Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Catching Up

Eid Al Adha holidays are over. Five days off work in the private sector. That’s as good as it gets in Qatar. While it’s not my friend Cath's situation in Korea (on paid government sanctioned vacation from December 23-February 8 holy god I’m in the wrong country), I’ll take it. Five day weekend!! Over Eid, most residents leave town to visit exotic and/or historic locales for a few days. I stayed. The city was dead. No one was around and there was nothing to do. I barely left the house. I cooked lots. Slept in and read the newspaper. Also read brilliant essays. I strongly recommend you print these out and enjoy with a drink (Frank Sinatra, Vonnegut, Michelin star restaurants, Mike Tyson, disappearing in the digital age). Seriously, those links are gold. You'll actually learn things.

That's me, on vacation. It's a hermit crab. Was that sly reference lost on you? Go watch this disgusting yet completely mesmerizing starfish feeding frenzy and learn more about aquatic life.

I would have blogged but my brain was only interested in ingestion. Nothing good came out. When you buy six movies and the first one you watch is Paul Blart: Mall Cop, you’re in a pretty sorry state. My review of Paul Blart? That probably would have been useful to you eight months ago, but we’re not CNN Breaking News here. My review: it stinks. The movie has skateboarding robbers and “the 2007 internet sensation of the year” parkour, and I forget what else. Going in, there was hope that Paul Blart would be secretly hilarious like the surprise delight Role Models, but no. And whoever thought to cast Kevin James as a romantic(ish) lead was probably drunk. Or it was Kevin James himself. Either way, it didn't work. It's Not that I have anything against watching a fat person fall in love and make out with someone way out of his league. I’d just rather spend my 10 QAR (3 bucks, still not a bargain) on a more realitic movie. Like Star Trek. Disss.

Happy end of Movember! Do you have a Movember male in your life? If so, surely you understand that despite its 30 calendar days, November is the loooongest month of the year.

Have I ever mentioned how great it is to run with an hotelier crowd? Hotels just love giving other hotels free stuff. It’s crazy! For instance, the Hot Hoteliers Doha group (co-founded by DKM) meets every six weeks at one of Qatar’s finest hotels for an evening of free booze and noms and socializing. Last night the event was at the Ritz-Carlton. And the Ritz doesn't joke around. They’re the gold standard in hospitality. There was foie gras (yes, I hate the idea of it too but as an amateur foodie you have to admit it’s delicious) and crab cakes and spicy tuna on mini spoons and teeny desserts served my waiters who never disappeared. DKM also won a raffle prize – two day passes to the Ritz-Carlton beach. This is me at said beach:

Happy place. Responsible sun play. The book? Atonement. Sexy times. 

DKM gave me the passes because he’s going to watch the Rugby Sevens and train in Dubai for eight days. I’m taking Brenda. We asked for the passes before D even had a chance to offer, which he was going to do originally. We looked like jerks. Lesson? Always give someone at least five minutes to offer you a present before asking for it yourself.

So here’s one productive thing I have to show for my extended weekend – I put up a fake Christmas tree. When I opened the box a tiny bug came crawling out, and I was terrified to touch the 200 or so pieces inside. I had a cry on the living room floor while probably surrounded by bug-infested fake branches, before pulling myself together. Two hours later, a star was born.

Look at this fool, pretending she’s not frightened.

So there’s a short update for my friends who are mad I've been a bad pen pal. I’m behind on correspondence! Your accusatory messages are giving me the sads.

I have some thoughts on Tiger Woods that need to be punched out. Will write about something other than my immediate surroundings soon. Promise.

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Ramble on...