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Thursday, May 28, 2009

Barça, Barça, Barça

I'm in a state of eternal love. I love good food, good wine, the good life and a good woman.

I'm also in love with FC Barcelona... with Messi, Etoo, Henri and the greatest bunch of football players in history, the best coaching staff and the most amazing fans in the world.

On the other hand, I hate Manchester United with a vengeance and accordingly my happiness today is beyond words.

Barça, La Liga Campions. Barça, Copa del Rey Winners. Barça, European Champions 2008 -2009. We kicked ass last night and nothing is more fun than kicking the Red Devils' big, fat and ugly butt.

Barça, Forever!!!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Lost Somewhere

At the right moment in time, a scribble with a trickle of words can excite the mind like an intricate novel read over a fortnight in the cone of a bedside lamp. I've been waking up real early lately; say 5:30 in the morning. No, it's not insomnia as I often get back to sleep afterward without much of a hassle. It's just as if I'm craving to squeeze every drop of time to unearth the real essence of my life from underneath the hubbub and brouhaha. I reached for my Nokia and checked my email. The usual endless stream of Ship Position Reports scrolled on the small bright screen reducing the days and nights of lonely seamen to coordinates and numbers. I was dozy yet my seasoned eyes detected a different message forthwith. I haven't heard from her for quite sometime and as I read her words consciousness pervaded my senses instantaneously and I became fully alert.

It's been a while... And "Lost Somewhere" has been reading silently, enjoying every single post...
We all look for something at every stage of life and today I think Abu Fares is in search for a tormenting passion in his life...something that will stir up his mind, heart and soul...
NB: And when I mention passion it is in its broad meaning that embraces many aspects

That's it, she left as swiftly as she came. Despite the impact of her words, I faded back into delicious sleep. When I eventually walked out of bed, I knew that Lost Somewhere's words have touched me deep inside and needed to be mulled over within the solitary confinement of a double Scotch.

Two words of tremendous power in the span of a short string bored trough my head. Was Lost Somewhere anguishing in ardor when she posed her question? How did she know what to ask when all I am to her is a man behind a blog? As the amber fluid attenuated my thirst it fed a white fire. The warmth within heated my imagination and it soared, a hot air balloon drifting in the wind above my own ken. I looked down, a man living a tormenting passion that defied attempts to explain was lost in thought. Was it a smile I detected at the corner of his lips? I needed to see his eyes, I could only know if I stared straight in my eyes. I glided lower and stood face to face against him. The eyes, Ah the green eyes peppered with a dash of hazel, looked back at me with enigmatic tranquility as they slowly changed colors. It startled me to see her eyes on his face and I grinned with realization.

The agony, the hurt, the anguish, the pain, the wretchedness and the torment were there to stay. The fervor, the fancy, the desire, the longing, the love and the passion have filled the heart completely, have drenched the soul. The improbability, the rarity, the exquisiteness, the wonder, the preciousness and the inevitability of the merging of eyes and minds cannot come about without a torrent of torment. Life is a tasteless weenie on a bun if not for the discrepant, adverse, cruel, bittersweet, adorable and endearing relish, garnishing the dead of night into a bright encounter, softening the heat of day into a waterfall of rose water, bringing meaning to being, restoring the original innocence of birth.

"It's strange that words are so inadequate. Yet, like the asthmatic struggling for breath, so the lover must struggle for words." - T.S. Eliot

The lives of men and women are senselessly empty if it were not for the tormenting cruelty of time. Their hearts and souls needlessly void if not for the passion of love. I'm struggling to survive, Lost Somewhere, for I will die if I give up my struggle.

The music and lyrics of (Losing My Religion, 2003 by REM) filled my head as I wrote this post and I had to listen to it again and again. Here is a video link in case Youtube doesn't work for you. What a great song!

Monday, May 18, 2009

A Woman Named Paris

I didn't meet any women in Paris but dreamed of mine with the outbursts of warm sunshine and the falling drops of rain. She was there on the wide avenues and narrow streets, sipping a glass of wine in a café with a red facade, leaning on me and crying of joy in front of the Nike of the Samotrace and holding my hand with every step I made along the cobblestones.

Paris isn't a city for a lonely man but I was not alone after all. My father and I were on a private vacation for a whole week. We were joined by my sisters and got to spend such precious time together. Yet in moments of elation, in instances of edification I was haplessly solitary and I missed her by my side terribly.

I came back three days ago yet I'm still living out of my suitcase. The last month or two seem to have been a perpetual trip. I called Fares today from my hotel room in Damascus. He was surprised that I'm not home. He didn't even know that I had left very early this morning. I'm sorry Son, I'll make it up to you tomorrow. The problem is that I've been suffering from PVDS for the last couple of days. Ah, PVDS, that's Post Vacation Depression Syndrome. I'll be very surprised if such a psychological condition doesn't exist. Well, I know I have it in chronic form. Every time I return from a vacation I get utterly depressed. In fact, I was feeling so down yesterday I wrote it on my wall in facebook, a site I wholeheartedly despise. Why am I still there, I myself wonder. I honestly don't have a straight answer. It's one way, I guess, to break the isolation imposed by space and time. A few of my dear friends even got worried about me and I thank them for that. Don't mind me please as I have an indestructible spirit. Falling down becomes a sweet memory once we're up and running again even if we were let down by someone close. I feel sorry already for privately blaming a friend who couldn't defend herself. I withdraw everything she never heard. She was probably acting in what she thought was the best interest of all concerned.

Back to Paris... Ahhh, what can I write about her! She's a beautifully sexy woman in her early forties. Elegantly dressed, hair swept up and clipped at the back, alluring blue eyes, a string of pearls for a smile, a seductive cleavage with small bouncy boobs, a firm butt, perfect legs, tiny feet and pedicured toes walking down the Champs-Elysées with a wake of perfumed dreams lingering in her trail. I've been privileged to meet her finally after the other European cities I visited over the years. Apparently, I've saved the best for last as there isn't any other place that can even come close. Paris is indeed center of the world, splendor of civilization, cradle of democracy, defeater of monarchy, fortress of resistance, gallery of arts, salon of literature... and satin-sheeted wrought iron bed for lovers. I can't recall all the intimate places I touched in her. I had a whole week, seven days of uninhibited love making and I'm glad I've somehow covered every little exquisite spot of her naked body.

Disconcerting how my mind seems to be jumping all over. Bringing seemingly unrelated matters together in one single post. Am I really writing about Paris the city? Am I hallucinating after my depression? Am I celebrating my recovery? Am I for real or am I only babbling senselessly. I mixed a woman with my sadness, a kid with my friends, betrayal with my apology, Paris with my love making in the hope of reaching the truth. I needed to do that, I had to pick up the pieces before I can smile again. Once I start smiling my heart pumps happiness in my bloodstream. And I just felt it, after eluding me for thirty six hours, echoing around my ribcage, my heart is bursting with a fit. My lungs, my belly, my ass, every cell of my body taken by surprise, swept away with contagious laughter. I'm me again.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Stuffed Zucchini in Yogurt Sauce – Kousa b Laban

Well it all started innocuously enough, I stated that I'm hungry then I went further, I'm still hungry, I pleaded. I don't quite know what else to do on Facebook except change my status. I access it through a software, a proxy fucker of some sort, and the whole experience isn't that enjoyable to tell you the truth. If it were not for you, some of the people I care most about, I wouldn't even bother go there.

The immediate comments on both statuses were very confusing to me. After all I am a provincial man with a simple mind. I needed something to pacify my hunger that's all. Kousa (Zucchini) I reckoned is the perfect answer to my commentators. This a recipe that is simply delectable. Yet more significantly, it is very sexy to prepare as it involves... well never mind...
It might not be as naughty as asparagus, wink wink, but from a certain perspective, Kousa is very erotic. Even the name, Ah! Even the name... LOL

So here we go, let me feed you right.

Below quantities for 4 to 5 People.

1 kg small sized zucchini (15 cm and less)

2 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion finely chopped
300 g minced lamb meat (low fat) or ground beef
2 cubes chicken broth (optional)
2 crushed gloves of garlic
1 teaspoon salt (or more)
¾ teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
1 tablespoon pine nuts (optional)
1 cup short grain rice

4 cups low fat yogurt
1 egg
1 ½ tablespoon cornstarch

1 teaspoon dry mint

(photo from the web)

-The zucchini pulp is scooped using a special utensil (found in Middle Eastern Food stores) or the handle of a tablespoon. First cut both ends of zucchini (slightly).
If you've never done this before, place the scooper next to the zucchini and estimate the full length – 2 cm to avoid opening a hole in the closed end of the zucchini. Slowly turn (using your wrist) the scooper in 90 degrees counter rotating moves while removing the scooped pulp gradually (this is the only tough part about the whole thing).
-Wash with water and let dry. You can use the pulp for another side dish so you don't have to throw away, but I really don't feel like writing about it today.

(photo from the web)

-Over medium heat in a large pot heat olive oil, add chopped onion stir for 5 minutes then add minced lamb, garlic, black pepper, Cinnamon and pine nuts. Continue stirring for another 5 minutes then add washed and rinsed rice and chicken broth and stir for 1 final minute then turn off heat, remove and place in a bowl.
-Let cool at room temperature.

-Stuff the zucchini with (above) using your fingers (ummm naughty, naughty) until ¾ full and slightly pressed.

-Add cornstarch and the egg to Yogurt in large pot and stir constantly with a wooden spoon over medium (don't stop at all – if you do the yogurt sauce will break apart and becomes useless) until boiling. Immediately reduce heat to medium/low then stop stirring (now you are safe). Add the stuffed zucchini to the yogurt and cook for 60 minutes (uncovered).
-Remove, sprinkle with dry mint and serve.

Bon Appétit however you decide to assuage your hunger.

Monday, May 04, 2009

The Young and the Senseless

We reach a point eventually when most people we meet are younger than us. It was only yesterday when football stars were my heroes and idols. I dreamed of being like them when I get older. The time I was about their age flew by ever so quickly. My twenties are a blur of happy carefree days. I guess it was all action and little reflection then. Perhaps I was intuitively too smart to waste my youth being too smart. I had thought for food sporadically but always mixing brainwork with pleasure. Who of my generation didn't spin the bottle and get deliciously laid with the wee hours of the morning? The intensity and pleasure of those discourses in a cozy joint with friends, boys and girls. The surprise and anticipation of a possible amorous night with the bubbly girl wearing the short shorts sitting across on the floor. The music and the dancing, the beer and the drinking, the confabulations and the stargazing… and ultimately the graduation from college and the satisfaction in knowing that all concerned did real well later on and are leading very successful lives today.

No! The point of this brief post is not to reminisce over my past per say. It's rather concerned with a general personal observation about the new generation. I find that some of today's youth are taking themselves too seriously. I had the displeasure of meeting young snobs who hide behind their arrogant intellectual and moral ethos. They are still in their twenties and believe themselves not only capable of but compelled to prove their cerebral superiority. Petulant, grave, staid, drear, abject, tenebrific and rude they are with their own contemporaries and with those who are older. Well in all fairness, there were a few of them back then too but I think they either self-destroyed when they reached their thirties or were butchered by their spouses and kids if they got to the point of actually finding someone to share their miserable lives with.

Well of course most of my new young friends can teach us all a thing or two about the notion of having fun and enjoying what is arguably the best period in one's adult life. I have met terrific boys and girls in the last three years, through blogging mostly, who are humble, kind, engaging, attractive, charismatic but most importantly brilliant. They too are seeking higher goals for their present and future without ever forgetting that we don't bulldoze our way through life like colorblind bulls. They have mastered or at least learned that tolerance, respect, deference and benevolence in general are in no way an indication of weakness but rather of greatness.

Instead of substantiating the fact that I'm indeed getting older and start throwing advice left and right, I rest my case with the simple claim that I've said everything on my mind today.