Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A Daddy's (and Momma's) Girl...

Nothing quite like coming back from 7 weeks in the Middle East to the first snow... and not a light snow either; they're expecting 10-15 centimeters by the time it's all over tomorrow morning.
My parents, however, are not daunted by the prospect, and are happy to be home despite the dubious welcome.
And I am sooooooooooooooooo happy to have them back. Welcome home!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Sunday, October 19, 2008

So what if he was...

Colin Powell has officially endorsed Barack Obama in an appearance on Meet the Press today, giving a thoughtful, detailed explanation for why he'll vote Obama on November 4th. I was impressed with the whole endorsement, but nothing touched me quite so much as the part where he spoke about people attacking Obama for being "Muslim":

"Well, the correct answer is, he is not a Muslim, he's a Christian. He's always been a Christian. But the really right answer is, what if he is? Is there something wrong with being a Muslim in this country? The answer's no, that's not America. Is there something wrong with some seven-year-old Muslim-American kid believing that he or she could be president? Yet, I have heard senior members of my own party drop the suggestion, 'He's a Muslim and he might be associated terrorists.' This is not the way we should be doing it in America"

To which I say 'Thank you Mr. Powell, and about time someone in the political sphere stood up and called out these comments for more than Obama-smears, but for what they really are: an attack on Muslims.
See a clip of his whole endorsement below...

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Teeheehee - Hockey Infused Corny Joke of the Day

Q & A fromHealth Canada

  • Q: TheStanley Cup was recently on tour in my town, and I kissed it. Do I have toworry about being infected bylisteria?
  • A: You are safe. The Stanley Cup has not been in contact with any Maple Leaf product in over 40years.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

What do you think of Barack "Hussein" Obama?

Oh, they've come out swinging now: for the second time at a GOP rally, one of the introductory speakers referred to Obama as "Barack Hussein Obama". Now, if all they meant was to introduce the man by his full name, this would be fine, but it's so disgustingly obvious what the "Hussein" is supposed to do here... Make us sick and scared of Obama, of his otherness, of his blackness, of his father's Muslim heritage.
Yes, of course, now that I'm reminded that his middle name is Hussein, I'm certain he eats babies for dinner and hunts small kittens for sport...
Please! and the sad thing is, for some people, this works. Now, I'm not a McCain fan. I'm not a conservative fan in general, but I'd NEVER NEVER call out "Kill him" at a rally. It's dangerous. It's despicable and it's prejudice no matter how you spin it.
Thankfully, not everyone seems to be falling for it. Some Obama supporters are adopting Hussein as their middle-names to show support.

Of Old Commercials and Singing Cows

I've always been a fan of commercials. Done right, they are often more entertaining than the program you were actually watching, and there are a few that are just classics. My uncle and I were reminiscing about this commercial last night: the HP "makes beef sing" slogan with the cow singing what I always took to be Elvis... I'm pretty sure the reason we both remember it so well (to the point where, embarrassingly enough, I can essentially sing the whole thing from memory) is because we had taped something once and the commercial was on the tape for years and years... Anyway, like everything else, it's up on Youtube. And because it makes me happy every time I remember it, I thought I'd pass on the ridiculousness...

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Vote Smart

I've been having a lot of conversations about strategic voting, and how to avoid a Conservative majority, with different friends. Some people think it doesn't make a lot of sense, that you could choose your second or third choice party just to avoid the Conservatives, but for me, a Conservative majority is sooooooooooooo frightening, and all the other parties are soooooooooo much more appealing, that it makes more sense to vote strategically than any other way.
How do you do this? Simple: you find out if your riding is close, and how the different candidates are doing in the polls. A lot of ridings that are won by the Conservatives are won by a close margin, and if there was less vote-splitting on the left, can be won by one of the three other parties: Liberal, NDP, or Bloc. Heck, maybe we can even get a Green MP in there!
You can find out whether your riding is a close one here. Good luck and happy voting!

A Great Article on Political Smears

So the early reviews are in and so far (yay!) the pundits seem to agree that Obama won the second... I go forward with fingers cautiously crossed, and hoping that people are smart enough to see past the non-stop smearing the Republicans have been relentlessly pushing on him... It's amazing, the Conservative party here in Canada has treated Liberal Party leader Stephane Dion in much the same way, and they certainly didn't wait for a campaign in order to do it... I heard on CBC radio a few days ago that 10 days (10 days!!) after Dion was selected the new leader of the Liberal party, the Conservatives were launching anti-Dio attack ads. We've seen everything, and - granted - the man is not the most entrancing or charismatic speaker, but to listen to these ads, you would suspect he's a bumbling fool so indecisive he can't decide what colour shirt to put on in the morning... If you watched the debates, or tuned in to any of the radio programs he's guested on since the campaign began, you would know this is far from true.
The sad thing is, parties continue to smear because smears seem to work... They're one of these things that work even though they shouldn't. Even though they're beneath us, and and beneath our decency, and beneath our idea of fairness and common propriety. Why is it okay to tell lies about someone? If you really, truly think you're better, argue why you're better on true merit... Don't lie because you're afraid....
This article asks what would happen if Sarah Palin was running against Sarah Palin, and thinks of the possible smears... It's a good one. Take a look.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Little Angelas Love to Play

So, as promised, here is the story of how my Little Angela spent her first Eid in a faraway land named Dubai:
To start, let me give some background about how we tend to do Eid when we live as a minority, i.e. in Canada or the U.S. The community focus in this case tends to be about making it special for the little kids. Since the rest of the world is going about their day-to-day business and there are no pretty lights in the street or Santa's in the malls, we do everything we can to make little kids feel like it's a special day. Also, since most of the Muslim population in Canada or the U.S. is living far away from their immediate,or at least extended, family, visiting family is replaced with community get-togethers.
When I was little, we had some very good friends who would have a 'Eid Open House' party every year, and just about the whole Ottawa Muslim community would end up at Uncle Sulayman and Aunt Rafi's house at some point during the course of the day,and we'd eat tons of roti and cake and play on the swings in backyard. Now, whereas I had loads of fun, I can imagine the day was always exhausting for Aunt Rafi and Uncle Sulayman. Eventually, this activity shifted to renting the hall where the Eid prayer took place in the morning for the remainder of the remainder of the day so the families could all visit their together without anyone's house getting taken over (plus the community was really becoming enormous), and different community associations would take on the task of running games for the kids and arranging for yummy food and every other thing you'd want to have around at Eid.
What this means is that, when Little Angela was born almost three years ago, her Eid celebration included a pile of presents and new clothes and yummy food, but also that immediately following Eid prayer in the morning, the hall was transformed into a child's version of heaven, with circus games and magic shows and balloons and those crazy blowup castles with slides that kids love so much,and Little Angela would spend all day running around and playing and looking and doing everything her little heart desired until she fell asleep from sheer exhaustion, and this was Eid...
Now, in the middle-East, where just about everyone's in on it and the streets are decorated and everyone gets the three days off work, Eid tends to go more like this: they do the new clothes and lots of candy and presents thing too, but they go to the prayer as a family in a mosque, not a rented hall, and then they go to visit family and close friends and just generally spend the day together... no day-long child's heaven circus included.
Little Angela was devastated. Where was her beloved Eid? Balloon's? Blowup Castles? Magician's? Animals? My understanding is that the poor thing cried and that eventually they took her to a kids playground (in doors of course, the heat is brutal), and my brother in law ended up gathering all the kids around and telling them a story, and then invited Little Angela to join in the storytelling. Which she did. For a few seconds. Before she decided she'd rather sing ABCDEFG to her delighted audience of children...
Good God, I miss that child.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Happy Eidin' to All!

And to all a good night... Heheh, no just kidding.
Yesterday one of my colleagues at work asked me what we said to each other to wish each other a good Eid: Merry Eid? Happy Eid?
I guess everyone says their own thing, right? When I'm saying it in English, I tend to say "Happy Eid". "Merry Eid" just sounds too Christmas-y, and "Blessed Eid", which would be a literal translation of "Eid Mubarak", which is how we say it in Arabic, sounds too old school in English. It makes me feel like pronouncing the second "e" in "blessed" and getting all Shakespeare-like...
So, Happy Eid it is. I hope those celebrating have a fabulous day, filled with their favourite things, whatever they may be (friends, family, sugar, chocolate, laughter....)
Tune in soon for a great story on how my Little Angela handled her first Eid in Dubai... and in other important Little Angel/Angela news, my Little Angel is now able to say "Nonno" (which is the baby-version of my name that Little Angela came up with). For this delightful tidbit of info, I must take my sister' and parent's word: he refuses to say it into the phone to me... Ah well, good enough I s'pose.