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Realistically idealistic daydreamer, seasoned procrastinator, atheist and monarchist with a secret agenda and a slight inclination towards voodoo practices.
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    30 March 2006
    Night Cap
    A late night sms woke me up and I couldn't sleep after that. So I got online and continued working on my new template. Armed with my (rather limited) knowledge of basic HTML I managed to customise this template into what you see here now. I love the original for the colour scheme so I tried to keep most of it, but at the same time I wanted to make it a little easier on the eyes, thus the darker background and larger fonts.

    I wanted to keep the ladybird image at first but the reaction I got was "it is cute, but sooo not you!" And you guys were right, that wasn't me at all, so I came up with this little voodoo doll. I like it because it's transparent enough to use it as a background for my banner.

    Other news for today:

    Apparently there was solar eclipse. Haha. It was raining all day long, so made no difference whatsoever - couldn't see the sun anyways.

    Ljubicic kicked Calleri's butt in Nasdaq Open. How sad.

    I made cookies. They actually look like (and taste almost like) cookies.

    It's past 2am now. I guess I should go and try to sleep again.

    posted by Bravecat @ 3:11 am   18 comments
    28 March 2006
    I am not really good at this...
    OK so changing my template somehow affected my previous posts which I had pasted from MS Word (one more reason to love MS). The punctuation is on crack! When I figure out how to sort it all out in one go instead of editing all the bits and pieces one by one* I will be back with responses and will post my pictures elsewhere for those who can't see them on my blog due to their country restrictions. (Which country would that be, I wonder??)

    *Suggestions welcome!

    Update: All sorted out, and yes I am so very proud of myself!

    posted by Bravecat @ 2:57 pm   18 comments
    27 March 2006
    Morning coffee
    Every time I open a paper or read the news online or watch telly - I am bombarded with things I don't know how to react to anymore. Our local English daily, Gulf Times, is a trustworthy source for obtaining all sorts of news. Today I was treated with a display of Israeli wisdom:

    "In a tough break for children of Orthodox Jewish families, a former grand rabbi of Israel has urged parents to maim their dolls to avoid idolatry. Mordechai Eliyahu called for an arm or a leg of a doll to be dismembered. In the case of a teddy bear or other stuffed animals, the children will see their beloved toys lose an ear or an eye instead".

    I only hope that parents, no matter how orthodox, will spare their children a trauma of having to witness this!

    Oh well, I guess I should stop reading news and writing about all this stuff as some of my readers have pointed out. Apparently, although my posts that deal with politics and religion generate most comments, my friends would much rather read about me than world news. I will do my best! :^)

    There are a few things I want to write about and I somehow just can't get to it. Of course there is plenty of tennis stuff... hehe, just kidding! For now, I will let you have a sneak peek at what I am hoping to drive by the end of the year:

    posted by Bravecat @ 9:55 am   8 comments
    26 March 2006
    Life in Arabia - it only gets better!
    And just when I thought that it couldn't possibly get any more ***** (insert a word or two of your choice) than it already is - Jack butts in and ruins it all for me with this! Now I don't even know whether to cry, laugh or praise the Lord (and my husband's company) that I am not living in the UAE!
    *Mental note to self: add UAE to the following (rather rough, but in alphabetical order) list of countries I wouldn't want to find myself living in:


    And now, of course, it makes sense to me why Nzingha, for instance, is against her kids dating in the future. I mean, I would be, too, if this is what they are going to face should they be found dating:

    Dr Khalifa Rashid Al Sha'ali, Dean of the Faculty of Law at Ajman University, said if a man and a woman who are not related are caught alone in a private place, they face a jail sentence or lashes even if they were not involved in any suspicious act. It is up to the judge's discretion to decide whether they should be deported.
    Sultan Khalifa Bin Bakheet Al Matroushi, Chairman of the Ajman Federal Appeal Court, said if a man and woman are sitting alone in the work place or in front of people, they will not be charged. If they are found in a bedroom or in a house or car and the circumstances are suspicious, they will face charges even if they have not committed adultery. The couple can also be deported, he said.
    Mohammad Bin Nakhira Al Daheri, Minister of Justice, said that according to Sharia, if a man and woman are found in a closed place alone they may get arrested, but he gave an assurance that they are held for good reason. He stressed that the police would investigate first.
    "If a couple is found alone in a closed place such as a house, room or car they may face legal action. There also must be a complaint against them. However, if their actions are not against public morals such as being in their work place or inside a lift, of course no action would be taken. If police receive a tip that a man and woman are in a closed place, they will investigate and if they are not doing anything against the law they will not be punished."
    "There must be a complaint and investigation from police. The public prosecution and the judge can decide if something illegal was going on," Al Daheri said.
    There are hundreds of cases such as these that emerge each year either from the police or the courts. An increasing number of men and women, who are not blood relatives nor legally married, and have shared a flat, room or even sat in tinted cars, are being jailed and deported. These men and women have shared no relationship.

    OK so of course each country is entitled to enforcing its laws on its citizen and residents. And of course I recognise the leniency of the law (being a lawyer myself) when I see one - I mean, shouldn't people be grateful that they are not going to be deported if found using an elevator together?? However, they WILL be deported if found in the car together (provided the car has tinted windows, didn't I just say the law is lenient?) So I would assume the conversation such as this could easily take place:

    -Jack, could you please give me a lift home from work?
    -Yes, QC, of course!
    -Oh but Jack, pray tell, does your car have tinted windows?
    -Yes, QC, actually I just had them tinted so that females who are not related to me won't commit a sin by staring at my beautiful self.
    -Oh no, Jack, if this is the case then I couldn't POSSIBLY ride in your car with you!
    -Tough luck, QC, guess you'll have to cash out on a cab then, hehe.

    What fun!

    PS. Somebody please explain to me how it is possible to "sit alone in front of people".
    posted by Bravecat @ 10:31 am   32 comments
    22 March 2006
    From my inbox
    The British are feeling the pinch in relation to recent bombings and have raised their security level from "Miffed" to "Peeved." Soon though, security levels may be raised yet again to "Irritated" or even "A Bit Cross." Londoners have not been "A Bit Cross" since the blitz in 1940 when tea supplies all but ran out. Terrorists have been re-categorized from "Tiresome" to a "Bloody Nuisance." The last time the British issued a "Bloody Nuisance" warning level was during the great fire of 1666.
    Also, the French government announced yesterday that it has raised its terror alert level from "Run" to "Hide". The only two higher levels in France are "Surrender" and "Collaborate." The rise was precipitated by a recent fire that destroyed France's white flag factory, effectively paralysing the country's military capability.
    It's not only the English and French that are on a heightened level of alert. Italy has increased the alert level from "shout loudly and excitedly" to "elaborate military posturing". Two more levels remain, "ineffective combat operations" and "change sides". The Germans also increased their alert state from "disdainful arrogance" to "dress in uniform and sing marching songs". They also have two higher levels: "invade a neighbour" and "lose".
    Belgians, on the other hand, are all on holiday as usual and the only threat they worry about is NATO pulling out of Brussels.

    A driver is stuck in a traffic jam on the motorway. Nothing is moving. Suddenly a man knocks on the window. The driver rolls down his window and asks, "What's going on?"
    "Terrorists have kidnapped Tony Blair and George Bush. They're asking for a £10 million ransom. Otherwise they're going to douse them with petrol and set them on fire. We're going from car to car, taking up a collection."

    The driver asks, "How much is everyone giving, on average?"

    "About a gallon."
    posted by Bravecat @ 1:14 pm   11 comments
    21 March 2006
    Yoxfam Ou
    posted by Bravecat @ 10:35 am   10 comments
    20 March 2006
    Islam, the religion of ... what?
    An Afghan man faces the death penalty for converting to Christianity, an Afghan supreme court judge said on Sunday.

    Supreme Court Judge Ansarullah Mawlavizada said that Abdul Rahman, who converted from Islam to Christianity, is in police custody and that he could face the death penalty if he refused to become a Muslim again.

    Sharia law proposes capital punishment for any Muslim who converts to another religion.

    Jesus wept..

    Some "religion of peace" you guys have going on here.

    PS. From my comments on the subject:

    As per Islam, people are all born Muslims, therefore you can't really convert to Islam, you "revert" to Islam. What if some bright mind somewhere there desides that everyone who is not Muslim is actually a convert to another religion, and deserves capital punishment??


    PPS. The End.

    Thanks everyone for their contributions. I enjoyed this discussion, and I hope that many of us learned something from it. I am closing the comments section on this post now. Thanks again! - March 23, 8.40am
    posted by Bravecat @ 10:54 am   70 comments
    18 March 2006
    And so they're gone...
    My parents finally left on Thursday. It sounds normally, really: "they left". I wish it were as easy as it sounds!

    It all started early morning, really, before we woke up. At 3.40am my mobile received a message from the airline: Please be advised that the flight so and so is delayed for 2 hours.

    When I woke up and saw the message I could only think of one thing - they are losing their connection flight, and their visa expires today! What do we do??

    The obvious thing to do was to call the airline and try and figure out the course of actions. As both flights are operated by Gulf Air, I thought there shouldn't be a problem. So I got the tickets from mom, noted the flight numbers, and dialled Gulf Air. However, it appreared that Gulf Air only opens for business at 8am. Original departure time of my parents' flight was 9.40am. We couldn't think of anything better to do than going to the airport and trying to sort things out from there. If the flight was delayed for 2 hours, that meant that their connecting flight would be taking off as they are landing. Not good.

    It takes about 35 minutes (in decent traffic) to reach the airport from our house. The traffic wasn't particularly murderous at 7am, but it was picking up. We reached the airport in good time and started looking for someone to ask about the flight. As soon as we found that someone, my parents dropped the bomb: "Umm, sweetheart, it looks like we left the tickets at home, by the phone".


    One thing is losing the flight because it's delayed, in which case it's the airline's responsibility to arrange for another flight/connection, but leaving tickets at home hardly qualifies for such actions on behalf of the airline. So while my parents stayed behind in the airport drinking coffee, we made a mad dash back home. I have to admit, at one point I got a little nervous, especially when I saw the bumper to bumper traffic on the way out of the airport. Thanks goodness my husband was calm and it must have rubbed off on me. It was fun listening to him talk to his boss: hey boss, I told you I'll be a lil' late as I have to take QC's parents to the airport. Well, it'll take some more time... they left their tickets at home... blah blah... Yeah I guess they don't really want to leave...


    It took us about an hour to return with the tickets to the airport. My parents were only too lucky that their flight was delayed for 2 hours, otherwise there could have been trouble. It appeared that there were other people with the same connection, and the airline had made special arrangements for them. Their connecting flight would wait for them to land and board. Phew.

    I waved them goodbye and went to work. I was an hour late. That, of course, didn't stop me from leaving half an hour earlier, hehe. I was finally free! I loved having my parents here for a month, but by that Thursday I was completely knackered. I needed rest, and rest is what I got over the weekend.

    Actually, I was going to blog about Pacific Life Open. Yup, tennis again, lol. Instead, just a short update: It's Shara in the finals! Yay! Playing against Dementieva, another Russian girl I like, but I am still rooting for the fierce Maria. She just got the vibe. And in ATP side - well, it's only Nadal now. My other favourites Baghdatis and Nieminen both fell in hard fights in the quarters. At least Baghdatis lost to Nadal, which was to be expected. But Nieminen was beaten by Thai hero Srichapan, and that was tough to swallow. Better luck next time, Jarkko!

    It's Saturday evening now, and a first working day of the week tomorrow, complete with a 5pm trip to the dentist. I will try to write more soon. Stay tuned.

    QC is back in business.
    posted by Bravecat @ 10:02 pm   14 comments
    15 March 2006
    For those who can't wait till the weekend for an update :^)
    It's been a while to hear a nice silly joke. And here it is thanks to my girl Entity. Enjoy!


    A monkey is sitting in a tree smoking a joint, when a lizard walks past, looks up, and says to the monkey "Hey, what are you doing?" The monkey replies, "Smokin' a joint, come up and have some." So the lizard climbs up the tree, sits next to the monkey, and they smoke a few joints. After a while the lizard says his mouth is 'dry' and he's going to the river to get a drink. The lizard climbs down the tree and staggers over to the river to get a drink of water, but he is so stoned, he leans over too far and falls into the river. A crocodile sees this, swims over to the lizard and helps him to the side. Then he asks the lizard, "What's the matter with you?" The lizard explains to the crocodile that he was sitting up in a tree with a monkey smoking pot, got too stoned and then fell into the river while taking a drink. The crocodile says he has to check this out, and wanders off into the jungle. He finds the tree where the monkey is sitting finishing up a joint. The crocodile yells up to the monkey and says "Hey!" The monkey looks down and says, "Fuuuuuuuuuck........Dude! How much water did you drink?!"
    posted by Bravecat @ 9:54 am   14 comments
    11 March 2006
    While I write a long and interesting post...
    ... here is something for you to try and visualise:

    Courtesy of Mahmood's Den
    posted by Bravecat @ 12:05 am   24 comments
    5 March 2006
    A (partially) boring new post
    Part 1 - Boring (Tennis finals)

    So the tennis finals came and went. Both Doha and Dubai Open championships saw the clashes between second and first seeds: namely Nadal (2) and Federer (1) in Dubai, and Petrova (2) and Mauresmo (1) in Doha. And second seeds kicked ass! I was so hoping at least one of them would win, and they delivered a double surprise upset! It's not that I don't like Mauresmo and Federer (ok I don't like them, just because) but I really like Nadal, and I think Petrova is an OK girl and deserved it. Besides, I always root for the underdog, and in both games second seeds were clearly the underdogs. And while Petrova came in strong right from the beginning to pull a stunning 6-3, 7-5 victory thanks to her great serve and consistency, the same couldn't be said about Tarzan-like Spanish teenager. He was a shadow of his former self, handing over the first set to Federer at a miserable 2-6. But oh boy did he kick back at him? Public roared, hats flew, flags soared and tears fell as the young Mallorcan toro cruised to victory at 2-6, 6-4, 6-4. World number 1 Federer didn't stand a chance. Move over, Federer, you are beyond reach in the rankings, but this is a matter of time. You have been weighed, you have been measured, and you have been found wanting. So that's about it, Petrova drove away with a $95K cheque on a shiny new Harley, and Nadal was almost crushed by the weight of a HUGE dhow trophy he had troubles holding. You go, guys!! Well done!

    Part 2 - Almost Boring (Suspicions)

    Tennis finals in Doha. One would expect a few journalists to attend the event, and write about it in the papers. So what do we have today in the morning? An article by Anil John appeared in Gulf Times, under a title "Petrova gatechrashes Mauresmo's party". All cool. Checking tennis pages in Yahoo, I stumble across the following: Petrova gatechrashes Mauresmo party. The articles are almost identical, with few paragraphs switched around, but still undeniably the same! Now, neither article credited the other for information. So either the said Anil John writes for Yahoo as well as Gulf Times, or someone did an easy trick of the job. Well done, hehe.

    Part 3 - News

    Warda delivered a healthy baby girl, congratulations!!

    Construction outside my house came to a sudden halt, giving us a few nights of precious undisturbed sleep. So my batteries are recharged, and I don't look and act like a zombie anymore.

    My parents are still here, enjoying themselves. Took them to the horse races, and to the tennis games. They are even bigger tennis fans than moi, if that is possible, so they are delighted.

    The weather is fantastic. I worked on Saturday, so my sweetheart of a boss decided to give me Thursday off in lieu. Wow, long weekend! That's 3 days in a row of great outdoors! :^)

    I washed my car (ok I didn't, the car wash guys did). Now this is nearly the most important piece of news since I only have it washed like once a month, and now that it's clean I don't recognise it in the parking!
    Well SUVs are not supposed to be spotless clean, no matter what the local folks in shiny Cruisers think!

    Anyways my friends, time for me to go pick my parents up and grab a nice lunch somewhere. I only work until 2pm (ain't that grand?) so I guess it will be another day of "Take us there, show us this, lets do that". Not that I mind, quite on the contrary! Have a nice day everyone!

    posted by Bravecat @ 2:12 pm   19 comments
    2 March 2006
    What am I busy doing?
    Went to watch tennis yesterday at Khalifa Complex. Halfway through nauseating match between Russian fourth seed Myskina and Japanese Ai Sugiyama noticed a Japanese guy complete with the Japanese flag and a very complicated camera couple of rows below. Couldn't see the camera very well. Mom had a better view of it, so here is the brief info exchange:

    Me: Mom, what camera is that guy with the flag holding?
    Mom: Sugiyama
    Me: Are you sure?
    Mom: Yes yes
    Me: No, really, what camera is it?
    Mom: Most definitely Sugiyama
    Me: Is your name Sugiyama?
    Mom: Yes yes

    It was a little loud at the court. Dull and apathetic Myskina lost in 3 sets after the most boring 3 hour match ever, and it was captured on a very complicated Japanese camera, Sugiyama.

    Next, Hingis dealt with Italian Francesca Schiavone in just under an hour. Schiavone has the most beautiful game I've ever seen! The way she hits the ball is amazing, the way she opens up at the serve and the way she swings, and each of her volleys is a masterpiece. Shame that she doesn't aim well. Hingis didn't waste a move and walked over 6-1, 6-2.
    Then we admired Mauresmo who we love to hate, and yet she is the perfect athlete. Abs to die for!
    Today will be a busy day again. The deadlines at work are fast approaching, and at the same time my parents constantly need to be entertained, so I run around trying to fit everything in. Quarterfinals, plus horse races, plus friends coming over for dinner after the races/tennis, plus daddy wants to go to the supermarket, plus if I don't squeeze in at least an hour of sleep I will die. The construction outside the house is in full swing, so sleeping in the morning after the sunrise is not an option.

    I am hungry.

    I am sleepy.

    I am at work, on my second cup of coffee.

    I love my boss.

    He brought me more coffee.

    Have a great weekend, everyone! :^)
    posted by Bravecat @ 10:41 am   14 comments
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