Author Archives: The Intrepids

About The Intrepids

Kiki Keane is a freelance journalist, nerd, bookworm, travler and dreamer whose current crazy scheme is to get to the Middle East and/or Africa to try her hand at being a freelance foreign correspondent. Rachel Womek is a nerdy, spider loving soon to be adventurer. She is currently studying Biology, but thinks she might try Anthropology. She is a willing participant in Kiki's crazy scheme. Together, Kiki and Rachel are The Intrepids. Our trip begins September 10, 2012!

A Brand New Blog!

Hi guys!

I’ve decided to start a new blog. It is book themed. I haven’t got the whole format figured out yet, but so far I’ve decide to do 30 short stories in 30 days. They probably won’t be consecutive days because 1) I am trying to do NaNoWriMo this month and 2) I have a terrible Internet connection. I’m sure I will have reviews and rants and I’m hoping to have a little more interaction with readers, so I’ll be posting questions for discussion at the end of each post. We’ll see if it works.

Anyway, if you are interested I’ve got the link here. It’s called The Indomitable Reader. Apparently I like titles that start with the letter “I”!

Hope to see you there!

Kiki

PS — Rachel is doing great.

PPS — Still waiting on that visa.

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Long Time, No See…

By Kiki Keane

Hi everyone! I’m sure you’ve noticed our absence. Or not, which is okay, too. Anyway, it has been nearly 5 months since we have written anything. I don’t really have a good excuse, but Rachel does. I also have a couple confessions to make, so bare with me.

I won’t say what Rachel’s excuses are because I think they are for her to tell. Lets just say that she has had a major life change (a good one) and another will be happening soon (also good, I think) on top of all the many daily things she has to do. So, blogging is the last thing on her mind.

As for me, I left Cairo and moved to Hurghada, which is a small city on the Red Sea populated mostly by Russians. Needless to say, it has not been conducive to journalism or managing my laziness. I don’t why, but living next to the beach with all that blue water and blue sky makes a person want to crack open a good book and not spend time in front of a computer. It also makes a person come face to face with some not so pleasant facts, such as the following:

  1.  I have no money to continue my adventure.
  2.  I have no skills to get a job to get money for my adventure.
  3.  You need to either speak the local language or have money to hire someone who can translate in order to do decent journalism.
  4. I have neither of these things.
  5. I am a dinosaur. I do not have the understanding of technology or social media to participate in journalism as it is now. I do not have the patience to learn how to make it in this new world, which is why I am extinct before I even hit 30. I should have been born in the early part of last century to a family of means and liberal minds.
  6. I love journalism. I want to tell the stories of all those people who can’t tell their own. However, it seems it is not my calling, at least not at this point in time.

So, there you go. I am packing it in. I hate being a quitter, but I know when I’m beat. Maybe I set my goal to high. Maybe I set myself up for failure. That’s okay. If there is anything I have learned in life it is that it is never the way you planned it. I am open to whatever lies ahead. I think I am going to make another try for my MA and then maybe a PhD. Or maybe I’ll take another giant risk and open up that Noir themed bookstore I always wanted, complete with a little coffee shop with drinks named “The Big Sleep” or “Double Indemnity” and once a month Murder Mystery Dinners.

The other confession I have to make is something that I never thought would happen or wanted to happen, actually (until now). I got married on February 14. I know. I know. It was a fast courtship. No one is more surprised than me. But it feels right. Despite the language and cultural differences, we make a great team. We are working on getting him a visa to the US so that I can enjoy the freedom I am used to and to live a rent free life (for awhile, anyway). Also, I miss my fur baby, Alia. And English TV. And Libraries. And movies other than Twilight or Fast and the Furious.

I’m not sure if we will be keeping up with this blog. I mean one half of The Intrepids is to busy to keep it up and I have a terrible track record. Also, its purpose is gone. We made it to North Africa, at least. Rachel left and I will be gone soon, too. (Inshala, as they say here.) However, I think I will start another blog. One for myself. We’ll see. I will check in here once in awhile and if I ever do make another blog I will let you know.

 

 

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Just A Quickie…

By Kiki Keane

I hope everyone had a wonderful New Year’s Eve and I wish you all the best for 2013!

I know it’s customary to make New Year’s resolutions. I only have a few:

1) Redo the 50/50 challenge and actually finish! (I’ll be keeping track in the “Kiki’s 50/50″ tab and on Goodreads)

2) Blog more often

3) Write!

4) Get a paying job

5) Try, try, try to get that paying job in journalism

6) Do my own NANOWRIMO

Ok. That’s it for today. I’ve got some stuff to do, but I’ll be back in a day or two with a decent post. Promise.

 

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Dear Readers, My Apologies Once Again. From, A Very Broken Record…

By Kiki Keane

Sorry for the very long absence, folks. Obviously I have not accomplished all my goals. What can I say? The holidays, illness and general laziness got the better of me. I did, however, accomplish one goal. I finished Fall of Giants by Ken Follett. I also read Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John Le Carre.

There really isn’t much to say. Egypt had a MB Pharaoh, there was protesting, gun waving, death and then there was no longer a Pharaoh. A few days later there was a constitutional vote and the people voted yes and the Sura Council has started. Tharir still has its die-hards, but they are not winning any fans in this part of the city, especially since the square seems to be surrounded by thieves. (This what everyone is saying, anyway.)

Unfortunately, I missed reporting on much of the protesting because of a particularly bad bug I picked-up along the way. Saw most of it play out on TV, though. I had a very interesting flash back to my J-School ethics class. There was a particularly heated discussion about showing dead bodies (particularly babies) on the news. I don’t way it was heated since almost everyone agreed that it was, at the very least, hurtful to the families. Those of us who disagreed knew it was losing battle, so we let it go after awhile. I remember thinking that for a country that has free speech as its very first amendment we do an awful lot of self-censoring, especially in the  name of hurting someone’s feelings. Here, in a country that has no such thing as free speech, there is no problem showing dead bodies, uncovered and uncensored. Sometimes there is even a guy poking all the dead man’s bullet-holes for the rapt public.

I do realize that I have pretty much written the same blog post three times. I swear I’m going to rectify that. It will be my first News Year’s resolution!

New Goals:

1) Read Anna Karenina 2) Write at least 2 blog posts 3) TOFL homework 4) Write non-fiction 1 hour per day 5) Write fiction 1 hour per day

Hope everyone’s holidays were great. Enjoy your New Year celebrations!

Categories: Books, Free Speech, Goals, Journalism, Life, Media, Nerd, Procrastination | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

I Am A Lazy Procrastinator With A TV Addiction…

By Kiki Keane

So… I have been absent for awhile. Again. I think we have established that I am a lazy procrastinator with a TV addiction, so I won’t bore you with excuses. Nothing much has changed since the last couple of posts except that I have traded in forensics for a holiday movie binge. Also, I have a new kitten. Her name is Haniya. She enjoys sleeping on my lap and attacking feet.

Other than the above mentioned, it has been life as usual. “How can that be?” you ask. “You live in a country that has been in the news non-stop for weeks!” you might exclaim. “The man that rules your adopted country is being likened to a Pharaoh by, well, everyone! He made weird, ambiguous comments about Planet of the Apes!” you might argue. To which I can only reply with the following: I am a lazy procrastinator with a TV addiction. I will also add, though I hate admitting it, that awful parasite called Writer’s Block, which took hold of the fiction part of me ten years ago, has spread to the non-fiction part. Maybe I’m trying to hard or not hard enough. I don’t know. I take comfort in the fact that Fran Lebowitz has suffered from it for 30 years.

I decided to try and set weekly goals for myself again. I know what you’re thinking. Why bother? I didn’t finish a single one before, why would this time be different? It might not be, but I have to try something. And yes, I do know what Einstein said about insanity.

Goals for the week of 30 Nov – 7 Dec

1) Finish Fall of Giants

2) Work related writing 1 hour a day

3) Certification work 1-2 hours a day

4) Blog related writing at least 2x a week

5) Fiction related writing 1 hour a day

6) Clean something (you have no idea how hard that is for me)

Categories: Adventure, Books, Elections, Goals, Journalism, Life, Nerd, Procrastination, Work | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

A Blog In Which I Admit That I Have A Productivity Problem. It’s Called Television.

By Kiki Keane

I must admit that once again I have been completely unproductive. I should be working. I have lots of writing and editing to do. I should have written a post or two or three for my other blog. I should have come up with something to write for this blog. I should have read some of my book club book. I should have written something for NaNoWriMo project.

So what have I done with my time? Watch television. I sat down to eat something and thought I’d watch an episode of CSI. Six hours later…

So, I’ve decided to try and actually divide up my day so that I can get something done. I know. I know. I’ve done this before and I came back with big red F on my forehead. But didn’t someone once say that if at first you don’t succeed you should try, try again? So I’m going to hope that my stubbornness and determination to be productive will win out over my tv addicted brain.

Also, for some reason I have a sudden urge to own a bookstore…

 

 

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My Existance Also Continues

By: Rachel Womek

Greetings Constant Readers! You must be Constant indeed if you are still reading this blog!

Yes, shit has happened and is continuing to happen. Kiki and I went to Egypt, I came back from Egypt, My “Bob” caved out from under me, I got a new “Bob”, I have read a few books and watched a few films; I am too lazy to list them at the moment though.

How was Egypt? It was great and interesting. To sum it up: We arrived, slept, explored, ate falafel, got hustled, saw the pyramids,went to a protest, walked on the Nile, went to Alexandria, smoked Hookah, went to the mall, slept more and then I came home.

I am sure I may have something more amazing and “profound” to say in the future but that about sums it up for now!

Goals: Write the blog

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Apologies Again, Promises And Some Personal News…

By Kiki Keane

I want to apologize for not writing for almost two months! Egypt has made me more lazy and sleepy than I was back home. Who knew that could be possible? Actually, Rachel and I are going to start blogging on a more steady basis again. We both have had some major changes in our lives and it looks like our futures are going to hold even more exciting changes! We probably won’t have any more joint blogs since she’s back in the US and I am in Cairo. Maybe we will still have our weekly goals post, though.

This will not be a long blog, because I have some professional obligations I need to take care of. I just want to let you all know that I am alive and that this blog will keep going.

Just an FYI before I leave you for now:

You may have noticed that I wrote that I am still in Cairo at the end of the first paragraph. I will be here for awhile for a number of reasons. First, I decided that it is more cost-effective to have a base and Cairo is pretty cheap and less distracting than Hurghada (beaches!). Second, it turns out that flight and hotel/hostel prices are more expensive this time of year, so staying put for a bit seems the cheapest thing to do. Third, I need to learn the language and so I will be taking one of the many intensive month-long Arabic courses offered here. Fourth, I need some extra cash, so I will be trying to make some by tutoring in English. An added benefit to all this is that my boyfriend lives here.

 

Categories: Adventure, Life, Uncategorized, Work | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Brief blog on Egypt

By: Rachel Womek

 

Greetings from Egypt! At least for a few hours. I am leaving Cairo today, heading back to the States. Kiki will be here for at least another week, possibly more and then off to even more distant and mysterious lands in a search for transparency and truth. We apologize profusely for our extreme lack of blogging. It is a little hard to think about blogging when you are standing in Tahrir Square or on the Mediterranean Sea off Alexandria. 

This trip has been fantastic. Lots of new experiences. It is a little sad to leave now when Cairo is beginning to feel very comfortable to me, normal, almost like home. Not enough of a home to stop me from coming home but I will be missing Egypt, I can tell. I will miss the hotel staff, who have become my friends, I will miss the crazy Egyptian traffic, the street vendors hawking their colourful wares, the mix of scents filling the air, some wonderful and some terrible, the beautiful clothes and hijab that women wear and the coffee shops on every street corner.

I will cut this blog short because my check out time is near.

 

Until next time!

 

 

 

 

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Finally Done With The Packing! Now On To The Panic Attack!

By Kiki Keane

Holy Moly! Rachel and I leave for Cairo in about 30 hours! I am finally packed. Everything. My whole life now fits in a large duffle bag, a much smaller bag, a backpack and a purse. Actually, it is probably entirely to much, but I figure I can dump as I go. Or, if I am really, really, really, really, really lucky, I will soon have an actual paying job and will be able to afford a small apartment or room in which I will be able to store all this stuff. (And accumulate more, of course!)

Anyway, with all the packing and unpacking I’ve been doing, as well as worrying myself to distraction, I haven’t really done much else. I’ve only paid a little attention to the news (how about that 48 minute speech by Bill Clinton?!) and bought a few Kindle books. Here are the few news stories/analysis I’ve noticed in the last week:**

Syria/Arab Spring: Analysis by Richard Engel

Afghanistan: A Suicide bomber kills six at NATO HQ in Kabul. This story includes a video about Prince Harry’s new deployment to the country.

Russia: This is just giggle worthy! Putin is all dressed up to lead some rare birds in flight.

Lebanon: The new smoking ban in enclosed public places has many Lebanese upset.

Mali: Islamists Rebels Seize Control of Douentza

China: Here are a few photos of a an HIV-postive boy in China and his teacher. He was denied admittance into the local school because of the disease.

And some “fun” stuff:

What does your bookshelf say about you? — From the Guardian

Mexico City’s Aztec Past Reaches Out to Present — From the New York Times

What is the point of exclamation? (Yes, I am well aware that I abuse the exclamation point!!!!!! I like it, okay?) — From the New York Times

Oh! This made me cringe. Huffington Post published this bit about the books that make you look hot. I would rank most of these titles at the very bottom of the “Makes You Look Hot List.” Actually, I would put them on “Not Even If I Were Desperate” list or the “Not Even If You Were George Clooney And Naked In My Bed” list. I might make an exception if it’s the Chandler, Hemingway or Murakami…maybe.

**Most of the news stories come from NBC.

Categories: Adventure, Books, Journalism, Life, Media, Procrastination, Punctuation, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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