Thursday, April 28, 2011

Sharif Would Like This

My birthday is in a little under 4 months (hint hint, nudge nudge).
This iPod and this watchband (blatant suggestion).

Just kidding.
Kind of.
But not really.
I have my last exam in 2 hours.
Summer here I come.

iPod Nano WATCH (ingenious really).
Buy it here: iPod + Watchband


Sunday, April 24, 2011

Splatter Has Never Looked So Good

You may or may not know this, but I am somewhat of a nailphile (pun intended). So, in honor of Easter, I decided to try this cool at-home manicure idea I found a couple weeks ago but never had the time to try until now (not that I'm done with exams or anything yet). It kind of reminded me of painting Easter eggs...except painting my nails instead.

Festive procrastination...

Check out this video and try it yourself!


Saturday, April 16, 2011

Sharif Likes Saudi

Although I am a Canadian citizen and am originally from Ghana (I was born there and all my extended family still lives there), home is actually Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. My father works for Saudi Aramco so we've been based in Saudi for the past 13 years. When I tell people I live in Saudi Arabia they're either really curious—or think I'm lying. The most common questions I get are "What's it like?" and "How do you like living there?" In response to the latter, a lot of people are surprised when I tell them that I actually love it there. I don't think I could have had a better childhood growing up anywhere else in the world. The people are amazing, the culture is vibrant, and there's a real sense of community. As a kid, there was never a shortage of fun things to do. Granted, I grew up on a compound and (in terms of certain freedoms) life there is very different from life outside the gates. Off-compound, women can't drive and are required to wear the customary abaya—even in the 120ºF summer months. That kind of sucks, but I respect the culture/would rather not have any run-ins with the المطوعين (religious police).

When asked "what it's like there", answering is a bit more difficult, however, the following videos explain a lot. The first is a post-September 11th CNN segment about Americans living in Saudi and working for Saudi Aramco (how many of you have had former chief international correspondent of CNN Christiane Amanpour come to your hometown and interview your neighbors?) The second video is a parody rap song about life on my compound in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. I wrote and recorded it (as my hip-hop alter ego "DJ Sharstar") in an attempt to combat boredom during the Holy Month of Ramadan (in Saudi, most places are closed in the daytime during Ramadan, so GarageBand was my go-to for entertainment).

"Saudi Mobbin'" was an unexpected hit with Aramcons (and those who love them) and now I'm actually going to be filming a legit music video for it when I go back to Saudi in July (with production being handled by the guys at Aramco Brat Media). Pretty exciting stuff, but I have no plans to quit school and become a rapper just yet.


Friday, April 15, 2011

There Is A Way

Done: 3 term projects
To Do: 3 final examinations

Musical Motivation?

Simple and plain, it's a beautiful thang.


Thursday, April 14, 2011

Lighten Up, It's Just Fashion!

One of my favorite moments on the show Project Runway was when Season 2 contestant Santino Rice pranced around the design room singing "lighten up, it's just fashion" in an effort to relieve some of the pre-judging tension. Although I wouldn't exactly consider myself a devoted follower of fashion, I do enjoy and appreciate it—especially for its ability to "lighten" ones mood.

As the days get longer and the nights get shorter, we have officially (if belatedly) entered spring. In the cold winter months my fashion sense goes into hibernation, so I've been eagerly anticipating the day when it is finally warm enough for me to ditch the sweatpants. Unfortunately, the warmer weather also coincides with exam time, where I generally neglect style in favor of Stauffer (if you see me sitting at the 4th floor rails, it's unlikely I'll be dressed to impress).

However, exam time also means increased #procrastination (token hashtag...they're just so trendy right now) and with procrastination comes collages! I've got exactly two weeks until school's out for summer and the following are my sartorial inspirations for that glorious day (portrayed in my favorite visual art form).

Sharif Likes: floral prints, watercolor, neutrals v bold hues, draped fabrics, gold hardware, statement necklaces, rattan handbags, stripes, citrus colors, studded everything, breezy button ups, tailored shorts, retro sunglasses, gold watches, ceramic watches, watches (period).


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Sharif and a Sharpie

Tatum and Lindsay at So Destroy It are all about creativity, so when they featured the work of writer/artist Austin Kleon on their blog I wasn't surprised (but I was intrigued). Austin is a master of the art of blackout poetry. Armed with a newspaper and a Sharpie marker, he creates a message within a message by blacking out the majority of the text (and leaving a few words behind). As he notes in one of my favorite of his works: creativity is subtraction.

I was immediately down to try this because A) I own several Sharpie markers and B) I read every issue of the Queen's Journal (and never know what to do with them when I'm done).

I love the idea of recycling the words of a newspaper article and making them your own. The following are a few blackout poems that I did when I should have been studying.

BOP #1: Get Fresh

BOP #2: Sharif Says

BOP #3: Blogging v Living

The "slowly beginning to be fresh" one was actually my first attempt at blackout poetry (perhaps that's why those were the words that jumped out at me?) And the irony of the "blogging" one is not lost on me (as I am, in fact, sharing it on my blog).


Sunday, April 10, 2011

Illustrated Me

Just want to give a shout out to the amazing Alba Francomb (the paintbrush behind my blog's profile picture). Alba is an old friend of mine, an aspiring children's book illustrator, and a ridiculously talented artist.

Case and point...

Six-year-old Sharifah (red plastic cup in hand)

Alba's take on an old classic.

Check out more of her work at her blog Crumpets and Tea!