Monday, August 24, 2009

Regression

This is one of those nights where a lot is attempting to sort itself out in my head. I don't enjoy thinking about all the things that bother me. I've regressed to the point where I don't even want to admit my own thoughts, fears and feelings to myself. It tires me out. One long, repetitive stream of should haves, what ifs, whys and it isn't fairs.

I went out for sohour (late meal to prepare oneself for the following day's fast during Ramadan) with some friends tonight. I carpool with a good friend, whom we shall call Cheb Khaled (he has a thing for Raï). He's been struggling with several girl and job related issues and we tend to use our alone time in the car to talk things out. So far, it's always been about him talking and me reprimanding (and sometimes advising). We've been pretty consistent about this for about 4 months now. In 4 months, I have yet to open up about anything bothering me outside of the superficial work isn't fulfilling enough sort of thing. Cheb Khaled has poured his heart and soul out to me time and again. He's opened up about a difficult break-up, about his ex-girlfriend's immediate rebound, about being held at arm's length by a new girl and how frustrated he feels. He's talked to me about his responsibility towards his father's business versus making it on his own. He's admitted his faults, his fears and his aspirations. I have not.

I haven't told him about how I'm still nursing the year-old wounds of being rebuffed after being pursued by someone who felt like Mr. Right. I'm struggling with my career options and my future. All I know is that I'm underused and unappreciated where I am now. I'm fighting a losing battle in my relationship with my father. We are too alike in so many negative ways that it is nearly impossible to be as close as we should be. I can't stand the way my brother is turning out to be. I can't stand the way I treat him because of my own prejudices. I can't stand the way my mother refuses to try to knock some sense into him. I worry about my mother. I worry that she is fast approaching her wit's end. I cannot deal with her breaking down. We won't survive it as a family because she is the only glue holding us together. I won't be able to deal with a house, unruly teenagers, a sullen and detached father, a 19-month-old and work all at the same time. This house is too cramped for so many people. I need more space and more time for myself.

I need to stop assuming this family will not function without me trying to shoulder some of my mother's burdens. I cannot hold so many grudges against my father, my grandparents and my uncle. All this ill will is only poisoning me further. But after so many years of harboring all this anger and frustration, how can I disperse it? I need to stop assuming Mr. Right will gallop into my living room. But how will I find him if I already know he's gone? I need to stop worrying about what I'm going to do with my life. It will sort itself out. But when?

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Born Again Beach Bum

The last time I spent part of my summer on a beach was back in 2006. My family has always been big on sun worshipping, spending most of our non-Europe/USA vacation time in Agami, a small beach-city near Alexandria with a dedicated fan base. We very much loved our summers in Agami, but as soon as I hit 14 and our interests began to lean towards clubbing and being out until 4am, my mother put a stop to our beach bumming days and distracted us by extending our time outside Egypt. No complaints there!

As most Cairenes know, there is an age-old schism between those who are known as Agamists - the Agami devotees - and those who spend their summers on the North Coast, a.k.a Sahel. The North Coast comprises of several large resort/compounds scattered across a stretch of beautiful beaches and bays between Al Alamein (WWII battleground) and Marsa Matrouh (a good example of the beauty of the Mediterranean). Most Sahelites love the hustle and bustle of these large compounds, which are more like cities than beach resorts. Agamists love their little stretch of sewage-smelling dusty roads for the authentic beach bum feel and the change of pace from the big mean city.

This year, we betrayed our Agami roots and spent a week in Sahel. I joined the troops on Thursday morning to spend the weekend attempting to tan. The last time I tried to tan on the beach, I ended up looking like this:

When I start blogging about Melanoma, you'll know what caused it.

Now, I have always argued with Tinkerbell about the merits of Sahel v. Agami. I staunchly opposed the very idea of Sahel and its commercial, hard partying, days into nights lifestyle. Agami was all about the generations of laid back summer loving families enjoying the beach during the day and having a good time together at night. Why would I want anything more to relax? Sure, the sea wasn't as great as Sahel's - it was treacherous and unclean, but it was perfectly swimmable if you were careful:

However, it is nothing compared to this:

[Hat tip: Tinkerbell]
This is the reason the French came up with the word azure. This is the inspiration for every swimming pool created. Even with my irrational and intense fear of everything existing in the sea, I swam in. I swam all the way to the floating lounge-area things about 300 metres into the water (not pictured). Of course, I almost had a stroke with every stroke, but the water was too wonderful to resist. I can't say I overcame a fear by swimming so far in because the very idea of the things that could be in the water still makes me want to piss my pants like a 10-month-old, but hey, you can't win them all.

After my weekend in Sahel, I have made a momentous decision. Agami is great because it holds my memories, my family's memories, and it works because my friends all go there. But if you choose the right place to go to in Sahel, a resort like Ghazala Bay which is as simple and laid back as Agami, you will be in heaven. Avoid the craziness of places like the Marina compounds, and the hectic nightlife beckoning from Hacienda and Marassi, and you will never need to ask for more than someone to hand you a beer.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Copping Out With A Cop-Out

I like Twitter. It is useful. Sometimes, random thoughts or sentences come to me that are too short or underdeveloped to blog about. Sometimes, I like telling people the colour and consistency of my poop. Interesting enough to spread, not interesting enough to make a whole meal out of.

The problem with Twitter however, is that you can't categorize or label the things you tweet like you can in a blog. So, seeing as I didn't go lounge by the pool today, I skimmed through some of my tweets and categorized them for your organizational pleasure. These are not all my tweets, but just enough to give you an idea of the kinds of things that go through my head on any given day:

Introspection:

Often, it is the most uneventful moments of life that flash before my mind's eye on quiet days. Hidden significance to be found, perhaps?

So much time, so little to say.

Will I still refuse to settle when I'm 30 and still alone?

Art:

Coldplay should have been an instrumental band. Their music is so much better than their whining. Exhibit A: Lovers in Japan

The Road by Cormac McCarthy is a heartbreaking, poignant read. But not a book to read during the summer. Depressed the shit out of me.

Eureka Factoids:

I like flowers that look like candy - so pretty that you could take a bite out of them.

Bbm pet peeve: if you have a common Egyptian name - like Farah - please don't assume I'll know which one you are if your surname isn't there

Apparently I'm the only person my sister knows who doesn't dot her i's

Sad fact: I sometimes laugh at my own jokes in the middle of the story.

Health:

New source of IBS flares: mangoes. Please shoot me now. Grasping at straws here, people.

Q&A:

Does anyone else like to eat hot chocolate powder?

Overate. Again. Does anyone else get the worst case of the hiccups every time they eat just a teensy bit too much?

Hey folks, twitter me this: are you a lark or an owl? I'm definitely an owl.

Not-So-Comic Relief:

Wish peeing on oneself was considered normal and hygenic. Can't be bothered to walk all the way to the bathroom.

I think I was some sort of fruit in a former life. Probably a plum. Or maybe a grape. Plum is more likely

Situated right where the dragon likes to reach down to scratch his balls

And Monday is OVER! Happy booty shakes all around. And here's a flash of boob for good measure.

Les mecs en Egypte parlent commes des nanas!



Thursday, August 6, 2009

Goodnight Moon

Each month, around the full moon, a very strange spell is cast over the women of my household. Inexplicably, Eureka and the MILF find it impossible to fall asleep whenever the full moon is drifting across the Cairean skies. Bloft, being the spawner of Satan, is immune to this anomaly as she is neither human nor female.

This affliction of course begs the question: are we part werewolf or part vampire? Now, I would assume it to be the latter due to my whiter than white complexion, disenchantment with the sun and love for winter, penchant for morbidity and melancholy, and love for extremely undercooked meat. However, the hairiness of the women in this family is a strong indication of the former as is our love for extremely undercooked meat. Also, being a vampire would grant us cool powers, which we sadly don't have. Damn, no Cullen lovin' for me then.

The other night I could not for the life of me get to sleep. I tossed and turned and Twittered to no avail. I even had a short conversation with the Man on the Moon pleading that he sprinkle sleep dust on me so that I would be able to get up for work the next morning, but to no avail. Man on the Moon said, "Misery love company, so stay up and entertain me, bitch!" He's picked up a bit of a foul mouth over the years. Who can blame him, really?

But in the midst of my tossing, Twittering and monologuing to the Man on the Moon, a delirium-induced hypothesis came to mind. I think full moon insomnia must have been or maybe still is a pretty common occurrence given the predominance of the moon in literature. Think about it. Author is tucked in bed, nice and cosy, wishing to rest his or her weary body and soul for a morning of diligent, even if uninspired, writing. The hours tick by and author, let's call him Abraham Stoker for the sake of argument, is increasingly peeved by his inability to nod off. Bram looks up and notices the full moon. The moon then sets his imagination into overdrive, causing him to bang out a story about a scary ass vampire called, wait for it... DRACULA.

PUM PUM PUM PUUUUMMMMM!

So many major works feature the full moon. You've got the moon mentioned by Viktor Frankenstein on every other page (along with the wretched weather because he was weird that way, but I digress). C.S. Lewis created an entire world on the moon. Hughes wrote about the moon in the winter, while Desautels gives the moon a voice (probably where the Man on the Moon picked up some of his more imaginative language).

Hey, even I got a whole blog post out of the moon, so I just might be on to something here.

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