Monthly Archives: January 2012

Sorry for the Absence, We Were Busy Getting Laid Off

Yup, that mostly-metal monolith in Saint Croix–  the sprawling factory that contributed millions annually to the VI government and stood as a kind of 2001 Space Odyssey-like beacon for many people seeking a professional vocation– is closing up shop.  And with it goes Chris’s jobby job.

I am not going to dwell on the reasons why or the implications for the island, since I am neither a shareholder, fortune teller, nor spokesperson, but many fear this is a kind of doomsday for STX.  With over 2,000 people (includes contractors) on a 50,000-people-island now laid off, it is tough to argue with what appears to be the logical conclusion of increased crime and depressed economics. Still, many folks are hopeful that the island will pull through with the same stoic spirit shown during the aftermath of Hurricane Hugo.  I desperately hope that the latter prevails.

Regardless, my family will sadly not be here to take part in the island’s renaissance, because of that whole needing a job to feed the kids thing.  So, it amounts to an adventure cut off at the knees.  The upshot??? Chris gets to keep the green jumpsuit.  And oh do I have plans for that thing.  Think the gnome in “Amelie,” only as a jumpsuit…that is industrial green.

He's wearing a fire-retardent green jumpsuit

So you might be asking yourself what one thinks after moving from Texas to the Caribbean and then finding themselves needing to move again in a mere 6 months?

The exact recipe of one’s musings is:  half parts dumb shit.  Other half lucky stiff.

Dumb Shit Interior Monologue:  

We just unpacked that last box and the second car ISN’T EVEN HERE YET.  In fact it will never be here.  What if there are no jobs to be found elsewhere?  What if the jobs to be found are somewhere really crappy and industralized?  Woe is me, woe is me, pity party.  Better shed a salty tear into the salty ocean while I still have it.  Ok, moving on.

Lucky Stiff Interior Monologue:

I’m such a lucky biotch.  Chris was home every. single. night.  We ate dinner together as a family every. single. night.  Even if he has to go back to the musician’s (consultant’s) life on the road, at least there was this half a year of sweet normalcy wrapped within an amazing adventure.

After all, how many people get paid to move and and live in the Caribbean for half a year?  How many toddlers have a vernacular consisting of the regular use of: gungalo, hermit crab, iguana, bush cat, moko jumbie, sea grape, high tide, and a sundry other free, wild, and incredible words?  Not many.  I am positive that my kids will remember the transition from the primal fear of roaring waves and gritty sand, to the ecstasy of jumping madly into the waves like a long lost best friend they just saw not more than two days ago (but it seemed like an eternity.)

ROAR

We were warned many times by well-intended veterans to check our idealism at the door when we moved here, and I am so grateful we didn’t heed that advice.  Of course, we had the benefit of living what amounts to an extended vacation, so there wasn’t much time for the silver to tarnish.  Yes, electricity and milk are nearly triple the price of mainland, but such is the price of living on a rock in the middle of the bluest blue sea your mortal eyes will ever behold.   We cut back and didn’t spend money on useless crap.  Voila, a life was made.

To make an analogy, you know in the film adaptation of “Contact” where Jodie (arguably) dies and is standing on her  beach version of heaven?  Yeah that.  Every day.

So where will the next adventure lead?  Not to the unemployment line, ideally.

Maybe to the apple crisp smelling-mountains…

http://www.allsunvalley.com/images/primary/7458_1286914697_md.jpg

Don't you just want to inhale it?

Maybe to the fireplace-cold…

Silent Majesty

Possibly to a sunset over a desert that sprawls red and forever…

Free free to sun your tummy on these rocks

After all, there is such a lot of world to see.

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I do know that after a nearly 10-year period in the same town, this precious adventure has been a soothing balm to my wanderlusting soul, and I hope we will always maintain an ongoing relationship with the island, even if must be just the occasional summer vacation.  And even if the next step puts us right back where we started in the ole Lonestar State (grumble grumble.)

And now, for a Lizard King quote (that’s Jim Morrison for you laypeople)
“I tell you this, I plan to get my kicks before the whole shithouse goes up in flames.”
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Radiohead

Not only is it an amazing band (that I’ve seen live oooo eeee) but it is also a name derived from a Talking Heads song ( that I have sadly not seen live but have listened to all their live stuff.)

At any rate, this island is sorely lacking in both Radiohead and Talking Heads and a sundry other of my favorite tunes (not that there are not good radio stations, there are indeed a few great ones, but I’m coming from the “Music Capitol of the World…so spoiled!)  I realized as much when “Fascination Street” by the Cure magically popped on the radio and I thought my brain was being massaged by god.

So good lord, here are two of my favorites from Radiohead and the Talking Heads.

Wednesday Afternoon Haiku

image

There is no delight

Like that of the sand trapped in

My baby’s fat thighs

Because I Now Squash All the Food Into the Fridge

due to humidity’s spoiling properties and the fear of rodents, today’s sandwich bread tasted like a banana.

And not like banana bread, which is good.  But like a loaf of bread that had been haphazardly placed atop a  banana.  Whoops.

A Sub-par Sandwich

Shiver me Timbers!

Tonight, while watching my favorite show, “The Twilight Zone,” Chris and I discovered the true meaning of horror:

  • a 6-year-old who can make whatever he wishes become reality
  • a limited supply of whiskey, of which only 5 remain in your town
  • the inability to play Perry Como

Sorry for crappy audio, I recorded this from my t.v.   I had to do multiple takes because my hands were shaking from laughing so hard.  Chris’s footage was the surest.

Everybody Was Kung Fu Fighting…???

A space oddity for your mental orbit:

What is this island’s fascination with Kung Fu?

If you know, let me know.

Here is a slice of life of the only-Blockbuster-on-the-Island’s goodies:

Two Rows of Kung Fu, Not Overly Unusual

Three "Extra" Rows, in the Middle of the Main "New Releases" Wall. Highly Unusual.

Unscientifically, this amounts to roughly:

40%  New-ish Releases

40% Kung Fu

20% Miscellaneous

Don’t get me wrong, I have had a thing for Sonny Chiba ever  since Chris and I first met and bonded over our shared love of “True Romance.”

Truly Romantic, and with a lovely Kung Fu double feature scene.

I just didn’t expect to see such large-scale embracing of it on a Caribbean island.

My dreamer’s soul says it has something to do with the Moko Jumbies.  Moko Jumbies (I’ve also seen it spelled Mocko) are lavishly-dressed stiltwalkers who represent the ancestors of the West Indian people.

As the “Guardians of Culture,” Moko Jumbies possess such purity of  poise while dancing, jumping, and performing other such feats of physicality, that it is difficult to watch them without holding your breath in sheer awe.

Mocko Jumbies, one doing a backbend wtf!

These dudes have such incredible mastery of body and mind— are so revered and mystical— that it seems to makes sense that the Kung Fu cornerstones of grace and strength would appeal to the spirit of this culture.  Pretty neat.

Or maybe some Blockbuster employee is a real nerd.  And that’s fine by this dork.

The Magic Window

This is me, conjuring up the mighty powers of the Magic Window:

Window of Magick

This enchanted window, with powers easily trumping C.S. Lewis’ wardrobe, is the only place in my entire house where I can send a text or make a call.  Its perfect alignment under Jupiter, the Pleiades and Orion means that it a veritable mitochondria of cell reception power, quite possibly the best reception on the island.

Ah yes,  I remember the days when I could safely make a phone call whilst riding in a car.  The likelihood of losing the person on the line being nearly zilch, I would bang on without a care in the world as Chris toted me hither and thither to whereither.

Not so on the island.  Telecommunication to the outside world exists in three states of being (ranked in order of  “most likely to succeed” to “most likely to fail and possibly piss off the person on the phone:”)

1) At the Magic Window.  Foolproof.  The only down side of using the magic window is that you open a portal to other worlds, and sometimes–  not often, but occasionally– otherworldy beings enter through that open portal and into our world.  In fact, I do believe that is how the mongoose came to reside in Saint Croix.

Riki Tiki Tavi, Mere Minutes after Coming Through the Portal

2)  While waiting in the car at one of the good cell reception locations.  These include but are not limited to: Sunny Isle, Golden Rock plaza, Gallow’s Bay, and generally the Plaza grocery stores.  Does not include anything around Cane Bay in my cell-seeking experience.

3)  If, after assessing the nature of my call,  the average chattiness of the person I need to speak with, and achieving a fairly good understanding of the cell reception abilities on the road we are on, I might try to have a conversation while the vehicle is in motion.  This often leads to dropped calls, but could  be convenient for those people who tend to chat way beyond the topic’s expiration date.

One day I will figure out how to harness the powers of the Island Rooster:

In Christiansted, about to lose his shit.

Those guys must be communicating messages other than that of the mere sunrise, since they can be found whooping it up without provocation all day long.  I think we must be kindred souls.