Sunday, October 4, 2009

Time Flies...

Everyone knows the common saying, "time flies when you're having fun" but the truth is, it flies when your not having fun too. When you get older it just plain flies... perhaps that is why I have noticed that people just say "time flies" these days and leave off the latter part... most people aren't having fun most of the time.

In fact, during the time of life in which we have the most fun - when we are little children - time doesn't fly at all! Years took forever to pass by when I was small.

Anyway, now I am almost 38. The 7th will mark 38 years since my mother gave birth to her second child, who was supposed to be a boy (because my parents already had a girl) and for whom they already had a boy's name picked out. Luckily for my parents, three boys followed right on my heels, and I think that was more than enough for them so that when little girls 3 and 4 came along they were a relief from the constant mischief making.

The 7th will also mark 20 years to the day since that same girl, who was supposed to be a boy, was climbing Mt. Kenya and met the boy who would, 7 years later, become her husband and 10 years later break her heart and 16 years later disappear.

It will als mark 1 year, since what I thought was the first of many happier birthdays to come, when I received a gift that meant the world to me, and still does, only now it makes me sad to look at it because it embodies all of the hopes and dreams I had at that time, which have come to naught and reminds me of how alone and uncertain I feel again.

So, I'm not looking forward to my birthday. It is a yearly reminder of my failure - my failure to find love in particular, but all of my failures in general as well, since my poor track record in personal relationships has shaped the rest of my life.

Perhaps if I was home, it would be a different thing, I would have my family with me, and I could celebrate with my Grandfather, whose 93rd birthday was on the 3rd of October. Last year, he celebrated his 92nd with a big shin dig. This year they are throwing another big bash for him on the 9th - it will celebrate his birthday and mark the opening of the visitor's center at the urban wildlife refuge named after him. The park was named after him - and a statue of him erected in his honor - for an important environmental law he passed, 38 years ago. For him, his birthday is a yearly reminder of his accomplishments. He can look back with pride on what he has achieved over the years.

I called him for his birthday this year, and even though he is 93, he still is as sharp as ever. I am happy that with age, his mind has not gone, I think for someone like him that would be a great loss and tragedy. I hope I will see him again before his time comes. It makes me sad to realize that, having lived well beyond life expectancy for the average American man or woman, any day could be his last. I wonder how he feels when (if) he thinks of that. I wonder if he thinks about how time has flown and wonders where all the years have gone, since he was a handsome star pupil in his highschool in Portage Wisconsin.

He doesn't believe in God. I always wonder where he thinks he will go after he draws his last breath, and if he is scared. I wonder what God thinks of such a man, who in spite of not believing in Him, has lived a more moral and upright life than most, respecting His creation and fighting to preserve it, refusing to backdown on issues he knew were important and sometimes forgoing the power and wealth that would have accompanied doing what was expected in order to do what he knew was right. I hope God is understanding. I love my Grandfather.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Dishonest Mechanics and other random topics

Why are people needlessly dishonest? Is it really a good business practice as a mechanic to steal from your customers and do shitty job of fixing their cars so they never come back again? I mean can that really be good for business?



I got my car ( that was rear ended) back from the mechanic, only to discover that the light on the right wasn't fixed - and they had glue the glass / plastic covering for it back together instead of replacing it with a new one and that the back door doesn't open. I just don't get it... why would they do that? I mean, do they think I will EVER take my car back to them after they ripped me off like this? I wonder if I am allowed to put the name of the garage here... just to warn other people... "A" took his car there too, to be fixed for something, and they did a crap job on his as well, it started smoking so badly he had to abandon it in the parking lot of a mall somewhere in Dubai - he ended up having to replace the engine later - which might have been what it needed all along, and if they had just told him that and done a proper job of repairing it, then he would have saved money, but no instead they decided to do jack shit and take his money for it.



Anyway... now my registration is up, but my car still isn't fixed so I can't renew the registration ...not sure what the hell I am going to do... :(



I have a new housemate. Which is good, because every bit helps when it comes to paying the bills. She is American too and works for the same company I do and is being dicked around by the management too. So we have a lot in common. She is really nice. I realize I like having other people around me. For some reason I have been isolating myself ever since my Sudanese friend moved away and my Egyptian friend just stopped talking to me for no reason after she found cooler, younger friends who liked to go out to bars with her - I'm a teetotaler, so I guess I wasn't much fun. I have no clue why she did it. Funnily enough, my Sudanese friend told me the Egyptian one would do this to me, but I didn't believe her. Anyway, now I have someone to talk to again - the only problem is that we end up gabbing so much we forget the time and then I suddenly realize it is way past my bed time. And that is probably why I suddenly get so sleepy at 3 PM on the dot every day. Today, I actually fell asleep at work in the middle of editing a newsletter article - I was literally typing in my sleep. When I jerked out of it, I saw I had typed a few words of complete nonsense. "Akkdrwn dfak"



This used to happen to me back in my University days. I fell asleep in Chemistry class every blessed day, no matter what I did, I couldn't stay awake. I tried everything, eating before class so my blood sugar would be up, still fell asleep. Not eating so I was really hungry, hoping that the hunger pangs would keep me awake, no such luck. I tried dressing warmly, so I didn't feel too cold and I tried dressing lightly so I was a bit too cold for comfort. But no matter what I did, I fell asleep. My notes for that class were absolutely useless. Sometimes as I wobbled in and out of consciousness, I continued writing notes. I am sure if I saw them now they would be pretty hilarious looking, but I remember going to study for my exams and looking in dismay at the notes that after a few words tapered off into complete nonsense and then just a line sliding off the page.



Another reason why I am falling asleep at work these days is that they have moved the whole marketing section, and now I am in an office with two guys who are graphic artists who don't make a noise all day. It is so quiet in there that I feel like I am making a huge ruckus when I move a piece of paper and the sound of my shoes when I get up to get a glass of water or use the rest room is like I am stomping all over the place. Sometimes the wife of one of the guys comes in, (she works in the company too) during her break, but he doesn't talk much to her either, so she has taken to pulling a chair up to my desk and talking to me. It's not that he is rude though, in fact he is quite nice and calm. It's just that he is one of the most mellow people I have ever met. Oh and he makes yummy, homemade, caramel fudge, which he shares with us.



The good thing about my new office though is that it is on the 2nd floor and the elevator is so slow; so being incredibly impatient, I am taking the stairs a lot and that hopefully will have a postive effect on my back side. It is also good because it is far far away from my former boss - if I am lucky, I will never have to see him again. The other day I was walking between buildings and he pulled up into the parking and started honking at me and I pretended I didn't see him and kept walking so he had to drive after me and roll down his window and shout to me :) - he couldn't remember the name of some hotel he had stayed in before in Switzerland and wanted me to tell his new PA. Why can't she just look in the god damned contacts file that I made in outlook. Its not like I had anyone helping me out. Oh yeah, that's right, she is a computer 'tard. Yesterday she sent me invoices from the travel agent asking me to verify if they were accurate - again, if she knew how to use her outlook properly this wouldn't be necessary since I filed all of his old emails regarding his trips in one folder there. He also told her to ask me for some CDs that someone had sent and she came and told me that she was looking for some CDs from Austria and I was like 'what the hell? Austria?" because we had no dealings with Austria while i was there. So she went and told him that I don't know and then he summoned me and when I got there he asked me where the CD's from Prague are - so it seems she needs a little geography lesson along with a basic computer packages class.



My 38th birthday is coming up next week, and I'm kind of depressed about that. My mom said she sent me a package, I am hoping there is some nice outfit or something in there, so I can get a little excited. I haven't bought new clothes in so long, sometimes I suspect people are snickering at my out-of-date style. If it weren't for the Christmas and birthday packages from back home, I think I would be a total fashion disaster. Speaking of new clothes... Fatema's big wedding is finally coming up next weekend, and I don't have a THING to wear! I dug out some old dresses that I bought quite some time back, and by Arab standards, they are just plain dull - they also seem way too low cut, and I don't remember them being like that and I cringe with embarrassment at the thought that I actually wore them - Lord Help me, I am getting really old and turning into quite a fuddy duddy.