2008 Year in Review

I reviewed 2006, but failed to review 2007.

I'm not sure why, but I'll review 2008 and try to remember to review 2009 next year.

January: We started the year with the coldest winter in recent memory in our area of Kurdistan. Luckily, we got to spend the worst of it house sitting in a luxury apartment. I also started teaching English at a local school, but I didn't mention it.

February: I won an ipod nano to start the month, but the internet went out in our neighborhood, so we spent even more time at our local cafe. I shared my feelings and was a little rude to everyone at the same time. I taught Kurds about "the Golf" and watched Atonement. About 12 times.

March: This month was really tough to be honest. I think that explains why there are so few posts. The month ended with an easter weekend baseball camp which went really well. Spring also came to Kurdistan which was very welcome.

April: Iran invaded, but it was an April Fool's joke! I got you, Mo! I turned 30 and it got hot. I'm not one to toot my own horn, but I wrote some pretty good stuff in April. I recommend my story about airline tickets.

May: May held our last ten days in Iraq, almost three days in Dubai and two days in Virginia to visit Angie's grandfather. We came back to Columbus and settled back in with Sis.

June: June was a full month... I started a blog game. It failed. I celebrated my first Father's Day. It was great. I was reminded that Jesse is a sitter. Perhaps even the sitter. I ended the month with a super-duper cold/ear infection.

July: July continued June's sickness. At the end of the month, Nila pulled a table down on her face and needed 5 stitches. I struggled with reverse culture shock and intense boredom.

August: We moved to Grandview and I interviewed at Kroger. I did not get that job. Mom turned 51. I don't remember how we partied.

September: Nila turned 1! I commented on the Glade Lady and readership soared. We were subjected to Hurricane Ike's winds (aka Windpocalypse 2008) and those winds left us without electricity for five full days. We never went that long without electricity in Iraq!

October: I buckled under the weight of the 2008 election media hoopla and the bailout plan pushed me over the edge. I wasn't hired for a job I really wanted and I went to lame career fair.

November: Wow, I just reread November's posts. I'm lucky anybody still reads this nonsense. Angie was on the news and I became obsessed with gas prices. Angie also got an outside-of-the-house job.

December: Angie turned 30! Yay, Angie. We had weird pizza and I didn't get the insurance job. Angie stepped it up to full-time and we celebrated Christmas.


9Q to KYDM: Q2

As you may remember (from yesterday), Angie's asking a bunch of questions. Number 2 is below.

What do people say that you’re naturally good at? That is, what do people tend to give you compliments on without you even expecting it?
This question is hard to answer...

I'm good at getting things done. I've been complimented for this before.

I'm good at knowing where I am and how to get where I'm going.

I'm good at learning new things.

I'm a good writer - ironically, I first typed writier...

I'm good at Kurdish grammar.

Oooh, I can write in Kurdish and Arabic better than Kurdish fifth graders.
That's all I have.


9 Questions to Kindle Your Defining Moment: Q1

Angie is asking 9 questions to kindle your defining moment.

If you're like me, you have no idea what that really means. How does one kindle one's defining moment? Who knows, but she defines it as "finding your passion."

Easy enough, right?

Here's question #1 and my answer. Feel free to answer this question on your own blog or comment here.

Or at Angie's blog. The options are limitless.

Okay, question 1:
What are the 50 things in life you most enjoy doing? (Don’t stop until you have at least 50 things listed).
listening to music
discovering new music
learning languages
learning about new cultures
experiencing cultures different than my own
spending money
board games
learning about personalities
home decoration
trying new things
being right
talking about other people's problems (not mine)
reality tv and soaps
knowing things other people do not
reading and making maps
making up stories
telling people something they don't know
riding subways
walking to new places
going to festivals
making lists
being organized
going to the library
critiquing things - anything
defending a position
having or leading group discussions
taking formal classes
finding a more efficient way
finding good deals
looking at Nila
eating outside
having freedom to act
looking at art
reviewing products
finding flaws
having true church experiences
learning about peoples backgrounds (motivation)
thinking through things before discussing
OR discussing all aspects of the thing
getting a haircut
driving Mini Coopers
being witty and funny

I look forward to question 2 and your answers.

New Year's Warning

I am looking for meaningful activities for New Year's. I don't know exactly what I mean, but I figure I'll know it when I see it. Something along the lines of making a list of next year's goals, but fun.

If you can think of anything, please leave a comment.

In my Internet searching, I came across a list of New Year's superstitions at Snopes.com. Here's the most important part:
Other "lucky" foods are lentil soup (because lentils supposedly look like coins), pork (because poultry scratches backwards, a cow stands still, but a pig roots forward, ergo those who dine upon pork will be moving forward in the new year), and sauerkraut (probably because it goes so well with pork).

Another oft-repeated belief holds that one must not eat chicken or turkey on the first day of the year lest, like the birds in question, diners fate themselves to scratch in the dirt all year for their dinner (that is, bring poverty upon themselves)

I eat chicken EVERY New Year's Day. That certainly explains a lot.

I'm not superstitious, but you won't find me eating any birds on Thursday.

**Programming Note: Christmas pictures can be found at everybodylovesnila.blogspot.com**


Angie is 30 Now (+ 2 Days)

Sunday was Angie's birthday.

Her thirtieth birthday.

We had a small catered affair here at the house with friends and family.

By that I mean we got more free food from the BBQ guy and had some people over to eat it and eat cake. All-in-all, it was a good time, although it may have been a bit dull. Sorry, Angie.

We played a game called "What's Yours Like?" You can click the name for a fuller description, but the basic premise is this:

One person is the guesser. Everyone else reads a card with a word or phrase on it. The guesser does not see the word.

The guesser proceeds to ask each player, "What's yours like?"

The others answer with clues, "Mine is small." "Mine is under the couch." "Mine is a pot-bellied pig."

The clues depend on the card, of course.

The first word was birthday and Angie was the guesser. Here's how that went.

Angie: "Bob, what's your's like?"

Me: "Mine is festive."

Angie: "Tammy, what's yours like?"

Tammy: "Mine is fun."

Angie: "Grandma Kay, what's yours like?"

Grandma Kay: "Scream"

Angie: ...

Me: "It has to be a sentence. Say the whole thing."

Grandma Kay: "Scream"

Sis: "No, no. It has to be a full sentence. Mine is ..."

Grandma Kay: "Mine is scream."

All together: "That's not a sentence."

That was really nothing compared to the second round when Grandma said "Mine is I came out of" for the word closet. Those of us who knew the word almost died.

For two reasons: It's still not a sentence and Grandma just told us she had come out of the closet. It was alarming.

All that and she still won the game.


A Recipe to Share

Today, Angie and I went to the grocery. We found packages of about five small pork cutlets on sale - buy one get one free. We picked them up and i had to find something to make with it.

I found this recipe and modified it. As it turns out, it's modified from this recipe.

Here's what I made.

Wilted Spinach Salad with Sauteed Pork, Apples and Feta Cheese
Serves: Me and Angie, but could feed more.

3 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
2 tsp. mustard
1/2 cup plus 3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1/8 of a yellow onion, finely diced
salt and black pepper
6 oz. spinach, washed and dried
1 Gala apple
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
4 pieces of pork
1 Tbs. butter (I used margarine because I had it)
1 cup of feta cheese

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the vinegar and mustard. Slowly whisk in 1/2 cup of the oil. Stir in the onion and season with salt and pepper to taste. Put the spinach aside in a large bowl.
  2. Core the apple and cut it into matchsticks.
  3. Season the pork liberally with salt and pepper and dredge in the flour. Set a heavy 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the remaining 3 Tbs. oil and the butter. When the butter melts and begins to lightly brown, cook the pork, flipping after 2 min., until it’s just cooked through, about 3 min. total. Transfer to a large plate.
  4. Discard any fat in the skillet and set over low heat.
  5. Add the balsamic-Dijon vinaigrette and cook, stirring to pick up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan, until the sauce is warm, about 1 min. Pour the vinaigrette back into its bowl and whisk to recombine.
  6. Put spinach into warm pan to wilt; pour 3/4 of the vinaigrette on top and gently combine with spinach. Add apple slices at the last minute and toss with spinach to coat.
  7. Arrange the spinach and apples on four plates. Top with the pork and feta cheese, and drizzle with the remaining vinaigrette.
It was easy and very good.

It's not as good as Leslie's famous dancing salad, but it's probably healthier - no sugar and less oil.


Officially Rejected

I got the following e-mail this morning.

Good morning,

We want to sincerely thank you for your interest in the [position] at [the company]. I was pleased to have the opportunity to become familiar with your background and credentials. I do regret to inform you that after thorough review of all the applicants that were reviewed, you have not been selected to move forward with this position. While you have an impressive background, the selected candidate brought the experience that we were searching for in addition to strong technical skills.

Best regards,

The Bearer of Bad News

I took a civil service exam this morning too. It was pretty easy, so we'll see what turns up.


Don't Trust Your Sister

Mine told me a bogus story!

In her defense, she was fooled by someone else.

The Le-a story is a fraud. I said it seemed like an urban legend and it is.

Click here to read the account on Snopes.com.

It's too bad, though. I really liked that story.

An Evening of Pizza and Weird

This evening was strange.

Our sink is clogged. A couple of weeks ago our garbage disposal began leaking pretty bad. I disconnected it and cleaned it out. It's been leaking since we moved in and I found that food was collecting inside the casing because of a hole. It was disgusting. Who knows how long the food had been in there. Today, water was pouring out of the disposal when I ran water in the other sink. It seems that there's a clog in the pipes which causes water to back up and, if the disposal wasn't there with it's hole to allow leaking, would back up into the sink.

I had already started making dinner - black-eyed peas, Kurdish style - but I couldn't finish because I couldn't wash the dishes I needed to use in the sink.

Sis came over to go to the library. Angie and Nila came along so we could get some dinner out.

The library trip was fine.

We decided on Pizza Hut for dinner because it's easy and I thought it'd be kid friendly.

We got there and the sign told us to please wait to be seated. But then no one came. No one. Ever.

Another guest suggested that we just seat ourselves, but we left instead. I mean, if they can't be bothered to greet and seat, they can't be trusted to serve us.

We crossed the street to Tommy's Pizza.

It's an old-school pizza joint. It worked out just fine and Sis told the following story:

First, she wrote the following name and asked us to pronounce it.


Angie and I both said Leah. Easy.

Sis laughed and said, "Nope. LaDASHa."

She claims that she works with a woman who knows a woman who teaches the child Le-A. Apparently, the teacher called her Leah and got a message from the mother telling her "It's Ladasha. The dash isn't silent."

Isn't the dash ALWAYS silent.Given that it isn't a letter and all.

It has all of the makings of an urban legend, but Sis claims that the woman she works with swears to have heard the message herself, and I have no reason to think the woman is a liar.

I decided to have another daughter and name her P@y.

Then things got weirder.

As we were eating, I notice the people at the table across from me get up to leave. It's an older couple and their daughter. The mother stands up and sort of trips on her chair. She stumbles and almost falls down, but she doesn't and I stop paying attention.

They proceed to leave the restaurant. I kind of notice that the father goes the right way and the mother heads behind the counter for some reason. I'm not really watching but it's close and I notice.

Then I just see her feet as she goes down. It didn't look like she tripped. It seemed like she passed out, but now that she's down, I can't see her at all.

Her husband notices that she's fallen and, alarmed, goes to tend to her. I can't see anything now. There's a wall between me and the action, but Sis can see everything.

She says that the husband seems to be laying on top of her. Angie gets out her phone to call 911, but someone at the restaurant does it before her.

Nila claps and laughs.

Then the staff comes out of the back and gathers around. One woman keeps saying "Why is she even behind the counter? Customers shouldn't be back there." She doesn't add "If a person wants to pass out, they should do it in an area reserved for customers," but it's implied.

Maybe ten minutes later, paramedics show up. The husband is still laying on the wife and the daughter is suggesting that the mother tripped on something. Which gets another "Customers shouldn't be back there."

Sis and I get interviewed for the company incident report as the woman gets strapped to gurney and out she and her family go.

I bundle Nila and carry her out as Angie pays the bill.

As we get in the car I say how I wished we would have gotten free food for helping with the incident report.

Angie says, "They were too busy trying to figure out who was going to pay for the falling family's food to worry about us."



My favorite comic strikes again

The Idiotic-Hot Scale

A blogger I don't know has posted about the Glade Lady and asks the question, Is the Glade Lady hot or idiotic?

I don't think the choice is so clear. It's not dualistic, it's multidimensional. There are innumerable points along the scales hot and idiotic. The Glade Lady could be both or even neither. I would suggest a graph such as the one below to answer the question.
We could argue where the Glade Lady actually lies on this chart, but I don't think she's as hot as most of my readers do.

Nothing against Dori Kelley.

Related Posts:

The Glade Lady's Web of Lies

That Glade Commercial Madness
Dori Kelly - The Glade lady
The Glade Lady Crosses a Line


My Newest Obsession

There is something even more spectacular than Rosie's teeth in the world.

It's called ColumbusGasPrices.com.

I can find the lowest gas prices in town! And I don't even have a car.

I check it three or four times a day and today there's a little price war between two stations at High and Obetz Rd. Prices there have broken the $1.50 mark with the Exxon selling at $1.48 and the Speedway selling the city's cheapest gas for $1.47. Prices at these stations have fallen up to 5 cents from just this morning.

It's all very exciting.

PS - Rosie's fake teeth might not be permanent teeth at all. She was on Rachel Ray this morning with normal teeth. I don't know why her commercial teeth are so big!


The Glade Lady is Good for Business

I don't know what she's doing for Glade, but she's doing a great job for 13Months.

My glade-lady-related rant was briefly mentioned at AdRants, and now more people can read what I have to say about our candle friend.

Let's hope Glade green lights some more foolish commercials!


Return of the Teeth

Who do celebrities get unnaturally white giant fake teeth?

I don't mean to be negative; if you want giant teeth I say go for it.

It's just noticeable.

And yet, no one really mentions it. Perhaps it's impolite to ask. I guess it wouldn't be the type of thing you'd want to bring up in conversation. If I was at dinner with someone who had giant stark white horse teeth, I wouldn't say anything.

But I would stare. A lot. It doesn't happen everyday.

And, if I knew the person well, I would ask about it. I'd probably never stop talking about it. I'd have a ton of questions mostly about motivation. "Do giant teeth make you feel better about yourself as compared to normal-sized, normal-colored natural teeth?"

"Did you have yellow rat-sized smoker's teeth before this?"

Both excellent questions.

Hilary Duff has the giant teeth. So does Josh Gracin as I've noted before.

The highest profile star to have them now is Rosie O'Donnell.

I wouldn't normally mention Rosie here. I haven't before and I doubt I will again. She has that new variety show, though, and those commercials where the reporters don't seem to know who she is.

It's because of the teeth Rosie. It's because of the teeth.


Sugar Momma

If you've been following along here, you know that I am still unemployed. I had a great interview last week that has me very excited, but nothing as of yet.

Angie, on the other hand, started a new job on Friday of last week. It's part-time, but she can pick up additional hours as the job demands. Today, she's working from 8am to 5 pm!

I am staying home with Nila being a stay-at-home dad - at least part-time.

Angie's been keeping us afloat anyway with her design company. Now she's working outside the home and it only means one thing:

I have a Sugar Momma.

I may never get a job!


Angie is Famous

If you live in the central Ohio area and you watch Fox 28 news, then you were treated to Angie on the news.

She was interviewed for her work on the Crimestoppers website.

There's a serial rapist in Columbus and it's driven the site's traffic way up. The site was down today, so they did a story and featured Angie.

Yay, Angie.

I tried to find video of it online, but I can't. Angie did a great job.

Also, check out the website. She did a great job with that, too.


Angie is also famous on ABC 6. As of 11:15 pm, she was the featured story on the website, too.

See her here.


Words That Aren't Words: Nother

The word is another. It's a blend of two words: the article an and the word other.

It's 'an' instead of 'a' because other begins with a vowel.

If you add a modifier, such as the word whole, you have two options:
  1. split other from its article and insert the modifier before other - That's a whole other story.
  2. add the modifier after the word another - That's another whole story.
#1 is clearly the better choice. It sounds better. It's important to remember that when you split the word to accommodate the modifier whole, 'an' becomes 'a' again because w is a consonant.

That 'n' goes away. It does not belong to other.

That's a whole nother story is incorrect.

Nother is not a word.



Thoughts on the Election

I have many thoughts on the election, but I find that I'm having a hard time putting together a cohesive post. Therefore, I'll just write some of my thoughts below without worrying about cohesion.

You're on your own for the cohesion.

I watched Al Jazeera for the results. I don't have cable, just what I can get with an antenna. The three major networks had so much extra flare on their screens that it was difficult for me to read anything. So, I watched Al Jazeera online.

They did a nice job, but I heard the phrase "No Republican has every won the presidency without Ohio" about 54 times over three hours.

Also, they had a male and female anchor. The man was British and really awful. When they cut to video of the Obama rally he said "Let's all be silent and let the crowd speak." Cut to five minutes of people screaming while the newspeople remained silent.

It was weird and inappropriate as he cut off a conversation mid-sentence.

McCain's concession speech was nice. I thought it was very classy.

Joe Biden was the only candidate to support federalism in Iraq. I don't know that it'll make any real difference, but it could be positive for Kurdistan.

I always enjoy voting. Yesterday was no exception. It was cool, too that so many people voted who wouldn't normally. It was the first vote for both Angie and Kate. This is the first time Kate was old enough. Angie doesn't really have an excuse.

But, I also found respect for people that refused to vote.

Obama isn't really an African American. He's the son of a white woman and an African man, so he's clearly an American of African descent. However, given his upbringing with his mother's family, I think he lacks the experience of most black Americans.

It also means that his personal racial history is not typical of black people in America. There is no history of slavery or oppressive racism in his family other than his own, of course.

I don't mean that as a value judgment, rather it's just something that occurred to me last night and I found the thought interesting. I wonder about the differences between him and even his own wife. And I wonder if it even matters. Does it play out in the relationship between Obama and Michelle? Does the mere fact of having black skin allow one into the shared history of the black community.

I'd like to do a sociological study of it, but, alas, I doubt I will.

I hope Obama can live up to the expectations of his supporters. Wouldn't that be great? I fear that expectations are way too high, but if he gets anywhere near it'll be great for the country, so I'll wait hopefully.

It's exciting that people are so excited by him, but I can be cynical; I think there's no way he can be everything that people want him to be or even everything he promised to be.

I am eager, though, to get to the end of the Bush administration and the general feeling of funk that's settled in over the past couple of years. For good or bad, Obama will be a change and will be perceived as a huge change.

And Obama's honeymoon phase will keep the media quiet for a while. I think even the conservative media will give him a break for a few months.

That silence will be nice.

Or maybe that's just wishful thinking.


The Glade Lady Crosses a Line

I am not obsessed with the Glade Lady.

I swear.

But there's a new commercial and I feel I must comment on it. You see, this time the Glade Lady takes her foolishness too far.

The Commercial:

The Glade Lady can be seen lighting a candle (I guess it's not really a candle at all, but some sort of Glade oil scent pod. I don't know the trade name, but it's not important) and then putting out some store-bought gingerbread cookies.

She invites her friends in and they comment on how good her cookies smell.

One of the cookies stands up - seriously - and says "Oh no you didn't. That smell is a candle, not us cookies!"

The friends are probably all "What the... that cookie just talked," or "Oh how magical! A talking cookie. It's like a Disney film. Or Shrek. Or Shrek 2. Or even Shrek 3"

The Glade Lady doesn't miss a beat. She grabs the cookie and bites his head off as her friends look on horrified. She then offers the remaining cookies to the friends confident that her warning will keep the other cookies silent.

The Analysis:

I think this one is meant to be a light-hearted take on the Glade Lady's compulsion to lie.

"Ah, gee, she got busted by that cute talking cookie."

The only way to make it light-hearted, though, is for the Glade Lady, the cookie and the friends to have a good laugh.

Instead, she murders the cookie.

Up to this point, those who have been brave enough to confront the Glade Lady have lived to tell about it: her friend who finds the sticker on her butt, her husband, her yoga partner. Now, the Glade Lady has put her detractors on notice: If you cross me, I will bite your head off while your family watches and I will chew it up.

Before you write this off as over analysis, I suggest you watch the commercial and focus on the friends. I think their faces are priceless. They say:

"In two minutes, I just saw a freakin' talking cookie, my friend ate said cookie and then tried to make me eat a similar cookie, a cookie which may be just alive as the first one. I don't know how many of those cookies can talk! Why am I friends with this woman? Why am I still in this kitchen? I am disgusted, but mostly I am afraid! If I make any false moves, will she eat me, too?"

I wonder what's next for the Glade Lady now that she's had a taste of blood.

Or icing.

I don't really know what flows through the veins of gingerbread men.

Related Posts:

The Glade Lady's Web of Lies

That Glade Commercial Madness
Dori Kelly - The Glade lady
The Glade Lady - Hot or Idiotic?


The Career Fair

Yesterday morning, I went to the Columbus Dispatch Cultural Diversity Career Fair.

I'll tell you why almost none of those words are correct, but first I'll tell you how I ended up there.

Last week Mom got me to agree to go to a job fair with her. When the time came, she backed out and coerced me to go on my own. I thought the job fair would be crap, but I decided to go anyway. I'm not doing anything else, right?

The fair showcased 16-20 booths. Two were for schools and 3 were for temp agencies. Three were for the Dispatch and 1 was for a recruiting firm which wasn't recruiting. The remainder were for companies hiring seasonal workers.

The real problem, though, was that no one at any of the booths was really hiring. They each had a sign listing available jobs and encouraged all of us to apply online. They told us it was the fastest way to submit our resumes.

Hmmm, I thought. Then why exactly did I need to come here? Each company can be found online easily.

Also, there was no real cultural diversity nor were there any companies which focused on minorities.

So no cultural, no diversity, no career and no fair.

Now, I know you think I'm being negative, but, if you'd been there, you'd feel the same.


Dance Dance Revolution

I couldn't notpost this.


Job Contest

This cracked me up and is tangentially related to the post

I need a job.

I am starting a blog contest.

The person who sends me the lead that gets me a job gets $50 from my first pay check.

You want $50, right?

Here's all you have to do:
  1. Post the job with a link to the comments
  2. OR use the "Call Me" button in the sidebar and leave a message
  3. If you win, I'll need some way to get in touch with you

Here are the limitations:
  1. It has to be in Columbus, OH
  2. The lead has to be serious and specific - "Hey, I hear Giant Eagle is hiring" won't win $50
  3. Non-Profit and educational jobs are my preference, but feel free to be creative!
  4. If I know you, I'll give you cash. If I don't, you'll need a paypal account

That's all. Bring it on.

Oh, and you can see my resume here if that'll help.


Kurdish Lesson 09 - Food

Kurdish food can vary by region and even by family, so what I present below is a snapshot of the foods I enjoyed first in San Diego and later in Iraq. The families with whom we lived in California were from the Sulemania and Halabja areas which is also where I lived in Iraq. I don’t know much about Hewleri or Dohuki food let alone Kurdish food in Turkey or Iran.

Kurdish food is a blend of regional dishes with local ingredients. The dishes are often similar to what one might find in a Turkish, Lebanese or even Indian restaurant, but in Kurdistan, the dishes have their own unique flavors.

I, for one, have never had falafel better than the falafel I had in Sulemania. The same goes for Briyani.

Below, I will spell the names of the dishes and foods with latini. Remember to click here for a refresher on pronunciation.

A typical Kurdish breakfast is fairly light.

Ḧelke RonFried Egg

An everyday breakfast would just be nan u mast, but the others mix in as well. Of course, no breakfast is complete without Ça.

My favorite breakfast was to mix my mast with date syrup. It was great, but I have no idea what the Kurdish word for date syrup is. Sorry.

Lunch and Dinner: Lunch and dinner foods are usually the same. We often ate lunch at the office where we had a cook. She made some really great things! (Although, some of my co-workers complained about the excessive amounts of oil!)

KubeGround meat wrapped in rice
Spiced rice with anything and everything in it
KufteGround meat wrapped in wheat served in a tomato soup
Eggplant, zucchini, onions and potato fried with spices
Yapraẍ/ DolmeGround meat wrapped in grape leaves or stuffed in various
ŞileTomato-based stew with one of many vegetables
ŞufteLittle spiced-meat patties (My personal favorite!)

Miscellaneous Food Names: There are many other words you’ll need to cook and eat in Kurdistan. I have tried to include those below. I have also included separate tables for fruits and vegetables.

Goşt Meat
QȋmeGround meat
SamunBread loaves or buns
Mast AwYogurt and water drink
DoLike Mast Aw, but when made traditionally, it’s
semi-fermented in an animal stomach
GȋpeMeat cooked in a cow's stomach
Sȇr u PȇHead and feet. Sheep’s brains and feet
KababMeat patty on a skewer
TikeMeat chunks on a skewer

Fruits and Vegetables: The secret to Kurdish culture is this: when you are invited to dinner or visit someone, they will eventually serve you fruit. The fruit is your sign that it’s time to go.


I don’t like vegetables all that much, so my vocabulary is slim. Sorry.


This certainly isn’t an exhaustive list, but it’s a good start.

If you have recipes for any of these foods, please post them in the comments. I can only make rice and şile.

A view of our neighborhood store. The lady on the right makes the world's best Kube and Şufte.

A small store like this is called a dukan.


From the Middle of the World

"being called to a particular thing in life means that we can't truly be satisfied doing anything else. yes we can function in other capacities, but our hearts always carry the longing to be doing what we truly love. i think it's like that with places too. while i DO love America and am grateful that i was born and raised here, there are places i always carry in my heart that are outside this country. places of wonder, places of dirt and need and desperation, and people that i'm truly in love with. and as i continue to delight myself in the Lord, He truly does give me the desires of my heart in allowing me to walk on the soil i love and giving me priceless relationships there."

Amen, sister.

*edited 11/04/09 to remove link to original post. I am not sure this blog is for public eyes. The author will remain anonymous, but if you recognize your words, you can claim them.



Two weeks ago, I had an interview. That job was one that I really wanted and I thought the interview went well.

Last week, the hiring manager was out of the office and he told me to call if I hadn't heard anything by the 9th.

So, I called.

He said "That position has been filled...umm...I was just getting ready to call you."


First of all, if you work in HR, just call people. It's easy not to be a jerk.

Secondly, why can't I get hired? This isn't a pity question. I'm serious.

My resume is good, my experience is good, I interview well. It just doesn't make sense to me. I'd hire myself.

I've been considering taking things off of my resume. I've applied to some jobs without my graduate degree and internships. I think those things plus the work in Iraq, hurt me at this last interview.

At the end of it, he said, "Well, after all of the excitement in Iraq and London, this job would probably be pretty boring."

I don't really have a point here, I just wanted to rant a little.


Great Quote

"This is America, not hillbilly flash dance."

-Tim Gunn, on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson

10/09/08 - Edited because I found video:


Debate #2: 10:22

Obama says in relation to foreign policy:

"We have to be proactive. We've been reactive for the past 8 years."

That's not a direct quote, but it's close enough. Look it up.

Except in Iraq, of course. Where Bush took the proactive step rather than waiting for Saddam to act. That, of course, was a mistake according to Obama; Iraq posed no direct threat to us.

Am I wrong in thinking this doesn't reconcile? Have I missed something?

Not to mention his comments on Georgia! What he says is misleading. He did not take a hard stand against Russia and gives us no reason to believe he would.

I am trying to be open to Obama, but I do not trust him on foreign policy. I do not like the positions that he holds and I do not believe his policies are workable.

In addition he speaks of energy independence taking petro dollars from the Russians. The problem being that it isn't US consumption driving the Russian oil industry; it's Europe. It's petro Euros. The US got about 1% of our crude oil from Russia in 2007. Energy independence is not the answer to everything.

And the thing that makes me the most skeptical? The talk of intervening in Darfur to end genocide and, in the same breath, denouncing the invasion of Iraq. A country and a regime with a proven history of genocide.

So, what's a voter like me to do? I'm disappointed by McCain's economic policies, but I like Obama's foreign policy even less.

The third party candidates have insane platforms, but I could vote for one of them as a protest vote. A successful third-party candidate could force change in the big two parties.

BUT none of the current third party candidates have the strength of numbers to push such a change.

You don't have to read this. I'm just rambling through my thoughts.


Biden Mistake

13Months is officially neutral in the upcoming elections, having withdrawn our support of a certain candidate.

That doesn't mean I won't end up voting for him, but I won't campaign from the blog. Not that I expect to have an impact on other voters, really. It's just the point.

I've been actively studying the third party candidates on the ballot in Ohio to see whether I can vote for one of them. Their views do not match mine on the issues that matter most to me, so, if I vote for one of them, it'll simply be a protest vote.

That's neither here nor there really.

This is the important bit.

Michael Totten wrote an article about a serious misstatement by Joe Biden on the debate last week. Click here to read the article.


Dori Kelly - The Glade Lady

The Glade Lady is very popular.

I don't know why. I mean, she seems to be a fine actress. The Glade commercials aren't too much to work with, though, so I can't really judge her abilities. I've had a number of comments refering to her "hotness," and, while she does seem to be an attractive lady, I wouldn't call her hot.

No offense, Dori.

I decided to find out more about the actress as a service to my readers. I didn't find much fact. I found many other people asking the same questions.

Someone on YouTube claims to have e-mailed Glade and gotten the actress' name: Dori Kelly.

But that's where the trail ends.

The closest reference I can get is an actress by the name of Dori May Kelly, who starred in a 1991 horror film called Winterbeast. The photo of the actress on that site is much too small for me to tell if it's the same woman.

They do seem to look alike, but I really can't claim it as truth.

Here's the trailer. You be the judge. You can see her at 55 seconds and again at 1:02.

Oh, and beware. The movie is disgusting for no reason.

If it's her, it explains the compulsion to lie. She's been denying her role in that movie for 17 years.

Related Posts:

The Glade Lady's Web of Lies

That Glade Commercial Madness
The Glade Lady Crosses a Line
The Glade Lady - Hot or Idiotic?

My First Concert

Twenty years ago, I went to the Ohio State Fair and saw my first live concert.

It was New Kids on the Block. Sis really wanted to see them, of course, and Grandma Kay decided to take her. She took me, too and we made a whole day of it; we ate fair food, played games and spent the rest of the day sitting in the stands waiting for the New Kids.

I wasn't really a fan of NKOTB, just a fan of fair food. I spent most of the concert plugging my ears and waiting for it to be over. I don't know that I had ever heard anything that loud before with the music and the SCREAMING.

Last night, I saw New Kids again!

Nothing's changed much. It was still the loudest thing I've ever heard. I think the screaming was even louder this time around. Older women have stronger lungs.

The concert was in Cleveland and Sis had an extra ticket. Someone backed out on her and it would have meant her driving to and from Cleveland alone. When she called on Wednesday night, I offered Angie up for the show.

Angie said, "Umm, or you could go."

Apparently Angie isn't a fan.

I went.

The arena was packed full of thirty-something women all screaming like 12 year-olds for the New Kids.

The New Kids themselves, put on a great show and even though almost 20 years has passed, it didn't seem too dated. They still have two members too many. Jordan is the one who sings in falsetto, Joey is the one who sings otherwise and Donny's the one who raps. But then there's Danny who ... dances? and Jon who.... umm... doesn't do anything. Really. Nothing.

Even their new stuff sounded pretty good, although Sis assures me that, when you listen to the CD and can actually understand the lyrics, the songs are actually fairly embarrassing.

Having had three sisters who were HUGE New Kids fans in the late '80's, I am very familar with their music and I knew most of the songs and could sing along. It was a good time and I'm glad I went.


Debates and Phone Numbers

I just watched the debates. I thought both Biden and Palin did a good job. I think they're both more likable than their running mates.

I feel myself pulling for Palin just to spite the mainstream media which would have me believe she's an idiot. Someone just called her resume vague, but I think words like governor and mayor are fairly clear job titles.

But that's not what this post is about. This one's about the bailout deal.


Tonight I found a few interesting facts.

The first comes from Perezhilton.com - if you are sensitive, do not click the link. Perez claims that the Senate bill includes tax breaks for Hollywood. I would think that paying a minimum of $8 for a ticket is enough.

The next few come from the New York Post. Here's a list of breaks included in the now 400+ page bill.
  • Manufacturers of kids' wooden arrows - $6 million.
  • Puerto Rican and Virgin Islands rum producers - $192 million.
  • Wool research.
  • Auto-racing tracks - $128 million.
  • Corporations operating in American Samoa - $33 million.
  • Small- to medium-budget film and television productions - $10 million.
  • Fishermen and others whose livelihoods suffered as a result of the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill - $223 million.
  • Forcing insurance companies to provide coverage for mental-health treatment equivalent to the coverage they provide for physical illness - $3.8 billion.
All-in-all it should add over $100 billion in deficit spending over the next five years.

Here's a link to the phone numbers of the members of the House. In case you want it.

Deborah Pryce's number is 202-225-2015.


Political Fatigue or Why I Hate the Bailout Plan

I am not an economist.

I took Economics 101 in college and then I took a few accounting and public finance courses in graduate school. I didn't enjoy them, but I like to think I learned a little something.

But, I still don't feel I can formulate a proper argument on the government's bailout plan(s). I've tried to keep up with the news - I've even stooped so low as to watch network evening news programs.

It's all propaganda; every website, every news story, every word. I can't make head or tail of anything. It's all Wall St. versus Main St. The banks are all collapsing! No one will ever get a car loan or a home loan or a student loan again!

And the media makes it all true by simply adding the word "may." Many employers may not be able to make payroll. Small businesses may go under. Your geriatric mother may have lost her entire life saving. In fact, she may be living in and eating out of a dumpster right this very moment!

Maybe. You should probably call her just in case.

Obama and McCain prattle on about change and whose change is best and whose will likely kill us all. It's inane. If this bailout business teaches us anything, it's that the elections in November won't change much.

I would venture to say that both parties have failed. The failure of the bailout bill in the House of Representatives on Monday proved that the Democrats were willing to sacrifice the bill - which they assured us was so very necessary - to sink the Republicans running for re-election. As if, after this, we need more Democrats in the House.

But we don't really need more Republicans either - although, at least they were against it from the beginning.

Now the Senate has passed a bailout package. Oh, our great and noble Senate has come to save us. Except, I read this article from the Associated Press. I've copied my favorite pieces below.

Their opposition appeared to be easing after the Senate added $110 billion in tax breaks for businesses and the middle class, plus a provision to raise, from $100,000 to $250,000, the cap on federal deposit insurance.

They were also cheering a decision Tuesday by the Securities and Exchange Commission to ease rules that force companies to devalue assets on their balance sheets to reflect the price they can get on the market.

In addition to extending several tax breaks popular with businesses, the bill would keep the alternative minimum tax from hitting 20 million middle-income Americans and provide $8 billion in tax relief for those hit by natural disasters in the Midwest, Texas and Louisiana.

So, tax breaks. Seriously? You want to spend $700 billion in tax-payer money and pretend that you're cutting my taxes. So, who exactly will pay for the $700 billion? Oh right, I will when you cut federal funding to programs which my state will then have to cover and my state taxes go up and, then, in the end, you'll go ahead and raise the federal taxes later.

Raising the limit for FDIC coverage shouldn't be necessary. I thought this bailout package would stop my bank from going under. If it doesn't, then we need a new plan!

I've already said I didn't enjoy accounting. I am no expert and I won't claim to be, but why shouldn't assets be tied to price? If I buy a $10000 car in 2008, it's worth much less in 2010. I shouldn't continue to value to asset at $10000; I can't liquidate it for that amount. I have to value it based on market price. This easing of the rules will make companies seem to be worth more money that they are, or am I wrong here? Isn't this already part of the problem?

AND $8 BILLION IN DISASTER-RELATED TAX RELIEF? As part of the bailout package?

This is sickening. It reeks of coercion. If you vote against this bill, you will be voting against hurricane victims. If the Senate was serious about tax relief for victims of natural disasters, then the Senate should have taken it up separately.

Ugh. I am often one to defend government. After all, it's people. One must remember that our government is made up of people just like us.

Unfortunately, this has proven to me that they're not like me. They have different concerns than I do. I think that they've forgotten how to think beyond politics. I read somewhere that Congress was finally earning their 10% approval rating and I am inclined to agree.

I can't just blame the Democrats, although I believe that they've utterly failed as the majority party in both houses.

I can't just blame the Republicans either, although, let's face it, the Bush administration has failed in most ways possible.

13Months officially withdraws support for McCain.

13Months refuses to endorse either of the main party candidates.

13Months is inclined to endorse Sarah Palin all on her own simply because she isn't a senator.



Angie asked me to "post something."

I don't know why, but I did.

I mean, I don't know why she asked. I did it because it's polite to do something when asked.


Christmas is Less Than 3 Months Away

It's true.

Today, I was browsing the web not thinking about Christmas at all.

But then, I stumbled upon two websites which got me thinking about it.

Here you'll find the recipe I plan to make for my family on Christmas morning.

Here you'll find the company from which I'll be buying all of my gifts.

I know you're all wishing you could be part of my Christmas!

Ryan Adams and the Cardinals

Tonight I went to a concert. no big deal, right? Except that I haven't been to a concert since I saw David Gray in, oh, I don't know...2005.

A couple of weeks ago, I kept an eye on Nikki's car, house and dog while she was on vacation and in return she took me to see the Cardinals. I'm quite certain that my work didn't equal the pay!

It was a really great concert. I had forgotten how much I enjoyed his music. Here are a few examples:
Ryan Adams - ryan adams - when the stars go
Found at bee mp3 search engine

You may have heard Tim McGraw's version of this song, but Ryan Adams is the original artist. I think it may be one of the best songs ever written.

Ryan Adams - Mockingbird
Found at bee mp3 search engine

Ryan Adams - Dear Chicago
Found at bee mp3 search engine


Angie Ate

my apple pie. Hence the new header.

It won't be around for long, much like the pie itself.

This weekend, of course, was the first weekend of Autumn and I think it felt like it.

On Saturday, we went to the Annual Flock Family Picnic in Pataskala. Now, no one there is actually named Flock anymore, but that's still the branch of the tree.

It was a lot of fun; very relaxing. I'm glad we've started getting together again. I remember there was always a big Christmas party when I was young, but that stopped almost 20 years ago!

I have one complaint, though. Too many people brought store-bought goods. The cookies were from Kroger and the Pumpkin Roll was from Giant Eagle (although it was DELICIOUS).

The worse offenders took their goods out of the store containers and put them in real dishes like the potato salad in a corningware dish. Don't pretend. I know where it came from. You might as well have put it out in the plastic cup it came in. And those baked beans. I don't believe you did anything more than microwave them and I barely believe even that much work went into them.

I intend to make something exceptional next year to shame the lazy people. Then, in 2010, I can expect a much better class of food.


Kurdish Lesson 08 - Full Sorani Pronunciation

I debated for a while whether or not to go too much into Kurdish pronunciation and especially into latini. I've discussed here on the blog the reasons for it, but I'll recap:

Latini isn't widely used
Where Latini is used, it's not always consistent
The Kurdish alphabet it better
I think you'll find it boring

Well, I've decided that it's not a big deal if you think it's boring, you don't have to read it and the other reasons aren't good enough not to do it.

Plus, it'll make any other language discussions/lessons easier because I'll have this page as a reference.

Below you'll find the Latini alphabet as it applies to Sorani. I have tried to keep the explanations simple, but a few of the letters will require more explanation. Those letters are shown in red and discussed further below the list. Also, all of my references are for American English, so keep that in mind.

a.. always "ah" as the o in Bob

b.. just like the b in english

c.. in Latini this represents the the j in judge. Always j, never c

ç.. this special character is for the ch sound like in chair

d.. like the d in dog

e.. always "uh" as the u in bub

ȇ.. long a like the a in baby

f.. like the f in fire

g.. like the g in gravy

h.. like the h in heavy

ḧ.. *see below

i.. short i sound like the i in big

ȋ.. long e sound like the y in baby

j.. this is not like the j in judge it's like the s in fusion (or the zh in zhane for anyone who remembers them)

k.. this is like the k in kite

l.. like the l in lamp

ll.. *see below

m.. m in man

n.. n in man

o.. full o like the os in oboe

p.. p in panic

q.. *see below

r.. not the American r! *see below

rr.. rolled or trilled r as in Spanish

s.. s like sassy

ş.. sh. like shabby

t.. t like tea

u.. *see below

û.. *see below

v.. v is for victory

w.. w as in water

x.. *see below

ẍ.. *see below

y.. y as in you

z.. z in zebra

'.. *see below

There are some sounds which you won't find in Kurdish. The short a in apple or the th of this and think for example.

ḧ.. Click here to hear it. This is an h sound made well back in the throat. It's a sound borrowed from Arabic.
ll.. Click here to hear it. This is like the ll sound in well versus the l in like.

q.. Click here to hear it. This is a swallowed k. Make the k sound with the back of your tongue. It's the last sound in the word Iraq. This is another sound borrowed from Arabic.

r.. Click here to hear it.

u.. Click here to hear it.

û.. Click here to hear it.

x.. Click here to hear it. This is like the ch in Bach. We don't have it in English, but you'll recognize the sound.

ẍ.. Click here to hear it. This is the letter that we replace with gh in Baghdad. This one's also borrowed from Arabic.

'.. Click here to hear it. This one's also borrowed from Arabic.

One last note, there is no letter for the i (eye) sound like the i in, well, like. But it's a relatively common sound in Sorani. It's made with a vowel combo of either eȋ or aȋ.

So that's all of the sounds. I made a special note of the Arabic sounds because, once you recognize the sounds, you'll easily be able to pick out the Arabic loan words. These are the words which are being replaced with Kurdish words. If your language helper teaches you one of these words, it's a good idea to ask for the Kurdish word - just so you'll know it.

A great way to practice the sounds is to write with Latini, but in your language.

ȇ grȇt wȇ tu praktis saunds iz tu raȋt Latȋnȋ, bet in yur on languac.


Blackout Day 12

Nila has a crazy morning.

But not for us. According to AEP power has been restored to 100% of their customers in Franklin County.

We got power back on Thursday night. We didn't know about it until Friday, though. We moved ourselves back that evening when Sis got off of work.

We've been enjoying the electricity ever since!

There isn't too much excitement going on with us, but I want to share two websites:

First is Nila's blog. It's not new, but it's been updated -- with both pictures and videos.

The second is Angie's business website. She's been designing websites for some time, as you know, but now she's made it official and offered up her services to the needy public. You should check out her website and see some of the sites she's created. And, of course, feel free to hire her.


Blackout Day 5

I hope you're not tired of reading about my electricityless adventures. I have to admit that I'm tired of writing them and I hope to have power soon!

Yesterday evening I was sure that our apartment had power. I could just feel it! Sis and I got in the car and drove over. As we got closer, things were looking up.

Grandview Avenue had power all the way to King. Good sign.

The light at King and Northwest had power. Good sign.

The light at Chambers had power. The Kroger had power. Both good signs.

The apartments all along Northwest had power all the way up the street. Fantastic sign!

But the small set of apartments on the west side between the Kroger and Northwest seemed dark. Not so good sign.

We turned down our street and noticed that only half of the apartments had power. Our street forms a half circle and only the buildings on the outside had power. The poor inside group was still very dark.

That's pretty good news, though. Our apartment is on the outside!!

All of the outside buildings had power!

Except ours.

Our little building of 6 apartments was as dark as the night.

It remains that way today. I was there twice today and each time I hope that the lights will be on. I know that will have to happen one day, but I fear that day may be Sunday at the earliest.


Blackout Day 4

I called AEP yesterday to listen to their automated message telling me when I could expect power.

"We expect to have power restored to your address at 11:59 pm on September... 22!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

I had already heard the rumor, but I wanted to hear it for myself. Now, I don't really believe it will take that long. I think AEP is trying to lower expectations.

Regardless, our little family moved into Sis' house for the next few days until power comes back on.

As I said yesterday, we're lucky that we have somewhere to go.

But, man, I would prefer to be living at home with power like a normal person.


Blackout Day 3

As I said before, Sis and Mom both have power back. They live near Galloway and Powell respectively.

Vanessa also has power. She's near Grove City.

Nikki says that she actually lost power yesterday, which is a step in the wrong direction.

AEP says that over 230,000 customers remain without power in Franklin County and that, of course, includes me, Angie and Nila!

We're spending another day at Sis' house and consider ourselves very lucky that we have somewhere to go.

For the past two nights, we've gone to bed soon after the sun has gone down. In fact, since Nila goes to sleep around 7, she has no idea that the electricity is out.

The bad news is that local news is reporting that we could be looking at up to five more days without power. I am hopeful that this won't apply to us, but it'll apply to someone in the area. I think that's terrible.

Many of AEP's repair crews were in Texas and have had to be recalled. It's crazy.


From the Front Lines: Hurricane Ike

I know what you're thinking. You're thinking, "Front lines? Ohio is not front lines of a hurricane!"

Well, usually you would be correct, but not this time.

High winds ripped through Ohio yesterday leaving almost 2 million Ohioans without power - including me!

As of 3 pm yesterday, almost everyone I know was without power and, today, Angie and I remain powerless.

We're spending the day with Mom at Sis' house. She's had power since about 11 pm last night.

When the power went out yesterday, I had to walk to Kroger in the wind storm to pick up matches so we could light the stove and our candles. Tree limbs were everywhere.

At Kroger, I found that they were operating with less than full power. A few registers were open, but the coolers and freezers where off. In the emergency lighting, the employees were stripping the perishables from the shelves into shopping carts.

American Electric Power promises power returned to all of their customers by Wednesday at 8 pm. I hope to have power well before that, though!

The governor has declared a state of emergency and over 450 school districts were closed today. In a press conference with the mayor, we were all reminded "when in doubt throw it out" referring to our refrigerated items.

We're all doing well. Living like the Pilgrims.


Funny Comic

Click to see it larger

This comic is from my favorite web comic, Buttersafe.

I like Buttersafe because it's random and a little ridiculous. If you're easily offended, don't go to the website, but it's really quite mild.


That Glade Commercial Madness

I am not the only one who has something to say about the Glade Lady.

Vanessa supplies this comment:

Third Commercial mock-up. Fade to Mrs. Liar Liar Pant's on Fire coming home, only to enter a house filled with casually dressed friends, a husband who will not look her in the eye and an intervention specialist. They are all there to confront her about her meth habit. She claims that she has no such habit and that if she did her breath would smell bad and her teeth would be falling out. Then we see her husband pull out a an empty bag. The bag says "Glade Meth-Head Cover Up Kit". We end scene with Mrs. Pant's on fire throwing her hands up and smiling while one of her fake Glade teeth fall out.

I hate to break it to Vanessa, but there are two additional Glade Lady commercials, so he Meth Lady commercial would be number 5 or so.

I have only seen the newest two once each, so I can't say too much about them, but I can't just let them pass without comment.

In the first, the Glade Lady is doing yoga at home with friends. Someone comments on the great smell of the room. The Glade Lady claims that the scent is the smell of her yoga-induced sweat.

Or something. I have to admit that I wasn't paying attention until I realized the Glad Lady was back and by then I had missed most of it. But I got the point; the Glade Lady was trying to pretend her Glade Scented-Oil Plug In was something other than a Glade Scented-Oil Plug In.

Apparently, Glade Scented-Oil Plug Ins are an embarrassment to their owners. Just like Glade candles.

In the second new commercial, the Glade Lady is taking a bath with a Glade candle beside the tub. She gets a phone call and tells her friend she's at a spa. Her husband comes into the bathroom and interrupts the call. Her friend says "Who was that?" The Glade Lady...lies.

Of course.

Now, again I have to confess that I haven't studied this commercial as much as the original, but I think that the friend calls her on her home phone*.

The other option is that she calls her friend. This option means that she called in order to lie about being at the spa while the first option implies that she thinks her friend is unimaginably dim.

"Yeah, you called my home phone, but I had it forwarded to this spa..."

Who thought these up?

Here are some better Glade-related lies:

  1. The Glade Lady claims she bought the Glade candle, but she really stole it.
  2. The Glade Lady has a trunkload of stolen Glade candles. When her husband confonts her, she says she won a radio contest.
  3. The Glade Lady refills her Glade brand Febreeze rip off spray bottle with generic brand Febreeze rip off spray, but tells her friend it's Glade.
  4. The Glade Lady leaves her Glade Scented Oil Plug In plugged in for weeks after the oil is gone. It sets the house on fire. She blames a lightening strike and collects the insurance.
  5. The Glade Lady's husband demands that she see a counselor and deal with her compulsion to lie. She pretends to go, but spends the time sniffing Glade Spray at Kroger.

Ok, I think that's enough.

*Ok, I've seen it a few more times and I now know that it's her cell phone. I don't care. It's still ridiculous. I know the spa would have a locker for her belongings and I'm sure that the locker room would have a sign. Please turn off all cell phones before placing them in the locker. This is for the comfort of our guests. Thank you. Management.

Even made up spas with made up aromatherapy have those signs. Get with it Glade Lady.

Aren't you glad I set the record straight?

Don't you mean... Glade?

Related Posts:

The Glade Lady's Web of Lies
Dory Kelly - The Glade Lady
The Glade Lady Crosses a Line
The Glade Lady - Hot or Idiotic?