Saturday, December 19, 2009

Well HELLOOOOO Blogosphere!

I've successfully completed a semester of my pre-professional health program (for lack of better words yall)! I mean not only did I not fail anything, but I had some damn good grades. I took a total of 8 finals and as soon as I finished my last one and knew I did great it may have been one of the most happiest moments of my life. Is that like sad or what? It didn't even bother me so much that after my last final by car refused to start and my phone stopped working. I just kept thinking how wonderful life is!

So now I'm home on my 3 week break and I don't think I've ever been so free in my adult life. I've never had like absolutely nothing that I needed to do. Even during school breaks I was always studying for some kind of makeup exam, working on a paper I got an extension for, or doing some kind of volunteer work I pre-committed to. I made a list of mini-goals to accomplish during my break, but so far I've just been bumming it and spending a lot of time at Starbucks withe Angela, on Suzy's couch, or eating out with Randy. I almost feel guilty being so free....almost :)

Hope you have a good break!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Controversial author Norma Khouri comments on my blog post about her

It was humbling to have author Fadi Faqir visit my old blog and send me her book. It was very exciting to have artist Ena Vie comment on my blog post praising her, and now Norma Khouri replied to my post Investigating Norma Khouri in Forbidden Lie$.

Is it really her? I guess there's no way to be totally sure. If it is, I thank you Norma Khouri for taking the time out of your schedule to address my post and some of the following comments.

Unfortunately I'm in the middle of an intense finals time so I just don't have the time to appropriately reply. I just really wanted to give any of you interested readers out there the opportunity to reply to her comment that I'm copying and pasting below. Maybe we can have have a constructive discussion over it.

norma(jdoit@lycos.com) said...
Hello, I am Norma Khouri. You can believe whatever you like about what my intentions were or are...my intentions from the start were to raise international awareness of the existence of these crimes and the Jordanian Laws which allow for them to continue. Rana Husseini was one of the first reporters to write about Honor Killings....the problem was that she was publishing the stories in the Jordanian Times...a small local circulation english language paper in Jordan...which was not even available on the internet...and still does not archive any of its articles on the net to this day. Now for someone who lives in Europe or the US or any other country other than Jordan...how were they going to become aware of such crimes??? no other media was reporting on it...womens rights issues have never been a media priority unless there were political reasons to report on them as in the case of Afghanistan.


As to KJ...the original US version of the book is actually stamped "fiction"...the book created problems for Jordan...too much attention was being focused on them as a result of the book...that is clearly evidenced in the articles that Jordan published where government officials are quoted as saying that they are receiving too much pressure from the UN and the US "as though this is the only place this happens". Amnesty conducted its own investigation into the number of honor killings that occur there...you should check that report out, so did the UN.

The media and the documentary make a lot of outrageous claims...controversy sells...they also claim I am wanted by the FBI...call the FBI yourself and ask if I am wanted?? I am not. i live and work and pay taxes in the US, I am not in hiding. The money from the book and from the documentary is going to human rights groups...it does not even come through me to go to them...it goes directly to them from publishers and film company...Maybe I should have done it for money...I wouldn't be working 70 hours a week to pay a mortgage and bills... Norma

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Reviews of my recent makeup discoveries!

I love discovering new makeup products and I'm always interested in knowing what's working for others. So I've decided to return the favor and generously share my most recent findings!

In terms of color this bronzer/blush is my favorite, it's so beautiful and totally beats that way too popular Orgasm by Nars which goes on more pink than bronze. My only beef with blush is the fact that it's not long lasting; hours later you can't even tell I put it on.
I told the make up artist at Sephora that I'm bored with my own neutral glosses and lipsticks and I'm looking for something that pops out a little bit more. So we landed on Red Delicious made by Bare Essentials (only $12!). It's more of a dull red than a bright red-just red enough to be elegant without looking too 80s.
I would especially consider investing in this quad set of Stila smudge pot if you're already using paints pots of any sort (like the popular MAC pots). The hardest part about paint pots is just getting used to applying them, once you've got that down I highly recommend you go get one of these. All 4 colors are pretty useful, the quality and consistency is great, and the best part about it is it was only $32! (one pot alone is like $20). I use these as primer, base, shadow, and liner!



If you've never tried wearing colored eye liner, try now! There's a crazy color out there made perfectly for you..trust me on that. This is especially ideal if you don't like wearing a lot of makeup because just a line of color on your lids can make a world of a difference in your complexion. I started off with blues but I just discovered this Tealo by Mac and I'm sooooo obsessed! I either wear it alone as a liner or if I have time I'll highlight it with a shade of lighter green eyeshadow. I've gotten compliments every time.

Continuing on with the discussion of colored liners I've recently picked up this purple (retrolady) liquid liner from Mac after reading an article stating that olive-skinned girls go well with purple eyes. Alone I'm not too crazy about it, I think I just haven't found the best way to apply it. The last time I wore it I put it on my upper lids and used the tealo liner above on my lower lids and it actually looked pretty cool. The best thing about this is once it's dry it doesn't smear AT ALL!


I hope you discovered something for yourself out of my makeup mini review post. If you have any new makeup discoveries of your own, please do share!





Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Surviving doctor school: Just say no to the party!

Unless you're in professional school (medical/dental/optometry/pharm/law..etc) you're just not going to understand why I have to say no to everything and seclude myself from people and activity. It's not just about this one dinner, going to that one restaurant, watching that one movie, spending this one weekend home...."what's the the big deal asoom?"...........people just don't fucking understand!!!!!

Succeeding in these types of programs is very much an emotional process as much as it is mental and physical. Many times I really can't be around people (especially certain types). I can't just hang out and be adventurous and spontaneous like I used to. I can't put myself in situations where I might get pissed off at someone, annoyed at something, too excited, too tired....etc. It's cool to give myself a break but I have exams on a weekly basis and I have to stay focused. My mind can't wander too far away.

I'm always on the border grade-wise and I've had to learn the hard way that a really fun weekend could also result in going from a barely passing to to a failing average in a class. There's a reason why it's so hard to get into such programs; it's simply not cut out for the vast majority of people. In the battle to just keep up you could turn into a crazy psycho person who no longer eats and sleeps. Yes.....it's really that bad!

It sucks when you're around people that just don't understand it and get annoyed at you or think of you as not a very good friend when you just have to say no to the party, even when they claim they totally understand. People just don't get it and I'm so sick I've having to deal with that added pressure of appeasing everyone. It's just not fair!

Thanksgiving Dinner at my place? Hell No!

I'm not going home for Thanksgiving or Eid. It's too close to finals and I have to keep things low key to stay focused and ensure that I'll be here next semester. It's sacrifice that I have to make and that's just life.

A young couple that we've befriended on our floor invited me and Masriyya to their Thanksgiving dinner. I figured that would be perfect because I could just show up, eat, chat for a bit, then leave. Masriyya understands how much pressure I'm under so she'll take care of contributing some dish for the both of us and I can even dress up for the affair! It sounds perfect because I'll be satisfied in getting to partake in Thanksgiving but not to the point where I'll be distracted.

Yesterday we were informed that Thanksgiving at our neighbors will be cancelled because the man of the house got called to travel for work and the lady of the house can't handle it all by herself. So we were a teeny bit bummed to the point where I forgot about my other committments and started brainstorming alternatives. So I came up with this idea that seemed genious at the moment. One of our favorite Italian bakeries had fliers up advertising their Thanksgiving catering specials. They'll cater a dinner for 8 Thanksgiving Day at a relatively reasonable price and their food is amazing! So why don't we ask our neighbor if she'll split it with us and just have it at our place so that we can invite a couple of our friends too who also can't go home for Thanksgiving. No wasting time cooking or shopping, what a genious idea, we have to do it!

So after I went back to my room my senses slowly started coming back to me which soon turned into a full-blown panic. All those people, the inviting, the cleaning before, the cleaning after, how long will they stay after? how much will I end up spending? what the hell was I thinking???? There is no way we're hosting Thanksgiving dinner at MY place 4 days before my finals start.

So I run back out of my room to tell Masriyya and see that she was coming to my room to tell me something...."you know I'm sooooo happy that you came up with this idea! 3anjad I was getting so depressed about not having a real Thanksgiving this year. You're idea is perfect and I'm soo excited now, I can't tell you how much better I feel!"

GREAT!!!!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Am I just in love with love?

Yesterday I went to a comedy show where the opening comedian stated "if you're in a relationship and you're not married or engaged but you're fighting about the small things, end it now!". He went on with with the examples and ha ha ha ha we all laughed, they were pretty funny.

It's funny that I'm now taking relationship advice from a comedian but I started wondering if God had specifically meant for me to receive that message at that moment in time no matter what form it came in. I've been stressed, frustrated, confused and really torn. My mood is up and down.

I've actually been doing a great job of keeping my life under control which is a big improvement in comparison to my past antics when dealing with relationship problems. I've done pretty well on the 1 billion exams I took (well with 1 exception). I've been consistent with the strength training and toning class I've taken up at the gym. I'm keeping my place clean and organized. I'm still making time for friends and going out. I regularly speak to my family. I still take pleasure in life's small things like experimenting with makeup and going shoe shopping.

However if my relationship doesn't improve I don't know how long I'll be able to keep this all up and the cracks are starting to show. When things are good we're happy and there are definitely happy days. When they're not (like right now) it takes its toll. I have trouble sleeping. Focusing is a struggle. Sometimes I tune people out and stare off into space without even realizing it. I've been eating more junk food, and have even been missing some of my prayers. I haven't woken up for fajr in a few days now.

I simply don't know what to do now. What I did know though is last night I wanted a night away from everything. I just wanted a night to have fun with my friends and completely put aside the stress and the drama. I wanted to some freedom just for one night. So here I am anticipating the fun and within the first 5 minutes of the show my issues get propped up in my face: "if.....end it now!"

I still managed to push it back in my mind and have loads of fun last night but around 3 AM when we found ourselves drained of energy and done with all our laughing I decided it was now appropriate to share the irony of what the comedian said and see what my girls thought. "If it's only been like a month and a half and we've had a couple of big fights over small things...." before I could even finish their responses erupted. They all strongly felt that this wasn't a good sign at all. "This is supposed to be the honeymoon phase" one friend added.

Maybe they're just biased because I only share with them things when there's a problem because it's those times when I need to talk. I haven't told them all the sweet amazing things he's done. I haven't told them all the times when he's made me over-the-moon happy. I haven't told them about the times when he says to me exactly the things I need to hear or showers me with endless compliments. I haven't told them about the plans he made and the efforts put in to show me that he's serious about commitment and not wasting my time. I keep these things to myself because it just feels weird to share those details unless specifically asked to do so; I would feel like I'm showing off or being plain tacky.

Maybe now I'm sounding like one of those stupid girls you see on Dr.Phil who constantly makes excuses for her guy's bad behavior and justifies a bad relationship because she just doesn't want to be alone. I always tell girls to not be in love with love and see beyond the desire to just have a guy and rather desire to be in a relationship that's good for you, one that brings you up and not pulls you down. Do I need to listen to my own advice? I'm so confused.

What I do know though is this: my finals are starting in 2 weeks. Life has been treating me pretty well right now. Alhamdulilah I'm in a point in life where I have a lot going for me, and I'm not going to let any guy fuck that up!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Will boys be boys? or is that a bad excuse?


I don't get offended by cuss words. I say ass all the time and will even drop the F-bomb here and there. This is all thanks to grad school really; the list of acquired dirty habits is ever growing and cussing is one of them.

However, there's something about the very casual use of sexually explicit language in the form of metaphors and euphamisms (or maybe it's meant literal, I can't tell) that still makes me uncomfortable. It usually comes from guys. My good Muslim boys colleagues who observe Ramadan, attend every campus jum3a prayer, proudly say "salaam alaikum" instead of hey, and can occasionally be caught preaching of their great faith are NO exception to this trend.

I know guys are guys and I've become somewhat desensitized to critiquing the hottness level of a girl (yup they even do it in front of me). But when I hear a conversation describing a D word, or getting some P word, or a reference to sexual acts my jaw just can't help dropping a little bit. Especially when it's coming out of the same mouth that I heard beautifully reciting the athan a couple weeks ago.

It really bothers me and a string of obsessive and perhaps irrational thoughts will run through my head. Is he merely fitting in with the common culture? Could he actually be 'experienced' like that? How much of a hypocrite is he? I can't believe I thought about setting him up with my friend! Then I start thinking about other 'respectable' boys and if they talk like that too in their normal social elements. I wonder about the guy I'm talking to now and if he has conversations like that when he's around the guys.

It's all really non of my business and I would sleep a little bit better if I just didn't hear these things in the first place. So I take comfort in telling myself that it's ok because boys will just be boys.......but perhaps we're using that phrase too much to excuse behavior that shouldn't be totally ok. Agree?

And maybe it's time for me to call it a night!

Friday, November 6, 2009

If youre life is full of drama...maybe it's YOU





My roomate Masriyya is also my friend but since we became roomies I'm thinking more of her as the big sister I never had. She is lovely, does anything for me, but is............A-N-N-O-Y-I-N-G!!!! Yes, all caps with spaces in between.

When I first got to know her I used to feel bad for her that her life was so full of drama and everything bad seemed to happen to her. After living with her I realized that actually it's her. I just wish that I knew that from the very beginning so I wouldn't have wasted any of my time, emotions, and brain energy involving myself in her issues thinking that I'm being there for a friend.

Take this past incident for example. One of my friends from school invited me to go home with her Halloween weekend to attend a Halloween annual event with her homegirls that happens at one of her local amusement parks. I've been buried in the books so I was really looking forward to this. I extended the invitation to my roomate to come with me to MY FRIEND'S family home- so you'd think she'd be at her best behavior, right?

NOPE!!! this chick manages to turn every situation into being about her and that night, which was supposed to be a fun and relaxing girls night out, was no exception to that.

The first stop after the 4 hour drive was have dinner at my friends house. We were already running like an hour late leaving my friend's house to go pick up her friend, and on top of that she makes us wait for her. We sat in the car waiting for her as she put make up on and straightened her hair. I had to go back inside twice to beg her to please come now we're really late. I was so embarassed!!!!

So halfway on our way to pick up my friend's friend Masriyya announces "OH MY GOD I forgot my ID........see what happens when you guys rush me!" AHHHHHHHHHHHH, I thought about all the different ways I could murder her as my friend made a U-turn back to her house.

Fastforward an hour we get to the amusement park and we only have a couple of hours to enjoy it before closing time. It's super crowded and the lines are huge so we know we're only going to enjoy a couple of haunted houses/rides. She immediately starts with "I can'to do this I can't do this I can't do this I'm too scared I'm too scared I can't do this I'm too scared." That's all we heard while in line.

We're all scared and freaked out, that's part of the fun of it. She was trying to turn it into a "let's all stop what we're doing and counsel masriyya" session. When entered the haunted house she kept her eyes shut and wouldn't stop screaming bloody murder and held on to all 3 of us in a way that was causing us great pain and discomfort. Then she made a string of complaints regarding her current state of health. "OH MY GOD I THINK BROKE MY NECK....MY NECK...MY NECK...IT'S SO HOT I CANT TAKE THIS ANYMORE I'M GOING TO DIE...MY NECK...MY ANKLE...MY ANKLE....MY NECK."

My friends caught on to her fast and just started ignoring her which put me in a really uncomfortable situation. When we got in line for the next haunted house she claimed she couldn't do it because she has asthma and can't take that fake smoke they have as part of the display. I don't even believe she has asthma, I think she just thinks she does. My friend who had no issue with the fake smoke has really bas asthma she can't even be around second hand smoke, wherease Masriyya smokes shisha with me all the time. The list of ailments kept expanding.


At some point she got scared when a zombie jumped in her face. She ran off screaming bloody murder. We lost her and it was kind of nice. When she finally found us she got mad at us that we didn't run after her and let her get lost. Then she retold the story like 10 times of how badly the zombie or tree man or whatever he was scared her when he jumped in her face.

Simply put, she really took the joy out of it and embarassed me in front of my friends. I also realized that I'm fricking slow like hell. After months of knowing her it took me that night to affirm my suspicions that she was a drama queen and an attention whore when my friends figured it out in like 35 minutes.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Blogging has gotten frustrating


I'm seriously thinking about starting a new blog. A blog where I'll be super anonymous (as long as I can help it) with a totally creatively made-up identity. I want to be able to blog about my drama queen roommate and my friends with the asshole husbands and their annoying kids. I want to blog about my classroom challenges and all of the interesting social dynamics around me. I want to blog about my spiritual side and about all the times when I'm weak. I want to blog about my disfunctional family, how I feel about my ex, and any possible new potentials. I want to blog about my insecurities and my proud my moments.

Everything is just too risky. I'm not really that anonymous. A lot of my people I know read blogs and have even started blogs themselves. The new man in my life (nothing official it's all confusing and that's another thing I really want to blog about) has a sister who blogs, and she's a rather prominent blogger too. It's just too plain risky and that's why I've concluded that blogging has gotten frustrating!


The only thing I feel comfortable blogging about that I actually want to blog about is football. Speaking of which, how about them Saints yall?

Monday, October 26, 2009

So why can't we talk about our exes?


Why is it so taboo to bring up your ex or even mention previous relationships in the presence of your current person of interest? A lot of times you can't help but recall things. In many ways you're following a similar pattern that you followed before...doing things and saying things that you've done before so you reminisce. Just because you share these observations out loud sometimes it doesn't mean that you're not over the one you used to be with. Don't they realize that this time it's a better experience and that's why you're with that person and not with your ex?


I mean I understand where the problem would be if you excessivly talk about your past relationship because that would mean your ex is always on your mind. However the casual mention could be taken as a compliment as if to say "this is why you're so much better for me!"

Why does the mention of previous relationships make people so insecure?

For the first time in NFL history.....


THREE teams remain undefeated after the week 7 games. The Indianapolis Colts, The Denver Broncos, and my own team the New Orleans Saints!!!!!
Notice that the Chicago Bears are not part of this elite trio (ahem ahem Maher)!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Some Sunday football trash talk yall



Two undefeated teams, The New York Giants and my team the New Orleans Saints, went into the dome for the week 6 NFL game of the season. Only one could come of it still undefeated. NO, it wasn't the team that took the Super Bowl victory two years ago. It was the absolutely amazing SAINTS who have never even been to the Super Bowl. They beat NY by some really embarassing number that I'll spare you from. Let's just say the Saints tied a record number of touchdowns. I was embarassed for the opposition just watching this game.

The Saints are UNDEFEATED 5-0, do you have anything you'd like to say Maher?

Mr.Brooklyn is my die-hard Jets fan classmate who thought'd it'd be nice to send me a congratulatory sms after the game only to proceed to do some trash-talking.

Brooklyn: Asoom taking out BOTH new york teams! lol mabrook

Asoom: lol. U New Yorkers can't take a little bit of heat?

Brooklyn: (NY) Giants are a disgrace (NY) Jets only allowed you guys one td. Giants allowed you guys twenty.

Asoom: We tied a record today with those touchdowns. Brees wasn't playing too well in the (NY) Jets game and we still managed to win. Don't hate we totally earned that win.

Brooklyn: Brees wasn't playing cuz our defense was up his ass. Don't hate you guys won that game cuz of our rookie qb mistakes.

Asoom: Saints won because our defense kicked ass all around

Brooklyn: Easy now don't get too ahead of yourselves

An hour later......

Brooklyn: Brady threw 5 td passes in first half lol Brees record will be broken

Asoom: Dude you're playing a 1-4 team!

Brooklyn: Not my fault. Don't hate.

This book made me feel a bit better about life!





The last book I finished reading was Something Borrowed by Emmily Giffin . I loved this book, it was the ultimate classic feel good chick lit. It made me smile and had me feeling all warm and fuzzy.

Yes I realize it's a story about infedility and affairs but don't judge it, give it a chance! If you're a girl that reads chances are you'll probably see something about yourself in Rachel, the main character. She's 30, simple, still single, a lawyer and has a best friend (Darcy) who isn't as intelligent and well-intentioned as her but still seems to outshine her in almost everything....only on the surface though!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Obama's wins the Nobel Peace Prize



We live in a day where being "not-Bush" and being talented in articulation wins you the Nobel Peace Prize. Leaders of superpowers should be held at a higher standard than that, that's my 2 cents!

I still like the guy and would totally invite him over for dinner anyday, but I would not have given it to him.

Maher the kid is now engaged!


Alf Alf Mabrook to Maher who is getting officially engaged today! Ba3dain shoo..........you decided to announce it as some kind of casual statement on a post about football?

I wish the two of you love and happiness forever and lots of years watching Super Bowls together. Let's just hope for her sake that she's not a Saints fan ;)

Sunday, October 4, 2009

This one is for Maher: a football post



The wonderful Maher, an ex-blogger, has a pattern of stopping by this blog once in a blue moon. That blue moon usually occurs during football season sometime around Monday. He'll usually ignore the nature of the latest post and leave a comment regarding his take on yesterday's round of games and his prediction for the next :)

Maher is a very nice kid, but one thing really bothers me is that he doesn't have very much faith in the ability of my team: The New Orleans Saints! I do realize we don't have the most impressive history. I mean we've never been to a Super Bowl and God Almighty knows we've had some shameful seasons-but that's all history. We're actually a pretty good team!

Maher was surprised when last week the Saints made a minced meat pie out of the Philadelphia Eagles who've had their share of championships. That placed the Saints at 3 wins and ZERO losses. Then he went on to say that he believes the New York Jets, who also have an impressive record like the Eagles, will be the Saints first loss. I didn't respond and just pretended to not be offended. One of my colleagues is a tough kid from Brooklyn who is a die-hard Jets fan; he even admitted to me that he was nervous about the game because the Saints were "pretty good". Both teams went in to the game today thus far undefeated.

People said the Eagles would beat us, the Bills would beat us, the Jets would beat us. People say the Saints are all about Drew Brees, we're all about offense. Well today definitely wasn't Drew Brees' greatest day, nor was it Reggie Bush's. We just proved that we have some pretty monster players with not very famous names and a pretty kickass defense.

Well Maher, the New Orleans Saints just gave the New York Jets their first loss of the season by beating them 24-10! You were mistaken my dear friend. I wonder, do you still believe the Jets are going to the superbowl this year?

Saturday, October 3, 2009

My take on the Hijabi Monologues


I saw the show recently. It was AMAZING!

The widely acclaimed show is the Muslim version spinoff of the popular Vagina Monologues. Going to it I was a bit skeptical and was expecting it to be perhaps corny and cheesy and not very intellectual, but nevertheless I still thought I’d enjoy some light-hearted humor. My preconceived notions wasn’t because I don’t think anything is intellectual about being a hijabi in America, but just because I thought it was probably going to be so PC and censored since us hijabis have to represent all the damn time and all. ESPECIALLY since it’s real actresses performing real stories and not an anonymous author operating under a pseudoname. MAN was I was completely mistaken. For starters, this show is barely PG-13 rated.

The very first skit was about how us hijabis in America are always expected to be the walking public representation of Islam. In it, a girl is confronted by a man using violent language towards her and she wishes to reply in a similar fashion. I’m a hijabi by choice, but I did not choose to wear hijab because I wanted to represent Islam. That is a responsibility that’s way beyond me to handle. I make mistakes and I’m far from perfect. The mistakes I make should be a representation of me, and not my beliefs. When I see those thoughts and feelings of mine that frankly most people who don’t wear hijab just don’t understand come to life in that skit, I was moved to tears. It was such a huge relief to know that others feel the same way and it doesn’t make me a bad Muslim.

I loved the whole show: the FSU vs. UM college football game experience, the tale of aysha and ameer (which may have been a bit removed from reality), that what types of guys hit on girls in hijab skit, and especially the story of the post 9/11 arrest of Dr.sami al arian as told through the eyes of his daughter-another great tear jerker. However it was that very first skit I talked about in the previous paragraph that inspired something in me. Especially when during the show my non-hijabi glam friend sitting behind me texted me that she hates it and thought it was "humiliating" and a bad representation of Islam.

With that said I have something to say to all of those Muslim men, to the non-hijabis, and to those self-righteous hijabis who love to judge other hijabis. If I hear any comments about how non-hijabi like someone’s dress code is, how scandalous your holy brain believes it is it is that you saw a hijabi sitting with a table full of White guys in a restaurant, how shameful your genious mind thought it is that you saw a hijabi smoking hookah and singing along to an Arabic song, how outrageous it is that you heard a hijabi tell someone to 'kiss my ass', and how your highness thinks some hijabi is giving Islam a bad name because of A, B, and C and whatever else your momma taught I just want to say…………….FUCK YOU and FUCK YOU!

Do I have a sign on my back that says "JUDGE ME PLEASE" or one that says "IDENTIFY ALL MY IMPERFECTIONS"? Get a life and leave mine alone please. Go mind your own business before you mind mine. People like you create a society that makes my life harder than it needs to be. Sorry to break it to you, but I actually don’t answer to you or your momma, I answer to Allah (swt). You may not realize it but there is a lot of harm in your judgements. You see when I start to have to worry about what people like you are going to say, I lose sight of the bigger picture and my purpose of being here on Earth. My intentions start turning into "SHIT what's UmAli going to think?" instead of "Allah (swt) forbade me to do this". Maybe your own actions are motivated by what UmAli's flavor of the month is, but I don't care...or at least I try not to care.

Do you get my point? Now please, go worry about your own self before you "worry" about me.

"Where the Kardashians go clubbing"

I don't go to bars, and I don't go clubbing. First, why would I pust myself in a situation where I would feel so out of place? Just so I can say I've been there? Staghfurallah yall! Second, I don't drink so I don't have fun around a whole bunch of people who are drinking...nor would they think it's fun to be around me.

What's interesting that in my college town a few of the people that I've chose to surround myself with, those that I can feel most comfortable being myself around, those that I feel are just plain genuine and real, those that can make me laugh the loudest...just so happen to live a different lifestyle than I do. As a result of that sometimes I find myself on the receiving end of some friendly teasing.

Yesterday I was hanging out with some of my old class friends (I don't like my new class..there I said it!) like the good old days. One of the guys announced he was going to this club in the city tmorrow and extended the invite. The name couldn't make a difference to me but it generated some excited "oooohhss" from the girls. They were definitely interested in going. So the party pooper that I am I attempted to guilt trip them out of it.

"Hey I thought you said no more party stuff and that you were going to get really serious about school now."

"well yea but ummmm...." friend #1 replied.

"Ok but this is like......where the Kardashians go clubbing!" chimed in Persian Princess.

"Ok fine then....while you guys are out clubbing in the city just think about me. Keep me in mind while you guys are having your fun." I said with a pout.

"Hey hey there...." replied Persian princes

"What do you wanna do then huh? you wanna go to the movies? you wanna go watch a movie then? Let's all go watch a movie" Said the club-invite guy in a mocking nerd-like tone of voice.

"yea what...you wanna go watch Ya Ya Sisterhood or something? Let's all go watch the Ya Ya Sisterhood?" added HotJordanianGuy

"I belive that's out on DVD" said club-invite guy back in his nerdy mocking voice

The movies? hah! as funny as they were.....I should have told them I can do more for fun than just watch movies, I read books sometimes too!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

on being extremely homesick

I just got off an almost 2 hour long phone conversation with one of my friends/classmates who is extremely homesick; I mean extremely homesick like to the point where I'm so genuinely worried about her well-being. It's kind of funny because I've had this very same conversation like twice today with 2 different other classmates. Our class this year is so effing.......................just plain sucky! high school with adults. I don't feel the support system I felt a year ago.

Back to my friend, she says this place is so different from home and she can't get comfortable. She can't be herself in these surroundings and she's constantly walking on a tight rope, it's mentally tiring! The difference between me and her is that I still try. I have just accepted that I can be close friends with someone who believes in a completely different thing than I do. Someone that lives a completely different lifestyle than me. I can take them for what they can give me and just enjoy the comforts we can give each other as friends. This isn't like your hometown. We don't have to understand where we're coming from. We don't have to totally relate to one another, we just have to relate enough and once you can accept that you start moving into your comfort zones with people.

She says she just can't do that. That'll just add to her feeling like she's fake and not genuine. As much as I tried to convince her out of that mindest, I actually feel the exact same way she's feeling many times.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Off on Jewish holidays!

I go to a school where we get Jewish holidays off. I also have to really hope that Eid falls on a weekend so that I can actually go to Eid prayer without worrying about taking a makeup exam for the one I missed. While EVERYONE and their mama gets to go home for Christmas, I have to limit how much time I spend talking on the phone with distant family and friends wishing them a happy Eid. Don't even get me started about the month of Ramadan and school, that's like an entire blog all together. I would take it to capitol hill and make a case out of it, or maybe just the assistant dean's office, but I don't have energy to battle like I used to. I'll leave the activism for the next generation.

Nevertheless, I'm quite grateful to have today off to do some catching up. Happy Yom Kippur for those that celebrate!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Are guys scared of girls in hijab?

The other night I was chilling with a friend at an arabic cafe when we bumped into one of the arab med students on campus. He invited himself to join us when right behind him walks in this White girl sporting some booty shorts. She walks up to a shelf displaying shisha accessories for sale and within about 10 seconds of her arrival the owner of the place and another employee happily rushed to her service....and I mean rushed!

"Did you guys just see that?" he said..."um yea!" we both replied. "I didn't get service like that...I actually had to go find him. Man that is discrimination against guys!" and he went on complaining about how unfair it is that it's socially acceptable for men to get discriminated against in society.

I had to chime in and let him know that it's not exactly a guy/girl thing; as a girl who proudly wears hijab I don't get such preferential treatment either. I pointed out that when I go to such places my nonhijabi friends usually get special attention in a way that I don't. I understand that one of the purposes of hijab is to give off a certain image and ward off a certain type of attention....but sometimes the differential treatment crosses into the unfair zone.

As an example I pointed out that I used to frequent this place last year with a Persian, nonhijabi and somewhat of a risque-dresser, friend. Sometimes she would get there before me and thus would be by herself until I showed up. On those instances it wasn't uncommon that by the time I came she would have been served with some complimentary drink, desert, and once even a free hookah. I would either end up mooching on whatever free stuff she got or I would end up ordering something I wanted and paying for it! Not that I would want any greasy server checking me out out of the corner of his eye and winking at me, but it wasn't cool that we both came together, we're both girls, and I would pay but she wouldn't. If I got there first and was waiting for her all alone I didn't get anything more than a cordial greeting.

My nonhijabi friend completely agreed with me and says she notices stuff like that all the time when she goes out with a group of girls mixed with hijabis and nonhijabis alike. Although they all came together and are sitting together, and are socializing in the same manner they're still looked at differently and get different attention. Of course there's a certain type of attention we're thankful to not have, but when our waiter is attentive to every word the girl next to me is saying but completely ignores me like I'm not even there......that's just rude! The irony is this differential treatment is much more obvious in arab settings and it's something that Arab guys practice more than Americans....that's my personal experience!

My nonhijabi friend's theory is that she thinks it's because a lot of guys are just intimidated and maybe even scared by girls that wear hijab. For some guys they look at a girl in hijab and see little else. We might as well be a walking hijab and thus they put up an instant barrier. I'd hate to think that anyone was so judgemental of me, but it doesn't mean there's no truth in it.

Our med student friend was listening like this was the first time he was hearing such observations and then added that it's totally not like that across the board. For him he was always more attracted to girls that wear hijab as opposed to those that don't (awwww how cute)...maybe it's just the way he was raised he concluded.

So what are YOUR thoughts about this trend? I definitely don't want this to turn into a discussion regarding the purpose and/or validity of hijab, that's not the point here. I'm talking specifically about our observation that nonhijabi girls get excluded from preferential treatment that their friends get in social settings-and it's usually by our own kind.

Coincidentally, I didn't end up paying for my coffee or hookah that night :)

Monday, September 21, 2009

Eid: A Photo Post!

Can you believe I made it to salat al Eid EARLY? I love to hear the takbeer on Eid morning!

Downtown for some crepes!


Super fresh!

Ed Hardy can do more than just tatto-inspired Tshirts



Who says we're too old for Eid presents?


We happily discovered we had Muslim neighbors who bake things on Eid!


The Saints totally whooped the Eagles. Ya3ni what more can I ask for today?


At some point I had to face reality and remember that I have two semi-killer exams the next day. Needless to say there wasn't very much sleeping that night.



Kul Sana winto salmeen!







Sunday, September 20, 2009

Eid mubarak!
I'm so happy today and I'm filled with so much love and gratitude on our holy holiday. I truly hope that everyone else is having a happy eid.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Your blogging/blog reading hiatus

So what makes you go into a blogging hiatus? Is it because you just don't have anything to talk about or did you come to a point where blogging is no longer enjoyable? Maybe for some the blog scene became a place filled with question marks they'd rather not be associated with. I went through a phase like that.

I've kind of sort of been neglecting my blog. For me it's not that I don't have anything to share-it's quite the opposite. I don't mean to sound so cliche and typical but I'm incredibly busy. I haven't watched TV in like a month. I haven't even watched the Saints play their first game and that's the truth! Free time is limited so I prioritize doing things with friends when I have it. Speaking of which I feel like my social life is withering away as a result of the new move and being in a different class this year. It really sucks and even makes me feel sad sometimes but that's a different post all together.

I've definitely been on hiatus from blog reading. I did some catching up this morning but I just feel too guilty spending time reading blogs. In fact I'm feeling guilty right now that I'm not studying at this moment and haven't even started studying today! My friend whose in all my same classes left a dinner early last night to go back to the library and study till closing time. What did I do? I chilled for another hour catching up with old faces talking about nothing, went to starbucks, went to the masjid, hung out after, then I slept in and was very close to being late for clinic this morning, and now I'm behind on life!

So yea I don't read blogs anymore. After this round of exams is over I might go back to routinely checking the reader for those high quality blog posts.

So that's my blogging hiatus explained blog post.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The view from my window

It was a rain day!


I moved into my apartment/condo early last week and I finally have a sense of housing security. It wasn't yet ready but as soon as we got the keys me and my friend masriyya (now my roomie) moved in. Work was still being done on the place but we didn't care. We couldn't spend another day being homeless especially during Ramadan and so close to exam time. So we moved in initially with nothing but her old mattress and our bags of junk.

Free valet service, 24 hour concierge, balcony with a view, our own bathrooms, walking distance to restaurants and shops, biking distance to the beach, and did I mention we have FREE VALET SERVICE.....I'm totally loving it!

The biggest downside is that we've moved farther away from our favorite masjid to go to in Ramadan. We've also moved away from the usual hangout spots to the point where I've been feeling a little out of the loop with my friends since the move.

We're so excited to start having people over and we're even making plans to host this year's Eid dinner. Hopefully we'll have some living room furniture by then.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Ya3ni If only

If only it was possible to be totally anonymous

If only people weren't so curious about your true identity behind that blogger alias

If only I could be assured that noone I personally know will ever stumble upon my blog and think it's me.

I would have like such a kickass blog right now.

It would be like the arab-american muslim version of sex and the city.

If only I can freely talk about my experience, the experiences we all relate to growing up Muslimah and american, the thoughts we'd never want our babas to know about...the contradicting conclusions about our existence we've come up with....all those time you've had to ask Allah (swt) desperately for forgiveness or pray for some serious strength. I'd blog about all of that and it would be a pretty kickass blog.

Our experience is unique and our story needs to be heard. Unfortunately I'm not going to be the one to tell it.

Ya3ni...if only there actually was such thing as freedom of speech.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Reflections on first day of Ramadan

I was nervous about this Ramadan starting. I want to take advantage of the added blessings of this month, participate in the nightly prayers, and read qur'an daily. At the same time, school is very demanding. I'm in class all day on most days and then I'm expected to come home and memorize a large volume of material. There's a couple of classes that I worry regularly about passing.

Although it's possible, I find it really hard to be productive when I'm fasting. It doesn't help that I've been addicted to coffee since the age of 15, nor does it help that the vast majority of muslims on my campus feel that being students of the health professions exempts them from fasting. So I'm artfully trying to rearrange my schedule to maximize efficiency. I know what my limits are so before Ramadan I focused on my two hardest classes and tried to get ahead as I can. I figured I can do the lighter studying while I'm fasting. The result of that is that I got a little behind in all of the other classes.

So on the night before Ramadan I stayed up as late as I could to "study", I ended up spending half that time or more on facebook. I slept in late and dragged myself to the library in the afternoon where I shared a study room with Persian Princess and another friend. They had gotten there a few hours ahead of me and I just kept complaining to them about how I can't study. I barely studied 6 pages of immunology and left the library early...still complaining. I was invited for iftaar and afterwards we went all went and prayed. I bumped into one of the dental students and we got carried away in conversation and eventually told to "be quiet or get out". I was happy that I got to pray at the masjid but I knew it's something I'm not going to be able to do regularly.

I came back to the hotel around midnight and Persian princess was sleeping. I stayed up again to "study" and slept in. I went to the library late into the afternoon and only checked one thing off my study list before I was falling asleep on the table. So I said "goodbye I need a nap" and all 3 friends I was studying with expressed that they're worried about me. They said I'm not studying enough and I'm going to fall behind and have panic attacks like I did last year. That made me get just a tad bit defensive as I reminded them how I'm ahead of all of them in optics.

Yea, I'm worried about me too and decided that tonight I'm skipping the masjid and praying on my own so that I can go to the library instead. I'm also considering skipping iftar with friends. Neither of those things are fard and I just simply must accept my circumstances and do what I have to do.

Ramadan Kareem to all!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Have you heard of Kombucha?




I first heard about this stuff in the Bethenny Frankel book when I read it months ago. She replaced coffee and other caffeinated unhealthy drinks with a daily serving of kombucha. It's pretty much fermented Chinese tea that contains billions of probiotic flora (lactobacillus bacterium and S.Boulardi) that's been flavored and bottled for us to enjoy. You can actually see the bacterial cultures floating around in the bottle!

Among it's claimed benefits is to support digestion, metabolism, immune system, appetite and weight control, liver function, body alkalinity (which I've been lectured about by my nutritionist), cell integrity, and healthy skin and hair. Mind you I don't believe in miracle drinks, hence the word "SUPPORT". I figured if Bethenny does it it's got to be good for something.

There's only 2 places in my whole home town that sells Kombucha and of them is Whole Foods! I've been drinking this stuff since I discovered it and I can definitely attest to the digestion and appetite control benefits. I also just really like it, I like the way it makes me feel especially when compared to the way drinking caffeine makes me feel. If you're trying to ween out of your excessive coffee fix or even those sugary drinks you're hooked on, I definitely recommend you try this it. My personal favorite is the Synergy brand guava goddess kombucha. I'll warn you though..it's acquired taste!

Monday, August 17, 2009

The crazy thing that happened yesterday

At the moment I'm homeless. I've been staying in a hotel with my friend Persian princess for the past week and although the situation has gotten to be stressful due to the fact that the space is small and we both have lots of stuff-it looks like we have no choice but to stay for another week. It's really more like a motel, but the sign does actually say "hotel". I'm leasing a really nice apartment in a downtown high-rise, and she's purchasing a cute little condo; however neither of our places are ready for move in, nor do we know exactly when they will be, nor did we foresee this coming when we signed our leases. We agreed that as soon as either one of us gets the key we'll both vacate the hotel and the other will stay with her until her place is also ready.

So early Sunday my alarm clock rings for fajr and I dutifully get up to make wudu'. I come out of the bathroom and realize I have no idea where my prayer clothes are. I looked and looked but I didn't want to turn the lights on or make too much noise and wake up Persian princess. After a few minutes I just thought "efffff this" and went back to bed........without praying.

When I got back up a few hours later I had plans to spend the first half of the day in the library. I was proud of myself as I exited the "hotel" room rolling my laptop briefcase and carrying my hot pink kate spade tote looking like the nerd that I can be, I noticed a few police cars in the parking lot and random broken glass everywhere with people standing around. I realized quickly that someone's (or more than one) car was broken into during the night. "Wow that sucks" I thought to myself. I walk to my car and put my briefcase and bag in the passenger seat oblivious to anything. I closed the door and turned around to walk to the other side and that's when I first noticed the pile of glass next to my car.

I looked up and gasped in horror as I saw where the glass came from.....my busted window! I waited my turn to file a police report which took some time considering I was one of 4 busted cars. I had boxes of stuff filling my back seats (I drive an SUV) so that's probably what inspired the break-in. Coincidentally my GPS wasn't in my car, it was in Persian princess' since we took her car out the night before. I had an expensive piece of jewelry in a bag in the back seat inside the actual jeweler's bag, but alhamdulilah they completely overlooked that. We couldn't tell that anything was missing right away, but a couple hours later the cops called and said they found my purse in the bushes. It was an empty purse with random junk in it; the purse itself is worth a lot more than its contents but obviously the thieves weren't women and didn't know that. At least I got my purse back.

The whole situation for me combined with everything else I'm going through was just too much for me at the moment...too much on my plate and that whole thing almost sent me on the edge. I had to step back and keep saying alhamduillah alhamdulilah alhamdulilah and remind myself that it could have been way worse and in reality it's not a big deal..nothing was taken from me (except a window really) and noone was hurt.

Thankfully I am surrounded by supportive people who wanted to do things to ease the stress on me. Persian Princess was just being extra nice to me and offering to do all these little things for me. Some fellow optos offered their place if I wanted to leave the hotel and rides if I wanted to drop my car off somewhere. One of the arab med students insisted I just give him the key and he'll take care of of getting the window replaced because if it was his sister he'd want someone to do the same. Now that is some Muslim brotherly chivarly that we don't see enough of nowadays. I'm not one to get guys to do favors for me, but you know what I think I'll let him do that. I'm just too stressed out right now and having someone else take care something on my list of things to do is going to beneficial to my mental health at the moment.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Letter to my family and friends


The first thing you must know is that I love you! I appreciate your presence and I'm thankful to have you in my life.

I'm not going to be answering my phone, returning phone calls in a timely fashion, chatting with you on facebook, or texting for fun like we like to do. I'm not coming home in the near future. I won't be home for Labor Day or Thanksgiving and I realize I'm going to be missing engagement parties and birthdays. I'm sorry that I haven't openly extended an invitation for you to come visit like I normally do. I hope that you didn't get annoyed at me when I expressed that I can't have visitors this semester.

Please don't be annoyed at me and please don't think that I don't appreciate you. Understand that this semester is not only difficult, but also a critical one for me. I'm not talented enough to maintain my long distance relationships, my school social life, and my 22 credit graduate hours. I realize that for some of us we have gotten close over the past few months and my new attitude would make me seem like a bad friend, sister, and daughter...and maybe I am those things, but I ask that you be the better friend and try to understand what I'm going through and keep in mind that it's temporary.

Of course though, I have not forgotten about our girls' ski trip!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Loneliness....


It's the feeling I'm overwhelmed with at the moment. I got here this morning, to college town. It was a 15 hour drive punctuated with a dinner date with an old friend and spending the night at Randy's grandparents home (she's visiting them) on the way.

Leaving home was really really hard for me. Harder than it ever was. Normally I'm optomistic and excited, but it wasn't like that this time. I was so sad and I still am. I've had a constant lump in my throat for like 4 days straight. Angela texted me on the way and I had to exercise restraint to not cry. I already miss everyone so much.

It might be different this time because I'm not here under the best circumstances which I don't feel like getting into right now. Maybe it's different because I'm tired physically from working and I didn't quit early enough to give myself a break before school starts. It could also be different because of things that happened in my life the past month or so that I haven't properly recovered from. However think the biggest reason why things were different because this time when I came to leave I felt like my family really needed me to be at home. My mom needs me to keep her sane and calm, my sister needs me to be her friend at this stage of life, my brother needs me to keep him in check, and my dad needs my constant reassurances.

Now I'm bymyself. I'm crashing at a friends place because my apartment is not yet ready, she's out clubbing with some other friends which is an extracurricular activity I haven't adopted (and never will). My ex-roomates who I was friends with no longer live here. 2 of my close friends from last year graduated. Another handful aren't in town yet. I have noone else to call that can be here for me right now. So I'm by myself and instead of picking out my outfit for tomorrow's orientation, organizing my papers, and making my list of things to do-I just want to bury my head into a pillow and cry. I can't help this sadness that's overcome me.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Thinking about getting the Blackberry Storm?



I just got the blackberry storm 2 days ago after my Samsung PDA Of 3 years decided it doesn't want to serve me anymore. Despite the not-so-hot reviews users gave it on amazon and other sites, I love mine!

I think that since I got used to using a touchscreen I didn't find this blackberry non-user-friendly which is what most people say about it, I definitely didn't want to go back to pressing buttons but if that's what you're used to than you might not like it. The free applications are useful, the screen is really clear, the keyboard buttons and icons are big enough for me, and I found that it's very easy and convenient to check and send emails. I've heard the iphone is a lot easier to navigate; I don't have too much experience with the iphone so I can't comment there. All I know is that I'm more than satisfied with my selection!


Ok I have to admit it wasn't complete smooth sailing, I've been unable to send text messages but that's actually more of a verizon network problem than it is a blackberry problem. Also general web browsing is slow and probably not too practical to use, but that's the case with the iphone as well. Hopefully I won't be getting too distracted in class!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Tearful endings and exciting beginnings


I'm leaving again.

This is my last week home after being here for about 5 months. I'm going back to school town this week and starting the semester on Monday. There are a lot of sad things about these days, but there's also a happy side.

Since I've been home I've reconnected with a lot of my childhood friends. I was working with my best friend Angela so I saw her on most days. We also work out together and she has served as my relationship counselor. Suzy's home was the location of many evening girl gatherings around the hookah, coffee, and maybe a rented DVD or a card game. Randy has been my partner in crime ever since she moved back home a couple months ago when she separated from jerkface (her husband). I've also made some new relationships like with my friend Sam who might just be the friendliest hot girl I'll ever meet. In addition, I've actually become friends with my sister; we've been hanging out a lot lately. So saying goodbye is going to be a really difficult thing to do....I mean REALLY difficult. I've already gotten a head start with the crying.

I'll also no longer be working plus I have greater expenses, which means I have to readjust some of my spending habits if I don't want to get myself in trouble. No more Sephora, massages, and facials. I'm also going to be saying goodbye to having responsibility-free evenings that I've been spending hanging out, liesure reading, or watching tv. Another aspect I'm not looking forward to is despite the fact that I've been doing pilates and cardio regularly-I've been eating a lot of bad food and I'm going to university city having gained about 10 lbs since I left it. I've considered going on a crash diet but that lasted about a day. It's ok though, I know it'll come right off once I get settled into my new disciplined and scheduled routine. I'm definitely going to go back to training or take up pilates if I can find a conveniently located studio.

I've also already had a rough start, my apartment isn't going to be ready until september so I'll be staying with friends until then which is not going to be the most convenient thing.

Despite all that, I have a lot of things to look forward to as well. I really love the city itself, it's a comfortable place to be living in. I'm excited about going back to school and having the opportunity to achieve. I actually can't wait to sit in front of a set of lectures in a library and study; I can't wait to do well and kick some test booty! Especially after spending these past few months working long hours and making a very modest hourly wage. Now I just want to be the best eye doc I could possibly be!

I'm excited about the people. I miss my school friends and we've already been making plans for when we all get back. Also, I'm excited about meeting people in the new classes..I know there are going to be some new muslim or arab faces a few I've already gotten acqainted with thanks to facebook. Socially speaking, I think it will be a fun year.

Another thing I have to look forward to is my new apartment! I'm going to be staying in a really nice downtown luxry condo. Thanks to the economic and housing crisis, me and my roomate were able to negotiate an awesome deal. The drawback is that it's kind of far from my campus, but it'll be worth it and it's a fair arrengement since it's the midpoint between me and my roommate's campus.

Plus, I made a deal with Randy that if I do well this semester we're going to go on a girls' vacation. We considered a European country, but less of our friends are going to be able to join us. So now we're leaning towards a ski trip. Vail, Colorado perhaps? Anyone been there before?

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Awwwwwww I'll miss you guys too


"Oh come on you had to suspect something.....

You didn't notice that I was gone for 2 hours when I said I was only going to the post office?

You didn't think it was weird that xxxxx was being so nice to you today?

Did you not see the food in the kitchen?

You didn't notice that xxxx used the back door today and she always uses the front?

It didn't make you suspicious when you came back and realized the front door was locked???


MAN you are OBLIVIOUS!"

Honestly I had no clue! Today the office threw me a surprise going away lunch party since tomorrow is my last day (I leave next week to go back to school). Maybe if it was my last day I would have been suspicious, but today they could have planned it in front of me and I still wouldn't have noticed. One of my superiors asked me if I could please walk to the restaurant next door to ask if we could borrow ice. Ice for what? she said she said she had some homemade iced tea for us but it's too warm and she would greatly appreciate it if I can go find some ice. Angela would do it she said but she just came back from running office errands and was too hot now. "Ok......... well let me just call them and make sure that's ok first" I answered. "No no no no" everyone protested, "it's not worth it by the time you get off the phone with them you could have been there and back".

OK SHEESH! Fine I'll go.

When I came back the front door was locked so I just got really annoyed because it was hot. Angela opened the door and was victim to my reprimand. "what's wrong with you? why would you lock the door like that?" I handed the jumbo cup of ice to my coworker and sat back down in front of my computer to finish the writing assignment I was working on. Then I got annoyed because she made a comment about it not being enough ice, but I just pretended like I couldn't hear her.

About 30 seconds after I sat down my supervisor told me she needed to speak to me in the empty front office which we use for meetings with clients. Now that I type this up I'm realizing how oblivious I really am, I still had no clue! Although everyone was standing instead of at their desks working I still didn't realize what was up until I walked in and saw the all the food on the table and a huge pink gift bag on the floor.

Wow I was so touched! They didn't do this when previously 2 employees were transferred to a different location so really I wouldn't have expected anything like this. They also got me a really practical gift I'll definitely be making use of: a lap desk + matching accessories. Oh and the cake...of course it came from Whole Foods!

Friday, July 24, 2009

on love and relationships from a wise best friend

This is why my best friend is my best friend. I can tell her (almost) anything without fear of being judged or partronized. Not only that, but she'll always find something positive to say about you. I was going through a little crisis, to sum it up basically I'm scared. I'm scared that I invest too much of myself and that I could be heartbroken. There is noone else I would rather talk to about it, so I sent her a facebook message when I knew she wasn't available to talk. She replied back with a really long message that had me in tears and feeling so much better. I'm posting parts of it here because I'm sure some of you gals out there might get something out of hearing this too.

Me:

Seriously I think I have a problem. I can't stop obsessing over this. As much as I kept telling myself that I'm not even going to think about it I always do!!!! I dreamt about it all last night. ...........I can't help it, thinking about these things and holding on to the hope that this might turn into something real is one of the few pleasures of my daily life. It's like sometimes life sucks without having this to think about so I become all obsessive. Then when it doesn't work out, I become so heartbroken because I pinned so much hopes, fantasies, and desires on to it so it has the potential to turn into a huge let down. What is wrong with me????????

Angela:

NOTHING IS WRONG WITH U HUN!! actually u had me literally laughing uncontrollably when i read the pilates daydream .....u know what the truth is that ur just genuinely honest about the things that are going thru ur mind, trust me, that happens to everry girl, and I completely understand what u mean when u say that hinking about one of these daydreams actually becoming reality is one of the few fun happy moments in the day, girl i hear u all the way! To be honest with u, i think part of it we can control and part of it we really cant control.

its exciting to think of life moving to that next phase that we are sooo ready for and to finally have that person who makes it his primary concern to ensure ur wellbeing and happiness, that feels damn good after 20 something years of worrying about yourself all the time and dealing with parents and families who only make it harder instead of easier...All i can say is that i realy think there is a part of it that u can control though, and thats to not invest those hopes and excitment into this particular guy b/c thats what will leave u depressed and upset if thigns dont work out. Its too easy for these damn asshole guys to dissapoint and let us down, and personally after investing my feelings into ......., ........., .......... and God knows who else along the way and letting myself experience heartbreak or betrayal or whatever other damn asshole things guys make u feel, I am so protective of my feelings like very consciousley b/c I know I cant handle the let down or dissapointment again and again, i mean luv and heartbreak can make ppl do crazy things, and esp seeing how crazy xxxxx and xxxxx got and how far they went acting out of stupidity i really was scared about not letting myself get there.

Point being ur not at all crazy, look at what it does to everyone, so let urself enjoy ur daydreams, but realize ur daydreaming about a bigger picture, not this or any specific guy just yet, but it is about whoever is the right guy that Allah (swt) has written for u. so knowing that and believing that Allah (swt) will take care of u and that all the patience and all the pain that u have endured are all going to be worth so much more on the scale of ur good deeds inshallah than any worldy pleasure we will get from some dipshit man ;)

.....yea of course its dissapointing, but think of it as one more conquered obstacle on ur path to love. Honestly, I think all that u go thru in this time and all the things u r forced to learn about urself and all the time u can spend to realize thru seeing others and ur own experiences about what kinda relationship u want etc are so valuable and really do make the difference btween a regular marriage and a happy marriage...

ok i think im writing way too much here but my point is theres nothing wrong with u, but yea dont set urself up for dissapointment b/c of this one particular guy, ....neways hun ur one sexy girl and ur like the funnest person to be around, ur one of those ppl that its like the more and more time someone spends with u instead of getting annoyed by u or sick of u, it just makes them want to be around u even more, so i have no doubt that allah (swt) is just protecting u from the wrong ppl and will unite u inshallah with someone who values all that u r and treats u and gives u everything u deserve!
luv ya,
Angela

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Hammering nails with Coach shoes and pink lip gloss


So I never really talked about the outcome of the first volunteer project I organized as volunteer coordinator. We didn't have very much time to rally and organize; we literally had a few days notice but alhamdulilah it was a great success.

It was a rebuilding project that involved fixing up an elderly disabled man's residence so that it can actually be livable. The organizing took a lot of work especially because it was our first such event. There were a lot of materials and supplies that we didn't even have and there were a lot of logistics that needed to be worked out such as having the right professionals there at the right time. Guess who was responsible for the oversight of all of that? Yours truly. If it wasn't for the help that I had and people willing to take on the tasks I was delegating to them I don't know how this event could have happened. We probably would have had to postpone because it was just too much work for one person.

Not that I'm complaining, I'm happy to do it. This is the fun part of working. Alhamdulilah it was a great success. 14 volunteers ended up showing up at the meeting spot. Many of them were young, had little or no such experience, didn't know what sheet rock was, and some didn't know how to use a hammer. Some of them inspired the title of this post. However they came with a lot of energy and the willingness to work. We stayed for 6 hours and got a lot done. We definitely got down, dirty, and stinky. I was being a nazi about making sure everyone was taking the proper safety precautions and alhamdulilah there were no significant injuries. The volunters made some people very happy and I was sooooo proud of everyone.

When you do good for others you might be helping yourself more than anyone else. The feeling that you get as a result of being able to make such a positive difference in someone else's life(lives) is just priceless. It's also a very humbling experience, and who couldn't use a little bit of humbling every now and then. One thing that made me really happy at the end of the day is knowing that I had a part in making some of these youngsters, like my little brother, come to that realization and feel the value of such community service.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

A Bridal Shower Photo Post

It was a lot of fun. About 20 dressed up gals showed up. It didn't start too smoothly since this is like the first time everyone decides to come to my house on time and I definitely was not ready. I made my first guest act as the host until I finished getting primped. Then I spent like half an hour trying to figure out where I placed the game prizes. I was so frustrated with myself I almost started crying. However, it was a blast! The best part was seeing my friend so happy and grateful. If there were more hours in the day I'd take up party planning as a new hobby. I have a lot of fun attempting to get creative.
It was heartwarming that some people couldn't make it but still wanted to contribute in some way. My best friend Angela who couldn't be there made these candy-stuffed bridal gown favors. She came over early in the morning with the supplies. Another person sent over some trays of food. Oh and the girls got pretty creative with the food. Suzy made this french toast casserole that was to die for.

I was so excited that we came up with an idea to finally make use of those disposable champagne glasses that involved PINK chocolate covered goodies. Me and my sister made these the night before. Not only does it look pretty, but it actually tasted really good.



If you need a great bridal shower (or other gathering) game idea, the purse scavenger hunt was actually really fun. My list included things like a 1979 penny, socks, a baby picture, and a Victoria's Secret Angel Card. The winner found 9 out of 15 items in her purse.


It was between a bridal sash, a tiara, or a veil. We went with the veil. She said she would keep it on her bedroom dresser forever.









Saturday, July 18, 2009

It Happened Twice!

I was about to create a photo post of yesterday's shower until I viewed the IP tracker and started freaking out. Yesterday someone from my hometown did a yahoo search on "the diary sequel" TWICE from the same IP address.

I have some theories because I haven't been too careful. Yesterday I had the blogger screen up for at least the beginning of the bridal shower and there were a couple of people who did have access to my room. Something like that could have caught some one's attention. The first search was at the time that the party was supposed to have ended however I don't know if anyone left early enough to have gotten home at that time. From what I can remember everyone stayed past the hour.

The other thing is I've been careless at work. Sometimes I even forget to click off the screen when I leave for errands or lunch.

Is it time to shut down yet again? I wish there was a way I can just block hometown visits at least and free myself from this anxiety and paranoia.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Can I just vent over here?

Seriously? Can I? Of course I can. It's why I keep this blog around.

First of all, I'm about to send a nasty email to all of tomorrow's invitees and I don't care that I'm being mean. Do not bring kids to my house, to my events, or to my planned social gatherings unless I told you you could. I'm not super heartless I do make realistic exceptions. However if I barely know you and I was nice enough to invite you because you're a friend of the bride, I better not hear that you plan on dragging along your 10 year old kid sister. Anyway, a bridal shower is definitely not the place for a 10 yr old. You'll just be ruining it for the rest of us as we have to censor our conversations.

Second of all, I'm really upset that my best friend Angela who is also a very close friend of the bride is not allowed to come to the bridal shower, the henna, or the wedding. Why? Family rivalry! To make up for it she's been doing a lot of behind the scenes work to help out where she can. Out of guilt she's been secretly running errands for the bride and has been helping me with the shower planning. She did some shopping for me and will be coming by in the morning to drop off a deserts she made. It's just been a very sensitive, akward, and uncomfortable subject within our circle friends. A lot of the girls just don't understand and I don't blame them. I can't say I completely understand either...sometimes I have to restrain myself from the urge to grab her and say "what the hell is wrong with you? You grew up with this chick and she's one of your closest friends. Your mama needs to get over it!"

Third of all, when do I get to sleep? Not only am I tired, I'm also overwhelmed as hell. I work 9-7, I'm planning a bridal shower on my day off, and my first project that I've organized as volunteer coordinator for my agency is this weekend. I complain to everyone and then I feel bad that I'm complaining and probably overwhelming them. The bridal shower is in like 12 hours and when I click "publish" I'll just be starting to make the favors, set up the games, and decorate which I may or may not actually do. In between then I have my pilates class to go to and of course my own beautifying routine is going to take a couple hours.

Fourth of all and probably the biggest source of stress has been the volunteer project I'm organizing this weekend. It's a rebuilding project and I didn't have too much time and notice because it came out of an emergency situation. There are still so many loose ends that need to be tied and so many logistics to take care of. I've spent countless hours this week either writing emails or talking on the phone with regards to this project. Other than the actual rebuilding and gathering volunteers there's so many things you have to think about. I have to make sure the situation I'm putting young volunteers in is adequately safe and secure (it's in the ghetto), the appropriate professional(s) is on site, the necessary tools and materials are there, food, refreshments, publicity stuff, and even some legality issues (consent forms, disclaimers, etc). Every hour some new issue pops up in my face. I have people helping me that I can delegate tasks to but the ultimate responsibility falls on my shoulders.

I'm going to be really happy when this weekend is over.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

I Need Your Bridal Shower Ideas


Remember when I asked you for your lunch party recipes? well you guys really came through so now I'm asking for your bridal shower ideas.

Don't get too excited it's not mine! I'm hosting a bridal shower for one of my close friends whose getting married next week. Me and her go way back so I really wanted to do this for her. Her and her fiance's story is really cute in a Romeo and Juliet type of way. Anyway, that's not the point of this post, I need some bridal shower ideas!

The party will be Friday so I realize this is a last minute plea. The whole plan was pretty last minute and I've been very busy with a new project at work (I'm now the volunteer coordinator for our agency's branch-more to come later). I actually feel pretty guilty because I've definitely been skimping in comparison to my social gathering-throwing standards. I don't plan on making any food, I advertised it as a pot luck. Today I made my sister go to Party Time to try to see what bridal shower-themed things we can pick up on our very limited budget which I'm already over. We got minimal decorations-a sign to put out on the yard, a banner, a bridal veil that we'll make her wear.

The most creative thing I've come up with is I got this glass keepsake box personalized from Things Remembered and I asked all her friends to each write her a letter to put in the box that we'll present to her as our personal collective gift. That might make her shed a tear or 2, and I may shed my own tears as I write my letter to her.

Over the years she evolved into becoming pretty conservative so there won't be music and dancing at this party-I'll have to get creative. Thanks to google I found 2 group games that should be fun. One of them is a purse scavenger hunt and the other is called "the bride leaves the room" where we make her leave to ask questions about her appearance that day (what color is her necklace?). I even got some nice prizes for interest perking purposes. Then of course we eat, chit chat, and oooh and ahhh as she opens up borderline naughty gifts.

That's all I've got on the agenda! I really feel guilty and like I haven't done enough. The evite went out to 30something girls and I expect around 20 to show up. It's a daytime brunch thing with a summer dressy dresscode. I explicitly stated in the evite that jeans will not be allowed at this event. So now you have a feel for what kind of gathering it'll be and that's all I've got folks.

Do you have any low maintenance ideas on what I can do to add some creativity and uniqueness to my homegirl's once-in-a-lifetime bridal shower?

Saturday, July 11, 2009

A night of supporting local artists

I attended this local artsy fartsy festival by accident. I was dragged along by someone who had to be there on an assigment. I didn't even understand where we were going. After the day I had I would have preferred to go home where it wasn't over 100 degrees, shower, and sleep forever. However it required too much energy to say no and come up with excuses, so I went.

Check out someone's 3-D illustration of the eye of the hurricane.

Thank God I did cause I would have never have known my little town was capable of this. Now I feel guilty because I like to take advantage of all things cultural and festive when I visit other towns like a tourist but I'm not even aware of what's in my own backyard. I guess we all do that right?


Moods (it was actually given a witty title that I can't even recall)

It's funny how many times tourists and short-term visitors may have experienced more attractions in your hometown than you in your lifetime of living there. I have cousins in Jordan that have never seen Petra, I know some South Floridians that have never been to south beach, New York city residents that never saw a broadway play (and it's not cause they can't afford it), and quite a few New Orleanians that have never been to a real Mardi Gras parade (it's not all Bourbon street, ok!).


This Obama art is made completely out of currency. I can't even imagine the work that went into this.


What is it about being accessible that makes it is so uninteresting? Uninteresting isn't even the right word here because to begin with we don't even know what's up down town!

Some performances at this local event with artists of all genres that I've never even heard of were more entertaining than concerts I attended of famous artists.

These guys totally reminded me of the Blue Man Group show. They were really good too!

Even these belly dancers with non-Eastern roots trained at a local studio totally performed better than I expected them to. Those White girls can dance!