Saturday, February 25, 2006

Goblin, gooder, scientifc... What do you know!

Hip Hop, picture Day
Today, we decided to go to the movies. The choice was between Nanny McPhee and the Goblet of Fire, and of course, Harry won. Well, it passed our minds to check the ratings and realized way into the movie that it must have been PG 13. It wasn't really bad, but we had to distract the kids on one bloody scene toward the end. Moody is excited and he's going to tell his friends he's "the first to see Goblin of Fire!"

Barbi said that Moody doesn't like to wash his hands before eating, and the other day he told her "In our culture, we don't wash our hands before we eat!" I wonder what else he would tell her about our culture.

Yesterday, he finished all his dinner while Tala didn't touch hers, so he got treated to an ice cream and she didn't. He said "I'm gooder than Tala; I finished my dinner."

The other day, He and Sol were having a "conversation," and Moody ended it saying "I'm scientific."

Sunday, February 19, 2006


The whole house is down with the flu. It's not the type that comes with fever, sinuses and nasal congestion, but it does make one very lethargic. I brought it home last week and it ended with three days of severe headache that no medication would take away. Tala has a headache today!

I started writing this post at 8:30 when I got Fairouz on messenger and ended up with her on the phone, and it was past 10 when I hung up--I hate phones! I wasn't able to reach Benghazi by phone to make sure all is OK after this fiasco. I'm still in a state of delirium for all that has been and is happening... When will my people have a decent life? Will it ever happen?

On the bright side of the delirium, yesterday, Sol and I went to Cirque du Soleil's Delirium, their first live performance, and with songs made of real words. Cirque du Soleil is performance art at its best; really! Delirium was their third performance in Columbus; we've been to the three and were really amazed by each one of them. When you think they can't be any better, they outdo themselves again! Coming out of the arena, despite the freakingly cold night of about 10°F (-10°C), people looked happy and cheerful--Cirque du Soleil does that to you. This is a quote from the Cirque du Soleil web site:

"DELIRIUM is the quest for balance in a world that is increasingly out of sync with reality."

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Happy Birthday, Ennis!

Born in Beirut, Lebanon, February 11, 1995.

Happy 11th Birthday!

Friday, February 10, 2006

The Bald Beauty!

Today was Tala's picture day at Generations. Ironically enough, she grabbed the scissors last night and cut a patch of her hair! I can't figure how she did it; it looks like she shaved it, not cut it. Look at her bald spot here. Of course, that happened because I wasn't here, ehem, and Dad wasn't paying attention. I know it wasn't like that, but it feels good to blame someone and take credit for it not happening on my watch! lol

Bald or not, she just looked beautiful! They did her hair and make up! I'm not crazy about make up for little girls, but that's the way things are. While waiting for picture time, she went into the studio and twirled around for me. Another picture day tomorrow for her second class. I can't wait to see the professional pictures!

On the Moody front: Just peace and we're enjoying it! He had a play date with Jake last Saturday. Jake was his classmate last year; he moved on to kindergarten this year, but they still kept the connection. They have been talking about a sleepover for a while and telling us parents as a matter a fact, "We decided to have a sleepover this Saturday." That went on for many Saturdays. We opted for a play date for now--it was Jake's first! When I picked him up from Jake's house, his mom said that they had such a good time and played together really well. Moody is very good at playing with friends, and Jake is a good kid too. She said at one point Jake started crying because he knew "Moody will have to go home," and Moody put on a sad face because Jake was crying.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Happy Birthday, Little Brother!

Born in Benghazi, February 5, 1974.

"My sweet little brother. He’s eight years younger than I am. We’ve always had a very good relationship. He was always supportive and loving even when we don’t agree on things. He’s very successful in his life. He graduated from Libya with a degree in civil engineering, and then obtained his master’s from the UK. He worked in Libya at the university for almost two years with no pay, and held a part-time job to support his family through that time. He’s now married with a one-year-old dayghter, Safia. When I think of him now, I see a pattern of wisely calculated moves and decisions that brought success and stability to his life. I admire him for his tolerance, open mindedness, and sensitivity to others. He’s the other Father-like in the family." Taken from my written interview assignment, January, 2006.

Happy Birthday!

We're celebrating your birthday at Disney On Ice.

Friday, February 03, 2006


Computer Surgery
We're now entering the second week of excellent behavior by Moody, which is great! We call it "going up the maturity ladder." He relates to such constructs pretty well; he added once that he is going "down the being bad ladder." Last Saturday he had his second ice skating lesson, and it was wonderful! The first lesson, he basically spent the whole time grabbing on the edge, but he moved a little and didn't get frustrated. The coach suggested moving him to a beginner class, where, I discovered afterward, the kids skate with parents. Well well well! Oddly enough, it was only my second time ever to put on skates, Moody's third. I got to the slab of frosted glass and decided: FORGET THIS! Well, Moody was cool, he went in with some sort of "advanced beginners" class where the're supervised by a couple of teens. I was pleasantly shocked. Moody stayed the whole time away from the edge, wiggling and jiggling and even falling at times, but he could get back up! He was happy, I was thrilled and relieved. Whew!

Computer brain melts ice
Last Friday Hanu and the kids went exploring science and technology at the Center for Science and Industry, COSI. (I suppose if they'd put the word technology in the name, instead of industry, then COST wouldn't make a very appealing acronym.) The name sounds like cosine-- ooh, very sciencey! Anyway, the guys had a blast exploring space, playing doctors, and hands-on stuff like bugs and crabs and doing a surgery of sorts on an old computer. They took out its "brain," a big old Pentium II beast. The CPU is mounted on a spikey aluminum platform for keeping it cool. The kids put an ice cube on the spikes and watched it melt quickly and sink down. Now they probably think the function of computer brains is to melt ice, which is not doing much to their technology education but hey, they can at least get some good science fiction out of that! I'm proud to say Moody can distinguish five different kinds of materials: metals, plastic, glass, ceramics and wood. I can't wait till we can get inside those and talk microstructure! He is becoming very interested in building stuff and experimenting. Tala? Well, take a look at her picture observing the ice cube experiment. Is she involved enough, you think? LOL LOL LOL What a nosey girl!

It's interesting how technology affects people of all ages, but I think its influence on kids might be the most vivid. I am sure Tala and Moody don't relate to things the same way my generation does. I wonder what they think when they see a clunky toy phone with a dial and a cord. It must fall in the same category as a potato with glasses. And the whole computer thing. I grew up to think of the computer as just that, a thing that is programmed to compute and solve problems numerically. I am sure Moody and Tala think of it as a tool for playing games, viewing pictures and shopping! The other day, I had the kids in the car and made a left turn at a light. Tala said,"Hey, Dad, you goed on red!" I said, "I had a green turn light." A short while later Tala was telling me, "I sawed the click, Dad." I asked for clarification, but she just kept talking about seeing the "click." Finally, it dawned on me that she meant the ARROW of the traffic light. She called it a "click" because of the arrow on the mouse, the one you "click". I was hilarious! But then I thought, why do we call a pointer "an arrow." Because we linguistically belong to an ancient culture, that's why! For Tala, a member of the finger shopping species, it's the click! Just imagine pulling up a dead person even from the sixties and how they might interpret phrases like "move the arrow and click the mouse, then drag it." Distasteful rodent hunters!

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Happy Birthday, Big Sister!

Fairouz was born in Tripoli, February 1, 1964.

Ankara, Turkey, February 6, 2004
Fairouz and I are two years apart. We were very close growing up; we used to wear the same clothes, color and all, and same hairdo that we looked more like twins. Later, life and geography put a big gap between us. I haven't spent any sisterly time with her since she got married in 1985 and my family took off to Malta. I wish we’d bridge the gap some day soon while we have the time.

Happy Birthday!

And good luck with your endeavor in Cairo.