Friday, January 29, 2010

Happy Birthday Erin!

So today Erin was the big 2.0. Its not an old age by any means, but I remember reading some statistic for the growth from birth to one year, and the on throughout the second year of life and wow, a lot happens to the body, so it must feel like a pretty big age!

Not wanting to do anything over the top, I opted for a quiet party in the park of our complex. Since Friday is the off day here, and it has more of a Sunday feel to it, the park is a little less crowded than usual. We moved a few tables and chairs downstairs, I ordered a cake, ordered some food - really easy. I really like to cook and entertain, but there is also a lot to be said for just being able to enjoy the party so that was the focus. Come this morning, I was glad I did that anyway. Blood sugars were ramped last night so I slept a whopping 3 hours.

Most importantly, Erin had a nice time. He also experienced Doritos for the first time - his orange face and hands pretty much said it all. However, that new found love was only further stated when one of his friends sat next to him and he covered his bowl to protect his booty!...we are going through that time of life where we still sometimes don't want to share easily.

He had a fun, full filled day and seemed ready to go by sundown the usual time. However, on the way up I wasn't quick enough to hold his hands down the stairs and he got his first bloody nose today :( - bad mom. He is fine and now fast asleep. I think when he fell he was more concerned about loosing his bubbles that he nipped from some party favor bag...everyone wanted bubbles. I am learning slowly.

So thank you to all who made Erin's birthday so special. We are so lucky to have you all as friends and in our lives. Erin is also lucky to have such a great diverse group of friends at such an exciting, happy time in his life. We are blessed to have such a darling little boy. Happy Birthday!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Can anyone these days be a photographer? This question crossed my mind as I left a photography exhibit in Dubai. "Sacred Sight" at The Empty Quarter gallery in the Dubai Financial Center was great. It focussed on photos of India that were taken by several big names in photography. Most of the photos seemed to be from the 1960s or 1970s. A few were newer, but the majority were taken at a time when digital was non-existent.

So looking at this now with the start of my new photography education, I think hmmm. Despite the fact that taking images with film was truly an art - and now a lost one - I think one reason why photography used to be so awe inspiring is that other countries and remote areas used to be so unaccessible.

Now people are much more travelled than before and even if you don't travel, you can see thousands of images on the internet. Additionally, digital technology and photo editing is truly amazing and produces amazing results for even the most unseasoned photographers. As a result, I feel like today's similar images of places, people and culture have lost their "specialness" or "je ne sais quoi" in today's world. In the 1970s it was a very magical, mystical thing. Today they are just so accessible.

So as I embark on this new hobby, I am somewhat sad that I did not start it sooner. Firstly, to better document the places I've been so very fortunate to live and visit. And also, while some friends insist the pictures are great, if it wasn't for the technology and the ease of access to travel and people and places I would not have these outcomes. For this I am most sad because I feel like in many ways I am cheating...a true photographer would be a master of film. Something I will likely not ever be because with the exception of those few die hards, it is near obsolete.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Happy Belated New Year

Yes, in my true form I am late to Blog again. I've not made any resolutions to improve this. I don't really believe in New Years resolutions. If you truly want to change something about yourself, then why not do it now, or in this case, maybe then in the last quarter of 2009? Why wait for a new year? Yes, I realize its a new year which means a clean slate for a lot of people, but come on. Are there not really important milestones we need to celebrate throughout the year instead? - Weddings, births, new jobs, etc. Why put all that pressure on one night for how the next 365 days will go?

Additionally, the commercialism of the New Year has also become too much. Yes, we live in Dubai the land of glitz and shiny stuff, but I'd just as soon have a nice dinner at home w/ friends or even curl up under a blanket and watch a good movie rather than pay for an over priced dinner served by a staff who doesn't want to work on New Year's Eve.

I say this reminiscent of my experience at the millennium. My husband and I met up with some very close friends in Ft. Lauderdale. We made dinner reservations at a nice place in Miami for dinner that was supposed to be really good. However, come midnight when everyone took to the streets to watch the fireworks and celebrate, the staff picked up all the food from the tables and practically cleaned up. When we returned to sit down, our food that we barely took one bite of was gone. Not to mention the wait staff had already evacuated the building as if Y2K was for real and ran for the bomb shelters leaving only the bus boys to deal with everything. It was pretty disappointing. However, despite that we had a most memorable New Year and had a great time celebrating with friends over the entire weekend we were there. Honestly, its not what I think of when I think of how I spent that time - I of course only remember the good stuff. Only the restaurant portion comes to mind in the context of over-ratedness.

After a very emotional and stressful 2009, I really wasn't in the mood to have an over the top celebration. However, I was out voted by my husband and our much more social friends who wanted to celebrate the coming of a new year. One of them found a great semi-private roof top room that was going to be catered by a good restaurant we were familiar with. It was nice, and outside of our group, not that many other people were there so it ended up being quite private. Of course I won't lie that it was nice to enjoy all the three beach firework displays of Dubai from one location. My parents were visiting and felt it was one of the best new year celebrations they ever attended, so that was nice for them.

In the end, it was a very nice way to ring in the new year and we had a great time with our friends, so I'm not sorry we did it. Just as I've learned with photography, like anything, if you want to be happy or have a good time, you need to get out there and find it. Its not going to find you while you are sitting at home.

So any resolutions for this year? Absolutely not. Only the wish that it is better for everyone than 2009 was.