abu dhabi sunshine

life, times...and opinions from Abu Dhabi

Sunday, February 26, 2006

party no more

In 'sadder' news, one of my favourite bands, The Tea Party, has split up.

I had absolutely no idea that rumours were even circulating, but I just read an interview with lead singer Jeff Martin about the break-up.

Oh well...they've created some amazing music together, and I have no doubt that Jeff will come out with some great stuff.

good music

I have a new favourite band. I love it when that happens!

I was watching the mildly-entertaining 'The Banger Sisters' on MBC2 the other night and heard a song that caught my ear. After consulting with my dear
www.amazon.com, turns out the song is Home by the band Dishwalla.

I had only heard one song by them previously, Somewhere in the Middle, which I really liked.

After downloading Home, I downloaded a bunch of others...and I'm smitten. The singer's voice is so captivating, so sensual, with a very clear rasp that I absolutely adore.

Check them out. My personal favourites (so far) are Home, Mad Life, & Candleburn.


Saturday, February 25, 2006

I Heart National Geographic

I am so bummed out.

Ever since the storm we had the other day, I no longer get the National Geographic channel.

I've recently become a complete NG addict; i love love looooove their shows.

I only get the regular channels in my room; no showtime no orbit no nothing. Am I supposed to get National Geographic or was it just a fluke?

I also just auto-reprogrammed my tv...still nothing!

Do check out this site

It's February's photo-feature, and it's about love. I love how they put their very own spin on everything. (Photo by Jodi Cobb.)

Update: As of last night, National Geographic is baaaaaack! Woohoo! I got to watch a documentary about alligators and crocodiles in Florida; it freaked me out! Great show though.

Friday, February 24, 2006

rain on my parade

I am of the very emotional type. I feel everything; sometimes it shows, sometimes I succeed at concealing it. These past few days seemed to have been ok, even better than usual. But once the night comes, I lay down in my bed and try to get some sleep, but all I hear is the pounding of my heart.

Can you sometimes fool yourself into believing that everything is ok?

Something must be stressing me out, but I'm not quite sure what it is. I have the daily dose of stress which I thought I'd become accustomed to. But I guess it catches up with you eventually.

I hate to place the blame on one thing only, but I do know that a huge source of my stress comes from within my own home. I may have mentioned before that I live with a relative who is completely depressed. Yes, she is ill, but it's nothing that other old folks haven't experienced. She refuses to believe that her problems are psychological.

She complains. All the time. If I dare to venture out of my room to hang out with dad, brother or anyone else in the house, I hear the same story over and over again. All hell could be breaking loose around her, but in the end, it's all about her and how horrible she feels.

Sometimes I can sympathise; I've been through rough patches in my life when all I could think about was how awful I felt. I wonder if I am so appalled by her behaviour because it reminds me of my own weaknesses.

I also wonder over and over again if it's ok to have such negative feelings towards someone who has raised you and loved you by choice, not through imperative. This is the exact feeling that torments me; I sometimes feel like the most ungrateful person in the world for feeling this way.

My head and heart feel heavy this evening. There's no use talking to anyone about this because it's all been said and done, but this virtual world provides a previously unexplored outlet for my guilt.

Listening to: Israel Kamakawiwo'ole - Somewhere Over the Rainbow
"Where trouble melts like lemon drops..."

Thursday, February 23, 2006


It was June 1997, the summer when I lost more of my innocence. My close childhood friend had just passed away suddenly, and I was going out with a deadbeat.

I had mustered the courage to go out to a bar for the first time since my friend had passed away, and I was having a shitty time. I went out by the water for air, and the tears overcame me. I was sitting alone when I saw this guy looking at me.

He came to speak to me and I quickly wanted to dismiss him. But he sat down at my table and asked me what was wrong. The words flooded out; I told him everything. Then he began to speak, to this day I cannot remember what he was really talking about it.

The conversation felt like it had lasted hours, but it must have just lasted about a half hour. The more he spoke, the more relieved I felt. I was smiling, although I don't remember why. He politely decided he'd leave me alone and said goodbye. He turned around and asked for my name. Then he said: My name is Soul.

He walked away, I turned around for a split second, looked back, and he was nowhere to be seen.

I've never been a big believer, but to this day, I believe this big and burly guy, Soul, was my guardian angel.

And no, I was not drunk.


Listening to: Jason Mraz - You & I Both
This guy has the sweetest voice ever.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006


Losing defining moments is a little scary. Forgetting about those things that you thought you would never forget or get over is quite strange.

Who hasn't been through a break up? And who hasn't uttered the words "I'll never get over him, I'll never forget..."

I experienced the longest relationship of my young life last year. I felt so much, discovered so much, pushed my comfort boundaries. I cried a lot, I laughed just as much, I thought a lot, and I hurt more than I thought I could for a guy.

It was not my first relationship at all, but there were so many firsts with him. Things that at the time I thought would remain engraved in my memory forever. Now, weeks on end go by sometimes without the slightest thought of him; my heart is stone.

But then a song, a letter, an email... something comes along and revives the memory of that person. It's a little sad, a little painful to revisit it all. But the most shocking part is how much I don't think about it.

Going from my heart and head being split into two countries all the time to having my full attention in one place is a great feeling. I wonder where all that time thinking about him has gone. In my current mindframe, it was a waste. How could it not be when you have no point of validation?

He's nothing but a name now. A face I stumble upon in photos sometimes. A chat buddy on my list who I no longer care to chat with. "I'll never forget..."

We do forget. Everything passes.
I hope I remember that when I go through my next break up.

Listening to: Sting - Fields of Gold

Monday, February 20, 2006

forget london?

I'm sure you guys have seen the "Forget London" ads everywhere.

I'm not a big ad person, but this one is really teasing me.

I know I'm totally way off, but for some reason it makes me think of the FCUK brand.

What do you think it's all about?


I feel like I've been away from my blog for ages, even though it's only been 4 days!

The weekend was quite fun, we ended up going out on a boat party on Friday, it was so much fun!! Isn't it funny how when you really don't feel like going somewhere and expect to have a crappy time, you end up having a blast!? That's exactly what happened, and with plenty of hot, unseen, guys to boot! I eyed one all day and ended up talking to him, and the conversation was as flat as my hair on bad hair days. It's so annoying when that happens. Oh well!

Work has been a little busier as well. I've been to more press conferences in the span of 4 days than I generally care to attend, and man are the people annoying! Not only do audiences leave their phones on and answer them during the press conference, but I've just seen my first committe member about to give a speech answer his ringing phone. Talk about setting an example!

These conferences have been held at Emirates Palace, and I know many people think that place is awesome, but it just bothers me. It's sooo big, it's sooo lifeless, and walking around in it to get to one place is a little annoying when you're wearing stilletto-like heels. I know, maybe I should invest in a more comfortable pair of shoes for work, and I may not be the most girly of girls, but it's hard to separate me from my heels.

I had a cool assignment yesterday where I got to meet a guy who bought the powerboat featured in the movie Sahara (with Matthew McConaughey and Penelope Cruz.) Given my fascination with all things celebrity, it was pretty cool to get to go on a ride in the exact same very sleek boat used in the movie. The owner was super cool too; I really do love my job sometimes (most of the time..:)

Anyway. I'm quite tired today; I had a very restless night last night for some reason so I'm quite beat today. I just watched the movie The Sea Inside, a Spanish movie that deals with euthanasia. I highly recommend it. I also saw West Beirut last night for the 3rd or 4th time, and it hits a nerve everytime. I am out of movies now...what to do tonight...? Ah yes, sleep.

Listening to: Pink Floyd - Wish You Were Here

Thursday, February 16, 2006

celeb sightings

Lack of personality and creativity sometimes lead to stealing other people's ideas. For this post, I will be stealing my sister's idea.

Have you ever met anyone famous?
I have. Here are my stories. :)

My biggest celebrity encounter by far was with Ben. My Ben. Ben my love. Ben Affleck. Oh how I love Ben. I've had an unhealthy crush on Ben for a long long time. And there I was one summer in Montreal, at club Living, minding my own business, chatting with a friend of mine by the main entrance. I see this really tall guy walk in, I take a look and think to myself, wow this guy looks like Ben. I fixated on him for 30 seconds, and then just went back to my business, thinking I could never be so lucky. Also, the Ben look-alike was wearing a plaid shirt...I thought to myself: Ben would never wear plaid.

Within 3 mins, my friend runs up to me telling me: BEN IS HERE!! I'm not sure what posessed me, but within a split second, I was off to the middle of the dancefloor where Ben was surrounded by a bunch of girls. The tall guy in the plaid shirt was indeed my Ben. I walked straight up to him, held his hands, and said: "I knew it was you at the door. I love you bla bla bla." He looked at me like I was completely nuts. I kissed him on both cheeks and walked away. My friends did not want to know me for the rest of the evening. But I could not care less!!

My other brush with celebs also came in Montreal. We were at Tokyo club with a friend, when this guy starts chatting my friend up. That guy's friend comes near us and starts talking to us. The first guy goes: "hey, this is Cody from
Student Bodies."

Now, anyone who lived in Canada and watched bad tv once in a while would remember Student Bodies as a really cheesy Canadian sitcom. And indeed, the guy was Jamie Elman, best known as Cody from Student Bodies. We ended up going for pizza after the club, and then ended up at the first guy's appartment playing Ouiji board all night with Cody and his friend, trying very hard to convince them that spirits do indeed exist. We left at 6 am, thinking for sure those guys must have thought we were completely nuts.

Otherwise I've met the Gyspy Kings in Abu Dhabi, DJ Sasha (love him!) and The Tea Party gang. I've seen Beau Bridges in a Montreal restaurant. I also bumped into Lisa Bonnet on Crescent street in Montreal, best known as Denise, the Cosby daughter on the Cosby Show, or Lenny Kravitz's ex-wife. I also saw rock band Korn at the Hard Rock Cafe in Montreal, and despite their slightly scary appearances, they looked really friendly! Oh, and I shook Ricky Martin's very sweaty hand while I was front row at his concert!! I know, I'm lame.

I can't think of anymore right now, but I'm sure I've seen others, as Montreal was quite the celeb friendly city.

So who have you guys met, kissed, or scared off?

life in reverse

Damn the sun was strong today!! The met office seems to be a little off since they predicted strong winds and bad weather starting today...but I had none of it and sat in the sun all day long. I am now burnt to a crisp.

As the sun worked its wonders, a couple of friends and I were discussing something random when my very wise friend M said: Life should be backwards. We should be born old and grow younger.

Her point was, what's the point of having so much money when you're older, when you can no longer travel like you did when you were 25? Or for that matter, do anything like you could when you were 25?

In true blonde style I said: Seriously...who cares if we're cute when we're babies, who's gonna hit on us then? (in reference to the backwards-life theory, whereby we'd get more youthful looking and therefore more attractive as we grow old, and be born old and wrinkly, as no one cares what we look like then.)

Yes I know, I'm very wise sometimes.

Anyway, I thought M's point was funny, and quite interesting. Life does work in mysterious ways, but really, come to think of it, why the wealth and knowledge and wisdom only when you get too old to live life to the fullest?

Listening to: U2 - One
Oh Larry Mullen how I love you!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006


In case anyone cares, still no news from HK.
In fact, I almost don't care anymore.

And I say almost because I find his behaviour a little disrespectful.


I'm dreading the day I'll run into him!


Oooh the almighty marketing machine that is V-day is upon us!
How could I let this day slip by without a comment?

I may be a romantic deep deep deep deep down inside, but I'm not a flower, teddy bear, or bling kinda girl. Chocolate I'll take any day of the year, but all that other sappy stuff kinda makes me cringe.

Also, I've never ever really been in a relationship on V-day.
Actually, when I was 16, I was with a guy. He gave me a gold bracelet. I cringed for several reasons. 1: I do not wear yellow gold. 2: I did not wear bracelets. 3: I was on the verge of breaking up with him. I did, 3 days later.

I was also in a relationship last year on V-day, but it was a long distance relationship. So it doesn't really count.

So I'm single again this year and truth be told, I don't really care.
But to all of you die-hard romantics out there, hope you have a great one! But please, oh please, don't get a no-gold-no-bracelet-wearing girl a gold bracelet.


Listening to: Incubus - Drive
Great song, great video!

Saturday, February 11, 2006


I was so angry about something that happened at work this afternoon. My hands were trembling, and I just wanted to break something.

Around 3 pm, I had an interview to do. I met with an inspirational young woman. She's just 18, she sings and writes songs. At the age of 14, she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Two surgeries, four chemotherapy sessions and a pulmonary embolism later, her tumour was removed; it weighed about 7 kilos.

And there she was, sitting across from me, so cheerful, so happy, so cute. I came back home, and I swear, I could not remember what I was angry about in the first place.

Check her out. www.naree.co.uk
She'll be performing at the Terry Fox Run in Abu Dhabi this coming Friday.

Listening to: Andain - Beautiful Things (Gabriel & Dresden mix)
Quite a fitting song for the post I just wrote.

Friday, February 10, 2006

yummy boy

It's official, I have a brand new crush.

Keith Urban. YUMMY.

On top of everything, he's Australian, and god knows I love Australians.
He's apparently romancing Nicole Kidman these days, but he is also known as quite the ladies' man. Sure, Nicole is hot. But I can make you happy Keith!!

Enjoy the photo as much as I am; it's my current desktop.

Listening to: Keith Urban - I want to love somebody like you (what else!?)
It's country, yes, but it's a fun, happy, yummy song.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

feelin' hot hot hot

It's soooo hot in Abu Dhabi today. It has been for the past few days actually. It feels like summer (almost), and I really really hope that this isn't the end of winter. It hasn't even rained yet!!

I am sleepy yet do not want to nap. My mini-vacation is almost up...noooooooooooo.

Listening to: Madonna - Sorry
LOVE IT. Such a fun song.

I just saw a video of her performance at the Grammys last night. She came on with the Gorillaz, who I absolutely love as well. Madonna looks freakin' fine. Not a wobbly bit in sight. Here's hoping to being half as toned as she is when I'm approaching 50!

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

a little more personal

What I'm about to write about I've tried avoiding talking about lately. It's funny how humans can sometimes believe that by ignoring something, it no longer exists. Maybe in some cases it's true, but in this case it's not.

I've changed immensly over the past few years. I used to be a party girl, always up for a night out. Bars, clubs, raves, house parties, concerts...anything went. Now I'm more of a homey person, a little by choice, but mostly not.

I was about 14 or 15 when I first felt this way. I was at a dinner with my family. There was a cat who had just given birth to adorable kittens in the garden. Given my love for animals, I wanted to get close. I did, but the mother got angry and started hissing at me. And there it was...the first taste of something that would follow me for years to come. Panic. I had no idea why I felt that way, but I remember being absolutely terrified.

For a year or so after that, I'd wake up in the middle of the night, my heart beating so hard it moved my mattress, and I was afraid. But it passed.

Fast forward five years later. 2000 was quite a shaky year for me. I had been kicked out of university, as too much partying had led to failing grades. I had a huge fight with my best friends, which did not resolve itself until 2 years later. I felt a pressing need to come back to Abu Dhabi to see my family, and within days I was on a plane, heading back home. A week later, my uncle -who I lived with- passed away suddenly. I was developping feelings for an ex who I had broken up with years before, and after years of him pining for me, he was no longer interested. The panic resurfaced. Within months, it was gone again.

In 2001, I had an awful break up with a guy I had known for a while, although we only went out for 8 months first, and then a couple of months a few years later. I was devastated, for more than one reason. Somehow I held on to my life and managed to get out of the hollow feeling that inhabited me. A year later, the panic was back. I was back in Abu Dhabi that summer, and I felt a huge panic attack come on. I cried for 3 days. The panic attack lasted 3 whole agonising days. I felt I was going to die any minute.

From then on I made the decision to see a counsellor. Sometimes I can't remember her name, but I never forget her face. She became my comfort, even though all she did was listen to me mostly. There was so much I needed to say, without answers, without solutions, without judgment. My anxiety got better, and I was leading a 'normal' life again.

It's now almost four years later, but the panic came back, in full force, last year. And this time, I haven't been able to shake it off the way I did all the other times. For a long time, I was unable to just cross the street to buy a pack of cigarettes, let alone go out to restaurants, sit with friends, or go to a club. Until now, I worry about going out alone, I worry everytime I am in public, I worry all the bloody time about having a panic attack.

I'm sure a lot of people have experienced panic attacks at some point in their lives and from all the reading I've done about it, it's quite common. But my technique this time has been to avoid them at all costs, something that made me homebound for a long, long time. The feeling, although fleeting, is just so awful, so terrifying and so out of my control that I never want to experience it again.

Since I've come back to Abu Dhabi, it's helped me a little bit. Abu Dhabi is not a very crowded city, so I can manage getting by. In my mind, I make notes of little victories, such as crossing the street without fear last year, going out for brunch with my friends, going to the mall on my own, attending a wedding with 300 guests, travelling abroad, and just the other night, going out to a bar with some friends.

They are victories that mean nothing to some, and that god knows, meant absolutely nothing to me just a few years ago. My panic attacks created so much trouble in my life. Insecurity on my behalf, leading me to trust no one. I lost common ground with my closest friends, as we had nothing but the memories of days gone by to connect us. I was angry a lot of the time because I did not want to accept the person I had become.

My sister was god-sent throughout the past year. It's never easy to handle something that you don't quite comprehend, but she's been so patient with me. My father has slowly been trying to understand what goes on in my head, and my brother keeps me sane in the best way he can, by making me laugh. For a long time, I stopped talking to my closest friends about it because I felt I was being repetitive. Now I'm more comfortable talking about it with them, and I understand that it's ok for me to feel this way, that the people who love me will not judge me if I am not feeling well.

I still struggle with it and sometimes wish my mind could be as powerful in convincing me that there is nothing to worry about rather than convince me that I should be afraid of something. I could have taken the easy way out and started popping pills for my anxiety, but somewhere deep down inside of me I know I am stronger than that and that I can overcome this on my own.

Now some days are better than others. I've learnt to reason with myself and not worry all the bloody time. I've also learnt to not freak out the minute my body feels strange inside. I've learnt that even if I do have another panic attack, it will pass (hopefully). I've learnt that things could be much worse. I've learnt that I need to accept the person I've become and not fight her. I'm also beginning to trust that the people who love me will love me whether I'm panicky or not.

Listening to: Phil Collins - Easy Lover (2002 White Label club mix)
I may have just written a sappy post, but I do have a sense of humour. I absolutely love this song, it puts me in such a good mood.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

of boys and religion

I'm sitting here sipping on the best mochaccino in AD, having a smoke, and enjoying the time off.
Although I did attend a press conference this morning and filed a little article...I'm not sure why I volunteered to work this morning even though I'm officially off; I guess it's part guilt, part love for my work.

While I truly am enjoying being off from work, there is a sense of boredom that is ever-present. I'm not quite sure what it is since I've been keeping myself quite busy. I know there are plenty of things missing in my life, I'm not quite sure what they are.

What I do know is that I officially hate men. Well...hate might be a strong word. But I'm fed up with them actually. As you may have guessed, no news from HK yet. I don't really understand why someone would invite you for coffee AND give out their apartment number, you accept the offer, and don't hear back from them. Today is day 3 since I sent out the email...and in my book, once the 3-day mark has passed, it's generally not a good sign. I don't live by many dating rules, but the 3-day rule seems to make sense to me.

In other AD Sunshine issues, I was watching the news yesterday morning and saw a report on the anti-Danish protests in Lebanon. I cried. The sheer volume of angry people coupled with their bone-chilling screams and violence really scared me. Most people who know me know that I am still quite ambivalent about religion...but never more than now have I felt such feelings towards it. I've never wanted to dissociate myself from it more than right now. I read this post by a dear virtual-friend of mine, and although I don't have quite as much faith as he generally does, I felt like his words were pulled right out of my mouth. (Hope you don't mind that I linked you F.!) His last line gave me the shivers.

I have so many feelings about what's happening in the world that I don't know where to begin to write about them. I do know that I feel like the world is hanging on by a very thin thread, and I'm just hoping things won't escalate.

(PS: I've seen the following on several blogs and like the idea. I'll be including "what I'm listening to" lines at the end of my posts, since I am a music nut. )

Listening to: The Tea Party - Heaven Coming Down
I absolutely love them, great Canadian band that I actually got to meet in Montreal during the taping of a show for Musique Plus, Montreal's answer to MTV. Though I am sure lead singer Jeff Martin was completely coked out when I asked him my questions, I have it on tape. My first claim to fame :)

Monday, February 06, 2006


It's 1'30 am and I am wide awake for some reason, even though I didn't get a very good night's sleep last night. I just came back from a night out, and boy is it hard to find one decent looking man in Abu Dhabi...hot man count: ZERO

I had a bit of a shitty night last night, the whole work issue was really getting to me and I just couldn't focus or get motivated. I asked for a few days off this morning, and so I am off until Saturday. I kinda feel guilty, but I guess being relaxed and focused is more important in the end.

As far as the HK crush is concerned, well I emailed him on Saturday morning, in reply to his "dot dot dot" email. I was quite direct, saying : Coffee sounds great, let me know when.

I know he got my email since I have read receipts sent to me from my work email. But he has yet to reply. I find it a little strange considering his replies have usually been fast. Oh well...who knows. We'll see what comes out of it.

I'm really hoping to take the next few days to do "me-things" like sleeping, shopping, beaching and all. I haven't had a vacation since August, and once again, a feeling of non-excitement and boredom is coming over me. I went out to a coffee shop for breakfast this morning, on my own, then hooked up with some friends at the beach, and ended up going out for a couple of drinks...and even if it doesn't seem like much, it felt nice to not have to worry about going to work in the morning.

Sometimes I wonder if I really do want to work my whole life...and when I don't work, I go nuts if I have nothing to do. On that note, I'm going to sleep on those thoughts.

Friday, February 03, 2006

time...goes by...so....

Why is it that when you want time to go by slowly, days just zoom by?

It's already the end of my weekend, and I am dreading going to work tomorrow. I haven't felt like that in a while. I hope I can be adult enough to suck it up and just deal with whatever it is that is happening at work. I soooo feel like being a kid and stubborn about it, but I guess I have to grow up now.


No developments on the crush this weekend. Although my fingers have been itching to call, email, or something! I really truly hate dating games, but I guess they have to be done, at least in the beginning. In my mind, if I like someone and want to explore it, I do it right away, no need to waste time. But of course, guys end up thinking women are desperate if they do that. And vice versa, women will think guys are needy if they call too soon. Silly games...

I went to a pre-party at a friend's place last night, was quite fun. Except I got home, and as if right on target, got drunk as soon as I passed the doorstep! It was so annoying being drunk alone! I had a couple of drinks during the party and had a nice buzz, but on the way out, a friend and I took a swig from a vodka bottle, and another swig from a cognac bottle. Don't ask why, but we did. So voila...drunk on my own. It was quite boring...:)

Oh well...Back to work tomorrow. I DON'T WANNA!!

Thursday, February 02, 2006

dot dot dot

Given that I was bored out of my brains and completely unmotivated at work today, I decided to tempt fate.

I emailed my crush. Let's call him HK. I found a semi-decent reason to write to him, just mentionning something I came across that related to his hockey team. I ended the email with "Hope all is well, Take care."

Nice and sweet.

He replied an hour later, humouring my comments and then said something about getting me to go to one of their hockey games sometime. And then: "Drop by for coffee sometime...(insert his apartment number here)."


The red-highlighted dot dot dot up there is throwing me off track. I know that when I write, dot dot dot usually signifies things unsaid, or a longing for something.

Again, I am schizophrenic blogger with probably too much time on her hands, and hence am probably reading too much into the dot dot dot.

But really, does he seriously expect me to drop by for coffee? I know he's Canadian and Canadians are nice and friendly and all. Maybe he doesn't yet realise that such things are not generally done out here.

I mean if someone had said that to me in Canada, I would have done it. In fact, I have. But out here, I've become quite paranoid and have unconsciouly been adhering to "social norms."

Anyway, who knows. Maybe he has a gf, maybe he is married (although I don't think I spotted a ring, but I'll look out for it next time!)

What is my next step?
Answers on a postcard plz!!