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,

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.


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.


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


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 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.


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.


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.