Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Confession Time Parents...Come on...You can tell me.

My Mother loves to tell the story about when I was a mere few months old and she stopped to get gas and run inside to buy a few things. She took me with her and had me in one of those baby carry things (of which the actual word escapes me at the moment...I blame this lapse on all the meds I'm on and definitely NOT old age). When she came back out of the store she placed me in my "carry thing" (argh) on top of the car while she placed her items inside etc. Apparently that nano second that passed between placing me on top of the car and placing the store items inside the car was just long enough for her to COMPLETELY FORGET ABOUT ME and the fact that I was on top of the freakin car. She got in and drove off singing a merry tune with the radio...OK I made that part up but I get a bit miffed when she tells me this story...I mean SERIOUSLY...how do you forget the fact that your baby is with you?!!!

Anyways....she drove out of the gas station parking lot and cruised down the road at a fairly sedate pace (she says this but I'm inclined to believe she was doing her usual heavy foot driving...I know your driving Mother) and of course it wasn't long before people were honking and pointing at her. Not realizing what the hell everyone was going on about she continued until she came to the first set of traffic lights...and applied the brakes...only to see my "carry thing" (what the hell is that thing called for griefs sake?) come sliding down the front window of the car and onto the hood. Thankfully she didn't slam on the brakes fully otherwise I might not be around to tell this wonderful story of Motherly love and devotion to her offspring. She screamed horrified and jumped out of the car and grabbed me up and made sure I wasn't hurt (oh...NOW your concerned for my safety...*sigh*)...pops me back in the car...and spends the next 40 years of my life telling everyone she meets this "amusing" little story.

I don't find it in the least amusing...do YOU? Wheres Social Services when you need them?

This, of course, is not the only incident in which my safety was put into jeopardy due to the negligence of one or the other of my parents. Lets forget for a moment that my VERY LIFE rested on a very fine line indeed thanks to my fathers abusive ways...but I'm talking for the moment about just things in general they did (or didn't do) that could have resulted in my harm or even death.

For instance, when I was 15 my father made me drive the family car from our house into town to the mechanics...he drove the other car which he was going to leave there...then drive back in the car I drove. Here's the kicker....I HAD NEVER DRIVEN A CAR BEFORE!!!

Of course that didn't stop him from telling me to do it...and it never even crossed my mind to remind him of the fact that I had never driven a car before...much less on a major highway with major type traffic. I just got in the car and did my best. He told me to follow him...and didn't bother telling me where we were actually going before hand...so follow him I did. This meant, of course, that I had to speed....run a few stop signs...merge onto a major highway without bothering to make sure the way was clear which meant the 18 wheeler that sounded his horn in order to alert me that I was about to become road pizza was fully in his rights...and cross a 4 way intersection...when it was NOT my turn....merely in an effort to keep the tail end of my fathers car in sight. If I lost him then I had no way of finding him again due to the fact I had no idea where he was going. No mobile phones back then...and losing him was just NOT and option. His anger was not something to mess with.

The fact that I survived that 22 mile "virgin" drive has got to be worthy of a medal or two...or at least a star on a sidewalk somewhere.

Funny enough when my Mother found out later about my little "joy" ride she went up in flames horrified at the danger he put me in and what the outcome COULD have been if I hadn't been lucky etc etc....

Gee Mom...its not like he left me on the roof of the car while tooling down the street singing to the radio...now is it?

So fess up people...what sort of dangerous situations have you put your children in...either accidentally (OK OK Mom...it was an accident) or on purpose (looking at you Dad)....lets hear'em. Confession is good for the soul...or so Ive heard.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Plans I Had....

Due to unforseen circumstances...the post I meant to put up will be delayed while I fall into a miserable self pitying kleenex infested nose dripping coughing sneezing aching ACHOOOO!!! sort of doldrums.

Will be back (hopefully) when I can find the light at the end of the tunnel...hopefully that light wont be accompanied by harp music and goblets of wine...*sigh*

Be back soon.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Ever Been Able to Stop Traffic?,,,I Have...

When we all lived in Hamad Town back when the kids were quite young...most of the neighborhood I lived in was empty for the most part. It took quite sometime before the houses started filling up with families etc...which meant that the first year or so we lived there we were pretty much alone much of the time. Which also meant...I spent a lot of time playing with the kids outside as I didn't trust them out alone and I loved playing with them anyways.

I was always one of those moms that played in the park with the kids...kicked the ball around...pushed them on the swings etc. I did this, mind you, in a country in which its considered a no no for women to be doing much of anything outside that can call attention to her. Running after a soccer ball and screaming and laughing with your kids definitely calls attention your way...but I didn't care...I loved playing with my kids.

Need I mention how often complete strangers would hiss at me to "mind my place" so to speak. Not to mention throw out the word "haram" all the time. Yes people, it was haram for me to play with my kids in the park. I was supposed to act like all the other moms and just sit on a blanket stuffing my face, making a mess, and gossiping with the other moms that weren't allowed too (or didn't want too) play with their kids.

Not me. I played.

Anyhow, when we first arrived in Hamad Town it was practically a ghost town. The houses were mostly empty and the area itself was basically bare. No trees, flowers, shrubs, color...all tan...very dead looking. Home sweet home....but...I was actually able to play with my kids outside without too much hassle from the very few neighbors that we had. We had a lot of fun and I pity the women who don't play with their kids when they are young (men too for sure)...you don't know what your missing.

Anyhow, at some point I met a lady that lived 2 round abouts away from us and we became good friends. Trouble was...we didn't have a car at that time so whenever I wanted to visit her I generally had to walk to her house. It took about 40 min probably as the walking was slow with the little ones.

At some point I remembered that I had one of those backpack type things you can carry babies or small children in. I figured we could walk faster if I could carry my littlest one on my back (I didn't have a stroller then) and the 3 older ones could ride their bikes. Started out as a good plan...but my second youngest was just too small to pedal for long...he pooped out quick...so I had to come up with another plan.

AHA!!! I tied a rope around his bike and the other end around my stomach...so now I was basically pulling him along while he pretended to pedal..lol. Off we went. The two older ones on their bikes zooming back and forth...the little one being dragged down the street while waving at strangers like the parade Marshall...and me huffing and puffing with the 50 pound 1 year old on my back...and the 100 pound 3 year old on the bike creating drag.

Or so it seemed at the time.

While I started out all eager and spry...half way there I felt like I was training for a marathon or something. I was gasping and sweating and wondering whose bright idea THIS was?

Oh yeah...mine.

Did I mention the affect we had on the people we passed by? No? Well put is this way. People literally stopped what they were doing to stand and watch this little procession pass by them on the street. I swear I felt like I should have been throwing candy or something the way they were lined up wide eyed and mouths agape.

I suppose we did make quite a sight. I had never seen any woman use a baby backpack type thing in Bahrain before (maybe they did but I had never seen one) and to be doing something like pulling my kid on the bike at the same time...LOL I could only imagine what was going through all those shocked minds.

Gave them something to break up the blandness of the life that was Hamad Town for sure.

It was worth it. We had a great time that day at my friends house. Only trouble was...

I had to walk back home like that too. *sigh* Couldn't walk without pain for a week.

Monday, October 19, 2009

When Did Americans Get So Lazy?

So...been 2 weeks at work now and I cant help notice how many people come into the store wearing sleep pants...or pj's. Granted they could basically be considered an appropriate form of attire to go for a quick run to the shop etc...but seriously...we all KNOW they are for sleeping...and thus are just and indicator of how lazy you were in not changing out of them before heading out the door.

Last night an entire family came in with not only sleep pants...but full pj's...tops and bottoms....with house slippers as well. Mom and dad were in tshirts and sport team sleep pants...3 little kids were in assorted sleep wear with bunny slippers, tigger slippers and what looked like bear claw (?) slippers. It was ONLY 8 pm and its not like they were making an emergency run to get some milk for breakfast or something(and the WHOLE family wouldn't need to do that anyhow...right?)...so whats up with that?

When did Americans start wearing their sleeping clothes for errands...and does anyone else find that a little strange...or is that just me and something I need to get use too?

Monday, October 12, 2009

Can anyone guess what our 3rd top seller is?

Ive only been working at this store for a week now but thats given me plenty of time to view the spending habits of Americas average consumer...at least for this store. Ive noticed in that time that...other than coming in to pay for the gas...there are 3 top ten items that are almost ALWAYS bought when someone comes in...can anyone guess what the top 3rd item is...alcohol and cigarettes are the top 2 (other than gas)...whats number 3? I will wait to give you time to make some guesses...then edit this post with the answer and more ranting..I mean editorial...lol. Have fun!!

So...there you have. Energy drinks are apparently all the rage now. Ive served everyone from young kids to the elderly buying a myriad assortment of expensive and very large containers of caffeine in a can.

Which makes me wonder...why are "we" so darn tired that we now find we need a pick me up of such monstrous proportions? Little kids are buying them at night...shouldn't they be in bed asleep? The elderly are buying them mostly in the mornings...are they finding it hard to stay awake during the days? Long haul drivers are buying them in 6 packs..which is scary all by itself...you have to sleep sometime people...those jack knifed rigs on the highways aren't purely accidental if you haven't slept in 3 days and flying high on Redbull or something.

I would assume that our high tech world is keeping us awake when we ordinarily would b sleeping. Surfing the net, playing PS3, texting and chatting and and and...in order to stay awake for our entertainment beyond our bodies intended capacity...we need our "fix"...and here's the solution. Energy Drinks.

In my opinion...they shouldn't be sold to children just like alcohol and cigarettes...I drank one small energy drink several years ago...could NOT literally close my eyes for 3 days. I was a zombie on auto mode. Never again. I don't know how these regular drinkers do it. It obviously CANNOT be good for you in such large doses...nearly everyday.

One solution...people need to get their required sleep and turn off whatever the heck it is keeping them awake...and a age limit needs to be put on them...they should be considered harmful in my opinion.

Thanks for all the guesses...no lottery here...condoms are in the bathrooms...haven't seen any porn mags under the counter or anything but I will give it a closer check just to make sure....purely for research purposes....lol.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

2 Rednecks walk into a convenience store....

2 rednecks walked into the store today and passed a Emo type boy walking out. This boy had piercings on his lips and eyes, shaggy black hair and baggy black clothes. The two rednecks passed him by and turned with raised eyebrows and a look of scorn on their faces...and one of them said...

"That's the f**king youth of America today...and that's why Obama got elected president?"

So my question is...WTF?!!! what does a boy wearing the supposed Emo style have to do with Obama getting elected president? Did I miss something during the last presidential campaign...did Obama run himself ragged across America trying to win the "Emo" vote...and then apparently got it?

Are these two "good ole boys" trying to make a claim that NO presidential term before Obama had any sort of fashion statement all the rage during his term of election...or prior to it?

I would assume these two men were making a snide remark which was meant to portray the boy as ill mannered, unkempt and possibly some sort of criminal...merely by what he was wearing...but here's where they got it wrong...WAY wrong.

I served this boy, who might have been 15 or so, and he was very soft spoken and polite with me. He said please and thank you....and returned my "have a nice day
with a "you as well."....then left the store.

On the other hand the two fashion gurus sporting their beer bellies, baseball caps, and sweat stains under their armpits...were rude with me making loud demands and smacking their money on the table while reeking of beer and body odor. Did not say anything close to being polite...and threw the receipt on to the floor as they left.

Soooo...question? Does the old adage...don't judge a book by its lip piercings...still hold true?

It sure does. Give me an Emo type over a good ole boy any day of the week...and who knows...the way things are going in America...those Emo's just might get a woman elected next time around. One can only hope.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

My Lord...whats with ALL the complications!!

We've been in the Land of the Free...Home of the Brave...Country of the Perpetual Paperwork...for just over 2 weeks now. Its been a busy busy time for us trying to get ourselves all sorted out and on track to a somewhat normal life. Its been hectic with a capital H!!!

I'm going to use this post to point out some differences I notice in general...and to either vent or praise something depending on the topic.

So, lets see. It SNOWED!!! full blown blizzard. Practically a white out. It was awesome...and freezing...but mostly awesome. My kids were amazed but were not about to go outside and experience it first hand. They viewed the white storm from the safety of the house and behind storm glass...lol. Wusses!! By the next day the sky was clear blue, the temps were "warm" (one day jackets and hats the next t shirts...lol) and there was beautiful snow on everything. The sticky kind too so much snowball throwing was had by all. Fun fun fun!!! I will let you know if my enthusiasm for all things snow remains further into the winter.

However, by the second day practically all the snow was gone and what was left behind...MUD!!! yuck!!! I haven't had the "pleasure" of walking in mud for quite sometime. Bahrain is sand really so the rain collects in the streets until it drains off into the sewers...not much mud in terms of that disgusting sucking messy gets into everything and makes your shoes a disaster kind of thing. Nope...didn't really miss that.

We are staying with one of my oldest friends...we met in the 3rd grade for a brief spell before meeting up again in the 7th grade and its gone on from there. I had planned to stay with her only long enough to find a place of our own...but with the theft of my wallet and a dent in my finances...that has been put on hold for now. So we are 11 people in a double wide trailer. So far its been ok. A flare up or two but not bad considering the number of young'uns running around. My kids are over the moon to be all together again...and they really love having this family like atmosphere since they haven't really had much of a family this past couple of years. It might not be so lovely in a few more weeks or something, tempers flare, privacy non existent, TP missing from the bathroom etc...but for now we will take it one day at a time until something comes along to change it.

In the process of starting our lives Ive been forced to do a MOUNTAIN of paperwork at every stop I make along the road. My Lord whats with having to put my name, address and SSN 3 or 4 times ON THE SAME APPLICATION?!!! Sheesh Ive got writers cramp doing that for the 6 of us over and over and over again. Because some of our SSN cards were in my wallet I had to send for new ones...took some time but not bad. I went and got my drivers license...I was fearing I would have to take ANOTHER test after just doing one in Texas last Dec, because my license was in my wallet, but she just let me apply for a new one with NO test. Whew!! lucky break. That written test is a b****h when it comes to maximum alcohol limits and prison terms and all that jazz. I can never keep those numbers straight...and really...considering I dont drink or drink AND drive...they dont interest me much. NOW when OTHERS drink and drive...that interest me.

On a side note...driving in Bahrain is truly a life and death experience EVERY FREAKIN TIME you leave your house. That no lie and NO exaggeration. So we can all be thankful that people drive crazy....but generally are NOT drinking as well...because one would have to assume the carnage already experienced on a daily basis would just be too much to bear.

Getting the 2 kids in school was a bit easier than I thought...at least for Ameena. She just started...no problems. Starting later meant she didn't get to be in some classes she wanted as they were full...but she was able to get in guitar class so that made her happy. I had to go BUY the guitar as they don't provide them but since my son Adam, the self taught and beautifully played guitar player, left his behind (the first one I bought him for his bday...sniff sniff) we needed another one in the house anyhow. Money well spent in my opinion. It makes them happy and is a better way of spending their time than other ways I can imagine.

On a side note, my friends son has an electric guitar so Adam got to try his hand on that. He loves it. He sounds very professional and Baaaaad Assssss or so Ive been informed. Obviously he has his heart set on getting one of those sometime soon...sorry son...get a job if you want one of those...they cost a penny or two.

Getting Zack in school was a bit more tedious. I brought his school record translated into English for the 10th and 11th grade. I did NOT know that the 9th grade was needed as well. So they wouldn't allow him into school until that transcript could be sent. Of course that took some time obtaining and so he sat home for a week while all that was straightened out. Turns out he took some of the harder senior classes already in Bahrain so he has quite a few easy classes..lol...so he shouldn't be too stressed this semester. He hit it off with the guidance councilor right away so I'm happy hes got someone to turn too. I was most worried about how Zack would settle in at school but so far he seems to be doing just fine.

It was funny though when I went to my old highschool and there were STILL staff there that were there when I went there. WTF!! Those teachers were surely OLD when I was there..at least they seemed to be...so what? Are they like 150 years old now? lol Obviously they werent old then but when your young EVERYONE seems old. Some of them remembered me too...and here I thought I was invisible in school...must have just been with other students for the most part...lol.

He spends equal amounts of time out here with the family, playing games or hanging out, or in his room alone. I don't mind cause I know he needs space to adjust and as long as he is balancing out the two phases then all is good. He spends time chatting with his Bahrain friends or playing piano (yes I was able to bring it thankfully) so he has his alone time to relax and center himself. I know he is the one who made the biggest sacrifice in terms of his mental preparations etc. I appreciate his willingness to give this a try and hes doing very well so far.

NOW...looking for a job has been harder than I thought. There are plenty of jobs around...help wanted all over and a decent amount in the papers...but actually APPLYING for jobs has certainly become complicated way beyond comprehension. Most applications are on-line and it can take up to 45 MINUTES to fill out!!! My Lord they ask everything under the sun and some questions from the far side of the moon as well. The funny questions are those in which they ask what you would do if you found money or would you rather work over time or be out with your friends. Tricky....lol. Do they want the truth or what WE know THEY want to hear? My daughter actually "failed" a few of those as she didn't understand the "rules" to applying and answering those sort of questions...ha ha. Poor her....she was honest...and failed to get a job because of it. WTF!!!

So the 3 of us, daughter son and myself, have spent 2 weeks applying ALL over the darn place and so far I'm the only one that finally got a job. Its one of those gas station/mini store type things but I'm fine with that. As long as I'm working I'm good....until something better comes along. I'm sure they will get something here soon...they just have to be more aggressive and not WAIT for opportunity to come to them.

I cant praise enough the driving standards here. So calm and relaxed when driving...I can actually look out the window at STUFF (scenery, houses etc) rather then just have my eyeballs peeled for tail gaiters, lane changers, speeders, and cars full of kids hanging out windows. I must admit I ha vent seen even one incident of that. You can only drive 20 mph (school zones) or 30 (residential) and 40 (main streets etc) through town...and people pretty much stick to that even though it takes AGES to get anywhere...lol. So civilized. lol (yes Bahrain IS THAT BAD)

ONE other thing I must mention just because of its interesting aspect. If your a man I suggest you brace yourself...the next bit is a bit personal (ok a lot personal). For the past year or more Ive suffered from a myriad of physical complaints...everything from extremely swollen feet and legs, constant headaches, knee pain and a monthly cycle that was almost non existent. I was actually starting to think menopause was fast approaching...because I hadn't had a "visit" in the past 2 months (either that or a new miracle prophet was about to be born...lol)...anyhow...call it a miracle but the swollen feet and legs ARE GONE. My shoes fit (or are loose depending), pant legs are definitely loose (yay), the only headache I got was from staring at the blindingly white snow and the knee pain is no more. Oh yes, cycle turned up and was everything a cycle should be...when I was much younger and "regular"...if you know what I mean.

Must mean something...lol. Im not too concerned about the WHY as much as the Thank God part of it.

So, that's about it for now. Let me know if you have any suggestions for starting fresh...from scratch and all. Im all ears.

btw a completely random note. Micheal Buble' is to die for. For anyone that hasn't listened to him sing...I suggest you drop what your doing and run out and buy whatever music of his you can (or check the net...lol). Dreamy looking and heavenly sounding. Right now I have his song Lost on repeat and Ive listened to it a gazillion times...wow!!!