Wednesday, September 12, 2012

I am an American.

Today I attended a political debate hosted by my university. Each side was represented by two members of their club; democrat and republican. I myself have not committed myself to either party; however, the democrats were more successful at pleading their case.
When it came down to vote it was quite obvious the democrats would win. As we waited for the ballots to be counted one of the representatives volunteered to sing the national anthem to entertain us. I have never been so embarrassed or uncomfortable in my life. This student purposefully sang the national anthem as silly as he could and made a compete mockery of it. Not only were all the students sitting and laughing at every note, no flag was raised, no hand place on any heart, no respect given,  but I was sitting next to my good friend who is in the United States Air Force. I cringed in disappointment as he stood to honor this song. He stood amongst the student body, disappointed himself, at the lack of respect given to him, what he represents, and the words in the song.
When the student finished the song the other students cheered and laughed while his pleased grin demonstrated how funny he though he was. I'm sure he truly meant no respect by mocking the national anthem, but it just really shocked me. For someone who is well versed on American politics and history, he should have known better. 
My friend immediately left; not saying a word. I sat there for a few minutes and tried to collect my thoughts. As admirers congratulated the student, I decided to wait in line to let him know just how I felt. When it was my turn, I tried to be as polite as I could and said, 'hey congratulations on your win, but next time you sing that song can you take it seriously? There were people in the military in the room and it was really disrespectful.' His grin immediately vanished as his apologized and hopefully realized what a fool he made out of himself. I couldn't help but fight back tears as I walked away. I'm not sure why I was so emotional, but I have thought quite a bit about it.
Initially, I think I was sorry that my friend had to stand in the middle of that scene. I'm probably being too dramatic and blowing this out of proportion, but I was appalled by the actions taken by the students and the reps of the political clubs. Whether they were democratic or republican, we are all Americans and is it too much to ask for them to be respectful?
Even in light of the fact that yesterday was 9/11, (and what happened in Egypt and Libya) that kid did not think that that would be inappropriate or disrespectful. Having lived in a foreign country, which I know many BYU students have, we have so much to be grateful for as Americans that we take for granted everyday. We have things that people in other countries don't even dream about. As a woman, I have more rights and opportunities that women in other countries can't even fathom. I have those because my friend, and others like him, and fought and died for them. Regardless of who wins this upcoming election, American's will be 100% better off than almost 70% of those living on this planet. I am not a democrat or a republican. I am an American. 

Please consider the lyrics to our national anthem- The Star Spangled Banner

Oh, say can you see by the dawn's early light
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars thru the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore, dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream:
'Tis the star-spangled banner! Oh long may it wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion,
A home and a country should leave us no more!
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps' pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war's desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav'n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: "In God is our trust."
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

Here is a link to learn more about the significance of the song.

And here is how it's supposed to sound.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

i gotta find peace of mind

I gotta find peace of mind
I know another cord...
I gotta find peace of mind
See, this what that voice in your head says
When you try to get peace of mind...
I gotta find peace of mind, I gotta find peace of mind
He says it's impossible, but I know it's possible
He says it's impossible, but I know it's possible
He says there's no me without him, please help me forget about him
He takes all my energy, trapped in my memory
Constantly holding me, constantly holding me
I need to tell you all, all the pain he's caused, mmmm
I need to tell I'm, I'm undone because, mmmm
He says it's impossible, but I know it's possible
He says it's impossible without him, but I know it's possible
To finally be in love, and know the real meaning of
A lasting relationship, not based on ownership
I trust every part of you, cuz all that I... All that you say you do
You love me despite myself, sometimes I fight myself
I just can't believe that you, would have anything to do
With someone so insecure, someone so immature
Oh you inspire me, to be the higher me
You made my desire pure, you made my desire pure
Just tell me what to say, I can't find the words to say
Please don't be mad with me, I have no identity
All that I've known is gone, all I was building on
I don't wanna walk with you, how do I talk to you
Touch my mouth with your hands, touch my mouth with your hands
Oh I wanna understand, the meaning of your embrace
I know now I have to face, the temptations of my past
Please don't let me disgrace, where my devotion lays
Now that I know the truth, now that it's no excuse
Keeping me from your love, what was I thinking of?
Holding me from your love, what was I thinking of?{"
You are my peace of mind, that old me is left behind
You are my peace of mind, that old me is left behind
He says it's impossible, but I know it's possible
He says it's improbable, but I know it's tangeable
He says it's not grabbable, but I know it's haveable
Cuz anything's possible, oh anything is possible
Please come free my mind, please come meet my mind
Can you see my mind, oh
Won't you come free my mind?
Oh I know it's possible
Anything, anything, anything, anything, anything, yeeey
Anything, anything, anything, anything, yeeey
Anything, anything, anything, anything, anything, yeeey
Oh free! Free, free, free your mind
Free, free your mind... free, free your mind
Free, free, free, free your mind
Oh, it's so possible, oh it's so possible
I'm telling you it's possible, I'm telling you it's possible
Free, free... free, free... free, free... get free now
Free, free... free, free, free, free... free, free
You're my peace of mind, that old me is left behind
You're my peace of mind, you're my peace of mind
He's my peace of mind, he's my peace of mind
He's my peace of mind, he's my peace of mind
What a joy it is to be alive
To get another chance, yeah
Everyday's another chance
To get it right this time
Everyday's another chance
Oh what a merciful, merciful, merciful God
Oh what a wonderful, wonderful, wonderful God

Friday, December 9, 2011

so long to the headstrong

These last four months my life has been filled with translating newspapers, studying vocab, speaking appointments and presentations, and meeting new people. Although it has been tough and exhausting, it was very rewarding. Throughout my time in Jordan I have learned a lot about myself and have grown to love this culture, religion, and its people.  There are many things that I can’t help but love and appreciate about Jordan.

-          Traffic and transportation: I know the ins and outs of Jordan through its services, buses, and taxies. My favorite thing to do is ride a taxi from one side of the city to the other while listening to fairuz or American music late at night, watching as some parts of the city are closing down for the night, while others are just getting started.

-          Buildings and neighborhoods: There is a clean line of the rich and poor in Amman. One side of the city is filled with old, overlapping apartment buildings, broken roads and stairs, markets, and falafel stands.  In the other side, you’ll find bridges, tunnels, main roads, nicer apartments that are designed the same, supermarkets, KFC, and McDonalds.

-          The People: However, whichever side they come from, the people are the most generous that I know.

-          Religion: Muslims live their religion better than I do. Nothing is as inspiring as watching a man stop in the street or a women leave your company to pray. Nothing is more beautiful than the call to prayer at sunset.

I have become very comfortable her, so much so, that I haven’t felt like a tourist, or even a foreigner for a long time. Things that were a surprise and different to me at first are second nature to me. I try to envision my life before I got here and I can’t remember. I laugh when I try to envision myself trying to fit back into Provo life and ALL that goes with it. I worry that I’ll miss Jordan too much, and have moments of craziness. However, I worry at how easy it will be for me to participate in my old life as I used to as if I had never left, and how easily I’ll forget my life and experiences here.   

To be honest I haven’t improved in Arabic as I had wanted or expected to when I got here. Not because of my program or any other factor other than myself. I’m just not that brilliant, and need more time. And it’s taken me a long time to accept that and be ok with it. There are some days when it’s harder to accept than others, but I’ll get there. It does however, give me an excuse to come back, and that makes me smile. 

Some of my favorite memories-

Annie taught me everything I know. :)

Fruit salads

the city of salt

cold apartment and cold roommates.

good friends and the best of times. 

my primary class

petra and good company

view of al-ashrafiyya at sunset

one of my fav places. darat al-fanun. 

The boudia and riding a camel. 

boating on the red sea

city of aqaba

wadi rum

eid istaklal

good people. good times

view from al-ashrafiyya at night
al-ashrafiyya mosque

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

ذكريات لذيذة

The other night I decided to put some effort into my dinner. I searched the kitchen for some food I could work with. I looked on my shelf only to find the usual; cheese, pita bread, and Hindo Mie (the Arab equivalent of top ramen, but better). After rummaging through Annie’s food and leftover items from the program, I had found my inspiration for my meal.

These last couple months I have been working at a women’s center. During my time there, some of the girls would cook food for me. I was also invited to eat with them in their living quarters on a few occasions. It was always random and a surprise. In order to show my appreciation, I always ate whatever they gave me quickly and praised them for how delicious is was. This of course was not hard to do, as everything they made was delicious. On one occasion, the girls made a huge dinner and invited me to come.  I watched as each girl prepared their assigned dish.  One girl made a salad that is to this day, the best I have ever had. She cut up peppers, cucumbers, martabela meat, and tabouleh lettuce into fine pieces. She then fried pieces of pita bread to make croutons. She mixed all of these together and added corn and spices. It was amazing. I especially loved the croutons. Another girl’s favorite food was cheese. She’s a girl after my own heart because I love cheese as well. She cut big blocks of a type of very salty cheese here in Jordan and put them into a bowl of water, in order to soak up most of the salt. After that, she coated them in flour and fried them till they were golden brown. Another girl made rice. It was very simple. Boiled, drained and added with butter and spices. A fourth girl added fruit powered juice to water and added ice, which I would consider a delicacy here.

These were the kinds of meals that the girls would bring down to me and what I tried to recreate last night. I boiled and drained rice and then added some chicken and garlic spices. I drained some salty cheese, covered them in flour, and fried them, along with pieces of pita bread. And I finished the meal off with fruit powdered juice. I decide to eat my meal outside, as iftar had already begun. I moved our table to the very edge of the balcony in order to see all I could of our amazing view. I listened and watched fireworks and gunshots throughout the old city. I reminisced of my time at the center as I enjoyed my Khadeeja croutons, Noura cheese, Bassima rice, and Yusara juice. 

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

i'm fixing a hole.... miss kate's lonely hearts club band

Three years ago, the summer before my senior year, I decided to take summer school. I wanted to get my senior project out of the way to make my senior year less stressful and so I could maybe graduate early.  Years prior to this summer I developed an interest in the Middle East and had expressed interest in learning Arabic only to my parents. Believe it or not, I was embarrassed to tell my friends, family, and people who would ask what I wanted to do when I was in college, this interest of mine. I didn’t think it was very realistic and it was just random. Arabic? Middle East? Where was this coming from? I could hear people saying, ‘what are you going to do with that?’ and ‘well you better watch out, it’s pretty scary over there.’ (which is a common reaction) Not only was I embarrassed, but I didn’t think I was capable of doing it. I remember doubting the possibility all together and I put this dream on the back burner placing my focus elsewhere.
Well, three years ago I couldn’t keep it back there any longer.

In Idaho every senior has to give a huge presentation about a bill or law in which they make amendments to and give recommendations based on their research. That summer was the last semester in which your law could be on an international level. It has since changed to only state laws. I wrote mine about the United States foreign policy towards the Middle East, and that it needs to change. I used the past and current relationship between the US and Egypt, Pakistan, and Iran as examples of the way our government’s rhetoric does not match up with our actions. This project brought back that desire to learn and understand more about the Middles East, and especially the desire to be able to communicate with the people.

While I was giving that presentation, literally the exact time 11-1130 on July 22, my cross country coach and three of my teammates were in a car accident. I remember driving home from my presentation relieved and happy to be done with a long intense semester. I was super excited to go home and pack for our xc sawtooth running camp the next day. It was also raining. A few hours later I received the news that Steven had died. Mr. Mabey was in critical condition. Austin was in surgery, and Michael was doing ok.

The number one priority at this time in my life was my xc team. And it had been for a while. I started running xc in the sixth grade, when I actually first met Austin and Michael. I loved running. My team was my second family. I feel like runners have such a stronger relationship with each other than most other teams. We fight and struggle not only physically, but mentally as well. We push our minds and bodies to complete insanity, a feeling that only we know and understand. Our team got along so well. We hung out with each other outside of practice on a regular basis.  We just had a really strong bond that I continue to reminisce and reflect on. However, it’s not always the good times I remember. After Steven died, I feel like our team kinda fell apart. Everyone had their own way of dealing with it. The accident affected each of us in different ways and we tried to pick up the pieces the best we way we knew how. I remember a lot of unnecessary and disappointing drama. I remember being hurt and completely helpless. I tried so hard to hold on to the perfection of what we had been the year before. I had always thought that tragic things like this brought people closer together, and I always expected that it would turn itself around as such, but I don’t feel that it did.

I want to make clear that I do not put blame on anyone. I do believe that things happen for a reason. I accept that it was Steven’s time and that we all needed to learn something from it. I do however regret how I may or may not have handled the situation. As a senior, it was my responsibility to hold the team together. I don’t know if I was a good enough friend and support for my team. I don’t know how I should have done it differently. In the twenty years on my life (I know it’s not that long) this is the only time of my life that I regret.  If I could go back I would try to figure out how I could fix this.  I know that I may be the only one who feels this way. I feel like I didn’t really heal properly. I played lacrosse instead of running track, and I left for college two weeks after I graduated. This was an important time that I needed with my people, and I didn’t give that to myself. I needed my team. I needed to heal with them, instead of silently on my own. This hit me really hard that next summer. My first semester of college was miserable and the only thing that kept me together was that I went running every single day. The rest of my team was moving on together and I wanted to be there so bad. I’ve always known that all of us would graduate and move on and we would go different places and do different things with our lives, but I never considered that we would never keep in touch. There are a few that still hangout on a regular basis, even though they’ve since left high school. They had another year to run and be together in order to heal and move on. I’m so jealous of that. I think those of us who graduated that year have grown apart the most and I haven’t spoken to them in a long time, nor have I spoken to others on my team.

Running was my passion. I loved it. I used to be really good at it. It made me relaxed and was more of a relief from the stress of my life. Nowadays, it sometimes makes me more frustrated than ever because I can’t run as fast as I could and that I have no one to run with. If you had told me my junior year in high school, that as I approached my junior year in college I wouldn’t be running very much anymore, I would have told you that you were crazy. Don’t get me wrong, I do go through phases where I run a lot for a couple months and then I don’t. It’s kindof the new pattern of mine. I also have seen that this loss has carried over into other passions that I had. I was more creative. I loved music more and spent hours finding new bands. I don’t even remember the last time I did that. I used to read books ALL the time. Now it’s a chore just to finish books required for school.

This is what I reflect on every summer. However, this year I have discovered something else; something that I find to be very precious to me. And that is the connection I feel with Steven and my team.  Although I didn’t know him very well and not very long, I realize that he shares some of the most important events in my life that have furthered my interests in the Middle East. My senior project was such a big deal to me. It was kindof my statement to the world that I was serious about it. It also made me super vulnerable because I couldn’t turn back now; I had to go for it. Even still, I doubted myself. It was the turning point in my life just as it was the end of his life on earth. That next summer, as I said, was miserable. I was lost. I remember being very frustrated with the lack of direction in my life and on his first anniversary, I recall the thought of ‘yes you do have one kaiti, you figured it out last year, why aren’t you doing it?’ This surprised me and intimidated me. I spent that next year debating in my mind if and how I was going to do it. Most of my friends didn’t know of my plans. I remember telling one of my best friends that I wanted to learn Arabic and she agreed with me how unrealistic it was. I wasn’t a student at BYU and I didn’t know when and if that would happen so I didn’t really do anything about it. That year was one of the most depressing times ever. It was just left overs from the summer before and got worse.

On Steven’s second anniversary I would find myself sitting in the Intensive Arabic 101-102 class at BYU. The events that got me to that place are still somewhat unknown to me, but I truly feel that Steven played a part in some way. As cheesy at that sounds, I can’t help it. I can’t even begin to express how that summer changed my life. Even though I had lost the passion running gave me in my life, I had found it through Arabic. It was the hardest and best thing I have ever done in my life. I loved it! I wouldn’t change that experience for anything. I can’t imagine going back to who I was before; I don’t even know who that person is anymore. That fall, through means not unto my own, I was able to take 201 and became a legit BYU student in the winter. It put the fire back into me to care about school and work hard again.

This summer, on Steven’s third anniversary, I found myself standing in front of the Amman, Jordan Branch relief society, teaching a lesson about desire in English and Arabic. I recalled Steven’s example to me of desire. He wanted to be a great runner, and he was. He worked so hard to achieve what he desired and was a great example to everyone around him. He also had a strong desire to become closer to Christ. And he lived his life in such a way. My new passion in life has become learning Arabic and advocating for the Middle East. I finally did what I had wanted to do for so long. Finally people knew about what I wanted to do and I have their support. I am learning and experiencing the culture that I have wanted to be a part of for so long. I’m learning the language that I thought was impossible for me. I like knowing that Steven is progressing in this process with me and I plan to take his memory with me throughout my life and my career in the Middle East.

Even though I have found my new passion, I can still feel myself losing focus and being overwhelmed by my future goals. I think it’s because I haven’t reconciled what happened with what was once most important to me and the people that are still important to me. Since I’ve been here in Jordan I have really tried to find some of the passions I’ve lost and develop the newer ones. I’m nervous about my upcoming semester. I can’t believe that these will be the last required Arabic classes in order to receive my degree and be able to say I know Arabic…but I have come a long way and I am ready to settle down, get my shiz together, and start some intense studying!!

P.S.  I’m sure this makes no sense. But It’s been on my mind for a while and I needed to sort it out and write it down!
P.S.S I really hope some of you know where the title of my blog is from...

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Aqaba take two: “does anyone have an appropriate zipper?”

This last weekend the gang and I went to Aqaba in celebration of the fourth of July. On our way there, at one of the rest stops, a couple of us were sitting on some steps. A few moments later a bunch of Asians arrived in what would seem as the oriental express. They began taking pictures of themselves in front of the store of the steps we were sitting on. As they were leaving, a man walked up to Jer Bear with his camera. Jer assumed that he wanted him to take a picture for them, but that immediately changed as the man put his arm around Jer. This created a ripple effect as more Asians started jumping into the picture of this man and three white people sitting on the steps. A lady wrapped her arms around my neck and shoulder rather tightly for the picture. I did not like that.

 After a long, uncomfortable bus ride to Aqaba we were dropped off at our hotel Aquamarina. I think the best way to describe the quality of this hotel would be to say that when we arrived there were no numbers on the corresponding doors, so they had to show us what room was ours. I believe that they began gluing them on after we arrived.

We set off to the beach. This is the same beach where I made the camel guy mad, so I was hoping that he wouldn’t make his presence known. After about a half an hour sitting on the beach that isn’t appropriate for girls to get into the water, I wanted to go to the other, touristy beach. I decided to go shopping before we were going to head out. I couldn’t find the store that I had previously seen during our last trip that I had made a mental note of going to. Instead, I went to the Dream Mall. This place was less like a dream and more like a nightmare. It was the weirdest mall I have been to. It was small, and as I walked in, there was no one in it. I couldn’t see anyone. There was no noise and the few stores inside didn’t have anyone working in them. I walked up the escalator that was not working to check out some clothing stores that looked the least Arab. (stores selling more than just hijabs etc.) None of the clothes really sparked my interest and I used the elevator to go up to the next floor. While in the elevator, which was glass, allowing me to see the rest of the mall, a man finally made himself known. He watched me go from one floor to the next as I tried to compose myself from being startled at his sudden presence. The floor I arrived at turned out not to be a part of the mall, but offices. I found the stairs and made my way down to the main floor. From there I finally saw a couple more employees. It was pretty sketchy and creepy to say the least. Instead I went to some stores on the street and ended up buying some flip flops and a fitted sheet for my bed. I cannot find fitted sheets in the balid to safe my life and for some reason I don’t have flip-flops. So I was pleased with my purchases.

The south beach is cleaner and more tourists hang out there. We set up camp and chilled in the water for a little bit. The bottom of the shore is covered with sharp rocks and there was no sand as we went further out, so we didn’t stay in the water long. Instead, we relaxed on the beach. That night, we watched the sun set over Israel.

We went to dinner that night at the same restaurant we had gone to for lunch that same day. It was probably one of the best restaurants I have been to in a while. When we got our bill, Annie realized that she didn’t have her wallet with her. This is where the night got interesting. We couldn’t find it anywhere and it wasn’t in the bathroom where she possibly could have left it. The manager and employees of the restaurant were very helpful. Annie and I watched the camera footage of the restaurant while we were there. We saw Annie enter the bathroom with her wallet and leave without it. Then we saw two sketchy girls enter the bathroom about twenty minutes later. We couldn’t tell if they had the wallet because they had huge purses with them.  But there were the only girls to enter the bathroom for the rest of the night so we know that they are the thieves!

With the videos in hand, Annie, Jer, and I went to the police station. I don’t even know how to explain this situation as accurately and amazingly hilarious as it was. Annie talked with the tourist police as Jer and I just sat there and made an occasional joke. The policeman seemed pretty bored because we quickly became the case to be in the know about as men would come in and out giving their two cents about the situation. One of the best quotes of the night was when Annie was describing the wallet. She didn’t know the word for zipper. After a quick look at her pants she asked us “does anyone have an appropriate zipper?” Jer promptly obliged with the zipper on his backpack, which was followed by our laughter. They asked her a bunch of questions. She got a marriage proposal. They got my information as well. It was a pretty big ordeal getting through the spelling and pronunciation of my name. I was a witness! I’m not gonna lie, I felt pretty cool.  It took them forever to write her statement and get things moving along. We missed any chance we had of finding the girls. I thought it was cute that one of the employees of the restaurant rode around on his bike looking for them. Precious. The policemen seemed to be pretty excited and into the case until this old guy came in and basically sucked any enthusiasm left. After that we could see that it was basically going nowhere. We didn’t leave until about two in the morning. We were super tired which made everything ten times funnier. We were asked to come back around ten the next day, which we did. After a couple more hours of sitting around Jer and I left. It was a pretty unforgettable experience.

Jer and I walked back to our hotel and we checked out and put our things on the bus. The rest of the people on the bus were going to go look at an aquarium or something and then go on a yacht where they would be dancing to obnoxiously loud Arab music, so we usually peace out on those events. Instead, we went snorkeling. Guides from the snorkeling place came and picked us up at our hotel and took us to the beach. I tried on the flippers to find the right size for me, and when I asked for smaller ones, they looked at me like I was crazy and said that the ones I had were the smallest that they had. The guy then gave me the ones that were the next size up and said that I should use those ones. I was a little confused by that but it worked out ok. They told us where we could go on the shore and let us do our own thing, which I wasn’t expecting. So that was nice.

The ocean kinda freaks me out. I don’t like the unknown and unpredictability of the ocean. And come to think of it, I def don’t like the known and predictable things about the ocean too. The idea of being able to breath under water and being in the presence of things that live under the water makes me nervous. Nevertheless, I tried snorkeling anyway. It wasn’t too bad. I had a few mini panic attacks. I felt like I couldn’t breathe a couple times and I’d resurface from the water. I saw a lot fish that I’ve seen in pictures and learned about throughout school. There was one fish that freaked me out. It looked like a long stick and it moved rather fast. I didn’t like that one too much. It was a beautiful array of colors and textures under the water. I swam through a couple schools of fish. I also saw a jelly fish! That I quickly swam away from. I’m not sure if I’m ready for diving deep underwater anytime soon or that my negatives thoughts of life underwater are completely gone, but this was a good start. I’ve heard that Aqaba is one of the best places to go diving and snorkeling, so I’m glad I got to experience it there.  Although, I wish that I had had an underwater camera. After snorkeling, I laid out tanning for the rest of the day in my swimming suit! It was marvelous. I finished the day with a delicious sharme sitting in a shaded park. Aqaba once again has been good to me. 

Monday, June 27, 2011

TOWANDA: the diary of a mad white woman.

So, I’m dedicating this blog post to one of my favorite movies, Fried Green Tomatoes. These last couple days I have discovered my inner Towanda. Please consider this quote for a moment. (excuse the language)

“I never get mad, Mrs. Threadgoode. Never. The way I was raised, it was bad manners. Well, I got mad and it felt terrific. I felt like I could beat the shit out of all those punks. Excuse my language. Just beat 'em to a pulp. beat 'em till they begged for mercy. Towanda the avenger. And after I wipe out all the punks of this world, I'll take on the wife-beaters, like Frank Bennett, and machine-gun their genitals! Towanda will go on the rampage. I'll put tiny little bombs in Penthouse and Playboy so they'll explode when you open them. And I'll ban all fashion models who weigh less than 130 pounds. And I'll give half the military budget to people of 65 and declare wrinkles sexually desirable. Towanda, righter of wrongs, queen beyond compare!”

Think this is a little extreme? I think not.

A couple days ago Janae and I discovered bug bites on our arms and legs that itched like crazy. I looked like a Dalmatian, but instead of black dots, I was covered with tooth paste dots all over my arms, legs, and hands. By Sunday I had had enough!

Sunday is our water day so we can use as much water as we please without paying for it. I was fully prepared to take advantage of it and came home straight from work and skipped the gym. My first plan of attack was to clean all of my clothes. This process is very time consuming so while that was ensuing; I started in on the bed. I took my bed apart and dosed it with our bathroom cleaner that is so strong it disintegrated a rubber band. I then proceeded to scrub it off with boiling water. I felt that it would do the trick. After that I scrubbed my floor through the same process. I washed my sheets and bedding in the shower, again with boiling hot water and soap. This created the most disgusting orange/brown color of water that I have ever seen. Basically someone who has never drunk water in their life and has a disease would have produced this color of water. And I was sleeping on that! The bedding soaked up almost all the water and became 200 lbs as I carried it to our balcony to dry. Then I carried our large bedroom rug out to the balcony to give it a good disinfecting. I scrubbed that thing with our squeegee until I had collected more than a handful of hair and disgustingness from it. As I set those out to dry I finished the rest of my laundry and cleanup my mess from operation: ‘kill every damn bug.’ Today we set up booby traps around our beds and sprayed every inch of our room with ‘all bugs’ killing spray. I’ve been sleeping on the couch for three days, I have nasty-a bug bites all over my body, and I itch like a mad women. I do hope at least one bug survives so that he can tell his friends about me, because Towanda is here to stay.