Saturday, July 29, 2006

horray for facials!

I love facials. There is a place in Dallas that I used to go to for spa treatments and they had the absolute best facials... the Crescent Spa Club. The girls working there were always so professional and you always got the best service. Before having spa treatments, you always slipped into a comfy white cotton robe, slippers and sipped on the best beverages while waiting for your particular treatment. The waiting room always had a relaxing atmosphere with soft music, candles, plush sofas... everything to take away the cares of the day. The treatment rooms were always dimly lit w/ soft music playing in the background, smelled nice and all the equipment was the latest and greatest. Prior to having your facial, they'd always rub your hands down with heavy lotions and then slip them into warm mitts to condition them during the hour-long process. The rooms were always quite chilly but they'd cover you with heavy, warm blankets which made for a perfect, comfy experience - at least for me.

Since being in Bahrain, I've tried several different places and I must admit that it's been difficult to find a place that I really like... although, I will say that I've now gone twice to the Pineapple Spa and have had two different types of facials from Mary, and I've been pretty impressed with the spa, her skills and the ambiance of the entire place. She has 14 years of experience and I think it shows... even though - sometimes - she rushes through things, which makes me a bit nervous. The facials are great though. I had the deep cleansing facial last week and the rejuvinating facial on Thursday morning - both were fabulous. They use all natural products and ummmm... do they smell good! So good that I think I could eat them. :)

The treatment rooms have a very professional layout. They also dim the lights and have nice music playing in the background which is very soothing and it relaxes you immediately. Altho, the rooms aren't as quiet as I'd like - they're all open at the top so you can hear everything that's going on - if ppl are walking around outside and such - which I don't like. Because - and I hate to say it but it's the truth - many ppl here don't have respect for clients and such procedures and will talk and laugh loudly when they're in the vicinity of such rooms which can be disturbing and I don't like it. Especially if you're having a massage - I always like peaceful and quiet places when having a massage - because who wants to hear ppl talking and laughing when you're trying to relax!

Anyway... the rooms smell very nice - lots of potpourri and scented oils and candles. They have showers in the rooms - one room even has a large tub - and it's all very relaxing but professional. I even had a leg wax the other day and she's much better than I've had in the past - which was a welcomed change. They also cover you in warm towels - the rooms are quite cool, which I really enjoyed.

I've also wanted to try the Ritz Carlton because they have some really nice sounding facials but to be honest, I CAN NOT imagine paying the price they want for facials. What if they're no better than this place and I've paid three times the amount.... just can't see it. Why is it that these places make it impossible for the average joe to enjoy their services. Just doesn't seem right to me. But I guess when you're extremely wealthy, you don't want to be having a manicure or facial w/ the average joe's of Bahrain! Seriously though... it sure would be nice to find a place that only did spa treatments w/ dark rooms down in the basement that were so quiet you could hear a pin drop! Now.. that's relaxation!!

Friday, July 28, 2006

Cedrik, our Persian furrbaby :)

This is lil Cedrik. In this pic, taken about 2 yrs ago - when we lived w/ my in-laws - it shows him after having most of his fur cut away... because he's actually quite massive when he has all of his fur (if you'd like to see a pic go to my flickr acct and there's one of him there).

He hates to have his picture made and refuses to look at the camera most times... he's very stubborn that way. His full name is Ludwig Von Cedrik and he's a full blooded persian kitty. We got him in the States about 4 yrs ago when he was just 7 wks old. I'll never forget the day we saw him at the pet store. He was so shy and timid and wouldn't play. He didn't have any life it seemed. When we took into a room to play w/ him, it took about 15 mins for him to come to life - figuratively speaking. He was so unhappy there and was the only persian kitty. He made no sounds.... and seemed really depressed. I had never had a persian - a friend of mine had four of them and they all were so highly emotional, independent and intelligent - and as we soon found out, Cedrik was very similar.

Cedrik is a sweet kitty and can be quite vocal when wanting kitty treats and will even go so far as to open the cupboard door to get what he wants. He loves to roll over on his back and look at me and then cry in his baby cry to get what he wants. He's soooooo spoiled and usually always gets what he wants.. so he knows how to work it!! My husband tells me not to spoil him... but look at him... how do you not!??

He's extremely independent... doesn't really like to be held or kissed and such. He's a boy's boy and only wants babied when he wants it, and only then. He loves to sleep in our bedroom at night and when he's ready for me to get up, he'll come up to my head and w/ his paw will take his claws and grab ahold of either my pillow, the covers or my sleepwear and pull it towards him.... he'll continue to do this until I look at him. He usually wants to be rubbed and talked to, and if he doesn't get what he wants and I make him get down, he'll go and get on one of the tables or dresser and knock something off to get my attention. He's a real brat when he wants to be. And believe me, he knows what he's doing and all I have to do is say his name and he scurries away! But... if I haven't gotten up or called for him to come, he'll be up on something else within no time and doing the same thing again. Really, he's too clever for his own good!

Cedrik loves to play w/ the other kitties and will chase after them... running sideways and puffing up his fur and tail... it's so cute and he really thinks he's tough. He's really a little coward and we think he's gay! ;) He's never had any interest in the girls, altho he does run and play w/ Porsche - she adores him - so... I guess he does have a fondness for her... but he was fixed when he was quite small, so maybe that's why.

He loves to go outside when it's cool, loves to watch the birds and eat grass. He never tries to runaway or get out of the yard... he's a very good little kitty.

Cedrik hates to go to the vet, have his claws cut, have his fur cut and such. He does this thing where it sounds like he's hyperventilating and having little kitty heart attacks when he doesn't get what he wants. He'll squirm and try to get away and when all else fails, he gets really mad and will cry in his meannest cry... to let you know he means business! Me and the hubby laugh usually which only pisses him off more and then... he'll use his claws. Today he did just that. We were shaving his fur - cause we had a scare w/ him day before yesterday because of the heat - and he can't stand it. He refuses to lay still, will squirm and try to get away, cry out, breathe heavy... and then when all else fails, he digs his claws into me to get away. Just a while ago, he dug them into one of my toes in order to get what he wanted. So.. needless to say, I screamed and let the little brat go. See... he got what he wanted!

He's fine w/ his fur looking all punk! If it stayed 3 or 4 different layers, he's be fine w/ it. It is cute that way.... but w/ this weather, he has to have it all shaved away, which is the hardest thing to do w/ this little boy. In the past, we've had to cut his fur w/ shears, but last night we found a shaver and have been using it today to cut away the knotts and tangles and to give him a good shaving. But he's having no part of it! He'll lay still for maybe 5 minutes... maybe, but then he usually gets fed up and wants to end it.... but we both hold him down and try to cut away as much fur as possible until he has his final fit. Which, like I said, he did... so we'll have to cut more later today.

Day before yesterday - in the morning - I went downstairs to find him laying by the water bowl w/ his mouth open, breathing heavy, panting and making horrible sounds. It terrified me. When I called out to him, he just cried more. He got up and then plopped himself down again and cried some more. I knew something was wrong - which was probably the heat. I turned on the kitchen a/c and took him in there, but nothing seemed to help. When my husband came downstairs, we scooped him up and put him in the sink to give him a real soaking. It was his first bath and I was pretty surprised at how well he handled it. He didn't cry at all but tried to get out a few times. He let me soak him good and proper and then we put him down on the floor so that I could towel him off a bit... and after that he walked off and plopped himself down out in the hall... panted some more but seemed to feel better.

This heat is bad for animals. It's especially bad for him because he has so much fur. I can't imagine how tough it is for the cats that live on the streets.

We also call Cedrik 'cream cake' and 'lil boy'.... he loves all affection shown to him but can't stand other kitties to get his attention. If he's on the bed and another kitty jumps up, he usually jumps down. He wants all the attention when he's ready for it and nothing less will do!

hmmm... Cedrik is such a sweet kitty cat and I can't imagine life w/out him. I'm so glad we got him years ago.... he's brought such a joy to our kitty household!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Am I seeing things or was that Fonda??

Not much to write about... but thought I'd make a quick entry. Have had a horrid headache for the last few days, thankfully it's gone today. I took off of work yesterday because of it and rested a lot... and late in the afternoon, I guess around 3:00 pm or so, I saw some green object over in the tree across the street, so I got up and went to the window.... AND GUESS what/who I think I saw??!!!!

Fonda! I don't know if it was her, but it looked just like her. She was climbing around in my FIL's tree across the street.... just having a great time, it seemed like. She was eating the leaves or thoroughly enjoying something on that tree. I opened the window, snapped a few quick photos (I'll post them here in a little while - when I get home - but they're not real clear or close up), heard her snapping a few tree branches... and then I decided to call her name. After I said "Fonda", the bird, if it was her, looked over in my direction and held the gaze for a few seconds... I called again. She stopped what she was doing and looked in my direction another time and then continued to break branches and climb around in the tree. She was so cute and so free. I wanted to let Henry go when I saw this... all I kept thinking was how much happier he'd be to be out there w/ Fonda or that bird, climbing around in the trees... free.

I wish my husband had been home so he could have seen her... She stayed in that tree for probably a good 10 minutes.... and then when she flew off, she squawked loudly as if to say hello to Henry. Well, Henry heard her. He started squawking back... and I found myself wondering if he thought about her.... or if he knew something I didn't know. Was it Fonda? Was she saying hello to him? I guess in a perfect world, that could easily be the case... but in all actuality, I don't even know if it was Fonda.

I know the other green birds that I've seen over in that tree aren't as big as Henry and Fonda.... they're the smaller parakeets like the ones we have (Oprah & Stedman). But this one is bigger, like Henry. I hope it was Fonda. I hope she survived getting out of our house... however that happened.

Now, I only wish I could set Henry free... to fly free... to live free of cages.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

pissy mood??!!

where do i begin???

why oh why oh why can't i just say no?!!

once again i find myself in the clutches of someone wanting me to do their homework assignment. this happened so much a few months back that i actually thought i was back in college!

altho today, i decided to sit and play stupid. i finally told them that i'm not going to do their homework assignment - that i'll look it over and tell them if something is grammatically incorrect, but i'm not doing the assignment. and honestly, i don't even think i should be checking or correcting their grammar! isn't that what the teacher is supposed to do? isn't that why they're taking english classes??? how in the world are they to learn if they don't make mistakes? the teacher will never know that they don't have a clue... if they don't make the mistakes. the thing is... ppl are lazy and don't want to learn. i realized this when i was teaching! and i see it all too often now... when i'm asked to do the assignments for others.

in the states, if you are taking a foreign language class and don't know the grammar or don't know how to speak the language, you don't pass the class. i've noticed that in Bahrain, ppl pass the classes even when their english isn't as good as it should be... especially to be taking such advanced classes in english. why is that? why aren't there stricter rules on such? money comes to my mind... the more ppl you have in class, the more money you make!

months ago, i was doing some major homework for the 'Graduate'... including reading, researching, answering questions - the whole nine yards - and their english isn't all that great, but they just finished their four-year degree. now... how is this possible? believe me... this person is really smart... very nice... dedicated... but their english skills aren't what they should be. so how could this be? how were they passed and how did they graduate?

i know this may sound bitchy... but you know, i'm just really tired of doing homework assignments for ppl. i'm not in college any more and i don't want to be. if i did, i'd be taking classes... BUT I'M NOT. and come to find out, i'm not the only one. a friend of mine experiences the same at her workplace. she's had to do homework assignments for ppl... i find that it's a trap that's hard to get out of... once you say "yes", then it becomes a ritual.

this person today, i believe, really wanted me to read the 4 or 5 page printout they had and they even handed it to me, and they wanted me to do the assignment or rather tell them what it all meant, but i just don't wan't to do it!!... and so, i finally made myself say no. yeah, they whined and complained that they had other assignments to do and didn't understand this one... but i'm not the teacher, how do i know what their teacher wants from them? why is it my job to clarify everything? because my native tongue is english? i don't think so.

why aren't the teachers noticing this stuff? don't they talk to their students? i mean, these classes aren't lecture halls filled w/ 200+ students... so what's the prob w/ the teacher? why in the hell isn't he/she more interested in his students' education? the teacher is the one that should be noticing that they can't speak english! why are these students being passed???

my problem is... i'm too nice and just don't say no as often as i should. then i wind up getting in a pissy mood over it because i'm not tough and stern w/ them. but you know, whenever i get like this and stand my ground, i get ppl asking why i'm in a bad mood or what's wrong w/ me. i swear if i don't let ppl walk all over me, then i have the problem.

and like i said, i'm not the only one. since my husband knows english well, he gets a lot of the same from some high ups.... he'll get ppl handing over their child's homework assignments and such - wanting him to make the corrections or revisions. it puts you between a rock and hard place... you don't want to do it but how do you say no to a superior?

i mean, come on... when is someone going to hold the student responsible for his/her own work??!!!! if you have parents doing this crap... no wonder you get kids that are too lazy to do the homework themselves!

i guess i should make an addt'l note w/ respect to the Graduate i speak of... and others who are in college but not getting a good education... i would have to say that i believe it falls on the shoulders of the teachers more often than not to make sure their students are learning. i know they can't take care of everyone... you can't baby people and make them learn - there has to be a wanting desire to learn on their part - but... i also believe that there are teachers in this country who aren't qualified! i know there were many times when Graduate would come to me and not have a clue w/ respect to their homework assignment. why is that? why didn't the teacher thoroughly explain the assignment and make sure each and every student understood? or maybe they did... and this person and others just don't understand the language enough to grasp it... i'm not sure but i know something needs to be done!

when i first came to bahrain, i taught school. i taught english as a second language and also taught conversation english classes. i'm not a teacher. i'm not qualified to be a teacher.. i don't have a teaching degree... and i don't speak arabic fluently! i personally believe that in order to teach students a foreign language you should 1) have a thorough knowledge of the language you're teaching or subject you're teaching and 2) know the language of your students. how else can they truly learn?! i wonder if these college professors know arabic!?

Saturday, July 22, 2006

the weekend

Well, haven't been posting lately... it's been probably 4 days or so. Haven't had a lot to talk about really.. the whole situation in Beirut has me sad and I just don't seem to have the energy to post. I guess I'm suffering from laziness and moodiness of the mind....

Yesterday me and the hubby decided to make a quick trip to the mall to pick up his watch from repair - this was at about 4 pm - and as we were rounding the first corner to leave the neighborhood, we saw those big trucks that carry the riot police down the block, and as we got closer to the end of our street, we saw two armed policemen - riot police w/ BIG guns and such - standing and checking ppl as they drove thru. The whole next street was filled w/ riot police in both directions - as far as you could see. At the corner, there were probably another 30 riot police armed w/ shields, battons, guns and such all standing ready for a fight. They had all the streets blocked and weren't allowing any cars into the area. I had my camera... but because of what happened once when we went by the American Embassy when I pulled out my camera... I decided against trying to snap a picture!

We were able to leave, but I seriously feared what would be waiting upon our return - altho my husband said not to worry. We stayed at the mall for probably an hour and on our drive back, most all the roads leading to our neighborhood were blocked. As usual, no one was allowed to enter. We've encountered this before but never in our own neighborhood - which is relatively quiet and usually very safe. I mean, we've had the occasional break-in here and there, trash bins being spray-painted w/ cuss words and naked ladies, metal doors being stolen - but overall, it's a good neighborhood!

After taking the necessary back roads, we were finally able to get on the main road out by Nasser Pharmacy and as we neared our turnoff, we pulled up to the cop and he decided to be nice and allow us access into our neighborhood. This was after my husband showed his identification and after sitting for a few minutes and talking to him.

The riot police were gone - the ones w/ the guns and shields, but the trucks remained and the guys dressed in the grey, black and white camaflouge outfits were still there. I have no idea how long they stayed but everyone in the neighborhood seemed to be out watering their lawns along the road.

We never heard anything but at about midnight my husband looked outside and all the streetlights were out. Don't know if it had anything to do w/ it, but it makes ya wonder.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

We downloaded and watched The Breakup last night. It stars Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughn. I really like Jennifer Aniston and since she seems to be coming into her own w/ acting and such, I thought it would be a good movie... plus, the reviews have been really good. So needless to say, I was quite thrilled when my husband surprised me w/ the download!! I was one happy lil camper!

For a download, the quality was great. We watched it on the puter while eating on the bed.... quite romantic I must admit! ;)

The movie was good. I won't give any spoilers (ok, maybe just a couple) cuz there's prob a lot of ppl who haven't seen it yet... but I'll say this... I did find it to be sad and very touching. It felt very real - unlike a lot of other movies similar to this, and it touched on some very 'every day' topics that could lead to some extreme emotions.

*********Little spoiler - One topic/situation that I thought was great was how they had Vince Vaughn's character playing video games and not really being attentive to her - especially w/ the dishes. No one likes to do dishes... but the whole point was to do them together... to help out... to be there... to be a 'part of'. His attitude towards it, his comments and her reactions were so real. I could actually feel for both characters... I felt sorry for them. Sorry that they couldn't communicate what they both so desperately wanted. **************


I liked everything about the movie. It didn't disappoint me whatsoever... and, unlike most movies, I didn't figure out the ending - which is even sweeter! Altho, I did long for it to be different.

There are so many rumors surrounding Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughn. I read Ted Casablanca's site most days and he swears that their union is for publicity and publicity ONLY. I looked for chemistry between the two during the movie and they had ok chemistry but I'm not sure that it's enough for marriage. There are many out there who swear they're about to get engaged, have them looking for homes together, and all that jazz... but whose to say.

I know the movie is good and they both are good actors and did a great job. The other characters are good... the girl who plays Jennifer's good friend is the same girl that was in that movie Chasing Amy - which I loved. This is the first time I've seen her acting in a while... and she was really good as well.

It's hard to imagine that Jennifer did this movie during her break-up w/ Brad Pitt. My pissy comments on the matter is that she's better off w/out him. I can't stand him personally and he and Angelina deserve each other! She's a man eater anyway... so it's only a matter of time!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

he's a dumbass

At the G8 luncheon yesterday, U.S. Prez, Billy Bush, didn't realize his mic was on and made the following comments to Tony Blair... it's laughable and humiliating to see how truly stupid our President is!

ST PETERSBURG, Russia (Reuters) - A microphone picked up an unaware President Bush saying on Monday Syria should press Hezbollah to "stop doing this sh--" and that his secretary of state may go to the Middle East soon.

Bush was talking privately to British Prime Minister Tony Blair during a lunch at the Group of Eight summit in St Petersburg about an upsurge of violence in the Middle East, not realizing a microphone was transmitting what he said.

"I think Condi (Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is going to go pretty soon," Bush said.

Blair replied: "Right, that's all that matters, it will take some time to get that together."

Rice said on Sunday she was thinking of going to the Middle East if it would help.

Blair said Rice has "got to succeed" if she goes to the region.

Bush replied: "What they need to do is to get Syria to get Hezbollah to stop doing this sh--."

The U.S. president blames Syria and Iran for supporting Hezbollah guerrillas operating in southern Lebanon.

Bush also seemed to complain about U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan wanting an immediate ceasefire to stop the violence between Israel and Hezbollah. "I don't like the sequence of it," Bush said. "His attitude is basically ceasefire and everything else happens."

Blair said: "I think the thing that is really difficult is you can't stop this unless you get this international presence agreed."

G8 leaders, in a statement on Sunday, suggested the U.N. Security Council should consider an international security and monitoring presence along the Lebanese-Israeli border. Later, Bush said he felt like telling Annan to telephone Syrian President Bashir Assad "and make something happen."

"We're not blaming Israel and we're not blaming the Lebanese government," he said.

The two leaders also appeared to chat about the Doha Round of world trade talks, stalled by lack of common ground among governments on farm subsidies and intellectual property rights.
"I just want some movement. Yesterday I didn't see much movement, the desire to move," said Bush.

"It may be that it's impossible," Blair replied.

Ultimately Blair noticed the microphone and hastily switched it off, but not before the recording had reached news media.

In the chummy conversation between long-time allies, Bush teased the British leader about a sweater Blair had apparently given him.

"Thanks for the sweater, it was awfully thoughtful of you. I know you picked it out yourself," Bush said. "Oh, absolutely," said Blair.

This courtesy of:

You know, I knew Bush was stupid, but I didn't realize how profoundly stupid he is. It does seem that Blair has a head on his shoulders... but it's like he's having to talk to Bush like a baby. How embarrassing for us Americans to have someone in office that has such a complete lack of knowledge of the world and what is going on around him.

Seems like the only thing Billy Bush is interested in are all the photo ops when shaking hands w/ other Presidents and the likes. He always rushes in, grabs the hand and turns to smile his ridiculous smile for the cameras.

WHAT is he thinking????!!

Maybe a good ass whippin would help, but I doubt it. Personally, I think he needs to be dropped down into the war zone over in Iraq and made to co-exist w/ the evildoers... maybe then he'd get a clue. Maybe... but then again, prolly not!

Sunday, July 16, 2006

how to recognize a VIRGO

well... after reading a few blogs by other Virgo's, thought it would be fun to post some info on my sign. i'm a big believer in astrology... don't follow it every day or anything, but i do read about my sign, other people's signs and if i meet someone new, i tend to read up on them. when my SIL had her baby, i read up on the baby's sign... and, believe it or not, the baby is exactly as they described little Taurus babies...

now, i've been searching the net trying to find a good description of my sign. i have found plenty, but i like this one and what it has to say. so... read on and enjoy.

How to Recognize VIRGO

Virgo is the sign of the virgin, but you can't take the symbolism too literally. I can assure you that a September birthday is no guarantee of virginity. Although lots of Virgos remain bachelors and spinsters, there are also plenty who finally settle into connubial bliss. They may not do so with any sudden burst of fire and passion, because marriage is not a natural state for the Virginian nature; yet it's surprising how many of them master its teamwork, and they're almost always devoted to their families.

Married or single, it's fairly simple to spot the Virgo in public. For one thing, he won't be making much noise. He's not exactly garrulous, and he'll stand out as a loner. See that gentle, attractive man over there in the comer, with the thesaurus under his arm? The one with the tick-tock mind, clicking away the hours neatly and methodical­ly noticing the smallest details? If you look closely, you can almost see him measuring each minute for what it's worth. He's a Virgo. See that quiet girl with the beautiful, soft eyes, waiting for the bus? Notice her spick-and-span white gloves, her cool manner. She'll have the exact coins for the fare ready in her hand. She wouldn't dream of asking the bus driver to change a five dollar bill. She's a Virgo.

Social gatherings are not the best hunting grounds when you're searching for these perfectionists. You're more like­ly to find them working late at the office than being gre­garious at a cocktail party. It's not easy for Virgos to relax sufficiently to enjoy the carefree social swim, because they're basically uncomfortable in crowds. They some­times make attempts to follow the party routine, through pure frustration, but duty whistles too insistently to allow for much frivolity. Sometimes, Virgo can make Capricorn look like a good-time Harry, and that's really going some. You'll seldom see them blowing bubbles in the air or building castles in the sand. (it happens!) Virgos are too busy to day­dream, and they're usually too tired at night to wish on stars. (but I do both!!)

The first thing you'll notice about the typical Virgo is the definite impression he gives that there's a serious prob­lem on his mind he's struggling to solve-or a vague feeling that he's secretly worried about something. He probably is. Worry comes naturally to him. One might even say he's affectionately attached to the habit. It's an intangible thing, and elusive, but his delightful smile will always seem to be hiding some great trouble.

Although the ascendant and other natal positions can modify the typical Jack Spratt spare figure, you can gen­erally look for a rather wiry build, and unusually lovely, quiet eyes. Virgo eyes are often so astonishingly clear you can almost see your reflection in them. They sparkle with intelligence and clarity of thought. There's a purity and tranquility of expression on Virgo features that seems to deny those secret worries. Most of them are extremely attractive, with delicate noses, ears and lips. There's cer­tainly no lack of grace and charm, and there may be a bit of vanity which pops up at odd moments. Virgos are very critical of their own photographs and fussy in the extreme about how they look, both on film and in person. If you're observant, you'll catch them primping in front of a mirror when they think no one is looking. They're always well turned out, and usually meticulous, if conserva­tive, dressers. Virgo Maurice Chevalier would rather be caught without a song than without his boutonniere and his tie tack.

The Virgo is normally a small person, certainly no giant, but he's muscular, and he has far more strength than his fragile appearance suggests. These people can stand more intense work over a longer period of time than the tougher, more brawny signs-if they can avoid a nervous breakdown in the process. Although they're ex­ternally capable and cool, inner anxieties gnaw away at them, upsetting their digestion and their emotional balance. Tackling more work than they can safely manage, and then straining themselves to the breaking point to fulfill the obligations is behind many a Virgo's ragged nerves. They were meant to be calm and soothing when their intricate and delicate mechanisms are running smoothly and the wheels aren't clogged with brain fatigue.

Virgos are unquestionably dependable and sincere. Nevertheless, they're capable of pretending to be sick when they don't want to go somewhere or do something. At these times, the latent Virginian talent for acting comes forth. Occasionally, they manage to convince themselves of such imaginary ills, but the cool eye and clear head of Mercury-ruled people insure that most instances of such self-deception are short-lived. They are fastidious and exacting in grooming, eating, working and romance. Your neat Virgo friend who looks as if he just stepped out of the shower probably just did. He takes more baths and showers than any four people you know put together. He also has very precise ideas about health, little patience with laziness, and very few illusions about life and people, even when he's in love. Male or female, romance never clouds Virgo's eyes with a thick enough film to blind him to any existing flaws and shortcomings in either the relationship or in the loved one. To use the idiom of the day, Virgo always "knows where it's at," though the slang-hating Virgos will shrink in distaste from that phrase.

Of course, you shouldn't get the idea that everyone born in late August or September is fussy, prissy and dogmatic. Lots of Virginians shine with a clever Mercury wit-if you catch their side remarks-and they project a bright, Mer­curial charm that's hard to resist. Sophia Loren is a Virgo, which should settle that point once and for all. You may run across a Virgo who is so busy keeping the corners of his (or her) mind neat and orderly that he's become care­less about his clothing or his surroundings, which may fool you when you catch him in an off moment. But wait. Sooner or later you'll find him picking up a pin from the rug, brushing his hair or pinching a piece of lint off his shoulder.

Although they dream very few impossible dreams, Vir­gos often have the inconsistent trait of looking like lovely dreamers-as if they were all wrapped up in the very rain­bows their logical minds refuse to believe in or follow.

When they're annoyed by vulgarity, stupidity or careless­ness, Virgos can suddenly become cranky, irritable, scold­ing and nervous. But most of the time they're gentle folk, and quite nice to have around, especially around the sick room. Some of the finest nurses are born under this sign, full of efficient sympathy and crisp capability. When you have a headache, your Virgo friend is the one most likely to run to the drugstore for you. If you're at his place, he won't have far to go, because there will probably be a miniature drugstore right in his house. His bathroom med­icine cabinet is usually loaded down with patent reliefs for stomach-ache, constipation, upset liver or acid indigestion. Peek inside sometime. He will never take a drug unless he's familiar with each ingredient and how it works, so he'll be an expert at telling you which remedy will be best for your headache, depending on what caused it. Virgos who travel often take their portable drugstores right along with them. They may carry an extra suitcase, just for the pills and bottles. If they're used to a certain brand of soap or lotion, they'll tuck that in, too. It would be a disaster if they happened to get stuck in a town where they didn't sell what the Virgo is accustomed to using. He usually buys his soap' and sundries by the case, because it's cheaper-or at least by the dozen-which is another reason he doesn't like to purchase things en route. Sometimes a Virgo will even tote his own water with him on trips. Don't laugh- do you know what can happen to a person's stomach when .certain foreign bodies in strange drinking water enter the digestive system? Virgos can tell you. When these people form habits, they form habits, and taking a vacation or a business trip is no excuse to break them. If he's used to .keeping his socks in the middle left-hand drawer of the bureau at home, that's where the socks go in the hotel room. If it's one of those bureaus with only three large drawers, and no choice of left or right, it can really hang him up for awhile. He may end up just leaving them in the suitcase, but his sleep will be restless. The next morning, the waitress in the hotel dining room will quickly learn that I when the Virgo says three-minute eggs, he doesn't mean two minutes and forty-five seconds. Or when he says sunny side up, he doesn't mean sunnyside down. And he'll definitely base his tip on her attention to such details. (how true, how true!)

A Virgo may criticize your statements with hairsplitting arguments which drive you wild, but if you are in a jam, he'll also quickly step in to turn things right side up again • with no motive except to serve. If the job you tackled has you so bogged down in boring details you despair of meeting the deadline, Virgo will roll up his sleeves and pitch in willingly. It's not ego that makes him itch to take over when things are in a shambles. It's just that his orderly Mercurial mind can't stand procrastination, neg­lected details or confusion of purpose. He may even straighten things out before he's asked, with no intention of rudeness, because bringing order out of chaos is in­stinctive with him. He's the kind of guest who will happily help the hostess clean up after the party. But he's also the kind of guest who will notice immediately that you have carefully placed the Saturday Review on the coffee table to hide an ugly stain, and arranged the cushions on the couch to cover the cigarette holes.

Like the Libran, Virgo is quick to deny his habits and traits. He has an apparent blindness to his faults and he seems unable to see his own weaknesses in as clear a light as he sees everything else. But the truth is that he does see them-and he sees them in such infinite detail that he can't bear to hear them generalized. Try to tell a typical Virgo he's critical, a worrier, fussy, neat or unusually concerned with diet and health, and you'll face a fiat denial. Who, him? He's not like that at all. I still have the ten-page letter from a Virgo housewife, written in a tiny, precise handwriting, in which she carefully details all the reasons why the descriptions of her Sun sign don't fit her, never realizing that the very orderly form and length of her hairsplitting complaint was giving her away.

"I'm just not neat," she wrote. "My house is terribly sloppy." But then she continued, "After all, I do have two very small children, who constantly make messes which drive me crazy. I pick up after them every second of the day." (She then proceeded to itemize her endless chores, one by one, very carefully.) "I try to keep things in a particular spot, and I never waste time reading or watching TV like my neighbors do. But things are still untidy when my husband gets home for dinner. I don't think he has any right to complain, because I do work till after mid­night while he's sleeping, getting the house in shape for morning. I couldn't get breakfast in a dirty kitchen. Dirt breeds germs, and sickness spreads fast in a family. But before he leaves for work everything's a mess again. So this neatness thing about Virgos really annoys me. I'm really not neat. I'm also not a worrier nor a hypochondriac. I never criticize my husband's mistakes with the check book, at least not very often, because it's not a wife's place to do that. . . . I'd like to be neat, but what can I do with the children and all? Really, if you could see how they . .." and so on. (Naturally, she carefully included a self-addressed, stamped envelope for a reply.) The last line in her letter wondered, "Can you tell me why the descrip­tions of my Sun sign don't fit me at all?" Someday I plan to have those pages framed and hang them on the wall under a symbol of Virgo.

You should be able to pick out a Virgo in a roomful of people with no trouble. He's incapable of sitting still for very long. After a while, he'll become visibly restless and pace the floor or change chairs like a jumping jack, and project a vague sense of urgency as if he's late for another appointment somewhere. At the same time, the facial ex­pression will portray a certain tranquility, hke a mask. The full damage caused by Virgo's nervous intensity seldom shows completely on the outside, but it surely can mess up the digestive system inside. That's why you'll often find them carrying a roll of Turns for the tummy.

You won't find those people lavish in affection or in spending money. They're normally prudent in both areas, giving their love quietly and steadily with little demonstrativeness, and handling cash just as conservatively. Strangely, as willing as Virgos are to give efficient service to others, they have an almost neurotic and intense dislike of accept­ing favors themselves. They don't want to be obligated to anyone for any reason. And they don't want to depend on anyone but themselves for anything. The deeply imbedded fear of dependence in old age is what makes many of them live so economically as to be called stingy. But that's really too harsh a word. When there's plenty of security and no need to worry about the future, Virgo will spend money more freely, although even then it will be spent with full value received- -or back to the store for a refund.

Though he has absolutely no sympathy for beggars or idle wastrels, he is unfailingly generous when a friend is in trouble. The Virgo who is almost miserly where his per­sonal needs are involved will make charming gestures of financial aid to those who really deserve it, or to people he really likes or loves. But you'll never find him throwing money away carelessly, because waste is one of his pet peeves. Virgos labor hard for what they have, and extrava­gance never fails to shock them. They usually have a few sharp things to say about spendthrifts and people who are too lazy to work.

There's one thing that will remove some of the sting of Virgo's criticism, however, and that's the knowledge that he's secretly as critical of himself as he is of you. He just can't help seeing the flaws, because he was born to notice the tiniest crack in the vase. He won't take to lateness any more kindly than he does to wastefulness. Actually, to be late is waste of a kind. It's a waste of time, and to Virgo, time is the stuff of which life is made. So be punctual if you want to avoid his stinging disapproval. Frank Sinatra's friends have learned that when the singer says "dinner at eight," he means eight, and not eight-fifteen or eight-thirty. Although Sinatra is a warm, fiery Sagittarian by Sun sign, he does have a Virgo ascendant which also explains why he's so painstaking about rehearsing and such a bug for detail in music arrangements. Every note and every tone must be exactly correct when he records or the session will be repeated until he's satisfied. Add such meticulous and impeccable taste to the Sagittarius fire and warmth and you can see why he sells a song.

It's hard to understand why Virginians are sometimes called selfish, since they usually find more satisfaction in serving others than in satisfying their own personal ambi­tion. The selfish label probably arises from the Virgo ability to say "no" and really mean it. He gives freely of his time and energy, but he won't go beyond the point of reason­ableness. When demands become excessive, Virgo will balk and make his objections quiet clear, perhaps too clear. As much as he loves to point out the flaws of others, he fiercely resents open criticism of his own mistakes. When a Virgo makes an error, which will be rare, point it out tactfully if you want to keep his friendship.

Virgos are surprisingly healthy, in spite of their traveling drugstores (unless they worry themselves into illness through overwork, mental tension and pessimism). They take good care of their bodies and they're fussy about their diets. Still, they may complain about minor ailments, such as upset stomach, indigestion, chronic pains in the intestinal area, headaches and foot problems (remember Vulcan, the lame god). They should baby themselves when they have a chest cold, because they're susceptible to lung ailments if their individual planets are afflicted in the natal chart. They may be plagued with pains in the hips, arms, shoulders- gout, arthritis, rheumatic troubles and sometimes sluggish liver and back aches. But the Virgo's concern about his own health will prevent most serious illness. Many of them are vegetarians. If not, you can bet they know exactly what they should eat and how it should be cooked. Now and then you may come across a germ-conscious Virgo who wears rubber gloves to mix a meat loaf or boils his tooth-brush every night, but that's an extreme. Still, even the average Virgo will be sure to wash his hands with vigor before a meal.

Virgos like cats, birds and small, helpless creatures. They also like truth, punctuality, economy, prudence and discreet selectivity. They hate gushy sentiment, dirt, vulgarity, slop-piness and idleness. Theirs is a practical nature, with excessive discrimination-the true individualists, whose keen perception keeps their desires clear of muddy, wishful thinking. A fresh breeze blows through the dream of a Virgo, sweeping it free of wisps of wild, inaccurate fancies. Once he's learned to master life's complicated details, in­stead of letting details master him, he can shape his own destiny with more certainty than any other Sun sign.

Cool green jade and pure platinum complement him and bring him luck. But Virginian good fortune is always followed by five kinds of loneliness, and duty's clarion call is never still within these gentle hearts. Don't forget that the shy, wistful smile of Virgo hides a secret or two. Both the quicksilver of Mercury and the distant thunder of Vulcan run through his quiet blood, as he dresses in his favorite colors of gray, beige, navy blue, all shades of green and stark white. Underneath his serious manner lies the alluring aura of the Virgin-purity of thought and purpose, symbolized by the Virgo hyacinth. Once you've known the fragrance of this Easter flower, you're never quite free of its spell. It returns each spring to haunt the memory. Virgo has its own, secret way of making the heart remember.

Famous Virgo Personalities

Prince Albert Lauren Bacall Robert Benchley Ingrid Bergman Leonard Bernstein Sid Caesar Maurice Chevalier Theodore Dreiser Queen Elizabeth I Henry Ford II Greta Garbo Arthur Godfrey Goethe John Gunther Lyndon Johnson Elia Kazan Joseph Kennedy Lafayette D. H. Lawrence Sophia Loren H. L. Mencken Walter Reuther Cardinal Richelieu Peter Sellers Robert Taft William Howard Taft Roy Wilkins

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

piercings and tattoos

When I was a young girl - I think I was in the 4th grade - my mom decided to allow me to pierce my ears. I was thrilled and somewhat scared. My mom was always very strict w/ me - she was the disciplinarian in my family - and didn't allow me to do a lot of what the other girls were doing, especially when it came to things to do w/ my body.... i.e. getting my ears pierced - but... for some reason, maybe because of my older sister's urging and my constant asking, she decided I could do it.

My older sister, it was decided, would be the one to do it! Yeah, you may not believe it, but... my sister made little black dots on my earlobes w/ a felt-tipped pen - where I wanted the piercing to be - and that afternoon I was to go to my sister's house and she would pierce not only my ears, but also my niece's ears.

I was so excited. I can remember running to my cousin's house up the street to show her my earlobes w/ the black dots on them. I went home w/ my sister that day and that afternoon we got out the ice and started freezing one of my earlobs. In thinking back... I think I was more excited than afraid... but now... I can't imagine doing such a thing! But anyhow... I can remember sitting w/ the ice on my ear and hoping it would freeze. I mean, how do you know if you're freezing your earlobe? I guess it gets tingly, but I don't remember that happening. I can remember my sister taking a large pin and as I sat very still, she stuck it through my ear.

One ear was finished. I ran into the bathroom and looked... and low and behold, the pin was sticking clean through my ear! I could hardly believe it. It wasn't hurting at all. I was thrilled. She took the pin out and put an earring in. Then... as I sat freezing the other ear, she pierced one of my niece's ears.

Soon, the ear piercing was finished and I had nice little earrings in both my ears. I still have pierced ears today - only one hole in each - altho I've thought about getting more .... I've really thought about getting a few on the top of my ear, I've always liked them there and I've thought about getting one on the inside of the ear - don't know what that part is called - but I asked one girl who had it done and she said it hurt a lot.... AND I HATE pain!!! so... didn't do it.

I've also thought about piercing my nose. When I see girls who have their noses pierced... I always like it, but I can't imagine it. I wonder what that would be like... but I like the way it looks. I've also thought about piercing my naval, but I'm past that stage now, so I guess I'll stick w/ my one little earlobe piercing! ;)

My next favorite things are tattoos! I have three of them. The first one I got was about 8 years ago. I got it on my left ankle and it's a really cool looking cat head w/ eyes, ears, whiskers, nose and mouth. It's beautiful and I'm really glad I got it. It didn't hurt at all really... maybe a little irritating, but I only had to look away and focus my thoughts on something else and, before I knew it, it was done. I got my second tattoo about a year after that. I went with a girlfriend that I worked w/ and this guy who worked w/ us - who wanted a christian symbol on his shoulder - and decided to go ahead and get another tattoo on my right hip area. I saw one on this girl and really liked it there, so I decided to do it.

This time, it hurt like hell! It took forever to do. It's a weird looking tattoo - very unusual. I can't explain what it looks like but it's sorta like spikes that go in a circular pattern and it kinda resembles a flower ... in a way but not really. It's blue, green and yellow. I was probably leaning over in this guy's chair for about 45 minutes while he gave me this tattoo. At first it wasn't too bad but as he started really getting into it, it started feeling like I was being slowly cut open w/ a razorblade! And I mean slowly. Sweat dripped off of me because of the pain. It's weird how you sit and endure such pain.... all for a tattoo. and... here I hate pain! go figure.

Come to find out, they hurt more when you get them in fatty areas, and since this is a fatty area for most women, it can be one of the most painful areas. Even though, I love it and it looks really cool. Altho, some of the sides of the pattern bled... so it's not real crisp, which pisses me off, but... it still looks nice.

My third tattoo I did right before coming to Bahrain. It's a big butterfly on my lower back. This tattoo took about 45 mins. to an hour to finish, maybe a little longer. It has a lot of colors in it and it's very detailed. And... I'll tell ya, this tattoo caused me the worst pain of all of them. I didn't think she'd ever finish it and I had to bend forward in a chair while she did it... which wasn't real comfortable and then w/ the pain... it was a bad experience. But the butterfly is beautiful and I'm glad I did it. When I bend forward, the tattoo gets really big... which is really cool. But when I stand up, it's normal size.

The girl who did this one was such an artist, which I think is really important when you're getting a tattoo. The guy who did my first tattoo - the cat - was a really good artist as well. I think that most tattoo artists are exceptional at drawing... if they're not, then you don't want them. The guy who did my 2nd tattoo.. looking back, I don't think he was that great.

There's a girl that I know that does tattoos here in Bahrain. My SIL got one from her, but honestly, it's not very good. She got a rose on her left shoulder blade... the lines aren't crisp and the colors aren't bright and beautiful like they should be. Personally, I don't think she's an artist, but she thinks she is. She has tried many times to talk me into getting eyebrow tattoos! I'd never have those things. I know girls that do it here, but... to me, what happens when the style changes and here you have these dark ass tattoos on your eyebrows. Just not worth it.

There are no tattoo parlors in Bahrain. Too religious of a country to have them, I'm assuming. My BIL went to Thailand and got an armband tat. It's really cool looking. My husband has talked about getting one... maybe on our next trip to the U.S. I want a couple more... I saw a really nice one around someone's toe. It was really cute but one guy told me that they come off because of wearing shoes.

The one thing about piercings though... women here pierce their daughter's ears when they're infants. I see women doing this all over really, but I don't agree w/ it. A girl I work w/... she pierced her daughters ears when she was a baby. My friend Cynthia pierced her daughter's ears when she was little... but I just don't know if I'd do it. One... I think that it should be my daughter's decision and not my decision. What if they didn't want their ears pierced?! I may be oldfashioned in a sense... but I just wouldn't do it.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Little black bugs

What are these little black bugs that are invading my cupboards? The other day I found tons of them in my pancake box, so I tossed it. Now, I'm consumed w/ the thoughts of them being in all my other food products. I have no idea what they are but I've seen them before in the bird seed from the pet store or something that looks like them.

They are black, really thin and prob the size of a 1/2 of a centimeter, if that big. They have hard shell type of covering on them and four legs.

I'm wondering what they're interested in. Is it flour or just any type of food product? Does anyone know if there's anything I can do to protect my food products... especially my cake mixes and brownie mixes?! I also have jello boxes in there and I'm afraid they've gotten into everything. I'm also ready to take it all out and put everything in plastic bags.

I hate the bugs here.... uurrgghhhh! During this time of year, ants are everywhere. We get the itty bitty tiny ants that you can hardly see that crawl over the counters looking for food, and then we get these big knarly ants that crawl on the floor wanting to attack my cats if they get close to the food bowls... and then there are these dreaded flying ant things that will come in if you open the door or window as they're flying by.... and now... I have these black bugs.

Is there anything I can do to get rid of them? Do they die on their own or will they get into everything inside my cupboard?? The ones inside the bird seed don't die, it seems. They last for weeks on end, but I keep them tightly inside the plastic bucket until they make their way into the bird's bowls. Also, do they like other things as well or just certain things?

Now I understand why my MIL keeps her salt and pepper sitting in water. Never understood it before or saw the real significance of it, but I do now!!

Saturday, July 08, 2006

a really good funny - Baby Photographer

The Smiths And The Baby Photographer

The Smiths were unable to conceive children and decided to use a surrogate father to start their family. On the day the proxy father was to arrive, Mr. Smith kissed his wife goodbye and said, "Well, I'm off now. The man should be here soon."

Half an hour later, just by chance, a door-to-door baby photographer happened to ring the doorbell, hoping to make a sale.

"Good morning, Ma'am", he said, "I've come to....'' "Oh, no need to explain," Mrs. Smith cut in, embarrassed, "I've been expecting you."

"Have you really?" said the photographer. "Well, that's good. Did you know babies are my specialty?""Well that's what my husband and I had hoped. Please come in and have a seat." After a moment she asked, blushing, "Well, where do we start?"

"Leave everything to me. I usually try two in the bathtub, one on the couch, and perhaps a couple on the bed. And sometimes the living room floor is fun. You can really spread out there."

"Bathtub, living room floor? No wonder it didn't work out for Harry and me!"

"Well, Ma'am, none of us can guarantee a good one every time. But if we try several different positions and I shoot from six or seven angles, I'm sure you'll be pleased with the results."

"My, that's a lot!" gasped Mrs. Smith.

"Ma'am, in my line of work a man has to take his time. I'd love to be in and out in five minutes, but I'm sure you'd be disappointed with that.""Don't I know it," said Mrs. Smith quietly.

The photographer opened his briefcase and pulled out a portfolio of his baby pictures. "This was done on the top of a bus," he said.

"Oh my God!" Mrs. Smith exclaimed, grasping at her throat.

"And these twins turned out exceptionally well - when you consider their mother was so difficult to work with."

"She was difficult?" asked Mrs. Smith.

"Yes, I'm afraid so. I finally had to take her to the park to get the job done right. People were crowding around four and five deep to get a good look."

"Four and five deep?" said Mrs.. Smith, her eyes wide with amazement.

"Yes", the photographer replied. "And for more than three hours too. The mother was constantly squealing and yelling - I could hardly concentrate, and when darkness approached I had to rush my shots. Finally, when the squirrels began nibbling on my equipment , I just had to pack it all in."

Mrs. Smith leaned forward. "Do you mean they actually chewed on your,"

"It's true, Ma'am, yes. Well, if you're ready, I'll set-up my tripod and we can get to work right away."


"Oh yes, Ma'am. I need to use a tripod to rest my Canon on. It's much too big to be held in the hand very long."

Mrs. Smith fainted.

Monday, July 03, 2006

2nd post for today.... phew.....

well... i just couldnt help but to post on a few other issues that have been on my mind...

first, our dryer is being installed today and i'm tickled pink! i have tons of clothes to wash, since i hate hanging them on the line to dry - didn't mind this in the States but don't like doing it here - in the States, if you live in a good place/town, there's always this nice smell that comes w/ hanging clothes on the line... but not here. not that it's terrible or anything, i just don't like it. i think the big thing is you don't get the same smell.... and then the sun tends to bleach things out, which i'm not found of. but hopefully today i'll go home and have a nice dryer to use. i can hardly wait.

two... last night i made a stop at Al Jazeera supermarket and something that always miffs me is the way the girls throw your food when checking you out. i don't mind regular items being thrown but what gets me is when they throw my fruit. i take a lot of care to pick out just the right pieces of fruit... making sure there are no bruises and such or bad places on the fruit AND it never fails... when i get home, my fruit is bruised. same thing last night. i get home, start putting away groceries and my nectarines are bruised. a few of them have major places in them. it drives me insane!!!! aarrrghhhhhh!

you know, i always tell them not to throw my fruit or not to throw things on top of my fruit, but they don't listen. why is this? why don't these ppl care about what they're doing? they just toss the food to the place where you bag it w/out a care in the world. they look at me in a crazy fashion when i tell them not to throw my fruit. sometimes i make a point of telling them before they ever get to the fruit... but still, it makes no difference. do these ppl have training? do they buy their own groceries? do they enjoy eating bruised and damaged fruit?

and then the baggers... some have no clue when bagging groceries. for the most part, i have no probs w/ them, but some of them i want to slap. when i go to Al Osra/Spinney's in Sa'ar, i don't notice this as much - the baggers seem to be a lot better there. at Al Jazeera they all seem to have issues.

most of the check-out girls have a bit of an attitude and seem to dislike their jobs. which, is their own business... but... i really wish they wouldn't throw and bruise my fruit! what is it about throwing your items after scanning them? it's as if they can't be bothered and how dare i say something to them.

i can't help but to compare things to the States... and i'm doing it once again in relation to this. never have i had a prob in the States w/ the checkout ppl throwing my food and fruit. they slide it to the appropriate place to be packed in bags. the baggers place your items in the bags nicely and neatly... never damaging or flattening your bread (which happens a lot here!)....

i don't know... maybe it's a cultural thing.

What is it about Arab guys?

Yesterday I clocked out from work and headed out to the parking lot only to find my hubby w/ the sleeves of his thobe rolled up preparing to fix our flat tire! Beemers are nice but it's a pain in the butt to fix a flat tire on one of these things. For one, to figure out how to get the spare to release from the bottom of the car takes a Ph.D.... it took probably 15 minutes to figure this part out, alone. Thankfully, four other guys came out to help and we got it fixed in prob 30 minutes.

I must say that Arab guys are the **best** when it comes to helping out a stranger or a friend. It doesn't matter how long it takes, they are willing to do whatever to get the job done, and that's really an awesome feeling. These guys pulled out supplies from their cars, got dirty, sweaty, and did all of this in temps of about 120 degrees, if not hotter! No kidding. It was 42 celcius yesterday (not taking into acct. the humidity) and they were all working in the sun to get this tire changed. I must say... unless you're a female, American guys, usually, aren't helpful like this. You could probably wait for hours in a parking lot w/out one single person offering to help you... unless, like I said, you happen to be a female. I guess that's why ppl pay for AAA and such in the States.... just a phone call away and they're out to help you fix flats and such... but wouldn't it be nice if ppl were as friendly and helpful?

I remember a car accident I had about 8 yrs ago... I totalled my RX-7 on I-35 in Dallas and NO ONE stopped to help me at first, and this was during rush hour traffic - so you KNOW that ppl saw what happened. Finally, I guess after about 15 minutes or so, some guy stopped and offered me a ride. So nice to think back on it... I was in shock pretty much... the accident was terrible - I lost control of my car and hit the cement medium in the middle of the highway not once, but twice, while weaving in and out of traffic. What surprises me the most is that I didn't hit any other cars... I can remember my steering wheel going crazy and I couldn't gain control of the car to save my life. It was a terrifying experience and it taught me a huge lesson... but... what shocks me more is that no one stopped to help immediately. Thank God I wasn't hurt!

But anyway... this isn't the only time I've had trouble and no one helped.... and I'm a girl... so imagine some guy needing help in the city... no one gives a crap. In the country and smaller towns, you have better luck cuz ppl know each other and are more friendly, but in the cities ppl shy away from helping strangers. It's a shame really.

When my husband and I were in Beirut, the ppl were really helpful and friendly there as well. We got lost and prob 8 strangers, no lie, stopped to talk to us and tell us how to get to where we were going. You know, that's a great feeling! I love friendly ppl... and I really felt that in Beirut. It's a beautiful city w/ beautiful ppl !!

Yeah I know... most of these guys that helped us yesterday know my husband but still... they could have just asked in passing if everything was okay and left it at that, but they didn't. One guy insisted on taking the jack from my husband and started jacking up the car.... I was really surprised and it made me feel really good that they were so willing to jump in and lend a hand w/out even asking. Some ppl are really caring here... and it's nice.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

10-4, this is Kitty Cop, Over.

This is a picture of Charlie (aka Puss, Kitty Cop, Mean Puss). She's a Norweigen Coon. I adopted her from a no-kill shelter in Dallas about eight years ago. She was a kitten then and I got her while doing some volunteer work there. She was a little rebel then and still pretty much is. I could tell right away that she was a little heathen, but I had to have her. What I liked most about her was her spunk. I let her out to play - trying to decide which kitty to adopt - and I can remember her chasing around this little boy cat. It was sooo cute so I had to get her. She had the longest tail I had ever seen on a cat. She'd curl it up like a little pig's tail... refusing to hold it like a 'normal' kitty. She still does this.

Puss is such a smart girl - really intelligent. She's top cat in our kitty household. None of the other cats mess w/ her except for Aimee, whose sorta like her sister (I adopted them together). Aimee has this way of chasing Puss that makes her mad so she'll cry like nothing else when Aimee's gettin' the best of her. But no one else messes w/ Puss. Yumi, our Arab kitty, loves to try to bully her, but she won't allow it. Puss hates Yumi Cat. Most of our cats do... but Puss does the most.

Whenever Puss is on the bed and Yumi tries to get up, 'Puss the Kitty Cop' comes out and will run towards Yumi and force her off the bed. It's funny to watch. She patrols the bed and NO kitty is allowed on the bed unless she decides so. She'll walk the parameter of the bed watching for any kitties wanting to jump up and if they try, she'll act like she's gonna tear them to pieces. but.... she doesn't. She gets tired after about 15 or 20 mins and then allows the other kitties on board. Puss also patrols the house and keeps the cats in line. She takes no crap from any of our other furbabies.

Puss is really good at finding things. When she finds a string that she likes - even if it's attached to my clothing - and I hide it, she'll find it. She watches where I put toys and especially these strings and the next thing I know, she has it... chewing little pieces out of it. She loves to play and will run after about anything. She loves for me to put my hand under the sheets so that she can hear the sound and try to attack whatever she thinks it is under the sheets. I love to play this game w/ her but she's really strong and usually gets ahold of me w/in a matter of seconds, draws blood and I wind up quitting. She's a sore loser tho and will usually wind up getting me one way or another.

When Puss was younger she had bad allergies and her mouth and paws would swell up. I had some testing done at the vet's office and they wound up giving her steroid shots, which I don't recommend. She started eating a lot, gained weight and still has the same problems - sometimes. Now, no matter how little she eats, she can't lose it - so she's a rather big furbaby... weighing in at a little over 15 pounds!

Puss has the sweetest cry of any kitty we have or have ever seen. She doesn't do the normal 'meoooow'.... her cry is more like a 'uuuuuhhhhhh' a whisper sort of tone. It's so cute. She only uses the regular meow when Aimee is trying to get her or when she's mad. When she's mad... watch out!

When I first met my husband, he hadn't been around cats really, and Puss didn't like him. He would try his best to win her over but it took a long time. I can remember when he first starting holding her and he'd start moving his face close to her real fast - back and forth - and one time she tried to get him. Matter of fact, she slapped him. I kept telling him that she was gonna get him but he wouldn't listen and she did. Not hard but just enough to scare him. She still does this sometimes to both of us... just to show who's the boss, I'm sure, cuz she is boss.

He was afraid of her for a while after that... but it taught him not to mess w/ her. She does me the same way when I aggravate her..... I always know when cuz she'll give this look that sorta says, "I'm gonna get ya" and then she'll smack me. She gives me little love bites too. In the mornings when she's ready for me to get up, she'll come up to my face and give me little bites on my cheeks, chin or nose... whatever is out in the open. I'm the only one that she bites - I don't know why - but it's never hard. All I have to say is "owww, Puss, that hurts" and she'll stop.

She never gives lovie bites to the hubby.... except for maybe once.... and she never bites him, no matter how much he makes her mad. In this picture you'll notice that she's on her back.. this is her fav position. Me and my husband both love to give tons of kisses to her stomach and she just lays there and lets us. If he's doing it, I'll tell her how sweet she is and she'll do the little paw massage in the air ... she's sooo sweet! Her belly is soooo soft and the fur is like velvet. I love to give her kisses there.

Puss LOVES cartoons and watching TV. We have a video especially made for animals that she adores. It's full of squirrels and birds coming down to the ground to get bird seed and nuts, and she'll jump up towards the TV when watching it.... sitting for half an hour giving her full attention to the television. And she loves to go outside and loves watching birds.

She sleeps w/ us every night usually and doesn't get up until morning - unlike some of our others that get up at 3:30 or 4 insisting to go outside our bedroom. She is so spoiled to me and will bite me, slightly, if I don't give her my undivided attention whenever she wants it... which is all the time. Puss is very shy though. She's all bark.... even tho the smaller furbabies in the house wouldn't know it. She hates to have her claws cut and will stare me down when I'm doing it... When she starts staring, I can't look at her in the face cuz if I do, she'll get me w/ the other paw - a smack in the face - which scares me.... she totally controls me (I admit it)... so usually the hubby has to hold her down while I cut the claws as fast as possible cuz she gets really irritated after about the 3rd claw. Some days she's fine w/ it... it just depends on her mood.

Puss snores something terrible... I usually wake her up several times during the night so I can sleep... she also has little kittymares... and will wake up after kinda screaming in her sleep... it's just so cute and I always ask her if she had a kittymare and she'll tell me all about it... and then runs to me. I love her something awful! :)

Anyway... this is our sweet girl Charlie... better known to all that know her as Puss.