Archive | July 2008

The Midnight Meat Train


The Midnight Meat Train - Poster

The Midnight Meat Train - Poster

The Midnight Meat Train is a new horror movie being released in Trinidad and Tobago today but is accidentally being listed as All Ages on Movietowne’s website. The Midnight Meat Train is based on a 1984 short story from the master horror writer Clive Barker. The movie already received rave reviews on IMDB based on its premier showing in the US but will only be widely released on 1st August. I can’t wait to see The Midnight Meat Train but I will have to since plans are already in train for The Dark Night starring Batman and The Joker. The Midnight Meat Train is directed by Japanese director, Ryuhei Kitamura and I hope he is as good as they say.  The movie stars Bradley Cooper, Leslie Bibb and the scary Brooke Shields.

I am interested in The Midnight Meat Train not because the name sounds suggestive but because it’s an R-rated horror movie based on a Clive Barker story featuring a photographer and his camera. It looks like a rangefinder film camera and not a digital SLR.  Somehow, memory cards and computers are not as scary as darkrooms and chemicals.

Ryuhei Kitamura

Ryuhei Kitamura

Movietowne's Mistake

Movietowne's Mistake

Ode to The Backhoe


A Backhoe

A Backhoe

The first time I heard the word backhoe I was a teenager and had a distorted knowledge of the world so I misunderstood what a backhoe really was. All I knew was one of our neighbors rented backhoes even though he was happily married. Eventually, I saw what real backhoes looked like and that was the start of my fascination with the backhoe. That boyish fascination continues up to today.

A backhoe is a notorious creature in Trinidad and Tobago and became infamous for causing long lines of traffic on back roads and highways. With its jiggly digger, a backhoe at maximum speed is frightening and unstable at best. Maybe in the sixties a backhoe was considered a fast moving and steady vehicle, but by today’s standards for reckless driving and endangering life and limb of the innocent, a maximum speed 30 km/h on the highways shouldn’t be tolerated. I dislike backhoes for this reason but I dislike backhoes even more because WASA has adopted the backhoe, along with the jackhammer and incompetence, as their main weapons for the mass destruction of roads.

Another Backhoe

Another Backhoe

But backhoes are not all bad and when in action a backhoe can be a joy to watch. To see a bright yellow backhoe skillfully place its digger into the earth and carve a trench that signifies the start of a new pothole can only be matched by seeing dump-trucks offload gravel in the middle of a road in a residential area, then speed off.

Despite its bad reputation, humans are fascinated by backhoes probably because backhoes share some human characteristics such as they can be useful at both ends. Like people, backhoes are also unstable when handled incorrectly and are prone to blowing a hose if the ground is too hard. That is where the jackhammer comes in, I suppose. In some construction catalogues a backhoe is also called a rear actor or back actor which has been know to be confused with actors from a certain misunderstood, but highly appreciated, segment to the movie industry. Now that The Joker is out of the way I think Batman’s next villain would be The Backhoe. Maybe the backhoe has been unfairly vilified by us humans but I am still certain I do not want to return as a backhoe in my next life.

This Beach Called Life – One Year and Few Days Later


Blog Stats

Blog Stats

Preface to the Introduction

I decided to write this post because I didn’t know what else to write and I felt I should write something. It’s these voices next to my head.

Introduction

This Beach Called Life – The aka_lol’s Blog was imported from Blogger into WordPress just over one year ago and I think it was a good year for the blog compared to a bad year. It was a good year, and not just for visits, but for poor grammar, disjointed paragraphs, and nonsensical post. As you may not have realized there is no theme for this blog other what goes on in my mind and keyboard. I am not nuts but some say insanity becomes me. Despite my self-proclaimed sanity, sometimes this blog goes crazy and attracts many visitors who become speechless on entry. Nevertheless, it’s nice when the visits go up on my stat counter and I am always curious to know what brought visitors here.

The Actual Superficial Content

This blog has been visited 27,826 times since July 16th, 2007. The most amount of visitors in one day occurred on February 7th, 2007 with 641 visits because of Carnival. More recently, the peak of 428 on the 17th July was due to the Trinidad Storm entry, Halle Berry and The Happening. Carla Bruni has been some help in keeping the stats above 100 per day and Everything You Wanted to Know About Aka has become popular and I think I figured out the glitch that made it so. Bikini Carnival continues to plod along but barely.

Friends of this Blog

I would like to thank those who commented and I would also like to thank those who commented more even more.  You know who you are. The Blogroll on the side bar has a list of good bloggers who may have commented and some who are the silent type. Don’t be afraid to say what’s on your mind but just remember I offend easily.

The Future

One day I hope to sell the movie rights to this blog and finally make aka_lol a pronounceable household word.

The End

There is no end in sight.

Cafe Au Lait – Liane Spicer


Liane Spicer - Cafe Au Lait

Liane Spicer - Cafe Au Lait

Liane Spicer, a friend to this blog, will have her first novel, Cafe Au Liat, released by the international publishing house,  Dorchester in late August or early September. You can read Liane’s profile here and you can order the book on Amazon by clicking the next word, Amazon. I pre-ordered the books months ago and will not be lending my copy for at least a few months because there are too many people out there who believe in borrowing and not buying. I will not be encouraging this slackness. You can check out her perpetually interesting, author-friendly, blog at Wordtryst and tell her aka sent you.

Miss Universe 2008 – Some Random Thoughts


Miss USA Falls

Miss USA Falls...again

For the second year straight, the Miss USA contestant at the Miss Universe competition fell in front of a billion people. I see a dangerous trend emerging. This year, Miss USA, Crystle Stewart, tripped on her skirt that was either poorly designed or which she was poorly trained to negotiate in a competitive environment. I have said this before, and I will say it again, a long skirt will get a girl into more trouble than a short one. A short skirt will always get a man in trouble though. I don’t think Miss Stewart should be too embarrassed since she placed in the Top 15, unlike many of the other more stable contestants.

I am happy that the name of the competition is carded to be changed shortly to The Miss Universal Body and Brains Competition. Not only would the competition be renamed but contestants would be subjected to mandatory drug test to determine if contestants have been taking any IQ enhancing drugs and if not, why.

Miss Trinidad and Tobago Anya Ayoung-Chee

Miss Trinidad and Tobago 2008 Anya Ayoung-Chee

Miss Trinidad and Tobago, the really beautiful Anya Ayoung-Chee, probably placed sixteenth in the random political process of selecting the fifteen. Like all the contestants, I am sure Miss Ayoung-Chee believed the Miss Universe franchise developed a system that selects the best candidate to stand like a statue in foreign countries and endorse layer after layer of makeup on face after face.

Miss Universe 2008 - Danyana Mendoza

Miss Universe 2008 - Dayana Mendoza

As much as I prefer our own Miss Trinidad and Tobago to win – just compare the photos above- it was about time our beauty-obsessed neighbor, Venezuela, produced a winner from their beauty factory. The next challenge for Trump would be to get Chavez to host the next Miss Universe competition while he builds a Trump Plaza in Sabana Grande.

A Possible Tropical Storm – Trinidad and Tobago


http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/gtwo_atl.shtml

Just keeping an eye out for any tropical disturbance which might affect Trinidad and Tobago and anywhere else in the Atlantic.

weather map

weather map

Hancock – A Real Superhero


Prelude

aka_lol: Two tickets for Handcock please.

Female Ticket seller: Handcock? You mean Hancock.

aka_lol: That is what I said, Handcock.

Female Ticket seller: The name is Hancock not Handcock.

aka_lol: Pleased to meet you Handcock, can I have two tickets please?

Female Ticket seller: Wait here sir while I get security.

aka_lol: That won’t be necessary, I feel very safe here.

Hancock scene

Off screen Entertainment

After a brief scuffle with security, I was eventually allowed to see Hancock, Will Smith’s latest offering. But, even before that I was entertained by looking at the four Venezuelan girls in the line of people who support the concession stand with their outrageous prices. – The concession stand’s prices. Each girl was more beautiful than the next with their leader appearing rather wild and young for a leader.

Venezuelan Girl: cuatro perritos calientes, por favor.

Concession Stand Seller: Waahh?

Hancock whale scene

The Review

Hancock is not your average superhero movie and there is a twist which I saw coming from early. Hancock is a very good movie because it confronts the reality of the consequences of having a superhero operating in a big US city, and the effects of the indiscriminate damage to public property in the pursuit of justice. Hancock also explores the taboo subject of superhero depression and alcohol abuse.

Everybody knows superheroes normally wear a costume to hide their identity from their girlfriends, aunts and bosses for theatrical reasons plus it distinguishes them from the general public, who only wear costumes at Halloween, Carnival and one night stands. Hancock points out that a costume might look gay with its tightness around the pelvic area but it is necessary if the superhero wants to create a better public image. The movie, Hancock, was loosely based on the movie Unbreakable as both had nearly unbreakable superheroes in nontraditional roles. Unbreakable certainly had more of a twist but Hancock was funnier with a surplus of remarkable special effects. To describe Hancock as a simply a funny movie is to miss the point that in order to make it big at the box-office serious themes must be hidden among special effects and humor. Hancock is much more than a summer popcorn cruncher. I am going to rate Hancock much better than Iron Man because I enjoyed it more since it had a decent amount of obscene language and an original theme. Aka’s rating for Hancock is 8 out of 10.

Hancock at the beginning

Epilog

Hostage Taker: [Hancock arrives on the scene] Oh shit, Handjob!
Hancock: Yep, now just tell me what you need.
Hostage Taker: Well I need them to put those guns down.
Hancock: [to the cops] All right fellas just put the guns down.
Hostage Taker: Now I need you and that tight ass Wolverine outfit to get me outta here asshole!

The Trinidad and Tobago Crime Commodity


Welcome to Trinidad and Tobago, welcome to paradise…

Over the last seven days I had three friends who were victims of crime. One was robbed of his car and valuables in Chaguanas in broad daylight on a busy street. Another one was held up at a small, newly-opened fruit stall in Curepe, and the other had his car broken into in St. Augustine while he and his family were asleep. In the last case, the bandits fired two shots at my friend, with one of the bullets lodging into the wall, about one foot from my friend’s face.  The bandit fired at him because he had the nerve to look out the window to see why his car alarm went off. The police are yet to either make any headway or visit the crime scenes in all these cases. But then again, criminals don’t investigate their peers.

If you read the crime accounts above you might think that crime is out of control in Trinidad and Tobago. You wouldn’t be wrong. The amount of murders so far this year is just over 260, up from about 150 the year before and it is already one of the highest murder rates in the world.  The Prime Minister’s answer to this crime epidemic is somewhere between silence, ignorance and hosting two useless and completely unrelated conferences which will greatly inconvenience the population but boost his fragile ego. Regrettably, there is no end to the crime spate outside of calling Batman to battle the Joker.

However, all is not lost since out of crisis comes opportunity and here is one the Government should pounce on. Trinidad and Tobago can start something called crime tourism. Crime tourism can target two types of tourist. The first is the brave and daring tourists who want some adventure in their lives that is not easily found in their country. Adventure in the form of holdups, kidnappings, muggings and rapes can be offered by tour operators. The other class of tourist can be the criminals themselves who are fed up of being caught and brought to justice in their own country and want to practice their craft without obstruction. With eco tourism on its way out and polluted rivers and streets losing its charm, crime tourism is not only the way forward but an opportunity of a lifetime. The Government should waste no time on this new and innovative form of tourism remembering that the only thing they can do with the lemons they planted over the years is to make sugar-resistant lemonade.

The Illusions of Life


  • An Optical Illusion - Old Lady and Young Lady
  • The Young Lady and The Old Woman

    An optical illusion is characterized by visually perceived images that differ from objective reality. Not everything is what it seems and you only have to look long enough and sometimes hard enough to  see something else. It is well accepted that people’s perception of themselves is not how others see them. For example, a politician sees himself as smooth, intelligent and caring while the population sees him as a lying, heartless, crook who should be in no less an institution than a maximum security prison.

    Everything and everybody is not what it or they first appear to be and politicians are the best example of this. Another example is a  beautiful girl since she may not necessarily be as good as she looks but, with a little luck, she would be actually quite bad. The one thing the human mind is adept at is ignoring facts and going along with what they want to believe. It takes a great effort for someone to even want to examine the facts of a situation because the facts may destroy a comfortable illusion. But ignoring facts don’t make them any less true.  Some truths are nearly impossible to prove and to date no one has been able to prove there are no restaurants at the end of the universe or that humans are an intelligent life form.

    I don’t have any advice to people whose minds are happy in their illusionary comfort zone and maybe we all need to achieve that level of comfort even if it is just an illusion. Perhaps the secret of life is finding your comforting illusion and then living it to the very end. However, I am not content with illusions even if they appear comforting since illusions can be fragile and can break when challenged by the truth.Time is better spent with things that don’t break and not with things we pretend to be unbreakable.

    If something cannot be questioned it is probably just an illusion.

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