Sunday, May 31, 2009
I had one of those odd weekends again. It was even holierthanshitthatshot so I stayed in on Friday when I should have been accomplishing stupid things. I lived on mangos this weekend. I'm wondering how healthy that is. Is it?
I was watching Showtime whilst on my Deadly Sofa and a commercial for Southpark came on. I’ve been living under a rock (Bobarino told me it is like 10 years old), but that’s some seriously funny shit (I have only watched about 3 episodes of Southpark - I'm really not into animation at all). Lyrics here. I couldn’t believe that Showtime was playing the song. I wonder if Bobarino has heard this. Frickin hilarious. Basically, it refers to “chocolate salty balls.” Cookies, one may ask? Its sung by Isaac Hayes. Go figure! My sister had me listening to Southpark’s skit on ginger kids (kids with red hair). Hysterical. Ok, waaaaaaaaaaaay too much time on my hands (obviously – ergo the blog).
I decided to try a new hairstylist. I’ve been playing around with different ones since I decided that 70 KD/mo was outrageous to pay for hair. I’m against it. I tried a place called Pumpkin (for you in West Virginia, this does not refer to incestuous relations) which was good, but left my hair kinda damaged after a while. I just tried Images and while she did a great job on my hair – it isn’t the color I wanted and the stylist didn’t listen to me. It was 53 KD and I’m not feeling comfortable about that either. As usual, I think that I’m going to have to go to one place for one thing, and another for other things.
P3 update: I’ve decided to move the catfood out to the curb near my car. I have also had to put chili powder around my plants because they have been sleeping ON the plants in the planters. This gets the cats off my patio, but it results in problems for P3 – like other bigger stray cats in the neighborhood fighting for their food. They’re not my cats, they’re strays. I just feel bad for them. (OMG – you have become that weird old neighborhood lady. Get a life.)
I went to an embassy reception on Thursday. The Chairman was there and I tried to ignore him as best as possible – but on the flip side, HE was ignoring me! What is that all about? Is the Saudi ambassador cuter than ME? At least he made the move to come over and talk to me before dashing out the door (he always has something "next" going on - he's all over Layalina; as I discovered while in the salon). I was talking to my Ambassador friend and there was a sheikh dude standing next to him. My friend didn’t introduce me, so I introduced myself, “Hi. My name is (Desert Girl)…. “ and he looked at me, smiled and said, “Oh, I think you know me.” in a somewhat leading manner. OOOOOOOOOOOh yeah, I do! It was a friend that I haven’t seen since 1991 from DC. Shazayam! I didn’t recognize him until I looked in his eyes. No kidding. I had to stop myself from making (more of) a fool of myself because there were video cameras on us and I was about to go all mushy in between my, “Oh my God! Oh my God!s” That was a nice surprise. He was always kind of shy and reserved, but very kind. Seeing him again was way better than flirting with the Chairman – by far.
I skipped the buffet at the reception: Too much possibility for flu and illness with people passing by/breathing on buffet food. I always get sick at buffets - always. They gross me out. Anyhoo, I went alone to have sushi and wait for Slapperella's plane to come in from Qatar. It took me nearly half an hour to get into the parking structure and almost a full hour to get out. Salmiya wasn't any better (dropping Slaps off). It took me another hour from Salmiya to Rumaithiya. Where do we live - Manhattan? sheesh!
The Banker called on Thursday afternoon and I invited him to go to the reception with me, but he said that he was busy. He invited me to his office for coffee. I told him that there was no way that I was leaving my office in the afternoon heat, but thanks (I tried to be a little aloof). It was a nice conversation - kind of like talking to someone I have known for a long time.
So, how ‘bout the new parliament (snore)? I like the headlines in the Arab Times today “Assembly set to meet as bloc threatens walkout”. Dudes, you haven’t even had a single meeting yet and you are already thinking of a walkout? Do you really think that this parliament is going to last? Kuwait is never going to advance with the government the way it is. There is no stability and the direction changes every few years. That’s my commentary in a nutshell.
Yet another of our key managers is resigning and today is his last day. Where are they taking him to lunch? McDonalds. This (economy) is pathetic. McDonald’s. Can you imagine? I’m planning not to be at work for my last day at work. Yeah, that’s my plan. I don’t want to be disappointed. Although at one company I worked for – that consistently and historically said goodbye to outgoing managers as “Don’t let the door hitcha on the way out!”: They gave me a party with gifts and everybody including the owner and the guy (who had shouted at me for 2 years in a row) hugged me and said how much they would miss me. I was shocked – still am, really. Hey – maybe I should go ask for my old job back. Naaaaaaaaaaaw. Bygones. These days, I'm the one doing the shouting.
Thursday, May 28, 2009
I can’t say that I have accomplished anything really this week. I’ve just been moving piles on my desk and thinking of impressive catch-phrases to put on my management report. I’m convinced that no one reads them anyways. How do I know this fer sure? Well, because I always include the line, “Just wondering, but does anyone read these reports?” somewhere within the body of the report. So far, I haven’t received any response. They’re probably too busy thinking of their own fancy catch-phrases to report to the next guy. Vicious circle.
The Chairman and The Banker: Chairman only runs after me when I ignore him, so I am now officially back to ignoring him again. He’s into the game. I know it. The Banker didn’t respond to my cute SMSs and only finally called yesterday – during working hours. Snore. I’m leavin him hangin for a while. I’ll see them both again in a few weeks so they can wait. Don’t you hate these cat and mouse games? Jeez. There’s just a whole bunch of 40-something mama’s boys running around here, shaking hands and taking pictures. Yawn. Puhleeze – impress me.
Actually, I googled the Chairman (that sounds so dirty, doesn’t it?) and I was impressed. He isn’t just the Chairman of his own company – he is Vice Chairman of a bigass bank. He’s also all over the news. Huh. Innnnnnnnteresting.
I had dinner last night at the Boom with the Special K Family. They are very nice people who I met through the blog. (The right nicknames haven’t come to me yet – they will and I will let you know. It is a psychic process – like when the names for P3 hit me.) As usual, I talk waaaaaaaaaaay too much around people I like (when I don’t like you – you’ll know because I’ll clam up). Yak yak yak yak yak. I always later feel bad – especially with people you can visibly distinguish as jetlagged. Plus, the younger crazy ones have been out playing tennis in the AFTERNOON in Kuwait. Who DOES that? Kuwait doesn’t even come to life during the summer until after 9:00 pm. (Sidebar: I discovered where the men are, by the way. My timing was off. They’re in the co-ops after 9:30 on the weekends. Holy schnap! It was like a buffet…. ) Back to my story… Only mad dogs and Englishmen (you can tell because they wear funny hats and knee socks with sandals) brave the afternoon sun. I thought Americans had more sense. Those people are hardy, rugby-playing fools. Please do NOT follow their example. Ok, so we Americans basically come from the same gene pool, but we learned the lessons of the American Indians – move your tent at night (which, bien sur is close to the Bedouin ideology). My tent isn’t going anywhere without good air conditioning. Not gonna happen.
What the HELL got me started on all this this morning? Oh, I am probably still burning off zubeidi vitamins from last night. Yummmmm.. There goes my special Blood Pressure Diet. I ran out of rice cakes anyways. Got to go stock up on more. I lived on those things for a week and I felt great. I’m feeling kindof like I shouldn’t have had the tiramisu last night right now. I’m wearing a big shirt and stretchy pants to work today for Casual Thursday. I’m making myself feel better by wearing cute underwear. I do that.
And speaking of underwear, there was a guy at The Boom last night who carved birds out of radishes (which has nothing at all to do with underwear, but obviously at this point none of my ramblings are going to make sense, so who cares?) Just wondering, but does anybody read these reports? The birds are so cool. How can people be that creative? If only I could do to a radish what I can manipulate into senseless ramblings, I would be a famous bird carver-er. Yeah. That would be me. Somebody sent me an e-mail a long time ago about a watermelon carving championship and the melons were so cool. You’ve gotta love great melons.
Oh! Here is some fascinating food and animal news for ya: Petey and Paint (the dynamic duo of the P3 trio) made themselves at home in my kitchen this morning! The little shits! Last night, I ran out of catfood and I made them chicken meatballs. Apparently, the strays don’t like my cooking (no blame there). They were meowing for the dry stuff. I didn’t feed them. Usually in the mornings, I leave my terrace door open so that Desert Dawg can run outside and do her business. This morning, DD ran under the bed – which she usually only does if she has done something bad and been caught; or if she is afraid of something. I kept asking her what her problem was. No silly people, she doesn’t answer, but she does usually come and sit next to me, staring at me until telepathically, she gets her message across. This morning, she didn’t even do that. I said goodbye and walked across the apartment to go to my car. That’s when I saw P&P, chowin’ down – IN my kitchen - on DOGFOOD! They got the hose. Balls, I tell ya. I know – they are going to think that they own the place and already DD is frightened. I’m going to have to start moving their food out to the trash cans on the corner. I don’t know what they’ll do when I go on vacation.
I don’t know what The Plan is this weekend. The Romanian always needs a Plan, although she never MAKES the Plan. I am supposed to be the ingenious Plan Maker. How many ways can you make, “Let’s go shopping at The Avenues” sound fascinating? I mean, we could drive to Kabd, but we have no Plans. I made plans with Kabd friends, but she doesn’t like them because they’re old and “not cute enough”. OMG girl! Now I am supposed to create something awe-inspiring out of thin air. Maybe I’ll create a fake agenda.
Hers would go a little some-in like this:
2:30 pm Wake up
2:30 – 3:30 Drink coffee and smoke cigarettes
3:30 Strategize make-up plan
4:15 Apply make-up
5:00 Go to Desert Girl’s
5:30 – 6:00 Drink coffee and smoke cigarettes
6:30 Eat Sushi
7:00-ish Complain about how much food we ate
7:10 Ask what The Plan is
7:15 (Driving around, aimlessly) Call all the party people we know: Only 3 will answer the phone. 1 won’t be doing anything. 2 will have something going on that sounds like only a luke-warm possibility.
9:00 (Back at Chateau de Desert Girl): Only 1 will call back later, insisting that it’s a great party and we HAVE to get over there (which we all know is a lie because if it was a great party, they would never be calling anyone – they would be having a great time. Instead, they are calling people who can be entertaining – like us.)
10:00 Get sleepy and go home without having accomplished anything that was on The Plan.
10:30 Call boys. There is another term for this, but I’m not sayin it. Oh yes I am…. BOOTY CALL!!!!
And so our weekend repeats itself.
Oh, I forgot that I’m going to an embassy function tonight (The Romanian is going to be pissed). Not our embassy – a friend is an Ambassador from one of those non-USA countries. I love him. The Chairman might actually be there. I can ignore him in person instead of on the phone; Smile seductively from across the room and then turn and talk to whatever other man is near me and “give him my back” (rude behavior in Kuwait). What do I have that’s cute to wear? Damn. Why am I so hopeless? I shop constantly and never have anything to wear. Let me start with my feet – my burgundy D&G shoes. Upwards from there is where I have the problems. Where is my mommy when I need someone to dress me?
Does anyone read these reports?
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
This is what happens - pole vs car - when you live in a country that doesn't use break-away poles. Frickin ridiculous. I came across this crash shortly after it happened.
Mark posted about break-away poles today also; and I can't believe that some people made comments that if you use break-away poles, they will endanger other people in the area. Property damage, perhaps, but not death. When a car hits a pole in a front-end collision, it does much more damage (kills the occupants) than if it bounces off the roof of another car. Duuuh.
It appears that the young lady who was driving this car (being chased by what the Arab Times terms a "pesterer") made it out ok. There is no spider web on the windshield. She was probably wearing her seat belt.
Word to the wise, ladies: If a guy is pestering you, slow down or do what I do - hit his car with yours. Insurance pays and it is better than killing yourself. If you hit his car in just the right spot (rear quarter panel behind the wheel), you can make him go into a spin and he'll wreck (called "the police maneuver"). It's great for stress relief. Note that this is particularly fun with expensive/exotic cars. Ok I jest (maybe): Take out your mobile phone and start snapping his photo. 9 times out of 10, dude will take off.
This is the Gulf Road, my friends. On long stretches, why not put in speed b(h)umps like they do in Abu Dhabi? Flashing lights remind drivers to slowthafuck down before they hit them. Makes sense, right?
Don't date because you are desperate.
Don't marry because you are miserable.
Don't have kids because you think your genes are superior.
Don't philander because you think you are irresistible.
Don't associate with people you can't trust.
Don't cheat. Don't lie. Don't pretend.
Don't dictate because you are smarter.
Don't demand because you are stronger.
Don't sleep around because you think you are old enough & know better.
Don't hurt your kids because loving them is harder.
Don't sell yourself, your family, or your ideals.
Don't live in the past. Time can't bring anything or anyone back.
Don't put your life on hold for possibly Mr. Right.
Don't throw your life away on absolutely Mr. Wrong because your biological clock is ticking.
Learn a new skill. Find a new friend. Start a new career.
Sometimes, there is no race to be won, only a price to be paid for some of life's more hasty decisions.
To terminate your loneliness, reach out to the homeless.
To feed your nurturing instincts, care for the needy.
To fulfil your parenting fantasies, get a puppy.
Don't bring another life into this world for all the wrong reasons.
To make yourself happy, pursue your passions & be the best of what you can be.
Simplify your life. Take away the clutter.
Get rid of destructive elements: abusive friends, nasty habits, and dangerous liaisons.
Don't abandon your responsibilities but don't overdose on duty.
Don't live life recklessly without thought and feeling for your family.
Be true to yourself. Don't commit when you are not ready. Don't keep others waiting needlessly.
Go on that trip. Don't postpone it. Say those words. Don't let the moment pass.
Do what you have to, even at society's scorn.
Write poetry. Love Deeply. Walk barefoot. Dance with wild abandon. Cry at the movies.
Take care of yourself. Don't wait for someone to take care of you.
You light up your life. You drive yourself to your destination. No one completes you - except YOU.
It isn't true that life does not get easier with age. It only gets more challenging.
Don't be afraid. Don't lose your capacity to love. Pursue your passions.
When you give someone your time, you are giving them a portion of your life that you'll never get back.
Your time is your life. That is why the greatest gift you can give to someone is your time.
Relationships take time and effort, and the best way to spell love is T-I-M-E because the essence of love is not what we think or do or provide for others, but how much we give of ourselves
Live your dreams. Don't lose faith in God. Don't grow old. Just grow YOU!
It is about time.
Re-print from the Arab Times, 26 May 2009
AlـTabtabaie says will reintroduce bill on women''s rights
KUWAIT: In a press release to Al Watan, Member of Parliament (MP) Dr. Waleed AlـTabtabaie has called on the new parliament to prioritize bills which he and some of his colleagues back in 2008 proposed regarding the "civil and social right of women," which he, and his colleagues, intends to reـpropose shortly in line with voters'' wishes.AlـTabtabaie added that the bill meets the requirements of many demands regarding this issue and "alleviates the pain and suffering of women who used to work in the past but are now unemployed, as well as women who had never taken up jobs visـˆـvis their financial and service rights."He expressed his surprise that the government and other authorities who claimed that they work for the political rights of women have neglected their civil and social rights."The bill addresses many issues, including equal opportunities in terms of employment between men and women, equal wages for similar jobs, social allowances for women and children if her Kuwaiti husband doesn''t receive such allowances, or if her Kuwaiti husband faces legal cases," he explained.AlـTabtabaie further said that according to Article 6 of the proposed bill, women may request a reduction in working hours, with their employer''s approval, as long as she agrees to a salary reduction. He also said that according to the bill women are entitled to 70 days maternity leave, excluding annual leave, and that four months are to be added to this if they are Kuwaiti or married to a Kuwaiti national.He also said that if a woman is to accompany a sick or disabled relative on medical grounds she is also entitled to a special leave according to Article 8 of the bill. They are also entitled to a twoـhour breastfeeding break for a minimum of one year from the date of delivery.AlـTabtabaie is also arguing for fourـmonths leave if a woman becomes a widower, as Article 10 states.In the press release, he specifically focuses on Article 16, which grants divorcژs, widows or women married to nonـKuwaitis the right to housing welfare.AlـTabtabaie finally stated that the bill, if passed, would be a turning point in women''s welfare and care and the idea of equality "will finally see the light of day."
Dear Desert Girl,
I saw your post on animal rights in Kuwait and I thought you might be interested in joining our protest this Thursday, Friday and Saturday at Souk il Jum3aa. I'm writing a pamphlet tonight in English and printing out some copies to post in Kuwait English School (my old high school) to get people aware, and hopefully I can find someone to translate it into Arabic. I will also be getting in contact with some magazines like Bazaara and news papers like Kuwait Times. We'll be making our own banners/posters/badges as well as giving out more pamphlets at the protest. Any contribution you can offer will be appreciated, whether monetary, or volunteering your time (even better). You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I hope we can make a chink in the apathy that is swallowing this country, but even if nobody hears us the point is that we spoke, because if the youth don't speak, who the hell will?
Good for you! I hope you have a large turn out!
Sunday, May 24, 2009
As the days got closer, I told her that she would have to send her maid over to help out – clean and whatever. Agreed. She asked me to invite a few of my friends who she likes. I did.
The Romanian and I bought her a CD/DVD/Cassette unit – a nice one – and we dropped it by her apartment earlier in the week. Ms. Thang isn’t the most gracious person in the world which, yes, should have been my first clue.
So, night before her party (Thursday night), she asked me if I wanted to go with her to another party. I declined (most of her friends are really young and I’m not into the pre-school crowd).
Forward to day of her party: at 10 am, I started sending SMSs (no answer on her phone). ‘When are you coming over to help? When is the food going to arrive? Did you get a cake? What about drinks?’ This went on from 10 until 4… when she woke up and called me. I decided to let her chill for a while. At 6, I called her back (people were supposed to show up around 7:30). I asked her where she was, “At the salon. I’m just doing my hair.” That’s when I lost it.
‘WTF am I – your MAID?’ “I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’ll be over right after I finish my hair.” ‘Oh no you won’t. Cancel it.’ Sheeeet – I didn’t have time to do MY hair! So, she did and had many tearful phone calls to The Romanian who, unfortunately, got stuck in the middle of it all. Poor Miss Thang - Somebody call a WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAmbulance! Sorry, birthday or not, I have no sympathy. You can frickin boo hoo all yas want. I’m out. I was so pissed off that I cancelled the whole shabang. I would have been Pure Evil all night long and quite frankly, I didn’t want to put my REAL friends through that.
All told, Miss Thang wanted the following:
She expected me to order/pay for a cake for her.
She expected me to order/pay for drinks and appetizers.
She expected me to clean – prior and post party.
She had only invited 1 person. She was expecting me to fill in her guest list.
You might ask – why not just have the party and invite my friends? After she cancelled the caterer, there was no food. Miss Thang hadn’t ordered a cake or even drinks – so I was completely unprepared to host anything.
Now, Miss Thang is upset at ME… “Why did she talk to me like that?” (asking her if she thought I was her maid). You’re mad at ME? That’s rich.
Um, WTF?? I’m not a charity organization and unless you’re paying me (and I’m expensive), I don’t work for you, regardless of who you are. My own mother wouldn’t be so bold as to expect these things from me. What is WRONG with people? I can’t even begin to imagine doing something like this to one of my friends – or anyone else for that matter.
I frantically called all my friends to cancel – and as imagined, some were pissed and probably won’t show up for the next fun thing I do at my place. I tried to remember everyone I had invited and inevitably, I forgot a few. It turned out well in my favor because I got to catch up with my friend, Saud, who I haven’t seen in years. He doesn’t like parties/crowds anyways, so we got a chance to talk (and break my diet by taking me to Baskin Robins).
I had a somewhat quiet weekend – I got my sushi fix on. I had lunch on my friend’s boat with his brothers that I haven’t seen in a really long time. I ate more fish. I caught up with some old friends. I laughed. Everything is back to normal in my world. Phuck the entitlement!
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
I’m running for the board of directors in two different business groups. I’ve already been appointed for one; I’ll get the results on the other later. I’m chuffed about it (“chuffed” means “really psyched” in Briddish). It just means that I’ll be busier, but it will be a good busier.
Where does the flirting come in? Oh…
I have been flirting with other members of the associations and enjoying myself immensely. I’ve had my flirt on with the Chairman of a big company for a long time. (NOT the Chairman of the company I work for.) He has been calling a LOT, but I know how powerful dudes work – if you show interest, they lose theirs. Ok, I have no power, but I find that I occasionally get that way. ‘If he likes me, then he’s not good enough for me.’ – kinda/sorta. So I think I will finally agree (after 6+ months of amusement) to go out with him. He sat next to me in the election meeting last night and he is HOT. He’s one of those secretive guys, so I really know nothing about his personal life, but he seems to move in a lot of the same circles I do – sans a madam. Innnnnnteresting. (Well, that doesn’t say much in Kuwaiti society, but I have never seen him anywhere with a madam – not that that says anything either.) Time will tell.
Then, there is The Banker. I caught him looking at me a few times, but couldn’t remember who he was. He came up to me after the meeting and started a conversation and then said, “Oh, you don’t remember me, do you?” I didn’t. I guess I was too immersed in my own world last night. He was the speaker at a meeting I went to several months ago and he gave me (and everybody else in the room) his business card. I didn’t think that he even noticed me. Hmmmmm. Yummmy. I was thinking at the time that I should write to him, but I didn’t. So I am going to give it a few days and then send him a message. During our brief exchange last night, he mentioned that he was “single” and I mentioned that I am “single” and then he drove off in his BIGASS BMW 7 series. Sigh. By his “single” I would like to know if that means that 1) he is married, but doesn’t have a girlfriend right now; 2) He is here and madam is somewhere else or the really good 3) he isn’t married and doesn’t have a monogamous relationship with anyone else. That would be a rare change, but not impossible. (There might be such a thing as a unicorn or Santa Clause too!)
Seeing these guys comes on the heels of my watching the Sex and The City episode when things are going great between her and Mr. Big (both The Chairman and The Banker are big guys). I was sitting on my sofa (no longer eating Doritos due to high blood pressure) wishing for a guy like that (although in real life, Chris Noth seems to be a bit of a weenie). I am not unlike a chubby Carrie Bradshaw (who can’t afford Jimmy Choos). That’s actually not true – I could afford a lot of stuff if I didn’t have my haphazard spending habits. I write just like she does. I date – not unlike her. I don’t squeal like her, however, and I don’t have her fashion sense. I do have unmanageable hair, however. I don’t think I would like my picture prominently displayed on the sides of busses with “Desert Girl knows good sex” as a tagline. I think I would prefer, “Desert Girl knows good flirt”. That would work (although probably not in Kuwait).
Do you know who else I think is a good flirt (it takes one to spot one)? The US ambassador. I’m not saying this in a derogatory way because I totally admire her. Maybe “flirt” is the wrong word. It isn’t as dignified as she deserves. “Charming” would be more appropriate. She is fer sure charming and disarming. Plus, she has that mischievous look in her eye every now and then like she is up to something and you want to get into her inner circle to find out what (look at her - what do you think she's up to?). Honestly, she is the coolest dignitary I’ve ever met. Can you count sheikhs in the “dignitary” category? I guess you can. Ok, then she is right up there with Sheikh Meteb (Saudi) who used to sit with me on the floor of his house in Virginia much to the astonishment of his servants. I loved that guy too – he was so down-to-earth and approachable.
I am missing my family a LOT right now – to the point where I get weepy just thinking about them. I don’t miss Virginia too much – I just miss being with my family and laughing at stupid things. I miss my mom wanting hugs and trying hard not to hug me at the same time because she knows I don’t like people getting too close. I miss the way my sister laughs; she gets so into it that no noise comes out and it is sometimes hard to tell if she is going to laugh or cry (or maybe both). I miss Alex’s quick whit and coming up with new insulting and disgusting phrases that only teenaged boys can shock you with. I miss Wayne because he is “a Constant”; he is always there to help and support everyone, but at the same time likes his space and respects yours. I miss the dogs; Bo always just-about to do something bad, Rascal sitting at my feet wanting love, and Lola sitting on the pillows above my head on the sofa. I miss my dad: even though he’s gone, he’s still there in the house – walking through the family room or sitting outside at the table.
Almost vacation time .
God won’t ask which car you drive, but will ask how many people you drove who didn’t have transportation.
God won’t ask how big is your house, but will ask how many people you welcomed into your home.
God won’t ask about the fancy clothes in your wardrobe, but will ask how many of those clothes helped the needy.
God won’t ask about your social status, but will ask what kind of class you displayed with others.
God won’t ask how many material possessions you had, but will ask if they dictated your life.
God won’t ask what your highest salary was, but will ask if you compromised your character to obtain that salary.
God won’t ask how much overtime you worked, but will ask if you worked overtime for your family and loved ones.
God won’t ask how many promotions you received, but will ask how you promoted others.
God won’t ask what your job title was, but will ask if you reformed your job to the best of your ability.
God won’t ask what you did to help yourself, but will ask what you did to help others.
God won’t ask how many friends you had, but will ask how many people to whom you were a true friend.
God won’t ask what you did to protect your rights, but will ask what you did to protect the rights of others.
God won’t ask in what neighborhood you lived, but will ask how you treated your neighbors.
God won’t ask about the color of your skin, but will ask about the content of your character.
God won’t ask how many times your deeds matched your words, but will ask how many times they didn’t.
Sunday, May 17, 2009
All your struggles and perseverance have finally paid off.
I remember when you slept next to your desk in the Kuwait Reconstruction Office in DC in 1991, working so hard that your mother shook her head in worry over you.
I remember seeing your brothers meet in the street in Kuwait on Liberation Day 1991: Salah in the Resistance and Jamal as an interpreter with the US Army. CNN captured the moment and showed your mother watching it happening live from Washington, DC and finally knowing that both of them were ok - with tears running down her face.
I remember sitting with ne're do well men who skoffed at the idea that you could make it in politics and I remember thinking that they were idiots - as they chose to rape Kuwait working for personal benefit in politics.
To those people said you were "too Lebanese", not married, not belonging to any major group, "too this" and "not enough that" - I say 'IN THEIR FACE!'
I have met very few people who have Kuwait's best interest at heart the way that you do - who are willing to fight for what they believe in - even in the face of strong opposition on different sides. You fought when others gave up.
Finally, Kuwait is voting for QUALIFIED candidates - not just by who their family members told them to vote for or who paid the most for a vote. Someone who has been Chairperson for Kuwait Economic Society with a PhD in Economics from Johns Hopkins is qualified.
Good on you, girl! Time to take it all to the next level - give them a good run! We are so so so so proud of you.
I had one of those surreal weekends. Hold onto your chair, folks. Its gonna git bum-py….
I thought I would blow off some blood pressure after yet another stressful week by having a “relaxing” manicure/pedicure. OMG. NOT. First, I love paraffin pedicures – they leave your feet so soft. The woman who did mine, however, cranked up the heat too high and my feet burned (you have to dip your feet one at a time into a tub of hot wax). She also plucked away with the cuticle scissors to the point that it was painful (and I’m sure that I will get little finger infections later). You never know with these salons – do they sterilize their equipment? This is a place that I have been to before with no problems, but this woman was just baaaaaad. Ouchies. "You come back!" NOOOOOOOOOOO
Then, I couldn’t get into my neighborhood because of the erection madness… uh… I mean “election”. My bad. One dude had set up his erection tent right in front of the villa and was blasting his angry-speech. Why do they ALL have to sound so angry? Are any of the candidate dudes funny at all? Do any of them have any character? Charm? Poise?
Ok, DG Pissed-Off-Peave number 4,567,893: Does the media in Kuwait think that the English-speaking population of Kuwait isn’t interested in Kuwaiti politics? Might it be that I’m not reading the right newspaper or that Radio Kuwait hasn’t had anything about the candidates? My English-speaking friends have also mentioned this to me. We would have liked to have known what the candidates’ stands were. There was nothing in the media that I could tell. WTF. And then, yesterday, all Radio Kuwait had was information about the erections IN ARABIC. 99.7 – aren’t you supposed to be an English radio station? Why not inform people in say…. ENGLISH? Kuwaitis are always interested in American politics, for example. What if all the information they had received about our voting process was in a language that they couldn’t understand? Wouldn’t that be FRUSTRATING MAYBE?
This is the same BS that the Ministry of Dis-Information pissed me off with in 2003: When the scuds were dropping, 99.7 only ran the same message in 4 different languages, saying if there was an emergency, that we would be informed. No info. No updates. Nada! Dudes – I think when a scud lands someplace in Kuwait and you can feel it when you are either in bed or in your chair – that would be a good time to inform people of like – what is happening maybe. I had to call my Kuwaiti friends to find out what the hell was going on.
And why the heck are they broadcasting fuglies? I watched KTV1 last night at Sheikha Minor’s place and here is a thought: It’s a digital age, right? So, someone over in Peoria, Illinois can be picking up the broadcast from here in Kuwait (mithilin). Aren’t they going to look at it and say, “Those are some butt ugly folks over they-er.” I mean, put your best face forward – literally. Why put on fuglies when pretty people are available? Why wasn’t Halima Bouland broadcasting (HATE HER!). If she had been, then it just would have been unprofessional, uninformed, uneducated and not ugly. In reality, it was a combination of all.
I passed the 4 Dudes’ tent on 6th Ring Road. I’ve been told it was the Mutairi election site. Holy snap! There were SO many cars that some were parked in the emergency lane of THE HIGHWAY! I was tempted to stop and Bluetooth, but alas, we were not alone.
I went to visit friends-of-friends in outer bumfuck Kabd. I’ve never been to the remote stretches of Kabd before and I was wondering if the lead car was actually taking us up to Basra via the desert. I’ve been to a lot of places in Kuwait before, but never that far up and the landscape got… um… weird I guess is the way to describe it. It was definitely no place for Kenneth Cole shoes.
We ended up at a farm with every imaginable kind of animal – most starving to death. I was given the “tour” by the owner who was very proud of his stock. He casually mentioned how the mate of this one had died and the babies that that one had died.
This guy has 2 rare white German Shepards (their litter of 10 puppies all died), sheep, goats, chickens, an emu, peacocks, deer, a long-haired cat (maybe Persian) in a CAGE, and deer. The herd of deer (about 10) are slowly starving to death. Their pelvic bones and ribs were showing through their fur. As dudes are sitting on their fat well-fed asses, the deer searched for water in the cracks of the terrace.
Of course, any animal deaths in Kuwait are blamed the weather (not the downright stupidity and neglect of their owners). As in – if you didn’t keep them in a tin shed in the middle of the desert in the middle of the summer with no food or water, the weather is to blame. What makes these MORONS think that a long-haired (4” coat) German Shepard living in a tin shack is going to make it? (Put your kid in one wearing a heavy coat.) What makes tin shacks acceptable? I can’t tell you how many “farms” I have been to with pompous, arrogant, fat-bellied owners beaming with pride over their dying animals. Morons: When a dog has dug a burrow in the dirt floor of the tin shack/cage you have kept it in, that is not natural – it is because it is seeking cold. It is because you are not CARING for the animal properly.
What can I do? I try to tell these people and I try to educate, but it falls on deaf ears. How could they sit there and laugh and have a good time when animals are dying around them – and they don’t even SEE it? Horrific.
I had to get out of there, leave, bolt – just when one of the major dust storms came through. I have never driven in anything as bad. Well, maybe once on a mountain on the way back from Kentucky in a heavy fog years ago. This was really, bad, however. It looked like something from a dream – it was as if we were transported to a ghost town. Have you seen the movies, “The Mist” or “The Fog” – it was like that, and real quiet. There were figures in the fog, but you couldn’t see past the sides of the road. I was having a hard time getting my bearings. I know 604 pretty well, but sometimes I couldn’t figure out exactly where we were (to avoid potholes and oh yeah – circles). We passed Bu Merdas’ farm and I thought about stopping there for a while, but I don’t want to open that door again. Usually, dust storms don’t last very long, but this one was intense all the way back to my house (which is now covered in dust that looks like ash from nuclear fallout). By the time we got home, The Romanian and I both had headaches from squinting to see the road.
More dreadful animal news (sorry)
Yesterday, I made a heart-wrenching discovery. I was with The Romanian on our way to Ikea and off the service road between LuLu Hypermarket and 5th Ring Road (on the same road that is actually on the back side of the Avenues) , there was a pack of dead dogs right next to the tent market. They are clearly visible from the road on the right. I think someone shot them. There must have been more than one shooter because the others would have run if they shot only one. I know from one of the animal groups that the police routinely shoot dogs here (and apparently don’t bother to inform the municipality to have the carcasses cleared). I know these particular dogs because I work in the area – they are not mean. They are skittish and run from people (with good reason). Thank God I told The Romanian to turn away. After we found the field of dead horses in 2007, she didn’t sleep for a week and she surpassed my high blood pressure. (I just bought the coolest wrist-band blood pressure monitor. It is my old lady toy. Very cool.)
I so need a vacation in civilization. I’ve seen too many barbaric, inhumane acts of outright cruelty lately – to both man and beast.
I went yet another someplace new this weekend: Mahboula. I have driven past it and through it, but I never went into the inner bowels of it. Sheikha Minor just emancipated herself from the control of the Horrible X-Husband. After he divorced her, he moved her and her 5 kids into an apartment under his name and he took one of the rooms. She didn’t have enough money to leave and her divorce lawyer is dragging his feet (I think he’s a phucking moron). She saved for a year to get a place of her own and when she was moving out, HXH had her arrested for theft of “his” belongings. The court sealed their apartment (changed the locks so that neither of them could get in) until after the court rulings. Her eldest son (11) chose to go to live with his father. The younger kids are with her. They are HELLIANS. I threaten to smack them all the time. They are the most unruly, obnoxious, bad-mannered kids I’ve ever come across. Yet, at the same time, I love them – especially the little boy who I want to take home. He seems to know that he’s Bedouin (he’s 4) and will only eat with his hands and wants to wear dishtashas instead of trousers. Anyways, I guess I can only blame their behavior on their parents. If you never discipline your kids and they have no structure, there will always be trouble. Sheikha Minor asked me to speak to her downstairs neighbor. She said she needed “American wastah” as the American guy downstairs has already started complaining about the noise. I told her, ‘The only thing I am going to tell him is to move. I’ve seen your kids….’
Oh, Mahboula…. New Jack City…. It is a weird little area, isn’t it? It is a non-place: The buildings have sprung up out of the desert and although there are lots full of busses, there are no cars around many of the buildings (because they are full of laborers). I don’t believe it is a place to raise children. There are so many bachelors there and the hairs on the back of my back were standing up. I told Sheikha Minor that she has really got to keep an eye on her 2 pretty little daughters running around in the pool area. Personally, I don’t think my dog would be safe there. Plus, the area is just inviting deviant behavior: There are about a gazillion mahawils….
“Do you know that guy?”
“The guy who F’ed you behind the mahawil.”
And speaking of deviant behavior… I found an old Turkish Bathhouse in downtown Kuwait. Fascinating. I didn’t know there were any in Kuwait. I wonder about their clientele. It is in an old building with mosaic blue tiles at the entrance. Directly behind it is one of the huge new glass office buildings. It looks very odd there.
Maybe they can wear a men’s version of the bathing suit I found in Debenhams… a “modest” bathing suit for a mere KD27; you can simultaneously swim and dehydrate yourself. Sassy!
Monday, May 11, 2009
Slaps’ mother came from Scotland to attend the ceremony. I was told WAY in advance to be on my best behavior (which probably still isn’t really as good as Slaps would like). It has been a struggle to find conservative clothing. I even wore a minimizer bra last night – just so that everything (including The Girls) would be low-key (I had threatened sequins and feathers, but as it turned out, many of the ladies in the audience wore just that, so I didn’t have to). I was frickin demure! I think I accomplished my task. Anyways, I think her moms is cool – probably cooler than Slaps thinks, but the same could probably be said about my moms and I. No, that’s not true – I know my moms is cool. I saw the photos from Australia. I found the contraband in her suitcase. Me knows.
Back to the story…
It started late (as usual – it’s Kuwait) and rows of seats were reserved in the front for the grads. So, bien sur, the people who came in the latest were the ones who thought they were entitled to sit there. The ushers kicked them out. Tee hee. I love it when that happens. Small justice. The Entitlement looked so forlorn when they were told to go to the back. I like.
I guess there were about 200 people there – some big names in the lineup - and only a few foreigners graduating. There was a really interesting cross-section of Kuwaitis: Hathar, Bedu, Shiite, Sunni - from young grads to old. There were also some Egyptians; and some names that sounded like children of cross-cultural marriages (anglo first names with Kuwaiti last names). The audience was also very mixed in terms of age, nationality, color, and varying degrees of religion. I wasn't even the only American there. I saw more. Fascinating.
I’ve never been to a graduation ceremony in Kuwait, but I thought that it would be more formal/sophisticated than other celebrations – like weddings for example. Well, the program was very well structured and planned. The invitations and programs were elegant. They had placed Patchi chocolates in the school’s colors on the chairs. The atmosphere was elegant. Most people wore elegant clothes (except those with the taste of circus clowns). Everything throughout went smoothly. The grads were announced in order and presented their diplomas by Mrs. Noureah Sabih. The staff gave speeches – it all went very well: It was the audience that was unsophisticated.
Do you remember the days of the national cinemas in Kuwait? It wasn’t too long ago, but it almost seems like ancient history. Sulaibikhat and Salmiya cinemas were full of exuberant youth – all armed with pagers and laser pointers. People talked all the way through the movies. Pagers went off. Those who had mobile phones were on them, telling people that they were in the movie, what movie they were seeing, what they had for dinner, etc. The chatty folks never considered for a moment that the people next to them might be there to see the movie. The boys positioned the laser pointers at the private parts. People laughed. People talked. More pagers went off. More people talked on mobile phones.
Ok, that’s how it was last night - only the instigators were older folk. The only thing missing was the laser pointers.
These people (or their families) shelled out KD 7,000 and spent 2 years in the process. Do ya think the spectators could have like maybe stayed in their seats through the ceremony at least? Noooooo. Do you think they might have listened to the speakers? Noooooooo.
Ya nas, where is the prestige? This was an educated, well-to-do crowd. (One lady next to me had a rock on her finger the size of Ivana Trump's. I almost had to put my sunglasses on.) I could have understood the audience immaturity if it was a pre/high school graduation, but an MBA program? Some of the graduates looked slightly embarrassed. One young lady smiled for an endless amount of time while her mother, standing in the main aisle - taking up space, tried to fix the camera to get her photo. Grad Girl finally just walked around her with the “Oh mom!” look on her face.
The sophistication level was such that they could have invited Chicky to come dance and sing.
Initially, you get miffed with it all, but at a point, it just got funny and you just had to laugh (which made the 3 ladies sitting directly behind us give a play-by-play commentary on how hilarious we foreigners thought it was; leading them to say how cute they thought we were). I wished for a laser pointer and a horn-in-a-can. Most of the women udulated (I don’t know what you call that in Arabic) when their grad’s name was called. Some of the guys called out the name of their friends as they were announced, “Ya BU FLAN!” It got to be a competition to see who could do it the loudest and the longest. Cool!! Bedouin wedding!!! When do we dance?
And what is the deal with using camera phones? Digital cameras are so inexpensive and the quality is so much better (they also have zoom lenses, so you don’t have to be in-your-face to get a photo). You would think that a once-in-a-lifetime photo op would be facilitated with a good quality camera. Nooooooooo. And with everyone on their feet taking pictures, no one could get a good shot anyways. Why not just wait until after when you can take photos on the stage or at a pretty place in the hall? Why would you want a hundred photos of the backs of people’s heads? Je ne get it pas. If there is a Kodak in Kuwait, why aren’t you guys taking advantage of these opportunities? Must I plan EVERYONE’s marketing for them? Kodak: Go to these events and set up a “Kodak corner” like they have in the States (an area allocated only for taking photos with a nice backdrop). It is a way for you to advertise your services and at the same time, do a little PR in the community.
Kuwait is full of posers – everyone poses for pictures. They’re lovin’ it. Men, women – doesn’t matter. I saw some really good “pouty looks” with the mandatory head tilt… and I’m not talking about the women.
Hey – what’s with the flowers around the neck of the graduates? That must be a cultural thing to Kuwait (?). I dunno. We don’t do that in the States. It just reminded me of racehorses being decorated after a win. Also people, pink rose garlands on 30-something-year-old men just look gay. WHYYYYY? If I had the chance to do it over again, I would have ordered some really tacky fluorescent plastic flower leis for Slaperella (she looked so cute in her graduation gown/abaya).
I had a great time - it was fabulous. I’m just making my usual observations (Masters in Bullshit Analysis). It’s what I do. It was fun to see the crowd and their reactions. It was honestly one of those rare occasions in Kuwait where everybody was happy for a little while. I don’t even find that at weddings anymore. I remember those happy Kuwaitis – I just haven’t seen them for some time (maybe before the invasion).
We went to The Boom to have dinner afterwards. (Sorry, no way in Hell I’m eating buffet at a reception with that many people and a global swine flu epidemic. Ick.) The Boom used to be the most expensive place to eat in Kuwait. Do you remember that? 6 KD was something that you did something like every 6 months. And now… well, it is 12 KD now, but that is no longer a big deal. I like The Boom, but I can’t take it for too long – I get claustrophobic and want to break out (either into song or out-of-doors).
It also freaks me out that they flash-cook food (open fire - behind a glass wall) closest to the door in a room that is made of aged wood and with no windows. Call me an alarmist if you will. I can see the headlines, “Desert Girl dies in shipboard fire while dining on lobster… only not at sea. Firemen were unable to contain the fire due to the high number of MBA graduates and their families taking photos and standing in the way of fire equipment. Scottish graduate died of injuries related to polyester gown meltdown.” Ok, that didn’t happen and Slaps is too elegant to wear shiny polyester ever again (except maybe a nurses’ uniform in the boudoir – I don’t know/don’t want to know – just the fact that I wrote it gives me the heebie jeebies).
You may be thinkin right about now – WTF is she ON? Well, I can tell you: BLOOD PRESSURE MEDICATION. The men in my life – both at work and in my personal life – have given me high blood pressure (140/100 was what set it off). It isn’t my eating habits, of course. It is because I’m generally uptight all the time. Now, I’m just pissed off at the world because I can’t eat Doritos anymore (PHUCK THAT!!!!) and I’m on a diet. What is my life coming to? Well, as the doctor said, “You’re only 29, Desert Girl, so you don’t have to worry about it too much” (SMACK!) Ok, I’m back to reality. Gotta get my Desert Girl ass into a gym - tout suite. I’ve already started my exercise regime.
Mark (248 AM blog) has acid reflux. I have blood pressure. What is happening to the bloggers?!
Hey – how is the Crowne Plaza gym? Does anyone go there? I heard that it is packed right around the time I would want to go – 5ish. Comments please. Also, I would like to know if there are good looking men there because I don’t want to waste my time working out for nothing. (Oh yeah – health, that’s right.) The good thing is that Sakura is in the Crowne Plaza so I can go there after and get my sushi fix on. I just can’t have shrimp because my cholesterol is high too. DAMN those men!
Monday, May 04, 2009
I OD'ed on Doritos.
I didn't think it was possible, but you can do it. You now - you come home; you're not in the mood to cook or order. It gets late and you're still on the sofa wondering what to have and then - BADA BING! Doritos!!!! You can't have just one... I'm sorry, but that new sweet, spicy paprika flavor is da BOMB baybeee.
Ok, perhapsee stress had a weeeee bit to do with it.
Dr. Eman told me to cut out caffiene and salt. When I gave her that blank look like I had no comprehension of what she was saying. She re-stated, "NO CHOCOLATE, COFFEE, OR CHIPS." I responded that I would rather die. I make the nurses giggle.
So, I have made arrangements to have Desert Dawg sent to my family incase I kick it. It is still stated in my Last Will and Testament that my sister gets all my money and my gold (that will be worth about $4.99), but she doesn't even wear gold and I doubt that she needs an extra $5, so I'm thinking to bequeath it to The Romanian. She won't last much longer than me, however, because she smokes like 20 packs a day (why ARE Europeans like that???) and her entire diet is coffee and diet pills (with a side of machboos laham). I want to be burried next to a big box of Godivas and a medium-rare steak covered in Jack Daniels' marinade. Yummmmm.
I have to go back to Dr. Eman in a week to check my pressure again. Oh joy. I guess I gotta eat fish and salad this week. That sucks.
You know who I blame, don't you? Don't you? Can you guess? That's right! ..... all those stupid drivers on 5th Ring Road who want to kill me every night on my way home. All those stampeders at the sales recently who try to hoof their way into my personal space. The management individual who decided to take away my newspaper subscription at work, "You can share."
Doritos never did anything wrong... why they have to be so bad for you? If lovin' you is wrong, I don't wanna be right.
Sunday, May 03, 2009
I think I have swine flu (too much swine perhaps). I went to the doctor last week, and then I felt better, and now it is back again. Every year when the weather changes, this is what happens. Plus, I get ear infections. What is that all about?? I haven’t had those since I was a little Desert Girl. I can’t hear out of one ear and it is making me crazy(er). Thank God for pharmacists who will sell me antibiotics (because I'm blonde) without a prescription. Gotta love Kuwait.
Speaking of the Ministry of Hopelessness.... I want to know this: If the MOH is screening people at the airport with heat-detection equipment to see if body temperature is elevated (perhapsee people have the swine) – what about those of us who are normally hot-blooded? Do we need a doctor’s note? I have a very dear MOH friend. I think I'll ask him to come over with a heat sensor. (ooooo that was naughty.....)
Do you know what I’ve discovered? Braissi (gecko lizards) are fascinated by laser pointers. Yes, it’s true. Not just for cats anymore. Endless hours of fun. I wonder if it would have the same effect on dhub.
This morning, one of the P3’s (Petey, the black cat) walked right into my apartment, sat down and waited for my reaction. Desert Dawg was right by her side, wagging her tail. "Look! Look! I brought my friend!" What the hell kinda watchdog is THAT? Is everybody out to mess with me? Et tu, Desert Dawg?!
I had some psychological bullshit thoughts over the weekend that I thought I would share (you don’t have to read this – it is my therapy - you can turn off your computer now or move onto the next blog – especially you big, tuff, unemotional military guys reading this on the base). By the by, let’s take a poll of you military guys… It has been suggested by PilotBob that perhaps you guys would like me to change the color scheme to something more manly…. Like camouflage (so when your buddies walk by, they don’t think you are light-in-the-loafers, a pillow-biter, a piccolo-player, a rump-roaster, a knob-gobblin… NOT Pilot Bob’s words BTW). Would you like me to have a special blog just for you with military colors? Let me know. However, I know that many of you secretly like pink. Don’t lie.
The last paragraph was waaaaaaaaay too politically incorrect. So? Hey, the military doesn’t mind (see last week’s post), so do I? No. Do yo’ thang! Sachet, shante....
Ok, on to the psychological-drug-induced (pig-flu) bullshit…
If someone finds you unique and special (pink), why would they want to change you? If you conform to fit the person that they want to change you into, doesn’t that just make you ordinary and mundane? If they want ordinary, why do they seek special?
When you are in a mixed-culture (or any other) relationship, both sides must make compromises. However, compromise is not one-sided; you can’t give up your entire identity to make someone feel better. You are who you are; you come from where you come from; and you can’t totally conform to someone else’s way of thinking. You have your own.
Anyone who wants you to totally sacrifice yourself to their way of thinking and/or their culture doesn’t love you for who you are. They are trying to make you into someone they think you should be.
People don’t own people. They aren’t possessions. If you think that you can control someone, when you least expect it, you will lose everything. (AKA “Bird in a Cage” – If you love something set it free. If it doesn’t come back, hunt it down and shoot it – or call all its friends – see next paragraph.)
Your dirty laundry should be kept in your own home; don’t air it for the neighbors.
You can’t make everyone happy.