Tag Archives | Monday Listicle

Monday Listicles: (un)resolute

Well actually in Abu Dhabi, it’s Wednesday now, so I’m a tad off the mark in terms of the whole “Monday” thing.  Good thing I haven’t resolved to be more prompt this year; I’d hate to have blown it before the end of the first week of 2012.  Stasha and Theresa, from This Mountain Momma, have collaborated on a topic that seems utterly relevant: resolutions we have no intention of keeping, pretty much ever. Or at least not in this particular lifetime.


1. Give up cheese
I grew up in northern Illinois, where it’s not a meal unless a dairy product is involved.  If I gave up cheese I might starve.

2. Give up sunbathing
The damage has been done: hours and hours and days of baking in the sun, slathered in baby oil and sometimes holding a it foil-wrapped album cover under my face to make sure that every inch of me got baked (remember albums? So much more useful than a CD and way more useful than an MP3 file).  Now I live in perpetual summer– my only concession is a face cream with SPF.

3. Give up bread and bread-related products
I’d rather sell my children.

4. Stop spending so much time with this newfangled Internet thing.
But then who would I talk to?

5. Learn to meditate.
Love all that stillness and focus, concentrating only on the breath–was that a ding announcing a new message? Did someone comment on my last post? Do we need milk? More cheese?

6. Learn to scuba  dive.
Confession: the idea of being in all that water scares me. Plus did you see that movie? Plus sharks. Plus weird tentacly things.

7. Accept that the Kardashians deserve all the attention heaped on them by the media.
It would be easier to believe that the world is flat or that the Easter Bunny is real.

8. Learn to troubleshoot my own tech problems.
But if I did that, then what would Husband do for fun? He wouldn’t be able to mock me, or sigh in a long-suffering way, so for his sake, I will maintain my learned helplessness.

9. Give up my love affair with my iPhone & be friends with my little Nokia clamshell.
Ha! The new one–iPhone4S (I like to think of it as iPhone 4 Steve) is out finally in Abu Dhabi, so pretty much right after I write this post, I am hauling ass to Etisalat (the AD phone company) to get myself a new iPhone that will work here. Anyone have any suggestions for new apps?  And do we think that Siri will speak to me in Arabic?

10.  Stop making resolutions.
But I love lists! If I were brave, I’d make a list like Eden Kennedy (that’s the Fussy lady), and commit to loving everyone and tell the truth, but I think that is too much for me. How about I just resolve to stop yelling at my children. Or at least, I won’t yell at them on an hourly basis. How about once a day? That’s a resolution I might be able to keep.

Continue Reading · on January 4, 2012 in Abu Dhabi, Children, Monday Listicle, tech life

Monday Listicle: Yin Yang

Stasha turned over Monday’s topic to Kim, at  Zook Book Nook, who chose Yin Yang.

Yin Yang: balanced energy, the dark in the light, light in the dark. Favorite tattoo of surfers and yogis everywhere.

It took me a while to think about how to create this list because I’d wanted to use photographs but I haven’t been out walking around in the city much. I’ll blame my kids for my lack of initiative, instead of my own inertia. Seems my kids don’t think it sounds like much fun to walk around in the 112 degree heat with mommy while she tries to take pictures without offending anyone, so I’ve been staying inside and hanging out with them.  Do you know that, in fact, it is possible to play lego universe for six straight hours? Please don’t anyone tell our pediatrician about their unfettered computer access.  I swear it’s just until the end of Ramadan, I promise.

Anyway. Yin Yang: contradictory energy that (theoretically) balances itself.  I think that’s precisely where Abu Dhabi finds itself: trying to balance between old and new, religious and secular, tradition and innovation.  It’s a complicated positioning, to say the least, and while the UAE seems to be (sort of) managing the balance, many countries around us out here are feeling the consequences of having lived for generations with no balance whatsoever.

1. It’s a desert city filled with fountains:

2. It’s a city of curves, cul-de-sacs, and multiply named streets (we live on Sheikh Zayed the 1st street, also Electra Street, also “the street by the new medical center.”) It’s a also a city of grids and patterns:

3.  Old technology (antennas) and new (satellite dishes):

4. Old towers:

5.  And new:

At the moment I don’t have much to say about these yin yang contradictions. Every city has them, I guess (hello battles over landmark preservation in New York!), but somehow the contradictions here seem much more pronounced: the old is very, very old; and the new is in-your-face-right-now new.  I mean, this is a country that owns 10% of the world’s oil reserve…and decisions about when Ramadan start are made by the moon-sighting committee. That’s the job I want: moon-sighter.

Abu Dhabi is only nominally in Asia but I’m thinking of myself as living in the land of Yin Yang.

All I have to is keep my own balance and everything will be fine.

Continue Reading · on August 22, 2011 in Abu Dhabi, expat, Monday Listicle, NYC, Travel, UAE

Monday Listicles: Food (mostly 16th century style)

Stasha strikes again! Just before we left for a day exploring Hampton Court Palace, she posted the topic for her Monday Listicle: Food!

Hey. I can do food. I have a LOT to say about food. Mostly about how my kids don’t really eat “food” in any sense of the word. Watermelon? Nah. Strawberries? Ptooey. Cheese sandwich? Gagh!

So the first item on my list of “what’s to eat?” is this:

Exhibit 1: A little morning snack on the train to Hampton Court: Krispy Kreme Donuts. Yet another quality US export.

But let’s leave my sugar-soaked children behind and consider the 16th century cook, shall we? At Hampton Court, we went through the palace kitchens, which were capable of preparing food for 1200 people at a pop.  The kitchens of the palace have been set up to show us how 16th century cooks worked:

Exhibit 2: Finding a cut of meat to prepare for dinner:

Exhibit 3: Perhaps a shishkebab sort of preparation might be tasty?

Exhibit 4:  Getting the oven the right temperature can be tricky.

Exhibit 5: The finished product (bit of a bummer about the skewer holds, but that can be covered up with a sauce?)

Exhibit 6: No part of the animal will be wasted: anyone fancy a little kidney pie?

Exhibit 7: Need to have a non-carnivore option for our guests.  Perhaps a bird of some sort? Feathers optional.

Exhibit 8: Maybe you’d like to have some bread with your dinner?

And now back to the present day: Dinner for my youngest child: NO noodles. NO chicken tikka. NO hot dogs. Sandwich, please (at least I got a please). NO CRUSTS.

Exhibit 10: My own dinner. Um…perhaps I shouldn’t chastise my youngest son?  Here’s what I had:  two kinds of cheese, a lot of tomatoes, and a glass of rose.  Bliss.


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Continue Reading · on August 8, 2011 in Children, family, Travel

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