Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Gaza on my mind, but no news watching for me

I'm going through what I'll call a personal challenge in life right now. In order to get through this personal challenge without further complication I'm not going to be socializing for the next week except with those that will be helping me. I'm going to minimize phone conversations and postpone errands.

Furthermore, I'm not going to watch the news or read reports. I'll continue to make duaa with every salat and to forward information on charity drives and protests to my sister and good friend in Jordan. I'll send my brief and heartfelt emails and messages to those I know with family in Gaza, but I have to stay focused on the task at hand. I consider this a sacrifice that I have to make since I would so much rather be an activist right now; I just can't.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

I don't want to raise kids in a world like this

In a world where people become desensitized to headlines reporting massive casualties

In a world where a massacre can take place in the name of defeating global terrorism

In a world where the vice president nominee of the free world states "We cannot second guess the steps that Israel has to take to defend itself."

In a world where civilians of one country, of one ethnicity, hold much more value than those of another

In a world where powerful men play with F-16s

Friday, December 26, 2008

what to say to a recent divorcee

I can let my friends know I'm there for them during times of mundane stresses, minor annoyances, and illnesses; however, I'm not really good at reaching out to people when they're going through major personal crises.

A friend who I've referred to as "Mandy" the workaholic in my old diary got married and separated in a matter of months. She's now in the process of obtaining a legal divorce. There was a time when me and her were pretty close. During my 3 months in chicago she got engaged and had a celebration without letting me know, I found out when I saw the pictures on facebook so I was upset and didn't even bother calling her to congratulate. I eventually got over it and sent her a facebook message letting her know that I was happy for her. While I was away in Jordan she got married and moved to a different state and I never spoke to her.

I was shocked recently when my good friend Suzy (old diary reference) told me Mandy moved back with her family a few weeks ago and is getting a divorce. I felt bad as I thought about what she must be going through. I wanted to do something to show her I'm here if she needs me but I had no clue what or how to go about it; so I just let it be while my conscious gnawed at me for being a lazy friend. Suzy on the other hand had no problem calling her up to confirm that the rumor was true and even asking her details about what happened. I could never ask for such details if the info wasn't volunteered to me, I'd feel like it was non of my business and that I'd come off as a gossiper, which is something Suzy is sometimes accused of. I have in fact gotten all my info from Suzy.

Suzy is having a small BBQ tomorrow in honor of my homecoming and Mandy will be there. It's weird to admit but I'm getting anxious about seeing her. I can't just pretend that we didn't used to be good friends and then stopped talking to each other and that she's not going through a shocking divoce (after like 4 months of marriage)......although that's really what I'd prefer to do.

I wouldn't even know where to start. "Hey nice to see you after so long oh and what are you doing home didn't you just get married?"

I can't play the dumb card, how fake is that!

"Hey are you feeling ok I heard about what happened and I'm soooo sorry"

How do I know that won't bother her? Maybe she doesn't wanto be reminded. Maybe she just wants to enjoy herself with the girls today..something that she probably hasn't done in a while.

"Hey you know I'm always here for you"

considering I haven't spoken to her long before she was married that would be a bullshit statement. I should probably have a talk to with Suzy beforehand.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Setups behind bullying of Muslims

There has been a recent rash of bullying of Arab business owners as well as influential heads in the Muslim community by the legal system of our country. It's random, it's unpredictable, and it's far from just. Such stories were always rampant in places like Chicago and cities in Florida and Texas in the post 9-11 world.

Recently a very close family friend and a family well known in the Islamic community was paid a visit by government representatives. The timing and nature of this visit was such that it meant to intimidate and instill fear and panic. I don't want to go into details, but the whole ordeal and aftermath have been quite disturbing and have left people distrustful and nervous. This single incident is one of the most unfortunate events in my community I can remember during my time here that doesn't involve murder or other tragic death. It's definitely been the talk of the town, in a concerned and angry kind of way. Out of respect, folks cancelled their Eid parties and put their 3azayim on hold.

In the following couple of days an expensive lawyer was hired. One thing that has been learned and is the reason for the thick unease in the air is that this was the work of insiders. The family was set up by associates....other Muslims in the community and likely people from our very circle.

How could anyone be so........................I don't even have the right word in my vocabulary. There are lots of possible motives, but I still can't think of anything good enough to cause one to stoop to such lows. If you were in trouble whether justified or not, would you be willing to play the legal system's game and bring others down for some kind of pardon? Is that pure selfish callousness or simply desperation? I would say the former. Could a bitter disagreement lead someone to want to bring about the most crippling of revenges?

These weren't people that made enemies, they're rather simple and humble folks. I think in times like these it's important that people be well aware of their legal rights. The government gets away with creating scapegoats and random singling out folks to pick on because they count on people being ignorant and scared. So knowledge is truly power!

'twas the night before Christmas

when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring
not even a mouse...

There's so much I love about Christmas time like fresh baked bread and cookies our generous neighbors give us, and the 24 hour TBS marathon of one of my favorite movies A Christmas Story!
To all who Celebrate: Merry Christmas Yall

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Can I say I went to Israel?

So my sister in Jordan made friends with this girl, a Palestinian with Israeli identification who resides within the legal borders of Israel. For some reason this girl refers to herself as Israeli; if you ask her where she's from she'll say Israel. I'm not sure why a Palestinian Arab would advertise herself as an Israeli ESPECIALLY amongst a population of Arabs. I would be lying if I said this didn't irritate me personally but I'll try to hold my judgement. Maybe it's something about Arab Israelis that I don't understand.

It reminds me of once years and years back I was with my aunt and we bumped into an Arab man who answered he was "min 3arab Israel" when my aunt asked him where he was from. At his response my aunt became very upset, later it looked like she was about to start crying. Clearly the name you give to the territory is a sensitive issue.

So my naive and hyperactive sister doesn't know better than to use the words of her new good friend. She told me before about her new friend with a very Arab name "from Israel" which she attempts to pronounce in a Hebrew accent like her friend does. I just bite my tongue and remind myself of my young sister's innocence.

Recently my sister got permission and made plans to go to Israel with her new friend to visit her family for a few days. She was excited and told everyone; she even had a series of facebook statuses announcing her visit to "Israel". All this really pissed some people off in our circle who may or may have not said anything to her. Even my Jordanian family in the village, who are not exactly the biggest Palestinian sympathesizers, were offended by my sister's choice of words. My villager cousin stated "ukhtik mfrakra 7alha ray7a 3a Isra-il" in a mocking tone during our last phone conversation. When people asked me what's up with my sister I defended her but didn't dismiss concern by explaining that she's young and jahla and just quoting her new friend.

Until now I refrained myself from lecturing her about anything because she's a paranoid 19 year old who thinks I oppose her very existence and doesn't take very much of what I say as anything more than personal criticism. I was hoping by now someone who would have explained things to my sister to make her be a little more sensitive or careful, but following her trip she uploaded an album of her trip titled "Israel" with nothing starkingly Israeli in's just people (arabs) and some land.

I decided to bring it up..."so how was your trip? from the pics it looks like you had fun.....oh and why did you call your album "Israel" on facebook by the way?"........ "What? What should I call it? What is it that you're so offended about???" So by her response it seems that she has been scolded already but not to the point where she actually got it. I just explained to her that most of the people she hangs out with and those on her facebook are in fact arabs and some will feel antagonized by the labels you're using for A, B, and C reason so why would you want to do that anyway? I managed to convince her to change the album title without an argument.

but this got me thinking did she do anything wrong? What if one day I visited a friend residing in an Israeli town, what would I call my facebook album? Would I confidently say I visited Israel or would I struggle with the right terms. Would it because I didn' tkow what to think of it or just because I wouldn't want to antagonize anyone?

SoCal in December: A Photo Post

I'm back in my parents house now, it's been months since I've seen them! I'm sorting through the massive amount of photos from my 12 day stay in Southern California with family to find post-worthy one for your visual enjoyment. Here's what I got:

Like I said, LA has its artsy side too

In the UCLA area, horrible service but pretty cool environment (as are most university-area hookah cafes).

Of course you gotta do the Universal Studios thing, can you guess what classic movie this reenacted scene comes from?


More Universal Studios stuff. It was so cold that that was my favorite moment!

These people were actually selling hot chocolate and churros in front of their house, I guess they really needed some help paying that electricity bill

Some times this is all I need for a good time

Used record stores are always fun stops

The mysterious abandoned parking garage level with nothing but Range Rovers. It was unexplainable and kinda creepy

Sneaking a picture at the no-photography-allowed Hollywood Museum.

Frozen yogurt kicks ice cream's butt any day. Socal has quite a few local establishments including Pinkberry with unique flavors (pomegranate) and every kind of fresh fruit topping. I also discovered this thing called Moshi (sp?) which is a floury white gummy cube that reminded me of an arabic desert.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Family conversations on booty shaking, adolescent boys, and snoring monsters

Conversation 1 at the mall
Cousin: (to baby cousin) yalla shake your booty
Aunt#1: wakto il booty? halla mish wakto il booty
Aunt#2: ya3ni lazim bil engleezi 3ashan nit'akad inno kul il nas fihmat
Cousin: booty booty booty booty rockin everywhere, booty booty booty booty rockin everywhere

Conversation 2 at the guest bedroom 6 of us sleep in
Baby Cousin: Mommy there's a monster
Aunt#2: no that's not a monster that's just aunty snoring
Baby Cousin: Mommy whose blowing their nose
Aunt#2: Noone's blowing their nose that's just aunty snoring
Baby Cousin: Mommy whose keeps saying 'whose there'
Aunt#2: Noone is saying anything anything, that's just aunty snoring

Friend: mish inti darasti fee amreeka, kan 3indik boyfriend bil jam3a?
Aunt#2 la bakayt mitzawja, zay il habla

Calling mom from airport
Me: Ok don't scream, but I just missed my flight. so I'm coming home Monday
Mom: ok. oo dalik miss flights tool 7ayatik. On Monday make sure to go to the aiport 30 minutes after your flight leaves zay ma dayman bti3mili. And make sure titfa3i another 100 dollars fee like you always do. Tayib? ooo kaman it'akadi all your luggage is overweight.

Aunts comparing adolescent sons
Aunt#2: Besides being annoying my son is really weird. Unlike my 17 yrd old daughter he has no social skills. He's 15 and a half and he's not even into girls
Me: How do you know he's not into girls?
Aunt#2: Because he doesn't spend hours locked up in the bathroom..hahahahaha (laughs at herself)
Me: Who are his friends
Aunt#2: In s3oodia (KSA) he has a couple of close friends that are all like him. All they do is play video games and they're all smelly. I'll know he's interested in girls when he starts wearing deoderant. At that point me and hubby we'll proceed to block msn and aim from the house.

Los Angeles Famous Restaurants: Ketchup

Ketchup is another restaurant owned by the Ashton Kutcher and gang group (AKA the Dolce group). This one sits on Sunset BLVD in West LA. If you regularly watch The Hills you may have seen LC dining here. This place has a more fun, casual feel with a totally Hollywood-themed menu. I stole the below picture from; the rest are mine.

I was most excited to have dinner at Ketchup for what their famous for: the appetizer known as the 3 some. It's 3 different types of fries-spicy cajun, sweet potato, and thick cut, with 5 different types of ketchup dips-mango, maple, ranch, chipotle, and classic. They should seriously consider bottling up those ketchups and selling them; I would totally buy at least the maple and the ranch.

My cousin got the Shake N Bake: a pistachio-crusted chicken in a rasbery-dijon sauce. The best thing about the dish was the pistachio covering and the sauce, so I liked to just chip off the pistachio crust and stir it in the sauce to eat over the actual chicken.

I was disappointed that they didn't have what I really wanted, The Wharf which is a Chilean sea bass dish; So I settled for the grilled mahi mahi. The food was good but in all honestly doesn't compare to the black cod from The Geisha House.

Dinner at Ketchup was a good experience. I would definitely go back but I think we would order a few appetizers/soups/salads over any entrees. The 3 some was very satisfying and they had a lot of cool sounding stuff on the menu like the parmesan-garlic ring tower and scandalous lobster wraps.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Los Angeles Famous Restaurants: Geisha House

Dinner at the Geisha House may probably be the best restaurant dinner experience ever as far as my memory serves me! This is another one co-owned by Ashton Kutcher and gang that sits on Hollywood BLVD. It's a Japanese themed establishment that looks a bit sketchy on the outside.

This time there were three of us and once we were all we were seated right away on a 7:30 Tuesday. There was much more of a crowd than Dolce the day before. We immediately noticed how cool the place looked and wondering if the big and loud Arab-looking family next to us was really Arab or not. There were 2 floors and some more exclusive seating rooms on the first floor.

The servers and staff in general were really great and totally on top of their game. There was always someone available within sight and our server made some great suggestions for us. The sushi we ordered to start with was definitely the best sushi I've ever had. My favorite was a spicy tuna topped with avocado, grape tomato, and serrano pepper they call the red samurai.

I ordered a beef udon noodle dish that came out first; the beef was really tender and flavorful. However I just couldn't figure out how to eat noodles with those large Asian soup spoons.

However the best thing that came out on the table that night was my cousin's black cod. We always share our food, but the 3 of us couldn't keep our chopsticks out of her plate. I'm telling you people, fish is just not meant to taste this good! It literally melted in our mouths and left a lasting tangy yet spicy flavor.

We were planning on doing desert somewhere else, but the food was so good that we couldn't leave without trying the deserts. I was rather disappointed that they didn't have a specialty coffee menu like they did the teas. After too many oohs and aahhs we settled on the fruit-filled wontons and the fried banana tempura.

Desert was really good but not as great as the food was, in fact we've had better banana tempura. I think the wontons would be amazing if they stuffed them with more fruit and cream. The dipping sauce was a bit too sweet for me especially because the wontons already tasted sweet.

One thing I loved about this place and is probably why we had such a great experience is the atmosphere; we were having so much fun! They had a great DJ there that played jams like Galvanize by the Chemical Brothers and Tom's Diner by Suzanne Vega. The music wasn't too loud that you couldn't hear people talking to you but loud enough to make you feel like breaking down. At one point he played a remix of some old school Backstreet Boys and we got a good laugh when we realized everyone, including the Arab family, was enthusiastically singing along. We took pictures galore in and out of that place!

The food was all on the light side so we weren't overly stuffed, just comfortably full. Our bill was less than $140 which we all agreed was well worth the money especially considering all the stuff we ordered. If you're ever in the Los Angeles area make sure dining at the Geisha House is on your list of things to do!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Los Angeles Famous Restaurants: Dolce

I'm spending a few days in Los Angeles where my cousin has her own place since she works here. Before coming I didn't think there was too much of a culture beyond the one that revolves around the superficial Hollywood entertainment industry. I was wrong, it's actually quite the artsy city with it's own unique culture aside from what it's famous for.

ANYWAY, my pre-made plans involved not too much more than that walk of fame and, of ocurse, dining at celebrity restaurants! Our first stop was Dolce, a trendy Italian joint on Melrose founded by members of the cast of That 70s Show including Ashton Kutcher and Wilmer Valderama. It also stands as the #1 restaurant in Los Angeles on .

So it's at this point this review will turn amateur since long formal detailed reviews are not my thing. My point is to communicate to you "good" or "bad" and to give you something to think about next time you're around the Los Angeles area.

At 7:30 PM on a Monday the place was relatively empty. We were seated immediately and everyone who worked there was hot and trendy yet super friendly. So yes the service was excellent! There was always a server lingering not too far from our table to the point where it got a bit awkward, but always there when you need them. Our drinks were like instantly refilled when half empty.

The decor was cute....lots of candles and fires. It was very dimly lit inside so that you couldn't see peole from a distance except if they happened to be wearing fully sequined tops like the hostess. Also the place was on the small side so you could easily find yourself sitting a little too close to strangers.

We were informed that on Mondays the food is half off the menu!!! So try to go there on a Monday if you're broke. We ordered a shrimp, calamari, zucchini appetizer that was out in less than 10 minutes. I went with the lobster dinner and my cousin a scallop dish. Everything was pretty good, not excellent but pretty good.

So there were no Ashton Kutcher sightings but it Dolce was well worth the money we paid. Our bill in total was less than $65. Stay tuned to hear about what was probably the best restaurant experience I've ever had!

Monday, December 15, 2008

The following is NOT a healthy food item

a) Granola Bars. As well as most breakfast bars.

b) Things that say "fat free" on them. The regular item in moderation is probably better for you than the fat free version with all that fake stuff in it.

c) Fruit juices. Even if it says made with real fruit.

d) Diet Sodas

e) Fig Newtons

f) Falafel

G) Mansaf

H) Ranch and Caesar salad dressing

I) Baked Potato

What you eat is your business, but don't claim to be "healthy" around me if this is what you consider healthy food. Especially if I gained a couple pounds while staying at your house; it'll really annoy me. Just because it's not fried and it's not a desert, it doesn't mean it's healthy. I need to give my aunt a kitchen makeover.

Freezing my butt in california

Happy Break and Happy Holidays (belated if you're Muslim) everyone for those that are on break. If you're still roughing it then hang in there.

For asoom standards it looks like I've been on a blog hiatus. I have a lot of on my mind but can't find it in me to dispense brain energy on blogging since I'm now preparing to take a makeup exam when I get back (actually 2). When I'm not doing that I'm seeing to family obligations. I like sitting around the breakfast table with coffee and muffins for hours with 2 of my hilarious aunts and animated cousins, but I haven't been too thrilled about all the touristy outings and redundant shopping. I'm just not in the relaxed enough mood to be able to feel like it's any more than a waste of time for me.

Have a good one yall!!!!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

I was warned about this, but not prepared

Tomorrow at 9AM I have my NINTH and last final. It's 11PM and I don't know jack, but I don't care. I've had it, I'm done! I did well on most of them, I bombed 2.

I've given up my last 3 weekends, I've given up sleep, I've given up a Jason Mraz concert (I'm still crying over that), I've given up Eid, I've given up an invitation from hot jordanian guy. I've also been quite the needy crybaby, I scroll down my phonebook and find people to call and cry to. The last classmate I vented to got on my nerves when she said "hey these are just the sacrifices that we have to make". No, I can't that easily accept that I have to sacrifice life 90% of the time.

In other major news, I'm seriously considering taking time off of school for a semester for a number of reasons I probably won't get into on this blog. I just need some time before I get back into this.

Tomorrow evening I'll be in Southern California. I'm not even excited. I'm not in the mood to be thrown into a family reunion situation and have to be around so many people that I haven't seen in a while all at once. I need to recover first. I just want to lock myself away from the world for a few days to sleep, workout, watch Scrubs reruns, read, and sleep.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

My Hijab Tan

My trainer decided to take the workout outdoors today in light of the nice weather. I wish I knew beforehand so I could have been better prepared for pilates in the bright sun and brought a bottle or 2 of sunblock....and some oversized sunglasses.

I like being tan, I think it look it better on me...I think a little bit of color looks better on everyone in general; however, what I really don't like is my Hijab tan. This is a chronic problem that many hijabi girls suffer from which means that the front part of your face, hands, and feet are about 5 shades (in my case 10) darker than the rest of you.

When my first cousin to get married decided to have a gender segregated ceremony a couple years ago I wanted to take full advantage of not being covered at the party. So I decided the most effective thing to do about my hijab tan is tan the rest of me to reach tanning equilibrium. I signed up with a tanning salon where I would sit in a tanning bed with hands feet and face covered. After 2 sessions I gave up on that previously genious idea because I realized the difference was very subtle each time. I would need like 20 tans at least to get to the goal while increasing my risk of skin cancer exponentially.

I had it under control for a while but then Egypt this summer brought it back full force. So unless I decide to move to Alaska-it's a lose-lose situation.

So how do you deal with your hijab tan?

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Sitting in the library with an uncharged ipod sucks

I was on emotional roller coaster the last 2 weeks and anticipate staying on the ride for like another week.

A few highs

Lots of lows

Fights with people that love me the most

Friendships strengthened

Illnesses........hookah exacerbated

Roomate got engaged officially. Bought my first Indian outfit

Makeup exams and late assignments

Crying in the dean's office AGAIN

A boy likes me

I like a different boy

He........................( ? )

5 Finals Down

4 More to go

Southern California here I come!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Do you suffer from text anxiety?

Thanks to this site. You probably have test anxiety if you answer YES to four or more of the following:

I have a hard time getting started studying for a test.

When studying for a test, I find many things that distract me.

I expect to do poorly on a test no matter how much or how hard I study.

When taking a test, I experience physical discomfort such as sweaty palms, an upset stomach, a headache, difficulty breathing, and tension in my muscles.

When taking a test, I find it difficult to understand the directions and questions.

When taking a test, I have difficulty organizing my thoughts.

When taking a test, I often “draw a blank.”

When taking a test, I find my mind wandering to other things.

I usually score lower on a test than I do on assignments and papers.

After a test, I remember information I couldn’t recall during the test.

As for me personally I think I have pre-test anxiety more than I have actual test right now for example. However, all joking aside, anxiety is really when one of the worst feelings in the world. It's fear, panic, tension, nervousness, and it's irrational. I just have to keep reminding myself that whatever happens the world is not going to end and noone's opinion of me should matter as much as my own and God's.

Good luck on finals guys!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Who the hell shops at midnight? (A Black Friday post)

Scene: midnightish..studying the nerve supply to the head and neck with "Mimi"

Me: I'm getting kinda depressed that I'm not going to get to partake in Black Friday festivities this year. I just can't do all the traffic and lines tomorrow

Mimi: My sister told me that the outlet mall is opening at midnight

Me: WHAT???? that's right now. I bet noone is there, who the hell would think to go shopping at midnight? Let's go, we'll be in and out in an hour!

Mimi: Ok

Summary of night's events: The highway and the roads were empty until I got to about 3 miles from the mall. Then it very suddenly turned into bumber to bumper traffic where it took about 30 minutes to get to the mall from that point. If I was smarter I would have parked on the median and jogged there especially considering it's been like 3 days since I worked out.

So when we actually get to the mall I was shocked at the sight. This is one of the largest malls I've ever been to and there was NO EMPTY PARKING SPOTS. We had to park in these random grassy areas and hop through bushes and over mud holes as if we were in some type of military training camp. Did I mention at this point it was like.....1 AM????

There was a HUGE line wrapping around a part of the mall and we traced it to realize it was coming from the Coach store. What's up at Coach? An extra 10% off your purchase, PULLLEEEAAAAZZZEEEEE Coach is ugly anyway. I found one of my classmates in that line with dark circles around her eyes and restrained myself from yelling at her.

First stop was Juicy Couture; it was elbow to elbow traffic and I felt like bitch slapping someone with my Optics workbook. Don't these people know we have 4 finals this week? Seriously folks, get out of our way. After 15 minutes I was afraid I'd run out of oxygen and got out of there. No luck at Theory or Miss Sixty, and then finally to the reason why I shop nowadays: MICHAEL KORS! Mimi was was completely drained by now so she volunteered for the low-energy job of saving a spot in line for me as I did some speed shopping....I came out lucky with a couple of pieces and we couldn't wait to get out of there.

Better planning next year!

Friday, November 28, 2008

I wouldn't want your plane to crash

In Islam we believe "du3aa il musafir mustajab" (the prayer of the traveling person is answered). My cousin is flying to Jordan tomorrow morning and I took the opportunity as I was saying my final goodbyes to ask her to make some duaa.

Cousin: Do you want me to add you to the du3aa list

Me: The most important thing right now is I want you to pray that I pass all my classes and that I graduate when I'm supposed to

Cousin: hmmmm I think there should be another one

Me: Yea, and make duaa that the next guy that comes my way is someone I can actually be with. Someone that PRAYS, preferably as educated as me, and it wouldn't hurt to be cute

Cousin: So you want a guy that prays, cute, and is a

Me: that's not exactly what I said, but why not

Cousin: I'm afraid if I made that duaa the plane might crash

Me: (hysterical laughter)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Unintentionally Overheard

My dear roomie would have had no way of knowing that I had decided to skip class all day and was actually home. My car wasn't parked in the driveway, I left it in the distant lot...and the door of my room was shut which usually means I'm not there...but I was lying down in bed sulking and contemplating how I was going to get out of the hole I dug myself into.

As usual when she walked in she was talking on her cell with (most likely) her best friend. I was casually eavesdropping, but my ears perked up when conversation took a turn to recalling the events of the last couple of days. I was curious if she was going to comment on a specific issue, if perhaps she heard anything, or just knows something....and then it came.

"He really really likes her ......No, he's like crazy in love with her .....I can tell"

It didn't take long to confirm my suspicions. The "her" was me. My primary thought was.....oooohh AWKWARD eeeeeekk

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Long days make crazy nights

When the unacceptable turns into norm

When the occasional vice turns into routine habit

When your conscious is numb

When the red lines are crossed

When your finding your own drugs to indulge in

When you escape reality all too frequently

When implementing self-control becomes the hardest thing to do

Seriously, where do you stop and draw the line?

Ya Allah ihdeena 3ala sirat il mistaqeem

Sunday, November 23, 2008

I didn't get to see Twilight on opening day but

.....I got to see it the next day! (No Spoilers Kinzi)

I made plans with roomie #1 and I got annoyed when her significant other decided to make a surprise appearance in town 2 days early, ugghhh men! J/K it's cool. So I dragged 2 friends the next day which is quite the mission considering we all have finals. We were proudly the oldest people in the theater who weren't there with our kids.

As you know I was obsessed with the book that I completed in 2 days (I'm exercising great self restraint to not compulsively read the sequel New Moon). If it wasn't for the book I honestly don't know if I would have been interested in wanting to see this. Neither of 2 friends read the book so I was concerned if they'd like it, but they both totally loved it!

Reviews aren't my thing nor do I like reading detailed reviews, but I definitely enjoyed this movie! Of course it's not as good as the book. A 2 hour movie could never do a 500 page glorious fantasy love story proper justice. The movie was basically the beginning and the end of the book put together. I was disappointed that the movie didn't elaborate on the development of the love story between Edward and Bella, nor did it highlight why on earth this group of vampires are so interested in protecting this fragile human girl to the extent where they are putting their own safety and entire livelihood on the line. The fight wasn't really about Bella. They filmakers had a great story and concept to work with but they didn't develop it to its full potential.

Two things they did do an awesome job with is (1) the selection of the soundtrack and (2) developing the setting and creating the characters (character development was something else). The town of Forks, the red truck, Charlie, Jacob, the kids at school, and Bella's house were all very similar to the way my imagination painted them to be while reading the book. They even did a decent job of balancing the Cullens as a creepy-looking, awkwardly social yet attractive and ostentatious group of people.

So overall, there were missing pieces in the movie but it was definitely still entertaining in a guilty pleasure kinda way.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Is Arabic Music part of mainstream pop culture?

Do you remember back in the day singing Bailamos and Livin la vi da loca? Imagine people walking around humming the tunes of yatabtab and tanoora....for me that's actually a scary thought. Ok maybe this isn't the best comparison considering the former two were primarily in English, but it respresented a time when the masses took interest in music of the Latino culture. Is the same trend evolving with Arabic music amongst the Western audience? If you ask me, yes! or something like it.

Or maybe it's the people I hang out because it's all around me and I don't even reside in an area with a large arab population by any means. Yesterday I was hanging out with 2 friends at an arab-owned establishment that'll sometimes play Arabic music. A song came on that was undifferentiable to me from the one played before it and the one played after it. Their eyes both lit up as they simultaneously annouced "OH my God I love this song!" Neither of them are arab; one is of Iranian background the other is mixed ethnically (no arab blood).

When I told them I didn't know it they almost seemed annoyed at me, like they were sitting in the presence of an ignoramous. For the most part the only arabic songs I know are those that I hear over and over at celebrations. "Oh so you're like a fares karam-nancy ajram kind of girl then?" Wow! I was totally impressed my friend had enough knowledge to be able to make that conclusion.

Weeks before I was hanging out at a similar place that had Arabic music videos playing on a muted corner television so that we can only see the cheesy scenes. One of the people with me, a very Southern White girl, wanted to know if what was on the screen was "that boosi wawa song". She then added her own commentary that it was such a silly song. So not only can she identify arabic songs, but she made a differentiation between "good" ones and "bad" ones. That reminds me, my roomie asked me on several occasions if I can burn an Arab CD for her that she can listen to when working out.

You could say it could be because the people I was hanging out with may also have a lot of arab friends, but I have a lot of Asian friends and I could never identify an asain song or name a singer. There seems to be more interest in Arabic pop music than the pop music of other minorities nowadays (maybe except for Latinos). Any theories?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Divide and Conquer: when your friends fight

So what happens when 2 close friends who are also in the same social circle have a falling out? Often times their selfish human instincts put them in a competition to get people on their side as opposed to the other or even as opposed to staying neutral.

So what do you do when 2 associates of yours get in a fight? It's really hard to stay out sometimes and you could get dragged in whether you intend to or not, especially if they make it everyone's business by going around talking about it to everyone.

Do you side with whoever you think committed the least wrong? or do you favor loyalty and stick with the person you're closer to despite the fact that deep down inside you thought it was his/her actions that were unjust to the other person?

If you happened to have a problem with one of the 2 individuals that's completely unrelated to the fight would you capitalize on the situation to go against that person at that moment and justify the other's claim of innocence? People do this subconsciously all the time, just watch The Hills and you'll know!

I personally like to identify the mistakes made. My best friend could get in a fight with the most annoying person in the world but if I thought what she did was wrong I'd have no problem recognizing that. I try really hard not to let someone else's problem with a person affect my relationship with that person unless it's something that could affect for example if stealing or psychotic behavior was involved (hey it happens).

Saturday, November 15, 2008

My new reading addiction: The Twilight Series

About three things I was absolutely positive.

First, Edward was a vampire.

Second, there was a part of him-and I didn't know how dominant that part might be-that thirsted for my blood.

And third, I was unconditionally and irrevocably in love with him.

I bought this book last night and as of 10AM this morning I was already on page 260! I even got a full 8 hours of sleep. It's amazingly addicting, and considering I have finals in 2 weeks I have added incentive to keep on reading it hahaha.

I never grew out of the young adult book section and Twilight fulfills all my vampire romance danger fantasies. I even get to indulge in super human capabilites like mind reading and Hulk-like strength.

What's more exciting is knowing that when I finish this one there are 3 more parts! That's right, this book is part of a series with the sequels titled New Moon, Eclipse, and Breaking Dawn. Also number 5 is currently in the works titled Midnight Sun. I haven't read a series since Shopaholic years ago. I would order the boxed set online to save me money but I'm just afraid I wouldn't get it fast enough. I don't think I'd be able to wait a day in between and I've already texted my reader friends telling them they have to get this book. Stephanie Meyer should totally add me to the payroll.

Oh, and at the movie theatre the other day I saw a preview of the Twilight movie coming soon!!!!!!! That reminds me I still need to go watch the Secret Life of Bees.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Guys don't hug your hijabi friends

Everyone has different standards and I'm not judging anyone here, but most likey it's not ok.

I would accept such innocence from non muslim boys but when you're another fellow Arab Musim, you should really know better. You put us on the spot to have to reject your advance without seeming like an uptight snob, or just praying to God noone in the crowded corridor saw that.

I can hear it now: Oh my God did you see that?....what a hypocrite

I mean even tattooed biceps guy knew better than to offer more than a handshake and a tap on the elbow, and at least he's a pretty hot resident so it would have been.....not so uncomfortable....j/k

It doesn't mean we don't like you, we could be in love with you but still prefer that you just didn't do that. Now don't be surprised if the next time I run into you I act like I don't see you and keep on walking.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

I fell right out of my chair and it sounded like a bomb

One of the most empowering feelings in the world is when you work your ass of for something and actually get results!

For me this week was the real test. I had to demonstrate proficiency in the 5 main procedures we've learned all semester that actually have to do with my field. The past 2 weeks included lots of late nights and weekends in the lab to prepare for this and the whole setup is pretty intimidating. It's common that people will fail what's called a checkout.

Round 1 was on Tuesday and I was the very first person to get called in. I was nervous as hell when that timer started and fumbled absolutely everything. I wasn't at all surprised when I got an email later that day saying I'm going to have to retake one of 2 checkouts I had that morning (the other I passed with flying colors). I was pretty disappointed in myself that I walked to the dean's office right after to admit my mistakes through tears because I knew he's going to tell me to calm down and it's not the end of the world to fail one checkout (and he did). He proceeded to tell me stories about the times he messed up as a student, and this guy ran a very successful practice. Then we talked about cars.

This morning I had the other 3 which are actually much more challenging. I did lots of deep breathing and prayed that I wouldn't have any brain farts again when the timer started. You wouldn't believe this but out of nervousness I fell right out of my chair while performing retinoscopy. The chair hitting the metal sounded like a bomb went off and I freaked out everyone including my poor mock patient. My preceptor was compassionate enough to stop the timers and make everyone stop what they were doing and wait for me to collect myself before we all resumed. Afterwards we had a nice laugh.

I was refreshing my email inbox all day waiting for that email and finally got it around 5 PM. My scores were 92, 95, and 100 and I couldn't be more elated! I said alhamdulilah 100 times over. I was able to determine the prescriptions right on the money and my mistakes were more of little careless errors largely due to nerves. 7 hours later and I still feel like I'm on top of the world.

I decided I really needed a night off and do normal things. So me and my friend went and strolled the mall.........and not regular people mall but fancy, rich people mall. We figured it would prevent us from buying things when a plain shirt is equivalent to gas for a month. I was annoyed to see a pair of pants I paid 80 bucks for 2 weeks ago now on sale for 40.....oh well! I just bought another one in a different color. I bought a few things from the cheaper stores including new workout clothes from so that I don't have to do laundry so much and another vest which is like the funnest article of clothing to buy when you lose a lot of weight. The night ended with sushi dinner and my favorite banana tempura desert......all in moderation of course!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

I said remember that....Love is, what I got

Or is it "lovin' is what I got"??? Anyway, don't start a riot, cause you might get runover, or you might get shot

Ahhhhh so much on my mind

So little time

I just wanted to write this post to remind everyone to be grateful for everything despite the madness and see the endless beauty in life today!

Now I'll go have my happy 5 hours of sleep :)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

My hooked on your blog award

Some blogger somewhere must have started passing around this cute button and it was given to me by fellow comrade in arms, Goofy Girl! thanks :)

Dear heart,

Please stop beating like I'm running a never ending marathon
Stop your demand for so much oxygen as if I'm deep sea diving
You're the greatest indicator of my nervousness
You put the rest of me on overdrive to compensate
to appear confident and under control

The morning jogs
the multivitamins with unpronounceable names
the self-reflection
the productivity
they failed to appease you

Please don't keep me up for hours experiencing your palpitations
Don't wake me up at the crack of dawn with your ferocious "LUB-DUBBING"
Let me be able to eat solid food again

You're the constant reminder of what I don't need to think about 24/7

Just cooperate to ensure it'll all be over in a couple of days

your caretaker

Sunday, November 9, 2008

I caught the football!

I didn't want to jump in the game and annoy everyone with my football skills which include "can't catch the football to save my life" and "can't throw the football either". Don't get me wrong I am a fit girl, just not an athletic one.

However I didn't want to be the stereotypically hijabi on the sidelines watching everyone have fun, and I was still high from that morning's 3 mile speed walk. It's a beautiful day, a lot of people had started walking to the beach already, so eff this.....I'm going in!

I was upbeat and perky which made people think it was a good idea to keep throwing the ball to me, and I proved to be great at stopping the football with my body. I would jump towards it with my arms outstretched intending on catching it but it would just slam into my body instead. I'll count how many bruises I incurred when they start showing up in their full form by tomorrow morning. I also could swear I fractured my wrist at one point, but since I can type this I can put that to rest.

People usually give you some kind of heads up when they want to throw to you and my eyes widened when the tall Jewish kid who plays every sport pointed in my direction to get ready. "Wow he's kinda far", I thought. It went up really high and was coming down far from me so I had to run to it with my arms up in the air. I jumped, caught it with both hands, hugged it tightly against my chest, and landed with both feet on the ground all with minimal shrieking.

"I FINALLY CAUGHT THE BALL YAYYYY" I cheered for myself and it seemed like the whole park followed with a round of applause and some hoots!

NFL training camp here I come!!!!!!!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Emblogessment: fear of blog discovery

"I found your blog, by the way," he said

I paused in fear. "Oh, which one?" I asked. I irregularly posted to a personal journal, but I'd been writing in the fat blog three or four times a week lately.

", the weight-loss blog."

Only the solemnity of the occasion (this was at a funeral) kept me from slapping my hands to my cheeks and imitating the Edvard Munch painting, The Scream. There should be a word for the feeling of fear and horror when you realize a family member had discovered your blog. Emblogessment, perhaps? I suddenly tried to remember the content of every one of my two hundred entries in the span of two seconds. Had I said anything about him?

"Oh," I eeped.

"It's a great site. I'm really proud of you."

"Thanks," I said. Had he told anyone else about this?

This is an excerpt from the current memior I'm reading and not a conversation I was actually a part of, THANK GOD!!!!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Where were you when Barack Obama was announced president?

Legend has it that if the Washington Redskins win their game before election day, the incumbent party wins. If they lose, the opposing party wins. On November 3rd, election eve, they lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers 6-23.

Across the country and maybe even the world this was a memorable enough moment that I for one will always remember. I was sitting in this tiny yet packed Arab cafe with 4 others. We were watching the electoral vote update on the muted screen hung in the corner and the owner had a James Blunt CD on repeat. We were all getting text message updates from various loved ones, I replied back to most of them saying "yea I know I'm watching :)". One of the girls I was with proudly announced she voted for McCain but admitted she knew he had no choice. Had she said that a bit louder (the voting for mccain part) we would have been ostracized from the rest of the crowd there.

The excitement and hint of nervousness was thick in the air. There were lots of weak jokes, lots of praying, lots of hi-fiving and hugging. It was sometime close to midnight when a news flash announced that Barack Obama is now the 44th president of the USA. By then it was just me and one other girl from our group and we stuck around waiting for that moment. Everyone got on their feet and stood around the TV as the sound came on and the room alternated from emotional jubilee to an exhausted speechlessness.

We listened to McCain say his final words and I thought it was a bit odd that he called this day a victory for African Americans as opposed to a reason for all to celebrate. When he mentioned Sarah Palin the room moaned and groaned. We stuck around until Obama made his speech as we were bombarded with text messages.

It was late, it was a weekday, we all got up early to see to our daily life obligations, some of us spent hours in lines, and I now felt safe to call it a night. I just hoped I wouldn't fall asleep at the wheel driving home. This morning definitely feels like a brand new day!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Praying at the Mosque these days

I've been having the urge to go pray in the masjid. I've been craving the comfort that comes with worship in unity during these demanding times. It's kind of funny that I want to now because I was bad with going to the masjid during Ramadan when the crowd is exponentially larger and the rewards greater.

The first time I decided I really wanted to go the masjid for Isha I realized I had no clue what time they pray or whether the women section remains open during off peak times. However sub7anallah at the athan of Isha I found myself in the masjid parking lot. The lot was empty except for like 2 cars. I saw no lights on anywhere and nobody walking around. I sat in the car and contemplated whether I should go down or not. I ended up waiting 5 minutes then just drove away hoping noone spotted me looking like a stalker.

The next day I decided what I did was a stupid waste of time and kind of weird. So I did some googling to get the number of the masjid. Thankfully someone answered to tell me they pray at 8 and assured me the women section will be open. Eureka!

I came back at 7:50 PM the next day feeling more confident and thank God I found a balled up abaya in the backseat which has probably been there since Ramadan. Again, there were barely any cars but hey I'm 10 minutes early. Indeed the women section was open and I had to turn the lights on. There were tables and chairs there as if someone was just having a class, and I was annoyed to see opened soda cans and water bottles littering this holy place. I bet you wouldn't see this in the men section.

I sat there cross-legged by myself and was relieved to hear some stirring in the men section. Someone mad Athan...then 8 oclock came and went and I'm still sitting, 8:05, 8:10.....hmmm should I just pray on my own and leave? Could it be they prayed and I don' teven hear them because the intercom is off? Maybe they're just waiting for more people. At 8:15 to my relief a lady walked in. A middle-aged most likely southeast Asain with an almost perfect american accent. She greeted me very warmly and told me they pray at 8:15.

I prayed probably the best Isha prayer I prayed in a while. Since that day, praying Isha at the masjid has been a common study break.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Missing out on the Halloween Party

I was really looking forward to this Halloween. Heck, I look forward to every celebration and outing nowadays!

My college along with the the Pharmacy college booked the party at a venue that's part of a really awesome place I've been wanting to go to since I got into this town. It costs $20 just to get in normally, but tonight it's free for us along with food and drinks. I've put together a cute hijab-friendly costume and have been convincing people that they have to go all week long.

However, as of this morning I decided that I just can't go and now I'm a little sad. The timing is horrible. On monday morning I have my last 2 midterms before finals: biochemistry and optics. Both of them are going to be brutal. I haven't even started studying for biochemistry and I've only gotten one of 3 chapters down for optics. If I had good averages in both of those classes I'd blow this round of exams off for this Halloween, but I can't afford to do bad on either...especially biochemistry.

I didn't want to tell anyone I was no longer going so noone makes me feel bad, but I told one of my friends who I went costume shopping with and I already have a missed call and a couple of texts urging me to reconsider. "Just come for an hour".......UUhhhhhhh yea that never works. I just can't!

Ughhhhhh I swear after Monday I'm going to do something fun every single day that week.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Jason Mraz, Biker Jacket, Retinoscopy, Zumba, Winter

Oh Happy Day!!!!!

Or more like a happy last 24 hours.

Today I got stamped for BOTH retinoscopy and the slit lamp. It takes like a month to get one procedure down at a time for me...getting two stamps in a day was REALLY exciting. This means that I am now capable of determining your refractive error for your glasses/lenses prescription and evaluating the heath of the front of your eye. WOOOHOOOOOOO! I ask that you please try and contain your jealousy.

Last night during an emergency mall trip I found the cutest looking biker-inspired jacket on clearance at Bebe Sport. As cute as it was on the rack, it was even way cuter on! Then, on the cash register it rang up even cheaper than I thought. Wait there's more....and I got an additional $25 off for spending whatever it was I spent in that store!!!!!!

Last night I received the most heartwarming "hey I know what you're going through and I'm here for you" message from a classmate (Blondie, reference from old diary). I was so touched that I just wanted to do nothing but be nice and spread the love to everyone around me.

After 3 months of saying I will, I finally actually went to Zumba class! It was too much aggressive butt shaking I don't know if I'll go again, but I've been regularly going to gym! Oh and since it finally got slightly cool and me and my roomie were so excited that we converted the upstairs balcony to a makeshift study room with cushions, lamps, and sheets and towels covering the rails so we don't have to wear hijab.

Finally, thanks a dear classmate of mine Iwill now be attending the upcoming and very exciting Jason Mraz concert!!!!!

If you've got the poison I've got the remedy the remedy

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Nowadays you can't discuss politics with your colleagues

Scene: university shuttle
Student 1: I wonder if it's too late to submit an absentee ballot
Student 2: No you have until Friday to do that, go do that! Wait, you're voting for McCain right?
Student 1: (silence)
*Everyone eyes everyone else wondering how safe it is to speak*
Studnet 2: McCain right?
Student 1: Well I just really don't like Sarah Palin
Student 2: Oh come on she's not the one running for president
Student 1: I'm just not going to talk about this

Scene: a car with students on the way back from a university service event. The driver notices a painted sign on a back window
Student 1: (reading) Honk if you're voting for McCain.......
*Everyone eyes everyone else wondering how safe it is to speak*
Student 2: (shouting) RUN THEM OVER!!!!!!!!!!!

Scene: University Shuttle Again
Student 1: I just got my state license here so I can be allowed to vote here
Student 2: You're voting for McCain right?
*Everyone eyes everyone else wondering how safe it is to speak*
Student 1:
Student 2: WHAT?????
Student 1: (feels her blood boiling) I'm just really strongyly.....prochoice (that's probably not her main reason. She just wanted a quick bailout of a potential brawl)

Scene: Off campus restaurant after an exam where we got into a discussion about health insurance companies
Me: and that's why I'm voting for Obama
*Everyone eyes everyone else wondering how safe it is to speak*
Student 1: Well ummmm errrrr eeekkkkk.....ok I just won't say anything

Monday, October 27, 2008

The American Consumer: RIP

Back when the family business was exponentially better than it is today (that would be the 90s) my parents never seriously thought to invest in stockmarket, no corporate property, etc. They just wanted a house and a business that was paid off and so we were big pimpin in the malls all day. We were also dining out as a family twice in a typical week. First I'd have arguments with my dad because he only wanted to go to Shoney's or Denny's.

Not only were the cash flow and credit cards (was given one at 16) in abundance, but prices just weren't what they are now. In high school I never imagined a pair of $200 designer jeans. Yea we did go through that Doc Martens phase but those ugly shoes lasted you years. In fact, my 3 pairs are still in existence; my mom whose famous for throwing everything away is holding on tight to those.

We just don't live like that nowadays.

So where would be a good place economically on the globe to move to?