Wednesday, November 28, 2007


You read it right, ladies and gentlemen. Apparently, there is a whole parody site to listing customer complaints and United Airlines customer service and industry statistics.

"Read all about problems with United: Untied Airlines - Problems with United Airlines. A story in USA Today notes that UAL had the industry's highest rate of passenger complaints to the DOT for all of 2006: 1.36 complaints for every 100,000"

Monday, November 26, 2007

"Friendly Skies" (NOT), Rants and Raves

Generally, I love United direct flights into Washington because they are so convenient for me. Unfortunately, I haven’t had good luck on them and last night (full moon), it was the worst. I guess (optimistically) that everything happens for a reason. But whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy?

UA982 was even worse than the time I flew the now-defunct Air Florida into Orlando and it hit (what they called) an air pocket and dropped out of the sky for a while (several thousand feet). I don’t want to go into specifics about what happened on the United flight last night - because I am still trying to get my head around it and what I might do about it, but it was very very bad.

Most United direct flights are full of overweight American contractors. I always seem to get seated next to the largest. There was only one Kuwaiti family on the flight out and I didn’t see any Kuwaitis at all on the return flight (a Lebanese couple and several guys who I think were Iraqi interpreters.)

Stupid comments I overhead before/on/after the flight last night:

“I don’t want to change my dollars for 20 dinars. I won’t be in Kuwait that long to use it all.” What? You’re not going to have dinner or take a taxi?

“I don’t know how Kuwait is going to be for me this time as a civilian. I mean, I don’t have a security escort or anything.” (Said by a guy who was about the same size as a linebacker.) Ooooooh, scawy!

(A flight attendant when told she may have to go to Kuwait): “Kuwait! No way. Do they have to wear the veil there?” What the hell is “the veil” they keep talking about? Hejab? Niqab? What?

“I don’t want to go back.” Well, that should be simple: don’t.

“The porters cost 5 dollars.” (Said by one guy about to let Babu from KGL load his luggage onto a cart). Do I have to talk about cheapass people again? Don’t even get me started.

Ok, now that I started with my main rant, let me go on to the raves/positives of my Turkey Day trip:

Seeing my family was fantastic. I met my cousin, Sara, for the first time. She’s only 13, but stunningly beautiful and very sweet. My uncle and aunt didn’t stop talking during the entire time they were there. My uncle is OCD – even moreso than my sister. My sister was very relaxed and laid back the entire trip which was amazing because I thought she was going to blow a few times. My mother was just happy to see me. My nephew is taller than I am now and all muscle. We went to see him play a football game and my throat still hurts from shouting.

Our house looks great and the new back yard is amazing. It is going to be so nice during the summer to sit in the gazebo and drink wine and look at the pool.

I got there in time to still see some of the gorgeous foliage: the trees were gold and red and yellow – really amazingly pretty.

The weather was perfect – until it turned really cold.

I went to see the Worst Movie Ever: The Mist. NO ONE TOLD ME THERE WOULD BE SPIDERS!!! I had to get up and leave the cinema for a while during that scene. I couldn’t take it. My nephew laughed at me, the cad.

Black Friday: The day after Thanksgiving; the single largest retail day of the year. Sales.

Fall shoes. Cheap shoes. Cheap leather shoes.

The most earth shattering sex with an old boyfriend. (Just kidding. Maybe not. You’ll never know….)

Oh - here is a funny story: I went all the way downtown for darabeel and some Arabic pastries. Packed them up; brought them to the States for my uncle. My sister was upstairs and noticed the smaller of the 3 dogs, Lola, pacing up and down in front of my room. My sister thought that The Ghost was in there (I travel with one, apparently) and started to freak. Then, she heard the munching: the Big Stupid Dog, Bo, had broken through the bag, and through the taped box, and chowed down on all the pastries. Dumbass. Lola was trying to rat out Bo because he's always in trouble.

Raves about being back in Kuwait:

Seeing friends in Kuwait Customs and having them be nice to me and making me feel “home”.

Having my luggage arrive with me (unlike almost all BA flights).

Seeing Slapperella and The Romanian come to greet me.

Seeing Desert Dawg.

Colonel Boring who successfully managed (with some muckity-muck friend) to have the construction water pump removed from under my window. PEACE all night long. (It is so strange, but in the course of less than a week, they removed the pump AND filled in the Big Hole. I don’t know what they’re up to….)

My bidet.

My maid who takes such great care of me.

People at work who said how much they missed me and how the place isn’t the same without me (no, I am not in a capacity to help them get bonuses).

Daily morning phone-call-from-Bunny resumption.

Shawarma delivery.

The tea boy.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Go Carts and Penguins

Go Cart!!!!!! I want to play!

Sorry the picture is kinda grainy - I took it with my mobile.

I was at Misref fair grounds yesterday attending the "Building & Construction Exhibition" (why? Because I had to.) when I saw this image: 3 3000 GTs in a go cart lot. Is this for real? I didn't have time to stop and ask (didn't see anyone around either). Is it a drift course? I am SOOOOOOOO going to do this. The red one looks just like my Stealth. I hope that they're all manual transmission. Has anyone played here? What is the age limit: can kids drive? That would be F-ed up, but not unbelievable - this being Kuwait and all. None of the cars had license plates on them - except for the red one.

The exhibit was a boring bust, but I hadn't given any intellectual consideration to the amount of damn good looking mens in there with very little female competitors. Just like shopping in Home Depot except without the day laborers.

........ Something completely different.........

Kuwait: Full of Penguins? The Romanian says that Kuwait is full of “penguins”: (mostly) short, fat men. I kinda think of them as robber barons.

My question is this: if you have a male relative with a stomach this big – wouldn’t you want to advise him to lose it? How dangerous is that much weight around the stomach? Dudes heart must be working quadroople time.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Short-Timer to Thanksgiving Leave

Some recent articles from Kuwait dailies....

This is what Kuwait is coming to.....

Arab Times, November 7, 2007: Woman sells her kidney: A Kuwaiti woman, whose identity has not been disclosed, is said to have sold her kidney for KD 5,000 to a compatriot who was suffering from renal failure, reports Al-Rai daily. …Commenting on the sale of her organ, the woman said she had no option but to sell her kidney to come out of what she called financial difficulties and accumulated debts. She has also appealed to kind-hearted people to help her. - END -

WTF. I mean, obviously that's not the whole story, but is this what is happening in Kuwait now? I've heard stories of Kuwaiti women going to the Awqaf asking for financial assistance, only to be told that if the women were willing to put out, they might be "helped". This country seems to be sliding way far backwards.

The price of US Army ''confidentiality'' (link)
Leaked information sends chilling message to contractors
Ahmed Zakaria, Exclusive to The Daily Star and AlـWatan
November 8, 2007

This story is the rebuttal to the Wall Street Journal story on PWC/Agility. AAAAAWWWWWW: Poor PWC/Agility (with wings). Making those billions is so difficult.

Questions raised by someone (not me) after this story ran: Why would Guttierez feel confident to approach Abdulrahman with a bribe? Why did he feel confident to approach him about the girlfriend setup? It didn’t come out of the blue! No one EVER approached me about a bribe cause they know it won’t fly and they KNOW I will blow the whistle immediately. Why did Guttierex feel safe with Abdulrahman?

Things that make you go hmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

International Herald Tribune
Daily Star – Al-Watan
November 12, 2007
‘Islamic car’ revealed
“Malaysia, Iran and Turkey plan to build an ‘Islamic car’ fitted with a compass to find the direction of Mecca, and a compartment to keep the Koran in…..”

Maybe the Vatican can do the same, revealing a Christan car. Made in Italy and sporting a Ferrari engine, the Christian-mobile comes with a rosary, holy water, and compartment to keep the Bible in.

Or perhaps a Jewish car: Israel has plans to reveal a ‘Jewish car’ The Jewish car comes complete with roof-mounted yamaka, rear-window displayed minora, and compartment to keep the Torah in.

Maybe a Budhist car: Monks have revealed plans for a ‘Buddha-buggy’. This quiet automobile comes with dashboard-alter including incense burner and room for Buddha.

Gee, what WILL they think of next?

Okay – MY LIFE…

I have a new semi-boyfriend. 'Semi' because I just can’t get my head around this. I mean, he is ok. I have known him for 10 years, but his wife was hospitalized and I didn’t want to “go there” with him. The situation has changed. Super nice guy – almost too nice: My friends think he’s “too easy” for me. Yeah, I need someone who will treat me like shit and disappear and then I’ll fall head-over-heels for him. He’s another cop. I know, I know. I don’t know what it is. Either cops, firemen, or Air Force (pilots, navigators, air traffic controller) guys. (There IS a uniform theme going here, but believe it or not, I've never seen most in uniform -- even before they get out of it. tee hee.) This one is a colonel with a lot of powah, owns companies, yada yada. We’ll see how it pans out.

I went to a party with the posse this weekend. The place was really nice, but really smoky and really loud. I always bring my marksman-approved ear plugs with me; they are THE Kuwaiti party accessory (in addition to sun glasses for the drive home). The cool thing was that they had an open bar all night and actually HAD cranberry juice as a mixer: Quite civilized.

A stupid girl walked into my path and said (in one of those sing-song, high-pitched voices), “(Desert Girl)? Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii”. I’m like, ‘Sorry, I don’t remember you.’ (I should use the excuse my Kuwaiti Ho girlfriend, GD, uses “I was in a car accident and hit my head and I’m sorry, but I just don’t remember.” But she’s F-ed up, so I don’t). She said, “Ooooooooh, I used to work with you at (that horrible logistics place).” I did remember her. THEN, poser child points at her mobile, tilts her head and said, “I’ve got to get this call.” Her shit didn’t even ring! Then, turns away/dismisses me. WTF. Yo! Beanie-Barbi - YOU accosted ME....

Anyhoo, good music, good drink; the Romanian danced most of the night (yes yes, even without a brass pole). All the lesbians in the house loved it (she’s a lesbian magnet for some reason). The only weird thing (other than one of my best friends being a lesbian magnet) was that almost everybody at the party was a stick-person. There were skinny beanpole bitches everywhere (and not a one with silicone boobs). In Kuwait, no less! Well, I’ve got to say – most of them were eurotrash girls anyways. They don’t count. They smoke about a gazillion cigarettes and then eat a bean with a Perrier and call it a meal (not you, Slapperella. You can’t help it honey because of your metabolism - and its not a bad thing). My food philosophy is: Bring on the machboos, baybeee!

Actually, it was McDonalds quarter pounder (no cheese, extra onions) on the way home (first one I’ve had in 6 months, so I can afford it right?). There is nothing like a drunken McDonalds run on the way home to make everything right in your world. Anything from McDonalds tastes fantastic after 2 am. Ask me: I know.

I’m leaving this weekend to the States. I can’t wait to see my family. I SO need a reality check. I can’t wait to wear my new sweaters (that’s “jumpers” in Briddish – a term we ‘mericans only usually use in reference to people committing suicide from high places).

Desert Girl Fashion Sidenote: When is it going to get cold in Kuwait? It is the middle of frickin November already. Talk about global warming! Ya know, it is only inappropriate to wear white after it gets cold in Kuwait. Until then, white capris are allowed (but only if your ass is as big as a VW). I saw some season-jumpers in the Avenues the other day: 2 girls wearing matching knee-high patent leather boots; one in white, the other in black. Also, what is it now with Kuwaiti girls going to the salon and STRIPPING their hair in order to color it blonde? That is SO bad for your hair and it looks so cheap. It would be like if I (with my pasty-white skin) dyed my hair black (which one of my friends did to assimilate and she looked/s like a freak. Elvira!).

Damn, I’m chatty today. What’s with that?

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

More Virgins!

I saw this stuff and immediately bought several bars as Christmas gifts. It is just what every woman needs - Virginity Soap. (I don't know - maybe a select group of guys can use this too.) It states right on the box "tightens vaginal muscle". Go figure. I thought it might be shaped differently. Its from Thailand - "for export only" - as if they don't need more virgins there too! My gal pals have told me that you can find it in different Asian shops around Kuwait. I bought mine when I was early for a meeting at the Al Salam building at Salhiya and had to waste time/money. I'm so glad because it is fascinating. I'm looking at the ingredients listing and I can't figure out which herbs they are claiming for the "herbal soap" part. I also can't figure out which one restores your virginity: Sodium palmate, aqua, sodium palm kernelate (could be that one), glycerine (I tried that one - doesn't do it), witch hazel extract, octoxyglycerin (I can't even pronounce these), titanim dioxide, tricosan, etidronic acid (ouchies?), and fragrance. Says it has vitamin E also (not listed in ingredients list). I would love to do a review, but hey - not gonna happen. Do your own.

Dead Sexy Military Contractors Conference – Yeah Baybeeeeee

I spent most of last week at the very sexy (I lie - very boring) US military contracting conference given by the Defense Acquisition University. (And yes, they did have it all – including Fat Bastard!) The DAU isn’t an accredited institution; it is owned by the US Government and it is all about US contracting. Anyhoooo… you can see how 3 days of this might grate on your nerves (exceptin’ for it was held at the new Bidaa Movenpick with free lunches/dinners -- compliments of US tax payers). A new (as in approximately 5 months) Grand Poohbah of Camp Arifjan contracting command, LTC Kiser (say it in English or in Arabic) stated to a room full of jaded contractors, “I believe in my heart that the Cockerham case was an isolated incident.” (Direct quote from his lips to my/room-full-of-peoples ears.) followed by something very similar to, “There is no corruption in contracting at Arifjan.” Dude! WTF kinda hooey is that???? How is it possible to make that statement? The last commander of contracting at Arifjan, Col. John Alexander (a full bird, no less) stated in an American Business Council meeting full of equally-as-pessimistic military contractors, something to the effect of (and I can’t quote him verbatum, but this is what he said): I was at Arifjan for 10 days when my legal counsel came into my office and told me, “Sir, we have a problem.” The next day, I called every auditor in the US I could to get them here and check the books. What’s with the about-face? Hmmmmmmm.

Now, I don’t blame the folks giving the conference, per se. They don’t know anything about Kuwait and were flying in/flying out to complete a particular task; giving the general State-side version of contracting. However, there are several points about it that I didn’t like: 1) It should have taken place around the same time as Bechtel held their contractors meeting at the Sheraton in 2003; when no one in Kuwait knew much about how to work with the US military and everybody-and-their-brother had something to sell them. 2) It should have been tailored to the unique circumstances in Kuwait (for example – Kuwait labor practices vs. the US military’s new hype about trafficking in humans). 3) Whoever was covering invitations could have done a much better job: There was only 1/3 capacity in the room. 4) Defense Acquisition University dudes could have asked any one of the American contractors doing business in Kuwait what their problems are and how they would like to have had them addressed at the conference. But nooooooooooo, once again, the UASS Embassy has chosen to ignore the entire American business community. (We're heeeeeeeeere!) Guess they are still too busy giving parties for any other nationalities (that’s another story). I do have hope for a new and improved US embassy, however. Female Ambassador, female Commercial Counselor, Filipino-American (don't know his title) muckity-muck. Maybe they can get rid of several butt-kissing posers they have working there now who only remember who you are if they think you are important (one of whom stared so hard at my diamond ring that I thought my finger was on fire). (More stories….) Anyhoo, the US government dudes were so cold that even at the buffet line (paid for by US tax payers), they wouldn’t speak or make small talk at all; as if they were afraid of everyone. Boo!!! Dudes - TALK to people on the ground and know what’s up. Typical. The US government pays for these events, but truly doesn’t have a handle on the real situation. Furthermore, if contracting/procurement officials at Arifjan change every 18 months/2 years, how can ANYONE have a handle on the real contracting circumstances in Kuwait? That’s just wrong.

Anyways, the Chairhole sent me to the conference after we had a "disagreement" over the per diem rate (YO! I'm not Discount Girl!) I should have received on his mandated trip to Dubai (that I didn't take); and I got to be out of his face for 3 whole days. Does that make sense (said like I care)?

Now, on to stories from my mundane existence:

Thursday night, The Romanian and I went out with the Bentley Boyz (2 guys, 2007 Bentley). Posers. It is probably a rental (not that I really care). The problem with posers is that they think that all the little (and not-so-little) ajaneb (foreign) women know nothing at all. I think we freak them out (especially with the PC-uncorrect versions of Kuwaiti jokes you'd hear at the diwaniya). They invited us out on “their” yacht the next day. I asked how big the boat was (blank stare), “Uh, 3 bedrooms.” Yeah well, my friend with a 27’ Scarab has 3 bedrooms (that translates to 2 benches and another sleeping bag in the middle). Then, from the table, I called my Kuwaiti Boating Guru, Wahabi, who said that the weather would be windy. Posers are so stupid. Plus, Bentley Poser Boyz wanted to leave the marina at 4 pm to go to Kubbar. WTF??? Anyhoo, we ditched them and went looking for better trouble. Got a few Kabd invitations, but I just haven’t felt like driving up there lately.

I took The Romanian on a brief jaunt around the Movenpick (we were at Le Lounge at Bidaa with the Boyz and she hadn’t been to the hotel before). Romanian’s reaction to the Move-and-Prick was, “OMG gorgeous, but why Kuwait? I mean, if I was going to open a hotel like this… not Kuwait.” It is definitely a red-wine-sippin-in-the-lobby- lounge kind of place. Why Kuwait? I got a strange SMS from Purgy after we left, asking if we had been at the Movenpick. Incase anyone was wondering, Purgatory is a stalker. He stalks my blog and now this. He immediately knew that he would be fodder for a blog post and has probably been checking here every day since Friday morning to see if he’s included. Are you happy now?

I hate really big…

Crowds! Dirty-thinkers! I was debating whether or not to go to the Redbull Flutag thingy last Friday and I talked myself out of it because of the crowd. I’ve never been a person who likes traffic or crowds (unless it is a Chipendales convention or something). The Romanian and I talked about going, but then decided that there might be too many of the scary boy-mobs there, so we didn’t go. Mark’s blog made it look fun and retarded at the same time. Were there a lot of women there? How was the crowd?

The rest of my weekend was spent on recycled guys. I am now going through a “devil you know” phase where I know why I’ve rejected them in the past, but they are still better than some of the weird-o’s I’ve only recently met. I’m also going through a phase where I only meet puppies (the kind of young guys who follow you everywhere with wide, pathetic eyes, hoping you’ll throw them a biscuit). I’m so not impressed. Generally, I've found puppies to be (as a metaphor) similar to a Corolla driver given a Ferrari: They have gorgeous equipment, but they just don't know how to handle it. Zoom, zoom, zoom baby.

I have been a workaholic lately anyways. I don’t have much time. When I do, I would rather spend it with me girls or good friends who I know won’t try to grope/molest me at the first given opportunity (like you, Maz!). I don't know where the Jailbird (aka Psychic Bedu) is lately. While he was in jail, he was calling me and professing his undying love and telling me that he wanted to marry me and all that bullshit. Alas, it was all prison-bitch chat. Il est disparu (or whatever the F in French).

And now... for something completely different....

Comfort Foods: I had the pumpkin cheesecake at The One Café this week (speaking of groping). Holy shit that is good stuff! They only have it around November and December. The “wild cheesecake” at Lorenzino café also rocks. Almost got molested at our table at Lorenzino: Dude who walked by 5 times trying to give me his phone number (in competition with his BROTHER also trying to give me his phone number) came and sat down at our table to give me his number. WTF! These guys are getting pretty bold. Haven’t any of these cheapass amateurs ever heard of The Cake Maneuver (where you send the object of interest a piece of cake with your card/number?). It has been 2 years since I was on the receiving end of a cake maneuver…

Speaking of comfort foods…. I am flying back to the States for Thanksgiving for 5 days. Why? Because I can. I haven’t been with my family for Thanksgiving in 11 years and I think its time. I’m also going back for Christmas (I know – I’m retarded, right?).

Has anyone noticed that their MTC bills are higher now that the company changed their name to Zain? Are we, their customers, paying for their globalization and re-branding? What’s up with that? My bill is a lot higher and I’m not liking it.

This week is going to be crazy-busy yet again and thankfully, our DG/Romanian/Slapperella weekend has already been booked. Yippeeee!