Saturday, January 31, 2009

You Can Tell You're in Arizona When...

I was at a video store. There were a few people in it, but was not totally packed.

At the front desk they announced, "Mr. Mike Rodriguez please come to the front desk"

and two people showed up.

Being called to admit the patient Garcia in the Emergency Department. I scrolled down the list of patients in the ED and I found 4 Garcias. Looked up the patient with pneumonia and there were 2 of them.

I walked in a really big auto shop where I left my car to be fixed. There were quite a few employees inside, but I had to wait 15 minutes for the employee who speaks English.

When I see Italy's flag and I think to myself, "Wow that's a Mexican flag without the eagle in between"

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Bill Clinton: Stay Out Of My Womb

US presidents often seem very relaxed after the end of their presidency, and they can produce some funny moments like the one from yesterday (as opposed to W. , who was naturally "funny" during his time in office)

Vingada Go Home (Warning: Contains football material)

I found a great deal on Expedia, with a first class ticket from Singapore to Lisbon, operated by Lufthansa
This is the flight our national coach Nelo Vingada should be taking to Lisbon. He should never be allowed to return to Amman. Put him on the no-fly list.

Our team played today in Singapore today in the Asian Cup qualifications, and we lost to their team 2-1. We lost to SINGAPORE (the team that lost 6-0 to Iran the previous game). And just before that, we drew with Thailand in Amman, and just before that ... we were humiliated in the world cup qualifications by Kyrgyzstan, then North Korea....

It's the coach's fault. I blame it all on the coach. We have some great players and they have proved themselves in several occasions. He selected the wrong players (like Bashar Bani Yassine) and excluded great players (like Rafat Ali). The team has no harmony, no music, no specific plan for any specific situation. It looks dead from the first minute of the game.

After the WC qualification disaster, we thought about ending the contract. But when the geniuses at our Football Federation signed his contract the first time, it was to end by the end of 2008. Those idiots did not notice that the qualifications were to start in January 2009, so now we were stuck. We did not want to end his contract just one month before the big qualifications. We renewed the contract and he will remain stay as our national coach despite the terrible job he is doing.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


I sent my passport to the medical credentialing office in Texas.
They reviewed it and approved the renewal of my visa, and sent it back to me today, by Fedex.

Now I'm sure there are a few FedEx planes that leave Texas everyday,
and one of them caught fire and crashed today, the pilots are ok, but the plane got burned pretty badly.

I hope my passport was not on that plane, I should figure that out tomorrow, but I already started imagining myself filling in the Mukhabarat application on how I lost my passport, "Uhm it was on a plane that crashed in Texas. I was not on that plane, just my passport was, I've never been to Texas, but my passport was... hatellak kaman jawaz"

Monday, January 26, 2009

God is Not With Us

In football, a player may be given a red card and sent off. What usually happens is that his team, being one player down, would crumble and suffer a bad loss. Occasionally however, that team sometimes manages to rise and play a better game finishing it with a great victory.
That team does prove that they are better off without that player.

Some of you may not like this, but I think that player is God. For ages we thought he was on our side, that he would bring us victory against the godless Jews who were stealing his holy land. I don't have any pleasure in saying this, but God was not on our side. God was with the enemy. God was with the Jews. God was with Israel. God was with the occupiers and God gave them our land. God allowed them to found Israel and God allowed the UK and the US and whoever knows to supply them with weapons and money and waves of admiration and allowed them to hold strong and protect their country. I'm a bit tired of people saying God has always been on our side whenever we make some achievement (like blowing up the tires of an Israeli tank) and not mention that statement whenever we get screwed ....when was that? let me think: Oh yeah, 1947, 1948, 1967, the 1990s, the 200s, the loss of land, the loss of lives, Qana, Gaza, Jenin, Jerusalem, Baghdad....etc.

We'd like to think that God is on our side. We'd love it. We love it when we know Ricky Martin or Ben Affleck is on our side, so how about God, the creator of the universe? He must be on our side. That gives us comfort, that gives us some sort of strength that we were unable to handle in any useful way.

But worst of all, it gives us a sense of relief that we never deserved. For when see the massacres happening in Palestine and Iraq, the daily merciless blood-shed that we did not stop or (effectively) try to stop, we'd like to leave it to God. "God is with our brothers there. He's with them, and he will give us victory one day and bring us our land back"

Let me tell you something, everybody thought God was with them. From the very early days of war, fighters on both sides used to believed God or some god was with them, fighting with them, giving them victory and strength. But those who won have always been those who worked hard and planned well.

It's great to believe in God. I'm one of those believers, and he provides great relief and peace to anyone when they need it. But we have placed on his shoulders what we should have placed on ours. We have handled him our duties, and loaded him with our responsibilities. Miracles happen only to those who deserve them, and good fortune comes to those who never thought they'd get lucky. I'm not sure if God is on our side, he might be, his wisdom is sometimes difficult to interpret or predict, but I'll just assume we're playing with one player down and we have to plan well and work hard for victory.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Quick Unprofessional Movie Reviews

Since my movie IQ is not nearly close to the geniuses called movie critics, I'll give the average guy's review of some movies, not all of them new, that I've seen recently (plenty of time to kill these days). No spoilers.

1- The Curious Case of Benjamen Button: The kind of good movie that you may not like. I can understand why some people LOVED it, but you can very much feel that you have wasted 3 hours of your life watching it. A little bit Forrest-Gumpy at times. One Oscar it will definitely win: best makeup. It also gives a great message of hope for old people: one day you may look like Brad Pitt. B

2- The Wrestler: The big blond guy who plays the wrestler (Mickey Roruke) had to put in 30 pounds of muscle to play this role and he does a fantastic job. The director makes a wonderful touch at least in one scene that will stay in my mind for a long time (One Tiny Spolier: It was on Robin's first day at his new job the Deli, with him walking in the empty hallway of the store). A-

3- My Bloody Valentine in 3D: This film is the inspiration for Newton's Fourth Law: A bad film is a bad film regardless of its dimensions. D

4- Gone Baby Gone: Seemed to me like a trashy film until its second hour started. It has one of the best endings any movie can have which leaves you with one ethical dilemma that you may never recover from. B+

5- Tropic Thunder: A very good often shocking comedy. B

6- You don't mess with the Zohan (SPOILER): Yeah Yeah the nice Israeli guy who wins the hearts of Arabs and converts them from bloody terrorists to peaceful companions. C

7- Forgetting Sarah Marshall: Great comedy, but with suboptimal acting from the major actor (Peter-Jason Segel), I didn't think he was very convincing. Everyone else did a wonderful job. Still not as good as Knocked up or Borat. B

8- Four Christmases: Short laughs. Easily forgettable. C

9- Religulous (Documentary): Bill Maher does a good job in challenging ordinary people about their belief, asking very good questions, but apparently he searches for laughs more than intelligent conversations. Yet it's another comedy that makes you think. B

10- Slumdog Millionaire: This movie is like a very well written and directed Egyptian movie. One of the best movies I've seen in my life. A

11-Born on the Fourth of July (1988). Although the movie tells one real story of one veteran returning from Vietnam, it's the story of many soldiers around the world coming back from wars. The biggest loss they have is not a physcial but psychological one. It's dark. It's sad, and it's very real. War sucks. B+

12- Twelve Angry Men (1957). If you ever thought about watching a black-and-white movie, this is the one. With its well-written script and out-of-the-world acting it proved that you can make a pheonmeonal movie with a low budget. If you like watching a colored version they have re-made it in 1997 and that one is good too. A
13- Reign Over Me: Adam Sandler proving he can be a great actor, with some emotional scenes from this better-than-average film. Someone other than Liv Tyler should have played the psychologist. B
14- Burn After Reading: If there's one great thing about this movie, it's the final 5 minutes. The comedy was genius and not very funny! B
15- Body of Lies: I reviewed that before given its Jordanian connection. This movie is terrible. Moreover, Not a single scene was shot in Jordan, and there is nothing special about the story or the acting. It doesn't even qualify to be pirated and sold in one of those shops that appear in the movie. F

Thursday, January 22, 2009


Another day in my HIV clinic. A patient walks in for his first visit.

"Mr. Rogers, you have missed several appointments in our clinic here," I said.
"Yes I'm sorry. I spent some time in Kansas, my friend committed suicide"
"Oh I'm sorry"
"Yes, he had a very beautiful wife, he's been married to Marie for 20 years, but his depression kicked in again and this time he couldn't take it anymore. Poor Marie"
"So when did you get HIV Mr. Rogers?"
"In 2006"
"Do you know how did you get it?"
"From Marie"
"Uhmm.... from.... Marie?? "
"Uhm.... Yep, Marie"
(All names and locations have been changed to prevent myself from being thrown in jail and having my medical licence provoked and my clinic bombed)

Friday, January 16, 2009

You Don't See That Everyday

Always listen to the safety instructions before takeoff, just in case your plane hits a flock of birds and crashes into a river ten minutes later.

155 passengers and crew, all survivors.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Mansour Rahbani

The other brother behind the phenomenon called Fairuz passed away yesterday in Beirut.

Monday, January 12, 2009

How Some People Spent the Weekend

" When the bombings slowed down a little bit, my friend went outside with his kid and watched some kids in the neighborhood as they were playing. He kept holding his kid in his arms. Suddenly a missile hit the neighborhood. All of those kids outside died. All of them. His kid was hit too and died in his father's arms. His father was holding him in his arms to protect him, but he still died from that missile. They still can't bury the kid, every time they go to bury him they start getting hit by missiles. They've tried three time so far and they still cannot reach the graveyard to bury the kid, so they went back home with the dead kid. They're saying 800 Palestinians died, but it's way more than that. Those 800 are the bodies that were counted, but a lot of bodies were buried under their houses and nobody is counting them, probably they'll never be counted. Houses are filled with dead family members who cannot be buried. Ambulances are being attacked too. Those ambulances carry the red cross sign but they're still getting hit by missiles too. Gaza is 12 miles long, 8 wide, but there are one and half million people trapped inside this hell and people are still blaming them for it "

Thursday, January 08, 2009

On What's Happening in Palestine

- Jordanians have the right to demonstrate in front of the Israeli embassy in Amman. They were not involved in the decision to sign a peace treaty with Israel, and nobody asked if it was a good idea to open that embassy in Amman. If the US really cares about the people's opinion they should pressure our government to close the embassy.

- Also if the US cares about democracy in the Arab world, here's an Arab regime for you elected by Arab people in fair and just elections: Hamas.

- There's nothing wrong in questioning everything Hamas has done. Supporting Hamas blindly is the same as supporting another Arab regime blindly.

- There's nothing wrong in being emotional. Jews were very emotional about establishing a homeland and that how they founded Israel. We sure need to put more thoughts in whatever we're doing, but don't let your emotions fade away.

- American politicians know about the humanitarian crisis in Gaza. They know that Israel is occupying a land that belongs to Palestinians, and they very well know of the tragedy that's happening in Gaza. But they are after all American politicians. The real tragedy to them is when they stop seeing cash flowing into their pockets.

- Democratic countries win wars. Very rarely can one find a country led by dictators winning wars, at least that's been the case in the past century or so.

I've been thinking for so long of what's the best way to end the most famous conflict, previously known as the Arab-Israeli conflict, later known as the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, and now known in the media as the Hamas-Israeli conflict. You are very wrong if you think for a second of the conflict as a Hamas or a Palestinian-only issue, this is an Arab issue or else you wouldn't be feeling the anger from every corner of the Arab world. I can tell you one thing, if Israel has truly been the victim, if Israelis were the ones suffering and losing their kids one after another, you'll be finding world conference being held on urgent basis to solve the issue. You'll find leaders taking risky trips to the region to stop the fighting.
Enough said.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Some 2008 Jordanian Stations in One Super-Awesome Hit Song

I wrote this "thing" - you can call it song/poem/scribble/piece of garbage summarizing some Jordan stations in the year 2008. It's really great that we don't have a lot achievments -that made writing this much easier.

It’s the end of the year as we know it
The end of 2008, beginning of 2009
Gas prices are up, gas prices are down
And the one screwed's always the little man

Jordanian movie hit the world
Won some twenty something awards
Teenager opened fire at tourists in July
Then pointed the gun at himself and said good-bye
We sent the Olympic team to Beijing
Many medals we were told they’d bring
They got back home with no good story to be told
There wasn’t any bronze, silver or gold

It’s the end of the year as we know it ....
A man named Salameh proved to be no fag
And on the top of Everest planted a little Jordanian flag
Jerash festival was no more,
Jordan festival it was, “We'd like to explore”
the government said, but it faced objection
When people heard about the Jewish connection

It's the end of the year as we know it.....
Another year with honor killings
On our roads many teenagers were dying
In Petra Tiesto played and he was thrilling
and he's coming next year, God willing
Our football team played and lost, they never went too far
but who cares? Our Queen is the new youtube star!

It's the end of the year as we know it.....
Hamas and Fateh stopped all discussions
Georgia was bombed by the Russians
Our eyes watched Americans and their election game
how the big old Republican veteran called McCain
was crushed by a black man, Barack Hussain
In Lebanon, Baghdad, Gaza and Mumbai
we saw evil, we saw terror and I don't know why
the world stays still watching as poor people die
But I know that we'll still be watching,
we'll still be dancing to the songs of fear
the songs that the end of times is near
and this is the end of the year as we always, always know it.....