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Thursday, April 29, 2010

"So bright it makes you colourblind"

I've spent the last three nights working on my birthday puzzle.   It's finally done and I plan to go to bed early tonight to catch up on my sleep.

Here's how it all went down...

Late Monday night.  
After a four hour baseball game and tons of fun with friends, I sat down to start the puzzle.  
My plan of attack was to work from the outside in. 

Tuesday night.  
Up until 4am.  
Started piecing together the Detroit Tigers hat and kept it going from there.

Wednesday night.  
I was actually sweating last night.  
Got this far and collapsed into bed at 3am. 

Thursday afternoon at 6:30pm!  
Oh joy! 

I complain about the lack of sleep but I absolutely loved putting this puzzle together while listening to Prince on repeat. Thank you Aneez!

"There will come a time/ When love will blow your mind/And everything you'll look for you'll find
That will be the time/ That everything will shine/ So bright it makes you colorblind" 
(Diamonds and Pearls, Prince)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Bountiful Birthday!

Yesterday, I had a birthday that I will never forget! 

I'm overflowing with gratitude!

My morning began way too early (even for me) with the opening of a gift from my brother Aneez. He created a puzzle out of our favorite screen shot from my favorite movie of all-time Purple Rain.  We used to watch this movie and think that this shot would look so cool on a t-shirt.  And now it has been made into a one of a kind puzzle for moi!

Here's my progress so far...

I received a quick phone call from my Tez in New Zealand who wrote me this hilarious and wonderful birthday poem entitled "Oh Yay!  Hooray!  Today is my Faiza's Birthday!"

Throughout the day, I received so many phone calls, texts and messages from many friends and family.  Armed with a gorgeous sense of love and light (and some Hula Hoops that Aneez had also sent) I made my way to my local Swiss Chalet for a quick bite to eat with Munira and Saira.  The three of us had tasty Chicken Chopped Salads and then made our way to the Dome to watch the Jays play host to the Boston Red Sox.  We got there and were greeted by the lovely Farah Meghji Habib who had baked some scrumptious birthday treats!  Thank you so much Farah!

There were 18 of us in total (out of the 14000+ in attendance) watching this marathon of a game and engaged in two simultaneous games of Mound or Ground.  There were a few winners throughout the game but the top prize of $16 in quarters went to Kimberly!  Here we have some of the other ecstatic winners!
Sheba, Emil and Shafik with stars in their eyes!  Where or where will they spend all that money?

Shafik would have won big (ie. $3) but it was not his turn to hold the kitty.
Naheed and Joel dream of ways to spend all 12 quarters!

This was the LONGEST Jays game I've ever been too!  After four hours of back and forth scoring, the Jays lost 13-12 to the Red Sox in the first of this three game series at home. But that was not as sad as this unfortunate photo of the day:

What's up with the awkwardly manicured facial hair?

Thanks to Deanna, Alanna and photographer Raquel for celebrating with me!

The lovely Shafik and me.

(From L-R- Emil, motabhai extraordinaire Karim, Naheed, Riaz, Kushan, Sheba and Naaz.)
We stuck it out to the end!

Another year of blessings and life has gone by for which I am immensely thankful. 
I'm so looking forward to a year of love, light, laughter and joy ahead.

Thank you to my amazing family and my friends (honourable mention to those of you who sat through a baseball game just for me) for making my birthday...and everyday of my life feel like treasure!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

ek, do, tin

Elissa at cerebral excrement was tagged by Bianca at Good Night Little Spoon in this petite questionnaire.  Elissa is my favorite haiku poetess so when she tagged me, I couldn't refuse.

Three names I go by:
- Fui
- Bhen
- Faiz

(from one of my favorite movies!!!)

Three jobs I've had:
- Cashier at Bulk Barn - To date this has been one of my favorite jobs EVER!  I loved memorizing all the codes for the various products.
- Blue #3 (yes that was my name) in the children's choir for Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat starring one Mr. Donny Osmond - This was one of the best spring/summers of my life!
- Currently, Manager of Volunteer Services at Surrey Place Centre - an incredibly supportive, caring, meaningful and FUN place to work.

Three places I've lived:
- Ajax-Pickering, Ontario - the motherland...
- Moulton Hall  - 4th floor corner room with the beautiful Suzie
- The Athletic Club in Genoa City (but only in my mind)

Three favourite drinks:
- Fanta Orange! (I'll take any kind but it's perfection when in a glass bottle !)
- McDonalds' orange drink with no ice - Sadly, McDonalds discontinued this drink to make room in their taps for Coke Zero.  My  heart is still recovering...
- Pink Lemonade

Three TV shows I watch:
- The Young and the Restless
- Glee
- Brothers and Sisters

Three places I've been:

- The catacombs of Paris
- Dancing on stage with Barry Manilow and his stagehands
- Comfortable in my very own skin!

Three places I'd like to visit:
- Wherever Karim or Aneez are on any given day
- Uganda with Mom and Dad
- The Ellen Show!

Three favourite old TV shows:
- Magnum PI
- The Cosby Show
- Family Matters

Three favourite dishes:
- Mom's channa bateta
- Thai Islamic noodles at Salad King
- Dragon Rolls

Three things I'm looking forward to:
- When Aleem calls me in the next day or so to tell me he's a Dad...
- Meeting my future niece or nephew - ETA - September 1, 2010
- When my Dad FINALLY fully retires!

Three make-up products I cannot live without:
- mint ChapStick
- moisturizer
- my SIGG bottle - water is my beauty secret

Three superpowers I wish I had:
- Teleportation
- Ability to speak any language at any time
-  Whatever is running through my Mom's veins.  She has the most incredible amount of energy and love. 

Three places I love to shop:
- Chapters - Indigo
- Pretty much any dollar store in the land
- Primark

Three pets I've had and their names:
I've yet to have a pet that lives longer than 10 days...I am shamed....

Three bands I'd want to see on a festival line-up (as if I could pick just three):
KD Lang in the afternoon
Florence and the Machine just as the sun is setting
Tina Turner under the moon

Three favourite comfort foods:
- I don't discriminate...anything with a potato in it will do!

Three songs currently on rotation:
- Diamonds and Pearls by Prince - It has been in the rotation since I first heard it in 1991.  Thankfully, I can listen to it on repeat instead of playing the tape, taking it out, rewinding it and putting it back in the tape deck.
- Black and Gold by Sam Sparro but loving the Ellie Goulding version too.
- Flower duet from Lakme - I love to listen to this every year in the spring.

Three people I'm tagging:
Sheba at Perpetual Bounce
Zoe at In the Next Room
Micaela at Dolce Vita

Three categories I could have rocked:
- Three favorite quotes
- Three things I wish for the person who tagged me
- Three things that come in three

Happy Earth Day!

I have a long ways to go in loving our Earth more 
but am happy in the small choices and efforts I am making so far.

via Emily at consciousness-collection 
I love the addition of the words REPLENISH and RESTORE to the standard 3 Rs of

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Tuesday night at the ballpark...

It's the second week at home for the Jays and my second game of the season.  The Jays hosted the Kansas City Royals tonight and though they got off to a slow and somewhat uninspired start, they got it together and did us proud.    Katherine and I checked out our first game together.  We were supposed to sit here:

Thankfully, we ran into my brother Karim and ended up sitting here:

Katherine was such fun company.  She told me how her mom (a very sweet woman) mangles the pronunciation of some player names.  She calls Rod Barajas (pronounced Bah-Rah-Haas), Rod Bear-A Jazz.  Katherine also revealed to me that she has a bit of a thing for first basemen.  Her baseball crushes have ranged from Willie Upshaw to Fred McGriff to John Olerud to Carlos Delgado to John McDonald.  I called her on her lack of loyalty while she was ogling Adam Lind and snuggling up with Ace (see the evidence below.)

Of course I gave Ace some love too.  He's no BJ Birdie but I have room in my heart for the both of them.

Today's unfortunate photo sadly belongs to Rick Ankiel. Once again, here was a player who had a great smile and looked as though he was enjoying the game.  His picture seems to completely hide his upper lip and make him look miserable.   Rick Ankiel - I saw you in your happy moments tonight!

The Jays won 4-3 in the top of the 9th inning!  Tomorrow's game is at 1:37pm.  I really hope there will be butts in the seats, the attendance tonight was the lowest I've ever seen it.  It would have been nice to share the win and great moments like Wells' home run along with his two doubles with a larger crowd.   Looking forward to next week's series against the Boston Red Sox....

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Rock, Paper, Scissors - vacation wrap up

I've been home for over a week now.  When I left you last whilst on vacation, Aneez and I were about to watch the Jays Season opener in Texas from his living room in Basingstoke.

I forgot to mention a most invigorating hike we took on Old Winchester Hill.  It was a gloomy and windy day but we hiked for about an hour.  Just as we finished our hike, the clouds opend up and the sun came out.  After the hike, we were treated to a lovely Indian meal of mung saag, chick pea saag and kashmiri rice by Vanessa's friends Sue and Peter. 

(Taking in the English countryside.)

From Basingstoke, I went into London to visit with my cousin Faisal, his wife Nusrat and their adorable and wonderful girls Aliyah and Hannah.  My aunts Rozina and Shamim joined us girls as we set out to Wembley.  This is an area in the northwest of London which is home to some very diverse communities including somewhat of a "Little India."  I was spoiled by my aunts and Nusrat and came home with three gorgeous sarees!  We also had a delicious Indian/African meal and Faisal and my Noordin Ada were able to join us as well.  Here are some shots from Wembley.
(Aliyah and Hannah playing in a saree shop.)

(Mini bangles for kids!)

(Colourful rows upon rows of textiles seen all over Wembley.)

I also saw my first marionette show (outside of that scene in The Sound of Music.)  Nusrat took us girls to a show featuring tales from Aesop.   This show was special as it took place on a boat!
(Outside the theatre.)

(Inside the theatre.)
We had a terrific time at the theatre and I headed back to Basingstoke to spend my last two days with Aneez and Vanessa.  On one of those days, Aneez and I made a quick pit stop to Stonehenge on our way to explore the town of Salisbury.  We'd been there in the fall so we mostly navigated around the throngs of students on Easter break and took silly pictures including this one:

All in all, I had the perfect vacation and was lucky to come home to beautiful spring weather in Toronto! 

Sunday, April 18, 2010

A Weekend In Pictures

Counting my lucky stars as I look back at a blessed weekend.

Friday night
- Fighting off jetlag and trying to stay awake with May's bookclub pick...
- Trying to silkscreen at home with Shafik using this kit...

- After one false start, a trip into Chinatown for new parts, a detour for jewelry findings and a brisk walk through some flurries and sleet, we still seemed to be doing something wrong (this is our test fabric.)  Anyone know why the image is uneven and spongy looking?

- From the 416 to the 905 for a lunch with our Toronto, British and Ottawa family members.  I turned Kahzmir and Aidan into tigers in exchange for them scribbling all over my face. Growl!!!

- Unwinded with Meryl Streep in...

- Kicked off National Volunteer Week getting up early for the MS Walk in Pickering to support Paula.  A gorgeous 5K walk in the sunshine!  To everyone who volunteers to make their community a better place - THANK YOU!

- Lunch with Sheba, Emil and Indio at Toronto landmark The Lakeview (better known as The Lakeview Lunch.)  Check out Emil's 30 Minute Outdoor Workout for Beginners.  It's a great way to soak up the sun and give your body a gift!

- Sunday evening swap at Krista's house.
The rules were for all of us to bring things from home that we weren't using anymore.  We all got the chance to take things from everyone else.  Anything left behind will be donated to shelters and programs in the community.  Thank you Krista for bringing us all together!  Everyone walked away with great finds. Here are a few of mine:
-bicycle knick knack for Aneez
- wooden Melissa&Doug puzzle for Indio 
(It used to belong to Kahzmir and was one of the things Minaz brought to the swap.)
- beautiful necklace with turquoise and crystal beading
- more books for moi!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Opening Day 2010!

As Aneez would say, "It's the most wonderful time of the year!"

Monday was the 2010 Opening Day for the Toronto Blue Jays.  I was one in a sold out crowd along with my seatmates Riaz, Karim, Kahzmir, Naaz and Kushan.  The energy was ELECTRIC!  The Jays hosted Obama's favourite team  the Chicago White Sox.  (The new home of former Jay and former crush Alex Rios.  He doesn't look as yummy in gray and black.)  The Jays came into the game with 5-1 record.   Despite a loss in the 11th inning, they were excellent!

I always feel so fortunate to live in a city that has a facility like the SkyDome (now known as the Rogers Centre.)  I'm awestruck as soon as I walk through the underpass towards my seat...

Anytime the Jays play a game, you get to hear both the Canadian and American anthems.  This doesn't happen at any other games in the league.  Here is the set up for the cast of The Jersey Boys who....

...performed a really fun, four part harmony version of each anthem.  And check out Cito just in front of them!
Snacks from Canada, the US and England.
An excited Kahzmir was just one of the fans in the sold out crowd of over 46,000 people.  (Sadly, only a few days later the Jays would post a record low attendance.  I really hope the Jays can bring in more fans this year.  Wanna come to a game with me?)  Kahzmir had a blast singing "We Will Rock You." He was super cute jumping up and down and yelling at the top of his lungs when Vernon Wells hit a home run early in the game. This was Kahzmir's fourth Home Opener and he's only four years old!  (He was three weeks old when he could have attended his first Home Opener but was busy with a parade of visitors at that time of his celebrity life...)

I am always perplexed at the player photos.  They are usually badly lit, out of focus, a showcase of awful facial hair and they really don't do the players justice.  All the players end up looking so down trodden and desolate.  Sadly Juan Pierre had the worst photo of the game.  I have love for you Juan Pierre.  You had a great big beautiful smile at every at bat despite having to look up and see this photo on the 33m by 110m JumboTron (now known as the Rogers Centre videoboard.)   Your picture makes me wanna hug you and tell you that everything is going to be okay...

I've got one game down and two more to go this month.  Looking forward to the next game next week!