Sunday, November 30, 2008

The best way to learn another Language

..... is M*U*S*I*C
And the Busuu site I mentioned in my other post.
I have been trying to revive my French and found an excellent radio site with an interesting variety in its 3 french radio stations. You'll have to look through Radios but the site is pretty simple to navigate through.

Here's a good song that I found: it's called A Ma Place by Axel Bauer. I'll put the translation of the lyrics on later. Here's the French:-
COUPLET 1 ( A.Bauer )

Serait-elle à ma place plus forte qu'un homme
Au bout de ces impasses où elle m'abandonne
Vivre l'enfer mourir au combat
Faut-il pour lui plaire aller jusque là ?
Ce peut-il que j'y parvienne,
Ce peut-il qu'on nous pardonne
Ce peut-il qu'on nous aime pour ce que nous sommes

COUPLET 2 ( Zazie )

Se met-il à ma place quelques fois ?
Quand mes ailes se froissent et mes iles se noient
Je plie sous le poids, plie sous le poids
De cette moitié de femme qu'il veut que je sois
Je veux bien faire la belle mais pas dormir au bois,
Je veux bien être reine mais pas l'ombre du roi
Faut-il que je cède, faut-il que je saigne
Pour qu'il m'aime aussi pour ce que je suis

(Zazie )
Pourrait-il faire en sorte
( A.Bauer )
Ferait-elle pour moi
( Zazie )
D'ouvrir un peu la porte
( A.Bauer )
Ne serait-ce qu'un pas
( Zazie )
Pourrait-il faire encore
( A.Bauer )
Encore un effort
( Zazie )
Un geste, un pas vers moi
( A.Bauer )
Un pas vers moi

REFRAIN ( Axel Bauer & Zazie )

Je n'attends pas de toi que tu sois la/le même
Je n'attends pas de toi que tu me comprennes
Seulement que tu m'aimes pour ce que je suis

COUPLET 3 ( A.bauer )

Se met-elle à ma place quelques fois
Que faut-il que je fasse pour que tu me voie
Vivre l'enfer, mourir au combat
Veux-tu faire de moi ce que je ne suis pas
Je veux bien tenter l'effort de regarder en face,
Mais le silence est mort et le tien me glace
Mon âme soeur, cherche l'erreur
Plus mon sang se vide et plus tu as peur

( A.Bauer )
Faut-il que je t'apprenne
( Zazie )
Je ne demande rien
( A.Bauer )
Les eaux troubles où je traine
( Zazie )
Où tu vas d'où tu viens
( A.Bauer )
Faut-il vraiment que tu saches
( Zazie )
Tout ce que tu caches
( A.Bauer )
Le doute au fond de moi
( Zazie )
Au fond de toi

REFRAIN ( Axel Bauer & Zazie )

COUPLET FINAL (Axel Bauer & Zazie )

Quand je doute, quand je tombe
Et quand la route est trop longue
Quand parfois je ne suis pas ce que tu attends de moi,
Que veux tu qu'on y fasse,
Qu'aurais-tu fait à ma place ?

I am Afraid....

to click on my time tracker and see the amount of time I have wasted this week.

Horse Riding Tips

Well, firstly remember that people are watching you so be cool. You don't want to be mocked about the way you sit, or the fact that you were about to fall down or that your face looks real funny when you're scared.
Another thing to do is to talk to your horse. I commented to him about this gorgeous mare who was passing by and Veritas's ears flicked back, and he seriously noticed, did a head flick too. They understand their names for sure too.
Remember how the cowboys walk in old westerns? They look like they had been constipated for two days? Thats coz they sit in such a way that their legs form an O; the legs almost hug the belly of the horse wherein they realize there is someone atop 'em + it helps balance. So said my self absorbed buddy who thinks he is omniscient. Turns out my buddy has quite a wikipedia shaped brain, though I'm not entirely sure what it's filled with. Big hug to you when/ if you read this, little starling :-). He also had another interesting point to make:- Basically we are taught by walking the horse in a large circle, and occasionally our horse teacher would tell us to cut through the middle and walk the horse anti clockwise for a change. Starling suggested to ensure the horse didnt cut corners, and to loop around a corner again if it wouldnt listen and try to cut corners and do a smaller circle. He also suggested to surprise it with little 360 degree turns while we were walking so it was aware there was someone atop it who it should heed, and not let it get mindnumbed with monotonous circles. Nice ideas that I can't wait to try out.

Feed the little bugger a carrot after you ride him. Don't underestimate the power of having them associate the sweet goodness of carrots with yourself.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Tropic Thunder Blunder and Changeling.

Friday was refreshing once again. Slipping out of bed at 1 in the afternoon, ambling through the house in slow motion and sprawling on any flat surface between the bed and the television. My feet dragged me out later. The 3 o clock sunshine on Gulf road was refreshing, the traffic was not. Swarms of people were picnicking too close to the roads, and I'm sure stones could fly off into the crowd at high velocity. But oh well, cant comment any more on that.
It was gonna be a movie night to recuperate from the night before. Tropic Thunder was the first movie we watched, but really did not measure up to what I expected. Big Stars, not very big performances. Though I did think Tom Cruise was pretty good. Definitely didnt agree with IMDB but rotten tomatoes 85% was so uncalled for. One critic though was spot-on. I just think it was a great idea that could've been refined so much more.
Changeling we watched next. It definitely deserved more than the 59% from Rotten tomms. The true story doesnt shed alot more light than the movie does, but there is still some trivia to be read.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

The N78 scores, BABY!

Hell yea, I finally picked up a new phone after the old 6300 plopped into the toilet. I always feared it would happen, and let me tell you it is extremely possible. No urban myth there.
Most of the Nseries are Qwerty keyboards or slide phones, both features I ain't a fan of. I wanted most of the old features of my 6300 that I was very happy with, and a good battery life - (the 6300 battery life lasted a one hour conversation) I went to this second hand shop hoping they would let me pick an old phone to try it out, and liked the N78 for everything I was looking for + the FM transmitter. I picked this 2nd hand piece for 60 KD and told him I'd try it and come back exchange it for a new one which was apparently 90 KD. After a two hour trial, I was pretty smitten and hopped off to buy it. On an impulse I ducked into Skynet, another shop 3 stores ahead of this one and inquired the rate of a N78. Imagine how shocked and appalled I was to learn it was 67 KD. Needless to say, I got a refund and picked this latter new piece up. Some people say it's because it's made in China, but I didn't see any difference between the pieces. I shall have a more in depth review of the N78 (N78 for dummies) a little later.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A Bakers Nightmare

Dont need no COD when we got SNOW HOP!

In my post about tracking time I mentioned about how online games would be one culprit responsible for having time sneak by me. It really didnt help that I found Snowhop.Its the darndest little game where you jump on a snow flake and it propels you higher. The graphics don't need to be realistic and it doesnt need to have any relation to the real facts. It's just one darn good adictive game that can get your mind off work for a good five minutes. I suggest you time yourself though, I repeat, it's addictive!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Diggin my Heels into this Crane

My job is very diverse and it has me doing alot of things that you don't see too many women poke their noses into. No I don't drive a crane but hah, I should tell you about the time I was in our yard at Amghara, stilletos dug into the sand and then clambering over all of the equipment and heavy machinery stored there. I should tell you about it, but I won't.
Today, I was supervising a safety check of a crane that we are renting from a third party to the military. It wasnt as simple as I thought it would be. The loading cables of the crane were inserted wrong. The loading test certificate had expired some months ago. The upper limit switch didnt work either. The breaks were worn, etc, etc, etc I won't rant on about complicated crane jargon (please note sarcasm) to you disinterested folk. The local standards are definitely not at par with the American Military Standards as they pointed out. But do check out this link and you'll realize the American standards dont always follow their military safety protocols either. You can stare agape at the visuals and skim through the summaries. I'm going to be googling away Cranes for the next few days.

Tracking life: Time Tracker

I don't know if my blog screams it out or not, but I usually am a very disorganized person. I am very often missing keys, my debit card, my civilian identification card, sunglasses, reading glasses, money and am unsure where my time went as well. Maybe irresponsible is another word, though I'm unsure. Disorganized allows me to sound a little more artsy. Though I'm trying get a little less unruly and not while away hours while at work on lesser important things. I would not call them futile things, as they enhance my knowledge of the world. As I work in marketing, every idea I absorb from games sites, other peoples lives on facebook, learning languages online, reading other peoples blogs and what not; all these are ingredients that amalgamate together in my brewing pot of ideas, and come out looking different. Either way, I wanted to track my time and wound up trying a variety of widgets and time trackers. None of them worked well enough, either I had to put too much effort to manually input the data on what I was doing at the time, or they were time trackers for freelancers who worked by the hour to guage how much time they were working on a project for. The last update was that I was testing out since about November 2nd.

It has worked like an utter charm! Thankfully, it allows individuals a free account but charges for corporate accounts. It tells you which websites you have visited for the most time. It also allows you to tag websites and applications you use on your pc into categories ( I have tagged excel, my email client "bat", word under 'Work'; and facebook and myspace under 'social networking' and shows this separately as "top tags".

It also allows you to create and check goals- you say how much time you want to spend on a goal and it will track it for you. It also shows you your productivity for the day or for the week. You install the software (it takes up only 1.26 mbs) and it tracks what you do on your pc.Once a month it sends you an email summarizing your virtual vagabonding. If I were boss, I'd install this on my emplyees PC unawares and re-route the monthly email to me!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The best poetry site ever

I have just found what the title above implies. I dare not repeat it so I don't hype it for you, but it's seriously fantabulistic. Its, and they allow you to not only to read historical and contemporary poetry but allows you to put your works on as well. Sort of like a poetry aggregator. I've already got two votes on the one I put up on a topic a tad bit controversial that I couldnt put on here coz I don't quite want the attention. Which means I shouldnt be writing this, I know.... But still. Whatever. Check out the site and tell me what you think of it. I like hearing that I'm right :-D

On my own again

I come home at 8 after work. I work well after half past 5, cigarette smoke slithering in the office and feet up on the chair. Undistracted and mesmerized. The music is not channelized into my ears through headphones, but the loudspeaker allows it its course as it amiably contours the corners of silence. I change my screensaver.

I let myself in. Shoes by the door, bag on the floor. A dinner of sliced cheese and chocolate milk. It doesn’t matter to me that it doesn’t go. It’s never not enough. There’s a mart a minute away. Satisfied. No unknown expectations.
The house is clean. There are no obligations to take care of anything. No dishes used, no dishes to wash, no dishes to own, lesser money spent. My own time. I have always loved it from a distance. The flings with it were few and far between. But I always come back. To be alone is to be brave and expose yourself to a plethora of choices.

Coffee with one of them. Don my mitts and armed with Ipod; feel the rush of the breeze on my face at the beach where I like to walk. Try out everything in my wardrobe. Have a drink. Dance wildly to loud music in front of the mirror. Read a book. Go shopping not knowing what I need to buy. Go horse riding twice a week. Cook something once a week. Sketch. Rewrite my ambitions. Paint my nails. Explore the virtual world. Satisfied. No unknown expectations.
I decide to put in a movie in another language after rummaging through a pile of what nobody else besides me likes to watch. Uninterrupted. I feel sleepy, one of those slumbers you fall into with your lips curled into a half smile.
I hear the front gate. I shrivel inside and hold my breath. No knock on the door, yes, on my own again.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Sharing Accomodation in Salmiya or Salwa?

A basement available? An attic maybe? I'm getting tempted to live out of my car; and it isn't even remotely large!

The ultimating sharing experience would be to find someone who took an apartment before the rates skyrocketed- which would mean the size of the apartment would be bigger as well.... The only problem is, it's only old folks giving out rooms, and I didnt move out of my folks place to listen to other peoples notions of how I oughtta live my life!

I cant imagine anything besides the Spanish villas that'd tolerate my lifestyle. Late nights and loud music. I smoke. May wanna get a dog. I like to have guests over. I wanna paint a mural on one wall. This is reminding me how much I hate Kuwait once again.

Serriously I'm only here for the tax free money, and I think I earn fairly well for my 3 years work experience history, but the question is; am I saving anything? Do I even like where I live? No on both counts. This post was more of a rant, which I shall delete in a day or two. If you do read it, bugger off and dont patronize me.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Sounds and Shapes of Nature

The Sea organ of Zadar in Croatia, These are organ pipes connected to the sea which makes music with the waves going up and down. There are 35 pipes with whistle openings on the sidewalk. The movement of the sea pushes air through, and – depending on the size and velocity of the wave – musical chords are played. The waves create random harmonic sounds.

This newly completed $1.6 million sculpture commission by Janet Echelman, changes shape in the wind. 160 feet tall, the sculpture spans 300 feet and suspends over a three-lane highway roundabout on the Atlantic coastline in Porto, Portugal. It is credited as the first permanent monumental sculpture to incorporate fluid movement and is called "one of the truly significant public artworks in recent years" by Sculpture Magazine. The sculpture integrates the history of Porto, where a fishing village became an industrial area with smokestacks and tanks. The red and white stripe pattern of the smoke stack referencing elements continues into the sculptural net shape. The shape of the net mirrors the landscape below. The solid, unmoving forms on the ground accentuate the movement and changing forms in the air.

Looking like the wreckage of an Alien space craft, this Futuristic Sculpture is Art Jim, but not as we know it. Commisioned by a forward thinking Burnley Council, The collection of tubes makes the strangest sounds when the wind blows, which is often round the location at Crown POint, on the moorland overlooking Burnley. Seen in the background is Pendle Hill, famous for the PENDLE WITCHES. Maybe in the sculpture, the myth lives on.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Obama on Facebook and Myspace

Seriously, talk about being a modern president from the present century. Bush didnt even have a website. Obama has that, a facebook page and alot lot more. He may not pull a David Copperfield act of change, but he's already looking good.

I heard a funny joke about how some American women are supporting Obama over Bush, but I think I can't quite tell how here. Please use your imagination :-D

Monday, November 10, 2008

A Pink Floyd Memory, and some trivia

Its funny that Crazy Diamond (just the name itself, of course) jogged my love for listening to Floyd in a loop again. Three days ago I had an age old friend add me on facebook. What he remembers most was how much I loved the song "Wish you Were Here" 8 years ago.
I still do too. I begin to wonder how many people have how many different memories associated with that song at different times in their lives.
I remember we'd ride our bikes to the bottom of a hill in our neighbourhood and W and I would listen to it from his CD player.
I remember we playing it on the way to a rock concert.
I remember listening to it when I moved to a neighbouring state; staring out at the metropolitan city of blinding lights from my balcony, cigarette and drink in hand.
And I listened to it yesterday in a friends car,and still singing every line softly. It's one of those songs I try not to sing along to too loud coz I don't wanna ruin it with my screechy shrieks.

1: The most famous roadie ever?In 1967, Pink Floyd began employing roadie Pete Watts, who rose through the ranks to become their chief sound engineer. Watts can also be heard laughing between tracks on the band’s Dark Side Of The Moon album. He died in 1976. His daughter Naomi accompanied the group on tour as a child, and went on to become a successful model and actress, starring in the movies, 21 Grams and Mulholland Drive.

2: As it begins, so it endsThe first and last voices ever heard on a Pink Floyd album belong not to any member of the band but to their managers. Floyd’s 1967 debut, The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn, opens with the track Astronomy Domine and co-manager Peter Jenner narrating astronomical data through a megaphone. The last voice heard on the last Floyd album, 1994’s The Division Bell, is that of the band’s late manager Steve O’Rourke, speaking to guitarist David Gilmour’s son Charlie on the telephone, and accidentally recorded on the Gilmour family’s ansaphone machine.

3: The secret side of the Moon The BBC’s coverage of the Apollo moon landing in July 1969, included a TV programme titled But What If It’s Made Of Green Cheese, for which Pink Floyd performed a still-unreleased track known as Moonhead.

4: Nothing is wastedThe front cover for heavy rock band Def Leppard’s 1981 album, High’n’Dry, depicts a man diving into an empty swimming pool, and was designed by Hipgnosis, the same company behind numerous Pink Floyd album sleeves. Years later, it was revealed that the cover had originally been proposed, and rejected by Pink Floyd for their Atom Heart Mother album in 1970. Instead, Floyd went with the now famous picture of a cow in a field.

5: Boars might fly, sows might notWhen Pink Floyd’s bassist and songwriter Roger Waters quit the band in the early 1980s, a lengthy legal battle ensued with Waters attempting to stop his former bandmates using the Floyd name and their famous ‘flying pig’ stage prop. Waters claimed that the pig had been his idea. To prevent being sued for breach of copyright, Floyd commissioned a new flying pig, with enormous testicles, to differentiate it from Waters’ original female model.

6: Big in JapanDuring the 1960s, Floyd frontman Syd Barrett’s mother often took in lodgers at the family’s house in Hills Road, Cambridge. These were usually students studying at the university, and included the future Prime Minister of Japan, Junichiro Koizumi.

7: Before Sharon Osbourne, there was the FloydAngered by Melody Maker’s lukewarm review of their 1971 album, Meddle, Pink Floyd sent a gift to the paper’s deputy editor, Michael Watts. Assuming it to be a Christmas present, Watts opened the parcel to be confronted with a wooden box concealing a spring-loaded boxing glove.

8: The hidden jazz elementListen very closely to the fadeout of the Floyd song Wish You Were Here and you might still be able to hear the violin solo, played by jazz virtuoso Stéphane Grappelli, who happened to be recording in an adjacent studio to the Floyd at Abbey Road.

9: No Wings on the MoonSeveral voices that can be heard talking between tracks on Pink Floyd’s Dark Side Of The Moon. These include Floyd roadies Pete Watts and Chris Adamson and Abbey Road Studios doorman Gerry O’Driscoll; all of whom had been asked to answer random questions set by Roger Waters. Paul and Linda McCartney were also interviewed, but their answers were rejected from the final album on the grounds that they were, said Waters “trying too hard to be funny”.

10: Of course, it had to come down to sex Ummagumma, the title of Pink Floyd’s 1969 double album, was a word invented by one of the band’s entourage as a slang expression for sexual intercourse

Saturday, November 8, 2008

T-shirt design

I was bored, and Adobe Illustrator was right there.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Rainbow phenomenon in otherwise dreary Kuwait sky

Walked out of my office yesterday and the most gorgeous little- okay not so little really- rainbow streaked through the sky! Okay I know some of you may have loads of Aurora Borealis back at home and see more gorgeous phenomenon.... but it was a Rainbow.... IN KUWAIT!!!!!! Can you tell I don't get enough holidays out of this place?
Either way, the rain was a welcome but that rainbow was the cherry atop the cake.
Just one of those things that make you smile, so I thought I'd catch it with my 2 megapixel
camera heheheh! I'm a sucker for these kind of things, just wanted to share it with y'all! Happy Tuesday People!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Tips that work!!! Focusing on Work!!!

Been building up a list of what not to do at work as I catch myself doing it. It's not taken me too long to come up with a list worth posting.
* Don't sit with your feet folded up, you get more comfortable, less alert.
*Don't keep flip flops in the office.
* Don't have a heavy lunch because 2 hours after it are definitely wasted!
*Don't go on facebook the moment you get to work, and don't leave it open after you have surfed through it. You don't want to accidentally see it when you have forgotten about it.
*Don't forget to make a to-do list so you can bounce from one to the other with no free time that could end up in a black hole of distaction.
* Don't, just don't.
* You know how one link leads to another to another to another? Avoid exploring too many links! What? I don't know how many links are too many links for you!
* Drink coffee/ or tea. But not too much because then you'd wanna throw up, or need too many potty breaks
*If you have to do something outdoors, don't delegate it to someone else. Get out! Fresh air and a change reduces the monotonous cycle.
*Keep a minimal amount of internet pages open, and don't indulge in tabs.
*Don't blog during work. It takes too much time to come up with a post, the right image, all the editing, and the re-editing.

Rain in Kuwait!

Ladies and Gentlemen, it be pissin' it down ! And I.... I... I can't go outside coz I'm wearing expensive heels :-( The infamous rug that makes its way to the entrance everytime it rains. Look closely, its wet-tish outside. And depressing weather, yay!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
UPDATE: A email titled "Yipppeeee!!!" hits my inbox. The content was almost predictable:-
Clouds are gradually starting to increase today with light to moderate NW winds. During this evening, the skies will turn overcast with rain arriving and affecting most areas. Rain intensity could be heavy and thundery at times. Please take all necessary pre-cautions of this upcoming scenario. Tomorrow, Monday, the weather will be gloomy and dark with rain that at times will be heavy and persistent associated with thunderstorms. Rainfall amounts are expected to be high with local flooding possible. It will be a very unstable day. Rainfall amounts will be above average. The chance of rain will continue to early Thursday with the worst of the rainfall between Monday and Tuesday Please take caution while driving because it will be hazerdous. All outdoor activities should be cancelled. Ofcourse, any sea activity is strictly not advised. Temperatures will decline to leave the weather cold. Please keep up to date with Q8Weather.Com for daily updates. Q8Weather.Com will advise you through the system of heavy rain.

Horse Riding in Kuwait

I had almost given up my slackly search for horse riding lessons in Kuwait. I searched far and wide (by which I mean I asked 2 or 3 people about it absently during some cocktail conversation) and hope eluded me. We went searching for the MEC but stumbled across The Kuwait Hunting & Equestrian Club due to my friends worse-that-a-womans-navigating-ability. This place required you to become members, which in turn conveniently required you to pay a whopping 300 KD annually. No way, Jose.
We stumbled out of the place disheartened and shattered mumbling about broken dreams when the guy yelled at us to come back and gave us directions in muddled english to another place. Turned out to be a health centre for horses that also has riding classes. 60 KD for 15 classes- it was 12 until I batted my eyelashes, or so they lead me to believe. Before you go whooping in delight and driving crazy onto the 6th ring towards Subhan, here's the hidden costs:- you gotta splurge 20 KD for the helmet and boots respectively. If you have tiny feet- smaller than 38ish- you gotta buy riding shoes (20 kd)+chaps (10 kd) . Rummage through your shoe rack, and your brothers shoe rack while you're at it to find flat shoes so you don't have to buy that but only the chaps.
We got a German lady teaching us, she is fabulous. I think she should start a blog, I'd definitely be a fan. The Jordanian guy who is the other teacher speaks only Arabic. Next Saturday I shall think about juggling the reins in one hand and shoot a video with another. If you're lucky, it may include footage of me falling off a horse. :-)

Saturday, November 1, 2008

European Film Week- Kuwait

Since none of you actually read my blog, I figured I'll review this event instead of warning y'all about it. I should've had more readers though, coz I woulda been inspired to put this on in advance; and y'all wouldnt have missed the broader spectrum of life that be!
Okay honestly, I just went for two movies. It was a great experience for the fact that they didnt charge anything, and the ambience of shaab park contributed to it as much as the jazz music that played outdoors wafting away on the winter wind. I went for the 8 o clock movie on the first and the last day. They were supposed to play El Greco on the first day, but the schedule had changed earlier and we wound up watching a deadpan hungarian movie called Fresh Air. My friends stumbled out that night, half asleep and half awake alternatively; all shaking fists and muttering under their breath. Most of them were to never return.
Their loss though. The people who did go for the other movies had pleasant things to say about it and I decided to give it one more chance for the last show on the last day. Kolja.
Kolja. Czech. Beautiful beyond words. A finale to the film week that would leave you wanting much much more. It aced watching any of the superficial blockbusters at our glorified malls. Seriously, I hope more people come next time. Those empty seats were missed opportunities to expand your hearts and minds.

In Oranje - Nederlands
Obaba - Spain
Katyn - Poland
Pacho, The Brigand of Hybe -
Rembetiko -
Mr. Dinosaur - Bulgaria
Germany Kolja - Czech Republic