Monday, July 28, 2008

Reading and Stuff

First off, here's a page from June. I received a sketch from the lovely Becky Fleck and created this page based on her sketch for her June 2008 newsletter.Love these pics of Eilam :)

I've been on a reading kick lately.
I always was an avid reader, but in the last few years, it's dwindled down to barely anything. I'm so tired by the time I put the kids to bed, that I barely manage to hop into the shower and into bed myself.

But lately, I've been making a concerted effort to get into bed at least an hour earlier, and have been getting down to some serious reading.

Nothing serious, mind you.
Just a few light, easy reads.

I recently finished James Patterson's Sundays at Tiffany's

I enjoyed this one. It was different...nothing like anything I've read before, but very entertaining and a quick read.

I just started Koontz's The Husband.
It started out really well, and seems to be picking up pace with each page.

If you're looking for a sort of personal virtual library where you can keep track of what you've read, or want to read or just see what others recommend, I'd suggest getting an account at Goodreads.
It's a neat way of tracking your reading material..sure beats a few scribbles on a couple sqaures of paper!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Facebook is eating my Brain!

What little there is left of it, anyway.
I've managed to re-connect with a bunch of good old friends, and have spending a lot of my spare time catching up with them on FB chat (love that thing).
It's amazing how much everyone is the same, even though it's been ages since we were in school.

When I'm not chatting it up, I'm playing Word Twist (thanks to Ki and Lea who always have a game going there for me, even though they kick my butt on a regular basis).
And more recently, "Gangster Battle".
I'm hooked.
I'm totally getting in touch with my inner Soprano here.

I think I'd make an excellent mafioso.
Next job, for sure!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

We're looking for one.
Anyone know of where we can get a large Nataraja?

A little info. for my friends who may not be familiar with this popular Indian statue:

Nataraja (The King of Dance) is in the dancing posture of the Hindu god Shiva, who performs his divine dance as a part of his divine duties of creation and destruction. Nataraja is most often depicted through a statue. The sculpture is usually made in bronze, with Shiva dancing in a circle of flames, lifting his left leg (and in rare cases, the right leg) and balancing over a demon or dwarf (Apasmara) who symbolizes ignorance. This is a well known sculptural symbol in India and popularly used as a symbol of Indian culture. The form is present in most Shiva temples in South India, and is the main deity in the famous temple at Chidambaram.

Defining this statue:

1.The upper right hand holds a small drum shaped like an hourglass that is called a ḍamaru in Sanskrit. It is called Udukkai in Tamil (I live in southern India- this is how we call it) and Dhamarukha in Hindi. A specific hand gesture (mudra) called ḍamaru-hasta (Sanskrit for "ḍamaru-hand") is used to hold the drum. It symbolizes sound originating Creation.

2.The upper left hand contains Agni or fire, which signifies destruction. The opposing concepts in the upper hands show the counterpoise of creation and destruction.

3.The lower right hand shows the Abhaya mudra (meaning fearlessness in Sanskrit), bestowing protection from both evil and ignorance to those who follow the righteousness of dharma.

4.The lower left hand points towards the raised foot which signifies up-liftment and salvation. The hand also symbolises the trunk of the elephant-headed Ganesha, son of Shiva, known as the remover of obstacles and a symbol of strength.

5.The dwarf on whom Nataraja dances is the demon Apasmara, which symbolises Shiva's victory over ignorance.

6.As the Lord of Dance, Nataraja, Shiva performs the tandava, the dance in which the universe is created, maintained, and resolved. Shiva's long, matted tresses, usually piled up in a knot, loosen during the dance and crash into the heavenly bodies, knocking them off course or destroying them utterly.

7.The surrounding flames represent the Universe.

8.The snake swirling around his waist is kundalini, the Shakti or divine force thought to reside within everything.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Zero Calorie Cupcakes

Oh yeah!
Isn't this too too cute!?

My fellow Booya Girl, the awsomely talented Chrys Rose announced a week ago that she had made some adorable "cake slice" pin-cushions.
They were so cute, I just had to have one.

So I asked Chrys if she could make me a cupcake pincushion (seeing that I've been having this torrid long love affair with anything starting with "cup" and ending in "cake"

Chrys obliged (bless her!) and today let me know that my cupcake was "baked" and ready to go postal.

If you'd like one, please visit Chrys at her Etsy Store, and see what she can whip up for you.

Monday, July 7, 2008

The Webkinz Thing

What an ongoing craze this has turned into.

If you don't know what I'm talking about, first take 20 whacks with a wet noodle, then go look Here.

We were late getting in on this since we got the girls their first toys (a white terrier for Ara and a chihuahua for Rea)only last summer. At the time we figured that we'd be home more since we'd just moved to Calgary and were still unpacking and trying to figure our way around.

And it grew....and grew!
This year saw us dashing all around from Cold Lake to Sherwood Park, and all around Edmonton for the Webkinz Extravaganza in April.
We came back with way more toys than I ever planned on getting, but the kids have been enjoying them.

Actually, I was playing with their toys after they went to bed every night, so one day Oshean brought me one of my own.
Yup, this pretty lady here is "Amour", the Love Frog :)...and she's all mine!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Pretty Things

Love this

and this

You can get them and much much more Here

Thursday, July 3, 2008

"No wonder we are down to a 5% white population."

I read this somewhere tonight.

The person who wrote it was talking about the well known violence in the country, and the bad decisions the present government continues to make, almost on a daily basis.

Most non-South Africans regard the country with an air of hesitant curiousity.
Most non South Africans don't know what things were like in the day of the old Governemnt.
The white government.

They don't know that public places like restaurants and beaches and parks were designated "Whites only".
That public washrooms were for "Whites only".
That the native people wre not allowed to be seen in public after a certain times at night (remember the "dompass laws"?).

That residential areas were segregated along lines of colour and people were forbidden from marrying or having relationships across the colour bars.
If anyone dared break these laws, they would be thrown into jail...and beaten to within an inch of their lives.
Many did lose their lives due to these beatings.

What percentage of Non-whites suffered under those laws?
How long did that tyranny go on for?
Where are those stats?

If you're going to go there, let's look at the big picture.
People who were treated worse than animals.
People who were denied basic human rights; a right to freedom, a right to education, a right to free thought and speech.
Those people were suddenly told "Okay you can go. Be like everyone else. After all these years, just go".

What do you expect?
Of course there would be tyranny.
Of course there would be rage and blood shed.

I don't agree with it.
But I understand it.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

SLB and I

I've had this long love for foreign movies; more notably, movies from India.
As a child I remember sitting on the floor in the home of a Hindi-speaking family, and watching old Indian movies, played on a projector, and shown on a white screen.

I was swept away by the music, the dancing, the "dhushm dhushm" fight scenes, the beautiful heroines, the dashing was lovely!
And still is.

"Bollywood" has gone very mainstream...very Hollywood, lately, but many movie directors still manage to retain that timeless feel.

Sanjay Leela Bansali is one such director.
I love his work.
If it has his name on it, I'll buy it.
No questions asked.

So I was happily surprised to see one of his recent works at the local Movie Gallery.
That's right...
I found Saawariya right at the bottom of a shelf.
Just one copy.
But that was enough.

Oh, what a feast for the eyes and ears this was!
I just loved it!
The music was timeless, the set was fabulous and elaborate, the dialogue poetic (yes there are sub-titles in English for the non-Hindi speakers) was lush, rich and thoroughly entertaining.

The story was based on Dostoevsky's "White Nights", which probably explains how it came to circulate within a regular movie rental chain.
If you get a chance (and have 138 minutes to spare) go watch it, and come tell me what you think :)

Oh, one more thing on the meaning of the title:

Production Notes - Saawariya
Meaning of Saawariya
Saawariya is beloved. But he’s not just any beloved. He’s the dusky, blue tinged (savla) God Krishna who is
adored as saawariya. On a less heavenly though as sublime note, saawariya is that beloved who is always in
love. But again, not every lover can qualify as saawariya. Only that lover who stands the test of time…who
overcomes all obstacles… who doesn’t care whether he gets the girl or not… as long as he’s consumed by
love… as long as he remains in a perpetual state of being in love…
That man, that rare lover is saawariya.