Earthquakes, Movies and Lewinsky

So, um, someone just voted in my online poll from last year. You know, the one asking about who would win the 2004 US election. Geez. Speaking of polls, if you haven’t yet taken the current user survey, please do.

I had a fun time in Toronto this weekend, though it was jam-packed full of activities. To all the friends I did not see this weekend, I apologize profusely, but my schedule only allows so much! I’m still suffering from the excess of lifestyle and from lack of sleep. Picture me in my office in Ottawa with an ice pack on my head. I’d photograph the scene, but you already have enough photos of me.

I have to plug this. It’s my friend Rachelle’s online “children’s book”, though clearly it isn’t for children. Hilarious.

Another friend, Michelle, is in her first year of studies at the London Schools in, of course, London, UK. The London Schools are a federation of top level London-based universities, which includes LSHTM and LSE. Guess who else is a first year student there? Monica Lewinsky, at one point the most famous woman in the world! After much urging from me, Michelle finally offered a brief insight into what Monica is like in person. (I stress the urging bit because I don’t want anyone to think that Michelle is gossip-mongering. I’m the gossip monger, not she.)

Michelle has nothing but positive things to say about Miss Lewinsky: “…she’s smart and has good opinions.” And I have no reason to doubt her. I think Monica Lewisnky has been given a bum deal by society. Sure, it can be argued that an otherwise mediocre life was turned historic by the conflux of events of which she was a part. But it’s unfair to suggest such a thing to someone so young, for whom the world of possibilities should still be open. She might have achieved greatness all on her own, after all. Besides, from where I sit, she never did anything wrong. Bill Clinton did something wrong, but not Monica. He was the liar and the philanderer. She was just a compliant intern doing what we all secretly (and not so secretly) wish all interns would do. So here’s wishing her (and Michelle) all the scholastic luck in the world.

The local South Asian social group, Milan, has another event tomorrow night. Our book club was supposed to have read Rudyard Kipling’s Kim last time, but only two of us showed up. So this time around, we will be gathering at my place and watching the movie version of Kim. If you’re in the Ottawa area and would like to come around, do let me know.

At the end of November we will be hosting a photograph exhibition featuring the works of Toronto artist Richard von Erlac, who has a series of startlingly artistic and non-exploitative pics of Sri Lanka. All proceeds will go to charity, so stay tuned for more details. In reference to this event, I would ask anyone with the following information to please share it with me:

1. Do you know of any other Ottawa- or Toronto-based artistic photographers of either South Asian origin or whose work is South Asian-themed who would appreciate being showcased in this venue?

2. Do you know of any charities or groups needing funding –other than the Red Cross– who are doing relief work on the recent India/Pakistan earthquake?