Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Hectic work week with multiple observations followed by busy birthday business further followed by the first grading period of the semester. Mix in Vito starting school and soccer simultaneously, and it's clear where our efforts have been concentrated.

All's well, otherwise. Seems like we're not at a lack for things to do in Doha so far. Here I am (take two) last weekend at Belgian CafĂ© at the InterContinental Doha about to enjoy a chocolate mousse in a martini glass with this giant sparkler stuck in it. Angela is keeping herself busy, too. At least, for now, it's leading to considerable happiness. How long can it last, though? I may have bit off more than I can chew with Arabic lessons three days a week, but that's the way it is for the time being.

On Thursday, we've been invited to the Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern of Art by the Faculty & Staff Life Committee (that's what is printed on the tickets) for a little tour and cocktails (certainly fruit, not alcohol) afterwards. Even though admission is free, we were given tickets. We went once before with Vito, but we didn't stay very long, so it will be nice to return to see a little more of the museum. To be fair to Vito, however, it was too close to dinner time.

And finally, I'm going to the new Qatar National Convention Centre (QNCC) this weekend for the TESOL (Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages) Conference: Putting Research into Practice. The new building basically looks like the one rendered above, but without the clouds, blue sky and green grass. We drive by it almost every day, and we can see the parking garage from our apartment. Anyway, many of the teachers from the Academic Bridge Program (ABP) will be attending (many from the English department, that is), and we'll get an extended weekend with Sunday off to attend conference activities, which is nice.

So that's some of the latest...

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Ho Hum

While typing away in the wee hours, I notice a sound in my apartment and walk around clicking off switches in an effort to eliminate it, but nothing works. They stay, denizens of this insistance. The refrigerator forges a path to nowhere in the dark corner of the kitchen, defying me. Orange rectangular eyes on the outlets--some off, some on--keep watch around the apartment; the neon green modem halo above the storage closet shows that we are ever connected to the greater e-world. iAm. Outside, streetlights, unblinking, star along the no-hill horizon, well on their way to another day of perpetuity. Hooray!

And there is also our constant hum here from all of the electrical suck taking place. During the day, it goes somewhat unnoticed but, at night, Ahoy!, beneath the whisper of traffic in the distance, the sounds come out of the great sea of sand that surfaces Qatar. How many, while updating their statuses, notice their hard disks flicker awake momentarily to scan whatever hot magnetized inner storage spaces remain? And what else calls in the social networking flatulence?

They're even more intrusive outside, the sounds, where they come out of nowhere, behind corrugated restaurants and shisha tents. Turning a corner between a giant generator and a mall, they gang up on unexpected passersby in gusts of hot AC exhalant. I was noticing them a few weeks ago during a muggy walk along the deserted Katara Cultural Village esplanade, massive air-conditioning angst machines marring the midevening.

Back at home, however, when I listen closely, I can pick out the layers or different registers of sounds: hums, ticks, buzzes, throbs, rattles, pulses, vibrations, whirs. The walls get nervous and my companions turn in their sleep. When will I turn in? What mulch in the humid hang-time? What song? New sounds blossom, envelop weaker ones. I stay to listen...

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Follow Me...

I added a link in the sidebar so you could follow the blog. I know there are lurkers and hangers-on from my blog days of yore out there, but now there is an outlet for you. I'm following myself for starters...