AndFarAway

A Blog from Amman, Jordan, Online Since 2004.

Month: March 2012 (Page 1 of 4)

I fixed it!

I saw this somewhere on Facebook and I laughed harder than I have in ages.

From the Drawer of the Crazy Cat Lady: Awesome Pictures of Cats Doing Random Things

I do like cats, but I am most definitely not a crazy cat lady. Yet, I really enjoy collecting cool pictures of funny cats doing funny things.

If these pictures don’t make you smile on a random Friday, then I don’t know what will.

Enjoy.

Whoa! Dain Fagerholm’s 3D GIFs: Stereographic Drawings

Dain Fagerholm’s Blog

The Lebanon Blogs Aggregator Now Open to Jordanian Blogs

In the coolest move I’ve seen in ages, the Lebanese blog aggregator is now open to Jordanian bloggers, because, according to the blog: “Jordan and Lebanon as a community on Twitter are pretty close, which led to us reading their blogs and them reading ours.”

Yay, the little pan-Arab idealist in me is having a little party.

Submit your blog here: http://www.lebanonaggregator.com/2012/03/jordanian-bloggers-on-lebanon.html

Things I Love About Strangers

I love strangers who smile at you when you accidentally catch their gaze. Especially the ones who let you into their life for that fraction of a second. It’s just something about the levels of “genuine” that you can catch in their smile. I don’t know you, and you don’t know me, but you smiled at me like we were old buddies, and I love you for that.

I love strangers who say something to you, especially when you’re stuck somewhere together. I don’t feel the same way about strangers who converse. Often, I want to be left alone. Yet, I do enjoy acknowledging the fact that the person waiting with me is a person with a voice, a sense of humor, and a character. A simple comment or a quick joke about the shared experience is a form of acknowledgment, and I like that.

Speaking of humor, three years ago, there was a horrible traffic jam around the Al-Wadees roundabout in Shmeisani. When my turn finally came, my eye caught the eye of a young man in a huge gas-guzzler. He must have been in his late teens, and he looked flustered, so I stopped my car and waved him in ahead of me.

I will never forget what he did next, although its been three years.

In front of Al-Wadees, the young man stopped his car, pressed his hands together (palms touching and fingers pointed upwards), and then bowed deeply with the happiest smile I’ve seen in my life. Then he sat up straight and drove off. I was in awe for a week. The interaction lasted less than 30 seconds, and I don’t even remember his face. But his smile, my god, I’ll never forget his smile. That stranger made me feel so good. I still feel happy when I think of him, whoever that stranger was.

I love strangers who are comfortable. Like when I’m sitting at Turtle Green and I share my sitting space with a person whose name I don’t know, but whose body language shows that he or she has accepted me into their life for the remainder of our shared experience. Even better, I love it when I’m trying to plug in my charger and a stranger looks up and says that his or her Macbook is fully-charged, and that I can just use his charger instead of plugging mine.

I love strangers who compliment my glasses. I love strangers who laugh from the bottom of their heart. I love strangers who you can connect to on a level that is ironically deep.

I told you about my recently-found deep appreciation for honesty, and the kinds of strangers I love are the honest strangers. The people who don’t leave their souls at home when they’re in the midst of ones they don’t know. The people who remain true to themselves, regardless of who’s looking.

And I really, really love it when a stranger you see so often stops being a stranger and becomes a friend.

Strangers I love, thank you.

Ballet Performance Caught in Super Slow Motion

This is really, really beautiful.

Whiteboard Wisdom

image

Spotted on the white board at home…

Coolest, Creepiest Thing I’ve Seen in Ages: Happy Kitchen Candy Hamburgers

Oh. My. God. Happy Kitchen Hamburgers are kits filled with powders you mix (and sometimes microwave) to make miniature “candies” that taste like “real hamburger”.

I’d never, ever eat that, but I really want to play.

[via the always awesome Boing Boing]

توت أرض – Toot Ard: Music from the Occupied Golan Heights

I first became familiar with Toot Ard, a reggae band from the Occupied Golan Heights, a few months ago when a Syrian friend introduced me to them.

Let me tell you, Arabic and reggae is really trippy. Combine that with the socio-political realities of the Arab-Israeli war, 80’s cartoon-themed music, and vintage Arabic tunes and you get something you can only hear in a Toot Ard track.

Toot Ard performed at the closing event for the Ard o Karamah, the Amman chapter of the Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW), which aims to educate about the nature of Israel as an apartheid system and to build Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaigns.

Over 480 people attended the kick-ass performance at Masrah El-Balad, jumping for hours in a trance-like state thanks to TootArd’s awesome stage presence. It’s amazing how engaged the audience was: they knew the lyrics, were making song requests, and were going absolutely nuts.

Video from the Amman perfomance:

I have a feeling these guys are going to be the next Mashrou Leila.

Some of their songs (you can hear the rest on their MySpace page):

Related: Other Music from the Arab World
Jordanian Band Torabyeh: Ghorbah
Alaa Wardi: Gash3arteeni Lama 7akeiti…
JadaL – Bye Bye 3azizi جدل – باي باي عزيزي
Alaa Wardi’s Latest: Wenti Mastaneti
Akher Zapheer: The end of it is a melancholy tune – اخرتو لحن حزين
Risalet Salam – JEEL (Music Video) رسالة سلام – جيل
Bath Bayakha: Ahlan Ramadan
Good Jordanian Musician: Alaa Wardi
Tareq Abu Kwaik and Alfar3i

Somebody that I used to know

It isn’t often that I like a new song that is often played on the radio, but I really like Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used to Know”:

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