November 27th, 2008
I'm thankful for my tommy and our wonderful life in our beautiful new home.
I'm thankful for my kitties, Oskar and Gidget.
I'm thankful for my wonderful friends spread out all over the world.
I'm thankful for my job
I'm thankful for my wonderful niece and nephew
August 2nd, 2008
MY JOB RULES!!!! seriously, 6 months into it it's been incredible. and I won an award this week for awesomeness.
Tom and I bought a condo together. we close in about 3 weeks.
Oskar is furry and cute
December 19th, 2007
What is one of your favorite holiday traditions?
My father's family is Polish and every year we break bread called "batek" I think that someone picks up at the Catholic church in my hometown, I think it's been blessed. We form a long line the first person stands there. The second breaks off a piece of their bread, and eats it. The first person breaks off a piece of the second person's bread and eats it. they wish eachother a merry Christmas and hug and kiss. Then the third person does the same thing with the second, then the first person. Eventually everone greets everyone else and everyone hugs and kisses. It's fun. I love how every year all the kids hate the way the bread tastes (It looks and tastes like styrofoam) and often hide it. I also like hugs.
after posting this I googled it to see what I could find
apparently it's called "Oplatek" not "batek" which is what I thought I always heard my Bopchie (Polish grandma say) The strange thing about this link is that they say they give pink wafers to the animals...but we always ate the pink wafers.
June 3rd, 2007
I leave qatar tomorrow morning. it feels so strange. I am so sad to leave. who knew I'd get to love it so incredibly. but I'm not going to talk about it.
Last night my friend Khadijah gave birth to her third son. He does not have a name yet. this afternoon I went to the hospital to see him, say goodbye to her, and give him my stuffed dog I carry everywhere.
He's a beautiful beautiful baby. His parents are both very attractive people, and he was just...beautiful. he's also calm and chill and stared up at me while I sang my special welcome to the world song that I like to sing to babies. I walked into the room and just fucking bawled my eyes out. I cannot believe how lucky I am that I got to see him before I left.
we sat in her hospital room, robyn, lauren, khadijah and her sister meriem, and ate chocolate and donuts and passed the baby around.
I always feel like this, but on this particular day I am so happy that I'm a woman.
May 16th, 2007
last week my roommate Robyn and I spent 4 days in Oman. it was an amazing fantastic trip. We snorkled and I saw a sea turtle. we drank corona on the beach and watched the sunset. cool shit.
anyway. we flew airarabia as we always do because it's cheap. this of course meant that we had to go through the Sharjah airport which is always a treat. this time, it was the end of our trip and we were about to fly from Sharjah to Doha. We happened to be flying out of a gate which required us to go through another additional security checkpoint for some unknown reason.
we approached the security checkpoint and there was a woman working there (normal of course, there has to be to search female passengers). Robyn greeted her nicely in arabic and she barked at her in english to present her passport and boarding pass. she is similarly really rude to me. I pass through the metal detector. nothing beeps but she said "you! come here now!" and pulled me into the private search area. she doesn't carry that metal detector wand. first she does is just put her hands on my breasts, one hand on each breast, and squeezed them. I was so shocked I made a little squeek sound. she then sort of brushes her hands over me then shoves me out. I come out and Robyn immediately commented "why on earth is your face so red???"
so strange. it happened so fast I couldn't process it. if it had been a man who had done it I would have screamed. and since it had been a woman I think if I had complained they would have laughed at me. but I've been harassed a great deal in life, been grabbed and groped. I most certainly know the difference between good touch and bad touch, and this was a horrible touch that disgusted and humiliated me. I don't feel like she did it for any kind of sexual thrill, but somehow to humilate, to flaunt her power. I know this might sound crazy, but I don't know how else to understand it. it was pretty fucking awful.
April 20th, 2007
I have the worst tummy virus in the history of tummy viruses. I have not left my apt in a week except to go to my friends who lives 30 feet away and to go to the emergency room after I hadn't eaten for three days and got all dehydrated. eating sucks, as does walking. and there's not point to this post except that I want a hug.
April 7th, 2007
I had an almost magical day yesterday.
I got a phone call from my friend Abir yesterday around 10:30, waking me up as I was sleeping off the fun my girl Jen and I had had the previous evening. She invited me out to spend the day with her at the beach. She picked me up and we spent a wonderful day lying in the sun (my pale ass covered with broad spectrum spf 50 sunblock...seriously if they made spf100 I'd buy it!), swimming, drinking fresh juice, and talking. She's one of the wonderful people I've met in Doha. She's sexy, confident, hilarious, and one of the smartest people I've ever met.
I came home around 4 so I could talk to Tom and spent time with my roommate Robyn, eating left over biriyani rice. Around 7 I took a delicious nap.
When I woke up everyone was in a buzz because my friends Hada (french girl of moroccan origin) and Khadijah were getting ready to go to a wedding. Khadijah is our resident beauty expert as she has a degree in hair and make-up from a saudi university. I got sucked into the whole process. I helped by lending my make-up, watching Hada's son (who I made cry because i wouldn't let him smack Mounia's infant son Humsa), taking pictures, giving my opinions, and so forth. I don't know why it was so much fun. there was something so warm about it, all of us running from one apt to the other. Khadijah wore a beautiful teal colored dress and looked amazing. Hada wore a traditional moroccan dress that was a gift for her mother. She looked like a queen. Mounia ululated when she saw the two of them. I wish I could post a picture of the two of them but since both are muhajibba (cover their hair) and Khadija is mutanaqibba (covers her face) I can't.
After they left I threw an outfit together and got ready to go to a swanky hotel club called "The Pearl" so we all could go dancing. Jen, Robyn and I grabbed a taxi and met Abir and Meriko there.
Meriko is from Japan, works for Qatar Airways, and one of the most beautiful women I have ever seen in my life. She could easily be a model or actress. She blew me away by telling me she's going to move to the states so that she can go to flight school. homegirl is going to be a pilot!
As Abir was driving us home (no one ever did start dancing so we didn't get to unfortunately) I was prattling on in my drunken glory about how amazing women were. So I'm taking this opportunity to try to elucidate that feeling.
I realized a little ago that I'm happy here in Doha. I complained so much for so long about how much I hated it, but somewhere along the line, after I got back from Christmas, I realized that I'm so happy here. 80% of it has to be these amazing women who surround me. All kinds of women, party girls, philosophers, make-up artists, new mothers, poets, christians, veiled muslims, not-so-veiled muslims, smart-asses, beauties, fire crackers, warriors. I've met amazing women wherever I've been, and it's always made a huge difference, but none so obvious as the one it has made here.
Gender relations in this city are a little strange. it's not just the muslim thing that keeps men and women seperate and causes men to act like idiots in the company of women. It's also that the male to female ratio here is like 5:1 and everyone just gets a little crazy. People always seem suprised that I go out to clubs here, but it's one of the few things to do here. We always go out in packs of girls because the men are so crazy in these places, irregardless of religion or nationality. I wanted to get a t-shirt made that says "I have a boyfriend. I do not want you to buy me a drink nor do I want to have any conversation with you", but there might not be enough room on a t-shirt. My single friends have enjoyed interactions with lots of interesting men and a lot of fun but also a LOT of drama has consequently gone down. Robyn and I went through our phones the other day trying to figure out if we had a single male friend who none of us has experienced any sort of drama with. The search turned up blank except for one gay guy we know.
I think it's these experiences that have made us into a kind of team. This wonderful sense of female 'assabiya (group feeling and camraderie is how I think we translate that) has developed. It's so wonderful.
It's great to be having fun and enjoying myself. I didn't realize how much I was contributing to my own unhappiness before simply by deciding I couldn't be happy. This is much better.
March 26th, 2007
This trip to Turkey has undoubtedly been the most eventful trip I have ever taken in my entire life, and I am probably jinxing myself by saying that since I’m writing this in the hotel lobby as I wait for my airport shuttle. Who knows what else can go wrong. I could write about what a thoroughly amazing time Tom and I had together. We prove to be good traveling buddies, a huge thing in my mind. But I think it will be more fun to write about the series of things that happened on this trip.
I was supposed to leave Doha at 6:30 last Thursday evening. No problem. It’s a short flight to Sharjah where I was to connect to Istanbul. Well, there was a giant freaking sandstorm in Doha that day. My flight left 2 hours late and I literally RAN to get onto the plane bound to Istanbul. As I am running on I say to the employee “Sir, I’m really scared that my bag won’t get to Istanbul.” He says there will absolutely be no problem at all. HAH!
On the long flight to Istanbul I’m seated next to a lovely Turkish couple who keep feeding me oranges and pistachios. My limited Turkish somehow renders me Pamuk in their eyes, and when the time came for them to order some food they ask me translate what there is for them to chose. There were muffins, vegatable soup, and chicken soup. Ok then. I don’t know the word for muffin, had forgotten chicken (I am an idiot) and for some reason recalled the Persian word for vegetable before the Turkish one, luckily it sound similar. My Turkish translation was “well, there are nice little….cakies. then there is soup. Uhh, meat of animal…bird, and vurgatables”
I get to Istanbul….lo and behold. My bag did not. I am flying an airline called Airarbia which only goes to Istanbul twice a week. I am informed then that my bags won’t get there until Monday. This was Thursday night.
I am a little bit of wreck, but gamely get on a bus to go to my hotel. As I am going my anxiety totally faded, because Istanbul is so beautiful, so incredible, that I’m happy again. Later, having been groped by the taxi driver I arrive safely at my hotel, and fall asleep.
I wake up recharged. Tom wasn’t coming for another day. So I decide to have some breakfast then go buy some toothpaste and underwear. I get ready to go…and lo and behold I cannot get out of my room. I had broken the lock by turning it too many times the night before. Seriously, physically, I cannot leave my room. I pick up the phone and try to call the front desk. No dice, the phone doesn’t work. I try calling out to the workers working near my room, but my Turkish doesn’t cover “I locked myself into my room”. I look outside and see that my room is facing the street and I’m only on the second floor. I realize I can probably just climb out. I had a leg and my face out when an employee noticed me, begged me to stay put, and sent a man on a ladder up to climb into my room and liberate me. Good times (but wait, it will get better!)
I spend the rest of the day shopping, drinking beer, and then went out with a friend that night.
The next day, wearing my new Turkish underwear, my beloved black swacket, and my ever graying white pants, I get ready to go to the airport to meet Tom’s flight. He was flying from Chicago to Warsaw to Istanbul. About an hour before I was supposed to go I check my email. Lo and behold, the entire left side engine of his plane from Chicago had failed and he was stranded in Stavanger, Norway. Don’t know where Stavanger is? Neither did I! Good times good times.
I check into another hotel and spend the night eating and drinking bear and reading a kickass Irving novel.
Tom spent the day in Norway, and romantic that he is remembered that I LOVE this one kind of Norwegian cheese and bought me a huge brick. He made it to Warsaw around midnight and was put up in a hotel there. He arrived in Istanbul the next day.
I met Tom and the airport and we had a glorious romantic reunion. Oooh, I love Tom!
We go to bed. I’m happy to have my Tom and to know that my bags will be coming the next morning and I can finally change my pants.
We wake up. No bag! Have to wear the pants again. We go to this beautiful island in the Marmara sea. We ride bikes, we drink wine, we eat, we kiss, it’s all wonderful. We go back to the hotel. No bags. I make the concierge call the airport. Apparently my bags are physically in Turkey, but as the airline I flew has no ground staff in Turkey, I am at the mercy of the cargo dept who will deliver my bag “when they can”. Thankfully, 11am the next morning. I finally got to change my pants.
We spend 2 nice uneventful days.
Thursday rolls around. Tom sleeps in and I eat breakfast in the hotel by myself. I promptly throw up. I feel ok after, figure nothing is wrong. My back is hurting. Again, I disregard it. We spend the day shopping at the huge bazaar. Well, around 9 that night we go out for some food and I’m hit with the HUGEST wave of nausea that has ever hit a person in the history of Nausea. I barely make it back to the hotel room where I proceed to puke all night. I eventually fall kind of asleep, spend the night in a feverish haze accompanied by tom talking in his sleep.
The next day I feel AWFUL. I send tom out to the pharmacy with a note explaining that his girlfriend is very ill and needs medicine for nausea. He comes back with pills that keep me from puking, although not from feeling that I might need to puke. And my back, this entire time is aching like none other. I kept going to sit in the shower hoping that the warm water will help. It does for about a second then goes back to aching. Finally around 11pm we decide that perhaps I’m not going to get better on my own and we venture out to the American hospital in Istanbul, where surprisingly people don’t exactly speak English. Strange, huh?
Because my Turkish is so ass I’m immediately sent to be examined. I guess it’s hard to triage someone who can’t describe what’s wrong. I could have ingested deadly poison but would have had no way to describe this. I meet a handsome nice doctor who pokes me and literally punches me in the bag. He runs tests and determines I have a bowel infection and a kidney infection (I think?). He gets a consult to make sure I don’t need surgery (!) and then tells me he will give me fluids, anti-nauseau meds, pain meds, and hard core antibiotics through an IV “In your wing”. Tom remarks that this might mean I’m an angel, and coming from un-romantic silly Tom this made me cry, because he is great. I then have an IV put in my forearm (that was a new place) and I slowly SLOWLY start to feel better and drift off to sleep. Tom sat by me and occasionally I would feel him stroke my neck or brush hair off my face. As I drifted off I remember thinking that I had never felt more loved. We got back to the hotel around 5am, me armed with 2 different kinds of antibiotics and pages and pages of my various test results, all in Turkish.
The next day I’m much betterish, and I am able to go out for lunch, in which I drank some water and had a teaspoon of yogurt.
I’m pissed that I got sick and lost two whole days of sightseeing.
I leave for the airport soon and still have yet to manage much in the way of food. Juice is good thoughJ I don’t think I’ll ever eat again.
I love Tom.
March 17th, 2007
eeek @ 02:16 pm
İ was supposed to meet tommys plane today at 5. but on route from Chicago to warsaw where he was connecting they had to land in norway because of engine problems. so this is where he is stranded now. İm anxiously waiting news and trying not to freak out which would be useless.
İ love him so much. having terrible what if thoughts. what if they had not landed. what if....
so scary and awful
March 9th, 2007
Me: Katrina no! White girls can't dance
Katrina: Yes you can...bitch!
all of us on multiple occasions:I'm Rick James, bitch!