Monday, April 7, 2014

Car Talk

I admire car collectors. Vintage cars are not cheap, only if you meet someone with an antique and they give you a bligh, otherwise, no.

Morris Mini Minor 1967
However, I do have my desire to own one black Mini Minor. I remember going to school in Woodbrook, where every afternoon a lady with a 60's beehive would drive home in a sort of olive-jade green mini minor. She kept it well, and sometimes when I go to trini, I would hope to see it again. In fact, I never saw the car parked on the street or anything, I almost always saw her driving around the bend by "Amar", and heading towards the traffic lights. Then, I knew a couple with a blue and black version, they were relatively tall people, but when they sat in it, they looked like they were on the ground. In fact, have you ever saw a Mini Minor in traffic? I did and I thought "exhaust collector", but not even that term would cause me to loose my affection for it.
Monochome works well too...
Now we just have Mini. Its sleek modern with a hint of vintage charm attracts stares wherever it zips around town. Its possible, you can own one for at least $350,000 (TTD), and that may be the cheapest price, at least the last time I checked. My favourite version is the Countryman, only because it has 5 doors. If you do decide to gift me one, please ensure its manual and it is a right-hand drive. ;-P

Finally, the inspiring article that lead me to my Mini-obsession:,28757,1658545,00.html


Monday, February 17, 2014

Apartment Upgrade

In Scarborough, I live in a studio apartment. It is something that I always wanted to experience. Some folks like to have a room for everything: bed-room, living-room, bath-room, etc. For some reason, studio apartments are hardly ideal for "roomy section oriented" people. For one, it is an open-concept area with a lot of light, not very claustrophobic, very spacious and an organizational challenge for disorganized people. However, I love that you do save on electricity, I mean one light can illuminate the entire place and there are no "hidden" corners, which makes it easy to find insects like roaches and spiders without feeling like, "I really hope that spider is NOT in this bedroom."

On television channels like HGTV, the viewers are assaulted with terms like "out-dated", or "I wanted hard-wood floors and not laminate" or "this bathroom is tiny" or my favourite, "we will have to renovate this house to put our touches" (even though the home may be move-in ready and the appliances are brand-new). I still love HGTV though, especially, Property Brothers, Love It or List It, Hawai'i Life and House Hunters Intl. I decided to chuck all the renovations and new furniture and whatnot and work with what I have right now:
Its not all white...

Yep, this took me about 30 - 45 mins to plot, measure and recreate and on the right you would see the "cake soap" version of me.

Below is what I dreamt about, still with my original furniture and with a bit of subtractions and additions:
Check out the "Fireman" bed area above the dressing room.

"Tiny" bathroom with dressing area, separated by sliding barn door.

Upgraded kitchen with room to entertain friends.

Dressing room under the bed area.o
Living room layout next to entry.

This look may not be appealing to Caribbean locals, but I can see foreign visitors tackling a layout like this, and there is room for an average-sized dog or cat. 

Let me know what you think on FB under Lisa Marie or below in the comments.

2014©Lisa Marie Bonaparte

Saturday, February 15, 2014

New Home Design

Island living. I can't say it is perfect, but it is certainly challenging.

Tobago is a completely different culture, in terms of the people. They love their heritage and to a certain extent the older heads are still respected. While I live in the city, interestingly I prefer the country life here. In some parts, like L'Anse Fourmi, I am reminded of the stories my mom would tell me. She did not grow up in Tobago, but the simple living as a little girl growing up among boys, helps me to visualize how she lived in the 1960's Point Fortin.

L'Anse Fourmi is very quiet and a bit underdeveloped. The villagers are very close and on a Sundays it is endearing to take a walk and talk to some of the villagers there. Did you know that some of the eldest people in Tobago live in L'Anse Fourmi and Charlotteville. These are not rich folks, but they are wealthy in wisdom, health and experience.

Now you have a personal account of a Tobadadian (copyrighted). I might add that unless you have a taste for adventure, you would never really learn Tobago... you have to get up and get out!

I did another home. The idea stemmed from a recent disappointment and I had to channel that energy somewhere. It has some pretty unusual features and too many windows. Right now, we are living at a time where we need to have some sort of cooling system, or boiled alive. I call this design the Double-Tapper. First, I took too long to finish it (I did not even design the doors and put in a gate), secondly, I want to upgrade my current apartment design to maximize the space, I will post these soon.

Take a look below and tell me what you think!

I almost forgot, it has: 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, living and dining, kitchen, washroom and storage, double parking, patio, and an office. I did not take much measurements but I estimate its about 2,300 sq ft.



Kitchen/Dining area and living room

Dining area and stairs to the bedrooms

Scene from bedroom 1

Bathroom 1 
Lisa Marie Bonapartte©2014

Thursday, January 9, 2014

This CaffeLatter Magazine Blog Owner...

... Is on the job market for a new company adventure.

Have a look at my Cover letter and Resume!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Tobago Beach Home 2

Nothing much to say here, except I think white houses with splashes of colours are "designingly" better that super bright canary yellow.


Saturday, August 4, 2012

Tobago Beach Home

In Tobago, I found that the majority of residents here build massive homes with lots of little apartments and charge really high rents. I have been to some places where it is about 12 feet long by 8 feet wide with one window for $1,500 a month. And I have seen slightly larger for about $300.00 more. One place is a one bedroom with a little window. That goes for $2,200 a month. And if you protest they say, "That is my price, take it or leave it."

So, I decided to 'build' a home on Google Sketchup, because somewhere I think there is potential to have a home and apartments, but make it 'liveable' and get the maximum out of your tenants and home without having to run A/C for an entire day.

I saw a piece of land by the beach, it is very large, so I thought what if I to purchase a piece from it  about 30 ft across and about 80 plus feet long. It is narrow, so the home that I built, will be pretty long and narrow, there would be minimal yard space, but will still have enough parking for all. I am not finished with the design yet, but I am pretty happy how its coming along.

The bottom apartment is for rent, this is the side facing the beach.

The unfinished design


Saturday, July 21, 2012

The Month of May

Many people have a breaking point. Some folks earnestly believe that they don't, if you are one of those, ask your self, why does the human body have a limit to the amount of pain one can endure? Why do we have to be anesthetized when having surgery?

In the month of May, I was over stressed, my roommate and I were over stressed, we had a limit and then it was time to do something drastic. My end of the deal was done, so I packed up and with a few shed tears and hugs, kisses and take cares, I hopped on a boat looking for euphoria.

My mom was on hand to make sure I was fine, I felt elated, but my body was twisted emotionally, and mentally. I needed rest. So for two days I slept, got up bathe and slept. On the third day I took notes. Then I slept. 

Then I worked the streets…

Eventually I found a place and a job and everything else fell into place… just like that. (Feel free to include prayers, tears, reading, phone calls, angry out bursts, etc.) I did not find euphoria, but I found a reason to keep going. I found new challenges and new friends and people in my life. My family has been supportive, in particular my mom and grandmother. Their unwavering support will be of the best things I would remember because, I felt unappreciated and unloved, and they called and made it seemed 'ok' to face trials. 

God. Some folks have confidence in Him. I do, but not to the point that I throw it out there like hot water. Some days, I did not want to leave my bed, or go anywhere, sometimes I felt like I needed someone, and mom or granny could not call fast enough, I needed a presence, a feeling that I am not alone in this. That what happened in April really did happen. The feeling that if something like that could happen, then I would take the south and destroy everything. So, I thank God that i did not, and I took the highway, and that this would be the last time I would look back. I am gone… and I will find euphoria.

And then there was the Colorado shooter. According to reports, he started planning in May to shoot as many people as he can. He was brilliant, top of his university, shy, and a geek. He also ran cross country and played soccer. So why did he stock up on weapons and went into a crowded cinema to kill people? Why? What did he hope to accomplish? In reference to Albert played by Michael Caine's character in the 2nd installment of Batman, "…Some men just want to see the world burn." Did Mr. Holmes-who-just-sullied-the-greatest-surname-in-the-history-of-fictional-literature-by-becoming-a-villian wanted to see the world burn? Apparently, police refuse to look for a motive. Who would want to? Here it is you took two months to plan a murder? Where is the sense of right, wrong, and moving on?

Every one have a choice. A choice to do right and wrong. Sure we are all imperfect, and we do make mistakes, but there was a choice to be made.

Another thing I can't understand, folks tend to blame others for their actions. Ok so you were bullied in school, could not find a job, someone in your office is a jerk, the boss is a maniac. Whatever, like my sister says, "Deal with it and move on, don't settle for revenge or wasted time talking about it. Besides, you come to work to work/get the job done."

I learned a lot here in Tobago. First, you will not always have your family, cherish them while they are still alive. Secondly, You do have a choice, make sure it is the right one, and thirdly, there will always be office politics, they are hurdles, keep focused and forget the negatives, be positive, and give 110%. After all, it's a battlefield, survive without burning bridges.

The Colorado Murderer and I made plans in the Month of May. He killed people, I got a positive boost and outlook.