Friday, April 29, 2005

Wanna Live In A Perfect World?

What is a perfect world? Is it the end of hunger, war, genocide, hatred, headaches? Seriously, if the killing ended, would we be complaining about how bad it is to live in a world where we have to have headaches every once in a while? Am I making sense? Well, I am, in my headache-less head. And since this is my blog, my creation, ‘my own,’ I can make as much non-sense as I want.

Paradise. Toni Morrison. Blacks created their paradise, made only of blue blacks. Worked until the kids started rephrasing Beware the Forrow of His Brow into Be the Forrow of His Brow.
Brave New World. Aldous Huxley. Suma takes away all your pain and gives you happiness. And it is 100% legal, and encouraged.
The Time Machine. HG Wells. I still remember an old movie production in which the time machine lands in a world made only of beautiful young blonds. And then the siren goes off.
The Female Man. Joanna Russ. Another time travel plot that looks at 3 (or maybe 4) futuristic worlds.
Herland. Carlottle Perkins Gilman. Amazon-like world. No men to be found. When they come, they mess it up :)
And of course what started it all: Plato’s Republic and More's Utopia.
I’m leaving out a lot. But I’m always intrigued by Utopias/Dystopias.

So. A Perfect World. You wanna?

This post is brought to you by inspiration of Hotel Rwanda.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

What troubles Africa?

Politics is not my game. But even with my level of ignorance I know that that place is havoc, one I tend to mostly forget about until I see movies that remind me that there's a dark continent somewhere on this earth that has been made into the big mess it is today because a group of blonds decided that borders have to be drawn. (OK I know that not all Europeans are blond)

I've lately been very sensitive to putting labels and defining people or actions. I don't want to theorize but it's precisely that act of defining that enables people to think they're better than others. I know that labeling is useful in many cases, but so are drugs and knives and even guns. What to do?

I remember the controversy over Alexander and how I insisted on clarifying for those who called him gay that labeling a person based on an act he or she does is a very modern way of looking into things, relatively speaking, and that at that time, Alexander was merely a man who engaged in homosexual activities, which is a long stretch from calling him gay. (I read Foucault late in life, but it was quite a read) We have labels for everything. You scream once, you're hysteric; you worry a little, you're obsessive compulsive; your mind drifts off a bit, you have ADD; and the list goes on. I know that defining helps limit the problem, contain it, and as such, treat it, but in doing all that aren't we also inflating the problem?

I don't have answers I never do. It's always questions but never answers.

I'm lecturing. My favorite pastime :) Occupational hazard so to speak.

On a lighter note: Kidman is gorgeous.
"I'll be honest with you," she says, "I don't know how honest I can be with you." Don't you just love this line? Or "vengeance is a lazy form of grief." I tell you. That woman is amazing. Yeah yeah I know she didn't write those lines, but still...

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Friday, April 22, 2005

جريمة الـجهراء

This story brought tears to my eyes while reading it. And I am not one to cry easily. What is this? Reads like a Wally Lamb. How grotesque. The poor children, those who died and those who will hopefully make it. What life awaits them?

Still can't stop those tears from falling...

Thursday, April 21, 2005

وجودكِ بالبيت راحة

A Johnson&Johnson ad shows dad taking care of baby.
A Stainmaster ad shows dad trying to help baby to sleep by putting him down on the carpet.
A Cheerios ad shows dad and baby sharing cereal.
A Dairy Queen ad shows baby trying to snatch dad's ice-cream.

Media has a great effect in prescribing while supposedly describing our way of life. Our Kuwaiti TV perpetually shows images of moms as the sole caretakers of babies and dads as the sole breadwinners. No wonder sexism seems on the rise in Kuwait. If it existed before only in our heads, it's now being enforced by good sweet media.

One of the images that really get to me, still, even after almost a year spent here, is seeing dads pushing their babies' strollers while going for their morning jogs in the park. Nothing especially amazing in the image except for the fact that it will be missed when I head back home. How rare is this image in Kuwait? Does it even exist? How can it even begin to be incorporated when what meets us in the streets is a billboard reading "wejodich bilbait ra7a" (translation: Your staying home is comforting) under the picture of a woman, never a man of course? Not to mention our wonderfully educational Ramadan Kuwaiti series that add more flame to this image.
What does it even perpetuate? That women should quit their jobs and stay home for their children?

Rights to vote!!! Are you kidding me? How about the simple right to choose a life?
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Saturday, April 16, 2005

A MidApril Night's Dream

Immediately after taking this picture, this woman to the right came to tell me photography isn't allowed. So the only picture I have of Shakespeare in the park is this barren stage.

It was freezing but most enjoyable.

I leave you, dear blog, with the bard himself:

If we shadows have offended,
Think but this, and all is mended,
That you have but slumbered here
While these visions did appear.
And this weak and idle theme,
No more yielding but a dream,
Gentles, do not reprehend,
If you pardon, we will mend.

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Friday, April 15, 2005

UCF Library

So my laptop's busted which makes it a great opportunity for me to go to the library. Cyber world usually distracts me from more frequent visits. I have a slight cold, but I figure a walk will do me good, especially since the sun's out and there's light breeze in the air. So I pack my bag and head to UCF Library which reminds me of my rare visits to our own library in Shuwaikh and the rows upon rows of empty shelves. The disgrace!!! Why build a library this huge when you can't fill it with books? It looks pathetic.
Anyway, back to UCF, the actual library where shelves are stacked. I finish part of my research and decide to head home to rest my cold. Two steps out of the place and it starts pouring. Now if you're not familiar with rain in Florida; it usually is a quick shower that soaks you wet, ending within a few minutes. In my case, it lasted exactly from the library to my car. By the time I get in the car, my clothes are soaked, my feet frozen, my headache worse than ever, and my cold … oh well, you catch my drift. Now any sane person would know never to leave home without an umbrella in Florida. But I'm a Kuwaiti to the bones and rain for us is not to be shielded by umbrellas, but enjoyed for its rarity. (Though from what I heard of the last heavy rainstorm in Kuwait and what it did to traffic, that might soon change)
That was yesterday. Laptop still sick, so is its owner. Yet today's visit to the library was sunnier and less painful. So I leave you and me with a picture of a place I will soon miss when I go back to KU.
Taking the family to Lake Eola's Amphitheatre later tonight for A Midsummer Nights Dream. Will fill you in later dear blog.
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Saturday, April 09, 2005

Medieval Times on Camera

Don't know how to add a picture to a previous post. So this goes separately as it was taken when we actually arrived (10 minutes late) to the event. Posted by Hello

Medieval Times

Its almost 5:30. Boys all ready. But mommy needs more time of course. I mean going to Medieval Times is quite the cultural experience and mommy has to be suitably attired. Mommy is also chatting on the net and it’s ill manners to leave in the middle of someone’s conversation pouring their hearts out. OK well, that was a lie. Mommy just got ticked off by another one of her so-called best friends (not the one mentioned in the previous post) so mommy decided to just surf blogville randomly. So, instead of getting ready on time like she asked the boys to do, she chooses to take a walk down blogville – this thing’s becoming quite an addiction.

Need to get dressed.

So, properly attired – in a faded jeans and white top, high heels and colorful purses are the only fashion statement I occasionally make here. Skirts have gathered dust. Worn every once in a while when I feel in the mood for shaving. I’m telling you, jeans and white tops are the proper costume when visiting those medieval times. I mean can you imagine what a superb invention that would’ve been for those living in those times. I mean milking cows and tilling the land in those clothes. Damn, that must’ve been quite a burden. This paragraph begins with an incomplete statement. A fragment? Really? Shame on me. Gotta fix that.
So, properly attired, I offer this blog one last touch before I head out.

Random thoughts: yes because so far this wasn’t random :)
Earlier today I made sha66a o ba66a. A scrupulous meal of cheese, tomatoes, olive oil, and hot sauce eaten with pita bread since Irani bread is not an option here. No actual duck (ba66a) in the recipe.
Downloaded MSN Messenger 7. I wasted some time playing with the new additions last night.
Listening to (hmmm as appears on my new MSN page) Switchfoot’s Only Hope
Time to go….no really….running extremely late….so get off your lazy ass already and go.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Excluded...exiled...omitted...the horror the horror

So my so-called best friend just wrote a so-called article about her so-called life. And guess what? I was not included. I, her best friend, the best thing that ever happened to her, the richest part of her life, was not included.

Supposedly we're a group, a group of four, a foursome. But her stupid article refers to them as the infamous trio :@ trio my ass :@ infamous my ass :@ how dare she exclude me from their shopping spree story?

Okay I know. I'm not currently living in Kuwait so naturally their actual shopping spree does not include me. But this is fiction. It's her so called life. Enmbelish a little. Go back to a time when I actually was there. So I'm miles and miles away. So I'm exiled to Orlando. Does that excuse her for excluding and omitting me...the horror the horror.

To show my anger, I refuse to link this page to that so-called friend's. Posted by Hello

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Payback time

This is a rather late response. But I just came across this in a fellow blogger's house. A vulgar response much needed for a vulgar argument.

Check it out

Monday, April 04, 2005

Tori Amos in Orlando

Imagine there’s no heaven
It’s easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us, only sky
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world

You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will live as one

OK. That’s not Tori Amos. But she did her own version of Lennon and I loved it. Of course she preceded this by My Favorite Things:

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favorite things

And even that was quite an act.
I wouldn’t rate Tori among my most favorite artists, but seeing her perform on those pianos was quite a treat.

OK I have to do Tori some justice. So here’s Tori from Jackie’s Strength:

Make me laugh
Say you know
What you want
You said we were the real thing
So I show
You some more
And I learn
What black magic can do
Make me laugh
Say you know
You can turn
Me into the real thing
So I show
You some more
And I learn

She also did Horses, Cloud on My Tongue, Josephine, Not the Red Baron, hmmm and some other songs I’m not sure I remember now.

Amazing show.

I’m off to bed :)

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Saturday, April 02, 2005

Wine and the City

What is it in a city that gives it its special charm. I've been in Orlando for about 8 months, and only today, I ventured into its downtown. I have to say I am impressed. It's a small area, a few streets intersecting each other, coffee shops and nightclubs scattered all around, with a few galleries, a library and some other little shops. Nothing especially alluring I'm sure. This is not New York. This is not Paris. It's downtown Orlando. Yet unlike downtown Kuwait, there's a certain feeling that touches you when you're strolling down those streets just before the clubs are officially open. It's a weekend, but not late enough yet for the streets to be crowded with club hoppers. With a stomach fully satisfied after a meal of luscious and delicious pot roast, our walk downtown proved more entertaining than ever. The restaurant itself was quite impressive. Other than its wonderful meal, the ambience was quite something. Again, nothing special. Maybe it's that glass of shiraz wine. Maybe it's the vibes you get from other customers enjoying the beginning of their weekend, a weekend most needed for those with a 9-5 work schedule. Is that we do not attack our weekends in Kuwait with as much vigor? Most of us have pretty relaxing working hours during the week. But then again, what would an employee do in Kuwait to attack his or her weekend? How are we to relax and kick back? Without that most lip smacking glass of wine, can our weekends really be fully appreciated?
 Posted by Hello