Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Get Him to the Greek

AdventureMan and I saw the most hilarious movie, Get Him to the Greek.

I don’t think this movie will ever show in Kuwait or in Qatar. It contains violence, drugs, alcohol abuse, nudity, gross sexual content – it could be incredibly offensive. Somehow, it manages to be totally hilarious, reminiscent of the old classic This is Spinal Tap It also manages to have some serious moments, and a hint of redemption.

A lovable but nerdy employee at a record company is assigned to fly to London, meet and accompany an aging rock star to a come-back concert in Los Angeles. There are multiple opportunities for disaster and unpredictable moments. No one can tell you how sad and funny and pathetic and disgusting and . . . well, mostly funny – this movie is going to be. Even the music the rock star sings is hilarious and totally made up for this movie.

Trust me, this is not a family movie. It is, as our son said, raunchy. You do not want to be with teens or adult children. It would be squirmingly uncomfortable. We found it hilarious.

June 4, 2010 Posted by | Cultural, Entertainment, Music | Leave a comment

Saudi Clerics Advocate Adult Breast-Feeding

This really, really needs to go away. It makes no sense, none, for adult women to breastfeed a grown man in order to get around the rules that unrelated men and women should not be in contact with one another.

You can read this article and related articles on AOL News

Dana Kennedy

(June 5) — Women in Saudi Arabia should give their breast milk to male colleagues and acquaintances in order to avoid breaking strict Islamic law forbidding mixing between the sexes, two powerful Saudi clerics have said. They are at odds, however, over precisely how the milk should be conveyed.

A fatwa issued recently about adult breast-feeding to establish “maternal relations” and preclude the possibility of sexual contact has resulted in a week’s worth of newspaper headlines in Saudi Arabia. Some have found the debate so bizarre that they’re calling for stricter regulations about how and when fatwas should be issued.

Sheikh Al Obeikan, an adviser to the royal court and consultant to the Ministry of Justice, set off a firestorm of controversy recently when he said on TV that women who come into regular contact with men who aren’t related to them ought to give them their breast milk so they will be considered relatives.

“The man should take the milk, but not directly from the breast of the woman,” Al Obeikan said, according to Gulf News. “He should drink it and then becomes a relative of the family, a fact that allows him to come in contact with the women without breaking Islam’s rules about mixing.”

Obeikan said the fatwa applied to men who live in the same house or come into contact with women on a regular basis, except for drivers.

Al Obeikan, who made the statement after being asked on TV about a 2007 fatwa issued by an Egyptian scholar about adult breast-feeding, said that the breast milk ought to be pumped out and given to men in a glass.

But his remarks were followed by an announcement by another high-profile sheik, Abi Ishaq Al Huwaini, who said that men should suckle the breast milk directly from a woman’s breast.

Shortly after the two sheiks weighed in on the matter, a bus driver in the country’s Eastern Region reportedly told one of the female teachers whom he drives regularly that he wanted to suckle milk from her breast. The teacher has threaten to file a lawsuit against him.

The fatwa stems from the tenets of the strict Wahhabi version of Islam that governs modern Saudi Arabia and forbids women from mixing with men who are not relatives. They are also not allowed to vote, drive or even leave the country without the consent of a male “guardian.”

Under Islamic law, women are encouraged to breast-feed their children until the age of 2. It is not uncommon for sisters, for example, to breast-feed their nephews so they and their daughters will not have to cover their faces in front of them later in life. The custom is called being a “breast milk sibling.”

But under Islamic law, breast milk siblings have to be breastfed before the age of 2 in five “fulfilling” sessions. Islam prohibits sexual relations between a man and any woman who breastfed him in infancy. They are then allowed to be alone together when the man is an adult because he is not considered a potential mate.

“The whole issue just shows how clueless men are,” blogger Eman Al Nafjan wrote on her website. “All this back and forth between sheiks and not one bothers to ask a woman if it’s logical, let alone possible to breastfeed a grown man five fulfilling breast milk meals.

“Moreover, the thought of a huge hairy face at a woman’s breast does not evoke motherly or even brotherly feelings. It could go from the grotesque to the erotic but definitely not maternal.”

Al Nafjan said many in the country were appalled by the fatwa.

“We have many important issues that need discussing,” Al Nafjan told AOL News Friday. “It’s ridiculous to spend time talking about adult breast-feeding.”

Unlawful mixing between the sexes is taken very seriously in Saudi Arabia. In March 2009, a 75-year-old Syrian widow, Khamisa Mohammed Sawadi, living in the city of Al-Chamil, was given 40 lashes and sentenced to six months in prison after the religious police learned that two men who were not related to her were in her house, delivering bread to her.

One of the two men found in her house, Fahd, told the police that Sawadi breast-fed him as a baby so he was considered a son and had a right to be there. But in a later court ruling, a judge said it could not be proved that Fahd was her “breast milk son.” Fahd was sentenced to four months in prison and 40 lashes, and the man who accompanied him got six months and 60 lashes.

The original adult breast-feeding fatwa was issued three years ago by an Egyptian scholar at Egypt’s al-Azhar University, considered Sunni Islam’s top university. Ezzat Attiya was expelled from the university after advocating breast-feeding of men as a way to circumnavigate segregation of the sexes in Egypt.

A year ago, Attiya was reinstated to his post.

June 4, 2010 Posted by | Cultural, Mating Behavior, Middle East, Saudi Arabia, Social Issues | 7 Comments

Garden Gate Newsletter for June

We love this place!

The Garden Gate
3268 Fordham Pkwy.
Gulf Breeze, Fl. 32563

June Class Schedule

Cut Flowers
Flowers are used to mark every occasion in our lives — bouquets celebrate the birth of a baby, weddings and engagements, or other special celebrations and even help us mourn the passing of a loved one. Since Victorian times, certain flowers and flower colors have had special meanings and were used to convey tender (or not so tender) sentiments. Many of these meaningful flowers can be grown in our landscapes, either in an area dedicated to cut flowers or incorporated into other plantings. Join us Wed. June 9, from 10:00 until 11:00 A.M. to learn the about the language of these flowers plus how and where to grow them. Cost of the class is $5.00. Please call to register.

Shade Gardening
Even though shady sites can limit the plants that can be used, and are often hard to dig in because of roots, these areas can provide landscaping interest with color and texture. Many plants that grow in shade don’t bloom as long as their sun-loving counterparts but continuous color can be achieved by choosing species that flower in succession. Join us Sat. June 12, at 10:00A.M. Until 11:00A.M. to learn about plants that thrive in shady areas and how to successfully grow them. We will talk about under-story trees, shrubs, perennials, and ground covers to use in shade, how to amend your soil to plant them, plus other ideas to turn you shade into an low-maintenance asset rather than a landscaping problem. Cost of the class is $5.00. Please call to register.

Cooking Demo – Tomatoes!
Tomatoes will be the main ingredient in this cooking demonstration. Beefsteak, heirloom, cherry, grape – no matter the size and shape, they are delicious! Join us Sat. June 12, at 11:30A.M.when Kim Armstrong will demonstrate simple and exciting recipes using these home-grown favorites (we will talk a little bit about growing tomatoes in our area, too). The cost for this cooking demo (and tasting!) is $7.50. Please call to register.

Natural Pest Control
As the heat and humidity rise, so do the number of pest and diseases that attack our gardens and landscapes. Join us Wed. June 16, to learn ways to keep your plants healthy without using manufactured fungicides, pesticides, and other “cides”. We will discuss using organic products, physical barriers, beneficial insects and other wildlife, and companion planting plus other tips and techniques for less toxic gardening. Class will be held from 10:00 A.M. until 11:00 A.M. Cost of the class is $5.00 – please call to register.

Join us Sat. June 19 to learn about the craft of topiary — growing plants on forms or by pruning plants to create shapes. This ancient form of gardening is enjoying a resurgence in popularity right now, adding a touch or formality or tradition when used in the landscape or in interior spaces. You will learn which plants to use for topiaries and how to plant and grow them, whether in containers or in the ground. Tips for maintaining topiaries will also be discussed. We will provide all materials for you to make a topiary during the class, to take home. (This is the season to start topiaries to use or to give as gifts during the holiday season.) Class will begin at 9:30 A.M. until approx. 11:00A.M. Cost of the class is $30.00. Space will be limited for these classes, so please call to register.

Summer Containers
This class will teach you tricks to plant and maintain beautiful planters in summer’s high heat and humidity. Choosing the right plants for your growing conditions is only a part of successful summer container gardens. How to select plants for dramatic effect will also be discussed – combining “thrillers, fillers and spillers” (using flowers, herbs, vegetables, or grasses) to make fantastic, functional focal points in your landscape. Learn watering, fertilizing and maintenance techniques in the lecture part of the class. After the class, you are invited to put together a great container garden to take home. We will provide all plants and materials. This class will be held on Wed. June 23, and Sat. June 26, at 10:00A.M. Second session will follow immediately at approx. 11:00 A.M. Cost of the class is $5.00. Cost of the after-session is $25.00. Please call to register and let us know if you will be staying for both sessions.

News and Notes
Hot weather, rainy weather, steamy weather – it must be summer! Spring flowers are beginning to fade but the heat-loving flowers are coming on strong. Annuals such as zinnias, cosmos, and coleus are tried and true for summer color. Unlike in our grandmother’s time, however, coleus can now be grown in the sun and cosmos can be found in dwarf or double forms in a much wider range of colors. The dwarf zinnias are our favorites, blooming from now until frost with a low mounding habit that does not need dead-heading. They are available in pinks, oranges, reds, yellows, and whites. Try the Profusion series or the Narrow-leaf zinnias in hanging baskets or other containers or in the front of a flower bed. Plant breeders have also worked to improve some old-fashioned perennials. For example, there are many new forms and cultivars of rudbeckia (black-eyed Susans) and gaillardia, or blanket flowers. Some of the most recent and interesting breeding breakthroughs have been with Echinacea (or purple-cone flower). By crossing a yellow species with a purple species, a series of orange flowered Echinacea have been developed. These North American native perennials are now available in all the colors of a sunset or a sunrise. They make spectacular and long-lasting cut flowers, blooming from summer well into fall. Purple cone flowers like sunny sites on the dry side, with a little compost or manure to slightly sweeten the soil. Butterflies love them!

We are seeing lots of birds at our feeders right now, mostly hard-working moms and dads feeding their nestlings. The Carolina wrens that have built the nest in the canvas bag on our porch seem especially busy, not only visiting the feeders but also combing the gardens and container plants for insects for their ravenous young. This week, we have seen the wrens, chickadees, house finches, cardinals, sparrows, bluejays, and red-bellied woodpeckers at our feeders. And then we have our “other” birds — for those of you who have not met “the girls”, we now have six chickens (all hens) brought to us by a customer in early April. We have two California Whites (Beatrice and Gertrude), two Rhode Island Reds (Perryia and Katherine Hepburn), and two Americaunas (Betsy Ross and Martha Washington). We are busily preparing to build a new coop for “the girls”. Come by and check our progress.

We are planning a number of new upcoming classes and cooking demos, and we would love to have your input about garden subjects or related crafts that you would like to learn about. Ideas that we are working on include classes on meditation gardens, romantic gardens, gardening on the water, living roofs and walls or vertical gardening. We are always looking for ways to engage children in gardening or the environment, we are always interested in connecting cooks and gardeners, and we are always interested in passing along information that makes gardening easier or more successful. Please let us know your ideas for classes and other activities, by calling, e-mailing, or just stopping by. Thanks!

June 4, 2010 Posted by | Arts & Handicrafts, Beauty, Community, Cooking, Customer Service, Education, Florida, Local Lore | Leave a comment

Why We say . . . .

I can’t vouch for the verity of these, but I sure had a lot of fun reading them. Thank you, my Kuwait friend. 🙂

1. Q: Why are many coin banks shaped like pigs?
A: Long ago dishes and cookware in Europe were made of a dense orange clay called pygg. When people saved coins in jars made of this clay, these became known as pygg banks. An English potter misunderstood the word and made a bank resembling a pig…and it caught on.

2. Q: Why do dimes, quarters and half dollars have notches, while pennies and nickels do not?
A: The US Mint began putting notches on the edges of coins containing gold and silver to discourage holders from shaving off small quantities of the precious metals. Dimes, quarters and half dollars are notched because they used to contain silver. Pennies and nickels aren’t notched because the metals they contain weren’t considered valuable enough to shave.

3. Q: Why do men’s clothes have buttons on the right while women’s clothes have buttons on the left?
A: When buttons were invented, they were very expensive and worn primarily by the rich. Because wealthy women were dressed by maids, dressmakers put the buttons on the maid’s right. Since most people are right-handed, it is easier to push buttons on the right through holes on the left. And that’s where women’s buttons have remained since.

4. Q. Why do X’s at the end of a letter signify kisses?
A: In the Middle Ages, when many people were unable to read or write, documents were often signed using an X. Kissing the X represented an oath to fulfill obligations specified in the document. The X and the kiss eventually became synonymous.

5. Q: Why is shifting responsibility to someone else called passing the buck?
A: In card games, it was once customary to pass an item, called a buck, from player to player to indicate whose turn it was to deal. If a player didn’t wish to assume the responsibility, he’d pass the buck to the next player.

6. Q: Why do people clink their glasses before drinking a toast?
A: It was once common to try to kill an enemy by offering him a poisoned drink. To prove to a guest that a drink was safe, it became customary for the host to pour a small amount of the guest’s drink into his own glass. They’d then drink simultaneously. When a guest trusted his host, he’d merely touch or clink the host’s glass with his own.

7. Q: Why are people in the public eye said to be in the limelight?
A: Invented in 1825, limelight was used in lighthouses and stage lighting by burning a cylinder of lime, thus producing a brilliant light. In the theatre performers in the limelight were seen by the audience to be the center of attention.

8. Q: Why do ships and aircraft in trouble use mayday as their call for help?
A: This comes from the French word m’aidez (meaning help me) and is pronounced mayday.

9. Q: Why is someone who is feeling great on cloud nine?
A: Types of clouds are numbered according to the altitudes they attain, with nine being the highest. If someone is said to be on cloud nine, that person is floating well above worldly cares.

10. Q: Why are zero scores in tennis called love?
A: In France, where tennis first attained popularity, a big, round zero on the scoreboard looked like an egg and was called l’oeuf– which is French for egg. When tennis was introduced into the US, Americans pronounced it love.

11. Q: In golf, where did the term caddie come from?
A. When Mary, later Queen of Scots, went to France as a young girl (for education & survival), King Louis learned that she loved the Scottish game golf. So he had the first golf course outside of Scotland built for her enjoyment. To make sure she was properly chaperoned (and guarded) while she played, Louis hired cadets from a military school to accompany her. Mary liked this and, when she returned to Scotland (not a very good idea in the long run), she brought the practice with her. In French the word cadet is pronounced ca DAY, which the Scots changed to caddie.

June 4, 2010 Posted by | Language, Words | Leave a comment