Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Partner in Crime

On July 30, 1948 (exactly 60 years ago) professional wrestling premiers on prime-time network TV.

My nana (maternal grandfather) loved watching professional wrestling. It was always funny to watch him watch it. Imagine a 70+ man getting worked up over wrestling. And then imagine him doing these weird hand gestures while watching it and laughing a toothless laugh. Hilarious time. Whenever we used to take the remote from him and change the channel, he would tell us to put it back and invite us to watch it with him. Sometimes we did. (We meaning his grandkids).

Sadly he passed away four months ago. We lost him to cancer. Saddest day of my life. My nana was one of those people that you never thought would die. Not that I thought he was immortal, but he was just one of those people that I thought would be around forever.

I'm not writing this post to talk about the sad times though. Nor do I want to be morbid in any way, shape, or form. I'm not thinking about the should'ves, woud'ves, or could'ves. I was just thinking about him and the happy and fun times shared with him and the professional wrestling thing made me think of him. Yes I miss him, but I dont think he would have wanted any of us to be sorrowful and miserable without him here. I think about him frequently and pray for him.And that's what my family and I try to do. We try to cope as best as we could and send our prayers upon and to him. I've found that my siblings and I talk about him on a daily basis. He used to do the funniest and most outrageous things. He asked me what kind of guy I wanted to marry. I told him, "I want a guy who will let me kick my feet up and do all of the housework for me." As old as he was, he was never the type of man who was stuck on traditional values (You know the ones that claim that women should cook and clean, and stay at home. Lots of older generation people think like this. Not all, but quite a few.) When he heard my response, he couldnt stop laughing, and told me that he would start looking right away. He wanted the best for his grandchildren. He always asked about my schooling and work. He encouraged all of the women in our family to continue our education for as long as we wanted. During the hot summer days, he never wanted to stay inside the house where the air conditioner was. He liked sitting in the sun and sweating. One time he was walking around my neighborhood and these two adoloscent boys were riding their bikes and made a rude comment. He picked up rocks from the ground and started throwing it at them. He used to always give the Adhaan (call to prayer) in our house. Actually he used to do it in any house he was staying at. When it was time for Fajr (1st prayer of the five daily prayers that Muslims observe, usually prayed at the beginning of dawn), he would be the first one awake. He would yell at all of us that were still sleeping and wouldn't stop yelling until we were awake. He had a keen interest in meeting all of my friends. And once he did meet them at my brother's wedding, he asked about them all the time.

He used to break out in random songs and sometimes even start dancing. He was a hilarious and wonderful man. My true partner in crime. May God give him peace in the hereafter and grant him Heaven. Ameen.

Mrs. Cullen: The Thankful Emo Kid

Dear Friends,

I'm all talk. Sometimes I really feel like I am just all talk. I always talk about making my life stress-free and becoming a better person and doing little things to make me happy and improve my life in general [see previous posts for example]. But then I feel like I try for a sec and thats all. And then I remember and try again and then I give up and it goes on and on. I feel so pathetic. I don't know what it is. I feel so emo sometimes. I hate that word. So lame. I hate when people take pictures on facebook and they write emo or something. I dunno-- I just think its lame. I also hate birthdays. So much. I used to think they were so important and its like your day. Yay. No. Its not. Its just another day in life and you're just a year older and God just gave you another day to live [ok the latter is a big deal but then every day should be special]. Anyways, I'm just annoyed right now. I really hate birthdays and they make me mad. People should not have the right to feel extra special or be treated extra special just because its your birthday. Don't hate me, yo. This is just how I feel. Last year I was so upset with my closest cousin and friend because she forgot to call me on my birthday. I was so sad. I was like "I'm not gonna pick up when she does remember!" And thats exactly what I did. I didn't pick up. Then I listened to the voice mail of her saying sorry she forgot to call, blah blah blah. I was still upset. I'm so pathetic. Eleven days later she passed away. Then I was so mad at myself and felt like such a freaking idiot. And still do. Birthdays are so dumb. Ok not just birthdays but everything---everything that is materialistic or just stupid and makes you upset at people for no reason. Fights are dumb and so are grudges and boys and anything that gets in the way of friendship is just dumb. And I'm dumb too. I'm dumb because I read Wuthering Heights just because my husband [Oh! You didn't know I was married?? Why do you think I'm Mrs. Cullen?? Idiot] talked about it in Twilight. It was such a stupid book. About love and how two people love each other so much and when they die they are still together. I was so stupid to read it just because my fictional husband talked about it in a fictional story. Anyways. I guess this post needs a purpose. It has one, I promise! It is just hard to explain. I wish I had motivation to do all the things I want to do. I wish I wasn't so lazy. My mom let me get a fridge in my room just so I don't have to walk downstairs if I wanna get water or ice cream. I need help. I really need motivation to do something--anything. I am a very lazy person and its not good. Its sad because I am lazy when it comes to health and school but when it comes to movies and fun I become so opposite-of-lazy.

You know whats really bothering me? Of course you don't because I didn't tell you yet. I just wish we didn't take things for granted. I know we hear that all the time but I truly believe no one can possibly understand what that means until they lose something. For example. I eat over five meals a day. There are people starving in this world. I am so thankful for what I have but its kinda hard to understand that I am so lucky to have all this. Its hard because I have it and I don't know what it is like to not have it. I don't know what it is like to starve or be homeless or unhealthy, Alhumdulillah [All praise is due to Allah aka Halelu Yah]. I spent my whole first paragraph complaining and putting myself down but I don't even realize how lucky I am and how good I have it all. Yes its true that we should continue to improve ourselves and become better people and aim for stress-free lives, but we also need to relax and be grateful for what we have. Even if we are stressed out and feel overwhelmed; we have it better than so many others. So, for awhile [a little while] I will stop the complaining and start the thanking.

Alhumdulillah [All praise is due to Allah] for: Food. Parents. Siblings. Education. Some What Clear Skin. A Job. Tv. Hijab. My Cat. Religion. Home. Back Home. Relatives. Love. Friends. Trust. No Thyroid Cancer. Books. Walking. Talking. Hearing. Thinking. Eating. AC. Heat. Eating. Heated Mattress. J.K. Rowling. Stephenie Meyer. George Orwell. Nice Teeth. Etc.

Yours for the sake of Peace and Brotherhood,
Mrs. Cullen

Monday, July 28, 2008

Barbarically Civilized??

I'm not big on music..I know the songs, but I have no idea who the "artists" are and don't care. I put that in quotes for a reason. I usually tune it out because I have ADD and can't listen to stuff for that long but once in a while the lyrics, good and bad, catch my eye..or is it ear?? I am soooo disgusted with the lyrics. What have humans reduced themselves to?? {BTW, the following is me generally speaking. I know not everyone is like this, you can't define and characterize a specific group because everyone is different. I speak of the mass as a whole and how they seem to represent themselves and come off to others as.}

One song was about having sex a club and "I don't care who's watching..." wth??
That's the most recent example but I remember being disgusted by many. But like I said, I don't know artists and song names so I can't recall any more. But I'm sure you can think of quite a few yourself.
Oh and where did the clothes go in the movies and music videos? Somebody forgot something somewhere...

I know I sound very "motherly" but who cares.

I know that sex, drugs, violence and prostitution/porn have always been around. Since forever. It isn't new. Arright, fine. What's appalling is that it's now being accepted {publicly}. It sickens me that people are now seeing this as the norm.

People used to do all this in private, maybe because there was a sense of shame then? Because they knew it wasn't right. There was that fear and embarrassment that goes with being caught. But now people proudly openly admit to doing things. {I remember in high school this kid in my who proudly announced to the the class that he masturbated in his church parking lot..yuck}. These days many openly talk about doing stuff with girl/guy-of-the-week and don't spare anyone details {the girl who sat behind me in English, anyone?} Sing about it like it's normal, do everything on film for money. It's not "art". It's disgusting.

I feel like dogs are more concerned about privacy than some people today. Maybe we have lost our sense of shame. We're getting desensitized to un-civilization, if that's a word. Yeah we are developing more and more in technology and education and other things, but what about as humans? We are regressing as humans. We have been given the sense of right and wrong. We have the ability to feel shame, guilt and other emotions as well as to make decisions and to think. That's what separates us from the animals. But I feel like we're getting down to the animal level in some aspects.

I don't know where I'm going with this. I can rant forever but will stop here.

Your thoughts..?

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Random Moment

I know that I should be writing about the news (which I will :P) but I had just had an important conversation that I wanted to share. I attended an Al Maghrib (an Islamic institution) class a year and a few months ago and had never really thought about it since then until last night when it was brought up by my brother and sister. The class was called Love Notes, and it was about marriage and the Islamic way of going about it. I had gone with my mother and I distinctly remember the intense feeling of wanting to get married when the seminar ended and of course the first thing I did was to call my brother and tell him how amazing this seminar was and how I wanted to get married and everything- he of course told me I was being impulsive :).

Which I was, but I took that in a totally different way then the way that he had meant it and kind of just put aside the idea of marriage. I started to think, you know what I am too young, I should focus on school, I have too many things I have to do with my life before I should even start thinking about marriage. I was of course totally disregarding the Sunnah (the example of Prophet Muhammad), where the Prophet says that (paraphrasing), get married young in order to protect yourselves and to start your lives. And being Muslim, that hadith (saying of the Prophet) should have been enough motivation for me to set an intention to Allah asking for Allah to allow me to get married as soon as possible so as to better follow the Sunnah of the Prophet.

But instead I chose to believe that this hadith didn't apply to me and that I was under different circumstances, but have we not been told again and again that the surest way to Heaven was through the Quran and the example set by the Prophet? I feel like I do this more often than not, but getting back to my story, so last night after we had gotten back from X Files (horrid movie by the way), we just got into it and I said that I wanted to accomplish a few things before I would reach a comfort level to be able to get married, i.e. financial independence. But my brother then said something that I didn't really think about, setting an intention doesn't mean that you won't accomplish everything you want to before marriage, and even if you didn't so what? Marriage means that you ARE dependent on the person you share your life with and that they are dependent on you. And Allah would never put you in a situation where you are miserable by following the Sunnah if you go to Allah with the right intentions.

SO in conclusion, I think that life really is allot simpler than I make it out to be if I just put life into perspective. I know that for me, I have to sit down and re-evaluate my life and the purpose of it here in this world. I mean why are we here? I can tell you one thing, the only thing guaranteed in this life is death and not one of us will be able to take their flashy new iphones to the next life (me included!)

-Peace and Blessings

Thursday, July 24, 2008

We come and go just like ripples in a stream...

So its finals time for me and of course I'm sitting here doing everything under the sun... except study. I'll get back to it soon enough, God-willing (Insha'Allah).
I just don't want to think about circuits, who wants to think about circuits anyways? *Sigh*
Ok so here's something I actually saved a few days ago to share on this blog, cause I liked it a lot. Its like your general reminder about life being short and keeping your eyes on the BIGGEST picture (returning back to your Creator one day). But usually these things are written very dramatically (not saying that it shouldn't be thought of in a dramatic way because yes of course its very important) and what I found here was so different. Enough with the intro, just read it here:

The Great Journey TICKET: One-way (return ticket not available) COST: absolutely free RESERVATION: confirmed ELIGIBILITY: Tickets will be issued to the following: NAME: Child of Adam IDENTIFICATION: piece of clay ADDRESS: Surface of the Earth DETAILS OF JOURNEY:

* Departure Point: Anywhere on Earth
* Destination: Second World
* Hotel to be temporarily accommodated!: two meters space
* Duration: few seconds or few minutes
* Time of Departure: Time of Death


* All passengers are requested to keep in mind that the tickets are non-negotiable and non-transferable. Therefore everyone must be ready and keep an eye out for the pilot of the plane -HAZRAT IZRAFIL- THE ANGEL OF DEATH.

* For more information, read instructions..... to be found in the Holy Quran and the Sunnah (the practices of the last prophet Muhammad, Peace be Upon Him). You can also consult the learned Ulama (scholars).

* IT IS IMPORTANT this is done as soon as possible. You are reminded that no oxygen mask will be given as it is not required, in fact your respiratory system will be closed down before the journey begins.


Even though each plane carries only one passenger, restrictions are imposed on the luggage that can be taken with you. You are allowed to carry 5 meters of white clothes and a small amount of cotton. The real luggage must be good deeds, good conduct, time spent in inviting mankind to good deeds and prohibiting evil, Ilm obtained and used properly, children raised and educated to be good Muslims.

Apart from these and luggage of these types, other luggage will be at your own risk.There is no need for any boarding pass, passport or other travel documents, just get ready. To get ready.... attendance of the 5 daily prayers in the Masjid (Mosque) or with Jamaat (congregation) is highly recommended.Study the Quran and Sunnah and put them into practice.

This ticket may be called in at any time so prepare now!'The pleasures of this life will end with this life. Whereas your good deeds will bring YOU eternal happiness.'

O and everyone, will you please repeat after me: "Please Allah, make R.M. successful in her exams so that she never ever has to look at this subject, ever again. Ameen."

Thank you! =D

Monday, July 21, 2008

Recipes: Chocolate Trifle

I know I'm not supposed to be posting recipes but sharing is caring. :D I made this dessert a few weeks ago and since everyone loved it, I thought I'd post it up here. It's really easy to make and tastes ah-maaazing! It has a 5/5 star rating, but personally, I'd give it a 10/5. It is a little heavy so this isn't something for a fat-free weekend. ;) The link to the trifle recipe on is provided above in the title. Users on the site provided good tips on making it less fattening, or how to perfect the recipe even more. Nutritional information is also provided. In my opinion, I don't think it needs any tweaking in terms of taste, but there are helpful hints there nonetheless. In case you're too lazy to go to the site, here's the recipe:

1 (19.8 ounce) package brownie mix
1 (3.9 ounce) package instant chocolate pudding mix
1/2 cup water
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (8 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 (12 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 (1.5 ounce) bar chocolate candy

{1} Prepare brownie mix according to package directions and cool completely. Cut into 1 inch squares.
{2} In a large bowl, combine pudding mix, water and sweetened condensed milk. Mix until smooth, then fold in 8 ounces whipped topping until no streaks remain.
{3} In a trifle bowl or glass serving dish, place half of the brownies, half of the pudding mixture and half of the 12 ounce container of whipped topping. Repeat layers. Shave chocolate onto top layer for garnish. Refrigerate 8 hours before serving.

Besides putting the trifle together in a traditional trifle bowl, you can use glasses or something else. Using fresh fruit like strawberries and raspberries adds some color and a fresh/fruity taste and you might not die of chocolate overload. ;)

Friday, July 18, 2008

♥The Sweetheart♥

♥The Sweetheart♥, originally uploaded by Rabujee.

This was taken at a friends wedding last weekend. This girl was just so adorable. I stalked her all night long. She would not stay still, just gave me a mischievous smile and ran away each time. Finally, I got her =D.

Not many thoughts on this, kids are just the best. So carefree. And then they grow up and become these lost and infinitely confused souls, like you and me.

When I was that age, I just wanted to grow up already. I was sick of being the youngest and the tag-along to my sisters. And even though I'll never admit it, they claim that I copied EVERYTHING they did. I think they're delusional. =P.

I miss my childhood.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

News Update

A prisoner swap took place between Israel and Hezbollah, where Hezbollah returned the bodies of 2 captured soldiers in return for the release of high profile Hezbollah prisoners.

Gore challenges the America to stop using fossil fuels by 2018, having 100% of electricity through renewable sources.

Sen. Obama raised $52 million in the month of June compared to Sen. McCain's $22 million, McCain has more cash on hand $96 million compared to Obama, $94 million, due to the Republican Party.

Starbucks is to close 600 of it's stores due to losing competition with Jamba Juice. (p.s. I tried Starbucks's new "smoothie" the orange, mango and banana and I almost threw up.)

The DNC (democratic national committee) is kicking off more than 1000 meetings to hear from voters across the country to come up with the party platform: What should Democrats stand for - and against?

U.S. obesity epidemic grows, despite efforts to encourage Americans to lose weight. The number of U.S. adults who are overweight, increased by 2% from 2005 and 2007.

Former Attorney General testified in front of the House Judiciary Committee on the "torture memos" today and defended the waterboarding technique: "The reports that I have heard, and I have no reason to disbelieve them, indicate that they (usage of waterboarding) were very valuable."

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Then which of the favours of your Lord will ye deny?

If you have the basics: food, water and shelter, you are luckier than most people in this world. If you don't wake up at night to the sounds of bombs and people screaming, you are luckier than a lot of people in this world. If you have all your five senses and are in general, a healthy person with no physical or mental health defects, you are still among most of the lucky ones.

Imagine a world without vision. A world where you can't smell a rose or freshly baked cookies. Imagine not being able hear and experience laughter, not being able to hear the rain falling at night. Imagine not knowing what a smile looks like, or your own family. Imagine not being able to walk or run or do any of the things you normally do, living a handicapped life, or one where you are always in fear; wondering when your next meal will be or if you will be bombed next..

I was going to college this morning when Helen Keller crossed my mind. I have so much respect for this woman. But she's another topic for another day. If we didn't have any of these senses, if we had to go through immense fear of being bombed, kidnapped or raped every would we cope? How do the people who do go through this cope?

All I know is that if you lead a "normal" life you are very, very, very lucky. But are we grateful? Do we seriously sit down and thank our Lord and at least reflect on how blessed we are? No amount of money can replace my life. Forget my life, my eyesight alone isn't worth all the money in the world. If I spent my entire life thanking God for one blessing, just one blessing, it would not be enough. I am so blessed. So blessed so blessed so blessed. And I don't show much gratitude to my Lord. I don't thank Him enough. And every time I see someone A LOT less fortunate than I, this verse from the Qur'an runs through my mind:

"Then which of the favours of your Lord will ye deny?" {55.13}*

But we shouldn't need a reminder to tell us how lucky we are. We shouldn't be reminded only when we see or hear about someone's unfortunate life or death. We should try to remember our blessings every time we see something pretty, or smell something good. When we wake up to the sounds of birds. Even when we smell something nasty, at least we can smell. We don't need to remember Him when we hear about something bad and think to ourselves, "wow..I'm pretty lucky." We always remember and turn to God during the bad times. But we need to thank Him for the good times as well, and, in my opinion, more so than the bad times.
* Actually, this verse runs through the same chapter a lot. The link to the whole Chapter is provided above in the title.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The wheels on the bus go round and round..

On July 15, 1976 ( exactly 32 years ago) a 36-hour kidnap ordeal began for 26 schoolchildren and their bus driver as they were abducted near Chowchilla, Calif., by three gunmen and imprisoned in an underground cell. (The captives escaped unharmed, Alhamdullilah [Thank God].)

36 hours! That is a long time. And an underground cell!? That must have been one memorable bus ride for those children.

I know that this is a very scary and terrifying situation,especially for the 26 school children and their parents who were probably worried sick. And I really hope that those three gunmen were captured and imprisoned, but I cant help but laugh at the fact that the three gunmen decided to hold children hostage. I mean, what did the they demand as their ransom? The children's lunch money? Couldn't they find someone their own size to pick on.

Like I said, that must have been one memorable bus ride for those kids.

This also reminded me of my childhood. When I was in elementary school, my siblings and I took the bus to school everyday. We had some crazy memories on those bus rides. Like the one bus driver that was obsessed with one of my sisters and always called her "Twinkie". Or the other male bus driver that called my brother "Cherry" all the time(dont ask). Or the time when I was crying so much because I was scared the bus would leave us if we didnt get to the bus stop on time, while my siblings sat in front of the TV and watched the Flintstones and laughed at me. (Hey, I was obsessed with school back then and having perfect attendance). Or all the countless times we stood at the bus stop and my brother would tell my older sister that he had to use the bathroom and never come back (He was the complete opposite of me, and hated school, and tried anything and everything to get out of actually going to school.The bus left him every single time and boy did my dad get mad at my brother for skipping school). Or the time my sister brought an air freshener and sprayed the entire bus because it always smelled awful .Or, again the countless times the bus didn't show up on those cold, snowy, winter days and we sat around the radiators in our house and drank microwaved chocolate milk pretending we were sitting in front of a log fire drinking hot cocoa. Or the time the bus driver stopped the bus in the middle of the highway because the kids on the bus were being too loud and rowdy and wouldn't listen to him. And the time when my sister had pneumonia on the bus. We were near home and the bus came to a stop at our regular bus stop. My brother was so scared because my sister couldn't breathe that he ran across the street, almost getting both of them killed by an oncoming car, and the bus driver coming out of the bus, waving a broomstick and yelling at my brother. And the other time we were at this other bus stop and we saw a lady having a seizure in the middle of the street. Or the time we sat on the bus and witnessed another car running over a lady. We sat on the bus for an hour and a half while the bus driver gave her statement to the police.

Like I said, crazy memories, not as crazy as the hostage situation though, Thank Allah (God).

I haven't been on a bus ever since I graduated fifth grade.

Sometimes I miss those bus rides and being a kid and all those memories with my siblings.

Monday, July 14, 2008

"Why aren't they forgiving us??"

[I know my first post should be my own words, but I couldn't help but share this with you all when I came across it. It certainly reflects how I feel as well, when I read or hear news where the Israeli government *apologizes* for killing innocent children, women, elders... or journalists, UN workers, and whoever with their precision bombs.

Oh, and on a related note, Italy is calling for all masajid (mosques) in the country to recognize the legitimacy of Israel, and trying to remove Muslim leaders who refuse to recognize it. source

Also, I came across an interesting movement: For two years Israel severely crippled Gaza by completely cutting off fuel, medicine, and all other needed imports... Their excuse for doing this, along with cutting off sources of electricity water and sewage treatment, is the people's free and democratic decision to elect Hamas for their government. Since aid to these people is not allowed into the city (or concentration camp, whatever you wanna call it..) by road or by air, a group of all different types of people are planning to go to Gaza by sea.. on a boat with medical supplies across the Mediterranean! More inspiring and astounding this is only the resilience of Palestinian people themselves.

More from me soon inshaAllah!]

Why Aren't They Forgiving Us?

By Shai & Dror
Nov. 9, 2006
Translated by Adam Keller

We are sorry about the killing of women, children and all innocent civilians. The government of Israel really apologizes from the depth of its heart. We did not intend it. We never intend it. Also on the previous occasion that it happened we did not intend it. Also on the occasion before the previous occasion. And also the next time that we will do it, you can be sure that it will be done completely unintentionally. We will not intend it, and we will apologize. From the depth of our hearts.

The apologizing we do intentionally, completely intentionally.

So, we really apologize. We hope you will find in your heart the nobility to forgive us. Do you forgive us?

Why not? Really, why not? We really really apologize. We apologize for the killing of the children. And of the women. And for the dozens of wounded in the hospitals. And for those who will be left without arms or legs. And for the children left without parents and for the parents left without children. We apologize for all these things, from the depth of our hearts. Sorry, really sorry. What more do you want?

Do you forgive?

Oh, how difficult you are.

Sorry! Sorry! Well, we will not go on apologizing forever. Just forgive us, and that`s it. Sorry Sorry Sorry Sorry Sorry Sorry Sorry Sorry.

Is this enough? Can we continue on our way?

Still not forgiving?

Well, you know what? So, you don`t want to forgive us - okay, we don`t really need it. We have done our part. We did the killing, we did the apology. Now the ball is in your court. You are stubborn. You don`t know how to forgive. You have no compassion, somebody makes a mistake and you just pounce and take advantage of it. And to publish these photos all over the world, to let everybody see out mistake? Is this nice, to shame us like this? And we did apologize, we did apologize. We were O.K.

Know what? Our conscience is clear. We have apologized. As far as we are concerned, the case is closed. Do you want to go on being stuck on the same point? That`s your problem. We are moving on.

The next artillery shell is already on its way, followed by the next apology. And then one more shell and one more apology. That`s the way we are. Moral and considerate, killing and apologizing. Thanks, sorry for the killing and see you next time.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Mrs. Cullen: The Hopeless Romantic

Dear Friends,

[This post might seem awkward or odd or random for some of you. But I don’t care because it is something that is on my mind.] What is love? No-- don’t get me wrong. I genuinely love my parents and my friends so much. They mean so much to me and I don’t know where I would be without them [well I kinda do know where I would be without my parents, not born of course]. And I completely understand and love my Creator [Allah; God] and the Prophet Muhammad (may peace and blessings be upon him) [the last of our many Prophets]. But [sadly] I am talking about the other kind of love. The love that our parents have for one another and that I [perhaps] will possibly have for someone. I just don’t get it. I don’t know what it is. How do I possibly love someone other than the above. As everyone knows, all I talk about is marriage. But I don’t know! When the day really comes when my moms like “Ok Bella, It’s time for us to find you a guy” OR “Is there someone you are interested in that is a doctor or engineer and a good Muslim and has a good family and we will like too??” I don’t know if I could do it. It might seem foolish to talk about but it confuses me.

The reason this came to my mind is because I was on face book..stalking a few white girls [no hard feelings..white people rock], one in particular. I know she broke up with her boyfriend recently but I was reading their past wall-to-walls and she is all like “I love you blah blah blah blah blah.” And I also know she dated someone else three years ago, and thanks to my part time job as a stalker, I remember her telling him the same things [but on MySpace]. That just got me to wonder. I thought love was a big deal. How can you love so many guys? I thought it was a strong feeling? I thought it was something special? I thought it just happens once. But I guess I just don't know what it is--that kind of love. Apparently, Miss White Girl does though. I should ask her.

The love I have for God, is indescribable. He is my Creator and He is the only know who knows me or anyone else and no matter how much I pray or worship Him [in anyway], I still know it is not enough and he deserves to be worshiped so much more and so much better [if that makes any sense]. And then there is the love for my parents. That, compared to the love of Allah, can be measured [I that wrong for me to think]. I just mean, yes my parents brought me into this world and they work so I can live a great life and they raised me to be a smart girl and a good Muslim and a good person and yeah. I can show this. All I need to do is treat them well and follow everything [well mostly] they taught me and they will be happy with me. That’s pretty much it. Then there are my friends. Kinda the same as parents but a little more complicated. You have to try more to keep this relationship going because I think its harder to please your friends than it is to please your parents [you might disagree at first but if you think about it then you will know I am right..I always am]. But still, it can be done. All I need to do is listen to them and have them listen to me. Hang out and have a good time and keep my promises and be loyal. That’s not much. Ok, I am kinda off topic now. I was talking about love. Oh yeah. Love. Yeah. I love my friends because they bring out the best in me and I enjoy their company and I trust them completely and yeah. Then there is the other dude. How do you love someone--planned? By planned I mean, you need to get married [or want to] and then there is a guy and you gotta love him. The love for God is not planned, its natural [as is the love for my parents and friends]. I dunno. I think if all guys were like Edward Cullen [or Chris Brown] then it would be so easy to fall in love. Every girl would be a Bella or a Cinderella under her umbrella. I guess once I get married or something it’ll just be the same as loving my friends and my parents. I guess. So I guess I just answered my own question. I just don’t like boys. That’s simply it. Ok bye.

Yours for the sake of Peace, Love and Brotherhood,
Miss Cullen

Feed the world

Feed the world, originally uploaded by Rabujee.

This week NBC nightly news aired a story about a 12 year old girl named Mimi from Oregon who started a "food-raising" website for abandoned dogs and cats in shelters. Her idea was based off of the website "" which helps feed the hungry around the world by having the visitor play a simple word game. Each click made to guess the right word, generates grains of rice which are paid for by sponsors. Its as simple as that. Mimi's idea is similar and since its launch in April 2008 has gotten 2,106,190 pieces of kibble donated.

It got me thinking, whenever I hear/read about kids like her that take such great strides to meet their goals, I feel sorta... kinda... humbled. As in, what have I done for anyone or anything in this world? How have I helped to improve the state of millions and millions of people in need? Honestly, nothing. And its that answer which gets me scared. What if that was the answer of every single one of us who are able to help but have not taken the initiative to start something? I COULD be doing something, then why am I not? What if the roles were reversed, how sad would I be, how disappointed if I were the one in need of aid and someone out there was sitting comfortably, grimacing at my state, thinking: "Those poor people...but what can I do? I'm sure someone else has already started something somewhere for them. Oh, well... " Just some of my thoughts tonight.

Since its in its baby stages still, the website needs a lot of publicity. I'm sure NBC did well in that respect, I just thought I'd help out and pass along the story.

And maybe someone out there will find our blog, see our idea, and help us out in the same way (one day, God-willing).
So bookmark the websites, visit them everyday for a few minutes, exercise your brains and help feed people and animals in the process. It REALLY is simple, but don't just take my word, test it out for yourself.

Sorry for the confusing post and jumping from topic to topic.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008


I just wanted to update you guys on what's been happening today- Iran tested their short, middle and long range test missiles this morning- which is in striking distance of Tel Aviv. Which also sparked a jump in oil prices.

The Senate passed the FISA (foreign surveillance act) bill today which gives immunity to telecommunications companies who illegally wire tapped Americans, and makes null the more than 40 civil suits that were pending against them.

If any of you remember JonBenet Ramsey, the six year old who was murdered in 1996, new DNA evidence clears her entire family as murder suspects.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Too bad my parents STILL don't get it :P

"Do not force your children to behave like you, for surely they have been created for a time which is different than your time." (Ali Bin Abi Talib)

Monday, July 7, 2008

Dance with me into the colors of the dusk

"None of you [truly] believes until he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself." {Bukhari & Muslim}

This hadith has been running through my mind for the past month and a half. And even more so this past week. I feel like we aren't nice enough to each other. We don't really treat one another in a way the Prophet Muhammad {peace and blessings be upon him} used to. We're not perfect and perfection isn't accomplished by making big, drastic changes. If you make sudden changes, chances are you'll suddenly revert back to old habits. Baby steps, people. We can make ourselves closer to perfection by slowly making little changes. So I thought I'd start writing on little things we could do to make ourselves better as human beings; hopefully that'll rub off onto each other and make the world a better place {yes, I do have high hopes}. And I started off with this one particularly because I feel that this ties in with most, if not everything, related to good character.

I got the idea to write about this first because my friend did something that totally shocked me. Last week I told her I liked her phone charm {I don't know where they sell these but they're really cute}. She simply removed it from her phone and hooked it on my phone. "'s yours." My jaw dropped. Do people really do that? I never knew people like that existed.

Another example: I was at my cousins house and she is an Ah-maaazing cook, mashaAllah. So my aunt asked her the recipe to some chicken and then she jokingly added, "..or are you one of those people who hides the recipes or gives the wrong one out?" My cousin just mentioned the above quote and pretty much said she lives by it.

The above hadith means a LOT of different things. It can mean materialistic things or can refer to the way we treat each other. Or little things like trading recipes, or telling people where you got those hawt shoes from. I try to live by this..especially in terms of how we treat one another. I'm not a saint and do have my moments of selfishness, but thanks to this being stuck in my head I'm getting better. The hard part is that there are a LOT of people out there who want to do the opposite. They want to tear you down and don't really care wether they hurt you or not. And that's where you need the strength to continue doing unto other as you would want done to you or however that goes. That's the hard part.

There are a lot of people in this world and most of them just don't care. A lot of them {myself included} have probably wronged other people. Maybe if we started treating each other a little better things would slowly start to change. Maybe if we started treating each other the way we would want to be treated there would be more niceness around us. Maybe. And maybe not. But at least you'll have the satisfaction of being the better person.

Friday, July 4, 2008

This Week In A Nutshell

I couldn't resist, I thought this picture taken in Thailand was hilarious :). Anyways on to more serious ..stuff.

The most senior Judge in Britain gave his blessings to use Sharia law to settle disputes amongst Muslims yesterday. Lord Chief Justice Lord Phillips said that Islamic legal principles could be employed to deal with family and marital arguments and to regulate finance.

Britain's High Court has ruled that Pringles are not a potato snack, and thus are not subject to value-added tax. Friday's ruling by Justice Nicholas Warren is expected to save millions for the manufacturer, Procter & Gamble Co.

Following a ruling in South Dakota's Court Of Appeals for the 8th circuit, the 2005 abortion law will go into effect. The South Dakota law requires doctors to give patients who come for an abortion a written statement telling them that "the abortion will terminate the life of a whole, separate, unique, living human being," and that they have "an existing relationship with that unborn human being" that is constitutionally protected. In addition, doctors are ordered to describe "all known medical risks of the procedure and statistically significant risk factors," including "depression and related psychological distress" and "increased risk of suicide ideation and suicide."

The federal government has declared a "fishery disaster" area along the U.S. West Coast this summer after the salmon population there went into what's being called an "unprecedented collapse." As a result, the commercial salmon industry, which normally captures 800,000 fish a year, has been shut down and salmon prices are going through the roof. The cause of the die-off is up for debate: the Bush administration blames warmer temperatures in the ocean where salmon spend most of their lives, but many scientists say man is to blame. Dams and irrigation canals kill millions of salmon as they migrate up and down rivers where they are born and where they return to spawn.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said she's "proud'' of the U.S. decision to wage the Iraq war and insisted that the world is not more dangerous than it was when George W. Bush took office. "We're now beginning to see that perhaps it's not so popular to be a suicide bomber. We're beginning to see that perhaps people are questioning whether Osama Bin Laden ought to really be the face of Islam,'' Rice, 53, said in an interview to be broadcast this weekend on Bloomberg Television's Conversations with Judy Woodruff.

Hope you've been just a tad bit informed!


A picture of many colors proclaims images of many thoughts.

The chaos theory. Wait, what? Now you're wondering what the chaos theory has to do with this photo, right. Let me see if I can explain myself.
You see, when I look at this picture, I think of our world. Its filled with, (and a few million other creatures of a different sort, but this post isn't about them). When (I should really say IF) we come together, from the tiniest ones of us to the largest ones; the most colorful ones to the most mutely colored... we form a potpourri, a collage, an aggregation of distinct voices. Each carrying its own weight and importance. You get the idea. What I'm trying to get at is, imagine what chaos can be created once we become scattered and let our differences come between us (well we don't need to imagine, i think we know). Chaos can never be reversed without some man-power (and woman-power), some work, some effort, and exertion. And although the physical world is always tending towards disorder, I hope that we can just see the beauty in our coordination. And hopefully, that will be enough motivation to undo that natural chaos.
Of course, these ideas and words are oft-heard, oft-repeated. I think its a good reminder since our chaotic minds tend to forget the little things... like this...that can amount to so much.
So, this was my simplistic, colorful photograph which evoked these thoughtful images. And this is what I wished to share. I hope I did it at least semi-successfully. Good-night!

Thursday, July 3, 2008


Independence Day or as I like to say, "Freedom Day" (well I've never outright said it, but it sounds so much cooler) is coming up, tomorrow. Anyone excited? Any plans? I've got none, as usual.

I kinda miss the fireworks aspect of it all. The cool colorful ones are really expensive and I've never had to money to buy them, but I will one day when I'm rich and famous, or at least the former, Insha'Allah (God Willing). And I remember as a little kid growing up in NYC, we'd either park our car on the bridge (between Manhattan and Queens, I think) and watch the fireworks over the river, or celebrate at home. But that changed a while ago. That kinda stuff's illegal now and the residential streets of NYC are so quiet that you'd kinda think the 4th of July was the 3rd of July.

I wonder why they were banned. Maybe people started losing limbs? Maybe houses started burning down? I really should look into that.

Independence day doesn't really mean anything to me. Yeah, we got our "freedom" but (depending on your place of residence) people of different religions/ethnicities in this country are still treated as second class citizens. I was born and raised in this country but I don't even consider myself American. I consider myself Asian American and I think my whole generation will consider themselves that. People look at me like I'm an alien, because I wear a "turban" on my head. What will it take for me to be American? Whatever happened to freedom of religion??? Which is the exact reason people fled from England to THIS land. *sigh*

This is what I feel like being "AMERICAN" is defined as:
  • must be light skinned
  • must speak only English, unless you're risque and wanna learn French or something
  • must be Christian or Jewish
  • ancestors must be a mixture of all the European countries

I know people will definitely disagree with me on that but sometimes, I have no American pride (but then again, I'm not much of a nationalist). Yeah, I like living here, but I don't feel like this place is home. Isn't home somewhere you feel comfortable? Somewhere you're accepted because of who you are? Maybe that's Canada.

Anyway, enough of my rambling...and I dunno if I'm supposed to post something now, because we've got some blog rules or whatever, but rules are made to be broken! (Corny? Yes) And I don't care because it's almost independence day and that means I will take advantage of my freedom. ;)

Mrs. Cullen: The Drama Queen

Dear Friends,

As you all know, I'm such a genius. But sadly, this week I am an ill genius. Last week I had the flu and now I just have a very bad cough and my ear hurts! It really hurts, very very bad! Randomly I get very sharp pains in my left ear. So odd! And my cough is so bad; I can barely breathe. I have been meaning to go see my dad's friend who is an ENT doctor. Oh, that means ear, nose and throat! I felt so special when my dad told me what that stood for. I seriously felt like that specialization was made just for me! So, I just decided to diagnose myself. I mean I'm gonna be a dentist in a few million years so why not start now? And what better way to diagnose oneself than WebMD. Honestly, this website is like my own personal doctor....Alas, the results are in! I have thyroid cancer. But no need to fear, according to my lovely online doctor I wont even need chemo; just surgery and I'll be all set. Ok, just one problem though. I can't find the lump on my neck. Maybe I should go see a real doctor. But I'm just soo busy. And so sick, I'm coughing as I write this post. Oh the pain! The agony! Ok. Maybe I'm a little bit of a drama queen. I mean a drama queen genius. Wait-- I mean a drama queen ill genius. Yeah thats it. I guess this drama queenness needs to stop. It doesn't fit well with my geniusness. Genius people don't have time to be drama queens. They are too busy being geniuses and saving the world and knowing everything. Ok. As of today I am officially no longer going to be a drama queen. Yay.

I feel so much better now. It was kind of a hard act; being a drama queen. Don't you have those things that you always do even though you don't like it and it causes you pain/stress/sadness/[another negative thingy]?? Like I always park illegally and then I always get parking tickets. I know the consequences, yet I still do it. Or maybe, a job. You hate your job so much because you get treated badly by your boss, yet you do not quit. QUIT!! Or stop complaining OR stand up to your boss. Listen people, if you are reading this and you can relate to me, then thats it. Today is the day for change. I'm gonna write down a list of things that cause me stress. Then I am gonna change all of those things one by one. We live in such a world that if we aren't stressed out...we think its odd. Thats not how it should be. We should be happy, stress-free humans and we are going to make that happen. Are you with me??

Yours for the sake of Peace and Sisterhood,
Mrs. Cullen

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

...never to be seen again

On July 2, 1937 (exactly 71 years ago), aviator Amelia Earhart disappeared over the Pacific Ocean while attempting to make the first round-the-world flight at the equator. (

Could you imagine waking up one day, knowing that you were going to change history in some way. I think that's what Earhart must have felt on that fateful day in July.

She probably woke up and thought to herself, "Ok today's going to be a big day for me. It's going to be the day that I try to go around the world in one flight." She obviously wanted recognition of some sort. It's so sad that it was such a tragic ending and it didnt end the way that she intended it to---with her getting recognition for accomplishing the first round the world flight.

I wonder if she reached her goal and then disappeared, or did her disappearance happen before she could finish her round the world flight.
I wonder what happened--what caused her disappearance.
I wonder what her last thoughts were.
I wonder whether or not she regretted attempting this feat during her last moments.
I wonder what encouraged her to do it to begin with.

It's so fascinating and bizzare all at the same time, dont you think?

1 year ago... life completely changed when I got married on July 7, 2007. A couple days after I went to the beautiful island of Maui for my honeymoon. With my anniversary quickly approaching and me still not knowing what to do that day that isn't completely cheesy and cliche, I would rather just relive my honeymoon because Michigan is, well, Michigan. My posts are supposed to be about food and decoration ideas because it looks like I am the most domestic one of the group, so in honor of my first wedding annivesary, I am going to take you back to Hawaii with me by giving you some of their dessert ideas.

Ok so this is for the ultimate island sundae:
Take a couple scoops of pineapple-coconut ice cream (not Hagaan Dazz because one of the ingredients is rum even though all of their ice creams are kosher, it doesn't necesarrily mean that it's halal) and top it off with crushed shortbread cookies (since Hawaii is actually famous for their shortbread), macadamia nuts, pineapple chunks, drizzle caramel syrup and chocolate syrup, and of course whipped cream!

Hawaii is also home of shaved ice, which is our main-landers equivalent of a snow cone, so that might be easier to get.

Or if you are in the mood for pancakes..... you can make pineapple-macademia nut pancakes topped with coconut strup. Just crush up some macademia nuts and mx it into your normal pancake batter and prepare as through the directions on the box, top with pineapple chunks, and if you can find, coconut syrup. At some of their restaraunts, I think they used the same syrup that they would add into drinks and it was still really good, so that might also be easier to find.

I couldn't possibly recreate any of the delicious meals that I ate their for dinner, but everything basically had a sweet twist to it by commonly using pineapples and teriaki sauces. I remember having teriaki beef on my last night there and it was so good that I have been looking for it everywhere, so if anyone ever finds a good authentic Hawaiian restaraunt pleeeeeaaase let me know!!!!

Oh, and make sure you drink a lot of kona coffee :)

If any one has any first wedding anniversary ideas please let me know because.... I really don't know what to do that isn't just about eating at some restaraunt and my one year old wedding cake...

Beauty after the storm

Beauty after the storm, originally uploaded by Rabujee.

Because you see, when you're me you tend to let yourself go in the heart of every passing storm and then all else is just a blur that adds mere depth to a simple truth. The realities are just an escort to stop you from losing yourself utterly, they just act as gravity. Nothing more, nothing else.

Because when all your eyes ever see is one star in an ocean of glitter then it's enough to set your soul alight.

Because when your whispers hang in the stillness of your surrounding night then you can be sure that zephyrs inscribe your secret minutes.

Because when you feel you can defy the fundamentals of time, the sunsets and sunrises are your solace and your only clock, then you know you'd never have it any other way.

And because of all this I choose to live, breathe and be this unfolding extravaganza I call a Storm, despite all the warnings...

Credit for the words goes to an anonymous author (because I haven't figured out who wrote them tehe)

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Separation of Church and State? And What Was That About McCain??

Today Senator Obama gave a speech on faith. Anyone who knows anything about Obama knows that faith has been a central issue in life, he has highlighted his struggles with faith in both of his books The Audacity of Hope and Dreams of My Father. SO his proposal today to expand President Bush's program of awarding Federal grants to faith-based groups, shouldn't have come as a surprise. But it did.

In his speech Obama said that he believes "deeply" in the separation of Church and State, but the funding needs to be made available for faith-based groups doing charitable, secular work- such as soup kitchens, reforming ex-offenders and the rebuilding of New Orleans.

“I believe that change comes not from the top-down, but from the bottom-up, and few are closer to the people than our churches, our synagogues, our temples and our mosques,” Obama said after touring the Eastside Community Ministry in Ohio. “That’s why Washington needs to draw on them. The fact is, the challenges we face today … are simply too big for government to solve alone.”

Make of it as you wish. My personal opinion on the matter is that all of those charitable works that Obama wants religious organizations to do, should be taken care of by the government. Or at least make the program fair, why not expand the federal grants to non-faith based charitable groups? Or better yet to any group that does charitable work?? There have been legal questions to the way Bush implemented the faith-based programs, that's something Obama should take into serious consideration because not only has he pissed of the left with his vote on the FISA bill but for him to propose an enhanced relationship to faith-based groups is "apprehensive" for a good portion of Democrats.

Next up, General Wesley Clark made some um..comments on The Face of The Nation, about McCain not being able to tout his POW and military record as Executive experience necessary to becoming President. Whether or not he was led into the comments by Bob Scheiffer is arguable, but to the substance of what he has said and has been saying for the past couple of months, is something that we should be talking about. People automatically see the Republicans as the "national security" party which is ironic since 9/11 happened when Bush was 22% into his first term and yet they've turned that against the Democrats saying that they would put the country at risk. Regardless, I would like your thoughts on this and the issue of faith-based organizations.
For any of you who would like to see Gen Clark's comments I have embedded the video.

What's so special about Parochial Schools?

On July 1, 1985 (exactly 23 years ago) the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that public school teachers may not enter parochial school classrooms, to provide remedial or enrichment instruction. (

What I got from this ruling is that basically if a public school teacher wants to teach at a private religious school or a private school affiliated with the church, with the hopes of sharing different perspectives and ideas (about religion?) with their students, they cant. From what I understand, they can only teach whatever the church deems appropriate.

I remember during the summer of 2006, I was offered a tutoring position in an urban school district. I went to training for a couple of days, and met many teachers from various backgrounds and districts.Many of those teachers offered me advice for my future classroom, asked where I would like to teach when I was finished and so on and so forth. One teacher was telling me how she taught at a Catholic school and asked me if I would ever be willing to work at a Catholic school. My first thoughts were "Would they hire a Muslim?" And to be honest, I really don't remember giving her a response or asking her whether or not a Catholic School would hire a Muslim.

I would like to think they would. I mean if I were teaching any other subject besides the religious/spiritual aspect, I don't see why they wouldn't hire me.And I know many Islamic schools/educational institutions that have non-Muslim teachers. ( I really dont know why that was my first thought, I guess I was just being ignorant. Or maybe I was worried and thought that the Catholic school may think that I would impose my beliefs on their students.)

Essentially, teachers cannot go into any type of school setting and impose their beliefs on their students. So I guess I'm just kind of confused as to why the U.S Supreme Court would have a ruling specifically for parochial schools.

What do you think?