Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Catching Up

I haven't been writing much because I have been working at my new job getting the office up and running. It is going to be SOOO pretty. I picked out light colored wood furniture and red fabric partitions and blinds that match the color of the desk. Our conference room overlooks the sea and we have an outdoor terrace for office barbecues (yeah, bud-deh!). I've been running all over Shuwaikh (which I HATE HATE HATE) looking at samples of this that and the other (or as most of the vendors say, "zis, zat, and zee ozer".) Me tired. It will be nice to have a "normal" office routine again.

I've also been working at a customer site, collecting requirements and attending stupid meetings. I finally gave in and did something incredibly smart: I bought a digital recorder, so that I wouldn't actually have to sit there!

Ok, birthday week (yes, week) was a blast. I can't remember when I've laughed so hard – maybe during the occupation when I was in training with SheeshaGirl in DC in the Red Cross and we, as trauma trainees, got continually kicked out of the exams. During the exams, the trainees must hold the victim's head (stabilizing the neck and backbone) until help arrives (by shouting "Somebody call 911!!!" until somebody comes to the aid). SheeshaGirl always left me to "go get help" (she was supposed to BE the HELP – Kuwaitiyah – macu faydah). I kept running over and pretending to be a gay man named Kevin who was an Aquarius and saying, "how may I help you today?" Anyways, long story short: Birthday Week 2005…

I've to say that the lunch at Sakura was absolutely, by far, the most fun. 10 of us got into one of those party rooms with the very-hard-to-get-out-of chair things (do you think that Japanese people have less trouble getting out of them? They must.) MuslimArtist, Bobarino, his girlfriend "Fish" (not because she's smelly or anything, but because her name is the same as a fish), SheeshaGirl and SailorMan, Brazilian and Jeff, CineDude and Naz were all there. It was still light outside, so of course, Bunny was home sleeping (he only ventures outside the batcave at night). Is sushi euphoric or is it just me? The more you eat, the funnier everyone gets (gee, like alcohol - how ironic!).

Anyhoo, leave it to Jeff to start up the gutter talk. I didn't KNOW what a "dirty sanchez" or "tossed salad" was. If only I could go back in time and erase those two GOD-AWFUL images from my mind, I would feel much better (especially because the turd talk started just as they brought the chocolate mousse cake - EEEEEEWWWW).

It is incredibly difficult to make Babarino blush and get grossed out: either feat would be hilarious, but together, there were just no words to describe it. I noticed, however, that he did manage to finish his cake. I couldn't.

I know that I am usually hard to gross out. I pride myself in it. The one time (not at band camp) that I can recall when I was truly disgusted (to the point of having to pull the car over as I was driving from gagging) was when my friend, CT (a nurse), told me a story of a woman who was comatose. She described, in acute detail, the smell of the room and the source of the offending odor. Burn it from my memory!!!

How come everything ends up with potty talk? As my nefew says, "Aunt (DesertGirl), you got potty mouth!" Yep. Guess so.

We went to a party (not a potty) on Thursday night at CineDude's house. I hadn't seen MuslimArtist in a looooooooooooooonnnng time and she looked drop-dead gorgeous in a dress I must possess and high heel (FM) sandals. Everybody was dancing, except for me (not in the mood). The people there were great (with the exception of one weasely dude from the U ASS Embassy). Good crowd PLUS M&M's at the door. I gave Bunny the green ones. He didn't get it. I had to explain. I still didn't get "any". Not even a birthday sympathy bop. (Sadness, heavy sigh.)

For the actual birthday day, Bunny and I went to the Hilton for dinner at the Blue Elephant (I call it the "Blue Feel"). I ate like a horse and he surprised me with a strawberry cheesecake which I haven't finished yet (because as soon as I do – I am on a diet. Which means that I will keep a piece in the freezer for about a year). It was a lovely evening (I still didn't get "any" – sadness, heavy sigh).

My mother called to read me my birthday horoscope: I'm supposed to get married in August (any handsome men out there wish to assist?). My mom thinks that's great because I will be in the States in August, so they can save money on the plane fare. She thinks of everything. I just adore her.


The KGB:

There was yet ANOTHER meeting held at the KGB to tell people that they could NOT be our friends anymore. Well hel-loooooo dumbasses, you can't do that to people. They are so bad. INTEGRITY – do you GET IT? It think it is funny that they have placed so much importance on me and several others who left there under similar circumstances. I must be a very influential person, don't you think?

My philosophy is this: Happy employees are productive employees. Treat people well and they will treat you well. Companies don't make friends by screwing people over.

There was a quote by someone who was president (or CEO or Chairman) of a computer software company in the Mid-West US. He said, "At 5:00 every evening, I watch as 95% of my company's assets drive out the front gate." That's just it – the company IS the people they employ. It isn't about material assets, it is about the people who work with them.

Ok, on to another gross subject… Enough serious talk.

I changed the colors in my apartment to "summer" from "winter" (white and green from burgundy). That is why my dog got sick and puked on literally everything white I have: my new white silk duvet; my white sofa, my white carpet. Yak! Yak! Yak! The 3 vets who looked at her this morning thought that was hilarious. Thankfully, DesertDog was kind enough to actually go outside before the explosive diarrhea set in.

This is my world and how pathetic it is.

DesertDawg is ok now (another trip down to IVH). She had a fever and was suffering from dehydration. It was probably caused when I changed her normal dog food (DAMN YOU SULTAN CENTER for not stocking the regular!!!!) in combination with the affects of the booster vaccinations that she had 3 days ago.

I am now looking forward to another fun weekend (please, please, please) free of dog yak/poop and hopefully with a single, tall, dark, handsome man present. Maybe my future husband (hurry up, damn it – we only have a few months!!!).

Should I look for my dress this weekend?
Book a hall?
Hire a wedding planner?
Call the florist?
Shop for rings at Tiffany?

Monday, April 11, 2005

I Can't Stop Playing With It

My new computer. Bunny bought me a new computer for my birthday. You would think that I would have time for stuff like blogging, but I'm actually creating libraries of my favorite music and downloading stuff and (get this) doing work for my new job.

Bunny to the rescue again. What a guy. Now, I have a new Bunny-draw: "Can you come over and help me with (this application or that one). He's really good about coming over when I need him (I guess it is the knight in shining armor thing), so I try to create new home projects to keep him coming back. How pathetic is THAT? Some girls use sex to lure in their mates - I use shelves and computer programs. How did my life come to this?

What the HELL is going on in this country with all the construction? When will it stop? There is a PIT down the street from my building and there are dumptrucks in and out all day and night. I want to throw eggs at all of them, but they are construction trucks and I am quite sure that eggs will have no affect on them at all (not like with the shiny cars that sit outside honking). I have perfected my egging to an artform. I can aim, egg, and run at just the precise timing required. Honkers of all types get on my damn nerves. What am I going to do about the TRUCKS???? Why at night? It is 12 am now and the damn trucks are going up and down my street. Again, how did my life come to this?

And really - how pathetic is all of this?

I sent my lawyers some flowers. I thought the guy was going to cry. Apparently, all they get for a job well done is a handshake. Not in my world -- flowers. I am a firm believer in flowers. One time (not at band camp), I sent a woman (not lady) in my office some flowers. Do you know what she had the NERVE to say? "You should have just given me the money. Why did you waste it on flowers?" I don't know if I actually SAID out loud, "Why did I waste it on YOU?" Ok, do something nice and throw it in the ocean.

I stopped allowing anonymous posts on here because of the WACKOS who sent me some comments of a sexual and insulting nature. Do people have nothing better to do with their time?
Masturbation. I mean, it puts you in a better mood and you're not actually pissing anyone else off (unless you do it in public or something).

Friday, April 08, 2005

The Day When A Lot of Paths Crossed

Have you ever experienced weird times when you come into contact with people by coincidence - or maybe your paths cross with people that you haven't heard from in as long time? It seems that it only happens during a short period of time. Like yesterday.

I started the day (at around 2:00) by visiting my friend, Fatima, and her family for lunch. I hadn't been to their house in probably 8 months. Their immediate family (brothers, sisters, husbands, wives, kids) has grown to 92 (the most recent, 10 days ago). They are always extremely kind and welcoming and treat me like a member of the family. Their mom used to draw water from a well as a girl (here in Kuwait) if that gives you any indication of her age. She always cooks for everyone.

Going to their house is a circus (or similar to an Italian dinner party). Everybody is shouting over each other to be heard; kids are running around screaming; food is being brought in and cleared out by people. It is madness. I love going there. No matter how much time passes, it is as if no time has passed (except there are more kids running around). We always manage to catch up where we left off.

The first time they invited me was 1993 when I first visited Kuwait. At that time, they were trying to hook me up with one of the brothers. Unfortunately, it didn't work for us. He's now married to a really nice American girl and they've got 2 kids. Anyhoo, sometimes when I visit for lunch, I wonder how I could ever fit into family life (as in with kids and stuff). That lifestyle is so foreign to me. You know - school, routine, lots of people. I don't know that I could ever do it. I like to visit that lifestyle every now and then, but then I go home.

Being off 3rd Ring Road, I decided to go to Ikea to buy More Crap I Really Don't Need. I was watching a lovely exchange between an American lady and her about-5-year-old son. He looked up at her and said, "I love you, mommy," and she responded with an "I love you too." It reminded me of my sister and her son. It was such a sweet, endearing moment that I probably wouldn't have thought twice about otherwise, but I was still reflecting on the family thing. It was already a great day, and watching the pretty lady and her son just made me smile (making passers-by wonder why I was walking around alone with a shopping cart with a stupid grin on my face). As I got up to the check-out counter, the same woman and her son were in front of me. She turned and said my name and it was STINNI!!!!! I have been talking to her on the phone and exchanging e-mails with her for years (I'm a blogger because I stumbled across hers). It was so nice to finally meet her (and Stinni, you DEFINITELY DON'T need botox, girl! You look great!) I wanted to run over and hug her, but I'm never sure to what degree of touchy-feely other people are and I didn't want to weird her out on our first meeting.

After Ikea, I had about 2.5 nanoseconds to take a shower before Bunny came to pick me up to go to SheeshaGirl's house for a dinner party. Unfortunately, we showed up late because I forgot that Bunny's car window was broken and put it down by accident. We had to go to a mechanic to put it back up. Ooops. (Why doesn't he just FIX it???)

I don't know what I really expected SheeshaGirl's house to be like, but I was blown away. It is full of antiques and books from her parents' lifetimes of travels around the world. It was gorgeous and I felt so at home there. Her 2 big retrievers made it feel even more like home. The food was also awesome and I'm sorry, but I don't believe that SheeshaGirl did it all herself. There were about 12 of us and after dinner and desert, we sat around and basically had a SheeshaGirl/SailorMan roast. I felt really bad for them at some points. Jeff was going after them like he was a stand-up comedian. I don't think he came up for air once (or will ever be invited back there!) Several times, Bunny went to their rescue and led them out for smoke breaks. I can't remember the last time I've laughed so hard - almost into an athesma attack.

Bunny and Naz were recruited (as they are GEEKS) to help fix SheeshaGirl's home PC ("It's hosed."), so they stayed behind.

5 of us piled into Brazilian's 4-wheel-drive-uphill-in-reverse Corolla to go to a house party in Fintas. The place was really cool - it kind of reminded me of a trendy club in DC (that I can't remember the name of right now); very nice decor. As soon as I walked in, someone shouted my name. It turned out to be a guy I adore who still works at the KGB. He introduced me to his friends and cousins. About an hour later, another cousin walked in and recognized me from San Diego in 1992 (it used to be my favorite Sprintime vacation spot). I couldn't believe that he recognized me after all this time (I'm WAY cuter now! LOL), but my philosophy is this: You always remember the crazy people (call 484-3900 to look up YOUR old friends!). It was so nice to meet up with old friends.

We started to make our way to the gate at around 3, by way of the saj stand outside next to the pool. As Jeff said, "I crave these things; it is what keeps me coming back here." (Yeah, sandwiches, company, "refreshments", and dancing too!). I stopped to play with their 2-month old German Shepherd puppy and we headed home.

DesertDawg is the jealous type and knew right away that I had been with another dog. She gave me The Look and kind of turned her nose up at me. I had to spend extra time playing with her and her new stuffed monkey (which I am thinking of naming "Lulu" just for shyts and giggles!). (Thankfully, after "cheating" with another dog, I didn't receive any doggy gifts in the morning.)

I fell into a happy slumber just as the sun was coming up. It was a really wonderful, happy day.

Monday, April 04, 2005

I could get used to this

Our new office isn't ready yet, so I haven't had to rush out of the door at the crack of dawn to get anyplace. It is kindof nice, but at the same time, I feel so weird about not having somewhere that I must be every day. I'm working on several different projects for the new company, so it isn't like I'm not doing something, but it isn't like 'real' work either. I just have a lot of meetings outside the an office, followed by lots of documentation on the computer.

For example today - Sheeshagirl and her new man, SailorMan, invited me to the SAS to go swimming. I managed to fit in 3 meetings with office furniture vendors at the hotel - while I was resting poolside. That's life, baybee. Granted, 2 of the vendors were ab-so-lute idiots and pissed me off to no end, I managed to get back to the pool and relax between idiots.

How can companies operate without e-mail, business cards, or a website? I don't understand that. My new boss calls them "opportunities". Yeah. One of the vendors (the dumbest of the dumb), couldn't figure out their own e-mail address (on hotmail because they are too stupid to have their own domain name) and I actually had to create another e-mail account FOR them, so I could send them our new office layout. I SMS'ed the girl the site (, the username, and the password. Her manager called me to say that they couldn't open the site. I asked him to keep me on the phone while he ran through it. His response was, "I can't open it from hotmail." ummmm.... chelllooooooo

When we finally met, the manager kept talking OVER me and interrupting me, so I finally said, "Look, I've seen what you like. I want to show you what I like. (he interrupted me) And if you don't stop interrupting me and talking over me, I want you to know that you are REALLY pissing me off!"

The other one, mentioned to me 4 times how nice it was to be sitting next to a beautiful lady, so that all the people could see him. Then, he mentioned that he was here alone from Egypt and single, so anytime I wanted to meet him - day or night, he was available. He then pointed out the window and said, "You see, I have a very nice car. A Lumina. I can take you anytime to our showroom." To SHOW me WHAT?????

I have 2 more meetings with idiots. I will absolutely not never no ever buy a black or brown leather sofa. That seems to be the haute couture of Kuwaiti office furnishings. Funk dat. Aint happenin in my world.

Vodka. Today is a vodka day. I wish I had some Absolute Citron . Yummmmm. I wish I had some out at the pool at the SAS. Which brings me to another point - the SAS club. Perhaps weekends are better, but today seemed to be teenaged-girl and big-fat-white-businessmen day poolside at the SAS. The men looked like baluga whales and the beeny bopper girls were - well, just that. Maybe it is a hangout for peodophiles, I don't know. I wasn't liking the current.

Tomorrow I'm supposed to be receiving my settlement from the KGB. Short, sweet, and simple. Funny thing about when you decide to have a lawyer intervene on your behalf - all your former colleague "friends" suddenly get quiet and treat you like you have a disease. I have had several very strong signs from God lately that I have done the right thing. 2 days ago, a woman walked up to me and said, "Don't you work at (the KGB)?" I said, 'not anymore'. She said, "I hated that place. I worked there for only amonth and quit. It is awful there." Yeah. Just like that.

I'm pretty content, although a little weirded out. I still can't seem to get my groove back.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

14 More Days till My Birthday

I had an opportunity to hang out with Bunny yesterday. It seems like he is able to read my mind these days. I guess you know your friends when you need them and he always seems to know exactly what I need. We sat around and watched "Cheech and Chong's Up in Smoke", which I haven't seen in like 20 years (I was 9). He brought me some ice cream also, so Desert Dawg and I chowed down on that.

Future-husband-and-father-of-my-children also called out of the blue last night. He apologized (he misses me - yeah) and we will probably get together for coffee sometime. I had met his brother and his brother told FH&FOMC that he liked me and that he was stupid for not calling me right away. His brother told him, "You don't even know how to treat a beautiful woman." Damn - I shoulda asked for his BROTHER's number!

I haven't seen much of Incredible Disappearing Muslim Artist lately. She's busy doing her thing; I'm busy doing mine. Soon, we must get sushi.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Ah Spring

Yesterday, I drove up to Abdali with my friend and her husband to get a first glimse at their new babies: 2, 10-week-old dachsund puppies. They looked like rats, but even though - they were still cute. She has to wait for another month until they are old enough to wean. The weather was beautiful and all the animals were out and it was a great day, followed by dinner and a movie at my place with lots of friends.

SheeshaGirl has a new man - hopefully, this is the last of the "new man" series for a while. She could invent her own Kuwaiti version of "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days". Actually, with her - it is more like 5-7 days. She does ALL the wrong stuff - calling constantly, choosing baby names, determining a date for the wedding, having him meet her parents. I will stop short of "naming his penis" because that is JUST TMI. Anyhow, we met her new man (I'll get to the "we" part) on Tuesday. Since then, they seem to be attached at the hip and for once - it seems to be mutual. He is actually diggin her strategic man intitiatives (all the stuff a girl shouldn't ever do). I think he likes the attention. That's great. Maybe she has met her match.

We both met the guy in about the same timeframe. SheeshaGirl calls me up and said, "This very handsome guy came up to me at (one of our usual hangouts) and said that he had seen me around before and he would like to get to know me better." I said, 'strange - the same thing happened to me about 2 weeks ago and I never called the guy. Is his name (Flan)?' It was, indeed, the same guy.

Now, my philosophy is this - if the guy is lonely and approaching women because he doesn't have someone, then perhaps he needs someone in his life. SheeshaGirl was looking for someone to be in her life at the same time. Maybe it was just the right timing. I pushed her to go out with him - even though she wasn't sure. He turned out to be a wonderful guy. I really really like him and feel very comfortable around him. Maybe things will work out for the lonely hearts after all. I hope so.

I've found a new job. I'm happy. They have the one motivating factor that I am looking for: INTEGRITY. I have always said that either someone KNOWS integrity and uses the word as a basis for their actions, or they don't and never will understand its importance. In 2 short weeks, I have put the KGB behind me and am moving on. Things are definately looking up and I think I will be much happier. The new people are listening to what I have to say and have found value in it. I haven't felt valued at work in a long time - on either continent.

Sometimes you meet people who make you question your own values and turn your world upside down - making you see things from a different angle and perspective. It happened to me in December through a course that I took. My boss at the KGB was scheduled to take the course, but then backed out at the last minute and asked me to attend. It was a real eye opening experience. Everything happens for a reason.