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Thursday, December 24, 2009

New Year's WHATEVER!

So, New Year's Eve is coming up and now the question on everyone's lips is: 'Yiiiii, shoo a'mlee al ra'as al sinee?' New Year's parties have become such ridiculous displays of excess in Lebanon that it's a wonder why anyone would want to go through it all. Seriously, what is the point? I heard the other day that some hall or the other is selling tickets for $800 so people can sit in a VIP section up on a balcony overlooking the commoners on the ground floor who paid a mere $500 per ticket. I asked why anyone would pay so much more for a balcony and the response was, 'Because people think that having VIP stamped on a ticket is clah.' Well, if by 'clah' you mean R.E.T.A.R.D.E.D, then that would be absolutely correct! (FYI: In Lebanon, VIP may as well stand for Very Idiotic Pansy.) I would much rather use that money for a new pair of shoes than waste a gazillion dollars on a ticket to some crap party where the nasty ass meal might as well have food poisoning stamped on it and the alcohol is most probably supplied straight from the gas pump.

The last time I went to one of these NY's parties was a few years back. I paid about $180 (which by today's standards is a peasant fee equal to about 23 cents), so I could party with friends at an upscale locale downtown. So, I get there and I'm sitting on this table and everyone is like, 'party, yeah' and I'm thinking, what is the big deal? You can party any day of the week, what is soooo special about tonite? Nothing, except that instead of paying $10 for a drink, you're paying over $100. Okay, so then I was sitting there, designated driver because, call me crazy, but I wasn't in the mood to spend the next day in the company of the toilet bowl, and I'm trying to have fun. But, as is always the case with these over-inflated shingdigs, the food was gross and the music made my ears bleed. At midnight, I went around kissing everyone, and then spent the rest of the evening looking at my watch trying to decide what time I could gracefully make my exit without being labeled a loser. I decided 2am was good enough, but too studied and exact, so I waited another 20 mins and at 2.20am I was out the door.

After that exciting - not - evening, most other NY eves I've spent outside Beirut. But this year, here I am back again, and while everyone else is scrambling for tickets to this dumbass party or that one, I've made my own 'exclusive' plans. Ticket cost: about $5 (for DVD rentals); Menu: anything not involving an IV drip is a step up for me; Guests: two hot studs who have never let me down:

Toby (l) and Harry

So what if one has a weak bladder and the other is blind (and both have really bad breath), I'll still have better dates than most people, I'm sure! And come New Year's day, I'll probably be the only person around who's had a good night's sleep, non-puffy eyes, and ... a great ass pair of new shoes! Of course, all of you will be passed out and too hung over to notice. But that's okay - all I can say is: Happy New Year ... suckerrrs!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Beauty Salon Bitches

Yes, yes,  I know... I am absolutely the worst blogger ever, which is why this is the blog that no one reads. And how can I blame readers out there?? I have not updated my blog for three whole weeks! Oh, mon dieu! In blogger time, that's like 50 years. My blog is so neglected that it's begining to mold! The reason for my inexusable lapse in writing is a tortuous job I was working on that depleted my soul of any ability to write creatively. Yes, it was that bad. But, on Friday, I finally finished with it - WOHOO! - for good and now I can get back to life as I know it.

Speaking of life as I know it, the other day I went to get my hair done (even though I was busy with work, as every Lebanese gal knows, there must always be time for grooming, no matter what!) and after 14 years living in this country, it never ceases to amaze me how annoying beauty salon bitches can be. I had actually taken an appointment - you know, when you call ahead of time and make sure the hairdresser can take you at a specific time - and I arrived right on time - a concept foreign to most Lebanese. Anyway, I get there and the salon is an aboslute mad house. A lot of foreigners were in town, still on holiday, and as if it wasn't bad enough that they can't drive worth a damn and cause the worst traffic jams ever, they also think that the Lebanese should cater to their every whim, because naturally, the world revolves around them.

My hairstylist was very apologetic and said he would get to me as soon as possible. I'm not the pushy type, so I told him not to worry about it and took a seat in the waiting room and patiently waited my turn. Have you ever noticed that at the hair salon, nearly every woman has like this emergency situation so that they need to get their hair done right away because they are so much more important than everyone else and, naturally, too good to wait? They march in with their fake boobs and fake lips, wearing outfits more appropriate for their grandchildren and wail, 'Dakheelak ya ______, lazim itruk ba'ad sa'ah, a'ndee mow'ad.' Yeah, if that's the case then MAKE A BLOODY APPOINTMENT.

Anyway ... I waited 45 minutes and finally went in to get my hair done, which brings me to my next beauty salon rant. Why, oh why, do they allow women to smoke at the hairdresser? Is there anything more annoying than getting your hair washed and blow dried, only to have some vulgar cow sitting next to you blowing smoke into your freshly styled locks??

Oufft! These beauty salon bitches bring new meaning to the word 'inconsiderate.' Hmmm, sounds like they need to pick up a copy of my book and read chapter 13 on minding manners for a refresher course on how to be polite!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Designer Bags and Bombs

I think Beirut's major malls and shopping centers need to have a serious sit down with management and discuss their ridiculous secuirty policies. I'm all for checking the cars when they come into the car park, but checking our handbags at the entrance before going inside? Puhleeze. Note to head of mall security: Women are not going to bomb their designer handbags! This is Lebanon, our precious bags are more important to us than any political agenda. Trust!

My Marc is way too precious to blow up

Mind you, not every mall has some bored-out-of-his-mind geriatric secuirty guy at the entrance searching women's handbags - some management teams have been smart enough to notice that an upperclass woman with the latest Marc Jacobs draped on her arm is hardly the type to be carrying TNT. In fact, the only thing mildly explosive she'll be holding is her credit card receipts. If any mall owners are listening, please rest assured, we are there to shop, spend money and gossip over coffee with fellow designer bag toting gal pals - i.e. we are not interested in blowing anything up. Seirously, do you think we'd be dumb enough to strut into the ABC with a bomb in our bags?? Plus, all the terrible violence that has happened in this city over the past few years has been carried out by MEN and they use dingy cars and vans, not purses.

The bottom line is this: we Lebanese women (not me specifically) spend way too much money on plastic surgery, designer clothes, shoes and handbags to blow ourselves up. So, the next time you think a lady's designer handbag is a good place to hide a bomb or any other weapon, think again!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Saturday Night Loser

I know this is Beirut, the greatest party city ever, but don’t you just feel like staying in sometimes and doing nothing? It’s true that image is everything, and so staying in on a weekend is considered anything but cool here, especially come Monday, when everyone is like, 'Yiii, ma rihtee a Palais??' But, last night I just could not be bothered to get all gussied up for a night out on the town. So, when my friend called in the afternoon and was like, 'Let's go to Capitol,’ the idea of putting on heels exhausted me and I thought, nahhhh, I'll skip out on that one. Then another friend called and asked if I wanted to join them at Zinc. I pondered on that one for about a second because there was a reserved table so the heels wouldn’t be a problem, but I had just washed and styled my hair and I really didn't feel like smelling like an ashtray. So I made up some lame ass excuse (well, less lame than I just washed my hair) and opted out of that plan too.

Usually when I don't go out on a Saturday night, my sister and I rent horror movies, but yesterday she was a total traitor and went out so I was left all by my lonesome self. I had a couple of movies to watch, but both sucked big time (FYI: GI JOE was beyond ridiculous and Surrogates could induce a coma). After the movies were over, I got really bored and regretted my decision to stay in, but then I remembered my freshly washed hair and thought, no, I did the right thing not going out.

I think I reached an all time low though when I decided to watch TV a bit before turning in and while going through the channels I came across a show on the beyond dorky Jonas brothers! At first, I thought, okay, I gotta change the channel real quick, but you know how it is when you come across a car accident on the road and you can't help but look at it no matter how bad it is? Well, that’s what this show was like, and so … I watched the whole thing! I usually think nothing of staying in on a Saturday night, but when the Jonas brothers started singing about how they were in love with a pizza delivery girl and running around giant pizza props, I knew I had reached a new level of loserness.

Anyway, after that horrific lapse in coolness (a rare occasion, of course), I decided to hit the sack and thanks to the brilliant writing of Bernard Cornwell, I went to bed with a gorgeous Saxon warrior who made the hideous memories of all things Jonas disappear.

So, there it is. I was a Saturday Night Loser but at least a) my hair still smells great, b) my feet don’t hurt and c) since this is the blog that no one reads, my reputation of total and complete coolness won’t suffer any consequences!

Monday, November 2, 2009

RIP: Chivalry is Dead

What happened to the days when knights in shining armor roamed the earth on their majestic steeds?? Yeah, yeah, yeah, those days are gone, now, but is that any excuse for all chivalry to be extinct, gone, dead, finito? Why did the call for equal rights of women automatically mean that men no longer had to be gentlemen? Just because we want the same human rights with regards to say, hmmm, voting, and freedom and working does not mean we want to be men. Of course, there are exceptions to every rule, but in general, we remained ladies, while the guys sat back and said, ‘Fine, you want equal rights? We're going to bury chivalry six feet under.' And, oh boy have you guys done a good job of it!

Let's take for example my friend, Julie*. She and I started talking about guys (of course) and she told me how she went on a first date with this guy who has been pursuing her for years. In the 30+ year range, she finally relented and said yes to this guy because she thought, he’s nice and after having dated a multitude of jerks, wanted to go out with a 'gentleman', and Julie's mom was so happy that she was finally going out with a 'nice' boy. HA!

When he picked her up (of course a missed call, because the two cents spent on an actual call is so not worth it, right?), she came to the front of her building where the guy was waiting in his car. This is the first date, remember, and they are not really friends, and he did not get out of his car to greet her! I know this is the blog that no one reads, but in the event that there is at least one guy reading this, please take note, that on a first date, GET OUT OF THE CAR and say hello. How much energy could it possibly take to open the car door, step outside and greet the chick?? Added bonus (but don't hold your breath) is if he actually opens the car door for you, but that probably hasn't happened since 1963.

When you arrive to the restaurant, or wherever, it's not so tragic if the guy doesn't open the car door for you to get out, but Julie was so not impressed when the guy not only didn't wait for her to get out of the car, he sauntered into the restaurant without her as if he forgot she was even there! Dude (yes, I'm using the word dude), you're on a date - with a chick, not yourself. Always let the woman walk ahead of you and when you reach the venue, hold open the door for her (we promise it won't be too taxing on your arm muscles). Why is this seemingly insignificant stuff important, you may be asking yourselves, because it is a sign of respect, and every lady wants to feel respected. Anyway, I won't go into anymore details about that date (did he gab on his cell phone? Yes. Did he lecture her on his brilliant political analyses - i.e. put Julie in a coma? Yes. Did he ask one single question about her, her life, her interests? NO!) Okay, when the bill came, he did the typical polite thing and paid, although Julie, always the lady, did offer to pay.

(Now that we've reached that point, I have to digress just a little. Julie, like most other accomplished ladies - i.e. not a desperado gold digger – appreciates a guy who pays for dinner not because she can't afford to pay for her own meals, but because it is a matter of manners. Why?? Because one of the main positive attributes of a guy is generosity and him not picking up the bill gives the impression of stinginess and that is a HUGE turn off. Proper ladies don't expect a guy to pay for their expenses, but when on a date, a true gentleman always picks up the bill. And a true gentleman knows that this has nothing to do with money, but with the actual gesture.)

Next we come to my friend Nancy*. She recently met a guy of interest who she wanted to get to know better. He asked her out, she accepted and the date went well enough and he seemed to like her quite a bit. After the date, he said he'd like to see her again and Nancy said sure. A few days letter, she gets a message on Facebook - yes Facebook - asking why he hasn't heard from her and hinting, but not asking that he'd like to see her again, setting her up to respond that they should get together. Nancy, fed up with this laissez-faire attitude of so-called wooing did not take the bait. She responded kindly but did not reply with the expected, 'let's meet up.' What is with guys making absolutely no effort? You want to date a girl, pick up the phone and, ASK HER OUT. Do not send an SMS and do not send an email! Especially if the girl has already been out with you and/or already said she’d be open to seeing you – i.e. the whole ‘fear of rejection’ thing is not an excuse.

I know that the ratio of guys to girls is like 1 to 8 million in Lebanon right now, which is why some chicks are so ready, willing and able to put up with such behavior and do all the pursuing themselves. Now guys are so accustomed to sitting back and waiting for the chicks to make all the moves that they do nothing or at best, the bare minimum. But, little do they know that sitting out on the benches of this unrefined game are the most valuable players - classy ladies worth getting all down and dirty for. Too bad the rules of the game have changed so much that hardly anyone bothers to make the effort to discover and appreciate these MVPs.

Yes, unfortunately, chivalry is dead and most guys think that equal rights means that they get to act like Neanderthals. Maybe we should react in kind and revert back to our cavewoman days and stop plucking our eyebrows and shaving our legs! Do you think they’ll get the hint then? Yeah, probably not!

*Names have been changed for the sake of privacy

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Party Time ... With the Flu!

So I have the flu - oh woe is me. As you know, being sick sucks, especially when you're supposedly on vacation (yes, it's still a vacation even if you're in Richmond, Va.!). I've been in bed all day and that translates into one thing - one less day to shop while I'm here. Being sick sucks! So, instead, I'm sitting here watching Oprah. Today's episode: how African-American women suffer with their hair. I think she should head to Lebanon and see how women really suffer for their looks. Oh great, there was just a news break about swine flu in Virginia - yey! Anyway, I digress...

I don't know about you, reader, but I'm the type of sick person that likes to stay in bed in my pjs all day long. I can't even imagine leaving the house (don't worry, I do find the energy to shower). I also like to make everyone feel bad for me without being whiny or pathetic. Like today, for example, my sister said she was going to make her famous chocolate chocolate chip cookies to cheer me up. Well, she hasn't made them yet, but don't worry, I will guilt her into baking before day's end! What can I say - it's a gift.

Not every sicko likes to take time off and stay in bed, though. One of my best friends, for example, will not let something as minor as a fever or sore throat slow her down - nope, not at all. She will go out, cough medicine and hanky in hand, as if it were just a regular night out on the town. Okay, just thinking about going out has exhausted me. My nose is stuffy, my throat is scratchy and my body aches so I'm gonna head back to bed now. Yes, that was whiny and maybe even a little pathetic. But, if you feel compelled to bake me cookies anyway, please go right ahead!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Adventures with Kleenex Hand

Hello all (yes, that means you, dear fan)! Greetings from the fun and exciting Richmond, Virginia, from where I am writing this next thrilling installment of ... The Blog That No One Reads! So, I know what you are all thinking ... why on earth would anyone travel to Richmond?? Hmmm, good question. Well, my brother is graduating from grad school with an EMBA and good sister that I am, I decided to attend (even though he never reads this blog). He's in NC, but my sisters live in Richmond, so two birds, one stone - you get the idea.

Anyway, the Air France route was a pretty good one. Beirut to Paris was a breeze, then a two hour layover at Charles de Gualle went by really fast. Then it was time for the long haul stretch from Paris to Washington DC. I boarded the plane and took my seat and saw that I was sitting next to a guy from some French-speaking African country. I said a friendly 'bonjour', unloaded my stuff, took out my book and iPod, put on my seat belt, and leaned back to get comfortable and started to read. La di dah, everything was fine ...

Then I hear a loud blowing noise and I turned and caught the guy next to me blowing his nose WITH HIS HAND. And then - as if that wasn't bad enough - he began to flick the 'stuff' off with his finger. I have never been so disgusted in my life. Seriously, I am not exaggerating, and I once had to sit next to someone who stank like sweaty feet. This was worse. By far. And the guy was not embarrassed or at all shy about what he was doing; it was like it was normal or something! WHO DOES THAT??

So, then I was in a dilemma. Do I ask the flight attendant to change my seat and risk everyone in the cabin think I'm a racist who does not want to sit next to a black man, or do I sit for seven and half hours next to a guy who uses his hand like a kleenex? I thought about it and thought about it, but every time I turned to look at the guy, I couldn't get the image of what he had done out of my head. I thought about meal time - would I be able to eat anything? What if he did it again while I was eating? Okay, that did it.

The flight attendant came around and I said that I didn't want to sit in the front row because there was no room for me to stow my bag and I didn't want to put it in the overhead compartment. He looked at me surprised and said, "But you have so much room here? You won't have as much space in another seat." I said that was okay, I just wanted to have my bag with me at all times. He gave me a quizzical facial expression that could've meant a) this chick must have diamonds or something in that bag; or b) this racist chick ain't foolin' nobody.

I switched seats and who could blame me? And that, dear reader, is how my adventure with Kleenex Hand came to a thankful, blessed end!!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Scandals of the Summer

I'm baacccckkkk!!! Okay, so the vacation is over and it's the return of everyone's favorite blog that no one is reading! In this enthralling installment, I thought I'd go ever the scandalous events of the summer - yours not mine. See, while I was stuck in a boring-as-hell mountain village (actually, I'm pretty sure hell is far more exciting than Hamana will ever be), you were all out there having a blast in the real world somewhere, so do share your scandalous trysts, rendez-vous and other such goings-on.

As for my paltry tidbits of excitement, the most fascinating thing that happened to me was watching the latest Harry Potter film. Doesn't it suck when you have so many hopes pinned on the summer - you know, like you are going to do so much, meet so many new people, have so much fun, etc, etc - only to have it end and basically have nothing much happen? Well, except for a great tan, in my case. Oh, and a new hairdo, which is going over well, if I do say so myself.

I know what you're thinking: 'Anissa, you were gone for over two months and you come back with this?' Yes, dear fan, you are right. It is unabashedly unforgivable, but alas, the truth. So delight and entertain me with your summer news. If yours was as boring or - gulp - even more boring than mine, then please do spice it up a little! Let me live vicariously through you!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

On Vacation

To all my millions and millions and millions of readers, I'm sure you have been wondering, why the hell hasn't your favorite blog been updated in eons?? Well, the answer, my friends, is that I'm on vacation! As anyone who's anyone knows, there is nothing like the Lebanese summer, and I'm taking full advantage of the beach and mountains, enjoying myself (even if the internet sucks) and having fun!

So, see you when the summer is over and try not to miss me too much. You know you love me, XOXO Writer Girl!

NB: Pic courtesy of Alyah Rafeh and her lovely feet, which no one can beat!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Who'd of Thought We'd Miss Michael Jackson?

Oh my God, Michael Jackson is dead!! If someone had asked me of all the celebrities I'd miss if they weren't around anymore, Michael Jackson probably would've been somewhere way down on the list. But, last night, when my sister came rushing into my office to tell me that the King of Pop had died, I was soooooooo upset. We ended up staying up until 2am to get confirmation that he had indeed passed away.

Did I particularly like him? No, he was weird to say the least. Not exactly someone easy to relate to, with all the plastic surgery (non-existent nose), weird skin pigmentation and questionable dress sense (hello, sequined glove), not to mention the marriages (Lisa Pressley kiss, yuck!) and the Nordic looking kids (genetic miracles for a black man?). But, he was an icon, whether you liked him or not.

I remember when the Thriller video came out - one word: wow! We were living in Dubai at the time and so we had to actually rent it on video to watch it. I was pretty young, and the dancing zombies coupled with Vincent Price's creepy voice terrified me. The Sri Lankan housekeeper, though, was a fanatic and she insisted on watching it a hundred times despite my terrified whimpers. "Look, look at the dancing," she said, as if that were supposed to take away from the fact that they were zombies! Let me tell you, to an eight-year-old, dancing zombies are frightening!

That night, my parents took us out and walking through the garden, I was terrified a zombie was going to pop out of the bushes and grab me - the thought of it singing and dancing did not assuage my fears. My mom asked me why I was so jittery and I told her and she started to laugh. I took offense to that because she is the chicken of the family and can't even watch shows like CSI. So, when I got back home, I was determined to sit through the video ... again. This time without squirming. "I watched A Nightmare on Elm Street when I was seven," I told myself. I was afraid to sleep for a week, but I watched it! And now I was letting a music video get to me? This was unacceptable. Pathetic even. So, I put in the video before going to bed, watched the whole thing and went to sleep. I don't remember what I dreamt about, but I do know that nary a zombie made an appearance!

Oh well, good bye Michael Jackson. Despite everything, your entertainment over the years has been thrilling!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Immortal UNbeloved

Over the past few weeks, my mom has been working on transferring all our home movies (from the early betamax days to the present) onto DVD. My dad bought his first video camera back in 1984, when I was ten years old, so there are A LOT of tapes to convert. We all thought it would be a lot of fun to start watching those old tapes right from the very beginning, but boy, was I wrong! You see, over the decades, I had forgotten how awful I was growing up, and just remembered myself as being a nice kid who was good to her siblings (for the most part). And with advances in technology and things like the betamax going obsolete, it became harder and harder to revisit those tapes for a little dose of reality. The cold hard truth could not be hidden forever, though, and now, what I was really like as kid has resurfaced. Dah dah dahhhh ...

Yes, the theme of haunting music should be playing in your heads right now, it is only fitting considering what a dreadful child I was. Okay, maybe I'm exaggerating just a little bit. It's not like I would've been perfect for roles in the Exorcist or The Omen, but I wasn't exactly a little ray of sunshine either. My sister Alyah always told me that I was mean when I was kid and we'd get into huge arguments as adults over this issue. I would say I was delightful and charming and that she was the meanie, and she would say that I was horrible and always picking on her. Yes, very mature, I know. Anyway, I now have to eat my words because she, in fact, was right all along. And to top it all off, there is video evidence to support her claims! (Okay Alyah, happy now, you were right!)

At practically every occasion caught on film, I am making acidic comments about my siblings, or making fun of them in some way. At one family lunch, I'm even filmed whacking my little brother across the head without batting an eye. (I think I felt guilty immediately afterwards, because then I am seen hugging and kissing him, so I guess I wasn't completely awful, right??)

I'm second from left, hugging a then one-year old Nadya.
Don't be fooled by my seemingly sweet demeanor!

My siblings, on the other hand, might as well have been actors in a Hallmark movie, always holding hands and hugging each other and playing with each other. They look into the camera and make cute remarks, whereas I look into the camera and wax lyrical about how completely fabulous I am. Yes, I forgot to add that in addition to being unbearable, I was also totally conceited, believing that I was the greatest thing on earth. I have no idea why. I was overweight, had braces AND glasses, not to mention the worst sense of style, and let's just say that every day was a bad hair day.

Little miss conceited. That's Alyah on the right looking
on in horror, thinking, 'What the hell does this chick see in herself!'

It made me nostalgic for the good ol' days when no camcorders existed and people could remember themselves anyway they liked and nobody would be the wiser. Unfortunately for me, the truth is out of the bag. Just call me the Rafeh Immortal UNbeloved!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

March Madness: A Rant of the Week

So, unless you've been living under a rock, you probably all know that Lebanon's elections are coming up this weekend. To be honest, I'm much more interested in the results of this past Sunday's MTV Movie Awards. Yes, the news of Twilight sweeping the awards got my blood pumping a lot more than who will emerge victorious on June 7! I mean come on, who would you rather see giving a speech on TV, the delicious Robert Pattinson or some middle aged, overweight, maniacal politician ranting and sweating, spewing threats and insulting other politicians?? Hmmm, I take the hunky actor, thank you very much.

It's a wonder that any one living here thinks that any of the crazy lunatics running for office are qualified to run the country. Let's see, what has been accomplished since we gained our pseudo-independence .... wars (internal and international), instablity, corruption, assassinations (political and otherwise), fear mongering, threats against the civilian population by those that were supposedly there to protect us, more fear, more threats and more violence.

What we didn't get? A stable, democratic country - democratic being the key word. A government that actually works for the people - you know, since we elected them and all - instead of focusing solely on securing their own power base and pockets. A government that doesn't steal from the people. A government that implements reasonable utility costs for electricity, water, phones, etc, that correspond to the average wage. Also, speaking of government run utilities, the UNIVERSAL collection of electricity bills so that others are not penalized with exorbitant costs because of those who do not pay. A proper army that does not stand around and do nothing while unarmed civilians are being beaten or murdered right in front of their eyes. Respect from our so-called leaders when on the road, so that we are not shooed off the street like cockroaches just because they want to get home for dinner - they are not too good to wait in traffic like the rest of us. And speaking of traffic, not closing off entire roads systems without any regard to the average Joe, who does not need to spend fours in traffic getting home after working all day just because some useless politicians decided to have a meeting (which inevitably will end in accomplishing NOTHING).

The list could go on and on, and frankly, I don't have the energy anymore to go through the problems with our government, or lack there of. Where are the laws and bills that should have been passed that would improve our way of life? Why are political leaders only good at going on TV and bad mouthing each other? Why don't they actually do something that will improve the lives of the Lebanese people like they are supposed to be doing? Why haven't we seen the privatization of EDL and the cell phone companies? Why haven't we seen the implementation of civil law with regards to marriage and divorce, etc? Why haven't women been granted the right to give the Lebanese citizenship to their husbands and children? Why hasn't the infrastructure been improved so that we can attract more businesses to open their doors in Lebanon, improve the economy and employment? Where are the changes that the people want to see, not the changes the politicians want only to make them richer and more powerful?

So many questions and not one politician capable, qualified or willing to answer them. Here's a piece of advice: instead of bickering about March this and March that, try doing what your constituents want for a change and actually DO SOMETHING.

Despite my severe disillusionment, I will be at the polls this Sunday exercising my 'democratic' right (hah!). In an election in which all the candidates suck, I will be voting for the lesser of two evils. Maybe, one day, we can hope for more - we certainly deserve it. Robert Pattinson for president anyone??

Friday, May 29, 2009

Men who wear white socks and other pet peeves

So, I was having lunch with a friend last week at a trendy new cafe that just opened and as we started talking, we noticed our table was rickety. At first, none of us said anything, but then all the shaking back and forth was sooooo annoying, my friend called over the waiter and asked him to put something underneath the table leg to steady it. The guys on the next table thought it was hilarious we were making - in their approximation - a big deal of the shaky table. One guy said, "This is Lebanon, nothing works right." Hmmm, he may have a point, but I'm pretty sure he was talking about politics. Well, there may be no solution to the election drama we're all facing, but a rickety table? Damn straight we can get that fixed! And we did.

But that brought on a whole new conversation: pet peeves. My friend, Mr. Pet Peeve, gets annoyed by just about everything. During a telephone conversation, he interrupted himself and went on and on for nearly 15 minutes about how smudge marks on his new external hard drive were driving him crazy and how every time he picked it up, he had to wipe it clean. Well, we may not all be as anal as Mr. PP, but there is a whole list of pet peeves that we can certainly relate to. Mine is long and varying, but I've narrowed it down to the below.

1. Guys who wear white socks with dark shoes (except for with sneakers) - why, oh why? Is being color coordinated really that difficult??
2. Which leads me to ... guys who don't wear socks with shoes, especially in summer - one word: GROSS!
3. People who call you and after you've said hello, say hello back a million times before finally saying what they've called for.
4. Cars that cut in front of me, even though there are no other cars behind me, and then proceed to go at a snail's pace.
5. People that say 'you're welcome' before you've even said thanks.
6. That retarded commercial for skin bleach that insinuates being dark is like having dirt on your face (coming in a close second is that annoying as hell 'pasta from Pizza Hut' commercial).
7. Mexican/ Turkish soap operas dubbed in Arabic.
8. People who take the elevator to the first floor - how lazy can you be??
9. Lebanese traffic cops, who seriously have the mental capacity and manners of a cockroach!
10. Smudge marks on external hard drives - NOT!

Go ahead and add your own pet peeves in the comments section below! I'm sure that will be a very interesting list!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Strapped for cash

In order to relate to you the latest in a long series of embarrassing situations, I have to give you some background information - so bare with me! The other day, I went to withdraw cash and the ATM machine ate my card after three failed attempts at punching in my PIN. This was on a weekend, which meant that I had to wait until Monday before going back to the bank and getting my card and some much needed cash. I'm not usually such a bimbo, by the way. I have the original number written down, but it's not working so I guess I must've changed the PIN some time ago because now, for the life of me, I can't remember what it is. I'm usually pretty good at remembering crap like this, but you know, it happens - sometimes your forget the PIN for your ATM card and you're left with no cash over the weekend and forced to revert back to your high school days and borrow money from your parents (thanks mom and dad, will pay you back soon, promise!). Anyway, I digress...

Later that day, I stopped by the grocery store - pre-loan from the parents - thinking, no problem, don't need cash, will put groceries on my credit card. I forgot about the guy who carries the bags to your car and when he took my groceries and started walking with me to my car, I panicked. I was so flustered as to what I should do. I could've taken the groceries and said I can carry them myself, but I totally forgot I was cashless until he was already walking with me. I then asked myself, should I snatch the groceries from the guy and insist on carrying them myself at the risk of him thinking that I'm too cheap to tip him? Should I let him carry my groceries to the car and just tell him the honest truth, that I didn't have any cash? As I was wondering what I should do, I realized I was wasting time and getting closer and closer to my car, making option one now impossible. I took out my wallet and frantically started digging for one stray thousand lira bill that I hoped was tucked somewhere in between pictures of my niece and nephew and old credit card receipts. By this time, we were at my car and with each bag he placed in the trunk, my panic grew.

As he slammed the trunk shut, I opened the coin holder praying for some change ... and my prayers were answered. Hallelujah! I found nearly LL2,000 in coins, not ideal but better than nothing. I explained that I had no cash and apologized for tipping in coins (looked down upon in this neck of the woods). The guy was very pleasant and told me not to worry, no tip was necessary, but I insisted he take the coins, which he did. So, I traded in a huge embarrassing moment for an only slightly embarrassing moment. Not bad.

(PS Still haven't figured out my PIN and am still the cashless wonder of Beirut!)

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Bluetooth and picking up boys

So apparently, I have been missing out on the greatest invention of the 21st (or 20th?) century: Bluetooth - aka the awesomely subtle yet effective tool of seduction. I was chatting with a male acquaintance of mine (a self-described jagal) and it seems Bluetooth + Flirting = True Love! Who knew? Certainly not me. Here I thought this new fangled, nifty technology was only good for transferring data from one Bluetooth enabled gizmo to another. What a loser I felt when I admitted that I only used it to send songs to my phone for ultra cool ringers. Let me tell you, Mr. Jagal thought I was anything but cool.

'No, no, no. You must to use it when you are out in a cafe. Someone maybe will like you and send you a message. Like, "hi, how are you." You reply, "yes, I am fine, how are you?" You look around and if he is okay, maybe you will have coffee together,' he instructed. Hmmm, sounds easy enough I suppose. Just switch my Bluetooth on the next time I go out and let the magic happen! No problem.

The other night, I was having dinner with a friend and I told her all about the advice I received from Mr. Jagal. She started to laugh and didn't even know what Bluetooth was really, but decided that we should try it anyway. So we did.... And we waited.... The results of the experiment were as follows: Flirting Action: 0; Cool Song Transfer: 1.

The next day, I relayed the results of my failed attempt to Bluetooth flirt to Mr. Jagal. 'No, no, no. You must to use it in a place where you see other people using their phones. Not just anywhere. Did you see people using their phones?' he asked. 'No, they were eating, I guess,' I replied. He just shook his head like I was the most incompetent pick-up artist alive (which I probably am), a Bluetooth Bimbo if you will.

Oh well ... Bluetooth may not have been be able to find me a match made in heaven, but at least it didn't prove completely useless!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Some People are Real A**holes: A Rant of the Week!

As you can probably tell from the title of this blog entry, I'm in a really bad mood! I just can't believe how really terrible some people are. So today, I was on my way to pick up a friend for lunch - I was late (as usual) and he called me just as I was two minutes away from his place. I knew he was waiting outside for me, so when a car from a perpendicular street was trying to turn onto the main road I was on, I did not let him pass. I was late and had right of way anyway, and didn't have to let any car pass. The SOB then turns in and rams his car right into the back of my jeep. ON PURPOSE! I was so enraged, I mean, who does that?? Who rear-ends a car just because the person driving didn't let them pass?? What an absolute caveman! I got out of the car and gave him a piece of my mind. Onlookers on the road - all men of course - came outside and berated the lunatic as well. He apologized and said it was an accident, but I told him that he was lying, that he did it on purpose because I did not let him pass. So, he says, 'If it was on purpose, then I apologize, and there is no damage to your car.' Oh, I was soooo angry, so I called him a son of a bitch and walked off.

How can people be so awful?? And last week, I was driving down this one way road, and a van/cab driver was coming up in the opposite direction. He stopped his car, refusing to back up, and I refused to back up because HE WAS GOING THE WRONG WAY! So, I put my car in park and waited. He thought he could intimidate because I'm a woman and his falling apart van was full of males - well, he had another thing coming. He came out of his car and was telling me to back up. So I said he was going the wrong way and he should back up. So, of course, being in Lebanon, where 99% of the population is completely without principles, he starts screaming and yelling at me – yeah, like that’s going to make me move. He then threatens to hit my car. I told him to go ahead, and I will call the police and let them decide who is right and wrong in this situation. So, of course, coward that most morons like that are, he backs down, and starts to say that I'm like his sister – really, no joke, his sister - and to please back up because by that time, two other cars had come up behind him. I didn't want to cause world war III over the whole thing, but I was prepared to fight for the principle of the matter. So, I compromised and said I would back up only if he admitted that he was wrong and apologized. He did and I backed up. He was even benevolent enough to thank me as he drove off. How touching!

I am just so sick and tired of jerks in this country acting like total barbarians and then screaming and yelling when called on their behavior because they think women are too timid to face them. As this one bystander at the cab incident said, 'Ma3alesh, just back up.' And I told him, 'Mish ma3alash.’ It's bad enough that people here are so completely inconsiderate, rude and uncivilized when they drive; the least they can do is apologize when they are wrong. He agreed with me while chomping on his mankouche, but then shrugged his shoulders like there was nothing to be done.

Well, there is always something to be done. We put up with a lot of crap living in Lebanon because we love our country. But, I for one, draw the line at being bullied by a bunch of dumbass a**holes!

N.B.: Credit for the title of this blog entry goes to the one and only Mr. B!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Your Age in Chocolate

Okay, I can't take credit for this one, I got it as an email forward and thought it was really cool. I know it's a mathematical thing, but anything to do with chocolate gets my attention - fast!! So, think of this as a bonus blog entry and enjoy :) !!

Your age in chocolate begins NOW!!

Don't tell me your age; you probably would tell a falsehood anyway but the Hershey (or Cadbury) Man will know! This is your age by chocolate math and is pretty neat.

DON'T CHEAT BY SCROLLING DOWN FIRST! It takes less than a minute . Work this out as you read . Be sure you don't read the bottom until you've worked it out! This is not one of those waste of time things, it's fun.

1. First of all, pick the number of times a week that you would like to have chocolate (more than once but less than 10)

2. Multiply this number by 2 (just to be bold)

3. Add 5

4. Multiply it by 50 -- I'll wait while you get the calculator

5. If you have already had your birthday this year add 1759 .... If you haven't, add 1758.

6. Now subtract the four digit year that you were born.

You should have a three digit number.

The first digit of this was your original number (i.e., how many times you want to have chocolate each week). The next two numbers are YOUR AGE (Oh YES, it is!) AND THIS IS THE ONLY YEAR (2009) IT WILL EVER WORK!

Monday, April 20, 2009

How I discovered that George Clooney is NOT in love with me

Yes, it's been over a week since my last entry and I'm feeling like the absolute worst blogger ever. But, in my defense, I have been ill ... yet again! I caught a debilitating virus that left me bed ridden for five days - fun stuff! Anyway, now on to today's exhilarating entry: secret admirers. Oooohhhhhh ...

So, last week, I got this sms that I have a secret admirer - I know, I know, everyone's been getting them. But, I decided to check the whole thing out, investigative journalism style, so that I could properly expose the scam to you, my dear readers. For those of you not in the know, an sms has been going around that the recipient has a secret admirer. To get your special message, though, you have to send an sms to a provided number. My 'secret admirer' message was in French - the first clue that the whole thing is bogus, because anyone who knows me even remotely, would never, ever, send me a message in French. Anyway, it read something like, 'I really like you, but I'm too intimidated to approach you.' Flashbacks of grade school and the crushes of 12 year olds sprang to mind, but I persevered!

The message then says that it will give you the name of your so-called admirer if you send yet another sms to the same number. I did so (only because our dear minister of telecom has reduced sms rates to $0.10, otherwise this experiment would never have happened. So, thanks Gebran!). I received another message, saying, shocker of all shockers, that my secret admirer wishes to remain anonymous, but if I send in the name of who I think it could be, it will tell me whether I'm right or wrong. So, I typed in a name, and guess what folks ... ? That's how I discovered that George Clooney is not secretly in love with me!

Although entirely possible, George is not in love with me

Devastated as I was, the experiment was not yet over. My sister, who also received a secret admirer sms, did the same thing at my -- annoying? -- insistence, just to see if we would get the exact same message. Well, hers was in English, but she was as equally heartbroken to learn that Edward Cullen was not secretly pining away over her!

So there you have it folks! Our brilliant detective work was so brilliant, in fact, that I feel like this could be an Emmy award winning segment on 60 Minutes. And thanks to the amazing investigative team of Rafeh & Rafeh (aka Anissa and Nadya) we have not only managed to uncover the truth for you, but have also saved you from those moments when you think, 'Well maybe I could have a secret admirer,' but you don't want to be that loser that sent in the sms hoping to find true love, only to realize that you actually fell for a gimmick. Yes, you owe us big time (feel free to thank us ad nauseam!).

Disclaimer: This experiment is in no way an indication of loserish behavior, since it was carried out with the full knowledge that it was a hoax and done for the sole purpose of providing hardcore proof of its bogus nature.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Readers, dearest

Dear readers (all two of you), I'm sorry that I have been so neglectful of my blog of late, but I have been seriously busy with deadlines. Thankfully, I actually have some work to do - wohooo! (It has been a slow few months, so a hectic work schedule is more than welcome.) What I like to do when I'm really busy is reward myself after completing a task. Like, for example, when I finish writing a paragraph, I get five minutes (okay, more like 30) to check out Facebook. Today, I'm treating myself - in between copywriting a brochure and copyediting a catalogue - by writing a new entry for my blog. After all, I wouldn't want to disappoint my eager readers (hi mom!).

Speaking of work, I'm going to put in a shameless plug here and talk about my book, Miss Guided, which according to a very reliable source (thanks Nadya!), is now number 10 (out of 20) on the Virgin bestseller list downtown. I was number four before those blasted Twilight books hit the stands. Stupid books about a gorgeous vampire (swoon, sigh, Edward) falling in love with a mortal (dumbass, whiny Bella) and their mushy romance ... that I am COMPLETELY OBSESSED WITH! But, that doesn't mean you have to be as well. Put that book down and go out and buy Miss Guided. Everyone dies at the end - just kidding, I would never be that cruel, except for once, but that's another story ...

Okay, and now on to shameless plug number two: I will be writing a column for the English version of Sayidity magazine, which is available pretty much across the Middle East. So, be sure to check out my musings and humorous witticisms in The Lighter Side every month! Also, feel free to send me feedback and suggestions -- even let me know what irks you so that I can point out the lighter side. Ahhhh, clever, see the connection there???

Well, my time with you today has been regrettably short, but rewarding nonetheless. I have a catalogue waiting for me, dear readers, not exactly as tempting as a delicious vampire, but hey, at least there's a paycheck involved!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Trashy Tuesday

Good Trashy Tuesday to you all! Lot's of dirt to dish in this week's installment, so let the gossip begin ...

First off, in keeping with the current world economic crisis, I thought it fitting to talk a little about those poor (pun intended) celebrities facing economic woes of their own. So, according to a recent report from, the top seven poorest celebs are:

1. Willie Aames (the guy from Eight is Enough and Charles in Charge) - Okay, to call him a celebrity is stretching it, but apparently this former star from the 70s and 80s had to have a garage sale to cover his mounting debts - talk about embarrassing.

2. Michael Jackson - Yep, it's true, he may not have lost the shirt off his back, but he did lose the jewel encrusted glove off his hand. After selling off his Neverland ranch (aka Creepo Manor), he was supposed to sell off a bunch of his stuff in an auction. That, however, has been put on hold as the so-called 'king of pop' prepares for about 50 sold out concerts in London this year, which will apparently be earning him about $1 to $2 million EACH! So, I'm not sure Wacko Jacko will be on this list for long.

3. Jodie Sweetin (the middle kid from Full House) - Are we even surprised that the former meth addict is on the broke list?? No, but we are surprised that ABCnews considers her a celebrity! The former child star has apparently had a taste of the poverty life, since having her water and electricity turned off numerous times and may be now losing her house.

4. Lindsay Lohan - Rumors about drugs, alcohol, buying luxury cars she can't afford, stealing fur coats and borrowing money from her girlfriend may be the reasons that landed LiLo on this list. Or it could be that she hasn't had a job in eons and that her latest movie is not even going straight to DVD, but straight to cable TV! Oh, how the mighty have fallen!

Lilo in the poor house

5. Annie Leibovitz - Now this one is a shocker! How could one of the world's most famous and in-demand photographers be in debt - over $715,000 in debt to be exact?? It seems that she has had to borrow some $20 million and put up her town house as well as her coveted photos up for collateral. Talk about living beyond your means!

6. Ruben Studdard - Uhm, do we even care about this one? Well, it seems he owes about $200,000 in taxes. Yeah, I know, I'm bored already too. So on to the final celebrity on the list ...

7. Ed McMahon - Even more boring than Ruben, you say? You're right!

So, the next time you're feeling bad about your finances, just think of the above. At least you don't have to pretend to be rich and famous.

Since we're talking about lists, I also came across one on the stinkiest Hollywood heartthrobs. I mentioned in the last Trashy Tuesday that the absolutely delish Rob Pattinson needed some deodorant tips. Well, apparently I'm not the only one who thinks so, as one magazine listed him as one of the 100 UNsexiest (yes, unsexy) celebrities because of his lack of hygiene! Other supposed stink bombs are Matthew McCaunghey, who admits to not having used deodorant in 20 years, Brad Pitt, Keanu Reeves and Viggo Mortenson, who supposedly got so into his Aragorn role in Lord of the Rings, he slept in the woods and didn't bathe, like ever.

Smelly but still scrumptious!

Hmmm, and you know what? These guys get women! The most beautiful (perhaps, olfactory nodes deficient) women!

Last, but not least, I leave you with this tidbit especially for my mom (and Kinda, although she won't admit it) ... After a million years, the US soap, Guiding Light, has been canceled. First airing on the radio in 1937 and then on TV in 1952, it's - finally? - time to say goodbye!

And speaking of goodbye, it's time for me to sign off. Until next time, you know you love me. XOXO, Writer Girl!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Only males need apply

The time has come for me to renew my yearly gym membership, so I have been exploring my options and checking out a bunch of other gyms. But, after visiting pretty much every viable health establishment in my area, I have come to the conclusion that where I'm at now is the best option for me. So, yesterday I asked for the new price list for this year and was really surprised at the major hike in membership prices. I took a closer look at the membership fees to see if I qualify for any of the reduced rates and, of course, as the average singleton, I get NONE.

I noticed a special corporate rate, one for college students, people who own a chalet or cabana on the gym's hotel premises and a day rate for those willing to come between 7am and 4pm. The one 'special deal' that really irked me, though, is the one for 'couples.' Why do they get a reduced membership rate?? I asked if I qualified for the rate if a female friend joined the gym with me, and the answer was no, it has to be a boyfriend or husband. 'How prejudiced,' I said, to which the admin guy replied, 'Well, why don't you get married?' Yes, because that seems to be the solution to every problem if you have the terrible misfortune of being single.

It's not enough that people in this country make singles feel bad on a daily basis - it's come to the point where you can't even take a sip of juice without hearing 'farahtik this' or 'akbalik that.' I suppose that the prospect of being happily single is a notion most Lebanese cannot fathom (it's about 4.45pm and I have already heard inshallah nufrah minik ya raab about a gazillion times). And now, to top it all off, we are being made to feel inadequate at the gym, of all places, simply because we don't have a significant other!

The difference between the 'couples' and 'singles' rate is not huge - just $20 a month - so it's not like it's going to make or break me. But, it's the principle of the matter! Why should I have to be with someone in order to get a discounted price? There should be one rate - a human being rate - that applies to ALL people, great or small, male or female, single or attached. So I say to the Movenpick gym - yes, I'm talking to you - show some respect for your single members. We are just as worthy of your special rates as anyone else, in my humble, albeit single, opinion.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Lebanon Blues

I know the world was waiting in eager anticipation yesterday for yet another super thrilling installment of Trashy Tuesday, but I was unable to keep my blogging obligations because of illness. For the umpteenth time since moving to Lebanon, I am going through a bout of food poisoning. Yes, yesterday was pretty bad, which got me thinking about really bad days. The thing is, you never really know ahead of time when a day is going to go bad, but I usually have a sense of foreboding that starts with a series of telltale signs.

On any given workday, I know it’s going to be bad when:

-- I oversleep. I don’t know how this happens, since I have an 'internal' alarm clock and never sleep in accidentally. Technically, I always wake up on time, the problem with me is actually getting out of bed. I always think I have five more minutes to spare before its imperative that I roll out and start to get ready. I know it’s going to be a bad day when that five minutes ‘accidentally’ turns into 50 and I have basically two minutes to make a deadline. The end result is frantically spending the day in front of my laptop in a tracksuit (okay, pyjamas) that’s seen better days and seriously bad hair.

-- I’m running late (as usual) on the way to a meeting and I’m sandwiched in between a truck in front of me and an ancient taxi moving at a snail’s pace to the right on a two lane road. I try to weave my way out of such obstacle courses as soon as they arise, which usually results in offensive hand gestures and rude comments mouthed through windshields from others on the road. Although, it could be argued that my driving warrants such reactions, nothing ruins my day more than someone swearing at me on the road.

-- I need to pick up a check (YEY!) and all the parking lots are full and there are no free spots on the street. Unlike 99.9% of Lebanese, I don’t have the balls to park illegally, especially with the recent swell in ticket hungry cops. With all the criminal acts going on in the country, for some reason haphazardly parked cars seem to be the number one concern for our police officers. Murder, theft … what are these next to the virtual goldmine of parking violations? Nice to know that to our men in blue ‘keeping the peace’ only refers to parked cars.

--When I have to share an elevator. Okay, this may sound a little weird, and perhaps slightly petty, but I absolutely hate sharing the elevator with people I don’t know. When I’m on my way to a meeting, I just can’t be bothered to make pleasantries with other people. Plus, if there’s someone in there with you, you can’t fix any embarrassing fashion mishaps that you may have missed in your haste to get ready. Not to mention that stopping on other floors delays you if you’re running late (as usual) – it’s in those final seconds that I feel the most anxious to just get there already. I get so annoyed when I’ve waited for what seems like forever for the elevator to arrive, only to have two people come in with me: one going on the first floor (which irritates me to no end because, seriously, who is so lazy that they can’t climb one flight of stairs), and the second going on the floor just before mine (which I can’t stand because that only gives me one floor to primp in front of the mirror).

Oh well, sometimes bad days happen to good people. When the nasty stuff begins to hit the fan, just remember that, in the infamous words of Scarlet O’Hara, “Tomorrow is another day!”

Friday, March 20, 2009

The Rocky Diaries

In my quest to get as lean and fit as Rocky, I have, on and off over the past 10 years, been a member of one gym or the other. I tried out pilates for a while and yoga, worked out on my own, but nothing seemed to get me into Rocky-worthy shape. Over the past two years, though, I've been working with a personal trainer in an attempt to finally reach my goal fitness level.

Despite the 'rigors' of my workout regime, however, I feel only slightly fit. Although I go a minimum of three times a week, I've never really quite gotten there, for some strange and mysterious reason unbeknownst to me. I do the requisite 30 minutes (sometimes more) of fat burrrrning, followed by either lower or upper body weight training, either with my trainer or alone. I even do over a hundred crunches for the rock hard abs that it appears I will never have. Eye of the Tiger ringing in my ear, I have even tackled the sinister stairmaster, and other such ominous looking machines, all to no avail.

Adding insult to injury is that fact that my gym is full of geriatrics - average age 67 - so I don't even have the excuse of being distracted by hunky fellow members strutting their stuff in front of me. The advantage, however, of going to a gym popular with senior citizens is that for the first (and probably only) time in my life, I'm the hottest girl at the gym. And I don't say this out of conceit - it's easy to claim that title when your stiffest competition is a 90 year old widow. No lie!

I guess I should be a little more honest in revealing my gym-going habits. Challenging routine - check; workout at least four times per week - check; personal trainer - check; workout for at least an hour - check; proper diet - uhmmm, no comment. Okay, so maybe the whole 'perfect body' thing is not working out for me so much because my average gym routine looks something like this:

Please notice gym bag in background!

Can I help it if a Burger King just so happens to be right across the street from my gym? The average person needs some serious Herculean will power to resist stopping in for a Chicken Royale and fries after emerging from an arguably challenging workout absolutely starving to death, which tends to be the case most of the time for me. And every time I drive out of the gym, there it is, in big red letters, just calling out to me, "Take a bite out of me, I promise I won't make you fat." Yeah, right! Stupid burger and fries. The Achilles heel of my fitness program. The thorn in my never-going-to-look-like-a-supermodel side. The 500 calorie obstacle standing in the way of my life-long dream of looking like an Olympic athlete. Yes, those dreams are gone now. And it's all because of you, damn Burger King!

And you want to know the funniest thing of all? I prefer McDonald's.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Trashy Tuesday

This week's installment of Trashy Tuesday is chock-full of, well ... trash! Did you expect anything less?? First off, there was the catfight at the auditions for that show that epitomizes excellence in television - of course I'm talking about America's Next Top Model! What other show on TV exemplifies such high standards of broadcasting material? Such profound dialogue, intricate plot lines, sophisticated acting capabilities. Oh wait, I forget, it's reality TV ... They're not acting stupid and vacuous, they actually are vapid morons! My bad!

Hmmm, I digress... Anyway, apparently a huge catfight erupted in NYC outside where auditions for the new season of the show were taking place. Three charming ladies were led to 'glam' prison cells in the hottest accessory du jour, handcuffs - let's hope the NYPD are a little fashion forward and used the far hipper clear plastic strips rather than that yucky shiny metal kind that would surely have clashed with their chic 'off to prison' outfits. Two other hopeful contestants were rushed to hospital and the show's ubiquitous host, Tyra Banks, responded by saying she was 'concerned' about the melee. Good to know that Tyra is so on top of things.

I guess not everybody likes a good catfight

Speaking of TV, one hunky star of one of my fave shows, Gossip Girl, was caught on film in a most compromising nasty position. Hah! I know what you're all thinking, but get your minds out of the gutter. The nasty I'm referring to is much less suggestive and a lot more literal. Just take a look below...

Oh Ed Westwick, how well did we love thee ... before you decided to pick your nose in public and disgust us all. Your portrayal of Chuck Bass made us weak at the knees, but this?? This just makes our stomachs weak - and not in a good way. It's a called tissue - USE ONE! To help you out, I've even posted a pic to remind you what they look like.

What is with these celebrities and their less than stellar track record with hygiene? Why, just the other day I was watching an interview with yummy morsel of the moment, Rob Pattinson, and I was revolted to see huge sweat marks under his armpits. He went from swoon worthy to ewww worthy in seconds.


Hello ... deodorant anyone?

Well, that's all the scoop from this week. Until next time, you know you love me. XOXO, Writer Girl!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Closets for Hobbits

I had recent conversation about closet space in Lebanese homes, which is basically non-existent. This led me to believe that most interior designers are a) dumbass males who think that most women only possess three t-shirts and a pair of jeans; b) dumbass males who think most women are hobbits; c) evil males who have conspired to torture women with any sense of fashion by providing them with no space for their clothes, shoes and accessories; d) sexist morons who don't think that women actually live in homes. What were these idiots thinking?? That women are bag ladies who wear one outfit while pushing the others around in a shopping cart?

My closet space is laughable. Just take a look at the below, which was the original closet for my room.

PUHLEEEZZZEEEEEEEEE!!! What kind of moron thinks that any woman is supposed to fit a summer and winter wardrobe + shoes in this microscopic, sad and sorry excuse of a closet?? And what if it was to be shared by a second party?? HAH - can we say disaster? Thankfully, I don't have to worry about sharing closet space, but imagine having to cram your clothes into this pathetic thing. What a joke!

I know many other women face a similar nightmare, which is why each season, we are reduced to packing up and unpacking clothes in accordance with the weather change. What a bloody pain, not to mention waste of time! I was fortunate enough to have another wardrobe made to accommodate my winter clothes and shoes, but still, I NEED MORE SPACE.

This second wardrobe still leaves me wanting for MORE - more space!

If only there were a closet fairy we could pray to. All we'd have to do is place that new sweater that we couldn't stuff on the shelf under a pillow, and in the morning we'd wake up to a walk-in closet that would even make Carrie Bradshaw jealous! Ahhhh, well, a girl can dream, can't she?

Until then, we must suffer through crappily designed homes and beg the idiots in charge to consider, the next time they take on the design of an interior living space, seven letters: F.A.S.H.I.O.N - it's a word, look it up!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Talk Show Experience

First off, I apologize for not posting another installment of Trashy Tuesday, but I was out of my office most of the day and just didn't have the time for our Hollywood friends.

Also, I was anxious about my televised interview on the Nataloo show! I had to speak for nearly 10 minutes in Arabic and it was really nerve-racking to say the least! Thankfully, it was not live - I actually went to film the segment about two weeks ago. It's a talk show format, with the host, Nathalie, and another main guest asking the 'minor' guests (like me) questions. I told the guest booker before I was confirmed as a guest on the show that my Arabic was borderline terrible (especially the accent), but she said it was fine and that Nathalie would help me out and that I could also resort to English whenever I was stuck. So, agreed to do the show to promote my book, Miss Guided: How to step into the Lebanese glam lane.

The behind-the-scenes at the filming of a talk show is quite interesting - even if this was only a local Lebanese one. I first arrived and was guided to the greenroom, where the main guests, Nidal al Achkar (a prominent theater owner and director of plays) as well as some painter and an ad executive were already sitting. Everyone seemed really nice. Then the host came in and I was whisked off to do my hair and makeup. I liked the hair, but thought the makeup was DREADFUL. I was plastered with black eyeliner and eyeshadow paired with a silver shadow. My eyes looked like tiny little slits. And to top it off, he put ORANGE lipstick on me!! Lesson learned: when making a TV appearance, always bring your own makeup kit or risk looking like a slanty-eyed pumpkin!

After that, it was interview time... Considering that the entire thing was in Arabic, I think it came out okay. I will post it as soon as I've managed to upload it and you all can be the judge!!

Until then, you know you love me. XOXO, Writer Girl!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

The Unibrow Epidemic: A Rant of the Week

There is an epidemic in Lebanon: the spread of the unibrow. I rarely watch local TV, but the other night I was watching the news and noticed a news anchor with one of the most noticeable unibrows I've ever seen and was in shock that this guy was actually allowed on TV! Right next to him was a woman, perfectly tweezed, coiffed and madeup. It probably took her over an hour to get camera ready and the guy?? Was on TV with a unibrow! It made me so angry because basically what the producers of this show are telling us is that a woman must always look perfect, but a guy can look like ass WITH A UNIBROW and that is perfectly ok, because he's a guy. Whatever!

The other day, a friend of mine was telling me about this disastrous date she went on with this complete jerk, who thought he was God's gift to women. He spent the whole time telling her how all the country's most beautiful women were running after him and how he was struggling to deflect their amorous advances. All my friend could think was, 'Dude, you've got a freaking UNIBROW!' What she really wanted to do (other than flee from his dreadful company as soon as possible) was direct him to the nearest pharmacy and tell him to buy a bloody pair of tweezers. There are certain things that no amount of money or college degrees can cover up. A crappy personality is one and a unibrow is the other. In this case, the guy had both!

What is it with these guys? Has the ratio of seven women to one guy gone to their heads and now they think every chick in the country is desperate to be with them so even minimal grooming requirements are no longer necessary? Or, is it that growing up, their mommies kept telling them how handsome they were and that women would love the straight hairy line across their brows? Well, here's a newsflash: mothers lie! Shocking, but true! I mean, the other day someone from my old high school posted these of pics of me and some school mates and they were embarrassingly awful. I showed them to my mom and she said, of course, I looked beautiful. I was fat and my hair was bigger than my face, so guess what? I did not believe her! Mothers say things to make their kids feel better - it's their job, but not necessarily the truth. So, what's the moral of the story: unibrows are NASTY!

So, if you look like this (or any approximation):

then run to the nearest pair of tweezers and START PLUCKING. NOW!

It goes without saying that no one is perfect. Lord knows all women have their fair share of skin, hair and weight problems, but at least, at least, we pluck our damned eyebrows!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Trashy Tuesday

Well, it's Tuesday again, and we all know what that means: time to dish the trash! Unfortnately, nothing ultra scandalous has happened over the past week because everyone in Hollywood seems uber consumed with what's going on with Chris Brown and Rihanna - who are, by the by, rumored to be back together, if you can believe that (or even care)! So, since sleazy, slimy, gutter gossip was at an all time low, I have no news of any worth to tell you ... Nicole Richie is pregnant again, oh, and the other supposed 'juicy' morsel?? Mickey Rourke bought a new dog!! Whoppee doooo!! And let us not forget that Tom Brady and Gisele whateverthehellhernameis got married - yeah, because I really want to know about the happy pairing of two completely gorgeous people ... NOT!

I want to know the D.I.R.T. plain and simple. What's wrong Hollywood?? What's with the snooze fest? Since when has scandal NOT been your middle name?? Let's hope for better scoop next week, when hopefully something other than Brand and Angelina and Jen and John Mayer at the Oscars (Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz) will make it to the gossip headlines!

Until next time, you know you love me. XOXO, Writer Girl!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Little Treasures

This weekend was a busy couple days full of good food and good company, reminding me yet again, how lucky I am to call Lebanon home. I also discovered two new places in Beirut - one old, the other new - and enjoyed my time at both places immensely! Friday afternoon, my best girlfriends took me out for a great lunch to celebrate my birthday (it was two months ago, but I was away then). There were lots of tasty treats to choose from (apple crumble, emmmmm), but our favorite thing on the menu?? GOSSIP, of course!

Then it was my Friday night ritual of meeting up with the 'boys' for happy hour in Gemaizeh. After a few beers, Mike invited us to his farewell dinner hosted by his collegues from the job he just resigned from. When I heard the place was off Bliss Street, my immediate response was to think up some kind of lame excuse to get me out of it (hair washing, early morning wake up call, etc), but then I remembered going out was about the company more than the establishment. And what a little treasure it turned out to be! At the end of Makhoul St., Bar-o-meter has actually been around for ages, I just never knew about it, even though I went to AUB and worked there after graduation. I had a great time and the food wasn't half bad (I did not get sick from it!). At the end, it turned out to be a grand evening!

The bountiful table at Bar-o-Meter - all for just $12 per person!

Saturday night was the discovery of my second little treasure - a new pub on Gemaizeh aptly called 'g' (perhaps a little double-entendre going on there??)! My gal pal Mona invited me to go along with her to the 'soft' opening, which was supposed to be totally cas (hence, my teta sweater), but I should've known better and worn a top more suited to Beiruti nightlife. Oh well ... Anyway, my sis Nadya joined the party and enlisted the entertainment of a couple of drunken dancing Australians at the bar, which proved most amusing to the three of us. Who knew Aussies could be so much fun??

So, even though it's Monday (blah), let's toast to good friends, good fun and good times in the best city on earth .... yeah, that would be Beirut!