Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Of Miles And Stones.

What if you kiss with your eyes open?
What if you forget what it felt like?
What if you smoke on the balcony? Your eyes closed.
What if you strive for psychedelic self destruction?
Thrive in temptation, in torture.
This is not redemption, this is mutilation.

I've been free for over 5 months. It is when you stop counting that it starts counting the most...

Hey Jude, don't be afraid.
You were made to go out and get her.
The minute you let her under your skin,
Then you begin to make it better.

I've been smoke free for 12 days.

Monday, May 25, 2009

99 Luftballons.

You'd be surprised to know how many medical students actually prefer Scrubs over Grey's Anatomy. It might be the over dramatization in Grey, or the excessively goody too shoes Meredith with her woe-is-me attitude, or even the fact that watching TV is meant to escape daily tragedies and not add on to them. Ok so in a way, maybe I shouldn't be watching Scrubs either, maybe I should stick to The Nanny's endless reruns, but Scrubs is something a medical student can relate to and laugh at in the same time.

Which brings me to yesterday's episode on ShowComedy: My Interpretation Season 2, Episode 20. In this episode, J.D. is trying to communicate with a German patient, and at one point they're shown dancing in the hospital to 99 Luftballons.

This scene struck a chord. I had been introduced to 99 Luftballons a few years back and I loved it. Besides the fact that the song is catchy, the lyrics are expressive and right on the spot for a little Lebanese girl in a semi-torn country. Flash Forward to Scrubs' episode: I wasn't sure what to think, here they were parodying a song about the cold war, about a once divided country. However, they were harmless, they were including historical references in a sitcom, and even more so they were exposing a new generation of viewers to a song that they should listen to. And the verdict was in: Kudos!

In a way Scrubs seems like the South Park of medical shows. The writers are actually sending messages across, while offering a good laugh. And why the heck not?! (Ok so South Park is a tad more offensive but just as creative if you ask me.)

So here it is 99 Luftballons, a song about how 99 balloons floating in the air would trigger exaggerated military reactions in divided Germany in 1983.

Scrubs - 99 Red Balloons

99 LuftBallons, Nena. English Translation.

You and I in a little toy shop
Buy a bag of balloons with the money we've got.
Set them free at the break of dawn
'Til one by one, they were gone.
Back at base, bugs in the software
Flash the message, Something's out there.
Floating in the summer sky.
99 red balloons go by.

99 red balloons.
floating in the summer sky.
Panic bells, it's red alert.
There's something here from somewhere else.
The war machine springs to life.
Opens up one eager eye.
Focusing it on the sky.
Where 99 red balloons go by.

99 Decision Street.
99 ministers meet.
To worry, worry, super-scurry.
Call the troops out in a hurry.
This is what we've waited for.
This is it boys, this is war.
The president is on the line
As 99 red balloons go by.

Edit: As I read these last sentences I can't help but visualize the Israeli Defense Forces and their commander actually acting this out in 2006, right before they declared and launched an incredibly disproportionate war against Lebanon.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Who Nose? Or The Death Of The Nose Trimmer.

Can you physically have writer's block? Do you necessarily have to know where ideas come out of before answering this question? Let's not laugh at the matter, this blogger has had her nose clogged and malfunctioning for a few days now and it seems to have prevented her from carrying out any mental activity. So do I really need my nose to think properly? What does that statement really entail? Bring out the crazy bells! Yes we've heard it before, some people think out of their asses, do I think out of my nose? Are the eyes the window to your soul and the nose the door to your psyche? Can this be an unprecedented epiphany moment?... Well, anatomically it does make sense, and this is a doctor-in-training's opinion!

I even went as far as to complain to P. that I feel like I am completely disconnected from the world, like there is this barrier, this shield that I am stuck behind and I cannot convey my thoughts. P, so lovingly, proceeded to reassure me that my nose will be fine but he couldn't say the same about my mental state. He blamed it on the pain killers. I blame it on the clog. That physical obstacle, like a roadblock. Like a Downtown sit-in in Beirut. (No I cannot compare it to an actual demonstration since there is no feeling of burning tires involved) So, No thoughts. No ideas. Nothing...

To cut the drama short, I guess I'm just trying to say that yes I have writer's block, yes I am congested, no I cannot carry a full conversation. Coincidence? Conspiracy? Constipation? One thing is for sure, nose trimmers are off my Christmas gift list, now that I suspect ideas come out of one's almighty breathing apparatus. Maybe one actually NEEDS the filtering hairs?

The secret has traveled through centuries to reach you.
Now, take good care of it.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Mashrou3 Leila And The Flying Kebab.

Another Mashrou3 Leila free and unsolicited plug.

The Mashrou's song Raksit Leila was featured in the second episode of Flying Kebab, which is like pure decadent bliss to my current being, at this very moment, like someone told me to eat crispy golden French Fries dipped in a sweet Molten Chocolate Fondant! Ok, let's not get carried away...

Flying Kebab is an independent internet video series featuring Nando, a photographer who passes one year searching for his inheritance in Lebanon.
Out sizing the video world, Nando’s adventure continues on his flickr and twitter, where you can receive current updates on what he’s doing around Beirut.

I'm not sure why the Flying Kebab crew chose Beirut and Lebanon as a background to their storyline, but kudos to this seemingly random marriage of cultures. It so happens I got a glimpse of Nando himself at the Peter Dorman Inauguration Concert featuring Mashrou3 Leila, on May 4 at AUB. However, I wasn't aware of said storyline or project at the time, I remember seeing that photographer with dreadlocks, he was taking some pictures, he didn't see me, and then we both carried on with our lives.
That incident wouldn't have marked me had I not read about Flying Kebab two days later, but I did and I got to connect the dots in a serendipity-like fashion, amazed at how there could be anyone and everyone around you, people who might have a truly interesting anecdote to share with you, but you just proceed, blissfully? unaware.

So let's go back to the free publicity I'm providing Mashrou3 Leila with, although they still have no idea. (Maybe I'll let them know once I start charging for my fees). This was the fourth Leila concert I attend. (Unfortunately I missed out on the biggest one of all, when they played at Basement as part of the 96.2FM competition, which they won.) Anyways, I say it again, their premise is very innovative, they sing in Lebanese Arabic with a hint of Pop-Rock and Underground Music, the lyrics, at times perplexing, convey a feeling of jadedness about relationships and the current social situation in Lebanon the younger generation has been thrown in. Check them out!

The first picture is one I took with my humble camera phone, the second is Nando's, with his Nikon D80. Amazing what a lens can do to one's outlook and perspective!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Of Uninspired Revelations.

The bigger problem is when you solely emphasize the good.
That imbalance, these delusions lead to self-destruction.
Take time to notice.
Listen closer.
Shut up.

Inspector Clouseau And The Pink Panther.

I have yet to know what these signs are about.
The projected distance leads to Wadi Abou Jmil or the Starco Area. But it doesn't seem to be in the Mission Culturelle Exhibition Space or is it?... The style is very reminiscent of Zena Al Khalil's artwork.
So here I am collecting hints and indications... Help!

--Clue Number 1 near AUB and Clue Number 2 on the street leading to Saifi from Monot, aka No Man's Land in Wartime.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Too Cool For School.

My PC crashed again. It's become the norm once every three months. This time however I decided to go back to my cherished Mac. Reminds me of a post by the sandmonkey not too long ago, he says:

...So, you are a woman, and you are co-dependent on your boyfriend Microsoft, whom you've been with for a long long time. Now, Microsoft isn't a great boyfriend, actually, he kinda sucks. He takes away your money when he can, he is flawed, he is always sick, he rarely performs well consistently, and he keeps going through phases and incarnations that are making him worse by the day (i.e. his fuck-ups increase with age). But he has been there forever, and you are used to him: You know how he operates, you don't have to expect much from him, and when you want to push him to do things, he can actually be pretty good. But really, he is a project and a headcase, and nothing to write home about.

Google [Macbook in my case] is a different boyfriend. Google is smart, Google is slick, Google knows exactly what you need and Google keeps improving day after day. Google is the helpful sweet guy that surprises you every once in a while with a very helpful gift, and he only wants your gratitude and friendship. He is pretty out there with his ideas, but he follows through with them, and is pretty much self-motivated and driven. The problem with google is that he is too good to be true: You are not really sure why he loves you, or keeps treating you well, but you suspect that there is a malicious reason behind it all: That the moment you give in totally to him, and become totally dependent on him, his real face will show itself and it will be an ugly controlling one. And while this could be due to your low-self esteem, your belief that no one will really find anything to love in you the way google seems to and skewed paranoid thinking thanks to years of abuse on the hands of Microsoft, it doesn't help that Google seems to have a serious case of hate towards Microsoft, even if it's repressed and only shows itself occasionally. Actually, it only stokes your belief that Google is waiting for the inevitable day when you leave Microsoft for him, so he can stick his tongue out in Microsoft's face while doing a lewd dance of victory. And what a horrible day that will be for Microsoft: dumped, abandoned and broke, after more than 20 years together. Would you have the heart?...

Thank you Sandmonkey, I couldn't have said it better! Ok, the problem runs deeper: I finally settled for Microsoft because it's an easier way to share files especially in Lebanon, and even though my Mac does support Windows, it just felt non kosher plus it wouldn't take my pirated Microsoft version, so there! You caught me.

Anyways, surprise surprise in my Mac's archives:

I must say I love looking back at pictures, letters and movie stubs, I'm amazed at all the silly memories one can compile.