Thursday, December 12, 2013

The Arrow

It caught her eye… the way it stood there, held firmly, confidently, like it was right where it belonged. It was silvery but not shiny in a cheap sort of way. It didn’t scream out “look at me” but it demanded respect, and she was willing to grant it that. She knew it was special the moment she saw it, and she knew before that moment too. Love at first sight? Nah! It existed, she loved it, that’s it.

At first she couldn’t get a close look, but it distracted her. Oh how it distracted her. What was that guy saying anyway? She couldn’t remember. It was the cold, the medicines, maybe she was even feverish, that’s why it’s so hard to focus… but it’s not hard to focus on it. If only she could get a closer look, if only she could hear it tick, and feel its sleek shape in her hand… Enough! Focus!

That’s it, she’s telling herself it’s the meds. The stupid cold and the stupid meds and all that coffee she had to drink, but she had made up her mind. She wasn’t going to think about it. It’s a now or never moment, she wasn’t always good at those, but this time, this thing, it’s now.

She asked for it, and she got it. It was a surprise to her, a pleasant one, a timeless moment. She held it, twisted it in her hand ever so delicately, she didn’t dare hold it with her left hand, the one that did the work. If she had, she’d never let go. Her heart was beating out of tune, as she examined it. It was all silver, she preferred the silver and navy, but the all silver one, a bit dull from being well used but still maintaining the dignity of one well taken care of, felt like the older brother of the one she preferred; more mature, more intelligent, more genuine. She really did feel mature then in a way, even though she felt like a kid holding one of that family again, but she wasn’t a kid anymore and she was strongly aware of that at that very moment. The moment her eyes fell on those arrows, they went straight through her. Funny how they did that from just a look. Some things are more than they seem, more than they look, more than they do or cost. Some things go straight through the heart.

She didn’t trust herself enough to make it tick, and he didn’t tick it either, probably stunned at her strange behavior. She felt embarrassed, awkward, self-conscious. It was just a pen, or so she told herself. But at that moment her eyes first fell on it, she didn’t know, how could she? She never realized the effect it had on her to see one again, and to see one standing so tall. Was it an archer like her? Well, it was definitely an arrow, and after all, she is the archer, but would the arrow aim true?

It was time for the dream to end, for the moment to pass, for the pen to go back where it belonged. She gave it back. It had made her happy for just a second, even though she made a fool of herself, even though her own blood betrayed her. it was time to go back to her sturdy Staedtler pencil. She wasn’t a pen person after all, and she always had her father’s Cross to soothe her at times like these when a pen, just a pen, can do so much damage. She’d never owned a Parker, and she expects she never would. It would be too special and she would never bear the thought of losing it or misplacing it; it would break her heart to have Parker, but maybe her heart needed breaking, or shooting an arrow through. Cross and Staedtler… for now. The Parker was in safe hands. She hoped the sequel would have a sequel. Cross your fingers, pun intended ;)

Here’s a clue: The Pencil Affair

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Saturday, November 30, 2013

Another Birthday

It’s my birthday again. For some reason I’ve made it a tradition to give you all some fuss over my birthday, but the real reason is I’m writing this for me, to watch myself grow older and wiser and exponentially crazier. This post is about what’s special in the past year, and why I have newly found respect for the next one.
  • I didn’t kill anyone this year, not remotely, at least not to my knowledge, phew.
  • I left the job that was draining the life out of me, and I’ve made some very close calls relating to that but God was merciful to put me in situations where I couldn’t go back on my word, I’m a lucky gal.
  • I did not go to jail!
  • I’m doing my MBA which is a sweet distraction from life. Well, not so sweet, who am I kidding, but if I’m going around in circles in my brain, I might as well do it about something with some value.
  • I’m becoming a nerd, not something to my advantage, but it should be an interesting experience; nerdy with a sense of humor.
  • I don’t have to wake up at 6 am every day and drive/get driven 80 km a day + 70 km more when I go to school (just the 70 now).
  • I went to Europe! For less than a week and stayed in a dismal place.. but I went to Europe!!
  • I have a beautiful baby nephew, may God keep him safe always.
  • I made friends and lost friends and shuffled friends around, but in the end, all is good, all is just right, as it always has been and always will be.
  • I lost my favorite person in the world, the loveliest person in the world. I didn’t dare say goodbye properly and I still don’t dare say goodbye. It hurts to know she is gone but I am grateful to have had her in my life; for every smile and every laugh that she gave me, and still does with wonderful memories. May you rest in peace Tant Omaima.
  • Lessons have been learned, lots of them. They are the lessons that make life worth living.
  • I know for a fact that shrinks are possibly useless!
  • I can still laugh! At some point last year I really thought I couldn’t laugh ever again.
  • I still have no idea what my purpose in life is, I mean seriously how long does it take to find that out?! Do we have to wait for life to end to figure it out or what?!! Funny thing is that I’m still looking, God helps those who help themselves after all.
  • I’m writing again, on and off, more off than on, but hey, I am!
  • My professor asked me in the first class of management if I’m the next Steve Jobs. I think he’d back out on saying that now, but I will pretend that he wouldn’t.
So I guess what I’m trying to say is, I am grateful. Thank You God for giving me a full life with so many lessons. Thank You for giving me reasons to thank You. Thank You for listening to some of the prayers in my heart, and forgiving the not so nice stuff in there too. I am alive. My life may not be so good, but this year I am grateful for not having something to be guilty about, and that’s good enough, that’s more than good. Thank You!

Oh, and Happy Birthday to me!

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Friday, October 25, 2013

The Doll Factory

Disclaimer: This post is written by a very angry person

The past decade showed how women in music are all headed towards symbolizing women as objects; as good as their hair, clothes, and makeup, and should only be happy when they, as objects, are in demand by the consumer; a.k.a the common man. Two or three years later, the movies started portraying the common man as a wolf in sheep’s clothes; if the girl becomes an interesting enough commodity, then the consumer wants to steal instead of buy, use and abuse instead of create a solid and healthy partnership through love and marriage, and how their lives are all eventually ruined.
The songs sell because girls want to be beautiful, attractive, and sexy. Of course, stream this enough through the media and any girl going through puberty will learn that being smart is a big no-no (don’t the mothers tell them that as well), being sexy is good, but publicly slutty is a no-no, you can be slutty if you can hide it, because the guys like the secrecy, and that being yourself is.. wait, yourself? You want to be a real human being? No sweetie, you got it wrong, no one wants you for who you are, you are not an individual, you are a doll in a very big dollhouse called the world, you should know your place.
The movies sell too. They sell to guys because they talk about all that is taboo; sex and drugs, how you would ruin your life if you decide to marry the girl you like, and how it would be much easier to just play around with a girl who is easy enough. You’d be a sleazebag but no one can hurt you and no one really cares. They sell to girls because they sound like the lessons from the more experienced women of the world (aren’t they all directed by Inas El-Deghedy?) on how a girl should be sexy, but not easy, and that naïve girls get the boot almost always, because even if they are book smart, the wolves out there would get them, it’s eventual. A girl has to be “2arashana” and “sousa” to live a good life and sell to the right consumer; the man who has money and a job and would treat her like a princess; which basically means buy her lots of stuff because love is for losers.
We’ve come to live with that, Sexy girls and soppy love stories and movies about the big bad wolf. But the trend is changing, and apparently not for the better. It seems that all those movies did pay off in the end, girls are not easy anymore, at least they know how to hide it and if they don’t, who cares anyway, this is society now and we are a part of it. It is becoming more OK on a societal level that girls aren’t faking Hijab, mainly because of a stupid politically rebellious idea in the sense of school children teasing each other, but that doesn’t mean that girls should get too comfortable, oh no! You thought it’s time to be yourself sweetie? No, no that’s not going to happen, it just looks like you have more freedom. The new trend which was always there really but always subtle, is going public; society is coming out of the closet. We want Stepford wives, and you should be happy with that. You know of course that you shouldn’t have an opinion, we’ve been pushing that in your head ever since school and it’s been going on for decades, this is just trying to sell it. A girl is still a commodity, but we want to sell a Stepford wife now, not a slut, that doesn’t sell anymore.
The sluts of society are now talk show hosts; just look at them, they work late (imagine how they get home at dawn every day), they want you to think, they talk about hard political topics, they aren’t feminine, and most of them are either single or divorced. See where smart gets you? Here is the alternative, here is what sells. A girl should always act naïve and stupid, it’s so cute. You should always have hearts and teddy bears around, come on make it easy on the dude, if he decides to get you something, you have to like it. Got that down? Good! Now that you’ve attracted the right guy, you have to be obedient, yes you heard me, obedient! And stay naïve, if he senses that you’re smart or knowledgeable, he’ll be turned off and leave, and then you’ll be a spinster and not even a talk show host. Next, you have to dress the way he likes. No, it doesn’t matter if he liked the way you dressed before, remember, you’re a doll. Kids dress their dolls all the time, so you have to look the way he likes. Now, about those friends of yours, they’re bad influence, they’ll turn you against him most probably and open your sweet kitten eyes on how badly he’s been treating you, so you better not listen to them. Tell you what, let him pick your friends for you; probably his family members or the girlfriends/wives of his friends, and then let him always compare you to them to show you how badly you’re treating him and how they are way more obedient than you. Remember your place, you are there to please your man, do everything he says, even think the way he likes, this is part of your role as society’s doll; to be shaped the way the customer likes.
Now don’t forget, be happy! If you complain you’ll be a typical Egyptian depressing woman. Finally, when you get dumped because you’re too boring for him and you don’t know anything about anything, take it with dignity, even with pride. You mustn’t embarrass him or make a scene. One last thing, when you do get dumped, you’ll be used goods and no one will want you again, and you’ll still be a spinster, who doesn’t have a talk show and isn’t even smart.
We hope you’ve enjoyed your stay at the doll factory. Please come again!

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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Purpose of Life

The eternal question, what’s the meaning of life? What’s the purpose of life? Why am I here? Why was I born? Do I matter? Why is the universe so big... etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.

42 (just kidding)

The purpose of life is a story.

The only things that matters in life are stories. Aren’t stories divine? To become a story teller is to reach out and grab a piece of that divinity. After all, the book I love so much, the word of God and the message of the belief I hold so dear to me in my heart of hearts is a book of stories, the Quran, and each tiny part of it has a story of its own. Its messenger PBUH is a story teller; not in the sense of his making up stories, but because the story teller is a story on his own through his credibility and his honesty. Oh yes, a story teller is honest, perhaps the only important thing about a story teller, whether he makes up stories or just tells them, is that he is honest because he believes in the words of the story he is telling.

I talk too much, and I blog too much, especially about myself. It’s quite disturbing in fact. I can only imagine you, dear reader, wishing I would write about something else other than me. But maybe if you come back to this humble blog, then you are listening to the story of me. It would be nice to dream that one day my blog would be a book about all my stories, wouldn’t that be nice?

But enough about me…

Imagine your story. Take a minute.

Do you like your story so far? How does it go?

Was born in a thunderstorm 20 something years ago, in the middle of the night or at midday. Meant the world to your parents, went to school and college, played the bad boy every now and then, fell in love so fiercely that you thought your heart would break, felt your soul shatter to a million pieces when your dream didn’t come true.

Your smile lit up the room and your laugh was like chiming bells.

You saw so much, made so many mistakes, travelled inside your soul and out, and realized this and that!

You went through the bitterness of regret and the even worse bitterness of lost hope.

Your friends were everything, or they were nothing, you worked so hard because you believed in something, or just liked to work, or you were a workaholic by heritage.

You had fun and you laughed and you cried. Once you spoke to a person and that person’s eyes lit up because she’d realized something that was so profound, and only you could make her eyes shine like that.

We exist to tell stories, our stories, other people’s stories. We exist because in our laughter and tears, in our losses and disappointments, buried under the debris of our shattered dreams lies a shard of broken glass, that if held to the light in exactly the right way, would reflect the light of the sun. Our stories are the stories of existence and of life. Plain old life. So maybe it’s much simpler than all those crises we go through; identity, existential, oompa loompa?

How would you like your story to end? Take another minute, please :)

I want people, at the end when they read my story, to be sad that I died (isn’t that how stories on earth end?) but not because my ending is tragic –who knows maybe it would be –but because they loved the character. I want them to be happy because I lived a full life, because I tried and failed and maybe succeeded a few times. I want them to be happy because I was good and honest. Honest stories are the best. I don’t want to be the good guy, or the bad guy (gal), I want to be human; good and bad. I want the person who reads my story to love me at times and hate me at times and get angry at me for being so thick, and wish me guidance when I lose my way. I wish my story’s ending would not have any loose ends; I don’t want my readers to hold their breaths and think, “if only she had another hour, she could have done this or that” but that’s not up to me. What is up to me is not to waste my time wishing. Who would want to read a story about a person who sat there wishing and never did anything about it! I am glad I am stuck sometimes though, because that’s always the best part in a story, when the character is stuck and the reader just can’t wait for them to get unstuck; to be sent a miracle or make one of their own. Isn’t that what always happens in stories?

Aren’t we reading each other’s stories now? Maybe mine is wordier because I write too much about myself, but that doesn’t mean that it’s better or fuller or more meaningful. The best thing about stories is how they make you feel. And the best stories are definitely the ones that linger for years in your head; those moments and passages and images and words that hit us when we least expect and make us laugh or cry or be wary…

Or maybe in the frenzy of all those stories, we just realize that life is a story of stories that overlap and intertwine, and that this story will go on and on and on until that day when we see how our stories fare.

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Thursday, October 17, 2013

What became of the Lost Boys

Excerpt from Peter Pan

“Of course all the boys went to school; and most of them got into Class III, but Slighty was put first in class IV and then into Class V. Class I is the top class. Before they had attended school a week they saw what goats they had been not to remain on the island [Neverland]; but it was too late now, and soon they settled down into being as ordinary as you or me or Jenkins minor. It is sad to have to say that the power to fly gradually left them. At first Nana tied their feet to the bedposts so that they should not fly away in the night; and one of their diversions by day was to pretend to fall off buses; but by and by they ceased to tug at their bonds in bed, and found that they hurt themselves when they let go of the bus. In time they could not even fly after their hats. Want of practice, they called it; but what it really meant was that they no longer believed.”

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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Becoming Absurd


“Who knows what ‘stagger’ means? Who wants to demonstrate to the class?” said the English teacher.

I raised my hand, went up to the front of my second preparatory class, and staggered.

“Why did you do that? You looked ridiculous, everyone was laughing at you” said my best friend after class. Lesson learned: don’t make people laugh at you.

Years and years passed. For the rest of my school years, I was considered poker faced.



I asked a question in class, my friend next to me turned to me and told me, in a surprised but indifferent tone (at the same time, yes it’s hard to imagine, sorry) “you participate!”

I spent the next 2 years quite quiet, but then I couldn’t help myself. I like talking.

I can’t say I was “interactive” or even talkative. I found it very hard to talk to people, talk in class, all that. But when I got around closed circles I did talk, and people laughed, it didn’t hurt, I liked it. I got a lot of “how could you say something like that?” and “stop doing that” and “people will laugh at you” with very angry scolding faces. Faces I thought I could only see at home, but everyone likes to play big brother/big sister/mother/father/grandfather/distant family member who likes to interfere, or simply a distorted idea of a friend who doesn’t like their friends laughed at. But that was never it, it was always “will being associated with her embarrass us? Will she expose us and laugh?” or maybe it was something entirely different.. who knows.


First Job

“we didn’t like you at first, but it turns out you’re fun” a very honest and lovely friend told me once. I wasn’t poker faced, I was indeed quiet, at first, then when I left they told me the floor got quieter and that I made all the noise!

On one of the performance reviews, I got something like: you’re funny, you make everyone laugh, and you lighten up the mood when we’re tense. What I actually got in my mind’s eye: you’re the class clown! I got upset, really upset.


Hospital room after car crash

“don’t worry about it, ‘fadaky’ (which is a term that means whatever happened or was lost can be sacrificed for you) Thank God you’re safe” said the family friend (who came to the hospital room when I specifically asked all my personal close friends NOT to come) his wife was on the phone as well.

I responded by hysterical laughter. I mean really, how can I stop myself from laughing other than swearing using words I didn’t even know? How can “fadaky” console me? How can other people’s lives be “fadaya”? His wife thought I hit my head, of course that would be the only thing that would make sense; that I’ve hit myself because I’m being absurd to laugh at a time like this. I hate to say it, but what plebes!


Rest of my life

I make people laugh, even if I don’t mean it, especially when I don’t mean it. They never laugh when I do. I am excellent at accidental comedy. I laugh and people laugh with me, or at me, same difference when you’ve been clumsy all your life; falling down and staining your clothes with food, and occasionally tripping over your own feet, oh and I walk into walls as well, just did that a few months ago actually. It’s ok to laugh at other people as well, there are levels of absurd that even I don’t comprehend, but I don’t get why people feel offended if I laugh at their absurdity. I have come to accept mine, and the world’s, which happens to include, well, them!absurd

Wildly unreasonable, check!

Illogical, not always, but, check!

Inappropriate, yeah baby! Check!

The above define absurd. Absurd is life. Absurd is humanity. Absurd is you, dear reader, and is definitely me, even if we don’t comprehend or play the fools on that one. Society considers whatever is not following its norms as absurd, probably throwing it in the inappropriate part. But is it appropriate to accept war or murder when it falls in the area of our interest? Doesn’t that make it inappropriate? Doesn’t that make it, wait for it, absurd? Wait, wait, what about football? Death and love and high blood pressure, absurd?

Let me redefine absurd in my own sense. Absurd is when I perform acts that are illogical (I am a girl after all), wildly unreasonable (I tried to force a guy back at college into tying his shoes for him, the loose shoe lace thing annoys me), and inappropriate (I am so good at that one!)

So according to the dictionary, I am absurd, hurray for me.

How I became absurd is very simple. I stopped listening to all the discontent voices. I stopped looking at all the frowning/concerned faces, and I stopped caring altogether about societies ideas of norms. Well not altogether, I don’t want my mother to get a heart attack, but mostly, I like to live by my own rules, the rules I create, custom made to fit Dina, that’s me, and they just work. It gets hard sometimes, especially when I severely blush, but then I laugh even more and the nervous laughter and silly jokes are so conveniently mistaken for confidence and carefreeness that it just works so well to be absurd.

Sometimes, at night when it’s very dark, I question myself, I got this horrible nagging voice that I can’t seem to bury in my head, and that is always louder than all the other voices that tells me off, it even sounds like it has that frown that’s on everyone’s faces. I admit, it’s hard not to listen to it when it’s dark and quiet everywhere else, maybe I do; turn it down a couple of notches at family gatherings and such, or when the older ladies are around because they would frown at my mom I guess. I’ll accept the “young and stupid” look I get from them and smile. I’ll even accept the nervous smile that says “uh-oh, she’s insane, better make up an excuse to leave” because there is something very relieving at the acceptance of one’s own absurdity, and that is the fact of not caring.

I see the photo of the sad clown all over facebook of all the sad ones out there who smile all day and frown on the inside and I think, I need the opposite of that, I need the photo of the human on the outside and clown on the inside because that is what I am, and that is what I like to stay; a clown. If you think about it, that’s what you want me to be too, the clown, the one who makes everyone laugh and hypes them up and right out of their daily boring tedious routines, I am the human entertainer that lives among the masses, laughing and smiling and just cracking that joke that didn’t even sound like a joke but it’s so absurd it can’t be anything else. In your eyes I am the clown, in my eyes, I am privileged because I see it all as quite very funny, and so so absurd. You can only laugh if I make you, so what does that make me really? Don’t freak out, I’ll just stick with absurd.

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Sunday, October 6, 2013

Me, Fady, The Idiot, and Stuff..

Suddenly, as I read that climatic moment in Dostoevsky’s The Idiot, I understood it all; how men and women can think so alike and yet so differently. Well, not men and women really, just me and Fady.

In our conversation about Russian literature that kept moving all over the spectrum of all the literature in the world, he told me how he admired Dostoyevsky’s characters; their depth, their structure, I am paraphrasing here so I hope no one takes this personally. I had got a similar comment on Dostoyevsky as I was struggling to read Crime & Punishment from Ahmed Essam back in our first or second year of college. I was never able to get through it, and I think it would take me a few years before I venture into Russian lit again. But here he was, Fady I mean, telling me about the Brothers Karamazov, and how they were so ingeniously portrayed, as I was struggling through the last few chapters of The Idiot; a story with a massive retention dip! When you read The Idiot, you start off by loving the characters, and hating how they are so thoroughly explained in the beginning, feeling cheated at how that takes the fun out of discovering them well ahead within the story. Then in the middle, you see all those situations that have almost no weight. Their sole purpose is to further display the personalities of the characters which have already been transcribed in the very beginning. I am a storyline person myself, I never remember endings, I just remember how the story goes. So for me, it was a massive disappointment. It took me close to 6 months to finish, was an excellent cure to insomnia, and has been indeed a great motivator to get up and do something more interesting!

But here I was, talking to Fady, very excited about finally getting over and done with this novel, telling him how the characters seemed different to me than their descriptions in book reviews and plot outlines. I have to admit I’ve never really read the whole plot outline, who does THAT! But I have read some of the reviews. In them, the character portrayal was all about symbolism; the angelic girl versus the not so angelic girl, and the prince who suffers from the love of both, and so much more blah. First of all, the characters are NOTHING like that; it’s not Jane Austen people! Not even Shakespeare, whose characters can be completely described in 2 adjectives. To me, towards the end but not quite there, the characters were all very normal with some curiosities but nothing to call interesting. How they spun together in the web of the storyline was, in my opinion naïve. Fady rejected these ideas in his usual, but not unpleasant, cynicism, because to him, the story was driven by something deeper inside each character, and in the end I knew why.

I will try hard not spoil it for people who are planning to read it, but here goes. The ending shocked me, even though I had a general idea about it, and it was like someone finally turned on the light in that crammed closet to find that the answer was sitting right in front of you all along but you were never really able to put your finger on it. Despite all what you may have thought of the characters in the middle of the story, all the ideas that kept changing over and over, the ones where you wonder why the writer was so misleading in the beginning, turned out exactly as he had described at the start, but with the actions of the story taking their toll. In a way, it was their attempts to change and adapt, and their inevitable failure at being anything other than who they really are. The only character I felt was not portrayed correctly in the beginning was Evgenie Pavlovitch, or maybe it was the only character who was able to adapt. Better still, maybe he started off pretending to be someone else, and showed his true colors in the end, who knows. Read it and let me know.

The light at the end of the tunnel was in the end related to love, and in turn, how men and women thought differently, how Fady focused on the characters while I focused on the storyline. The prince, or the idiot, in my opinion, was abstract emotion; a creature driven solely by his heart. Often described as simple, and in his description of his life and education, he was. He has loved Nastasia Philipovna with that sense specifically; a woman with a reputation so to speak, but only just that and nothing else, for she has shown nothing from her attire at the beginning except modesty. That was how society conceived her, and how she came to conceive herself. Abstractly, wouldn’t a human, in all the sense of the word, love her for her suffering? For her modesty? For her beauty, which the prince had seen, on the inside? Wouldn’t that abstract person also love Aglaya Ivanovna for her youth, her untainted heart, even though I say this conservatively, and for her love of life? Apparently he would, or so Dostoyevsky thought. But in reality, people are not abstract emotion, people are not abstract greed, and are not abstract goodness or badness or any other thing. People are complex, capable of things they can never imagine; good or evil. Even the women; the suffering woman who has to live with her feelings of unworthiness because that is what society has chosen to tag her with, and the child growing into womanhood with pride and beauty and a general feeling of worthiness because society has chosen to bestow that upon her. She did not go through what Nastasia Philipovna has gone through, she, like society, allows herself to judge, and in her own mind’s eye and society’s, remain pure and white hearted.

Dostoyevsky indeed focuses in the characters. His novels portray depth in the human soul. Fady agrees with that, is interested in that, and in a similar manner, this is how he thinks. I on the other hand see the characters from the context they are put in, I believe in emotions and empathy, I cannot be so analytical as to think the human character is an algorithm that we can use to decipher behavior. The prince, in his abstract emotional sense, in a symbolic way did not survive life because he tried to look at the emotions of each person conceptually, and tried to analyze all their actions based on that and that alone, like women do most of the time. As a woman myself, believe it or not, I cannot identify people with a specific set of characteristics and play match; each situation with the equivalent character trait, because in my very humble opinion on my very long blog, I believe that the context in which you are put matters, hence my love for the storyline and my dislike of Dostoyevsky.

I bet I’ll have to follow up on this post when Fady reads it, stay tuned.

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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Twenty-Something Love

I've learned that there exists a book that talks about the quarter life crisis in 20-something women, and it isn't really about  how to get out of the crisis as much as it is a sort of toolbox to dive deeper into oneself to answer three questions; who am I? What do I want? How do I get what I want? And some more "best practices" about how to move on through your twenties.
The book was not really that interesting for me, since I have already been a self diver for a couple of years, although some of the exercises are indeed interesting. So for me, the first part of the book which deals with the three questions, is a road I've been down before. Answering the second question (what do I want) which should have been interesting, was a bit lacking. As to the third question (how do I get what I want), well it didn't stick! The second part of the book deals with building a foundation for yourself. While important, I seem to have that covered, with the exception of some of the body image issues and messed up financials. The third part consists of merely 2 chapters; one for love and one for career.
This post is about the love part.
Without further ado, the book has a lot of exercises and requires us to keep journals. I've found that my answers to a lot of these questions are actually things I would like to share, because, well, I'm talkative and I like to share :)
Exercise #1
What sacrifices do you make?
(In which we list the things we sacrifice when in a relationship, pretty obvious, duh.) So I have sacrificed the following:
  1. My identity
  2. My ambition
  3. Male friends, and female friends as well
  4. Money
  5. Independence
  6. Hobbies
  7. Time with family/friends
  8. Family ties
  9. Some morals and values
  10. Peace of mind
  11. Sanity
  12. Personal space
  13. Self image
Exercise #2
Adjustments and sacrifices
(In which we identify the adjustments we are willing to make to ourselves/our lifestyles for a relationship, and what sacrifices we will NOT make)
  • My schedule/time
    • Seems weird to be an adjustment right? Well, it is! Personal space and activities are very important to me, So are my friends and family. So to give up my alone time (or some of it as I will never give it all up to be honest) is a big deal for me.
  • Doing things together, being engaged in similar interests and family stuff
    • Guess what, I am not really interested in watching football or going fishing! Nor am I interested in video games, at least not all of them, but I want to be in a relationship where I am engaged with my partner in the things he likes, if he wants to, as I would love for him to be engaged in the things I like, without making me feel like I am dragging him along like a cranky child. Capice?
  • Financials
    • Now even though most guys out there would say they don't want their wives sharing in the household, the tone changes 180 degrees after marriage, simply because this is how life goes on now, and for a guy to ignore that, he is either filthy rich (doubtful), blind, or manipulative. So let’s be honest with ourselves from the start, shall we?
  • Living smaller
    • I'm going to emphasize on that later in the sacrifices part (which compromises its presence as an adjustment) but seriously, am I willing to live on a smaller scale than I do now with my family? Yes I am! But on my own terms.
  • Smoking. I seriously do not think I can ever be in a relationship with a smoker. There is just too much baggage there for me, even though I do enjoy the occasional second hand cigarette.
  • I can never be with someone who patronizes me, takes me for granted, or does not respect me or my choices. I'm not looking for a guardian or a father figure contrary to what everyone may think, I am looking for a life partner. So what you see is what you get, if you don't like it, roll your eyes at it, or make jokes about it, please go away!
  • I've sacrificed my friends before, some I got back, and some I lost forever, and I will forever regret that. It will not happen again. So male friends or no, two of my best friends are guys, I won't give them up, or my night out with the girls.
  • Family first! His as well as mine, and that includes treating them with the respect they deserve mister.
  • Career, ambition, crazy business idea that I decide to follow through, you name it!
  • Financial independence. I've seen too many lives ruined as a result of that. So no matter how big my money problems are, I will not give it up.
  • What I wear, what I read, what music I listen to. OFF LIMITS!!
  • My personal space. I can't be "sharing" my life all the time. Sorry, but it just takes the 'my' out of 'my life'
  • I won't compromise trust and honesty. So if he is into the mind game business, things would just go south and it would be a waste of time (besides I read somewhere that BOYS play mind games, men don't)
  • Quality of life. This is the rule that defines the adjustment. I don't mind living in a smaller place as long as it is in a good location. I don't mind having a small wedding as long as it is a good one. I am totally ok with a small car, but not a used one. Get the idea?
Exercise #3
Listing what you want
(In which I answer the question of what I want in a relationship)
P.S. I had to validate if they are not complete fiction with a male friend.. weird exercise but fun none the less :)
  1. I want peace! I don’t want the fact that I am in a relationship to stress me out. I’d like it to take away the stress instead. In other words, I’m a restless person. If I am with someone who makes me more restless, I’ll probably just kill myself!
    I just want to note that I do understand fully that relationships have their good times and their bad times, and the bad times are, guess what, stressful! But I believe, and maybe I’m a bit of a dreamer (although my male friend who took part in this exercise says that it’s a realistic request in a relationship) that it doesn’t really matter how good or bad things are, but in the end, there will always be peace inside even if things aren’t as peachy on the outside.
  2. Contentment! Not happiness necessarily, at least not happiness all the time, just to be generally okay and to know that it will always be okay.
  3. Understanding. Coming from a crazy person, this is high on the priorities list. For someone to listen AND to make sense of all the seeming nonsense I have to say, That’s it!
    Again, I am not all roses and butterflies, I know that men don’t always get it and neither do women. Men aren’t mind readers, and neither are women. If there is no good communication, there will never be any understanding.
  4. To have interesting conversations and share some laughs. So funny AND interesting.. BOTH… At the same time… my friend says it’s possible, I honestly have my doubts.
  5. Acknowledge my qualities. No, not validate me, but know my worth. Why would he be with me if he doesn’t?
  6. Support. This is the person I’m spending the rest of my life with (that’s the plan at least), do if he’s not the first person to support me through thick, thin, and crazy, as I am going to be the first person to support him, then something is definitely missing.
  7. Love, care, openness, yes all the mushy stuff too!
    Note from male friend, no man can be open 100% but yes, he should have is moments, and I should expect 60% openness. I’m fine with that.
  8. Bold. I don’t quite know how to explain that, but I want it!
  9. I want to live by a good set of values; honesty, openness, communication, generosity, trust, family, religiousness.
    Note from male friend: Yes definitely, but they don’t have to exist in both parties on the same levels (I think what he was trying to say was that men stretch the truth sometimes.. I can live with that!)
  10. Fun! It isn’t a business partnership you know!
  11. Confidence. I really think he should be confident, not threatened by me or by other men. I mean if he’s really lacking, why would I be holding on?
    Note from male friend: It can exist to an extent. Confident men don’t act upon their insecurities. I didn’t like what he said at first so he gave me a valid example. Imagine the lady is a rocket scientist. Now her partner could be amazing on all aspects and she could appreciate him to a great extent, but if he is not a rocket scientist as well, he will never be able to engage that particular passion of hers, and so he will feel lacking on not being able to do that while some other bloke from work can. I think my friend needs to watch Doctor Who, (Hello! Rory!!) But I sort of get his point.
  12. Love. Cliché but it’s a must.

  13. He has to be OK with all my shades of crazy

As a final note from my male friend, Even though this is all realistic according to him, the odds of finding all these things in the same person are “SHITTY”

I’m done!

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Friday, August 30, 2013

Of Mothers and Love

“She’s just your normal, overprotective, overbeating, over-the-top mother.”

I’ve just finished watching a movie called Because I Said So, where Diane Keaton, who is just gorgeous and I completely adore, meddles in her daughter’s (Mandy Moore) personal/love life. And while my mother does not directly meddle in my love life, except pointing out the many inadequacies of my ex-fiancé, the decision of the break-up was solely mine. Of course, the decision of the engagement itself was not. Let’s not forget the every morning scenario of why I am not getting married has become, well, an every morning scenario.

In the movie, from the very beginning, the mother is trying to push her daughter into relationships, telling her not to laugh her nervous laughter because it scares away the men, and pushing her to wear dresses that aren’t really the daughter’s style, but the mother’s. Now the daughter is an accomplished chef with her own catering business. She got the expensive loft and the car and the career, but not the guy, which concerns her mother so much because she doesn’t want her to end up alone, like her. Admirable sentiment that I’m sure all mothers relate to, what she doesn’t know however, or refuses to listen to, is how by her constant nagging and “suggestions” she is ruining an important part of her daughter; her confidence in being herself. Even though she may suggest at her daughter to wear a pleated skirt to impress her boyfriend’s conservative parents, and even though the daughter screams at her mother that she hates pleated skirts, she wears it all the same. Somewhere in the middle of the movie, the daughter mentions that her mother has impeccable taste. I agree, after all it IS Diane Keaton, but I wondered if what she was really saying was I feel more comfortable with my mother’s choices because I trust her taste more than I trust my own?
I wonder how many of us daughters relate, and how many of you mothers relate as well? For me, I feel like I am fighting a daily battle with myself as well as with my mother. Her suggestions to me feel more like orders because they are always accompanied with some sort of put down, like how my dress doesn’t fit anymore because I am letting myself eat too much, or how because I am a bit tight for money this month is because of my horrible financial management. So I end up listening to her advice or suggestions or whatever orders put into a subtle tone of “I suggest you do this, because see what happens when you don’t? You do all the wrong things” while feeling horrible about myself, with no confidence in my own choices or my own way of thinking. Looking for validation elsewhere, it is easier to stay at work where I have got good control of what I do and the people around me are confident in my decisions rather than go home and explain to my mother how I like my new shoes even though she doesn’t (which is the fight with her), and how when I do buy those shoes I should consider less what she would think of them (which is my fight with myself) and trust my own taste.
It is better to screw up our decisions now, our love lives, our finances, our styles, until we find that sweet spot where it is okay, really okay, to be ourselves. Even though my mother used her suggestion/put down methods on my ex while we were engaged, but because I wasn’t really telling her anything about how the relationship was progressing, they were focused only on the material shortfalls, which I always believed, and still believe, settle themselves. The emotional/personal shortfalls I had to figure out for myself, and decide upon for myself. It wasn’t until after the breakup that she, again, used her technique to “suggest” that in the future, I tell her how things are going because her experience would help me see the red signs. My mother does have impeccable taste, and my taste is quite sloppy and totally different, although I’d like to think I have a shabby chic thing going on from time to time. The thing is there are things that I know she is right about, and they’re probably a lot, and other things are, while right, that are greatly exaggerated. I guess what she needs to do is realize that I am not completely blind, and that while her opinion is indeed precious, it does not have to come with a constant lacking feeling.
Maybe all that love mothers have for daughters, and all that fear for their safety just needs to be polished with a little faith in us. It’s time for us to lead our lives, not follow theirs.

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Saturday, March 9, 2013

Ruptured – The Good, The Bad, and The Egyptian

My very good friend Tarek Refaat is the first and only person I know directly that has written and published a novel, and it was IN ENGLISH! First of all, I am incredibly proud of his achievement. It is rare to have someone actually follow their dream and realize it, even if it may not be all that he, or I, expected. Before I start this review of his book; Ruptured, I would like to point out that he has done an amazing effort it trying to make this product the best that it can be. In addition, his amazing networking and people skills have helped him market the book, maybe in the virtual world more than around the country, but to have 4.5 stars on Amazon (not one of the reviewers being Egyptian, which is a shame) and quite a few reviewers on goodreads as well, this is where I stop and say WOW, and WAY TO GO!
Ruptured is about a rape victim, Farida, her story after the actual rape is done with the rapist doing his time behind bars, and how she moves on with her life; something Tarek has often wondered about because no one really tells you how it goes in books or movies. Unlike what we may expect, it’s not a happily ever after, even if the author has given it a happy ending. The book was written before the revolution in 2009, and was published way before the systematic rapes that have been going on in the country lately as a sociopolitical side effect, precisely in May 2011. A daring topic in a society like ours, and that is precisely the point of the book; how our gallant and compassionate Egyptian society treats raped women. As a side note, when you read the book, which I hope you do, you can generalize the idea with how our gallant and compassionate Egyptian society treats divorced women, women who have gone through abusive marriages, and what we call “3anes” or the spinsters (which can start for girls as early as 23 in some places in Egypt); damaged goods. Not only that, but it also tackles something very important in the human psyche; the predator that comes out in some people as they circle their emotionally impaired prey. Unfortunately, he does that a bit theatrically in a mix between Indian and old Egyptian movie plots, but hey, he gets the point through!
I will come out and say that the book isn’t really my type. I’m a Stephen King/Neil Gaiman kind of girl and drama stuff just doesn’t do it for me. Not to mention, I like artsy writing, and this book doesn’t have much of that. What it does have is some really touching stuff, and that is because it is honest. For a man who has never met a rape victim in his life to write so honestly about that particular sensitive topic, I can only give a standing ovation. Some parts of the book are really moving, making me tear up a bit (but just a little, don’t get the wrong idea), and some parts made me laugh out loud because they were so very Egyptian and so amazing to be seen described in English (think English dubbed Saneya Terter, that is if you’re into classic Arabic movies). But generally, the old Egyptian Indian movie plot thing ruined it for me. The story may lack a lot of “thickness” in the plot but talking to the writer, it was never his intention to have a thick plot. His intention has always been to portray how society deals with rape and rape victims. In that, he has succeeded with flying colors. The characters vary from very real to very fairytale-ish; you get your evil witch and prince charming all in one book! The damsel in distress, Farida, carries more depth than that, Thank God. The book is quite short, reads smoothly, and for an originally French schooled guy who works in IT and has to deal with more acronyms than actual words, Tarek and his editor Emily Richardson did a good job with grammar and style, although I would have preferred better sentence structure and more richness to the writing. I don’t believe in star rating books because I am a strong believer that life is too short to read bad books. I finished this one, it wasn’t a waste of my time, and since I have been so evil in describing it, I’d say I give it a steady 3 out of 5. For a first attempt novel, with a reviewer who finds bugs in software for a living, does not give out compliments, and is a reading addict, that is a damn good score!
So here we have a writer who has decided to go into the daring and quite scary world of book publishing in a language that is not native to his country about a topic that throws huge shadows over our society and culture. Man, that’s just brave!

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Saturday, February 23, 2013

Blogging about Blogging

It's not strange you know, to blog about blogging. It's perfectly natural. It is so natural in fact that there are entire blogs, websites, and businesses dedicated to blogging and how to do it right. For me, I don't think they've ever been much help, but that doesn’t mean I'm not going to talk about it too.

The reason I AM talking about it is because it is an important part of my life. In addition, some of the articles on my blogs are important to some of my friends. Maybe they're flattering me, but they'd be REALLY overdoing it if they were. Don't worry, this is probably the last time I'd be blowing my own horn in this blog post, but no promises.

I wrote a paper on digital content in Egypt for a course during my masters degree, the one I never completed, back in 2009, way before activism was so well known in the mainstream. A nice chunk of that paper was about blogging, especially the Egyptian blogosphere, you can read it here, or you can skip to the next part if you like, dear reader.

On a more personal tone, when I started blogging, I thought I’d be a famous blogger, because I was a good writer after all, wasn’t i? That is not the case, thank God! Most famous bloggers are either activists or people who make a business out of it. I’m neither. I just write because I like to write, post because I like getting praised, and really hate it when a blog goes unnoticed or if I get a bad review, and occasionally find a friend sharing a blog post of mine with his friends through a third friend who doesn’t even know me and they don’t even know I’m the author. It actually happened twice, TWICE! Finally, I guess the purpose of me blogging is maybe somewhere words can help, which is something I believe in since I practically live inside the books I read. I write about my friends and make them teary eyed and speechless. I write about my quite insignificant life and my totally quirky views on it, as if my opinion is the only one that matters in the world. Guess what, on my blog, it really is the only opinion that matters in the world.

Even though I’m mostly active on one blog, this one, The Blue Column (I like to pretend I’m a columnist in a hotshot newspaper or magazine), I got two more blogs. My first was a blog about testing. I started it because I used to get into so many debates with my boss and I thought if I share my thoughts on testing and pass them on to the world, it won’t really matter if we have long debates, I still would have said what I wanted to say to the world. I wrote a couple of posts and they were successful, I got good feedback and it had one of the posts that I caught a friend sharing it with another friend of his without them knowing it was mine. Then, I lost interest in testing altogether or at least in writing about it. I guess I wasn’t having as many healthy debates about testing that would inspire me enough to keep doing it.

The second was a quasi-religious blog where I decided to document a bit of my spiritual thoughts. It is easier to be religious when you write about how you feel, again, for me at least. I kept thinking that maybe someone somewhere out there was going through feelings similar to what I was going through on the spiritual level and would benefit from reading my own experience. It isn’t informative, not really, and I got a lot of negative comments about it; one was “bateekhy” which typically means that it was absurd and made up; plain nonsense. But I also got positive feedback which kept me going for a while, but it was very difficult to write about religion, because it’s so sacred and so beautiful and I really am not a scholar, and I didn’t want to feel like a fake. So even though I haven’t abandoned it altogether, I write there scarcely.

The blue column was the last blog I created, it was the hardest to initiate because it is basically me; total exposure. But I am loyal to it because it gives me peace. Sometimes I write for the sake of posting anything, I can go a whole month without posting, and sometimes I post up to seven posts a month. I think the best moment of my blog life was when one of my friends called me up and told me, “Why haven’t you written anything lately? I really need to read your stuff because it makes me feel good.” My good happy blogging days are probably behind me (I was going through a hippie phase that didn’t really last long) but I do write from the heart, even if I am writing about boring old software testing, and if just one piece of writing touched someone, I am content in making a tiny microscopic dent in the universe after all.

So aside from the praise, do you want to hear why it really matters that I blog? On Saturday, September 1st, 2012, I posted my first short story in a long long time: Of Lady Moon and Master Sea. It was a compiled version of 4 tiny chapters that I posted on facebook earlier that week and got great feedback on. A little while before that, a friend of mine told me I wasn’t an artist, and I am not ashamed to say “IN YOUR FACE!” On Sunday, November 4th, 2012, I posted my second short story’ Pygmalion’s Statue. Inspired by a very close friend and even posted on a writing forum with not so bad feedback. On Friday, November 9th, 2012, I wrote one of my strongest pieces: 8 portraits of Longing. Not the easiest to write or post, but definitely the bravest. The point is; blogging has helped this scared little girl open up a few doors and face herself. Doors she has believed to have long been locked and forgotten in the back of her head, and maybe remembered that she had talent after all. Writing this post, right here, right now, as reminded that scared little girl of what really matters, and that is, no matter who says what, and no matter what she faces in her real life, she will always have a life here that is completely hers, and that is not controlled by anyone else.

I am giving out a big thank you to all of you who are reading this now, to all of you who have ever read any of my stuff, and to every single one who gave me good or bad feedback (at least you cared enough to give feedback and if it was bad, it got my stubborn side to kick me in the tushy and prove to them that I am better than what they perceive, and that maybe they need to look a little closer before they judge).

I am braver because of you.

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The Egyptian Blogosphere back in 2009

I found this paper I had written for a Masters course before I abandoned it. It was about Egyptian Digital Content and it was back in 2009. The next part is an excerpt of it relating to the Egyptian Blogosphere. It was written back in 2009 and I thought maybe someone somewhere would find it interesting.

According to a study published by the Middle East Centre, University of Oxford, the Egyptian blogging era started around 2003 with a few bloggers who were “experimenting” with the idea. Before 2005, there was about 40 Egyptian blogs in total. In the following year, the political incidents arising in the country; the amendments in the constitution and the first presidential elections under the new laws) and in the middle east in general; the war on Iraq, has led the Egyptian activists, now speaking out, to go to blogging to get their voices heard. Kifaya movement and human rights activists were starting to gain international exposure, shortly followed by the Muslim Brotherhood who, by the end of 2006, have gained considerable attention. The diversification and fragmentation phase could be noticed by the end of 2006. The Egyptian blogosphere started to contain segments of bloggers with specific directions; leftists, copts, muslim brotherhood, cultural and poetic bloggers, personal bloggers, social commentators, even Bahai and homosexual divisions.

The starting Egyptian blogs were one of two types. The first would be technical blogs, introduced to IT people through their interaction with the internet. This makes sense since blogs now are considered to be a source of technical support to anyone who needs it. An open source technical tool called WatiN practically does not have any documentation other than what WatiN users are blogging about it. The second type of blogs belonged to leftists, urged by the Iraqi blogs about the war, describing the situation, then, in Iraq. Most of these beginning blogs were in English; directed to an international audience in addition to friends. The minority of Arabic blogs are meant to go out to fellow Egyptians, as the Arabic bloggers say, in addition to them being more comfortable blogging in their mother tongue.

By 2005, there were 400 blogs as estimated by experts, and by 2006 there were three times as many blogs. At that time, the Egyptian voice of citizen journalism has begun to mature, forming a personal, opinion based source of insight into Egypt’s political and social status.

By 2006, now that blogging has gained huge momentum across the country, Egyptian internet users were beginning to blog about everything there is to blog about. With the former activists giving way to some freedom of press and speech despite the arrests of several bloggers, allowing topics that were once (and still are) taboo in the Egyptian society like sexuality and religions such as Baha’ism, and their Egyptian practitioners to speak out and communicate.

To sum up, the Egyptian blogosphere consists of techies, activists, leftists, and other distinct groups sharing similar interests or promoting their own ideas. There are also the occasional personal blogs, online diaries, cultural blogs and some pure nonsense. With the arrest of activist bloggers and even facebook activists who promoted the 6th of April strike, internet based citizen journalism is facing the same difficulties as any other form of journalism in Egypt, leaving room on the internet for shallower topics like the latest album release of a singer, or which celebrity got a nose job. Maybe blog publishing systems such as Blogspot or Blogger should start working on providing higher security measures for the tracking of bloggers to keep them anonymous. Or bloggers should have the awareness to use anonymous proxies to access their blogs and use fake names and identification techniques.



Egypt has a considerable amount of digital content online. Ranging from government based content to corporate websites to a force to be reckoned with blogosphere. The question is how well is it advertised, utilized, and brought out to the world. Egyptian internet users are not interested in using the internet as a vast learning realm as much as they use it to get the latest on football and singers, and maybe as a really big newspaper. What is the point of the government’s huge Arabic content repository if no one accesses it? What point is it if they do not rank on Google search results? How will the people, Egyptians or other, know that it even exists?! If a portal like Luxor portal, meant to show the world what Luxor is all about and to help the tourism industry, is only advertised on a website related to the Egyptian government where probable tourists will most likely never go online, then how will it serve its purpose?!

However, not everything related to the Egyptian content is related to the Egyptian government; organizations such as the ones owning Masrawy should also act to increase the proper use of the internet in Egypt. Although something like, a blog publishing system created and maintained by LinkdotNet, directed to create and support the IT technical community in Egypt, would be considered a giant leap in the direction of creating and utilizing constructive content, there is still so much to be done with the Egyptian digital content to help all Egyptian internet users and increase them as well. From web applications designed for children to online college workspaces, the Egyptian digital content is rather poor compared to other countries in the Americas, Europe, and Asia.

On the bright side, the blogosphere in Egypt could actually be a force to be reckoned with. Political entities such as the Muslim Brotherhood and Kifaya have used the blogs successfully. Shouldn’t there be other trend setters out there directing the blogs to more rewarding topics?

In my opinion, digital content should be treated like any other industry. It requires marketing, sales, finances, human resources, and well-set system to be able to harvest its amazing potential.

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Friday, February 22, 2013

I’m Crazy (1) Theory of Islands

I'm crazy. It's a fact not a prop, if you know me personally, there's a 90% chance you said to me in the face and a 99% chance (the statistics guy tells us there is no 100%) you've thought it.
I don't mind, but if you are wondering why, other than my obvious eccentricities, this is to give you a bit of a clue. I'm giving you a tour of one of the rooms inside my head. You are therefore, of course, privileged.
I used to have an identity crisis. I felt like I didn't know who I was, what I was, what made me who I am, and what made me tick. I used to get upset without knowing why, and happy without knowing why either, and claim they are just mood swings. Now, I know who I am, and I know where my feelings are coming from, even the ups and downs. Again, just for the sake of the statistics guy, let's say I am fairly sure, and when I'm not, I have a pretty good idea where it may be coming from. How I came to know that is through a lot of reading, a lot of diving into my own psyche (no wonder I'm crazy, right?), and going through a lot of shit, excuse my French, which is by the accounts of so many people, A LOT OF SHIT!
So here I am. Ready? GO!
Let us assume that all these bits and pieces that are me are called La Fille En Blue Island. Now, this island has a lot of islands surrounding it, and all those islands including little old La Fille En Blue are connected with bridges. However, these islands are not really islands in the normal sense, they are more like cubes or prisms or any other 3 dimensional shape you like that is NOT a sphere or a cylinder, which means they must have edges. Each bridge is connected to only 1 side of this island. So if I am standing here on my island and I am looking at island A, I see only 1 side (I can't even see that there are edges). This side, to me, is everything about the island. Now, La Fille En Blue engineers are really really bad at building bridges, so the bridges are really really dangerous to cross, however, the citizens of La Fille En Blue are okay sometimes with traveling to other islands (the ones they can only see 1 side of).
When they do, they discover this great catwalk that goes all around the island and they decide to walk it first because the doors to the inside of the island are all booby trapped and it would be too dangerous to try and open any of these doors just yet. When they start walking, they discover the other sides, each one with a totally different image than the one before, and no 2 sides to this shape are identical. So if we assume a citizen of island La Fille En Blue moved to island A, and walked around the corner of the island, they would no longer see what island A really looks like, they would see what island A looks like to island B. They walked around the next corner and they saw another totally different side of island A, and so on. If the brave citizen who travelled across the dangerous bridge and accepted all the sides of island A finally decided to open one of the doors to the inside of the island, risk the traps, and go inside, by this time having the notion that what is on the inside of island A is probably totally different that what is on the outside, but doing it anyway, then this citizen of La Fille En Blue will get hurt and suffer, because the inside is always (almost always for the statistics guy) ugly, and the inside of island A or B or any other island out there is no place for citizens of other islands.

Here we come to the conclusion that the problem is not with me in any way, or my island for that matter, it is in fact with you! I have come to an agreement with the ins and outs of my island, and I am willing to walk the rickety bridges to get to your island. If you believe you can handle mine, then it’s your turn to try.
Finally, I would like to say 2 things:
A. If you have understood the above, then you understand that I am indeed crazy.
B. if you haven't, then only a crazy person would think the way I do, and so I am, indeed, crazy.

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Monday, February 4, 2013

Blaze of Glory– Not Settling

Here’s the thing, I’m not settling!

Political or otherwise, I am NOT settling!

I always keep getting this comment, “you’re young!”

Why, yes, I am, and I don’t intend to have hypertension at 24 or 26 or even at 30. Life is short, I won’t be “young” forever, so why is it are “older” people so willing to give up on all that is better for the sake of whatever is offered, and trying to pass it on as wisdom in the sense of “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush” especially if that bird in the hand is a sickly thing that hardly sings and the simply having it makes me give up on the birds in the bushes, or at least makes me too lazy because, after all, I’ve settled for the ugly bird in my hand.

By the way, I’m all for freedom of birds. I just do not understand how we seem to handle the series of disappointments everywhere. In politics, people are settling for a poor excuse of a constitution to avoid too much conflict. They’re agreeing to meetings and negotiations with a terrorist government that kills, humiliates, and mutilates citizens, in addition to violating every law or simple humanitarian rule the world has ever known; from traffic to rapes to mass murders. Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why avoid conflict instead of transforming it to constructive tangible results that take us to diversity and growth? Why should we submit to the dictatorship of the majority, or even the dictatorship of the minority? WHY?!!! It’s not about giving second chances and time; these things are granted when:

a) an honest intent for change is touched,

b) action is taken in that direction,

c) mistakes are made, and

d) there are attempts to fix them.

Again, it’s not just politics; it’s a way of life. At work, in the current economy and with the scarcity of job opportunities, companies are telling their employees to thank God they have a job in the first place, to take their escalations where the sun doesn’t shine, and that they are welcome to leave if they don’t like the treatment… maltreatment is more like it! Basically, stay miserable and if you don’t settle, then we’d be happy to not pay you. So, with all due respect, I will try to find the job that satisfies me with the environment that makes me feel comfortable; and if I can’t find it outside, I’ll make it inside, even if I have to force it. There is no settling when it comes to the right thing; it has to FEEL right, no matter how hard it is to achieve, or else it is simply not enough.

I don’t think I need to highlight the people that get married and settle for “the ok guy” or the “good girl” because society tells them that there is something wrong with them if they don’t get married at a certain age, and other nonsensical cultural rules. Nor do I need to highlight how parents pressure us to settle for the “safe” roads in life instead of taking the risk of doing what we want or what we’re comfortable with, what makes us content. It’s all the same message: settle for a safe and secure life.

The result of all that is simple: I, you, they, we will settle for what we are not worth, will settle for what is less than the best, will settle for less than OUR best!

Not anymore!

As the great and eminent Bon Jovi says “I’m going down in a blaze of glory”

Bon Jovi - Blaze of Glory

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Tuesday, January 29, 2013


I was discussing a movie with a friend. It’s called Ruby Sparks(a must watch by the way), and according to my very brief one-liner on the plot, my friend said that he, the main character, was f*cked.

As a rule, all movie and book characters are in fact f*cked. If they weren’t on the inside, the world was definitely doing it for them. That’s what all fiction is about, isn’t it? And since art imitates reality, the insightful thought of the day is that we are all f*cked!

I’m sorry, are you offended? If you are, then please, by all means, stop reading this obscene and pretentious piece of writing, done by a f*cked person who is stereotyping the world. But first let me ask you something, and I do ask of you, dear reader, to keep an open mind. Do you know anyone, anyone at all, who is not f*cked?

I don’t. Everyone I know is f*cked, everyone I’ve ever known is f*cked. F*cked is the new norm. F*cked is the new black. Even those people who have no depth to them and seem to live a 2D life that satisfies only the very basic needs of survival are f*cked in their own shallow insignificant way.

Isn’t f*cked what we look for in a relationship? Every girl is looking to save a man from his wayward self and every guy looking to be the hero who saves the damsel in distress or the princess that’s locked up in her ivory tower. That is f*cked up in its own special twisted way! But we’re not here to discuss individual ideas but more the entirety of the situation of people in the world. Actually, we’re not here to even do that, we’re here to note an observation.

We’re all f*cked at work, no one does what they want because the corporate takes over, and the basic needs, and the money, and the family, and even the traffic.

We’re f*cked at home because people aren’t perfect and we're always expecting them to meet unrealistic expectations. We’re f*cked in relationships because all women want men to read their minds and all men want women to leave them alone.

So now that we’ve established the fact of how everyone is so messed up… I mean f*cked! It can’t be a bad thing really. It should be a motive for us to accept the fact and move on, live our lives with the knowledge of how f*cked we are, and simply be at peace with ourselves and the world.

Bye now.

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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

How To Lose Friends & Alienate People

Warning! This is not about the movie, much as I am sure Megan Fox's see-through dress and sexy underwear would be such an interesting topic. This is my own guide on how to lose friends and alienate people: proven to be effective by yours truly.
I am not a trusting person. I know a lot of people but I have few friends. I don't usually warm up to people, and I think people who warm up to me are just plain freaky! Yes, that would be you, you, and you... Freaks! People call me crazy, and I am sure a shrink would agree; with all those people pushing me to see one, I'm sure they're not just saying that either. Finally, I am an expert at trusting the wrong people – when I do finally get to trust them – and beating myself up with a huge stick afterwards, but I just usually prefer to bang my head against the wall.
I am also very very good at – this is the good part – losing friends and alienating people. I am writing this to remind myself of all the friends I've lost, people I've alienated, and last but not least, my ingenious methods of doing so.
1. Be clingy, needy, and annoying.
2. Be confrontational, honest, blunt, and downright insensitive.
3. Let other people, such as my unfortunate ex-fiancé (unfortunate because I do pray over and over that he gets hit by a bus and dies a most gruesome ugly painful death, and I think one of those prayers may just get through, who knows) poison my ideas of my friends, take up the time that should have been theirs, judge them, talk about them behind their backs and find a listening ear, and tell me how to deal with them, which usually sucks.
4. Stop listening to their advice, doubt their every word, and assume they are out to get me; just pure paranoid behavior in short.
5. Not be there when they need me.
6. Trust them with secrets (not always a good idea) and find them untrustworthy; you're bound to meet some bad eggs, so secrets are just for me and myself.
7. Make mistakes and not apologize; call it pride, arrogance, denial, or hope they wouldn't notice… it comes down to the same result in the end.
8. Be arrogant and proud in general.
9. Show obvious favoritism.
10. Criticize them a lot.
11. Push them away for no reason at all.
12. Assume stuff about them and believe those assumptions without questioning.
13. Not trust my gut when something seems so horribly wrong.
14. Not tell them how I feel when something is wrong, in a non-confrontational, blunt way.
15. Attempt to self-destruct, do wrong things, be a jerk, or all the above (they usually work so well together).
Dear reader, you do not have to do all the above, one or two would suffice, although you may have to do more in case they are particularly keen on your friendship. It even works with the best friends, the oldest friends, and the ones that don't take hints. But, you must know which methods work best with which people to have a nice clean sweep.
Good luck with all the people you would lose, hope it works out for you, or if you don't want to lose people, just don't do any of the above and you're probably good to go.

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