Wednesday, August 31, 2011

there's nothing to do here

in the arab world, eid is celebrated for three days. you visit family, you have big meals, you celebrate. here in america, we can barely find enough things to do for one day, let alone three. to celebrate eid yesterday, i went out to breakfast with my sister's family and her in-laws. i then ran a few errands, went home for a couple of hours, and went to class. i know you're jealous.

class was actually a lot better than i was expecting. the professor is pretty awesome and it's a writing intensive course, which i usually do pretty well in. it's classes like these where the super IT-y people usually get into trouble, because while they can build you a computer in three point seven seconds, they have no idea how to effectively explain what they did in words, especially not written. so i'm hoping i can end my master's career on a good note since i do in fact know the basics of grammar, something not as common as you would think in this field. can you believe that this might be the last class you ever hear me whine about on this blog ever? that is, if i don't get into a phd program which i'm thinking is pretty likely (the not getting in).

anyway, one cool thing about the professor is that he works in the private sector. every other professor i have had in this program in every other class has worked for the government. so we were basically just getting our minds stuffed with public sector work stories and tips and experiences. i had almost forgotten that the government is not the only one that uses computer forensics. it opened a few more potential options for me that i had been not seeing before.

like most other professors, this one enjoys telling stories of things he's seen and done in the field. (the cool thing about him is that he only tells the interesting ones. do you know how many stories i've had to listen to that ended with the professor either laughing or smugly smiling while the rest of us were listening to the serenading crickets?) so he was telling us about his mentor and the importance of using analogies to explain things to non-computer folk and how impressive this guy was at thinking up what to say and delivering it. "plus," he added, "he had a british accent. and everything just sounds smarter when said in a british accent... at least in america." and isn't that just so true? i think there are few places where the american accent makes someone automatically seem smarter and more sophisticated. it's kind of unfair when you think about it.

*Hospital Beds - Cold War Kids

Monday, August 29, 2011

you disappoint me

today is just one of those days where looking at me will get you blacklisted and talking to me should make you fear for your life. you know the kind? i'm trying to read to pass the time until i can eat, but the characters are all annoying me too much.

anyway, it occurred to me that after a couple of posts talking about hurricane irene and the end of the world, i should probably mention how very anticlimactic irene turned out to be. at least for the area i was in. there was some rain, yes, but nothing too bad. we had a little wind, but we've had a lot worse. i couldn't even hear it howling outside, something i actually really like. the electricity didn't flicker, let alone go off. i had phone, internet, and tv up until i went to bed. early. i woke up the next morning to blue skies and sun. there weren't even any puddles outside (at least, nothing i could see from my window). all in all, i was a bit disappointed.

don't get me wrong, i'm thankful that there wasn't any damage for us to deal with, but i was gearing up for a good old storm. i wanted pounding rain and howling winds. i wanted power outages and candlelight. one of my favorite childhood memories happened when i was in fourth grade. we were living in california at the time and it was in the middle of el nino. we had a bad storm and were powerless for what i remember to be the better part of a day, but of course time seemed longer to my nine year old self. it might have just been a few hours. it was during ramadan and my dad cooked the food to break our fast in our fireplace. i remember playing charades by candlelight in my pajamas and how the house seemed different when viewed by flashlight. it was exciting, though we didn't really do anything too out of the ordinary that day. since then i have loved power outages. they bring with them the bittersweet nostalgia that tells of better days.

so to be told that we were having the biggest hurricane in the history of the world and to stock up on food and get ready for loss of power, ending up with a little rain and wind was pretty disappointing.

*Passive - A Perfect Circle

breathe in for luck, breathe in so deep

you're waiting for me to say those three little words you've said so many times before. you're waiting for kisses that don't just come in the dark of night and leave an aftertaste of guilt in your mouth. you're waiting for me to stop twisting out of your embraces like i would shackles and chains. you're waiting for my teeth to stop biting and snarling long enough to smile. you're waiting for me to settle down and grow up.

well honey, you better exhale.

you're waiting for me to cross the finish line. you're waiting for parties in my honor and statues erected to celebrate the success that is me. you're waiting for me to make you proud. you're waiting for the day that my name is common on a stranger's lips. you're waiting for it to stop being used as a synonym for apathy and the death of promise.

well honey, you better exhale.

you're waiting for me to save the world. you're waiting for the red cape and blue tights to be pulled out of the grasp of the skeletons in my closet. you're waiting for me to spread my wings and shoulder the weight of the world. you're waiting for me to live up to your expectations. you're turning blue in the face because you swear i have what it takes,

and honey, you better exhale.

*Hands Down - Dashboard Confessional

Saturday, August 27, 2011

it's so incredible that you're so rude

dear irene,

when you said you were going to visit, we, like any good hosts, immediately got ready for your arrival. we stocked up on food and water, we brought in patio chairs for extra seating, and we made sure we had flashlights and candles in case you are afraid of the dark. we've been stood up by hurricanes a lot in the past - they promise that they're coming and then send a rainstorm to make their excuses for them - but you seemed pretty sure, so we believed. you haven't even come yet and you're already the center of attention and the topic of every conversation. your visit is all anyone can talk about.

you'd think, what with the way we're all getting ready to greet you, that you'd be a bit more considerate. i mean, i get that you might knock out electricity, turn lawn chairs into missiles, and cause some serious property damage. it's all part of your shtick, and i'm okay with that. if you didn't go above and beyond, you might as well just call yourself a little black rain cloud. i get that. i'm talking about something else entirely.

this morning i signed into amazon to actually buy the things that i put in my cart two days ago to think about. and you know what i noticed? everything in my cart is suddenly a lot more expensive than it was yesterday. one thing went from twenty five to forty one dollars. i know prices in amazon are constantly fluctuating, but it's usually a few cents this way or that. i haven't seen jumps like this happen literally overnight. there's no real proof that this is your fault, but you're the one variable in a long stream of constants. so you know what? i'm gonna go ahead and blame you.

after everything we've done for you, everything we've agreed to put up with, all the money that we spent to make sure your stay here went smoothly, trying to bankrupt us is not polite. remember your manners, ma'am. i hate to say it, but if i knew you were going to act like this, i might have said we would be out of town this weekend. and then you could have just sat home alone in the middle of the ocean wondering why no one liked you. and if you decide to get offended and not show up, well, i think i'd be okay with that.

yours truly,

*Chow Down - The Lion King

Friday, August 26, 2011

lesson learned and the wheels keep turning

it seems like the only thing on anyone's mind anymore is hurricane irene. everyone and their mother is either getting ready for her arrival or telling other people how to get ready for her arrival. so to give you all a break from the hurricane talk, let's discuss something else. namely, college and what you learn in it.

so i was watching reality bites yesterday. i love this movie, and i think the last time i watched it was in high school or something. anyway, it starts out with the main characters graduating and then hanging out on a rooftop celebrating their graduation. one character, vickie, gets really drunk, but can still recite her social security number. troy mentions how impressive that is and she says that the only thing she really learned in college was her social security number. and i have to completely agree with her.

before starting college, i couldn't tell you my social security number to save my life. then after writing it on application after application, after needing it for forms and paperwork during the entire four years i was studying, it just stuck. i could tell you my social security number if i was bitten by a bear and bleeding out. nothing else i learned during college will stick with me as well or as long as that will. i mean, sure, i learned a lot in all of my classes, but most of it was forgotten as soon as i was tested on it. what i didn't forget will either fade with time or become obsolete in a few years. but not my social security number.

think about it. what else did you learn in college? they should make it their slogan or something: go to college; learn your ssn.

in other news, i went to borders today to take advantage of their going out of business sale and got a bunch of books that i've been meaning to read forever. you know those books that were recommended to you but you never actually read because you were too busy reading the books you chose first? yeah those. and they were all ridiculously cheap. it's kinda sad, though, seeing crowds of people swarming around the store and knowing that if half of these people bought books from there before, they might not be going out of business.

*The World We Live In - The Killers

Thursday, August 25, 2011

fill their heads with rumors of impending doom, it must be true

hurricanes and earthquakes and floods, oh my.

with the natural disasters coming at us like a swarm of mosquitos by a lake on the first day of summer, it's hard to deny the cold hard facts: the world is ending. you can close your eyes, shove your fingers in your ears, and sing yankee doodle at the top of your lungs all you want, but it doesn't change anything. we're witnessing the final act in this play of life. the curtain is getting ready to close and the actors are thinking about where to go for dinner after the final bow is made and the last of the make up wiped off. that's it, people, it's all done.

you know who i blame? nasa. or whoever it was that took away pluto's claim to planetship. it was five years ago yesterday that pluto was demoted from planet to orbiting space rock, and it's obvious that earth has not been taking the demotion too well. were there floods and earthquakes destroying countries every time you blinked when pluto was a planet? no. were there wars breaking out like acne on a teenager (not my best metaphor, but just go with it)? no. were there award shows where twilight beat harry potter in every category? definitely not.

there are sharks swimming in streets, people revolting over spilled milk, and lady gaga is getting more famous as you read this. and don't forget about the mass animal suicides earlier this year. i mean, now they're not such a mystery; they were just getting a head start on all of this.

now, if you're like me, then you really haven't accomplished anything worthwhile in your life, and any chances you might have had are never gonna reach you what with none of us existing in a few weeks time. so leave the fame and notoriety to disney stars, justin bieber, and stephenie meyer and spend your last few days doing something really worthwhile. when hurricane irene hits us this weekend, i, for one, will have no regrets about wasted time. for example, yesterday while watching doug, skeeter mentioned that one of the important things he learned as a bluff scout was how to keep your cereal crunchy, even in milk. i think spending the last days of my life trying to figure this out would be a great use of my time.

what are you going to do while the world falls to pieces around you?

*Losing Touch - The Killers

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

and i just wanna get mugged at knife point, to get cut enough to wake me up

as i'm sure most of you know, the virginia/dc area had a pretty big earthquake yesterday (a 5.8). i've felt a couple of earthquakes in my life, both here and in california, but nowhere near the scale of this one. i was sitting in my apartment on the third floor going my turn on facebook scrabble games with my sister while my husband played crash racing on the playstation when everything started shaking. i was woken up yesterday by our neighbors downstairs who were getting new carpet put in and felt that in order to do that they should bang around and generally make as much noise as humanly possible. so when the shaking first started i just assumed it was from them. when it turned into a real things-falling-down-walls-vibrating-oh-look-my-chair's-moving sort of thing, i kinda figured what it was. so i sat in my chair, waited a bit for the shaking to go down to vibrating, said, "huh. that was cool," and finished playing my turn.

when i closed out of the games, statuses were of course talking of nothing but the earthquake. everyone was saying how scared they were, how they thought they were going to die, how their life flashed before their eyes. the only thing i felt during the earthquake was a slight annoyance that the harry potter plaque i made in high school had fallen down and i would have to go check if it was cracked again. (laziness at its finest, people.) and suddenly i was so incredibly jealous of these people. most of you probably weren't reading my blog back then, but i remember once wishing for a near death experience to kind of wake me up, if you will. i needed something drastic to happen to pull me out of my perpetual apathy. two years or so later, and i still feel that i could use a jolt that only fearing for my life can give me to really get my act together. after talking to my mom, mother-in-law, and grandma (thank god for voip phones when cell reception is down and you have worried mothers) my jealousy for lack of a better word just increased because here they were scared and worried when two of them are on the other side of the world right now and none of them felt the earthquake. if just hearing/reading about it could scare them enough, why couldn't experiencing it shake me at all?

i started thinking, and you know, i don't think i have ever actually been afraid for my life. i have been in countless almost accidents (my sister can be a crazy driver), a couple of accidents (nothing actually really bad to anyone but the car/bus), i've spent a night on the kitchen floor too sick to get up because all of the tylenol in my system i overdosed on, i ride on planes at least twice a year and haven't worn my seat belt on them since i was ten, my school has had bomb threats, i've had creepy people follow me to my car, and countless other things have happened that might make a normal person a little scared for his/her life... but me? nothing. i mean, sure, i'm terrified of death. i think besides failure and not measuring up it's the thing i'm most scared of. but i have never been terrified for my life, and i kind of want to be. i want to suddenly appreciate this thing that i have always taken for granted. i want to be forced to recognize that it is something precious. i want to be pulled out of this black hole of apathy and depression and realize that there's something worth living for, even if it's just life itself.

but i don't. i let opportunities for near death experiences pass me by. i let chances of fear turn into afterthoughts. i let the apathy win out every. single. time.

*This Week the Trend - Relient K

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

and i've been guessin', but i coulda been guessin' wrong

a lot of people i know fall victim to the hypochondria that can so easily arise when you look at sites like webmd. a stuffy nose can suddenly be a symptom of meningitis instead of just the common cold. a stomach ache is a form of cancer, and a sore throat a sure sign that they have only days to live. i barely ever look at medical sites. i hardly give any sickness i might have a second thought. i try my best to just ignore any symptoms i may have until they go away. unless i have a cold, then i fill myself with alka seltzer plus because that is a miracle medicine.

but moving on, yesterday i did what i had sworn never to do. i caved and looked at webmd and emedicine and all the rest of those, and oh my god i was far sicker than i had originally thought. i did not just have cramps anymore, i was going to need to head to my doctor immediately and get prepped for surgery. a surgery that was sure to leave me paralyzed on half of my body which would surely lead to other diseases. this was not just a migraine that i had gotten and ignored millions of times over the past few years. (except for that time when i got prescription medicine from the doctor and my throat closed up the first time i took it and i could barely breathe and the migraine didn't go away. that was fun.) this was a tumor that they would not be able to remove without making me brain dead. that is, if i didn't die of a heart attack first which was what the pain in my jaw meant i was heading for. what was the point of going to a doctor, anyway, when i was sure not to make it to the end of this month. 

convinced as i was that i was dying, i knew that i had to make every day count. live them all to the fullest because there were so few of them left. i first thought of all the delicious food i had yet to eat and the restaurants i kept saying i would try but never did. (i was fasting... it's perfectly normal for the first thought to enter my head be food.) but since i couldn't eat until sundown, i pushed the thought out of my mind as quickly as i could. then i thought fleetingly of all the things i had yet to see and all the places i haven't been that i always wanted to visit. but those would all require getting dressed, and i mean, i was dying. you can't expect someone practically on their death bed to get dressed and go outside. so that was out. 

i ended up reading barrie's peter pan and playing online scrabble. i was just reading about wendy, john, and michael learning to fly - they hadn't even run away yet - when i decided that having just days to live put too much pressure on a person, and i think i'd prefer to just drop dead suddenly in the middle of eating a bowl of clam chowder with no expectations than to sit around and wait for my symptoms to kill me. and then and there i gave up my brief life as a hypochondriac. i have no idea how people can do it. 

*Mad Season - Matchbox 20

Saturday, August 20, 2011

there are things in this world that i don't understand

you know what i don't understand? why people have double standards when it comes to books and say, anything else. for example, everyone is always shocked when someone confesses to rereading books, but it is perfectly acceptable to rewatch movies. "but... why would you read a book when you already know what's going to happen?" i am often asked. i already know what's going to happen in beauty and the beast, and yet i'll watch it every time abc family airs it. and for those that claim that the difference is that you can finish a movie in a couple of hours but finishing a book usually takes a couple of days, rewatching tv series takes longer and no one ever finds that weird.

also - and i know this point has been brought up a lot - why is it that knowing everything about a fictional world and dressing up like the characters is just about the dorkiest thing you can do, and yet knowing everything about, say sports, and dressing up like your favorite athlete is among the coolest. people's reply to this is usually that athletes are real, which i always found to be a lacking answer. knowing everything about celebrities - what they like and don't like, how they dress, where they eat and live and shop - well, that's toeing the line of stalkerdom isn't it? oh and fantasy football? um yeah, that's way less pathetic than world of warcraft.

in other news, i read a little princess yesterday. i grew up with the movies to this story, first the shirley temple one and then the other one when it came out. i thought i knew the story inside and out. apparently, i was wrong. if you don't want the book/movie ruined for you then i'd stop reading here. i understand changes like creating a war and whatnot because the added action makes the story translate better to screen. but do you know that in the book, the dad actually dies? i was not expecting that. one of the biggest parts of the movie (both of them) is at the end when sara discovers that her dad, who was presumed dead, is actually very much alive and they live happily ever after. in the book he dies and his friend comes looking for her. it was pretty anticlimactic considering what i kept expecting to happen.

oh, and yesterday i went into barnes and noble and all of the what to expect when you're expecting books were in the teen section. i found that ridiculous. and sad.

*One Thing Is For Sure -The Spill Canvas 

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

can i say that there's something wrong with this place?

the winner of the next food network star, jeff something or other, has his first show coming up, so obviously the channel is flooded with commercials about it. he's a sandwich guy and his new show is called the sandwich king. i'm sure it will be an awesome show, but i hate watching the commercial. see, jeff is one of those people that says "samwich" instead of "sandwich" and it absolutely kills me. i was slightly surprised by this because a few people close to me say samwich and while it can bug me once and a while, it doesn't annoy me anywhere near the way it does when jeff says it. maybe because it's on tv? maybe because i hear it repeatedly? i dunno... but if he ever mentions sandwiches in his show - which, being a sandwich show is pretty likely - i dunno if i could watch it.

in other news, i applied for graduation the other day and then for some reason decided to check graduation evaluation or whatever it's called when i looked at which classes i've taken and how many credits i have left. technically, it should say that i have everything completed. only, it didn't. it's a new program and is still changing, but for some reason they replace the old catalog instead of adding a new one. so when i started there was a class that was a requirement that switched to an elective and an elective that switched to a requirement. so that is missing. there is also a class that switched its course number. they were supposed to deal with this, but they didn't, so that class is missing too. my advisor said to fill out these forms and get them submitted asap to get the paperwork done before my application for graduation is processed and rejected. i try, and the person that i'm supposed to give them to is not going to be in the office until at least next week. this may not seem like a long time, but i have heard horror stories about my school's ability to process stuff close to graduation. i know of several people who had to push back their graduation. i really don't want to do that. i cannot drag out this master's degree longer than i have. i want it over with. 

*Do It Alone - Sugarcult

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

look at this stuff. isn't it neat?

i have been slacking on anything and everything that requires writing recently (like emailing and blogging and whatnot). i have something i want to write, but for some reason i just can't or won't, so whenever i go to write something else, my mind shuts down and my energy drains and i come up with a million different things i have to do and a million different reasons why i shouldn't reply to that email right now.

because of this temporary handicap of mine, here are a bunch of things online that i found cool/interesting/time-wasting and thought i'd share instead of writing a real post.

[one] you've all heard of the generation gap that seems to wedge its way between us and our parents and skew any form of communication that tries to make its way across. watch these videos of artists trying to explain their work to their parents.

[two] if you're like me, you grew up watching (or at least knowing about) the little rascals and know alfalfa and darla and their love story. here's a picture of them all grown up in case you've wondered what they look like now.

[three] i have yet to watch any of the star wars movies. people kept telling me to, and i kept planning on it, but it just hasn't happened yet. and i am not alone. watch this video of the star wars plot by someone who has never seen the movie, but picked up bits and pieces from pop culture.

[four] i don't have an iphone so i'm not one of the zillion of people devoted to instagram, but most people i know are and don't miss the chance to tell me how great it is or show me all of the pictures on their phone. i thought this was cool. it's a minibook made up of fifty of your instagram photos, and two books are only twelve dollars. if you want to hold any of your pictures in your hand, you might want to check it out.

[five] i think this is super awesome. it's a foldable table that acts as a piece of art to hang on your wall for storage. it's really cool, and i want one.

[six] number gossip is a site that will tell you all you want to know (and probably a bunch of stuff you don't care about) about whatever number you put in.

[seven] this is called the book of numbers. it's completely pointless, and i don't know why it's called the book of numbers, but i couldn't stop clicking to the next page to see the next animation. it was one of those things where all i wanted to do was stop, but i just couldn't close it.

*Part of Your World - The Little Mermaid

Sunday, August 14, 2011

these changes aint changing me

i had a few friends over for dinner friday night, and one bought me a vase. it was such a grown up person kinda gift. like, that's it. we're at the age where we can give each other vases and it's perfectly normal (or, should be perfectly normal at least).

anyway, one friend asked me if married life is different than non-married life, and that question has stuck in my head. in a way, i don't feel like i can answer it yet because at the moment i'm in a little bubble, cut off from the world and my usual life. normally, at this point in the summer, i'd be in jeddah surrounded by family and the dessert heat and whatnot. i haven't spent an august in america since i was in single digit ages, and never in virginia. so i really have nothing to compare my life right now with. with it being the middle of summer, there are also a lot fewer responsibilities waiting around for us. so i'm living in some kind of twilight zone at the moment, and comparing this to my "normal life" is just not possible. it's like we're stopped at the top of the ferris wheel, giving us time to look around for a minute before it starts turning again. once my family comes back and school starts up and the wheel starts moving, i can really say how different it is.

here a few small ways in which i've noticed it is different so far, though:

[one] i sleep in a lot more. i used to wake up between six:thirty and seven every day, sometimes staying in bed until seven:thirty. now, i don't wake up until at least ten:thirty, usually closer to eleven. yesterday i didn't get out of bed until one.

[two] after opening a package i got in the mail, a piece of plastic stayed on the floor for four days. until i got annoyed with it and threw it away. my dad would have had a heart attack over it being on the floor the second he saw it, and it would have never lasted four days out of the trash.

[three] i'm used to living in a town house with my two parents, two brothers, and one of my sisters. there are always a bunch of people everywhere. there is a considerable lack of humans in this apartment compared to what i'm used to.

[four] i'm one of those people that speaks in quotes. i'm constantly spouting a quote from a book or movie or a lyric from a song. my family (mainly my sister) knew all my references and understood them. my husband seems not to have read any of the same books, watched any of the same movies, or listened to any of the same music as me. a lot of what i say now either gets misunderstood or requires an explanation. i have subconsciously started to censor the quotes in what i say.

[five] my dad doesn't drink cold water, so at home the brita filter sat on the kitchen counter by the sink. here, it sits in the fridge.

[six] i walk up and down stairs a lot less. like, hardly ever.

[seven] i used to watch gsn and nickelodeon all the time. now i watch the food network and nickelodeon.

but besides these little nuances in my everyday life, i really don't feel like i have changed much at all. i know a lot of people who seemed to switch themselves in for a completely different version at their wedding, but i'm just not one of them. i still eat candy for breakfast and ignore everyone to read for hours when i feel like it. i'm just as lazy and awful at keeping in touch with everyone as i ever was. i'm still messy and obnoxious and i really can't see myself ever being anything else.

*All These Things That I've Done - The Killers

Saturday, August 13, 2011

i've been locked inside that house, all the while you hold the key

after having it sit in my amazon shopping cart for almost a year after it got recommended to me, i recently bought and read room. finally. and to put it simply, you should all go read it. buy it, check it out from the library, come borrow it from me, whatever you want... but it was a really good book. it's written from the point of view of jack, a five year old boy whose whole world consists of an eleven by eleven sound proof cell that he shares with his mom. he was born in there during his mom's seven year kidnap, and honestly thinks there's no world outside of it. trees, cats, other people, and ice cream are all "TV" - made up, or part of other planets that are floating around in outer space. which starts right behind Door. i think donoghue did a great job in keeping the story gripping and making a believable narrator, not an easy task.

but while the book was great, and i think you should read it, this is not a post dedicated to its awesomeness. there's one point in the book where a character mentions that it was assumed jack's mom had her reasons for running away or something. that got me thinking. i talk a lot about running away. i always have. i talk about getting in my car and driving until everyone and everything i know is so far behind me even the memory of them is faded with distance. but the thing is, i would never really do it (the part of me blind with wanderlust denies this confession vehemently). no matter how great an experience it might be, i could never do that to my family, and i'd probably be too lazy anyway. i like to talk more than do.

but anyway, if i ever got kidnapped, how long would it take for someone to suggest that i just finally ran away? how difficult would it be for others to believe it? would i get the requisite funeral to give my family closure or would i just be remembered as the family runaway? it made me think about how many people have been listed as runaways when they weren't. how many kidnappers have been able to get away with what they've done because of this. and then i thought that maybe i read too many books and watch too many detective shows.

*Be My Escape - Relient K

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

staring at the blank page before you

yesterday afternoon facebook decided that it was too cool to work for me, and it hasn't come to its senses since then. now, i'm about as far from a facebook junkie as you could get so normally this wouldn't annoy me in the least bit. but recently it's become pretty much the only contact i have with my family and i have a bunch of scrabble (lexulous) games that i'm winning in that i would really like to finish. so yeah.

this could, however, be a good thing because yesterday i was also overcome with a desire to write. not to write just another short piece of prosetry, not to scribble down a short story or a scene from a longer one, but to really write. to lose myself in a world of my own creation, to meet new characters born in my head and introduce them to the rest of the world, to struggle with them over the obstacles that i never quite seem to plan. having no facebook could mean one less distraction from writing, and god know i find enough of those.

i actually didn't start writing yesterday. sad, i know. i just stared at a blank screen for a while before i decided to read, but the feeling is still here. as soon as the story comes to me i will begin to write it, and i am excited. 

*Unwritten - Natasha Bedingfield

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

how do you do when i'm not around?

i have had a killer headache since last night. it hit really bad out of nowhere and just won't. go. away. it's bad. like bad enough to keep waking me up at night. it's a strange mixture between throbbing headache and medicine head, though i don't have a cold and haven't taken any medicine. anyway, it's really starting to annoy me. i am not a happy camper.

moving on.

you know what i miss about my old house? my ability to people watch. i had some pretty interesting neighbors, from the couple that never took their child out of the house (though the mom would stand with her/him in front of the window occasionally) to the family that would form an assembly to bring their groceries one by one into their house. there was always something interesting going on right outside my window, even if it was just a congregation of squirrels or crows. here, i don't see anyone. it's like our apartment is in a little twilight zone of its own where no one exists besides us. i need to know what is happening in my [old] neighbors' lives. i'm just nosy like that.

also, i have taken to watching the food channel and travel channel all the time. i think i've watched more episodes of diners, drive-ins, and dives and man vs food in the past couple of weeks than most people watch in a lifetime. and all of those competitions like iron chef and chopped and whatever else. anyway, i watch them. all the time. and now they're infiltrating my dreams and i'm not sure how i feel about that. it's one thing when a book or movie will weasel its way into my subconscious, at least those actually have a plot. i don't remember much about my dream last night, but i can say pretty confidently that it wasn't the most thrilling dream i've ever had. though that could be because it was interrupted every three point seven seconds.

*How Do You Do - Foo Fighters

Monday, August 8, 2011

what have you been doing lately?

i'm knitting a scarf. in the middle of august. it was all very sudden and now i have half of it done. see, i've had this yarn for two years now that i bought to knit into a scarf. one of my knitting needles has been missing forever though (ever since it impaled my sister when she stepped on it. it went right up through her foot. it was gross.) and i just always assumed it would show up without me having to look for it. it didn't. the other day i was in michael's and knitting needles were on sale for ninety nine cents so i got a pair, came home, and started to knit. i finished one thing of yarn (i can't remember what they're called) in two and a half days and am now starting on the second.

in other news, saturday morning we had an impromptu trip into dc and went to the spy museum and madame tassauds, or however you spell that. it was super fun. did you know that julia childs worked for a spy network? and that poe was a spy? and the dude that wrote robinson crusoe? and george washington, who couldn't tell a lie, apparently had no problem with spies. it was all very interesting and we saw super cool things like the hidden cameras and bugs that you would think were only for movies but apparently were used in real life, too. oh, and at the beginning you choose a secret identity and are quizzed on it as you go through the museum and i, being awesome, made it through my mission without blowing my cover. the person being quizzed next to me was caught and sent to jail.

on another note, yesterday i cleaned the kitchen which is really not that big (especially compared to the kitchen i just left) and it took me forever. over two hours. it was ridiculous. i think because it was the first time i really cleaned it (yeah, i've been lazy since we got back. sue me.) so i was scrubbing down everything. hopefully next time it won't take as long. anyway, i finish cleaning it and a couple of hours later we're grilling hamburgers and frying chips and making chocolate cupcakes and just generally making a mess. guess what didn't look all clean and pretty anymore? it never fails that the day i clean a kitchen everyone decides to have the messiest thing they can think of for dinner.

*What Have You Been Doing Lately? - Relient K

Saturday, August 6, 2011

make up your mind and i'll make up mine

the street i live on is confused and can't decide on what its called. you see, on one sign it is hills, as in plural. it finds its power in numbers, like an army of ants. it's stretches out as far as the eye can see. it's social and believes in the collective and works well with others.

on another sign, though, it's hill minus the final s, as in single. it's a one man army and has enough strength on its own. it's solitary and important in its own right. it is an island. it is the center of attention and doesn't care what you think.

it can't quite make up its mind on which it would rather be, so at the moment it is choosing to be both. best of both worlds, and all that. we get mail addressed to both hill and hills, so we can't tell by that if one of the signs just has a typo.

an indecisive for an indecisive person to live on. i kinda like it.

it hit me yesterday that at the end of this month i'll be back in school. blech. that i do not like as much.

*Make Up Your Mind - Theory of a Deadman

Thursday, August 4, 2011

you were just always talking about changing, guess what i am the same man

i started this post writing about the fact that i finally watched the 90s are all that on teen nick last night and how it was awesome and slightly sad at the same time. and kenan was so young! i mean, they all were, but he's the one i see the most these days and he was hosting the thing so we kept seeing him all grown up and facial haired and then we'd see him in all that and he was a baby. seriously. the post started to drag so i deleted it but still wanted to let you guys know that i miss 90s television.

anyway, i've been thinking about making a change (because, you know, getting married isn't a big enough change for me). see, i was talking to my cousins before i left saudi arabia and they were convincing me to get a new haircut (i have had the same hair style for as long as i can remember) since i'm married. it was apparently the first thing my cousin did and she said it was such an amazing feeling. they just about convinced me to cut bangs at my next haircut until a couple of days ago when i was thinking about it and realized that bangs can get really annoying and i just don't think i want them. she was also saying that her friend got a pet immediately after she was married and i should do that since i've always wanted a rabbit. that was an exciting idea for about three seconds until i decided that i like the idea of a pet rabbit more than i'd really like the actual pet. at least right now. it's just too much work that i don't feel like dealing with at the moment. plus, i want to be able to just get up and go on a spontaneous road trip without having to worry about who's going to take care of my pets. i mean, sure, i probably won't be going on many spontaneous road trips, but i want the option

so i got to thinking that maybe the problem isn't that bangs are annoying and pets are a lot of work. maybe it's just that i really do have an aversion to change that's too strong. maybe  i want to stay the same a little bit too much? to test out this theory, i am trying to think of a change that i won't have a million doubts about, but i'm coming up blank. maybe i will just go chop up my hair (every time i decide to do this though i remember my older sister cutting bangs a few years ago and absolutely hating it, plus, i'm not sure how i'd look with bangs seeing as the last time i had them i was five). ideas for changes? 

*Changing - Airborne Toxic Event

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

it's a trap, one i can't quite escape so pretend it's the place that i love

There's a girl who sits at the station watching trains come and go without ever getting on one. She tells whoever will listen that sunshine is just an illusion, mirror and smoke to hide the storm clouds that are always raging overhead. She says her favorite thing to do might be to watch people pretend to happy, but it's really watching people realize that they can't. She knows that there's no use looking for the light at the end of the tunnel because all it does is bring on the start of a new tunnel and she'd rather stay in the one she's in now, thank you very much. She talks about how everything is futile and pointless. She says there's no reason to wash your clothes if they're just going to get dirty again, no reason to eat if you'll just get hungry, no reason to live if you're just going to die.

There's a girl who sits at the station watching trains come and go without ever getting on one. She sits near the boy with the laughing eyes and listens to him talk about his first real job. He tells her that he's started to drink his coffee black because it seems like the adult thing to do, and sometimes a person just has to grow up. He tells her that the taste of it makes him gag and he can never drink more than the first two sips. He talks to her about dreams and hopes, and she wants to explain to him the beauty of a popping bubble and the music of a person crying, but she always forgets. 

There's a girl who sits at the station watching the trains come and go without ever getting on one. She waits for a boy with laughing eyes that hasn't been seen for far too long and thinks about how sometimes a person just has to grow up. She thinks about conducting a symphony of shrieking brakes and wild screams, wonders if the sound of crushing bones would be heard above the music. When the next train is announced she raises her arms above her head and walks slowly off the edge, reveling in the sounds only she knew would blend together this perfectly. She thinks about the fact that she didn't think it would take this long as she gags on the metallic taste filling her senses. As sirens are added to the orchestra, she wonders if growing up always makes you gag. 

*Out Through the Curtain - The Hush Sound

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

there's so much time, so little to do

so i came on here this morning all set to write a post about ramadan (we started fasting yesterday. from four:forty-five to eight:twenty-one. my fasting day would be so much shorter if i was still in saudi arabia with my family.) but now i don't really remember what it was i going to write besides the fact that ramadan is here. and suddenly i have the desire to shove truckloads of food down my throat despite the fact that i'm not hungry or anything. i just want it 'cause i can't have it. my childishness has withstood marriage apparently.last night i was sitting watching a movie on tv and i came up with a brilliant post, but by the end of the movie i couldn't for the life of me remember what it was.

so i'm sitting here now with the desire and time to blog and nothing to blog about, and it hits me that this is something that happened to me all the time before the wedding craziness happened. and suddenly i'm really excited about the fact that i really have no life and lots of free time because that means that things are going back to normal. that means that the flood of endless to-do lists is calming down. it means that even after doing something as life-changing as getting married, the basics have not changed. i may be in a new house surrounded by new people, but i am still the boring anti-social hermit that i was three months ago. it's great.

i mean, yes, we do have things we need to do today, but it's more like normal errands than essential to our survival must get done immediately stuff, you know?

so in light of this sudden realization, let me tell you all about my grandma. so she calls yesterday to return my call to her after i got back from london. apparently she had lost my husband's cell number (my phone is temporarily nonexistent) but it turns out that it was right next to the phone where she thought it was, but the paper it was written on was turned over. anyway, we're talking and she suddenly goes, "oh sarah before i forget, guess where i went the other day?" she sounds super excited so i'm trying to think if she mentioned any plays she was looking forward to the last time we talked or exhibits opening or anything like that. "you'll never guess so i'll just tell you," she continues. "i went to see the last harry potter!!!" my grandma has known of my love of harry potter for years, but she has never actually read any of the books or watched any of the movies. her knowledge of the story is basically limited to the blurbs on the backs of the books and what she hears about it in the library (she's a librarian). but she was raving about the special effects and how the snow seemed to be falling on her and her friend's seat because they were sitting in the middle (she watched it in 3D and apparently the last 3D movie she saw was house of wax before she got married back a hundred years ago) and how many people were in it and the epicness of the fighting and the acting and the emotions and at the end apparently all she could think was, "no wonder sarah likes this series." i just thought it funny that she went to watch it. it really isn't what you'd expect to be something she'd like.

*Softer to Me - Relient K

Monday, August 1, 2011

i'm not giving up. no

i can make awesome pancakes. i can, really. ask my brothers who have often eaten them at our sunday best buddy club breakfasts. i think my parents may have eaten them a couple of times, too. ask them if their word holds more weight than a ten year old. or just trust me. but i can make pancakes.

yesterday we decided to make pancakes for breakfast and to put things in perspective, most of them went uneaten. see, the first problem was the oven, which is not like my oven at home. it wouldn't heat up to the right temperature and every time it did, two seconds later it seemed to change again. second problem was the pan. i dunno what was wrong with it but it was weird. third problem was that he has the weirdest spatula ever. the first couple of pancakes that i flipped got messed up, but then i got used to it and the rest looked okay.

after making the batter and making the pancakes (one by one because there was only a small pan available. guess what i'm shopping for?) we got ready to eat.

we sit down and start and oh my god it was disgusting. practically the only pancakes that were cooked all the way through were the messed up first ones. some were slightly burned (not really, but darker than the golden brown they should be) on the outside and completely raw on the inside courtesy of the temperamental stove. half were blueberry and for some reason the blueberry juice was all over the plate and made them nice and soggy. i know, yum. and a lot of those weren't cooked either.

my husband comes up with a "brilliant" idea to just bake em for a few minutes even though i said i didn't think it would work. but he did it anyway, and went to eat one and practically died from how gross it was. full from the few i had earlier, i didn't eat any baked ones.

anyway, long story short: it was a complete fiasco. but i refuse to be bested by a stupid oven and pan. i will make pancakes again in this apartment and they will be awesome. they have no other option.

*Not Givin' Up - Natasha Bedingfield