Tuesday, December 18, 2007

almost there...

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Au Revoir

It's a sad day in my b'sphere. Today I have to say goodbye to the feeling of anticipation of reading new posts by someone I really admired, for many reasons, as he will no longer be writing in his blog. Your rants and raves will be missed, funny man.

Let's wave our farewell to our dear friend over here.

See you soon x

Friday, November 30, 2007

I am dusting off my Chipmunk's Christmas Special CD as we speak...

Jinga ling ling, Christmas time is coming up. The lights are up, shoppers are going crazy and all is jolly and merry in the air. As I sit, wrapped in my scarf in this cold glass building, I sneak peeks at the Christmas fair that has gone up outside Potters Field and feel a bit better about the winter chill... Little children appear out of no where (don't they have school to go to?) and everyone rushes out in their lunch break to buy some mince pies and Christmas cards. The best thing about winter in this country is Christmas time, the whole city lights up and there's something special in the air... I love watching the lights go up, this year I especially like the Art Deco lights of Regent's street and not very impressed by Oxford Street this year. I am certainly most impressed by the decorations in our flat...

Our tree was bought last year when my flatmate went out to get a "small little jobbie from Waitrose" and came back with a huge 6 foot (fake) tree with a trunk full of decorations. She had a sparkle in her eye and infected me with Christmasitis, we had a ball putting up decorations. I always liked Christmas decorations, but I suppose coming from a place where we don't really celebrate Christmas I was initially shocked by how far my flatemate goes to decorate the flat. I'm not just talking christmas lights, a tree and some baubles - I'm talking mini little snow topped cottages on our tree skirt and plushy beefeaters, as well as a few Christmas doggy ornaments and the special coffee mugs that come out every winter. Every night we get a chance to settle on the couch to watch some tv, the first thing we do is put on the Christmas lights on the window, light up the tree, and then sit in the relatively dark living room to relax. We always have to have the tree up before SinterKlaas (my flatmate is Belgian) and we must on the night of the 5th of December put out a carrot and a drink for Santa and his horse (yes, we're not 4, but before she wakes up I make sure there are some chocolate gold coins in my flatmate's shoes... and to my surprise, when I wake up the carrot and drink are gone! Must be a Christmas miracle...).

In the office there hasn't been much of a Christmas feel until today - the day of our Christmas Ball. The jolly admin staff have already sent around an email to notify us that we cannot ruin our brand new building in any way, so we are not allowed to hang Christmas decorations - well, at all. I mean, we can put some our desks but what fun is that? Let me tell you, the secretaries are not pleased.... This means nothing from the ceiling, no fake snow on the windows, no snow flakes or little christmas teddies anywhere. I understand it's not professional, but come on... it's Christmas... and if I can't have office decorations, well then Ricky Gervais lied to me in The Office. Hmph. Scrooges.

This is our busiest time of year in my department so I haven't had much time to do any Christmas shopping or go to a Christmas Fayre, but I will make time soon enough. Although last year I had the pleasure of spending Christmas with two of my dearest friends, I've opted to go back home and spend this time of year with my family, especially my nieces. If anything, Christmas is for them (how funny for me to say "them" and not "her"... there's two of them now!) so I want to go back and just be with them... I now wonder what I would have done if I had to spend Christmas here alone (probably working) - Although it is a lovely time of year, it's the most lonely if you'd have to spend it by yourself and that I am not planning on doing... No sirree...

And while we're at it, I feel like I should put up my Christmas Wishlist for those of you who are stuck for ideas:

1. An iPod that will not die after a few months of serious usage, can hold all my photos, my music, tell me the weather, pull up maps of dingy side streets when I'm lost, look pretty... basically, an iPhone.
2. Sunshine in a jar. Comme ca.
3. Some nice leather boots
4. Perhaps a nice handbag to go along with my nice leather boots
5. A Castle (or for those on a budget, the pink Sheera castle I had when I was a kid needs to be replaced)
6. A baby grand piano
7. Gift certificates for John Lewis (sensible aren't I?)

Let's all get into the spirit now... xxx

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Absolutely Gutted

Yes you twat, cry.... hold your umbrella and sob because after tonight's performance, I really don't see how you'll be keeping your job... You may not want to resign but you'll definitely think about it when you come home to a trashed house and your car on fire...

It is completely your fault England have not qualified tonight... they played appallingly tonight... 4-3-3? What were you thinking? Why? And then watching Crouch play alone oh my... He may have scored the second goal but what were you thinking.... The whole team was absolute rubbish...

Carson... my oh my oh my... I don't think there's anything I can say that hasn't been said already...

I'm so upset... I can't believe we were clinging on to Andorra as our last chance to equalise against Russia... Andorra who haven't made it in the last 29 years were supposed to score a goal for us and they couldn't come through... All fairness to Andorra, they probably weren't as horrible as England tonight...

So much I can say but I think I should go to bed... goodnight...

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Out and about: London Jazz Festival

I really needed to chill out. Predicting a peak in what one could call emotional instability, I sent an email to a friend with a link -"jazz at lunchtime?" - to which she was quick to agree to meet on Sunday at Waterloo ready to switch off and just chill out. The long sunny week passed and when Sunday came, the weather was horrible and we had to walk far too long to get a cup of coffee, but when we finally got to the Royal Festival Hall and saw the dim light stage, we relaxed. After finding a proper seat, I slipped into a stream of rhythm and forgot about my worries and my doubts...

We attended a performance consisting of 3 of England's top contemporary jazz bands in the Southbank Centre and although we only got to see one band, it was well worth it. The band consisted of a piano, saxophone, trumpet, bass and the drums and the composition of the music was very young, very vibrant and very, very good.

The nice thing about listening to contemporary jazz bands is the different ways of integrating each individual sound together. In the band we saw, there was no singer - which I prefer only because I tend to focus on the instruments rather than the singing (and usually the piano, just my own personal preference). The type of music that was being played wasn't the type that you could write lyrics to, let alone sing along to: any attempt to add any written words would have ruined it all for me personally. The final sound that came out together was just right for the audience of all ages and very current to today's tastes.

Some people don't like this particular style of music because they don't find it uniform enough and hard to follow - there's no obvious bridge or scale and can sound off key. Every instrument plays a different role which on the surface doesn't seem like it goes with the rest of the band - for instance, the piano player sounds like she's constantly hitting the wrong keys while the trumpet sounds like it would be better off alone. But what's great is that once you dissect each instrument and musician by himself, that is a song in itself - and every musician was playing to the same subtle tune. In one song, each musician had a solo in which at the end of the mini performances, when they all came together, the song made sense and you appreciated each musical contribution separately.

Some people also think that this sort of music requires a lot of improvising from the musician. I have to disagree with this because although it may sound like a lot of improvising (what may sound like a lot of mistakes, a lot of missed keys) - a lot of the time, it's actually not. After paying attention to a whole song, you'll notice the pattern of the music that really requires talent by someone who is trained in that genre.

As I said, I tend to focus on the piano if there is one because it's my favourite instrument so my eyes were glued to the pianists fingers - she was incredible, and I could tell it was from a lot of practice to refine that particular song. A lot of funky finger rolling was going on and I was just in awe, which also made me appreciate the rest of the band because the music wasn't all in the piano - the whole band was extremely talented and I could see why they were one of the best contemporary jazz bands of the country at the moment.

Although I really love the piano, I much prefer listening to a jazz band than one musician. There is talent in playing a musical instrument but there is far more talent in synchronizing your music with someone else's, especially in a genre like this. The band was very good and very original - they avoided the whole mainstream jazz scene which is exactly what I wanted to hear. It was a good end to the week and a much needed change from the norm - I'm hoping to catch another performance soon so long as I'm not stuck in my office building too often...

The London Jazz Festival will be on until Sunday the 25th of November with events on every day. Events at the Southbank Centre can be seen here.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Forster Gallery

You can buy me the prints. All of them.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Back to London tonight

In a bullet proof vest
With the windows all closed
I'll be doing my best

And I'll see you soon

In a telescope lens
And when all you want is friends
I'll see you soon

- See You Soon, Coldplay

Thursday, September 20, 2007

I love/hate you ESPN

I'm not an athletic person at all. I have no competitive streak in me. The only physical exercise I partake in is jogging and I've never been in a marathon of any sort. I was never the kid that got picked last in gym class, I was just the kid that was never there. I just didn't care for playing any competitive games at all. But still, I think I can say I understand sports.

Growing up, I never interfered with football games on TV or the strange language of baseball players between my brothers. I got it - sports are important to men and that's just the way it is. It never bothered me, I never thought of it. When I went to college, I even became an avid football supporter - I became the girl who jumped on her chair and screamed in the face of a rival team's supporter when my team won an important game (Vimmel, if you ever read this, I'm not sorry). Still, I never went to play footie with the boys or try my hand at squash or hockey and at the same time I never dismissed any of it as being unimportant to anyone. I valued how people felt about sports.

Towards the end of my college years, I met this guy and I kinda liked him. He was pretty cool; he was smart, funny, down to earth, a bit of a geek, listened to some cool indie music. He was also a crazy sports fan and I thought that was pretty cool too. I actually thought it was important to like a guy who liked sports, because it gave him something to feel passionately about. Not so cool that he felt so passionately about my team's rival football team, but I pushed that aside. He had other good qualities in him. So I didn't think too much of it.

Soon enough, I started dating this guy. The first week of our official courting we spent watching Euro 2004. Our first summer was spent explaining the rules of the NFL and rugby. The rest of our courtship was filled with endless football games, international competitions and even lazy days watching darts (Phil the Power Taylor and his arch nemeses Scholten). I didn't really mind, I was pretty easy going about it. I toned down my hooligan ways and let him explain things to me I pretended I didn’t know already. It was sweet.

Me and the boyfriend then got engaged. Amazing, flowers everywhere, congratulatory wishes and everyone’s blessings. Things were great. Everyone was happy for us, we were especially happy. Boyfriend now becomes fiancé and is still ever as much a crazy sports fan. All is still cool.

Fiancées both move back home and back into their parents houses and fiancées want to live a happy engaged life together, as you do. But wait, how are we going to go about this fiancé business with all these sports on? I mean, the premier league is going to start soon... That will take away Saturdays and Sundays... Short after the Champions league will start too, so Tuesdays and Wednesdays are going to be written off as well... What now?

Male Fiancé gets an idea: He'll get a Showbox aka the-answers-to-all-my-problems-in-a-box-box. Showbox has a function where you can record TV shows to watch later a la sky plus. Excellent. No problems missing any important games. Perfect, perfect. I even call up Showtime to give them a shout so they can install his box faster, all in hopes that now we’ll be able to spend far more time together. Game’s on at 6 - that also coincides with dinner with all our friends for someone’s birthday that’s really in 3 weeks but we wanted to throw it now incase anyone travels at any point in between…? When this could have been an issue, it now was not a problem: we have the ShowDreambox…

Or so I thought.

Because then the inevitable happened. I mean, what was I thinking? That it was just going to end there? Here, let me set the timer for the United game today and then me and Fiancée can go back to being in love and… wait a minute, the Chelsea game’s playing too… Hmm… I should probably record that too… Wait, wait, I have to record the Liverpool game so I can taunt my best friend about it later… Hmmmm again… I wonder what else is on today…

You may think you got the picture but you really gotta try and picture it: Next thing it’s International friendlies. Then it’s Champion’s League games. Then it’s the Rugby World Cup. Then it’s anything where there’s people and a ball and screaming fan(s) and a whistle blown at the end and Fiancé going “Oh Wow it’s over” with a big sigh of relief like people did when someone big gave a speech or a war just ended. And guess what? If he could record them all, he would and he would spend all day indoors watching all the sports he can. Lucky for us, good-for-something-Showbox-box has a limit on how much you can record at the same time. Lucky us.

I thought I got it, I thought I understood sports. I mean, we even spent that summer watching the Ashes, remember? Wasn’t it nice? Couldn’t it have just ended there? I know that would have been asking for too much because I had to face reality: This was it, my fiancé is a sports lunatic. Fiancé has even asked that our wedding date does not clash with any major sporting events. And when I mockingly asked what game could be more important than our wedding day I should have known what would happen next: Fiancé’s silent blinking face stared at me as in his head he named all the major sporting events which he could not, under any circumstances, not even his wedding day, miss watching live.

I think I still get it, I think we’ve managed to work out a system in which we’re as happy as we can be. Sports are still being watched and fun stuff is still being done. We lay down the law as soon as we saw a potential conflict arise: Once I’m done with work, the remote control is dropped and we continue along our merry way. There are still many “but for’s”, but we’re managing pretty well so far.

I even let him read a bit of this post as I was writing it last night. He was watching some footie and flipping through the flip-through ART sports channel and he asked to read what I was typing. See, I told myself, he’s doesn’t completely zone out when the football’s on. I propped up the laptop and showed him what I was saying about him, I wanted to make sure he thought it wasn’t too inappropriate, writing out our private lives and all… In short, when he stopped reading out loud and snapped his head back to the TV screen, I knew that this wasn’t going to be a problem. I almost expected it to happen. And rather than get angry, I just laughed and finished writing this post.

There are a lot of girls that like sports. I enjoy watching sports on TV, I like the rush. I get in the spirit. But I also learned that I have other priorities in life that make sports take a back seat after a while. Men don’t really have that and I think women don’t really understand it. My only piece of advice to all girls out there is to humour them. Don’t pretend to be into it if you’re heart’s not in it, but don’t let it get to you either. It’s just sports. Don’t ever say that to your male companion either. Just find the funny side to it. Because when your fiancé starts listing sporting events that cannot, under any circumstances, coincide with your wedding day, all you can do then is laugh. Or call me up and I’ll laugh for the both of us.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

1 Ramadhan 1428

God works in mysterious ways...

Monday, September 03, 2007

My summer island hopping (Bahrain is an archipelago after all)

It has been a hot summer here and I did not anticipate it to be otherwise. Hot, sticky and humid. It has been a nice summer.

I could have only guessed my stay here would fly by with days in the office and nights fluttering between one social event to the next. Weekends were spent with my family and his family and their family and then at various dinner parties eating Thai tidbits until 2 months flew by. I carelessly counted the days until reality told me my time here is coming to an end and soon I'll be back on the outside looking into a world I forgot I was a part of.

It's been a good summer because I love Bahrain. I love hanging out with my family and my childhood friends. I love cocktail Kuwaiti from Burair and drive-thru everything. I love the simple life here that can get you as far as you need. It's great, isn't it? My friends abroad leave me jealous facebook messages on how sunny life must be here and how wonderful it all is.
What I don't tell them is that after a whole summer here I've now got an itch that no matter how much I scratch will not go away. Who was I kidding, a whole summer here and I was expected to stay sane? With no special exhibitions in museums, no parks, no outdoors activities, no long walks, no intellectual stimulation, no anything new and no character to anything around me, was I supposed to be just fine and not feel useless?
I may have been working since day 2 of being back but I've just felt generally lazy this summer. I can't pinpoint what it was and I feel pangs of guilt everytime I try to break it down, but it just might be that I tried too hard to transition into life here and it wasn't as easy as I thought it would be. I miss being outdoors and exploring, I miss going for a run and then having a day jam packed with things to do. I miss being busy with "that sort of life" that a lot of people here just don't understand - "Miskeena" they say, shaking their heads "you're always running around, you don't have time to take care of yourself and relax"... all I can think is that maybe I like that kind of life...

I hated it when people said they "hate Bahrain" but I sympathise when people said it's "boring". It is boring and if you don't find ways to keep yourself busy it could drive you crazy. Life in Bahrain is far slower than many places in the world and if you don't accept it, you will go mad. I see people in Bahrain who are comfortable. They have their jobs, their social lives, their routines and it suits them just fine. I don't see myself there just yet. Where's the music, the art, the life? Or am I just being too ambitious?

And this is why I love London. I love every bit of it - even the mad bursts of sunshine in between rainy days, park lunches and all the media types of Soho. I love the side streets and the cafes, I love the Indian men in corner shops who drive Mercedes because they over charge you for a bottle of water and a Kitkat. I love the monuments, the benches, the Thames, I love everything about London. I love the Electric Ballroom and Harlem, kebab at Behesht and Kulfi from Brick Lane in Ramadhan. I'm itching to go back to the way things were when I was there... back to walking up long escalators and crossing streets like a real pedestrian. I miss our cafe nero and the beep of my oyster card, I miss shuffling through lines of slow people, I really miss it all... It's just my city and right now I feel like I need to go back.

Sometimes other Bahrainis talk about London and how much they love it, and I try not to get too possessive. I mean, not everyone knows where the best dim sum is or what it feels like to be attacked by a hobo. A lot of people don't know London overground or what buildings are teaching hospitals and elementary schools. Probably none of these people have ever worn mismatched clothes and gotten complimented on their outfit. Still, it's such a great city that it can be anyone's city - there's just so much to see and feel and taste and experience with all your senses and enough to go around for 11 million people at a time... Oh, I sigh as I write about London with a dreamy look on my face, I do love my city...

I love Bahrain but I miss my life in London. I miss being energetic, being arty for a day, being professional the next, being serious all morning and fun fun fun the rest of the time. I just haven't figured out how to bring that here.
Maybe what I need is to get away and reflect about all of this.
Maybe I'll do just that... 6 months in London again? Back to suiting, booting and commuting?
Perhaps that's exactly what I need...

Tuesday, July 24, 2007


... Living at Home again ... Ups include never having to worry about dinner, never have trouble ironing a shirt and never running out of necessities you wouldn't always have in your home if you lived alone, like cotton wool or celotape. Downs include the obvious living at Home again - 'nuff said, I don't think I should elaborate anymore. I'm lucky to have supportive siblings who have also gone through this all so at least they don't argue back with me when I'm near throwing a tantrum (thanks guys).

... Working in Bahrain ... I'm really enjoying it, albeit it being very busy at the moment... A lot of people have told me before that "Bahrainis are lazy" but I can't really judge since I don't really work with any. So far, so good.

... Eating out in Bahrain ... Yum yum yum says my expanding waistline.

... Driving in Bahrain... What traffic jams? Or is this only because it's the summer time and lot's of people are on holiday? I don't get it... A'holes, however, I get and I don't like. Our GCC neighbours should not be welcome in our country no more.

... Shopping in Bahrain ... don't try and yawn through this one, Shopping here sucks... I miss boutiques, I miss market stalls, I miss unique affordable clothes... I walked into a boutique and picked up a caftan dress I loved but had to put back down because of it's 200 Dinar price tag. Ouch ouch. Also, I'm not the most fashionable person I know (far from it actually) and I can tell you that the definition of what's "fashionable" or "cool" in this country is really bland. Every girl here needs someone to tell her that she can dress however she wants and doesn't have to look like her 4 other friends who are walking in a herd in the Seef Mall. And by the way, not everyone can pull of red lipstick girls, not everyone...

As you can all see, I'm still in "adjusting" mode... Unfortunately, my other half (better half?) still hasn't come back so I'm feeling the pains of Bahrain alone, which feel magnified to the power of 100. A lot of things upset me and I've been trying to keep a positive outlook, which some of my friends find amusing and predict it to be short lived. I'll continue to keep positive, look at the bright things and I do continue to thank the powers above for everything I've got - it could be a lot worse... I'll continue to put down my thoughts, when I have time, so I can look back at this a couple of years down the line at laugh at how I feel at the moment. I'm looking forward to it.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

No Ped Xings here

I got up from quick lunch at a Starbucks with a friend to head back to work one afternoon.

"Where's your car?" he asked as he picks up his Gucci shades and pulled out his Mont Blanc keyring.

"At the regency car park" I got up, adjusted myself and picked up my hand bag.

"Laish wagafteeha b3eeed min ihneey?" He asked, busy fiddling with his super cool new phone.

"Laish? That's where my parking spot is..."

"O Shlone yeetay?" we walked towards the door.

"Shino shlone? Meshait"

"You walked?!?!?!" He stops in his tracks, raises his eyebrows and mockingly drops his mouth open.

"Ee akeed" I stopped as well and knitted my eyebrows together. "Why should I drive for 15 minutes when I could walk for 5?"

He shook his head and put on his blinging shades.

"Ma7ad yamshi ihneey terra, 7u6i hai el shai fi balech"

Well Harumph to you too.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

A picture can say a thousand words

Hey Sabooch, look at those idiots in the car taking a picture of us... pssssht... wasting their time when there's 50% off at Mango...

Keep walking ladies, I think I see the new extension in the distance!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Update This!

Ehhhh stolen internet again, this feels so good... thank you GOAT_WIRELESS* for bringing your unsecured network back into my life. Now I can go back to hours of useless web surfing when I really could be doing other things.

I've been busy and not at the same time. In the last 2 weeks I've

  1. Left my old job

  2. Went on an English Holiday and forgot about the polluted world

  3. Had Real Cornish Clotted Cream Ice Cream

  4. Saw a great play at a great venue

  5. Saw an even greater concert at a much grander venue (MUSE AT WEMBLEY)

  6. Became a Corporate Craving Slave

  7. Started packing to go back home (half truth: the will is there, I can't bring myself to actually pack just yet)

I'd really love to elaborate on all of the above but right now Number 7 is apparently the most important. I know I'm going back home sometime fairly soon but I really can't bring myself to pack. It's the same sad feeling as just the thought of watching the final ever episode of Six Feet Under which is waiting for me in my DVD player - I just can't bring myself to do either, it's just so depressing. Anyway, it can't be that bad since I should be back in London by end of September to do yet another stint of hard work. So I'm not moving my whole life back just yet so I'm going to avoid the packing big for a little longer.

That's about it, I really don't feel like elaborating.

*Real wireless network connection name hidden for purposes which will allow me to continue using this free service until I leave. Like it or not, I'm stealing your internet buddy and there's nothing you can do to stop me. Not much longer left now.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

2 More Days and I'm No Longer a FroggeyMan

It just hit me this morning that I will no longer be working here next week. Wow. And that I'm probably leaving London in about 2 weeks. Wow Wow.

I should take my stuff soon - the framed picture of my parents on my desk (Christmas Lunch 2005, R's house) and my CHOCOCAT flask (for my milk tea from home every morning). I should also close all my old case files and say my goodbyes to clients. Maybe plan a lunch on Friday. Steal some stationary. Tell a Boss how I really feel about her. Slap a co-worker. Kiss the delivery man. Whatever it is people do when they leave their job.

I'll figure it out shortly. I think the saddest thing will be saying goodbye to everyone, which I've been avoiding. Hmph.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

What Lyrics... # 5

Make You Cry?

Aude Lang Syne - The New Year's Song, every time.

"Should auld acquaintance be forgot
and never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot
and days of auld lang syne?
and there's a hand my trusty friend,
and gi'es a hand to mine,
we'll take a cup o' kindness yet
for auld lang syne"

Father and Son - Cat Stevens pre-Yousif Islam

The thought of struggles between a father and son, when the son won't take advice his father gives him - it makes me cry every time.. Why can't they just reach an agreement, damnit?

Wow, just typing out the lyrics made me teary eyed, moving right along...

Salam 3alaika - Kathim el Sahir

Singing the proposed Iraqi National Anthem, always gives me goosebumps. Preferrably the live version from Royal Albert Hall in 2006- even the memory of it makes me a little emotional.

What the Snowman Learnt About Love - Stars

The music here more than the lyrics, but "I am Sara and this is my heart "
*tears tears tears*

Tell Him - Lauryn Hill

Many disputes later, Ed & I stand by our words that this song is about God, which makes me cry even more when I hear it.

"Let me be patient, let me be kind
Make me unselfish, without being blind
Though I may suffer, I'll envy it not
And endure what comes
Cause he's all that I got
and tell him...
Tell him I need him...
Tell him I love him...
And it'll be alright..."

Transatlantacism - Death Cab For Cutie

This one hits a sore spot:

"The Atlantic was born today and I'll tell you how...
The clouds above opened up and let it out.
I was standing on the surface of a perforated sphere
When the water filled every hole.
And thousands upon thousands made an ocean,
Making islands where no island should go.
Oh no.
Those people were overjoyed; they took to their boats.
I thought it less like a lake and more like a moat.
The rhythm of my footsteps crossing flatlands to your door
have been silenced forever more.
The distance is quite simply much too far for me to row
It seems farther than ever before.
Oh no.
I need you so much closer

I need you so much closer
So come on, come on "

This one was easy as I am a crybaby anyway. I could probably think of another dozen or so songs that make me bawl so I'll leave it up to you guys.
Your turn to shed some tears...

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Concert Review: DMB is back again and heavy on my mind

Els sent me a forwarded email early yesterday morning from one of her colleagues advertising extra Dave Matthews Band concert tickets and my reply of YES YES PLEASE ME!!! probably scared the living daylights out of her (and the score of trainees copied on the email!). After sending my over enthusiastic written out yell, I quickly spoke to heron the phone and she said I had sent the most promising reply, as a lot of people just went "errrr alright then". We decided that even though we didn't know any of the new music they'd be playing to promote the new album, we should go as old time fans together, a flatmate bonding thing with some good music we both knew...

I've been a fan of Dave (and the rest of the band, of course) for just over 10 years now (which is a little scary) and I've never seen them live... When I say "fan" I mean I'm still listening to all the live versions of his older songs on my iPod which have been downloaded over the years, and since I have "all the good stuff" on my playlists, I guess that constitutes me as one... I was speaking to the Mr. last week when he told me his friends were going to see DMB in Dublin and I was a little jealous. "Maybe we can go when they come to London? I heard they're going to Wembley?" he suggested at the time and I dismissed it as one of those things that just never happens - I guess I was wrong - thanks to my over enthusiasm and a genius stroke of luck credited by a colleague of my flatmate who bought 4 tickets instead of 2, I was going to see DMB.

We got to Wembley with the rest of the late-20s/30-something crowds... Basically, anyone who went to college in the noughties was there ready to hear some music that reminded them of that one time in their dorm room when they were hungover some girl or guy and Dave was playing on the radio... I thought we'd look silly in our suits but as it was a mid-week concert geared to an older audience, a lot of people showed up after work and hung outside the arena chatting away. It almost felt as if everyone knew eachother in a strange way and were all retelling stories of "this song reminds me of when..." It was pretty cool and Dave did not let us down...

They were spectacular to say the least... They started off slow but not too slow, with Dreamgirl and warmed the audience up with some of their new stuff. Tom Morello came on and Dave busted out # 41 and Satellite and the crowd went crazy - they were excellent and picked two great songs to play live with an awesome guitarist. Dave also did a bit of acoustics and played new songs called Sisters and the Idea of You which were both beautiful and got the suckers in the audience, yours truly, welling up with emotion. Of course sole credit doesn't go to Dave's rusty voice and squeaky guitar - the instrumental solos were fantastic, I've never seen a violinist go that crazy on a stage before... The pianist, brass players, drummer, the band was incredible... As on all their live shows they would go off on long and beautiful riffs and the crowd loved it, we danced away with the silhouettes of the other hundreds of fans in the arena and we ate it all up...

They ended the show with Ants Marching which got the whole arena up on their feet dancing... It was magical and when they said their goodbyes we stomped our feet for more until they came out to an encore of Two Step, my favourite ever DMB song... Of course I was chanting along the words and waving my arms as the music pumped my blood into my body - it was an amazing feeling that made me fall in love with Dave all over again, time and time again.

A lot of credit has to go to the lights & sound technicians - the way the band glowed of pinks and blues made them stand out as the glowing crowd of yellow and orange moved with the music... I am a sucker, I will always be a sucker, and the whole collaboration of sound, lights and atmosphere kicked me in my spine and made me choke up with a couple of tears... It was special, call me whatever you want but it was pretty damn special...

I am a sucker and I will say it: There was magic in that arena last night and I'm so glad I got to see them live... There was a lad infront of us who was at his 7th DMB concert and was telling us that this was the best he's ever seen... As we took the train home late last night I didn't doubt it - I think everyone was in awe of the performance. Rather than your usual rowdy post-gig crowd, there was happy nostalgic buzz in the tiny compartments of the tube on our way home and it was a nice feeling. His voice was still in my ears and around my neck this morning when I woke up - the live show will never compare to my measly playlist so I will commit to my memory for how great they still are.

Dave Matthews Band ended their European Tour in London last night at the Wembley Arena. Their new album will be out this summer.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Summertime Brings More Crazy People

I don't know what it is, but summertime brings a lot more crazies in London.

So many crazy people, so little pavement space... Exiting the tube station this morning, there was a guy wearing spandex flexing his muscles for the grim group of lawyers trying to get to their even more grim offices (all dressed in black, of course). Everyone was trying to move around his bright yellow body suit and his purple Y-fronts as he growled a couple of "HUWAAAA"s in our faces. Some of the students in the group cracked smiles, all the lawyers just hissed and moved away. This has been going on for a couple of days, I'm waiting for the day one of the Slaughter & May trainees who hasn't slept in 4 nights punches him in the face.

There is also an increase of volunteers from Amnesty International/PETA/Stop Abusing Kite Flyers and other silly groups that need attention (or so they say). There's no rain or hail to stop them from trying to pull their charms as you stroll down the street - this is what they've got to do and the sunshine only makes them stay out for longer... And with the sunshine, they pull out all their cute smiles and chat up lines "Come on, you know you've got a minute for me and all the Orphans in Guatemala love..." Grrrr... No I don't but if you grin at me like that I'll give in for the orphans... Some of them follow you and do a little dance, step in your way, and there are no puddles from the rain to stop them so you'd be surprised as to how far they'd go just to get your attention... The problem with this group is that you feel bad when you snap your "no thank you" to them on the street because you know you will walk 10 feet to a park bench and sit down to have your lunch in the sunshine. They know you're not busy. They know you've got money to spare. They even probably want a bite of your M&S sandwich (and you will feel guilty for it, even if you don't like to share food). It's hard not to give when the weather is so nice and you're in such a good mood (and Oxfam hires some pretty charismatic buggers to follow you around).

You know, it's not the heat that drives people crazy (this is a nice 16 degrees not the smouldering 46 that makes you want to kill an arab on a beach with a gun* double points for guessing the lit reference) - it's the fact that the weather is nice so you can stand outside and shout out whatever you want all day. There's no piercing winds to push you down the street and indoors, so why don't you pull out your hair in minimal clothing and dance around in the streets? It's okay, it's sunny, no one minds... Go on... wanna grab a tambourine and shake it in my face? Sure, go for it! It's sunny, I don't care!

Of course, summer brings two groups of people I just can't stand: Christian Winner/Sinner Preachers and the Hare Krishna. Those "Don't be a sinner, be a winner" stand-arounds who shout out abuse when all you want to do is get into Topshop really piss you off... and you know what? Tourists love them... Don't ask me why, but they find them hilarious... They applaud them, they take pictures of them, I once saw a Japanese couple videotape one... I just don't' see it, some crusty guy standing around with a megaphone (as if we need the extra noise pollution) shouting out abuse to all the shoppers and trying to convert them all... Aurgh... Slap them with an ASBO I say and move on...

And as for the Hare Krishna Hare Rama: Don't even get me started. Please, please, please, someone send a super tornado and whisk them away to Everest and away from my sight.

Point is, summertime brings the crazies, so watch out as you're walking down the streets in your flippers, minding your own business... and watch out for when you start to get them... Hey, me and my friends get it, we go a little loco when the sun comes out too... but you know what we do? We don't harass people in the streets, we just go to the park and run around like a bunch of monkeys amongst ourselves and capture it on camera, and that's okay...

Trafalgar Square becomes one big park today and there's a mini festival in Victoria Park with lot's of cotton candy & outdoor fun stuff. Oh, and I know David Duchovny isn't in London in the picture, but someone needs to tell him grey shorties are soo winter.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

What Lyrics... # 4

Remind You Of Your Best Friend?

"I'll say "I think he likes you"
You'll say "I think he do, too"
I'll say "Go and get 'em girl -
before he gets you...
I'll be watching you from the window,
I'll come to your rescue,
if he tries anything..."

If He tries Anything - Ani Difranco

Monday, May 21, 2007

Simple Pleasures

  1. Finding that one empty seat on an early morning train to work
  2. Watching sail boats swim with swans while I have my Saturday morning tea.
  3. Finishing work on time and leaving when it's still light outside.
  4. Hugs from Papaya.
  5. Clean Sheets & PJs and falling asleep to the smell of comfort (in so many ways).
  6. Manicures.
  7. Finishing a good book.
  8. BBQs and not having to "man the grill" because the "men" will do it.
  9. Hand Cream.
  10. Damn Good Music.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Michael Buble may have a funny name but he just wants to go home.

June 8th. My sister-in-law's birthday, also, my last day at work.

I handed in my resignation last Friday, right before going out to a big dinner with my colleagues to celebrate my engagement.

I didn't tell any of my colleagues, instead I just watched them all have a good time while three of my managers cornered me throughout the night and tried to convince me to stay. It was strange. My colleagues managed to sober up by Monday morning and corner me then after I told them. That was pretty strange too.

"Why" was the big question, so I had to pull out a couple of "excuses" if you'd like to call them that. Engagement. Family. Living alone is lonely (no shit). London's too expensive (give me a huge pay rise). London isn't home (I should go back to Bahrain). The last one got them nodding their heads in approval and they all told me they understand and wished me luck, so whatever my real "excuse" is, I'll let that be my "excuse" for now.

I say it but I have to admit, I feel a little uneasy about going back to Bahrain, whenever it is I do. I mean, I love Bahrain, my family lives there, you can get cocktail juice from practically anywhere, it's fantastic. But I have been away for a long time and I'm definitely a little nervous about moving back, whenever it is I move back. It could be on June the 9th, it could be 3 months from then, at this moment, I don't really know.

A year ago, when my future was uncertain and everything was pretty much a bitch, I was chatting with a friend and she asked me if I liked Bahrain. She asked because at the time, she saw me as a city girl and she thought London suited me perfectly. This could have been because a black cab had just splashed water all over us on the street and I shouted out "W*****!" She said she thought London was a good home for me and luckily I found a job so I made it my home for a while.

"Home is where your heart is, it's where you hang your hat" See, my heart is in Bahrain, but I don't hang my hat there just yet. I don't even wear hats in Bahrain. I've been hanging my hat here for so long that I don't mind it, I'm okay about it. I go about, do my thing, never once think of myself as a stranger but just another face in the crowd. And honestly? In a lot of respects, I've been alright...

But sometimes, sometimes, when it's cold (a lot) and grey (all the time), and when I take my long journey home from work alone (every single night), I think of what it would be like to just get in my car, go to my real home and see my parents hanging out or meet up with my man for dinner and talk about stuff in person and not over the phone... I wonder what it would be like to see my siblings on a daily basis (and not yearly) or go over to an old friend's house by not having to travel for 45 minutes to get there with dead skin cells and mice (even though we live in the same city)... Sometimes I get home and it's that meal for one on that empty dining table that really gets to me and I just feel like crawling into bed and pretending that "coming home" bit was all a bad dream, and that really, everyone's waiting for me in my real home back in Bahrain.

I've made a decision and "going home" it is, along with many other things that I am still sorting out (career, relationship, get-fitter-than-my-dad plan). For a little bit, anyway. Some people have told me to come back and that it's time, others are urging me to stick out and stay abroad, but I think I'm making the right decision somehow. Minus all the panic attacks and "this is all for you!" tantrums, I'm excited about being back home. Home where hugs are frequent and there's no need to vacuum, and the fridge is always filled with chocolate milk. So I'm in, for now, and I'm excited.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

The Demise of the Cassette Tape

Take me back to 1994: I'm 11 years old and I'm going through a shoebox of cassette tapes my siblings have for me to rummage through in our play room. That was all I needed on an afternoon indoors, a box of tapes and a cassette player (our beloved Robo-Disco) and I was set. My fingers were imprinted with little square shapes from pressing the rewind-stop-play buttons so many times and I didn't mind - this was music to me. This was how it was supposed to be, you and your cassettes.

Tapes were all we had, stacked in neat little piles with their boxes and tiny pictures of the artists whose music they blared on our players - they were cool. As school kids, we'd hop into whatever car and pull out our tapes from our book bags and pass them to the front seat. "Side A, first song" - I laugh now when I remember how many times I must have said "press play press play! I'll miss the song!" Oh my...

Then there were the cherished Mix-Tapes. Mix tapes were the coolest - if you got a mix-tape from someone, well, we all knew what that meant... I remember sticking stickers on mine to my girlfriends, spending hours trying to make the perfect tape with the perfect pauses between songs and well timed to fill a whole tape and not over run (such amateurs, whoever overran with their mix-tapes). Telling someone you'd make them a tape was a commitment, hours dedicated to producing something the perfect tape for someone. There was no imaginary database filled with music and a cutesy little program let you click all your choices onto a list and ta da, it all happened... oh no Sir, there was a shoebox filled with cassettes that you had to rummage though. If you were organized (which you never were), you'd have them all laid out infront of you, with a list of songs... Then you'd go through them, listening to each whole song before pausing, putting in another tape, pressing record & play and then rummaging for another... Kids nowadays probably laugh at our ghetto ways, but ghetto is that who does not know the tape, I say... Ghet-to...

But Alas, no more... No more tapes, we then took on MD players and CDs... and from CDs we moved on to the electronic age where mp3s and iPods and compact nice BOSE speakers for our MP3 players came about... and now no one punches "stop" or "play" on a stubborn button, we all pull out our super flash, super small and super sexy gadgets and twirl our fingers around to play 18 hours of non-stop music. Sorry Maxwell, your 90 minutes mean nothing anymore...

When was the last time anyone bought a tape? I can shamelessly tell you now that the last tape I bought was Norah Jones in the summer of 2003 from Dubai for my car (which did not have a CD player, "Ghetto" I hear you kids taunting!)... I don't know if that's what's funny or that I had to explain to a friend why I was buying a tape and not a CD (not so shamelessly, I tell ya)...

The last mix-tape I received? Now this I know for a FACT: Summer of 2001 from my good friend Mai - a tape that had Side A filled with cool music at the time (whatever dance/R&B was big) and then Side B which was filled with more geeky acoustic stuff for me (shameless, I am shameless!). The tape was, again, for my car when I first got my licence and the only tape I not only took with me to college, but I listened to that Side B for 3 years... Thanks Mimi, that tape you made for the Opel was far more valued than you thought it was...!

Last Tape I heard? Funny enough, walking around my flat a couple of weeks ago, I stopped when I heard a familiar click I haven't heard in a while... I turned to look at my flatmate, who was lounging on the couch reading a book, and asked her what it was... She merely muttered "Music", nodding her head towards the stereo system.

"Are you listening to a Tape?" I asked, astonished, as the music continued (It's one of those "smart" systems, as my flatmate calls it... the type that has a car-style 6-CD changer and flips tapes when it gets to the end of the side). I stopped in my tracks and in my fluffy house socks.

"Yup" nose still buried in her book.

"Really??!?!!" She put her book down and turned to me

"Yeah, really? Why?" She was confused and so was I. I shook my head and walked away... Who still listens to tapes?

Find out how to revive your old tapes here.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

It's a beautiful May Day

—French for “Help me,” which is pronounced in English like “Mayday,” a universal radio code indicating extreme distress.

Taken from Margret Atwood's A Handmaid's Tale, I remember the story of M'Aidez/Mayday every year today. While protestors are shouting abuse towards Blair and the Labour Party (ha ha), I sit inside my office and remembers stories we read in high school that scared us of Big Brother and whether we'd all become Handmaid's one day.

May Day in England is a bit of an anti-capitalist day (it isn't referred to as Labour Day here as fondly as it is in other parts of the world) and as today isn't an official holiday, I don't see how this is a national workers' holiday. May Day grants us a "Bank Holiday" on the first Monday of May - also, not the 1st of May - so really none of it makes any sense.

Well, tying it back into The Handmaid's Tale it does. "It's a Beautiful May Day" is what Ofglen tells Offred while walking in a garden (*I really don't remember all the details, but bear with me), a hint at a secret revolutionist group in the Brave New World. And although it refers to that and all the symbolism that my perverted highschool English teacher drilled into us poor kids, my favourite part (probably in the whole book) is Offred remembering a conversation with her husband Luke about the word itself "Mayday" - a deviation from the french "M'Aidez" (or "help me"), which was adopted in World War II from all the french fighter pilots.

"M'Aidez" she remembers, and I remember, every 1st of May. As a student, it meant nothing to me as today would have been any other day in the past. But today, as I sit in an artificially lit office and I think of May Day. As much as I try to think of it as a holiday, I just whistfully think "M'Aidez"...

Thursday, April 26, 2007

What Lyrics... # 3

Make you think of your significant other?

"I'm writing you to catch you up on places I've been
and you have this letter probably got excited,
but there's nothing else inside it...

Didn't have a camera by my side this time
Hopin' I would see the world through both my eyes
Maybe I would tell you all about it
when I'm in the mood to lose my way
but let me say

You should have seen that sunrise,
with your own eyes
It brought me back to life
You'll be with me next time
no more 3 x 5 's"

3 x 5 - John Mayer

"My life
You electrify my life
Let's conspire to re-ignite
All the souls that would die just to feel alive"

Starlight - Muse

"You're my foe and my brother and lover and friend."

Romantic Comedy - Stars

"And I know that the touch of you is hard to remember
but like that touch, I know no other
and for sure, we've danced in the risk of eachother
would you like to dance around the world with me?"

I'll Back You Up - Dave Matthews Band

"Maybe I just wanna fly,
wanna live I don't wanna die,
Maybe I just wanna breathe,
maybe I just don't believe
Maybe you're the same as me,
we see things they'll never see
you and I are gonna live forever..."

Life Forever - Oasis

"and you know, for you I'd bleed myself dry"

Yellow - Coldplay

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

On Going Home and all the Big Things that come along with it

It all ended far too soon.

I always knew that my 8 day vacation would fly by and I tried not to think about it too much. When my plane touched down on good ol' Bahraini land, my face stretched out into my side-ways-banana-grin and I vowed to make the most of my vacation time at home. Considering the short period of time I had, I think I did an alright job: perhaps I didn't get to see enough friends or spend enough time just hanging out with my parents, but you can only do so much in a week. To be fair, I think I did a decent job of doing a number of pretty cool stuff.

Much family stuff was in order: seeing my parents, my siblings, my little niece, it was all too good to have them back. I twirled around in my house and all its open space, leaving behind memories of cramped London flats and enjoyed being at home. So many changes to the house (our 1992 computer was finally replaced and Dad managed to move that horrid Spirit style, running horses, painting from the entrance hallway) but not too many to the neighbourhood (our neighbour's stupid well is still standing on the main street, inviting me to trash it if it's still standing the next time I'm back), which gave me a warm sense of comfort. The family are doing great, everyone looking fabulous, inches lost off waists and inches grown by the little one... My niece is fantastic and far more smart than I could imagine, I can safely say I've never heard a 4 year old criticize baby names by calling them "weak" before - I will definitely miss her and her strong adjectives the most.

Watching the F1 was a definite highlight; my first time on the Bahraini track gave me a huge adrenalin rush I didn't think imaginable. [insert teary eyes and national pride]. I don't think anyone was more proud of what this tiny little island has done than I am: The event itself was very impressive and I couldn't stop gushing at everything around me. I suppose I wasn't around to catch too much of it (only being back for the final race day) but I loved the atmosphere and the buzz on the island for that short period I caught: Bahrain, you did good, and from what I saw and heard, you threw one hell of a party.

Other Big News revolves around Big Life Decisions - for those of you who know me quite well, you'll know that I came back to Bahrain and got engaged to the most wonderful man on this planet. It was all very hectic - planning the big night, getting everyone together, fixing me up and meeting everyone - but it all went very well. Reunion of long lost friends and agreeable conversations made a relaxing evening for all, I'm very happy with the way everything turned out. I really appreciate everyone's congratulatory wishes to us both: you never think of it but it really makes a difference when you know that the people around you are genuinely happy for you in times like these. Of course, I couldn't be happier and I owe it all to the wonderful support I've received - thank you all for being a part of this special time for us, I hope I can reciprocate the love and comfort everyone has given me. And to the big oaf, I love post-us.

Lot's of other updates: Seeing old friends, making future life decisions, loving home and thinking hard about being away and how much longer I want to do this... I suppose it's all starting to come down to ground now, I've done quite a number of things I wanted to do so I guess it's time to re-write that list of "Things I want to Do When I Grow up" - maybe even think of scratching out the When I Grow up bit - and keep in mind that things are going to have to change a little... I'm a little nervous about what's going to happen next, but a nervousness that's mixed with excitement and a bit of determination to make things great.

Going home has put so much in perspective for me and made me realize how nice it is to be with your family around you all the time, even if they're a little mad. Touching down in London with the grey weather and detaching myself from everything around me again made me cry a little because I hadn't yet gotten used to being home, I hadn't had enough. It only took one long tube journey to make me numb again and take away all emotions because that's the way things are over here. I needed the break and I got it, with plenty of bonuses than I had asked for, and I am grateful for that. In true Soos fashion, I have to start my Bigger and Better plans, so watch this space for more...

Friday, April 13, 2007

Sweet Home, GuBuwa

I can now safely say, I am completely burnt out from work. It's gotten to a point that isn't even funny anymore, it's hil-a-rious. Early starts, late nights, lot's of frustrations, lot's of hair pulling & nail biting. But that's okay, because I'm going on vacation for a week - a week!

And I'm going home.

No one here understands how great this feels - it's 3:30 in the afternoon and after my manager's meeting, I am just itching to get out of here. I can't sit still, I keep on popping out of my corner office (*cough* sounds much more glamourous than it really is) into the open plan of scattered colleagues to do a little dance and taunt those less fortunate than me, all those people who are going to be stuck here while I'm on holiday!

All it took was one little meeting: when I turned from being super stressed to just not giving a damn. A huge smile crept on my face as my manager said "Well, I guess that's it then, finish whatever it is you have to do and have a great holiday" Mouth... starts...to... stretch... At this very moment, a little part from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory comes in mind when Grandpa Joe jumps out of his bed for the first time in some decades and does a dance in his pyjamas when Charlie finds the Golden Ticket in his bar of chocolate, singing Hallelujah!! So if you can't figure it out already, I am that excited.

I cannot wait. I cannot wait to see Baba. I cannot wait to see Mama. I cannot wait to see Big Brother 1, Big Sister, Big Brother 2, Sister-in-Law, number one niece... I cannot wait for the big things this break will break and the littler things. I cannot wait to see my friends and to see my toy mouse and my patchy garden and my home.

No one here knows how I feel, but I think everyone knows how much I need this vacation... and how much I need to get outta here and go home. I've had enough, everyone here knows it and I'm going to skip out of here, with my suitcase, and sing "La La la la" and leave everything behind. Laa laa laa laaa!

Home home home home, home. Not this ugly city, I'm going HOME.


Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Happy Birthday Yaya

Love you big sister - you're the one in yellow (your favourite colour).

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

What Lyrics... # 2

Best describe your feelings about your current life situation?

"This town it breathes on its own
With or without me
The skyline wakes up whether or not I get out of bed
El trains, they rumble along
And headlines will happen with no help from me
And when I can’t keep it all up
I’ll sing, “La, la, la, la”

Chicago Slow Down - Canasata

"We are here to make you feel
It terrifies you, but its real"

Soft Revolution - Stars

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Taggedy by June

Tagged by June, who knows better than to tag me, but I guess I say back to her "wot'eva" ... =)

If you don't know the rules, you can find them here, or here, or here, or here.

So, here are my 10 random facts that will probably forget 10 minutes from now:

  1. If I could get plastic surgery on any part of my body, I would remodel my feet.
  2. I am very snobby with the books I read and the music I listen to - I always adopt the "been there, done that" attitude which is also common in my brothers and my COUSIN HASAN.
  3. I used to bite my toenails as a kid.
  4. I have a morbid fear of fish heads and lizards.
  5. I can't eat much chocolate 'cause it gives me a tummy ache. So from being a chocoholic kid I actually eat very, very little now. A lot of girls find that strange. I am, however, a good-cheese-aholic and once I start, I can't stop.
  6. I rarely put sugar in my tea or coffee because I'm scared of being diabetic. I calorie count, fat count, sugar count, salt count, everything count, because of a subconcious fear of becoming diabetic - none of which makes sense, but it's instilled in me.
  7. I love to cook for people but hate to cook for myself - I find no joy in eating alone. I also can't cook for one, so if I do cook, I'm also eating leftovers the next day.
  8. There is nothing worse in the world than cold eggs. I only like my eggs one way, and if I do eat eggs other than runny sunny side up, I'm only being polite.
  9. I was never one for fancy mobile phones - I'm very happy with my dummy-proof-nokia and I don't really want a new cool phone, not unless it does something really cool, like shoot out laser beams.
  10. I think Chivalry is dead.

No need to tag anyone, but feel free to join in on the fun of making lists (never a boring task!).

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

What Lyrics... # 1

Lyrics Survey for your entertainment.
I'll post song lyrics to answer the question below - Easy.
Feel free to input your own thoughts in comments.

What lyrics…

Are good life advice?


"Alright already we'll all float on
Ok don't worry we'll all float on
Even if things get heavy we'll all float on
Alright, already, we'll all float on"

Float On - Modest Mouse

"This is how it works
You're young until you're not
You love until you don't
You try until you can't
You laugh until you cry
You cry until you laugh
And everyone must breathe
Until their dying breath "

On the Radio - Regina Spektor

"Boys will be strong, and Boys solider on,
Boys but will be gone without the warmth
of a woman's good, good heart.

Father be good to your daughters,
daughters will love as you do
Girls becoming Lovers,
that turn into mothers,
so mothers be good to your daughters too."

Daughters - John Mayer

Monday, April 02, 2007

It's been six years since I graduated from high school and I forgot to plan our five year reunion

Sometimes, you forget where you've come from and feel like just another face in the crowd. It's easy, especially when you wake up and you go through the same routine: Shower, Change, pretend to intend to have breakfast but pretend to forget as you run to catch the bus, the train, the tube, get to work, slave away for 10 hours and then go home exhausted only to do it all over again. You forget that beyond the exhaustion and apathy there's actually a fun person somewhere in there that used to sit in your old self - in a sweet, innocent life before the grimaces and the struggles began: a time that was much, much easier.
For most, including myself, that time was high school. I forgot about high school and the fun of it all, the laughs and giggles, the traumas that really weren't so bad and the tragedies that came along with it - the lack of responsibility for any of your actions. I forgot about linking arms with my classmates and telling them we'd be friends forever, probably because it's been years since and we're not. It's only natural and it's been long accepted and forgotten: like I said, that was a different, sweeter time.
So I continue to walk my walk, talk my talk, do my thing here alone in this city seas away from home. I do miss my old friends but rarely have time to dwell over the memories while I'm busy doing other mundane things. I was lucky enough, over the last two weekends, to spend time with two of my dearest friends that reminded me of the fun and sweet person I used to be just by seeing how great they still are. These two have especially come a long, long way from high school and I can't say I could be more proud.
My first song of praise is for this girl over here who is not not only incredible human being, but also a soon to be mum. When she first told me she was expecting, I almost fell off my chair at work as I gaped at the email on my computer screen "Make sure you're sitting down.... [scroll all the way down] I'm pregnant!" I was speechless and my fingers did overtime typing out the WHYs and HOW COULD YOUs (that I really didn't want answered)... We agreed to meet on her next business trip over and when I finally spotted her, hand on belly, trotting down the Watford High Street, I felt myself bubbling up with emotion... A mum! Here she was, no longer flicking her funky 'do about in the car as she sang along to Miami but brushing her grown up fringe away from her glowing face as she told me about her pregnancy and the baby - it feels like last summer that we all celebrated her engagement and not 4 summers ago, seeing her was a definite reality check that time has passed...
I was awe of her all weekend... Not only was she absolutely beautiful and glowing, she was so ready for this... "I woke up one morning and I thought, what's missing? Ah, a baby" - her words gave me happy goosebumps, because although none of us could handle this, she could... She was great, shopping for little onesies and bibs while I stared at her bump the whole time. "Hey Baby" I'd shout out across whatever room we were in, "Hey Auntie Thooth" She'd mimick, and I'd start giggling about, talking to the baby about how when baby comes out, we're going out for ice cream all the time...
I watched her so comfortable in her new role and was so happy for a friend who's somewhere completely different than me... I couldn't compare or criticize because I knew how right this was for her and how it was the next logical step.... I hadn't seen her in six months and all of a sudden she was a mum - what a leap from being just-my-friend... It was great seeing her still the same and so much more of a super human that she was before: She'll be a great, intelligent, caring mother and I know she'll be so loving over the little one.. As will the rest of us - if it's a girl, I've already got dibs on Baby's first tiara, ballet shoes and every scoop of chocolate chip ice cream she gets...
The second wonderful person I spent this weekend with was one of my oldest and all time best friends... I met Chaz on the first day of the 3rd grade, when he came into our classroom (the reject class of 3 K or 3 M, I can't remember) and we were assigned to sit next to eachother as a pair. Yuck, he's new and he's a boy: I look at the teacher in despair but received no sympathy, I was forced to sit next to him for the whole year and I had to deal with it. A whole year lasted the next 10 years, where some where along the way we actually became friends and I realized that he didn't carry any infectious diseases as a boy (he was a clean freak) nor did he want to hurt me on the play ground (he was actually the nicest little boy you could imagine). He helped me with my struggles throughout school and after graduation, throughout college as we kept in touch through various email chains and long-distance phone calls... Strangely, he was always there for me, in his funny ways and I always knew I had a friend to lean on in times of self-doubt, because he always reminded me of who I truly was...
I will always be the one who recalls funny stories of when we were kids, starting from the sweet things he'd say in class and how the teachers always hugged him afterwards, to his perfect posture as an 8 year old. Classic story of sitting next to eachother in Arabic class and hearing him in a clear voice saying he wanted to be a Surgeon when he grew up. Back then, at 8, I definitely thought he was a weirdo, but I also knew that whatever a "Surgeon" did, he could do it. I can easily say he is one of the best people I know on this planet and he is a rare, rare breed... I knew it at 8 and although he was stuffy as a kid, he grew on me and it is reiterated every time I think of him...
When I saw him pointing at me across Leicester Square, my face broke into the biggest grin and I felt 17 again. We laughed and joked around like old times and it did not feel like a whole year has passed since we last met. We talked a lot about future plans, I warned him that I wanted to see him graduate with honours and no less, no brain surgeon's going to graduate from med school with just a pass... It was good fun and the throughout the weekend he'd randomly burst out with "Oh My God! [I can't believe it!] I'm sitting here with Sara and [other friends]! How amazing is this?" And we'd all laugh, because truly we knew that he was the one full of wonder and we were happy to have him with us...
Sometimes, a length of time will pass without seeing or hearing from people you considered close to your heart, but it's only sad if you when you see them it truly has felt like years and you've both moved on from your friendship in that time... With these two, it was an incredible weekend.. We laughed, we joked around and we reminded eachother of the times when we were together in the past... And what they did was they reminded me of that person I still am, after all these years... I still have a lot going for me, I'm still young, I still want to conquer the world and I still will... It's amazing the impact one person, let alone two, can have on your morale when you're feeling a bit of a slump. It's amazing how friends can remind you of how lucky you are to have such cool people in your lives...
Thanks guys, your weekend trips meant a lot more to me than you can imagine... I'll keep pushing forward as long as you guys keep throwing me high fives along the way...

Friday, March 23, 2007

Gamers hugged themselves and each other and said: "Sony we love you"

Coming into work this morning was actually pleasant and I was surprised to see how many smiling faces there were. Probably because it's a Friday, I mused, as I involuntarily squashed myself between two big burly men with bags underneath their eyes. They were smiling too and after (again, involuntarily) listening in on their conversation, I knew why:

"I am so tempted to call in sick, everyone else in the house has and they're glued to the TV... I'm definitely coming home early to play it..."

I smiled as I listened to the story of how this young man hadn't slept all night because his housemate was one of the first people in the country to buy a PlayStation 3 and he couldn't let go of it all night. They were joking around about hugging it, taking turns kissing it and how lucky they were to have it. I completely understood, even though I'm not a gamer - although they did get a couple of strange sideways glances from some people on the train.
The PS3 was launched last night in the Virgin store on Oxford Street (Corner of Tottenham Cout Road) and the gaming world is overjoyed. I may not be a geeky little kid (glasses not thick enough) or a 20something city bloke with a 9 - 5 job (doesn't matter how old you are, you're still a little kid on the inside), but I understand how big this launch was. Gamers have been waiting for too long for the launch of yet another console that will take up all their time and cause problems with girlfriends and spouses. Previous launches of the XBox 360 and Nintendo Wii drew just as much attention but also a lot of complaints to the companies that didn't provide what their customers wanted.

In this case, no one has yet to complain of the ridiculous antics pulled by the company who launched the console. Unlike Nintendo and Microsoft, Sony didn't dupe their customers by only providing a small number of consoles in relation to the demand. Sony actually provided more consoles than expected to sell AND the first 100 customers at their Virgin Launch last night received HD flatscreen TVs worth £2,500 - for free. This is all just for being great customers and being patient enough to stand in a queue for 48 hours.

You read that right - readers in the UK or US might find it normal to hear of people queuing for days to get their hands on a gaming console (people in Japan right now are probably laughing at people who don't). I remember the launch of the XBox 360 at midnight when a laser show was taking place as the doors of GAME flung open and people ran to grab whatever they could - it was crazy. Problem was, some people were queuing for ridiculous hours and when they got to the front of the queue found out there weren't enough consoles to go around. If that were me, I would have probably gone ape shit, start kicking demonstrations and staff and even my own shadow from having to wait around for nothing. Many times before, gamers have complained to reporters on site (yes, because this does make the news, contrary to what some of you would agree to what should be branded as "news") of waiting for hours and not getting anything at the end. I don't blame them. I have been on many awaiting list for the Ninetendo Wii (a joint christmas gift) and many times have I run to the GAME in Canary Wharf to find a group of people standing around and a spotty member of staff shaking his head in embarrassment. It's March and I still haven't gotten one, must to my (and my christmas gift receiver) disappointment.

Sony was smart enough to put away gimmicks/laser shows/juggling marmoset acts and make this a basic launch. Okay, so they did launch the product at midnight but that's actually pretty smart because you don't have to take time off work or school. Also, Sony recognized this wasn't about marketing as much as about getting the product out to the customer, so they didn't have any flash celebrities around or fancy displays - instead they provided their customers with Coke and Caffeine in the last 24 hours of waiting (super bonus) and gave everyone a pretty cool gift for being so dedicated.

What's cool is that they even provided more consoles than they anticipated selling because they didn't want people to buy consoles and turn around and sell them for double the price on eBay - respect to that. No one should be so desperate as to surf eBay at 6 a.m. to buy a gaming console, it's just not right.
I hope this makes a lot of gamers happy - I for one, have lost many hours of my life listening to the same complaints from a certain someone about this whole launch of consoles... Complaints such as corporations not caring enough about their customers, not taking into consideration certain populations and demographics in comparison to others, debating markets like Europe vs the Japanese, the Japanese vs the Americans, the people vs the corporation, my sanity vs rant rant rantrantrantrant... I think Sony's done good this time, maybe this could mean people can finally purchase something and be satisfied with it...

Read the BBC report here, which has put me in a good mood for the rest of the day.

Happy Gaming Kiddos xx

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Sunday Dedication

from post secret

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Number 41: Real Milk Tea

I've been here for too long. I missed my niece's fourth birthday party this saturday and I internally sulked at the fact I couldn't be there to paint faces or dress up like some cool character that she would remember forever. Yeah 3amee, I'm definitely jealous I wasn't there and this doesn't make you anyone's favourite, alright?

And it's a wednesday and I'm feeling funny and the only thing that's keeping me going is that in exactly one month I will be back home. Awesome eh? I can't wait. All I can think of is how I'm going to spend lot's of time attaching myself to various people I've missed over the past year and how much crap I'm going to bring back with me. Coldstores and supermarkets beware: Sara is coming back - no jar of PUCK cheese will be safe.

List of things I miss about home:

1. Not scrubbing limescale off anything.
2. Constant sunshine - no better way to wake up
3. Mum's food and funny ways.
4. Mum. And Dad. And my brothers and my sisters and my neice.
5. Playing pretend with my niece and having her "read" me stories. I even miss it when she corrects me if I skip something - I miss her bossiness and her hugs.
6. Being woken up in the early morning to have breakfast with everyone in the house before they go to work. Watching my sister fuss over herself in the mirror in the kitchen before she leaves, my brother drink his chocolate milk/banana milk/coffee milk. Mum reading the newspaper absent mindly and Dad asking about the expiry dates over everything on the breakfast table (but still eating it all).
7. Meeting friends in 15 minutes all the time - wherever we are.
8. Late night runs to Burgerland for Shawarma
9. Making nice dinner plans and not having to pay more than 15 squids for it, ever.
10. Reading the GDN and tearing apart the crossword puzzle.
11. Driving over to Saar for a lazy afternoon - I love morning drives on empty roads because I have yet to experience the horrendous traffic everyone speaks of.
12. Making cakes that someone will eat
13. Even when there's "nothing to eat at home" the kitchen is still overflowing with goodies to munch on.
14. Honking your horn outside a coldstore, buying something and then waving my "Thank You" - I know the asian men appreciate it as much as I appreciate their service.
15. Hong Kong on a Friday - even if the food isn't as good as it used to be and most of the staff have changed. It's the principle of it, and the Baskin Robbins ice cream that must follow afterwards.
16. Long drives and the talks that go along with it.
17.Never getting the style but loving it anyway.
18. Hearing the label "So Bahraini" and how people always want to be different than that. It makes me smile, some people who live in Bahrain just can't accept the fact that you are what you are.
19. Lgaimat and Mihyawa
20. Taking your shoes off before you walk in anywhere, such a sign of respect people in the rest of the world lack.
21. Space. Spacious cars. Spacious Houses. Spacious streets. OPEN SPACE.
22. Going over to my gran's and finding more kids than I remember being born running around and causing general ruckus.
23. Formalities in the Arabic Language.
24. Stopping to say hello to people and not having to rush off anywhere else.
25. Being able to rent any DVD that's out before than in the UK. Hah, beat that Blockbusters and your crummy, crummy selection of movies.
26. 500 fils coins and notes, either, and the value that they have.
27. Al Jazeera Supermarket for stocking Lucky Charms and Count Chocu-ula.
28. Buildings, Tall Buildings =)
29. Swimming and Beach Days and the smell of the sun
30. Coming home somewhere nice and getting hugs for it. I miss you, crazy family.

That's it. I can't come up with any more or else I'll start balling my eyes out to poor Meredith who won't know what hit her.

One month, folks!

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Happy Birthday 'Shoo

Excerpt from my Diary, Dated 29th April, 2004
I'm listening to one of R's favorite song... It reminds me of this one time back home, one of those times that was super insignificant but will alway stick in my mind as just one of those nice days spent with my big brother... I remember waking up that cool morning in December and finding him sneaking into the house his pyjamas.... Sneaking into our house to steal some movies to watch while he bunked off from work...

"I'm supposed to be sick today..." he would say to me, smiling ... "and i'm also supposed to be too sick to come over for lunch.. so don't tell mom I was here" he smiles again, holding his fingers to his lips... I would laugh, he always made me laugh like that.... "What are you doing? do you want to come over and watch movies with me?" How funny he was! Why not?

Here he was, whom I always thought was the most responsible of us all - sneaking behind around to do something so silly: steal some movies to watch because he just didn't want to go to work and didn't want to have to explain... I knew it, he woke up, watched his wife get ready and take their daughter to her play group while he coughed and droned how tired he was... watched her leave the gates, turn the corner to the club and then he would run to the car to escape... didn't even have time to change out of his blue striped pyjama pants ...

And here I was, aiding his escape, finding the newest rentals in the house to watch and jumping into the car with him... driving in the early morning sun that still wasn't hot enough to cause discomfort, it was just right... As we drove away from the house he just about to explain why he was faking his illness when out of the blue, this song came on the radio...

"I love this song!" he shouts, raising the volume... are the villagers looking, I wonder? Who cares... I look straight ahead and sing right along with him...

You've gotta be cruel to be kind, in the right measures, cruel to be kind, it's a very good sign...
Cruel to be kind, it means that I love youu... baaabyyy... you gotta be cruel, you gotta be cruel to be kiiiiind...

It will always be one of my favourite memories, singing along in the car to some good old music we both loved... We got back to his house and he called his wife, admitting of his little escapade... I heard her laugh and tell him we might as well walk over to the club to pick them up... We walked over, found his wife and his daughter waiting and I watched him reunite with his family... Smiling together, pushing the little one's pram and just enjoying the simplest of times...
Truly one of my favourite days, favourite memories... Even the simplest of days are the best: spending time with my big brother... how cheesy but true... I miss him a lot, I hope he's still not bunking off work to watch stupid movies at home...
Happy Birthday, Love Lot's
Seroo x

template by suckmylolly.com : background by Tayler : dingbat font TackODing