Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Let's be a little selfish and bitch about me

not that I really need an excuse to do that.

Monday I had my wisedom teeth taken out. the surgury went well, now all I am trying to do is recover. I worked 5 hours yesterday and plan on being here all day today, but I am fading fast.

Kate the new girl started on Monday. JB is supposed to train her until her last day which is Thursday. And wouldn't you just know it. JB gets sick on Monday and her doctor has ordered her to have bedrest for the next 3 days. "I" and I don't buy it, it is just too convienent. and guess what is wrong with her....she has lost her voice. Oh fucking dear. Wednesday, that's today, is the day that HR does new employee orinitation, she knows that Kate will be gone all day long. And what does JB do? Oh she comes in this morning, and then leaves for the day at 11.

Let's look at me for a moment. I currently am soo drugged up I can't see straight. The medication that takes the pain away is working, but also making me nauseous. So all I want right now is a cracker, which I can't eat because they are too hard. I want to go home, but I can't, because there is work to do, even though I am worthless today. God, I hate JB, I hater her!!! I should be the one at home, but no, I am at least responsible, I at least am not doing this childish game where I don't come to work so tat I can "punish" those who didn't hire me. Fucking cow.

Sorry about my ramblings.

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Me and Kani, goodness I look awful, just check out my hair. I had it down earlier in the day, but it was just too hot. Posted by Hello

This is my dear friend Katie at the "cultural evening" at the San Francisco conference Posted by Hello

San Francisci conference pictures--I know it has been forever. Robert Olson is on the left, Kani Xulam is on the right. Posted by Hello

Friday, September 24, 2004


The hardest part of any day is the last ten minutes of it. Time stagnates, hovering. A 1000 years in one heartbeat. You pack up your things slowly, hoping that you can take enough time. But you don't. You wait and wait, until you can't take it anymore....

And then you're free.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Can I have a new stomach please?

So yesterday at work my computer crashed not once but twice. We had to put a new operating system on it and hopefully that will work much better. But it has left me having to deal with re-setting up my workstation up all over again. It is a total headache.

JB still on my nerves, now she just decides that she isn's going to work and leaves without telling anyone, or she tells "I" which means that the information doesn't really get funnelled down to where I am. She leaves early all the time, normally around 3. She says that she does so because she comes in at 7, but I seriously doublt that she comes in that early. I would come in early and try to catch her, but I value my sleep way too much.

Tonight is my first night with real customers with this HYLA thing. I am nervous, but only in the way that I am not sure what to expect from the office. I had lunch today, brocolli and cheese soup which tasted wonderful until about 15 minutes after I was I am in agony. I should take my pills but I really don't want to because they give me dry mouth and I will have to be talking for the next 4 hours. I did my last practice demo for Elif last night, talk about hostile! She was rude, 20 minutes into the demo I just wanted to pack up and leave. But I finished it anyway. Then she kept trying to put my stuff away for me, and I had to tell her to leave it alone, and that I was trying to clean it up as fast as possible. If she didn't want to see the demo she could have said no, I would have been alright with it, but her behavior was just awful. But of course when I left the house to get the shampooer out of the car she had absolutely no problem using the machine to vacuum her entire house. She was madly vacuuming when I came back in. So it was really discouraging. I hope that I will be able to sell something this week.

Must dash, almost time to pack up my stuff from job #1 and head off to job #2.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

The results are in

All of my bloodwork came back negative for my stomach issues. It is really annoying to know that, sometimes I just wish that the Doctors could find something wrong with me so that it could get fixed and that would be that.

JB has been really quiet today. I think she now understands her place. And you know for all of the lecturing that she gives about security and how I can't have access to her office because all of the files are in there, what does she do...she copies someones PAN form (it is a human resourses form) and leaves in the copy machine. These forms have all of a person's personal information on them, not to mention what they make. These forms are classified and she leaves them out in the public copier. I took the forms and put a note on it that said "For someone who is so worried about security you should watch what you leave in the copy machine", this is twice now that she has given a lecture on security and then on the same day leave something that is really important out in the open. God, I am glad that she is leaving. Although she did give me a lot of material... Oh, well..I am sure that I will find something else to rant on about.

Monday, September 20, 2004

I just discovered titles..

and I think that is really neat. I know I am easily impressed.

"I" asked me today to review his paper and make comments on it, not just grammar contents but actual content comments. I feel pretty special.

worked on the vaccum stuff yesterday. I don't like have to sell to people I know, because the people I know can't afford it. So I was practicing on Ann yesterday, and she couldn't afford to pay for the machine, and the manager on duty got snippy with me because I showed it to her, hey I'm sorry, but if you don't want us to be high pressure salesman, do not expect me to get high pressure on my friends. This isn't something that is the equilivent of a Happenings coupon book, this is $1700 cleaning system.

JB called in sick today, is this a surprise? No, but a bit of a relief. My stomach has needed a chance to recooperate. I started taking the medication for my stomach yesterday and it makes me incredibly thirsty. Oh, my stomach...I didn't tell you. The doctor thinks that it might be stress as well, but I am still waiting for the results of all of the blood tests that he took. There is a possiblity that I might still have little parasites in me from the last time I was in Turkey. Turkish parasites...heee heee...I image them as little fat men in way-too-tight polyester pants telling me that they love me and if I took them back to the US with me that they would marry me and we could start a business together. For me "friend-price" I hope that the filthy little buggers didn't tag along. If they did, they own me a lot of rent money.

So apparently Saddam Hussein is "depressed", oh I am sorry.

And Kurdish language classes have started in Diyarbakir, yeah!

Friday, September 17, 2004

So last night at the vacuum training, Mike (new boss) announced that we can't work with real customers until we practice on people that we know. I don't want to sell this stuff to my friends, now it is really cool, but I don't want to push it on to them, ya know?
But so far so good. I have booked 4 appointments, with the possiblity of at least 3 more, but I am not sure if I can get that many booked. And I really need to be able to work next week so that I can afford my stupid wisdom tooth extraction on the 27th. Ugh!

Today I go to the doctor, see if I do have an ulcer. I probably don't, I expect the doctor to tell me that my stomach reacts to stress, and that I should clam down. Which I refuse to do. If I lose my anger, I lose my focus of direction. I like that, I need it in a way.

Should go back to work, I'll write back later.
And there is a rocket show tomorrow!

I need to remember to post some pictures.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

A short comment on Minister Berwari's marriage...
Can I say, that I am extremely disappointed in her. She spouts feminist ideals and then agrees to be a third wife (as in there are 2 other wives still living in the same home--I hope that I understood that to be right). Now I have interesting views on polygamy. If the motive behind it is noble---say marrying a widow or a woman who needs to be sheltered in some way---I am alright with it. Now I am not saying that I personally would be the type to go up and be the second or third wife...I plan on being the one and only when that time comes in my life. However this marriage doesn't make any sense. Politically it doesn't seem to help Nesreen, in fact it seems to de-legitimize her and the potential role-model status that she had for young Kurdish women. I can not chalk this up to her trying to be "traditional" in any sense. She ruined a good thing. Now if this marriage is a love marriage, then that is wonderful for her...she should make that known. But this is clearly a case where love and politics should not mix.
Now all of the personal crap-ola.

I have an appointment to go to the doctor tomorrow to see what exactly is wrong with me. I am pretty positive that it is all stress related. However, it is really freaky. I have lost a bunch of weight because I haven't been able to part of this is nice, less money spent on food and of course being thinner is nice...but the agony that my stomach is in is awful. It is like someone has taken my stomach and balled it up in their fist, and then the entire intestinal tract has been cramping for a couple of weeks. I managed to get rid of 2 of my main stressors--the Kani situation and the stupid phone-sex job. I could never get enough calls to make any money and I can't handle boredom in any those are gone and I felt better. But the other main stressor is JB, which I am having a harder time shaking off.
For example yesterday, she came at me with some stupid demand and I wasn't going to give in. The situation is irrelevant, but with her attitude and her manner, I was instantly in pain. I needed a break--badly, and everytime I would try to leave something else would come up....ugh. If I have an ulcer I am naming it JB.
Model Arab League is another stressor. Apparently DJ thinks that I am trying to take over, and all I see him doing is screw everything up that I worked so hard for 2 years to create. It has been an act of God not to intervene, and he is still thinking that I am trying to take over. Yet, he tells me that he is glad that I am around so that I can help out, but tells Jack that I am taking over. Dammit, be mature for once DJ! If you have a problem with me, tell me! I told you when I was upset with how you interrupted me in the meeting, why can't you tell me that I am being too bossy? I would welcome that.

Back to the JB situation. It was announced yesterday---she isn's coming back---YESSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
"I" told me before a final decision was made, I kept quiet, but it was really really hard to hold in my elation at the news. I didn't even crack a smile. However, I still have to deal with her till she leaves. Apparently she took the news well, but was visibly shaken. I am sure that she is home right now bitching about why she didn't get the job, blah, blah, blah...what does she expect. You treat everyone in a condensing manner, including your boss, and you expect to get rewarded? She isn't here today and tomorrow because it is Rosh Hashanah, thank goodness. If I can't get a break during work, at least I can get a break from her.

On jobs in general...yes I stopped the phone sex thing-still haven't seen a dime out of that---and now I have moved onto something else. I am now selling this air-purifying system that yes, converts into a vacuum. I have become a glorified vacuum cleaner salesman. I wonder what other cliche job I can get? Hummm. Anyway the commission scale is great, the more you work, the more you make that type of thing. But then there is also the added element that there is someone at the office who cares if I work or not. The phone sex people couldn't care if I even breathed on a regular basis. I am only in training, but hopefully I can start selling this weekend. I want to win one of these stupid machines...they are soo cool. Expensive, but cool. The job itself is from 6-10pm four evenings a week. Great hours, but difficult on me. With no breaks lately at work at the MEC and then traveling across the valley with dinner in the car to job #2, I feel like I am in a never-ending day. I get home around 10:30 at which point I am trying to wind down so that I can sleep and get up again at 7 for work at 8. It is rough, but that is only because this first week I wasn't expecting to be gone soo much.

I think that is all for the moment, I will leave some stuff for tomorrow..
Sorry about the wait, a lot has been happening.
First things first, the Kurdish conference. Now I am not going to detail every speaker, but give you general impressions and comments. The Institute that held the conference is planning on making the conference proceedings available to the public, so check their site for updates. Also, on Kurdmedia, there is a nice write-up on the conference that I definitely have some comments on, so read the article first so you know what I am talking about. If you read the article, it makes it sound as if it was a wonderful conference and a lot of issues were, in a way, resolved. Far from it. There were 3 definite points of view that came out: the west, Turkish-Kurdistan, and Iraqi-Kurdistan. All of the American panelists made the point that the west really can not be trusted and that the Kurdish movement is dependent on the Kurds themselves making the difference, the Kurds doing the work, and not getting the free ride that they hope to get from keeping alliances such as the United States. The Turkish-Kurds were of the mind-set that alliances like the US couldn't be trusted, and that Iraqi-Kurdistan was absolutely wonderful and they were looking to them to pave the way for future Kurdish freedom. And the Iraqi-Kurds were adament that alliances like the United States were vital to their survival. I consider myself "seasoned" in Kurdish politics-especially in relation to Turkey. This conference just barely touched on some rather explosive issues, and didn't delve in further. Now seeing that this was the first conference of its kind-or at least that is what I keep hearing--you would think that we could get past the basics and move to the meat of the issue. But we didn't.
My own personal opinion is that the Kurds need to depend on themselves, and themselves alone. Alliances are fine and dandy, but there is such a long history of getting burned. How many times does one have to burn their hand on the stove before they realize that they shouldn't do that. This also brings me back to the analogy from the movie Marooned in Iraq that I mentioned in a post from July. To me the Kurds are the guy that was making a lot of money on the war, who then gets robbed and sits in the snow in his undershirt bewailing his plight. When help is offered to him in the form of a coat he turns it down because some one is coming with a mule. And when the people leave him he wails and ripps his shirt. What the hell is that? You are cold and freezing, someone offers you a coat, and you turn it down? What good is the mule going to do you, take you to a coat? Why not walk? An American would have taken the coat (but probably would have gone off in search of one, before the help was offered) and gone down the hill and gotten the mule himself. It is all about missed oppurtunities.
The article also mentions the "cultural" education that the conference attendees got. Bull. There was 5 minutes of live music and an hour's worth of dancing, but those who were supposed to be teaching others to dance, kept insisting on complex steps that look really cool, but no one can learn. So you had one or two good people and a whole mess of others falling over each other. If you knew the steps you really couldn't enjoy it. Why couldn't they just focus on the 3-step simple village dances. Forget pretty, it is the dance that is important. There is a certain feeling of elation when your heart, your feet, and the beat of the song move in time. That is what makes Kurdish culture so wonderful, and the attendees of this conference were completely denied that.
The film festival was great even with me being sick in the middle of them and missing 2 films. I also got the oppurtunity to meet other students who were trying to work in masters and phd programs in Kurdish studies. Since there is no standardized programs, it is extremely difficult to accomplish anything in the field. And that is a true crime. The conference talked about politics and reminding everyone that the culture is under fire. My question is...why is no one trying to save the culture? Where are the projects to document Kurdish folklore and traditions, songs and literature? There should be a project working side by side with the political movement to document and perserve Kurdish culture.
Now on to the friends that I made, which is really what made the conference wonderful: The contacts made. Besides buddying up with Robert Olson and Micheal Gunter, I also made friends with Kerim Yildiz, founder of the Kurdish Human Rights Project who is a completely "smashing bloke"! If you want to read his statement for the conference you can find it here.
Kani's speech was typical pull-at-your-heartstrings stuff, see it here. After the conference I managed to talk with him to get some of my personal issues with him out of the way. Which has made a huge difference and I am glad that I got my friend back. It is just frustrating that people seem to think that I can't handle things, that I am emotionally fragile. I am not. That was beaten out of me. Our talk was great, and I have a lot of ideas on things that could help him in his work, and I have agreed to start volunteering with him again...I just need to find the time. I can't pay my Zakat this year anyway-yes, I know poor planning on my part--so a good portion of that will be in volunteer work for Kani.

More to come on what exactly has been going on in my personal life....

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Ok, so I am back from the conference, which was absolutely wonderful! I made some really good contacts/friends. However, sooo much happened that I will have to take a few posts to cover it all, so you have got to be patient with me. For the moment we are going to cover general impressions and my reactions to a lot of things that happened that are a bit more personal than the conference.
First of all, Katie... who at first I wasn't that excited that she was going to come, but when she got there and we hung out, I was really glad that she was there, and now we are closer friends then what we have ever been.
Things have been resolved with Kani, confronted him, we are buds again---which feels really really really good. We can chat again about Kurdish stuff and I am back to helping him on some projects.
Made friends with Kerim Yildiz, founder of the Kurdish Human Rights Project, based out of London...we're tight. And he is going to teach me how to swear in Turkish--and maybe Kurdish if I am lucky, but definitely Turkish because he says that it is a good thing to know when I am being insulted.
I did get sick while at the conference, but I think that it was a combination of stress running wild. But now that a lot of things are resolved and have some good friendships back (and my physical sexuality validated as well---I can talk the talk, but I have been told by reliable sources that I "fucking sexy" with my hair down and I should wear it that way all the time. So I might.
I know this is probably what you don't want to hear about the conference, because it is trival but this is my blog and you are going to get general impressions first.
Later, I will go panel by panel and discuss what happened, because it was very interesting and there was some discontention between viewpoints of Iraqi Kurds and Turkish Kurds--and yes I know that someone out there will be mad with my qualification of Iraqi and Turk, but you are just gonna have to deal.

More to come soon, stay posted.

Friday, September 03, 2004

So tomorrow which I guess is now today I will be going to San Francisco to go to the Kurdish Human Rights Conference. I am sorta packed, need to pick up the house, and I have to work 2 hours sometime...and I can't get my plane ticket that I saved to open...ugh.. I am not tired, but oh, I will be in the morning when I hit work at 8am, I am tempted to go in late but I have to be there by 9 anyway because of "I" phone interview. I wonder if a half hour will make a huge difference...
Anyway, but this conference should be really cool. I am going to take a ton of notes and record some of it, and I will make sure to tell you all about it when I get back.

humm...maybe I will take a quick power nap.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Today everyone who had been off in the summer came back, it's nice. More people to commiserate with about JB.

I confronted her about "I"'s schedule and how she should basically keep her hands off of it. The other day, I was across the hall with Sluglett and Dr. Cannon calls. Instead of getting me, she attempts to schedule something. And of course she is telling him on the day that is clearly marked "do not schedule meetings today" she is saying that it is ok. I told her that she could have taken a message but she didn't care. The problem is that the time that she told them was ok, wasn't. The type of meeting would probably be an hour long and it is on the other side of campus. She left him a half hour window to go to this meeting, and get back up to here for another appointment. I mean, come on, his health isn't that good to manage that...duh... so I confronted her about it---treating her like a child..."now we have discuss this before but I can't stress this enough..." and of course, she nodded her head, said that it was a misunderstanding and couldn't admit that she might have been in the wrong... She did seem a little upset, which makes me happy. They also did a kamikaze job interview on her, which was wonderful, because she couldn't make any slick answers. She was so flushed when she got out...hee hee.

But on the topic of JB...why is it that people can't admit that they are wrong. She can never say I messed up. Although she talks about how she is more than willing to do that when the time comes---she does it in a bragging tone so that she sounds saintly. But when it is the time that she did something wrong she won't admit it. Now when I screwed up on the retreat (I forgot to order drinks for lunch) I felt awful, tried to fix the problem and apologized to all of the professors for my screw-up. oh, and of course JB rubbed it in that I messed up...she gave me this line that "when I write up my evaluation of the retreat" what the fuck? evaulation...what planet is she on. My point is that I can make a mistake and admit it, no matter how much it hurts my pride...that wasn't an easy skill to learn, but a very valuable one. Another pet peeve is that if she hasn't done something and someone needs that item and asks her about it, instead of saying that she hasn't gotten to it yet but will, she says that she is "fixin'" to do it. Come on... fixin' to do it. is that professional, I think not.

Oh, and this last week she had been nagging me about this DOE report that we need to turn in. Now I actually wrote up this report 2 months ago, and she has had it in her possession that entire time. Well the gov. has a new system and she needs to upload it again. and she told me that we "needed to sit down and talk about the changes" that need to be made...really making a big deal out of the whole situation. So yesterday I ask her about it, tell her that I have the time...she can't find the email, and then when she does, I find out that she never read the damn email that she took the time to print out, staple, file, and nag me about. The email was new instructions on how to upload the file after it is done into the new system. I can't get into the system, only she can, so my part of this whole situation was already done...2 months ago. I am pretty sure that reading, and paraphrasing HER email is not in my job description.