I rant you risten

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

vocabulario y adios

Still on this major whirlwind of self discovery… will be taking a break for a while - not sure how long, just need to realign my life.. it could take a couple of days, it could take a couple of weeks..

Here’s your last three words for a while..

Word #1 Daft-Days
Word #2 Cockamamie
Word #3 Bonzer

So enjoy the last of your daft-days having a bonzer time, thinking of how you’re going to incorporate cockamamie into your vocabulary.

Good bye for now..


Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Vocabulario #5

Week five and counting ladies and gents.. things are looking interesting – the weather’s getting better and people have started sending in their submissions for words. Remember, bahrainirants@gmail.com for your suggestions, Cerebral Waste has a good one for next week. but for this week, this is what you need to incorporate into your talk. I know I haven’t picked the easiest words to use, but you guys should be pros by now.

Word #1: Finicky
Word #2: Boondoggle
Word #3: Scallywag

I’m in the middle of a heavy moment right now, I don’t really have anything insightful or stupid to say, so I’ll just keep it short. Moo.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

10 minutes on music

Music is just another extension of my character… I use music when describing my mood, I use music to remember conversations, I use music to fill in awkward moments of silence… Music is what dictates my life and I dictate my music… Thought I’d lay down a 10 minute exercise on the music that’s defined my life..

The latest global underground compilation reminding me of days long gone, with that Depeche Mode Lexicon Avenue remix that Digweed and Cataneo made so famous… Foghat and Free for some unabashed 70s rock n roll. The Rolling Stones to remind me that you can’t always get what you want under my thumb… Coldplay for those silence filler moments in our lives (Even though their latest album got Paltrowed) … The “the” bands filling in that modern hipster appeal with that certain ‘je ne sais rien’ taste… Daft Punk for that robot in us all… Annie Lennox for being the most undervalued Diva in music (up your French Canadian ass Celine)… looking for jojo on his search for California grass with the Beatles… Sublime, cause they simply were… Ray Charles, Miles Davis, Satchmo, BB King, Muddy Waters, and John Lee Hooker for real Rhythm & Blues. Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holliday, Dinah Washington, Nina Simone, Gladys night, and Queen Aretha for teaching me about lovin’ and fallin’ in love. Glen Miller, Bobby Darin, Nat King Cole, Dave Brubeck , Louis Prima, Sinatra, Deano, Sammy and the music that actually made you want to wear a suit. LL cool J, for making me want a girl with extensions in her hair, bamboo ear rings at least two pairs… Queen, cause without Freddie Mercury in my life I don’t think I would’ve ever been able to hold a mic with such panache. Getting back into the mid to late 90s alternative collection, toad the wet sprocket, tonic, dishwalla, remember that shit? Singing along with David Bowie and wondering if there really is life on mars… letting Bob Marley rub it to me belly like guava jelly… Spoon for quickly becoming one of my favorite current bands.. Pearl Jam live with Eddie Vedder’s incoherent ramblings and him just going off on a “won the lottereee” tangent. George Clinton and P-Funk: thanks to Depute T who brought the funk out… Sade for making me want to make love to her music, mermaid on no ordinary love is one of the best new agey love songs out there without it being too cheesy, trust me. The Wu-Tang clan: for keeping me still interested in rap – master the art of 52 blocks iron lungs… The Strokes for making me blast their music, seroo gets it (well she gets it all). Ani Difranco – for touching my heart in junior high in terms of her music and my fantasies. Wavy Gravy by Sasha – one of the best electronic tunes in the history of music – really – and Sasha’s such a nice guy, we’re pals.. right mohi… New wave, next wave, post punk, garage rock & the indie rock scene that none of us will ever fully grasp but love with such unbridled passion. The random bands that clap their hands in Brooklyn. Watching trance pass it’s expiration date and shaking my head, feeling the industry never really getting progressive house – leaving the jungle to the junglerats – wondering when people will wake up from electro. Marvin Gaye for being such a cool cat. French Pop rock like Phoenix and Zoot Woman. Nordic representation from Royskopp and the Kings of Convenience – id rather dance id rather dance then talk with you... Loving Dave Mathews in high school and then hating him in college and now liking him all over again, I wonder why? Rai, for bringing much needed credibility to Arabic music. Ricky, Jooj, n Nif for being the only people on this planet who’s taste in rap I trust. Idlewild for writing anthemic music. Aphex Twin-khalas. Asking God why Otis Redding wasn’t given a chance to rerecord Sitting on the Dock of the Bay. Franz Ferdinand for making ballsy music, the rakes for being the new franz, and whomever is going to be the new rakes... Devo, for being so misclassified as a wacky band with that one hit, it’s all about the gut gut feeling.. Cheap Trick for writing the best Karaoke song ever. Jamie Hewlet and Damon Albarn for making virtual musicians that actually rock, I had the hots for tank girl. “METLIKA” for making downloading digital music so much harder. Mylo and that 80s electronica rebirth. Radiohead, if you disagree with this, then I pity your ears. The Smiths – for writing some of the best lyrics ever- I would go out tonight, but I haven’t got a stitch to wear (marvelous?)… Maximo Park for being some of the most refreshing new music I’ve listened to in a while. must listens: Arcade Fire, Interpol, Postal Service, Stars, and throw in Spoon again…. Portishead for roads.. Massive Attack and Mezzanine, need I say more? Tori Amos for her piano playing skills - & a little fantasy dreaming. Harry Connick Jr. made me want to serenade someone. IRON MAIDEN – no questions asked no further explanation necessary. Bill Withers for that song that puts his two timing lover in her place – goddamn what a tune.. Duran Duran because I grew up on them and remained faithful to this day – NO NO NOTORIOUS NOTORIOUS.. Dancey Modern Rock, none of that bullshit on the radio..

there’s so much to talk about I just can’t seem to recall much right now, I’m sure my cd collection is jealous, but she knows I love her so.. Here’s to impulse buys on Amazon, incredibly roundabout reviews on Pitchfork, mistaken mapping on Gnod, shot in the dark searching on Myspace, and all the people that helped me discover new sounds. Special mention goes out to the mod looking fellow at the HMV in Heathrow Airport, Terminal 4. ok that wasn’t too bad was it?

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Vocabulario #4

Back to the board for this week’s edition of what words to slot in into your weekend lingo... If you have an interesting word you’d like considered for vocabulario, drop your suggestion off at bahrainirants@gmail.com. I cannot stress how important it is for you to use these words, for the sake of children, please, for the sake of the children.. You know me and my shenanigans, always trying to abscond from reality yet at the same time remain conspicuous to everyone..

Word #1 Abscond
Word #2 Conspicuous
Word #3 Shenanigan

I’m thinking a lot about Mastodons today.. don’t really know why, but they just look so furry and fun… imagine sliding down those tusks, grabbing on to their fur as they run.. ahh life in the Paleozoic, could have been interesting once you got past the fact you were wearing animal hides and fire was your best friend..

Monday, December 12, 2005

Chemically Dependent

I strolled into work with minutes to spare - the drive to work had been done in a zombified state – breakfast was good but something was lacking… Waiting in front of the moneymaking corporation’s elevators, I avoided exchanging morning pleasantries. What is with mornings that everyone has to say hello? I mean it’s not just about being nice to the people in your department or on your floor – no, everyone says hello, everyone… Normally, I’d also be slinging my hellos and slipping my good mornings to the people around me. But today was different; I couldn’t put my finger on it, but I could feel it – there was a sense of total discombobulation. What the hell is going through my head? Something’s amiss and I can’t figure it out… The biggest problem is locating the source of discomfort – once you know what it is, that’s half the battle – whether it’s guilt, shame, pain, whatever, once you figure out why you’re feeling blue – you can now work on focusing your attention on the solution… This morning was a totally different case… I had no idea what the hell was happening in my world…

Riding the elevator with the covered mafia, my hallucinations began… Audio and Visuals – I could’ve sworn Bertha (the leader of the cackle of covered women where I work that refuse to have any form of communication or interaction with any member of the opposite sex, because they wouldn’t want to tempt me – sweetie, there is no way on Earth you will ever - let me repeat that, ever, tempt me) actually said hello to me… like lemmings one by one they all ensued in their good mornings… tears welled up in my eyes – what the hell was happening to me?

Leaving the elevator I took a quick right and then a left and made my way to my department’s designated work space… plunking down at my desk, turning on my computer, the lull of the machine normally puts my heart to ease, but this time, it was frustrating… my fingers were rapping the desk to some 99bpm. My knees started to shake.. the migraine began to pierce my head like a jackhammer – pain, debilitating short term pain, not something you couldn’t live with, but just pain that you didn’t need that early in the morning.

And then, like a ton of bricks, it hits me.. I need caffeine. The pain I’m feeling in my head is because of the caffeine, I need coffee and I need it now. Yes yes I know, it’s an addiction that gives you headaches if you don’t cater to it, stains your teeth, leaves you with nasty coffee breath, a diuretic (need I say more?) – but there’s nothing I can do about it.. I need coffee to start my day and then I might need some coffee before lunch and then I will definitely need coffee after lunch to give me that final push to the day’s finish line.

My derived use of coffee is split down the middle, I like the taste of it when it’s good coffee, and I use it to jolt my system. I’m a regulated addict, I’ll drink it when I need to pick myself up and I’ll drink it whenever I feel like it. it just does so many wondrous things to your heartbeat that you can’t really ignore the benefits of coffee..

When this whole thing started, I was particular with my coffee consumption; i had to be drinking something decent. I refused to go near the instant coffee tin at the office, save that for when you’re trapped in a hidden bunker hiding from the fascists. I’ve been known to slum it and drink the instant or folgers, but the pains in my stomach afterwards are just not worth it. And after a family donation, I was the proud owner of an unused Espresso machine that now resides at our designated workspace. She’s my little baby, she’s temperamental at times and can kick up a fuss, but she does get me going. Her steamer doesn’t work as well as I’d like it too, but she does give me good head, of espresso that is..

It didn’t take long before we’d become world-class baristas: Americanos, Macchiatos, lattes, we even created our own version of the cappuccino – notquiteuccino (told you the steamer doesn’t work). It’s not like we’re dolts that spend all our money ordering from these overpriced coffee houses (that does happen though) – no we buy our ground beans and make our own deliciously tasting coffee… well not right now, because it seems my coffee connection “Midel” can’t seem to find me a regular sized bag of ground espresso, and they’re trying to push the 1 kilo bag of pure Café Colombia.

This started with me being angry at my caffeine addiction and turned into my love affair with coffee and the little krups that could. Don’t you wish you worked with me? On the plus side, you’d be drinking delicious coffee. On the minus, you’d be dealing with highly caffeinated people who would probably get you to sing along to some Sinatra tune – maybe even some 50cent..

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

weekend talk..

The lack of posting is because I've been spending my time in a seminar in Dubai with Maury the Big Swinging you know what ex private equity banker of bankers. Happy Days Maury Happy Days. I've also been missing an internet connection, and now luckily find myself infront of an Afghani laptop that's got welcome to Kabul stickers on it (no kidding).

It's week 3 of building your weekend vocabulary with edu - So here are this week's words that you must and i mean must, incorporate into your conversations. i think you'll like this episode, me and waseem think they're so funny..

Word #1 Tomfoolery
Word #2 Preposterous
Word #3 Whimsical

I'm working on something.. be patient..

Tuesday, November 29, 2005


If you've just stumbled across this blog, then welcome, if you've been here before, then welcome back. I present you with the second episode of "building up your vocabulary with edu"... Last week I gave you three words to slip into your weekend vocabulary. This week, I have three new words for you to squeeze in your conversations with the boss, your loved one, the barman at your watering hole, et cetera et cetera et cetera.

Contrary to what my friend Mahmood from the hitlicious mahmood.tv says, using these words will not get you ahead at work, they will not grow more hair on your chest, they might get people around you to question your sanity, but they will definitely make you feel warm and fuzzy inside.. so here we go..

Word #1: Zing
Word #2: Shilly-Shally
Word #3: Formidable

good luck people, may the words be with you..

Wednesday, November 23, 2005


My favorite comedic (you might have to be from this part of the world to appreciate comedic) show of recent years was Arrested Development (fuck you very much fox network for canceling the only good program in your lineup). I got tired of Friends when I realized that it’s humanly impossible for those bums to be able to afford an apartment that big in Manhattan. Seinfeld got boring when you started chronicling the serious based on Jerry’s ridiculous haircuts. Law and Order got tedious after they made spin off a spin-off: Law and Order: the records department. All those ongoing legal dramas, who knew Boston had so many law firms and so much tension in them? The stupid teen dramas were so far fetched that it was ridiculously unbelievable for that kid with the cowboy hat to fit in Beverly Hills…

Then came the wave of reality TV, where everything was about putting Real People in front of the camera and filming it. Mary-Ellis Bunim held the world ransom with her Real World series and everything else, while Mark Burnett conned the world into making people live like animals on survivor for a measly million dollars. What happened next? A onslaught of the stupidest tv shows ever imaginable: Joe Millionaire, the Bachelor, the Bachelorette, Temptation Island, Mr. Perfect, Trading Spouses, Who cut the Cheese, who wants to be a wrestler, the apprentice, the list just goes on and on. They even had a reality tv show about failed reality tv stars trying to make a real movie, but the process of making the movie was a reality tv show – fuckin’ lame-o. The one thing you can take from these Reality TV shows is how gullible people are when it comes to spoon feeding them something to watch.. You take a bunch of people, throw them on a deserted island, give them 40 days and a bunch of tasks and then let them vote each other off… to me that was just half assed reality tv. If you’re gonna do it, you might as well do it all the way, go for gold. Throw those people on a deserted island, break them up into two teams, make them fight it out to the death and then when there’s one winner left, give him/her the money. They just outlived those other contestants, I’d watch that. Put in real emotion, have revenge twists where the family of one of the dead contestants is put on the island with AK47s and has three hours to extract revenge. As for the Real world, why don’t you really make it like the Real World and throw these people out on the street, or put them all in a 1 bedroom apartment, let them get jobs, let them try to survive, that’s when people really stop being nice…

Today’s TV has evolved to the next popular wave… now you have all these TV series with action and adventure, intense drama and humor. Some have outlived their useful life, while others are still plowing along. I thought I’d single out some of the more popular shows..

Sopranos – Great show but,, HBO should’ve killed everyone at least a season ago.. this is dragging a little too much.. Wiseguys running around Jersey, making the garden state appealing in a mobster kinda way - It’s JERSEY WTF!! Thanks to the defamation of Italian Americans, you now have a bunch of morons saying Bada Bing and hey fughedaboudit. I love all gangster movies, but thanks to the intense popularity of this show, you’ve got middle aged, overweight mortgage brokers in long island hoping to get cast as Tony’s “other cousin” Roberto, the one that just mysteriously showed up to give the story another season. I seriously did see a headshot of an overweight mortgage broker from long island wearing a black leather coat and holding a 357 magnum, ready to “off” somebody for a role. It’s the fucking Cosa Nostra! Not some carnival freak show you take lightly – show some respect.

24 – Thanks to OBL and his Al Qaeda posse of “I’m right and you’re wrong so let me inflict pain on you to get my point through” assholes, 24 became the hottest shit on tv. America is constantly under attack and the entire season is 24 hours long.. How much trouble can American get into in 24 hours? Apparently enough to resurrect Keifer Sutherland’s Career – you lost me with the musketeers movie Keifer.. you lost me..

CSI – following the Police Dramas now Crime Scene Investigators are the “in” heroes. They find the evidence to implicate people in crimes. Pretty cool right? yeah it actually is. Except for the unbelievable fact that the CSI team is so smart that they should actually be giving college lectures instead of searching for DNA with a cotton bud. What I also don’t understand is what is the CSI budget like? I mean the team in Las Vegas have all sorts of cool experiment aiding equipment: pressure testers, volatile chemicals, gadgets and gizmos, all sorts of custom modified gear. And how believable is it that the CSI team is hip and happening and everyone’s very beautiful?

Sex and the City – Damn you 4 ladies for making my life more of a living hell.. if it wasn’t for the odd nude scene every once in a while, there was no way I was going to be able to enjoy the show. I admit the first season and a half were very interesting (when the stars could pass for women in their early to mid thirties looking for love in all the wrong places). A novel show with a fresh approach to being 4 single women in the big city, each with her own agenda. The show blew up, and HBO had another winner. To me, Sex and the City lost its shine when prime time family sitcoms started quoting stuff from the show. You know everything’s gone downhill when an ABC Friday lineup sitcom is discussing Sex and the City and the slutty one’s love interest, the shawarma guy. The show’s over and there will be no more of those 4 ladies roaming New York looking for love in all the wrong places, well except on the rerun loop of eternity. Personally, I think the producers had to make a judgement call, who wants to watch 4 single middle aged women in New York discussing menopause – save that for, Golden Girls “The Next Generation”.

Lost (aka crack cocaine) – I can’t help it.. It’s just one kick in the nuts after another. When you think you finally have a grasp on what’s going on, the show throws you another curveball leaving you as clueless as an anagram solving dyslexic. Basic story – plane crashes on an island, survivors try to survive, all sorts of shit happens. There are holes in the story, but I’m still watching and I’m still addicted. Right now, because you’re in the dark (and have no clue as to where the plot’s heading), any shred of information that’s thrown your way puts you in a catatonic state and rushes through your blood stream making you want more.

So what has this ridiculous rambling on current TV taught us? Absafuckinlootly nothing, just wanted to go off on a rant. TV shows get milked and then butchered and exploited for everything they’re worth, and the networks survive on conning the viewer and sucking him/her in. Example: Matt Groening chained to his desk, by FOX (you guys were already on my shit list for your stupid news station, now you’re on my “sandnigga’s gonna go postal on you” list – what? I can say it, can’t I?) trying to think of the next Simpsons escapade. Or how about the nonstop reruns of Seinfeld and Friends – seriously guys, the party’s over, the only person that’s still laughing are the characters from those sitcoms with their royalty checks. Waitaminute… I think I’ve figured out the reason for this post – because you people were busy watching these stupid shows and not ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT, FOX cancelled my favorite show. Damn you Nielsens, DAMN YOU ALL!!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

3 words

Ok here’s the story: I’m going to start making you all play my game.. It’s called “improving your random vocabulary with edu”.. Very simple, in fact it’s so simple, you’re gonna love it.. I pick three words in the middle of every week (I’m hoping every week, if I can get off my ass and make it happen).. It’s up to you to incorporate these three words into your vocabulary this weekend (whenever that may be).. They might be colorful, maybe nice sounding, maybe boring, who knows. But I guarantee you this, incorporating these words into your informal chitchatting will make you feel warm and fuzzy, or your money back. And that’s my guarantee..

Word #1: Saucy.
Word #2: Bamboozle.
Word #3: Pernicious.

Good luck with slipping these words in..

Monday, November 21, 2005

A Tale Upon the Winds..


By the growth on my face, I know it has been almost 2 days since the battle at Jebel el Habash, and I had all but given up hope that anyone would come to my rescue. My captors continue to poke their sharpened spears into my cage, laughing as I dodge and delay my untimely demise for another few hours. Their language is foreign to my tongue and their actions barbaric. From what I have noticed, they are a well-assembled and disciplined group of marauders that have made it to our shores and have established the protected valleys of the green mountains as their own, looting all caravans and villages crossing their usurped lands. The Caliph from his throne in Damascus dispatched an army of a thousand strong men led by my father to suppress these savages. I have no recollection of the battle, and as far as I can see, I, Mukhtar ibn Saif ibn Waleed Al Fares, am the only living prisoner within their camp.

I have been stripped of all weapons and jewelry. All that remains is the ring bearing my family’s crest, hidden in my boot; a gift from a Christian goldsmith in Venice. Even if I could mastermind an escape from my prison, I will not go undetected for long. These savages appear to be expert trackers and quite familiar with this terrain. The cloak of night will be my only opportunity to escape.

They are a fierce warrior race, and by the looks of their stolen armor and organization, seem to have fought many adversaries: Christians, Muslims and their own. My memory of the battle does not exist, but it is impossible that they could have defeated our army; my count verifies that we outnumbered them tenfold. A master of the dark arts must be among them. My head still carries a pain as though Allah has sent a thunderstorm into it. I must rest.

My eyes have totally adjusted to the dark, a trick my uncle taught me while hunting the desert at night. The merciless heat of the sun forces all animals to take shelter underground, forcing a waiting game between the predator and its prey. Guards continue to patrol the campsite anxiously waiting for something or someone to attack, their weapons ready. These barbarians are anxious about something and I fear it’s not my Arab brethren.

A guard walks towards my cage with his weapon in hand ready to spear my soon to be dead carcass. Instead, he throws a piece of bread and a skin of water; I cannot remember the last time I nourished my body with food or drink. The savage mutters. I do not speak his language but the meanings of his words are clear. Soon enough, my short life will come to an end. As the guard pulls away, I pull my fingertips at the crust of this old bread, but my hunger has left my body weak.

“Be careful what you eat Arab, these savages poison everything. That is how they killed your army, they poisoned your water.” Turning back, I notice something in a neighboring cage move, there is another captor with me. “Who said that? Who are you?”

“I am a prisoner like yourself. These barbarians saw your armies advancing days ago and poisoned the wells on route. The poison left your troops in a trance, unable to defend themselves while these monsters slaughtered them all.”

“Who are you? And what are you doing here?”

“My name is Diego, I was a member of a Portuguese trading ship that captured these animals as slaves. Two days into our voyage back, members of the crew started dying from an unknown disease. Bruises and strange marks began to appear on the crew, and once you were infected, it would not take long before death came. The marks covered your body and then it attacked your spirit, killing off any human part of you. Some of the infected began killing each other like animals, while others threw themselves off board in fits of madness. I immediately went into hiding when the savages took control of the ship and they only discovered me when we crashed into the rocks off this coast. Be careful what you do stranger because these monsters eat the living, I have seen it with my own eyes, slicing off limbs like roasted meat – they are more demon than human.”

The guards reply to our conversation by jabbing their swords and spears into our cages. I begin my dance again to avoid the razor sharp blades, exhausted and clinging onto my last life. I cannot keep this up much longer, I must escape. They finally give up after a barked order from another savage. As they walk away from our prisons, towards the fire, a fragrant smell begins to find its way to my nostrils. It is soft and floral yet pungent, almost spiced. The scent is heavy, filling my head quickly, yet it is slowing down my movements, I cannot retain any proper thoughts. I turn to Diego, but he has already drifted into a deep satisfying slumber. My eyelids cannot hold their own weight as I drift off to my drug induced sleep.


“Kama” the fat one calls me. “Hurry with the drinks you ingrate! Your whore of a mother was quicker on her feet than you. Or would you like me to recreate the sounds of her passion as she engulfed my manhood like the whore that she was?” My mother will have her day of revenge, this I swear to you, you pot bellied bastard, you and every last one of you.

Kama served the drinks and took his place outside of the circle. He was a slave to them and was exempt from their rituals. Kama came from a farming land far away in the plains across the sea. His family had been enslaved by a warring tribe that was eventually captured and placed on a ship that crashed off this coast. His mind tried to erase the pains he had felt over the past three years, the scars and screams, the blood and tears. His spirit had been numbed to nothing but a lost feeling of freedom. He often kept himself busy with plans to escape, which were quickly followed by intense fear. He was no warrior, they would capture him and bring on another three years of torture and pain.

The tribunal gathered around the fire where the Shaman approached with his basket of flowers, plants and weeds ready for the intoxication ceremony. Mugo, the Shaman’s apprentice spent the entire day collecting petals growing on the side of a cliff – the shaman, insisted on having it, he claimed that the mana derived from the flowers would provide the warriors with true strength. As he crushed the ingredients together, making a paste, he added the drink to the mixture until it frothed. Taking the lead, the shaman took a sip from the bowl and handed it to the chief, who in turn followed and passed the bowl along.

Once the bowl made its way around the circle, Mugo approached the quiet fire in the middle with a basket of flowers and weeds. A group of slaves pulled a huge cloth over the heads of the circle and over Mugo as he began throwing the contents of his basket into the fire; smoke began to billow but was trapped under the cloth. The Circle members pulled themselves closer to the fire as they let the smoke fill their heads and enter their spirit. The drumming picked up and chanting could be heard from under the cloth. Kama hated the smoke, it burned his nostrils as he pulled the cloth tight over their heads.

On cue, the Shaman let out a piercing scream as the slaves pulled the cloth away, releasing the chamber of smoke into the camp. The tribunal lay there with their bodies convulsing following the shamans lips and providing the chorus to a rhythmic chanting. The smoke lingered throughout the camp as though weighed down by magic. Kama stepped back while he watched everyone run into the smoke to fill their souls with the Shaman’s magic. Bodies began to sway from side to side, eyes rolled to the back of their heads; hands shook as the drumming continued.


“Arab. Arab wakeup. If you want to escape, now is our chance. They have drugged themselves and are unable to fight.” I awake but cannot recollect my dreams. Diego, hunches in his cage with an arrow tip in his hand. The rhythmic drumming keeps my head from stringing any thoughts together – “Where am I? What has happened? Why do I feel like this?” Diego, not intent on pausing to explain the events to me, is busy jamming the arrow tip into his lock until it eventually gives in and opens up to him. “Never leave a sharp object within the reach of Manuel Diego Lopez, their error will set our fortune in motion”. He sneaks out of his cage with the ease of a seasoned thief and begins to pick at my prison cell.

As my lock clicks open, my exit is less nimble then my comrade, drawing the attention of a guard, who raises his weapon and charges. Grabbing hold of his sword hand as he lunges towards me, I spin myself into his body and feel a crack as my elbow meets his ribs. The sword falls to my hand and is quickly reunited with its previous owner, blade to chest. Blood sprays us both, and his screams alert the rest who awaken from their trance. Their mismatched collection of weaponry is an indicator of the armies they’ve fought, my sabre bears the resemblance of Spanish steel. Diego, brandishing two blades he found on the dead body, tumbles towards one guard slicing his chest open, while the other receives a stab straight to his neck. Able fighters we are, but vastly outnumbered and looking to die another day, we both break off into the darkness.

The drumming begins to follow us as we run. “Arab, they are not too far off, we must hasten our escape.” I could not agree more with my new friend, but the aftereffects of the drugging have left me unable to make out the brush in front of us. I lose my footing and crash to the ground, followed by another crash from Diego. As we pick ourselves up to start moving again, lit arrows glide over our heads as the screams and shouts become louder. “I cannot see where I’m going, I could be leading us off a cliff for all I know.”

“Anything is better than here Arab, anything. These people will kill us slowly, then marinate our flesh and feast on us. I would like to spend some time in the bosom of a woman before my time is up, what say you?”

“Very well, but stay close, the terrain is changing and I feel we’re going to be traveling downhill, so we must tread carefully.”

Three torches followed and picked up pace until we could hear their footsteps crunching on branches. I turn and swing the blade straight to the first torch I saw. Using the torch to block my attack, he pushes me away as he comes with his weapon. My opponent swings his sword, which I quickly parry and meet with a slice to his left arm. He screams as I dig my weapon into his torso. The blood feels warm as it trickles down my blade and onto my wrist. Drugged or not, these are warriors and I need to field my best tactics for engagement. A flash of silver flies by me and lodges itself in the head of the person carrying the second torch, his body drops to the ground. The third comes running, still chanting and swinging his sword in my direction. Our swords clangs as I block his attack, his strength is far beyond what I had expected from a drugged person. I strike my knee into his midsection; as he feels the strike and lowers his body, the hilt of my sword comes down on his head like a war hammer, knocking him to the ground.

Our little skirmish allows more savages to catch up with us, their screams frustrating me as I try to distance the fear from my heart. We switch our careful treading to frantic running through the darkness. Our breathing picks up weight: hunger, fear, and exhaustion are beginning to show; our impending doom can be felt in the darkness. Our doom comes in the form of an ambush with four savages and their chief. They must have followed a path we missed and caught up with us. Not willing to die at their hands, I ready my sword, while Diego says a prayer as he draws what he believes to be his last breath.

As the Chief approaches us with his sword, he breaks into a defiant speech. His words are foreign but his tone familiar, he is flaunting his capture to his troops, praising and laughing as he waves his blade past my face. Just then, his eyes freeze upon mine, his smile falls off his face replaced with a surprised painful look. A spearhead bursts out of his torso covered in blood. His innards, properly packed in his body just seconds ago are now spilling onto the floor in front of me. Behind him stands one of the other soldiers holding the spear, but this one is not dressed in armor like the others. The other savages stand there in shock as they watch their chief bleed to death at their feet. This is our chance; I swing my sword at one of the beasts while Diego lunges for the other. Their demise is quick and follows their leader on the floor. The final combatant drops his sword and flees in fear of being outnumbered. Once again we are safe, for the time being. Our savoir stands there smiling but convulsing at what he has just done, his actions have just bought him the same fate as us, if we were captured.

Without thinking I grab our new companion and run down the path. The drumming still follows us, and we can hear screams as the search party discovers our latest victory. “This is pointless!” Diego tells me. “They will catch us, we need a faster escape.” I am with him, but there is nothing we can do but continue to run in the darkness.


Kama, flushed with intense joy runs alongside his new companions. He is now a free man again, his family’s honor has been avenged and from the looks of the way those two have fought, he is safe. He understands their attitude in their speaking that an escape is needed. He checks his surroundings and amidst the darkness recognizes where they are. Days ago, he accompanied the Shaman and his apprentice when they sent their magic to poison the armies through the water supply. There is an underground river not far from here that leads water to the wells in this valley, if they could get to it, they might have a chance to escape. But they are traveling in the wrong direction; they need to cross back past the path of the oncoming army and drift into the darkness to the caves.

Kama tried to get the attention of his companions to stop, but they are not interested in slowing down. He shouts and they turn around to face him. The two try to communicate with him, but he cannot understand them. He beckons them to follow him, he tries to use his hands to signal a river under a mountain, he does everything he can, but they do not understand him. So he does what he can only do, he places his hands on their shoulders looks them straight in the eye, hoping to create a sense of trust, and begins running in the other direction. The two others look at each other, and begin following him; they are satisfied with having someone else lead them through this unfamiliar territory.

As they run, across the brush, the drumming continues to follow them and then moves away. The two foreigners breathe a sigh of relief to Kama as they make it to the caves. As he leads them into the caves, the sound of rushing water begins to bounce off the inside walls of this huge cavern. This underground network was the tribe’s definitive advantage in overcoming the Arab army, the water supply was poisoned and it traveled all the way down the valley to the beginning of the mountain range. The dark haired foreigner seems to understand what is happening and his face flushes with anger. The river appears to flow through a number of caverns into the rocks and out leading to a hole in the ground. Either way, the escape does not look too promising.

As Kama tries to explain what is to happen to them next, the Shaman and a troop of soldiers emerge from the entrance to the cave. A war cry drowns the rushing water as a barrage of arrows fill the air. Analyzing their options, the dark haired foreigner says a prayer, tucks in his arms and jumps into the flow of water, followed by the other one. Kama tucks his arms into his sides, blessed the four winds and believes he is one with the river as he jumps in.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Ramadan Ramblings

So I just want to get out and say something about Ramadan.. “I’m done, I’ve had enough, the show’s over, someone call the cleaners.. I need an 11 month vacation from Ramadan before I can tackle it again”. Before you lambaste me with hate mail, let me get on the record and say, I love Ramadan, I enjoy the spirituality of this holy month, but there are other things that do get under my skin..

I miss breakfast – I really do, I wish I could have some coffee, have an omelet, hell, I’ll even settle for toast on butter with jam.. juice in the morning.. chocolate milk.. chbood sandwiches with crystal hot sauce.. I miss my breakfast. For the past 4 weeks or so, I’ve deprived my body of the essential nutrients and caffeinated products that make my day a little more stimulated.. 30 days of not eating something will make you forget how good it tastes.. I miss you chocolate milk, you’re my only real friend..

I’m tired of walking into a the supermarket before it’s time to break my fast needing only to pick up some cheese, pasta and heavy cream – and then walk out with a 5 pound bag of peanut M&Ms, three different types of pasta, chips, chocolate bars, a number of bottles of the overpriced starbucks coffee milk in a two sip glass bottle, some more chips, cookies, crackers, 3 pounds of ground beef, and a block of cheese.. Never walk into a supermarket when you’re hungry, cause you’ll end up buying more than you need..

Not that this is any different when it’s not Ramadan, but frantic driving is also a pain in the arse.. Right before futoor, everyone’s so hungry and they’re all heading to their parents/aunt/grandparents/insert appropriate family member’s name here to break their fast. Just fathom this recipe: hungry population, on arab time (which I don’t have to tell you is eternally 27 minutes late), with a tendency to drive recklessly and speed incessantly = madness on the roads.. you can’t help it yourself, it’s a kill or be killed type of environment…

Food food and more food.. I can’t believe how much Ramadan comfort food you get to eat during this month - enough to put you off basmati for a while.. Meat, Chicken, Rice, curry, Thareed, Mathroobah, samboosas and fried tidbits, qatayif, legaymat, etc... you break your fast with some dates and maybe drink some laban (light and nutritious), then you move onto the rice and meat, and then there’s the thareed (basically curry poured onto bread making it really soggy, meaty bread pudding), then there’s the tray of your favorite fried friends, there’s always a couple of more random dishes that someone was craving and had to be made.. After all of that stuffing, you then sit down, guzzle two cups of tea, some coffee, then there’s fried pastries and cream filled pastries, chopped nuts, fruits, and the list goes on - enough sugar to give an elephant a rush. Once you’re done with this huge meal (that you have for 30 days) then you start your evening and plan out what you need to do..

The tempers.. We all know how Ramadan is about patience, but sometimes it’s very difficult to control your hunger pangs.. these same hunger pangs transform themselves into headaches, which then magically become spewed mistimed snide remarks that have a way of building up into a full blown argument with name calling and lines drawn – all over why there is no vimto in the house.. Delightful..

The nighttime scheduling.. everything goes on at night, nothing happens during the day.. you go to a Ramadan Ghabgah (party) and no one starts showing up before 10-10:30… no one eats till about 11:30 (if you’ve got a nice host) and most of the time, it’s the same comfort food that was mentioned two paragraphs ago.. I miss daylight.. Birdman wouldn’t last one minute fasting Ramadan without the power of the Sun..

I can’t believe how much food I managed to bring into this post....

Happy Eid people.. you won’t have to endure this whining for another 11 lunar months..

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Things about me

I drink my cereal milk: Yeah I’m not ashamed to admit it… I eat my bowl of cereal, then when the cereal is all done, I’ll add some more cereal to the milk, and eat that, and then when the sugar and coloring from the cereal has mixed into the milk –then I’ll slurp that bowl and gulp that sugary colored milk.. mmmm.. tasty.. this goes out to all you weirdos that made me feel uncomfortable about slurping the milk out of my bowl.

I can’t sit down during a stressful part in a movie: it’s true, if something’s about to happen in the movie and I know it’s going to happen, shit man, I need to stand up.. You should see me in the movie theater, moving around in my seat. I do this when Arsenal are playing as well..

I sing and dance in my car while I listen to my music: unlike some of my friends who immediately lift their hand to their ear like they’re talking on the phone.. I do a little smirk, and continue with my song. Music gets me going in the morning, so I’m not going to ruin my entire morning because some person saw me getting my groove on to “cross-town traffic”..

I will push my music on anyone who’ll listen and then get really aggravated with them when they don’t share the same opinion as me.. When I buy new music, I have to travel with my cd case… I take it upon myself to subject everyone listen to my music and put them through a br “new music listening session”.. that said, I pay very close attention to crown control, and I have a kick ass music collection – in fact... nono no I wont say it.. It’s a little too much..

I’ve stopped playing winning 11 and Fifa on the play station because it consumes me. I want my friends to stop.. it’s a bad addiction… I’ve contemplated breaking the disc, but then I’d have 4-6 of my friends ready to beat me senseless. I’ve threatened them a couple of times, but they know they’ve got strength in numbers…

I prefer contact grills than the triangle sandwich presses, if you know what I mean… they’re so much cooler, I hate having the ‘way my sandwich is going to get cut’ determined for me. Sometimes I like to cut it diagonally sometimes straight..

I have a little windup Godzilla on my desk.. he’s the coolest motherfuqing plastic reptile I know.. when you wind him up, he walks across my desk at work and sparks come out of his month… if anyone steals him, I’ll take a flamethrower to your grandma’s house..

I like buying different deli meats from the supermarket.. Then when I’m at home, I do the whole Tony Soprano thing: bust into the fridge and eat some of that ‘gabagol’ straight out of the packaging.. yeah.. There’s a definite feel good factor when you eat with your hands, I’m learning to enjoy it much much more..


Sunday, September 18, 2005

"Making You Cooler.."

Yeah yeah yeah – it’s been a while..

Back at work and back to my mundy life... coffee dependence is at an all time high & Costa are out of Vanilla Syrup making my Vanilla Frescato with 2 shots of espresso unavailable (better supply chain management guys… that’s all I’m going to say). New music has kept me going and thrashing away at my keyboard – making work more bearable. Stuff I’m listening to: Spoon, hothotheat, the rakes, clap your hands and say yeah, stars, hail social, Interpol, verve remixed, royksop, OST: life aquatic with steve zissou, & my bloody valentine. "Gut Feeling" by Devo is an awesome tune, thank you 80s Ian…

Stroking my t-shirt fetish a little bit:
We’ve decided to launch a new project entitled: “Making you Cooler…” After much stomping and tromping around weirder sections of Manhattan, warehouses in Brooklyn, a couple of dodgy streets, underground shops in alleys in downtown Boston, and some other random places – We have procured some of the finest ultra-hip t-shirts to grace this part of the world. I’m talking about shirts produced by some of the coolest design incubators on this planet – from two of the most important epicenters of all things hip: New York & LA.

I have a really big problem with the quality and acceptable level of coolness of available t-shirts in Bahrain.. First off, Bahrain is such a small market that buyers from your favorite shopping mall clothing store here get their stock from the Buyer in Dubai who gets it from the company. So you’re getting fashion as per the Buyer in Dubai and then the Buyer in Bahrain – can you say leftovers? And then what happens? They order enough shirts to make your cool purchase seem insignificant because you’re guaranteed to see a bunch of people wearing the same thing. Is that cool for you? If not, read on..

Most of the shirts at your shopping mall are rip offs something else. Allow me to rephrase – these clothing corporations don’t give a shit about giving you an original quality product, they want to sell you a trend. I remember walking around Camden Town years ago and finding a vintage “Omaha Hammers” T-shirt. I thought that was unbelievably cool, why? Because there actually was an Omaha Hammers team, and this was their shirt from years ago - that’s what made it cool to me – it has history to it. You can walk into the “Push & Boar” store and see something very similar, but there’s no story, there’s nothing authentic about it. There could very well be a real “Wisconsin Warriors” team - but what you’re buying right now is a mass produced print on a t-shirt that someone thought would sell because they were going to take advantage of a fad – nothing original about that. And having everyone else buy the same shirt diminishes the coolness factor in multiples of 100. Do you like being original and unique? If yes, then read on..

After your personality and hair, T-shirts are the next best form of personal expression. So why compromise that and look like everyone else? Why did I even think about this? Because I love T-Shirts and I know there are people like me on this island that share the same passion and are willing to go the extra mile for an article of clothing that you’ll want to hold onto as long as you possibly can. Fashion and trends are invented in places far far away. People that dictate what is cool, dictate from places far far away. These shirts are straight from that fountain of funk.

They will be going on sale at a location near you pretty soon – but until then, I’ll entertain serious buyers via email – we are like this only – what to do? This stuff ain’t cheap, but being cool never was… If you want to go against the grain and purchase a t-shirt, granting you a slice of something globally hip – let me know…

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Adventures in Bremen, Maine

Whitmore Cottage
After three and a half hours driving up 95 North through to Route 1 Coastal and finally ending up somewhere in the mid-coast region, we get to Damariscotta, the last brush with civilization before we head up to our little getaway by the sea. Stopping off at the local supermarket, we cruise down the aisles planning out meals for the next 5 days or so – Leah grabs a ticket at the deli section, while I start getting overwhelmed by the amount of fruits and vegetables in front of me. Burgers, Steak, Chicken, Kielbasa (thank you Poland), Cereal, Eggs, Milk, Cheese, Burger buns, Tomatoes, Lettuce, Cola, pancake mix, Juice, Ice Cream (best enjoyed in the summer), the list just keeps on growing... Just before we get to the register, a quick mental note of our provisions is taken – do we need anything else? Babe, it's a 15-20 minute drive back to the supermarket – I am not driving back to fetch you anything. The closest thing you‘d remotely consider commercial civilization is a 15 minute trip away (one way) - but fresh lobster and clams, 2 minutes, tops… The barcode scanner is exhausted at checkout, money is exchanged, and back on the road to our final stop: the video store – Spending your holiday in a cottage on the coast in the middle of "no one can hear you scream" country, means that you do need something to keep you busy at night…

I've been doing the trip up to Whitmore Cottage with Leah for 4 years now.. A place that once seemed so foreign and amusingly rural is now like a dream-home to me, a getaway… The Cottage has been in her family almost 100 years & has come a long way since the days of the outhouse and eyes in the darkness... This is everything you'd picture a quaint cottage to be, wooden beams, creaky floorboards, fireplace, a lot of forest, and a path leading to a dock that leads to the Atlantic Ocean.

I don't even know where to begin… On a dirt country road that looks like a picture from a Credence Clearwater Revival vinyl album cover, your first reaction when you pull up to the cottage is "I am so done with being cooped up in a car" – then it's soon switched for a smile and a sense of really being on holiday - a place where you can do anything and nothing, you decide… the lobster traps set out at the entrance, the barrel filled with impatience (flowers, I shit you not) – the gas grill: my territory. A screened in porch with rocking chairs facing a path that leads to the ocean, a hammock for lounging around and enjoying the cool sea air while you read or just think…

Inside: Imagine an isolated house with enough things to keep you amused indoors for all sorts of people and all sorts of groups of people and all sorts of bad weather days (very important). Cards, Backgammon, Chess, Board Games, Movies, all types of Puzzles, Books Books and more Books - Leah‘s Granny has read more books than anyone I‘ve ever met, her entire library is spread over 3 delightful abodes - with a book for anyone at anytime (I‘m currently reading Noble House by James Clavell, see what I mean?)… The antiques present are true representations of American history: different tools and instruments giving you a visual understanding of the chronological order of life in America. Flags, signs, rugs, light fixtures, pictures, glass eye washes, heated bed warmers, all sorts of things that that instill the history, feelings and everyday life of America. Of how young it is compared to Europe, or different it is from the rest of the world - but still unbelievably awing..

Running down the path through the brush to your own personal dock and link to the sea when you first get there is awesome, often leaving you lightheaded… your lungs haven't enjoyed air this clean in so long that your brain does a little jiggle cause the oxygen is so good... the water, I don't have to tell you is cold, very very cold - It‘s the Atlantic Ocean, what do you expect… Dive in and swim back to the dock to let your heart get over the shock of that freezing water.. and then dive in again. Cannonballs and Jacknifes into the water work just as well... Talk about jumpstarting your heart.. you can feel the icy cold water keep your lungs fresh and your heart pounding (but a very healthy pounding)… There’s a little dingy with a little-engine-that-can and would probably just take you to the islands out in the distance where you can see the Puffins. 3 tiny uninhabited islands within rowing distance, with one of them home to an old wooden fort with rope ladders and all.. Great Pirate Rumbistifications relived once more.

Year after year, Leah and I have trekked up from Boston to enjoy our solitude in this beautiful place. strolls in different coastal towns - dinner on the dock with the sunset - getting sick from too much butter on our lobsters - enjoying your coffee on the porch and enjoying the Ocean view - heading to the beach - cooking our meals together - sun worshipping on the dock - Moody’s Diner - getting pushed into the water - watching the dog go nuts in the open - chain-sawing the hell out of an old picnic table - fishing - tin roofs and rainy days - just a place to be alone together… heavenly…

Country Folk Versus City Folk
People’s attitudes are completely different in the country… There’s a sense of trust and honor… Take my German Pie Lady for example.. She lives on Waldoboro Road and has a little bake stand outside her house where she has homemade pies, cakes, breads, cookies, and fresh eggs for sale everyday - and there’s no cashier, no till, no one to make sure you‘re paying the right amount, just a slot for you to put your money in and it’s all based on the honor system… I thought this was the most incredible thing I had ever seen, well until someone pointed out that her husband could very well be waiting in the window chugging his 6 pack and loading his shotgun to shoot anyone who didn‘t pay… That said, it’s thanks to my German Pie Lady that I’ve gotten turned on Blueberry Pie - in a very serious fatal attraction kind of way… thank you German Pie Lady…

Those extremely rough and tough lobster fishermen and Haggard-y Sea Captains keep excellent conversation over a single malt or a pint of whatevers yer pouring at the local. The people here are much friendlier than i had expected..

Wilderness Survival Instincts
Whatever skills or talents you have acquired to survive an urban jungle are worthless in the country… A bat once managed to escape into the house through the rafters and made its way for my bushy bird’s nest hair… After a quick panic attack and images of the bat going straight for my neck, Leah and I came up with an elaborate scheme involving a piece of string, a bowling ball, a match, a bottle rocket, a fisherman‘s hat, a paper bag, some cheese, and a shotgun.. Just before our far fetched plan was executed, she gets an anxiety attack and I’m left in the room with a bat flying circles around my head. I did what any neurotic city person would have done: I grabbed whatever resembled a racket and tried to whack the bat through the sliding doors and out of the cottage - returning service style… The attempt worked and the bat was sent back to the wilderness without receiving a single whack - directed him out quite peacefully.. (After our incident, a bat house was put up and we’ve had no problems since)…

You’ve got to be on your toes when you‘re not in your element: quickly learning to distinguish Poison Ivy from the herb garden variety - learning how to start up a gas grill with nothing but a piece of twig, and 4 gallons of paint thinner - learning it is always best to check with the authorities if it's red tide and if it’s ok to cook n eat the mussels that just wash up on your shore - how to properly apply and reapply insect repellent..

I'm just saying that there's a lot you can learn from mother nature - unfortunately, a lot of it happens through trial and error - unless you were a boyscout or even remembered anything about being a boyscout...

Meeting all things that move
The beauty of putting yourself in a different environment, you get to meet the many other animals that live with you… It’s like living in your own little nature reserve with all sorts of different birds, beavers at the pond, a red tail fox, snapping turtles, turkeys, dragonflies, insects, spiders, and all sorts of creepy crawlies, dogs, bats, fish, and humming birds…

meeting a hummingbird face to face is a pretty cool experience… because they flap their wings so quickly they can hover right across from you, letting you get a really good look at them in mid-air.. They just come out of nowhere, surprising you and making it an encounter where you feel the need to introduce yourself and say something like: “hello, my name is banzo.” (does it ever make sense?).

Insects and me do not get along… I really don’t know why, it’s not like I want to kill them, but they always come to bite me… and I really don’t know what it is with my blood, maybe it tastes like a ‘95 Valandraud Saint-Emilion, but these bugs just get a kick out of me plasma.. It’s a constant battle with the insect repellent - I’ve tried everything, I’ve been made invisible to bugs, made impervious to bug bites, unappealing to them, tried to keep them off with super quiet sonic waves, I've even considered taking the juice from dead bugs and rubbing it all over my body: warding them off as a walking cemetary for bugs - but I still manage to get at least 3-5 bites.. I wouldn’t mind the bites if they didn’t swell up into little welts… one time outside, I was grilling up some meat and exposing my feet wearing flip flops - I felt a little bite on my toe and just shrugged it off in a “I feel no pain“ manly fashion - three hours later, the venom from the spider bite makes my big toe swell up to the size of a mini kiwi - ridiculous - I couldn’t get my foot into my sneaker till the swelling came down…

In Closing..
Pulling yourself out of civilization for a while - spending time with your loved one but still enjoying solitude and peace is a real vacation… After spending all this time in beautiful and tranquil Maine - it’s time to rock the city…

Monday, August 01, 2005

absurd MJ rumors

So Jacko's still in Bahrain... There are all sorts of rumors circulating and floating around... I just thought I'd share a couple stories that have made the gossip rounds…

Absurd MJ rumor #1: Upon his arrival in the middle of summer in Bahrain, MJ decides to do a little shopping... So he throws on a ladies Daffah/Abbayah and a Burqah to remain incognito, and goes happily strolling around TOYS R US (frightened?). One of the security guards notices something weird about the covered lady and decides to stop her to ask a couple of questions.. MJ's cover is blown and once it's determined that the King of Pop is strolling around TOYS R US, everything gets sorted and back to normal.. MJ then continues his strolling and goes on a BD 900 shopping spree USD 2,385 (I love the fact the rumor actually has a definite amount attached to it)... Personally, I can see how MJ would like to stroll around alone in costume, he's always been into wearing face masks so the burqah would definitely appeal to him.. Also don't forget, he's visiting Bahrain in the middle of the summer - he'd need to protect his face from our relentless summer sun... Him traveling without a bodyguard? not sure about that one..

Absurd MJ Rumor #2: MJ is thinking of enrolling his kids in a private school in Bahrain for an entire year keeping them in a safe environment, rather than in the US where people will continually be talking about them. In order to protect their identities, the kids will be enrolled under fake names... I don't see the point to it all - I mean Bahrain is so small someone is bound to find out who the kids are... I'm wondering who's going to attend the parent teacher conferences?

Absurd MJ Rumor #3: MJ has been intrigued by Islam, and after much cajoling from Jermaine, he's decided to come to live in Bahrain and learn about the religion. He's also thinking of moving Never Land Ranch to Bahrain... I wonder if they'll bring the llamas..

Absurd MJ Rumor #4: He's here to record a new album... This isn't that absurd since he's running out of cash and needs to come up with something new instead of repackaging his old music. I'm just hoping he realizes that he needs to bring Quincy Jones to Bahrain… Come on Quincy, one more challenge, you know whatever you write, he will sing - and that will always go platinum…

Absurd MJ Rumor #5: The Michael Jackson School of Pop is opening up in Bahrain. MJ himself will be instructing young performers on the moonwalk, white socks, and the various props throughout a pop star’s career… Gyrating 101, “taaaheeeheee” for beginners and other classes will be on offer starting this fall..

The picture up top was snapped from someone's cellphone while MJ was strolling around Seef Mall... I like the medal MJ... Check out the bracelets...

What have you heard? bear in mind this is the King of Pop, this man has inspired many and changed the history of music forever - you must respect that... I just hope this doesn't blow up in our faces...

Friday, July 29, 2005

all my blogs are packed, I'm ready to go

me and the blog are takin' a holiday.. 5 weeks of absolutely nothing....
stay tuned for updates...

I'll try to post regularly ... hell, I don't think I ever posted regularly..

don't you hate the recirculated air on airplanes? makes you feel like your skin was getting exposed to everyone's germs... think of all the airborne bacteria floating around... sheeeeeaaaaat... why do all airport toilets stink?

hamama noody noody - the effect of a double jw black on the rocks with soda... can't believe my flight got delayed....

Monday, July 25, 2005

me like choochoo

One more thing about the blood that runs through my veins… I love public transportation.. It’s a really strange but interesting phenomenon, but there’s such a sense of satisfaction of being able to travel around a city or across a country with a little laminated card in your hand. There’s nothing like the feeling of accomplishment when you’ve mastered the public transportation system in another country/language – a challenge worthy of a celebratory pint (sounds like the ‘pin’ in pinch, but with a ‘t’ instead of a ‘ch’).

City living is sublime with the luxury of a decent metro and bus lines. Parking is always an issue or a headache, and when you live in a city where 15 dollars for an hour for parking is a bargain; then your feet, and that little laminated card, ticket stub or dirty copper token sounds really good to me.. Getting rid of my car was such a liberating feeling: no need for gas, maintenance, registrations, cleaning, insurance, taxes, scraping off the ice and snow, brake pads, fluid changes, paint jobs, changing tires, checking tire pressure, service, scratches, dents, broken side mirrors – nothing…

Get on that metro, take three stops down, change stations, catch the other train on the other line heading west – two more stops and BABAM (Sami Style), you’re in the middle of wherever you want to be… walk around, you want to take a cab, no problem, you’re mobile now – you can do anything – no need to have to walk back to the parking lot to get the car to head it over to another parking lot, or meter, or in front of a hydrant...

Think of all the random people you see on the subway – bums, businessmen, mothers, children, students, seniors, hoodlums, tourists, all sorts of people including you and me. Buddhists, Muslims, Atheists, Christians, Jews, Hindus, Scientologists, etc – we’re all taking the metro to get to a specific point… There’s just so much going on the train… Buskers playing all that music you love, vendors selling coffee, flowers, fruit, whatever… All those advertisements and billboards – I don’t think I’ve ever gotten on or waited for a train, and not been amused…

I loved the little commuter tricks you knew about… during the winter time, the best place to sit on the bus was in the back, because the back seats were on top of the engine and the seats were always nice and warm. Summertime, avoid the back seats at all costs. The other side exit at the station where it didn’t feel like there were a hundred people going up or down the stairs. The on your toes skip to avoid puddles of piss. The exact spot where the train stops when it pulls into the station. Just little tricks that make your commute a little slicker…

Commuter rails - wow, linking the suburbs and towns to the cities, absolutely incredible. You get on the train, sit down, the conductor comes, you either have to your card or you pay for your ticket and that’s it… a couple of stops and there you have it, you’re at the parking lot walking to your car to take your 10 minute drive home – just in time for dinner. Getting on the commuter rail makes you see how many people live outside but work in the city everyday, so easy.. Sure it can be a hassle if you have an hour or more commute each way – but I loved reading the paper in the morning, a super-power nap, listening to music, a book perhaps, and even just taking some time to daze off in the morning to collect your daydreams and get ready for the day… I always saved something for the trip home, some footie news, that book, de-stressing, or just sinking in your seat and not having to do anything for the next hour till you make it to your stop.. The commuter rail only worked if you left at a set time.. Working late would suck – doable – but still suck.. I feel for you workaholic commuters…

The downside to public transportation was that sometimes their timing would be off… luckily enough; it’s not really that bad - once you have their schedule - you’re all set… I love bus stops with the schedule posted at the stop – such valuable information. Another downside to public transportation: Rush Hour traffic… it’s unavoidable – but everything comes at a price…

I’ve had the pleasure of utilizing a number of public transportation systems all over the world – credit is given to where credit is due – the Behemoth: The London Underground… 6 Zones, enough train stations that you’ll never even visit, enough subway lines to paint a rainbow. It’s affectionately known as the tube –with the overplayed recording “mind the gap” – The tube has so much history connecting one of the largest most cosmopolitan cities on this planet. This is the place where buskers thrive, advertisers salivate over the foot traffic, and vendors make a living. The tube is a part of life there that many people have just accepted as a component of your daily routine you cannot do without. Make no mistake, the London Underground has withstood a lot: People were evacuated underground during the World War II aerial bombings – People braved the IRA bombings – and they will brave these gutless terrorist attacks. Should people change a part of their lives because of the horrendous act committed on July 7th, 2005? No Fucking way… I’ll be damned before anyone gets between me and my love for taking the subway – You can’t let them think they’ve succeeded – it’s what their violently brainwashed & totally fucked minds are looking for…

I stand by the people of London by sticking my middle finger in defiance to these fucking terrorists – and only hope that with our stand together we realize that you cannot hate an entire religion on the actions of some extremists.

Friday, July 22, 2005

forget you

thanks to DAR and Slonk for this wonderful translation of drunk arabic aangrish poetry:

forget you

forget you, how can i forget you?

how can i forget your height?
how can i keeeb you from my sight?
forget you, how can i forget you?

how can i forget the moon and the sky?
how can i forget the gazelle jumbing high?
forget you, how can i forget you?

you are for me , like the fish is for the sea
I am for you, like the sock is for the shoe
forget you, how can i forget you?

tphoo alaaaay if I forget you...

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

I needed to believe in something

Inspired by Bike shed’s post here - imagination - a deep love for this place - and the Chemical Brothers tune: Believe.

It was a Friday… the weather was unbelievably wonderful and I got conned into running “some” errands with a friend… Loaded the cd changer with some new music and off we went… I don’t need to tell you, Bahrain, on a Friday afternoon, with magnificent weather is just a wonderful place to be…

Driving along the new flyover in front of the Seef Mall I couldn’t help but notice the progress taking shape… We have begun our transformation from a small island nation to a bustling metropolis. My mind drifted away to what life could be like in the next 10 to 20 years… Y’see a lot of people are upset with the skyline, atrocious buildings going up, road works, a big ‘what’s going to happen to us?’, blah blah blah.. Let me tell you what I saw…

A real metropolitan area, with different districts, improved infrastructure, a developed sense of modern civilization – a place to call home in the 21st century… Driving past the Seef district heading towards Manama, I saw the shopping malls and the gold domes of the Seef Mall on the left. I could see the buildings on the Seaside with their high rises and offices… The HSBC building to join the Al Moayyed tower in the Seef district’s rising skyline. The thought of having a number of high rises has me cheering – it’s time we joined the international community in terms of growth and development. The new City Center shopping mall coming up on the left, yes we will have 5 shopping malls in the same area, too much you say? Why not I think… With residential buildings, commercial offices, shops, etc all opening up, the Seef stands to become the developed commerce center on the island. On the right hand side, there’s the Bahrain Mall, the Dana Mall, the new Chamber of Commerce, and even more buildings coming up with more residential apartments. People will eventually have to start considering living in apartments due to the diminishing space and increasing population. Shaikh Khalifa Bin Salman Highway will be one of the most important strips in Bahrain, roaring development - commerce and a new look to our future.

The Diplomatic Area: In the distance, the Diplomatic Area and our bustling financial center making up another expanding skyline… The two main buildings of the Bahrain Financial Harbor right on the water’s edge welcoming visitors by sea (build it and they will come). The NBB Building, towering over the old souk, representing the spine of the Bahraini commercial banks with the nation’s flag on top, a beacon for everyone to see. The new World Trade Center announcing our membership to the developed world – Two sails reaching for the sky tasting the Arabian sun. The area will forever be busy with its offices, insurance companies, offshore banks, investment companies, law firms, ministries, and embassies. The Diplomatic Area is a our version of the financial district – I look forward to biking around on a Friday when the streets are practically empty – as should you…

Muharraq: Busaiteen is such prime location, great view of the sea extending out to the Seef district… With Muharraq – I see it changing anyway it chooses… I love that island – it develops traditions in its own way & who am I to mess with it…

Juffair: Once all the buildings are up, the construction has been tamed and the streets and sidewalks are paved - making kicked up sand and dust a thing of the past - I can definitely see a wharf built on the water’s edge, with shops and a marina there for people to use… Think about the image for a second, you’ve got all these high rise buildings overlooking the water, there’s a boardwalk with a nice wharf, and some restaurants and a little marina there – make it easy and cheap for people who go fishing to dock their boats – Docks are beautiful with their own type of charm and by inviting the local fisherman to be a part of this new type of development we continue to retain our traditions, we’re just using modern amenities to facilitate their livelihood/passion. Give the residents of Juffair and Manama a place to take a stroll in the evenings and inviting other people to enjoy the beauty of waterfront dining/ shopping/ café/whatever your heart pleases…

Adliya District: A multi-level centralized parking lot with special rates to residents in the neighborhood; metered street parking and special parking zones for residents – strictly enforced by the traffic police, with CCTV to deter any crime. Property developed from behind the zoes/lilou area extending all the way upstairs downstairs region filled with various cafes and restaurants. Following the Riwaq example, more art galleries open up: showcasing the works of local talent. A bookshop or two. Local and International designers opening up boutiques… retaining the small buildings architecture and working with it allowing Adliya to preserve its neighborhood promenade feel. I can just see it all, streets with huge canopies tied to streetlights, providing shade for the casual strollers. Take it one step further… having water misters run under these canopies providing our casual strollers with some pleasant mist to keep cool during warmer days. Heading over to Adliya to pick up your newspaper, have a coffee and meet up with friends never felt so cool… You get a little peckish; there are a bunch of world-class restaurants there to satisfy your hunger.

Qufool: I love this neighborhood, filled with small buildings and close-knit neighborhood quaintness… Imagine the area renovated and rented out.. I can see it being the starter family neighborhood… newlyweds looking to stay close to the city, yet branching out in kitschy one or two bedroom apartments.. Interesting buildings cool roof deck gatherings… You develop a neighborhood feel to the place with your local grocer, butcher, frommagerie - ok maybe I’m going a little too far, but this can all happen, no reason why it can’t…

The Bahrain International Circuit and the development South: Racing is in our blood, whether it be Horses, Boats, Bikes or Cars… The circuit is a step in the right direction for us, bringing attention to our motor sport fever, and letting us vent out our passion in a controlled and professional environment. People have different views on the financial benefit of the F1, give this time, people will catch a serious F1 fever on this island & with a bridge linking us to Saudi & Qatar (in the not too distant future) – we will be the middle east’s link to racing. Once a year, the entire world turns to us for a weekend because of a race – you don’t you think that’s amazing? This is our chance to show the world that Bahrain stands in a class of its own. The new trend in property development - the area looks to get a lot busier… Our beaches get developed – Al Jazayer beach gets a new facelift (I’m not talking about fake sand and a modified landscape) – I’m talking about having a strong push to clean our shores, imposing serious fines for people who litter (I MEAN SERIOUS: BD 100 per offence – force people to accept not littering to pay a fine); I’m talking about bringing Marine Biologists and environmental experts to help us rebuild our marine life… bring back the corals… I want to be able to take my kids snorkeling and let them see what fish live in our waters- don’t you?

A real two level ring road around the island, with exits coming on and off – making your full circle trip around the island much faster. A bridge connecting Bahrain to Qatar, adding to our causeway with Saudi Arabia – an Island nation connected to the two major industrial powerhouses in the area. Many other countries boast to be the pearl of the gulf or the pride of the gulf; but what they cannot boast is prime geographic location… Bahrain will be connecting the Gulf States together… Saudi Arabia will become the prime producer of petrochemicals in the coming 10 years, Qatar will become the one of the main natural gas suppliers and will all these liquefied natural gas projects and the petrochemicals (mega projects) – I can’t see Bahrain not participating in this development and remain eco-friendly. Think about it, these huge trucks transporting all sorts of goods all across the GCC, using Bahrain as a central hub, riding along our efficient ring road making transportation more feasible and easy. It’s not that I can only see our development through the help of our neighbors and their resources – think about the tourism, think about how easy it will be for an inter GCC road trip. Bahrain will become the linkup to the GCC… A trans-GCC railway… Invite small to medium enterprises to come, setup shop and use Bahrain as a hub to export to the region – now tell me don’t you think that’s a good idea?

Bringing our heads down from the clouds… This is the beauty of Bahrain, a future is always there and always promising – we have existed for centuries – we have always been an integral part of history due to our location and we will continue to be a fundamental cog in the Middle East… Realistically, we do not have the manpower or the resources of our neighbors – but we have faith aided with a progressive and thinking population… We cannot let ignorance cloud our thoughts.. Dammit – The Mesopotamians – the First recorded civilization in history used to come and vacation here! We have seen empires rise and empires fall – we will continue to stand… This is my Bahrain and I believe…

Sunday, July 10, 2005

cinema pingpong (the scousers get it)

I love movies… There’s nothing I enjoy more than being able to tune out for a couple of hours and just follow the story of alien invaders, a female boxer, a tasteless comedy, a gut wrenching drama – whatever you want… Having become a seasoned cinemagoer and an ex-gold card carrying member of Hollywood video (that gold rental card does wonders with the ladies), I’ve figured out what pisses me off when watching a movie and what I can avoid to ensure a decent movie experience. I have a pattern of things I do at the movies, I try to get there slightly early to ensure a good seat, fully loaded with snacks and supplies, a pre-flick slash, I’ll even bring a sweater to the movie with me to combat the air conditioners…

Modus operandi at the cinema involves disbanding into smaller tactically driven units. One team will wait in line to pick up the tickets and pick seats not too far from the screen – the other team will line up to get snacks – there are stand ins waiting in the wings to step in if nature calls while you’re waiting in line.

I just thought I’d share some movie tips and annoyances that you might also harbor – I know I’m not alone on this one…

Obnoxious assholes at the movie theater – these people suck… These are the budding comedians that feel the need to adlib and try out their material in the middle of your movie experience. Hombre, no one is interested in your comments, keep your incredible sense of humor to yourself and save it for the stage. A friend once came over to my place after the cinema but couldn’t tell me how the movie was because some obnoxious person would not Keep quiet in the theater, and the police had to be brought in to remove this punk… You’d have to be on some serious hallucinogenics to be oblivious to everyone in the movie theater telling you to shut the hell up… the thing I don’t understand is that if you’re going to take a hallucinogenic and be oblivious to the outside world – why on earth would you go to the movie theater? If you’re planning on getting drunk and being loud, then the movie theater has to be the dumbest place to go… Some people like to go against the grain and do “their” thing – well allow me to tell you that your thing sucks fucknut..

I just watched the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy this weekend – and thanks to a cackle of the most inappropriately dressed for the cinema (more on that later) bitches (yes bitches, there’s no other way of referring to them – well maybe the one that kept on apologizing for her friends – she can be free from the bitch title) – I couldn’t enjoy the movie.. The head bitch, with her short dress and matching ethnic trinkets barely covering up her hippo thighs - starts talking because she just can’t seem to grasp the plot that Douglas Adams has been revered for… This, (again I’m sorry for the language but everyone in that cinema will be able to back me up on this one) BITCH, sat there talked on her phone, decided to play around with the flashlight on her cell phone taking a look at the movie goers, and started talking about how she lent this guy money and he wasn’t going to pay her back (maybe cause you’re the spokesperson for STDs you fucking inconsiderate douche bag). Walking around with her pretentious supermodel (I just came in from Milan where I was officially made the “&” in Dolce & Gabbana) – yet she has the class, the looks, and attitude of a fat phone sex operator working the graveyard shift servicing drunk bastards with nothing at the end of the night but their dick in their hand… Somebody went and called the usher in cause they couldn’t believe that it was a woman who was being so obnoxious (living in Bahrain, it’s usually a man who’s the obnoxious prick at a movie) – the cackle was asked to grab a hold of themselves but nothing came out of it. I’m praying for warts in your not too distant future. ok –that’s out of my system.. lady, you were a fucking bitch… ok, now it’s really gone…

Nonchalant moviegoers – I avoid these people like the plague… This is the person that when you tell them, “be there at 4:30- the movie starts then, they’ll show up at around 4:45, and you’re stuck waiting for them because you’ve got their ticket… or lets say you’re running late to the movies and there’s that nonchalant moviegoer who has to go and get popcorn and snacks.. These are the people that will tell you “don’t worry there’s at least 10 minutes of upcoming releases” – and then when you walk into the movie, you realize you’ve just missed the quintessential point to the film that would have answered so many questions you will have in the next 45 minutes to an hour…

Censoring – I understand Bahrain is a Muslim nation and that there might be children watching the film… nudity is forbidden, and I can respect that. But why are you going to rate the film if you’re just going to snip it up? Why must my intelligence and maturity be compromised because the censorship authority must dictate what I can and can’t watch at the movie theater? Many teens, growing up in high schools can probably teach the leading actors about to have a moment a thing or two. We can’t hide this stuff anymore from the kids; you might as well start talking to them about it before it’s too late… It’s not the pervert inside me that is complaining about the kissing (he is satisfied with copious amounts of pornography on the internet at the tip of his fingers) – it’s the moviegoer… I can’t tell you how many times the credits would roll around, and they’re the type of credits where they show you the actor or actress and have his/her name under. There would be a couple of shots of actors from the movie that I had no idea who they were… I’m talking about entire scenes cut – for what reason? I don’t know… If you consider us adults, then treat us like adults… just because you feel that religion doesn’t promote this, and the scene interferes with your view of religion then don’t go to the movie theater and don’t let your children go – the rest of us enjoy watching films and we want to see how the story unfurls…

Talkies - These people drive me mad… They love to talk during the movie… I can understand if you missed a line, or something hasn’t registered and you need to ask a clarification question – that’s cool… but if you’re expecting me to explain the plot twists or character development or a question that will require an answer of more than 5 words – that’s un-cool man, really un-cool… You can’t expect me to sit there and be your personal movie buff; watch it in silence and then ask your questions when the movie’s over, who knows, maybe you’ll figure it out for yourself. I can’t stand people that actually don’t have a problem with talking during the movie… I mean, what could have possibly happened from the time you were outside and could talk to your friend freely, to now, when you’re inside the movie theater? The cell phone is another enemy of mine at the cinema.. I mean honestly, you saw the sign – turn off the cell phone or keep it on mute… I understand the might be an emergency, but that’s what the vibrating alert is for right? Do you really think me and everyone else at the theater bought tickets so we can listen to your unbelievably uneventful life? Talking on the phone, is one of the most annoying things you might have to endure at a movie theater here... cut it out… If your friend calls, then don’t answer, leave your phone in the car, isn’t that a little liberating? For those 2 measly hours, no one can contact you?

Cinema Attire - One of the best thing about living in the US was being able to catch all the new releases when they came out.. Saturday afternoons were reserved for the cinema… What I always found strange is the way people dressed for the cinema… Casual, relaxed, people on dates dressed up smartly.. Then, I hate to admit it, you had the Arabs.. I’m not saying all Arabs, because there were many whom remained in their university sweatpants, jeans, sneakers, flipflops, and baseball cap… But there were some and I mean some of the women that would get decked out: pull out the latest thousand dollar handbag made by a Chinese French designer that doesn’t have a name (it’s pronounced more like a sound effect)… throw on their flashy designer jeans (the jeans that go out of their way to remind that they’re designer).. Makeup that would make you think MAC was having a “going out of business sale”.. Do you know how incredibly stupid that looked? A movie theater? Where it was going to be dark? Granted sometimes these women had gone out to dinner beforehand and had a need to get dressed up… The other women that really had no reason – dressed up because they wanted to be seen looking really “hot and trendy“ in the darkness of a movie theater – has that sunk in yet? The darkness of a movie theater. Anyways, you can dress anyway you feel like it, and if you could afford to drop that much cash on a new weekly wardrobe, then all the power to you… I just thought it was kinda odd that you’d get dolled up for the movies…

This whole thing started because of that cackle of disgusting, inconsiderate, ill-mannered and probably ho-ing group of women that should have read the synopsis on the Hitchhiker’s guide to the Galaxy before they decided to ruin the movie for everyone in the cinema… I still can’t tell if I liked the movie or not – I think I’m going to have to watch it again…

Monday, July 04, 2005

An exercise in 5 minute ranting…

Time: 9:28 AM

Do you ever wonder what the deal is with the Special Bahraini Mix? Everything we eat or drink, we have to have a Special Bahraini mix for it… you eat a Shawarma, there’s a Special Bahraini mix for the shawarma where they add Crystal hot sauce, extra chilies, and French Fries (but I love my Shawarma the way it’s normally served)… you want juice, then there’s the special Bahraini mix for juice, it’s the exact same cocktail, but its got one additional fruit making it the Special Bahraini mix – you can’t even tell the difference from the other juices, but at least you’re drinking the Special Bahraini mix… at my office they have filter coffee, instant coffee and tea… all three are mixed together along with coffee mate and some cardamom evaporated milk to come up with the Special Bahraini Mix - who decided all of this, I'm not really sure - but it's called the Special Bahraini Mix on my floor… You want to eat some grills (Mashwiyaat), there’s always some Special Bahraini Mix… The funny thing is whenever you go to one of these places and ask the guy what’s good, he’ll tell you, “you try Special Bahraini mix” – and then I say “yalla – bring for me Special Bahraini mix”… you know what I get after that? Chicken and beef on a skewer, or a shawarma over stuffed with beef and chicken.. This is the crafty work of some fella who wants to fool people by telling them this is the way Bahraini’s love their food – all hashed together and mixed up, it’s the Bahraini way – chicken, meat and cheese all cooked together … and the thing is, I get suckered into it all the time - why? I have no idea why, it just happens… I will still probably get suckered into the Special Bahraini mix the next time I feel a little peckish…

Time: 9:34 AM (so it took 6 minutes - sue me)

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Bathroom habits of highly effective people…

Men Vs. Women
The Public Restroom debacle
The main divide between men and women when it comes to the bathroom is the perception of intended use. The men’s bathroom is streamlined and efficient – you never have to wait too long before you can take your slash. I attribute this efficiency to the fact that we can pee standing up, a huge plus – we’ve got our urinals and our stalls, no need for a nest, no need for squatting or anything like that… Unfortunately, this bonus of being able to be in and out tends to leave the bathroom in a state of disarray… We can pee standing up, but that doesn’t mean we can aim standing up or that we can throw the tissues in the trash, or even wash our hands. It’s the knowledge of how fast a trip to the bathroom can be for a man that makes him speed up through everything - we even avoid conversation because it’ll throw us off.. We want to get back to what we were doing before the bathroom..

Women, view the bathroom in a different light than men… See, they treat the facilities as a little safe haven for them… because of the fact that they require a stall, sometimes there’s more demand for stalls than actual supply, leading them to take advantage of this waiting time by reapplying makeup, adjusting their cleavage, farting (don’t deny it), and whatever else they need to do… Conversations are sparked up between complete strangers, cigarette smoking, stock tips – the bathroom is social gathering point for women… very interesting...

Maybe this has to do with our genetic hunter – gatherer makeup… Men were initially hunters, so they’re used to being quiet creeping around in places able to avoid conversation.. Women on the other hand, were gatherers, they needed to keep talking to keep busy and to scare away any frightening animals with their ‘chatter’… Maybe that’s why women talk so much in bathrooms and why men are so quiet… I don’t know.. Maybe I’m just pondering a useless thought…

Personal Bathrooms
A Man’s personal toilet has his mark on it… He probably has some dried toothpaste in the sink, his razor blade and shaving cream, one bottle of Shampoo and Conditioner (or he could just have a 2 in1 bottle), soap, and his basic and I mean basic toiletries, his clothes half in – half out of the laundry basket, a wet towel on the floor, probably some puddles of water from when he ran out of the shower because he remembered the toothpaste but not the toothbrush… The man usually has questionable hygiene concerns when it comes to “his” bathroom. Let’s face it, we’re a mess in the bathroom, our motto is: “If you can wipe it off then it’s clean.” But this is why a man rarely takes time to get ready (even pretty boys) – because there are no surprises: enter bathroom, shit, shower, shave, done (the order is interchangeable)… (I understand that men today have improved on this image and thanks to David Beckham and his metro-sexuality, men feel better about standing in line with their shampoo, conditioner, scrubber, rubber ducky, etc. – thanks 'Bu Brooklyn)

Women treat their personal bathrooms much MUCH differently… Before I go into detail allow me to remind you: Women have more utensils, instruments and equipment in their bathroom than you will ever handle in your life… they’ve got stuff to pluck, curl, straighten, highlight, accentuate, depress, pinch, tighten, loosen, shave, cut, sever, file, and some you will never learn about, never… don’t bother trying to understand it all, just don’t touch anything and you’ll minimize inflicting any pain on yourself… Women have shampoos conditioners for the different stages their hair goes through. Women have body washes, different scrubs for different parts of the body, moisturizers, face washes, cleansers, astringents, masks, wraps, paraffin wax, and so much more stuff… Women definitely do spend more time on grooming, and I have to say that: whatever you like… As much as I complain that women take so much time in the bathroom, I’d much have her feeling completely ready than me rushing her - you never want to rush a lady... The one thing that is inexcusable and I mean INEXCUSABLE is their hair getting clogged up in the shower drain – if you have ever had to extract this mess out of the drain then you know what disgusting mess I’m talking about… Ladies, for all your prepping and cleanliness, can’t you do something about the hair in the drain? Please? Oh and one more thing – what the hell is Patchouli anyways?

Comfort zones: they are essential to pooping, some people have them and some don’t. Some people only feel comfortable with their own bathroom where they have total control of the environment. Some people need to mark their territory and feel comfortable with the place, it could take a number of visits to the 14th floor bathroom before you can get the right amount of privacy, comfort and solitude to poop right… I don’t need to tell you that when you need to go, you need to go, and that’s when your survival skills come into play - can you build a nest out of toilet paper if need be? Other people might go and locate the nearest oasis to them… maybe, it’s the men’s bathroom located by the main function hall at a 5 star hotel. Maybe it’s a secret bathroom stall on the 7th floor that no one uses. Maybe it’s your friend’s apartment not too far from work… ok now I really feel like George Costanza with his knowledge of the cleanest public restrooms in Manhattan… My problem with the comfort zone is that I poop in silence at home - there’s no one barging into the bathroom or making any noises three feet away from me… so how do you expect me to poop in comfort? Other people are out of the closet poopers, they go to the bathroom with that newspaper under their arm and everyone knows exactly what’s going to happen there… out of the closet pooping is quite liberating since you’re not constricted by any silly mental issues… I don’t want to make this generalization because it’s not right, but it’s too funny to not mention – someone once told me that the Germans build their toilets so that there’s a protruding piece of porcelain your poop hits before it reaches water… They say the Germans do this because they like to look at their poop, y’know to inspect it… “ooh there goes that corn that I had with my lunch” – do you inspect your poop? It’s all right if you do… Reading and pooping go hand in hand if you’re a guy… I don’t know why but women don’t like to read as much on the toilet.. Men? Hell we’ll do anything, read, crossword (I have a mug filled with pens by my throne), shave, brush our teeth – to us, we consider it multitasking to women, they consider it weird…

Men and their Privacy
Going back to my ‘men in bathrooms’ point and borrowing a little from Dave Barry, I’d like to bring your attention to the urinal location quandary, a very interesting observation/experiment…. Lets say there are five urinals in a bathroom (A-E). A guy walks into the bathroom looking to take a slash, he will immediately move to one of end urinals, (A or E, lets say A in this case) because he doesn’t want anyone next to him.. Someone else walks into to pee, now he sees 4 free urinals, yet due to his male nature, I’m willing to bet he’ll take the farthest Urinal from A, Urinal E… This is because there’s plenty of space between him and the dude at Urinal A. Now lets assume someone else walks into the toilet and there’s only 5 urinals and both on either end are occupied (A & E), this leaves pisser #3 with B, C, or D – but if you haven’t guessed it, he’s going to choose C because then he’s leaving a Urinal on either side as a buffer zone between the other two guys on either side of him… If another guy walks in to take a leak, then his arrival disrupts the pattern and he needs to squeeze in and take B or D – OR… he’ll use a stall or wait till someone else finishes to go back an enjoy at least a 1 urinal buffer zone. It just has to do with this privacy issue, but if you can keep a urinal buffer zone, you will always do it, even if it means having to bypass a free urinal for one a couple of steps away to satisfy your buffer requirement. If you’re a guy, pay attention to this bathroom urinal law, it really works, why? I don’t know but notice next time nature calls, the urinal buffer zone is essential to private peeing… There are some catches to men’s urinal law: if the urinal stinks, has vomit in it, it just too disgusting to use, then you will forgo the buffer zone for a clean place to pee…

Final Words
I can’t believe I actually wrote something about this… not really something you normally talk about, but something we all think about… I guess I’m just thinking aloud… maybe I should stay quiet..