Sunday, July 26, 2009

Post 49: As they Say in Swahili, Asante Sana (Thank You Very Much)

5 comments

My second ever Blogathon is now complete! I am happy, and tired. Most of all I'm just glad I can stop typing (this makes you never want to touch a computer ever. again. )
There are loads of people to thank this year (I'm not linking because I'm exhausted. Go to post number 2 to figure out who they are).

Thanks first off to Rebecca for rallying all the Vancouver bloggers together. We couldn't have done it without you.

Thanks to my fellow bloggers: Gary, Duane, Raul, Barbara and Catherine (and others) for spurring me on.

Thanks to the folks at Blogathon.org for putting together such a great event and providing all of the support we needed for 24 hours around the world. I know you were busy. Thanks to Pico for keeping me awake and "monitoring"

Special thanks to my Posse: Michael, Nosh, Julie, Mel, Jen and all of the others who made a point of dropping by to give words of encouragement and to suggest topics. Wouldn't have done it without your support.

A big gooey thanks to Mum and Zoyo for the food and for hanging around for way past your bedtimes.

Thanks too, to everyone at Tumaini for being awesome. I hope we started something today that may carry on in the future.

Remember folks, there is still time to donate and show your support.

I am taking a very much needed rest from blogging for a couple of weeks. You have plenty to wade through for that time. Signing Off for now!
Ciao for Niao!

Post 48: Morning Approaches

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I'm sure we're all out of steam at this point. One more call out to people who haven't had the opportunity to donate to the Tumaini Children's Project. Please do so! It's a great project and they work really hard to help HIV/ AIDS orphans in Kenya. Remember, you can donate through Paypal on the site as well :)

As the sunrise approaches, I snuck outside to take a picture.

Post 47: The Well Runneth Dry - A Meme

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I had to resort to these survey thingies to get me through the last coupla posts. So here goes:

1. What is your middle name? I don't have one!

2. What colour is your mailbox? I don't have one. We have a mail slot. It's gold.

3. Do You have to travel over a bridge to get home? No, not normally.

4. What colour is your bedroom? Sunshine yellow. It's a nice colour actually.

5. Do you know anyone with the same ringtone as you? Unless someone has "I put a Spell on you", no.

6. What do you do first thing in the morning? Normally, brush my teeth. Today, go to bed!

7. Who was your kindergarten teacher? Honestly, I don't remember at all. Guess she can't have been all that memorable.

8. Are you taller than your mom? Yes, by 1 inch!

9. Does anything on your body hurt? Yes, my back is killing me!

10. What brand are the pants you're wearing right now? I'm in scrubs that say SFU

11. what is the closest green object to you? the back cover of the Margaret Atwood book by my bedside.

12. Ever broken a pinata? No. I haven't, strangely.

13. Where were you for the last 24 hours? fittingly, I was blogging. Still am!

14. How many pairs of shoes do you own? Oh too many.

15. How do you usually sleep? On my stomach.

16. If you were in a circus, what kind of performance would you do? Ehm. Trampoline?

17. What was the last hot drink you had? I had a coffee 23 hours ago.

18. How many have you had the cold/ flu in the last year? Probably twice.

19. What was the last thing you bought? cupcake shells I think.

20.Where does your family name come from? India I think.

Post 46: My New Appreciation for Dilbert

1 comments

When I was a kid, I hated Dilbert Cartoons. Probably because I didn't understand them. I didn't realize how relevant they were when you started up in the workforce. I even have a handy-dandy Dilbert calendar on my wall. This month it says "Does anyone have a question designed to increase my workload for your entertainment?" Clever.

Here's one from the website. I think we've all been there!

Dilbert.com

Post 45: 5 Things to Do After a Breakup

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It's late (or early) and you're going to have to start forgiving me my spelling mistakes. It's some small miracle that I'm awake and still coherent actually! And you've all been fabulous this whole time. Much love.

I was speaking to a friend about breakups. She recently went through a really harrowing one and it got me to thinking about what we do after/ or in an attempt to free ourselves from emotional ties. So here are 5 things to do after a breakup.

1. Cry - You may as well do it now because it won't really be all that handy later. Get it out of your system, so you can move onto a different place in the emotional spectrum.

2. Cut your hair - It's odd, but hair carries so much attachment along with it. The first thing I'd do is cut mine off (and I haven't got long hair). It helps and makes you feel newer and less dented.

3. Clean house - Throw stuff out. Get new clothes. Donate some old furniture. It lifts weight off you, and it's a good opportunity to go get new stuff!

4. Visit - Though the first instinct would be to be a total shut-in and shun any company. It's probably the worst thing you can do. Best to get up and visit people. If you're afraid of talking about the breakup or you've talked it to death already, just politely turn the topic away. I'm pretty sure people would be understanding about it.

5. Do Something New - Do something you've never done. Or take up something that you dropped. It'll get your head in a different space and will keep you from brooding (too much).

That's my five. It takes some time, but like everything, nothing is permanent. This too, shall pass :)

Post 44: Risking Someone's Life

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Next idea post came from Noorin in London. She asks: Have you ever risked someone else's life.

My answer I think would have to be no. Unless you count my erratic driving methodology, then yes. Seriously, I have no sense of my car. Watch out. I think that I'm relatively careful with other people's presence when I'm around (not that I'm extremely dangerous as a human being or anything).

I do know of some stories of people who have nearly died because of someone else's foolishness. At one point, it involved a drunk driver who took his child and a friend for a drive and knowing full well that he was in shape to be operating a vehicle at all. There was much swirving and they barely made it home in one piece.

Not only is risking someone else's life incredible irresponsible, it's also very selfish. Not that i'm condoning risking your own life, but that's one's own issue. If your involve other people, you have no consideration for them at all. It then becomes a philosophical issue, which might be too complicated to discuss here. It all does come back to the sanctity of life. Whether you value your own life enough to consider others.

Post 43: My One and Only Love

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I'm a big jazz fan. I stumbled upon this song by John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman some time ago and it's one of my favourites. Luscious voice and gorgeous manoeuvering of that sax! Enjoy!

Post 42: Marry a Man with No Charm

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My mother and I were having a conversation today somewhere between the frenzied posting extravaganza and we discovered something strange. Men who are charming, and sweet talkers often have nothing behind them. Generally, in the pattern of my life, it's men with no prospects, or future or plans of any sort. They manage to talk their way through the next day and then the next. I think it stops at the charm. Many a time I've thought that I liked someone only to find out that there's nothing else of substance going on in their lives.

It's disappointing on so many levels.

Lucky me that there haven't been very many of them. It's still disappointing nonetheless.

So our new plan is to marry men with no charm to them whatsoever. I figure if you're trying to compensate for the fact that you don't drip honey with every word, then perhaps there will be something else there. Perhaps you'll have been too busy planning out your future, securing your prospects and building equity to bother with the poetics of verbage. Charm, like looks, will eventually fade and become less appealing when people discover that the lights are on, but nobody is home. If you can't hold up your end of the bargain after that, we're in a bit of trouble.

It's not exactly the most secure plan on this plan, but then again, what is?

Post 41: Everything Changes at Midnight

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Just a hand at some description. Was feeling it.

The clock stumbles towards sunrise.
The air tastes different, moist from the past day of summer rains
There is extra bass in the song that plays.
I've never heard that note before
Must be new.
Orange glows and grey shadows mix
At one parallel, then perpendicular, then intermingled
It makes sense for this hour
Where everything changes
Until the light breaks up the noise.

Don't forget to give to TCP!

Post 40: 5 Things I Would Be if I Wasn't

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Woohoo! 40th post. This is most certainly auspicious in some way when all I want to do is fall asleep. Thought I'd make another 5 of list. So here's a list of 5 things I might be if I wasn't who I am today. We're thinking occupations here. Anything else at 1:30 in the morning is just too difficult.

1. Poet - Well I write, but I'd wear billowy skirts and let my hair run free and curly as it wanted.

2. Doctor - Given that I'm alright with blood and such, I would have made a great doctor. Too bad I hate chemistry and physics.

3. Art Historian - I admire their vast knowledge of all things beautiful. If ever there was something to aspire to!

4. Architect - That would be so cool. To leave a physical mark of your work on this earth for generations to see. How amazing.

5. A Pianist - I've always wanted to learn how to play. I would love to one day have become a concert pianist. Just to be that intimately acquainted with an instrument that's not my voice would be great. An extension of who I am I suppose!

Post 39: Neruda, Another One of My Favourites

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I love the Darkness of some of Pablo Neruda's poems. There's a shadow to his love poems that I appreciate. This particular one is my favourite

XVII

I do not love you as if you were a salt rose, or a topaz,
Or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.
I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
In secret, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that never blooms,
But carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;
thanks to your love, a certain solid fragrance
risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride.
so I love you because I know no other way.

than this: where I does not exist, nor you,
so close that your hand on my chest, is my hand
so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep

Post 38: Rumi: Your Fragrance

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I'm not much for Rumi and sufi poetry on a daily basis. It's too floaty floaty for me and I have to be in the right state of mind to truly enjoy it. Last year, though, I had a chance to sing with the National Choir and we sang a piece of Rumi's poetry transcribed to music.
It was arranged by Ed Henderson (of Vancouver Chamber Choir fame) and translated by Coleman Barks. It's stuck with me for such a long time now. Thought I'd share.

Your Fragrance

Your fragrance fills the meadow
Your mouth appears in a red anemone.
But when those reminders leave,
My own lips open
And in whatever I say
I hear you.

Pretty right?

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Post 37: Cool Videos

3 comments

If I had ANY sense of extraversion, I would totally do this!

Post 36: Honey Tops

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My sister, Zoyah is an extraordinary baker. She just came home from work and baked a cake. It was crazy. I'm pretty lucky to have such goodies around my house. It's also a wonder that I'm not 200 pounds more than I currently am.

She has a blog called Honey Tops, where she showcases all of her yummy vittles. She's new to the blogging world, so I thought I'd give her some space on the blog. Her latest creation is below. Something she threw together. Inspired by Mum's pants from early in the day.

If I'm around for Blogathon next year, I'll bring some in :)





Post 35: Hearts Vs Minds

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Ever meet those people who follow their hearts their entire lives? If something tells them to suddenly move to Boston, that's what they do. If they don't feel right about something, they don't tend to do it.

And then there are the counterparts who think things to death. Every situation is assessed to the very nub and then some. Every detail is thought through to the very end.

I'm the latter of these folks. Like I've said before, I haven't a spontaneous bone in my body. I think things through to the very end. Sometimes it's a bit of trouble actually because I fail to take those opportunities that may take me along a path I haven't determined. It all comes back to my controlfreakishness. But I learn as I go.

Luckily, I have an uncanny sense of intuition. It's not really my heart and I don't follow my emotions that way. It's a gut thing really, and it's supplemental.

How about you? Are you a heart-follower or a mind-follower?

Post 34: The Gods Are Bowling

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We had a thunderstorm earlier. My friend Nosh, who has been checking in all day felt a bit sorry for me staring at this computer screen so she sent me some pictures of the sunset during the thunderstorm in North Vancouver.

North Van is good for something eh Nosh ;)

Post 33: 5 Most Underrated Musicians

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I really do love this whole list thing. It's making life so much easier. Although I should probably save some for later. If I get incoherent, I'll just put up pictures later :)

1. Imogen Heap - I love her music. I don't think she's mainstream enough. She may be more famous in the UK (her home town). Have a listen to her music. Some of you will probably recognize "Hide and Seek"

2. Marc Robillard - He's Canadian. I first heard him on Bravo Videos and I loved his songs. He's got this raspy thing happening. Totally worth a listen!

3. Ron Sexsmith - He's so fantastic. I think most of you will remember his song from a few years ago called "Whatever it takes", but he's worked with so many people including Coldplay on a song called "Gold in them Hills". If Coldplay likes him, you should totally check him out.

4. Wintersleep - Again, heard on Bravo Videos and they have a great sound. I believe they were at Pemberton last year. Sad to have missed them, but they're fantastic.

5. Tom Waits - He's old school, and a total crank, but I think he has this heavy feeling of history to his music. Even though some of it sounds like Sea Shanties. I can't help but listen to "Alice" on winter nights when it's raining.

Post 32: 5 Most Memorable Books

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I'm dedicating this post to my friend Michael, who has been checking in all day and shares my love for books and reading and all things literary. This 5 of list thing is really working for me. Here is a list of the 5 most memorable books in my library.

1. An Equal Music by Vikram Seth - amazing story of lost and found love and how circumstances that change can impact a relationship into the future. Plus music is the background for it, which I love.

2. The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje - There is this fantastic part of the novel that describes the different kinds of desert winds. It was the one thing that caught my attention and I remember writing an essay about it. I will forever remember that passage.

3. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens - I read this when I was 10 and it was formative in how literature could be written. Dickens is a bit drawn out even for an adult, but I especially will remember Ms. Havisham's character in her wedding dress.

4. Fugitive Pieces by Anne Michaels - A fantastic novelist and exquisitely written. Such a sense of history and loss in that book. Another one of those novels I read on entrance into Uni (and another Michael and I read at the same time, along with Number 2!)

5. A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry - I felt like I was hanging in the balance the entire way through this novel. It's simultaneously devastating and beautiful and gives you this panoramic scope of India during the time of Indira Gandhi. The very end of the novel is etched into my memory forever

Post 31: I Shaved My Legs Upto the Knees For This? Expectations, Men and Divorce

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If you don't already know by now, you've probably at least come to the conclusion that I am a child of divorce. My parents got divorced many years ago and I've been raised by my mum (an awesome woman) ever since. Well, there's no more raising to do, but you know what I mean. She's a super lady too.

I have to say though, that as a child of divorce, you take on some interesting perspectives of the opposite sex, some of which is tempered through the lens of a divorce. Now, I'm not going to say I hate all men or any of that malarkey. It's not nice. I have more male friends than female friends and they are gems. I am quicker however, to find faults in relationships.

Yes, that's right. I can get judgey. I think it's easier for women who are divorced or the children of women who are divorced to be harder on men. Some might stem for the need or the necessity of independence. And sometimes it might just come out of the fact that it's been a let-down so far. It's just much easier to write off a flaw than it is to look past it.

I'm perfectly happy where I am and I am slowly (veeerrrry slowly) learning to give love a chance. I don't want to miss it really if/when I happen upon it.

Post 30: I Now Pronounce You a Completely Different Person

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I recently went to a wedding of a dear friend of mine. We attended the actual wedding ceremony (Known in Muslim religion as the Nikkah). It's the signing of the marriage contract and the ring ceremony. I was struck by how the bride entered as one person and left as another, changing names, and altogether identities. She is still the same wonderful sweet woman I always knew, but it set off the commitment alarm in my head.

I decided that if (and it's a pretty big IF) I do get married at some point, I want to keep my own name. Not out of any particular familial attachment to it. I feel like the name that I have earned is one that is who I am. I'm defined more by who I am as a person than my ancestral background. Not so much the "daughter of so and so" but more that girl who blogs!

I think it's grand that people want to hyphenate or change their names entirely. Good on you and more power to you of course. For me, I feel like I would lose who I am a little bit, my academic background and how people know me. I know I won't be a different person, but it might feel like that. Perhaps I just can't imagine myself in that situation.

Also I'm not bothered with the paperwork :)

Post 29: 5 Things I Love about Vancouver

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Off the edge of Hermit Island. Photo Credit: me :)

Obviously, I will need to dedicate a post to Vancouver and why I love it here.

1. Rain - I love the rain. Some people will read this and think I've lost all my marbles. But I love it. It's refreshing and there is something about being blanketed in the rain that just takes everything else away in the world.

2. Waterfront - I love the Waterfront. I often go hang out there. I used to work in an office that directly looked over the waterfront. it's a gorgeous view even when you're working late into the night.

3. Green Spaces - The city has an absolute abundance of green spaces from parks to mountains. There are plenty of trails for running or biking or just going for a stroll. I like being surrounded by the urban terrain along with the natural terrain.

4. Culture - from Little India to Commercial Drive to Robson Street, Vancouver is such a mix of cultures. I love being able to just enjoy any cuisine from the world. And Vancouver is small enough that this is all accessible.

5. People - I've made this place my home for the last 17 years and I've met some of my best friends here. I think it's a fabulous city full of life :)

Post 28: Conversation Starters

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My mommy totally rules. She made chinese food. And now I feel much better after having eaten it (lower back, not so good).

I wear a necklace with the map of Africa on it and it is always a conversation piece whenever I meet people. It was a present from a cousin in Africa and I've been wearing it for about 12 years now. Just the other day, I was in a cafe on Commercial Drive when an old man inquired as to my roots or why I was wearing that particular necklace. Funny thing is he bet his friend I would say I was from East Africa. Weird eh?

It's always kind of neat to have something like that's unique to who you are. You can see why Africa is so close to my heart and why I want to support the Tumaini Children's Project. I'm proud of it and gladly show it off every chance I get (Plus it's a great way to pick up guys. Not that I need the help!).

Do you have a conversation starter that people always ask you about?

Post 27: 5 People to Meet in Heaven

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I'm reading Mitch Albom's book "5 People You'll Meet in Heaven" (in french). So that got me to thinking about the 5 people I'd like to meet in heaven (should there be one, and more importantly, should I end up there!)

1. William Shakespeare - How cool would it be to have a conversation with the Bard himself? Pretty freakin' awesome. Sure beats seeing the movies about his life!

2. Dorothy Parker - I feel somehow connected to her writing and to the kinds of things she went through. Plus I'd like to ask her what it's like to work for the New Yorker.

3. Kahlil Gibran - Because he's one of my favourite poets of all time and I'm sure we could talk about life and love and philosophy.

4. A/ Several Great Grandparents - I sadly don't know much about them. We don't have rich historical records so it would be nice to ask them what it was like for them to grow up. Sure would give you some perspective on your own existence, I should think.

5. Beethoven - I think he's misunderstood. I'm sure he'd have a lot to say. Plus it would be great if he could play "Pathetique" sonata for me :)

That's my 5. How about yours?

Post 26: Brand Bender for Starbucks

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I was browsing NPR again and I noted this article on Starbucks. Apparently they've opened a nameless cafe somewhere in Seattle that now sells cheese and booze along with specialty french pressed coffees etc.

Makes me wonder about branding and what this move will do to Starbucks. Far be it for me to predict, but I think that the people who prefer to go to independent coffee shops will continue to do so no matter how anonymous Starbucks may become.

Here are my thoughts:

Not sure how this is going to play out for brand extension (or contraction as the case may be). It appears to be yet another marketing ploy to extend Starbucks' brand further and diversify its clientele.

Again, I don't think this is going to work so much. If your coffee shop needs to send people on field missions to figure out what a real coffee shop is like, you've kind of lost your way. Far from attractive, I think it might even repel people away from the place. Regular clientele may not recognize the brand and thus not want to buy. If it ain't broke, don't fix it?

And then there's the anonymity of the new layout. Really, am I going to walk into no-name land? I prefer to know the place where I'm going to be ingesting something.

Kind of reminded me of the artist, Prince. Even when he became "The artist formerly known as Prince" and then the Artist formerly known as the Artist formerly known as Prince, he was still the same person. Same fans, same music.

This may or may not work. It's for the future to tell. I personally think it's a strange way to go about your business.

Post 25: "Love is so Short, Forgetting is so Long" - Why Sometimes you just can't be Friends

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I was having a conversation with a friend the other day about exes and about the possibility/ probability of being friends after the end of a relationship. While I think it's great when people can remain in amicable relationship and nobody wants to vomit at the sight of the other, I don't think this is always possible.

It's a hard thing to do, especially when feelings were strong and there wasn't any amount of wrath or contempt in the break up. I feel that sometimes it's probably more detrimental to remain friends than it is to go your separate ways. I don't know why, but seeing some people is just difficult and being around them is draining.

During these types of moments, we have to look out for our own well-being. I'm a thinker but I'm slowly learning to listening to the ticking of my body and its reactions when something is adverse. Take it as a warning sign sometimes and just don't interact. See if you feel better or worse for the wear.

I used to think that having that kind of reaction meant that something was wrong with you. But I've come to realize that just as some friendships have a natural end, other relationships also have a natural end and that doesn't make you somehow awful.

Perhaps at some point, you're doing yourself a favour by moving on. As Pablo Neruda does say "Forgetting is so long."

Post 24: It's Raining in Burnaby

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Happy Halfway! (Okay technically, not because it's 49 posts, but I'm taking the opportunity to celebrate).

Question: Have you donated today to the Tumaini Children's Project? If not, you've got some time to do that. Check 'em out here






Post 23: 5 Things I Believe In

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I'm trying to spread out my content so I'm not doing all the easy stuff in one go. I'm quite sure it's going to be difficult to wax philosophical at 2 in the morning. So here are 5 things I believe in:

1. Give and Take - I believe that there have to be two sides to everything. I believe that this is the crux of a good friendship. If I call you call me. As they say in Hindi "Baat karne se baat badhthi hai. Roz bathein kiya karo humse" (Oops 6th language! means conversation happens when both of us talk, so please talk to me often). I agree!

2. The Law of Averages - If I was anything but Ismaili, I might just believe in this anyway. I believe if it went up, it'll probably come down, and average over the course of a while. That way there's no reason to get really bent out of shape over anything. It'll all even out in the end.

3. Karma - I believe how you treat people and the way you act in general will come back to you in the end. If you're terrible, than you had better just stay indoors.

4. God - yeah, I believe something larger than us exists. Whether we give it a name or not, is up to us. We aren't living for ourselves though. I'm quite sure we're living for something bigger.

5. Knowledge - I believe knowledge is the root to freedom and peace. I believe ignorance is when we land ourselves in a whole heap of trouble. Whether it's physical or spiritual knowledge, I think each one of us could use a bit of enlightening once in a while :)

Post 22The New Civil Society - Etiquette

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Credit: Learner's Dictionary

A while ago, I was watching a documentary on Doc zone and it was on manners and etiquette. The documentary was basically about our attitude and behaviour toward one another in an age that is becoming increasingly digitized.

Text messaging and IM'ing have made it easy for us to leave the niceties at the door, according to the documentary and we've turned what once was a matter of courtesy into short and sometimes brash behaviour towards one another. Table manners have gone away with the advent of pocket pizzas and TV dinners and "please" and "thank you" are about as buzzworded as we can get nowadays.

I do agree with the fact that what the digitized age has done to us is make us less aware of our surroundings. It's really hard to move out of the way when you're walking and checking texts at the same time. Ironically, we're more connected than we've ever been but we have no physical awareness of the people walking past us or sitting beside us.

I think it helps to keep in mind that others in the world exist. If a senior citizen or a pregnant woman gets on the bus, give up the priority seats. Lift your umbrella up when you're approaching someone with an umbrella coming toward you. Open a door once in a while. They're nice things that don't take much effort. Etiquette isn't for Stodgy Victorians of bygone days.

Post 21: Women's Fashion Faux Pas (Thought You Could Get Away Eh?)

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We all know women are super-critical when it comes to their own looks. Apparently some of us aren't critical enough. Sometimes I get shoulder cramps from cringing when I walk down the street. Here are my top 5 Women's Fashion Faux Pas:

1. Office Inappropriate - I know these days we're a bit more loosey-goosey about what jives in an office environment. But there are some things that will remain inappropriate until the end of time. These include: Spaghetti Straps, Tube Tops, Anything too low cut (Sorry guys. This show ain't free).

2. Low Rise - This is for people who haven't yet developed hips and it's also so 1999. Please stop subjecting the general public to things that we don't ever want to see. Remember kids, say no to crack!

3. Free Range Girls - This is a major pet peeve of mine. Imagine you have children. Now you're walking down the street with them. Do you let them run amock, cross roads, talk to strangers? No, you keep them contained. Same principle people. Keep those girls contained. Lock and Load!

4. Beach Wear Sans Beach - Again, I know, with the heatwave, and the clothing being all chafey, we all want to get down to our knickers and get this party started. Well, it's just not appropriate to show that much skin walking down the street. Seriously, bikinis for the beach, please and nowhere else!

5. Yoga Wear Sans Yoga - Every time I've gone to Europe, I've marvelled at just how fabulously women dress over there. Not a yoga pant in sight! I know West Coasters are pretty laid back and athletic. So you might be on your way or coming back from yoga afterall. But if it's dinner with friends, drinks with the girls, movies, please leave the yoga wear at home and wear something that's a bit more flattering. You'll feel great. And the rest of us will thank you ever so much.

Well there you go. Both sides of the coin got the horns today :)

Post 20: Life Without Blackberrys

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A friend of mine, suggested that I write about what life would be like without Blackberries (or is it Blackberrys?).

I think I can pretty much tell you that one myself. I don't have one. I don't want one and I've sworn up and down never to get one. I think it's too much information for me altogether. I know there would be less harried people running around trying to answer emails while they walk, ride, eat. I'm already quite reliant on my phone, and being all the more reliant on some sort of super-gadget would be discombobulating. We already can't remember the time before the phone. I wonder what will happen in the future.

I'm pretty sure it's a bit of an annoyance as well. I mean having the thing beep would be a irritating at best. I'm terrible with technology. I shut off after the work week is over and I don't answer unless it's urgent. It's too much work really for me.

How do you handle the information overload? Is the Blackberry convenient for you or is it too much sometimes?

Post 19: Crossed Signals

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We sent my mum out to buy some fondant for some baking. She came back with pajama pants instead. Don't know what to do with this information? Me neither.

Post 18: 10 Cities I'd Want to Live In

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London, view from South Bank, Credit: Me!

A friend and fellow MAISer, Jen suggested I talk about 10 cities I might want to live in and why in the world I'd want to move there in the first place. Oh International Studies students, we're so nomadic. So here's my list. Note: The number doesn't really mean rank, so don't think I like Number 1 better than number 5!

1. London - Sheer pace of life and culture. I have been there so many times and I keep going back for more. It has a homelike quality for me anyway and I know the city a bit better than other cities.

2. Montreal - it's probably the closest I'd get to anything French aside from Paris, which is a scary place to be. Montreal is also gorgeous. I remember finding a very ornate looking Blenz coffee that quite impressed me last time around. Plus the Comedy Festival is hosted there. What's not to love?

3. Ottawa - It's all government-y and wonderful (not the government, the city). I like all the different architecture going on there and I like that it's a slower pace of life. Sometimes that's a good thing and a total difference from number 1! And I'd likely get a job there.

4. New York - It's a bit push and shove and all of that business, but again, I think the variety of things to do and the easy access to things all about would be just fantastic. For once, I want to feel New Yorky!

5. Zanzibar - Okay, it's not so much a city as an island that you could probably walk around in about 2 hours. I went there as a child and I loved it. Stone Town is gorgeous and I think if ever I wanted to live Island style, I'd go back home and take the boat across!

6. Vancouver - Duh! It's fantastic. I love the water. I love being able to go outside my house and breathing fresh air! It's perfect and the climate is just right most of the time.

7. Geneva - It's international Development Central! Home of so many UN offices. It would be great. Cold, but great. And I hear it's a gorgeous city!

8. Dubai - Ah why not. It's like the Las Vegas of the Middle East. I went there as a child, and holy opulence batman! I'm sure it's changed tons but it's a fun city to go to, and I'm sure it's just as much fun to live there for a while.

9. Marrakech - I love Morocco. I'm an architecture fiend and it has some of the greatest in terms of Islamic art and architecture. Again, I suppose it would be close-ish to the water, which is cool.

10. Milan - because secretly I'm a fashionista somewhere inside and I'd love to be there. Also I eventually want to learn Italian. I think moving to Italy might be a good start!

Post 17: The Serious Art of a Good Handbag

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I was browsing around for ideas to write about while I still have my wits about me, and I found this timely and socially relevant one about the art of a good handbag. Apparently, a museum in Amsterdam is taking the whole business of the art of a handbag very seriously.

Finally!

Handbags hold a bit of an allure and a connotation of status. It's lame and we're all very material for having any part in it, but it's just how it is. For a woman (and some men) the handbag is more than just a thing to put your wallet in. It screams your personality. For instance, you might see me with a black one, or a red one and you'll see my sister in a bright blue one or a white one. Three guesses who's more conservative of the both of us.

We'll all remember Sex and the City and the Quest for the Holy Grail (Also known as the Birkin Bag by Hermes). It's a bit of an exaggeration but if you've ever been to a London street market, you'll know that women are know strangers to scratching and grabbing when it comes to a good bag!

Post 16: The Last one: Wrath!

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I once remember taking a criminology course in undergrad where we discussed the psychological basis of rage. We got to the bit about road rage and how accidents and incidents of road rage increase as the temperature increases. So, the hotter it gets, the more aggressive drivers get.

Makes sense doesn't it? It's hot, the AC in your car is busted, you're all clammy and gross from hanging around in rush hour forever. I'd get mad too. But I do wonder if anyone has done any research on the flipside of things as well.

I would think winter driving would be just as dangerous, given that in horrible road conditions you're wound up, trying not to run into other drivers, controlling hydroplaning and all of that fun stuff that comes along with horrible winter weather. I should think that because you can relax a bit in the summer, there might be some kind of pattern change around this.

Couldn't find any research on it. Speaking of Vancouver, we have some hideous driving skills going on around here. A friend from Ontario thought we were all insane when he tried to drive here a couple of Decembers ago. I should think that would be sufficiently wrath-producing.

Thoughts? on wrath and driving?

Post 15: Gluttony

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I remember once when I was younger, we were driving down the street on our way to what I'm presuming now was something important. On the side of the road, we saw a squirrel. It had a large sandwich in its hand. I think it might have been ham or something. I'm pretty sure it was larger than it was. But the squirrel's beady little eyes were darting back and forth as if to say, " you touch my sandwich, you die!" My mother slowed the car down so we could have a look. It was shocking actually. Was a bit comical and ridiculous. But it did remind me of how similar human nature is to that kind of way of being.

We often seem to have more than we can actually handle. Makes me wonder whether we actually know our own limits or whether we would keep building skyward or until everything falls to the ground.

I think there's something to be said for moderation. Namely, that it's a good idea really. Too much too fast is not such a great thing after a while.

I think the epitome of gluttony can probably be found on the Food Network's Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. Delicious, delicious gluttony really.

Post 14: Sloth

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image credit: National Geographic

Sometimes i feel like doing that. Can you imagine the head rush?

Post 13: Lust

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I'm confessing again. I have a major crush on George Stroumboulopoulos. It's true. I think I have since he was a VJ on Much Music. Mind you, I'm pretty sure that The Hour suits him much better. If you don't have a crush on him, here are 5 reasons why you should:

1. He is smart. Almost to the point of being completely intimidating. I got nothing on this guy.

2. He's good looking in that dark and brooding sort of way. He's no Zack Morris and for some of us that's okay.

3. He totally knows more about music than I could ever know. I can totally admire that. And I wouldn't even try to know more than him. There's just no way that I'd be able to!

4. He conducts some awesome interviews. I think everyone should make time to watch The Hour at least once a week. He's got a great knack for interviewing people.

5. He's Strombo. What's not to love? You don't even need a reason!


Post 12: Pride

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It's okay to ask for help. Really it is.

There is a kind of stigma still out there to asking for help. People are just too proud to do it. I think they somehow assume that they might be perceived as weaker or somehow inept.

I currently know a family who is dealing with a grandparent with Alzheimer's Disease. The condition seems to be progressing, but the caretaker refuses to ask for help from other family members or even external help. It's a bit sad because the caretaker is close to burnout at the moment. It gets harder, the closer you get to it. Impatience and anger quickly set in, not to mention fatigue and health problems.

I think there is a point at which pride becomes detrimental to your wellbeing. I do wish that people would ask help more often. What do you think? Are we slowly overcoming the stigma of assistance or is it always going to be a struggle?

Post 11: Greed

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I must confess (it appears I'll be doing that a lot today), I am in love with HGTV's realtor shows. Love them. All of them. I especially love House Hunters. There's always one thing I don't understand though. Why does everyone want a pool??

Reactions from the buyers usually go something like this: "it's nice with all the hardwood flooring, granite counters, and marbled columns. But I really wanted a pool, and a seventh garage, and a billiards room, and a small army of butlers for my dog if that's possible...I'll have to sleep on this one"

If your house is big enough to fit all of Ethiopia into it, I think that's pretty good. And you should probably stop before you get too ahead of yourself.

It's also really funny when you see people moving to vacation destinations for their second homes. You see European houses and can see how much smaller they are compared to those cavernous mansions in the US.

I wonder if there's a limit to wanting to accumulate things. Frankly I'm fine without a pool. I'd drown anyway if I had one!




picture of Newport Mansion courtesy of Trip Advisor

Post 10: The Seven Sins Series: Envy

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In order to be thematic and to have something to think about, I decided it might be a good idea to do a Seven Sins series in blogathon this year. I might write a short, probably true story for each one. Don't worry, I'm not in the game to offend anyone and will stay right away from religious references. First post: Envy!

I have the devil's curly hair (okay, only one religious reference, promise). I have always envied people will straight hair. So dark and smooth and no frizzies at all. My entire family has been blessed/cursed with curly hair and there's not a thing I can do with it at all. Until, I got my flat iron.

Just yesterday a woman who sees me rather regularly, asked me whether my hair was that straight or whether I had flat ironed it. She said it was always so glossy and straight so she wondered (not bragging, her words). When I told her that it was super-curly and completely artificial, she was gob-smacked!

Mission accomplished.

It's funny how we always envy what people actually have and are never happy under our own circumstances. I try to be happier with what I have (I have it for a reason), but I am just not willing to make sacrifices in the name of hair!

Post 9: Control Freakishness and Life Lessons

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As stated earlier, I have a bit of an issue with control. I don't so much try and control people, but situations in general. I find that I plan out everything to a tee until it's been planned to death. If I go shopping, I plan where to go, and what to buy and the order in which I must do those things.
If I have more than 2 things to do in a day, I have to write them down or else I feel like I've lost my mind. It's not really that great a situation sometimes and can be very limiting. Partly it comes from my childhood. We're planners in my family and the first decade of my life was rather sporadic with the moving and the making of new friends, and the removing. So as I became an adult, I felt it was necessary by all means to control my circumstances.

This year has largely been out of my control. After grad, it's been difficult to find work. I have some things on the go, but it's not where I envisioned myself at all.

A wise woman once told me that I am here because this is where I need to be. That I need to learn that things unfold, quickly or slowly. That is not something I control. When things happen, they happen for a reason. Sometimes it's a slow go and sometimes it all happens at once. It's been a learning and I've been resistent to accept this. But seeing as I can't do anything about it, rather than totally become complacent, I'm letting life happen to me for once, rather than happening to life.

Sometimes you just gotta let go. All the calendars in the world can't help you dictate where you're supposed to be. All you can do is take the necessary steps as the path unfolds in front of you.


Post 8: Roses

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A while ago, a lovely friend of mine gave me three roses, when I met him for a coffee date.
One was an apology for having missed our get-together sometime earlier
One was for my birthday (which had passed)
One was for being me.

I'm not a roses kind of a gal. In fact, the last time I got any flowers was years ago, and generally, I don't think much of them. I'm also allergic to them. But it was such a beautiful gesture altogether. Melted my heart.
Sometimes it's nice to get something you never knew you wanted in the first place :)

When was the last time you got or did something like this for someone?

Post 7: Men's Fashion Faux Pas! Ne Fait Pas Ca!

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So, I'm not a total fashionista. I wish I was. I stick to basics, but I do have an opinion on men's fashion. I know too many men to let this one slide altogether. I have some pet peeves of men's fashions, things that just shouldn't be done. So as the french would say, ne fait pas ca! Here's my list of 5

1. The No-Shirt Sydrome - It's summer time, I know. We're all hot and we've been working out since Christmas to look this good. But there is a time and a place to not have your shirt on. For instance, at the beach or park is fine. Walking down the middle of Robson Street, not so much. Remember side walks are narrow and nobody wants to graze your love handles as they walk by

2. Pleated Pants - Just don't do it. It makes you look like you have hips. You don't want to look like you have hips right? Best to wear a properly fitted, flat-front trouser with an understated belt. None of those balloon pants. Unless it's Hammer time!

3. Sport Socks (not relegated to sports). I cannot tell you how many times I've seen men on with white socks and suits. What made this okay in the first place? Don't do it, it just looks bad. Repeat after me: I will only wear white socks at the gym. Okay, good.

4. Clothes that are all-too-big - Yes, this isn't only a men's faux pas, but it needed stating I think. Did you know that clothes that are too large on you make you look even larger than you are? Not a good thing. I don't care if it's on sale. If it's not your size, don't buy it. Please.

5. Camo - I know some of you will really not like this one. But I don't like camouflage. I know it's a jungle out there, but I'd rather you not wear those camo shorts or that camo jacket anymore. Hats are okay. They're small and I can forgive it. But no more camo shorts please.

Fabulous men's fashions at The Sartorialist of course!

PS: Don't be afraid of colour :)

Post 6: 5 Things You May or May not Know About Me

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I'm generally a pretty open person, but there are probably a few things that you folks may or may not know about me. My blog is just a repository of all my daily goings on and what you see is generally what you get. There may be a few things you may or may not know about me. So I made a list of 5 things for ya. So we can get to know each other better :)

1. I can't skate, swim or ride a bike. I used to be embarrased of admitting this, but now that I'm an adult, it's no longer something I'm ashamed of. Much of it had to do with my punctuated childhood. We moved around a lot and so I never got a chance to fully see these things into realization. It's okay though. If I ever had the urge to learn, I know I could.

2. I don't like celebrating birthdays. I think birthdays are these happy/sad occasions that I'd rather just get over with. I've only ever had one birthday party in my entire life. It was when i was 7. I had a couple dozen friends over. And that was ever the limit of that whole thing. I just don't like celebrating them. But strangely I love getting older :)

3. I'm a polyglot. My family speaks a bunch of languages altogether. My mother's side speaks one and my father's side spoke another. Interchangeably, I learned both. Then I went to school and learned english, and we spoke swahili as well. Then i came to canada and learned some french. It's not that good, but I seemed to make my way through Paris last year quite okay. I love language and want to learn at least 3 more languages!

4. I'm allergic to a whole host of things. Touch wood, this doesn't include nuts, but it does include fruit such as peaches, plums, nectarines, some apples. It's a sad existence in the summer especially. Other things include dust, pollen, dander, and sunlight (Yes, sunlight...after long exposures of course).

5. I have a pathological need for control. It's something I'll write about in a later post and my learnings about it. Perhaps it's punctuated childhood syndrome again. I never had control of my goings about, so now I pretty much try to control everything in life. I have way too many calendars and not a spontaneous bone in my body. It's something very debilitating, but I'm working on it!

So there you go. Five things you may not have known about me :) Writing again pretty soon! Time for that drink o' water!

Post 5: Doses of Reality

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For those of you who might visit the Ghetto often, you'll probably know that I'm a bit of a realist. My hours of happiness are usually punctuated by some doses of reality. I think it's important to stay grounded.

To many optimists, I appear to be a pessimist altogether. I don't think that the case at all actually. I work in international development, and it's what I've studied. I try and keep up with it. Every day, you hear about some atrocity somewhere in the world. It's hard to think positive when people are starving, things are being blown up and diseases run rampant. But if I wasn't at least partly a positivist, I would have quit a long time ago. To work in development means you have to believe that there is hope for change. You have to believe that there is some semblance of a good world out there.

That only translates to real life because I know that things can always be better and things can always be worse. While there is nothing wrong in being the eternal optimist, I think at times, there is a tendency to put those blinders up, where the possibility of failure just doesn't exist. Somehow I think that's wrong. Being a pessimist isn't that great either. It's a bit of a downer actually.

It's good to believe in change. Not just positive change. Change keeps you moving and striving and it kicks you into being alive It appears I have rained on a parade quite early in the morning. I just wanted to make my opinion on the contested realist/pessimist argument. I'm just a middle of the roader who has a tendency to believe that if every cloud has a silver lining, every silver lining has a cloud :)

Post 4: Shout Outs to My Fellow Bloggers!

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I'm not the only one blogging today. Luckily, there is a League of Extraordinary Bloggers out there in Vancouver and the Fraser Valley who are blogging up a storm today. Man, that series of tubes is going to be busy today.

Here's a list of shout outs from Miss604's blog (Organizer of Vancouver's blogathon. Fantastic lady, awesome blogger). Some new faces and some old ones from last year that I recognize. Glad to have them all on board

Rebecca Bollwitt (Miss604), Tiny Bites, 604Foodtography, Hummingbird604, Shane Gibson, Barbara Doduk, Fraser Valley Pulse, World Wide Watercooler, DDA, Justin Yang, Liberation BC, Bluefur, Shane's World, Think Referrals, Brady V, Langley Politics, Beth Snow, Karen Fung, April Smith, Ganga Narayanan, Matthew Naylor, Aidan, Iris Dias, Mitch Baldwin, Catherine Omega, Lorraine, 101 Friends, Duane Storey

Many more around the world at http://www.blogathon.org/.

So that's my official shout out. Happy Blogging guys!

Post 3: How NOT to Crash and Burn During a 'Thon

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'Thons of any kind are really hard to do. I did the Blogathon last year and I was doing fine until about Hour 16, which is really when you start to lose it. I'm sure there are already tips out there this year, but mine are a little bit different. I recently went on a no-sugar diet, which pretty much eliminates the prospect of starbucks, cookies or marshmallow peeps for me for the next day. So here are some tips on how to survive and now become the Hell cat that you may suddenly want to become sometime later in the day:

1. For the love of all that is good in the world, stay Hydrated! And by that I don't mean drink extra beer to compensate. Good ole water needs to be happening. It'll stave off any headaches you might get and keep you buoyant. And if nothing else, at least you'll have to stretch your legs several times, having to go pee.

2. Keep the Cookies and sugary foods to a minimum. My sister bakes. There is no shortage of delicious goods in the house. But this new sugar-free kick of mine will not allow this. So I will have to think of alternatives such as some nuts, fruit, crackers, cheese. Something carby but not crash and burny.

3. Get up and stretch. You'll start to feel it in your shoulders after a while. And boy will you be sore. Get up once in a while and move around or else you'll really feel the effects tomorrow when you wake up.

4. Keep your naughty hands busy or for that matter, your head. Listen to music, browse a magazine, give your eyes a rest. Go catch a bit of TV. it's saturday. there's plenty of trashy TV on.

5. Engage with fellow bloggers. There are over 200 of us hanging about today. Find some pals either in person or on twitter/facebook and get chatting. They'll give you ideas, and you can all have a jolly good time about it all.

So those are my tips for staying sane and alive. Please don't hate me because I took away your cookies. You'll take me later :)

Post 2: My Thoughts on MJ

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A couple of my friends wanted to know what my thoughts were on regarding Michael Jackson's recent death.

Poor man. Let me tell you the story of where I was when he passed away. I was sitting at my computer when the twittersphere went abuzz with "Michael Jackson's Dead?!" messages. I thought it was another terrible rumour until I tuned into the BBC/CBC to check it out.

And then I made the mistake of tuning into CNN. At some point during the whole deluge of newsbits, came Larry King, who instantly started up on all of the various court cases that Jackson was involved in, and how he was there during the scandals, both earlier and later in his career and during that baby dangling incident. There were others too.

Now I know I'm propagating just what I'm about to trash, but it's to make a point. I thought to myself, would I want someone talking about how I went street-rat crazy after I died? Probably not. Would we talk about family and friends in a similar manner? Probably not. We would be either happy or sad that they passed away. Happy if they had a life of pain. Sad because we'd miss them.

We owe Michael Jackson just that same respect. Just because everything he did was under the spotlight, doesn't mean we have to forget that he was a formidable entertainer and a wonderful musician. Even when I lived in East Africa, everyone in the country knew his name. That's speaking to something.

When i think of MJ, my first thoughts are of his music. Not of the various allegations against him. I think we owe him just that much. When anyone passes away, we need to give them that benefit of having to rest in peace. Soon enough, we'll be joining them :)


photo: courtesy of gearfuse.com

Post 1: And It Begins! All About the Cause

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Current Mood: Awake (I think that's all we can ask for at 6 AM)

Current Song: The sound of crows outside. I think they're fighting!

Top of the mornin' (Literally) to ya! I hope everyone is well on this fine blogathoning day. I'm excited to join my fellow Vancouver bloggers and those from around the world as we rally together for 24 hours to raise money for our respective charities. Check us out at http://www.blogathon.org/

My cause this year is the Tumaini Children's Project. I have been lucky enough to work with them for several months as a writer for their website. They are launching a new one later this summer and I've had the honour of working with Julie and her team to put forth the message of the good work they do.

Tumaini means "hope" in Swahili and TCP gives hope to HIV/AIDS orphans who live in Kenya, helping to put them through school, providing basic necessities and supplies. Tumaini is also doing sustainable development projects in Kenya, such as the Asembo Bay Computer Centre Project, which is meant to house a small village's computer centre and library. A valiant effort I say!

As a partnership between Canadian and Kenyan youth, Canadians have a chance to go and work side by side with their counterparts to make change happen. Check out the Piga Picha Project blog from last year's trip to Kenya. Fantastic work I say.

So I think to myself. If I literally bought a latte every day for about 2 weeks, I would spend enough money to feed, clothe and provide necessities for a child for an entire year. Yes. That's how much it takes.

So here's a small challenge. Skip your Saturday Latte and donate money to the Tumaini Children's Project. You'll be decaffeinated, but someone out there will be fed instead :) I hope you have a chance to check out their website :)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

On Debt and Adventure

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Current Mood: Still a bit under the weather. Not sure what's going on. It's been on and off for a week.

Current Song: Stuff by Jagjit Singh. It's that kind of a day.

So it's now summer time; time for vacations to far away and beautiful places; Time for people to post their entire adventures on Facebook for all the world to see; Good times. Maybe.
I was having a think the other day about the state of the economy and people's proclivity to "take off" despite their financial circumstances. I think this is a time for prudence.

I wonder if Generation Y is setting itself up for yet another economic crisis. I've often asked myself how people can afford to travel to five countries in a matter of a year. While some of the folks I know have really fantastic jobs that afford them the financial and temporal opportunity to go to Switzerland for a week at a time, I do wonder for those Gen Y'ers yet to take off who are living like the lifestyles of the rich and famous.

I've always been conscientious when it comes to money and I refuse absolutely to live outside of my means. I only go on vacations that I can afford. So I'm having a tough time grasping the idea of people who travel on their credit cards. Are we deferring things to the future only to fall into the same economic traps that are plaguing us right now? Sometimes I think we are. No matter how large your line of credit, I think it's a major risk to take to do something today that you could probably put off until a time of financial stability.

People might argue that there is no time like the present and seize the day. But I beg to differ on that account. I'd rather not jeaporidise my future and the future of any children or my retirement (or nieces and nephews in my case), for a series of Facebook photos in Acapulco. This is what you get from a person who has been surrounded by accountants all her life.

Sorry if this sounds a bit ranty, but I worry about the state of the world. What do you think? Is the debt worth the bit of adventure? Are people too risk averse? Or are they too fast and loose with their finances?

Apologies for not having written in a while. Blogathon is next week and I'm trying to save my juice for then. Remember, I'm still taking ideas if you've got em! Have a nice rest of the week folks!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Gimme Some Sugar (Please!)

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Current Mood: Refreshed after a nice run about the trails

Current Song: Lets do the Things we Normally Do by Dido

So here's the latest in health related endeavours. I have been sugar-free for the last week. My sister and I decided to cut it out of our diets. Well the processed and table stuff anyway. As most of you know, I have a major sweet tooth. This blog is no stranger to delectable dessert photography and crazy christmas baking shenanigans. But I thought the sugar was getting a bit oppressive, and so in order to be of better heart and mind, the Zo and I are keeping each other off our sugary vices.

Why in the world am I doing this? It's all part of my "I don't want to die sick and early" goals. Diabetes runs in the paternal side of my family. I have too many nice shoes to have my foot cut off because of a stupid piece of cheesecake. And I don't want to get wrinkles (sugar is bad for your skin, apparently). So I'm allowing myself a bit of jam with my breakfast and sugar in my coffee. No cookies, cake, pop, juice, candy etc. Sigh. I miss cake.

The first couple of days were really hard and Zoyah and I both ended up with wicked headaches. i"m still getting those in the evening at times, but I feel a little better. The cravings, strangely have subsided. I'm floating up to my eyeballs in various fruits. Plus mother's regaling us with the virtues of freshly made juice, which apparently will cure anything from acne to your DOA love life. I'll let her have her fun. At least I'm getting the nutrition that I need!

I shall keep you posted as to how this is going along. Perhaps in a months' time or so!

If ever you are interested, cut things out slowly. I started with my after-dinner cookie binge. And now I'm up to the juices (only fresh allowed). Wish me luck. This is probably the hardest thing I've ever done!

Anyway kids, eventful weekend coming up. I shall catch you all next week. Remember, blogathon is 2 weeks away. Send send those ideas!
Ciao!

Monday, July 6, 2009

I Tell Stories

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Current Mood: Monday-ish

Current Song: Alice by Tom Waits

Just a short note today to say that my story "Masks" is featured on Sameer Vasta's Blog, a fantastic storyteller and fellow Canadian blogger whom I've had the pleasure of getting to know this past year. Please visit his blog often. It's entertaining, genuine and beautifully written!

Thanks Sameer for the space to tell my story!

Happy Monday Everyone!

And remember, I still need those ideas for Blogathon which is fast approaching :)

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Blogathon 2009!

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Current Mood: I'm here.

Current Song: Quiet Times by Dido

It's official everyone. Strawberry Ghetto is officially signed up for Blogathon 2009 . Yay me! It's going to be pretty much like last year, where I will be joining bloggers from all around the world to blog every half hour for 24 hours. The best part is that we're all blogging for charity!

This year's Charity of Choice: The Tumaini Children's Project.

Tumaini means "Hope" in Swahili and this is exactly what they provide. They are a volunteer-run, youth charity in Ottawa. They provide sustainable economic development projects for communities in Kenya affected by AIDS. They also provide all the necessities for children who have been affected and orphaned by this disease to have a chance at an education. I volunteer as a writer for this charity and it's a great cause, and one that's close to my heart (having been brought up in East Africa).

Here's how you can help!

Donate, donate, donate!

TCP is volunteer-run so all the money goes towards their projects. You can help by donating any amount at all by visiting the website and locating the donation option in the sidebar (don't worry I'll go over this again closer to the time). That's the first thing you can do for Tumaini and to help support my cause.

Comment!

I would love your help in staying awake! Visit this blog and comment on the many entertaining posts that will be coming your way on that day. I like to interact with people, and so this is a great way for you to tell me what you think! You can also follow my ramblings on twitter (@mehnazt) and check out my fellow bloggers who are in it to win it!

Be on Keeping-Me-Awake Duty!

For the love of all that is good, please help keep me awake. Remember I'm blogging from 6 AM to 6 AM. Texts, Facebook Love, Tweets, Comments, Emails, all super appreciated as I truck through 24 hours. Better yet....

Send Me Your Ideas!

Blogging every half hour, I have to come up with close to 50 posts. Ideas will be really appreciated as well. Remember to please keep it to some kind of general knowledge that I can articulate in a half hour. Asking me to discuss quantum physics at 4 AM is just cruel!

In exchange for your support, I will entertain you with fun stuff, scratchings, pictures, videos all over a period of 24 hours.

Help Spread the News!

Pass this link on to friends, family, colleagues, frenemies, whomever. Let's get the word out there are really make this happen!

Interested in Participating as a Blogger?

Visit www.blogathon.org and sign up as a blogger for this awesome event. You can pick your charity and get all the details on how you can do this too. You'll have my full support as we brave the realms of sleep.
If you're in Vancouver, visit www.miss604.com and see what's happening in Vancouver for Blogathon. There will be meet-ups and workspaces happening, and you can get the cool banner (like mine) from her website.

I hope that TCP and I can count on your support for this special (and tiring) event. Remember to visit TCP's website and donate. Life is hard with this credit crunch for us. Imagine having to contend with a devastating disease like HIV/AIDS and not having a family to support you through. Let's be their family for this evening!

Thanks All! Will write again soon :)