Playing House.


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I have more money than my parents.

That’s a frightening thought for a 22-year-old, unemployed, recent college grad.

Also, I’ve now shouldered the responsibility of calling our water and sewage company, because some error has lead to my parents over-paying by 1300 dollars. Unfortunately, my father’s search for answers has turned up empty. So now the chance to reclaim that much needed money lies with me.

It’s depressing. And worrying.

I need to get a job. Fast.


Transitioning to life back at home.


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I didn’t (though perhaps I should have) expect it would be so difficult to keep up with my goal to write every day. It’s been a couple days since my last post, and I’ve missed some days before that as well. At this rate, it looks like I’ll be back to radio silence by the end of next month.

I’m realizing a couple of things already. One, I don’t have a consistent schedule, which makes it difficult to set a regular time to write every day. In Lebanon, that time was somewhere around 2am, which meant I was getting to sleep around sunrise and waking up around noon. My grandparents hated it, but it was a natural pattern for me. I’ve been burning the midnight personal book-lit batteries since I was in 3rd grade. I’d grown accustomed to nights of little sleep and a lot of creative stimulation, so it made sense that left to my own devices, I would revert to those early habits.

Now that I’m back in the states, however, it’s seemed inappropriate to stay up all night at my parents’ house reading and writing, especially since I’m not paying rent and don’t have any income (yet). So I’ve been going to bed early, in an attempt to fall into a more normal pattern of “early to bed, early to rise, regular adults do this to work 9 to 5s.”

Unfortunately, without a job motivating me to wake up in the morning, I’ve just been going to bed early and sleeping in late, which has not resulted in greater productivity, but more copious amounts of sleep. Which isn’t bad. But I do also what to get stuff done.

Additionally, now that I’m hope, I have more freedom to move around, which means I can leave home for a few days at a time, hanging out with friends and often staying at Dan’s house. And with that freedom means more unpredictability. Sometimes I go days without a moment to sit and write–or sit and read the news, which is admittedly more frustrating. If I can’t keep up with the breaking reports, essays, movie and art reviews, protests, and everything else, I feel like I’m slipping towards stagnation. I can’t let it get ahead of me. I have to read it constantly–stay on the edge of it.

Which hasn’t been easy since I’ve been home. There are plenty more distractions here for me–and the freedom to access them. Not only is it effecting my ability to keep up with current events, but it’s effecting my wallet as well. Mostly because of the Thai food. Oh, the Thai food.

Conclusion? I’m going to have to make a couple changes. I’m going to allow myself to stay up a few hours passed midnight in exchange for some more productive working hours. I’m also going to start staying at my parents house during the week. Here, at least, I can stay up late without bothering Dan, who has to go to bed early, even if it means spending a lot of time away from him Monday through Friday. Actually, that’s probably a good thing. I get a lot more done when we’re apart. Actually that kind of worries me. But I can’t worry about it now.

So that’s all for now. I can’t really go on about my frustrations. I’m going to start editing the 2500+ photos I took in Lebanon, 3-5 pictures at a time so I don’t burn myself out. But I’m eager to get started so I’m gunna get to it.

I don’t have problems.


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There was a bombing in downtown Beirut, in a very commercial shopping area that I went to with my cousins and aunt and uncle a few times. It happened about six hour ago, and so far 5 people have been killed while more than 70 have been injured.

Last night I was angry because I was tired and wanted to go to bed, but Dan wanted to stay out with our friends. We went from bar to bar, drank too make, and were harassed by loud music. To top it off, at the end of the night, I noticed my purse was missing. I went to be in a foul mood.

But waking up this morning to a flood of concerned texts from friends who didn’t know I was back in the states–and having my own wave of panic as I wondered if my family was anywhere near the site when it happened–put me back in perspective.

I was out with friends, having drinks, tired and worried about my purse being stolen, just hours before people were killed and maimed in a shopping plaza.

In other words, my problems are not that big. Really, I don’t have problems–no real “What am I going to do?” issues. Every problem I have has a solution. Sometimes those solutions mean sacrifice, or discomfort, but rarely ever too much of either.

Really, I should call my problems inconveniences. That’s all they really are. Not like losing your hand at a shopping mall, or constantly living in fear that if you leave the house, you’ll put your life at stake. Not living in a perpetual “no-win” situation, just because you live in the “wrong” neighborhood, the “wrong” country, or you’re the “wrong” color, gender, religion, etc.

Yeah, I don’t have problems.

Holiday excess at its best.

I ate so much I actually might vomit. Very bad choices. I’ll keep you posted.

Update: Yes, I indeed did vomit. I realized it was because I have been on the “Mediterranean diet” for the past three months–olives and yogurt and fruits–and mostly what we ate for Christmas dinner was rare meats, cheesy potatoes, and very rich, creamy-sweet desserts.

My stomach didn’t stand a chance.

Dream Crimes


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Every night I have nightmares, but I’ve gotten used to them. Last night’s wasn’t particularly bad, but it was memorable.

I was driving a small riverboat, ferrying people across a canyon, when the boat suddenly stalled, and was sucked into a whirlpool. I swam to the shore for safety–swam for my life, just barely clutching onto a rock at the last possible second.

Everyone else made it to shore safely, but because I didn’t do anything to help them (I was captain of the boat, and they were therefore my responsibility) I had to be “punished.”

This is something that happens often in my dreams. If I do something wrong or bad, I suffer what I call a “dream punishment.”

Dream punishments come specifically when I’ve violated some moral code of mine, and I think the thought, “How could I have possibly have done this?” The question triggers the realization that I am in fact dreaming, and I attempt to wake myself up to escape the guilt of the dream crime I committed.

But my conscience does not allow me to escape the subconscious crime, and it puts me into a dream prison. Usually the dream prison is the room I am currently sleeping in, and though I know I am sleeping, I cannot wake myself up. I can move, but my body is difficult to move, and I will sometime crawl indefinitely towards something and never get any closer. Sometimes I will jump out the window only to land again in the same room, or just look through the glass to see myself staring back at me–usually without any irises or pupils in their eyes.

At the very worst, I am paralyzed in the bed, and when I turn my head to look at something, my eyes always land on the original object I was looking at, unable to even see the rest of the room around it.

Nothing I do can wake me from the dream prison. The knowledge of being asleep does nothing to ease the feeling of panic that comes from being trapped in that state.

It’s pretty terrifying. But I’ve gotten used to it.

Christmas Secrets.


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Christmas Eve Eve.

You know when you have a secret so juicy, it brings you such great joy and anxiety, that you can’t decided whether you’re glad to be privy to it, or angry that someone’s shared the burden of keeping with you?

That’s how I feel right now. 


To be fair though, I’m not really angry at all. I’m just painfully excited. I haven’t felt this excited about Christmas since I was 6 years old, before I lost all reasonable doubt about the existence of Santa. 

Oh yeah, the secret is that good. 

Merry Holidays, everyone. 

Happy Holidays


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Last night I was drunk. I wrote what was on my mind, and it was what it was.

Tonight, I’m just tired, and I’ve got to help my family get ready for the holidays. There’s been construction going on at the house for the passed three months, and it won’t be done by tomorrow, even though my aunt, uncle, and my three cousins (all under the age of 11) will be arriving and staying for the next week, while their room remains wrapped in plastic and without electricity.

So excuse me while I bid goodnight. Tomorrow will be a busy day.



An interesting article:

Plastic cup politics


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There’s nothing I can really say that would properly articulate my fears:

I will fall into the trap of social justice: I will spend the rest of my life appealing to a half-heartlessly engaged audience. One that prefers Duck Dynasty to discourse, anecdotes to argument, and Jim Beam to justice.

I will never make progress. I will never influence minds. I will spend the rest of my days among people who don’t believe injustice will ever relate to them because its a Saturday, and “not the time to think about such things.”

Back at home.


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It’s difficult, getting back into the rhythm.

I filled out paperwork for the article I wrote, uploaded photos from my camera which I will edit later, read a couple articles, and did some housework.

Whenever I come back to my family’ house, the garage is always overflowing with trash, and the sink–with dishes piled up and around it–smells vaguely of spoiled food. It is a not so subtle reminder that my parents are overworked–and that even when I’m working at a coffee shop scraping by to support myself, I don’t have it nearly as hard as they do, the two of them working overtime to keep a house and small business afloat.

So I do the dishes, take out the trash, dust and sweep, and scrub the bathrooms, because I am at a unique point in my life where I have relatively little to do except improve myself and look for work. Cleaning the house is literally the least I can do, so I do it.

It’s not what I’m used to–nothing like the constant work-writing-reading dynamic I had back in Boston. But it’s a new kind of rhythm–and ultimately a new kind of lesson. How to pull myself back from the front of my agenda for a little while, and prioritize what my family needs right now.

Cause lord knows they need it.

Hey I’m a writer now.


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At some point in the last 3 days that I’ve been in a time-travel induced delirium, I got an email from Salon magazine informing me that I needed to sign a contact in order to be paid for the essay that I wrote and submitted to them.

I wasn’t expecting to get paid at all, and a strange feeling washed over me as a came to a realization:

I could do this for a living.

You’d think that someone who had gone to college for writing would have come to that conclusion already, but honest to god, that was really the first time it ever occurred to me that I could make money writing. I always assumed I would do other things, and that maybe by the time I was 50 or so my writing would be important and interesting, and contribute something to society–but to make a living writing? That just seemed dirty–something that would make me hate doing what I love.

But I entered that essay in, simply because I had heard essays were being excepted similar to one I wrote, and when the essay was accepted, of course I was excited that someone was interested in what I was doing.

I had simply done what I wanted, and accidentally found someone who would pay me for it.

And if I could make a living as a writer that way, well I could definitely live with that.