Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Another Excursion Around the Sun

First, I must address the change in the title of this blog.  If you have read the previous blog regarding my hair, you are well apprised that I no longer have a fro’ due to a tragic flat iron incident about this time last year.  A moment of silence please for my fallen fro’.  Also, let us face it, even when I did have a fro’ I did not have a picture of myself with one.  So this blog name is now accurate.  I feel lighter now that I got that off my chest, even though I wish I were a few pounds of fluff lighter, but that is subject matter better left to a future blog.  However, we now return to the original blog at hand.

So, here I am, encroaching upon yet another birthday.  One more trip around the sun on this journey that began many years ago, even though I have somehow managed to look like I have not taken that many voyages around that golden orb that warms our planet.  So at least I have that much going for me, which is nice.  Otherwise, I am not looking forward to it.

I have never really liked my birthday.  Most of the memorable ones have been for tragically embarrassing reasons.  Let us not forget the car accident on my 16th birthday DURING my driver’s license road test, and the infamous breakdown on my 22nd birthday.  I do not think I will ever live that down, but at least I got it out of my system then rather than at an older age where such behavior would really be embarrassing.  I will blame it on my immature youth and alcohol.  Mostly alcohol.  For sure the alcohol.  Damn alcohol. 

Really, the top two birthdays happened in the past two years.  Two years ago, I spent my birthday in Safad, my mother’s Palestinian hometown in what is now Israel.  I saw my mother’s home that my grandfather built for his family; I touched the stones, sat on the steps, walked the streets, and picked lemons from the lemon tree that was in the backyard.  I also took back the knocker and handle from the back gate.  Those were my family's, and I gave them to my mom, their rightful owner, as gifts.   I almost missed that chance because we did not know where the exact house was, and as my hosts and I were in the car ready to leave, in my head I had wished that for my birthday I could see my mother’s home.  Not one minute later, we were stopped by the historian of Safad, and he knew the house and took me there.

Last year, I got to spend my birthday with my family.  My mom, dad, sister, brother and I have not been alone together as a family like that in almost 20 years.  We all met in Washington D.C. in honor of my brother, an FBI Special Agent, who was accepting the Attorney General’s Award for a case he had worked on involving cybercrime.  I could not have asked for a better birthday than to spend it with my family to celebrate my brother’s accomplishment.

Now here I am again, but with nothing monumental happening.  No Oscar wins, or Nobel Prizes.  I cannot even claim a new car.  Man, I really want a new car.  But I digress.  I do not know why my birthday puts me in such a mood.  I have had a wonderful past six months and have no reason to be bummed.  I have made an amazing new friend that I always hangout with, as well as a new group of friends that I see and spend time with often.  Despite a rocky start, this has truly been the best year of my time here in L.A. emotionally and socially.  I have some great people in my life, have been to some great events that some people would kill to have gone to, and despite a recently acquired new job that I do not like that makes me cry often, I have never been happier.  Yet I feel sad.  Mostly due to the job that makes me cry, a lot, and because I want a new car and shoes, but also because of my birthday.  Stupid job and birthday, making me blue.  I need a shame shower now.

I know this feeling will go away after that fateful day in which I was born to this world (you are welcome) passes, but until then, this feeling will remain.  Sniff.  Even though I have some wonderful people in my life, I feel lonely during this time.  I have no family in L.A., and I know that is one of the reasons behind these feelings of melancholy, and the fact that there is no significant other is another.  I had always thought that at this point in my life that I would have a successful career in entertainment, and be married to Ricky Martin (Read "A Part of me Died on Monday") and getting ready to start a family of half Palestinian and half Puerto Rican children.  They would have been brown and beautiful with rhythm.  A moment of silence please for those children that will never be.

Yet I remain single, I am not even Ricky’s beard, living alone in a one-bedroom condo that granted I own, and doing a job that I do not like that makes me cry, a lot, and is the cause of copious shame showers.  No dreams have come true, and I do not feel that sense of accomplishment I had hoped to have had by this age.  I think those are the real reasons.  Not about getting older or aging, for there are wonderful medical procedures to remedy those problems, it is about just not being where I thought and wanted to be by now.  Ask the chubster teenage Yasmine many moons and pounds ago, and this would not have been her dream life.  Parts of it, for sure, like many of the wonderful experiences I have had, but not all of it. 

I know, I am exactly where I am supposed to be and everything happens for a reason, blah blah and such and such, but something has got to give soon.  I am too old for this shit.  Frankly, I am tired of the struggle.  I know it is not about the destination, but about the journey, but damn it all to hell, I am ready for the journey to be less turbulent and I am tired of the TSA of life asking for and performing a cavity search.  However, despite my whining of which I am told I am annoyingly good at, I am incredibly grateful for the life and opportunities I have which have not gone unnoticed.  I have my health, an amazing family, amazing friends, live in an incredible city, own my own home, have the freedom to do as I please, no roommates, I am super awesome and ridiculously good looking (not in the morning, really, it is quite tragic and unsettling), and really have a lot going for me.  I just do not like my birthday. 

I do not even have anything planned and would honestly be fine just spending it at home eating popcorn (mmmmm, popcorn) and watching a movie.  I just want it to go away.  Unless something super awesome happens, like the windfall I have been wishing for so I can retire early.  That would make life really nice if I did not have to work anymore and were able to buy my dream home.

So as of this writing, I have no bloody idea what I am doing to celebrate the day of my birth 23 years ago (shut up, I know that age is a lie, just go with it damn it.  I also lie about my weight and dye my hair, get over it), but I am sure it will be spent with some amazing people no matter how low key it is and will be filled with much laughter, and they will definitely make me feel good about my birthday even though I am currently not too happy about it.  This is just the same old song and dance I do every year, but hopefully this will be the last year I feel this way.  I am very blessed to be alive, and celebrate my life in different ways everyday, because I truly am grateful for it.  However, if anyone can help me out with that windfall to make my birthday happy, you will really make things great for me and will kindly save me from yet another shame shower.  

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Where's the Fro?

As many of you maybe wondering, why is it that I have no fro' in my picture although my blog clearly states I am a tall Palestinian who rocks one?  Who am I kidding, none of you are wondering because if you were or any of you were paying any attention I am sure ONE of you would have pointed out the contradiction. 

Well, I thought I should address this, even though I will feel like a traitorous bitch.  I simply look prettier with straight hair, and so my vanity won out over my logic.  There, I said it.  I am vain and I am proud, and one day I will share with you how vanity literally saved my life.  But that is another posting.

Yes, I had super curly hair, and the super curly hair was cute, but that was it.  Just cute.  I do not want to be "cute."  I want to be pretty, beautiful, stunning, earth shattering, I think you get the point here.  I just did not think that cute was working for me.  So I chose a straight haired photo.  However, I also have another confession.  I have relaxed my hair.

Yes, the fro' is pretty much gone, save for very loose curls and some straight bits.  You see, what happened was I bought a wicked strong new flat iron, and that apparently coupled with a heat protector that I used in conjunction with said wicked strong flat iron relaxed part of my hair.  When I say relaxed, it made the hair on the top of my head and what would be considered bangs bone straight.  I have spent YEARS trying to grow my hair out all nice and even, and this freaking happens.  It did not go back to normal, so I had to do something to fix it, so I bought an at home keratin treatment, and relaxed the rest myself.

Now, I am not going to lie, I really really like my hair the way it is now.  It is a little wild, kind of beachy, and a lot less cute.  I still have straight bits, but I guess it kind of looks like I do it on purpose.  You can actually tell my hair is long now, which is what I have been going for for years.  So I hope there is no permanent damage, because I will cry if my hair starts breaking off and I have to start growing it out all over again.  That is not fun considering my hair barely grows half an inch a month.  However, I will go over the roots in a few months to maintain what I have now.  Apparently it is not supposed to be permanent, but who knows.  Until then, I am rocking the new look, but will not change the name of this blog, for I still have a fro' at heart.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

The Story of Me

May I just tell you how much I hate having writer’s block? I really, really hate it. I mean, it has lasted for way too long and I want my writing mojo back. So here I am resorting to recycling another blog from back in the Myspace day (of which I will continue to do, but hopefully not only because I have no other material). But recycling is good. It helps the planet. The less time I leave my computer on the less my carbon footprint. So really, I am doing my part to save the Earth. You’re welcome.

But seriously though, this blog is a little back story on me. Very limited in information, but enough to let you know where some of my issues come from. Just some. You cannot just learn everything at once. Then what would you have to look forward to? I do have a confession though. For those who are going to expect part two, do not hold your breath. I never wrote it. Blame ADD, writer’s block or just shear laziness, I never really got around to it. Maybe I will now. Maybe my posting this will be the catalyst for me to write something new because I simply must write chapter two lest I let you down.

Who knows, I am not promising anything. All I hope is that you will get a little bit of a laugh, maybe a cry, but really I just hope people are reading this. Please read it. Read all my posts. Pass it along. I need to get a good following so I can get a book deal like Carrie Bradshaw and be able to buy shoes. I really, really want to buy some new shoes, and to be able to pay my mortgage. Not exactly in that order.

The Story of Me: The Life and Times of Palestine's Finest; Chapter One

On a fall night in 19__, in the desert city of Riyadh, just as morning prayers began, a Palestinian Princess was born, and God said the world is right.

Yes, it was I who was born that fateful October morning, and the world has been a better place ever since. Well, not noticeably yet, but it will once I have some power, money, and influence. It was the foreshadowing of good things to come is basically what I am getting at, okay, just work with me here.

Freakishly tall, even at birth, the nurse commented to my mother that I was going to be very tall. It is not every day that a newborn girl comes out a whopping 22 inches, and freakishly tall I became. And might I add, insanely smart and good looking, and not lacking confidence.

However it was not all peaches and cream at first, but what is life without struggle? I first disappointed my family (first in a long line of disappointments) by popping out a girl. They were expecting an Omar, but I came out a Yasmeen. Suckers. I was also, like many a newborn baby, quite ugly. Ugly enough to warrant my sister to tell my mother to take me back. Thankfully, she did no such thing. 22 years later, I grew out of ugly, and turned into the swan I always knew I was. All it took was to stop eating and putting a little makeup on, and getting rid of my glasses, braces, and getting control of my afro courtesy of my dear father's genetics, and a few other little tricks.

Hopes were high for my parents at first. I excelled at things at an early age. I walked and talked early, my mom started teaching me how to read at age one, and I was potty trained at 18 months and would have been sooner had it not been for my grandmothers ailing health that required my mothers attention. Yes, I was to be a writer, or a doctor, or a lawyer even. Something to make my Arab mother proud when she gets to tell people what her daughter does for a living knowing that deep down inside she is saying "my kid is better than yours." So let us just say that she is not so keen on the idea of saying her youngest daughter is an aspiring actor. Especially when other people are saying how their daughters are so successful, and have such a great job, and graduated college, blah blah blah. Now, I am not saying my mom is like that, but more so the Arab culture is like that. You show off through your kids, to show how wonderful you are that you gave birth to that. I am sure many other people relate.

Well, there was another disappointment. I excelled in elementary school in all things academic and artistic, even in P.E., which was one of my favorite classes, although I hate the gym now (more so on the transition later). Then things took a major turn. Junior high. Kids who were your friends were your friends no more, there were more kids who were bigger and meaner, and you were just thrown into it to either sink or swim. And sink I did, as though someone tied an anchor to my feet.

I hated junior high as much as I hate dirty feet (I REALLY hate dirty feet). It sucked major asshole, and the kids sucked more. The cliques were more apparent, and the judgments even worse. So, naturally, the more I sank into my own pit of despair, the peak of which was when one of my best friends was killed in a car accident, the more my grades suffered, and the more my parents were disappointed.

So, the actual confusion lay in the fact that I knew quite a bit of information, did well on tests, and truly was smart, however I never did my homework, and my grades did not reflect my intelligence, even in P.E. I did not do well, which was once one of my favorite classes, but alas, no more.

I had a heart murmur and the hooker of a P.E. teacher I had kept making me run the mile until I did it under 12 minutes. Well, the whole heart condition, which I later grew out of, did not allow for such a thing to happen, and she would not believe me. Until one day in the rain, on yet another attempt to make it under 12 minutes, I hyperventilated so badly I actually threw up. I totally blew chunks in some bushes by the track.  Maybe I should have used that as a lesson to lose weight back then, but I digress.  That was the last straw, and told her what happened: that I was never running again and would like to see her make me. Good times. This is why I hate the gym people, I am still traumatized by that incident. Looking back, I should have sued the school.

The only thing that got me through that hell of a school, and through another hell by the name of Tigard High School, which is another blog in and of itself, was my friend Heather who liked me even though I was fat and ugly and could not run to save my life.  Thank goodness for Heather, for she gave me at least one good reason to actually go to school, and helped me go through high school.  However the high school years will be left for another chapter from "The Story of Me:  The Life and Times of Palestine's Finest." 

Monday, January 17, 2011

An Oldie But a Goodie (First of Many)

Since I have been absent from the blogosphere due to a wicked case of writer's block, I have decided to share with my loyal nine followers some of my old Myspace blogs (do you even remember Myspace?), of which I used to contribute regularly.  Some are dated but funny (at least I would like to think so), but some are still relevant.  I believe that the one below is, because although is was some time ago (I shan't tell you exactly as it would date me), when I read it, it shocked me how my life has not changed in all this time.  I still have the same feelings, the same problems, and the same loneliness.  More so now as my sister moved out of California over two years ago, and my best friend/cousin/bff/soul mate has also moved out of the L.A. area.  If anything, I am even lonelier now because of their leaving, and I thought by this time things would have been better.  But this is life, and although I do not have my loved ones geographically close to me, I know that they are there for me.  So, I thought I would share, and I hope you enjoy some of my earlier work.  Who knows, maybe I can get my followers up to a whopping 10 :)

"2_ and Fabulous, albeit a bit lonely"

Well, it is official. My golden birthday has come and gone, and I am creeping closer and closer to 30 than feels comfortable. But I am okay with that.

One of my friends took pity on me tonight, and took me out for a couple of birthday drinks. I have him to thank for sparing me the actions of downing an entire bottle of Aleve, chased by a bottle of vodka, and then followed by an attempt to take a razor to my arms. Okay, that was a bit dramatic. He really only saved me from watching Ghost Whisperer alone and eating a pint of ice cream. Which I ended up doing when I got home anyway thanks to the wonderful world of DVR. Sans the ice cream however (yes, I watch that show. I like it, and I am not ashamed. And I would kill for Jennifer Love Hewitt’s breasts).

Another realization I had is that now that I am older, I really have to start watching what I eat more closely since I will not be able to burn it off as easily. What the hell am I talking about? I was never able to burn it off, and I am thinner now than I was as a teen. I just cannot eat is basically what I am getting at, because that is how I lost the weight in the first place. Either way, I must stay away from the ice cream. And cake. And cupcakes. And fries. Mmmmm, fries.

Anyway, as I wipe the drool away from my chin and keep wishing for a freakishly fast metabolism, back to the story. I cannot remember what I was getting at, but I think the basic gist was that although I could not see my friends or family, I am glad someone took me out, and showed me they cared. And that is all a girl needs. A phone call and/or a hug.

But this whole ordeal made me realize how much I miss my friends and family. I realize that I have a lot of people that I know, but not many true friends whom I can call and just say "Hey, is it cool to come over and watch "Lost" with you?" I know that some of you who may read this might think I am getting a little touchy, or may get upset because I am not calling you a friend, but I do not mean it as an insult. It is just a fact.

For my own little birthday treat, I went to the Getty Center today. Alone. Do not get me wrong, I really enjoyed my time alone there. I walked around in their garden, took in the view, read on the terrace, and enjoyed multi-million dollar paintings. It was lovely, and I need to do things like that more often. But I could not think of anyone to call though who would have gone with me. So many people are busy, so many people have other lives, and especially in this town, it is hard to become a fixture into those lives. It is an eternal hover on the outskirts. I guess lucky for me, although it kind of sucks sometimes, I can do many things alone. Like going to a museum, movie, mall, or coffee shop alone without feeling judged. However, I miss those times where I would go with a girlfriend and just be able to talk and be girlie and get a yay or nay on an article of clothing, or be able to discuss a movie after having seen it, or talk about a piece of art and take in a view.

The older I get, even though technically I am still quite young, the more I realize how important it is to have people you can call on. It does not have to be a posse of 20, but at least a couple of true, true friends. Ones that will pick you up if you need a ride, someone to count on for a ride to the airport, someone who will bring you soup if you are sick, someone to just be lazy with, and for certain people that will help you move without having to bribe them. True friends like that, which are a rarity.  No matter what, people need others and a human connection, or life is not worth living with no one to share it with.

I am still smart, gorgeous, and fucking fabulous. However, I am for sure more than a little lonely in this City of Angels. Sometimes so lonely it is palpable. It is not enough to make me leave, but enough to make me wish for my mommy and daddy when I am feeling blue to feel that unconditional love that I am missing out here, and so desperately wish I had.