Archive | June 2012

I Know Them!

This proud feeling you get when someone you know makes great things:

Song of the day: “Valery” Cover- Elie Ramly & Emilie Gassin

With the beautiful Lebanese shore in the back.. Enjoy!

And here’s to Hind who is shining wherever she goes and is winning award after award (latest one:

So proud of you my Hindou!


Oh The Things we Do

Song of the day: “The Way I Am”- Ingrid Michaelson

Happy Friday!





And, quick piece of advice:

If Hemingway says it…


One Day I’ll Build A Castle

Very rarely does a text touch you as much as music or visuals. And that’s why, when one does, it means so much more.

Cyril shared with me the below text by Fernando Pessoa (one of the most renowned Portuguese writer) which automatically became one of my top 5 texts of all time (alongside “If” by Kipling and “He dies slowly” by Neruda).

Here it is, Read it slowly.

First , the Portuguese version:

“Palco da vida”

“Você pode ter defeitos, viver ansioso e ficar irritado algumas vezes,
mas não se esqueça de que sua vida é a maior empresa do mundo. E você
pode evitar que ela vá à falência.

Há muitas pessoas que precisam, admiram e torcem por você. Gostaria
que você sempre se lembrasse de que ser feliz não é ter um céu sem
tempestade, caminhos sem acidentes, trabalhos sem fadigas,
relacionamentos sem desilusões.

Ser feliz é encontrar força no perdão, esperança nas batalhas,
segurança no palco do medo, amor nos desencontros.

Ser feliz não é apenas valorizar o sorriso, mas refletir sobre a
tristeza. Não é apenas comemorar o sucesso, mas aprender lições nos
fracassos. Não é apenas ter júbilo nos aplausos, mas encontrar alegria
no anonimato.

Ser feliz é reconhecer que vale a pena viver, apesar de todos os
desafios, incompreensões e períodos de crise.

Ser feliz é deixar de ser vítima dos problemas e se tornar um autor da
própria história. É atravessar desertos fora de si, mas ser capaz de
encontrar um oásis no recôndito da sua alma.

Ser feliz é não ter medo dos próprios sentimentos. É saber falar de si
mesmo. É ter coragem para ouvir um “não”. É ter segurança para receber
uma crítica, mesmo que injusta.

Ser feliz é deixar viver a criança livre, alegre e simples, que mora
dentro de cada um de nós. É ter maturidade para falar “eu errei”. É
ter ousadia para dizer “me perdoe”. É ter sensibilidade para expressar
“eu preciso de você”. É ter capacidade de dizer “eu te amo”. É ter
humildade da receptividade.

Desejo que a vida se torne um canteiro de oportunidades para você ser
feliz… E, quando você errar o caminho, recomece, pois assim você
descobrirá que ser feliz não é ter uma vida perfeita, mas usar as
lágrimas para irrigar a tolerância.

Usar as perdas para refinar a paciência.
Usar as falhas para lapidar o prazer.
Usar os obstáculos para abrir as janelas da inteligência.

Jamais desista de si mesmo.
Jamais desista das pessoas que você ama.
Jamais desista de ser feliz, pois a vida é um espetáculo imperdível,
ainda que se apresentem dezenas de fatores a demonstrarem o contrário.

Pedras no caminho? Guardo todas… Um dia vou construir um castelo.”

And the English translation:

“Stages of Life”

“You may have flaws, live anxious, and sometimes get angry, but never forget that your life is the biggest company in the world. And you can keep it from going bankrupt.

There are many people who need, admire and cheer for you.

I wish that you always remember that being happy is not having a sky without storms, paths without accidents, work without fatigue, relationships without disappointments.

Being happy is finding strength in forgiveness, hope in battles, security in fear, love in disagreements.

Being happy is not only appreciating the smiles, but reflecting on the sadness.

It is not just celebrating the success, but also learning lessons in failures.

Not only having joy in applause, but finding joy in anonymity.

Being happy is recognizing that life is worth living, despite all the challenges, misunderstandings and periods of crisis.

Being happy is no longer being a victim of the problems and becoming an author of history itself. It is crossing deserts outside of yourself, but being able to find an oasis in the secret of your soul.

It is thanking God every morning for the miracle of life.

Being happy is not being afraid of your own feelings. It’s knowing how to talk to yourself.

It’s the courage to hear a “No” and be confident enough to receive criticism, although sometimes untrue.

Being happy is to let the child living within us to live free, happy and simple.

It is having the needed maturity to say “I was wrong”.
It is having the essential courage to say “forgive me”.
It is having the indispensable sensibility to say “I need you”.
It is being able to say “I love you”.
It is having the humility of receptivity.

I want life to be a hotbed of opportunities and that you be happy. And when you go astray, start again. This way, you will find that being happy is not having a perfect life, but using tears to irrigate tolerance. Using losses to refine patience.
Using failures to reach prayer.
Using obstacles to open the windows of intelligence.

Never give up hope.

Never give up the people you love.

Never give up on being happy, because life is a no-miss obstacle, even if it gives you dozens of reasons to demonstrate the contrary.

Stones on the way? I keep them all … One day I’ll build a castle!”


Keep the stones and cherish them,



Although I am fascinated by smart advertising and for-a-cause advertising, I was always skeptical about the aggressiveness, the lies and the excessive stereotypes that some of these ads create.

One of my favorite books is “99 Francs” by Frederic Beigbeder, in it, he draws a rather crude picture of the consumerism society.

Here are some of the book’s quotes (translated in English):

I am the one who enters your brain. Your desire is no longer yours: I impose my own. It is I who decides today what you will want tomorrow. When, after a lot of savings, you manage to buy the car of your dreams, I have already made it outdated.”

“I am among those who make you dream of things that you will never have. Blue skies, beautiful chicks, perfect happiness retouched in Photoshop. Do you think I embellish the world? Wrong, I screw it up.”




Song of the day: “Will You be There”- Mickael Jackson

7 years since you’ve disappeared.

You must be…




Food For Thought

“The only way you fail is if you quit” – Matthew Tolbirt

This kind of random thoughts coming from my classmates is one of the reasons I attend class every day.


Chris King (age 27 & 1/3)


Song of the day: “Jack and Diane”- John Mellencamp


Your Regular John Doe

Once, when we were kids, my sister and I went with my dad to pick my mother up from the airport. The wait was rather long and so we decided to entertain ourselves with a game: we would try to draw a quick picture of the life of the next person coming out of the arrival gate. We based our stories on their faces, the people who picked them up, their smile, their luggage, the way they are dressed, etc.. It was a LOT of fun. Although back then it was just to waste time, crack jokes, and laugh, today, I still do it in my head. When I’m waiting for something in public places, I observe the people passing by and try to imagine where they are going, where they are coming from, what their story is…

In a way, it is kind of liberating to know that to all these people, you could be anything, just like they are to you.

Song of the day: “Piano Man”- Billy Joel

(Wink to McAllister 🙂 )

“It’s a pretty good crowd for a Saturday,
And the manager gives me a smile
Cause he knows that it’s me they’ve been coming to see
To forget about life for awhile.”


Taste Buds

At the cafeteria here, we have an “All-you-can-eat” plan (Viva America). You check-in when you enter the building and you are free to eat as much as you want (don’t even get me started on how much control we must have to avoid becoming elephants). And there is almost everything. A huge salad bar, burgers, “plat du jour”, healthy sandwiches, fried chicken nuggets, pizza slices, soups, omelets, cereal, cookies, coffee, smooties and so many other things. It is IMPOSSIBLE not to find at least one thing you like.

And yet, the chinese of our class say they are not big fans of the cafeteria.At first, we thought: “Hooow?”, and then it made me think- When we were in china, we would complain about the cafeteria all the time, there were around 8 chinese “kitchens” from which we could order food, and we still had a lot of trouble finding a dish that was familiar, to our taste and that we liked- they almost all seemed similar to us, and hence, not very good.

So now, when we see a huge line of our chinese classmates when there is rice in the day menu, we get it. When my chinese flatmate tells me “I miss vegetables- I wish I could eat the ones in the salad bar but they are raw”, I completely understand her. Weird? yeah well, just a bit. for us. 🙂

So as challenging as China was, it really made us truly understand how different even our minuscule taste buds are.

I love that drawing- which takes the above subject to a much higher level- but the concept is the same.