Tuesday, May 6, 2008

birthday convocation...

Hey everyone... First off, thanks for the many birthday wishes! I really appreciated them, since no one here even knew it was my birthday. I went out to an expensive steakhouse and treated myself to calamari, king prawn, and and four-inch-thick fillet. It would have been better served with wine instead of watermelon juice... but still nice.

I played in a poker game last week and lost my ass. Played terrible, absolutely no cards came my way. What made the night worse, though, was that we all lost to someone who brought a poker cheat sheet with him that listed the order of the hands. Damn that hurt...

Speaking of sport, my golf outing a few weeks ago was great. It is beautiful playing a full round of golf at night, but ungodly hard to find your ball if it rolls off the fairway. I even stranded a cart in the sand... not a sand trap, but deep desert sand. Unfortunately, we all decided to make a night of it and went out to a hidden bar in the city, Garvey's. It's not really hidden, people know about it, but there are no signs or listings for it anywhere, and you just have to know where it is to get there. They are allowed to serve liquor due to a grandfather clause back when Qatar was a British protectorate. Anyplace that was serving alcohol then was allowed to continue to serve... that means Garvey's and the Rugby Club. Well, that lasted until about two a.m., then it was club sandwiches at The Hot Chicken, followed by a three a.m. poker game that went for several hours. Somehow, at that point, we decided to break into a South African's home and start making boerswoers sausage... can't really explain the reasoning behind that one. And after that, it was several hours of bowling. All in all, a 36-hour day... with about eighteen hours of sleep afterwards... I'm just not as young as I used to be.

Anyway, it's dead quiet here today. It is the last day of finals, so any prof who finished their class early has taken off on holiday. The building that I work in with Carnegie Mellon and Georgetown University, has already finished up their semesters... meaning that the normal hustle and bustle of students is gone and has left it eerily quiet. You can hear shoes squeaking from 500 meters away...

Tonight is the Education City Convocation. The convocation is a gathering of all the seniors who are graduating this year. This is the first time all the universities on campus all have full graduating classes; so the QF is treating it as the inaugural class. It is a massive event, getting coverage on all the news with signs up everywhere. Just across the street from Education City is a billboard about 300 meters long, congratulating the seniors. The royal family, His Highness Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa and Her Highness Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser al Missned, will be in attendance along with other dignitaries. Sheikha Mozah will be presenting all the graduating seniors special rings from the Qatar Foundation... solid platinum, encrusted with diamonds. About five grand each. Considering how wealthy some of these students are... makes me want to vomit...

Of course, this comes with a massive contingent of extra security. Besides our normal security guards, we have the armed Internal Security Forces (like our CIA and Secret Service in one) patrolling the campus. Several of our roads are blocked off, and in the main building, everyone is supposed to leave early to have the garage for VVIPs... really... there is a sign up for VVIP (very, very important people).

And we have a performance tonight. It was supposed to be musical icon Sarah Brightman... the original star of Phantom of the Opera and Requiem... the muse of Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber. But sadly, she had to cancel yesterday. Everyone was stunned! If she cancelled, how is the QF going to get someone to replace her? It's not like this country is packed with high caliber musicians and singers! I don't think they're going to have "The Exiles" play their cover of 1984's Hungry Like the Wolf! But once again, Sheikha Mozah surprised us all. With one day's notice, she got... Andrea Bocelli. Probably the most famous, and most successful opera singer alive... with one day's notice. Not bad... not bad at all.

So tonight, I'll be dressed to the nines, surrounded by sheikhs and sheikhas, sitting outside in sweltering weather, watching very rich kids get even richer, while listening to Italian opera. Either that, or I may go bowling...




Anonymous said...

Is this working?

for the Sheik

Aunt Pauline

Anonymous said...


Did you enjoy A. Bocelli? I loved listening to him while inFL... then lost the CD!! Shucks!

Ithink it went through as Anonymous.

They will not accept my PW . then said I was already a google member when I tried to start over.

SO, I amy be the Anonymous ONE!

Mothers Day tomorrow... I get to cook for Jan & Mom.Daveisupfor the weekend,too. Good time!

Love , Aunt Pauline