Tuesday, November 30, 2004


Ever feel like the powers that be have decided to play with your life just for the sake of entertainment? I think this is what's happening with me right about now.

In the last 7 days, something's gone off the mark in my world and has turned into what I think a Seinfeld episode might be about--from what I hear from other people since I've only watched the show a few times. I am a self-accepted pop culture moron who has been prohibited from discussing pop-culture anything when I go to LA out of respect for the people that really take this stuff seriously. (No, really).

I'm dividing up the incidents in question, so that I can try to give the reader the details. Read on, please.

Act I:
A few days ago, just before the restaurant opened, I munched on a small piece of a co-worker's chocolate chip cookie. Yes, I did know that there was an extra ingredient in that cookie, but I was focusing on the chocolate chips. I swear, I was! Plus I've eaten plenty of other special cookies and never experienced any side effects. It had always been just the cookie experience.... until this fateful day. I must say I was warned, but I've been warned in the past as well with no real reason. I just didn't take it seriously, which was the beginning of my problems.

About an hour later, as I was dutifully leading diners to their tables as the hostess of a fine dining establishment when it hit me, and it hit me hard. There I was in the middle of the dining area, when it felt like something popped in my brain. I was overwhelmed with this sensation throughout my body that I could only interpret as what one would feel just before fainting.

All I could think was "Oh my God! What if I fall flat on my face right here in the middle of all the guests?! What's going to happen after I'm out cold?"

I gathered all the strength I could muster up at that point and walked back up to the front of the restaurant, hoping no one was there waiting to be seated. I was on the brink of asking my manager to send me home sick when... tadum! I remembered that small bite of a chocolate chip cookie that I'd eaten hours before. There it was, folks. I was actually under the influence at work.

Now, what you don't know about me is that I hate being under the influence of most things. I hate losing full control of my body and mind. Can't stand it. Anytime in the past I've done anything, I've been annoyed to no end until the entire experience was over. I have no judgment on other people, I just can't deal with it myself--which is why I was horrified when I realized what was going on.

It's one thing to make that mistake at home or with friends, but totally another thing to be at work and have to talk to people as a part of my job, or talk to my manager even. I just wanted to wait it out alone and not speak to anyone.

Of course, within 20 minutes, someone walks in. Not to dine, mind you, but to talk with me. Someone I'd met last weekend at my coffee shop walked in with a friend of his to say hi to me (let's call them J and his friend N). And these two had a Seinfeldesque humor that I just didn't have the wits about me to participate in. So here I am, trapped, trying to converse, trying to seem normal, trying to be anything near what I'm usually like... and failing miserably.

It started out bad and got worse. J walks in with N. It takes me a minute to recognize J. Then J announces, "This is the Libyan N", but I didn't recognize N's name though I figured I was the supposed Libyan version of her. So I say, "Who is N? Should I know this name? At which point he says, "This is N" referring to his friend.

And there she was, this N, staring at me with wide eyes and an expression on her face that was nothing less than complete surprise and shock.

[Stoner thought process: Uhhhhhhh, I think she knows that something's wrong with me. She must know! Look at that face. Obviously she knows. What does he mean by coming in here and bringing his friend. Is she here to check me out for him? Is she his girl friend? Is he using me to play games with his girlfriend, when I just met him and have no interest in anything? Oh my God. What if he's interested, and that's why he stopped by. What do I do? What do I do?]

And there stands N. Looking at me. Expecting me to say something.

Eventually, we do get a conversation going...apparently J remembered something from our conversation at the coffee shop that he thought was hilarious. Now, the comment in itself isn't really funny, but I do remember him laughing at it a lot. But I also remember that he was the one that made the comment. I thought it was strange that he was laughing so much at his own comment at the time, so I remembered that it was his comment and not mine. Here's how it went down:

Conversation [Edited Version]:
J: I was telling N about what you said that was really hilarious. You know, the comment about no one living ON the tracks. You either had to be on one side or the other. It just cracked me up.

N: Yeah, he's been laughing about it all week.

J: Yeah, it was really funny.

Me: Uhhh...I realized you thought it was funny.

J: It was hilarious.

Me: But I wasn't the one that said that. I think it was actually you that came up with it.

J and N: [astonished]

J: No... did I? I could have sworn....

N: [still astonished]

Me: I'm pretty sure it was your comment. And I thought it was funny that you were cracking yourself up. But, yeah, I think it was your comment.

J and N: [looking at me like I'm crazy]

N: That's interesting. You know, we were just having a talk about J's narcisism actually.

J: I know! That's what makes it worse. Are you sure about this?

Me: [stoned, trying to be normal] I'm as sure as I can be.

[people walk in, wanting to be seated; I walk away; J and N continue their conversation about his narcisism and how it must control his memory]

[I return, resolved to be honest about the situation, and feeling like an ass-hole]

J: I just can't believe it. And this whole time I thought was you who said that.

Me: Sorry. I didn't mean for this to relate to any narcisism issues you're having...

Listen, I've gotta be honest here. I know I'm being weird, but this is the deal....

[N. continues to look at me like I'm a crack head asking her for a job while a needle is sticking out of my arm; J suddenly having to go have dinner, sympatheticly tells an anecdote of his worst date when he was in a similar state]

Me: [left to deal with the utterly pathetic words coming out of my mouth when ever my manager was near.]

Totally absurd experience. Never will a chocolate chip tempt me again, no matter how chocolaty or yummy it may appear.

Stay tuned for Act II of the Seinfeld invasion of my life.
Theme: Laundry room.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Sorry Everybody

Sorry Everybody

This is one of the most touching and beautiful things I've seen or heard since the election and ever in the US. So many people have no idea what to say right now... to themselves or to each other. This site says it for 49% of voters in the US--to each other and to the world.

This site shows what's really loved and admired about Americans by the rest of the world. And I'm sorry too.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Election 2004 Results

Obviously I have not been around for a while. This is for several reasons, though I doubt this would be interesting for anyone. I was working for a pre-election live television program on a satellite station. On November 2nd, we broadcast a live 6 hour show covering the election numbers and both international and national concerns. Since then, I've picked up some translation gigs at the same station's middle eastern news program. Meanwhile, I still have my night job.
Enough about me. I honestly cannot describe my disappointment in the results of this election. This is not merely because of the re-election of Bush, but the reasons behind it. A huge part of this country apparently believes the words uttered by George W because they believe he is a morally upright and sticks to his guns, which kinda tells me that they haven't been paying attention to everything that's gone wrong or the lies that have been proved. Not only that, but apparently the 'morality' card won out over the intelligence one.
Let me state that I'm not against morality. I'm just not for a specific religion based morality running a religiously and ideologically diverse nation.
Anyways, I found this purple map interesting and relieving because it shows the nuances of politics throughout the US. I just couldn't completely believe the solid red and blue maps. They lent too much to the understanding that the only conflicts between republicans and democrats were at the state levels where as this map shows how it is within states.
Take care.
Election 2004 Results

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Oh Shit!

I just wanted to say that I woke up this morning with some measure of hope that Bush would be defeated. As of Wednesday 2 am morning, my hopes have been shattered and I'm wondering what the world will look like in the next 10 years. It will be different... for sure. Some will say for the better; I maintain it will be for the worse. But what do I know? I just try to see what will be better for most people in the world while others are more focused on what they think will be of interest to themselves.

NPR is playing the national anthem. Ohio is in the spotlight this time. 99% of the precincts have reported resulting in about a 2% lead for Bush. No one's calling it for Bush yet. I hope that continues just because I want that man to know that even if he wins, at least half of the country's voters don't want him. I want him to know that because he has polarized the country in an unprecedented vote.

A few things to note on the Middle Eastern front:
1- Arafat is ill (and old) in Paris
2- the Amir of the UAE (Zeyad) died of a heart-attack (that some think is a result of him realizing Bush is winning)
3- Bush has had an eye on Syria and Iran

The next four years matter. Pay attention.

Yahoo! News - White House Race Coming Down to Ohio

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Link TV - Your connection to the world

To all those that care, this is where I'll be (literally) all through Tuesday, November 2nd of 2004.

Link TV - Your connection to the world

Get out the vote

It's 2:35 am. I've been in the midst of the election craze for about 3 weeks now. I've been looking forward to this national election for a few reasons:
- the hellish atmosphere of my place of work will be over
- some sense of what I'll be doing for the next few years will be determined
- potential peace of mind or a new battle
- getting this psycho out of office and replacing him with a more gentle, thoughtful one that will hopefully be more responsive to his constituents

The climate is really tense. Sometimes I think this is because I'm working at a television station that's focusing on the elections. Then I realize this is the case all over because everyone's flipping out. Some are better at hiding it, though.

People are nervous inside and outside the US. The world really is watching, though no one's chanting it. Thousands of lawyers all over the country have been retained by both parties; journalists are in old school media spirits; and, finally, a lot of past apathetic citizens have figured out that this is not the time to be apathetic, regardless of loyalties. If nothing else, I think it's safe to credit the Bush administration with provoking enough passion (negative and positive) that people are seeing what they never believed before: the vote matters.

This is a moment of truth where opt outs are not an option. Too much depends on it this time.