Sunday, October 30, 2005

Interesting Facts

1. Many years ago in Scotland, a new game was invented. It was ruled “Gentlemen Only...Ladies Forbidden”...and thus the word GOLF entered into the English language.

2. In the 1400's a law was set forth that a man was not allowed to beat his wife with a stick no thicker than his thumb. Hence we have “the rule of thumb.”

3. The first couple to be shown in bed together on prime time TV was Fred & Wilma Flintstone.

4. Every day more money is printed for Monopoly than the US Treasury.

5. Coca-Cola was originally green.

6. It is impossible to lick your elbow.

7. The cost of raising a medium-size dog to the age of eleven: $6,400

8. Intelligent people have more zinc and copper in their hair.

9. The first novel ever written on a typewriter: Tom Sawyer.

10. Each king in a deck of playing cards represents a great king from history: Spades - King David, Hearts - Charlemagne, Clubs -Alexander the Great, Diamonds - Julius Caesar.

11. If a statue in the park of a person on a horse has both front legs the air, the person died in battle. If the horse has one front leg in the air the person died as a result of wounds received in battle. If the horse has all four legs on the ground, the person died of natural causes.

12. Q. If you were to spell out numbers, how far would you have to go until you would find the letter "A"?
A. One thousand

13. Q. What is the only food that doesn’t spoil?
A. Honey

14. In Shakespeare’s time, mattresses were secured on bed frames by ropes. When you pulled on the ropes the mattress tightened, making the bed firmer to sleep on. Hence the phrase “goodnight, sleep tight.”

15. It was the accepted practice in Babylon 4,000 years ago that for a month after the wedding, the bride’s father would supply his son-in-law with all the mead he could drink. Mead is a honey beer and because their calendar was lunar based, this period was called the honey month which we know today as the honeymoon.

16. In English pubs, ale is ordered by pints and quarts. In old England, when customers got unruly, the bartender would yell at them “Mind your pints and quarts, and settle down.” It’s where we get the phrase “mind your P's and Q's.”

17. Finally…At least 75% of people who read this will try to lick their elbow.

PS Do 4 Love...Again, I'm not a hardcore rap fan but I love this lil' song...

at 7:51 PM 15 comments


This is hilarious...and they're dancing is pretty good!

at 12:12 AM 9 comments

Friday, October 28, 2005

A Lost Boy: Leader of the Pack

He was four years younger than her, a close friend’s cousin. They always had that sisterly-brotherly bond. She would smile and shake her head whenever she caught him leaning back to get a better look at a girls’ rump. He would smirk at her, widening his eyes with sly embarrassment. The last time she met him was last Christmas at the chalet. Though the surroundings remained familiar, he looked different; his adolescent skin gleamed in the lamp posts’ dim light, his once squeaky voice became gruff with the help of cigarettes, and his murmured quips were saturated with subliminal, sexual connotations. She spotted him towering above his gang, looking seemingly bored with the monotonous scene encircling him. She walked towards him and inquired about his school, his plans, his everything. The two slowly strode together, side by side, as he filled her in about his past adventures. She squatted on a brick bench, observing him inquisitively as he recounted his last visit to Dubai with his older friends and how he entered his so-called manhood during that licentious, four-day trip. Looking down at the dusty grains of earth below her feet, she asked him whether he was considering applying for colleges in the U.S. He stood before her, lit a cigarette, and after taking a long drag, cocked his head toward her and replied, “Why should I? Life is so easy here. My parents don’t know what I’m up to. I’m free to do what I want here.” She pressed her lips together, looked up at him, the boy who was famed for his cunning comebacks and social intelligence. “You’re the eldest person between your siblings. And you’ve had quite a superior secondary education. Don’t you feel that you need to give a little bit back to your parents who’ve put you in a good school?” He chuckled mockingly, “I told you, I have all I want here; girls, cars, disposable money.” She closed her eyes somberly, took a deep breath, and looked at him squarely as she stood up, “I think you’re wasting what you have in here,” she tapped the side of her head, “I know there’s so much more to you.” He snorted and snapped back, “What! You think I’m a disappointment!” She looked back at him with a knowing, mournful gaze before taking a brisk walk back to her home in contemplative silence.

Easy Living

at 6:38 AM 10 comments

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Culture Clash

Four Pizzas & a Funeral: I had an assignment two weeks ago; I had to survey people at local hotels and ask them why they chose the place and what they think about the town they’re staying at. I was standing in the empty lobby on a Saturday evening with a rowdy family on my right eating pizza, laughing, yelling, and having a good, greasy time. I impatiently looked around the bare entrance, glanced down at the stack of questionnaires I had to fill out, and finally strode to the extended family of parents, uncles, aunts, and kids, aiming to rid myself of half of the papers that would’ve anchored me down at the suburban inn for another hour. I introduced myself and asked the hoard of smiling, rosy faces why they’re staying at this specific hotel.
“Oh!” replied Martha, mother of two pudgy pre-teen girls, “We’re here for a family funeral! Would you like some pizza?”

* * *

Compliments are Insulting: I got in trouble once for complimenting my friend’s facial color. I honestly thought that his permanently pink, flushed cheeks portrayed his good health so one day, I exclaimed, “Your cheeks are so red!” He looked at me stunned and turned away. His cousin came up to me later and informed me that he was insulted by my remark; turns out he was always self-conscious about his glowing apples. The same cousin barked at me when I told him, “Wow! You lost so much weight!” He brusquely told me that he lifted weights for one whole year to have his now toned, slightly buff muscles.

at 8:02 AM 14 comments

Monday, October 24, 2005

The Sorority: The Finale

I did. However, I pledged a week late. I went to about four chapter meetings that were held each Sunday night. I stuck out like a sore thumb; I would show up in my jeans and sweater on formal days, slightly frown at the idea of sharing a cabin with fourteen girls in the woods over a weekend to ‘bond,’ and I never dared to puncture my tops and shirts with the sorority’s mandatory pin. Yet, as they say, I was still curious about what goes on behind closed doors.
At the chapter meets, the girls would plod toward the sorority house. We took off our shoes and boots at the front door and quietly headed to the cozy, burgundy colored living room. I noticed that the pretty and popular girls planted themselves daintily on the few couches while the others plopped down on the carpeted floor, toying aimlessly with their binders that held multiple hymns and verses about sisterhood. Older members guided us through several songs, smiling at us while at the same time categorically eyeing the girls seated before them. As I lip-synched the dowdy verses about praising the Lord and loving my sisters for eternity, I could not help but smirk as I thought ‘If my brother was here, he’d give me one bewildered look of amusement before he would burst out laughing.’ I pressed my lips together and tried to shoo away that silly image.
Spring dances and inebriated trances.
Frat boys and social noise.
Black & white themes and muddled dreams.
It just was not my scene.
I was part of that sorority for about a month if not less. Like all Kuwaiti college students, I used the one excuse that gets anyone out of anything: religion/tradition/culture/parents. And just like that, I was out.

at 12:54 AM 12 comments

Friday, October 21, 2005

The Sorority: Part Deux

Four halls. Four sororities. Four cheesy themes. One of them had a skit that made the bubbly audience giggle. Another had a choreographed dance to Destiny Child’s ‘Soldier,’ and they managed to squeeze in the sorority’s name in the lyrics. One of them caught me off guard; the members gathered us in a wide circle in the dimly lit hall. We were all holding candles as the girls chanted a damn good song. It was quite touching; the girls comforted some long-time sisters as they whimpered loudly in the corner, making everyone’s sympathetic eyes flit towards them every now and then. Every sorority had the same procedure though; you walk in and get whisked away by someone who ends up talking to you the whole time while creepily holding your hands, admiringly stroking your hair, trying their best to display a care behind their unnaturally wide smile. After the night was over, I joined my accelerated group again. The girls were bursting with enthusiasm, eager to adopt a new family.
‘So do you know what sorority you want to be in?’ the perky blonde asked me.
‘Umm…I don’t know yet. I’m still thinking about the whole thing,’ I replied wistfully.
And I actually was. Why not? The same question popped in my head. It’s not a huge university and the girls seem pretty friendly. And what’s wrong with forced friendships anyway? The only real plus side I saw was having access to old exams. But still, why not? The last day of rush week was tomorrow, a slow Sunday night, an excuse to dress up again. We were instructed to return tomorrow, grab a shirt that has the sorority’s Greek letters on them, and wear it under our hoodies. We were also told to stand in a tight circle, with the four sororities at each corner of the larger hall. One by one, we would take off our jackets and reveal the sorority we chose to be in. I actually wondered…should I?

at 5:44 AM 13 comments

Thursday, October 20, 2005

The Sorority: Part Une

It was an ordinary, spring day. I was on my way to class when I noticed a pretty girl sitting behind a table that was loaded with candy. I slowed down, trying to resist a sweet-tooth attack. Unfortunately, I collapsed and headed toward the mound of treats. I was fishing through the pile as I asked the girl about the event she was promoting. ‘Oh, it’s rush season! Would you like to fill out a form?’ I shrugged off my why-nots and wrote my information on the paper.
That Friday night, an unknown number popped up on my phone’s screen.
‘Hi Erzulie! We were just wondering if you’ll be able to come tonight. It’s the first night of rush season!’ I remembered the form I filled out. ‘Oh. Well, I’m kind of busy tonight,’ I replied, adjusting my pajama bottom. ‘Well, I hope you can make it tomorrow night! We’ll put you on the accelerated program so you can see all the sororities and choose which one you’d like to be in this Sunday night!’
Well, I thought, why not? I’m not doing anything special tomorrow night and the girl on the phone said it would be ‘formal night.’ I guess I just missed being dolled up.
The next night, I arrived at the conference hall surrounded by hoards of girls dressed up in jersey dresses, cotton skirts, and other discounted items. I was sent to the acceleration group: nine girls who missed the first day of rush. ‘Oh my God! I am so excited! I never had a sister before!’ a perky blonde squealed, twirling her dried, bleached hair. A pre-medical student grinned and nodded in agreement after inhaling one last puff from her cigarette. As we waited for the program to start, our group’s chat turned to boys. As usual, Italian men were in the spotlight; we admired their looks and charm. Suddenly, one of the girls turned to me, ‘Wow! So you’re from Kuwait! My roommate loves Kuwaiti guys. She’s actually dating one right now!’ Let’s just say that I was enlightened by the information she disclosed. I wasn’t surprised that aggressive preachers were literally in what they say they’ve never done.
The girls who were administering the event wore black. One of them bounced to our little huddle, unintentionally rubbing her garishly colored eyes as she ushered us into one of the four halls. I started my journey, doubting my participation the whole way through. Then again, it was an experience no matter how out of place I felt.

at 6:16 AM 15 comments

Monday, October 17, 2005

Read This

Can you raed tihs? Olny srmat poelpe can. cdnuoltblveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrdgt; waht Iwas rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid,aoccdrnig to a rscheearch atCmabrigde> Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in wahtoredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnttihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in therghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you cansitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae thehuamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, butthe wrod as a wlohe. Amzanig huh? yaeh and I awlyastghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt!

at 8:34 PM 13 comments

Temporary Absence.

A lotta coffee. I don't drink it. I save it for these rocky times. I turn into a bouncing ball. Fidgety. Bug-eyed.
Assignment. Projects. Mid-term Papers. Where's my weekend?
Oily Chinese take-out boxes in the trash. Sandwich wrappers crumpled on my kitchen floor. I keep missing the slam 'waste' dunk.
Gotta Stay Awake...

PS To my shady ex-neighborhood...I really don't miss you...but I miss your music that bounces in my aparment...Notorius Thugz You gotta bounce with this one...the chorus especially...not a huge fan of rap, but some songs are just classic...nostalgic there such a thing?

at 7:59 AM 9 comments

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Kuwaiti Lingo

I was chatting with my mother the other day when she suddenly blew her top.
“Erzulie! Stop beating around the bush and get to the point!”
She then went on and on about her frustrations about people who drag a two-minute conversation into an hour long tale filled with curiosity instigators, dramatic climaxes, and surprising yet mundane endings. She recounted her chat with one of my sisters, leaving me balled up my rough, carpeted floor, laughing my posterior end off.
Sister: Mama!
Mama: Hmm…
Sister: Guess what!
Mama: Hmm….
Sister: Guess who I saw today!
Mama: Hmm?
Sister: No no! Guess!
Mama: Flana?
Sister: Nooo! Oh, that reminds me…oh well, never mind…continue guessing!
Mama: *huff*
Sister: Oh my god! No no no…you won’t believe me even if I say it!
Mama: Ohooo….mino!
Sister: No no no! I can’t even say it now! You will never guess who it is!
Ah, how I miss these frivolous conversations with my loved ones.

PS Can't Take My Eyes Off You

at 7:22 AM 14 comments

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Quirky Facts

1. When intoxicated, ants always fall over to their right side.
2. Beethoven dipped his head in cold water before he composed.
3. For $14,000, a company can take your ashes and compress them into a synthetic diamond to be set in jewelry for a loved one.
4. More than 2,500 left-handed people are killed each year from using products that are made for right-handed people.
6. An elementary school in Alexandria, Virginia, accidentally served margaritas to its students, thinking it was lemonade.
7. Austin High School in Texas removed candy from its vending machines. Now, some enterprising students are earning $200 per week dealing in black market candy.
8. Each year, more people are killed by teddy bears than by grizzly bears.
9. A Brussels Airlines flight to Vienna was aborted because the pilot was attacked in the cockpit. The attacker was a passenger's cat.
10. David Bowie thinks he is being stalked by someone who is dressed as a giant pink rabbit. Bowie has noticed the fan at several recent concerts, but he became alarmed when he got on a plane and the bunny was on board.
11. A party boat filled with 60 men and women capsized in Texas after all the passengers rushed to one side as the boat passed a nude beach.
12. Shrinkage: The Eiffel Tower shrinks 6 inches in winter.
13. Albert Einstein never knew how to drive a car.
14. Astronauts cannot burp in space. There is no gravity to separate liquid from gas in their stomachs.
15. Winston Churchill was born in a ladies' restroom during a dance.
16. Dolly Parton once lost a Dolly Parton Look-Alike contest.
17. 65% of Elvis impersonators are of Asian descent.
18. All of the clocks in the movie "Pulp Fiction" read 4:20.
19. 100% of all lottery winners gain weight.
20. Bullet proof vests, fire escapes, windshield wipers and laser printers were all invented by women.
21. Mel Blanc (voice of Bugs Bunny) was allergic to carrots.
22. Men can read smaller print than women; women can hear better.
23. Pilgrims ate popcorn at the first Thanksgiving dinner.
24. Ants stretch when they wake up in the morning.
25. Go figure: Thomas Edison, light bulb inventor, was afraid of the dark.

at 12:11 AM 8 comments

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Remembering Ramadan

I remember when I first tried to fast during the month of Ramadan. I think I was about twelve years old. I endured the whole day at school, without food or water. But when I arrived home, the kitchen’s aroma lured me in. I used to sneak in and taste the delicious foods bubbling in the pots. I remember my older cousin making me stick out my tongue to check if there was any discoloration other than my whitish buds. I remember sitting around the table with my mother, sisters, aunts…we were all bumbling about, rearranging the loaded dishes and distributing the salad beforehand. I used to watch some of my cousins pinching their dates, waiting for the trigger. Alas, the prayer sounded and we all fell silent as we dug in, slurping our soothing soup and gobbling fried finger foods left and right before the meaty rice course. When the ambush was over, we sat back, satisfied, bellies full, looking around, sharing the moment of satisfied silence.
Happy Ramadan everyone :)

at 7:39 AM 13 comments