May 15, 2010

Texts from last night (and some other nights)

Last night, I got a text from a friend saying "If anything ever happens to me, don't let my mom read my messages." Of course the only thing I can think about now is reading those messages, but because she lives thousands of miles away, I thought I'd go through mine and see if I had anything equally salacious (I don't, but here are some gems.) I've done this before here and here.

Oh god. Hope there's no nipple exposure or the like.

Just saw dog on leash literally size of shoe. Thought was something stuck to woman at first. (Follow up: Yes...probably cost twice as much as real dog.)

Might barf.

Poop in cup! Please. Are not poor widow in mid ages, can get help!

Just found a tissue in the pocket of my cardigan. Because apparently I'm an 80 year old man now.

I wish to engage with u.

Heard you got swine ful (yes, ful), is that true?

My texts are better than Andrew's.

Are lotions not liquid? Panic!

Woohoo can't wait for my special chin finger wiggle!

No dance floor, dj 21 wearing leopard print onesie with red chanel purse. Many male embryos in skinny jeans and shirts literally held together with paper clips.

Squatting easier than hovering. But i also take pants right off and lean on walls.

April 26, 2010

Aswan, you little minx

Here I am, Internet! I've gotten a number of requests in the past few days to put up a new post, but the creative juices just aren't flowing. Most probable reason: THEY WERE EVAPORATED BY THE 50 DEGREE CELSIUS WEATHER I WAS IN LAST WEEK. In the shade. No, seriously. Feel my pain, Internet.

Work chewed me up and spit me out in Upper Egypt for five days last week, and let's just say, I'd never been more excited to return to Cairo than I was on Thursday. Don't get me wrong - the Nile is really pretty down (up?) there and housekeeping leaves you fun towel creatures like these on your bed after they clean (clean?) your room, but still.

While trying to tame my freshly cut bangs that seemed to want to assume every position other than 'flat against head' and regulate my heartbeat for the two and a half hour car ride while sitting next to baby quails (!), I had a number of, well, interesting, conversations. Behold:

Me (to waiter): Umm, do you serve fish here?
Workshop Participant (to me, not giving the waiter a chance to respond): You don't eat meat?
Me: No, I don't actually.
Workshop Participant: What about liver?

Me (hotel room, 1 am, just finished a day of field work, on the phone with hotel reception): Umm, someone took the batteries out of my AC remote. Can you please bring some up.
Hotel Reception Guy (1:15 am, my room, after opening up the back of the remote, seeing no batteries, but then pressing every single button on the remote): O yes, this isn't working. *Opens room next door and takes the batteries out of their remote.

Driver (after asking me to plug my iPod into his car radio): This guy is really good! Who is he?
Me: Usher.
Driver: Usher. Ah, kwayis dah (Yes, he's good).

Me (hotel room, 5 pm, just finished a day of field work, on the phone with hotel reception): Umm, the shower's leaking.
Hotel Reception Guy (5:20 pm): Ma howa shaghaal aho (It seems to be working).
Me: Yes, I know it's working. It won't stop dripping.
Hotel Reception Guy: Yes, but it's working. Do you want more water pressure? Do you want me to turn the water heater on? Do you need more towels?
Me: Umm, no to all of those. How about you try to turn it off.
Hotel Reception Guy (tries to turn off shower): Oh.

And then there was this guy who I saw "swimming" in the pool on my last day. Thought he was dead for a few seconds until I saw him floundering around. Might have been weighed down by his beard.

And the best news? I'm going back tomorrow.

Also, this is my 200th post. You'd think someone would have had a cupcake ready or something.

April 12, 2010


Stumbled upon this flash rave video that two grad school friends (hi tiny e! Hi Krish!) posted on Facebook last night/this morning. The video was filmed in the library at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS). I spent many a night in that library highlighting entire chapters of books, teaching British kids how to twirl pens on their fingers 'like American kids do,' and listening to the wise words of the night librarian. Every day I question why I ever left that school, and then I remember that four years later, I'm still paying the American government back for letting me go in the first place.

March 25, 2010

Just your average Thursday

My dad comes to Cairo every few weeks, and when he does, it's a collective effort to find fun things to keep him entertained. You can imagine our surprise when he suggested a Thursday night activity. Behold...

Dad: Are you guys bored? Want to do something?

Me and Little One: Uhh, sure. What do you have in mind?

Dad: I have about 1,000 slides I need to edit on PowerPoint. I've done some, and they took about two weeks to finish, so...

Me and Little One: *eyes rolled and death

March 15, 2010

Awkward Family Conversation

Me: I spent six hours watching the Kardashians last night.

Aunt: Why? What do you like about them?

Me: It was more of a sociological study of how people who have done nothing in their life can get so rich and famous.

Aunt: Why are they even famous?

Me: One of them had a sex tape, and then...

Aunt: Do you know how many people have sex tapes?!

Me: DO YOU?!

March 1, 2010

Things that make me want to pick up and leave. Immediately.

  1. My sister eating the last piece of chocolate from Lebanon I had dibs on.
  2. My mom giving my sister permission to eat the last piece of chocolate from Lebanon I had dibs on.
  3. This Vodafone customer service representative who wants to a) know absolutely nothing about her job and b) try to school me on things she knows nothing about.
  4. My coworkers trying to tell me that vegetarianism is the work of the Devil.
  5. My cat throwing up on every surface she puts her dainty little paws on.
But really, it's the chocolate that I'm maddest about. Watch your back, Little One. I'm your worst nightmare is who I is.

Also, if you'd like to send me snacks, e-mail me at thingsonmymindgrapes at gmail dot com for my mailing address.

February 10, 2010

Hate myself

Things I've eaten in the four hours I've been home from work today:
  • stir-fried green beans and rice
  • a pickled eggplant
  • a dill pickle
  • chips and salsa
  • a red apple
  • bbq chips
  • a peanut butter sandwich
So, either I'm pregnant or a new parasite has decided to put down roots in my body. Either way, I think I'm going to draw a smiley face on my belly and ask people to 'say hello to my little friend' when they walk by.

February 3, 2010

Employment: A Visual Representation

So, work has been pretty slow lately. Slow in the kind of way where there IS actual work to be done...I just don't feel like doing it. This wasn't always the case though. I was a busy little bee when I first came to this office - always one step ahead, finishing work before people had a chance to walk out of my office. I quickly realized that the faster I finished my work, the more people would assign to me - so I've devised a little strategy called NOT DOING ANYTHING to get me through my days. And rather than comb through these reports on Yemen, I'll upload these fancy little graphs Little One made for me last night.

Show's I've been known to watch at this job:
  • Modern Family
  • Community
  • Glee
  • Scrubs
  • American Idol
Productivity level since I started this job:

How I spend my days at this job:

Wait, what? A new episode of How I Met Your Mother's out? Peace out Girl Scouts.

*Note: If you are my actual employer, please don't fire me.

January 26, 2010

Tastes like chicken

Internet, I hate the things attached to ankles. Surely you've heard of this hatred (dare I say phobia?) before. If you know me in person, you've definitely witnessed my goosebumps, sick faces, and shudders at the mere mention of them. You've probably also tormented me with threats and waving appendages. Ahh, good times.

At dinner at Spaz's house the other night, talk of the subject came up and like a bolt of white lightening, someone opened a drawer and pulled this out:

A CANDY SEVERED FOOD, INTERNET. Now, if you're like me, you were thinking any number and quite possibly all of the following:

1. Why, God? Why?
2. With friends like this, who needs enemies?
3. O no, I'm going to be sick.
4. Hmm, I wonder what that tastes like.

In between the chest pain, heavy breathing and cold sweat, I managed to regain my composure and actually hold the severed foot. After hearing "EAT IT! EAT IT! EAT IT!" chants (if you leave a 'that's what he said' note in the comments, I'll love you forever), most notably by Forsoothsayer, I tried the damn thing. Contrary to my personal belief, the severed foot was gooier than expected and I wasn't able to pull it apart - thus negating its disgustingness and allowing for an easier ingestion of said candy. I managed to barely chew the whole thing and guess what?! It was gross!

Moral of the story: If it looks like a severed foot and acts like a severed foot, it'll taste like a severed foot. Children, beware.

January 16, 2010

Things I've Learned While Being Sidelined with Swine Flu and Other Related Illnesses

  • Your coworkers will be happy you're back, but will insist you keep the window next to your desk open at all times
  • Your sister will show empathy towards you until you're able to put your pants on by yourself and then she'll act like she's never met you before
  • Coughing up green things is good for you
  • It's possible to pull muscles next to your lungs. After laying on the floor and being felt up by a doctor you work with, you can be diagnosed with having a fractured rib. Regardless of what it actually is, an exorcism is probably less painful.
I'm not really sure what I'm going to do with myself once I'm healthy again. Skydive? Show jump? Wrestle a bear? The possibilities are endless.

January 3, 2010


It was inevitable, really. If anyone was going to get swine flu, it was going to be me. Because seriously, if my body's going to fall prey to regular food poisoning, salmonella and typhoid, WHY WOULDN'T IT contract swine flu? I might as well have tied a ribbon in my hair and held up a "Welcome Home" banner because if this body is anything, it's a sucker for disease.

I've been feeling slightly under the weather since last Sunday, but soldiered through in order to make it to my cousin's wedding. The wedding went off without a hitch, I went to work the next day (Wednesday), got told I looked like death, and took Thursday off. New Year's Eve came and went with a blur - at 12:05, I was nursing a 101 degree Fahrenheit (38.6 degree Celcius for those of you who insist on calling soccer 'football') fever and receiving cold compresses. The next day, I missed my other cousin's birthday dinner (Thai food - my favorite) and quality time with my family friends from Kuwait. O, and there was that four hour gap in the middle of the night where I threw up five times, but who's counting?

Yesterday, when my fever refused to quit, I took my wobbly legs to the doctor. Before his cold as ice stethoscope touched my aching chest, he diagnosed me with the swine. So, now I'm on bed rest for five days. There are worse ways I could be spending time away from work, but with all my shows on hiatus, my laptop time is in serious distress. My YouTube is working fine though, so please send me entertaining links!