Frost-bitten Toes & 50 Shades of Grey Party Game

I’m half Canadian and that means that the minute the weather shows the slightest promise of being warm, I act like I’m living in the tropics. And here I am living up to those exact expectations, sitting in Starbucks beside the window in my shorts and t-shirt, enjoying the sun and freezing my toes off because the Starbucks air-conditinoning is cranked up to high. And now I have a very valid fear of getting frost-bite in my toes even though it’s almost 20 outside. My Egyptian half just looked at the past sentence and laughed it’s half head off. Almost 20 and I think it’s summer? Anything below 25 in Cairo and that means winter is not over. Ah, the paradoxes of coming from opposite sides of the world.

So why did I start with a meangingless – although totally Canadian (minus talk of hockey) rant about the weather and coffee? Because I just don’t know how else to dive back in after a 3 month absence. I feel ashamed, embarrassed and somewhat of a loser being gone so long, but…. and there is always a but – I had very valid reasons; my mom, sister and her kids were visiting for two months and ensuing family drama happened. As well as being totally tied up emotionally I was their 24/7 tour guide/driver for most of their visit. And then the two weeks afterwards were dedicated solely to the clean-up and detox that the house and myself needed to go through.

And on top of that I am half-heartdely frantically trying to get together everything I need to start my new blog so I can go live somewhere within the next couple of months.

So I make no promises, because I am obviously crappy at keeping them, but I really, really want to be back. And now that Jo is in part-time day-care (which is screwing my over financially – but keeping me from going insane), I’m hoping that I’ll try be more consistent.

So I’m signing off because for the past 15 minutes the Fifty Shades of Grey Party Game that is in the board games display in front of me has been calling out to me to go have a look. I wonder what people do when playing that game. Answer kinky sex questions? Or act out scenes from the book? Now that would be one interesting party game.

Luigi’s Fresh Start

Luigi looked up at the fluffy cotton clouds and the powder blue sky. “Is this all there is to life?” A despodancy was filling him, maybe helped on by the sound of a bubbly Princess Peach and Mario, who he had rescued, again. He could hear their voices coming closer, Peach with her annyoingly sweet sugary attitude and her  charactersitically appreciative and ledwdly suggestive flirtations and Mario with the heavily accented Italian slurs..

He looked up at the sky one last time and jumped down off the tree-high mushroom he was standing on. As they came closer he wiped off the distaste and pasted on a fake smile.

“Hey Luigi, my man” boomed Mario twitching his mustache “How ya doing? Me and Peachy here, well, we’re gonna go grab a few beers before I go help her with her plumbing. Wanna join? For the beer of course.” Mario laughed and his big beer belly rolled with each snort and snorkel.

Luigi cringed as Mario gave him a suggestive wink. He didn’t know which was more repulsive; Mario’s idea of fun, which involved getting shit-faced drunk, or what he and Peach would be doing back home. Which was as close to plumbing as stomping kompaa’s was.

“Uh, no thanks” he hurriedly back-tracked “I have a number of things to get done.” And then he practically ran in the other direction before Mario could suggest anything more disgusting.

“Hey Luigi!” It was too late. Luigi slowed down and turned to look at Mario just as he and Peach were getting on the back of Yoshi.

“Can you finish all those actual plumbing jobs for us? That’s great. You’re awesome, man.” And off they went.

That was it. Anger was rushing like a hurricane through Luigi. He was sick and tired of all of this. Helping rescue Peach every week, single-handedly handling their plumbing business, running errands for Mario and what for? Nothing! No acknowledgement, no rewards, no fancy castle on a hill. While Mario had all the glory and the fun. Well, that’s it! He was done playing second fiddle.

He knew a deserted, forgotten pipe on the outskirts of the Mushroom Kingdom that flushed him straight out of this world. He had never told anyone about it because that was the responsible, brotherly thing to do. But now he was going to use this pipe to transport himself to somewhere, far, far away from here. Somewhere where there was no Mario, Peach, Bowser or anyone else who he would play have to answer to. Somewhere we he could start over and be the one and only hero. A place that would sing his praises and construct statues of him. Creatures that would appreciate his intelligence, jumping skills. muscular body and thick must ache.

Luigi was decided. He hurried excitedly to the pipe, wondering why he had never taken this chance at a new beginning before. Practically skipping, he reached a rusty, leaning pipe hidden behind acres of thorny bush and started hacking his way through, oblivious to the scratches and cuts on his arms.

He could almost smell the freedom, the success as he climbed to the top of the pipe, grinning from ear to ear. Standing on top, he took a deep breath, crouched down and got sucked through the vortex.

This was his time. He was on his way to greatness. The whooshing and spinning stopped. He had arrived. What was this new world like? Endless beaches and azure oceans? Forests of lush berries? Or unimaginable wonders? He opened his eyes to the colour metal. Gadgets, steel and a dreary towering structure and realised he was probably in a transport vehicle of some sort. Not only that, someone else was with him, slowly circling the perimeter. He looked at the huge, muscularly built man in combat greens, space helmet and a large, futuristic looking machine gun and slowly swallowed.

Right above his head he could see a small plaque with the words ‘Forward Unto Dawn’. Luigi looked over at the solider/space man and tentatively smiled as he tried to quell the rising fear and bile and came to the conclusion that new beginnings were over-rated.

Written in response to Writing Challenge: Starting Over

Making a new start is never as simple as it seems on paper. It’s easy to talk about losing a few pounds or giving up the job you hate to weave animal-shaped baskets on a tropical island, but less so to make it happen, and keep at it.

In this week’s writing challenge, we’re asking you to write a short piece of creative writing (fiction/poetry/prose poetry/freeform mindjazz/whatever floats your boat) on the theme of Starting Over.

We Are All Just a Bunch of Crazies

I was browsing the Freshly Pressed section the other day and came across this lady. Her blog is called High, High, Higher and it – was – awesome!

What really impressed me were her blogging challenges. Tons of other bloggers have weekly challenges or games or activities where they invite the readers to take part. Much like the Daily Posts, they help out with inspiration and writer’s block. Sometimes I join, sometimes not. Depends on whether I’m in the mood or not.

But I couldn’t let this particular challenge pass me by without contributing – twice! The idea is she started a fictional story which is continued on by the blog-sphere community. Each person picks up where the previous commenter left off by including one or two paragraphs and the imagination takes it where it wants to go.

And let me say, this story has gone to some amazing places. The collective imagination of everyone who joined is mind boggling. The whole story reminds me of something Terry Pratchett or Tom Holt would write (it took me half an hour of brain-racking and searching Goodreads to remember Tom Holt’s name – oh why, oh why did I leave my awesome library in Cairo?). The story has become crazy, bizarre, out-of-this-world and completely fun and imaginative.

To check it out or contribute, click here….

I Dedicate This Award To….

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As you may have already read, I’ve deiced to break up the awards nomination blog and answer Cranky Giraffe’s questions here. Mainly because the other post was too long, and secondly because the questions seemed like such fun that I wanted to give them their space.

Here goes nothing:

1. If you had to pick one song to play, continuously, in the background to your life, what would it be? Why?

Eye of the Tiger? No sorry, it was so cheesy that I couldn’t help it. I talked about this before,several times actually, and I would probably pick Matchbox 20’s Unwell. You know that, crazy place in your head that you awlays seem to be lost in? Where somehow you think you’ve lost your mind. And people look at you your crazy but they just can’t stick around long enough to know the real you? Well, welcome to me.

2. If you could commit any one crime and get away with it, what would it be?

A bank robbery? Or you know one of those really elaborate, very high reward, high risk cons that end up ‘taking’ a lot of money from very bad people. A modern Robin Hood scheme that gets me extremely rich at the same time.

 

3. What is an interesting fact about someone in your family?

My dad has a moustache. He has always had a must ache, all of his life. But if you’d asked me if he had a moustache 5 years ago, I would have scratched my head and said ‘I don’t know’.

 

4. What is your favourite lie that you’ve ever told?  What were the circumstances surrounding that lie?

I try to not lie but ‘conveniently’ leave things out. As a teenager it used to get me a lot of leeway with my parents. I don’t have a favourite lie but one that I hate, and I’m still carrying to this moment. It meant keeping a major , life-changing piece of information from one of my friends.

 

5. Your boss pulls you into his office to talk privately.  What is it about?

That I should stop sexually harassing the new cute guy.

 

6. What do you “just know” in life?

That there a reason for everything. Nothing ‘just’ happens. And most things that happen, good or bad, always work out for the best. No regrets, right?

 

7. What is the last book that you read in it’s entirety?

I read a book around once a month but I think the absolute last one was a random Nora Roberts book. Oh, and I re-read ‘Pride & Prejudice’ for like the tenth time. I’m trying to read ‘The Blind Assassin now, but just can’t. It’s too boring. So back it goes.

 

8. What is “Victoria’s Secret?” (I know it’s a lingerie store… I’m talking about the secret)

That she was gay? And all the models in their shows are gay? I think I just ruined it for thousands of men everywhere. Or wait, did I make it better?

 

9. If you could be a fly on the wall in any one room in the world, which room would that be?

I know this seems common, but I would love to be a fly on the wall on my funeral. Yes, I know, I have validation issues, but I would love to know that my life was not for nothing.

 

10. I am a slogan and it says:

‘Caution. Work in Progress’

 

11. What is the favourite part/aspect of your life?

It used to be my job, but that was 6 months ago before I become unemployed. Now it’s a little hard to find. Maybe shopping?

 

 

Award Season

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I’ve been nominated for several blog awards over the past couple of weeks and it’s so exciting. And since I’m practically sickness free (only the sniffles) it’s time to make good on my promise. But, and there is the but, I’ve been putting off the acceptance part because of the nominations. remember the Daily Prompt that said if you could only read or write a blog which would you do? Will I would totally write and not miss reading. Writing is my escape, my one link to sanity. So sorry, I will not give that up.

Let me tell you a little secret which I’m extremely shameful of ; I don’t read other blogs that much. Which means I don’t have a lot of people to nominate. Not a lot of people (I know) that are pulled me in. And defiantely not a lot of people below 200 followers. If you’re reading this and thinking; ‘She’s a mean bitch’, then I would understand and totally forgive it.

So, back to the awards. I’ve been nominated by Cupcake in Cairo and Cranky Giraffe for The One Lovely Blog Award / The Very Inspiring Blogger Award and The Liebster Blog Award respectively. And since like I said, I don’t know that many effing people I’m gonna combine the two awards in one post. Plus they’ve made my job so so much harder. Mainly because they were top of my list for the awards. So go on, check them out.

So I’ll start with Cupcake in Cairo and The One Lovely Blog Award / The Very Inspiring Blogger Award by thanking her so much that she thought of me, and by telling her that I miss her cupcakes and cakes. Or mainly I just miss all of her.

 

Second, here are the award rules:

1. Thank the person who nominated you.
2. Add The One Lovely Blog Award The Very Inspiring Blogger Award to your post.
3. Share 7 things about yourself.
4. Pass the award to up to 10 nominees.
5. Include this set of rules.
6. Inform your nominees by posting a comment on their blogs.

 

7 things about myself:

1. I don’t like heights. It’s not a phobia and it’s not a fear. Heights just make me uncomfortable. And I’ve been bungee jumping regardless.

2. I grew up hating cooking and baking, but ironically I’m pretty good at both (if I do say so myself). I still think cooking is a waste of time though.

3. I wanted to be a neuro-surgeon growing up until my parents sat me down when I was 16 and gave me a long talking to about how I would end up spending my whole life studying. And I hate studying!

4. Always thought I’d not get married, have no kids and would spend my life dedicated to work and travel. There’s life for you.

5. I love, love donuts! Krispy Kreme is like dying and going to heaven. Tim comes a close second.

6. I give off the first impression that I’m arrogant and stuck-up but that’s because I have zero-social skills and am extremely awkward around people I don’t know.

7. I’m not much of a people person. Yet ironically my house and life was always full of family and friends. I was known as the hostess of the group, the one who brought people together.

 

Next onto Cranky Giraffe  and The Liebster Blog Award.

First off, I have to say CG has been one of my favourite bloggers when I first started re-blogging around two months ago. She’s funny and articulate. And more importantly I felt a connection happen between who people who have never met but can somehow understand each other (hope she feels the same, otherwise this will be Awkward).

 

Award rules:

1.Pingback to the person who nominated you.

2. Answer their questions.

3. Make up new questions.

4. Nominate 11 bloggers who have less than 200 followers.

 

Answer the questions:

I’m doing that in this post because this one is way toooo long.

 

Make up questions:

1. How would you want as your best friend most: Barrack Obama, Brad Pitt, Justin Bieber or Steve Jobs (RIP)?

2. What is your favourite movie? And not the one you tell everyone, but the cheesy, embarrassing, which-everyone-hates-but-I secretly-love  movie?

3. If you could switch lives with someone who would it be? And why?

4. What cartoon character do you relate to most?

5. How do you imagine yourself dying?

6. What is the most mortifying, embarrassing moment of your life?

7. Angel, Buffy the Vampire Slayer or The Avengers?

8. Chocolate, lasagne or sweet’n’sour chicken?

9. What was the happiest moment of your life?

10. Facebook, love or hate? And twitter?

11. If you found a genie in a bottle, what would your three wishes be? (And no peace on Earth please).

 

Here are my nominations. I don’t think most of them are under 200, they are definitely not 10 or 20, but who cares, they inspire me.

Nominations:

5 Kids With Disabilities

Rarasaur

Jill Ann Schmehl

Bug Bytes

Jessie Homemaker

Cupcake In Cairo (For the Liebster Award)

Nothing Else Matters

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On the outside the world is crashing past me. But I’m not there. I don’t know if I ever was. I’ve distanced myself and become disenchanted and dissociated from life.

This is my sanctuary; the deep dark box hidden inside my soul. The hole where I throw my worries and thoughts and drown them with indifference. Welcome to my world.

Where alienation and detachment rule with a heavy hand and caring too much may mean a an instant descent into madness and pain.

My oasis is constantly shrouded in night, shadows fighting to be set free. It’s deep and encompassing, with it’s swirls of shadowy carelessness reaching into the bitter corners of my soul and killing the last kernels of involvement.

This sanctuary may be filled with trapped demons and dark secrets but it’s mine my place. Where I go to recover and lick my wounds. And from where I emerge stronger, better and ready to take on the world even if I’m not really a part of that world.

Written in response to the Daily Prompt: Oasis.

 

The People We Never Knew

I looked at her across the school playground. She had glowing brown eyes and an infectious smile. Her hair was covered in a bright head scarf that reminded me of my friends back home. She was smiling at her little girl as the bright summer sun beat down and girl danced around on the green grass. Suddenly a fresh wave of home-sickness hit me. I miss my friends, I miss connecting to somebody, anybody.

I look again at the cheerful woman as I hoist Jo from one hip to another. A breeze carries her words to me and I hear the familiar whisper of an exotic language. My exotic language, and in a very similar dialect to where I come from. Too many signs are nudging me, telling me ‘Go, get to know her.’ Still I hesitate, characteristically shy, waiting for a better opportunity.  In a burst the school doors fly open and excited, happy kids shoot out in every direction. Adam is late, as usual. But I see her walking up to slight, handsome boy.There is a frail look about him but he seems to be only a year or two older than Adam. He’s probably in Grade 3. She hugs him and their heads gather together with shared love. As she looks up, she catches my eye and offers a tentative smile. I smile back and turn to Adam, who has just arrived. It’s time to go home.

Over the weeks, we cross paths and share smiles, but nothing more. I keep on trying to muster up the courage to go say hi. I worry about rejection. Or disinterest. And I never make a move. I keep looking for her every day, thinking that this will be the day I connect. But I stop seeing her. Maybe the cold and snow make she her wait in the car. Or maybe I’m not looking hard enough. Either way I can see her no more.

Today I got a letter from Adam’s school. They informed us that one of the Grade 3 boys who had been previously diagnosed with brain cancer has been getting weaker and weaker an is now terminal. His family all flew East where he can spend his remaining days near loved ones.

It has to be her. And the boy. The handsome smiling frail boy that I saw is dying. Physical pain grabs at my heart. I can picture her happy eyes full of tears and sorrow as she sits by the bed of her dying son. I can see the little girl playing in the other room. Scared and anxious but not knowing why. I can see the father sitting in a dark, dark room trying to compose himself so he’ll smile and laugh in front of their son.

I don’t know what I regret more. The fact that I was too scared to reach out and never got to know this family before they broke apart. Or that I could have been of any help to her when she needed it most. Or that I will never see that happy boy again or watch him play and laugh with my son.

I don’t know her. I lost that opportunity. And I don’t think I’ll ever get another chance. But if I could, I would go back to that warm summer afternoon, walk up to her and say,

“Hi. I just moved here and I’m trying to get to know people. Want to get together sometime?”

 

Written in response to the Daily Prompt: Set It Right.

It’s The Dark You’re Hating

I see you looking at me, worried, tense. I know you look at me and see night. You see an unfathomable canyon with no end in site. But deep down below a garden grows; pure lush greenery and majestic mountains. A deep blue ocean that has weathered the fiercest of storms. Yet it struggles to push through the dark that you hate, and on the twilight dreamf-lled days I know it can.

You think I’ve been dead for such a long time. At least inside where it counts. And if I let this darkness sink me, then death would be the least of my concerns. But someday the right breeze will come along and carry the blanket of darkness away and maybe you’ll face your hate and climb down the canyon to where I will be waiting, hoping you’ll see me for who I am and not what I can’t be.

Yes I know I missed this Daily Prompt. But I love it so much that I’m gonna do it anyway. Besides who sets the rules here? Me of course!

Anyway, I always felt that there is a soundtrack playing the background to my life. With appropriate music playing at the right times; heavy metal when I’m angry, swelling instrumentals in touching moments and a funky rock beat for the uplifting moments. And that is mainly why I write about so many song lyrics. A well-written song has the power to move me like nothing else can. They are like poetry to music.

If I had to choose one song to say who I am I would definately go for ‘Unwell’ by Matchbox 20, especially the chorus, which goes something like this:

But I’m not crazy, I’m just a little unwell
I know right now you can’t tell
But stay awhile and maybe then you’ll see
A different side of me
I’m not crazy, I’m just a little impaired
I know right now you don’t care
But soon enough you’re gonna think of me
And how I used to be

And ‘Unwell’ is me to the T. But since I already talked about this song here. I’m gonna go for my second favorite song; ‘Not What You See’ by Savatage. Does saying I like Savatage give away the fact that I was a total 90s girl? Well, who cares, after all you’re only as young as you feel or some other crap.

In case you are not aware of the lyrics, I’ve included my favorite passage from it:

Can you live your life in a day
Putting every moment in play
Never hear a word that they say
As you watch the wheels go around
Tell me if you win would it show
In a thousand years who would know
As a million lives come and go
On this same piece of ground
I’ve been waiting
I don’t understand what you want me to be
It’s the dark you’re hating
It’s not who I am
But I know that it’s all that you see

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Further proof that I’m just a little (or a lot) crazy

Calling All Bad Mothers

I’ve been sitting here for the past hour trying to find something, anything to write – yet I’m pulling up a big fat blank. I then looked at the Daily Prompt, hoping for a lifesaver, or a polo or any kind of candy that will save me (excuse the very badly phrased pun) and I found this:

You have three hundred words to justify the existence of your favorite person, place, or thing. Failure to convince will result in it vanishing without a trace. Go!

Really! Seriously guys, that’s all you can think of? I’m one of those people that have the mentality ‘If I need to justify anything then to hell with it! I really can’t think of anything that I need to stop from vanishing. Wait, should I reconsider my boys and husband. You know, something, nah, it’s just not worth the effort.

Anyway, post-less I’m still trying to search for something, anything to babble (or type) aimlessly about for the next 500 words or so. After all if I have any hopes of every being a writer someday (which thanks to the crap put forth by 50 Shades of Gray – I’m now convinced is very doable), I need to get writing. So there I am, scouring the internet and looking at my craft pictures and all that, when up comes my youngest; Jo. He’s wanders to where I’m sitting, looks at me and then starts screaming at the top of his lungs. Hoping by piercing my ears with his annoying screeches I will give in and finally pick him up. Jo is like a benign growth on my hip. A talking screaming big lump. He’s big, he’s annoying and he just hangs there and does nothing. Yet if I try to remove him, I’m in for a nasty procedure.

So there he is begging and crying and just asking me to pick him. I take a look at him, pull out my phone, snap this picture:

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And then go on writing this post. My husband finally gets a hint from all the screaming, or removes the ear-plugs he somehow magically has on whenever our kids are being annoying and comes to pick him up. 5 minutes later, Jo wanders over and we repeat the same scenario.

Yes, I’m a bad mom. But I did get some cute pictures. And on top of that I am now at officially 396 words, wait now it’s 401, 402, 403…. And there is my post for today!

Anyone out there have any ‘bad mom’ moments they would like to share. Make me feel less bad about myself? Not that I feel that bad, but you know; sharing is caring.