Friday, May 15, 2015

I Love You Because You Travel

I love you because you travel (with me) all the time

Once again, a bit off the blog, but I still exist in the world. Busy, but great.

Last week there was a Mother's Day celebration in my son's school. They surprised us with breakfast and some of their arts and crafts. One of them was this picture. I love you because... The message from my son was "You travel (with me) all the time". He does not have the "with me" on the board, but this is what he told me as he shared why he loved me this Mother's Day.

I was touched and pleased at the same time. He doesn't have to follow me, be me, be what I wasn't, be what I wish I could do, or any of that. My husband and I travel because it is what we love to do.

Before having children, I always wondered if a child would slow us down. Well, it didn't. Over time, those visits to new places have become important time to explore something as a family. We love to experience the world and other cultures and places.

In talking about our plans for the year, one thing my husband and I both agree on is that we will not give up our travel. There are many things we can do without, but travel is not one of them.  We love it, and are fortunate that our son appreciates it our passion for it.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Dubai is so Clean!

Last week I went to a Sting concert with friends. One of my friends went to the bathroom (portable) and when she came back she showed us a picture she took of the toilet area because it was so clean. And it was. Spotless.

Fast forward a week later. I am looking for a taxi to go to an area with next to no parking. I find one and as I am walking to get in the car, the driver throws his trash out on the street?! Is he kidding me? Sadly, not.

Instead of getting in the car, I went to his window and asked him if he dropped something perhaps? A little confused he asked what I was talking about. When I refused to get in his taxi until he picked up his trash, he apologized, quickly picked up his trash and put it in a plastic bag he had in the car with other trash.

Despite the amount of people here cleaning, I am always shocked at the amount of trash I see thrown on the ground. I feel it is because they know someone will pick up after them? Or they really have that much disregard for the community and environment? I'm not sure which is worse.

I've seen it in our parking garage. Trash that was obviously thrown out from a car parked in its designated space. I politely pick it up for them and place it on their windshield so they can easily find it when they return.

I know there are a lot of things unfair about what people are paid, but what is unfair is that the society that is paid better contributes to the mess they have to clean up.

As I went for a walk last night, I was reminded of this. Seeing the constant clean up around the construction sites to keep it tidy and then I came across this guy in the picture I took diligently cleaning a garbage can. Wow.

Keep Dubai and the UAE Beautiful. Pick up your trash and teach your kids to do the same.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

There is no Grey in the UAE

The decision was made a few days ago to not screen Fifty Shades of Grey in the UAE. It is officially banned. I also read it was banned in Kenya, Malaysia and a few other countries.

I scanned social media and responses to local articles about this. And you know what? Not a single comment was negative about this decision. I think for the first time in social media in the UAE, the consensus was unanimous. Now that may not be a true representation of some of the population, but maybe no one who disagreed dared to respond to this one as many book and movie reviews have been quite harsh.

No one took to protesting about rights, or if you don't want to see it, don't go to the cinema attitude. It was all a very positive "way to go".

I have not read the books, although they were sold here. I realize I write this with a lot of hearsay. However, that hearsay all points in the same direction. This movie is not romantic. The characters have serious issues and it paints a very misleading picture about what love is and about how it is okay for an uber wealthy guy to use his power to control and manipulate a young girl.

As the story unfolds, the amount of grey seems to grow according to the articles I've read. In seeking an objective opinion I read conservative and liberal publications. It was interesting to see my Facebook friends of both sides come together with a common opinion in my feed for a change.

Stalking, breaking into your apartment, threatening you, physically harming you... all major red flags in any relationship that say you should run like mad and consider calling the police.

So, now what.

Go see the movie or download it if you are curious. Decide for yourself. I should, but I won't.

If you look up the statistics on how many women are raped and abused by the minute, by the 1,000, its not good. And it doesn't seem to be getting better. From what I read, this film is not going to help improve this by any means.

So, while some things may be controlled here in the UAE, it may not be such a bad thing. Perhaps the film is just all hype and really not abusive. In that case, then the UAE governing body that reviews and controls what is released here has done us a favor and saved us from 125 minutes of bad film.

Either way, we thank you.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Happy New Year

My New Year thoughts are on my photography site blog.

If you do not wish to click there, here are the images.  The LED show that was seen from the front is running until January 9th at 6:45pm and 11:45pm.  I can't wait to see it!

Burj Khalifa New Year Eve 2015

Burj Khalifa New Year Eve 2015

Burj Khalifa New Year Eve 2015

Friday, December 19, 2014

Why No Blogging? Perhaps it's the Homeroom Mom Gig?

Yes, I copied this idea from Pinterest.  Its supposed to be a reindeer, but
kind of looks like a muppet?

I have not blogged anything here, or at my photography site since completing it in October.  That is a long time for all the randomness that floats around in my head.  I'm surprised I didn't burst in some kind of rage.. Or maybe I did.

For everyone, this time of year is really busy. Work is busy, the holidays are busy, trying to advocate for diabetes is busy, being a mom is busy, taking your kid to school is busy, keeping your diabetic cat from attacking your pumpkin cheesecake is busy.. and then some.

One other thing that has kept me busy was the gracious "nomination" to be my son's homeroom mom this year.  Nomination may not be the right word, but about one month into school I received a phone call one day. "So you've volunteered to be the homeroom mom."  Me - "No, I did not volunteer".

For those not familiar with the Home Room Mom, or Class Mom concept, it is basically someone that helps the teacher out with activities and recruits parent volunteers and such.  I have no idea how this tradition got started, and I am baffled it exists here because all teachers have full time assistants.  I appreciate everything they do, and it is not like they are not busy.  I just wonder when the need for a third person to do all this extra fancy stuff became necessary.

Something tells me the internet could have helped it along. Forums and such for moms to share their super mom abilities could feed this phenomenon. And now we have Pinterest with all those amazing ideas that people add to their boards but have no time for.

The woman on the phone was the pack leader of the homeroom moms and went into this long detailed explanation of what the job required and how rewarding it is.  Yes, rewarding it is.  I was one of three last year and this worked out great. However, I was not planning to single handedly take on this task with a full time job and everything else on my plate.  I am very involved in my son's life and activities, and I am not sure I am the right profile to do this for a whole class.

Every year a form goes out asking for volunteers.  I politely completed it telling the teacher I could not fulfill this position, but I am happy to help when I can.  What resulted was basically a call for volunteers to step forward and everyone took one step back but me.

Somehow my message was misconstrued.  In the same way people thought Milli Vanilli could sing their own songs back in the 1980s, someone thought I was crafty and available.

While I enjoy doing things for my son and being involved in his life while he still thinks it is cool, I would be lying if I said I did not wonder why more moms who do not work do not volunteer for this position.

When I made a list of supplies needed for a request for a snowman pancake party and distributed it, the amount of volunteers for plastic cutlery was astounding.  These other moms are very nice, and really I get that we are all busy.  However, 80% of the moms volunteered for plastic cutlery.  I don't mind, but then this left me with the trouble of trying to lobby for the other "cool" items on the list that were not chosen.  Do I just assign the fruit salad? Ask? Beg?

The other moms are incredibly "impressed with the amount of bags" I bring to a class function.  And shocked when they learn I work too, and I did not buy the pancakes.  One mom even feared me because she forgot the strawberries for the snowman's nose!  While I paused internally, its nothing that can't be resolved with an extra blueberry and a smile, or raspberries that the teacher felt compelled to bring because she happened to have them!

Thanks to the internet and Pinterest I delivered AND found a craft.  I could never dream up these crazy things on my own, but copy one? You bet!  I was not the kid that cheated in school, but in adulthood, cheating on a craft for school.  No ethical dilemma there.

So happy busy holidays to you all.  We are having a few friends over tonight.  Seems I told a friend the gathering was last night.  I must now make sure that was not the case for everyone and someone shows up tonight to eat all this food!

Amazing I remembered the pancakes!

One of the masterpiece pancake snowman