Posts Tagged With: Kiki Keane

It Is A Truth Universally Acknowledged That When One Is In Need Of A New Pair Of Pants No Store Within A 300 Mile Radius Will Have A Single, Solitary Pair In Your Size…

By Kiki Keane

Ugh! I’ve dropped several dress sizes this year, which means that I have to do the thing I dread the most: Shop. I hate shopping. I really, really do. I thought I would love it. I thought things would be easier. Sad truth is, it still takes going to every store within a 300 miles radius to find a single pair of jeans in my size! Where did they all go? Everything below an 8 that does not show one’s ass-crack or cut off one’s circulation have disappeared from the shelves of New Mexican stores. Also, size 6 shoes. They have all vanished. I suspect everyone has been replaced by body snatching pod-people with large feet. Or maybe (Gulp!) I’m the pod-person…

Okay. Enough grumbling.

I really wish that I had something interesting to write about, but my life is currently uneventful. (I know. I know. Enjoy it while I can!) One would think with all this downtime, I would find something productive to do. I have not. I have not studied Arabic. I have not read more than 30 pages in a book. I have not read my book club selection. I have not exercised. Mostly, I just move from my bed to my Papasan and back with a few trips to the kitchen. Okay. That’s a bit of an exaggeration. I’ve made some trips to the library for books I most likely won’t read. I have also gone on a wild book hunt for used mass market copies of my favorite noir novels. (I can handle anything except an extended period without my hardboiled private dicks and femmes fatales.)  I came up mostly empty. I can find them in trade and ebook form online, but trade are big and sometimes heavy and I just can’t carry all that with me on my travels. And there is just something repulsive about reading classic noir on a kindle. However, I did find my favorite Science Fiction novel, Invasion Of the Body Snatchers, in a first edition Dell mass market. It’s a little musty and little worse for wear, but at least I’ll be able to take it with me! I’ll also be able to have my favorite spy (007) with me.

Needless to say, all this moving from bed to chair to bed has left little time for news gathering. I am not proud. However, I have been paying some attention. Here and here are the latest from Richard Engel who is still in Syria.

Categories: Books, Life, Nerd, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Vaccinations, Passports And Goals

By: Rachel Womek

Mwahaha…Kiki is taking a break while I fill your heads with whatever nonsense I desire.

I have some personal good news! I received my passport today and officially asked for time off work for Egypt! I am feeling very excited and nervous.

it’s goal time!

Here are my old goals and how I did. I said I would finish a book and not star any new books, I did not finish anything but I also did not start anything. I’m giving myself a .50 for accomplishing the second half of my goal. I said I would watch a movie and i did. I saw Cabin in The Woods which I would entirely recommend. Joss Whedon can do no wrong. I said I would feel good about myself, some days I did, some not as much. Lastly I promised to write haiku which I did and posted one in an earlier blog.

New Goals:

1)Finish a book already! 2) Apply for credit cards 3) Don’t panic!

Here are Kiki’s goals:

Kiki accomplished non of her goals from last week but we can understand because she has a lot on her plate. She did get vaccinated for tetanus, meningitis and yellow fever so she has completed some trip related actions. Here are her new goals in her own words.

1) Finish a book. Any book. 2) Read some trip related literature 3) Cut down on TV watching (except the news) 4) Figure out that Visa thing 5) Smile once a day. A real smile.

I worked some on the Visa thing, but no answers the phone or email…

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | 3 Comments

On Depression and Failure…

By: Kiki Keane and Rachel Womek

Sorry for the long absence folks. Rachel and I have been depressed.

My depression stems mostly from vanity. You see, I just had my 28th birthday and while 28 is not “old” it feels “old”. I have permanent lines around my eyes and mouth, my blonde hair is turning brown (just like my mom’s did when she got closer to 30), etc. Actually, it’s not really these signs of aging that have me down, though I would really rather keep my blonde (it’s really my best feature). What has me down is the fact that I am not where I planned to be at this age. Actually, I assumed I would be dead. Not because I ever wanted to die young, but because I was suppose to have accomplished everything I ever wanted to do and would have nothing left to live for. Unrealistic? Of course! And things gradually changed as I aged and I realized that I would not actually be able to colonize Mars by the time I was 16 or perform brain surgery by the age of 21 or discover a new continent by the age of 23. By the time High School rolled around I settled for being a graduate of Yale, Stanford, Harvard or Sarah Lawrence by 22, an award winning novelist by 25 and a Pulitzer winner by 26. Sadly, life and hormones happened and I didn’t even bother applying to any of those schools, I haven’t written a line since I turned 18 and I certainly haven’t received the Pulitzer. What have accomplished? A crap ton of debt that I can’t hope to pay back anytime soon, failed grad student (though my grades were pretty good) and being almost completely dependent on my aging grandparents. However, the one bright spot is that this year I finally have the courage to make one of dreams–the biggest dream–come true. This year could be good or could be really, really, really bad. So anyway, a failure induced depression and a good four-day pity party is the reason for my absence. And now that I have bored you with my whining, I will let Rachel bore you with hers. Then we will move on to more important things.

Rachel: I have been depressed for similar reasons. I may not even get to go to Egypt at all because my parents didn’t hold onto my birth certificate and I had to order a new one from California, which I did about 6 weeks ago and I still haven’t gotten it. I have been calling and calling and each time I called would sit on hold for an hour only to hang up because I have things to do and can’t stand around waiting for vital records to answer the phone. Today I just learned they don’t even have any representatives to speak to even though the recorded voice on the phone said their was so I have been calling in vain. Even if my birth certificate arrives tomorrow there is still no guarantee I’ll get my passport on time. I feel like a failure who is supposed to be an adult but can’t accomplish anything worthwhile that I can be proud of.

Don’t get us wrong. We aren’t just sitting around feeling sorry for ourselves. We are working on dealing with our self-pity. Rachel finds solace in killing things in Skyrim and I find solace in Psych and the news. No worries. We will be back to our usual snarky selves in no time. Just a minor set back on our way to becoming self-sufficient adults. And what is success without failure, any how?

Next post will be about more important things. Promise. No, really! Really! 

Categories: Adventure, Life, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

On Leaving

By Kiki Keane

A family member recently asked me, “Why can’t you stay home?” I know she was really asking me, “Why do you insist on going to places that are so dangerous?” I have a number of set speeches, which I recite passionately and which she rejects with equal passion. But that question–“Why can’t you stay home?”–has been nagging me for weeks. After delving into my past I came up with the following: First, I don’t really have a home. I have moved 20 times in 28 years and I’m about to move again. I am both an island girl and a mainlander and I don’t really fit in either place. I’ve lived in small towns and small cities and big cities and foreign countries. When people ask me were I’m from I say, “Well, most recently…”

Secondly, I’ve got the bug. Not just the journalism bug, but the travel bug. I get happy looking at a map the way other girls get when there’s a shoe sale. I get this wonderful ache in my knees when I trace the outlines of countries on my globe. The only thing on my Bucket List are places (except for the item “Read Anna Karenina”, which I have never been able to get through). Leaving and the idea of leaving is so much a part of me that the idea of staying anywhere for a long period of time makes me claustrophobic. I get sick and distant and, at times, down right mean. I have to keep leaving because staying might actually kill me.

Third, I like that I can shed my past every time I go somewhere new. If I don’t like who I am I can leave that person behind like so much sloughed off skin. Travel lets you reinvent yourself and, if you do it right, you will be changed.

I’ll end with this: “For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.” – Robert Louis Stevenson

Some News Items:

Syria

Egyptian elections and the ‘coup’

China’s first woman in space

And here is Richard Engel’s latest Hidden Planet (North Korea)

Categories: Adventure, Journalism, Life, Nerd, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sad Goodbyes, Goals Accomplished (?) And New One’s Made, Or We Are To Tired And Cranky To Come Up With A Better Title…

By: Kiki Keane and Rachel Womek

It is goal time again!

Rachel:

I hope you are doing well Constant Readers because my week is sucking. Yesterday my favorite tarantula passed away for no discernible reason and tonight I have to entertain both my sisters and their friends even though all I want to do is curl up with my book and curse society.

I got 1/2 of my goals accomplished. I read Prey by Michael Crichton and I Blogged about GLBTQ. I did not watch a movie nor did I post photos to the blog. Shame on me.

New Goals:

1)Read two books 2) Watch two movies 3) Be optimistic

Kiki:

Okay. If this were a society in which people were flogged for not doing what they say they are going than I would be in deep doodoo. Normally, I at least have my movie goal to make feel like I’m not a total failure, but this week…well…I should be flogged. However, I was a social butterfly ALL DAY LONG on Sunday (I hate being social), so I should get some points for that. Right? Right?

I did accomplish the collective goals, though. I studied Arabic and now know about 10 simple sentence structures, which would be useful if I could just remember the damnable words! I also got two vaccines on Tuesday: finished the Hep B series and started the Hep A. I’ll be done with my Typhoid vaccine tomorrow (I went for the pill option because it lasts longer).

New Goals:

1) Read a novel and a book relevant to my trip 2) Watch a movie 3) Call the Visa folks 4) Finish 1984 and 5) Not panic

Collective Goals:

Study Arabic

Categories: Adventure, Books, Bull, GLBT, Goals, Life, Nerd | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Facing Up To Our Inadequacies, Nerding Out and Looking To The Future, Or Why We Will Be Looking Out On The Nile Come September…

By Kiki Keane and Rachel Womek

Exciting news!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We just booked our rooms at a hostel in Cairo! So at least we have a place to stay for our first 10 days. Still have to see about an apartment. Wow! This is getting really real. A bit anxiety inducing, actually. And yet so so so exciting, fantastic and (dare I use the most annoying word ever?) awesome!

We are going to do our goals today because we may not be able to tomorrow. So here we go…

Kiki:

Sadly, I have gone back to my old ways. The only goal I accomplished this week was number 2: watch a movie. Actually, true to form, I watched several movies. I sat through Mrs. Winterbourne (saw it when it first came out in 1996 during my Brendan Fraser phase). I also rectified one of my great failures as an 80s child, which is to say I finally saw St. Elmo’s Fire. And here’s a fun SEF fact: Andrew McCarthy isn’t just love obsessed Kevin he is also a very decent travel writer. Other movies watched this week because apparently I have no life: SerenityStealth, South Pacific and The Birds.

Oh. I studied a little Arabic. I can recite the alphabet and the words “pretty” “coffee” and “hotel.”

New Goals:

1) Read a novel and a book relevant to my trip 2) Call the visa people 3) Watch a movie 4) Not Panic 5) Finish 1984 

Rachel:

I didn’t do too hot on my goals this week. Shockingly I have not read a single book this past week! Very uncharacteristic for me! Instead I watched season 4 of Enterprise (Worst season finale ever! Very unsatisfactory and I am unhappy with the outcome for one of my favorite characters) and played Skyrim. I also watched two really crappy SciFi (I refuse to spell it with Y’s) original movies: Dinocroc VS Supergator and Malibu Shark Attack. They were supposed to be B Horror but it was more like D Horror! I applied for two positions so 50% accomplishment there. Finally I have not posted new photos but I have some I need to upload so expect that for the future.

New Goals:

1) Read a book 2) Watch a movie 3) Upload photos for the blog 4) Blog about GLBTQ issues as per the request of a follower

Joint Goals:

1) Study Arabic 2) Get Vaccinated

Categories: Adventure, Books, Goals, Job Hunting, Life, Nerd, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Scott Bakula, Productivity, Something That Rhymes With Bob, Goals, Or Why We May Go Crazy This Week…

By: Kiki Keane and Rachel Womek

We are back! Like genital warts, you just can’t get rid of us! What have we been up to? I (Rachel) have been applying for a new rhymes with “bob”, watching shows about food and fantasizing about Scott Bakula. (What’s this Scott Bakula? You’ve brought me bacon flavored ice cream? My hero!). And I (Kiki) have been feverishly reading, watching TV, sleeping and eating my weight in popcorn (with lots of butter and parmesan cheese). I was, however, somewhat productive trip wise. I made an appointment to get our shots for the upcoming trip. We will have to drive about 4 hours to get to the clinic, but I guess that’s the price one pays to get inoculated against yellow fever and typhoid. Rachel is apprehensive about getting such shots, but I (Kiki) would rather get shot up with the vaccine than die that terrible death. I (Rachel) am apprehensive about getting several vaccinations at once, but I’ll suck it and just die a terrible death from vaccine reaction instead of a terrible death in Egypt. Is one death worse than another? I suppose it’s preference. For example, Kiki would much rather die by gunfire than drown.

It is also goal day!

Kiki:

What did I accomplish? Far more than I usually do, I am happy to report. I finished two books, though neither of them were trip relevant. However, I have started two trip relevant books, so that makes up for it, right? Right? I watched three movies, all of which I am embarrassed to admit that I’ve watched (Leap YearHead Over HeelsLook Who’s Talking). I also called the vaccine place and made an appointment. So, I guess I rocked this week! I have, however, panicked more than once and forgot to call about the visas.

New Goals:

1) Finish a fictional book and a book relevant to my trip 2) Watch a movie 3) Call the visa people 4) Not panic 5) Finish 1984

Rachel:

I did moderately well on my own goals. I read Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore and One Good Dog by Susan Wilson. No more sappy dog based fiction for me! I took some pictures for the blog. I’ll get them up tomorrow. I put up Haiku on the blog. I have been slacking a little on Kiora’s trick but she has had several good sessions last week. I applyed for two postions today. Hurray! It wasn’t one of my goals but I also watched one film this week: Inception. It was very good, I should have watched it sooner.

New Goals: 1) Read two more books 3) Watch one movie 4)Apply for 4 positions 5) Post lots of photos on the blog

Joint Goals:

We studied Arabic! Maybe not as much as we should have, but certainly more than we have in the past.

New Goals:

1) Study Arabic Rigorously

Categories: Adventure, Books, Goals, Job Hunting, Life, Nerd, Photography, Uncategorized, Work | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

An Uncooperative Roadrunner, Technical Difficulties And What We’re Thinking About, Or Rachel’s Little Rain Cloud…

By Kiki Keane and Rachel Womek

We are writing this blog at my Kiki’s house for the very first time. Normally we head to a bookstore or coffee shop, but today Kiki’s family is out of town and so we can write in peace. Currently, however, Rachel is preoccupied with trying to take a picture of an uncooperative Roadrunner. Yes, I was chasing that little brat around the backyard. He wouldn’t leave but he kept hiding behind things so that I could not get a good shot of him. I could almost here him say: “Meep, Meep!”

And out she runs again! The elusive Roadrunner has flown into the tree. If it had branches, Rachel would be climbing it. She wound-up getting a few shots. Maybe she’ll post them later.

I (Rachel) seem to recall promising such a thing; that is posting a few pictures for you, Constant Readers.

We seem to be experiencing a bit of technical difficulties on the link between the blog and Kiki’s facebook account, which is unfortunate. Computer wizards we are not.

We’ve decided to blog about the things we have been thinking about when we are not consumed with our day-to-day living. Kiki will go first.

Kiki:

I was reading The Marriage Plot today, which to me seems a lot like Frazen’s Freedom, which is to say that it is a big book that tries very hard to say something and ends up saying nothing at all. Anyway, there is one character, Mitchell, I think, who seems to have very little going for him. He is graduating during a recession, he has a dubious degree (religious studies) and has just messed things up (again!) with his crush. The only thing he has to look forward to is his trip to India with his friend. My immediate thought was, OMG! That’s me! (except for the crush part and also the fact that his professor is willing to help him get into a good grad school…). My second thought was, Why can’t I just be excited with my impending trip? Why do have to have cheapen the adventure with thoughts of failure and terrible images of me coming back to this stifling pit of hell with my proverbial tail between my legs. So that’s what I’ve been thinking about all day. Well, that and why the heck wasn’t I born rich?

Rachel:

I don’t have too much to say. I am tired and not in the most joyous of moods. I am having one of those rain cloud types of days, like in the cartoons where the little cloud hangs over their heads. Suffice it to say that something that rhymes with “bob” sucks. Perhaps I will embark on a brand new career opportunity as a Rock Engineer or Rock Cleaning Champion.

Categories: Adventure, Books, Life, Nerd, Photography, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Will We Go Out With A Bang Or A Goal?

By Kiki Keane and Rachel Womek

It’s that time of the week again, folks!

Kiki:

What have I accomplished this week? Mostly TV watching. Although, I did research vaccines and visas, so I would say I was pretty productive trip wise. Also, I helped Rachel send out for her birth certificate so that she can get her very first passport. Apparently, I helped Rachel not panic as well.

Accomplished Goals — I watched three movies (The FedsDark Shadows and Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy).

I did not finish any of the books I have started nor did I finish 1984. I haven’t written a word in over two weeks and I have definitely panicked.

New Goals — 1) Finish a fictional book and a book relevant to my trip 2) Watch a movie 3) Call the vaccine place and make an appointment 4) Call the visa people 5) Not panic

Rachel:

I accomplished some of my goals this weeek: others not so much. Just think of it this way Constant Readers: If I set no goals I would also accomplish none. This way I have accomplished something! I did read books, more than I set for myself in fact. I read  Click To Calm by Emma Parsons, Raw Meaty Bones Work Wonders by Tom Lonsdale and Middlesex by Jeffery Eugenides. I nearly finished a fourth book but was prevented from completing it because I was reading it in the bookstore and someone purchased it. Sad day. I did  not get any photos on the blog but I have taken a few so we are halfway there. I did post some Haiku to the blog. Kiora is well on her way to a complete understanding of the cover-her-nose trick. She is offering the behavior freely and I have begun to introduce the verbal cue. I have not applied anywhere.

New Goals:

1)Read at least one book 2) Attempt to read materials pertinent to our trip 3) Post photos on the  blog 4) Blog with frequency and elegance 5) Post more Haiku on the blog 6) Refine Kiora’s trick.

Joint Goals

1) Study 45 minutes of Arabic Daily 2) Read books related to our imminent travels 3) Not panic about kinks in the works of the aforementioned travels 4) Go for a hike so Kiki won’t die on trip when we suddenly have to get our butts off the couch…

Categories: Adventure, Books, Dogs, Goals, Life, Nerd, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Another Apology (Sort Of), Dog Training And A Couple Of Haiku, Or Kiki’s Paranoia…

By Kiki Keane and Rachel Womek

So…we have been absent this week. Did you miss us? No? That’s okay. We were busy being lazy and feeling sorry for ourselves because we don’t have “lives.” Now you might think to yourselves, perhaps instead of lamenting the fact that you don’t have “lives” you should try maybe “living.” And you would be right. It is the eternal struggle for anti-social people. We want “lives” but then we would have to go and “live” among the “living.” In the end we are okay with our lot. Also, the knowledge that we are about to embark on a grand adventure is a balm to our sad days. Okay. This is starting to sound like a bad vampire novel or something.

Instead of “living” we have spent every night this week reading at a local bookstore. Rachel has read two books here. I have read…well, if you are a constant reader I will direct to my track record and if not…well, it’s a number less than one.

What else? Hmmm…I have, through watching a great deal of Investigation Discovery, made myself paranoid. I am not a trusting person on my best day. Now I’m just permanently freaked, it would seem. For example,  I thought for sure I was dead this afternoon when the car I passed started to speed up behind me and followed me more than half way home. And yes. I do realize how ridiculous this sounds since I am packing-up and moving to one of the most violent regions in the world. Somehow, revolutions, bombs, IEDs, bullets, etc. are less terrifying than the possibility that my own flesh and blood would gladly slit my throat.

Oh, Constant Readers!!! We prostrate ourselves before you humbly! May shame and abject humiliation pound on our sculls like an unexpected hailstorm! Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. (This is from Rachel. Kiki doesn’t prostrate herself for anyone.)

I (Rachel) have been reading, watching Bones on Netflix , clicker training my dogs (Well I actually only have one dog but I have a foster dog right now as well) and surfing the internet for things I cannot afford. Also  working, but not for an amount of time which would restrict my ability to blog. Kiora, my basenji, is learning to cover her nose with her paw on command. She is doing very well…She understands the behavior I expect from her but so far it only applies with the prompt: a small bit of tape. I am phasing out the piece of tape now by making it smaller each day and have begun to introduce the verbal cue: “Bad Dog”. Suck it Stanley Coren!

 

Two Haiku from Rachel (Yay!):

Sweet melancholy

Ushering in the Summer.

Reading not blogging.

 

Grey-blue clouds overhead.

The aroma of creosote

Promising new rain.

 

 

 

Categories: Adventure, Books, Dogs, Life, Nerd, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

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