Sunday, January 24, 2010

A Toss Salad Life

My life has been much like a tossed salad recently . You know , a little of this and a little of that ? Talking to relatives in the States , doing nothing much around the Condo , reading Obama's book , " Dreams From my Father" . Doing the laundry . Just a all round exciting life in the fast lane here !

As I read Obama's book about his childhood , I think how a multi racial inheritance influenced his way of thinking and wonder would he have been different if he had been all white or all black. Of course the answer to that is yes but it is something to contemplate anyway ? That leads me to think about my own children and their multi ethnic back ground . One child has definite feelings of having a handy cap for such a mix . Another doesn't care one way or another , and the 3rd one is 50 /50 on the situation . So , you see it is purely a personal thing .I occasionally read or hear of other people that are mixed race , religion, or nationality; of their coming to terms with their uniqueness , sometimes for the good and sadly to say , sometimes for the worse . I always thought that Moe and I were giving our  children a rich heritage of cultures , races, and languages to draw from as they grew older .Maybe that was what Obama's parents were thinking as well ?As I read more of the book , I am finding it harder and more difficult to reconcile his auto biographical details to the man I see on TV , a world leader . One man is so contained and the other is so open and vulnerable.

The weather has been wonderful for us here in Tripoli finally ! Cool days and even colder nights with spectacular sunsets seen from our balcony in the evenings . Clouds that roil in from the north over the sea bring delight to the eye .

I am basking in my solitary  leisure , doing nothing much but daydreaming .My friends have decided that enough is enough and have tried to tempt me from my den by useing my weakness , my love of good food , lol . One calls to say she has chesse stuffed hot dogs imported from Malta . Another calls to say she has a special surprise for me ...home made rasberry cheese cake with a peacan crust , a whole cup full .I have to admit , these things do tempt me , but I am enjoying the peace of my home too much to venture out .Sheilia called me the other day to ask did I need her and I had to moan that yes I did , in the worst way , but not yet.I have become a hermit .Soon , I will leave this zone of tranquility , sally forth to see these good and caring friends of mine ,enjoy their fellowship , worship in the love we share as friends , but not yet .Soon .Life is so good .Wishing you well and happiness , OTE

Painting by Mark Adam Webster ... " Grey Matter"

Sunset Over Tagura

Monday, January 18, 2010

It Is What It is

"It is what it is" . I am hearing this phrase a lot when talking with family and friends in the US these days . I don't like it . It sounds rude , abrupt , simi obnoxious .People used to say " That's the way it is , love it or leave it" .Sometimes they would say "What can I say "? Other phrases as well but I just can't think of any right at this moment .

Languages evolves all the time .I know that, but it doesn't mean that the new words or phrases are as effective as the old phrases or words .Take for instance " Issues " instead of the word "Problems ", or "History" taking the place of the phrase "We go way back " .People now days have "Issues" instead of "Problems" . I don't know about you , but I think the word "Problem" is a more effective word than "Issues" . Or saying to some one ," Yeah we go way back together " sorta gives things a more intimate feeling than saying ,"there is a history there" .

Another thing I am hearing more and more while talking to family and friends back in the States is that the unemployment "Issue" ( See what I mean ? Wouldn't the word problem express the fuller meaning ?) is still a  much bigger "Issue " than the government wants people to know. It is being down played a degree to make the government look better .Like there is progress being made when there isn't much really happening .A few new jobs are being created , but the loss of so many old jobs causes the gap to widen , not shrink .It is "Hard Times For Many" there in the States and around the world , also .

Consumer prices are on the rise , insurance for health , car , and home are unaffordable by many . Sad to say many people that can afford the health insurance don't qualify due to "pre-existing conditions " . Insurance company's will take your money but when you need to use the policy , you will probably be discontinued from the insurer for one reason or another so that the insurance company doesn't have to pay , as promised . That leaves the policy holder , proverbially holding the bag , filled with debts that they hadn't planned on having to pay for because they were told they were covered by their insurance policy.The insurance company just canceled on them .And the worse part is there isn't any recourse , or way to fight this arbitrary act by the insurance company's .Children , babies go with out the most basic health care because unemployed parents can't afford to take them to the doctors when they are ill .This ,in one of the worlds richest nations, is totally unacceptable .

People that were hard working , contributing members of society , paying taxes , are now homeless .Living in cars, under bridges , hoping to find shelter for the night in a charitable homeless shelters .Soup kitchens are over run by people that can longer pay for food due to being unempolyed .Food pantrys running out of food because donations are down . The reason being ... the people that once donated food to the food banks are either living on less them selves and are no longer in a position to contribute, or are now in need of assistance them selves .Things are bad  all over now in the US.These are real Problems and not just Issues . I guess you could say , "it is what it is ".
Painting by Corbis entitled " Tongue Tied".

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Do You Belive This ???

Got this in a email from Khadijateri and thought it was so crazy , I had to share it with you .

Stella Awards

 It's time again for the annual 'Stella Awards'! For those  unfamiliar with these awards, they are named after 81-year-old Stella Liebeck who spilled hot coffee on herself and successfully sued the McDonald's in New Mexico , where she purchased coffee. You remember, she took the lid off the coffee and put it between her knees while she was driving. Who would ever think one could get  burned doing that, right? That' s right; these are awards for the most outlandish lawsuits and verdicts in the U.S. You know, the kinds of cases that make you scratch your head. So keep your head scratcher handy.

Here are the Stellas for the past year:


 Kathleen Robertson of Austin, Texas was awarded $80,000 by a jury of her peers after breaking her ankle tripping over a toddler who was running inside a furniture store. The store owners were understandably surprised by the verdict, considering the running toddler was her own son.

 Start scratching!


 Carl Truman, 19, of Los Angeles , California won $74,000 plus medical expenses when his neighbor ran over his hand with a Honda Accord. Truman apparently didn't notice there was someone at the wheel of the car when he was trying to steal his neighbor's hubcaps.

 Scratch some more...


 Terrence Dickson, of Bristol , Pennsylvania , who was leaving a house he had just burglarized by way of the garage. Unfortunately for Dickson, the automatic garage door opener malfunctioned and he could not get the garage door to open. Worse, he couldn't re-enter the house because the door connecting the garage to the house locked when Dickson pulled it shut. Forced to sit for eight, count 'em, EIGHT days and survive on a case of Pepsi and a large bag of dry dog food, he sued the homeowner's insurance company claiming undue mental Anguish. Amazingly, the jury said the insurance company must pay Dickson $500,000 for his anguish. We should all have this kind of anguish. Keep scratching.. There are more......

 Double hand scratching after this one.....


 Jerry Williams, of Little Rock, Arkansas, garnered 4th Place in the Stella's when he was awarded $14,500 plus medical expenses after being bitten on the butt by his next door neighbor's beagle - even though the beagle was on a chain in its owner's fenced yard. Williams did not get as much as he asked for because the jury believed the beagle might have been provoked at the time of the butt bite because Williams had climbed over the fence into the yard and repeatedly shot the dog with a pellet gun.

 Pick a new spot to scratch, you're getting a bald spot..


 Amber Carson of Lancaster, Pennsylvania because a jury ordered a Philadelphia restaurant to pay her $113,500 after she slipped on a spilled soft drink and broke her tailbone. The reason the soft drink was on the floor: Ms. Carson had thrown it at her boyfriend 30 seconds earlier during an argument.

 Only two more so ease up on the scratching.. ..


 Kara Walton, of Claymont , Delaware sued the owner of a night club in a  nearby city because she fell from the bathroom window to the floor, knocking out her two front teeth. Even though Ms. Walton was trying to sneak through the ladies room window to avoid paying the $3.50 cover charge, the jury said the night club had to pay her $12,000..... oh, yeah, plus dental expenses.  

Ok. Here we go!!


 This year's runaway First Place Stella Award winner was:  Mrs... Merv Grazinski, of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, who purchased new 32-foot Winnebago motor home. On her first trip home, from an OU football game, having driven on to the freeway, she set the cruise control at 70 mph and calmly left the driver's seat to go to the back of the Winnebago to make herself a sandwich. Not surprisingly, the motor home left the freeway, crashed and overturned. Also not surprisingly, Mrs. Grazinski sued Winnebago for not putting in the owner's manual that she couldn't actually leave the driver's seat while the cruise control was set. The Oklahoma jury awarded her, are you sitting down?
 $1,750,000 PLUS a new motor home. Winnebago actually changed their manuals as a result of this suit, just in case Mrs. Grazinski has any relatives who might also buy a motor home.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Addiction , The Dance

We are always behind scheduling of current US or UK TV shows but thank goodness we get them .We recently finished the 2009 " So You Think You Can Dance " Season #5 here in Libya . It was a great season with some completely fabulous dancers , along with awesome choreographers .One dance that stands out in my mind as clearly  unforgettable was Mia Michaels " Addition" as danced by Kayla and Kupono .I have watched this dance over and over and it only gets better each time .Those of you that are not that fond of dance will love this video too. Hope you enjoy it as much I.

What A Party !

 WOW !

That was some party huh ??? LOL ! I can't believe it is already the 10th of Jan. The last thing I remember is getting ready for New Years Eve . 

No , ok , for real ...... I was sick ... AGAIN ! I thought that was all behind me last year but food poisoning had another thought or two instead . Well , I survived and am back .

After living through that HELL , I was so excited to get back to the computer to see what I have missed  while lying in bed this past week .BUT ... I couldn't get the thing to open . The reboot menu continued to open every single time I tried to open the computer . Now for many of you this wouldn't be a problem , correct ? But for some one like me that is totally ignorant of computer speak , this was a crisis of major proportions .I was so intimidated by it all.

I was so determined to get on the computer that I took matters into my own hands and tried to fix it myself .Completely terrorized, shaking( really),I read down the menu of possible existing disasters awaiting me if I stupidly clicked on the wrong thing . You never know , like .. click here to lose all your pictures ... FOREVER! Or maybe ... click here to erase all existing files.Or .... you are such an idiot that you deserve to have your entire hard drive wiped clean, hahahahaha ( my computer might decide to channeling Evil Hal from 2001 Space Odyssey )! I am a genuine scaredy cat and things like this make me decidedly nervous ! I clicked . 

A miracle happened . The computer opened . I felt like I had been on the roller coaster ride of my life . My heart was pounding. I was breathless the way you are when the roller coaster ride is over and pulling back to the starting place . My knees were clacking together,but ,by golly I did it! The thing was working !

That was all well and good UNTIL... I tried to open the Internet. It wouldn't open .Ok , I remained calm .... sorta .I didn't know why it wouldn't open and couldn't figure that out either .I gave up and called MS. FIX IT , Khadijateri . I threw myself upon her tender mercies and begged. She came today and told me I needed a new battery . Now go figure a computer would need a battery ! God Help Me !

On top of that , I couldn't believe that we have had temperatures of the mid 70's to 80's F. the last few weeks . It is snowing ALL OVER  North America and Europe. It is after all, winter in the northern hemisphere and it is expected to be at LEAST COOL , if not freezing ! 

No rain, no snow( Just wishful dreaming on my part I know ) just miserable , relentless warm sunshine day after day . Do you believe it was actually colder in Havana, Cuba than here in Tripoli the other day? Havana , not Savannah! Miami was colder than here! Cairo was colder than here . Now what is that about ?Until last night , he he he ! We had a cold ( ok , we are talking Tripoli , Libya here , not Europe ) snap . It is windy and cold tonight and I am loving it . Pretending it might snow , well what the hell , right ? LOL ! SO FAR..... no snow .I have my fingers crossed though . I will keep you posted on that snow ,lol! Gotta go and find my snow suit . Ciao !