Monday, February 23, 2009

Happy Birthday To Me

I remember the day I turned 24 as if it was last week. I was laying low in Chicago and my biggest responsibility was getting in school applications. Today I turn 25 and life is more complicated, yet with greater pleasure.

I'm anticipating having a great one!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Visiting Tinkerbella....

I'm spending a few days with former blogger Tinkerbella. This reunion is the vacation we both really needed!

The greatest thing about coming into this blogging world is getting to know Bella. She's definitely one of the most unique and genuine people I've ever gotten to know over the past year.

Although we've met before with more time we spend around each other we discover how so alike we are. We have similar life philosophies, fathers, and I can sing like every single song on her mp3 player that span all genres (except the arabic). It's actually pretty freaky how in sync our minds are for 2 people that have always lived worlds apart.

Bella quoted yesterday that God created 40 molds of every person. Although we have our stark differences like my attachment to heels and her disdain for them, I read slow while she reads fast....I think I've found one of my molds out there.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

On too much internet socializing

Excerpt from the book I'm currently reading:

"....People whose primary source of social interaction is their computer-people who prefer to interact intimately with people in a virtual world instead of in the real world-almost always have a fear of intimacy. They feel safest socializing from a distance, watching others interact, or engaging in online relationships that never leave cyberspace, with their true identities always cloacked in anonymity."

During the times that I was really active blogger, I did feel like it was taking me away from the real world so I set some boundaries. As a result of my experience, I started wondering about those that have a well-established online social identity or those that invest a lot of time and energy into virtual social interaction. I don't care what anyone says-if you spend a lot of time online then you're spending less time in the real world and vice versa....and this isn't to say that those who have an online life don't have a real life or the other way around.

In reality, all of us as bloggers have both to varying degrees. But what is it that makes one prefer the virtual world over the real world? I mean literally spending more time socializing online than the real world. Is it indicative of a social akwardness? Could it be a matter of convenience? Or as my book states, it's "almost always" a fear of intimacy?

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day

My late Happy Valentine's to all. I hope you all had a good one. I had a great one :)

I had an interesting pleasant and kind of funny day. Maybe I'll blog about it tomorrow if I'm not too lazy.

By the way girls, NEVER play Monopoly with boys....especially if you're good at it!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Dealing with people coping with a death

Over the weekend a student of my campus was killed in a car accident. He was a first yr med student so I didn't know him personally, but some people I know were friends with him including one of my roomates. She knew him from undergrad and now in med school they study and sit with the same group.

I've known people that died tragically but with the exception of my great grandmother I was never close to anyone who had a tragic death so I really don't know exactly how it feels. I'm trying to understand and do my best to ease the situation with her as her roomate. She's the type of person that's usually in her own world and spends friday through monday at home as well as every other chance she gets. She's more closed off so it's not as easy to reach out to her. In fact, she usually eats in her room too and whenever she has guests over they all stay in her room.

Which is why I surprised when Monday night she came downstairs and plopped down on the sofa next to me and wanted to watch a movie. She expressed that she wanted to to get her mind off things. It also seemed that she just really didn't want to be alone. I let her talk about what's on her mind and tried to understand as best as I can how she felt at the moment. She said she's usually fine but will have sudden moments where it'll just "hit" her. In her moment of vulnerability my heart went out to her and I just really wanted to help make things easier for her.

We watched Mamma Mia and although I felt like going to my room to sleep I thought I'd sit with her until she was ready to go to bed. So we ended up watching hours of Jon and Kate Plus 8 reruns and some news. The next evening I got worried when it was nighttime and she hadn't come home yet. It's unlike her to be out late on a weekday but I wanted to give her her own space so I resisted texting her until really late.

Today her fiance who also knew the guy came by with a whole bunch of balloons and treats to put in her room. When she came home she was more talkative and expressive than the day before. I'm sure her fiance being here put her more at ease, but she was still grieving and remembering.

I'm sure she'll always remember her friend but I wonder how long it would be before things are back to "normal" in her world, before it "hits" her at random moments and she described....and I wonder when it's appropriate for me to stop being extra considerate and motherly without seeming insensitive.

Why did the chicken cross the road

A series of txt messages during a Tuesday night

Me: Why did the chicken cross the road

HotJordanianGuy: why

Me: Because the light turned green

HJG: good one glad I didn't stay up for it

Me: why did the pig cross the road

HJG: not sure

Me: because it was the chicken's day off

HJG: you're giving me an ulcer

Me: don't pretend like that wasn't the funniest thing you ever heard

..........awwww I gave him an ulcer, he totally likes me

Priceline's name your own price still the way to go!

Priceline was a household name in my house way before Yahootravel, Hotwire, Expedia, etc. I remember back in the day, like way back in the day before I was old enough to drive, I pricelined roundtrip tix to chicago for under $150. During my college days we used to priceline 4 star hotels in Manhattan for like $100.

Priceline though has seemed to disappear into oblivion especially with the rise of Hotwire where you don't have to put in a credit card number in order to be aware of the steeping deals with the caveat that all you know is dates, prices, and star ratings before purchasing. That was good enough for most people.

I haven't even thought to use priceline in more recent times but frustration with the exorbitant airfare rates had me looking everywhere. I've been trying to plan a trip to visit a good friend for some time now and we're both coming upon perfect openings in our schedules. I've been searching for the last few days and the best deal I found was $440 despite the fact that we're looking at off peak dates and weekdays. I browsed on every single discount airfare site as well as the airlines sites and it just didn't get better than $440. I can go to London and back with a hotel for that much (or at least used to), not from random-town, USA to other-random-town, USA.

If you're not familiar with how priceline works, it's a site that allows you to name your own price (before the taxes and fees) and put in your dates and cities. You must put in your billing information and if it accepts your price than you have automatically made that purchase. If it doesn't accept your price you're allowed to try again a limited number of times but each time you must raise your price by a certain increment and change another detail (like airport, or date). Ideally you would like your initial price to be accepted because you don't want to change any of your itinerary-so it's not wise to start too low.

So considering $440 was the best price I found for my trip, I chose to start with my asking price of $200 and was actually worried that it's going to be too low. To my surprise my very first bid was accepted! The total price came out to be $237 after the fees, that's about half the price of the best deal I found anywhere else. I oh so wish I could go back and try something like $160, nevertheless I'm super excited this trip is working out!!!!!

Monday, February 9, 2009

My first dinner party!

Today I threw my first dinner party since moving to this town and it was one of the funnest nights I've had here! I can't believe it took me this long to do it. In undergrad I always threw the Ramadan and Eid parties. At home I throw the summer and break parties. My enthusiasm for hosting people is definitely inherited from both of my parents.

Most of my guests were invited the day before and some that day, so yes this is bad planning on my part. I estimated that half of the people I invited would show up because that's how it usually works, but more than half made it. In total we were 14 people.

What's even worse planning is that I didn't wake up until 11 AM that day and I still had to do all the shopping. I had a list of recipes that I was planning on trying out including a feta cheese penne pasta casserole, seared scallops, baked nachos, shrimp salad, and pineapple chicken.

Two hours before the party I only had 1 dish done and I had yet to get ready myself. So I went into panic mode and called on 2 friends who I'd know would be there for me. An hour before the party they took over absolutely everything in the kitchen and let me go get ready. They had to do some scavenger hunting and recipe expirementing of their own. If it wasn't for their help the food would still not be ready as of this moment.

It started at 6 PM and people came and went at different times. The food for the most part turned out great and people brought all kinds of deserts. It was a great opportunity for people to meet each other and I was glad that all the different little groups cliqued which is something I was worried about.

We ate, smoked hookah, played taboo, played new card games that the guys taught us, watched the Grammy's, smoked more hookah, had desert, and we watched a pirated copy of Taken. We did a lot of laughing and there was lots of complimenting. Hot Jordanian Guy told me like 3 times how nice the gathering was and I know he liked the food cause I can't count how many times he got up to get more. The last of the bunch ended up leaving after 1 AM and I know they all have 8AM classes!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

The Best Movie Ever

He's Just Not That Into You!!!!

What? you haven't seen it? What are you waiting for?

Forgot slumdog, the reader, amores perros, the departed, even napoleon dynamite...this blew them all out of the water! Yes I do realize that Jennifer Aniston is in this movie but don't let that bias your judgement, trust me it's good.

I recommend reading the book first to get the full appreciation of the movie, I don't know if I would have liked it as much if I hadn't read the book. Anyway, they light-heartedly illustrated the universal dynamics between men and women and who we all hold on to that hope that we could just be the exception and not the rule when in an ambiguous state.

"Gigi just wants a man who says he'll call--and does--while Alex advises her to stop sitting by the phone. Beth wonders if she should call it off after years of committed singlehood with her boyfriend, Neil, but he doesn't think there's a single thing wrong with their unmarried life. Janine's not sure if she can trust her husband, Ben, who can't quite trust himself around Anna. Anna can't decide between the sexy married guy, or her straightforward, no-sparks standby, Conor, who can't get over the fact that he can't have her. And Mary, who's found an entire network of loving, supportive men, just needs to find one who's straight."

Unless you're one of those people that has only liked the guy/girl you ended up committing to and no ther person (so you're the exception), you'll relate to this movie. I for one saw myself in Gigi's position not too long ago.

Friday, February 6, 2009

"OH MY GOD I'm Gonna Throw Up!"

"No asoom you're not gonna throw up"
"Oh my god I'm gonna throw up"
"NO ASOOM you're not gonna throw up"
"Oh my god I'm gonna throw up"

I always wish I could video record or at least have a camera handy during training sessions with my workout group so that we can amuse ourselves after. Someone always trips, loses balance on the ball, slams the jump rope into a water fountain, runs down the stairs after the medicine ball before it knocks out an innocent bystander, or someone's pants rip after the 50th squat and it sounds like a fart.

Last week our trainer forced us to do some running sequences around the basketball court WHILE the team was practicing. "Uh Uh, No way. We know some of those guys." we insisted with our hands defiantly crossed against our chests....."trust me girls they're ugly AND dorky". She dragged us and 2 minutes later we were running around them.

I've been doing this for 6 months now but I have new group. Although we have a former althlete and a skinny girl, I'm the veteran so my trainer always challenges me more by having me do more reps or carry heavier weights. Today I swore up and down that I'm going to throw up after she had me do lunges on the 4th flight of stairs skipping steps and carrying an 8lb medicine ball over my head.

There was a growing chorus of people behind me telling me I wasn't and I turned around to see a couple of people from my program who were watching me. I barely even talk to these girls so I was amused that they even knew my name. The more I repeated the more people joined them yelling at me, including my trainer. I thought the whole thing was so funny that I had an audience so I forgot the pain and just kept dragging it on. "YES I am I'm throwing up RIGHT NOW"......"NO YOU'RE NOT"

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Squirming under my coffee table: WHAT A GAME!


Seriously I'll be honest for most of the game I was bored, but man that last few minutes was INTENSE!!!!

I wasn't looking forward to this game because Steelers VS. Cardinals just sounds boring. Last year's Patriots VS. Giants sounded way more exciting. Nevertheless, much to the dismay of fellow blogger and NFL fan inmotion, I was rooting for the Arizona Cardinals because they've never been to the Super Bowl and I'm all about the underdogs. Also, I have lots of folks in AZ so I thought I'd show them love. Don't worry I'm still a Saints fan so don't hate me.

Both teams played awesome. The Steelers made the longest run in Super Bowl history and the Cardinals made the biggest jump in Super Bowl history. I don't know howthe other NFL junkie-Maher was feeling those last 2 minutes but I was squirming with my head under the coffee table because I just couldn't take the suspense.

Congratulations Steelers!