently at Capainello’s hands while he tries to figure out the code in his mind.
‘D-o- n- o- t – D-r-i-n-k – W-a-t-e-r.’
“Do not drink water!” He says triumphantly. “Don’t drink the water?”
Agent Lawson, feeling faintish picks up the glass he drank water from and drops it as his limbs weaken. As it crashes to the floor sending glass shards everywhere, Agent Lawson crashes to the floor as well, head bouncing against the cold tiles.
Timbrook takes off his headphones and enters the room with slow, confident steps and his gun cocked.
“Hello Mr. Capainello. Enough of the good cop routine.” Timbrook points his gun with silencer dead in Capainello’s mouth.
“You don’t need to speak since you’re so good with Morse Code. Now, where‘s the money?”
Capainello starts nervously tapping a code on the table. He tries to swallow a ball of saliva which has welled up in his throat but he can’t, since Timbrook is pushing the gun further in his mouth. It seems to bring him pleasure having Capainello in this position.
“Hurry up old man!”
Capainello continues rapping the code.
“B-e-h-i-n-d-u. Behind you?” Timbrook spins his head around where his eyes meet up with the shaft of Agent Lawson’s 9mm. In a split second his brains are blown out all over Capainello’s face and half the sound room.
“Sorry about that.” Lawson says to Capainello breathing hard, stumbling.
Capainello immediately pushes the steel table away and lifts up two squares of tiles out of the floor.
“What are you doing?” Lawson asks feebly.
Like a teenaged football player, Capainello lifts two black knap sacks out of the ground. He places one on his back and the other on Lawson’s back.
“What the…” Lawson can’t believe his eyes as he watches Capainello buckle the bag across his chest with ease, then lift the gun with silencer away from Timbrook’s lifeless shell. He helps Lawson up and throwing his arm around his back, he assists him through the door and down a red carpeted hallway. Two of Viscelli’s men by the stairwell exit raise their guns at them, but Capainello shoots them with perfect precision.
Down the stairwell they limp, three flights to the street below. Capainello drags Det. Lawson two blocks away and drops him on the corner of 16th Ave. and 7th. He pulls the detective’s cell phone out, dials 911 and places it back in his hand. Lawson helplessly watches Capainello walk away, upright and strong. He turns around for a moment and says,
“I love good cops.”
As he says this, the movie theater blows up in the distance with the entire Viscelli mob.
For more information on the contest click the link below:
The whole town was there rooting for the underdogs. Suddenly the blaring country music was lowered and the crowd stood still. The owner of Lone Star Lanes, Ed Murphy, was drunk and taunting the other team as he did every year. His team “The Murphies” always won against the Skinners and he had already picked out a spot in the office for his new trophy. In this small town folks looked forward to bowling on Tuesday nights, so this was serious business.
The winning bowl fell to Ed’s trophy wife Gina-Rae. She rolled a 7-10 split or bedposts and ran up to Ed in dismay.
“Oh no, Eddie look!” she exclaimed unable to hide her nervousness.
Ed leaned over and whispered in her ear. She smiled and as she walked away, he smacked her ass and winked. Everyone was hoping that she threw a gutter ball, then maybe the Skinners would win this year; That and the fact that they had a new guy on the team named Robert. He had only been here for six months but was a damn good bowler.
Gina-Rae stood there with the ball under her chin concentrating hard. She was mighty pretty but not the brightest gal around. The only reason she was on the team was because she wore the shortest cut off jeans in town and Ed hoped it would distract the other players. Her arm swing was actually good and the ball rolled straight for the 10 pin. Gina-Rae stood at the foul line waiting, praying her ball would make it to the end and hit the pins,
‘cause Eddie would be a bear if it didn’t,” she thought.
The intense crash of ball and pin came so quick that no one noticed how easily both of them fell. She picked up the spare. The Murphies won again and the crowd sighed as another year passes without a different winner. Ed stood there screaming with his arms up in the air.
“That’s my girl...come here honey!” He cried grabbing his wife and sloppily kissing her then smacking her butt again.
“Hey everybody, drinks are on me.”
Looking at her again he says, “Good girl darlin’ ”.
“Stop it, Eddie, I’m no dog and you’re drunk.”
She pulled away, wiped her mouth with the back of her hand and headed for the restrooms.
Someone turned the music back up and the party started. In all the excitement, no one noticed the janitor climbing out from the pin area at the end of the lane. No one except Robert.
'So that’s how he wins every year, damn cheater.' He thought.
Ed Murphy in all his glory headed to bar to gloat and serve drinks. He wasn’t actually spending any money since he owned the place but losing or not, the leaguers decided to take him up on his offer of free drinks. Its about the only thing that made losing worth it - free beer. Robert grabbed an ice cold bottle from the bar and settled back to watch the scene.
'These people are so clueless.' He thought. 'I cannot wait for his gig to be up so I could get out of this hell of a Hicksville.'
Just then Gina-Rae walked from the restrooms to the adjacent office. Robert followed. She was about the only good thing in this town and he was happy to have her confidence. She didn’t feel him sneak up on her until he kissed her neck. She jumped.
“Oh Bobby, not now, Eddie’s in the next room, and you know how he gets.”
“I know, but he’s busy celebrating his great cheaters victory.” He whispers in her ear and runs the cold beer bottle edge up and down her arm.
Gina-Rae breaks away.
“Don’t forgot you promised to take me out of here when you leave. I’m sick of this place.”
“I didn’t forget.” He says reassuringly.
“Anyway, it won’t be that much longer, I promise, okay."
He lifted her chin and their eyes met. He was slowly moving her against the desk and reaching into her shirt when she noticed someone approaching, she pushed him away and motioned for him to hide. Robert maneuvered himself behind the door just as Ed busted in.
“What are you doing in here and who were you talkin’ to?” He said accusingly.
“Eddie please. You're drunk and hallucinating. There ain’t no one here to talk to.” She retorts.
Ed goes over to the window and looks out. He likes to admire his truck every chance he gets, another shiny trophy. Gina-Rae picks up the beer that was sitting at the edge of the desk and takes a sip.
“You know I don’t like anyone in my office. This is where I keep my prized possessions.” He says turning from the window and pointing at the trophies. “Besides you should be at my side celebrating your win.” Looking down at the desk and running her finger over the back of the stapler, Gina-Rae tries to get rid of him.
“Eddie you know damn well that I didn’t make that pin fall down, better hope no one figures out the game is rigged.” She sounded bitter.
Ed grabs her jaws with one hand and gets so close she could smell his foul breath.
“Don’t cross me Gina-Rae. I always get what I want no matter what, and I want you at my side.” He grabs her arm and moves her to the door, “Now let’s go celebrate!”
"Ow you’re hurting me, let go Eddie!” She starts sobbing and yanks her arm violently from his grip.
“Look pull yourself together and I wanna see ya smilin’, you hear! See ya in a minute.” Ed storms out of the room and slams the door.
Gina breathes a sigh of relief.
“You had better go.” She says to Bobby "and use the window”. She fluffs out her hair, fixes her clothes and walks back into the bowling alley.
For more information on the contest click link below:
Saturday, August 2, 2008
Ambrosia's Take 5
The third installment to “The Mummy” franchise was not disappointing when it came to action and adventure. The screenplay succeeded in reinventing the series, thus making it fresh and entertaining by having it take place in China instead of Egypt (although I personally enjoy the Egyptian setting better). In this film, Brendan Fraser who plays, Rick O’Connell and new comer Maria Bello, who plays his wife, Evie, all of the sudden have a college aged son. The last time I checked, he was 10 years old. Although 7 years have passed since the last movie, I think audiences were looking more for a continuation to the fun. I'm a firm believer in, 'If it ain't broke, don't fix it.' And something was missing besides Rachel Weisz who, in the first two movies, played the whimsically knowledgeable Evie much more brilliantly.
Sitting through this installment felt like being stuck in a relationship with someone I steadily fell out of love with. I miss the good old days of 1999 and 2001 when Part I and Part II erupted on the big screen. Don't get me wrong, there were some high points, but somehow, I knew everything that was going to happen long before it happened and when that happens, the franchise needs to be laid to rest, mummified and entombed with no hope of a resurrection.
Friday, August 1, 2008
Epiphany says check out www.myspace.com/monikagabamusic
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Just a quick note:
Fall is quickly approaching and the catwalks this past spring were overflowing with items that the fabulously minded just cannot do without, or must not do without...smile. The hanger ladies strutted garments of incredible elegance to obscure delights to draped minimalism...hmmm?! All of course, well worth drooling over, ah pardonnez-moi...(but don’t take my word for it check out some of the links below.) So - keeping in mind that some trends come, some trends go, and some are simply timeless and knowing the economy is in a funk (for some people), I figured some of you will be shopping wisely. Listed below are five musings that will allow you to update your wardrobe without breaking the piggy. Besides, some of the fall trends are not suitable for everyone, so my list will cover all body types, bank account sizes and the fashionably challenged.
- The Textured Coat (ie: plaid, tweed or layered loops)
- Woven Leather Purse (not to large as large plus heavy equals back/shoulder problems)
- Anything Lace, (ie: Dress, Shirt, Skirt)
- A Sheath &/or Shift Dress (Architectural & Minimal)
- Any Garment/Accessory in Shocking Hues/Patterns, (ie: Electric Blues, Purples or Golds)
Don’t forget if the regular stores are too pricey, there’s always the outlets. Happy Hunting!
Links to sites that encompass the above list:
Truly Trendy Info:
Sunday, July 27, 2008
This past Friday, I attended a private party in New York City exclusively for members of the John Legend Network. While waiting on the line outside (and thank God that the heat wave finally let up on that day), I observed a cameraman going around asking fans what they think of John Legend. Unfortunately, they didn’t come my way. Maybe they thought my silver metallic halter top would interfere with their electronics. If they did ask for my opinion, I would have said in part that John Legend is a refreshing blast from the past to today’s music industry which seems to be inundated with coked out cookie cut outs. I probably would have been edited out of their program anyway.
At any rate, the line moved in quickly and smoothly and soon enough I realized that everything from that point on would be highly organized without being military like. The first thing I saw as I ascended a staircase was a group of people selling John Legend memorabilia where proceeds would go to his “Show Me Campaign” to aid the hungry and ailing in Africa; Quite a noble, difficult and much needed undertaking. This lends to the artist's character.
As I opened the glass doors off to the side, I realized, ‘It’s a party!’ A DJ was ‘spinning’ party jams on his Sony VAIO. Under the dim lights and between the hot pink lit VIP areas, everyone waited while being served fantastic hors d'oeuvres and champagne for their premier piano playing songster, John Legend. Within an hour he hit the stage and mixed his oldie but goodies with his new tunes which have never been heard by the public. From what I heard, it sounds like his upcoming album entitled, “EVOLVER” will be a bigger hit than his previous album, “ONCE AGAIN”.
Forgive me but I can not remember the titles of these songs but I recall one in particular that was a ballad about Peace on Earth. It brought back memories of “We are the World”. There was a point when John did a piano solo where I swear he became one with the instrument. The notes were dancing all around him like a dream as he closed his eyes and felt them. He thrilled the keys until they started to sound like harp strings. It was beautiful. Don’t be surprised if you hear this song during an Olympic flashback this year. When the album, “GREENLIGHT” finally comes out, be one of the first to enjoy John Legend’s music like I did Friday Night. Wow!
P.S. Check out my "My Muse" poem inspired by John's music...
Friday, July 25, 2008
Ambrosia’s Take 4
The second film adaptation of the Jules Verne classic, starring Brendan Fraser, is a great Sci Fi Adventure for the entire family. The film, riddled with scientific theories and jargon, actually made the features of the world within the world believable. I liked how this film was straight to the point in that there were no unnecessary scenes or characters. Thus the script was a tight one and the characters didn’t divert from their nature.
The action was appropriate, skating on that defining line between adolescence and adulthood. I was kind of leery about the whole 3-D element of it but was pleasantly surprised to see that the 3-D glasses actually looked like cool black shades made of a hard sturdy plastic as opposed to the old glasses made of cheap cardboard and green and red plastic lenses that had you seeing Christmas everywhere even after the movie ended. Also, the visuals through the glasses are much clearer and crisper, like 3-D in HD!
“Journey to the Center of the Earth” is an entertaining adventure and I recommend it for the whole family. It will have you believing and wanting to be part of the Journey!
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Ambrosia's Take 3
Will I sign my ‘Hancock’ to this one? Sorry Will. Just the fact that the reigning Summer Blockbuster King, Will Smith, was starring in this film, made me want to go out and see it. Hark! The King disappointed me verily. This was one movie where I didn’t mind taking a bathroom break. Halfway through the film, I was hoping beyond hope that it would get better – but to no avail. Although the story was an interesting and unique one, it felt as though the screenplay was written by Junior High School students while they were rushing through the front doors to start summer vacation. No offense to Junior High School kids. There were so many corny lines and holes that I lost count and frankly, I reverted to counting the minutes til the end credits instead. “Hancock” had so much potential to be a hit, but it ended up hitting rock bottom for me.
I will not give away a thing for those who are still interested in seeing “Hancock”, but in the end, there was a cheap attempt at hinting to a possible franchise, whereas Part II would take place in New York City. NOOOOOOOOOOOO! Not New York!!!