I write what I know, and the suppositions of "what if". This place incorporates the two aspects of my life: the real (or my perspective of what is "real") and the fiction. Sometimes it's profane, confusing, sad, sweet, bitter,and funny- or just plain boring and stupid, all at the same time, but it's mine.
Teacher, writer, amateur bass player, observer of the world..
One other thing:
My dad passed away August 15, 2013 from Alzheimer's. I hate Alzheimer's.
If you decide to unfriend God in your life do you think it’s
such a good idea to announce that as your facebook status? Especially when you
write that you have given God an entire two months to intercede and make your
life better and now you’re mad at Him? And do you really think He gives a shit?
Thought Number Two:
Why would anyone want to bury a loved one in the front yard
of their home? And does this increase or decrease the value of the property?
Thought Number Three:
Why does a late night trip to the grocery store in which one
buys milk, Oreos and a Monty Python movie make one SMILE so much?
Thought Number Four:
Does it make anyone else just a tad nervous that if all
technology suddenly failed, the current generation would not be able to write,
calculate, or communicate with one another?
Thought Number Five:
Music was so much grittier in the 70’s. I mean, c’mon.-
AC/DC, Black Sabbath, The Ramones.
Thought Number Six:
Do you really think there is no link between the increase of
cervical degeneration neck surgeries and head banging in the 70’s and 80’s?
Thought Number Seven:
Will this current generation see an increase in thumb
surgeries from excess texting? Or maybe hip surgeries caused by the continual stress
weight of sagging pants on the hip bones and sockets?
Thought Number Eight:
I think Dr. House
(aka Hugh Laurie) is TOTALLY hot and I dream about him from time to time.
Thought Number Nine:
No matter how sad or bummed out I am feeling, glitter always makes
Thought Number Ten:
I need a best friend who meets the following qualifications:
tall, sparkling blue eyes, preferably gay, in the middle of chemotherapy treatment, and be able to make me laugh so hard I spurt liquid through my nose. He should also shoot squirrels with a BB gun with less than perfect accuracy.
And he should also believe that I am perfectly delightful, even when I’m not.
I get all heebed out at that moment when I am getting in my car and I have to place something on the seat next to me so I stick my leg between the open car door and my car.. always so afraid someone is going to come by, slam the door, and cut my leg off.
Since I am apparently going to be packing away a few sparse
belongings in brand spanking new suitcases, boarding an airplane for a fourteen
hour flight, and settling into a new life in another country soon, I thought I would share
what little I have learned about what will be my new home for the next two years.
is one of seven emirates within the United Arab Emirates (UAE).It is bordered on one side by the Arabian
(Persian) Gulf, Saudi
Arabia to another, and Oman on yet another. The capitol of
the UAE is Abu Dhabi
city, a thriving metropolis running alongside a sparkling blue watered coastline.
Shopping is the number one pastime, and camels, especially in the desert
regions, are as common as gnats in Georgia.The UAE has only been a country for forty
years, which means I’m older. Like that’s
a comfort. I remember how naïve I could still be when I was only forty.
Back to the lesson, class:
The emirate of Abu
Dhabi contains 89% of UAE land mass, and 70% of this
is desert. Average temperatures range from 54 to 88 degrees in the months of
October to February, and in March to September anywhere from 79 to 113 degrees
(yes, 113.. that is not a typo). In summer, along the coast, it can be quite
humid, but the rest of the country is arid and dry. Rainfall is rare; average
of about 5 inches a year. This is why I am moving. Arthur (my dear and close
companion, sometimes called by his formal name, Arthritis), hates rain. Arthur makes
me feel like shit when it rains. If I never see rain again it will be too soon.
I am moving halfway around the world to escape rain. And that stupid ass No
Child Left Behind crap, which in fact DOES leave a lot of kids behind. But that’s
another entry altogether.
I will be teaching 10-12 grade Emirati girls (or so I’ve
been told.. this could change once I am “in the sandbox”, I’ve heard). The high
schools are segregated by gender to the extent that only male teachers teach
male students and only female teachers teach female students. I signed a two
year contract which guarantees me a lovely (did I say it was LOVELY?) tax free
salary, health insurance plan (of which I do not pay one penny except low
co-pays for doctor visits and prescriptions) , a spacious apartment, funds for
furnishings, an end of contract bonus, and all the dates I can eat. Okay, I am
exaggerating about the dates, but only just a little. I will not know where I will be assigned in Abu Dhabi until I arrive.
I could be placed smack in the middle of Abu Dhabi
city with its frenzied nightlife, glittering skyscrapers, immense shopping malls,
and the largest indoor amusement park in the world, or I could be placed in the
Wild Wild West (the extreme Western zone in the emirate of Abu Dhabi comprised of sand, sand, and more
sand). OR I could be placed in Al Ain (which literally translates into The
Oasis) where a multitude of expat families live and thrive a stones throw from the
border. Or I could be placed anywhere in between these locales.
So, not only am I moving halfway around the world, I have no
idea where in this region of roughly 26,000 square miles (which by the way makes
Abu Dhabi roughly the size of West Virginia) I will eventually
Am I crazy? Maybe. Am
I harkening back to my military brat roots? Most certainly, but in my opinion,
all military brats who experienced the constant moving; casting off of old
friends in place of new ones; the inability to own a pet bigger than a turtle
(The United States Military lifestyle is not pet friendly, or it wasn’t in the 60’s
and 70’s when I was growing up); hovering
over a map of the world in order to locate the next assignment (where in the hell
is Biloxi and how in the hell do you pronounce it?); a myriad of Christmases
and Easter Sundays spent as a small family unit, routinely denied the joys of
the dysfunction of extended family holiday gatherings; and learning to say “bitch”
and “fuck” in three languages before the age of ten years is a bit crazy
anyway. We had to be in order to survive.
So, off I go to the Middle East.
Fifty years old, my hormone replacement therapy
in hand, a laptop loaded with classic rock. I am jumping off into an abyss. I
have no idea what it will be like. I have no knowledge of the language or the
people. I am in a frenzy reading everything I can get my hands on about the
culture. I don’t want to make a social faux pas from which I might never be
forgiven. I will be 6602 miles away from my home in Georgia. No syrupy sweet Southern
accented, “Bless my heart” will cover my humiliation should a social faux pas
occur due to my could-have-been-avoided ignorance. Ignorance be damned. I have
ordered and read seven books about the United Arab Emirates. I am
studying, reading, and memorizing like a whore before her good ole Southern
I will not have to wear a head covering (called a hajb), but
I will be expected to dress modestly. I can’t wear Daisy Dukes and red stretch
tube tops. Not like I would wear them anyway, but I have been on
Walmartpeople.com and I am not oblivious to the fact that there are some truly
fashion impaired individuals wandering around loose out there. When I am
teaching I will be expected to wear long skirts to the floor and long sleeved loose
shirts that cover my “bum” (the British are so charming!). Some schools ask
that teachers wear a long robe-like covering called an abaya. But since I don’t
know which school I will be assigned, I can only semi-prepare myself in the wardrobe
department. On my off time I can
wear loose t-shirts and jeans/crop pants. I can even wear my Chuck Taylor. In fact,
I bought a new pair last week.
There were over five hundred teachers hired from the United States, Canada,
England, Ireland, New Zealand
by the Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC) for the 2012-2013 school year. I
have no idea how many applicants there were, ] but I have heard that there were a
couple thousand. The interview process was intense (I became so flustered that I
informed the interviewers that my teaching philosophy was “If you can’t teach ‘em,
confuse ‘em) . The load of paperwork that is mandatory to enter the country, as
well as proof of teaching experience and
university degrees to ADEC, has been almost maddening enough to make me write a
country music song (I did say “almost”). I am busy scanning teaching documents and
books; making sure my wardrobe is appealing, but modest; copying music CDs to
my computer like some kind of resurrected Wolfman Jack; shopping online for the
best laptop I can find; downloading Kindle books so quickly that the device is
going to self destruct; and buying and packing items like black pepper, Zatarain’s
crab boil bags, grits, and other small comfort items that the rumor mill says
are hard to find in the UAE. With my luck, on my first day in Abu Dhabi I will stumble upon a Zatarain’s Grits
restaurant right next to a Black Pepper factory.
That’s all I know to tell right now. Oh, there’s more, but
my brain can’t locate the information at this moment.I will keep up with ACTION REPORTS, as my
USMC husband calls them, on this blog site and try to fill in the holes and answer questions that
pop up, right up until my leave date sometime in August. No set date, just, “Be
ready to leave sometime in August. You may have two days notice or you may have
two weeks”. When I arrive in the UAE, I
will begin another blog about those experiences. My head is becoming too crowded
for all “The Voices in my Head”.To hold
onto what modicum of sanity I insist I still possess, I will have to keep my Abu Dhabi rantings/realizations/musings
separate from my schizophrenic voices.
If you have a question about Abu Dhabi, please ask. It may be a question I
haven’t thought of, and will assist me in avoiding that social faux pas of
which I live in mortal terror of committing.
I was trying to be responsible (now that I am fifty, I have to be sometimes) and went and had my FIRST EVER COLONOSCOPY today. Can we say "fun"? No? Well, it wasn't, so don't say it..
I did find out I have something called diverticulitis, and the doc parted me from a little friend I didn't know I had named Polly Polyp. Goodbye dear Polly, but what in the hell is diverticulitis? See? I try to be responsible, get checkups, and then I find out I have something else going on (like there isn't enough going wrong with this body?). Ignorance is bliss. I'm going to stop going to docs.
I did manage to borrow a blue marker from the anesthesiologist and had my husband write "HI" on my right buttcheek. And coming out of the anethesia, I think I may have given the nurses a lecture on the riveting contributions that AC/DC has made to the music world (in the Bon Scott era, of course).
When I got home from my delightful morning at the hospital, I found my brand new Abu Dhabi Education Council teaching contract for 2012 to 2014 in my email inbox. I printed it, signed it, scanned it, and emailed it back faster than Angus Young can play the opening chords to "Let There Be Rock" . I am now HOFFICIALLY going to the United Arab of Emirates to teach high school for two years! I leave in August. Think the UAE is ready?
1. I don't clip my toenails in bed 2. I always dunk my Oreos in cold milk 3. I Love Mel Brooks 4. I don't understand No Child Left Behind because since it's been implemented it seems more kids have been left behind.. 5. I know that DENIAL is more than a river in Egypt 6. I am having my first colonoscopy Tuesday 7. I am far more logical and intelligent than two of my previous superintendents and my last three principals have been.. and they knew it. 8. I recognize that "Summertime" is one of the best songs ever written 9. I either ignore stupid people or bat them around like a ball of yarn (until I get bored and just walk away..). 10. I have never tattooed my forehead.