Tuesday, November 29, 2005

David Gray

I can't stop listening to David Gray. Here is a song I could just put on repeat and listen to over and over.

What on earth is going on in my heart
Has it turned as cold as stone
Seems these days I don't feel anything
Less it cuts me right down to the bone
What on earth is going on in my heart

My oh my you know it just don't stop
It's in my mind I wanna tear it up
I've tried to fight it tried to turn it off
But it's not enough
It takes a lotta love
It takes a lotta love my friend
To keep your heart from freezing
To push on till the end
My oh my

What on earth is going on in my head
You know I used to be so sure
You know I used to be so definite
Thought I knew what love was for
I look around these days and I'm not so sure

My oh my you know it just don't stop
It's in my mind I wanna tear it up
I've tried to fight it tried to turn it off
But it's not enough
It takes a lotta love
It takes a lotta love my friend
To keep your heart from freezing
To push on till the end

My oh my you know I just can't win
I burn it down it comes right back again
What kinda world is this we're living in
Where you never win
It takes a lotta love
It takes a lotta love these days
To keep your heart from freezing
To keep your spirit free

My oh my you know it just don't stop
It's in my mind I wanna tear it up
I've tried to fight it tried to turn it off
But it's not enough
It takes a lotta love
It takes a lotta love my friend
To keep your heart from freezing
To push on till the end
My oh my it just don't stop
My oh my it just don't stop
My oh my it just don't stop

Monday, November 28, 2005

Follow Up

I spoke to the appropriate person to have the aforementioned situation taken care of. As it turns out, I am not the first woman who has come and complained about him. Am I suprised? No. One problem of being an unattached western woman is that men not only think you are easy, but you are not even a person. You are money and you are a passport. You are their potential ticket to the promised land. The land where they have a shot, or so they think, at a prosperous, successful life. And if the ticket is bought with dishonesty, so be it. So be it, even if it means the two of you are married and you don't even really like each other. You barely speak the same language? Doesn't matter. You don't understand each other because of cultural gaps? Doesn't matter. Why doesn't it mater? Easy, because you don't matter. They don't give a shit whether you live or die, whether you are miserable or happy. You don't matter. Ok. I'll stop ranting like a crazy person, but it just really ticks me off.
By the way, I asked this girl in my class about her dreams. The only dream she could remember having was one where she never got to watch Shrek 2 again, and needless to say it was very traumatic. I asked her if she ever talked to Mr. __________ about this dream or any other. She looked at me blankly and said no. So not lonly is he pathetic, he is a bad liar. If he had said he had the dream or somebody else who was harder for me to check with, maybe he could be given some benefit of the doubt. Maybe I wouldn't have been able to prove whether it was true or false.

Friday, November 25, 2005

The Case of the Rotting Brussel Sprouts

Yesterday I noticed that me and Sara's room smelled a bit funny. Sara and I are wonderful, talented girls and, as Bill phrased it this morning in church, we have the gift of untidiness. So this afternoon, Sara and I decided to do some serious cleaning. Sara started the process, but was having no luck finding the source. What could it be? Do our dirty socks really smell that bad? Are the floor boards rotting? Is the cat dead somewhere in the mess of our room? We couldn't figure it out. Finally, Sara comes rushing out of the room. "I found it!" she exclaims. Down the hall she comes with a bag of brussel sprouts. Brussel sprouts which she brought in our room at least two weeks earlier. They were at that time frozen and she put them on her itchy, burning misquito bites so she could sleep. However, they were forgotten at the end of her bed under a pile of clothes. Wow. We are disgusting. We officially reached disgusting. Congratulations are in order.

On a more serious note, I reached a completely pissed of state this morning. It takes quite a bit to get me truly pissed, but somebody pushed me to that point today. Ass hole. For the safety of reputations, I will be somewhat ambiguous on some details. About two months ago there was a certain man who I came in contact with on a regular basis. He wanted to get guitar lessons from me. I told him I was too busy, but he continued to ask over and over again. It got to the point where he made me very uncomfortable. He said one or two comments that made me feel even more uncomfortable. So I began to give him a bit of the cold shoulder. I am forced to interact with this guy regularly, so I just tried to keep it as cold, unfriendly, and brief as possible. Well, I've just now gotten to the point where I am feeling more comfortable around this guy again. I see him at church this morning and we are chatting a bit. He asks me how old one of the girls in my class is. I'm say that she is six years old. He says something along the lines of "I can't believe it! It's just amazing!" So of course I am like what is this guys talking about. She's six. We've all been six at some point. What's so amazing about that? He tells me that she came up to him and said that she had a dream that he and I got married. By the way, this conversation just happened to follow a sermon where it was mentioned that God sometimes uses dreams to speak to us.
Guys are creeps. No offense to all you not creepy guys. I should say. A lot of guys are creeps. He knows I am a nice, polite person and that I won't be directly rude to him. So he takes advantage and is trying to pressure me into . . . marriage? It's really insulting. Does he really think I don't see through that? Does he really think I'm that stupid? Well, mister man who is to be left unnamed, I have one thing to say to you. . . YOU ARE AN ASSHOLE!

Happy Late Thanksgiving

I started to write a post last night, but then got distracted and then later I was too tired. You know how it goes.
But anyhow, happy Thanksgiving everybody!
Thanksgiving here was weird, not bad but weird. Obviously, I am not in the U.S. and therefore it is not considered a holiday here. So I worked yesterday. It was my first Thanksgiving working and my first Thanksgiving without my family. I kept busy most of the day and worked from 7:00am to 6:30pm just so I could avoid being home and feeling sorry for myself. I did have some invites to go elsewhere and celebrate, but I felt like that would only make the homesickness worse. You have to put on a happy face and spend the evening with one or two people you know and a bunch of complete strangers, when where you really want to be is with the people who know you the best (even if they are crazy). So instead of doing the big group thing, I went home and called my family. Julie, Mary, and Tommy were all doing well and having dinner together. My parent's went to visit other family and I didn't get to talk to them. When I got off the phone with them, Rosemary and I ordered in for our Thanksgiving dinner. Then two of my friends from church/work came over and we chatted while we celebrated the day with pizza, calzone, and Foster's. I watched movies and fell asleep on the sofa. So I guess that's at least one thing I traditionally do on Thanksgiving day, although it's usually holiday movies I watch not Bourne Supremacy and Girls Just Wanna Have Fun. All in all, it was a really good day. Today I will be more social and go to a more traditional Thanksgiving dinner I was invited to.
So in honor of Thanksgiving I am writing a thankful for list. These are in no particular order.
I am thankful for. . .
  1. The Kauffmans. Rosemary and Ed's generosity. Sara's listening ear. Esther's sense of fun. Edward. I am thankful for his randomness.
  2. My coworkers. They are good people to work with. They support you with all that they can and slowly are becoming more like a family to me.
  3. My cell group. Though I feel like I am not doing a good enough job at times. They are always there to fill in the gaps when I run out of time, energy, or ideas of things to do. But mostly I am just thankful that they are who they are and I get a chance to know them.
  4. My friends at home. The ones who occasionally drop me a line and make me think "Yay! Maybe I haven't been forgotten!" The ones who you know as soon as you get back you can pick up with like you were never gone.
  5. My family. I am thankful that they don't resent me for being gone for the last year, even though I missed a graduation, two babies, all the birthdays, most of the family drama, and the little ways that we have been there for each other day in and day out of our lives.
  6. My church. It's a good place to be and a good place to grow.
  7. My sanity. Sometimes I am amazed that I'm not truly and genuinely crazy.
  8. Egypt. Being here has been the most amazing experience of my life.
  9. Love. I come across it in so many ways and in so many forms. It is a powerful force. It is a gentle reminder. We wouldn't exist without it.
  10. Music. Who needs an explanation for appreciating good, quality music.
  11. Sleep. What a wonderful way to escape.
  12. Coffee. There is nothing like a good, strong latte.
  13. Nail technicians. Thank God there are people out there who will touch my nasty feet and turn them into something I can show in public for at least a week.
  14. Books. There is a quote I remember, but I don't know who said it originally. "We read to know we are not alone."
  15. Cold weather. What better excuse to cuddle up in sweaters and blankets and drink hot cocoa.

Happy Thanksgiving everybody!

Sunday, November 20, 2005

For the Love of Jazz

Last night I went to see a Jazz band from New Orleans. They were wonderful!! They made me remember why jazz is my favorite expression of music. They made me feel nostalgic over the deep south with their southern accents and when they mentioned collard greens in one of the songs (not that I actually eat them, but they are still very southern). The band was brought in by the U.S. embassy to honor the Egyptian government for the aid they sent to New Orleans after the hurricane. So the down side of the event was that it was a sit down in your seat affair with music that told your body to get on the dance floor. So I chair danced, clapped my hands, and tapped my feet. It was a nice evening.

As a side note, sometimes in life you reach a place where something inside of you just knows that it's time to give something up. It may be a goal you have been striving for and getting no where with in your career. It may be a relationship with someone who just isn't on the same page as you. It may be that you need to change an attitude towards life in general. But sometimes you just get that clear vision that things have to change. I had that vision today in one area of my life and it is already starting to make other areas feel more clear and certain. It's a little bittersweet sometimes when you have to give up things, but it's for the best. Wish me luck in sticking to my guns.

In other news, I will be living at the school this week. Who knew that teaching would be such a time consuming, life consuming job. I would say screw this, but unfortunately I happen to love it. Reports are going out at the beginning of next week, plus my class is having an after school party this week, plus we have a mandatory Thanksgiving Tea after school this week (fortunately I don't have to prepare anything for that). So it's eat, sleep, and breath school for the next week. You probably won't be hearing much from me for a little while.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Music Therapy

A few weeks ago, I was over at the apartment of one of my coworkers. We were hanging out, making Christmas cards, and watching Friends episodes. We spent all day doing this and it was a good time. We got to talking about everything from our favorite musicians to thoughts on getting older to things we miss about being home. I shared with her that one thing I miss about home is playing my own music. I used to play in coffee shops and on street corners and the occassional bar. Now I play at church and that's it. Don't get me wrong I love playing at church, it's the place where I picked up guitar. Church is where I realized I loved, loved, loved singing. Church is kind of like home base for me when it comes to music. But I really do miss performing the songs I've written. I miss doing some of those songs that I didn't write, but I relate to them so much that it feels like I did.
So anyhow, my friend Dorothee (yes she has the German version of my name), came up to me a few days later and said that she would really like to do some kind of get together at her house. I would play. She would host and organize/prepare snacks and drinks. Friends and co workers would come. And so I said that it sounded like a wonderful idea to me.
Lat night was the night. It was so nice for me. I love playing and singing so much. It is a mood enhancer for me. I felt like I was on a high when I was finished with it all. It was also a nice reassurance that just because I hadn't done some of those songs for quite some time, didn't mean that I couldn't still perform them.
So Dorothee, if you read this blog, thanks so much for giving me that opportunity. You are a real gem and I am so glad we are working together this year. Also, if you need a roommate Esther and I would love sharing an apartment with you!

Friday, November 18, 2005

A Quick Thought

My pastor at church said something that stuck with me today. He said that we are often so blinded by our desire for success that we completely miss our true need for significance.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

A Long Week

So I haven't posted for a week now and that is not like me at all, but this week was particularly busy and long and tiring. So I now have stored up a few amusing stories, a few scary stories, and a thought or two. Here goes.

Yesterday at church I was on the worship team. So I'm standing up on stage just before the service starts and I spot my two roomies Sara and Esther. Esther and I have this thing where we wink at each other. So she winks at me and I wink back. Just as I was winking I realized that the father of one of the girls in my class is standing right in front of Esther and looking at me as if to say "why are you winking at me?" Yikes. That's not good.

Earlier this week Esther and another friend were walking down the streets of Maadi. Randomly, an Egyptian guy in a parked car yells to them out of the window "Dottie Wottie Lee!" Now the only place they could have gotten that name is from this blog, I think. So that's weird enough. But why would they yell that out and Esther and some other friend of mine. Truly bizarre. I might be reaching the celebrity status that Sara has around here.

Thursday night I went to the opera. I saw Madame Butterfly. What a wonderful escape from the rest of the week. Wonderful costumes and sets. Gorgeous singing from the baritone, mezzo, and tenor. Though I must say that the soprano's voice was obnoxious at times, the acting was not great, and the orchestra was over bearing. But on the whole, I can't think of a better way to spend $6 or $7. I love the affordability of Egypt.

Alright, this is my last blerb for this blog and I'll save the rest for another time. Yesterday at church, the pastor talked about helping each other grow in Christ. One of his points was that by affirming each others worth we help them grow, and one of the ways that we affirm is by accepting others. I automatically thought to myself ,"oh well that is no problem for me, I accept people just as they are most of the time." Then he goes on to talk about how we measure people against our own strengths. For example, if you are a punctual person doesn't it just bug you when others are late. If you are a particularly tidy person, do you find yourself going into others people's homes, car, or offices and thinking how you are better than them at keeping things neat and organized. Or if you are a free spirit, can you just not understand how some people can't seem to do even small spontaneous things like clap their hands during worship. Then I thought, "oh well maybe I do do that sometimes." His point was that you know you have accepted someone when you stop insisting that they act like you. It's an easy enough concept, but putting it into practice may prove more difficult.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Spinsterhood. . . not yet

Well, I am officially going out on the town two nights in a row. Maybe spinsterhood has not grabbed hold of me just yet. But I am a big dork. I'm going to see the same band two nights in a row. The last time I did that was for the Dempseys. Oh the Dempseys. Sigh. It was love. That is the one CD that didn't end up with me in Cairo that I literally pine for. Ok that and the choral performance of John Rutter's Requiem.

Anyhow, the latest here is that my precious vacation time is almost over. So the downside of that is that I will soon feel swamped with work again. By the time I have my Christmas break, I will again feel like a teacher zombie who has no life outside of the classroom. It will take me a week to get over all the exhaustion, and leave me two weeks of fun and relaxation. The upside of it is that I will be busy enough to not have time to think about home all that much. So I won't feel so damn homesick like I have for the past three or so days.

Wust el Balad

For those of you living in the Cairo area, Wust el Balad is an amazing band. If you haven't seen them, google search them and find out when and where they are playing next.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Ticket Home

Well, I paid for my ticket for Christmas today! Yay! I'll be home from the 22nd of December to the 13th of January. So all you Augusta people clear some space in your holiday calendar to spend time with me. I also expect a really great New Year's party to go to, since I was invited to a super fun New Year's party here that I'll just not be able to go to. So start planning now everyone!

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Back up plan

So I should be on my way to Luxor now, but alas . . . I am not. I am at home. Never fear though. I have a back up plan for the evening. My plans consist of getting good and tipsy, making phone calls home, and writing goofy emails to some friends. It will be every bit as fun, though significantly less amazing, as the temples and tombs and scenery I should be enjoying.