Friday, February 12, 2010

Parents roasting tomatoes over a friend's fire

.1. Do you keep forgetting that your momma and poppa are individuals before they are parents? That they had and continue to have dreams and that they may look at their lives today and wonder what happened to those dreams? How they fell through? Why they didn't work? How life isn't all it's cracked up to be?

Do you forget that they also have fears? That sometimes, their actions and reactions are filled with terrors that we might not recognise because we expect our parents to be fearless?

I do. Occasionally, I forget.
So, I'm asking you to take a step back with me...remind ourselves that although we sometimes believe that the actions of our parents are entirely centered around us, they are also, in great measure, centered on them as individuals before them as parents.

& if you already knew this, then you need to start a blog and start telling my ignorant ass.

(Exercise patience, please.)

.2. Dear Man Who Emailed Me Asking Me To See More Pictures Of Me Because You Think I Am Pretty:

I have your email.
I FaceBooked your email. (Something you may consider creepy, but that my friend M would call 'crafty'.)
I noted that you are married, with children.

Please direct this sort of attention to your wife, not me.

Thank you.

- M

.3. It is astonishing how the moods and spaces of those we love affect our own. Baby J is walking through a relatively delicate and difficult situation, and I am doing my best to walk alongside her. Sometimes, I walk behind her and push her forward, other times I run ahead and drag her along. Always - I hope and I try - to behave with understanding and patience; the reality of this sentence I leave to her discretion.

Earlier this week, she experienced what I can only call an entry of toxicity into her life; a toxicity that I reacted to on an extremely visceral level, and one which I carried with me throughout the course of my day and into my night; on her behalf, because I love her, because I respect her, because I am proud of her, because I do not wish to see her hurting. Also, because - as many of my friends have noted - I have zero tolerance and react with a ferociseness (not a word, but should be) when I feel as though being taken advantage of is someone I love.

A long time ago, someone said that "dealing with a friend's problems is like sitting around their fire and inhaling their smoke". Although I can't in fact remember who said that, I do recall it was said in derogatory fashion, as an indication that we shouldn't have to deal with the problems of our friends all of the time, some of the time, part of the time.

I call bullshit on that sentiment. The true meaning of friendship is unyielding support and sensitivity to the problems of our friends all of the time, some of the time, part of the time, no matter that we may be "inhaling their smoke".

If you don't recognise that being invited to sit around someone's fire is something to be cherished then you are an unworthy idiot.*****

.4. I recently took a new direction in my life (one which, literally, witnessed me throw up in a snowbank upon the decision taking & making. Sexy.); this is the reason I have been quiet. I will not write about the decision or the move, but I will only make this small mention here as a gentle reminder to myself. It is documented.

.5. Dear Sugar Plum Grape Tomatoes:

I love you.

- Maha

*****This sentiment does not hold true for people who tend to invite everyone, including the kitchen sink, to sit at their fire. I believe these sorts of individuals tend to be exhibitionists who have a fire only for show, and are usually in and out of my life within 24 hours. I don't want to sit at their fire because that means that I am not sitting at the fire of someone who cherishes my presence. (Even in friendship, the value we see in one another must go both ways; otherwise, one of us is a chump.)

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Friday, January 15, 2010

Friday Night Lights Surprise: Austin Lisa, Goddess

This is the final entry about this just last trip to Austin.
I have written about Lisa before - a wonder of a woman who, from the moment we met, I began crushing on rather heavily. Lisa, by the way, is pregnant...having become so just around the time I last visited, and so I have begun calling myself her Fertility Charm. Unless her and her man need me to sit atop their bed while they copulate, I don't mind being such a charm. (Please wish her congratulations and send her your best belly energy - both men and women.)

lisa and i

Anyway. Point of this entry isn't her belly, but rather her wonderful and amazing sense of generosity where my very awkward love of COACH ERIC TAYLOR, HI! and Friday Night Lights is concerned.

Lisa, see, has a friend who works with the FNL crew. This friend was able to confirm two things for Lisa: (1) shooting locations of FNL; and, (2) that the day she surprised me with our little FNL sojourn, was not a day on which they would be shooting. Why this later? Because Lisa had no interest in placing myself (and by extension, herself) in an embarrassing situation wherein I would freeze, or worse yet, lunge into inappropriate touching of either COACH ERIC TAYLOR, HI!, Tim Rigglett Riggins, or Tammy Taylor.

Honestly, I would be hard-pressed to behave myself in such a situation.

First stop was the football field that the Dillon Panthers called home (GO EAST DILLON!). It was raining and I was exhilarated. Unfortunately, you can't really see the sameness between the filming and the reality and so my excitement was contained:

del valle 2

del valle 3

I tried to pick the lock that held the wire fence closed and that kept me on the other side of the field. Lisa suggested that perhaps it wasn't the greatest idea to attempt a break in, so instead, I quite sadly held on to the fence and stared at the field which eluded me, imagining COACH ERIC TAYLOR (!) putting The Dillon Panthers through their drills and making certain they played their hearts out on that field (because they are real people, who play real games, yes?). Eventually, Lisa wrestled me back into the car.

Second stop: Landing Strip, the locale at which the Riggins brothers as well as Buddy Garrity hang. It is a strip bar, and as it was the middle of the day and Lisa and I were without a man (as an excuse to enter), we merely creeped around the entrance and enjoyed it from the outside. Being in Texas meant not even the hint of lesbian-anity.

landing strip 1

landing strip 2

Third stop: Broken Spoke. I really don't have anything interesting to say about this joint except that I wanted to return in the evening to enjoy a little honky tonk, but never made it. I am interested in having a dance-off with a local; any local, and so have decided to make this my top priority next trip.

broken spoke

Finally, and most notably, was the burger joint at which most of season 1 was filmed. This place is recognizable as soon as you pull up to it, and Lisa said I in fact jumped out of the car before she had placed it into park. More incredibly, she said that as soon as we walked in, I short-circuited and staring at the ground, turned a complete 360 laughing to myself. I think she's lying because I don't remember any of that. I do, however, remember how I felt as though I were to come crashing out of my own skin when I laid eyes on the restaurant, and for those of you familiar with FNL, you will immediately recognise the location spot in the photos.

EZ 1

EZ 2

EZ 3

EZ 3

maha and lisa

In summation, the following picture is worth a thousand words. This was taken by Lisa while we were seated in one of the booths at the restaurant (the staff of which would not let us pay and who wanted to feed us french fries, because of the energy vibeing off of us, no doubt). When C saw this expression, she said: "That's the exact same expression Nora-May had on her face the entire time she was in The Princess Castle".


Nora-May is five years old.

Thank you Lisa.
Love you.
Owe you.

P.S. I have just returned from Costa Rica. I have been getting caught up with everyone and am relatively exhausted and so not very write-y. I promise to make up for this soon enough - thank you for your amazing emails. Love you all.

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Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Dear Dr. Aalya

I love you very much and am proud of you beyond words or measure.

I have printed Bordering on Fear: A Comparative Literary Study of Horror Fiction, your 399 page whopper of a PhD, into which I am extremely excited to sink my teeth.

(And to the end of this PhD sojourn, I shall add: Ameen, sister.)

P.S. Entry coming this weekend. Thank you to all for your emails of curious 'wtf are you doing not writing?' and 'when in the hell...'.

Comments closed.

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Friday, November 20, 2009

On Being A Mean Girl

I have been working on developing my World View (WV) and doing my best to make it coherent both in my head and to those I love, and naturally, to anyone who will listen such as the dude on the corner yelling at me asking me if I am a sinner who fornicates...and to whom I am considering giving my url. This WV is a set of principles by which I try to live my life in the best way possible. Naturally, and as one would expect, it has been shaped mostly by the values instilled within Islam.

I finally labelled it a WV sometime over the course of the last two or three years. This happened during a time of struggle when I was trying to make sense of something that was non-sensical; applying the principles to my own behaviour when forced to make my way through the maze of a foggy sense of betrayal.

Always, my primary concern was to ensure that my behaviour was not a reaction to the actions of another, but rather behaviour which was a reflection of my WV. Also, that I started from a position of trusting people and believing their intentions were good, no matter the outcome. Naive, yes, but gentler and softer and kinder than the alternative. I fought against the urge to react as a meanie, when dealing with a meanie; to react as an asshat, when dealing with an asshat; to react as a bully, when dealing with a bully. Unfortunately, at a few days after the turn of the Year of (your) Lord 2009, I lost site of this.

Over the course of a couple of years, and in different circumstance, I had given too much; I had stretched myself so thin on several occasions that my snap-back, when it did finally happen, was severe and extreme. A precise moment in January 2009 was not the only catalyst, but rather the one which broke the camel's back.(1)

I reacted in kind to an action. In fact, it was not 'in kind', but rather 'in extreme kind'.

Why did I do this? Because I had had enough. I had had enough of being kind and good and understanding and forgiving and gracious and trusting, and receiving nothing more than junk trash from some people around me. I did this because I was sick and tired of opening up my heart and making myself vulnerable and then being hurt. I was sick and tired of people recognising the goodness and the trust and taking advantage of it.

I did it because I was hurting and I needed to self-preserve.

More importantly, I did it because I had lost site of my WV and the fact that a huge part of who I am is someone who is in fact kind and good and understanding and forgiving and gracious because that is who I am proud to be, rather than someone who behaves in this way in order to receive the same in return. (Since the later is a fraud and frauds give me hives.)

When I lost site of my WV, I became a different creature, and it was in fact Mama who pointed this out to me. She told me that something about me had changed over the course of this last year - that I had become vicious in my response to people and suspicious of their intentions and that is not the way she raised me. I had lost my inclination to forgive and be understanding and Mama was disappointed in me. This conversation was with respect to a woman I love and admire and hold in the highest regard.

In that moment, sitting across from my mother, something broke inside of me...and at the same time, something greater was solidified. What broke was the Mean Girl, and what was solidified, inshallah was the girl I have always fought to be. (And I will tell you honestly that writing this is making me extremely emotional.)

This was my wake-up call, and the woman I hurt remains at the top of the list of My Three Worst Blowbacks from my ten month asshatery trip. I was cruel and suspicious, and brutally self-centred with a woman I dearly love, a woman who has never ever once in our relationship hurt me, and who, in a moment of complete and total self-delusion, I could have hurt beyond measure.

I couldn't sleep that night because I could see again. I could see that somewhere over the course of the past ten months, there had been a shift in my mind's eye view which affected my behaviour and which led me to believe that I deserved to stop giving, because I had given enough, and now people owed me.

Imagine the self-importance I felt for ten months.
Imagine the asshat - any asshat - who would believe such entitlement? That was me, and I was a Mean Girl Asshat. Oddly enough, it was not conscious of this at the time, instead chalking it up to other people getting what they deserve after I had allowed them to take from me for so long.

I started to only focus on what people gave me from that moment on. In the instance of A, I forgot about our history and every single time she had held me tight until I didn't need to be held anymore. I had become the very thing I have hated since I can remember - entitled. Worse still, I was mean - and let me tell you, my friends, there is an unbelievable capacity within me for cruelty. Again, where A was concerned and through my sense of asshat entitlement, I couldn't see that I needed to give her understanding, patience and time. I needed to give, but instead I wanted to take in a most callous manner.

Ultimately, I failed someone I loved on a scale of Supreme Asshatery. My behaviour in that moment both devastates and shames me.

I lost site of the fact that I have always prided myself on how open and engaging I am with everyone; that I have always been happy to say "I would rather love hard and be hurt hard than love in shades of pale and never feel the full hurt of that loss, and instead be safe and protected".

I lost site of the reality that what should be my only concern ever, is my own behaviour, rather than the behaviour of others, and that made me a judgemental asshat.

I lost site of the foundation of my WV: that I believe in the goodness of people, even in their greatest moments of asshatery, and I work hard to understand them and forgive them and still love them, even though I may choose to no longer have them in my life in any formal capacity. I do this because no one created by God is born with the intention to hurt, and yet we are all guilty of being asshats at different moments in our lives.

And at the end of the day, I have to believe that anyone who has hurt me didn't come into my life with the intention to hurt, but rather they were trying their best and their best somehow managed to hurt me.

To those of you who would take advantage of this sort of thinking and to anyone who believes there is a greater Power, then understand that one day we will deal with a greater Judge than another human being could ever be, and our behaviour and the consequences of that behaviour come full circle and we will be held accountable for taking advantage of goodness and kindness. And, so, as my own eating of humble pie has taught me, gentler, kinder, softer was always the better route, anyway. Deviating from that path at least allowed me the opportunity to solidify that belief.

Take a walk along that street, if you haven't already, and let me know what happens.

One day, I will share with you the story of this catalyst, but not yet as it is much too fresh still.

(Image courtesy of Gen Pren.)

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Saturday, October 17, 2009

Na.OH.Mi standing beneath a hupa

So. Naomi and I have known one another since university - she was completing her undergraduate and I my M.A. and we both lived at the graduate pub on campus called Mike's Place. As she so eloquently put it last evening, 'there was one table that was always there with the same people. THAT WAS US!'...when excited, Naomi and I tend to overheat and speak more loudly than usual.

Although this amazing woman and I were friendly in university, we did not have the sort of friendship considered deep or even long-lasting. In fact, I think it safe to say that were you to have asked either of us if we could see one another in each others' lives years down the line, we would have both shrugged and offered a response of non-committal in order to avoid the possibility of responding with "uhm. No?"

Interestingly, and almost-to-the-day exactly two years back, I was hit with a trauma the likes of which I had not encountered prior. Naomi was one of the three women who pulled me through. (Her, C and the amazing and brilliant BB.) She was relentless in her kindness and understanding, staunchly protective of and committed to my well-being. It was amazing; she is amazing, and she remains a woman whose compassion breaks my heart. Last summer, I wrote: I went to visit Na.oh.mi in Edmonton and realized that there's few people with whom we can share so much of ourselves so easily. Na.oh.mi is one such friend., and I am always reminded of this truth.

(It is important to here note that Na.OH.Mi has one of the most amazing and infectious laughs in the world. It is carefree, honest and innocent, three qualities reflected in her huge eyes and perfectly round-curled red locks.)

Tomorrow at 11.30 a.m., she will be standing beneath a hupa and wedding JASON (HI!). I am not one for weddings, and never have been. But tomorrow will be different and not only because I plan on sticking to Oma, Na.OH.mi's nana, and keeping a watchful eye out for her glasses, but because of the hundreds of people in my life, there are only a handful I love and cherish. The people I plan on keeping in my life as I scoot across the floor with the help of a walker?, she is one of them, and I am honored to be a part of her day tomorrow.

P.S. Neither Na.OH.mi nor I have ever attended a Jewish wedding. Mama tells me they are as fun and as rowdy as our own Palestinian ones. Both Na.OH.mi and I are excited by this new experience.

(Aside: She is a brilliant novelist. Her first book, Cricket In A Fist, is published and it receives the highest recommendation I can muster. Had it been shit, I would have left out this short paragraph. Stop fkn around; put down Twilight and support excellent literature. Pick up Cricket In A Fist, please & thank you.)


Friday, August 28, 2009

Carnivàle Lune Bleue

I wish to travel with the carnivàle, any carnivàle. Only, unfortunately, I'm not talented, so this is not at all a possibility. Instead, I can live vicariously through trips to random carnivàles, the world over.


L and I spent nearly six hours at the Carnivàle Lune Bleue, I coveting all who worked there and the undoubtedly sexy and hedonistic lives they (must!) live. Everything about this particular Carnivàle is sensual, seduction dripping off of every costume, southern accent, musical instrument, and constant sense of freak-show danger and threat.

The first three people we met were a belly dancer, a little person (their language, not mine) and a woman atop stilts. The music was burlesque in flavor and floating past our taste buds were clouds of popcorn, cotton candy and candied apple sticky sweetness. I was immediately stoned on happy and couldn't stop laughing the entire night through.

Our first stop was at Carnival Diablo, where we saw a woman jump over shards of glass, lay atop a bed of nails and be beheaded; where a man drank boiling water, pounded a nail through his nose, ran a hook through his (unusually large) tongue, hooked it to a mesh bucket of stones and raised the stones from the ground; where another man bent a steel rod with his teeth, had darts thrown at and tacked into his skin, sat in an electrical chair, placed his hand in a mousetrap, smashed a can of dog food over his finger (if ever there was a true fetishist, it is he...); and, where a third man swallowed swords (at which point, L started coughing in solidarity with) and fire.

Nikolai Diablo (the MC) was derangedly sweet, making me unsure as to whether I should cry or smile when he chose to focus on me while someone prepared something behind him. He pointed me out and then just stood at the edge of the stage and stared...and stared...and stared...before he stared a little more. He later came over and gave me the "head of the bottle" that he broke into pieces in preparation for the Countess who would walk through the glass. No surprise, he handed me the "head" from the crotch of his pants.

No matter that L and I laughed our way through that which didn't make her gag, this is not a show for children, but one which I highly recommend to the rest of you.

Running out of Diablo, we rode the carousel and the old-fashioned ferris wheel before we skipped into the Cirque Maroc tent. While on the Ferris Wheel, I took this for you, so that you might join us on the ride:

...and while on the carousel, we attempted to take pictures. Have you ever tried to do this? It is, to say the least, tricky as you are never at level, hence this wonderful photo of L and I looking as though she is two storeys beneath me:


Cirque Maroc is a visual and auditory feast, with two MCs, one of whom I wanted to bring home and make my best friend (the slightly pudgy funnier, softer, cuter MC). It was, much in the spirit of Cirque du Soleil, an absolute wonder, with two women of particular note: one who plays with / slides up and down / contorts around a hanging rope, and another woman who creates majic when her body collides with a hamster wheel for humans. I know it's not technically a 'hamster wheel', and it is in fact a 'german wheel', leave it to the Germans to come up with what is possibly a torture instrument or a fetishist's fantasy a rather massive rolling wheel made for people.

L had her fortune read as I made fun of the cards ("...are those refugees crossing a river? Is that a British 'bobby'? Is your fortune teller high? Do you believe this shit? I think he's high...awesome...") and sat in the bus. This bus. Which still runs. And is, in fact, the real bus from the Nightmare on Elm Street films:


We ate dinner beneath the tent, at The Cookhouse, L feasting on thick orange soup and I on Moroccan chicken while listening to The Unsettlers, whose music reminded me of the genius that is Polish punk band Gogol Bordello. I was mesmerized by the combination of their music, the cool air, the spicy food, the woman on stilts, the man playing with fire, thinking to myself that these people must be having sex with one another randomly and everywhere and all at once and what a strange and free and unusual and extremely seductive world that is the Carnivàle.

I loved it.

And to perfectly illustrate the strange weather one walks into at the Carnivàle Lune Bleue, watch and listen carefully, with particular attention paid at around the 56 second mark:

Two special shout outs to two of the carnis, first to the woman wearing a hat and glasses ushering us into the Cirque Maroc tent, you are hilarious and brilliant with your stuttering naivete, and I can't help but wonder if you married your cousin who is also your mum's uncle and best friend, and to the young gentleman who runs the shooting game, you are simply perfect at your job.

Two further recommendations: (1) go immediately; and, (2) then come again next year. I most definitely will.


Find the official Carnivàle Lune Bleue site here, please.
All photos from L & I's adventure found here.
Carnival Diablo
Cirque Maroc
The Unsettlers (they are brilliant and I can not stop listening to their cd)

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Thursday, June 11, 2009

Conversation snippet

"Part of the beauty of Vancouver is all of the greenery", said Maha.
"I agree! I think...I just LOVE the foilage in Vancouver. It's so great, isn't it?" said S.
"I love the foilage here. It's gorgeous."
"And what colour would that foilage be?"
"What do you mean?"
"I it aluminum? Shiny silver, this foilage of which you speak."
"The foilage. The foilage. The green around us."
"It's foliage."
"It's foliage. It's called foliage not foilage. I'm just bein' an asshole, really..."
"Oh! Ha ha!! FOLIage. That's right! FO-LEE-IDGE."
"You call yourself a writer. You should be ashamed."
"My word was nicer."

(I love you half of KAWN!)

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Thursday, May 07, 2009

A Love Letter to Baby Jane

You are all quite familiar with Janey. This is her wearing the scarf I knit and sent her way two weeks back - it is 'The J Scarf', J not standing for Janey. Long, yes? It took weeks to complete and is meant to provide warmth when I can't reach over and hug her. It is me as a knit stitch.

Janey Scarf

She is among my best of friends and she lives in Toronto until 16h hours today, at which point she boards a plane to Halifax.

I miss her already, quite possibly more than words can express.
Janey and I communicate daily, all day long, never running out of things to say (thank you berry messenger). There is a solid energy of support as foundation for each other's actions - a foundation that both she and I would tell you can withstand absolutely anything.

It was in university that we met through my old friend Scott, a bartender at Oliver's Pub on campus. Janey was underage and so was the (greatest and sunniest) front door girl who took your money and stamped her approval of entry.

We met once, in passing, through Scott.

A few days later, I was standing in front of the Oliver's entrance staring at a phone wondering to myself whether I should call a particular number or not. I needed sisterly support, understanding and hand holding. I also needed an extra individual to remember the telephone number I was supposed to dial; I was so nervous that numbers kept falling out of my head against my will. None of my girlfriends were in the neighbourhood at that particular moment; I looked over my right shoulder, made eye-contact with Baby Jane, walked over and asked for her help and support, which she gave me without a moment's hesitation.

She stood next to me at the phone, repeating the last four digits as though they were a mantra. I dialled, the phone rang, she squealed, I responded to the 'hello', she smiled a little more and motioned to me that she would be over there.

Coming off the telephone, I went over and we had our first date. We had a drink at Oliver's and it felt as though we had known one another for the duration of our short lives. There was no hesitation in conversation, no holding back of details or information. It was, in so far as the way friendships are created and develop, most definitely magical.

The rest, as they say, would become history.

At different times in our lives, and depending on the situation and environment at hand, different people catch us and help us stand up again. Sometimes, they don't catch us but rather sit next to us while we refuse to stand, preferring to instead stay close to the ground a little longer for fear of another fall. Baby Jane has been doing this for me for the last little while - I for her, also.

Everything I have learned from the most gracious and loving BB, I have been able to apply to Janey this past near year. I love them both for the opportunity to grow and learn, understanding the possibility of honest and true and good friendships riddled with sentences such as
"I don't agree with what you're doing, but I will support you through this idiotic undertaking because I love you"
"The way you treated that person? That wasn't right. That wasn't right and your mother taught you differently and you know it. You need to make amends immediately."
"I need you to set your ego aside, my love, and really take a step back before I tell you what I'm about to tell you"
without there being a break in friendship or fear of hurt.

It is amazing. She is amazing. And so, on her new adventure to Halifax, I would love for each of you to please send Baby Jane your best energy and your greatest amount of warmth. Keep her in your hearts and minds as the next little while will be a challenge (which she will overcome, but a challenge nonetheless). Thank you.

Janey - I kove yoy very much.


Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Dave McMurran

11 August 1953 - 26 July 2008

"Verily to Allaah we belong and unto Him is our return."

May you rest in peace, Dave; Your passing will be felt in one too many activist circles to mention...


Wednesday, July 09, 2008


It was my first time visiting Calgary and I loved it. Surprisingly, Calgary is a lovely and calming place (notwithstanding their crazy Conservative politix).

Most of my trip was spent with R, who is the sister of my uncle's wife. R was married nearly ten years back and due to a move to Kazakhstan and the birthing of four children, we rarely maintained touch. But, seeing her after nearly twelve years proved that real friendship does in fact span time, no matter the clock's ticking.

rana and i

Her children are joys to be around; the youngest one being Jennah who reminds me of Maggie Simpson as she is constantly with a bottle in her mouth.

Here are The Babies:


babies 2

And here is Jennah (also, with bottle):




R's husband was so nice and so warm and so welcoming that I couldn't ask for more. They make a lovely couple, see:

rana & naji

I gifted Jennah the world's greatest gold lame crack that she wore from the moment she awoke to the moment she slept. More importantly, I gifted the household a new garden!! I am both proud of and excited by this choice. Now, inshallah no one will forget to water the plants and they will live a long and healthy life, reminding R and Co. of I each summer when they bloom.

Due to certain circumstance, there were some very difficult moments that remain beyond my comprehension. What I can say about that is that it's reinforced, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that any decision making process shared between partners must stem from the same value system. (Otherwise, you're completely f*cked.)

Almuhim. I have some highlights to share, as follows...

.1. GEESE!!


.2. This is the Calgary Tower:

calgary tower

...of which the top left hand corner is made of super duper strong plexi-glass or something like it (this, I hear, is the scientific term):

plexi tower floor

When you reach the top of The Tower, you can walk out on to this plexi glass thing and see ALL THE WAY DOWN TO THE STREET! (This excites me.) Equally as important, if you stand beneath the plexi thing all the way down on the street and you have a very strong camera, you will see up the skirts of good people such as I. There is no getting around this, as I discovered.

Right. So I am by no stretch of the imagination a trepidatious person, or someone who doesn't appreciate risk taking. I do it all the time and am prone to diving head first because I am of the opinion that time is precious and one should spend it doing and being with the things that make them happy and sunshine-y. was with great surprise that I couldn't make myself take an actual step on to the plexi platform while looking ALL THE WAY DOWN at the concrete. Instead, I had to stare straight ahead, walk to the side and then look down. It was totally trippy. I loved it.

plexi platform

plexi platform

plexi platform

...the best two pictures involve Aaminah.

The first is of her completely and totally floating in air:


while the second is of her standing next to spider man:


R had been there before but she had never been able to make it out on to the plexi platform. I coached her and she made it. Also, I coached some random woman who was absolutely mortified but managed to do it - she told me I had a fantastic way about me and trustworthy. (That's how you represent Islam, Kitties...) That interaction was as trippy and as fulfilling as the plexi platform, but that's just me.

Look! Muslims!
>> They're just like You! <<
They sit on plexi platforms!

muslim family

Also, while at The Calgary Tower, I signed something (I don't know what)

one female canuck

Got busy

got busy

& discovered that when My People aren't terrorizing Your People, We can be found seducing You into submission

.3. We played in Banff







.4. I wrote at the feet of Lake Louise

lake louise

lake louise

lake louise

lake louise

lake louise

lake louise

.5. I went to visit Na.oh.mi in Edmonton and realized that there's few people with whom we can share so much of ourselves so easily. Na.oh.mi is one such friend. She and Jason are soon moving to Calgary and so this little home of theirs will be no more.

na oh mi

na oh mi

na oh mi

Edmonton took Na.oh.mi and I on a wild goose chase for a Dairy Queen (skor blizzard, please), a trip to Rona, lunch at Da*de*oo's, deep conversations about de-weeding one's garden, three episodes of Arrested Development and the world's yummiest miso salad dressing.

And finally...

.6. I made a new friend, who:
- introduced me to RAW BEEF (a.k.a. Beef Tenderloin Tartar) that I find myself craving right now
- told me how gasoline lamps function (I used to think it was by magic alone!)
- let me drive their Lexus GS350, a car that starts WITH A BUTTON! You push a BUTTON! (My New Friend likes toys and so also has a Porsche 911 S convertible. Lucky for them that I can't drive stick, or else I would have been all over the Porsche...)
- met Bambi with me
- showed me that Calgary was in fact secretly Tuscany

All in all, the trip was as close to perfect as I would have liked it...

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