Monday, December 24, 2007

On the beach

The beach in summer is an amazing place. To swim. To tan.
But the beach in winter is just breathtakingly exquisite.
Especially when you're at this pier that extends into the water, almost lost to the world.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Scattered thoughts

In the process of moving to a new place, remodeling needs an effort on my part that I am not willing to make. Excited about moving closer to my family (that's absolutely funny if you know how close my current house is), but not so excited about the actual moving day. So I make my choices in a rush. This color's fine, this bathroom fixture's fine, this piece of furniture's fine, this wall's fine. Just get it done with.

My eldest brother just moved into his new house. His first house away from the family. While excited about their new home, I can't help but feel things changing. And I'm not sure I like the change. It isn't anything negative. It just feels like the beginning of a new type of life for them, and by extension, for the rest of their family: us. Not willing to completely let them go, our visits to their house extend longer than we plan. We seem to agree that there is a certain amount of comfort and relaxation during the time we spend there. We're making their new home our home somehow. At least I am. (I've long claimed a certain corner to be mine, and I am not joking about that)

Deciding to enjoy the weather, pushed to do so by an invisible book club member, I decided to take my book club to Shuwaikh Beach. The weather was enjoyable. Talk about the book was scanty. Leo the African seems too historical, and maybe too dense for my current book club members. They demand lighter books. But I am not anxious to take it a notch down. Thinking of dismantling this book club.

My eldest is coming home for a visit. It's his first year away from home. His first time to leave 'the nest'. Luckily we have the Eid vacation coming up just in time so I can spend time with him. Of course that is assuming he'd actually give his family any attention :)

Friday, November 30, 2007

Is culture officially dead in Kuwait?

Should we worry? Preparations are already under way for our English Day activities. Auditions started. Certain plays already approved.

My last post was about a cultural activity held by NCCAL, and about the scarcity of such activities in Kuwait. Now a simple student activity at the College of Business Administration is canceled, and I'm beginning to worry that our department activity might be the next target.

It seems Soug El-7amam hamsters and kittens are indeed as much culture as is allowed in this country.

A dream I had last night about losing a loved one is still haunting me. Why is it that emotions provoked by a matter of pure imagination stick to you like reality no matter how much you tell yourself it's just a dream?

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

رفيق علي أحمد

Lately I've been away from the cultural scene in Kuwait. Not that we actually have one in here, but I just used to tune in to more of these meager activities. Tonight, as I canceled a movie outing, I decided to make up for it by attending this monologue. Going to the theatre, I didn't really expect much. It's one of those activities organized by NCCAL, and although I am sometimes entertained by their choice of material, it's been a while since they brought something that really interested me.

That is until tonight. This is not one of those elaborately maintained shows. As with most monologues, this is a simple act that depends mostly on the actor himself. Rafik Ali Ahmad did a wonderful job entertaining his audience with a flare of comedy that hides behind it the dismal situation in Lebanon, among other tragedies (aging and its effect on men was a dominant theme).

Dinner at Le Notre after the show was the perfect ending to my night.

(An early trip to Soug El-7amam, in spite of a flat tire on the way there, was how my cultural experience started today :)

I'm too sleepy to read what I wrote. If you don't like, dont continue.
I'm also too lazy to add pictures. Use your imagination to fill them in. :)

Update: I just received a picture of a friend we made at Soug El-7amam.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Why I couldn't Mac

I'm now back to Windows. This is such an ugly interface. I miss my Mac.
Now let me list my reasons for going back, retreating, downgrading to Windows:
1. Though iWork, NeoOffice and other Mac programs have a more advanced looking interface, they lack a simple feature: You can not choose to automatically save a portion of the sheet every time you save the file. How am I to keep updating my students' grades?
2. Though Frontpage is becoming obsolete (or so every one is telling me), I was not able to find an easier to use publishing program that allows you to save your webpage on your harddrive and, again, to automatically save as information there is updated.
3. The edit feature in other programs conflict with the word programs my students send me. As such, I see mistakes in format that are not there in the original, Windows files created by my students.
4. Video-conferencing, though more advanced with iChat and Skype, does not work on Mac with Messenger. Most people still use Messenger.
5. networking Mac with Windows does not seem easy. I could not access other computers and once that was managed, I had trouble accessing the printer on my PC.

So now I'm a Windows person again, regretfully, unfortunately.

I hate Windows.I'm liking Jack Savoretti. Thank you Sou. Here's one of my favorites: Blackrain

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

بيان (أو جابرية - كيفكم) ... ملييييييييقة

القبس - اليوم - صفحة ٦٧

الوالد العزيز - المصحح اللغوي بالفطرة - كان لازم يعلق
المشكلة إن البيان صادر من مؤسسات تعليمية
بس يللا - نبلعها .... والا ما نبلعها؟

Leaving to Ohio, with a quick stop in Texas, next week. Taboon shay?

p.s. when did we start using maleeqa o halagah? new in our vocabulary, aren't they?

و بعد ب. س. مو عاجبني البيان

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

The Insignificant Somebody*

I woke up on a gloomy Monday morning with one side of my face pressed on the cold interior of a dumpster I called home. It was strewn with various possessions and a good smattering of rubbish. Pigeon feathers, apple cores and sweet wrappers littered the edges decoratively while old toys lay higgledy-piggledy among the tangled rags of worn-out clothes, and a mess of newspapers, partially covering me, sat in a puddle of light coming from a lonely, stray ray of sunlight. The rats of the night scurried off for cover while I, the dominator of the garbage heap, heaved myself on two weak legs, each the size of a slightly overgrown chopstick, to start a new day.

By midday business was booming. I had stationed myself near a famous café where most middle-class people would have breakfast before hurrying off to their diverse jobs. Numerous individuals took pity on me and spared me a few round coins and on rare occasions crumpled bank notes were sometimes whipped out. However a certain individual's picture stuck out as clear as glass in my mind, though it was not very pleasant. I had, unfortunately, chose the wrong day to walk up to a man who seemed extremely agitated, grinding his teeth as he stood there steaming. He looked up at me as I approached, his face was beaded with sweat although it was quite a chilly afternoon. He wiped his eyebrow with a white-gloved hand, pushing along as he did so, some of long greasy hair out of his face. A pair of thin spectacles sat upon his crooked nose, his nostrils flared at the sight of me. I extended my arm, without really expecting anything, to produce a chipped mug that was stained with dirt and gently rattled it. Without realizing what had hit me, a split second later the man had jumped to his feet, and had spat a relatively large amount of saliva in my direction, which hit me directly in the face and started dribbling downwards like cold, raw egg-white. He had then stalked off at a quick pace muttering furiously under his breath.

Night swam across the sky, as I huddled up in a corner, covering myself with filthy rags that had a sick grey tinge with striking resemblance to the colour of my unshaven and exhausted face. I rested my head on the window of the shop where I had decided to sleep. Minutes later, my head lolled over as I gave a huge grunt and my face was pressed against the window. The misty fug my breath had left on the window sparkled and reflected the glare of the orange street lamp, casting me into a world where I was not known, but just a ghost, just a nobody, just a beggar.

*story by Disturbed Stranger

Saturday, October 06, 2007

forgive and forget? really?

I've been neglecting this blog lately. I used to be more of an avid blog keeper before, back when I was blogging incognito. But Kuwait is small, and now everyone knows everyone in blogger. To top it all, many of my readers are students of mine. So social decorum had to be kept if only for that purpose :)

But enough of that. Kaify. It's my blog. I can write whatever I want here. Personal and disgruntled writing is part of the reason I started a blog anyway. So to my dear readers, I implore you, what you read here is personal. I am indeed 'airing my laundry' here. And though you are privy to my blog airing of that laundry, don't be complete asses and take it out of blogger. And to my dear friends and family (and students?), if I lash out on you here, you are only allowed to lash back here. Schizophrenics have always fascinated me. And in light of that, I am inventing for myself a schizo personality here on blogger, separate from my real identity. Don't mix up the two.

Now that the lengthy intro has been dealt with (shda3wa kil hatha. Just get to the point already), we move to the topic of this post: forgiveness (quite a Ramadaani topic, won't you agree?)

Now watch this for a break (and animated rendition of Edgar Allan Poe's "The Cask of Amontillado":

I'm always haunted by my inability to forget injury. And it haunts me most when I find it in others. I can't accept it then.
يعني حلال علي وحرام على غيري؟

What if someone told you they forgive and forget (your injury to them), do you believe them? If I hold a grudge, why would I not expect it from others? If I hold a grudge, how can I understand other people's ability to let go?

كل يرى الناس بعين طبعه
And 6ab3ee is that I can't forget, even if I act as though I've forgiven.

I won't go as far as Montresor and burry my Fortunato alive in my wine-seller (come to think of it, I don't have a wine-celler. Will have to settle for a basement that is no basement at all), but I am known - if only to myself, a few friends, and the blog community :) - to hold grudges. I'm not totally proud it it. But it's human nature;
my human nature. As such, I am not ashamed of it either. Of course this is blurred by my 'other' human nature: keeping pretenses. So if you ever cross my path, I'd be as good as Montresor in acting civil with you (but only to lure you into my cellar and bury you alive maybe?).

How's Ramadan treating you? Giving rise to any of your demons? Amazing what repression can do.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

One more laish

Why are all Kuwaitis presented in our TV shows as these vulgar, hailag, difasha people? Constant portrayal of these vulgarities as the norm, even if meant to criticize such behavior, is promoting a behavioral pattern that is already in the rise here.
Working on my syllabi and other minor preparations for the term, I've been sitting on my *** (see!!! It's already rubbing off on me) for the last 3 hours with the TV on: 2 shows in AlWatan (Al-wazeera & 3ers Al-dam) and 1 in Dubai TV (Al-Kharraz). The result: here I am using *** in my blog. Point well-proven. Now let me move to the next point.

I just finished reading Middlesex, and here's my two-cents:
Middlesex is the story of a boy who was born a girl, or rather, born with his male parts 'tucked in' remaining un-noticed by the family's old doctor until the girl turns 14 and discovers she's a he.
Now aside from the interesting psychological and gender perplexities presented here, the novel presents a new look at Greek Americans, an ethnic category that I have so far escaped in my literature (Aside from the glimpse in the recent, hilarious My Big Fat Greek Wedding). But aside also from the informative nature of a novel that is both cultural and psychological, the author (same author for The Virgin Suicides. ٌٌٌYou might have seen the movie. Coppola's daughter directed it) manages to create a narrator whose voice is really captivating.
If those Kuwaiti shows leave you on the verge of craziness, pick up the book. I promise you similar juice (there's a brother/sister marriage in there to keep your perverted interest peeked :) Anyone here remembers the Flowers in the Attic series?)

Saturday, September 15, 2007

ليشات رمضانية

ليش الصلال مو راضي ياخذ فلوس من بنته عشان دراسة بناته الباقين؟ يعني كرامته أهم من تعليم بناته؟
ليش عالية شعيب قاعدة تمثل؟ ملت من التدريس؟
ليش فيمتو بيتنا وايد حالي؟
ليش آنا ليلحين مو قادرة آضبط برنامج دريم ويفر على الوب سايت مالي؟
ليش فرح ما تحب اللحوم الحمرا؟ شايفة ألايف لما كانت صغيرة؟
ليش الكتب اللي طلبتها للكورس الأول ما وصلت لحد الحين؟
ليش الواحد مرات يحس بغلقة حزة المغرب؟
و أهم ليش فلسفية جننت قلوب العذارى و الغير عذارى: ليش الدياية عبرت الشارع؟

هذي مو فوازير رمضان. هذي ليشات رمضانية تراودني (حلوة هذي تراودني؟) وأنا ناطرة الفطور عشان مشتهية رهش.

وسلامتكم ومبارك عليكم الشهر

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Segregation again...Diwaniya

Al-Onaizi: “men should always come first, then the woman.”

I didn't hear this one myself when I watched the re-run of Dr. Ghabra's Diwaniya yesterday. I wasn't able to stay tuned as Al-Onaizi kept going around in circles, failing to answer questions directly, and swaying away from the main topic (If this was one of the papers my students present, I'd have OFF-POINT written all over the pages)
Did he actually say men should come first? or is this taken out of contest?

School's starting soon, and segregation will again present itself as a hurdle in assigning classes to teachers. I just had to add a boys only class to our schedule to cater for the need of probably 2 or 3 students when I have other classes that hold 10 students over the limit with some still on the waiting list. In a department that is predominantly female, it becomes almost impossible to maintain segregation. Our literature male students are even fewer in number than our linguistics ones which means that many of them have to spend more years in college that they should just to be able to find the classes they need.

As we promote classroom discussions and student interaction in the knowledge-learning process, classes of 2-3 students seem to be a barrier hard to cross. Small classrooms are usually easier to handle in terms of discussions, with everyone given the chance to participate. But 2-3 students is not a classroom. It's private tutoring. And the rules for private tutoring do not hold for classroom discussions that should promote an interactive, debate-based discussion. 2-3 student classrooms means teachers have to resort to lecturing, so we're back to students listening, teachers speaking, exams being proof of the students ability to memorize what the teachers says in class.

So much for liberal/creative thinking.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Friday, August 17, 2007


I am sitting in the porch, waiting for my chicken to cook so we can eat. Waiting for time to pass so we can go to the movies. It’s humid after the rain. We’re having two more days of rain according to the weather forecast so my mornings by the pool have to be postponed.
And as I lazily sit here killing time, I decide it’s time to post something here.

My first-born “ice-ice-baby-boy” leaves the nest for the first time. I accompany him to the place he will call home for the next four years. And as I launch him into his new life, as I help him prepare his new home and get familiar with his new school, I am left with some not-so-typical emotions.
I am not worried about him. I am not worried about what might happen as he lives on his own in a place miles and miles away from home. I am not worried about missing him. My joy at seeing him reach this stage overshadows any negative feelings that might come with his approaching vacant spot in my house. I am happy for him.

I am often asked how I feel about this, with the expected answer being something along the lines of “I can’t believe my boy is leaving the house, living on his own. I am gonna miss him so much. I don’t know how I can handle his absence from the house and I am so worried about leaving him to tend for himself.”
And occasionally, I fake such answer (I am, when the occasion demands, quite good at...hmmmm...faking it?)
But the truth of the situation is that I am simply happy for him, with no worries whatsoever (Overconfidence that I raised him well enough to be up for the challenge? Lack of proper motherly emotions? Inability to come to grips with the actual situation? It didn’t hit me yet?)

So for now, my worries now are 2:
1. Chicken here is so damn huge, will it cook in time? (why did I decide to cook tonight? What’s wrong with the restaurant food we’ve been munching at for the past 10 days? Playing mother?)
2. I hope I don’t get bored out of my mind as the boys and I go watch Superbad tonight. (Another fake attempt to be motherly maybe?)

OK enough of that. I am not a fake. My mere acknowledgment of the fact that I ‘fake’ it is proof that I am a very very honest person ;)

Ciao y’all.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Food & Movies

Can you think of a movie that doesn't include a food or drink scene?
In a lazy family hangout yesterday, after a brunch of fool (which explains the thickness in the head) we spent hours trying to come up with movies that do not have food/drink scenes.
Our search was not successful.
صج ما عندنا سالفة

I think I have an obsession with food, among my other obsessions of course. But at least my food obsession is justifiable. It runs in the family. Even among my friends food is a constant topic of discussion.
ناس فجعانين كما يقول الوالد العزيز

My sister just proved me right in the middle of writing this post when she asked for dessert in the same breath that she's telling us she's leaving to have lunch with friends. faj3aneen indeed.

Now this cheesecake is right in front of me and I'm finding it hard to resist. I'm hoping my mom wouldn't offer me a piece. I know I wouldn't say no.

Are you often trapped into saying yes when what you want to say is no? Why would you say it? Why would you agree to do something when you wish to disagree? Or are you one of those unyielding people who never bend?

Thursday, July 19, 2007

A day at Om ElMaradim

Weather was great. Company fun. Music just right.

N looking for shells

Y enjoying the water

Feet bathing in the sun/sand :)

Thank you Y & A for lending us your boat.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Galatea at Mishrif

I just came back from Mishrif, where a group of young men and women performed an adaptation of the Pygmalion/Galatea myth. It was a fun show; light, humorous, and entertaining. The music was well-chosen and lively at times. This is a group of amateurs who seem to have put a lot of effort to present us with this show.
I forgot to take my camera so these here are not good quality pictures.
The show is on again tomorrow, Thursday, at 8. if you get the chance, go watch it. It's a 1 hour show worth your time.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Unattainable Freedom

Stillness and silence drenched the atmosphere. The only sounds that broke that silence were the pounding of her heart and her uncontrollable panting. Her chest heaved and fell restlessly. Shaking on the outside but frozen on the inside. Her eyes were fixated on the innate figure that lay unconsciously before her. She did not dare blink, in case she lost sight of him. Is he dead? Not a chance. Was this her chance? Her chance for escape? Can she escape? Possibly. But…. Did she really want to? She wasn't panicking but she was utterly confused.
After a while of thinking…'processing'… she finally built up the courage to take a step forward. Nothing happened. He did not move. Another step. She was close now. Closer to her freedom… and closer to him. Her chains clinked as she moved slowly. She kneeled down beside the motionless figure with a single thought on her mind… keys. She noticed his bulky pocket and could not help but feel a chill of excitement! Reaching for his pocket her heart sank. She could feel the keys… clutching them, she withdrew her hand gently with a jingle and quickly retreated to her former position.
She fumbled with the keys hesitantly until…Click! Unlocked. Freedom?! Immobile, she gazed at the door…then the corpse. Should I tiptoe? Not wanting to waste any more precious time thinking…she rushed for the door…the exit…the opportunity. And as she was passing, the figure unexpectedly seized her ankle and toppled her over. Still clasping her ankle, he pulled her underneath him and lay on top of her.
"If I didn't know any better I'd say you didn't like it here"
He smirked.
She squirmed.
"You're not going anywhere…I promise you that."

*story by Disturbed Stranger
Part I:
Reluctance vs. Submission
Part II:
Subconscious Desires
Part III:
Not Surrender

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Higher Ed Coaster

Sometime in April, I contacted Higher Ed to process my son's papers. They tell me the admission letter is not enough and I should contact them again when his High School diploma is out so they contact DC to get the final approval.
Early June. Diploma ready, I submit all his papers, only to be informed that they could've contacted the Cultural Office in DC with his admission letter only (Now did they not know that before?). I am told to wait a week or two for a reply from DC.
After 2 weeks of constant phone calls to a line that is mostly not answered I find out that there is still no word from DC.
Doubting, rather too late, that they might not have even sent the papers, I call the Cultural Office in DC only to hear that they have not received anything regarding my son. I ask whether I can fax them the papers. But of course they need an official cover letter :)
I contact High Ed this morning ready to flip at them (I hold my peace knowing that would only get them even less cooperative) and they confirm that fax has been sent, showing a paper with a stamp "faxed" as proof. Yup. Proof indeed.
It's almost mid-July and we leave the country early August.

This is the easiest chapter of my life on a roller coaster.

The rest is too roller coastery for a blog :)
So I leave you with silly jokes.

Who Why do the French eat snails?
Because they don't like fast food.

What do you say to a dead robot?
Rust in peace pieces.

And a by-now family classic:
Why is six afraid of seven?
Because seven eight nine.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Not Surrender

Surrender. Is it an option? She would never consider it. She never gave up on anything. But being there… in his arms… so close. The closeness… It was different. NO. It didn't matter, she was held there against her will. A prisoner. A prisoner of her own thoughts. A prisoner to her own feelings. A prisoner.
He looked at her blank face staring into the distance behind him. Her pupils dilated. Her lips slightly quivering.
"What's on your mind?"
Nothing. No reaction. She did not budge.
"Hey," he gave her a light nudge, "you look at me when I'm talking to you".
Again, nothing. She did not respond…or did she choose to ignore? He looked at her and smirked. He knew how to get to her. He knew how to provoke her. He knew he knew her. He moved his lips closer towards her, she flinched abruptly. He stopped for a moment… then slowly moved closer, shifting his lips previous aim for her lips, to her ear. She froze. His hand lay on her waist, pressing her closer against him as his other hand clutched one of her frail arms. Then he started his despicable game. Whispering.
Minutes passed… she grew unstable. Twitching. Wriggling. Struggling. His hand released its firm clutch of her arm and decided to tame her, finding its way through her upper body… and finally resting on her neck. A firmer clutch. His thumb stroked her cheek caressly. She was uneasy and his whispering was getting to her… trying her patience… she couldn't take it anymore…Enough! Suddenly she gave a loud cry and pushed him back with all her might… And with a loud thud he hit the stone wall and fell to the ground…

*story by Disturbed Stranger
Part I: Reluctance vs. Submission
Part II: Subconscious Desires

Sunday, June 17, 2007

A Shallow Post

Summer started. The heat tends to kill those few brain cells I have left. So my summer posts will/shall be as shallow as can be.

After having debated on whether or not to buy a Mac, and after being encouraged, insisted upon, nagged upon, continuously convinced that I should go for it, I decided to go for it. I will be Mac'ed soon.

My one Lit class got bombarded by my presentation of course info and other technical details for 2 days. Tomorrow I move to more mind-numbing details regarding writing skills.

I saw Shrek a few days back. Did they actually cut the kissing scene between an ogre and his ogre wife?

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Exams and Desires

My last creative post was caused by my inability to function (i.e., my being dry and unable to create my own post).
This post is here now because blogging is just more interesting that writing exams and correcting papers.
So here's part two of my last creative post (not mine as in my creation, mine only by means of me publishing it here, but mine either way)

Subconscious Desires*

The dark figure seemed satisfied. Pleasures of domination. Staring at her with the utmost superiority, he smirked. She looked up at him helplessly. But there was something not quite reassuring about the look she gave. Speculation.

"What?" he inquired.
And without further warning she jerked back her head and let out the 'liquid' she had refused to swallow, onto her 'target' successfully. Revenge. The dark figure grew impatient, however, still maintaining his awkwardly false smirk.

"What did you do that for?" There was a pint of anger in his tone yet no hesitation whatsoever. He moved closer towards her. That agitated her. She started to shake uncontrollably…Not out of fright…but tension. She moved backwards until her back was hardly pressed against the cold stone wall. Clinking, her chains tangled as she wriggled her feet feebly.

"stop it" she finally managed to utter under her breath, "don't come any closer".

The figure let out a monstrous laugh that echoed through the stony hallways. The voice shook her. Her heart sank…but she did not panic. Not for a moment. Instead, she looked at him boldly and with such confidence that intensified his fretfulness.

He made a grab at her. She did not struggle as he pulled her closer to him. She could feel the heat given off by his body and as much as her mind told her she detested him… it aroused her subconsciously.

"Don't come closer?" he whispered callously in her ear, "But you're mine…"

*Check out Part 1: Reluctance vs. Submission

Sunday, June 03, 2007

My Magna Cum Laude

12 years ago, he wore his first graduation gown at his KG graduation.
Last night, he wore a similar gown for his high school graduation.
Bader, I am so proud of you.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

"Thus spake my Zarathustra"

I'm Running dry. No ideas for new posts. So I decided to consult a muse from among my recent blog visitors. The name Disturbed Stranger seems to go well with my latest disturbed movie post. So here's a disturbed stranger's story:

Reluctance vs. Submission

It was dark. It was quiet. It was cold. It was damp. It was dead. The touch of the cold iron chains against her smooth, sensitive skin sent shots of shivers up and down her spine. Quivers. The rattling of the chains echoed back and forth on the thick 16th century stone walls, other than the crawling and squeaking of unknown varmints…that…was the only sound heard 50 feet underground in the cellar: The Dungeon.

But there was no one there to hear but her. Alone. Sinking in her sorrow. Alone. Her warm tears flushed down her cheeks. But she made no sound, for it insulted her to cry. She was not crying. Was it an involuntary necessity to discharge excess liquid? Perhaps. Suddenly, a lonely overhead light bulb lit. However, it was still dim. Rattling of keys came from behind the massive wooden door. There was a jolt at the huge metal lock. Unlocked. The door opened with a creak, sounds of footsteps were approaching her. Her heart started pounding with each step. She clasped her knees to her chin. The footsteps stopped. She looked up, squinting. There stood, blocking the light, the silhouette of a well-built figure. The dark figure stretched out his arm and murmured, “Drink this.” She was frightened. Very frightened. But confident.“Take it,” the voice insisted.“No,” she fired back and turned her head to the side.

“No?” The voice mocked. The figure bent down, supporting his weight on his feet and brought his face close to hers. He lifted the cup closer to her lips. She gave a rejecting sound and turned her face to the other side. The figure gave a grunt and made a sudden grab at her hair, pulling it back, exposing her face and neck.

“Do we have to do this every time?” Her eyes were tearing up. He brought the cup close to her lips, again. She drank.“Good girl” he whispered and planted a kiss on her wet lips. A tear ran down her cheek.


Saturday, May 19, 2007

Perfume & Dust

I just watched Perfume: The Story of a Murderer. A recommendation from Purg about 4 months ago. It took so long to get to watch it as I was distracted by Octavian and Grey and Sawyer and Gabrielle.
Now Perfume. A brilliantly grotesque movie that told me you need to kill 13 beautiful women to get people to worship you and eventually devour you. All it takes is a sense of smell equal to a hound dog.

Quite disturbing. You gotta watch it.

But then if you want to be publicly disturbed, I would suggest Disturbia. Not half as good. But worth a watch if you feel like braving the crowds and going to our noisy malls. A movie about a 'disturbed' man being watched by a voyeuristic teenage neighbour.

With the semester coming to an end, I'm dreading the lengthy summer. Spoiled by teaching every other day, the summer daily teaching load is always a hassle. But after 7 weeks of daily torture the vacation arrives (and with it, another kind of torture).
How are you enjoying the dust this weekend?

Monday, May 07, 2007

Shisha-induced Thoughts

I smell like shisha. I used to really hate that stuff. (Relics of an ex-relationship that is only now fading away) Now I'm finding it easier to handle spending time with shisha smokers. The minty flavor of tonight's shisha actually appealed to me. I hope this doesn't develop into a smoking habit. I hate smokers :) (Not my sister of course, she can indulge all she wants in her phallic symbols, I still love her)

Reading Morrison's nobel lecture in class, and forcing a deep analysis of a bird in the hands of kids, I finally agreed with a student that sometimes Ignorance is bliss.
Who came up with such atrocity? Ignorance is never bliss. Now knowledge might be a disaster. You might not accept that knowledge. Hell, you might even hate that knowledge. But does that make ignorance such a bliss?
I would always prefer knowing to not knowing. Even if knowing can cause a turmoil within me.
Besides, I'm a caring (or is it curious?) person by nature. So naturally I always want to know.

A simple lunch with sisters and cousins is never a simple lunch :) Laish il fathayi7? And why is it that we seem more willing to talk about our lives in the midst of crowds of people while in the comfort of each other's houses, with no eavesdroppers, we tend to be reserved? (We is my cousins and I, so if this doesn't apply to you, my dear reader, mo lazim) It is as though we believe that the noise will dim our secrets and distort the full image we are presenting into a distorted, fragmented one, more easy to accept than a full and unified picture.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Monday, April 02, 2007

الصبيح من دون ملفع أوحجاب

the paternalism that claims woman for hearth and home defines her as sentiment, inwardness, immanence. ... when one offers the existent no aim, or prevents him from attaining any, or robs him of his voctory, then his transcendence falls vainly into the past--that is to say, falls back into immanence. This is the lot assigned to women in the patriarchate. ... To identify Woman with Altruism is to guarantee to man absolute rights in her devotion, is it to impose on women a categorical imperative. (Simone de Beauvoir)

Imagine what would've happened if the minister of education walked into the parliament with her head 'forcefully' covered.
Imagine being told that you have to cover your head to walk into your office, to walk into your classroom, to go shopping, to go out for dinner, to walk on the beach ...
Imagine being told that you can't go into your office because it is shared by a male colleague, you can't go to class because it is not fuly segregated, you can't go shopping or walk on the beach because your place is at home.

Why imagine? It does not seem so far-fetched at this stage, does it?

I salute our Minister of Education for her refusal to give in, for taking the oath with her hair revealed (the shame! the disgrace!), in the midst of yells and screams of those ignorant MP's

Monday, March 19, 2007

Due Date (the approved version)

I still haven't finished the book which I postponed our meeting to finish. Over 300 pages left to read in 2 days. Doable, but unlikely.

I have to go register to the NBK marathon but driving into Salmiya at this hour is not an attractive idea, so I'm procrastinating by blogging.

I'm hungry and my stomach makes very loud demands when I'm hungry. That can be a real annoyance at times. I fed it a damn peanut butter and jelly sandwich but it still groans and moans. So I decided not to submit to it. If it throws temper tantrums to get what it wants, I have to teach it a lesson. No food for you until you hush.

I would satisfy it by a visit to my favorite restaurant, except that lately the service at Le Notre has been deteriorating noticeably. Food is still good, but those waiters are clueless.

So it's patience my noisy stomach. You shall be fed once I'm done doing what I'm doing.

I can eat cereal any time of the day. Can you?

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Due Date

Dearest Swair already posted on this act of KU dumbness. And I plead guilty of this act.

Unfortunately, this poster, brilliant as it is, will not be on display on the esteemed walls of the Faculty of Arts. The reasons: It will cause tongues to wag, eyebrows to be raised, drawing unnecessary attention to our day. I wasn't told not to use it, but I was adviced to choose my battles wisely. Not all publicity is good publicity. And I caved in.

Personally, I still fail to see the big deal here. It's a pregnant woman. Women do get pregnant occasionally. What's controversial about that?

* Poster was done at KU printers and picture shot by my phone camera. So quality isn't as good as the one I received from the designer.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

The Time Traveler’s Wife

We read The Time Traveler’s Wife this month. The whole boy meets girl scenario is confused here. 36 year old boy time travels to where 6 year old girl lives with her family. (The actual difference between the two is 8 years) He tells her that in the future she will be his wife. During the next 12 years of girl’s life, boy keeps ‘visiting’ her from different time frames and by the time girl is 18, she is totally into boy. Now you tell me how messed up is this?

My reading group was split. Some saw boy as the Romeo of our time, while others thought our Romeo was manipulating our Juliet. I thought it was a fun book to read in terms of how the writer arranged the chapters and kept us captivated. The dialogues are at time boring, but mostly appealing and rather significant in their simplicity. But I thought boy is one messed up kid who started time traveling at the age of 5 and by the time boy is 15, we read this:
“I’m in my bedroom with my self. He’s here from next March. We are doing what we often do when we have a little privacy, when it’s cold out, when both of us are past puberty and haven’t quite gotten around to actual girl yet. I think most people would do this, if they had the sort of opportunities I have. I mean, I’m not gay or anything.”

And our messed up kid decided to mess up another kid in the process.

But think of the potential this would offer. If you know your future husband/wife, you would time travel to when they were kids, and mold them any way you wish. So by the time they are old enough to be ‘enjoyed’ (because our noble hero is no pedophile and he refuses to touch our girl until she turns 18), they have been totally shaped the way you want them. What a delightful idea.

My travels plans aren’t coming through. I think I will just end up using the holiday to relax. I am in dire need of this. These last few weeks, or months(?), were rather hectic. Were? Are. They are still going. But I like hectic. I like busy. Between classes, preparation for English Day, book club, and timetable hassles, I am left with barely enough time to watch my current TV addiction: McDreamy meets McSteamy is where I’m at right now. And Lost is back so we have that as well.

I am still on the look for keyboards that we can rent for use during our rehearsals for and at the actual English Day. These things are not so easy to come by. But the rest is going smoothly. Plays are being rehearsed, stage being checked and everyone is doing a wonderful job preparing for this day.

Thursday, February 01, 2007


There’s a piano somewhere at KU that I’m trying to locate. I heard we had some kind of a tiny music room somewhere in the hidden niches of our esteemed university. But finding it might be a problem. Can you actually lose a piano?

University policy dictates that new orders on books have to go through department council to actually be approved, after which an order is submitted, and pending the university budget, I might or might not be getting the books by March which is when I’d be needing them. Our department is on vacation now so nothing can be done till February 10th which would definitely be too late. Now you might ask why I haven’t done that before. And the answer would be that I’m a procrastinator. Lazy and laid back and always leaving things till the last moment. So what to do? I might have to ask students to either get the books online or make copies of them, which I really hate doing.

.....Paris or Rome?

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Solitaire, hair, rain and work

I forgot to take my coffee mug to the classroom to entertain me during those most dull 2 hours of my teaching: exam time. So what does dear teacher do? Use the class computer to play solitaire and minesweep. Well it's an essay exam anyway so I don't really have to watch them like a hawk :)

The rain makes my hair look frizzy. And sometimes, just sometimes, I like that. Frizzy hair is hot. Just like long legs. Any relation between the two? No relation needed.

Spring terms resolution: less writing assignments, more time to work on my own projetcs. I pulled a similar resolution this fall: Less playing with the syllabus, stick to some old material so there will be more time to work on my own projects. But then I drowned myself with committees and other administrative jobs. When will I learn? More me time, less them time. ( I should learn from an old friend of mine. Me time is really limited in my life)

Have fun with this. Test this file out with a few people. Who can hear it? Who can't? Click here