Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year 2010!

Happy New Year 2010!

Part I New Year Resolutions: Blogospheric and Real World


1) Reflect on moving to Wordpress--ratiocinate, cogitate, consult, debate--get mad at Blogger jinns and move. Maybe.

2) Mark the other 3 planetary confluences that unite us all ultimately--the Vernal Equinox, the Summer Solstice, and the Autumnal Equinox (Winter Solstice)

3) Hold to Ramadan Resolution regarding the obviously “special personality” commentators on other blogs

4) Tame all jinns: computer, posting, commenting, email, chat--by being nice, firm, creative, wrapping a garlic lei around the computer, whatever it takes.

Real World

1) Maintain good library buddy relationships. You never know when you will need some aspiring psychiatry resident to yell “What are you doing to Dr. Chiara’s computer?” “I’m Dr Samir, and that is Dr. Chiara’s computer. Leave it alone!” Thanks again, Samir.
Poor guy was trying to delete the “screen saver” picture of a gangrenous ulcerated burn that was making him sick, but that he couldn’t stop looking at anyway. However, you never know what he might have deleted in the attempt

2) Resist temptation to say to next student who steals “my spot” and LIES about it: “Liar, liar, pants on fire! I have lived in your country (including Canada) and know the ways of your people! Have you no shame?”

3) Get better at identifying the “students” who are really “perverts” (by choice of type of p*rn, rather than the fact of watching p*rn) taking advantage of my 3 minute absence from the computer to get on line and view their favourites; and, at helping them feel comfortable enough to click out fully from all their sites before leaving

4) Resist the temptation to leave a note when briefly absent from computer:
Dear Pervert--you are welcome to use my computer--unlike the liar liar pants on fire thieving students who close out my documents, because you never delete my files, and I thank you for that. However, please do click out from your own sites thoroughly as you see me returning, because, as you know, your sites have a magic way of popping up when one least expects it. Imagine my surprise when I think I am re-visiting Nino Ricci’s The Lives of the Saints and/or hagiography, or comparative translations of the Quran, and instead I land on your preferred “ex ex

5) Resist the temptation to research why white library perverts prefer non-white p*rn, and African Canadian library perverts prefer white p*rn. Remember that a research grant and multiple peer-reviewed publications under the heading “Cross-racial p*rn viewing habits of library perverts” will do little to advance your career in a direction you will like

6) Remember what the nice library lady said about how you crashed the computer and lost 5 hours of work (thank you Ken and friend for trying to recover it for me and for keeping me from hysterics; let me know if you need a reference to a mental health professional program):
“Up to 5 screens including tabs open at once is okay but above that you risk a crash. 15!!!??? Routinely!!!??? Oh, 15 is too many. That is how it happened”
“Well, actually it was more towards 25 that night. 5? You want me to make do with 5? Okay I can manage with 10--maybe, or 12, or how about a baker’s dozen, 13? No, I don’t have ADD. And yes, I recognize I am my own worst computer jinn.”

What are your New Years resolutions?
How are you marking this day?
For those suffering from the morning after the night before, did you have fun? Tell all! Okay, tell almost all!
Any other comments, thoughts, experiences?

Part II A Year of Blogging Dangerously: From Blurking to Blog Owner

From December 1, 2008-December 31, 2009--something of a combination Gregorian and Islamic calendar year--I have gone from blurker to blog owner. Neither activity was particularly planned, nor were the commenting and posting stages in between. I was more like Chiara in Computerland falling through the Blogosphere Hole, or rather, being coaxed through by North African medical doctors too intelligent to have their enthusiasm for “bloqs” dismissed out of hand.

In the course of the year I have met Mad Hatters, March Hares, Dormouses, Queens of Hearts, and Kings of Hearts. Mostly I have met wonderful people from around the world and from diverse backgrounds who are intelligent, articulate, supportive, and funny!

Respectful debates have encouraged me to learn more, and posts outside my usual fields of interest have prompted me to discover new areas of knowledge, or perspectives. I learned Arabic words I hadn’t encountered previously, many of them ending in ‘Allah, which made me realize that “my Muslims” routinely switch these to their English or French equivalents. Also along the way, I learned short forms, emoticons, favicons, and linking!

I discovered a world of converts/reverts previously unknown to me, as all of “my Muslims” are born Muslim, and the only convert I had met previously was on the other end of a speculum. Her miscarriage was the main topic of our discussion, and her religion came up only in that context.

I shifted my geographical blogospheric reading base from the Maghreb to Saudi Arabia, including the GCC, and a then new term to me, Khaleeji culture. In fact, for those curious about how I came to the Saudi blogosphere, blame it on the Libyans (they are already blamed for so much), and an eastern migration via Nzingha’s comments, her blog Nzingha’s Soapbox, and her then blog roll.

Moving eastward has involved moving from former French, to former Italian, to former British territory, and with it encountering anglicized transliterations of perfectly good Arabic vocabulary now rendered completely unrecognizable. It took me weeks of anxiety, learning and relearning “Al-Waleed”, triple checking that I hadn’t typed in Al-Weed, wondering why any self-respecting English-speaking Saudi-Lebanese couple would name their son Weed, remembering they hadn't ( or had they?), going back to the authorized biography…Yes, indeed, weeks of that nonsense! Until, finally, I read some sane writer who mentioned Al-Walid--of course! Walid! I have already met many Walids, and not a weed among them! Why didn’t anyone spell it that way in the first place? I can transliterate Arabic to French so much better than to English--just ask Coolred who under my Gallic influence has started to misspell her youngest’s, Jibreel's, name as Jibril.

In this year of incremental blogospheric activity, I am grateful to all those who discussed, commented, read, followed, encouraged, advised, and helped my progression. I am also grateful to commentator Susanne, who found my new blog and left a comment before I even realized I was online publicly.

The volunteer translators for the upcoming multilingual posts on the marriage permission and Iqama processes in Saudi Arabia--particularly for non-Saudi/Saudi couples--deserve special thanks, and a promise that the rest of the English version will be available shortly.

I am particularly grateful to all those who entrusted me with their personal stories, and were such a delight to work with; and, to all those who politely declined, I understand why you weren’t ready--yet! Remember you can always contact me with your story at chiaraazlinquestion AT (or the other one if you already have it); or, you can send me photos of your firstborns, little Chiara and Chiaro.

I look forward to more discussions, debates, and comments, from more readers, commentators, followers, and collaborators, and wish you all the very best for 2010!

What stands out from 2009 for you?
What is your summary of your year?
What marked you the most this year?
What are your hopes for 2010?
How is it so far?
Any other comments, thoughts, experiences?


angie nader said...

Happy 2010!

2009 was the best year :)

Susanne said...

Happy New Year, Chiara! It was amusing to read your resolutions for the year. Taming all jinn and the liar, liar pants on fire -- HA!! :-)

NYE was good. We went out with two of my siblings and their families for a quiet ending of the old year.

I'm glad I found you on your own blog, too! You know how often I would go a few days and then read all your back posts. So I was saddened when I didn't see any signs of you. But, thankfully, I found you! I hate when people just disappear and I'd gotten rather used to you living in my computer. ;)

2009's highlight was our trip to Syria, of course! It was on my mind all year as I'm sure anyone who has read my comments, glimpsed my blog or heard me talk in real life can attest. With that in mind, not saying the "S" word is my New Year's resolution. Well, I said it here already, but I mean out loud or maybe even on my blog. *ahem* We'll see how long that lasts. :)

Looking forward to more stories in the coming year. You did a wonderful job on the Christian part of the Christmas post. Honestly all I wanted was a brief mentioning of Luke 2 at best. I didn't mean you had to do what you did, but it was incredible! I should have expected no less.

Oh, loved the part about Walid and Waleed (the weed) on here. It reminds me of one of my Arab friends. His e-mail address is "basheer," but then he sometimes refers to himself as "Bashir" and it irks me in a weird way due to the inconsistencies! And don't get me started on the 4 million ways to spell Muhammad! :-P

Speaking of spelling names, mine is with an "s" though I'm used to and don't mind the French spelling. My name is actually "short" (syllable-wise) for Susanna soooooo... :)

But honestly it's no big deal. At least you aren't calling me Susan or Sue. :)

Boy am I in a talkative mood today. Must be because Andrew is out of town, Samer's internet connection has been down since Wednesday and I've talked to few people today (only short phone conversations.)

Wow, I'm pulling a Chiara with my long comment! Hehehehe.

I think this is long enough. Much love to you and hope this year is among your best ever!

I'll go now and see if I can find a football game on the tube. I stayed up too late last night watching Tim Tebow's last game as a Florida Gator. Maybe I'm rambling because I'm tired.


coolred38 said...

Well Im glad you finally stopped "stalking" the rest of us on our blogs and got one of your own...HA HA!! Its about time girl and just as soon as I can catch my breath between jobs...I shall spend more time here.

May 2010 be henceforth called Year of Chiara...or Chiaro? tallyho!!!

btw Jibreel...right? LOL

Anthrogeek10 said...

I too am happy you have gotten your own blog. :)
As far as my NYE went, I had a friend come over. We rang in the NY and crashed immediately following. I know I am getting old now. :)
As far as resolutions go, I do not do that stuff. I find them to be a bit of a waste. I have made promises to myself I have not kept. Basically makes me look like a liar! To myself. I do have some goals for this year. One is to do the Disney 1/2 (walking) for Team in Training. I started walking today. I used to run long distances until my ACL crapped out on me. I loved running more than anything!! I do committ to doing my best in the last 4 classes of my B.A. Two this sem and two in fall. I already quit smoking so I do not have that monkey on my back any longer. Although sheesha is a temptation I must admit.

Regarding how 2009 went--I had some major challenges with my soon to be ex husband. He is out of my life and for that I am grateful. I hope he gets the help he needs.

Schoolwise--I feel like a failure regarding dropping my ME Studies minor. I don't know why. I just do.

I intend on 2010 to be a year where positive trajectories abound. :) I will do my best in whatever I do and follow my passion......anthropology!

the one and only anthrogeek10

Qusay said...

Good nice solid list for 2010, mine is the same as last years, I just need to look at it again to remember what it was again :)

Chiara said...

Angie Nader--Happy New Year to you as well! If I remember correctly 2009 was a year of medical remissions, right?

Susanne--mille excuses! I didn't intend to Gallicize your name! I have anglicized it back. Usually I get it correct in comments. Ma folie in the post!

I am happy to live in your computer--it seems to be more jinn-free than mine.

I would love to visit Syria! I regularly blurked on your blog but you haven't posted in a while it seems, which is why I didn't put it on my blog roll. Ahem...! LOL :)

Luke 2!!!! NOW you tell me! LOL :)
This is one of my pet topics so I was happy to do it. It was all I could do to stop myself from an opus on John I:1 my favourite verse of all! (even better in French).

Are you suggesting I leave long comments? Moi? No,no. You must have me confused with someone else. LOL :)

As a hockey aunt I no longer watch sports off ice! ;)

Thank you for your kind New Years wishes, and the same to you and yours.

Coolred--Is THAT why you kept encouraging me? Afraid of my being locked in by another snowstorm and leaving multiple mega comments on one of your posts? LOL :)

I am looking forward to your commenting more regularly here.

Jibreel! Excellent! Now spell Amina without looking! LOL :)

Anthrogeek--Thank you, I am glad you are commenting here! I have spent NYE doing everything from accidentally sleeping through it, to the formal party, to working a night shift in a psych hospital (double time!). You have some serious goals! I hope you achieve them all! It seems as if the ME minor wasn't to be--better that you did so well on your major. "Free at last" comes to mind re your ex.

Qusay--LOL :) Yes I gave my 2 lists serious thought and came up with the most important items. Very economical (in the psychoanalytic sense of course), recycling last year's list, and shows continuity of purpose. Well done! LOL :)

Susanne said...

Chiara, no problem about the spelling. Normal Suzannes spell their name the "right way" - as you had it. ;-) Again, mine is "short" for Susanna (it's spelled this way in Luke in the KJV) so we can blame it on my parents. I guess it's fitting to have an anglicized first name since my maiden name is an anglicized version of a French last name. Gotta be consistent here, right? :-D

Yes, I'm glad you live in my computer as well. Thanks for being happy there. :)

Oh yeah, we mostly stopped writing on our old blog once Samer got busy with I don't know what. I just write on my personal blog now. I have a whole lot of Syrian posts there - I had to memorialize my trip somehow, right?

Oh, I would have loved to read your thoughts on John 1:1. I did not know that was your favorite verse. If you ever want to share it, please do. I enjoy your "take" on things.

Have a good day. :)

Chiara said...

Susanne--Susanna from the New Testament! I was thinking Susannah from the Old Testament! A lovely name worth spelling correctly!

Must check out your personal blog!

I have published on John I:1--now to find it. No worries I can get it and the Logos in just about anywhere! LOL :)

And the Gospel according to Matthew is likely to reappear here at Easter time!

Hmm John Dominic Crossan promotion, and denunciation of the Gospel According to Mel (Gibson) much to address on the 3 Abrahamic faiths under the ReligionInterfaithIslam category.

Thanks for the encouragement!

Have a great day too!

single4now said...

Happy New Year. :D Belated. I never make resolutions. My plans usually don't go as planned anyway. :P By the way, sometimes I self-diagnose myself with ADD as well. I seem to have an ability to do everything but do what I have to. :S

Chiara said...

Single4now--Happy New Year to you too. We are sufficiently Gallic, and international to encourage greetings until Candlemas (Feb2).

There is a psychiatry book on ADD that had our whole psychiatry staff self-diagnosing as ADD, especially as a messy desk is an adult symptom. Messy? That is all in perfect order of well-researched piles arranged for visual construction of opus! :) :P

single4now said...

Hurry for doctors, self-diagnosis and tendencies for becoming hypochondriacs. :P

Chiara said...

Single4now--yes, a physician who treats him/her self has a fool for a doctor (and patient!) LOL :)


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