Tuesday, October 31, 2006

punkin head

A word to the wise: unless you are still in high school, or unemployed, or work in a vintage record store, do NOT undergo the risk of dying your hair using a cheap K-Mart dye. It is just too much of a gamble. I speak from experience.

The last time I had my hair colored by professionals, I somehow allowed myself to be talked into spending $200 on a cut, color, and highlight session. Even when you are a nanny and making bank, it is still fairly unreasonable to spend this amount of money on your hair. Especially when you spend all of three hours of your week wearing cute, normal clothes, and not a sweatshirt that has baby boogers and dried milk all over one of its shoulders. Thus, after this very expensive episode, I repented and decided to not dye my hair in a salon.

For a while I just left my hair a natural color (which I have been told has natural highlights anyway)- until Sunday night. I decided to purchase a kit which involves both color and highlights, imagining how cute I would look, and how inexpensive the process would be. And then, after two rounds of piling goop on my hair and then rinsing it out, I dried it, only to discover that I was more ready for Halloween than I thought. I look like I either desperately wish it were summer again, or I am just incredibly festive for this October holiday. It's not bright orange, but it certainly has a tint to it.

I also thought that I could give myself some of those great, fatter highlights that look so cool and punky. Instead, I pretty much just dyed the top of my head a different color than the bottom of it. Ok, it's probably not as bad as I am making it sound. It's not like I refuse to go outside, or I have to go and get it fixed and make the entire thing costly anyway. But we have our advisory board coming at the end of this week, and I just don't feel very professional. I think I am going to just wait it out until it fades a little and begins to grow out, or else I may scrub my head with Lysol and see if that has any effect. Lesson learned, I guess.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

another weekend almost gone

Highlights of my weekend:

I carved my first pumpkin ever on Friday night. It was a fun experience, but I think I would have enjoyed it much more when I was younger. I went for a scary clown kind of look, but my artistic abilities only go so far. It looks more like I just closed my eyes and started sawing away. Mike did somewhat of a self-portrait- glasses, and even an attempt at a beard. But the holes that he made for the beard are too small for the light to shine through. I'm going to put them out tonight- I hope they don't get smashed before Tuesday. I got laughed at by our friends, because I actually googled "pumpkin carving" before we started so I would know what the heck I was doing. It's like Mike not having seen The Wizard of Oz- it's just not the same when you're not an 8-year-old.

Last night we ended up watching two movies- American Dreamz and The Family Stone. American Dreamz looked so good in the previews, and was a big disappointment. The humor could have been really great, but instead it was forced and immature. And I think it was from the creators of Love Actually, so I was really surprised that they couldn't do any better. The Family Stone was cute- not wonderful or amazing, but cute. The entire feeling of family and holidays combined is such a nice one, and I think that aspect, combined with the reality of family situations that aren't always perfect, made me like the movie a lot. I am certain now, though, that Sarah Jessica Parker is just not that great. I never liked Sex and the City, and I can't get past what Family Guy said about her- she looks like a foot. She really, really does.

I taught Sunday School today, and it went well. Sometimes I think that I want to work with kids again, and then I remember that the kids at my church are very hard to come by. That place has something magical to it (if I can describe a church in that way). The people are amazing, and the presence of God is always felt. For some reason that stands out to me, when really it should be the norm at most churches. I guess that people can sometimes forget how to imitate Christ by the way they treat others, but so many people at this church just get it.

This next week (next month, actually) is going to be rough. I feel myself taking lots more deep breaths, and I'm just trying to keep my eye on the Christmas and the trip that will come soon enough.

Friday, October 27, 2006


In my inbox this morning:

"free lip kit with purchase of a sweater"

"podiatrist beginner"

"are we hooking up tonight?"

"area du dispersible griddle felicitous million chlordan"

"pong cat thru time"

"mmmmmmmm doughnuts"

Thursday, October 26, 2006

a better earth

Yesterday several groups on campus came together for a "campus sustainability day", and one of their events was to show the Al Gore documentary, An Inconvenient Truth. I went to see it, because I have been mildly interested in it since it was first released, and I was quite impressed. Yes, the movie is essentially Al Gore's slide presentation in the form of a theater movie. I have heard several people complain about this, but I think it is exactly the format that should be used. Enough of all the Hollywood glamour, jumpy edits, and energetic soundtracks- I truly believe that he is just a man who wants to get his message out. And plenty of people will pay up to $10 to see a movie whose premise is beer, or sawing one's legs off. Why not something that is informative and timely, if not exactly entertaining?

I tried to be as objective and critical as I could, because I tend to be easily persuaded. But it comes down to this: even if global warming, which seems to be a real and true problem that is being down-played in the same way that tobacco was, will not have any one of the effects that Gore warns of, or even if those effects are simply a part of the natural order (even when so much of our world today is "unnatural"), I still fully believe that we, especially as Americans, are called to be more responsible and respecful with the luxuries that we have. And that, my friends, was the longest sentence I have ever written in my entire life. But the fact that Americans consume more materials than many countries combined, makes me cringe. It makes us weak and scared, and unable to cope when we are faced with real, raw life. That may seem like a jump in logic, but just think about it a little bit. I know from my own experiences- I am chastising myself as much as anyone.

I, for one, want to change my habits. I have begun to do that in many ways, and I see how positive it can be, for myself and for others. I recommend the movie to anyone who is ready to be kicked in the butt and to think about something beyond the world of consumerism and terrorism. Wow, I have become such a hippie, but I think it's important to recognize how unnatural it sounds to us anymore to talk about being moderate or conservative (and I don't mean in the political sense).

Advancements are coming exponentially these days when it comes to technology, but we need to think twice about how we use the technology that is brought before us. I think it all comes back to humility, and a sense of respect for what we have been given.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

celebs in our midst

Last night while I was walking home, I walked by the tour buses of none other than Hootie and the Blowfish. Yes, they are still around, and yes, they were doing a show here on campus. In high school I probably would have gasped and frantically darted my head around to see any one of them in person. If I had been able to spot them last night, I'm sure it would have been exciting, but I guess as you get older the magic dies away a little bit. Although, the magic is still there for me if I happened to run into, say, Kevin Spacey or Debra Messing. They're my heroes.

But in honor of my Hootie tour bus sighting, my list of other sightings (which would be inordinately smaller if I hadn't lived in New York):

Eminem- at the Vans Warped Tour in Denver in '99 or 2000. Entirely unimpressed. He flipped the bird when a mom was taking a picture of him with her son (oohh wow Eminem, you're soo hot when you put up your middle finger). Plus he's short.

Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen- while filming their Times Square scene in that New York movie they did. I didn't see them up close, but it was my first New York celebrity sighting, so that made it pretty swell. I think I got a picture of the top of their heads.

Bono, Djimon Hounsou, Gavin Friday- at the premiere of In America in New York. I got to watch a movie with these people! No, I did not share popcorn with them or make random comments during the movie, but I think I might have breathed one of the same oxygen molecules as them. By the way, Gavin Friday did the music for this and several other movies, and he's gooood.

Phillip Seymour Hoffman- probably the coolest sighting of all of them, because he is an incredible actor, and because he was just chillin in Greenwich Village with his wife and son. That means he's real- I am baffled.

Ethan Hawke/Mark McGrath from Sugar Ray- still not sure which one it was, but I swear it was one of them. My stomach dropped when I saw him (near Grand Central), because I knew that I knew the face. I just didn't get a good enough look to figure out who it was, and of course I had to play it cool and only get a quick glance.

Mike Myers- crossing the street in Midtown. Another one that would have caused a heart attack had I seen him when I was in 6th grade and watching Wayne's World every single day. Of course then he would have had a mullet and a beer gut, but he was cool just the same.

Monday, October 23, 2006

internet infamy

A milestone has occurred in my life.

I am the first, second, and third result on Google when you search for my first and last name (no quotes needed!). I feel like a minor celebrity, like a C-list actor or something. Mike is jealous and bitter, because my first name, especially with an Arab last name, is not very common (but there is one in D.C. and one in the UAE). Michael, on the other hand, is much more common, and you have to be more creative to come up with my Michael on Google.

Nevertheless, I am basking in my minor glory. I never would have made the cut if it weren't for my new last name (my maiden name being very generic and also serving as the word for a person's emphasized study in college). So thank you, Mike, for helping me get where I am today!

P.S. For some reason, I can't see or say the word Google without wanting to say it in a fake Swedish accent...I have no idea why.

P.P.S. I have been sucked into the realms of another television show, and I never could have expected it. But last night Mike turned on the TV, and we discovered that the first three episodes of the new show Heroes were being replayed. Now, I have been making fun of the show because of their motto: "save the cheerleader, save the world". (It goes against years of diligent research proving that 99% of cheerleaders fulfill the stereotype that is put upon them.) And although I will wholeheartedly admit that I LOVED the movie Bring it On, I never thought I could praise a show with such a premise. But it had me within the first 10 minutes, I think. It's great, and it looks like SVU is going to be dropped off my list so that I don't turn into a complete couch potato. Some of these shows were great once, but really have just been on too long.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

something new

I want to be more diligent about writing on my blog, but I don't want to spend every post blathering on about what I ate for lunch or how difficult of a time I'm having concentrating on my work (which is obvious by the fact that I am blogging in the first place).

So, there's nothing all that grand going on in my life that I can discuss right now. I already covered our upcoming trip to Europe. Instead, I am going to borrow an idea from several of my grade school English teachers. I'm going to give myself a topic of discussion, and free-write, as they say.

Today's topic: "restaurants", inspired by a tag on del.icio.us (I'm scratching for something here, people).

And of course, the obvious place to start here is- my favorite restaurant. The obvious answer, for many years, has been Outback. But I think Outback, along with a fondue place in Mantiou Springs called Mona Lisa, has become reserved for very special occasions, when it is okay to gorge myself and eat more than I typically eat in an entire day. I love both restaurants, but they would not be my favorite in the sense that I would pick them more than once in a blue moon.

Here in Wyoming, the two restaurants that I would probably pick to eat at most often would be Lovejoy's and Sanford's. Both of them remind me how important a restaurant's atmosphere is- probably just as important as the actual food. I love Sanford's because it has license plates all over the wall and a roll of paper towels at every table in place of actual napkins. It's like Joe's Crab Shack, without the obnoxious picnic tables and birthday songs. And Lovejoy's is a great place to hang out with people and have a drink. Eating out at a restaurant is all about the social function.

Something I realized about myself while living in Brooklyn: I'm not too concerned with how sanitary a restaurant is. There was a Chinese place a few blocks from my apartment, and it was certainly not the model of clean food service. I saw a bug or two on the walls, and the entire place just seemed to be caked in grease. But that is by far the best egg-drop soup I have ever had in my life.

What's your favorite restaurant? Are you picky about certain things like service or cleanliness?

Friday, October 13, 2006

from crumpets to gelato to kabobs

So really, nothing in my life is terribly exciting at the moment. Well, except for the fact that Mike and I purchased tickets the other night to go to London, Rome, and Abu Dhabi at the end of December. Quite the combination, eh? And yes, every time I think about it, my heart goes EEEK!! very loudly, so that you could almost hear it from the outside. But that's all the excitement so far- it will be much more exciting to recap what I'm sure will be an incredible trip, when I'm back at work in January, wishing I weren't back at work.

For now, we are just in the midst of our plans, making sure we get to do everything we want to do while we're there. We will be spending some time in Oxford also, and I really hope that I am able to drag Mike away from it to see the many other parts of Europe that we intend to see, because I think he could probably stay in Oxford for a very long time if I let him. We're also thinking about taking a train to Rome, and getting a pass that will allow us 4 days of travel, so we can visit Venice or Milan or (be still my beating heart) France. But I told Mike last night that I don't want us to spread ourselves too thin. I want to get to know Rome- you know, buy it a drink, maybe take it to dinner. This is what I said to Mike last night, and he didn't think I was all that funny. I thought I was funny. So much so that I repeated my joke on my blog the next day.

So, apparently, talking about our trip before we even go is more exciting than I thought. At least for me. This will be my first time overseas, and I am so grateful that we're able to do this before we get tied down by school, and money issues, and the rest of life. This is actually going to be a fairly cost-effective trip anyway, which is nice.

As Mike has been saying all week- LONDON, BABY! (How can I not love a man who quotes Friends??)

P.S. I am also managing to visit a Middle Eastern country, which makes me so glad, since Lebanon is not the best option right now. I will get to practice my Arabic, and have some authentic food (even though I do already when Mike's mom is around), and enjoy a few days of sun in January. I lied- life is very exciting right now!

Monday, October 09, 2006


What I should be doing right now:


What I am doing instead:

feeling grouchy and sicky
watching a TV show that I don't even like (apparently the guy on Two and a Half Men is going through his second divorce. dumb.)
type-typing away

Friday, October 06, 2006

girl talk

I miss having a girl best friend. It has been in the back of my mind for some time, and what a weird time for it to come out and be put into material thoughts. Mike took me to see the play "Dead Man Walking" tonight, we went for coffee afterward, and it was a really nice date night. I made tempura for dinner, and it was delicious, and now I am just hanging out and waiting for Mike to be ready go to to bed. I had a great Friday evening, and yet I'm thinking about how nice it would be if I had one girl friend that I could really connect with.

It has been quite a while since I've had a "best friend". Since high school, in fact. And this may only be in retrospect, but I don't think that I was very real or open with my close friends most of the time back then. It seems like I spent a majority of my time making sure that the people around me would like me, rather than simply being myself. That's not to say that those relationships weren't genuine, but I'm really not that surprised that things have changed. Time and life have just shifted everything around.

It would just be so nice to have that person that I could go shopping with, call at any hour of the day, confide in about my marriage or my job or whatever. I do have these things in different people, but I want it all combined into one perfect girl best friend (who has cute hair and the perfect taste in earrings). I think I'm worried that I won't ever know anyone like that, or I will be too closed off to be like that with anyone. I think that I purposefully don't get too close to people, because I have been moving around so much in the last few years, and will be doing that again soon probably. And then I'd have to keep up with my girl best friend by phone, and she of course would know how much I HATE the phone.

But I guess I am glad that this is the worst of my problems. I think I must be doing pretty well if the thing that concerns me most at midnight when I am left with my thoughts is wishing for a girl best friend.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

i'm not saying i would call anyone a flaming idiot with no sense of propriety

I have absolutely no intention of blogging for the purpose of standing on a platform and criticizing others, or pushing my political/religious/social ethics views. Mostly I just like to write, and keep up with myself, and try to be somewhat creative. Sometimes my views just end up being a part of what I feel like talking about. But I just have to get it out today.

I am SO TIRED of the 24-hour news networks, and the televised news media in general. Lord, even some of the newspapers are making me crazy.

There have been an inordinate number of acts of school violence in the last week, and it is my humble theory that the news frenzy caused by each one has managed to exacerbate the entire situation. I was checking out CNN's site (oh no, I'm not going to link that crap), and one of the new facts posted with the story is that KY jelly was found at the scene of the school shooting in Pennsylvania, pointing to the fact that the guy was going to molest the children if he had more time. Is this really appropriate/necessary news coverage?

I am also beginning to wonder, based on all of the similarities, if this guy was encouraged by all he heard about the shooter in Bailey, CO, and decided to become infamous as well. Hell, the guy in Colorado was an instant celebrity. Why not get your name on the news, and assure that half a million people across the country will have the chance to read your suicide note and know what anguish you were put through as a child? This irks me beyond reason.

I know how fascinating this stuff is- I get sucked in too. But it's become mere entertainment. How easy is it to distinguish an episode of CSI from a spot on Fox News? The only difference is the scroll bar (which allows us to know everything that is going on at any given time, something I would argue is not that important).

I could go on for a very long time, but I won't. All I will say is that I refuse to allow the people who create this kind of obsession (Journalists? Me? Hollywood? Rupert Murdoch?) to get my business anymore.

On a lighter note, the new show Studio 60 is BRILLIANT. It is dealing with a lot of these issues, albeit in a superficial way and under the guise of the typical sardonic television show that is popular these days. But it is saying something, and pushing some buttons, and I LOVE that. And Amanda Peet and Sarah Paulson are spectacular, too.