My Way by George W Bush

g w bush with an ax

I won’t be sad to see GW go. He’s been a real embarrassment to Texas and America. While I want history to remember all his bad bad badness where he ran this country into the ground like we’ve seen so many fancy business men do and sent us to war, I can’t help but feel he doesn’t really see the error of his ways.

Like an ex-lover who cheated on you ever step of the way, he seems able to live with his ghastly actions no matter what anyone says. I guess when your daddy is the director of the CIA, minor infractions on your own country don’t seem like such a big deal. In his mind, maybe the fact we weren’t all tortured for him to get his way seems like cutting us all a break. His daddy went to war, why shouldn’t he?

g w bush with dumb fave

I don’t really have time to count out my complaints for George W Bush. I met him once at the Austin Children’s Museum where he launched his web site announcing he was running for President. He used a girl in one of my multimedia classes to help launch the site. She was about 12 or 13 and in a project where we created something we could sell. This crafty girl had taken to painting jeans. I remember the Governor of Texas asking her some questions, both of them laughing awkwardly, he walked off, she looked at me and said, “What a dork.”

Young people seem to be able to say it best and of course Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert. A whole country didn’t see what it took a teenage girl to see in 5 minutes, but they were distracted by the fact Jesus told GW to be President. If we aren’t going to separate church and state, do we really think this was Jesus Christ’s best candidate? Did JC tell him to pick Cheney for his running mate! Yikes! Seems more like the work of Satan to me. Skull and Bones, people. Skull and Bones.

Bush with devil fingers

Bon Voyage GW, I wish I could pretend none of it ever happened. But since it did, I will laugh, rather than cry about it, Dumb ass.

My Way by George W Bush

R.I.P. Elizabeth ‘B.J.’ Warnock Fernea

Elizabeth Warnock Fernea

Professor BJ Fernea had a huge impact on my life. I probably wouldn’t have gotten a degree in Middle Eastern Studies without her presence at the University of Texas Center for Middle Eastern Studies. I will try to continue passing on the lessons she taught me about a multitude of things. I tried to sum up Elizabeth Fernea’s impact on my life in a recently post: Googling My Mother. My condolences to her family and friends.

In Memoriam: Elizabeth Warnock Fernea

In Remembrance: Elizabeth Fernea

Trip to the Asian Market

I took these photos a few years ago at the Chinese New Year celebration in north Austin. Here are some of my favorites.

Happy Buddhas

Happy Buddhas

Porcelin Asian Ladies

Porcelain Lotus Ladies



Jolly Asian Men

Jolly Asian Men

See more Chinese New Year photos

Googling my mother, not Elizabeth Fernea

Curious if my meta tags and html text were correctly being indexed on Google, I did a search for my mother’s name “Liz Lobban” and was happy to see one of my web pages came up first in the search. As I scanned the page in the 10th or 11th spot, I found the entry below.

Middle Eastern Women and the Invisible Economy: women and … – Google Books Result

by Richard Lobban, Elizabeth Warnock Fernea – 1998 – Social Science – 302 pages. This collection examines the “invisible” women of the Middle East and their vital economic activities.

My life is full of surreal occurrences so this is just par. The universe brings me some interesting bits. You see above that my mother’s name is listed above created by the combo of Richard Lobban and Elizabeth Warnock Fernea. I don’t know Richard, but Elizabeth Fernea was the college professor at the University of Texas in Austin who deeply influenced me towards a degree in Middle Eastern Studies. Her books told stories of an American woman being dropped in the middle of the East and she survived. Her teaching style involved always allowing you to try for a better grade. I tried to take every class she offered and remember her being kind and serious, but really hoping to teach you something. I took her words with me to the Middle East and survived living in the West Bank, Syria and Jordan and took her teaching style to many of my own teaching experiences with children and adults.

Elizabeth Warnock FerneaI’ve search for her name a couple of times in the last 15 years, but Google fate would send me her way and yield a fantastic article from further searches reminding how positively she affected my life. How high she raised my standards by just giving me a chance to do better and not acting like the only person in the world who knew about the middle east. She was humble and fascinating and I believe she was the director of the Department of Middle Eastern Studies with only aB.A. She inspired me and motivated me with her gentle ways.

The most cherished thing I share with Elizabeth Fernea is her love of the Arab people and this area of the world. The Middle East is old school and serious and dangerous and spiritual and amazing. At many stopping points, it can be completely opposite of America but so often exactly the same thing. We all want safety and prosperity for our families. Food on the table. Bills paid. Someone to love. Music to dance. Something to be happy about. Some people care about the past, others the future. Some are good. Some bad. Some happy, some angry. Separated by space, language, the spices in the food and the sewing of the clothing, there are uncles and aunts, grandmothers, secret loves and forbidden taboos. Often the evil practices of rulers and military/government brand a whole culture withthat set of values. I don’t particularly want anyone to think President George W. Bush’s affairs represent my beliefs or life choices. Hell, I don’t want anyone to think they know be because I live in Texas, but I don’t have to tell any of that to Elizabeth Fernea. In fact, she is one of the people at UT who taught me to embrace the rest of the world without all the “give peace a chance” hippie stuff.

So if you think the towel headed, camel jockeys of the Middle East are all looking to blow up a building you should read one of Fernea’s books or try to catch find one of her films. Especially if the only info you get about this part of the world is on CNN or the nightly news. You’d get a more accurate account from the Daily Show. Elizabeth Fernea deals in real lives and history and the richness that makes the East so fascinating.

Cheers Elizabeth Fernea! You continue to inspired me.


Elizabeth Warnock Fernea: Part of it all
She slips between countries and cultures with ease, never fully belonging but always at home

The Middle East’s Secret Weapon

Lebanese singer/model Haifa Wehbe

The Lebanese people are all very beautiful but she is mucho caliente.

 Habibi means “my love” between my ears, but it says
here it is “my beloved“. They use this word a lot in arabic
songs with this type of music. I used it a lot to talk about the
European boys with my friends from Spain. Just for fun.

*I had to come back and add this*
Didi by Milk and Honey not Cheb Khaled

Olympic Opening Fun

I’m cooking up a sports article, enjoy this!

Hope you caught some Olympics from Bejing.
The opening ceremony was AMAZING!!!!

Cheb Khaled – Didi

When I was in the Middle East in 1993, the song Didi by Cheb Khaled was all the rage. While I didn’t get to see this guy live, I heard him everywhere on the streets and in peoples homes. This makes me want some good swarma. And for those of you who think all Arabs are terrorists, check Khaled out. He and many like him are trying to have a good time and be happy. Arabs remind me a lot of Mexicans in their family, culture and religious habits, except the Mexicans drink tequila five times a day (Muslims pray 5 times a day facing Mecca) and have more fun at the beach.

I took Arabic for 2 years at University of Texas Austin and then a summer semester in Amman, Jordan at the Univeristy of Jordan and I have no idea what “Didi” actually means. Ha! Can you see why I make web pages now???!!! I do know Cheb Khaled means Young Khaled and he’s from Algeria.

If you ever make it to the Middle East, you can’t miss Amman or Petra or Jerusalem. They are as important to the world as Rome in tracing our past.

This is a random video I really like that supports my claim Mexicans and Arabs are a lot alike. Seems like they filmed Sabado Gigante in this same studio. Djeloul – Aakel Fiha Ya Galbi Live

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