Sunday, September 30, 2007

Ordinary Miracles

Beautiful. Just wanted to share...
Listen to the song and don't worry about the Charlotte's Web Video

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Double Standards - Violence in Hockey

If you know me, chances are you know I'm a very big hockey fan (this is always a fun realization for my non-Arab, non-Muslim friends who don't expect Muslim women of an Arab background to have any interest in such a "Non-Arab" sport, but the novelty always wears off when they've heard me chatter on about Habs prospects and playoff chances ad-nauseum).

If you've watched Hockey, you've probably realized it's a very physical sport. And I don't mind that. I don't mind checks and some jostling along the boards and full contact play, as long as it's clean. The problem, of course, is that "clean" is often defined by Hockey apologists as a very mechanical term, and seems to ignore the very essence of what that cleanliness is supposed to be aimed at doing - namely protecting the players on the ice from injury.

Why am I suddenly talking about dirty vs. clean hitting in hockey? Because of Steve Downie's hit on Dean McAmmond a few nights ago during an Ottawa-Philadephia exhibition game. Exhibition game. As in NO.POINTS.AT.STAKE. As in "even if you think violence has a place in hockey, why would you do something stupid and dangerous on a night when the stakes are low?"

But the stakes were high, for Steve Downie. Downie is a prospect trying to make the Flyers team, and he felt he needed to leave his mark. It's unfortunate that the way he chose to do that was with a dirty check that has left his opponent with a possibly career-ending (not to mention quality of life reducing) concussion.

And he's not sorry. When he was asked about the play afterwards, Downie responded that, "I was finishing my check. That's my game."

By that logic, it follows that it's okay to hurt others as long as that's your job. By that logic, hit men should not be punished for killing or injuring those they were hired to "take out".

Last year, after a vicious Chris Pronger hit on I-can't-remember-who at one point in the playoffs, I remember Pronger making a similar argument that it was a clean hit. This was clean defined in the mechanical terms, not based on the fact that the other player had ended up with an elbow in the head and a serious injury. And Pronger is one of the game's best defensemen, but still justifies this play.

The Globe and Mail's Stephen Brunt has a great article on this debate, and how we can't pretend to be disgusted by these dirty hits when they happen every few months, and yet encourage aggression and temper in between the incidents.

It makes no sense.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Silly-ness Endures

I think I feel a bit like this right now... That's a good thing ;)

taken at the old port, Montreal, in August

Friday, September 21, 2007

All About the Wordplay

I got these from a friend and, as I'm mentioned before, I LOVE corny-ness and puns, so I had to share...
p.s. I think I got most of them right (which would DEFINITELY not happen in French or Arabic)

The English Language: Isn't it Great?
Can you read these right the first time?

1) The bandage was wound around the wound

2) The farm was used to produce produce.

3) The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.

4) We must polish the Polish furniture.

5) He could lead if he would get the lead out.

6) The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.

7) Since there is no time like the present , he thought it was time to present the present

8) A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.

9) When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.

10) I did not object to the object.

11) The insurance was invalid for the invalid.

12) There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row

13) They were too close to the door to close it.

14) The buck does funny things when the does are present.

15) A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer line.

16) To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.

17) The wind was too strong to wind the sail.

18) Upon seeing the tear in the painting I shed a tear.

19) I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.

20) How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

At the Risk of Increasing my Competition...

I heard this on the radio a few weeks ago, and since that time have alternated between "Yeah! I can do this! My writing's good enough to warrant an entry" to "Do I really want some poor soul to have to read over my pretentious poetry and then go home and comment to his friends/wife/kids about the TERRIBLE writing he had to read today?"

And I'm still undecided, but regardless of whether I enter the CBC's writing contest or not, I think some of you should. Especially Jen, and Sajda. Then I'll be very pleased that someone I know put some good writing in, even if that someone wasn't me...

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Not Writer's Block but Writer's Lack of Focus

Over the last week, I have written so many random snippets of poems and prose that may or may not all belong together that I've lost track. I suspect this all began with Daniel Moore's poetry reading last Sunday, and since that time, my head's been swimming with writing, but so little of it has any order, that even though I write it down, it still seems useless.
I am unable to string together enough of one idea or one coherent beat to come out of this with any actual pieces, though at the moment I begin writing, it feels as though there's a poem, or a paragraph, or something waiting for me at the other end of my thought.
Back in high school, when I used to write with some regularity, I was forced to finish my work for assignments, good or bad, and so due to the law of averages at least some of the finished product was acceptable.
I've started reading through Bird by Bird, which Jen lent me after I explained in my meme how I never finish any writing, and it sort of helps, if only because I can relate to the writer's struggles (mind you, the woman is published, so...)
I've spent most of today working on a story I have to finish which started off so well, middled so well (you know what I mean) and now just refuses to finish. I'm close to the end, really, it's just that conclusions and denouements have ALWAYS been the weakest link in my writing.
When I think about it, any writing at this point should be a good sign. It's the engine sputtering back to life after being dormant for so long (and it can't be expected to run smoothly right from the start!) Still, I'm frustrated and trying not to be. Wish me luck.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Coffee Dilemna

If you recall, ages ago (aka roughly last year) I planned to quit coffee, and successfully did so... for 2-3 weeks, before work/life got hectic again and I just needed one which eventually spiraled into just needing another, and another, and, well, you get the picture. Earlier this summer, I copped to my addiction and faced the fact that for the time being, I'm not going to stress myself over quitting and feel bad for something for no good reason (it's like, either fix it or forget about it. Guilt without action is pointless, even destructive as far as I'm concerned, at least for a measly coffee addiction that's hurting no one but me, and even that only a little bit.)

All of this, of course, is a prelude to a "but..." - 'what's the 'but', Noha?' you ask? Well, the but is that Ramadan is soon, as in tomorrow, and during Ramadan we don't eat or drink between dawn and sunset, and that, of course, includes not drinking coffee. For a few years, the first few days of Ramadan have always been difficult for me for this reason - not because I can't eat, or because I don't drink water, but because I don't get my caffeine fix, and so it would only be logical that as Ramadan approaches, I phase coffee out gradually, so the lack of caffination doesn't hit me like a ton of bricks tomorrow.

Now, ask me if I phased out the coffee gradually over the last few days. Go ahead, ask: Did you phase the coffee out, like a reasonable, future-looking person would, as the inevitable approached?

NO! No, I didn't phase it out. I drank my usual mug every morning. In fact, I even went from a medium to a large the last couple of days, not because I'd gotten especially less sleep than usual, but just on a whim, just because I figured I was gonna miss the coffee.

So there. There's my confession. If I seem groggy or just kind of out of it if you run into me over the next few days, you'll know why...

Monday, September 10, 2007

Ramadan Kareem

Insha Allah on Thursday September 13, Ramadan will once again be upon us! I just wanted to say Ramadan Kareem to everyone, and to wish everyone good fasting and increased spirituality over this beautiful month.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Ottawa Muslim Poetry Night - Tomorrow!

If you're in to good, clean artistic fun, come on out to Cafe Supreme on Bank Street Tomorrow (Sunday night) from 5-9 p.m. for a poetry reading by Brother Daniel Moore and some yummy coffee. Some local writers (myself possibly included if I can get rid of my to-do list by that time) will also be reading their poetry.
See you (maybe, insha Allah) there!

Thursday, September 06, 2007

The Official "Summer Being Over" Post

It's so strange seeing kids waiting at bus stops on the way to work this week. Then of course, there's wearing a jacket in the morning in the 9 degree weather, and having to carry it home in the 30 degree weather in the afternoon. Then there's seeing co-workers who've taken the entire 2 months off return, and there's realizing hockey season (and scarf / hat / mitten / wool jacket / boot season) is just around the corner - but hey, we're Canadians, right? We live in one of the most insane climates (when it comes to cold) on the planet, so we might as well embrace it....
but before we do... one last idyllic summer picture.