Saturday, February 25, 2006

Analysis of a Blogger's Block

This can't be a writer's block because I can't claim to be a writer. Lately my blogging has diminished. I can find two main reasons for that:
1) There hasn't been anything interesting going around in my life lately.
2) I am becoming really busy.
3) Blogging no longer interest me.

Now to analyze these point:
1) assumes that what I have been rambling about previously was interesting. Searching through my recent blogs I found some on my trip to Albuquerque (that can't be interesting), my KG report (like who cares), the ugliest collage ever of some breakfast item ... you catching my drift? Lack of interesting things to write about has never been the case.

2) busy? but i manage to find time to go out, to watch lost, to teach, to watch desperate housewives, to chat aimlessly with friends ... so again, busy is not an excuse here.

3) I can't analyze three, because if you have been a careful reader you'd notice I said I can find two reasons for that, not three. So reason three does not exist.

Here now (and not 'here boy', my sister's not so loyal old cat) A post is made. Enjoy and good night.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Week One

Week one started last Saturday. My classes seem promising so far. I'm not very crazy about segregated classes, especially of girls only, so that one is already my least favorite. Too soon to judge of course, but my first impression is very promising so far.

Officially week one was last week. But since I was away and missed Saturday and Monday*, my students assumed I won't show up Wednesday as well.

* I spent Monday in London. Arriving at the hotel at 8:30 am, leaving it by 9, I took the Bakerloo line to Piccadilly Circus and walked from there to the fascinating National Gallery where I enjoyed the fastest tour ever inside a gallery, arriving 9:30 and leaving by 12:

After that I walked to Westminster Abbey, stopping for a quick picture of Big Ben:

Another fast tour, this time of the Abbey, lasting less than 2 hours.

By 3 pm I was starving so took the famous London taxi towards Harrods knowing that if I go there hungry, I'd shop for food and thus satisfy my need to buy something at Harrods, and at the same time not burden my budget by buying something from Harrods. So it was Pizza from their Pizzaria. Delicious.

By then I was totally and completely exhausted from lack of sleep ( I took a 5 hour sleep in the airplane getting there, but that was far from enough), so I took the underground again to the hotel for a nap.

Waking up, I took the Bakerloo line again to Piccadillly for some gift-shop hopping before going in for a fascinating night of Mama Mia:

London Baby :)

**Bader Ben Hirsi, director of The English Sheik and the Yemeni Gentleman, just left a comment on my blog of that title. Check it out if interested.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Albuquerque - Day 4

Picture taking was to its minumum today. This is my rendition of the San Felipe de Neri that I had on my February 5th post.

The church is in OldTown. I wasnt impressed with OldTown. Its not very old. Our Mubarakiya has more of an old look to it. Shops repeated same old Native American merchandise.

Later went to watch The White Countess. A bit on the dull side though it has some interesting moments. I don't really recommend it.

In 9 hours I head to the airport, so I better get some sleep now.

Albuquerque, 13 February, 1:05 am

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Albuquerque - Day 3

Hippie Town (Madrid) on the way to Santa Fe

Nedra Matteucci Galleries - Santa Fe

Sculpture Garden at Nedra

Lunch at Santa Fe

Loretto Chapel - Santa Fe

And thats all for today :)

Albuquerque, 10 February, 10:12 pm

Friday, February 10, 2006

Albuquerque - Day 2

Touring the city in the morning, my camera captured the following:

Casino in the middle of the desert. This is no Vegas, folks.
Winery: I was tempted to bring in a bottle of chocolate sauce with a hint of Cabernet. Would go perfectly well over some ice-cream or pie, or even as pancake syrup.

Statue at Botanic Gardens and Aquarium

Movie of the day: Brokeback Mountain. Wonderful story. Very much worth watching. Don't think they'd show it in Kuwait but oh well, long live piracy :)

Albuquerque, 9 February, 10:37 pm

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Albuquerque - Day 1

After a restless night in bed, I finally woke up and headed to register and collect conference material. Around 12, and after chatting with this and that, my stomache started to protest, reminding me that I have been neglectig her (or is it him?) for the last 21 hours. Happily, I followed my stomache to a cafe where she ordered me soup and sandwich. We were both happy and decided to take a nap after such a satisfying meal to make up for last night's restlessness.

Alas, the nap lasted longer than expected and by the time I was up I could only catch the last session of the day, one against Spivak's Subaltern*. No harm done. I can still enjoy the rest of the night, maybe catch a movie. When lo and behold, here I am acting the role of the speaking subaltern as soon as I open my mouth with the words: 'Kuwait, I teach at Kuwait University.' Question upon question came tumbling on my head: do you wear burga' at home? do you date? do you have alcohol? do you eat meat? do you breathe? do you sleep? do Kuwaitis have 2 ears, 2 eyes like us Westerners? I submitted to these questions, like I usually do, by telling them 'No, No bother at all, ask away'.
When the subaltern in me satisfied herself by speaking, I decided to shut her up by taking her to a good-old American thriller. I mean heck, we Kuwaitis can watch thriller too, can't we?

I wasn't thrilled, neither was my muted subaltern, nor my grumpy stomache. Other than a beautiful house, the movie** had nothing. Why is it that thrillers always come with a beautiful house? Are we not to fear and pity those who live in projects? Such an Aristotelian mentality***!!

On the way back to the hotel, a mere 5 minute walk I spotted this and the blogger in me said: 'hold on here, let me entertain my blogging community with the first picture of Albuquerque downtown' I indulged, here's the result:

Church at 3rd and Tijeras.

And now me, stomache, subaltern, blogger and all are tucked in bed hoping to catch more sessions tomorrow.

*Spivak's "Can the Subaltern Speak" basically argues that no, she/he cannot speak, since speech utilizes the hegemonic colonial discourse which makes them speechless to begin with. So by speaking the language of the west, we become Westerners and thus our words are not those of the subaltern anymore.

**Movie: When A Stranger Calls.

***Aristotle tells us that the best tragedies are those with noble heros.

Albuquerque, 9 February, 1:19 am

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Leaving on a Jet Plane

Leaving to Albuquerque, New Mexico this Tuesday. It's gonna be one hell of a trip. 3 flights, a total of 21 hours to get there. I hope Panadol night does the trick and puts me to sleep for at least 6 hours of my 9 hour Frankfurt/Chicago flight. Of course knowing me, the thing that is most likely to keep me up is my getting really really cold in those damned airplanes. Stacking up on layers of clothing won't help either, it'd only make me uncomfortable.

Now enough whining. I plan to spend a full day and night in London on the way back, so should be arriving home totally rejuvenated. I hope :/

San Felipe de Neri, Albuquerque.

Westminster Abbey, London.