Thursday, August 30, 2007

French Pretzels

The first picture is something I did while suffering from insomnia one night while on vacation. I don't know why the pretzel chose to speak French; it just did.

The second were sketches of the typical tourist stuff you can see from the Thames; homage to Danny Gregory (he drew the same things in his book Everyday Matters).

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Since I've Been Back

I'm back! Actually I've been back, but I've had no real idea about what to post. My camera is still at camera intensive care at the edge of civilization, although granted, I do have access to my sister's camera.

I am technically unemployed, or de facto unemployed, I'm not sure, but no day job to speak of at any rate, but still, I feel like I am on vacation, which I didn't feel before. A structureless, anything-goes-anytime feeling prevails. Which makes it sound like I am living it up hippy-style, which let me be the first to point out, I'm not. Just that no routine is really prevailing, my sleep patterns are off, etc.

It's okay. It's kind of fun, even. Since I've been back, I've baked a casserole (very successful), scones (turned out more like pancakes), and laid the foundation for vinegar mushrooms (very successful once more Laid the foundation in this case means I chopped mushrooms and garlic, opened to the recipe, and told my sister to finish it up since I had to leave the house). [I bought Vegan with a Vengeance, a rightly popular vegan cookbook, where I found all these recipes].

I've also played squash, which I haven't done in the past five years or even longer, and racket.

I taught my usual origami class, only to watch one of the most into-it kids leave to join the science group. And my other kids decide to join the painting group. See the problems with choice and freedom?

Oh, and last August is when I started this blog, so that's either a good thing, or time for you to tell me to stop wasting my time.


I just added the title and I must say I dig how it sounds like an old soul song. I can hear it being crooned now, "since I've been back..." If only the events described fit the song's ambiance.

Thursday, August 09, 2007


I'm flying out tomorrow; should be back in two weeks.

This site then comes in handy, dedicated to getting you to pack light, and appropriately titled "One bag." I just skimmed the one-page packing checklist to refresh my memory.

Great for packing related stress, which I have.

Funny how packing for a trip really brings home what you need. Or think you need. I've long since discovered I don't need music on a trip, but a good book is appreciated. And that trick of only taking only one book that I feel I should read doesn't work. Given the option of dull (or heavy) reading versus no reading, I choose no reading. And then I'm just bored.

See you all in two weeks.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Writing Link; Paper Chinaman

I made this happy-looking Chinaman with my origami class yesterday.


Good link for the writerly-inclined: How to Become a Famous Writer. An excerpt from a book of the same title at the No Media Kings website, where she advises to publish as much as you can, however you can. One suggestion: "Print poetry on stickers and post them around town and in train bathrooms." Ariel Gore, the author, also has a cool blog.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Educational Comics, Finding Your Life Purpose


It's funny how a job confers life meaning. It shouldn't; shouldn't there be things I want to do naturally?

But there aren't. What I want to do is eat cookies and watch Sex and the City and check my email a hundred times a day.

I'm thinking about the dreaded life purpose.

There's the obvious "make the world a better place," which is all very nice and good, but incredibly vague. All kinds of tiny and humongous actions would fall under this broad umbrella of leaving the world better.

A most interesting website, Anxiety Culture (they have features about why phoning in sick is the best thing you can do for the economy and how to avoid responsibilities, all written in complete earnest), offers something more specific in an article entitled, "How to Find Your Own Purpose."

They offer a simple formula:

Your purpose is what links these three things together. In other words, it is the way you can use your favourite characteristics, abilities and attributes in activities you like best, to manifest your vision of a perfect world.


I've never seen it explained so succinctly.

Here's another web page I liked with information on finding your purpose:

Finding Patterns to Find Your Purpose at the blog Success from the Nest.

I've already tried answering these questions quickly, (both from Anxiety Culture and the 'Finding Patterns' post), but have yet to tie them all together to discern my life purpose.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Feeling Unslept; Eating Locally

These days I feel like I sleep enough, but wake up feeling as though I spent the whole night tossing and turning. S. suggests my lack of exercise might be to blame, and I know she could easily be right. But feeling tired hardly inspires in me a desire to jump onto the stationary bike in a burst of fitness zeal.


Here's a link to check out: The 100 Mile Diet, found off the No Impact Man blog. It's about eating locally (defined as anything within an 100 mile radius, about 16o km - so a little more than the distance from Cairo to Ein Sokhna) in order to reduce your ecological footprint (impact on the earth). A concrete way to put into practice the environmental maxim "Think globally, act locally." Check out as well their 13 reasons to eat locally.

As usual, the information on the site is specific to the US and Canada, and as usual, I'd be interested to know what the situation is like here in Egypt/ the region.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Guilty Liberal

Some cool links I've come across:

  • Life Remix, a frequently updated collection of interesting blogs (I found it through the Happiness Project, one of the featured blogs).
  • No Impact Man, another of the blogs in the Life Remix collection, is the blog of a man who is trying to live a zero (net) environmental impact existance for one year while living in New York City. He classifies himself as a "guilty liberal" who basically decides to put his money where his mouth is. So far, his posts are honest about what's involved (one of the first posts ends with, "God save me, please, from myself and this crazy project." I really admire his guts and the lack of nambsy-pambsy approach, it's not just about "two paper napkins a day less" but a hardcore thorough attempt. The existentialist ideal of having the courage of his convictions, in other words. 'O'balna.

Occasional art, comics, food, and other things of less interest to the general public.