Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Just to fill the gap...

I don't really have much to write. We've all been extremely busy and it's tiring! I participated in the Fisher Case Competition last Friday; last minute thing. I was there on Friday, working with 3 others in my team whom I didn't know before, from 8am till after midnight. Saturday was the presentation day. I was there from 7:30 am till 5! Still trying to recover.

Moody and Tala, here in the picture, coloring a flowers picture "Just for you, Mom!" That's been Moody's project for two days now. Moody was insisting on using only red "Because it's your favorite color, Mom." Today, he asked, "Is it OK if Dad uses green?" and I gave the green!

I was talking to someone today and it hit me that I'll be 40 pretty soon! I wonder if that's the reason why I feel tired more often and takes me longer to recover from it. I don't mind the age as long as my health remains the same. I like the wisdom that comes with age... ehem!

Got overwhelming responses for Tibra, from judges and in donations, but no nominations yet! I'm still hopeful.

Time to rest... long day tomorrow!

Sunday, January 15, 2006


The long-awaited book, Libya by Paula Hardy, has finally arrived. I've been waiting for this book since it was published in 2003. I've ordered it online a couple of times, to be told after months of waiting, "Sorry! It's not available." Last I ordered it was in September, and it arrived on Tuesday, Eid day--nice gift! Turned out it's worth the wait; very nicely presented. It's the first of its kind on Libya--buy it!

The reason behind my desperation is that my father is featured in this book. Moody was thrilled to know that and see his pictures. He asked me to read it to him many times! Now Moody wants to take it to school to "show my friends and teachers Grandpa and read it to them..." I might take it myself one day and hand it to the teacher; it's too precious to let go of so easily! I have a couple of people in mind to give a copy to as a gift and might also order 3 more for us, one for each of my children. Well, that has to wait--it's quite pricy as it is.

We still don't know how to deal with Moody and how to react to his behavior at martial arts that got him on probation. We just told him there will be consequences, and we're still thinking about it. We had a session with Donaldson and didn't get an answer yet! My inclination is to pull him out of martial arts, but it's kind of late now and might send him the wrong message. We should've done that earlier when we saw signs of the trouble coming ahead. What do we do so he doesn't get the wrong message that this kind of behavior is what gets him what he wants? Still a puzzle!

We had fish for dinner, Red Snapper, and decided to at least double the amount for next time. I didn't have my fill, neither did Sol, I believe. The kids just kept asking for more; how could we not comply! I have noticed lately how the amount of food we consume has increased significantly. Previously, when I cook a dish, stew or soup for example, it would last us for at least two meals and a half. Now, it just does for one meal! I made Sharba yesterday and what's left is barely enough for one person. The kids have grown! I'll have to upsize the pots and pans and hopefully not mess up the taste--the result is not the same when I change the quantity.

I attended a resume-writing workshop last week and got some feedback on my resume. I got to the task of polishing it over the weekend; it looks and reads much better now, and I'm quite happy with it.

Today, I sent an update on the status of the Tibra Awards for this year. Hopefully that'll get us some response. Too bad Libyans don't know the value of such a project! I'm afraid they'll realize it when it's too late. If you're reading this, do something... please!

Oh, Moody wants to go to China! He's been saying that for months, and now he adds "... and I will eat bugs in China!"

Wednesday, January 11, 2006


Yesterday was Eid... Happy Eid to all! We're going for steak tonight at Lone Star. I have to wrap the kids' gifts. Maybe I'll convince Tala to take a nap when Moody is in school so I can do the gifts.

School is in full swing once again. I'm taking three classes this quarter plus a "self-assessment" workshop and signed up for some of the speaker-lecture series.

On Friday, Moody, Tala and I went to COSI. We watched some live liquid nitrogen experiments and "touched the clouds." The space exhibit with the tunnel is the hit for us. We had such a good time and stayed till closing. It was hard dragging them out of there... me too! That day, I was told in different places by different people that I look pretty and have beautiful hair... Gave me a boost! My hair has grown back; I like it this way, and maybe a little longer. I'm not cutting it short again.

Ohio Theatre
A state of the art!
Sunday night, Sol and I went to see David Sanborn and Chris Botti at the Ohio Theatre. I was going there mainly for Sanborn, didn't know and didn't care much about Botti. How I was wrong! Botti was great; I liked him more than Sanborn. I regret not having the camera with me; he was mingling and giving autographs after the show.

Master Circle put Moody on probation at martial arts and we think he shouldn't go this week. This boy is a very complicated puzzle; when I think I figured him out, he proves me wrong! I have to talk to Master Circle. Moody is starting the hockey rookie camp this Saturday; hope that goes well. The parent-child class for Tala was full--too bad.

Tea Party!
Tala got one of her dance costumes for the show--purple and cute! We sometimes forget she's only 3 and expect more from her. She doesn't look 3 and definitely doesn't sound so, more close to 5--talk about deceiving looks and verbal skills! Even Barbi told me yesterday that she has to remind herself time and again that Tala is 3!

Gus is... what do you call a fish? Darling? The jrabee3 are so good to him--what a relief! The funny thing is he freaks out when Furby is placed near the bowl. We didn't know what was happening in the beginning, but after a while we figuered it was Furby! lol Do fish see? Does he think Furby is a cat or a furry animal/monster?

Monday is Martin Luther King Day. We were considering a ski trip on the weekend, but have so many chores to finish. Tala's closet pieces are all assembled but not stacked in her closet yet. The desk for the basement is still in its box; we thought it better that I take the kids to a movie or something so Sol could finish it quicker.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Happy Birthday, Amoola!

Amal was born in Benghazi, January 9, 1981. She and Ayman got married on January 9, 2002.

Happy Birthday!

Happy Anniversary!

I don't think I've ever met Amal but our families go a long way back since the days of Tripoli. Also, her maternal great grandfather married my mother's aunt who was "shipped" to him from Derna to Benghazi by sea. There's an interesting story behind that, but I forgot! Ayman, get me the rest from mom please.

More and more birthdays coming up soon... a good way to remember dear ones!

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Timely Intersections

I wonder who decided to put the start of the year in the winter. It must have been a place with a warmer climate, maybe around Rome? Or maybe it was done on purpose, an entirely human insertion of a celebration when it is needed. Maybe it is a little late to be talking about New Year, but there are actually a few interesting intersections worth noting.

Today is the 8th day of the first month and also the 8th day of the last month of the same year, oddly enough! In the Islamic lunar calendar, this is the 12th month of the year, the month of Pilgrimage. The start and end of a year sound distant but they're actually the same point in the cycle, another intersection!

New year's Eve was a particularly good one for us this year, the whole weekend was. The kids didn't seem up to watching fireworks, so we canceled and just stayed home. It was a good thing we did because they ended up stuffing themselves at dinner and needing some rest, multiple times! Hanu made a (now traditional) rack of lamb and it was excellent. Moody would not touch it, however. He noticed the bones and the "wholeness" of it, I think, made him realize for the first time how meat comes from and relates to animals. He kept stressing that someone had cut it, and how his mom must be very sad that they cut it... He basically looked at the whole affair as a crime and would not touch the meat. Well, all the more for me and Hana to enjoy- lol lol. It was great! Moody and Tala just OD-ed on corn and baked potatoes, then again on cake.

Ahmed's reaction to the lamb is another interesting intersection. In a couple of days, it will be the 10th day of Dhul Hijja, the day of Big Eid, as we grew up calling it. Traditionally, the occasion is a commemoration of Ibrahim's sacrifice of a ram in lieu of his son. Practically, there is a lot of meat and bones and a whole lot of other parts! I haven't really had the full experience in many many years, the closest I've come is buying half a lamb over at Abu Someone's store--works for me! I think we're planning to go out for steak, a manufactured product as far as Ahmed and his culture are concerned. It's funny, but a few weeks ago I was talking with my brother Mohammed on the phone, and he was giving me all the reasons why we should go to Libya for a visit, among them was the chance for Ahmed to be treated to a 24-ct. reception, including the slaughtering of a lamb in his honor! lol lol lol. I told him, if he did that, Moody would call the cops! Sometimes I think culture is like an ecology that achieves balance by self-canceling influences, if you take away or introduce only certain parts you risk upsetting the balance. Ahmed will continue to consume his manufactured hot dogs as ferociously as TV commercials and picnics in the park encourage him to do. Incidentally, for decades, I thought hot dogs were totally and grossly raw, so I tried cooking them, only to discover they had two states of being: looking raw and looking charred. I guess, young kids from Libya will continue to long for the smell of salted fresh lamb liver, or even a little piece of fat from the back of the lamb's neck, sizzling on wood charcoal, at least once ayear.

After New Year's Eve dinner, while we were cleaning up, Hana and I crossed paths by the sink, intersected, and I gave her a big hug and a kiss, while Tala looked on from the table. Her eyes were wide open when I turned to see her, and she said, "Hey, I sawed you guys hugged eatsother!" I said, "Yeees..." and she just gave us two thumbs up! She was obviously happy and it was a nice way to sum up the evening for everyone.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Back to normal... or is it?

Everything has to start the same day... Tala and Moody's school; I have classes till 10pm; Sol back to normal work hours; Tala has dance at 2; Moody has martial arts at 4:15; Barbi is here and our new Beta fish, Gus!

Gus is our first pet--a gift from Barbi! Moody and Tala are both excited and happy. Barbi explained things to them and how to take care of him. We fear for Gus from Tala the explorer! We told Barbi, the best place to place him is on top of the fridge! Tala left for school, and Barbi and Moody took off to the library and will look for a book about fish and being kind to them... we'll see if that will register with Tala.

I have to head out myself and do my reading before classes. Two quarters down--25% thru the program. Back to another 10 weeks of isolation and minimal social interactions. I enjoyed the break but glad it's over. Break means carefree, no order--I need order in my life to function properly.

Oh, Tala's closet is not finished yet! Sol promised to put the last piece today... Please do!

Monday, January 02, 2006

Happy Birthday, Little Safia!

Safia Ayman Naas; Gotta love the laugh!

Safoo is 1!

Safoo, my niece, was born January 2, 2004, in Benghazi. She carries two names that are dear to my heart, and I'm sure she's as sweet and special as Amal and Ayman are--and some!

Happy Birthday!

Hope to see you in Ohio soon.

كل سنة وانت طيبة يا صلوعة... البنت طالعة لبوها!

She is wearing the birthday outfit that I sent her when she was born!

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Lost and not-found

I searched high and low for Anes's token and couldn't find it. I remember at some point it made it to my jeans pocket, then my robe pocket, and on the vanity, and was there on the desk in the den many times in between. It will surface someday and I'm sure to take a picture of it!

Moody at the Rigney's Xmas carol, 2005
Tala, Sol, and I went to Panera for lunch... nice, peaceful, and quiet. Later at home, Tala was watching Cinderella, Sol taking a nap while pretending he's watching with her, and I was working on the computer and all the while kept straining my ears listening for the sound of Moody... then realizing he's not here. I'm still listening and all I hear is the sound of Moody's silence--it's so loud! I miss him, so does Tala.

Hurray, I got gifts today! I'm a big gift-giver, I enjoy and love giving gifts as much as I do receiving them. I give gifts to friends and family for every little thing that happens to them; but sadly I don't get much myself. For some reason, the people around me don't pick on my cues! Sol got me an MP3 player/Recorder/FM. I have mentioned that I want one of those tiny radios and I got more than what I asked for! The recorder will come in handy in the lectures and I can listen to NPR wherever I am. Anes's mom gave me a PINK mom's calendar; so nice and cute, the calendar that is--and also nice of her to think of me. Thanks, Ahlam!

My one and only New Year's resolution is to tidy up Tala's closet. Oh, it's a MESS! I'm thinking of taking a picture of before and after, but not sure if I'll have the guts to post the former! Got closet shelves, drawers, etc. and need Sol to put them together. I'm not allowed to assemble plywood pieces, and I acquiesce--I have ruined two items previously when I thought I could put them together. Time to get on Sol's case to start working on them...

I still can't download pictures from the camera and it's bugging me... I miss the iMac!

Sol just answered the phone... It was the Apple store; the iMac is ready for pick up... I should've asked for more than that! Maybe a good 2006 ahead?