Sunday, March 27, 2011

Chips & Chunks

It has been a while since I’ve done Chips & Chunks. Here it goes!

Habchi & Chalhoub is Racist?

A friend of mine works in a fashion magazine. Her boss invited her to Habchi & Chalhoub’s sample sale. Naturally, my friend was surprised, “I did not know that they even had a sample sale.” The boss replied coolly, “Laikehhhh, they do, but it is not made public because Kuwaitis can afford the retail price.” No comment.

Baby Fever

Well, not really. A few of my friends have had their first and even second baby. Although I am not thinking of having one of my own any time soon, I am curious to know what my baby is going to look like. So I went online and Googled “What my baby will look like” and found a few sites that take parents’ pictures and morphs them to make a baby. And here’s what I got!

The first baby is all right although a bit creepy. The second baby is downright fugly. It looks like a troll! That morphing site seriously did not do my husband or my picture any justice! At the end of the day, I just hope that I will have a healthy baby that will not be a big fan of sleepless nights.

Indian Heritage

About two weeks ago, I met up with my mother in the Cloth Souq in Kuwait City because I wanted to refurbish my living room’s sofas and like any daughter, I needed her expert opinion. Since she was running late, I wandered into the building behind the main block. One of the stores that I went into was the Indian Heritage shop. I remember buying crape fabric from them a year ago; they do have a fabulous collection of breathtaking fabrics. I took my time looking at their colorful, sequined cloths and airy, casual blouses that are great for the beach and even for the chalet since you do not have to wear an undershirt underneath.

I looked beyond the cottony shirts and robes only to discover a new section that just opened about two months ago. Located at the far right of the store, right after a few stairs, was a corner that had the most wonderful clothes made by Indian designers. After I oohed and aahed over the intricate designs and uniquely styled clothes, I looked even further to discover quite a large area that had some striking furniture shipped all the way from India. Who knew that all that was in Indian Heritage!

Jazzy MP3's...

Cannonball Adderley - One for Daddy-O

Cannonball Adderley - Dancing in the Dark

Miles Davis - Half Nelson

at 8:30 AM 6 comments

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Help me find my Japanese grass

I want to revamp a medium-sized garden that I have at home and replace the slabs of tiles and thorny plants with a stretch of green, barbecue-friendly grass. Unfortunately, most of the area is shaded, "We grew grass there once but it died due to the lack of sunlight," my husband informed me the other day. He then told me about a special type of grass, "Japanese grass," he said, that only grows in shaded regions.

Naturally, I jumped on Google and started researching this peculiar grass so I can plant it in my garden. I found that there are two types: Japanese forest grass (first picture) and Japanese stilt grass (second picture). Just by seeing the pictures, I can tell that the last thing I want hanging around my garden is a plant that looks like Cousin It i.e. forest grass. So for now, I think Japanese stilt grass is the plant I am looking for (I think. I hope).

My husband has heard of Japanese grass being sold in Kuwait. If you know where I can find some, please let me know! And if you know someone who has planted Japanese grass in their home, I would greatly appreciate it if you let me know if their grass survives in Kuwait's extreme weather.

You can go ahead and post what you know in the comments below or if it is more convenient for you, send me an email at Arigato!

Download MP3s
Deep Purple - My Woman from Tokyo
Alphaville - Big in Japan
Styx - Mr. Roboto
Gorillaz - Left Hand Suzuki Method

at 8:30 AM 0 comments

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Didja go to Stevie Wonder’s concert in Abu Dhabi?

If you didn’t, then you missed out on a lot (read: What the hell is wrong with you? I cannot understand how someone can know that Stevie Wonder is going to perform in Abu Dhabi and not go. It just does not make sense to me. And it’s not about whether you’re not into his music or not. IT’S STEVIE WONDER DAMMIT.) I knew that Stevie Wonder was performing in Abu Dhabi way before his ads were placed between every show on OSN. I visit (as well as Abu Dhabi) often just to see who’s performing where and when. Ever since I knew Mr. Wonder was coming over, I was singing his songs in the car, humming them to myself at work and whispering them as I walked down the aisles of the supermarket. Everywhere.

If you ever plan to attend a concert in Abu Dhabi, I would do a one-nighter i.e. arrive, have dinner, go to the concert, go back to the hotel, sleep and wake up the next day to catch your flight back home. We stayed at the Yas Island Hotel which is the main hotel in Yas Island. I want to say that Yas Island is in Abu Dhabi but I was told that it is not associated with Abu Dhabi (one taxi driver said that Abu Dhabi is actually thirty minutes from Yas Island). The hotel itself is nice. The good part was that my husband stayed in a suite in the main tower (if you ever go to Yas Hotel, always try to get a room in the main tower otherwise you'll be going in and out of elevators and over and through floors to get to your room). The not so good part was the average quality of service and the amount of people in the hotel, but I guess they were there for the concert so that's all right. Anyway where was I? Yeah. So we had a fantastic dinner at Cipriani. The service and food was excellent. If you ever go there, you have to get the Bolognese with Pappardelle. It’s perfection.

Right after I finished my dinner, I got up from the table and rushed back to the hotel to get into my “concert attire” which was basically jeans, my comfy flats, a shirt and jacket. By the time I met up with my husband and our group of friends, I literally bounced toward them. I was on cloud nine. I was turning into the person everyone hates because of their annoying chirpiness that really makes you want to slap their excitement away. Fortunately, my chirpiness was reciprocated by another ecstatic girl in our group. While the guys were content standing on the far left side of the area (the concert was held in an open area), both of us girls made our way into the crowd until we were ten rows away from Stevie himself. We sang all the songs and cheered him on until our voices went from shrill to hoarse. It was wonderful. His timely sense of humor was relevant and added onto the fact of him being a great performer. Plus, I was secretly happy that his voice did not change. My aunt went to a Bob Dylan concert in London a few years ago. I remember her husband’s disappointment, “He does not sound the same at all!” But Stevie’s voice is still incredible.

For those who did not attend the concert, you can look at the pictures below and enjoy Mr. Wonder’s music. What’s weird is that I am still excited as I’m typing this. Yay!

This is the Yas Hotel's lobby. I like the installation art on the column.

Some of the songs that Stevie Wonder performed this weekend
Download MP3s...
Higher Ground

Sir Duke

Happy Birthday

Living for the City

I Just Called to Say I Love You

My Cherie Amour


Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I'm Yours

Don't You Worry About a Thing

at 8:30 AM 2 comments

Sunday, March 06, 2011

The last 30 days in pictures (sorta)

For starters, my blog is fine, thank God. I just accessed it the other day and all I saw was ImageShack's logo all over the page. Needless to say, I started to freak out. But all's well now and no, nothing special was missed :)

So I had quite a blast last month. I went to a lot of neat places and events including John Gray's gig that was held at Crowne Plaza in Farwaniya. As usual, I got lost on the way there (thank God for helpful taxis) and on the way back to my house (I ended up at the airport, don't ask). Anyway, the event was great. He didn't say anything new but just being there and taking a picture with the graying John Gray as well as his autograph on my worn out copy of his book was a lovely experience.

In the beginning of January, my older brother a.k.a. Big Brother told me about Hamad Khalifa's honorary ceremony that was to take place at the end of the month in the theater in Dasma. I was thrilled. I love live music especially anything that has to do with traditional Kuwaiti songs. The last time I went to something similar to this was last year's Ferqat Ma'youf at Dar Al-Athar Al-Islamiyah in Maidan Hawalli. The music and performance was so contagious that I had to restrain myself from running down the aisle and dancing with the rest of the crew. I'm exaggerating but that pretty much shows my enthusiasm. Anyhow, the big day came and unfortunately, Big Brother stood me up due to being stranded at the office. My husband was out of town so I asked my father out. Luckily, he was willing to be my date for the night.

Both my father and I understood that Hamad Khalifa's son would accept the plaque on behalf of his father. We were sitting there waiting for the show to start when the crowd started to stir. Turns out, Hamad Khalifa was alive and kicking! Along with a mob of people, he was slowly escorted to sit in the front row. He looked so small and feeble as he rose up to accept his award while being photographed by about three dozen photographers. My father was more surprised than I was about his appearance because Hamad Khalifa was well-known when my father was in high school. We did the math and turns out he's in his 80's mashallah.

The show itself was fantastic. I did not want it to end. It was endearing, organic and beautiful. I especially liked the part when Al-Ammari sang. He had such an amazing and unique voice. Hamad Khalifa's son sang as well and his style was very similar to his father's. You can read more about the performance here (sorry, couldn't find an article about it written in English).

Two weekends ago, my husband and I woke up early Friday morning and decided to go to the Friday market. I think I was twelve years old the last time I went there and it was probably with my father. It didn't change much. I was, however, surprised at how many things that were being sold there. Everything you can ever think of was there.

I fell in love with these baby bunnies as soon as I set my eyes on them. I found their little costumes cute but suffocating. "I'm going to save them!" I told my husband. And by save them I meant buy them and take them home with me. And that I did!

I named my two bunnies after one of my favorite stores, Bimba and Lola. Bimba is the gray one and Lola is the white one. I gave them lettuce and water. After a few days, Bimba started to act a little strange. It was sitting down in a normal position but it teetered from side to side a little bit. I don't want you to lose your lunch, but Bimba's poop was a little bit runny. The morning after, Lola had the same symptoms. That's when I rushed them to the vet. "They have diarrhea because you're not feeding them proper food," the vet told me. Apparently, these types of rabbits eat a special kind of leafy vegetable similar to parsley and another kind of rabbit food (I call them tiny bunny biscuits). But worst of all, Bimba and Lola needed to get a shot. "It's just an antibiotic," the vet said as I put on my husband's old goalie gloves since the vet needed someone to hold Bimba and Lola down as he gave them the shot in the nape of their neck. I remember my heart was beating fast and I yelped when both Bimba and Lola started to cry out in pain while he administered the antibiotic. Apparently, the antibiotic stung them as it entered their tiny body. Apart from the food, I also bought an antibiotic (powdery substance) that I had to mix into their water and a proper cage. A day later, Bimba passed away. I buried him in my garden. He looked so small and peaceful in the dirt. On the bright side, Lola is alive and well. I'm planning to take him to the vet again soon to get him vaccinated. The only other time I had a rabbit was when I was in my single digits. My father had bought two for my sister and I remember one of them got rabies. It would make a gr-ring sound whenever someone got close to it and it once chased one of our housekeepers and actually bit her.

This is Bimba and Lola the day I bought them. Aren't they the cutest things ever! Speaking of things that make you smile, my husband and I went to see Ahmadi since we heard that it was lit up with all sorts of wonderful lights on the occasion of Kuwait's National & Liberation Day. We went late last Thursday night. The place was pretty packed with cars but we were entertained throughout our slow ride into the area. After we parked, we took a nice long walk in the neighborhoods and saw the KOC building and the big, fenced garden in front of it. The weather was great that night.

My husband and I decided to stick around for Kuwait's National & Liberation Days. I was surprised at how organized everything was especially the roads. I think banning the usage of foam has really paid off. We went to a friend's place that's by Gulf Road to see the fireworks display. That was another great night.

The other day, my husband and I enjoyed a walk on the beach. We walked by Indian or Pakistani men playing cricket. I was surprised at how serious they looked. Every player including the umpire was in uniform. It was a pleasant sight to see.

On our way back to our car, my husband said, "Shark!" Turns out, there was a shark's corpse on the walkway! I put on my investigator's hat on and concluded that it was a large hammerhead shark. "Maybe it was curious to see what lied beyond the sea!" I said. Well, I guess now he knows. Poor shark.

That's all folks! I really hoped you enjoyed your time this February. The moral of my post is that there are a lot of things to do in Kuwait. You just have to open your eyes and get creative.

I wanted to upload Hamad Khalifa's music (a CD was distributed to some audience members) but could not successfully convert the AIFF files (!) I hope this video will suffice.


Thanks to a fellow blogger, I managed to convert Hamad Khalifa's songs that are in AIFF format to MP3s! If you're interested, just download the following songs:

مني مساك الخير

أقمتم فؤادي

يا ساريا الليل قوم

at 8:30 AM 5 comments

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Help! Something weird is happening to my blog!

Can anyone help me fix this weird looking template?

at 9:42 PM 1 comments