Liane Spicer’s Café Au Lait – a brief review

Cafe Au Lait by Liane Spicer

Cafe Au Lait by Liane Spicer

“Your top,” he said with a playful smirk. “Hand it over” ~ Café Au Lait

Café Au Lait , written by Liane Spicer, published by Dorchester Publishing is a captivating book full of stunning landscapes, great looking people, a rose garden, one or two string bikinis and a car horn blowing at the wrong time.  It is called a contemporary romance but it is much more.

The story takes place in Trinidad and Tobago and the book gives the reader a guided tour of some of the best spots on both islands for romance and excitement. Shari, Michael, Zoë, Gaston, and Wanda, are believable characters who might remind you of someone you know or would like to be and it doesn’t matter where you live. Café Au Lait might seem a simple love story but like all love stories in Trinidad and Tobago, it is anything but. Café Au Lait is brilliant, fun, scenic, intense and unpredictable which makes it hard to put down – even if you are a man – and much, much better than average.

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.

George Carlin (1937 – 2008) a Tribute in Blog

George Carlin

George Carlin died on June 22nd, 2008 from heart failure at age 71. He would be missed by many, not missed by a few, and the rest perhaps did not know about George Carlin until the news of his death appeared on Yahoo and MSN under the entertainment section. George Carlin graced many stages, made HBO worth paying for and won four Grammy awards for comedy albums, which I am ashamed to say I did not buy any of because I thought both he and I would live forever. Now I will have to contribute to his estate.

George Carlin was a brilliant American standup comedian, actor and author who spoke bluntly about the quirks of pop culture and life. George Carlin’s style and frankness made people laugh but offended those who needed to be offended. His motto was “I think it’s the duty of the comedian to find out where the line is drawn and cross it deliberately.”

I am sure there would be hundreds of tributes paid to George Carlin both in print and in blog. This blog is paying tribute to George Carlin not because his death reminded me he was once alive but because it reminded me I have one of his books to read, which I will only identify as ISBN 1401301347. I will start the book tonight because death generally reminds me what time is all about and why saving the best underwear for that special occasion is a mistake.

I will end with some quotes by George Carlin:

Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that.

Have you ever noticed that anybody driving slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a maniac?

“I am” is reportedly the shortest sentence in the English language. Could it be that “I do” is the longest sentence?

Some national parks have long waiting lists for camping reservations. When you have to wait a year to sleep next to a tree, something is wrong.

If a man is standing in the middle of the forest speaking and there is no woman around to hear him… is he still wrong?

If you try to fail, and succeed, which have you done?

If you can’t beat them, arrange to have them beaten.

When someone is impatient and says, “I haven’t got all day,” I always wonder how can that be? How can you not have all day?

Fighting for peace is like screwing for virginity.

I credit that eight years of grammar school with nourishing me in a direction where I could trust myself and trust my instincts. They gave me the tools to reject my faith. They taught me to question and think for myself and to believe in my instincts to such an extent that I just said, “This is a wonderful fairy tale they have going here, but it’s not for me.”

At a formal dinner party, the person nearest death should always be seated closest to the bathroom.

The End

Why Do people Love to Hate M. Night Shyamalan

Why do so many people love to hate M. Night Shyamalan is more a mystery than why trees want to kill people in Philadelphia. Some say Shyamalan is hated because he is different, and that could be true. Some say he is hated because his movies are lousy, but that will always be debatable.

As detractors predicted, his latest movie, The Happening, did not get the blessings from most critics since the movie’s main character couldn’t turn green, fly with a suit of amour, or even spin a web between two buildings. Critics of The Happening took note of this abnormality and made sure to condemn M. Night in their reviews as if he was the cause of the war in Iraq or for Obama beating Hillary. Unfortunately, M. Night is not in the habit of blowing up things or having actors and actresses show more skin than character, which can be exasperating for those who have come to expect otherwise. It appears that M. Night does not conform to the rules of Hollywood and for this his critics and hate wishers want him to pay. What is interesting is that there are probably an equal number of people, not critics, loving as well as hating M. Night, which production studios have noted.

Critics have an important role to play in forming public opinion on movies and are the unsung heroes of the popcorn industry. However, last weekend, these critics’ vocal and premeditated dislike for anything Shyamalan spiked public curiosity to the point where The Happening made over $30 million on its opening weekend in the US plus an additional $32 million internationally, thus causing his critics to throw even bigger tantrums.

Zesty Zing

aka_lol - Dragonfly

I never met Sir V.S. Naipaul but I came close in April 2007 during a book signing held in Trinidad. He signed my new copy of Miguel Street but first looked carefully at the book, as if taken aback by the cover picture. Maybe he thought the book was counterfeit but it possibly was the new cover design from the American publisher. I didn’t have to explain and he didn’t ask. We almost made eye contact and that was the closest I came to meeting Sir V.S. Naipaul. My V.S. Naipaul blog interview was a creation of my imagination and it happened around 5:00 am one Saturday morning, a few days after the book signing, hence the deranged thoughts.

Aka_lol is obviously not a real writer, but a dabbler in words and sentences. I am famous for being grammatically incorrect and disorganized in thought. In terms of writings, I have very little to show but this blog and few sarcastic office memos. I never attempted to write anything that was long, deep, or meaningful since I am an engineer. This is my blog-life, which if analyzed by specially trained blog analyst, may reveal my life through their eyes.

There is no special theme for my blog other than what I feel to write at that point in time. I don’t have an intentional sense of humor, and I write normal human thoughts derailed by another, sometimes unrelated, notion. The end result could either be funny or strange. It could even be both.

For hobbies, I chose photography as my number one distraction. I have a website which I use to display some of my photos but which has not been updated in any drastic way recently. My aim is not to create a big impact on the photography landscape, but to track down copyright violators and bring them to justice or at least to a kangaroo court. The main purpose for having hobbies is to give life a zesty zing, which it eventually comes to lack.

Extra Virgin

Extra Virgin

What is extra virgin, or more precisely, do you know any. Suicide-bombers, a flourishing, yet dying profession, will blow up the world for the reward of a few regular virgins can you imagine what they would do for extra virgins. Extra virgin is a loose and misleading term that should not be bandied about on the streets and especially on supermarket shelves because the average parent is not ready for the questions it may bring during family shopping expeditions:

Son – Mommy, Daddy, what is extra virgin and is it better than regular virgin?

Daddy – In my days Son, we only had regular and even those were hard to find.

Mommy – I doubt your father ever had one…except for one I mean.

Daddy – Year, right. I knew quite a few in my time…

Mommy – …and they still are virgins.

Son – So, should we get the extra virgin or the regular?

Daddy – It’s all a matter of taste and how good your heart is, Son.

Mom – Your father may develop a heart problem if even thinks about it.

Son – Does this mean Daddy can’t have it?

Daddy – Your Mommy says I can look all I want but I have to leave it on the shelf.

Son – Even the extra virgin?

Mommy – Especially the extra virgin.


When Padma Left Salman

The controversial writer, Sir Ahmed Salman Rushdie, is getting a divorce. Some say a writer and his wife should be separate but this is taking things too far. Rushdie became famous and notorious for his writings, but infamous for his looks. Then he married Padma Lakshmi, a very beautiful model-turned-actress, twenty-four years his junior, and his fourth wife. Exactly what he dangled before Padma to attract her is unclear but it worked, I hope. Padma enhanced Rushdie’s image but did little for his looks. This – the twenty-four year age difference – is what authors call heaven on earth but heaven can be hell if you over do it on the weekend.

When Rushdie fell for Padma the British press was annoyed and some journalist even wondered why beautiful women marry ugly men. I suppose one can always argue that beauty is in the eyes of the beholder but ugly is absolute. I make no judgment on this beauty and the beast issue only to say beauty diminishes with familiarity but ugly never does.

I am not a fan of Rushdie because I never read any of his books. I was afraid to and still am, but critics say he is a good writer. If it wasn’t for the fame of the fatwa and the beauty of Padma, Rushdie might have ended up like many prize-winning authors whose books sell by the dozens; obscure and unread.

The Writer

The writer twiddled the pen over the blank sheet of paper for over an hour as his thoughts flowed right out the window, completely bypassing the pen. Maybe he should close the window.

He was in the twilight of his life and all he had to show for it were three-dozen successful books and a goatee. It was true the books were highly regarded and not the goatee but that’s how it was with goatees. It was also true he won the most prestigious awards for his works, but despite his successes he had this empty feeling deep down inside, and a little to the left. He thought it might be those damn mixed feelings again.

The local University was honoring him for his lifetime achievements and he wondered if they were going to serve phoulorie. It was not a Pakistani dish. He liked the speeches and tried not to fall asleep. Some of the best minds in the land were invited to ask him questions about his work so he pretended the sound system was acting up. But the public wasn’t fooled; it was a DJ Lallo system. The next day they forced him to wear a suit and sit in a hot room with three hundred exam-ready teenagers with zits. The teens asked him questions about the easy way to success and he told them go blog themselves. The press smelled blood but all he smelt was gas. That was when the effigy burning began. He even bought two to take back home.

For all his life there were only a few moments he ever wanted to give the young ones stock tips like do your homework, obey your parents, floss daily, find out who your father really is, but those moments had long since disappeared together with his once-prized Theroux’s inscribed first editions. In his opinion, if there was one thing the young ones needed, apart from a good pimple cream, was an early introduction to recognizing good books by their covers. If you want to fake intelligence you might as well go all the way, he chuckled.

Maybe it was his age or maybe it was the Johnny Walker, but she looked too good that day. He remembered his friends telling him she didn’t deserve him and he was better off with the scotch. He should have listened. Like all wives of celebrities, she became the object of insults and not just from him but the public. She created quite a stir and it felt odd reviewers now reviewed his wife as much as his books. They even speculated on the current state of his sex life and he didn’t like the intrusion one bit. His wife didn’t like his either. The writer felt his bed life was his private life, or as someone once said, the life of his privates.

She became the shadow he didn’t want and he became the bank account she never had. He wrote, analyzed, lectured, and signed only new books. She sniffed them for age, the books, that is. He was honored for his work. She acted like it was hers. He remembered thinking how a writer’s life was so difficult and how a writer’s wife could be so easy. But he was old, and needed someone to help him be obnoxious when he was tired. That is what they liked about him and that is what they hated about her. She was just what the PR people might have ordered to keep his audience curious between books.

The writer longed to return to his homeland since it was where it all began, and where the honorarium was good. With his enormous success in the literary world he didn’t need any more honors, but at his age, he needed to let people know he was still alive. And this he did, so they wrote about him in the newspapers everyday. He could tell they had mixed feeling about him so he ordered mixed drinks and wore shorts by the pool. It wasn’t a pleasant sight.

He sat in his first-class seat and pretended not to notice the flight attendant bending over just enough to make him happy to be alive. Then he looked across at his wife and wondered if they loaded all his baggage. Losing baggage is not always a bad thing, he thought. In a strange way it was sad to leave but he was taking back with him memories of a place he should never forget and a few little bottles of shampoo. It kept his goatee soft and manageable. The plane was delayed for only half an hour, but at least it gave him more time to figure out how to insert the metal flap into the buckle. He was tired. He closed his eyes, took a deep breath, and passionately squeezed her hand. She squeezed back as lovingly as any flight attendant could, considering how close his wife was. But she didn’t notice; she never does.

The plane took off and he rocked his seat back. The writer was happy for the first time since he was last happy. He was about to start a new chapter in his life.


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Three Donkeys Escaped Unhurt

“Three Donkeys Escaped Unhurt” That was the headline in the local newspaper. Aka and the three donkeys escaped, mostly uninjured when they skidded off a modest cliff whilst negotiating a perilous curve. How this happened remains a mystery since Aka had years of experience negotiating dangerous curves with donkeys, or was it, donkeys with dangerous curves. Anyhow, he vividly remembered the horrific scene with donkey after donkey falling and braying as it plummeted, not unlike what was seen on the seven o’clock news. It didn’t trouble Aka that he wasn’t mentioned in the article in the local daily because he knew in some countries donkeys were considered more valuable than people. However, in Aka’s country, donkeys and people were becoming indistinguishable. Aka thought this was proof of the theory As a man thinketh in his heart so is he.

The beach had once again become Aka’s guru and he had much to learn from it. At the beach, his thoughts flowed freely but what flowed wasn’t always impressive. Some thoughts weren’t even publishable in his blog. Other thoughts made no apparent sense but they made him chuckle all the same, such thoughts as “all birds have wings but not all have feathers” and “probably university graduates are cool because they are one or two degrees above zero.” Only Aka, and a few of his similarly disturbed friends, would snicker at such thoughts. The inappropriate “wisdom” flowed and usually when it was least expected, or needed. The beach had taught Aka that in life the word meaning had no meaning. This sounded profoundly philosophical but he didn’t understand what it meant. The beach also had a sense of humor.

Aka preferred the beach when it was not polluted with people, coolers and brightly off-colored beach mats. Still, there were times when being distracted by people was most welcomed. The people he meant usually came fitted with bikinis but unfortunately, none ever came without. Aka realized that over time, he was seeing less and less of bikinis but this didn’t disturb him in a negative way. Though philosophical by nature Aka managed to see the humor in most things, even if only for a moment. Maybe he was happy and that was the reason he could see the funny side of things, but Aka thought the converse was true, it was his humor, though misguided at times, which brought him happiness. The bikinis didn’t hurt either.

Brevior saltare cum deformibus mulieribus est vita 🙂