Monday, May 23, 2011

Out and About: Too Bad if You Want It

* This fine photo is brought to you from the Apricot Lady Collection of Random Funniness. This photo was not selected for its composition and/or artistic quality. It was selected purely because of its bizarre content.

I am the Apricot Lady and I WAS in the market for a 25+ year old poop brown colored Mercedes...but I guess this one was not meant to be. What did you find disappointing out and about today?

Friday, May 20, 2011

A Night with Her Majesty Queen Rania

After my major 'royal fever' disappointment last month: Will and Kate went to Figi or something like that for their honeymoon...B.O.R.I.N.G. {I think it had something to do with the 'minor' world event that played out in Afghanistan the day after their wedding. World events never have good timing.}

Anyway, It was all redeemed last night!
We had the privilege of attending the graduation of the Red Sea Institute of Cinematic Arts {RSICA} at a beautiful resort here in town.

Fun Facts about RSICA: In 1989 Steven Spielberg was directing "Indiana Jones 3" in Petra. He became friends with Prince Abdullah {who became King in 1999}. Later His Majesty sought Spielberg's advice on setting up the first MFA program in Cinematic Arts for the MENA region. In 2006 a partnership was established with the University of Southern California of Cinematic Arts and in 2008 the school was started in Aqaba, Jordan.

Here are my observations after reflecting upon this delightful experience:

1. Security was not that tight. I actually had major doubts that she would be attending because of the low security. I mean, there were a few secret police sitting in the audience. {nice looking men sitting in the audience, nicely dressed...alone...with no date...too obvious}. We had to go through the normal hotel security to get in. And she, of course, showed up with her security entourage {which were just more nicely dressed men...who could probably bench press me a few times}. But, hey! She is the Queen of an Arab country. I found it endearing that security was not nuts.

She was sitting in the front row next to the balding guy, in front of the priest with the big hat and long hair.

2. She was not the main speaker. In fact she did not speak publicly at all. She sat in the audience. She walked up on stage at the end to hand the graduates their diplomas. She shook some hands and squeezed the cheeks of some babies and then was off. She did not make herself the main attraction. The ceremony was full of the personality of the film school and the creative, accomplished graduates. She is the Queen of an Arab country! And it was not about her. It was about her honoring the graduates.

The beautiful Queen Rania is standing in the middle in the white dress

3. She spent a few minutes talking to the graduates. Can you imagine what this must have meant to them? After the photo that was snapped above, she turned and quietly talked to many of the graduates. The ceremony was still going on and we all just waited as she personally took time to do this. That was classy to me. She did not just show up to shake hands. She showed up and made an effort to personally congratulate them.

4. She was elegantly simple.
This came across to me in the low security and the way she honored the graduates. She just did not make a big deal of herself. She was dressed in a simple summer dress. Her hair was down. She came, she watched, she left. Simple said a lot about her.

Image by Nasser Ayoub from

5. What a country! Since we moved here years ago, I had a goal of actually meeting the Queen some day. This country in the size of Indiana! And I didn't think my goal was too unreasonable. Last night I got a step closer. I still would love to meet her and speak with her. In fact, during the ceremony I ran through some ideas of what I would say if I had the chance to meet her. I figured I would have time for 7 words max. This is what I came up with:
You are just so cute. {lame}
Will you introduce me to Will and Kate? {too selfish}
I watch you all the time on youtube. {sounds too creepy stalker-ish}
Thank you for what you do for arab women. {too obvious}
God give you and your family strength as you lead this country. {true, but she probably hears that all the time}

So, this is what I settled on:
Queen Rania. You rock. {I figured this may be the perfect opener for a great conversation!}

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Would You Run 242 km All Night Long?

Well, I have neglected my blog these last few weeks. No good excuse...just living life!

Dead 2 Red from Joe Thomas on Vimeo.

My husband ran in a race at the beginning of March called the Dead to Red. Yup, that means they run from the Dead Sea to the Red Sea...that is 242 km {150 miles!} ALL. NIGHT. LONG. through the desert. The teams can have up to 10 runners and they are able to choose how the race is divided among the team. The video above documents how his team ran the race.

He did this race in 2005 as well. He says it took him 6 years to recover before attempting it again. INSANE.
Scott running in 2005 Sunset @ the Dead Sea

After the race this year, he submitted an article to a national magazine and they published his story.

2011...still running.

So, would you run 242 km all night long?
Not me.
I'm boring.
I usually just sleep all night long.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Out and About: The Pharmacy

* This fine photo is brought to you from the Apricot Lady Collection of Random Funniness. This photo was not selected for its composition and/or artistic quality. It was selected purely because of its bizarre content.

I am the Apricot Lady and I run down to the corner to get my drugs. What did you do out and about today?

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Back Window Wisdom

I gather a wealth of wisdom off the back windows of pimped out cars. Most of them are Kias or Lancers {yes, those really fast ones}. There seems to be this trend among young men to put inspiring quotes in their back car windows using big window cling stickers. Usually in flowery writing. Some in Arabic. Some venture out in English. These are the ones that really changed my life this week:

Dream Nice. Hit Your Target.

King of the Rood

Oh Brother, You Are My Heart

Lovely Heart. What Dreams Are From. 

But the one that wins it all this week:

Looks like we all have two options...

Monday, May 2, 2011

I Love/Hate This Place

Well, here we are again...with major world news unfolding before our eyes.
And here I sit again.
Wondering why I decided to write a blog about humorous things I find in the Middle East when the last few months have been a little less than humorous around here.

The other day {it had been one of those days!} I had to force myself to make a list of all the things I love about living here. {Anyone ever have those days?} I'll share some highlights:
  • school uniforms {never any clothes drama in the morning!!}
  • fresh squeezed lemon with mint drink
  • seeing religion play an important role in everyday lives
  • sea side living - slow pace
  • sun almost every day of the year
  • the people I work with whose lives are being changed
  • friends from around the world {our gatherings look like a session of the U.N.}
  • the lack of temptation for consumerism  {because there is not a whole lot to buy here!}
  • nutella {it literally tastes good on anything}

okay - so a lot of my list has to do with food
but there are many more me!

Now unlike the picture my happy happy funny funny blog portrays, I also hate living here in many ways. You wanna hear them? {tell Pollyanna to go in another room for a minute}

  • we live under constant stress and anxiety because of language, and culture, and raising kids in a foreign land, and driving, and working, and terrorists, and...
  • recent world events have torn our hearts out, infuriated us, built up compassion, and made us want to puke all at the same time
  • we will never understand all the nuances of the culture we live in
  • we always miss our friends and family
  • cryptic warning messages from the State Department {which all became clear last night}
  • we have suitcases and stuff and houses all around the world {I must be part sheepdog as I exhaust myself trying to herd everything all the time}
  • and the biggest one this week: Will and Kate postponed their honeymoon! Is there no end to the bad news on BBC? She was going to be my best friend. Boo.

Well, this has been a long ramble. And if you are still with me, you probably expect me to end this with some great quote about how trials and struggles build character and wisdom {which they do and I know they will}.

But I have no such quote.

My only solution right now is to try to find the best thing in my pantry to spread nutella on and have a little feast. Gotta run!