September 27, 2009


Filed under: Uncategorized — by AmiraAK @ 12:47 am

It’s this time of year again..

September is always a time for contemplation.. for reminiscence.. people pass away and others move on.. friends always leave for somewhere and I’m always a year older.  It’s always a time of ending things or of new beginnings..  usually good beginnings :)

I just discovered last year that I was approaching 35.  I hadn’t really realized it till it hit me one day when someone did the actual math.. I had always evaded it – not intentionally – but kind of putting it in that grey blurry area where accuracy is never an issue.  Yesterday I was telling someone that it had been 4 years since my divorce.. something didn’t seem right when I said it but it took me another 24 hours to realize that it’s been 5 years, not 4!  Another blurry area of my life.  5 years already!  And to top this, today I stumbled upon a drawer I decided to clean up.. guess what I found.. a paper bag filled with tidbits of Kuwait.  Tiny little reminiscents of those few months, 5 years ago.  Little things from Ikea, ribbons that had been used to wrap the sweets for the wedding guests, some lavender scented tea candles, an incense holder, brochures of Kuwait and a few Café’s and restaurants there.. the Tareq Rajab Museum flyer.. the beautiful little museum I discovered 2 days before leaving the country.. coasters from Blue Fig with quotes on them.. I loved collecting quotes.. they used to inspire me.. I look at the coasters from Blue Fig.. “Let us have faith in ourselves, in our intellect, in our staunch spirit.  Let us develop respect for all living things.  Let us try to replace impatience and intolerance with understanding and compassion. And love.” Jane Goodall (she’s the woman who walked with Gorillas).  “Flow with whatever is happening and let your mind be free.” Chuang Tzu; and “In a mad world, only the mad are sane” Akiro Kurosawa.  I look at these now and I wonder whether all these were little signs.. having faith in ourselves and our intellect.. and developing respect for all living things.. letting our mind be free and being as mad as we can be.. people would argue that I was mad to leave a marriage that early.. but it is this madness that saved me.. one of the sanest things I have ever done.

I wonder whether I should throw these things away as I threw everything else that could remind me of that fateful year.. but I decide against it.. one has to remember in order to be thankful for what one has, and in order to be able to overcome whatever lies ahead in the future.. burying one’s head in the ground and telling oneself that everything is the same and that nothing has changed isn’t really helpful.  Well, it helps, but it’s not very useful eventually.  Besides, they’re really nice things.. the coasters, the tea candles.. the blue and white wrapping strings.. a card or two from Marc and Annheli…  good friends who truly cared..

September is a time of change.. a year when I grow older and go through a month or so of reminiscing.. wonder why I’m here, what’s my purpose on this earth and what I have really achieved so far.. it’s always a time when the scales go down with me.  I’m in this pensive, quiet mood, rethinking, re-bringing out old thoughts and memories.. it’s not always a pleasant time of the year.. but it’s also almost always filled with hope.. the scales go down but they spring back up again with a lot of anticipation.. a lot of enthusiasm and eagerness to change, to do something new, to begin something.. oftentimes to close things and say ‘enough’!  It was in September that I took decisive steps towards my divorce.. that I decided to change my job.. that I’m determined to do so again and it’s in September that I come back from my travels refreshed and renewed.

This year I have new convictions.. new resolutions.. I have to leave my current job and I have to start looking for a new one… I have to decide what I really want to do with my life.. work, study, live abroad, find myself a life companion… (mmm… life companion seems a bit too long-term.. let’s look at immediate stuff.. ‘easy attainable goals’, don’t they say when they talk about time management?).

September is also usually a time when my friends travel abroad to study.  A thing I’ve always wanted to do but never really got my bottom off the chair and did anything about it.. sure I contemplated many times.. year after year, some one or two or three of my friends travel every year and year after year I start the process of searching for schools and looking for programs and attempting to apply.  I never go through with applications because at a point in time I suddenly stop short and decide not to follow in everyone’s footsteps.  I hate doing what everyone else does.. but really.. honestly.. how realistic is that?  Let’s see if this year we can do something about this little complex of ours.

September is also a time when the weather changes for the better.. when you start feeling a cool breeze coming in through the windows and the doors.. when you feel that summer may be starting to pack its bags and winter may be approaching.. that’s always a good sign :)

September is a time of renewal.. of refreshment.. of faith and hope and a time of feeling good.  It is sometimes a time of sadness.. but sadness cannot last very long.. because one knows that with death there always comes a rebirth.. it’s always around the corner.. never too far away.  Leaves fall off trees so that other leaves can grow in their place.. and the leaves are so colourful and so beautiful that there can be no place for sadness.. only hope in a new beginning.

And so with this I bid myself a happy birthday and I hope that this year I manage to accomplish a thing or two I resolve to do.


September 10, 2009

CSI: The Las Vegas Crime Lab

Filed under: Uncategorized — by AmiraAK @ 1:58 am

Those who know me know that I’m an avid follower of crime scene investigation series, especially the original CSI: Las Vegas.  I follow the episodes religiously.  If I was ever travelling, I would ask (order!) my family to record the episode for me.  Later when our VCR stopped working and the wonderful world of downloading found its way to my doorstep, I didn’t worry too much about missing episodes, because I could download whatever I missed.  I still followed it religiously and would never watch episodes in advance of those shown on tv.  It was the reason I was a devoted Showtime subscriber as opposed to any other cable network because Showtime always screened the latest shows only months or even weeks after their release in the US.  Of course I follow most crime investigation shows, but CSI is my favourite.

I’ve followed it from the very beginning.  For the past, what 6, 7 years?  I watched the characters grow, lived with them, followed their successes and weaknesses, their ups and downs, leaving the show, returning to the show.  I watched Greg go into the field after working in the lab, I watched Catherine and her father, the big mobster and her trying to raise her daughter properly away from crime and from violence.. I followed Warrick and his gambling problem, but his dedication to the unit, the lab and the work that he does. His death was a big blow and the following episodes were very moving.  Nick, lovely guy..  and Hodges with his own crazy stroke of genius notion.. Doc and David… and the secondary characters Henry and Mandy and Wendy and others who have come and gone.. Captain Jim Brass, aggressive at first, but then learning to work closely with the lab and learn from them and help them catch the criminals; and Ecklie in one of the seasons trying to take over the lab.. but then softening up too and learning to work with, not against the night shift.

but closest to our hearts.. Sarah and Grissom.  Sarah’s whims and her thoughts and her contemplation of the whole purpose of solving crimes and going through what they go through.. she seems to be the most human of them all.  Grissom always calm, always informative, he always has something to add to the episodes, to the solving of the crimes, the scientist, the professor, always eager to know and to learn and to teach..  the protective father of the crime lab so to say.  He too has his weaknesses.

Today I was watching the series.. it’s the episode where Grissom leaves.  They prepared us for it last week.  I kind of knew he was leaving because I came across news that Lawrence Fishburne was joining the series instead of him. And then I saw one of the episodes with LF and without Grissom and I guessed but didn’t have the whole story until today.  He announced he was leaving last week and all the characters have approached him telling him how much they learnt from him and how much they were going to miss him.. all very courteous though.. no hugs, no tears.. everyone kind of ‘understanding’…

It’ll be hard to watch CSI without Grissom.  Most of the team is no longer on the show.. Sarah Sidle, Warrick Brown, now Grissom.. I feel sad.  I feel the lab is losing a great man and we’re going to miss a wonderful CSI :( But he was so sweet in the last couple of scenes.. walking through the lab and looking at everyone through the glass divisions.. and then going off to the jungle of Costa Rica to join Sarah.  A lovely human moment..

As much as I like many other crime shows, none compares to this one.

September 2, 2009

Summer Photos!

Filed under: Off and on the unbeaten track,Photography,Uncategorized — by AmiraAK @ 10:32 am
Neil McCabe: 'Sunflower in Savignac de Duras, south-west France.'

Neil McCabe: 'Sunflower in Savignac de Duras, south-west France.'

The Guardian has this “Been There” section on travel where readers share travel stories, tips and photos..

Here are some of the best summer photos they received from their readers:

They’re really nice!

September 1, 2009


Filed under: Uncategorized — by AmiraAK @ 1:46 am

They’re showing Les miserables now on TV.  The 1998 film with Liam Nieson and Clare Danes.

Another sign that after Ramadan I should start reading it.

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