Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Holidays, but lets not forget....

Last night I was driving to a yoga class and the Band Aid song from 1984 was on the radio and it really got to me. The money from that song went to relief in Ethiopia, but it left me wondering, are we really any better off? I think the song did a lot of good in its day to draw attention to the less fortunate. However, I can't help but wonder, are Ethiopians, or other starving children better off than they were in 1984? Is there less poverty in the world? I don't feel like there is. I've not ignored it before, but now with a child I am even more sensitive to the world that he is inheriting.

I kept thinking about this. And then today, another reminder as I came across an article for the UNICEF photo of the year.

My biggest wish for 2009 - less pain and suffering in the world. I would love for NO pain and suffering, but I guess we must start somewhere.

So as I drive my son around Dubai in the comfort of my Volvo, living in a comfortable home, with food and clothes on my back and other creature comforts...I promise to look for a way to contribute to that wish.

Monday, December 22, 2008 much to write, so little time

Therefore, i will just leave you with a thought for the day...seems more realistic as I have a lot to say, but it just comes and goes.

One of our cats, Megan, was feeling a bit under the weather on Saturday morning. She came to us as we were playing with Erin early in the morning. We thought she just wanted a comfy stuffed animal to lay on, but actually she was shaking and didn't really enjoy being touched. Although I am touched that she still let Erin pull on her ears and pet her - animals never cease to amaze me!

We went to the vet and she had a slight fever, so she got an antibiotic and anti-inflammatory injection. I went out and finished the Christmas shopping and by the time I came home she was purring and licking my nose again. Thankfully. She is only about 10 years old or so, so I think its too early for her, or Emma, our other cat, to leave us just yet. She continues to be fine and enjoys eating and laying around the house.

Today I was cleaning out my wallet from the shopping receipts and came across the invoice from the vet.
Patient: Megan
Details: Consultation, Lethargic

...Umm, excuse me, but isn't that what cats do? Lethargic is their middle name!! I mean, yes she wasn't herself and we couldn't describe it, but I think loss of appetitie or not sliding across the kitchen floor for a can of tuna is more appropriate...

Anyway, just struck me as kind of funny. However, we are all so glad she is back to her normal hungry self.

Friday, December 5, 2008

George Michael in Abu Dhabi

Ok, its been over a month since I have blogged..sorry for that. I guess its been busy. Also, Erin was sick, I was wrapping up a project, etc, etc..mostly its just sleeplessness with a sick baby who is now teething so even more sleeplessness.

On Dec 2nd - or was that Dec 1st? See, I can't even recall! Regardless, we ventured out to Abu Dhabi to see George Michael and Alicia Keys. It was a fantastic concert. I think this was my third time to see GM and as always, he delivers. He has a beautiful voice that holds its own. I was most excited about this b/c my husband and I seriously considered to fly to London to see him as this is supposed to be his last concert tour ever b/c he has retired..we'll see - they all come back after retirement. I hope he does!

It was held at the Sheikh Zayed stadium in Abu Dhabi - I heard that 30,000 people showed up. I'd say more than half made the hour and a half drive from Dubai! We rented a small bus with some friends while many stayed the night in AD. It was a wise move b/c we didn't arrive home until 3:30am. Well worth it.

We arrived just as Alicia Keys was on stage - seems she started on time - never expected that. I missed most of her performance b/c I was in the awfully organized drink line. I wouldn't have bothered, but I expected it to be more organized and didn't eat dinner, so I at least needed some water! It was an awful experience. Royal Catering Company is a royal mess..this is often the case for most events in Dubai. Most companies service is not always quite up to par for large scale events and there are always issues. I always say service is one of Dubai's weakest links b/c its just all over the place. I'm sure they will work it out eventually, but it does waste a lot of our time and sometimes patience. If its in a large scale event like this, I've just resorted to throwing my hands up in the air and observing everyone's behavior.

Anyway, as someone in 7Days, the local free paper here, said, "George more than made up for it". There weren't too many Wham! songs, which was okay for me..I love it all. He could probably get out there and sing "Old McDonald" and it would sound amazing. Its been almost a week and I'm still walking around humming George tunes...da da da..da da da... or singing them to Erin. I found "Songs from the Last Century" work really well to put him to sleep. - Now I don't have visions of grandeur about my voice - we are listening to those :) ..If only I could sing half that good to do a Roberta Flack cover!..which by the way was beautiful live.

Kylie Minogue was just recently in town and some of the people on our bus were comparing the two concerts b/c it was still fresh on the mind. Well, of course there is no comparison b/c George is a much better singer and performer. Kylie is about show and creating a fantasy kind of image - which is probably why she was invited to perform at the Atlantis hotel opening. We went b/c Sarper wanted to go. She was ok, but it was a lot of lights and effects. I think it would have been a lot more fun in a city with a large gay male population. She has a lot of followers who are gay, and some of the show was obviously geared toward that. It was a fun time, but didn't leave me inspired.

I digress..back to George. I loved the opening with "Here I am" only heard the voice and then at the end, suddenly his silloute suddenly appeared as he walked on stage. He had a large, I don't know how many piece band with six back up singers that were a great compliment. He sang a lot of great songs like "Star People", "Amazing", "Flawless", "Faith", "Outside" (complete with police shirt) "Cowboys and Angels" - which I think he got lost in..was in the second verse and thought he was at the first..but hey, when you sing a song thousands of times you must just go on autopilot and forget. I think I saw Elton John do this once also. Its always an interesting thing to see b/c here are these people that some the general population holds on such high pedistools and its nice to be reminded that they are human like us.

There were a few Wham! tunes like "Careless Whisper" which is just a huge sing along- not one of my personal faves, but what a rush when you do not have to sing a song and just listen to the masses sing it for you. "Everthing she wants" is one of my all time favorites from the Wham! never sounds dated to me. There was no "I want your sex", which makes me wonder if he wasn't in Abu Dhabi, would he have sung it? It was such a big deal for him back then and so controversial at the time.

There was a very nice moment before a slow set where he thanked the fans for sticking with him over the last 25 years, and in his words "even though it hasn't always been easy". I assume he was referring to his very public arrests for indecency and drugs. I could personally care less about these and I think most true fans would feel the same. When he made that remark there was a lot of noise from the crowd, but I didn't feel like it was a "ya, you are right", but more like a "how could we not love ya!" kind of noise. Its all about the music and we love you just the same.

25 years is a long time and a lot of music. People often have music that is tied to memories in their life. And I'm sure for a lot of people there are a lot of Wham! or George songs that you associate with some memory. I know I do - there are many. So I think for many the thank you is back at ya George. Thanks for making songs that we enjoyed listening to, and that we will continue to enjoy for the years to come. Even though you've retired, we will always look at the possibility for you to come back. Now, I'm off to find out when I can download that new free Christmas song of yours...