Tuesday, June 30, 2009

there was a man back in '95 whose heart ran out of summers

apparently death has been knocking on a lot of celebrity doors recently. of course, michael jackson's death is overshadowing everyone else's, but that doesnt make their deaths any less real. speaking of michael jackson, you may or may not be following the news about him, but just in case you're not, after the autopsy they decided he didnt die from a heart attack. his doctor looked suspicious for a while but apparently he is no longer considered a suspect in his death. they don't know what or who killed him yet but are looking into another autopsy to get some answers.

anyways, the most recent celebrity death (as far as i've heard) is billy mays. yes, the king of infomercials has followed the king of pop straight out of this world. i kind of feel bad about this one because of how much i hated him while he was alive. that's usually the case with me. when i hate someone, i feel an incomprehensible guilt after their death - as if my saying 'go die' so many times actually killed them. which i know is totally ridiculous and pretentious of me. but that's the way my brain works.

*The Riddle - Five for Fighting

Sunday, June 28, 2009

hello, is it me you're looking for?

before i start my story of stalkerness, there is one thing you all should know. my sister wants to get married. if you know of anyone willing, let me know. she's not picky... he just has to be a he, muslim, and talk english.

now on to the story... so we were looking through an old copy of this magazine, layalena. she got to the almost last page where they had interview typish things with a bunch of guys. and she, of course, chose out her husband, making sure to calculate his present age. so in a fit of stalkerness, i looked him up on facebook. the internet is amazing. it took a few (8) tries to find the english spelling of his name, but in the end i got it. his profile was private, but we looked through his friends because yes, we are stalkerish stalkers who were bored out of our minds. through his friends, we found out a lot about this dude. anyways, because it really is a small world after all, it turns out he knows people in DC that know people we know. he was even friends with people who graduated from and were still in my old high school. serendipity, people.

that'll be a story to tell the grandkids.

*Hello - Lionel Richie

he's on the table and he's gone to code, and i do not think anyone knows what they're doing here

i was never a big fan of video games. from the atari my sister got for her 6th birthday or something to the xbox i tried at a friend's house. gameboys, psp's... they were never really my thing. sure, i play them. and yes, i have fun. but i was never one of those "natural" video gamers. i usually suck. and i get very frustrated with them and end up all tense and annoyed and ready to throw the whole thing out of the nearest window. but my cousin has a nintendo ds, and all that has changed. she has a grey's anatomy game which has become my latest addiction. you don't really do much in the game but play through episodes making choices that don't change the storyline, completing challenges like avoiding little red balls of anger, and performing parts of surgeries. not much to do, but highly highly addictive. on the addictiveness spectrum, it's somewhere between cigarettes and crack, and probably closer to the crack.

one thing i hate about the game: meredith. i don't mind her in the show and at times really like her, though she was never my favorite character. in the game, i despise her. she has a one track mind, and all her story lines revolve around her relationship with mcdreamy. the entire hospital is on lockdown because of a diptheria outbreak and what is she thinking about? how her date will be afftected by the lockdown. she is in the middle of a bypass heart surgery and asks to leave early so she will have time to get ready for said date. i mean, really?? what kind of doctor does that?? i don't care if there is a whole surgerical team doing the operation, you do not leave halfway through for a date, even in a game. she interrupts shepherd while he's prepping a patient or something to tell him that she's committed to their relationship, and while he's distracted, the patient has a seizure. i think what really annoys me is that although i control a lot of her choices, i really have no control over what happens. she's the same no matter what i do. now, i havent watched the show in a while. i missed the entire last season - night classes suck. but i dont remember meredith being that obsessed. yes, her relationship was always a big part of the plot, but i remember her being a good doctor, not a ditsy flake. if that's how her character has gotten lately, then i'm not sure i want to watch last season which is sitting on my desk.

oh, and i hate how george is such a girl.

*Jumper - Third Eye Blind

Friday, June 26, 2009

happy endings gone forever more

i have this thing for well-written, unhappy endings. death. separation. unrequited love. whatever it might be. yes, i love a happy ending as much as the next person, but tragedy appeals to me just as much... sometimes more. when i watch a movie, even when i'm counting on the predictable happy ending when the hero and heroine live happily ever after, a small part of me is hoping for the complete opposite. it's hoping that the hero really does die in the war. that the heroine does leave him with a shattered heart. i dont know why. it might be because it's more realistic in a way, or maybe i'm just a complete cynic with a heart of stone. whatever the reason, if jack and rose both lived and grew old together, if rhett didnt leave scarlett (not taking the sequel into consideration), if sirius black didnt die... the stories just wouldnt be as good as they are when they pull at your heart strings and leave you with a lump in your throat and tears in your eyes (yes, few endings bring me to tears, but you get the idea).

speaking of endings, i cant believe michael jackson died. despite everything people said about him - of which i believed nothing - no one can deny that he was super talented. he had a huge effect on countless peoples' lives as well as the music industry. i dunno but he always seemed immortal in a way to me. it felt like he had been around forever and would be around forever. his death was a wake up call. a friend of mine had tickets for his comeback tour, a concert that was said to be unmissable and is now to never happen.

you know what's kinda scary?? a lot of the actors i grew up watching, singers i grew up listening to are dying. scientific ideas and theories about the universe that we learned in school are now considered wrong and outdated. i'm getting old, people, and i'm not sure i like it.

*Happy Ending - Mika

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

our concentration it contains a deadly flaw

funny story that happened to my cousin (the sister of the one scared of cats). she was talking to this dude online, yasser. so one day he put a picture up and said it was a relative of his. the picture was hideous but she didnt really comment on it to him because no one likes to hear that their family is ugly. then, later, she got a friend request from some social network from a dr. yuyu, who she assumed was yasser. so the next time she talked to him she was like i didnt know you were on that site and i didnt know you were a doctor. he was like yeah i just made an account there and i am a doctor i just never mentioned it. so then my cousin was like your pictures are really nice, not like that relative of yours, he was hideous. she basically lets out all the pent up comments about him. so yasser goes, just so you know i have no idea who that dr. yuyu is, but he's not me. the picture i put on before, though, was me. my cousin didnt know what to say. poor guy. but i mean, next time don't pretend to be someone your not.

speaking of this cousin and her sister, do you know there's like three names for a phobia of cats? and there's a phobia of ugliness, it's called cacophobia. Allodoxaphobia is a fear of opinions. Androphobia is the fear of men. If you are afraid of people with amputations you have apotemnophobia. athazagoraphobia is the fear of being forgotten. ehebiphobia is the fear of teenagers. there are also phobias from nosebleeds, long waits, large things, staying single, small things, beards, religion, and beautiful women... read more phobias here.

my brothers have recently become obsessed with jinxing people. you know when you say the same word at the same time and whoever gets jinxed cant talk until someone says their name?? yeah... they have no idea how to play it though and jinx everything. one will say something, the other will repeat it, and they'll spend the next hour shouting jinx at each other. one tried to jinx me cause we were breathing at the same time. :/

anyways, here are a couple of sites to entertain yourselves with for a few minutes. watch an animated step dance type thing. play with a rag doll for a minute. pop clouds that fill the otherwise clear blue sky. i dunno why i found this addicting.

*Maintain Consciousness - Relient K

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

they're worse than tremors. they're these terrors.

i have a cousin who is deathly afraid of cats. like really really terrified. a certified phobia. she's been that way for as long as i can remember. anyways, we went out to dinner with some other cousins and were getting dropped off. i dont remember exactly how we got to talking about this, but one of my cousins ended up saying to her, "i hope when you're walking up a cat comes out of nowhere and runs through your legs"... or something along those lines.

so we get out of the car and walk up to my cousins' (the one scared of cats and her sister) apartment building. i was last one in so i close the door behind me and start walking towards the stairs - they live on the top floor. as i'm about to reach the stairs, i hear someone start to scream, like a blood-curdling someone is attacking me with a knife while stealing my chocolate kind of shriek. next thing i know, my cousin is hurtling down the stairs, pushing her sister and mine out of her way. i, having no idea what was going on, immediately get an adrenaline rush and hurry back to the door which didnt seem to want to open. i finally get it open just as my cousin reaches me with a speed that let me know she would have burst through it like the koolaid man if i hadnt gotten it open in time. she runs into the street still screaming with her scarf flying off her head and a look of sheer terror plastered on her face. i run out after her before i realize that what has sent her into this frenzy was a fluffy cat sleeping on the stairs. apartment doors open as people check to see what's wrong - the apartment building only has family in it so once people saw the cat they realized what had happened.

anyways, my sister chased the cat away and my cousin made it safely up to her apartment. we spent the rest of the night laughing over the scene she had made while we ate baskin robbins ice cream.

i dont think i've ever been afraid of something so much that it would send me running screaming into the street, but i'm not completely sure. have you?

*Sleep - My Chemical Romance

Monday, June 22, 2009

so superficial, so immature

facebook seems to enjoy making me angry by broadcasting people's stupidity. the latest thing facebook people do to annoy me: putting something cryptic as their status and then pretending to get annoyed when people comment on it.

if you don't want people to know about something, then putting it as your facebook status is obviously the best idea to come around since sliced bread. because, when you have to click 'share' to post it, that obviously means that no one will ever read it. right? i doubt anyone is that stupid, which leaves them with being a more pathetic kind of stupid. they put something like "the you-know-what with you-know-who is happening you-know-where at you-know-when" to get people to ask for the who, what, where, and when. and then, when people do ask, because when you're bored on facebook that's just what you do, they start in with the omg you guys are so nosy it's none of your business comments, which usually end up with them saying how they're going to just delete the status to ward off the questions. of course, by then, all of the attention has them feeling like all that and a bag of chips, so it's work is done.

so here's my suggestion: when they resort to such thinly veiled attention seeking attempts, ignore them. don't ask for a clarification. don't act curious or interested. just let them sit there staring at the status waiting for comments as they wonder why and when they became so unloved. deflating their ego is perhaps the best thing you can do for them.

be a good person. ignore someone.

*High School Never Ends - Bowling for Soup

life in plastic, it's fantastic!

my cousin's daughters want me to do this song/dance thing with them to the song barbie girl by aqua. i have a hard time saying no to them, so of course i'm doing it. now i have the stupid song stuck in my head. grr.

anyways, i have to start applying to grad school pretty soon, and i am 99.3% sure that i want to get an MS in computer forensics at my school. so last night i was double checking the admission requirements since the program is brand new (it's just starting this fall) and they keep making changes to it. and guess what?? another change.

they made the GREs a requirement ONLY if you didnt attend to an accredited higher education program, which i obviously did. soooo that means i dont have to take the GREs anymore. i was ecstatic. not that i was planning on studying for them or anything (even if my professor hadnt said that the scores wouldnt be a major factor in getting accepted because the program is so new, i find studying for standardized tests a major waste of my time. i can barely get myself to study for normal tests.) but now thats one less thing i need to worry about. and with the money i save by not registering, i can have an amazon shopping spree. yay!

*Barbie Girl - Aqua

Sunday, June 21, 2009

late dawns and early sunsets

driving to makkah this morning, we saw the most amazing sunrise. it was really picture perfect. the rays of the sun shining out over the mountains, the gilded clouds...

are you a sunrise or a sunset kind of person?? i could never decide; i love them both too much.

sunrises are gorgeous. they are full of hope, of endless possibilities. they are the start of every day when everything is fresh and new and unwritten. oh, and they remind me of mountains, though i'm not sure why.

sunsets are just as beautiful, but it's more of a melancholic beauty. they're a testament that everything must come to an end. no one day - good or bad - can go on forever. they're proof endings aren't always a bad thing. the wider variety of colors signify everything that has been done during the day. like sunrises remind me of mountains, sunsets remind me of the sea.
while sunrises give the opportunity of life, sunsets confirm that life has been lived.

*Early Sunsets Over Monroeville - My Chemical Romance

the little pilgrimage

so i just came back from doing umrah (kinda like the mini hajj for muslims). i seriously think that it is one of my favorite things to do every year. the experience for me is amazing every single time. we always (or almost always) go super early to beat the crowds and the heat - of which there is really no way to completely escape. today we left our house a little before 5:30. in the morning. i slept after 1. im exhausted.

things that i love about umrah:
*the historicalness of the place. i mean, that building has been around for thousands of years. the Prophet (pbuh) walked around the very same one. you can even see the footprints of Prophet Ibrahim. the two hills, Al-Safa and Al-Marwa, that Ibrahim's wife Hagar went between looking for help/water for her and her son. after seven trips between the hills she found a spring had sprung up near her son, the zamzam well.
*the black stone on the corner of the kaaba that was sent down from heaven.
*no matter what time you go, there will always be people there. morning, noon, and night you will find crowds. sure, you can get smaller crowds at "off hours" but it's never empty. it amazes me how many muslims there are.
*the, for lack of a better word, peace i feel after finishing it.
*i have really fond memories of going to umrah as a child with my uncle every summer.
*the way the marble around the kaaba is always cool.
*the pigeons... dont ask me why.

things - mostly people - i hate about it:
*the huge mobs of people who come together with a company or whatever that walk slowly, scream loudly, and basically inconvenience everyone else.
*the people who act like they're the only ones in the place. they mow people down who get in their way without even sparing them an apologetic glance. some of these have their noses stuck in prayer books, some just look straight ahead, but none of them seem to notice that there are in fact other people on the planet with them.
*the people who take the opportunity to have photo shoots. the tourists who take a couple of pictures of the crowds, the kaaba, the mosque, etc irk me a bit but ill live with them. i'm talking about the people that stop every few steps to pose for pictures of themselves. not touristy ones, just close ups of their faces.
*the lack of courtesy a lot of people show for each other. i mean, if you wanna be a complete jerk every day of your life, that's your perogative, but i feel like you should at least try to be decent over there.
*people using the plastic cups for zamzam and putting them on the new pile instead of the place for used ones which is literally a hand away. it's gross..

*yeah, i thought putting a song would be a tad inappropriate

Saturday, June 20, 2009

i'm gonna make this short and sweet

time for another six word saturday... last week didnt work out cuz blogger was not working for me :/. here are my six:

my days are overflowing with children!

see more over here.

*Short and Sweet - Matchbox Romance

Thursday, June 18, 2009

the story needs some mending and a better happy ending

there is a project by dina goldstein titled fallen princesses that i have recently fallen in love with. it was a little depressing, but also genius. what she did was "imagine Disney's perfect Princesses juxtaposed with real issues that were affecting women around [her], such as illness, addiction and self-image issues."

belle... tired of being "the smart one"

jasmine... the stereotypical arab

sleeping beauty (who never woke up) ans prince charming in a retirement home.

rapunzel... hairless

snow white... unhappy housewife

cinderella's not so happily ever after

*Fairytale - Sara Bareilles

when you look at me, tell me what do you see

hey, you there, leaning against the wall. hands crossed in the everlasting pose of ultimate cool. mocking smile on your face. eyes glazed over with apathetic superiority. i see you. i mean, really see you. i see how you are not leaning against that wall, it is propping you up. because without it, you would crumple, unable to support the weight of the world that is sitting there on your shoulder. the weight you refuse to be helped with, and it's better to be propped against a wall than a helping hand. i see how your hands are not just crossed over your chest, they are gripping your sides with a knuckle whitening tight grip in a herculean effort to keep yourself together, to keep you from falling apart as you're sure you will if you get the chance. if you loosen your grip, you'll surely fly to pieces. your mocking smile is no mocking smile. it is a cleverly disguised painful grimace. it is the one thing keeping the torrent of tears from breaking free from your throat and filling your eyes. your eyes which really are glazed over, but not from arrogance. not from apathy. eyes are glazed to hide what is lurking in their depths. the chaos. the raging mess that lies somewhere beneath that cool exterior. the mess you hide from everyone. hey you, your facade doesnt fool me. i see you.

*You Can - David Archuleta

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

just ignore all this present tense

have you ever had one of those days that you just get fed up with everyone and everything?? some small thing happens that just irritates you beyond belief and suddenly you can't stand to be living your life at the moment. you're not sick of life, just life as it is right now. sometimes i wish i could just jump into my future for a bit, see where everything ends up. see if what matters to me right now will still matter a year, a month, a day from now. see if anything is worth the effort. it doesnt even have to be a big jump into the future. i'd be happy falling into next week.

*It's Beginning to Get to Me - Snow Patrol

but I don't wanna go home where they all stare at me

i wrote a few posts ago about how i feel completely at home both in america and saudi arabia. well, i think it's important to point out that, while that's true, i also don't really belong in either place, both see me as 'other.' and while i am comfortable with both people, with both cultures, i'm not really a part of either. in america, i'm seen as a saudi. in saudi arabia, i'm seen as the american. so while being half saudi-half american may get me back stage passes to both cultures, i'm definitely not considered part of either band.

i'm scrutinized in both places - everything i say, everything i do. the nuances of the rules of arab society sometimes fly straight over my head, but that's okay because "i'm the american." i'm expected to not know how to do anything, to make a complete idiot of myself. people wait for it to happen. and though the people in america may not be as watchful for every sign that i dont belong as some of the people over here, they are still watchful, or some of them are at least. i'm muslim, i'm saudi... which, to some, means i'm trouble. even those that don't think that, still see a difference between me and themselves, despite the fact that we are both americans.

i'm a person that likes to blend into the background. i prefer not to be the center of attention. but no matter which place i go, though they are both home, people stare. it's not alllll the time, and you get used to it and barely notice it after a while, but it's still there. the two cultures are polar opposites, so it's natural that they won't overlap smoothly, but sometimes i kinda wish they would.

it might seem impossible that i can feel completely at home and completely alienated in both places at the exact same time, but therin lies the paradox.

*War Sweater - Wakey!Wakey!

Monday, June 15, 2009

there's a self-destructive meaning in the bleeding of a guy

"There is a certain beauty in anger, an elegance in rage, in mindless destruction. A terrible strength. A formidable freedom. Look at the sea! There's nothing as wildly furious as the sea. Violent, frenzied, maddening. The epitome of beautiful rage. Surging anger. It creates but one thing, waves, and then crashes them against the rocks - smashing them into a million particles of ocean spray. Destruction. And yet, who can look at the raging waters and not admit to their beauty? Who can watch the crashing waves and not see their strength as a form of art? As nature's way of reminding us that not all beauty comes in the form of made up faces and painted on smiles?"

i love the ocean. i could sit and watch it for hours and hours and not get bored. and i do think that there can be something beautiful in anger, in any intense emotion. Whenever the emotion takes on a life of its own and you're just along for the ride, it really can be like a form of art.
*Overweight - Blue October
haha hilarious... xkcd.com

what if there was no time and no reason or rhyme

my computer and blogger havent been getting along lately so i was very surprised when i got online this morning and it actually worked. thought i'd take advantage of that and write something even though i dont really have much to write.

we've been here for two weeks i think, and it feels like we just got here and we've been here forever at the same time. i've been sleeping four hours a night and then spending the entire day doing stuff so i know my body doesnt really like me right now. i used to live off of four hours a night and be fine, but i got it used to sleeping a complete 8-9 hours every single night which completely spoiled it. now, the second i sit on my bed it gets that exhausted feeling. you know the one where it's like begging to just lay down?? yeah... at least i'm fine during the day. hanging out with the family is great, even if it can get overwhelming at times when you have 8 different kids clamoring for your attention at once.

you realize that you miss A LOT when you're living in a different country, though. like a lot a lot. and it's gotten me thinking about all the what if's again. what if i had lived my whole life here instead of america? would i be a typical saudi girl or would i still be some mixed up hybrid that lives in some twilight zone?? what if my brothers were never born?? i love them to death, but always think about how our lives would be different without them. what if i wasnt born muslim?? would i still have the same values i have today? ive been told i'd be less quiet, but i'm not so sure about that... what if my mom wasnt an artsy person?? how would growing up without constant art projects have changed me?? what if i never got into reading and writing?? what if we never moved from california?? what if my parents never met each other?? what if i had even thought seriously about getting married?? would i have been married by now to one of those guys already?? how would my life be different?? what if i grew up speaking arabic instead of english in my house?? my sarcasm kinda hits the fan when i'm in arabic mode. what if??

*What If - Coldplay

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

she said you're all the same

one thing i really hate when people do is generalize - pass judgement on a whole country, a whole race, a whole sex because of what one individual has done. i find it to be the epitome of ignorance. and no, it's not because i am on the recieving end of bad judgement based on stuff i not only didnt do, but also find utterly disgusting. i have hated this even before arab and muslim became synonymous with terrorist in most peoples' minds.

if an apple orchard had a tree that produced a few bad apples, you would not write the entire orchard off as bad. the idea is ridiculous. and yet with people, who are so much more diverse than apple trees, the idea seems to be entirely acceptable to most. because of course there's no such thing as a bad seed. people are all cut from the same cloth, so they're either all good or all bad. no exceptions to the rule.

condoning something awful that is happening to a group of people because you didnt like one person from that group is often a result of generalizing. i know so many people that can look upon the most heinous things without batting an eye because "im sure they deserved it. i mean, look what they did." honestly, i dont care who did what or why or when. two wrongs definitely do not make a right. so applauding something that is, by any definition, horrendous because you're ignorant enough to judge the whole based on your experience with the few makes you a moron and me sick.

*Most Lonely Face in the World - The Holloways

Monday, June 8, 2009

all in an attempt to entertain

i've been trying to download this album for three days now... whenever i was on my computer i'd try over and over again. but i think i did something to offend itunes and the internet because i swear they were working together to prevent me from buying it. anyways, it finally worked and now i'm waiting for the last couple of songs to finish so that i can go to sleep (i only slept three hours last night and it's already 1:30 in the morning :/) i've been listening to the songs a lot for the past few days on youtube, so i'm excited for a version that is not live, bad quality, or a cover. yay. anyways, the album is indiana by jon mclaughlin. it came out a couple of years ago so some of you may already know it, but if you dont then i highly suggest you go out and get it now. it's awesome. if you're one of those people who prefers songs to albums, some of my favorites are beautiful disaster, industry, for you from me, and indiana. but they are all amazing. awesome music, awesome lyrics...

*Indiana - Jon McLaughlin

spiders catching things and eating their insides

the internet is being ridiculously slow and moody today. it only opens up certain websites, takes forever to load even those, and thinks it's being cool by doing the most annoying things. i should probably be grateful that i even have internet, but it's annoying.

anyways, the creepy crawly things here are on steroids. being gone for eight months have made them spawn into super bugs. they're like some weird government science project gone awry.

this morning i went to take a shower. i'm about to get in when i see a ginormous spider on the shower curtain. have you ever watched harry potter and the chamber of secrets?? i swear this was the spider that played aragog, the acromantula (really, really, really big talking spider). in case you have no idea what i'm talking about, here's a picture:

Big spider, tiny Harry.
ok so maybe not that big, but it was definitely as big as the palm of my hand. maybe even a little bigger... that thing had long legs. so i freaked out, ran out of the bathroom squealing, and took my shower in my parents' bathroom.

the lizards are on crack too. i'm sitting out by the pool while my sister's swimming, and they're running around in the patterns the light is making on the walls as it reflects off the surface of the water. but not normal lizard running, they're running with a purpose. they're following some master plan and are forming some giant lizard army. have you ever heard the sound a lizard makes?? they make this clicking sound that i refused to believe was them when i was younger. i was convinced that my cousins, parents, aunts, and uncles were all trying to trick me, that they were making the sounds and trying to blame them on the poor, silent lizards. yeah, i wasn't too smart.

besides the clicking lizards, mosquitos are eating me alive. gah. once again, not normal mosquitos. these are bigger and thirstier and smarter than any of the other ones i've seen. so before i turn into one giant mosquito bite, i'm going inside.

*I Miss You - Blink 182

Saturday, June 6, 2009

i'm gonna make this short and sweet

a blog i follow does this six word saturday thing, so i thought id jump the bandwagon.

Finally went swimming. Pool was great!

One of my favorite things about our house here is our pool. I wait all year just to go swimming. Problem is, you can't really swim during the day because the sun is too hot. You have to go early morning or evening. We've been sleeping in and going to people's houses during the evenings so we havent gotten a chance to swim. But today, we woke up early and finally jumped in the pool. It was great.

check out this site for more six word saturday.

*Short and Sweet - Matchbox Romance

Friday, June 5, 2009

speed so fast i felt like i was drunk

whenever i hear virginians complain about the "bad drivers," i have to laugh. the worst driver i've seen over there would still be too cautious to drive in jeddah. you've heard of places where the traffic laws are more like suggestions?? yeah, jeddah's not like that. here, they're more like big jokes. to be a good driver, you really have to disregard a lot of the traditional rules of the road. people drive between two lanes so that they'll always be able to get into the one that's moving faster. i've seen people make a left turn from the right lane of a four lane street. right of way goes to the person who wins the game of chicken. if someone is going the wrong way down a one way street, they will rightfully honk angrily at every car they pass going the right way. i've been in countless almost-accidents. but though this driving is awful by any standard, it's a normal part of life here. i rarely think twice about it. it just makes everything a little more exciting.

since this is a post about driving, let me take this chance to wish a particular car full of desperate guys an accident. a really big one. after sharing a room with my sister for the past eight years, i have developed a habit of leaving the windows of my room uncovered - like i dont close the curtains or whatever. now, i get claustrophobic if i cant see outside. i have really big windows - i like the sunlight - so people often have a problem with this because, yes, you can see into my room. in america, my bed is out of the way so it's not a problem. and here, we now live in the middle of nowhere with like one neighbor so it isnt a problem either. or it wasnt until i noticed that the same car full of guys had circled around our house at least five times. i noticed when they stopped in front of my window and held their number up. so now i'm sitting in the dark getting a headache from the computer glare. i mean, really, do you have nothing better to do on a friday night that look into my window and stare at me sitting on my bed with my baggy tshirt and sweats?? if that's the case, then i sincerely pity you.

*Fast Car - Kristian Leontiou

and her wings won't spread to let her fly south... runaway, she's a runaway

Two years he walks the earth. No phone, no pool, no pets, no cigarettes. Ultimate freedom. An extremist. An aesthetic voyager whose home is the road. Escaped from Atlanta. Thou shalt not return, 'cause "the West is the best." And now after two rambling years comes the final and greatest adventure. The climactic battle to kill the false being within and victoriously conclude the spiritual pilgrimage. Ten days and nights of freight trains and hitchhiking bring him to the Great White North. No longer to be poisoned by civilization he flees, and walks alone upon the land to become lost in the wild. -alexander supertramp

a few years ago, a friend of mine told me that i had to read into the wild. she had had to read it back in highschool and thought that it was amazing. so, although i'm generally not much of a nonfiction reader, i went out and bought a copy. i just got around to watching the movie adaptation of the book which was made back in 2007. if any of you have not read the book/watched the movie, go do it. the book is pretty short, but people have found it hard to get through. the movie was kind of long, but beautifully shot, well-directed, and has some good actors. do either, do both.

Christopher McCandless aka Alex Supertrampboth tell the story of christopher mccandless aka alex supertramp, who you should definitely read more about. shortly after graduating from emory university, he gave away his life savings to charity, abandoned all his possessions, cut off contact with his family, and began a two year hike which ended up in the alaskan wilderness. he lived off the land in alaska for nearly four months, armed with less than the essentials as he refused to have a compass or map, although he did find a bus to be used as a shelter. at one point, he decided to go back home, but a river that was crossed during the winter seeemed impassable after the snow melt. because he knew nothing of the area, he didnt know that there was a tram to get him across not far from where he was. he was forced to stay in alaska. his body was found weeks after he had died by moose hunters.

some have a very romanticized view of his story, while others view it as a testament to the stupidity that some people suffer from. i have to say that i fall into the first group. i love the idea of running away, not necessarily out of anger or rebellion, but out of sheer desire for absolute freedom. freedom from the constraints and materialism of society. depending solely on your own survival instincts. working when you have to work, not to save up a bunch of money. having a new experience every single day. pushing yourself. testing your strength. discovering yourself. meeting people with values that go beyond the power of a paycheck.

although i don't think i would be able to go at it completely blindsighted, i can see why he would. the whole experience would be amazing regardless. it brings to mind that quote from stardust i wrote in an earlier post... alex was from behind himself, and going ahead of him. like i said before, that whole concept holds unimaginable allure for me. i would love to run away like that. not running away from anything. not running towards anything. running for the sake of running, for the pure desire to try something new, for freedom.

interesting fact: christopher mccandless lived with his family in annandale, virginia, not far from where i live.

*Runaway - Graham Colton Band

Thursday, June 4, 2009

these words are all i have so i'll write them

the two extremes of the verbal spectrum: word vomit and word constipation. which would you say is worse? spewing out every thought that flits through your mind like you're ridding yourself of toxic waste or barely opening your mouth to take an occassional deep breath, let alone actually speak a word. the same two extremes apply to writing, you write everything or write nothing, and a lot of time is has little to do with the number of words you come out with.

sure, with one you may say something you really shouldn't have, but with the other, you may never say something that you really should have.

i think that i fall into both extremes... not in an i'm-perfect-just-in-the-middle way either. it's more like, i suffer greatly from word constipation, a side-effect from my fear of exposing myself to people. so, in an effort to keep people from noticing, i turn to word vomit. i spew out random information, random thoughts, random stories in hopes that you won't notice that i've actually said very little about myself. i've been doing this less lately. it's something i'm trying to change about myself... an effort coming along a little slowly, but coming along all the same. i am completely convinced that the minute i teach myself to overcome this, my writing will become good. and once i am able to write something that can actually hold a person's attention, leave them wanting more, something memorable... well, who knows what could happen?? it's great to have something to blame. scapegoats are the reason hope can exist at all. if you weren't able to shove some reality off onto someone or something else as blame, each and every bubble of hope would be smothered to death before it even got a chance to live.

but i digress, my point was, word vomit or constipation, which would you rather have??

*Dance, Dance - Fall Out Boy

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

dance, dance, and these are the lives you'd love to lead

i have refallen in love with dance dance revolution, or step step dance as the one my cousins have is called (the exact same game). best game ever. well, almost best. it does give you a workout though, and being a professional lazy bum, that starts to be a problem eventually. especially when i'm playing with kids that just have so much more energy than me.

anyways, here's a poem i found online. i liked it the first time i read it. didnt like it the second time. so the verdict is still out on this one,

I'm lost
Like a TV show that doesn't make sense
Unless you watch it from the beginning

I'm lost…
But I'm always gonna try
And I have no need to lie
Being who I am Is something that I can't deny

I look up to the sky
And sometimes I wonder why
But I know I have to make
A better past before I die

Sometimes I say too much
Sometimes I don't make sense
If I get too drunk and rowdy
Then I might get too intense

I see the path
But through a blur
And sometimes I don't feel sure I can shake it off for now

But how much more can I endure
I do the best I can
I try to do the right thing

I'm a poet,
I'm a writer
And I wish that I could sing

Sometimes I'm found
Sometimes turn it around
But beat myself into the ground
If I can't make the right sound

You look to be specific
And measure bullshit by the pound
If you don't try to be prolific
Then you might end up profound…

i was scrolling down my blog this morning, not really reading anything but eyes sort of skimming, and i realized that i overuse the word anyways. seriously, it jumped off the page more than any other word i wrote. i have filled my anyways quota, and yet i cant seem to stop using it. i didnt even realize i used it this much. thing is, i dont use it in spoken conversation... at least i dont think i do. :/

*Dance, Dance - Fall Out Boy

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

vacation all i ever wanted

since, as anisah very thoughfully points out to me repeatedly, i have no life, i guess i'll be blogging here more than i expected to. anyways, my first full day here has come to an end, and once again, i'm hit by that realization that "it feels like we never left." like really. we fall into the same routine as we've had for practically our entire life.we catch up with the stories we've missed out on and notice how big the kids are, but it doesnt feel like we've been gone an entire year. saudi arabia for me is just as much home as america is. i have my room filled with useless crap (though a loooot less than my american room). i have a closet full of clothes i ignore to wear my favorite stuff. we have our car and our restaurants and our daily schedule. the day i get to either place i'm at home. there's no adjustment period. no jet lag. no nothing.

which, in a sense, is really great. and i love the fact that i'm completely comfortable in both places (though i have to admit i'm socially awkward and that's a bigger problem here than in america). but at the same time, i wanna have a summer vacation for once. you know, actually go somewhere new... somewhere i don't know everyone, somewhere i live out of a suitcase, somewhere i dont have to clean the house or do the laundry or stock up a fridge. a vacation.

today, i watched my first ever episode of star academy. i can finally consider myself arab lol. i have to admit, i see the addictiveness factor. we sat staring at them walk around in complete boredom and play on paint for hours. nothing exciting, yet we couldnt seem to change the channel. it's the same appeal teletubbies has for little kids.

on a completely unrelated note, i just saw the new moon trailer on a blog i follow. it reminded me of something i realized on the airplane. i was watching this movie with robert deniro and it had kristen stewart in it. at one point of the movie, she's supposed to be confused or hiding something or whatever... i kinda forgot. but she does this spastic facial features thing. and that was what i hated most about her acting in twilight. that face - or series of faces - that just annoyed me beyond belief. i generally like her and used to think that she only did that in twilight (like in the bio class scene) because it was a movie that should've just stayed a book. but apparently not. i'm not sure how i feel about this. how did i not notice it before??

*Vacation - The Go-Go's

somebody told me that you had a boyfriend that looked like a girlfriend

before i left, someone asked me to check on something and make it the first post i write when i get here. sorry, rashad, i forgot. so i guess we're even.

anyways, remember when rumors that ciara used to a man were circulating the internet and high schools?? well, just in case you still didnt know, they are completely false. that's a link back to the snopes article debunking the rumor in case you dont believe me.

talking about that whole thing, though, made me realize that people were using the words transvestite, transsexual, and transgender interchangably. so here's a quick english lesson. first of all, everyone should know the difference between a person's gender and their sex. no, they are not the same thing. a person's sex is their physical appearance: male or female. their gender is what they psychologically identify themselves with or what society defines them as. for example, in a society where only males go hunting, a female hunter would be considered part of the male gender although she would still be considered part of the female sex. so, on to the other words. a transvestite is "a person who dresses or acts in a style or manner generally associated with the opposite sex." a transsexual is someone who undergoes surgery and hormone treatment to become a member of the opposite sex. a transgender is when a person's gender does not maatch their sex, like the female hunter in that proverbial tribe. so transvestites are transgenders who act on their difference in gender. and transsexuals are transvestites who make the change physically.

*Somebody Told Me - The Killers

they sit back and watch the evil grow from the youth

i have this problem with taking showers first in a place no one has lived for at least a month... i cant do it. sooo while waiting for anisah to get out, i'll do my rant on stupid arab parents. note: i'm not calling arab parents stupid; i'm ranting about the stupid ones. the ones that have so many kids they just start numbering them and never bother to even glance up occassionally from whatever they are doing to make sure kids 1-45 are still alive.

so on the plane, in the rows next to me and my parents a family comes: a mom, a dad, and like 7 kids all under the age of 7. two were twins. i'm pretty sure the wife was pregnant. mashallah by the way. don't get me wrong, i had total sympathy for the parents. having two little boys could be a commotion so i could only imagine the nightmare life with that many children could get into on an off day. but at the same time, if you can't handle it then space em out a bit. birth control people. anyways, since the kids were all really small, they didnt get seats for them. i thought only a couple didnt have seats, but my mom told me that none of them did. luckily for them, they pretty much cleared out the two rows, except for this one dude who had ear plugs and drugs and didnt mind. these kids were awful. the second that other dude sat down one of the boys went through his stuff, found a lollipop, opened it, and said thank you. the guy was staring open mouthed but recovered, pasted on a smile, and said your welcome. of course, this made the other two kids in that row cry for candy. the guy looked and didnt have anything else. this did not make the kids happy, especially since their bratty brother was rubbing it in their face. of course, the dad was ignoring all of them. the mom was struggling in the row behind them with the younger kids. i felt bad for her, but at the same time, all she had to do was sit them down and buckle them up. kids that age can not for the life of them figure out how to unbuckle plane belts. but she didnt. so the little girl kept disappearing up and down the aisles and you hear the mom call out "youmna! youmna!" from her seat till the girl showed up again. they were crying, screaming, and fighting the entire time they were awake. having two kids in the house, i realize this is pretty common. but when you are on an airplane at least pretend to try and deal with your kids. anyways, they slept like angels mashallah, for which i'm sure the parents are very thankful. imagine having those as restless sleepers. *shudder*.

so anyways, i hate the parents that have no control over their kids. the ones that dont even pretend to be parents. the ones that pop out a kid a year and still act like it's only the two of them. compare the americans at the airport with the arabs... the parents of course. the americans have their kids in death grips. hands are held, leashes are buckled, children are labeled with name, phone number, and address. a little extreme, but at least attentive. then you see the arabs. the kids are running around on one side of the airport while the parents are getting coffee on the other side. of course, there are the good arab parents, too. but for my point i'm just going to generalize. and it's not only at airports. i have neighbor children stories that are hilariously ridiculous, but the shower is free and this post is long enough already.

*Nothing for the Kids - The Holloways

Monday, June 1, 2009

i'm so tired

guess who has internet?!

if you guessed me, then you are wrong... for the most part. we werent able to get the connection we were talking about, but my neighbors, thank god, have not yet learned the art of securing their connection. so we can kinda bum connection off of them from specific locations around the house. like the foot of my bed. the middle of my bed has nothing, but the very end can pick up signal. only problem is that now i'll be living in constant fear that they'll travel and shut it off and deprive me of my sanity aka the wonderful world wide web for weeks on end. *sigh* my dad will be experimenting with getting connection though in the next few days... hope that goes well.

anyways, i'm exhausted. i woke up 7 sunday morning and havent closed my eyes since. but i really wanted to check on the internet situation. plane ride could've been better... expect a rant about stupid arab parents in the next couple of days when i'm more awake. and then we were expecting to not see anyone today since schools and everything are still in session, but we thrown into one typical family get together after another, first at our house then at our grandma's. and this was all suffered through in my sleep deprived stupor.

*Empty Room - Marjorie Fair