Monday, September 29, 2008

Late Summer

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Current Mood: Sleepy
Current Song: Talking to the Walls by Finger Eleven

Just enjoying the last of summer now. We've had some incredible weather the last little while. It's felt like summer. I'm hoping that the streak continues through until October. It would be very nice to have that.

Yesterday, I went to Word on the Street with a friend of mine (a fellow lover of books). It's a nice festival, and quite small actually. But spending a few hours around some books never hurt anyone. Plus it was nice to be downtown again. I miss the water and I miss the general energy of the place. Though I have to say, we probably have the quietest downtown area in the world. At one point, my friend and I might have been the only people wandering the street. I could swear it. I'm thinking the festivals and downtowns in Toronto and Montreal are probably far more lively than over here. Although, Vancouver is a lovely city, I have to say.

Also watched a movie called Jodhaa Akbar over the weekend. It was one of those epic stories by Bollywood. The movie literally lasted 4 hours (and then you wonder where I get my stamina to sit through things). It was actually one of the best movies that I have seen in a while. Great on-screen chemistry. The story is basically about the great-grandfather of the guy who built the Taj Mahal (Shah Jahan) and his Hindu wife Jodhaa. Great story. Some people apparently hated it. Too many elephants, they said. You can never have enough elephants. In fact, I think that should be a prerequisite for all movies. At least one elephant. In any case, it was a great movie. Here's a song, if you're so inclined.

Picture of the week. I swear next week it won't be flowers, but I was trying the whole blurry foreground thing. I think it worked....


Okay folks, off to begin (or continue the rest of my day). Ciao for niao!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Uncompromising

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Current Mood: Happy to have had my haircut (thank you Crystal!)

Current Song: Shine by Coldplay

This week was our all night prayer, and yesterday I was sufficiently knackered, but seemed to have recovered rather well today. I also had my refill of ismaili so I can go about sinning until next ramadan. Ah, institutionalised religion...where would I be without you.

It's a funny thing, this autumn. I start to reminisce when it gets to about this time of year. When all the leaves and dying and the rain is coming down in sheets, there's some last ember of something that brings back some memories. Maybe it's the smell of coming winter or how the mall starts to smell and look different. Dunno. But I start to wish for some of those past memories. Today, however has been a bit different. I woke up with that "wouldn't it be just great if...." feeling. But have suddenly been reminded of my own growth

I think women face a hard choice in the world these days, especially when it comes to relationships. I think that we have to give up a lot and resign ourselves a bit more. Sometimes we even think that we know what we want, but don't really realise that we are capable of much more than we give ourselves credit for. I'm one of those prime examples and I know all too many women who make up the rest of the examples. I think the biggest lesson we can learn is to be uncompromising in our strength. I am who I am, so deal with it, short hair, glasses and the whole package. Why shouldn't we be appreciated for who we are?

All this, came from a morning of getting my hair cut. I've also noticed something else. I'm getting far more looks now with longer hair than I ever did with shorter. I wonder what that's all about. Men are a strange breed. Who created them anyway? oh...right....that guy...../

Anyway, I've rambled on long enough. Grey's Anatomy tonight! wee! I'll report back soon. A bientot!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Starlight Starbright

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Current Mood: Sad that summer is over, but happy because Halloween is close!

Current Song: The Latest Craze

It's been a productive week in a lot of ways. It was much less boring than other weeks that I've had which I was really grateful for. Although I have to say it's very unmotivating this whole sitting around thing.

This week I went to a talk that was put on by the School for International Studies on the identity formation of American Muslims. It was an extremely interesting talk on the Americanisation of Muslim identity and this split between good Muslim and bad Muslim. I don't want to go into the nitty gritties because I would probably misrepresent the talk if I did. It was nice to think again though, and think in that capacity again. I loved being an academic and I missed that banter that we used to have. The world is so much bigger than us! Phew!

Yesterday I went to the Lantern Festival at Deer Lake Park which was a ton of fun as well. I had never been, so it was good. I tried to take some shots with the new camera (which I appear to be guarding with my life), and they all weren't very good because I really haven't figured out how to use it at its very best. Nonetheless, I certainly tried. it was a very nice overcast evening and I went with one of my best friends. I miss city events sometimes and I hope I get to go to a few more of them before the work life kicks in for good. So below are a couple of shots from last night. One is a woman with a glowstick hula hoop and the other is a path of a bunch of candles that they formed that you could walk through. Enjoy! I shall write again soon!



Sunday, September 14, 2008

Superwomen

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Current Mood: Warm

Current Song: Gloomy Sunday by Billie Holliday

Two blogs in a row! What are the odds?! Well I have a story to tell on this one today. My sister told it to me yesterday and actually ACTUALLY had me in tears for about 20 minutes.

My sister works at a fabric store downtown around here and she works every saturday. Yesterday was just a saturday like any other. A woman came in with her two children; the older one was about early highschool age and the younger one was well, younger than that. The two girls decided to go and get some fabrics and things cut without informing their mother, while she was looking around the store and buying her own things.

When it came time to pay, the woman came up to the cash to pay and her daughters showed up with their stuff. And according to my sister, it was quite a bit of stuff (fabric and trims and such add up very quickly.) The mother looked like she was in a right panic. She told her kids that she wouldn't be able to afford it all as she was only working part time. Her oldest said to her that it was all for school and the mother replied that hers was also for school (perhaps she was taking classes for fashion design...one can only speculate). The mother also said that if the girls needed money, they should ask their father, given that she was in such dire financial straits

The older girl had a fit and walked out on her mother (all this was happening at the cash counter where my sister was the cashier). The younger one asked her mother why she wouldn't buy the goods and her mother obviously said that she couldn't afford it. To which, the little girl called her mother a bitch and walked out as well. The mother at this point looked like she was on the verge of tears. The lineup was building and the managers told her she had to pay. But she simply did not have the money. So she said she would have to figure something out and come back.

(are you crying yet?)

A few minutes later, the woman came back with a man who frequents the store quite often (he's a fashion designer I think). He had obviously seen the woman outside and it appeared as though she might have been crying (for very obvious reasons). He decided to help her out and pay for all of her daughter's things. The woman said she couldn't let him do that but he insisted. The tab came to about $60 (think of it as a week's worth of groceries, or perhaps a day's worth of pay for someone who works part time). The woman apologised profusely to my sister for the big scene. Her children were of course still outside along with their sense of entitlement.

A few observations I can comment on personally from the story. One: whoever that man was that paid that tab is going to get some serious blessings from that woman and has probably done one of the most charitable things ever in the entire world. There are still good people in this world.
Two: I completely give this woman credit for being in school and actually trying to better her lot. It's one of the hardest things to do (speaking personally), and if she's a single parent with no support, all the more difficult to keep two girls fed and clothed and try to keep a roof over their heads. I sincerely pray and hope that she sees better days in the future.
Three: I'm not sure how lucky children (such as my generation) really know they are. Yes, you can't always have all the cool things everyone has, but be grateful that you're not going to school hungry. Unfortunately this is the case with too many people in this world. Forget fabric for school projects, think about the food that's on your table and be grateful that it's there. You could be one of the many who doesn't even have that privilege.

We really can't judge people on their circumstances. I do completely applaud and appreciate women who try this hard, and really have to muster up every ounce of strength to make it through another day. It's a tough world out there, and it's a tougher world out there for women. I think our communities still don't do enough to encourage women to become the best they can. We still don't pay them enough wages and there are still very few concessions for them. Once in a while we need to take a hard look at the underbelly of our society and really see what's going on. Are we really doing enough to ensure that the women of today can retire in peace? Are we doing enough to ensure that the women of tomorrow have every opportunity afforded to them to be better people?

It makes you think. I for one, am grateful every day. It's been a hard road for my own family (imagine 3 women)...but it seems that we are turning out okay. It does boggle the mind just to consider it for a moment. I know how lucky I am. Do you know how lucky you are?

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Relocating My Motivation

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Current Mood: Fairly composed for before 9 in the morning on a saturday

Current Song: Fortunate fool by Jack Johnson

Well it's been a rather uneventful week again. I'm starting to miss the banter of school and the stress severely. Yes, I generally do miss stress when I haven't got it around. It keeps me on my feet, and I like that. I am getting the opportunity to write a bit more. And I've taken to watching British housing shows like "Relocation Relocation". So I'm learning a lot about housing. It's sad. I know. I really do feel like a Hausfrau, but I'm sure it won't be a lasting state. However, if I was ever to buy a flat in Parsons Green I would know exactly what to look for! (and lemme tell ya, 300,000 quid buys you nothing!)
I do wonder how those women who choose not to work keep themselves occupied. Granted, I don't have any children running around the house that I have to chase after to wipe noses and throw up. I wonder if I've always been one to throw myself into work. I think I have. It does offer a bit of solace. So even when I'm really upset, if I just concentrate on work, I feel a lot better. Hmm...

I am also going to start learning french seriously now. I've just been reading things in French but need to go to the library and get some books out so I can actually concentrate on formally learning the grammar and all that fun boring stuff. If anyone wants to take a french class with me, give me a holla!

Okay, picture of the week! I was out last week galavanting with my new camera and I cam across this bush of button roses (or what have you). So I was just fiddling around with the aperture and the ISO and accidentally shot this lovely photo! And I promise next week I won't put up a pink picture. But this one was too good to pass up! Alright, enjoy the sites, and I shall converse with thee anon!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Oooooooooooooh! Purty!

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Current Mood: pretty calm (waiting for storm)

Current Song: System by Seal

Been a decent week. A bit busy for someone who's not really doing much these days, but nevertheless it was alright. My fantastic wonderful awesome family got me my graduation present this week. It's a lovely Nikon D40 SLR camera. It's so great to work with. It even has new car smell, I feel! It's got amazing picture quality and it's so fun to play around with. So in honour of honing in my rather mediocre photography skills, I'm adding a "picture of the week" phenomenon to my blog, so I can put up my best pictures for you to rave about and admire. I think it'll be fun. Feel free to comment on them (I take criticism pretty well...after I stop sobbing...kidding!). Sooo, see below for photograph and I'll write a mini caption about where the inspiration for it came from. I think it'll add some intelligence to my erratic photo-taking

Also, just wanted to say thank you to my Mum and Zoyah for being such amazing people. I have said before that I generally get what I want (sometimes it takes some time to get it, but it's eventually mine). If it wasn't for them, I would have no support in all the things that I've done and all the mistakes I've made. They are unconditional for me and I'm forever indebted to them. That's the meaning of family. They stick by you no matter how much you screw up or how difficult you are to live with. And trust me, I'm not the consistency of room-temp butter when it comes to living with me (sometimes my mother says, she may as well as given birth to a stone)...So thank you. You two are awesome...*tear*

Okay picture time! yay!

So this little picture, I call "Between Faith and Science" You'll see a "tasbih" (prayer beads) and a pair of protective lab goggles (or whatever you call them). Both found in my sister's room, so she's the inspiration because she balances her love for science and her religion better than I ever did at her age. And for those who know or care to know about Ismailism, there is no contention between the two. Science is a way of discovering more of creation, so Ismaili scholars through the ages have been able to consolidate the two quite well. More info available in the many sources at the Insitute for Ismaili Studies and http://www.theismaili.org/

Okay done today! later days folks!