Sunday, December 25, 2011

خارطة الحب

"But believe me, dear, sweet Anna, you would not find me arrogant or proud or impatient if I could truly call myself yours." - The Map of Love by Ahdaf Souief, p. 250

Tell me, isn't this line completely bewitching?

I still have a long way to go in the book, but I think the best remedy for a cold is to read something that would snap you out of it, oui? Or at least, make you forget that you're nose has tripled in size (and function).


Saturday, December 24, 2011


Rather than having a resolution list every new year, I usually have one on my birthday in June. Last year, however, I remember inking one in celebration (apprehension) of the new year. I'm too scared to go back and see it, because I have a feeling, nothing got crossed off..

I know one of the things was to read more books, and ironically I read less books this year than any other year before! I didn't count the books I read for my thesis (trying to make myself feel better about this). Also, I seem to suffer from some sort of memory loss. I know I read more books than what my embarrassing bookcount shows, but I can't remember what I read.

Despite the unaccounted for books, I know that what I read makes for one meagre list. 

So, this year I do have a 2012 resolution. This is the first of several.  Read More Books!

For those who've known me for a while, or know my blog, I forgot to mention that upon finding myself inching towards my blog again, I decided to go ahead and pull off all my previous posts. I'm not sure why I did it, but I felt much better afterwards. 

On another note, who has had the 'honor' of watching the movie 2012? For my part, I didn't like it, and I don't think I even finished the whole thing. Any recurring nightmares now that 2012 is slowly approaching?


Correction: My memory is far worse than what I had thought it was. Apparently my last resolution list was back in year 2010. WHAT HAPPENED? I must've been abducted by aliens this past year, that's why I can't remember much! Where is Scully when you need 'er!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Art Deco

I am currently in love with this kind of flooring. Surprisingly, it's from a style I used to hate.
Picture from here
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Heard of Art Deco? Whenever I used to browse through interior design magazines and come across something I particularly didn't like, I would find a caption that read something like "Art deco piece" or "revives the Art deco era" blah blah blah. So naturally, I assumed Art Deco was just not me. I taught myself to pull my features into a frown at the sight of the words 'Art deco'. Then, one day, I came across this type of flooring. Automatically my face started contorting into the 'ew' expression, but my eyes liked what they saw. And then after a short lived battle, I smiled. I realized that Art Deco wasn't as gaudy as I thought it. It wasn't all chrome and metal and twisty looking things. There were some really beautiful features to it. Like a lot of things in life, it wasn't all good or all bad; not an 'either or'.  

Sunday, December 18, 2011

City of Smiles

I can't believe its December and its not cold already! I MISS winter :(

I'm so engrossed in my new book, I feel like I'm living in an alternate universe. More on that later, when I review it ;)

Today, I realized what my dream job would be. Something that combines travel with teaching, reading and food critiquing. Easy, oui? All I need to do is get myself on one of those Travel/Food network shows and ta da..


Monday, December 12, 2011

To books with happy endings xoxo

I picked up Ports of Call by Amin Maalouf at the Sharjah Bookfair two years ago. I had vaguely heard of the author, and had two of his books (that I had not yet read at the time) but couldn't resist this after reading its synopsis. Yesterday, I found myself reading it, and before I knew it, I was done with it this afternoon. It's one of those books that leaves a lasting impression, because of its premises, the way its written and the fully fleshed characters.

Amin Maalouf is a Lebanese writer who has written several fiction and non fiction books, and if I'm not mistaken all his books are written in French. Most are available in Arabic, and naturally, English. POC weaves the history of the end of the Ottoman Empire, the conflict in Lebanon and Palestine along with the WWI and II, all told from a descendant of the last Ottoman Emperor (fictitious), Osyyane.  Osyyane lives in Lebanon pre WWI and leaves to Montpelier, France to achieve his dream of becoming a doctor.   There, however, he finds himself joining the resistance and enters a very different world from the on he had set off for. Although it sounds like a very historical and political book, it hardly feels like it when you're reading. It reads like a love story, of star crossed lovers. It reads like the everyday struggles of an ordinary, but dysfunctional family. The struggles of a son wanting to go after his own dreams, and that of trying to fulfill his father's ambitions for him. It's so many different things. It's the history of an unravelling empire, of racism and prejudice; and of a distant of hope of bridging differences and finding the ever elusive peace.

A 5 star and heart book. Definitely recommended.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011


Once upon a time, I used to hate watching shows that were currently airing. I hated the wait, so I'd watch older shows like The Brady Bunch, Mind Your Language and Full House. And then, when shows were off the air, I'd attack the ones I liked. The exception was Gilmore Girls. I watched it from beginning to end, waiting fervently for each episode, hating the writers for the last two season, and holding on to the hope that they would eventually make a movie, like they said they would.

And somewhere along the line, I broke my rule of watching "unfinished" shows, and I watched a couple, but they all lacked that spark I found in GG. Until I stumbled upon two shows, courtesy of the many shows my cousin sent my way. Parenthood is one of them. It's in its 3rd season currently and I love it. Basically, you have the grandparents, who have four kids, and grandkids. So if I'm going to waste time watching shows, it might as well be something like Parenthood.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

In my head

In my head, I've written several books. Excellent books, with witty dialogue, genuine characters and a couldn't put it down kind of feeling. Some of the books that I have written have even made it to the bestseller's list. The in my head bestsellers, I mean. When I'm bored, which has been the case lately, I string sentence after sentence and then just stand back..and admire them. Yes, naturally, in my head.

I've also done a lot of other things, in my head. I've painted to-die-for paintings, designed the trendiest kind of clothes and landed the perfect-est axle on ice. In my head, in my head, oh but of course, in my head.

Lately, that's where I stop. I n   m y  h e a d . But all that is about change now. It's going to be i n  r e a l    l i f e. At least, I hope so. I sort of got into the habit of watching everything executed inmyhead, and it's not all bad.

What I found in my closet

Monday, October 17, 2011

Tidying up

Macaron Makin'
Red Velvet Cupcakes, circa 2010

So, what does this mean?

That Kaleidoscope has finally started organizing her picture folders. And Can I just say that I love Iphoto to organize my numerous picture files? It's got face recognition, and organizes based on events/places. Alas, I have lost some pictures forever since my old laptop, monsieur hamdy, called it a day a year or two ago.

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Girl in Translation

Do you know how sometimes you read a book, and it stays with you long after you've turned the last page? Not because you went through exactly the same thing, and not because the words and descriptions were particularly lyrical or touching. But because there was so much feelings blended with the words, that they just seeped right out of the pages, and onto your fingers and made a place for themselves in your heart. I read Girl in Translation more than a month ago, but I still find myself wondering what happened to the main character, and whether she found what she was looking for. Sometimes, at random moments, a scene from the book topples into my field of vision and I look around, waiting to see what's going to happen next.

In brief, its a story of how a girl and her mother moved from Hong Kong to New York in hopes of finding a better life. Learning to adapt to the new culture, and new everything, with little to no help from the mother's sister who has been living in the States for several years. Themes of love, friendship, and loss are intertwined. But what makes this book different is that, for me, it sounded so real. I remember feeling the same way after reading The Kite Runner. Almost the same feeling of being able to see into a person's real life, without any shield, and without that person knowing. The raw emotions that you can relate to on a different level transformed this book for me into a living, breathing being.

So now, I'm on the hunt for another great book, that would make me feel like this one did. 

Monday, September 19, 2011

Coming Soon

If I've said it once, I've said it a million times. Sometimes, I have problemos where deciding is concerned. How can I just pick ONE blog theme when there are so many to choose from?

I piiiick...coming soon!

I've missed you all so very much.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Fun, fun, fun, f u n




I miss my blog.

Good News: I passed my masters el7mdilla :D. At some point in the past 3 years, I thought I'd never see this day. The uni didn't offer courses as frequently as I wanted to take them, and then I changed my thesis topic after submitting the proposal. This past year just whizzed by so fast, I barely had time to say Whoa.

I'm back to reading, finally. I think I only read 5-6 books since I started working on my thesis back in Feb. Maan, it feels so good.

AND, I am just going to laze around for a couple of months. Yes. I totally deserve it. My life has been all about moving, moving, moving, and I've never had a solid one month with just no deadlines and no commitments. Seriously, in the past, if I wasn't studying, I was working summers, or studying summer courses, or something. Now, I just want to relax, maybe take a few fun courses like art for pleasure, and THEN think about what's next. I was down with the flu and a fever this past week, but now that I'm up and about, I'll have to do some last minute paper work to get my thesis in the uni library. And then, relaxium starts.

In other words, summer has started. And boy is it hot :-I

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Bookcount '11

1)- Room by Emma Donoghue.
2)- When it Happens by Susane Colasanti.
3)- Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout.
4)- The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen.
5)- Nickel Plated by Aric Davis.
6)- The Gatecrasher by Madeleine Wickham.
7)- Beneath the Lion's Gaze by Maaza Mengister.
8)- Please Look after Mom by Kyung-Sook Shin.
9)- My Russian Grandmother and her American Vacuum Cleaner: A Family Memoir by Meir Shalev.
10)-  موانئ المشرق لأمين معلوف.
11)- The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot.
12)- Lyrics Alley by Leila Aboulela.
13)- The Map of Love by Ahdaf Souief.
14)- Just Kids by Patti Smith.
15)- The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender.
16)- The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen  Chbosky.
17)- The Wilt Inheritance by Tom Sharpe.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Everything will be all right

I'm reading Olive Kitteridge right now. It's interesting so far, but I'm having trouble focusing. I don't know why, but it doesn't have that end-of-the-seat effect on me. I miss that feeling. I want to read a really good book next, any recommendations? Nothing tear inducing though. I need to update my book list from last year's and do one for this year. I haven't read much. I HAVE read a lot of translation related books, but that sort of doesn't count.

I've also been rewatching Gilmore Girls, and for the first time ever, I feel like Logan isn't so bad as I had previously always believed (I was a fan of the Rory-Jess ship). He loves her, obviously wants to spend as much time as possible with her, is honest with her and is almost like Luke in personality only not and the not part is what made me go NOOO every time he appeared on screen. That and his stupid haircut.

Last pear of wisdom for this post, make YOURSELVES you're first priority. And don't ever make someone a priority when it's obvious you're not theirs.


Saturday, March 12, 2011

I'm Back.

I'm back. Back with a bang. I wasn't feeling much love from the blogging world, and honestly, I couldn't face my blog because I hadn't done what I said I'd do. My resolution list? ITS STILL THE SAME! My reading list? FAR LESS THAN LAST YEARS. Bitter disappointment over both. But, I'm back to my cheery self again. I do seriously care that I didn't do what I had planned to..but at the same time, I'm not giving up. I'm going to succeed this time, even if I'm late. That should count for something.