Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Coming out of my (nervous) shell

Every-time I have to apply for a job, I get a bad case of nerves. Just the thought that I am sending someone my Resume, that "someone" whom I have never met before. I always wonder what do Mr. Someone or Ms. Someone think of my resume, do they see me as part of their company? Is my portfolio Minimalist enough? Is it too busy? Am I missing a colour in the portfolio? All kinds of questions.

One of my first interview after I resigned from my favorite job, I broke down in tears. It was the question that was asked, "Why did you leave your former job?" I did not know what to say. I began to have flashbacks of being pushed on the table and hitting the computer, almost damaging it, I remember getting angry facing my abuser, using my arm to defend myself, I pushed him away, only to be shoved violently on the floor, hitting my shoulder, back of my head and twisting my ankle and landing on my knees... then came the response of the boss on the telephone, "Get out of my office! Go home!" Then my accuser shouted, "Ha, Ha when (the boss) comes back, you will be fired and not me!" This had only happened about a week or two before my interview and everything was still fresh in my mind. My right arm was still swollen, and I wore a pair of newly bought flat shoes to facilitate my swollen twisted ankle, my body wracked with pain and yet I was willing to keep my appointment and get that job...alas, the question was asked, "Why did you leave your former job?" and the hurt came back. My swollen fingers started to tremble, and my knees started to twitch in slight pain, since I took to pain tablets to get through the interview as professional as possible. Two pairs of emotionless eyes stared at me. I looked at them in silence, "I, was my time to go...I needed to be challenged creatively, and unfortunately, (my former company) has changed their priorities and their goals. Studying in NYC, has helped me to set standards and to discard petty things..." with that I felt the throbbing pain of my right arm, and tears rolled down my eyes. I did not realize the extent of the hurt, I wanted to run out of the interview and call it a day. I felt stupid and sat on the chair, sobbing. "Uh oh, I did not expect this." The female interviewer sprung up in action, searching for a napkin. Maybe, I should have canceled the interview, allowed myself to heal. However, I have been working since I was seventeen, setting goals for myself, dreaming of the day when I can get a nice new car and a bigger place with two bedrooms, my sister and I accomplishing great things before the age of 30, but that came crashing down when I was ousted from my former place of work like a dog, lashed and kicked, sent to the hospital. I knew then, that I will not get the job, I was too honest about myself.

I went to other interviews, and never cried again. When I did not receive the call, "Congratulations Lisa Marie, you got the job," after each interview, I told myself next time I will do better. So everyday, I learn something new. I am in Woodworking class, (I have been sketching my ideas for real cutting edge chair designs), I am a total Google-Sketchup fan (I am on it everyday), and I cook and bake cake, plus keep the floor tiles clean and white. I still dream but it has changed now, I want to be a fantastic Graphic Designer at a really cool Ad Firm, with a flair for Architecture, I also want to study Architecture in Germany, and visit The Golden Cabbage building of the Vienna Secession. For now, I just want to be a Graphic Designer. So I keep sending out those Resumes, with conviction and determination to leave the past behind me, and to, "Keep Moving Forward."

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Love in a different Color

Interracial couples will always be around. They are like the air that we breathe, although, some people would rather breathe poisonous gases than face the fact, that, whether they like it or not IR couples are here to stay.

What is the difference between a black person and a white person...apart from the obvious visual differences, I believe that it is ...nothing. However, what are the cultural differences among a group of people from India, China, Africa, and Europe? Plenty. Is it possible that people are mixing up race with culture?

If we were to take four people of different races from New York City in America and place them in a room with four different races from Paris, France. The Americans speak english, and the French people speak french. Now, we divide all the people into four groups, we are going to pair one American with one French, and put them in a different room, alone. So imagine, please, one Chinese-American with one Chinese-French in a room alone, one Indian-American with one Indian-French in another room, and so on. So there will be four rooms with two people in each room. They must then communicate with each other about their food preparation. Would the Indian-American and the Indian-French prepare their curry the same way? Would an African-American and an African-French prepare vegetables the same way? This may be good way to find out.

I love culture, the saris from India, and the Kente cloth and wood carvings from Africa, Japanese architecture and their way of life, and the resilience of the people of China, seeking a better life for themselves.

Kinda went off course there, but if I can say it out loud to interracial couples, I will say to do it for love and nothing else.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Art Submission...

Do you have a piece of Art that you want to submit? Or an Idea in sketches, or a cake design, or even furniture? Post it to my email at with your name, email address and a description of your creation/project and on Friday It will be posted on CafféLatté Magazine Blog.

In my sketch above, I had an idea for a home that appears to have no visable base. I was working on the theory that I may need a strong platform of some sort. This platform may be built out of metal or concrete. I am still working on it.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

For a couple of months

I will be gone, but I will be posting at least one to two times a week to facilitate a new passion: Woodworking. I know nothing about it, but it is a challenge. From Monday, I will be meeting my teacher and 9 other classmates, one knows AutoCAD, one worked in the construction industry and another, is already doing woodwork, so I have got my work cutout for me. I am not worried, for I have a goal, and I am gearing towards it.

See you next week. Oh, in addition there will be no recipes for a while, but if you tried the other recipes, send me a note, because they are not found in any cookbook, I made them up myself.

See Ya!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Facebook and Yellow Eyes

I found the FB has its good, but also its bad. Before I could not do without it, now it has become an annoyance. Mabye it was all those semi-reality games, or my friends, or something. Sometimes I wonder what is the purpose of FB. Since I have reduced my exposure on it I have been going to bed early, something that was hard to accomplish before.

So far, I am getting closer to my most major accomplishment yet.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Recipe for the Week!


2 cap-full vanilla essence
2 cups brewed coffee (cooled)
2 bananas (soft)
sprinkle of cinnamon powder
sprinkle of freshly grated nutmeg
1 tbsp cream liqueur
2 tbsp powdered milk
1 dash bitters
Sugar to taste
2 cups of water

Put all ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth. Add ice for immediate consumption, otherwise leave to cool in the refrigerator.

serves 3


When we lived in Port of Spain, my mother was living in New York. On one visit, she brought a very interesting movie with her, it was called Rosewood. It sounded beautiful, like a vibrant village with lots of beautiful roses. I also thought it was about some sappy romance story. I only saw Rosewood about twice in my lifetime, but I am sure it was more, because I always remembered how I felt after watching it. The first time I watched it, I burst into tears and confusion, uncontrollable fits of sobs. I could not understand how humans could do this to one another and go to bed at nights. At this time I was in my early teens. Racism, was shown at its worst. The movie portrayed what humans are capable of with no gumption, no morals, unchained hate and poisoned anger. My dreams were punctuated with clips from the movie, and yet, was it real?

So, I researched it. And yes it was indeed true. In all its gory reality, though with a little "Hollywood imagination". Soon, I became angry. I became angry at people who could have stopped the Rosewood massacre from happening, I became angry at people who were part of the mob and gave birth to children, I became angry at...white people. For the first time in my life, I understood the term 'different', and 'us' and them. I asked my mother why were we not created the same, so that people would not hate each other, and she explained to me, "If all the flowers in the world were one colour, would you enjoy looking at them?" I imagined the world covered in red Hibiscus plants, ew. "No," I replied, "It would be boring."

Growing up, I began to understand, "preference", like, look at how long my friend's hair was or how pretty she is, while I stood next to this "person", hoping for the same recognition and acceptance, only that they are fair, and I... am "normal", like the admirers. In addition, I began to hate the fact that, I too, began to think with "fair-skinned glasses", hoping to get vitiligo, so that I could pass, and be admired by others. Caribbean writer Merle Hodge, wrote a short story called 'Millicent'. It is about a light-skinned girl in a primary (elementary) school in the Caribbean, who became very popular, so much so, she used the "divide and conquer" tactic in the classroom, destroying old friendships. The class teacher looked at her one class and said, "Pride goeth before a fall." Eventually, Millicent learned her lesson. I loved that story to no end, and I read it like a prayer, now I can't even remember the book I read it from. If you know, send me a note!

Now, I accept people as they are. It took me a while to get here, to look beyond the skin, and hair, but to know and understand the secret person of the heart. To know the person whose red blood is pumping, whose bile is green, and who goes to the toilet and passes gas just like me. The person who just wants to communicate ideas, history, art, etc. Just loving people for 'who' they are and not 'what' they are. In essence, I have matured in my thinking.

If I could rate Rosewood as a movie, I'll give it 4 out of 5 stars. This was actor, Ving Rhames' best movie yet. and really it should be rated PG-14 for graphic scenes, seriously.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Julie Mango Season and Losing Weight

In the early half of the year, it is most active in Trinidad and Tobago, there are christmas corruption accusations, water protests, carnival, loan interest reduction hearsay, training classes and the coming of mangoes.

Before mango season officially arrives, it is proclaimed by the unsightly presence of houseflies. Houseflies are drawn to the sweet, fruity aroma of ripe mangoes. So whenever I buy mangoes, I wash the skins, dry them and place them in the fruit bowl. When this does not work, I cover them with a dry kitchen towel. When that does not work, I put them in the refrigerator, until I am ready to consume it.

There are many variety of mangoes: Starch, Vere, Long, Calabash, Rose and my favourite, Julie. Julie mango is the Queen of the pack. Oval, full, and gushing with all that sweet yellow juice, running down your hands as your teeth cut into the firm supple flesh, your eyes roll to the heavens, and close in satisfaction, your lips suck up the nutrient goodness that nature made specially for you.

Imagine, sitting on the stairs of one of those mud shacks from the early 1930's. Your mother doing housework and you and your friends sitting on the wooden stairs. The home is surrounded be luxuriant fruit trees of every kind: Coconut, Sapodilla, Mamey Apple, and mango trees. A few yards away there is a river, where you hunt crab and in the dry season, Cascadoo*. Chickens roam freely in the yard, and come lunchtime, your mother makes a request, and you have to catch the chicken and prepare it for her. Every morning before you go to school, you have to milk the goats or cow, and collect the eggs....Simple and enviable.

Yesterday, I went walking around the Savannah. It was very encouraging, since I stay home most days, avoiding the hot sun. This week, all is about to change, in the next 5 mins it is off computer, and on the road. Have a good day!

Monday, March 15, 2010

When the Competition also...

Wants a job. Today, I met an old friend. We spoke for a while, and he asked me about a job. After working by my dad for at least 12 years, I am simply known as, Lisa-Who-Will-Always-Work-For-Her-Daddy. So, it takes a bit of hum-drum to mention quite frankly, that I simply resigned from my father's business. Which I did mention to him. His eyes light up like "jackpot", and he suddenly asked, "Oh, well-um, do you think he is hiring anyone right now?"
"No, I don't know, you could try and ask him." I said
"Well, you know, I'm looking for a job, you know, graphic design...." he stumble-fumble to me.
"You know, (name witheld), you should give it a shot, at least try, see what he says."
"Ye, Yeh...ok, yeh."

When we parted, he asked me, "What software does he use, your dad?"
"Ok, then, I should send him an email or something?"
"No, call him first, then send him the email, or he will not read it."
He then mentioned that he uses CS3. After that we parted.

For a while I wondered, "Why should I care, its not like he could do anything for me?" Then I thought that its a nice gesture, to help someone. But I can't help thinking, "What if he gets MY job?" I still felt tied to my dad's business, however, and being home, is such a drab sometimes. after all, I did work there for 12 years.


Sunday, March 14, 2010


Yours truly has been added into the Bramble Family's Carpenter-To-Be Hall of Fame. My Family has a long history of Carpenters, and I am the first female member to actually consider taking a course in Woodworking! This is EXCITING!

Don't forget! I have a new recipe this Wednesday, in addition to one poster and a small tip of the week. This Dry week will be 'Wet' with experiences.

Friday, March 12, 2010

One Week...

From 11:00 am to 3:00 am the next day. This project design showcases the full eccentricities of my mind. It is a fully functional two story vacation home, with a circle spa/splash pool and a diving pool. A large deck to hold barbecue parties and possibly a wedding reception. I did not put a chimney, because all my home designs are for tropical living. The green area represents lawn grass, though I can see some shrubs and a kitchen garden that could be of use.

When my sister saw it, she said, "Tent, at least that is what it reminds me of." Which was surprising. In the initial layout, I did not have that description in mind. However, I prefer the term, "Beautiful Contemporary Camp-Like Living". It has a fully-equipped kitchen, dining room, living room, 4 bedrooms and a master suite with an upstairs liming* room. A patio that leads to a diving board, and stairs that leads to the ground floor deck.

If you would like to see more pics of the interior send me a note!

CafféLatté Magazine Dictionary: Liming (verb) To Lime. Trinidadian slang for a casual gathering of any number of people. It does not entail the actual eating of limes, however.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Recipe for the Week!

Have you ever used 'box cake'? Like Duncan Hines or Betty Crocker? Well this recipe allows you to stretch the ingredients where you can add your personal favourite flavours. This is the simple stretch.

Cake Stretch Lolla

1 Box Cake (any flavour)
2 tbsp flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 sprinkle cinnamon powder
1 pinch grated nutmeg

Use an electric cake mixer. Follow the box package instructions. Add flour in increments. Add baking soda in increments. Finally add the spices. Mix until the batter is a creamy consistency. If the batter gets very thick, add 2 tsp water in increments until a stiff-soft consistency is attained. Butter a 13 x 9 baking glass dish place in 350° oven. Bake for 30 -45 mins, or until knife inserted comes out totally clean.

Cool on rack and frost away.

Monday, March 8, 2010

5 ways, 4 of us can help each other, while 3 work fulltime, 2 can be managers under 1

I got your attention now didn't I? This card, I have been sending around now to all my networks. It is interesting to see if this will really work for me to get a full time job. One friend printed this card and put it on the wall of her office.

The funny thing about being jobless is that, you can stay home and do lots of things like clean the house, cook food, and catch-up on your reading. The downside is that while your household is working you are home alone, keep this up and you will become idle some how. Me? I started to read my 1984 Collier's Encyclopedia. What I like is that there are no email links, but compiled information from other books into each volume, how cool is that! My grandmother still has her 1970's era Collier's with the distinct red border near the base. With that edition came two books: The Furniture Doctor by George Grotz, and ironically, The-You-Don't-Need-A-Man-To-Fix-It Book by Jim Webb and Bart Houseman with intro by Erma Bombeck. Remarkable, I tell you. The latter book has illustrations of tools that are, frankly quite primitive, but efficient. I still say technology is good. There is even a whole section on plumbing! Women and plumbing? I think that given the time period this book is great! The Furniture Doc book is very helpful and I hope to utilize some of its hints. So what books have you been reading?

This week look out for a new recipe.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Monos Island and Red Tape Fun

Monos Island is off the coast of Trinidad and Tobago. It is small, quiet, beach-y, sandy, and all round fantastic! It is filled with fruit trees, land creatures, sea creatures and caves (you have to look for them). When I do go there, I am anxious to jump off the jetty, jump off the rock (exhilarating, indeed), swim with the fishes (nervous sometimes) and just lay back the watch the day go by. Occasionally, someone would mention that an eel is in the water, at this point I am scrambling to get out. Monos island has potential, and I suggest that the potential is to "leave it be".

Speaking to some of the residents and vacationers there, reveals a tale of dumping, killing of some animals and just a "don't care attitude". Thanks to caring residents and some vacationers Monos island is kept almost spotless, so that folks like me could enjoy a real green haven.

One resident I know, regularly and voluntarily cleans the area. On public holidays she rents out her home to Trinis and others seeking a little peace from the mainland. She mentions, at the time we spoke that, only four people live on the island, with at least one household of regular weekend dwellers. Her husband, (deceased) was a fisherman when they married, and since then she has been residing on the island since in the 1980's. She also gave me my first Noni juice. Noni, the fruit, bears in abundance on Monos island, the leaves are glossy and green, and the fruit itself is light green to a slight light yellow-green. The Noni juice, has a taste that is out of this world, I suggest you have to try it yourself.

When the sun goes down, and those pesky mosquitoes come out, it is time to go home. So we bid our friends "Good-Bye!", take our tired, salty, sun-burned bodies into one of the pre-arranged, water-service boats, and head for the mainland. Later that night, when I lay in my bed, I hear the sea, see the fishes, scramble from the eel, jump off the jetty and I touch my chest and thank Jehovah that he has created this earth, then I remember, "Oh shocks!", I forgot my heart in Monos Island.

Friday, March 5, 2010

2:30 AM Ideas

Despite the time on this post it is now 2:20 am in Trinidad and Tobago, and hot like hell. It is breezy, but hot breeze. Amazing.

I am watching 2012 on DVD. Many movies these days are out with the same theme, "End of the World, and watch smart people that you may never meet in your life get saved." I really like this movie somehow it was well thought out, and unrealistic. My favorite parts: Woody Harrelson as Charlie Frost the radio announcer, the airplane barely making it out of California(?), and Yuri and the Bentley (advertising, I wondered how much they paid, love it). My most favourite part: the cinema audience's response to the airplane flight. Priceless. My most annoying part: John Cusack's character. I don't know, he seemed a bit uncomfortable at certain times, not because he almost died a million times throughout the movie, but I felt really weird watching him act. Most predictable Dr. Helmsley and the First Daughter, and the dorky-looking stepdad not making it alive. I like the movie, and the special effects are better on a large screen T.V.

What I REALLY hate, Houseflies. Going to get my flyswap!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

The Other Side

Today is rather slow, so I finished the apartments and ate a late breakfast (berry tea and oven grilled cheese sandwiches). Later I will take the clothes off the line since they are dried to a crisp in the sun.

As you can see I posted the other side of my first design, notice the bed on the third floor? Cool. I said yesterday I love windows and this design is absolutely filled with them. Some people, like my mom, hates all the space around the house so, if she were to live here, she would be visiting every plant store to buy up all the little potted plants in their plastic green containers to break up the clean lines. And she may be right, I actually love elderly folks home interior decorating, their homes are so warm and homely, though a little cluttered when they start adding little ceramic figurines to the mix!

I applied to a company for the position of Quality Control, this I can do as I have an eye for detail and I am so self-motivated, qualities that the company wants so, lets see what happens!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Google Sketchup

Is an amazing product. It is like AutoCAD but way easier. During my stint at home, I have designed several homes, plus I am into apartments. I must confess, that I love to do kitchens and baths. Swimming pools are ok as well, but with WASA restrictions, I will have to "restrict" the size as well, so that I don't get "charged" for wasting water.

This particular 3 leveled design has 4 bedrooms, two toilets, one bath (WASA restriction), kitchen, dining and living room, lots of lawn and paved space. It is quite contempory and has one roof, so I guess it should not cost much. White walls outside and colour bursts inside. This is my favourite design style because I spent alot of time on it. On the top floor there is room for a private home office and library.

Materials suggested are wooden floors, marble kitchen counters, stone sinks and bathtubs, and tiles, preferably natural colours, plus lots of huge windows. Like Frank Lloyd Wright I want to bring nature in so I always encourage lots of large windows.
Recipe for the week:

Pumpkin Ital

1 cup frozen peas and carrots
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp sugar
3 cups diced pumpkin
1/8 tsp ginger

2 garlic cloves
2 tomatoes
1 carrot (chopped)
1 flavour enhancing cube or 1/2 pack flavour powder
1/2 tsp gerra
1/2 cup full cream milk
1/2 pack coconut milk

Heat oil in pan and add sugar. Allow to caramelize and add onions, stir for 15 seconds. Add all other ingredients and leave to simmer. Observe and stir occasionally. Pumpkin must be thoroughly cooked. Serve with hot toast bread or with grilled chicken and rice preferably Basmati rice.

Serves 4

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


Technology is amazing. I wanted to start a magazine and now, instead I am starting a blog, this being my first entry. I hope that in time CafféLatté Magazine will become a reality, but for now I will go the way of paperless magazine or Digizine.

CafféLatté Magazine is geared toward interracial couples, but it also has D-I-Y projects, recipes and more. I thought it up in NYC when I was working towards my Visual Communications degree. Now I am perfectly unemployed, so what better way than to blog ideas, experiences, and jokes. By the way CafféLatté Magazine is on face book and you can join here: