Friday, November 25, 2005

Thankful

I am so thankful for my family and friends.

Spoke to my parents and sister last night. My brother had already gone to bed. My aunt's funeral was yesterday. It was at the Methodist church in Marigot. My sister said it was packed. There were people from all over the island and from Anguilla. There were announcements with the time and date on the radio.
After the service they walked behind the hearse up the street to the cemetary. I always thought it was such a beautiful traditon and walk, looking on the right at the ocean. That side of the street is shut down and it's very peaceful.

My dad and sister sang before the funeral (it's like a viewing) but my dad had no role at all in the planning of his sister's funeral. Greedy cousin kissed my family then sat down. She didn't say a word to them all day. I was told Greedy counsin's eulogy sucked. It was all about her.

My sister told one of our second cousins that all this drama needs to stop now. She told me Dad was so stressed and tired, he did not go to the reception. It was up the street at my aunt's house.

I spoke to him last night and he said was so glad my siblings came down. He can't wait for me to come home. I feel the same.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Bad news from St. Martin

One of the most stubborn, fiercest, glamourous, vain, charming, pain in the butt, generous, cranky, out going, beautiful, women I know died today in St. Martin. My aunt was 85 and had been living in a home since last year. We saw her last Christmas and she had no idea who we were, the Alzhiemers was getting worse. She still had that stunning smile, flawless skin and that incredible voice but it was clear she would not be able to live on her own again.

She was always a mystery to us growing up. She had great style and was very big on good manners. Unfortunately, she was also strict as hell. When we were younger we thought she was a major pain. She didn't have kids of her own and she cut us no slack at all. She would come visit us in the states for weeks at a time. We heard she was married once, in her early 20's, but it was annulled. No one in the family talked about what happened. She never remarried.

After my grandfather retired and left Curacao, she moved with her parents back to St. Martin. She lived with her parents, since back then single women from "good families" did not live alone. However, for her generation and culture she was pretty independent. She had a great job at La Samanna and traveled a lot. She had friends all over the place. I remember once we took her upstate to some amazing house near Woodstock to visit a family she was friends with. I guess they used to go the hotel all the time and kept in touch. When my parent's American friends went to the island, they would always look her up.

When we move from the city to the suburbs it was not an easy transition. We went from a very diverse neighborhood to one that was not. As an adult, I can appreciate the great schools, big backyard, nice town but at the time,I couldn't wait to move back to the city.

The summer of my 16th birthday, one of the worst ever, we were in St. Martin staying at my paternal grandparents. My aunt was ready to take us into Marigot, the capital of the French side. Before we left the house she looks at me, my brother 12, and my sister 6, and says "okay we are going into town, no acting up. Hold your head up high for you are a Smith" (not really my last name but yes she actually said this). We almost busted out laughing. Is this woman for real? My brother heard the word nigger on a regular basis, our next door neighbor had tried to get other people on the block to buy our house so we couldn't move in and this woman is saying hold your head up? What planet is she on?

We used to think she was snobby but actually she had pride. Why should she feel less then anyone because she was a black woman? When I would tell her about some of the stuff going on in school, she couldn't understand it. I don't think she could wrap her head around the America she saw and loved, and what we were talking about. She only visited. So her attempts to make us feel great about life and our history was met at times with sarcasm. (yeah right, next time I'm getting a beat down I will stop the racists by saying, halt! for I am a Smith) Sarcasm is not a trait that goes over well with West Indians.

We might not have realized it then but those trips did have an impact. We refuse to let other people define us and they gave us a broader perspective on the world. Okay...maybe she was a little snobby.

I just spoke to my parents. My dad said she looked really serene. He is glad she is not suffering anymore. The last few months were pretty brutal. He sounded okay but I am worried about him. Before my parents moved back to St. Martin last year, he was flying back and forth trying to get my aunt help. Other people on the island were calling to tell him she was not herself. He wanted her to come see doctors in NYC but two of my cousins (their mom was her sister) and one of my uncles vetoed that idea.

They were basically ripping her off. She was in the early stages of the disease and they took advantage. One cousin got my aunt to change her will, pay for expensive trips, etc. My aunt had built her own house, which she rented out and lived with my grandfather until he died. My uncle pretty much moved in. When the phone was cut off because of lack of payment, he bought a cell phone instead of paying the bill. He thought she should pay it. This man has two houses on the island, yet did not lift a finger to help his sister. My dad goes home and says this is not right, she is sick and they look at him like he's crazy. Now my uncle lives two houses up from my parents. They speak at church and that's it. He has never been inside their new home and it was really awkward seeing him at church last Christmas. They were a really close group of siblings until my grandfather died and one of my greedy cousins started talking smack. I hope for her sake, my mom does not catch her alone. My mom, like her fellow islanders, has a sharp tongue and will say what is on her mind.

I wish the last few years of her life had been better. I just have to remember she was a pretty incredible person who lived a full life.

Friday, November 18, 2005

But we know how to make "Phat Girlz"

Love Mo'nique but no fucking comment.

From Variety: Big risk yields Phat reward.

http://www.variety.com/story.asp?l=story&a=VR1117933117&c=13

Thursday, November 17, 2005

sorry, we don't know how to make those movies

I am ready to pull my hair out. A studio exec told me they loved one of my projects but they don't know how to make "THOSE" movies. By those they mean a smart romantic comedy with a black female lead. The thing that cracks me up is, some said the script isn't edgy and urban enough (why, because our protagonist doesn't use double negatives?). Others think black = urban.

Now the only romantic comedies they want (regardless of race) are the one's with male leads. I was told women will go see The Wedding Crashers but guys are not going to see Prime/In Her Shoes. Who cares, make the movie for your audience, everything else is gravy. So are we going to stop making comedies with females leads? I guess Bridget Jones, Something's Gotta Give, How to Lose a guy in Ten Days, 13 going 30 etc. were all flukes.

Please, there's a very diverse group of women out there, and damnit we going to get some of their stories on screen. Not every movie can be based on a comic book, TV series or bad american remakes of great foreign films. Maybe admissions are down because people are tired of seeing crappy movies.

Monday, November 14, 2005

THIRTEENTH!!

Not sure how HBO can top last night's episode. That fight scene was just...can't really describe it. I almost teared up. Cannot wait for the finale. Hopefully we will see a little more of Marc Anthony.

Okay back to work.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

My humps, che cosa cazzo (what the f**k)!

Just got home from my Italian class. Love that we are meeting at a classmate's house this month. The traffic is a pain but after a glass of wine I'm good. The classes are getting more difficult. The grammar is not easy and I seem to have a problem remembering to pronouce all my vowels. I also listen to the Pimsleur CD's and just started level 3 today. The instructor was speaking so fast, I have to repeat it. Our professor is the most patient man alive. He's a Roman filmmaker who went to USC. I am sure we are butching the hell out of "la bella lingua" but he makes us feel better by saying his first year of learning english was tough. It's hard to learn a language when you don't speak it every day.

So while stuck on La Cienega on the way to class, this truly horrible song comes on the radio. Are the Black Eyes Peas joking? I pray they are being ironic. Even if they are, that song is the worst since....uhm can't think of one. I have their first cd (pre fergie) and they had a huge following out here. When the Elephunk CD hit I couldn't understand why there was so much hateration directed towards them. After hearing the first single off the latest CD, I now know why. Fergie is not Lisa, Lisa and with My humps, the Peas have jumped the shark. One of my friends was back east and saw TRL when the VJ said "you know a song is a hit when everyone from your 5 year old niece to your gramdma sings it". she was apalled. I agree with my friend, there is nothing cute about a 5 year old singing about her non existent humps and bump.

Speaking of the Peas, thanks to Whitney I can't get that Shut up, Shut up, song out of my head.

Friday, November 11, 2005

great now I have a blog

Very exciting. Have no idea who would read this thing but here goes.

This was actually a great week. "Hell A" seemed almost tolerable. I love my job but not a fan of the city I have to live in. I think it's are getting better. Thank god, I've been here for 7 years. Voluteering and taking classes have really helped. In 2006 I am going to get out more. I know I said that in 2005 but that was before the company I worked for shut down. Hard to care about a social life when trying to pay the rent.

Now that the special election is over I can focus on really important things. For example Derailed. I am very conflicted about this movie. I love Clive and Vincent but never liked Friends. I'm a Seinfeld person. The commericals are not the most effective. Do I take a chance or just wait until Spike's movie comes out with Denzel AND Clive?

I wish I had Tivo so I could watch Oprah with Terry McMillian and her ex again. Fascinating.

Okay this post is boring to me and I wrote it. I am exhausted. I have a ton of reading for work this weekend and Italian homework I need to finish before class tonight.