December 17, 2007

To my neighbour

As part of the Monday original content on, here are some thoughts that crossed my mind after a discussion with a colleague.

I don’t blame you for having a skewed image of me. Every day, it seems like there’s another story that undoubtedly affects your perception of the Muslim community. Whether it be the ridiculous response to offensive cartoons, or the nearly daily attacks that take place in our war-torn countries, it must be difficult for you not to think we’re just a little bit suspicious. The murder case here at home, which has dominated headlines this past week, certainly does not help our case.

Read the entire post here, and leave your comments there.

Update 2007.12.24: You can also read the (slightly edited) piece at, where it was recently featured.

December 11, 2007

I am completely normal

After an extended lull, things became very busy for me very quickly, and I haven't had time to write anything. I still don't have time to write anything of substance, but I'll take a short break to respond to Manas' open invitation to uncover weirdness. Yes, I'm doing a tag. This won't become a habit.

  1. I can recite the English alphabet backwards just as quickly as I can do it forwards.

  2. I tend to get nervous when speaking with someone one-on-one, but am perfectly comfortable in front of large audiences. I've been on stage with no script in front of nearly a thousand people with no hesitations whatsoever, but I find I can't articulate very well when I'm with just one other person.

  3. My right eye tends to tear up when it is even just mildly cold (it seems to start when it drops below -5 degrees). This has often lead to kindly strangers at bus stops asking me if everything was alright.

  4. Not much more to say about this, really.

  5. I can make a rhyme out of anything, a skill which I've exploited on way too many occasions. Back in CEGEP, I began my final Bioethics project with a sonnet in which I complained about how much I disliked my professor's teaching style. Though I criticized her openly in the poem, she found the idea to be brilliant, and only offered some minor rebuttals to my criticism while giving me 100% on the project. I also left a rhyme, a parody of an Eminem song, at the desk of one university professor, whose course I nearly failed because I capitalized the letter C in a filename. (Long, depressing story.) In my first week at work, I wrote and presented a poem to teach my team about the illegality of insider trading.

  6. I really dislike sand. I've never understood the attraction of beaches; I appreciate natural beauty, but I just don't find anything appealing about sandy beaches. I can honestly say that I don't enjoy being at the beach at all. (So to those of you who I'm taking to Florida, we're not going to any beaches.)

  7. Poor spelling bothers me way too much. If something is within my capacity to fix, I'll fix it. I still maintain my old MSA website, and whenever anyone posts a classified ad or forum post with bad spelling, I'll go into the database directly and make the corrections. I'll also fix Wikipedia entries, and even edit e-mails sent to me in Outlook when there are too many typos. (Although I don't know why Outlook lets you edit incoming e-mails - it seems like that should be a defect.)

Those of you who know me personally probably can identify other oddities, but overall I think I'm a pretty normal person. A normal person with a blog who doesn't like doing tags. Perhaps my aversion to tags, or almost anything else that's "popular", is a weirdness in itself. Or maybe everyone else is weird.