Monday, May 25, 2009

Cricket Advice

You know how there's always people telling you that you should keep your expectations low, and others telling you that you should "aim for the sky"?

You know how there's always people telling you that you should forget the past, and others telling you that it should always be your guide?

You know how there's always people telling you to be Little Miss Optimisic, and others telling you that you should get real, and that the world is not always rainbows and butterflies; it's compromise that moves us along, yeah? (I may have stolen that from Maroon 5)

You know how there's always people telling you to appreciate what you have and be satisfied with yourself no matter what, and others telling you that dissatisfaction is the mother of all improvements?

You know how there's always people telling you to follow your dreams and pursue what you love, and others telling you that what you love won't pay the bills?

You know what you should tell those people?

Shut the cricket* up.

"When you encounter seemingly good advice that contradicts other seemingly good advice, ignore them both."
~ Al Franken
If you like hearing yourself talk so much, start a self-help column/blog/merchandise-stand-thing and sell t-shirts and cups and little keychains with cheery little slogans -or uncheery ones, for that matter-.
But for the love of God and cheesecake and all things holy, spare me.

*Cricket's my new swear word. If people can use shit as a curse, I can use crickets. Poop > Crickets in terms of aesthetic pleasingness, in my opinion)

Saturday, May 23, 2009

My Dentist is a Sadist

Today I had a dental appointment. My dad came to pick up from school at 2 o'clock, which means I got to skip 27 minutes of religion class (yay...)
My appointment was for 2:20. But we got held back at a check point in front of Aramco. Held back for thirty, whole minutes. 1800 seconds. And y'all know I live in fear of wasting even a nanosecond of my precious time.... (Just humor me, alright?)

I don't know why I was pissed off, really; I pretty much slept through the whole thing, waking up only occasionally to the sound of my father slamming the steering wheel with his hands, or cursing the police quite fluently while muttering about the dangers resulting from an engine running in this heat, and that we could be blown up into smithereens any second....
It's obvious why I preferred to rest my tired little eyelids and block out his heated rant.

I think I was pissed off because I wanted to be early for a change. I almost always arrive late for my appointments; then I'm forced to wait until the patient scheduled after me finishes.

In any case, I arrived at the clinic at 2:50, thirty minutes late. I ran upstairs, choosing not waiting for the elevator (it's super slow anyway). There was only one receptionist, Ali (very nice man; always tries to get me to recite my badge number in Arabic or French), and he was busy with another patient. So I stood there staring at the wall, waiting for him to finish. Soon, I was distantly aware of something moving in front of my face, and it was starting to really irk me. It took me a while to realize that Ali was waving both hands in front of my face and practically screaming, "BADGE NUMBER?!" I space out a lot. It's quite nice, actually.

Anyway, so I gave him my number...... my badge number, then I said, "I know I'm late, as usual, but this time it's seriously not my fault, we got held up at the check point."

He looked at me strangely then said, ".... You're not late! You're 10 minutes early. Your appointment's at 3 o'clock!"


"You can sit down and relax now."

"Okay :D"

"Oh and, it's downstairs."

"Huh? Dr. Hamdan...?"


Aw mannn.

So I sat down and relaxed. Not. I was too busy dreading the next 20 minutes. It was a "cleaning appointment," which is really just an euphemism for "endless torture." I do believe that my dentist is a sadist. I think he has this sick disease where he enjoys poking people's gums and making them bleed. Oh, how I hate him. And it isn't just me, you know? When my brother came back to Saudi Arabia on his break from college last summer, he had a dental appointment. He came back with a furious look in his eyes that I knew only too well.
"That dentist is a *beep*ing imbecile. All he did was make me bleed!"
"Oh my God, don't tell me you got Hamdan…"
"Yeah him!"

I sat there in anguish.
Please, God, make the dentist's wife call him and tell him there's a family emergency and that he must go back home, now!
Please, God, I promise I'll never ever annoy my sister again.
Please, God, make me immune to pain, if only for the next 15 minutes....


I pinched myself.


"Umm yeah I'm here..." Unfortunately.

"Right this way please."


"How are you today?"

"Fine...." For now.

"Good good..." Translation: We'll see about that.

We walked into the room. It felt slightly like walking towards death with my own two feet. Suicide.

I have a question. A serious question. And I expect a serious answer.
Is it just me, or do dental clinics resemble torture chambers, way too much for comfort? Seriously, there are separate cells -the rooms-, torture devices -dental instruments-, and uncomfortable chairs. I honestly don't see why corrupt leaders spend thousands of dollars on torture chambers and electric chairs, when all they have to do really is raid a dental clinic and BAM, free torture. It'll milk the answers out of anyone, guaranteed.


Interesting discovery. The fish hook thing?

It's called a "dental explorer." Dental explorer. They make it sound like a friggin adventure. Like Dora the Explorer. "Come on, map! Let's find the City of Lost Toys!"

Moving on. After both he and I settled into our respective chairs, the dentist pulled out his first torture device and told me to "say 'Ahhh...'"
And so the torture began…

Do you know the kind of pain that makes you burn up inside, the kind of pain that makes you feel nauseated, the kind of pain that makes you scream incomprehensible things inside your head?

Yeh, that's the kind of pain I was going through.
I was unconsciously digging my fingernails into my skin and screaming inwardly all the Arabic curse words I know. Every time I flinched, I could see the hint of an evil smile in the dentist's beady little eyes. At one point, with his torture device somewhere way back in my mouth, the dentist wasn't even touching my teeth anymore, just poking my gums repeatedly. I could taste the metallic flavor of blood in my mouth and I really could not handle it anymore.

Okay, so I didn't really. I did in my head, though.

I looked at the clock and nearly wept when I saw that only five minutes had passed. After another 10 minutes of unbelievable pain, he set me free.
"15 minutes already? Huh. Felt like 5 minutes to me, heh heh."
Well, time flies by when you're having fun, doesn't it? Butt wipe.

I promised myself solemnly that I wouldn't thank him as I left.
"Let me just write down your next appointment…."
"Okay." I hope I don't live long enough to witness that.
"Here you go :)"
Damn it.


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

A Picture Worth a Bajillion Words

I found this picture on Deviantart.

I think it's hiliarious how, if you were to take a picture of me once every hour, you'd get the same result.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Reality Show

Have you ever thought, or gotten the gut-feeling, or toyed with the idea – that everyone is talking about you? Not necessarily in a bad way. Well, yes, in a bad way. Like they know something about you that you don't, or something you know but didn't think they did. And then you start contemplating the idea that maybe -just maybe!- secret hidden cameras are following you everywhere, and everyone is getting second-to-second updates on your life. When they look at you, they know the color of the underwear you're wearing; they know you had a fight with your brother; they know you spent ages on your hair in the morning but failed to make it look presentable. They know you're laughing and joking now but just this morning you were crying. They know exactly when you're lying, and they know the truth, because they've seen it happen.

And just when you begin to think you're a total weirdo for thinking that stuff, you watch that movie, The Truman Show, the one where Jim Carry plays a character whose whole life turns out to be a reality show. A reality show that everyone in the world watched and knew about - except for him, and the town he lived in was nothing but an artificial world designed to keep him from escaping and finding out the truth.

And after you watch the movie and think, whoever wrote this script has got serious problems! - you remember: Oops, I was just thinking along those same lines.
Does this mean you have serious problems? Or, since at least one other person has thought of it before, maybe hundreds of others have, too?

Imagination is a funny, funny thing really, when you think about it. At least it keeps you entertained.
Especially when you're supposed to be studying.

Monday, May 18, 2009


I've a stomachache. I think I have food poisoning. 3 weeks of Burger King and McDonald's for lunch can do that to a person....

Anyway. Here is something that I wrote a couple of months ago - An excerpt from a future novel (possibly?)

She approaches me, and I see it in her eyes. I see it etched into the creases in her forehead and in the faint lines around her eyes. I sense its charge in the room. Perhaps I can even smell its formidable odor in the air..

Her malice. It’s all-consuming.
I won’t be getting off easy tonight.

She grabs a fistful of my hair and throws me to the ground. I land on my back, winded. She lifts her foot and stomps at me, kicks me. I cower beneath her, folding my arms over my head and curling my body into a protective ball.
I can’t see her, and I wonder for a second whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing. I try to take a look from behind my forearms, but she kicks me again, and I howl in pain. I feel myself unfurl as I writher around the floor. I’m not quite sure what’s going on, what to expect – what she expects.

Nothing seems real. Everything ceases to exist. Everything, except for the continuous blows and relentless pain: in my stomach, in my right side, in my shoulder, in my heart.

She yanks my hair again and pulls hard, forcing me to stand up. I bite my lower lip to keep myself from screaming. She pulls at my necklace with her free hand, and the chain cuts into the back of my neck. Something trickles down my back, and I can’t, for the life of me, determine whether it’s blood, or simply fear. She finally pulls hard enough for the chain to give way: it breaks, and the beads fall to the floor and scatter, one by one.

She suddenly lets go of my hair and I look at her face, scrunched up in anger, her features almost distorted. Her breathing is heavy, and she is simply standing there, inches away from me. I look around wildly, desperate for an escape.
I want to get out of here.

I want to slam the door behind me and run until I am several streets away from what is supposed to be my "home." I want to keep on running until the only thing I'd hear would be the pounding of my heart in my chest and my feet on the pavement, instead of the echoes of a thousand questions running through my head.

Why is she doing this?

Why is the woman who is supposed to protect me from everything – from monsters and ghosts, from strangers, from bad news and bad people... from a broken heart.. why is she giving me everything to fear?

What did I do to make my own mother hate the sight of me?

I’m suddenly struck with a feeling of emptiness. I imagine a black, endless whirlpool inside me. I feel it sucking all the hope left in me and trapping it in its center.

A question interrupts my thoughts, like a bubble breaking into the surface of peculiarly calm water.

Why am I fighting this?
What am I fighting for?
Maybe I should just let it be…

My mother takes a step towards me, and I snap out of my reverie. She smells the same as I’ve always remembered; of apples, and what I've always imagined the inside of a cloud would smell like – something sweet and indistinctive.
How can a smell so familiar bring fear... when it once brought unconditional comfort?

I take a step back instinctively, realizing too late the mistake I’ve made..
“Do you honestly think you can run away from me?” she sneers.
She raises her hand and I crouch down, my arms raised over my head.
My mother lets out a scream of fury.
“Keep.. your hands.. down,” she says through gritted teeth.
I pull them down slowly and realize that I am trembling all over. I back up into a corner, whimpering. My mother swipes at me, and I immediately fold my arms over my head again. Outraged, she bends down and yanks my arms away; then grabs my hair. She pulls it so hard, and I find myself wondering whether a scalp can possibly be ripped off someone’s head. I scratch and pull desperately at her arms but realize I am only making it worse.

My mother shakes me violently, pulling me by my hair from side to side, kicking me relentlessly in between.
I feel like a rag doll being beaten into pulp.
Worthless pulp.
Sometimes I wonder if that’s all I am.

She stops and releases my hair. I look around me, dazed.
Is it over?

Dark and fuzzy on the floor things catch my eye. With sickened horror, I realize that they are clumps of my hair.
“How can you call yourself a mother?” I ask, intending to scream, but my voice is merely a hoarse whisper.

Tears streak my cheeks, hot and scalding. A painful lump rises in my throat, and I swallow intensely, desperate to rid myself of any additional source of pain. I feel sore all over, almost to the point of numbness.

My mother stands up, a cold smile playing on her lips. She walks towards my musical keyboard and unplugs the voltage converter. She walks slowly back in my direction.
A chill runs down my back, and I am paralyzed with fear. I scramble to get up but fail to do so. I back up as far as I can go.

She wouldn’t… No, she wouldn’t…
She’s too close for comfort now. My heart beats wildly in my chest, threatening to explode.
She can’t…
“Please…” I beg. “Mama… please. No… please…”
She raises the adaptor over her head. I press up against the wall. There is no doubt left in my brain concerning what she intends to do. I look at her face, but it is wiped blank of even her customary mocking smile.
I close my eyes, just in time for pain beyond anything I have ever experienced to come crashing down on my head, jolting all my nerves, extending to every molecule in my body.

One last question - one last bubble - makes its way to my mind, as much as I try to suppress it.
If a life is virtually empty, is it still a life?
Or, more importantly, one worth living?

And then… surrounding me from all directions: a friend, for once.. offering me peace and serenity, instead of the usual uncertainty.........

Sunday, May 17, 2009


Because I have no time to write anything at the moment, since I am working on analyzing the rhetorical modes, tropes, and schemes used in JFK's wonderful inaugural speech (which I could have finished during the weekend if I hadn't slept for..... wait, let me calculate.... 9.. plus 12.. plus 5.. plus 5...... oh wow, 31 hours) a quote will do just fine for today:

"You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life."
~ Winston Churchill
P.S. Rhetorical devices suck. W11A girls, I know you all empathize.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Procrastinators Unite.................. Tomorrow.

Ah, procrastination. What a nasty, nasty disease.

It is... quite simply, indestructible. I tried, you know? I really did. I wrote to-do lists. I lured myself with rewards, food, and goodie bags. I made thousands of promises to myself. But it seems like the more I try to put an end to this cruel disease - the more symptoms I suffer from. It's like quick sand. The more I try to break free, the deeper I sink.
In fact, I've become so good at it, I can procrastinate procrastination. Who'da thought, ay?
Anyway. And hence - the name of my humble blog.. and the reason why we are all gathered here today.

You see, I've decided to channel my unquenchable passion for keeping things to the last minute towards a healthier, more fruitful habit: Writing. I do enjoy writing. I'm one of those people who like to blab on and on about nothing in particular, just because I can. I laugh at my own lame jokes, too. I mean, if I don't, who will? I amuse myself, really.

But that's besides the point. Where were we? Oh yes. I've decided to start a blog instead of wasting time on Stumbleupon. Not that I can give up Stumbling; I am a Stumblaholic. You caught me, mouse-handed. I bet Stumbleupon is just crawling with procrastinators like yours truly. No wonder it's such a safe lil haven for lil ol' me.
"Just one more click. *click* ..................... No I meant one more click starting now. *click* Oh I like this..... But not really. Just one more super-cool thing then I'll get back to that analysis, honestly... *click* Oh WOW Italian recipes! Let me just Like this.... Oh what the hell, just one more.. *click*......................"

You get the picture.

The good news is, I work well under pressure. I can keep an essay until the last minute then come up with something passable and get a passable grade. As some wise person said, "If it weren't for the last minute, I wouldn't get anything done."
I tried fooling myself into believing that procrastination is not causing me any problems. "Time you enjoy wasting was not wasted" and yada yada, right?! And the sad truth is, procrastination actually isn't causing me any problems! Not now anyway. I know that if I spend more than an hour on my essays I could probably come up with something better than what I usually hand in... But I never get bad grades for them. So why bother?!
I get this silly little bout of paranoia every now and then and worry that, if I do change, if I do cure my Procrastinationivitus Syndrome, things will all go downhill from there..... Procrastination is really the only method I've ever known, and it works just fine. Why risk a great thing?

Like I said, it's silly. But so are most fears.

Now, I'm not really the psychotherapy-loving, mumbo jumbo, you-are-this-because-when-you-were-a-child-you-did-that type of person - that would be my mother.
"Danya dear, how many times have I told you, you have to squeeze the toothpaste from the bottom of the tube. Bottom. Bott-ommm. This just proves what a messy person you are."
And I go, "Oh so now you can tell what kind of personality I have by the way I squeeze my toothpaste?"
"Of course. I read something about it."
Oh and it gets better. My mother believes that if I start squeezing my toothpaste from the "bott-ommm" of the tube, all my problems will be miraculously solved. She believes that actions can shape your mentality. Like when I used to walk with my feet pointing slightly inward, she kept telling me that this meant I had confidence issues, and if I start walking properly I'll start feeling more confident and my self-esteem will soar through the roof :)
Like I said, not my cup of tea. But I've recently started thinking long and hard about why I procrastinate. I came up with the following reasons:

1- Deep down, I am a perfectionist buried under layers of lethargy. I have this need to be perfect and do perfect things. So I keep giving half-hearted attempts at everything and tell myself that I can do better if I really want to.

2- Because it works. It bloody well works. I putt off doing something unenjoyable, by doing something enjoyable... And I enjoy it! There really isn't anything to elaborate on.

You know, they say that if you know what the problem is, you're halfway through solving it. Well, ok, I know I have a problem: I procrastinate. They also say that if you know the reason behind a problem, you're halfway through solving it.
Well. That's halfway... and another halfway..... According to the previous statements, I've already solved my procrastinating problem.

BULLPOOP. I'm obviously still a pathological procrastinator, otherwise I'd be finishing (starting) my physics homework, analyzing the rhetorical devices used in JFK's inaugural address, writing up a report on the question of the link between globalization and gender inequality for the Model United Nations conference we're having at our school, working on our "Empowering Laborers" presentation, studying Hadeeth, doing the Arabic homework, working on the EPGY grammar course, writing the Hadeeth article........... or doing the chemistry homework. And I'm pretty sure I left something out.

Ah, this is really sad. I am pathetic.

Paging Mr. Willpower. Is there a Mr. Willpower in the house?

I'll leave you folks with one final gem of wisdom:

"The two rules of procrastination:
1) Do it today.
2) Tomorrow will be today tomorrow."

And a few cartoons that pretty much sum up my life:

Warm regards; be good.