Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Question of the Day: Why do people say phone numbers like actual numbers?

I've noticed people saying phone numbers like real numbers. For instance, instead of saying, “Sara’s number is 65748376” the person would go, “Sara’s number is six fifty-seven, four eighty-three, seventy-six.” It’s actually ironic since it’s something that over-complicates the whole “number giving” process while the initial intention is to simplify and quicken it! I cannot forget when I called an Egyptian assistant who gave me someone’s number, “Ninety-eight thousand and seven hundred and thirty seven…” I remember cutting him off because I could not follow anything he'd said. Plus he was talking really fast and that didn’t help me either. What’s with people? Why not say the number like it is?

MP3's for your ears...

Chubby Checker - Let's Twist Again

Ella Fitzgerald - Manhattan

Juan Garcia Esquivel - Mucha Muchacha

The McGuire Sisters - Bye, Bye Blackbird

Vic Damone - On the Street Where You Live

The Tornadoes - Telstar

at 8:30 AM 5 comments

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Do you know a good carpenter? مطلوب نجار

I need a carpenter who is good at constructing small-sized, wooden objects (about the size of a shoe box or photo frame) that require more brains than brawn since it's a little bit technical. If you know of one I would really appreciate it if you let me know of him/her. Please leave his/her contact details in the comments section or better yet, send me his/her name and contact information to erzulie1985@hotmail.com.

MP3s for your ears...

Patto - The Man
Amy Winehouse - Stronger Than Me
Little River Band - Help Is On It's Way

at 8:30 AM 3 comments

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Question of the Day: Does flattery (read: kissing your higher uppers’ rear ends) help you rise up at work?

Maybe I work in an industry that is filled to the brim with excessive, stomach turning sweet-talk, but I’ve noticed that it sometimes works. Although I do not flatter anyone in both personal and professional situations since it makes me cringe just to hear someone flatter his/her boss/naïve client, I have observed that you can go from a common and replaceable employee to BFF in a matter of minutes.

I guess the thing that gets to me is the manipulative, lying bit. Why squeal and tell your lame Mr./Mrs. Boss, “Yeee! Shoo hal kalaaaym! I’d love to have coffee with you! Wait for you outside your house for an hour? Sure hayate to2mori!” when you’d be happier sharing a cup of sewer water with Satan?

Now I know that some people are more or less forced to bend over backwards since their job might be his/her family’s main source of income and if flattering someone helps secure them in their job then be it. But my curiosity is with the handful who shrug their shoulders before stomping all over their dignity and self-worth without trepidation as they slyly conform to their now-pleased high uppers’ crummy expectations that might’ve facilitated the whole self-demeaning routine to begin with.

Have you worked with or come across anyone like that?

MP3s for your ears...

Donovan - Season of the Witch

Dusty Springfield - Spooky

The Action - Brain

Elton John - Rocket Man

at 8:30 AM 4 comments

Sunday, October 03, 2010

طوبى للأموات

تجمع على وجه السرعة نفر من الرجال يتصببون عرقا، محتمين من أشعة الشمس القاسية، لا يحميهم في ذلك الصباح الحارق سوى سقف من الأواح الحديدية الصغيرة.

"مشينا نتخبط ما بين الزجاج المكسور وبواقي الأوعية البلاستيكية والأوراق وقصاصات المحارم الورقية والحفر التي احتفرتها الحيوانات ونباتات الصحراء الشوكية التي غطت الأرض. لم يكن من الممكن البقاء على ذلك الممر الترابي الضيق لكثرة الناس المعزين. وهكذا كان لزاما علي أن أسير متعرجا بين التلال المبعثرة في المكان، ولم يكن هناك بد من أن أسير فوق قبور الأجداد والآباء والأزواج والأقارب والأطفال لكي أصل لقبر أبي، يا له من مسلك خبيث!"

و صمت قريبي فيما هو يروي تفاصيل ذلك الصباح من أول أيام العيد و الذي قضاه في مقبرة الصليبيخات، تلك التجربة المريرة التي كان عليه أن يقاسيها في كل أول يوم من أيام العيد.

وبرغم مرور أسبوع كامل على موضوع مقبرة الصليبيخات، أو بحسب تعبير صديقي "مدفن الرجال" إلا أنها ما زالت تجول في رأسي، وعلى أني لم يسبق لي أن قمت بمثل تلك الزيارات، قررت أن أخوض التجربة وأزور ذلك المكان وأعرفه عن قرب.

تيقنت من مصداقية صاحبي، فبالرغم من قلة الإزدحام في ذلك اليوم، لاحظت أن الزائرين أوقفوا سياراتهم قرب قبور الموتى لا يفصلهم عنهم سوى متر واحد. بعض القبور احتوت على صخور خاصة "علامة" نقش عليها رقم المتوفي، و أكثر القبور لم تحتو سوى على رقم لا يتجاوز مساحة راحة اليد للإستدلال على المتوفي.

ليس من المستحب في الإسلام أن يزين أحدا قبرا بزهور طبيعية أو بأي زينة صناعية أخرى، ولست في ذلك نصير أو رافض لذلك الموقف. وإنما السؤال، ماذا بشأن المعزين والعائدين لأقاربهم المتوفين، والإحترام والتبجيل اللائق لشخص المتوفي؟ أوليس لهم حق في ذلك؟ أوليست النظافة وحسن الترتيب من أخلاقيات الإسلام؟ ولم تسمح بلدية الكويت بتكرار ذلك الشعور المهين كلما قمنا بزيارة ذلك المكان؟ ولم لا تكون مقبرة الصليبيخات بنفس المستوى من النظافة وحسن التنسيق الذي تبدو عليه المقبرة الجعفرية، بما تتمتع به من ترتيب لمساحات القبور و توزيع المقاعد الخاصة للمسنين في حالة اضطرارهم للجلوس ما بين القبور المزدانة باشارات أسماء المتوفين و بعض آيات الذكر الحكيم؟

The sweaty crowd of men was momentarily herded under the rickety, 3x3 meter metal sheets, the only protection we had from the scorching sun that dry morning. We shuffled over broken glass, discarded plastic bottles and containers, paper, tissue and scraps of random garbage, animals’ ground holes and the thorny desert plants that defiantly lined the ground. Because of the growing number of mourners, it was difficult to remain on the impossibly narrow sandy path. Instead, I was forced to walk on the little mounds of earth that were scattered randomly all around us. As I made my way toward my grandfather’s grave, I found it difficult to realize that I had walked directly on the graves of other people’s grandparents, parents, partners, siblings and children.” My relative was quiet as he recounted the details of his Eid morning that was spent in Sulaibikhat’s graveyard, a dreaded experience he undergoes ever single Eid.

A week later, Sulaibikhat’s graveyard or in my relative’s words, “Sulaibikhat’s man dump,” was still on my mind. Although I’ve never been to any graveyard before, I decided it was time to observe what the place really looked like.

My relative’s observations stood to be true. Although the graveyard was not crowded that day, people still parked their car a meter away from where the graves start. Some graves had gravestones with the deceased person’s name while many had a mere, almost palm-sized rock with a number on it.

In Islam, it is considered a taboo for one to decorate a loved one’s grave with flowers or any aesthetically pleasing element. This is not something I am condoning or pushing for, but what about granting mourners and the deceased basic respect and decency? Isn’t cleanliness part of Islam? Why is Kuwait’s Municipality allowing this horrific disgrace exist in our memories? And why can’t Sulaibikhat’s Graveyard be as put-together, organized and clean as the Al-Jaafariyah Graveyard that has actual benches for the elderly who cannot stand by the evenly spaced graves and signposts with verses from the Koran?

at 8:30 AM 7 comments