Monday, November 27, 2006

These are a few of my favourite blogs...

People have been hassling me to update my blog, but in actual fact, I have drafts of a few posts already begun, but they just don't seem to want to finish themselves. I guess they will when the time is right. Anyways, this gives me the opportunity to blog about something I've been meaning to for a while: other blogs. Other blogs that I really like, in fact.

We start with a couple blogs of people I don't know personally, but kinda wish I did. Rockslinga is the blog of young, up-and-coming (or perhaps "already made it"), award-winning Palestinian author, Randa Jarrar. In it she poignantly and oftentime humourously writes about topics as varied as Palestinian politics and literature to single-motherhood. Also dealing with the topic of Palestine and the Middle East more generally is Susannah Tarbush's blog, The Tanjara. Not much information is given about "Starbush," but she seems like a person I'd be friends with.

On to people I actually know, we start with my friend Deena, who apparently has some..."interesting"...admirers on myspace. She has therefore decided to share her bliss with us through her blog, Freak of the Week. Next, there's Balcancan, and her blog, Balkan Babble. I wish I could tell you exactly what this blog is about but Balcancan is the ultimate Queen of Randomosity, and therefore defies definition. Last, but not remotely least, is Seriously? Seriously, the blog of my good friend and dear drinking buddy par excellence, Industriage. Watch, as she and her co-author, V, eruditely hold forth on...well...just about everything. Guaranteed to be entertaining, amusing, and enlightening. Oh, and she told me in an email that if she read the name "Daniel Craig" one more time, she'd have to go see the Daniel Craig. Yes, I realize that's twice.

Okay, so, there you have it, some of my favourite blogs. Feeling left out? Ignored? Generally unloved? Feel free to post your blog link in the comments section.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Oh ye of little faith...

There were many naysayers when Daniel Craig was announced as the latest James Bond. Criticisms ranged from his appearance (he's no Pierce Brosnan to be sure) to his physique and acting abilities. I, however, never doubted Craig's abilities to fill the expansive shoes left by Brosnan. And it appears I have been vindicated. After the release of the latest instalment of the Bond franchise, Casino Royale, named for Ian Fleming's first Bond novel, the naysayers have been definitively shut-up as the critics rave about Craig's portrayal of the Bond role. They have evoked the memory of Connery, normally seen as the best Bond (though I'm partial to Brosnan, whose only downfall was the pitiful script-writing with which he had to contend).

I should add, I have yet to see Casino Royale but am absolutely salivating at the opportunity to do so. Judging by how long it takes movies to reach Libya though...I'm not going to be seeing it any time soon. Most cinemas here are still playing Jackie Chan flicks...

Thursday, November 09, 2006

My Non-Holiday in Canada

Alright, I'm trying to catch up on things I want to blog about, which is why I'm writing about my "holiday" in Canada which occurred around two weeks ago.

I use "holiday" in the loosest sense of the term here. Yes, I left Libya and therefore didn't have to go in to the office everyday, but I was up at 6 every morning doing office-related work (checking/responding to emails, working on a transcript, etc.). Then there was all the personal admin stuff I had to do: renew driver's license, renew passport, file taxes...Between all that, I had no chance of living out my fantasy of just lying like an inanimate lump of organic matter in the recliner in front of the TV, glass of bourbon in one hand and petting Vivace (my dog) with the other.

My brother was incredibly busy with midterms the whole time I was there, so I barely got to see him, though I did get to attend his highschool graduation (Canadian high schools have graduation the autumn after their final year) which was fun. I think it was the first time I'd attended a graduation without either playing in the band (pomp and circumstance ad nauseum) or graduating myself. I was proud. Also got to see my relatives a bit, though not as much as I would have liked due to my busy-ness and theirs. Finally, got a chance to see many (but alas, not all) of old friends.

I also had the good fortune of having a 24 hour layover in London on the way to Canada, so there again I had the opportunity to catch up with many old friends who, even though I had left them only a month previously, it felt like I hadn't seen in ages. Amazing how major life changes can broaden the expanses of time which in actual fact was very short. In any case, I pulled up to The Driver (pub) in a cab and found a bunch of the old gang sitting out front (Jeremie, Arjun, Keya, Eleise, Hung Bin) and they graciously welcomed me with great jubilation and (more importantly) some beautiful, amber, Maker's Mark bourbon (this blog is starting to seem like a prolonged Maker's Mark advert). And so we proceded to drink...drink..and drink some more. We relived the old days, drinking at the driver, then proceding to the King's Crown (where we requested Shakira's "Hips Don't Lie" of course) then when to Paul Robeson House and yelled in the courtyard (Arjun was particularly keen on this). I also rolled around in the Paul Robeson (damp) grass. We thanked the guard, our old corpulent friend, for allowing us in by giving him a swig of the bottle of Maker's Mark that we were walking around with. Then on to Clockwork to cap off the night. By this point we were all rather inebriated. On the walk back, Jeremie felt the urge to run up and down Pentonville Road and go up to random strangers to yell "COPTIC IN THE HOOOUUUUUSE!" (that was a reference to me being in London I suppose...). All in all, it was a pretty amazing 24 hours. It made me realize how much I miss London and all the people in it that have made my memories of that city so fond. I hope to be reunited with both the city and the people once again soon.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

I Am My Father's Son

There are several things I want to write about including my "holiday" in Canada and the new James Bond film, but I think I will spread them out onto several posts over the coming few days. There is something that I want to write about in particular today though...

I spent what was supposed to be this past "weekend" working. It made me think of how hard my father works. In fact a lot of things lately have been making me think about how the older I get, the more I am becoming like my father. For instance, when my father used to come visit us in Canada for holidays, he would be up every day at 6 am to talk on the phone with work, fix things around the house, mow the lawn/shovel snow (according to the season), etc. I'd admired that about him, but was also rather puzzled by how someone can work during what was ostensibly his holidays. Well, my father and I both coincidentally had holidays (or rather "holidays" more on this later) in Canada at the same time a couple weeks back, and this time the roles were reversed. It was I who was up at 6 am to check my work email, respond to queries and do various other work-related activities, while my father slept in all the way until 8 am.

Spending this last weekend working also made me think about how I used to resent my father's work ethic when I was growing up. I would get upset when he would come home from work late in the evening, too tired to drive me somewhere, or when he would work on weekends rather than stay at home. To me, this seemed like a serious case of misplaced priorities. Working 12 - 13 hours a day during the week plus weekends now, I really appreciate the sacrifices my father made in order to provide for his family, as well as the personal fulfillment that he rightly gained from doing his job, and being damned good at it. Over the years, my appreciation and admiration for my father, both as a person and as a professional, has continued to grow. I've never seen anyone as good at what they do, as my father is at his job.

All my life people have remarked on the resemblance I bear to my father, both in terms of appearance as well as personality. In the past I did not always welcome this observation, but I now increasingly take pride in being compared to my father. I can only hope to become even half the person he is.