November 30, 2008

Listen Here

Just finished the music review I wrote about here. Meeting with the band was great, but I probably won't ever agree to do something along the lines of critiquing other people's work again. Writing my master's dissertation was easier than this.

Who knows if my writing's any good, but check out Wighit Nazar's tracks on their MySpace page. Let me know if you like their music - I'll pass the compliments along.

November 29, 2008

Deep Thought

Should I be so embarrassed that I'm tempted to erase a Facebook wall post that outs me for liking Gossip Girl?

How Long Have You Known Me?

Conversation while walking around Maadi this morning:

Female J: O! Look how pretty these birds are!
Me: I have a very intense fear of birds, so no, I will not be looking at how pretty those birds are. Please keep walking.

November 28, 2008


My cousin had a baby last night! I don't know when we'll get to see the little guy in person, but here he is looking awesome. What a pimp!

What does this make me? A second aunt? A cousin once removed? A monkey's uncle?

November 26, 2008

In Over My Head

I've agreed to write a music review of a local Arabic rap group for the entertainment section of Forsoothsayer's magazine. For some reason, I've decided that it would be smart (smart?!) to meet with the group as a supplement to my thoughts on their music. This is problematic for a number of reasons:

a) I've never written a music review before
b) I barely speak English, let alone a second language
c) One of the band members only speaks Arabic

This is shaping up to be the biggest flop in the history of music reviews. Pray for me.

(In other news, I ran/did stairs again last night. Who am I?!)

November 22, 2008

Well, That Didn't Go Well

Went to the gym. Got my measurements taken. Was mildly humiliated. Decided I won't go back.

Think I'll start running a track and think about a different gym. It's unfortunate - there could have been some amusing stories that came out of this whole 'exercise' idea.

November 21, 2008

Having Doubts

My 'no-going-out-on-Thursday-night' policy has been severely violated lately, and I have nothing good to show for it. Yesterday, I enjoyed some quality time with two former coworkers and a few of their friends. In between watching one couple smoke in their two year old's face (while helping him hold up his sippy cup full of soda, AT MIDNIGHT!), I listened in horror as Kiwi retold stories of her days as a physical therapist in New Zealand.

There were no less than seven stories about overly excited athletes engaging in extreme(-ly insane and stupid) sports, resulting in life threatening injuries and long term rehabilitation. This conversation could not have come at a worse time. Tomorrow, ladies and gentlemen, I am joining a gym. For 25 years, I have fought the evil exercise gods and have rested my laurels on an incredible metabolism (which has, unfortunately, begun to slow to the pace of a hundred year-old Galapagos Island tortoise). All I can think of is slipping off a treadmill and breaking my teeth, lifting dumb weights only to have them drop on one of my human hooves, or straining my opposable thumbs so bad that typing becomes impossible.

Who invented exercise, anyway? No one ever broke their neck while lying down on their couch.

November 19, 2008

Deep Thought

Is it possible my ears are shrinking? Is that why my headphones hurt so bad all of a sudden?

November 18, 2008

Deep Thought

I had some cinnamon tea this morning, and all day my desk has smelled like Christmas. Life would be complete if I had a bowl of warm oatmeal to go along with it.

November 17, 2008

Food, Not So Glorious Food

Lunch time in the office is pretty much the best part of my day - 5:00 p.m. not included. I usually bring leftovers from home and have 3am Awesome or Man Whose Name Cannot Be Said, Only Yelled pick me up some yogurt. Today, as it turns out, one of my coworkers and I had brought the same thing, stuffed cabbage. Not typically your ideal meal when you need to be awake more than thirty seconds after consumption, but delicious regardless.

Without commenting on HER stuffed cabbage (gross, though), let me take a minute to reflect on what was touching the stuffed cabbage. Ma7shy mombar - stuffed beef sausage, or chitterlings if you will (you shouldn't). Chitterlings, as per trusty Wikipedia, are "the intestines and rectum of a pig that have been prepared as food. They are a type of offal." I think it's safe to say that these chitterlings were beef, but that's neither here nor there. Offal, as it would so be, is the entrails and internal organs of a butchered animal. Yum.

No one held a gun to my head, and I commented on my weak stomach, but I was forced to try the sorry excuse for food nonetheless. Let's just say if I had read up on mombar before lunch time, I would NOT have tried it. Note:

Care must be taken when preparing chitterlings, due to the possibility of disease being spread when they have not been cleaned or cooked properly. These diseases/bacteria include E. ColiYersinia enterocolitica, as well as Salmonella. Chitterlings must be soaked and rinsed thoroughly in several different cycles of cool water, and repeatedly picked clean by hand, removing extra fat and specks of fecal matter because the part of the pig the 'chitlins' come from includes intestinal polyps and the last few inches before the pig's rectum.

I've already had Salmonella, thank you very much. And I usually prefer dill to fecal matter (!) when garnishing my food. Office, you're killing me. And it isn't just figuratively anymore.

November 16, 2008

Quality Conversation

*While doing homework...

Little One: EW! Don't breathe through your butt!
Me: Who?
Little One: Sea cucumbers!

(Was 'who' really the best pronoun I could come up with?)


Little One: Gross. Sometimes crabs live in the butt lungs.

We're pretty charming in person, but by this conversation, you'd never guess she's skipped a grade and I have a Master's degree. It's true, though. I swear. We have references.

Deep Thought

What's the point of a real job when my true happiness comes from browsing the Internet in my pajamas?

No Thanks!

Feeling guilty about leaving my yogurt-ridden spoon in the sink for our 60-year-old "office 'boy'" to clean, I picked up the weird, too green for comfort, sponge and began the two-second job. One second in, 3am Awesome and I had the following discussion:

3am Awesome: Sebeeha! Sebeeha! Ana ha3millo. (O! Don't worry about that! I'll do it.)
Me: Heya m3ala2a wa7da. Mish moshkila. (It's only one spoon. It's not a problem.)
3am Awesome: Ah, 7asabt innik bitikhsili 7aga 3aleha molokhiya. (O, I thought you were washing something that had molokhiya on it).
Me: La2, la2, howa zabadi bas. Wa bakrah il molokhiya. (No, no, it's just yogurt. And I hate molokhiya).
3am Awesome: Tab, bamya? (Hmm, okra?)
Me: Yaa3. 7aram 3aleik! (Gross! What are you doing to me?)
3am Awesome: *winks like a crazy person* Tab, kaware3? (Hmm, trotters?)

Exhibit A of a conversation that went south SUPER fast. What makes it even worse is that I can't picture joint eating without hearing the sucking noises people make when their lips are all over those puppies. Gives me goosebumps just thinking about it.

November 15, 2008


If I lived in a country where it got cold enough to wear Uggs, would I? It's possible.

November 14, 2008

Current Mood: Crabby Patty

Tonight's plans got flushed down the toilet before I even got a chance to say, "Let me in, you big dummy!" to the bouncer outside After 8 (while this probably would have been more entertaining with the bouncers in London, I've been meaning to try it out here for some time. Surely my size and stature would at least make for an interesting exchange). To ease the pain of yet another failed social excursion, I donned my pjs, snuggled up to a warm cup of Green Tea and Apple in my Cheeky Monkey mug (thanks, Q8 Dumas!), and YouTubed some 'So You Think You Can Dance.' Yes, I have a problem.

Eight routines and an hour later, my inner Missy Elliott was itching to pop and lock her way in front of the mirror and (half-assedly) re-create some of the moves from the episode. Little Miss was too preoccupied with her own YouTube-ing to really feel the chemistry and dance with her eyes with me, so I shut the door and turned up some music that would audibly offend roughly 95% of my closest friends. And by 95%, I really mean 100%.

What ensued was dangerously close to the One Minute Dance Party Tina Fey and her writing staff have on '30 Rock' to get their creative juices flowing. Tina Fey busts out some smooth white girl moves to Chamillionaire's 'Ridin' Dirty' while Alec Baldwin looks on in what can only be described as disgust/dismay. For the past 30 minutes, I've been trying to find this comedic masterpiece, but have come up shorter than He PingPing. For reasons unknown to humankind, the brilliance that IS '30 Rock' has not caught on with the rest of the world, and I wanted to share a clip of this particular scene, but the FOOLS out there uploading crap on the internet are idiots. Here's an idea - stop uploading photos of your kitten in stupid outfits and post things that really matter!

November 12, 2008

Number 1 Reason I'm Glad I Didn't Star in 'The Parent Trap' Remake

Because then I'd probably be going around saying things like this:

"It was really exciting. It's an amazing feeling. It's our first colored president." —Lindsay Lohan, in an interview with Access Hollywood.

November 10, 2008

TV Phone Home

I can't remember the last time I watched full length shows on the actual television in my house (beside So You Think You Can Dance, of course), but there's something incredibly unsettling about staring at a broken TV. For two days now, my TV has been playing a nasty joke on me and the residents of my household by refusing to work. The Showtime gods are probably having a good laugh, but this is worse than Guantanamo.

Rather than, I don't know, pick up a book, I chose to spend my evening like this:

Me: Little Onnnnnnnne, why doesn't the TV work?
Little One (reading her school newspaper): I don't know. I'm busy.
Me: Ugh. Fine.

Thirty seconds later...

Me: Little Onnnnnnnne, why doesn't the TV work?
Little One: STOP! I'm trying to read!
Me: Fine! I just want to know why the TV doesn't work.
Little One: I don't know! Stop talking to me!

Thirty seconds later...

Me: Little Onnnnnnnne, why doesn't the TV work?

The electrician's scheduled to fix the satellite dish at some point today. Let's hope for my well being, and Little One's sanity, he doesn't bail.

November 9, 2008

Just a Bit Awkward

Last night, Mouse and I picked up two copies (one for him, one for me - he's such a gentleman) of a magazine that featured a photo spread of a wedding we attended a couple weeks back. I was not anticipating viewing these pictures as I knew I had made a weird face in the photo. The problem with professional photographs is that you can't screen the digital versions and only upload your money shots.

Against my insisting otherwise, we brought the magazine out to dinner with us. Mouse wanted to show off how great he, and his suit, looked in the photo to our friends. The magazine was passed around the table, and this was the conversation that followed:

Bizzaro Elvis: O, Mouse! You DO look great in this photo!
Mouse: Yeah man!
Bizarro Elvis (to me): And so, you were also at this wedding?
Me: Umm, yes. I'm standing right next to Mouse, actually.
Bizarro Elvis: WHAT?! WHERE?! THAT ISN'T YOU!
Me: Umm, yes, it is.
Bizarro Elvis: O my gosh! I didn't even recognize you! This doesn't look like you at all!

The magazine was then passed around the table again so the group could get a second look. The general consensus is that with straight hair and no glasses, I'm much more attractive. Also, note to self: purse lips a la the Olsen twins and look like someone's poked you in the backside for that perfect "O, what, this look? It's effortless!" pose.

November 5, 2008

'Race' Relations

All morning I've been talking about the potential implications Barack Obama's presidency may have on race relations not only in the United States, but the world over. While I have a problem with the term 'race' as a concept, this is a fantastic article on what it means to be Black in America today, and just how far change may go.

The article also mentions this text message that's being circulated around the country:

"Rosa sat so Martin could walk. Martin walked so Barack could run. Barack is running so our children can fly."



Congratulations and thank you, Barack Obama. I feel very proud to be an Arab-American today. I like to think that the four Pennsylvania swing state votes sent in by my family helped with this too:

Pennsylvania went for Obama. It had done so for Gore and Kerry too, but it was very close. Looking at the projected percentages it looks like Obama will get over 60% of the state (according to CNN). (Link)

One highlight from Obama's victory speech:

"This victory alone is not the change we seek. It is only the chance for us to make that change."

November 4, 2008


This morning, the goons on the radio asked Cairo what the first song they remembered liking was. Immediately, and without a doubt, 'Step By Step' by New Kids on the Block came to mind.

I remember sitting in the car after school in Pittsburgh, furiously unwrapping the new NKOTB tapes my mom had bought. Twice, she stood in line the first day the albums were released, just to see my face when she presented them to me (I can't imagine she did it because she particularly enjoyed having her eardrums damaged by the excited shrieks of a 7-year-old, side-ponytailed, retainer-wearer).

To my joy, one of the texts received by the station included the NKOTB song in question. To my even greater joy, the buffoons decided to play the song. This resulted in another great display of air microphones and top-of-my-lungs singing. It's a shame Office Savior wasn't in the car this morning.

Doing a quick search for this video, I came across several other NKOTB gems that I'd forgotten about, like this and this and even this! It's amazing how quickly song lyrics can come back to you after so many years. These lyrics, from 'Cover Girl,' are particularly profound:

It's alright
Oh, yeah, it's out of sight
Let me say it's alright
Ah, yeah!

I "hear" (this is me playing it cool and casual) the boys have made a comeback. Judging by the smooth moves in these videos, the kids on So You Think You Can Dance should best watch out.

November 2, 2008

Month 216

Happy 18th birthday, Little One!

Today you can officially:

a) Vote (which you did)
b) Donate your body to science
c) Drive without a permit
d) Legally buy marijuana in the Netherlands

Based on past conversations, I reckon (c) will be the one thing you'll never get around to doing. Sorry Dad, but it looks like you'll be getting smacked in the face by branches every time Little's One's behind the wheel.

November 1, 2008

Christmas Come Early

My cat turned four years old last month. I'm not sure what this means in people years, but you'd think that in cat years, one would know how to use a litter box by then. You'd think.

Coco is, to say the least, difficult. We got her when she was only a few weeks old and apparently raised her, in absolute terms, wrong. She doesn't sit in our laps, doesn't like to be pet for more than a minute, and insists that we stand next to her when she's eating. The first two characteristics are mildly acceptable. As a family, we've come to terms with the fact that we got a defective feline, and now cherish every morsel of what limited affection Coco chooses to show us. The last characteristic, however, is WICKED annoying. She will meow at us until someone gets up and accompanies her to the kitchen. If we walk out in the middle of her meal, she'll follow us and meow incessantly until we walk back with her. This is more annoying than you could ever imagine, but with wireless internet and a chair in the kitchen, it has become remotely acceptable.

Yesterday, after much nagging, I walked to the kitchen with Coco and waited patiently for her to finish her meal. She popped into her litter box after she was done, but HIGH TAILED (pun intended) out of it after Little One dropped something outside and made a huge ruckus. As I left the kitchen to see why the little bugger was whining, I stepped in a little surprise that was probably intended for the litter box. There, in the middle of the hall, was a fresh piece of you know what, and half of it was on the bottom of my you know what.

Now, some of you may not know this (because you've been living under a rock), but I am the biggest podophobe known to man. Any activity involving those things attached to one's ankles sends me into a panic attack complete with heart palpitations and high pitched shrieks. So, having to wash CRAP off my singular footses was excruciatingly disturbing. My family, and cat, will never recover from the "EW! EW! EW!"s that lasted for about seventeen and a half minutes following the initial contact.

And to think I wanted to stay home instead of going to a Halloween party last night. My hatred for costumes is pretty high on my list of neuroses, but I'm thinking suffering through some ludicrous get ups would have been better than spending my evening disinfecting my ankle accessories.