Sunday, April 27, 2008

Friday Night Lights Turn Squidlicious

"Is there like a term or phrase that alludes to the sea being empty of any game?"

My older brother a.k.a. Big Brother didn't bother turning around to answer me, "Yeah. It's called 'Shit'."

Journeying into low tide...

And shitty it was. My two brothers, Big Brother and Squirt, spent 45 minutes walking in the sea at low tide without spotting a single thing. Personally, I like to venture out at low tide before dusk, when the sun is still out so I can spot oysters for their pearls. The worst part is tugging the oyster from its root, mostly because I abhor the tiny little worms that live on it since I'm worm-phobic. The best part, however, is when you lay them out and watch them open up slowly. When that happens, you take a knife and quickly put it inside the oyster before it clamps shut again. From there, you crack it open and fiddle around with the oyster's insides to see if there are any pearls in it.

View of the shore

My eldest sister always comes to mind at these situations i.e. tigimber. Her first love is the sea; I won't be surprised if she starts to grow scales on her legs before she turns into a mermaid. When I was younger, the two of us would always go out to sea at low tide. When we approached the deep end, I would entertain myself by drawing on the islands of soft sand that arise at low tide while she fearlessly dives into the deep end, in search of oysters on the rocky reef. I remember once, she caught a gigantic oyster that had four large pearls in it. Another time, she caught a baby shark with my father. They placed it in a large bucket before they let it out to sea again.

The only time I patted myself on the back was when I caught an Indian Flathead i.e. وحرة. It was about seven years ago. I had gone out at low tide and started to head back to our chalet when I saw this large fish as long as my arm lying calmly on the sea's floor. My heart started to race as I came near it. While I was examining it, I was thinking about my two options: I either get hold of the bastard or flee. I stood there contemplating my options before spending ten minutes adjusting my position and aim because I knew this fish would fight back. I finally sunk my fishing spear onto it's back using both hands. I think I stood there putting my weight on it for about 20 minutes. The darn thing was unbelievably strong. Finally, it quit moving around. I took it out of the water and placed my fishing spear on my shoulder before I continued my march back home. I remember my dad didn't believe I caught it all by myself, "It's too strong!" he exclaimed.

Remembering times like these is kind of depressing and disappointing. Not even five years ago, we used to catch a lot of sea creatures when we're halfway from the deep sea. "This is global warming," I told Big Brother for the third time, "And pollution."

"I'm bored. There's nothing here," Squirt complained.

"Have patience! Nothing comes easy. Wait for it," I replied in slight annoyance, "And if you see a baby crab, don't kill it," I added.

I always admired the courageousness the baby crabs have. You don't even pay attention to them and they come at you with their snapping claws.

But we didn't see any crabs this Friday night.

"Khithag! Squid!" my older brother yelled before getting into position to catch it. "This is a good place. Let's just turn around the same area," he said after he plopped his catch in the plastic container Squirt was forced to tug along.

That's when I spotted the largest squid we caught that night, the squid I dubbed "The Godfather" because the guy was a big ol' cephalopod. The problem is, The Godfather wasn't as stupid as the rest. The rest just sit there like stones, thinking nobody can see them. The Godfather kept bumbling along and played it cool the whole time I was tracking him down, speeding up and slowing down while I sloshed carefully through the rising tide. I had good aim, but he was slightly too far for me to have a powerful go at him. I took a deep breath and with one large step I extended my fishing spear (kabar) and "CRACK!" I got him good.

"Big Brother! Big Brother! I caught him!" I was a bit tense, frozen in my attack position with my rear in the air. "Look! He's the biggest one of the bunch!"

The Godfather...he looks pissed doesn't he

"The smaller ones are more delicious," Big Brother replied.

Squirt beamed, "I caught the tastiest one! Haha! I'm going to eat it tomorrow for lunch!"

And that he did.

My Second Squid

And that's the last of it!

Ultravox! - Quiet Men
George Michael - I Want Your Sex
Stevie Nicks - Landslide (Live)
Tears for Fears - Head Over Heels
Phil Collins - Easy Lover
Bananarama - Robert De Niro's Waiting
Human League - Don't You Want Me
Modern Talking - You're My Heart, You're My Soul
Yazoo - Don't Go

at 8:30 AM 10 comments

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

I Survived Haitham Al-Shaye3

Last night, my dear mother and I headed over to Shamiya and attended speeches made by Adel Al Sar3awi, Jassim Al Sa3doun and my favorite of the three in terms of delivery, Mishari Al Osaimi. After the three gentlemen left the podium, the fourth and final one popped up behind it.

The last speaker of the night - or rather, screamer who was in dire need of valium for all our sakes - the barely 30 year old Haitham Al-Shaye3, was introduced as a Denverite graduate who rolled into his family's business before working in the one and only, our beloved NBK. In other words, a spoiled rich daddy's boy who partied it up from Mint to Monaco before settling in his family's green.

At first, I was delighted to see a young, handsome face before me. The only bad thing was that it started to yell and bellow in no time. It was like experiencing the climax of a cheesy Egyptian action movie for twenty minutes straight which would cause any normal functioning human being to spring out of his/her seat and shout "SHUT UUUUUUUUUP!"

One of the first things I learned in my speech making class in university was to at least memorize the introduction and conclusion because eye contact is key especially in the beginning and closing part of one's speech. This little guy who made me reminisce the times I heard boring monotone speeches read the whole goddamned thing. I bet he downed a dozen Diet Cokes beforehand because he was roaring and raging away at us with his fisted hands and squirrel-like voice. I wouldn't have been surprised if he whipped off his "3gal" and lashed out on us. The guy was on fire, and not in a good way. He was going at everything with such force that I could not stop thinking, "Dude, take a friggin' chill pill and settle the hell down. Breathe for crying out loud!"

'Problem is that his speech was, well, stupid and redundant. "Hatha gal sinee oo hatha gal shi3ee. Hatha gal wa6ani oo hatha gal moo wa6ani." Ummm…seriously? Although important, I think everyone is getting super fed up with that bullcrap and over mentioning it doesn't add much; it just deters you away from speaking about the real problem(s). Now, I don't think my written Arabic is that bad (see previous post) but even with my lack of Arabic grammar knowledge and logic, I knew that something was off about his speech's structure. The guy was all over the place, pulling examples from Kuwait's successful handball team and saying how we should adopt the same team spirit that made them rise to the top. " '3azoo il Kuwait…tathkiroon il '3azoo?!?" The guy was like what, twelve years old then? And then the "let's get 'em good schools and hospitals and whatchamacallits…"

I was amused through it all but then that stopped when my ears started to ring and my head started to ache very, very badly.

Mr. Haitham, if you read this, here are some really helpful links that you, well, must use:

How to Make a Good Speech

Public Speaking - The Art of Speech Making

So You Wanna Deliver an Effective Speech?

Sugar Hill Gang - Rapper's Delight
Devo - Whip It
Queen - The Show Must Go On
Kajagoogoo - Too Shy
Talking Heads - Road to Nowhere
Whitesnake - Here I Go Again
The Colourfield - Thinking of You
Sheena Easton - 9-5

at 8:30 AM 20 comments

Sunday, April 20, 2008

خبر عاجل: الطبطبائي وعقدته من الشوكة

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The Bangles - Eternal Flame
Alannah Myles - Black Velvet
Baltimora - Tarzan Boy
Boston - More Than a Feeling
Robert Palmer - Bad Case of Loving You

at 8:30 AM 10 comments