Wednesday, November 27, 2002

My Adventures with Henna, Mehndi, Mehandi...

I have to recommend this elegant and amazing book of henna patterns: Hennaria: Traditional Iranian Henna Art, from TapDancing Lizard. It was written by a 16-year old boy of Iranian decent, who copied patterns from his grandmother's notebooks and from family documents. The patterns are intricate and beautiful, and documentable as Medieval patterns. I've already tried a few of them out and it has deepened my appreciation for the art. I guess I've been going through a "henna phase" lately. I've been reading "The Reverend Bunny's Secret Henna Diaries"--some very good stories in there. I also have to recommend my favorite suppliers of henna and henna acoutrements:

Happy henna-ing!

Sunday, November 24, 2002

Uneventful Weekend

I am enjoying the quiet time. For a while, I was feeling like life was running me into the ground. Anyway, I am just getting over a cold. Went to Borders on Friday just to listen to the CDs they have on the kiosks--lots of stuff I wanted to buy but only purchased one as a possible xmas gift for friend. Then, went with the SO to The Park Classic Diner restaurant for a chocolate shake. Saturday, celebrated another friend's birthday with dinner at The Fishmarket restaurant and then saw the new Harry Potter movie. It was good. I liked it better than the first one. I thought there was more of a story, but I am not a big Harry Potter fan anyway. Sunday--planned Thanksgiving dinner and shopped with the mom. I am cooking at my house this year. It's only going to be four of us eating, so we are going to have tons of leftovers.

Thursday, November 21, 2002

Help Save Farscape--the fight continues!

This is soooo kewl! A TV commercial was made to save Farscape and it is airing on cable channels in 16 cities! Check it out here.

My Observations from North Carolina

I had a blessedly short and uneventful trip to the Raleigh-Durham area. Don't get me wrong--there are some lovely aspects to the place, but not being a local, I am hard-pressed to find them. However, I did manage to find one of THE most wonderful barbecue places on Earth: Bullocks, near downtown Durham (which is also home to a remarkable small-town baseball team, the Durham Bulls).

Friday, November 15, 2002

In RTP Next Week

Travelling for work next week and I'm going to one of the two places where I am typically sent for work, Raleigh-Durham or Research Triangle Park, NC, the other place being Rochester, MN. They are just about tied for the most boring place on Earth. Apologies if you live there, but I have yet to find anything interesting in the RTP area. If I had friends who lived there it would be different, but as it is, it is a scary place. Last time I was there, when looking for a bookstore in the phone book, I realized I was in trouble when the list of "christian bookstores" outnumbered the "normal" ones. I also had trouble finding a Starbucks (or even a good independent coffeehouse)--a real clue that you are far from civilization. My only consolation is that I know a good sushi place there, and a good Mexican resstaurant too, and if I can find the Barbecue place again, I think I'll survive.

Monday, November 11, 2002

Hafla this Weekend

There is a hafla this weekend at the Schoolhouse Yoga Studio in the Strip. Khafif will be performing along with several other groups. We will probably be doing a reprise of the performace we did in Kitchener.

Satin Rouge...

...was a lovely heart-warming film, highly recommended to bellydancers or anyone who ever thought of being a dancer, but thought they were too old. However, it was definitely a chick-flick in a foreign language with subtitles, so leave the boyfriend at home--take your mom instead.

Friday, November 08, 2002

Moview Review: Jackass

Laughed so hard through the whole thing that it was kind-of like exercise. Almost threw up a couple of times too. This movie contained some of the most disgusting and disturbing real-life things that I've ever seen on film, I think. They obviously put a lot of thought and creativity into it. My favorite stunt was called "Roller Disco Truck," where they dressed in 70s attire and roller skates and decorated the back of a moving truck with disco mirror ball & etc., then one of the guys drove the truck around recklessly until no one remained standing. The 70s clothing and disco decor was a nice touch--its the small details that make things so special.

I really wanted to go see Satin Rouge, and I might still be able to catch it this weekend. It opened last Friday at a small local theatre, and a group of my friends and I went to go see it on Wednesday, but it was gone already. It moved to another small theatre, more out of our way, and we might have to go chase it down this weekend. Another movie that I'd like to see, but I'm having a hard time tracking it down is Bollywood/Hollywood. I think its only running in Canada.

Thursday, November 07, 2002

More Reflections on Toronto...

I will definitely be making another trip to Toronto when I get the chance. It is one of those big cities that everyone should see once in their life. It is big and crowded and diverse, like NYC, but maybe has more art & culture in places you wouldn't expect. There is art everywhere. And the people are so fashionably dressed. We went first to China town, which reminded me a little bit of the China town in NYC, but seemed more homey somehow. The streets were packed with sellers of fresh produce and dim sum restaurants. We randomly picked one restaurant to eat at and the connaisseurs in our group thought it was okay, but it was a real treat for me because I never had dim sum before, and there is supposedly no good dim sum Pittsburgh. We had some fabulous dim sum later that weekend in Kitchener, at the "King Tin" restaurant.

Close by, is Queens Street, which was lined with vintage and funky clothing stores, nothing like what we have in da'Burgh. My theory is that buyers for these types of stores regularly scour the Goodwill and thrift shops of other towns for the good stuff, and that is why it's hard to find anything in those types of places--you have to go to the vintage clothing mecca in Toronto (or NYC for that matter) and pay top dollar to get the good stuff. Anyway, we moved on to Little India, where I was overwhelmed by the variety and selection of saris in the shops. I could not choose one--there were just too many to choose from. The one sari that truly stood out and spoke to me was drippingly gorgeous shot silk wine color with gold embroidery and elaborate pallu encrusted with rhinestones, for only $450 Canadian--a wedding sari. But considering that I didn't have that much money on me AND I don't often go to Indian weddings, I passed on it.

We then shot over to the Royal Ontario Musem, which was open late on Fridays, and we had our daily allowance of antiquities. Then we had a marvelous good time at "The Sultan's Tent" Morroccan restaurant where we were treated to some awesome cuisine and entertainment, but sadly the place is closing for good at the end of the month.

Oh, and here are some more pictures from the Belly Button Ball, taken by one of the other performers, Kizmet.

Monday, November 04, 2002

Belly Button Ball

Had a great time this weekend! Khafif went on tour deep within the heart of Ontario, Canada to perform at the Button Factory in Kitchener. This was one of the best-organized events of this kind that I ever attended. It featured a surprising array of talent from the area in a series of whimsical and very imaginative bellydance performances that were part of a "Halloween" theme. We (aka, "The Vampirelles") did a special spooky performance to Santana's "Black Magic Woman." Here is a good pic of all of us:

We also did a more typical performance to a melody of Turkish tunes, but I just played on my fiddle for that. Here is a pretty good pose by Safa and Neefa:

Earlier that day, there was also an Egyptian bellydance workshop, taught by Roula, who was awesome. There isn't much tribal bellydance in that area. It is almost exclusively cabaret-oriented, but there was a lot of interest in our act and we probably made an impression.

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