My Vacation in Pictures

Going for nearly three years without a proper vacation can do terrible things to someone mental health, especially if that particular someone is a workaholic. So during the month of April, I went away on vacation… which would explain my long absence from the blogosphere. It was something I desperately needed, at a time when I was dealing with a lot of personal issues and where work was starting to take its toll on me.

I went to UAE for 20 days during which I stayed with one of my best friends. We had a blast I swear. It was so much fun, so amazing, that it was difficult to imagine anything else. When I woke up in my own room after I came back, it took me a moment to register that I was not in my friend’s place anymore, especially since I’d come to consider it home more than anywhere else. Still though, I had a really good time.  Continue reading

Rescue me from your spam queues!

The defendant, Zen of Zen Scribbles, writer, editor and chocoholic extraordinaire, charged with spamming the blogs of several innocents here on WordPress and disturbing their peace, pleads innocent! She has always left comments relevant to the subject matter being discussed in the post, and even when she had nothing substantial to say, she tried her best to be supportive in the very least.

It was a bit shocking for her to find out that for some reason the claimant, Akismet, had flagged her and thrown her into the darkest corners of the blogosphere along with genuine spam, where she was subjected to grammatically incompetent Chinese advertisements and overly enthusiastic individuals singing the praises of blogs they had never read. Not to mention the ones that looked so normal it was difficult to discern whether they were trying to trick her or not. It was a nightmare! If she wasn’t simply interested in being released, she would have pressed charges on the grounds of abuse and mistreatment!

The defendant turns to the jury and pleads with them to review the quality of her comments and decide for themselves whether they are really so bad to warrant being given the spam treatment and banished away from the public.

So… yeah, haha… I’ve found out that the comments I’ve been leaving are getting marked as spam. :( It would be awesome if you could rescue me from there, otherwise Akismet will keep flagging me and that’s… well, that’s just mean. Unless, of course, you do not like my comments… so feel free to ignore this message. >.>

While we’re on the topic, do you tend to check your spam folder at all? Have you ever been marked as spam yourself?

WebMD recommends panicking and reading breaks.

Placing myself on a self-imposed reading ban has always been out of the question. I loved books too much to do that. Even when I swamped with work and exams, I would make sure I shared a few minutes with fictional characters. And it’s not just books either, I also love reading blogs. One of my favourite activities during the day is browsing through my Reader and picking out the posts that seemed interesting to me. However, for the past week or so I’ve avoided both.

It started with the headaches. I spend at least 10 hours of my day sitting before a computer screen, working, browsing the internet, talking to friends, then I spend at least an hour per day reading, sometimes even when I’m dead tired and yearning to go to bed. Ten days ago my head started pounding persistently. I ignored the pain at first, tried to tame it with a couple of pills, but it continued. I went to bed and woke up in the morning and the headache was still there. Then my vision became a bit blurry and oh boy did I panic. A visit to my nearest WebMD made me absolutely positive I had brain cancer, and I spent a couple of days drowning in depression and trying to figure out how much time I had left.

Not really my finest hour, I’ll grant you that. Continue reading

The roads are a safer place without me.

drivingDriving terrifies me. There I said it. I’m scared of getting behind the wheel and navigating the streets… especially the streets in Lebanon. They are such a disaster. No rules anywhere, motorcycles crisscrossing all over the place, no street lights, cars cutting you off without so much as a warning, people who choose to walk on streets instead of sidewalks… the list is endless.

However, you’ll be surprised to learn that I do actually have a driving license, even if I don’t put it to use. My parents are always nagging me to get a car because they don’t want me riding cabs everyday, and they always end their argument with, “If you never wanted to drive, then why on Earth did you go and get a license?” In fact, my mother said that to me just this morning, which is incidentally what prompted me to write about this.

Well, to be honest, I did want to drive at first, but my driving adventures weren’t really encouraging. Continue reading

A Book’s Worst Nightmare

book horror story

Having your book converted into a movie would be a dream come true, right? Just think of all the publicity, the wonder of seeing your characters brought to life on the screen,  the people who would come rushing to buy your book to see how it compares with the movie… aaaaaaand that’s where the dream comes to a screeching halt and becomes a nightmare.

After the initial euphoria fades away, you start to think about all the worst-case scenarios: actors you dislike might get chosen to play your characters (I don’t know what I’d do with myself if Kristen Stewart came anywhere near the set), the script writers may decide that your most favourite scene in the book is not worth their time, or worse; they might strip your book from its original ending and give it a brand new one. Yikes. Continue reading

From A to Z.

Between chocolate withdrawals, near-death escapes, power outages, work and technology’s attempts on my life – namely through locking me up in an elevator by myself for nearly thirty minutes – I have not had much time to blog, so it’s always fun when somebody tags you to answer a few things about yourself. Who doesn’t like to talk about themselves? ;)

abc awardI was nominated for the ABC Award by Derek at Station Deva – thank you, Derek! – and the requirements for this particular award looked like fun; all you have to do is, for each letter of the alphabet, write about something relevant to you. For this I nominate Wordsurfer, The Afictionado, Impressions of a Princess, Michelle Proulx, Rarasaur, thematticuskingdom, Becky Says Things and Blogs-Of-A-Bookaholic. Feels good not allowing the award to die for a change, haha.

Onto my ABCs! Continue reading

I am quitting chocolate.

I can hear shrieks of “The world is coming to an end!” and “We’re doomed!”, and like you I understand the gravity of the situation and recognize its serious implications, but I assure you there’s no need to worry. This is not permanent, and I fully intend to resume my duties as a chocoholic and connoisseur of all things sweet in a couple of weeks’ time. I have done this before, albeit it being for 10 days, and everything turned out fine.

I have not been blackmailed or challenged or threatened at gunpoint; no, I have simply realised that my chocolate consumption – which has increased in the last couple of months due to all the stress at work – has caused me to gain a few undesirable pounds that I would really like to lose. Continue reading