Death! clock

So on my birthday, I figure it’s only appropriate to look up how many I will have– it seems I’ll die just shy of one on 2073! I could swear last year they told me I was going to die on 2075, but I suppose the degradation of the environment etc…

Kissing!. . . during a riot

So apparently this has/is “going viral” aka being talked about often, but still– there is this shot of a couple in passionate embrace amidst riots in Vancouver and it’s really just hot. The photographer Richard Lam who took it is still unsure whether they were kissing or hurt–I’m not sure there’s much room for debate there. What I’m really surprised about is where are the OTHER photos of this? I can’t believe in this day of continuous camera/phone recording that there are no other photos of the event itself, poor quality as they may be.

"don't worry about them"

It’s a great-looking shot, and really, I’d never want to be with anyone that couldn’t lose themselves to me that much! I am, though, convinced this is someone’s art project. Look at those legs! And even from this far away the fellow looks too ruggedly handsome to’ve just been spending the evening at a hockey game with his hot Spanish girl– no, this screams art/social project and I’m just waiting to find out who!
Your thoughts?
-r-

 

Chav

So, I learned a new word today! From a combination of the definitions in Wikipedia and World Wide Words:

A chav (pronounced /ˈtʃæv/ chav) is a stereotype of certain people in the United Kingdom. [Characterized often by their social standing (low) and their dress which shows] a love of flashy gold jewellery (hooped earrings, thick neck chains, sovereign rings and heavy bangles, which all may be lumped together under the term bling-bling); the wearing of white trainers (in what is called “prison white”, so clean that they look new); clothes in fashionable brands with very prominent logos; and baseball caps, frequently in Burberry check, a favourite style. The women, the Daily Mail wrote recently in a characteristic burst of maidenly distaste, “pull their shoddily dyed hair back in that ultra-tight bun known as a ‘council-house facelift’, wear skirts too short for their mottled blue thighs, and expose too much of their distressingly flabby midriffs”.

Wow. So at least it’s not derogatory or anything! Apparently this was Word of the Year in 2004, but has more recently come to the forefront as a word that is so oft-used deprecatingly that it’s started talk of the return of classist Britain. In the US, there’s an equally endearing term–“wigger”– for these same folk who appropriate parts of hip-hop culture and parts from their own backgrounds to create some amalgam thereof. Or is it just “white trash?” Either way, I think the following photo (sourced from Wikipedia article) is really excellent at a visual description

One of the cars at the GLC Spectacular event to publicise Goldie Looking Chain's single release.

 

Got to find some of my British friends for some more perspective…
Update: I know, I know you were thinking that a link to a good article defending Chavs is of the order. Sure enough, I’ve found it in the Times Online, and I think it’s great.

once upon a time: Oldsmobile Ninety Eight

It has started to get quite warm in Kuwait now– somewhere in the 45 to 50 degrees Celsius. At these kinds of temperatures, one tries to help the air conditioning system in their car in any way they can, and the various tints, perforated clothes, and straight-up curtains reminded me of one of the first times I was in an American car. Since those cars in the early to mid eighties had zero reputation for reliability, and high prices in the Middle East, most “sensible people” (my parents’ friends) didn’t indulge in such silliness. Every once in a while, though, someone would. When I was looking at some curtains on a bus yesterday, this made me think of one of our parents’ cousins in Riyadh who had a new Oldsmobile Ninety Eight. It was a maroon colored car, with plush velour seats (which were amazingly like the couches in our living room) and an incredibly quiet color-matched interior with equally matched curtains on drawstrings on the rear windows. At the time, the lack of vision that opaque curtains presented did not at all occur to me, because I was too busy being amazed about how this car was so comfortable inside it was as if it had turned into being a house! …and then the quiet! I still remember being amazed as the car moved about that it made almost no noise at all! Coming from a world of sensible Toyotas and Mitsubishis etc., this was really amazing. Those cars didn’t have this kind of sound deadening, this kind of smooth or this kind of quiet. You know you were in a car, and that was just…so normal!
Maybe it’s because of experiences like this that I still have a part of me that loves quiet, gliding smooth cars. Not because I don’t wish to drive a rambunctious, screaming sports car on most days. But because sometimes it’s just…nice.

-r-

Fiat in USA! It's happened!

Look!:

I just realized something amazing today, while being slightly less disappointed at something more amazing not taking place– I mean, I saw an ad for “Alfa Romeo Seattle” and got really excited only to discover Alfa is still not actually in the US. No, the Competizione 2C does not count! BUT– Fiat has apparently finally landed! Above is actual footage from the fiatusa.com website where you can find out that a new Fiat 500 is base-priced at just $15,500. That is quite less than I was expecting, and that is very exciting. Now the real question is, when does the Abarth come to our shores?  🙂  Ok, ok, I’ll take a moment to be happy about what’s actually there now. All sorts of old-timers will be making fix-it-again-tony jokes, and an unfortunately large amount of people will think these are unreliable Italian cars of the early eighties. Hopefully, though, there will be enough of us excited to have something different than the usual malaise of Hondas and Toyotas plodding along our streets touting some otherworldly mileage figures and scoring zero for being a good, interesting car!

Also on the topic of Fiat getting to places, they’ve also brought this car to Kuwait recently. More on that later.

Cheers,
-r-

Kuwait Events: Desert Song musical

ust on the heels of the Kuwait Little Theatre’s fun production of Hairspray, there is still more musicals happening in Kuwait!

awesomeness

When:
7pm
Tuesday 31 May, Preview Performance for students.  Tickets 4KD
Wednesday 1 June, Black-tie Gala Opening Performance followed by Buffet Supper.  Tickets 10KD
Thursday 2 June, Performance. Tickets 8KD adults/ 4KD children under 12
Friday 3 June, Performance. Tickets 8KD adults/4KD children under 12.

Where:
The English School, Salmiya.
–From Hwy 30 (Fahaheel Rd)
take 4th Ring Road East (towards Gulf Rd)
take first Right
take Right at end of road
take Left at end of road
take first Left
school is on your left- cream colored building w/ blue, and a high fence

The Ahmadi Music Group, directed by Richard Bushman, is delighted to announce the forthcoming production of The Desert Song by Siegmund Romberg.  Fully-staged, with costumes, dancing, professional soloists, a cast of around fifty people and a full symphony

orchestra, this will be a wonderful opportunity to experience an evening of musical theatre in the stunning new Performing Arts Centre at The English School Salmiya.

The Desert Song is one of very few operas in existence set in the Arab world. It tells the story of the efforts of the French in Morocco, in about 1910, to suppress rebellion by a band of desert outlaws, the Riffs.  The stern General Birabeau is sent from France to be in charge of the combat; he is impatient that his son Pierre is not interested in soldiery.  Only at the end does he discover that Pierre is secretly the dashing Red Shadow, leader of the Riffs.  The production includes comedy, romance, warfare, and more romance.

Desert Song is not well known nowadays, but in the first half of the 20th Century, its songs were performed by every major singer and
orchestra and dominated the charts.  Most tellingly, it has been made into a full Hollywood film three times, making it one of the most sought-after theatre properties ever created.  In 1929, it was the first all-talking Hollywood musical ever made.


Woman jailed in Saudi for driving

Rabab sent me this comic and I thought it was at once very funny and terribly depressing. It really brings home the point about perspectives, and the relativity of right/wrong and therefore the importance of tolerance for multiple perspectives. That having said though, there are many many “traditional” viewpoints which  I find are really due for being called out as belonging to a different age and time, and not given the excuse to hide behind “religion” or “culture” or “tradition.”

For example, a Saudi woman was recently jailed (and is still in jail, despite ongoing protests) because of this video she posted of herself driving. This is so ridiculous that I can’t even express the ridiculousness…

[yframe url=’www.youtube.com/watch?v=opZDtyec4u0&NR=1′]