Friday, September 30, 2005

Celebrities, anyone?

I have decided that a career change is in hand. Still in my aforementionned two-week trial, I am hard at work on a case of designing sale banners and "20% OFF TODAY ONLY!" cards for loyalty members of a declining high-street store, and when the brief said "Include butterflies and flowers"... well, I realized that something was not quite right.
It's quite an un/fortunate predicament to see oneself at the onset of total professional obscurity. I used to ramble that it was unconceivable that one should choose his life path at the age of 18, and that at least 2 years of post-school experience were needed to make a wiser decision. Now, with the onset of my 25th year on this planet, 7 years were still not enough...
I almost envy those young designers/writers/actors/capitalists/fashionistas that can boast a published interview in some or other magazine about their "exciting young talent!" and "promising breakthrough ingenue!" tags in two-page full-color glossy feature (photo-retouching galore!). But then again, they only make up 0.1% of the worldwide 18 to 35 population, if not less.
Hey, I could be worthy of a two-page article: "Lebanese Designer's CV Twice as Exciting As British Peers... In Only One Year!"
Maybe that's why I have decided to be the boss of my own magazine one day. I would make celebrities out of all my struggling underrated friends, and get ourselves up to 0.15%... One day.


On another note, did you know that Kate Moss snorted 5 lines of cocaine one night?! Oooooooh...
Funny how the British need that one story that will get them going through the week, ooohing and aaaahing among each other just about everywhere, from the hairdresser to the bus, to the local pub to the chicken shop under the house. Kate Moss must be proud to have spurred on a long line of new encounters, strangers bonding in her demise (or her iconification, more so), and couples forming in a bat of eyelashes as Ms. Moss is used as the trendy new pick-up line.

AND... What is it with the British always wanting their celebrities "publicly apologizing"?!?! Prince Harry had to do it when he wore the swastika, Jude Law had to apologize to the British people for cheating on his wife, and now Kate Moss is being put under pressure to publicly apologizing to the British nation for causing so much grief and sorrow!
Love to be offended, these British people...


Final rant of the day:

Why do the British always put a slice of lemon in their water?!

Drives me up the wall.

Monday, September 26, 2005


Turns out that my two weeks trial is exactly just that: a two-week trial.
There was a Japanese girl doing two-weeks trial before me, and after mine, there is another girl doing hers. So basically, we are three competitors for the job, à la queue-leu-leu.
And after the last bitch's two weeks, I will know if I were the better of the trio. And then I might get the job.
I WAS DUPED and I don't have the job (yet).

I have to call the pub and tell them I am not quitting after all, and that I LOVE being a barperson and don't fire me if I called you all bastards behind your backs... please.

I told you I should have tiptoed... (in the study with the dagger).

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Cluedo has absolutely positively got to be most riveting game ever invented.
I know that there is a Risk mania out there somewhere, but as long as I never have to learn the rules of it, Cluedo will remain the Absolute.

Friday, September 23, 2005

By All Means A Good Week

It has been one of those great weeks when you start to tiptoe around for fear of breaking the spell.
Apart from working yet again for free at some East End magazine under the title of "design intern" (for lack of justifying the No Pay policy), the good things just kept on rolling:

1) The last two shifts at my pub have brought me a grand total of £17 in tips, as well as a generous amount of flirtatious talk culminating in the expression "salivating over you". It may sound pretty sleazy, but, hey, it works for me.

2) I bought what I refer to as a Monster Bike from some bloke on the street for £25, when it would usually go for £150 second-hand! I do not want to know where he got it from and did not ask... BUT. It is way too big for me (I am one of those short people), so I will remain faithful to my Gwen and sell Monster Bike and make LOADS of profit. Because I am sometimes the most achieved of capitalists.

3) Next week, I will be working a shift at the pub where all I have to do is sit around and watch Cate Blanchett and Judi Dench act a scene from their upcoming movie. I needn't pour drinks, I needn't serve food, my only task being to oogle them and be starstruck for 5 hours, and earn money for it.

4) The phone company made a mistake and send me loads of money in my account, hence covering the cost of an upcoming pair of winter boots that will rival with my 8-year old DMs, as well as a weekend in Berlin.

5) I have been offered... wait for it... wait some more... (I waited 7 months!)... a position at a design agency!!!! I start a trial 2 weeks as of this monday... wait for it... Paid! And then I will wow them with my dazzling skills as an artworker and a brain, and will hopefully land myself a full-time contract and start a new-life as a proud employee, sucked into the 9 to 5 office job where I crave for the weekend, fight post-lunch drowsiness in front of the computer screen, and live off a MONTHLY paycheck (and not the measly weekly payslips of the pub)!!!!!
I am going to start a routine, and I have never felt so good about myself!

And now that I have boasted the week's little perks, I will shhhh again, because I may get hit by a lorry tomorrow, and would've wasted 20 minutes of my time being all stupid-happy writing this post...


Wednesday, September 14, 2005

As Full As A Doughnut Hole...

A very ambitious friend of mine has spoken today:

"I see myself in the future as either a bum, or a crook --but a good crook."

I love people with a plan...

The Blog Survey

Just found out that my dissertation is currently on one of my professors’ desks being scrutinised before it goes on the desks of 2 more people who will continue to scrutinise( the thought makes me a little nervous!). However rather than wait for correction , which could still take weeks to come out; I’m currently preparing a summarised report of the findings and will be publishing them in a week or so. Thanks again to all those who participated, published survey and passed the message.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Moving house

Like Rasha, I have been a bit off on posting as well. I did finally hand in my dissertation almost a week ago and since then I’ve been blogged down with work and finding a new place to live which any Londoner can testify is a complete NIGHTMARE. I finally found a place and will be making my move on Thursday from the circus courtyard of Hoxton Market to the hustle and bustle of Brick Lane. I’m experiencing a bit of separation anxiety; almost revelling Old street tube station for example which I have to admit is the ugliest tube station in London and has the worst chicken smell early morning coming out of Lennies sandwiches but you know how the story goes… But I’m also looking forward to the move and having SCHRmmm be my neighbour.
True, I have slacked down on blogging since I came back from Beirut, but not for not wanting. On the contrary, I have been desperately trying to shoo the fog of anxiety and tune down my self-indulgence, but my mind has been stubbornly one-sided.
I would love to rant about the demise of the New Orelanders, the sensationalist headlines of British newspapers ("Tesco Put Porn On My Phone!"), my love of filthy Bethnal Green road slackers and the state of my toes after an unexpected downpour in sandals... But it is the realization that I am now battling against the pearly crop of graduate designers from RCA and StMartins, who are going to steal all job opportunities out there, that has won over. I am not jealous, just resigned. They will be waving those lovely certificates of theirs, and stampeding on my efforts.
But it's OK. I've decided a change of career is in hand anyway. Being a designer is over-rated, and making things pretty for corporate greed is not what I had in mind. Isn't it in moments of utter disillusionment that people have bloomed and turned to the unplanned? I am not a labelled worker. As I said in one of my last-resort applications to a magazine I'd loved to join:
"I can write, design, clean, answer phones, make a delicious cafe mocha, i can illustrate, take amazing photographs, i don't do drugs, but i smoke like a chimney, i cook great Lebanese food, can guzzle white wine, need to poop in solitude, i have designed a whole book about my naked body, and own a bike called Gwen."
(He turned me down: Advetising Sales Executive was still not part of my amazing capabilities.)
To Be Continued...

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Grenades: Not for Sale

SCHRmm, a jewellery designer from London, is going through with what I consider to be a breath-of-fresh-air project, with all the commercial shit ransacking our impressionable minds these days. I am the recipient of one of the Grenade pieces (and very very humbly honoured to be so!) and I urge everyone to check out her project (see post of Tuesday August 16th).
Too busy vying to be an employee with a salary, I forget that, before begging to sell my soul to the Capitalist machine, I am foremost my own employee... I don't know if the lack of motivation qualifies as laziness (probably so), but SCHRmm shook me out of my self-pitying mode.

Back To Black

I went to the Whitechapel's Back To Black exhibition today, focussed around contemporary Black art, and, frankly, I was quite touched. Someone there remarked that he had never seen such a strong proportion of black people in a exhibition, as opposed to the masses of white intellectuals that usually roam the sterile rooms. And it kind of hit me that I did not know this culture very well. Apart from the commercialized Malcom X, Black Panthers and Luther King, I do not know their medium of expression and their cultural manifestations. And, especially, I wondered if black people themselves were in tune with their art and cultural history.
Stupidly, I could've asked one of them, but I feared it somehow un-politically correct as a casual (white) reader to inquire about such a predisposition. I know it may sound stupid, but there still is a lot of stigma and controversy around the subject of racial black and white, and, as a general observation of my surroundings, they are quite a closed-knit exclusive community. And having lived in Beirut for so long, where the black community is virtually non-existent, I admit that I have only met a handful in my past year in London, and "black" areas on the outskirts of the city always feel uneasy for the whites...
Why is it still a touchy subject? The recent events of New Orleans have angered me in the sense that the degeneration into anarchy is almost exclusively among the black population: that could easily lead into more stigma about black communities being violent and dangerous, anchoring the prejudice against the black. It is the same with fundementalist Islamists creating a distorted view of milllions of 'regular' muslims.
I don't know where this post is leading to, but basically... what the fuck is going on with this world?! And when the fuck is this all going to end?!

Thursday, September 01, 2005

From Middle East to East End

So I'm finally back... and the routine is about to settle in once more: CV, application, portfolio... Send.
"To find a job" as my everlasting mantra, I am battling yet again the purpose of my fierce zeal to work in London. Beirut is beautiful, but EVERYONE nags. Out of all the encounters in Torino of my graduate peers, there was only my cousin, back from 4 years of exile in Boston, who was genuinely loving her job and her life in Beirut. Everyone else is either underpaid, overworked, bored AND is made to feel that they should be grateful to be employed as slaves. I am being applauded for choosing to struggle in Europe, even though, on the downside, I have been actively doing close to zero for the past 5 months. Of course, the grass is always greener on the other side, but I still can't decide which side that might be...
So, yes, there is a general umph and ukh about the fresh crop of graduates, but I've mostly hung out with my graphic design friends from college, and there is still a long way to go for the country to accept design as a valid craft deserving of recognition, and not simply as a luxury. My Business or Finance friends seem to be doing alright, though, but that's understandable... The economy is crap for those who don't work in the economy.

Oh, and there was a bomb during my stay there, and I just wanted to point out how strange the reaction when that happened. Fate. Simply fate, and... acceptance? When there is no verified enemy, it is easy to be made to imagine that they just drop from the sky by no one and nothing. They're just there from time to time, and they make a rubble on some empty street. People wave from behind the news reporters, and wonder if Starbucks will be re-opened the next morning in time for their morning coffee. I was told that people were avoiding going out on weekend nights, since most bombs 'decided to explode' either friday or saturday nights, so Torino was busier on Tuesday than on Saturday. But when the last bomb happened on Monday night, the pattern was disrupted and people went back to the normal weekend drinks. When there is no logic, no culprit, or no way of prevention, there is almost no more discussion, simply... fate.

Oh, and I ate a lot of Moujaddarah and Loubieh Bil Zeit, which was was just perfect.

Batroun bay

Site of Hariri assassination

Torino my love...