Thursday, December 31, 2009

Are You There God?? It's Me....Michel.....Again...

Yeah, ummm....Hi God.'s me again.  I just wanted to let you know that tonight is new Year's Eve (which, I'm thinking your probably already know because you kinda know a lotta stuff, right??)  Well...since you know probably know that I cannot be trusted on New Year's Eve.  I realize that there have been a number of instances where I had some bright ideas....

Remember how for the last few years Minoy and I would make the resolution to start smoking??   Then we got sick from smoking and our hair stunk so bad that I couldn't even sleep on the floor of the bathroom with my best friends, toilet brush and then last year we decided we'd start smoking clove cigarettes because those smell good....but then they DON'T actually smell good - so we had to drop that too...  So the lesson we learned from that was that Smoking is NOT a good hobby to start on New Year's Eve. 

Now, I know that I was all put out there for a bit that nobody ever warned me about the dangers of smoking, if only someone had put up some sort of a sign or warning or something.  I don't blame you though God, I blame Society (and by Society, I mean Canada).

ANYWAY, this year, I thought it might be useful if I could potentially head off  the impending smoting and/or visit by the Angel of bedspins and vomit, or (worse yet) the angel of Hangovers and Headaches.  THIS YEAR, I was wondering if it would be possible to say sorry in advance -- maybe get some credit, if you will....for what I will undoubtedly pull this evening.

Now I know you're probably wondering how on earth I will manage to get into trouble in a dry country....

I found booze God....I found it. 

Weren't You the one who told us to "seek and ye shall find"??? Or, was that mapquest? I forget...either way, God...

What I can guarantee is that I WILL be sorry God.  (I always am.)  What say you, this year let's just skip the whole 01 January 2010 Smoting - cut out the middle man, if you will....I

If you agree God, I totally promise to tell everyone if 2010 is good or bad -- passing on the message so that Other's know...I'm a whole 8 hours ahead (11 ahead of my mommy, you know...that can really be helpful to them...) It's almost like I'm a Saint, right??

Okay, I'll accept simply not praying for death tomorrow morning.  Be a lamb, won't you?? Hear my prayer!!

Best Wishes to you in 2010...I'm a BIG FAN of your work....


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Reflections on 2009

Well, today marks the 1 year anniversary of my foray in the blog-world.  Why I remember (back in the day) when I had fours of followers and was excited when a 9th person showed up (Jane at Gaston Studios) and she actually commented on my blogs.  It was at that moment  that I realized that I had an audience who might actually LISTEN to what I was saying -- as opposed to my hubby who apprarently has learned to tune me out and hears Blah, blah, Blaaah, Blah blah blah, and responds to every statement with "yes dear"..or "that's interesting Dear." when what REALLY would have been applicable would have been, "Oooh! I'm soo sorry Dear.  I didn't realize that happened.  No really, it's my fault.  You're a saint.  I was wrong"  Or, I would even accept a "I'm sure it's Canada's fault.  Those bastards!"  Eventually, he'll learn. 

Don't be fooled you guys.  Haven't you ever wondered why Canadians are always SOOO quiet?? Why you never really hear about them?? It's because they're just waiting until we're not paying attention -- trying to lure us to look the other way with their fake bacon -- then, they're going to try to switch countries on us when we're not looking.  We'll all just wake up and be REALLY COLD and call everyone "hosers."   Oh, they'll do it. Mark my words: Canada would kill you if they could. 

So naturally, I decided to take a moment and look inward and reflect on all that I have accomplished over this past year and to try to determine how to be a better person in 2010.  

OMG! I couldn't even type that without bursting out laughing.  I didn't accomplish SHIT in 2009.  I think that has been documented -- time and time again. 

However, I thought it might be useful if I listed (briefly) what I did and did not accomplish this year:

*  I did not lose 25-72 lbs.  No matter how many times I drank full 8 oz glasses of Blue and/or White Nile water - not even filtering out the floatey stuff -- NADA!  Obviously, I am immune to any type of wasting disease - or, frankly, any other disease that would facilitate weight loss.   And along with this bullet, I did not "Eat Less, Move More" as my hubby likes to tell me.  (I think I might have gotten it backwards)...either way.  Africa and it's stupid diseases and starvation is dead to me.   That shit don't work.

* Almost immediately upon arrival I caught Poop Ear.  This is the inspiration for me to obtain my WebMD License to practice web-based medicine.  (I've since specialized in internal WebMD, and Jason (in our office, who does NOT currently have a blog, but who SHOULD) is our external webdoc).  (Post: Stink Eye)

*  Not long after I became a WebMD certified physician, I found my first skin cancer and wrote about it.  It's a very exciting story.  I was riveted.  Two thumbs up.  (Post: Hypochondria)

* I became a Travel Guide for Sudan's Tourism Industry - I even attached PHOTOS...although they haven't actually called me back yet.  Do you think 10 mos is too long to wait?? (EasterIII - Revenge of the Pyramids)

* I met my first Sudanese Bathroom.  (In all seriousness, I read this one again and I am STILL LAUGHING over this one (Josh is humiliated).  The only thing I can tell you is that I WISH this one was made up - it's totally not.  I have since been back to the house - and they have since changed the toilet and removed the sea shell.  (I am not sure if it was because of me...probably not. I mean, seriously...right??)  (Post: Well, I am Going to Have to Move...)

And then I insulted Jesus (in my last post).

SOOOO...that just about wraps up 2009 AND also my year of blogging.  I'm sure there were more - and I would like to tell you that I have been working really hard and have been trying to make myself a better person these last few days - however, in reality, I (a) have been trying to con anyone with access to booze into inviting me to their New Year's Eve Party; and (b) discovered facebook...and that shit is addicting. 

Let's just hope 2010 is a better year.  That I manage to accomplish a LOT more, and that I finally get that Adderall that I have been bitching about not having for the entire year of blog posts. 

What the hell, why not?!?!?  I'll just resolve to go the gym everyday.  I'll start a countdown....

(I give it 3 days.  Any bets?)

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Mom, Don't Read this Post...You Either Pastor Sharon....Or, Why Liz and I are Probably Not Going to Heaven Anytime Soon...

So today I was back at work after the "long" holiday weekend that included a series of unfortunate events (me working on Christmas Eve), an event that I previously thought would signal the apocalypse (I finally met a cupcake I didn't like), a Christmas Miracle (I actually ate so much pie that I don't actually want anymore...ever) and I managed to piss Jesus off....all in one long weekend.  Impressed?? I know!!  So was I!!!

How did I piss of Jesus you ask? Well, a myriad of reasons really....turns out, Jesus does not consider a "Beer Pong Tournament" a suitable celebration venue for the birth of our lord and Savior.  In reality, Jesus pretty much called me a drunken smelly pirate ho and then smoted me about 15 minutes after everyone left Jesus' Birthday Beer Pong Festival at my house.   To punish me, he visited the Angel of Bed Spins and Vomit  upon me...and that guy didn't leave until like 5 pm the next day.  Jesus REALLY does not care for Birthday Beer Pong. 

Seriously you guys, write that down.

So I'm telling Liz all about how I pissed Jesus off and she was telling me all about how her family managed to create a scene at midnight mass.  So apparently (and nobody tell Dan this, I don't think Liz was supposed to tell me...) the preacher at the mass was from Boston.  So he's all preaching about how cool God is and all, and her family was paying very close attention for literally 12s of minutes, but then apparently the Preacher said, "Dah-kness" and a few other words that started them to roll around the pews laughing (everything is waaay more funny in church, frankly).

And then after they got the stink eye from the rest of the congregation who are just a little bit more mature and had apparently a little bit less sugar before Mass, Dan got into a tug of war with the lady holding the blood of Christ.  In Italy, they don't let you use your hands on Christ's stuff. 

Which then prompted a discussion that will likely end with both of us headed south (or back to Khartoum) for the afterlife. 
  •  I pointed out how for the longest time I thought the Priest was saying the "Bread of Christ" - -  which, in my defense, it WAS bread. (I was like eight, I really didn't get the whole transubstantiation thing) -- and then the whole Blood of Christ kinda freaked me out because you gotta admit that sounds pretty gross to actually drink (PLUS, I've always thought drinking out of the same cup along with 50 other people is unsanitary.  I'm not sure the Church actually offers an actual Sanitizer of Christ on that napkin they wipe the cup with after that one drooley guy who sat beside you takes a drink.
  • I also don't like it when they don't let you use your hands to take the communion.  I'm really worried that I'm going to choke on it because I'll get all nervous I am gonna drop it, then inhale it into my lungs.  I mean if you think about it, what the heck would everyone at mass think if you started to choke on the Communion.  I know what I would think...I would think you were Satan and that this was the start of some scary effin horror movie.  I don't want to go through that man! Just lemme take it first, and then I'll place it squarely in my mouth...for safety reasons.....

  • Liz wondered if during the last supper Jesus had to make extra Bread to pass around for the Body of Christ like he had to do on that hillside when he fed all those people from the fish and bread.  Naturally, I then worried that they might have only gotten the little communion sized piece of bread - so I would have felt all robbed during the last supper, and probably resented Peter who likely got a bigger piece of bread than I would have gotten because he's waaay holier than I am....

  • Did Jesus actually eat dinner too?  What did he order? Is there a Leg of Lamb of Christ too??  Should we have that on Easter?? Is this in the Bible?? I really should have paid closer attention in CCD.  If I were Jesus (and I think we can safely assume I am not after THIS post) I would have ordered a Macaroni and Cheese of Christ and probably an  Apple Pie and Chocolate Cake of Christ as well.  -- I have recently put a lot of thought (as has Liz, frankly) as to what we would order for our last supper.  I'm not sure I would be able to decide.  I would, however, probably eat so much my tummy hurt though...because what's the point? I'd also probably try to make it linger for about 3 more days...I'd just keep ordering stuff....
Anyway, if I have offended any of your catholic sensibilities, I do apologize.  If it makes you feel any better, my  mother and father are probably changing their phone number and email addresses as you read this....right after  they send me a very strongly worded email to voice their disgust for me.  However, these are theological questions that should probably be answered (but not in the comment section)!

God smoted me enough for ruining his birthday.  I truly think this one will likely be a freebie!!!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

True(ish) Confessions

As you likely already know, it is the Christmas Holiday Season.  Some of you (or me) might call it the Christmas Cookie and Candy  Season.  I gotta admit - I totally HEART Christmas Cookie and Candy Season.  However, (apparently) Christmas Cookie and Candy Season does not heart me. 

Take yesterday for instance.  Yesterday at work people brought in their Christmas cookies.  Because I'm such a kind and giving person, I "tasted" the Christmas gifts (I mean, it would be totally RUDE not to do so) - but in the interest of full disclosure, I did NOT taste the Christmas FRUIT CAKE brought to us by our "friends" (and, after they gave us effin fruit cake, I use the term loosely) the British. 

Frankly, the Brits have now fallen in my esteem - NOBODY likes that shit man! Don't try to fob that crap off on us - so that they are just above Canada *gasp*...  AND, I'm not really sure what on earth the UK could do to repair the damage that was done with that fruitcake...even your "christmas glaze" that you tried to pour on top of it could not hide the neon "fruit" neslted inside it.  That SHIT IS JUST NASTY!

Don't ever do that again! Make no mistake...We'll go to war with you again (or, maybe just I will..but I bet I could talk my friend Liz into joining me).  We don't negotiate with terrorists that give fruitcake.

SO ANYWAY, let's just say I had more than 4 cookies yesterday (and when I say "4", I mean probably more like "72"...WHAT!? it's RUDE not to eat Christmas Cookies! Jebus would want us to have them!!!) So today, I VOWED that I would NOT eat 72 christmas cookies. 

I avoided the kitchen/breakroom. 

I avoided the snack-table at lunch.

I brought one of the 100 calorie "grasshopper" cookies courtesy of the Keebler Elves. ... EXCUSE ME...when did the Keebler Elves start making Button sized (or elves sized) cookies and then claiming they're good enough to stop the christmas cookies (well, technically, I guess they didn't CLAIM that, but I totally thought they did..that counts too).   SO WTF KEEBLER!?  7 small buttons of crunchy stuff with a "hint" of cookie is not acceptable. 


That shit should have to have a warning posted on the side:  WARNING:  Attempted consumption of this produce will cause unspeakable outrage and uncontrollable anger.  Just skip it.  You're better off eating a real damn cookie.


Dear Keebler Elves,

I am in receipt of your Right Bites, 100 Calorie pack of Grasshopper Cookies.  I would like to advise you that when people choose a "100 Calorie Pack" they want you to make the calories fit the cookies, not the cookies fit the calories. 

I hope your tree catches on fire and you all burn in a fiery ball of flame -- and your 7 button-sized hint of cookie flavor cookies too!!!

Wishing you and yours the merriest of Chistmas and Happy Holidays,



Dear Santa,

Please bring me a box of Adderall.  I have been such a good person this year that I ate waay too many cookies and now my pants don't fit (and it's not even Christmas yet).  I don't think it is fair that I should be punished for being kind to my fellow man.  Also, remember when I made Rice Krispy Treats for the local guards and then wanted to take them back because I remembered how much I loved Rice Krispy Treats and that marshmallows had to be imported into Sudan, but then I DIDN'T TAKE THEM BACK (because they already saw me coming)?!? 

That should totally count for something.  Please make it the strongest Adderall you can find.  We've got a LOT of work to do!

Best Wishes this Holiday Season,


PS Don't hire any of those Keebler Elves.  I'm not sure if you are aware or not, but they do really crappy work.  I question their upbringing.  Your elves would NEVER put out such a crappy product!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

A Merry Eff-U Christmas.....

It has come to my attention that there is ton of snow in WDC and that they are predicting that the USG will close tomorrow for a Snow Day  (God's gift to good little federal employees) for the Washington Metropolitan Area.  Naturally, when I heard the words Snow Day uttered, I rushed to the window to see the "snow" that God sent the USG for a Merry Christmas....It was a Christmas Miracle!!!

Then, I noticed that there was no snow  here, because I was not in the WDC metropolitan area. 

So basically, we now have confirmation that God officially hates me. If I recall correctly (and I usually do not recall correctly, fyi), when I lived in DC, if it ever DID snow, it would snow on a Friday night, making sure to melt by Sunday evening so that I would always make it to work on time on Monday.  WTF!?  HATEFUL!

Damnitt!  Once again someone else is the recipient of something cool that I do not get.  So now, I sit here judging those who get the snow day.  YOU BETTER TREASURE YOUR CHRISTMAS MIRACLE YOU LUCKY USG-BASTARDS!

For a minute there I, too, thought that I was going to have a Christmas you ask??  Let me tell you:  President Bashir declared 23-24 December as a National Holiday for Christmas in Sudan  (I was all set to get out my "I heart Bashir" t-shirt in honor of the occasion!!) ...However, because the Embassy obviously hates Jesus, they told us that we can take stupid "liberal leave" on the 23rd....excuse me...LIBERAL LEAVE!?  I'm not using my paid leave in Khartoum!  Eff that! 

Once again, I was I will get up tomorrow morning, get dressed and walk out into the heat and dirt...(fyi, dirt does NOT make a good will, however, make a nice dirt pile that you can name "Dirty the Dustman" though...however, it's kinda *akward* to place a top hat on his head and wait for him to dance around...the local guards don't know what the hell you're doing) and then GO TO STUPID WORK.  (sniff) (sniff) (SNORT!)  while you guys  (oh yes, you heard me....I said it...I'll say it again!! YOU PEOPLE!!!) snuggle up in your beds, drink your hot cocoa and probably finish up your stupid Christmas shopping.  (I hate YOU PEOPLE so much right now... )

Merry Eff-U Christmas YOU PEOPLE!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Dear US Embassy Doctor,

I am writing this letter to inform you that I have decided to seek other medical care for my "medical issues" (both imagined and real) that I have and/or will encounter in Sudan.  Although I sincerely appreciate your medical advice such as when you recently commented, "Why the hell would you put Neosporin on a burn for more than three days?!  Everyone knows that after three days Neosporin will adversely effect healing of burns!" I really feel that I must point out that, No, not everybody DOES know that. I assume only medical professionals (and maybe my internet pharmacist) would know this.

I feel like it is my civic duty to inform you that most people at post (and when I say "most people," I mean me specifically) rely on YOU to tell them if there is some sort of side effect for a drug or cream.  For example, when I first burned myself and you told me to make sure I cleaned it and put some Neosporin on it, perhaps then would have been a good time to bring up the "but not for more than three days or you will create a skin reaction that will result in hideous scarring and prevent healing."  

I'm just saying...perhaps then would have been a better time than when you pointed it out circa 7 days after I burned myself and had been continuing to put Neosporin on it because (a) I had some; and (b) I saw a commercial that made a scar disappear on some kids' finger back in the day when I had TV.  Clearly, that would help my burn...on my finger!! Obviously, Neosporin is intended for finger healing.  The commercial told me.

Also, I did not appreciate it when you refused to even consider a Medevac back to the States for my debilitating injury, because you "assumed" that Washington would consider that a frivolous request.  Further, you then laughed when I noted that any medevac for myself back to the States would clearly need to be authorized business class -- in case someone bumped my finger!! -- I'm just saying that I think that you might need to work on your bedside (aka pretending to care) manner.

Further, as I am currently an internet certified physician (I mean, my cards don't say US Embassy, Michel, WebMD for nothing man), I'm not really looking for someone to just tell me what you think I have.  I'm very qualified in the use of my medical reference tool "Symptom Checker" and believe I can diagnose my own illnesses - frankly, with a more cool sounding result than your, "that's a burn" diagnosis.  What I am looking for, is someone who is more Prescribey, and less talkey.  

I think you can see that because of my ability to self-diagnose, if I do drag my lazy ass into the health unit, I'm going to need some kind of prescription drug in order to make myself feel as if I have been to a medical professional.  Otherwise, I could just go online and tell myself what to do.   I do hope you understand my decision.  It's nothing personal.  You just suck.

Wishing you and yours a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year,

Michel, WebMD

Sunday, December 13, 2009

The One Where I Demand Your Sympathy.....

Okay, so remember when I tried to explain how we should have paid closer attention in our 6th grade science class? Remember when I briefly mentioned that I was hideously burned by a combination of water and steam that was trying to escape a trendy tupperware bottle normally destined for the gym?? (SEE?! Even water and steam doesn't want to go to the damn gym...I'm not alone in this....)

Well, I kinda feel like I did not receive the appropriate amount of sympathy from my readers.  (And when I say "readers" I mean my mommy and my daddy. . I heard nothing from them!  I should have at least have received an "OMG! Are you okay?!?  Does it hurt you? (yes, yes it does.)  Please protect yourself from infection...(even though we all know it is unpossible to protect yourself from infection here because Africa is gonna touch you).")  AND, to further exacerbate my ire, I did not receive one EVEN ONE email from my internet pharmacist offering me some kind of pharmaceutical sample pack to ease my pain. 


Therefore, you're all going to pay.  How you ask?? ... I'll tell you... .I'm attaching a PHOTO of my hideous burn that is all hurtey and making me not-so typey these days (and, for the record, THIS is why my work is shoddy...)

I KNOW!! How hurtey (and frankly, yucky) is that?!  Obviously, I need some kind of pharmaceutical intervention.  Africa has clearly touched it.  It's not only hurtey, it's unsightly.  And, on my right hand...therefore, I'm not so writey these days either.

Well, now that I feel that I have the approrpriate level of sympathy from you guys (and my mom feels really, REALLY bad for not asking how I am doing...whether I am getting on okay with my debilitating injury....I thought I should show you some of the good news stories from Khartoum.

Well, I only have is our Christmas tree......  In all it's glory.  And no, I will not be arrested, killed or have my house burned for having a Christmas tree.  It's all good in the hood.

This week, I will make it my goal to document the (not right) Christmas Lights, decorations and dancing Santa's posted around Khartoum.  If nothing else, it will show you the true meaning of how American Christmases are soooo much better than foreign ones.  -- Even you Canada...don't think we don't know what you're up to...we've intercepted your slanderous (or is it libel, I can NEVER effing remember) letters to Santa.  As such, I've went ahead and added you to the Axis of Evil -- we had an opening when Iraq left....Congrats!

Friday, December 11, 2009

A Khartoum Christmas Party

So tonight I'm going to a Christmas Party.  Yes, you heard me, a CHRISTMAS party.  So I'm all excited, right?  Because SHIT! I totally heart Christmas parties.  There are cookies, and booze and all kinds of snacky-snacks...

Then I remembered....I'm in Khartoum.

Now I'm all nervous to go, and will likely entitle my next post, "12 December, 9:14 pm....The date/time Christmas was OFFICIALLY RUINED."   Seriously, if you stop and think about it for just a minute, you'll totally understand my angst: 

Khartoum is not known for it's cookies, cakes and pies.  They're known for having FOREIGN cookies, cakes and pies, AND, I'm not really sure they know what "cake" means...I've seen some shit they had put out a tag that said "cake" in front of, and....well....I'm not sure what it was...but what I am sure of, is that it was NOT cake.  (trust me, I fall for it Every Time.); and

Khartoum is dry.  Granted, some people can get's like back in the day when i was a teen in Montana (which was technically a "dry" country when you're under 21), I totally managed to find and acquire booze. 

(WHAT!?  No mom...that was just joking. I did NOT.  That would be wrong.  Where do you come up with these things?!)

SOO, you can see why I am having a dilemma here.   PLUS, the invitation said "Formal Attire Required."

WTF does that mean in Sudan?? Do they mean a formal wrap-around blanket-thing with sparkles attached??  Or do they mean formal attire, like we mean formal attire... I NEED MORE CLARIFICATION!!! 

And, I need formal attire.  

I didn't actually pack any formal dresses.  I didn't think I would need them.  The best I can do is a dress...and lame, half-assed dress more suited for summer and the office. 

So now, not only am I likely going to be pissed that they are serving stupid fruit juice and those arab "sweets" that pretty much amount to some kinda mini-wheat type of material soaked in honey and sprinkled with pistachios....I'm going to look like a monster and might get kicked out for not wearing a sparkley blanket with matching scarf.

Nevermind.  I don't need a next post: 12 December 2009, 10:13 am.  The date/time Christmas was officially RUINED in Khartoum.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Dear China,

I am in receipt of your comments on my post(one might  call it a BRILLIANT, witty, and yet, insightful post) entitled Government Backed Conspiracy Theories.  However, as you have now commented approximately 25 times, over the course of 25 days, I feel honor bound to inform you of the following:

Your links to Chinese Porn is wasted on me.  I don't understand it..and am too lazy to go back, and potentially learn other things that would require that I actually acknowledge what I wrote previously, and take responsibility for the shit I posted.

That is probably not going to happen.  I'm just guessing, but am almost 227% positive that I ain't gonna learn a valuable lesson.

I don't mean to be rude to your "economonic hegemony" and stuff, but I am not really interested in learning new "issues" or "acquiring evidence" that would potentially illuminate the "realy story". 

Write this down China: too lazy.

Best Regards,


PS I don't recall ever asking for your opinion on our foreign policy.  We honk. I get it.  This is now a new premise that would shock me.   (Frankly that would shock me, is that I would actually care -- about anything....)

ERGO, stop leaving comments on my blog.  Nobody remembers that blog!! I think that, "max" 20 people actually read  my post.  Chances are...nobody you care about, or read it.  When I say that nobody really likes me here -- I'm serious.  They think I"m 'not serious" and that I have a marked tendency to buy into group think.  Consider that carefully.  

Well!?!? WHO WOULDN'T!?!? 

I'm all for jumping on the bandwagon.  Please, let's just ensure that said bandwagon has an acceptable  business class section.

Let's be realistic.  Once again, I don't fly coach.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Joy of Christmas in Khartoum....Or, Why You Should Feel Sorry for Me and Send Me Cash to Make Me Feel Better

So you know how I'm in Sudan, right?? I just thought I should take a moment and remind you all (and when I say "you all" I mean "my mommy and Daddy" who will soon be shipping me my Christmas Care Package) that I am IN SUDAN .  Ergo, you should feel sorry for me. 

Why, you ask??

Because I'm IN SUDAN...jackass!  It's Christmas...and I do not have access to Malls or ABC's 25 Days of Christmas or FaLaLaLa Lifetime Christmas movies.  That alone is an unspeakable outrage and likely prohibited by the Geneva Convention -- although to be fair, I haven't actually read the entire Geneva Convention (because it was really long and frankly kinda boring...but I DID read the part that said GENEVA CONVENTION...but then I got bored and deleted the email that linked me to it), so I can't really say for SURE that it is technically IN there, but I imagine it is, because it's obviously a travesty. 

However, because I'm a kind, and caring - some might even say "saintly" - person, I will tell you WHY you should sympathize with me this holiday season...

(1) There is no Caro White Corn Syrup (a christmas staple) available in Khartoum.  I'm sure they have some sort of equivalent, but I can't speak Arabic, am too lazy to actually ask someone how to say that in Arabic, and prefer to simply complain about the issue.

(2) The Mail Fairy Refuses to ship glass or liquids to me in Khartoum.  Therefore, even if my BFF Netgrocer, or had Caro White Corn Syrup available, the Mail Fairy would send it back.  (Speaking of which, the Mail Fairy is a bitch!  Yesterday, the fairy came and delivered my presents - or "boxes" as they like to call them - in my car...and I was all excited (as naturally I would be) and then I looked at the name of the sender...VITAMINLANDWTF MAIL FAIRY!?!? That's not cool!  Nobody wants that shit!  Healthy shit is dumb, and should not be allowed to clog up the mail!!  Before you even ask...Yes.  Josh is totally to blame for that.  He has been counseled.)

(3)  Without Caro White Corn Syrup, Christmas Candy and Pecan Pie Cannot Exist.  I don't even need to expand on this one.  I think you all can see the inherent grief #3 brings me.

(4)  It is Difficult to Sustain the Christmas Spirit When You Leave the Tree.  In keeping with my tradition of Creating Christmas Hell in my house, I forced Josh to put up the Christmas decorations (which I totally shipped in our household effects, but managed to forget to ship the salad spinner and vegetable steamer.  Josh still thinks that was an accident.  Fool!)  immediately upon our return from Rome.  However, it's just not the same when you walk out the door to find heat and sand.  Obviously, we'll be having a Brown Christmas without you guys....

(5) intentionally left blank. 

I do, however, have to give Sudan some credit....some families have put up some lights and there are trees up in various places around town.  I totally didn't see that coming.  Also, there is some kinda scarey Santa that dances in front of the kid's toy store here.  However, it's one of those foreign Santas, that look nothing like the real  Santa, but more like a fat, creepy old man dancing for little kids. 

I'm kinda just disturbed by that.  However, I refuse to be disturbed alone.  Therefore, in keeping with my other new tradition of bringing you guys down with me.  I will try to get a picture of the creepy dancing Santa and will post him here.

SOOOO, since you're all probably feeling really, really sorry for  me now, please refer to my last post (skip the Satan part though, that will probably freak you out) to find my Christmas Wish List attached.

I also accept all major credit cards. 

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

It's SOOO Brilliant, It Just Might Work!!!!

So I was reading blogs this evening -- and then was subsequently distracted when Josh called me downstairs to watch a "movie"...and when I say "movie," I mean hideous monstrosity called Paranormal Activity that will essentially preclude me from EVER SLEEPING AGAIN..... because it simply confirms what I always knew:   boys will eff with shit until demons come and kill you all.  Just as I suspected!!!   I totally knew it!!! 

OMFG! I'm seriously, SERIOUSLY, never going to sleep again.  WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT!?  AND WHY THE HELL DID I WATCH THAT!?!?

Yes, mother! I KNOW! You DID tell me not to watch that shit, that it would only freak me out and I would end up flying back to Washington and sleeping with my parents - but damnitt! You KNOW that only makes me want to see that shit more, right!?!? 

So, I guess what I'm trying to say is...Josh and my mommy are to blame for my current Sleepless in Khartoum state.....


Anyway, back to my point - before I was rudely interrupted by Satan -- I was trying to catch up on my hobby (blog reading) and I read Jason's blog (if you haven't read it, you totally should.  He's the heeby!  Fo Shizzle!)  and he had a BRILLIANT your Christmas that you're SURE to get what you want....

SOOO....after that, I totally have to do the same;  here it goes. Please get out your pens and pencils so that you can take notes.  Your shopping list will be succinct and will ultimately save you time at those crowded malls (my goodness! I'm such a good person!! I'm like a Christmas Miracle!!!)


Dear Santa,

I just wanted to send you a quick note to let you know that I have been thinking about all you do for the good little boys and girls - how you load that sleigh and then get in your winter garb (I know how binding layered clothing can be when you're on the other side of goodness, I could write a book...but I digress) and round up all the reindeer...

That's a lotta work.

Therefore, as a fellow lazy American (you ARE American, right??  It's okay that you skip Canada.  They know what they did), I just wanted to tell you that this year, I want to take some of the burdeon off of you.  Let you put your feet up.....sit by the fire with Mrs. Claus...Maybe watch a movie -- Oh, FYI -  don't watch Paranormal Activity!  That shit is messed up.  You should cross everyone responsible for that movie off your list.  They are clearly bad people. -- anyway, get some hot cocoa and take a rest this year. 

Please just EFT the cash amount of my gifts to my bank account of record.  They're expecting a "hefty" transfer.... Haha! (or should I say, hohoho??? How cute is that pun SANTA!?  Doesn't it just make you want to add a zero to the end of that transfer!?!)

You are soooo welcome. 

Love Always,

Your Biggest Fan who is NOT from Canada....


PS I'm not sure if you noticed or not, but Josh is a very very bad man this year.  Tell him to knock the Satan Shit off or you'll cross him off next year's list.  That shit's not funny!! 


Dear God,

Josh is a Blasphemer.    When you judge everyone, please don't consider us a tandem couple. I had nothing to do with it.

Your Humble Servant Who Does NOT Mock Satan and Potentially Piss You Off,


PS I am very sorry I watched that movie.  I will never do it again!! I even wrote it down as valuable lesson number 864.  As such, please tell Josh to stop scaring me.  That shit's sooo not funny. 

Monday, December 7, 2009

Some Little-Known, Hidden Dangers of Going on Vacation

If you're like me -- and I can only assume you are because I tend to view the world from my limited optic and assume that it revolves around me and my issues (because they're clearly more interesting than listening to other people's stories about stuff that has nothing to do with me or my friends) -- then you probably would appreciate knowing some things that you should consider if you ever intend to take a surprise (to you) vacation in the near future.

Turns out, if you leave your trendy tupperware water bottle on your desk, half-filled with some flavor of Crystal Light (and I am unsure which flavors may have a stronger or weaker effect) sitting stagnant in it for a period of not less than 12 days straight, in temperatures of upwards of 100 degrees farenheit, said trendy tupperware water bottle may - repeat may - develop what medical doctors would call a mold-like substance on the inner section of said trendy tupperware water bottle.

Now, if the above did not shock and awe you, what you may not actually know is that it is possible that you might have needed to pay attention during your 6th grade science class.

I KNOW, RIGHT!?  Totally shocking and somewhat of a sensational statement!  However, it's true.  And I now have definitive proof. 

How you ask?? Well, let me tell you:  So remember when I told you about the trendy tupperware water bottle?  (If not, you really need to work on your reading retention/comprehension skills)   Well, I actually encountered this situation upon my return.  I also encountered too tight pants after a week of being fiscally responsible and ordering the less expensive pasta and wine combination for each meal.  Therefore, I decided to go the the gym (bad plan, FYI.  I cannot recommend it).  As such, I was forced to wash out that trendy tupperware water bottle so that I could refill it with a new flavor of Chrystal Light.  (I don't do plain "water," much like how I don't fly Coach. . .  We all have our crosses to bear.)

So I get to the gym and go to take a drink, and realize that the black substance I thought was Crystal Light residue, is in fact mold.  So now I'm back in Africa, I'm in a gym, pretending to work out on a treadmill, and I'm drinking mold.  (Will advise if this is my new-fangled weight loss plan.  I suspect it has potential).

So after I finish my mold and leave the gym to go home, I start thinking to myself that perhaps, it is not healthy to drink mold...that perhaps I should again try to wash out that yuckiness.  Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a dishwasher in Khartoum.  So using my keen intellect, I decide that I will boil water and sterilize the trendy tupperware water bottle.

So I wait until the water is boiling and then fill the trendy tupperware water bottle about half-way, seal the top, and shake vigorously. . .

Remember that really, really boring lecture in your 6th grade science class where the teacher blabbed on and on about the power of steam and how it can move trains?  No? Me neither.  

Turns out, it was important.  However, I contend that nobody could have known that Science, much like math would ever be useful and/or applicable in your life.  It was unknowable.  Someone really should have said something.

Dear Mrs. Dean:

Perhaps -  rather than talking about a stupid train that nobody likes but creepy train freaks -  if you had pointed out that steam has the potential to blow off the top of a trendy tupperware water bottle, spewing molten hot water all over your hands when you attempt to shake it, thereby covering your hand in 3rd degree burns - I might have paid attention in Science. 

Think about it.

Best regards,

Blistered in Khartoum

Saturday, December 5, 2009


Creepy as hell photos attached (as promised) you see dead people....

This is kinda hard to see, but there are creepy dead people all over the walls and stuff....and 72 signs not to take pictures.  They really should have said something if they didn't want us to take pics and then post them on the blog.  I can't be expected to read everything you know....

   How effin scary is this guy?? WTF!?

These are some of scary guy's friends.  Joe, Bill and Jimmy's Brother....

There you have it!  I'm likely going to go to hell for posting those, but I figure I'll know a lotta you freaks there, so it might not be all bad.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

I shit you not!!! I SAW DEAD PEOPLE!!!!

Now that I totally have your attention...I would like to point out (a) I'm home; and (b) why the hell didn't anyone do anything while I was gone!?!?  WTF people!? Now I'm having to work MORE after I took a break because I was exhausted from working!!!

(and as a total aside, WHO THE HELL IS LEAVING COMMENTS IN CHINESE?!? And WHY the hell are people leaving stupid links as comments.  For the record: that is LAME!  I totally hate you, whoever you are.  You are officially dead to me.  Loser)

Okay, I'm better now.

SO, we went to Italy right?! Remember how I wasn't prepared?  Well, I really wasn't prepared.  at. all.  Wanna hear about it?  here it goes:

So Embassy told us the driver was coming to pick us up at 0100 because (as you may recall) Egypt and Algeria decided to hold their playoff match for the world cup (soccer) here in Khartoum the day I was leaving.  Ergo, as the fans from Egypt and Algeria decided to bust a cap in the ass of the mean streets of Khartoum, so Embassy realized that perhaps the airport might be "busy" with crazed fans who were too poor to stay overnight one more day in Sudan.  Or, they actually looked outside and realized they were in Sudan so they all ran for the airport to get the hell outta here.  Either way.

So, at 0100 hrs we're at Khartoum International Airport - but it should be fine, right? we're business class (I don't fly coach.  It's my new red line); however, I neglected to plan ahead (because if you recall, I didn't remember I was leaving that day) and didn't bring any booze.  FYI, KIA does not supply booze to its business class lounge.  They claimed something about Sharia Law and being an Islamic Country - I'm not really sure, wasn't really listening as I was scheming how to get back to my house and grab a flask or four - you know, just to take the edge off...

So then, because of the crazed nonsense going on - our flight did not actually DEPART Khartoum until after 0930 the NEXT DAMN DAY. 

Naturally, we missed our connecting flight in Cairo.  (Write this down:  I now officially HATE Egypt and Algieria.  They are ALSO dead to that chinese guy and anonomyous)

So then we sat in the Cairo airport (the old one, not the new trendy one that has booze in its lounge) for another four hours.  I seriously considered just going back to Khartoum. 

HOWEVER, we DID make it to Rome, had a great few days there - stayed in a fab hotel right on the top of the Spanish Steps, realized that wine was actually cheaper than a cup of coffee, so I started drinking at 0930 daily (because I'm fiscally responsible like that). 

Then we rented a villa in Catania, Sicily with some friends (you remember Liz, right?? She says hi) and we cooked thanksgiving dinner in a foreign oven using the metric system for measuring and oven temperatures. 

So you're totally thinking it was a disaster, right??

NO!  It was seriously the best turkey I have EVER had (no offense daddy, but that shit rocked).  I might have been drunk, but that crap was good.

Other highlights of interest - we walked up mount etna (not much to see but lava rocks.  Can't really recommend it - plus, i got all tired and Liz and I made them leave us 3/4 of the way up the mountain while we sat there to wait for them to return from the summit - while buzzards circled our carcasses) and then the BEST PART...we drove 3 hours to Palermo, Sicily to the catacombs. 

I fully admit that I DEMANDED that we all go because I totally wanted to see the dead people.  The books all said that the catacombs had some kinda mojo that would mummify people - so the richy-riches of Sicily would have themselves hung on the wall for posperity.  So I mean, who wouldn't want to see that shit, right!?

So we finally manage to find the thing in some random ghetto in Palermo where nobody spoke English and you know I don't speak Italian - in fact, after this trip, I barely speak English anymore....  So I'm all excited, thinking...there's gonna be some dead man we can look at -- and potentially poke with a stick (because that's what you would naturally do when faced with a dead thing)

So we pay our 3 euros and go in. 

OMFG! the horror! 

There were literally HUNDREDS of bodies lining the walls...they were all dressed in their old clothes and some of them even had hair and skin still.   I shit you not!  Dead people!  Some of them were all hanging like they were talking - so of course Josh has to comment that they totally were all chatting and moving around, but the sun came up so now they're waiting for the place to close (which was like in 10 minutes at the time) until they wake up again. 

So now I'm all freaked out and I want out of there.  PLUS, the guy at the cashier's desk said that "there was something in the air and the soil" in that location that rapidly mummified the people -  so then I'm TOTALLY holding my breath because I'm sure that I'm mummifying as I'm walking through the place. 

Luckily, I didn't mummify and nobody came back from the dead.  We totally took pics (even though we weren't supposed to do so because we're AMERICANs and we're tacky)....but I'm freaked out by the pics.  UGGH.

Will post pics of Italy for your viewing pleasure whenever josh sends them to me in a format that I can easily post.  Until such time, assume it was waaay cool and now I'm back in hell.

You may resume your pity.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

It Has Come to My Attention...

So you may have noticed (or maybe you didn't) that I have not been posting lately.  Turns out, that eventually, work will notice that you are supposed to actually work, and not just pretend to work.  Frankly, I think they should been more clear up front with me in this regard.  How the hell am I supposed to make appropriate work decisions such as to, "GO to work," unless I know if they are going to require that I actually work when I get there???

It's an unspeakable outrage (credit Beth)

Anyway, that is not actually what came to my attention - what caught my attention was a post-it note that was left on my computer after I returned from yet another stupid meeting with yet another stupid group of people who want to discuss yet another issue that is really, really boring!  ANYWAY, the post it note said, "driver pick up is at 0130."

So I'm like...WTF!?  Driver is coming for me at 0130?  WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON!?

Then I start throwing a hissy fit and storming around in a huff.....because it's almost 10 pm and I wasn't TOLD that I was supposed to GO somewhere.  WTF!?

So, I go home fuming.  Josh is there and says, "did you bring your passport?"  and I'm like WHAT!? 

Turns out we are leaving for R&R tonight.  I shit you not.  We leave for VACATION tonight - we're headed to Italy for 10 glorious non-Sudan filled days.... and I TOTALLY FORGOT.

So now I've thrown a bunch of crap into a suitcase and I frankly do not care.  I will simply buy new crap.

Only problem I can see is that since I wasn't actually aware that I was leaving, I have made a BUNCH of promises for crap I would take care of tomorrow.

oh well, guess they'll eventually figure out that I am not going to show up and do as promised.  They should know already though.  Let's face it.  I introduce myself the same way every time I meet someone for a let you know what you're in for....

I'm from the Government.  I'm here to help.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Scratchy = Healthy

So I'm not sure if I've already told you my theory on how to determine whether something is good for you and you could eat as much of it that you want - or, alternatively, if it is bad for you and will make you fatter if you sit in the same room with the stuff.  My theory is foolproof and this weekend I proved it yet again...and also another little known fact about healthy shit.

Begin theory:

Soft food = tastes yummy, wish you had it right now, fat ass (see donuts, cake, ice cream)
Scratchy food = healthy food, makes you gag, don't actually want to eat it (see, celery, brussel sprouts)

End theory

So anyway, this weekend I decided that I would make some bread.  I know! RIGHT!?  How totally wifey is that?  It's very Betty Draper - although, I didn't have any cigarettes, but I did have a glass of wine (to make the kneading less annoying).  However, you may recall that Josh is here.  So I had to totally pretend like I cared about being healthy and nutrition and all that other I decided to make whole wheat bread, instead of fluffy white bread (that I make REALLY WELL, FYI). 

Now here is where the valuable lesson comes in - not only is whole wheat bread scratchy to eat, it is scratchy to knead.  So you totally  know right there that it is going to be a nightmare...(spoiler alert) So i knead, look for some bandaids to cut down on the chafing - and then i set it aside to rise. 

It doesn't rise.  It just kinda gave a half-assed effort to puff up a bit, then it just kinda sat there.

So I still persevere.  I bake that shit.

I made a loaf that weighed about as much as a big ole rock.  It wasn't hard, but it was totally scratchy.

THEREFORE, my point is (and I do have one) once again scratchy shit ruined my weekend.

So there you have it: conclusive proof that scratchy, healthy food sucks.  Every time.   I rest my case.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Another Public Service Message: Driving in Sudan

This last week Josh has kept me very busy with his bitches pointing out that there doesn't seem to be any set rules for driving in this country.  My response to him?  "Dooy ! I told you that you idiot! You NEVER listen to me!!  I'm sorry. It will get better."  (I'm such a good wife.)

Anyway, on the off chance that you might actually end up in Khartoum (because of something bad you did) and have to drive, I figured I should document some of the rules of the road here,:

  • Navigating the Mean Streets of Khartoum:  as I mentioned in my last post, do not assume that any road here has an official "name" that is recognized by all.  I find that it is particularly useful to just go ahead and name them whatever you feel like and then tell people that is its name....but do so with AUTHORITAY.... as if the person you are giving the directions to is the idiot.  Works every time.  "Turn Left on Burned out Donkey Carcass Road, and then Right onto "S" road.  Airport is on your right"  Soon, they'll just name that shit after what you said.  Trust me, it works. *unless your name is Josh, and  he questions your premise...  In this case, yell "LIAR!" and run away.
  •  Stick in the Road = Certain Death.  At some point in your day while driving along, minding your own business (probably singing at the top of your lungs to the new Miley Cyrus Song) you will likely see what appears to be a branch sticking out of the road.  Please be advised that this tiny branch has been placed there to signal that you are going to die if you continue in this path.  The Sudanese Department of Transportation has apparently done the research and has determined that a small twig (sometimes with small leaves on it, but not always - I have not determined whether the leaves indicate a level of pain that will be involved in your imminent death yet - serves as an obvious indicator that the earth has opened up in that location and a large crater is there that will swallow your entire vehicle.    Another indicator is when you see a car upended into said crater (usually with a branch hanging precariously on the hood) -- that also serves as an indicator that you shouldn't drive there. 
  • Yielding the Right of Way.  There is no right of way.  Just keep going and hope for the best.
  • Turning Left.  Frankly, it's best to try to avoid having to do this - I try to just keeping making right hand turns until you end up going the way you wanted to go in the first place.  HOWEVER, I understand that sometimes a left hand turn cannot be avoided.  If this happens, you need to just turn directly into the traffic.  If you wait, cars that are turning left from the street you intend to turn onto will all go in front of you and/or fill up the entire street you are trying to turn onto because they all want to turn first.  So, I usually just close my eyes and hope for the best.  
  • Pedestrians.  Pedestrians have the right of way and feel like they should be able to walk down the middle of road and/or cross when it is convenient for them.  Pedestrians are apparently not required to look before they step out into traffic and it is up to you, the driver, to avoid them.  It's like playing Mariocart....but with people.....and maybe a monkey or two....
  • Trash in the Road.  Do NOT, under any circumstances, assume that the trash you see in the road is just a piece of paper or a plastic bag.  Trash can also be used to mark large jagged pieces of metal the Sudanese sometimes like to keep in the road and/or indicate a disabled car, camel or donkey up ahead.  ALSO, it might be someone's stuff they're keeping for later.  They get really pissed if you run over their shit.
Well, I hope this lesson has been helpful to you.  Bottom line is that you probably shouldn't try to drive in Khartoum and are better off hiring a driver.  I would recommend that you hire a really old, sluggish - maybe even fat driver.  The driver should have a lot of experience driving in Khartoum. That way he can serve as a decoy you can out-run when you get into an accident. 

Also, I like to carry US Dollars and throw them out behind me while I run away.  I like to think that it will potentially slow down the crowd.  This is important.  Remember what continent the winners are from in the Boston Marathon!

It's almost never a diplomat from Montana.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

So Josh is Here...

I assume he hasn't noticed that I was actually unable to lose 27 pounds in 2 weeks, or 8 months, whatever, anyway, he hasn't SAID anything - so I guess his parents raised him correctly.  Although, truth be told, I've been waiting for it! So there has been a lot of "A-HAH!"  Oh, you said 'where are you at'?!  Okay, never mind.  I just's that?? A-HAH!  What? oh, never mind."  I gotta tell you, even I almost feel for him at this point.

 What he has voiced, HOWEVER, is his utter disdain for my ability to tell him how to get places.  Apparently, former marines do not understand my obviously superior direction giving abilities such as:

Okay, you leave our house and you can go right or left, I usually go right- because if you go left, there is this big pile of trash that smells like ass at the end, and if you get stuck there making a left, your car will tend to smell like ass for the rest of the trip - ass smell tends to linger you know - so I go right, but then you have to go left again when you get to that one fruit stand that has the guy that wears the dirty man-dress, or, it's just brown colored.  I'm not  really sure -- anyway, go left there, but then you have to go right just past that one building that I think might be a bank or a car dealership - or, it might be an office - I don't know, but it has a green strip along the side and you know if you've gone too far if you hit the pile of tires that are all stacked up by the mooley-liki sign, well, I'm not really sure what the name is of that place, but there is a sign that I think says mooley-liki in Arabic, but I don't really speak Arabic, so I might have made that up.  Then you drive and drive until you get to the next road that is paved, but not the first paved one, the second paved one - I call it "little palm tree road" because it has little wee palm trees in the middle, like babies, you know, or midgets...well little palm trees, I think they like to be called little now, not midgets because that's rude.   Anyway, you go, left...well, maybe left..yeah,'s right.  Go right, the store is right there. You can't miss it.

Seriously, how easy is that??

But he keeps asking blatently silly questions like - "Do I go North or South?"  WTF!?  How the hell would I know!?  There is no way of knowing.  It's unknowable.

So then he gets all extra-patient like, and speaks slower and enunciates all clearly as if English were a second language and says, "If you were looking at the map, are you heading toward the top or the bottom of it?"  Which is such a stupid question because everybody knows you have to turn the map to face it which ever direction you are currently going because how the hell would you know which way you are supposed to turn if you don't??

Anyway, who uses a map?? I just know how to get places.  I usually get lost, stop and ask for directions (which never work) but it usually gets me to somewhere I think I know where I am, and then I just keep driving until you hit the Nile (or Chad) and then viola, you can find your way home.


So, my point is, it's going to be a bit of an adjustment (for Josh).  I wish him the best of luck.  It has to be hard, living with a selfless saint, such as myself.

He'll settle.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Why It's Important toTalk to your Internet Pharmacist!

Okay, so it has come to my attention that perhaps it is not the best idea to base your demands for prescription drugs from commercials.  Although I fully realize that this totally sounds like crazy talk,I am here to (once again) perform my public service by educating you guys on shit I do wrong so that you don't have to face the same humiliation that I do on a daily basis.  

Is it just me, or does it seem like I'm CONSTANTLY learning yet another valuable lesson about something or other?? I'm frankly not really sure what it was that my parents actually taught me when I was a child  -- although to be fair, most of time, I wasn't really listening.  Perhaps I should have paid more attention.  Like when they went over the whole metric system thing when I was in the 6th grade... Do you remember that?? We had some big scare about how the USA was going to have to switch to the metric system because all the cool kids in Europe were doing it, so we tried for about a week or so until everyone realized it was just too hard and involved a lotta math, so we went back to our own shit and called it a day.  ALTHOUGH, it would be nice if I could figure out how fast I'm going when I'm driving around town here or what the temperature is outside...I just always assume it's 152 degrees.  Seems about right.

ANYWAY, my point was...I was chatting with my Internet Pharmacist  -- who has a great blog, even though she no longer does Pharmacy Friday because apparently, she was worried someone was going to sue her (although it might be because I told her I was going to sue her unless she sends me a box of unmarked adderall), and she pointed out that perhaps I should not create my list of Rx drugs I want based upon how happy the people look in the commercials.  (Which I frankly thought was a great plan.  I want THAT kinda happy!)   Then she proceeded to EXPLAIN to me that Levitra is similar to Viagra and maybe I didn't want to be announcing to the world that I wanted some Adderall, a smigeon of Ambien, and a side of Levitra (you know, just to take the edge off).  SO NOW APPARENTLY, I am supposed to LOOK UP what these drugs DO before I demand someone give me some. 

Like I have that kinda time to be looking up what drugs do before I take them

Frankly, I should be suing those damn pharmaceutical companies who make those commercials!  Now, not only am I humiliated because now the rest of the Embassy likely assumes I have some kind of erectile dysfunction, but I'm also emotionally traumatized  because I thought those old people were just happy because that old guy didn't DIE from something....So of course, I wanted something that would make me not DIE! (I mean, who wouldn't?!?!?)    But now, I'm forced to think about OLD PEOPLE doing the dirty dirty when they can barely walk anymore, and that guy might actually die of something, but we'll never know because he's all happy and I'm too embarrassed to even look at him anymore, let alone try to diagnose his symptoms with my primary care physician, WebMD.....

Now,  thanks to that stupid commercial, I can't even look the old people here in Khartoum in the eye anymore, on the off chance that they might be smiling because they have some Levitra in their mandress pocket!   I get all flustered, so I end up throwing a handful of business cards at them, then I yell, "LIAR!" and I run away.

Dear Internet Pharmacist,

I need some Vallium.

I am almost 32% positive that is what I need.  But math is hard, so I defer to you to set my appropriate percentage.

Desperately Seeking to Avoid Old People

Monday, November 2, 2009

US Government- Backed Conspiracy Theories....Or, Why I Scoff at your Nonsense...

Honestly, I really feel I have to address this topic publicly in my blog, because it sorta makes my head explode when I hear people (whom I assumed were educated, rational adults or, as I like to call them, non-foreigners) spout their nonsense about some kind of secret government conspiracy aimed at doing one thing or the other.  Usually, the theory starts in some email that someone forwards me  -- Although, to be fair most of my emails come from my dad, but I totally forgive him because he is not really a "typer," he's more of a "fwd'er" and likely doesn't really read what he sends me, because he kinda takes after me (or would that be the other way around?? One can never really know) and is likely too lazy to read to the end where it says that the US government is plotting to steal your babies and feed them to the stray dingos in Sudan - but only if your babies are those unfortunate babies who fall into the lower tax brackets, but also have carrot-red hair and freckles because dingos prefer tender freckled babies.

However, I say to the people who buy into these theories who are NOT my dad:


Have you ever actually MET a government worker??  Have you ever been inside a government building? Have you read this blog?? I'm pretty much the cream of the crop of the mediocrity that is government service.  Then, when you start talking about this big secret plot, have you actually thought it all the way through? PUH-LEASE!

Have you seen how many forms you have to fill out to get GSO to come over to fix something that was not on your form and then they realize that they didn't bring your form, so they just wander around your house and move something around to make it look like they were there doing GSO-ey stuff??  Have you seen how hard it is just to get a shitty pen made by blind people that will only write for about 2 lines? So difficult that you finally just bring a pen from home!  (Wait! that actually may be a secret government plot to prevent its workers from stealing pens and saving money on buying new pens....I'm going to look into it FIRST THING!)

The Finance people would make us get three bids from the evil plotters,  and then we'd end up going with the lowest bidder who probably wasn't really "evil" so much as just kinda cranky and unattractive...

Methinks we're just not that competent. Believe me, I've met me.  I'm not that good.

I was in Pakistan from 1999.  During that time, someone started a rumor that if you were physically in the USA when the ball dropped in 2000,  you would automatically be granted citizenship.  Ridiculous, right? I mean, did they think the USG was going to hire a bunch of of the old bell ringers from Christmas to go around handing out green cards in Times Square? Why the hell would anyone believe this?

We had to close the Consular section in Islamabad because we were mobbed with visa applicants.

SO, unless you want me to start lumping  you in with the masses of unwashed visa applicants, stop with the conspiracy theories!! If I have learned one thing in my wasted years of USG service:  The Government may actually WANT to pull off all these evil plots, but it's frankly not competent enough, we're too lazy to fill out all the required memos and forms, and a conspiracy would be leaked to the press within 4 minutes of someone cooking it up.

Besides, everyone knows that ANY EVIL PLOT is the work of Canada.   Now we just need to figure out how to prove it!

Some(One Else's) Random Thoughts...

So I received this at work today from someone who sent it to me and asked if I had written them....WTF!?  Where on earth do people come up with their theories?  This is sooo, not anything I would say!  However, kudos goes to whomever came up with it!

-- I wish Google Maps had an "Avoid Ghetto" routing option.

-- More often than not, when someone is telling me a story, all I can think about is that I can't wait for them to finish so that I can tell my own story, that's not only better, but also more directly involves me.

-- Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.

-- I don't understand the purpose of the phrase, "I don't need to drink to have fun."  Great, no one does. But why start a fire with flint and sticks when they've invented the lighter??

-- Have you ever been walking down the street and realized that you're going in the complete opposite direction of where you are supposed to be going? But instead of just turning a 180 and walking back in the direction from which you came, you have to first do something like check your watch or phone or make a grand arm gesture and mutter to yourself to ensure that no one in the vicinity thinks you're crazy by randomly switching directions on the sidewalk.

-- There is a great need for sarcasm font.

-- How the hell are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet?

-- I would rather try to carry 10 plastic bags full of groceries in each hand, than take 2 trips to bring them in from the car.

-- I think part of my BFF's job should be to immediately clear your computer history, and erase your iPod and Kindle if you die.

-- Was learning cursive really necessary??

-- I have a hard time deciphering that fine line between boredom and hunger.

-- Answering the same letter more than three times in a row on a Scantron test is absolutely terrifying.

-- Whenever someone says, "I'm not book smart, but I'm street smart," all I hear is, "I'm not real smart, but I'm imaginary smart."

-- How many times is it appropriate to say "What?" before you just nod your head and smile because you STILL didn't hear what they said??

-- I love the sense of camaraderie when an entire line of cars teams up to prevent a jackass from cutting in at the front!  Stay strong, brothers!!

-- Mapquest really needs to start their directions at #5.  I am pretty sure I know how to get out of my neighborhood.

-- Bad decisions make good stories.

-- Why is it during an ice-breaker, when the whole room has to go around and say their name and where they are from, I get all nervous and freaked out?  Like, I know my name, I know where I am from....this shouldn't be a problem!

-- You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment at work when you've made up your mind that you just aren't going to do anything productive for the rest of the day.

-- Can we all just agree to ignore whatever comes after DVDs?  I don't want to have to restart another collection.

-- I hate leaving my house confident and looking good, and then not seeing anyone of importance the entire day.  What a waste.

-- Sometimes I will look down at my watch 3 consecutive times and STILL not know what time it is.

-- I disagree with Kay Jewelers.  I would bet that on any given Friday or Saturday night, more kisses begin with Bud Light than Kay.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Define "Serving".....

Well, I'd just like to state for the record, that if the schedule I'm currently working here in Sudan keeps up like this, I'm going to have to start redefining my definition of a "serving" of red wine to be more in keeping with my definition of a "serving" of coffee (i.e. one pot equals one serving) so that I can fill out my health questionnaire accordingly (and when I say "accordingly" I mean so they don't send someone they call a "trained medical professional"  out to escort me home).  

Apparently, I don't know when to keep my big mouth shut and I spouted off to everyone I know about how great my new "cake diplomacy" is working here in Sudan.  As it turns out, anyone who draws attention to themselves in Sudan gets to "take the lead" and pursue progress.  Pursue progress....WTF does that mean??  As a rule of thumb, I don't pursue anything!  I figure, if it is meant to be, it will happen, and by "happen" i mean, happen to someone else so that I can continue my quest to only pretend to work and not actually under-take any work per se. 

Do you see my dilemma??

So now I'm being forced to talk to foreigners AND listen to what it is they have to say, even though I am not really interested in their blather and almost all of it has literally NOTHING to do with me!  Believe me, I've totally tried bringing the conversation back to interesting topics such as me, my friends, or my situation.  But they KEEP talking about US/Sudan relations and how the Government of Sudan wants something and are willing to do something else, but then I noticed this really big spider in the corner and sorta freaked out because it seemed to be jogging (yes, it was waay more than walking, although it didn't really have any special shoes, or a camelback for hydration, so MAYBE it was trotting) in my general direction.  Naturally, I didn't want to overreact and cause panic in the meeting, so I tried to discretely lift both my legs up off of the floor and climb up into the chair Indian Style (yes, I can say that. I'm part American Indian - unless you're all offended that I was claiming it was South Asian Indian style, but I'm not even sure what that style would be, so rest assured I was going for the feather, not dot style). 

But then the spider stopped.  He initiated what I assumed was a Sudanese Standoff (which I assume is much like a Mexican Standoff, but only with a Sudanese flair, like maybe it would get out its turban and then drive on the wrong side of the road - I just don't know as it was my first Sudanese Standoff).  So I slowly put my legs down again....and I waited...

And then again I noticed that these people NEVER stop talking. Can't they read the signs of my abject terror?!  That I was just seconds away from being killed where I sat?? (I can only assume Sudanese spiders are also Godless killing machines like the African Snakes.  Rivaled only by zombies.)

So then the spider stood his ground for about another minute (or maybe an hour, I can't really be sure) and then he turned around and sauntered into a corner under a bookshelf.  Although I managed to make it out of there alive (This time!), I have vowed that I will NEVER return.  Therefore, I am intend to use Josh's arrival in Khartoum as the reason I cannot go back to that office, and hopefully, they'll forget about me.  OR, in the alternative, I will simply demand to meet in a neutral location, free from the Sudanese Spider Menace.

SO ANYWAY, that explains why I am now drinking red wine in bottle-sized servings.  Therefore, I would appreciate it if you would be a lamb, and redefine a "serving" of alcohol to reflect one shot of liquor, one bottle of beer, and one bottle of wine is equal to one serving. 

You will have my deepest appreciation.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

God I Miss Milk Duds....

No, that's not the subject of this post - that's just a fun fact I thought you needed to know.  It's all part of my new segment entitled, "Getting to Know Michel Better than you Ever Wanted To and all with Facts You Already Probably Knew."  It's gonna be a hit fo sho!

Okay, so I was chatting with Liz today, and I was telling her all about my day and, after I noticed that Liz was continuing on her conversation while I had my own - it's why we're BFF's.  Because we understand and accept that the other is likely not listening.  It's the beauty of our friendship -- when I realized that it has been a while since I have posted about my day here.  And I am sure you want to have a snapshot of the exciting world of (my version of) how diplomacy works.

Here you go:   Today, I went to a meeting with a very nice Sudanese man in his office.  There I was, minding my own business, pretending to listen, and having a nice conversation that actually sounded kinda like I knew what I was talking about and I was even throwing in a few big words there for good measure to demonstrate my smarticity. 

And then his assistant brings in the tray of amenities for the meeting.  It was a big tray of 2 cups of tea, one piece of what looked like USDA approved chocolate cake and what also appeared to be a Cinnabon Cinnamon roll.

So then I'm all distracted, right?! Because HOLY SHIT! Was that a CINNABON!  It totally smelled warm and toasty.  So i can't really focus on what he is saying, and the man just kept on talking....but I can't even listen because I now have this raging internal debate in my head where I am trying to game out whether I should go for the chocolate cake or the Cinnabon - because they were on two separate plates.  I mean, the cake was clearly a larger portion, and had what appeared to be fudge frosting on the top, but the Cinnabon was warm and smelled like heaven. 

It was a Damned Diplomatic Dilemma!!!

So then, as he is talking I'm trying to game out which one he will likely go for, and should I make a run for it, because everybody knows that Cinnamon rolls are notoriously iffy.  They are either REALLY GOOD, or taste like bread.  But it's UNPOSSIBLE to tell by looking at gotta try it, and hope for the best.  BUT ON THE OTHER HAND, I've been burned by foreign cakes before.  They look all tastylicious, but when you bite into it, there was obviously no sugar involved in the baking process, but for some reason there is a lotta what tastes like white bread with crisco, in it instead of sugar. 

So then the man appeared to realize that I was staring intently at the table and not at him - and he says, "Would you like some tea?"


Although I was screaming this on the inside, I am a trained professional, so on the outside I said, "Oh, thank you.  That would be lovely.  What? Oh, no.  No sugar.  I am not a big sugar fan." 

So then I'm really freaked now out because, WTF!?  WHY DID I JUST SAY THAT!?  What if he offers me the damn cinnamon roll because he KNOWS there is no damn sugar in it and I'll be stuck with a piece of dry bread with crisco on top while he scarfs down the cakilicious chocolatty goodness in front of me!

But he just hands me my sugarless tea and then grabs his fork and says, "Shall we?"  But then I realized that the chocolate cake was closer to him, and it totally appeared to me at the time that he was going to for it.  So, unable to control myself when faced with sugarless tepid tea and a stupid cinnamon roll, I grabbed my fork like I was in some kinda gansta gunfight, and then made an awkward lunge toward the cake.

I honestly think I might have freaked him out a little. 

He goes, "Please.  You like chocolate?  Help yourself."  (I totally swear I heard sarcasm) So then I said, "Oh no, I don't care. I like both the same " (WTF?!  WHAT KIND OF STUPID LIE IS THAT!?  Seriously! Now I'm starting to get pissed at myself!  What the hell is wrong with me?)

So, then he says, "Why don't we just put them both on the same plate and we will share. ... and it will be the start of sharing between our countries."

February 28, 2009, at 11:22 am; the official time diplomatic relations were severed. 

I think I have already articulated my feelings about sharing.  I DO NOT SHARE!  What part of that is not clear?

So then I'm torn between how to respond diplomatically to yet another touchy foreign relations situation.  -- I mean, do I throw the cinnamon roll at him and storm out of there in a huff? Or do I just take huge bites of the cake (as if I were back on the "healthy living" plan that I was on (back in the day) when I decided that I was going to allow myself to have dessert, but I would limit myself to three bites of it, and then I pretty much figured out how to eat an entire piece of cake in three bites.)??   I mean, my options were pretty limited at this point and the fate of US-Sudanese relations were resting in my hands!

I KNOW!  How exciting is this story!?!?

So then I take a bite of the cake - and it ROCKS.  So, emboldened now, I take a bite of the Cinnamon Roll and HOLY MOTHER OF GOD, that might be CINNABON!  Obviously, I now suspect that Sudanese Government is working on a secret Cheesecake Factory Program with a Cinnabon research institute. I mean, there are a lot of indications here.

And then I hear this noise in the background, and I realize that he is actually talking to me and may have been talking to me the whole time while I was trying to determine whether the stuff really was that good, or whether I just too far removed from the real thing - like you know how that sugar free jello pudding is really yummy unless and until you taste the sugared up jello pudding? just like that....

So then I wonder for a minute if he might have said something that maybe I should have paid attention to, like, "We intend to go to war with America and I want you to know why."  Or, "I showed the terrorists where you live, they said they'll be there Tuesday."  But then I figured that if it was important enough, he'd tell me again.

So then, he puts down his fork and sits back on the couch to continue his discussion and I totally had free reign of the desserts.  And like some kind of tourettes victim, I blurted out, "HA! I totally get the frosting! SUCKAH"

True story.  I shit you not (on this one).

And he was silent... and he stared at me... and I think his mouth might have been hanging open....

And he said totally deadpan, "Typical American!  Taking the best part and leaving Sudan with the dry leftovers."

So then I was silent... and stared at him... and my mouth might have been hanging open... 

And then he laughed.  And then I told him that he scared me because I was never good at cake metaphors!  And we both congratulated ourselves our on ability to solve tense situations with our dessertey wisdom.

And then he tells me that he has always loved American cakes since he went to school in the States. SO naturally, he's my new BFF (Sorry Liz, but this man speaks "Cake" fluently.)  Plus, we also agreed that words like committmmenntt and itinerariarary were too hard to try to spell, so we would just try use smaller, easier words -- So I learned something very valuable today being overseas, living in a different culture: NOBODY can spell that shit! It's not just me.

Spell Check -- making government employees all over the world appear smarter since 1996.

Monday, October 26, 2009

I Really Hope There Isn't Some Kinda Test Where They Review Your Ipod Tunes Library and Then Judge You Because I Just Realized I'm a Freak.

Okay, before I begin, I totally cannot seem to grasp the rules of Capitalization in Titles.  (See?? I capped it like I think it should be done, and when it is all short and shit, it's pretty easy - but what if there was a "then" in that, or a "you"?? Do those get capitalized??  WTF grammar police!?  Where are you when I need you?)  PLUS, titles are hard.  You totally gotta try to be all creative and make some pithy reference that makes sense for what you're going to talk about - and that means you have to know what you're going to talk about - It's frankly exhausting.  AND, as you all probably know by now, I'm waaay too lazy to look that shit up and read through to the end - Therefore, I'm just going to capitalize random words and call it a day.  And I will likely also continue my love affair with run-on sentences too.  Deal with it. 

Soooo, last night I'm driving home after working really late at the stupid embassy and I had a little wee bit o' road rage.  Turns out, I should probably get a driver to take me home when I'm really tired and crabby.  (For future reference and the state of relations between the US and Sudan, someone write that down).  ANYWAY, in Sudan they don't actually obey any traffic laws and there is no courtesy driven social contract.  These people just effin go, and they drive on whatever side of the road they feel is most convenient. I get that.  I usually just take advantage of that and do whatever the hell I want.  In truth, I was kinda enjoying having no speed limit, obeying traffic lights if you feel the mood coming on - but last night...i'd had enough. 

So I'm turning left onto some road whose name can never be known because Sudan has not decided on a name for its streets yet.  Everyone calls it whatever the hell they feel like.  So for your reference, it was the road just past the burned out donkey carcass and just before the large pile of tires near the airport....(are you with me?) SO anyway, I make a run for it when there is a break in traffic and there is a little amjat (which is like a little wee van-bus) that decides HE wants to turn left and goes out onto the side of the road that I am trying to turn.  SO THEN that guy gets PISSED AT ME because apparently, I didn't get the memo that he has the effin right of way because he is in a hurry.

So he starts yelling out the window and waving his arm at me.  he's all fired up.

So what did I do??  I stopped the car in the middle of the street.  I had to GET OUT because the windows do not roll down in my stupid armored car, which is very frustrating, fyi - and I screamed at him, asking what the hell is his problem, and would he like to explain to me why the hell he thinks he should be allowed to turn from MY SIDE of the road.   And I pretty much created a scene.  However, that guy didn't speak english, so he just stared at me like I was "mashnuna" (crazy lady) and then he got pulled over by the traffic cop. 

I think I scared the shit out of him. He totally didn't see that one coming.

ANYWAY, my point is that when I headed back to my car, I realized that I had Miley Cyrus' new song that OH MY GODDESS made me listen to and then got me hooked, so it is not my fault. She's a pusher --  blaring out of the Ipod over the car stereo and it was pretty loud. 

So I would like to apologize to America for giving the Sudanese population that the American people are all a bunch of teen aged girls.

Nobody could have known.   It was unknowable.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Dear GSO,

It has come to my attention that you have "fixed" the dryer in my residence.  I sincerely appreciate your assistance in this regard, however, I would like to note that my dryer was not broken.  Rather, it was the washing machine.  As I specified in the work order I submitted approximately 3 weeks ago, wherein I included the technical description of the problem that the middle thingey is not spinning in the spin cycle.  I guess I should also clarify that the miggle thingey is also not spinning during the wash cycle.  As a result, the clothes do not actually wash so much as soak up water and make laundry soap crystals on the clothing. 

I would also like to bring to your attention that my dryer no longer works after you fixed it.  Although I fully admit I am not a qualified washer/dryer repairman, perhaps the dryer did not need a middle thingey to be fixed?  But this is just a guess on my part. 

In addition, I would like to just raise a few more issues for you to consider when you finally do come to my residence to repair both the washer and the dryer:

*  When I commented that the AC in the bedroom does not cool the upstairs, I was not asking you to send someone over to turn down the main thermostat to 42 degrees farenheit in order to cool the bedroom.  Granted, the bedroom was markedly cooler; however, there were snow flurries in the living room.  Perhaps we could come to a better solution?

* When I asked someone to check out the AC splitpack unit in the kitchen because I thought there was a bird or something equally scary running around inside it, I did not mean for you to simply plug up the hole on the outside.  What I wanted, and perhaps I should have been more clear, was for you to remove said animal from INSIDE the unit and THEN plug up the hole.  Please return soonest to remove the AC Monster (because God only knows what part of Africa got in there when we weren't looking) before it DIES in there and I demand a new house because this one will be too yucky to live in anymore.

* My request for storage for towels and soaps has been filled.   However, for your future reference, pretty much nobody puts a dresser in a bathroom these days.  Perhaps you should consider other storage options? I hear IKEA has some nifty options that can be easily assembled by someone who is not me.

Once again, I appreciate your continued assistance in this regard and look forward to your new and half-assed solutions to my housing needs.

Best regards,


Saturday, October 24, 2009

After All the Posts About How Sudan Sucks, Here is One About Why it Doesn't....

So I thought I would post a post with good news for a change.  One where I was NOT ranting and raving about some unspeakable outrage perpetrated against me by someone.  I KNOW, right?!?  Exciting change of pace for me!

But then I was blocked from Blogger for the last three days.  I would try to go to my homepage and it would give me this big error message I assume was about why it didn't want me to write a nice post for you guys, but it was all in Arabic except for the words "Blogger Help Group", but then I wasn't going to go join some 12 step blogging program and have them ask me to stand up in front of the crowd and explain my problem, "Hi.  I'm Michel.  I'm unable to log onto blogger for some reason that can never be known because it is all in Arabic and I can't read Arabic, well, technically I can read the letters and the numbers, but I don't know what they MEAN unless it says some sort of greeting or is calling me a crazy lady (Which I don't think it was, but I gotta admit I didn't look that closely to really check b/c that is a LOTTA work)" and then have some jackass ask me why I didn't ask someone at the Embassy who does speak arabic (your neighbor perhaps, who speaks it fluently) translate it for me - because then I would have to go into the whole why I'm so lazy thing and that tends to take FOREVER and then people are not so willing to help me when they know that most of my problem is simply because I was too lazy to do anything and had decided to just wait it out because I was sure that eventually, our blogging standoff would come to an end.  (Someone check! That might have been the biggest run-on sentence EVER!)  

But I was right.  I ignored it and my blogging embargo was ended. 

SO, I'm here to tell you some good news (following a small rant that was none of my doing). . . I found ALL the babies homes.  It is amazing what one bawl-baby diplomat can accomplish.  I should actually think about using this skill in my official meetings.  The Sudanese will be so uncomfortable that I am crying in their office that they might actually sign all the peace agreements just to get me to leave!  Admit it!! It's BRILLIANT!!!   (Seriously, I'm going to try it - I managed to get one man to take all 3 dingos so they wouldn't be alone!!!   You know what they say, "If it ain't broke! Don't fix it!" )

So this morning I went out to say goodbye to the babies (which I have been doing for the last 3 days, frankly because I cannot seem to tell when the people say they are coming to pick them up, and I don't want to be caught off guard and not have snuggled them before they left me) and little Stinky's eyes have opened.  Both he and Squeaker are now able to kinda walk - although they keep falling over because their bellies are so big that I think it unbalances them.  They honestly might be the fattest babies in all of Sudan.  The guards seem to think they are amazingly big....So here are your last pics of the babies!


 Stinky, eating (again) -- He totally takes after me!

Although you can't really tell, Squeaker (the all brown one) is totally complaining and that little guy is LOUD!  (He was pissed that Stinky was touchin' him) . . . He also totally takes after me because I don't like people bothering me when I'm trying to nap either!

So, goodbye sweet Pippy, Riley and Jinglebells....Goodbye sweet Stinky and Squeaker....Goodbye Smelly Pirate Whore Mommy Dog! I think I may miss you most of all!!