Monday, August 31, 2009

Get Off My Back Hotmail!!!

Why the hell is hotmail harassing me? Sending me notes about how I might want to "connect" with someone who once sent me an email or some other random people I have never even met! And then sending me updates when someone changes their profile??

No, Hotmail!! I do not want to join their network!

Plus, I kinda don't trust their ability to make sound email networking decisions. I keep getting emails telling me I can totally become a medical billing specialist. Seriously hotmail?? I barely pay my own bills. Why on earth would you think that I can become a bill specialist?? I scoff at your HR department Hotmail! And, for the record, I really don't care what new features there are. I'm there to send my parents and email or maybe track the status of my order! THAT'S IT! So BACK OFF!

However, things are looking up in Khartoum!! I got into my car this evening to drive home and the mail fairy came!! At first I was all annoyed because I ordered a new-fangled phone (you know, the one with the keyboard so I don't have to hit the stupid number keys like I'm living in 1937 -- "this is KL5772, can you connect me to Mrs. Kravitz?") and they sent me the accessories FIRST. So now I have to wait until the mail fairy comes again here - which God only knows when that will be -- and HOPE and pray I get my phone!

But that sounds bad right? NO! there was ANOTHER box - not associated with the stupid box of phone plugger-iners - This box was from my Mother in Law. She sent me a box of LITTLE DEBBIES -- and something for Josh, but I pretty much just threw that aside when I spotted the tell-tale braids underneath it! (whatever Josh! I'm sure it will be somewhere when you get here. Don't count on the Little Debbies though.)

The woman is a SAINT! Thank you other mom!!! You ROCK! (Seriously you guys, best MIL ever....EVER!!!)

Suspecting a potential threat from desparate Ramadan fasters, I immediately took one out and the promptly hid the others in the freezer (where I found another lone swiss roll I forgot I had previously hidden when I was hoarding snack cakes -- however, that was frozen and I didn't have that kind of thawing time available to me).

Would you guys do me a favor? Next time I start ranting and lamenting my lack of access to snack cakes -- remind me I have hidden them, would you?

I think we can all agree that would be best for all involved....

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Have You Ever Just Really Disliked Someone??

This rant has been a long time coming. I have tried. I really did...and when I say "tried" I mean, I thought about it at least 3 times and tried to talk myself into being reasonable....however, to no avail. Therefore, I feel like I really, really have to get this out:

I cannot stand one of the new arrivals here in Khartoum.

I've done my best to pretend to be nice, to hide my looks of horror whenever I encounter this person. However, it simply can't be done. Newbie drives me bat shit crazy!

This person is inappropriately over-confident. Now granted, I adore being the center of attention - always have. However, I have NEVER (in my entire life) walked into a room full of people I have never met and announced that I was going to throw myself a "Welcome to Khartoum Party" and everyone was invited. When greeted with shocked silence because, ummm...WHO ARE THE HELL ARE YOU? - newbie follows up the announcement with - I live very near to Michel and Anna. They'll bring the booze and dishes since I don't have anything.

I'm sorry, WHAT?

WTF!? Besides the really serial killer stalker-like access to inappropriate information, such as "How the hell did you know where we live and what our names are??" -- besides THAT -- I do not go to parties of people I do not know unless forced to do so by my duties as a representative of the USG - I am CERTAINLY NOT going to socialize with someone I have never actually met, has some kinda f'd up unprouncable name (worse than mine), and is someone whom I have instantly taken a dislike to (this unfortunately, is not rare for me though...)! THEREFORE, I will not provide you with the glassware to host this unsanctioned event. If you want to capitalize on Anna's (not mine so much, I think everyone universally hates me here) popularity at the Embassy - you're going to have to pay for it. Much like Paris Hilton, Anna's parties are always a hit. As such, I've since taken it upon myself to be her manager. And listen up NEWBIE, you can't afford it. For you, I have just raised the rates.

The other weekend Newbie walks into a dinner party (to which they were not actually invited) - a somewhat somber event - and announces that they were having a karaoke party at their house - and we could all come over and join them. Again, greeted with shocked silence...this person just helps themselves to a glass of wine and then leaves.


Oh, it's not over! THEN, Newbie proceeds to send people from their residence over to where we are and they too help themselves to wine or drinks (because this person does not have any) and then (in shame, because they know this is just f'n wrong) they run back over to the newbie's residence!

PLUS, this person is eff'n WIERD! Granted, you get all kinds in the foreign service -- believe me, I've met most of them. However, I honestly think there is something wrong here. It's almost if this person is trying too hard -- calls themselves "eccentric."

Newflash newbie: Rich people can label themselves eccentric -- poor people on a government salary are just effin crazy.

And you want to know the worst part?? The WORST part is that this morning, as I walked out of my house to go to my car - one of the local workers stopped me and said, "Oh, did you move to a new house?"


"Oh! I thought you were the newbie."


Sudan just keeps getting better and better!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

I'd Like to Give a Big God Bless or Shout Out, Depending on your Company's Mission Statement

I care not. I would just like to acknowledge the following products for making my life just a little bits better on a daily basis:

GOD BLESS the makers of Velveeta -- I don't know how on earth you conned science into making you a cheese food product that can withstand melting in 140 degree heat (Fahrenheit because how the HELL do you convert Fahrenheit to Celsius anyway??? it's a number that can never be known!!) and sitting in a Sudanese customs department just waiting, patiently....and then REFORMING itself into your cheesefood upon refrigeration....creating a totally yummy cheese-like product that makes the best damn grilled cheese sandwich this side of the Mississippi (and/or Atlantic, whichever is more appropriate)!

I heart you Velveeta!! May you continue to clog my arteries for all my days!!!

GOD BLESS Little Debbie: Although I feel as though I hardly knew ye, I know that one day - when I can con net grocer into working with me again, we will meet again. Your swiss rolls are an inspiration to peace negotiators world wide - Lord knows I would totally agree to whatever country rolled out a plan with a side of Swiss Rolls - I'm IN! PLUS, did you know she made those moon pie things?? She's a visionary. I'm honestly not sure why she has not been given some sort of acknowledgment for her tasty treats. It's an outrage, frankly.

I heart you Little Debbie!! I would give you a visa without filling out an application!

GOD BLESS the Swiss Miss - do you have any idea how wonderful a glass of hot chocolate is when you're looking out on day 3 of torrential downpour in Sudan, knowing that you then have to try to drive to the Embassy through what could rival Lake Huron on the Streets of Khartoum? Why the hell do we not drive those duck boats again? Those are always fun...I could make a lotta friends (and some extra cash for little debbies's frankly) if I had a duck boat and could pick up stranded Sudanese.

I heart you Swiss Miss. You need not explain any banking transactions post WWII to me!

GOD BLESS Hit 40 for sending me movies to watch during Ramadan. Sweet Home Alabama has never been so good!! God, I hate Ramadan. IS that wrong? I'm F'n hungry...and I swear our mail is not coming in these days - although someone mentioned that you have to actually order something in order to get mail, but I'm not really buying his theory. We'll see..


GOD BLESS for giving me something to do on the "weekend" in Khartoum when we are stranded by lack of drainage on the roads and Ramadan! I look forward to my comments - Oh, I'll admit it -- I'm a comment HO. It's what keeps me going!!!

I'm sure there are "other" things to be thankful for....however, they should probably make themselves known to me if they want a shout out via the blog! I'm just trying to acknowledge those that were there in my time of need....I'm not running for Jesus!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Embracing the Culture...

Since I am currently running on max 4 hours of sleep per night and have been invited to a LOT more social functions here in country since Ramadan started, I gotta tell you. I think there might be something wrong with me. I can't seem to stop fighting my surroundings and refuse to embrace the culture.

This is not new for me. I never have been able to do so. I refuse to wear the local garb, I can't seem to get the hang out of eating with my hands and using a Kleenex for a napkin. I'm starting to believe that this is frankly never gonna happen. And you know what? I kinda don't want it to happen!

The other night we were at a dinner and I was chatting with a German lady who is living here in Khartoum. She was wearing a scarf for her head and her hands and feet were covered in Henna. She lectured me for about 3 hours on the history of Henna, its meaning culturally here in Sudan and how long it takes to have it applied (we're talking DAYS if you do it the old way - which she obviously did). It was interesting for about 30 seconds. Then I just wanted out.

The whole time I'm talking to her, all I could think about was that she totally reminded me of those college girls who go to the Caribbean for spring break and come back with the braids. Newsflash: that hairstyle is not meant for white girls' hair. And guess what German Lady: You look like you just went to the Caribbean. Henna, that scarf and your shoes do not look right on you -- you can't pull it off. I don't care how much history you spout about your attire. You look ridiculous!

Now granted, I have seen women who have a natural style who can pull off different looks because they seem at home in them. However, for the most part, you're going to look like you're dressed up for Halloween if you do that. Write that down. Don't make me mock you in person.

I'm not sure what it is about the local garb that does not translate to westerners. The Sudanese look very elegant in their clothes. Their scarves stay on their head. When I was in Pakistan, I totally tried to be culturally sensitive (for about 40 minutes), but I could not, for the life of me, keep that scarf up on my head. It just kept slipping off my head!! I tried bobby pins, wrapping it really tight (Saudi Style) == NOTHING.

Obviously, there is some sort of secret ingredient that the locals won't divulge to westerners. However, I'm just not interested enough to try to find it out.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The One with the Angry Mob Lament....

Before I begin, I probably should report that the sun did come out today. The great lakes will probably dry up tomorrow, and I will likely return to my regularly scheduled bitching about how hot and dusty it is in Sudan by Saturday.

Ramadan will probably kill me. Forecasters predict about a 92% chance of death.

I keep getting invited to go to these dinners and social events for Ramadan (no, I'm not sure why either. I have been pretty open about my hatred of people in general. It's a mystery to me too) and they don't end until like 0300 in the morning! And before you start thinking, "oh cool! She partied all night" let me caveat my statement: there is no alcohol. Seriously. Someone kill me now. Not only did I have to stay up waaay past my bedtime, I STILL had to get up and go into the Embassy at the regular time.

It's totally not fair that the Sudanese simply get to turn their schedule around - like they went to DC - they're on your time now - but I am forced to fast because everyone closes their shops during the day (as they're all asleep and I'm too lazy to pack a lunch) and then have to stay up all night and eat dinner AFTER 9 pm (which we all know is a diet abomination) and then get up and pretend to work for 8 hours. It's a damn outrage! This cannot stand! We need to let the Sudanese fake-fasters know how we feel!


Damnitt! It's really difficult to get an angry mob all fired up if you're sitting by yourself in your house while you guys are all at work!

Which reminds me. I'm really starting to think that we Americans might be culturally flawed. Seriously. When was the last time you tried to start up an angry mob?? You can never get anyone to join you without some busybody demanding an explanation WHY we would want them to riot in the streets or someone pointing out some sort of logistical issue (i.e, if we do that, the po po will bust a cap in our asses).

That's not how an angry mob works people!

In many ways similar to the beginnings of a Congo Line at a wedding after everyone has visited the open bar for a period of no less than 42 minutes and the band starts playing 80s music, an angry mob needs to be able to grow as it moves....with people hopping on board even though they don't know why or where the mob is going with this song..they just need to accept it is 80s music and, therefore, they need to be a part of it.

Is this too much to ask??

Other wise, things are good. For those of you who want to know how I did on Jane's contest (whom I suspect are just trying to lord it over me that they know the answers and I do not) I decided to be the better person. To let someone more deserving than I win. It's Ramadan you know. In the spirit of kindness and compassion, I took myself out of the running.

Plus, that shit was hard. I couldn't even find the quote that came from my own damn blog, let alone the others.


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Okay, I'm Done Now....

Dear God, please make it stop!!!

I'm not sure What Sudan did you piss you off so badly (I'm almost positive it was not me)....

But I think they got it now. Time to stop the rain.

I'm thinking they have also learned a valuable lesson about the importance of "drainage" too now.

However, it is now time to stop with the smoting. Apparently, my car creates a rather large wake as I drive through the streets and the 'Fugees seem to be getting a tad bit annoyed. Khartoum is apparently a "no-wake" zone.

There should have been a sign.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Did Anyone Read that One Part of the Bible??? You Know....that one part....

Okay, so remember how I mocked Sudan's rainy season - with my sarcastic comments about how the rainy season lasted one day per year?? Remember that??

I'm just wondering...because I'm not sure we're going to make it... Does anyone remember reading that part in the bible where they went over how to build an Ark? I'm guessing we're going to need one because it just started to rain again - must be global warming! Extended our rainy season to TWO days.

On the plus side, these 'Fugees now have water front property. I'm guessing they can sell for a tidy little profit.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Time That the Lights Went Out in Khartoum

Yes, it is officially that time again . The time of the year I dread every time I PCS (i.e. move) to a Muslim country... the dreaded RAMADAN. For the next 30 days I will be forced to rummage for food, forage in the garbage piles with my stray dogs to try to find a little scrap of food that was thrown out from the previous nights Ifthar feast.

Okay, so it's not THAT bad, but still. EVERYTHING is closed during the day!! There are no restaurants to give me lunch. I'm forced to plan ahead and pack a lunch.


Naturally, I totally forgot today. So then, I decided that I would try to be culturally sensitive, to embrace the experience with the local Sudanese population and participate in the Ramadan tradition of no food, drink, smoking -- NOTHING passes your lips except prayers (for food in my case) until the sun goes down and the mosque announces that it is chow time.

Ramadan ended for me at about 2:00 today when I found a can of soup that I had packed previously and then decided it was too yucky to eat because it was both low-sodium and organic. *barf*

I totally suck at cultural sensitivity. I'm not really sure why I even try anymore.

PLUS, I would like to publicly post Exhibit A for you - the contents of some hate mail I received from Blognut. Clearly, she wants to win the contest at Gaston Studios so badly, she is resorting to sending me letters with the threatening words "For You" underneath... I think we all know what that means.


Jane, please note this unsportsmanlike activity when choosing a winner. I also suspect that blognut called paypal and told them not to let me use their services because amazingly enough, when I tried to use (because I suddenly really wanted a snack for some reason), they told me I was currently under sanctions and, therefore, could NOT use their services.

When will governments understand that sanctions only hurt the innocent diplomats assigned to foreign countries?!?!

Obviously, Ramadan has already started making me cranky. You guys might want to prepare yourselves. We've got another 29 days to go.

I'm just saying. Would it kill you guys to send me a damn snack?!?!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Oh Canada, You Never Should Have Left....

So last night, we all went to the "pickwick" (which is British, for happy hour apparently) at the UK Embassy. Someone asked one of the British people what the hell a "pickwick" was, and he gave an explanation, but it was some sort of historical explanation and I was all worried that I was going to run out of gin and tonic -- and I believe I have already mentioned that tonic is very rare in Khartoum, so I was really focused on how I could either (a) run to the bar really quickly and stock up on my drink; and/or (b) con someone else into running to the bar to stock up on my drink -- so I missed it. Therefore, I can only assume it means something from Harry Potter that equals a large group of drunk people standing around a swimming pool.

Anyway, while I was there I noticed something. British people's accent makes them much more attractive. However, I feel I must caveat this statement, chicks only dig the PROPER british accent like the one from Love, Actually -- not the one from Oliver Twist or My Fair Lady before Mr. Higgins got ahold of her -- you know, that one. And, I'm really sorry to say this, I'm not so sure it transfers to Scotland. EVEN THOUGH you guys are part of the UK, I'm not really sure it works -- but it MIGHT, if you could speak in a way that others could understand. (which is somewhat rare).

However, the Irish accent....Never transfers. Just makes me giggle and blurt out, "They're always after me Lucky Charms" every time I hear it (I suspect I have some version of tourettes that is triggered by the Irish and Pirates.) I simply cannot stop myself.

Now before you guys get all offended and up on your high horses, remember this: I'm AMERICAN. We're rude and offensive. It is our way. You have to learn to tolerate cultural differences (like I have).

So anyway, my point is - Canada, you totally f'd that one up! You never should have left. (We HAD to go, we threw all our tea into the harbor and then stormed off in a huff. It's just waay too awkward to try to request our accent back at this point. )

What's that all Aboot?

(Seriously you guys, I LOVE mocking Canada! However, before you start feeling sorry for them, they've totally got it coming. They known what they did.)

The rest of the night was fun (I think) although I did notice that there were a bunch what appeared to be hookers at the happy hour and then was like, "WTF!? They have hookers in Sudan? SERIOUSLY?"

Turns out they were just aid-workers. Also turns out, they do not like to be called hookers. However, its just like my mother always used to say: If you don't want to be called a hooker, don't dress like a hooker!

Honestly, it's a good rule of thumb. You should all write that down.

Friday, August 21, 2009

It's Like I Went to a Med Spa and got Botox AND Lipo

So did you all notice the new look?! I'm totally hip, hot, now wow. I totally did it all by myself. I had no help at all. I drew up a sketch and then had a little back and forth with the people in my head about what I wanted -- and you know, they were just sticklers that they wanted "thinner than in real life..." You know, BETTER.

So then I just did some computer graphic design, typed in my .htplmnop and then added it....ummm...then I redid the .blt (hold the lettuce because sometimes it just tastes like dirt) and then ...I .... ummm...

Well Shit! I can't pull this lie off. I don't know the lingo, I can't do math and/or draw. (so pretty much the arts and the sciences are out for me.) So what I did, is I had NapWarden do it! ha ha!

So what you have here is this: my skill set is conning the right people with the right talents to do my work FOR me. 'Tis a gift. You should see if you could pick yourself up some of those.

Anyway, if you like it and you think you might want to try to be as cool as me (AS IF!) then give her a call. I'm not even really sure if she is taking new clients. I mean, I had to get 15 references to get through to her people and then they figured out exactly who I think I am and then -- viola. New look.

Okay, I think you just kinda send her an email or click on the link on the blog. Either way - my way sounds more trendy. Yours is just lame.


Thursday, August 20, 2009

Dear God, It's Me Michel.....Again....

Ummm.....I'm really SORRY that I totally lied to everyone in order to hog the prize at Gaston Studios. My only defense is that I FINALLY started to feel good again and I was all giddy with excitement because -- and I was thinking -- what if the prize was CAKE?! Or, what if the prize was some sort of other non-life-threatening or poisoning-you food? I mean seriously? How cool would that be??

And then, I guess I just went a little bit crazy and I might have mislead a few people....again.

I am also sorry that I promised that I would be good if you stopped smoting me for the last thing I did -- I really don't think we need to go into that here. I mean, we've been over that. I said I was sorry! And I still contend that nobody could have known that guy's was allergic to dirt and would have to go home. I kinda think he was faking it.

Seriously. Why the hell would you COME to Sudan!??!?! And, it wasn't just me....everyone kinda thought it was funny -- I was going with the whole Sudan-dirt piles cropping up theme. Besides, I really think he was overreacting to a small -- okay, somewhat large - dirt pile placed lovingly in the middle of his desk. I mean, I worked really hard to tote that bucket up the Embassy stairs (that elevator still continues to catch on fire. Were you going to send someone to fix that? Oh, sorry. I meant to call GSO about that, not you. I'm sure you're busy.) ANYWAY, who knew a bucket of dirt could be so heavy.

Okay, yes, now that you bring it up, I am also sorry I lied to the Sudanese worker when I told him that we needed that dirt on an emergency basis and that President Obama asked me to specifically ask him to carry it upstairs. However, you gotta admit...who the hell would fall for that? It's culling the herd, frankly.

I think I speak for everyone when I say, God, that I am sorry and I will not play dirty tricks to win a contest again. Unless the prize is really important -- I mean. No! I will not do so again (because that is bad. I get that now).

I will also apologize to Blognut. (*fingers crossed*)

Oh, you can see that....nevermind.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

I'm So Sorry, But It's Been Cancelled Due to Unforeseen Events

To: Everyone

From: Jane via Michel

Subject: Gaston Studios Regrets to Inform You...

I know how you all have been really excited about Jane at Gaston Studios' 100 post giveaway thingie...where you answer some questions (that totally would have been too hard for you guys to answer anyway) and then potentially win some really big prize that you wouldn't even really want unless you were living in Sudan. Well, I have some really bad news (and Jane was too sad to tell you guys, so she asked me to send out a memo.)

The contest has been cancelled.

I know, I know, she was supposed to do the "big reveal" on Monday the 24th, but she told me that she decided not to do it because you guys were all big losers anyway and I would have won no matter what. After that, it just really seemed cruel to do to you all and also (frankly) too much effort to go through the whole 100th post thing.

Naturally, (because I'm saintly) I protested that even though I was a follower of hers back in the day - when she had barely 30 followers - that perhaps it was not fair to cancel it like this, and that others should maybe still deserve a chance to win - even though the questions would be waaaay too hard.

But I simply couldn't budge her.

If you knew Jane (like obviously I know Jane) you would know that she is stubborn and gets drunk and falls down and knocks her teeth out in bathrooms. Believe me, I'm really close friends with toilet brush and rug who were none too pleased to have her laying in there just spewing teeth around like she lived there. *awkward*

Anyway, I'm really sorry Blognut. I do know that this contest was important to you and that you were really looking forward to winning something. It really is such a shame.

However, because I'm such a true friend to you - and because (as I mentioned before) I've been called "selfless" and "such a dear girl, so sweet to others in their time of need" (No really, someone said that once. It was not actually about ME, but still. They said it when I was around!) I have decided to pass on this award that I was recently given by Mad Aunt Bernard and she writes Tortoise poetry (no, I'm not sure why, but it is funny - but if it is not supposed to be - that's probably because I never did "get" poetry!) Anyway, she's British, and I kinda can't understand what she is saying most of the time, but I'm sure it was complimentary!!

Anyway, I don't actually remember the rules - something about passing it on to others (chaa! As if!) and then linking back to who gave it to you - but I mean who can really be sure where, I we have to really check to see if she REALLY gave it to me?? I am almost positive she would have wanted me to have it..... Are we really still at that stage where we need to confirm the information that I tell you??

Can't we all just get along???

Anyway, in order to help you in this time for grief for you Blognut, I hereby bequeath you the below award. I hope it will help you get over your loss of the major giveaway - that was cancelled.

My God I really am SUCH a good person. It's amazing sometimes isn't it? I often wonder how it is that I didn't end up working in some peace corps type position. But then I remember that I don't like nature to touch me or to actually have to talk directly TO people.

It's better this way.

So once again, don't even bother going to visit Jane's blog on Monday the 24th. There is no need. Sure, it may LOOK like she posted something, but it's just her 100th post - no need to even read it. I'll let you know immediately should she change her mind.

Best regards,

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

I've Had a Lotta Time on My Hands

So today I had a lotta time on my hands - well, after I woke up at almost 2pm that is...a LOT of time - because I don't have any TV here in Sudan. You have no idea how bad it sucks to be sick and not be able to watch TV. (Plus, I'd like to send out a big F U to and and all you other "watch our tv episodes".com's who discriminate against me because I have a sudanese IP address. SCREW YOU! Who wanted to watch your stupid TV anyway. SNIFF SNIFF) No matter that I think the TV part is the part that heals you quicker. I'll just linger here in Sudan doing online research about stuff.

What could possibly go wrong?

So in my copious reserach, I came across this little tidbit that I was not aware of previously: APPARENTLY, I was supposed to have been checking inside my shoes before I put them on because SCORPIONS may have crawled inside them when I wasn't looking.

WTF?? Scorpions?! Those are just really big spiders with KNIVES!!

Now I'm all freaked out. I can only assume that I now have a little Hilton for Scorpions going on inside my closet because I have never checked! NOT. ONE. SINGLE. TIME.

Although, to be fair, most of the shoes I wear here are open toed -- and believe me, I had a really big internal (and external with Anna and Christina) debate here about whether or not I should actually be wearing open toed shoes. You know how Sudan has that damn worm that lives in the dirt and it gets into you if you're barefoot -- and open toed is pretty much bare footed here in Khartoum because the dirt is all over.

But then Christina rightly pointed out that if you wear enclosed toe shoes here then the dirt just fills up your shoe and can't get out! And then, you probably have even more chance of that worm getting you because at least with the open toe the dirt can fly right out again as you walk.

We went with the flying dirt out of the toe safety option. And frankly....who wouldn't!?!?!

So I then decided that maybe, just maybe I am not cut out to live in the third world. That maybe, this might not be for me. So I chatted with Liz on skype to discuss my options.

Michel: I think we may need to think about other options for us
Michel: i.e open a dog spa??
Liz: um....i don't know how to break this to you....but I'm not the crazy dog lover that you are
Michel: what?!?!?
Liz: we won't make any money because you'll be all loving on the dogs
Liz: not getting the grooming done
Michel: ewwee. no. I don't groom
Michel: I'm mangement
Liz:'re not so into being broke
Michel: damnitt liz. why must you crush my dreams like this?!
Liz: I was going to caveat it: you could be po, just not broke
Liz: I can totally see you in a housecoat fixin' tuna casserole
Liz: with those nasty house slippers
Michel: I DO love my slippers...
Michel: are there donuts?
Liz: Dooy!
Michel: Then I’m IN!
Liz: BUT, you're poor, so they have to be the kind from the 7 11
Michel: GASP
Michel: I'm not sure I like this dream
Liz: We should just go to work.

Shit. So now I have to find some non-scorpion infested shoes and go back to work.


Monday, August 17, 2009

I'm Alive....I think....

Okay, so it's day 3 - at least I think it is, What day is it? Anyway, all I know is that I never EVER want to go through that again. EVER. I am still not really on solid foods. Hell, I'm barely on apple juice at this point. Frankly, I may never eat solid foods again.

I'm just that scared.

I would, however, like to bitch out GSO once again -- publically, because I can't say it directly to their face because they'll never fix my shit if they ever found out about this blog. I mean, what are the chances that they are going to find this?!? I a few Embassy people read it, and kinda email it around, nobody really knows GSO's name per se. I pretty sure everyone else also calls them GSO guy and GSO guy's friends.

Anyway, back to my bitch! So I'm curled up in the fetal position on the bathroom floor of my house and Anna comes over to remind me that GSO has decided to remove the $*)@(%&% Asbestos from my house....That day!......the day I am home on the bathroom floor, chilling with my best friends Toilet Brush and Rug (they totally hate GSO too, they told me.)

So rather than them coming at any point during the month I was gone in the States or when I was able to walk upright without assistance around Khartoum, they decide to fix my asbestos yesterday. So I "pack" myself an overnight bag - apparently, as I found out this morning, I was only able to reach the lower dresser drawers of my stuff. Ergo I had summer cargo pants , a tank top that I pretty much use exclusively as a nightgown, and some pumps. No makeup, no comb, no toothbrush (I know, *barf*) oh yes, and my laptop and all its accessories (don't ask. I'm crazy).

I'm not sure how I made it, but I drove myself to the hotel, managed to check in (although I think the Sudanese government may arrest me for suspicion of having swine flu because I did not handle standing at the counter well!) Plus, in hindsight, I now see that the desk clerk's copious questions were probably because I looked like a homeless person trying to check in under the US Embassy account. As a rule of thumb, most embassy employees will comb their hair and stand up straight when checking into a hotel.

SO anyway, today I woke up, I was not actively dying and managed to take a few drinks of apple juice. I know you're all going to tell me to drink more water, but water and nausea have never been a good mix for me. I barely like water when normal. There is no way in hell I am going to try to play Russian Roulette with bottled Nile water.

Bottom line is that I have now realized an important fact about living in Sudan. The USG does not give us danger pay because of the terrorist threat here; we get it because of the seafood threat.

It's real, and it's at Code RED!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Be Careful What You Wish For....

OMFG! Remember how I was all telling you guys how I was wishing for some sort African wasting disease so that I could lose weight and be all svelte, but then I was really pissed off because I seemed to be immune to it and how I was lamenting that I even though I might have dranken (drunken? drink-ed?) right out of the Nile and NOTHING happened again!? Remember that?

I'm here to tell you (just barely at this point, and am actively wishing for death right now to put me out of my misery) that I was WRONG. I DO NOT want this African wasting disease, food poisoning or Glass o'Nile Gripe....I was WRONG! I should have known better than to let Africa touch me! OMFG!!

I think I have determined the source of my problem: I ate the shrimp. Now I know, previously I went on and on about how for all intents and purposes, Khartoum is pretty much landlocked - no matter that the Nile runs right through it - and then I went to visit Port Sudan and even though I could see the sea, I was still wary of eating the sea food. (I'm a stickler for preservatives you guys! I fully contend that God made them for a reason.)

However, after being here for going on five months now (wow, you'd totally thinking my bitching would have abated by now, wouldn't you! Go figure), I thought to myself, MAYBE I was overreacting a tad. Although you might not have noticed, I do tend to lean toward the dramatic and at times I can maybe make a bigger deal out of stuff than is actually needed.

I believe Paul told me that when he was talking to another guy at the Embassy, he mentioned that I was going to freak out when I heard what he had to tell me and that he would have to peel me off of the ceiling. The guy responded, "the ceiling is her favorite place in the room."

I KNOW! RUDE!! RIGHT?!?! However, he's got a point. It kinda IS my favorite place. Drama makes all my stories better. I'm like TNT - I know drama.

Anyway, last night I went to a dinner party. As I have mentioned before, dinner in Sudan starts no earlier than 10 pm and this one didn't start till like 1130!! (WTF SUDAN!) And I forgot to get a snack before I left (no, Josh, i have no idea how that happened either). Anyway, so when they finally served the food and I was filling my plate with a bunch of unidentified objects, I saw that they had a large bowl of shrimp (already peeled, which is my red line. I do not rip the carcass off of food). I talked myself into it with a "It's only an hour flight from Port Sudan. What could possibly go wrong??"

I will tell you what went wrong. I spent the whole day laying on my bed curled into a ball because if I move a shooting pain goes through my stomach - and God Help You, if you try to drink anything because it just makes it soo much worse - even though you didn't think it could even BE any worse - you realize that the previous pain was just the starter pain.

Dear GOD!

I promise you here and now I will stop trying to drink the Nile and researching where to find a non-gross tape worm. I will exercise and I will remember that being all hurtey from exercise is not even remotely as hurtey as the hurteyness from allowing Africa to touch you.

Today I have learned yet another valuable lesson. I really think, however, a simple email would do the same -- you know, send me a note, "Michel, stop being an ass and so lazy. Just get on the treadmill and drink the bottled water. Don't make me smote you."

I promise, from now on, I totally believe you!! Please, please, please let the smoting end.

Humbly yours typing with two fingers because it hurts to sit up straight,


PS I kinda want my mommy right now. Would you please send her here. My tummy hurts.

PPS Don't tell her where you are sending her, she has this thing about flying. Just tell her it is a bus.

PPPS, I'm not saying you should LIE to her, but maybe just let her sleep through the thing. I don't want her all cranky and fired up when she gets her.

PPPPS Please also let me know when her plane arrives. She would also not be pleased trying to get through customs without assistance. Sudanese customs officials are really cranky. I'm just saying, I know my mommy, it would get ugly.

Friday, August 14, 2009

It's Like Damn Crop Circles


Every time I turn around, another damn pile of dirt crops up in random places around here. As if it is not bad enough that they are remodeling the houses here (you know, installing asbestos, adding dirt piles to the rooftops so that there is always a gentle breeze of dirt billowing about you as you leave your residence, so as to ensure that your clothes will always be that attractive blend of orange-khaki indigenous to Sudan...) they are also piling their supplies all over the place.

It's like living on the set of Sanford and Son!!

The dogs have given up trying to work around them and have just decided to sleep directly on the piles. (My new ghetto babies are resourceful.)

YOU KNOW.... when I signed up for this gig as a foreign service officer, I was told that it would be glamorous, you'd get to hobknob (no Josh, that does NOT mean what you think it does) with the foreign elite, you'd be invited to the best parties and would be able to throw out baseless accusations with ease (because you know that is my thing....RIGHT?)

Oh Sudan...why must you continually shatter all my dreams?

However, just when I think I'm going to freak out and demand to go back home, I walk outside and find this.


I'm not sure why you guys continue to overreact like that...It's all good!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Dear GSO,

I am in receipt of your refusal to purchase a Blackberry for my use in Khartoum and have made note of your recommendation that I continue to utilize the Nokia that came with the purchase of my cellphone service provider.

While I understand that as a USG contracting and purchasing officer you need to appear as if you are fiscally responsible. I would also like to note, however, that there may have been a few purchases you have made here in Khartoum that could have been avoided and, if rectified, you could probably find the $300 in the budget to purchase me a phone that doesn't require that I type a damn number three times in order to get the letter I want for my texts. AND, as I noted (in my 7 page essay I attached) on the procurement request form, I do not actually like to speak directly to people, therefore, I utilize the cell phone solely for texting purposes.

Well, except for last Tuesday when I had to call you at 0700 (you were not responding to my texts that began with EMERGENCY DAMNITT!) because there was no water in my house and I needed to go to work, but was on this new diet and exercise kick so I had "worked out" and therefore, my ability to shower was a NECESSITY. And, I do apologize that I was sarcastic to you on the phone when you called me back at 0945 to tell me that my water was "fixed" and I asked you what your definition of "fixed" was because mine meant that water would come out of the faucet - not just be located in the gereral vicitiny of my residence in Khartoum. However, I still contend that it is a health hazard when the contractors turn off the electricity to the water pumps and then forget to turn them back on so we are (unknowingly) drinking and showering with stagnant Nile water that eventually empties the tanks (and you know that Anna totally drank the last glass of Nile and there was likely some sort of amoeba in there that has been there since the residence was built in 1962). Further, although I understand that the Embassy Doctor told you that he was sure we would be "fine" in response to complaints about drinking stagnant water, I still contend that none of us has actually seen his medical credentials and he didn't appear to know what I was talking about when I was demanding Adderall.

I'm just saying, perhaps someone should look into this.

Anyway, as a money saving option perhaps you should look into a few things I have noticed just on the townhome compound here:

-- you installed an unsightly fence around our pool (that you then painted baby blue in an effort to try to blend in with water, but you should note that the water does not extend 6 feet into the air above the pool. You're not fooling anybody) in order to comply with regulations that all Embassy pools have a fence for the safety of the children. Please note there are no children here at post. You guys do not allow them.

-- you apparently pay local contractors to collect large piles of dirt and place them randomly around the housing compound - usually in the driveway so as to create an obstacle course for people trying to park unwieldy armored cars - and on the roof. How much money did you pay them for the three new large piles of dirt on my rooftop?

-- you allegedly pay top dollar to the contractor for "residential upgrades." I'm just saying, you might want to go over the definition of "upgrade" - Although I realize I have my own sense of decoration for my house - uncovered wires sticking out of the ceiling (with two light fixtures on either side of the wires) is not really to my liking. It must be more of a Sudanese decorating style.

Now that I have pointed out where you could potentially save MORE than the $300 I am requesting for a blackberry and/or other phone with a full keyboard, I would like to respectfully request that you take another look at my procurement request with attached needs survey essay. I am sure that you will find that my request is within the budget.

I appreciate your anticipated cooperation in this regard. And should my request be considered favorably, I promise not to call you ever again. (I will have Anna do so).

Best regards,

Monday, August 10, 2009

An American History Lesson

Yesterday Pastor Sharon was confused, and because the American public school system failed her, she did not realize how Dolly Madison and Little Debbie were heros. So I educated her, and she asked that I post my findings in case anyone else out there was a victim of the American school system.

Comment from Pastor Sharon:

I am doing a study right now with certain people. Therefore, biographies are part of my research. Could you send me the biographies of the GREAT LEADERS Dolly Madison and Little Debbie. I simply cannot find them at the library!

Dolly Madison used to make these delicious rectangular shaped cakes that she would fill with whipped cream and frost (and run a fork down the top to make lines on the top as her "signature move") while she sewed a flag for George Washington. He liked her cakes so much that he chose her flag, even though it was pretty much a half-assed effort. (Little known fact: he had asked for stars all over the stripes too. George really liked stars. He had them put on his ceiling in his bedroom). His favorite was the raspberry coconut one. They say it's what got her the flag commission.

Little Debbie was an explorer who led Lewis and Clark on their expedition. She was also called "Pocahontas" by her friends and family. It was her Indian name, but back in the day, it's wasn't cool to be American Indian, only Indian Indian which was considered exotic and they were really good at cooking with curry, which Americans at that time didn't really understand how to cook, so their lessons were really sought after. The American Indians, on the other hand, only had pemmican, which the Americans didn't really like (pretty much like unsalted jerky powder (gag) which NOBODY could understand why a culture would not use salt, so they would try to put the American Indians in large groups on select plots of land - so as to study them. Anyway, Pocahontas ended up adopting the name Clark gave her when he met her and told her that Pocahontas is too hard to spell or say, so he told her he would call her ....Little Debbie.

She used to make the traditional native American food for travel (not the pemmican because that shit's just nasty and pretty much worthless as she brought along her tribe's other favorite travel food oatmeal cookies with whipped cream in the middle - creating the first "sandwich". Her sandwiches were used to trade with the other tribes. Along the way, they encountered a tribe of the very rare Swiss Indians, who paid for some old blankets that Lewis brought along by trading them for some rolled up chocolate cake with whipped cream and chocolate frosting that they called "Swiss Rolls." Unfortunately, in a tragic turn of events, the swiss indians mysteriously died of smallpox gathered around that blanket Lewis gave them to keep warm - which is why you never hear of them today.

Little Debbie perfected the recipes, used photoshop on her picture to give herself freckles so that nobody would assume her braids were Indian (again, racism was cool back in those days)

And then she discovered Montana.


ALSO, I just had to include this little snippet (mostly for Josh's parents because I know they will totally realize the randomness of conversations with their son! That guy is a hoot!)

Skype Transcript

Joshua: I got bit by a donkey today
he bit my boot
not very hard
but then when i walked away he was following me

Michel : shit

joshua: so then i started jogging
and he followed me faster

Michel : shit (note: I'm obviously quite eloquent)

joshua: and then i ran up the hill and he was running along behind me, and he snipped at me

Michel: no way! A donkey gone bad??

joshua: i could hear his teeth cracking! it was eff'ing scary man

Michel: creepy Bastard!

joshua: he was pissed. it was weird

Michel: ALRIGHT! What did you do to him?!?!

joshua :
i don't know. i even gave him an apple! he's used to being with people because the navy seals always feed him. they even put a reflective running belt on him so people don't run into him

Michel: Did you give him the apple before? or after he bit you??

Michel: did you pet him? maybe he expected you to stay longer? Maybe your behavior was rude to Iraqi Donkeys.

joshua: i did pet him, but the bite on the foot came while i was petting him

joshua: it was weird man

Michel: was it one of those granny smith apples?? Sometimes those are really sour and that pisses me off too!!

joshua: it was a sour apple

Michel: he was pissed. he was expecting golden delicious.
You know how if you get all excited and then you get a sour apple...that is very upsetting.

Michel: He's got a point.

joshua: i'm gonna throw stuff at him tomorrow

Some Reasons to Love Where You Are - If You're in America or Maybe Canada - Although Maybe Not Canada Because That's NOT Bacon!

I'm kinda not sure why I feel the need to consistently notify Canada that THAT IS NOT BACON....but it's probably because they keep insisting on calling it bacon, when it's kinda just thin-cut ham. I get very confused by Canada. If you insist you're no longer a British colony (although did you actually tell the people in the UK that? Do they know?? Can I bring it up??), then why is the Queen still on your money?? Why do you still ask her stuff?? I mean, sure! She has great hats and all, but still. It's confusing to Americans.

Obviously I got distracted again, but Canada has some explaining to do!

So anyway, I've been back here in Khartoum for about 6 days now and I have realized that there was a LOT of stuff that I simply took for granted when I lived in Virginia - remember when I used to say it was hot in Virginia?? haha.... good times.

Anyway, I feel like I didn't really treasure the goodness that is America when I had access to it. Therefore, I thought I would point out just a few things so that you can be thankful for what you have:

FIRST, when you're in the States, you'll likely not going to have to go to a meeting with some British people at the British Embassy who will tell you they will see you at "Half-Eight tomorrow."

HALF EIGHT?? WTF does that mean!? Listen up UK, I can barely do math when I have to do so, I certainly don't need you setting meeting times with me in story problem format!!

WTF?! Am I supposed to go there at 4?? At 7:30 pm?? At 8:30 pm? Now I'm totally going to have to show up at random times throughout the day and go, "heeeeey...???....I know you said 'half eight' but I just happened to be walking near your Embassy....oh, well, not really WALKING per se, I mean, that would be wrong because we're not really allowed to do that unless we're encased in an armored shell... so I was just...I mean...."

Next, remember how I told you guys I was on a big ole diet because I totally ate waaay too much and drank a lot of beer while I was in the States (treasuring my ability to actually ORDER a beer when you go out to a restaurant, however, as it turns out -- SOMETIMES, just because you CAN do something, doesn't necessarily mean you SHOULD do it. I'm just saying. Sometimes (like at breakfast and stuff) you shouldn't. It could happen.)

Anyway, I've been on this diet and exercise program for literally fours of days now and instead of being all skinny and happy, I'm just hungry and hurtey!! It has become apparent that exercise is not really for me. Since it was day four, I figured I was ready for the "big girl weights" in my Ogilve Home Pilates routine that I "do" in the morning before work -- I KNOW! How dedicated am I?? -- as it turns out, however, I was not.

So, as I was telling Kat today (who is forced to listen to my complaints on a daily basis at work in in Washington, and is likely to end up with a sainthood), I realized that I am being held to an unfair Standard as far as making sure you don't get so fat that your clothes no longer fit. Why? You ask??

Because! As I have pointed out previously to anyone who will listen (and when I need to justify a new clothing purchase with the hubby) there are basically two temperatures of water available in Sudan:
Scalding; and
Molten Hot Lava.

As a result, my clothes are shrinking at an astronomical rate!! I realize that nobody will believe me - ESPECIALLY when I tend to wax poetic about American heros such as Little Debbie and Dolly Madison....

THEREFORE, in order to avoid a potential humiliating experience where I end up cashing it all in and moving back in with my parents (ostensibly to take care of them) and getting myself a kitty that I swear thinks it's people, I think it would just be EASIER for all involved if science would stop messing around with cloning crap and just figure out which one is the fat gene and then come over here and suck it out of me.

Oh, and while you're here, an Africa Fly got into my office today and has been harassing me all day. He is creating a hostile work environment!!! So anyway, while you're here, please deport his ass him back to Sudan.

He doesn't have a badge.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

When Comments Go Bad....

No, I didn't say anything -- well, I probably did, but nobody has called me on it (yet). HOWEVER, the other day I received the most retarded comment EVER...and the guy did it with the no-reply button so I am forced to mock him openly in my blog. (I don't make the rules people -- okay, well maybe I do, but EVERYBODY totally knows that any comment made on this blog opens yourself up to public mockery. ESPECIALLY if you obviously did not read the post that you chose to comment on...)

You see, it's what I do...

Okay, so waaay back in the day - when I was bitching and moaning about having to diet and exercise. What? I need to be more specific? Good point. Could be any post.

On my previous post, lovingly entitled Pharmaceutical Bailout, I gave the world yet another BRILLIANT solution to the problem with my fat ass: I suggested that science get on it and instead of just sitting back and allowing Ambien to let you sleepwalk, send emails or bake, science should make it so that the side effect was that you go to the gym while you were asleep!!

SERIOUSLY! How totally cool would that be?! See!?! I'm getting all excited again! It's STILL a great idea. And frankly, its probably the only way that I would go to the gym without bitching about it to somebody.

PLUS (as another added bonus, science), I would also probably stop harassing you guys (and Liz' hubby Dan whom I kinda don't believe is a real doctor anymore because he refuses to diagnose my made up Africa diseases via Skype) as to the status of the "fat pill" that you claim to be working on so diligently - which I also no longer believe you're even trying, because you've managed to find a cure for breast and skin cancer but not this? Fat cells aren't even mutating into shit, they're just expanding (exponentially if you're me).

That's just LAZY science!

Ok, I digress. SO, this is the comment that I received from a helpful reader:

The highly popular sleep medication ambien is used for short term sleep treatment only, i.e. for 7 to 10 days and it is known that Ambien is a prescription-based drug and hence should be used only after getting hold of a doctor’s prescription. Use Ambien as per the instructions of the doctor to cure your sleep problems and bear in mind that this medicine is likely to become ineffective if used for a long term and hence the use of this drug should be strictly supervised by a physician.

WTF dude!?! Does it SOUND like I have ever used drugs responsibly? I self medicate and rely on a combination of Liz's hubby, my mother and my new pharmacist on blogger. Methinks that is NOT gonna happen.

Just wait until he finds my post where I demand to know how I can get my hands on some Adderall.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Damn Jet Lag!!

I'm not sure what I've done, but I've really turned myself around...I'm not even on Eastern Standard time either! I think I might have over-thought this whole thing and put myself on Phillipines time. WTF!?

So last night I was up until like 0425! So just try to guess what happened today!? I SLEPT ALL DAMN DAY and now it's like 8 pm and I'm wide awake. My solution: I'm going to just take 22 tylenol pms and call it a day at about 11 so that I can make it to work on time.

What could possibly go wrong??

(I'm kidding mother! No need to call the hospitals! I'll only take 9. KIDDING AGAIN!)

However, plus side? I have not eaten all day! Clearly, I'm getting all psyched up for Ramadan that starts here on a day that can never be known until you show up at work and all the locals are crabby, and then by noon WE are all crabby because we realize that all the restaurants are closed because WHY would they be open if nobody is going to be eating until it gets dark? HOWEVER, you realize that you didn't pack a lunch because WHO KNEW that Ramadan was going to be starting TODAY!? Sufficie it to say, the start of Ramadan (for Christians) is ugly.

Note to self: start hoarding food in your office. Hide it so that the others in the Embassy cannot find it. Locate secure area in which to eat your hoarded food so that you are not seen by the others who may cause an uncomfortable situation when you have to explain to them that you do not now, and never will share. It's just better to remain a closet eater (as is my norm, so it's all good).

Although, maybe I shouldn't turn my jet lag around! Maybe I should just remain on this new schedule for the whole of Ramadan. THEN, when I wake up it will be dark and I will have plenty of food options.

Now all I have to do is convince Paul to allow us to impletment and alternate work schedule to accomodate my new timezone theory.

Friday, August 7, 2009

I May Not Actually BE a Parent....

But I AM a judger.

As such, I feel like I can tell you all what you are doing wrong as parents. Why, I am just FULL of good advice - never having done it and all - but I HAVE seen a LOT of kids (too many frankly) and on my 18 hour return flight to Khartoum I realized that I should probably share it with you. Now I realize that many of you may be lamenting that I had 18 hours to think about shit. However, don't blame me...Blame United Airlines - they had a REALLY shitty selection of movies this month. SO shitty, that I ended up watching the Hannah Montana Movie and now you all are going to pay for it....

That's just how I roll.

Now, I'm sure you all will wish to thank me for this wonderful, insightful, and uplifting advice; however, please read through to the end before you start thanking me. Now, to start off - I think I should point out that there may actually be some confusion out there that should probably be cleared up first off:


Seriously, you might be the only one that thinks is important to figure this out first. Because the degree to which your kid is totally annoying will determine the degree of dirty looks you will get from me. Granted, many of them ARE cute and do some funny, funny things (most of which, only I think is funny and you think are humiliating and/or expensive, but it IS entertaining for me); however, unless you're my niece or nephew I DO NOT want your child to come up to our table at a restaurant and start what they believe to adorable chit chat. (Hint: it's not)

"YES, that IS our bread. Now get the hell away from me you snotty nose! Your boogers are making me want to vomit." (example of MY adorable chit chat in return)

WTF bad parents?!!? I'm not your babysitter!! At the very least, little Phineas' mom (PHINEAS??) owes me $9 for my breakfast because she sure didn't get up off of her ass to retrive her kid, nor, apparently, did she bother to get him a damn kleenex.

Write this down: I DO NOT WANT TO BLOW YOUR KIDS' NOSE AT THE BREAKFAST TABLE. That is really, really gross. I don't even like blowing my own nose, frankly (and I have allergies, I know what I am talking about here.) It's not that difficult of a concept: if your kid cannot sit through a meal, and you're not going to gut up off of your ass to make them sit at the table, then DO NOT BRING THEM to a restaurant.

You see, parenting is not really that difficult. Much like dog training, you should simply reward good behavior, but you STILL have to address bad behavior immediately. Petsmart has some really good books in this regard if you feel you need further clarification.

Further....(oh, I'm not done with this particular rant...not by a LONG shot) WHY does the whole family have to go with you to the grocery store?! WHY? If there are two parents - you should simply do the ole rock, paper, scissors to see who has to go to the store alone (OR, if you feel this way, who has to stay home with the kids) and ONE of you go. Now I probably would actually still mind if you brought your four kids with you to store even if they WERE well behaved (because it frankly clogs up the aisles). Therefore, it is even worse when you have kids that start to throw a temper tantrum in the store. TAKE THEM OUTSIDE.

Seriously. Nobody wants to hear that shit.

I recall one time my mother brought me to the grocery store with her. My sister and I knew that we DID NOT ask for shit in the store because that guaranteed that you would not get it. However, I think I figured it was near a birthday or holiday or something, so I went out on a limb and asked for some Cocoa Puffs or Cookie Crisp (that shit was GOOD) instead of stupid Corn Flakes (gag). My mother looked at me like I had asked her to stab the lady with the other cart (we weren't allowed sugared cereals - probably a large part of why I am now obsessed with Little Debbie and all things Hostess). She said, "NO!" and continued down the aisle toward the Corn Flakes.

"Can I get some Honey Nut Cheerios then?"
"NO! You know the rules!"

My voice had risen to a wailing whine. The lady who narrowly escaped being asked to be stabbed was staring, as was the guy stocking the Crunch Berries -- You know, I really loved that Captain Crunch! Those nautical men sure do know their cereals. Except when he brought out that peanut butter shit. WTF was that!? Gag -- ANYWAY, my mother picked up her purse, swatted me on the butt, grabbed my arm mid-whine, abandoned the cart and drove me home.

I didn't even need to ask why or what was going on because I KNEW. With the exception of the lists on the fridge every Saturday morning where my parents pretty much turned into white slavers -- I mean WHO the hell asks their kids to get a bucket of hot soapy water and wipe down the baseboards and the blinds!? WTF!? -- I had great parents. We had rules and we had to follow them. We knew what was allowed and we knew when we (well, when MEL) was breaking them. I was a saint. Mel was the one who broke all the rules. (She doesn't read this blog ... HA!)

Anyway, my point is - and I do have one - the key to child rearing is this: Do not have them. They cannot be trusted. The minute you turn your back, they're into shit.

Then they become teens and God Help you.

Well, I certainly hope this post was helpful to you. Please, just let me know if I can be of any further assistance. Best regards.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

It's Like I Never Left....

Well, I am back in Khartoum! (I know you guys -- and when I say guys, I mean Liz, Justin and Jason -- were all waiting with baited breath for me to return...or at least the people in my head told me that you were - and I kinda like to go with what they say...because they're scary!)

SO, I had a really great vacay with Josh - went to visit his family and then to Boston for a long weekend - but have been banned from blogging about the trip (like that's gonna work)....however, in sum I give you the following:

-- I ate waaay too much on my vacation! SO, I have now started a diet (again) and have vowed to exercise regularly. As such, it is not a good time to piss me off (RIGHT PAUL!?) Suffice it to say that I'm not a very friendly person right now.

-- I drank waaaay too much! We stayed at this really ritzy hotel in downtown Boston right off the commons. They had a wine happy hour for guests and we (and Minoy and Theo) attended said happy hour. (It was FREE WINE PEOPLE! I had to go! It would have been rude!) I'm not positive what happened after that, but apparently (according to Josh and Theo) Minoy and I met this man who was staying there who claimed to be a plastic surgeon (although I kinda doubt his claim because he was waaay too nerdy - totally NOT Dr. 90210) and then we hounded him for botox, lipo and adderall. Josh said that at first he thought we were all charming and witty - and then I believe it quickly digressed into two crazy stalkers demanding Rx drugs. I think the hotel might have asked us to not come back.


-- I spent waaaay too much!! When we finally returned to DC, we found out that our bank stopped our credit card because they assumed there was credit card fraud going on. When I saw the statement and realized we had spent like $300 for a stupid dinner (but boy howdy! That was really yummy!) I considered claiming it WAS fraud. BIG FAT FRAUD...but I didn't (mostly because Josh was there).

AND and our return flights were delayed so I spent many hours in airports around PEOPLE - and you all know how I feel about that - GOD I hate other people!

However, I did take this picture of the Mass State house. Now I realize that Mass is a very progressive State, the first to allow Gay marriage (yaay! -- Yes! you heard me mom and dad! I said YAAY) however, I'm not sure I can really support that they have a special entrance for this. I mean, it just seems to be a bit too much in your face! (And yes, I am immature. We've already established this long ago. No need to comment on that!)

(I suspect that guy is waiting for the hookers, but I can't prove it....)

AND a pic of the view from our hotel room - there was another view of the park on the other side, but my photo turned out to pretty much be a picture of my reflection taking a picture. I am not sure how I did that; however, the view from the room was pretty fab. Josh has good hotel taste!