Monthly Archives: February 2009

WOTD: expurgate

expurgate \EK-sper-geyt\, verb:
to remove objectionable words or passages from a document

I’m proud to say that I expound a great amount of effort every day expurgating my oral communication so that it better resembles coherent speech and not a string of cuss words broken by various, seemingly random nouns, adjectives, and verbs of a none cussing nature. It’ll require herculean effort, however, to expurgate my conscious. It’s quite creative, and sometimes I literally pause and wonder at the phrases it comes up with. Were I not so concerned with expurgation I’d consider copywriting a few. But I am. So I’ll have to tackle my mind next. Mind over matter and all. Or in this case, morals over mind? Hmm…



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Operator Service

So I’m on the phone with Syria’s operator service, 147. The polite ones, aka Yellow Number, aren’t picking up today, so I called the not so polite ones, aka Public Service:

Guy: Eeellooo (drawled out, the two syllables convey a clear message: I have better things to do. Like maybe drink some chia and hit on my colleague. My sheesha and card game are beckoning. Get it over with.)
Me: Uh, Hi. Operator?
Guy: What do you want?
Me: DHL please.
Guy: (five second silence)
Me: Hello? DHL… the postal service?
Guy: Ahhh. DHL (only said in a fob accent. So that would be dee essh elle)
Me: Yub (my own fob accent)
Guy: Yallah. NIZAR! (I yank the phone away from my ear since he hadn’t taken the time to remove mouth from speaker before letting it loose) SHO RAKAM DHL? (what’s DHL’s number?)
Nizar (I’m guessing): undistinguishable yell. 
Guy: SHOOO? (what?)
Nizar: repeats yell
Guy: Write this down. 2238- NIZAR! (again, I hold the phone away. Far, far away.) SHO AKHERTA? (what’s the last bit)
Nizar: (more yelling)
Guy: 586. Bye
Me: Wait! 2238586?
Guy: NIZAR!! (owwww) Is it 2238586?? 
Nizar: (affirmative yell since next I heard was…)
Guy: Isn’t that what I said? (his tone of voice suggests he’s seriously doubting my mental capacities. He then hangs up.)
Me: (brightly) Thank you!! (said to the dial tone)

Huh. Wonder if this’ll ever make it onto my Why I (will) Miss Syria list? Probably. I mean Canadian operators are just so.. courteous and nice. Bland almost. I’d rather have my ear yelled off and my hearing/mental abilities questioned any day. Seriously though, why? Why the hell do I love this country so damn much?


Filed under Canada, Head-Bangers, Humor, Only in Syria, Syria

WOTD: Froward

yesterday’s WOTD

froward \FROH-werd\, adjective:
not easily managed; contrary

When I first read this, I thought it read forward. Upon further scrutinization, I noticed the r and o were in all the wrong places. Reminds me of that messed up email:

Only great minds can read this: 
This is weird, but interesting! 
fi yuo cna raed tihs, yuo hvae a sgtrane mnid too 
Cna yuo raed tihs? Olny 55 plepoe out of 100 can. 

i cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it dseno’t mtaetr in waht oerdr the ltteres in a wrod are, the olny iproamtnt tihng is taht the frsit and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it whotuit a pboerlm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Azanmig huh? yaeh and I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt! if you can raed tihs forwrad it 

I doubt only 55 of 100 can read it, but seems like that’s the way our mind works. You don’t process individual letters so much as the general picture. Hmm. I remember something like that from my intro psych course, but my textbooks out right now.

I’m usually familiar with the WOTD, but this one’s new. Froward, eh? Well, unlike what I first thought it’s got nothing to do with how to ward off dem damn fros. Instead, picture a man. Any man’ll do really but a Syrian one’d be best. You’d be hard pressed to find a more fitting specimen. Ornery, obstinate, stubborn, froward males the lot of ’em.

Speaking of males, I can’t help but think of my poor, poor daddy. The man’s suffering. He’s convinced his dear daughter is with him for life. Till death do us part, only he’s pissed because this wasn’t what he’d signed up for it. And I’m not guessing. He’s pretty much said it straight out. But cut me some slack here! I’m working on it harder than he thinks. True, I’m working the avoidance front, but if he knew how much work that takes he wouldn’t be so quick to shrug off my efforts. Good God! I know for a fact that, were he in my shoes, he wouldn’t settle for another ornery, obstinate, stubborn, froward male. I already have him, four brothers, six uncles, and various male cousins whose opinions and actions I have to live with. And since I don’t really believe “pain is gain,” I’m not one to willingly add another to the mix. If an un -ornery, -obstinate, -stubborn, -froward guy were to show up, I’d consider it. Till then, consider me your personal burden Abu William.


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WOTD: Tome

tome \tohm\, noun:
a large, often scholarly, book

I have a book obsession. That’s not to say shoes aren’t amazing. And socks. Yum. But they place a pale second next to books. My future’s real murky, but one thing is for sure, inshAllah. The house I’m going to live in is going to have one of those huginormous libraries. The ones with vaulted ceilings and either a second level balcony or those wicked sweet brass ladders for the really, really high books. They’ll be categorized. Or at least they’ll start off that way. But one section’ll stay constant. The one stock full of those tomes that scream “smell me!! bask in my musty glory!!” *sigh* I can picture it now: heaven on earth.


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Angel’s Tears, God’s Blessing

It’s raining today. The kind of rain that washes away the past, hints at the promise of growth and revival. I’m scared. Good God, I’m terrified. After a month of hell, of breathless anticipation, seems like everything’s getting too serious too fast. God, I have to get my head on straight and work this out. I’m already saying goodbye, and it’s too soon. I promised myself I wouldn’t hope again, not until I had some sort of guarantee I wasn’t going to be left to pick up the bloody pieces. So I guess it’s a good thing it’s raining. Angel’s tears. God’s blessing. Yeesh, melancholic enough for ya? Here’s to new beginnings. God give me the strength to see it through, this time around.

Spread my tattered wings
sunlight seeps through thin muslin
dizzying patterns on barren rock
fluttering in a stale, rancid waft.
It stirs my hair,
barring a thin, fragile neck
a pulse beating lethargically
thud, thud
marks the passage of time
As I crouch
on a pinnacle  of silence.
In the distance,
a storm churns: faces and names
Silence, broken only by
the slow thud thud of pain.
Now jumping, falling, swiftly
wind tearing at my hair
whipping and tangling helpless wings
a soft smile…
a jarring impact…
it beats now, swift and sure
thud, thud, thud.


Filed under Personal, Poetry, Reflections, Syria

WOTD: osteopath

osteopath \OS-tee-uh-path\, noun:
a practitioner specializing in treatment chiefly by manipulation of the bones and muscles

If I continue drinking coffee and avoiding calcium the way I do now, I’ll need to see an osteopath for osteoporosis by the time I’m 30, no doubt about it. And while I may be able to handle the pain, I don’t think my stature can handle the loss of inches. I’ve come to accept 5ft 4″ as my cut in life. Any shorter and I’ll have to take drastic measures… 


That would be my current background. And this is typed whilst drinking my second mug of coffee of the day, preceded by two cups of tea at breakfast. Lord, shoot me now.


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WOTD: Highhanded

highhanded \HAHY-HAN-did\, adjective:
acting or done in a bold, arbitrary way

A rule I learned the hard way: some people will only respond to highhandedness. Humbleness and respect are seen as signs of uncertainty and low self-worth and are treated with disdain. Might as well walk around with a Walk All Over Me, Please placard. I never thought I’d see the day tawado3 was considered a vice rather than a virtue, but here it is. Is the price worth paying, though? I tried to play the part for a while, but it doesn’t suit me. You could call it fear of slippery slope. I call it my exasperatingly loud and stalwart conscience.


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