Sunday, August 28, 2005

New Look

I'm glad Katrina left Cecilia and her family untouched. I'm also glad I'm no longer in orlando to have to worry about yet another hurricane. When I asked a friend in Orlando about why he choose to move into an area flooded by hurricanes on a yearly basis, he said that the risk of hurricanes is made up for by the beautiful weather that state has year round. I didn't think it was worth it when I was there. I still don't think it's worth it. I lived in Pennsylvania for over 3 years and all the snow that they all complain about is nothing compared to the threat of hurricanes in Florida. But what do I know?

September aproaching. New school year. So why not a new template? Blue because I like blue.

The chef at Sakura managed to entertain me as though I'm a 7 year old. Food wasn't too bad either but I think I'm losing my interest in Japanese food. Their salmon crab and avocado salad is great though. I'd go again just to have that dish.

No books to report on this time. Just food. And now I'm hungry and feel like a good piece of juicy steak. Not the ones they serve in our crappy seaside restaurants. Anyone for Terrace Grill? I love their Fillet Mignon (sp!). Or maybe LeNotre for their sole. Hmmm. I'm hungry. Ciao.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Gardenias and more

The third book I read during my European Vacation was in Arabic. After my disappointment with عمارة يعقوبيان I decided to brave it again and hit another one in my mother tongue. The choice this time fell on رأيت رام الله for مريد البرغوثي . Now let me switch to Arabic for a change:

في هذه الرواية يعبر البرغوثي عن رفضه للنظرة الحالمة للمدن الفلسطينية والتي يريد منها معظم الكتاب الرجوع إلى ما كانت عليه تلك المدن في الماضي، ويرجح أن تتغير تلك المدن وتتطور نحو المستقبل كما الحال في باقي الدول. كما ينتقد أيضا إعلان الهزيمة كنصر للمهزوم. ويعبر البرغوثي عن آرائه تلك من خلال سرد لحياة مريد البرغوثي و رجوعه لبلده رام الله بعد 30 سنة من الغربة تلت نكسة 1967، افتراقه الدائم عن عائلته الكبيرة وإسرته الصغيرة. لقاءات صغيرة تجمع العائلة وتكشف عن ما يسميه البرغوثي "طرافة المأساة" حيث يمتلك أفراد الأسرة الواحدة جوازات سفر ما يزيد عن 7 دول.
من أكثر المقاطع تأثيرا كان موت أخيه في باريس بعيدا عن أهله وحيرة مريد في كيفية إبلاغ والدته دون التسبب بوفاتها.

OK back to English now. I get tired typing in Arabic. :) The book is wonderful. ALbargothy tells his story beautifully, succeeding in gaining the reader’s empathy away from the dramatic/romantic grieving of a man without a country. I recommend this book strongly.

Now to less literary matters. The weather’s improving slightly. Either that or I’m just bored limiting my self to indoor outings (I love that oxymoron) so I decided to go walking by the scientific center. It wasn’t too bad; a little humid but bearable. I don’t think I can manage jogging yet. It’s still too hot for that and I’m still not totally back in shape. Isn’t it totally annoying how easy you can fall out of shape and what a drag it is to get it back again. Age doesn’t seem to help there either. Our bodies become so stubborn as we grow older. Urgh.

Oh and I got myself a gardenia. No flowers yet. Hope it stays green. Plants tend to die in my care. :(

I think I’m gonna brave the weather again and try our mamsha in jabria now. Later amigos.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

The Da Vinci Code?...Really?

So what's all this fuss about? There's nothing artistic about the telling of this novel. The search for the Holy Grail reveals many secrets and hidden stories to the grand-daughter of the leader of an organization whose main aim is to preserve the real story of Jesus; his humanity, as opposed to the Church's rendition of him as son of god. My 16 year old son, currently obsessed with finding codes and conspiracies within every feature of life naturally loved the book, as a code-breaking sort of game maybe. As for a novel, this book fails miserably. It's gripping indeed and you would want to finish exposing its codes, but that's about it.

OK and now I'm sounding a lot like my dad in his reaction to our visit to the Museum Der Moderne in Salzburg: THIS IS NOT ART

Side-note: Members in my book club, dwindling in size after my abandonment of it for a year, loved this book almost as much as my son did. Go figure :s Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Portrait of the Snail

ONCE upon a time and a very good time it was there was a girl who went on a family trip for 4 weeks...

Since the highlights of my trip have already been listed here , I think my after-vacation highlights will be on the books I managed to finish during. For now anyway. I might mention the trip later on. Italy is amazing. A family trip isn't.

I finally finished reading Portrait of the Artist by James Joyce. I'd read his Ulysses in a hurry for a course in Irish literature and my boring Irish teacher turned it into a wearisome book. Either that or I was too cramped with all that I had to read that a big book of beautiful verse caused me nothing but stress in trying to decipher its many allegories. Portrait is less elusive and more coherent. It reads like a dream, naturally, in a very Joycean manner, even when it's not a dream that Stephen is recalling, and those are many. It's one of those books that I would be willing to read again (as I would Ulysses...sigh...when I can actually find the time)

The German Snail is symbolic of how slow the 4 weeks passed, though how beautiful. I suck at symbolism, which explains why I struggled with Ulysses. J Posted by Picasa