Saturday, October 31, 2009

Under construction


This whole blog layout thing is a painful process. And after all this, I still have all these screw ups. But I'm loving the person who created the site where I found the original layout.

Note to everyone out there: This website is under construction.

And I have tendinitis in my hands and maybe also something else and I'm supposed to not be typing.

And A.L. seems to have developed carpel tunnel.

So both of us seem to be out as far as typing blog posts is concerned and even commenting.

Anyways, I was sick of our layout (as usual) and finally managed to be somewhat pleased with this one.
So I said Bismillah (In the name of God) and uploaded it.

Mrs Cullen's sister says it before everything she does. I thought that was really awesome.

I love saying Bismillah, it's like saying, "Here I go God, I know you're there for me"

Even if things don't work out, it keeps this strength in you.

You know?

I can't wait till I start getting complaints and criticisms from people about this layout.
Such a great feeling.

But I'm glad we finally have our own layout.


Thursday, October 29, 2009

And the rest, as they say, is history

History is cool. I swear.

I have this piece of flair that says "History Buff" that I wear occasionally.

I'm really not, but I like to think I am. And wish I was.

If I could go back in time, I would have majored in history and became a history teacher instead of an elementary school teacher. And the reason I didnt major in it is because people kept throwing the there- are- too- many- History- teachers- out- there- and- you-will-never-find-a-job-no-matter-how-hard-you-look-and-how-far-you-go line at me.So what was I to do but decide to major in what everyone thinks is always in demand: Science.

I used to do a "This day in History" segment here at Symphonic Discord too, but eventually I ceased to continue because they were labeled as being "super lame" or something. Whatever.

Anyways, there's something about how events that happened in the past altering the future that really fascinates me. And how because of one specific event a whole new set of events took place. Perfect example: Archduke Franz Ferdinand's assassination and World War I. I always like to ask and wonder to myself, well if that didnt happen, would it be like this today.

When I took my first political science class at University, my teacher made us buy this book called A People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn and I fell in love with that book.It's not a textbook but not a novel. It's just a really well written book.

To sum up, it was history told from the viewpoint of the victims or the people who never really got to tell their side of the story. It's a history book told by women during the suffrage, history told by slaves during slavery, history told by the true Native Americans, history telling us what Columbus was really about when he came to the New World, and history told by the individuals that lost their loved ones during the September 11 attacks.

Basically, the history that we so rarely hear and learn about.

Some people might say that the book is completely biased but Zinn himself defends and affirms his biased views by saying:

This makes it a biased account, one that leans in a certain direction. I am not troubled by that, because the mountain of history books under which we all stand leans so heavily in the other direction — so tremblingly respectful of states and statesmen and so disrespectful, by inattention, to people's movements — that we need some counterforce to avoid being crushed into submission.

As a teacher, I'm always torn between teaching what is in a textbook as opposed to what I believe to be true.

Some people believe when it comes to History, there is a fine line between fact and opinion.

So, where exactly, as educators, do we draw the line?

Sunday, October 25, 2009


I was just watching a documentary on India and among the country's many issues, an explosion in AIDS cases is one of the topmost problems. India has one of the highest populations in the world with the AIDS virus due to truckers and sex-workers. But the main issue that stems from this is the abuse of the AIDS antiviral drugs. Anywhere else in the world, no-one can get their hands on these pills without a prescription, but in India, you can go up to any pharmacy and purchase them- whats the problem with this, you ask? Well a) once someone starts the regimen they have to remain on the pills for the rest of their lives, any breaks lead to drug resistance developing in the system. b) abuse of the pills. These people don't know how many they're supposed to take, when or even for how long. They would start to feel better after a few months on the pills and then decide that they don't need to take them anymore, well a couple months down the line they develop an infection but unfortunately the pills don't work anymore. What would the country do if a large segment of their people had AIDS and developed resistance to the only drugs that could keep them alive? Thats the issue that they're dealing with right now.


I have found myself in a bit of a pickle. I have few places where I get my eyebrows done. I'm very picky. Recently I've found myself too busy/unable to go to these places so I decide to clean up my eyebrows myself. Welllll I started on my right eyebrow when I was really bored but didn't have the energy/bravery to continue on to my left that day, so I was like ok I'll finish it the next day. But now I can't get myself to do it because I actually kind of like the slightly wild look of my left eyebrow as compared to the very tame and boring right one. Ugh. Eyebrows. I hate hair removal in general. I hate being a girl.

Who here is psyched for Halloween??!! I am. I found like the perfect Halloween music too. Who remembers Ryan Gosling? The guy from The Notebook? he created this band called Dead Man's Bones and they just released this spooky and haunting album in early October and seriously, they even have an elementary school choir singing along to give you the creepy childlike hollow music to get you all spooked out for Hallooooweeen!!

I have included a video for your viewing pleasure
enjoy <3

Sent from my iPhone

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Swine flu anyone?

Sometimes I swear my students are asking to get some virus or disease that will eat their intestines.

And they're trying to take me down, right along with them.

There is this boy who eats and licks his shoelace all day.

Another girl who thinks her glue stick is ice cream.

One that tries to cut her fingers off with scissors.

Others that think sharing is caring when they refuse to cover their mouths while coughing and sneezing.

A handful that chew on their nails.

Some that think their eraser is fried chicken.

A couple who pick their ear and nose obviously digging for gold.

Some that treasure their Kleenex, have made their desk a scrapbook, and plan on holding on to them for all of eternity.

A number of them who think washing their hands after using the rest room is taboo.

A few that assume using hand sanitizer will make their hands oh so clean as opposed to soap and water.

And then you have the entire class who loves to hold my hand.

Mrs. Cullen texted me the other day and said that I was going to die from swine flu if I didnt get vaccinated because apparently swine flu is a national emergency and the first people to get sick will be kids. I thought we were past all this swine flu stuff.

Anyways,I havent done it yet.

I disinfected my room, though, with Clorox wipes.

That oughta do something, right?

Thursday, October 22, 2009


Today was an AMAZING day! Even though I woke up like 30 min ago, these 30 min of consciousness have been fantastic!! On to the sweet and gushy stuff >>>>>>>>>

My Muses! These are the people in contemporary history who make me want to be more, make  me want to be better than who I am. President Obama for the ideals he embodies, for the future possibilities that could come through him. William F Buckley jr who died at 85 last year, was my secret crush when I was a little girl. He was just so brutally honest and full of charm and fun, the last great Republican ideologue who was both intelligent and ridiculous. And then there's Mika, my favorite singer, who pushes the envelope with every album he releases- he THRIVES in controversy, and it helps that his music is just so awesome !! And Rachel Maddow who is so committed to getting the least covered stories- national attention and she's just so in your face with what she believes, theres no compromise, for anyone- I admire that :)

These are all confident inspiring and entertaining people who could light up a room by just being in it, and embody the qualities that I want to possess. Who are your muses? Who are the people that inspire and move you??

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Count your Blessings

I’m taking a communications class this semester. It’s one of those credits that you have to take but you never found the time to take it until you realize you need it to graduate next semester…

Anyhow I gave a speech a few days ago on happiness. I did a lot of research on the topic in terms of psychology. Something I found that’s phenomenal is the effect of thankfulness/gratefulness on one’s happiness.

There was a study done in which one group of people had to write in a gratitude journal only once a week and the control group didn’t. It was found that after a period of only three weeks the people who were writing in their gratitude journals once a week were had a significantly higher level of happiness and life satisfaction then the control group!

So when people say to count your blessings… it really does work. It’ll make you a happier person! Why? The more we write down what we’re grateful the more appreciation we have for the things that God has blessed us with and the less we’ll complain.

And if you should count the favors of Allah, you could not enumerate them. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful. [16:18]
I tried this one day. Just for one minute. Literally. Here’s what I came up with.
I’m grateful for…

1. Islam
2. My parents
3. My sisters
4. My home
5. My friends
6. My laptop
7. My bed
8. Food on the table everyday
9. Money
10. Knowledge
11. My car
12. My ability to walk
13. Ability to talk
14. Ability to taste and smell things
15. My eyesight
16. My hands
17. My heart
18. My brain and ability to think and analyze
19. Clothes to cover me
20. Ability to breathe
21. My teeth to chew with
22. My ears to hear
23. School
24. Running water
25. Hot showers
26. Thick coats for the winter
27. Shoes so I don’t have to walk barefoot
28. Paper
29. Stars to enjoy looking at
30. Beaches
31. My memory
32. The ability to love and care for others
33. Fresh air
34. My ability to blink so my eyes don’t try out
35. Tears
36. Books

And the list goes on. I think I could continue writing this list for the rest of my life and still never be able to count every blessing I have. I took an infant development class once. It’s amazing how many things could go wrong in the womb, how many diseases or infections we could catch, and yet here we are. Most of us alive and perfectly normal. Isn’t that enough to be grateful about for the rest of our lives?

May we become more reflective and grateful people. Ameen.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Mrs. Cullen: The Cutie

Dear Friends,

Exactly two years ago it was a Saturday and I was studying for a biology exam. I had been studying all day. Around 9 pm my sister received a phone call. Someone in the family was hurt. We rushed to the police station. They told us the terrible news.

Exactly one year ago I was at the cemetery with all of my relatives. We spent the day together. Because we loved each other and because it was Eid, the celebration after fasting a whole month during Ramadan. Its funny how death brings people so close together.

Exactly two years later it is a Tuesday and I went to the cemetery all alone today. Its funny how time makes people so far apart.

I recently came across a quote. It spoke of friendship and being there for someone during good times and bad. I think its the bad times that bring people together. But you'll be lucky if that togetherness stays forever..

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

Sunday, October 18, 2009

story of my life

Rep. Sue Myrick (R) of North Carolina
Rep. John Shadegg (R) of Arizona
Rep. Paul Broun (R) of Georgia
Rep. Trent Franks (R) of Arizona

What do these four Representatives have in common, other than the unfortunate choice in parties? They have all come out earlier this past week accusing CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations) of planting spies in the House and Senate as interns and pages. So um, who are they supposed to be reporting back to? Oh no, not al Qaida! Because obviously no political action group secure coveted internship positions for their youth so that god forbid these kids could grow up to become politicians themselves! Oh wait, I thought thats what democracy and activism were called.

These charges, not only picked up by the right wing media, eager to disseminate some much wanted vitriol, but have also resulted in CAIR receiving death threats. Now given the record of inflammatory and racist remarks that ALL four of these Republicans have indulged in in the past, I wouldn't normally pay to attention to their nonsense, unfortunately i've been roped into caring by friends/family who make it a point to show me every day how America hates Muslims- and of course I know there are people in this society who want to annihilate Islam, but I like to think/believe that they are a very LOUD minority- kind of like al-Qaida, or the Tea Party Activists.

But I digress, these charges are founded on a so called CAIR "memo" gathered by Chris Gaubatz, son of Dave Gaubatz- the co-author of the "Muslim Mafia:  Inside the Secret Underworld That's Conspiring to Islamize America." Very credible source. Obviously. No bias there. Remember Rep. Myrick, of North Carolina? She wrote the forward to this book. What happened to the days when Representatives would actually be DAMAGED by these kinds of associations?? I miss those days.

What the hell has happened to the Republican party? They used to actually have interesting arguments- not necessarily my viewpoint, but not CRAZY either! Now they seem to be the party of bigots spreading their hate of people who don't look/act like them or who don't hold the same "ideals" (yaaay for guns) as them. And all justifying it by claiming "Its in the constitution!", apparently these men/women have forgotten the whole point of the GD constitutioN! The pursuit of religious freedom! The chance for EVERYONE to pursue happiness!! But I guess, what can I expect from the party who voted FOR rape.

I'm sorry all of you Republicans out there, because I wasn't born white/christian/conservative- and apparently i'm not "American" enough for you.

CAIR's mission statement: CAIR's mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.     

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Mrs. Cullen: The Fatty

Dear Friends,

I'm fat. Really. I am. If you know me you might say: "Yeah, you are fat" or you might say "No, you're not fat, girl." Well let me tell you, I am fat. At least compared to my weight two years ago, I'm a freaking piece of lard. I've always loved/absolutely adored/obsessed over/cherished/idolized food. I know thats bad, but its the truth. I've always ate like a "pig" or a "jinn" (as my parents would say), since I was a child. But now the difference is my stupid, as-slow-as-a-freaking-turtle metabolism. Oh. I can also blame it on stress. I have been quite stressful these last two years, especially now. But I have also been quite lazy and inactive as well. Sigh. And though I've always ate like a pig, now I eat like two freaking pigs combined. But thats not my fault either. My grandma and mom are Thee Best Cooks Ever. Also, I have a well paying job (thanks to God and babies) which allows me to eat fast food all the time. Oh, how I love food.

Anyway, I got in a serious fight with one of my friends a few days ago. And you know why???? Because they think I'm too lazy. What the freak. I can be lazy if I want. Don't get in a fight with me about it. Don't tell me that I have to lose weight or we are not going to be friends. Don't throw a pencil across the library and tell me to get it, just to prove that I'm lazy. Mind your own business. And I'm not lazy. Even though I didn't pick up the pencil. Whatever. Don't threaten me with silent treatments, if I don't go to the gym at least four times a week. I don't need your friendship! Whateva.

So, yesterday I went to the gym. I ran for half an hour while watching Judge Joe Brown: Bad Girls You Love to Hate Edition. I'm gonna go again today. When I came home my mom was on the phone with someone saying, "The clothes I bought for Mrs. Cullen from India don't fit her too well; she has gained some weight. She thinks shes gonna start a diet. She can't. She loves eating too much." I became sad and promised myself I would never eat, ever again. But then it was dinner time. Sigh. But I'm kinda trying to eat healthy. For example: usually I eat two or three servings of dinner. Instead, I only had 1 and a half servings.

In Islam, there is a certain rule for how much you eat. The Prophet Muhammad said, “No man fills a vessel worse than his stomach. A few mouthfuls that would suffice to keep his back upright are enough for a man. But if he must eat more, than he should fill one third (of his stomach) with food, one third with drink and leave one third for easy breathing.” Sigh. I wish I could follow that. Inshallah, some day.

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

PS: My friend just told me the most genius thing ever. There is no point to starve yourself. Because the more you starve yourself, the hungrier you will get. The hungrier you get, the more you will eat when you realize you can't starve yourself. Genius.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Shut the hell up.

I dont know if this post makes sense, but bear with me.

You know when you're in despair and you're wallowing in your own pool of self pity, and then someone comes up to you and gives you a pep talk that you really cant be bothered with?

Well, I've had a lot of that lately.

I mean it's not really pep talks but more like "Get over it" or "Stop being a drama queen" or "You're an idiot" or "Why you being so emo?"

(And mostly that person that I get that from is doing the same thing as me: swimming in an ocean of self pity.)

Anyways, so I was thinking about it the other day, and I kinda appreciated that type of feedback, because even if I don't show it then and there, it's what I need.A year or two ago, that same friend and I had lunch together and had a real in depth convo about building a bridge and just getting the heck over things.

We are in misery, because we put ourselves there. No one else does. And we can get out of that misery, by just taking ourselves out of it.

Obviously it's easier said than done, and as much as I love complaining, what is that really solving?

So if I want to be the best God damn teacher, then I need to start acting like I do.

If you want to save the world, stop focusing on the scary parts and just TRY your best to do it. You'll never know how the hell it will go, if you keep worrying about the terrifying bits and don't give it a shot. And then you'll be going through your second mid-life crisis and kicking yourself for not giving it a try.

And if you want to do well in your class and on huge exams and get into a program, then start STUDYING and stop you-tubing.

If you want to prove a point, stop admitting defeat.

If you want to show that you care, then stop judging.

And if you want someone else to care, then stop being fake and weird.

So to bring this all back to me, I've come to the very obvious inference that a lot of my crap would be solved if I just:

  • stopped being lazy
  • swallowed my pride
  • ceased to fib
  • layoff caring so much
  • eliminated all worries and thoughts about change
  • attempted to make an effort
  • looked forward instead of towards the past
  • had faith in God (not that I don't, but faith in the sense that if God put me to it, he'll eventually get me through it. And to keep thinking about the fact that there is a reason why I am in the situation that I am in)

So I'm sure if you all really think about it, there is a solution to whatever it is that's making you sad/worried/upset/emotional/and furious

And sometimes, what we all just really need is a good "Shut the hell up and get over it" from someone who really, truly, deeply cares for us.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

A blind uncle is better than no uncle.

We've all heard it. We've all said it. And we've all preached it.

It's a great thing to be grateful for what you have, even greater to realize it, appreciate it, and not take it for granted.

To sound like a big fat cliche, appreciate the little things life has to offer, because when it's gone, you just might be screwed

Life is fantastic when you come to those conclusions and you want to dance and sing like no ones watching.

Last week while driving home from work, I realized that I took windshield wipers for granted. Yes, windshield wipers. My brother is a genius and decided to take one of my crappy ones off and not buy me another one. He told me to go and get it myself and he would put it on for me. I am an even bigger genius than he, and decided I wanted to be Mrs. Cheap and not get it until I absolutely needed it and I would get it whenever.

The next day, it rained cats and dogs.

It was horrible.

And the entire ride to work and from work was unbelievably annoying because of the scratching sound that the non-windshield wiper thingy kept making. It even made a scratch on the windshield front window whatchamacallit.(I really cant think of the name for it)

When I got home that same day, my mom wasn't home. I could sense it right when I walked into the front door

Therefore, there was nothing to eat. And so I decided I would boil myself an egg.

Boiling an egg is harder than it looks. Even harder, when mom isn't around.

And currently my thumb hurts. Like real bad. Who wouldve thought you use the thumb as much as you do. I didnt realize it until this happened and I got a purple/blue-ish bruise on it.

This must be how CC's entire hand feels.

And hangers are God send. Especially plastic ones. Treat them like gold.

Lastly, as crappy as I look when I go to work, and as sad as it is that I can't wear high heels, and as annoying as it is that I always wear my glasses as opposed to my contacts these days to work, and as much as I dread it sometimes, and as ridiculous as I may sound when I teach, at least I have a job.

And these days, not a whole lot of people can say that, huh?

Monday, October 12, 2009

my friends

"the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars..."
-jack kerouac

Sunday, October 11, 2009

My life is just WE ird

Hello there. I'm changing up the my family is WE ird segment today.

So you all know by now that my family is weird. And maybe even figured out that I'm weird. Which would ( or at least should) lead you to conclude that my life is just weird.

Excuse me. I mean WE-ird.
It's a whole different way of saying it. Trust me.

Anyways I have a life update for you:

My hands have been hurting. Which you already know. But you didn't know that they have STILL been hurting. Meh. It comes and goes, but you also didn't know that my friends think I'm imagining my pain and over-dramatizing it so BASICALLY, I need to get new friends. I'm very serious, I even called one friend (one among the few that care about me) and told her that we need some new friends (I'm not replacing all of them of course) , and I discussed with her people that could be potentially replace some of these other so called "FRIENDS" of mine.

Then each person I brought up that we could become friends with was eliminated for various reasons. Which brought us back to being stuck with the friends that I currently have.
But then I thought about the bright side.

Who needs friends that don't care about you when you have a cat.

I love my cat.

Wanna know how much I love my cat? I'm talking on the phone with a a real serious topic:

Me: Yeah, so just pray like crazy. I mean you've done everything you can do at this point and now it's time to just trust in God. You know?
Person: Yea. I know. But it's so hard sometimes and I

Me: HI BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!!!
Person: ..hi?
Me: I misshed you shooo much. You're sho bheautiful. Yesh you ar. Yesh you ar. Oh myy good you're da mosht beautifulesht kitty in the whole whide whorld.
Me: I lub you. Yesh I do. And you lub me too. Don't you. Dhon't youuu. Mishter grumpy fashe

Person: Um are you talking to your cat? I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU'RE TALKING TO YOUR CAT. I'm having trouble and you're talking to your stupid cat!

Me: Don't call my cat stupid. YOU'RE Stupid!!
OH no cutie, i wasn't yelling at you. No I wasn't . I wouldh never yell at you. Ok Ok! I'm done I won't bother you anymore!

Person: Are you talking to me or the cat?

Me: Huh? Oh. The cat. She got annoyed cuz I was petting her. Sigh. Why doesn't she love me? Oh Hey..HEY!! AHHH

Person: ......

Me: Sorry, she's playing tag with me. OH HAHAHA I got you!!!

Person: .....Um...(Imagining a smooth way to end the conversation)

But don't worry. I'm only like this with friends. If I'm having a serious conversation with someone that's not a friend then I just talk to my cat in my head. I'm so smart.

Friday, October 9, 2009

I'm backkkkkkk...

...kinda. So I was one of the original authors on this blog circa 2008. Proof: SM's Ramblings! Ok so I know two posts is kinda really lame but it was hard for me to commit! Not because I was lazy but because I was already xanga so I felt like I was cheating on xanga with blogpost and it was eating away at my conscious. Anywayyyy, in between all that drama, I got married, graduated, said bye bye the the midwest, hauled my butt over to the east coast because the husband lives here (*throws up east coast sign*) and VOILA, here I am...again.

So what have I been up to since the big move? A lot actually! The husband and I went to Hawaii for our "honeymoon." That's in quotes because IIIIIIIII don't consider it our honeymoon. Why? Because we initially wanted to go to Malaysia. Malaysia didn't work out because his cousin (who lives in Malaysia) was in America during the time we wanted to go to Malaysia (in July) and she really insisted we only visit when she's home so she can entertain us....But on the real, I think the reason it didn't work out was because everytime someone asked me, "Where are you going for your honeymoon?" I'd say, "Malaysia, Insha'Allah (God Willing)" and they'd be like, "Ohhh wooow" So I think me telling everyone before it was even confirmed and all those "ohhhh woowwss" jinxed it. Seriously. I have this thing about jinxes. :| But that's ok, there's always next year..or the year after that...or...whenever.

So back to Hawaii-- it was great! I loved it! Even convinced him to move down there once I earn my degree but move back to the mainland before we had kids! It was beautiful, subhan'Allah. Everyone was nice and I learned a lot of Hawaiian words: Aloha, mahalo, wahini to name a few. And I'm a very lucky to have "The Husband" as my husband because he loves sightseeing and travelling, something I've always dreamed of doing and now Allah has granted it (Thank You).

We visited 3 different islands: Oahu, Kauai and Maui. By the time we got to Maui, I was exhausted and just wanted to sleep in, which we did and that was great too. And I think we drove around the coast of Oahu and Kauai. We visited the Dole Plantation (where all the pineapples come from), we took a boat ride out to the NaPali Coast (too bad I couldn't really enjoy it because I was seasick, first time I found that out!!), we went on a helicopter ride in Maui (got motionsickness AGAIN! didn't learn the lesson the first time), visited Pearl Harbor, ate at Romys and Giovanni's Shrimp truck (2 separate places) and did lots of other things. Kauai was breathtaking. And I was blown away by the natural beauty of the Hawaiian natives: no makeup fakeup cakeup...just beautiful sun kissed skin. sigh.

This is in Oahu. See the water? Yeah, that's the Pacific ocean. BEAUTIFUL!! And yeah that's me :)

I got leid for the first time in Kauai. It was so cool and I was so excited. And the view from our hotel room in Kauai was A M A Z I N G!


RIGHT BY THE PACIFIC OCEAN. Alhamdulillah. We found ourselves to be very lucky and totally undeserving of such a great view/great hotel/great stay/great trip. Sorry I didn't capture it better, ocean was a lot closer than it looks. And yeah, that's the husband.


Anyway, this trip was only a portion of what I've been doing since the big move and I would talk about more things but for now, I think this should be the end. I don't want to bore you guys to death and plus, I'm sure you all have LIVES, right? (So get back to work!!) :)


Thursday, October 8, 2009

flying solo

I had been debating what I was going to write about since Saturday. At first I thought well why not about how we use other peoples opinions of ourselves, drive our actions and behaviors, neat- right? Except that FU stole it. And then I was like well what about my birthday which is coming up and is making feel nauseous, but guess what- Mrs. Cullen took that one too!@ But whatever, you know what they say, great minds think alike :)

So instead of being all deep and reflective, i'm opting for the news update thing that I sometimes infrequently do :D

I'm sure all of you have heard about the bombing the moon thing thats going to take place 7:30 am on Fri. NASA believes that underneath the dust particles lie the molecules to make ice, ergo water. I would like to add that this wouldn't have been possible without the findings from India's space mission a few weeks ago. They were the ones that found the possibility of water on the moon.

An interesting statement was posted on a known Taliban website on the 8th anniversary of the coalition forces in Afghanstan, the millitants' aim to be the "obtainment of independence and establishment of an Islamic system." And, "We did not have any agenda to harm other countries including Europe nor we have such agenda today," finally, "Still, if you want to turn the country of the proud and pious Afghans into a colony, then know that we have an unwavering determination and have braced for a prolonged war." Does this signal a break with al Qaeda? It'll be interesting to see how the international community reacts to this- if at all.

On Tuesday the President told Congressional leaders that he will not substantially reduce American forces in Afghanistan nor will he switch the mission to simply a counter-strike strategy. But he still remains undecided about major troop buildup. Wanting to reach some middle ground the President said he wanted to, “dispense with the straw man argument that this is about either doubling down or leaving Afghanistan,” what does this mean? we are moving into year nine of our failed war in Afghanistan and we still don't have a clear idea of what "winning" means.

Africa is outsourcing it's work to the Chinese! The African nations have cut deals with China, in  exchange for investments and loans, the Africans would use Chinese labor instead of domestic African laborers. A huge outcry has been issued over this because none of the Africans see the money thats been given to the governments, but what they do see are the Chinese coming in and getting work, over them.

Advocates of marijuana are gathering signatures to put 3 measures on the ballot in 2010. If the measures pass, California will be the first state in the union to legalize pot. At least one poll shows support amongst the people in lifting the ban. The thing to watch here would be the clash between state and Federal drug laws. This could also bring in A LOT of money to the bankrupt state if they started taxing it.

Although its no secret to most that Japan leads the world in robotic technology, it might be news to some that with Japan's slow growth rate and labor shortages aloong with the country's reticence towards immigrants, Japan is very close to developing human-like robots who could perform labor tasks and have the full range of human emotions. The Japanese are a people that believe in animism, the belief that non living objects have souls, so they're totally for the robotic generation of workers. 

Many of you may have heard about the banning of the niqab in Egypt, well a Canadian Muslim group is lobbying the Ottawan government to ban the burka and niqab- calling the garments medieval and misogynistic. A spokeswoman for the group said, "To cover your face is to conceal your identity," she called it a matter of public safety, since concealing one's identity is a common practice for criminals. She also added that the niqab is a Middle Eastern tradition instead of an Islamic tradition, citing the Quran, she said there's no written text telling women to cover their faces, even in the ultra conservative text, Sharia law. Considering the fact that women are in fact forbidden from wearing burkas in the grand mosque in Mecca, Islam's holiest site, it hardly makes sense that the practice should be permitted in Canada, she finished. ......interesting.

Finally, Al Franken, the freshman Senator from Minn, introduced and passed a measure to de-fund military contractors who prevent rape victims from seeking justice. 30 Republicans voted against this, only ten Senate Republicans voted for the measure including all 4 female Republican senators. Hypocrisy anyone? The Republicans were all up in arms when a fake pimp and his ho took down ACORN by seeking their help in the "business" and steam rolled a vote to de-fund them, but when it comes to major companies who won't let their employees go to court to seek justice because they have been violated, many times brutally, this just makes one wonder- are the Republicans for rape when a profit could be made?

Well this ends my scatter brained post on the stories that were percolating in my head.
until next time
snake charmer

The Idiot Files

This morning I was really, extremely tired getting out of bed but somehow I managed to get myself to work. I logged into my email and found out my project supervisor wanted me to get a report to him ASAP. (I promise I do more things than just printing reports for engineers, promise).

So there I was sleepily printing out the 40 pages, organizing, stapling and all the good stuff. For some reason I felt really hungry, even though I'd just had a sandwich for breakfast. Luckily, I packed a banana with me so I peeled it and started eating. All the while, still pretty sleepy.

I'm sure you're thinking where IS this story going. Well, its going okay? I would never disappoint you (at being an idiot).

Anyways, finally I was done compiling the report and I made my way over to the other end of the office to place it on his desk. Half-way there, I ran into him in the corridor (ok, I think I should clarify I didn't literally run into him. Judging from my last idiot post, you may be confused by that and rightfully, so). Anyhow, figuratively, I ran into him and decided to hand him the report right there. Great, he saved me the trip!

So he launches into a detailed lecture about the updates on our project, throughout which I sort of zoned out (I said I was tired ok?). Just as we were departing I caught a glimpse of the report in his hands, that I had given him.

There on the back of the last page, I saw a piece of banana had stuck to the paper. A piece of freakin' banana, inches away from his finger. I must have missed it because I was so sleepy.

In a rush, I said good-bye and walked away quickly, making sure not to look back.

Why do these things always happen with my superiors?


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Say What??

So I'm sitting in the library trying to finishing up some work and failing miserably. Probably because I keep feeling the excessive need to check my email every 30 seconds. I should just turn my internet off while working.

Anyhow, out of no where these loud freshmen kids come and sit at the table in front of me. At first they start talking about their classes and exams that are coming up. Then the conversation took a big turn when these two girls joined the group. Here's how it went...

Pretty girl: Hey guys!! How are you?
Buff guy: Hey girl, doing pretty good. How's it going?
Pretty girl's sidekick girl: We totally just got out of class and it was so boring. What are you guys up to?
Buff guy: That's too bad. I'm actually just about to go home.
Pretty girl: Omg no you're not.
Buff guy: Yea I am.
Pretty girl: Whatever!
Buff guy's sidekick guy: Yea he's not... he said he was gonna leave half hour ago.

This mundane conversation continues until this huge guy comes outta no where and starts pounding everyone's hands.

Huge guy: eh man wassup dawg?
Buff guy: Just chillin *****, wassup wich you man?
Huge guy: Nothing dawg, just been partying all weekend!
Pretty girl: Omg remember how you used to always come to the library wasted or drunk?
Huge guy: naah.
Pretty girl: No, really! You'd be like stumbling around everywhere.
Pretty girl's sidekick: Yea totally, I remember that.
Buff guy: Yo girl I heard you drink amazing.
Pretty girl: Yea totally. I can out drink most people.
Pretty girl's sidekick: It's true. She can even out drink me and I'm like twice her size.
Huge guy: What kinda drinks you like, huh?
Pretty girl: I LOVE tequila!!
Huge guy: haha a couple shots of tequila and you're good to go. The night just turns around after that.
Buff guy: We need to party together.
Buff guy's sidekick: I'm hungry.
Random girl: I just went to McyD's and bought everything. Want some?
Buff guy's sidekick: Yea, gimme some of that girl.
Pretty girl: Yea so I'm like 19.
Huge guy: That's hot. I'm like 19 too.
Buff guy: Man you so little. I'm like 20. How you drink like that girl?
Pretty girl: I totally can out drink most girls.
Huge guy: I bet you can't out drink me.
Pretty girl: Hehe yea maybe not. But I can out drink most girls.
Buff guy: That's hot.


This conversation went on for literally 45 minutes on the same topic. Yes 'pretty girl' we get that you can out drink most girls. Sheesh. Is that the best accomplishment people can give nowadays?

The whole conversation just disgusted me really. I still can't understand how binge drinking and partying is such a huge part of the college culture. Kids get drunk, wasted, hung-over every night or every weekend and then complain about how they're not doing well in school.

I've never had alcohol because it's not permissible in Islam, but I heard that it doesn't even taste good. Soo please explain to me. How can something that tastes disgusting, makes you lose control, and gives you disgusting side effects be appealing to people?? Be smart people. Use your brains.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Mrs. Cullen: The Birthday Girl

Dear Friends,

I am like so totally excited. Cuz like um my birthday is coming up. Yay. Actually I am not. Well I kinda am. I dunno why. I like my birthday. Its a day dedicated to me. I love Me. Ok now I just sound like C.A. Anyway. Birthdays aren't really a big deal in my family. My dad doesn't really celebrate birthdays. However, we do (sometimes) go out to eat as a family on our birthdays. But thats it. No gifts or nothing. A few years ago we tried to celebrate Father's Day and my dad freaked out. We kinda just did it to be funny since we know he doesn't celebrate that either. My dad thinks that Father's Day (and Mother's Day) should be every day. And hes right. Sigh.

I'm pretty sure celebrating birthdays is a touchy topic in Islam, as well. Thats where my dad gets it from. Anyway. There are different beliefs that scholars (of Islam) have on celebrating birthdays. Some say its alright to celebrate your birthday if you are thanking God and showing gratitude for being blessed with one more year of life. Others say its not right to celebrate and be happy about losing one year of your life.

Anyhoo, I am quite sad about losing a year of my life. A year that I wasted and could have spend much more productively, sigh! However, I am also excited to be one year older just because that means I'm closer and closer to getting married!!!!!!!!!!! Just kidding..kinda. I dunno. Lately the days have been going by SO FAST. I can't believe its October already. Sigh. But thats a good thing for me. Cuz next thing you know I'll be done with college. And perhaps far away at another college. Or not. Or maybe I'll just be a fail and do nothing with my life. I think the latter will happen. Sigh. Please pray that it doesn't. Anyways, I have to go stalk celebrities on Twitter. Ok bye.

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

Monday, October 5, 2009

A word to the Unwise.

Don't change for anyone.
Don't expect anyone to change for you.
You will be very unhappy.

- Falling Up.

*inspired by Grey's Anatomy season 3 finale*

Sunday, October 4, 2009


Shriveled existence, originally uploaded by Rabujee.

When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.

~Khalil Gibran

Saturday, October 3, 2009


So I haven’t written in a long time. A really long time. I think my last post was like two months ago. I’m sorry! Please don’t kill me.

So I’m back in the land of green and clean. It was so strange getting off the plane in Toronto and seeing everyone speaking English and people looking at me weird because I was holding a bright silver Egyptian lantern in one hand. I thought Customs would have a problem with it but Canadians are so darn nice. They didn’t even look at my stuff…as soon as I said I’m driving down to Detroit he said “Bye. Have a nice trip!” Wow…it was amazing. I wish all Customs were like that so I don’t have to stand in long long lines with kids crying and people profusely apologizing after bumping others with their luggage carts multiple times.

Anyhow, when I flew back I was feeling thing bittersweet feeling. I love Egypt. A lot. And I would have loved to spend the rest of Ramadan there praying behind the lovely Sheikh Rida. Sigh. But at the same time I really missed my family. Ramadan is not a true Ramadan without breaking fast with my family, eating Mom’s home cooked meals, and competing with my sisters as to who does more good deeds in the month. Okay the last thing happened only in one Ramadan…but still it was pretty cool.

So when I finally came back I was super excited to see everyone. I had been gone for almost four months now. But after the excitement of being back droned out, school started and my schedule started normalizing again. This is when it happened. My Iman started dropping. A lot. A guess a general meaning of Iman (ee-maan) is your level of faith. Iman is like a rollercoaster, sometimes it’s really high like during Ramadan when you’re able to stand 2 extra hours in prayer every night. And sometimes it’s really low like those mornings when you have a hard time getting up for the early Morning Prayer. Point being, it’s never really stable and you always have to work on it. It’s not easy trying to remember God all the time in everything that you do. We’re human and it’s okay to forget and make mistakes. But not all the time. The point of faith is that you’re continuously working to improve yourself and to strengthen your connection with God, to strengthen your understanding and increase your spirituality.

So why did my Iman start dropping since I came back from Egypt? One, Masjid Bilal was no longer in front my home. This was a huge downer. Seriously. I came back here and started masjid hopping, trying to find someone with beautiful Quranic recitation. Fail. Major fail. Everyone was terrible. Okay maybe not terrible but definitely not up to par. What makes me upset is that people are reciting Qur’an and they don’t even know how to pronounce the Arabic letters properly!! Guess what people? When you change the pronunciation of the letters in Arabic it easily changes the meaning of the words which essentially means you’re changing the Qur’an! Yea… that’s a huge problem.

Okay back to my Iman drop. I think a lot of it had to do with me being mentally exhausted from this summer. I was the Study Abroad Program coordinator for 20 students…running around Egypt trying to make sure everything was running smoothly for the students. Let me tell you, when you have that type of responsibility it becomes really difficult to focus on yourself. So by the end of the summer I was just tired and needed a break from helping others. I know that sounds harsh…but that’s how I felt.

I guess now that I’ve been back for a month its times for me to step up my game and get my connection with God back up there. This connection is a two way relationship. God will always hold up on His part, it’s up to me if I’ll answer His Call. I think I want to focus on slowing down my prayers and actually taking time out to supplicate to God sincerely.

“And when My servants ask you, concerning Me - indeed I am near. I respond to the invocation of the supplicant when he calls upon Me. So let them respond to Me [by obedience] and believe in Me that they may be [rightly] guided.” [2:186]

Friday, October 2, 2009

The Crazy Spots I've Prayed

Muslims pray five times a day. We can pray anywhere. It doesn't have to be in the mosque. We can pray wherever as long as it's clean. We usually pray on a prayer rug. But we don't HAVE to. The one place where we can't is the bathroom. Because that's just weird.

And when we pray it's like a one-on-one connection with God. No interruptions whatsoever. You cannot answer the phone, or talk to someone next to you, or read that novel you're dying to finish. Otherwise you have to start over again. Sucks? Not really, considering the prayer takes about 5 minutes or less. It's like your time with God. I mean God is always there for you, why can't we take a few uninterrupted minutes for Him and thank Him for everything that's been going on, or to complain to Him about our coworkers or to ask for stuff we want?

Story time!! When we were younger we used to pray really fast. Like 30 second prayers. My mom would catch us and know we'd be going fast just so we could get back to the TV or play. She she'd be like, "I'm going to have to issue you a speeding ticket.." I should have gotten her a badge that said "prayer police" or something.

So when we pray in public and people get scared that we're having some sort of medical problem and they're trying to talk to us and we don't answer. It's just that I don't want to have to start over again. Plus, we're in the middle of a very important meeting. Our prayers are physical as well as spiritual and mental. I'll show you another day or you can look it up if you're interested.

Praying five times a day can seem like a lot to some, but it really isn't tedious. It takes a total of about a half hour give or take a few minutes. As I've said before we pray five times a day. And we have a time range in which we can pray. Like the afternoon prayer here in India is around 12:30 to 3:30 PM. So I can pray anytime between that time. But if I'm out where can we stop and pray? I mean, it's weird praying in public. But a Muslim's gotta do what a Muslim's gotta do.

So we pray. In public.

In the corner at the mall.
In the parking lot.
At amusement parks.
On the highway, I don't know why we did this one since we could have just stopped at a rest stop.
In the library.
At college.
At pizza hut.
Dressing rooms.

OK so I don't have a very exciting lists of crazy places I've prayed. But I know some of the other authors do. So anyone who'se prayed in a weird place, Muslim or not, please share. :)