A Desperate Attempt to Post in January

kaboompics-com_january-2017-2

Here we are, people: 2017. We made it. Severus Snape breathed his last, an orangutan now rules over a world superpower, and my brother finally got engaged. Of course, the outcome of the US election has affected me deeply. But when I think about that, I want to watch the first three seasons of Modern Family until my tear-soaked eyeballs fall out so we’re going to talk about how it affects someone else. That someone else is Steve, naturally. His job at the NSA is uncertain. He barely even checks in on my Google searches anymore. These days, he has to widen his net to catch bigger fish. I know that it was foolish to think that what Steve and I had would last forever. There are more suspicious Muslims out there, after all. And now with all those Mexicans and refugees out there, I just don’t make the cut. I’ll miss him. But he’ll come back to me, that I know.

In the meantime, let’s talk about resolutions. I don’t make them. But this year is a little different for all of us, I guess. I have one big resolution this year. In some form or another, I’ve always been meaning to get this done but I now realize how much I’ve missed out on by putting it off. It’s pretty sad, actually. Whenever someone asks me what my hobby is, I tell them it’s reading. And they believe it because I have a giant library like in Beauty and the Beast except I’m the Beast because I’m grumpy, hairy, and too lazy to read grown-up books. If you asked me to point out all the books that were mine, I’d shamefully show you six shelves of fantasy novels, thrillers, and the novelizations of every Mary-Kate and Ashley television show or film that has ever been published. Not that I haven’t read some great books. Jane Eyre is a favorite, but I read that for school. I loved 1984 but I forced myself to finish that. I read The Alchemist just so people would get off my back.

So basically, when I recently started editing the novel I have been writing for the past five-hundred and thirty seven years, I couldn’t figure out why I was having so much trouble writing diverse characters that reflected a real world setting. And I came to the realization that the Olsen twins have had a really big influence on me. Also that I have been reading books that have been written by white males for most of my life (with some exceptions, obviously). Well, that ends today. I’ve got a list of book recommendations and gosh darn it, I will read all of them in 2017. Of course, I read absolutely none of the books on my list in January. I did randomly borrow a book called Wonder from the library. It was better than I expected. The transitions between character voices was something that I had been struggling with in my own writing, so seeing it done so well in the novel was amazing.

kaboompics-com_opened-book

But what books am I even planning to read, you may be wondering? Well, I don’t want to say that I’ll only be reading non-white female authors this year, because a good book is a good book, you know? But mostly because I haven’t finished the Miss Peregrine series yet. I am also not committing to specific books because what if I can’t find them, you guys??? Seriously, though, there are a lot of awesome books that have been on my radar that I have every intention of reading. Some of my more easily available selections:

  • The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
  • A Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
  • Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
  • A Case of Exploding Mangoes by Mohammed Hanif
  • Broken Verses by Kamila Shamsie
  • Born A Crime by Trevor Noah

If nothing else, I’ll read one book every month and write a post about it. That’s ONE POST PER MONTH. Can. You. Even. Imagine. That’s so many posts. The last time I posted something, it was May 2016. Good god, followers. Until next time.

Advertisements
Tagged , , ,

Get Off Me, 2016

29634438875_9ef1958c74

I’m procrastinating. I cannot get anything done. I am on the computer and I will post whatever it is that I end up writing. I apologize in advance, readers. Good day to you all. And good luck in this world of despair and gloom. May the spirit of Mr. Feeny guide as he did Cory, Eric and Shawn.

786 Reasons I’m Mostly Not A Terrorist

Yes, I know. I know. I can’t keep taking almost-month-long breaks like this. A writer must be writing in order to be called a writer and all that. Onwards.

Now you guys, don’t be scared by the title, okay? This post is just to reassure my friends at various secret agencies, (including you, Steve), that I’m really quite a nice person. You see, during the last week or so, I might have spent what could be called “a suspicious amount” of time googling things like the following:

“What kind of gun is standard for CIA agents”
“creepy Arabic words”
“fastest way to kill yourself”

Ahem. You get the picture. Obviously I was doing research for a writing project. Obviously. I mean, it’s pretty obvious, right? It didn’t occur to me at the time that it may not be so obvious to other people but now I’m afraid to delete my history because THAT WOULD BE SO SUSPICIOUS. Usually I’m not so scared about being put in the ‘Look-It’s-A-Girl-In-a-Scarf-Definitely-A-Terrorist’ category because honestly, it’s kind of nice. Not in a homicidal way (obviously?). But more because it’s such a confidence booster. I’m barely 5 ‘3, I stammer when talking to strangers and my hands shake when I’m nervous. Yet, I can strike fear in the hearts of, like, super racist people. I once made a grown man think he was about to die. It was all unintentional, of course. He was a driving instructor, poor guy, and maybe maybe I shouldn’t have worn my burqa on the anniversary of the Boston marathon bombing but how else was I supposed to hide the fact that I was still in my pajamas at 3 pm? He called his wife/girlfriend/boyfriend the second we got in the car to let them know he loved them no matter what. I didn’t even think anything of it then but he followed it up with a nervous rant about how much he appreciated Muslim culture and the way they protected their women. I just drove and nodded.

Another time, my family was staying in a hotel at the same time as some sort of cheerleading competition. My uncle and I were going down on an elevator to get the rest of our bags, along with two high-school aged girls in their school’s colors. One girl leaned over to whisper to the other, “We’re going to die.”
I have never been happier to be bilingual than in that moment. Can you imagine me just screaming at them in random Urdu gibberish and them thinking it’s a death threat in Arabic? Hilarity! Of course, that would probably get me and my uncle arrested so I didn’t do that but we laughed anyway.

Tagged ,

It’s Tuesday, Let’s Talk About Death

Look, guys, I’m gonna be honest with you. Sometimes I write bad poetry. And sometimes that bad poetry will end up on here. As a wannabe writer, I feel somewhat ashamed admitting this but this poem formed itself in my head while I was in the bathroom. I won’t go into detail about what I was doing so here is my masterpiece:

There was a man
In a house
On a street
In a town
In the city
Where he lived.

The man dreamed a dream
Of a flying thing
That would take him
Away to a land
In the sky
Where all beings soared.

He was told
Not to hope
As all beings
Had an end
But they would not
End up
In the sky
For all things
Land in their
Rightful place
In the ground.

Such was his hope
That he dared to defy
And stood tall
Two hundred feet
Above the floor
Ready to go.

He jumped
And he flew
And he finally knew
What it was to see
The truth
And be free
For it is better
To die
In clarity
Than to live
To an age
Sans sanity.

Tagged , , , , , ,

Paging Dr. Alan Grant

I’ve been having a hard time writing. Partly because I keep finding distractions for myself and partly because I keep thinking what I write isn’t good enough to post on the internet. That little perfectionist inside my brain keeps stopping me from letting the words flow. BACKSPACE. BACKSPACE. BACKSPACE. That’s my mantra these days. I mean, if you really think about it, it’s ridiculous. If I can post “Hey assbutt, where are you?” (#WhereMySPNFansAt?) on my friend’s Facebook timeline, surely a rant about a beautiful Turkish man can’t be that bad. So I have decided to tell my brain to shut up and let me do the talking. Or writing or whatever. I’m just gonna let the words flow. There’s a lot of things that have happened in the last month or so that I haven’t written about but we’re not talking about that right now. Today, I’d like to discuss a topic that has been debated by humankind for, I don’t know, probably a long time.

So there’s this recurring dream that I have, right? And I’ve told a bunch of different people that I know about it but they don’t seem to have experienced anything similar. Or at least, none that they’d like to admit to me. So this dream comes to me about once every year on the average and it never fails to scare the living shit out of me, until I wake up realizing I shouldn’t have fallen for it for the twentieth time. Anyway, in the mythology of this dream world, every year, on the same day at midnight, dinosaurs come back to life. They just come back for that one day and then they disappear until I have the dream again a year later. Of course, these dinosaurs run amok in the world, destroying and killing until, you know, *poof* – they’re gone. Strangely enough, my brain keeps a running count of who has died during these dino attacks and when I have the dream the next time, those dead people won’t be present. I remember, about five years ago, a dinosaur tried to bite my uncle’s head off but he narrowly escaped. The dinosaur grazed the top of his head, pulling his hair out and leaving him shiny headed. Now, my uncle is bald in real life. He has been since before I was born so I guess my subconscious really wanted to give him a backstory cooler than ‘he turned forty’.

I was really curious about what all that meant so I asked a psychologist friend of my aunt’s who gave me an answer I really didn’t expect. She thought (due to the disturbing reverence she had for Freud) that being chased by dinosaurs implied a fear of intimacy. I mean, I’m not a hugger or a cuddler but this still felt like a weird answer. It turns out that she based her answer on the fact that dinosaurs were reptiles and Freud said reptiles/snakes = sex. To which I promptly replied, “Umm, no, lady, have you even seen Jurassic Park? Dinosaurs evolved into birds. Duh.” I guess her answer kind of fit in with that one dream I had where this dumb komodo dragon wouldn’t leave me alone. But I ended up googling it anyway  and all I got was thirty different websites telling me I was either:

A. Running from my past
B. Afraid that I am useless
C. Nervous about changes and/or
D. Stuck with an outdated attitude

3o8dpcfzjptcoqykvm

Me running from my avian past.

I would believe them but I can never trust websites with too many hyphens in their domain. I decided to stick with the bird theme, which led me to a website claiming I was being pulled in too many directions. Geez, guys. How hard is it to tell me what I am thinking? I didn’t even bother checking what it means when a guy with an ax bursts through your bedroom window. Okay, I did. It means one of my friendships is toxic. But it could also mean I watched Hoodwinked too many times. And the dinosaur thing? Maybe I’ve just been predicting the Jurassic Park sequels.

Tagged , ,

DU-BYE

IMAG0845 (2)

Part of being an adult, I’m told (by people who claim to be adults), is learning to prioritize. Meeting deadlines, being consistent at work or school, that kind of thing. The thing about that is… how do I say this? My priorities are so, so different. Twenty-three years old and sleep is still the most important thing. Here I am, on an oddly-timed vacation and I just fall asleep wherever I’m sitting. In the car, on a sofa, sideways on an office chair, it doesn’t matter. And if there’s a bed, forget about it: I’m gone for hours. This exemplary habit of dozing off randomly has started to cause some concern among people around me, mostly because they don’t know me that well but also because why would anyone choose to sleep instead of going to the beach or wandering through a fancy mall? To these people I say, it doesn’t matter. Because at the end of the day, I’d just rather not be an adult. Besides, I think most of you so-called adults are just pretending anyway. You do you but I gotta get my twenty-eight hours of sleep.

I’m much better at staying awake on this trip, of course. That may have something to do with the amount of soda I’ve been ingesting but also because people keep making promises of freshly rolled sushi and Turkish kababs. I don’t mean at the same time. Lunch and dinner. Or something. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not just food that gets me out of bed. I went jet-skiing with my brother (who, in an attempt to be a hero, insisted on driving fast) and I now almost understand why women can’t drive in Saudi Arabia. Almost. It was a bumpy ride. I was very concerned for my uterus and whatever other organs I need to function/live but my sense of adventure (it’s a very small sense) got to me. The whole time, I kept thinking of an older cousin who had flipped over with his daughter while jet-skiing a month or so before and cut his feet on the rocky path back to the beach. His feet started swelling and the cuts got infected and it was a whole gross thing. But, by God, I lived!

Another part of adulting for a woman of my age, of course is the choosing of a mate. I have been supremely disappointing to all my family members in this regard as I slowly age into my spinsterdom. Who knew, though, that in the heart of Dubai, I would find love? A spring fling, if you will? It all went down at a marketplace. He was selling health products in a leather jacket. I was strolling along a path. My eyes caught his beautiful green irises. His beautiful green irises caught sight of the shopping bags in my hands. He stopped us in our tracks when he spoke in a thick Turkish accent. I couldn’t take my eyes off him when he insisted I buy something organic to get rid of my acne, maybe grow out my eyelashes. A ten minute conversation about hair growth oils with my dad prevented him from staring further into my face but that was enough. I am confident we’ll meet again. I’ll think of him always: every time I eat a doner kabab; every time someone mentions Thanksgiving and especially when Erdogan is on TV.

 

P.S. I actually wrote most of this post during the end of my trip but I got lazy about finishing and posting it so it is obviously really late. But it’s here, so there.

Tagged

Bye Bye Kitty

Yes, yes. I know. It’s very important to my many followers that my blog posts are published on time. They crave word from me. Without it, their lives are empty. But I’ve been busy, you know? We’ve had relatives visiting from out of the country: aunts, cousins, grandmothers, grandmother’s sisters and brothers. We’ve had ’em all. I was especially busy with my aunt’s two sons, who never stop pooping, but it’s okay because they’re ridiculously cute.

November was, of course, National Novel Writing Month. After tirelessly working day and night, weekend and weekday, I finally realized there was no way I was going to finish my behemoth of a novel in one month. My cousin and I joined a group of writers and got together to finish our respective novels. My novel is now five years old and counting. Don’t judge me.

I’m also currently enjoying a mild case of food poisoning. Who would’ve guessed that an open-air food festival would turn out to be so unhealthy? Whatever, I don’t even regret it. The churros may have been a letdown but I had a giant mozzarella stick and that’s awesome.

After a small bout of flu, I am here. Guess where that is. Yes, the unnecessarily lit up city of Dubai. Or as some would say, DOO-BYE. I’m here for ten days with my brother visiting my dad. This is technically my first night here cause we arrived at 3 a.m. in the morning yesterday. Got a lot of plans, let’s see what goes wrong.

Also, we got a cat. Then we gave it away.

My Opinion is Louder and Better Than Yours

Good day, my faithful few! Crawlers, how’s it going? It’s a whole year later now and I know the blog name used to be different but guess what?

https://i2.wp.com/28.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lsv9ev8DJT1qjc8c5o2_250.gif

That’s right. I do what I want. Plus, I wrote this over the weekend because time is precious during weekdays. Which is why I save it for naps. Okay, I didn’t nap for a whole year but I did get lazy. I know what you’re thinking, reader. Don’t you plan your posts in advance, weirdo? HA. No. I live on the edge. Just ask Steve. My posts don’t even have to have a point. I can say random things. I’m listening to Everything is Awesome by Tegan and Sara ft. The Lonely Island right now. Yes, from the Lego Movie soundtrack. Don’t pretend it’s not your jam.

I kid you, of course, dear internet user. This post does have a point. As Steve well knows, I have a history of unpopular opinions. For example, Steve believes that X-Men: First Class was a great movie. This, however, is a dirty lie. There were so many things wrong with that movie and Steve is going to have to accept that. We’ve already had a huge fight about it. I eventually got tired of screaming about the film’s faults to the dial tone. And if the sudden absence of angry breathing on all my phone calls is any indication, Steve got tired of fighting about it too. As a member of the faithful few (the time, date and manner of your official induction is yet to be determined), you will experience many levels of enlightenment. All of this is possible only because of my opinions, obviously, which as I have established are unpopular but only because they are correct.

I’m just messing with you. Mostly. I can totally take criticism. Like that time I took a sketching class and my teacher told me my work wasn’t powerful enough for the class exhibition, so I just quit. Didn’t even get my stupid certificate. I totally took her criticism, listened to it, decided to ignore it and abandoned all forms of art for the next five years. All I’m saying is, don’t get mad at me just because I’m right and you’re wrong but do leave a comment because Steve is giving me the silent treatment and I get lonely.

Look at How Many Readers I Have Amassed

Did I use that word right? Amassed? So congratulations, loyal reader, for it is my 7 year, 1 month and 21 day anniversary. That’s right, folks, I have been on WordPress for seven damn years. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the faithful readers who stood by me and my one post. Steve, over at the NSA, couldn’t have gotten here without you. Web crawler one, web crawler two, you know I love you guys. You read that ‘Hello World!’ post over and over again, didn’t you? I knew you would. It’s been a long wait, you guys. But I’m back. We’ve been through so much together. I have officially deleted my ‘Hello World!’ post, despite it being the defining moment of my blogging career. I had to move on, Steve, I’m sorry. We’ve also had to go through the trauma of a name change. This blog was formerly known as This Is The Title. I was fourteen, you guys. It’s still funny if you think about it. That literally was the title. Ha ha. Get it?

Anyway, it’s time to look to the horizon. My faithful few and I will move on into this new world – a world full of danger and an over-saturated blogosphere and we will prevail. Worry not about the scantness of our numbers, WordPress reader, for the follow button is below. My journey is a long one, the land treacherous and the airfare is like, really expensive so I need to get a job first. Step one: Learn some sort of skill. This has been the consultingdefective, loyal readers. Until next week, probably. If I remember, you know?

Tagged