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Friday, July 31, 2015


I borrowed this idea from Janie Junebug's WOMEN: WE SHALL OVERCOME. Apparently each month The Armchair Squid holds a coffeehouse each month. Since I finished reading a book and the Cephalapod Coffeehouse title interested me, I am joining in on this month's coffehouse.

Title: Arab Voices
Author: James Zogby

I will admit, I love reading non-fiction. Although non-fiction takes more time to read than fiction (for me at least), I still love reading the genre. I'm more of a travel and sociology non-fiction gal, but when Claire suggested this political and economic book about the Arab World and Western World meshing together, I checked it out. I'm into that subject and I was excited to read this.

James Zogsby is an American born Arab. He heads Zogby International and does a lot for Arab/US relations. The book was mostly about how the US and even Europe and Canada fail to listen to Arab voices. The US is especially guilty of taking Israel's side and playing interrogator. However, Israel/Palestine isn't the only failure of the US not understanding Arabs, but even when we entered Iraq and everything we've done in the Middle East. Zogby argues that like our British counterparts after World War I, we don't want to get involved in cultures, we just assign different roles from our ignorance. A lot of policy has failed because we aren't fully aware of Arab culture or language. It's really complicated to get into without the book near me (I had to return the book today), but I would recommend this political, cultural, and economic introspection of how we handle things and what we can do better as a society: what the West and the Arab world can do together to improve collective society.

I like the last chapter the most where Zogby says politicians and the common citizen should be like how his father was. His father owned a peach stand and when one customer was bruising the peaches, the father didn't get angry. He instead brought it to the attention of the woman and gave the woman the peaches for half price. The father understood how to treat people and how to have open dialog. Zogsby argues that politicians should be like that to an extent. Zogby ends Arab Voices perfectly; "the bottom line is this: Listen to Arab voices, and hear what they are saying, not just what the pundits are thinking. Engage in whatever ways you can with this often troubled region of the world. An enlightened and aware public that better understands the Arab World can not only help change the ways that Arabs see us, but can also transform the way Western governments relate to the Arab World."

This book really opened my eyes a bit more. I'd definitely recommend!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Thankful Thursday 7/30/2015

Wow, it's Thursday again! The weeks sure do fly by, especially in the summer!

What am I thankful for this week? I feel like I have a lot to be thankful for this week. I'm grateful for the standards: having a roof over my head, food on the table, and a clean environment. I'm also thankful for my co-workers and former co-workers, for the support they've given me this week in regards to a certain thing. I'm thankful for their friendly advice and their patience. I am also thankful for the friends I have, especially some local friends I have. I'm glad they open their hearts to me and invite me to do things with them. I'm thankful that they are there for me, as I'm thankful for my parents.

I'm thankful for the opportunities I've been given thus far in my life. As I looked back this week, I am grateful to have had the experiences I have had and am grateful for the privilege I had studying Arabic and everything else I've studied in college. Not everyone gets that privilege or opportunity.

I'm also thankful that dad lets me use his camera. It might seem silly, but when I picked up my photographs last Saturday from Bryn Mawr, I was so happy with how good the photos turned out. I'm glad my dad still has a film camera and lets me use the camera if I supply the film. I love experimenting.

Yes, I will post the photos again or some of the ones I feel are my best. I am just so proud of them and grateful about the trip and being able to use the camera.

Turkey Hill Experience Cow

The final four pictures on film are those of the Turkey Hill Experience Cow.

Black and white spotted
Welcoming from all over
children's laughter.

Cameras snapping
towering into the sky
sun glaring and blinds. 

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

How To Maintain Positive Attitude

I was thinking in terms of job interviews, especially when a job is needed or wanted; the first part of my post will deal with that. The second half of this entry will discuss how to maintain a positive attitude with life in general.

Admit it, we all get nervous before an interview, or a big meeting, or presentation, or anything that is important to us. I saw this posted the other day and have always found this helped me:

I'm prone to anxiety and sometimes have panic attacks if I'm in a situation that warrants it. An old therapist used to suggest this to me and every time I feel anxious, I put both feet on the ground, take a deep breath or two, look at the surroundings around me, and ground myself. I find grounding does calm me.

Sometimes also maintaining positive thoughts about what you have to offer a situation helps too, as well as the positive outcomes of what the new opportunity can bring you. Of course, that is very helpful during the interview, meeting, or presentation, but I think one should go in happy before the big event.

I have found, and I will admit that I am still learning how to successfully do this, that being grateful for an opportunity and grateful for what you do have does help with happiness. If you're depressed or unhappy, sometimes forgetting the unhappy things for a moment and thinking of all the happy things in your life (because as I've been learning, not everything is unhappy in life, just as not everything is totally happy either) grounds me too. By maintaining that happiness, I can focus on the positive, but I can also be friendly to others.

What do you think? What are some of your techniques or rituals before and during an interview, meeting, or presentation?

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Jessica's Blueberry Pie

Jessica's Blueberry Pie

1. Add a small glass of water to the pot.

2. Take 3.5 cups of fresh blueberries.

3. Add 3/4 cup of sugar.

4. Add 3 tablespoons of corn starch.

5. Add 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon.

6. Add 1/2 teaspoon cardamom.

7. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt.

8. Mix water, cornstarch, sugar, salt, cardamom, cinnamon, and blueberries together. Turn the stove to medium-high heat.  Boil blueberries until they become a gooey paste. While the blueberries boil, pre-heat the over to 425 degrees.

9. Add blueberry mix to pie shell. Put the pie shell in the oven and cook until the pie shell is golden. The pie crust directions said 45 minutes until an hour, but with my oven, the pie was golden brown in 25 minutes. Watch the pie!

Can't wait to have a slice later! Bon Appetit!

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Brooklyn Bridge Rondeau

I'm starting to work on my book, As Far As The Eyes Can See, and I wrote a rondeau about the Brooklyn Bridge. May I have opinions please? Thank you!

Brooklyn Bridge Rondeau

I could not see the purple waves then
crashing onto stilts made of steel and tin.
Oh, the bridge and the summer sun
setting on a bustling city, taxis that run
constantly. Everyone belongs and fits in.

With eyes on the flags that wave and spin,
beautiful amber bricks don't fall to rifting wind;
our beginnings and memories weigh a ton,
I could not see the purple waves then.

A perfect pre-birthday celebration win,
soak my feet in newly found waves, I tell friends
of clear water, the city skyline, sailors' knots,
meditation on rocks, my spiritual center a long shot--
the crashing waves against my feet, say when
I could clearly see the waves and bridge in the sunset.

As you can see from the two pictures above, yesterday I picked up my film pictures. I'm really happy with how they developed! Let me share them with you.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

The Secret Life of Blogger's Blog Party (7/20/2015-7/25/2015)

I will admit this blog will be pretty animal heavy - I dogsat for my aunt this week. I also can't resist photos of my cat or birds around the yard. Enjoy!

Monday, July 20

The sky was very unsettled. Very hot and humid.

90 with a feel of 111.

Tuesday, July 21

This was AWESOME! This was my dinner while my parents had ribs. I'd recommend the porcini lasagna from Trader Joe's.

Daphne enjoying the heat. I think she just enjoys being outside.

With the heat and humidity - 95 with a feel of 115 - it rained. It didn't cool things down, though.

Wednesday, July 22

Mimi loves sitting on mom's work! Mom works from home.

Thursday, July 23

We sometimes get pigeons that come to our feeders in the backyard. I LOVE pigeons!

We have a robin's nest in the garage.

The one birdy fledged.

Friday, July 24

I made a vanilla orange glaze for sweet potatoes for lunch. It was good.

I Skyped with Andrew for more than an hour! It was so great to catch up. We had good laughs, especially when I told Andrew I used to crush on Saudi princes when I was in high school. I love having laughs with friends and it's been a year since we Skyped. It was awesome.

Saturday, July 25

I picked up my film pictures today! Out of 27, 24 developed and 21 came out looking great!

Happy Caturday! Excuse the mess...