Wednesday, June 29, 2011



This has got to be one of the most compelling documentaries I have yet seen concerning 9/11. I advise anyone and everyone to watch it that has even the smallest interest in what happened leading up to that day and what part our govt. played in it. it.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Games we played in the dark...

One of the fun games my sisters and I use to play when we were young was hide and seek in the dark. There were periods of time in which both of our parents would be gone at night and we would have the house to ourselves...with strict instructions not to go outside or let anyone in. Despite the danger of getting caught either going outside or allowing friends inside...we often did both. There is something about living dangerously...hmmm. At any rate playing hide and seek in the darkness of our trailer was one of our favorite past times.

Of course it had to be at night to get full on darkness in the house and the opportunities to play didn't come often as we weren't left alone at night too much....but whenever we found out that both parents would be gone that night my sisters and I would start glancing at each other with gleeful little smiles on our faces knowing fun was about to be had by all.

No sooner had both parents left and judged to be truly gone and not coming back that we would start switching off lights and laying down the ground rules. ALL lights would be off...we wanted it to be as dark as possible to get the full scary affect. The dim light that would come from outside through the cracks in the curtains etc just added creepy affects that perfectly set the mood. We considered the kitchen home base simply because it was at the head of the trailer...the rest of the trailer was a free for all.

At some point one of us would look outside and see if any of the neighbor kids were out after dark...being a small town small trailer park, playing outside at night was a common enough sight. Since kids weren't often invited in our house they seemed to find the opportunity to get inside somewhat of an adventure and would brag later about having seen the inside of our house. I always found this rather amusing considering I tried as much as possible to get out of my house. Once all players were assembled (either just us or those who joined us) the game would commence.

Now the rules were simple...go hide somewhere and when the chance to run for home came up...go for it. Simple right? However, being in near complete darkness gave it an added element of scariness that just heightened the intensity and squeals of fright were often heard coming from some corner of the trailer...along with giggles that sounded almost hysterical. We loved scaring the hell out of ourselves...ironic considering we spent nearly all our lives being scared for some reason or another thanks to father.

Since we lived in a trailer, finding places to hide wasn't very being almost completely dark meant that at times you could be right out in the open and still not be seen if you played it right. Often times my sister or friend would creep right in front of me and have no idea I was there...often times I would have no idea they were there and would suddenly be faced with the image of a shape a mere few inches in front of me. It was all I could do not to scream...or sometimes I did and the gig was up and hysterical laughter and fast beating hearts was our reward for being caught.

Of course crashing into something in the dark was always a danger...and given that if we broke anything the punishment would be swift and severe was always in the back of our minds. Also, we couldn't very well blame the breakage on a friend that wasn't supposed to be in the house we knew we would have to fess up to anything that got broke. For some reason it only added to the drama, fun and sense of danger.

Then there was the very real danger of my parents coming home...I doubt my mother would have been too upset about it but my father would have gone ballistic and the fallout would have been painful and potentially dangerous...yet still we played. I couldn't begin to tell you today why we took these chances knowing full well the potential for further abuse if caught. I sometimes think that because our lives were full of pain and fear anyhow...we took what fun we could when we could and to hell with the consequences.

At any rate, most of the time the game was full of screams and laughter and we would play an hour or two then flip the lights back on and send everyone home...then hurriedly clean up the mess and set the house back to near perfection again. We always seemed to instinctively know when to call it a night and get everyone out before car lights flashed in the driveway but there were a few very close calls that had us sweating and sitting "innocently" on the couch barely catching out breath after quickly putting the last few items into place while a key was being inserted in the front door. was pretty damn close a few times.

During these games in the dark we had some moments of drama, fights would break out when someone stepped on someone they didn't see or someone hiding near someone else coughed or breathed too hard and gave the seeker a heads up...crashing into someone who was running in the dark was a give in and there were a few bloody noses or banged heads with some tears and broken friendships that were repaired before the night was over. Kids will be kids. However, there were also a few events that happened that, to this day, remain clear in my mind and yet go unexplained. Call it creative imagination...scene setting allowing for the mind to wander where it will...or call it real..but these things did happen and not only did they scare the hell out of us even more (those of us that were witness to said events) but never even stopped us in our tracks to continue on with the game...or maybe just added to it in some crazy "we love being scared" way.

Our trailer was designed much like many trailers. We had our kitchen at the head of the trailer then the living room...then a long hallway leading off the living room which had our bedroom at the beginning of the hall and further down the main bathroom and our parent's room at the very end of the trailer. At the beginning of the hall (just before our bedroom) was a closet that had the water heater in it and that was all. In all the years we lived in that trailer I can't remember that door being opened very often. It was just there and I never really gave it much thought.

One night during one of our games I was It and everyone else had scattered in the dark to hide. our kitchen had two small stairs leading up to it and I was sitting on those as I counted out loud and stared off into the darkness. I could here giggles and bumps and things being knocked over as everyone scrambled for a hiding spot...I knew my trailer so well I could almost always picture where they were and where they had chosen to hide...but let them sit and simmer with anticipation as I creeped back and forth pretending not to know they were there before snaking out a hand and grabbing them for maximum scare. Fun times.

Anyhow, I was sitting there counting and suddenly there was a strange glow coming from the hall way. I at first thought someone had switched on a light or maybe a flashlight but realized the light was in it was bright only right there where it was...the light didn't extend beyond a sort of circle. I always think of Tinker Bell when I remember it because she always had that glow about her that didn't seem to light up anything but the space right around her.

I stopped counting and just sat there watching the light...trying to figure out what the heck it was and why it looked sort of yellowy and old. I suddenly realized someone was standing in the light, a girl who appeared to be around 8 or 9 years of age. I might have thought it was one of our friends except that she was wearing a dress and I knew none of us were wearing a dress that night and certainly not one like she was wearing. If I had to describe it today I would use "quaint" and "modest"...words I didn't know then. (I was around 9 myself then) It had long sleeves and bows here and there. She wore stockings and black shoes that also had bows on them. Her hair was long and curly and reminded me of pics of Alice in Wonderland that I had seen before. I wouldn't have been able to tell you then but I can now that she looked like a girl from Little House on the Prairie...that style of dress and hair etc when they were dressed for church or something special.

I remember not being scared exactly but really confused because I couldn't figure out where she came she got in the house...who invited her....and why in the heck she had that awful yellow glow of light around her. I also realized it had gotten really REALLY quiet. I couldn't hear the others out in the dark with their constant giggles and shouts as someone tried to hide where there was already a hider. It was completely silent except for my own breathing.

The little girl was looking at nothing in particular but then turned her head and looked at me and smiled this pretty little smile that I can clearly see to this day. It was the smile of someone that had never known sadness, abuse, least to my young mind that is the thought that went through my head...though I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have been able to explain why I got that impression from her smile alone. She spoke to me, at least I seen her lips moving but no sound came from her mouth, and then took two steps and appeared to walk into the water heater closet. After a moment I crossed the living room and stood at the closet door looking at it. In order for her to have entered the closet she would have had to open the door obviously...and in the dark I might not have noticed the door open...except that even if she did that there was nowhere in the closet for her to be. The water heater took up the entire was a mere couple of inches from the door and the walls around it. No space at all for a girl to stand in...especially with the door closed.

I stood there a moment trying to make sense of this confusing set up....before reaching across and opening the door...still expecting her to somehow be in there and ready to be scared as she jumped out and said BOO or something in keeping with the game. My mind had not accepted any possibility other than she was just a kid I didn't recognize that had somehow been invited to play with us. Of course when I opened the door there was just the water heater and nothing else.

As I have mentioned before in previous posts (for those that care) I was a very smart kid back then (alas age has robbed me of natural and devoured books way over my age category....passed classes with little to no effort...had skipped a grade and been given the chance to skip another but mom refused and was doing complicated Algebra 3 grades higher than my current grade. I was smart...yet couldn't make 2 + 2 = 4 for the first time in my life. This wasn't making sense and I was standing there demanding that my brain make sense of something it didn't have a clue about. Apparently I stood there long enough looking into that empty water closet for others to get tired of waiting to be found and one by one they all came out to complain...only to see me standing there staring into the closet and joking that nobody could fit in there so what the heck was I doing looking in there?

I didn't feel like playing anymore and just sat on the couch in the dark while others shrieked and ran about until my older sis called it quits and turned on the lights and sent them home. I never told her what I had seen because I had already come to the conclusion that I must have been imagining the whole thing....yet funny enough a few years later my older sis and I were talking about when we use to play that game as kids...and I mentioned seeing that little girl (rather sheepishly assuming she would tease me as always) but was completely floored when older sis told me she had seen her too...but at a different time. She hadn't told anyone either but we both described her just the same.

We sat looking at each other trying to make our brains come to the conclusion that we must have seen a ghost...what other explanation would suffice? It was the only time in the years we lived in that trailer that I saw that little girl...and my sister said she only saw her once as I find that equally strange. If she lived in our trailer (was she killed in there, died in her childhood???....I hear that ghost haunt where they die...but our trailer obviously wasn't old enough to have a ghost from another century according to her clothing...but we did live in Superior at the time...maybe the ground our trailer was on was haunted???) how come we only saw her just two times (as far as I know nobody else ever saw her)?

Has anyone else ever felt they seen a ghost? Do you believe in them to see them in the first place? Did you ever see something that didn't make sense and just assumed there must be an explanation...even if you couldn't come up with one?

Years later when I had my own children I told them about our hide and seek in the dark game and of course they wanted to play it too....we lived in a big house in Hamad Town back then... 2 floors and lots of hiding places. However, my kids could never have it completely dark...they needed at least a bathroom light on with the door pulled almost shut...hmmm. Lots of fun for them...and they still play to this day (just played it the other night) though an apartment has very little to offer as far as hiding spots. It was more fun for them I think because of the ridiculousness of trying to hide in places that were too small or too obvious. (my daughter at one point sat on the floor and held a floor length mirror in front of her....and the seeker just kept walking back and forth totally not seeing

Good times.

Of course a few really funny (sort of) thoughts come to mind as well. We owned a coon dog at one point whose name was Rosy. Rosy had a horrible little gas problem that made it impossible to enjoy her company for any length of time on a good day. During one night of hide and seek she was in the house with us (another no no) and decided to hide in the bedroom closet along with me and little sis. Older sis was It at the time and happened to be searching for us in the room at about the time Rosy decided to grace us with a full on assualt of her smelly offerings. We basically exploded from the closet unable to take one more second of the noxious gas that was suffocating us...and in the process nearly scared older sis into a heartattack with our sudden screaming emergence. Rosy had the audacity to emerge looking completely innocent of any crime.

Another incident involved one of our friends deciding it was a good time to go to the the dark...while the game was in progress. Needless to say...good thing it was fairly dark when someone crashed into her...spilling her off the toilet seat...and of course pants were down etc. We only got the faintest outline of her hastily pulling up her pants but her flushed faced fairly glowed in the

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Root of All Evil? – The God Delusion Pt 1/2

The Root of All Evil? – The God Delusion Pt 1/2

The Root of All Evil? – The God Delusion PT 2/2

This is well worth viewing...I suggest others watch it closely. One has to wonder why god would allow the 3 main religions of the world to create such a divide in the habor such hate for each other. Didnt god see this coming? If he did...why did he allow it? To claim that people have free choice is bullshit...where is the free choice when each one believes he is folling the One True Faith....the one True God? There is no free choice when there is no thinking going on and just mindless and blind following on faith alone.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Haters hating...

I find this offensive in so many ways..but the most offensive aspect of it are when I see the children surrounding him nodding in agreement. Our children are what we teach them to is teaching them to hate a good thing? a god thing?

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Way back when...blinkers and all.

My second post on this blog...way back when I still called myself Muslim and still believed there was hope to be found in Islam. Funny what a little time, a lot of reading, and soul searching will do to a person. I don't hate that I use to believe and how deeply I believed it (at the time it felt rights and true) but I do hate that I was so easily impressed and completely blinded to the deep seated issues Islam has.

btw I have no issues with others who still profess being Muslim...we all choose our own paths...but I do take issue with falsehoods that are spread concerning Islam. Just because I am no longer one of the ummah...doesn't mean I don't know what I'm talking about and that I don't have a valid point. One thing Muslims seem to believe to be true...if your not Muslim, or no longer call yourself one, than any knowledge you might irrelevant to any discussion concerning it. Whatever.

pride goeth before a fall...and all that shit.

"Drown" the Alligator

Summer has finally reached us here in Wyoming (though we still consider blizzards out of nowhere still possible) and so my kids are off for some swimming fun. While talking to them and reminding them about safety (they know how to swim of course) I was reminded of some of my own swimming memories as a kid. Some good...and some not so good.

I was born in California and spent a lot of time at the ocean side with family. I remember that my grandad had a houseboat. One of those flat bottom things that had a square structure on it that resembled a house of sorts. He took us on it a few times and one particular time really stands out in my memories.

Though I had learned to swim at a very early age I had done all that swimming within the safe confines of a swimming pool. Up to that point swimming in the ocean had never crossed my mind as an was simply to big...too vast. No sides to grab onto when I tired or a diving board to kamikaze off of. I loved being on his boat because I was with him, for one, and we could watch fish etc swimming or jumping out of the water. The sun shines forever in CA and a day on the boat with grandad was a day not inside the house with the Monster.

Once while out on the boat, hindsight tells me grandad and my uncle may have been slightly drunk...not a rare thing there...I wondered out loud what it would be like to swim in the ocean as I gazed over the rails into the deep dark murky waters. No sooner had I uttered the words when suddenly I felt hands grab me, raise me up high...and sling me over the side. Where one moment I was safely on the boat looking I was suddenly underwater looking up at the blurry structure of the boat and several equally blurry human shapes looking down at me.

My breath was gone, all my swimming skills deserted me...all I could think of at that moment was the vast bottomless ocean under my feet...along with whatever lurked down there. I was in a panic and felt powerless as I began to sink more.

More than likely only seconds passed but it felt like a lifetime when suddenly there was a form next to me in the water and I was grabbed and hauled back up to the surface where that first lungful of air never tasted so good. I rose out of the water to the sounds of hysterical laughter from all on board. Everyone apparently thought my little journey into the ocean was all sorts of entertaining...everyone but me. I grabbed a towel and went to sulk for hours...all the joy drained out of the day for me.

Of course I never told my mother for fear she wouldn't let me go out with grandad again (it wasn't the first time he endangered one of our lives through good natured fun) but I also never went with him on the houseboat again. To this day I'm not sure who actually threw me in the water but I wasn't taking any more chances.

Another incident in junior high comes to mind as well. During swimming class in the 8th grade we use to play this game called Alligator. While most of the students lay down on their bellies along the sides of the pool...4 or 5 students would get in the water at the shallow end and make their way down to the edge of the deep end. The point of the game was to not make any sounds what so splashes...nothing. As soon as someone made a sound...all the "alligators" came in the water to tag the swimmers...once tagged you were out. If you made it to the end without being tagged (even after alligators came in) you won.

Now of course there would be good swimmers...bad swimmers...and those that hated the whole thing and didn't really care if they made noise thus ending the game as soon as possible. During one of my turns with a couple other students...I had made it to the midpoint of the pool where the bottom drops off into the deep end. I could no longer touch the bottom with my did what everyone did at this point...I went under to swim the remaining distance underwater and thus make no noise at all. Of course this only works if nobody behind you makes noise as well prompting the alligators to enter the water.

Of course someone did make noise and in came the alligators...since I was already underwater I wasn't immediately aware that the gig was up and thus try to get to the end as quickly as possible. Suddenly I found myself surrounded by alligators that were not happy just to tag me...but seemed to find it necessary to push me further down in the water. As each knew hand tagged/pushed time spent underwater was getting longer and longer. I felt a sense of panic settle in as I realized I couldn't hold my breath much longer...and simply rising to the surface to get some air appeared impossible with all the hands keeping me down.

Just as I felt my ears would burst along with my lungs...I dimly heard a whistle blow and suddenly all the hands were gone. I was free to get to the surface and suck in some much needed air. I was still in the middle of the deep end tho and really had to struggle with what strength I had left to make it to the side. I was utterly exhausted and took many minutes before I could drag my sorry butt out of the water. At this point our teacher finally noticed me and became concerned. As I gasped out what had happened...he helped me out and made sure I was OK...but we never played that game again that I recall. Good.

And of course there is the incident in Bahrain in which two of my children and myself nearly drowned as I attempted to rescue them from a trench dug into the beach a few feet into the water....that one is hands down my scariest water moment...probably because my children were involved as well.

Of course there are a few more humorous moments, though at the time I might not have thought so. During one trip to the pool when my kids were young in which we visited the recreational center....the pool area had three pools. One for older more experienced swimmers...a smaller more shallow pool for waders etc ...and then a hot pool of sorts...just to sit in and relax. The hot pool had steps leading down into it and I happened to be standing next to those steps at the time. I wasn't swimming ...just watching my kids have fun. Next to me was my son Zack, who was around 4 at the time.

At one point I looked down at Zack to check on him and he was nowhere to be seen. I quickly scanned the area but didn't see him. Just when I was about to really panic I happened to glance down at the stairs leading into the hot pool...and there was the bottom of the steps, underwater, with his hands spread out straight...just standing there underwater. I quickly stepped in and grabbed him and hauled him up. As I checked him over and made sure he was OK...asking him what he was doing down there..he was laughing (the stinker was laughing while my heart was pounding)...he wasn't in there long enough to realize the danger...and so was enjoying just standing underwater watching people's legs etc. Ahhh kids. They do make us old.

My oldest daughter, Sara, use to love going to the beach when very young. Her grandad would take her and her brother, Adam, down to his boat every weekend and they would spend hours there...baking in the sun...turning nut brown...while he tinkered on his boat. When I took them to the beach she never hesitated to just run into the water and have fun...until...during one trip to the beach the tide quickly went out leaving the beach itself exposed while they were still out quite a distance. (sometimes you would have to go out quite aways to find water deep enough to actually do more than wade in) This meant they had to walk back through extremely sticky foot sucking mud.

Now this wasn't the problem because we all know that most kids have no problem with a little mud...the problem was that now the crabs...that are inside their holes when the tide is in...are now free to come out. Sara loved eating crabs...up until that point...crabs are a main staple of Bahraini food...but to have her "lunch" suddenly surrounding her...looking ominous and threatening...was too much for her. She was absolutely petrified...frozen solid unable to move. I was shouting at her to just ignore them and come on in...I couldn't go to her because I had my youngest with me laying on a blanket. Her siblings tried to encourage her as well but she wasn't having it. She screamed every time one of them so much as glanced her way. Of course the longer she stood in one place...the deeper she sank in the mud...requiring her to keep shuffling to keep herself from sinking too deep. (no real fear here as there is firmer ground under the mud after a certain point...but she wasn't aware of that)

Eventually, as the sun went her siblings grew tired of trying to help my threats to leave her there lost all meaning to her...she eventually dug deep for courage and made her way back to the screaming step at a time. I tried not to laugh (it's hard to be a parent sometimes...seriously) as she made her way back. Of course I would have been in there like a shot if I thought she was in any real danger...but I have always tried to allow my kids to over come fears...rather than rescue them every time from them...if possible. So I let her work it out herself...and she did...eventually.

To this day she has never eaten another longer finds as much joy at the beach as she once did. She will still go but scans the whole area before taking tentative steps towards the water...and hauls ass out as soon as the tide turns and makes its way out again. Poor baby.

Friday, June 3, 2011


During my years in Bahrain I lived in 4 different places...thus 4 different houses/apartments. While standing at my kitchen sink today washing dishes I kept glancing out my window that is right behind the sink and watched birds, squirrels, traffic...felt the breeze coming through and smelled the grass, flowers. I watched the tops of the tree branches sway and couldn't help but just feel calm at this vista.

Then it made me think about my years in Bahrain and the fact that from all the places I lived in...I did not have any windows in two of those places to look out of, one of them had windows that looked at a wall and the last had windows that just looked out on desert and nothing more. Varying shades of tan with nothing to break up the sameness of it all. I'm sure this contributed to the prison like feeling I always had. I hated my life inside my houses...but there was nothing to look out on either to make me momentarily forget where I was...and more importantly who I was.

I realize that my one kitchen window in this apartment in the US affords me a view that has everything I yearned for over there; color, foilage, wildlife, sound, a cool breeze...a soothing calmness that if nothing else...makes the chore of doing dishes a lot more pleasant.