I am not a Consecutive Writer, Dr. Suess.

One thing I never understood about life is the difference between reality and dreams. We so often think of dreams as abstract; impossible; fantastic; and maybe they are.

Maybe they are impossible. Maybe they are just figments of our imagination that can never come true. Maybe they are just as silly as a unicorn riding a rhino. Maybe.

Or maybe they are exactly what every upbeat, empowering and inspiring quotee seems to believe.

Eleanor Roosevelt said that the future belongs to people who believe in the beauty of their dreams. Walt Disney said that all our dreams can come true if we have the balls to chase them. And good old Oprah said that the best adventure we can take is to live the life of our dreams.

But aren’t we living out a dream every single day? Every time we wake up, every action we make, every seemingly small thing we accomplish, someone else in the world is dreaming of doing one day.

I dream of being a writer, and there are many writers in the world, but I am a journalist, and though writing an article is just a day’s work for me, there are others dreaming of doing that themselves. I know because I’ve met them.

You see, the things that we think are so simple might be really amazing to someone else out there, and the things that we see as impossible are nothing short of simple for another person in our strange, sour, sweet world.

Dreams are the building blocks of our lives. They are lived out every single day, and without them, none of us would survive.

And what inspires me–or rather, who–is this funny old man who could get as silly as silly gets and still somehow be the wisest of us all, and he said:

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go.”

But sure, that doesn’t change that we all want something that we don’t have, and sometimes it’s simply mad to believe that it can happen, but me, I want to be a writer.

And because of that, I wake up every single day and just start writing. I live by my own reality and my own beliefs.

And what I believe is that even though what I write might be a complete jumble of useless run on sentences and fragments, it doesn’t matter. I will write myself into my grave, and damn it, it will be beautiful.

Because I wrote it.

And that rings true for any dream at all. No matter how many other people there are trying to do the same, nothing will be quite as amazing as what you do.

Because you did it.

That’s not just some silly little fantasy.

It’s real.

The Breast Milk Bandit

Hesse, Germany—A healthy-bosomed woman attempted to rob a pharmacy by using her own fresh-out-of-the-utter breast milk as a weapon.

The woman entered the pharmacy and handed the cashier €200 to buy a breast pump priced only at €20. As soon as the pharmacist took the money, the woman uncovered her chest and aimed one of her god-sent guns at the man before unleashing her liquid of doom.

She then went to another register and, despite the pleas for her to cover herself, repeated the offense on another cashier and quickly left.

The best part of the entire situation: she left more money than she took.

Yes, the fiend reached into the register and swiped some cash, but after counting up the day’s earnings, the pharmacy staff discovered that she had only taken €100 and had even left the breast pump.

Police officers were baffled. Customers were shocked. Workers were scarred for life. It was, as some officials allegedly said, “Almost unbelievable.”

However, there could be many explanations for her outlandish behavior. Maybe the lady had just been in need of some attention for her newly enlarged breasts and decided to put on a show. Maybe she was just incredibly fond and conceited about her voluptuous upstairs package. Maybe–since witnesses described her as a foreigner–she thought it was a wild German custom and didn’t want to seem ignorant or xenophobic.

Or maybe she was just bat crap crazy.

Much like the amount of licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop, the world may never know.

I Dislike Dentists

And no, that is not another alliteration to quell my sad addiction. I do, truthfully, dislike dentists.

Okay. That was too general and stereotypical. I don’t dislike droves of dentists, just a decent amount.

Sorry.

In the past few months, I have had a double root canal, got crowns, and gotten a filling, and after each and every visit without fail, I went home feeling like a train ran over my mouth.

I actually take care of my teeth! I brush and floss on the daily, but does that matter? Do I get any credit for making a decent effort to be clean? Do I get to be saved from absolute, torturous and mortifyingly obvious agony? No.

And another thing. Why does the needle for anesthesia have to be so big and ominous? You basically just filled up a lab testing tube, stuck a huge needle on it and shoved it into my mouth. And your big intro for your anxiety inducing weapon of minor destruction is a request to take multiple breaths?

I wasn’t aware that I had stopped breathing, Sweeney Todd.

I have Type 1 Diabetes. I’m very good with taking shots and needles, because I take at least four a day, but this is not just a needle. This is a spear specifically designed to make you pay in blood, sweat and tears for doing the unthinkable action of attempting to gain immunity from possible pain.

So essentially, they’re giving us pain to save us from pain caused by something that was already painful.

Nice.

I wasn’t going to post until later tonight, because it’s my favorite night of the year, but I just had to get this rant out of the way. Plus, this is a really good distraction.

If you haven’t gotten the point I’m making so far, my teeth hurt.

A lot.

Curses.

Even Well Wishers Won’t Worry

I have no idea what that title is supposed to mean, in case anyone was wondering. I really need to cool it with the alliteration obsession. I’m not nearly as funny or witty as I think I am.

Anyway, I heard through the grapevine (AKA the magazines at Shop Rite while I was in line) that the Barracks broke up, or at least, they filed for divorce.

I’m generally not big on caring about what these people do with their personal lives—or what anyone does with their personal life—but their covert affairs don’t bother me. What bothers me is how silent everyone is about it.

“Sources” from the secret service have leaked information that the president was found in bed with another woman, multiple women, in fact. There was also something going around about an obsession with Gwyneth Paltrow. Where does it end, Barrack? Where?

And dear lord, how come no one is beating down his door trying to impeach him like they did to Bill Clinton?

People tell me that it’s because Billy Goat lied about his affair, but still. I didn’t see Barrack holding a press conference admitting to his own sexcapades.

At least Clinton was a good president. He left the country in pretty good shape.

And fine, so Obama collected America after Georgie Junior destroyed it, but in six years of presidency, the only really interesting thing I heard is his alleged affair.

Oh and his millions of dollars spent on Israel while people in America remain jobless and homeless, schools all over country are closing and healthcare is in no better shape than it was before all four Americans signed up for his big Obamacare campaign.

And just for kicks, let’s shut down the government for a bit, too. That was a hoot.

To be fair, you aren’t the first president to sneak under the covers with some random in the Oval Office. There were Kennedy and Clinton, too. So before you put up your peace signs and leave the White House for good, revel in the fact that impeachment was never on your plate.

At least you and Kennedy got away with it.

Maybe they figured you had already screwed up enough. No need to add insult to injury.

Just to be clear, I voted for Obama. I was so pumped for the first black president, but damn dude. Damn.

I think that’s all I have to say about O-Beezy, for now. Let’s let the guy get back to his failed marriage and the good use of his manaconda.

P.S, it is terrible journalism to use the term “Sources” in an article, even if you are just a tabloid writer.

Tabloid. What an interesting word. Let’s define it!

Tabloid (n.): A stack of pages holding useless and poorly written information that’s only true use is to cover tables for messy meals.

Ex: We’re having lobster for dinner. Get the tabloid and cover the table.

Ah, I’m bitchier than usual today.

Prison Sentence Selfie

West London, England—Five hooligan gang members face drug possession and sale charges after posing for photos holding narcotics and cannabis and advertising their sales operation on social networks.

Sophian Chhayra, 24, and Zakaria Chentouf, 24, posed for pictures including mountains of British pounds that they confessed were acquired through illegal drug-related transactions in the neighborhoods of Kensington and Chelsea in London.

Ahmed Mahomud, 20, and Fouad Soussi, 21, confessed to involvement in controlled supply of drugs, while Yousif Mahomud, 19, admitted to involvement only with the sale of Class-B drugs in West London.

Aside from the fact that all five men obviously have no ability to use a normal thought process, it is glaringly obvious that, like I’ve been melodramatically harping on about for too long, current trends and social networks have brain-bathed inhabitants of planet earth to the point where even people who were able to create an almost impressive high-paying illegal supply-and-demand circuit have a deep need to show off and advertise their exploits online.

Then again, maybe smarter people created the operation and these idiots just wanted to gain “respect” or perhaps “reverence” for being super duper faux hardcore gangsters.

But that’s not why I consider this stupid news; at least, not entirely. Note three of the five men’s names. See any deeper connection than friendship?

Ahmed Mahomud, Fouad Soussi and Yousif Mahomud are MuslimMiddle Eastern names! If there is anyone who should not be advertising any illegal or even questionable activity, it’s YOU! Can you tell me the last time a Muslim got a pass on a crime he actually committed, particularly in the West? Don’t worry. I’ll wait.

I’m not trying to get political or racist here, but even if we don’t like it, we have to live in the real world. This is a crime that even a normal white male is very unlikely be able to get away with, especially in a fair trial. Even if these men get a light punishment, there will be a target on their backs for the rest of their sad, pathetic lives.

We all do thoughtless and sometimes immoral things to look cool every once in a while, but you don’t leave evidence.

Maybe they should all plead insanity, because it is very depressing and difficult to believe that there are average people in this chaotic and clearly crumbling world who are this ridiculously idiotic.

Caught Green-Handed

Orange may be getting some hype lately, but green is really the new black. Temple’s Office of Sustainability has come up with a new incentive to fix the trash problem on and around the campus: the Caught Green Handed campaign.

Despite the numerous labeled recycle bins scattered all over Temple campus, waste still ends up in all the wrong places. A seemingly simple concept is continuing to be ignored by students.

Instead of berating all the perpetrators, students who are caught putting their trash in the appropriate bin will receive a prize. It will be a week-long campaign with one lucky winner chosen each day, in effect Sept. 16–20.

“We wanted something that would be fun for students that could encourage them to use the recycling,” Kathleen Ament, a junior environmental studies major, said. “A lot of times when you try to have a very specific event, you might not get as wide of an audience as you could with a program like this.”

The coordinators of the campaign will stop each person chosen and explain the program to them while demonstrating the new recycling bins. After being thanked for their consideration of the environmentally-friendly amenities, students will RECEIVE a free shirt bearing the logo of the Sustainability Office.

The campaign was initially launched to raise awareness of the new recycle system on campus. Instead of having a separate can for paper, plastic and other trash, one bin is now in place that can take all recyclables. Rather than remove the old ones and buy new ones, the old cans have been kept and the labels were changed.

Instead of having each one specify the kind of recyclable items it takes, all of them are now simply labeled “recycle.”

“It’s to decrease confusion,” Ament said. “A lot of kids go to throw things out and can’t figure out which bin to throw it in because it has both plastic and paper on it. They end up just throwing it anywhere. You’ll see it on the floor, in the grass and even around the trashcan. Now all recyclables go into one bin and are separated later.”

Even though the program is geared toward Temple students, if a chosen recycler is simply from the community, they still receive the shirt. The goal is to make everyone at Temple, both students and visitors, aware of the new recycling efforts being made by the university.

With this new recycling program, it costs less per ton to remove recycling than it does to remove waste from the campus, giving the university an opportunity to use the funds more effectively.

Ament believes many students don’t see the value of their individual efforts.

“A lot of people believe that their contribution on a small scale doesn’t really make a difference,” she said. “They figure that the one bottle that goes in the wrong place won’t make a true impact on any recycling or waste disposal problems.”

She said that, in reality, trash that is disposed of correctly or incorrectly directly affects the cleanliness of the campus.

The campaign was an idea created by a team of students and Temple faculty in the Office of Sustainability. The purpose of it was to educate Temple students about recycling through rewards.

The Office of Sustainability was created in 2008 as an effort to create a greener campus and promote environmental care. All of its campaigns and projects are funded by the university, and collaborations are made with other offices and organizations to advance these efforts.

The campaign is being promoted all across the campus by flyers hung in various buildings and dorms. It has also been endorsed on the Office of Sustainability’s Facebook Page and Twitter account, and details are featured on their website.

Alliteration is Admittedly Anti-climactic And Awkward At times

I have come to the realization that I, Hend–or Jess, or Jenna, or whatever other non de plume I’ve dubbed unrightfully my own–Salah, being of unsound mind and mildly tarnished moral compass, am a tease.

Not a romantic tease. Or, not usually a romantic tease. Or, perhaps almost always a romantic tease.

But anyway.

The attempted message here is, I have very little attachment to anything or anyone, but allow others to get attached to me knowing extremely well that every friendship, every romantic relationship, every missed-and-found connection with other human beings, has an expiration date.

I allow people to get close to me, offer the greatest form of friendship and support and make them believe that I am truly and wholeheartedly “all in.”

That doesn’t apply to my work. I can stick to the same job forever, granted that I am doing what I love: writing. I hang on to work for dear life, mainly because the only time I feel a true, deep happiness is when I put pen to paper, or rather, fingers to keyboard.

People bore me. They’re unchanging. Always the same. Always harping on about the same problems, same situations, same self-proclaimed hardships. I start out as a sincere, everlasting loyal friend, and then, through no fault that I consider to be my own, I slowly lose interest.

But all of those things are what make them normal human beings, leaving me to be a detached, pseudo-supportive and emotionally unavailable block of ice. It scares the hell out of my mother.

She’s dying to marry me off, you see.

But I think, nay believe, that I am meant to be alone with my keyboard and my interviewees and my biting reviews of the world.

And I feel terrible that I don’t feel terrible at all.

At least I’m not crazy.

Right?

Picture Perfect

We, as creatures of all different shapes and sizes, have an insane tendency to dwell on every little banal detail of our lackadaisically mediocre lives and convince ourselves that we are outstanding, upstanding and absolutely flawless. Almost all intelligent–and I use this word as loosely as possible–life forms have a deep incessant need to stand out and oxymoronically blend in all at once in order to create a picture perfect image of themselves that makes very little sense to the sensible and a great deal of importance to the ignorant.

Why the sudden sincerely sad cynicism? Have you turned on the television? Did you hear of the MTV? Did you visit the Facebook? People of the 21st century have officially all gone bonkers, and not in the good way.

I do maintain that there is good in losing one’s mind, if one loses it correctly.

But in reality, the trends have gotten out of hand. The music has become absolutely horrendous. The people we have come to idolize are absolutely idiotic. And dear god don’t even get me started on the vocabulary.

Speaking of.

Vocab word of the day:

Swag (adj.): a perverted version of the Shakespearean term “swagger” that has come to be used to describe of the ways of the absolutely and positively moronic herd of human.

Ex: That rapper’s swag is so intense that he is now a drug addict.

Toodles.

 

Woman’s Condo Sold Over $95 Tax Bill

Norcross, Ga–Georgia resident Xiu Lui is facing the loss of ownership of and eviction from her condo over an unpaid tax bill of $94.85 that she never received.

Not only did Lui never get the bill, she also never got the memo that her precious home was up for sale and sold at an auction. She was given until November 25 to pack her things and take a hike. As it turns out, the letter never even had a complete address. There was nothing on the envelope that could point to any person or home at all.

Of course, there are the obvious questions, like perhaps why there was no follow up letter, or why a city issued bill would be handled so carelessly, but none of this is the central problem. Why, why, is there a blind zero tolerance rule on late bills? Lui’s past records have proven to be exemplary. She has regularly made all payments and met all necessary fees and deadlines for three full years. She has not ignored any bills or fines issued by any entity.

Was the city’s fifteen-year-old secretary too focused on Beyonce’s marriage problems to write a real address and incapable of making a proper follow up bill when the payment wasn’t received?

But never fear, Norcross City Manager Rudolph Smith is on the case. He rigorously took a stand and stated that “they” would be, “doing their due diligence.”

However, since the condo has already been sold, they’re not exactly sure how to fix the boo boo.

Since when does America wring the taxpayers dry and carry out ridiculous punishments for people who trip out of line once in an indigo moon?

Oh wait, since like, always.

The extent of the city’s “apology” was simply the confessions that mistakes were made.

Gee, what a holly jolly heartfelt sorry that was, Georgia.

 

Flamingos die at hands of fraternity brother

October 10th, Columbia, South Carolina–A University of South Carolina student killed two flamingos as he attempted to steal one from the Hattiesburg Zoo for his fraternity’s scavenger hunt game.

The student, Devin Norris, got into an altercation with one flamingo while attempting to steal said flamingo’s mate. The female bird was rushed to a hospital the next morning, and the male’s lifeless body was found next to her. Both flamingos did not survive the holly jolly antics of Pi Kappa Alpha.

Sure, the student who did it got what he deserved, but the fraternity just got a month’s suspension. They came up with the idea and pushed the kid to do it, but they were only faced with a thirty-day hold on their partying and games. What a punishment. How ever will they survive it? Maybe a nice alcohol and drug filled party will help them recuperate. If they can stay sober for the next thirty days, that is.

These kinds of antics and stunts go on all the time, and no one feels the need to carefully watch these houses full of drunken idiots? A month-long hold isn’t enough. How about probation and surprise inspections?

Bet the “pranks” would stop then!

And before anyone goes burning the student at the stake and saying that only he should be held accountable, remember: he has to live with the fact that he lost a fight to a female flamingo for the rest of his life.

Plus, there’s probably a bounty on his head as the Hattiesburg Zoo’s flamingos plan their own fun little prank on Pi Kappa Alpha.

Or not, but a girl can dream.

Flamingos