A Blog from Amman, Jordan, Online Since 2004.

Month: February 2006 (Page 1 of 3)

I want this now now now now

The picture above is of a paint set and a pair of adidas trainers.
In. The. Same. Box.
Together. Sold as one! As a package! And they work together! Ahhh, I’m in love.

adidas is re-releasing the adicolor LO (originally from 1983) in a kit that includes the original plain white shoes, paints, brushes and a wooden palette. They are also releasing 36 pre-customized pairs that extend the concept beyond the original adicolor style to include Superstars, Centuries and Stan Smiths. Nice.

+Sneaker Freak


During my first semester at the UofJ, my daily parking experience was something worse than the “Suffi, Suffi” scenario. There were actually days where I had to have friends (and ok, random people on the street) drive my car out of an extremely tight spot, and others where I would get so frustrated at the lack of proper parking spots that I’d skip school altogether and just go back home.

But yeah, that was only the first semester, because if the UofJ doesn’t teach you anything at all, it will at least teach you how to successfully squeeze your car into the tightest, most inappropriate spots, while all the while practically equipping every inch of the parking lot’s surface area so as to fit the most cars possible.

Let me illustrate with some images from my “Karajat il jam3a” collection, which I’ve actually been collecting for years:

I took this picture this morning, and although it was a heck of a freaky park, I absolutely love the chaos! It’s hilarious, isn’t it? Some of the cars are diagonally parked, others are horizontally parked, and you have 4 rows of cars in a parking lot that’s designed for two rows.

Same parking lot, less chaos, but still quite terrible.

There aren’t any two cars that are actually aligned properly, and there is no horizontal/vertical organization.

zooksie 410
A sea of cars…

Around the Science’s gate, I know it doesn’t appear like a terrible park in the picture, but trust me, it is.


Finish classes only to realize that some van had closed off my way out… we got my car out in the end, but it wasn’t the most pleasant experience. The awesomest part about this picture is that my mother was stuck in the SAME situtation (where a van was closing off her way) and in the SAME parking spot in 1979 (but she wasn’t as lucky, a group of guys had to lift her car into a diagonal position).

Again, no car alignment.

zooksie 409
Triple parkings, lack of alignment, and random parking allotment.

Now, who agrees that they seriously need to invest in some land for student parking?
مأساة il parking at Jordan University.

Table Rundown


Although I’m more into minimalist design than floweriness and stuff, I thought this Tea Forté tea infusers set was a quite interesting repackaging attempt from the regular teabag. I like the triangular shape, and the whole concept of it sitting next to the cup rather than being inside of it. It gives tea an air of importance, does it not?

On the other hand, the float tea lantern and tea cups from New World Tea are precisely what I would serve my tea with if I’m ever rich. They’re absolutely beautiful, and they remove the terrible tea atittude (think Laura Ashley, zen, and yoga) and replace it with a cool and hip one. Nice.

salt+pepper big.jpg

Next, these awesome salt and Pe + (Pe)r shakers from Modern Poverty are fantastic, and the gorgeous rainbow pixelated dinnerware set from ElseWare are to die for! I think I’m in love with the plates… they’re so pretty! Ahhh…


All this said, I’m a terrible hostess.

The feminists

Look what we found today just outside the science’s gate in the U of J, a street sign apparently vandalized by feminists. Yeah, sure, perhaps the whole feminist scenario is only in my own head, but it’s so amusing to me.

It hasn’t been two weeks since the semester started and I’m already swamped with work. Not that I’m complaining, I’m one of those people who needs to be busy to be happy, but just in case I don’t reply to emails, messages, comments, or phonecalls, don’t hate me. I will reply when I figure out “wein Allah 7atetni”.

What the toot is happening there?

Just in case you missed this, toot has now doubled in size- more bloggers from all around the Arab world are now a part of the toot community. The increase in size pretty much means that you can now find almost anything on toot- politics, music, sports, art and design, science, and even caricatures! All unproccessed from the Arab world…

Go on, check the new blogs out, there’s surely something for everyone. Show us what you like by voting for your favorite blogs. Show us your favorite content so that you see more of it. What’s tootilicious baby?

And you thought I was crazy?

It’s no big secret that I’m very anal about language. I get pissed off when people use “u”, “r”, and “2” instead of “you”, “are”, and “too”. I get offended when people don’t capitalize the first letter of my name. I get upset when people can’t spell properly (for the love of God, have you heard of spellchecks?) I can’t stand people who replace c’s with k’s and s’s with z’s.

Point is, I’m honestly willing to bitch about the misuse of language for the next hour, listing things you probably never even thought of, like the fact that I think that people who don’t bother capitalizing the pronoun “I” don’t have any self respect and that I think people who get overexcited with punctuation should be shot.

Ah, God. This is making me sound like a complete control freak, which I’m not (just check out the state of my bedroom), but when it comes to what I’m reading, I can’t help it! Among today’s SMS messages of “helowz robz,am goin4cofee,want2cum?” and instant messages along the lines of “roobee i told u that b4!!!!!”, Roba, or Roobee, or whatever you want to call me, is going absolutely crazy.

But wait, you think that’s crazy? Think again, my love. Here’s someone who’s a lot more anal about language;

It doesn’t matter whether you’re reading your local rag, surfing the net or trying to make heads or tails of someone’s inane blog — the quality bar is set lower than ever, which is saying a lot considering it was never set very high to begin with. …

Any number of my acquaintances excuse the bad writing and atrocious punctuation that proliferates in e-mail by saying, in essence, “Well, at least people are writing again.” Horse droppings. People have never stopped writing, although it’s reaching a point where you wish a lot of them would.

The very nature of e-mail (which, along with first cousins IM and text messaging, is an undeniably handy means of chatting) encourages sloppy “penmanship,” as it were. Its speed and informality sing a siren song of incompetent communication, a virtual hooker beckoning to the drunken sailor as he staggers along the wharf.

But it’s not enough to simply vomit out of your fingers. It’s important to say what you mean clearly, correctly and well. It’s important to maintain high standards. It’s important to think before you write.

[Read all of article here]

See? I told you I’m not that crazy. Admittedly, this article made me grin, it made me grin real big (although the bits that involved dissing out technology hurt the technology lover side of me), but I’d never describe newspapers as “rags”, and people’s writings as “horse droppings” and “vomit out of fingers” (probably because I don’t want to get hate mail).

Wein il HiGeen?

Although I’m certainly not paranoid about cleanliness, you will never see me without a good supply of wetwipes (in the trunk), sanitizer (in sachettes in my wallet), and Shout (in the glove compartment). And if a public bathroom trip is absolutely neccesary – God forbid- wetwipes start serving as gloves.
But well, apparently,the wetwipe gloves should be used more often and for different purposes, because public toilet handles and door knobs are actually cleaner twice over when compared to mice at internet cafes!
(Thinks of all the hours I spent at Al-Farouki Internet Cafe in Shmesani)

So here are the dirty half dozen, just in case your mother ever told you otherwise;

1. Shopping cart handles – 1100 CFU per 10 sq cm
2. Internet café computer mouse – 690
3. Bush hand straps – 380
4. Public toilet handles and door knobs – 340 (yeah, yeah, I bet they’ve never visited the bathroom on the Syrian/Jordanian borders).
5. Lift buttons at 130
6. Train hand straps – 86

[via The Age]

The emoticon revolution

I’ve already ranted about how much I hate smilies– should I remind you?

Hell, whoever brought them hence forth out of the 70’s and into the new millennium needs to be tossed into a yellow cell for the rest of his life. THE REST OF HIS LIFE.

Why internet smileys should be boycotted:

1. They are too yellow. Yellow. YELLOW!
2. They’re too overenthusiastic.
3. They’re all cross eyed.
4. They are drawn by jerks who CAN’T DRAW!
5. They are over animated in a sense that I feel like whacking them on the face with my 800-paged Lord of the Rings hardcover book.
6. They negate a phrase’s meaning, turn it upside down, inside out, and leave the reader in semantic anarchy.
7. People use them instead of words, which are so much more interesting.
8. They are drawn by people with NO IMAGINATION!
9. Sometimes, they BLINK!!! Argh!
10. Their colors don’t match. At all.

Yeah, well, switch over (as in the opposite) all those reasons and you’ll see why this made me grin:


danwade’s new work, emoticon riffs on the personal and emotional aspects of our daily digital expression, where we’ve resorted to using a series of grammatical elements to communicate how we feel to others. [Cool Hunting]

Cool. I like. I seriously hope this is the start of the end of the ugly yellow smiley.

*Spoken in a calm thoughtful voice*

Here’s an interesting study:

According to recent research published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, I’ve only a 50-50 chance of ascertaining the tone of any e-mail message. The study also shows that people think they’ve correctly interpreted the tone of e-mails they receive 90 percent of the time.

“That’s how flame wars get started,” says psychologist Nicholas Epley of the University of Chicago, who conducted the research with Justin Kruger of New York University. “People in our study were convinced they’ve accurately understood the tone of an e-mail message when in fact their odds are no better than chance,” says Epley.

“People often think the tone or emotion in their messages is obvious because they ‘hear’ the tone they intend in their head as they write,” Epley explains.

The reason for this is egocentrism, or the difficulty some people have detaching themselves from their own perspective, says Epley. In other words, people aren’t that good at imagining how a message might be understood from another person’s perspective.

So when you guys read my blog, you’re getting my mood wrong 50% of the time. Hmm…

[Read whole artcle on Wired News, via Serdal]


My favorite class in highschool was English class, because it was the only creative class my highschool offered, and because it was a writing class more than anything else, and Roba has always loved writing. Throughout the years, we wrote so many essays so varied in content and so different in topic; ranging from love accolades to glue and vampire fiction. In fact, the teachers were so creative with their assignments that in our senior year, we had to pretend that our best friend died and then write a euology to be read in their funeral. Sadistic, eh?

Ahh… best frieds! The worst thing about having grown up in a different country is the fact that the people that I spent most of my life loving have stopped being a part of my life. Yeah, we tried to stay in contact in this age of light, but the inevitable fact is that when everyone is scattered all across the globe with no shared points of interest, it becomes too difficult after a few years to maintain a friendship.

Today is the birthday of one of the few friends who I managed to remain friends with- my childhood/highschool best friend, Nisreen, the person I was forced to write a eulogy for in my senior year. At that time, writing eulogies for one another was horrifying, and the idea of not remaining good friends didn’t make much sense to either of us.

But years pass, and with distance, one comes to realize that although the love might stay, a different form of death is inevitable. The eulogy I wrote back in senior year is below. Too nostalgic for this space, I know. But this is for Nisreen, who I know is reading this and who I haven’t talked to in a long while- happy birthday.

Thank you all for coming during this time of need. Your presence, your sympathy, and your love have been a valuable contribution that has eased the intense pain of loss. God granted us the gift of life: to see and to hear; to smell and to touch; and most importantly to our deceased, to live.

In putting my thoughts together, I try to bring some order from this chaos. I try to find a simple word to make it better, yet I fail. I try to put together all the happy moments I have experienced with the deceased, yet it only leads to even more passionate pain.

During the 18 years of my life, I have not met anyone as in love with this world as Nisreen. In fact, her motto in life was “live for the moment”. She was truly a unique human being, a person who cares about all, and a bright young lady who had an optimistic future. She had such a tolerance of others, she enjoyed people for who they are and not for what she felt they should be, and maybe that’s why she had many friends. She was also extremely proud of her heritage and had the ability to smile through pain and through joy. I have shared such beautiful times with such a beautiful human, and I will cherish these times forever in my soul.

With the years I shared with Nisreen and a plethora of bitter sweet memories, I find myself sinking in this multihued sea of memories of shopping together, ruining the kitchen while trying to cook fettuccini, and pondering the meaning of life. I also find myself drowned by the times she and I held hands while we did the Dabkeh, the cake fights we had in 10th grade, and trying to teach a mutual friend how to ride a bike.

Those of you who have known Nisreen and I for a while know about our massive advancement towards maturity, and how our friendship has influenced one another. In 9th grade, we spat at people, tried to burn the school down, and ditched biology. In 10th grade, we started singing for Palestine with Ghonaim, Amin, Tameemi, and Abu-Sakher, and we had about a 100 parties. In 11th grade, we joined Arabian Sunshine and spent days-on-end practicing our dances in the school hallways and spending 14 hours a day with one another. During our last year, 12th grade, we wrote our graduation speech together and walked as one towards a greater tomorrow as we accepted our diplomas and turned our tassels.

There were days when we couldn’t stand each other, arguing about ungiven tickets and unmeant phrases. During the SAT days that seem so far away, we would sit in class and learn flashcards together, and two years later, we filled each other’s college applications. I cannot think of anything that I did not do with proud Nisreen, wild Nissy, NBO Rene, immature Mini Ninni, angry Nissy Fussy, and Roba ’s Nisreeno.

I will miss her as no one can miss a friend, because, with her charm and wit, she managed to become a part of my soul that will stay with me for as long as I live. Yes, long ago, Nisreen stopped being my friend and became the sister I never had, my partner in life, and an extension of my soul.

By reading this speech to you tonight, I realize that I am placing a seal on something I love so much, and I want to hallmark this seal with something she would have said if she were standing her tonight, “Nothing matters but the moment, there might be no tomorrow, and even there was, nobody gives a damn.”



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