Saturday, September 27, 2008

Ugly Monkeys

Not much going on during the month of Ramadan--from one new moon to next life revolves around food or, for some, the lack thereof. In a couple of days, Ramadan ends and Eid Al Fitr begins. Then nightly binge eating turns to all day binge eating. Children get new shoes. Hookers can go back to work. Liquor stores re-open. And I have next week off.

But I ain't a'goin' nowhere. Maybe I'll come back to this blog and rant between mid-morning "Jeopardy" and early afternoon reruns of "The Office". I haven't blogged lately, but then during Ramadan, days pass one after the other uninspiringly.

I have an urge to say something about this Sarah Palin person, but so far everything I've thought about saying I quickly find out is not original and can be found here and there said much more precisely or eloquently or rudely.

Then last night on our way to see "Tropic Thunder" at one of Dubai's many world's largest malls, the missus and I passed by a gaggle of local women wearing their black grim reaper-like cloaks known as "abiyas", their heads covered with Jackie O. type scarves and their faces made up like those killer clowns from slasher movies about killer clowns.

When they were well out of ear shot, the missus clued me into a Farsi saying in an aside that struck a chord; it translates into English as:

"The uglier the monkey, the better the tricks".

She was of course referring to the "Cirque-du-Soleil beauty secrets of Arabian Beauties" we'd happened upon.

Now usually Farsi insults involve one or the other or both parties locked in verbal combat being threatened with sodomy--(or their mothers, their fathers, maybe even their dead grandparents). Farsi insults are crude--I prefer the term "earthy"--and they do amuse me, but this particular blog entry is not the proper purview for randy Persian idioms.

When I heard this one about ugly monkeys, I laughed out loud and immediately thought of the Republican ticket (with the debate coming up on the heels of the almost a trillion dollar bail out and the death knell of western civilization, I suppose it has been on my mind).

Four more years of Republicans in the White House and the same old shit or even worse--retro-Reagan "Us vs Them" bullshit--will no doubt be One. Butt. Ugly. Monkey.

And now, in the center ring, an ugly monkey and its cool bitch of trick. I believe the majority of Americans just might stand in line to buy a seat to this performance.

And that's what I have to say about Sarah Palin.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Whack The Messenger

There's a pervasive and invasive creed in a workplace where there's a mix of, on one side, mothers, and on the other side, childless co-workers, that proclaims that the mothers merit a consecrated place at the head of the line of least resistance in all things work related.


The rule on scheduling classes round heah is that the Moms without question get the fewest preps, are last in, first out, and are entitled to at least one "sick day" per week. It goes without saying that other Moms present aren't responsible for the picking up of the slack for the Mom who is out for the day. The UN Declaration on Human Rights doesn't include non-breeders in its list of folks entitled to its list of intrinsic freedoms and inherent dignities. And, no, tending to the care and maintenance of seven cats, all of whom have one or more types of anxiety or mood disorders, doesn't qualify me for some of those basic Mom perks.

This is why I volunteered to be on the scheduling committee.

For the past three weeks life has been terrifyingly busy. And sometimes, downright terrifying.

The university has a registration cut off date, followed by a late registration cut off date and then a neverending cut off date for students who don't mind whipping up imaginery grief by knocking off a grandparent every now and then if they need a good excuse for bending rules. Grandparents drop dead by the dozens throughout a semester here.

Ok. So it is possible in a society that promotes old timey polygamist unions to have in one's extended family dozens of grandparents--and when you factor in a preference for cousin on cousin marriages, it could be that they're telling the truth.

So here it is, week three and new faces continue to crop up each day--having, in theory, just come from a funeral. So the scheduling committee has had to meet nearly every day for the past three weeks as class sections expand then collapse or fold into one another as we try to accommodate this stream of late comers who come bopping into class weeks after the registration period, the late registration period, and the late, late registration periods have closed.

But do not even think about rescheduling a Mom.

As a result, the non-Moms must meet with a new group of students in different classes and sections every third day or so. I used to be one of those non-Moms whose schedule didn't gel until a few weeks before midterms.

That's why I joined the scheduling committee. I make my own schedule. That's one up in my favor. However, now I am responsible for bringing trials, tribulations and grave injustices into the lives of so many whose only sin it seems is that they forgot to beget.

So my cell phone has been switched off. My office door remains locked. I skipped out on the beginning-of-the-year pot luck welcome back dinner--too many cold shoulders and icy glares dished up with the falafels and humus.

Ah. You know. Fuggem.

At least I got to keep my cake schedule.

And I'll go through this again in the spring for the sake of me. I'm just that way. Ask anybody.