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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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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.

 

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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

Just A Quick Update

By: Rachel Womek

 

Greetings, Constant Readers! Kiki and leave next Monday which is somewhat anxiety causing. I am trying to get things sorted with the bank, get my hands on some luggage, get everything I need…and I just know I’ll end up forgetting something essential. That’s about all I can manage to think on that subject at the moment.

 

Desiccated wing

rent from point of origin.

Early morning light

 

Bright patch of sunlight

reflecting off waxed tile.

Waiting for the rush.

 

Mad preparation.

Green trees burgeoning with leaves

that slowly shrivel.

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The Perils Of Packing, Or Having To Admit To Myself That I Once Listened To The Backstreet Boys And I Want That Way…

By Kiki Keane

Wow! Nearly two weeks since we lasted posted anything. I will admit that, per usual, part of the reason is laziness and/or avoidance. However, I can also say, with much relief, that mostly the absence is due to trip related business. I wish that I could spend the time to write at length and post some links, but I am stretched thin.

I am amazed at how much time it takes to pack 28 years of a person’s life into a large duffle bag, a small briefcase-sized bag and a backpack. I am still not done. I have packed and repacked a dozen times at least. Adjusting, refolding, taking out and putting in. Should I assume that certain necessities are available wherever it is I end up? Are they really even necessities? How can I live without cocoanut Jelly Bellies and Reese’s peanut butter cups? Then there is the question of books. How many do I take? Which one’s should I take? Should I bring my favorites or take a chance on new ones? Uplifting or depressing? Fiction, nonfiction or poetry? Classics or contemporary? Tennyson, Keats or Naruda? Homer, Dickens or Gaiman? And why doesn’t Las Cruces have a copy of Zorba the Greek?

I have to admit that I am excited to embark on this new and adventurous life, but I am also scared shitless. I am not afraid of the physical risks I will be taking once the Egypt leg of the trip is over. I am not worried about where I’ll sleep or if I will have enough to eat. I am a bit freaked about the great potential for complete and total failure. However, today I learned that you will receive what you need when you need it. I received two things today: 1) A gift of great value both literally and symbolically and 2) a bit of wisdom or, if it is not exactly wise than at least something I can cling to when I feel like jumping of cliff when this adventure turns out to be a disaster. It is from The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and it goes like this: “But the person who risks nothing does nothing, has nothing. All we know about the future is that it will be different. But perhaps what we fear is that it will be the same, so we must celebrate the changes because as someone once said, “Everything will be alright in the end and if it’s not alright, than trust me, it’s not yet the end.”

We have about a week until we leave for Cairo. Hopefully one or both of us will be able to at least do some short posts before we go.

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Excuses, Excuses, Or Why We Are LAME!!!!!!!

 

By Kiki Keane and Rachel Womek

Sorry about the long absence, Ladies and Gents. We have been busy (Yes, even Kiki!), sick and perhaps a bit lazy.

Kiki:

I spent the week writing, tailoring, shopping, buying lots of crappy free ebooks from BookBub to load my Kindle with so that I have something to waste my time with while away and reading (Oh yes I am!). I am reading Odd Apocalypse (don’t judge!) by Dean Koontz to review for Toonari Post and The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes for my book club. Don’t let my productivity fool you. I am still my TV obsessed self. I have watched a whole season of Lost Girl. It’s not really my thing. I mean I don’t really do the whole orphaned-P.I.-Succubus-meets-Wolf-and-human-doctor-while-solving-murders-and-saving-the-Fae-from-war thing. But I just can’t stop watching it.

Anyway. Goals. I think I accomplished half of one goal. I finished my book club book. No word on the Visa, so I think we are going to wing it.

New Goals: 

1) Read a fiction and non-fiction book 2) Watch less TV (I gotta kick the habit!)

Rachel:

I am sick! Sick, sick, sick! I just knocked my water onto the floor dramatically because I was attempting to sweep up crumbs on the table. That is how coherent and smooth I am. So my goals.

I did complete one book: The Greatest Show On Earth by Richard Dawkins, I sort of solved my credit card issue in a roundabout way, and I did complete moving in. Hurray me! 2.5 out of three!

New goals:

1)Read another book! 2) Get everything sorted for the trip 3) Get healthy.

 

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A Brief Blog (Of Which The Title May Surpass In Lengthiness) Detailing My Busy, Busy, Busy Life, Observations On Natural Migraine Remedies, Being Forced To Prepare An Array Of Meats And Our Upcoming Trip

By: Rachel Womek

 

Oh, Constant Reader’s! How my heart hath yearned for your sweet embrace! Joking aside, it has been awhile! Moving has occurred, madness ensued, progress has been made and unmade. Yesterday through this morning i had a massive migraine which was only cured after laying on the floor of the ladies at my work, then downing a double latte and two Excedrin Migraines, I know they are not good for me but what can you do when you have to work? I also did some EFT, which helps. There’s this herb called Feverfew that is a natural remedy for migraines and you make it into a tea but it is so very disgusting that it only makes me nauseated which only serves to worsen the migraine.  And word to the wise, sugar makes the flavor worse!

Other than moving I’ve been reading, The Greatest Show On Earth by Richard Dawkins, watching the IT Crowd, and cleaving up enormous quantities of meat that I might better serve my canine overlord. Ah, the life of an adventurer! Speaking of adventure Egypt is less than a month away! I’m having mixed feelings about that, though the general undertone is one of excitement.

I better wrap things up, Kiki is coming to get me any minute now. Happy Monday Constant Readers!

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