Friday, April 29, 2011

We're back!

An Abu Dhabi Sunset. It's the clouds that make it novel.

The Burj Al Arab

If you don't blog about it did it actually happen. Is a love untwittered a love worth having? Is it really possible to have many friends...on Facebook.

So many of our recent experiences have been filtered through the lens of, 'Is the blog worthy?' that I've felt like I've actually lost a bit of the experience in the questioning. It's Like the parent who can't enjoy their child's first steps because the battery on the video camera is dead. Obviously, I want to document our experiences here, but so often I find myself anticipating how I will right about an event while thing's still happening. Which, of course, takes me out of the event. I wonder if historians experience present catastrophes or revolutions in the same way.

Yup, that's me with some famous guy.
The things I do for this blog.

This would have looked so much better on the Nikon.
As a writer, I've always done this to a certain extant, filing away experiences and people to be used in stories at some future time, but it's worse with the blog. Maybe it's the pressure of not only having interesting anecdotes, but also having the photos to accompany them.

A couple of weeks ago we all went to a water park in Dubai with some good friends of ours. Obviously, I wasn't going to take my DSLR with me, but our little waterproof Fuji camera takes pretty lousy pictures especially when the light is delicate. So, even though we had a blast on the slides and in the wave pool, I didn't really feel like we got our money's worth because the pictures we came away with were less than ideal.

We had a few experiences where no camera was present, and the fact that we wouldn't be able to blog with photographic evidence of our joy and excited rendered the experience somewhat muted.

Miranda and Grace.
Julie on The Tantrum Alley at Wild Wadi.

On the other hand, A few weeks ago I met the French Spider-Man who's climbed some of the tallest buildings in the world. He was in Dubai to climb the Burj Khalifa and speak at a conference hosted by the college I work for. I really wasn't all that interested in him as a person, but I knew that if I got my picture with him, I have something to put up on the blog to prove that my life is indeed interesting and exciting over here in the Middle East.

Then there's the whole problem of instant information. In the Internet age where stories develop by the hour, I feel that if I don't digitally document as it happens, then I've missed the window of relevance. Who wants to read about something that happened a whole week ago. Even yesterday can feel like the distant past.

In the interest of record keeping I will list the events of significance that happened to us over the past month and a half since my last posting. In no particular order, the following has happened to us:

-Liam advanced from a white belt to orange in Kobudo.

-Miranda earned her yellow belt in Karate.

-Elder Holland visited our stake a few weeks ago and all the kids got to shake his hand and Liam was able to play the piano in a fireside.

-Our stake was split, and then, the next week our ward was split.

-Our house in Canada finally sold and we're grateful it went to a family who will appreciate its proximity to the temple.

-We've all read lots of books and watched our share of movies.

-They've installed parking meters in our block of the city and have been pretty strict about enforcing the no parking in the middle of the street rule (you might think this wouldn't have much of an impact on our lives, but it's made our nights so much quieter).

-The kids visited a great exhibition on Mesopotamia.

-There have a number a awesome beach visits where the kids saw some cool sculptures and Lucy saw dolphins on of her outings.

-Lest you think it's all fun, the kids have been working overtime to finish their schoolwork so we can make the most of our summer.

-Also, Liam wanted to make sure I blogged about Thor before everyone else got a chance to see it. It was great comic book fun, but our only option was to spend the extra coin and watch the thing in 3D. The 3D added absolutely nothing to the experience other than a dimmer picture and a headache. I never thought I could be discouraged from watching superhero movies on opening weekend, but I feel like Hollywood is pressuring me to delay gratification until the movies show up in 2D or on home video. I suppose I should be grateful for this. I'm saving money and learning an important lesson about happiness.

There you go. I'm going to try and get back into the rhythm of things regardless of whether or not anything interesting happens to us. If all else fails I can always spout my opinions on society and popular media because if anyone misses anything about me, it's my opinions.

Miranda and her friend Grace at
Grace's Baptim

James braving the twists and turns at Wild Wadi
James and his friend Hazel..