Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Well Shit! I'm a Victim -- or is it Violator -- of Osha!

Okay, so I'm back...returned last week! I feel like I was on a three hour tour -- ergo, I packed for two weeks and by week SEVEN during Ramadan in Kuwait -- I was ready to poke my eyeballs out with Bamboo shoots!   Plus, let's just say...I think the entire Embassy was READY for me to leave...NOT because they would ask me daily when I was leaving -- I'm sure they were just curious -- but because I distinctly think that the lady with the brown hair the Embassy burned in Effigy at that last happy hour looked DISTINCTLY like me ...and after the week of what appeared to be voodoo barbie dolls with pins in their head left on my desk during my last week there gave me the "impression" that maybe  they were as ready for me to go as I's over.   Let's just leave it at: "Kuwait during Ramadan at the end of Summer" is a-CLOSE-ED for Michel...

HOWEVER, I'm have a little bit of trouble  adjusting to working and living in the US too! Why, you ask?? WELL, I'll tell you:

So, I'm at work..pretending to work for literally 8s of hours of a day after I get back...right? (FYI, if you're not a literature major, let me just assist you here - I'M the protagonist in this story..the VICTIM, if you will...) So I am trying to HELP others after I get back, right??

I'm from the Government: I'm here to help!!

And I realize that my office is totally not feng shui - and it is bringing down my Chee -- or maybe my cheech -- or even my chong -- so I call in Dana and ask for her "professional' advice on decorating....(She's in her 20s, ergo, an expert!) and we both come to the obvious conclusion that my furnture needs to be moved.

SOOOO, I send an email to the secretary to let them know that I think i need to move my furniture -- you know, kind of like when law offices publish notices in the paper that they're about to file a lawsuit and you better step up if you wanna be part of the team -- I'm not a TOTAL idiot....(okay, yes...yes, I am)

So I give it at least threes of days for the elves to show up and move my furniture (NOBODY shows...Apparently GSO is in charge of this shit too and have likely received my previous "DEAR GSO" letters...and, also apparently, don't share my sense of humor...WHATEVEs...that shit was funny!)   SOOO, since I'm not a prima donna and am too lazy to write yet another email to the secretary - Dana and I decide we're moving that shit on our OWN! We don't need no stupid GSO to help us!!

(those of you who have experience with Federal office buildings are likely screaming, NOOOOOOOOOOO!)

So, we start trying to move furniture. 

Turns out,  my office is furnished with some sort of fake cherrywood that needed to be screwed together.  ALSO turns out, no diplomats carry screwdrivers around with them...SO, we call the Washington version of GSO.  I say, "HI! This is Michel....(trying to lull them into a false sense of security with my cheery-ness) my secretary called you a few weeks ago to ask you to move my furniture....and well...It seems to be bolted together..  I need some sort of tool to get it apart.  It's kinda big..." (HINT HINT...get your ass up here and move this shit!!)

So this large burley -- constructioney looking man brings me a screwdriver....and then leaves.

Whatever GSO! Who needs you freaks!! How hard can it be??!?!

We couldn't get the screws undone.

So I went to get some of the guys in the office.  However, and this may shock you - so once again prepare yourselves -- State Department men are ALSO not NavySeal type guys - they're more brainey-like...(which, frankly, when you're moving furniture - NOT SO HELPFUL!!)  However, we find someone to unscrew my screws.

Because he's a smarty-pants, he points out that he doesn't think I'm allowed to move my computer by myself. So in an effort to be CORPORATE and a good federal employee (for a change) I call the computer mafia and tell them I need to move my computer and asked whether they actually NEEDED to be there.

Extended silence on the line.

"When are you planning to move your computer?"

"What? now! That's why I'm calling you?"
"NOW!?  Did you say NOW!?  WHO IS THIS?  What office are you with?? Who gave you permission!?"


"Do you think this is funny?"
"Well, kinda...."

"WHEN is this move?"

"NOW! That's why I'm calling you!! Geez! If you don't want to do it, I can totally move it.  The cord seems like it's long enough.   I have a screwdriver. Whateves...It's no biggidy?"

Extended silence.

"where are you?"

So I hang up - and bitch about how unhelpful the "help desk" is.  They really shoud change their name to the "random accusation desk!' -- SHIT !Now that I've renamed it,  I could totally run that place!!! I throw out random accusations all the time!!!!

SOO, Dana and I start moving furniture...and -- because I'm a responsible manager -- I get a plastic cup to keep all the screws from the desk in...and we turn around...

NO SHIT! There are literally no less than 17 people standing outside my office -- the ringleader is holding a clipboard!! And not just ANY random clipboard...a clipboard that has that protecitve metal know to protect their notes in the event of a fire and/or terrorist attack - his form I-407 is safe!!!

So the ringleader tells me he is from "facilities" and starts to lecture me on OSHA regulations and how I cannot possibly move my desk around because it would block the exit of the doorway for a disabled person.

Naturally, (because I'm an ass and can't control myself) I say: "that's okay, I don't hire disabled people here! they clog the exits in the event of a fire" 


and he starts writing in his magic clipboard...

 So now I'm scared...because SHIT! I don't have any PLI because who's gonna sue ME!? I'm a big ole nobody...but now the clipboard holds the key to my in order to save myself..I'm like...

"DUDE! That was a joke. I'd totally hire a guy in a wheelchair...or crutches...even that scooter....I mean...he's not going to sit at my desk...OR SHE ...SHE is not going to sit at my desk and need to get out the door in the event of a fire...HE/SHE will make it...I've instructed the contractors that they're not REAL people and have to wait to confirm all us REAL fed workers are safe before they try to escape this asbestos ridden death trap...."

More writing in that damn clipboard.




So after a circa 2.7 minute lecture on Osha regulations and workplace safety (apparently, the furniture they buy will kill you if given the chance...seriously! don't relax in any federal building.  the furniture is just waiting to take  your ass out.  I think it might be an al-Qa'ida sleeper credenza....just waiting...) the end of the day, the "facilities" guys have informed me that they will return on Friday with a computer generated plan -- or mock terrorist training camp -- for my new office furniture -- apparently, nothing from the old furniture can stay -- it has to be up to the new codes....

WHICH MEANS....the facilities people will likely send a $14,239.98 bill to my boss for my "new furniture."  And I'm going to have to explain how al-Qa'ida was behind this...

I JUST wanted to move my desk to the other side!! 

SHIT.  Maybe I should go overseas again!! I'm obviously not cut out for washington politics....

Monday, August 2, 2010

So Yeah....I'm Not Here.

Remember how I was saying that work was bringing me down because they kept expecting me to actually work while I was there?? How they kept asking me to DO stuff?? And how that is obviously totally unfair?

Well, I went ahead and took matters into my own hands!! I marched right in there into my  new boss' office and I said, "NOW YOU LOOK HERE..."  -- okay, so maybe I said something more like, "Hi Sir.  Do you have a minute?" -- well, he had a minute.  A minute to say, "Are you busy right now?"  Which is CLEARLY a trap....much like when a girl asks , "Do these pants make me look fat?" (HINT JOSH: Correct answer:  NO!  Have you lost weight?)  or "Notice anything different?"  (HINT JOSH: my hair is likely 6 inches shorter than it was when you left that morning!!! SHEESH!)

Anyway, back to my point - so I -- being the experienced USG employee that I am -- immediately responded that I was extremely busy!  But then I ruined it all by adding, "Why? Do you need something?" (I totally shouldn't have added that last part! When the hell am I going to learn to quit while I'm ahead).

He needed something. 

So I'm currently in Kuwait.  Remember how I said Sudan was hot?? Well, Kuwait is that same temperature (for those of you who don't recall my bitch-fest that was Sudan, the daily median temperature was equal to the surface of the sun) but then, because God obviously still hates me, he added 97% humidity...just to make it more fun.

So far, I have had minimal interaction with the locals -- which is probably why there has not yet been an international incident here ...but give it time...give it time.

Will post some pics (of the dirt and US fast food chains) that appears to be Kuwait City later. You know how I love to give you guys a feel for the culture and/or my hotel room.  Whichever.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Washington is Waay Stressful Yo

So, remember how I was saying, Washington is soo I love it and heart the USA sooo much??

I totally didn't count on having to WORK when I came back here.  This stupid "work" is impacting my blog time and my rigorous schedule of really stupid meetings is sucking the life out of me.  Plus, I come home and think I totally have to tell you guys about something really IMPORTANT -- like (for instance) TODAY -- when i'm sitting in this meeting and I notice a bowl of little mini-toblerones - and as the people are droning on and on AND ON -- usually using words I cannot understand and don't care to learn -- I study the assortment and notice that there are actually DARK chocolate toblerones....So now I'm thinking, not only is that shit potentially yummy, if my ability to pick and choose "facts" I read on the internet is correct -- that shit is also heart healthy.  (Like my nightly serving of one bottle of red wine is...)

So then, it's really just a matter of me deciding to make a healthy choice.  And I did it.  Mostly because Josh is not there to call me on it.  And nobody really seems to be paying attention to me.  And the bowl is toward the back of the table where all the insignificant people sit -- but yet "LUCKY" to be there because my office is only allowed to send 2 people and I'm totally one of those people you guys...totally...  that's how important-ey I am these days!!  Or, I happened to be sitting at my desk when the guy who was going walked by... Either way.

Anyway, I rip open the dark chocolate toblerone and am immediately reminded why foreign candy is far, far inferior to American candy.  The little triangle shapes.  What the hell is that?? Those triangles are wasting precious chocolate surface area!!  Then, after I take a bite, I remember that it has stupid chunks of honey in it.  WTF is that?? Why the hell would you put chunks of honey in your chocolate???  (A) It's not yummy; and (B) It just gets all stuck on your teeth - because apparently european honey has takes on the same characteristics as super glue when mixed with chocolate.

So now I'm sitting in the back of the meeting picking my teeth - trying (in vain) to get the damn honey flecks off of my teeth, mentally preparing the excuse I intend to give the dentist for how I managed to pull a tooth out of my mouth trying to get the honey un-stuck -- cursing European candy makers -- and I notice that everyone is staring at me...waiting.  Apparently, they've asked me to comment on something -- to which I obviously have not been listening...So, after I game it out and realize that I cannot fake an answer, like "well, you have a good point there...I'm not really sure..." because that only works if you have been tangentially listening to the conversation -- and I was utterly focused on my "healthy choice"...  I have to admit that I was distracted by the candy. 

Let's just say they were not amused.

So long story short - once again Europe has managed to eff up US diplomacy.

And the reason I have not been posting is because I come home and open the computer -- only to immediately get this:

Seriously!  Look at that little face!?! Who can resist that!?

Thursday, July 15, 2010

It was Like That One Movie about the Cuban Missle Crisis, Only More Exciting...and it Pretty Much Ended in Two Hours...Which Is Better.

Okay, so today I sat through a 2.5 hour meeting -- which normally would put me over the edge and force me to verbally abuse the office intern for not knowing in advance that they should be on standby to interrupt any meeting where I might potentially be getting bored -- But I shouldn't have to TELL THEM when they need to show up. 

It's an internship!! There is a reason we don't pay you (because you could probably sue me).

Anyway, so this meeting was like edge of your seat diplomacy!!! There was action, there was adventure..there were donuts.   Everything you need to brew up some sort of international incident.  HOWEVER, this time it was not an incident of my making...

Okay, so NO SHIT! There we were.  Sitting in the most importanty of importanty conference rooms (that I'm allowed to use) for what will undoubtedly be the most crucial meeting of the year (for our intern).  So a team of crack diplomats from Team America are meeting with an unnamed (you have to wait for the movie) foreigners talking about issues that are on the cutting edge of our national policy and/or security!!! (I'm not trying to be coy with that one -- I just honestly wasn't paying attention and have no idea why we were meeting with these people....) 

So, naturally, because I'm a "seasoned leader" I realized that I am likely not qualified to actually speak for the USG in an official capacity -- So I ensured that the smart people were there to answer the questions after I finished pontificating.   So we're about halfway through the meeting and I am mentally congratulating myself for yet another international incident free day when the translator asks the Big Wig Foreigner (BWF) for clarification on what he means.  SUDDENLY, one of the USG smarty-pants leans in to clarify what he thinks the foreigner means (because that is always helpful!  Almost like when we lecture them on their culture and stuff...) and -- as if in slow-motion footage -- he lets out the most horrendous fart!!

I dont' even know how to describe it.  It started as kind of a high pitched whine and then ended with what sounded like rapid gunfire -- but only echo-ey (because we're in the big, marble, importanty conference room.   In the initial moments following the incident, the room was eerily silent -- as we all sat there wondering what the hell we were supposed to do now?

I mean, the international diplomacy handbook did not cover this type of situation, and I gotta be honest -- I was SERIOUSLY DYING.  I was literally experiencing physical pain trying to not only hold it together and not burst out laughing (because there EVER a time when a fart is not funny?? EVER??  I submit to you, there is NOT!), but I was also trying to stop my body from erupting into the internal-hold-in-your-laughter convulsions.  In fact, I think I might have actually hurt myself -- my throat is STILL sore. 

Anyway, following the initial blast and horrified silence -- the translator looked around -- as if he were trying to determine whether he should translate that; AND, if the hell do you say that in Arabic!  The offender, whom we now call, "Gassy McPoopshispants" just kinda smirked and shrugged -- although he might have apologized, but i had to rapidly look away in order to control my impending outburst. 

As I'm searching the room for somewhere to look -- the more junior members of the foreign delegation looked down at their notebooks, clearly a victim of the diplomatic shock and awe campaign.  However, the senior official looked me straight in the eye, cocked his head, and lifted one brow.  I gotta that point, I almost lost it. 

Well played, foreign man...well played. 

So I stared at the donuts in order to salvage any semblance of maturity left in me...And then I totally noticed that there was only one chocolate cream filled kind left.  And I could tell the intern was eyeing it.  THIS SOBERED ME RIGHT UP..and quickly!!

Distracted, I was able to move through the incident...however, after I finished my chocolate donut (ha HA intern!!) my glance fell upon the perpetrator of the incident.  We made eye contact.  It all came back....

In what was obviously a flash of genius, I interrupted the proceedings to suggest a "smoke break" (foreigners like to smoke -- Thank GOD!)  and the entire entourage leaped up and headed for the elevator.

As the doors closed, we all turned as one and looked at the perpetrator... and literally, lost it!  At one point, I put my head down on the table and cried -- I was laughing that hard!!!

Eventually, the foreigners returned and they calmly resumed the meeting. 

My only regret:  I should have sent the translator withthem so he could tell us how hard THEY were laughing once they managed to get away from us.

However, rest assured, I have once again ensured that the US of A is safe for democracy!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

It's Like Lookin in a Mirror...Only at a Boy!!

So yesterday, I met a kindred spirit.  It was like I was looking at me...only in boy form.  If I were a boy...and not chubby...and could do math...and thought that exercise was fun...and wanted to come to work...and cared about my know, TOTALLY JUST LIKE  me!  Who is this paragon of virtue you ask?

I have no idea.  He said his name, but I wasn't listening.  He works somewhere for the government, not sure what he does, but he did talk about his work (but again, not listening...HELLO!  Please stop making me repeat myself!).  Anyway, this guy was in one of the 72 super important meetings I attend on a daily basis here in Washington -- the heartbeat of the Nation...I'm like super clued in these days (well, technically, I would be if I actually (a) cared; and/or (b) paid attention rather than doodled "bored..bored....bored....bored..." on my notebook the whole time...) 

Anyway, this happened to be a LUNCH meeting.  Which is super rare here in DC because the government won't allow you to pay for lunch if you're just meeting with other government people -- you see we don't TOTALLY waste taxpayer money -- anyway, so lunch drags on and on while people in the room pontificate (usually about themselves, which normally I would back - but it wasn't about ME or anyone I knew -- so it was totally boring)...and this guy is sitting across the table from me.  And, much like my friend Paul, he couldn't seem to school his facial expressions:  he would roll his eyes, nod, and at one point even put his head in his hands and sighed. 

It was friggin awesome!  He had no idea that people could SEE him.  I was totally entertained. 

However, (and this is where the drama comes in) the alloted time for this super important meeting was almost at an end...and the dessert was just sitting there...staring at me...untouched.  NOBODY would shut the hell up so that I could go get the cake.

So I start fidgeting in my seat, casting furtive glances over at it's chocolatey goodness.  And I notice, that HE is also gazing at the cake and starting to fidget in his seat.  However, this guy does me one better.  He INTERRUPTS  the current pontificator and says, "Should we continue this after we all get some cake??"  (Naturally, I nod in do some of the others -- but I think it was out of boredom.  They didn't love cake.  They just wanted an excuse to stop paying attention. I could totally tell. )

So the pontificatee says, "Yes.  Of course.  We should..." THEN HE CONTINUES EFFIN TALKING.

My new best friend was obviously outraged (and rightly so)!  And he sits there for a minute, looks around the room, let's out a definite disgusted snort, and stands up to go get some cake with a muttered, "WHATEVER! I'm getting cake."  Naturally, his brave act of heroism allowed others (like myself) to make a beeline for the cake. while the pompous ass continued to talk.  (Seriously dude, I don't think he even realized and/or cared that nobody was listening.  WTF!?) 

When the meeting adjorned.  I walked up to my new best friend, pointed at him, and said..."I like you.  You got style." 

So my point is: (a) there ARE good people left in Washington; and (b) cake is friggin yummy.

Friday, July 9, 2010

The Saga of the Gift Continues....

So apparently, we have an ENTIRE STAFF devoted to this damn gift issue.   And also apparently, that entire staff has devoted their entire lives to making my life a living hell.   Mark my words Protocol...I'll find you....I'll figure out who you are and I will sneak in and giftwrap your damn cubicles with Care Bear wrapping paper -- OH YES! I swear I still have a roll of that crap from when my (now married and fully grown) niece was young....(She liked rainbow bear.) 

Do you guys remember that crap?? How the bear would stick out his tummy and a rainbow would fly out of his belly button and fight evil?? Seriously...if you were evil, you'd never see that coming.  It's BRILLIANT!! Although, now that I think about it - what the hell does a rainbow do and how could it really fight crime?  Unless of course, the rainbow flew out at the guy, but left a pot of gold behind - then there would be no need for him to turn to a life of crime...he'd have a pot of gold.  SHIT!  I wish Rainbow Bright Bear would show up at my house...I'm not adverse to turning to a life of crime!!!

ANYWAY, what was I talking about?? Oh yes! PROTOCOL.  So it seems that the Judgey McJudy's in Protocol are "concerned" that because the gift option that we selected seemed a "bit cheap" and they wanted to ensure that the individual who would be presenting this "gift" (they totally effin used QUOTES around the word "gift" in their email to me..) would not be embarrassed when it was opened....  WTF PROTOCOL!!!

You'd think I sent up a picture of a kleenex box cover I crocheted in the shape of a doll's skirt and then plopped a creepy doll head on top -- Although, now that I think of it, I might actually do that next week because that shit would be FUNNY!   I'd write a long paragraph on how the King learned to crochet as a child when he worked in a doll factory back in the days of yore, when an evil dictator was in power.  One day, while he burned random kleenex boxes for heat, one of the dolls came to life and told him that a Chubby Bear wearing the mark of the clover would arrive with his band of baby-talking belly busters and they would help him liberate his Kingdom.  She then told him she really loved the skirt he made and disappeared.  After he assumed the throne (with the assistance of the Care Bear Bunch), he vowed to always keep the kleenex Kozy near and dear to his heart.

You know they'd sit there and go, "Is she shitting us?? Is that true?"  Then they'd send down a request for the King's bio....

That's just more work for me.  Nevermind.

But my issue is this:  now, I'm torn!   Do I hate these people?? Or, do I actually respect that they are bitchy enough to send me a note and call me out on my laziness!?  (Seriously, the subtext of the email was...we know you told the intern to google some random gift idea five minutes before the submission was due and then fwd'd that up like you'd actually thought about it....)  WHERE DO THEY COME UP WITH THIS CRAZY TALK?

No.  You're right.  I hate them. I've always hated them....long before they ever hated me!!! 

This isn't over Protocol!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Public Service Announcement....

So you know how I mentioned that I hated working?? (And frankly, I'm starting to think that work is beginning to realize that they might actually hate me equally as much...)  Well, I decided that perhaps I should start thinking about other options -- you know, the option where I get a lotta money, but don't actually have to go to work??  That one...   And, since none of you freaks have decided to give me millions of dollars, I'm forced to actually think about potential options. 

So I went online to do comprehensive research on my potential options.  However, I got distracted by a huge summer sale at Ann Taylor -- but I couldn't find the right shoes for the new outfit, so then I had to research black strappy summer shoes...

Now I not only have to identify my non-work option, but also the "second job to pay for the damn shoes you insist on buying" as was recently "suggested" by my loving husband...

And then it came to me: Powerball!!! I would simply win the powerball!!! It was so simple, it was BRILLIANT!!!

Turns out...Powerball is not the sure thing that I assumed it was....turns out, Powerball does NOT actually give you millions of dollars in exchange for a $1 ticket...In actuality, what I think happens, is you pay some random man in a convenience store $1 for a piece of paper with
some numbers written on it.  However, -- and here is\ where I can see that the problem with my Powerball career begins -- that Man is not giving me the right numbers. 

Worst part of this scam:  When you go back to The Man and ask for a refund because he gave you the wrong prepared for him to put on an act like he is all confused...and when I patiently explain  where he has made a mistake....he has the nerve to get all snippy with me! 

WTF POWERBALL!? Obviously, you don't care about customer service!  See if I buy your piece of paper with worthless numbers again!!! 

Eff U Quickie Mart Man!!  Gimme my damn dollar back!!  I suspect Quickie Mart Man is in cahoots with the Ice Nazi at the cafeteria at work. 

They owe me $1.10.  I'm not leaving until I get it back!!!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Where the Hell Have you Been!?!?!?

What do you mean, where the hell have I been?? I asked you first!!  PLUS, don't think I didn't notice that not a damn one of you chipped in and wrote this blog while I was out making the world safe for democracy (or watching all the TV I missed the entire year I was in Sudan...either way...)  NONE of you bothered to help me out! 

Helpful hint: Do you see what I did there?? I began with an accusation.  You see...I find that if you just walk in and start yelling and throwing out random accusations, people forget to ask me to explain myself.  Honestly, there's usually no explanation.  Trust me.  It's just better this way. 

So, it seems it is now July.  July 4th to be exact.  There is something about that date that I was supposed to's killing me.  Sounds sooo familiar.  Nevermind.  I'm sure it will come to me.

Anyway, I've started back to work after my vacation and I am actively making sure that freedom rings in this Kick-ass country....America, in case you were confused and thought maybe I liked your particular country that is not America.  I don't.  Your country honks.  Don't ask me to explain.  If you don't know...I am certainly not going to tell you... 

How do I do this you ask?? What is my contribution??

Apparently, I ensure that the precise gift that would be given by our fearless leaders to other (but likely more fearful) world leaders is PERFECT.   I continue to bolster the foundations of democracy so that it remains strong, apparently by ensuring that the appropriate gift wrap is used (Presidents don't like flowers or kittens) and that (**gasp**) no damn tape is showing.  (Obviously, the feds have never sent anyone to inspect the shit under my Christmas tree -- because I'm SERIOUSLY not qualified for that!)  Since I have returned, the focus of my life seems to be ensuring that random members of the world's monarchy are given a gift that is meaningful, but with no tacky scotch tape showing.  (Nothing says third world trailer park like tape just slapped on the outside of a present...) 

Ridiculous, right?? EXACTLY! That is what I thought too...however, apparently the State Department does not appreciate my opinions.

I guess I have also done some other things since I returned.  But I forget them now. 

And, they totally make me pretend to work here for the entire day too!  Which, frankly, is shocking!  For some reason, I had this vision of living in the USA as a utopia, where people don't actually care if I come to work, but would just pay me and be happy that I was back home.

They weren't. 

WTF America?? Land of the free my ass! Since I've been back, I've been charged for EVERYTHING.  In fact, that foreign lady in the cafeteria charged me 10 cents for a stupid cup of ice.  (I officially hate that lady and her ice-nazi ways!)

The real issue here is obvious though.  Josh won't let me be me...and the only way I can really be me, is if I didn't have to go to work and pretend to be that other me, the one who lied on her resume to get the job in the first place  -- I mean seriously, I don't have any hobbies or outside interests!!!  Why the hell would anyone believe I was a "soccer" and/or "martial arts" enthusiast?!?  If they fell for that, they're just dumb. 

  Suckahs!!!  I'm a federal "worker."  Clearly, God is teaching them a lesson right now...

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

I'm Sorry...It's WHAT Day???

Ummm.... it has come to my attention that I am going to have to go back to work next week.  WTF....NEXT WEEK!?  I thought I was going to have a LONG vacation?? What happened to my long vacation???

I had a big long list of shit I wanted to do while I was on vacation and -- ahem -- let's just say I didn't get to a few of them:

  • Write Thank You notes to everyone who sent me crap while we were in Khartoum (and I was using the "we can't send mail out from Khartoum" excuse)  WHAT!?  You don't know that's not true!?  Well, technically I could have sent LETTER mail, but I didn't have any damn stamps!  Stop judging me!!!   GEEZ Judgey McJuderson!  Lay off!  I was going to do it, but now I can't really remember who sent me what, or pretty much anything about Khartoum in's all a blur...not my fault.
  •   Brush up on my French -- or, as I like to call it: Learn it (again).
  • Teach Dillon Obedience.  Not really sure why I even bothered to write that one down.  I think we all know that Dillon can have whatever he wants, whenever he wants it.  The boy pretty much has me trained...(although I'm not sure he's feeling comfortable in his new home.  It's like he needs to find a place of his own -- where he can stretch out and just relax.  I should buy him his own couch...He really shouldn't have to share with Josh. 
  • Write my memoirs and become rich and famous --  However, I figured out I would have to actually remember shit to write actual memoirs...and then I would actually have to WRITE them.  That sounds like a lotta steps man....It's just not gonna work.
  •   Eat and Drink in Moderation -- Let's face it:  toilet brush and rug are enablers.  It's like they want me to fail!
  • Become Addicted to Exercise -- you know how they say that if you do something for two weeks, it becomes habit and you will NEED to do it??  They're liars.  Bastards.
  • Create a Financial Plan and Monthly Budget.  Apparently, you're not supposed to just spend money until the bank calls you and tells you to knock it the hell off...Seriously?  Someone really should have said something sooner.  I blame society.
  • Lose 10 15 20 -- oh, who are we kidding -- 30 pounds.  Damn you acaiaiaieieio berry!  LAZY!

Actually, I don't have enough time (or the will) to do any of the above...however, I'm not a total loser....I'll just make a new list.  A BETTER that I can accomplish:

  • Buy the same pair of pants at Eastern Mountain Sports as you did at REI (because you forgotted and I think we all know they're totally cute -- and they dry fast too.  Obviously, you need two...)  Done!
  • Watch a Law & Order Marathon (daily).  Done!!
  • Brush up on current Reality TV shows to ensure you can gab with the cool kids once you get to the office (Biggest Loser - the hell can a person lose that much weight in 7 months?? By leaving it laying around DAMNITT! that's how....because obviously, I found it!!!)  Done!!!
  • Sit and stare at the treadmill.  Think to yourself..."I should really just get on that damn thing...In fact, if I simply walked while I watched this Law & Order Marathon I could probably do some good...maybe lose some weight"  -- FYI, That totally would have been cool if I had done my defense...I did think about it...a lot...  Done! 
  • Take Dillon to PetSmart so often that the cashiers call you "dude" and Dillon "little Dude."  Done!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

What I Did on my Summer Vacation....Nothing...

Okay, so I decided I should probably leave the house at some point during my month at home.   Mostly because I have nothing to say when I sit on the couch and watch TV -- and, I'm becoming scarily addicted to the stupid reality TV shows like Dancing with the Stars, American Idol, and The Biggest Loser. (Although, I was really sad to hear that Law and Order  is going off the air....WTF!? (It is the best TV show EVER -  SHUT UP BLOGNUT! It is! You're just jealous.)

What the hell is Jack McCoy supposed to do now?? You can't just throw him out at his age!? How is he supposed to find work in this economy?  We should start some sort of a fund to help him during his retirement....his Ameritrade commercials can't possibly sustain him -- nobody even really knows what that does, they can't possibly provide health insurance for him...) Then, I also found some show on TNT (When I was searching for Law and Order re-runs) called Supernatural and it scared the bejebus out of me....but I couldn't seem to turn the channel because I needed closure - what if that shit is still out there?? And then a second episode starts while the credits are running and I'm still recovering from the first one and BAM! I'm sucked in again.  Next thing I know, it's 4:00 and I haven't gotten out of my pjs....

Vacation is bliss.  Pure bliss.  The fact that I'm not bored is a testament to the people in my head, frankly.  Or, I'm just pure lazy.  Either way.

YOU SEE!?  The above is exactly why I had to exit this house.  And that's when I made a crucial discovery:  Have you ever noticed that Mormons are ridiculously good looking?? Seriously.  Stop for a minute and think about it.  They're damn pretty people.  If someone looks all happy, healthy and American-like...they're probably Mormon. 

Frankly, that pisses me off.  Is it just good genes?  Or, did being Mormon make them pretty?  Why can't Catholics be that pretty?? And, if this issue is as easy to spot as I think it was (it took me like 4 minutes) then why the hell didn't my mom make me Mormon??  I know the whole competing faith premise thing, but damnitt! I could have used a little bit of that prettiness in high school.  SELFISH mother!!

Anyway, that was just my first day outside.  That night, we went out to dinner and drinks for a friend's birthday and once again I ended up back inside with my best friends toilet brush and rug for the entire next day, listening to Josh lecture me on why my old-ass body doesn't want me to drink and maybe I should have listened to him when he told me I should not have that 12th glass of wine and that just because  we now live within walking distance of the bars and restaurants does not mean I have to get our money's worth by getting rip roaring drunk.  (However, I contend that I am being fiscally responsible.  We would not have known how crucial and cool it is to be able to walk to places if I did not prove the theory for us.  Josh needs to recall that he did not have to remain sober while I did our social experiment.  That, my dearest, is reason enough to thank me!  It's almost like I'm a saint.  Josh is seriously lucky!  He should write that down...)

Maybe I should just stay inside for a little bit more.  You see, we really should build to full integration.  I've lost my ability to drink/eat in moderation and tend to forget that people can actually hear me after I have been drinking, that I am not, in fact, in a bubble. 

Who knew?! 

When does the next Law and Order Marathon start??

Thursday, May 20, 2010

I Had to Post This....It's not Mine, but it Should Have Been....

In 1972, Joe Miller was on holiday in Kenya after graduating from Tulsa Junior College .

On a hike through the bush, he came across a young bull elephant standing with one leg raised in the air.  The elephant seemed distressed, so Joe approached it very carefully. He got down on one knee, inspected the elephants foot, and found a large piece of wood deeply embedded in it. As carefully and as gently as he could, Joe worked the wood out with his knife, after which the elephant gingerly put down its foot.

The elephant turned to Joe, and with a rather curious look on its face, stared at him for several tense moments.  Joe stood frozen, thinking of nothing else but being trampled.
Eventually the elephant trumpeted loudly, turned, and walked away.  Joe never forgot that elephant or the events of that day.

Thirty years later, Joe was walking through the Tulsa Zoo with his family. As they approached the elephant enclosure, one of the creatures turned and walked over to near where Joe and his family were standing. The large bull elephant stared at Joe, lifted its front foot off the ground, then put it down. The elephant did that several times then trumpeted loudly, all the while staring at the man.

Remembering the encounter in 1972, Joe could not help wondering if this was the same elephant...  Joe summoned up his courage, climbed over the railing, and made his way into the enclosure. He walked right up to the elephant and stared back in wonder. The elephant trumpeted again, wrapped its trunk around one of Joe's legs and slammed him against the railing, killing him instantly.

Probably wasn't the same elephant.

This is for everyone who sends me those heart-warming bullshit stories (you know who you are).

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Some Things Never Change....

Yep...It's official.  Josh was right.  I'm bat shit crazy....  It's like when you finally acknowledge that you have a problem (usually after you hit rock bottom).  For me, it was this weekend.  This weekend, I had to face reality:  I'm one of those crazy dog people.  I'm literally that person.  I'm that freak you see walking around in public with dog hair on their shirts, but they don't seem to notice.  The lady who buys the furminator and who lobbied for over 15 minutes in REI that we needed to buy the little boots for the dog before the camping trip because he'd be walking over rocks and stuff (WHAT!?  I stand behind that one!!! That shit hurts your feet!!!)  (Don't panic.  I lost that one.  We are a dog-bootieless family.)

Anyway, for those of you who have not read this blog since the beginning, I will briefly recap.  (Those of you non-lazy people who know the history can go get a snack and come back later. )  Okay, so prior to our departure for Khartoum I found out that we couldn't take the dogs on the plane -- Kernel was too big for accompanying baggage and cargo into Sudan is not an option if you want your pet to actually live through the trip....and we found out not long after, that Sudan associated swine-flu with domestic dogs, so Jack couldn't make it either.  Long story short, I found them both a home with a retired fireman who lives on 10 acres.  My city-raised boys didn't know what hit them!  Fast forward to our return - and I go out to visit the boys....they're all very happy.  The guy who adopted them is all alone and obviously loves them (well, who wouldn't?!  My babies rock!) and we didn't want to take them away from him.  (Plus, the condo only allows you to have one baby - so it would be like Sophie's Choice....)  SOOOO, we were going to be dogless.

But obviously (since I'm bat shit crazy...focus people!) I cannot be dogless.  So we rescued a puppy from the Friends of Homeless Animals.  After approximately 2 weeks of interviews (let's just say I'm not the only bat-shit crazy dog freak around the DC area...) we brought little Dillon home. 

Okay, so those of you getting a snack - you need to come back now (did you bring me a snack?!  WTF!?  HATEFUL!)...this is new and exciting info...okay, more new than exciting and probably not really "exciting" per se, more along the lines of I'm obviously going to have to go back to work and/or outside of the house if I want to find anything exciting to ever talk about again....ANYWAY, we went camping this weekend (because I'm outdoorsey like that...and I got some new REI pants that dry within seconds, so I totally had to test them out!) and we brought Baby Dillon.  NOW, how am I so sure that I am bat shit crazy you ask??

Almost every picture I took of our camping trip is of Dillon or our friends' dogs, Dexter and Piper.  There were FOUR people on this trip.  I don't think I have 4 photos of people.  SOO, since I went to the trouble of taking 792 pictures of the dogs - I figured I should share them with you.  And yes, I do know that I am crazy. 


Meet Dillon....

That's Dillon's nose...

And Dillon's friends...

Just in case you wondered why it was you don't drink water right out of stream...because Dillon is still mastering the "Potty outisde" issue...he still needs some clarification...

And finally, this is Josh participating in the "Mc'Lympics" we hosted during our camping trip.  (We lost.  He sucks.)

sooo, now that we're all on the same page and I'm currently unemployed(ish) and living on my couch...and because I'm still working on my masterpiece that outlines why "The Biggest Loser" is the most addicting TV show of all time (and yet, I still want a snack when I watch it), you'll just have to content yourself with 792 pictures of Dillon.  However, don't worry.  I won't turn this into a Dillon blog. 

Pictures of my visit to Jack and Kernel are coming next week. 

Friday, May 14, 2010

You Should All be Pissed at Josh....Because I Totally Am!!!

So today, I had to go to the doctor to get a CT scan of my snotty nose -- the doc claims I am not allergic to anything and when I questioned her medical degree  -- technically, I asked her if she was WebMD certifiied (like myself) and then pointed out that the Kleenex company sends me Christmas and birthday cards...Therefore, something is not "normal," and maybe she should climb up offa that prescription pad and dole me out some medical advice...I mean, would it KILL you to give me some damn adderall????

(YES mother...I am well aware that Adderall does not cure a snotty nose...I didn't attend literally 3s of hours of internet medical school on webmd for nothing!?  HOWEVER, if that ho is going to sit there and tell me that I am not allergic to anything, but then have the nerve to pass me a kleenex box - the bitz better be giving me somethin'...AND, I kinda think that it might help me in my quest to fit into my pants...that's the rumor on the street...)

ANYWAY, so Josh comes home from language class and decides he and Dillon (the dog) are going to go with me to the doc - so I'm thinking, "how sweet is that!?  He's worried about me!!" 
So he drops me off.

I spend 30 minutes filling out forms -- mostly checking the box "no" for have you ever had ebola, but then adding parenthesis to explain that I might  have had Ebola. but that I had diagnosed it myself on webMd one night after a dinner at some random Sudanese man's house.  I feel they should know this option, because if it wasn't ebola - it was a brain tumor.  Or maybe stomach cancer.  Or gas.  We'll never know...

I finally emerge after my CT scan and wait for Josh and Dillon to come pick me up...I mean, I just underwent a serious medical procedure...

And I waited....

Then I waited some more....

Then off in the distance I see Josh arriving. They pull up.  I get into the car, expecting to be quizzed on how it went - did I think I would many days did they give me before the end....

Josh was finishing an ice cream cone.  Dillon had ice cream breath and sticky shit all over his nose. 

They didn't bring me one. Dillon at least had the decency to look guilty.   Josh pointed out that ice cream was not on my diet.

.WTF Joshua!?!  The DOG gets an ice cream cone...but not me!???

Obviously, my only option is divorce...does anyone know a good attorney?? Someone experienced with ice cream cruelty issues??   I think we have a pretty clear case of inhumane treatment here....or maybe brain cancer.

We'll never know.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Spoiler Alert!!!

Organic = Yucky.  Mother 'effin YUCKY. 

How can I be sure of this, you ask??  WELL....since we've returned to the USA, I've been all trying to be "healthy" (and when I say "healthy" I mean trying to fit back into my pants -- which is not as simple as one might think.  WTF Science!?  Where the hell is my fat pill!?  WHAT IS TAKING SO LONG!?  LAZY!) -- and, according to the TV (which is where I get most of my information) in order to be truly "healthy," we apparently need to go full yuppie and purchase everything organic. 

To make matters worse, Josh has also started spouting all kinds of nonsense that cake is not healthy!  WTF!?  Is nothing sacred???  ---  However, I think we all know that if I were to make said cake with all organic materials, it's OBVIOUSLY healthy.  (Ha HA!  What now suckah?? )  However, the sad part is that nobody actually remembers how to make a cake without using a box (and when I say "nobody" I mean me) AND do you realize how much work it would be to make a cake not from a box?? WHO HAS THAT KINDA TIME!? 

Therefore,  I would sincerely appreciate it if Duncan Hines or that Bitch Betty Crocker would throw the word "Organic" on both a yellow cake mix and a chocolate frosting can.  Let's be honest:  I'm not going to be able to go without cake.  That's simply inhumane.  

Organic cake mixes were not my point though -- my point is (and I do have one) that Organic shit is yucky.  Case in point: this morning I made some "steel cut Irish oats" for breakfast.  My first clue should have been the "all natural," "organic" and "no sodium" that was written on the outside of the container.  My next clue should have been that it said it needed to simmer for 30 minutes.  (WTF!?  THIRTY MINUTES!?  To make breakfast?? I barely give myself that much time for me to do my hair and make up for heaven's sake! I usually end up with my hair in a pony-tail because I made a deal with myself to sleep an extra 20 minutes -- and it is TOTALLY WORTH IT)....

Now I realize that most of you were already thinking, "ewwweee...Gross!" -- when I mentioned my healthy breakfast... I was fooled into thinking that it wouldn't be so bad.  I mean, I actually thought that I liked Oatmeal. 

Turns out, what I liked was the brown sugar and cinnamon -- neither of which are currently in my house.  (Little known downside to moving: you lose all your spices and condiments...and I can never remember that I need to buy them when I'm at the store -- I'm usually distracted by the cake and cookie mixes when I'm in the spice aisle...)

Newsflash:  plain, organic, steel-cut, Irish oats are DISGUSTING...even if you add dried cranberries like the carton suggests.  Eff -U Irish oat-makers...that's just adding insult to injury.
SOOO, I can only assume that the Irish (much like the Canadians) hate me.  Well, guess what Ireland!?  I hated you LONG BEFORE you hated me.  And, I'm pretty sure that this oatmeal comes from the part of Ireland that is NOT in the UK...

Frankly, after this morning's fiasco, I wouldn't support letting you in the UK either.....

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

I've Been Busy!!!

Okay, no I haven't.  I've been LAZY.  Really lazy.  Lazy to the point that I still refuse to actually get dressed in clothing that is not sweat pants.  However, I have an excuse -- and a really good one too...seriously, it's acceptable....sorta...okay, well, I accepted it...Josh: not so much.  But I'm still on home leave - remember?? The leave where I am supposed to become American again (Josh didn't get any because he's learning to speak gibberish.  That doesn't count.) AND, what says "American" more than sweat pants from Target?? NOTHING DOES! 

God I love Target.

I just had to get that out there.  Target rocks.  And, this is really exciting (probably only to me, but I don't care.  This shit's HUGE!)....Target has GROCERIES and Starbucks!!!  I distinctly recall getting all annoyed before I went overseas that I had to drive to target AND THEN to a grocery store....Target obviously cares about my needs and supports my laziness!

Now, I can go to my local Target (which is conveniently located less than 3 blocks from me) and not only can I get a new pair of sweat pants and the cordless vacuum I have clearly always needed, but never stopped to realize that I wanted until I walked my cart by the vacuum section...

Seriously, can you guys spell vacuum?? Are there two damn U's or two C's??? WTF?  From this day forward, I'm calling it a DIRTSUCKERUPPER....if a word's too hard to spell, we're just not going to use it anymore.  I don't need that kinda stress, frankly. 

ANYWAY, after I put my dirtsuckerupper into my cart with the furminator and lint rollers, I can just stroll over and pick up milk...and milk duds (WHAT?!?!?!  They're Organic Milk duds -- although it doesn't actually say it on the box, I'm sure they are....Duds don't need pesticides.  Therefore, they're healthy.  You don't know.)

Seriously, I heart you Target!  You complete me.

Anyway, other than my regular visitation to Target, I've been attempting to get Cable and Internet.  As you may have guessed I now have internet (I had cable for one day, and it left me today.  I'm not sure what I said or did, but I'm SORRY Cable!! Come back to me DVR!!  I can't watch commercials!? WTF!?  I can change!  Honestly, I can.  And, I have milk duds...I'm just's not all bad here.) 

I would like to point out, however, that I arrived in Sudan on 22 March 2009.  I had internet on 23 March 2009.  I arrive in the US on 15 April 2010.  I managed to get internet on 11 do the math.  (no seriously, math is hard.  You're going to have to do it.  I can't. )  I can only assume that there is only one man who does the cable/internet installation for the entire state of Virginia.  He's obviously busy....AND, God help you if you miss his phone call...they cancel your installation if you don't answer - so I've been answering every call on my stupid phone. 

Josh, would you like to explain how Sport and Health, World Vision, the Toyota and Nissan dealerships and YOUR dentist managed to get my phone number?? If I get one more call that opens with  "We're trying to reach Joshua..." 

Not to worry though...I realized you were probably sad because nobody was calling your phone.  So I contacted the Jehovah's Witnesses and told them you were interested in hearing about their faith....and went online and expressed "interest" in learning more about Abilify and left them your phone number.  I'm not sure what it does, but I know I have not been given a prescription for it (yet)...I might need it.

Please let me know what they say.....

Thursday, April 29, 2010

A Surprising Reason I Need to Work....

Okay, so remember how I told you guys that I was coming back to the US of A and how excited I was because I was going to take Home Leave (a little known vacation the State Department gives its officers after they finish an assignment I mentioned, it's a rough transition from being a diplomat where everything is done for you -- to being a regular person -- with no immunity from The Man -- who also has to pay for EVERYTHING (which is an unspeakable outrage)!  You have to ease back into that....)  Anywhoo, I'm on week two of my vacation (and when I say "vacation,"  I mean running around doing stupid errands, like finding a home, changing my address with everyone, getting know...dumb, not-fun stuff) and it has become blatantly apparent that I am not suited to a life of leisure. 

Why you ask?? Because I'm officially bored.  And poor.   What the hell happened to all that overseas locality pay they were allegedly giving me?? Josh is going to be totally pissed when he realized that I pretty much squandered it all on candy and shoes.  In my defense, however, nobody could have known that candy and shoes would not be the best investment option.  It totally seemed like a sure thing.

Plus, it has become apparent that when I do not have a job that forces me to attend it on a regular basis, I lose the ability to care for myself.  I've lost the ability to dress in anything that is non-sweat pants and/or to comb my hair!  Honestly though, what's the point?? The people at Target accept me in my sweats and ponytail....the lady at Geico can't see me over the phone....It's gotten so bad, I'm considering applying for a job while I'm on vacation -- mostly so Josh won't leave me for another woman who wears actual clothes and combs her hair (that whore!)

Plus, living in a hotel has lost it's "charm" -- turns out, hotels don't think that we should be given separate bathrooms or an extra room unless we PAY for it....chaa!  What happened to customer service??  I'm guessing the maid here will be happy to see me leave when we finally get to move into our new place!  I'm hoping that once I have a house and no longer live out of a suitcase I'll be motivated to ensure that my "look" is a little less homeless  and a little more our new neighbors don't judge me.

I think we all know I'm the only judge-er around here here!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Dear GSO,

Now you know, I don't like to complain.  However, I feel that I would be remiss if I didn't bring this important issue to your attention.  It seems that your workers are not really doing their job and you might need to counsel them.  Although you know that I don't like to point fingers, BUT, even though I have left my car parked in the parking lot for DAYS now, NOBODY has put gas into it, cleaned it, or checked the oil.  

Also, I submitted a work order for this hotel room we're living in, and, to date, nobody has shown up with the extra garbage can or battery for the remote.  Now normally, I would just suffer in silence, however, I really don't think we should start out on a bad foot in our new location; Washington, DC. 

Although it would have been nice if you guys had explained that we were going to have to now find and then PAY for our housing, I can understand why you would want me to find my own place after you issued me a house with no closets in Khartoum.  Naturally, I will be submitting my accounting for reimbursement soonest.  I'd appreciate it if you would process that quickly. Everyone is making us actually PAY for things here.  I'm not sure when this procedure was implemented, but it's clearly going to be an accounting nightmare for all of us. 

And finally, Josh received a parking ticket yesterday.  Someone should really send us those diplomatic license plates soonest.  Although it is obviously not my area of expertise, I would think that it would be easier for us to just avoid being issued the ticket(s), rather than for you guys to contact the host government to explain why we shouldn't have to pay them.  You should also know that the local law enforcement here does not seem to respect my diplomatic passport.  The man rudely stated that I no longer have diplomatic status because I'm in Virginia.  This cannot possibly be right. 

Don't they know who I think I am??

Anyway, the car is still in the parking lot and I'm running out of gas.  As it is obvious that I have now lost the ability to care for myself, and since you guys were basically my enablers for the last year, I think it would be in everybody's best interest if you just continued with your duties while I am posted here. 

Best regards,


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Free At Last!!!! recall how last week I said that I was OUT of there on the 15th, right?? (Just in time to set foot in the states on the DAY that taxes are due, essentially forfeiting my right to an automatic 2 month extension because I'm overseas)....well, as you may have noticed...there was a large volcano that was spewing volcanic ash...So.....

NO SHIT! There I was....trapped in Europe....unable to get a flight back to the US!  So, because Josh and I love America just that much -- we rented a car and we drove to Morocco, then we hopped on a ferry to Egypt where we joined a camel train down to Cairo, and from there, we took a plane to Dubai then flew back to the US via Japan....WHEW! What a journey!!

Okay, nothing happened.  We were actually the last flight to make it out of Europe before they shut all the shit down.  There was a group of obnoxious businessmen who were on the flight to Chicago that was canked!  Ha HA! SUCKAHS!!

HOWEVER, my in flight entertainment totally did not work.  I was forced to read and/or make conversation with my husband for the ENTIRE flight.  (God Bless Kindle!!) (tee hee).

So now, I'm sitting in a hotel room, after buying two cars (seriously! If I'm giving you a damn check, just give me the damn car!!!  Why the hell does that take FOUR HOURS!?) finding a home, and a gym to join (after I noticed that chubby girls with bad hair are not as fashionable in the US as they are in Sudan). 

Plus, would it have killed one of you to let me know that it is no longer cool to expect the store to bag your groceries?? That EVERYONE has those recycle bags??  WTF people!?  Now I looked like a damn chubby, ratty Sudan infested clothing wearing, bad hair having, resource wasting, Earth Killer!   I'm just sayin...a head's up would have been appropriate. 

So, believe it or not, I gots NOTHING to bitch about.  America Rocks and I am reacquiring my obsession with TV.  (I totally missed you Jack McCoy!)  However, rest easy my friends...I'm going to go join a gym here -- I'm sure SOMEONE will insult me soon enough...mark my words...there's an unspeakable outrage in my future....

Monday, April 12, 2010

Why Can't I Ever Think of Cool Stuff to Say!?

Okay, so you know how we're in the midst of national elections here in Sudan, right?? No?  GSO didn't either.  It's nothing to be ashamed of.... However, I gotta admit that I'm a bit disappointed.  Why?? Because after all the hulabaloo and over-analysis of every statement or gesture from the various political parties, what has happened here in Khartoum, the heart of Sudan, the pointy tip of the spear??


I'm actually not really sure that we remembered to tell the Sudanese it was their first national election in over twenty years and that it was supposed to be contentious.  They don't really seem to know. There were supposed to be angry protesters, we were given emergency supplies for when the shit hit the fan.  So what did I see today, or for that matter, yesterday??  NOTHING DAMNITT!

I was promised an uprising! 

Now how am I supposed to start all my conversations with, "No Shit! There I was..."  when the rest of the sentence is "watching people line up in an orderly fashion to vote."   That shit's just embarrassing!

WTF Sudan!?  You couldn't even turn over one measly car?? Maybe light some trash on fire and yell arabic words really loud?? (Arabic always sounds like you're kinda angry.) 


Now what am I supposed to say?? Did you ever think about ME Sudan??   Well, I certainly hope you enjoy your peaceful elections, Sudan!  WHATEVER!

Anyway, so I'm all spouting my nonsense, trying to see if I can get Christina to look like maybe she could have been part of an angry mob and someone has to go and ruin everything with the comment:

You see that woman? She carries her house on her head, her baby on her back, and the future of her country in her hand. (about a nomad who showed up to vote)


Worst part?  It was not me.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Dear GSO (the Final Edition),

I just wanted to send you one last note to let you know that Josh and I have officially completed our pack out.  Although i have to admit I was a tad bit miffed that you called me at 7pm to let me know that you have decided that you needed to move my pack-out date to the next morning because you found out that the Sudanese Government was hosting National Elections beginning on the 11th. 

Although I admit I was a bit confused why your office was not notified by any of the 250,000 emails which circulated around the Embassy on the issue, or in the 27 newspapers that published the dates of the elections and the relevant drama surrounding the event on a daily basis since the day I arrived here at post, the news coverage on CNN, al-Jazira,  and BBC, the 472 billboards plastered around town asking everyone to vote for Bashir, or even the Comprehensive Peace Agreement that was signed years ago that outlined the dates of the national elections -- obviously, there has been a failure of communication somewhere along the way.  I apologize that you were not given advance notice of this event.

It must have been very inconvenient for you.

As such, I find I cannot blame you for giving me what amounted to less than 12 hours to prepare all my shit for pack-out.  Although I suspect you were in cahoots with Josh, who claimed he could not stay home to assist with the pack-out because he did not have time to cancel his very important activities -- I simply cannot prove it (but I will.  Rest assured, I will.)

Why, it's not your fault that I threw all my shit into two randomly chosen suitcases, and then ran around trying to figure out what I needed for air freight and what could wait to go with the rest of my household effects in an effort to prepare for the movers.  And, you will be pleased to hear that, in a total change of your responsiveness to my multiple requests throughout the year, your officers decided to show up at my house TWO HOURS early to pack me out. 

I was really pleased to see them there.  Early.  For the first time in their life.  Ever. 

So GSO, we're departing this week and you will not have to read anymore of my emails requesting your assistance.  I just wanted to let you know that I sincerely appreciate everything you have done for me this year (no I don't). 

I assume since you've been so helpful to me during my time in Sudan, that is the reason you are now asking me to fill out a survey for the support I received from your office.  Believe me, this is one Survey, I intend to fill out (in triplicate). 

Best of luck to you in your future efforts to make other diplomats miserable,


Thursday, April 8, 2010

It's Like Sudan WANTS Me to Mock It...

Before I start my rant on how I am currently in a living hell and why it is all Josh's fault *we'll save that for tomorrow*...I just HAVE to show you guys one of the going away gifts I received yesterday.  I'm now trying to figure out if Sudan hates me and is trying to kill me....or they're just helping to ensure I have some final blog fodder before I bust up out of this mother effer....

Because mere words simply could never do it justice...I'll just post it and let you guys see for yourselves.... 

 My new purse....

That shit's sooo authentic, they even added the crocodile ass to the backside....

And, just in case you thought maybe it was just a tacky design, a close up for you.  Notice the snaggle tooth...The teeth are actually stabby! 

I named him Joe.

I'm guessing Canada is calling Peta right now to have them meet me at the airport.  However, I don't think even Peta will know what to do...they'd want to throw paint on me, but would be worried that Joe would attack them back.  (He would.)

Sooo, Sudan gave me Joe yesterday and I simply had to photograph him because nobody would ever believe me if I didn't.  I brought Joe home, told Josh we're going to have to make sure we have extra room for pets in our house.  But I made Joe sleep outside on the patio and I locked the door.  You just KNOW Joe is just waiting until we're not looking, then he'll sneak up and try to kill me while I'm sleeping!!!!  I swear one of the local guards is missing this morning.   That is BAD Joe!  BAD!

Just look at him... Just sitting there smirking at us....pondering if I would be delightfully marbled or just too fatty to eat...  EFF U JOE!

 Joe's totally not getting a visa.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Can You Guys Keep a Secret???

No?? Me neither. 

This is why I waited this long to tell you all....

They set my people free!!!!  No Shit, y'all! I'm coming back to DC after the elections in Sudan.  (If they delay these elections one more damn time, I'm going to freak out on their collective asses!)

ANYWAY, I will be headed back to DC soon...I would rather the Northern VA area not be notified of my impending arrival...I'm just sayin...some people might not be as excited for my return as I am.....I KNOW!  Unpossible!?  Right??  

Apparently, it's possible  WHO KNEW!?

So, in advance of my return, I thought it might be a good idea to actually list for you some reasons I am so very excited to return to America...the best country.  EVER.  I said EVER.  Write that down....  And maybe some cons that I may experience to prepare you for any subsequent blog postings...(Unless of course the State Department realizes I write this blog and tells me to shut it....oh yeah, it could happen. Apparently,  we're not supposed to acknowledge that foreign countries honk. I am guessing I might have let that slip....)

Pro:  There is an actual right of way that is acknowledged in traffic.  Street lights are not merely a suggestion for people who are not in a hurry and think they are importanty.  People in America realize that it is not appropriate to simply fill up the entire street if you plan to turn left, effectively blocking anyone else from using that road. In America, that is frowned upon....(and a cop will bust a cap is your ass if you try it.) 

Con:  I will have to obey traffic signals, speed limits, respect parking spaces and won't be able to just go around traffic whenever I feel like -- because I'm in a hurry man..and I think I am importanty.... I will no longer have an armored vehicle to protect me from aforementioned busting of cap in my ass....

Pro:  Eating vegetables will no longer be referred to as the "Suicide Option."

Con:  I will have no excuse not to eat more vegetables.  PS I'm still not eating lima beans.  Eff that.  Nobody should have to do that.  NOBODY.

Pro:  There will be actual "hot" and "cold" settings on your washing machine, rather than the  "hot" and "scalding hot lava" settings we enjoy in Khartoum.  Clothing will not shrink to Barbie size after washing. 

Con:  I will no longer be able to utilize the "it must have shrunk in the wash" excuse for why I can't fit in my damn pants.

Pro:  Pumpkin Spiced Latte

Con: Turns out Pumpkin Spiced Latte has more calories than I am supposed to consume in an entire day. 

Eff it!  I will be in America yo!  There is no possible downside!!!

Or is there??

Thursday, April 1, 2010

HOLY CRAP!!!!! This is Totally Going to be a Bit Awkward....

So you know how everyone knows  you have to do your taxes by April 15th, right??  (Well, if you're American.  If you're don't know..shut up.  It's bad, yo.)  Well, THAT is untrue...not everyone knows this...some of us forget that we still have to pay taxes because some of us don't like to open mail unless it is from Ann Taylor or Anthropologie. 

Anyway, so I was gently reminded when our friends ran into the Embassy all happy-schnappy that they were getting $4000 dollars back from The Man, and isn't that wonderful?? blah....blah blah....So I decided I should probably do my own taxes (and maybe Josh's too) -- ALTHOUGH, for the record, I would like to state that I have NEVER, in my ENTIRE LIFE, indicated that I had any ability to do math, finances or to actually give anything up for Lent like you're supposed to -- I tend to give up things like Paprika or lima beans -- AND I am inevitably surprised by the arrival of Lent (I really think the Christian Right has failed in its duty to publicize the Easter-Lent season.  Would it kill them to run some commercials suggesting what we should up for Lent?? Also, I think it would be helpful to remind Catholics that it is I don't order a damn cheeseburger and find out when I get home that it's not only Lent, but it's FRIDAY...)  Anyway, needless to say, without people wandering around with ash crosses on their foreheads to notify me that I need to remember to be a better person until the bunny arrives and gives you a chocolate bunny and Cadbury Egg as a reward for your attempt at  holiness over the last couple of months...I pretty much missed the whole damn thing.  CNN had to tell me it was holy week.

That's probably not good.  Nobody tell my mom....

So back to my point - taxes!!!  I totally sat down and did my taxes, I filled out the forms and even tried to figure out what the hell they were asking me... and then I came to the end...

TURBOTAX pretty much just robbed me at gunpoint, stabbed me in the face, and THEN had the nerve to tell me that they have found multiple errors  on my return and would not stand by me if the IRS decided to audit my submission.  Then, if that wasn't rude enough, it told me that I OWED the man $10,000.00.


THAT IS NOT A TYPO....$ addition to the taxes I already paid to The Man, the amount of which he already stole from me that was more than The Man paid me for the entire first year I worked for him....because I totally effin WORK for The Man and he still punched me in the face!!!  -- I got that Man coffee and a damn microwave.  I'm totally not letting him use my milk.  HE can use the damn Coffee Mate.

Does anyone else think that is punitive??   W...T...F...???!?!?!  Not only did I NOT succumb to my daily dream of running the other drivers off the road on my way to work, I also did NOT kill even one of my colleagues at the Embassy -- and frankly, a few of them had it coming.  NOBODY should be allowed to over-pronounce their words and then throw in flamboyant accents when they say foreign words and live to over-enunciate another day!!  

FURTHER, I am in SUDAN..I should totally get a pass because I've been here LONGER than a year and have not caused even ONE -- okay, less than incidents...OKAY, so the actual NUMBER of incidents I may or may not have caused does not really matter here -- it's that the Embassy has not been kicked out of the country!  I count that as a victory, frankly.   Plus, I think I should be able to list that as a tax credit.  If you think about it, I'm SAVING the USG a lotta money here in moving expenses....if you think about it.....(think harder). 

SOO, after I showed Josh our return and told him to give me $10,000, he pointed out that maybe  I don't know what the hell I'm doing... and, after the Turbotax online consultant asked me not to return last year, that maybe we should consider asking a professional to do our taxes. 

WHATEVER don't know!  Don't tell me nobody else thinks it's fishy that The Man taxes  you on the taxes you already paid to him last year....  That shit's just wrong.  I don't want any part of it!!

So...I was thinking....(and this is where it gets a little bits awkward...) I'm probably going to have to flee to Canada to avoid my US tax liability.  Now I realize I might  have previously said some things about Canada and judged them unfairly (no I didn't.  You totally know what you did.)  However, I've also totally stereotyped Canadians as bleeding hearts...THEREFORE, you guys won't EVER be able to turn me away!  ha HA SUCKAHS!!!   I totally told you guys you'd regret your liberal immigration policies! 

You hosers!

Anyway, after I flee to Canada I'm going to need you guys to send me some actual bacon.  I won't be able to survive yet another year in a non-bacon environment. 

I know you guys won't let me down....nobody should be forced to live without bacon.  Friends don't let friends buy Canadian bacon.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

It's Been a Big Week Damnitt! Don't you Judge Me!!

So, as you may have noticed I have been a tad bit lazy posting my thoughts....well, you would notice if you were anxiously awaiting for me to tell you what I think about stuff -  which, OF COURSE YOU ARE -- I mean, why on earth wouldn't you be doing that?? DOOY!  ANYWAY, I have (yet another) excuse:  We moved into the new Embassy.  

So naturally, I'm going to finally  say, "Today was a good day!" (No it wasn't.)  -- I'm just trying to be more positive because I was shocked to read someone's comment that pretty much asked if anything good happens here (No it doesn't.)  So then I thought that maybe I should try to be more positive and know, fake....  But then I thought,  Do I really have to be positive with you guys? Let's face it...Positive is going to be a little bits difficult for me to pull off.  It's exhausting! 

Frankly, I think we owe it to each other to be honest with each other.  (OMG!  I almost typed that without laughing...haha.)  No we don't.  Nobody wants to read about some damn form I filled out four times to get blue pens rather than black ones that were made in 1972 -- or that, YES, I did fill out that on-line form four times because this is the type of shit that I can't seem to let go of...but tricky foreign policy issues?? Eh...I'm sure it will all work out -- Christina's probably doing something about it....Now where was that damn form!?

Anyway, moved into the new Embassy that took the USG about 12 years to build.  It's very pretty, all shiny and new -- doesn't smell like ass yet.  Small problem though...nothing really works.  It's kinda like we're working out of a model home.  For God's sake, don't move anything!!  AND, you know how I refuse to use foreign elevators (because they tend to catch on fire and then leave you stranded in them -- I'm not sure foreigners have mastered actual elevator technology)...anyway...I get all the way to my floor - and you can't open the door.  It's locked and you need to know how to open it (I did not).  So I walked down to Post One to complain to the marine (because I always forget and think they will care) (FYI, they don't.)  And he sent me to see the security guy on another floor - so I get in the stairs -- AND IT'S EFFIN LOCKED! 

So I used the elevator.  Amazingly enough, it did not internally I figured...NOW it's going to be a good day...

So I decided to go to the new-improved cafeteria to get a cup of coffee.  The Embassy forgot to order coffee.   (Note to Self: write strongly worded letter to Congressman)  (Additional Note to self: Find out who is your Congressman.)  Also, not sure Cafeteria workers speak English or Arabic.  Might actually be mute, which could be a tragedy....(Note to Self: Bring sock puppet or make big picture of yummy coffee).

So I figured that all was not lost...I'll just go into the office and get a cup of coffee there.  I mean, we're the USG.  They provide us coffee pots in the office...we just need to bring in our own coffee.  SURELY someone remembered that.  -- There was no coffee pot, no microwave, and no mugs or anything....SO (Are you still riveted??  This is exciting shit isn't it? Twists, plot turns...etc)  I did some calming measures -- good air in....bad air out.... -- and ran around the office in a panic.  Turns out, I sort created an angry mob.  Afterwards, I was thinking that maybe this was not technically what I was going for in my "be more positive" campaign...but, we did get a coffee pot and microwave by the next morning, so really....if you think about it...I'm a damn HERO!

I'll probably get some kind of award.  So after my triumph, I decided to get started on my work, because I'm totally a dedicated public servant like that....

The Embassy forgot to hook up the printers.  Now I know we're all trying to be an electronic, paperless, green society and all -- BUT THEY WON'T ACCEPT MY FORM UNLESS I SIGN IT AND SUBMIT A HARDCOPY TO THEM!!!

I think we all know what is going on here: The Embassy discriminates against non-1970s era blue pens who are not made by the Lighthouse for the Blind. 

Tomorrow I will be positive.  Tomorrow I will be nice to a foreigner.  Tomorrow I will go to the gym.  Tomorrow I will drive to work and not consider running over people.  Tomorrow will be better.   You'll see.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Dear Internet Pharmacist,

I am writing you this note to thank you sooo much for the prescriptions you sent me for Adderall and Xanax.  Imagine my surprise and utter delight that these little blessings from internet pharmacy heaven also come in a tasty chocolate flavor.  Although I was a little bit confused when I I opened the first package to find that you had mixed the two together in one package, I figured that is what you pharmacists do when you ship in bulk.  I mean, when you're shipping that many to one address you really shouldn't have to worry about counting them all.  I mean, it filled the baggie - we'll call it good. 

I must say, however, that you should probably think about writing a strongly worded letter to the Pharmaceutical company your internet pharmacy uses.  They seemed to have spelled Adderall wrong and also Xanax.  Granted, not everyone is an internet certified WebMD like myself, however, I would have guessed that pharmaceutical companies would have spell check capability. 

I'm not complaining mind you.  Don't get me wrong.

Also, I wonder was it necessary to label each pill as Michel's Adderall and/or Michel's Xanax??? What if I wanted to share with someone in need here -- hahaha! I know, that sounds totally silly as we've already established that I do not share. 


However, on the off chance, that I wanted to impress my WedMD customers or "Patients" as I like to call them, it would be very difficult for me to dispense these drugs without them knowing that I am also on these drugs (which cannot possibly inspire confidence in your WebMD, frankly.)  I'm just saying....for future might want to think about Spell Check and leaving the Name off of the individual pills.  You know...for Safety Reasons....

And finally, I just wanted to let you know -- you know, for customer feedback and all -- that I am not really seeing the results I was promised in the latest issue of Us Weekly with the Adderall.  Maybe it was the generic "Addermall" and "Xanadu" brand, but I'm not really feeling that zen or losing any weight like the movie stars do.  I've even upped my dosage to one handful of each per day....and in the interest of full disclosure, I pretty much almost finished one whole package.  Perhaps I need some sort of instruction manual on how many to take and at what intervals.  I mean...they almost taste like candy...those drugs are just. that. good.

Anyway, just wanted to send you a note to say thank you sooo much for my Rx care package.  I have been recommending my internet pharmacist to all my friends.  Normally, this would probably result in an increase in business for  you and your internet pharmacy, however, I totally forgot that I hate other people.  So word hasn't gotten around as one would assume.

Wishing you the best in your internet pharmacy career,

Internet WebMd   

Friday, March 19, 2010

Explaining American Holidays ..or Maybe it was Irish....I'm Not Really Sure

Sudanese Official:  Did you have a nice time on your vacation?

Me: Oh yes! It was much grass and trees.  It was just lovely.

Sudanese Official:  silence

Me: Oh....well, Khartoum is really nice and all, I mean, the people are soooo friendly.  I had a great time and all, but I missed Sudan and was ready to come back (no I wasn't).

Sudanese Official: Uh-hmmm...well....

Me: Luckily, the Embassy is hosting a St. Patrick's Day Party know, to ease my transition from vacation back to work.  I mean, you can't just go back cold turkey you know.

Sudanese Official:  Cold turkey??

Me: (Jebus Dude!  Don't you have to leave???)  Umm.....just jump right back in to being in Sudan....

Sudanese Official: (offended look)

Me: (SHIT!) not IN Sudan, you

 (awkward silence)

Me: I'm umm....I'm lazy.

Sudanese Official:  (cough) What is this St. Patrick's Day??

Me: Oh?  Well, it's a day dedicated to St. Patrick...he's a catholic Saint.....from.....Ireland....or the UK...wait! It might have been just Ireland. I can never remember which part is's too confusing.  But he's an Irish Saint. ...   He wore green...

Sudanese Official:  What did he do?

Me:  Ummm...I think...ummm....well, he was a saint.  Good guy.  Helped the Irish, and maybe the British, oh....probably not the British.  Nobody really knows for sure.  They weren't the UK at that time, so he might have helped the British, but he probably didn't know they were British. 

Sudanese Official: But what did he do??

Me;  Umm....I think he gave the Irish people beer and green clovers.  Ummm.. they didn't have any.  Maybe a lucky charm....

Sudanese Official:  (silence)

Me:  Well, maybe not green beer...I think that's new.  But ...the important part is that we have a party.  And it is fun.  ....Ummm...I can't wait.  ....heh heh hmm....should be fun.  yaay.

Sudanese Official:  So you drink alcohol for a religious holiday?

Me:  Well, yes.  It's an IRISH  holiday.  It's their way.  I'm not here to judge.  But it's not just that...I mean, we wear green and there is traditional food...

Sudanese Official:  What is the traditional food?

Me:  (SHIT!)  Ummm....there's corned beef and cabbage and ....ummm...Irish Stew....ummm...boiled potatoes.

Sudanese Official:  Corned beef?  What is this corned beef????

Me:  Oh...corned beef?  Well, it's beef...that is corned.  They corn know, the beef.  Corned... 

Sudanese Official:  You mean they put corn with beef?

Me:  No.  It's corned.  I dunno.  The Irish like to corn their beef.'s not not yucky.

Sudanese Official: Not yucky??

Me:   Well, I'm not sure it's really good per se...but it's not BAD.  I mean, I don't choose it most times, but I think cause I'm not really sure how to make it.  And I forget it's there most of the time.  It's kinda salty.  Like jerky, but not hard and chewy.  But with cabbage.

Sudanese Official:  So you drink and eat salty beef?  To honor a saint??  I don't understand.  How does that honor him?

Me:  I's not that bad. I mean, you make it sound like it's silly or something.  It's not.  That's not ALL...we also....well, know....we wear green.

Sudanese Official: Oh.


Sudanese Official:  Well then...have a nice time. 

Me:  (SHIT!  Sorry America...and Ireland...I'll stop talking to people....)