Friday, December 03, 2010

Cookie Monster

Last week I had an itch to make cookie monster cupcakes. I had seen them online a long time ago and had vowed that I would one day make them because of their innate and true awesomeness.

I started with a cake mix (and I feel truly hypocritical for doing so considering I am severely opposed to the idea of mixes in general). Making stuff from scratch is definitely the way to go, but I was feeling super lazy and well, cake mix was on sale. The product of the cake mix was in most ways agreeable:


My chocolate cupcake concoction.

Following this, I attempted to make regular white icing blue, by adding blue food colouring. To reach my desired colour, I ended up using most of the bottle of food colouring - and in the process I got A LOT of things very blue, including my hands, tongue (from continuously licking my fingers) and even feet. Not really sure how my feet got blue...I'll leave that to your imagination.

Trying to get a my desired colour.
I didn't take a picture of the next step for some reason (which was to stick an actual cookie into a slit I made in each of the cupcakes). This is my next photo:

Creepiness
What you see here is an extremely creepy version of what the cupcake is supposed to look like. I put the cookie in its mouth (a little too deep) and used mints for the eyes because I didn't have time to buy what I was actually supposed to use (white chocolate wafers).

But hold on folks, it gets even creepier:

This cookie monster will come get you while you are sleeping in your bed.
This was my sad attempt at adding eyeballs with melted chocolate. As you can see, my first cookie monster cupcake looks deranged and somewhat rabid.

However, I did get the hang of it soon enough and these were some of my final product:

This picture makes me laugh every time I look at it
They still look deranged, but in a more organized and less uncomfortable way. Anyway the moral of this story is that it was fun. You should try it. And I firmly believe that being creative with the things you can later eat is the BEST kind of creativity that exists.

I did feel sad making these because my nephew Adam would've loved them to death. He used to come barging into my room saying "cookie monster, cookie monster" so I could show him some YouTube clips of cookie monster while he sat on my lap. But alas his family moved. I DEDICATE THESE CUPCAKES TO YOU ADAM. (you might appreciate this when you learn how to read)

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Long December

When I found out it was December (yes, I am behind the times) I was gobsmacked. Wasn't it just January 1st 3 minutes ago?

December 2010 will be a remembered month.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Sleeping with Unbrushed Teeth

Now usually, I find this to be disgusting. I can't possibly sleep comfortably while knowing my teeth have gunk from the day left in them. But what happens when you brush your teeth (planning to go to sleep) and then you suddenly crave a tasty morsel of food. Or you remember you wanted to eat something before and it had slipped your mind. Or your sister comes into your room and says "do you want to eat with me?"

In cases such as these, the pleasure of eating supersedes the benefits of going to sleep with brushed teeth. Because honestly speaking, after I eat...I'm not brushing my teeth again.

There is no point to this post. Well, other than the point made about eating pleasures superseding other pleasures.

Good day.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Sometimes I wonder if all the white people in the world got together for a secret meeting and all decided they would call me ASTHMA.

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Invitation

by Oriah Mountain Dreamer

It doesn't interest me what you do for a living
I want to know what you ache for
and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart's longing.

It doesn't interest me how old you are
I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool
for love
for your dreams
for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn't interest me what planets are squaring your moon...
I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow
if you have been opened by life's betrayals
or have become shrivelled and closed
from fear of further pain.

I want to know if you can sit with pain
mine or your own
without moving to hide it
or fade it
or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy
mine or your own
if you can dance with wildness
and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your
fingers and toes
without cautioning us to
be careful
be realistic
to remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn't interest me if the story you are telling me
is true.
I want to know if you can
disappoint another
to be true to yourself.

If you can bear the accusation of betrayal
and not betray your own soul.
If you can be faithless
and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see Beauty
even when it is not pretty
every day.
And if you can source your own life
from its presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure
yours and mine
and still stand on the edge of the lake
and shout to the silver of the full moon,
"Yes."

It doesn't interest me
to know where you live or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up
after a night of grief and despair
weary and bruised to the bone
and do what needs to be done
to feed the children.

It doesn't interest me who you know
or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand
in the center of the fire
with me
and not shrink back.

It doesn't interest me where or what or with whom
you have studied.
I want to know what sustains you
from the inside
when all else falls away.

I want to know if you can be alone
with yourself
and if you truly like the company you keep
in the empty moments.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Have you ever been so tired

that your eyeballs feel like they're going to plop out of their sockets?

That's me now.

More on that later.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Part Three: 30 day photo challenge

I'm already getting annoyed with this 30 day challenge thing. They should make one of these for people with attention deficit issues...something like "the 2 day challenge." So, I'm going to knock out the entire rest of the challenge right now to get the damn thing over with, so I can go back to sucking on a Halloween discount lollipop in peace.

LET'S DO THIS.

A picture of your most treasured item.

This is a (somewhat veiled) picture of the ring my lovely fiance gave me just a few weeks ago. It's not so much the ring that's treasured, it's the honesty, trust, and acceptance that is symbolizes. Gets me every time. Alhamdulillah.

It's veiled because only special people get to see it. Sorry freaks.



 A picture that makes you laugh.
So you may not be able to see this clearly before you click on it - but this is a photo of my little sister's various stuffed animals that she put on my bed while I was out one day, with a note that says "We Asmaa lolz."

A little chucky-esque, but still makes me laugh.

A picture of the person who has gotten you through the most.
Al-Jabbar - The Repairer of hearts. When I think about all the low places I've been throughout my life, I am so thankful that I had Allah (swt) to guide me through those difficult pieces. It takes humility to recognize that we are far from self-sufficient, and that the only one we can truly rely on to get us through, is Him. Everyone else in life will disappoint you. He won't.

A picture of the person you do the stupidest things with.

This is the lovely nephew, Adam. I must say, the kind of weird baby-talk that I start spewing when he's around boggles my logical mind.

Anyway, he has taken me through some insanely stupid but hilarious experiences. In this photo, he had discovered my chapstick, and proceeded to spread it all over his lips and face, then had the guiltiest grin when I finally found him and snapped this insane picture. Oh Adam.

A picture of something you love.

I'm now thinking this should have been runner-up to "most valued item" but I don't actually have this item, and it's not permanent because it would basically be inhaled once it was in my line of vision.

But, yes, chocolate. Specifically things of a chocolatey nature that are FLUFFY (cakes, cupcakes, etc.). But I also enjoy chocolate bars and such. Chocolate stands by me through thick and thin (err...mostly thick though). Speaking of which, I have a drawer full of Halloween sale chocs that I'm about to raid at the moment because I need to get through the rest of this list without stabbing myself in the eye with a fork.


A picture of your favorite band or artist.
Don't hate me for posting this picture of my favourite "band" - I'm in a really corny mood. Especially considering I'm pretty much writing this in the middle of the night. But yeah, I like rubber bands because you can shoot them at people (as shown in picture) and cause pain. This is not my hand - I just had to clarify that due to its disgusting hairiness.

Also. I used to collect rubber bands when I was in high school. And then one day I was cleaning my room and decided to throw them all away because I realized I was being a pack rat and people who collect things are usually a bit insane...and I could buy rubber bands at the dollar store. The end. Time to disband everyone! Get it...disband...okay it's only funny if you're up much too late and eating sugary substances simultaneously.


A picture of someone you could never imagine your life without.
This guy that I just drew in paint. I just think the drawing is pretty cool, and his pink striped shirt is very masculine.

Also, paint is the best computer program ever created.







A picture of something you want to do before you die.
I want to be in this place and walk on the ground that holds so much significant memories. It's interesting when I think about the "history" of Islam...because when I'm remembering all the stories of how Islam first began...they almost seem like personal memories, not just something you read in a book.

I want to go for hajj & see where my ancestors first worshipped God alone. I always imagine that regardless of how crowded it is...I'll feel like I'm the only one there. I wonder if that's true or not.

A picture of someone who inspires you.
"America needs to understand Islam, because this is the one religion that erases from its society the race problem. Throughout my travels in the Muslim world, I have met, talked to, and even eaten with people who in America would have been considered white, but the white attitude was removed from their minds by the religion of Islam. I have never before seen sincere and true brotherhood practiced by all together, irrespective of their color."

Malcolm X because he had the guts to do and say what no one else would.

I remember I did a project on Malcolm X in high school, and at one point, a girl turned to me and said "who's Malcolm X?" I was gobsmacked (as Brits like to say); floored. I wondered how anyone in their right mind didn't know about this incredibly influential historical figure.

And then it dawned on me that most people don't care. That was a sad day in my life.



A picture of something that has made a huge impact on your life recently.
I haven't been going to the gym as much lately (I need someone to motivate me!), but I joined a few months ago and it has definitely had an impact on the way I see my own health.

I still feast on chocolate things, that hasn't changed. But going to the gym made me think about my health in general - physical and emotional health. And I think it was really important for me to start looking at myself in 3D - i.e. taking all aspects of my wellness into consideration. Now, I don't think that life can truly be balanced if you're missing out on having a truly healthy body (which, to me, necessitates a healthy heart and mind as well). Not saying that I've achieved health in any of these dimensions, but I have recognized their importance.
 
A picture of your biggest insecurity.
If I'm insecure about something - nay, if it's my BIGGEST insecurity, what would poses me to post a picture of it on my blog? Whoever made this challenge needs to punch him/herself in the face.



A picture of somewhere you'd love to travel.
I was going to put a picture of decomposed bodies from Pompeii and say that I wanted to visit it - I'm not sure how popular Pompeii is with tourists, but I think it would be a weird and chilling place to visit.

But, I would also like to climb Mount Sinai in Egypt. It's been something I wanted to do for years, but never got the opportunity to. Something about the nighttime hike, the sunrise...but mostly, the history.

I would also like to travel to Turkey (I hear they have nice hijabs), and Dubai (because I want to see what all the "decadence" hullabaloo is about).

A picture of you when you were little.
 

Ask and you shall receive.







A picture of something you wish you could forget.
My thoughts keep going to "your mom" but I will refrain from such debased humour. Also, I won't be posting a picture, because the stuff I'm trying to forget...I actually want to forget. And posting a picture would just remind me of it. I will tell you though - a youtube video of someone diving off a cliff into water, but he ended up hitting his head instead. Also, a video of an elephant killing a man. Also, a video of a woman who had her face ripped off by a chimpanzee. I definitely want to erase these from my memory. I think it's best if you don't ask why I've seen all these videos.

A picture of something you wish you were better at.


Painting.











A picture of your favorite book.
Basically anything that has "for dummies" at the end of its title. Not because I have actually read any of these books. Rather, because they make me laugh, and I hope whoever it was that patented this idea is sitting on a beach somewhere with multiple servants...because this idea is brilliant and deserves reward.








A picture of something you wish you could change.

I'm trying to figure out how to take a picture of this 30 day challenge. I hate it and I don't think anyone else should do it, because it's terrible. I could also put a picture of my latest bank statement, but that would make me cry, so I shall refrain.



A picture of your day.
This is me at the beach. I think the beach is the best. Thanks to McMir for taking me there for my first time. It always makes me happy to look at large bodies of water.

And the wind blowing through my hijab.

But not in the summer when there are dumb high schoolers being all ditsy and ruining the large body of water.

A picture of something that means a lot to you.
I was going to take a picture of my degree for this and then I thought to myself "what the hell am I doing?" and decided to stop taking drugs.


Instead, I present you with a bearded cookie made by my older sister because she is both insane and a genius all at once. Although I'm pretty sure this was my idea at some point in my life, which she conveniently stole and put to use for my engagement shindig.

Or it could just be that hilariousness runs in our genes. Yeah, I'll go with that for now. I think it should be self-explanatory why this picture means a lot to me.



A picture of yourself and a family member.
Speak of the devil.

Me and my older sister...everyone things we are twins even though she's more than 5 years older than me. She always takes it as a compliment when people can't tell that she's older than me.


Similarly, she always buys the same clothes as me. We just bought the same cardigan today. It is green. Maybe that's why people think we're twins. Oh well.



 A picture of something you're afraid of.
The first thing that came to mind when I saw this challenge was "your mom" but I decided it would be a little inappropriate to say that (too late, right).

I was then going to post a picture of a cockroach (the google image search was absolutely revolting and I felt gags and shivers all over) - but then  I found something even worse. Which is a picture of a guy eating a cockroach. And I'm afraid of this because well, damn, if you can eat a cockroach, you can do mostly anything else in the world that is disgusting. And that concept just scares me.



A picture that can always make you smile.
This is a supremely more interesting rendition of "pin the tail on the donkey." Copyright to my younger sister for making it up and drawing it. The game was very fun.



















A picture of someone you miss. 

All the babies who are related to me...none of which I have around me right now, which is very sad and disheartening considering that babies are basically the best remedy for almost any kind of ailment.

And cute babies run in our family.

And most importantly, I have no one to say "hi baby!" to.


And now the challenge is over and I can move on with my life. GOOD DAY.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Kauthar Paints

I

Kauthar rinsed her paint brushes meticulously, looking for any pockets of acrylic paint that could’ve gotten stuck between the bristles the last time she painted. She stacked her supplies in a black reusable bag and slid her starch-white canvas under her arm and headed out to scavenge a good place to be creative – she needed bright colours in her landscape, but not too many intricate details – you see, she was still a general blob-painter.

She set up her material with the lake in the background and peered over her spectacles at the island she could see in the far distance. Kauthar wanted to abandon her things and jump into the lake, and float. Just float on her back, look up at the clouded sky and see where she would end up. But, she supposed painting was more sophisticated, more appropriate for a woman of her persuasion; that is, a woman not wishing to deal with the impracticality of wet clothes after a romantic-sounding dip in the lake.

Her hands trembled as they reached for the brush. All she needed was a bit of white and blue to get started on the sky, and she was transported to another place – a place where all she had to do every day was wake up, soak in the sun, and bask in the glory of creation. The brush strokes were firm, sure, bold. She knew her final product would never be a masterpiece...it wouldn’t be quite fit to be hung in any gallery or even respectable living room. But it was okay because it made her feel alive to feel the marriage of colours, to smell the sweetness in the wind and slight toxicity of the paint invading her lungs; to taste the thirst of getting lost in one brief moment of time, and forgetting to take a sip of water.

That’s how she wanted to live; grasping a freedom that cannot be attained through relationships with other people, only through a myriad of crushed dreams coming back to life through the colours of the five senses.

II

Kauthar carefully stepped into her fourth bridal gown of the day. She marvelled at how heavy these beaded beasts really were, and quietly wondered if it was true that wearing white at the wedding was a tradition that happened by accident – something about how women would wear the fanciest dresses they had, which were coincidentally white simply because cotton was the best fabric out there. So white had nothing to do with purity, just convenience?

That wouldn’t have surprised Kauthar in the least – the supposed man-hating, socialist-leaning creature that she was. No surprise that corporate colonialist right-winged zealots had to market purity as being white. And yet at this moment in time, she was eyeing herself in the change room mirror, a snug ivory gown hugging her body and – good God, I need a tan. The irony was a little much as she stepped out from behind the curtain to hear the other girls “ooh” and “ahh” at the beauty of the regal but much too expensive glam of a gown. This one had a bit of a Marilyn Monroe halter-top edge. And as much as she disliked the idea of a wedding being a sort of sanctimonious announcement of wealth, Kauthar started to love the dresses.

There were strapless dresses, ones that were covered in lace from top to bottom, gowns with enormous trains and endlessly intricate beading. All for her. And perhaps that overly emotional woman crying at the register.

And this was her first time. Kauthar didn’t have many “first-times” in her life, considering she had grown comfortable in her way of life. She ate the same things, dressed the same way (actually, she couldn’t remember the last item of clothing she bought), and thought the same kinds of thoughts. She had even tried on diamond engagement rings before – making up an elaborate story about how her then-fake fiancĂ© was leaving the country this weekend, and she needed to try on diamond rings so she could let him know what kind to buy her.

Yes, this was a first-time. The material draped over her skin and fell to the ground, covering the tips of her toes. As she stood in front of the mirror admiring the elegant bunched up lace around her waist, she wistfully thought: I look like a painting.

III

Omar began to unwrap the DHL package he had just received a few moments ago. The wrapping fell to the ground as he noticed it came with no card, no explanation, no name. It was a large, vague painting of a body of water at sunset, and a deliberately precise streak of ivory paint across the canvas; an empty dress floating above the water.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Part II: 30 day photo challenge

Continuing the photo challenge...although I am technically 2 days late for this update. Oh well.


A picture of your night.

This is me getting into some odd mischief late at night. There definitely is something about the cover of night that makes you want to do stupid and fun and possibly fine-able things.

Like once on the occasion of my little sister's high school graduation, the two of us joined my brother on an all-night eating/movie spree. We went to an arcade, then watched a really late screening of the Karate Kid (Jackie Chan is amazing) and then hit several food joints - for shawarma, then a McFlurry, then we went to a couple different Tim Hortons because they kept not having the thing we really wanted - til we found (a deserted) one that was satisfactory. Amazingness.


A picture of your favourite memory.

I have a lot of amazing memories, but the one that trumps them all just happened last night. My sisters got together with some friends to plan a "surprise" party for me. Unfortunately, prior to the event, one of my friends accidentally spilled the beans and let it slip that this was happening. And my sisters felt very violent towards her because they were working so hard to keep it a secret. That was hilarious.

The party was a blast (the picture here is of a cupcake-cake which was amazing), and we played some interesting and embarrassing games. And throughout the process I realized I have the best sisters & friends I could've asked for, and that's what counts most. Plus there was good food, and that also counts. Ahem.


A picture of a person you'd love to trade places with for a day.

This question sobered me up a bit. When I think about whether I want to actually trade places with anyone in the world, the answer is no. Not because I have a perfect life - I don't. And not because I don't aspire or dream about having or being more - I do.

But I deeply value everything that I have and everything that I am, Alhamdulillah. So even if I could cop out and be someone else just for one day, I'd still want to be me. Thus, I refuse to post a picture.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

30 day photo challenge

Sara tagged me to do this 30 day photo challenge with her, which is basically...a 30 day photo challenge...okay my explanation capabilities have been massacred. Let's try this again: over the next month, I will be posting pictures of stuff related to me, in the hopes that my brain does not turn to gooey mush for not being occupied with something.

Let us begin.

Post a picture of yourself with 15 facts.

1. I prefer the boys with beards.

2. This morning I woke up feeling like someone had hit my throat with a hammer. (i.e. sore throat; no I do not live with abusive people).

3. I wish I was a painter who traveled around the world painting stuff in return for food and shelter.

4. I like the Twilight series, and I'm not ashamed.

5. I watch Grey's Anatomy, and I am ashamed.

6. I can eat a surprising amount of bubble gum in one sitting. Followed by a hot dog, a peanut butter sandwich and (to stay healthy) an orange.

7. I got my ears pierced when I was 17.

8. I love the day after Halloween for its cheap chocolate and candy, which I always buy in overabundance as if there will be a world-wide candy and chocolate shortage that I need to stock up for.

9. How is this list not over yet?

10. I am underqualified for jobs that I want, and overqualified for jobs that I'll put up with.

11. I don't like cheesecake.

12. I think the number "12" is kind of arrogant-looking. 11 is softer, while 13 has a bad-boy image going on.

13. I have just over two years to get my drivers' license before my G1 expires. Way to go, Asmaa.

14. I wear glasses and they are purple.

15. It greatly annoys me when people ask me to help them edit their school work just based on the goodness of my heart, coupled with my English skills. I have better things to do with my time than get you a B, when you really deserved a D. Let's not kid ourselves.

A picture of the person you've been closest to the longest.

This is my lovely friend who tagged me to do this post, Sara. And this is a hilarious picture, because it's from the 8th grade, and she's pretending that Science puts her to sleep.

What can I say, we were very sharp and witty at that age.

And although I doubt Sara will enjoy seeing this picture up here, I have faith that she will realize it's simply a way of getting back at her for the interesting photo she put up on her blog :D Also, there is more where this came from. I'm just saying.


A photo of the cast of your favourite TV show

Although I have seen my fair share of shows, I maintain that Arthur is the best show ever made. I'm pretty sure. I've been watching it since it first aired in 1996.

I know quality when I see it.

It is also interesting to note that Francine Frensky always reminded me of Sara (as pictured above). I continue to maintain this position.

Stay tuned for more nonsensical photos and commentary from yours truly.

A case of severe cabin fever...

The version you know:

One two
buckle my shoe
Three four
shut the door
Five six
pick up sticks
Seven eight
lay them straight
Nine ten
a big fat hen.

My version:

One two
go eat cat poo
Three four
you're a chore
Five six
kill some hicks
Seven eight
gain some weight
Nine ten
start again.

I'm going back to sleep.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

There's something about getting married that can't quite be put into words...

Being engaged is interesting.

I've kind of been wondering how to write about it on my blog, and even if I should. But then my good friend Sara wrote about it on her blog, and it just seemed perfect for me to direct my handful of readers there. She puts it into the right words for me here. =)

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Patience is Rewarded

I once heard Muhammad Alshareef saying something I think is quite poignant. And only in recent months have I realized just how true it is. He said (paraphrased) the precise moment you make the decision to be patient, the doors of this world open up to you, and Allah (swt) makes things easy for you.

I thought this statement was interesting at best. I specifically remember I was going through some tough times at the moment I heard this and I wondered how this could at all be true. I felt I had been patient with my situation for a long time, but nothing was changing for the better.

The problem is, we all think we're being patient just because we're putting up with difficult or annoying things in life. But that's not the definition of patience. Patience is more than just waiting the situation out, it's more than just resigning yourself to misery, it's more than just waiting for better things to happen to you.

Patience is actually about being proactive! It's not about resigning yourself to a situation - rather, it's about accepting your circumstances and taking the opportunity to make yourself stronger through them. We don't know how to be patient - too often do we confuse patience for "resignation" and thus when we are advised to be patient, we almost scoff at the notion, as if patience is for those who are weak. But that couldn't be farther from the truth. It's something you breathe in, something you have a conversation with, something alive and pumping through your veins. Even something you fight with sometimes.

The funny thing is, it takes massively incalculable strength to actually be patient.

I don't think I can honestly identify more than one time where I was genuinely patient. But the one time that I can, just the one time...subhanAllah! All it took was one brief moment of deciding with all my heart to just do ONE small, insignificant thing for the sake of Allah, and He opened up so many doors for me since that small decision was made, it's almost mind boggling.

So, I don't know what to tell you except that we all need to examine what our definition of patience is; I'm not sure if I elucidated it well in this post. Probably not. Nonetheless, it's worth ruminating over because we both know that one of the ultimate keys to success is patience.

So go forth and discuss it with your brain. And smile while you're at it.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Confess

The hardest person to confess your inadequacies and weaknesses to, is yourself.

Friday, October 01, 2010

boys still make me cry

My lovely amazing crazy awesome spunky cutie of a nephew has officially moved to the states. Sadly, we don't know how long they're staying there since it all depends on his dad's work.

Who knew the absence of a 2 year old would be one of the saddest things of life?

I go through my days looking at things around me and remembering what Adam would do or say if he was there. Like how he would always turn to me at the top of a flight of stairs and say "I need horsey" (i.e. a piggyback)...he never "wanted" anything, he always NEEDED it. Or how he would mispronounce certain words (e.g. he'd say "inshide" instead of "inside"). Or how he'd pick up anything and everything we said to each other, and one day he turned to me and said "what the hell" and we died laughing (even though, technically it was bad).

And he always wanted to watch youtube videos, and I would try saying no but he would say "pwease Asmaa" and have a look of pure innocence and pleading...and my heart would melt and he'd always get his way. Sigh.

And now he's gone and I'm sad.

Monday, September 27, 2010

oh man...all my favourite fall shows are back. This is bad.

And yet, so good.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Muhammad Jibreel

I wish it had an English translation so more people could fully enjoy it...but this just makes my heart happy.

Monday, September 20, 2010

New to Canada? Oh I'll show you what's new to Canada...

Today a woman tried to hand me a "New to Canada" flyer as I walked into a public library. I wanted to punch her in the face. But instead I said dryly: "I'm not new to Canada," and she tried to save her embarrassment by saying "oh okay, but maybe you know people who are." And I said "no, I don't" and walked away.

I wonder how long it will take for people to not assume every hijabi is a foreigner. To the naysayers who respond to things like this by saying "oh she's just trying to be helpful" or "she just made a mistake"...it was no mistake. To her (and to many others) hijab = foreigner.

It's an overarching mentality that is damaging and that needs to be addressed. The fact that we still have a stereotypical image of what a "Canadian" looks like vs. what an "immigrant" looks like is just mind-numbing. You'd think all this talk about diversity and such would lead people to realize they can't judge a book by its cover (or judge someone's citizenship status by her religious garb!).

Obviously this isn't the case for only hijabis - people of different races or cultural/religious backgrounds face similar assumptions being made about them as well.

Next time someone tried to hand me a flyer like that, I should have one called "Racist Stereotyping Problems? We can help!" (with a phone number that will lead them to a voicemail that says "if you have reached this line, you are guilty of being a racist bigot. Go eat some Kraft macaroni and cheese and wash it down with a lemon spritzer.")

Haha. Okay, only I would laugh. But that's what counts anyway.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Hints that the field of social work may not be right for you...

You're lying in bed and you hear your little sister calling you from her room across the hall in a panicky voice - to kill a spider, obviously. And your response to her is: "man up and grow some."

Maybe I could run for mayor though.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Manufacturing Unhappiness

Everything is amazing and no one is happy as coined by Louis C.K.

A capitalistic society automatically manufactures unhappiness. In order for people to be transformed into consumers, they need to genuinely believe that the things they have are not good enough. They need to, from the very depths of their souls, develop a lust for materialistic gains.

Needless to say, that is not in our fitrah or our innate character when we are brought into this world. Perhaps some competition and some of our desires are natural. But the way we have come to perceive our needs is wholly and undeniably unnatural. We are no longer able to differentiate between our wants and needs! I NEED a new phone, I NEED a car, I NEED this beauty product to be presentably pretty. Nothing is ever about wanting anymore.

From the day we're born, we are constantly inundated with advertisements that make us feel bad about ourselves. Every single form of media out there propagates insecurity until human beings are stuffed so full of hatred of themselves, that they would spend all their wages and more to buy things. And the sad thing is, those things will never fill that unhappy void.

Look in the mirror, talk to yourself. Chances are that you hate something about your body, especially if you're female. You want the "flawless" body of Megan Fox and a timelessly beautiful face like Scarlett Johansson (not that I particularly admire these women, but they are rated as being amongst the most beautiful women int he world).

Okay, so you want to be beautiful, stunning even. What else do you want need?

A nice car, or two or three.
A big house, professionally decorated of course.
Admiration of people.
A summer cottage.
A boat maybe?

Pretend for a moment that you have all of those things, and whatever else you "need." Then will you be happy?

If you answered "yes," you have a rude awakening coming your way. Because guess what? You have been taught to hate yourself so much, that once you receive that rock-hard body, you'll think you need breast implants. And once you have those, you'll think your breasts are too big.

And once you have your beautiful house, it will seem hollow and empty and not cozy - so you'll install a fireplace. But it won't really change the fact that you are hollow and empty inside. Once you have your immaculate car, a newer model will come out, and you will absolutely need it.

And you'll race yourself to obtain material goods until the day you die. And then no one will remember you.

All because you hate yourself to begin with. You feel so incomplete that every day is the same struggle to add things and people into your life so you can finally feel whole...does it work?

Our society manufactures unhappiness so that you will need to be a different person than you are - so that you will buy their products, enroll in their gyms, want every latest techy gadget out there, and the biggest and the bestest of everything.

I never knew I could just wake up one day and decide to be happy instead. I never knew. And it makes me so angry to know that I wasted parts of my life pretending to need things that, when obtained, only made me feel worse about myself, more lonely, and less beautiful.

Personally, I can't ever imagine being happy without the blessing of Islam and the spirituality that accompanies it. To know that God is Al-Jabbar: the Repairer, Restorer, The One who completes that which is incomplete. When I learned that Name of God, it floored me. Absolutely floored me and challenged everything I thought I knew about what it meant to be repaired and complete. I know now that solace will never be found in things.

So look in the mirror again - and make a list of the things that you love about yourself. The things that are unique and beautiful and that you wouldn't ever change. Count every one of your blessings. And as God says, you will never be able to enumerate them all.

You are the only one who can decide to be happy. And when you decide to love yourself, even with the ridiculous flaws you have, YOU will be capitalism's worst nightmare.

And that's awesome.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Eat Mubarak

The ending of Ramadan is both sad and happy - the community starts to disperse, the warm masjid humming of kids and women making du'aa is mostly gone, and that high sense of spirituality is evaporating. But it's Eid, which is meant to be a beautiful celebration - and there's hope, lots of hope that God is pleased with our efforts and devotion to Him in the past month.

Yes, the ending of Ramadan is always so bittersweet. To make up for it, eat cake.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

whack job dreams

A few days ago I had a dream that a gay Chinese man was waxing my eyebrows and trying to convince me to make them thinner than they are. I probably had beans for iftar that day.

First day of school

Yesterday was the first day everyone went back to school. I went to the beach.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

This is why I'm so nice during the day

I really enjoy art - painting, sketching, and just about anything that's creative. It gets my mind's wheels a-turnin' and my creative juices slopping around (that sounded nasty). And to top it off, it helps relieve stress and is quite the therapeutic hobby.

Take for example my most recent masterpiece: 


I call it "Night at Sea."

(Or the alternate title: "Death on Silent Seas whose Nightly Depths Decry the Secrets of Dark Souls.")

Like I said. Therapeutic.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Quality Control...

Don't you just love it when you invite people over for iftar, they bring some kind of cookies or pie or cake, and you do some "quality control" over in the kitchen before dessert time? Don't act like you don't do it - sneak a piece when everyone's busy outside.


This is my quality control of today. Soft chocolate cookies with lemon icing and sprinkles. Actually I just found out as I was posting this that I still had a sprinkle stuck to my face. It was that good :D

As I always say, fatty food is good for your soul.

Chameleon

When I try to define the "type" of person I am, I'm often left drawing a blank. Some people can easily identify with one personality type over another, or one emotional disposition. But when people ask me to define myself in those categories, I end up saying something stupid like "well I like to joke around a lot, but I'm also serious. I'm a big goofball, but people also look to me for advice. I'm very emotional, but only about specific things."

You see how that can start to sound a little but schizophrenic-like? This isn't only from my perspective though. For example, I've been called a sap, but also been called "stone cold." The best one by far though, was being called "emotionally unbalanced" :D

Perhaps that last statement is the most true out of them all - but I'd like to re-frame that and instead call myself a very talented chameleon. I change and adapt depending on the situation. No one quite knows what my original colour is - but is that really important?

Why do I have to be a certain personality "type" anyway? I'd like to just be all the things you weren't expecting.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

...and Muslim is the new Witch

A few days ago I was at an iftar at a friend's place. Apparently I was the oldest one there, as I so neatly found out while everyone was introducing themselves as 19 and 20 year olds. So my turn came around and I said "my name is Asmaa, I'm 24..." and a girl turns to me with a shocked look on her face and says "but you look so young!"

Well gee, I didn't realize 24 was the new 40.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Time for a Change

So as you can see, I revamped my blog layout because I hadn't really done so in the past five years. I think I like it.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

The Qur'an: cooking with omee, driving with abee

The other day I was with my sisters and we were preparing for an iftar because we were having guests over. We decided to play some Qur'an while we worked, and there were several different options for recitors we could choose. The three of us were arguing over who was the best recitor was...and every time my sister put a different recitor on, we would have an associated memory with his voice.

For example, Abu Bakr Al-Shatery reminded us of cooking with our mom in the kitchen, since that's what she plays when cutting onions and such. Muhammad Jibreel reminded us of riding in the car with our dad, because that's what he plays on long drives.

Then there are certain verses that remind us of our own histories. Like when I come across the ayat in Surat Yusuf where Yaqoub's eyes go white with sorrow and he says: "I only complain of my distraction and anguish to Allah, and I know from Allah that which ye know not...O my sons! go ye and inquire about Joseph and his brother, and never give up hope of Allah's Soothing Mercy: truly no one despairs of Allah's Soothing Mercy, except those who have no faith."

The ayat bring back emotions and memories from the past - a time when I found such great comfort in the verses. And every time I read or hear them, I'm filled with such gratitude that I have Allah (swt) to complain to of my own anguish.

Or one of my ultimate favourite surahs Ad-Duha when Allah (swt) says to His prophet: "Thy Guardian Lord has not forsaken you, nor is He displeased" it brings to mind the beautiful mercy and compassion that Allah had for our prophet, and the same mercy He has for all of us...subhanAllah.

It's kind of cool to have those homey memories associated with the recitation - the Qur'an holds greater significance even beyond it's literal meanings. It's so intertwined in our actions and memories that we can't separate it from our beings. It lives with us, even if we don't realize it. I guess the only thing remaining is for us to live with it, too.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

brownies and obedience

Today I made brownies. And honestly speaking, they were frikin amazing. I should add "mad baking skills" to my marriage resume (right beneath "weak ability to be obedient"). I think the former makes up for the latter.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

the universal gift

What makes a mug the one neutral gift that is acceptable to give in almost any situation? Come on, how many times have you received a mug as a gift? In both my social work placements, my supervisors gave me mugs at the end of my term with them. Case in point:


Currently found in the communal cupboard of the home kitchen.

I guess a mug transcends culture without the risk of offense or cultural inappropriateness. But to be honest, I would've appreciated a couple of unmarked bills in a sealed white envelope.

If anyone who ever plans to give me a gift is reading this post, you know what to do.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Marriage proposals that make you want to run away into the wilderness and live your life as a hermit and part-time beaver

A girl my age must be in want of a husband, right?

BUT it always strikes me as odd when people try to hook me up with the most random and clearly incompatible guys. Guys who are 8-10 years older than me, possibly divorced, sometimes with one or more children already, fobs (but not even Arab fobs which at least would be somewhat understandable! - sometimes Bengali, Indian fobs).

What on earth would make you think that a 24 year old Egyptian semi-professional (I say semi, because I am still unemployed) female would want to marry a 30-something Indian divorced male with a kid, who only came to Canada a few years ago?

People are absolutely WHACK. I don't know how else to say it.

So I say with utmost appreciation for your gallant efforts: stop trying to hook me up, because your attempts are just sad and scary.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Bin Laden Funnies

Osama Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda are generally not funny. But there are 2 things I came across recently related to them that just made me LOL (yes, they actually made me laugh out loud, not just fake 'lol').

1. This video:

.

2. Just the name of this Facebook group. If you're not on Facebook, the name of the group is: "The Awkwardness When Osama Bin Laden Asks You For The Time And It's 9:11." Whoever came up with that name is a genius.

No disrespect is meant to anyone with this, nor am I condoning any violent acts against people, but I'm sorry - these are just HILARIOUS :D

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Ramzan & eighteen

I remember holding my little sister in my arms when she was born...her jaundiced little body, and the sleepless nights my parents endured with her. She turns 18 on August 13 (which is in precisely 17 minutes). EIGHTEEN. She even has her own blog.

Therefore:

1. I feel old.
2. Years are going by a lot faster than I want them to.

p.s. Ramadan mubarak freaks, geeks, nerds, and babies.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

> a man

I'm a 24 year old female, and yet I always have to be the bigger person. I have to have strong leadership qualities. I often have to suck up my emotions and just MAN UP because the situation calls for it.

The sad thing is, I'm a better man than most men I know.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Kauthar and the Ridiculous Beard

At the behest of her worn out mother’s advocacy, Kauthar decided she would meet Omar. If anything, it was just another blind date of sorts to add to her arsenal of interestingly bad marriage experiences. The optimism was practically oozing out of her mother as they both made their way to the meeting spot at her uncle’s home.

The cab ride was much shorter than Kauthar had anticipated. She kept mulling over the ever-important questions and thoughts every girl asks herself before she meets a prospective. What should I ask him, I wonder if he’ll be taller than the last one, the dude had better have a nice beard if I’m going to waste my time meeting him, I should have worn black so as not to look so attractive, if he has bad breath I will pretend to be a niqabi.

Kauthar wished she had more time to mentally prepare.

They unloaded themselves from the taxi and walked through the narrow streets to her uncle’s home. Her skirt was too long, and swept up the dust and sand off the badly lit streets. Later she would find her ankles to be discoloured to match the dirt. Her uncle’s building had no elevator, so they lifted their skirts and made their way up the stairs while Kauthar wondered how disabled people could possible live in this part of the country. They stopped at the 2nd floor and signalled to each other to wait to catch their breath before ringing the doorbell.

They were let in with warm kisses and hugs, and intrigued looks indicating that everyone just automatically knew Kauthar was here to meet her supposed future husband. She felt an urge to excuse herself and vomit over the balcony rail. She refrained from doing so, however, and sat nicely with her stained ankles crossed, making small talk about the weather, how awful her last seamstress was, and whether or not she wanted a piece of cake baked in a gas oven. No thanks. Her left eye had an odd habit of twitching under a relatively minor amount of stress, and it was twitching away at the beat of the ticking clock that was to signal Omar’s potential arrival.

The doorbell rang and Omar was let in. He had a seat in an adjacent room with Kauthar’s uncle, and they chatted about the important things she would not have the patience to ask. Minutes later, at the time Kauthar’s eyelid was about to stroke out, her uncle called her into the room. Her uncle was a remarkable character – he was shorter than her (naturally) but was like someone who had swallowed a boom-box: loud, exciting, and always laughing. He had a sickening twinkle in his eye as he summoned Kauthar to make her entrance. She inwardly grimaced and said to herself: get it together, it’s just a random boy to add to the arsenal. Oh yeah, and bismillah.

She entered the room as graciously as she possible could – which was not very gracefully considering she was a bona fide klutz wearing a too-long skirt. She managed however, to walk those few feet and sit down on the sunken couch without major incident. Phew.

The boy, oh the boy was ridiculously bearded – so much so that it covered about 60% of his face she estimated. He was sitting directly across from her and seemed almost too shy to look up when she greeted him. He had the audacity to wear jeans and a vertically striped shirt that was open at the collar. This dude should’ve dressed up Kauthar thought, amused at his inability to look her square in the face. Sure, the beard covered 60% but there was definitely a pink flush to his cheeks. Suddenly Kauthar was very comfortable now that she knew she had the upper hand. She chuckled to herself and felt her eye stop twitching almost on demand.

Kauthar decided to attack Omar with her first question, feeding off of his discomfort: So Omar, why don’t you tell me a little bit about yourself.

They talked about nothing and everything, and Kauthar let herself notice that the boy had a deliciously sweet and easy smile. His eyes were searching, trying to make sense of what he was hearing and seeing. They focused under raised eyebrows when Kauthar asked puzzling questions, and became pleasingly narrow when he laughed at any one of her numerous ludicrous comments. His gestures mimicked hers – a subconscious indication of interest.

Out of the corner of her eye, Kauthar could see her uncle smiling mischievously as though he knew something he would never disclose.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

I'll never forget my mom's face when she walked into my room last Friday and said "your brother is in intensive care."

He had made a trip to the emergency room earlier in the day with a lot of pain, but I just assumed it was because he had a bad fever for a week prior to being admitted to the hospital. A few hours later we got a call from my dad, who had taken him to the hospital, to tell us things were a lot more serious than we thought.

I can't describe to you the few days that followed - guilt, pain, shock, fear. Seeing someone so young, tall/hefty and healthy lying in a bed unable to even move onto his side; it's indescribable. It really is a pain that words can never adequately describe. It's so humbling to see the weakness in someone who has always been so strong - it reminds me that Allah (swt) is the Only One who is Al-Qawi, the Supremely Strong. The rest of creation is at His will.

My parents were (and are) at his side all the time, and I can't imagine the anguish parents must feel, seeing their child in such a compromised position. I think their hair has gotten whiter and their wrinkles deeper. What pain could I ever feel that would be comparable to theirs?

The doctors said he might not make it til morning, then they said he might lose the use of his legs completely. But a week later he's recovering slowly but surely - alhamdulillah, all praise is due to Allah, Al-Wahhab, the Greatest Bestower of gifts and blessings.

I can't help but think how close all of us are to death, but how little we've actually prepared for it.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Because apparently I have even more time on my hands than I thought...

Anyone interested in following my pithy attempts at staying healthy, feel free to check out my new blog: http://myfatnessdiary.blogspot.com/

It's like Randomly Placed, but fatter.

Monday, July 19, 2010

This is Eating Out

I'm the kind of person who will take a can of tuna with me to someplace that is crowded, pull out a manual can-opener, and eat it straight out of the can with a fork. To the chagrin and shame of those who are in my company.

I have not yet mastered the art of taking a pot of food out with me like some ingenious families do.

What?

Friday, July 16, 2010

Reinventing Asmaa

Since graduating from my Masters, I've been trying to figure out how to reinvent myself.

I'm no longer satisfied with the concept of just being a one dimensional being. I can't be contented with looking for a job and sending countless cover letters and resumes to people and places I'm barely interested in reading about, let alone working for/at. Most of all, I'm afraid to lead a life of irrelevance.

That is actually my greatest fear: to live and die without leaving any mark on this earth. You see, to have lived for nothing is akin to having not really existed.

I began my social work program because this fear had a stronghold on me. It gripped me in a way that I didn't understand up until now. And I truly believed that my field would enable me to make a difference in people's lives - it would help me feel relevant again.

Looking back on this mentality, I realize how flawed my entire thinking process was. It'll never be a field of practice or theory or a methodology that makes you relevant and memorable. It's you.

YOU make your field memorable. Not vice versa! I can live a life of relevance and beauty in so many different ways that I'm trying hard to narrow them down. If I can make my field of work relevant, that means I can make other fields and theories and methodologies and practices relevant, too!

Interestingly enough, historically we have admired those who break out of the mould and defy what's normally seen as "meaningful" work.

Which brings me to my final point - I want to reinvent myself because I don't fit into a mould. That's why I've been having trouble finding my footing and often feeling confused and unsure of how to be a catalyst for change.

I've got news for you. I make the mould.

why i'm fat

One day my little sister found me standing in the kitchen with a blank face, not doing anything. This is how the conversation went:

Nusaybah: "why are you just standing in the kitchen?"
Asmaa:
"I'm not sure. I feel like I have unfinished business."

Thursday, July 08, 2010

on the nutritional value of coke zero

This is a pretty rose I got from a wedding.


I decided to put it in a bottle of Coke Zero instead of a vase.


This is the rose after a couple of days in said Coke Zero.


I conclude that Coke Zero will eventually kill you (perhaps in the night). So stop drinking it.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

getting fat never tasted so good

I am currently eating a sandwich made up of the following:

2 Slices of bread

5 Black olives (ish)

Several strips of marble cheese.

A few slices of cucumber.

It is very yummy. I tried to lower my carb intake, as per my previous post. But to my utter dismay, I realized everything I love to eat has carbs in it. Everything. So I resorted back to eating whatever the hell I want.

I have to say, it's working quite well for me.

p.s. Merry July.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Why I Work Out

When people ask me why I started going to the gym and paying more attention to my physical strength, I usually come up with dumb answers like: "Oh I just want to be more fit" or "working out gives me more energy" or the like.

Truth is, I hadn't really thought about it in detail before. But a few weeks ago I started thinking about the "why" a lot. And I came to an interesting conclusion - even interesting to me.

Basically, I refuse to be vulnerable anymore. What I wanted to change on a subconscious level was my emotional vulnerability. Making myself stronger gave me a sense of physical power, and since our bodies are irrevocably intertwined with our minds, physical power for me translated directly into raw emotional power as well.

Whether that has worked or not is still up for discussion, but such was my discovery. Then recently I found out I was doing everything wrong. Eating the wrong things, working out the wrong way, etc. And now I'm super annoyed and angry at myself for wasting my valuable time.

Let's see whether anger translates into results!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Indigestion

It's 2am and I can't sleep due to indigestion. I guess this is some kind of sign that I can't pump my body full to the brim like I used to at the age of 17. Well, at least not without consequences.

In other news, I guess I'm officially looking for a job or something. Mostly because I need routine in my life again. If you see any listings for professional procrastinators please let me know. Or clowns.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Sometimes we strive so hard to be unique - as though we have to prove something to the world. We have to prove that we're not sheep, that we're individuals, that we have the ability to be original.

It gets tiring to uphold uniqueness. And what I've come to realize is that sometimes there is comfort in just being a part of the crowd.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

When we hand our sorrows over to Allah, He takes them and gives us His Mercy instead.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Betrayal comes under many guises
but always leaves the same mark: a willingness to internalize the events of said betrayals, whether real or imagined,
and the strength to repulse someone you loved.

Your eyes are innocent and you meant well, you say;
I detect no malevolent urges behind your expressions
and yet I am at the same time disgusted.
The violence of your insignificant curt glances or the
minuscule versions of mocking grins surprises even me.
They gnaw at my innards and make me doubt every truth.

I wonder at the vulnerability of the soul; so strong, even sometimes exerting brute force upon its enemies, through words, or fists full of hair,
but at its core, it is a confusion of love entangled with a deep sort of hatred of other souls.

It is love because it loves the One who created it; the separation from love that we ascribe to it is false;
but it is also an ingrained hatred because as this soul is betrayed by others, it never regains its purest state of first love.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Sarah

I'm officially an aunt for the third time, Alhamdulillah. I'm with my sister who had a baby just last night. Here you can see baby Sarah's ear piercing, which was naturally done the same day she was born.


Take a gander at those thick black tresses, mashaAllah! No matter how many times it happens in my life, seeing a baby born (especially into my family) is always the best and purest miracle, subhanAllah.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

In case you ever wondered how men in Egypt dress, here's a little preview of their fashion:

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Kauthar and the Ring

Kauthar got her first crush ring at the age of 16. It was from a thin, shy boy with shoulder-length hair and a goofy sideways grin. The ring was silver with a heart-shaped red jewel at the centre. She knew the ring would be too small for her cherub-shaped fingers – it got stuck right before it hit the knuckle on her left ring finger. Nevertheless, she feigned gratitude.

II

In the absence of things being official, I wanted to give you something, so umm...I made this for you David said as he slid the ring across the table towards her. He was flustered, staring at his hands as they retreated from her and biting his lower lip. He couldn't meet her slightly amused and quizzical gaze.

The ring was made from a thin metallic wire bent into the shape of a flower with five roundish petals. Kauthar picked it up and stared at it with bemused wonder; who would have thought any given boy would be able to make a gift so thoughtful, even cute. Though the proposal was not the most romantic she had envisioned, she quickly concluded that this was the best gift she had ever gotten from a boy. A smile tugged at her lips.

Yet another suitor in a line up of potential mates, David was in greater need of a tan than Kauthar herself. His skin was a creamy pale, and he had eyes the colour of an autumn patch of golden sunburnt grass. His beard was light brown with a shocking tinge of orange at the edges. Upon further questioning, Kauthar had discovered the orange was indeed natural (not henna) – and that particular trait came from the Irish side of his family. Her friends joked with her that if the two did get married, their children would be translucent, if not fully transparent. Though he was slightly shorter than her, Kauthar didn't mind so much.

David was, by far, the shyest of the bunch – his hands always fidgeting with something or another, and eyes looking every which way they could, before landing on Kauthar's face. When he spoke, his words were slow and deliberate with a hint of a southern accent, as though he wished his every statement to be concise, clear, and not open to interpretation. Sometimes when their eyes did lock, it was difficult for Kauthar to read any emotion. She couldn't tell whether he admired her or thought she was a fool.

Kauthar had become rather fond of his quirk of having very few quirks at all. She often mimicked his accent with its elongated, softer sounding vowels, and on occasion called him a whitey because of his distinct non-ethnic professionalism. It jarred her a bit at first, but she eventually came to find it pleasant.

She remembered his actual proposal quite well. It had happened the day before over the phone, and she still chuckled at the memory:

I know I should have done this a long time ago, and I'm sorry it's taken so long. But, with the approval of your family naturally, I'd like to ask you to marry me.

When David proposed, he had paused often while his voice rattled with all kinds of nerves; at some moments Kauthar couldn't tell if they were nerves of excitement, or the kind that made you want to vomit.

And now his serious eyes were transfixed on the ring Kauthar was twirling between her fingers as if to (not so discreetly) ask why Kauthar hadn't yet tried it on. She ignored his gaze and changed the topic; secretly, she was afraid the ring wouldn't fit.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

my own brain is out to get me

Our memories operate in complex and intriguing ways. Our brains can be triggered by any number of things to elicit memories we thought had long been buried. A smell, a touch, specific weather...any of them can cause our bodies to re-experience actual emotional states of our pasts.

I'm leaving for Egypt in a few hours inshaAllah (just a 2 week trip), and as I was lying in bed this morning thinking about the things I needed to do, my entire being was suddenly consumed by every little detail of what happened on my last trip there - it was a very difficult trip, and I started to remember what I did on the day I traveled in 2009, and all the the consequent emotions in the following months.

At first I got angry at my own physiology for causing my state of unpleasant memory.

But then I got myself together and realized that perhaps I was being reminded of those difficulties so I could thank Allah (swt) for His ever-watchful mercy over me - sometimes we need to remember the bad in order to truly recognize the good.

So, alhamdulillah for memories, as unpleasant as they are sometimes. And, well, bye.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

I have a feeling you guys like Kauthar more than Asmaa. Obviously you're just into the juicy stuff. TSK TSK.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Every time I allow myself to believe that some men are not jerks, they prove me wrong.

Dear men: STOP PROVING ME WRONG because I'm getting annoyed at your consistent dedication to all things scummy.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

What a Dork.

I spent a good portion of the day cleaning out my piles of leftover school papers and junk. I now am sniffling and sneezing all over the place due to airborne dust particles. I should have worn a surgical mask.

Sifting through personal things is always difficult...how does one decide what is valuable enough to keep, and what needs to be thrown away? I never knew cleaning would be such an emotional journey. I found a note my friend wrote me before going for Hajj. I found birthday postcards from my grandfather, old notebooks filled with complicated emotional times, and more.

But I won't bore you with those. Here are some of my more entertaining finds:

Exhibit A: Hideous Earrings


To this day I don't know what possessed me to purchase these. In my defense, they're from Egypt, and my judgment is always clouded when I'm there.


Exhibit B: Adhesive Mustache


I probably don't need to elucidate my obsession with facial hair. But I still own this article, and it makes me quite happy.


Exhibit C: Various Doodles Drawn while in Social Work Student Orientation Session at Sick Kids






Exhibit D: My Photocopied Hand from High School


I remember we snuck into the teachers' lounge and photocopied our hands and faces. And that seemed to be very mischievous at the time. I really don't know why I still have this photocopied hand.


Exhibit E: Ryerson Clipboard that I used all throughout my U of T Years


I've had this clipboard since the 9th grade. Back when Ryerson was still called "Ryerson Polytechnic University." I used it at U of T and people thought I was disloyal to my own university. But I didn't care. It's completely ripped up now but I am definitely keeping it.


And last but definitely not least...

Exhibit F: My Old Glasses


These glasses must date back to the 4th or 5th grade - look at the elegance, the style! Aw man, these definitely go in the "keep forever" pile. I know for a fact that I've always been such a dork.

Thus ends my venture into the past. *ACHOO*