Wednesday, May 22, 2013


I go on a lot about ‘life in paradise’ and I suppose I sometimes sound ungrateful to be living in such a beautiful place. I admit I am grateful for my time on island and it is beautiful and has a lot to offer, but there are some things that make you want to tear your hair.

I sold my car (a long story for another time). I loved my little Isuzu, so I wanted it to go to a good home, therefore I asked top dollar, hoping someone would take good care of it. I had a few low ball offers and then I got a text from a man on another island wanting to buy my car. He asked me about shipping it and I told him; “I don’t know anything about shipping. I will sell you the car and you will need to take care of that on your own.”

After a few more texts and a phone conversation, this man, Alvin, told me he wanted the car and would fly over on Friday to see it. He asked me if I would take a ‘cashiers check’ and I told him no – cash only. So far he had violated three of the big No, No’s of Craig’s list – 1. Wanting to buy something sight unseen, 2. Wanting you to ship it out of the country, and 3. Wanting to pay with a cashier’s check. I was sure Alvin was into some sort of scam and dismissed him thinking he was not flying over to my island from his.

Well, Friday morning he calls me and says what flight he will be on and can I pick him up at the airport. He asks me to help him get around the island and do the necessary business to purchase and ship the car. I agreed to get him to DMV but that was it. I told him once the car was transferred to him, I would give him directions to the places he needed to be, but could not spend the rest of the day taking him around. He agreed.

We met and I offered him the opportunity to drive the car. He said, “No, you drive and I will be the passenger. That will be good enough for me.” We left and went directly to my bank to have the deal signed and notarized. At the bank Alvin handed over a wad of cash to me and we were off to DMV. Here’s where the fun begins.

Alvin is from Tortola in the British Virgin Islands (BVI), I’m on St. Croix in the US Virgin Islands (USVI). The USVI views him as a foreigner and his insurance no good here. In an effort to protect us all and enforce the law that says you must have insurance the USVI demands proof of insurance before they will transfer a car into your name. They in effect are enforcing a law before you have broken it. In the event of transferring a car to a foreigner and shipping it off island they insist you turn in your license plates and scrape the inspection sticker off the window. Making it illegal to drive on the street. When I asked how he was supposed to get the car from the DMV to the dock for shipping, I was told that was not the problem of the DMV. We were also told we needed permission from the Office of the Lt. Governor to ship the car off island and then the DMV would give us a release form for the customs agent to allow the car to leave. Now all of this might not sound too unreasonable until you realize that the Office of the Lt. Governor is on one end of the island and DMV on the other. Also, each entity insisted they have the paper from the other first before they would issue their paperwork. You as the seller and buyer are caught in a Catch 22 of two governmental agencies who don’t like each other and tend not to agree. When I explained that they were asking me to do the impossible, they said basically ‘tough sh#t’.

Well, by the end of the day Friday Alvin and I sat down in a bar to figure the whole mess out. As it turned out we had found a way to get everything done. The car would be left at the dock with the harbor master where we would take the plates and sticker off, then we would do our best to get the title transferred into his name and then take that to the Lt Governor’s office and make one more trip back to the DMV for the final piece of paperwork issued after they saw the paperwork from the Lt. Governors office and finally all of this paperwork needed to clear customs at the dock where it could be turned over to the Harbor master to await the shipper’s pick up of the vehicle. The only problem was that it was 3 PM on a Friday and Alvin had to return to Tortola, and all of the aforementioned office were now closing.

I agreed to take care of this on Monday morning and took Alvin back to the airport. In the end the man who I thought might possibly have been trying to SCAM me, left for home while I waved from the seat of his car, with his wad of cash in my purse and all of the paperwork for said vehicle sitting on the seat next to me. Some turn of events! Eh?

Monday, I got everything done, without the help and cooperation of DMV and their staff (those guys are stinkers who just want to make it hard) and delivered the paperwork to the harbor master. I sent Alvin a text that said; ‘it’s done. Car at dock. Paperwork with harbor master awaiting your shippers pick up’. Alvin sent me a response that thanked me for my help.

The moral of this story. Not everything in paradise is easy and as it should be. Sometimes you have to say a little prayer and do your best to trust someone, while always trusting in God and his protection. In the end, I sold my care for the asking price and made a friend to boot.

Friday, May 17, 2013


Here we are at another Blogfest and as usual I'm a day late and a dollar short. I didn't post on Wednesday (my normal posting day) because I've been crazy busy and I knew I would post today and YET...

Anyway...I've given a whole lot of thought to this Best and Worst Movie Remake Blogfest. There are definitely some stinkers out there and a few pretty good ones too. In the end I decided on ONE movie. Yeah, that's right one movie gets my award for both the the Best and Worst Movie Remake.

Guess I better tell ya and get it over with, but promise you'll read the WHOLE POST and let me explain.

The movie 'TRUE GRIT'

First, the BEST part. The Coen's did a pretty good job on this one and Jeff Bridges (I have always liked him) well what more can I say. This guy has matured into a pretty darn good actor and I love that voice - sounds like it's run over a  ole dry river bed of gravel. I did prefer Kim Darby as Mattie Ross. When you compare the acting chops of Matt Damon and Glen Campbell - well there is no comparison, but I liked Campbell better, he seemed more down to earth and a better naive comparison to Cogburn. Anyway...this remake, even though I resisted seeing it, and didn't want to like it, was definitely a well done film and a pretty darn good remake.

The WORST part was that NOBODY quite compares to John Wayne no matter who he's playing. Some how it seemed a travesty to me that they would remake such an iconic movie and replace such a great character. As I said earlier, I liked Darby and Campbell better in there parts and I found the ending to the original much more satisfying that in the remake. I DID NOT want to know that Rooster Cogburn died in a run down 'Wild West Show'. I did not want to see Mattie Ross as this one armed, old maid (looking a lot like Miss Gooch(was that her name- you know the spinster on the bike in the Wizard of Oz who hates Toto - she later becomes the WWoftheW) tracking him down.

That shoot out scene where Rooster has the reins in his mouth, a rifle in one hand and a pistol in the other. I tell ya, nobody, but nobody could pull that off like Mr. Wayne. Yeah, I like Jeff Bridges alright and he was good, but he's not JOHN WAYNE!

So in my opinion 'True Grit the remake was one fine movie and yet the worst remake I've seen to date. Does that make sense? Oh well, you know me.

As for songs there are a lot of lousy covers/remakes but just recently someone assaulted my ears with Avril Lavigne's version of 'Knocking on Heavens Door'. You have got to be kidding me. It was awful.

I almost forgot ( actually I had to pull this back and add). TO LEARN MORE AND READ OTHER CHOICES GO HERE

Wednesday, May 8, 2013


I haven't been feeling well, so I didn't prepare a post for today. I did have this one that I wrote back in November, 2012, and never posted. It's a little dated, but still relevant; maybe. It does pertain to a topic that I intended to cover today but from a different angle. Anyway...


I’ve been thinking a lot lately about perspective. It’s amazing that moving just a millimeter in any direction can change what you see, and how you see it. In the past few days the blogosphere has been filled with a rehash of the political debate over last week’s US presidential election. Even the writing community (which covers most of my followers and most of those whom I openly follow) has dipped a toe into the steaming stew of woulda, shoulda, coulda. If I had two brain cells keeping company in my pretty little head, I would simply shut it, but not this ‘dumb blonde’. Oh no, I got an opinion too.

Before you head out to the barn for your pitchfork and torch I’m gonna tell you exactly who I voted for. NO ONE. No, I’m not one of those disillusioned citizens who wonder ‘what’s the use’. Look back up there at that picture heading up my blog. I really do live there. My passport says I’m an citizen of the United States of America, but because the last five years of ‘economic downturn’ in the US took everything I owned or thought I owned (even a few of those things money isn’t supposed to be able to buy) I’m now a disenfranchised citizen of the U.S. of A. I live in an American territory, the USVI (ah the price you pay for paradise). Unlike many ex-patriots I no longer own property in the US with a valid address that allows me to vote (ha, ha, ha – apparently this year the price of an airplane ticket would have been enough – but that’s another story altogether). OK, enough back story.

Back to PERSPECTIVE. Living outside the US, but retaining my citizenship to it, I have a little different perspective than most of the bloggers that I read. There is a lot of ‘shock and awe’ out there over the outcome of the recent presidential election. One blog I follow basically asked the question; “Is the two party system dead? In actuality, this blogger asked if one of the parties was dead or at least dying. The comments were astounding. I almost jumped in, but thought better of it because, I don’t like to argue. Many of the blogs that I follow expressed shock at the outcome of said election. They were convinced that a change would be inevitable considering the state of things in the States. While I will admit, I personally didn’t see a whole lot of ‘awe’, that could simply be confirmation of the old adage ‘birds of a feather…’

During the course of the past year, I told three different groups of friends that I was pretty sure Barry (in case you’re wondering, that moniker was good enough for his granny, it’s good enough for me) would be reelected to be the figure head of the U.S. of A. All three different, and I might add very divers, collections of my friends, basically gave the ‘dumb blonde’ a proverbial pat on the head and resounding, ‘I don’t think so’, but nobody asked me why I came to such a conclusion. After my prediction proved to be correct, some even adopted a ‘shoot the messenger’ attitude.

Well, right here, right now, I’m gonna tell you, that is any of you who are still with me, my perspective on why the U.S. of A. will either suffer through or proudly march on into (depending on your personal perspective) another four years with the same guy leading the band. My perspective isn’t based on polls of whomever, it isn’t based on the number of or affectation of registered voters and it isn’t based on conditions economic or otherwise in the U.S. My perspective is a Global one, based on what is happening all over the earth. Here’s where you will have to do some homework, but I’ll give you a few hints. Check out the President of Russia, how he got there, and particularly how he holds onto his power, and for how long. Check out the economic conditions in Europe and what the European Union is doing about it. While you’re at it check out the European Union, who and what exactly it is. Next think about China, these guys hold the future of the U.S. by its purse strings – literally. Then take a look at the Arab States. What’s going on there? Consider that the official League of Arab Nations doesn’t even include Iran, Pakistan, or Afghanistan. Don’t forget Africa – ‘the Dark Continent’, often discounted and forgotten; ‘nobody really cares about Africa’. Well maybe they should. Finally, what’s going on in South and Central America? Do you worry about you neighbors to the south in Mexico, or is it just another discounted country, that really can’t get its act together.

Where I live the newspaper is filled with news from all over the world. Our radio stations air global news from the BBC as well as ABC, NCB, MSNBC and all the other alphabet soup agencies from the U.S. In the Caribbean we might be U.S. citizens but we do hold a more global perspective. Especially, at a time like this we are not sliced, sectioned, and seduced, by nothing more than what church the candidates attend and which side of his head he might part his hair on. It has been and remains my personal opinion that when you step outside the little bubble that is the U.S. of A. it’s obvious that Barry is the man for the job of leading a once great nation into the bondage that waits in the twenty-first century.

On one of the aforementioned blogs someone brought up ‘We Are the World’ a song that was recorded in 1985 as a benefit for the children of Africa. It was recorded by a multitude of artists, who a lot of you won’t even know or remember. They were all told to ‘check their egos at the door’, when they came together to make this piece of music. Good advice. I would suggest that maybe America, as in the United States of, needs to check it’s ego at the door and start looking around globally and see exactly where it stands. Many citizens might think it’s time to shut the door, keep the foreigners out and lock themselves inside. While that might seem attractive, it’s far too late for that type of action to be effective. It is time to stop deluding yourself into thinking that the U.S. of A. still calls all the shots for everything that happens both within its borders and without. It just might be time to take a peek behind the curtain and see just exactly who is calling the shots that are beginning to be heard around the world.

Now don’t get too excited. While I do welcome all and any comments, keep in mind that I said earlier I don’t like to argue (not to worry, a lot of those people that I follow don’t come around here anymore). After all this is just the opinion of one dumb blonde, who doesn’t know where the commas go. Calm down, go have a cheeseburger, I probably dreamt it all.

BTW the children in Africa are still starving; enslaved and being murders in numbers I don’t even want to think about. The musical selection was rerecorded in 2010 as a benefit for Haiti. BTW the people of Haiti are still living in tent cities where rape, murder and extortion run rampant. Not to worry the cruise ships still stop at Labadie (a port on the northern coast of Haiti that is lush with beautiful beaches, very unlike much of the rest of the country). Yeah, we are the world alright. Remember people make changes not governments.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013


Last week right here in this space Jack Eiden stopped by. I met Jack through Arlee Bird. Jack is an incredible writer and I encourage you to check out his blog and let me know what you think. But, the point here is not necessarily to promote Jack, but to answer a question he asked in my comment box.

Jack asked; “So how does it feel to live on an island?” Well Jack, let me tell ya…

As you and everybody else already know I live on an island in the Caribbean, where I am in the minority. For the most part I love it, but as the economy gets worse and worse, tensions are high and crime is rising exponentially. My island is one of the many US Territories and the US Federal Government has been very successful in creating a highly efficient ‘welfare state’ down here in paradise. When I say highly efficient that is not intended as a compliment, but rather an explanation that the government is very effective at keeping the people in check by meeting their every need. In other words about 98% of the population is on the dole in one way or another and they are completely dependent.

Anyway…I’ve felt concerned and for the first time in three years ,unsafe. Enough so that I’ve had a few ‘anxiety attacks’ worrying over potential crisis.
Early Monday morning I awoke about 3 AM. My heart was trying to beat out of my chest and I couldn’t catch my breath. I knew it was merely an anxiety attack, but that was the first time I ever woke up having one. Maybe some dream triggered the response but there wasn’t anything I could remember. A whole lot of deep breathing, reassuring self-talk and prayer later, I fell back to sleep.

The day was progressing fairly normally and then about 2:30 PM (almost 12 hours later) I felt my ole buddies ‘fear, dread and anxiety’ trying to creep back into my peripherals. I decided to go downstairs and read to get my mind in a better place.

Two pages into my book the phone rings with some astounding news. I’m out the door in a flash texting my best friend on where to meet me. Due to the ever present electrical repairs down here traffic was a bear and I was afraid I was going to miss the show. I finally hooked up with my friend on the north shore. She was out of her car, sitting on the guard rail over looking about a 75 ft drop to the where the huge swells of the Caribbean where breaking on the cliff side.

‘Anything?” I asked.

“Naw, but there were several boats just off the point, so that may be where they were,” she replied

We sat there on that guardrail silently for the better part of an hour, just watching. The sun was hot on our back and the waves were crashing. It’s a pretty deserted stretch or road, so we had it all to ourselves. Finally another car pulled over and a woman got out and began scanning the blue, most likely wondering what we were looking at. She never asked, but did creep up right behind us hoping to see something. It kind of reminded me of the ‘bear jams’ we used to experience in Yellowstone. We called them bear jams, but often there wasn’t anything in sight, just a bunch of tourists staring off across a meadow hoping to see something big and furry.

We didn’t see the momma humpback and her calf that were spotted earlier breaching and playing the warm waters just off our shore, but as I drove home I felt satisfied that I live somewhere that I could. I had spent some great quiet time with one of my best friends and her two small children. I felt the sun at my back and the ocean breeze on my face. I looked out over the waves into endless blue waters. Then I thought; ‘Life IS Good’ and I put those old creepy buddies of mine to rest. At least for a little while.

So, Jack, living on an island has its drawbacks (especially if you love a good road trip now and again), but there are benefits too. No matter what the future holds, I’ll always be grateful that I didn’t wimp out and I took the leap into this particular adventure.

This is going to serve as my IWSG post. I’ll let you decide if I’m feeling insecure today or not. I’ll also ask you a question. When it comes to taking that leap – what have you got to lose?

To learn more about the IWSG go to the blog of Alex J Cavanaugh check out what some of the others Insecure Writers have to say and tell them what you think. 

I didn't see them this time, but one day I will.