January 31, 2009


Recently, some friends (?) have been uploading incriminating photos from middle and high school on Facebook to share with our 2001 graduating class. While they think this is "cute" and "funny" and "a way to look back and relive old memories" (gag me), I'm quickly considering deactivating my account and burning my hard drive so all evidence is erased.

Take, for instance, this photo from the last day of seventh grade:

*Not our real faces.

That's me on the far left. Now, several things:

1. My shirt's tucked in. Granted, this was 1996, but still.
2. My jeans are acid washed.
3. My jeans are tapered leg.
4. My shoes probably weigh more than my chicken legs and those of my peers. Also, if I remember correctly, they were suede.
5. I must have thought wearing the 3-D glasses that came with our yearbook was...cool?

The uploading and subsequent commenting by people I haven't seen in over ten years has been relentless. Some of the photos are palpitation inducing and seeing as how I have mitral valve prolapse, I don't know if my heart can take much more of this.

January 28, 2009


(Not really - keep your pants on.)

My mother stumbled upon this blog last night. I made the mistake of telling her that a friend (hi friend who I never see but would really like to!) had told me she found my writing funny (naturally), and my mom asked if she could have the privilege of reading my posts herself. I did a quick mental recap of posts past to make sure there wasn't any questionable or incriminating material and hesitatingly typed in this site's URL. She found the conversations with my boss thoroughly entertaining, cooed at the photo of our cat, and tried to tickle Elmo through our monitor.

After skimming through the rest of the posts, she had these two comments:

1. "Please don't write anything about me on here. You know, I AM a public figure."
2. "Hmm, you could be funnier."

There is no pleasing this woman. Well, Mom, keep checking back in. I promise not to air any dirty family laundry (okay, that's a lie), and to step up my game - even though a lot of people already find me mildly amusing! Just so you know, though, this will require me to be out of the house more often in search of material. Don't say I didn't warn you.

January 27, 2009


Dear Fellow Curly-Haired Office Mate,

Your previously mid-back length curly hair was a marvel. You'd walk around the office, sashaying up and down the halls, swinging your hair in our faces, forcing us to comment on the beauty of your curls. You know how difficult it is to achieve the perfectly defined curl. You know how many products are necessary to make your hair look somewhere in the acceptable range between baby sheep and noodles in a blender. So when you rustle your hand through my hair at the lunch table, you must know that I want to ELBOW YOU IN THE GUT, TACKLE YOU TO THE GROUND, AND PUNCH YOU IN THE FACE.

Please don't ever do that again.


January 26, 2009

Love Letter

Dear Internet,

We got separated today, and I didn't know how long I'd survive without you. I tried twiddling my thumbs, going upstairs, staring out the window, but nothing worked. You are my (much) better half. You lift me up when I'm down. You make me laugh. You bring close friends even closer. You make me feel better about myself by showing me photos of celebrities without makeup on. You complete me.

I love you. I'm glad you're back.

Your biggest fan,

January 25, 2009

Things I Heard at Work Today

1. Boss: Does your car play mp3s?
Me: Nope, I think I got the budget version.
Boss: Yeah, you did.

2. Boss: Do you want to go to Assiut?
Me: Sure, what's the project?
Boss: I don't know.

3. Boss: Can you write up an "journalistic" article about Thursday's meeting for our website?
Me: Uh, I guess...we didn't really talk about anything though.
Boss: Make it at least a page.

Must learn to keep headphones in and eyes forward at all times.

January 24, 2009

Brought to You by My Uterus

For the past two (or ten) years, my body has been sending some pretty strong reproductive messages. If I wasn't sold on having babies before, this clip of Chris Brown on Sesame Street has definitely done it. I will make my kids watch this clip repeatedly forcing them to both learn how to read signs and execute some smooth moves. It's a win-win situation really.

And don't even TRY to tell me that this song isn't ridiculously catchy. You know you're singing along at this very moment.

January 23, 2009

It's Friiiiiiday

Conversation with my mom this afternoon:

Mom: Meen Ice Cube? (Who's Ice Cube?)
Me: A rapper. Why?
Mom: Friday After Next is on. Should I watch it?
Me: Umm, no.

I know I don't know movies, but I know this one, and the third installment of a movie based pretty much about getting weed, smoking weed, and talking about weed probably isn't mom material. There IS a ghetto Santa Claus in this one though, so...

January 22, 2009


I was out of the office yesterday attending a one-day conference by Robert Chambers, the man who invented participatory rapid appraisals - a large part of my job. Not only is this man pushing 90 (yes, 90!), he was one of the most engaging and energetic speakers I've ever had the privilege of being in the company of. He was running around the lecture hall, jumping up and down, laughing hysterically, lying on the floor! Sure, he coughed out a lung into the microphone a few hundred times, but still.

One of the most poignant and notable parts of yesterday's talk was his advice to development practitioners in the field: Shut up. Maybe he could have been more eloquent about it, but he was spot on. If only the people with the running commentary throughout the day had heeded his advice. I came to listen to the oldie, not have you run your mouth in my ear for six hours.

Unrelated: After watching a film on sex in Egypt at work today, one of my female coworker's comments was:

"Wow, I had no idea that girls were circumcised at such an old age. I thought this was something that happened at birth."

SERIOUSLY?! Roughly 90% of the female population of your country has been genitally mutilated and you have no idea how or when it happens? Pick up a book for God's sake. Ask questions. Be!

January 18, 2009

Clicking Heels

I'm currently reading Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life by Amy Krouse Rosenthal. The book is written as a series of encyclopedia entries, with fragments of Rosenthal's life highlighted under their respective letters. For example, under the letter 'B,' is one such entry:


My brother, who grew up with three sisters, was I won’t say how many years old when he finally realized that he did not have to wrap the towel around his chest when he came out of the shower.

Rosenthal is also a big fan of lists. In AKR spirit, here's a list of places I'd rather be than sitting at my desk this morning:

1. Cuba
2. Iran
3. My bed
4. Walking around London listening to an iPod with a battery that lasts longer than 49 seconds
5. Sitting in the sun, eating brunch and sipping on iced tea

List Fairy, where are you when I need you?

January 14, 2009

(Not) a Film Buff

I don't watch movies (that often). My attention span doesn't allow for two hours of uninterrupted viewing, and I find the ability to keep my mouth closed for more than ten minutes impossible. Some (and by some, I probably mean none) would say my not going to the movies is really a social service, really. People are going around shooting people in theaters for talking! I don't want that to be me. Friends and strangers alike can enjoy their movie experience without having to hear me say any (but usually all) of the following:

a) Watch your legs. I need to get a snack.
b) Watch your legs. I need to use the restroom.
c) So, which one's the bad guy again?
d) Wait, isn't that the same woman as before?
d) I don't get it.
e) Do you remember where we're parked?

For all of these reasons, I've chosen to spare myself the confusion and people the effort of having to deal with me. This, however, has led to having to answer 'no' more often than not when I get asked if I've seen certain movies. I have a running theory - yet to be disproved - that you can name ten movies and I'll have seen no more than three of them. Go ahead, try me.

January 12, 2009

Don't Be Cruel...

...is what Whitney Houston should have said to Bobby Brown when he got her addicted to crack. That little issue aside, this song is amazing. Such a throwback.

How listening to this will help me in my information and communication technology report though has yet to be established.

January 10, 2009

Couldn't Have Said it Better Myself

Meredith Broussard, a writer for the Huffington Post (and other sites - read her mini bio here), recently posted an article on why she's not on Facebook. I think I should start writing professionally (ha!), because most everything I think has already found its way to the Internet. No reason why I shouldn't be capitalizing on this cash cow.

An excerpt from Broussard's article:

If I updated my status as obsessively as I probably would...it would seriously interfere with the quality time I like to spend with my couch. If all of my friends could tell that I'm around, and that I have time to Facebook, they'd want to talk. And hang out. And do things that involve leaving my house. Meredith Broussard would no longer have her "busy social life" or her "rigorous work schedule" or the even more vague "deadlines" to excuse her from social obligations. Meredith Broussard might have to stop watching TV and get up off her duff. Who needs that?

I salute you, MB. Not that the people I socialize with think I have a busy social life, or even more outrageous, a rigorous work schedule. However, more often than not, the last thing I want to do is shower, put on real clothes, and leave the house. AND make conversation. There's only so much peppiness one can exude at any given time. I'm only human!

January 9, 2009


Is more than four minutes of hot water for my first shower of the weekend too much to ask? I think not. My weekday showers before work are already rushed enough. All I want to do when I wake up on Friday mornings is stand under some warm water and wash the week away.

But no, I'm not bitter.

January 5, 2009


Excerpt from a Facebook message I just received from a great friend from grad school:

"Ha I knew that Badu cd would creep on you. It's got the right blend of political activism, introspection, and sexuality...oh shit, wait I was describing us!"

Truest words ever typed.

January 3, 2009

Good Point

Talk of new year's resolutions came up at dinner last night. One of my plans - to make five new friends this year - was met with both eye rolling and guffaws. Forsoothsayer nearly choked on her drink, but was still able to proclaim, "HOW?! You hate everyone!"

Touche. This may throw a serious wrench in my plan. I either need to radically scale down the number in question, drastically reduce my standards, or hide some current friends in a shed for a few months and then reintroduce them as newly acquired pals. Other suggestions welcome.