Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Amazing Performance en Point

A friend sent me this u-Tube video. I love dance, and I have never seen anything like THIS! It’s a French broadcast, but you don’t need to understand French to understand how incredible this couple’s performance is.

January 24, 2008 Posted by | Arts & Handicrafts, Entertainment | , | 13 Comments

How Work Stress Changes Your Body

From yesterday’s BBC Health News:

Work stress ‘changes your body’

Stress seems to produce biochemical changes
A stressful job has a direct biological impact on the body, raising the risk of heart disease, research has indicated.
The study reported in the European Heart Journal focused on more than 10,000 British civil servants.

Those under 50 who said their work was stressful were nearly 70% more likely to develop heart disease than the stress-free.

The stressed had less time to exercise and eat well – but they also showed signs of important biochemical changes.

The studies of Whitehall employees – from mandarins to messengers – started in the 1960s, but this particular cohort has been followed since 1985.

As well as documenting how workers felt about their job, researchers monitored heart rate variability, blood pressure, and the amount of the stress hormone cortisol in the blood.

They also took notes about diet, exercise, smoking and drinking.

Then they found out how many people had developed coronary heart disease (CHD) or suffered a heart attack and how many had died of it.

Lead researcher Dr Tarani Chandola, of University College London, said: “During 12 years of follow up, we found that chronic work stress was associated with CHD and this association was stronger both among men and women aged under 50.

“Among people of retirement age – and therefore less likely to be exposed to work stress – the effect on CHD was less strong.”

You can read the rest of the study HERE,

January 24, 2008 Posted by | Diet / Weight Loss, Family Issues, Health Issues, Living Conditions, News, Statistics | 1 Comment

Yesterday and Today

Yesterday, as I was blogging early in the morning, everything suddenly went wonky and I discovered I was no longer blogging as the blogger, but as a guest. I did everything I could think of, and nothing worked. All day long, srom time to time I would try to log in and it would tell me I was not a valid user. I even changed passwords – nothing doing, the password was not the problem, I was the problem.

Finally, late last night just before bed, I could get on again. I was concerned whether I could get on today, but so far so good, only it doesn’t want to publish my posts. (and as a blogger, like what’s the point, if you can’t post???)

For my not-living-in-Kuwait readers, yesterday we had rain. I suspect rain may be part of the problem – rain has always screwed things up in Florida, in Seattle, in Germany . . .

Here is a photo of the gently falling rain on local vegetation:
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Yeh, I don’t know why the sky looks sort of blue-green, it was really cloudy, but I was shooting toward the sea and maybe the sea reflected green on the clouds (?)

And here is the sunrise from this morning – all two seconds of it. It’s a good thing I was waiting with my camera, this is all I got:

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Two seconds later, it was gone. Here is what we have now:

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It seems to be brightening, even though we still have cloud cover. Kuwait is a dry country, and desperately needs the rain. This is the dryest, coldest rainy season in memory.

January 24, 2008 Posted by | Blogging, ExPat Life, Kuwait, Living Conditions, Lumix, Weather, WordPress | 7 Comments

Dream Dealer Tickets

Dream Dealer tickets available by calling Nicky at 593-7165 or email: dreamscene_productions@yahoo.com.

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January 23, 2008 Posted by | Arts & Handicrafts, Entertainment, Events, ExPat Life, Kuwait | 2 Comments

Bowen: Cruzatte and Maria

Peter Bowen’s tales of Montana in transition are an acquired taste. When I first started reading them, at my sister’s recommendation, I had a hard time getting past the dialect. The main character, Gabriel DuPre, speaks English differently; he is Metis, a mixture of French, Indian and who knows what, here before America was America, as he says “long time gone.”

You get used to it. It still makes me think he should be in New Orleans, speaking as he does, it sounds very Cajun, but you get used to it.

Peter Bowen’s Gabriel DuPre is another treat to myself (like Donna Leon.) Reading the latest book I bought, saved for just this time, a cold wintery January, brightened my outlook considerably.

The first book I read, Wolf, No Wolf had to do with environmentalists putting wolves back into the mountains where once they had flourished, but where now, for a couple centuries, people have been raising cattle. Guess what? Hungry wolves love cattle. It makes for some very hostile feelings.

That theme – local culture against intruding environmentalists – continues in this book, where DuPre is hired as a consultant on a film being made about Lewis and Clark. The locals in the Coronado area are no happier with all the film crews and tourists than the ranchers were with the wolves – and people end up dead.

In addition, DuPre’s friend Benetsee and his daughter Maria spend time together in the sweat lodge, and later, his daughter, Marie, sees a mound and is revisited by a vision she had. She tells her dad, DuPre, to dig, and he uncovers a trove of treasures cached by the Lewis and Clark expedition. Partly, it is the incursion of the spiritual and supernatural that I find so intriguing in these books; there is a reality, and then a greater reality, and they co-exist. Bowen makes it seem and feel entirely natural. I love it.

The book has some highly entertaining, laugh-out-loud moments, takes great pokes at the eco-tourist, and at the same time deals with some serious issues. We get to hear DuPre fiddle his old Voyageur songs, we get to hear what people are saying at the local bar, where cheeseburgers are the plat du jour. It is a great way to pass a winter’s day.
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January 22, 2008 Posted by | Adventure, Books, Community, Crime, Cross Cultural, Detective/Mystery, Financial Issues, Living Conditions | , | 3 Comments

Stop Means Stop!

From time to time, we can hear the police pulling people over outside our residence. It gives us a big grin. One of the things they say, in English, is:

“Hey Buddy! Pull over!”

And the other thing they say is:

“Stop means STOP!”

We hear these two phrases over and over, so it must be part of their training.
00stop.jpg

January 22, 2008 Posted by | Bureaucracy, Community, Crime, Cross Cultural, ExPat Life, Kuwait, Living Conditions, Social Issues | 14 Comments

Shrimp Or Clam Salad

This is a great salad to take to a potluck / covered dish lunch. It can be made with either clams of shrimp, and can be made more or less spicy by the addition of Tabasco sauce.

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Shrimp / Clam Salad

3 cups freshly cooked hot rice
3 -4 Tablespoons Miracle Whip or Mayonnaise
2 Tbls cocktail sauce (or ketchup + horseradish)
2 -3 chopped green onions
i stalk chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped sweet pickle
12 – 16 oz cooked frozen shrimp
or
2 cans whole clams, drained (use the clam liquid as part of the water for cooking the rice)

Cook rice, add solid ingredients (no need to thaw shrimp if rice is hot). Add sauces and very little pepper to the rice. Stir, cover and refirgerate until cold. Serve on lettuce leaves, if serving individually.

January 21, 2008 Posted by | Cooking, Recipes | , , | 9 Comments

Stinni’s New Blog?

About twice a day for the last few days, I have seen new blog messages from Stinni. Stinni? you there? Hello?

What’s going on, Stinni? I am guessing you are trying some new formats, maybe working on moving your blog from one place to another?

We are waiting, Stinni! We are eager to see what you come up with! All these teasers are building up the suspense!

January 21, 2008 Posted by | Blogging, Community, Kuwait, Technical Issue | 8 Comments

Rich WordPress Upgrade

Today WordPress announced a huge increase in free upload space: Free Space to Three Gigabytes.

“Today, one of those developments comes to fruition — everyone’s free upload space has been increased 60x from 50mb to 3,000mb. To get half that much space (1GB) at our nearest competitor, Typepad, you’d pay at least $300 a year. We’re doing the same thing for free.”

They also announced, important to people like me who like to illustrate heavily with photos, that if you bought a 1GB upgrade, it is now a 5GB upgrade, at no extra charge.

i iz blogginz / leef IÂ alonze
moar funny pictures

I upgraded when I got up to 75% capacity, but never even reached 1% or capacity yet. I feel like the (space) richest woman in the world today!

January 21, 2008 Posted by | Blogging, Blogroll, Bureaucracy, Communication, Technical Issue, WordPress | 4 Comments

Hummos Wa Burghul

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Do you see that black stone dish on the table, the one that has a dish in it called Hummos wa Burghul (Chickpeas and Cracked Wheat?)

I am trying to find a recipe to make it. Please, if you are Syrian or Jordanian, and you know how to make this, or maybe you have a mom or an aunt who knows how to make this, would you please share your recipe with me?

I found one recipe, for a Burghul Pilaf, from a 1959 Lebanese cookbook. It calls for 1 1/4 lbs of butter. (!!! AACK !!!) I remember it really did taste buttery, it was really yummy, but that sure seems like a lot of butter!

It was delicious. I’d really like to try to make it, if someone out there can help me out.

January 21, 2008 Posted by | Cooking, Cross Cultural, Eating Out, ExPat Life, Experiment, Recipes | , | 8 Comments