Archive for the ‘Writing’ Category

Oh Snap! I Have Been Paparazzied!

Last night, the guys and I decided to go for a movie after dinner. As usual, I picked to watch a different movie than theirs; while they made a decision to watch Body of Lies, I was more eager to watch the movie adaptation of a fantasy novel I just read and reviewed, The City of Ember. After an hour and a half, sitting through what I affirm the worst movie adaptation in the history of cinema, I found out that I had at least 40 minutes to spare before Body of Lies finishes its run. So, I resolved to head to the nearby Borders store and have some coffee at Seattle’s Best upstairs, and maybe enjoy reading a book.

Finally, I went there, picked Post Office, had my coffee, and sat at one of those leather chairs you see at similar coffeehouses. Not long after that, a guy came in from the top floor entrance of the store along with a bag of McDonald’s Dollar Menu. He was a tall man, warning some sort of a fedora hat that covered most of his brownish hair expect for his ponytail, and a backpack that is generally used for hiking. I didn’t want to occupy my time with him; we have our fair share of weirdos in our area and I’m kinda used to it. So, he sat in the chair across of me, munching from whatever came out of his McDonald’s bag – which I’m pretty sure it’s not permitted inside the store – while reading a newspaper he placed on the small coffee table.

The man finished his meal, tossed his McDonald’s bag aside, wiped his hands using a napkin, and then grabbed a small digital camera from his backpack. Even though I was reading, I couldn’t help but to notice the unsettled movement across of me. He started to take some pictures without using a flash. I thought he was just taking some pictures of the interior of the store. And he was, for a while before I felt that his lens was aiming at me.

*Snap*

He took a picture of me. I thought maybe he’s taking a picture of whatever was or were behind me, so I didn’t react.

*Snap*

OK, this one was definitely aiming at me. The guy is nuts, I thought. And just before he took a third one, I lowered my book from my face, and looked at him.

“Excuse me, are you taking pictures of me?”

He freaked out.

“Oh man, you ruined it, that was supposed to be the perfect shot”

Now, the rest of the people who sat next to us were started to stare at us. I frowned.

“Of what?”

“Of you of course. You had a gripping look while you were engrossing in reading that book of yours. I couldn’t help but not to take some pictures.”

“Gripping” “engrossing”

His choice in vocabulary isn’t as bad I thought it would be, coming from a hippy-looking person, but still, I was pissed.

“And who the hell gave you the authority to do that?”

“I didn’t want to bother you. I wanted to take a natural looking picture”.

“Still, that doesn’t give you the permission to go around and take people pictures as you please. There’s something called privacy, I suggest you look it up while you are in a bookstore”.

“But you looked so good”.

That’s it. Either he had a sick crush on me or he was just plain idiot with a fedora hat. Few seconds and the young woman who was handling the music section of the store came just in time before I kicked his ass. I thought, “Where the hell have you been from the moment that guy entered the store with his McDonald’s bag”.

“Is there a problem, sir?”

“Yes, there’s a problem. My problem is that gentleman over there is taking pictures of me without permission”.

Then she quickly swirled her whole body to his direction, in one single motion. I thought she was a robot or a cyborg.

“Sir, you cannot take pictures inside the store. It’s forbidden”.

“Forbidden?”

“Yes, it’s the store’s policy”.

“Screw your policies. I am a man of free will”.

I shouted.

“I am a man of free will myself, but you don’t see me taking pictures of people without them knowing”.

He quickly packed his stuff and looked at the young woman.

“That’s the last time I’ll ever come to one of your stores. It’s the last time!”

And then, just a like a broken record, he repeatedly mumbled his last sentence, and even started to talk to the people nearby regarding his unfair treatment. Thankfully, no one gave him a damn attention to him until he finally got out of the store. I was pissed and just wanted to get the hell out of here. As I was heading downstairs, my phone beeped and it was my friend Jay. You guys remember him, right?

“Hey, we are done with the movie. Where are you?”

“At Borders”

“Good. Stay right there while I go to the Apple store nearby to pick a Nano. You finally convinced me to buy one after you showed me yours today”.

“I don’t care. I just want to get the f*** out of here right now”.

“Why? What happened?”

“I have been paparazzied!”

The Bitch Has Done It!

I was just about to go though my Edge magazine that I arrived in my mailbox early that day. I just came from school and decided to feed my affection for videogame journalism by reading several articles that were written in the magazine when my cell phone rang its familiar Zelda ringtone. For the sake of anonymousness, let’s name the caller Jay.

Jay: The bitch…the bitch has done it!

Me: What? Who’s the bitch? What happened? What the hell are you talking about?

I was startled! I’ve never heard Jay sounded so troubled like that. The guy is usually calm and collective. He even has a peculiar air of refinement that usually reserved for princes and priests.

Jay: Mariah! She came back from her early evening stroll around the neighborhood, and she came dribbled with blood, in her…in her sensitive area. The bitch had sex!

I threw my head back at my seat and eventually my whole body pushed the chair backward, nearly bending it. I made an uproarious laugh.

Me: You don’t know, maybe she got raped.

Jay: No time for technicality. She had sex and that’s it. She’s all broken.

Me: So? It’s not like you were reserving her for yourself. It’s not like she is going to marry you one day. Surely, even you can do better.

My sarcasm flew through the roof.

Jay: What if she got pregnant. Ever thought of that?

Me: Ahh, now, that’s a problem. I don’t think you are willing to take care of her baby.

Jay: Of course not.

Me: I know, just throw her baby in an orphanage or something.

Jay: Are you insensitive or something? I cannot do that, especially in the early months. The baby needs his/her mother.

Was I? Yeah, sure, I might have sounded insensitive, but I was just trying to help the poor guy.

Me: Okay, hang on. I’m coming to your place right now.

I arrived at Jay’s clean and pretentious apartment. Jay’s taste in décor and selective furniture is extraordinary. Hell, he will even amaze the guys from “The Queer Eye For The Straight Guy” so impressively that they will revert back to straight hood. And of course, all of that didn’t do nothing for Mariah.

And there she was, Mariah, setting comfortably at her reserved chair near the window that was facing the balcony. Her “lover” might still be outside right now. She seemed she had no care in the world as usual, not like Jay who was virtually about to explode from the stress. He was cracking his fingers that you swear they were being broken on every crack. That was his way of reliving stress. I always hated that nerve-racking habit.

I looked at Mariah and she seemed to look me back. I always knew she had a resentful feeling toward me. I smirked.

Me: Way to go girl. I never thought you had it in you.

Jay: Enough with your sarcasm. Can you help me out, please?

Me: Well, let’s have a doctor check on her.

Jay: I was thinking about that. You will be coming with us.

Me: What? No, I had my fair share of drama for tonight. That’s a matter between you and your Mariah. Sorry dude, I can’t.

Jay: Oh, C’mon, don’t be such a jerk. I need you. You know that I get easily terrified from these kind of clinics. C’mon, I’ll even treat you to that expensive French sundae ice cream you always love. You know, with lush whip cream and a cherry on top.

Me: Dude, I don’t think it would be appropriate to have cherries on the day that Mariah popped hers.

Jay: Excuse me from your pretentious sarcasm for now and just tag along with us.

Me: Fine. I’ll “tag along”. But I don’t want a sundae. There’s a used game I saw the other day from GameStop but didn’t had the chance to buy it. You’ll go and be nice boy and get it for me. It’s only $19.99.

Jay: Fine, whatever. If I had to be a bitch I’ll do it even.

Me: Dude, I’m just keeping up with the theme we are having here.

Many Days Later

I was with Jay at the clinic. Mariah was having her birth operation in the emergency room, and I was sitting on the sofa reading Pet’s magazine in the waiting hall. Jay was circling the whole clinic and even borrowed few cigarettes from the nurse and went outside to smoke. The poor guy; this incident made him return to smoking all over again after his impressive commitment in quitting 18 months ago. The doctor finally came back from the emergency room and Jay walked swiftly toward him, like a moth attracted to flame.

Doc: Congratulation, young man. You have a twin.

Jay’s jaws literally dropped to the floor from this shocking twisted news. I was just about to sarcastically comment at that when Jay looked at me sharply to my eyes.

Jay: DON’T!

I shut up.

Doc: Ahem, would like to see her now?

Jay: Yes. Please.

I “tagged along”. I might as well watch the finale after witnessing the drama that spanned for two months. And there she was, Mariah, with her two little…kittens. They were so adorable, and even Mariah. She had this glow that only mothers possess. You can tell she was equally exhausted and somehow happy. Jay brushed her furry tiny head and kissed it. He stared at the kittens and stroked their heads gently as well. I sat back and watched the small family that came together throw all of this. Luckily, the girls that were living next to Jay’s apartment agreed on taking care of the two little kittens while Jay continued on harboring his precious little Mariah without any extra baggage from her kittens. However, living next-door meant that Jay could bring Mariah to see her little babies anytime any day, and that would make Jay  happy because he got to spend it with two hot chicks, and thus, everybody’s happy except for me because the game got sold it and didn’t have the chance to get it.

Fin

The Couple That Mesmerized Me

Observing people isn’t something new to my personality, and God knows how many observations I’ve written so far in my blog. But the thing is, I don’t like to stare at someone for a long time and then “gossip” about it. I believe the definitions of observing and staring are dissimilar, but you might disagree with me on this one.  The other day, I was at the Burger Boutique with several of my friends, just a casual gathering in attempt to catch up with those who graduated from the university. Obviously, I was engaged with all the discussion that was going on around the table. A couple entered the restaurant…

Pause

How fascinating that I was able to recall the following with a vivid memory, or at least made me think of stuff I wouldn’t normally think of.

Resume

The couple was definitely in their mid-twenties, and a quick glance on their ring fingers and there they are, wedding rings. Even though I’m not a materialistic person per se, I couldn’t help but not to notice their gleaming garments. The young woman wore a short skirt that goes beyond the knees but revealed a small amount of skin leg. It had a graceful sweep with not very crinkled but sensual texture that made it comfortable yet elegant. Her top consisted of a fitted, short-sleeved blouse that was finely accessorized with a simple chic necklace. She shared the same length as her husband and her body frame was nicely robust but feminine as well. She didn’t apply too much makeup at all; just a light blush on her angle-like cheeks, pink lipstick that gave a subtle gliding effect and sensual shine, and finally, a small eye makeup that wasn’t excessive. Her hair was a little beyond shoulder length and she gently let it loose to her back. Her facial features were delicate, all of it: lips, eyes, nose, and ears. She wasn’t what you call a sexy woman, but she certainly was beautiful and cute: my ideal combination.

The husband was genuinely handsome, and that’s a fact I cannot hide. He was slightly above average height with a fit (presumably athletic) body, but he wasn’t buffed. He wore long pants that nicely extend his length, with a dark brown leather belt. His Banana Republic-esque shirt was fitted and tucked in and nicely hugged his upper body. He wore slightly loose thin tie with an open collar, which gave him a chic casual look rather than an intimidating cooperate feel. He moved his long shirtsleeves a little beyond his wrists, but instead of rolling it, he buttoned it. He had a dark, black short hair that had a nice shiny texture, thanks to a small application of a hair cream. His face gave a nice Gulf (Khaleejy) modern look; big brown eyes, long and straight nose, small lips, and long but not bushy eyebrows. His goatee was nicely trimmed and thin, coupled with hidden (not quite apparent) dimples. He was easy on the eyes.

Pause

Yes, I realize what you are thinking? You think I went overboard with this and maybe coming out slightly creepy. Actually I think I have a talent in describing people vividly even if I met them for a brief moment, however; I wish I had the same talent in recalling people’s names.

Resume

Sitting quite adjacent from their table, I couldn’t help but to subtly look at them but I wasn’t able to hear their voice but only when they had their order taken. The man spoke a standard American English (either he studied aboard or was taught English from his early childhood) when he was talking to the waitress; the wife wasn’t bad either, she had a sassy Kuwaiti accent but wasn’t too obnoxious that you wanted to kill yourself. The couple certainly engulfed my heart, and actually made me want to get married. Sure, I had many discussions regarding marriage but I wasn’t completely swept by the idea that it will happen anytime soon, simply because I want to establish myself professionally before tying the knots. However, I cannot help that I didn’t think about it excessively that day. The couple seemed quite in love, quite modern, and quite compatible. It was a long time since I wanted to be in somebody else’s shoes, but I certainly didn’t jinx them or was all evil eye-like. I cannot wait to be at that point of my life.

Pause

I really hope that wasn’t too creepy or weird. I would hope you consider this post as inspirational.

The 5 Annoying People You Meet In Kuwait’s Movie Theater

Last time, I condensed my ranting thoughts regarding the annoying people that you meet in Starbucks all across America, but this time, I’m going for the people that are destined to drive you nuts while watching a movie in Kuwait.

Now, before I rumble on, you might ask “Angelo, why you are so bitter”?

I’m not bitter. In fact, I’ve been told that I am the most delightful person ever, and as a training psychologist, I am conditioned not to harshly judge people or make snap judgments, but I cannot hold my rage and frustration for the sake of science. Thus, I decided to abuse my blog as a source of agitation release. Here’s a word of advice before I start: if you are one of those annoying people I listed, be cautions, because I placed a voodoo curse on you that shall torment you until you repent. In no particular order, here’s my list:

  • The Duckman

Ducks are generally not permitted in movie theaters, but it seems it is the case in Kuwait. It’s very wonderful to witness God’s beautiful creatures manifested in a human being; however, listening to loud bursts of “Kaaaaak” laughs while watching a movie isn’t the most charming thing in my honest opinion. If I had the permission, I would have carried on the respectable laws of the jungle inside the movie theater, and became the hunter who seeks his pray with a shotgun, fated to blast the Duckman in the head.

  • The Gossip Girl

Did you know that Nora has just had her dress tailored from France? And have you heard that Aseel just gave birth to a deformed child? And can you believe that Othman just divorced his wife, Abraar, after 2 months of being married? No! Then I believe you weren’t going to movie theaters lately because it seems the cinema is the perfect hub to stock up with meaningless gossips and tattletales that would make any person to develop horns just by listening to them. Seriously, no XOXO for you, gossip girl, because you deserve a series of punches and kicks right in the gut.

  • The Bluetooth Whore

Countless high-tech wizards have hailed Bluetooth technology as one of the most convenient inventions in the wireless industry, but leave it to Arabs to turn a work of art to one of the most abusive tool ever created. The problem is that people still reluctant to turn off their damn cell phones even after a big bold message has flashed in the giant screen, ordering them to do so. Sometimes, I just wish the screen would develop an arm and bitchslap the Bluetooth abuser silly. Now, if that isn’t annoying to you, then how about a coughing ringtone that gets activated upon receiving a Bluetooth message on every damn second. It’s quite delightful, isn’t it?

  • The Incarnated Children of The Devil

Don’t believe in the devil or dying to meet one? No sweat! All you have to do, is to go to a PG-rated movie roughly around 6 or 7PM in one of the most crowded movie theaters in the country, while arming yourself with bottles of the holy water or verses from the Qu’ran, and you are all set. It was extremely enchanting watching The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian while a kid from the front seat gave up on watching a convoluted story that his tiny brain couldn’t absorb, and decided to stare at you instead. Not to mention the screams, the hyper laughs, and the countless donkey kicks from the hordes of children behind you. Even chanting, “may the power of Christ compels you” while shoving the cross down their throat didn’t work either. Perhaps mass cremation would do the trick.

  • The Clown Clapper

When a great movie comes to its finale, it is considered privilege decorum to give a round of applause as an appreciation for the good time you spent watching the movie. Occasionally however, you are destined to encounter an obnoxious dude who “overclaps” at every scene, even when the hero of the movie meets his surprising, unexpected death at the end of the movie. I tried to search through the DSM-IV to find a disorder that describes the presented symptom, and gladly I did. I think I’m more surprised to discover that Tourette’s disorder is a common syndrome among the Kuwaiti youth. This the perfect case study for my doctoral dissertation.

The Unzipped Skirt

In a crowded city at a crowded bus stop, a beautiful blonde was waiting for the bus. She was decked out in a tight leather mini skirt with matching tight leather boots and jacket. As the bus rolled up and it became her turn to get on, she became aware that her skirt was too tight to allow her leg to come up to the height of the first step on the bus.

Slightly embarrassed and with a quick smile to the bus driver she reached behind her and unzipped her skirt a little thinking that this would give her enough slack to raise her leg. Again, she tried to make the step onto the bus only to discover she still couldn’t. So, a little more embarrassed she once again reached behind her and unzipped her skirt a little more and for a second time attempted the step and once again, much to her chagrin she could not raise her leg because of the tight skirt. So, with a coy little smile to the driver she again unzipped the offending skirt to give a little more slack and again was unable to make the step.

About this time the big Texan that was behind her in the line picked her up easily from the waist and placed her lightly on the step of the bus. The blond went ballistic and turned on the would-be hero screeching at him, “How dare you touch my body!! I don’t even know who you are!”

At this the Texan drawled, “Well, ma’am, normally I would agree with you but after you unzipped my fly three times, I kinda figured that we was friends.”

Dirty Pop!

I was rummaging around and looking through my drawers and cupboards for an old book I wanted to re-read for the good old times, but what I got was a nasty surprise: my old cassette collection of Pop music of the 90s. As I was gaping into them, I remembered my teenage years of raging hormones, weird haircuts, zebra jeans, and having bad taste in music. I recalled my affection days with Britney on how I used to memorize every single song she murmured, and always choosing her side in Britney Vs. Christina showdowns. I recalled my admiration to boys band and my desires to look like them. I recalled the days I sat on my bed with a pen and a paper in hand as I wrote down the lyrics and translating their meanings. I recalled the days I used to listen to 99.7 on the radio and tuning in to every music show on every channel in Arabsat.

I recalled being a teenage boy.

Now, as I look through my current CD collection, I believed I matured and developed a much more sophisticated taste in music. Not just in music but probably in everything. I started to watch and appreciate independent and experimental movies than your average blockbuster. I started to listen to instrumental soundtracks and classics. I started to read books and novels for my own pleasure. I started to observe the globe and understand the dirty world of politics. I started to enjoy in engaging in meaningful conversations and debates.

I started to become an adult.

The Top 10 Coolest Items In Videogames

Videogames are cool, and nobody can deny that. But, what are considered much cooler are the wild imaginations and innovations that some videogame developers possess in creating unique inventory roster in our most beloved gaming series. Thus, I complied a list of what I consider, the coolest items in videogames. Now, bare in mind, these are items NOT weapons, so don’t replay back on why the hell I didn’t include the Gravity Gun that was founded in Half-Life 2. Now, relax, grab a cup of coffee or your favorite brand of whiskey, and enjoy the list along with tongue-in-cheek commentary.

10. Bubble Shield – Halo 3

Sure, I might not be your biggest Halo fan but I do appreciate creativity in good games with good guns, but in this case, good devices. This nifty item will provide great protection to the projector and protects him/her against bullets, explosions, lasers, plasma, and flames. Unfortunately, any person can walk freely in and kill you inside, but if such items ever existed in real life, people caught up in wars can shelter themselves as they cross the battlefield for safety. But as long mankind prefers exploiting its resources in nuclear weapons, such items cease only to exist in our imaginations.

9. Evoker – Persona 3

At first glance, Evoker might seem your average everyday gun, but looking deeper into its main function certainly makes it one of the coolest items created for an RPG. The Evoker is a special handgun that does not cause physical harm when fired in the head; instead, it causes emotional stress in order to summon forth a Persona that has unique characteristics based on the individual. Who knew shooting yourself in the head could be so cool!

8. First Aid Spray – Resident Evil Series

Got bitten by a Zombie? Pecked to death by angry crows? Torn apart by wild dogs? Almost sliced in half by a Spaniard wilding-chainsaw? Fear not, because consuming one bottle of this first aid spray will cure all your wounds, cuts, and bruises, just like magic. Unfortunately, even though the spray does have the potential to heal you from giant mutated shark bites, it doesn’t do a thing when you are suffering from poison bites from tiny snakes. Oh, what a cruel world we live in.

7. Codec – Metal Gear Solid Series

Even a loner solider such as the legendary Solid Snake enjoys engaging in conversations or two. With this codec, Snake is able to keep in contact with his team or the people he met in his mission, and inadvertently, uncover tons of secrets and hidden psyches that some of those people come to expose when talking to Snake. The coolest thing is that the Codec is very tiny and placed inside the ear, so outsiders wouldn’t notice it or even hear it, very handy during boring lectures. Although, you might get some unexpected calls from people telling you how to climb a ladder. Joy!

6. Starman – Super Mario Brothers.

People might argue that a 1-Up Mushroom is way much cooler than a tiny star with dilated eyes, but I humbly disagree. You see, not only Starman grants its owner a complete protection from any harm, but it also provides the most near-drug experience with its weird, constantly-changing colors and joyful jingle. This elusive item has always captivated our childhood memories and unconsciously progressed to our adult mind in a form of cellphone ringtone, but with zero invulnerability of course.

5- Camera Obsecura – Fatal Frame Series

Digital camera is so overrated, camera obsecura for the win baby! This Japanese-made camera is quite handy if you live in a hunted house where angry ghosts roam unreservedly, and seem to have a knack on following you around to chock you to death. It is also completely upgradeable as long you have a wealthy supply of spirit stones and spirit points to exchange back. In order to exorcist the evil spirits, all you have to do is to stand patiently as they move close in a face-to-face contact range and then shutter. See, very easy and not so stomach-churning experience at all, is it?

4. Ocarina of Time – The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time/Majora’s Mask

Leave it to Nintendo to turn a mundane item into one of the most imaginative and mystical items ever created. This ocarina that is considered the most sacred treasure of Hyrule Royal Family that grants its user so many privileges. For starter, it will enable you to teleport anywhere you like (as long you play the right tune that is) and the ability to open the most sacred doors in all of Hyrule. However, what makes it the coolest musical instrument in a videogame ever is that it can slow and speed up time, and when the right melody is played, it can even take you back in time, roughly by 3 days. Very handy indeed!

3. Pokeball – Pokemon Series

Move over the Pikachu, the Pokeball is the most iconic representation on what makes Pokemon the cool game that only the cool kids play with. Smaller than a finger, able to contain creatures larger than a bus, Pokeballs are easy to sneak into a fight and hard to defend against. Sure, The whole thing smells of slavery, or at least kidnapping in real life: Let’s beat an animal until it can’t struggle anymore, and then stuff it in a ball! However, if that what it takes to become a Pokemon Master, then hell with morality and ethics, I’m going to catch as many Pokemon as I can and then pimping them with each other, and train them hard until they faint.

2. Celestial Brush – Okami

Okami gamers might argue that the Celestial Brush is Amaterasu’s main weapon, but from what I see it, it has numerous functions that strip it from a mere weapon title. This fabulous brush can be used to draw a sun, rejuvenate wilted plants, build bridges, slash foes, and even create bombs, and all it takes is simple strokes and loops. Your imagination would certainly go wild if this item ever existed in real life, but then again, who knows what a measly human would do with that kind of power? I guess it makes more sense that such item has to be wielded by a God.

1. Phoenix Down – Final Fantasy Series

I cannot tell you how many times I used this item over and over. It’s certainly the most useful and also the coolest item ever created. The item is supposed to be the feather of a Phoenix, a common symbol of life and rebirth; you can use it to revive an unconscious party member or kill an undead foe (i.e. a Zombie) with a single hit. Such item will certainly be valuable in real life as you can help hordes of people with pure doses of Phoenix Down. Again, just as I stated before, this item is used to revive the unconscious, not the dead, so it makes total sense on why Cloud and his gang didn’t use it to resurrect Aerith in Final Fantasy VII when she was killed by Sephiroth.