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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!